The affordable education loan option
Parliament - The National Assembly was unable to pass the National Lotteries Amendment Bill on Tuesday because of poor attendance by ANC MPs, the DA said.
“This is the third such time that, under the tenure of ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani, Parliament has been unable to pass bills due to poor attendance by ANC MPs,” Democratic Alliance chief whip Watty Watson said in a statement.
“If the ANC Chief Whip wants to pass such legislation, then he would do well to get his own members to attend the sitting.”
Sizani's spokesman Moloto Mothapo said the issue of Parliamentary quorum and discipline was the responsibility of all political parties, not just the African National Congress.
“From our part, we will look at our attendance register against the authorised absence register and follow up on those who might have been on unauthorised absence,” he said.
“Those MPs will be subjected to an internal disciplinary process.”
However, Mothapo said the strategy that had been adopted by the DA was irresponsible and illustrative of deep-seated ill-discipline.
He accused the DA of “frustrating” the quorum on a number of occasions, even on bills that it proclaimed to support.
“The notion that the responsibility of making laws and passing laws is an ANC exclusive responsibility is short-sighted and absurd because it is a multi-party Parliament where all political parties are expected to participate in the legislative processes, and therefore the DA practice of frustrating the quorum by staying away is as ill-disciplined as those of our MPs who have stayed away without authorisation,” said Mothapo.
Watson said the DA had argued during the debate that the bill was problematic and that it would oppose it.
The last minute insertion of clause 13A, which provides that the state run the lotto for 10 years was a fundamental policy shift and a bad idea, he said.
“We trust that this postponement will provide the portfolio committee of trade and industry with the opportunity to reconsider their position on this clause and help ensure that a quality piece of draft legislation is presented to the house at the next opportunity.”