Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Social Development: Government Information: Library Guide: Legislation and Parliament

A guide to finding government information for Social Development students.


Draft laws are called Bills. These are drawn up by the executive departments and then presented to Parliament. They are discussed and amended in the Committees, then usually passed. Once passed they are called Acts, which are published in the Government Gazette. Consolidated versions of all current acts are known as Statutes. See: Summary of law-making process and The Legislative Process.

Be careful of using Acts published online. They may not be the most up-to-date versions of the Acts. UCT Libraries has access to two databases with consolidated Acts: Netlaw and LexisNexis. These databases include Regulations, which are secondary pieces of legislation published by the executive departments in the Government Gazette. There is also a free database from the University of Pretoria: Laws of South Africa: Consolidated Legislation.



The national legislative body is Parliament. There are two Houses of Parliament: the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. Parliament votes public monies, passes legislation, discusses public issues and oversees the executive. 

The verbatim records of the proceedings of Parliament are published in Hansard or Debates. We have these in print from 1910 for South Africa and earlier for the colonies. They are available for recent years on Parliament's website and on the Parliamentary Monitoring Group's website.

The records of proceedings of the Parliamentary Committees are made available by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group. These include briefings, presentations and submissions.