COSATU presented its submission on the Electoral Amendment Bill to Parliament on 1 March 2022

01 March 2022

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) presented its submission on the Electoral Amendment Bill to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on 1 March 2022.

In 2020, the Constitutional Court directed Parliament to amend the electoral laws to enable independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections.  The Electoral Amendment Bill provides a fair framework to effect this directive.

It is critical that Parliament move with the necessary speed and diligence to ensure that the necessary legislative amendments are concluded by 2023 in order for them to come into effect in time for the 2024 elections.

Whilst appreciating the need to effect the Constitutional Court’s directive, Parliament needs to strike the right balance when accomodating independent candidates.  The positive attributes of the current proportional representation system, e.g. inclusivity of diverse political views; ability to allow for a gender, demographic and regional spread; and relative stability when compared to the unstable and chaotic systems in some countries. 

It is fundamental that the electoral system continues to represent the will of voters and where all votes have equal weight.  We cannot afford to go the route of some countries where constituency boundaries are shamelessly manipulated to favour individual political parties and where votes are often suppressed or count for less than others.

Parliament needs to ensure that there is adequate public consultation and broad political acceptance of the final product.  It is critical that the electoral system remains simple, easy to understand and is seen to be free and fair by the public at large. 

Issued by COSATU.

For further information please contact:

Matthew Parks

Parliamentary Coordinator

Cell: 082 785 0687

Email: matthew@cosatu.org.za

6th Floor, Constitution House,

124 Adderley Street

(corner of Church Street) Cape Town 8000, South Africa