DA leader John Steenhuisen and his chief whip Natasha Mazzone have proposed a 10-point action plan to get parliament to work for the people.
The points give effect to a raft of recommendations to fix parliament and bolster the institution’s oversight capacity.
This was recommended by the Corder report on oversight and accountability, the fifth parliament legacy report, the high level panel report by former president Kgalema Motlanthe and the Zondo report.
“It is time to change parliament from a rubber-stamping lapdog under the ANC to an effective oversight body so events such as state capture and cadre deployment will never bring SA to its knees again.
“The DA has, for many years, highlighted the failure of parliament to hold the executive to account, and this stance was finally vindicated with the release of the Zondo report, which criticised how the ANC majority in parliament continuously protected presidents, ministers and most worryingly, state capture, at the expense of the people of SA.”
The official opposition said it is essential parliament functions properly as the country’s democracy depends on it.
“This requires the principle of separation of powers to be strengthened in respect of parliament in particular. Under the doctrine of separation of powers, parliament should operate independently of the other two branches of government — the executive and the judiciary.
“Parliament cannot continue under the current shielding of the executive by ANC MPs. If we are to ever get past the shocking revelations of state capture, we will need an effective parliament willing to take the executive, and even its own members, to task.”
Here are the 10 actions proposed by the DA:
Establishing a committee to oversee the presidency
“There is no effective and regular oversight mechanism over the acts and omissions of the president and the presidency, with even chief justice Raymond Zondo pointing this out in his reports.”