Blog
 
The thorny issue of party funding - 2018-07-20

Funding of political parties can be used as a tool for influence and/ or bribery.  A funder can steer the policy direction of a political party or who a government department awards a tender to.  Access to information about who funds political parties is therefore crucial in enhancing transparency and holding politicians accountable. I... more

The National Minimum Wage still a work in progress - 2018-06-28

The Select Committee on Business and Economic Development (NCOP committee) commenced public hearings on the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment (BCEA) Bill, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Bill and Labour Relations Amendment (LLR) Bill on 19 June 2018.  The NMW Bill sets the NMW at R20 per hour.  The Bill further proposes the esta... more

PetroSA governance fuels NCOP debate! - 2018-06-14

The Constitution provides Parliament with the power to conduct oversight of all organs of state, including those at provincial and local government level.  The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) conducts oversight over national entities with a focus on provincial interest.  As part of this function, the Central Energy Fund (CEF) briefed... more

Caution and consultation should be prescribed for the NHI Bill - 2018-05-24

Leading up to the Minister of Finance (MoF) delivering the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October/November this year, parliamentary committees are conducting oversight over departments and government entities.  The MTBPS will provide an indication of the state of government finances.  In the MTBPS of 2017, the then MoF ann... more

Parliament demands tougher action against illicit tobacco - 2018-05-10

The Standing Committee on Finance (SCoF) held a meeting on the illicit trade in tobacco on the 2 May 2018.  The briefing flowed from public hearings on the 1% VAT, fuel and other increases proposed by National Treasury (NT).  SCoF highlighted in its report on the public hearings on the Fiscal Framework Policy dated 6 March 2018, that more... more

Parliament to hold hearings on land expropriation without compensation - 2018-04-16

  Following the National Assembly resolution, the Constitutional Review Committee, will review section 25 of the Constitution with the aim of ascertaining how land could be expropriated without compensation.  Under current legislation, the state can expropriate land but the Constitution stipulates a "just and equitable" compe... more

PLUGGING THE BUDGET DEFICIT – EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF INCOME - 2018-04-11

By now we’re all starting to feel the impact of the 1% VAT, fuel and other increases.  Despite an outcry against the VAT increase from various trade unions, NGOs, civil societies and associations and citizens, National Treasury (NT) was of the view that the 1% VAT increase was the best measure to fund the budget deficit of R48,2 billion.... more

Demystifying the Budget Process at Parliament - 2018-03-08

The Minister of Finance delivered his Budget Speech on 21 February 2018.  Many was surprised at the 1% increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).  This despite the warning signs when the Minister of Finance announced in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October 2017, that there was a deficit of R48 billion deficit and National Tr... more

BUDGET SPEECH / POLICY STATEMENT HIGHLIGHTS - 2018-02-21

1. WHERE WE ARE   The 2017 GDP growth projection has been revised upward to 1%, which is higher than the 0.7% expected at the time of MTBPS last year. Growth is expected at 1.5% in 2018, rising to 2.1% in 2020. Government faces revenue gap of R48.2 billion in the current year   2. TAX PROPOSALS New tax measures will rai... more

Parliamentary hearings on the "Debt Bill" - 2018-02-15

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) briefed the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on its view on stakeholders’ submissions to the Draft National Credit Amendment Bill, 2018 (hereafter the Debt Bill), on 14 February 2018.  The briefing forms part of the continuing public consultations on the Debt Bill.  In terms of ... more

Parliament questions Steinhoff - 2018-02-01

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, Standing Committee on Public Services Accounts and Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises held a joint meeting with Steinhoff International Holdings Netherlands (hereafter Steinhoff) executive team and other affected stakeholders on 31 January 2018.  The Honourable Chairperson Yunus Carrim... more

Demystifying the Impeachment of the President case - 2018-01-18

The constitutional court (Concourt) case  of the Economic Freedom Fighters and Others v the Speaker of Parliament and the President of the Republic of South Africa [Case CCT 76/17], ruled that the National Assembly (NA) failed to make rules regulating the removal of the President in terms of section 89(1) of the Constitution and ordered the NA... more

Chairpersons and the Trias Politica: Parliament's role in the Separation of Powers priniciple - 2017-12-14

The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises kicked off its enquiry into allegations of corruption and maladministration into power utility Eskom on 1 August 2017.  The committee has held several hearings and has called many stakeholders to give evidence.  The enquiry will continue next year and at the conclusion of the hearings, the com... more

Access to Cannabis for medical use widened - 2017-11-23

The late Hon. Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, Member of Parliament (MP) introduced the Medical Innovation Bill (hereafter the Bill), in September 2014.  Hon. Oriani-Ambrosini (MP) was then diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and commenced a campaign to legalise the medical use of cannabis.  The objectives of the Bill are to: legalise and regulate... more

Sugar tax to be imposed in April 2018 - 2017-11-09

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance adopted the Health Promotion Levy (HPL) also known as the sugar tax.  The levy stems from the National Department of Health’s (DoH) Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Strategy which identifies sugar, salt, alcohol and tobacco as risk factors that cause NCDs.  The Strategy recommends var... more

Is it constitutional to exclude Coloured / First Nation persons from B-BBEE? - 2017-10-24

I was privy to a media statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), a response to an earlier statement emanating from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) and which was calling for the exclusion of Coloured and Indian persons from Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE).  The NMF statement had unequivocally voiced its disapproval of the KZN sta... more

Can the Speaker establish a multi-party committee to investigate the President? - 2017-10-12

The motion of no confidence in the President was held by secret ballot on 8 August 2017.  The National Assembly (NA), first debated the motion which was then followed by a vote by secret ballot.  The motion was defeated with 198 votes against, 177 for and nine abstentions. In an application to the Constitutional Court (Concourt), the E... more

Women in work...burdens and challenges - 2017-08-31

According to the United Nations, The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics - ·         one-in-three women have experienced physical/sexual violence at some point in their lives; ·         most of this violence is intimate partner violence[1... more

An overview of laws seeking to address gender equity in South Africa - 2017-08-08

Seventy years ago, 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings to petition against laws that required black South Africans to carry the "pass”.  National Women’s Day commemorates these heroic women.  But it is also an opportunity to draw attention to significant issues that South African women still face, such as dom... more

Land reform must be constitutional - 2017-07-06

Restitution of land concerns the painful and emotive subject of colonial and apartheid era land dispossession.  And it is understandable, because of the socio-economic impacts of this action: the ejection from homes; the forcible loss of properties; severing from kin, friends and neighbours; the wrenching of those affected from their... more

We, the people shall govern – Concourt’s letter to Parliament - 2017-06-23

The Constitutional Court (Concourt) delivered a watershed judgement yesterday.  It ruled that the Constitution gives the Speaker of Parliament the discretion to determine the voting procedure in a motion of no confidence in the President and must not be exercised arbitrarily or whimsically. I was surprised by the Concourt’s exorbitant... more

Public Hearings on Proposed Sugar Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages - 2017-06-02

Parliament held public hearings on the Amendment Revenue Laws Bill, also known as the Health Promotion Levy on Sugar Sweetened Beverages on 31 May 2017. In 2016, the Minister of Finance announced that there will be a tax on sugar sweetened beverages. Following the Minister’s policy statement/ announcement in February 2016, National Treasur... more

Small Business Budget Vote - 2017-05-19

The Minister for Small Business Development delivered the budget vote for her department. Parliament has to approve the budget. The Minister highlighted that her department has created awareness of small business needs within various government depts. This is important as the President stated that 30% of government procurement must be allocated t... more

My blog item on the motion of no confidence appeared in the Sunday Independent, 23 April 2017 - 2017-05-03

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Motion of no confidence in the President - 2017-04-18

Parliament has become the epitome of political interactions. And rightly so, as it is where elected representatives of the people, i.e. Members of Parliament (MPs), from various political parties gather to make laws and conduct oversight over the Executive. In doing so, Parliament must also be alert to involving the public in its processes. Recentl... more

Eskom Contractor Academy Graduation Ceremony - 2017-04-03

I attended the Eskom Contractor Academy Graduation Ceremony in my capacity as Deputy Chairperson of Business Western Cape. The aim of the Academy is to assist, develop and equip emerging contractors and suppliers with financial, legislative, management, leadership, entrepreneurial and technical. I liked what the MC said and these words resonated wi... more

My blog item published as opinion editorial (oped) in Weekedn Argus - Sunday Edition "Court Ruling on ICC withdraway added voice of the people" - 2017-04-03

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President al-Bashir matter and the interaction in the trias politica - 2017-03-17

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Co-operation (PC) held a meeting on 8 March 2017. The aim of the meeting was for the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development to provide feedback on the High Court ruling of DA v Minister of International Relations and Co-operation.   The High Court ruling i... more

Opinion Editorial (Oped) on the Parliamentary Comm meeting on the proposed sugar tax published in the Sunday Independent on 26 February 2017 - 2017-03-13

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DEPUTY PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, PARLIAMENT - 2017-03-10

As part of Parliament’s oversight function of holding the Executive (Cabinet: President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers), Members of Parliament (MPs) can ask questions to the Executive.   Other oversight mechanisms include for example: An MP asking questions either in the caucus, study group, in the National Assem... more

Let's Talk - 2017-02-16

2016 has been a tumultuous year politically and economically. Our democracy has definitely grown and developed with so many conversations taking place in so many forums. In the run up to the State of the Nation Address (SoNA), there have been several networking functions. One of which, I was personally involved, namely: Deputy President, HE Cyril R... more

State of Nation Address Summary - 2017-02-14

SUMMARY OF STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS 2017 The State of the Nation Address (SoNA) is an occasion whereby the President accounts to Parliament and the Nation on what Government has done in 2016 and provides an overview of what Government plans to do in 2017. The summary below focusses on what Government plans to do in 2017. 1. Entrepreneurshi... more

Blog 7 Feb 2017 – Joint meeting with SC: Finance and PC: Health on the proposed sugar tax held o 31 January 2017 - 2017-02-07

The Minister of Finance last year announced that there will be a tax on sugar sweetened beverages. National Treasury published its Policy Paper on Taxation of Sugar Sweetened Beverages in July 2016 inviting comments from the public. The Minister will make a statement regarding the proposed tax during the Budget Speech in February 2017. Thereafter, ... more