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Western Cape legislature’s Covid-19 ad hoc committee disbands after two years

Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19 chairperson Mireille Wenger. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19 chairperson Mireille Wenger. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 10, 2022

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Cape Town - With the easing of pandemic restrictions, the Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19, set up by speaker Masizole Mnqasela shortly after the pandemic began in April 2020, has disbanded.

Covid-19 matters will be dealt with by the respective standing committees.

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The committee has also recommended that as part of its programme the health standing committee must now schedule regular Covid-19 updates from the Health Department.

Committee chairperson Mirellie Wenger (DA) said: “Covid-19 issues with economic impact will be handled by the finance standing committee, health will be done by the health standing committee, while protection of the vulnerable will be handled by the social development standing committee.”

She said it had been a tough journey, as they had begun their work when the country was at level 5 of the lockdown and at that time met twice a week for two or three months.

“It was a very heavy programme, but it was important for the committee to ensure the executive was held to account.”

Supporting the resolution to disband, EFF MPL Melikhaya Xego said the committee had served its purpose.

Health standing committee chairperson Wendy Kaizer-Philander (DA) said it was now incumbent on the Health Department to take the work of the committee forward.

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Committee members Rachel Windvogel (ANC) and Deidré Baartman (DA) also supported the disbandment. MPL Derrick America (DA) said the experience had been a historical one and the materials and reports they produced would be used as reference sources for future generations.

The speaker established the committee after consultation with all political parties represented in the legislature. It was made up of 15 MPLs appointed on a proportional basis.

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