Section 115-124 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Section 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123 and 124 of the Constitution of South Africa 1996 (as amended), among others, are under ‘Provincial Legislatures‘ of Chapter 6 of the Constitution. Chapter 6 is titled ‘Provinces‘.
Section 115 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Evidence or information before provincial legislatures
A provincial legislature or any of its committees may
a. summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, or to produce documents;
b. require any person or provincial institution to report to it;
c. compel, in terms of provincial legislation or the rules and orders, any person or institution to comply with a summons or requirement in terms of paragraph (a) or (b); and
d. receive petitions, representations or submissions from any interested persons or institutions.
Section 116 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Internal arrangements, proceedings and procedures of provincial legislatures
1. A provincial legislature may
a. determine and control its internal arrangements, proceedings and procedures; and
b. make rules and orders concerning its business, with due regard to representative and participatory democracy, accountability, transparency and public involvement.
2. The rules and orders of a provincial legislature must provide for
a. the establishment, composition, powers, functions, procedures and duration of its committees;
b. the participation in the proceedings of the legislature and its committees of minority parties represented in the legislature, in a manner consistent with democracy;
c. financial and administrative assistance to each party represented in the legislature, in proportion to its representation, to enable the party and its leader to perform their functions in the legislature effectively; and
d. the recognition of the leader of the largest opposition party in the legislature, as the Leader of the Opposition.
Section 117 Constitution of South Africa 1996
1. Members of a provincial legislature and the province’s permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces
a. have freedom of speech in the legislature and in its committees, subject to its rules and orders; and
b. are not liable to civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages for
i. anything that they have said in, produced before or submitted to the legislature or any of its committees; or
ii. anything revealed as a result of anything that they have said in, produced before or submitted to the legislature or any of its committees.
2. Other privileges and immunities of a provincial legislature and its members may be prescribed by national legislation.
3. Salaries, allowances and benefits payable to members of a provincial legislature are a direct charge against the Provincial Revenue Fund.
Section 118 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Public access to and involvement in provincial legislatures
1. A provincial legislature must
a. facilitate public involvement in the legislative and other processes of the legislature and its committees; and
b. conduct its business in an open manner, and hold its sittings, and those of its committees, in public, but reasonable measures may be taken
i. to regulate public access, including access of the media, to the legislature and its committees; and
ii. to provide for the searching of any person and, where appropriate, the refusal of entry to,or the removal of, any person.
2. A provincial legislature may not exclude the public, including the media, from a sitting of a committee unless it is reasonable and justifiable to do so in an open and democratic society.
Section 119 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Introduction of Bills
Only members of the Executive Council of a province or a committee or member of a provincial legislature may introduce a Bill in the legislature; but only the member of the Executive Council who is responsible for financial matters in the province may introduce a money Bill in the legislature.
Section 120 Constitution of South Africa 1996
1. A Bill is a money Bill if it-
a. appropriates money;
b. imposes provincial taxes, levies, duties or surcharges;
c. abolishes or reduces, or grants exemptions from, any provincial taxes, levies, duties or surcharges; or
d. authorises direct charges against a Provincial Revenue Fund.
2. A money Bill may not deal with any other matter except-
a. a subordinate matter incidental to the appropriation of money;
b. the imposition, abolition or reduction of provincial taxes, levies, duties or surcharges;
c. the granting of exemption from provincial taxes, levies, duties or surcharges; or
d. the authorisation of direct charges against a Provincial Revenue Fund.
3. A provincial Act must provide for a procedure by which the province’s legislature may amend a money Bill.
[S. 120 substituted by s. 3 of Act No. 61 of 2001.]
Section 121 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Assent to Bills
1. The Premier of a province must either assent to and sign a Bill passed by the provincial legislature in terms of this Chapter or, if the Premier has reservations about the constitutionality of the Bill, refer it back to the legislature for reconsideration.
2. If, after reconsideration, a Bill fully accommodates the Premier’s reservations, the Premier must assent to and sign the Bill; if not, the Premier must either
a. assent to and sign the Bill; or
b. refer it to the Constitutional Court for a decision on its constitutionality.
3. If the Constitutional Court decides that the Bill is constitutional, the Premier must assent to and sign it.
Section 122 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Application by members to Constitutional Court
1. Members of a provincial legislature may apply to the Constitutional Court for an order declaring that all or part of a provincial Act is unconstitutional.
2. An application
a. must be supported by at least 20 per cent of the members of the legislature; and
b. must be made within 30 days of the date on which the Premier assented to and signed the Act.
3. The Constitutional Court may order that all or part of an Act that is the subject of an application in terms of subsection (1) has no force until the Court has decided the application if
a. the interests of justice require this; and
b. the application has a reasonable prospect of success.
4. If an application is unsuccessful, and did not have a reasonable prospect of success, the Constitutional Court may order the applicants to pay costs.
Section 123 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Publication of provincial Acts
A Bill assented to and signed by the Premier of a province becomes a provincial Act, must be published promptly and takes effect when published or on a date determined in terms of the Act.
Section 124 Constitution of South Africa 1996
Safekeeping of provincial Acts
The signed copy of a provincial Act is conclusive evidence of the provisions of that Act and, after publication, must be entrusted to the Constitutional Court for safekeeping.
See also: Section 104-114 Constitution of South Africa 1996