August 20, 2019

The parliamentary processes around what is euphemistically called “expropriation without compensation” of land, which expired in the fifth parliament has now been revived in the sixth. PAUL HOFFMAN from Accountability Now thinks it is necessary and timely to remind the new members of their oath of office and their duty to uphold the rule of law.

Remember the song you sang as a kid: ‘there were ten in the bed and the little one said roll over ... so we all rolled over, now there are nine in the bed”. Parliament is an unlikely place to be reminded of nursery rhymes, but this was a committee meeting about the scourge of child murders in South Africa, and this old ditty had chilling implications when quoted in a submission to the Western Cape Social Development department.

It took 11 years to see through the protracted process of revising the ministerial handbook, which among other things stipulates how much ministers and deputy ministers can spend on the perks of their trade. But inflation and recession during that time already makes these new rules outdated and new expense limits somewhat unlikely, writes JAN-JAN JOUBERT. This does not read like a guide for cabinet belt-tightening.

The Presidency’s moves can be blocked by secretary-general Ace Magashule, who is in charge of ANC structures, writes BEN TUROK. He argues President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to fight corruption, but there are pockets of resistance within the ANC.

Amending the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation is back on track, reports MARIANNE MERTEN of the Daily Maverick. The National Assembly adopted the motion for this, although not without some heated words and a vote that fell 189 for and 67 against.

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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.

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