Despite much political bluster around no free lunches, the Standing Committee on Appropriation has adopted the Eskom Special Appropriation Bill without any amendments, amid claims of a lack of time.
Having let the clock run down since 23 July when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni introduced the Eskom Special Appropriation Bill in the House, MPs now have invoked time pressure to effectively ditch enforcing parliamentary oversight on conditions to the R59-billion bailout for Eskom over two years.
A day after telling National Treasury officials that some of the proposed 29 conditions needed to be included in the Eskom Special Appropriation Bill, according to a Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) recording, on 10 October the Standing Committee on Appropriation decided against any changes to the draft legislation.
"The proposed (National Treasury) conditions are not stringent enough, however, it will be too risky to amend the bill at this stage in order to include specific conditions" was what was added last Thursday to the committee draft report on the Eskom Special Appropriation Bill, which Daily Maverick has seen. It remains clear in its conclusion:
"The Standing Committee on Appropriations recommends that the National Assembly adopts the Special Appropriation Bill [B10-2019] (Reprint), without amendments."