Speaker to screen urgent motions Live streaming of Parliament on social media without approval to be discussed
Office of the President is working on a strategy to clamp down on Members of Parliament and make it difficult for opposition and backbenchers to represent their constituencies effectively.
According to a document that was leaked to this publication from a Business Advisory meeting that took place this week, Minister for Presidential Affairs Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng had suggested that urgent motions must be screened first before reaching the floor of parliament.
In the document titled, Suggestions for Enhancement Of Standing Orders, Morwaeng has stated that the Leader of the House, Slumber Tsogwane has directed him to share the documents for consideration for adoption by parliament.
The Amendment of Standing Orders says that unless in exceptional circumstances, urgent motions must be given a 48- hour notice period before presentation in parliament.
“The Speaker shall afford the mover and the portfolio Minister an opportunity to appear before him in chambers before deciding on the urgency of the motion,” Morwaeng statement reads in part.
It has further stated that in the event that the speaker has deemed the motion to be urgent and worthy of presentation to parliament while the Minister has insisted that it is not urgent, a question of urgency shall be put to the house and a decision shall be made by a vote on the floor of parliament.
However, The Morwaeng strategy has not gone down well with the Chairperson of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and also Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse who agued that the minister should not have any role in deciding which urgent motions to allow or disallow.
“That should be a matter between the Speaker and the concerned MP. Ministers bring anything and everything into Parliament including statements on anything and MPs play no role whatsoever in determining whether or not they present those things. In fact MPs should also be allowed to make statements, just like ministers,” said Keorapetse who went on to emphasise that ministers have to agree to answer urgent questions.
Concerning live streaming of parliamentary sessions on social media platforms without permission Morwaeng said that there was a need for clarity to be sought.
The move seems to be directed at Leader of Opposition, Dumelang Saleshando’s page that has been broadcasting parliament.