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The Speakers’ Forum of South Africa is hosting a two-day Legacy Summit from the 28th to the 29th of November at Parliament. The Speakers’ Forum is hosting the summit under the auspices of the South African Legislative Sector (Sals).  The Summit starts at 10am at Good Hope Chamber.

The objectives of the summit include defining the legacy of the legislative sector for the fifth parliamentary term and celebrating its successes, identifying key priorities and asserting recommendations on the transformational role of the Sals towards achieving the country’s strategy for consideration by the sixth Parliament. The summit will also create an opportunity for engagement aimed at strengthening the development of the legislative sector, its relations and partnerships through shared learning and the production of knowledge.

The summit forms part of a larger Speakers’ Forum legacy project aimed at documenting and highlighting the work and achievements of the legislative sector, with a specific focus on the fifth parliamentary term, which runs from 2014 to 2019.

The Speakers’ Forum legacy project report is aimed at laying a solid foundation, to serve as a reference and guide for the incoming leadership of the sixth parliamentary term. It also aims to equip the incoming legislators in the sixth Parliament as comprehensively as possible for their role in the parliamentary environment and as guardians of our democracy.

In addition, the 2018 Legacy Summit will discuss and review developments in the legislative sector over the past five years, and advise on its future direction, considering developments locally and on the continent and globally, against the backdrop of the beginnings of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This platform for strategic engagement is set in the context of the Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu centenary celebrations and the upcoming celebration of 25 years of democracy in South Africa.  

As outlined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution, the legislative authority, as the direct representatives of the people, have a critical role to play in scrutinising and overseeing executive action and spurring the entire state machinery towards the aspirations of a developmental state as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP).

Such legacy dialogue should work towards enhancing cooperative government and finding more synergy and cohesion in order to achieve the vision of the legislative sector, while strengthening the sector as an arm of the state. The legislative sector is the main guardian of democracy, with a vital role of safeguarding and deepening democracy. The critical nature and key focus of this role should find expression in the deliberations at the summit.

Among the issues to be debated in panel discussions, include strengthened oversight over the executive to ensure the implementation of the NDP; radical economic transformation, improved service delivery; enhanced public involvement to deepen and entrench people-centred democracy; and enhanced law-making to improve the achievement of state policy outcomes.

The High Level Panel (HLP) on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change will also form part of the discussions.

The panel discussions at the summit are designed to bring to the fore perspectives from the South African legislative sector and further afield, as well as the other arms of state and organs of civil society. Delegates will make recommendations for consideration by the incoming sixth Parliament.

Mava Lukani