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PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
3 SEPTEMBER 1997
HEARING OF EVIDENCE ON THE MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY BILL [B67 - 97].
The meeting started with a briefing examining the origins of multi-party democracy. Initially First World countries were looked at and then Third World countries, with the focus on South Africa. The reason was to counteract any problems that might arise in the 1999 elections. In the 1994 elections there was a mushrooming of political parties that were funded with public funds and this situation was to be prevented from occurring again. The state should be in control of the situation through legislation.
IDASA, the Community Law Centre (UWC) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) presented their research findings about multi-party democracy, its composition and funding.
An ANC committee member commented on the problems of voter apathy as well as the danger of controlling parties by the state.
Mr Makume (ANC) asked about the issue of "crossing the floor". The Community Law Centre (CLC) replied that the issue of "crossing the floor" is a problem as funding is given on proportionality and yet parties need the money. There is, therefore, a need for stability within political parties.
Mr Colin Eglin (DP) asked about the issue of access to the media. He stated that there should not be a bill which dealt with multi-party democracy and media.
The CLC commented that there should be a bill that would regulate the multi-party democracy and the media so as to secure the needs of the smaller parties that might be neglected by the process. There was a need to formulate a bill that would regulate funding of political parties. The scope of the bill would be around the election process.
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