Cosatu calls on IEC, home affairs to ensure 2024 elections run smoothly

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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it is important that the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and the Department of Home Affairs should now put all the necessary measures and resources in place, to ensure that the 2024 general elections take place smoothly.

Cosatu says this includes undertaking the necessary voter education, and ensuring that all voters have their IDs and are able to register especially first-time voters and the youth.

In a statement, Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator, Matthew Parks says the necessary training of political parties and aspirant independent candidates is also necessary.

The Bill seeks to give independent candidates the right to contest in the National and Provincial election following a successful Constitutional Court challenge by the New Nation Movement in June 2020.

The Bill was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. It was first passed by the assembly in October 2022 and sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.

The NCOP subsequently made amendments and sent the Bill back to the assembly towards the end of November 2022 for concurrence.

This prompted Parliament to ask for another extension of February 28, as it could not meet the first extended deadline of 10 December. It allowed the Home Affairs Committee to hold public hearings on the amendments.

The assembly passed the amended Bill in February and sent it to the President to sign it into law. However, the battle over its constitutionality is now unfolding, with threats to challenge the Electoral Amendment Act.

The tussle is about the allocation of seats, the number of signatures for independent candidates needed and insufficient public participation in the Bill.

In the video below, IEC welcomes Electoral Amendment Bill: