After much anticipation, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the Electoral Amendment Bill (now the Electoral Amendment Act) this month. This now means that South Africans can contest in next year’s provincial and national elections as independent candidates.

As you know, MVC had many issues regarding this entire process including the lack of sufficient public participation, as well as many technical aspects necessary to ensure for an effective electoral system and participation of independent candidates.

The main criticism is that it creates unequal competition between independent candidates and political parties in Parliament because independent candidates are eligible to contest 200 seats while political parties contest all 400.

As a result, when an independent candidate wins votes that go beyond the quota to secure a single seat, the additional votes are wasted. For example, if an independent candidate is awarded five seats, they only get one. The remainder of the four seats are recalculated and can be obtained by another independent candidate or by a political party.

For MVC, the signing of the law is lukewarm in that although we are now certain on what electoral system will be in place come 2024, it is still heavily riddled with issues making it an unfair playing field for independent candidates. MVC is not going to be part of any court action at this stage because we feel it would only prolong any uncertainties for the upcoming 2024 elections.

You can read an explanation on the new law written by our Electoral Systems Researcher, Letlhogonolo Letshele.


Watch our reactions to the signing of the law in the links below:


Looming thresholds changes to the Party Funding Act

Once again, the ANC has made several public comments regarding their intention to amend the Party Funding Act. The party (backed by a few other political parties) has plans to amend the lower disclosure threshold by increasing it from R100 000 to R500 000, and scrapping the maximum donation threshold in one year that currently sits at R15 million. If the ANC is successful with this, it means that over 50% of the published disclosures we saw in the 2021/2022 financial year would no longer be applicable.

These proposals come as the ANC claim the Act has affected the party’s financial health. However, the party’s financial troubles predate the signing of the law.

The amendments may be cloaked under the guise of protecting democracy but given the ANC’s perpetual inability to manage its finances even before the implementation of the Act, one wonders if any of it will make a difference.

The hankering to amend the Party Funding Act is unprecedented for a law that is only two years old, and which has such deep significance in a country where private influence has previously been allowed to run amok.

MVC has exciting work planned with regards to these proposed amends which will be announced very soon!

In the meantime, you can read our latest opinion piece, written by our Party Funding Researcher, Robyn Pasensie.


You can also listen to Robyn speak about it on Cape Talk.


Democratic Alliance Conference

Earlier this month, the Democratic Alliance hosted its hotly contested elective conference where its new national leadership was chosen, and where resolutions and constitutional amendments were adopted.
As was expected, John Steenhuisen easily defeated Mpho Phalatse to remain Federal Leader, while Helen Zille retained the position of Chairperson of the Federal Council. The elected leadership remains predominantly white and male. Perhaps the most significant outcome was the announcement of a ‘moonshot pact’, a plan for a coalition to unseat the ANC from power in 2024.

In the next few weeks…

As mentioned, we’ve got big plans concerning the looming party funding amendments coming up very soon so be sure to stay tuned for that!

Until next month, stay warm and stay safe!