Committee Legacy Report; Oversight Reports: adoption

Economic Development

11 March 2014
Chairperson: Ms E Coleman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee spent the majority of the meeting considering the Legacy Report. All of the concerns raised were minor, technical and of a grammatical nature. There were no issues that dominated the consideration. The Committee adopted all of the minutes that were presented for adoption.

The Committee ran out of time due to their excessive attention to the Legacy Report, so there was no time to go over the oversight reports. At the end of the meeting, the leaders of the political parties gave their closing remarks – which were all positive and appreciative.


Meeting report

The Chairperson thanked the Committee Members who had stayed since 2009for the duration of the Fourth Parliament.
Ms Noluthando Skaka, Committee Secretary, gave apologies for Mr S Mohai (ANC), Ms M Mohorosi (ANC), and Mr Z Ntuli (ANC)

Adoption of the Legacy Report
The Chairperson said that the Legacy Report was circulated yesterday, as it was a work-in-progress. She wanted to start with page three.

The Committee Advisor said that it would be best to start by explaining the first pages.  Page two contained the “Table of Contents” and the standard format for these reports is to include an introduction of the work the Committee and Department did, such as oversight visits and responsibilities. It would also highlight key issues from oversights. The next part would address key challenges picked up from oversight issues. It would also list the Committee’s achievements.

The Chairperson said that addressing issues currently being dealt with, and foreseeable issues, would help the incoming Committee. She then asked if the Members were ready to go to page four.

Mr S Motau (DA) wanted to know why the Chairperson skipped page three.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Motau for speaking up, as she wanted the Members to address any concerns they had.

Minor grammatical changes were made to page three and page four.

The Chairperson moved to page five.

Mr Mabasa then had an inquiry regarding the phrasing “as at closing of the term” on page four – he asked the Committee if that was the terminology it wanted to use.

The Chairperson asked Mr Mabasa what his suggestion was.

Mr Mabasa responded that he did not have an alternative and that he wanted to make sure people liked the wording.

Mr Motau agreed, stating that the phrasing “as at” was a reflection of the “bad” America style.

Mr Hlengwa said that the date on page four had a different date to the one on the cover page.

The Chairperson asked if any of the Members remembered when the Committee had started. She thought it may have been July -- and then had the staff members look into it.

Ms Tsotetsi said that in the “Background” section, there should be mention of the date for electing the Chairperson.

The Chairperson addressed her concern for the lack of content reported between June and July at the beginning of the Committee’s tenure.

Mr Ngonyama agreed. He then proposed the phrasing of “meanwhile on the 27 May”.

Mr Motau said that he would like “meanwhile” taken out.

The Chairperson moved on to page six.

Mr Motau said that the use of “ensured” placed the Committee in a position of execution, which he said was something the Committee does.  He then asked how the Committee could ensure decent jobs were created.

The Chairperson said Mr Motau’s statement was debatable.

Mr Mabasa agreed with Mr Motau, and said that that paragraph should be taken out, as he did not understand it.

Ms Tsotetsi said that oversight ensured the Department implemented what it was supposed to.

The Chairperson suggested it be left alone.

Ms Tsotetsi agreed.

Mr Beukman suggested “promoted” would be a better idea rather than “ensured”.

Mr Ngonyama also suggested “oversight” or “monitored”.

Mr Motau said that a burden was being placed on the Committee that had not been there.

Ms Tsotetsi said that “to ensure” would mean that the Committee was not doing it, but that the Committee would sure that it got done.

The Chairperson asked if “in facilitating its work in oversight” would work. She forgot the other word proposed.

Mr Beukman said it was “promoted”.

Mr Motau said that his inquiry would cause a problem, but he thought ensuring jobs was not the Committee’s job.

The Chairperson agreed with Mr Motau.

Mr Mabasa said that “we stressed,” instead of “ensured,” would be better.

Mr Ngonyama suggested “oversight in areas which guided its programs” and “monitoring and evaluation”.

The Chairperson asked if they were on the same paragraph.

Mr Ngonyama said that he thought the Committee was on a different paragraph.

The Chairperson said that the Committee ought to take it out, or state that it did contributed.

Mr Motau said whether it was there or not, would not make a difference because their contributions were listed in the above and below paragraph.  He reemphasised that the Committee could not ensure anything.

Mr Ngonyama agreed with the proposal to use “promoted”.

Ms Tsotetsi said that regardless, “ensure” must be there. She argued that the Committee did many things to bring people to the Committee and that the Committee did things that would warrant the use of “ensure”.

The Chairperson provided evidence on the first bullet for adequate usage of “ensure”.

Ms Tsotetsi agreed.

The Chairperson asked if the paragraph should be done away with.

Mr Ngonyama said that the paragraph included achievements and that it should not be done away with. It was supposed to be guided by the issues raised in the paragraph.  The Committee did not have the power to promote jobs.

The Chairperson asked for consensus.

Mr Mabasa said it should be replaced.

Mr Motau said it should be replaced, but that the replacement needed to be rephrased.

The Chairperson made the change.  She then became upset with the Committee Advisor for leaving the meeting. She said that she had given her the task of taking notes, and that she should not “abandon” the Committee.  Reports did not get finished due to a lack of notes.

Mr Mabasa said that page six should include “key role of the Committee”  -- then withdrew his proposal due to something he initially had not seen pluralized, which was actually pluralized.

The Chairperson moved to page seven.

Ms D Chili (ANC) inquired about the word “interlaned”.

The Chairperson read the full sentence.

Mr Ngonyama said that the sentence was overloaded.

The Chairperson said the metros that dealt with both metro and rural matters were being taken for granted.

Mr Mabasa said that since this was dealing with poverty, the term “rural” was good, and “metro” should not be used.

The Chairperson asked who in the Committee spoke English well.

Ms Tsotetsi asked to keep it simple, as that would be best in her opinion.

Mr Motau suggested using “rural”, “peri urban”, and “urban”.

The Chairperson clarified that she wanted those three.

Mr Motau then said “rural” and “urban” would be fine.

Mr Mabasa said he would like “rural” and “metro” removed.

Mr Motau said that “rural” and “urban” was simple, and that even those who did not have good English skills could understand it.

The Chairperson asked if everyone was satisfied, then moved to page eight. There were no comments so she moved to page nine.

Mr Hlengwa wanted the province mentioned, along with the city.

The Chairperson asked if the Committee remembered where it had visited.

Mr Beukman said that, in relation to revenue centres, it made the most sense just to mention the provinces.

Mr Beukman asked what the “as per….of the Parliament” meant.

The Chairperson said that it was a cut and paste issue, and part was missing. She said that the rules of Parliament would be included.

Mr Mabasa asked if it was necessary to include “there were no international agreements”.

The Chairperson said that it was a required aspect of the Legacy Report template, otherwise it would not have been included.

Ms Chili wanted “with the” and “revenue” added to “the visit focused more on the customs and excise” in the last paragraph.

The Chairperson moved to page ten.

Mr Beukman proposed replacing “management” with “the Committee was very disappointed”.

The Chairperson said that context was missing, and that the sentence needed to be corrected.

Mr Mabasa said that the use of “the Committee theme” and “focus for the third term b)” in the second paragraph was something that needed to be corrected.

The Chairperson said that b) would be removed if that was what he wanted.

Ms Chili was concerned with the mention of the Minister and customs fraud in the same paragraph.

The Chairperson said that reading the whole matter would make more sense.   Customs fraud had led to losses and negative impacts on economic development.  

The Chairperson went on to page 11.

Mr Mabasa wanted the formatting for the bullet points at the top of the page to “carry the same weight”.   It was agreed that placing a colon would be appropriate.

The Chairperson moved on to page 12.

Ms Tsotetsi questioned the visit to Limpopo, but after discussion, agreed there was no need for concern..

The Chairperson moved on to page 13.   Minor punctuation and grammatical changes were made.

The Chairperson moved on to page 14 and had Mr Mabasa take her place as Chairperson..

Mr Beukman said that “h” needed to be deleted.

Chairperson Mabasa asked if the Committee agreed.

Ms Chili asked what the definition was for “legal businesses”.

Chairperson Mabasa asked if there was any particular suggestion.

Ms Tsotetsi asked if the Committee was focusing on small businesses. She said that when “businesses” were discussed, it was usually the larger ones.

The Committee Advisor said that the wording differentiated between legal and illegal traders.

Chairperson Mabasa asked if everyone agreed, then moved to page 15, where minor changes were made..

On page 16, Ms Chili said she would like the oversight visit location to be in brackets after the name of the province.   Two other grammatical changes were made.

On page 17, The Committee Secretary said that the first sentence did not include the name of the province, because it was mentioned in the heading.

Mr Ngonyama asked that the acronym SAMAF (South African Micro-Finance Apex Fund) on page 18 be written out in full, but the Committee Advisor said that this had been done on page five.

There were minor grammatical change proposals for pages 19 to 22.

The Chairperson expressed concern over the use of “with the aim of” and “visit”.

The Committee Advisor said that it should be “aim was to,” not “the aim of the visit was to”.

Ms Chili asked that, if this were the case, why were the Committee Members mentioned?

The Committee Researcher gave her explanation.

Ms Tsotetsi asked if it was MPs in general, or MPs in this Committee.

Mr Motau said it was the new Members in the Committee.

Chairperson Mabasa proposed integrating those two points.

Ms Tsotetsi said that it was part of the oversight.

Chairperson Mabasa said that it would be included.

The Chairperson said that it should be left as it was.

Mr Ngonyama proposed the removal of “induction,” and replacing it with “familiarize”. He said “induction” was more intense, which was not the case.

Ms Tsotetsi said that it would not carry more weight to have “induction”.

Chairperson Mabasa suggested using both.

Mr Ngonyama said that he would compromise and agree to having both.

The Chairperson said that it should be left as it was.

Chairperson Mabasa asked if everyone agreed, then moved on to page 23.

On page 24, he asked if “final conclusions” or “final observations” should be placed above the bullets.

A Committee Member said “observations”.

The Chairperson asked if everyone agreed. He said there needed to be a page for acronyms – especially for those who read these reports, but who were not from South Africa. He then asked if the acronym above point nine was SMNE or SMME.

The Committee Researcher said it was SMME (Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises), which was a South African term.

Chairperson Mabasa moved on to page 25.

Mr Beukman asked for clarification on the last sentence of the paragraph, dealing with the budget.

The Chairperson said that it did not matter whether the budget was of Parliament, or of Parliamentary Committees, because they were both treated the same.  The only difference was when international trips were taken.  This whole reference should be omitted.

On page 26, he then brought up the issue over “to promote decent work,” and asked if the Committee should include the creation or promotion of jobs.  The Chairperson said that new growth was part of the national strategy, and that this portion was in the context of new growth.  The Committee must ensure the creation of job growth.  It was “promote” because the Department was not an implementing department. The Committee must ensure the creation of jobs was within its oversight role.

Ms Chili asked if the creation of job opportunities meant temporary work, or decent, permanent jobs.

Chairperson Mabasa said that he thought it was both, but that it was a bad idea to argue about it at this time.

Ms Chili said that she thought it was the creation of job opportunities, and that had not been mentioned.

The Committee Advisor said that the form being discussed was an official document.   It was a measurement of the Department’s and Committee’s work, and a tool for evaluation.

Chairperson Mabasa asked if it could be left, then moved on.

Chairperson Mabasa had a minor grammatical inquiry.

Mr Motau said he had a problem with the use of “attitude” under J).

The Chairperson said that changing it would be confusing.

Chairperson Mabasa asked if it should be deleted.

Ms Tsotetsi said that if the sentence were read in full, it made sense.

Mr Motau said that the report should show how things were being done and he wanted to know what it meant. He didn’t like the use of “attitude” -- he did not know what was trying to be conveyed.

The Committee Advisor said it needed to be reworded. She said that the expression indicated that the Committee was more proactive, and that it helped the EDD.

Mr Motau said that “achievement” should be plural. He also said that “life of citizens” was not correct, because the Committee did not have citizens.

Chairperson Mabasa said that the Advisor would rewrite it and then moved on to pages 27 and 28.

Mr Beukman said that bullet four, f), should be deleted.  This was agreed.

Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) asked about a meeting which the Committee had attended on free trade areas, as he did not see the meeting mentioned in the report.

Chairperson Mabasa said it would be added, then handed back to Chairperson Coleman.

The Chairperson said that this report summarised the work done by the Committee during the fourth Parliament and asked for the report to be adopted.

Mr Mabasa and Mr Motau moved and seconded the adoption of the report.

Approval of Minutes
Public Hearings: Minutes for 14 – 16 January 2014

The Chairperson went through pages one to four with no comments from Members.

Mr Van der Westhuizen said that there was a sentence included in every set of minutes, and the Chairperson did not repeat herself like that.

The Chairperson said that because there were new presenters, she told them all the same thing. She then scolded the Secretary for poor presentation of the minutes, such as spacing after each sentence. After assuring Members the typographical errors would be corrected, the minutes were approved.

Minutes for the Bill
The date of the meeting – 15 January 2014 – was included and approval was moved by Mr Mabasa, seconded by Mr Van der Westhuizen.  The minutes were approved.

The minutes for 15 January 2014; 28 January 2014; 4 February 2014 (Clause-by-clause of the Bill); and 5 February 2014, were adopted.

Minutes for the Redrafted Bill Considerations were adopted.

The minutes for 11 February 2014 were adopted

The minutes for 18 February 2014 required amendment.  Mr Van der Westhuizen said that “Loots” was the proper spelling.   Mr Beukman said that “Mr Smith’s submission” just stopped, and was not a complete sentence.  The Chairperson said that “what” would be removed.

The minutes were adopted.

Party leaders’ concluding remarks
Mr Hlengwa said that the IFP thanked the Committee for its good work and cooperation. He said that the Opposition had been warmly received.

Mr Motau thanked the Committee for having the DA, even though their two Members were there for a short, but intense, stay. He complimented the Chairperson on the way she handled the meetings.

Mr Mabasa said it was good that the Committee could differentiate from party politics and work together to fix the challenges which South Africa faced.  Even on the oversight visits, there was teamwork – people could not tell the difference between the ANC and others. He thanked the Chairperson and the Committee officials.

The Chairperson said that although she was a member of the ANC, she spoke for the whole Committee. She thanked the Members for their presentation and respect.  Without respect, the Committee environment would not be conducive for things to happen. She thanked the Committee for their guidance at the beginning, as she was new to being a Chairperson. She thanked the staff humbly. She thanked her personal assistant. She thanked the Committee Advisor for her hard work and her ability to explain and polish all the content -- she did not undermine anyone, but just built everyone up. She thanked the members of the Opposition for being supportive, mature and constructive. She said that their behavior made it easy for the ANC Members to accommodate their concerns.

The Chairperson said that the oversight report could not be adopted, because the Committee had not gone over it.

The meeting was adjourned.


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