Mr Max Sisulu (MP)
Speaker of the National Assembly
South Africans collectively crafted a Constitution, far-reaching in its provisions, that is regarded as one of the best in the world. Amongst others, it establishes a wide range of constitutionally-protected institutions that are mandated to strengthen our democracy and promote respect for human rights, equality and freedom in South African society.
Ten years after the attainment of democracy in our country, the Executive evaluated the progress made towards the consolidation of democracy and the promotion and protection of constitutional rights, values and principles in South Africa. On 21 September 2006, the National Assembly adopted a resolution establishing an ad hoc committee to review State institutions supporting constitutional democracy.
After extensive engagement with stakeholders such as government, Parliament, business and civil society, the ad hoc Committee under the guidance of Prof Kader Asmal submitted its report to the National Assembly on 31 July 2007. The report outlined a number of findings and made specific recommendations on ways in which the institutions could be improved to enhance performance and meaningful engagement with Parliament.
One of the recommendations called for the establishment of a Unit on Constitutional Institutions and other statutory bodies to be located in the Office of the Speaker. Subsequently, on 21 November, 2008, the National Assembly adopted a resolution for the establishment of the Unit in order to strengthen its capacity to perform its function of oversight and accountability, relating to Chapter 9 Institutions and other statutory bodies, and to co-ordinate all activities between those Institutions and the National Assembly.
After a process of extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders, agreement has been reached on the terms of reference, structure and resources needed for the Unit to function optimally. It is envisaged that the establishment of the Unit will go a long way towards enhancing the governance architecture of South Africa, with a view to nurturing and consolidating democracy, human dignity, equality and freedom in our country.
Ms Nomaindia Mfeketo (MP)
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly
Subsequent to the adoption of the National Assembly Resolution for the establishment of a Unit on Chapter 9 and associated institutions, the Speaker of the National Assembly delegated the Office of Deputy Speaker to implement the Resolution.
In August 2010, the National Assembly Forum and the Speaker approved the Unit, to be known as the Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy(OISD). The vision of the Office is to enhance Parliament’s oversight over the Institutions Supporting Democracy (ISD).The purpose of the Unit is to facilitate and co-ordinate all engagements between Parliament and the ISD in order to ensure meaningful engagement and support.
The office is currently conducting an in-depth auditing of special Reports submitted by the ISDs to Parliament to determine their status, tabling and referral dates, and to assess which Reports need Parliament’s urgent attention
A link on Parliament’s website as well as an email address (email@example.com) and letterhead have been designed and developed for the OISD. The OISD will be working closely with parliamentary stakeholders to ensure that it functions optimally to support the work of Parliament.
Chapter 9 and Associated Statutory Bodies
- Public Protector
- Human Rights Commission
- Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities
- Commission for Gender Equality
- Electoral Commission
- Public Service Commission
- Pan- South African Language Board
- Financial and Fiscal Commission
- Independent Communication Authority of South Africa
- National Youth Development Agency