JOINT RULES COMMITTEE ANNEXURE D
DRAFT REPORT OF THE JOINT SUBCOMMITTEE ON REVIEW OF THE JOINT RULES
For presentation to the Joint Rules Committee on 22 March 2006
1. Since the Joint Subcommittee's last report to the Joint Rules Committee, the Subcommittee met on 12 October 2005 and again on 16 March 2006 to discuss the following issues which had been referred to it:
(1) Drafting of rules on House Chairpersons
(2) Title of Leader of the Opposition
(3) Rules pursuant to adoption of Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004 (including 'fair procedure' to be followed in investigating and determination of allegations of misconduct and contempt of Parliament)
(4) Updating of references to money bills in Rules (Amendment to Joint Rule 161 (1 )(e) and definition of "money bill" in Joint Rule1.
2. As regards the first two items, namely the drafting of rules on House Chairpersons and the title of Leader of the Opposition, the Joint Subcommittee agreed that since these were specific to the National Assembly, it would be more appropriate for the Assembly Subcommittee on Review of Rules to deal with these matters.
3. As regards item 3, namely 'Rules pursuant to adoption of Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004', it was agreed that each House would need to develop their own Rules. This was not a matter that the Joint Subcommittee would need to look at. Each House Subcommittee would report to their respective Rules Committees on rule amendments in regard to these matters.
A 'fair procedure' for the conducting of disciplinary action should also be included in the separate Rules of each Hose rather than in the Joint Rules.
4. With reference to item 4, namely updating of references to money bills in Rules, the Subcommittee agreed that the Joint Rules need to be amended to reflect the amendment to the definition of a money bill as contained in the Constitution.
The Subcommittee expressed concern that the definition of 'money bill' contained in the Joint Rules repeated the definition given in the Constitution. It was felt that such repetition was unnecessary.
It was further noted that repetition of the provisions of the Constitution or other law also occurred in other parts of the rules and did not contribute positively towards good legal drafting. It was felt therefore that the structure of the rules need to be looked at to address this problem.
The Joint Subcommittee therefore proposes the following amendments to the Joint Rules in respect of money bills:
(a) In Joint Rule 1 (1)
To amend the definition of money bills as follows:
"money Bill" means a Bill to which section 77 of the Constitution applies. '
(b) In Joint Rule 161
When Bills are out of order
To amend Joint Rule 1 (e) as follows:
161(1) A Bill is constitutionally out of order if it is in breach of-
(e) section 77(2) of the Constitution.
Furthermore, the Joint Subcommittee recommends that both Houses should revisit their rules in regard to definition of money bills and change them in line with the above proposed Joint Rule amendment.
Adv. M T Masutha, MP
Kgoshi M L Mokoena, MP
2. The Speaker and the Chairperson
We would like to highlight the following matters in regard to the debate on the Report from the Parliamentary Process on the African Peer Review Mechanism at the Joint Sitting on Tuesday, 14 February 2006.
1 CALLING OF JOINT SITTING
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the, Speaker of the National Assembly, acting jointly, have called the Joint Sitting in terms of Joint Rule 7(2).
2. RULES GOVERNING DEBATE
(1) There are no comprehensive rules governing debates at Joint Sittings. The NA and the NCOP Rules on Order in Meetings and on Rules of Debate (including the Chair's disciplinary powers) are not identical.
(2) Joint Sittings are governed by Joint Rules 7 to 14. The following Joint Rules apply specifically to debate:
JR 12: When the Houses sit jointly-
(a) the Assembly Rules on discipline remain applicable to an Assembly member; and
(b) the Council Rules on discipline remain applicable to a Council member.
JR 13: (1) An Assembly or Council member, other than the officer presiding at a joint sitting, may not speak at the sitting-
1. unless invited to do so by the presiding officer; or
2. without having obtained the permission of the Speaker and the Chairperson of the Council before the meeting.
1. No vote or decision may be taken by or in a joint sitting. (In this regard the Houses will meet separately to take a decision on the Report)
3. ADDITIONAL JOINT RULES
In terms of Joint Rule 2(1), the Speaker and the Chairperson of the Council, acting jointly, may give a ruling or make a rule in respect of any matter for which the Joint Rules do not provide. A rule made by the Presiding Officers remains in force until a meeting of the Joint Rules Committee has decided on it. The Presiding Officers have now framed the following Joint Rules for application in the Joint Sitting scheduled for Tuesday, 14 February. '
(1) Order in Joint Sitting and Rules of Debate
With the exception of disciplinary rules which are provided for in Joint Rule 12 the rules of Debate and the Rules and Order in Meetings of the NA and the NCOP apply to the debate in the Joint Sitting to the extent that those Rules are compatible with one another and to the extent that they are consistent with the purpose and nature of the debate at the Joint Sitting.
(2) Offensive language
No member may use offensive or unbecoming language in relation to any other member of either House, including Cabinet members and special delegates of the NCOP, and local government representatives, who are present at the Joint Sitting.
(3) Calling of members and time limits
For purposes of Joint Rule 13, members are called in the debate by the presiding officer in accordance with a list of scheduled speakers and the time allocated for speeches by members of different parties and of both Houses.
(4) Charge against a member
If information charging a member of either House comes before the Joint Sitting, such information may not be proceeded upon at the Joint Sitting, but must be reported to the House concerned at its next sitting.
Members may only speak from the podium, except
(a) to raise a point of order or a question of privilege, and
(b) to furnish a personal explanation in terms of Rule 69 of the NA or rule 50 of the NCOP.
The following procedural issues will be dealt with as a practical application of the Joint Rules and the additional Rules:
(1) Questions: Any member may, through the Chair, put a question to the member speaking.
(2) Points of order: Any member may raise a point of order on any procedural issue that may arise.
(3) Presiding Officer: Joint Rule 10 envisages that either the Speaker or the Chairperson of the Council, by arrangement between them, will preside-by implication, for the duration of the Joint Sitting. The Presiding Officers will agree on who will preside at various times according to a roster drawn up for that purpose.
(4) Relief of Presiding Officers: Despite Joint Rule 11 (which envisages an Assembly or Council member taking the chair at a joint sitting when requested to do so by the Presiding Officer), in this instance only other elected presiding officers will be used to relieve the Speaker and the Chairperson of the Council.
(5) Conduct of visitors on the gallery: Despite Joint Rule 14, which states that the Speaker must consult the Chairperson of the Council when exercising her powers, the Presiding Officers should agree in advance that either may use their discretion when applying the relevant NA Rules 40 to 42 and the relevant NCOP Rules 26 to 28 and that for that purpose it will be deemed that consultation took place.
(6) Changes to speakers' list: Any changes to the speakers' list that may affect the allocation of time to the Houses must be effected by the Table only after the concurrence of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party in the Assembly and the Chief Whip of the Council.
B MBETE, MP SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
M J MAHLANGU, MP
CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL
COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
ANNOUNCEMENTS. TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS NO 10-2006