Parliament, Tuesday, 8 March 2022 – The draft Electoral Amendment Bill which is currently subjected to public consultations by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, continues to receive mixed views from different sectors of the society.
The committee today held public hearings on the Bill in the Greater Tzaneen municipality in Limpopo. 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.
Political parties that made submissions during the public hearings today expressed different views on the envisaged changes to the legislation that seeks to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections without party political membership.
Some of the parties are of the view that there was nothing wrong with the current proportional representation electoral system where Members of Parliament and Legislatures have to belong to political parties in order to be elected.
Other political parties told the committee that should the Bill be passed into law, it must not give any special treatment to independent candidates and that there must be equal treatment between them and the political parties contesting elections.
There was also a view that the Bill must be passed in order to have an electoral system that favours the people instead of political parties. There were also those who felt that the independent candidates should not be excluded based on their ability to pay a fee for contesting elections.
Committee Chairperson, Mr Mosa Chabane, appreciated the inputs from the stakeholders and said that the committee will continue with the public consultations to give all interested parties and citizens an opportunity to make submissions on the draft Bill.
Tomorrow the committee will hold public hearings in Sekhukhune District Municipality.
Details of the hearings
Date: Wednesday, 09 March 2022
Venue: AFM Church (Tafelkop)
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