The Committee considered and approved its fourth term programme. The schedule included planned oversight visits and engagements with departments.
Members also discussed and adopted the minutes dated 20 August 2013. A Member highlighted that the Committee was supposed to visit the Limpopo province with the Select Committee on Finance and the Select Committee on Education and Recreation to check on the progress of the intervention. However, the visit was cancelled. Some Members questioned why it was cancelled, who had cancelled it and why the Select Committee on Finance was acting on its own.
The Chairperson highlighted the Committee’s planned activities for the fourth of the term. The schedule included planned oversight visits and engagements with departments. She noted that annual report briefing from the Department of Social Development would be the last item and that there would be a constituency period from 11 November to 13 December.
Members accepted and agreed to the programme as outlined by the Chairperson.
Outstanding Committee Minutes
The Chairperson tabled the outstanding minutes dated 20 August 2013 for consideration. She went through the document page-by-page and asked if the document had captured the proceedings adequately. She further noted that the apologies had been captured correctly.
Ms M Makgate (ANC; North West) referred to page 4 of the document where it was mentioned that the Committee would accompany the Select Committee on Finance to Limpopo for the progress on an intervention issue.
The Chairperson disputed this.
The Chairperson referred to the first bullet under ‘Other business’ on page 4 and noted that the Committee had agreed that three representatives from the Committee and the Select Committee on Education and Recreation would accompany the Select Committee on Finance to the Limpopo province for the progress. It was agreed that the word “issued” should be removed so that the sentence could be read easily.
Ms M Boroto (ANC; Mpumalanga) did not recall that the Committee was supposed to accompany the Select Committee and suggested that the sentence be reworded.
The Chairperson agreed. It was a joint intervention. She asked the Committee Secretary to work on the phrasing.
The Committee adopted the minutes thereafter.
Ms B Mncube (ANC; Gauteng) noted that there were no matters arising from the minutes. However, she recalled that the Committee had agreed and identified Members to be part of the oversight to Limpopo. There were now rumours that the trip would be cancelled and she asked for clarity on the issue.
The Chairperson replied that she had no idea. She had received a text stating that the trip was cancelled without any explanation. She asked Members if they had any information concerning this.
Ms D Rantho (ANC; Eastern Cape) advised that the Chairpersons of the affected Committees meet to discuss this matter. She had observed that the Select Committee on Finance was working according to its own programme yet it was a joint initiative.
Ms Mncube commented that the modus operandi was not defined. The Committee had two Departments to oversee, namely Education and Health. The Committee itself did not have a programme outlining what it would do to get progress. Perhaps the Select Committee on Finance was using its own initiative.
Ms Mncube noted that even though the powers had been conferred back to the province, the joint committees were supposed to have a recommendation that would go to the House to formally state if they were satisfied with the progress. It was a legal obligation. She expressed concern that the scheduled oversight visits were undefined and that the Committee was not fulfilling its role that it was supposed to be doing.
The Chairperson reminded the Member that from the beginning, it was agreed that this would be a joint programme even though it would be championed by the Select Committee on Finance. The Committee could therefore not operate outside the joint agreement that was made by the NCOP. She advised the Committee to guard against causing confusion and duplicating matters.
Ms Boroto emphasised that the intervention was led by the Select Committee on Finance and wanted to clear the perception that the Committee did not meet with the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Finance. There was communication and meetings between the two committees. Both Chairpersons worked together.
A Member said that when the text message was received, some Members had enquired who had made the decision. They were informed that it was a decision of Chairpersons and not the decision of the Select Committee of the Finance to cancel the trip. She was therefore surprised when the Chairperson said that she had only been informed via text message. Perhaps she was not part of that meeting.
The Chairperson then thanked the members and closed the meeting.
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