November 14, 2018

The Minister of Energy has indicated that the hunt for shale gas is back on the agenda. In response to a question from the DA asking what was the Government’s long-term plan to curtail rampant fuel price hikes, the Minister replied: “Time has come for us to remove any regulatory impediments to exploration. Linked to this is the need to urgently unlock the potential for shale gas in our country. This has been years in the making and the regulatory uncertainty meant investors could not make decisions.”

Was that an elephant spotted lurking in the corner of the Home Affairs Committee room when the Democrat Alliance’s (DA’s) Deputy Chief Whip, Michael Waters, presented his proposed Private Member's Electoral Amendment Bill on 23 October?

What do Student Representative Council (SRC) elections tell us about national politics? Usually not very much. But even the flakiest student has to know that next year is the big one, and that what they decide to do with their vote could make a difference.

Hluphekile Mabuyakhulu, an elderly resident of Jozini, works the land on her homestead and grows a variety of fruit and vegetables. She is one of many residents who were duped into signing leases and paying rates to the Trust.

A polite disagreement arose only minutes after the end of Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s presentation on South Africa’s national and provincial audit outcomes for the 2017/18 financial year. It followed some moments of disbelieving silence by members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the Standing Committee on Appropriations who attended the joint meeting where the AG’s findings on the most recent state audit of government departments and entities were revealed.

Seven in 10 government departments and entities flout the law and regulations, according to the Auditor-General. MARIANNE MERTEN writes in the Daily Maverick what really happens when public finances are placed under scrutiny ahead of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement as Parliament ploughs through annual reports detailing performance and financials of the 2017/18 year.

The fourth term of Parliament is traditionally taken up with the annual task of poring over the Annual Reports of Departments and the public entities linked to them. This is when Parliamentary Committees really exercise oversight of the executive.

Only seven higher education institutions could report there had been no incidents of rape on their campuses in 2017. In response to a question from Nontando Nolutshungu from the EFF the Minister of Higher Education and Training replied that the Department does not usually collect such information as a matter of routine.

Parliament’s questions to the Minister of Basic Education reveal that the Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure launched in 2013 to improve educational infrastructure will have to be deferred by another five to ten years beyond 2030.

Between 2016 and March 2018, not a single police station visited by the SAPS’ Civilian Secretariat has fully complied with the Domestic Violence Act. In terms of this Act, the SAPS must report biannually to Parliament on complaints received against police officers who don’t properly implement the Act and the steps taken against them, writes ALICESTINE OCTOBER.

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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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