Oversight responsibility of Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee
The Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee is responsible for oversight of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ & CD) and Department of Correctional Services (DCS) as well as the following statutory entities:
Rules Board for Courts of Law
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.
|NW2594 by Prof C.T Msimang - (1)(a) What number of public prisons are...|
|NW2595 by T Msimang - (1)(a) To which facilities were the 3 000...|
|NW2596 by T Msimang - What steps does he intend taking to set higher...|
|NW2683 by Mr J Engelbrecht - (1)What total number of offenders (a) applied...|
|NW2749 by Mr J Engelbrecht - (a) What total amount did (i) his department...|
|NW2632 by Mrs Y N Yako - (a) What (i) total number of witnesses have...|
|NW2691 by Adv G Breytenbach - What (a) total amount was stolen from the...|
|NW2692 by Adv G Breytenbach - With reference to the reported suspension of...|
|NW2049 by Adv G Breytenbach - Whether Christiaan Prinsloo, a former Police...|
|NW2385 by Mr W Horn - With reference to the lifestyle audits that...|
|NW2170 by Mr F J Mulder - Whether the (a) Legal Practice Council and/or...|
|NW2442 by Prof C T Msimang - Considering that the President, Mr MC...|
|NW2523 by Mr B N Herron - (1) With regard to the findings of the Special...|
|NW1325 by Mrs Y N Yako - Whether he has engaged Justice Cameron to...|
|NW1443 by Mrs Y N Yako - (a) What total (i) number of remand detainees...|
|NW2296 by Adv G Breytenbach - With reference to the strengthening of...|
|NW1376 by Mr W Horn - What is the total number of (a) prosecutions...|
|NW2364 by Adv G Breytenbach - What are the details of all (a) judicial...|
|NW2295 by Ms A Ramolobeng - In view of the silo approach by departments in...|
|NW2359 by Ms A M van Zyl - Whether the National Register for Sex...|
|NW2282 by Mr J Engelbrecht - What total number of (a) applications for...|
|NW2283 by Ms A M M Weber - Whether his department has a budget for...|
|NW2279 by Adv G Breytenbach - (a) By what date is it envisaged that he would...|
|NW2306 by Mr A M Shaik Emam - What is the latest development on the...|
|NW2311 by N Yako - What (a) is the total number of detainees who...|
|NW2278 by Adv G Breytenbach - (1) With reference to his indication on 20...|
|NW1560 by Mr W Horn - What progress has been made to address the...|
|NW1252 by Mr J Engelbrecht - (a) On what date was his department informed...|
|NW1253 by Mr J Engelbrecht - (a) On what exact date was his department...|
|NW1281 by Mr V Pambo - Whether, in view of the experience the...|
|NW815 by Prof C T Msimang - Whether, in view of reports in August 2022...|
|NW1662 by Adv G Breytenbach - Given the increase in cybercrime experienced...|
|NW1807 by Mr P Madokwe - Given that a documentary from around 2016...|
|NW1814 by Dr P J Groenewald - Whether, in a further follow-up to his reply...|
|NW2079 by T Msimang - In light of the fact that the Government has...|
|NW2144 by Prof C T Msimang - Whether, given that he allocated R820 million...|
|NW2145 by Prof C T Msimang - Whether, with reference to his maiden Budget...|
|NW2208 by Mr A G Whitfield - Whether the exemption in terms of Section...|
|NW2229 by Mrs T P Msane - What total number of (a) courts do not have...|
|NW2443 by T Msimang - Considering that prisons are not equipped to...|
|NW2506 by Ms C N Mkhonto - Whether the 2023-24 budget allocated to the...|
|NW2389 by Adv G Breytenbach - Given the recent shooting of a witness outside...|
|NW2269 by Prof C T Msimang - Given that tens of thousands of persons were...|
|NW2270 by Prof C T Msimang - Given that his department heavily invests in...|
|NW2297 by Mr X Nqola - What measures has his department put in place...|
|NW2290 by Mr W Horn - In light of the confirmation by the President...|
|NW272 by Mr W Horn - (a) What progress has been made to ensure that...|
|NW1568 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether the Government intends to execute the...|
|NW1628 by Mr B N Herron - Whether, considering that the Gauteng...|
|NW1601 by Mr T Mogale - (1)Whether, in light of the Thabo Bester...|