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Legislature in uncharted waters

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The Northern Cape Provincial Legislature will be exploring uncharted territory when it holds its first sitting following the May 29 elections, to elect the new premier, speaker and deputy speaker by way of a secret ballot on June 14.

The secretary to the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, Patrick Moopelwa. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE NORTHERN Cape Provincial Legislature will be exploring uncharted territory when it holds its first sitting following the May 29 elections, to elect the new premier, speaker and deputy speaker by way of a secret ballot on June 14.

There is no outright majority in the legislature, with 15 ANC, seven DA, four EFF, three PA and one FF+ members of the provincial legislature (MPLs) set to be inducted by Northern Cape High Court Judge President Pule Tlaletsi in the legislature chambers at 10am today.

The list is believed to include ANC provincial chairperson Zamani Saul, ANC regional chairperson Mangaliso Matika, DA premier candidate Isak Fritz, EFF provincial chairperson Shadrack Thlaole, PA premier candidate Sharifa Ferris and the FF+’s Theo Joubert.

Former DA member of Parliament (MP) Karen Jooste is expected to return as an MPL.

The ANC was reportedly scheduled to meet yesterday to discuss the decline in voter support in the regions as well as to consult with alliance partners.

National Assembly members from the Northern Cape include DA MP Delmaine Christians, ANC MP Alvin Botes, former premier Sylvia Lucas, ANCYL national executive committee (NEC) member Tshepo Louw and FF+ MP Wynand Boshoff.

The names of ANC MP Martha Bartlett, ANCYL provincial deputy secretary Erald Cloete, John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality executive mayor Sophia Mosikatsi, DA member Lisa Maré Schickerling and EFF member Lorato Florence Tito appear on the regional list.

The secretary to the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, Patrick Moopelwa, stated that given the balance of powers, “technicalities” could occur during the first sitting.

“If no decisions can be arrived at, the Constitution will guide us on the way forward. In the event of a tie, processes will follow. It may be necessary to suspend the sitting for seven days should there be an equal number of votes. We hope that the parties have spoken to each other so that we have a very progressive sitting,” said Moopelwa.

He added that the legislature would work closely with the executive branch to ensure that there were no disruptions in public services and maintaining and improving service delivery during the transition period.

“Operating under a hung legislature could lead to more collaborative and inclusive governance as decisions will require broader consensus,” he pointed out.

Moopelwa did not expect any disruptions at today’s sitting, but he added that security would be stationed at the doors, in case of any eventualities.

“While the sitting is open to the public, a limit of 150 people including the 30 MPLs and their partners, invited guests, party representatives and HODs have been invited to attend. The proceedings can be followed on the live feed.”

Moopelwa said that the National Council of Provinces delegates would also be chosen on Friday.

“All candidates will undergo security checks as well as induction and training programmes.”

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