The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to Parliament’s House Chairperson, Cedric Frolic, to request that he intervene to ensure that Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni’s letter regarding the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Bill written to Parliament’s Select Committee on Finance be made public immediately.
The letter from the Minister of Finance was apparently delivered to the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Finance, Charel De Beer, on Monday morning. Despite there having been two committee meetings since Monday, one of which dealt with the PIC Bill, the letter has still not been given to Committee members and the content has been kept secret.
At the meeting of the Select Committee on Finance held on Wednesday, the DA requested that the letter from Minister Mboweni be given to committee members. Chairperson De Beer assured the DA that the letter would be sent through that morning. It has now been more than 24 hours and the letter has yet to be circulated. Chairperson De Beer has subsequently stated that the letter will only be circulated by Tuesday, 19 March 2019.
It is incomprehensible that there can be any legal reason why the letter has not been distributed, and simply leads to unnecessary suspicions of some sort of plot for the NCOP to deal with the PIC Bill without the contents of the Minister’s letter having been thoroughly dealt with in the public domain.
Whilst the DA supports some elements of the PIC Bill, it is opposed to the political appointment of Finance Deputy Ministers as the Chairperson of the PIC Board as well as the Trojan horse introduction of “prescribed assets” clause in the PIC Bill, aimed at using pension funds to bailout entities like SAA and Eskom.
It would be a complete travesty were the ANC in parliament to withhold an official letter from a Minister to a Committee of Parliament in order for the ANC to enable the governing party to strategise in advance behind closed doors.