ANC and EFF agree on new election changes for South Africa: report

 ·14 Jun 2020

The ANC and the EFF have agreed on the proposed postponement of next year’s local government elections as proposed by the Electoral Committee of South Africa (IEC).

The City Press reports that the two parties have also agreed that the country’s elections should be consolidated, with national, provincial and local government elections all held in the same year.

“This pandemic has made it clear to us that we don’t need to have more than one election,” said EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini.

“We are calling for the postponement of the local government elections to 2024 and it must be made permanent. We will make submissions to parliament regarding this.

“An exception can be made to municipal elections; they can hold by-elections if a municipality is not functional,” he said.

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

In a statement this week, Magashule said that the proposed changes come after the Electoral Court ordered the postponement of a number of municipal by-elections due to Covid-19 safety concerns.

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.

Read: South Africa’s Electoral Act declared unconstitutional – must allow independent candidates to contest elections

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