The Week Ahead- Parliament draws to a close

29 Nov 2021 (1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Week Ahead- 29 Nov It’s the penultimate week of the parliamentary year. As a result, the schedule is quite packed as lawmakers rush to tie up loose ends and conclude the business of the eventful year.

In the remaining days, the legislature is set to vote on several Bills, consider statutory instruments, hold oversight meetings and finalise an assortment of Committee Reports.

The National Assembly has scheduled three plenary sittings. The Thursday debate on 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is a major plenary event. 16 Days of Activism is an annual campaign that takes place all over the world from 25 November to 10 December to raise awareness on the negative impact that violence against women and children has on society. The 2021 theme is: Building safer communities and realising gender equality through socio-economic empowerment of women and youth in the year of Charlotte Maxeke.

16 Days of Activism

On Tuesday, legislators will consider several 2021 Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports (BRRRs). BRRRs are a critical part of Parliament’s engagement with the budget. Following their tabling in the National Assembly, the BRRRs are submitted to the Minister of Finance and relevant Minister responsible for the portfolio/department. Upon delivery of the main Budget early next year, the Minister of Finance is required to explain how the budget gives effect to these recommendations from Parliament, or why they have not been taken into account.

Explainer: Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports

During the same sitting, the National Assembly will consider 3 bills: Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill and the Rates and Monetary Amounts Amendment Bill.

Parliamentary questions are a visible and popular parliamentary mechanism, which ensures the accountability of the Executive. It could be argued that the capacity of Parliament to scrutinise the activities of the Executive is enhanced if an increasing number of Members probe Ministers to provide information and an explanation of their actions and inactions through the use of both oral and written parliamentary questions. Ministers in the social services cluster will appear before the NCOP on Tuesday and Thursday, and the National Assembly on Wednesday to be probed on various matters of national interest ranging from government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the GBV scourge.

Following conclusion of the Gauteng leg, the Portfolio Committee on Social Development takes Public Hearings on the Children's Amendment Bill to the Free State on Thursday. The Bill seeks to strengthen the protection of vulnerable children through the coordinated provision of care and protection services, address gaps and challenges in the child care and protection system and identify strategies to address these challenges.

Elsewhere, the South African Parliamentary delegation to the 143rd Assembly of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) in is Madrid, Spain, led by Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula. The IPU Assembly is expected to conclude its business on Tuesday.

There are several interesting meetings in the committee corridor. Here is a rundown of the highlights:

TUESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2021

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing/update by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) on the implementation of the Automated Biometric Information System and the implementation of the plans to resolve the issue of downtimes at DHA offices], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00- 12:00

Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on submission received wrt the Copyright and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the DALRRD and Commission on Restitution of Land Rights on: District 6 challenges regarding housing allocation, tenure security and title deeds; Status of the claim and complaint against the Cape Town Land Claims Office by Mr Phillips; Worcester Land Claims Committee; Rietfontein Farm dwellers; Consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Basic Education on School-Readiness for 2022], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Follow-up meeting with the Department of Public Works and infrastructure on investigations related to Beitbridge Border irregularities], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

WEDNESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2021

Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on submission received wrt the Copyright and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Adoption of Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports (BRRRs): SAPS, IPID and Civilian Secretariat for Police; Briefing by the Parliamentary Legal Adviser on legal opinion on the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry; Terms of Reference for the Parliamentary Inquiry into the serious lapses in the ability and capacity of the policing services, to deal with the violence and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Parliamentary Inquiry into Police inaction during July Uprisings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

THURSDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2021

Multi-Party Women’s Caucus, [Session 2: National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence: Lead departments’ report-back on the implementation of Pillar 2: Prevention, Rebuilding and Social Cohesion: Department of Justice and Correctional Services; Department of Police; Department of Transport; Department of Health; Department of Basic Education; Department of Higher Education, Training and Innovation; Department of Sport, Arts and Culture], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00

Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings, (National Council of Provinces), [Consideration of a GBV-Collective Petition (the petitioners are calling for the assistance of the NCOP, regarding the alleged failure by the Presidency to respond to their petition) received from Ms Laura- Lee Berger, the South African Women Fight Back and the Embrace Project; Consideration of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:30

Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Council of Provinces), [Consideration of Negotiating Mandates on 2021 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 16:00-18:00

Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Public hearings on TLAB, TALAB and Rates Bill and responses by National Treasury; Consideration and adoption of committee report on Financial Sector Law Amendment bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, After caucuses.

FRIDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2021

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Public Hearings on the 2021 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B20-2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

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

Constitutional Review Committee, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Consideration and adoption of Committee report on 2020 submissions; Briefing on 2021 submissions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Strategic Planning Session (Part 1): Presentation by the Executive Authority: strategic direction of Parliament for the Sixth Parliament and beyond; Presentation by the Accounting Officer: alignment of the strategic plan of Parliament with its constitutional mandate, key issues, outcomes oriented goals and strategic objectives, initiatives and projects; Presentation by the Content Advisor: legislative mandate /role of the Committee, and key issues, which require the strategic decisions of the Committee], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:30-15:30

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