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Electoral Reform in South Africa – Part 8 - The legislative progress

Since the last engagement of the Expert Panel, much has happened with regard to on the development of a new electoral model for South Africa:

  • The Institute’s report was concluded and widely promoted to other civil society organisations, the Independent Electoral Committee, the Ministerial Advisory Committee, Parliament, the Minister of Home Affairs and the media.

  • The Electoral Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament, which Bill does little to promote reform in that it follows a minimalistic approach.

  • That said, the Institute’s engagement with the Minister was constructive in that there is an acknowledgement that broader reform is needed. It is not being done now given the Constitutional Court’s deadline which is prohibitive in terms of what can be achieved in the short term. The Institute proposed a two-step approach, namely, minimalistic amendments in the short term with a commitment to embark upon a process to achieve broader reform for elections post-2024.

  • The Zondo-Commission of Enquiry into State Capture has also recommended that Parliament give consideration to a constituency-based electoral model as well as a directly elected President.

With the aforementioned in mind, the Institute convened the Expert Panel on 23 August 2022 to:

  • Give feedback on the journey travelled so far and the roadmap going forward

  • To discuss the merits and demerits of a directly elected presidential electoral system. The purpose was to shape the Institutes thinking on the topic.

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