Notice of Introduction Electoral Commission Amendment Bill, 2023 [PMB]Call for comments opened 10 February 2023 Share this page:
Submissions are now closed (since 10 March 2023)
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
In accordance with section 73(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, notice is given that Mr Cilliers Brink, MP, intends to introduce the Electoral Commission Amendment Bill, 2023, in Parliament. An explanatory summary of the Bill is hereby published in accordance with Rule 276(1)(c) of the Rules of the National Assembly (9th Edition).
Section 84(2)(g) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (‘Constitution’), provides that the President of the Republic of South Africa is responsible to call a national referendum in terms of an Act of Parliament. Similarly, section 127(2)(f) of Constitution provides that the Premier of a Province is responsible to call a referendum in the province in accordance with national legislation.
The current legislative framework under the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act No. 51 of 1996) (“the 1996 Act”), and the Referendums Act, 1983 (Act No. 108 of 1983) (“the 1983 Act”), does provide for the holding of referendums in order to ascertain the views of voters, but both Acts only provide for mechanisms available to the President to call for a national referendum. Neither the 1983 Act, nor the 1996 Act provide for a Premier to call for a referendum in a province. Accordingly, the Premier of a province is currently unable to call a referendum in a province as no provision is made for such a process in national legislation – this is despite such national legislation being required by the Constitution. It is also not clear why the 1983 Act has not yet been repealed, as the two Acts read very similar – except that the 1996 Act provides for a permanent support structure in respect of referendums.
The Electoral Commission Amendment Bill, 2023 (“draft Bill”) therefore seeks to—
• extend the application of the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act No. 51 of 1996) to include a mechanism for the Premier of a province to call for a referendum;
• repeal the Referendums Act, 1983 (Act No. 108 of 1983); and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
Find here: Notice of Introduction Electoral Commission Amendment Bill, 2023 [PMB]
Comments can be emailed to the Speaker of the National Assembly at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr Cilliers Brink at email@example.com by no later than Monday, 10 March 2023.
Enquiries can be directed to Mr Cilliers Brink at firstname.lastname@example.org