Electoral Act: Proposed formula for the distribution of the regional seats to the National AssemblyCall for comments opened 30 January 2019 Share this page:
Submissions are now closed (since 13 February 2019)
The Electoral Commission invites you to make representations on the proposed formula for the distribution of the regional seats to the National Assembly.
The National Assembly
For seats to the National Assembly, only the National ballot is relevant. The National Assembly seats are filled in two tiers: Half (200) seats are regional seats and filled by reference to regional votes and regional lists; the other half (200) are national seats and filled by reference to national votes and national lists (or entirely from regional lists if a party did not submit a separate national list). But first votes must be converted into seats.
In order to allocate seats, the number of votes a party received is translated into a proportion of the seats in the National Assembly, first regionally and then nationally.
First, the number of votes equivalent to a single seat must be calculated. Each seat then represents a ‘quota’ of votes. The simplest way to do this is by dividing the total number of votes by the total number of seats (i.e. votes/seats). In South Africa we use a version of the Droop Quota method. For regional seats the quota is determined, for each region, by the total number of votes in that region and the total number of seats in that region. For the national seats, the quota is determined by the total number of votes in the country and the total number of national seats.
Seats are allocated proportionally – the number of seats allocated to a party depends on how many times the party meets a full quota. This is calculated by dividing each party’s share of the vote, regionally and then nationally, by the quotas determined at those levels. During this process the remainders are set aside. If, after this process, there are unallocated seats, the remaining seats are allocated to the parties who have the largest remainder. And so the 400 seats for the National Assembly are filled.
Read: Electoral Act 73 of 1998