ACDP says it is regrettable that Parliament’s role was limited regarding Covid-19 regulations

ACDP Parliament
Budget Vote 2: Parliament
Speech by ACDP Parliamentary Whip, Steve Swart MP


ACDP says it is regrettable that Parliament’s role was limited regarding Covid-19 regulations

“Madam Speaker,

The ACDP considers Parliament’s Budget vote against a number of significant challenges. The first relates to the impact of Covid 19, and, in our view, the limited role that Parliament was able to play – or no role – on the disaster management regulations and the extension of the State of Disaster for more than two years.

It is highly regrettable that Dr Groenewald’s eminently reasonable private member’s Bill to give parliament a far greater say was not agreed to by this House on what the ACDP believes are flawed legal arguments.

The sad part, honourable Speaker, is that certain of the state of disaster lockdown regulations have now been included under the National Health Regulations, quite wrongfully, in our view. What is even more concerning, is that, yet again, Parliament had no say over the contents of these health regulations.

Now, let’s make it clear once again, the ACDP remains opposed to mandatory Covid-19 vaccines, and we commend church leaders who have rejected those health regulations saying it is ‘vaccines through the backdoor’. Pastor Ray McCauley has said ‘we will not subject ourselves and the people we lead to a vaccine mandate and deny them the right to worship.’ The ACDP agrees.

Clearly, the second issue, Madam Speaker, relates to the devastating fire at Parliament, and yes, we agree with you that we need to find a venue and to make sure that we are all back at work. If everybody else is working, schools are reopening, then we as parliamentarians need to set that example. And yes, I took a walk now to the NCOP section – it is looking beautiful – and we do believe the billions will need to be spent to rebuild this Parliament in terms of the Heritage legislation.

The ACDP has also noted the Zondo Commission’s findings against Parliament – obviously there will be more findings in the final report. And whilst there were a number of brave MPs across the political divide, (honourable Mazzone will know, Team South Africa, that took on and exposed [corruption] during the Eskom Inquiry), who did their best to expose state capture and corruption, clearly far more could have been done, and hence the apology from the Speaker to the Zondo Commission at that time.

Speaker, the ACDP looks forward to Parliament implementing those measures from the commission’s report with regard to areas where Parliament was found to have missed out on its oversight function, and, of course, where we will now have to exercise an oversight looking at those areas where the Executive also failed, as set out in the Zondo Commission report.

Speaker, what I would also like to raise is an issue I’m continually concerned about, and that is the tardy response of Parliament from the Executive to Constitutional Court deadlines, placing enormous pressure on us. We welcome the fact that some measures have been put in place to avoid that (Speaker, you referred to the Electoral Commission) but far more needs to be done so that we don’t sit with this pressure.

Lastly, the ACDP would like to thank the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, House Chairs, and all staff members for their hard work and commitment. It has not been an easy time following the fire, but we greatly appreciate all that you do to ensure that Parliament carries out its constitutional duties.

Thank you so much and well done with the clean audit.”

(Check against delivery)

-ENDS-

Issued by: ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

Media inquiries:
Keeno Petersen, ACDP Parliamentary Media Officer, E-mail: kpetersen@parliament.gov.za or Cell: 073-580-2902

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