Happening at Parliament this week
Focus on the State of the Nation Address (SONA), which President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on 7 February, continues in the week ahead.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, members of Parliament will debate President Ramaphosa’s SONA at joint sittings of the two Houses of Parliament. Both these joint sittings start at 14.00. On Thursday, the President will reply to the debate – also at a joint sitting starting at 14.00.
Also starting on Tuesday, at Parliament, is an exhibition on the 4th Industrial Revolution – an issue which the President touched on in the SONA. Parliament is hosting the exhibition, which ends on Friday, in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Communications (which has executive oversight over the departments of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services and the Government Communication and Information System). A roundtable is scheduled for Friday to discuss topics, such as, cybercrime, security, the form and impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on employment. This week’s exhibition and roundtable follows a roundtable in May 2018, which Parliament held as part of its commitment to engage public discussion about the issue.
On Tuesday and Wednesday – before the joint sittings to debate the SONA – 40 committee meetings are scheduled to take place. These meetings are scheduled to consider a variety of issues, including 18 Bills and legislative issues, department plans to carry out issues raised in the SONA, other matters of public interest and quarterly and annual reports of government entities.
Committee meetings scheduled for the week ahead include:
Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs: Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) briefing on Montreal Kigali Protocol; DEA briefings on Air Quality Minimum Emission Standard (MES), Panel of Experts Report on compliance with MES, state of air quality in South Africa, status of application for postponement by industry with MES, functioning of air quality stations
Portfolio Committee on Police: South African Police Service briefing on Anti-Gang Strategy and roll-out of Units; input from Western Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape and Gauteng NGOs/community leaders
Select Committee on Social Services: Department of Home Affairs briefing on Civil Union Amendment Bill
Standing Committee on Finance: Financial and Fiscal Commission briefing on remuneration referral; briefing on Customs and Excise Bill; Public Investment Corporation Bills deliberations; public hearings on Financial Matters Amendment Bill
Select Committee on Finance: National Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs briefing on the budget for Izinduna
Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation: Department of Sport and Recreation briefing on report of ministerial committee appointed to investigate irregularities or malpractice in governance and management of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs: Consideration and adoption of report on Electoral Amendment Bill; briefing by Ministers of Home Affairs and Justice and Correctional Services on Immigration Bill; briefing by Department of Home Affairs on plans to distribute uncollected IDs for the purpose of the elections; Electoral Commission of South Africa briefing on voter registration of 26 and 27 January 2019; Minister of Home Affairs and Acting Director General of Home Affairs briefing on policy on use of cell phones by frontline Home Affairs office staff
Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) briefing on sectorial issues raised in the 2019 SONA and how DAFF has budgeted for and incorporated these into its 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan; progress on implementation of previous SONA pronouncements, impact on activities of the Department and, where relevant, reasons for non-achievement of SONA pronouncements
Portfolio Committee on Police: Metro Police Chiefs briefing on budget/structure/performance and high-profile cases; South African Police Service briefing on relationship/structure with Metro Police
Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings: Consideration and adoption of Elder Care Petition Report [Petition calling for the amendment of section 27 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997]; consideration and adoption of Cakwebe Petition Report [Petition requesting intervention of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), in relation to amendment of the policy for the small-scale fisheries sector in South Africa]; consideration and adoption of the Ngqushwa Petition Report [Petition requesting intervention of the NCOP in ensuring Ministers honour commitments made in 2012 during visit of the NCOP to Ngqushwa Local Municipality]
Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development: Department of Small Business Development briefing on sectorial issues raised in the 2019 SONA and how the department has budgeted for and incorporated these into its 2019/20 Annual Performance Plans.
Standing Committee on Appropriations: Briefing from Office of the Chief Procurement Officer on deviations and expansions during second and third quarters of the 2018/19 financial year
Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises: Department of Public Enterprises briefing on issues emanating from the SONA; progress in addressing audit findings of the Auditor General on the department and state-owned companies for the 2017/18 financial year; report back on recommendations of the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report and the Budget Vote report 2018
Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training: Department of Higher Education and Training briefing on its response to the Public Protector’s report on an investigation into allegations of procurement irregularities, maladministration, nepotism, victimisation and corruption within Tshwane South College; briefings from South African Union of Students, Universities South Africa, National Student Financial Aid Scheme and Department of Higher Education and Training on current impasse at institutions of higher learning and strategies in place to ensure the academic programme is not halted
Standing Committee on Finance: Nugent Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by South African Revenue Service
Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration/ Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Department of Public Service and Administration briefing on the Public Service Graduate Scheme and its effort to support departments in appointing youth into learnership, internship and artisan programmes; Department of Public Works briefing on 30-day payments (an update from the previous meeting)
For the latest full schedule of committee meetings (updated regularly), please click: https://www.parliament.gov.za/whatson
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