Celebrating 30 years of democracy

Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, Nontembeko Boyce. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/Independent Newspapers

Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, Nontembeko Boyce. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 23, 2024


Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, Nontembeko Boyce, said that the opening of the legislature next week will also be used to celebrate the country’s thirty years of democracy.

Boyce, addressing the media on the state of readiness for the event, said Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini would address the house on Tuesday and Premier Nomusa-Dube Ncube would deliver the State of the Province Address on Wednesday.

Both events will be held at the Oval Cricket Stadium in Pietermaritzburg at a cost of R3.2 million.

Boyce said the legislature precinct had space constraints and the chamber could hold 120 people, while the cricket stadium could accommodate the 2500 attendees expected on both days.

“His Majesty King Misuzulu has confirmed that he will address the House. We recognise that the guidance and counsel he provides to the legislature and government is invaluable and we take this opportunity to express our gratitude towards His Majesty for availing himself for this prestigious occasion,” Boyce said.

She said the legislature was mindful of the fact that this was the last official opening of the legislature during this electoral term.

“This last official opening coincides with the country celebrating thirty years of our democracy.

“It would be remiss of us not to take stock of the significant strides that our province has made since the dawn of democracy. We are doing this mindful of the painful past of our province, which was the epicentre of black on black, politically motivated violence.

“We take great pride that working together, we have succeeded in putting that past behind us and our legislature has become a true expression of the people's voice,” she said.

Boyce said the premier’s address follows on from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address and “serves as an opportunity for members of the legislature to consider the issues of accountability and oversee whether commitments of previous years have been achieved or are on track”.

The debate on the premier’s address will take place on Thursday, February 29.

“As we commence the year and near the end of the electoral term we believe that we have laid a solid foundation for continuity for the seventh political administration that will be ushered in after the May 29 national and provincial elections as announced by the president.”

Boyce said the sixth term had faced significant challenges including the Covid pandemic, and financial constraints.

“They have not deterred the legislature from fulfilling its constitutional mandate. Our portfolio committees continued to play effective oversight on the provincial executive arm of government and its entities and our functionality programmes targeting education, health and war-rooms continue to grow from strength to strength.”

The Mercury