Morgan’s resignation a great loss for Parliament

2013-01-04 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Parliament has lost one its most capable MPs with the resignation of Gareth Morgan of the Democratic Alliance

Morgan, of Pinetown, was his party’s spokesperson on water and environment affairs.

He said he was resigning because “I want to make my relationship work”, explaining that “an MP from outside Cape Town is always on the move in order to do constituency work”.

In the nine years since 2004 that he has been in Parliament, Morgan has become a trusted sounding board for leaders across the political spectrum on environmental and water issues.

As a Rhodes scholar, he earned a masters degree in environmental change and his expertise is widely acknowledged.

“Oh no! That is a huge loss,” was the reaction of Johnny de Lange, who chairs the environment and water affairs committee.

“Gareth Morgan’s expertise made him a tough opponent and at the same time the most constructive opposition member I’ve ever seen in Parliament. The whole committee relied on his knowledge. My best wishes to him. His party will struggle to replace him,” said De Lange.

That he is resigning at just 35 may raise eyebrows, but Morgan said he didn’t become a politician too young.

“I was a DP member since 1995. My youth and energy was always to the DA’s advantage.

“I remain interested in politics and will remain a member of the DA in opposition, which could take over government within 10 years. The transition from opposition to government is often structually complex. I would like to be part of the programme to ready the DA for that transition.”

As an MP, Morgan was part of the liberal wing of the DA, and is a strong supporter of parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.

“My move has the support of the party’s leader, Helen Zille, who I support completely. I have the utmost admiration for Lindiwe. She has put fire in the parliamentary leadership. The way she takes on President Jacob Zuma shows why I believe she will become president of South Africa.”

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