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Parliament, Wednesday, 16 August 2017 – The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises today resolved to set up a multiparty delegation to approach the leadership of Parliament for sufficient resources to assist it to execute its oversight mandate effectively in terms of the inquiry into State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

The Committee unanimously agreed that it requires the guidance of an “evidence leader” to guide it during the inquiry and to provide advice on technical issues. The evidence leader will also be able to interview witnesses in the inquiry.

Acting Committee Chairperson Ms Zukiswa Rantho said it was clear that the correct amount of resources will be necessary for this Committee to execute its constitutional duty and oversight mandate in this regard, over and above the resources that Parliament already provides to the Committee. The delegation will consist of one Member of Parliament from the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The resolution follows a legal opinion received by the Committee where it cautioned against going the route of an evidence leader, as was used during the Ad Hoc Committee into the SABC Board Inquiry. The Committee heard that whilst MPs enjoy parliamentary privileges, which empower them to carry out their oversight responsibility without the threat of civil or criminal liability, the same protection does not apply to parliamentary staff or third parties. The Committee was also informed that Parliament does not have the financial resources to appoint an evidence leader from outside the institution.

Ms Rantho said: “We are hoping for an internal legal person who has the expertise. We furthermore require the necessary financial and technical resources that can equip us to do our oversight role effectively.”

ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ENTERPRISES, MS ZUKISWA RANTHO

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