Chapter 3 - DEMOCRACY, GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
You can use the same methods to participate in the provincial sphere of government as the national sphere. This is a summary of how you can participate in the law and policy- making processes in the provincial government.
Structures of provincial government
The executive branch
The executive branch is responsible for the day-to-day running of the province. These are some of the functions of the executive:
Key role-players and structures in the provincial executive
The key role-players in the executive that may play a role in formulating policy or drafting law will be:
The legislative branch
The legislative branch of government is responsible for making laws and developing policy. Every province has a Legislature made up of MPLs.
These are the functions of the legislature:
The legislature consists of the provincial legislature and various committees. These are the key structures that you can lobby in the provincial legislature:
The provincial legislature usually divides the MPLs (members of provincial legislatures) into small groups which focus on specific areas of governance. These smaller groups are called portfolio or standing committees. The main roles of the portfolio committees are -
There are two types of Committees, However the names and institutional arrangements differ from province to province:
Standing committee are permanent. There are standing committees for each of the portfolios of the executive, for example, Education Committee, Public Transport, Roads and Works Committee. These are called portfolio committees. There are also other standing committees which are not linked to portfolios but more to the running of the legislature, for example, the Public Accounts Committee.
These committees are not permanent and only last for the time it takes them to finish a task.
Other important role-players in the provincial legislature include:
Public participation in the process of making provincial laws and policy
The process of making policy follows the same format in the provincial legislature as in the national legislature.
The process of making laws follows the same basic format as in the national legislature. However, there are a few important differences. These are the basic steps for passing a law in the provincial legislature:
A draft bill is drawn up, either by an MEC, an MPL or a Standing Committee. The Bill is published in the Provincial Gazette and notices which bring the Bill to the attention of the public are placed in various newspapers. The public have at least 14 days to respond to the bill. Once the public has made its comment the department will make any changes that they think are necessary.
It will be sent to the appropriate legislature committee.
The committee may ask the public for comment on the bill. They will then usually hold public hearings (for anyone to attend) where they debate the bill, call in experts to comment on the bill and make any changes. Once they have made any changes they must send their report back to the legislature.
If there is a majority of votes in favour of the bill, it is passed. If there is no majority, the Bill is rejected.
If the legislature passes the bill it then goes to the Premier to sign. It then becomes an Act.
How can you participate in the law and policy-making processes of provincial government?
You or your organisation can participate in the policy and law-making processes in the following ways:
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