Parliament, Saturday, 15 June 2024 – The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) held its first sitting today, where 54 permanent delegates representing nine provinces were sworn in. The Council also elected Ms. Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane as its Chairperson and Mr. Kenneth Mmoiemang as the Chief Whip for the seventh term of Parliament.

Ms. Mtshweni-Tsipane was elected unopposed in a sitting presided over by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Mr. Kenneth Mmoiemang, a delegate from the Northern Cape, nominated her, and the nomination was seconded by Mr. Patrick Sibande from Mpumalanga. Ms. Mtshweni-Tsipane received all nine votes from the nine provinces.

In terms of the NCOP procedure, each delegation is entitled to one vote instead of individual member votes.

Ms. Mtshweni-Tsipane was the Premier of Mpumalanga from 2018 until the end of the sixth term. She has been a Member of the Provincial Legislature since 2014, serving as the Chairperson of various committees, including the Co-Operative Governance and Human Settlements Committee and the Select Committee on Women, Children, and People with Disabilities. She previously served as the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs from 2014 to 2018 and has held several political positions within the provincial structures of the African National Congress.

Mr. Kenneth Mmoiemang was also elected unopposed as the Chief Whip of the NCOP. Mr. Mmoiemang joined Parliament in 2019 and has served as the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, and the Ad Hoc Committee on the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill. He was the Speaker of the Northern Cape Legislature from 2014 to 2019.

The House will elect the Deputy Chairpersons and House Chairpersons of the NCOP at a later date. In terms of the Constitution, the NCOP must elect a Chairperson and two Deputy Chairpersons from among the delegates. The Chairperson and one of the Deputy Chairpersons are elected from among the permanent delegates to serve for five years unless their terms as delegates expire earlier. The other Deputy Chairperson is elected for a term of one year and must be succeeded by a delegate from another province, so that every province is represented in turn.

The NCOP plays a unique role in promoting the principles of cooperative government and intergovernmental relations. It ensures that the three spheres of government work together in performing their unique functions in terms of the Constitution.

The NCOP is one of the two Houses of Parliament. It is constitutionally mandated to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. This is done through participation in the national legislative process and by providing a national forum for the consideration of issues affecting provinces.

With the successful conclusion of the first sitting of the Council and that of the National Assembly yesterday, the seventh term of the democratic Parliament is now established.


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