Zondo to receive MP and MPL lists on Thursday

Plans are in place to ensure a seamless transition to a new Parliament.

Following the successful 2024 National and Provincial Elections, plans are being put in place to establish the country’s seventh democratic Parliament.

“Comprehensive plans are in place to ensure a seamless transition, including onboarding new members of parliament (MPs),” said Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo earlier this week.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa, known as the IEC, will hand over the lists of MPs and members of provincial legislatures (MPLs) to Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Thursday at 14:00 at the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein. He will then hand over the National Assembly list to the secretary to parliament in preparation for the first sitting of the National Assembly.

He will also transmit the lists of MPLs to the designated judges president who will preside over the first sittings of the provincial legislatures.

“Under a proportional representation electoral system, MPs are elected to represent the people of the country and act as their voice. Parliament, therefore, is accountable to the people of South Africa,” Mothapo explained.

He said every five years, the people of South Africa can vote for a new Parliament, and each new five-year term of Parliament is numbered.

On Wednesday, South Africans cast their votes in the country’s seventh democratic election to determine which political parties and, for the first time, independent candidates, will represent them in Parliament and provincial legislatures.

Mothapo said as the legislative authority of the democratic republic, the National Assembly must ensure a government by the people by choosing a president, providing a national forum for public consideration of issues, passing legislation, and exercising oversight over the executive’s actions.

He explained that the National Assembly may comprise no fewer than 350 and no more than 400 members.

“The National Assembly is elected for a five-year term, according to Section 49 of the Constitution. When the term expires or the National Assembly is dissolved, the president must call an election within 90 days.

“Although the term of this National Assembly expired on May 21, it continued to function until the day before the first day of the elections, which was midnight on May 28.

“Currently, there is no National Assembly, and the process to establish the new house has commenced,” Mothapo said.

First sitting of the National Assembly

The first sitting of the National Assembly must occur no more than 14 days after election results are declared and Zondo will determine and gazette the date for this sitting.

Mothapo explained that before members of the National Assembly perform their duties, they must swear or affirm faithfulness to the country and obedience to the Constitution, under Schedule 2 to the Constitution.

“After the swearing in of members, the chief justice presides over the election of the speaker of the National Assembly, who must, in turn, preside over the election of the deputy speaker of the National Assembly.

“The president is the last to be elected by the house because the National Assembly must be duly constituted first to exercise its power to elect the president. The chief justice presides over the election of the president,” Mothapo said.

Election of the president

Mothapo said the election of the president, who is chosen from members of the National Assembly, is conducted by the chief justice. The person who is elected president then ceases to be a member of the National Assembly.

“Within five days, he or she must assume office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the republic and obedience to the Constitution at an inauguration ceremony,” he explained.

Term of the president and executive

The term of the president and members of the executive only ends when the new president is sworn into office by the chief justice.

“This is usually during the inauguration ceremony after the National Assembly has elected the president. This is intended to ensure there is no gap in the country’s administration between the election and the assumption of office by the incoming president.”

Opening of Parliament address

Once the president has assumed office, Mothapo said he or she must appoint the Cabinet and then, in conjunction with the speaker of the National Assembly and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, will determine a date for the Opening of Parliament Address (OPA).

“The OPA is more than a ceremonial occasion – it is a platform where the government’s vision and priorities are presented, setting the tone for the legislative and administrative actions that will follow. It also symbolises the functioning of the new Parliament, reflecting the continuity and stability of governance,” Mothapo said.

The first sitting and onboarding venue will be the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Read original story on www.citizen.co.za

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