Debate turns into catalogue of wishes

2013-06-06 00:00

PARTIES used the debate on the policy speech by KZN Legislature Speaker Peggy Nkonyeni to list a catalogue of their wishes yesterday.

This was after Nkonyeni tabled a policy speech detailing how the institution would spend its budget for 2013/14 financial year.

Speaking during the debate, The IFP’s Mntomuhle Khawula complained about personal assistants not being allocated to chief whips and the leader of the official opposition despite other office bearers having the service.

Khawula also complained about opposition parties not being given the opportunity to officiate when the legislature engaged communities.

“When you compare this legislature to other legislatures like Gauteng, North West and others, it leaves a lot to be desired.

“Our administration seems to think they are doing us a favour. No! it is not so. We are all members,” he said.

The DA’s Radley Keys said ANC members used portfolio committees to laud their MECs and the departments.

“It is a foreign concept to hold them to account and scrutinise their delivery records. This is left to opposition members without fail,” he said.

He also proposed the refurbishment of the legislature building rather than building a new complex that would cost over R1 billion.

The ANC’s Belinda Scott wished for more quality in their tools of trade such as iPads.

“We need a lot of thought on tools of trade,” Scott said.

She also wanted the legislature to consider the exorbitant taxation of parliamentarians on travel claims, among other things.

The Minority Front’s Vimmi Ramdaas-Bachu said the policy of personal drivers should be reconsidered, especially for older women parliamentarians.

The ACDP’s Joan Downs emphasised the need for opposition to be afforded an opportunity to be included in officiating in legislature programmes when they engaged the communities.

Nkonyeni said the issues were being taken seriously.

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