Parliamentary Questions and Answers
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ANC Whips in the NA & NCOP

Whips are responsible for the political management of the business of the ANC in Parliament. Political management means that the Whippery must consistently ensure that the Parliament acts as a developmental institution that allows access to the people and simultaneously gives effect to their needs and ideals.

The main function of Whips is to work together with the Office of the Chief Whip in ensuring that ANC MP's operate as a coherent unit in a disciplined and efficient manner. They have a major role to play in:

  • ensuring that ANC policies at all times govern debates and influence decisions of Study Groups, Committees and other structures that may be set up by the ANC or are institutional structures;
  • devising and implementing an effective strategy for Debates, Questions and Motions;
  • influencing and shaping debates in strategy;
  • influencing and shaping debates in formal Caucus meetings;
  • influencing the programming of Parliament;
  • seeing that Members attend and participate in Study Groups, Committees and debates;
  • creating the conditions for ANC Committee Chairpersons to be given effective political support;
  • ensuring effective communication flow;
  • ensuring that the ANC's agenda is actively promoted;
  • ensuring that the ANC's public and media profile is enhanced;
  • ensuring that effective party discipline is enforced;

In devising parliamentary strategy, representing the party in strategic parliamentary committees, ensuring that the legislative programme is carried out and performing the general responsibilities, the Chief Whip delegates authority to Whips.

The main function of Whips is to work together with the Chief Whip in ensuring that ANC MP's operate as a coherent unit in a disciplined and efficient manner. In addition to advising the Chief Whip and acting as the first line of communication between the Chief Whip and the individual members, Whips ensure that directives from the Chief Whip are communicated accurately and all necessary steps to implement and effect these, are taken and adhered to.

In this context Whips are primarily political managers who act on delegated authority by the Chief Whip to ensure that members adhere to the Whip line, perform the duties allocated to them, attend to all their responsibilities, including constituency work.

It is part of the duties of Whips to ensure that the welfare and the well being of members is taken care of within the limits of individual privacy of the members concerned.

All Whips, including the Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip must conduct themselves in a manner that commands respect and trust from members such that members may feel free to speak and seek advice from the Whips, even on confidential and personal matters. This requires Whips to be approachable, trustworthy and exemplary.

The Whips, collectively and individually, are the ultimate custodians of organisational policy, discipline and coherence and must at all times guarantee loyalty and allegiance to the organisation and the leadership".

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