Tourism Committee Chairperson and African National Congress (ANC) MP, Supra Mahumapelo, says Parliament needs a communication line where the public can raise their issues 24-hours a day.
Mahumapelo’s proposal was supported by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), during the first day of the two day parliamentary strategic planning session for the sixth Parliament.
“I don’t know if there will be money for a call centre or a platform that can service a call centre which would be linked to also this thing that honourable (Jacques) Julius raised – petitions. So that members of the public can 24/7 send issues to Parliament. And we must have a system that will make it possible for us.”
He adds: “When we refer a matter to the executive or whoever is supposed to respond within a particular period, so that as parliament we can go back to the complainant or whoever has raised that particular matter – it will raise awareness and also close that gap of mistrust between us and the people on the ground, because if they we are going to raise issues and we come back to them after 12 months, it’s just going to worsen the situation.”
Meanwhile, EFF MP Veronica Mente says the introduction of a 24-hour call centre in Parliament is necessary. She says it may also assist parliament in its fight against corruption.
“House chair I couldn’t agree more with the two sentiments, – one of the call centre. There used to be one under the DPSA (Department of Public Services and Administration). But at some point, I was with Baba Ntombela in the DPSA Committee. We tested it in the committee. The phone rang waya-waya (all the time). So I think it was discontinued at some point. It should be really reinstated. It will help because it will also curb corruption that we are trying to fight as Parliament.”