Mcebisi Jonas: SA electoral system needs an overhaul

Former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said that there needed to be a change to the entire electoral system as the current system gave too much power to certain parties.

FILE: Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said that there needed to be a change to the entire electoral system as the current system gave too much power to certain parties.

This weekend, as part of Defend Our Democracy, a conference of around 300 leaders in business, civil society, labour, and academia met to discuss the state of the country's democracy and what citizens could do in response.

One of the outcomes was a call for a referendum on the electoral system and for a more active citizenry.

Jonas said that there was an economic crisis and major institutions were not where they should be and the country needed leadership.

He said that the public needed to get involved.

"The question would be around how do you shift from the current electoral system to a different electoral system. How do you ensure greater public accountability through an electoral system? How do you make sure you sustain citizen's participation in the electoral process?" Jonas asked.

Jonas said that the power must be with the people.

"So people understand the importance of the electoral system and the importance of participation, political participation, so that's the essence of the message that we are saying," he said.