Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B37-2013]: hearings with Department of Higher Education and Training postponed; Committee Report on Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B38-2013]

Standing Committee on Appropriations

31 October 2013
Chairperson: Mr E Sogoni (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Chairperson noted the absence of the Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training delegation and said the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) was clear that the Director General was the accounting officer. He was absent without an apology and the Committee took exception to that. Members agreed that the Committee had to be consistent and not entertain the presentation, as a dangerous precedent would be set f there had been no delegation of power in writing to the Committee. The Committee did not take the Department’s presentation.
 
The Committee considered its Draft Report on the 2013 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill. The report was adopted with amendments.
 

Meeting report

Opening Statement on the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Briefing
The Chairperson noted the absence of the Director-General in the Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET’s) delegation and said the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) was clear that the Director-General was the accounting officer. He was absent without an apology, and as Chairperson he took exception to that.
 
Mr M Swart (DA) said that the Committee had to be consistent and not entertain the presentation as it had done in the past with other departments.
 
Ms Diane Parker, Acting Deputy Director-General for University Education in the DHET, explained that she had been asked to give the Director-General’s apologies as he had been called to a meeting with the Minister, who was leaving for Paris. 
 
Mr Snell (ANC) said a dangerous precedent would be set because there had been no delegation of power in writing to the Committee.
 
Ms L Yengeni (ANC) agreed and said the Committee’s actions had to remain consistent with previous instances.
 
Mr J Gelderblom (ANC) said he agreed with his colleagues.
 
The Chairperson said that the Committee would not take the Department’s presentation.
 
Consideration of the Committee’s Draft Report on the 2013 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill
Mr Snell said the word ‘resources’ following on the word ‘provinces’ on page two in the second last paragraph in 3.1.1, should be deleted.
 
Ms Wendy Fanoe, Chief Director for Intergovernmental Policy and Planning at the National Treasury said that in 3.1.1, it should read that the revisions in allocations for provincial roads maintenance, which came about because of a new formula and also for, provision for disasters between 2012 and 2013. She said that in 3.1.1 on page 3 at the end of the second paragraph it should be added that the additional amounts were for disasters which occurred between 2012 and 2013. She also said that in 3.1.3 in the second sentence, ‘as an indirect grant to provinces’ should be added after the words ‘R6m was made available to support host provinces’.
 
Ms Fanoe said that the allocations on the municipal and national government allocations would not be in the Division of Revenue Bill. She said that on page 39 of the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill the explanatory memorandum on allocated funds stated that South Africa would host the African Cup of Nations and R120 million was made available to support host cities. The allocation was in the appendix and Mangaung and Polokwane would receive R28.5 million each.
 
Mr N Singh (IFP) said that the second sentence regarding the adjustment for the Municipal Government Equitable Share on page 4 should be deleted.
 
The report was adopted with amendments.
 
The meeting was adjourned.
 

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