By David van Vuuren, DA Chief Whip in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
The Free State Provincial Legislature failed in its constitutional mandate to refer the Section 76, Financial and Fiscal Commission Amendment Bill for deliberation to the Portfolio Committee on Finance. As a result, we could not propose possible amendments or establish a negotiating mandate in terms of Rule 194.
The public participation process of this Bill is also flawed since the Legislature failed to advertise an invitation for public comment.
During deliberations in the NCOP Select Committee yesterday, former Finance MEC and now ANC delegate to the NCOP, Seisho Mohai (MP), stated his party’s support for the Bill, he also misled the Select Committee by stating that an invitation for public comment was published. This is entirely irregular since provinces are supposed to deliberate as a province, towards the province’s interests and not according to the interest of political parties or individual MPs.
The DA is not surprised at all by the ANC’s wilful agenda to undermine the functioning of the Legislature and the Constitution. The ANC must take note that we will not allow this institution to be destroyed as the ANC has tried to destroy other constitutional bodies such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Office of the Public Protector.
We will raise this matter through the appropriate legislature channels and should we fail to find recourse, we will consider our options.