Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs Business Plan 2012: consideration and adoption

Home Affairs

15 May 2012
Chairperson: Adv A Gaum (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered its draft business plan for 2012. The Committee Researcher assured members that whatever issues and changes had been suggested by members on the Draft Business Plan in the Committee’s previous meeting had been incorporated. An issue which Members felt needed to be reflected in the Draft Business Plan was that the organogram of the Department of Home Affairs had to correspond with its functions. The Committee adopted the Draft Business Plan as amended.

A Member raised two issues not directly related to the Draft Business Plan which she felt the Committee needed to consider. The first was the migration of individuals in and out of South Africa for economic reasons and secondly the issue of dual citizenship. The Committee Researcher pointed out that the Immigration Policy Debates would deal with the issue of dual citizenship. He said that when the Committee dealt with the Immigration Policy Debate, he would research the dual citizenship issue.

Meeting report

Election of Acting Chairperson
Mr Eddy Mathonsi, Committee Secretary, informed the Committee that the Chairperson, Ms M Maunye (ANC), would not be attending the meeting due to her being ill.

The Committee elected Adv A Gaum (ANC) as Acting Chairperson. He expressed the Committee’s well wishes for the speedy recovery of the Chairperson.

Draft Business Plan 2012 to 2013
The Acting Chairperson placed the Draft Business Plan before the Committee for consideration. He noted that Members had already discussed this document in the previous meeting and they had been given the opportunity to effect changes to the document if they so wished.

Mr Adam Salmon Committee Researcher referred to page 10 of the Draft Business Plan and pointed out that he had noted that changes were to be made to the Electoral Act. The changes were most likely to be effected towards the end of 2012. In the previous meeting Mr G McIntosh (COPE) had stated that the National Development Plan was still at its draft stage and was a National Draft Development Plan.  He had consequently reflected it as such in the Draft Business Plan.
He had also indicated which countries were on the electoral calendar and that the Committee would be attending some of those countries’ elections.

Adv Gaum suggested the Draft Business Plan should mention which countries would be holding elections and which of these Members hoped to attend.

Mr M Mnqasela (DA) asked whether the maritime safety issue raised by Members had been included in the Draft Business plan. In addition, he sought clarity on whether all other issues raised by members had been included.

Mr Salmon confirmed that all issues had been included.

Ms D Mathebe (ANC) proposed that when the Committee did oversight in the provinces it had to meet with ordinary staff members to get a feel for issues on the ground. The Committee normally only met with management. She also noted that the Committee had pointed out that if legislation were to be amended the organogram of the Department of Home Affairs would have to be changed. If the organogram of the Department was not rearranged problems would emerge.

Adv Gaum emphasised that the organogram of the Department should correspond with its functions. He wished it to be reflected as such in the Draft Business Plan.

Ms Mathebe stated that there were two other issues which she wanted to raise. The first was migration due to economic reasons. This was where individuals were travelling in and out of South Africa for economic reasons. She asked what the country’s policy on this was. In the old days South Africa had agreements with neighbouring countries relating to migration. What happened to the incomes of persons working in South Africa and then travelling back to their home countries? Did part of their incomes remain in South Africa? She noted that in the old days when persons for example from Botswana worked in South Africa they would only be paid once they were back in Botswana. They received payment in Botswana. Foreigners working in South Africa nowadays simply just stayed in the country. The second issue was about dual citizenship. She noted that when President Mandela had been released from imprisonment he had encouraged all persons working in mines which included foreigners to obtain identity documents. Foreigners did so without relinquishing the citizenships of their countries of origin. It was an issue which she felt the Committee should look at. She asked Mr Salmon to research the issue.

Mr Salmon noted the points made by Members. He pointed out that the Immigration Policy Debates would deal with the issue of dual citizenship. The issue would come up during the debates.

Ms Mathebe nevertheless wished Mr Salmon to research the issue.

Mr Salmon said that when the Committee dealt with the Immigration Policy Debate, he would research the dual citizenship issue. He added that the third responsibility of Parliament was public participation. As a result, it was reflected in the
Draft Business Plan that the Committee would interact with Department staff as well as communities.

The
Draft Business Plan was adopted as amended.

Adv Gaum pointed out that the Committee’s Study Tour to Russia Report had been circulated to members for comment.

Mr Salmon said that members could forward recommendations on the Committee’s Study Tour to Russia Report to him or Mr Mathonsi.

The meeting was adjourned.

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