IEC: Parly should develop a suitable electoral system for SA

The IEC briefed Parliament's home affairs oversight committee on the high-level panel recommendations on electoral reform on Tuesday.

FILE: CEO of IEC Sy Mamabolo. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said Parliament as the representative body of the people of South Africa should take it upon itself to determine a suitable electoral system for the country.

The IEC briefed Parliament's home affairs oversight committee on the high-level panel recommendations on electoral reform on Tuesday.

The briefing follows suggested changes to the country's electoral laws.

The high-level panel on the assessment of key legislation recommended that Parliament should amend the Electoral Act to provide for a system that is constituency based for national elections.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said an electoral task team had earlier put forward two sets of recommendations, which are retaining the current system or changing to multi-member constituency system.

“One thought was that the electoral system should be retained as it was and as it is, that was the minority position. The second school of thought provided that a multi-member constituency system with an overall proportionality being restored from a national closed list be introduced, and that was the majority recommendation.”

But Mamabolo warned that making fundamental changes to the current electoral system could have huge financial implicationS.

“An adoption of an electoral system that is fundamentally dissimilar the present one would have huge financial systems and change management costs for an election management body as well as for the political parties.”