The Week Ahead: Parliament returns for 2021 first term

1 Feb 2021 (2 months, 1 week ago)

Week-Ahead2021

It's still early days and Parliament is slowly coming back to life after a lengthy summer break.

The first term will run for 8 weeks and will be an action-packed and eventful period. The major highlights include: State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the subsequent debates; the Budget Speech and its processing; oversight, legislative and committee work and urgent debates on matters of national public importance, including COVID-19.

With no sittings scheduled in the main chambers this week, the Committee corridor will be the main source of parliamentary action.

Oversight visits provide Committees with an opportunity to assess progress made and test the authenticity of the information provided by government entities. In keeping with this oversight mandate, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education will this week travel to Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces to assess school readiness for the 2021 academic year.

The full oversight programme can be accessed here.

Lawmakers will also have an eye on the Zondo Commission this week as it focuses on Parliament’s oversight functions over the executive and whether it failed in its mandate to hold government officials and executive authorities accountable for state capture.

Meanwhile, Parliament’s management is hard at work with SONA preparations.The traditional pageantry of the event will be scaled down vastly due to the pandemic. No more than 50 Members of Parliament, representatives from the Judiciary and the Executive will be in the physical chamber and everyone else will be connecting virtually.

View: All you need to know about SONA 2021

Here is a run down of the noteworthy meetings in the Committee corridor:

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing on the 2019/20 Annual Reports by the following entities of the former DRDLR: The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR); The Office of the Valuer-General (OVG)], 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 draft minutes of proceedings], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Provinces on the roll out and implementation of the Sanitary Dignity Programme; Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-15:00

Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (National Assembly), [Consideration of the NCOP amendments to Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill [B19D-2018]; Adoption of Committee minutes; Consideration of the NCOP amendments to the Customary Initiation Bill [B21D-2018]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-17:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Public hearings and preliminary responses to submissions on the Correctional Services Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Treasury on Audit Profession Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by Auditor General of South Africa on Local Government Audit Outcomes for 2018/19 financial year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on progress on Disabilities Rights Framework and update on Disability Bill; Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Auditor General on the SOE’s audit outcome 2019/20], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Responses and deliberations on the Correctional Services Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30

Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Social Development and its entities on a comprehensive action plan to address challenges pertaining to the lapsing of temporary disability grants, re-applications, overcrowding at SASSA offices], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Joint Meeting: Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture and Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on saving the 2020 academic year in the post-school education and training (PSET) system and the impact of the national lockdown level 3 on the academic activities and readiness for the 2021 academic year in the PSET system; Briefing by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on disbursement of funding and allowances to students during the national lockdown period and readiness for the 2021 academic year in the PSET system], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Joint Standing Committee on Defence, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Adoption of Minutes of 19 November 2020; Adoption of Committee’s 2020 Annual Report; Adoption of Committee’s 2021 First Term Programme; Consideration of Letter from the President dated 8 January 2021], 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 full 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



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