We do have money for oversight visits - Frolick

2017-01-30 13:01
Parliament house chairperson Cedric Frolick (Nasief Manie, Netwerk24)

Parliament house chairperson Cedric Frolick (Nasief Manie, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Parliament house chairperson Cedric Frolick has dismissed DA claims on oversight visits as "baseless and a distorted product of misinformation".

This is after DA chief whip John Steenhuisen on Sunday said he would be seeking clarity on why several oversight visits had been cancelled recently.

Steenhuisen said the reasons seemed to be a lack of funds.

"Oversight visits are a key mechanism for elected officials to familiarise themselves with the challenges facing South Africans and for gauging the progress (or lack thereof) of government initiatives," Steenhuisen said.

On Monday, Frolick said the committees had enough funds to do their work.

"Parliament values and prioritises the work of committees, which is carried out not only through trips or visits, but through meetings inside and outside of Parliament, public hearings, inquiries, stakeholder engagements, processing of pieces of legislation, etc.

"Parliament, through its committees, must set an example in managing public resources efficiently and effectively, and avoid wastage of taxpayers' money. International visits by committees are, at this stage, not a priority for my office," Frolick said.

Study tours by committees could only be considered after thorough motivation and discussion, he said.

"Our main priority is to oversee the effective implementation of government programmes that will improve the living conditions of our people," said Frolick.

He said committees constituted the backbone of Parliament's work and, therefore, had to be optimally productive and work efficiently and effectively.

The DA statement was misleading, he said.

Steenhuisen said it was alarming that oversight visits were being cancelled for financial reasons, yet the Secretary to Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana, continued to travel.

"It is difficult to understand how Parliament can rationalise the need for Mgidlana to stay at five-star hotels or be chauffeur-driven in luxury Mercedes-Benz sedans, whereas MPs are told there isn’t money to visit the dysfunctional University of Zululand amid a higher education crisis."

Read more on:    parliament  |  da  |  cedric frolick  |  cape town  |  politics

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