Livestreaming of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature House Sittings

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
Leader in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

I welcome the fact that the first legislature House Sitting was livestreamed on Tuesday the 26th May 2020, on YouTube and Facebook. as this is something that I have been campaigning for, for over a year.

The sitting was not without technical glitches. This has been a learning curve for the Legislature, and work must also go towards improving the quality of the streaming.

The live streaming of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature sitting now makes the sitting “open to the public”, as is required by section 118 of the Constitution.

It further ensures that we are also in compliance with Rule 33 of the Legislature that sets out that Legislature must conduct its business in an open, transparent manner, and must hold sittings and committees in public.

While the Legislature has taken the first step towards embracing technology to make proceedings more accessible to the public, a big effort now needs to be made into vigorously promoting the platforms where streaming is available.

This is extremely good news and will assist in enhancing the culture of parliamentary democracy in our province. The millions of citizens who have never been able to occupy the public galleries in Bhisho, will now be able to have access to the proceedings of the legislature via YouTube, community radio stations, TV reports as well as more extensive media reporting.

Live streaming House Sittings will increase the oversight function of the legislature, by motivating, encouraging and allowing the public to play a more active role in the affairs of the legislature.

Greater public participation is good for democracy and will ensure that the public will be able to see not only how taxes are being spent, but also how service delivery is taking place and how corruption is being exposed. This will allow the public to be more knowledgeable about the workings of the 6th democratic parliament.

The DA will continue to fight to ensure that our legislature becomes a vibrant institution which champions the rights of the people of this province.