ANC must focus on MPs, not criticise: DA

2013-06-23 19:03
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - ANC chief whip Stone Sizani should spend more time asking why his own MPs were not in the National Assembly rather than criticise the DA, the party said on Sunday.

"[Sizani's] statement on the DA’s successful blocking of the job-killing labour relations amendment bill is nothing more than a desperate attempt to save face for what was clearly a bad first day on the job," Democratic Alliance Chief Whip Watty Watson said in a statement.

"The DA is proud to have withheld the quorum for the session, which we are entitled to do, in order to ensure this bill was not passed."

He said the enactment of the bill would have been a major set-back in the fight against unemployment.

The National Assembly passed the basic conditions of employment amendment bill on Thursday, but after heated debate, could not vote on the accompanying labour relations amendment bill.

Debate on the bills was dominated by the issues of labour broking and strike balloting, with the opposition objecting strongly to recent changes it sees as concessions to the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

Earlier, Sizani bemoaned what he called an "irresponsible decision" by the DA to walk out of the process.

He claimed opposition MPs, led by DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, assembled in the parliamentary bar and watched the proceedings on a television monitor.

"It is shameful and scandalous that an official opposition would boycott a parliamentary sitting on such a crucial national matter that affects the livelihood of millions of our workers in favour of sitting in a bar," he said.

"The parliamentary leader's role in this disgraceful conduct is a clearest indication yet that this DA caucus is rudderless."

Sizani also said the poor attendance at the National Assembly would be looked into.

"The poor attendance of Members of Parliament from all political parties on this bill cannot be condoned."

He said that, according to parliamentary attendance records, the African National Congress had 171 MPs present in the house on Thursday.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  da  |  anc  |  watty watson  |  stone sizani  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  labour  |  politics

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