The week ahead in Parliament: Health, wealth and power will dominate
Mar 8, 2021

This week sees Parliament returning to its usual administrative programming, but that does not mean that there is nothing of interest on the agenda.

The highlight for the National Assembly is the consideration of a bill relating to Justice and Correctional Services, with the Report of the Portfolio Committee Correctional Services Amendment Bill [B32 – 2020] formally being considered in the National Assembly (NA). This Bill will also be the subject of a second reading debate, which may prove to be of interest.

The Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill was finally passed by both Houses of Parliament and will now be submitted to the President for assent. Hopefully this Bill, which is sorely needed in addressing gender inequality in traditional communities, will not remain untouched on the desk of the President for years, as has been the case with other bills.

We also see the Social Services cluster in the House answering oral questions on Wednesday. Expect some tough questions from the opposition, as the country’s social wellbeing is all but well.

On the committee front, we see a crucial development in the move towards the National Health Insurance (NHI) on Wednesday. A motion of desirability of the NHI Bill is to be heard in committee, and this is usually an indication of the attitude that the committee will be taking in respect of deliberations on the subject matter during the consideration stage of the legislative process.

The Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals continue their passage through Parliament before the Appropriations and Finance Committees in both Houses.

We can also expect an update on two issues plaguing Eskom: on Tuesday, Eskom will provide a briefing on their clean coal initiatives, and on Thursday afternoon, Eskom will update the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the entity’s unbundling.

Various parliamentary committees are schedule for this week, many of which are highlighted below. Committee meetings continue to take place primarily on virtual platforms, with most available to view live on Parliament’s YouTube channel.

The week ahead

Tuesday, 9 March
  • Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Comments by the FFC and PBO on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, (National Assembly), [(09:00–10:00): Briefing by the Mining Affected Communities in Action (MACUA) and the Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) on: Overview of the two entities, current challenges experienced and possible recommendations; (10:00–13:00): Briefing by Eskom on their clean coal initiatives and projects and how these technologies will meet the international standards on emissions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
  • Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Finance and Select Committee on Finance, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Consideration and adoption of Committee report on the 2021 Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Deliberations on the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill [B 44 – 2018] (09:00 – 10:30); Deliberations on the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B 1 – 2020] (10:30 – 13:00); Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on the proposed amendments to Electoral Laws Amendment Bill [B 22B – 2020); Briefing by the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) on the matter of statelessness in South Africa; Report back by the Department of Home Affairs on Committee Resolutions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00
Wednesday, 10 March
  • Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill], 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]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00- 12:00
  • Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the National Health Laboratory Services on their annual report; Consideration and adoption of minutes; Consideration and adoption of the motion of desirability of the National Health Amendment Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
  • Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Division of Revenue Bill [B3-2021]; Consideration of draft Minutes of previous meetings. (Provincial finance committees have been invited to attend this meeting)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00
  • Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication, (National Council of Provinces), [Update by ESKOM on the unbundling process (of ESKOM) as announced by the Minister], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00
  • 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
  • Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, (National Assembly), [Briefing by DHET on 3rd Quarter Financial and report 2020/21; Briefing by DHET on state of higher education institutions and their readiness to open for the 2021 academic year; Briefing by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on funding allocations to universities and TVET colleges for the 2021 academic year], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00
Friday, 12 March
  • Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

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