PVO Bill goes for third reading

The Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Amendment Bill will soon go for its third reading in Parliament, Pumula Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) has revealed.

If passed into law, it will have far-reaching consequences on the operations of civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The third reading is the final stage where the bill can now be said to have been passed by the house in which it was introduced.

Speaking during a residents’ meeting in Pumula North, Saturday, MP Sichelesile Mahlangu said the bill has some loopholes which they have been trying to address.

“There is the PVO bill, the government asked for all non-governmental organizations to be registered, so the bill is going for its third reading, there are some clauses which had loopholes and we have been trying to debate on that but if it passes it mostly affects the private voluntary organizations,” said Mahlangu.

“The government now wants those who help us to first be vetted and be acknowledged by the first, it’s going to its third reading, hopefully, this week.”

The controversial Bill has been criticised by CSOs as it seeks to further tighten the regulation of NGOs by the government and during the country-wide public consultations held in March by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, most citizens rejected it.

Mahlangu also said the Parliament has been seized with the Finance bill.

“Then there is a finance bill and we think it has a loophole when it comes to the issue of tax.  The government is now saying someone should be taxed from ZWL$100. We are mostly looking at pensioners, fine most of them are not taxed but we are now looking at the cost of living,” she said.

“When we are looking at the cost of living, we are looking at basic things such as rent, ZESA, mealie meal, sugar, cooking oil and beans not even meat, washing powder and bathing soap and for children to go to school. When we look at this list even ZWL$900 is not enough, so our plea from the government and Minister Mthuli Ncube is for people to get money to afford the basic goods. We want even our pensioners to have enough to afford basic commodities.”

The legislator also urged residents to partake in the upcoming 2023 budget consultation meetings.

“The portfolio committee on budget is going to have consultation meetings on the 2023 budget, we want our 12 wards to be represented so that you can say your concerns.,” said Mahlangu.

She also encouraged youths to participate so that they can say their views and what they want the government to do for them.

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