The Week Ahead: Full of week of budget-related meetings

May 11, 2020 (1 week, 6 days ago)

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It’s the second of week of budget-related meetings and the pace is quickening.

The schedule is packed as Committees continue to interrogate departments and entities on their budgets, targets and priorities for the year ahead.

As part of their oversight work, Committees have a constitutional mandate to scrutinise and thereafter approve the budget of their line department and entities. As part of this work, Committee make use of the budget information contained in the National Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure. Following their engagements, Committees draft a report where they analyse the Annual and Strategic Plans as presented to them and make observations and recommendations. This report forms the basis from which Members of Parliament (MPs) debate the budget and Annual Performance Plans (APPs) of departments and their entities. This process culminates with the approval of funds to a department as a Budget Vote.

So far, Committees have heard a similar story – there are budget cuts across government departments and an adjusted budget will be tabled later to accommodate government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to complaints that the virtual meetings were too short (two hours) and there was not enough time for proper engagement, the presiding officers increased the sessions to three hours. The Speaker advised Committees to use their time optimally and robustly so as to effectively engage with the Members of the Executive.

Beyond budgets, the agenda includes discussions on Covid-19 related issues, legislation, board appointments, the business rescue plans for South African Airways (SAA) and SA Express Airways and government employees (pensions, medical aids and suspensions).

Monday, 11 May 2020

Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Council on Higher Education (CHE) and South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 and Annual Performance Plan 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Electoral Commission (IEC) and Government Printing Works (GPW) on their Annual Performance Plans for 2020-21 and Strategic Plans for 2020-25], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on its 2020/2021 Corporate Plan, including briefing by the Minister and the PRASA Administrator on their plans to effect change at the entity within the 12-month contract of the Administrator], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Office of Chief Justice on its Strategic Plan, APP and Budget 2020/21. Briefing by the Information Regulator on its Strategic Plan, APP and Budget 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing on the Strategic Plan and strategic priorities of the Sixth Parliament], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Budget Review on Budget Vote 16: Basic Education (2020/21) (incl. Sector Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Strategic Plan) by the South African Council for Educators (SACE)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Minister of Public Enterprises and the Business Rescue Practitioners on the business rescue plans for SAA and SA Express Airways], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) on their analysis and assessment of the Department of Health’s Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Police and Select Committee on Security and Justice, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Budget hearing briefings: Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) and Independent Police Investigative (IPID)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises and Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communications, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Public Enterprises on the annual performance plan and budget for 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00 – 15:00

Thursday, 14 MY 2020

Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology and Select Committee on on Education, Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Follow-up briefing by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology on plans to save the 2020 academic year. Briefing by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 and Annual Performance Plan 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-19:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), Briefing by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on its 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan and Budget; Briefing by the South African Post Office (SAPO) on its 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan and Budget], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00

Friday, 15 May 2020

Portfolio Committee on Defence, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the DMV on its 2020 Annual Performance Plan, Strategic Plan and Budget for 2020/21; Consideration and Adoption of the DOD Budget Vote Report (Vote 23)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the National Youth Development Agency on Annual Performance Plan for 2020/21 and Strategic Plan and Budget for 2020/2025], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Human Rights Commission on its Strategic Plan, APP and Budget 2020/21. Briefing by the Special Investigative Unit on its Strategic Plan, APP and Budget 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Public Protector South Africa on its Strategic Plan, APP and Budget 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on its 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan and Budget], Virtual Meeting Platform, 13:00-15:00

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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