The Week Ahead: Budget vote debate season begins

May 4, 2015 (5 years, 2 months ago)

Since early March, portfolio committees have been meeting with departments and entities to process their budget votes and prepare reports.

The focus now shifts to the budget vote debates that commence tomorrow and run until the end of the month. These debates will happen in the Extended Public Committees (EPCs), which are mini-sittings of the National Assembly and are considered an alternative forum for debates.

Beyond this, Parliament has scheduled a joint sitting to mark Freedom Day. The theme for the debate is: "Consolidation of our freedom through accelerating radical economic transformation!”. This event was originally scheduled for last week but was postponed after the legislature curtailed its activities and MPs were asked to spend time in their communities to fight against xenophobia.

Elsewhere, the NA has arranged a second reading debate for the Banks Amendment Bill and Financial and Fiscal Commission Amendment Bill.

Meanwhile, Ministers in the Social Services cluster will answer oral questions in the NCOP on Thursday. The role of statutes and other symbols, the provision of water and housing and SASSA grants are just some of the issues that will come to the fore during this question session.

The committee corridor has been diluted as a result of the busy plenary programme. Some NCOP committees have arranged briefings from various departments on their strategic and annual performance plans this week. It will be interesting to see if the presentations have been specifically tailored to address issues relevant to provinces or if it will be a repeat of what was said to the portfolio committees.

Here is a run down of the highlights:

The recent xenophobic attacks continue to linger as Parliament, the executive and civil society discuss how to arrest this problem. The issue will again be in the spotlight on Tuesday when the Department of Home Affairs, the International Organisation for Migration and the African Centre for Migration & Society brief MPs on Regional Integration and Regional Migration Trends.

On Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests will set a deadline for annual disclosure of members’ interests 2015 as well as adopt a new declaration form. The Remuneration Commission will also brief MPs on the same day.

On the legislative side, there will be further deliberations on the Maintenance Amendment Bill and Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill. In addition, National Treasury will brief the Select Committee on Finance on the Banks Amendment Bill and the Financial and Fiscal Commission Amendment Bill and the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill.

Click here for the full list of committee meetings for this week.

See below for the budget vote schedule. *The schedule has not been clustered according to any particular order and each debate has been allocated 2hrs 25mins, barring the debates on Parliament’s and the Presidency’s budgets.

TUESDAY, 5 MAY Extended Public Committees: 14:00 – 16:30 Debate on Vote 16: Health (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 7: National Treasury (State Security) (OAC) 16:40 – 18:40 Debate on Vote 8: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 35: Transport (OAC)

WEDNESDAY, 6 MAY Extended Public Committees: 15:00 – ±17:00 Debate on Vote 14: Basic Education (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 11: Public Works (OAC) 17:00 – ±19:00 Debate on Vote 5: Home Affairs (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 12: Statistics South Africa (OAC)

THURSDAY, 7 MAY Extended Public Committees: 14:00 – 16:30 Debate on Vote 38: Human Settlements (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 28: Labour (OAC) 16:40 – 18:40 Debate on Vote 29: Mineral Resources (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 7: National Treasury (OAC) FRIDAY, 8 MAY Extended Public Committees: 10:00 – 12:30 Debate on Vote 39: Rural Development and Land Reform (NA Chamber)

TUESDAY, 12 MAY 09:00 – 12:45 Committees Extended Public Committees: 14:00 – 16:30 Debate on Vote 25: Economic Development (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 17: Social Development (OAC) 17:00 – 19:00 Debate on Vote 26: Energy (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 13: Women (OAC)

WEDNESDAY, 13 MAY Extended Public Committees: 15:00 – 17:00 Debate on Vote 15: Higher Education and Training (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 10: Public Service and Administration (OAC) 17:00 – 19:00 Debate on Vote 24: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 6: International Relations and Cooperation (OAC)

THURSDAY, 14 MAY Extended Public Committees: 14:00 – 16:30 Debate on Vote 4: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 33: Tourism (OAC) 16:40 – 18:40 Debate on Vote 9: Public Enterprises (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 27: Environmental Affairs (OAC)

FRIDAY, 15 MAY Extended Public Committees: 10:00 – 12:30 Debate on Vote 23 & 20: Police & Independent Police and Investigative Directorate (NA Chamber)

TUESDAY, 19 MAY Extended Public Committees: 14:00 – 16:30 Debate on Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 19: Defence and Military Veterans (OAC) 16:40 – 18:40 Debate on Vote 22: Office of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 37: Arts and Culture (OAC)

WEDNESDAY, 20 MAY Extended Public Committees: 15:00 – 17:00 Debate on Vote 18: Correctional Services (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 3: Communications (OAC) 17:00 – 19:00 Debate on Vote 31: Small Business Development (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 40: Sport and Recreation South Africa (OAC)

THURSDAY, 21 MAY Extended Public Committees: 14:00 – 16:30 Debate on Vote 36: Water and Sanitation (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 30: Science and Technology (OAC) 16:40 – 18:40 Debate on Vote 34: Trade and Industry (NA Chamber) Debate on Vote 32: Telecommunications and Postal Services (OAC)

TUESDAY, 26 MAY PLENARY Debate on Vote 1: Presidency

WEDNESDAY, 27 MAY 15:00 - PLENARY Resumption of debate on Vote 1: The Presidency (Reply by President)

THURSDAY, 28 MAY 14:00 – ±17:00 PLENARY Debate on Vote 2: Parliament



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