January 16, 2019

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.

Public Protector (PP) Busisiwe Mkhwebane appeared to have one overriding concern when she appeared before Parliament’s Justice and Correctional Service Committee to present her Annual Performance Plan (APP) in April.

The State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy – also known as the Chapter 9 Institutions because they were established in terms of Chapter Nine of the Constitution ‑ have requested a meeting with the President to address their current budget cuts.

From reports of the Annual Performance Plan of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) one could easily come away with the impression that the only real problem currently facing the Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shaun Abrahams, was a funding shortage.

The Division of Revenue Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly on 15 March, has got the nod from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), and is now on its way to the President for his assent, which means it is well on its way to becoming law.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) Veterans’ Network have identified banks used by individuals who are believed to have engaged in illegal proceedings related to state capture.

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.

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.

Latest Tweets

Read the full report delivered to Parliament that first exposed #Eskom before the #ZondoCommissionofInquiry into… https://t.co/oc3B1i7aGJ
The feisty Committee of Public Enterprises was the first to expose Eskom. Much more has been exposed since but just… https://t.co/yPoj9q3yzv
Follow Notes from the House on Twitter
×