Constitutional Mandate

Constitutional Mandate

The Constitution of South Africa sets a single, sovereign democratic state where governance is effected through Parliament which includes provincial legislatures, the Executive and the Judiciary. The mandate of provincial legislatures is achieved through passing legislation, overseeing government action through oversight and the facilitating of public involvement, co operative government and public participation.

Oversight

In terms of the provisions of the constitution the provincial legislatures must maintain oversight of all organs of state, including those at provincial and local government level. Oversight and accountability are constitutionally mandated functions of legislatures to scrutinise and oversee executive action and any organ of state. Oversight entails the informal and formal, watchful, strategic and structured scrutiny exercised by legislatures in respect of the implementation of laws, the application of the budget, and the strict observance of statutes and the constitution. It entails overseeing the effective management of government departments by individual members of the relevant executive authority in pursuit of improved service delivery for the achievement of a better quality of life for all people

Public participation

Each provincial legislature is obliged, under Section 118 (1) of the Constitution of South Africa, to facilitate public participation in legislative processes and those of its Committees. Accountability is the hallmark of modern democratic governance. Public participation is defined as the involvement of the public or communities in legislative processes, oversight, issues of governance affecting their lives (Acts, Bills and/or public hearings) and activities by the committees of a legislature. Public participation gives a face to the Legislature and familiarises Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs) to the public whom they have been mandated to represent. Legislatures must promote constitutionalism and human rights. Legislatures must be accessible, open, responsive and participatory Section 1 of the Constitution also embraces the principles of accessibility and participation in its commitment to openness and responsiveness. Legislatures are the primary institution through which South Africans have a voice in government, and they act as a critical link between citizens and government.

Law Making

The provincial legislature makes provincial laws and may adopt a Constitution for the province if two-thirds of its Members agree. A provincial Constitution must be in line with the principles of the National Constitution. Provinces have legislative and executive powers which include on issues such as gambling, education, the environment, healthcare, police services, vehicle licensing and welfare.

For more information contact the following Departments:

Name and Surname Designation Telephone Number Cel No E-mail address
Ms Natalia Borchard Acting Executive Manager: Committees, Research Services and Public Education and Communications 053 839 8023/24 083 632 3330 nborchard@ncpg.gov.za
Adv H Botha Executive Manager: Legal Services, NCOP, Proceedings and Hansard and Language Services 053 839 8393/078 083 653 5962 hbotha@ncpg.gov.za