June 19, 2019

What better way to derail an anti-corruption campaign than to beat it at its own game? You might damage or derail democracy in the process, but that is the country’s problem, not yours, writes STEVEN FRIEDMAN in a recent article in The Conversation.

The Minister of Energy has indicated that the hunt for shale gas is back on the agenda. In response to a question from the DA asking what was the Government’s long-term plan to curtail rampant fuel price hikes, the Minister replied: “Time has come for us to remove any regulatory impediments to exploration. Linked to this is the need to urgently unlock the potential for shale gas in our country. This has been years in the making and the regulatory uncertainty meant investors could not make decisions.”

Our Parliament is based very firmly on the Westminster model, an enduring reminder of our colonial past. But as no effort has so far been taken to replace it, we might as well make use of its hundreds more years of experience than we have had and, at least sometimes, take heed of it when we should.

I talk, of course, about the UK House of Commons’ investigation into allegations of bullying in the House of Commons.

Delays and deliberations by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) over instructions issued by the parliamentary Committee raises questions about Parliament’s ability to conduct oversight of the executive when it comes to managing immigration.

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.

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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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