Parliament, Thursday 28 May 2020 – The National Assembly Programme Committee that met this morning has agreed to push back the scheduled constituency period to the end of June by extending the parliamentary programme. In April, the scheduled leave period for MPs was also postponed as Parliament intensified its oversight programme over government's implementation of measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deferment of the constituency period would enable the House to have more time to process several matters on its agenda, which were affected as a result of Parliament overhauling its programme to prioritise COVID-19 matters.
Amongst matters to be processed in June are sittings for oral questions to President Cyril Ramaphosa, on 18 June, and to Deputy President David Mabuza, on 25 June. The House will also schedule more oral questions to government clusters. Yesterday the House conducted a successful hybrid sitting for oral questions to Ministers in the governance and social services clusters.
A sitting to consider reports on the budget votes of state entities is provisionally scheduled for 9 June 2020 and on 12 June a sitting is provisionally scheduled to consider the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
The committee also noted a letter of the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, requesting that he tables the adjusted Budget on 24 June. This matter will necessitate additional sittings of the Assembly, which the Programme Committee must still decide.
The Programme Committee has also noted that the term of the Committee on Amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution would expire on 29 May 2020 and that the Assembly would need to resuscitate it. The COVID-19 pandemic had affected the public hearings programme of this committee due to the lockdown and social distancing protocols that needed to be observed.
The committee acknowledged the successful preparations towards yesterday's hybrid sitting and made suggestions on how to improve the business of Parliament on such platforms.
Parliament is holding its 200th virtual committee meeting today – a joint meeting of the Portfolio and Select Committees which cover Basic Education.
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