WRAP | Parliament debates Presidency's budget

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02 June 17:42

RECAP | Ramaphosa's opening address for the budget vote 

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is dealing with the "serious and disturbing" allegations against Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who is embroiled in a scandal involving an irregular tender.

The tender was awarded to Digital Vibes, whose consultants have ties to Mkhize.Ramaphosa, though, is not going to act before the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) concludes its investigation into the matter.

elivering his budget vote to the National Assembly on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said the institutions charged with uncovering and prosecuting corruption are doing what is expected of them.

"It is important, as we rebuild these entities, that we demonstrate our confidence in their ability to investigate all allegations and to act without fear and favour. We must affirm the rule of law and the importance of due process.

"It is this principle that informs our approach to recent allegations around the minister of health and certain contracts awarded by his department," Ramaphosa said.

He said: "These are serious and disturbing allegations, and it is, therefore, essential that they be thoroughly investigated by the SIU and any other appropriate authority; that these investigations be finalised without delay and that the due legal process is followed."

Ramaphosa said he spoke to Mkhize, who is cooperating with the investigation.
Read the full report here

02 June 16:34

IFP emeritus president Mangosuthu Buthelezi raises the important point that there is no oversight over the Presidency, as such no committee could interrogate the budget. This is a longstanding complaint of opposition parties, which was also recently canvassed by the Zondo Commission, where ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe and Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise expressed little appetite for such a committee to oversee the Presidency.

- Jan Gerber

02 June 15:58

"Together, let's say no to corruption and maladministration," says Mabuza.

He later claimed government is on track to vaccinate 40 million South Africans.

02 June 15:55

Malema's address is done. Deputy President David Mabuza is next. He has 30 minutes.

02 June 15:52

Malema spent a large part of his speech advocating for the EFF's position on expropriation without compensation - that the state should hold all land in custodianship - which is currently responsible for an impasse between the EFF and ANC in the ad hoc committee amending Section 25.

"The land issue is not something you can politick with," says Malema. "You are either with us, or you're with them." He then launched into the predictable attack on state enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, whom he calls "Mr Jamnandas".

Malema also has a go at Ramaphosa about the vaccine rollout. "We know your government has mismanaged the vaccine rollout." He said the minister he appointed to oversee the rollout (Mkhize) was busy looting money from unnecessary communications contracts.

-Jan Gerber

02 June 15:35

Julius Malema is asked to withdraw his statement that Ramaphosa is responsible for lives at Marikana. Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli says that must be brought in a substantive motion. Malema withdraws without an argument.

-Jan Gerber

02 June 15:27

DA MP Dean Macpherson says when Ramaphosa took office three years ago, he did the most dangerous thing a politician can do - he offered the nation hope. Instead he led the country down a road to nowhere and broke every promise he made, Macphearson said.

Macpherson says instead of procuring vaccines, ANC comrades were obsessed with stealing the funds. He asks whether Ramaphosa is comfortable having a Health Minister accused of benefitting from an irregular tender.

- Jan Gerber

02 June 15:23

Dlakude says fighting corruption is in the ANC's manifesto. "It's acted upon for all to see. Corruption is the cancer that is slowly destroying our country. We are tired of being labelled corrupt just because we are members of the ANC." She said those found guilty of corruption should be dealt with, and the moneys recouped.

-Jan Gerber

02 June 15:15

ANC deputy chief whip Dorris Dlakude lauds the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) for preserving lives and says the ANC applauds the "successful" vaccine rollout.

-Jan Gerber

02 June 15:10

After about an hour, Ramaphosa is done. Next speaker is ANC deputy chief whip Dorris Dlakude.

02 June 15:00

Speaking on corruption, Ramaphosa says his administration has taken "decisive measures" against corruption. What he didn't mention, is that almost all the corruption-busting agencies received budget cuts.

-Jan Gerber

02 June 14:59

Amid groans from the opposition, Ramaphosa asked that the investigation into Digital Vibes and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize be allowed to unfold. He called the allegations against Mkhize "serious and disturbing". He said he spoke with Mkhize, who is cooperating with the investigation.

- Jan Gerber

02 June 14:46

"The work done in the Presidency is about action, and not talk," says President Cyril Ramaphosa, about 40 minutes into his speech.

- Jan Gerber

02 June 14:38

So far, Ramaphosa has appeared tired and his speech is very technocratic. It's a bit like a more boring version of a "family meeting" on sedatives.

-Jan Gerber

02 June 14:19

Ramaphosa says the vaccine rollout is an "extraordinary effort" which has been delayed by many challenges - "many not or own doing". Expect the opposition to make hay with government's vaccine rollout plan.

- Jan Gerber

02 June 14:16

When Ramaphosa is done, ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina will be the next speaker. Usually, she would be followed by the leader of the opposition, but DA leader John Steenhuisen is abroad doing election monitoring work in Somaliland. DA MP Dean Macpherson will be the first DA speaker, with 5 minutes. Then will be EFF leader Julius Malema, who according to the speakers list, will use all of the EFF's allotted 16 minutes. After him, Deputy President David Mabuza will have 30 minutes.

- Jan Gerber

02 June 14:14

Ramaphosa: Since the start of the sixth administration, we have worked to realign the Presidency so that it may drive society and the economy. It sought to strengthen and better equip the Presidency. The Presidency must become the heartbeat of a capable state.

02 June 14:12

The theme of President Cyril Ramaphosa's budget vote speech appears to be a capable state. "In a capable state, resources are used for the benefit of the people, and not self-enrichment."

- Jan Gerber

02 June 14:07

POLITICS THIS WEEK: Presidency oversight in the spotlight in Parliament

Ramaphosa will remain in the spotlight later in the week when the Presidency's budget vote is presented on Wednesday in the National Assembly, with five-and-a-half hours set aside for the debate that follows the next day.

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