The various standing committees of the provincial legislature will be holding deliberations on the annual reports of all provincial government departments. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Starting today and for the next three weeks, the various standing committees of the provincial legislature will be holding deliberations on the annual reports of all provincial government departments.

In a bid to avoid a situation where MECs for the different departments make brief “technical appearances” before the committees, leaving before they can be quizzed by members, ANC leader in the legislature Cameron Dugmore has requested Premier Alan Winde to give “necessary assurances” that he will ensure that “members of his executive be present for the full duration of the annual report process with the review of their respective departments scheduled to commence this week”.

“I sent a letter to the premier”, Dugmore said. “There have been occasions in the past few years where some MECs attend these important presentations only for a few minutes before leaving, thereby not affording the members an opportunity to gain clarity on matters relating to the annual reports directly from the responsible MECs. We trust that this will not happen under your leadership as premier.

“We have welcomed your commitment to transparency and integrity in government and your commitment to hold your MECs accountable,” and added, “We hope you are able to provide the necessary assurances that all MECs attend these sessions for their entire duration.”

The Constitution recognises that legislatures have a critical role to play in overseeing better performance by departments and public entities.

The challenge facing members of Parliament and provincial legislatures is to improve the capacity of portfolio committees to hold departments and entities to account for their performance, using their strategic plans, budget documents and annual reports.

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Cape Argus