The Week Ahead: President’s Q & A & Important Committee Meetings

30 Aug 2021 (3 weeks, 4 days ago)

https://static.pmg.org.za/Call_for_comments.png It's a busy week in the main chambers. Everything from Oral Questions to the President, to debates, to legislative business, to considering statutory appointments and committee reports, to a Ministerial Briefing Session and two virtual sessions on Localizing the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan are scheduled.

In the National Assembly, the President's oral question session - on Friday - is the high point. The President is required to answer questions of national or international importance once per term. The questions are sifted and published beforehand to ensure only questions satisfying the set criteria are put to the President. Four supplementary questions, arising from the reply to a question, are allowed. This engagement is one way in which Parliament holds the President accountable. It is also an opportunity for legislators to interact directly with the President.

President Ramaphosa will be probed on a variety of issues this week:

PRESIDENT

Ms T I Legwase (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

In view of the recent social unrest that exposed the underlying racial tension in our society, what additional measures will the Government implement alongside the Chapter 9 institutions and institutions supporting democracy to advance social cohesion and nation building?

The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:

Whether he uses a set of criteria to assess the suitability of potential candidates before appointing them to the position of Minister in his Cabinet in accordance with section 91(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details of the set of criteria he uses to assess the suitability of persons to be appointed to the position of Minister in his Cabinet?

Rev K R J Meshoe (ACDP) to ask the President of the Republic:

With reference to his undertaking in his address to the nation on 11 February 2021 that nobody will be forced to take the vaccine, nobody will be forbidden from travelling, from enrolling at school and/or from taking part in any public activity if they have not been vaccinated, and that nobody will be given the vaccine against their will, nor will the vaccine be administered in secret, what steps is the Government taking to (a) protect employees who are given ultimatums by their employers to take the vaccine or lose their jobs and (b) protect tenants from being forced to take the vaccine without the risk of losing their accommodation?

Mr I K Morolong (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

In view of the measures that the Government has implemented to grow the economy, create jobs and bring relief to businesses, workers and families in distress since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the Republic in 2020 and given the persistence of the pandemic and the recent unrest in parts of the country, (a) how is the Government mobilising funds for economic recovery, in the light of dampened confidence of the investor and business community and (b) what are the elements of the economic reconstruction plan that will transform the structure of the economy that still has colonial and apartheid features?

Mr A M Shaik-Emam (NFP) to ask the President of the Republic:

In light of the fact that it has been nine years since the Marikana Massacre took place during which 34 miners died as a result of police gunfire, while many of the recommendations of the Farlam Commission had been left unresolved and compensation for the tragic losses were still outstanding to most families of the miners who had died, nor anyone held accountable for these deaths, (a) what are the relevant details of the delays in bringing about a resolution to the outstanding matters of compensation and (b) when will people be held accountable for the deaths of the miners who died during the massacre to ensure closure for the affected families of Marikana?

Ms D R Direko (ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:

With reference to the Municipal Finance Management Report released by the Auditor-General, which found that only 27 out of 257 municipalities achieved a clean audit in the 2019-20 financial year, pointing to the reality that the state of local government finances is in a serious state, what are the details of the (a) key policy interventions that the Government will implement to ensure the turnaround of the state of local government and (b) Government’s response to the recommendations of the Auditor-General?

Tuesday’s debate to commemorate National Women's Day is another point of interest. This is a standing item on the parliamentary programme and is held every year. It follows last Friday’s Women’s Sectoral Parliament and wraps up the legislature’s activities for Women’s Month. The theme is: “Advancing gender equality through inclusive economic growth and the precepts of a capable developmental state”.

On the same day, the House will consider a Report on the filling of vacancies for the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Board.

Wednesday and Thursday’s sittings are dedicated to considering assorted committee reports. This includes oversight visit reports, department performance reports, a petitions report and a report approving the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No 190 concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. Beyond this, legislators will consider the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on a mechanism for monitoring replies to questions and establishment of new portfolio committee.

Scrutiny of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing agenda item. Parliament uses a range of oversight tools to get answers. The NCOP has arranged a Ministerial Briefing Session on the Vaccination Programme. This is scheduled for Tuesday. These sessions have become a regular feature in the NCOP and involve the provincial governments and provincial legislatures. We have consolidated our reports on the COVID-19 related meetings here

The chamber has scheduled two debates. On Wednesday, it will debate the Township Economy under the theme: "Building a self-reliant and vibrant township economy". On the following day, delegates will debate Heritage Month.

The 3 Gender-based violence bills (Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill and the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill) will also be considered during Wednesday’s sitting.

The interventions that form part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan are geared towards promoting greater participation by black people, women, youth and persons with disability at all economic levels. As the custodian of co-operative governance and intergovernmental relations, the NCOP has a critical role to scrutinize the efficacy and effectiveness of coordination and co-operation between the three spheres of government. The House has decided to have a special focus on localizing the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, with a priority on women and youth. It will focus on Northern Cape and Free State this week (Wednesday and Friday) and cover all the other provinces in the upcoming weeks.

The Committee corridor is the site for several interesting meetings. Here is a run down of the highlights:

TUESDAY, 31 AUGUST 2021

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 08:45

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the Taxation Laws Amendment, Tax Administration Laws Amendment and the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bills], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour, (National Assembly), [Consideration for adoption of the COIDA Bill and a Draft Report on the Legislation; and Briefing by the Department of Employment and Labour on the: First and Second Quarterly Report on the Performance of the Department of Employment and Labour (2020/21)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

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

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Election of the Chairperson; Briefing by the Department of Home Affairs and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to fight the war on queues and the chronic issue of network downtimes at the offices of the Department of Home Affairs; Adoption of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Briefing by SAPO on outstanding matters in particular matters relating to going concern, revenue status and corporatisation of SAPO; (ii) discussion on required capital to resuscitate SAPO; (iii) briefing on the tender documents process calling for the appointment of the required experts including time frames and terms of reference; (iv) briefing on the number of SAPO outlets within a 15km radius across the country; and (v) briefing on SAPO and SITA challenges including dysfunctional IT systems and security of SAPO outlets in general; Adoption of 2020/21 Third and Fourth Quarter Performance Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Consideration and Adoption of Draft Minutes and Draft Reports; Briefing by the Department of Basic Education on: Support for Second Chance Matric Program (SCMP) i.r.o resources for Out-of-School youth who would like to complete matric qualification and the learners with disabilities; Support and Intervention for Learners who dropped out (particularly girls as they are the ones facing increased risk of vulnerabilities of being subjected to gender based violence, teenage pregnancy); Implementation of Teacher Development Programmes by PEDs with special focus on Mathematics, Science and Technology; Continuing Program on Teacher Development (CPTD) to strengthen support for Technical Maths Teachers; South African Maths Foundation (SAMF) support for Grade 8, 9 Maths Teacher Development Implementation (TDI)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-12:30

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Hearing: ESKOM expansions, Annual Report, and investigations], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Election of the Chairperson; National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill Public Hearings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Select Committee on Health and Social Services, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the DSD: A report on the Auditor General’s findings on the outcome of the COVID-19 stimulus relief fund package; Consideration and Adoption of DWYPD Budget Vote Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-16:30

WEDNESDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 2021

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 08:45

Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Employment and Labour on: The new Action Plan of the Compensation Fund as per the established Task Team; and Third and Fourth Quarterly Report on the Performance of the Department of Employment and Labour (2020/21)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

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

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Roundtable discussion with social media entities on misinformation and content moderation practices ahead of Local Government Elections], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the submissions received wrt the Copyright and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Hon SG Mantashe on the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) on Covid-19 vaccine licensing, vaccine efficacy rates and on the latest vaccine research International and in South Africa; Consideration and adoption of minutes; Consideration and adoption of the Committee’s oversight report in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provinces], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Follow-up meeting with the Special Investigating Unit on the Procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 pandemic and the Digital Vibe Investigation], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly), [Briefing by South African Airways on business rescue process, update on subsidiaries particularly Mango airlines, update on due diligence process with regard to strategic equity partnership; Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00

Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by South African Post Office on the following: Financial sustainability; Update on licensing for Post Bank; Distribution of Set-Up boxes; Consideration and adoption of Minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Multi-Party Women’s Caucus (Steering Committee), [Introductory meeting with Dr J Dlamini, Chairperson of the Gender-based Violence and Femicide Response Fund; The Women’s Charter and the role of the MPWC in its implementation; De-briefing session on the outcomes of the Women’s Parliament; Adoption of committee minutes (4 June and 25 August 2021)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00

THURSDAY, 2 SEPTEMBER 2021

Multi-Party Women’s Caucus, [National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence and Femicide: Lead departments’ report-back on the implementation of Pillar1 (Accountability, Coordination and Leadership); Introductory meeting with Dr J Dlamini, chairperson of the gender-based Violence and Femicide Response Fund; The Women’s Charter and the Role of the MPWC in its implementation; De-briefing session on the outcomes of the 27 August session of the Women’s Parliament], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Continuation of Public hearings on the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill; Responses by the Department to submission on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:45

FRIDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2021

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Secretary to Parliament on the regulations to the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act; Consideration of committee minutes and reports], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:30-15:30

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [DCS-Briefing on: The 4th Quarter Performance and Financial Report 2020/21; Reprioritisation plan to address resource allocation given the budget cuts; High Litigation costs, reasons for those and prevention measures], Virtual Meeting Platform, 13:30

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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