Public has less than a week to comment on electoral bill

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi

Published Jan 24, 2024


The public has less than a week to comment on the bill that paves the way for the holding of the upcoming elections.

The bill was tabled before Parliament in December and seeks to amend, among others, the Political Party Funding Act to provide for the regulation of the private and public funding of independent candidates and representatives, and matters incidental thereto.

The bill also seeks to preclude the Independent Electoral Commission from accepting donations suspected to be proceeds of crime to the Multi-Party and Independents Democracy Fund.

Home Affairs portfolio chairperson, Mosa Chabane said the bill would empower the Independent Electoral Commission to invest money in the funds in any bank, and also provide for political parties, independent candidates and independent representatives to refuse donations.

He said the bill will make it an offence to make a donation to a political party, a member of a political party, an independent candidate or an independent representative in the expectation that the party, member, candidate or representative would influence the award of benefits or relaxation of conditions.

The bill comes as Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi delayed the introduction of important bills that have specific deadlines before the elections, and the end of term of the sixth parliament.

This after his department failed to meet the deadline set by Parliament to submit priority bills for processing in September.

The Electoral Matters Amendment Bill, which contains consequential amendments following the enactment of the Electoral Amendment Bill, provides for independent candidates to stand for elections in Parliament and provincial legislatures.

Parliament was given until June 2024 to fix the constitutional defect in the legislation and the department had undertaken to formulate the bill.

The Home Affairs Department was also in the process of developing the draft Marriage Bill, which was published for public comments in July 2023.

In November, Motsoaledi said the department had proceeded to revise the draft bill to incorporate the written submissions received after the public participation stage closed in August.

“In accordance with the Department’s Annual Performance Plan, the draft Marriage Bill will be introduced into Parliament within the current financial year, ending March 2024,” he said.

Those wishing to make written submission can do so via [email protected] by no later than Friday.

Cape Times