Opposition Parties Petition the President: Electoral Matters Amendment Bill Is Unconstitutional

Apr 2, 2024 | Press Releases

Multi-Party Joint Media Statement by: ACDP, ATM, COPE, DA, FF+, GOOD, IFP, NFP, PAC, UDM

Ten opposition parties, currently represented in Parliament, have petitioned the President not to assent to the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

If the President assents to the Bill we would then be forced to join those in civil society, who have already given notice of their intention to approach the courts, to oppose this legislation on the grounds of unconstitutionality.

The Bill was required to make consequential changes to legislation governing elections in order to include independent candidates in the national and provincial elections.

The Bill was hastily approved by the National Assembly, and then by National Council of Provinces last week, and includes contentious and substantive changes to the Political Party Funding Act which were not consequential to the inclusion of independents candidates.

The substantive, and unnecessary, amendments to the Political Party Funding Act included a change to the implementation of Sec 236 of the Constitution which requires that represented political parties receive public funding on an “equitable and proportional basis” in order to enhance multi-party democracy.

The ANC opportunistically used the need for consequential changes to be made to the electoral system to substantially increase their public funding by 25% based on current representation.

This is achieved at the expense of all of the opposition parties except the DA which would also receive an increase of about 10% in public funding. Despite the benefit of a proposed increase the DA joins us in challenging the Bill’s constitutionality.

We have submitted to the President that this does not enhance multi-party democracy but undermines it.

We have also submitted to the President that, in its haste to pass this legislation, parliament has failed to meet the constitutional duty to facilitate meaningful and reasonable public consultation.

We are eight weeks from the 29 May 2024 election and we are all committed to contesting the election without disrupting or delaying the election timetable.

However, it is our duty as currently represented parties to protect the constitutional imperative of enhancing a multi-party democracy in the face of this existential threat to one of democracy’s greatest strengths.

We call on the President to refers those parts of the Bill which make substantive amendments to current legislation to the 7th (next) parliament for proper and constitutionally compliant consideration.

Petition to the President (Electoral Matters Amendment Bill)

Media Enquiries:

ACDP – Steven Swart – 083-285-6290
ATM – Vuyo Zungula – 073-050-4330
COPE – Mosiuoa Lekota –
DA – Siviwe Gwarube – 076-055-6280
FF+ – Corne Mulder – 083-626-1497
GOOD – Brett Herron – 082-518-3264
IFP – Narend Singh – 083-788-5954
NFP – Ivan Barnes – 082-745-3815
PAC – Mzwanele Nyhontso – 073-433-4283
UDM – Nqabayomzi Kwankwa – 081-421-2841


Recent Headlines

IFP Press Conference to Provide an Update on the Government of National Unity

IFP President and NEC to Brief Media on GNU

The IFP NEC will meet today in light of the widespread uncertainty prevailing as it pertains to the Government of National Unity (GNU). The IFP President Hon. Velenkosini Hlabisa, MP, will thereafter at a press conference provide an update on these matters today. The...

IFPYB Welcomes Changes in the Department of Higher Education

GNU: IFP’s Position on Interpretation of Clause 24

The IFP has taken note of the on-going public disagreements between the ANC’s Mr Fikile Mbalula and the DA’s Mrs Helen Zille, as it pertains to clause 24 of the Government of National Unity (GNU) statement of intent. To that end, the IFP President Hon. Velenkosini...

IFP Secures 7 Wards in KZN By-Elections

IFP Secures 7 Wards in KZN By-Elections

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in KwaZulu-Natal is overwhelmed with gratitude to the people of the province, following its resounding victory in yesterday’s by-elections, where the Party secured 7 out of 12 contested wards. The IFP has gained a majority in several...