Deputy President Paul Mashatile has called for unity among political parties to develop a framework for coalition governments. Mashatile was answering oral questions in the National Assembly.
He says his office is working with the South African Local Government Association to strengthen the current framework for coalitions. He will also extend an invitation to political parties to give inputs.
This, he says, is important to avoid dysfunctional coalition agreements where service delivery is suffering or non-existent.
“To give input to help the development framework which will lead to the development of legislation, you see we are getting there. We must build consensus as political parties otherwise we will fail people and our economy will collapse. The time to foster more unity as political parties is now.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip, Siviwe Gwarube, has welcomed the national dialogue on coalition governments. The party has submitted a private members bill with proposals on how to stabilise coalition governments.
However, Gwarube has challenged Mashatile to give the country the assurance that political maturity will prevail.
“When bills come to Parliament can you assure that we will have enough political maturity to come together, to pass legislation as stated today, put petty political differences aside and put people first.”
Meanwhile, Mashatile says government will continue with its programme of land reform, no matter how many beneficiaries opt for financial redress. He says while government has many urgent and competing priorities, like social housing, it remains committed to transforming land ownership in the country.
“It is a programme that we can’t run away from. There may be weaknesses that some opt for money, don’t see land as productive, but we are pushing for people to understand that we are bringing back their land. We, on this side of the house, always understood the struggle in our country has always been the struggle for land.”
Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s question and answer session in the National Assembly :