It’s time we knew why Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies would always choose to absent himself from parliamentary meeting. His deputy said he was with President Jacob Zuma on a visit to Nigeria during sitting on Wednesday.
Irrespective of that, the Democratic Alliance considered him still, a “serial non-attender” in parliament. The opposition party vehemently criticized the minister’s continuous absence in the National Assembly during important gatherings.
In a country like South Africa where the economy is gradually drifting off balance, care and commitment should be applied in order to resuscitate the crashing state of the economy.
While other ministers were present during the sitting, Minister Davies was nowhere to be found and the DA obviously couldn’t stand it anymore.
What angered the opposition party most was not even that Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina (who is not an executive member) stood in for him but that Davies could have been present to answer follow-up questions on South Africa’s economy.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen noted that government ministers’ attendance in the National Assembly was crucial to fulfil Parliament’s oversight role.
“This is a serial offence on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry,” DA’s Steenhuisen said.
But, ANC MP Mathole Motshekga countered Steenhuisen’s name-calling and stated that apologies had been received by ministers who were absent.
Parliament speaker Baleka Mbete however promised to present the matter to the leader of government business at a forthcoming meeting.
Last week, Minister Rob Davies announced the conclusion of business negotiations with the United States on the import of American poultry, beef and pork.
He related that South Africa would be benefiting from the African Growth and Opportunities Act [AGOA] for the next ten years.
Dr Rob Davies is serving his second term as Minister of Trade and Industry, having been appointed to this portfolio in May 2014.
He has been as ANC MP since 1994, Davies served as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committees of Finance and Trade and Industry as well as the Constitutional Assembly Sub-Committee responsible for drafting Charter 13 (Finance).
Also, the Finance minister was absent during parliamentary sitting on Wednesday. Gordhan was in the United Kingdom trying to woo international investors and prevent a sovereign ratings downgrade.
Moody’s seeks assess to what extent South African government policies can The ratings downgrade watch will allow to assess can stabilize the state’s economy and reinstate fiscal strength amid heightened domestic and international market volatility.
“The decision to place the ratings on review was prompted by the continuing rise in risks to the country’s medium-term economic prospects and to its fiscal strength, inspite of that, the tighter fiscal stance undertaken in the 2016/17 budget,” Moody’s said in a statement.
Experts however believe that the country’s economy can be stabilized by continuous demonstration of commitment. And by slashing spending and boosting the country’s debt repayment ability by budgeting smartly.
Meanwhile, according to Minister Gordhan, Moodys delegation is expected to meet with South African stakeholders between March 16 and 18 before making a decision on a possible downgrade.