NCOP: Only 10 petitions considered in 5 years

George Michalakis MP

DA Member of the NCOP

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings has not sat since the beginning of the 5th Parliament, save for a brief meeting to elect a committee chairperson on the 1st of July 2014.

According to the Parliamentary program, there are also no meetings scheduled for this committee for the rest of this year.

The committee currently has a backlog of approximately 60 petitions.

Furthermore, this committee has not sat more than 5 times per year since 2009 and has only considered 10 petitions in the past 5 years, according to the petitions legacy report of the 4th Parliament.

Various petitions have been referred to the committee for consideration, which are currently receiving no attention, resulting in a gross delay of the democratic process.

This committee is responsible for monitoring undertakings made by the Cabinet and considering petitions from the public and Members of Parliament to the National Council of Provinces, often dealing with Human Rights issues.

The DA has written to the chairperson of the Select Committee, requesting him to schedule an urgent meeting for this week, to discuss the committee program and to receive a briefing on petitions referred to the committee.  No reply to this letter has yet been received.

The ANC within the NCOP continues to obstruct a vital channel through which the Executive can, and should, be held accountable to Parliament and the people.