Parliament, Thursday 3 December 2020 – The National Assembly has, during its hybrid plenary this afternoon, passed the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill and the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill.
The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill provides for the repeal of the Municipal Systems Amendment Act No.7 of 2011 which was declared unconstitutional in 2017, for failure to comply with the procedures as set out in section 76 of the Constitution – the Act was tagged as a section 75 instead of a section 76 Bill. The Constitutional Court suspended the order of invalidity for 24 months to allow for the correction of the procedural defect. The suspended period of invalidity lapsed on 09 March 2019 before the correction of the defect, and the Amendment Act, and Bill subsequently lapsed on 07 May 2019 following the end of the Sixth Session of the Fifth Parliament. The National Assembly, at its first session of the Sixth Parliament, agreed to resume the proceedings on the Bill from the stage it was referred to the Committee for consideration and report.
The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs having deliberated on and considered the subject of the Bill, agreed to it with amendments.
The Electoral Laws Amendment Bill seeks to amend three pieces of legislation, namely, the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act No. 51 of 1996) (“Electoral Commission Act”), the Electoral Act, 1998 (Act No. 73 of 1998) (“Electoral Act”) and the Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act, 2000 (Act No. 27 of 2000) (“Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act”), in preparation for the forthcoming general local government elections in 2021.
Having considered and deliberated on the Bill the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs recommended that the NA approve the with amendments.
The two Bills will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.
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