ATC110121: Report on Memorandum in terms of Rule 238(1)
MEMORANDUM OF THE COMMITTEE ON PRIVATE MEMBERS’ LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS AND SPECIAL PETITIONS IN TERMS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY RULE 238(1)
The Committee on Private Members’ Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions hereby tables a memorandum in terms of Rule 238(1), seeking permission from the National Assembly to introduce a bill dealing with the processing of special and general petitions at national level.
1. PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The rationale of the proposed bill can be summarised as follows:
(a) To give effect to democratic accountability, including the right to petition Parliament, as a constitutional dimension of the principle of the rule of law.
(b) To provide a comprehensive and unified mechanism for lodging, processing and regulating petitions at national level, thereby enhancing public participation in the democratic processes of Parliament.
(c) To address citizens’ concerns by creating a petitions process that will lead to enhanced service delivery and improved socioeconomicconditions.
2. OBJECTS OF BILL
The bill seeks to address grievances that citizens present to Parliament in the form of a petition. The bill will not override existing provincial legislation on petitions and does not intend to introduce anything that is not in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic ofSouth Africa, 1996 and other laws in the Statute Book. It seeks furthermore to give practical effect to the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom, as set out in section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. In terms of section 7(2) the state is obligated to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights, including the right given in section 17 where it is stated that “everyone has the right… to present petitions”.
3. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE
There will be no financial implications for the state.
Memorandum to be considered.
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