Parliament, Tuesday, 07 July 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has welcomed progress by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in preparation for the 2021 local government elections. This progress is particularly praiseworthy in light of the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and funding pressures arising from the reprioritisation of budgets to fund the fight against the disease.
The e-voting proposal is of major importance. The committee agrees with the IEC that to increase efficiencies in the electoral process, e-voting must be considered, especially because such technology has the potential to drive down election costs and increase operational efficiencies.
The committee further welcomed the securing of funding to procure new Voter Management Devices, which will be critical for the successful delivery of the 2021 local government elections. The committee is hopeful that the IEC will receive the necessary support to implement this project from the Department of Home Affairs and the National Treasury, as it is critical in delivering credible elections.
Despite this, the committee is concerned by the implication of budgetary cuts in the IEC’s outreach programmes. While the committee is cognisant that some programmes have to be compromised, it called for a re-imagined and amplified process of stakeholder engagement using traditional and social media. All effort must be made to actively promote awareness and participation in electoral processes.
Regarding the Department of Home Affairs, the committee welcomes the assurance that despite its R562 million budget reprioritisation, measures have been put in place to ensure budget cuts will not affect service delivery in the short term. “The department’s approach will ensure that cuts are not based on a one-size-fits-all approach, but are targeted to minimise impact on service delivery. This includes delaying some projects that can be dealt with later or where no contractual commitments have yet been made. This is progressive and must be commended,” Adv Bongo emphasised.
The committee will await an approved revised medium-term strategic framework strategy and 2020/21 annual performance plans to evaluate the direct impact of budgetary cuts on the department’s targets.
Regarding the Government Printing Works, the committee notes that because GPW is a revenue generating entity, it is not required to cut its baseline. Despite this, the committee notes the impact Covid-19 will have on GPW’s projected sales numbers, as production of items like passports decreases.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS, ADV BONGANI BONGO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Malatswa Molepo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8438
Cell: 081 512 7920
- Our Parliament
- About Parliament
- What Parliament does
- National Assembly
- National Council of Provinces
- Constituency Work
- Ethics and Member's Interests
- Role of Parliamentary Committees
- Parliament Art
- Visiting Parliament
- Contact Us
- Our People
- Presiding Officers
- Members of Parliament
- Business Of Parliament
- Parliament Programme
- Questions and Replies
- Parliamentary Papers
- Parliamentary Budget Office
- Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy
- Have Your Say