While the public face of Parliament at work begins annually with the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the work of committees, where oversight is the major aim, starts a week earlier.
The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV), under the chairmanship of Cyril Xaba, has its first session on 5 February and, as has become the norm in defence and military matters, finance is the topic. There are currently only two items on the agenda: a briefing by the Department of Defence (DoD) on recommendations made in the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) and a second by officials from Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s department on implementation of an “audit action implementation plan”.
The committee’s second meeting of Parliament’s first session in 2020 is a military veteran oriented one. Quarterly reports from the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) will be tabled and scrutinised and senior DMV officials will also brief the PCDMV on the “audit action implementation plan”. The 12 February meeting is also scheduled to receive feedback and follow-up from the DMV on progress in updating its database and skills audit to provide meaningful information for use in assisting veterans. The meeting will also discuss the Military Veterans Amendment Act.
The remaining February PCDMV meeting is set down for six days after President Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered his SONA and will deliberate on the Military Discipline Bill. Feedback and analysis of public submissions is set down as the only agenda item.
Members of the PCDMV and their parties are Alexandra Beukes (ANC), Bantu Holomisa (UDM), Tidimalo Legwase (ANC), Jerome Maake (ANC), Kobus Marais (DA), Nthako Matiase (EFF), Thabo Mmutle (ANC), Moleboheng Modise (ANC), Mzwanele Nyhontso (PAC) and Malitakhe Shelembe (DA) with alternates Russel Cebekhulu of the IFP, Dorries Dlakude of the ANC and the DA’s Thomas Walters.