ParlyBeat

ParlyBeat is a biweekly digital newsletter published by The Dullah Omar Institute’s Women and Democracy Initiative, in collaboration with the Parliament Watch Collective. ParlyBeat aims to expand the range of people who are reached with news and information regarding the legislatures.

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

Amend law to help fight violence against women, Parliament told
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 30, 2017

Parliament has its work cut out for it in tackling issues around gender-based violence if the recommendations of the high-level panel on the assessment of legislation and the acceleration of fundamental change, is anything to go by. The panel in its recently published report made a couple of recommendations for Parliament to take a more leading role on the issue. Acknowledging the problems raised around the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), it recommended that Parliament make certain changes to the DVA that will be welcomed by civil society organisations.

‘Do better’ on sexual violence, political parties are told
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 30, 2017

A social media campaign is putting political parties on the back foot over their handling of sexual violence allegations against party members.The ANC, Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party have been challenged on their handling of cases in which some members were accused of sexual misconduct.

LETTER: A personal reflection on the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.
Author: ParlyBeat
Published: Nov 30, 2017

Every year MPs debate the scourge of violence against women and children in Parliament as part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. These debates usually just escalate into political squabbling and mudslinging with the real message often getting lost. This year was no different. Perhaps it is time to remind public representatives of the real people and faces behind the statistics they use against each other for political point scoring?

Prasa trains not safe for women
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 30, 2017

The theme of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children that started on November 25 is “count me in”.Yet certain organisations have slammed the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) for undermining the safety of women and children.

No easy solutions for farm schools
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 17, 2017

A debate in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the challenges facing farm learners this week quickly escalated into a political wrestling match between provinces but also confirmed there are no easy solutions to these challenges.

Billions needed for food security plan, MPs hear
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 17, 2017

Government’s plan against hunger, if approved, may cost the already cash-strapped country more than R86 billion over the next five years. These figures presented in parliament this week had a few MPs in the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at the edge of their seats questioning where the money will come from.

Impressions of Parliament
Author: ParlyBeat
Published: Nov 17, 2017

How well is the People’s Parliament living up to this name? Community members who monitor parliament as part of the Parliament Watch collective give their impressions of various portfolio committee meetings and how MPs are exercising their oversight duty. By making Parliament everyone’s business, public agency, transparency, and access to information – all important building blocks of democracy – is promoted. Parliament Watch monitors affiliated to the Social Justice Coalition Lunga Mtoto, Nosipho Zembe and Yonela Maweza attended the Portfolio Committee on Police on Tuesday, 14 November 2017. This is their impressions

Long Road still ahead for ‘Child Marriages’ Bill
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 17, 2017

Despite alarming figures of tens of thousands of child marriages in the country, much-needed legislation to address the issue is seemingly still a long way off for those considered child victims of forced marriages.

Comment: Parliament Watch reflections on monitoring Parliament
Author: Sam Waterhouse
Published: Nov 03, 2017

Navigating Parliament and access to information can at times be difficult for ordinary citizens. The past week was no exception for members of the Parliament Watch (ParlyWatch) collective who monitors these parliamentary meetings. Although the blockages are not official, the systems and ways of getting access to information and committees are becoming more and more hidden, changeable and closed,writes Sam Waterhouse

SAPS under fire for ‘discriminating’ against poor
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 02, 2017

Nobody wants to become a crime statistic yet the crime figures released recently show the probability of this happening to the average South African remains high. Despite crime affecting all citizens across communities, their experiences may vary depending on certain factors.

MPs: Underfunding of NPOs need comprehensive solutions
Author: Alicestine October
Published: Nov 02, 2017

What started out as a petition to parliament about the underfunding of child welfare NPOs on behalf of residents of the East Rand in Johannesburg, has this week spiralled into a broader call for a more comprehensive solution to underfunding across all provinces.

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