South Africa: Coming Up at Parliament this term0
Parliament’s programme this term, which begins this week, is packed with plenaries, questions to the Executive, budget votes, the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) local government week and youth parliament, amongst others.
The NCOP will kick start its programme this week on Tuesday, 17 April, with a focus on Questions to the Social Services cluster ministers (Arts & Culture, Basic Education, Higher Education & Training and Sports & Recreation). On Wednesday, the House will hold a debate on the outcomes of the Report-Back Session: Taking Parliament to the People in Eastern Cape which was held in March. The rest of the Social Services Cluster ministries (Health, Human Settlements, Social Development and Water & Sanitation) will appear in the House for questions on Thursday.
The National Assembly (NA), on the other hand, will hold its first plenary sitting on Tuesday, 24 April, where reports of Committees, motions without notice, Members’ statements and notices of motion will be discussed. Deputy President Mr David Mabuza will return to the House during the same week to make oral replies to questions.
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee has called for written public submissions on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution and other sections where necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation. As part of its constitutional obligation to facilitate public participation, the Committee has opened a process for written submissions from all stakeholders to submit proposals on the necessary changes to the laws and mechanisms to enable land expropriation without compensation.
In May, the NCOP will hold a three-day (08 – 10 May) Local Government Week (LGW) whose aim, amongst others, is to ensure that the three spheres of government plan together and operate in harmony. The LGW is one way of bringing the three spheres together in order to debate matters relating to local sphere of government and to seek solutions to challenges affecting the local sphere within the context of co-operative government and inter-governmental relations. The NCOP is the only institution in South Africa’s constitutional construct that brings together the representatives of the three spheres under one roof. It plays a crucial role in overseeing the adherence to the principles of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations as outlined in Chapter 3 of the Constitution. The event is hosted jointly with the South African Local Government Association. Representatives from national government, provincial legislatures, civil society and various other key stakeholders are expected to participate in the session.
The National Assembly will also begin its mini-plenary sessions to deliberate on the budget votes on Wednesday, 09 May.
In June, the legislative sector will again host the Youth Parliament in order to provide a public platform for young people from across the country to ventilate on various issues affecting and help the legislators with ideas on how to address those. The dates and venues for this year’s event will be announced in due course.
In terms of Committees work, the Subcommittee on the Report of the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change (HLP) has been established in accordance with the composition agreed to by the Joint Rules Committee on 28 March 2018. It will be co-chaired by the NA and NCOP House Chairpersons for Committees and Oversight, Mr Cedric Frolick and Mr Jomo Nyambi.
Committee meetings scheduled for this week focus primarily on the review of annual performance plans, departmental budgets and strategic plans. The scheduled meetings include, amongst others, the following:
- Portfolio Committee on Labour, (National Assembly), [Extended Oral Presentations on the Labour Bills; Deliberations on the Labour Bills; and Way – forward on the Labour Bills], Old Assembly Chamber, Ground Floor, Old Assembly Building, 09:3.30
- Portfolio Committee on Public Works, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of previous minutes; Briefings on aligned Strategic Plans, 2018//119 APPs and Budget of the Department of Public Works by: Office of the Auditor General (OOAG); The Department of Performance, Monitoring & Evaluation (DDPME), Venue to be confirmed,, 09:30
- Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Public Enterprises on the strategic plan and budget for 2018/119; Briefing by the Department of Public Enterprises on the shareholder compacts signed with state – owned companies; Briefing by Transnet on the performance targets for 2018/119 financial year], Venue to be confirmed, 09:30
- Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, (National Assembly)), [Adoption of the 2018 Second Term Committee Programme; Briefing on Strategic Plans,, Annual Performance Plans & 2018/119 Budgets by: Boxing South Africa (BBSA), South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SSAIDS)) and Department of Sport and Recreation (SSRSA)); Consideration and Adoption of minutes ], Committee Room 1, Ground Floor, 120 Plein Street Building, 09:330 – 16:30
- Portfolio Committee on Health, ( National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor – General on the assessment on the reviews of the Health Sector’s annual performance plan and budget ; Briefing by the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFFC)) on its analysis of the Health Sector’s annual performance plan and budget ; Briefing by the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation on the Department of Health’s performance outcomes ; Briefing by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SSAHPRA) on their strategic plan (22018//119 – 2022//223), annual performance plan and budget for 2018//119 financial year ], Committee Room S35, First Floor, NCOP Building, 09:30 – 20:00
- Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, (National Assembly)), [ Consideration of the A – List on the Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill; Briefing on the Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill [BB 35 – 17 2017]] (sec 75); Auditor – General’s analysis of the budgets and the APP’s, and Presentation by the North – West PSSC on the concerns raised by stakeholders during public hearings on the CPA Amendment Bill ], Committee Room G26,, Ground Floor,, National Assembly Building, 10:000
- Select Committee on Trade and International Relations, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Broad – Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBB – EE) Commission on the work done since inception] , Committee Room V227,, Second Floor, Old Assembly Building, 10:00
- Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Financial Sector Regulation Act regulations], Venue to be confirmed, 10:00
- Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources, (National Council of Provinces)), [Negotiating Mandate Meeting on the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Amendment Bill [BB15D – 2013]; Consideration and Adoption of Committee Minutes ], Committee Room V475 , Fourth Floor,, Old Assembly Building, 10:000
Source: South Africa