Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s Budget Speech on Wednesday, 22 February will dominate headlines this week.
The Budget presents an overall synopsis of the state of the country’s finances, amendments to tax, distribution of revenue across spheres of government and distribution of expenditure across national departments. It serves as a practical way through which government’s plans and policies are tangibly translated into goods and services. The budget is arguably the most important government document. It impacts the economy at large and the everyday lives of South Africans. It also reveals the broad policy decisions of the government and serves as a platform for reforms.
As a result of extensive load-shedding and other logistical constraints, the South African Reserve Bank forecasts GDP growth of only 0.3% in 2023.
The reality is that public finances are constrained, limiting the ability of government to expand its investment in economic and social development. Government has to do more with less and needs to be efficient in the use of financial resources.
Financial markets and credit rating agencies are interested observers in the speech. The public will also be paying attention to what taxes (if any) are introduced and if there is an increase in expenditure on social grants.
During his 2023 State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa outlined his government’s immediate priorities such as resolving the electricity crisis, reducing unemployment and rooting out corruption and crime. Minister Godongwana will outline in detail how these commitments and plans will be funded.
Legislation accompanying the budget speech will be tabled on the day, namely, the Appropriations Bill, Division of Revenue Bill and Tax Bills.
These will be discussed and processed by the finance and appropriation committees in both houses.
This speech comes at a tough time for South Africa (The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will announce its decision at the end of the week whether South Africa will be greylisted) and a balancing act by the Minister is expected.
Beyond this, the National Assembly Chamber will meet on Tuesday to consider the Agricultural Product Standards Amendment Bill and National Veld and Forest Fire Amendment Bill. Lawmakers are expected to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill on Thursday. At the same sitting, the Minister of Higher Education and Training will make a statement on the Post-School Education and Training Sector State of Readiness for the Academic Year 2023 and Related Matters. Each political party will have an opportunity to respond to the statement. Over in the NCOP, there will be a Ministerial Briefing Session on Tuesday. The focus is on Mitigating the Negative Impact of load shedding in the provision of healthcare services. These events are a regular feature of the NCOP’s programme. They serve as a platform for the Executive and provinces to discuss and highlight national and provincial perspectives on issues.
The annual opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders will take place on Thursday at 10am in the NCOP Chamber.
The Secretary to Parliament will hold a media briefing on Tuesday to communicate details on the reconstruction of Parliament.
Elsewhere, six Premiers will deliver their State of the Province Address this week. View here
There is notable action in the Committee corridor. Here is a rundown of the highlights:
TUESDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2023
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor-General on audit outcomes of National Treasury and its entities; Briefing by National Treasury and SARS on their annual reports; Consideration of letter from Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers: Draft Job Profiles of Commissioners of the FFC], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:30
Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Finalization of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00
Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Communications and Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on the entity’s turn-around plan and in making the national broadcaster sustainable and profitable; Briefing by the Department on its implementing Entities on: (i) progress made towards Analogue Switch-Off (ASO); (ii) on all challenges relating to the implementation of the BDM Policy; and (iii) progress report on adjudication outcomes of Competition Commission on Sentech and SABC; Briefing on Report of the Auditor-General on the Material Irregularities in National, Provincial and Local Government [referred to Committee in ATC 13 September 2022]., Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) on the grass cutting tender; the recent fire at OR Tambo International Airport and the alleged refusal to refuel Russian and Ukrainian aircraft; the general upkeep and maintenance at their managed airports; possible engagements to incorporate Mahikeng and Polokwane airports into ACSA and the ACSA policy for compensating passengers for lost and/or damaged luggage (09:00-11:00); Clause-by-clause deliberations on the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill [B 8 – 2020]; Consideration and adoption of the Committee Report on the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill; Consideration and adoption of the Committee report on the Marine Pollution (Prevention of pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill [B 5- 2022]; Committee finalizing its recommendations on Public Protector Report No. 37 of 2018-19; Consideration and adoption of minutes of proceedings], Committee Room M514, Fifth Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:00-13:00
Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Consideration and Adoption of Outstanding Minutes and Reports; Briefing by the Department of Basic Education on the Analysis, Implications and Impact of the President’s SONA 2023; Briefing by Committee Secretariat on Updated Status on BELA BILL [B 2 – 2022] in respect of: Processing of Written Submission; Preparations for Provincial Public Participation Hearings (Limpopo)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-12:30
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Update briefing by Presidency regarding all reports submitted by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) – how they have been processed], Committee Room M314, Third Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:30-12:30
Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, (National Council of Provinces), [Public hearings on Performers Protection Amendment Bill [B 24D – 2016] and Copyright Amendment Bill [B 13D – 2017]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-17:00
Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Adoption of Committee minutes and consideration of revised programme; Hearing Day 47 – Mr Rodney Mataboge to appear before the Committee], Hybrid (Committee Room M46 & Virtual Meeting Platform), 12:00-17:00
WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2023
Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Deliberations Third Quarter Crime Statistics (2022/23 FY)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the NEF on its first and second quarter financial and non-financial performance for the 2022/23 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Hearing Day 48 – Mr Rodney Mataboge to appear before the Committee], Hybrid (Committee Room M46 & Virtual Meeting Platform), 09:00-13:00
Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Engagement with the European Parliament’s Special Committee for the Covid-19 pandemic on a possible international treaty on pandemics, the approach to vaccine diplomacy, global solidarity and universal and equitable] Committee Room S12A, Ground Floor, NCOP Building, Parliament, 09:30-11:00
Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Council of Provinces), [Workshop on Expropriation Bill [B 23B – 2020 (s76)]; Briefing by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure on the Expropriation Bill [B 23B – 2020 (s76)]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00
THURSDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2023
Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Hearings: Day 49 – Mr Rodney Mataboge to appear before the Committee], Hybrid (Committee Room M46 & Virtual Meeting Platform), 10:00-17:00
Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Finance, Standing Committee on Appropriations, Select Committee on Finance and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Minister of Finance on the 2023 Budget], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:30-13:00
FRIDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2023
Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Presentation by the Content Advisor/Researcher: Legislative mandate/role of the Committee, and key issues, which require the strategic decisions of the Committee; Content Advisor/ Researcher’s overview of the Committees activities from 2019 to 2022 and the implementation of its recommendations; Consideration and adoption of Committee minutes and reports: 2 December 2022; Report of the JSCFMP on Parliaments revised 2022/23 and draft 2023/23 annual performance plans and budget; Report on the JSCFMP on Parliaments performance in the first half of 2022/23], Virtual Meeting Platform, 08:00-13:00
Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [A comprehensive briefing by the Department of Mineral Resources & Energy (DMRE) and the Independent Power Producers Office on the Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme; Consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:30
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