Departmental Budget Analysis: Postponement

Arts and Culture

19 March 2002
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

19 March 2002

Documents handed out:

Mr SL Dithebe

The Committee expressed its deep dissatisfaction at the manner in which the Parliamentary timetable is often disrupted. Members felt that the Parliamentary timetable should not be made too flexible and based on short notices. This trend inconveniences individual Parliamentarians and many interest groups.

The Chair apologised to Members for the late start, due to an unexpected development on the parliamentary timetable. He informed Members that a report has circulated which indicate that the National Assembly is sitting at 10 o'clock to receive and possibly vote on the report of the observer missions to the Zimbabwean elections.

The Chair sought guidance and suggestions from Members on how to handle the business at hand in view of this unexpected development.

Ms Dudley (ACDP) expressed sympathy with the Chair's awkward position but laid blame directly on those who prepare the business of the House. She pointed out that such a clash of business could easily be avoided if those entrusted with this important task had foresight and planned ahead.

She noted that such instability in the parliamentary timetable should not be taken lightly. It affected a whole lot of stakeholders in the parliamentary system and more so those who have taken their time to come and make presentations before the Committees she remonstrated.

Ms Dudley called for better management of the Parliamentary timetable to avoid this manner of disruption. She regretted that this was not the first time such a disruption has happened and it would certainly not be the last one.

Ms Gcina (ANC) suggested that the Committee carry on with the meeting while somebody checks what time business at the National Assembly would commence at which time the Committee could adjourn to attend to the House business.

Ms Mbombo (ANC) asked whether it was a necessity for all Members to attend unless of course a vote was going to be taken.

The Chairperson said that from what he has been made to understand, a vote might be taken. He added that he had made frantic efforts to seek clarification on this from the relevant people but could not find any.

Mr Singh (DP) urged the Chair to adjourn the meeting since the Chamber session is a crucial one and that in any event Parliamentary activity takes precedent over all other Committee matters.

The Chair concurred with Mr Singh and consequently asked Members to go and attend the Chamber session. He apologised to the presenters for this abrupt inconvenience but promised to recall them some time in April.

The meeting was adjourned.




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