A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
These minutes were provided by the Committee Secretary
Present at meeting:
Setona, Mr TS – ANC
Madlala-Magubane - ANC
Vilakazi, Ms JN – IFP
Thetjeng, Mr M - DA
Tolo, Mr BJ – ANC
Sulliman, Mr MA – ANC
Lamoela, Ms H - DA
Ms JM Masilo – North-West (ANC) – sick leave
Ms F Mazibuko – Gauteng
Ms AND Qikani – Eastern Cape
Mr JO Tlhagale – North West (UCDP) – sick leave
The Acting Chairperson, Mr Tolo, noted that the National Assembly has proposed amendments on the Children’s Amendment Bill and that the meeting scheduled to receive a briefing on those proposed amendments.
The Deputy Minister of Social Development, Dr J Swanson-Jacobs read a letter which was written by the Minister of Social Development, Dr Z Skweyia to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Hon. Mr MJ Mahlangu. The letter noted the following: that extensive public hearings was conducted by the NCOP and provincial legislatures during 2006/07. Because of the extensive scale of public hearings conducted on the Bill, it is premature to contemplate that the concurrence required by the NCOP on this Bill, stands to be jeopardised by concern for a constitutional challenge based on the lack of sufficient public consultations. The Minister notes that the changes proposed by the NA contains a refinement of the Bill passed by the NCOP in May 2007. The Minister stated that the amendments proposed by the NA do not change the long title, memorandum or objectives of the Bill, as it was referred to the NCOP in 2006. The most fundamental change to B19B- 2006 was the deletion of clause 139, on corporal punishment, which was passed by the NCOP.
The Department continued to brief the Committee on the proposed amendments by the National Assembly. (See annexure A)
Clarity seeking, comments and questions
Members enquired what the rationale is behind the obligation of employees to report serious injury or abuse of a child in partial care or drop-in centre in clauses 89 and 226. The department noted that the concern was raised in the Portfolio Committee that what would happen in the case if the owner causes the harm, and because of this a decision was taken that employees should be able to report.
The Deputy Minister noted that social workers are being trained and millions of rands has been set aside for this purpose. She further noted that as people are being trained, there are those who leave. The department has introduced a broader concept namely, social professional workers, who will be created to assisted the social worker e.g. where there are 1 social worker in an area he/she will be assisted by 8-9 social professional workers.
Members raised concern relating to removal of clause 137 (1) (d), which stated that: a requirement that a child-headed household must have been investigated by a social worker before it may be recognised as child headed. The department responded by saying that the social worker will still be making a recommendation and that the criteria and means test will be dealt with in the report.
Members enquired whether the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will be capacitated to deal with the issuing of a court order within six months. The department noted that after the six months there must be a review of why the child is still in the home and it does not mean that there must be a court order.
Way forward on the Bill:
Members stated that the Provincial Legislatures have the power to reject or accept the Bill. It was proposed that the Provincial Standing Committees on Social Development be requested to attend a briefing in Parliament, by the department, on the proposed amendments
members raised concern regarding the process which was proposed, but the Acting Chairperson noted that the letter from the Minister to the Chairperson of the NCOP requests that the Speakers in the respective provinces be sensitised regarding this issue.
The committee agreed that instead of the permanent delegates briefing the provinces on the proposed amendments, to invite the Provincial Standing Committees on Social Development to Parliament the following week (Tuesday, 13 November 2007), where the department will brief the provinces on the proposed amendments.
the mandate meeting must be scheduled for Tuesday, 20 November 2007.
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