Featured Article, General News

Did you know? SA has only “Seven functional” Chapter 9 Institutions

The Democratic Republic of South Africa (RSA) has only Eight major Chapter 9 institutions established in terms of Chapter 9 of the South African Constitution to guard democracy.

The institutions are:

  • the Public Protector

The Office of the Public Protector is an external state institution of the Republic of South Africa, tasked with the investigation of misconduct in any state affairs and all spheres of government including that of public administration in the country.

It is one of the Chapter nine institutions independent of the Government.
The office was established by the Constitution to support constitutional democracy in the country.

    • the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) was inaugurated in October 1995 as an independent chapter nine institution. It draws its mandate from the South African Constitution by way of the Human Rights Commission Act of 1994.

The SAHRC is tasked with monitoring, both pro-actively and by way of complaints brought before it, violations of human rights and seeking redress for such violations. It also has an educational role.

  • the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission)

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) is an independent chapter nine institution in South Africa. It draws its mandate from the South African Constitution by way of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Act of 2002.

The CRL Rights Commission is mandated “to promote respect for and further the protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities; promote and develop peace, friendship, humanity, tolerance, national unity among and within cultural, religious and linguistic communities on the basis of equality, non-discrimination and free association; to promote the right of communities to develop their historically diminished heritage and to recognise community councils”

  • the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE)

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is an independent chapter nine institution in South Africa. It draws its mandate from the South African Constitution by way of the Commission for Gender Equality Act of 1996.

The vision of the CGE is “a society free from gender oppression and inequality”. Its mission is to “advance, promote and protect gender equality in South Africa through undertaking research, public education, policy development, legislative initiatives, effective monitoring and litigation”.

  • the Auditor-General

The Auditor-General is an office established by the 1996 Constitution of South Africa and is one of the Chapter nine institutions intended to support democracy, although its history dates back at least 100 years.[1]

The Auditor-General, a “watchdog over the government,” is an ombudsman-type office similar to that of the Public Protector but with much more limited jurisdiction.

The focus of the office is not inefficient or improper bureaucratic conduct but the proper use and management of public money.

Section 188 of the Constitution states that the Auditor-General is required to report on the finances of all national, provincial and local government administrations and has the discretion to audit any institution that receives money for a public purpose.

  • the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (often referred to as the Independent Electoral Commission or IEC) is South Africa’s election management body, an independent organisation established under chapter nine of the Constitution. It conducts elections to the National Assembly, provincial legislatures and municipal councils.

A temporary Electoral Commission was created in 1993 to manage the first non-racial election of the national and provincial legislatures, which was held on 26–29 April 1994. The permanent Electoral Commission was established on 17 October 1996, and has since managed general (national and provincial) elections in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, and local (municipal) elections in 2000, 2006, 2011 and 2016.

  • the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa(Icasa)

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is an independent regulatory body of the South African government, established in 2000 by the ICASA Act to regulate both the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors in the public interest.

ICASA functions under the Department of Communications (DoC). It was initially composed of seven Council members. The ICASA amendment Act of 2006 included the Postal services, previously regulated by the Postal Authority into ICASA’s mandate. It increased the Council members from seven to nine to accommodate the new members from the Postal Authority.

 

 

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