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Parliament's performance in passing laws adequate – study

But the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) has also found the legislature can use its time more effectively to further scrutinise bills.

Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A new study has found Parliament's performance in passing laws is adequate, slightly better than global counterparts.

But the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) has also found the legislature can use its time more effectively to further scrutinise bills. It's even suggested extending sitting days to improve efficiency.

The PMG study analysed bills introduced between 2006 and 2017. In that time, 486 bills were placed before the house for consideration, 80% of which have become law.

The study found it takes just over 200 calendar days to pass a bill. But in some years, progress was a little slower.

Researchers say, generally, more bills are introduced a year before elections and there is a higher rate of adoption in an election year. The past two years have, however, been particularly slow on the legislative front.

Only 17 bills were passed in 2016 and only 16 bills in 2017. The study says this could be attributed to political events at the time.

As is the case around the world, Parliament has been found to leave too much of its legislative work until the end of the year. Most bills are only tabled in October, with 39% of all bills getting the seal of approval in November.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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