We have a mandate to ask, says education portfolio committee member Edmund van Vuuren.

Members of the legislature have been given a mandate by ordinary citizens to call provincial departments to account, writes Edmund van Vuuren (MPL), member of the Portfolio Committee on Education.

Our institutions are the most valuable possession we have.  Amongst them is the robust, democratic Provincial Legislature with its portfolios, such as the Portfolio Committee on Education, which acts in the interest of our people across race and gender and irrespective of political affiliations.

The Legislature, and for that matter, this portfolio committee, is an institution of the people.  It is where we, as public representatives, were sent by the (our) people to ask pertinent questions and to call the provincial executive, the MECs and all other officials to account.

It is here where our democracy is seen in action.  As members of these committees we are here to exercise legislative responsibility and to deliver on the mandate given by our communities to interact with provincial departments and to do vigorous oversight to ensure that they execute the mandate given to them, and to spend funds as allocated.

Therefore, we as members expect proper, adequate and truthful responses when we interact with departmental officials.  The DA will continue to play an active and integral role in keeping the legislature relevant and vibrant.