THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will be in the spotlight this week when its political commission meets to formulate a position on the National Development Plan (NDP) — the master plan for the country’s development to 2030.
Emphatic support for the NDP has emerged regularly in ministerial budget vote speeches in the past few weeks but the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) alliance partners in Cosatu have expressed doubts about the plan, with one union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), rejecting it outright.
The commission meets on Thursday and its deliberations could increase tensions in the alliance.
Murder accused Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will also feature when he makes his appearance in court on Tuesday.
While he is not a politician, his appearance will be of considerable interest as the performance of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will be under intense scrutiny. His appearance for an unopposed postponement comes after a number of high-profile setbacks for the prosecuting authority.
These include the NPA’s losing its disciplinary action against top prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.
The NPA is to appeal against the disciplinary hearing ruling that none of the charges Ms Breytenbach faced had any substance.
Ms Breytenbach was suspended in April last year on a number of counts of misconduct. These included a count of abusing her authority by permitting Mike Hellens SC, legal counsel for the Kumba and Sishen Iron Ore Company, to assist and direct a criminal investigation of Imperial Crown Trading (ICT).
She was also accused of refusing to hand over her official laptop to the NPA; of allowing a third party to delete information on that laptop; and of bringing the NPA into disrepute by conducting interviews with the media, and claiming her suspension was based on ulterior motives.
Ms Breytenbach, who pleaded not guilty to all counts, has always maintained the disciplinary proceedings against her were aimed at stopping her from prosecuting former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli on fraud and other charges.
President Jacob Zuma will wrap up his attendance at the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama.
Japan has already told the conference that it will make billions in aid available to Africa.
On the opening day of the conference, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged R325bn in development aid for Africa.
Mr Zuma told the conference “the New Growth Path has identified areas in our economy that have the potential for creating employment on a large scale. We have termed these the ‘jobs drivers’, being sectors where employment creation is possible. These are infrastructure, the agricultural value chain, the mining value chain, the green economy, manufacturing sectors, tourism and certain other high-level service sectors.” Mr Zuma will remain in Japan on a working visit for a further day after the conclusion of the conference on Monday.
In the National Assembly on Wednesday, ministers in the economics cluster will answer questions from MPs. This will be an opportunity for MPs to ask ministers for more information on the economic crisis, the situation in the mining sector, and the slump in the exchange rate.
Also on Wednesday, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will brief the portfolio committee on public service and administration on establishing a single agency responsible for tackling corruption.
She is expected to shed light on how the agency is collaborating with the Special Investigating Unit and the Hawks.
On Tuesday, the public works committee will receive a report from the department on progress being made with the recall of retired artisans and engineers as a means of promoting skills transfers and efficiency gains in government.
The controversial issue of transformation in cricket will feature in the sports and recreation committee when Cricket SA brings MPs up to speed on its work on transformation, governance of the sport, and preparations for the next World Cup, in 2015.
The human settlements committee will be briefed by the national department and the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality on how the human settlement development grants are being spent, while the Eastern Cape provincial department is to brief the committee on progress in addressing the housing problems that MPs have identified in the province.
The embattled Department of Correctional Services will face MPs in the correctional services committee to explain its performance in the first quarter of this year.
At issue will be the information technology developments in the department and the review of the white paper on corrections.
The white paper is expected to provide for some policy changes in the prisons environment.