The Democratic Alliance welcomes the passing of two of its motions in the Bhisho Legislature today. This follows an agreement between the Democratic Alliance and the whips of the majority party, that motions will be debated in the House. In the past the Legislature has too often been sidelined when it comes to debating important issues.

The motion by Mr. Dacre Haddon, regarding the rectification of houses, is an encouraging step in improving service delivery in the province, and was passed with minor amendments. The House resolved that:

  1. all houses identified for rectification in this financial year in the province, be repaired by the end of this financial year;
  2.  the MEC establish in conjunction with the National Housing Task Team a system to ensure that this rectification programme be speeded up and completed by the end of the financial year;
  3. the MEC ascertain the exact number of housing units in the Province to be rectified and provide the exact budget as may be required for the project, with report back to the Portfolio Committee for Housing and the House within 30 days.

Mr. Pine Pienaar’s motion, regarding better preventative measures against the H1N1 flu virus, was passed, without amendment. The House resolved that:

  1. to create awareness amongst the people of the Eastern Cape;
  2. testing procedures for people suspected to be infected with the H1N1 virus as well as international visitors to this province;
  3. preventative measures to be taken to curb the spreading of the virus; and
  4. treatment of people infected with the virus.

A new tone has been set for improved working relationships in the Legislature and the DA welcomes this is an important shift in the legislature which signals a new openness from the ruling party to debate the problems in the province.

Only when we debate the hard issues can we hope to find workable solutions. No one party has a monopoly over solutions over our provinces’ problems. These debates will position the legislature as a stronger force to ensure greater accountability from the departments.

We trust that this affable attitude will continue. If we are to find solutions to our troubled province it cannot be business as usual – this new approach is welcomed.

For further information, please contact Bobby Stevenson, MPL on 082 775 3444