Transforming SADC Parliamentary Forum will give it a better voice: Modise

Thandi Modise is currently leading a five-member delegation from the South African Parliament.
National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise says transforming the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a Regional Parliament will give it a better voice as a consultative Parliament.

Modise is currently leading a five-member delegation from the South African Parliament to the SADC-Parliamentary Forum at Swakopmund in Namibia.

The theme for 2019’s forum is “the role of Parliaments in the unfolding of Universal Health Coverage.”

The six-day bi-annual forum, which comes to an end on Monday, also focused on issues of gender-based violence.

Modise says, “We have also been looking at the model laws on dealing with gender-based violence. In fact, the debate was the longest. We have just concluded it. We have looked at and listened to young parliamentarians, led by a very able young woman from Madagascar.

“We are also looking at how we can ensure that we put our efforts together as the Speakers of SADC to really move on to transforming the Parliamentary forum into a regional Parliament because we think that will give us better voice as a consultative Parliament. We will then be able to do our model laws in the region in a better way than we are doing now,” Modise adds.

Madagascar readmitted

Madagascar was readmitted into the regional bloc following the passing of a motion put forward by the Speaker of the Seychelles National Assembly, Mr Nicholas Prea.

The return of Madagascar brings to 15 the number of national Parliaments that are members of the SADC-PF with only the Parliament of the Union of Comoros remaining to complete the family of legislatures in the SADC region.