ANC wants to make changes to South Africa’s elections – what you need to know

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) is considering a number of changes to South Africa’s electoral process, says the party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule.

The proposed changes come after the Electoral Court ordered the postponement of a number of municipal by-elections due to Covid-19 safety concerns. The ANC noted that a number of important public-participation processes have also been impacted by the pandemic.

To help address these issues, the ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC) discussed a range of responses to these and other challenges impacting South Africa’s electoral system, Magashule said.

Some of the proposals include:

  • Combining elections – Magashule said that the ANC considered the ‘desirability of synchronisation’ of elections at national, provincial and local spheres of government;
  • Constituency-based representation – The desirability of introducing elements of constituency-based representation at national and provincial spheres, consistent with the constitutional requirement for an electoral system that results, in general, in proportional representation;
  • Alternative voting – Alternative methods of conducting elections, including the use of electronic voting.

“The NWC discussed these proposals in the context of strengthening the accountability of responsiveness of democratic institutions and the building of a more effective and capable development state,” said Magashule.

“In this regard, the NWC also considered the impact of the electoral system on the strengthening of the district development model seeking to align planning, budgeting, and implementation across national, provincial and local spheres of government.”

Magashule noted that these matters will require wide-spread consultation and debate in society, including other political parties.

He added that these proposals must be supported by a rigorous ‘evidence-based approach’, including clarity regarding their Constitutional implications.

You can read the full statement below.

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ANC wants to make changes to South Africa’s elections – what you need to know