Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa  Photo: GCIS

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa Photo: GCIS

  • The ANC blocked the establishment of a committee to oversee the electricity minister.
  • The DA proposed the motion because there was no portfolio committee to oversee the minister or the Presidency.
  • This year, the ANC has also blocked committees to look into Phala Phala and corruption at Eskom.

The ANC blocked the establishment of an ad hoc committee to oversee Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

A mini-plenary of the National Assembly debated this motion on 4 May, at which point it became evident that the governing party would prevent Ramokgopa from being subjected to oversight by a parliamentary committee.

The vote took place on Thursday evening during a sitting of the full National Assembly.

Last month, the National Assembly Rules Committee decided not to appoint a portfolio committee to oversee Ramokgopa and his ministry, because it would not receive its own budget and, instead, draw its funds from the Presidency.

The Presidency is the only budget not overseen by a committee after the ANC was insistent on deferring a decision on whether such a committee should be established until the end of the administration’s term, claiming that more research should be done, including a “study tour” abroad.

Subsequently, the DA’s Kevin Mileham proposed that an ad hoc committee should be established to oversee Ramokgopa.

READ | No committee on electricity minister, says the ANC – but it wants rules to hinder opposition parties

When the motion was debated, Mileham said that, given the gravity of the electricity crisis, it was critical that Parliament “ensure that the minister of electricity is held to the highest standards of accountability and oversight”.

The ANC claimed there were enough oversight mechanisms to keep Ramokgopa accountable and proposed that the National Assembly’s rules were changed to make it harder to propose ad hoc committees.

When the question was put to the House on Thursday, an ANC MP indicated that the party did not support it.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina interrupted over the virtual platform and said: “Honourable chair, can we be recorded properly, that the African National Congress objects to the motion.”

So far this year, the ANC has already blocked the establishment of an ad hoc committee to investigate Phala Phala, as well as an ad hoc committee to investigate corruption at Eskom.

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