SOUTH AFRICA: HAPPENING IN PARLIAMENT THIS WEEK

SOUTH AFRICA: HAPPENING IN PARLIAMENT THIS WEEK

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CAPE TOWN, 25 May 2020 – A virtual lecture to commemorate Africa Day, a briefing on COVID-19 to the Members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and Questions for Oral Reply to the Ministers from two government clusters are among a wide range of key items on the parliamentary agenda this week.   

 Africa Day marks the anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963, now known as African Union (AU). It is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of the continent in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress that Africa has made while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent face in a global environment. The adopted theme this year by the AU is: “Silencing the Guns: Creating conditions for Africa’s development to achieve the goal of a conflict-free Africa”.
 
The Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Ms Sylvia Lucas, and the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly (NA), Mr Lechesa Tsenoli, will on Monday, 25 May, at 10 am host a virtual Lecture to commemorate the day. The guest lecturer will be Professor Adekeye Adebajo, a renowned African scholar and researcher heading the Pan African Institute at the University of Johannesburg.
 
The NCOP Permanent Delegates and Special Delegates will on Tuesday 26 May at 09 am hold a virtual engagement at which Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize will brief them on COVID-19’s impact and how government measures to curb its spread are being implemented across the three spheres of government.
 
The Women’ Charter Review Sessions (virtual), aimed to take stock of progress made in implementing the articles of the 1994 Women’s Charter for Effective Equality since the advent of freedom and democracy, is also scheduled for the Northern Cape.  The first review sessions took place last year in Gugulethu, Western Cape.
 
Meanwhile, the NA is scheduled to hold its first oral questions plenary session with the social services and governance clusters on Wednesday, 27 May at 3 pm. This cluster comprises of Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, the Minister of Basic Education, Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Development.
 
The Sitting will be Parliament’s first hybrid sitting where some members will be physically present in the NA chamber and others connecting via a video platform. Parliament uses a range of instruments to hold the executive accountable. Section 92(2) of the Constitution stipulates that Cabinet Members are accountable collectively and individually to Parliament for the exercise of their powers and performances of their functions.
 
About 56 meetings of the Committees of the two Houses – The NA and the NCOP – are scheduled to hold virtual oversight meetings this week. Parliament has held over 150 virtual meetings of oversight committees thus far.
 
Details of the Committee meetings are as follows:
 
Tuesday, 26 May  
Standing Committee on Appropriations, briefing by the FFC on the fiscal impact of covid-19 and suggestions on where money should be reprioritized in the adjustments budget
 
 
Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy and Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment and Mineral Resources and Energy: Briefing by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on their response and strategies with regards to Covid-19, including regulations thereof relating to the Covid-19 
 
Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Tourism and Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour: Joint briefing by Department of Tourism on Strategic Plan and Annual Performance plan 
 
Wednesday, 27 May  
Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration: Adoption of the Budget Vote reports 
 
Select Committee on Appropriations: Consideration of Final Mandates on the Division of Revenue Bill [B3 – 2020]; Consideration and adoption of the draft Report on the Division of Revenue Bill  
 
Portfolio Committee on Communications (Subcommittee): Interviews of shortlisted candidates for the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board 
 
Thursday, 28 May 
Joint Meeting: Portfolio Committee on Health and Select Committee on Health and Social Services: Consideration and adoption of the Committee’s budget vote report; Briefing by the Ministry/Department of Health on the Covid-19 update
 
Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament: Briefing by the Secretary to Parliament on Parliament’s performance in the 4th Quarter of 2019/20
 
Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry: Briefing by the technical infrastructure institutions’ contribution to government’s COVID-19 response; Formal consideration of the report on the DTIC’s Strategic and Annual Performance Plans for 2020/21
 
Portfolio Committee on Communications (Subcommittee): Interviews of shortlisted candidates for the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board
 
Friday, 29 May  
Portfolio Committee on Social Development and Select Committee on Health and Social Services, Briefing by NGOs on the Covid19 related food security programmes. Briefing by the Department of Social Development and its entities on their M&E and supervisory plans aimed at effective implementation of the department’s programmes (food distribution, psychosocial support and GBV) responding to the Covid 19 pandemic
 
Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology: Briefing by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology on: Establishment of the Ministerial Task Team on review of the NSFAS business processes; Update on the decision by the Committee requesting the Minister to institute the review on remuneration of University Vice-Chancellors 

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