The Northern Cape Provincial Legislature (NCPL) in its endeavour to enhance public participation, has introduced a number of processes that are necessary and are required by the constitution of South Africa, with its mission is to “Serve the people of the Northern Cape by building a developmental institution for effective law making, public participation, accountability and oversight over the executive and municipalities. In its endeavour to serve the people of the Northern Cape , its strategic goals is to is to have a transformative law making process that contributes to the attainment of rights which are contained and enshrined in the constitution of South Africa act 108 of 1996, and in reference to section 118 of the constitution which deals with public involvement in the processes of the Legislatures.
Section 118 of the constitution speaks of public involvement in provincial legislatures and states that “a provincial legislature must facilitate public involvement in the legislative and other processes of the legislature and its committees. It is this mandate given to it by the constitution that you will find the Norther Cape Provincial Legislature ( NCPL) through its committees will facilitate such participation in its programmes. In the committees it is where most of the work of the legislature is being done and participation is encouraged
The provincial legislature at the beginning of each year invites members of the public to attend the Opening of the Legislature, also known as the Opening of the Legislature. This is where members of the public listen to the Premier of the Northern Cape province, Dr Z Saul, make his address. The State of the Province address is a speech by the Premier and this event usually marks the opening of the provincial legislature, the speech is delivered in front of the members of the provincial executive, including the speaker, Deputy speaker and the secretary to the legislature and the members of the ruling party and opposition parties. It is where the members of the public are also allowed to attend these proceedings.
The State of the Province address this year took place in the town Calvinia in the Namakwa District on the 2nd of March 2023, members of the public were invited to attend these proceedings from that district, and were bussed in from different areas of that region to the venue in Calvinia. The other districts where in smaller venues around the province where these proceedings were viewed remotely via Microsoft Teams and Facebook.
Members of the public could watch the speech of the premier on these platforms as it was also a form of public involvement by listening and watching the speech delivered live from these platforms and direct from the main venue. In the ZF Mgcawu the district SOPA was held at the ND Swartz Hall.
There is also another form of participation which is utilised by the NCPL in involving the Northern Cape Province Citizens in its processes, we have already highlighted the fact that the NCPL is a Law making organ.
A committee which is responsible for a certain portfolio will bring or introduce a bill that will be discussed during a public hearing at a certain given time and place where members of the public and different stakeholders will be invited to attend such public hearing and discuss a certain bill, during these proceedings members of the public and stakeholders would be request to make submissions and inputs after the bill was presented to them and discussed.
The NCPL recently had such public hearings in Kimberley on the 30th of march to attend the copywrite and performers protection bill and the division of revenue bill the 20th of April where members of the public from the districts were bussed in to attend such hearings. The Namakwa and ZF Mgcawu district held their hearing in pofadder community hall.
The next events that will take place in the near future are the sectoral events which are the youth parliament, women’s and children’s parliaments, these are also public participation events.
Written By Ticci Zweni
Regional Liaison Officer (RLO) ZF Mgcawu district.
Cel No: 078 803 6065