Will changing SA’s electoral system increase accountability?

Example of ballot paper
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Calls for a change in South Africa’s electoral system have re-emerged. Corruption and a lack of public accountability by public officials are some of the reasons for this.

South Africa uses a closed-list proportional representation system for its general elections.

Voters vote for parties – not for individuals.

Parties then choose legislators and submit that list to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which oversees elections.

While the lawmakers are in paper wholly accountable to the public, experience for South Africans has been the opposite.

They have sometimes found themselves torn between following a party directive and doing what’s deemed best for South Africans either for fear of being hauled into a disciplinary hearing by their parties or of being taken out of office by those who have deployed them.

Leading to some South Africans feeling like the current electoral system has served its purpose.

Our producer Lindiwe Mabena spoke to the Director of Research at Auwal Socio-Economic Institute, Angelo Fick, on whether these sentiments are valid.

Watch full report below: