The Week Ahead: President’s final Q&A for 2020

Nov. 9, 2020 (2 weeks, 3 days ago)

week ahead

The President's oral question session on Thursday is the high point of the parliamentary week. The President is required to answer questions of national or international importance once per term in accordance with the annual parliamentary programme. The questions are sifted and published beforehand to ensure that only those satisfying the set criteria are put to the President. Four supplementary questions, arising from the reply to a question, are allowed. This is President Ramaphosa's final question session in the National Assembly for 2020.

Over the years, questions have been raised about the form, frequency and effectiveness of these sessions. Some argue that it is a choreographed and ritualistic exercise that does little to hold the Executive to account. To support this view, they point to the number of questions allowed, the vetting process, the scripted response, the nature of questions asked by majority party MPs, the long-winded statements camouflaged as questions and the poor responses. Others point out that even though it is not a perfect mechanism for Executive scrutiny, it can help to shape the public’s views and is an opportunity for the President to address specific concerns raised. The supplementary questions, in particular, show whether the President has a sound grasp of issues and is able to think on his feet. It is also a rare opportunity for legislators to interact directly with the President. For all its limitations, this is usually an occasion of heightened interest and can sometimes be revealing.

View the Questions here.

Government Ministers may make oral statements to Parliament to address major incidents, government policies or actions. Each political party is allowed an opportunity to respond to such a statement. On Tuesday, the Minister of Public Works will brief lawmakers on the on the implementation of the infrastructure plan. This will be important, as infrastructure has been identified as central to government’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Beyond this, select Ministers in the Economic Cluster will be quizzed on a range of issues during their Question Time Session on Wednesday. This will be followed by the consideration of the Standing Committee on Finance’s Report on the Revised Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals.

Also dotting the plenary agenda are regular items like assorted committee reports, Motions Without Notice and Notices of Motion.

Question time is also the main business in the NCOP chamber this week. Select Ministers in the Social Services Cluster will be probed on a variety of topics on Tuesday and Thursday.

Everything from specific scandals and programmes to big-picture policy to bread-and-butter issues and performance will be under the microscope.

In between, NCOP delegates will consider the Report of the Select Committee on Finance on the Revised Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals.

The week rounds off with the latest Women’s Charter Review High Level Sessions, with events planned in Gauteng, North West and Eastern Cape.

See the [Full Plenary Programme (https://static.pmg.org.za/201106Fourth_Term_Parliamentary_Programme.pdf "full plenary programme") It is another big week in the virtual Committee corridor where lawmakers will be dealing with Annual Reports, statutory appointments, legislative business and other oversight work.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Departments of Communications and Digital Technologies and Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on community media support programmes; Briefing by Sentech on signal distribution for community broadcasters; Briefing by ICASA on regulation for community media], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Electoral Laws Amendment Bill consideration of submissions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Eastern Cape, MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to establish consequence management against municipalities with investigations], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Responses by the Department of justice and Constitutional Development on Public Submission on: Criminal and Related Matters Bill [B17- 2020]; Domestic Violence Amendment Bill [B20-2020]; Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act Amendment Bill [B16-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements, (National Council of Provinces), [Consideration and adoption of C-lists; Customary Initiation Bill; Deliberations; Consideration and adoption of C-lists; Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill; Deliberations], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00

Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, (National Assembly), [Joint follow up meeting PC on Cogta on implications on the 2020/21 Zero Based-Water Tariffs by Water Boards – Department of Water and Sanitation, Salga and National Treasury; Consultation by the Department of Water and Sanitation on the Raw Water Tariffs for 2021/22 financial year - members engagement on proposal to include parliament into tariff determinations from inception phase], Virtual Meeting Platform, 19:00-22:00

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Briefing by SAPS Forensics Division on leadership, systems and turnaround strategy], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of the Committee report and voting on TLAB, TALAB and Rates Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Presentations by FFC and PBO on: Division of Revenue Second Amendment Bill [B24 – 2020]; and Second Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B25 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on National Youth Policy 2020/30], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) regarding pending cases on corruption from various Departments and Entities], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Treasury on: Division of Revenue Second Amendment Bill [B24 – 2020]; Second Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B25 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:30-14:30

Friday, 13 November 2020

Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (National Assembly), [Discussion on the viability/sustainability of amalgamated (starting in 2016) municipalities with: Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG); SALGA; National Treasury; Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB); South African Cities Network (SACN); and Amalgamated Municipalities (Northwest - JB Marks: (Tlokwe and Ventersdorp), Mpumalanga – Enhlanzeni, Eastern Cape – Beyers Naude; Enoch Mgijima, Free State – Mangaung), Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-16:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Committee Deliberations on: Criminal and Related Matters Bill [B17- 2020]; Domestic Violence Amendment Bill [B20-2020]; Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act Amendment Bill [B16-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Constitutional Review Committee, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing on the legal opinion regarding submissions received; Further Committee deliberations on the submissions and the legal opinion received], Virtual Meeting Platform, 11:00-13:00

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Secretary to Parliament on progress made in the finalisation of the regulations in terms of Chapter 9 of the FMPPLA], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

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?

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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