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.
|NW893 by D van der Walt - Whether her department has finalised Standard...|
|NW894 by Mrs D van der Walt - With reference to the R160 million contract...|
|NW892 by Ms C V King - (a) From which line item in the budget of her...|
|NW863 by Mr H C C Krüger - (1) Whether her department will offer any form...|
|NW582 by Ms N V Mente - Whether, with reference to her reply to oral...|
|NW135 by Mr R A Lees - (1) With reference to the Intaba Primary...|
|NW267 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (1) What (a) number of disabled learners are...|
|NW679 by Mr M S F de Freitas - What (a) assessments has her department done,...|
|NW632 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - Whether her department is putting measures in...|
|NW681 by Mr M S F de Freitas - (a) By what date will additional learner...|
|NW564 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (1) (a) By what date is it envisaged that...|
|NW241 by Mrs D van der Walt - (1) With reference to the Sanitary...|
|NW482 by Mrs D van der Walt - (1) Since what date has the Mceula Primary...|
|NW182 by Mrs N ITarabellaMarchesi - (1) What is the total breakdown of the number...|
|NW589 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What measures has her department put in place...|
|NW563 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - What measures has her department put in place...|
|NW631 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What plans does she have in place to monitor...|
|NW588 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - What measures has her department put in place...|
|NW774 by Mr M S F de Freitas - (1) What are the relevant details of her...|
|NW407 by Mrs D van der Walt - With regard to funds from the National...|
|NW562 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (1) What reasons have compelled her to suspend...|
|NW735 by Mr M S F de Freitas - (a) By what date will her department construct...|
|NW733 by Mr M S F de Freitas - (a) By what date will her department construct...|
|NW434 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (1) What number of learners are currently...|
|NW384 by Mrs N R Mashabela - What (a) total number of schools have...|
|NW317 by Mrs D van der Walt - What number of the (a) Mathematics and (b)...|
|NW344 by Mrs M O Clarke - Whether her department has a drug programme in...|
|NW289 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - Whether her department is planning to build a...|
|NW315 by Mrs D van der Walt - (1) With regard to the minimum norms and...|
|NW436 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - What number of educators have left the...|
|NW435 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - What number of educators with qualifications...|
|NW120 by Thembekwayo - Whether her department intends to provide...|
|NW401 by Ms C V King - How will the district development model, to...|
|NW400 by Ms C V King - What number of children with physical and...|
|NW289 by Dr SS Thembekwayo - Whether her department is planning to build a...|
|NW365 by Ms M E Sukers - (1) Whether, with reference to her...|
|NW224 by Ms L H Arries - Whether her department has been informed that...|
|NW119 by Dr SS Thembekwayo - QUESTION 1:Whether the department has any...|
|NW213 by Mr K Ceza - (1) Whether her department purchased mobile...|
|NW119 by Dr S S Thembekwayo - Whether her department has any plans in place...|
|NW224 by Ms L H Arries - Whether her department has been informed that...|
|NW214 by Mrs N R Mashabela - (1) What (a) number of schools in each...|
|NW343 by Mrs M O Clarke - Whether her department is implementing a first...|
|CW59 by Ms H S Boshoff - Why was the building of the Thaba Chweu...|
|NW266 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - Whether her department intends to phase out...|
|NW183 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (1) What number of versions of the...|
|NW265 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (1) With reference to her department’s...|
|NW316 by Mrs D van der Walt - What is the vacancy rate for teachers in each...|
|NW67 by Mr D Joseph - What (a) type of performance and/or incentive...|
|NW102 by Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi - (a) What number of schools have dropped...|
|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 13 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