Section 25 Ad Hoc Committee is not giving members enough time to consider written submissions
12 February 2021
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will object to plans by the Section 25 Ad Hoc committee, tasked with the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill, to invalidate the public participation process by not giving committee members enough time for proper consideration of the written submissions that were made by South Africans who gave their input on the proposed amendment.
Committee members are being asked to consider the report on public participation without having duly considered the individual written submissions that were submitted by our citizens. South Africans have a constitutional right to be heard, more so by Parliament which must set aside time to ensure that their individual voices are aired.
Some members have claimed that the submissions will be discussed later today, but nowhere in today's programme is there mention of a discussion of this provision. The DA has seen right through these dismissive stunts and we will not stand for it.
It is for this reason that DA representatives on the Section 25 committee will today make it clear that we will not discuss a report based on public participation submissions that we have not seen. Doing so will be a dereliction of our duty as public representatives and our constitutional duty to respect the public participation process.
The DA will not allow this committee to railroad us into a rubber-stamping exercise that negates the voices of our compatriots. Failure by the committee to invalidate the public participation process will only invite judicial contestation on the resultant legislation.
We will continue to stand on our principled opposition to the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution. Not only is the ANC rushing the public participation process, the amendment, if passed, will be an economic disaster for our ailing economy.
Issued by Annelie Lotriet, Chairperson of the DA Parliamentary Caucus, 12 February 2021