December 15, 2019

A departing offering of the fifth Parliament, unveiled on the day that the National Assembly rose for the last time, is a series of principles appended to the steps that lead to the building in which the National Assembly holds its plenary sessions.

The Traditional Courts Bill, one of the last Bills to be rushed through by the previous National Assembly, is one of the deeply controversial Bills which the sixth Parliament stands to inherit. It’s been in – and out of – the legislative pipeline since 2008. It’s dragged on, was revived by the fourth Parliament only to be tossed out by the Minister in 2011, has been renamed and amended, but like the proverbial bad penny, it has popped up again and again, according to the Parliamentary Monitoring Group. Read analysis by ANTON VAN DALSEN.

If there remains anyone out there who still buys into the elaborately crafted apartheid lie about the alleged insanity of Dimitri Tsafendas, the man who assassinated Hendrick Verwoerd, this thoroughly researched book will at last set the record straight.

Could it be that South Africa already has in place the start of what may be a workable land reform programme? In a written reply by EFF member Leigh-Ann Mathys to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Farming we learn that more than 200 small-scale farms have been established on state land in all nine provinces, and a good number of them are flourishing.

Our president has been hard at work at parliament from long before its official opening, speedily assenting to as many Bills as he can before the fifth democratic parliament closes on 29 March ahead of the election, leaving outstanding Bills to lapse – or become the problem of the incoming parliament.

Some of the 21 farms comprising the Sabi Sands area adjacent to the Kruger National Park and home to some of South Africa’s most luxurious and highly lucrative private game reserves have been facing unresolved land claims for about two decades, yet it has now emerged in the ongoing contestation that parts of the communal land claims were not grounded in historical reality and were made by individuals who did not actually constitute a community.

It’s an election year so we can look forward to a frenetic schedule and disjointed calendar as the National Legislature is first dissolved and later re-constituted after the elections. We can also expect an unpredictable timetable and two State of the Nation Addresses.

It was quite a rush to the finish line and even if Parliament didn’t quite make it, it was something of an eye opener to see what the Houses can do when they try.

Academic research on the best digital tools for monitoring southern African parliaments shows Uganda tweets live from parliamentary session, while Kenya has Mzalendo, a top website similar to the UK’s TheyWorkForYou.com. The study argues that digital tools such as these must be developed to ensure that citizens are able to follow the debates taking place in their respective official parliamentary chambers.

Has the EFF been had?

December 08, 2018

Land expropriation without compensation, increasingly colloquially known as EWC, may be the ANC’s winning card in its 2019 electioneering pack, but in time could prove to be the joker in the deck. Passed by Parliament just days before the House rose for the December recess, with 209 MPs voting in favour of a change to the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation, against only 91 nays, it was billed as a victory for the ANC and for EWC as a whole.

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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