A new tone has been set for improved working relationships in the Legislature.  This follows an agreement between the Democratic Alliance and the whips of the majority party, that motions will be debated in the House this Friday.   In the past the Legislature has too often been sidelined when it comes to debating important issues.

The motions, which the DA felt were of urgent public importance, relates to the H1N1 flu virus and the subsequent death of 27 South Africans so far, and the backlog of some    19 000 houses which needs to be repaired in the province.

On Friday (subs:  4 Sept), members will debate a draft resolution by DA spokesperson for Health, Pine Pienaar, calling on the MEC for Health to submit a comprehensive strategy to this House containing plans and mechanisms-

  • to create awareness amongst the people of the Eastern Cape;
  • testing procedures for people suspected to be infected with the H1N1 virus as well as international visitors to this province;
  • preventative measures to be taken to curb the spreading of the virus; and
  • treatment of people infected with the virus.
  • The second debate will be on a draft resolution by DA Human Settlements spokesperson Dacre Haddon, that:

  • all houses identified for rectification in the province be repaired by 31 December 2010;
  • the MEC for Housing establish in conjunction with the National Housing Task Team a system to ensure that this rectification programme be completed by 31 December 2010;
  • 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; and
  • the MEC furnish quarterly progress reports to the Human Settlement portfolio committee from October 2009.
  • 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 welcome.

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

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