The Week Ahead: COVID-19, Legislation & More

June 1, 2020 (1 month, 1 week ago)

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Parliament’s month-long constituency period was supposed to start this week; however it has been pushed back to the end of June to allow the legislature to continue carrying out oversight over government’s COVID-19 response, pass the budget and consider other business.

After several intense weeks, there is a slight lull in the parliamentary agenda for the coming week. Committees have largely concluded their deliberations and reports on the Budget Votes within their portfolios.

The National Assembly can only consider these reports on the Appropriation Bill after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passes the Division of Revenue Bill.

The conclusion of parliamentary processes on the Appropriation Bill (budget) will enable the Minister of Finance to table the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, which will address the financial challenges posed by the Covid-19 virus.

The NCOP will consider the Division of Revenue Bill in its first virtual sitting on Tuesday. The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the share of each sphere of government of the revenue raised nationally for the relevant financial year. The Bill prioritises the following areas over the MTEF:

-Increasing the per-child subsidy for early childhood development services from R15 per day to R17 per day in 2020/21, rising to R18.57 per day by 2022/23;

-Addressing shortfalls in the funding of community outreach services in the health sector;

-Supporting the continued roll-out of free sanitary products to learners from low- income households; and

-Repairing wastewater treatment infrastructure in the Vaal River System.

Whilst processing the Bill, the Select Committee on Appropriations noted that “the local government equitable share is not cost- reflective, and that a 9 percent allocation of the nationally raised revenue does not cover all of the municipal operational expenses. At the same time, municipalities are responsible for about 46 percent of the Constitutional functions, and therefore some demands have continued to be under-budgeted in municipalities”.

Read the full Committee Report here

The other major point of interest is the NCOP’s Women’s Charter Review Session, which moves to the Northern Cape this week.

Elsewhere, there are no sittings scheduled in the National Assembly.

Below is a summary of this week’s most interesting meetings:

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Finance and Select Committee on Finance, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on the Mpati Commission of Inquiry Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Adoption of Budget Vote Report of PC on Mineral Resources and Energy; Consideration and adoption of Minutes; Update by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on the Solar Water Heater programme], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation and Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (National Assembly), [Joint meeting with Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to receive a briefing on the tariff determinations by water boards], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Follow-up meeting with the SAPS on the Firearm Amnesty], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises and Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by Eskom on the recovery plan and progress in the unbundling of Eskom into three independent entities], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Appropriation Bill [B4-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Portfolio Committee on Communications, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of the report recommending candidates for appointment to the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board; Adoption of outstanding Committee minutes] Virtual Meeting Platform, 20:00-21:00

Select Committee on Security and Justice, (National Council of Provinces), [Deliberations and consideration of the written submissions on the Civil Union Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Department of Social Development on progress made in implementing on Gender Based Violence Fermicide (GBVF) emergency response action plan], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00

Friday, 5 June 2020

Standing Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Public Hearings on the Appropriation Bill [B4-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality on the their response plans for COVID-19], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00

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.

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.

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