23 November 2020

The Week Ahead: Parliament is drawing to a close


It's the penultimate week of the parliamentary year.

As a result, there is a bit of frenzy as legislation and important business that can be completed are rushed to the finishing line while other less urgent parliamentary business is dropped for lack of time.

In the remaining days, lawmakers in the both chambers are scheduled to vote on several Bills, consider statutory instruments and finalise assorted Committee Reports.

In the National Assembly, a major plenary event -which has become an annual ritual - is Tuesday’s debate on 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children under the theme Women’s Economic Justice - towards a non-violent and non-sexist South Africa. On the same day, legislators will pay tributes to the late Auditor-General and Chairperson of the Financial and Fiscal Commission as well as consider assorted reports.

The practice of Oral Questions and Replies is an established part of the parliamentary day where Cabinet Members account to Parliament for the exercise of their powers and performance of their functions. Select Ministers in the Social Services Cluster will answer oral questions  on Wednesday. Meanwhile, on Thursday the Deputy President will be probed on a variety of issues in line with the broad tasks delegated to him. Everything from specific policy, to controversies, to bread and butter issues and performance will be in the spotlight.

Elsewhere, the NCOP has arranged plenary sittings on Tuesday and Friday, with legislative business topping the agenda.

In between, the chamber has scheduled a summit under the theme Inclusive Economic Growth Oversight Summit. This takes place on Wednesday.

There are a number of interesting meetings scheduled in the Committee corridor that are guaranteed to generate headlines. Here is a run down of the highlights:

Tuesday, 24 November 2020 

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies and the Universal Service Access Agency of South Africa on their responses to the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA); Briefing on the revised Annual Performance Plans and Strategic Plans of the DCDT and its entities], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

 Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sport, Arts and Culture, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Consideration and Adoption of Draft Minutes and Draft Reports; Briefing by DBE on: Preparations for 2021 School-Reopening Readiness; Second Chance Matric Programme; Briefings by the Department of Basic Education on the Education Employment Initiative], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury and SARS on the Katz Commission, Davis Tax Committee and the Nugent Commission on the administration of SARS], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Public hearing on TLAB, TALAB and Rates Bills; Consideration of the TLAB, TALAB and Rates bill; Decision on date on consideration of report and voting], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the DPWI on the Expropriation Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Consideration of the 2019/20 Annual Reports of the South African Police Services:  Programme 1: Administration and Programme 2: Visible Policing, Programme 3: Detective Services and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI); Programme 4: Crime Intelligence; and Programme 5: Protection and Security Services; Consideration of the 2019/20 Annual Report of the Civilian Secretariat for Police: Financial statements and performance], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Follow up meeting with the Department of Transport and Prasa board on the current state of affairs at PRASA], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Powers and Privileges Committee, [Hearing on incident of 11 July 2019 at a mini-plenary at E249], Committee Room E249, Second Floor, National Assembly Building, 10:00-17:00


Wednesday, 25 November 2020 

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Social Development and Select Committee on Health and Social Services, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Social Development on its annual report for 2019/2020 financial year; Briefing by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) on its annual report for 2019/20 financial year; Briefing by the National Development Agency (NDA) on its annual report for 2019/20 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Presentation by the Department on the objectives of the Draft Audio and Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework and its implications on the public broadcaster; Follow-up discussions emanating from the Round Table discussions on public broadcasting: An analysis and reflection of proposal emanating from the Round Table Discussion on the role of public broadcasting], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the National Treasury and PIC on the Mpati Commission of Inquiry Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Eskom on their annual report and financial statements for the 2019/20 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Thursday, 26 November 2020 

Multiparty Women’s Caucus, [Briefings by the Departments of Police and Justice and Constitutional Development on: The effective functioning of sexual offences courts and Thutuzela Care Centres; Measures in place (including training of personnel) to ensure victim responsive services and the effective investigation and prosecution of reported GBV cases; Status report on the DNA case backlogs and availability of testing kits at police stations; Committee business: Consideration of draft first term committee programme], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

 Friday, 27 November 2020

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Public hearings on the 2020 MTBPS and the Second Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B25 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, (National Assembly), [Oversight Enquiry into allegations of maladministration at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-17:00

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Planning for the JSCFMP’s Strategic Plan: presentation of proposal; Consideration and adoption of the Committee’s report on Parliament’s performance in the second quarter of 2020/21; and committee minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

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.


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People's Assembly

"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.

We host the latest posts of this blog, written by People's Assembly. You can find more on PA's blog.

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