Hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister and hon Chairperson, during the state of the nation debate on 18 June 2014, the hon Minister Radebe ended his speech with the following encouragement, and I quote:
Parliament therefore has a critical oversight role to ensure departments' plans and actions move us towards the vision of the National Development Plan. I would like to commit the Presidency to collaborating with Parliament in this regard by sharing our planning, monitoring and evaluation information. In conclusion, the National Development Plan is not just a plan for government but for the whole country. It is a people's plan, which has been adopted by the majority of our people and stakeholders. We are therefore calling on all South Africans to rally behind the implementation of the plan, including labour, business and civil society.
These are indeed commendable sentiments, and you will have noticed the Minister repeated them today, which makes my case that much stronger.
Disappointingly, just a few weeks later, Minister Radebe failed to live up to his commitment. The hon Minister squandered a vital opportunity to empower members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Performance Monitoring and Evaluation with information about his department in their critical parliamentary oversight role.
The Minister failed to meet the portfolio committee on 2 July 2014 during a scheduled briefing of the committee by his department on the Annual Performance Plan, APP, and 2014-15 budget proposal. Also absent from the briefing was the Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela, and the department's Director-General, Dr Sean Phillips.
The meeting was nearly scuttled as committee members expressed their displeasure at the absence of the Minister. The committee compromised after a letter of apology from Dr Phillips was read ... [Interjections.]