Speaker must enforce the rules

2017-03-30 06:02

THE Democratic Alliance has written to the speaker of the KZN Legislature requesting that she enforce the rules of the House and instruct ANC MECs in the province to respond to written parliamentary questions.

Between January 10 and February 15, the DA submitted 37 written parliamentary questions.

To date, not one reply has been received despite the standing rules of the Legislature stipulating that MECs must respond within 14 days or request extensions from the speaker. Critical issues covered in the DA’s questions include rural safety programmes, the Ugu District water crisis, oncology services and senior post vacancies within the Education Department.

By far the worst when it comes to outstanding replies is KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo with 16. He is followed by KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala with six outstanding replies and Agriculture MEC Themba Mthembu with four. Written parliamentary questions are one of the most important oversight mechanisms available to opposition parties.

The complete lack of accountability by many of KZN’s ANC MECs is a slap in the face to the mandate of the KwaZulu-Natal government. The DA expects the speaker to enforce the rules of the Legislature without delay.

MARK STEELE, MPL

Chief whip to the DA in the KZN Legislature

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