The Committee went through its First Term Draft Committee Programme for the first time and discussed proposed changes put forward by the Chairperson. Also on the agenda was the adoption of SASSA’s Annual Report and outstanding minutes, which were all adopted – some with amendments. No drastic changes were proposed and adopted.
Ms Lindiwe Ntsabo, Committee Secretary, advised the Committee of the apologies she received from Members. Ms H Makhuba (IFP) could not attend due to another meeting. Ms M Mafolo (ANC) could not attend because flights were fully booked and Mr N Kganyago (UDM) was unable to attend meetings until Friday, 15 February 2013.
First Term Draft Committee Programme
The Chairperson went through the programme, per item, as drawn up by the Committee Secretary. She requested that Committee Members should give the Department of Social Development (DSD) more time to prepare their briefing for the Committee on issues emanating from the State of Nation Address (SONA). The proposed date, 19 February 2013, was too soon after the SONA. He proposed a shift of the Department of Social Development’s presentation on the implementation of the Older Person’s Act to 19 February 2013, which would allow for the DSD’s SONA briefing to be held on 26 February 2013.
The Chairperson also indicated that the Committee still had outstanding Evidence Based Social Training from the previous year that had to be completed on 5 and 6 March 2013, or the Committee would lose the funding it received.
Mr M Waters (DA) asked how many Committee Members the training affected.
The Chairperson mentioned the members that had secured space in the training, but also noted the training would be on-going with the remaining members forming part of the second phase.
Mr Waters proposed that Members do the training during recess or constituency period as the Committee’s programme was fully packed.
The Chairperson said that parties were reluctant to release Members during constituency period. Also, the two days proposed were the only days the lecturers would be available.
Ms E More (DA) asked if the training could not be done on Friday, 8 or 15 March 2013, so as to give the Committee time to do their strategic plan as early as possible as the plan gave direction on what needed to be achieved by the Committee.
The Chairperson said the lecturers were coming to Cape Town specifically for the Members’ training on 5 and 6 March 2013, however they would confer with the lecturers about the proposed dates and/or request special permission for a Committee meeting as well during that week for the strategic plan.
Mr Waters said that on 12 March 2013 the Committee was scheduled to adopt the Central Drug Authority (CDA) 2010/2011 report, however the 2011/2012 report was missing. Also, the new board had not been appointed yet. The DSD had to account for both issues. He proposed that the DSD should brief the Committee on the implementation of the Children’s Act.
The Chairperson said several issues were raised by the Children’s Institute from the University of Cape Town regarding the Children’s Act and proposed the Committee make arrangements for the Children’s Act briefing in the second term as the programme for the first term had no room. He would enquire from the Minister about the board and also address the missing CDA annual report. The Speaker of Parliament would also be informed.
The Chairperson mentioned that they visited courts during oversight visits and interacted with Magistrates to hear their challenges and experiences with the implementation of the Children’s Act and the Child Justice Act.
The Committee accepted the programme with the proposed amendments.
Adoption of Committee Reports on the Annual Report of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for 2011/2012 financial year
The Chairperson went through the report page by page and asked for corrections and inputs from Members.
Mr Waters sought clarity on what happened with the resolutions taken by the Committee and when the Committee would receive feedback from the Department.
The Chairperson said the Committee would receive feedback from the Department as they were placed on the programme to report on the issues raised by the Committee. The Speaker of Parliament would also look at the report and would write to the Minister to report to the Committee.
The Chairperson proposed that the recommendations on the report should highlight that SASSA should explore possible ways to encourage Banks to wave bank charges on social grant payment accounts and identify priority areas to utilise the money recovered from beneficiaries.
Ms J Ngubeni-Maluleka (ANC) voiced that there was a concern where people still received grants after the beneficiary was deceased and it was recommended that there should be a link between the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and SASSA, where if a death certificate is applied for, SASSA would get an immediate automatic notification of the death.
The Chairperson said there was a link between DHA and SASSA, however the issue was with people who did not register the deaths but continued to claim grants.
Ms P Xaba (ANC) proposed the committee adopt the report and Ms Ngubeni-Maluleka seconded the adoption.
Adoption of outstanding minutes
Committee Minutes dated 10 October 2012
The Chairperson went on to present the minutes, going through each page and asked for corrections from Members. She said she would be meeting with the Auditor-General regarding the resolutions of the minutes for a follow up.
Ms Khumalo moved for the adoption of the minutes and was seconded by Ms Tshwete. The minutes were adopted with no amendments.
Committee Minutes dated 17 October 2012
The Chairperson went through the minutes page-by-page and asked if members had any comments on the resolutions.
Mr Waters proposed adoption of the minutes with no amendments and was seconded by Ms Khumalo.
Committee Minutes dated 23 October 2012
The Chairperson went through the minutes page-by-page and asked for any corrections and resolutions on what had to be done based on the Committee’s recommendations.
Mr Waters raised a correction that the DSD could not have had an increase when it is previously stated that adoption figures declined.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had proposed that the DSD should report to the Committee on the implementation of the Children’s Act in the second term and how they are addressing challenges raised – like those raised by the Children’s Institute. The Chairperson also asked the Committee to formulate resolutions on the decrease in the number of adoptions as a decrease in adoptions and an increase in orphans and AIDS orphans, leads to an increase in orphanages and increase in places of safety which would have a negative spin off for the country. Also the Department had to report on progress made in developing a progressive adoption policy and challenges they faced.
Ms Ngubeni – Maluleka proposed adoption of the minutes and Ms Xaba seconded the motion.
Committee Minutes dated 6 November 2012
The Chairperson tabled the minutes, went through them page-by-page and asked for corrections from the Committee.
Mr Waters raised a correction of the R2 million noted on page 2, he suggested the amount was R200 million.
The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary to follow up on the amount as raised by Mr Waters.
Ms Xaba proposed the adoption of the minutes with amendment and Mr Waters seconded.
Committee Minutes dated 13 November 2012
The chairperson went through the document page-by-page and asked for corrections from the Committee.
Members raised minor errors in the minutes.
The Chairperson raised a note on the recommendations that was not clear about a reward system - for condom usage being rewarded with bursaries.
The committee moved to remove the note as it was not clear and could not remember where it originated.
Mr Waters proposed adoption of the minutes, with corrections, and Ms Ngubeni-Maluleka seconded.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the 2011/12 annual report for the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
The Chairperson went through the report page-by-page and asked Members to investigate how SASSA registrations turned out in their areas during the Members’ constituency period, so as to challenge SASSA on any issues the member would have picked up.
Ms Xaba proposed adoption of the report, and Ms Ngubeni-Maluleka seconded the proposal.
The meeting was adjourned.
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