The National Assembly has adopted a resolution to dissolve the Fifth Parliament, whose five-year term ends on 10 May.
This is in line with section 50 of the Constitution, which deals specifically with the “dissolution of National Assembly before the expiry of its term”.
By law, elections cannot be held during the term of office of the current Parliament.
“The dissolution of the House before the expiry of its term, which is 10 May 2019, was made necessary because the date of the election has been set for 8 May. This is two days before the term of the current National Assembly ends,” Parliament said in a statement.
With the National Assembly having resolved to dissolve itself, President Cyril Ramaphosa will now dissolve the National Assembly in terms of his powers provided for in the Constitution.
The decision to dissolve the House will also allow President Ramaphosa to proclaim the date of the elections, which is 8 May, as announced during the State of the Nation Address.
The House remains competent to function from the time it is dissolved until the day before the first day of polling for the next National Assembly.
The House also agreed to suspend Rules 333(2) and 351(2), which would have resulted in Bills and other business lapsing when the House is dissolved.
Members of the National Council of Provinces, on the other hand, will rise on 28 March.
However, they will remain in office until after the scheduled elections, until the day of the first sitting of the Provincial Legislatures.