Report on the Committee's Oversight visit to the Eastern Cape: postponement of consideration

Standing Committee on Appropriations

03 May 2012
Chairperson: Mr E Sogoni (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The consideration of the Committee’s draft Report on its oversight visit to the Eastern Cape as well as the consideration of Committee minutes was postponed until another date due to the fact that a quorum of members was lacking.

Members expressed concern about how the Committee was expected to perform a monitoring and evaluation function over the National Youth Development Agency when the Committee already had a heavy workload. The Committee’s international study tour to India had also been approved.

Meeting report

Draft Report of the Standing Committee on Appropriations on the oversight visit to the Eastern Cape
The Chairperson stated that the purpose of the meeting was to consider the Committee’s draft Report on its oversight visit to the Eastern Cape as well as the consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes, however due to an accident that had taken place on the N1 several members of the Committee had been delayed in traffic on route to Parliament.

The Chairperson pointed out that a quorum was lacking due to the unavailability of several members. As a result, the adoption of the Draft Report would have to be postponed. He did however note that members present in the meeting could discuss the Draft Report nevertheless. The main issue which needed to be considered by members was recommendations to be included in the Draft Report.

Mr M Swart (DA) informed the Committee that he had spoken to Mr J Gelderblom (ANC) via cellphone and had been informed that Mr Gelderblom as well as Mr N Singh (IFP) and Mr L Ramatlakane (COPE) would most probably still be caught in traffic for another 45 minutes. That said he suggested that the meeting be postponed to a future date for the consideration of the Draft Report and Committee minutes. He suggested that copies of the Draft Report and Committee minutes be circulated to members for perusal. Members could thus affect changes to the documents if they so wished. The Committee could consider the changes suggested by members.

Ms R Mashigo (ANC) seconded Mr Swart’s proposal that the meeting be postponed.

The Chairperson agreed that postponing the present meeting was perhaps a good idea. He suggested that Members’ forward their recommendations to the Committee Secretary, noting that he had some of his own that he wanted to be included in the report. Once a new date had been set for the consideration of the Draft Report recommendations made by members would be considered. 

Mr Darrin Arends, Committee Secretary, informed the Committee that he had looked at the Committee’s programme and suggested that the Committee consider and adopt its budget vote report on Tuesday, 8 May 2012.

The Chairperson emphasised that the monitoring and evaluation report was a priority to the Committee. He asked the Committee Section to have the monitoring and evaluation report ready by Tuesday 8 May 2012 in order for the Committee to adopt it. He did not consider the adoption of the Eastern Cape Oversight Report presently before Members as urgent. He asked Mr Arends when the Third Quarter Report was going to be complete.

Mr Arends replied that this report would be ready by Friday 11 May 2012.

The Chairperson commented that when the monitoring and evaluation function was placed with the Committee no capacity had come along with it. He felt that the Committee could not with its current capacity handle the additional workload. The Committee had to still complete its strategic plan.

Mr Swart pointed out that it was not the staff capacity that was the problem but rather the Committee being able to handle the additional workload. He asked how the Committee was expected to monitor and evaluate the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The Committee simply did not have the time to perform that function as it had other duties which it was legally obliged to perform. He noted that he had asked the NYDA what its outstanding amounts on bad debts were but it could not provide him with amounts. The NYDA had given an assurance that systems had improved and hence debts would become paid. If the situation continued as it was the NYDA would spend more than what it had to spend.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee needed to delve further into the NYDA issue.

Ms Mashigo stated that the NYDA needed to ensure that it repaid the outstanding debts.

The Chairperson said that the Committee needed to understand how the NYDA worked.

Mr Swart pointed out that on the 16 May 2012 Members were required to speak about the issue but no information was available to Members to prepare. He informed Members that the Committee’s trip to India had been approved.

Mr Arends said that the Select Committee on Finance and the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development wished to go to India at the same time as the Committee. Their trips to India were scheduled for the same week as the Committee’s. 

The Chairperson stated that the Committee needed to fast track its programmes with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. He reiterated that consideration of the Draft Report and Committee minutes would be postponed until another time.

Members agreed to the postponement.

The meeting was adjourned.

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