Constitutional Matters Amendment Bill: Department briefing

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Justice and Correctional Services

11 August 2005
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Meeting report

JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE; SECURITY AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE: JOINT MEETING

12 August 2005
CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS AMENDMENT BILL: DEPARTMENT BRIEFING

Co-Chairpersons:
Ms F Chohan-Kota (ANC) and Kgoshi L Mokoena (ANC) (Limpopo)

Documents handed out:
Amendment Regulations (Draft 4)
Provisions relating to delegates in a provincial delegation

SUMMARY
The Committees continued with their deliberations on amendments relating to Constitutional Matters Amendments Bill. The formula for determining party participation in provincial delegations to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) was explained to the Committees. What was needed over and above what was currently available was a mechanism to deal with a new party that had not participated in the elections. The Portfolio Committee would work on this in the next meeting. The Select Committee would visit Kwazulu-Natal next week and would be kept informed of the developments on this front.

MINUTES

The Committees continued with their deliberations on amendments relating to Constitutional Matters Amendments Bill as well as amendments to regulations thereto.

Mr Labuschagne said that he had received a fax from the Independent Electoral Commission indicating that it did not have a problem with the regulations.

The Committees unanimously voted in favour of the regulations with amendments.

Ms Chohan-Kota referred the Committees to Part B of Schedule 3 to the Constitution. Part B was the formula for determining party participation in provincial delegations to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). It was the formula that was used to determine the total number of delegates that a party was entitled to after an election or floor crossing. (See document attached for the explanation of the formula). Any formula that would be used to determine the number of delegates should not include minorities from having either permanent or special delegates. What was needed over and above what was currently available was a mechanism to deal with a new party that had not participated in the elections.

She said that the proposal was that when determining special or permanent delegates, the first deadlock breaking mechanism was to record zero votes for new parties that had not participated in the elections. The provincial legislature would have to deal with the situation in a manner consistent with democracy if this did not yield results. Mr Labuschagne would draft a provision to deal with the issue.

Mr M Mzizi (IFP) said that his party would not legitimize the status of a new party. A zero vote should be recorded against new parties.

The meeting was adjourned.


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