Cameron M Dugmore MPL, Leader of the opposition, Western Cape Provincial Legislature. Picture: Facebook
Cameron M Dugmore MPL, Leader of the opposition, Western Cape Provincial Legislature. Picture: Facebook

ANC will oppose DA’s attempt to interfere with Children’s Commissioner

By Opinion Time of article published Sep 9, 2021

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Ricardo McKenzie’s letter “Support for commissioner to make children’s voices heard” (Cape Argus, Monday) cannot go unchallenged.

Such blatant disregard for the provincial constitution, as displayed by MacKenzie, has become the norm in this provincial government.

Even worse, MacKenzie is supposed to chair the committee which gives oversight to the Department of the Premier and hold the department accountable. Yet all the people of the Western Cape get from him and his DA colleagues is sycophancy.

It would do MacKenzie well, as the one endowed with such an important constitutional task, to familiarise himself with chapter nine of the Western Cape Provincial Constitution.

The Children’s Commissioner is an independent and, as such, should be an impartial institution, as other chapter nine institution’s operating at a national level are doing.

McKenzie's feeble attempt to take credit where none is due to him or the premier leaves one aghast, as it was they that delayed the establishment of the Children's Commissioners office for more than 10 years.

By right, the Children’s Commissioner should be funded directly by the provincial treasury, as other chapter nine institutions are being funded at a national level.

The Children’s Commissioner should not be accounting to the Department of the Premier nor should the department be supporting it. While we could understand that during its nascent days, the commissioner’s office would be supported by the department of the premier, it would seem, through MacKenzie’s letter, that this arrangement will be institutionalised.

This is unacceptable, and the ANC will oppose this vigorously.

The Children’s Commissioner is an independent constitutional body and we cannot allow, as MacKenzie would suggest, that the one who pays the piper calls the tune.

* Cameron M Dugmore MPL, Leader of the opposition, Western Cape Provincial Legislature.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus

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