POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Sadc summit to discuss situation in Zimbabwe
The unfolding situation in Zimbabwe will continue to dominate headlines this week.
Thousands of protesters, frustrated by the years of economic decline, political instability and repression under Africa’s oldest and second longest-serving leader, took to the streets at the weekend calling for President Robert Mugabe to step aside.
But late on Sunday, in an internationally televised address, he refused to do so.
Zimbabwe’s governing Zanu-PF held a special central committee meeting earlier on Sunday and formally resolved to recall the 93-year-old leader. The party moved to reinstate Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking by Mugabe prompted the military takeover last week.
Mnangagwa was to take over the leadership of the party on an interim basis. Mugabe’s wife, Grace, was removed from her position as leader of the Zanu-PF Women’s League.
On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma — in his capacity as the chairman of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) — will attend the summit of the Sadc organ troika in Luanda, Angola. The summit is expected to discuss the Zimbabwean crisis.
Parliament’s public enterprises committee will this week continue with the inquiry into the capture of state-owned enterprises. Suspended Eskom chief financial office Anoj Singh — allegedly at the heart of concluding major contracts in favour of the Guptas — is in line to present evidence.
This will be the first time that Singh has publicly presented his side of the story.
The Sunday Times reported that State Security Minister Bongani Bongo attempted to bribe Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the evidence leader of the inquiry.
Bongo is to be investigated by Parliament’s joint ethics committee. The DA said on Sunday that in addition to the committee’s investigation, it would be laying criminal charges of corruption against Bongo in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act and would also be lodging a formal complaint with the public protector to investigate his alleged violation of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.
SAA executives are due to appear on Tuesday before the standing committee on appropriations, which is dealing with the planned bail-out of the ailing state airline.
Also on Tuesday, the portfolio committee on energy will receive an update from Energy Minister David Mahlobo on government’s plans in relation to key and strategic matters in the energy sector. This will be the first time that Mahlobo will be appearing before the committee.
He is likely to be asked about reports that he is accelerating the department’s energy planning in order to expedite the nuclear procurement programme.
The National Assembly will convene debates on the Rates and Monetary Amounts Amendment Bill which contains the provision for the health promotion levy (sugar tax) on Tuesday. The assembly will also consider the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill and the Tax Administration Amendment Bill.
In another sitting the same day, MPs are due to debate "the growth and economic transformation model anchored on a common vision for the economy, in order to address unemployment, poverty and inequality".
Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development will be briefed by the inter-ministerial committee on the South African Social Security Agency regarding compliance with the Constitutional Court ruling on phasing out Cash Paymaster Services and procuring alternate payment services.
The ad hoc committee on the funding of political parties will on Tuesday begin its deliberations on the outcome of the public hearing process into the proposed amendments to regulations governing the funding of political parties.
On Wednesday the economics cluster ministers will answer questions in the National Assembly. The National Council of Provinces will on the same day consider the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill. Among others, the bill adjusts the equitable share among the three spheres of government, changes the specific purpose allocations to provinces and changes allocations-in-kind to provinces and municipalities for designated special programmes.
Also on Wednesday, the portfolio committee on public service and administration, planning, monitoring and evaluation will receive a briefing from the Treasury on the rationality of budget cuts.