Since inception in 2017, the NNM has worked with various partner organisations, individuals and stakeholders on the question of the political rights and the participation of citizens in how they are governed. Due consideration being given to the fact that for some time now most ordinary South Africans feel abandoned by political leaders and decision makers.
The NNM and its partners believe that good governance and a professional public service is fundamental to realising the quality of life that was envisaged by all South Africans at the dawn of our democracy in 1994. Since then, the failure of government to fulfil its role in addressing the socio-economic challenges that we face can be traced to how people are elected to public office. The main problem is the closed-list, party political system that prohibits persons directly electing political representatives and from standing as independent candidates. It is this system that is the primary enabler of patronage, rampant corruption and waste of public resources through the appointment of incompetent and unqualified people for reasons of party political expediency, favour and nepotism; which in turn destabilises and incapacitates the state, making it incapable of fulfilling its role to serve the people.
It is evident to many that reform of the electoral system is fundamental to bringing about a more transparent and accountable system of governance. To this end the NNM, in consultation with others, has considered the provisions of the Interim Constitution of 1991, the final Constitution of 1996 and subsequent reports and recommendations to amend the electoral system and implement reforms. During the course of 2018 this work culminated in an application to the High Court in Cape Town in which the NNM challenged the constitutionality of the Electoral Act on the grounds that it fails to provide for independent candidates to stand to be elected to parliament or the provincial legislatures.