The 2018 parliamentary year is just about winding down and we are taking a look at standout parliamentary committees that tackled everything from groundbreaking legislation, holding entities to account and cracking the whip.
On 15 November 2018 the Constitutional Review Committee adopted a recommendation that the Constitution should be amended to allow for expropriation without compensation. The process kicked off in March this year and it was clear that extensive public participation was required. The Committee’s strenuous programme included nationwide provincial public hearings, six days of oral submissions in Parliament as well as receiving over 630 000 written submissions. While the final recommendation was not unanimously agreed on across party lines, it is undeniable that this Committee worked very hard for over 8 months ending in a historical decision for South Africans.
Also on our list is parliament’s watchdog committee, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA). Since the start of 2018, this committee has sat 40 times and has been at the forefront of tackling wayward SOEs and departments – think SASSA, SABC, SAA, Water & Sanitation. SCOPA Members are often unified in pursuit of making institutions account for wasteful or irregular expenditure from the public purse.
The Standing Committee on Finance works studiously on policy and legislation that regulates and transforms the financial sector. It had an impressive workload - 59 meetings to date. Although the committee signed off (reluctantly) on the 1% VAT increase, scandals such as Steinhoff, VBS and the illicit tobacco trade also featured heavily on the committee’s programme this year.
The Trade and Industry Committee is the busiest committees this year with 83 meetings to date. While the committee tackled sugar industry transformation, gambling, the Copyright and Performers' Protection Bills, one of the most important pieces of legislation it passed this year is the National Credit Amendment Bill that aims to provide relief to over indebted South Africans.
We want to know who you think did the best work in 2018 so take your pick!