Minister Davies a 'serial non-attender' in Parliament - DA

2016-03-09 18:42
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The DA called Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies a "serial non-attender" in Parliament as it lodged a complaint about him not being present to take questions related to South Africa's economy on Wednesday.

Government ministers' attendance in the National Assembly was important to fulfil Parliament's oversight role, said opposition DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, facing the markedly thinned out ministerial pews ahead of questions.

He said it was fine for Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina to give a prepared response, but follow-up questions would not be within his ambit because he is not a member of the executive.

"This is a serial offence on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry," said Steenhuisen.

ANC MP Mathole Motshekga objected to the "serial non-attender" label, saying all the ministers who were absent had already tendered apologies.

Masina said it was known that Davies was with President Jacob Zuma on a visit to Nigeria.

Speaker Baleka Mbete said she would take it up with the leader of government business at a forthcoming meeting.

MPs were expected to also express dismay over Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan not being present for debate on his latest Budget.

Gordhan was meeting investors in the UK and US to promote South Africa as an investment destination. 

On Tuesday night, Moody's Investors Service said it planned to put the nation's credit rating on review for a downgrade to one level above junk.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  rob davies  |  cape town  |  politics  |  parliament 2016

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