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.

18 Mar 2021 Virtual oversight on vacant state owned properties
17 Mar 2021 Virtual oversight on cash missions
16 Mar 2021 Relocation of two missions in New York: DIRCO update, with Minister & Deputy Minister
10 Mar 2021 Trajectory of Biden Administration foreign policy on South Africa/Africa relations
03 Mar 2021 Postponed: South Africa’s performance during its dual tenure at UNSC & AU: DIRCO briefing
25 Feb 2021 DIRCO on implementation of Committee New York Oversight Report recommendations; with Minister
17 Feb 2021 Director-General precautionary suspension & Committee New York Oversight Report
10 Feb 2021 DIRCO & ARF Quarter 1 & 2 2020/21 performance; with Deputy Ministers
03 Dec 2020 DIRCO Budgetary Review Recommendations Report; with Deputy Minister
26 Nov 2020 DIRCO & ARF 2019/20 Annual Reports; with Deputy Minister
25 Nov 2020 Committee 100 day Status Report; DIRCO Audit Action Plan; DIRCO Finance Branch performance
12 Nov 2020 Audit Outcomes DIRCO & African Renaissance Fund 2019/20; with Deputy Ministers
28 Oct 2020 Report assessing performance of the Committee in its 100 days
21 Oct 2020 ARF 2019/20 performance; LA Consul General; AU Commission posts; with Deputy Minister
20 Oct 2020 DIRCO response to Committee Recommendations; Zondo Commission & Sudan Acting Ambassador allegations
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 Supplementary Budget Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation, Dated 16 July 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
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: 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
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 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
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
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 workshop held on the role of Parliament in treaty-making processes, dated 14 August 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
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 ATC080305: Report AFRICOM
05 Mar 2008 ATC050305: Report IBSA Summit
Report: Visit to Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syria
Report: Study Tour to Western Sahara and Algeria
10 Mar 2021 NW512 by Mr E J Marais - Whether any staff member in her department (a)...
24 Feb 2021 NW81 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether, considering the widespread...
22 Feb 2021 NW82 by Mr M Hlengwa - What are the details of the (a) phone call she...
22 Feb 2021 NW134 by Mr D Bergman - Whether, with reference to increased rates of...
21 Dec 2020 NW2976 by Mr D Bergman - Whether she will approach the African Union to...
21 Dec 2020 NW3054 by Mr M Hlengwa - In view of the fact that her department’s...
17 Dec 2020 NW2738 by Mr A C Roos - Whether the website of the SA High Commission...
14 Dec 2020 NW2564 by Mr D Bergman - With regard to all properties rented by her...
14 Dec 2020 NW2658 by MS T MSANE - What (a) role did the Government play towards...
09 Dec 2020 NW2872 by Mrs T P Msane - Whether, given that her department has not...
09 Dec 2020 NW2924 by Mr M Hlengwa - With regard to South Africa being expected to...
01 Dec 2020 NW2640 by Mr D Bergman - What (a) are the detailed reasons that the...
16 Nov 2020 NW2642 by Mr D Bergman - Whether any of the current officials from her...
16 Nov 2020 NW2641 by Mr D Bergman - 1. Whether the department uses the WIN system;...
03 Nov 2020 NW2383 by Mrs T P Msane - What multilateral programmes do the Southern...
03 Nov 2020 NW2490 by Mr M Hlengwa (Kwa-Zulu Natal: IFP) to ask the Minister: - (1) In light of recent reports that have...
30 Oct 2020 NW2491 by Mr M Hlengwa - In light of the fact that the Nigerian...
27 Oct 2020 NW2382 by Mrs T P Msane - In view of the increasing damage being caused...
27 Oct 2020 NW2381 by Mrs T P Msane - Whether she has engaged with the Minister of...
25 Sep 2020 NW2135 by Mr C Mackenzie - What are the reasons that the Government has...
21 Sep 2020 NW2136 by Mr C Mackenzie - What are the reasons that the Government has...
07 Sep 2020 NW2222 by Mr M Waters - Whether, the reference to the Foreign Service...
13 Aug 2020 NW1567 by Mrs T P Msane - What measures is the African Union (AU) taking...
13 Aug 2020 NW1568 by Mrs T P Msane - Whether she has engaged with her counterparts...
13 Aug 2020 NW1574 by Mr A C Roos - (a) What is the average return period when a...
13 Jul 2020 NW1409 by Mr D Bergman - (1) (a) What are the reasons that the consular...
23 Jun 2020 NW1003 by Mr M Hlengwa - 1.(a) What total number of persons were...
19 Jun 2020 NW1158 by Dr C P Mulder - Whether her department purchased any goods...
29 May 2020 NW924 by Dr C P Mulder - Whether her department awarded any tenders...
21 May 2020 NW808 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether the Republic has recorded any positive...
21 May 2020 NW874 by Prof B Bozzoli - Whether her department will offer any form of...
21 May 2020 NW807 by Mr M Hlengwa - What (a) interventions and plans does the...
06 May 2020 NW615 by Mr M Hlengwa - Whether she intends to intervene and engage...
06 May 2020 NW590 by Mr B S Madlingozi - Whether her department will assist with regard...
16 Mar 2020 NW59 by Mr D Bergman - (1) (a) Why does the South African property in...
16 Mar 2020 NW151 by Mr D Bergman - In view of the deteriorating political and...
02 Mar 2020 NW61 by Mr M Chetty - What number of ambassadors were appointed in...
02 Mar 2020 NW60 by Mr M Chetty - What (a) is the average expenditure per annum...
24 Feb 2020 NW58 by Mr D Bergman - What suggestions were put forward by the...
09 Dec 2019 NW1522 by Mr D Bergman - Whether her department entered into a rental...
06 Dec 2019 NW1398 by Mr M Chetty - Whether, with reference to the New York...
05 Dec 2019 NW1397 by Mr M Chetty (DA) - Whether her department hosted an event in...
03 Dec 2019 NW1612 by Mr D Bergman - Whether the Cabinet discussed the withdrawal...
26 Nov 2019 NW1521 by Mr D Bergman - Whether her department has organised a mid –...
19 Nov 2019 NW1470 by Mr M J Cuthbert - 1) What is the Government ‘s position on the...
06 Nov 2019 NW1367 by Mr GKY Cachalia - Whether her department did business with...
04 Nov 2019 NW558 by Mr D Bergman - (1) With regard to the matter between the...
29 Oct 2019 NW557 by Mr D Bergman - Is there still an embassy of Haiti in the...
21 Oct 2019 NW1098 by Mr D Bergman - Whether, with reference to her reply to...
20 Sep 2019 NW924 by Mr D Bergman - What amount has the African Renaissance Fund...

All questions to the Minister

Bill name Date introduced Number Status
Foreign Service Bill 04 Nov 2015 B35-2015 The bill has been signed into law.
Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Amendment Bill 20 Jun 2008 B55-2008 Act commenced
2021 8 meetings Attendance rate 68%
2020 24 meetings 74%
2019 12 meetings 79%
Detailed attendance data by committee and MP

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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