Masizole Mnqasela rape son

Western Cape Provincial Parliament Speaker Masizole Mnqasela.
Photo: Twitter/WCProvParl

WC Parliament to reconvene digitally following lockdown hiatus

An ad hoc committee will be formed, with a focus on oversight over the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures.

Masizole Mnqasela rape son

Western Cape Provincial Parliament Speaker Masizole Mnqasela.
Photo: Twitter/WCProvParl

The Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) will reconvene in the form of an ad hoc committee specifically tasked with overseeing the provincial progress in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The decision to establish the committee was made in terms of Standing Rule 119(1)(b) which allows for the speaker to establish an ad hoc committee in circumstances when the House has been adjourned for more than 14 days. 

Large oversight committee 

Speaker Masizole Mnqasela made the announcement on Tuesday 14 April, and said that the committee would consist of 15 members from various representative parties in the province. 

The committee is triple the size of a normal standing committee, and is composed as such “due to the multi-disciplinary nature and scope of its work, but also to allow for as many of the political parties represented in the WCPP, to serve on the committee”.

Mnqasela said the provincial parliament needed to be convened “no matter the circumstances”. 

“We are committed to continuing to operate as a democratically elected parliament and to fulfilling our mandate and ensuring that the democratic space is not compromised – no matter the circumstances.”

“This committee will also have all the powers of a fully-fledged standing committee. It is critical that this committee is wholly empowered to do its important work during this perilous time.

“While members of the provincial parliament are able to engage with the members of the executive individually, the establishment of this committee will allow for a more holistic and consolidated approach to overseeing the response to the pandemic from the Western Cape Government.”

Parliament going digital

In order to comply with the regulations of the nationwide lockdown and ensure the safety of the provincial parliament, all committee meetings and sittings of the House will be held via an online video-conferencing platform.

“I encourage members of the public to continue taking an interest in the work of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament and to follow the proceedings of these virtual meetings,” he said. 

No date has been announced yet of when the first session of the ad hoc committee would be held, but WCPP said that more information would be broadcast through its social media channels.