The Committee considered the final mandates on the Further Education and Training Colleges Amendment Bill. All provinces voted in favour of the Bill, except the Western Cape.
Election of Acting Chairperson
The Committee Secretary informed the Committee that the Chairperson could not attend the meeting and that an Acting Chairperson should be elected. Ms D Rantho (ANC, Eastern Cape) was duly elected to chair the meeting.
Remarks by Acting Chairperson
The Acting Chairperson informed the Committee that the final mandates on the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges Amendment Bill were going to be considered. She noted apologies form the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Chairperson who could not attend the meeting. This was the last meeting with the Department of Higher Education and Training for the year, and she knew that they were eager to finalise and implement the Bill in the new year. She asked for a representative from each province to present the final mandates.
Eastern Cape Legislature Final Mandate
The Acting Chairperson stated that the Eastern Cape voted in support of the Bill.
Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Final Mandates
Ms M Boroto (ANC, Mpumalanga) read the final mandates for Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. All three legislatures voted in favour of the Bill.
Gauteng Legislature Final Mandate
Ms B Mncube (ANC, Gauteng) read out the final mandate for Gauteng, stating that the legislature voted in favour of the Bill.
Limpopo Legislature Final Mandate
Mr M Mahlangu (ANC, Limpopo) stated that the Limpopo legislature voted in favour of the Bill.
Northern Cape Legislature Final Mandate
Mr W Faber (DA, Northern Cape) informed the Committee that the Northern Cape legislature voted in support of the Bill.
North West Legislature Final Mandate
Mr T Makgate (ANC, North West) stated that his legislature voted in favour of the Bill.
Western Cape Legislature Final Mandate
Mr M De Villiers (DA, Western Cape) informed the Committee that he was instructed by the Western Cape legislature to vote against the Bill.
The Chairperson noted that all the final mandates were read, with eight provinces voting for the Bill, and one province voting against it. She asked the Parliamentary Legal Adviser if he had any comment on the mandates or the Bill.
Adv Gary Rhoda, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, replied that having checked the mandates, he had no objections.
Ms Mncube stated that the confusion that happened with the Bills last in terms of the B or D version should not happen again. She asked the Parliamentary Legal Advisers to avoid this. It was confusing to Members.
Adv Rhoda explained that this issue was dealt with and a legal adviser’s forum had been established to deal with this. The forum would include legal advisers from the provincial legislatures as well as Parliament. The matter would be dealt with then so all advisers would be on the same page.
Ms Mncube thought this would be more confusing as powers had to be separated – the State Law Advisers had to advise the departments, while the Parliamentary Legal Advisers had to advise Committees and the provinces had to advise the legislatures. She felt that a forum would contaminate this separation of powers.
The Acting Chairperson stated that she thought the matter was being confused. She was under the impression that the Parliamentary Legal Advisers advised Committees, but that advisers in the legislatures also advised the chairpersons and committees in the provinces. If the Parliamentary Legal Advisers and the adviser in the legislature came together to look at issues concerning bills, then it could work to Members’ benefit.
Mr De Villiers noted that the mandates of the provinces had already been read and this discussion should be held for another meeting. In his opinion, Members were done with this meeting.
The Chairperson replied that they were only responding to Ms Mncube’s question. She would read the Committees report on the Bill. The report read that the Committee agreed to the Bill.
The Chairperson thanked the Committee for the hard work that had been done in 2012, as it had been a difficult and complicated year. She also thanked the Department for being patient with Members when they did not understand what was happening or when there were disagreements. But, because all parties had one objective, they managed to work together. She thanked the Deputy Minister and Minister for attending meetings when they could. She was grateful for the staff members who supported the Committee over the year. She noted that it had been a terrible weekend for South Africa if one looked at the news. She pleaded with Members not to drink and drive, and to be safe over the festive season.
The meeting was adjourned.
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