Committees are often called the “engine rooms’ of Parliaments and Legislatures. This is because they are the structures in which the bulk of parliamentary or legislative business is taken care of. Parliament/Legislatures would never be able to function properly if all deliberations and oversight work were to be conducted in the House as a first instance, as there are too many issues to be discussed by too many people. It is therefore necessary for public representatives to form smaller and more manageable groups where they can seriously deliberate on legislation, service delivery performance, budget performance and related matters.
As the most superior provincial legislative body in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, the KZN Legislature may choose to refer or commit some of its business – proposed legislation, budget estimates, special investigations, et cetera – to a more versatile and practical forum to thoroughly deal with it. In this regard public hearings, which are conducted by committees, provide an important opportunity for interest groups, individuals and organisations to express their opinions and to participate in formulating public policy. At the end of their deliberations, committee members report their findings and recommendations to the House for its consideration and/or approval.
Types of Committees
There are mainly four types of committees, namely: