Parliament resumes this week after a constituency period.
The hybrid Parliament will continue for another term, with some MPs working from the precinct and others remotely.
The final term will run for eight weeks, and the programme is packed with activities. Some of the highlights include committee, oversight and legislative work; oral questions to the executive; oversight visits; important debates; statutory appointments; high-profile enquiries; National Men’s Parliament; Taking Parliament to the People event and a review of the national budget.
The timetable is fluid and can be overtaken by unscheduled debates, statements and events.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) and Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)
It's that time of the year when parliamentary committees conduct annual performance assessments of government departments and entities. This is a standing feature in the calendar and is usually a frenetic period.
The role of parliamentary committees in overseeing annual reports is crucial to closing the accountability loop of planning, budgeting, implementation, reporting, auditing, and, finally, oversight.
As part of this process, committees will compile a Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) with suggestions to amend the budget of national departments. This is aimed at ensuring more effective, efficient and economic use of allocated resources.
Later this month, the Minister of Finance will present the MTBPS. The MTBPS outlines the economic context against which the 2023 budget is being formulated and sets out the spending framework for the next three years. It is an opportunity for the government to modify expenditure and revenue patterns so that delivery is accelerated.
MPs are expected to do some heavy legislative lifting as there are approximately 50 bills before the legislature.
A few of these are landmark bills and will ensure that Parliament will be firmly in the spotlight. This includes the National Health Insurance Bill, Expropriation Bill, Climate Change Bill, Electoral Law Amendment Bill, and Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill.
One of the functions assigned to Parliament - in the Constitution and in legislation – is to recommend candidates for appointment to various bodies.
In the next term, Parliament is expected to fill vacancies at the following agencies: Commission for Gender Equality, SABC, ICASA, and MDDA (this is not a comprehensive list).
According to its programme, the section 194 committee inquiry into the Public Protector’s fitness to hold office is supposed to conclude its work in this term. We have seen hurdles and legal challenges so it’s unclear if it will meet the deadline. Follow the section 194 enquiry: https://pmg.org.za/committee/290/
The Independent Panel’s investigation into President Ramaphosa’s fitness to hold office is another highlight. Once the panel’s date of commencement is published in the Announcements, Tablings, and Committee Reports, it will have 30 days to complete its assessment.
Turning to this week, there are no plenary sittings scheduled in either House.
The NCOP has arranged a Ministerial Briefing session on Tuesday to discuss the scale and impact of the destruction of public property and community facilities under the theme: “Measures to Protect Public Infrastructure and Community Facilities from Vandalism and Destruction”.
Led by the NA Speaker, a parliamentary delegation will take part in 145th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda from 11 to 15 October.
Below are some of the highlights in Committee-land:
TUESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2022
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Public hearings on the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Amendment Bill [B18-2022] (“General Laws Bill”)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor-General on the audit outcomes of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Government Printing Works (GPW) for 2021-22 Financial Year (FY); Briefing by the Electoral Commission (IEC) on the Annual report and financial statements for 2021-22 and the Government Printing Works on the Annual report and financial statements for 2020/21 FY; Clause by clause deliberations of the Electoral Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-14:00
Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) on their analysis of the Health Sector’s Annual Reports; Briefing by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) on the audit outcomes of the Health Sector; Briefing by the National Heath Laboratory Services (NHLS) on their annual report for 2021/22 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-17:30
Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [09:30-11:00: Briefing by the Finance and Fiscal Commission (FFC) on: Expenditure Patterns in respect of Infrastructure (ASIDI); Expenditure Patterns in respect of Conditional Grants (e.g. MST); and Equity in Education (including budget allocations to schools; 11:30-13:00: Briefing by the Office of the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) on Audit Outcomes for the Department of Basic Education; 16:00-18:00: Briefing by DBE Internal Audit Committee on Audit Outcomes for the Department of Basic Education], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-18:00
WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2022
Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor General of South Africa on Auditor General’s report on the audit outcomes of the Annual Report of the Department of Social Development and its entities for 2021/22; Consideration of the Annual Report of the Department of Social Development for 2021/2022 financial year; Consideration of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) annual report for 2021/22 financial year; Consideration of the annual report of the National Development Agency (NDA) for 2021/22 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00
Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Auditor-General of South Africa on the audit outcomes of state-owned companies and the Department of Public Enterprises; Briefing by the Financial Fiscal Commission on observations and findings in relation to state-owned companies reporting to Department of Public Enterprises; Briefing by Department of Public Enterprises on the annual report and financial statements for 2021/22], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00
Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on the entity’s turn-around plan and in particular making the national broadcaster sustainable and profitable], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:30
THURSDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2022
Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [(14:00-17:30): Briefing by the SA National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI) and the Council for GeoScience (CGS) on their respective Annual Reports for 2021/22 FY; (18:00-21:00): Briefing by the SA Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) and the Central Energy Fund (CEF) on its respective Annual Reports for 2021/22 FY], Committee Room M514, Fifth Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 14:00-21:00
Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the entities of the Department of Transport on their 2021/22 Annual Reports (South African National Roads Agency Limited, Road Traffic Management Corporation, Road Traffic Infringement Agency)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 16:00-20:00
FRIDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2022
Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly); [Briefing by the Department of Health on their annual report for 2021/22 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-17:00 Committees provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs. Share your thoughts, on-the-ground experience and expert information to the relevant committees. Critically, what questions should MPs pose to the Executive as they conduct their oversight work? Write to a Parliamentary Committee
*This summary is based on the schedule as it is published on Monday morning. The programme is subject to frequent updating so the link above needs to be checked daily to confirm the programme for the day.
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