Ramaphosa promises improved attendance by ministers at Parliament

2016-09-01 21:06


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: Ramaphosa's Parly condom pitch

2016-09-01 17:02

On Thursday Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa urged Members of Parliament to help themselves to the new government 'Max' condoms - condoms designed for 'maximum pleasure...that make no noise.' Watch. WATCH

Cape Town – Have faith. Ministers will get better at accounting to Parliament. Watch this space.

That was Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's "promise" to Parliament on Thursday.

"This is a promise that I make. We have taken it to heart and we are going to make sure that attendance is improved," he said.

Ramaphosa was answering a question on what measures he, as leader of government business, would take to ensure that members of the executive attended and answered oral questions in the National Assembly.

This issue was raised by parties in Parliament who have bemoaned the empty benches allocated to ministers in the House.

Ramaphosa told the MPs on Thursday that the problem of accountability to Parliament had been raised by opposition as well as ANC members.

It was a problem that was in the process of being resolved, he said, asking for time to implement his promise to the National Assembly.

Ministerial written and oral replies were discussed at Cabinet meetings all the time, he said.

Questions regarding VVIP jet

This after MPs called for ministers to be financially punished or face harsher penalties for not showing up in Parliament.

MPs said ministers Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Rob Davies and Angie Motshekga and others rarely appeared in Parliament and did not answer questions satisfactorily. 

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said the party had been trying to get answers from Mapisa-Nqakula regarding a VVIP jet to be procured for the presidency, to no avail.

He did not know whether to applaud the promise, he said, adding that it was time for results.

He then asked if Ramaphosa would shed some light on the party's view on the purchase of the jet.

The minister would answer the question when she appeared in the House, Ramaphosa told Maimane.

"Have faith," a jovial Ramaphosa told the DA leader.

'Protecting executive'

"You are a religious man, it is important to practice your faith, even in Parliament. I would like us to watch this space. I am certain there is going to be greater performance when it comes to attendance in Parliament," he said.

This was not met with much enthusiasm from the opposition benches.

The Economic Freedom Fighters questioned if ministers were disciplined for truancy, while the DA's John Steenhuisen accused the deputy president of protecting the ministers.

"People are starting to wonder if your office is not the supermax of government, because much like the package you were waving around earlier, you are protecting the executive from their parliamentary accountability," the DA chief whip said.

He was referring to the new government fruit-flavoured condoms, Max, which Ramaphosa had earlier encouraged MPs to make use of.

"Except your max leaves a very bitter taste in one's mouth," Steenhuisen said.

It was clear that Ramaphosa's discussions with ministers were not working, the DA said.

Read more on:    anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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 24.com 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.