Crossing the Floor: resolution; notice to Speaker & IEC forms

This premium content has been made freely available

Justice and Correctional Services

09 June 2002
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE; PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE: JOINT MEETING
10 June 2002
CROSSING THE FLOOR: RESOLUTION; NOTICES TO SPEAKER & ELECTORAL COMMISSION

Co-Chairpersons: Adv J H De Lange (ANC) / Mr Y Carrim (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Crossing Resolution (Appendix 1)
Forms (see Appendix 2 - 5):
- Notice to Electoral Commission (Item 4(2)(a) of Schedule 6A to Constitution)
- Notice to Electoral Commission (Item 4(2)(b) of Schedule 6A to Constitution)
- Notice to Speaker of Legislature (Item 23A(5)(c)(i) of Schedule 2 to Act 200/93)
- Notice to Speaker of Legislature (Item 23A(5)(c)(ii) of Schedule 2 to Act 200/93)
Some of the Speeches from the Crossing the Floor debate in the National Assembly (see Appendix 6 - 10) -

Second Reading Debate speeches on crossing the floor legislation:
Inkatha Freedom P: Mr Mzizi (Appendix 6)
Democratic Party: Gloria Borman (Appendix 7)
DP: Tertius Delport (Appendix 8)
DP: Sakkie Blanche (Appendix 9)
African National Congress: Yunus Carrim (Appendix 10)

SUMMARY

The Committee considered the 'crossing' resolution. Recommendations made were to ensure that mechanisms dealing with procedures were in place by the time of commencement of the Acts. In addition, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was recommended to review and research laws pertaining to the registration and funding of political parties. On the question of funding, the Committee is expecting a report-back from the IEC in the first week of August. The Committee voted 14/3 in favour of the resolution.

MINUTES
Crossing Resolution
Point 1

Adv De Lange read through point 1, which lists the four Bills constituting the crossing legislation and the fact that the first opportunity for crossing will take place in the fifteen days after the commencement of the Act. There was no comment.

Point 2
The Chair read through the second point of the resolution which deals with the administrative structures an mechanisms that should be in place by the time of commencement of the Act.

Ms Camerer (NNP) suggested that the phrase "at the time of such commencement" be replaced with "as from the date of commencement".

Mr Carrim noted that the Constitution spoke of "local government spheres" rather than "provincial legislatures" as mentioned in the resolution. He further recommended that the last sentence be altered to read that "the Committee offers the following drafts as contribution to this in an attempt to promote uniformity".

Dr Delport (DP) asked how it would be known who the designated officer is.

Mr Carrim suggested that the IEC provide a list of designated officers.

Adv De Lange suggested that that be included, using the same wording as in the Bill: "that it is further suggested, to achieve this purpose, that the IEC publicise, including handing to political parties, a list of designated officers". He said that the phrase could be improved in the final draft.

Point 3
Adv De Lange read through point 3, relating to recommendations made to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development concerning the research and review of laws pertaining to the registration and funding of political parties.

Adv Schmidt (DP) inquired if the issue of internal funding had been dealt with in the resolution.

Adv De Lange replied that it had not been dealt with because it could not be dealt with at this stage. The IEC needed to look into it and report back to Parliament. The resolution did mention the possibility of funding being a problem and recommended that all the possibilities be looked at. A reiterated that a decision could not be taken at that time.

Ms Southgate (ACDP) added that there is a subcommittee dealing with the issue. She noted that the problem was that the "walk-over" would be taking place quite soon while the report was only due back in 2 months.

Mr Landers (ANC) was of the opinion that when a member moved parties he took his seat with him.

Adv De Lange said that the issue could not be resolved at that time. The Speakers all levels would have to call a meeting with the whips and talk with them about the matter. He stated that he expected the report in the first week of August.

Point 4

Adv De Lange noted that the paragraph should begin with "in addition to that report". He queried the reference to the Municipal Structures Act and Mr De Lange (legal drafter for the Department) responded that it should read "Municipal Structures Act as amended".
No comment was made concerning the remainder of the paragraph, which deals with the mechanisms applicable to metro councils.

Point 5
Adv De Lange read through the fifth point, which recommends that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to the Speaker of the NA and those of the provincial legislatures, the IEC, the Department of Home Affairs and SALGA. He noted that the chairperson of the NCOP should be included as well.

Dr Delport asked when the NCOP would debate the Bills.

Adv De Lange responded that the NCOP were trying to fastrack the process and that he had been assured that the Bills would be passed no later than the 18th of June.

Forms
In referring to the forms handed out to the Committee, Mr De Lange (legislative drafter) noted that the Notice to Electoral Commission, was what a member would need to acknowledge the receipt of his application.

Adv De Lange suggested that the title of the form be changed to "Acknowledgement of Receipt".

Ms Camerer suggested use of the word "certification" as that was what was being achieved.

Adv De Lange said that he would work on the final draft with Mr De Lange and check the amendments.

Voting
The Committee voted 14 for and 3 against the resolution. The ANC, NNP and DP supported it whilst the ACDP and the IFP voted against.

 

Appendix 1:
'Crossing the Floor' Resolution

The Portfolio Committee reports further as follows:

1. The four Bills dealing with changes of party membership and merger/subdivision of parties, namely the—
- Loss or Retention of Membership of National and Provincial Legislatures Bill [B25 - 2002];
- Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Amendment Bill [B16B - 2002];
- Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Second Amendment Bill [B17B - 2002]; and
- Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill [B22B -2002],
will commence on the date of publication in the Gazette. In terms of transitional provisions contained in the legislation (the new item 23A(4) in Bill [B24 - 2002], and the new Schedule 6A item 7 in Bill [B16B - 2002]) the first opportunity for those changes will occur immediately after such commencement and will last for a period of 15 days.

2. It is imperative that the administrative structures and mechanisms to deal with those procedures must be in place at the time of such commencement.
- The Portfolio Committee recommends that the Independent Electoral Commission be urged to ensure that steps are taken timeously in order to ensure that the provisions of item 7 of the new Schedule 6A, as provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Amendment Bill [B16B - 2002], could be implemented smoothly.
- The Portfolio Committee also recommends that the Secretaries of the National Assembly and the various provincial legislatures be urged to ensure that steps are taken timeously in order to ensure that the provisions of the new item 23A(4), as provided for in the Loss or Retention of Membership of National and Provincial Legislatures Bill [B25 - 2002], could likewise be implemented smoothly on the date of the commencement thereof.
The Portfolio Committee is of the view that the relevant functionaries may wish to ensure that uniform practices and procedures are developed for this purpose. The Committee is further of the view that the following draft forms, as suggested by the Committee, could assist to promote such uniformity.

3. The Portfolio Committee further recommends that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development be requested, in conjunction with the relevant role players, as follows:
- To research the laws pertaining to the registration of political parties in order to ascertain whether or not any such laws should be amended in order to expedite the registration of new parties emerging as a result of the new provisions, in particular the subdivision of parties. It should be noted that the Independent Electoral Commission expressed the view that, at present, the Independent Electoral Commission Act, 1996, does not make provision for the subdivision of parties.
- To review the laws pertaining to the funding of political parties, in particular parties represented in a legislature, and to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that those provisions are aligned with the changes effected in terms of the above legislation.
- To consider all legislation which may need to be amended in order to be brought into line with the new laws referred to in paragraph 1, and to make recommendations regarding such changes as may need to be effected.
- That the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development revert to the Committee within two months of the commencement of the said legislation regarding all steps it has taken or will be taking as a result of the above matters.

4. An important principle is established by the amendments to the Local Government Municipal Structures Act, 1998, in so far as the reconstitution of metropolitan subcouncils is concerned after changes of party membership or mergers or subdivision of parties have taken place. In terms of the relevant amendment, metro councils may determine their own mechanism for the appointment of councillors in the proportional representative component of metropolitan subcouncils. Although such a mechanism must comply with the principles of fair representation and democracy as set out in Part 2 of Schedule 4 to the Municipal Structures Act, it is desirable for some degree of uniformity to be maintained by the respective metro councils. To this end, the Minister for Provincial and Local Government is requested to issue guidelines to metro councils on a possible model for such a mechanism.

5. The Portfolio Committee further recommends that a copy of this resolution, together with the abovementioned Bills, be forwarded as a matter of the utmost urgency to the—
- Speaker of the National Assembly and the Speakers of the provincial legislatures;
- Independent Electoral Commission;
- Department of Home Affairs; and
- South African Local Government Association.

Appendix 2:
NOTICE TO ELECTORAL COMMISSION
(Item 4(2)(a) of Schedule 6A to Constitution)

¨
CHANGE OF MEMBERSHIP OF A PARTY

¨ BECOMING MEMBER OF A PARTY

¨ CEASING TO BE MEMBER OF A PARTY

In terms of item 4(2) (a) of Schedule 6A to the Constitution, …………………………………(full names), hereby inform the Electoral Commission that, being a councillor who was elected-

¨ from the party list of the ………………………………. (name of original party) represented in the Municipal Council of …………………………………., I have become a member of the ………………… (name of new party).

¨ to represent ………………………. (name of ward) in the Municipal Council of ………………… who was nominated by the ………………………. (name of party) as a candidate in the ward election, I have ceased to be a member of the …………………………… (name of original party) and have become a member of the ………………………………. (name of new party).

¨ to represent ............................. (name of ward) in the Municipal Council of .........................., who was nominated by the ................................ (name of party) as a candidate in the ward election, I have ceased to be a member of the ................................ (name of original party) and have not become a member of another party.

¨ to represent ............................. (name of ward) in the Municipal Council of ......................, who was not nominated by a party as a candidate in the ward election, I have become a member of the ................................ (name of party).


.................................... .....................................
SIGNATURE OF COUNCILLOR DATE
.....................................................................................................................................................CONFIRMATION

In terms of item4(2)(a) of Schedule 6A to the Constitution, I ..................................... (full names), acting on behalf of and in my capacity as ..................................... of the ................................ (name of party), hereby confirm that ................................... (full names of new member) has keen accepted as a member of the ......................................... (name of party).


........................................ .....................................
SIGNATURE OF REPRESENTATIVE DATE
..................................................................................................................................................................
CERTIFICATE

I……………………….(full names of officer designated by the Electoral Commission), hereby certify that this notice has been duly submitted to me by………………………….(full names of councillor) and confirmed by *………………………(name of party) on……………………….(date) at………………………….(place)

……………………………. ………………………………
SIGNATURE OF DESIGNATED OFFICER DATE
*Complete, if applicable

Appendix 3:
NOTICE TO ELECTORAL COMMISSION
(Item 4(2)(b) of Schedule 6A to Constitution)

¨ PARTY MERGING WITH ANOTHER PARTY

¨ PARTY SUBDIVIDING INTO MORE THAN ONE PARTY

¨ PARTY SUBDIVIDING AND SUBDIVISION MERGING WITH ANOTHER PARTY

In terms of item 4(2) (b) of Schedule 6A to the Constitution, I, ……………………..(full names), acting on behalf of and in my capacity as ………………………..of the………………………..(name of party) hereby inform the Electoral Commission that

¨ the……………………………(name of original party) as represented in the Municipal Council of…………………….has merged with the………………………….(name of party). A list of the names and signatures of all the councillors involved in the merger i.~ attached.

¨ the…………………………..(name of subdivision) has subdivided from the …………………..(name of original party), being a party represented in the Municipal Council of…………………………….A list of the names and signatures of all the councillor involved in the subdivision is attached.

¨ the councillors mentioned in the attached list have Subdivided from the……………………(name of original party), being a party represented in the Municipal Council of …………………………..and merged with the…………………………...(name of party). A Iist of the names and signatures of all the councillors involved in the subdivision and merger is attached.

…………………………….. ………………………
SIGNATURE OF REPRESENTATIVE DATE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CONFIRMATION
(Complete in event of merger or subdivision and merger)

In terms of item4(2)(1))of schedule 6A to the Constitution, I ……………………………….(full names), acting on behalf of and in my capacity as ……………………………..of …………………………..the (name of party).here by confirm the names of all the councillors involved in the

¨ merger; or
¨ subdivision and merger; and
That the ……………………………………….(name of party) has accepted the merger.

…………………………….. ………………………
SIGNATURE OF REPRESENTATIVE DATE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CERTIFICATE

I………………………(full names of officer designated by the Electoral Commission), hereby certify that this notice has been duly submitted to me by…………………………(full names of representative) and confirmed by *………………………..(name of party) on ………………………….. (date) at……………………. (place).

………………………………... ………………………
SIGNATURE OF DESIGNATED OFFICER DATE
*Complete, if applicable

Appendix 4:
NOTICE TO SPEAKER OF LEGISLATURE
(Item 23 A (5) (e) (ii) of Schedule 2 to Act 200 of 1993)

¨ PARTY MERGING WITH ANOTHER PARTY

¨ PARTY SUBDIVIDING INTO MORE THAN ONE PARTY

¨ PARTY SUBDIVIDING AND SUBDIVISION MERGING WITH ANOTHER PARTY

In terms of item 23A(5)(c)(ii) of Schedule 2 to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1993,I……………………………….(full names), acting on behalf of and in m capacity as………………………..of the…………………………….(name of party), hereby inform the Speaker of the…………………………………Legislature that-

¨ the………………………………(name of original party), as represented in the ………………………(name of legislature) has merged with the ………………………………..(name of party). A list of the names and signatures of all the members involved in the merger is attached.

¨ the ………………………………….(name of subdivision) has subdivided from the……………………(name of original party), being a party represented in the………………………(name of legislature). A list of the names and signatures of all the members involved in the subdivision is attached.

¨ the members mentioned in the attached list have subdivided from the…………………………...(name of original party) being a party represented in the……………………………(name of legislature) and merged with the…………………………..(name of party). A list of the names and signatures of all the members involved in the subdivision and merger is attached.

…………………………….. ………………………
SIGNATURE OF REPRESENTATIVE DATE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CONFIRMATION
(Complete in event of merger or subdivision and merger)

In terms of item 23A(5)(c)(ii) of Schedule 2 to the Constitution of the Republic of South africa, 1993, I, ……………………………(full names), acting on behalf of and in my capacity as ……………………………. Of the ………………………………(name of party), hereby confirm the names of all the members involved in the -

¨ merger; or
¨ subdivision and merger; and
That the ………………………………………(name of party) has accepted the merger.

…………………………….. ………………………
SIGNATURE OF REPRESENTATIVE DATE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CERTIFICATE

I……………………………..Speaker of the…………………………………(name of legislature), hereby certify that this notice has been duly submitted to me by…………………….(full names of representative) and confirmed by *………………………………..(name of party) on ………………….(date) at…………………………………….(place).

…………………………. ………………………
SIGNATURE OF SPEAKER DATE
*Complete, if applicable

Appendix 5:
NOTICE TO SPEAKER OF LEGISLATURE
CHANGE OF MEMBERSHIP OF A PARTY
(Item 23A (5)(c)(i) of Schedule 2 to Act 200 of 1993)

In terms of item 23A(5)(c)(i) of Schedule 2 to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993, I, ……………………………..(full names) hereby inform the Speaker of the Legislature that I have

ceased to be a member of the……………………………….(name of original party): and
have become a member of the……………………………….(name of new party).

………………………. ………………………
SIGNATURE OF MEMBER DATE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CONFIRMATION

In terms of item 23A(5)(c)(I) of Schedule 2 to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993, I, …………………………………..(full names), acting on behalf of and in my capacity as …………………….. of the …………………………………(name of party), hereby confirm that ………………………..(full name of new member) has been accepted as a member of the …………………….(name of party).

…………………………….. ………………………
SIGNATURE OF REPRESENTATIVE DATE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CERTIFICATE
I……………………………..Speaker of the…………………………………(name of legislature), hereby certify that this notice has been duly submitted to me by…………………….(full names of representative) and confirmed by *………………………………..(name of party) on ………………….(date) at…………………………………….(place).

 

Appendix 6:
Speech by Mr M A Mzizi MP on the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Amendment Bill; the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Second Amendment Bill; the Loss or Retention of Membership of National and Provincial Legislatures Bill and the Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill
National Assembly
11 June 2002

Madame Speaker,
The package of bills before us violates the constitutional rights of the voters. There is no doubt that insufficient consultation took place with the electorate and a clear mandate for these changes was not received from the electorate. The IFP believes that the interests of the voters must always be best served. These bills will not achieve that aim.

The Members of the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures were elected in 1999 in accordance with a proportional representation system prescribed by the Constitution. Only parties registered in terms of the Electoral Commission Act of 1996 could contest the elections. The procedure is that parties submit a list of their nominated candidates which are made available for inspection and objections can then be filed in respect of any of the nominations.

Therefore, we are the product of the proportional representation system. The IFP believes that it will be morally and constitutionally wrong for an individual or individuals to decide overnight that he or she wants to cross the floor and violate the mandate of the voters who voted for the party to represent their needs.

The IFP does not want to stop an individual from resigning from the party which had put him or her on the party list. That is the individual's right. But, if he or she wants to join another party then they cannot retain the seat which the party won. In this manner the party will retain the number of seats it won until the next election.

The IFP believes that the will of the people, as expressed in an election, should not be negated and substituted by the will of an individual or a group of individuals.

The IFP is of the opinion that these bills were rushed to Parliament to suit certain individuals, despite the fact that there is a Commission that has been given the task of reviewing the electoral system and to recommend or propose changes if they are considered necessary. That task team is still busy with its investigation and it would be better if we waited for its proposals. This is just another way of wasting taxpayers' money.

The mad rush to bring these bills before Parliament forces us to question the real motives behind it. We are forced to question whether or not there is a hidden agenda in all of this. Perhaps the agenda is not so hidden. This is clearly a politically expedient strategy to accommodate recent party political developments. but, we shudder to think that our young Constitution can be amended willy nilly for reasons of expediency and party political purposes only. Surely, the principles enshrined in the Constitution must be difficult to amend and only after very careful consideration should amendments be contemplated?

The National Council of the IFP resolved earlier this year that the party will oppose the package of bills on a principles basis. It is unheard of that a Constitution of a country can be amended merely for party political reasons and we cannot support this. If the constitutional and electoral framework were different, we might reconsider our position in future.

Thank you.

Appendix 7
Speech by Gloria Borman MP
Democratic Alliance
Second Reading Debate: Constitution of the RSA Amendment Bill
National Assembly, 11 June 2002
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Madam Speaker, Honourable Ministers, Honourable Members, in recent months speculation about who will cross the floor and who will go where has occupied the minds of all political parties. Today I want to call a spade a spade! This is a 'grubby' package of legislation designed to accommodate the NNP leadership who pulled out of the DA to join forces with the ANC. A DA councillor wearing a T-shirt with the words BAIK written across the front bumped into a colleague who enquired what BAIK meant. 'Boy am I konfused' came the reply. 'But you don't spell confused with a K - it's a C,' said the colleague. 'Well that just shows how confused I am.'

There are many people confused and bewildered by the NNPs incessant chopping and swopping, jumping and dumping. In 1994 they fought their campaign with the slogan, 'only the NNP can keep the ANC out.' They then promptly joined the ANC government of national unity and two years later backtracked on that. In 1999 they fought their campaign with the slogan, 'bring back the death penalty.' In 2000 they joined the DP to form the DA and again campaigned under the slogan, 'Keep the ANC Out.' Then they ditched the DA to join forces again with the ANC, campaigning for co-operative governance!! How confused and directionless can you be?

Madam Speaker, as politicians we should be addressing the real problems facing our country - poverty, joblessness, crime and so on. But instead we are playing these cheap and childish games because the NNP has no clear direction, and the ANC are obsessed with power and control. Is this political gamesmanship what people fought for, gave their lives for, and spent years in prison for?

Three committees have been sitting to process this package of legislation when a commission is already at work on a new electoral system which could undo everything we have worked on and are voting for today.

Carol Paton in a report in the Sunday Times dated 9 June 2002 says: '….. the potential for havoc that exists at local government level, where many councils sit in a delicate balance, poses a real threat to service delivery.' Already the ANC, according to the same Sunday Times, have given notice that it intends to make a clean sweep of top jobs in Cape Town's bureaucracy when it takes control of the city within the next two weeks! When councillors have crossed the floor, those municipal councils, subcouncils and district councils will all have to be reconstituted. Work on Integrated Development Plans, and this includes the drawing up of budgets, which have been put in place after lengthy public participation, could all change after the 'floor-crossing.' The mind 'boggles' at the cost implications!!

I must draw the attention of this House to another consequence of what we are doing here today. We are opening up the system to corruption. In effect 'Democracy is up for sale!!' I believe parties are buying members to gain control of municipalities.

Local government has experienced two major restructuring processes at huge cost to the ratepayer. Once more this government is prepared to pitch-fork local government into another round of shambles, confusion and wasteful expense to accommodate the leadership of a party burdened with guilt, dizzy with its own zig-zag changes of direction, fearful of its prospects for the future, embarrassed by its own foolish mistakes and totally unashamed of its betrayal of the voters who supported it.

The people who voted this government into power are the very people who will be on the receiving end of poor service delivery. But it will be those same people who will go to the polls in 2004 and they will judge how this ANC led government has delivered to them!!

Madam Speaker, there has been talk of the councillors the NNP will gain at local government level. May I remind this House that in 1995/6 the NNP had just over 1700 councillors, in 2000 they brought just under 600 councillors into the DA. They will need over 600 councillors to join them before they can speak of 'gain.' Any less will show yet a further decrease in the support for the NNP. The DA can only gain even if we only retain 100 of those councillors.

We extend an invitation to members from other parties who share our commitment to creating a better South Africa for all our people, to join a winning team, the Democratic Alliance!

Madam Speaker, despite our revulsion at the circumstances which gave rise to this legislation and our apprehension about the abuse it is likely to generate, the DA supports the Bills.

I thank you.

Appendix 8
Speech by Dr Tertius Delport MP
Democratic Alliance

Second Reading Debate: Constitution of the RSA Amendment Bill
National Assembly, 11 June 2002
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

INTRODUCTION


The principle of proportional representation was one of the most important features of the interim and of the final constitution; it ensures representation of the full range of political persuasions.

PROPORTIONAL PRESENTATION AND CROSSING

There are widely divergent views on the principle of crossing:

    1. There are those who hold the views that the politician must be able to follow his conscience. One could call this a liberal approach.
    2. Others argue that in a proportional representation system the party is elected ant the party owns the seat. This is a more conservative, even legalistic views.
    3. A political approach is to hold that political persuasions amongst the electorate do change and that the politician must be free to follow that swing in order to represent his voters.

Whatever view one holds it is clear that the introduction of this legislation has caused once again a sharp focus on the question of the questionable integrity of politicians who pursue not their political conscience but their comfort.


EXPEDIENCY


It is a pity that this legislation does not come before Parliament as a result of any principle but as a result of expediency. This is borne out by the 10% requirement: to require that 10% of a party must resign from that party is clearly and admittedly designed to protect big parties. The DA objected to this, proposed an amendment but was voted down by the ANC and all the other parties, including of course, the NNP.


The imminent first crossing, however, is a "free for all" and was introduced by adv. De Lange as a compromise offer and I wish to recognise that attempt. I have no doubt that the whole issue of crossing will be revisited when the expected report by the Van Zyl Slabbert Commission on the electoral system is table! In the meantime, however, and despite our opposition to the 10% threshold, the DA will support the Bills.


DIE DA SE BENADERING


Die DA skrik nie vir die oorstap-wetgewing nie. Inteendeel! Eerstens gee dit vir ons die geleentheid om die DA te vestig in Wetgewers en hier in die Parlement waar ons binnekort as DA-lede sal sit, nie meer as DP nie. En nie net met 'n ander naam nie, nee ook getallegewys as 'n groter party, want daar gaan andere by ons aansluit! Die DA is gestig om opposisiepolitiek te versterk. Dit gaan gebeur ten spyte van die NNP leiers se ontrekking.

QuA vadis, NNP?


NNP lede moet vir hulself vra" Qua Vadis? Waar gaan ons heen? Hoe is dit moontlik dat die NNP in die DA opgaan juis om die opposisie te verenig; hoe is dit moontlik vir enige leier met integriteit om dit te doen, om dan te sien dat dié beweging sukses bring by the stembus, om te sien dat dit is wat sy ondersteuners wil hê: dit alles, maar dan skielik, uit die bloute, te sê nee, ons wil aanskakel by die regerende party, die ANC.


"Heigend hert der jagd ontkomen" het my oorlede ouma gesê as sy stom van verbasing was. En dan te sê hy wil in die hoofstroom van die politiek kom! Nonsens, nonsens! Hy wou in die suigstroom van die ANC kom (in the slipstream, not the mainstream). He wanted his own comfprt zone! Hy wil liewer 'n agerryer wees! Ek het die agbare Van Schalkwyk tevore verwys na die oorgawe by Paardeberg; ek wil hom vandag verwys na die lensiesop. Sy lensiesop is die Premierskap van die Wes-Kaap.


Alle oë is gerig op die 1300 munisipale Raadslede van die DA. In besonder is dit gerig op die 592 DA raadslede wat deur die NNP genomineer was; 592 raadslede is deur die NNP in die DA belê. Die agbare Van Schalkwyk, om gelyk te breek, moet 592 raadslede terugkry! Ons sal sien!


DIE HARDE WERKLIKHEID

Ons sê: "check the scoreboard". Dit is die harde werklikheid van die politiek. Na dese het die NNP nie meer eens 'n opgemaakte rede om nie aan munisipale tussenverkiesings deel te neem nie. Sien daardie agbare lede in die NNP uit daarna? Die DA sien wel uit daarna!


In die Wes-Kaap neem die agbare Van Schalkwyk in troubreek teenoor sy kiesers en al sy stoere NNPmense sy intrek in Leeuwenhof. As hy enige politieke integriteit het, sal hy 'n verkiesing in die Wes-Kaap uitskryf. Die DA daag hom uit om dit te doen; nee ons vra hom, ons soebat hom om dit te doen!


DIE DA IS OP KOERS

Namens die DA nooi ek agbare lede om by ons aan te sluit. Kom word deel van 'n groeiende opposisie, nee van 'n alternatiewe regering. Dit is die hoofstroom van die politiek.

Kom word deel:

  • van ons groeiende dienssentrums waar ons mense help wat deur die ANC vergeet word;
  • van ons Konferensie later vanjaar oor minderheidsberegtiging en taal en kulturele regte;
  • die groeiende besef dat niemand in Suid-Afrika langer van die grasie en guns van die regerende party afhanklik is nie.

Kom deel met ons die visie dat elke Suid-Afrikaner, wie hy ookal is, die reg het om sy kop op te tel, sy bydrae tot ons land te maak en om, bo alles, sy vrede hier in Suid-Afrika te vind.


Appendix 9
Speech by Sakkie Blanchè MP
Democratic Alliance

Second Reading Debate: Constitution of the RSA Amendment Bill
National Assembly, 11 June 2002
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Because the Federal Alliance is a fully pledged member of the Democratic Alliance, it will retain its membership as a political party in Parliament and the Gauteng Legislature until the end of the 2004 election, when the DA will be the ANC's strongest opponent country wide at all levels of Government and ready go govern!

The FA is still totally committed to the furtherance of alliance formation with political parties and groups who intend to retain and develop multi-party democracy in South Africa.

Although this Bill was designed to cancel the will of the people after elections and also to weaken opposition to the ANC, we will use it to free those politicians and supporters who now wish to brake away from their unreliable party leaders, who for the umpteenth time have gone back on their election promises and have forsaken their councilors and supporters.

This Bill will enable New National Party Councilors to break with that party's leadership and to follow their conscience and so remain loyal to their December 2000 voters and to prove to those voters and supporters that they are more reliable than their parliamentary and provincial leaders.

The Bill will remove the shackles from NNP parliamentarians and provincial politicians so that they too, may return to the Democratic Alliance, whom they promoted and worked for in the December 2000 local government elections.

In 1996, the NNP leaders took their party out of the government of National Unity to form, as they said, a strong opposition. This year they want them back in, to strengthen ANC government. Every time against the will of their supporters.

Months ago Peter Marais was taken out of Western Province government because of his incompetence. Then the NNP leadership put him back because they said he is a good politician. Now they intend to replace him with their leader to, as they say, restore good government.

Madam Speaker, to the NNP members sitting here and in the Provincial councils, I wish to say, after we passed this Bill you will be able to sing like Martin Luther King FREE FREE FREE AT LAST!!

You will be free to leave to old, the new and the dead National Party. Free to follow your conscience, free to rejoin the Democratic Alliance, your supporters and your people.
To the Democratic Alliance councilors countrywide we wish to say - You will be free to carry on in the Democratic Alliance, to follow your conscience and not power hungry leaders. Free to serve your communities, your voters and supporters and free to build a multy-party democracy in South Africa.

And to all the other democratic orientated parties, which naturally exclude the ANC, we say you will be free to form alliances to help us restore multiparty democracy all over Southern Africa.

Madam Speaker, in order to save South Africa from becoming a one party state, the FA will support this Bill so that the Democratic Alliance can gain support and honest Politicians can take control of Government and City Councils.

Appendix 10
National Assembly
Debate on the " Crossing-the-Floor" Legislation
11 June 2002

Yunus Carrim
(Chairperson: Provincial and Local Government Portfolio Committee)

Basically, the Municipal Structures Amendment Bill deals with the consequences of the constitutional amendments providing for "crossing-the-floor" in municipalities.


The current municipal electoral system is very closely linked to the model of local government. The model was significantly based on a prohibition of floor-crossing. We have sought, both through the amendments to the constitution and the local government legislation, to allow floor-crossing in a way that does not erode the foundations of the new model of local government, especially the concepts of democracy underpinning it.


Rather uniquely, the legal definition of a municipality in the new model is that it comprises, not just the councilors and officials, but the residents as well. And the new system provides, moreover, for considerable community participation.


We are, furthermore, in the early stages of consolidating a fundamentally new local government system. We need a measure of stability to ensure the effective transformation of local government. It is, after all, one of the most ambitious local government transformation projects anywhere in the world.

But we need stability in local government, crucially, too to ensure that we significantly advance democracy, development and delivery.

Hence it is that councilors will be able to "cross the floor" during two specific fifteen-day window periods during the five-year term of a council and must make up 10% of their party representatives in a council to do so. The window periods are set for September in the second and fourth years of the five-year term to provide for a certain measure of stability and predictability. September is appropriate because it comes after the annual adoption of municipal budgets in July, and so the floor-crossing will not undermine the crucial budget-adoption process.

But these provisions do not address the current impasse in municipalities. There are councilors trapped in political parties that they desperately want to escape from. Service delivery and other municipal functions are being hampered. Local government transformation is being impeded. Communities are being short-changed. There are very unusual and specific circumstances that underpin the current log-jam.

And this specific impasse requires a specific response. Hence the transitional arrangement. The first fifteen-day window period will come into effect as soon as the legislation is promulgated. During this period - and only for this once - a councilor can "cross the floor" as an individual, without having to meet the 10% or any other threshold.

Of course, this might well make for instability in local government. But the current impasse rules out the necessary stability anyway. And, overall, if a measure of stability is being sacrificed now, there is greater stability in future - floor-crossing notwithstanding. Ultimately, it's a trade-off - and one that best suits local government in the circumstances. It could, depending on how things unfold, be argued that this system of floor-crossing could contribute to stability.

Importantly, the system in general does not encourage councilors to cross the floor as individuals. This includes ward councilors, apart from the small minority of independents. After all, voters in our new democracy vote primarily for parties, not the individual ward candidates representing them. Moreover, in our current mixed electoral system in local government the votes for the ward councilor also count towards determining the number of PR councilors a party gets - so it is difficult to separate ward and PR councilors.

The underlying value is that councilors should cross the floor primarily because of ideological or policy reasons or because there is a significant shift of opinion within a party or the public, and not on the basis of individual whim or personal gain.

Of course, in many, especially smaller, municipalities a single councilor would meet the 10% threshold level. But no matter. Together with the restricted window periods, the threshold requirement communicates the

principle.

Of course, there are those who say the 10% threshold benefits larger parties. But that is an outcome of democratic elections, not an inherent defect in the floor-crossing system. After all, would it be fair to penalize a party for winning the support of a significant majority of the people in free and fair elections?

There is, of course, an understandable cynicism about floor-crossing. It is all sheer expediency, some say. This floor-crossing legislation is being pushed through by the ANC simply to break the back of the DA. Well then, why is the DA supporting this legislation? And is it not to rather exaggerate the strength of the DA to suggest that the legislation has just this aim? In any case, debates about floor-crossing have persisted on-and-off in this House and elsewhere since 1994. And the senior ANC leadership has been giving serious attention to this matter since late 1999 at least. Was the DA even formed then?

It is rather simplistic to believe that the ANC just wants to gobble up every councilor available. Part of the longer term aim is to deracialise the voting patterns. What sort of non-racial future do we have if Africans vote overwhelmingly for one major party and non-Africans almost wholly for group of small marginalised parties? If managed appropriately, floor-crossing could, over time, contribute to less racialised voting patterns.

And don't we all need that?

Of course, no party serious about political power can easily turn away a public representative wanting to cross over to it. But sometimes greater power is reflected in doing just that. It might well serve the ANC and the country better that some public representatives cross to parties that the ANC can work with rather than join the ANC itself.

In some cases, there is limited value to public representatives crossing over to the ANC while leaving their constituencies behind. In short, different circumstances might dictate different options - and it is far from the case that the ANC wants to devour all. In any case, rare in democracies today, we already have the support of two-thirds of the people of this country. We are far from desperate for support.

If, on the other hand, we had the support of 51% or so of the electorate, some of these suspicions might be justified. Besides, can you imagine how boring it would be if we had 100% of the public representatives in this country?

Given the nature of the new model of local government, there are various consequences to floor-crossing that have to be attended to. Floor-crossing in local councils will have consequences for the composition of district councils. Floor-crossing in metro councils will have consequences for metro subcouncils. We have provided for these consequences in a way that does not alter the character and role of district councils and metro subcouncils. The details of these and other provisions will be dealt with by other speakers in this debate.

As I conclude, I would like to express our appreciation to the Justice and Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee, and its chairperson, Johnny de Lange in particular, for their very useful co-operation. Our thanks go too to the Department of Provincial and Local Government, in particular Dr Pietra Bouwer, who worked so hard and imaginatively.

Ultimately, we believe we have found a sensible and sensitive balance between the right to cross the floor and the need for stability in local government. Exactly how successful we have been only time will tell. In any case, this can hardly be the last word on floor-crossing. Once we define a new electoral system, we may well have to come back to some of the floor-crossing issues. We are a new democracy - and we need time to find an electoral system, with floor-crossing, that best serves our specific national democratic objectives.

Audio

No related

Documents

No related documents

Present

  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Share this page: