PARLIAMENT TV was first introduced a few years ago, but it had little viewership. However, with the drama that is happening in the political climate, viewers are flocking in their numbers to the channel. Attracted by the arguments, jokes, strong debates and everything in between, South Africans are now tuning into the channel more frequently.
THE STATE OF PARLIAMENT
In the past, when you thought of Parliament, you imagined a place where level-headed leaders from the various political parties discussed issues affecting citizens and amicably passed laws that positively affected the country. But things have changed and Parliament has become more like a reality show. If it isn’t members of one party not allowing the president to speak, it is members physically attacking each other.
Drama in Parliament has been making headlines for a while, sometimes with reports of physical violence. In the past, we have witnessed such incidents. An example of this is during an address by former president Jacob Zuma when a fight broke out between Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members and Parliament security. The fighting started when Speaker, Baleka Mbete, requested the EFF to leave Parliament, but when the EFF refused, security tried to escort them out. The EFF and the security got physical, with fists flying everywhere and some EFF members using their helmets to defend themselves. Another highlight was when Willie Madisha from Congress of the People (COPE) impersonated the former Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor’s accent, saying, “We can only come here and say hong, hong, hong like that member,” pointing at Naledi.
South Africans love red carpets and members of Parliament go all out to impress at the State of the Nation Address, dressing up in fancy attires designed by the likes of David Tlale and Gert-Johan Kotzee, who have dressed some of our local celebrities. But the red carpet has also been a disaster, with the fashion police calling out Thandile Sunduza for showing up to the 2014 State of the Nation Address in a yellow dress, which made her a laughing stock on social media, with users comparing her to a caterpillar.
The budget speech by the Finance Minister is one of the most watched Parliament speeches because it addresses how government intends to spend tax payer’s money. This year, the former Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, quoted an American hip hop song in his speech. After discussing how the economy performed in the past year and the changes government is going to make, he said, “As urban poet Kendrick Lamar says, ‘We gon’ be alright’,” which ended up trending on social media. Nothing could be more entertaining on TV than this.
Catch Parliament TV daily on Channel 408 on DStv