It is important for citizens to make themselves heard on matters affecting them, by making submissions to Parliament. The Constitution allows the public to participate in government's decisions in terms of law making, oversight and parliamentary processes.
When Parliament processes legislation, they will invite the public to comment, which allows citizens to present their views, grievances and suggestions to the relevant parliamentary committee. The submissions are considered by Members of Parliament and the submitter may be called upon to make an oral submission to the Committee during a public hearing.
See this example of a submission from Healthy Living alliance on the on Health Promotion Levy on Sugar Beverages
The Constitution allows for citizens to attend parliamentary committee meetings and sittings of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces as long as you have an ID. The public is also allowed to contact Members of Parliament (the elected representatives of the people) to express their views on pertinent matters. Members of Parliament are accountable to you because you voted for them.
You can find the daily schedule of Committee meetings here.
If you would like to arrange a parliamentary tour, please contact the Tours Administrator on 021 403 2266 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to observe a debate in the main chambers, please contact Parliament’s Public Relations Office on 021 403 2197/8 or email@example.com
Taking Parliament to the People is a flagship programme of the NCOP which brings together all three levels of government in one place to meet face to face with locals to identify challenges and find solutions. For two full week every year Members of the NCOP, in partnership with provincial legislatures, invites members of the public to hold public hearings where they can air their grievances around service delivery. The aim is to discuss relevant, pressing issues and to form a plan of action where the problems are addressed. The types of issues that are discussed include matters of housing shortages, water shortages, education, health and social assistance (amongst others).
NCOP representatives are engaging with the public and listening to what they have to say. The programme is usually held in deep rural areas where service delivery issues are most rife, and where people lack the resources to access Parliament.