The Committee met very briefly to re-adopt its report on the National Water Amendment Bill [B3-2014] to ensure that all legal bases were covered and corrected in terms of the classification of the Bill. The Report was adopted unanimously.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs on the National Water Amendment Bill [B3-2014], dated 25 February 2014
The Chairperson noted the Committee did vote on the National Water Amendment Bill clause by clause and had voted on the Report already but he was worried the classification had not been done yet so the Committee would now just vote on the Report again to ensure the legal bases were covered and corrected.
The Chairperson swiftly read through the Report.
The Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs on the National Water Amendment Bill [B3-2014], dated 25 February 2014 was adopted unanimously with nine votes in favour and no abstentions or votes against the Bill.
Mr F Rodgers (DA) asked if the Bill was no longer a Committee Bill.
The Chairperson indicated that it was which was why the Report said “as introduced by the Portfolio Committee” at the beginning and at the end.
The Chairperson noted the next meeting would be Wednesday 5 March where the Committee would get to convey goodbyes to both the Water and Environmental Affairs DGs. The Committee would then also look at the legacy report and process minutes. The Committee would then also look at the report on the rhino workshop. This would be the last meeting of the Committee.
The opposition would receive their mandates for the Bill on Thursday which would then determine how they would vote on the Bills although the Chairperson already knew. This would also be the Committee’s last debate in the House.
Mr Rodgers asked if the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment (NEMLA) Bill and the National Water Amendment Bill would be debated together.
The Chairperson had asked that this be done although he would check again once it was placed on the order paper.
An outstanding issue was that the Chairperson was still waiting for tagging on the Protected Areas Bill. He received a funny SMS that the Bill had been tagged as a section 75 as originally intended. There was a bit of obfuscation on the matter with Mr C Frolick (ANC), House Chairperson, and the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) and the Chairperson did not know what was going to happen. As previously agreed by the Committee, if the Bill was to be tagged as a section 75, the Committee would disagree with the ruling on record. The problem with tagging the Bill as a section 75 was that if it was ever challenged, the whole Bill and all its consequences would be unconstitutional. The safer route was to tag the Bill as a section 76 if there was doubt. This was the position of the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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