Municipal Structures Bill: discussion

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

10 September 1998
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Meeting report

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
11 September 1998
MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL: DISCUSSION

Documents handed out:
Proposed amendments on Schedule 1 and 2 (see Appendix)

SUMMARY
Advocate Roome, a representative from the department, went through the proposed amendments which were formulated the previous evening by the committee. These amendments were mostly of a technical nature.

DETAILED MINUTES
The proposed addition to item 9 (2) was accepted by the committee as well as item 10. Advocate Roome said that the formula in item 14 was adjusted. Item 16, subsection 4 was deleted.

In item 19, the 14 days was deleted and there was a suggestion that it be extended to 3 months. The entire paragraph under subsection 2 was also deleted. The issue around quorum and vacancies in subsection 4 was flagged by the committee and would be discussed later in the study groups. Subsections 6, 7 and 9 would be dependent on the outcome of the discussion in the study groups.

No decision was reached with item 22. One suggestion was to add 20% of new candidates to the original list. In subsection 2, there was a suggestion that the list not be continuous. No decision was reached concerning the candidate list; whether it is to be used for the first election only or not. This issue was also flagged by the committee.

Mr Smith (IFP) highlighted that subsection 3 did not say when the list could be amended. This would be looked at by the committee.

Advocate Roome continued with the proposed amendments in Schedule 2. Item 2 refers to the quota and subsection 1 would be replaced.

The terminology in item 4 was changed from party's list to candidate's list as it now included councillors.

The acting Chairperson, Mr Hendrikse (ANC), asked the committee if they had any problems with Schedule 3. The committee had consensus about that schedule. The committee stopped at Schedule 4.

The meeting adjourned and would meet again on Tuesday, 15 September 1998.

Appendix: Proposed amendments on Schedule 1 and 2

SCHEDULE 1

ITEM 2

1. On page 54, in the third line of item 2, to omit "may have" and to substitute "has".

ITEM 9

1. On page 56, in the second line of item 9(2), after "ward" to insert "In the event of two or more candidates receiving an equal number of votes, the result will be determined by lot".

ITEM 10

1. On page 56, in the first line of item 10, to omit "special" and to insert "by-".

ITEM 12

1. That the item be rejected.

ITEM 14

1. On page 58, from the fourth line of item 14 to omit the formula and to substitute:

A

_____ +1

B - C

2. On page 58,from the seventh line of item 14, to omit "A represents the total number of valid votes cast for all parties on the party vote" and to substitute "A represents the total number of valid votes cast for all parties, consisting of those cast for all parties as well as those cast for ward candidates who used, on the part of the ballot paper for wards, the same distinguishing mark or symbol as a party, or who were affiliated to a party".

ITEM 15

1. On page 58, in the first line of item 15(1), to omit "on the party vote" and to substitute "contemplated in item 14".

2. On page 58, from the first line of item 15(2)(b), to omit paragraph (b) and to substitute:

"(b) If the surplus for two or more parties is equal, the seat must be awarded to the party that obtained the highest number of valid votes".

3. On page 58, from the firth line of item 15(3)(a), after "party" to insert "or who were affiliated to that party".

4. On page 58, after the firth line item 15(5), to insert the following subitems:

"(6)(a) A party must disclose an affiliation with a ward candidate, and a ward candidate must disclose an affiliation with a party.

(b) The disclosure must be made in writing to the municipal electoral officer on the day after nomination day and before the start of counting.

(c) The municipal electoral officer must announce every affiliation at the start of counting.

(7) An affiliation is any agreement or arrangement to supply or receive assistance or support.

(8) The Electoral Commission may at any time declare that a party or a ward candidate has an affiliation that has not been disclosed.

(9) A party or a ward candidate that does not disclose an affiliation is guilty of a contravention of the ...."

ITEM 16

1. On page 60, from the tenth line of item 16, to delete sub item (4).

ITEM 19

1. On page 60, from the third line of item 19(1), to delete "within 14 days of the date of receipt of the notice".

2. On page 60, from the second line of item 19(3)(a) too subitems (i) and (ii) and to substitute:

"(i) if the party concerned has ceased to ,the seat or seats must remain unfilled;

(ii) if the party concerned does not deliver a supplemented list, the seat or seats remain unfilled until it deliver a list; or

(iii) if the party concerned delivers a supplemented list containing less names than the number of seats to be filled from that list, the seat or seats remain unfilled to the extent of the shortfall until it delivers a further list"

3. On page 60, from the third line of item 19(3)(b) to omit "(4), (5) and (6) and to substitute "(4) to (9)".

4. On page 60, from the first line of item 19(4), to omit subitems (4), (5) and (6) and to substitute:

"(4) If a party forfeits seats, a new quota of votes for a seat must be determined in accordance with the following formula (fractions to be disregarded):

A-B

_____+1

C-(D+E)

Where-

A represented to total number of valid votes cast for all parties, consisting of those cast on the party vote, and those cast for ward candidates who used on the part of the ballot paper for wards the same distinguishing mark or symbol as a party or who were affiliated to a party;

B represents the total number of valid votes cast for the party that has forfeited seats;

C represents the number seats in the council;

D represents the number of seats awarded to the forfeiting party; and

E represents the number of independent ward councillors elected in the election or nil, if the council has no wards or if it is an election in a sparsely populated area."

(5)(a) The total number of valid votes cast for each party, excluding the party that has forfeited seats, must be divided by the quota of votes for a seat and the result is the total number of seats to which each party is entitled.

(b) If the calculation in (a) yields a surplus not absorbed by the seats awarded to a party, that surplus must compete with similar surpluses accruing to any other party or parties, and any undistributed seat or seats must be awarded to the party or parties concerned in sequence of highest surplus.

(c) If the surplus for two or more parties is equal, the seat must be awarded to the party that received the highest number of valid votes.

(6) In an election for a council that has wards, the presiding officer must deduct from the total number of seats to which each party is entitled in terms of subitem (5), the number of ward candidates who were declared elected and who used on the part of the ballot paper for wards, the same distinguishing mark or symbol as that party, or who were affiliated to that party.

(7) If no party is awarded a seat in terms of subitem (5)(a) the votes for each party must be treated in accordance with subitem (5)(b) as if they are surpluses.

(8) The municipal electoral officer must determine which party candidates are elected in the manner provided in item 15(5).

(9) If a party is entitled to an additional number of seats in terms of subitem (5) and its list of candidates does not contain a sufficient number of candidates, the party concerned forfeits the unfilled seats and the process provided in subitem (4) and (5) must be repeated until all seats have been filled or until all listed candidates have been allocated to a vacant seat."

ITEM 22

1. On page 62, from the first line of item 22(2), to omit subitems (2) and (3) and to substitute:

"(2) On one occasion during each year ending 31 December and, not later than 21 days after a councillor elected according to a party's list ceases to hold office, that party may change the order of its list.

(3) To supplement its list or increase its list a party must deliver an application to the chief electoral officer. The application must set out the existing contents of the list and then set out the desired contents of its list with the full names, address and identify number of each candidate on the list.

SCHEDULE 2

ITEM 2

1. On page 64, from the first line of item 2(1), to omit sub item (1) and to substitute:

"(1) The quota of registered voters that a local council or a sparsely populated area must have in order to be entitled to a seat on a district council must be determined in accordance with the following formula (fractions to be disregarded) -

A

___+1

B

Where -

A represents the total number of voters registered on the district council's segment of the national common voters roll; and

B represents the number of seats on the district council."

ITEM 4

1. On page 64, to omit item 4 and to substitute:

"Candidates lists"

4.(1) Every party or councillor may submit a candidates' list containing the names of councillors, accompanied by a written acceptance by each listed candidate.

(2) A party or councillor may not submit more than one list.

(3) The candidates' names must appear on the list in order of preference, starting with the first in order of preference and ending with the last.

(4) The name of a councillor may appear on one list only.

(5) Every party must seek to ensure that fifty percent of the candidates on the candidates list are women and that women and men candidates are evenly distributes through the list."

ITEM 5

1. On page 64, to omit item 5 and to substitute:

"Number of votes

5. Each councillor cast one vote for one list only."

ITEM 6

1. On page 66, to omit item 6 and to substitute:

"Determining the quota

6. In a local council, the quota of votes for a seat to the district council must be determined in accordance with the following formula (fraction to be disregarded) -

A

___+1

B

Where-

A represents the number of members of the council; and

B represents the number of seats that the council has been awarded on the district council in accordance with item 2""

NEW ITEM

1. On page 66, to insert the following new item to follow item 9:

"Filling of vacancies

10. If a councillor elected from a candidates' list ceases to hold office or the list has become exhausted, the corresponding provisions of item 20 of Schedule 1 must be applied."

MEMORANDUM ON THE OBJECTS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL 1998-09-02

1. On page 82, after paragraph 1, to insert the following new paragraph:

2. The Bill forms part of a package of legislation aimed at the transformation of local government into a more citizen friendly, accountable, developmental, financially sustainable and performance orientated sphere of government. The Bill will be followed by the Municipal Systems Bill which provides for public participation in the affairs of local government, and greater accountability to citizens for municipal performance through planning, budgeting and reporting practices.

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