Fines, expulsion for absentee MPs

2011-07-13 22:18

Cape Town - Parliament could soon introduce fines of R500 a day for missing work for MPs who go absent without leave for more than a fortnight, the office of the ANC chief whip said on Wednesday.

"The proposals are a way of acting on the constitutional provision prescribing the period for which an MP can be absent," said Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson for the office of the ANC chief whip.

The rules of Parliament state that MPs need leave from the legislature if they are going to be absent for more than 15 consecutive days while the National Assembly is in session.

"This takes it further by dealing with absenteeism from (portfolio) committees and proposing minimum and maximum penalties," Mothapo said.

He said the proposed rules amendment had been approved by the chief whips' forum and handed to all political parties as a draft discussion document for consideration. It was expected to serve before the rules committee "soon".

The document proposes that if a lawmaker is absent for 15 consecutive sitting days of the National Assembly without leave "an amount of R500 will be deducted from that member's salary for each day in excess of the 15 days".

It proposes that an MP who is absent for 30 or 60 consecutive sitting days without leave, should lose his or her seat.

With regard to committee meetings, it is suggested that if members are absent without leave or good reason, such as attendance of another committee, they will lose their seats on the committee.

A tightening of the rules, with penalties for absenteeism, has been in the pipeline since 2003, but the document suggests that implementation is hindered by a lack of enthusiasm from political parties.

It calls for input from parties on the system they use to grant leave to their members and said new rules could not be finalised and implemented without this information.

"All parties have been requested to provide the guidelines that they are using in granting leave but only two responses have been received."

Mothapo confirmed that the proposals have been "coming and going for years" and said there was now renewed intent to have them adopted.

This follows the budget speech of Speaker Max Sisulu last month in which he lamented that "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 people placed in us".

In recent months, Parliament has repeatedly been unable to adopt legislation because there were too few MPs present in the National Assembly for the necessary quorum to pass the laws.


Read more on:    politics  |  parliament 2011

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Thursday Cape Town - 07:33 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS between Sable Road and the M5 Koeberg Interchange
  • Thursday Kuils River - 07:25 AM
    Road name: R300 Northbound
    DELAYS approaching the Van Riebeeck Road exit
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.