The Secretaries’ Association of Legislatures in South Africa (SALSA) was established in 1995 to facilitate the development of various legislative administrations and their staff members. SALSA consists of Secretaries from the nine provincial Legislatures, staff from national Parliament and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Membership is voluntary.
The association was born out of a need to establish best practices and to establish certain norms and standards out of institutions that are otherwise independent of each other, but nevertheless operate in the same sector.
During its lifespan SALSA has implemented a number of programmes and coordinated various projects that are common among Legislatures. In this regard, the association has, under the leadership of the Speakers’ Forum, implemented a funding agreement which Speakers of Parliament and Legislatures have with the European Union’s Legislative Support Programme (EULSP).
The association gradually expanded its vision to include the development of forums that are based on sectoral inputs. Each sectoral forum was tasked with developing its own rules, goals and objectives which were submitted to SALSA for ratification. A secretary convenes and guides the affairs of each forum with a view to ensuring that the interests of the sector are well served.
Functions and duties of SALSA
- To enhance the capacity of Legislatures to fulfill their duties and responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner
- To promote co-operation and uniformity among in-service conditions at all Legislatures, such as labour policies, legislative terminology, minuting and administration
- To make recommendations to the Speakers’ Forum on matters of common interest
Since the establishment of the national Speakers’ Forum, SALSA has become the formal implementing agent of this forum.