POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Cyril Ramaphosa’s performance under spotlight in budget vote
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s performance during his first few months in office will come under the spotlight this week during the Presidency’s budget vote debate in Parliament on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa will reply on Thursday.
His leadership and how he has dealt with crises such as the collapse of the North West government will come under the microscope. He is likely to take the opportunity to respond to his critics.
The debate will not only examine Ramaphosa’s leadership but will also reveal the approach of opposition parties to him and the ANC in the run-up to the 2019 general election. While the opposition was united against former president Jacob Zuma, their stance towards Ramaphosa and the ANC has had to shift since Zuma’s departure, especially given the renewed sense of optimism and hope that came with Ramaphosa’s election.
How the DA should respond to Ramaphosa has reportedly led to heated debate in the party. Clarity will be provided by DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday during a media briefing on Ramaphosa’s first 100 days.
Various ministers will also give speeches in Parliament on their budget votes. On Tuesday, the budget votes on water and sanitation, sport and recreation, the Treasury and Parliament will be debated. Budget vote debates will also start in the National Council of Provinces, with those on basic education and higher education and training scheduled for Wednesday and public works and transport set for Thursday.
Also on Thursday, the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces will debate Africa Day and the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
On Friday the first reading debate on the Appropriation Bill will take place in the National Assembly.
The ANC will be holding a national working committee meeting on Monday and will prepare a report on North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo for the weekend meeting of the national executive committee, which will decide on the matter.
Judge Raymond Zondo will provide an update on his commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday.
Parliamentary committees will also be hard at work. On Tuesday the standing committee on public accounts will review irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure of the South African Social Security Agency in 2016-17.
On Wednesday the mineral resources portfolio committee will discuss the programme for the inquiry into allegations of state capture in the Department of Mineral Resources.
The standing committee on finance will be briefed by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on a range of matters, including the matter of former head of business and individual tax Jonas Makwakwa.
SARS will also brief MPs on revenue raised in 2017-18, Steinhoff, illicit financial flows, the illicit tobacco trade and the controversial KPMG report into the "rogue unit".
Also on Wednesday, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu will release the audit results of all municipalities for the 2016-17 financial year.