|Postal||PO Box 15, Cape Town, 8000|
|Physical||Parliament Street, Cape Town|
|Tel||021 403 2911|
|Fax||021 403 8219|
The national legislature or Parliament consists of two Houses: the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, whose members are elected by the people of South Africa. Each House has its own distinct functions and powers, as set out in the Constitution.
The National Assembly is responsible for choosing the President, passing laws, ensuring that the members of the executive perform their work properly, and providing a forum where the representatives of the people can publicly debate issues. The National Council of Provinces is also involved in the law-making process and provides a forum for debate on issues affecting the provinces. Its main focus is ensuring that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. In specific cases, local government representatives also participate in debates in the National Council of Provinces.
Parliament plays a direct and active role in national affairs. It is the place where the members of Parliament look after your interests. Members of Parliament (MPs) have many responsibilities, including: making laws that will improve our lives; discussing and debating government policy and other political issues; consulting with you, the people, and representing your views in Parliament; helping people in their constituencies; approving the budgets of government departments, as presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance; making sure that the work that government promised to do is being done; and checking that public money is being spent wisely.