The Week Ahead: President’s Joint Address on SA floods
It is largely a low-key week with NA MPs on leave, a public holiday and only a handful of meetings scheduled.
The main point of interest is the President’s joint address on Tuesday.
Convening an address to both Houses is a rare occurrence and is generally reserved for the State of the Nation Address but has been prompted by the catastrophic flooding along parts of the eastern coast.
A week ago, in a national address, the President said:
“This is a humanitarian disaster that calls for a massive and urgent relief effort”.
“The significance of the Port of Durban and related infrastructure for the effective operation of the country’s economy means that this disaster has implications far beyond the province of KwaZulu-Natal”.
The President is expected to focus on the government’s response to bring relief and rebuild.
Political parties will also get an opportunity to respond to President Ramaphosa’s statement.
Parliament has a separate and important oversight and monitoring role.
Several Committees, political parties, and individual lawmakers have already undertaken oversight visits to affected areas to assess the conditions and provide support.
The establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on flood disaster relief and recovery - on Tuesday – is a significant development. Part of its mandate will be to ensure that allocated funds are used for their intended purposes and reach the intended recipients. This is important given ongoing concerns about corruption, mis-management, and fraud despite the government's assurances.
The Committee will consist of 11 members from the National Assembly (ANC 6, DA 2, EFF 1, and other parties 2) and 9 members from the National Council of Provinces; and must report back to Parliament by 30 November 2022.
Parliament will also have to expedite and pass the Special Appropriation Bill that will provide the necessary financial resources.
Meanwhile, committees continue to meet with departments and entities on their annual performance plans and budgets for 2022/23. Here is a run-down of the highlights in the committee corridor:
TUESDAY, 26 APRIL 2022
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs (National Assembly), [Briefing by Department of Home Affairs, Electoral Commission and the Government Printing Works on the Annual Performance Plan and budget for 2022/23]
Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [briefing by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on their Annual Performance Plan for 2022-23 FY and its Budget Vote No. 34; Briefing by the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) on their Annual Performance Plan and budget for the 2022-23 FY]
Select Committee on Health and Social Services, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Social Development on the Annual Performance Plan and Budget Vote 2022/2023]
THURSDAY, 28 APRIL 2022
Select Committee on Security and Justice, (National Council of Provinces), Briefing on the South African Police Service Budget Vote 28
FRIDAY, 29 APRIL 2022
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs (National Assembly), [comments by Parliament Legal Services on any constitutional or legal issue on the report on public participation of the Electoral Amendment Bill [B 1 – 2022]
Committees provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs. Share your thoughts on the ground experience and expert information with the relevant committees. Critically, what questions should MPs pose to the Executive as they conduct their oversight work? Write to a Parliamentary Committee
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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About this blog
"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.