Speaker Baleka Mbete has turned down a request by the DA to form an ad hoc committee to deal with the energy crisis in the country. Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - Speaker Baleka Mbete has turned down a request by the DA to form an ad hoc committee to deal with the energy crisis in the country.

The official opposition made the request a few days ago saying Parliament needed to reconvene urgently to deal with the rolling blackouts.

But Mbete said on Tuesday there was no need to reconvene the National Assembly to debate the energy crisis.

She said the relevant committees can handle such a matter without calling for such a committee. 

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen had written to Mbete requesting the discussion on the matter urgently.

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Mbete had turned down the DA’s request.

“In her letter to Mr Steenhuisen, Ms Mbete said she agreed the prevailing energy crisis was a very serious matter for the nation,” said Mothapo. 

“However, existing portfolio committees were empowered to deal with the issues at Eskom. These included the portfolio committee on public enterprises, which conducted an extensive inquiry on Eskom in 2018,” he said. 

“The relevant committees could, therefore, take up the matter if needed and there was no need for the National Assembly to be reconvened at this point. Even if an ad hoc committee was required, such would not require the House to reconvene,” he added. 

But Steenhuisen said he will write back to Mbete that she was empowered to call on the whips of parties in Parliament to form an ad hoc committee to deal with the energy crisis. 

Political Bureau