Parliament - Parliament will take a tough stance on ministerial accountability and may institute special measures to ensure MPs attended portfolio committee meetings, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise said on Tuesday.
Modise said in the debate on Parliament's R2.6 billion budget, a close eye would be kept on whether ministers came in person to brief portfolio committees or delegated the task to officials.
She vowed that Parliament would not countenance what she called a "hands-off" approach by ministers and said where they did delegate, it needed to be to officials who had the proper authority.
At the end of the day, she said, the executive would be held to account for how public money would be spent and the leader of government business in Parliament would be briefed about whether ministers played by the rules. It would be also be noted whether they presented themselves for ministerial question sessions. Failure to do so had been a recurrent feature and source of complaint during the fifth Parliament.
Modise also had a stern warning for errant MPs, saying they could not expect to be paid for staying at home and therefore it was not far-fetched to discuss introducing an electronic attendance record system for committee meetings.