Cape Town - Bickering has broken out between the ANC and the DA in the Western Cape legislature over the rescheduling of a sitting of the House to allow the premier and his executive council to spend time “engaging with communities” in the Overstrand Municipality instead.
As far as the ANC caucus in the legislature is concerned, the sitting, which was on the legislature’s calendar for May 4, was cancelled by the DA-dominated programme authority committee to facilitate “electioneering” by the provincial executive council.
A statement signed by ANC deputy chief whip Khalid Sayed read: “This morning we were simply informed that an entire sitting of the House on 4 May, 2023 will be cancelled. Not moved or postponed – no, cancelled.
“Already, the ANC has complained about the few sittings of the House and now the DA has the audacity to cancel sittings.”
The ANC caucus urged the DA’s national leadership to intervene and said it would call a meeting with the leader of government business, Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, to discuss the matter.
However, the DA’s chief whip, Wendy Kaizer-Philander, who also chairs the programme authority, said the ANC was being dishonest and that the sitting had not been cancelled, it had been postponed until May 25.
Kaizer-Philander said: “The statement released by the ANC accusing the DA in the legislature of cancelling the May 4 sitting of the house is the latest in a string of examples of how the party will stoop to blatant lies in order to remain relevant.”
She said the sitting had not been scrapped, it had been rescheduled for May 25.
The change came after the legislature was informed of the provincial executive council’s “outreach week” in the Overstrand Municipality.
Kaizer-Philander said that far from giving the executive a “free pass”, the rescheduled sitting would be “an extended format which will include a debate, questions to the premier without notice, interpellations, oral questions, motions and member statements”.
She said the ANC was well aware of this because it had been discussed in a programme authority meeting on Tuesday morning.