FIVE portfolio committee meetings scheduled for yesterday at the provincial legislature had to be cancelled because most members could not attend the meetings.
This was due to an ANC policy workshop held at Mpekweni Sun on Monday and yesterday in preparation for the national policy conference to be held in Mangaung next month.
ANC chief whip Humphrey Maxegwana said some members had to go to the workshop while some were on legislature business in Canada. “Some members including myself attended the conference in preparation for the national policy conference. We are supposed to be part of those processes so that we can understand the policies to be implemented by the ANC better,” he said.
The portfolio committee meetings cancelled were: Agrarian reform and rural development; Public works; Transport; Local government and traditional affairs; and Finance. Opposition parties expressed mixed feelings about the sudden cancellations.
COPE MPL Nkosinathi Kuluta said: “We are still complaining about this lack of clear demarcation between political responsibilities and government responsibility. Their meetings should not have been cancelled – the issues that were to be discussed during those meetings are more important to the taxpayers. They should have been prioritised.”
He said the ANC should have taken Friday and Monday instead of negatively affecting the schedule of the legislature by holding their workshop yesterday.
DA MPL Veliswa Mvenya said her party was appalled by the ANC’S inability to differentiate between government and party work. “Party agendas are not supposed to overshadow administration business.”
The UDM’S Max Mhlathi said he had been informed on time about the cancellations while some members said they were told only on Monday.
Some members of portfolio committees whose meetings were cancelled and who were spotted at Mpekweni Sun are: Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Zoleka Capa – MECS are supposed to attend the meetings to account to the portfolio committees; Mxolisi Dimaza, a member of both finance and transport, was seen at Mpekweni Sun on Monday night; Public works committee member Kholiswa Fihlani; Transport committee member Vuyani Limba; Public works committee member Mzoleli Mrara; and Agrarian reform and local government committee member Michael Peter.