IEC considering increasing size of provincial legislatures

The IEC said that the sizes of legislatures have stagnated over the past 20 years and had not responded to changing population numbers.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane address the provincial legislature. Picture: www.ecprov.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is considering increasing the sizes of the provincial legislatures.

The commission said that schedule 3 of the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill had a date on which it must decide on the matter before an election and this had not happened since 1999.

The IEC on Tuesday briefed Parliament’s select committee on security and justice on the bill, which will make changes to three pieces of election legislation.

The IEC said that the sizes of legislatures have stagnated over the past 20 years and had not responded to changing population numbers.

In terms of the National Assembly, it has reached its maximum at 400 members.

However, chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said that provinces could still be tweaked.

"However, there are provinces that have gained significantly in population sizes and the size of the legislature has stagnated since 1999, so with this proposal, we will authorise the commission to make a determination ahead of each election of the provincial legislature."

On the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), which has 90 members, Mamabolo said that this was dealt with in the Constitution.

"We are constrained from dealing with the size of the NCOP to the extent that it's constitutionally determined."

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