ParlyBeat

ParlyBeat is a digital newsletter published by the Dullah Omar Institute’s Women and Democracy Initiative, in collaboration with the Parliament Watch Collective and the Putting People in People's Parliament Project.

ParlyBeat makes links between the policy and oversight processes taking place in committees in the legislatures and the lived realities of ordinary people. Through this it aims to increase public scrutiny of the performance of the legislatures, increase access to information on key social justice issues, and also promote increased engagement by a broader range of the public with the work of legislatures.

The publication Includes news analysis and feature articles as well as reflections from Parliament Watch members and relevant information to increase knowledge of and access to the legislatures. The newsletter’s content can be republished by media outlets subject to certain conditions of a creative commons licence.

ParlyBeat will be published every second Thursday, and people can subscribe via email, or follow ParlyBeat on Facebook and Twitter.

The articles can be republished subject to certain licensing conditions.

ParlyBeat is published with the support of the Open Society Foundation. The views expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the DOI or the OSF.

Latest from ParlyBeat

Organisations set agenda with demands for 6th Parliament
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Jul 08, 2019

A group of civil society organisations recently came up with a mixed bag of demands for Parliament, ranging from improving the institutional health and culture of the parliamentary administration to ongoing ethics training of MPs during their term.

Claim back ‘Proudly South African’ – Boesak
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Jul 08, 2019

South Africans were reminded on Saturday not to think that the state of the ANC is the measure of where we are as a people. Struggle activist and theologian Dr Allan Boesak gave a memorial lecture at the District Six Museum in celebration of late minister of justice Dullah Omar and late Judge Essa Moosa’s contribution to the law in South Africa.

SOE Bill should be expedited: Deputy Minister
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Jul 08, 2019

Despite public pressures for urgency in addressing problems in state-owned entities (SOEs), there is still a long road ahead for government’s new law meant to regulate these entities if the Department of Public Enterprises’ Annual Performance Plan (APP) is anything to go by. In the APP it is envisaged that the Shareholder Management Bill which will govern all SOEs, will only be adopted into law by the 2020/21 financial year.

Best price or best practice? - How government fails at gender responsive procurement
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Jul 08, 2019

Government departments surveyed by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is failing at gender responsive procurement and generally show a lack of understanding of these critical transformation provisions, a recent report found. The CGE in the 2018/19 financial year surveyed a small sample of departments on their gender transformation efforts in public procurement. The CGE’s report tabled in Parliament in June showed most of the departments surveyed failed to integrate gender as a main component in their procurement practices.

Impressions from Parliament: The new Speaker at a glance
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Jun 03, 2019

Former Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise was elected Speaker of the National Assembly recently.  As speaker Modise now has the unenviable task of presiding over debates in the National Assembly that has become increasingly disruptive. As part of her duties, she would serve as the administrative head and executive authority of Parliament, interprets and enforces the rules of Parliament and delivers rulings. Here is a sneak peak into her track record with a focus on her contribution to mainstreaming a feminist agenda on all the platforms she served.

Going forward by looking back: New MPs offered a ‘lesson plan’ to navigate oversight pitfalls
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Jun 03, 2019

The new batch of MPs sworn in recently have their work cut out for them if civil society organisations have their way. To assist them in their oversight role and championing the ideals of a People’s Parliament, a civil society grouping now offers MPs a ‘lesson plan’ on how to navigate the pitfalls that almost swallowed their predecessors in the 5th Parliament. A coalition of civil society organisations called Parliament Watch will provide all incoming committee chairpersons, party chief whips and the Speaker’s Office with a report on key findings based on three years (2016 – 2018) of monitoring MPs in the previous parliamentary term.

50% women cabinet no ‘feminist force’, experts say
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Jun 03, 2019

Many praised and welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first ever 50/50 gender-balanced cabinet recently, but certain gender activists had some reservations about what this means for real feminist governance.

Did you know
Author: Alicestene October
Published: Mar 29, 2019

Voters may under our current electoral system not be able to directly elect their political representatives for Parliament and the legislatures, but at least they have the right to object to candidates nominated by political parties contesting the national and provincial elections on 8 May. Voters now have until may not directly elect their political representatives may not have a say now have until next week 17:00 PM on 2 April to lodge objections.

Report on Elder Care leave adopted and tabled
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Mar 29, 2019

It was his own personal loss and experience that moved Paarl resident Hendri Terblanche to petition Parliament to amend labour laws to allow for elder-care leave. He lost his mother-in-law to cancer last year and shortly thereafter, his godmother. His father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and his mother, Susan, with multiple sclerosis. “Our parents have dedicated their whole lives to take care of us to the best of their abilities and now it is our time to take care of them,” Terblanche told Parlybeat. He had also paved the way for the historic paternal leave amendment in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act after he petitioned Parliament.

Life, death and budget cuts: the tricky balancing act
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Mar 29, 2019

When Western Cape Minister of Health Nomafrench Mbombo delivered her budget speech this week, it was clear poor people dependent on public healthcare in violence-prone areas like the Cape Flats should manage their budget and health-service expectations. The provincial Department of Health was allocated R24,8 billion for the 2019/20 financial year with a budget cut of R187 million. The total health budget cuts over the last three years amount to R1,2 billion whilst patient numbers consistently grew.

Battlegrounds: Between the land and the law
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Mar 29, 2019

The plight of a farm-dweller family evicted from their home on a prominent wine farm in Paarl this week put the spotlight back on the growing tension between the legality and morality question relating to farm evictions. This eviction followed days after President Cyril Ramaphosa assured farmworkers in Citrusdal that his party would support farmworkers in their fight against evictions and oppression.