OneSA vows to head back to ConCourt if ANC dithers on 'much-needed' electoral reform

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COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota, and OneSA chairperson Michael Louis. Photo: Christiaan du Plessis/Netwerk24
COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota, and OneSA chairperson Michael Louis. Photo: Christiaan du Plessis/Netwerk24
  • The OneSA Movement says it will return to the Constitutional Court if no electoral reform changes are implemented.
  • The ConCourt ruled last year that the Electoral Act was unconstitutional because it did not provide for adult citizens to be elected to the national and provincial legislatures as independent candidates.
  • Parliament has two years to rectify it ahead of the 2024 national and provincial elections.

The OneSA (OSA) Movement has vowed to return to the Constitutional Court if Parliament does not adhere to a ruling to make provisions for independent candidates to be elected to the national and provincial legislatures.

The warning comes after the ANC announced its intention to make minimal changes to the Electoral Act, to allow for independent candidates to stand for provincial and national elections.

While it had not shut the door on a complete reform of the electoral system - the ruling party, would, for now, make a marginal change to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling ordering Parliament to rectify legislation to allow for independent candidates to partake in general elections.

Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi appointed an expert advisory team, chaired by former minister Valli Moosa, to make submissions on the matter and a report was handed to him in June.

But OSA chairperson Michael Louis expressed concern over the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) decision to adopt the minority report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee.

"In effect, it takes an ultra conservative approach to the Constitutional Court's ruling. It is clear that the ANC does not want independent candidates to run and will make it difficult for them to do so. The minority report rejects a constituency-based election, although it does promote that provinces will become constituencies, and the IEC will determine the number of regional representatives for each region that go to Parliament.

READ | ‘Ditch ballot papers and invest in e-voting’: Lekota’s call for electoral reform

"However, there is a major constitutional flaw with the excess votes of an independent confidante. Any excess votes will add to the quota of PR for other political parties and against the spirit of the Constitutional Court judgment," he said,

The ConCourt ruled last year that the Electoral Act was unconstitutional because it did not provide for adult citizens to be elected to the national and provincial legislatures as independent candidates.

The court gave Parliament two years to rectify it ahead of the next national and provincial elections in 2024.

In the ANC NEC, the majority view was for an overhaul of the electoral system, which included both a proportional representation list and a constituency-based system - 200 MPs would be elected from each list.

The minority view, however, proposed minimal changes, which included viewing provinces as large constituencies in which either a party or an individual could stand for election.

Louis said electoral reform was urgently needed as all metrics indicated that South Africa was fast heading in the wrong direction.

"For too long, those in government have been dictated to by political parties and their funders. The net consequence is that the interests and concerns of citizens become incidental to their jobs, instead of being the sole focus," he said.


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