Why the labour minister skipped meetings for 5 years

Labour minister Mildred Oliphant has responded to reports that she’s been skipping Portfolio Committee meetings for the past five years.

According to the minister, the reason for her absence at the meetings is simple: she wasn’t “formally” invited.

On Wednesday, DA MP and shadow minister of labour, Ian Ollis, claimed that every attempt by the party to get the minister to appear before the labour portfolio committee had been blocked by the ruling ANC.

The minister’s spokesperson Sithembele Tshwete told Fin24 that there is no need for the minister to attend the meetings.

The department has now come out with a statement saying that the minister never received any formal invitations from the committee to attend.

“We wish to state categorically that the Minister has never received any formal invitation, request or summons from those committees to attend the labour portfolio committee or economic cluster committees,” the department said.

The department reiterated that there is “nothing unusual in parliamentary practice” when the Minister is represented by her Director General on issues requiring answers from departmental operations and plans.

“The Minister is willing to come and account in front of the committee if she is asked to do so formally by the portfolio committee and other committees in parliament without any hesitation,” the department said.

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Why the labour minister skipped meetings for 5 years