Parliament committees conduct oversight in KZN, Gauteng

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The Joint Standing Committee on Defence and the Portfolio Committee on Police will today undertake an oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to assess the impact of police and soldiers deployed in the provinces.

The two-day visit follows the outbreak of violence, looting and destruction of infrastructure, especially in the two provinces.

On Sunday, the Joint Standing Committee on Defence received a briefing on the deployment plans, capabilities required and projected resources to be spent as part of Operation Prosper.

Members of the Portfolio Committee on Police will also join the Joint Standing Committee on Defence for a confidential briefing, as the police and army have joint operations.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said the decision to undertake the oversight visit was primarily to ensure operational effectiveness of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in quelling violence and maintaining calm and respect for the rule of law.

“Also, we wanted to ensure a seamless cooperation between the SAPS and South African National Defence Force (SANDF),” Joemat-Pettersson said.

Joint Standing Committee on Defence Co-Chairperson, Cyril Xaba, said the visit is necessary to ascertain the effective implementation of the operation, and also to assess the impact of the deployment of 25 000 members of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) to the two provinces.

Co-Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence, Mamagase Nchabeleng, said the committees have scheduled their oversights in such a way that there is adherence to the Disaster Management Act regulations, as well as to reach as many areas as possible within the provinces.

“We will thus in the morning have joint briefings with senior management of the SAPS and SANDF, and later on, separate the two committees for in-loco visits to sites and areas that fall under the respective portfolios of the two committees,” Nchabeleng said.

The committees have reiterated their strong condemnation of violence, looting and destruction of infrastructure in the two provinces.

“The impact of the disturbances on the economy is concerning, especially in the context of the already ailing economy as a result of the devastation caused by COVID-19,” the committees said.



Both committees have also reiterated their call for effective investigation and arrest of instigators of violence, as “their actions are contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, that guarantees the right to protest”.