The week ahead in Parliament: Almost time for a break already
Mar 16, 2021

This week is the final week of the first term of 2021 in Parliament. As always, it seems that just as the legislature is picking up a bit of steam, it has to take a break.

The recess period starts on 23 March and ends on 3 May, which is a rather lengthy constituency period, no doubt due to the Local Government Elections that are expected later this year.

The highlight for the National Assembly this week takes place on Tuesday, with the consideration of the report of the Independent Panel established in terms of Rule 129U to conduct a preliminary assessment of the motion by Ms NWA Mazzone, tabled on 21 February 2020, to initiate a process to remove the Public Protector, Adv B Mkhwebane, from office. This report, and the consideration that is given to it, will determine what route will be followed in respect of Adv Mkhwebane, who seems to be becoming less credible by the day.

On Wednesday, we see Deputy President David Mabuza answering oral questions, a session that he would likely wish to get over and done with as soon as possible. An equally nervous cluster, namely that of Governance, takes the podium on Thursday for a turn at answering oral questions. The week closes off with a debate on Human Rights’ Day.

On the committee front, the National Health Insurance plans feature in the Health Committee again on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, the Public Accounts Committee will hear an update on corruption cases in SOEs, and the Portfolio Committee for Higher Education will hear an update from the University of the Witwatersrand on developments on campus. 

Nationally, the current State of Disaster, has been extended by a further month to 15 April 2021.

The week ahead: National Assembly

Tuesday, 16 March

14:00 PLENARY (HYBRID)

  1. Member’s statements
  2. Consideration of Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill [B 19D – 2018] (s76(1)) and of Report of PC on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs thereon.
  3. Consideration of Customary Initiation Bill [B 7D – 2018] and of Report of PC on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs thereon.
  4. Consideration of Report of the Independent Panel established in terms of Rule 129U to conduct a preliminary assessment of the motion by Ms NWA Mazzone, tabled on 21 February 2020, to initiate a process to remove the Public Protector, Adv B Mkhwebane, from office in terms of section 194 of the Constitution.

Wednesday, 17 March

15:00 – ±17:45         Plenary (Hybrid)

  1. Questions for Oral Reply: Deputy President

Thursday, 18 March

14:00 – ±17:00         Plenary (Hybrid)

  1. Questions for Oral Reply: Cluster 3: Governance

Friday, 19 March 2021

10:00 – Plenary (Hybrid)

  1. Consideration of Report of SC on Appropriations on Division of Revenue Bill [B3 – 2021]
  2. Second Reading: Division of Revenue Bill [B3 – 2021]
  3. Debate on Human Rights Day (88)

The week ahead: Parliamentary Committees

Tuesday, 16 March

  • Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, (National Assembly), [Status on the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Agreement; Briefing on the continental Covid response and continental economic interventions; Consideration of the first draft report of the DTIC’s second quarter financial and non-financial performance], Virtual Meeting Platform, 08:00-13:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the Electoral Laws Second Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Consideration and Adoption of Committee’s draft report on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill [B3-2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Tabling of the 1st draft oversight visit report to the Western Cape; Committee discussions on the outstanding audited outcomes of the energy entities], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill [B15 – 2020]; Briefing by Dr D George on the Pension Funds Amendment Bill [B30 – 2020]; Briefing by Mr G Hill-Lewis on the Fiscal Responsibility Bill [B5 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B 7-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
  • Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Provincial Members of Executive Councils (MEC’s), and District Mayors on Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks on realizing Government policy outcomes in respect of investments, economic growth and job creation at provincial and local government level; Adoption of Minutes, Strategic Planning Report, Annual Report, and the Second Term Committee Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-14:00
  • Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Meeting with the Department of Public Enterprises on SAA on the progress made by the Business Rescue Practitioners since the last meeting with SCOPA and investigations conducted by the SIU], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Wednesday, 17 March

  • Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of the oversight visit report to the Western Cape; Consideration and adoption of the 2nd term Committee Programme; Consideration and adoption of minutes: 10, 11 & 16 March 2021], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Meeting with National Treasury, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the Sekunjalo Group and Mr Maponya on the Mpati Commission of Inquiry Report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) on their annual report; Update on the National Health Insurance (NHI) processes; Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, (National Assembly), [Briefing the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) on 2017/18 Research & Development Tax Report and on the South African National Survey of Research and Experimental Development 2018/19; Briefing by the University of Witwatersrand on the latest developments at the University and related matters], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00- 13:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B 7-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
  • Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Meeting with enforcement agencies on Covid 19 procurement cases and State Owned Entities corruption cases (SIU, Hawks and NPA)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development, (National Assembly), [Virtual Oversight on enterprises benefited from the Covid-19 Relief Fund], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:30
  • Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefings by Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) and Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) on Division of Revenue Bill [B3 -2021]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Thursday, 18 March

  • Joint Standing Committee on Defence, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Presentation by Reserve Force Council on ‘A South Africanised, Holistic and Integrated Combat Ready Reserve Force System’; Adoption of Minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00-21:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B 1 – 2020]; Meeting on the Moloto Rail Corridor], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:00

Image credit: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

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