News24

Absentee MPs, ministers beware

2011-06-21 22:39

Cape Town - ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga on Tuesday gave notice that consequences await absentee MPs and ministers in Parliament.

Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on Parliament's budget vote, he also rejected any suggestion of a parliamentary committee to oversee the presidency.

"Empty benches either by backbenchers or members of the executive of all parties erode the image and integrity of this institution and betray the trust that the people placed in us," he said.

"Honourable Speaker, we are hereby giving notice that we shall act in defence of the people and the image and integrity of this House without any further delay.

"We welcome your resolve to strengthen the oversight role of this Parliament but wish to make it abundantly clear that this oversight relates to government departments not to the presidency," he said.

The confusion in this matter was occasioned by lack of clarity on the status of the ministry of evaluation and monitoring in the presidency.

"Minister Collins Chabane has advised us that this department will be autonomous like other departments.

"Thus as parliament we shall establish a portfolio or find a committee to oversee this department not the presidency.

"We are also of the firm view that the national planning commission is not a government department that needs oversight by this Parliament.

"Let us therefore once and for all focus on oversight of government departments not the presidency," he said.

Besides, there were already many portfolio committees which over-stretched and made MPs ineffective.

"We shall have to review these committees and rationalise them."

Motshekga also supports the initiative to extend Parliament's building.

As matters stood now the environment in parliament was not conducive to productivity.

MPs had to walk long distances to attend meetings, there was shortage of appropriate offices for committee chairs and their staff, and there were no dedicated offices for big committees.

"It will be cost effective to extend the Parliament building to accommodate MPs and staff," he said.

Comments
  • Bill - 2011-06-21 22:55

    Wada wada wada wada...you're all an embarrassment to parliament…!

      cliffarc - 2011-06-22 07:26

      - Gotta love the way they blame their unproductivity on the Parliamentary building. There should also have been a cautionary , with consequences, for those caught sleeping , picking their noses and eating.

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-06-22 08:09

      And i love how they overstate the rejection of someone who will oversee the Presidency when it is in fact the lack of leadership that is allowing Ministers to .... well.... nothing. And again, not even 2months after an election. If anyone is to blame it is the President. These are his appointments

  • Jonathan - 2011-06-21 23:03

    When last was Winnie "Stompie" Mandela in attendance?

      cliffarc - 2011-06-22 07:35

      - Now why would a silly little rule like this , bother someone who has broken countless criminal laws and gotten away with it all ?

  • CamsComment - 2011-06-21 23:43

    LOL - this has been coming for a while. Every year they spin the same story, "show up or else" Or else what - are you going to pay me more to come to parliament? What a joke

      PB - 2011-06-22 12:05

      The government sounds like those parents who keep on telling their brats "if you don't stop doing that, I'm going to take your cellphone away" and never actually do it. Then they are amazed that the kid ignore the threat.

  • WC Republic - 2011-06-22 03:24

    Good to see that they will be clamping down on absenteeism. But spending all that money for what? So that MP's don't have to walk very far, ridiculous. If they don't get any exercise they will become even fatter and lazier. That money could have been spended on much better things. "Cost efficient", like the Yanks say "give me a break"

  • Graham - 2011-06-22 05:43

    And who will go after that murderer winnie mandela who is never at work?

  • Stuartthom - 2011-06-22 06:26

    it maks no difference if they are there or not. Let them get on with their wheeling and dealings and general corrupt activities

  • anthro45@24.com - 2011-06-22 06:58

    If they're not in Parlement sleeping, they're out there being corrupt and making millions. Either way, they are useless to society and just costing this country millions of wasted rands.

  • Marcell - 2011-06-22 07:30

    Hulle is bang die wat nie daar is nie is besig om te vreet by die trog. Netnou is daar nie genoeg vir almal nie!

  • 50something - 2011-06-22 08:05

    Parliament is becoming top heavy. They need more and more people to do nothing. in the past you needed one person to do a job, now you need three to do half the job. They are all fatcats so a bit of walking is not going to kill them. Where are they when they have to be in parliament, we pay their salaries, so I am their employer, so give them a diciplinery and fire them. Useless fatcats. Now they blame the building for lack of productivity - if you really want to be productive, you can do it in a scack - if you have the will ...

  • 50something - 2011-06-22 08:08

    News24 - can we please have the profile of absentee MP's - from which parties are they, so next time we vote, we know who is taking their appointment seriously.

  • biskit - 2011-06-22 08:15

    The MP's LOL @ the "Beware" warning - its a JOKE!!

  • Riaan - 2011-06-22 08:40

    Unless you're Winnie (Mugger of the nation) Mandela, of course. Then you're exempt from this. This I want to see before I believe it.

  • Oupa - 2011-06-22 08:46

    Suspend them immediately with full pay. That will teach them!

      50something - 2011-06-22 09:43

      Funny but sad

  • juan.coetzee - 2011-06-22 08:53

    If the standard ANC punishment is applied, we can expect promotions and bonuses all round.

  • daaivark - 2011-06-22 09:14

    Every year the chief whip cracks his rhino-hide and waggles a finger at the habitual truants like Winnie and her coterie of wannabe crooks, but does it make any difference? Is the pope islamic?

  • KrayZee - 2011-06-22 09:17

    After 17 years they decide they need oversight! You idiots, you don't need portfolios and committees to oversee government departments, you need something which has been lacking for the last decade or so - a damn good president who appoints people who can function in their positions without oversight, not deploy cadres whose only function seems to be to enrich themselves. Empty threats like "absentee MPs, ministers beware..." mean absolutely nothing; and, who the hell is going to oversee the overseers?

      PB - 2011-06-22 12:13

      There is no sense of responsibility, no self discipline, no pride in doing the job they are appointed to do - it is just "how much can I (and my hangers-on) embezzle before it gets too obvious and then being put on PAID suspension for another couple of years".

  • Moipone Bokaba - 2011-06-22 11:15

    Butthen again, the only time we see all the parliamentarians it is when the malament (sic) opens. That is when you get to see all of them strutting their stuff and regalias for all to ogle at. Some are more concerned with making appearances more than the tasks at hand and the funny thing is, we watch and the criticise but what we critisize is not the aptitude nor the ineptitude of some of them or their intellect which is not deeper than a puddle, it is their clothes....i always laugh at myself when i find myself commenting even gossiping about who wore what that looked like it was spewed from a crocodile's belly. My point is, Parliament becomes a fashion parade only once and thereafter it is a ghost town and i am taxed like crazy just so that they can build an African Parliament at the cost of a billion. Yes, some us never learn....

  • bent5000 - 2011-06-22 11:30

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  • ZACKIE - 2011-06-22 11:42

    seems like there is no one in charge of the anc circus..so call a meeting

  • dannymothilall.danny - 2012-12-11 16:59

    The best is yet to come when the oppositions raise a valid point.In this case as soon as the MADAM SPEAKER detects that there is a danger that the ANC will be rebuked then the MADAM SPEAKER says 'OUT OF ORDER'or ORDA-ORDA.

  • dannymothilall.danny - 2012-12-11 17:02

    The MPs became ineffective because of the PORTFAILURE committee being overstretched.

  • Jamie Pamuk Brown - 2013-03-13 03:02

    There is enough buildings around Parliament these bloody lazy buggers can occupy.They just need to stretch those legs a bit.And be in time.

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