Parly to Pretoria? Yes, says Mbete. Modise to North West? ‘Hopefully not’

accreditation
National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise and Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete have spent many hours presiding over Parliament. But as the end of their term is approaching, Modise is fending off speculation that she’s heading to the North West, while Mbete has said she supported Parliament’s move to Pretoria. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi
National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise and Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete have spent many hours presiding over Parliament. But as the end of their term is approaching, Modise is fending off speculation that she’s heading to the North West, while Mbete has said she supported Parliament’s move to Pretoria. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi

The big move. That was on the mind of both of Parliament’s presiding officers on Tuesday.

But while Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, had her eye on Pretoria and a possible Parliament move from the drought-stricken Cape Town, the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, was pinning her hopes on going anywhere other than the Supra-stricken North West.

Mbete and Modise were outlining the key issues to be covered in their Parliamentary budget vote speeches on Tuesday afternoon, when Modise confirmed that she had not been approached by the ANC to replace embattled North West leader Supra Mahumapelo as the province’s premier.

She took the opportunity to dismiss speculation suggesting that the ANC had approached her to replace the embattled Mahumapelo as the province’s premier during a media briefing held by the two presiding officers of Parliament on Tuesday morning to outline key issues to be covered in their speeches held that same afternoon.

It had emerged in various media outlets that Modise, who previously served as the province’s premier from 2010 to 2014, had been touted as a firm favourite to replace Mahumapelo.

However, Modise made it clear that she had not been approached by the ANC to take on a second tenure as the North West premier.

“I have definitely not been approached to go back to the North West. I have, however, recently read speculations to that effect,” said Modise.

Modise said the speculation may be fuelled by the fact that when she was appointed as premier of the North West in 2010, the ANC had announced that she went in “as an intervention”. She did not think that “at this late hour” the ANC would be requesting that she step in yet again.

Modise, however, explained that should the ANC request that she step in as the premier, she would follow the tradition of the party, which states that a member complies when being deployed.

“I am just hoping that they [the ANC] won’t deploy me,” said Modise.

On the other hand, Mbete stuck to the script. Since this budget vote was the last in the five-year mandate of the current Parliament, she took stock of the past successes and challenges of the work.

Mbete acknowledged that the fifth Parliament, particularly under former president Jacob Zuma, experienced “unprecedented forms of disorder”.

She conceded that the shift in leadership when Zuma stepped down and was replaced by president Cyril Ramaphosa required the presiding parliamentary officers, the office of the chief justice and the office of the presidency to work hand in hand to foster a smooth transition.

Mbete also said “failure to provide service delivery did not only reflect badly on government but also on Parliament’s own oversight and accountability measures.”

Mbete also said as presiding officer of Parliament, she supported the government’s proposal to move Parliament from Cape Town to Pretoria and explained that an external service provider had already been appointed to conduct a six-month socio-economic and impact study to see if the move would be viable.

Moving on to some of what she viewed as Parliament’s achievements, Mbete revealed that Parliament-initiated laws were on the rise, recently the Political Party Funding Bill to ensure transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties represented in Parliament and the provincial legislatures.

“We have, to date, passed 74 bills this term, although there are quite a number still before us.”

Mbete also cited achievements beyond just serving the South African as she said, “our engagement and leadership in international parliamentary forums is increasing, in bodies, such as, the Pan African Parliament, the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Brics Parliamentary Forum and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.”

According to Mbete, Parliament in seeking ways to ensure that members of Parliament attended parliamentary proceedings, it has introduced a roster for members to sign.

Looking ahead, Modise announced that Parliament had requested a budget of R2.842 billion for the 2018/19 financial year.

However, the 2018/19 Parliamentary allocation so far has been R2.451 billion.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s comments on the Constitution and the judiciary has been termed an “extraordinary attack” that is “dangerous and regressive”. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
She’s within her rights
9% - 14 votes
It’s all politics
25% - 40 votes
It was irresponsible
66% - 106 votes
Vote