Mpumalanga fails to pass budget

2012-06-08 11:25
Mpumalanga legislature

Mpumalanga legislature

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Johannesburg - The Mpumalanga provincial legislature confirmed on Friday that its budget had not been passed as scheduled.

The Mpumalanga appropriation bill, the annual budget of the provincial government, was scheduled to be passed on Thursday.

"The prolonged engagements at the finance committee level by the budget committee resulted in a procedural oversight," said legislature spokesperson, Zamagambu Memela-Gamede.

The committee report could not be circulated to all members of the legislature.

As a result the bill could not be passed.

The bill would be tabled next Tuesday.

Earlier, opposition parties said they had blocked the legislation.

They had done so in protest at the ANC's perceived non-compliance with legislature rules and orders, according to a joint statement issued by the DA and Cope.

"According to the legislature's rules and orders, no bill may be passed by the legislature unless the relevant portfolio committee has met to discuss its contents and made its recommendations," the parties said.

The portfolio committee must meet at least five days before the debate on the bill takes place.

In addition, the committee's report should be circulated at least two days before the debate.

Although the committee met to consider the bill, the report was reportedly circulated less than 24 hours before the legislature sitting was to take place.

Insufficient time

This meant members of the provincial legislature had insufficient time to consider the report.

Previously, the legislature's chief whip and whips of political parties would agree to suspend the two-day rule.

The legislature would then suspend the rule through a resolution of the house and proceed with its business.

"However, in this case, such prior consultation did not take place, neither was a resolution to suspend the 'two-day' rule tabled," they said.

Speaker William Lubisi attempted to put the matter to a vote, but Cope and the DA objected.

Both parties refused to withdraw their objection during a subsequent adjournment.

"We, the DA and Cope are satisfied that our 'vetoing' of the passing of the appropriation bill was justified, and trust that our actions yesterday will contribute significantly to increased efficiency within the legislature, and improved communication between parties," they said.

The appropriation bill has now been rescheduled for June 12.

The provincial legislature said it would comment on the matter later in the day.
- SAPA
Read more on:    cope  |  da  |  anc  |  mbombela
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