The budget cuts faced by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) could have an impact on the elections.
This was a warning issued by the National Assembly committee on home affairs after the IEC revealed it faced budget cuts of more than R769 million in the next three years.
South Africa is due to go to the national and provincial elections in 2024.
This was after the IEC held another round of local government elections last November after the Constitutional Court turned down its decision to postpone the elections until February due to Covid-19.
After the municipal polls the commission will begin to prepare for the 2024 elections, which are expected to be a tough race between the ANC and opposition parties.
Chairperson of the home affairs committee Mosa Chabane said on Wednesday they were disappointed the budget of the IEC faces cuts before the next elections.
“While the committee is cognisant of the fiscal pressures facing South Africa, it believes that underfunding this important pillar of South Africa’s democracy should be reconsidered to ensure that democratic processes are not undercut.
“The committee was informed that there will be a cut of R769 749 000 over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework,” said Chabane.
“The unintended consequence of underfunding the IEC will have a practical impact in delivering elections that are free and fair.
“We are concerned that, for example, for the 2024 national and provincial elections, the budget cuts have resulted in the second registration weekend not being funded,” he said.
He said the poor turnout in the November elections showed there was a need for voter education.