The Act provides for the amendment of the Electoral Act, 73 of 1998, and gives effect to the Constitutional Court judgment handed down on 11 June 2020.
The judgment in the matter of the New Nation Movement NPC & others V President of the Republic of South Africa & others, declared the Electoral Act of 1998 unconstitutional for stipulating that election to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures may only be attained through membership of political parties.
The Constitutional Court ordered Parliament to remedy the defects within 24 months. The judgement of the order was predicated on rights of association, dignity and Section 19 Political Rights. The Court left the choice of electoral system to Parliament. Similarly, it did not pronounce on a preference of principles.
The Electoral Amendment Bill went through extensive public consultations by the two houses of Parliament – National Parliament and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), prompting Parliament to request two deadline extensions from the Constitutional Court. Thus, the final deadline for Parliament to pass the bill was 28 February 2023.
The Bill was approved by the National Assembly on 20 October 2022, and referred to the NCOP for further consideration and concurrence. The NCOP also approved it with further proposed amendments, and returned it to the National Assembly on 29 November 2022 for further processing.
On 23 February 2023, the National Assembly (NA) passed the Electoral Amendment Bill and adopted the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs along with amendments proposed by the NCOP.
The Electoral Amendment Act became law in June 2023.