Parliament, Sunday 02 August 2020 – The four-months long program of Parliament, constituted of hundreds of virtual committee meetings as well as virtual and hybrid sittings of the Houses, concludes this week as parliamentarians shift their attention to a two-week constituency program.
Having held a debate on the 2020 Adjustments Appropriation Bill on Friday, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is scheduled to vote on the Bill on Tuesday, 4 August 2020 at 10 am. The Bill was passed by the National Assembly (NA) on 29 July 2020 and referred to the NCOP for concurrence.
The Bill seeks to appropriate money from the National Revenue Fund to provide for requirements of the state for the 2020/21 financial year. It makes specific allocations to specific state departments and entities and sets conditions for spending these.
Members of Parliament (MPs) will now embark on constituency work starting on 03 to 17 August for the NA while the NCOP’s will start from 5 to 25 August 2020. From April to 31 July 2020 there were 476 virtual committee meetings, 23 mini-plenaries and 26 House plenaries held, with the NA opting for hybrid sittings while the NCOP went completely virtual.
The purpose of the constituency period is to encourage MPs to remain in contact with the people they represent. The programme of Parliament has two main components - parliamentary sessions (when work is done in plenary groups and committees) and the constituency periods. During constituency periods MPs have a duty to be available to the public, attend to challenges experienced by the communities and to report back to their constituents on what is happening in Parliament.
This constituency period which marks the end of the second quarter (April – June 2020) of Parliament was initially scheduled to take place in June. However, it was postponed to July 2020 as Parliament had to intensify its oversight programme over government's implementation of measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deferment of this constituency period enabled Parliament more time to process several matters that were on its agenda, which were affected as a result of Parliament overhauling its programme to prioritise COVID-19 matters.
There are four Committee meetings scheduled for this week with National Treasury expected to brief a joint meeting of finance committees of the NA and NCOP on Covid-19 personal protective equipment procurement.
TUESDAY, 04 AUGUST 2020
Joint Meeting: Sub-Committee of the Select Committee on Health & Social Services; and the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth & People With Disabilities, Deliberations on interviewed candidates and finalisation of recommendations – Filling of vacancies on the NYDA Board]
WEDNESDAY, 05 AUGUST 2020
Select Committee on Health and Social Services, Consideration and adoption of the draft report on filling of vacancies in the NYDA; Adoption of Committee Minutes
Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and People With Disabilities, Consideration and adoption of the Committee Report on the filling of vacancies in the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA); Consideration and adoption of minutes
Joint Meeting: Standing Committee on Finance and Select Committee on Finance, Briefing by National Treasury on the procurement of PPE for COVID-19
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