Outstanding Committee Matters

Defence

22 February 2012
Chairperson: Mr J Maake (ANC) and Mr S Montsitsi (ANC; Gauteng)
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Meeting Summary

The Joint Standing Committee on Defence considered and adopted minutes dated 18 January, 25 January, 4 February, 4 March, 11 March, 26 May, 2 June, 9 June, 23 June, 30 June, 25 August, 8 September, 27 October, 17 November and 24 November.

The minutes dated 3 November were not adopted because it had omitted a comment made by the Minister concerning the difference between Special Pensions and the Non Statutory Fund.  It was agreed that the minutes would only be adopted after the necessary amendments were made.

No issues were raised concerning the rest of the minutes. Serious concerns were raised over Members failing to raise any issues even in instances where there were spelling and editing errors.

The Committee further raised serious concerns over low attendances at committee meetings. A quorum had only been attained at two of the meetings under consideration. Suggestions were provided to deal with absenteeism of members.


Meeting report

Consideration of Outstanding Committee Minutes
Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 18 January 2011
Mr Montsitsi tabled the draft minutes for consideration and noted that the agenda was the ‘Election of the Chairperson (NA Component)’. He asked if Members had any issues to raise from the minutes.

No issues were raised.

Mr L Diale (ANC) moved for the adoption of the minutes.

Mr Montsitsi replied that the process of adoption of the minutes would commence later.

Mr Montsitsi observed that no quorum had been attained at the meeting under consideration and stressed the need for Members to be present at all times.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 25 January 2011
Mr Montsitsi tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the discussion of the ‘Committee’s Programme’. He requested that members raise any issues. 

No issues were raised and the Committee proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 04 February 2011
Mr Montsitsi tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘workshop on mandate, role and functions of the JSC on Defence’. He asked if Members had any issues to raise from the minutes.

No issues were raised and the Committee proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 04 March 2011
Mr Montsitsi tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by the National Defence Force Service Commission on its Final Report’. He requested Members to raise any issues from the minutes.

No issues were raised and the Committee proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 11 March 2011
Mr Montsitsi tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘adoption of the first and second term programmes by the Committee’. He asked to give their input concerning the minutes.

No issues were raised and the Committee proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 26 May 2011
Mr Montsitsi tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by the Department of Defence and Military Veterans on its implementation plan on the recommendations made by the Interim National Defence Force Service Commission (INDFSC)’. He asked Members to give their views on the minutes.

No issues were raised and the Committee proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 02 June 2011
Mr Montsitsi tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by Denel on the reconstruction process, the mandate, funding and challenges the institution was encountering’. He asked Members if they wanted to raise any issues.

No issues were raised and the Committee proceeded.

Mr Montsitsi at this point stepped out of the Committee room and the proceedings were taken over by Mr Maake.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 09 June 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by the National Convention Arms Control Committee on its 2010 Annual Report’. He asked Members to give their inputs.

No issues were raised.

Mr Maake expressed concern over the Member’s not raising any issues in respect of the draft minutes so far considered. He observed that no comments had been made even in respect of the spelling errors which were in the minutes and wondered if this meant that the Secretary of the Committee was perfect.

The Committee subsequently proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated Thursday, 23 June 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by the Department on Transformation, Gender Equity and Women Empowerment’. He requested that Members should raise issues in respect of the minutes.

No issues were raised.

Mr Maake once again wondered why Members were silent and observed that no comment had been made in respect of the fact that the pages of the minutes which had so far been considered were not numbered. He therefore commented that the pages of the minutes should always be numbered.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 30 June 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by Armscor on restructuring process, mandate, funding and challenges faced by parastatals’. He asked members to raise issues regarding the minutes and when none was raised, he once again commented that the pages of the minutes should be numbered. The Committee thereafter proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated Thursday, 25 August 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘consideration of letters from the President and the draft Committee programmes’. Members were asked to raise issues and no issues were raised.

Mr Maake observed that a quorum had been achieved only in two of the minutes which had so far been considered by the Committee and further observed that the constitution provided that the members at any meeting of the Committee should be twenty five. He commented that he preferred the policy of the ANC whereby a member of the party would be fired if he failed to attend three meetings.

Mr D Maynier(DA) replied that this would mean that the members in every party would be fired if such a policy was to be adopted.

Mr Maake answered that it was only in regard to the members of the Committee that he suggested that such a policy be adopted and not as regards other parties. He thereafter urged members to attend all meetings. The Committee then proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 08 September 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘consideration of Committee minutes’. He made reference to the first bullet point in the minutes which stated that “besides recording members present and apologies, a section for absentees should be included in the minutes in future”. He rhetorically asked if the Committee had been implementing what was stated in that point. He further asked that the Members raise issues in respect of the minutes.

No issue was raised and the Committee proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated, 27 October 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘consideration of the briefing by the Chief of Air force on transformation, management, structure, promotion process and the composition in terms of demography and challenges’. Members were asked to raise issues and no issues were raised.

Mr Maynier informed the Committee that he had a pending meeting and sought permission to depart.

Mr Maake asked him if he was not in opposition to the fact that Members might vote in his absence.

Mr Maynier replied that he was not opposed to the idea and subsequently left the meeting.

The Committee thereafter proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedingsdated 03 November 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by the Department of Finance on special pension and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans on Non-Statutory Pension’. He noted that a quorum had been achieved at that meeting and commented that everyone was perhaps interested in pensions.

Lt Col P Daniel commented that the minutes did not reflect the comments made by the Minister on the difference between Special Pension and the Non Statutory Fund (NSF).

Mr Maake asked if any Member could give the Committee direction on the issue.

Mr E Mlambo (ANC) replied that the minutes could not be adopted if an issue had been omitted.

Mr Montsitsi reiterated the difference between the Special Pension and the NSF as stated by the Minister.

Mr Maake pointed out that the contention was not concerning the difference, but that the comments made by the Minister had been omitted. He stated that the minutes of 03 November 2011 would not be adopted.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 17 November 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by the Chief of Navy on transformation, management, structure, promotion process, composition in terms of demography and challenges’.

Mr Maake commented that the delegation at the meeting under consideration had been a big one. He requested that the Committee secretary provide the documents which were agreed upon at that meeting. He then asked members to raise issues. No issues were raised. The Committee proceeded.

Draft minutes of the Proceedings dated 24 November 2011
Mr Maake tabled the draft minutes in which the agenda was the ‘briefing by the Chief of Army on transformation, management structure, promotion process, composition in terms of demography and challenges’. He asked that Members raise issues.

No issues were raised.

Mr Maake thereafter handed over to Mr Montsitsi to conduct the adoption of the minutes.

Mr Montsitsi requested that a member move for the adoption of all the minutes.

Mrs M Mafolo (ANC) moved for the adoption of all the minutes.

Mrs N Mabedia (ANC) seconded the motion.

The Committee adopted the minutes and the meeting was adjourned.


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