The Week Ahead: MP Training & Capacity Building

15 Aug 2022 (1 month, 2 weeks ago)

The third term has kicked into gear now that the National Assembly lawmakers have returned from their constituency break. NCOP delegates started the term two weeks ago.

It’s expected to be a blockbuster term with many high-impact issues. Amongst others, these include:

-An independent panel’s investigation into President Ramaphosa’s fitness to hold office -The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence investigation into specific allegations arising out of the Phala-Phala game farm matter -The Inquiry into the Public Protector’s fitness to hold office is expected to conclude its work -Parliament is expected to start addressing the Zondo Commission’s recommendations, which found that the legislature "failed to use the oversight and accountability measures at its disposal" and that urgent reforms are needed.

A major highlight this week is the capacity-building training programme scheduled to run from Tuesday until Friday.

Parliament’s performance is dependent on the calibre and capability of individuals elected to serve in it. Political parties have different systems, criteria and interests when they select their members. They also do not have the necessary capacity, expertise and resources to develop MPs and provide them with the specialised training they need. To address this gap, Parliament prepares an induction and educational programme for all MPs. This enables them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to do their work as public representatives and lawmakers.

Parliament states that: “among the critical topics expected in the training programme include the role and functions of Members of Parliament, ethics and code of conduct, financial interest for Members, the rules of debate and decorum and processing of questions in the house, to mention a few”.

Beyond this, the Deputy President is scheduled to answer Questions in the NCOP on Thursday. Eskom and flood relief funds are two of the major issues that he will have to respond to.

View: Questions

Two NCOP Committees – the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, and the Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure - have scheduled a week-long joint oversight visit to Kuruman and Kimberley.

Meanwhile, the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy will also be in the Northern Cape but will visit Upington, Kathu and Augrabies.

As part of their oversight work, committees do site visits where they verify the information presented and submitted to them and find out directly from the people on the ground whether government is delivering on its promises.

Away from the legislature, the National Association of Public Accounts Committees (APAC) will convene its Annual Conference & General Meeting under the theme “Enhanced Oversight for Ethical Public Financial Management & Accountability to Grow South Africa Together” from 15-17 August 2022.

Established in 1997, APAC is an association of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) of the National Parliament and similar public accounts committees of the nine provincial legislatures in South Africa.

APAC supports public accounts committees with mechanisms to hold public institutions accountable if they do not comply with the relevant laws and other regulations. Due to the training sessions and oversight visits, the programme is thin in committee-land.

TUESDAY, 16 AUGUST 2022

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Public hearings on the Draft Amendment of Schedules 1, 2 and 3 to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No 38 of 2001) submitted in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act and the way forward], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Select Committee on Health and Social Services, (National Council of Provinces), [Report on youth development initiatives: Briefing by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-12:30

Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Secretariat Support on matters before the Committee; Adoption of Committee minutes], Hybrid Meeting (Virtual Meeting Platform and Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building), 10:00-13:00

WEDNESDAY, 17 AUGUST 2022

Standing Committee on Finance , (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the Prudential Authority (PA) on their annual reports], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Hearing: identified witness to appear before the Committee], Hybrid Meeting (Virtual Meeting Platform and Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building), 10:00-17:00

THURSDAY, 18 AUGUST 2022

Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Hearing: Ms Basani Baloyi to appear before the Committee], Hybrid Meeting (Virtual Meeting Platform and Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building), 10:00-17:00

FRIDAY, 19 AUGUST 2022

Committee for Section 194 Enquiry, (National Assembly), [Hearing: Ms Basani Baloyi to appear before the Committee], Hybrid Meeting (Virtual Meeting Platform and Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building), 10:00-17:00

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? Write to a Parliamentary Committee

View the schedule page here. View the Provincial Legislature's schedule 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.

People's Assembly aims to connect the public to their elected representatives. One way of doing so is through our Replocator tool, which allows you to search for the elected representative in your area.

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. The NA constituency programme runs from 13 June 2022 to 15 August 2022.

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