PARLIAMENT’S ‘CAPACITY PROBLEMS’ TO BE EXPOSED?

This article appeared in Juta Law’s Legalbrief Today on Thursday 13 June 2019 The capacity of National Assembly committees to adequately hold the executive and state institutions to account is finally being brought to the attention of ordinary South Africans in the context of the commission of inquiry into state capture. This is noting recent […]

PARLIAMENT BEGINS WORK ON NEW COMMITTEE STRUCTURES

This article appeared in Juta Law’s Legalbrief Today on Tuesday 4 June 2019 The ‘naming and composition’ of Parliament’s new National Assembly committees is expected to be discussed tomorrow at a meeting of the House Rules Committee, when the process of assigning MPs to these and ‘various other bodies’ could also begin. According to a media […]

EFF POISED TO UP THE PARLIAMENTARY ANTE

This article was published in Juta Law’s Legalbrief Today on Tuesday 14 May 2019. The EFF’s performance in South Africa’s recent general elections may not have been as spectacular as its leaders predicted, but 19 more seats in the National Assembly represents a 76% increase in the party’s ability to influence the parliamentary process. Apart from […]

HOW REALISTIC ARE THE PRESIDENT’S ELECTIONEERING PROMISES?

I often wonder what the late Eric Molobi, co-founder of Kagiso Trust Investments, would have thought of all the shenanigans associated with the ruling party. Having begun his political career with the Black Consciousness Movement, he changed allegiance after a spell on Robben Island – where he was apparently ‘re-educated’ at the knee of none […]

LAST-MINUTE COPYRIGHT BILL ENGAGEMENTS A CHARADE?

This article was published in Juta Law’s Legalbrief Today on Thursday 18 April 2019, when the Department of Trade and Industry finally posted a statement about the meeting on its website. Many Copyright Amendment Bill stakeholders at a recent ‘engagement’ with Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies were left […]

HOW WELL WILL LAND REDISTRIBUTION BE MANAGED?

There have been two disturbing media statements from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform this year pointing to the distinct possibility of trouble ahead as the South African government accelerates its land reform programme. The first, in February, was issued to allay fears of land claims affecting properties in the suburbs of Centurion […]

IT’S ABOUT QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY

I was dismayed when the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) used Twitter to draw attention to a ‘snapshot of legislative activity’ in SA’s fifth democratic Parliament that completely ignored the quality of the Bills concerned. Published by the People’s Assembly but attributed to a PMG researcher, it compares the percentage of Bills tabled and ‘successfully adopted’ […]

COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT BILL: EXPERT ADVICE ‘MISSTATED’ AND IGNORED

This article was published in Juta Law’s Legalbrief Today on 22 March 2019 Parliament has largely ignored the advice of copyright law experts approached last September by the National Assembly’s Trade and Industry Committee for their views on ‘terminology’ used in the controversial Copyright Amendment Bill. Yet a Department of Trade and Industry presentation on […]

THINGS FALL APART

It’s rather worrying when a Constitutional Court judgment creates ‘some confusion’ in government about the department responsible for giving effect to the order concerned. But that was apparently what happened when, in 2017, the court found the 2011 Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Act invalid. Which is why it took nearly two years for the […]

NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS

Some Bills before Parliament receive the attention they deserve from Ministers and Deputy Ministers, who regularly attend meetings of the committees concerned to ensure the process runs smoothly and that any changes made are drafted correctly. I’m not a political commentator. Neither do I believe it’s my place to endorse or oppose government policy unless […]