General: Parliament should trump ConCourt on policy – Zikalala

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has suggested ‘a debate’ about whether Parliament should not be above the Constitutional Court so that policies adopted by Parliament cannot be overridden. This, writes Stephen Grootes in the Daily Maverick, appears to be an attempt to change the political narrative in an important way, and to show his support for the Radical Economic Transformation faction within the ANC. In a speech to mark Human Rights Day, and speaking as KZN Premier, Zikalala said: ‘We want to issue the call for us to debate whether it is not time to move away from absolute rule by the Constitutional Court to a situation where we have a parliamentary democracy in which the voice of the people … is supreme to all other voices.’ A day later, on SAfm, he confirmed his view. He has pointed to a recent judgment in which the Constitutional Court struck down regulations regarding government procurement, and the concept of pre-qualification, which means that only black-owned firms can bid for the contracts. (Grootes’ DM report points out the court did not rule against the concept of pre-qualification, preferential procurement, affirmative action, or black economic empowerment in general, only on the technicalities in which the regulations had been drawn up.) Despite that, Zikalala claims that this shows the courts are preventing the government from empowering the majority. And he says that there should be majority rule. Parliament should make the final decision.

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