The week ahead in Parliament: Voting and taxes take centre stage
Oct 18, 2022

This week, Parliament continues with the consideration of Budget Review & Recommendations (BRR) Reports, with the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement scheduled to be delivered to Parliament on Wednesday 26 October 2022.

Only one plenary has been programmed to take place this week: On Thursday, 20th of October, which will include a second reading debate of the Electoral Amendment Bill [B1B-2022] (s75) (77). The Constitutional Court made the landmark ruling two years ago that independent candidates could participate in provincial and national elections. Parliament has until the beginning of December to finalise legislation, so that it can be signed by President Ramaphosa by 10th December 2022. The Electoral Amendment Bill aims to achieve these changes; however, opposition parties and civil organisations have raised their concerns over constitutional flaws in the Bill, which could serve as a barrier for independent candidates to contest elections.

At least three committee meetings will be of interest:

On Tuesday, the select Committee of Finance (NCOP) will be briefed by National Treasury and SARS on The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (TALAB) and the draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB).

Among the primary concerns of the TLAB is the new proposed carbon tax, which involves government’s increased taxation of greenhouse-gas emissions in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change. Organised business, civil society and environmental groups have been lobbying for the delay in its implementation until 2030, on the basis that the tax should be made more compliant to the recovering economy. Proponents of the carbon tax increase argue that any effort to ease its implementation would hinder South Africa’s ability to fulfil global climate commitments.

Again, on Tuesday, the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, (National Council of Provinces), will conduct a workshop on the Copyright Amendment Bill.

The Bill provides for a number of measures relating to intellectual property rights and covers key products used throughout the economy, including music, movies, books and photographs. The Bill was passed by both houses of Parliament several years ago, despite it being rejected by opposition parties due to a number of defects. The Bill was once again deliberated by MP’s and passed with some amendments by the National Assembly on the 1st of September 2022 despite it still being rejected by the Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, the African Christian Democratic Party and Economic Freedom Fighters.

The Bill was passed by both houses of parliament several years prior, but was subsequently returned by the President upon the recognition of some if its defects, with certain aspects deemed unconstitutional. It is now before the NCOP. Notably, whilst this Amendment Bill is still being deliberated in Parliament, the Constitutional Court ruled on the 22nd of September that the Copyright Act is unconstitutional as it limits visually impaired people’s access to public literary works and artistic works. The Constitutional Court has given Parliament 24 months to address the current defects in the Act, which will likely impact current deliberations on the Amendment Bill.

On Wednesday, The Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure (NCOP) will be briefed by the Department of Transport on the National Rail Policy Draft White Paper.

The legislation sets out government’s remedial interventions to revive South Africa’s disintegrating railway network. This is to be achieved through the introduction of radical structural reforms that enable broader private sector participation, create new avenues of investment and foster competitiveness within the industry.  The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA) capital transfers are expected to increase around 7%, from R12.6bn in 2022/2023 to 13.5bn in 2023/2024.

All committee meetings are available to be viewed online at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-JR9Voq8LwxPCxKwqieRpQ

TUESDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2022

Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report: Finalisation of observations and recommendations; Consideration and adoption of Committee’s Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report; Consideration and adoption of minutes of proceedings], Committee Room M515, Fifth Floor, Marks Building, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Initial response by National Treasury to submissions received on the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Amendment Bill [B18-2022] (“General Laws Bill”)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Hearing on the DWS irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure], Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:30-14:00

Select Committee on Finance, (National Council of Provinces), [Preliminary Briefing by National Treasury and SARS on Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (TALAB) and the draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) and Rates bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, (National Council of Provinces), [Workshop on Copyright Amendment Bill [B 13D – 2017]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00- 17:00

WEDNESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2022

Portfolio Committee on Police, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of Committee Report of Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR`s): SAPS, IPID, CSPS and PSIRA; Consideration of the 2021/22 Annual Report of the DPCI Judge: Financial statements and performance; Consideration of the 2021/22 Annual Report of the DNA Board], Virtual Meeting Platform, 08:00-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) on its responses to the previous year’s (2021) Budgetary Review Recommendations; Briefing by the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) on its Annual Report (BRRR)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of the Budget Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on its annual report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-11:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on its annual report], Virtual Meeting Platform, 11:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Update by Eskom on SCOPA recommendations; Update by SIU on ESKOM investigations], Committee Room M46, Ground Floor, Marks Building, Parliament, 09:30-14:00

Portfolio Committee on Health, (National Assembly), [Consideration and adoption of the Committee’s Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR); Consideration and adoption of minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-12:30

Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Transport on the National Rail Policy Draft White Paper], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00-13:00

FRIDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2022

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Consideration of issues in the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Amendment Bill [B18-2022] (“General Laws Bill”)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Subcommittee on the Review of the National Assembly Rules, [Consideration of matters referred by the Rules Committee and member’s submissions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-12:30

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