Make MPLs aware of your problems by petitioning the Legislature. The Constitution provides for the Legislature to receive petitions, representations or submissions from the public, interested parties or institutions. In terms of Rule 188, the Legislature may receive oral or written petitions. The political function of handling petitions rests with the Speaker’s Office, whilst the Public Participation and Petitions unit handles the administrative function. The Legislature established a Public Participation and Petitions Committee to consider petitions submitted to the Legislature as a follow-up on service delivery issues. This committee also oversees the public participation programmes of the Legislature which includes public education programmes.
A petition is a written request or complaint made by a member of the public. A petition can be in the form of a letter or a document. A petition can be submitted by a single individual or by a large group of people or organisation.
There is no set structure regarding how a petition should be written. The main rule of a written petition is that it must contain the name, address and signature of the person sending the petition. If a person is unable to write, they can contact the Public Participation Unit for assistance. The petition can be written in English, isiXhosa, Afrikaans or seSotho. Here is a sample of a petition. One important aspect to remember about a petition is that the sub-judicae rule needs to be adhered to regarding matters which are before the court.
The cycle of a petition is as follows:
- Petition is received and recorded in a register of petitions.
- A letter acknowledging receipt is written to the petitioner.
- Petition is referred to to the Office of the Speaker with recommendations within 7 days of receipt.
- The Speaker then refers the petition to the relevant Portfolio Committee or MEC or government department for consideration within 7 days of receipt.
- The Portfolio Committee or the MEC or the government department must report back to the Legislature on the progress made.
- On-going feedback to petitioner by Petitions unit officials
When sending a petition to the Provincial Legislature, please remember to include:
- Your name and surname
- A contact address
- A contact telephone number
- A contact fax number
- A contact e-mail address (if you have one)
- Date of submission
- Include any supporting documents if necessary
Address it to:
Speaker of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature
c/o Public Participation and Petitions unit
Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature
Private Bag X0051
Whether it is advice, questions or complaints that your community has, let the Legislature know!
Become involved in the legislative process. Speak up!