International Relations

National Assembly Committee

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Oversight responsibility of International Relations and Cooperation Portfolio Committee

The International Relations and Cooperation Portfolio Committee is responsible for oversight of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) as well as the following statutory entities:

African Renaissance and International Cooperation 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

Powers

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

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.

Read More: A note to the Sixth Parliament: Committee Membership

Read More: A Note to the Sixth Parliament: The critical role of Committee Chairperson

 

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)

Media

General Public


THE DIFFERENT COMMITTEES OF PARLIAMENT

Portfolio Committees
The National Assembly (NA) appoints from among its members a number of Portfolio Committees to shadow the work of the various national government departments.

Select Committees
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.

Internal Committees
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.

Joint Committees
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.

 

 

 

 

 

No results.

30 Nov 2022 COP27 Outcomes: DIRCO briefing; with Deputy Minister
23 Nov 2022 Committee Minutes
16 Nov 2022 Pan African Parliament construction: DIRCO briefing; with Deputy Ministers
09 Nov 2022 South Africa’s participation in High-Level meetings of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly; with Deputy Minister
02 Nov 2022 RSA-USA Bilateral Mechanism: DIRCO briefing; with Deputy Minister
26 Oct 2022 Lesotho elections: DIRCO briefing; with Minister
19 Oct 2022 International Relations and Cooperation BRRR
12 Oct 2022 DIRCO & African Renaissance Fund Annual Report 2021/22; with Deputy Minister
11 Oct 2022 International Relations Portfolio Audit Outcomes
28 Sep 2022 Kenya, Angola, Lesotho elections: briefing with Deputy Minister
14 Sep 2022 DIRCO ICT strategy; with Deputy Minister
07 Sep 2022 DIRCO on how the Economic Diplomacy related activities in Africa have contributed to addressing the domestic challenges facing South Africa; with Minister
31 Aug 2022 DIRCO & ARF Quarter 4 2021/22 Performance; Committee APP and Strategic Plan
19 Oct 2022 ATC221019: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 19 October 2022
01 Jun 2022 ATC220601: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, on the Agreement Between the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation Of Poverty and Hunger (IBSA Fund Agreement), 1 June 2022
01 Jun 2022 ATC220601: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, on the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union Relating to the Pan-African Parliament, 1 June 2022
26 May 2022 ATC220526: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the 3rd quarter 2021/22 performance and expenditure of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the ARF, dated 9 March 2022
26 May 2022 ATC220526: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the 1st and 2nd quarters 2021/22 expenditure performance of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the ARF, dated 9 March 2022
25 May 2022 ATC220525: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on conducting an oversight visit on the status of state-owned properties in Namibia, dated 18 May 2022
11 May 2022 ATC220511: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, dated 11 May 2022
25 Nov 2021 ATC211125: Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report 2020/2021
28 May 2021 ATC210528: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on conducting a Virtual Oversight visit on South Africa’s cash Missions and Missions with vacant land parcels and state-owned properties abroad, dated 26 May, 2021
19 May 2021 ATC210519: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, dated19 May2021
14 May 2021 ATC210514: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the 1st and 2ndquarters 2020/21 expenditure performance of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund, dated12 May 2021
07 Dec 2020 ATC201207: Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report 2019/2020
17 Jul 2020 ATC200717: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the 4th Quarter 2019/20 Expenditure Performance of the Department Of International Relations and Cooperation and the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund, Dated 16 July 2020
17 Jul 2020 ATC200717: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Supplementary Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, Dated 16 July 2020
11 Jun 2020 ATC200611: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, on South Africa’s Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in South East Asia, dated 10 June 2020
03 Jun 2020 ATC200603: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, dated29 May2020
16 Mar 2020 ATC200316: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on conducting a fact-finding oversight visit on the status of the pilot project for the acquisition of office accommodation for the South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the Consulate-General, in New York, United States of America, dated 4 March 2020
13 Nov 2019 ATC191113: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Foreign Service Bill [B 35B-2015] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 6 November 2019
13 Nov 2019 ATC191113: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Foreign Service Bill [B 35B-2015] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 6 November 2019
06 Nov 2019 ATC191106: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Foreign Service Bill [B 35B-2015] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 6 November 2019:
23 Oct 2019 ATC191023: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 23 October 2019
10 Jul 2019 ATC190710: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, Dated 10 July 2019
22 Nov 2018 ATC181122: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Foreign Service Bill [B 35-2015], dated 22 November 2018
24 Oct 2018 ATC181024: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 24 October 2018
24 Oct 2018 ATC181024: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, dated 24 October 2018
24 Oct 2018 ATC181024: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 24 October 2018
01 Jan 2018 ATC180131: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Study Tour to Ottawa, Canada, dated 31 January 2018
18 Oct 2017 ATC171018: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 18 October 2017
17 May 2017 ATC170517: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, dated 17 May 2017
03 May 2017 ATC170503: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on a mission of conducting oversight on the implementation of the Joint Commission of Cooperation between South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran and the execution of South Africa’s international relations policy, in Teheran, Iran and Doha, Qatar from 9-12 May 2015, dated 3 May 2017
03 May 2017 ATC170503: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the hearing of a petition by the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P) pledging solidarity with the people of Palestine, dated 3 May 2017
03 May 2017 ATC170503: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on its oversight on the facilities and premises of the headquarters building of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Protocol State Lounges, State Guesthouses and the Pan African Parliament, dated 3 May 2017
03 May 2017 ATC170503: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the White Paper on South Africa’s Foreign Policy, dated 3 May 2017
03 May 2017 ATC170503: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, on the public lecture on the current situation and South Africa’s position on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), dated 3 May 2017
25 Oct 2016 ATC161025: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 25 October 2016
21 Apr 2016 ATC160421: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, dated 20 April 2016
26 Oct 2015 ATC151026: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 20 October 2015
14 May 2015 ATC150514: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Budget Vote 6: Department of International Relations and Cooperation, dated 13 May 2015
24 Oct 2014 ATC141027: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 24 October 2014
09 Jul 2014 ATC140711: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Budget Vote 5: International Relations and Cooperation, dated 9 July 2014
12 Mar 2014 ATC140320: Five-Year Review of the activities of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation (May 2009-March 2014) Adopted On 12 March 2014
31 Oct 2013 ATC131105: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, dated 31 October 2013
30 Oct 2013 ATC131105: The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 30 October 2013
06 Oct 2013 ATC131108: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the dialogue on South Africa-Cuba relations: Successes and challenges towards the implementation of processes aimed at kick-starting economic processes in Cuba, dated 6 October 2013
11 Sep 2013 ATC131106: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the study tour to Israel and Palestine dated 11 September 2013
14 Aug 2013 ATC130909: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, on the Oversight visit to the Headquarters of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, dated 14 August 2013
14 Aug 2013 ATC130909: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the workshop held on the role of Parliament in treaty-making processes, dated 14 August 2013
22 May 2013 ATC130528: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Budget Vote 5: International Relations and Cooperation, dated 22 May 2013
24 Oct 2012 ATC121025: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the Agreement amending for the second time the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its member states, of the other part, dated 24 October 2012
24 Oct 2012 ATC121025: The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, dated 24 October 2012
29 Aug 2012 ATC120917: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the workshop on progress with processes towards regional integration, dated 29 August 2012
29 Aug 2012 ATC120911: Report of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on the seminar held on the involvement of South African companies and personnel in security related activities and business abroad, the impact on the conduct of foreign policy abroad, dated 29 August 2012
24 Apr 2012 ATC120424: Report The Strategic Plan and Budget Vote
30 Nov 2011 ATC111130: Report Oversight Visits to International Conference Centre (ICC Durban) & King Shaka International State Protocol Lounge, Durban
25 May 2011 ATC110525: Report Strategic Plan and Budget Vote of Department of International Relations & Cooperation
10 Nov 2010 ATC101110: Report Ratification of  African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance
20 Apr 2010 ATC100420: Report Department of International Relations and Cooperation Annual Report for 2008/9
20 Apr 2010 ATC100420: Report Budget Vote 5: International Relations and Cooperation
10 Nov 2009 ATC091110: Report Accession to the revised Cotonu partnership agreement
12 Jun 2009 ATC090612: Report: Budget Vote No 3
21 Oct 2008 ATC081021: Report RSA & Russian Federation Treaty of Friendship & Partnership
05 Mar 2008 ATC050305: Report IBSA Summit
05 Mar 2008 ATC080305: Report AFRICOM
Report: Study Tour to Western Sahara and Algeria
Report: Visit to Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syria
13 Dec 2022 NW4685 by Mr M Tshwaku - What (a) practical steps has the Republic...
13 Dec 2022 NW4721 by Mr M Hlengwa - What are the details of the agreement made...
13 Dec 2022 NW4226 by Mr S L Ngcobo - Whether any agreements were signed / or agreed...
13 Dec 2022 NW4225 by Mr S L Ngcobo - Whether any agreements were signed and/or...
13 Dec 2022 NW3842 by Mr D Bergman - Whether, in light of the fact that the...
13 Dec 2022 NW3841 by Mr D Bergman - Since the illegal invasion of Ukraine by...
13 Dec 2022 NW3769 by Ms T P Msane - In light of the fact that the State of...
13 Dec 2022 NW3768 by Ms T P Msane - Noting that the Republic has been elected to a...
13 Dec 2022 NW4720 by Mr M Hlengwa - With regard to the visit by the President , Mr...
13 Dec 2022 NW4719 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether her department has considered...
13 Dec 2022 NW4278 by Ms T P Msane - How will the lack of ocean security in the...
13 Dec 2022 NW4277 by Ms T P Msane - What role is the Indian Ocean Rim Association...
13 Dec 2022 NW4228 by Mr M Hlengwa - How does her department, with regard to the...
13 Dec 2022 NW4227 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether her department, in light of the terror...
05 Dec 2022 NW4403 by Mr M S Mabika - What is the (a) total number of staff employed...
15 Nov 2022 NW4108 by Mrs T P Msane - What are the details of the mediatory role the...
08 Nov 2022 NW3876 by Dr C P Mulder - Whether she will confirm reports from her...
08 Nov 2022 NW3979 by Mr K J Mileham - Whether the Republic intends to renew the...
08 Nov 2022 NW3928 by Ms T P Msane - What were the outcomes of her and/ or her...
25 Oct 2022 NW3700 by Mrs T P Msane - What are the details of the Republic’s foreign...
25 Oct 2022 NW3563 by Mr M Hlengwa - What discussions were undertaken with her...
25 Oct 2022 NW3699 by Mrs T P Msane - In light of the fact that the Economic...
25 Oct 2022 NW3564 by Mr M Hlengwa - ) Whether, she found that the Deputy Minister...
14 Oct 2022 NW3519 by Mr D Bergman - In light of the fact that Zimbabwe is heading...
14 Oct 2022 NW3420 by Ms T P Msane - What (a) plans have been put in place to make...
14 Oct 2022 NW3517 by Mr D Bergman - When announcing the mobilisation of his...
14 Oct 2022 NW3518 by Mr D Bergman - Whether, with regard to the Human Rights...
14 Oct 2022 NW3421 by Ms T P Msane - What (a) plans have been put in place to...
12 Oct 2022 NW3332 by Mr D Bergman - Whether the Government has provided any...
03 Oct 2022 NW3136 by Mr D Bergman - With reference to her reply to question 2638...
03 Oct 2022 NW2920 by Mr M Hlengwa - (a) How does her department plan to ensure...
22 Sep 2022 NW3001 by Mr M S Malatsi - Whether she and / or her department submitted...
21 Sep 2022 NW2922 by Mr M Hlengwa - With regard to her comments during the United...
21 Sep 2022 NW2921 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether, in light of the unrelenting invasion...
09 Sep 2022 NW2672 by Mr M S Mabika - On what date did she last attend a meeting...
21 Jul 2022 NW2409 by Mr C D Mulder - To what extent has her department been engaged...
22 Jun 2022 NW2260 by Mr W F Faber - Given that it was revealed in the AfriForum...
17 May 2022 NW1732 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether there were any new agreements that...
17 May 2022 NW1513 by Mr M Hlengwa - With reference to the Joint Communique’on the...
17 May 2022 NW1731 by Mr M Hlengwa - What are the full relevant details of the...
12 May 2022 NW1584 by Mr N E Hinana - Whether (a) her department and /or (b)...
11 May 2022 NW1225 by Mrs T P Msane - Noting that the United States of America is...
11 May 2022 NW1665 by The Leader of the Opposition - What are the full details of (a) all the (i)...
09 May 2022 NW1666 by The Leader of the Opposition - Whether she has found that the Government’s...
06 May 2022 NW1206 by Ms N N Chirwa - In light of the fact that the South African...
06 May 2022 NW1419 by Mr M Hlengwa - With reference to the President of the...
05 May 2022 NW1420 by Mr M Hlengwa - With reference to her speech at a dinner...
05 May 2022 NW731 by Mrs T P Msane - How has she found China’s Belt and Road...
29 Apr 2022 NW1224 by Mrs T P Msane - Whether she has been informed of any Planning...
25 Apr 2022 NW714 by Mr M Hlengwa - In the light of the fact that she planned to...

All questions to the Minister

Bill name Date introduced Number Status
Foreign Service Bill 04 Nov 2015 B35-2015 Act commenced
Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Amendment Bill 20 Jun 2008 B55-2008 Act commenced
2022 27 meetings Attendance rate 62%
2021 22 meetings 67%
2020 24 meetings 74%
2019 12 meetings 79%
Detailed attendance data by committee and MP Learn about our Attendance Methodology

Contact

Secretary of Committee:

Lubabalo Sigwela

Tel: 021 403 3808

Cell: 083 709 8508

Email: lsigwela@parliament.gov.za

Secretary To Chairperson:

Andisa Macanda

Tel: 021 403 2949

Cell: 083 709 8463

Email: amacanda@parliament.gov.za

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