"The minister will have to be here next week Tuesday to deal with this critical issue"
Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe faces the wrath of Parliament when he attends next week’s meeting with MPs after his officials skipped the critical session on fuel hikes.
MPs have promised to give Radebe and his officials a tough time next week Tuesday when they show up for the meeting after they were left disappointed by their non-appearance yesterday.
Members of the portfolio committee on energy were left fuming after Radebe, his deputy Thembi Majola and senior officials missed the meeting to explain spiralling fuel increases.
The committee said the public is frustrated and needs answers, but they have been left disappointed after they failed to attend the meeting yesterday.
Chairperson of the committee, Fikile Majola, said the matter has been on the agenda for some time and they cannot keep it in abeyance any more.
He said they would not allow this to happen again.
Majola warned the parliamentary liaison officer of the department to pass on the message to Radebe and his officials that they want them in Parliament next week.
“This is the last time this happens, otherwise we will have a big fight. We will dispatch a letter to the Speaker (Baleka Mbete) that he must be here next week Tuesday. The minister will have to be here next week Tuesday to deal with this critical issue. We will not allow the executive to disrespect us … we will not allow it. For all of them not to be here is a boycott,” said Majola.
Majola said while he understood that Radebe had informed them he was attending a meeting in Namibia, his officials or the deputy minister should have been present in Parliament to attend the meeting.
Gavin Davis of the DA said the impact of fuel prices was affecting many South Africans and the matter must be addressed urgently.
He said it was disrespectful to Parliament and the people for the minister and the officials to fail to show up to the meeting.
Jan Esterhuizen of the IFP said fuel prices were increasing every day and Radebe has not discussed his rescue plan for the country.
He said the committee was in the dark as to how the government will deal with this situation, and yet not a single official showed up in Parliament.
Zukisa Faku of the ANC also warned that the conduct of the department was not acceptable.
She said the department must be summoned to come to Parliament next week, led by Radebe.
Majola said Parliament was an independent arm of the state and ministers account to it. “The minister and the department must be clear that we will not tolerate this. We are an independent arm of the state, they must report to parliament,” said Majola.