The Inkatha Freedom Party in Kwa-Zulu Natal has lashed out at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism after its failure to bring the Ithala Bill on time to the Legislature for amendments.
Ithala Bank last obtained its trading licence in 2002 from the Reserve Bank, to trade for a period of 10 years. This would have given Ithala ten years to comply with the necessary requirements for its licence renewal. However, DEDT failed to do so in the past nine years and eleven months.
The Bill was brought to the legislature for circulation on 29 November 2012. With only thirty one days left to the expiry of the licence, this then makes it impossible for the normal processes of circulating the bill for amendments to take place. The motion proposed by the Chief Whip of the Legislature is for the House to waive or suspend the rules in order to allow the Bill to be short-circuited.
“It is appalling that DEDT failed to do its job on time. The IFP will never stand in the way of Ithala to do its service especially because Ithala is the brainchild of our leader, Prince MG Buthelezi, and it serves the poorest of the poor,” said Hon M B Gwala.
The IFP maintains that it is unfortunate for the incompetence of the department to impact upon the normal procedures of legislating. The IFP is calling upon the Premier to hold DEDT accountable for its failure to do its job while the staff and the MEC are being paid.
Hon Gwala went on applaud the Hon Premier Dr ZL Mkhize for his honesty in dealing with the matter. Dr Mkhize apologised to the house on behalf of govt for DEDT’s mishaps.