DA submit proposed name changes for KZN Legislature Committee Rooms

Mark Steele, MPL

Chief Whip to the DA in the KZN Legislature

THE DA will today submit its proposal for Committee Room name changes to the Office of the Speaker in the KZN Legislature.

The move comes after considerable debate around changing the existing names for venues in the Legislature complex which are used primarily as meeting venues for portfolio committees.

For historical reasons derived from the post-1994 political reconciliation in KZN the two largest meetings rooms were respectively named the ANC and IFP Caucus rooms after the then two largest parties.

This nomenclature is no longer appropriate given that since 2014 the Official Opposition and second largest party has been the DA.

More important is the need to rename venues which are mainly used to hold non-political portfolio meetings which have nothing to do with political caucuses.

The DA firmly believes that all venues in the Legislature complex used primarily for portfolio or other committee business should be given designations of a simple non-political nature. This is the normal practice at most other parliamentary complexes in this and other countries.

We have therefore proposed that names such as Okhahlamba (Mountain Park) and Isimangaliso (Wetland Park) – both World Heritage Sites located in our province – be used.

Our suggestion is in line with provincial parliaments in South Africa and other countries which have names such as Committee Rooms 1, 2 and 3.

In the event that committee venues are given specific names, they should not be the names of people or places associated with any one political party.  Names must also be inclusive and be capable of positive identification by a wide range of KZN residents and political parties.

Our proposal is a simple way of keeping everyone happy.  We look forward to KZN Speaker, Lydia Johnson’s response to our view.