POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Parliament to debate recent spate of violence
After a week of anti-immigrant attacks and looting in Gauteng, which left 10 people killed and more than 400 arrested, parliament will hold an urgent debate on the matter this week.
The National Assembly debate on Tuesday is expected to focus on violence and criminality in the country, which included a spate of attacks on foreign nationals and the killings of women and children, which have caused a national stir.
Last week the country was hit by a wave of violence and looting in Gauteng, which overshadowed the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Cape Town, where SA hoped to showcase itself and attract much-needed investment.
There were also protests against gender-based violence after a number of high-profile murders and rapes.
Parlaiment’s rules committee will also meet on Tuesday to start drafting rules for the process of removing the public protector. This comes after parliament’s justice and correctional services committee wrote to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise asking her to mandate the rules and programming committee to draw up rules for the removal of the head of a chapter nine institution, such as the public protector.
The lack of rules on how to do this was highlighted when the DA submitted a proposal for the removal of the incumbent, Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The party believes Mkhwebane is incompetent, unfit to hold office and should be removed.
Business has also called for her removal as her credibility has been dented by various adverse judicial findings in key cases, and she was ordered to personally pay a portion of the legal costs attached to her discredited SA Reserve Bank and Estina dairy cases.
The DA has proposed draft rules for a parliamentary process to consider the removal of the head of a chapter nine institution, including the public protector, the auditor-general and members of commissions.
The party’s draft rules are modelled on the rules adopted by parliament in terms of section 89 of the constitution for the removal of a president.
The National Assembly will on Tuesday also discuss the government’s proposal to introduce a regime of prescribed assets.
Ramaphosa has called for a national dialogue on the proposal to use private and public pension funds for “developmental purposes”.
Enoch Godongwana, the head of the ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee, recently proposed that the country consider using private and public pension funds to bail out struggling parastatals, and to avoid an IMF bailout.
Struggling state-owned airline SA Express (SAX) is expected to appear before the select committee on public enterprises and communication on Wednesday to brief the committee about the airline’s financial challenges, fleet maintenance and the implementation of the airline’s turnaround strategy.
SAX is trying to entice finance minister Tito Mboweni to agree to rescue the cash-strapped airline, which said last week it needed a R300m guarantee to keep flying. It has depleted its working capital and is unable to borrow from commercial banks without the shareholder’s guarantee.
But Mboweni has refused to bail out the carrier and believes SAX should be folded into SAA, and that both should be sold.
The standing committee on public accounts will this week hold hearings with the 12 municipalities that performed particularly badly in the last round of audits. The auditor-general has indicated there is material uncertainty relating to the financial sustainability of these municipalities.
Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas will be addressing the Cape Town press club on his new book on Monday.
LISTEN | What Police Minister General Bheki Cele plans to do about violent looting in Gauteng