According to the Free Market Foundation (FMF) any attempt to reduce the number of provinces in the country would be illegal.
The African National Congress (ANC) has recently revisited the idea of reducing the number of provinces in the country from the current nine to six. During the ANC’s Police Conference held last month officials within the party suggested that a presidential commission be established to work on the proposal ahead of the ANC’s Elective Conference in December.
The ANC first explored the idea in 2007 but to date the idea has remained just that.
The FMF’s legal researcher Martin van Staden said that fortunately South Africa’s Constitution and the rule of law make it much harder for the levers of power to be abused. Van Staden added that he did not believe that the ANC wanted to change the system to avoid losing Gauteng in 2019 or to win back the Western Cape.
According to van Staden a postulate of the constitutional principle of the rule of law is that the law and policy must be as far as possible certain and predictable. He says one could argue that by changing the system at this time it would create instability and uncertainty which would violate the constitution.
Van Staden says for the number of provinces to decrease the ruling party would have to amend the Constitution and would need two thirds of the National Assembly and at least six of the provinces in the National Council of Provinces to approve the amendment.
Would six provinces run more efficiently than the current nine? Please let us know what you think of the ANC’s proposal.
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