The Multiparty Women's Caucus consists of all women members of the National Assembly and women permanent delegates of the National Council of Provinces
The Multiparty Women's Caucus is directed by a steering committee consisting of the Chairperson and five members elected by the caucus
The Multiparty Women's Caucus acts as an advisory, influencing and consultative body by:
- representing the interests and concerns of women members of Parliament
- promoting the discussion of women issues in Parliament
- making submissions to the portfolio committee charged with oversight of women's issues, either at request of the committee or at its own initiative
- introducting a women's perspective and focus in parliamentary activities, including the programming debate
- engaging on developmental and empowerment issues with women in political structures outside Parliament and women members of parliaments internationally
- considering any other matter within its mandate referred to it by either House
A question before the Multiparty Women's Caucus is decided when there is agreement among the majority of the members present, provided that at least 15 members are present
The National Assembly and National Council of Provinces have the power to establish Joint Committees. There are Joint Committees established by or in terms of the Joint Rules, Committees established in terms of legislation and other Joint Committees to deal with any other matters affecting both Houses
Joint Committees may only establish subcommittees when there is provision for such appointment in the Joint Rules or authorised by the Joint Rules Committee or by resolutions adopted in the Assembly and the Council
The Joint Rules apply to the Joint Committees
Except where the Joint Rules or decisions of the Joint Rules Committee prescribe otherwise, the composition of a joint committee in such that parties are entitled to be represented in the Assembly component of joint committees in substantially the same proportion as the proportion in which they are represented in the Assembly and provinces are entitled to equal representation in the Council component of joint committees
Alternate members may be appointed for one or more specific members of a joint committee. An alternate acts as a member when the member for which the alternate was appointed is absent or has vacated office, until the vacancy is filled
If a joint committee has co-chairpersons, the co-chairpersons must cochair meetings of the committee except when one of them takes the chair by agreement between them
Joint committees report to both Houses on matters referred to the committee
Rule 32 of the Joint Rules of Parliament (6th Edition) say that for the purposes of performing its functions joint 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 procedure
- 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
Joint committees may not initiate legislation
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
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, the budget of the House, support for Members, internal arrangements, 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 has its own domestic Committees. The Rules Committee and its subcommittees deal with the NCOP rules, the NCOP budget, parliamentary privileges, internal arrangements, international relations and delegated legislation. 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.
|ATC190319: Report of the Multi- Party Women’s Caucus on its activities undertaken during the 5th Parliament (May 2014 – March 2019)|
There are no calls for comments at this time.
There are no questions at this time.
|Bill name||Date introduced||Number||Status|
|National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill||29 Nov 2022||B31-2022||Under consideration by the National Council of Provinces.|
|Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill||20 Dec 2021||B25-2021||Act commenced|