#UnrestSA: National Assembly to have 'extraordinary' debate on looting, riots

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Durban taxi rank drivers and community members clean the streets in Durban central.
Durban taxi rank drivers and community members clean the streets in Durban central.
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  • The National Assembly will have an "extraordinary extended" debate on the unrest. 
  • But this will only happen in August. 
  • Speaker Thandi Modise earlier indicated she would not reconvene the National Assembly, as some opposition parties requested. 

The National Assembly will have an "extraordinary extended" debate on the unrest, looting and destructing of property - but only when Parliament reconvenes in mid-August.

Earlier in the week, Parliament announced National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise did not cede to several opposition parties' requests to reconvene the National Assembly in light of the unrest.

On Thursday, it said in a statement Modise had proposed the "extraordinary extended" debate in her memorandum to political parties.

GRAPHIC | #UnrestSA: Counting the cost of rioting and looting

"She suggests this debate be scheduled as soon as possible when the NA reconvenes in early August, preferably during the first week of House sittings," read the statement.

Modise also recommended that reports of committees already involved in oversight activities on the unrest informed the debate.

"This means these committees should prioritise their engagements, confer if necessary and report to the NA as soon as possible before the House reconvenes," read the statement.

"Deliberation on these reports during the proposed extraordinary debate may lead to further enquiries. So, one or two weeks should be added to the NA's forthcoming quarter.

READ | Unrest: About 150 000 jobs at risk, govt says

"This would provide more opportunities for questions to Cabinet ministers and for committee deliberations. Questions to Cabinet ministers concerned with the unrest should be prioritised, Ms Modise proposes."

The National Assembly Programming Committee will be convened soon to finalise these arrangements.

Modise informed the members, who requested that the National Assembly reconvene, "she did not believe it was necessary at this point to reconvene the NA by recalling members from their constituency period, when they were and should be in their constituency areas, providing guidance and leadership".

Several committees continue to meet during the constituency period. Some have dealt with matters about the unrest, like the Joint Standing Committee on Defence, Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Portfolio Committee on Police.

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