August 20, 2019

To witness the best functioning committee in Parliament you have to get up really early every Thursday morning, even in the bleak Cape midwinter, and make your way to room E249 on the second floor of the parliamentary complex’s National Assembly building, writes JAN-JAN JOUBERT.

The almost forgotten ‘Secrecy Bill’, which had civil society across the country up in arms when it was first introduced in 2010 as the “Protection of Information Bill,” could reportedly be back in the legislative pipeline if the State Security Agency (SSA) has its way. This beleaguered bill, in its last known iteration ironically named the Protection of State Information Bill, came up in the budget speech of deputy minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa. He gave no reason for reviving the controversial legislation.

The July announcement that Cabinet has endorsed the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, which sets it well on its way along the legislative pipeline with the possibility of it being passed into law by July next year, has been greeted with reminders by civil society that the urgent priority remains to fix the public health service.

In a unexpectedly promising start to the sixth parliament’s committee schedule, the Rules Committee of the National Assembly met, on 5 June, before any other committees were ready, under the motherly but firm chairing of Speaker Thandi Modise ‑ and the committee demonstrated how it could be done.

You are going to have to exercise some patience if you are waiting to see the sixth parliament get on with it. The official opening is the State of the Nation Address, which falls on 20 June, and that will be the first joint sitting of the new MPs. After that the plenaries begin with debates on SONA in both Houses. But the real work of parliament, as we know, happens in the committees, which only get going on 2 July.

About Us

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.

Latest Tweets

Child murders under the spotlight https://t.co/VyjYgTDTGM
Much fuss about @ParliamentofRSA committee chairs, for good reason. MPs tainted by #statecapture slipped through t… https://t.co/AnmUvdZUmd
Follow Notes from the House on Twitter