National Assembly: Cape Town, 21st June 2011
The IFP joins all previous speakers in thanking
your good office, all parliamentary personnel and all our
Parliamentary colleagues for the conscientious hard work, efforts
and expertise delivered in connection with the diligent running of
Mr Speaker, as this is a budget vote debate, it is
to the budget which we must turn our attention.
The total budget allocation for 2011/2012 is R1.674 billion
- an increase of R80.6 million from the previous
- and an increase of R267 million from the 2009
The questions that these figures raise are
Firstly: Are we getting value for money spent
commensurate with the money allocated?
Secondly: Is parliament utilizing this money as
effectively as possible in the pursuit of its strategic objectives?
These are questions that we have to carefully
consider and look more closely at.
I now turn to some other relevant issues:
1. A Parliamentary Budget Office
We still do not have one, which is essential
structure. So Mr Speaker we accordingly ask that this be seriously
2. The proposed parliamentary building project
Mr Speaker, we are just starting to re-surface
from a major economic downturn. We therefore do not think it the
appropriate time to be embarking on such a project. We therefore
propose this project be postponed.
3. The large number of parliamentary structures
and the level of co-ordination and co-operation between these
This parliament has amongst others, Portfolio
Committees, ad hoc committees, a Chief Whips Forum, programming
forums, the QCF, Ethics Committee, the Rules Committee, the Joint
Rules Committee and the POA. We in the IFP perceive the need for a
far greater level of cohesion and co-ordination between these
various structures as idealistically espoused in Section 40(1) of
our Constitution calling for distinctive, interdependent and
inter-related spheres of government. The good news is that the Chief
Whips Forum will discuss this and other issues at a special workshop
on 2 and 3 August.
4. Poor attendance of Committees
Another problem is the poor attendance rate at
portfolio committee level which sometimes results in postponements.
The solution appears to be that Whips are to enforce discipline much
more strictly than in the past.
5. The Joint Rules and Rules Committee
Mr Speaker, I am sure that I will be joined by
both yourself and all other political parties in this House when I
say that the Joint Rules and NA Rules Committees are failing our
parliament. In fact the Rules Committee has met on only two
occasions since the start of this 4th parliament and for a total
time period of 1hr45 minutes. This is not conducive to any kind of
well functioning committee, let alone a Rules Committee. We also
currently have some alleged unconstitutional rules in the Rules of
the National Assembly -- rules that should have been addressed many
years ago. Why has this not been attended to?
Hansard's bound compilations take up to two years
to be compiled and hard copies issued to members of this House. This
is also unacceptable and must be addressed.
7. The composition of delegates in overseas
Mr Speaker, the IFP has been classed as a minority
party together with all small parties, although we hold the
equivalent votes of all the small parties put together. As a result
we have to compete with the 8 small parties to have an IFP MP
included in delegations.
We call upon your kind office to review this
matter and suggest an increase of two delegates per delegation - one
for the IFP and one for the small parties.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, may I
take this opportunity on behalf of the IFP to wish you and the
entire parliamentary staff contingent as well as all our colleagues
all the very best for the coming year.
The IFP supports the vote. I thank you.
Contact: Koos van der Merwe MP, 082 444 4944