It has been a helluva year for South African politics and while at times we had the popcorn out, there were also times when we crying into that same popcorn.
The Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) has highlighted some of this year’s greatest hits (both for and against) in Parliament this year.
One of the more interesting highlights is how many bills Parliament passed this year, can you guess how many? If you guessed 18 you were correct.
That figure is only over-shadowed by the number of bills currently floating around Parliament which is 27 for those interested. These bills included the controversial Film and Publication Amendment bill, the Insurance Bill and the Broadcasting Amendment bill.
A number of bills set to be introduced to Parliament in 2017 are sure to cause widespread debate according to PMG and we have to say we agree. Among the list of bills waiting to hit the floor is the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity bill which was recently handed over to Parliament.
Other notable events include the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the National Assembly absolving of President Jacob Zuma from paying anything for upgrades to his Nkandla homestead was inconsistent and invalid.
The ConCourt also ruled that the Speaker of the House cannot order security to remove unruly parliamentarians. However, the Western Cape High Court ruled that the National Assembly is within its rights to maintain order during proceedings by temporarily excluding members who disrupt proceedings.
Needless to say Parliament was a hive of activity this year and PMG recognises that.
“2016 was a trying year and many important and urgent matters were discussed in both chambers either in the form of a motion, debate, statement or discussion. These included state capture, the relationship between Parliament and the executive, the economy and jobs, land, living conditions of farm workers and the umpteenth motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.”
Despite this trying time Parliament is getting things done and while we certainly agree with PMG when it says more can be done let’s look forward to 2017 and focus on how we can improve our nation. Now be done with you 2016, and don’t let the door hit your rear as we slam it shut.[Source – PMG]