Promoting provincial interests : the role of the NCOP in the national legislature

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study's investigation focuses on the role played by the NCOP in the national legislature as the second chamber of parliament. It looks in particular at how the NCOP has managed in its deliberations, and as mandated by the Constitution to represent provinces. Subsection 42 (4) of the Constitution stipulates that; " The NCOP represent the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government" (RSA Act 108, 1996). The question that the study seeks to answer IS: does the National Council of Provinces in its deliberations work to represent the interests of provinces in the national legislature rather than those of the party in control of the province? In answering the research question the study's approach is qualitative in nature. In other words, data collection methods were confined to documents and other important sources such as NCOP Publications namely, the NCOP News and the NCOP Review. Looking at the literature on second chambers, the study found that for second chambers to play an effective role in the legislature, the Constitution must equip them with adequate legislative powers. This means that the Constitution must give second chambers a veto on all Bills affecting their jurisdictions. Where a veto is non existent, irrespective of what legislative powers a second chamber may posses, if not elected directly by the electorate, it will suffer the accusations of rubber stamping Bills passed by the first house. The NCOP falls in the same category of second houses with no veto over Bills affecting provinces. Its legislative powers on these Bills are blunted by the NA's twothirds majority in the legislature and as a result remain a subordinate of the first house and that of the ruling party. Furthermore, administrative and communication problems experienced by the institution hinder it in its role of representing provinces. Equally so, the dominance of the ruling ANC in the provinces makes it difficult to determine whether mandates delivered by provincial legislatures carry the interests of provinces or those of the party in power.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie-ondersoek is gerig op die rol wat die NRVP (Nasionale Raad Van Provinsies), as die tweede huis van die Parlement. Die werk is spesifiek gerig op die manier hoe die NRVP vaar in hul debatvoerings, asook in hul verteenwoordiging van provinsies soos voorgeskryf in die Grondwet. Sub-artikel 42 (4) van die grondwet stipuleer dat "die NRVP verteenwoordig die provinsies om te verseker dat provinsiale belange in ag geneem word op die nasionale sfeer van die regering." (RSA Wet 108 van 1996). Die vraag wat hierdie studie poog om te antwoord, is die volgende: werk die NRVP in hul debatsvoerings om die belange van die provinsies in die nasionale wetgewer te verteenwoordig inplaas van die belange van die party in beheer van 'n spesifieke provinsie? In die beantwoording van hierdie navorsings-vraag, is die studie benadering kwalitatief in aard. Met ander woorde - data invorderings metodes was beperk tot dokumente en ander belangrike bronne soos NRVP publikasies, naamlik die "NCOP News" en die "NCOP Review". Na 'n bestudering van literatuur rondom die tweede huis van Parlement, het hierdie studie bevind dat vir die tweede huis om 'n effektiewe rol te speel in die wetgewer, die Grondwet dit moet toerus met genoegsame wetgewende magte. Dit beteken onder andere dat die grondwet die tweede huis 'n veto-reg gee oor alle wetsontwerpe wat hulle jurisdiksie raak. Waar 'n veto-reg nie bestaan nie, ongeag die wetgewende mag wat die NRVP mag hê, sal dit bieg gebuk gaan onder die beskuldiging dat dit 'n rubberstempel plaas op wetsontwerpe uitgevaardig deur die Nasionale Vergadering. Die NRVP val in dieselfde katagorie van tweede huise wat nie 'n veto-reg het oor wetsontwerpe wat provinsies raak. Die NRVP se wetgewende mag oor hierdie wetsonwerpe word geskoei op die Nasionale Vergadering se twee-derde meerderheid en gevolglik bly dit ondergeskik aan die Nasionale Vergadering. Verder, administratiewe-en kommunikasie-probleme wat ondervind word deur die liggaam, hinder dit in die rol van verteenwoordiger van die provinsies. Gelykstaande hieraan, is die dominering van die bewindvoerende party - die ANC. In die provinsies is dit moeilik om vas te stel of die voorskrifte van die provinsiale wetgewer werklik handel oor die belange van die provinsies self of die is van die party in die meerderheid.
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.
South Africa -- National Council of Provinces -- Rules and practices, Parliamentary practice -- South Africa -- South Africa, Legislative bodies -- South Africa, Representative government and representation -- South Africa, Dissertations -- Political science, Theses -- Political science