The Committee met to approve outstanding minutes and its programme for the first term. In addition, the Committee discussed its 2010 Annual Committee Report. Members noted that several issues had been omitted from the Report and corrected this.
The Chairperson noted that there were not enough Members present to form a quorum, and suggested that when the time came for the adoption, Members from other committees would be enlisted to make up the necessary numbers.
2010 Annual Committee Report
The Chairperson said that she had not seen the Annual Report before that morning, and suggested that the members take 10 to 15 minutes to read it individually. When this had been done, she raised the following points:
•The Merchant Shipping Bill would be considered on 22 February and not the 15th of February 2011.
• The COPE representative should be changed from Mr P Poho to Mr P Mbhele.
•The statement ‘no need for Parliament to adopt,’ referring to the high-speed rail conference in
•The minutes of the meetings on 14 September and 16 November still needed to be presented for adoption.
Ms Martin replied that the outstanding minutes would be located, and would be presented for adoption at the next meeting.
Mr De Freitas noted the absence of the Road Accident Fund policy document, which had been tabled by the Deputy Minister, from the Annual Report.
The Chairperson replied that this was because that document had not been referred to Parliament, but had been handled by the Committee internally.
Mr De Freitas said that the Committee had not been told that they were expected to develop a strategic plan, and was concerned that it might reflect badly on the Committee if they did not have one. In addition, he noted that the minutes of the meeting on 7 September 2010 were not listed in the report.
A Member asked the Chairperson to explain what the ‘2050 Plan’ was all about.
The Chairperson replied that it referred to a briefing by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and the Department of Transport, laying out a “national transport master plan” for the next 40 years.
The Chairperson tabled four outstanding minutes for consideration. These were dated 7 September, 19, 26 October and 2 November 2010.
Mr M De Freitas (DA) said that the Committee’s minutes had in fact not been approved since June 2009. He asked the Committee Secretary to ensure that a record is kept of when minutes were adopted. He thought it was important that there was an accurate record of the Committee’s activities.
The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary to check when last minutes were approved.
Ms Dineo Martin, Committee Secretary, replied that on 31 August 2010 all outstanding minutes at that date, including the China Study Tour Report, were approved.
Mr De Freitas agreed that it had been on the agenda, but said that it had not actually been discussed, and the item had been postponed.
Ms Martin replied that Mr De Freitas might have been absent from the meeting at which the minutes were approved.
Mr De Freitas recognised this possibility, and apologised.
Mr De Freitas said that a number of the Committee’s approved resolutions did not appear to have been carried through. The Committee had no way of knowing whether a particular resolution had been implemented. He asked if a system could be put in place which would ensure that the Committee was informed of the progress of their resolutions.
The Chairperson asked what other Members thought about this.
Two Members supported Mr De Freitas’ idea.
The Chairperson commended Mr De Freitas for his “constructive” suggestion, and proposed to use the time available to the Committee to go through a list of resolutions made, identifying which had been completely implemented by the Department, and which were still “ongoing” concerns.
Mr P Mbhele (COPE) agreed with the Chairperson in principle, but said that he would prefer to stick to the agenda and discuss the list of the Committee’s resolutions only once the Members had had time to examine the list.
The Chairperson asked for a column, in addition to the existing ‘complete’ and ‘comments’ columns, to be added to the document which would reflect the possibility that the implementation of some resolutions might be ‘ongoing.’
With the assistance of Members from other Committees, all the minutes were approved without amendments.
The Chairperson tabled the Committee’s programme for the first term.
Members were satisfied and adopted it without any changes.
The meeting was adjourned.
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