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The events that unfolded in the North West Provincial Legislature yesterday and today are a cause for concern. From the abrupt and unprocedural change in the Legislature programme to the majority of ANC members simply choosing not to attend a sitting to debate Women’s Day.
Over these two days, the crucial work of the Legislature had to take a backseat. Oversight on governance is simply impossible. This is because of the factional battles playing out towards the ANC’s North West provincial conference scheduled to take place in Rustenburg from today.
MECs have abandoned their duties and the entire Legislature has been brought to a standstill – all while ANC deployees will be contesting for power at the conference.
Yesterday, at short notice, the Speaker approved a new programme which was not adopted by the Programming Committee as required by the Rules of the House. Her manipulation of the Programme is to allow for ANC members to ditch their public duties in favour of a party political conference.
This resulted in the cancellation of scheduled public hearings on the crucial Parks and Tourism Bill today. The Legislature has spent tens of thousands of rands on a 2-week workshop to deliberate on the Bill before engaging in public hearings. Stakeholders and members of the public have been placed on a backburner while the ANC fights its party political battles at conference.
The recent events are a testament to what the DA has long contended that the ANC’s conflation of party and state is a serious obstacle for our country’s development. The province simply can’t be held at ransom, as if it is an ANC branch subjected to the party’s internal affairs.
The DA will report the Speaker to the Integrity Commissioner of the Legislature for her failure to implement the Rules that she is the custodian of to benefit her party, the ANC. We will also continue to push for the Motion of No Confidence against the Executive, who believe that honouring their mandated constitutional duties is optional.
The DA has for many years warned residents of the North West that the ANC does not hold their interests at heart. Service delivery and governance is merely a side hustle to this uncaring ANC government.
Over the next three days, the ANC Premier, MECs, MPLs, Mayors, Speakers and Councillors will battle it out for party political positions to be in control of deciding who will get what position in government and have control over tenders to reward cronies, not to improve the lives of the people in North West who are in desperate need of a responsive and caring government that deliver services to improve lives and livelihoods.
The DA remains committed to the plight of the people in North West and we will continue to demand accountability through the work we do in the Legislature.
Issued by Gavin Edwards MPL - Chief Whip: North West Provincial Legislature