Parliament's Presiding Officers, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Mr Amos Masondo, have welcomed Mr Xolile George as he begins his tenure as the new Secretary to Parliament today.

"We are delighted to have Mr George joining us to help raise the bar in terms of our delivery on Parliament’s three-legged mandate of law-making, executive oversight and public participation. His assumption of duty will also help bring stability to the management echelons of Parliament. We are looking forward to his support as the executive authority in ensuring that Parliament lives up to the commitment of heightening activism to serve the people of South Africa with distinction,” said the Presiding Officers.

Mr George brings a wealth of experience in intergovernmental relations, policy and legislation formulation, as well as in systems and programme development and implementation at local, provincial and national government levels.

The Presiding Officers also expressed a “profound word of gratitude to Ms Penelope Baby Tyawa, who steered the ship with aplomb after taking over in an acting capacity five years ago”. Ms Tyawa contributed by bringing stability to labour relations, increasing Parliament’s performance outputs and achieving seven consecutive clean audit outcomes. Ms. Tyawa will continue in her role as the Deputy Secretary for Support Services.

“We know that Parliament faces tough times, including declining resources and broader economic headwinds. However, we trust that all internal and external stakeholders will throw their weight behind efforts to improve the overall capacity of Parliament in following up on all commitments made to the people and in ensuring that programmes for developing South Africa work better,” the Presiding Officers said.

Mr George described his first day the Parliament as a “monumental milestone” from which he, together with his management team and staff, hopes to take Parliament to “greater heights”.

“I am, therefore, confident that we shall support each other to bring out the best of everyone in order to service our Members of Parliament and the society at large … We shall combine our strength, intellect and might to overcome the challenges that lie ahead,” he added.

Brent Simons

15 June 2022