The fact that the ruling party in the Bhisho Legislature is doing everything possible to avoid a public debate to discuss poor service delivery in the province is more than just suspect. They are shielding the members of the Executive Council from the scrutiny which they get subjected to during House sittings. MECs have to answer the hard questions and provide answers during these sittings.
The DA’s request to the Speaker of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in terms of the rules that important issues around education in the province be discussed in the House as a Matter of Public Interest has been declined.
This coming week’s planned sitting has been cancelled and burning questions for oral reply will now be avoided.
By deliberately avoiding debates in the House and resolutions that flow from them, the ANC is sending the public a message that it supports poor service delivery. If incompetent officials are not brought to book by the oversight capabilities of our Legislature, these officials will continue to underperform and corrupt our civil service.
The recent Grahamstown High Court ruling compelling the MEC for Education, Mandla Makupula, and directors of the Department of Education to fill every vacant teacher post in schools in the province by 2 November and the shortage of textbooks and workbooks are matters of national importance. The general chaos in the education system is currently a topic of grave concern within the public domain.
The Legislature is the foremost institution in our province for holding the provincial cabinet to account. The only reason why people are turning to the courts is because the legislature is failing to carry out its responsibilities. The DA demands that our provincial parliament starts doing its job more effectively.
It is in the interest of the citizens of the Eastern Cape at large that practical decisions are made to bring an end to the textbook crisis and that the implications of the High Court judgment on vacancies are dealt with in a decisive manner to ensure that education in this province is put back on track.
The DA believes that education is a ticket out of cycle of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Pine Pienaar, MPL
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