The Week Ahead: Second Term Starts

3 May 2021 (2 weeks ago)

Parliament starts second term

Parliament resumes this week after a constituency period.

The virtual/hybrid Parliament will continue for another term, with some MPs working from the precinct and others remotely.

According to the latest timetable, the NA programme will run for 5 weeks and the NCOP for 7 weeks.

Some of the highlights include committee, oversight and legislative work; oral questions to the executive; section 194 Public Protector Inquiry; important debates and appointments as well a review of the national budget.

In addition, scrutiny of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue. MPs will use a range of oversight tools to get answers. We have consolidated our reports on the COVID-19 related meetings here.

Over the next few weeks, committees will be meeting with departments and entities to pore over their Strategic Plans, Annual Performance Plans and proposed budgets for 2021/22.

This forms part of Parliament's consideration of the annual budget. Government can only spend money if it has been approved by Parliament.

The legislature’s budget vote season is a sprint. This annual ritual includes meetings with line departments and entities. Traditionally, Ministers and their deputies are part of these engagements. Committees then draft a Report where they analyse the plans as presented to them and make observations and recommendations. Committees must lobby the Standing Committee on Appropriations if they want to introduce budget amendments. This Report forms the basis from which MPs debate the budget and Annual Performance Plans of departments and their entities. This process culminates with the approval of funds to a department as a Budget Vote. The Budget must be passed by Parliament before the end of June, in line with statutory requirements.

See: Budget Vote debates schedule.

In the National Assembly, a major point of interest is the President’s appearance to answer oral questions on Thursday. In terms of the rules, these 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, including government’s COVID-19 response and the situation in Mozambique.

Read the questions here.

Elsewhere, the NCOP has scheduled a full and mixed programme for delegates: a two-day workshop, a ministerial briefing session and a sectoral Parliament.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the NCOP will host a Budget and Fiscal Oversight Workshop. Find more details here.

On Thursday, the Minister of Transport will lead a briefing on mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transport industry.

On Friday, the NCOP will commemorate Worker’s Day. A Worker’s Parliament has been scheduled under the theme: “Employment Strategies in post COVID-19 Economic Recovery”.

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, five committees have planned trips to various parts of the country: Basic Education, SCOPA, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Environmental Affairs and Public Enterprises.

Beyond this, nation-wide public hearings on the Expropriation Bill continue this week (6-9 May). Hearings will take place in Gauteng. This is the fourth provincial stop. Follow here

Here is a rundown of the highlights in the committee corridor:

Monday, 3 May 2021

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [The Standing Committee on Public Accounts to conduct oversight visits to Eastern Cape municipalities. The focus will be on Amathole, OR Tambo, Nelson Mandela Bay, Enoch Mgijima, Walter Sisulu, and Makana municipalities 03 – 07 May 2021], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on their Annual Performance Plan], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Auditor-General on the Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Social Development and its entities; Consideration of the APP, strategic plan and budget of Department of Social Development], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-14:00

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Budget hearing briefings: South African Police Service (SAPS) Programme: Administration and Programme: Visible Policing], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-14:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) on the budget and the Annual Performance Plan (APP) for 2021-2022], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Appropriation Bill [B4-2021] and the Special Appropriation Bill [B5-2021]; Adoption of Committee’s draft programme for Term 2 of 2021; Adoption of Committee’s draft minutes dated 12 and 16 March 2021], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-17:00

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

National Assembly Rules Committee, [Consideration of the composition of the Section 194 Committee and a proposal for a weighted voting system], 12:00.

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by SARS on their Annual Performance Plan], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Higher Education Science and Technology, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 and Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget 2021/22; Briefing by Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) on the Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 and Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget 2021/22;], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-17:00

Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Consideration of the strategic plans and budget vote of the National Development Agency (NDA) and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-14:00

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Comment by the Parliamentary Budget Office on the Appropriation Bill [B4-2021] and the Special Appropriation Bill [B5-2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, (National Assembly), [Briefing by DMV on its 2021 Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2021/22; Feedback on the 2020 Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report; Briefing by Armscor on its Corporate Plan and Budget for 2021/22 and Feedback on the 2020 Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report; Consideration and adoption of minutes of previous meeting], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Joint Standing Committee on Defence, (National Assembly and ), [Consideration of letter from the President on the extension of employment of members of the SANDF in the Mozambique channel; Consideration and adoption of the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan of the JSCD; Consideration and adoption of the JSCD 2021 Second Term Programme; Follow up matters arising from the previous minutes; Consideration and adoption of Draft Minutes of 11th & 18th March 2021], Virtual Meeting Platform, 20:00-21:00

Friday, 7 May 2021

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Part 1: 09:00 – 13:00 Presentation by the Executive Authority: strategic direction of Parliament for the Sixth Parliament and beyond; Presentation by the Accounting Officer: 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, Part 2: 14:00 – 18:00 Presentation of key issues to be covered in the Strategic Plan; Discussion of key issues and strategies to address the key issues], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-18:00

Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor and the Parliamentary Legal Advisor on a legal advice on the status of ECD clauses that were not contested; Briefing by the Content Advisor on summaries of public comments on the Children’s Amendment Bill [B18 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and the Government Printing Works (GPW) on budgets and the Annual Performance Plans (APPs) for 2021-2022.], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

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?

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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