July 22, 2018

Parliament’s Rural Development and Land Reform Committee is fast losing patience with the Ingonyama Trust, with a Committee member declaring at its most recent meeting that in terms of actual delivery the Trust had scored zero.

It is nearly 100 days since we set out as a nation on a new path of renewal and revival. It is nearly 100 days since we decided, together, to make a clear and decisive break with the discord and division of recent times.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) has now held three meetings on the mounting debt facing Eskom.

Notes from the House publishes a regular column of briefs from Parliament that you normally wouldn’t get sight of. Please note, none of this is fake news, though you would be forgiven for thinking it could be.

The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsolaedi, had tried three times to warn the Premier of the North West province against employing the current provincial Minister (MEC) responsible for Health.

The parliamentary precinct in Cape Town couldn’t be further away from the hurly burly of provincial government, and that has little to do with distance measured in kilometres. National Parliament is where legislation about service delivery is debated and if necessary amended; local government is where it is delivered – or should be.

The mining sector is in significant disarray, according to a report tabled this month by the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources. Political uncertainty has led to low investor confidence and continuing breaches of trust between government and industry have seen a decline in constructive engagement.

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance has called on its researchers to investigate allegations made in the media that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is complicit in the massive illicit tobacco trade that is costing the country an estimated R5 billion per year in tax revenue, or 10% of what is needed to plug government’s revenue shortfall of R50 billion.

Parliament appears to be trying to distance itself from the looming disciplinary hearing against its suspended Secretary to Parliament (STP), Gengezi Mgidlana, who has deeply embarrassed the institution by being accused of a series of allegations of abuse of power and financial mismanagement.

One of Parliament’s chief objectives is oversight of the executive, and a tool it uses to achieve this is Question Time. Questions for oral or written reply can be put to the President, the Deputy President and Ministers, and gives Members of Parliament the opportunity to monitor the Government’s service delivery. However, many of the answers leave South Africans with more questions.

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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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