15 March 2019

South Africa: Parliament Scrambles to Tie Up Loose Ends Before Elections


The House adopted the police committee's recommendation -- 172 votes for, five against -- to terminate the contract of Robert McBride, the former Ipid boss. Although the contract lapsed on 28 February, and an acting incumbent has long been in place, the committee report had to be approved formally to have an effect. It was one item on Thursday's lengthy Order Paper as the National Assembly prepares to rise on Wednesday 20 March for the 2019 elections.

There is a parliamentary business that must be done. It includes adopting the fiscal framework and the Division of Revenue Bill that actually transfers the Budget allocations to provinces and councils. The National Assembly adopted this bill 211 votes for and six against on Wednesday.

And then there are the treaties government has signed, but have not yet been approved by Parliament, as must happen in terms of Section 231 of the Constitution. Some of that has been done in the past few weeks, and on Thursday more Trade and Industry-related treaties were ticked off in the National Assembly, mostly dealing with intellectual rights related to performances.

These treaties now go to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), where the in-tray is rapidly...

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