The Department of Home Affairs has raised concerns about the potential delay in implementing the recommendations of the Zondo Commission. This revelation emerged during a briefing to Parliament, where Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Director Generals provided an update on the progress made in implementing the commission’s recommendations.
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo had proposed key electoral reforms as measures to safeguard the country against state capture, corruption, and fraud. One of the key recommendations pertains to electoral reform, and it falls under the purview of the Department of Home Affairs to process these recommendations.
The Director-General of the Department, Tommy Makhode, outlined one of the key recommendations: “The first one was that there should be a proposal, there should be consideration given to making necessary constitutional amendments to ensure that the President of the country is elected directly by the people aimed at ensuring anyone who becomes President of the country does so on the basis of their own popularity with the people and not on the basis that if voters vote for a particular party, that party will make him or her president.”
However, some members of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs expressed concerns about this recommendation.
ANC MP Asnath Molekwa urged a thorough investigation into the systems used by countries that have already adopted this approach and called for a comprehensive assessment of the advantages and disadvantages, considering the complexity of the matter.
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Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi acknowledged the complexity of electoral reform matters and explained that the responsibility for addressing this recommendation had been delegated to the Electoral Reform Consultation Panel. He emphasized that the panel would conduct extensive research worldwide to provide Parliament with a comprehensive analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of various electoral systems.
Motsoaledi also addressed questions about the establishment of the Electoral Reform Consultation Panel. He stated that the panel’s formation was in progress, with nominations from the public having been submitted by the August deadline. Due to the busy schedule from September 1 until the present, the panel’s establishment had been delayed, but it was now a priority.
The Electoral Reform Consultation Panel is mandated to present a report on electoral reform recommendations within 12 months of the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.
The complexities of electoral reform and the need for careful consideration highlight the importance of conducting thorough research and analysis to inform future decisions regarding South Africa’s electoral system.
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