IEC ‘anxiously awaits’ ConCourt nod so it can proceed with election plans
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) waits with bated breath for the Constitutional Court judgment on the Electoral Amendment Act, hoping it will be delivered soon so it can prepare fully for what it expects to be complex elections in 2024.
The ConCourt is mulling the nitty gritty of the act as to what requirements should be set for independent candidates to contest for the first time in next year's national and provincial elections.
The case by the Independent Candidates' Association of SA and One SA Movement challenging the constitutionality of the act was heard late August.
The commission then appealed to the court for an order by mid-September but this did not happen.
IEC commissioner judge Dhayanithie Pillay, speaking at the launch of the election campaign in Midrand on Tuesday, said the commission was waiting “anxiously” for the judgment.
“Given the particular complexities of the forthcoming election there are going to be new rules and we are going to have to manage that the best we can. As we anxiously await the judgment of the Constitutional Court, we want to thank that court for delivering the judgment in good time so that we are able to deliver a free and fair election,” Pillay said.
IEC chair Mosotho Moepya said as much as the commission wanted to get the judgment soon, it needed to give the court time.
“We understand that judgment will make a few things that are necessary and very clear. An example of that is how many signatures will be required by an independent candidate in the provincial elections. The provision that is in the law has been challenged in court,” Moepya said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika.
Moepya said having the judgment delivered soon was important and would give the commission time to fully prepare for the election.
“It may be that the court makes the finding that either supports or does not support that which is in law. That is very important because it allows us to have a candidate nomination system that we can finalise. My view is that we must give them the opportunity as they understand these things and they will help us. I accept that the sooner that happens, the better for all of us.”
The date for the elections is still to be announced. IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said the commission was consulting President Cyril Ramaphosa for the date to be set between May and August 2024.
“The window period stretches from May to the middle of August. The authority for setting the election date rests with the president after consulting the commission. Those consultations have commenced but are yet to be concluded,” Mamabulo said.