2003 South African floor-crossing window period

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The 2003 floor crossing window period in South Africa was a period of 15 days, from 21 March to 4 April 2003, in which members of the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures were able to cross the floor from one political party to another without giving up their seats.[1] The period was authorised by the passage of the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of South Africa.[2] The amendment scheduled regular window periods in the second and fourth September after each election, but the second and fourth Septembers after the 1999 election had already passed, so it included provision for a special window period starting fifteen days after the amendment came into effect.

In the National Assembly, the floor-crossing expanded the African National Congress' (ANC) representation from 266 seats, one short of the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution, to 275 seats. In the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the ANC were before the window period the largest and second-largest parties respectively. As a result of the floor-crossing, they changed places; however, the ANC did not attain an absolute majority, holding 35 seats of 80. In the Western Cape Provincial Parliament the ANC expanded its representation to an absolute majority, growing from 18 to 22 seats of a total 42.[1]

During this window period representatives of the Democratic Party (DP) officially became representatives of the Democratic Alliance (DA). Amongst a group of new parties created by floor-crossing, the most significant was the Independent Democrats, who gained one member in the National Assembly and one in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The tables below show all the changes; in those provinces not listed there was no change in the provincial legislature, other than the DP becoming the DA.

Tables[edit]

National Assembly[edit]

Party Seats before Net change Seats after[3]
African National Congress 266 +9 275
Democratic Alliance[note 1] 38 +8 46
Inkatha Freedom Party 34 −3 31
New National Party 28 −8 20
African Christian Democratic Party 6 +1 7
United Democratic Movement 14 −10 4
Freedom Front 3 0 3
United Christian Democratic Party 3 0 3
Pan Africanist Congress 3 −1 2
Federal Alliance 2 0 2
Azanian People's Organisation 1 0 1
Minority Front 1 0 1
African Independent Movement[note 2] +1 1
Alliance for Democracy and Prosperity[note 2] +1 1
Independent Democrats[note 2] +1 1
National Action[note 2] +1 1
Peace and Justice Congress[note 2] +1 1
Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging 1 −1 0
Total 400

Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature[edit]

Party Seats before Net change Seats after[4]
African National Congress 47 +1 49
United Democratic Movement 9 −2 7
Democratic Alliance[note 1] 4 +1 5
New National Party 2 −1 1
Pan Africanist Congress 1 0 1
Total 63

Gauteng Provincial Legislature[edit]

Party Seats before Net change Seats after[4]
African National Congress 50 0 50
Democratic Alliance[note 1] 13 −1 12
New National Party 3 0 3
Inkatha Freedom Party 3 0 3
African Christian Democratic Party 1 0 1
Federal Alliance 1 0 1
United Democratic Movement 1 0 1
Conservative Party +1 1
Independent Democrats[note 2] +1 1
Freedom Front 1 −1 0
Total 73

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature[edit]

Party Seats before Net change Seats after[4]
African National Congress 32 +3 35
Inkatha Freedom Party 34 −2 32
Democratic Alliance[note 1] 7 −1 6
New National Party 3 −1 2
Minority Front 2 0 2
African Christian Democratic Party 1 0 1
United Democratic Movement 1 0 1
Peace and Development Party[note 2] +1 1
Total 80

Western Cape Provincial Parliament[edit]

Party Seats before Net change Seats after[4]
African National Congress 18 +4 22
New National Party 17 −7 10
Democratic Alliance[note 1] 5 +2 7
African Christian Democratic Party 1 +1 2
New Labour Party[note 2] +1 1
United Democratic Movement 1 −1 0
Total 42

National Council of Provinces[edit]

The National Council of Provinces was reconstituted as a result of the changes in the provincial legislatures. Its reconstituted makeup was as follows:

Party Delegate type EC FS G KZN M NW NC NP WC Total
African National Congress Permanent 4 4 4 3 5 4 4 5 3 36 66
Special 4 4 3 2 4 4 3 4 2 30
Democratic Alliance[note 1] Permanent 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 9
Special 1 1 2
New National Party Permanent 1 1 2 1 5 7
Special 1 1 2
Inkatha Freedom Party Permanent 2 2 4
Special 2 2
United Democratic Movement Permanent 1 1 2
African Christian Democratic Party Permanent 1 1
United Christian Democratic Party Permanent 1 1
Total 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 90

Notes to the tables[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Democratic Party representatives officially became Democratic Alliance representatives during this floor-crossing period.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Party created during this floor-crossing period.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Impact of Floor Crossing on Party Systems and Representative Democracy (PDF) (Report). Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. 2006. pp. 71–84. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Constitution Tenth Amendment Act of 2003
  3. ^ "Political Parties in National Assembly". Parliamentary Monitoring Group. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d John Kane-Berman; et al. (2004). South Africa Survey 2003/04. South African Institute of Race Relations. p. 480. ISBN 978-0-86982-476-4.