What is a petition
A petition is a way of bringing a grievance or an issue of public concern to the attention of Parliament to take action within its authority. A petition asks for some form of relief which Parliament is competent to grant in accordance with its jurisdiction.
Who can petition Parliament?
The right to petition Parliament is the right of every citizen of the country and is provided for in our Constitution. Any person, groups of people or an organisation has the right to petition Parliament.
Types of petitions
There are generally two types of petitions that can be submitted to Parliament, that is, a special and a general petition. Special petition is a petition from an individual that is requesting for a specific relief, in the form of a pension, for service rendered to the State for which there is no law providing for it.
A general petition is a petition from an individual or group of people on a matter requiring a relief of a general nature.
FORM AND CONTENT OF PETITION
For a petition to be acceptable to Parliament it must:
• be in the form prescribed by the President of the Senate;
• be in one of the official languages;
• be signed by the petitioners themselves
• not contain improper, disrespectful or unparliamentary language;
• clearly explain the issue or circumstances for Parliament’s consideration; and
• must indicate the nature of the relief asked from Parliament which Parliament is able to grant in terms of its authority.