Happening at Parliament this week
On Sunday 9 June 2019, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will this week determine its own systems, guidelines and committee configuration for the 6th Parliament as it holds inaugural meetings of its key structures this week.
A meeting of NCOP whips is scheduled for Tuesday 11 Jun.
On Wednesday 12 Jun, the Council will hold its first meeting of the NCOP Rules Committee, chaired by Chairperson of the NCOP Mr Amos Masondo. On Thursday, the NCOP Programme Committee, also chaired by Mr Masondo, is scheduled to meet to determine the programme of the House and committees.
Today, Sunday, there'll be a swearing in of one outstanding designated Permanent Delegate of the NCOP, Mr Mohammed Dangor, who could not take up his seat during the first sitting of the House on 23 May. The swearing in will take place at Constitutional Hill and will bring to full occupation all the seats in the 54-seat Council.
The National Assembly (NA) held its own inaugural meetings of key structures last week.
The NA Rules Committee, chaired by NA Speaker Ms Thandi Modise, met on 5 June and agreed on several issues. These included guidelines and determinations for regular items featuring at NA plenary sittings, establishing the Subcommittee on NA Rules and establishing NA portfolio and standing committees.
The NA Programme Committee, also chaired by the NA Speaker, met on 6 June and has published the NA’s programme up to the end of July. Items on the agreed programme include President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of the NA and NCOP on 20 June, MPs’ debate on the address at a joint sitting on 25 June and the President’s reply to the debate at another joint sitting on 26 June.
Also included in the NA programme is the election, on 27 June, of NA House Chairpersons, election of NA members to the Pan-African Parliament and designation of representatives to serve in the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, on the Judicial Services Commission and on the Magistrates Commission.
Following the decision of the NA Rules Committee on the reconfiguration of the National Assembly committee system, these committees will begin their meetings from 2 to 9 July. At their first meetings, the committees will elect their chairpersons. In the interim, parties will determine the names of representatives, which will be published in the official parliamentary papers, to constitute membership of these committees. This will be in line with the composition agreed upon at the inaugural NA Rules Committee meeting: 11 Members – six from the African National Congress, two from the Democratic Alliance, one from the Economic Freedom Fighters and two from other parties.
The Budget Vote Debates and consideration of the Appropriation Bill are provisionally scheduled from 10 to 23 July.
The induction programme for MPs, which started in May after the election results were declared, continues this week with information and discussion sessions. Issues for the sessions include MPs’ constitutional mandate and responsibilities; MPs’ interests, ethics and Code of Conduct; MPs’ conduct and participation in plenary sittings of the NA and the NCOP and in committee meetings of the two Houses; the Parliamentary Budget Office; law making and public participation; MPs’ facilities and benefits; security at Parliament; and relations with the media.
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