July 22, 2018

Ten years in the making, the Traditional Courts Bill still has a very long way to go. That was the clear message from public hearings on the Bill which commenced in Parliament this week.

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.

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.

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.

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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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