Parliament, Wednesday, 8 February 2023 – The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has today adopted the C version of the Electoral Amendment Bill, a further step towards finalising it processes to consider the Bill. This follows decisions taken yesterday on two issues that arose following the third round of the public participation process, with the decision made on the quota of seats required from independent candidates to stand,as well the role of the executive in the application of the Act once passed.
The committee was persuaded by various voices from citizens, civil society organisations and political parties that the initial resolution on a 20% of quota of votes required for a seat in the previous election had the potential to be a barrier to entry. As a result of this counsel, the committee has resolved to lower the threshold to 15% of votes required for a seat in the previous similar election.
Furthermore, the committee deliberated on whether the executive or Parliament should have the authority in appointing an advisory committee to consider broader electoral reform, post the 2024 elections. The committee resolved that the executive must within four months establish an advisory panel in consultation with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) for approval by Parliament that will consider broader electoral reform. The committee has now mandated the legal teams to finalise the D versions of the Bill to enable consideration and approval. The committee will on Friday undertake a clause-by-clause process, which is a final step before adoption of the Bill.
Meanwhile, the committee was also briefed on various approaches to process consequential amendments of various pieces of legislation as a result of the Electoral Amendment Bill. The committee will apply its mind, taking into consideration that those pieces of legislation are critical in holding a free and fair election process.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE HOME AFFAIRS, MR MOSA CHABANE.
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