Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (www.DiasporaEngager.com).

Please find attached a soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP.

The DA has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula, requesting that she urgently intervenes in reversing a decision denying members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises an opportunity to conduct an oversight visit at the Durban and Richards Bay ports.

Last week, the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises submitted the application to conduct urgent oversight visits at the Durban and Richards Bay port from 7 to 8 December and the application was rejected by Parliament.

It is unclear on what basis the decision to reject the application was taken. Members of the Committee were simply informed via email that the application has been rejected.

The Committee applied to conduct the oversight visits after the DA wrote to the Chairperson of the Committee on 14 November requesting that the Committee conduct the oversight visits in view of the unfolding operational and logistics crises at the two ports.

While the DA views the decision by Parliament to reject the oversight application of the Committee as extremely unfortunate and as a true reflection of the ANC’s inability to really appreciate the magnitude and impact of this ongoing crisis.

The DA stands behind the decision it took, last week Monday, to conduct its own extensive and highly publicised aerial oversight over the Durban port given that what it witnessed during this aerial oversight was nothing short of a calamity and a crisis – countless ships delayed at sea and waiting to offload container shipments and little or no activity at the port.

The approval of these crucial physical oversight visits by Parliament would have provided the Committee with an opportunity to engage with Transnet port managers and to get a more intimate understanding of the crisis as well as the logistics plans (if any) that they have put in place to clear the backlog and congestion as a matter of urgency.

More importantly, the oversight visits would have also culminated in a Committee report being debated in Parliament and used to make recommendations towards resolution of the crisis.

In the absence of the oversight visits requested by the DA, it will also continue calling for increased public -private partnerships in the management and operation of our ports and also for the establishment of an ad-hoc committee to oversee the Transnet port crisis and a corresponding task team to lead implementation of crisis management logistics plans at ports.

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Source of original article: Democratic Alliance (content.voteda.org).
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