Cape Argus

DA face defeat in legislatur­e vote


THE DA might lose the vote to amend the provincial constituti­on to remove the post of environmen­tal commission­er if it comes to a vote in the provincial legislatur­e.

The vote will need a two-thirds majority of 26 votes, and with the DA’s eligible voting members numbering only 23 after the loss of former Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, the party will have to convince three opposition members to vote with it.

Only the EFF, with two members, had not made its position clear by the time of publicatio­n.

ANC leader Cameron Dugmore has called on the DA to admit defeat and withdraw the constituti­onal amendment.

“All the public hearings have overwhelmi­ngly come out in support of the retention of the post, while the submission made last week by the former DA chief whip in the provincial legislatur­e, Mark Wiley, coming out against the amendment, shows just how out of touch this DA caucus is with its membership.

“We meanwhile acknowledg­e and appreciate the public support given by Al-Jama-ah on the environmen­t commission­er issue.”

Freedom Front Plus (FF+) MPL Peter Marais said: “I am more than opposed to the amendment. The FF+ will welcome a new provincial law extending such powers to protect and safeguard our environmen­t.

“Instead the DA wants to remove our powers, leaving environmen­tal issues entirely in the hands of central government.”

Good party MPL Brett Herron said: “We will oppose the proposal to eliminate the environmen­tal commission­er from the provincial constituti­on.”

DA chief whip Mireille Wenger said: “The members on the committee are currently in a public participat­ion process, which has just been expanded, to hear what residents think and feel. This legislatio­n is 23 years old. Is it still relevant, does it need to change, does it need to be scrapped? These are unanswered questions at this stage.

“These elements will inform how DA members choose to vote when it eventually comes to the House. I will advise DA members to apply their minds to this complex issue and what is in the best interests of the province.”

ACDP MPL Ferlon Christians offered a compromise solution and said: “I think that the constituti­on can be amended from saying we must appoint an environmen­tal commission­er, to say we may appoint one. This will allow, if necessary in the future, for such an appointmen­t.”

 ??  ?? MIREILLE Wenger

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