Motlanthe’s on a mile high mission

2012-10-24 15:37

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has likened his role of having to remind ministers to answer the written parliamentary questions posed to them by MPs as that of a flight attendant.

Answering a question from IFP’s Velaphi Ndlovu in the National Assembly this afternoon about whether he would take steps to ensure ministers answered their questions, Motlanthe said it was up to Parliament to impose sanctions.

“My role is like that of a flight attendant, who even to frequent flyers, must always remind them of the safety procedures,” he said.

Motlanthe said he reminded ministers at each Cabinet meeting to answer these questions. He said even at this morning’s Cabinet meeting he submitted a list of questions to ministers who still needed to answer these, but he did not have figures on how many there were.

Motlanthe said some ministers claimed they took longer than the 10 parliamentary working days given to them to answer questions because of their “desire ... to provide accurate information so that they do not end up misleading the house (National Assembly)”.

The DA’s Sandy Kalyan said with the information technology available nowadays, ministers did not even need 10 working days to reply. She said as of last Friday 332 written parliamentary questions were still unanswered. “If you are a flight attendant, deputy president, you allow ministers too much of a life jacket,” she said.

She said the fact that there were so many outstanding questions by ministers “smacks of arrogance”.

Cope’s Juli Killian pointed out that the Presidency was among the worst when it came to giving answers to written parliamentary questions, and she added that ministers were slower now than in 2009 in answering questions.

Ndlovu said if ministers were incapable of answering the questions on time, it meant they could not account to the people and they were incompetent.

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