Energy committee briefing on the nuclear build must be open to public
17 November 2016
The DA has written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Energy, Fikile Majola, and to the Chair of Chairs, Cedric Frolick, to demand that they reverse the decision to close the briefing on the new nuclear build programme by the Department of Energy to the public.
It is unacceptable to have Parliament closing meetings when such an important issue, clearly in the national public interest, is being discussed. There is overwhelming public interest in the nuclear build programme, which South Africa does not need and cannot afford. This is precisely why Parliament must ensure real and meaningful oversight at this critical time.
Rule 184(2) of the National Assembly Rules states that a decision to close a committee meeting to the public must be taken after due consideration. We do not believe this is the case as it flies in the face of the public interest to have access to to the information that will be discussed.
Section 59(2) of the Constitution also state that the “National Assembly may not exclude the public, including the media, from a sitting of a committee unless it is reasonable and justifiable to do so in an open and democratic society”.
Secrecy leads to corruption that steals from the poor, and allows for politicians and their cronies to benefit from public money.
The DA will not allow for this to happen. The people of South Africa deserve to know what is going on with regards to the nuclear build programme and the DA will fight to ensure they are given access to the information they deserve.
Issued by Gordon Mackay, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, 17 November 2016