DA Member of Parliament Should Familiarize Himself With Parliamentary Guidelines
A clearly uninformed Member of Parliament from the Democratic Alliance, Mat Cuthbert has misrepresented a Parliamentary Reply by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu regarding one of the housing projects in the City of Ekurhuleni.
In replying to the Member’s Parliamentary Question on the Alliance Extension 9 housing project in Ward 71, a decision was taken not to disclose the details of the affected contractors as this may be construed as publicity for or against them. The Guide to Parliamentary Questions in the National Assembly clearly states: “Questions are to be framed as concisely as possible. All unnecessary adjectives, references and quotations are omitted. Names of persons, bodies and, for example, newspapers are only used in questions if the facts surrounding the case have been proven. As the mere mention of such names could be construed as publicity for or against them, it should be clear that this practice is highly undesirable…”.
It is also absurd and embarrassing that the Member misled the nation in his statement, saying that none of the applicants declined were given an opportunity to rectify their mistakes. In her reply Minister Sisulu clearly states that “incorrect and missing information on subsidy applications (Beneficiaries are contacted to submit the correct and complete information”.
Noting that among Mr Cuthbert’s achievements is, to quote from his profile on the People’s Assembly website, “being the youngest councillor in Ekurhuleni”, his passion for his constituency is appreciated, however, the Member should have realised that the issues being raised are not within the implementation responsibility of the National Department of Human Settlements. That is why in her response Minister Sisulu stated clearly that “I have been informed…”. All information provided was obtained from the Gauteng Provincial Department of Human Settlements, as was stated in the reply. The Honourable Member would be aware that the Gauteng Provincial Department of Human Settlements is not a regional office that reports to the National Department.
Therefore, any insinuation that the Minister has disregard for parliamentary accountability is dismissed with the contempt it deserves. If this were to be true, the Member’s question would have been ignored and he would have been advised to raise the question directly with the appropriate executive authority being the MEC for Human Settlements in Gauteng.
We understand that this is a newcomer to Parliament and in his desperate attempt to make himself relevant he is wrongfully using the name of the Minister thus making an absolute fool of himself.
We also advise the honourable MP to fact check any acquaint himself with Parliamentary Guidelines before going public with his opinion.
Enquiries: Steve Motale, Ministry Spokesperson on 083 784 0719
Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
Govan Mbeki House
240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria