March 20, 2019

The troublesome contest between surface versus mineral rights lies at the very heart of the complex issues raised in the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources’ report on the recommendations of the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change, published in Parliament in March.

Parliament has been told that the major beneficiaries of the government’s land reform programme to date have been ‘better-off men’ – often urban businessmen. Women and the rural poor continue to be short-changed by a system in need of radical overhaul, writes REBECCA DAVIS.

The communities of Matzikama municipality in the northernmost reaches of South Africa’s west coast held a verbal sparring match with Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe last week over mining company Mineral Sands Resources’ (MSR’s) plans to expand mining in the region.

South Africa lacks a nationally coherent national economic policy because from the starting point, at parliament, legislators work in silos and fail to talk to each other. This was according to Professor Ben Turok, former MP and now Director of the Institute for African Alternatives, who addressed the parliamentary committee on Trade and Industry. The following is a summary of what he told the Members, ending with an apology for being “a little controversial.”

As parliament gets down to the business of tackling Section 25 of the Constitution in the hope of agreeing on a legislative re-write which leaves no ambiguity about what exactly is meant by land expropriation without compensation, an intensive two-day conference of stakeholders from across the board reached a consensus that EWOC is likely to make a modest contribution to land redistribution, but on its own it is not going to provide the solution.

The New Dawn cannot be a continuation of the same failed macro-economic policies with a few adjustments, as suggested by the tone and narrative emerging from the processes being lead by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. This was one of the key conclusions of an Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA) conference of high-powered economists from all schools of thought, writes RENEE ROUX.

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and the Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) held a public meeting late in January to mobilise civil society behind a demand for accountability and oversight within parliament's admininstration in the wake of the protest suicide of senior manager Lennox Garane, who shot himself in his parliamentary office last year. The meeting, held at the offices of the IJR, was attended by the Public Service Accountability Monitor, the Parliamentary Monitoring Group as well as public policy experts and social justice activists in the field of accountability to express their serious concern about the functionality of parliament and its impact on the country’s state of governance.

The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) has expressed strong disappointment at the recent Portfolio Committee on Energy’s (PCE’s) response to public submissions on the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Disgraced Secretary to Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana, who has spent more than a year suspended while Parliament investigates various charges against him of mismanagement and abuse of power, and who is currently the subject of a protracted disciplinary hearing, has declared himself “aggrieved” because the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu once called him “corrupt”.

The only disruption to the Committee on Public Enterprises’ vote on its Report into its 2017 Eskom Inquiry was a brief delay to hunt for a pair of missing spectacles. It is not clear whether or not they were ever recovered but apart from the odd typo requiring correction, the Report moved smoothly and speedily through the voting process.

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Notes from the House is an independent weekly email newsletter that tracks and monitors Parliament in its role of holding government to account and passing legislation to improve people’s lives. It aims to bring you the news from Parliament that you don’t get elsewhere. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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