The Committee paid tribute to the late Mr C Schmidt and expressed their condolences to his family as well as his political party- the DA. In their homage, Members recalled how hard working and approachable Mr Schmidt was. In addition, the Committee briefly discussed and adopted their plans for the year. It was decided that the Committee work engage with PetroSA, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and undertake overseas tours.
Opening Remarks by the Chairperson
The Chairperson welcomed Mr D Ross (DA) as a new member to the Committee. She expressed her condolences to the family of the late Mr C Schmidt who passed away recently. She indicated that the Committee was keen to find out from Eskom and the community as to what their views were on the public hearings for the electricity tariff hikes.
Tribute to the late Mr C Schmidt (DA)
Mr J Selau (ANC) said that Mr Schmidt was his friend outside of political circles and that he would miss him very much.
Ms N Mathibela (ANC) extended her condolences to his family and political party- the DA. She recalled that it was a pleasure working with the deceased.
Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC) said that at first he had not liked the deceased but grew fond of him later on. He had come to realise that Mr Schmidt was a gentleman and a person one could confide in.
Mr E Lucas (IFP) said that good things should be said when individuals were still alive as opposed to when they had already passed away.
Mr P Dexter (COPE) said he was shocked when he first heard the news. He thanked the Chairperson for expressing the Committee’s sorrow at the funeral.
Ms L Moss (ANC) commented that the loss for the DA was also a loss for the ANC as well as the Committee in general.
Mr Ross said that he would miss Mr Schmidt terribly. He thanked the Committee as well as all political parties for their kind words and attendance at the funeral. He noted that the deceased was very proud of the Committee.
Mr S Motau (DA) mentioned that the deceased was hard working and was a good man.
Adoption of the 2010 Programme
The Chairperson said that the Committee would start the year with a visit to PetroSA. This was a continuation of the prvious year’s oversight work. A workshop on the energy sector would be held in March so that Members could have a better understanding of the sector. She noted that the Committee had more than R300 000 left over in its budget. She remarked that this money should be used fully and suggested that it should be utilised to conduct oversight visits, particularly overseas tours.
Mr Lucas pointed out that Eskom as well as the current hearings on the electricity tariff hikes were pressing issues that needed the Committee’s attention. The Committee needed to know what both the community and Eskom’s views were on this matter.
Mr Dexter expressed satisfaction at the news that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) would brief the Chairperson but requested that it should also brief the Committee given the public nature of the hearings.
Ms Mathibela (ANC) informed the Committee that training workshops were strict and had to be attended by the Members.
The Chairperson agreed with Ms Mathibela. The Committee had to be robust as it was part of the activist parliament. The adoption of minutes for future meetings had to be done more speedily and within a reasonable time. The Committee would also ensure that visits overseas were conducted.
The 2010 programme was adopted without any amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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