/ 10 July 2024

DA MPs to chair water and public administration portfolio committees

The longer constituency period will "allow Members of Parliament more time to serve and directly engage with the people who elected them into public office"
The remainder of the portfolio committee chairs will be elected on Wednesday.

Members of parliament have elected the chairpersons of half of the legislature’s 30 portfolio committees, with two positions going to the Democratic Alliance (DA) so far.

The rest of the National Assembly portfolio committees were due to elect their chairs on Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo was elected to serve another term as chair of the portfolio committee on international relations, overseeing a ministry now headed by Ronald Lamola.

The ANC’s Sibongiseni Dhlomo was elected as chairperson of the portfolio committee on health, a department that has reverted to Aaron Motsoaledi in the new coalition government.

Xola Nqola from the ANC, who co-chaired the joint constitutional review committee, will take over the justice portfolio committee from the party’s Gratitude Magwanishe. The latter won praise for forging cooperation across party lines and seeking to effect thorough oversight over Lamola’s former ministry.

Jan Naude de Villiers from the DA will chair the portfolio committee on public administration and Leon Basson will chair water affairs, where the new minister is former ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina.

ANC MPs will chair four portfolio committees that will oversee ministries now headed by members of the DA.

New ANC MP Khomotjo Maimela was elected chairperson of the basic education committee and Mosa Chabane, also a newcomer to parliament, will chair the portfolio committee on home affairs. The DA’s Siviwe Gwarube and Leon Schreiber serve as ministers of health and home affairs respectively.

The ANC’s Nqabisa Gantsho was elected chair of the portfolio committee on forestry, fisheries and the environment and new ANC MP Khusela Sangoni will head the committee on communications.

Sangoni is better known by her marital surname, Diko, and served as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson but was shifted sideways in 2021 after she was embroiled in a Covid-19 protective equipment procurement scandal.

The new portfolio committee on correctional services, which was created after Ramaphosa split the ministry from justice, creating a cabinet post for Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, will be chaired by the ANC’s Anthea Ramolobeng.

Dakota Legoete, the former ANC chairperson in North West and ally of Mahumapelo, is the new chairperson of the portfolio committee on defence and military veterans.

MPs will on Wednesday elect the new chairperson of the watchdog standing committee on public accounts, a position that is traditionally occupied by a member of the political opposition. The former chairperson, the Inkatha Freedom Party’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa, was appointed as deputy minister of transport.

The ANC’s Joseph Maswanganyi was elected as the chairperson of the standing committee on finance.