May 22, 2018

Ten years ago the idea of combining a number of constitutionally established bodies into one Human Rights Body was mooted. Nothing more was heard, until 14 May this year.

It’s been more than 10 years since the first attempt was made to review the Institutions Supporting Democracy (ISDs) and the process today is proving no less challenging.

It is commonly accepted that the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly, but just how slowly has been made clear in the important oversight role played by Parliament’s Questions.

This is a verbatim statement released by Cosatu. It says the Department of Health is taking healthcare in the wrong direction with its implementation of the National Health Insurance policy.

Despite the most intense monitoring of Parliament’s procedures the media, like everyone, was caught by surprise when the results of the no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma were announced.

A simple question addressed to the Police Minister has turned up a complex answer that may need a maths whiz to get the figures to add up.

An investigation by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) brought the cancer treatment crisis in KwaZulu-Natal to the public’s attention, demonstrating how a Chapter Nine Institution can serve citizens.

The rationale behind the Ad Hoc Committee on the Funding of Political Parties was summarised succinctly by Committee Chairperson Vincent Smith: “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” he said.

The Constitution itself has become “contested terrain,” writes Judith February, who warns that it would be a pity if, in questioning the negotiated settlement, the Constitution itself becomes collateral damage.

At the Ad Hoc Committee hearings, Richard Calland experienced déjà vu, and relief that legislation that could rebuild integrity in South African politics may be on its way.

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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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