South Africa: Parliamentary Diary – MPs in Budget Vote Conveyer Belt

Parliament has turned into a sausage factory, not of meaty morsels but of rather dry budget vote debates. From Tuesday up to six budget votes happen every day, several concurrently, as men in dark suits and women in power stilettos converge on the national legislature.

Some are invited guests, others are officials there as part of the phalanx trailing ministers to their traditional pre-budget vote media briefings and debates. All visitors to Tuesday’s four budget votes walked past a group of elderly men and women who, unable to fully access their Ciskei homeland pensions and other benefits, returned to Parliament for help for the fourth time in two years. By MARIANNE MERTEN.

It being an election year, the always-pressurised budget vote process is ratcheted up to stratospheric strain. With one week over the Freedom and Workers Day public holidays allocated to constituencies, it must all be done and dusted by 20 May so that parliamentarians can go on another “constituency period” until after the 3 August municipal poll.

Predictably, tempers and voices rose during Tuesday’s justice budget vote debate as Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke looked on from the public gallery. At issue: an apology…

Source: Daily Maverick.