Legislatures kick off on a high

Senior officials from all South African Legislatures assembled in Cape Town today to attend a strategic planning workshop. Among the officials are Secretaries from all Legislatures and senior managers representing a wide range of disciplines from finance, law, Information Technology and communications.

In his opening remarks, the chairperson of the Secretaries Association of the Legislatures of South Africa (SALSA), Mr Peter Skosana, urged delegates to review the performance of the sector against the targets set out in the SA Legislative Sector Action Plan, which was adopted at the Planning Workshop in Kleinmond, in January 2012.

Also high on the agenda are governance issues which impact on different roles and responsibilities of all sector structures. Mr Skosana encouraged officials to look carefully at how the sector is structured and how it operates in relation to its mandate as outlined in the Sector Strategic Framework document.

"I suggest it would be prudent for delegates to take an intense look at the decision-making processes of the sector as well as accountability issues so that we emerge from here with a very clear view of our respective roles and responsibilities."

For the 2012/2013 period, the SA Legislative Sector prioritised the development, adoption and implementation of two key sector projects, namely the Sector Oversight Model and the Public Participation Framework.

Significant strides were taken in the development of the Sector Knowledge Management Strategic Framework. This important piece of work will assist the sector to promote creativity and to facilitate the production and preservation of sector knowledge.

In his closing remarks, Mr Skosana congratulated officials for the sterling work undertaken thus far but cautioned that more challenges lie ahead. He said, "I think we have earned the right and we are in a good position to share our collaboration model with the rest of our colleagues within the Southern African Development Community nations and throughout the African continent, even as we continue to absorb important lessons from the rest of the world."

The workshop will run until Friday, 01 February 2013.