The Committee considered its Report on the Budget Vote 22 of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans for the 2011/12 financial year. The Democratic Alliance opposed the approval of the budget on the basis of the anticipated budget shortfall of R5 billion. The Committee adopted the report, without amendment.
The Committee agreed to postpone the adoption of the minutes of previous Committee meetings and the briefing by the Department of Military Veterans on the response to the public hearings on the Military Veterans to after 23 May 2011.
Adoption of Committee Report on the Budget Vote of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans (Vote 22)
The Chairperson tabled the Committee’s report (see attached document) for consideration.
Mr D Maynier (DA) wished to place on record that the Democratic Alliance opposed the approval of the budget vote. The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans had conceded that there was a budget shortfall of R5 billion for the 2011/12 fiscal year. The substantial budget shortfall had serious consequences for the Department. He urged the African National Congress to consider not approving the budget vote.
Mr A Maziya ANC) pointed out that no allocation would be made to the Department if the budget was rejected by the Committee. He suggested that the Committee approve the budget with the proviso that the budget was insufficient and continue its endeavours to increase the allocation to the Department.
Mr E Mlambo ANC) felt that the Department should be allowed to operate, albeit within the constraints of a limited budget. The National Treasury could be requested to increase the allocation.
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) was of the opinion that the opposition party opposed the approval of the budget as a matter of course.
Mr Maynier pointed out that the Democratic Alliance in fact supported the Minister in this regard.
The Committee’s report on the Budget Vote 22 was adopted, without amendments.
Response of the Department of Military Veterans to the Public Hearings on the Military Veterans Bill
The Chairperson advised that the Committee would be briefed on the Department’s response to the public hearings on the Bill after 23 May 2011. The Committee’s deadline for considering the Department’s response was the end of June 2011.
Adoption of Minutes of Committee Meetings
The Chairperson advised that a meeting had been scheduled for 13 April 2011 to adopt the outstanding minutes of previous Committee meetings.
Mr Mlambo suggested that the adoption of the minutes was postponed to a date after 23 May 2011 to allow the Members time to peruse the minutes. The suggestion was supported by Mr L Diale (ANC) and the Chairperson agreed to the postponement.
Other Committee Business
Ms H Mgabadeli (ANC) informed the Committee that she had been unable to attend to her Parliamentary duties since November 2010 due to illness. No announcement had been made in the Committee or Caucus meetings.
Mr Diale agreed that Members should have been informed of Ms Mgabadeli’s illness.
The Chairperson replied that the oversight was a result of a lack of communication. The Committee had not been informed of the reason for Ms Mgabadeli’s absence.
The meeting was adjourned.
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