South Africa

Parliament’s Week Ahead

President’s final appearance, and the rush towards the wrap-up

President’s final appearance, and the rush towards the wrap-up
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses Members of Parliament during his State of the Nation Address 2019 debate reply at the National Assembly on February 14, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)

It’s a rapid descent towards the end of the fifth Parliament as MPs rush to finalise all urgent business.

This article was first published on the PMG site.

The end of the current Parliament is fast approaching and loose ends are gradually being knitted together. There are only a few weeks left — three weeks for the National Assembly and four for the National Council of Provinces — before lawmakers say their farewell before the 8 May elections.

Question Time and legislation are the main chamber business this week.

Question Time is one of the ways Parliament scrutinises the work of government and holds it accountable. Many of the questions touch on bread-and-butter issues and/or high-temperature business and the responses are generally newsworthy. An interesting part of the exercise is how the questions are structured as MPs simultaneously try to ask a question and get their talking points across.

The president will have his final engagement with National Assembly lawmakers on Thursday. In terms of the rules, these oral question sessions happen once a term, are three hours long and are limited to six main and supplementary questions.

President Ramaphosa will be probed on a variety of issues. Read the questions here.

Selected ministers in the governance cluster will be probed on Wednesday. Read what MPs will be asking them here.

The other point of interest will come from the proposed resolution by EFF leader, Julius Malema, to rename Cape Town International Airport Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport.

Beyond this, there will be a fair amount of legislative lifting with MPs set to pass four bills. The programme is also dotted with the usual items such as the consideration of committee reports, approving appointments, members’ statements, motions without notice and notices of motion.

Elsewhere, the NCOP chamber has scheduled only one sitting to consider several bills. Delegates will spend most of the week in committee and attending provincial budget speeches in their respective provinces.

There is plenty of noteworthy action in the committee corridor. Here is a rundown of the highlights:

It has been a long-running saga between the portfolio committee on environmental affairs and the SA Weather Services since the committee resolved in 2017 to hold the board members personally liable for R2-million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The committee also called for the removal of the entire board for failure to exercise its fiduciary duties. The committee is expected to get legal advice on the matter and reach a conclusion (Tuesday 5 March).

The portfolio committee on communications has shortlisted 24 candidates who will be interviewed to fill eight vacancies on the SABC board. The committee will conduct interviews from 5-7 March 2019 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).

The finance committees will meet to consider and adopt the Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals (Budget) Report. The report is expected to acknowledge that the Budget was tabled under difficult economic conditions of low growth, revenue shortfall, rising debt levels and that difficult choices have to be made (Tuesday 5 March).

The Minister of Home Affairs will appear before the oversight committee for the third consecutive week. This time, he will meet to discuss implementation of the Home Affairs national identification system, contingency plans to render services at Lindela Repatriation Centre after the voluntary liquidation of Global African Operations formerly known as Bosasa, the visa facilitation service contract and the progress made on the implementation of the e-visa system (Tuesday 5 March).

The portfolio committee on police will receive a briefing from the Minister of Police on the appointment of the current CFO of Ipid as the acting executive director of the body for the next three months (Wednesday 6 March).

Two weeks ago, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) briefed Parliament on its Report on the Underlying Socio-economic Challenges of Mining-affected Communities in South Africa.

The report found that mining companies did not provide detailed and sufficient information to enable communities and local government to clearly understand how land could be used post mine closure. The SAHRC found the Department of Mineral Resources was not monitoring mining companies over the provision of housing in mining-affected areas in consultation with local government, which was its responsibility. The department will respond to the report’s findings and recommendations (Wednesday 6 March).

MPs will be briefed by National Treasury on the Integrated Financial Management System (Wednesday 6 March).

The Jobs Fund, social grants, localisation and the Extended Public Works Programme are other topics that will be in the spotlight and will generate some interest.

In between, the legislative agenda will consume a big part of the programme, with the following bills under consideration: Financial Matters Amendment Bill, Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill, Copyright Amendment Bill, Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill, National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill, iKamva Digital Skills Institute Bill, Carbon Tax Bill, Customs and Excise Amendment Bill, Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill, Defence Amendment Bill, 2019 Division of Revenue Bill and 2019 Public Audit Excess Fee Bill.

View the full schedule here. DM

This summary is based on the schedule as it is published on Monday morning. The programme is subject to frequent updating so the link above needs to be checked daily to confirm the programme for the day.


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.