Please find attached soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP.
The DA notes Afriforum’s plans to approach the Constitutional Court in an effort to force Parliament to change the country’s referendum legislation to give premiers legislative powers to call for referendums.
The power to do so has been a growing issue and the DA has long fought for our principle of federalism and the devolution of power to provinces.
The DA appreciates Afriforum joining this fight – we have already set the ball rolling with our Private Member’s Bill (PMB) which seeks to repeal the Referendums Act and amend the Electoral Commissions Act and would allow premiers their Constitutional power to call for referendums. Our PMB was gazetted and thousands of inputs of supports were received during the public comment stage.
The next step for the DA and the parliamentary law advisors will be to study the thousands of comments received, thus allowing us to finalize the draft Bill with parliamentary legal services.
The only foreseeable outcome of Afriforum’s application before the Constitutional Court is the Court’s expectation that Parliament should put forward legislation – which is exactly what the DA is doing with our PMB. The DA will never presume to stop Afriforum from pursuing a just cause, but this course of action would be a duplication of efforts.
We believe in following the correct course of lawmaking and approaching the courts only when all other measures have been exhausted, and will continue to fight for a power shift to provinces to better address service delivery and other issues of their residents.