Parliament, Sunday 13 March 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs yesterday concluded the Mpumalanga leg of the nationwide public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill.
The committee held public meetings in all three districts of the province to get input from communities on the draft bill, which seeks to amend the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 after the Constitutional Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for not allowing independent candidates to contest for election to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
Yesterday the committee held public hearings in the Nkangala District Municipality where a large number of citizens voiced their objections to the bill and the possibility of a constituency based electoral system.
Echoing the views of the other two districts (Ehlanzeni and Gert Sibande) the residents of Nkangala told the committee that the Electoral Commission and Parliament were not ready for administration of a constituency based electoral system and that the current proportional representation system must be retained.
They also proposed that for purposes of just adhering to the Constitutional Court order, the bill can be amended to allow independent candidates, but stricter conditions must be introduced to make it difficult for any potential independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections.
Those who welcomed the draft legislation said it will address weaknesses in the current electoral system and make it easy for more women and youth to be elected into Parliament and the provincial legislatures.
Committee Chairperson, Mr Mosa Chabane, thanked the participants for taking the opportunity to make inputs and guide the committee on issues that they want included on the Electoral Amendment Bill.
The committee will tomorrow begin with public hearings in Gauteng Province.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS, MR MOSA CHABANE.
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