February 17, 2019

I find myself more than a little pissed off to learn that the State of the Nation Address (SONA) turns out not to be the official opening of Parliament after all. If SONA is where the President reveals and shares his vision and plans for the new year, are we now being told that Parliament can carry on without this guiding vision?

Parliament’s state capture inquiry resumed on the first day of the 2018 session, but it all seemed rather pointless. Even though an official Commission of Inquiry has been appointed at last, events seem to have overtaken the investigation and Ramaphosa's ANC appears ready for action.

Some thirteen years after that first punch was thrown in the battle for party funding legislation, a new Political Party Funding Bill has been tabled in the National Assembly.

Not one journalist left the breakfast with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa held in Parliament last week with a long face or a complaint, which is unusual for the press.

While there seems to be a revival of public interest in the fortunes of ANC politics, I am not sure that it goes beyond the race between individual presidential hopefuls.

Twenty-four hours after Energy Minister Mahlobo stood his ground saying that nuclear energy was inevitable, Finance Minister Gigaba seems to have changed his mind on whether we can afford it.

There is no sign yet of much progress on legislation to protect girls from being trapped in forced marriages.

How does the proposal for increasing higher education funding compromise the budget process?

One of South Africa’s worst failures lingers as the government struggles to eradicate the bucket system, and it is unlikely to be resolved soon.

It was with deep dismay that we read the report of Jacques Pauw’s new book, The President’s Keepers. Zuma has lost the last vestiges of legitimacy.

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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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