Gauteng Gears Up for a Digital Legislature

The Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) has been on recess since March 24, until 14 April 2020. The recess coincided with the announcement of the lockdown by the President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

On the 22nd of A Madam Speaker (Hon. Lentheng Mekgwe) met with Presiding Officers, Leaders of Parties represented at the Legislature and GPL Management. The purpose of the meetings was to assess and share plans for GPL to continue with its business as required by the constitution during lockdown. The GPL Administration which has been working from home during the lockdown period, shared a concept document on the Digital Legislature. To accommodate the Digital Legislature, the Presiding Officers and Leaders of different political parties represented at the Legislature have identified gaps with the current rules and as such the Legislature have approved the rules for Virtual legislature. The rules will guide the Legislature on how to conduct a virtual House Sittings, Committee meetings and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) business. According to the GPL term programme, Finance Committee and NCOP are scheduled to process four bills in the month of April and these will be conducted through the unprecedent virtual digital platforms.

In the upcoming weeks the GPL will be launching various digital platforms which will be accessible to all the people of Gauteng targeting all the different living standard measures. The platforms will ensure maximum public participation and oversight, which are critical GPL Mandates. GPL has previously relied on the conventional methods which largely included physical communal venues.

In addition, since the announcement of the lockdown by the President, the GPL Members and Staff have been working from home and to-date, there has been a significant progress has been achieved in preparation for the end of the year audit processes and preparations.  In this regard, the Speaker expressed her gratitude to all GPL Members and Staff, who have been hard at work in all the five regions of Gauteng to support those who need help during these difficult times.

It is important to note that, no direct cases of COVID-19 have been reported or recorded by the GPL. However, Madam Speaker has expressed her concerns on the increasing number of reported cases in Gauteng and further expressed her gratitude for the work done by the Gauteng Provincial Government under the leadership of the Premier, David Makhura.

The Speaker urges the people of Gauteng to please adhere to the lockdown regulations, like staying at home and exercising precautionary measures.  It is the only way that can assist the Province and country to flatten the curve.

We can count on all the people of Gauteng that, if we all take responsibility, it is possible, we can beat the virus, she concluded.

ISSUED BY THE GPL’S COMMUNICATIONS UNIT ON BEHALF OF SPEAKER OF THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE, HONORABLE NTOMBI MEKGWE.

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