The Week Ahead: Legislation tops the agenda this week

6 Sep 2021 (2 weeks, 5 days ago)

week-ahead1

Parliament has been an interested observer in the IEC’s request to the Constitutional Court to postpone the local government elections. One of the reasons is that the decision would have an impact on its programme. Traditionally, the legislature schedules an extended recess to allow lawmakers to participate in the campaigns and activities in the lead up to the elections.

Last Friday, the Court dismissed the IEC’s application and ordered the elections to go ahead. It ruled that the elections must be held between October 27 and November 1.

In response, the National Assembly Programme Committee will convene a special meeting on Monday, where it is expected to adjust its programme in light of this order. The current term was set to end on 15 October. It’s unlikely that the NCOP will change its programme as it had already scheduled a recess from 20 September to 4 November.

Further, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has arranged an urgent meeting with the IEC – on Friday – to discuss its readiness, preparations and the implications of the judgement. The IEC has previously maintained that its plans are on track.

The National Assembly has arranged 3 plenary sittings. On Tuesday, legislators will consider the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill and assorted committee reports.

Questions for oral reply is the only agenda item on Wednesday. It is one of the ways Parliament scrutinises the work of government and holds it accountable. It is an opportunity for any lawmaker to directly question the Executive about matters for which they are responsible. Many of the questions touch on bread and butter issues and/or high-temperature business. An interesting part of the exercise is how the questions are structured as MPs simultaneously try to get their talking points across and ask a question. For all its limitations, this is usually an occasion of heightened interest and can be revealing.

Select Ministers in the Economic cluster will be grilled on a variety of topics. Read here

Thursday’s sitting will be somber as MPs remember and pay tribute to 5 of their colleagues who passed away recently.

Elsewhere, the NCOP has arranged a Ministerial Briefing Session on Infrastructure development themed: "Accelerating the Implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan for empowerment and development". This takes place on Tuesday. Ministers of the Executive Council (MEC's) will also participate and give an update on the implementation of the plan in their respective provinces.

Beyond this, there is a sitting scheduled on Thursday where delegates will debate on the devolution of the South African Police Services.

The Portfolio Committee on Social Development will begin nation-wide public hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill. The first stop is the North West with the hearings running from Saturday, 11 September to Monday, 13 September 2021.

There are plenty of important meetings scheduled in the Committee Corridor. This is a rundown of the highlights:

TUESDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2021

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Parliamentary Budget Office on the Second Special Appropriation Bill [B17-2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Counter-Corruption and Security Services branch at the DHA on its work and high profile cases], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Briefing by BBI on addressing areas of under-performance such as in information and data security and financial stability], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Assembly), [Oral submissions on the Expropriation Bill (phase 2)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Public hearings on the Gas Amendment Bill [B9 – 2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Update by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on the fuel prices and the state of refineries in South Africa], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Responses to public submissions on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development; Briefing by the Department of Constitutional Development on GBV Bills (NCOP Amendments); Deliberations on Information Regulator Vacancies Process], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Consideration and Adoption of draft minutes and draft reports; Briefing by the Department of Basic Education on: Teenage Pregnancies; and Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) on progress report with regards to the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on Gender Based Violence (GBV); Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Select Committee on Health and Social Services, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Social Development & SASSA: Progress report on implementation of social relief programmes; Progress report on interventions to address effects of GP & KZN “unrest” on social development facilities], Virtual Meeting Platform, 16:00

Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by SASRIA on their quarterly reports, challenges in executing their mandate and the impact of COVID-19 and recent civil unrest on their program], Virtual Meeting Platform, 16:00

WEDNESDAY, 8 SEPTEMBER 2021

Select Committee on Security and Justice, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Magistrate Commission on the Report dated 27 July 2021, for the removal from office of Ms J F van Schalkwyk, Chief Magistrate, Sub-Cluster Head, Kempton Park, Johannesburg in terms of section 13(4)(b) of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act No 90 of 1993); Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-11:00

Joint Meeting: Select Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by Auditor-General of South Africa on Local Government Audit Outcomes for 2019/20 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Briefing by SASRIA SOC Ltd on the Second Special Appropriation Bill [B17-2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Ad Hoc Committee to initiate and Introduce Legislation amending Section 25 of the Constitution, (National Assembly), Adoption of Committee Report on Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Continuation of public hearings on the Gas Amendment Bill [B9 – 2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Briefing by ICASA on an update on the Spectrum Auction Process and Municipal Elections Broadcasts and Political Advertisements Amendment Regulations 2021], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Update briefing by Special Investigating Unit regarding investigations related to Unemployment Insurance Fund TERS paid during COVID-19], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill; Deliberations on GBV Bills NCOP Amendments], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Eskom on the recent explosion at Medupi, update on the artisan housing project at Kusile, the maintenance programme and governance and financial challenges; Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00

Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on the progress report on the refurbishment of the railway infrastructure], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

THURSDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 2021

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Update by the Minister of Health on the vaccine rollout programme and vaccines acquisitions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-20:00

FRIDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2021

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [National Health Insurance (NHI) Public Hearings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-14:00

Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Union of Students (SAUS) and South African Technical and Vocational Education and Training Students Association (SATVETSA) on GBV&F in the post-school education and training sector; Colloquium on Institutional Autonomy], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-16:00

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?

We have consolidated our reports on the COVID-19 related meetings here.

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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