Freedom Front Plus
The Freedom Front Plus (FF+; Afrikaans: Vryheidsfront Plus, VF+) is a right-wing national South African political party that was formed (as the Freedom Front) in 1994. It is led by Pieter Groenewald. Its current stated policy positions include amending affirmative action and land reform to protect the rights and interests of the minority Afrikaners.
|Chief Whip||Corné Mulder|
|CEO||Pieter de Necker|
|Founded||1 March 1994|
(as Freedom Front)
|Split from||Afrikaner Volksfront|
|Headquarters||Highveld Office Park|
Charles de Gaulle Crescent
|Youth wing||Freedom Front Plus Youth|
|International affiliation||Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization|
|Colours||Green Dark orange|
|Slogan||Daar is hoop|
(There is hope)
|National Assembly seats|
10 / 400
3 / 90
11 / 430
Along with other smaller parties, the FF+ entered into coalition with the larger Democratic Alliance (DA) after the 2016 municipal elections to govern Johannesburg, Tshwane and several other municipalities.
Foundation and early yearsEdit
The Freedom Front was founded on 1 March 1994 by members of the Afrikaner community under Constand Viljoen, after he had left the Afrikaner Volksfront amidst disagreements. Seeking to achieve his goals through political means, Viljoen registered the Freedom Front with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on 4 March 1994 to take part in the April 1994 general elections. (This date has also been given as 7 March.) On 12 March 1994 Viljoen handed in a list of candidates for the FF to the IEC, confirming that his party would take part in the elections.
In the election, under the leadership of General Viljoen, the Freedom Front received 2.2% of the national vote (with 424,555 votes cast), earning nine seats in the National Assembly, and 3.3% (with 639,643 votes cast) of the combined vote to the nine provincial legislatures. This suggested that many Afrikaners had split their vote. The party performed the best in the rural areas of the former Transvaal and Orange Free State, and was noted by the new deputy president Thabo Mbeki as representing possibly as much as half the Afrikaner voting population in these areas, with the strongest support among farmers and the working class.
Freedom Front support would gradually melt away in the coming years, as the party was strung along in ultimately fruitless negotiations with the African National Congress (ANC) to create a Volkstaat making the party lose its importance. It would also receive increased competition from new parties such as the Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging. In the 1999 election their support dropped to 0.8% (127,217 votes cast) with three seats in the National Assembly and between 1-2% in their stronghold provinces. This represented a respectable portion of the Afrikaner vote, but nowhere near earlier levels. The party's support remained relatively stable in all national elections held during the next twenty years.
In 2001, Viljoen handed over the leadership of the Freedom Front to Pieter Mulder.
Formation of the Freedom Front PlusEdit
In 2003, shortly before the 2004 general election, the Conservative Party, the Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging and the Freedom Front decided to contest the election as a single entity under the name Freedom Front Plus (FF+), led by Mulder. Later, also the Federal Alliance joined the VF+/FF+.
In the 2004 general election, support for the Freedom Front Plus rose slightly to 0.89% (139,465 votes cast). The party won one seat in most of the provincial legislatures, and four seats in the National Assembly.
In the 2006 municipal elections, the Freedom Front Plus received 1% of the popular vote (252,253 votes cast).
In the 2009 general election, the party received 0.83% (146,796 votes cast) and retained its four seats in the National Assembly but lost its seats in the provincial legislatures of North West, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape. After the elections, the Freedom Front's leader Pieter Mulder was appointed as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries by the new President Jacob Zuma.
FF Plus voter support increased substantially in the 2019 general election, with the party growing its vote total by 250,000, to 2.38% of the national vote, earning ten seats in the National Assembly. This was even slightly more than the nine seats that the old Freedom Front had received in 1994. Additionally, it gained eight seats in the provincial legislatures, for a new total of eleven. In the 2014 general election, the FF Plus won seats in three provincial legislatures, in this election, it has won seats in eight out of the nine provincial legislatures. Its new supporters were largely Afrikaners and coloured voters from the Western Cape who had previously supported the DA.
Since the 2019 general election, the FF Plus has also won three wards from the Democratic Alliance (DA) in municipal by-elections in the North West Province and has continued to show growth in various other municipal by-elections in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
|No.||Image||Name||Term start||Term end||Notes|
|1||Constand Viljoen||1 March 1994||26 June 2001||Chief of the South African Army (1976–1980) |
Chief of the South African Defence Force (1980–1985)
|2||Pieter Mulder||26 June 2001||12 November 2016||Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (2009–2014)|
|3||Pieter Groenewald||12 November 2016||Incumbent||Member of the National Assembly of South Africa (2001–present) |
Federal Chairperson of the Freedom Front Plus (2011–2016)
These tables show the electoral performance for the Freedom Front Plus since the advent of democracy in 1994:
|Election||Total votes||Share of vote||Seats||+/-||Government|
9 / 400
largest opposition party (1994–1996)
3 / 400
4 / 400
4 / 400
|±0||in opposition |
delivered one deputy minister
4 / 400
10 / 400
|Election||Eastern Cape||Free State||Gauteng||Kwazulu-Natal||Limpopo||Mpumalanga||North-West||Northern Cape||Western Cape|
|Election||Ward + PR votes||Share of vote|
- "ANC holds onto power in South Africa as other parties increase vote share". The Times of India. 11 May 2019.
- "South Africa's election: Five things we've learnt". BBC News. 11 May 2019.
- Magome, Mogomotsi (23 October 2019). "Leader of South Africa's leading opposition party resigns". Johannesburg. Associated Press. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- Setumo Stone (22 April 2014). "FF+ to target DA's Afrikaner voting base". Business Day. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014.
- "Unmandated reflections - Thabo Mbeki - NEWS & ANALYSIS - Politicsweb". www.politicsweb.co.za. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016.
- "2014 Elections: Seats in Parliament". sanews.gov.za. Pretoria. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- Brandt, Kevin (10 May 2019). "Targeting minorities helped grow our support - FF Plus". EWN. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- Mailovich, Claudi (9 May 2019). "FF Plus defies expectations". BusinessLIVE. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- "Orania votes for FF+". IOL. 23 April 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010.
- Sussman, Wayne (11 July 2019). "FF+ makes loud statement in Stilfontein". The Daily Maverick. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- Joubert, Jan-Jan (19 September 2018). "Recent municipal ward by-elections result in losses for the DA". The Daily Maverick. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- "Mamusa by-election: Good news for EFF, but DA slide against FF+ continues". The Citizen. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- Head, Tom (16 January 2020). "Schweizer-Reneke: DA disaster, as they lose third ward in six months to FF Plus". The South African. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- White, Ray. "Pieter Mulder steps down as Freedom Front Plus leader". Archived from the original on 13 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
- "Results Dashboard". www.elections.org.za. Retrieved 11 May 2019.