Recommendation on nominees for electoral reform panel to be made soon - Motsoaledi

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the department would thoroughly study the names of nominated people with the IEC.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the department would thoroughly study the names of nominated people with the IEC.

Published Sep 19, 2023


Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday said his department and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) would soon make recommendations to Parliament on nominees to serve on the electoral reform panel.

Motsoaledi also said the department would thoroughly study the names of nominated people with the IEC.

“Unfortunately, we missed a date for a meeting. We were not able to find a common date with the IEC to do this work.

“I and IEC will work on the names – researching, shortlisting and finding out who qualifies in terms of the criteria.

“We will bring them over to Parliament to make a final recommendation on whom to choose,” he said.

Motsoaledi made the comment when his department briefed the home affairs portfolio committee on the implementation of recommendations of the Zondo Commission report.

The commission had, in its report last year, recommended reforms to the electoral system.

In his report, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said consideration should be given to make necessary constitutional amendments to ensure that the President was elected directly by the people.

This was to ensure that anyone who becomes the President was elected on the basis of their own popularity with the people, not on the basis that, if voters vote for a particular party, that party will make him or her President.

“It is recommended that Parliament should consider whether introducing a constituency-based (but still proportionally representative) electoral system would enhance the capacity of members of Parliament to hold the executive accountable.

“If Parliament considers that introducing a constituency-based system has this advantage, it is recommended that it should consider whether, when weighed against any possible disadvantages of, this advantage justifies amending the existing electoral system,” read the recommendation.

Briefing the portfolio committee, director-general Tommy Makhode said the National Council of Provinces inserted earlier this year a clause in the Electoral Amendment Act providing for the establishment of an advisory committee which would investigate and advise the minister and Parliament on the electoral system.

“The advisory committee on electoral reform will be finalised following discussions with the IEC. The advisory committee on electoral reform will provide the advice,” he told the committee.

He said the advisory panel, to be formed within four months after the Electoral Amendment Act was enacted, will be mandated to complete its work in November 2024.

“As part of literature review, the advisory panel on electoral reform will look at all reports done with regards to electoral reform up to date,” he said.

The panel, that will be led by the Minister of Home Affairs in consultation with Parliament and the IEC, will investigate, consult and make recommendations on electoral reform.

It is expected, in terms of the amended legislation, to submit a report to the minister within 24 months after the 2024 elections.

Motsoaledi said Zondo had raised in his report several things, and it was not a straightforward thing for the Parliament to wake up and decide on an electoral reform.

“That panel will do extensive investigation around the world and make a presentation to Parliament so that Parliament is spoiled for choice,” he said.

Cape Times