Interested in the goings on in South African Parliament? You’re not alone – livelier debates in the house mean that more citizens want access to the important (and at times dishonourable) proceedings. And you can provide insight to them, thanks to a new project for making the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG)’s archives available via an API.
PMG is an non-profit whose mission is to get members of the public to participate in parliamentary processes in a meaningful way. It does this by publishing details of committee meetings, Hansard records, forward diaries and debates online.Through the PMG website, for example, you can get email alerts whenever certain topics are brought up or committees convened.
Code4SA (C4SA) has been working with PMG for some time now, and their agreement has now culminated in open access to over 17 years of parliamentary data. Developers can tap into the PMG’s archives using api.pmg.org.za and while most of the data is free there is a small subscription charge for access to the committee archives to cover running costs.There are over 300GB of Creative Commons-licensed information available, which includes audio and documentation.
You are also free to make contributions and bug fixes through the GitHub repo.[Image – CC by/ De Zuid-Afrikaan]