The constitutional court has called on a new ruling for the Electoral Act by Justice Madlanga. That will allow independent candidates to contest for the provincial legislature and national assembly positions without having to belong to a political party. This system is currently used in local government elections and the Constitutional Court has given the Parliament 24 months to amend these regulations.
In local government elections, an independent candidate can contest for Municipal wards, without a political party membership, but this often leads to the candidate to later belong to a political party if they want to further their positions in the Provincial and National Parliament, this is because of the current system used in elections, that only allows members representing a political party to contest for positions, in which the Constitutional court has ruled that parts of the Electoral Act declarations were unconstitutional. The office of the President, the Minister of Home Affairs, Electoral Commission, the National Assembly speaker, and the National council of provinces (NCOP) argued that opening a political party is not difficult nor expensive that if anyone wants to contest can easily do so! However, Professor Joleen Steyn-Kotze said independent candidates will find it difficult to compete with well-established political parties.
Constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos explained that the current South African model had a pure proportional representation system meaning if you vote for the political party’s electoral list the chosen candidate automatically becomes the member of parliament or holds office, De Vos said this was not going to make huge changes to the current system, arguing that big political parties will remain powerful as it will not be easy for a candidate to be elected if they don’t represent a political party.
University of Johannesburg politics professor Mcebisi Ndletyana said the ruling has the potential to bring new votes from citizens who did not vote because they were not in favor of candidates representing the different political parties.
After the court ruling on Thursday 11 June 2020, the Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the parliament will abide by the court’s ruling with an explanatory memorandum which addresses the time it will take to process the legislation if amendments to the current Electoral Act are required.