POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Stringent conditions expected to be put on Eskom’s latest bailout
The reverberations of the far-reaching decisions taken by the DA’s federal council on the weekend will continue to be in the news on the political front this week.
Parliamentary committees will continue their work, while MPs will have the opportunity to question Deputy President David Mabuza in the National Assembly on Tuesday and ministers in the economic cluster on Wednesday about a wide range of issues.
Another highlight of Tuesday’s session of the National Assembly will be the processing and likely adoption of the Special Appropriation Bill, which allocates an additional R59bn to Eskom over the next two years — R26bn in 2019 and R33bn in 2020. The funds are badly needed by the cash-strapped electricity utility which was forced to institute load-shedding in the past week because of supply constraints.
The appropriations committees of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces have held public hearings on the bill, with both placing emphasis on the need for stringent conditions on the release of the funds.
The Treasury has detailed a list of these conditions which include a close watch by the department over Eskom's finances. Either finance minister Tito Mboweni or his deputy, David Masondo, could speak on the bill and shed more light on why the funds are needed and how they will be managed.
On Tuesday the portfolio committees on home affairs and co-operative governance and traditional affairs will be briefed by the SA Local Government Association, the mayors of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni and the department of home affairs on the issue of undocumented migrants, with departmental officials focusing on what they are doing to promote social cohesion, manage illegal migration and curb xenophobia.
Also on Tuesday, the basic education committee will be briefed by the Equal Education Law Centre on a report on the state of education (2014-19) and by Section 27 on the Limpopo sanitation report and on the analysis of the Limpopo norms and standards report. The environmental affairs committee will be briefed by NGOs on the state of captive lion breeding in SA.
The department of water & sanitation will brief the portfolio committee on human settlements, water & sanitation on outstanding debt owed to entities supporting the work of the department; and monies owing to the water boards by municipalities.
On Wednesday, the police portfolio committee will meet the SA Police Service to discuss the firearm amnesty. The appropriations committee will be briefed by auditor-general Kimi Makwetu on the audit outcomes for the 2018/2019 financial year.