What is separation of powers?

Separation of powers is the division of state authority between the three branches of government prevents a concentration of power or an excess of power in one branch of government. The separation of powers is maintained through a formal division of state authority between the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. This helps to protect citizens from abuses of state power.

How is the Premier elected or appointed?

The Premier is elected into the North West Provincial Legislature through the polls but is appointed by the President.

How are the speaker and deputy speaker elected or appointed?

The House elects the Speaker and Deputy Speaker from amongst its members at its first sitting, which must take place within 14 days after the election results have been declared.

Who are the presiding officers?

The Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Chairperson of Committees are presiding officers.

What does the Chief Whip do?

The Chief Whip of the legislature coordinates party participation and maintains order in the House. He chairs the Working Committee, which is responsible for the programme of the Legislature. It is composed of Leader of Government Business nominated by the Premier, Whips of all parties in the legislature, Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees.

Who is the official opposition in the North West Provincial Legislature?

The Official Opposition is the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West Provincial Legislature. The DA is led by the Honourable Chris Hattingh.

What is an order paper?

The order paper is the agenda of the House and is determined by the Working Committee.

What is Hansard?

Hansard are official records of the House. They are stored electronically in the proceedings folder and hard copies are deposited at the library and copies of Hansard are sent to the National Library for safe keeping. Acts are sent to the Constitutional Court for safekeeping.

What are the 3 arms of government?

The Republic of South Africa has the 3 arms of government in all three spheres of government namely the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. In the three spheres of government it is national, provincial and local (municipal). Operating at both national and provincial levels are advisory bodies drawn from South Africa’s traditional leaders.

What are the 3 arms of government on a national level?

Parliament / Legislature: The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces

Executive: The President, who is both Head of State and Head of Government

Judiciary: The Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the High Court

Who or what is parliament comprised of?

The bicameral Parliament of South Africa consists of the National Assembly (four-hundred seats; members are selected by a popular vote under a system of proportional representation to serve 5-year terms) and the National Council of Provinces (90 seats, 10 members elected by each of the nine Provincial Legislatures for five-year terms). The National Assembly is elected using a Proportional Representation system with regional multi member constituencies (MMCs) and one national MMC. Parties put up open lists for either both parts of the system or for the regional MMCs only. Half of the members of the National Assembly are chosen from nationwide party lists, the other from party lists for each province.

What does parliament do?

The National Parliament is tasked to make laws that apply to the whole country, and it is able to make laws dealing with any area that has not been assigned exclusively to the provinces under Schedule 5 of the Constitution.

What are the two houses of National Parliament?

The National Parliament is made up of two “Houses,” which are known as the “National Assembly” and the “National Council of Provinces” (NCOP). The NCOP was established in the new Constitution to allow provinces to have a direct input in all matters of national concern, and particularly those matters which affect the provinces.

What is an MP?

The representatives in the National Parliament are called Members of Parliament (MPs). At the national level, there are 400 MPs in the National Assembly, and the NCOP is made up of ten delegates from each province. The National Assembly and the NCOP are collectively called the Houses of Parliament.

Who or what is a presiding officer?

The person who the presiding officer in the National Assembly or in the North West Provincial Legislature, and who is in charge of the proceedings, is known as the Speaker.

Who makes up North West Provincial Legislature?

The elected representatives of the people of the North West Province make up the North West Provincial Legislature and these are known as Members of the Legislature (MPLs).

Who is the majority or ruling party in the North West?

The party that wins the most votes obtains the most seats in the Parliament or legislature, and becomes the “majority party”. The party majority party gets the chance to govern the country or the province for a period of five years. In the North West Provincial Legislature the ruling party is the African National Congress.

What happens to the parties that are not the majority or ruling party?

The parties other than the majority party who have been elected to the Parliament or Legislature are collectively known as the “opposition”, and the opposition party which has won the greatest number of seats is known as the “official opposition” party. The leader of the “official opposition” party is called the “leader of the opposition”. Opposition parties play a vital role in a democracy, which is to ensure that the government does not abuse its position of power in any way, to raise issues, and to express alternative points of view on matters before the House.

How is the President of the country decided?

At the national level, the majority party elects the President, who then appoints Cabinet Ministers from the MPs of the majority party to form the national government.

How often are elections held?

General elections (national) are held at least once every five years. The voter has one vote only for the National Assembly. The last general election was held the 22nd April 2009.

Who is the National Executive?

The national executive is the second arm of government and comprises the President, Deputy President and the Ministers who make up the executive branch of the South African state. The President of the Republic of South Africa is his Excellency, the Honourable Jacob Zuma. The President and the Cabinet Ministers are called the “Executive”, because they are responsible for “executing” the laws made by Parliament.

What is a Minister?

Ministers are Members of Parliament who hold a ministerial warrant to perform certain functions of government.

Who is the Head of the National Executive?

At the national level, the head of the Executive is the President, who is assisted by the Executive Deputy President. The President is assisted by the Cabinet Ministers.

What does a Cabinet Minister do?

Each Cabinet Minister is given responsibility for a particular government department, and they are answerable to the Parliament for the operation of their department. For example, the Minister of Education heads the National Department of Education, and is answerable to Parliament for the operation of the Department of Education.

What is the Judiciary?

The judiciary is the third arm of government and independent from the other arms of government. The responsibility of the judiciary is to interpret the laws, using as a basis the laws as enacted and explanatory statements made in the Legislature during the enactment.

What is our Judicial System based on?

The legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law and accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations. The constitution’s bill of rights provides for due process including the right to a fair, public trial within a reasonable time of being charged and the right to appeal to a higher court.

What are the major tiers of our Judicial System?

There are three major tiers of courts:

  • Magistrates Courts – The court where civil cases involving less than R100 000, and cases involving minor crimes, are heard.
  • High Courts – The court of appeal for cases from the magistrates courts, as well as the court where major civil and criminal cases are first heard.
  • Supreme Court – The final court of appeal for matters not pertaining to the constitution.
    Constitutional Court – The final court of appeal for matters related to the constitution
What does the Constitutional Court do?

The Constitutional Court has exclusive jurisdiction over certain types of matters, in terms of section 167 of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court alone may decide on the following matters:

(a) disputes between organs of state in the national or provincial sphere concerning the constitutional status, powers or functions of any of those organs of state;
(b) the constitutionality of any parliamentary or provincial bill;
(c) applications made by MPs or MPLs regarding the constitutionality of national legislation or a provincial act;
(d) the constitutionality of any amendment to the Constitution;
(e) whether Parliament or the President has failed to fulfill a constitutional obligation; or
(f) certify a provincial constitution.

Do any other Courts have jurisdiction over Constitutional issues?

A High court may decide any constitutional matter, except a matter over which the Constitutional Court has exclusive jurisdiction or a matter assigned by an Act of Parliament to another court of a status to that of the High Court. The Supreme Court of Appeal may decide appeals in constitutional matters. It is the highest court of appeal in non-constitutional matters. The Supreme Court of Appeal, a High Court, or a court of similar status may make an order concerning the constitutional validity of an Act of Parliament, a provincial Act or any conduct of the President. However, an order of constitutional invalidity has no force unless it is confirmed by the Constitutional Court

What is a Legislature?

n South Africa, the Provincial Legislature of a province is the legislative branch of the government of that province. The Provincial Legislatures are unicameral and vary in size from 30 to 80 members depending on the population of the province. In general the Provincial Legislature is made up of only one “House”. MPLs are elected for five years, just as the MPs in Parliament are.

Who heads the Provincial Executive?

At the provincial level, the Premier heads the “executive”.

How are MECs appointed?

The Premier appoints MPLs from the majority party to be Members of the Executive Council (MECs), and the Premier and the MECs form the “government”.

How many seats are there in the North West Provincial Legislature?

The North West Provincial Legislature currently has 33 MPLs and is situated in Mmabatho, the capital of the North West Province.

How many MPLs are there in the various parties?

Currently, there are 25 MPLs for the African National Congress, 3 MPLs for the Democratic Alliance (DA) – official opposition, and 2 MPLs for Congress of the People (COPE) and 2 MPLs for the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP).

How many parties does the North West Provincial Legislature have?

The North West Provincial Legislature has 4 parties. The African National Congress (also known as the ANC) is the ruling party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the official opposition, Congress of the People (COPE) and the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP).

Who are the presiding officers in the North West Provincial Legislature?

In the North West the Legislature has 33 seats. The Presiding officers in the North West Provincial Legislature are the Speaker, the Honourable Nono Maloyi, the Deputy Speaker, the Honourable Veronica Kekesi and the Chair of Chairs, the Honourable Raymond Elisha.

When was the North West Provincial Legislature formed?

The current North West Provincial Legislature was established by the 1993 Interim Constitution of South Africa upon the creation of the new nine provinces. The 1993 Constitution came into effect (and the provinces came into existence) on 27 April 1994; the election on the same day elected the first PROVINCIAL Legislatures. For the most part, the provincial legislatures have been controlled by the African National Congress. The exceptions are the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, which was controlled by the Inkatha Freedom Party from 1994 to 2004; and the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, which was controlled by the (New) National Party from 1994 to 2004 (sometimes in coalition with the Democratic Party) and since 2009 has been controlled by the Democratic Alliance.

How are MPLs elected?

The Members of the North West Provincial Legislature (MPLs) are elected by party-list proportional representation with a closed list, using the largest remainder method with the Droop quota to allocate any surplus. Elections are run by the Independent Electoral Commission, and are held every five years, simultaneously with the elections to the National Assembly. Elections have been held in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

What are the powers of the Legislature?

The legislature has the power to pass legislation in various fields enumerated in the national constitution; in some fields the legislative power is shared with the National Parliament, while in others it is reserved to the province. The fields include such matters as health, education (except universities), agriculture, housing, environmental protection, and development planning. In fields outside the power of the North West Provincial Legislature, it may recommend legislation to the National Assembly.

The North West Provincial Legislature may also enact a constitution for that province, if two-thirds of the members vote in favour. The powers of the North West Provincial Legislature are bound only by the national constitution and the provincial constitution (if one exists). There is no provincial Constitution in the North West so it is bound by the national Constitution.

Who is the Executive in the North West?

The second arm of government, the executive, in the province is headed by the Premier is usually appointed by the President. The Premier in the North West is the Honourable Maureen Modiselle. She is supported by ten MECs, each of whom is responsible for a particular provincial department, and is answerable to the Legislature for the functions of that department and they are collectively called EXCO which comprises 10 MECs (Members of the Executive Council) who are each responsible for a provincial department. Certain bills and competencies may only be passed by Parliament and the ministries e.g. money bills and justice.

What is the function of the Executive in the North West?

The function of the Executive is to put the laws made by the Legislature into effect, and to ensure that they are implemented. The Executive must make sure that all of the necessary support systems and structures are in place so that the law can be implemented (for example, to ensure that there are enough schools built, and supplies provided to the schools, so that education can be provided to learners). The Executive is really responsible for running the country or province on a practical level. This is done through the government departments, which is also called the Public Administration or the Public Service.

Does the Provincial Judiciary operate differently from the National Judiaciary?

The provincial judiciary operates in much the same way as the national judiciary. The judiciary is the branch of government that deals with the administration of justice. The judiciary is responsible for ensuring that the law is upheld, interpreting the law, applying the law to specific cases, and that those citizens who have broken the laws are punished. The courts, the judges and the magistrates comprise the judiciary.

What is the National Council of Provinces (NCOP)?

The National council of Provinces is one of the two Houses of Parliament.

How are members of the NCOP decided?

Members of the Council are drawn from the Provincial Legislatures to represent their provinces.

Why NCOP?

The National Council of Provinces construction is based around the notion of nine provincial delegations, with each province having the same number of votes irrespective of size or wealth. Each province has 10 delegates. There are 4 special and 6 permanent delegates. The delegation is headed by the Premier of each province who is one of the special delegates. If necessary, the Premier can appoint someone to take his or her place.

How is the NCOP constituted?

Each provincial delegation of ten (10) reflect the party political power balance of the particular North West Provincial Legislature and will comprise of the following:

  • Six (6) Permanent delegates;
  • The Premier of the Province, or when he or she is unavailable, a designated substitute drawn from the North West Provincial Legislature;
  • Three special delegates, who must also be members of the North West Provincial Legislature wit the concurrence of the Premier.

The allocation of the Permanent delegate and special delegate to the North West Provincial Legislature is governed by Clause 7 (1) (b) of schedule 6 of the final Constitution.

 

Each provincial delegation of ten (10) reflect the party political power balance of the particular North West Provincial Legislature and will comprise of the following: • Six (6) Permanent delegates; • The Premier of the Province, or when he or she is unavailable, a designated substitute drawn from the North West Provincial Legislature; • Three special delegates, who must also be members of the North West Provincial Legislature wit the concurrence of the Premier. The allocation of the Permanent delegate and special delegate to the North West Provincial Legislature is governed by Clause 7 (1) (b) of schedule 6 of the final Constitution.

How does one become a member of the National Council of Provinces?

Within days after an election the North West Provincial Legislature will nominate six delegates whose names were put forward by political parties that secured seats in the Council according to a formular outlined in the Constitution. In addition, there are four special delegates who attend sittings based on the bill or debates before the House.

How are the National Council of Province work?

After the National Assembly has passed a Bill (draft law), it must go to the National Council of Province. There are three kinds of Bills the NCOP must deal with:

1. Bills which do not affect provinces Bills which do not affect provinces are those which relate to national functions (such as Defence, Foreign Affairs and Justice). When such a Bill has been passed by the National Assembly, it goes to the NCOP. Each delegate has one vote and can decide whether to vote for or against the Bill. Usually delegates vote along party lines.If the Bill is passed , it goes to the President for signing. Once a Bill is signed by the President, It becomes an Act of Parliament or law. If the NCOP wants to make changes to a Bill, it goes to the National Assembly who can accepts or reject the changes. It then goes to the President for signing.

2. Bills which affect provinces Example of Bills that affects provinces include, for example, Bills on Safety and Security, Welfare, Education and Health. Such a Bill may be introduced either in the National Assembly or in the NCOP. The voting in the NCOP is different for Bills that affect the provinces. In these cases, each province (and not each individual member) has one vote. This means there must be consensus in each province on the Bill. If there is a disagreement between the National Assembly and the NCOP about a Bill affecting provinces, the Bill must be sent to a mediation Committee. This Committee consists of nine members of the NCOP and nine of the National Assembly.The mediation Committee must try to find agreement. If the resolves the issue, both Houses must then vote on the Bill. If it does not, the Bill is returned to the National Assembly which may vote on it again. In such a case, a two thirds majority is required to pass a Bill. In other words, The National Assembly can override the NCOP by a two thirds majority.

3. Bills which amend the constitution When a Bill to amend the Constitution directly affects the province, at least six of the nine provinces in the NCOP must agree.

What are the powers of the NCOP?

In the case of some Bills that amends the Constitution; the NCOP does not have much power to pass Bills like the National Assembly.There is a good reason for this. The National Assembly consists of direct representatives of the political party you have supported in the election. Delegates on the NCOP represent the legislature in each province and were elected to the province and not to the NCOP. This means they represents their provinces and do not represent individual voters directly.

How can I influence the NCOP?

Because members of the NCOP are provincial delegates, the way to influence the NCOP is through the North West Provincial Legislature. The party that wins most support in the provincial election will head the provincial delegation to the NCOP.Like every other meeting of the Parliament, you have a right to attend the meetings of the Standing Committee of the NCOP and attend all its sittings.When the NCOP is debating a Bill, it also has a duty to take in account what members of the public feel. This means that you have a right to inform any member of the NCOP or its standing Committee of your views.The word parliament comes from the word to speak. It is here that the voice of all people of the country is heard through their elected representatives. Your voice …and the voices of all other citizens of the country. Every voice is important!

What gives the North West Provincial Legislature the power to make laws?

The function of the North West Provincial Legislature is to make laws for the North West Province. The areas in which the North West Provincial Legislature can make laws are set out in Schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution. The North West Provincial Legislature could also make laws relating to matters which Parliament has passed legislation assigning the power to make legislation to the provinces, or matters were the Constitution envisages that provincial legislation would be passed. It is important to remember that any law that the North West Provincial Legislature makes only applies in that province; it is possible, in certain circumstances, for the National Parliament to pass national laws which would ‘take precedence’ over provincial laws that deal with the same matter.

What is the process of law-making?

This section provides an overview of the stages and processes involved in making or amending (changing) a law.

What is a Green Paper or White Paper?

The process of making a law sometimes begins with a discussion document, called a Green Paper. This is drafted in the Ministry or department dealing with the particular issue in order to show the way that it is thinking on a particular policy. It is then published so that anyone who is interested can give comments, suggestions and ideas. The Green Paper is sometimes followed by a more refined discussion document, called a White Paper, which is a broad statement of government policy. This is drafted by the relevant department or a task team designated by the Minister of that department. Comment may again be invited from interested parties. The relevant parliamentary Committees may propose amendments or other proposals and then send the policy paper back to the Ministry for further discussion and final decisions.

What is a Bill?

A Bill is the draft version of a law or Act. It may be proposing either an entirely new Act, or an amendment to an existing Act, or it can simply repeal an existing Act.

What are the different types of Bills?

There are four main types of Bills that come before Parliament:
1. ordinary Bills that do not affect the provinces (section 75 of the Constitution);
2. ordinary Bills that affect the provinces (section 76 of the Constitution);
3. Money Bills (section 77 of the Constitution); and
4. Bills amending the Constitution

What is a Section 74 Bill?

A Section 74 bill is a Bill amending Section 74 of the Constitution.

What is a Section 75 Bill?

A Section 75 Bill is a Bill that does not affect the provinces.

What is a Section 76 Bill?

A Section 76 Bill is a Bill that does affect the provinces. These include casinos; racing; gambling; cultural matters; disaster management; education excluding tertiary education; environment; health services; housing; population development; public transport; tourism; trade; traditional leadership; welfare services; and child care facilities.Bills that affect the provinces may be introduced in either the National Assembly or the NCOP. Once introduced in Parliament, Bills are also sent to the North West Provincial Legislature so that they can begin considering them.

What is a Section 77 Bill?

A Section 77 Bill is a Money Bill. Money Bills allocate public money for a particular purpose or impose taxes, levies or duties.

How is a Section 74 Bill introduced?

s the highest law in the land, the Constitution is the foundation for a democratic society and protects the rights of all people. There are special requirements and procedures, therefore, in order to amend the Constitution. All of them require special majorities so that changes cannot be made by a minority. For example, amending the Bill of Rights requires a vote of two-thirds of the membership of the National Assembly and the support of six provinces in the NCOP. All constitutional amendments that affect the provinces must be passed by both Houses. Amendments which affect only certain provinces, must be passed by those provinces. Other amendments do not need to be passed by the NCOP but all amendments, whether or not they must be passed by the NCOP, must be submitted to the NCOP for public debate.
In addition, minimum times are laid down for different stages of the legislative process. All constitutional amendments must be published in the Government Gazette with a call for public comment at least 30 days before being introduced in Parliament. After the Bill which proposes amendments to the Constitution is tabled, 30 days must pass before it can be put to a vote in the National Assembly.

How is a Section 75 Bill introduced?

The Section 75 Bill, an ordinary Bill that does not affect the provinces, can only be introduced in the National Assembly (NA). Once it has been passed by the NA, it must be sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). In this case, delegates in the NCOP vote individually and the Bill must be passed by a majority of delegates present. If the NCOP rejects a Bill or proposes its own amendments, the Bill is returned to the NA which will pass the Bill with or without taking into account the NCOP amendments or it may decide not to proceed with the Bill. The NCOP’s role in Bills that do not affect the provinces is therefore a limited one. It can delay a Section 75 Bill, but it cannot prevent it from being passed.

How is a Section 76 Bill introduced?

A Section 76 Bill, one that affects the provinces may be introduced in either the NA or the NCOP, but must be considered in both Houses. Members of the NCOP do not vote as individuals on Section 76 Bills but rather as provincial delegations. Each provincial delegation has one vote so there are nine possible votes regarding Bills that affect the provinces. These Bills must also be discussed by each Provincial Legislature so that each legislature can give its NCOP delegation a voting mandate. This makes it necessary to have six-week legislative cycles so that a number of Bills can go to each province at one time. Bills are usually considered by a provincial Committee, which may hold public hearings on the Bill to receive comments and suggestions. These Committees make recommendations to their legislatures, which then decide on their position on each Bill and mandate their NCOP delegation accordingly. The four special delegates to the NCOP (who are supposed to be chosen according to their expertise and knowledge of the Bills being debated) go to Cape Town to join the six permanent delegates. The full delegation of ten people participates in the national debate on the Bills, thus enabling the provinces to contribute to national legislation that affects them. The delegation then casts its one vote on behalf of its province and in accordance with the North West Provincial Legislature’s mandate.The NCOP must pass, amend or reject a section 76 Bill. If the Bill was introduced in the NA, however, the NA can override the NCOP decision with a two thirds majority of its Members.

How is a Section 77 Bill introduced?

Section 77 Bill can only be introduced by the Minister of Finance and they must be introduced in the National Assembly. They follow the same procedure as that for Bills that do not affect the provinces (Section 75 Bills). At present Money Bills may only be debated and not amended as, according to the Constitution, Parliament must still devise legislation for a procedure to amend Money Bills.

How does a Bill become a law?

A Bill can be initiated and written by a number of bodies.

  1. By a Minister. Most national Bills are drawn up by a Cabinet Minister.
  2. By an MP. Bills drawn up by individual Members are called Private Members Bills. A Committee concerned with Members’ legislative proposals in each House decides whether the Bill meets certain criteria (which could include financial implications) and can be introduced into the House.
  3. By a Committee. Parliament has recently drafted rules and procedures enabling a Committee to initiate a Bill.

Most Bills tabled in Parliament are introduced by the Executive and are either
• ordinary Bills that do not affect the provinces (Section 75 Bills); or
• ordinary Bills that affect the provinces (Section 76 Bills).
• Bills that do not affect the provinces (section 75 Bills)

What are the steps to a Bill become a law (An ACT)?

STEP 1 – A draft Bill, which has been drafted by a government department, is submitted by the relevant Minister to the Cabinet for approval.

STEP 2 – The state law advisers must refine and approve the draft Bill.

STEP 3 – The Bill is then introduced and tabled in the National Assembly for what is known as the First Reading. The Bill is also published in the Government Gazette.

STEP 4 – The Bill is then referred to the relevant Committee in the National Assembly which considers the Bill and may agree to it, propose amendments or reject the Bill, generally after a process of public consultation.

STEP 5 – The Second Reading then takes place where the Bill is debated and voted on at a sitting of the National Assembly.

STEP 6 – If there is a majority of votes in favour, the Bill is passed and the Bill is then referred to the NCOP for consideration.

STEP 8 – The NCOP can accept or reject the Bill or propose amendments to it:

?If the NCOP passes the Bill without amendments, it goes to the President for his assent and signature and the Bill then becomes law. The Act appears in the Government Gazette and comes into effect on a date determined by the President.

?If the NCOP proposes amendments to or rejects the Bill, it must go back to the National Assembly for reconsideration. The National Assembly can pass the Bill with or without the NCOP amendments, or it can reject the Bill.

Note: While both Houses must consider Bills that do not affect the provinces, the NA may actually override the NCOP and pass the Bill despite opposition by the NCOP. It then submits the Bill, either in its original form or with amendments, to the National Assembly with a report.

How does a Section 76 Bill become a law?

If the Bill is tabled in the National Assembly:
The Bill is introduced by a Cabinet Member or a Deputy Minister, or a Member or Committee of the National Assembly.

The Bill will be referred to a National Assembly Committee for consideration. Sometimes public hearings will be held.

The National Assembly would then either pass, amend or reject the Bill. If it passes the Bill or amends it, the Bill (with any amendments) is referred to the NCOP.

If the Bill is tabled in the National Council of Provinces:
The Bill can only be introduced by a Member or Committee of the NCOP.

The Bill will be sent to an NCOP Committee, which will receive a briefing on the Bill so that the NCOP Members can tell the North West Provincial Legislature about the Bill.

It is then considered by each of the nine Provincial Legislatures. The NCOP Members will go back to their provinces so that they can participate in the debate in North West Provincial Legislature.

Each Provincial Legislature will refer the Bill to a Committee, which will consider the Bill and may hold provincial public hearings on the Bill. The NCOP Members get a voting mandate from their Provincial Legislatures. Each provincial delegation has one vote on each Bill.

The NCOP delegates then return to Cape Town with a negotiating mandate. The NCOP Committee considers the Bill and negotiation takes place among the nine provincial delegations.

?If the NCOP passes the Bill, it goes to the President for his assent and signature.
?If the NCOP rejects or amends the Bill it goes back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.
?If the National Assembly accepts the amended Bill, it goes to the President for his assent.
?If the National Assembly rejects the NCOP amendments, the Bill goes to a Mediation Committee comprising of Members from the National Assembly and Members of the NCOP.

If the Mediation Committee is unable to agree within 30 days of the Bill’s referral to it, the Bill lapses.
(A Mediation Committee may agree on

?the Bill as passed by the National Assembly;
?the amended Bill as passed by the NCOP;
?another version of the Bill
for details concerning the outcome of these three options, refer to Section 76 of the Constitution.)

Note: While the NCOP has more power to change section 76 Bills than section 75 Bills, if a Bill has been introduced in the NA, the NA is once again able to disregard the NCOP and pass Section 76 legislation with a two thirds majority vote. If a section 76 Bill is introduced in the NCOP, the Bill lapses if agreement cannot be reached between the two Houses. Before a new Act comes into force, it has to be “enacted”. This involves the President declaring the Act’s commencement date in the Government Gazette. Acts are only enacted once the responsible department has indicated that it is ready and has the capacity to implement the new law.

How are laws in the North West Provincial Legislature?

There are two different types of Bills that come before North West Provincial Legislature:

1. Bills other than Money Bills;
2. Money Bills;

The procedure for processing these three types of Bills differs slightly.

– Bills other than Money Bills

An ordinary Bill is introduced in the North West Provincial Legislature and is referred to the relevant Standing Committee. Either public hearings may be held to hear the public’s views regarding the Bill or a Standing Committee may invite interested parties to make written submissions to the Committee. The Committee then considers the Bill and may propose amendments to it. After consideration by the Committee, a report with recommendations on the Bill is submitted to the House. A debate takes place on the objectives and principles of the Bill in the House and the MPLs vote. If there is a majority of votes in favour of the Bill, the Bill is passed. If there is no majority, the Bill is rejected.

– Money Bills

A Bill that appropriates money or imposes taxes, levies or duties is called a Money Bill. Only the MEC responsible for Finance is able to introduce a Money Bill in the House.

Money Bills are referred to the Committee of Finance for discussion for a maximum of seven working days. After discussion, the Committee submits a report to the House. The Committee is not allowed to propose any amendments to the Bill, as there is not yet legislation that allows this.

How a Bill becomes a Law

The procedure which is followed by a Bill in the North West Provincial Legislature is as follows:

The Bill is initiated – by an MEC, an MPL, or a Committee.

The draft Bill is presented to and approved by the Executive Council.

The Bill is published- -in the Provincial Gazette, and notices are placed in various newspapers which bring the Bill to the attention of the public. After this, the public has at least 14 days to comment on the Bill.

The Bill is introduced- The Speaker introduces the Bill to the House and decides which is the best Committee to deal with the Bill.

The Bill goes to the Relevant Committee- The MPLs in the Committee discuss and debate the Bill, and they may call upon experts provide comments on the Bill, and propose changes ( amendments), after a process of public consultation. The Committee will compile a report on the inputs received in the public consultation process, and make recommendations regarding amendments, or it may even recommend rejection of the Bill. Committees are discussed in detail in another section.

The Bill is Debated at a Sitting of the House- Members of all parties are given an opportunity to talk about the Bill, and to place their opinion of it on record, and the Bill may be amended.

The House votes- and, if there is a majority of votes, the Bill is passed.

If the Bill is passed, it then goes to the Premier of the province for signature and becomes a Provincial Act.

The Act is Published- The Provincial Act must be published promptly in the Provincial Government Gazette, and takes effect when published or on a date determined in terms of the Act.

If the Bill is not passed, the Bill is rejected, and does not become a Provincial Act