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Sixth term of the National Assembly ends

Sameera Casmod |
22 May 2024 | 11:57 a.m. SAST
1-minute read

 Image: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa — At the stroke of midnight last night, the term of South Africa’s sixth Parliament came to an official end, in accordance with the Constitution.

This dissolution marks the end of the National Assembly’s five-year term, originally constituted following the general election on May 22, 2019.

Parliamentary Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo clarified the implications of this transition in an interview on Radio Islam this morning.

Mothapo said that while the term of the National Assembly has ended, this does not leave the nation without a functioning legislative body.

“Even though the term has expired, the members of Parliament, the House, continues to be operational, competent to carry out its constitutional obligations until the eve of the elections, which is the 28th of May,” Mothapo explained. This ensures that the country remains legislatively functional up until new members are sworn in.

Mothapo explained that the Parliament comprises two houses: the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). While the National Assembly’s term ends completely just before midnight on Tuesday 28 May, the NCOP remains operational.

The NCOP’s continuity is upheld until the first meetings of the Provincial Legislators, post-election, who will elect their representatives to the NCOP for the next term.

After the general elections, the process of constituting the new Parliament begins.

The President, once elected by the new National Assembly and subsequently inaugurated, will call for a joint sitting to deliver the Opening of Parliament Address. This address, distinct from the State of the Nation Address (SONA), sets the priorities and plans for the new government’s term.

“In terms of the new rules passed in November last year, this joint sitting is specifically called the Opening of Parliament Address,” Mothapo said. This change in terminology underscores the importance of the address as the inaugural session of the new five-year term of Parliament.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat here.


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