The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it is vital for Parliament to speed up the process of amending the current Electoral Act to avoid problems in the next general election in 2024.

The Constitutional Court declared the Act unconstitutional, in that it required South Africans to only contest the polls through membership of political parties.

The court then gave Parliament 24 months to amend the Act.

Briefing the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs through a virtual meeting, IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo says the commission needs a minimum of two years to prepare for elections.

Mamabolo says, “We have got to finalise the issue of the electoral system much earlier so we can go and rebuild the ICT applications and re-plan the whole electoral cycle. So there is a need to really start the process immediately so that we don’t wait for the full 24 months to deal with this because otherwise we will be left with little time to prepare for the elections in 2024.”

Electoral Act unconstitutional

Earlier this month, the Constitutional Court declared the Electoral Act unconstitutional, meaning independent candidates are allowed to contest for national and provincial elections without being a member of a political party.

The case was brought by civil society organisation the New Nation Movement and others.

They sought to have the Electoral Act declared unconstitutional as it did not make provision for individuals to be elected to the national and provincial legislatures outside of a party list.

In this video below, the Constitutional Court declares parts of the Electoral Act unconstitutional:

In the video below, political parties candidates react: