President Ramaphosa to deliver his budget vote physically in Parliament on Thursday

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the presidency budget vote physically in Parliament on Thursday. There has been confusion on whether he will be on the precinct or virtually.

One of the issues discussed at Wednesday’s Multi-Party Chief Whip’s Forum was who and how the presidency’s budget vote will be delivered. Some Chief Whips are relieved that the confusion has been cleared up. Others argue that the President must be physically present in Parliament during the budget vote.

However, in an interview with SABC News in Parliament, Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya confirmed that Ramaphosa will be in Parliament for his budget vote.

“Indeed, the President will table the presidency budget vote of the sixth administration from a location that has been allocated by Parliament. So, that will proceed smoothly from our  expectations, the President will be onsite  physically in Parliament tabling the presidency budget vote speech in an area that has been allocated knowing that  we have limitations and constraints around Parliament, but the President will be there physically  in good spirit delivering the presidency budget vote.”

Some political parties’ chief whips have different takes on how he should avail himself at the National Assembly:

Meanwhile, DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazonne says, “I think that the communication that went out was abysmal and whoever the parliamentary officer was that send out that communication should be fired because it caused mass confusion. it made it sound like the deputy president will be answering the all the questions which we now have been told is not the case. but I just think that it is polite of the president to come to parliament to participate in his debate especially considering that there is no specific portfolio committee that is dealing with the presidency. We were told that he will be around so he should be where he belongs.”

UDM Chief Whip Nqabayomzi Kwankwa also expects the President to be in Parliament.

“That is what we expect from the President, especially in light of these allegations against him of money laundering and tax evasion. He needs to come here and face the music so that those of us who want when we are able to debate his budget vote and raise the issues. We do so so that he could account here in parliament and respond to any issue that is ground to be raised in parliament. so we are expecting the president here.”

IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh also expresses his views.

“We will wait and see the fact of the matter is that there has to be an address by the president talking to his vote and there will have to be responses from different political party leaders and a response from his at the end of it, so at the moment parliament is operating on a virtual, hybrid system which allows it but like I say it is advisable that a member of the executive is always in the house when a budget vote is delivered, more particularly the president of the country.”

African National Congress Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina says the party does not have a problem if President Cyril Ramaphosa were to deliver his budget vote virtually or physically.

“The President is scheduled to deliver his budget vote in Parliament. Whether he is going to do that physical attendance or virtually is neither here nor there. What we expect is for the president to deliver his budget vote and that is going to happen. As ANC we accept anyone to speak from anywhere because the hybrid session was adopted by us in Parliament. At times the president comes here; at times the president is virtual. It’s not a problem. The only thing that could be a challenge is when one is not available to deliver the budget.”

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