The Week Ahead: Mini-budget 2020
All eyes will be on the Minister of Finance when he delivers the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday. The MTBPS outlines the economic context against which the 2021 budget is being formulated and sets out the spending framework for the next three years.
The mini-budget is important as it gives an update on tax collection, government spending and deficits, economic growth targets and signals whether the country is still on track to meet plans laid out in the main and supplementary budgets. Further, it gives government a chance to reprioritise spending to areas that may urgently need more money.
The Minister has a tough job to do as he seeks to stimulate the economy, contain expenditure, maintain government’s social spending and intensify its infrastructure programmes.
All of this must be achieved against a backdrop of COVID-19, low growth, revenue shortfall, high unemployment, increasing government debt to GDP, failing SOEs, corruption, a growing public sector wage bill, extreme inequality, spending cuts and growing pressure from the public.
According to Treasury: “The Government is determined to maintain a prudent fiscal stance which is in the best interest of the country in the medium and long-term. The 2020 MTBPS will reflect this position”.
The Minister will introduce the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, Second Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendments of Revenue Laws Bill, Taxation Laws Amendment Bill and Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill.
A high-profile urgent debate about Corruption related to COVID-19 tenders will generate a lot of interest on Tuesday. The rules make it possible for individual Members to request a discussion on matters they consider of sufficient immediate public importance to take precedence over other programmed business in certain circumstances. The debate is sponsored by the Leader of the Opposition. Last week, the SIU informed Parliament that the total Covid-19 expenditure was R15.6 billion and the amount under investigation was R10.5 billion (67%). On the same day, the National Assembly will consider a recommendation that Ms Tsakani Maluleke be appointed as the new Auditor General.
Beyond this, select Ministers in the Governance Cluster will answer oral questions on Thursday.
Elsewhere, it is Provincial Week in the NCOP. According to Parliament, “Provincial Week 2020 will focus on municipalities which are under intervention in terms of section 139 of the Constitution. These are the municipalities that have persistently received disclaimers in terms of the report of the Auditor-General. Some of the thematic areas will be financial management, professionalization of the local sphere of government, building capacity within the local sphere of government to enable it to carry out its constitutional mandate”.
Another highlight is the President’s virtual appearance on Tuesday to answer oral questions. View the questions here
View the full plenary programme here
In Committee-land, there is a wide range of meetings that will generate a lot of headlines. Here is a run down of the highlights:
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B1-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:30
Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Consideration and Adoption of Draft Minutes and Draft Reports; Briefing by DBE and Umalusi on Preparations for 2020 NSC Examination Readiness], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Assembly), [Presentation by the Support Personnel on the processing of the Expropriation Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Civilian Secretariat on legislative update on SAPS Amendment Bill, IPID Bill, Firearms Control Amendment Bill, and the Criminal Law (DNA Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-11:00
Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on the National Spatial Development Framework implementation in guiding the developmental agenda in the country; An update by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on the progress made in developing the Integrated Planning Development Framework Bill; Briefing by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on the Mandate Paper (Budget Prioritisation Framework) developed in 2020/21 financial year; Adoption of the outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Meeting with SIU and AG on issues of UIF financial management relating to Covid-19], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00
Thursday, 29 October 2020 2020
Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Finance, Select Committee on Finance, Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Minister of Finance on the 2020 MTBPS], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:30-15:00
Joint Standing Committee on Defence, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) on 2020 Quarter 2 Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00
Friday, 30 October 2020
Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Responses by National Treasury to the public submissions on the 2020 MTBPS (Joint meeting)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and its Entities on its role in stimulating the South African economy], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
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.
About this blog
"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.