Parliament, Friday 2 September 2022 – During its meeting this morning, the Rules Committee of the National Assembly endorsed the recommendation by the
Subcommittee on Physical Removal of Members from Chamber that the conduct of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Members of Parliament who were physically removed from the Chamber on 9 and 10 June 2022 be referred to the Powers and Privileges Committee.
The referral to the Committee is to establish if there was a breach of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act by the Members.
The Subcommittee made the recommendation following the physical removal of EFF members from the Chamber and on the online platform after, on both 9 and 10 June 2022 during the Presidency Budget Vote and the Reply to the Debate on the Budget Vote, the Members engaged in disorderly conduct and spurious points of order.
To download the soundbite of the Spokesperson of Parliament Mr Moloto Mothapo click here: https://www.iono.fm/e/1222748
Furthermore, the Committee adopted the report on assessment of reasons given by Ministers on late replies to written questions by Members.
The assessment is in accordance with the system for monitoring replies to questions which states that the Speaker would on a quarterly basis write to affected Ministers requesting reasons for failure to meet the deadlines and also inform the Leader of Government Business on the matter.
Some of the general reasons given by Ministers are the technical nature of some questions, challenges in gathering and verifying information, certain questions relating to provinces, local government or entities on which Ministers have limited or no control as well as changes in departmental management.
It was recommended that the Committee considers developing guidelines on replies and that such be communicated to the Leader of Government Business.
Some of the draft guidelines proposed to the Committee were that:
i. Ministers may not exceed the 10 working days as per Rule 146 (1) of the NA or the extension period granted by the Speaker
ii. Executive must answer each and every point raised in a question comprehensively and also reasonably assist a member to the extent that the information in a question is accurate, and that
iii. Where a matter falls outside the responsibility of a Minister, the Minister should expeditiously provide the respective member with a response as to why the matter does not reside in the affected department.
These draft Guidelines, together with proposals for establishment of an Oversight committee on the Presidency and reintroduction of Interpellations during question time were referred to the Subcommittee on the Review of Rules for consideration.
To download the soundbite of the Spokesperson of Parliament Mr Moloto Mothapo click here: https://www.iono.fm/e/1222750
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