Gauteng Provincial Legislature

Gauteng Provincial Legislature
4th Legislature
Type
Type
History
Founded 27 April 1994 (1994-04-27)
Leadership
Speaker
Ntombi Lentheng Mekgwe, ANC
Since 21 May 2014
Deputy Speaker
Uhuru Moiloa, ANC
Since 21 May 2014
Structure
Seats 73
Political groups

Elections
Party-list proportional representation
Last election
7 May 2014
Meeting place
Johannesburg City Hall, City Hall Street, Johannesburg
Website
www.gpl.gov.za

The Gauteng Provincial Legislature is the legislature of the South African province of Gauteng. It is a unicameral body of 73 members elected every five years. The current legislature, the fifth, was elected on 7 May 2014 and has an African National Congress majority of 40 members. The legislature is housed in Johannesburg City Hall in central Johannesburg.

The Gauteng Provincial Legislature, like the eight other provincial legislatures in South Africa, was created on 27 April 1994 by the Interim Constitution of South Africa, which dissolved the four original provinces (and their provincial councils) and created the nine current provinces. It is currently constituted in terms of Chapter Six of the Constitution of South Africa, which defines the structure of the provincial governments.

Election

The provincial legislature consists of 73 members, who are elected through a system of party list proportional representation with closed lists. In other words, each voter casts a vote for one political party, and seats in the legislature are allocated to the parties in proportion to the number of votes received. The seats are then filled by members in accordance with lists submitted by the parties before the election.

The legislature is elected for a term of five years, unless it is dissolved early. This may occur if the legislature votes to dissolve and it is at least three years since the last election, or if the Premiership falls vacant and the legislature fails to elect a new Premier within ninety days. By convention all nine provincial legislatures and the National Assembly are elected on the same day.

The most recent election was held on 7 May 2014. The following table summarises the results.

PartyVotesVote %Seats
African National Congress2,348,56453.5940
Democratic Alliance1,349,00130.7823
Economic Freedom Fighters451,31810.308
Freedom Front Plus52,4361.201
Inkatha Freedom Party34,2400.781
Other parties 146,6043.350
Total4,382,163 100 73

The following table shows the composition of the provincial parliament after past elections and floor-crossing periods.

Event Date ANC DP / DA NP / NNP COPE EFF IFP VF / VF+ ID ACDP UDM Others
1994 election 27 April 1994 505213511
1999 election 2 June 1999 5013331111
2003 floor-crossing 4 April 2003 50123301112
2004 election 14 April 2004 51150211111
2005 floor-crossing 15 September 2005 5112211105
2007 floor-crossing 15 September 2007 5113222102
2009 election 22 April 2009 47166111100
2014 election 7 May 2014 40230811000

Powers

The Gauteng Provincial Legislature elects the Premier of Gauteng, the head of the provincial executive. The legislature can force the Premier to resign by passing a motion of no confidence, or remove her for misconduct or inability. Although the Executive Council (cabinet) is chosen by the Premier, the legislature may pass a motion of no confidence to force the Premier to reconstitute the Council. The legislature also appoints Gauteng's delegates to the National Council of Provinces, allocating delegates to parties in proportion to the number of seats each party holds in the legislature.

The legislature has the power to pass legislation in various fields enumerated in the national constitution; in some fields the legislative power is shared with the national parliament, while in others it is reserved to the province alone. The fields include such matters as health, education (except universities), agriculture, housing, environmental protection, and development planning.

The legislature oversees the administration of the provincial government, and the Premier and the members of the Executive Council are required to report to the legislature on the performance of their responsibilities. The legislature also controls the finances of the provincial government by way of the appropriation bills which determine the provincial budget.

Officers

The Speaker is the political head of the legislature, and is assisted by a Deputy Speaker. As of 2012 the Speaker is Ntombi Lentheng Mekgwe and her deputy is Stewart Ngwenya; they are both members of the African National Congress. The following people have served as Speaker:

Name Entered office Party
Trevor Fowler 1994 ANC
Firos Cachalia 15 June 1999 ANC
Richard Mdakane 26 April 2004 ANC
Lindiwe Maseko 6 May 2009 ANC
Ntombi Lentheng Mekgwe 21 May 2014 ANC

2014 removal of EFF members

On 1 July 2014, eight members of the Economic Freedom Fighters were forcibly removed from the legislature after their attire of red overalls carrying the slogan "asijiki" (meaning "we are not turning back") was found to be inappropriate by presiding officer, Ntombi Mekgwe. [1] Hundreds of EFF members protested against the ruling on 22 July near the legislature building. [2]

References

  1. "EFF kicked out of Gauteng Legislature". enca.co.za. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  2. "EFF storm Gauteng Provincial Legislature". ewn.co.za. 2014-07-24. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
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