Oversight responsibility of Basic Education Portfolio Committee
The Basic Education Portfolio Committee is responsible for oversight of the Department of Basic Education 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.
|NW2691 by Mr S L Ngcobo - (1) What was the outcome of the meeting that...|
|NW2840 by Mr T M Langa - What plans have been put in place to refurbish...|
|NW2764 by Mrs N R Mashabela - Whether, with regard to the Accelerated School...|
|NW2765 by Mrs N R Mashabela - (1) What interventions is she empowered to...|
|NW2788 by Ms A L A Abrahams - What measures has her department put in place...|
|NW2671 by Dr W J Boshoff - (1) Whether, considering the troubling figures...|
|NW2665 by Mr S L Ngcobo - (1) In light of the fact that her department...|
|NW2753 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - Whether her department has any plans to...|
|NW2660 by Ms L H Arries - On what date is it envisaged that the school...|
|NW2518 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - By what date does her department intend to...|
|NW2561 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (1) What is the total number of learners who...|
|NW2513 by Mr T M Langa - Whether her department intends to refurbish...|
|NW2192 by Ms C V King - What type of support was provided to Learners...|
|NW2511 by Ms N P Sonti - Whether her department intends to build a...|
|NW2338 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - Whether, with reference to her reply to...|
|NW2272 by Mrs C C S Motsepe - What (a) total number of schools in the...|
|NW2269 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What measures has been taken against (a)...|
|NW734 by Mr M S F de Freitas - (a) What are the relevant details of the...|
|NW2095 by Ms A L A Abrahams - What (a) total number of social workers who...|
|NW2097 by Ms A L A Abrahams - What is the current case load of each social...|
|NW1812 by R N Komane - What (a) is the total number of schools that...|
|NW2096 by Ms A L A Abrahams - What (a) is the total number of social workers...|
|NW1921 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - Whether all the schools in the Republic have a...|
|NW481 by Mrs D van der Walt - (a) Who are the financial contributors to the...|
|NW1922 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - What (a) total number of (i) learners and (ii)...|
|NW1686 by Mrs D van der Walt - (1) On what date was the Memorandum of...|
|NW2002 by Mrs M O Clarke - With reference to her reply to question 1435...|
|NW1844 by Mrs N R Mashabela - Whether her department has employed the...|
|NW715 by Mrs N R Mashabela - What plans has she put in place in the event...|
|NW1992 by Mrs D van der Walt - (a) What total number of mobile classrooms...|
|NW1969 by Ms M E Sukers - Whether, with reference to her reply to...|
|NW1467 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What (a) are the details of the major factors...|
|NW1991 by Mrs D van der Walt - What are the relevant details of the (a) set...|
|NW1856 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What are the reasons that her department has...|
|NW1827 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What steps will she take to ensure that the...|
|NW1923 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - Whether her department conducted a cost...|
|NW1905 by Prof B Bozzoli - What (a) is the name of each company that has...|
|NW1956 by Mrs N R Mashabela - What are the reasons that (a) A Obilana has...|
|NW1509 by Mrs D van der Walt - (1) What measures has her department put in...|
|NW1649 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What (a) total amount has her department spent...|
|NW1697 by Mr J W W Julius - Whether any educators with comorbidities have...|
|NW1596 by Mrs D van der Walt - Whether schools can apply for financial...|
|NW1758 by Ms C V King - (a) What are the recommended cleaning...|
|NW1765 by Mrs D van der Walt - With regard to Covid-19 what (a) total amount...|
|NW1748 by Ms M E Sukers - Whether, with reference to her department’s...|
|NW1653 by Mrs D B Ngwenya - Whether, in view of the recent incident in the...|
|NW1711 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (a)(i) Where is the form submitted that...|
|NW1435 by M O Clarke - Whether her department will take any steps to...|
|NW1814 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - (1) On what basis was the decision made to...|
|NW1685 by Mrs D van der Walt - (1) What is the total number of principals in...|
|Bill name||Date introduced||Number||Status|
|Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill||13 Oct 2017||X-2017|
|Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill||27 Oct 2010||B36-2010||Act commenced|
|General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Amendment Bill||09 Jul 2008||B35-2008||Act commenced|
|Higher Education Amendment Bill||09 Jun 2008||B34-2008||Act commenced|
|National Qualifications Framework Bill||09 Jun 2008||B33-2008||Act commenced|
|Education Laws Amendment Bill||20 Aug 2007||B33-2007||Act commenced|
|Further Education and Training Colleges Bill||16 Oct 2006||B23-2006||Act commenced|
AttendanceRanked 27 out of 60 for NA
Secretary of Committee:
Tel: 021 403 3764
Cell: 083 709 8450
Secretary to Chairperson:
Tel: 021 403 3174
Cell: 083 709 8441