Speakers focus on ethics of public representatives

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (Paul Herman, News24)
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (Paul Herman, News24)

Speakers in the legislative sector want frameworks governing the ethical behaviour of public representatives to be further strengthened, Parliament said on Sunday.

"It is necessary that the legislative sector play a leading role in combating corruption," said Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo in a statement detailing the outcomes of a Speaker’s Forum meeting which took place in Pretoria earlier this week.

"In this regard, an assessment of current mechanisms is being conducted to amend or strengthen these where necessary."

The Forum is chaired by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, and includes the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the Speakers and Deputy Speakers of all nine Provincial Legislatures.

Mothapo said that the forum also discussed a need to investigate more funding.

"The Forum … reiterated the need for the budget of the legislative sector to provide adequately for its oversight and legislative mandate."

The Forum has also agreed to compile a report detailing achievements and "matters still needing attention".

Report backs were given on participation in the Common Wealth Parliamentary Association, the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the 62nd Session of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women and the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and BRICS Parliamentary Forum.

On the sidelines of the forum meeting, a R140m partnership with the European Union and the legislative sector was launched.

"Ms Mbete expressed her appreciation of the efforts by the EU and the partnership in supporting South Africa’s developmental agenda," said Mothapo.

"The programme will assist the sector in its efforts to give particular attention to the alignment of oversight instruments like the sector oversight model as well as efforts to systematically track implementation of the National Development Plan."

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