A group of civil society organisations that are lobbying for electoral reform met the media on Wednesday, 9 November 2022, to voice their concerns with regard to the current parliamentary processes related to amending the Electoral Act. The Constitutional Court declared the existing act unconstitutional in that it did not provide for independent candidates to participate in national and provincial elections.
Civil society is of the view that the amendment bill being processed by parliament is in itself unconstitutional, in that the constitutional principle of equality is not being adhered to. There are two separate sets of rules for independents and parties.
The Inclusive Society Institute’s CEO, Daryl Swanepoel, spelt the Institute’s three main concerns out to the media:
§ Whilst political parties could aggregate their votes from across all nine provinces, independent candidates cannot;
§ Whilst political parties only require 1000 supporting signatures to gain access to the ballot, independents required 15,000 and more; and
§ Votes for parties and votes for independents do not carry equal weight.