Premier and her cabinet dodge Question Time 

Harold McGluwa, MPL

DA Provincial Chairperson

The DA is angered by the no show of Premier Sylvia Lucas at yesterday’s House Sitting at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. On top of this, it was extremely disappointing to note that not a single MEC was present at the House Sitting either.

Lucas was meant to avail herself for a scheduled slot of “Questions to the Premier” but instead, it was announced in the House that she was attending an Aids Council meeting in Siyanda.

It is strange that the Leader of Government Business, Mxolisa Sokatsha, who now also sits on the legislature’s programme committee, specifically to prevent programme clashes like this, failed to highlight the unavailability of the Premier and her entire cabinet for today’s proceedings. However, despite knowing of the AIDS Council in advance, the programme committee did not want to shift the Question Time session to next week.  This is despite a request by myself, during both the programme meeting and the House Sitting, to simply reschedule the long awaited Question Time for next week Tuesday.

The only conclusion that we can draw is that the Premier and her cabinet are choosing to shirk their responsibility to account to the legislature.  This, however, comes as no surprise to us considering that in her previous term, Lucas already set the trend of dodging question time sessions.

This would have been the first opportunity granted to MPL’s, since the elections, to probe the Premier for answers concerning the state of our province – which by the looks of things is in dire straits.

The DA planned to ask questions on the following:

–        A life threatening oxygen shortage experienced at Kimberley Hospital on Friday last week;

–        Officials doing business with the state

–        The JTG schools closure;

–        And the controversial Ocean Echo leases.

These are all very serious matters that demand answers from the Premier.

The DA will monitor the Premier’s future attendance of House Sittings, especially Question Time sessions, very closely. The legislature is governed by rules and we will not sit back while the Premier and her executive blatantly flout these.