End of the year statement

11 December 2008

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus concludes this year satisfied with its performance within the institution, and confident that it has been able to seize opportunities to further deepen and accelerate the process of improving the quality of life of all our people. As part of the ANC’s broader programme for fundamental social change, we have continued with the implementation of progressive legislation and undertaking parliamentary activities that sought to better the conditions of life of the people.

Guided by the programmes of the movement emanating from the watershed Limpopo conference, we have through Parliament been instrumental in the formulation and passage of over 80 legislations that deal with, amongst others, land and agrarian reform, such as the Provision of Land and Assistance Amendment; fight against crime and corruption, such the SA Police Services and the NPA Acts; housing, such as the Housing Development Agency Bill and Social Housing Bill; poverty eradication, such as Social Assistance Amendment Bill; as well as education, such as the Skills Development Amendment Bill and Higher Education Amendment Bill.

The ANC has also ensured that through the programme of taking Parliamentary sittings to every corner of South Africa, our people can play a central role in the governance decision making process.

Constituency Work

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip hereby presents a report on the activities of ANC members of Parliament since the beginning of the current term, as well as on those priorities for the constituency work programme.

During the past few months, ANC MPs have been working in various communities across the country in order to give feedback to constituencies on the legislative and governance work.

Our MPs engaged with communities, especially those in townships and remote rural villages, through door-to-door visits, public meetings and stakeholder interactions. Amongst the issues our MPs dealt with related to improved basic service delivery, infrastructure development, housing, crime, unemployment, legislations and the Parliamentary programme.

At these engagements, members of the communities expressed concerns around issues such as crime and unemployment. However, the majority of our people expressed greater appreciation for the work that the ANC-led government has done since it came to power in 1994. We note that this approval is a result of concrete change in the lives of our people.

NPA Director’s Removal

Caucus has noted the decision by the President of the Republic, Kgalema Motlanthe, to relieve the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv. Vusi Pikoli, of his duties following his suspension last year.

Caucus affirms the President’s prerogative afforded by the provisions of the National Prosecuting Authority Act to appoint and remove National Directors.

The NPA Act states that the President may provisionally suspend the National Director from his or her office, pending an inquiry into his or her fitness to hold office. Should the President wish to remove the National Director as a result of such an inquiry, he or she will communicate a message to Parliament. Parliament has a final say on whether the National Director should or should not retain the position.

Caucus is satisfied that the President has, in this regard, followed to the letter the stipulated statutory processes in his decision on the National Director.

Our Members of Parliament will carefully study and discuss the report of the Ginwala Commission of Enquiry and the recommendation of the President to make an appropriate decision when Parliament gets an opportunity to reflect on the matter.

Appointment of New MPs

Caucus wishes to announce that it has appointed two new Members of Parliament effective from 9 December 2008 to occupy vacant positions in the National Assembly.

The new MPs are Ms Blessing Thandi Shongwe from the Mpumalanga Province and Mr Ramalepa Paulus Zondo from the Gauteng Province. They replace Ms Lespectively, both of whom recently resigned.

2009 Programme of Parliament

The programme of the first session of the third Parliament is as follows:

02-09 January 2009: Leave period for Members of Parliament
12-16 January 2009: Establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee that will deal with the Ginwala Commission of Enquiry Report
19-23 January 2009: Committee Period
26-30 January 2009: National Assembly and NCOP Plenaries
06 February 2009: President’s Address (Joint Sitting)
10 February 2009: Reply to President’s Address
11 February 2009: Budget Speech and Introduction of Division of Revenue Bill
18 February 2009: NA Plenary on Division of Revenue Bill
18 February 2009: First Reading Debate on Appropriation Bill

Issued by the ANC Parliamentary Caucus

For more information contact: Khotso Khumalo, Spokesperson @ 072 307 7007