Parliament to suspend sittings from Thursday

Par­lia­ment has announced that it will be closed to the pub­lic until fur­ther notice and arrange­ments are being made to reduce the num­ber of staff mem­bers in the precinct.

This comes after Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa declared the COVID-19 out­break a nation­al dis­as­ter on Sun­day.

A spe­cial meet­ing between Pre­sid­ing Offi­cers, chief whips and par­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tives was held on Tues­day to dis­cuss the par­lia­men­tary pro­gramme and to receive a brief­ing on insti­tu­tion­al arrange­ments in light of the President’s announce­ment.

The meet­ing agreed that a sit­ting of the Nation­al Assem­bly will be held on Wednes­day to con­sid­er mat­ters, which have spe­cif­ic time-frames and require con­sid­er­a­tion by the assem­bly.

“At the con­clu­sion of the sit­ting on Wednes­day 18 March 2020, the busi­ness of the Assem­bly, which includes sit­tings of the House, com­mit­tees and pub­lic hear­ings, will be sus­pend­ed until fur­ther notice.

“The last sit­ting of the Nation­al Coun­cil of Provinces will be on Thurs­day, 19 March 2020 and its busi­ness will also be sus­pend­ed until fur­ther notice,” said Par­lia­ment in its state­ment.

The Pre­sid­ing Offi­cers encour­aged all mem­bers, staff and vis­i­tors to take the nec­es­sary per­son­al pre­cau­tions.

Var­i­ous pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures against the Coro­n­avirus have been put in place, includ­ing sani­tis­ers, screen­ing checks for mem­bers, staff and vis­i­tors as well as a med­ical sup­port team. – SAnews.gov.za

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