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Parliament, Sunday 1 December 2019 – Matters of public importance and budget-related legislation dominate the agenda in the week ahead, as Parliament wraps up its work for 2019. Members of Parliament are scheduled to embark on a constituency period from 9 to 13 December, a leave period from 17 December to 10 January and another constituency period from 13 to 27 January 2020.

The Speakers’ Forum of South Africa is scheduled to meet on Thursday in Johannesburg. The forum comprises the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Provincial Legislatures. It oversees management and co-ordination of legislative sector programmes. The National Assembly Speaker chairs the forum.

Plenary sittings of the National Assembly are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. National Council of Provinces plenary sittings are scheduled for Tuesday and Friday.

On Tuesday, both Houses plan to mark the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. The National Council of Provinces is planning an event aimed at Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff from 10.30 to 13.00 in the Old Assembly Chamber at Parliament. The National Assembly has scheduled a debate for its 14.00 plenary sitting, under the theme: “Enough is enough – 365 days to end gender-based violence”.

Also at Tuesday’s National Assembly sitting, three committee reports are scheduled to follow the debate. The reports are from the National Assembly Rules Committee, from the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services and from the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.

The National Assembly Rules Committee report deals with, among other things, draft Rules for removing office bearers and commissioners in Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy.

The institutions are the Auditor General; the Commission for Gender Equality; the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities; the Electoral Commission; the Public Protector; and the South African Human Rights Commission. Existing National Assembly Rules and section 194 of the Constitution set broad parameters for removing office bearers or commissioners in these institutions. The new draft Rules elaborate on these and specify the process to be followed.

The report from the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services recommends that the National Assembly resolve not to restore Advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to their positions in the National Prosecuting Authority. The committee states, in its report, that the President complied with the relevant provisions of the National Prosecuting Authority Act in reaching his decision to remove them from their positions; that the process, which the President followed in reaching his decision, was fair; and that the President applied his mind properly.

The National Council of Provinces’ plenary sitting on Tuesday is scheduled to consider a statement from its Select Committee on the same matter.

The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans’ report requests permission to inquire into making an additional technical amendment to the proposed 2017 Defence Amendment Bill. The amendment would shorten the continuous period of absence without leave (from 30 days to 10 days) which requires a board of inquiry to inquire into such absence.

Tuesday’s National Assembly sitting concludes at around 19.15, after an oral question session with six Ministers – Public Enterprises; Public Works and Infrastructure; Small Business Development; Tourism; Trade and Industry; and Transport.

Regular oral question sessions are one of the ways in which Parliament scrutinises and oversees executive action.

For Tuesday’s questions, please click: https://www.parliament.gov.za/storage/app/media/Docs/quest_pap/38a5f35c-d8e2-4aaf-a030-151571cfc616.pdf

Two recommended statutory appointments are on the agenda for Wednesday’s National Assembly sitting – for a commissioner for the Public Service Commission and for a Deputy Public Protector. Following these items, is consideration of the Adjustments Appropriation Bill 2019 with its votes and schedule. Farewell speeches conclude the sitting.

The National Council of Provinces sitting on Tuesday is scheduled to consider the Border Management Authority Bill, the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill and a report from the Select Committee on Finance on the state of local government finances and financial management.

Friday’s sitting of the National Council of Provinces is scheduled to consider the Hydrographic Bill; the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill; the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill; the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill; the proposed division of revenue and conditional grant allocations to provinces and local government; and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill. The sitting concludes with farewell speeches.

Fourteen committee meetings are scheduled at Parliament on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Select Committee on Security and Justice is also scheduled to conduct an oversight visit to the South African Navy’s Hydrographic Office tomorrow. Also tomorrow, the Portfolio Committee on Health concludes its Eastern Cape public hearings programme on the National Health Insurance Bill.

Committee meetings scheduled for the week ahead include:
TUESDAY
Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology: Consideration of outstanding reports on Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill [B42- 2018] and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Portfolio Committee on Tourism: Committee meeting with Provincial Tourism Chairpersons to Launch of the Legislature Tourism Oversight Forum (LOTOFO)

Standing Committee on Public Accounts: Briefing by COGTA on the plans to resolve the impasse between Eskom and defaulting municipalities, together with SALGA and National Treasury

Standing Committee on Finance: Public Investment Corporation and Government Employees Pension Fund briefings on Steinhoff; Nedlac briefing on the Transformation of the Financial Sector; discussion on Proposed Joint Standard on Margin Requirements for Non-Centrally cleared Over-the Counter Derivative Transactions, made in terms of section 107 of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017 (Act No 9 of 2017), read with section 106(1)(a), 106(2)(a) and (e) of that Act

Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy: Briefing by Ms N Mazzone, MP, on the Independent Electricity Management Operator Bill [B14 – 2019]; response by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on the Bill

Joint meeting: Standing Committee on Appropriations, Standing Committee on Finance, Select Committee on Appropriations and Select Committee on Finance (Subcommittee on Appointment of Parliamentary Budget Office Director): Compilation of proposed shortlist; consideration of draft minutes of previous meeting

THURSDAY
Select Committee on Appropriations: Consideration of Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B16-2019] and draft report; consideration of draft report on proposed division of revenue and conditional grant allocations to provinces and local government in the 2019 MTBPS

For the latest full schedule of committee meetings (updated regularly), please click:https://www.parliament.gov.za/whatson

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930