Parliament, Sunday 17 March 2019 – At Parliament on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to join Parliament’s Presiding Officers at a ceremony to unveil inscriptions of the values of the Constitution.
President Ramaphosa is scheduled to unveil the inscriptions, on the steps of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces buildings, and to deliver the keynote address.
The ceremony will officially close Parliament’s year-long commemoration of the centenary birthday anniversaries of former President Nelson Mandela and former Member of Parliament Ms Albertina Sisulu. Commemorative events held in South Africa and internationally promoted the values that these stalwarts of South Africa’s liberation struggle championed.
Tuesday’s unveiling of the inscriptions will also provide an opportunity for the Presiding Officers to share reflections on the fifth democratic Parliament’s performance.
Both Houses of Parliament are scheduled to hold debates about Human Rights Day this week – the National Council of Provinces at its plenary sitting on Tuesday afternoon and the National Assembly at its plenary sitting on Wednesday. The theme for both debates is: “Accelerated socio-economic transformation – the key to human rights and better future for all”.
The National Assembly will consider 10 Bills and legislative matters at its plenary sittings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Three of the matters have been provisionally scheduled.
Issues scheduled for Tuesday’s sitting include the Public Audit Excess Fee Bill; the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill; the Films and Publications Amendment Bill (on amendments which the National Council of Provinces proposed); the report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications recommending removal of the Chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa; the report from the Ad Hoc Committee to amend Section 25 of the Constitution; and the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
A subject for discussion is also scheduled for Tuesday’s National Assembly sitting: “Growing and transforming South Africa together from an apartheid state to a thriving democracy”.
Items provisionally scheduled for the sitting are the report from the Ad Hoc Committee recommending candidates to fill vacancies on the Commission for Gender Equality and the report from the Portfolio Committee on Communications recommending candidates for the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
At its plenary sitting on Wednesday – before its Human Rights Day debate – the National Assembly is scheduled to consider the Roll-over Economic Partnership Agreement between Southern African Customs Union Member States, Mozambique and the United Kingdom. The National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill is provisionally scheduled for consideration.
Wednesday’s sitting is the last one for the National Assembly and time has been set aside for farewell speeches from Members. On 21 February, the National Assembly adopted a resolution that it would dissolve on 20 March.
The resolution was in line with section 50 of the Constitution. It was made necessary because the date of the election, 8 May, is before the term of the current National Assembly expires. The National Assembly remains competent to function from when it is dissolved until the day before the first day of voting for the next National Assembly.
Members of the National Council of Provinces will rise on 28 March. However, they will remain in office until after the scheduled elections, until the day of the first sitting of the Provincial Legislatures.
The National Council of Province’s Programme Committee meeting on Monday is scheduled to finalise items – other than the debate on Human Day already scheduled for Tuesday – for consideration at plenary sittings of the House this week.
This week’s 21 scheduled committee meetings of both Houses feature 17 Bills and legislative matters, national and international matters of public interest, reports from government departments and entities and seven committee legacy and annual reports.
Committee meetings scheduled for the week ahead include:
Portfolio Committee on Labour: Finalisation of National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill
Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs: Briefing on the Petition from residents of Kempton Park, calling on the Assembly to investigate enforcement of the National Environment Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008) in the Ekurhuleni Metro to ensure regular and reliable refuse collection, submitted in terms of Rule 347 (Mr M Waters); Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality, Gauteng Department of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development and Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) briefing on third quarterly report; iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority briefings on the assumption of the conservation functions from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and on third quarterly report for 2018/2019
Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry: Briefing on and consideration of International Trade Agreement with the UK
Joint meeting of Standing Committee on Finance, Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration: Follow-up meeting with Steinhoff
Select Committee on Finance: Consideration and adoption of the draft committee reports on the Carbon Tax Bill, Customs and Excise Amendment Bill and Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill; National Treasury briefing on Financial Matters Amendment Bill
Joint meeting of Standing Committee on Finance, Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources: Illicit financial flows
For the latest full schedule of committee meetings (updated regularly), please click: https://www.parliament.gov.za/whatson
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