POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Clock is ticking on action against Gigaba
The home affairs minister has been found to have lied to the courts over permission granted to the Oppenheimers’ Fireblade Aviation to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport
By the end of the week we will know what disciplinary action President Cyril Ramaphosa will take against home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, who has been found to have lied to the courts over permission granted to the Oppenheimers’ Fireblade Aviation to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommended that Ramaphosa take action against Gigaba by this Wednesday. Mkhwebane also gave the speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, 14 days from receiving the report to refer Gigaba’s violation to the joint committee on ethics and members’ interests.
Parliamentary deliberations on whether or not to amend the constitution to facilitate the expropriation of land without compensation in the public interest move a step closer to finality this week. This will bring to an end a prolonged process of consultation and public hearings on the issue, which has caused heated political debate and contributed to the political uncertainty over the country’s trajectory.
Parliament’s joint constitutional review committee is expected to vote on a recommendation on Thursday after three days of deliberations. It is expected to vote in favour of an amendment to section 25 of the constitution, with the ANC and EFF votes outnumbering those of opposition parties such as the DA, Cope, the Freedom Front Plus and the African Christian Democratic Party.
The committee’s recommendation will then be submitted to the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces for adoption before parliament closes down for the recess early in December.
The committee’s decision is the culmination of public hearings held in all nine provinces and the hearing of oral submissions in parliament over several days. Huge volumes of written submissions were also received.
The process was launched in December when the ANC national conference decided to support the expropriation of land without compensation. The joint constitutional review committee was tasked with investigating the issue following the adoption of a motion in the National Assembly in February.
The week starts with the testimony of former minister of public enterprises Barbara Hogan at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. Hogan is expected to give evidence about the events leading up to her removal as minister by former president Jacob Zuma in his 2010 cabinet reshuffle.
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, who was axed as finance minister together with his then deputy Mcebisi Jonas in March 2017, will give evidence on Thursday.
Deputy chief justice and chair of the commission Raymond Zondo has warned that it is illegal to publish the contents of witnesses’ statements before they give evidence without the written permission of the commission. This was after the widespread distribution of Gordhan’s affidavit last week. The judge said on Friday an investigation would be conducted in a bid to establish who was responsible for the leaks of witnesses’ statements.
On Tuesday the results of the fifth biennial Gauteng City-Region Observatory quality of life survey for 2017/18 will be launched at an event attended by Gauteng premier David Makhura, who will formally respond to the survey results. Nearly 25,000 people across Gauteng’s 529 wards were interviewed for the survey, one of the biggest social attitude surveys of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the issues it deals with are access to basic services, satisfaction with the government, transport and mobility, livelihoods, and migration.
On Tuesday the National Assembly will debate the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, while ministers in the economic cluster are scheduled to answer questions in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday ministers in the peace and security cluster will answer questions by MPs in the National Assembly. On Thursday deputy president David Mabuza will answer questions in the National Assembly.
The standing committee on finance will on Tuesday and Wednesday deliberate on the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill (which formally raises the VAT rate by one percentage point to 15%), the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill. On Wednesday the committee will also consider the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill and the Banks Amendment Bill.