100s of questions in parly unanswered
Cape Town - Hundreds of parliamentary questions posed during the course of the year remain unanswered, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said on Wednesday.
MPs in her party had asked 2 487 questions in the National Assembly during 2011, she said in a statement.
"This represents 67% of the 3 683 questions submitted by MPs."
In the National Council of Provinces, the Democratic Alliance's 10 delegates had asked 265 questions.
Mazibuko said the DA had also submitted 212 oral questions during the year; 44% of the 478 oral questions published.
One of the main ways the opposition could hold government to account was through posing questions.
"But in 2011, members of the executive have continuously shied away from their responsibilities in this regard, either by failing to answer questions completely or not answering them at all."
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe had said that all questions would be answered before they lapsed on the December 13.
"However, as of close of day [on December 13], 267 written questions asked by members of the National Assembly remain unanswered... In the NCOP, a total of 128 questions remain unanswered... ."
In this regard, the worst performers included correctional services (54 unanswered), social development (44) and co-operative governance (42).
"I have requested a meeting with [Motlanthe], as the leader of government business, to discuss the continued problem of unanswered questions in Parliament.
"The Chief Whip of the official opposition, Watty Watson, has requested a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, to discuss the role that his office must play in ensuring that all MPs' questions are answered completely and punctually."
Mazibuko said the DA would submit proposed changes to the rules to ensure that all loopholes which ministers used to avoid answering questions were removed.