Discussion and Adoption of Committee’s Draft Report on Hearings on Department's 2005/05 Annual Report & Adoption of Committee Programme

Water and Sanitation

24 October 2006
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Meeting report

WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
25 October 2006
DISCUSSION AND ADOPTION OF COMMITTEE’S DRAFT REPORT ON HEARINGS ON DEPARTMENT'S 2005/05 ANNUAL REPORT & ADOPTION OF COMMITTEE PROGRAMME

Chairperson:
Ms C September (ANC)

Documents Handed Out
Draft Fourth Term Parliamentary Programme: Adoption
Draft Report on hearings on Department of Water Affairs and Forestry 2005/06 Annual Report, 16-18 October 2006

SUMMARY
The committee adopted the draft programme for the Fourth Term without amendments. The Committee’s draft report on the hearings held from 16 to 18 October on the Annual Report of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry was tabled. Most members agreed that the report was acceptable in content, but perhaps needed to contain more detail in order to be more informative Members were concerned that there seemed to be insufficient reporting on forestry matters, and that there remained more to be done in respect of rural areas and informal settlements. Concern was expressed on the performance of the Bushbuckridge Water Board, and it was suggested that from 2007 underperforming entities be required to report quarterly, to focus on and report on progress on defined areas, and that the reports should follow recommendations to be drafted by the Committee as to what must be included. There were no amendments made to the draft report, but it was noted that future reports should be more detailed and indicate exactly what the issues were. The Draft Report was adopted.

MINUTES
Draft Programme for Fourth Term
The Chairperson requesting all Members to consider the Committee's draft programme for the fourth term. There were no objections and the draft programme was adopted.

Draft Report by the Committee on the hearings around the Department’s Annual Report, held from 16 to 18 October
The draft report of the Committee on the hearings held from 16 to 18 October, concerning the Annual Report 2005/6 of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) was tabled. The Chairperson called for comment and discussion.

Discussions
Mr K Moonsamy (ANC) believed that the hearings had been informative in respect of water, but there was very little information given about forestry matters. He requested that all Members should check the content of the report to see what had been included and what left out.

Mr B Mosala (ANC) agreed with Mr Moonsamy. He added that it was increasingly more difficult to rely on a dependable Department. It seemed that people were not working in a unified manner, and were often merely doing what had been referred directly to them instead of taking the initiative. He was concerned that the reports, in many instances, were so brief that he could not understand what they were trying to say.

The Chairperson pointed out that the report contained mere summaries, and was intended as an example of what would be on the final report.

Ms P Bhengu (ANC) was happy with the report, but she stressed that there was lot still to be done in rural areas and informal settlements.

Ms J Semple (DA) was also happy with the report, and appreciated the fact that the Committee was prepared to comment honestly on both positive and negative features. She reiterated that Forestry seemed to show a very slow pace and believed that the Committee needed to give more attention to it.

Ms D van der Walt (DA) said that she was concerned about the Bushbuckridge Water Board. She suggested that all the under-performing boards must report to the committee quarterly, as from 2007, and be specifically asked to focus on certain points in order that progress on those points could be evaluated. Currently the boards simply seemed to reporting the same thing over and again.

Mr Mosala and the Chairperson agreed with Ms van der Walt's suggestion of quarterly reports.

Ms M Manana (ANC) suggested that in 2007 the Committee must draft recommendations on what exactly should be included in the Reports, and that any organisation or entity submitting a report must specifically tailor its report to the recommendations.

The Chairperson seconded Ms Manana’s suggestion.

Although there were no amendments to this report, it was recommended that future reports should be more detailed to indicate exactly what the issues were.

Members adopted the Draft Report on the hearings.

The meeting was adjourned.


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