Delegates at the DDP Elections Roundtable held at Elangeni Hotel in Durban, 29 April 2021. Picture: Thandiwe Klaas
Electoral debates have continued over the years. These discussions have been reintroduced through the Democratic Alliance’s Private Members Bill, the High-Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and Acceleration of Fundamental Change in 2017, and the Notice of Intention to introduce a Private Members Bill for an Electoral Amendment Bill in 2019.
It is widely reported that there is an overriding sense of disillusionment and apathy among voters in South Africa. Unemployment, corruption, and other related issues have contributed to the challenges voters face. Thus, the low levels of participation in the 2019 general election have been blamed on disillusionment.
We are in the same pivotal position as in 1993. We seek a proportional system that is fair, simple, and makes every vote count. However, we must now find a way of including independent candidates in a system that results in proportionality.
The DDP hosted a forum to speak to some of these issues, and engage the implications of the debates on reform, accountability, and voter participation. This forum was held at Elangeni Hotel in Durban on the 29th of April 2021.
The Panelist included Dr. Florence Shisanya, Mxolisi Nyuswa, Sphamandla Mhlongo, and the process was facilitated by Bonolo Makgale.
The aim of this forum was to:
Unpack the nature and trends in voter turnout in South Africa
Unpack the role of civil society in ensuring political accountability
Assess the impact of Covid-19 on local government elections
Unpack the impact on civil society organizations and their functioning in the electoral process
Unpack the impact of service delivery protests, electoral violence on the integrity of elections