Appropriations Bill [B3-2011]: consideration and adoption of the Committee Report

Standing Committee on Appropriations

14 June 2011
Chairperson: Mr E Sogoni (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered and adopted, with corrections and amendments, its report on Appropriations Bill, and briefly discussed the progress on planning for the proposed study tour to India and China. Members concerns included the tone of the report, which indicated things that had happened. They felt that the tone of the report should have highlighted what might happen if under spending continued. This observation was linked to the warning that the Departments had to avoid the pitfalls of 2010/11 financial year They also felt that the report should have clearly stated the amounts of money rather than saying roughly what the figure was.

Meeting report

Committee's Report on the Appropriations Bill [B3-2011]
The Chairperson announced that the Committee was supposed to debate the Budget vote on the 22 June 2011, but it was postponed for the following day. He then expressed his wish that the Committee could consider and adopt the report same day.

Mr M Swart (DA) jokingly said that if there were no amendments he was moving for adoption.

Ms R Mashigo (ANC) retorted saying that she understood that the Committee was under pressure but the Members had to consider the document word for word.
 
Mr J Gelderblom (ANC) concurred with Ms Mashigo.

Mr Phelelani Dlomo, Researcher, went through the document page by page; on page 2, first paragraph,  he corrected a misspelling for the word “Sita” [State Information Technology Agency] from “Seta” [Sector Education and Training Authority].

In section 4.1, line 7, Mr Dlomo substituted the words “was of the” with the word “supports”.

On page 5 the Chairperson suggested the deletion of the sentence beginning with the words  “Even though”  up to the word “allocation”.

In section 4.2, Mr Swart suggested substituting the word “build” with the word “eradicate”.

In section 4.3 Mr Dlomo substituted the dates “2011-12” with “2010-11”.

Mr N Singh (IFP) suggested substituting the acronym “CPW” with “CWP”.

On page 7 Mr Dlomo suggested the insertion of the words “in MIG” [in Municipal Infrastructure Grant] before the words “the Department”.

Mr Singh suggested substituting the word “alleged” with the word “indicated”.

Mr L Ramatlakane (COPE) suggested the insertion of the word “reported” before the words “Special Purpose Vehicle” (SPV).

Mr M Mbili (ANC) raised his concern regarding the use of the word “about” before “R38 million”; he felt that the specific amounts should be used rather than using vague concepts on page 8, the third paragraph.

On page 8, the fourth paragraph, Mr Swartz suggested substituting the words “accruing about” with “paying interest”.

In section 4.4 Mr Dlomo explained that under expenditure was caused by the transfer payments not being made due to financial reports and business plans not submitted on time by Lovelife. R38 million was therefore under spent by the Department of Health.

Mr Ramatlakane suggested that the last part of the fourth paragraph be changed, and said that under expenditure could have a negative impact on job creation.

Mr  G Snell (ANC) said that the document was problematic because it was drafted as if the Committee was concerned with things that had already happened. It was not yet the fourth quarter; therefore the report should state that the Committee was concerned with what might happen if under spending continued.

Mr Singh then suggested that the closing remark should state that the Committee urged the Department to try and avoid the pitfalls of 2010/11 financial year.

In section 4.5 Mr Snell suggested inserting the words “The Committee noted that” before the words “the HSRC” [Human Sciences Research Council], and the deletion of the word “almost”.

Mr Singh suggested the deletion of the words “that the work of the Department was to ensure”.

On the last sentence of the third paragraph Mr Snell cautioned against an assumption that South Africa was a signatory of the 2003 Maputo Declaration. He urged the researchers to put the declaration into context.

In section 4.6, the second paragraph, Ms Mashigo suggested the deletion of the word “used” before the word reinvested.

In the last paragraph, Mr Ramatlakane suggested substituting the word “used” for the word “utilized”.

Committee Findings
In 5.2 Mr Swart suggested inserting the word “scheme” before the word “bursary”.

In 5.4 the Chairperson substituted the word “component” with the word “MIG”.

In 5.6 Mr Singh suggested the deletion of the sentence beginning with the words “it was also noted”.

On 5.8 Mr Swart suggested the substitution of the word “welcomed” with the word “noted”.

Mr Ramatlakane suggested the substitution of the word “mechanism” with the word “programme” at the end of 5.9.

The Chairperson substituted the word “irrespective” with the word “despite”.

Recommendations [Section 6]
Mr Ramatlakane suggested that all the recommendations in the draft report could be redrafted in to one.

Mr Singh then suggested that the Committee could consider the counsel of the State Law Advisor on the Bill.

Mr Mbili said that it was not the first time that the Committee was issuing such a recommendation. The Budget Office would be very helpful in dealing with financial issues. The Budget Office could even set guidelines for the Committee on dealing with financial issues.

The Chairperson urged Members to stick to the recommendations and the report at hand.

Mr Swart reminded the Committee that all recommendations had budget implications. He concurred with Mr Ramatlakane on combining all recommendations into one.

The Chairperson mentioned that the Leader Of Government business wanted all the recommendations to be directed to the relevant Government Departments.

Mr Singh suggested that the Committee could ask for legal advice and then come back on 21 June 2011 to adopt the report. He said that the Committee had only looked at spending patterns of six departments rather than the Bill.

Mr Snell said the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act 2009 (Act No. 9 of 2009) was prescriptive to the Committee that it could adopt the report with or without recommendations.


The Chairperson explained that the Committee could shelve adoption of the report pending further consultation, but there was nothing holding back the Committee from recommending what should be done.

Mr Ramatlkane suggested that the Committee could make recommendations, note findings, and then adopt the report.

The Chairperson instructed the Committee Secretary and Researchers to rework recommendation 6.6.

Mr Singh suggested that recommendation 6.6 should include the hospital revitalisation programme.

Mr Gelderblom moved for adoption and Mr Singh seconded the motion; the report was adopted with amendments.

Study tour to China and India
The Chairperson cautioned Members that time was not on their side regarding the planned study tour. He said that Thailand had not yet responded, it was only India and China that had agreed with the proposed dates. He then suggested that the Committee should compile a programme while waiting for a reply from Thailand. He said that the problem with Thailand was that it did not agree with the proposed dates

Mr Ramatlakane suggested retaining Thailand in the programme until the Committee was sure that it was not feasible to visit Thailand.

The Committee then agreed to meet at 16h30 later that day to finalise the issue.

The meeting was adjourned.


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