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Budget Vote Speech by Dep Chief Whip Dlakude - Parliament Budget Vote

11 May 2016

Honourable Speaker,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Honourable Members,
Our Guests in the Gallery
I greet you all

I rise on behalf of the ANC to support budget Vote 2 of Parliament

Muhulisei Tshipikara

Sa ANC ri ima na ndugelo dza vhathu vha Afurika Tshipembe dza u gwalaba, fhedzi a huna mbilaelo na nthihi ine yafha vhathu ndugelo dza u kwasha ndaka ya tshitshavha kana ya munwe muthu.

U fhisa zwikolo sa zwe ra zwi vhona kha la Vuwani ndi u tshinya vhumatshelo ha vhana vhashu, vharangaphanda vha matshelo.

Hon Speaker

As the ANC we reaffirm the right of all South Africans to legitimate and peaceful protest, no amount of grievance warrant the distraction of public and private property.

We condemn the unfortunate events witnessed recently at Vuwani Community in Limpopo. Destroying schools reverse the gains of our democracy and destroy the future of our children.

Honourable Speaker

As Members of Parliament we took an oath to obey, respect and uphold the Constitution.

Taking the oath imposes an obligation on us, individually and collectively, on how we should conduct ourselves inside and outside this House.

Unfortunately, we have been found wanting in this regard.

At the onset of this Fifth Parliament, it was unimaginable that the unprecedented events we have witnessed throughout would have even transpired inside this democratic institution.

Never had we before considered there would be such high levels of anarchy, unpalatable speech, animosity and polarisation inside these Chambers.

Advocates of anarchy have sought to exonerate themselves from responsibility by suggesting that the majority party is unable to maintain order. Further, they have tried to convince us and society that their conduct derives from their Constitutional right to freedom of expression.

Such assertions are flawed as they disregard the principle that, with every right there is a responsibility. They are also erroneous because they disregard that Parliament, guaranteed by the Constitution, has the responsibility to establish its own Rules and Conventions on how it should conduct its business - including the conduct of Members.

Mhlonishwa Somlomo,

Kubalulekile kutsi singemalungu lahloniphekile alendlu yesishaya mtsetfo, kufanele sitiphatse ngendlela lehloniphekile, kufanele sibe sibonelo lesihle kubobonkhe ebantfu bakulelive, labancani nalabadzala. Kufanele nekukhulumisana kwetfu,kube nge ndlela lehloniphekile nobe sati kutsi kunalapho sihluka khona ngemibono, asikwente lokongalenkulu inhlonipho, ngoba konke lesikwentako,kubi nobe kuhle , ebantfu lebasibukile, batsatsa sengatsi ngiyo indlela lekufanele kwentiwe ngayo tintfo. Kufanele sakhe sive, sigcugcutele

kubuyisana nekucolelana. Akufanele kubengitsi lesitjala inzondvo esiveni.

Honourable Speaker

As Chief Whips of all different political parties in this Parliament, we have a Chief Whips Forum, a forum which enables us to consult each other on the business of this House and issues pertaining the conduct of our members. After reaching consensus in the Chief Whips Forum, such matters are then taken to the National Assembly Programming Committee, a decision-making body on the programme of parliament.

Yet, most unfortunately, while we would have amicably agreed in these forums; some parties come to the House and act contrary to those agreements, for political expediency and cheap publicity stunts.

The Chief Whips, in particular, of each political party, have the responsibility to ensure that our Members respect these agreements and desist from grandstanding and making frivolous points of orders. Most important, whips must reverse the emerging unsavoury trend of verbal abuse and personal attacks on individual Members and their immediate families.

Painstakingly, we endeavour to restore the dignity of our Parliament and the decorum resonant with it; going to great lengths to find each other as parties, even where and when we fundamentally disagree.

Our hope is to retain conventions that prove to be valuable and appropriate to our present day environment; change previous practices that are not adaptable to prevailing conditions; enable the plurality of ideas and thoughts to let a hundred flowers bloom, characteristic of our multi-party framework; and to affirm the electoral expression of the majority at the polls by not dithering on the principle of majority rule. All these are an inherent tapestry of our democratic Constitution.

Madame Speaker,

Some among us continuously propagate a narrative that our Parliament neither respects the Constitution nor the other arms of State, as well as Institutions that support our democracy.

This, too, is false.

We accept the Constitutional Court Judgement, as we have done with other such judgements by our Judiciary, and from it, there are lessons learned, and moving forward, As different Political Parties, we already had a meeting with the Speaker, of which is the first step in the right direction on how to restore the dignity of this House.

Throughout all this exercise we have been mindful that it is better to err on the side of caution than to make incalculable mistakes that would cost our people, our country and our democracy immeasurable harm.

At the same time, we wish to assert that Parliament, is a co-equal with, and not junior or superior to, both the Executive and the Judiciary.

It has specific responsibilities and a Constitutional mandate of oversight over Government and on holding the Executive to account. In discharging these Constitutional duties, without encroaching into the terrain of the other arms of State, it must do so diligently and apply its mind to the fullest.

Nevertheless, those who have and continue to second-guess us; who mistrust our intentions; who harbour primitive colonial myths and stereotypes about the natives and a black majority party, would, nevertheless, want to create scarecrows at every turn.

Mindful of the burden of responsibility the Constitution places on the Legislature, against the obligations of each of the other arms of State, tensions arise from time-to- time.

Such is in the nature of our constitutional democracy we have since opted for, when we banished apartheid's parliamentary superiority.

Hon. Speaker,

It is not surprising that some in the opposition, including certain of their lobbyists, would want to usurp the Constitution by creating an impression of a competitive and combative relationship between the Legislature, the

Executive and the Judiciary; including others institutions that support our democracy..

Some of this stems from their ignorance about the workings of Parliament and also the lack of appreciation for the dynamically symbiotic relationship between the different arms of State.

Most importantly though; it emerges out of a toxic coalescing between these parties, which emanates from animosity.

Hon. Speaker,

Despite all the challenges, this fifth Parliament has been nothing more than a testimony to the numerous possibilities our country possesses; as evidenced through what happens in the National Assembly,EPC'S and Committees.

The ANC continues to uphold this House and also profile its relationship with the electorate who accorded us the Mandate to formulate legislation intended to change their lives, and realise a better life for all.

Against this background, the African National Congress commends the Speaker for initiating the Advisory Panel to Assess Legislation since 1994.

This process, which is led by our former President and also Deputy President - comrade Kgalema Motlanthe, has as its objectives the removal of impediments to change and the speeding up of the radical transformation of our society.

The long hours and deliberations spent in the Committees, numerous oversight visits to communities and Provincial Governments, endless interactions by various Clusters with Different Government Departments and dedicated consultations with multitudes of stakeholders, bear testimony to a people's Parliament at work.

Hon. Speaker

During the course of this Parliament, moving from one hurdle to another, many would have thought it impossible for us to deliberate on any legislation or even pass one at all. Yet, we have passed important laws and adopted many reports that are critical to the work of this Parliament, and essential to bringing about a radical change in the lives of the majority of our people.

Hon. Speaker

In 2014/2015, we passed 44 Bills, and in 2015/16, we passed 25 Bills, while others are still before Committees.

On holding the Executive accountable

On written questions

-in 2014/15/and 2016, 6905 written questions were sent to the Members of the Executive, 6384 written responses were sent back to Hon. Members.

On Oral questions 1030 questions were asked in this House, and 1023 questions were responded to by Members of the Executive in this House.

Certainly, it is possible and achievable to make progress as a nation and a people. For success, this National Assembly, must appreciate the need for cooperation between ourselves as parties; between us and the other arms of State and between us and our people; One of our greatest leaders Pixley kaIsaka Seme said back in 1911,

"...Co-operation is the key and the watchdog, which opens the door, the everlasting door, which leads into progress and all national success.

The greatest success shall come when man shall have learned to co-operate, not only with his own kith and kin but also with all peoples and all life."

Madame Speaker,

Indeed,

South Africa is now a much better place than the 'other country' used to be.

It is a better place because of the obvious signs of physical change.

It is a better place to live in and possibly love, because of the Constitution.

Let us Advance People's Power!

Vote ANC in the August 3rd 2016, Local Government Elections.

The African National Congress supports this Budget vote.

Thank you.

     
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