The Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Electoral System will hold its first consultative meeting with key stakeholders on 30 March 2021 at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg.
Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, formed the ministerial committee in February this year.
This was in response to the 11 June 2020 ruling of the Constitutional Court on the application brought before it by the New National Movement NPC and others.
The Constitutional Court ruled that the Electoral Act is unconstitutional to an extent that it prevents independent candidates from contesting National and Provincial Elections.
The court has given Parliament until June 2022 to amend the Electoral Act.
Specifically, the committee will:
– Advise the Minister of Home Affairs and the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on how to amend electoral legislation to comply with the New Nation Judgment, within the timeframe stipulated by the Constitutional Court.
– Engage with a wide range of stakeholders across society, including, but not limited to, civil society organisations, trade unions, the private sector, community movements and interest groups on their views of how the electoral system should be changed to strengthen and advance constitutional democracy in South Africa.
– Facilitate the development of a new electoral system for the next phase of South Africa’s democracy.
The Committee’s approach to its work is informed by:
– The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, in particular Sections 46 and 105, which stipulate that any electoral system selected by Parliament must “result, in general, in proportional representation”.
– Reports of previous governmental bodies on this issue, including the Electoral Task Team Report of 2003 (Van Zyl Slabbert Report) and the High-Level Panel report of 2017 (Motlanthe Report).
– Existing research on electoral reform in South Africa from a wide range of academics and think-tanks. The Advisory Committee will solicit submissions of new research from academics and researchers.
– Broad consultation with the South African public on developing a new electoral system.
The Advisory Committee held its first meeting on 24 February 2021 following its introductory meeting with Motsoaledi on 19 February 2021.
The Members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, who were announced by Motsoaledi, are:
– Mr Valli Moosa – Chairperson. He is the former Minister Constitutional Development and one of the architects of the South African Constitution.
– Advocate Pansy Tlakula – the former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and the longest serving Chief Electoral Office
– Advocate Vincent Maleka – a Senior Council with extensive experience in representing several clients up to the Constitutional Court.
– Dr Mike Sutcliffe – former member of the Demarcation Board and former Ethekwini Municipal Manager.
– Dr Sithembile Mbete – political scientist and senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria.
– Mr Norman du Plessis – former Deputy Chief Electoral Officer with extensive experience in electoral operations and electoral systems.
– Prof Daryl Glaser – political scientist and Head of Department: Political Studies at Wits University. He has extensive international experience on electoral systems and electoral reforms.
– Dr Nomsa Masuku – Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), an academic and a champion of civic and democracy education. She is a former Deputy Chief Electoral Officer responsible for Outreach.