Core Functions

The powers, functions and responsibilities of Provincial Legislatures are set out in Chapter 6 of the
Constitution. The legislative power of Provincial Legislatures is defined by section 114 of the Constitution.
In exercising its legislative power, the Free State Provincial Legislature may consider, pass, amend or reject
any bill. It may also initiate or prepare legislation, except money bills. The Constitution also provides for a
specific relationship between the Provincial Legislature and the Provincial Executive. Section 142 mandates
the Provincial Legislature to exercise oversight over the Provincial Executive by putting in place mechanisms
to ensure that all provincial organs of state in the province are accountable to it. These constitutional powers,
functions and responsibilities are detailed in Rules 127 to 130 of the Standing Rules and Orders of the
Provincial Legislatures are obliged by the Constitution to conduct their business in an open manner and to
facilitate public involvement in these processes.
The constitutional limitations within which a Provincial Legislature must operate is further provided for in
section 104(3) as follows; “A provincial legislature is bound only by the Constitution and, if it has passed a
constitution for its province, also by that constitution and must act in accordance with and within the limits of
the Constitution and that provincial constitution.”
Apart from these specific functions, Provincial Legislatures also play a broader role in the democratic
system of government. They strengthen the system of representative government by increasing the overall
opportunities for representation, and, as part of the structures of deliberation, they ensure that different
perspectives on issues concerning and affecting societies are considered.