The new National Assembly Rules Committee met for the first time on Wednesday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The new National Assembly (NA) Rules Committee, which met for the first time on Wednesday, heard proposals that included the possible establishment of an oversight committee on the Presidency.

However, a statement from Parliament said: "Proposals to establish an oversight committee on the Presidency would be scheduled for discussion at a later date".

Other matters that the Rules Committee discussed and agreed on were "guidelines and determinations" for regular items on the agenda of NA plenary sittings, such as, the sequence for party participation in oral questions sessions with the president, his deputy and Cabinet ministers.

Guidelines were also agreed on how to establish the "Subcommittee on NA Rules" and establishing portfolio and standing committees.

In terms of the NA rules, the Speaker must, with the concurrence of the Rules Committee, establish a range of portfolio committees and assign a portfolio of government affairs to each committee, as well as determine a name and the composition in each case.

The statement said portfolio committees will be composed of 11 members: 6 from the ANC, 2 from the DA, 1 from the EFF and 2 from other parties. These committees will soon hold their first meetings to select their chairpersons and determine their programmes.
 
The appointment of party whips was also discussed and agreed to. 

"There would be a total of 62 whips drawn from the 400-seat NA," said the statement. 

"The ANC with 230 seats would have 35 whips, the DA with 84 seats would have 13 whips, the EFF with 44 seats would have seven whips, the IFP with 14 seats would have two whips, as would the Freedom Front Plus with 10 seats, the African Christian Democratic Party with four seats would have one whip and the smaller parties would be allocated two whips."
 
Whips are members of political parties selected to assist in organising party business, in keeping members informed about party and parliamentary business, ensuring members attend committee meetings and House plenary sittings and take part in debates in plenary sittings.
 
African News Agency (ANA)