100s of questions in parly unanswered

2011-12-14 18:34

Cape Town - Hundreds of parliamentary questions posed during the course of the year remain unanswered, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said on Wednesday.

MPs in her party had asked 2 487 questions in the National Assembly during 2011, she said in a statement.

"This represents 67% of the 3 683 questions submitted by MPs."

In the National Council of Provinces, the Democratic Alliance's 10 delegates had asked 265 questions.

Mazibuko said the DA had also submitted 212 oral questions during the year; 44% of the 478 oral questions published.

One of the main ways the opposition could hold government to account was through posing questions.

"But in 2011, members of the executive have continuously shied away from their responsibilities in this regard, either by failing to answer questions completely or not answering them at all."

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe had said that all questions would be answered before they lapsed on the December 13.

"However, as of close of day [on December 13], 267 written questions asked by members of the National Assembly remain unanswered... In the NCOP, a total of 128 questions remain unanswered... ."

In this regard, the worst performers included correctional services (54 unanswered), social development (44) and co-operative governance (42).

"I have requested a meeting with [Motlanthe], as the leader of government business, to discuss the continued problem of unanswered questions in Parliament.

"The Chief Whip of the official opposition, Watty Watson, has requested a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, to discuss the role that his office must play in ensuring that all MPs' questions are answered completely and punctually."

Mazibuko said the DA would submit proposed changes to the rules to ensure that all loopholes which ministers used to avoid answering questions were removed.

  • Grant - 2011-12-14 18:42

    Don't be silly, you are not allowed to ask questions? African democracy means you do what you are told without question. Opposing points of view are not allowed!

      trevor06 - 2011-12-14 18:58

      Maybe the questions are to hard? They should be written in picture format, along with some crayons, perhaps the incentive of an ice-cream upon completion should be started???Instead of asking sooooo many questions, perhaps a simple : " Do you know what you are doing ? " should be a standard question for EVERY department?

  • Ben - 2011-12-14 18:50

    Maybe the questions are very difficult to answer. This should actually be the easiest part of the job.

  • Jay - 2011-12-14 18:56


      Jeffrey - 2011-12-14 19:23

      They are putting the pressure on. The ANC just don't give a damn about parliamentary process or the people of SA, they are too secure with their huge majority.

      Oceanh - 2011-12-14 20:41

      Jay, there is a process, the ruling party however feel that they do not have to answer any questions, regarless of how much pressure is applied

  • Larry - 2011-12-14 19:36

    So! what happens now? does the questions just go away, or will they eventually be answered, after the ANC has had the time to come up with a semi literate response?

  • An observer - 2011-12-14 19:43

    The ability to answer questions is the distinction between reason and self-interest. The question I want to ask my fellow "posters" is, "what are you going to do about it?" Protesting, not merely by writing protest posts, requires you to be present at the protest, so, come on there are going to be lots of protests next year. Please become visible in your protests.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2011-12-14 20:07

      You make a valid point, observer. When was the storming of the Bastille? Times have changed. We don't have to keep on doing the same thing. There are other ways to free us of Arrogance Nepotism and Corruption. And all self-serving politicians, for that matter.

      mundu.olewega - 2011-12-14 20:48

      I agree, get out and protest in front of parliament also withhold your taxes if you can. Nothing will get these fat slugs off their asses quicker that withholding money.

  • mike.clery - 2011-12-14 19:58

    To be expected - this ANC leadership regards the real purpose of parliament to be just a nuisance, and arrogance rules OK? As far as they're concerned, parliament's just there to legitimise their anti-democratic actions - just to give it all a veneer of democracy.

  • malcolm - 2011-12-14 20:22

    The DA is morally correct to ask the questions and expect answers. This would work in a 1st world country. Unfortunately no amount of meetings and follow ups will work with the ANC government. They cannot even fall into the category 3rd world. Their mentality is more aligned to a category defined as neanderthal. Basically the missing link. Methinks Darwin was not a South African. We have living proof of his theories here in South Africa. Its called the ANC.

      Anthony - 2011-12-15 09:46

      moss-- i said in 1994 that these people cant run the country and in 2011 i have 1000's of proof that they cant run the country --this must make u very proud hey

  • Moss - 2011-12-14 20:38

    Coffee will be fine Lindi, skimmed milk and 2 spoons please. thank you Lindi. "ohh she is such a wonderful maid" *Sandton Women meeting over coffee*

      Dave - 2011-12-14 20:50

      Just try and keep your day job

      Moss - 2011-12-14 21:16

      and buy a brain!!

      mike.clery - 2011-12-14 21:33

      Your comment is an indication of just how low the level of "debate" has sunk in SA. She makes a valid and serious point questioning how well our democracy is working, and your response is to dismiss her by calling her a "maid".

      Irene - 2011-12-14 21:58

      Moss, do you even understand what a kwesshin is?

      pws69 - 2011-12-15 00:49

      Must be really hard to be a racist like you are. The rest of us just want a better South Africa for ALL South Africans. Besides it is better to be an honest "tea lady" than a thieving piece of ANC scum that steals billions from the poorest of the poor, and still have the audacity to look those same poor in the eye and lie about how much you care about them.

      Moss - 2011-12-15 07:52

      Next year they must ask questions which are of National Interests, not minority!!

  • Dave - 2011-12-14 21:02

    EVERY time any ANC member rises to speak,in the house interupt their speech to ask when are our questions going to be answered.If the Speaker calls you to order, tell the Speaker to enforce the rules, until he does these interuptions will continue. WE,THE TAXPAYERS, demand that the questions be answered.

      mike.clery - 2011-12-14 21:29

      Well, it's not just taxpayers they're answerable to. Parliament is supposed to be there to represent all "the people" of SA. The executive must answer to the people through parliament. But our system of proportional representation has perverted that to such an extent that it's almost worthless now - witness the passing of the "secrecy bill".

      Azande - 2011-12-15 00:53

      who else other than taxpayers, Mike?

      mike.clery - 2011-12-15 08:43

      @Azande - I made the point because citizenship isn't defined by whether or not you're a registered and contributing taxpayer. But you're right (if that's your point) - every SA resident is a taxpayer one way or another - VAT, fuel surcharges, import duties, etc. MPs are supposed to represent all the citizens of SA. What should be of real concern to everyone, regardless of political affiliation, is that government is not responding to legitimate questions about its performance. It's *very* short-sighted of supporters of the (current) ruling party to dismiss this point that opposition parties are raising. Will they be happy when the ruling faction's actions (or lack of them) have a seriously negative impact on their lives? What recourse will they have when the Chapter 9 institutions have been rendered toothless by being under the control of the ruling faction?

  • Azande - 2011-12-15 00:57

    Can u organize Mazibuko a man from Venda. The Cape Townians seemingly are stiring a 10lt bucket with a spoon.

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