Joint Constitutional Review Committee: Venice Study tour update and discussions around Sepedi/ SeSotho saLeboa language issue

Constitutional Review Committee

20 July 2010
Chairperson: Mr P Holomisa (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee briefly discussed the terms of reference for the consultants that would be researching the Sepedi and SeSotho saLebowa language dispute. In addition, Members briefly commented on the Committee's programme for the third-term and were updated on the preparations for the Venice Study tour.

Meeting report

Third-Term Committee Programme
The Chairperson guided the Committee through its draft programme for the third term and invited Members to comment on it. At the same time, he pointed out that the Committee would not consider the programme at this time, as there were insufficient members to constitute a quorum.

Ms D Smuts (DA) suggested that the meetings scheduled for 4 and 6 August 4 be cancelled and their agenda be dealt with on 30 July instead. She motivated that it was sometimes difficult to hold joint committee meetings due to the unavailability of Members.

Mr M Dikgakcwi (ANC) agreed with this suggestion.

Ms J Sosibo (ANC) (KZN) objected to the suggestion and reminded Members that the Committee was supposed to meet on a fortnightly basis.

Adv M Masutha (ANC) advised that decisions did not have to be cast in stone and that the Chairperson could liaise with the Secretariat regarding the availability of Members for meetings.

The Chairperson informed Members that the Chairperson of the National Assembly, Mr Obed Bapela, had already approved the dates of the meetings. Accordingly, he felt that the approval of the dates had taken Members availability into consideration.

Venice Commission Study Tour
The Chairperson said that the Venice Study Tour had been approved and would be solely funded by Parliament.

Ms Smuts enquired about the fundraising efforts that were assigned to Mr M Ambrossini (IFP) and Adv Masutha.

The Chairperson replied that the fundraising ventures were declined by the British American Tobacco, the Heinrich Boell Stiftung Foundation and the Dutch Embassy due to the adverse global economic conditions.

Sepedi and SeSotho saLeboa Language issue
The Chairperson mentioned that the CV’s of the prospective consultants had already been circulated to all Members for perusal.

Ms Smuts suggested that the terms of reference (of the consultants) should include quantitative as well as qualitative data of the people who could speak the dialect.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would interview all the candidates and see what each had to offer.

The meeting was adjourned


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