Parliament plans to question members of the house, especially the ANC MPs who were not present at the National Assembly for the debate on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said this on Thursday adding that members who were absent and could provide a justifiable excuse for their absence will be appropriately penalized.
Radebe who related his disappointment over the failure to pass the bill said the bill could not be adopted by the National Assembly on both Tuesday and Wednesday because of the lack of a quorum due to absent ANC MPs.
The MPs were elected as representatives of the people and were accountable to them. “It is very bad for Parliament not to be able to pass a budget”, Radebe said, pointing out how important it is for government to implement its programme.
The ANC’s political committee, chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, would deal with the matter and decide what action to take against the MPs, the minister said.
Speaking on this, DA finance spokesman David Maynier said the failure to adopt the bill for the second time, presented a “humiliating defeat” for the ruling party and that it will now be submitted to the National Assembly again next week for adoption.
“Despite two votes, two ‘three-line-whips’, making attendance mandatory, and numerous text messages pleading with members to vote, ANC MPs could not muster enough votes to form quorum and pass the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill.
“Not even Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s last-minute dash to vote was enough to prevent the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill from being defeated a second time in Parliament,” Maynier said in a statement.
“The poor chief whip of the majority party, Jackson Mthembu, was so desperate before the vote that he switched to ‘rapid fire’, sending out text messages, pleading with members to vote.
“What this proves is that the ANC are now so internally divided, so dysfunctional, so disinterested and so poorly disciplined that they are not even capable of getting the basics right, which is simply to show up and vote in Parliament.”
The bill was tabled two weeks ago by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan with the medium-term budget policy statement. It provides for a R5.41bn adjustment to the budget.
Maynier said the DA did not support the bill as the party believed it provided for an “unfair share” of revenue between the national, provincial and municipal spheres of government.
ANC MPs Must Be Punished For Neglecting Their Roles In The 2day House Debate