Important milestone as Legislators Graduate from Wits University

The graduation of two hundred and twenty five legislators (225) represents a milestone in the partnership of the South African Legislative Sector, the University of the Witswatersrand and the Public Administration and Management Leadership Academy (PALAMA). The Members of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures were conferred the Graduate Certificate in Governance and Public Leadership at a graduation ceremony held at the Wits University on 19 April 2013.

The first group of 173 Parliamentarians completed the Certificate in Governance and Leadership in 2011 through the University of South Africa.

The purpose of the LCBP is to enhance the professional legislative and oversight capabilities of members of Legislatures and Parliament; and to provide access to further learning of academic programmes by providing a learning pathway for Members of this Sector through the delivery of suitable programmes and courses. This joint collaboration effort aims to enable Parliamentarians to realise their full potential as drivers of development and as agents of change.

In his address to Members at the gala dinner, Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon M Sisulu said, "Within all South African Legislatures, we see the results of these training programmes in the quality of the work of Members. Noticeably, there is a deeper scrutiny of departmental budgets, improvements in the quality of debates in committees and in the Houses, and tougher questions directed to departments amongst others."

Speaker Sisulu also said it is worth noting that a study conducted by the Inter Parliamentary Union in 2010 on the current state of knowledge concerning formal and informal capacity building programmes for parliamentarians found that South Africa and India were the only countries which encouraged and supported its members to undertake formal tertiary studies.

Members who enrol for the programme are expected to attend lectures delivered at their respective institutions, do some group work and submit written assignments at the end of the course. The lectures are held at individual Legislatures when there are no scheduled House sittings.