Cape Town – Deputy President David Mabuza will return to the National Council of provinces (NCOP) to answer oral questions on Thursday.
This is according to latest programme of the NCOP and the National Assembly, which shows that Mabuza will make an appearance for the question-and-answer session at 2pm.
Parliament confirmed that the deputy president would answer oral questions.
"Oral question-and-answer sessions are one of Parliament’s means of holding the executive accountable. Deputy President Mabuza's scheduled appearance follows that of President Cyril Ramaphosa last week in the National Assembly," it said.
This comes after Mabuza missed two sessions with the National Assembly in July and August and another with the NCOP in July due to ill health.
The cancellation of these sessions had sparked interest among MPs as they were concerned that their questions had gone unanswered for a long time.
The DA even suggested that someone take his place, but this was deemed as "insensitive" by his parliamentary counsellor and ANC MP Hope Papo, who said Mabuza could not defy his medical team.
Last Thursday, the National Assembly programme committee heard that the conversion of its outstanding replies to written replies was being considered.
National Assembly Secretary Masibulele Xaso told the committee that there was an agreement among the chief whips forum that the House should receive written responses from Mabuza.
"And a motion to that effect will be processed by the House next week, enabling the deputy president to submit responses in writing," Xaso said.
He, however, said there was a need to clarify whether the pending motion would speak to supplementary questions which are asked in a normal question-and-answer session.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina confirmed that the issue of Mabuza's responses was discussed on Wednesday by the chief whips forum.
"We were in agreement because the rules have no provision for written replies. Given the situation that we are in, lets have a motion in the House that will be a stop-gap measure in the meantime so that those questions are not overtaken by events," Majodina said at the time.
Meanwhile, ministers in the social service cluster will respond to oral questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.