The Week Ahead: It’s a wrap for 2020

30 Nov 2020 (1 month, 3 weeks ago)

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It’s a week of farewells and loose ends…

The constituency and leave period beckons, with MPs due to depart at the end of the week and return to Parliament next year. But a fair amount of work will be done before they go and there is plenty of opportunity for excitement.

Most of the significant business is in the main chambers with the National Assembly scheduling all day sittings on most days.

The major point of interest is Thursday’s scheduled motion of no confidence debate against President Ramaphosa. The motion was brought by the ATM. The party cited 15 reasons why the President should be removed.

It will be the first time lawmakers debate the President's fitness to hold office.

In order for the motion to pass, a simple majority (201 MPs) is needed, in terms of section 102(2) of the Constitution. The President and his Cabinet, including Deputy Ministers, would have to resign.

The Speaker of the National Assembly has decided that the vote will be conducted via open ballot.

On the same day, legislators will consider the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill.

There's a full and mixed flavour to Tuesday’s plenary business.

The highlights include a statement by the Minister of Transport on the Festive Season Safety Plan, legislative business and a debate on the escalating crisis at the SABC and the implications thereof for the institution’s mandate as a public broadcaster.

Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports (BRRRs) are a critical part of Parliament’s engagement with the budget. Following their tabling in the National Assembly, the BRRRs are submitted to the Minister of Finance and relevant Minister responsible for the portfolio/department. Upon delivery of the main Budget early next year, the Minister of Finance is required to explain how the budget gives effect to these recommendations from Parliament, or why they have not been taken into account. The National Assembly will consider BRRRs on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Explainer: Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports

Legislation (Auditing Profession Amendment Bill and Cybercrimes Bill), a statutory appointment (Public Service Commission) and assorted committee reports will be the focus on Wednesday’s agenda.

The National Assembly will conclude its budget process on Friday. MPs will consider the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), Second Adjustments Appropriation Bill and accompanying votes and schedules.

Elsewhere, the NCOP will focus on legislative matters during Wednesday’s sitting. The Bills that will be considered are the: Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, Rates and Monetary Amounts Amendment Bill, Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill, Customary Initiation Bill, Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill and Traditional Courts Bill.

On Thursday, the upper chamber has arranged a ministerial briefing session by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on the North West Intervention. Cabinet imposed a Section 100 intervention on North West province in 2018 in order to combat the looting and maladministration that was prevalent in many government departments.

Both Houses will round off their programmes with farewell speeches.

There are several interesting meetings in the committee corridor. Here is a rundown of the highlights:

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Solidarity Fund], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the processes regarding the appointment of the Chairperson of the Board of the NLC], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the DMRE on: Progress report on the forensic investigation relating to the sale of strategic fuel stock and the Recent Western Cape High Court ruling regarding the sale of SA’s strategic fuel stock], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Clause by clause deliberations and finalisation of the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill [B 22 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B 1-2020]; Consideration and adoption of minutes of proceedings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by DALRRD on the release and allocation of state land to applicants; Consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Auditor-General on the 2019/2020 FY audit outcomes of State Owned Entities (SAA; TRANSNET; ESKOM; PRASA; SABC; DENEL; DBSA)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)) on annual report for 2019/20], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on the Mpati Commission of Inquiry Report], 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.

The constituency period will be from 7 – 11 December, followed by a leave period starting on 14 December until mid to late January.

During the constituency period, MPs have a duty to be available to the public, help solve problems and report back to their constituents on what is happening in Parliament.

To find your constituency office, click 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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