The Week Ahead: Final Term

8 Nov 2021 (3 weeks, 6 days ago)

week ahead

Parliament resumes this week after an extended 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 seven weeks and the programme is packed with activities. Some of the highlights include committee, oversight and legislative work; oral questions to the executive; important debates and a review of the national budget.

In addition, scrutiny of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue. MPs will use a range of oversight tools to get answers. We have consolidated our reports on the COVID-19 related meetings here.

The timetable is fluid and can be overtaken by unscheduled debates, statements and events.

It's that time of the year when parliamentary committees conduct annual performance assessments of government departments and entities. 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. Owing to the challenges of auditing in the Covid-19 environment, many departments were unable to meet the statutory tabling deadline. This is the second successive year and it will be interesting to watch how committees navigate this challenge.

All eyes will be on the Minister of Finance when he presents his maiden MTBPS on Thursday. The MTBPS outlines the economic context against which the 2022 budget is being formulated and sets out the spending framework for the next three years.

In addition, the mini-budget gives an update on tax collection, government spending and deficits, economic growth targets and signals whether the country is still on track to meet plans laid out in the February budget. Further, it gives government a chance to reprioritise spending to areas that may urgently need more money.

The Minister has a tough job to do as he seeks to stimulate the economy, contain expenditure, maintain government’s social spending and intensify its infrastructure programmes.

All of this must be achieved against a backdrop of COVID-19, loadshedding, low growth, high unemployment, increasing government debt to GDP, failing SOEs, corruption, a growing public sector wage bill, extreme inequality, spending cuts and growing pressure from the public.

The Minister will introduce the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendments of Revenue Laws Bill, Taxation Laws Amendment Bill and Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill.

On Tuesday, the NCOP has scheduled a ministerial briefing session on the fiscal and economic impact of the public violence, looting and destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. View: Unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng - Parliament's response.

Two days later, delegates will debate teenage pregnancy during Thursday’s sitting.

Public hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill moves to the Eastern Cape from 9-13 November.

On Monday, the Constitutional Court will hear two applications for direct appeal against a judgement and order of the Western Cape High Court Division. These applications were brought by the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Democratic Alliance against the Public Protector. The matter concerns the validity of certain National Assembly rules for the removal of the office-bearers of Chapter 9 Institutions.

Led by the Deputy Speaker, a parliamentary delegation will take part in the 51st Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Africa Region conference from 8 - 13 November in Abuja, Nigeria.

In Committee-land, there is a wide range of meetings that will generate a lot of headlines. Here is a run down of the highlights:

TUESDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2021

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor-General on audit outcomes of National Treasury and its entities (09:00-11:00); Briefing by SARS on their Annual Report (11:00-13:00)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Shortlisting: Information Regulator; Briefing by the Auditor General SA on Audit Outcomes; Political Overview by Minister of Justice and Correctional Services on Annual Performance 2020/21; Briefing by DCS on Annual Report 2020/21, performance and spending 2021/22 to date and forward funding needs 2022 MTEF; Briefing by JICS on Annual Report 2020/21, performance and spending 2021/22 to date and forward funding needs 2022 MTEF], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition, (National Assembly), [Consideration of Committee programme; Response from the DTIC and Adv C van der Merwe on the submissions received wrt the Copyright and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on expansions and deviations for national departments & entities for quarter one and quarter two of the 2020/2021 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-14:00

WEDNESDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2021

Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly), [Briefing by AGSA on the audit outcomes for the 20/20/21 financial year; Briefing by the Department of Public Enterprises on the annual report and financial statements for 2020/21; Consideration and adoption of fourth term programme], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Briefing by OCJ on Annual Report 2020/21, performance and spending 2021/22 to date and forward funding needs 2022 MTEF; Briefing by PPSA on 2020/21 Annual Report, performance and spending 2021/22 to date and forward funding needs 2022 MTEF; Briefing by SAHRC on 2020/21 Annual Report, performance and spending 2021/22 to date and forward funding needs 2022 MTEF], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor –General of South Africa (AGSA) on the financial statements and audit outcomes of the annual reports of the departments and the entities; Consideration of the 2020/21 Annual Reports of the South African Police Services: Programme 1: Administration and Programme 2: Visible Policing: Programme 3: Detective Services and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI); Programme 4: Crime Intelligence; and Programme 5: Protection and Security Services], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-17:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor-General on the 2020/2021 Annual Report and Financial Statements of ESKOM], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:30

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) on its analysis of the National Department of Health, Provincial Departments and entities (Health Sector) annual reports for 2020/21 financial year and also on recommendations made by the FFC to the department; Briefing by the Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) on the audit outcomes of the National and Provincial Departments of Health and public entities; Briefing by the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) on their annual report for 2020/21 financial year; Briefing by the Compensation Commissioner for Occupational Diseases on their progress report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-20:30

Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor General on the audit outcomes of the Annual Reports of the Department of Social Development and its entities for 2020/201 financial year; Briefing by the Department of Social Development on its annual report for 2020/2021 financial year; Briefing by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) on its annual report for 2020/21 financial year; Briefing by the National Development Agency (NDA) on its annual report for 2020/21 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-16:00

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Introductory meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Mapisa-Nqakula, MP; Briefings on Parliament’s 2020/21 Annual Report and Financial Statements; Consideration of committee minutes and reports], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-18:00

THURSDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2021

Joint Standing Committee on Defence, (National Assembly and National Council of provinces), [Briefing by the NCACC on its 2nd Term Quarterly Reports, including report on the proposed amendment of the NCACC Act.; Update from NCACC on all ongoing investigations related to suspected contravention of end-user certificates and /or the NCACC Act.; Briefing by the Defence Industry (AMD) on outstanding concerns between the Industry and the NCACC; Consideration of the JSCD Fourth Term programme; Consideration and adoption of outstanding Minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00

FRIDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2021

Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the submissions received wrt the Copyright and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills; Formal consideration of the fourth quarter report on the financial and non-financial performance of the DTIC], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

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 Minister of Finance on 2021 MTBPS], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Briefing by DOJ and NPA 2020/21 on Annual Report, performance and spending 2021/22 to date and forward funding needs 2022 MTEF; Briefing by the NPA on Annual Report, performance and spending 2021/22 to date and forward funding needs 2022 MTEF], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour, (National Assembly), [Working conditions of farm workers, farm dwellers, farming communities and farmers], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-10:00

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Executive Authority and the Minister of Finance on progress made as far as addressing concerns about the allocation of Parliament’s budget (including a briefing by the Chairperson of the Parmed Board on progress made in resolving the issues around the Parmed liability); Consideration of committee minutes: 12 November 2021], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:30-15:30

Committees provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs. Share your 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?

View the schedule page here.

*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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