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Change in Budget Date to November 1st and Parliament’s Deadline

The National Assembly Programme Committee has made a decision regarding the tabling of the medium-term budget policy statement, opting for a date of 1 November. This choice deviates from Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s initial request for 25 October. Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula explained that the October date could conflict with other parliamentary matters, particularly due to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s meetings scheduled in Luanda from 23 to 27 October. It’s worth noting that while the finance minister typically suggests the budget date, parliamentary concurrence is necessary.

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This decision to set the date for 1 November has received unanimous support, with no objections raised during the meeting. The urgency arises from Parliament’s need to complete its program before dissolution for the upcoming election. Any unfinished legislation at dissolution must start anew. This includes vital amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act, crucial for Eskom’s unbundling and the establishment of a Transmission System Operator. The Programming Committee has stated that Parliament’s dissolution is planned for early March, emphasizing the need to adhere to the set schedule. Further details will be available in the published parliamentary program on Friday.

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