The Week Ahead: President’s final appearance in the NA

March 4, 2019 (4 months, 3 weeks ago)

It's a rapid descent towards the end of the Fifth Parliament as MPs rush to finalise all urgent business.

The endgame of the current Parliament is fast approaching and loose ends are gradually being knitted together. There are only a few weeks left (three weeks for the NA and four for the NCOP) before lawmakers say their farewell.

Question Time and Legislation are the main chamber business this week.

Question Time is one of the ways Parliament scrutinises the work of government and holds it accountable. Many of the questions touch on bread and butter issues and/or high-temperature business and the responses are generally newsworthy. An interesting part of the exercise is how the questions are structured as MPs simultaneously try to get their talking points across and ask a question.

The President will have his final engagement with NA lawmakers on Thursday. In terms of the rules, these oral question sessions happen once per term, are three hours long and are limited to six main and supplementary questions.

President Ramaphosa will be probed on a variety of issues. Read the questions here

Selected Ministers in the Governance Cluster will be probed on Wednesday. Read what MPs will be asking them here

The other point of interest will come from the proposed resolution by EFF leader, Mr Malema, to rename Cape Town International Airport to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport.

Beyond this, there will be a fair amount of legislative lifting with MPs set to pass four Bills. The programme is also dotted with the usual items such as the consideration of Committee Reports, approving appointments, Members’ Statements, Motions Without Notice and Notices of Motion.

Elsewhere, the NCOP chamber has only scheduled one sitting to consider several Bills. Delegates will spend most of the week in Committee and attending provincial budget speeches in their respective provinces.

There is plenty of noteworthy action in the Committee corridor. Here is a rundown of the highlights:

It’s been a long running saga between the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and the SA Weather Services since the Committee resolved in 2017 to hold the Board members personally liable for R2 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The Committee also called for the removal of the entire Board for failure to exercise its fiduciary duties. The Committee is expected to get legal advice on the matter and reach a conclusion. (Tuesday)

The Portfolio Committee on Communications has shortlisted 24 candidates who will be interviewed to fill eight vacancies that exist on the SABC Board. The Committee will conduct interviews from 5 - 7 March 2019. (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

The Finance Committees will meet to consider and adopt the Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals (Budget) Report. The Report is expected to acknowledge that the budget was tabled under difficult economic conditions of low growth; revenue shortfall; rising debt levels and that difficult choices have to be made. (Tuesday)

The Minister of Home Affairs will appear before the oversight Committee for the third consecutive week. This time, he will meet to discuss implementation of the Home Affairs National Identification System, contingency plans to render services at Lindela Repatriation Centre after the voluntary liquidation of Global African Operations formerly known as Bosasa; the Visa Facilitation Service contract and the progress made on the implementation of the E-Visa system. (Tuesday)

The Portfolio Committee on Police will receive a briefing from the Minister of Police on the appointment of the current CFO of IPID as the Acting Executive Director of the body for the next three months. (Wednesday)

Two weeks ago, the SAHRC briefed Parliament on its Report on the Underlying Socio-economic Challenges of Mining-affected Communities in South Africa. The report found that mining companies did not provide detailed and sufficient information to enable communities and local government to clearly understand how land could be used post-closure. SAHRC found DMR was not performing the role of monitoring mining companies in the provision of housing in mining affected areas in consultation with local government which was its responsibility. The Department will respond to the Report’s findings and recommendations. (Wednesday)

MPs will get a briefing from National Treasury on the Integrated Financial Management System. (Wednesday)

The Jobs Fund; social grants; localisation and Extended Public Works Programme are other topics that will be in spotlight and will generate some interest.

In between, the legislative agenda will consume a big part of the programme, with the following Bills under consideration: Financial Matters Amendment Bill; Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill; Copyright Amendment Bill; Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill; National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill; iKamva Digital Skills Institute Bill; Carbon Tax Bill; Customs and Excise Amendment Bill; Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill; Defence Amendment Bill; 2019 Division of Revenue Bill and 2019 Public Audit Excess Fee Bill.

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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