President Cyril Ramphosa has called a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament to outline his plan for “South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan”.
Ramaphosa wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson Amos Masondo about his intention to call a joint sitting of the two houses, Parliament announced in a statement on Friday afternoon.
The joint sitting is planned for 14:00 on Thursday 15 October.
“We need to take extraordinary measures towards a speedy and sustainable economic recovery,” Ramaphosa wrote in his letter to the presiding officers.
Section 84(2)(d) of the Constitution, read together with Rule 7(1)(b) of the Joint Rules of Parliament allows the President to call a joint sitting.
It is somewhat unusual for the President to take this step other than for the annual State of the Nation Address (Sona). However, last year, after a public outcry over gender-based violence and femicide, Ramaphosa also called for a special joint sitting, where he announced a plan to deal with the scourge.
Ramaphosa was due to appear before the NCOP for verbal questions on 15 October, but the question session will be rescheduled.
Due to the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s economy is set to contract anywhere between 7% and 13% this year.
Last month, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has agreed on Ramaphosa’s action plan for the country’s economic recovery. Details of the plan will be announced once it is finalised by Cabinet, the presidency said at the time.
The joint sitting is a week before Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is expected to deliver his medium-term budget, which he on Friday warned would not be popular.