Radley Keys, MPP
Chief Whip to the DA in the KZN Legislature
The Democratic Alliance expects KZN Legislature Speaker, Peggy Nkonyeni to take the province’s ANC executive to task over the failure to reply to the vast majority of written parliamentary questions submitted by the DA since the beginning of the year.
According to the DA’s records, only 19 out of 53 written questions have received a response. This is a miserable 35%. This is in flagrant contravention of the standing rules of parliament, which state that written questions to MEC’s must be answered within a two week period. During January 2013, DA Legislature Caucus members submitted 26 parliamentary questions to different MEC’s. To date, we have only received 10 replies.
In February, 27 written questions were submitted. So far we have only received nine answers. Parliamentary questions and replies are a vital oversight tool for members to hold the executive accountable. If they are not answered, MEC’s are evading this function. Questions raised by the DA during this two month period and which have not yet had a response, relate to;
* The use of private jets and helicopters by provincial government departments
* Speeding fines incurred by provincial government employees
* Delays in Ministerial housing projects in the province
* The use of credit cards by MEC’s
* The on-going use of the degrading “bucket” toilet system in the province
* The building of cricket pitches and soccer fields at Nkandla
* The upgrading of the M13 at Paradise Valley
* The Commission of Enquiry into the death of KZN RTI candidates in December 2012
We expect the Speaker to act immediately. Should she fail to take adequate steps the DA will, at the next sitting of the House, request that those MEC’s at fault be referred to the Legislature’s disciplinary committee.