Tourism Minister given raw deal

By SYDNEY MORWENG

This follows DA’s reference that the Minister has been unaccountable to Parliamentary sessions.

According to the Ministers office the statement does not give the number of instances on which Minister van Schalkwyk is alleged to have failed to tender an apology, nor does it give any dates on which this is alleged to have occurred.

The allegations were made by DA Chief Whip Ian Davidson, who also allege that a number of members of cabinet members have failed on more than one occasion to supply an explanation for why they missed an oral question session in parliament. Unfortunately, the Minister is included in the list.

The DA, in a statement released on Sunday 5 September by its chief whip alleges that the top six offenders who have allegedly missed sessions without explanation and are therefore guilty of disregarding parliament and hindering its ability to perform its oversight role.

Despite the absence of any such facts, Mr Davidson makes a number of generalised statements about the behavior of cabinet members, including that the cabinet displays an “increasing disregard for accountability and transparency”.

According to the office of the Minister, he respects the important role of the parliament as an institution and he takes his responsibilities in terms of reporting to parliament extremely seriously. The Minister also notes the important role that the opposition plays in parliament.

“Based on the facts, it is clear that Minister van Schalkwyk did not disregard parliament and therefore, request that the office of the chief whip of the DA retract his statements about Minister van Schalkwyk and tender an apology,” says the office.

Meanwhile, it was with sad regret that the Minister lost his mother last week and was buried this past Monday, during the National Tourism launch. The burial was attended by high profile members of parliament and CE at South African Tourism Thandiwe January-McLean.

May her Soul Rest In Peace!

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