Gauteng gets more seats in new determination by IEC

The IEC has announced new determination for seats in provincial legislatures. File Picture

The IEC has announced new determination for seats in provincial legislatures. File Picture

Published Feb 16, 2024


The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has announced the seats determination for provincial legislatures ahead of the elections, with the Gauteng province now allocated the maximum 80 seats.

This increase is based on the population size for each province, with the Gauteng provincial legislature to increase its seats from 73 to 80.

In the last Census report, which was released in October last year, it was announced that the population of Gauteng was 15.1 million after it surpassed KwaZulu-Natal as the biggest province.

The IEC said the seats were determined in accordance with Section 105(2) of the Republic of South Africa's Constitution Act 108 of 1996 and item 3(1) of Schedule 3 to the Electoral Act No.73 of 1998.

Other than Gauteng that has increased its seats from 73 to 80, Limpopo will increase its seats from 49 to 64 after its population shot up to 6.4 million.

The IEC also said North West will increase its seats from 33 to 38, as the population of the North West province was now 3.8 million.

The provincial legislature of Mpumalanga will get more seats. The IEC said seats in Mpumalanga will increase from 30 to 51. The population in that province was standing at 5.1 million.

In the Eastern Cape the seats will go up from 63 to 72 after its population increased to 7.2 million.

Former Gauteng Premier David Makhura raised this issue in the National Council of Provinces a few years ago that because of the rising population in the province they need to have more seats.

But out of all the provinces only the Western Cape has not finalised this issue. There are currently 42 seats in the provincial legislature and the population was recorded at 7.4 million

The IEC said the issue of seats in the Western Cape will be finalised in accordance with the provincial constitution.

Prof. Dirk Kotzé of Unisa said the information released by the IEC was significant.

He said the population of each province determines the number of seats in a legislature.

The Constitution was very clear that the minimum number of seats in a province was 30 and the maximum was 80.

“An interesting characteristic of the latest allocation of seats is that the other four provinces which excludes the Western Cape, received 10 times the number of million of persons living in that province. Therefore, the Eastern Cape’s 7.2 million population will be represented by 72 parliamentarians.

“The provincial legislature of Western Cape, with the third biggest population of 7.4 million persons, will continue to have only 42 members and not 74. It is determined by Section 13 in the Western Cape’s Provincial Constitution. The electoral system of provincial legislatures will also change with this election.

“It means that 50% of these members will be elected on the basis of their parties’ proportional representation, while the other 50% will be independent representatives. The provincial (or ‘regional’) composition of the latter 50% will be determined by this latest announcement by the IEC,” said Kotzé.

He said the Northern Cape and Free State have the lowest number of seats while Gauteng and KZN have maximum seats.

In both the Northern Cape and Free State they each have 30 seats and KZN and Gauteng have the maximum of 80 MPLs representing voters.

[email protected]

IOL Politics