75 days Parly break is to allow ANC to ‘iron out post-Congress rifts': Van Damme

DA Member of Parliament and Shadow Communications Minister Phumzile Van Damme alludes,Picture: Getty Images

DA Member of Parliament and Shadow Communications Minister Phumzile Van Damme alludes that the ‘ANC forced’ 75 days break in Parliament in order to give the ANC time to ‘iron out post-Congress rifts’.

Referring to these as ‘speculations’, Van Damme said that the ANC ‘forced’ the Parliament break in order to have time to iron out post-congress rifts and in the process constraining the opposition from conducting oversight.

National Assembly is expected to go on recess for 75 days starting from June to August 13.

The decision was agreed on in March by the Joint Programming Committee which the DA lambasted as an attempt to undermine parliament’s oversight role.

“I don’t buy the excuse that the 75 days is needed because MPs are not in their constituencies enough. Monday’s, Fridays and weekends are usually reserved for Constituency work when Parly is in session then we have the usual breaks.

“A 75-days winter break means MPs are severely constrained from conducting oversight by submitting written and oral parliamentary questions, can’t have meetings with Ministers, Depts and entities, have debates, submit motions and the rest of the parliamentary oversight mechanisms,” she said.

In a series of tweets, Van Damme said that the only time it was an accepted convention for Parliament to be on a long break was during an election period where MPs would be released to do campaign work in their constituencies. 

“It’s not an election year so why the long break?” she tweeted.

She said this on Tuesday as Parliament resumes following a recess where a number of various committee meetings are scheduled to take place.

-TNA Reporter