Municipal Structures Bill: discussion

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

13 September 1998
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Meeting report

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
14 September 1998
MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL [B68-98]: DISCUSSION

SUMMARY
Most of the discussion surrounded Clause 12 of Schedule 1. Clause 12 governs parties in a proportional representation election. ANC committee members, including Ms. Chohan-Kota and Prof. Du Toit, argued that Clause 12 was necessary to a proportional representation elections. Conversely, Peter Smith of the IFP suggested that parts of Clause 12 should be removed for the sake of free and fair elections. The Committee also made some minor amendments throughout the Bill

DETAILED MINUTES
This meeting was chaired by Mr. Matosa of the ANC.

Essentially, Mr P Smith (IFP) felt that Clause 12 prescribed what kind of party could participate in the elections. According to Mr. Smith, sections (a)-(d) of Clause 12 cannot coexist with free and fair elections. Sections (a)-(d) govern what kinds of parties may submit a list of candidates for an election. Mr. Smith added that the Committee should delete sections (a)-(d) and the regulations governing elections would govern the rest. Another opposition party member echoed Mr. Smith’s sentiments.

Professor Du Toit (ANC) argued that Clause 12 was necessary in its entirety. According to Professor Du Toit, Clause 12 creates a valid list necessary for proportional representation elections. He did not feel it was too restrictive. Furthermore, Professor Du Toit argued that the regulations governing the elections could be used as a catch-all to cover anything not covered by Clause 12. Ms. Chochan-Kota also felt that Clause 12 should remain in its entirety.

This topic was debated for close to an hour. Seeing no end to the debate, the Committee decided to flag the issue until the next meeting. With regards to amendments, the committee amended section 1 of Schedule 1, item 19. The Committee changed "14 days" to "3 months". It now reads, "within 3 months of the date of receipt of the notice". The 3 months refers to the time in which a party must supplement a party list with additional names upon notice by the municipal electoral officer. This section is meant to address a situation where a party submits a list of candidates fewer than it is entitled.

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