/ 15 September 2013

Ad-hoc committee considers Zuma’s secrecy Bill reservations

President Jacob Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma.

An ad-hoc committee will begin considering President Jacob Zuma's reservations about the Protection of State Information Bill, or the secrecy Bill, Parliament said on Sunday.

Work would also start soon by another ad-hoc committee looking into the public protector's report about the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) procurement of head office premises, it said.

Zuma referred the Protection of State Information Bill back to Parliament this week, for redrafting of two sections he believes will not pass constitutional muster.

Earlier this month, a committee was constituted to consider public protector Thuli Madonsela's findings on the procurement of the IEC's headquarters in Centurion.

Madonsela recommended that Parliament consider taking action against IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula for her "grossly irregular" role in the procurement of the building.

The committees have until October 31 to report to the National Assembly.

In its statement, Parliament said committees were "working around the clock" to finalise legislation.

Preliminary oversight visits
"As at September 3, 35 Bills had been introduced to Parliament and 17 had been sent to the president for assent," it said.

Over the whole of last year's parliamentary session, 45 Bills were introduced, and 25 were sent to Zuma for assent.

On Monday, Parliament enters the final week of its third quarter.

This week, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) would conduct preliminary oversight visits to government projects in the Tshwane metro, in areas such as GaRankuwa, Kameeldrift, Cullinan and Soshanguve.

"The executive will be informed of the findings and asked to rectify issues of concern," Parliament said.

A public meeting to be held in Hammanskraal on Friday would be addressed by NCOP chairperson Mninwa Mahlangu. – Sapa