The Committee met to consider and adopt the first term oversight programme as well as to consider draft minutes of the Committee as well as the draft oversight report.
Members considered the Committee programme and agreed that the presentation by Mr D Maynier on the Defence Amendment Bill (PMB8-2013) be postponed to a later date. Mr Maynier was not pleased with the decision, but Members considered Mr Maynier’s reaction to be a personal one. Members raised a sentiment that the Committee was behind in its oversight work, a proposal was therefore made that the Committee consider including outstanding oversight visits in its programme. Saldanah was one proposal which Members agreed upon.
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed Members and representatives from the Department of Defence and Military Veterans (the Department).
Consideration and adoption of agenda:
Ms P Daniels (ANC) said the Committee was supposed to first adopt the Committee Programme before the Agenda for the Committee could be adopted. Items of consideration would then be derived from the Committee Programme.
Mr M Booi (ANC) agreed that the Committee should first adopt its programme for the first term.
Mr D Maynier (DA) asked for clarity on what exactly Members were agreeing on.
The Chairperson explained that the argument made by Members was that the Committee could not adopt the current agenda without first adopting the Committee programme for the first term. Items on the Committee’s agenda for the meeting should be derived from the adopted Committee programme.
Mr Maynier did not agree with the proposal.
Mr A Maziya (ANC) said it was important that Members understood the reasoning behind Mr Maynier’s disagreement with the proposal by Members. The Committee could not have items on the agenda without having first agreed to the agenda.
Mr Maynier said his understanding was that what the Committee was proposing that the presentation of the Defence Amendment Bill (PMB8-2013), his Private Members’ Bill postponed; and that was not acceptable.
Mr Maziya said it appeared that Mr Maynier’s reaction was of personal nature and did not consider the interests of the Committee.
Mr Booi expressed disappointment with Mr Maynier’s reaction.
The agenda for the Committee’s meeting was adopted.
Consideration and adoption of First Term Committee programme
The Chairperson said Members should deal with the Committee programme page by page.
Ms Daniels asked whether the oversight report had been included in the programme. She agreed to the adoption of the first term oversight programme of the Committee. She suggested that that the presentation of the Defence Amendment Bill (PMB8-2013) by Mr D Maynier be moved to a later date.
The Chairperson agreed to the suggestion made.
Ms N Mabedla (ANC) proposed that the consideration and adoption of minutes be moved to a later date in order to give Members enough time to go through the documents handed out.
Mr Maynier did not agree that the presentation of the Defence Amendment Bill (PMB8-2013) be moved to a later date seeing that it had originally been scheduled for today and a delegation from the Department was already present. The Committee needed to adopt the programme and commence with its work soon because there was still a number of work that it needed to complete.
The Chairperson said the programme was a quarterly programme, and would therefore be considered on a quarterly basis. The most important thing was that the Committee completed all its work for the current quarter in time.
Mr S Esau (DA) said the Committee was supposed to have completed its work last year already. The Committee had set a very good example in the previous year (2012). He therefore asked why the Committee had not covered the oversight visits it was supposed to have completed.
The Chairperson reiterated Mr Esau’s sentiments and said the Committee should therefore accommodate some oversight visits in the programme under discussion.
Mr Maziya asked about the proposed area of visit.
The Chairpersons replied that there were still outstanding areas which the Committee was scheduled to visit but never got around to. So Members could choose areas to visit from there, Saldanah was also an outstanding option which could be explored.
Ms Daniels suggested that the following week the Committee look at the adoption of the programme.
The Chairperson noted the suggestion.
Mr Maziya said the Committee was scheduled to begin with the deliberations on the Amendment Bill on 11 February 2014. He suggested that Mr Maynier’s presentation be moved to that day instead.
Mr Maynier did not agree with Mr Maziya.
Mr Booi said Mr Maynier should leave the matter of how the programme would unfold for the Members to consider.
The Chairperson agreed.
Mr Esau asked when the meeting with the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) to discuss the resolution of audit findings and matters relating to the strengthening of the Department’s internal audit function would take place.
The Chairperson proposed the 18 February 2014.
Consideration and adoption of minutes
The Chairperson said the Committee had seven sets of minutes to consider, of which four would be considered in the next meeting. He said the Committee had not received any amendments to the minutes.
Ms Mgabadeli said some Members received the minutes only that morning.
The Chairperson said Ms Mgabadeli was the only Member to have received the minutes late.
Mr Maynier said he received the minutes on time and had already gone through them.
Mr Maziya asked whether the Committee was not supposed to send the amendments to the Committee Secretary.
The Chairperson said the Committee could continue with considering the minutes and if there were some amendments which Members did not agree on, these would be highlighted.
Mr Maynier referred to the minutes dated 6 November 2013 and proposed a title correction to, paragraph 3.
Ms Mgabadeli asked whether she was left out deliberately from receiving the minutes.
The Chairperson said the matter would be investigated. He apologised to Ms Mgabadeli for the inconvenience.
Mr Maynier said there were several decisions which the Committee had asked for some information and documents from the Department but these had yet to be brought forward to the Committee. He asked that the Committee research team scrutinise the minutes and compile a list of all these requests from the Committee; where the Department was required to respond, that information could then be sent to the Department again.
Mr Maziya moved for the adoption of the minutes.
Ms Mabedla seconded the motion.
Apologies: Mr M Nhanha (COPE), Mr A Mlangeni (ANC), Mr P Groenewald (FF+), Mr Maake
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