The Portfolio Committee on Tourism met for the consideration and adoption of the Draft Committee Report on Budget Vote No. 35: Tourism in Preparation for debate. Members of the Committee agreed that they were not going to deal with grammatical errors but rather concentrate on the content of the report.
Members of the Committee suggested corrections to some aspects of the report. The Committee recommended that the House adopt the report.
Committee Report on Department of Tourism Strategic Plan 2013
The Chairperson said that the content of the draft report was very clear but there were issues which needed polishing in terms of language, grammar and some issues that Members felt should be corrected. The procedure for the day was going to be suggested by Members' inputs so as to improve the draft report. The next day, the Chairperson was going to consult with the Minister and other political parties for submissions that had been made to see whether the draft that would be circulated would be acceptable to the Committee.
Mr R Shah (DA) suggested that the Committee should go through the draft report page by page because he had already gone through it and marked the issues that he felt the Committee should look at.
The Chairperson said that the Committee should first identify issues of content and keen accuracy because grammatical issues didn't really matter even if they didn't finish, but content and factual issues really mattered.
Mr Shah agreed with the Chairperson but said that on one area under item 5, there was a figure that the Committee had to actually look at.
Ms R Lesoma (ANC) said that in what had been said by the Chairperson and the suggestion from Mr Shar, the Committee needed to have a general agreement on the content as the little grammatical errors would take them the whole day to fix. However, whatever grammatical errors Mr Shar felt they needed to be picked up would be referred to the Committee Secretary for rectification. He said that the Committee needed to be assured that the content would not be changed again. Therefore, the Committee should allow the Chairperson to take them through the report page by page and deal with the content issues as a matter of principle.
Ms C Zikalala (IFP) said that she would like to support Ms Lesoma because the Committee had previously experienced the issue of the correction of grammatical errors taking the whole day.
The Chairperson said they would look at the content but not correct every grammatical error in the draft report.
Mr Shah said that there was duplication on the first line of point 1.5 on page 1 of the report.
Ms J Manganye (ANC) said that since they were correcting mistakes they should also leave them to the drafters to go through the document again to correct the small mistakes.
She also noted point 3.1 needed to be corrected which stated that "Tourism is considered as an actual player in South African economy".
The Chairperson said that point 3.4 could be strengthened as well.
The Chairperson said that the sentence in point 4.10 seemed to be incomplete.
Mr Shah noted that the figures on page 7 should be consolidated to reflect on the bottom of the page.
Mr Shar also said that the figures on page 9 could be correct but they had been stated the other way around because if there was a 6.5% decrease on the budget the bigger figure should come before the lower figure.
Ms Lesoma corrected that the budget actually increased 6.57%.
The Chairperson asked if Members were satisfied with the conclusion of the report.
Mr S Farrow (DA) said that there was an important factor which came out of the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) presentation when it last presented to the Committee which was about the project management of Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) works, and he didn't see that in the report's conclusion or recommendation. It was agreed that all EPWP programmes would have project managers because that was where the previous discrepancies arose. They should not exclude that, it was something they should insist upon in terms of their oversight function and the Minister had ensured in his last budget speech he would ensure that engineers and project managers would be employed.
The Chairperson said that he was not sure what recommendations were made by the FFC but he knew that they had made recommendations even in that report. As Mr Farrow already said, when the reports were done, they tend to get lost because they were rushing things.
Mr Farrow said that the Committee should look into increasing the budget of the Department of Tourism because he didn't believed that they really put a figure into the issue of growing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) into the National Development Plan (NDP). The Committee and the Department of Tourism needed to sit down in the course of the next financial year and look at the increase in inflation and take into account some of the developments that needed to happen in Africa, China and India which could not happen without labour.
Mr Shah said he was aware of what Mr Farrow was saying and the Committee could put that as a recommendation, and if they were to meet the objectives of EPWP then the budget of the department had to be increased.
The Chairperson agreed but said that he was of the belief that they could improve that budget over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and be more specific when they were having their budget review.
Ms X Makasi (ANC) moved for the adoption of the report.
The Chairperson read that the Portfolio Committee on Tourism having considered its report on Budget Vote: 35 recommended that the House accept the report with amendments. The amendments were to be circulated to Members later that day for reconsideration as it was to be finalised the next day before its tabling in the House.
Mr Farrow read that the Portfolio Committee on Tourism having considered its report on Budget Vote: 35, recommends that the House accepts the report.
Ms M Njobe seconded the motion for the adoption of the report. She asked what the difference was between when the House accepted the report and when it adopted the report.
The Chairperson said that normally when the Committee recommended something that was judicial or executive in nature they recommend acceptance, but when the Committee had full power as in the budget they recommend adoption.
The Committee recommended that the House adopt the report.
The meeting was adjourned.
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