The organization My Vote Counts has expressed its opposition to the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill. They released a statement on the eve of the last voter registration weekend across the country before the expected elections in May this year.

My Vote Count says the Bill will make political funding even more secretive. The Bill allows the president to determine how much money political parties and independent candidates may accept as donations.

“Some proposed amendments are opportunistic and have far-reaching consequences for laws such as the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA). If adopted, these amendments will lead to more secrecy in political party funding, will benefit established parties, and give the President more powers to determine the crucial limits and thresholds related to political party funding,” says My Vote Counts.

Political Party Funding Researcher Robyn Pasensie underscores the Bill with Radio Islam International.

“Amendments such as this are what we consequential amendments, they are a consequence of another act been put in place,” Pasensie says.

“Most of the Minister’s proposed amendments are minor and legally required. They aim to satisfy the Electoral Act by bringing independent candidates into the electoral system. Several of these proposals, however, present a disparity between the ways that parties, independent representatives, and independent candidates will be treated/considered under the new electoral system,” stated My Vote Counts.

On 7 December 2023, the Minister of Home Affairs introduced the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill to the National Assembly, and Parliament called for public comments a week later. Because the Bill will bring various pieces of legislation in line with the Electoral Amendment Act of 2023, it must be adopted as a law before the General Election.

Listen to the full interview on The Daily Round-Up with Muallimah Annisa Essack.