Oversight responsibility of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Portfolio Committee
The Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Portfolio Committee is responsible for oversight of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries as well as the following statutory entities:
Marine Living Resources Fund
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.
|NW1394 by Ms A M M Weber - (1) What number of other breeding and...|
|NW1393 by Ms A M M Weber - (1) Whether the Department found that the 12+...|
|NW1303 by Ms H S Winkles - By what date does she envisage will the list...|
|NW1276 by Mr A C Roos - In light of the fact that the Department is...|
|NW1301 by Me H S Winkler - 1) With reference to the reply to question 834...|
|NW1302 by Ms H S Winkler - 1. Whether beaches are open under Alert Level...|
|NW1167 by Mr M S F de Freitas - With reference to the Kruger National Park and...|
|NW932 by Mr P Mey - Whether her Department awarded any tender...|
|NW618 by Mr N Singh - (1) what (a) is the total number of informal...|
|NW834 by Ms H S Winkler - (a) What criteria are necessary to declare an...|
|NW804 by Mr N Singh (IFP) - 1) With regard to the Level 4 regulations on...|
|NW37 by Mr A G Whitfield - What was the total number of live (a) black...|
|NW1360 by Ms A L A Abrahams - Whether her department did business with...|
|NW1314 by Ms HS Winkler - (I) Will the member of the South African...|
|NW1290 by Mr N Singh - With reference B the Government Notice No 1317...|
|NW1185 by Mr N Singh - Whether she intends taking action to ensure...|
|NW1300 by Mrs. A MM Weber - (1) Whether mining activities are prohibited...|
|NW1186 by Mr M Waters - What progress has been made since her reply to...|
|NW1163 by Ms A L A Abrahams - Whether her department incurred anyrelated to...|
|NW1069 by Mr S N August - (1) Whether, in view of the fact that the...|
|NW738 by 06 September 2019 Mr G K Y Cachalia - Whether her department hosted any event and/or...|
|NW660 by Ms A M M Weber - (a) When last did her department monitor the...|
|NW458 by Mr N Singh - (1) What is the (a) impact of the declaration...|
|NW480 by Ms H S Winkler - (1) What is the square meterage and grade of...|
|NW457 by Mr N Singh - Question : In view of the fact that no permit...|
|NW443 by Ms CV King - (1) Which beaches lost their blue flag status...|
|NW411 by Mr J R B Lorimer - (1) What are the details of the process...|
|NW357 by Mr M Bagraim - What (a) number of official international...|
|NW413 by Mr J R B Lorimer - (1) What number of (a) persons were arrested...|
|NW344 by Mr N Singh - Whether, In respect of the Republic's listed...|
|NW412 by Mr J R B Lorimer - (1) Whether she has found that long-line...|
|NW410 by Me H S Winkler - (1) (a) What number of (i) lions are currently...|
|NW312 by Ms H S Winkler - Whether her department has set a deadline to...|
|NW272 by Ms E R J Spies - What (a) total amount is budgeted for her...|
|NW313 by Ms H S Winkler - (1)(a) On what scientific data did her...|
|NW314 by Ms H S Winkler - Whether she will consider introducing a ban,...|
|NW298 by Mr A G Whitfield - (a) What are the legislative requirements...|
|NW214 by Mr N Singh - What (a) is the total number of employees in...|
|NW213 by Mr N Singh - (a) What is the total number of vacancies in...|
|NW215 by Mr N Singh - What is the total (a) number of government...|
|NW141 by Mr N Singh - 1. Whether, with regard to the current and...|
|NW169 by Mr J R B Lorimer - (1) Whether her department appealed the...|
|NW125 by Mr K J Mileham - (1) Whether any action is being taken to...|
|NW113 by Mr N Singh - What are the full relevant details of the (a)...|
|NW47 by Mr N Paulsen - Who are the current 20 largest recipients of...|
|NW33 by Ms A M M Weber - Whether she intends to introduce legislation...|
|NW57 by Mrs K N F Hlonyana - What tonnage and percentage of the timber...|
|NW49 by Mr N Paulsen - What is the total amount of revenue collected...|
|NW48 by Mr N Paulsen - What is the total tonnes of (a) glass, (b)...|
|NW792 by Mr R K Purdon - What are the details of (a) the strategy...|
|Bill name||Date introduced||Number||Status|
|National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill||24 May 2017||B14-2017||Under consideration by the National Council of Provinces.|
|Marine Spatial Planning Bill||13 Apr 2017||B9-2017||The bill has been signed into law.|
|National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Amendment Bill||22 Apr 2013||B8-2013||The bill has been signed into law.|
AttendanceRanked 49 out of 60 for NA
Secretary of Committee:
Tel: 021 403 3713
Cell: 083 709 8401
Secretary To Chairperson:
Ms Amanda Kleyn
Tel: 021 403 3156
Cell: 083 7098400