Ramaphosa’s ANC shuts down Parliament – John Steenhuisen

DA Chief Whip says President has been granted a holiday from oversight and accountability

Ramaphosa’s ANC shuts down Parliament

28 March 2018

The Democratic Alliance absolutely rejects the ANC’s move to shut down Parliament by extending the constituency period for almost two and a half months.

Today, the ANC voted to amend the Parliamentary Programme in order to give Members of Parliament time off in their constituencies for an even longer period than what is already provided for. According to the new Parliamentary Programme, under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership, the ANC has now effectively voted to shut down Parliament from 30 May to 13 August 2018.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “new dawn” has quickly vanished – he has effectively been granted a holiday from oversight and accountability. Not even at the height of President Jacob Zuma’s presidency, with all his “meandos”, was Zuma able to negotiate a three month holiday from accountability.

By sanctioning this shut down through voting in favour of the amended Parliamentary Programme, ANC MPs have been exceptionally derelict in executing their constitutional duties and have provided grossly untenable reasons for doing so.

The move completely undermines Parliament’s ability to fulfil its constitutional mandate. Parliament’s ability to process legislation is now also drastically curtailed.

Moreover, during this 75-day shut down there will be absolutely no opportunity for oral or written questions, no opportunity for parties to table motions or members’ statements and there will no opportunity to ask oral or written questions to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza or any Cabinet Minister.

The Democratic Alliance voted to oppose this shut down and will continue to fight to ensure that the business of Parliament is executed this year.

Issued by John SteenhuisenChief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, 28 March 2018