Ministers who don't answer parliamentary questions should be fined: committee

Members of the National Assembly’s rules body said ministers who failed to respond to parliamentary questions should be fined.

FILE: A National Assembly hybrid plenary sitting in line with COVID-19 regulations on 27 August 2020. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Members of the National Assembly’s rules committee on Friday recommended that ministers who failed to respond to parliamentary questions timeously should be hit with a financial penalty.

The committee adopted its report that in instances of continuous non-compliance, the Speaker may reprimand delinquent ministers but some committee members felt this wouldn’t be enough of a deterrent.

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said: “I think we should start looking at a financial reprimand. And I think that we’ve learned through Parliament that the only thing that really affects people who continuously break the rules is a financial situation.”

ANC MP Richard Dyantyi said Parliament had written to 24 ministers for failing to answer over 100 questions that had been put to them.

The committee also resolved that as a last resort, the Speaker may escalate the matter through a formal complaint to the president.

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