The Democratic Alliance had the full support of all parties yesterday (subs: wed, 7 Oct) when the Eastern Cape Legislature unanimously re-affirmed the right of Members to visit any provincial organ of state or any institution that is subject to oversight by the Legislature (e.g. police stations).

What is significant is that the House instructed the Premier and MEC’s to advise public servants of this right of Members and told them not to hamper the oversight duties of Committees or Members in any way.

This follows the recent debacle when a member of National Parliament, Dr. Zukile Luyenge, was forced to open a case with the police when he was threatened and intimidated after paying a surprise visit to a school in Mthatha.

Other MPs were also reported to have complained about social workers and teachers whose behaviour toward the public shocked and angered them, according to the Daily Dispatch. (subs: see “MP tells police of teacher’s threats”, Dispatch Online, 30 September).

A motion by DA provincial Chief Whip Pine Pienaar was passed without amendment during a sitting of the Legislature in Mthatha as part of its annual “Taking Parliament to the People”

The House resolved as follows:

  • That the House condemns the actions of individuals or institutions who blocked Member’s entry or access to any office or institution which is part of a Department or organ of state that is subjected to oversight by Parliament or the Legislature.
  • That the House re-affirms the right of Committees and Members of the Legislature to visit any office or institution which is part of a Department of organ of state that is subjected to oversight by the Legislature.

Members have a mandate to ensure that budgets approved by the House are spent appropriately and utilised optimally.

The DA is delighted that the whole House is in agreement about the rights of members to ensure they fulfil their duties to the citizens of the province.

For further information, please contact Pine Pienaar, MPL on 082 446 1888