When a Bill (draft law) is introduced in the Legislature and referred to a Portfolio Committee, the Chairperson of that Committee will issue a media statement to the print and electronic media to create awareness regarding the Bill.
The Chairperson will also invite all interested people/organisations/institutions to make written or oral submissions on the Bill at public hearings, so that the Portfolio Committee can hear the views of communities in the Eastern Cape.
Public hearings are one the most important vehicles to ensure the involvement of the public in the legislative process. Bills that are introduced to the Legislature, with the exception of Bills that are of a purely technical nature, must be subjected to public hearings. A public hearing is a meeting where a Portfolio Committee hear the view of the public (usually about a Bill or a petition-related issue). Public hearings are held in cities, towns and villages throughout the province to accommodate all the people of the province. Public hearings are publicised in the media. Local Government, community structures, political parties and organisations, as well as identified stakeholders, are individually invited to attend the hearings to make submissions or raise concerns.
You may ask to make a presentation at such a hearing. Working together with a group of people or an organisation (non-governmental organisations or community-based organisations) is a good way of getting attention regarding your concerns. You can influence the legislative process via lobbying.
Your voice needs to be heard! Take control of your life and aid your community by attending public hearings. The Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature has a proven record that Bills were amended and issues influenced by submissions received from the public and participation of the public. Have your say!