Provincial legislature being abused by ruling party

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance is concerned that a politically motivated agenda is seriously jeopardising the ability of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature to conduct proper oversight over provincial government departments and municipalities. This comes after the chairperson of the Cooperative Governance portfolio committee, Gladys Olifant, yesterday convened a special committee meeting to interrogate the Hantam municipality on a housing related non-issue. This is despite the fact that the municipality followed proper processes and adhered to the housing beneficiary list, which was approved by the Northern Cape Department of Coghsta.

The meeting was marked with confusion as no one, including Olifant, new what the actual issue was. And it soon became clear that there actually was no real issue and that the meeting was in effect an underhanded attempt to discredit the Hantam municipality, which is being governed by a DA/Cope coalition government, and to sew dissent between Coghsta and the municipality. In fact, it became so obvious that the meeting was a farce, that the chairperson herself eventually closed the meeting without anything of substance having been achieved.

The DA strongly condemns the abuse of legislature processes for party political purposes. The legislature is an important oversight body, meant to foster transparency and accountability amongst government institutions. What transpired during the said meeting was

unconstitutional and has put the NCPL to shame.

At the same time, the meeting was not only a waste of previous time but also a waste of state resources, as officials from the Hantam local municipality and the Namakwa district municipality, who were summonsed to attend the meeting in Kimberley, incurred travelling and accommodation costs.

The DA intends raising this matter with the Speaker, Kenneth Mmoeimang.

We will not sit by and allow the legislature to be used as a pawn in the

ANC’s election campaign.