Oversight responsibility of Communications Portfolio Committee
The Communications Portfolio Committee is responsible for oversight of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies as well as the following statutory entities:
Committees conduct their business on behalf of the House and report back on matters referred to them.
Learn more about the work of this Committee: Legacy Reports
The role and functions of Committees in Parliament (provided by Parliament)
In accordance with the powers given to it by the Constitution, the National Assembly establishes a range of committees with assigned powers and functions. The committees are required to report regularly on their activities and to make recommendations to the House for debate and decision. A large part of the Assembly’s role in the law‑making process happens in committees and much of its oversight over the executive is also done through committees, particularly the portfolio committees.
There is a portfolio committee for each corresponding government department. The composition of the committees reflects, as far as is practicable, the numerical strengths of the parties represented in the Assembly. That committee will deliberate on bills covering that department’s area of jurisdiction and scrutinise and report on its annual budget and strategic plan. As the people’s representatives, members of the committees determine whether government departments are delivering on what they promised and whether they are spending the public money they receive in a responsible manner. As part of their oversight work, committees may also do site visits where they find out directly from the people at ground level whether the government is delivering on its promises.
If a committee reports on a matter and makes certain recommendations, that report will be debated in a full sitting or plenary to give other members of the House an opportunity to engage with the content of the report. Once the report has been debated, the House decides whether to adopt the committee’s recommendations. The House may also decide only to note the report or it may refer the report back to the committee with an instruction to do further work
Broadly speaking, the mandates of Committees are to consider and process legislation referred to it; exercise oversight over the Department and entities reporting to it; consider international agreements referred to it; consider the budget vote of the Department and its entities; facilitate public participation in its processes; and to consider all other matters referred to it in terms of legislation and the Rules of Parliament
Working in Committees allows Parliament to:
-Increase the amount of work that can be done
-Ensure that issues can be debated in more detail than in plenary sessions
-Increase the level of participation of Members of Parliament (MPs) in discussions
-Enable MPs to develop expertise and in-depth knowledge of the specific Committee's area of work
-Provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs, something which is not possible in a plenary sitting of Parliament
-Provide an environment for Parliament to hear evidence and collect information related to the work of a specific Committee
Rule 167 of the National Assembly Rules (9th Edition) say that for the purposes of performing its functions committee may, subject to the Constitution, legislation, the other provisions of these rules and resolutions of the Assembly –
-Summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, or to produce documents
-Receive petitions, representations or submissions from interested persons or institutions
-Permit oral evidence on petitions, representations, submissions and any other matter before the committee
-Conduct public hearings
-Consult any Assembly or Council committee or subcommittee, or any joint committee or subcommittee
-Determine its own working arrangements
-Meet at a venue determined by it, which may be a venue beyond the seat of Parliament
-Meet on any and at any time, including –
- On a day which is not a working day
- On a day on which the Assembly is not sitting
- At a time when the Assembly is not sitting, or
- During a recess
-Exercise any other powers assigned to it by the Constitution, legislation, the other provisions of these rules or resolutions of the Assembly
Committee membership is distributed among the parties roughly in proportion to the seats they get in Parliament, so if a party wins 20% of the seats, its MPs will occupy about 20% of committee positions.
The NA Rules Committee agreed that all Committees will be comprised of 11 Members: ANC – 6; DA – 2; EFF – 1; other parties – 2.
Where it is practicably possible, each party is entitled to at least one representative in a Committee.
Committees in Practice
With the agreement of members, the Committee staff sets the dates and times of committee meetings. The frequency of committee meetings is determined by a committee’s work programme but it is normal for a committee to meet weekly. From time to time, committees can meet more than once a week if they work programme so demands.
Section 59(1)(b) of the Constitution requires that the National Assembly and it’s committees conduct their business in an open manner and hold their sittings in public. Section 59(2) states that the National Assembly may not exclude the public or the media unless it is ‘reasonable and justifiable to do so in an open and democratic society’. Rule 184(2) of the Rules of the National Assembly further require that any decision to exclude the public from a committee meeting or part thereof must be taken ‘after due consideration’ by that committee
Who attends Committee Meetings?:
MPs (those assigned to the committee and if they so wish, any other MP)
Committee Staff: Committee Secretary, Committee Assistant, Researcher, Content Advisor
Departments, entities, organizations, individuals and experts who are invited by the Committee to speak and be questioned
Parliamentary Legal Advisor (from time to time)
THE DIFFERENT COMMITTEES OF PARLIAMENT
The National Assembly (NA) appoints from among its members a number of Portfolio Committees to shadow the work of the various national government departments.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) appoints from its permanent members a number of Select Committees to shadow the work of the various national government departments and to deal with Bills.
Because only 54 of the 90 NCOP Members are permanent delegates compared to the 400 of the NA, the Select Committees oversee the work of more than one national government department.
Public Accounts Committees
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Accounts acts as Parliament's watchdog over the way taxpayers' money is spent by the Executive. Every year the Auditor-General tables reports on the accounts and financial management of the various government departments and State institutions.
Heads of government departments and institutions are regularly called by this committee to report and account for expenditure. The Committee can recommend that the National Assembly takes corrective actions if necessary.
The National Assembly has a number of internal committees that deal with matters affecting the running of Parliament. The Committees normally consist of senior Members of Parliament. The Rules Committee and its sub-committees deal with House rules. There are structures to deal with support for Members, internal arrangements, disciplinary matters and powers and privileges of members. Other internal Committees are the Programme Committee that plans the work of the Assembly, the Disciplinary Committee, and the Committee of Chairpersons.
The National Council of Provinces also has its own domestic Committees. The Rules Committee and its subcommittees deal with the NCOP rules. There are structures to deal with support for Members, internal arrangements, disciplinary matters and powers and privileges of members. The Programme Committee plans the work of the NCOP and the Committee of Chairpersons make recommendations about the functioning of Committees and other NCOP forums.
Ad hoc Committees
Parliament or one of its Houses may appoint an ad hoc (temporary) Committee when a special task must be done. When the task is complete, the Committee is dissolved.
The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces together appoint a number of joint committees.
There are six Joint Committees:
- Constitutional Review Committee
- Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence
- Joint Standing Committee on Defence
- Committee on Multi-Party Women’s Caucus
- Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament
- Joint Standing Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests
The committees play a very important role in the process of building democracy and involving the public in the processes and activities of Parliament.
|NW311 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1) What is the total number of social grant...|
|NW1713 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - Whether, with reference to the reply of the...|
|NW1399 by Mr C MacKenzie - 1.What arrangements are in place during the...|
|NW1624 by Ms PT van Damme - What (a) are the reasons for the cancellation...|
|NW2116 by Ms P van Damme - What total amount has the SA Broadcasting...|
|NW2115 by Ms P van Damme - Whether any alcoholic beverages were purchased...|
|NW1792 by Ms P T van Damme - Whether (a) her department and (b) all...|
|NW1791 by Ms P T van Damme - (1) What (a) is the total number of cases that...|
|NW1987 by Mr C MacKenzie - Whether she and/or the State Information...|
|NW2008 by Ms P T van Damme - Whether the credit limit on any of the credit...|
|NW2009 by Ms P T van Damme - In respect of purchases made with each...|
|NW2007 by Ms P T van Damme - (1)What are the relevant details of each...|
|NW1716 by Ms P T van Damme - (1) What has she found to be the reason why a...|
|NW1757 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1) With reference to radio signal...|
|NW1756 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1) Whether certain radio licence holders...|
|NW742 by Mr C Mackenzie - 1. What total number of vacancies currently...|
|NW1500 by Mr C MacKenzie - What spectrum bands have been allocated to the...|
|NW1854 by Mrs D B Ngwenya - Whether her department will consider scrapping...|
|NW1625 by Ms P T van Damme - (a) On what number of occasions between 23...|
|NW352 by Ms P T van Damme - On what date will the revised SA Broadcasting...|
|NW1623 by Ms PT van Damme - (1) Whether the entities reporting to her have...|
|NW1498 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1)(a) Why has the Government not signed the...|
|NW1245 by Ms Z Majozi - What interventions has she put in place to...|
|NW354 by Ms P T van Damme - (a) What are the full names of each staff...|
|NW439 by Ms P T van Damme - Whether (a) she, (b) the Deputy Minister, (c)...|
|NW1111 by Mr M Waters - Whether any (a) person and/or (b) entity paid...|
|NW1206 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1) Whether the Government has conducted any...|
|NW1208 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1)What is the Government’s position regarding...|
|NW1207 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1)Whether the Government interacted with...|
|NW1157 by Dr C P Mulder - Whether her department purchased any goods...|
|NW237 by Mr C MacKenzie - Who has been acting as the Chief Executive...|
|NW269 by Ms P T van Damme - (1)What was the total amount that was spent on...|
|NW437 by Ms P T van Damme - What (a) number of (i) films and/or (ii)...|
|NW270 by Ms PT van Damme - What number of employees have been found to...|
|NW235 by Mr C MacKenzie - 1. What number of times has the (a) SA Post...|
|NW817 by Ms Z Majozi - Whether her department has given a concise...|
|NW505 by P T van Damme - 1) Whether a certain person (Thato Abrahams)...|
|NW925 by Dr C P Mulder - 1. Whether her department awarded any tenders...|
|NW740 by Ms P T van Damme - Whether (a) her department and/or (b) any...|
|NW864 by Mr H C C Krüger - 1) Whether her department will offer any form...|
|NW686 by Ms P T van Damme - (1)In respect of purchases made with each...|
|NW353 by Ms P T van Damme - (1)What is the (a) total number and (b)...|
|NW721 by Mr C MacKenzie - (1)In light of the various initiatives...|
|NW438 by Ms P T van Damme - Whether (a) she and (b) the Deputy Minister...|
|NW506 by Ms P T van Damme - What (a) number of judgments and (b) court...|
|NW507 by Ms P T van Damme - (1)What are the details of the office...|
|NW685 by Ms P T van Damme - (1)What are the relevant details of official...|
|NW739 by Ms P T van Damme - Whether (a) she and (b) the Deputy Minister...|
|NW452 by C MacKenzie - (a) What is the breakdown of the amount spent...|
|NW148 by C MacKenzie - (a)(i) On what date and (ii) under what terms...|
|Bill name||Date introduced||Number||Status|
|Broadcasting Amendment Bill||04 Dec 2015||B39-2015||Withdrawn|
|Films and Publications Amendment Bill||23 Nov 2015||B37-2015||The bill has been signed into law.|
|South African Postbank Limited Amendment Bill||31 Jul 2013||B25-2013||Act commenced|
|South African Post Office SOC LTD Amendment Bill||31 Jul 2013||B24-2013||Act commenced|
|Electronic Communications Amendment Bill||11 Jul 2013||B17-2013||Act commenced|
|Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Amendment Bill||11 Jul 2013||B18-2013||Act commenced|
|2010 Sectional Titles Amendment Bill||28 Jun 2010||B14-2010||Act commenced|
|South African Post Office Bill||09 Feb 2010||B2-2010||Act commenced|
|South African Postbank Bill||06 Nov 2009||B14-2009||Act commenced|
|Protection of Personal Information Bill||25 Aug 2009||B9-2009||Act partially commenced|
|Broadcasting Amendment Bill||15 Aug 2008||B72-2008||Act commenced|
|Electronic Communications Amendment Bill||01 Oct 2007||B38-2007||Act commenced|
|Postal Services Amendment Bill||07 Sep 2006||B22-2006||Act commenced|
AttendanceRanked 43 out of 60 for NA
Secretaries of Committee:
Tel: 021 403 3733
Cell: 083 709 8407
Tel: 021 403 8264
Cell: 061 472 9191
Secretary To Chairperson:
Tel: 021 403 2404
Cell: 083 709 8497