After months of development, the People’s Assembly went live last week just prior to the 2014 State of the Nation Address. The site draws on eleven (and counting) sources of information to connect people with the work of their representatives.
Here we’ll run through a few of the key features of the People’s Assembly at launch. There are a few rough edges which we are working hard to address (please use the ‘correct this page’ link if you spot a problem!) - but we’ve also got a lot more planned for the site, so consider this the beginning.
The Rep Locator
Before now it has been near impossible to easily discover where your local constituency offices run by political parties are. The Rep Locator changes this - showing you your nearest offices and giving you information about how to contact them.
Constituency offices near Bloemfontein
Profile pages bring together all the information that we have about an individual. Appearances (whether a mention in a PMG committee meeting report, a speech during a parliamentary sitting, or a question asked or answered) are displayed, together with that person’s declarations in the register of members’ interests, their allocated constituency office, contact details, and previous positions held.
The profile of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
Monitoring Parliament provides a unique and fascinating perspective of the work of our elected representatives. The People’s Assembly blog will feature viewpoints, information of interest and general observations that will be of interest to anyone who follows the work of Parliament.
There is already a lot of content present on the blog - but if you are looking for a couple of posts to get you started we recommend:
● SONA: Zuma on Chapter 9 institutions, anti-corruption and violent service delivery protests - which examines aspects of President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, and includes comments from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, ID MP Lance Greyling and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.
● Traditional Courts Bill meeting to discuss negotiating mandates halted - which provides an update on this important bill and indicates how the consultation process in the provinces could affect its progress.
A recent post examining aspects of President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address
Hansards, Questions, and Answers A large part of MP’s work involves debates in the National Assembly or National Council of Provinces - captured in Hansards - or submitted written questions to members of the executive. The People’s Assembly tracks both, although there can be delays in publication of some information (read more here).
The beginning of the debate on the 2012 State of the Nation Address
All this is just the beginning - over the coming months we’ll be refining what you already see and working on additional features for the People’s Assembly, including an API so that programmers can take advantage of the work that we’ve done to source and format data and a new way to browse members interests. If you have ideas of your own, please let us know in the comments!
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