Mr Gengezi Mgidlana, Secretary to Parliament, met with members of South Africa’s civil society, as well as foreign delegates, giving them an opportunity to engage on issues that relate to the country’s democracy. This was a collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Mr Mgidlana began the discussion by highlighting the role that Parliament played in South Africa’s democracy: to ensure that the wishes of the people were expressed and addressed, and the institution does so largely through the Constitution which embodies the will and wishes of the majority of South Africans. He continued to say that the Constitution had mandated Parliament to make laws and ensure the implementation thereof, although most people were unaware of the latter functioning of the institution. Additionally, Parliament had to ensure public participation in the legislative process- a responsibility Mr Mgidlana considered most critical. Lastly, Parliament has the responsibility to exercise oversight of the executive branch of government. In light of the above mentioned, Mr Mgidlana said that the Constitution was concerned with creating a culture of participation, and ensuring that South Africa’s democracy is deliberative and consultative.
Overall, it was a well-attended event in which civil society and its representatives engaged on South Africa’s democracy and how the political system can be strengthened and further consolidated.
L-R: Alfonso Tagliaferri (Italian Consul General), Gengezi Mgidlana (Secretary to Parliament) and Fr Peter-John Pearson (Director, CPLO)