Review of the Committee's Strategic Framework Plan 2011- 14

NCOP Public Services

21 February 2011
Chairperson: Mr M Sibande (ANC, Mpumalanga)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee secretary presented the Strategic Framework Plan of the Committee for 2011 - 14. The Plan emanated from the strategic framework planning workshop held the previous year and it was reviewed so that it was aligned to the priorities of the State of Nation Address. All members agreed that the Plan should be a working document, where additions and corrections could still be made to it.

The Chairperson advised two Bills (Sectional Title Scheme Management Bill and Community Scheme Ombud Service Bill) were to be presented to the Committee and so the Select Committee would not be undertaking its oversight visit with the Portfolio Committee. The Bills were tagged Section 76 and were very sensitive. They would be sent to the Committee in the next couple of weeks.

Meeting report

Review of the Committee’s Strategic Framework Plan 2011- 14
Mr Masibonge Mzwakali, Committee secretary, presented and reviewed the Business Plan for the Select Committee on Public Services (see attached document). He advised that the business plan was a document emanating from the strategic framework plan workshop held last year by the Committee, where the document was adopted by the Committee. The purpose for today’s meeting was to review and ensure that document was aligned with the SONA’s priorities. He advised these would be no change to the mandate of the Committee as captured in the Committee’s workshop last year.  He referred to section 1.1, which was part of the Committee’s mandates, to conduct oversight. The other mandates mentioned were section 1.2, the passing of legislation; section 1.3, the processing of international treaties and protocols; section 1.4, providing a public forum for public participation and section 1.5, ensuring co- operative governance and intergovernmental relations. There were no changes made to section 2 of the document because these were the challenges highlighted by the Committee last year but members could add more challenges on the list which would be captured and inserted in the document. 

He referred to section 4 of the document, which outlined the key performance areas of the Committee in the next four years, which would be the focus areas of the Committee’s activities. Section 4.1, which was also in line with Committee’s mandates, was to process legislation. There was also a column in section 4 which outlines the outputs of the Committee, in other words what was expected of the committee. The Committee would receive briefings from the departments, receive research papers from the research unit, and conduct deliberations, formal considerations and public hearings.

There were key amendments that were inserted with respect to the Department of Human Settlements in column four of section four of the document, which were KPIs emanating from the 2010/2011 SONA. These KPIs were:
▪ the monitoring of the departments actions with regards to the upgrading of well-located informal settlements,
▪ providing proper service and land tenure to at least 500 000 households by 2014 and monitoring closely the departments spending of the one billion guarantee that was initially set to be an incentive to the private banking and housing sector. The one billion rand initiatives emanates from the 2010 SONA and was put to accommodate people whose salaries were too high to get government subsidies but too little to qualify for a normal bank mortgage.
▪ to be updated by the Department of Human Settlements on the Hostel Conversion Programme which includes Community Residential Units,
▪ to monitor the department’s new mandate to deliver on the National Sanitation Programme that was previously under the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry,
▪ to monitor the progress with regards to the rectification programmes,
▪ to monitor progress in the implementation of the Farm Worker Assistance Programme,
▪ to monitor the coordination and management of the beneficiary list, the incorporation of backyard dwellers into the Provincial Housing Database,
▪ to monitor the department’s support to People’s housing Process as well as emerging contractors, 
▪ to monitor  the implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.

The KPIs for the Committee emanating from the SONA for the Department of Transport, were that the committee would monitor the department’s actions with regard to the maintenance and expansion of the road network and ensure that the rail network was reliable, competitive and better integrated with sea ports.

The KPIs for the Committee emanating from the SONA with regards to the Department of Public Works, were that the Committee would monitor the department’s actions on the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), job creation, rural infrastructural development, the role of the department in prioritising job creation and how it would locate this function within the new financed Job Creation initiative that would be established through the nine billion rand fund and the department’s entire procurement system to ensure effective and efficient spending of funds.

Mr Mzwakali said that the bullets with regards to KPIs on International Relations should be removed because these were papers/international protocols that were given to the Committee last year so that Committee could gain information. With the KPIs on Intergovernmental Relations, the focus of the Committee would be working to improve the effectiveness of local government infrastructure development and human settlements while also ensuring that local government has the correct management administrative and technical skills. He noted that the last few pages outlined the Committees activities as shown in the mandate and were more a repetition because everything in this section had been stated in the Committee’s mandate. The very last section was the addendum and it was a list of all the entities that were accountable to the Committee and departments.

Mr Mzwakali advised that this was a draft strategic framework for the next four years and a working document and members were allowed to make corrections and inputs and also insert additions where necessary.

The Chairperson noted that this was a short summary of the Committee’s working document which emanated from their workshop last year with a couple of additions that came about because of the SONA. Members were allowed to make additions.

 Mr D Feldman (COPE, Gauteng) suggested that this should be a working document as it was only received now.

Mr H Groenewald (DA, North West) said that this should be a working document so changes could be made and referred to mandate 1.1, stating that oversight were one of the main purposes of the Committee as they should be in the field as things happen, especially in their specific provinces. Things were happening all over South Africa in municipalities and those municipalities were currently a burning point in South Africa because of upcoming local elections. There should be more oversight to check on all municipalities. The programme was good but there were a lot of things to do and very little time so the whole committee should work as the NCOP in all provinces instead of concentrating on one’s own provinces.

Mr M Jacobs (ANC, Free State) said the programme showed an incorrect date for the 1 February and this should be changed to the 1 March.  While the Committee was doing oversight visits, they should enquire about the monies taken from some provinces and redirected to other provinces by Ministers - so they could know the reasons why this was done. There should be a yearly program so that members were more prepared and know how many oversight visits there would be and how many international trips the Committee would have so that it could budget. This would result in members being more prepared.

The Chairperson said that there were two bills that were coming to the Committee that were Sectional Title Scheme Management Bill and Community Scheme Ombud Service Bill under section 76. These two bills were very sensitive and mean that it would be impossible for Committee to join the Portfolio Committee on an oversight visit. The department should be requested to brief the committee from next week so that Committee was prepared when the bills were handed over and were in a position to react and work within the timeframe.

The meeting was adjourned.


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