Debate on KZN Legislature

By:
Hon OTTO B KUNENE, MPL
KZN Legislature

25 May 2021

Hon Chairperson, Hon Speaker, the Hon Leader of the Official Opposition and Hon members of this august House.

This debate takes place at a crucial time in our Country where we are faced with a pandemic that refuses to subside, in fact it is getting worse as the time goes by as we are experiencing the third wave of Covid19 in our Country. This House has lost members through this pandemic namely the Hon Mthembu who member this House and Hon Mfayela who represented us in the NCOP. As if this was not enough, we even lost His Majesty the King through this pandemic.  We even lost many people known to us through this pandemic. I start my debate on this matter because I wish to call upon all of us to pause a moment and apply our minds on what this Legislature can do to contribute to an effort that is made by the whole of Government from National, Provincial up to the Local spheres to stem the tide of this deadly pandemic.

We cannot afford to lose more lives in our Country. The situation has reached unprecedented proportions. May the departed souls lost in our Country rest in peace.

The IFP notes the budget allocation of R627,8m allocated to this Legislature to enable it to fulfil its Constitutional mandate to hold the Executive accountable and to ensure that the people of our Province participate in the matters of governance that affect them.

The IFP appreciates what this Legislature has done so far to get this Legislature to function in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic as we continue to hold activities of the Legislature through virtual and Hybrid modes.

2021/22 Budget

While supporting the budget allocated to the Legislature, we note with concern that the Legislature budget had been reduced by R1,720m, R8,442m and R12,180m over the MTEF. We are mindful, however that the

Legislature is not the only one experiencing these cuts since all spheres of Government and Government entities are experiencing cuts because of

the difficult situation the Country is facing. These cuts in the Legislature budget resulted in the cut of R10,459m and R13,687m in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years under the Oversight subprogramme.

Internal Audit Unit

The IFP calls upon the Legislature to expedite the process of establishing the Internal Audit unit of the Legislature so that it will stop relying on consultants who were performing this task for it.

The IFP wonders what impact the cut of R4760m for the 2021/22 and R5,380m for the 2022/23 financial years will have on public participation initiatives that the Legislature will embark upon.

It was a matter that concerned us as the IFP when in the beginning of the pandemic last year activities of the Legislature were kind of frozen while the Executive branch of Government continued with its activities with minimal oversight being exercised over it by this Legislature. This was corrected as the year went by when the Legislature began to conduct its business through virtual and hybrid modes.

The IFP wishes to suggest that when taking the Legislature to the people programme is implemented going forward that not only members of the Executive make presentations at this forum but an opportunity be given to the Leaders of political parties represented in the Legislature also to make presentations to this forum as well.

Legislature Main Chamber

We hope the construction company will meet the deadline to finish the repairs of the roof of the Main Chamber of the Legislature by the end of July this year as anticipated.

We have noted on pages 45 second paragraph, 46 last paragraph under procurement and 55 under sub section, Maintenance and repair,  of the green book reference to Lindiwe Sisulu Building, can we get clarity from the Hon Speaker where this building is or it was a typo which must be corrected.

Vacant posts

We urge the Hon Speaker to ensure that the process of filling vacant posts within the administration of the Legislature is expedited. The IFP wishes that competent and properly qualified personnel be appointed regardless of political affiliation of KwaZulu Natal deserve a professionally run and efficient administration of their affairs.

Members Questions

The IFP calls upon you, Hon Speaker to interact with the Leader of Government Business to impress upon her to ensure that Hon MECs respond to written questions submitted to them by Hon members of this House. Failure or delay by Hon MECs to respond to questions posed to

them cripple the efforts of the Hon members of this House to exercise their responsibilities to hold the Executive accountable.

Should this unacceptable situation continue, we’ll be forced to call upon the Hon Premier to take action against Hon MECs who do not respond to written questions asked by Hon members

Capacity Building of Hon members

The IFP commends the efforts by the Legislature to capacitate Hon members in the past year. We urge the Legislature to continue with this programme.

The IFP supports the budget.

I thank you Hon Chairperson.