South Africa will host the meeting of the Southern African Development Community parliamentary forum this year on an “emergency basis”, Speaker Baleka Mbete told a programming committee meeting today. It had also been requested that the event be held in Durban, not Cape Town, “because of the weather”, she said. “The DRC was supposed to host last year but, because of Ebola, parliamentarians were afraid of going there so Zimbabwe hosted the event. Now the DRC has said it is not in a position to host this year because it is preparing for elections,” she explained. The request was made when Mbete attended a SADC parliamentary forum executive committee meeting a few weeks ago. Mbete said she had agreed, but told the regional inter-parliamentary body that South Africa could not do it in June, as scheduled, because the country was hosting an African Union event – “also on an emergency basis”. “They [the SADC executive] also requested that it not be hosted in Cape Town, because of the weather. I agreed that it be taken to [DA chief whip John] Steenhuisen’s home in Durban, eThekwini.” MPs had no objections but Steenhuisen and the Inkatha Freedom Party’s Narend Singh raised questions about costs. The programming committee was told that costs were still being finalised. South Africa needed to provide a venue and also host the leaders of the delegation, but consultation would be held with the KwaZulu-Natal legislature to defray costs.