The Presiding Officers of Parliament, the Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Thandi Modise, and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Mr Amos Masondo, commended President Cyril Ramaphosa and his executive in the manner they led the nation in the battle against coronavirus.

The Presiding Officers also commended men and women in healthcare, law enforcement agencies, defence and essential goods retail stores, who “are risking their lives to defeat the coronavirus”.

The leadership of Parliament extended a heartfelt word of condolence to the families and relatives of those who passed away because of coronavirus on behalf of Parliament.

They said all this during the Presiding Officers’ virtual media briefing yesterday. They commended all sectors and individuals, businesses, public representatives, and public servants who contribute to the Solidarity Fund that was created to fight Covid-19.

They said: “We welcome the decision of the political parties in Parliament to support the Fund, and accordingly, how to contribute.”

Furthermore, the Presiding Officers said: “As Presiding Officers we have also decided to support this good initiative and we will donate one third of our monthly salaries to the Fund for the next three months.”

On the matter of the Public Protector which was asked by the journalists, Ms Modise said although there is much interest in it, the matter is not in the category of essential services and therefore it has been put on hold and will be dealt with after the lockdown.

The journalists also asked about public participation at Parliament during the lockdown period and the fact that there are 19 Bills that are still before Parliament and which the public must take part in their processing, the Presiding Officers assured the journalists and the nation that there are plans in place to ensure public participation is guaranteed.

By Mava Lukani
17 April 2020