Speaker Modise Tells Parliamentarians To Shape Up

Riyaz Patel

The Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) says she wants to see committed, pro-active parliamentarians in implementing government’s blueprint, the National Development Plan (NDP).

Thandi Modise said parliamentarians of the sixth term must honestly reflect on their performance, while enhancing their competencies in drafting legislation.

The NA Speaker added that those in Parliament must use information and communication technologies to enhance their research capabilities.

“Better adoption, accounting for and enforcing a series of conventions and resolutions of multilateral parliamentary institutions, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, are aimed at improving governance and a better life for citizens,” she added.

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She pointed out that a more “equitable budget and resource allocation” to the NA and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) would enhance their respective capacities to execute their mandates.

Modise called for unity amongst parliamentarians to fight corruption, and improved oversight.

Political parties of various persuasions supported the Speaker while putting forth a range of priority areas to be pursued by the sixth Parliament.

These include asserting Parliament’s role in a manner that reduces instances of people resorting to courts, while improving coordination between the NA and NCOP, as well as stepping up engagement with communities.

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“Tracking of parliamentary committee findings and resolutions to ensure full accountability of departments, also stepping up Parliament’s consequence management including changing budgets and naming-and-shaming of poorly performing Executive Members when various avenues have been exhausted, can help build a real people’s Parliament,” Modise outlined.

The Speaker’s rallying call coincided with trends which show a worsening of key NDP indicators such as poverty, which grew to 55%, unemployment, which reached 29%, and inequality, which persists at 0.68 on the Gini coefficient measure. 

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