Labour and Public Enterprises Select Committee: Upcoming Oversight Visits

NCOP Public Enterprises and Communication

01 June 2010
Chairperson: Ms M Themba (ANC, Mpumalanga)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to discuss its planned oversight visits. During the trip, the Committee woul d would perform oversight on farms and have public hearings with the farmers and farm labourers, as well as meet with Transnet. Members expressed concern about the strikes and labour issues that had taken place at Transnet and vowed to address this matter with the relevant Portfolio Committees.

Meeting report

Adoption of Minutes
The Chairperson tabled two sets of minutes for consideration. These were dated 12 and 19 May 2010. Both were approved without any amendments.

Upcoming oversight visits
Mr Z Mlenzana (COPE, Eastern Cape) proposed setting up a date to meet with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) management and relevant organizations prior to commencement of oversight visits to address the Committee’s dissatisfaction with their performance. This would enable the visits to be fully covered in all respects.

The Chairperson agreed with the Member and said that ICASA would be called to Parliament after the recess.

The Chairperson reported that the Committee had made an application to carry out oversight visits to Durban and Gauteng. Both visits were related to the recent strike action and labour disputes at Transnet. In addition, provision had been made for the Committee to visit one of the Free State farm projects.

Mr M Jacobs (ANC, Free State) asked if the Committee could perform oversight of parastatals on a Provincial level.

The Chairperson replied that the Department operated on a National level, but there were parastatals in the provinces. The Committee Members, as Provincial representatives, would perform oversight on farms and have public hearings with the farmers and farm labourers, as well as meet with any parastatals. The Committee would look at requests and proposals leading up to these visits.

Mr Groenwald suggested that follow-ups be done regarding the Transnet training course, which the Committee had attended in Stellenbosch.

The Chairperson agreed that it would be worth accessing the outcomes of the course.

Ms L Mabija (ANC, Limpopo) commented that the three weeks of oversight should be used to the maximum and that all Members should be available for oversight visits.

Other Matters
The Chairperson said that the Committee would communicate with Public Services and Labour and Public Enterprise Committees to discuss the needs of the Provinces. The strikes were expected to continue and were a serious issue. After the oversight visits, the Committee could propose a topic for discussion in Parliament.

Ms Mabija noted that in an earlier meeting that morning, it was stated that Committees were not reporting to the House about the implementation of their programmes.

The Chairperson said that the Committee Secretary always submitted programme reports to the relevant offices and it was also the responsibility of those offices to report. Each week the House Chair reported on all work performed by a Committee.

Mr M Sibande (ANC, Mpumalanga) said that each meeting report and minutes thereof had been approved and therefore the statement possibly did not refer to this Committee. He added that it was important to confront labour issues as labour disputes were rife. Incentives for jobs were delayed six months in some Provinces, at a time when unemployment was high.

The Chairperson said that oversight would include visits to the Labour Departments in all the provinces visited to address these problems. This would require prior planning.

Ms Mabija commented that though the labour sector was the spine of all Departments, the problem with labour and strikes was not being confronted adequately by the NCOP. She suggested that in the third quarter labour issues should be more visible.

Mr H Groenwald (DA, North West) said that he was very concerned about the situation of labour at present. With the present 25% job losses and the prediction that strike action would continue in the future, he believed that the Committee should get more involved to assist with the problems.

The Chairperson said that one of the problems was that there was not sufficient debate on the budget vote. The Committee would approach the Department of Labour with a draft programme for provincial oversight and thereafter discuss relevant labour operations with the NCOP.

The meeting was adjourned.


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