SA Postbank Limited Bill [B14B-2009]: deliberations & adoption; SA Post Office Bill: briefing; SABC meeting interdict update; Committee Study Tour Report to UK and Brazil

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Communications

05 September 2010
Chairperson: Mr I Vadi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

During the morning session, Clauses 1 to 12 of the South African Postbank Limited Bill were finalised. Further amendments were made to clauses 1, 9 and 12 to 14. Members felt that they should not have been making major amendments as this was the final consideration of the Bill. Therefore Adv De Lange and the State Law Adviser were asked to revise the Bill and bring it to the Committee that same afternoon.

The Department of Communications briefed the Members on the South African Post Office Bill which provided the corporate governance for the entity. The Committee said it needed more time to analyse the Bill as it was a lot of information to take in. Members were concerned that there would not be enough time to process the Bill this year and asked SAPO if this would be a disaster. The Committee clarified that if the Bill was approved it would mean that the Post Office Act of 1958 would be repealed and part of the Postal Services Act of 1998 would be amended. The Committee thought that SAPO was working towards having one postal services act and did not understand why there were so many laws covering one entity. Members wondered if it was necessary to have another white paper process. The Committee voted that the Bill was desirable. Informal deliberations would be held the following week.

The Committee discussed the Democratic Alliance’s letter requesting that the Minister be summoned to Parliament to inform Members about the situation within the DoC and some of its entities such as Sentech and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The Committee decided it was premature to summon the Minister. They would talk to those particular entities and the DoC, and if they were still not satisfied, they would call on the Minister. The Chairperson was asked if he had received any feedback on the SABC briefing (since the SABC had been interdicted from given an in camera briefing to the Committee by SANEF). He answered that the Speakers Office and the parliamentary legal team had opened up discussions with the South African National Editors Forum legal team. There was agreement on a range of issues. There was only one matter that had to be resolved. He could not discuss the details at this time.

The Committee adopted the study tour report on their visit to the UK and Brazil. The Committee advised that the Cabinet should very carefully consider all the implications of a possible review of policy on digital migration.

In the afternoon session, the Committee resumed formal clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill. The Principal State Law Adviser explained the amendments made to Clauses 12, 13, 14, 15, 15, 25 and 29. The Committee approved the clauses, with amendments. Clauses 17 to 24, 26 to 28, 30 to 32 and Schedule 1 were approved, without amendments.

Five Members of the ANC voted in favour of the approval of the Bill, the Member from COPE abstained and the two Members of the DA voted against. The Bill was approved by virtue of the majority vote in favour.

Meeting report

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