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Wednesday, 10 July 2024 17:43

Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi elected SCOPA chairperson.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi has been elected the chair of the powerful Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) in parliament.

Zibi was nominated by the African National Congress (ANC) and seconded by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

This comes after weeks of speculation on who would lead the committee that keeps a close eye on the use of public funds.

His election came not too long after BOSA leader, Mmusi Maimane, was also elected as chairperson of the Standing Committee on Appropriations.

Traditionally the chairpersonship of SCOPA is allocated to a member of the opposition. However, this time around, it has gone to a party that is part of the Government of National Unity (GNU).

Zibi said that he did not take his election lightly and hoped to work closely with other members of the committee.

"I'm a collaborator by nature with my colleagues and I look forward to working with all the members from all the political parties that are represented in SCOPA."

But not everyone supported his nomination, with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Veronica Mente saying that Rise Mzansi was part of the GNU and should not chair SCOPA.

"Before you declare, we want to record that, as the EFF, we are objecting to that as much as we are not having a candidate."

National Assembly portfolio committees and NCOP select committees have now all but completed the election of chairpersons.

Cedric Frolick, Werner Horn and Zandile Majozi to serve as House Chairpersons.

Following the House Chairpersons' election, National Assembly Rule 14 provides that the Speaker allocates functions and responsibilities to each House Chairperson and announces this in the parliamentary publication for Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports.

The House elected members to represent Parliament on the international bodies of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the South African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADCPF).

Mdumiseni Ntuli, Mergan Chetty, DuduzileZuma-Sambudla, and Vuyani Pambo will represent Parliament in the PAP in terms of Article 4(2) and (3) of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament.

The House also resolved to elect Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane (Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces) as the fifth member to represent Parliament at the Pan-African Parliament.

Meanwhile, Thoko Didiza (Speaker of the National Assembly), Sylvia Lucas, Kenneth Mmoiemang, Babalo Madikizela, David Skosana, and Veronica Mente will represent Parliament in the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF).

Former health deputy minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo is back chairing the health portfolio committee. Mosa Chabane chaired the home affairs committee and Supra Mahumapelo was chairperson of the international relations and cooperation committee in the sixth parliament.

The ANC's Dr Joe Maswanganyi retained his position as chair of the finance committee. Boyce Maneli, who chaired the communication and digital technologies committee, will chair the employment and labour portfolio committee.

The DA's Leon Basson was elected chair of the water and sanitation committee and Jan de Villiers will chair public service and administration.

According to parliamentary rules, a chairperson of a committee, subject to other provisions of the rules and directions of the committee, presides at meetings of the committee and may act in any matter on behalf of and in the best interest of the committee when it is not practical to arrange a meeting of the committee to discuss the matter.

The chairperson, in the event of an equality of votes on any question before the committee, must exercise a casting vote in addition to the chairperson's vote as a member.

The committees are often described as "the engine rooms of parliament" where, among others, the work of the executive is scrutinised.

Elected chairpersons are:

- Portfolio committee on health – Dr Sibongiseni Dlhomo.

- Portfolio committee on finance – Dr  Mkhacani Joseph Maswanganyi.

- Portfolio committee on minerals and petroleum resources - Mikateko Mahlawule. 

- Portfolio committee on international relations and cooperation - Supra Mahumapelo.

- Portfolio committee on justice and constitutional development - Xola Nqola. 

- Portfolio committee on employment and labour – Boyce Maneli.

- Portfolio committee on public administration - Jan Naude De Villiers.

- Portfolio committee on water and sanitation - Leon Basson.

- Portfolio committee on communications and technologies - Khusela Sangoni.

- Portfolion ommittee on Police - Ian Cameron

- Portfolio Committee Chairperson of Sports, Arts and Culture - Joe McGluwa

- Portfolio Committee Chairperson of Social Development - Bridget Masango

- Portfolio committee on transport - Selelo Selamolela.

- Portfolio committee on correctional services - Anthea Ramolobeng.

- Portfolio committee on forestry, fisheries and environment - Nqabisa Gantsho.

-  Portfolio committee on defence and military veterans - Dakota Legoete.

- Portfolio committee on monitoring and evaluation - Teliswa Mgweba.

- Portfolio committee on basic education - Khomotjo Joy Maimela.

- Portfolio committee on home affairs - Mosa Chabane.

- Portfolio Committe on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) - Zweli Mhize.