National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, says the perception that Parliament is not implementing the recommendations of the State Capture Commission with necessary speed is far from the truth.
Mapisa-Nqakula briefed the media following a meeting with Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, on Wednesday.
She says the purpose of the meeting was to address concerns between the judiciary and the legislature, specifically related to the Chief Justice’s recent comments.
Zondo recently accused Parliament of failing to protect citizens from state capture.
He alleged that if another round of state capture was to occur, the National Legislature would still fail to protect South Africans.
The Chief Justice is of the view that a permanent anti-state capture commission is necessary to avoid such an occurrence, which gave the Guptas leg to siphon more than R58 billion from the public purse.
Parliament has objected to the comments made by the chief justice.
It has, however, acknowledged that there is currently no established mechanism through which the judiciary and Parliament can regularly share information.
“This may have resulted in a situation where the Chief Justice may not have been aware of the progress that the institution has been making with regard to matters raised in the report,” says the National Assembly Speaker.
Mapisa-Nqakula says Parliament remains fully committed to implementing the State Capture’s recommendations.
“As part of the implementation plan , at least 22 relevant parliamentary committees have been assigned to oversee executive action regarding the commission’s recommendations.”
The Parliament Speaker says the committees are required to provide quarterly reports on oversight matters related to the recommendations.
“Parliament has also ramped up its capacity building and training of members to equip them with the necessary analytical and technical skills required in the exercise of their mandate, especially with regard to lawmaking and oversight.
“We believe that new interventions with regard to institutional renewal in Parliament, including the new governance model, the oversight model and organizational restructuring will strengthen Parliament’s oversight role,” says Mapisa-Nqakula.
Mapisa-Nqakula says Parliament has considered establishing a committee to oversee aspects of the Presidency.
“The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) conducted research to identify aspects of the Presidency budget not currently subjected to parliamentary scrutiny.
“The PB concluded that Parliament should strengthen its oversight over the Presidency and recommended further research.”
Mapisa-Nqakula further announced that 11 out of the 19 recommendations made on the work of Parliament have been implemented.
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza