The South African Legislative Sector (SALS) will launch the South African Parliamentary Institute (SAPI) on 9 December 2021. The Institute is a project of SALS under the stewardship of the Speakers’ Forum.
Amongst those who will attend the launch will be the Members of the Speakers’ Forum, House Chairpersons and Chairs of Chairs of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures, Chief Whips Forum, Board of the SA Parliamentary Institute, Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures, Executive Management, Legislative Sector Support, International guest delegates and Education sector delegates.
The Institute is intended to enhance the functioning of the legislatures through development and implementation of capacity development programmes, production of quality research, and knowledge management for members and officials and establishment of the alumni association of former members and officials of the Legislative Sector.
SALS identified the need for a sector parliamentary institute in the Fourth Parliament as one of the recommendations of the development of a sector common oversight framework called the Sector Oversight Model (SOM).
The legislative sector lacked a dedicated Institute to identify needs, design and deliver programmes, conduct research and provide access to relevant information, unlike the executive, which has a dedicated institution to capacitate staff, i.e. the National School of Government (NSG).
Subsequently, the Speakers’ Forum approved the establishment of the Institute in the Fifth Parliament with an establishment process approved in the Sixth Parliament. The establishment process builds on the approvals to date to work out the details related to the establishment of the Institute from concept to implementation.
The four phases include the development of the logo and name of the institute and the appointment of the Board; consultation and ownership building on the high-level strategy for the Institute; the development of a strategy and the plan that defines operational details, as well as programme offerings and mode of delivery.
The South African Parliamentary Institute’s roles and functions includes the:
- Design and develop and implement Capacity Building Programmes for parliamentary staff and Members of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures;
- Conduct quality research and provide up-to-date information to Members of Legislatures and committees;
- Provide advice and technical assistance to committees and office bearers in the legislative and policy related matters;
- Establish and host alumni association of Sector (former MPs/MPLs and Officials).
The Parliamentary Institute of South Africa will be governed by a board of eleven members that will accountable to the Speakers’ Forum of South Africa. Board members will serve for a period of five years linked to the parliamentary term. The Legislative Sector Support (LSS) will provide management, administration and secretariat support to the Board and the Institute.