The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Ms Thandi Modise, said the 5th Parliament is approaching its end, and Parliament is confident that it will finish this term in a strong position, holding itself accountable while setting a foundation for the 6th Parliament.
This engagement, which involved diplomats, stakeholders and the media is one of the many ways that Parliament uses to strengthen its interface with the people, account for its own work of law-making, oversight and public participation to advance democracy and development in South Africa. Eleven Bills have been passed and also assented (signed) into law by the President since April 2018, with 35 Bills still before the National Assembly and 20 more Bills before the NCOP.
Ms Modise said public participation has taken a new positive turn with unprecedented public and stakeholder engagement in the Constitutional Review Committee on the possible expropriation of land without compensation, and that the NCOP’s Taking Parliament to the People in the Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng, as well as portfolio and select committees, remain the engine rooms for more than 95% of Parliament’s work.
She further said “this year we have increased the focus to go and make a follow-up on Taking Parliament to the People in November in Gauteng. We have seen the work of Parliament and its committees through their oversight work and holding the executive accountable through questions to the President and Deputy President, who are leading the executive”.
“We are in a very unhappy situation as gender-responsive transformation remains an elusive ideal facing the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, which has shifted from the third position with more than 45% women parliamentarians, to the 10th position,” said Ms Modise.
Parliament has started the implementation of a programme to improve the pace of gender transformation, including the Women in Leadership Programme. Parliament has involved its stakeholders at the centre of all its efforts, appreciating that 54% of stakeholders are satisfied with parliamentary services, according to a survey by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).
“We thank you all for continued engagement, critique and collaboration – and we pledge to raise the bar as we are also doing through this briefing to diplomats, stakeholders and the media,” Ms Modise.
By Zizipho Klaas
9 October 2018