Cape Town - The appointment of Salga CEO Xolile George as the next secretary to Parliament was postponed on Wednesday, after a meeting between Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and political parties.
The motion was supposed to have been tabled in the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, where members of the two chambers would have voted on it.
The programming committee had heard that chief whips had agreed that the motion for the appointment of George was scheduled on Wednesday.
House chairperson Grace Borotho told members of the National Assembly that they will not proceed with the motion.
“The motion on the appointment of the secretary to Parliament will, by agreement, stand over,” said Borotho.
Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said there was a meeting where Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula met with leaders of political parties. The postponement will give all sides time to further engage on the process.
In the meeting, they discussed a range of issues, including processing the state capture report.
It was agreed that the motion to appoint George must be postponed to a later date.
“The deferment of the consideration of the motion to a later date would afford the presiding officers, and leaders of Parliamentary parties, sufficient opportunity to further engage on the process. The presiding officers and opposition leaders were mindful of the urgent need for the position of the (secretary to Parliament) to be filled, in the light of it having been vacant for more than five years, and have agreed that efforts will be made to ensure the appointment process is not unduly delayed,” said Mothapo.
Gengezi Mgidlana was the last secretary to Parliament and he was fired by the institution a few years ago.
This followed a disciplinary hearing into misconduct charges and he was subsequently found guilty of the charges, and the two houses endorsed his firing.
Parliament has not had a permanent secretary since then and Baby Tyawa has been acting in the position.
Mapisa-Nqakula had indicated that George should start his duties on June 1.
Last Thursday, Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli said George was the right man for the job.
Mothapo also said the meeting between the Speaker and political parties discussed the return of MPs to Parliament physically, after the lifting of the National State of Disaster.
This was also at the time that Parliament was trying to find alternative accommodation for MPs, after the fire that gutted the National Assembly and Old Assembly Chamber.
Coega Development Corporation last week submitted its report into the extent of the damage.
Mothapo said the meeting agreed that Parliament must expedite the process of finding an alternative venue.
“The meeting also discussed, in detail, the immediate need for Parliament to fully revert to physical business, following the termination of the National State of Disaster in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the fire incident that gutted certain parts of the building of Parliament, including the National Assembly Chamber,” he said.