She tabled the 2020/2021 policy and budget speech on 25 June 2020.
Legislature speaker Busi Shiba has called on members of the house of lawmakers in the Mpumalanga province to begin having a chat about reviewing the laws that regulate the licensing and sale of alcohol, seeing it as a proverbial bridge towards the abuse of women.
She tabled her 2020/2021 policy and budget speech during a virtual sitting of the legislature at the Baobab building, in Mbombela’s Riverside government complex.
Close to R400 million was approved to be spent on the running and functioning of the Mpumalanga legislature in the 2020/2021 financial year.
Shiba said the scourge of women abuse in the country was low while alcohol was banned – during the Covid-19 lockdown – but began to pick up when the ban was lifted with more and more cases being reported.
“It has been realised that there is a direct correlation between the normalised culture of alcohol abuse, social decay and incidences of gender based violence during the national lockdown,” she said.
Shiba said the purpose of presenting the policy and budget speech was actually to fulfill their mandate as elected members of the legislature of holding government accountable.
“The purpose of this policy statement is to articulate and give account on the fulfilment of our mandate and promise to our people, which is to hold the executive and other state organs accountable, through oversight, public participation and law-making,” said Shiba.
She thanked members of the legislature for their team work “in ensuring the smooth functioning of the legislature”.
“Our strategic task as this legislature is to ensure that government, in light of the COVID-19 experience, expedites the full implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI), for equal access to a quality and more integrated healthcare system,” Shiba said while addressing members through a video stream.
She admitted to problems of lack of skills and experience by some in the legislature – skills needed “to enhance scrutiny and evaluation of government programmes”.
She said training and development of Mpumalanga legislature members would have to occur as well the training of support staff “to close the gap”.
She also touched on the legislature’s achievements for the year 2019/20 – saying a lot was done, including the passing of the section 76 pieces of legislation, petitions processed, sectoral parliaments held, taking legislature to the people programmes and the continued work of the provincial speaker’s forum as well as the oversight visits to different government funded projects and public hearings as part of public participation and involvement in the decision making processes of the legislature.
The provincial speakers’ forum is a platform to share experiences, best practices and dialogue amongst speakers at provincial, district and local levels. Shiba said they will make sure this forum is fully functional.
(edited by MLM)
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