An implementation plan to address the State Capture Commission’s findings regarding Parliament has been adopted.
Parliament’s Rules Committee met on Wednesday to discuss its implementation plan on how it will respond with the commission’s 16 recommendations in the final state capture report released in June this year.
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The committee has also been tasked to oversee President Cyril Ramaphosa’s action plan, which was handed over to Parliament last month.
Parliament’s plan proposes that the commission’s recommendations be referred to the National Assembly’s relevant portfolio committees and the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) relevant standing committees.
Secretary to the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso revealed that several of the recommendations about Parliament will be directed to the Joint Rules Committee or to both Houses’ rules committees.
The proposed constitutional amendments by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chaired the State Capture Commission, will be referred to the Joint Constitutional Review Committee.
On Wednesday, it was agreed these parliamentary committees would report to the Houses’ chairpersons on a quarterly basis to monitor the plan’s implementation.
However, Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip Siviwe Gwarube that this should not be limited to the chair of chairs only.
“The reality is that these findings and this implementation plan is the work of Parliament. And whether it is getting regular reports on the progress of the implementation [plan] through the Programming Committee or elsewhere, I think by just leaving it to the House chairs is simply not good enough. We must get feedback in a more open and transparent manner,” she said.
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United Democratic Movement (UDM) MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa shared the same sentiments and it was concluded that the National Assembly’s Programming Committee would overlook the House chairpersons.
Furthermore, ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina suggested that the Programming Committee increase the number of meetings for the committees involved.
National Assembly’s chair of chairs, Cedric Frolick has been mentioned in part three of the state capture report, which focused on Bosasa and its “corrupt business model”.
Frolick, who was implicated by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, allegedly received cash payments in exchange for setting up a meeting between the company and former ANC MP Vincent Smith.
Although the House chair has denied the allegations, Zondo recommended an investigation into Frolick.
It was also agreed that there will also be timeframes for the parliamentary committees to deal with Zondo’s recommendations.
National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the committees would be given six months to conclude its work.
“We are not saying the timeframes of six months, for instance, all of this work shall have been completed.
“But at least there should be regular reporting on progress made with regards to both the recommendations, which we have adopted from the State Capture report, number two, this plan of action presented to us by the president [as well as] the importance of monitoring. If people don’t finalise their work by then, at least there will be some report of progress,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
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In addition, progress reports on matters that relate directly to the mandates of the Rules Committees will be submitted to these committees on a bi-annual basis.
“The National Treasury will also engage with Parliament to determine the most appropriate way to give effect to the commission’s recommendations on the resourcing of Parliament, specifically with respect to its capacity to hold [Cabinet] to account,” Parliament spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.
Watch the meeting below:
The Joint Ethics Committee, in May this year, was directed to investigate possible contraventions of the parliamentary code of conduct during the state capture era.
This applies to current members who were serving in Parliament when any alleged transgressions took place.
In the final state capture report, Zondo stated Parliament “failed to use the oversight and accountability measures at its disposal”.
The Chief Justice recommended, among other things, that Parliament consider the establishment of a committee overseeing the president and the Presidency.
He also recommended the appointment of chairpersons of committees to include more members of opposition parties and improved reporting of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence at the end of term of each Parliament.
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