Social cohesion, corruption on top of agenda as Mabuza to answer questions in National Assembly

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 Deputy President David Mabuza. (Photo by Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)
Deputy President David Mabuza. (Photo by Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)
  • Deputy President David Mabuza will answer questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.
  • The DA wants to know how government will promote social cohesion, investment and trade against the backdrop of Covid-19 corruption.
  • The EFF and ANC have questions about Eskom.

Corruption and social cohesion are expected to top the agenda when Deputy President David Mabuza answers questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.

READ | 'I am grateful I survived' - Mabuza after month-long illness

One of the questions dealt with initiatives by government to facilitate social cohesion, moral regeneration, investment and trade promotion in light of emerging corrupt activities on government's Covid-19 response as revealed through the work of law enforcement agencies.

"In his response, the Deputy President will reflect on how deepening unemployment, poverty, and growing inequalities within our society may lead to undesirable social fractures and disunity if not addressed," read a statement from Matshepo Seedat, Mabuza's spokesperson.

"Deputy President Mabuza will also speak to interventions taken by government to combat corrupt practices by officials conducting business with the state, as the pursuit of a capable, and ethical developmental state requires professional and ethical public servants with requisite skills and expertise to advance socio-economic development and transformation.

"The Deputy President will once again restate that this government remains steadfast in eliminating corruption and ensuring that the integrity of the state and public trust is protected."

As was often the case when Mabuza answered questions in the house, the topic of Eskom was expected to be broached.

"As chairperson of the Eskom Political Task Team, the Deputy President will also outline government's plans on procurement of cheapest and quickest energy generation options, including creating policy certainty on the procurement of renewable energy and mitigating actions to avert load shedding projected for the coming year. 

"The Deputy President will also address corporate governance issues in Eskom in the response to the question on procurement processes widely reported [in] the media against the Chief Executive Officer."

Mabuza would also respond to a question on the steps to fast-tracking the amendment to the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, which the Constitutional Court had declared invalid.

"The Deputy President will reaffirm government's commitment to the acceleration of land redistribution programme to redress the historical injustices of land dispossession and displacement."

The hybrid sitting of the National Assembly was scheduled to start at 14:00.

The questions:

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone: What are the full details of the social cohesion, including moral regeneration initiatives, and investment facilitation and trade promotion initiatives that have been developed and/or implemented under his leadership to respond to reports of widespread corruption in the Government's Covid-19 response?

EFF MP Omphile Maotwe: Whether, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Eskom Task Team, he has been informed that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eskom allegedly misled the board into terminating the R5.2 billion fuel oil supply contract with Econ Oil & Energy Ltd; if not, what reasons has Eskom advanced for the termination of the specified contract; if so, what steps will be taken against the CEO?

ANC MP Mncedisi Nontsele: With reference to the report of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research which indicates that the Republic faces load shedding for at least the next 18 months unless the Government and Eskom make the decision this year to bring the cheapest and most reliable energy on to the grid within the next three years, what are the Government's plans to procure the cheapest and quickest energy generation options in order to avert the worsening of the load shedding crisis that is projected to be at its worst by 2022 and how does the Government intend creating policy certainty regarding the procurement renewable energy, which is the cheapest option, in line with the Integrated Resource Plan? 

AIC MP Lulama Ntshayisa: Whether, following the decision of the Constitutional Court to declare the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, Act 15 of 2014, invalid and on 19 March 2019 rejecting the application of Parliament for an extension to finalise the processing of a new Amendment Act, he intends taking any steps to bring an application to Parliament's Joint Programme Committee, requesting for the fast-tracking of such amending legislation to re-open land claims for the restitution of land rights that will enable thorough opportunity for public participation before the end of this annual session of Parliament; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, by what date?

ANC MP Gordon Mpumza: Relative to his responsibility in assisting rapid response interventions with regard to service delivery in working with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and as the pandemic has revealed the increasing gap of inequality in our country, what new and innovative interventions have been put in place, particularly in remote areas, to ensure better service delivery with regard to health frontline services, to provide decent access to health in rural areas such as Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape?

ANC MP Regina Lesoma: In view of the fact that the Public Service is perceived to lack ethical and moral conduct, with many public service officials working in institutions such as the Public Service Commission which is implicated in maladministration, as well as public service officials conducting corrupt business with the State, what interventions will he put in place to increase patriotism in public servants and inspire them to adhere to the principles of Batho Pele?

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