South Africa’s vice president, Cyril Ramaphosa will today have his last words with members of parliament as they round up parliamentary activities for the year. The prospective SA president said he is expected to respond to questions asked by the MPs regarding issues related to the state of the nation.
While the proposed R3 500 national minimum wage stands high on the agenda, Ramaphosa will also respond to the customary six prepared questions for oral replies, with the opportunity for MPs to fire off supplementary questions. Ramaphosa will reply to United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa’s question about whether the proposed R3 500 national minimum wage would cover exploited foreign nationals.
If it does not, the UDM leader would want to know how to avoid loss of employment by South African citizens in favour of foreign nationals. More on the questions the deputy President is expected to give answers to include that of the African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe, who wants to know about affordability and inequality among employers.
The DA leader, Mmusi Maimane equally wants to know the identified plans geared towards building a stronger relationship between the executive and legislature amid growing criticism against ministers who are often absent from house for oral replies.
On the other hand, the ruling the ANC, which occupies majority seat in the house – is allocated half of the six questions. MP Millicent Manana ask Ramaphosa about efforts by both government and the business sector to promote investor confidence, and Deborah Raphuti wants to know whether, after his recent trip to Southeast Asia, there was a possibility that South African youth could be sent to Vietnam for skill training in shipbuilding.
In the last question filed by Phumzile Bhengu-Kombe, Ramaphosa will respond to the growing levels of HIV infection – and also unacceptable levels of violence – among adolescent girls and young women. The MPs will also be given opportunity to farewell speeches in a more relaxed mood as National Council of Provinces, members continue with a packed schedule on Thursday and Friday.
The Parliament is expected to resumes on January 24, with constituency periods next week and also between January 9 and 20, when MPs are expected to reach out to their assigned communities. President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address is scheduled for February 9. Some parliamentary business will continue after the house rises, including the inquiry into the SABC.