The Week Ahead: Question Time & Electoral Legislation
The practice of oral questions is an established part of the parliamentary day and gives MPs an opportunity to question the Executive about matters for which they are responsible. For all its limitations, this is usually an occasion of heightened interest. Everything from specific scandals and programmes to big-picture policy and performance are under the microscope. Generally, governing party MPs and the opposition have different objectives when it comes to these engagements; the former tends to provide Ministers with an opportunity to put government policies and actions in a favourable light while the latter aims to do the opposite.
The NCOP has set aside two days for Question Time.
The Deputy President will respond to oral questions on Thursday.
Meanwhile, select Ministers in the social services cluster will respond to oral questions on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, there is only one agenda item scheduled for Thursday’s National Assembly sitting: consideration of the Electoral Amendment Bill.
Parliament is in a rush to pass this bill. In April, the Constitutional Court – following an application from Parliament - extended the deadline to finalise the bill from 10 June 2022 to 10 December 2022. This was to give Parliament sufficient time to properly deliberate on the Bill and to ensure that citizens across the country are afforded an opportunity to meaningfully participate and share their views on the Bill. If approved, the NCOP will have less than two months to conclude its work.
It's another big week in the Committee corridor where lawmakers will be dealing with leftover Annual Reports and finalising Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports (BRRRs) which must be completed before the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on 26 October.
The Auditor-General has advised committees to monitor the accountability ecosystem to ensure that all role players/assurance providers effectively exercise their roles to improve audit outcomes and ensure service delivery is provided by the portfolio.
Following their tabling in the National Assembly, the BRRRs are submitted to the Minister of Finance and the relevant Minister responsible for the function (vote). Upon delivery of the main Budget in February 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.
On the sidelines, Parliament will – on Thursday - host a virtual round-table discussion themed The Climate Change Emergency - A South African Response (What role should Parliament play in the climate change emergency response?).
“The objective of the roundtable is to explore the impact of climate change on various sectors of society and measures adopted by the country to respond to the climate emergency. Further, the contribution of Parliament, as the elected representative of the people, to the climate change response will be explored. Specific topics to be discussed during the roundtable include: Defining the climate change emergency within the context of South Africa; Funding the climate emergency; Gender and climate change and the role of Parliament in the climate change response”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will submit the #StateCaptureInquiry report implementation plan this week. The Commission made 358 recommendations.
These range in nature from recommended actions against alleged perpetrators and enablers of corruption, to the recovery of funds, to proposed reforms to prevent, detect and prosecute corruption in future. The implementation plan will outline the ongoing work to address these matters and will indicate which recommendations have been prioritised for implementation.
The Committee Corridor is the site for many interesting meetings. Below are the highlights:
MONDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2022
Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Response by the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr QR Dyantyi on the recusal application; Response by a member of the Committee, Mr K Mileham (Democratic Alliance) on the recusal application; Overview of the independent legal opinion; Committee deliberations on the recusal application and way forward; and Tabling of correspondence before the Committee], Hybrid (Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building & Virtual Meeting Platform), 10:00-13:00
TUESDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2022
Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing on the 2021/22 Annual Report by South African Local Government Association (SALGA)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:30
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Initial response by National Treasury to submissions received on the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Amendment Bill [B18-2022] (“General Laws Bill”)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor-General (AG) on Audit Outcomes of National Treasury and its entities], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Hearing on the DWS irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure], Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:30-14:00
Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Preliminary Briefing by National Treasury and SARS on Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (TALAB) and the draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) and Rates bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00
Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, (National Council of Provinces), [Workshop on Copyright Amendment Bill [B 13D – 2017]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-17:00
WEDNESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2022
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on its annual report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-11:00
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on its annual report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 11:00-13:00
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Update by Eskom on SCOPA recommendations; Update by SIU on ESKOM investigations], Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:30-14:00
Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of the Committee’s Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-12:30
Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Transport on the National Rail Policy Draft White Paper], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00
THURSDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2022
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Update by Minister of Higher Education regarding National Skills Fund investigations], Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 14:00-17:00
Joint Standing Committee on Defence, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the SANDF on current border safeguarding operations, including challenges and successes; Briefing by the SANDF on border safeguarding technology usage and shortcomings in this regard; Briefing by the SANDF on the cooperation with the Border Management Agency (BMA) and the impact of the agency on its functions; Consideration of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00
FRIDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2022
Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing on Parliament’s 2020/21 Annual Report and Financial Statements; Adoption of minutes and reports], Virtual Meeting Platform, 08:00-12:00
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Consideration of issues in the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Amendment Bill [B18-2022] (“General Laws Bill”)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Subcommittee on the Review of the National Assembly Rules, [Consideration of matters referred by the Rules Committee and member’s submissions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-12:30
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? 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.