BREAKING: Constitutional Review Committe resolves to amend section 25 of the constitution

The EFF sponsored the motion to amend the constitution while the DA sponsored a different motion opposed to the amendment of section 25.

The Joint Constitutional Review Committee on Thursday adopted a resolution that Section 25 of the Constitution be amended to allow for expropriation without compensation.

Following a lengthy process of public consultation and deliberation, the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu sponsored a motion on Thursday recommending that the Constitution be amended, mirroring the recommendation the ANC proposed to the committee previously.

The DA’s Annelie Lotriet offered a different motion, recommending that the Constitution not be amended, as the Constitution already makes provision for land reform.

The committee dismissed her motion with 12 votes against four, and adopted the EFF’s proposal by the same margin.

As part of the EFF’s recommendation, it also states that Parliament must appoint a mechanism to now draft the amendment, and that this must be done before the Fifth Parliament rises before the 2019 general elections.

The process will now go through a number of phases.

This report will be tabled in the National Assembly this term, and if it is adopted by the House, another committee will be tasked with drafting the amendments.

This process would entail another public participation process and would have to be passed with a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.


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Petrol price will affect state-owned enterprises, says Gordhan

Gordhan addressed Parliament this week following the hike in fuel prices this week Wednesday.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says the fuel price increase will significantly affect some state owned enterprises falling under his ministry. 

Replying to questions from the EFF’s Marshall Dlamini, the minister said that cash flow was likely to be impacted as operational costs increased.

Motorists will now pay nearly R17 a litre for petrol and R15.65 for diesel.

On Monday, the energy department said fuel prices were adjusted monthly, informed by international and local factors.

The EFF had wanted to know what the impact of the fuel price increase would be on the operation of state-owned enterprises.

“The increase in the fuel price will put a significant strain on the company and negatively affect its financial sustainability,” the minister told Parliament.

“Although the level of business activity in the financial year in question was relatively low, the financial impact was significant given the cumulative percentage increase in the fuel price during the period,” Gordhan said.

He said Denel had in the 2017/18 financial year spent R 6 503 836 on fuel.

He added that despite fuel consumption monitored daily at Alexkor showed that the price had had an impact on cash flow, hence the strict monitoring of fuel consumption.

There was no doubt that with the latest fuel price increase, the situation would worsen.

“Furthermore, the impact will increase more significantly if the level of business activity increases as envisaged in the mid to long-term,” he said.

The minister said the SA Forestry Company Ltd was negatively impacted by the continued fuel price increase.

“This will result in lower operating margins and cash flows for SAFCOL, which will ultimately delay the achievement of its strategic objectives.” SAFCOL is already forecasting an increase in direct costs of about R 886 0254.

In the case of SA Express, the cost increases would “make the turnaround difficult to achieve”.

Gordhan also said the fuel price increase would impact on Transnet’s operational and financial performance.

“Based on estimated annual fuel use, net of recoveries from freight customers, and excluding the impact to the regulated parts of the business, an increase of R1 in the price of will result in a decrease in Transnet profitability of about R120 million a year,” he said.

Turning to Eskom, Gordhan said an increase in fuel prices above budgeted levels would result in cost overruns.

“Implications of fuel price increases to the turnaround plan are that targeted areas of cost reduction would be squeezed to provide further savings, since the fuel cost increases would erode these savings.”

Eskom spent R3.037 billion on fuel-related products in 2017/18.

“As long as future fuel price increases are below inflation levels, there should be no risk to the turnaround initiatives being driven within Eskom at this point,” he said.

(edited by NN, with ANA)

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Parly wants unemployed women to manufacture sanitary towels

It first began with a meeting recommending the distributing of sanitary towels to the poor for free of charge…

A parliament caucus of women from all the political parties represented in the house wants the recommendation that government issue free sanitary pads to also be about giving women-owned companies the opportunity to manufacture these items.

The free of charge pads will have no value added tax on it and this was recommended by the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus in its meeting Thursday this week.

This tax-free issue will be instituted by National Treasury, the caucus said.

Caucus chairwoman Rosalia Morutoa said though this was still a recommendation but it was worth celebrating.

Treasury briefed the caucus on Thursday and told them of the closing date for input on what should be included in the list of zero-rated VAT items.

The caucus was told that the Standing Committee on Finance has already been briefed and said that zero-rated sanitary products would be “a blunt instrument” – as it will apply to both rich and poor.

It said instead VAT should still apply to these products but that free sanitary towels should definitely be provided to poor South Africans.

“The women’s caucus resolved that women must be empowered to manufacture sanitary towels in an effort to develop themselves financially,” caucus chief whip Nthabiseng Khunou said.

“This could be done in the form of co-operatives and help in lifting women out of poverty,” she added.

Morutoa told the sitting: “This is a milestone, an achievement for the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus. We have been advocating for this for some time. It should be celebrated.

“We understand it is just a recommendation at this stage, but it is progress nonetheless,” she said.

(edited ZK)

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Parly lauds Competition Commission for scooping ‘Agency of the Year’ award

The agency began being known after tackling very serious issues of collusion in the private sector.

Parliament’s committee on economic development has congratulated the Competition Commission for scooping the ‘Agency of the Year’ award.

The commission received the award during the Global Competition Review Awards in Washington.

Portfolio chairwoman Elsie Coleman said they congratulate commissioner Thembinkosi Bonakele and his team “on their unrivalled performance at the Global Competition Review Awards”.

“This Global Competition Review Awards which was held in Washington DC has been running for 8 years and we are extremely happy that South Africa has shown the world that we can take centre stage in the global arena Coleman said.

(edited by MLM)

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Constitutional Review Committee wants public to have voice on land return


They have been tasked to go look at Section 25 of the Constitution and make it possible for land to be expropriated without compensation.

The Constitutional Review Committee will go on a public participation process in order to review Section 25 of the Constitution.

Chairmen of the committee, Lewis Nzimande and Vincent Smith, said the process will enable the committee to do its work easier by “getting the views of all stakeholders”.

“The process will be kick-started next month when the committee will publish advertisements for oral and written submissions from the public,” the committee chairs said in a statement.

“The public will have a month to respond after which the committee will visit three to four districts or local municipality per province for public hearings,” they said.

“The committee plans to split into two groups for the public hearings in order to cover a larger part of the country. The public hearings are proposed to commence on 8 May 2018 in Limpopo and the Northern Cape and is expected to be concluded on 22 June 2018 in the Western Cape,” Nzimande and Smith said.

Thecommittee will investigate what mechanisms South Africans would like to see for the implementation of land reform.

It has been given until 30 August 2018 to report to back to Parliament on its work.

(edited by ZK)

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