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Ramaphosa’s Cabinet Better At Attending Committee Meetings

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to visit Lesotho as SADC Facilitator, Thursday 18 September 2014 17 September 2014 Departing from OR Tambo Airport. Interview ? Maseru - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the SADC Facilitator, will pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho on Thursday, 18 September 2014. Ê Deputy President Ramaphosa will be supported in his task by a team of SADC Troika member-states experts and secretariat. Ê During the visit Deputy President Ramaphosa, is expected to interact with members of the Coalition Government and other political role-players in the country as part of efforts to help the people of Lesotho to find a solution to their current political and security challenges.Ê Ê The visit follows a decision of the SADC Double Troika of Heads of State and Government plus DRC and Tanzania which convened in Pretoria on Monday, 15 September 2014, to consider among others the current political and security challenges facing the Kingdom of Lesotho. Ê In this context, the SADC Troika urged all role-players in the Kingdom of Lesotho to, ÔÕresolve their political challenges in accordance with the constitution, laws of the land and in line with democratic principlesÕÕ. In pursuance of this objective the parties agreed to bring forward the date of elections and to work with the Facilitator in ÔÕaddressing all political and security challenges in preparation for the brought forward electionsÕÕ Ê Consequently, the SADC Troika mandated Deputy President Ramaphosa to act as Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, to assist in the restoration of the political and security stability, the creation of lasting peace and constitutional normalcy. For more information contact Ronnie Mamoepa at 082 990 4853 or Clayson Monyela 082 884 5974. Ê Issued by: The Presidency and DIRCO

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina (Send me) call apparently includes his ministers’ attendance at parliamentary committee meetings and now the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) documented a rise in ministers’ attendance at these meetings.

Comparing the first six months of 2017 to the same period in 2018, PMG noticed a 9.7% increase in attendance in 2018.

“Both these periods had their shake ups: the ‘midnight reshuffle’ in March 2017, and President Ramaphosa’s Cabinet announcement in February 2018. A comparison shows a 9.7% increase in executive attendance in 2018.

“Of the 11 ministers and deputies with no recorded appearances, six were relieved of their duties on 15 February 2018,” reads a statement from the PMG.

According to the PMG’s records, the member of the executive who most diligently attended committee meetings was the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti, who attended 10 meetings.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana attended eight meetings, and Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu and Police Minister Bheki Cele each attended six.

“Attendance of Cabinet members in committees has been historically underplayed, but with the assertion of the oversight role of parliamentary committees, the pressure on ministers to attend key committee meetings has seen a rise,” reads the PMG’s statement.

“This was highlighted by the furore caused by the lack of appearances by then Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and her home affairs counterpart, Malusi Gigaba, during parliamentary committees’ efforts to get clarity on the Sassa debacle and the Gupta family naturalisation.”

On March 8 this year, not a single member of Cabinet was present in the National Assembly for members’ statements – one of the ways in which Parliament exercises oversight over the executive.

Furthermore, the only deputy minister (deputy ministers are not members of Cabinet) present was Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, who is a National Freedom Party member.

Opposition MPs were outraged and the ANC asked Speaker Baleka Mbete to take the matter up with deputy president David Mabuza. The situation later improved.

According to the PMG, Mbete indicated earlier this year that she had written to Mabuza, to “complain about the absence of ministers during question time in the National Assembly”.

“The deputy president responded in April 2018, announcing measures to deal with non-attendance including an attendance roster, and three ministers appointed to monitor their contemporaries. We hope that the attendance roster will be made public,” reads the PMG’s statement.

“Unknown to the public, a 2014 joint rules committee decision requires House attendance to be published once a year. But four years on, Parliament still has not once achieved this. The Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) has been chasing this up for years without success.”


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