Mpumalanga to host vital meeting

MPUMALANGA will host next year's Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting after the speaker of the legislature, Jackson Mthembu, was elected the CPA's vice-president.

MPUMALANGA will host next year's Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting after the speaker of the legislature, Jackson Mthembu, was elected the CPA's vice-president.

This position gives Mthembu, former MEC for roads and transport, the responsibility of hosting the conference in 2010.

Mthembu was elected at a 12-day conference held in Nigeria last month.

Mthembu's spokesperson Thulile Nkambule, said yesterday: "The CPA has a mammoth task of assisting parliamentarians to adopt good practices of democratic governance and to strengthen the institution of parliament.

"It also has the task of increasing the availability of professional development programmes to its members and parliamentary staff."

One of the objectives of the CPA is to promote gender equality and to strengthen branches through effective communications.

The CPA is also expected to recognise the particular problems of small countries and to help their legislatures play a full and effective role within structures of the Commonwealth.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in Mpumalanga yesterday re-elected Anthony Benadie unopposed as party leader.

DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille attended and addressed the provincial congress, and warned of the dangers to South Africa's democratic dispensation if the ANC was not seriously challenged in the near future.

Zille also provided a detailed explanation of the DA's role in current discussions with other opposition political parties.

According to Zille, South Africa's political landscape must be realigned to ensure that there was a strong, viable and realistic alternative to the ANC.

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