The week ahead: Another flashpoint looms

17 Feb 2015 (7 years, 6 months ago)

12 February 2015 was an extraordinary day and will remain firmly etched in the memories of many South Africans. The violent removal of the EFF, walkouts by the DA, Agang and COPE, and the jamming of cellphone signals left many stunned and overshadowed the President’s State of the Nation Address.

The aftershocks of last Thursday’s events will dominate the political landscape and Parliament for a long time.

The fallout has been swift with the media heading to court and ICASA and Parliament setting up a probe to investigate the jamming of cellphones. Elsewhere, the DA has initiated various steps while the EFF and FFP are seeking legal advice.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has commended the presiding officers for their action and described the conduct of the DA and EFF as disgraceful.

South Africans have also weighed in on social media and other platforms, with many expressing concern about the state of the country’s democracy.

(In case you missed it, see Parliament's YouTube channel, here)

The chances of a sequel during this week’s debates are not far-fetched given the acrimonious and unprecedented history of the Fifth Parliament and prevailing emotions and attitudes. There have however been discussions to ensure there are no major incidents; but we still anticipate a tense and heated affair.

Meanwhile, a few noteworthy meetings have been scheduled in the committee corridor this week. Here is a rundown of the highlights:

On Wednesday, the Portfolio Committee on Police will discuss public order policing and supply chain management as well as the status of facilities at border posts and police stations.

On the same day, MPs will discuss student enrolment at Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions and NSFAS allocations to Higher Education Institutions. The poor performance of government departments with regards to the Service Delivery Improvement Plan is also in the spotlight for dialogue.

On the legislative front, the Portfolio Committee on Mining will consider the President’s reservations on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill. Elsewhere, MPs will deliberate on the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill as well as the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill and Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) Amendment Bill.

Read the full schedule here.


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