The Committee met to consider and approve two outstanding minutes. In addition, the Committee discussed its planned trip to Venice in October 2010. It was decided that the Committee would fly economy class in order to accommodate as many Members as possible. The Committee were still searching for a sponsor to fund the trip and had agreed to approach British American Tobacco.
Committee Minutes dated 17 March 2010
The Committee made minor changes to the wording of the draft document.
Ms M Smuts (DA) informed Members that Mr S Swart (ACDP) had proposed additional wording to be inserted in the first submission. The suggested wording read as follows “the constitution is not opposed to religion but values the role that religion plays in society”.
The Committee agreed with this proposal.
The Chairperson informed Members that the Deaf Federation of South Africa (DEAFSA) had submitted a report to the Presidency and that the Committee was waiting on their response to this submission. In addition, he highlighted that the ruling party was still studying the submission by the Institute for Democratic Alternative in south Africa (IDASA), which proposed an amendment to section 47(1)(e) of the Constitution. Finally, he mentioned that the submission by Dr Pheko and Sekwele Centre for Social Reflection on the scrapping and the effectiveness of section 25 of the Constitution had been put aside for further consideration.
The minutes were duly adopted with amendments.
The Chairperson informed Members that Nkosi Holomisa from the Mpumalanga Traditional Leaders House had made a submission about the status and roles of traditional leaders. The issue had been pressing for the past three to four years and Nkosi Holomisa had proposed that there be public hearings regarding the matter.
Adv H Schmidt (DA) proposed that the Committee deferred the matter to a later stage. He recalled that the proposal had been supported by Ms Smuts on the basis that Members be given an opportunity to consult with their respective parties.
Ms J Sobiso (ANC) suggested that the traditional leaders be invited to present to their views Committee.
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) added that the legal advisors should be present at such a gathering.
The Chairperson recalled that the Committee had previously discussed the idea of inviting academics to Parliament to give advice on matters and also to engage in research.
Ms Smuts pointed out that it would be ideal if research was conducted and then followed by the presentation by the traditional leaders so that the Members were informed of the dynamics involved.
Planning for Overseas Visit
The Chairperson moved onto the Committee’s planned trip to
Adv T Masutha (ANC) pointed out that there was a parliamentary rule, which stipulated that if Members of Parliament flew for more than 8 hours, then they had to fly business class. As a result, he wanted to know what the rationale was behind the decision to fly economy class.
Ms Smuts replied that the rationale was to ensure that the Committee could afford to fly as many of its Members as possible.
Adv Masutha proposed that Members should use their voyager miles in order to have a more comfortable flight.
The Chairperson noted that Mr M Ambrosini (IFP) had been tasked with finding sponsors for the trip and asked for an update in this regard.
Mr Ambrosini replied that he had requested funding from the Italian Embassy, the German Embassy and the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung. All three entities had indicated that they did not have sufficient funds but would consider the request further. He interpreted this response to be a “polite no”.
Adv Masutha advised the Committee to look elsewhere for funding. He stated that he had received funding for trips in the previous years from British American Tobaccos (BAT). He had taken a Committee on Social Development to
Committee Minutes dated 21 April 2010
The Committee approved the draft minutes without any changes.
The meeting was adjourned.
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