National Assembly Speaker, Thandi Modise says the only way for MPs to expose ministers for their performance or non-performance is to bring it to the attention of the President and his Deputy during oral reply sessions.
Modise was responding to an argument in the National Assembly’s Programme Committee on whether Deputy President David Mabuza should answer oral questions only once every quarter.
Mabuza’s parliamentary counsellor Hope Papo raised concern that the Deputy President is often faced with questions that do not fall within his mandate to answer.
The National Assembly rules make provision for the Deputy President to answer oral questions only once every quarter.
Mabuza will however be back in the Assembly next week, for the third time in this quarter.
Modise says, “We must seriously consider whether once in a quarter would be enough. And that is the debate which I want to say it must be considered very calmly, very cooley, because it might be relieving the Deputy President, but it will actually be taking away the only way Parliament. Both Houses (NA and NCOP) actually expose whether Ministers are aware and are doing their jobs properly. It’s to put questions. The only way to bring to the attention of both the president and the Deputy President is via those questions.”