23 May 2019

South Africa: NCOP Delegates Take Their Oath

With the Sixth Democratic National Assembly of Parliament formally constituted on Wednesday, the focus today turns to the establishment of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will presiding over the swearing-in or affirmation of the delegates to the NCOP, as well as the election of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the House.

The NCOP is constitutionally mandated to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government.

As such, the NCOP consists of 90 provincial delegates - 10 delegates for each of the nine provinces.

A provincial delegation consists of six permanent delegates and four special delegates.

The permanent delegates are appointed by the nine provincial legislatures.

The four special delegates consist of the Premier of the province and three other special delegates assigned from members of the Provincial Legislature.

They are selected by each province from Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) and are rotated depending on the subject matter being considered by the NCOP.

The Premier of a province is the head of the province's delegation but he or she can select any other delegate to lead the delegation in his or her absence.

Each provincial delegation has a provincial whip, who is responsible for the coordination of the work of the provincial delegations in the NCOP.

The Chief Whip of the NCOP co-ordinates the business of the House and oversees the duties of the provincial whips.

The NCOP also plays a unique role in the promotion of the principles of Cooperative Government and Intergovernmental Relations.

It ensures that the three spheres of government work together in performing their unique functions in terms of the Constitution and that in doing so, they do not encroach in each other's area of competence.

This ensures that synergy exists between the spheres on matters of concurrent competence.

National Assembly

On Wednesday, the focus was on the National Assembly, which saw the election of Thandi Modise as Speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli as Deputy Speaker and the President-elect Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.

President-elect Ramaphosa was first elected, unanimously, as President on 15 February 2018.

Following his election by the NA, he will now be inaugurated as President of the Republic on Saturday.

As the Speaker, Modise will be the leader of the NA and has the responsibility of providing political leadership and strategic direction and to exercise impartiality at all times in carrying out these duties.

The Deputy Speaker deputises for the Speaker and performs other functions, as designated by the Speaker, among other responsibilities.

With the establishment process concluding today, the two Houses will focus on their governance structures to undertake their normal roles, responsibilities and duties.

The President-elect will be inaugurated on Saturday, 25 May as the Head of State and is expected to deliver the State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019.

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