Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
20 Dec 2021
6:51 pm

Parliament closes for 2021, here’s a look at how the year went

Citizen Reporter

This year Parliament adopted a hybrid working model. The NA and NCOP held meetings virtually, while oversight visits were on site.

Picture: GCIS

Parliament has closed for 2021 and is set to reconvene in mid-January.

The institution said it managed to adapt well to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, through their Houses and committees, continued to adapt to the new communications technology-based way of working while progressively phasing in the physical aspect of its business,” read its year-end statement.

But it wasn’t all virtual. Parliament adopted a hybrid working model by conducting certain aspects on-site such as physical oversight visits, public hearings, committee meetings and certain ad hoc meetings.

Bills passed this year

Parliament passed 22 of the 25 bills introduced, of which 23 were assented to by the President. 

Key among the Bills passed during the period under review were gender-based violence Bills.

They are the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill, and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill.

Other Bills passed:

  • Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill
  • Customary Initiation Bill
  • Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill
  • Auditing Profession Amendment Bill
  • Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Bill
  • Correctional Services Amendment Bill
  • Liquor Products Amendment Bill
  • Division of Revenue Bill
  • Appropriation Bill
  • Special Appropriation Bill
  • Second Special Appropriation Bill
  • Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill

Oversight

As of 2 December, parliamentary committees held 936 virtual meetings, 71 of them involved departmental budget review reports while 52 of them were about the implementation of legislation.

Parliamentary committees also embarked on 30 oversight visits and conducted 83 public hearings on different Bills that included Land Expropriation Bill, Children’s Amendment Bill, and Gas Amendment Bill.

The NA held 38 hybrid sittings and 46 virtual mini-plenaries during the period under review.

Of the 38 sittings, 25 were dedicated to debates, 3 were on topics that included the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination plan, bullying at schools and DNA crisis at police stations.

There were 387 oral questions with 376 replies provided and 3,090 written questions with 2,746 replies provided by Cabinet members. A total of 64 executive undertakings were recorded.

During the ministerial briefings, ministers accounted on various matters that included interventions to address youth unemployment and poverty; progress on the expansion and acceleration of the Covid-19 vaccination programme; implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan for employment creation and development; school drop-out and the fiscal and economic impact of the July 2021 public violence, looting and destruction of property.

Parliament also achieved a clean audit for the seventh consecutive year.

(Compiled by Narissa Subramoney)

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