The DA’s Annelie Lotriet has tabled an Electoral Commission Amendment Bill, which seeks to provide for provincial referenda.

This comes exactly two years after the publication of an explanatory summary of the proposed new piece of legislation – including a call for suggestions on its contents.

According to a memorandum on the Bill’s objects, if passed and operationalised it will give practical effect to sub-section 127(2)(f) of the Constitution, in terms of which a premier may call a referendum in their province ‘in accordance with national legislation’. As things now stand, no such legislation exists.

Rarely does a private member’s Bill proceed beyond the desirability vote in the National Assembly committee to which it is referred. To date, not a single DA Bill has done so. More often than not, this has been because – according to the department concerned – the process of drafting legislation to address the Bill’s subject matter was already under way. It may nevertheless take some time before that legislation eventually materialises.

Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

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