With the 2019 elections rapidly approaching, SA’s legislators are increasingly using their right to introduce new legislation in parliament as a way to connect with prospective voters. Traditionally, most legislation has been introduced by the executive, but in 2018 a flurry of private members’ bills have been tabled in parliament. Seven bills are being processed, and at least two more are in the pipeline. In 2017, just three private members’ bills were tabled in parliament and in 2016 only one was scrutinised by MPs, according to figures on the Parliamentary Monitoring Group’s website. This year’s crop covers a wide terrain, ranging from a DA bill seeking to make it easier for South Africans to vote abroad, to a bill from the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) that aims to ban cosmetic testing on animals. "As you get closer to elections, politicians want to drive an electoral agenda that speaks to their constituency" says DA chief whip John Steenhuisen. A prime example is AC...

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