The Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs met to adopt the Committee Programme for the first quarter of 2013/14.
The IFP Committee Member raised a concern that all Committee recommendations that appeared in the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report was not properly reflected in the Committee Programme for the first quarter of 2013/14. The Committee was informed that all the recommendations of the Committee scheduled in the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report would be discussed in the first quarter. The Member also mentioned that perhaps the time allocated to the public hearings on the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill [B33-2013] should be shortened depending on the number of submissions received. The Committee was unsure about whether this could be done.
The Committee Programme was adopted without any changes.
Consideration of the Committee Programme for First Quarter 2013/14
The Chairperson stated that the Committee would begin its work on 28 January 2014, and the agenda would be a discussion on the public hearings on the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill [B33-2013].
Formal deliberations on the Bill would take place between 4 and 5 February 2014. Each clause of the Bill would be reviewed until the Bill is adopted. On 11 February 2014, the Committee would have heard final submissions on the Bill.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) would make presentations on the implementation of the Local Government Turnaround Strategy, which would include audit outcomes for all municipalities from 2009/10 – 2012/13, the present a plan of action on how municipalities could obtain clean audits, and quarterly financial statements.
On 18 February 2014, COGTA was scheduled to brief the Committee on a breakdown of debts owed to municipalities by government, and the findings and recommendations of the task team report dealing with the recovery of debt by municipalities. Regulations on the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill would be adopted and submitted to Parliament.
On 25 February 2014, the COGTA would brief the Committee on Budget Vote 3 and the Annual Performance Plans (APPs). On 4 March 2014, the South African Local Government Association and the Municipal Demarcation Board would have brief the Committee on their APPs.
The Chairperson asked members whether there were any additions or omissions.
Mr P Smith (IFP) responded to the Chairperson and stated that the COGTA should comment and report back to the Committee on the issues highlighted in the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR), which were scheduled to be discussed in the first quarter of 2014. Those issues or recommendations had to form part of the agenda of the Committee in the first quarter of 2014.
The Chairperson responded and stated that some issues discussed in the BRRR appeared in the Committee Programme, and it needed to be determined which issues the COGTA should account for in the first quarter 2014.
Mr Smith stated that the BRRR listed many issues, which the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs had to account for in the first quarter 2014. However, some issues that were supposed to be discussed were to the second quarter of 2014. All the recommendations that appeared in the BRRR, scheduled for the first quarter, did not appear in the Committee Programme for the first quarter of 2014.
Ms Shereen Cassiem, Secretary to Chairperson, stated that the recommendations that appeared in the BRRR were also incorporated into the Committee Programme for the first quarter and would be discussed in the first quarter.
Mr Smith was pleased that the recommendations of the Committee were scheduled to be discussed in the first quarter. He noted that the time allocated to public hearings were three days and two days for deliberations. He asked the Chairperson whether more time could perhaps be allocated to deliberations, and if the time allocated to public hearings could be shortened depending on the number of people that would make submissions. This would provide the Committee with an extra slot for the discussion of another issue.
Ms Cassiem stated that there might be more submissions, and for that reason it may not be possible to shorten the time allocated to public hearings.
The Chairperson stated that the advertisement for the public hearings would appear in all newspapers over the weekend and asked Ms Cassiem if she could summarise the public submissions for the Committee.
Mr Smith asked if, on 10 March 2014, the Committee would have its final sitting before the elections.
The Chairperson responded that the Committee would have its final sitting on 10 March 2014.
On this day, the Committee would be briefed by the Commission for Rights of Cultural, Religious & Linguistic Communities (CRL rights Commission).
The Chairperson noted the adoption of the Committee Programme without any amendments. He adjourned the meeting.
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