Minister Godongwana’s failure to show up in Parly angers the opposition

The Democratic Alliance described Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s absence from Tuesday’s briefing as completely unacceptable.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana delivers his maiden Medium-term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament on 11 November 2021. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has angered opposition politicians by failing to appear before a meeting of Parliament’s finance and appropriations committees to brief them on the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement he unveiled last week.

The meeting was told that Godongwana had to attend a pre-arranged doctor’s appointment.

The Democratic Alliance described his absence from Tuesday’s briefing as completely unacceptable.

For years, it has been the tradition for the finance minister to brief a joint sitting of finance and appropriations committees the day after a budget speech.

But Friday’s briefing was postponed until Tuesday because neither the Minister Godongwana, nor his deputy David Masondo were available.

On Tuesday morning, MPs learned that Godongwana was again unavailable to brief them.

“I understand that the minister apparently has a doctor’s appointment, but it is completely unacceptable that we do not have the minister in this meeting. I have been a member of this committee most of the time since 2008 and never has there been a situation where after the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement or after the budget we do not see the minister who is responsible for the budget,” said DA's Dion George.

ANC MPs defended Godongwana, saying he could not help being ill. It was left to his deputy, Masondo, to step in.