Mbete rejects NA reconvening request

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has dismissed the Democratic Alliance (DA) application for Parliament to reconvene to establish an ad hoc committee on Eskom and inquire into circumstances surrounding the prevailing energy crisis.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Parliament said Mbete had replied to a written request from the Chief Whip of the DA, John Steenhuisen.

In her letter to Steenhuisen, Mbete said Parliament had agreed the prevailing energy crisis was a very serious matter for the nation.

“However, existing portfolio committees were empowered to deal with the issues at Eskom. These include the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, which conducted an extensive inquiry on Eskom in 2018,” the statement read.

The relevant committees could, therefore, take up the matter if needed and there was no need for the National Assembly to be reconvened at this point. Even if an ad hoc committee was required, such would not require the House to reconvene. 

Parliament added that although the National Assembly had risen on 20 March 2019 and stands dissolved, it remained competent to function in terms of the Constitution.

“According to the rules and procedures of the National Assembly, relevant committees, including ad hoc committees could convene to discuss matters and potentially report if needed. This did not require the National Assembly to meet first,” the statement read. – SAnews.gov.za