• Policy Watch SA

IN THE LOOP (10)

Updated: a day ago


Vol. 1 No. 10, covering the week ending 1 October 2021

(copies of earlier editions are available on request)

FROM THE AUTHOR


An exceptionally quiet week as the focus on local government elections continued.


COVID-19 DISASTER MANAGEMENT


The disaster management regulations for Covid-19 adjusted lockdown level one confirmed eased restrictions announced on Thursday evening by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Significantly, 'the National Assembly Committee on Health has called on the Department of Health to ensure that it puts contingency measures in place to prevent instability in its vaccine roll-out plan following the suspension of several senior officials involved in the Digital Vibes scandal'. (a link to the report* is provided under FROM THE POWERS THAT BE below)

The Department of Home Affairs has clarified the latest set of amendments to a March 2020 ministerial directive. Among other things, it extends to 31 December the validity period of 'asylum permits', refugee status documents and certain visas that expired under lockdown.


DEVELOPMENTS OF GENERAL INTEREST


The Association for Savings & Investment SA is working with National Treasury in its efforts to identify an ‘appropriate’ enabling ‘instrument’ for private sector investment in public infrastructure’, according to Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana.

OUT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

​The Department of Trade, Industry & Competition has released a draft Companies Amendment Bill among other things proposing the introduction of more onerous remuneration reporting requirements.


The Prudential Authority has released a discussion paper reviewing SA's government bond curve construction methodology and data set management framework. (last week's newsletter referred to the paper, which was not available at the time because of a technical fault on the authority's website)


The Independent Communications Authority of SA has gazetted an information memorandum outlining the next phase of its long-delayed high-demand radio frequency spectrum licensing process.


FROM THE POWERS THAT BE (quotations from the original documents)


'We still have a long way to go towards instilling a culture of ethics in the public service' (President Cyril Ramaphosa)


'It is my intention and plan ... to build and refashion our technical and vocational education system to be apprenticeship based' (Higher Education, Science & Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande)


'We need to recognise that trade is not an end in itself but a means of raising standards of living, creating employment and improving people's lives' (President Cyril Ramaphosa)


'It is concerning that district health councils have not been created in most health districts, and where they have been established, they are not functioning, resulting in poor co-ordination, planning, budgeting, and provision of all health services' (Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Thembisile Nkadimeng)


*The Special Investigating Unit report on the Department of Health's national health insurance media campaign and Covid-19 communications scandal 'shows that, indeed ,whistle-blowing is one of the effective mechanisms in the fight against fraud and corrupt activities, and ... plays a role in encouraging accountability, transparency and high standards of governance in both the private sector and public institutions' (Health Minister Joe Phaahla)


'Whatever we do, a mechanism should be devised to ensure that the legislative sector, as a distinct arm of the state, is not subordinated to the unfettered authority of the executive, in determining its resource requirements for the proper fulfilment of its mandate' (National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula)


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