NEWS

Three Important Things That Were Revealed in Parliament Today

From the finance minister taking his wife to the U.S. to Eskom's deal with Tegeta and the SABC's losses, here's what you need to know.

10/05/2017 18:08 SAST | Updated 10/05/2017 18:14 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
South Africa's new finance minister Malusi Gigaba.

Notes from Parliament

Finance
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was grilled by opposition parties in Parliament over his recent trip to the United States, especially for taking his wife along.

In his first oral response to questions in parliament today, Gigaba was asked about who he invited along on the trip and the reasons cited by those who did not accept his invitation.

Gigaba was quick to claim that his trip was not a roadshow, but instead to attend the IMF World Bank Annual Spring Meetings. He made it clear that his department did not invite "any people or groups" to join them.

The minister was responding to allegations that key strategic players in the country's financial sector were invited along on the trip, some of which declined to go along.

"It is absolutely untrue that they were invited on this trip and that they declined participating in the trip... The delegation to those meetings was from national treasury led by the minister of finance," Gigaba said.

But the EFF jumped in to ask whether it was necessary for Gigaba's wife, Noma, to accompany him –- especially when government is promoting cost-cutting measures.

"My wife did not attend any official meeting anywhere," Gigaba said, before sitting down again.

The Parliamentary meeting then dissolved into a ruckus.

Public Enterprises
Eskom's contract with Gupta-linked Tegeta Exploration and Resources was one of the hot topics in Parliament today.

Read: Parliament: Eskom Approached Gupta-Owned Tegeta About A Coal Deal Before It Was Even Licensed

The DA asked Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown why Eskom did not allegedly follow a competitive tender process when awarding a R7 billion to Tegeta for the supply of coal to the Komati power station.

Brown defended the parastatal, saying in the award of the contract to Tegeta, Eskom followed its prescribed procurement practices.

Communications
Asked what was the SABC's projected budget deficit as of today, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said the broadcaster's operations loss at the end of March was R509 million.

"The SABC will not have enough financial resources to meet its contractual obligations and that is the sad state of affairs," Dlodlo said.

Read: Tsedu: SABC Programming In Danger Of Collapse As We Are Broke