September 26, 2018

A meeting of Parliament’s Health Portfolio Committee held at the end of March to discuss the proposed Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill ended rather dramatically amid much anger and mud-slinging, none of which had anything directly to do with the highly charged issue of abortion.

Seven National Council of Provinces (NCOP) delegations returned to the Alfred Nzo District and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipalities where they held their November 2016 Taking Parliament to The People programme. But most delegates came away disappointed at the lack of progress they witnessed.

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.

A total of 42% of our elected representatives gave the thumbs up to the 2018 Budget, despite 85% of the organisations and individuals who made submissions at the mandatory public hearing sounding a very clear no.

The Committee on Human Settlements wants to know why the Cape Town metro consistently fails to spend the Urban Settlements Development Grant, which is supposed to be used to upgrade and improve informal settlements.

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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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