Electoral Amendment Bill: Interim Committee Report; Electoral Integrity Report: IEC briefing, with Deputy Minister

Home Affairs

30 August 2022
Chairperson: Mr M Chabane (ANC)

Share this page: 

Meeting Summary


Tracking the Electoral Reform Legislation in Parliament

Tabled Committee Reports

In this virtual meeting, the Committee considered and adopted (via a majority) its Interim on the Electoral Amendment Bill.

The report requested approval from the National Assembly (NA) to extend the scope of the Electoral Amendment Bill [B1-2022], due to the substantive changes the Committee intends to make to the Bill. This request is in line with the NA Rules 286(4)(b) and 286(4)(c), which allow a Committee to make substantive changes after receiving public submissions and concluding its deliberations, to certain clauses in the Bill. Thereafter the Committee must then seek approval from the NA to make those substantive changes. 

Moreover, as a result of the proposed substantive changes, the Committee requested the Assembly to grant it a period of 14 days to seek further public comment on the changes.

The Independent Electoral Commission briefed the Committee on the findings of the Electoral Integrity Global Report for 2019-2021. The Report assesses the quality of elections in democracies across the world. SA was ranked 66 in the world, and second in the continent, behind Cape Verde. Only in three areas did SA do relatively poorly, these are: voter registration, media coverage and campaign finance. In all three, SA scored below 60, with the campaign finance category being the worst performing area, with scores of 41 in the 2014 elections, and 35 in the 2019 elections. There were five areas where SA performed well, with scores above 70, in both the 2014 and 2019 elections: Electoral Laws; Electoral Procedures; Vote Count; Results Index and Electoral Authorities.

Members were concerned to hear that South Africa (SA) did poorly (according to the indexes used) in voter registration, media coverage and campaign, scoring below 60 for the period under review.

Notwithstanding this, the Committee was pleased with the progress the IEC has made to rectify the issues highlighted in the report and by others (voters, the Committee, et cetera), particularly those encountered during the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE), such as; the late opening of voter stations, and the turning away of voters from stations. With the enactment of the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA) in 2021, and the successes of the online registration system, Members were left confident that under the IEC, SA’s democracy was in safe hands.

The Committee was supposed to be briefed by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) on, amongst other things, its research into developments in women’s representation in politics and government between 2014 and 2019. However, due to absence of the Chairperson of the CGE, and a lack of preparedness of CGE officials, the presentation was postponed to a later, unconfirmed, date. The Committee Chairperson expressed disappointment with the CGE’s conduct, and requested that this not be repeated in future meetings.

Leave a Reply