Floor-crossing window to close

The future of South Africa's electoral system hit the spotlight in parliament yesterday when public hearings were held on proposed new laws aimed at scrapping floor-crossing.

The future of South Africa's electoral system hit the spotlight in parliament yesterday when public hearings were held on proposed new laws aimed at scrapping floor-crossing.

Mike Pothier of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) told the justice portfolio committee that parliament should not stop at scrapping floor-crossing.

He said there was a need to overhaul the electoral system to hold elected representatives more accountable.

Pothier said there was a "groundswell" of public opinion that people should vote directly for members of parliament in a constituency-based system.

But justice portfolio committee chairman Yunus Carrim disagreed.

"Democracy does not only reside in having your own MP," he said.

Carrim acknowledged that "parliament should consider some rules or norms to ensure greater accountability" of MPs. - Anna Majavu

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