WATCH: The Green Connection’s New Short Explainer Video ‘How Does Parliament Work?
In a bid to encourage more public participation in government processes, thereby ensuring more accountability, The Green Connection has started developing a handy series of short explainer videos (available in English, Afrikaans, and isiXhosa) that aim to simplify legislation and legislative processes – especially as it pertains to environmental, energy and socioeconomic rights – making it more palatable to more citizens.
The Green Connection’s latest explainer video ‘How does Parliament work?’ – the third in the series – briefly unpacks the inner workings and responsibilities of Parliament, as elected officials who serve as the mouthpiece for the people. The video series forms part of the environmental justice organisation’s Who Stole Our Oceans campaign, which seeks to empower more South Africans – particularly those historically marginalised indigenous fishing communities along the country’s coastline – to oppose offshore oil and gas drilling, and exploration that threaten our oceans.
According to The Green Connection’s Strategic Lead Liziwe McDaid, “The more South Africans understand how government processes are supposed to work, the easier it will be to hold politicians and government officials accountable, and the better it will be for our democracy. We can all agree that, as South Africans, we still have a lot of work to do to realise the vision we have for our country. We hope, with our short videos, that more South Africans will feel empowered to get involved. This is the only way this democracy can work.”
“What people must realise is that Parliament consists of individuals (MPs) who have been elected by the people and are who are accountable to the people. In addition to its role of passing new laws or changing existing ones, Parliament is also responsible for maintaining oversight over Cabinet Ministers and organs of state. This oversight role is critical, as this is the mechanism that ensures public interest and the greater good, always comes first,” says McDaid.
“Citizens have the right to be heard. Make submissions to the relevant committees or petition Parliament to demand action on issues that are important to you. By doing this, citizens could potentially influence the opinion of MPs. Politicians should, therefore, be accessible and hear the concerns of the people. This is the true test of democracy – the extent to which Parliament can ensure that government remains answerable to the people. However, for this to work, we need all South Africans to get involved, so that our MPs know that we hold them accountable,” she says.
Watch the short explainer video ‘How does Parliament work?’ in the language of your choice:
For English, click here: How Does Parliament Work?
For Afrikaans – Hoe Werk Die Parliament?
For isiXhosa, click here: Isebenza Kanjani iPalamente eMzantsi Afrika?
Other videos in the series include ‘Opposing Oil and Gas Exploration in South Africa’ , ‘What is an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?’ and ‘Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) within the Oil and Gas Industry’ – also available in the three (3) languages.