Background:

South Africa has a much lauded constitution, which the DDF maintains is too detailed, too racist, too pro-entitlement and too weak on duties.

The DDF will be taking a general look at the constitution for elements that reflect those flaws and will be amending and if necessary redrafting the constitution so it specifies principles but falls short of legislating them, and reflects only the best it possibly can.

Goals:

  • Upper House:

    • In particular it will introduce an upper house of parliament, the Senate, drawn directly from the streets, see Parliament’s Upper House,  
  • Tax:

  • President:

    • a directly elected President, elected in mid legislative assembly term,
  • National Assembly:

    • a directly elected National Assembly see Legislative Assembly so constituents directly elect members of Parliament who are accountable to them, not to the political party they represent,
  • Local Government

    • directly elected Local Government council members who also are accountable to their constituents and not to the political party they represent.
  • Electoral Systems:

    • We will be scrapping the list system and proportional representation and will  replace them with direct representation with representatives accountable to their constituents.  
  • Terms of Office:

    • the Legislative assembly and Presidential terms be limited to four years and overlap one another by two years, 
    • the upper house be limited to two years with half the house replaced each year, 
    • Local Government Councilors should resign and stand for re-election each year.  

Anyone who thinks that this is too costly or wasteful should consider what we live with today – five year terms during which we can barely touch or influence our legislators, councilors and executives until the next elections.  So we will be strengthening our democracy and making our elected leaders more accountable and more responsive to their constituents’ needs.

  • The Constitutional Court:

    • The constitutional court will be answerable to Parliament
    • Parliament can only intervene in the affairs of the court through an Act of parliament or by changing the constitution.
    •  Any member of parliament may propose candidates for the constitutional court. 
    • The Court will select new members from the candidates proposed by parliament.   
    • In this way we intend to strengthen the effectiveness of the Constitution and the independence of all the bodies that fall under its protection.  
    • The Judiciary and magistrates courts will be appointed by and answer to the Judicial Services Commission which in turn will answer to the Constitutional Court.  In this way we intend to strengthen the independence of the judicial system.

The purpose of the Constitutional Court and all those bodies answerable to it, will be to protect the Constitution, ensuring all laws and acts comply with the constitution and  to  uphold the law and dispense justice.