The constituency period beckons for NA MPs. They are due to depart at the end of the week and return to Parliament on 6 October.
Their NCOP counterparts started the term one week later and will remain in session until 30 September.
Lasting three weeks, this has been one of the shortest terms. Notwithstanding this, a fair amount of work has been done and there has been plenty of opportunity for excitement.
There is significant business in the main chambers this week.
On Tuesday, the National Assembly will debate a matter of national public importance: the recent scourge of farm attacks and murders of farmers and farm workers. The debate is sponsored by the DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard. In a statement earlier this month, she said: “While the South African Police Service (SAPS) have created plan after plan, farmers – black and white – , farm workers – black and white – , their wives, children and parents are today twice as likely to be murdered than a police officer is and four times more likely to be murdered than the average South African”. According to official data, 49 farm murders occurred during the 2019-2020 financial year.
Beyond this, Select Ministers in the Social Services cluster will answer oral questions on Wednesday. Everything from specific performance to governance matters and big-picture policy will be under the microscope.
The following day, there will be a statement by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture on transformation of the heritage landscape in South Africa. Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House, often at short notice. The statements address major incidents, government policies or actions. Each party will be given an opportunity to respond.
Chamber business will also include the consideration of assorted committee reports relating to legislation, appointments and oversight work.
Elsewhere the, NCOP has arranged a Ministerial Briefing Session Progress made on Interventions to accelerate Small Business Development. These events have become a regular feature of the virtual Parliament and are an interactive platform for Ministers and members of the NCOP to engage on the work of government.
In addition, a Women’s Charter Review Session has been scheduled for delegates.
The main point of interest will be the Deputy President’s appearance on Thursday to answer oral questions. In line with the broad tasks delegated to the Deputy President, he will be probed on a variety of issues. This will generate more interest than normal as the Deputy President has missed the last few sessions (in both chambers) due to ill health.
The week rounds off with an interactive Youth Parliament. According to Parliament, “the session aims to bring together young South Africans to interact with the executive on issues affecting them”.
There are many interesting meetings scheduled in the committee corridor:
Tuesday, 1 September 2020
Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Minister on the Black Industrialists programme], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing and progress update by the Department of Home Affairs, City of Cape Town, United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on the situation of migrants during the COVID 19 lockdown including the removal and integration of the protesting refugees at the Green Market Square in Cape Town], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the Independent Electricity Management Operator Bill [B14 – 2019]; Consideration and adoption of Minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Consideration and Adoption of Draft Minutes and Draft Reports; Briefing by the Department of Basic Education on: State of the Reopening of Schools; Update on the National School Nutrition Programme; Draft Directions for Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill; Criminal and Related Matters Bill; Domestic Violence Amendment Bill; Adoption of Committee report on the Cybercrimes and cybersecurity Bill [B6-2017]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30
Constitutional Review Committee, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Tabling of submissions received from the Public on the review of identified sections of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa], Virtual Meeting Platform, 11:00
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on deviations and expansions on contracts], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00
Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill and Disaster Management Tax Administration Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00
Wednesday, 2 September 2020
Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Follow-up meeting with Eskom on the financial issues and progress on Committee’s recommendations; and briefing by National Treasury on Eskom’s compliance with all the conditions attached to the Special Appropriation Bill [B10-2019 (Reprint)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Council of Provinces), [Presentation on the status of South African food security and recommended interventions – Human Science Research Council (HSRC); Presentation on Disaster Management Programmes, Drought Relief programmes in South Africa and progress on research project being conducted to determine the correct amount of resource allocation for the affected provinces - National Department of Agriculture, provincial agricultures, National Treasury and Disaster Management Centre], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Planning session for the National Health Insurance (NHI) Public Hearings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-12:00
Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Public Service and Administration on the monitoring of the prohibition of public servants from doing business with the state; what are the statistics so far and what is the extent of misconduct and penalties in this regard?; Briefing by the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) in its effort to assist government to exercise law of prohibiting public servants from doing business with the state; Briefing by the South African Police Service on the arrest with regard to public servants doing business with the state; Consideration and adoption of Sub-committee programme and advert for the Public Service Commission Commissioner vacancy], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00
Thursday, 3 September 2020
Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (National Assembly), [Interaction on the state of Msunduzi Local Municipality with: MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (briefing on the status of all municipalities under S139 in the province); Msunduzi Local Municipality; Office of the Auditor-General; South African Local Government Association (SALGA); Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 19:00-22:00
Friday, 4 September 2020
Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, SAPS, IPID, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement and the Metro Police on the incident that occurred involving City of Cape the Law enforcement members in Khayelitsha], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:30
Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (National Assembly), [Progress report by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (DPCI) on VBS related matters; Briefing by the Coghsta Limpopo on municipalities under S139 interventions in the Province; Discussion and adoption of the Committees programme; Adoption of minutes and reports], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-16:00
Committees provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs. Share your on the ground experience and expert information to the relevant committees. Critically, what questions should MPs pose to the Executive as they conduct their oversight work?
We have consolidated our reports on the COVID-19 related meetings here.
The constituency period will run from 3 –17 August 2020. This is an unusual time so several committees will continue to meet during this period.
View the schedule page here.
*This summary is based on the schedule as it is published on Monday morning. The programme is subject to frequent updating so the link above needs to be checked daily to confirm the programme for the day.