The Week Ahead: It’s all about #SONA2024

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his eigth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday at 19:00.

It’s one of the most important speeches that the President delivers in any year. With a prime time tv audience, it is a tremendous PR opportunity for the President to give a report on the economic and social state of the nation and lay out his administration’s priorities for the year.

The speech is the result of collaboration among a large number of officials in the government - including policy advisors, researchers, and speech writers – and outside advisors and thinkers. Traditionally, the Forum of Director-Generals, the ANC's January 8th Statement, NEC Lekgotla, and the Cabinet Lekgotla play a central role in shaping the speech.

The target audience consists of different constituencies, such as MPs, citizens, trade unions, business leaders, foreign investors, foreign governments, and credit rating agencies.

There will be a second SONA after the elections.

For the third consecutive year, the address will take place at the Cape Town City Hall due to ongoing repairs of the National Assembly Chamber.

It also marks the official opening of the parliamentary year.

Parliament’s Presiding Officers will address the media on the SONA preparations on Tuesday.

The committee corridor is slowly coming back to life after the summer recess break, with important business scheduled. Here is a run-down of some of the most interesting meetings:

TUESDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2024

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Pension Funds Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, (National Assembly), [Briefing on the WTO’s Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies (Ratification); Briefing on the E and F Bills of the Copyright and of the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills], Virtual Meeting, 09:00-13:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and Select Committee on Security and Justice, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Summary of Written Submission by Mr Salmon: Content Advisor; Joint Public hearings with the SC on Security and Justice on the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill [B 42 – 2023]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-16:00

Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Briefing on 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations Outcomes by: Department of Basic Education (DBE); and Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi); Consideration and Adoption of Outstanding Draft Minutes and Draft Reports as follows: Draft Committee Report on Petition to Eradicate Pit Latrines; Draft Committee Annual Report 2023; Draft Minutes – 14 November 2023; and Draft Committee 1st Term Programme 2024], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-12:30

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Follow-up meeting with the Auditor-General, Minister of Transport and Road Accident Fund on issues related to non-tabling of the Annual Report of 2021/22 and SIU investigations], Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:30-14:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Department on Revised DCDT, BBI, SENTECH and USAASA/USAF APP 2023-2024; Briefing by GCIS on introduction of the Council of MAC Charter; Briefing by SIU on investigation matters relating to the Portfolio; Briefing by the Competition Commission on the outcomes of the Sentech Vs SABC tariff dispute; Discussion and update on the written submissions received on the SABC SOC Ltd Bill [B32 – 2023] (sec 75); Consideration of the letter on the appointment of ICASA Council and adoption of report thereof; Adoption of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, (National Council of Provinces), [Consideration and Adoption of the 1st Term Programme; Tabling of Correspondence from two provinces; Briefing by Department of Small Business Development on the National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill [B16B - 2023] (National Assembly - sec 76)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-17:00

Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Public Procurement Bill [B18B-2023]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

WEDNESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2024

Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Council of Provinces), [Consideration of C-List: Expropriation Bill [B 23B-2020] (sec 76); Briefing by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and Property Management Trading Entity (PMTE) on 2022/2023 Annual Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Update by the Department of Higher Education regarding the National Skills Fund investigation and NSFAS - 2021/22 audit outcome and investigations], Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:30-14:00

FRIDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2024

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Tabling of the 1st draft of the Consolidate Provincial Public Hearings Report on the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill; Consideration and adoption of outstanding reports; Consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and Select Committee on Security and Justice, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Responses by the Department of Home Affairs, the Independent Electoral Commission, Parliament Legal Services, Parliament and the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies on the public hearings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-18:00

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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