About the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature

 

Background

 

Mpumalanga Province is one of nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa established in terms of the Interim Constitution, Act 200 of 1993. Following the country's first democratic elections in 1994, the first Legislature was inaugurated in May 1994 as the Eastern Transvaal Legislature.

 

In August 1995, the province made a break with its colonial past when it changed its name to Mpumalanga, translated to the place where the sun rises. The Legislature also changed its name to Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature.

 

Composition of the Legislature

 

The Legislature is a provincial parliament and has its seat in the provincial capital, Nelspruit. Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature is constituted of 30 Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs), who are elected through a proportional representation system, i.e. in accordance to the number of votes obtained by each party in the elections in the province.

 

The term of the provincial legislature is five years. The Premier may dissolve the provincial legislature before the expiry of its term if the Legislature has adopted a resolution to dissolve with a supporting majority of its members and if three years have passed since the legislature was elected.

 

Sittings

 

When MPLs meet together to discuss and debate on issues, we call this a "Sitting of the House". Sittings of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature take place on Mondays to Thursdays at 14:15 and on Fridays at 10H00.

 

Functions of the Legislature

 

The Legislature has three main functions:

 

Law-making

 

•    MPLs discuss, debate, amend and vote on laws for the province

 

•    Initiate or prepare legislation, except money Bills

 

Oversight

 

•  Maintain oversight on the exercise of Provincial Executive authority in

   the Province, including the implementation of legislation and any

   Provincial organ of state

 

•  Approve budgets for Provincial Government Departments

 

•  Question government officials about their work

 

•  Seek explanation how government spent their previous budgets and

   how they will spend their new budgets

 

Public participation and education

 

•  Conduct public hearings on laws that are envisaged

 

•  Educate the public on the law-making processes

 

Committees

 

The Legislature may appoint committees to carry out a particular assignment specified by a resolution of the Legislature. The Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature has Select Committees and Portfolio Committees. Committee meetings are open to the public.

 

Select Committees

 

Select Committees are largely responsible for the management and operations of the Legislature or any matter assigned to these by the Speaker.

 

Portfolio Committees

 

Portfolio committees ensure that all Provincial executive organs of state in the Province are accountable to it.

 

National Council of Provinces (NCOP)

 

The National Council of Provinces represents the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government.

 

The Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature is required to appoint 6 permanent and 4 special delegates to the National Council of Provinces. The appointment of delegates is determined in accordance to the proportion of votes attained by each party during the election.

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