TWITTER ALERTS (August 2019)

NO MORE ALERTS SENT (no interest, apparently!)

21 August 2019:

WELL … If today’s Twitter activities in my feed proved anything, none of my ‘followers’ is interested in official government documents providing accurate information on all sorts of relevant issues.

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16 August 2019:

THE JUSTICE SYSTEM: Justice & Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has drawn attention to the importance of reaching consensus on the ‘desirability’ of ‘harmonising’ the Magistrates and Judicial Service Commissions – in the interests of a ‘single judiciary’.

15 August 2019:

LAND REFORM: In this morning’s @LegalbriefToday under Policy Watch, I asked when @PresidencyZA is going to stop issuing wishy washy media statements about the revised Expropriation Bill (and other things). Everyone (including the opponents of land reform) deserves more detail.

14 August 2019:

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: ‘A significant number of municipalities continue to perform poorly and remain a cause for concern’, according to a National Treasury report on ‘the state of municipal financial affairs’ during the 12-month period ending 30 June 2018.

NHI: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says one thing in yesterday afternoon’s media statement https://legalbrief.co.za/media/filestore/2019/08/response_to_da_statement.pdf…; DA leader Mmusi Maimane said another. Who are we to believe? Who can we trust? I no longer know …

13 August 2019:

CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES: In anticipation of being tabled in Parliament soon, the Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill was published last Thursday, along with the required pre-tabling explanatory summary.

JSE LISTING REQUIREMENTS: Comment is sought by 22 August on proposed amendments to the JSE listing requirements for public shareholders. They include substantive changes to the process of appointing an independent sponsor.

NHI: National Assembly Health Committee chair Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his ruling party colleagues have yet to be persuaded that ‘fixing clinics, rebuilding hospitals, employing adequate staff and getting ambulances and everything else’ required is necessary. ‘We are not aware of any country in the world that completed everything else before it started with NHI,’ he said last week in a media statement welcoming the Bill.

12 August 2019:

NHI: The Bill tabled in Parliament last week exposes distinct limitations on the capacity of the system envisaged to deliver ‘universal’ quality care. For starters, the sustainability of the fund itself will depend entirely on SA’s economic climate. Only when this is deemed ‘favourable’ will ‘new taxation options’ be considered – and it seems very unlikely that all those listed in sub-clause 49(2) will be factored into the mix. The elements of the combined revenue source envisaged are still up for discussion. Registration as an NHI user will not be compulsory. Private healthcare providers and facilities will be able to choose whether to contract in or out of the scheme. Initially, only a very basic package of services will be available to registered users. State hospitals and clinics contracted to supply services covered by NHI will have to be accredited – and will need to meet criteria and standards set by the Office of Health Standards Compliance.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: The 1998 Domestic Violence Act is being reviewed with the aim of strengthening ‘provisions around domestic homicide and the enforcement of protection orders’ (President Cyril Ramaphosa). Recommendations in the 2017 high-level panel report include the recognition of domestic abuse ‘as a crime in its own right’; that its definition be extended to provide for economic abuse; a clearer definition of the term ‘imminent harm’; biannual ‘mandatory training for police, … magistrates and clerks’; and ‘accountability mechanisms’ for dealing with police and court staff failing to fulfil their legal obligations.

POOR STATE OF COURT BUILDINGS: Public Works & Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille intends focusing on SA’s courts as she implements the initial phase of a programme aimed at making government buildings ‘more user-friendly’. This is noting several ‘cases’ in which poor building maintenance has impacted negatively on ‘the judicial process’.

8 August 2019:

FOREIGN NATIONALS: The National Assembly’s International Relations & Co-operation Committee has called on South Africans to ‘exercise caution when reacting to reports about foreign nationals allegedly fighting with police’. The committee issued a statement yesterday drawing attention to SA’s ‘responsibility to lead regional integration and promote intra- and inter-trade among African countries’.

7 August 2019:

UNEMPLOYMENT: Government will ‘urgently’ attend to the ‘numerous’ public-sector-specific issues arising from last year’s jobs summit and apparently still requiring ‘action’ 10 months later, according to the Presidency.

CRIME: The Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth & Persons with Disabilities has called on the Commission for Gender Equality to ‘ensure that the SAPS accounts for rape (test) kit shortages and that their availability at police stations is monitored’. ‘Earlier this year’, the SAPS appeared before the commission to report back on the implementation of ‘recommendations arising from an initial investigative hearing held in 2018’.

6 August 2019:

TOURISM: Government is ‘working round the clock’ to ‘consolidate’ its ‘tourism safety strategy’, according to an anonymous ‘opinion piece‘ on the Department of Tourism website.

BROAD-BASED BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: The Department of Transport is ‘working in earnest’ on a revised B-BBEE charter for the sector and finalising the development of new codes of good practice, according to Transport Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi.

5 August 2019:

WIRELESS OPEN ACCESS NETWORK: The Competition Commission has cautioned Icasa against ‘auctioning spectrum to the highest bidder’. This ‘would deny SA a unique opportunity to bring about lower data costs both now and in the future’.

WHOLESALE, RETAIL SECTOR WAGES: The rates of pay for employees paid above the national minimum of R20 per hour were increased on Friday.

2 August 2019:

APPROPRIATION BILL: A perception in some circles that the Bill was ‘rushed through Parliament’ appears to be entirely justified. Even the ANC’s Yunus Carrim is unhappy.

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: The controversial 2013 Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill is to be reintroduced in Parliament, according to Women, Youth & Persons with Disabilities Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

1 August 2019:

COMMUNITY BROADCASTING: Icasa has lifted its four-year moratorium on applications for community broadcasting service licences and spectrum.

POLITICAL PARTY FUNDING: A draft Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill aimed at ensuring that the private funding of political parties and independent candidates is recorded, preserved and published regularly was gazetted yesterday for comment.