Cape Town - A heated debate over Premier Helen Zille’s R1.02 billion budget for her department saw Transport MEC Robin Carlisle kicked out of the Western Cape legislature for calling an ANC MPL a liar and refusing to apologise and retract the remark.
Tabling the departmental budget on Monday, Zille reflected on the five-year road her administration had travelled.
also warned against new employment equity regulations, saying that if they were implemented they would have a “profound impact on employment in the province where provincial demographics are very different from the national figures”.
Zille said the province was seeking legal opinion on whether certain sections of the Employment Equity Act and the draft regulations were lawful and constitutional.
“The national Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, introduced draft regulations for the amended Employment Equity Act which have raised serious concerns for us as the Western Cape government,” said Zille.
“The regulations specify how an employer’s compliance with employment equity should be determined.”
She said her government was committed to achieving equitable representation in the Western Cape administration.
“We believe that the way to achieve the constitution’s requirement for the public service to be broadly representative is through providing opportunities for learning and skills development so that personnel can progress through a pipeline of promotion on the basis of talent, hard work and the value they contribute to the organisation,” she said.
But the speech was somewhat overshadowed by Carlisle, who interjected, objected and heckled while ANC MPL Vuyewi Hani responded to Zille.
Hani said as the DA’s term in the legislature came to an end, nothing tangible had been provided for poor people.
“We heard many words, but all we saw was how the DA only follows the ANC… The DA has moved into the shadow of the ANC and has nothing to offer voters,” she said.
Carlisle responded with several outbursts despite being warned not to.
Maintaining that the DA only preserved white privilege, Hani said that “access to the Internet is not a priority for the poor who do not have access to decent housing, sanitation, food, jobs and schools”.
She added: “There is no indication that this department spends money on the poor. Instead, the vast majority of the budget is not for the poor.”
Carlisle had a different take. “Lie after lie after lie,” he yelled. “Lies, she’s just telling lies.”
When ANC MPL Max Ozinsky objected, asking if the MEC’s remarks were parliamentary, Carlisle replied: “It may not be parliamentary, but it is true.”
When Speaker Richard Majola asked him to withdraw the remark, he replied: “No, I cannot withdraw that.”
The Speaker then ordered Carlisle to pack his bag and leave the house.
Responding to the ANC’s claims, Zille questioned if a single one was correct.
“I almost felt that the ANC must somewhere have a central speech-writing unit that sent her the wrong speech, the one meant for Limpopo or some other province,” she said.
“There is no fit whatsoever between what the honourable Hani said and what is going on in this province.”
She rejected ANC claims that the DA had done nothing in the province, delivered nothing and only picked up where the ANC had left off.
“Nothing can be further from the truth,” she said.
“Interestingly enough, the ANC is trying to pick up where we started because much of the National Development Plan mirrors almost identically the strategic plan that we set up in this government before the NDP was finalised.”
Zille also took a swipe at ANC MPLs who have not made the ANC’s candidate list for the province.
“The only people that are coming back on the opposite side of the house… are people who are previously members of the NNP and people who are currently members of the South African Communist Party,” she said.