The Committee met to consider and adopt three outstanding minutes.
Members approved all the minutes despite raising questions about the new template for reporting in Parliament. They further and highlighted that even though the minutes reflected major decisions taken, they should also reflect summaries of major discussions that had taken place in the meetings.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone and noted that that the only agenda on the day was the consideration and adoption of committee minutes.
Outstanding Committee Minutes
Committee Minutes dated 10 September 2013
Mr Moses Manele, Committee Secretary, explained that the minutes had been compiled in terms of the new format as prescribed by Parliament.
Mr A Matila (ANC; Gauteng) moved for adoption of the minutes with technical amendments
Mr V Manzini (DA; Mpumalanga) seconded the adoption
Mr D Bloem (COPE; Free State) said that Mr Manzini was not present at that meeting.
The Committee corrected Me Bloem.
Mr Bloem added that the Secretary should record the minutes properly because he had misread the report because of the way it was compiled.
The Chairperson asked Mr Bloem if he had attended the meeting as he seemed to know who had been present or absent.
Mr Bloem replied he had been absent.
The Committee Members contradicted this and pointed out that he had been present.
The Chairperson reaffirmed then that there actually was no apology on that day and noted that Mr Bloem’s contention had been on a technical issue- the way that the minutes were compiled. He asked Mr Bloem to elaborate on this point.
Mr Bloem pointed out that in respect of opposition members there were spaces between their names and what they said, whereas this was not the same for ANC Members. He asked why that technicality was there in the first place.
Mr Manele replied that that report was recorded using the new minutes reporting template that was being used in Parliament. He added and that the technicality was an alignment issue, where the computer mouse could be used to realign spaces between succeeding lines.
Mr Bloem replied that he was not speaking about computer mouse but actual technicalities.
Mr Matila jokingly stated that the technicality was simply there because those members were not part of the ANC.
Mr Bloem said that he was satisfied with the explanation.
The Chairperson said that that report would be adopted without the last few exchanges between Mr Bloem and Mr Matila as the public would not see it as humour.
The minutes were adopted with technical amendments
Committee Minutes dated 5 November 2013 (Morning Session)
Mr Manele again noted the reporting style and the summary of the Minister of Public Service and Administration’s briefing.
Mr Matila noted that Mr Bloem had been correct because on that day he had not been present and it was recorded there that Mr M Makhubela (COPE Limpopo) had apologised.
The Chairperson asked the Secretary why Mr Bloem had been recorded as present when he had not been there.
Mr Bloem said that indeed he had not been present and thanked Mr Matila for also noting the discrepancy in the recording format that was being used.
Mr J Gunda (ID; Northern Cape) said that Mr Nzimande, Mr Bloem, Mr Makhubela and Mr Mofokeng were all not there but Mr Bloem was represented by Mr Veldman and his name was not recorded there.
The Chairperson asked whether the secretariat was cutting and pasting the register.
Mr Manele explained that when they had prepared the notes they were looking at the official apologies and therefore it was an oversight on the part of the secretariat. This would be corrected immediately after the meeting.
Mr Gunda moved for the adoption of the minutes with the registered amendments.
Mr Matila said that it was best to correct the minutes properly because to him the template issue was that all three sets of minutes were similar and therefore that register should be completed correctly in future and there should be no cut and paste.
The Chairperson asked whether Mr Makhubela had been at the meeting on that day.
Mr Matila replied that he was not there and said that he was seconding the adoption with the amendments.
Mr Bloem said that there needed not to be another meeting to clarify whether members had been present or not and that the committee was just adopting the minutes with the amendments.
The Chairperson sought clarity whether the members were saying the minutes should not be cut and pasted and were therefore adopting them, with the anticipation of the corrections as they had been raised.
Mr Bloem agreed that indeed that should never be so because the Committee was not alone in meetings of that type and those other people would report what had happened in meetings, and therefore it was important for the Chairperson to want it on record that there should never be cut and paste issues on minutes reports, for the committee’s image.
The minutes were adopted with technical amendments
Committee minutes dated 5 November 2013 (Afternoon session)
Mr Matila noted a substantive correction that discussion summaries needed to be reflected in the minutes and that there was a discussion missing there.
The Chairperson said that the secretariat could not record what each and every member said in a meeting, the minutes were there to note the decisions taken at meetings.
Mr Matila said that he agreed with the Chairperson and reiterated that a summary was what he was speaking to and not a whole discussion, so that the clarifications that had been made by the Minister were there so that Members had a clearer understanding especially regarding that minute.
Mr Gunda recalled that the Chairperson had made an important contribution to the Minister concerning the Public Service Act and therefore a summary of that detail was all the members were asking for, and not a word for word detail of what the Chairperson had said.
Mr L Nzimande (ANC; KwaZulu Natal) said that he agreed with Mr Matila and Mr Gunda and that their point was a general one for all meetings, but concerning that meeting, he understood it to be a briefing on a Bill and therefore the Committee could not raise opinions on a Bill in minutes form. Those interactions were for clarity and better understanding as that was a briefing meeting, therefore those matters could not be recorded outside the Bill whether they had been opinions or otherwise.
The Chairperson said to Mr Matila that there was no need for argument.
Mr Matila accepted the explanation but recalled that the Chairperson had made a recommendation concerning the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).
The Chairperson reiterated that Mr Matila did not have to argue and should accept defeat sometimes as Mr Gunda’s recommendation had been noted.
The minutes were adopted with substantive amendments and the meeting was subsequently adjourned.
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