Constitutional Literacy Campaign: dicussion

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


These minutes were taken by Ms Van Huyssteen, National Assembly table staff member.

Tuesday, 30 April 2002



Dr Z P Jordan (Chairperson)


African National Congress (ANC)

Ms F Hajaij
Mr J H Jeffery
Dr Z P Jordan
Mr B A Martins
Mr A C Nel
Mr P A C Hendrickse

Democratic Party (DP)

Mr C Eglin

New National Party (NNP)

Ms S M Camerer

Minority Front

Ms S Rajbally


North West

Mr M E Surty (ANC)

Apologies were received from:

Dr F N Ginwala (Speaker), Ms B Mbete Deputy Speaker), Mr M E George, Mr F Beukman, Ms M Smuts, Mr M W Moosa (NCOP, Gauteng), Mr P G Sulliman (NCOP Northern Cape), Mr K D S Durr (NCOP, Western Cape).

The Chairperson welcomed members to the meeting. He pointed out that the purpose of the meeting was to agree on a suitable advertisement to go into the printed media, calling for public submissions on possible changes to the Constitution, taking into consideration the Committee's decisions as set out in the Committee's 2001 Annual Report. In addition, the Committee had to report to the National Assembly that it had not been able to place the advertisement before 1 May this year, and to request permission to do so by 10 May 2002.

The Committee considered the draft advertisement distributed to members beforehand.

Ms Camerer was of the opinion that it was problematic to state in the advertisement that the public should study the Constitution before submitting proposals for amendments.

The Chairperson pointed out that the reason for that was that the Committee had decided to try to encourage the public to send in submissions that covered issues that were in fact matters of a constitutional nature. The advertisement should therefore direct people to where they could obtain of a copy of the Constitution.

Ms Camerer referred to paragraph 6 of the 2001 Annual Report, and stated that the Committee should follow its own advice by focussing on certain issues when calling for public submissions, without precluding submissions on general issues.

Mr Jeffery reminded the Committee that Mr Van Zyl Slabbert of Idasa was involved in a project of canvassing the public on constitutional matters that needed review, and bringing those matters to the attention of Parliament.

The Chairperson agreed, but pointed out that many members of the public thought that matters such as the death penalty issue were constitutional matters. It was therefore a good idea to inform the public that those were not the issues to raise in their submissions.

The Committee considered the draft, and amended the advertisement to cover all proposals mentioned.

Draft advertisement amended, and agreed to.

The Chairperson requested the Committee Secretary to proceed with arrangements to have the advertisement placed in the newspapers as agreed on.

The Committee proceeded to consider the draft Committee Report to the National Assembly.

Report, amended, adopted.

The Chairperson requested the Committee Secretary to have the Report published in the ATC.

Mr Jeffery, on behalf of the members of the Committee, thanked the outgoing Chairperson of the Committee for his work and diligence, and wished him well for his future endeavours.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Jeffery for his kind words, and wished the Committee well.

The Committee adjourned at 10:20, sine die.


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