POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Parliament to debate ownership of Reserve Bank
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will be in the spotlight this week in Parliament, as the National Assembly debates the role, mandate and independence of the Bank.
The debate on Tuesday will deal with "the role, mandate and independence of the SARB [South African Reserve Bank], in line with international practice, (with a view) to ensure full public ownership of the Bank". The ANC resolved at its December conference that the Bank, which is owned by private shareholders on whom there are limitations, should be nationalised. The party also debated whether the Bank’s mandate should be changed, but in the final resolution this was left untouched.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane added to the controversy when she said in her report on the Saambou life boat that the Bank’s mandate should be changed.
A court had set aside Mkhwebane’s remedial action that the country’s Constitution must be changed to amend the Bank’s mandate.
Inquiries into different aspects of state capture are also set to continue this week, while Mkhwebane and the National Prosecuting Authority will be in the firing line of Parliament’s portfolio committees.
The parliamentary inquiry into state capture by the public enterprises committee will continue into the alleged capture of Eskom.
Last week inquiry chairwoman and ANC MP Zukiswa Rantho told the media the committee still wanted the Guptas to appear before the inquiry, but that they were struggling to locate the family and its lawyers in order to serve them with a notice to appear before it.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and former Eskom chairman Ben Ngubane were among those scheduled to appear before the committee, although reports at the weekend were that Gigaba had requested a postponement.
The Ntsebeza inquiry is set to resume on Thursday, following a two-week adjournment into the probe examining KPMG’s alleged role in the state capture scandal.
The inquiry, chaired by advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, was established by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants to look into the conduct of individual chartered accountants and auditors employed by KPMG.
It will determine if they violated the institute’s code of conduct in auditing unlisted Gupta companies. It is also looking into a report compiled by KPMG on the so-called South African Revenue Service’s "rogue unit". Ntsebeza confirmed last week that the final version of the KPMG report had been received and that a possible witness who had asked for it had been furnished with the same version.
The inquiry was still awaiting the full list of employees who had been implicated in the submissions received from KPMG.
Mkhwebane will have to explain public statements she made to Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services on Tuesday, following earlier postponements. The High Court in Pretoria recently found that Mkhwebane did not fully understand her constitutional duty to be impartial.
A special meeting of the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services on Wednesday will interrogate revelations that the Hawks’ investigations into state capture were impeded by slow decision-making by the National Prosecuting Authority.