DA KZN: 43 parliamentary replies outstanding from last year

Sizwe Mchunu, MPP

Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature

Members of the ANC-led KwaZulu-Natal cabinet have failed to uphold the rules of the legislature, with 43 parliamentary questions submitted by the DA in 2013 still unanswered.

This, despite the rule that questions must be answered within a two week period or an extension applied for by the particular MEC.

One of the replies outstanding is from as far back as May 2013.  The parliamentary question, to KZN Community Safety MEC, Willies Mchunu, relates to the number of police reservists in the province with criminal records.

Despite ongoing requests for this question to be answered, the MEC either cannot or will not provide any feedback.

There are a total of eight questions submitted by the DA to this MEC that remain unanswered from 2013, making him the worst offender when it comes to reneging on his parliamentary duty to respond.

Close on his heels are the MEC’s for COGTA, Nomusa Dube-Ncube and Social Development, Weziwe Thusi with six replies each that remain outstanding.

Other questions submitted by the DA to KZN MEC’s which remain unanswered include;

  • Overtime paid to employees within KZN’s Education, Sport and Recreation, Health, COGTA and Community Safety departments
  • Information regarding KZN Social Development’s assistance to Childline – outstanding from September 2013
  • Information regarding the translocation and hunting of Rhino in the province – outstanding from October 2013
  • The number of medically boarded SAPS members in KZN and the amounts allocated to them – outstanding from October 2013
  • Information regarding suspended senior management within KZN’s Social Development Department – outstanding from October 2013
  • Catering costs within KZN’s ECOD, Arts and Culture, Human Settlements and Social Development departments
  • The efficiency and legality of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s drones following claims that they are not ‘proper’ drones and that they are flying without regulatory approval.  This question had to be resent to KZN’s Conservation MEC on 24th March after it was not responded to.

Parliamentary questions asked by the DA are often the result of tip-offs from confidential sources – they are not random enquiries aimed at fulfilling a questions quota.

In failing to answer the DA’s questions, KZN’s MEC’s have shown that they have no regard for the rules of the Legislature.

They have shown that they believe the ANC operates by a different set of rules and that they are not accountable to opposition parties and ultimately to the people of KZN.

Furthermore, the failure by KZN Speaker Lydia Johnson, to ensure that these questions are answered within the stipulated period is also deeply disappointing,

Any hopes by the ANC that these questions will simply go away with the culmination of the current political term are wishful.  The DA will ensure that they are back on the questions register at the earliest opportunity.

The province’s ANC-led leadership must be held to account.