THIS WEEK IN PARLIAMENT: Parliament focuses on the Adjusted Budget

July 6, 2020 (1 month ago)

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MPs will spend most of the time talking about the emergency budget while other business is kept to a minimum.

The historic nature of the COVID pandemic and economic downturn necessitated the tabling of the supplementary budget.

Due to the substantial revisions in the departmental budget votes, committees will be meeting with the Executive and the Accounting Authorities to discuss the impact on their plans and programmes.

Government Ministers may make oral statements in Parliament which usually addresses major incidents, policies or actions. Each political party is allowed an opportunity to respond to such a statement. On Wednesday, the Minister of Health will update the National Assembly on the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of cases with the some of the world’s largest daily increase in cases as it approaches the expected July/August surge.

NCOP delegates will be briefed by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation on Tuesday, at 09:00. The briefing seeks to give a progress report on the provision of water and sanitation and also address human settlement related challenges in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both Houses will also consider the Report of the two Fianance Committees on the 2020/21 Revised Fiscal Framework.

The Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP will continue with the Free State’s second leg of the Women’ Charter Review Sessions (virtual) at the Thabo Mofutsanyane and Xhariep district municipalities. The nationwide virtual sessions are aimed at taking stock of progress made in implementing the articles of the 1994 Women’s Charter for Effective Equality and assess its impact since the advent of freedom and democracy. So far, the Western and Northern Cape have held review sessions. The Free State held its first session last month at the Mangaung District Municipality.

The agenda is largely one-dimensional in the committee corridor with various departments and entities presenting their adjusted budgets:

Tuesday

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy will be briefed by the Minister on the adjusted budget allocation and its financial and non-financial impact on delivery programmes.

The Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture will be updated on the COVID-19 relief fund and the Department’s revised APP.

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs will be briefed by the IEC on the adjusted budget.

Wednesday

Portfolio Committee on Police briefed by SAPS and IPID on adjusted budget allocation and its impact.

Portfolio Committee on Health hears from the Department on the adjusted budget.

SCOPA will be briefed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure on implementation of corrective measures emanating from an investigation conducted into allegations of irregularities related to services procured by the Department for official funeral services. Appearing before the Committee in March, the Minister told MPs that the public works and infrastructure director-general Sam Vukela was implicated in the awarding of fraudulent contracts for state funerals. The Auditor-General had raised concerns about fraudulent contracts in the 2018/19 Annual Report where prices were inflated and payment irregularities found for the funerals of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Zola Skweyiya and Billy Modise. Further information was made known in a recent written parliamentary reply.

Thursday

The Appropriations Committees will be briefed by the FFC and SALGA on the 2020 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill.

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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