The Week Ahead: It’s all about SONA 2022

7 Feb 2022 (7 months, 3 weeks ago)

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his sixth State of the Nation Address on Thursday at 19:00.

The President will address both Houses of Parliament on his administration’s priorities for the year and the current political and socio-economic state of the nation. The tradition of giving a State of the Nation Address is rooted in the Joint Rules of Parliament, read together with the Constitution. Rule 7(1)(a) of the Joint Rules states that the President may call a joint sitting of the Houses when it is necessary to deliver the annual or a special address to Parliament.The State of the Nation Address forms part of Parliament’s oversight (monitoring) function. It also marks the opening of the parliamentary year.

For the first time in our constitutional democracy, the address will happen outside the parliamentary precinct. Parliament had to find an alternative venue following the fire that gutted the National Assembly Chamber in early January. Following discussion and inspection, the Cape Town City Hall was selected as the most suitable facility that met all the parliamentary requirements regarding infrastructure and capacity. The joint rules were amended to make provision for this as it did not provide for circumstances where the stipulated venue is not available. All the appropriate rules and laws will apply to this venue.

The post-Sona debate will also take place at the City Hall.The Presiding Officers of Parliament have scheduled a media briefing on Tuesday to communicate the readiness to host SONA and provide additional details. Meanwhile, some MPs are pushing for Parliament to return to in-person meetings in line with government’s eased lockdown restrictions. For now, this proposal does not appear possible due to the fire and the hybrid working model will continue. The committee corridor is slowly coming back to life with important business scheduled. Here is a run-down of some of the most interesting meetings:

TUESDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2022

Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of Draft Minutes and Draft Report; Briefing by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill); Portfolio Committee deliberations on processing of the BELA Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, Time to be confirmed

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Minister of Finance on Audit Action Plans for the Finance Portfolio, with specific reference to entities with weaknesses as identified by the AG], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Minister of Home Affairs on the Electoral Amendment Bill [B 1 – 2022]. Comments by the Minister of Home Affairs on the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill [B 34 – 2020], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [De-briefing on public participation relating to the Gas Amendment Bill; Consideration and adoption of the revised programme (1st Term 2022)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Cricket SA on allegations of mismanagement and an update on the Social and Nation Building Report; Consideration and adoption of Committee minutes; Consideration and adoption of the Committee programme], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Appropriations and Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury, Department of Transport and identified municipalities on the performance and expenditure of the Integrated Public Transport Network], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-16:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Hearing on the annual report and financial statement of National Skills Fund for 2019/20 and the update by Minister of Higher Education regarding National Skills Fund and NSFAS investigations], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Interviews for the Inspector-General of Intelligence], Committee Room M514, Fifth Floor, Marks Building, 10:00-16:30

Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Strategic Planning Session (Part 1): Presentation by the Executive Authority: strategic direction of Parliament for the sixth Parliament and beyond. Presentation by the Accounting Officer/acting Secretary to Parliament: alignment of the strategic plan of Parliament with its constitutional mandate, key issues, outcomes oriented goals and strategic objectives, initiatives and projects. Presentation by the Content Advisor: legislative mandate /role of the Committee, and key issues, which require the strategic decisions of the Committee.], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-17:00

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [NHI Public Hearings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:15-19:45

WEDNESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2022

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury and SARS on the Financial Sector and Deposit Insurance Levies Bill and the Financial Sector and Deposit Insurance Levies (Administration) and Deposit Insurance Premiums Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Innovation, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Central University of Technology (CUT) on governance, teaching and learning and related matters], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [NHI Public Hearings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-17:00

Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Interviews for the Inspector-General of Intelligence], Committee Room M514, Fifth Floor, Marks Building, 10:00-16:30

Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Strategic Planning Session (Part 2): Presentation of key issues to be covered in the Strategic Plan. Discussion of key issues and strategies to address the key issues. Consideration and Adoption of Committee minutes and reports: 26 Nov 2021 & JSCFMP report on Parliament’s 2021/22 Mid-Year performance.], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-17:00

FRIDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2022

Portfolio Committee on Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, (National Assembly), [Adoption of previous minutes; Committee deliberations on the Bills and processing thereof: Briefing by the Parliamentary Legal Services on the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill (NEMLA B14F-2017); Briefing by the DFFE on the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill (NEMLA B14- 2017); Briefing by the DFFE on the National Forest and Veld Fire Amendment Bill (B24 -2021 sec 75): FEE; National Disaster Management Centre; SALGA; Department of Agriculture, Land Rural Development; Department of Public Works; SAWS], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-17:00 Committees provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs. Share your thoughts 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? View the schedule page here.

You can also find the programmes for Provincial Legislature meetings 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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