November 14, 2018

Notes from the House publishes a regular column of briefs from behind the scenes in Parliament. This is not fake news – though you may be forgiven for thinking it could be.

You had to admire the members of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission at last week’s hearing of the National Council of Province’s (NCOP’s) Select Committee on Trade and International Relations.

The Border Management Authority Bill may finally have reached the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), after being passed by the National Assembly in June last year. But this comes years after the legislation was first mooted.

With about a year before the 2019 elections, Parliament is to go on a two-month mid-year recess, officially described as an “extended constituency period,” writes MARIANNE MERTEN. Elections or electioneering were not words used.

On top of its flagrant corruption and clear state capture, Eskom is suffering the consequences of years of mismanagement and poor decision-making. Nersa tells the parliamentary Energy Committee how this former economic giant has withered away.

The single point of agreement in the submissions on the draft Carbon Tax Bill discussed in Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance last week was that the economy cannot cope with any more crippling taxation. The last thing citizens want to hear about right now are further tax increases, as they brace themselves for the additional 1% VAT from next month, but it appears the long-threatened carbon tax is back in the legislative pipeline.

Ten years in the making, the Traditional Courts Bill still has a very long way to go. That was the clear message from public hearings on the Bill which commenced in Parliament this week.

Seven National Council of Provinces (NCOP) delegations returned to the Alfred Nzo District and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipalities where they held their November 2016 Taking Parliament to The People programme. But most delegates came away disappointed at the lack of progress they witnessed.

For too long, the Auditor-General has been hamstrung by the relatively insignificant powers granted to it by its governing legislation. Now, it seems, steps are being taken to grant it the muscle to do what government has for so long failed to do, which is hold to account those responsible for the financial abuse and wastage that has crippled our economy.

The head of the Hawks, Major-General Alfred Khana, made some startling revelations at a Scopa hearing, reports MARIANNE THAMM. Scopa revealed that most cases of suspected government corruption were not reported to the Hawks by Directors General of affected departments but by whistle-blowers and officials at lower levels.

About Us

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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