June 19, 2019

Land reform and expropriation without compensation remain pressing issues at Parliament where another three-week recess from mid-September, officially dubbed a constituency period, is putting MPs under pressure, writes MARIANNE MERTEN in an article published by the Daily Maverick.

In her new book, Turning and Turning: Exploring the complexities of South Africa’s democracy, political analyst JUDITH FEBRUARY reminds us that the Institute for Democracy in South Africa warned us back in 1997 of the threat to democracy posed by secrecy in party funding. No one knew then that in time it would bring us very close to the brink. This is an extract from the book.

The controversial Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill was adopted by the Portfolio Committee on Police last week, despite a protracted public consultation process which had civil society denouncing the Bill as the apartheid-era National Key Point Act of 1980 masquerading under a new name.

Here is something for those who are wondering when the state capture investigation will get underway. It turns out that a small start has already been made.

The Department of Labour “ignored the letter or spirit of decisions taken by the Labour Portfolio Committee” when it came to processing the three labour laws recently passed by the National Assembly.

Parliament has passed the National Minimum Wage Bill together with the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. Most of the media is focusing on the minimum wage bill but the more draconian Labour Relations Bill is to offset monetary gains of workers and undermine the constitutional right to strike, writes EDDIE COTTLE.

After the shocking recent audit outcomes from departments, state entities, municipalities and others, it was decided something had to be done.

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.

The Department of Social Development conceded in a committee meeting in Parliament that there is R500 million allocated for social grants in 2018/2019 which will simply not be spent. ALISON TILLEY reports on another debacle in the ongoing slow train wreck that is Sassa.

As the truth emerges about the two-year rule of Gengezi Mgidlana as Secretary to Parliament, and we learn about misappropriation of funds, disregard for Parliament’s legally binding procurement procedures, and a leadership style that seemed to assume it was beyond accountability, I am left wondering if during his disciplinary hearing he will be asked why he called in the State Security Agency to vet all parliamentary staff.

About Us

Notes from the House is an independent online publication that tracks and monitors Parliament’s role in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to improve the lives of South African citizens. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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