Sizwe Mchunu, MPP
Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature
THE Democratic Alliance is KwaZulu-Natal’s most effective opposition party with 75% of all parliamentary oversight questions to provincial government being submitted by the DA KZN Legislature caucus – despite the fact that it is the third largest party.
The figures for the year 2012 to date, released earlier this week at a sitting of the provincial legislature, reveal that the DA submitted 107 out of a total of 143 parliamentary questions to members of the province’s executive since the start of the year. In contrast, the IFP, with 18 MPP’s, submitted 32 questions. According to the report, the total number of questions submitted by all parties within the KZN legislature this year is as follows;
Minority Front 0
The lack of questions posed by KZN ANC members of parliament is startling and begs the question – why are the ANC not taking their role of oversight seriously? Parliamentary questions serve as one of the most powerful monitoring tools available to MPP’s with members of the provincial executive bound by the rules of parliament to answer these questions within a prescribed time.
Despite this, the DA continues to face obstacles with delayed replies posing a very real problem. Last month it was established that there were 68 replies to DA questions that remained outstanding – one from as far back as July 2011.
A properly functioning democracy relies on effective oversight. Failure by any party to make full use of the tools at their disposal indicates an inability to grasp this. The figures in the report speak for themselves – while the DA may not yet be the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal, it is without doubt the most effective opposition party in the province.