Parliament, Thursday 10 March 2022 – The Electoral Amendment Bill, which is currently subjected to a nationwide public consultation process by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, has received mixed reactions and objections from various community members including some political parties in Mpumalanga.
During public hearings on the bill in Mbombela today, community members and representatives of some political parties made submissions that the current proportional representation was fine, and that the Electoral Amendment Bill will be abused by opportunists who will use money to buy their way into the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
Those who opposed the bill and its intention to allow independent candidates to contest for national and provincial legislatures without political party membership told the committee that the matter of independent candidates contesting elections was working only at local government level and should not be allowed at national and provincial level.
The bill, however, also received some support from other sectors of society who argued that it will enhance transparency and honesty in elected leaders, and make them directly accountable to voters and not political parties.
There was also a feeling that the bill in its current form does not give independent candidates an adequate opportunity as they will be restricted to contest only for 200 seats in the National Assembly out of the total 400, the supporters of the bill want all 400 members of the assembly to be elected through a constituency based system.
The Bill seeks to introduce amendments to the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 after the Constitutional Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for not allowing independent candidates to contest for elections to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. The court gave Parliament 24 months to remedy the defect.
Committee Chairperson Mr Mosa Chabane commended the political parties and individuals for making valuable inputs on the draft bill and stated that the comments will contribute positively towards producing an inclusive piece of legislation.
Tomorrow the committee hold public hearings in Gert Sibande District Municipality.
Details of the hearings:
Date: Thursday, 11 March 2022
Venue: Gert Sibande District Municipality Council Chamber (Ermelo)
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS, MR MOSA CHABANE.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson of the Committee, please contact:
Name: Sakhile Mokoena
Cell: 081 705 2130