Water and Environmental Affairs: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report 2010

Water and Sanitation

20 October 2010
Chairperson: Mr P Mathebe (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered the draft Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report of the Committee.

Members discussed the inclusion of matters arising from the annual report of the Department as well as from other engagements with the Department of Environmental Affairs. Members queried the calculation of “training man days”, the reporting of amounts in a consistent format and the specification in the report that the lack of capacity referred to human resources or skilled human resources.

The report was adopted by the Committee, with amendments.

Meeting report

Consideration of Draft Committee Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report
The Chairperson allowed the Members time to study the draft report before tabling their comments.

Ms D Tsotsetsi (ANC) noted that the report merely indicated that the Department of Environmental Affairs had a vacancy rate but no time frame was given for the filling of the vacant posts (see page 4 of the draft report. There was no commitment to time and it was critical that the Department provided the Committee with the relevant information.  She pointed out that several attempts were by the Committee to ascertain these timeframes. The Committee urgently required further information from the Department.

Mr J Skosana (ANC) said that the Committee Report only highlighted certain issues from the reports provided by the Department and did not include the Committee’s comments. The Committee’s recommendations were based on the Department’s annual report and this should be reflected in the Committee Report.

Ms S Kalyan (DA) remarked that the compilation of the Committee Report did not only take the Department’s annual report into consideration.  The Committee Report had to take all the work done by the Committee concerning the environment during the year into account. The minutes of Committee meetings were used as a source of information for the report.  It was not a problem if Members wished to include additional information in the report.  The report should not only focus on the Department’s annual report for the previous financial year, but reflect all the interaction between the Committee and the Department during the fiscal year.

The Chairperson reminded the Members that the purpose of the meeting was to insert the issues that were raised in the draft report so that the Committee could adopt the amended report.

Mr Skosana recalled that the Committee had discussed the report on a previous occasion.  He wanted to see that the issues raised were reflected in the report.

The Chairperson asked Members to present all additional information and suggested amendments to the Committee.

Ms Kalyan asked for and explanation of how the 79,733 person training days reported on page 6 of the report was calculated.

The Committee concluded that the item referred to the training of 218 persons over a period of 365 days, which translated to 79,733 training days.

Ms Tsotetsi referred to the mention made of 369 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME’s) on page 6 of the report. The Committee needed a breakdown by gender and race in order to monitor the progress made in achieving transformation progress in this sector.

Mr S Huang (ANC) said that there should be consistency in the way that the relevant amounts were reported from page 7 onwards. In some cases, the amounts shown had points but the format used was not consistent.

Ms Kalyan referred to the item dealing with the MDG7 on page 11 of the report.  The Department was aware of the shortcomings in the country’s report and needed to develop a plan to address this issue as a matter of urgency. Referring to page 6 of the report, she said that the Department was not realising its full potential and was hampered by the inadequate allocation that was appropriated to it each year. She asked if the lack of capacity referred to available funding or to human resources.

The Chairperson was of the opinion that the report referred to personnel.

Ms Kaylan suggested that the report stated “the lack of skilled human resources” on page 6.

The Committee suggested that the statement on page 14 of the report should read “the lack of skilled human resources” as this caused the Department not to realise its full potential.

The report was adopted by the Committee, with amendments.

The meeting was adjourned


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