Parliament, Thursday 10 January 2019 – The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) today at it special Plenary Sitting adopted three bills: the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill, the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill and the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill.

The Public Service Commission Amendment Bill, which amends the Public Service Commission Act of 1997, seeks to ensure efficiency and certainty with regard to the process to renew the term of office of a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC). The Bill clarifies the process to be followed by the President when renewing a commissioner’s term of office. The renewal of a commissioner’s term of office will follow consultation with Parliament’s National Assembly and the Provincial Legislatures in line with Section 196(10) of the Constitution. The Bill also aims to give the chairperson of the PSC powers to delegate his or her role to a commissioner prior to the absence of the chairperson and the deputy.

Another Bill, the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, passed by the National Assembly in November 2017 and transmitted to the NCOP for concurrence, makes provision for recognition of the Khoi-San, to effect consequential amendment to other laws, while also repealing the National House of Traditional Leaders Act of 2009 and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003.

Also passed by the NCOP today is the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill, which seeks, through a wide range of measures, to prevent possibilities of election results and constitution of legislative bodies being challenged in court by any party or interested person on the basis of the absence of addresses on the common voter’s roll, and ensures that voters whose addresses aren’t yet on the voters roll will still be able to cast their ballot. The Bill is aimed at maintaining political stability, by protecting the legitimacy of elected legislative bodies from which national and provincial governments derive the authority to constitute themselves. The Bill also makes it illegal for public funds to be used for political campaigning.

The Bill amends the Electoral Commission Act, the Electoral Act and the Local Government Municipal Electoral Act.

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