Parliament gears up to usher in new representatives

Parliamentary administrators are hard at work in preparation to receive and welcome the newly elected representatives of the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures.

This is according to Secretary of Parliament Xolile George. He was speaking during the official handover of the lists of new representatives on Thursday at the Constitutional Court.

The lists were handed over by IEC Chairperson, Mosotho Moepya, to Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Zondo in turn handed them to George.

South Africans headed to the polls last week to elect new representatives for the seventh administration. This was the country’s most competitive elections since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

“[Let] me take this opportunity, on behalf of our National Parliament, to extend gratitude, respect and congratulations to the people of South Africa. They showed up in their numbers to exercise their constitutional right to participate in our seventh democratic elections. To determine their government and their national and provincial representatives.

On-boarding process

“As the Parliamentary Administrations across the legislative sector, we have been hard at work. We have been preparing to welcome the elected representatives of the National Assembly and the Provincial Legislatures. [We also] welcome the establishment of our seventh democratic Parliament and the nine Provincial Legislatures,” George said.

He outlined the “on boarding” processes that Parliament will undertake. This will be for the newly elected members of the National Assembly. Also for the National Council of Provinces and the Provincial Legislatures.

“We have critically considered the parliamentary rules, mechanisms and processes. This to ensure that the work of Members of Parliament is facilitated and supported effectively.

“Arrangements are in place for the first sittings of the National Assembly, the Provincial Legislatures and the National Council of Provinces.

“With the receipt of the official list of elected representatives, I assure the Chief Justice and our nation that our work will continue in earnest. This to ensure seamless, efficient and effective foundational processes. So that the work of members of both Houses of Parliament and the Provincial Legislatures can commence without delay,” he said.

Will of the people

At the hand-over ceremony, Moepya revealed that Parliament will be made up of 174 females (43.5%) and 226 males (56.5%).

The age range for the representatives is as follows:

  • 12 candidates are aged 20 to 29
  • 67  are in the 30 to 39 age band
  • 110 are between 40 and 49
  • 110 are 50 to 59
  • 90 are 60 to 69
  • 11 are 70 and above

“These representatives reflect the choices, hopes and aspirations of millions of citizens who exercised their democratic rights.

“This list is not exhaustive – an election touches the lives of everyone in a nation. Their commitment to ensuring a fair and transparent election has been truly commendable,” Moepya said.

He emphasised that the lists hand-over is a critical part of South Africa’s democratic processes.

“We do so in keeping with an established practice in South Africa. That after the announcement of the election results, the commission hands over the lists of these members …to the Chief Justice. He in turn hands them over to the Secretary of Parliament.

Culmination of a robust and transparent electoral process

“This momentous occasion signifies the culmination of a robust and transparent electoral process. A process that echoes the unified voice of our nation.

“[Our] role as the Electoral Commission…is to ensure that South African voters exercise their rights to choose their leaders. We have carried out these responsibilities without fear, favour or prejudice. The lists that we present…reflect the choices of South Africans,” Moepya said.


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