DA demands progress report on rebuilding of Parliament missed deadlines

Issued by Siviwe Gwarube MP – Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
31 Jul 2023 in News

Please find attahed a soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

  • Today was the deadline for clearing the debris and rubble on the burnt Parliamentary precinct.
  • The deadline was clearly missed, and the DA wants answers from the Executive Authority of Parliament.
  • Parliament is a public institution and South Africans deserve answers.

The DA has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa- Nqakula and the Chairs of the Joint Standing Committee of the Financial Management of Parliament (JSCFMP) to request a progress report from Parliament on the rebuilding project of the burnt precinct.

According to Parliament’s own records and reports, the bulk work of clearing the debris and rubble should have been completed today. This is clearly not the case as seemingly no work has been done to the burnt down buildings.

It has been 18 months since the Parliamentary precinct was burnt down; rendering key parts of the institution unusable not only for the Members of Parliament but also restricted access to members of the public. Public access to Parliament is a right that is enshrined in the Constitution and key to the work that we do as public representatives.

The last report that was provided by Parliament on the key project milestones that ought to be met in order for the rebuilding project to take two years was on the 12th of May 2023. During that meeting it was committed that the rebuilding of offices for Members of Parliament should be completed by June 2023 and the clearing of the rubble and debris of the burnt buildings will be done by today, 31st July 2023.

This has simply not been done. The construction of offices is still underway and no clearing of the rubble has taken place.

This is why we are calling on Speaker Mapisa – Nqakula and Chairperson Masondo who are the Executive Authority of Parliament to take the public into their confidence and provide a status update on the rebuilding project of Parliament. Clearly the deadlines that Parliament set for itself and the implementing agent, Development Bank of South Africa, have been missed.

Now we need to understand when the work will commence and how this will affect the budget that was initially allocated and the duration of the entire project.

Parliament must understand that the institution is a public one. The rebuilding project is of great public interest and need for effective public representation by MPs. If there are delays and overruns, we need transparency.

The Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, alongside the Secretary to Parliament must account for the delays and provide clarity on the status of the project.

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