As part of a programme to build an effective People’s Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa has embarked on a process of establishing Parliamentary Democracy Offices (PDO) in all nine provinces.
WHY THE PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY OFFICES?
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996, the supreme law of the country, Chapter 4, stipulates that Parliament must provide a national forum for public consideration of issues.
Chapter 4 of the Constitution section 59 and section 72 put an obligation and a responsibility on Parliament to facilitate public access and involvement in the legislative and other processes of Parliament.
Furthermore, one of the core objectives of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is “To facilitate public participation and involvement in Parliament.” That is an indication of the importance and gravity of the public’s involvement and participation in the Parliamentary processes.
The vision of Parliament is “To build an effective people’s Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people and that is driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of life for all the people of South Africa.” This, once again, encourages involvement in the Parliamentary processes. Based on the various events and activities of Parliament it has become apparent that there is a great need for the people of South Africa to become more involved and to participate fully in the legislative and other processes and activities of Parliament.
It is to this effect that Parliament is establishing Parliamentary Democracy Offices (PDO) in all nine provinces in the under-serviced, under-resourced and deep rural areas to provide all South Africans an opportunity and mechanisms to take part in the legislative processes and activities of Parliament whilst it fulfils its constitutional duty of meaningful public participation and involvement.
Parliamentary Democracy Offices is mechanism that will assist in promoting and entrenching democracy in South Africa. It will further provide an opportunity to promote a better understanding of the role of Parliament and raise awareness in the public domain.
PDO MANDATE, OBJECTIVES, FUNCTIONS AND PROGRAMMES
The mandate is to reach out and serve communities in the provinces, particularly in the rural, underserviced and under-resourced areas, and to facilitate their involvement and participation in the legislative and other processes of Parliament.
- To expand Parliament’s access, opportunity and space to be directly in touch and continuously engage with the people who are ordinarily outside national debates in society
- To facilitate public involvement in the legislative and other processes of both the National Assembly (NA) and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and their Committees in all the provinces in accordance with the parliamentary strategic plan and annual calendar
- To help ensure a greater level of efficiency, economy and effectiveness in accessing communities and providing ground and logistical support for parliamentary programmes.
The PDOs will, among others, be involved in:
- Conducting public education and provide information about Parliament and its work
- Providing a platform for people to access and participate in the processes of Parliament
- Facilitating public input and feedback
- Providing ground and logistical support for parliamentary programmes and activities
- Co-ordinating and co-operating with other spheres of government.
PDO PROJECT OVERVIEW
The project objective is to establish fully operational physical offices called Parliamentary Democracy Offices (PDOs) and mobile offices in all nine provinces including the central PDO to co-ordinate the offices in the provinces.
The process of establishing the PDO’s is managed in a form of a project and is implemented in phases:
Phase one, is the establishment of physical offices in three provinces, central PDO in Parliament to co-ordinate the work of the PDO’s in the provinces and the recruitment of personnel for these offices. Phase two, will focus on providing mobile offices for each PDO.
Phase one of the project is divided into two parts:
- Part one is focusing on the establishment of “pilot office” PDOs in Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West
- Part two will focus on the establishment of the remaining six PDOs in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Western Cape.
The project is in Phase one, part one: The pilot PDOs in Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West.
HOW TO CONTACT US
Office 114, Good Hope Chambers, Parliament of the RSA, Cape Town, 8000
T: 021 403 8215/6
F: 021 403 3118
Mrs. Sindiswa Tyhokolo-Mbetshe
Acting Section Manager
One Stop Shop Centre, Ga-Matlala Thaba, 0756
P O Box 1516, Bakone, 0746
T: 015 227 0050/6
F: 015 227 8900
Team Leader (Vacant)
PDO NORTHERN CAPE
4 Meul Singel, P O Box 754, Kakamas, 8870
T: 054 431 0508
F: 054 431 1951
Mr Luvuyo Tyali
PDO NORTH WEST
Old Municipal building / Old Governors House, Phola Section, Ganyesa
P O Box 561, Ganyesa, 8613
T: 053 998 4262
F: 053 998 4261
Mrs Winnie Seoposengwe