August 21, 2018

On top of its flagrant corruption and clear state capture, Eskom is suffering the consequences of years of mismanagement and poor decision-making. Nersa tells the parliamentary Energy Committee how this former economic giant has withered away.

The single point of agreement in the submissions on the draft Carbon Tax Bill discussed in Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance last week was that the economy cannot cope with any more crippling taxation. The last thing citizens want to hear about right now are further tax increases, as they brace themselves for the additional 1% VAT from next month, but it appears the long-threatened carbon tax is back in the legislative pipeline.

One of Parliament’s chief objectives is oversight of the executive, and a tool it uses to achieve this is Question Time. Questions for oral or written reply can be put to the President, the Deputy President and Ministers, and gives Members of Parliament the opportunity to monitor the government’s service delivery. However, much of the time the answers leave South Africans with more questions and few answers. Here is a small sample.

For too long, the Auditor-General has been hamstrung by the relatively insignificant powers granted to it by its governing legislation. Now, it seems, steps are being taken to grant it the muscle to do what government has for so long failed to do, which is hold to account those responsible for the financial abuse and wastage that has crippled our economy.

The heady combination of Ramaphoria and Zumaphobia appears to have re-energised Parliament, especially in the Committee rooms where the parliamentary duty of oversight is mostly carried out.

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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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