November 16, 2018

Letter to the editor

November 07, 2018

Thank you for your October edition of Notes from the House. I did not personally know Lennox Garane but I certainly extend my sympathy and condolences to his family.

I have a small understanding of the problem that he was experiencing as I talk almost daily to members of the Parliamentary staff who feel they’ve been bullied and threatened by their seniors and managers. Many of the staff have come to know that I am a practicing labour lawyer and the word seems to have been spread that I am happy to give advice and to share some experiences with those who have been ill treated.

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.”

MARTINA DELLA TOGNA, former multimedia manager at Parliament, attended the most recent meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on the Oversight of the Financial Management of Parliament. She was joined by the sons of Lennox Garane, the parliamentary manager who recently committed suicide in his office. They were hoping to hear some answers from the Committee.

If the much-vaunted Party Political Funding Bill had managed to make its way through Parliament at the pace with which the Ad Hoc Committee passed it through the National Assembly last year it is probable that voters at next year’s poll would be able to take into account matters such as which party gained and exactly how much from the VBS banking saga, before placing that crucial cross.

A polite disagreement arose only minutes after the end of Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s presentation on South Africa’s national and provincial audit outcomes for the 2017/18 financial year. It followed some moments of disbelieving silence by members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the Standing Committee on Appropriations who attended the joint meeting where the AG’s findings on the most recent state audit of government departments and entities were revealed.

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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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