April 24, 2018

Notes from the House publishes a regular column of briefs about the things that go on in Parliament that you wouldn’t normally see. This is not fake news – though you may wonder if all of it can possibly be true.

One of Parliament’s chief objectives is oversight, and the tool it uses for 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. Except that many answers leave South Africans with more questions. Here are some examples.

With about a year before the 2019 elections, Parliament is to go on a two-month mid-year recess, officially described as an “extended constituency period,” writes MARIANNE MERTEN. Elections or electioneering were not words used.

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.

Discussions on the Traditional Courts Bill have been going around in the same circle for ten years, and what the law-makers are skirting, it would seem, is the Constitution itself; they cannot tramp over it, nor can they walk away from it.

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About Us

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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