File picture: Phill Magakoe.
Parliament - The DA has called on the ANC to do the right thing by offering them the chairpersonship of the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) in the National Assembly.

The call comes after the DA in the Western Cape legislature offered the Scopa chair to the ANC.

In the last three terms, the Scopa chair has been held by former MP Themba Godi from the small opposition party, the African People’s Convention.

Speaking at a media briefing DA leader Mmusi Maimane said when it came to parliamentary accountability, “size” does matter.

“I would urge, whatever the background discussions that are taking place, if the ANC is serious about accountability, this will be the route to go to ensure we can exercise appropriate accountability,” Maimane said.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the ANC should do the right thing. 

“We are the largest opposition party. Tradition has it that the Scopa chair should go to the largest opposition party,” he said.

The DA has fielded Alf Lees and Benedicta Van Minnen to serve on Scopa, with Lees as their preferred candidate for the chairperson post.

“Any government that is serious about transparency and accountability would, surely, want to submit itself to the best forms of oversight to ensure transparency and accountability.

“That means a party that is able to act without fear and favour in terms of public finances and Alf Lees will make an excellent Scopa chairperson,” Steenhuisen said.

ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli said the governing party was finalising candidates to serve on the committees, including chairpersons.

“Once that process is finalised, an announcement will be made,” Mhlauli said.

On the shadow cabinet, Maimane said it was composed of men and women who were diverse and came with different competencies.

“What you can expect from this team is a team to put forward fresh ideas. We've got to demonstrate to the people of this country that there are alternatives,” he said.

He said his party would table an agenda for reform and pieces of legislation that focus on city-led economic growth, labour reform and reform of state-owned entities.

“We will certainly oppose the current mining charter and threats to the economy of the fiscus and all matters like National Health Insurance that seek to hamstring our fiscus” he added.

Maimane also said they would oppose the amendment of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

“Not only will it be dangerous for the economy, it will equally be dangerous for private property rights, which are crucial for South Afrcans to be able to advance their ability to own, prosper and create work for our citizens,” Maimane said.

DA senior MPs left out of the shadow cabinet unveiled yesterday included the party's federal executive chairperson James Selfe, deputy chair of the party Mike Waters and federal executive deputy chairperson Thomas Walters.

Maimane said these individuals held elected positions within the party.

Political Bureau