The Week Ahead: DA Resolutions to Investigate Phala Phala and Eskom

There's a broad and busy flavour to this week's parliamentary business.

In the National Assembly chamber, the week opens with a focus on legislation and statutory appointments during Tuesday’s sitting. Lawmakers are set to pass the Housing Consumer Protection Bill and Prevention of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, as well as consider the list of recommended candidates to serve on the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals.

On the following day, the main excitement is the Question Time session with Ministers in the Governance Cluster and the DA resolution to establish an ad hoc committee to conduct an inquiry into matters surrounding the Phala Phala game farm theft with specific reference to the involvement and response of the various government departments and agencies in the alleged cover-up of the crime.

Thursday is dedicated to mini-plenaries, with Eskom and municipalities firmly in the spotlight:

Mini-plenary 1:

Draft Resolution (The Leader of the Opposition): Establishment of an ad hoc committee in terms of Rule 253 to inquire into the full extent of the alleged widespread corruption and unabated operations of criminal networks and cartels at Eskom Subject for discussion (Ms O Maotwe, EFF): Electricity crisis in South Africa – What is to be done?

Mini-plenary 2:

Subject for discussion (Mr X Msimango, ANC): Examining the Fiscal Framework of the local government sphere against its constitutional mandate, with proposals on debt owed by municipalities and vice versa, and other revenue-enhancing mechanisms for a financially sustainable local government

Elsewhere, the NCOP’s plenary programme is a lot quieter and delegates will only convene on Thursday to debate Interprovincial Red Tape Reduction.

Away from Parliament, the National Assembly Speaker will lead a high-level delegation to the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Manama, Bahrain.

In addition, a multi-party delegation will take part the in the Pan-African Parliament’s first sitting of the year. PAP Permanent Committees will receive reports from various AU Institutions as part of the Parliament’s oversight function.

There’s lots of action in the Committees. Here is a rundown of the main highlights:

TUESDAY, 14 MARCH 2023

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the 2023 Division of Revenue Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Public Hearings on the 2023 Second Adjustments Appropriation (2022/23 financial year) Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-17:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department on: (i) mitigating factors to counter financial losses at the SABC; (ii) strategies to support local content development; (iii) progress update on filling of vacancies in the Portfolio; and (iv) action plan to address irregularities at the Department and its Entities; Briefing by GCIS on: (i) Operations of the MAC Charter; (ii) audit of government 30% Adspend; and (iii) on progress made to resolve governance challenges at MDDA], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Home Affairs on plans to address backlogs in Immigration (permitting section) and Civic services; Update on the progress made in addressing backlogs in the refugees, especially on appeals], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on all the State Owned Entities that have received bailouts as well as on all government-backed guarantees], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-12:00

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 24D – 2016]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-17:00

WEDNESDAY, 15 MARCH 2023

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill [B21 – 2022]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Civilian Secretary for Police Service on the integrated crime prevention strategy], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Human Settlements on the Second and Third Quarter Report (July to September and Oct to Dec 2022)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:30

Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by Financial and Fiscal Commission and Parliamentary Budget Office on the following: Division of Revenue Bill [B2 – 2023]; and Second Adjustments Appropriation (2022/23 Financial Year) Bill [B4 – 2023]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Parliamentary Legal Services and the State Law Advisors on their inputs on the National Health Insurance (NHI)) Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Consideration of the terms of reference to the Oversight Enquiry to consider the allegations of financial mismanagement at Eskom], Committee Room M314, Third Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 10:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Meeting with the Minister of Public Works on the update of the implementation of corrective measures, the ongoing processes to effect the Committee recommendations, and those of the SIU investigations], Committee Room M314, Third Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 18:00-20:30

THURSDAY, 16 MARCH 2023

Joint Standing Committee on Defence, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the DOD on funding for domestic defence Research and Development; Briefing by Denel on their ability to support the SANDF following the Medium-term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) allocation; Consideration of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00

FRIDAY, 17 MARCH 2023

Standing Committee on Auditor-General, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Auditor-General on the review of the dispute resolution process (presentation of the information submitted in writing); Briefing by Auditor-General on progress made in the implementation of audit action plan to deal with identified issues during auditing], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the RICA Certificate of Exemption], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Committees provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs. Share your thoughts, on-the-ground experience and expert information with the relevant committees. Critically, what questions should MPs pose to the Executive as they conduct their oversight work? Write to a Parliamentary Committee

View the schedule page here.

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