Meeting SummaryThe Committee unanimously adopted the Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill without amendments.
The Committee called for final mandates on the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill was considered. This process was hampered by the fact that some of the provinces had used different versions of the Bill in the drafting of their final mandates. Some had used the B, C, or even the D version of the Bill. Another obstacle was that some of the provinces did not have their final mandate documents ready. A lengthy discussion ensued over which was the correct version of the Bill that should have been used by the provinces. Finally, it was decided that the provinces should be looking to the B-version of the Bill, but taking into account the proposed amendments contained in the C-list. Those mandates dated 13 October could not be considered as final mandates as they had not taken into account the Committee’s discussions and amendments on that day. The D-version of the Bill did not come into play during final mandates. It would only be used during voting on the Bill. The Committee agreed to give the provinces time, until perhaps the end of the working day to complete their final mandates, and the Committee would reconvene either later in the day to finalise the matter, or on 4 October.
Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill
Mr Mokgobi read out the motion of desirability for the Bill, and the Committee adopted the motion of desirability.
Thereafter Members went through the Bill clause by clause, and indicated their assent to each clause.
Members therefore unanimously adopted the Bill.
Members also adopted the Committee Report on the Bill.
Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill: Presentation of final mandates
The Chairperson asked members to check for divergent points in the final mandates received from the provinces.
Mr A Watson (DA, Mpumalanga) said a great deal of debate had ensued over the B, C and D versions of the Bill. He said that the Committee had agreed that the C-version of the Bill would include the amendments of the Committee as well as those proposed by the Minister. Clarity was requested over which version of the Bill the Committee would be working from during the meeting. Some provinces, in their final mandates, seemed to have dealt with the B-version whilst others dealt with the C-version.
Mr Moses Manele, Committee Secretary, responded that the final mandates from the provinces should be based on the C-version. The D-version of the Bill would be applicable to voting on the final mandates.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee focus on the C-version of the Bill.
Mr Manele confirmed that the C-version was what the Members would be using.
Mr Watson said that the process was now correct. He pointed out that the mandates that were handed out to the Committee were based on the older B-version.
Mr A Matila (ANC, Gauteng) said that Gauteng's final mandates, based on the C-version, would only be ready for the Committee by Friday 6 November 2009.
Mr Manele confirmed that the C-version was sent to provinces. He reiterated that the provinces should have been working on the C-version. Mpumalanga's mandate was based on the B-version. The Eastern Cape had used the C-version.
Mr S Skhosana (ANC, Mpumalanga) stated that the Mpumalanga Province had deliberated on the C-version on the 2 November 2009. The final mandate had been signed and was now ready for the Committee.
Mr Matila reiterated that Gauteng would only have its final mandate ready by Friday 6 November 2009.
The Chairperson asked which provinces had drafted their final mandates in terms of the C-version of the Bill. He noted that Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape had used the C-version in drafting their final mandates. KwaZulu Natal had also worked on the C-version of the Bill and had submitted a final mandate in terms of the C and D versions of the Bill. The Western Cape's final mandate was outstanding.
Mr Watson reiterated that a final mandate on the C-version was what was required.
Ms Basson, Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Free State, said that the C-version of the Bill was the C-list of amendments. The Committee had to vote on the B-version of the Bill.
Mr D Bloem (COPE, Free State) asked the Chairperson to find out what the correct version of the Bill was that Members were supposed to use.
Mr Watson said again that the final mandates of the provinces should be based on the C-version of the Bill.
Mr Fanie Louw, Executive Manager: Compliance and Legal division, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), said that the Committee must deal with the B-version of the Bill. Each clause with its amendments was in the C-list. A combination of B and C was what was contained in the D-version of the Bill.
Mr Bloem once again asked the Chairperson to adjourn the meeting for a short while in order to have the matter sorted out.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting for 10 minutes.
On resumption, Mr Mokgobi noted that the Committee needed the support of the provinces for the Bill containing the amendments in the B-version of the Bill. The D-version of the Bill would not be considered by the Committee. He asked everyone present in the meeting to disregard the D-version of the Bill.
The Chairperson pointed out that six of the nine provinces needed to support the Bill in order for it to be passed. He asked the provinces for their final mandates.
Mr Bloem said that the Free State supported the Bill with amendments.
Mr Skhosana said that Mpumalanga supported the Bill with amendments.
Mr Matila stated that Gauteng supported the Bill with amendments but did not have its final mandate in a document form as yet. The document would only be ready by Friday 6 November 2009.
A representative from the State Law Advisor's Office noted that a final mandate had to have supporting documentation. No documentation meant that there was no mandate.
Mr J Bekker (DA, Western Cape) said that the Western Cape also supported the Bill but also did not have supporting documentation.
Mr R Liptak (IFP, KZN) said that KwaZulu Natal’s final mandate had made reference to the D-version of the Bill, which was incorrect.
The Chairperson said that even though the Northern Cape representative was not present in the meeting the Committee had a document from this province.
Mr B Nesi (ANC, EC) said that the Eastern Cape supported the Bill as well.
The Chairperson said that the Limpopo had also used the D-version of the Bill, and hence its final mandate was incorrect.
He noted that in that case, only Eastern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga had the correct final mandates.
Mr Louw pointed out that some of the mandates being referred to were dated 13 October 2009 and noted that they were negotiating mandates and not final mandates.
Mr Matila disagreed and said that some of the documents dated 13 October 2009 were indeed final mandates and not negotiating mandates.
The Chairperson commented that technical aspects were delaying the process. The Bill could not be passed with only three of the provinces having final mandates in support of it.
Mr Louw asked what difference the date made. If documents dated 13 October 2009 were final mandates they should still be valid.
Mr Watson disagreed, and said that the Committee had decided, on 13 October 2009, to effect changes to the Bill. Therefore any documents dated 13 October 2009 did not take those deliberations and changes into account.
Mr Mokgobi suggested that the delegates who were present from the provinces be allowed to obtain final mandates from the provinces.
Mr Bloem suggested that the Committee receive the final mandates before Friday 6 November 2009.
Mr Watson wished to remind members that the Minister had also effected changes to the Bill and hence the Bill had to be sent back to the National Assembly.
The Chairperson reiterated that that the delay was being caused by the technical process. The Bill was complex and sensitive, and hence had to be managed correctly. He asked whether it was not possible for the provinces to obtain their final mandates by the end of the day. If possible, the Committee could meet after they had done so. He said that the National Assembly had to be patient with the Committee.
Mr Bloem said that he left it in the capable hands of the Chairperson to make a decision on the matter.
The Acting Secretary of the NCOP said that the problem was that different provinces had worked on different versions of the Bill in drafting their final mandates.
The Chairperson suggested that the technical issues be sorted out by the provinces.
Mr Watson agreed with the Chairperson's sentiments that the provinces should obtain the correct mandates from their provincial legislatures. The Committee would incorporate the B-version of the Bill with the proposed amendments suggested in the C-list. The Committee would later vote on the D-version of the Bill.
The Committee agreed.
The Acting Chairperson of the NCOP read out Section 8 of the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Act. He said that the B-version, together with the C-list, had been sent to the provinces. Ideally the D-version should have been sent to the provinces.
The State Law Advisor’s representative stated that the Committee had the B-version of the Bill. The amendments proposed would be made on the B-version of the Bill and a new bill would arise. The provinces had to draft final mandates on the B-version but also incorporating those amendments in the C-list. The D-version of the Bill did not come into the picture.
Mr Louw noted that at present the Committee only had three proper final mandates. Six final mandates were required to pass the Bill. The provinces with outstanding final mandates had to deal with the B-version of the Bill, whilst also taking into consideration the C-list of amendments.
Mr L Nzimande (ANC, KZN) agreed with this summary.
Mr Bloem noted that the Acting Chairperson of the NCOP said one thing and the legal advisers said another. He asked what the correct process was.
The Chairperson stated that the matter needed to be finalised as a matter of urgency. There was limited time, as the Bill had to be sent back to the National Assembly for consideration. He asked Members to make themselves available in case the Committee had to meet after 5pm on the same day, alternatively to meet on 4 November to finalise the Bill.
The Committee agreed to this.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Amendments Agreed to National House of Traditional Leaders Bill [B56B-2008] Arrangement of Sections
- Northern Cape, North West, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Free State & Eastern Cape Final Mandates on Bill [56B-2008]
- Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Free State, Northern Cape, North West & Limpopo Final Mandates on Bill [57B-2008]
- Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill [B12B-2009]
- National House of Traditional Leaders Amendment Bill [B56B-2009]
- Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill [B57B-2009]
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