Portfolio Committee Briefing on Budget

Tourism

23 April 2002
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Meeting report

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The aim of this report is to summarise the main events at the meeting and identify the key role players. This report is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings.

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 APRIL 2002
PORFOLIO COMMITTEE BRIEFING ON BUDGET

Chairperson: Ms G. Mahlangu

Documents handed out:
Environmental Affairs and Tourism Budget: Vote 27 (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism - DEAT)
Overview of Departmental Objectives, Achievements and Targets 2002/2003 (DEAT)
Overview of 2002/2003 Budget Figures (DEAT)
Presentation by SANParks
Presentation by National Botanical Institute
Presentation by SA Weather Services
Marine Living Resources Fund Budget for 2002/2003 (Marine and Coastal Management)
SA Tourism Executive Summary Business Plan and Budget April 2002 - March 2003
[e-mail
inof@pmg.org.za for documents]

SUMMARY
Ms P. Yako, acting Director-General of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), presented the overview of the Department's plans for the year followed by a brief presentation by Mr T. Bouwer from DEAT on the actual budget figures. Presentations were also made by SANParks, National Botanical Institute, SA Weather Services, Marine and Coastal Management and SA Tourism representatives, and each focused on budget as well as general objectives and targets for their particular programmes. Following each presentation, Committee members were given opportunities to ask questions of clarity and to briefly discuss issues. Ms Yako, with other representatives from the Department, then briefed the Committee on developments in the poverty relief programme. The Committee determined that more time would have to be taken with poverty relief as they had many questions unanswered at the end of the meeting.

MINUTES
The Chairperson moved that the meeting be extended to a full day given the volume of issues they were to cover, and this was agreed to. She introduced Ms Yako, the acting Director-General of DEAT who then reviewed the Department's programme for the year.

Ms Yako briefly explained the agenda for the day and told the Committee that, following presentations, they could ask questions of clarity and then determine the issues for which they would seek further discussion. She gave the high level priorities of the government to be economic growth, employment creation, black economic empowerment and SMMEs, integrated sustainable rural and urban development, and NEPAD. The main objectives in tourism were building the tourism economy by increasing domestic and international demand, expanding infrastructure to support this increase, and promoting job creation and transformation. Achievements included a preliminary database for black tourism businesses, establishment of the SA Grading Council, and various gains with SMME work. Ms Yako also discussed plans for expanding these achievements.

Ms Yako continued by explaining objectives, achievements, and further plans for fishing issues, environmental management, and biodiversity and conservation, dealing with each issue individually. One of the major achievements in biodiversity and conservation was the development of draft Biodiversity and Protected Areas Bills, and DEAT hoped to have them finalised by early next year. She then briefly discussed poverty relief and showed the committee on a map where poverty relief projects were located throughout the country.

Ms Yako continued by discussing the budget within the Department itself. Management of the Ministry and communications had been integrated under a new chief directorate, and DEAT was hoping to build a new building as well. On transformation, the management team was 60% black, and they had an accelerated transformation strategy for middle management. Capacity building, learnerships, internships and monitoring specialists were all part of the process underway. Concerning transformation, gender and HIV/AIDS issues were both being incorporated in the plans as well.

Questions and Discussion
Mr J. Le Roux (NNP) asked whom the new building would be for and what the estimated cost would be.

A representative from DEAT replied that the new building would be for the main offices in Pretoria but the estimated costs were not yet available as the process had only just begun.

The Chairperson suggested that, though they would first need to see the figures, the Committee should support a new building for DEAT as the building they were in was costly and not environmentally friendly. The current office space was not working.

DEAT Budget Figures
Mr T. Bouwer, Chief Financial Officer for DEAT, presented the actual budget figures for the Department. The allocation had increased by 6,69% this year, but some of the added funds were earmarked for particular programmes. These included a large amount for the WSSD, as well as some for tourism promotion, infrastructure in parks and harbours, and SANParks. He then gave an extensive breakdown of the budget in terms of allocations per project, commenting that a large portion of standard item allocation would go to transfer payments supporting particular programmes. He broke down the allocations for transfer payments and then spoke briefly on the budget for poverty relief.

Questions and Discussion
The Chairperson asked Mr Bouwer to clarify the different allocations for the WSSD.

Mr Bouwer stated that the R5 million allocated for next year would be for the phase out of JOWSCO. The total allotted from the government was R150 million, and R90 million was set aside in this year's budget. He then further broke down the budget concerning the WSSD.

A Committee member asked why there was no follow-up funding for Pondoland Park.

Ms Yako replied that more money was allocated for that project through poverty relief programmes.

Ms C. Ramotsamai (ANC) commented on the international organisation membership fees. She wanted to know if we reviewed the organisations and conventions they were party to or did we simply pay every year.

Ms Yako stated that DEAT was currently going through the process of reconsidering membership issues, and they would all be reviewed.

The Chairperson added that she was glad to have programme managers present at the meeting and suggested that later they could each inform the Committee of which conventions directly linked to which programmes and where they stood on each. It was necessary to find out which conventions they benefited from and should continue to support.

Presentation by South Africa National Parks (SANParks)
Mr M. Msimang from SANParks told the Committee that auditors were still finalising the exact figures for revenue and costs, but the provisional figures he would present should serve as relatively accurate guidelines. Tourism income had increased from the previous year but not by a large degree. SANParks predicted a more substantial increase this year. Though the government subsidy percentage had decreased, in real terms the funds had increased. Mr Msimang proceeded with a cost breakdown and a budget summary that included an increase in funds allocated to maintenance since this area had been somewhat neglected in the parks, and this had been brought to their attention before.

Questions and Discussion
Mr E. Moorcroft (DP) remarked on the minimal budget allocation for donations and wanted to know why donations were expected to decrease so much.

Mr Msimang replied that, in creating the budget, they did not want to budget anything not yet committed, though SANParks had no reason to expect a decrease in donations this year.

Mr Moorcroft asked if the decrease in the sale of fauna and flora reflected overselling in the past.

Mr Msimang stated that sale was down due to acquisition of the land. Additionally, such sales were based on board approval, and some had not been approved yet. Sales were made based on the current prices. If the price was good, they would proceed with sales, but this was not necessary in the case of poor prices. He emphasised that that there had been no overselling of flora and fauna previously.

Ms L. Mbuyazi (IFP) asked about the victims of the fires in SANParks and what was being done for them.

Mr Msimang said that a commission was set up to sit in May to review the evidence from the fires in Kruger. Public statements had previously been issued about what SANParks had contributed to the bereaved families, and more contributions would be made.

Ms J. Semple (DP) asked why there was hardly any money budgeted for restructuring this year.

Mr Msimang replied that most of the restructuring was finished, so not much money was further necessary.

Mr Le Roux asked if there were any plans for improving profit because he felt that the parks should be able to profit well.

Mr Msimang told the Committee that SANParks had serious plans for increasing revenue, but the plans were in the early stages, so they were not included in the budget. They were currently hoping to obtain approval from the board on a new pricing policy. He added, however, that profit had to be put into perspective as SANParks' main objective was to conserve even those areas that did not make a profit. Regardless, profits this year would be seriously increased.

Mr Le Roux replied that it would be necessary to also look at reducing costs rather than simply raising prices, particularly since South Africans would not be able to afford increased prices.

Mr Msimang stated that the new pricing system would allow South African nationals a discount.

Mr R. September (ANC) asked if they had any influence over the removal of San people from the Kalahari. He also asked about what Mr Msimang meant in his reference to outsourcing for restaurants within the parks.

Mr Msimang replied that a seemingly good solution had been found regarding the San people. The government in coordination with SANParks had purchased a large piece of land outside the parks where the San could continue their way of life. Additionally, the concession programme used where investors give 25% of their share to local peoples was increased to 50% in the case of the San. They hoped that the agreement would be signed in time for the WSSD as an example of indigenous people and modern conservation coexisting.

Mr Msimang stated, concerning outsourcing, which SANParks had proven poor in business, and their restaurants had historically lost money. By outsourcing the restaurants to professional restaurant companies, SANParks would make money on the commission and rentals rather than losing money on the restaurant business. He then invited members of the Committee to come and visit the parks to see and experience them.

The Chairperson remarked that South Africa was holding the World Parks Congress next year.

Mr Msimang added that the Congress was held every ten years, and about 2500 professionals generally attend. The Congress was held under the auspices of the IUCN and would take place in Durban in September 2003. SANParks would be trying to raise money within South Africa and internationally. DEAT had already contributed R1,5 million, and KwaZulu Natal province had contributed already as well.

Ms Ramotsamai asked if SANParks monitored the standards of the outsourced restaurants.

Ms Semple further asked if any conditions had been made for environmental practice.

Mr Msimang replied that SANParks was in no position to do the training for restaurants, though they were to an extent monitoring. They had experienced some problems so far, but it was a process still in the early stages. Service standard agreements had been signed, and the current challenge was to align their standards with a certain high quality. Concerning environmental standards, it was a challenge for the restaurants to perform at stringent standards, and it was a challenge for SANParks to monitor it, but much attention was being paid to protecting the environment within this realm.

The Chairperson stated that she was not satisfied that he had answered the question of whether or not they monitor.

Ms Ramotsamai added that just because the groups were private did not mean that they should not be monitored and helped, if need be. SMMEs particularly should be assisted and encouraged.

Mr Msimang said that they did monitor because that was necessary to uphold a service agreement, and violations could result in the cancellation of contracts.

National Botanical Institute (NBI) Budget Presentation
Professor B. Huntley of the National Botanical Institute presented next. He told the Committee that NBI had increased self-generated funds from R13,6 million to R38,5 million in the past five years. Much of the donations they received were from private sponsorships and international groups, and it often was attracted for research and conservation projects. At the same time, though the Parliamentary Grant to DEAT had increased significantly, the proportion of NBI's budget that was covered by the Grant had dropped from 73,3% to 56,5%. NBI had performed very well in recent years, such as the Kirstenbosch exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, but without an increase in funding from the government, they would not be able to improve. Service delivery and transformation targets would seriously suffer. The NBI Board was not satisfied with the budget trend they were faced with and hoped to have more participation in the budget process in order to negotiate improvements.

Questions and Comments
Ms Yako stated that in real terms NBI was still at a net loss, so it would not be fair to compare its performance with SANParks, in accounting terms.

Prof Huntley explained that costs of research programmes could certainly come from international donors, but the core costs of NBI should be met by the government.

Ms Ramotsamai asked about NBI plans for the old Transkei and Eastern Cape as these areas had been neglected. She hoped that they would have something to submit the following year.

Prof Huntley stated that they were currently examining various sites suitable for gardens and would continue the process.

Mr September stated that, certainly Kirstenbosch deserved praise, but he was curious of how many people of colour were being trained and brought into the plant selling business.

Prof Huntley replied that they trained extensively and had worked many young black horticulturists into their staff, and these individuals were often sought after by commercial groups because of their expertise. Encouraging black horticulturists had been much more successful than encouraging young black scientists. NBI would have statistics to present at their next meeting with the Committee.

Greater St Lucia Wetland Park
Mr A. Zaloumis of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Authority gave a brief presentation on the objectives of the Park Authority and their current budget breakdown. Their objectives for the year 2002/2003 included commercialisation with outsourcing, establishment of a functional authority with core staffing and a revenue base, tourism infrastructure delivery, conservation management with a monitoring system and integrated management plan, and empowerment and job creation. He then explained the budget and where their funds came from, including the various programmes that contributed, and he outlined the expenditures.

Questions and Discussion
Ms Mbuyazi asked how local people were benefiting from the various projects and how the projects were outsourced.

Mr Zaloumis replied that they had a strong empowerment component in their outsourcing, and the majority of those projects involved SMME groups.

Ms Ramotsamai asked how they were dealing with the complaints over 4x4 regulations. People were losing jobs within the surrounding communities. She also wanted to know about land claims over park land.

Mr Zaloumis stated that the issue of the 4x4 regulations was a concern of Marine and Coastal Management, but one needed to understand the medium and long term benefits to the communities despite the possible short term losses. Government had other economic projects planned to counteract that. Concerning land restitution, land claims had been settled for 60% of the park's land so far. Some were settled with compensation while others offered land ownership with particular guidelines over how the land could be used.

Ms Semple asked what was being done about the pine forests.

Mr Zaloumis said that projects were underway for deforestation of alien trees, and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry was working on several of these and on retraction in areas where deforestation was not properly administered in the first place. This was part of the Working for Wetlands project. With certain trees, agreements had been made for gradual deforestation to minimise the economic impact.

Mr H. Kleinschmidt, Deputy Director General of Marine and Coastal Management, spoke on the 4x4 regulations stating that they did not amount to a bar on the use of such vehicles on beaches. Instead, it merely required a permit to be obtained, and this would be allowed on certain stretches of coast if an environmental impact assessment study shows that no damage would be done.

Marine Living Resources Fund: Budget for 2002/2003
Mr Kleinschmidt proceeded with his presentation on the Marine Living Resources Fund. He stated that, as of April this year, management of their finances would fall under the auspices of the Public Finance Management Act, 01 of 1999, and as a public entity it would be less dependent on funds allocated by Parliament. Objectives of the fund included ensuring the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources and compliance by users of the resources, as well as conducting research informing the limits to sustainable utilisation. He discussed the aspects falling under the Marine and Coastal Management Branch and the various programmes falling under the Fund. Mr Kleinschmidt then focused on developments in Resource Management that would now be headed by a Senior Manager. Another addition was the "tip-off" programme assisting greatly in finding violations, and this system was spreading throughout DEAT. A new subsistence fishing unit had been created as well, and new coastal management legislation was due soon, though it would not likely reach the Committee until late next year.

Mr Kleinschmidt then discussed the current three year plan for paying for the acquisition of new ships, but, with the collapse of the Rand, they were hoping to extend this to a four year payment plan. He then explained the income budget and expenditure budget. One potential method for generating funds that they were looking into was leasing out fishing vessels that were not being utilised. He followed up with a brief overview of the main features of the budget including the hope to increase the fishing industry by opening new fisheries. Currently many fish and fish products were being ignored or under-utilised, and they hoped to change this. Another introduction would be a card system for verification capabilities on sight. This system would make verification and record in fishing more efficient and reliable. A final issue was the sale of confiscated abalone and other fish products. Marine and Coastal Management was looking into a way to generate funds in this manner so as not to waste the confiscated fish while at the same time not risking further threats.

Questions and Discussion
Mr Moorcroft asked how they handled by-catch and animals harmed by the processes such as albatross.

Mr Kleinschmidt replied that they were working with Australia to find better ways of using long lines to give those fishing better options that would work. They had not found a full answer to this very concerning problem, however.

The Chairperson asked about vessel monitoring.

Mr Kleinschmidt stated that the vessel monitoring system recently utilised was much more affordable than before, so they were in a better position to enforce it, but it was still not a perfect system.

Ms Semple asked if it might not be a better idea to speed up the payment on the new vessels rather than drag it out given the likely further depreciation of the Rand. She also asked about how they dealt with those not abiding to regulations.

Mr Kleinschmidt said he would consider the suggestion, but the payment plan would depend on the decision of the Treasury. Concerning policing regulations, he said that they indeed needed a dedicated capacity to deal with cases of regulations enforcement. Enforcement through fines was currently weak, and they were again looking to Australia as an example. He added that they might even need a marine court to satisfactorily deal with the situation, but strong enforcement was necessary to have the regulations taken seriously.

Ms Ramotsamai asked about progress of transformation within Marine and Coastal Management.

Mr Kleinschmidt gave the breakdown of some aspects of transformation within Marine and Coastal Management, and three components would soon be headed by previously disadvantaged individuals. Transformation was still in the works, however, as they still needed to increase the percentage blacks within their ranks.

Ms Mbuyazi asked how many women were benefiting from the subsistence fishing programme. She also wanted to know about black ownership within the industry.

Mr Kleinschmidt explained the progress made in decentralising some of the major industries in fishing. In addition to substantially increasing the number of players in the industry, the dominant companies were also transforming themselves drastically. In the Hake long-line industry, 80% of the industry was controlled by previously disadvantaged individuals. The smaller industries that were less capital-intensive, however, had not transformed as much. In the subsistence fishing programme, particular care was being given to accommodate women as this had been encouraged by the Minister. Women would form a major theme throughout the project.

Mr M. Moss (ANC) stated that many people still complain that there is no progress within the industry. He asked how Marine and Coastal Management was informing the public about programmes and progress.

Mr Kleinschmidt noted that more needed to be done in this area. He added that further steps needed to be taken to analyse the actual progress made.

South African Tourism: Business Plan and Budget (April 2002 - March 2003)
Mr S. Luanda of SA Tourism was presenting in the place of Ms Carolus who could not attend. He stated that they had visions of South Africa as a preferred travel destination in the world. Their focus was on sustainable GDP growth, sustainable job creation, redistribution and transformation. SA Tourism was committed to increase tourism volumes, spending, length of stay, seasonality patterns, and the geographic spread of the visitors. He continued by offering the general and broad principles behind how they intended to accomplish these goals. He followed with a breakdown of the budget, what was spent last year and what has been budgeted for 2002/2003, outlining as well the costs overseas and within South Africa.

Questions and Discussion
The Chairperson stated her concern that no overseas expenditure was budgeted for Africa.

Mr Luanda replied that some funds were spent within Africa, and they were currently further considering expansion within Africa in their tactical marketing.

Ms Mbuyazi remarked that the Committee had never been briefed on any of the expenses budgeted for SA Tourism, so they were unaware of how they were being represented.

The Chairperson agreed that this was an important point as she had been invited to speak on several occasions on tourism in South Africa, and she knew nothing of it. They needed information, particularly if SA Tourism hoped for the Committee to assist them.

Ms Semple asked if they could be briefed on some of the research done within Africa concerning tourism. She noted that Mr Luanda was the substitute speaker, so many of their questions, understandably, could not be answered.

Mr Luanda replied that many conclusions had been made through their research so that their operations were being changed in a way to maximise their potential.

South African Weather Service: Budget 2002-2003
Mr T. Kgage, Chief Financial Officer of South African Weather Service, apologised for the absence of Mr Nadison who was supposed present, and he stated that, at an earlier meeting with the Committee, Mr Nadison had tried to emphasise the role of weather services and the strategic importance it played outside of solely environmental concerns. The government grant had been reduced this year and would only cover basic services, but they expected to generate additional funds of up to R20 million through their own initiative. Any money used to fulfil the promises they had made to the Committee previously would have to come from these independently generated funds. Mr Kgage discussed what SA Weather Service lacked in terms of oceanographers and sufficient meteorologist and oceanic coverage. Weather was the single most destructive contributing factor to natural disasters, and they were hoping to make weather significant to people, as it was a powerful force.

SA Weather Service wanted to address issues such as weather and poverty, such as subsistence farming, and weather and environmental degradation, such as climate change, but a bigger budget was necessary for such projects. He then broke down the operational expenditures. One issue that needed remedy was radar availability. Radars had not been placed in many previously disadvantaged areas, and they were vital for early warning of destructive weather, but funds were limited for this. He then discussed human resource matters and transformation and marketing campaigns to make weather relevant. Mr Kgage briefly spoke on capital expenditure. He also mentioned that some of the self-generated funds would be earmarked for furniture, and he invited the members to come to their offices to see the very poor state of their furniture even though they would not be spending government funds on such. Concerning further transformation and attracting previously disadvantaged people into the industry, SA Weather Service had a training centre to train people as meteorologists, but one could not get a degree in this area at any university in South Africa.

Questions and Discussion
The Chairperson asked about the consequences of not having oceanographers within SA Weather Service.

Mr Kgage stated that temperatures and climates inland were most influenced by what occurred at sea, and this affected long term weather predictions and accuracy. More weather buoys needed to be deployed as well. Currently they were working with UCT and other universities with strong oceanographic departments to incorporate more cooperation in that realm, but it was a serious issue with using weather predictions to avert and prepare for disasters.

Ms Ramotsamai mentioned that the area of Umtata had a disaster every year, and she asked how they could be pro-active in light of such things.

Mr Kgage agreed that the Eastern Cape was an area with destructive weather, and one major problem was that there was no radar. Placing a radar in Umtata would cover a large amount of the area so that they could know in time to prepare. Through early detection, devastation of severe weather could be minimised.

Ms Semple asked how far SA Weather Service had come in commercialising services to promote weather and poverty and weather and environment programmes.

Mr Kgage said that they had already held an awareness campaign to teach people about weather and how to deal with treacherous weather. They were addressing the weather and poverty issue and were speaking with the Agricultural Council about how to teach subsistence farmers when to plant, spray, and engage in other activities concerning their crops because timing was weather driven.

Ms Mbuyazi stated that their indigenous belief was that a cyclone was a big snake moving from one big river to another. Because that was their understanding, they believed that early detection campaigns could be used.

The Chairperson asked if early detection could allow them to avert the red tide that occurred every year.

Mr Kgage agreed that the red tide was a problem, but they had no answer yet. He agreed to take that question back to the Service.

The Chairperson asked how women were represented.

Mr Kgage replied that 45% of senior management was female and 30% of middle management, though they were still working on that. They currently had 18 bursary students studying to become forecasters, and 80% were women and all were black.

Poverty Relief
Mr D. van Schalkwyk from DEAT spoke to the Committee on poverty relief. He said that, in a report by IDASA, DEAT was declared the most successful in its use of funds towards poverty relief. He gave statistics about SMMEs used and created as well as people trained, jobs created, and new operational projects underway. He followed with a breakdown of tourism distribution throughout the country. He also showed the distribution of Working for Water projects that DEAT works on in conjunction with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

Mr M. Lebethe, systems project manager from DEAT, then showed the Committee how implementers could use the Internet to see progress reports and financial reports of projects. Links to the projects of several departments were available at
www.theLapa.com, and he walked the Committee through the website to show them how to get information on the various projects.

Ms Mbuyazi stated that her constituency was rural, and she wanted to know how they could contact the Department without computers.

Ms Semple stated that, though interesting projects had been shown, they had no idea how the budget was being allocated. In relief programmes, similarly, they had not been told how they were broken down or who was targeted.

Mr Moss said that supervisors of projects were often not people from the areas and largely consisted of NGOs. He then asked who one should contact for direct information and answers on particular projects.

The Chairperson argued that it was more and more of an embarrassment to the government that much of the money meant to assist the poor ended up in the wrong places, so they needed to know where the money was going. The Committee would not vote on it until they knew who managed the money and what it went to. She then asked where donor money came from and wanted to know if communities were consulted when relief projects were going to occur in their areas.

Ms Yako stated in response that the whole management of the poverty relief programme was a big issue facing the Department. They were concerned about representivity and how it was managed, and they were currently working on a restructuring programme and were attempting to manage it with minimal use of consultants. Much still needed to be done in issues of transformation, spending and capacity building. They were trying to link the transformation process with other programmes. Concerning the poverty relief programme, it was difficult to make it demand driven. DEAT did not know if it should be dictated by applications from people in communities or by government targeting areas of need where projects might complement work being done in other spheres of government as well. She argued that a balance needed to be maintained. DEAT also hoped to get more involvement by the provinces. Another issue the Department was dealing with was the question of what they hoped to achieve. They were focused on projects sustainable beyond government intervention, but some projects might improve livelihoods so that those people could further their opportunities even if the projects were not continued.

The Chairperson stated that this session was meant to be empowering, but to be empowered they needed much more information. She added that the Committee finally had its own researcher, and her first task would be to find out everything about the poverty relief programme. Later, the Committee would dedicate a full day to the issue, but they could not accept it now because they did not have an understanding of the programme.

Mr B. Monteith, National Programme Manager for DEAT, commented that once a month someone visited each of the poverty relief projects, and many people got in touch with them over the phone or by fax as they were sensitive to those without computer access. He stated that management fees were restricted to 7% of the implementing agent, and this was a small percentage for such projects. He agreed that NGOs and private sector companies could be a problem, but they approved projects rather than implementing agents themselves. He emphasised that they would certainly support a full day with the Committee to further clarify the programme.

The Chairperson stated that the problem was perception, and the perception is that the implementing agents were paid very highly. She wanted to know how many people from disadvantaged backgrounds and with a true knowledge of the areas of these projects were actually involved.

Mr Monteith replied that they were concerned that often they did not have the right implementing agents in charge. The Committee's concerns were theirs as well.

Conclusion
The Chairperson said that some questions had not been answered, but they would have another opportunity to get more information so that they could debate and discuss it well. She noted that Mr Mashishi from JOWSCO was again not present, and this was a concerning absence as it had happened before. She also noted that the Grading Council was not present.

Another representative from the Department stated that they would appreciate more opportunities to discuss rather than just present as they often had questions as well, and they appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Committee about these issues. He stated that the Department apologised for where they had failed the Committee, but he hoped that they could soon answer their questions and get their vote for the budget.

The meeting was adjourned.

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