Mine Health and Safety Council on its 2012/13 Annual Report

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Mineral Resources and Energy

12 March 2014
Chairperson: Ms F Bikani (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Mine Health and Safety Council reported that every two years it hosts a summit where targets are set and at the last summit, three major industry targets had been set: reducing fatalities with an overall objective of zero harm, elimination of silicosis which was a lung related illness and the elimination of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The Council benchmarked its goals against other countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States whereby one of the targets set was that 2013 industry performance should be comparable to the performance of mining industries in these countries.

The Council had a tripartite structure which involved members from organised labour, from the state (mainly the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Health) and the employers (Chamber of Mines). The MHSC Board was assisted by these structures: Audit and Risk Committee; Human Resources and Remuneration Advisors Committee; Mining and Regulations Advisory Committee; Mining Occupational Health Advisory Committee; Culture Transformation Advisory Committee; Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee  and the Mining Industry HIV/AIDS and TB Advisory Committee. 

The Mines Health and Safety Council had a strategy map divided into four perspectives: customer stakeholder, internal operational matters of the Council, learning and growth and financial. Under customer perspective were four targets to do with the promotion of a health and safety culture with particular reference to the Culture Transformation Framework. This objective was achieved as set out in the annual report and strategic plan. However, the Council had a challenge on the advisory notes to the Minister because the Auditor General had stated that any document submitted after the close of the financial year would not be considered for that financial year.  Overall the Council was able to achieve most of its targeted objectives and its core focus had been undertaking research to prevent the reoccurrence of mining accidents. For example, a rock fall detection system had been developed which was designed to identify loose rocks which in turn would reduce accidents and deaths in mines.

The Council had achieved financial sustainability by ensuring that mines were levied and contributions that the DMR was supposed to make as per legislation were collected. In 2012/13, the Council had budgeted to underspend R12 million but the actual amount was R26 million which was mainly attributed to savings in personnel costs. The Auditor General reported irregular expenditure due to violations of the delegation of authority and non-compliance with Treasury prescripts in tendering processes. The irregularities had been rectified with better financial management process which had strengthened the Supply Chain Management of the Council. It was pleased that one of issues included in the Charter was that mines had to state how much research and which outcomes had been implemented of the research by the Council. The mining industry would be reporting on that.

Members asked why there was non-compliance with Treasury prescripts, saying it was unacceptable for the Council to have such irregularities. What was being done to avoid using suppliers’ with expired tax clearance or BBBEE certificates? Members also asked about the results yielded by early detection of rock falls as this was an area that caused many deaths.

Meeting report

Ms Lindiwe Ndelu, MHSC Acting Chairperson, introduced her delegation: CEO Mr Thabo Dube, CFO Mr David Molapo, Mr Navin Singh Chief Research and Operations Officer, Mr Frank Stehring who represented organised labour and Dr Tumi Legobye representing employers. She said the report would be presented interchangeably.

Mr Thabo Dube, CEO, MHSC, said that the presentation was a report on the 2012/13 financial year. Its vision was to be a trusted advisor to the Minister of Mineral Resources and stakeholders in the mining sector as well as being the knowledge leaders when it came to occupational health and safety. MHSC would like to be first port of call on occupation and health safety matters especially on pressing matters in the industry. The mission of the Council was to promote a culture of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) in the mining sector by striving for zero harm. Its mandate was to advise the Minister of Mineral Resources about OHS in the mining industry as it related to legislation, regulations, research and the promotion of OHS. Reviewing of legislation was mainly limited to the regulation of the industry and did not include the Act, however if there were any health related matters then the Act may be included but the main focus was regulation. In overseeing health and safety research, it determined the research needs taking into account inputs from stakeholders and based on the pressing matters the industry was facing. It liaised with other statutory bodies on health and safety such as with the Mining Qualifications Authority which was concerned with training and other government departments including the Department of Health and the Department of Labour.

Mr Dube said MHSC had a summit held every two years, where targets were set. The Council was in the processing of looking at the progress made over the last ten years. Three major industry targets were set in 201: reducing fatalities with an overall objective of zero harm, elimination of silicosis which was a lung related illness and the elimination of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The Council benchmarked itself against other countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States and one of its targets was that in 2013 industry performance should be comparable to the performance of mining industries in these other countries. The same targets were set for the platinum, coal and other sectors. The coal sector was almost there in achieving this target as it was almost comparable with the coal sector in the other countries especially Australia which was a major coal producing country. Currently the Council was still reviewing statistics and would be reporting in November 2014 when hosting the summit where the Council would state how many of the targets had been achieved.

One of the targets for the elimination of silicosis was that 95% of all exposure measurement results should be below the occupational exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica of 0.1mg per cubic metre. The Council was still analysing data submitted by industry from 2013 to February 2014 which would be reported on at the Council-hosted November summit. Another target was that no new cases of silicosis should occur in previously unexposed individuals in 2013 which was equivalent to new persons entering the industry in 2008.

On the NIHL target, a hearing conservation programme was being implemented by the industry to ensure that there was no deterioration in hearing greater than 10% amongst individuals exposed to noise. The total noise target emitted by all equipment installed in any workplace should not exceed a sound pressure level of 110dB (A). The Council was still in the process of analysing results which had been reported by mines so it would be reported on at the November 2014 summit.The Council would be able to inform all stakeholders and the industry at large of the progress in the last ten years.

Mr Dube said that MHSC was a tripartite structure which involved members from organised labour, the state (mainly the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Health) and employers (Chamber of Mines). The MHSC Board was assisted by these structures: Audit and Risk Committee; Human Resources and Remuneration Advisors Committee; Mining and Regulations Advisory Committee; Mining Occupational Health Advisory Committee; Culture Transformation Advisory Committee; Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee  and the Mining Industry HIV/AIDS and TB Advisory Committee. 

Mr Dube said that MHSC had a strategy map which addressed the vision and mission of the Council. A balanced focus was being used to ensure that the Council delivered on strategy, vision and mission. The strategy map was divided into four perspectives: customer stakeholder, internal operational matters of the Council, learning and growth and financial.

A) Under customer stakeholder perspective:
- The first strategic objective was the provision of advice reports that influenced mining health and safety performance. This was the advice that normally went to the Minister on how the industry should be regulated, which regulations needed to be implemented, best practice as well as guidelines set out for the industry.
- The second strategic objective was the promotion of culture of health and safety which was promoting the work of the Council and also the best practice in the industry for instance stating the best ways of dealing with the challenges that the industry was facing.
- The third strategic objective was to strengthen tripartite partnerships through communication and promotions of the MHSC activities. This dealt with engagement with stakeholders i.e. the workers, employers and the state to indicate the type of work that was being done by the council which was assisting the Council in ensuring that outcomes and recommendations made to the Minister as best practices were implemented.
- The final strategic objective was implementation of MHSC’s initiatives from the summit Action Plan. The summit occurs every two years and allows stakeholders to share challenges and offer suggestions as to what was needed to deal with the challenges. Outcomes were agreed upon at the summit and this objective ensured that what was agreed on by stakeholders was implemented for the purpose of improving OSH.

The internal processes perspective dealt with ensuring support of the Council’s initiatives internally as an office in terms of reviewing the bottlenecks that would prevent the Council from achieving its objective efficiently and effectively. As such the Council had to identify potential challenges regularly. The second strategic objective was for the Council to become a knowledge leader in mine health and safety through conducting focused research. The Council was identifying the pressing issues that the industry was battling with, once the areas were identified, the Council conducts research and the outcomes of the research became recommendations for the Minister and to the industry through the Minister stating what the industry needed to do in light of the challenges that were faced.

B) Under the learning and growth perspective, strategic objectives dealt with ensuring that there was adequate capacity and skills to deliver on the Council’s mandate focusing on the Board and the Committees that were supporting the Board and the office. Another was enhancing knowledge and information management to staff and clients. It addressed availability of information as Council wished to be the first port of call for the industry on health and safety.

C) The financial perspective was to ensure sustainability of the Council which dealt with collection of levies to enable funding of initiatives and projects that the Council was running. The second strategic objective was ensuring appropriate financial resources for all MHSC programmes. Once the money was collected, the Council had to ensure all its initiatives were adequately funded and finances properly managed.

Mr Navin Singh, MHSC Chief Research and Operations Officer, spoke on the manner in which the Council’s objectives were achieved, reasons for non-achievements and actions put in place to prevent reoccurrence. The Council had a challenge with the advisory notes to the Minister because the Auditor General had stated that any document submitted after the close of the financial year would not be considered that financial year and that was just how it was structured. As such, the Council has ensured that all its targets were achieved before the close of the financial year to avoid disputes as to when it was sent to the Minister and for the 2012/13 the target had been met and the Council was sticking to the plan. This had been a significant change in terms of the Council’s strategic objectives. In terms of actual events, the Council held two workshops on personal protective equipment PPE for women which highlighted research findings and it used this to develop an advisory note for submission to the Minister which had since been approved. This had been extended into projects for the New Year which would be looking at the development of guidelines and also the development of sound posts as to what these PPEs should look like so that manufacturers could have a good sense for use in this sector.

The Council undertook the driving of the implementation of the Culture Transformation Framework. In the year there was the establishment of Regional Tripartite Forums grouped in various mining sectors which was a collective discussion about mining health and safety and it was being used as the ideal platform to promote Council work. There were other workshops Council had completed and would impact on legislation such as fitness for work as well as coming up with guidelines for workers who had been incapacitated due to ill health from mining. There was a project to develop a framework for occupation health support. This had been  extended so a system could be developed that could be used by the sector to report on occupation and health particularly due to the migrating nature of the workforce. This would allow the Council to get a good handle on it.

D) In terms of the internal processes perspective, Mr Singh said the Council achieved its objectives one of which was becoming a knowledge leader in disseminating the work that the Council did instead of shelving the information so that the work was implemented for maximum impact. This was done using the Regional Tripartite Forums and visiting mining areas and holding workshops for disseminating the information.

A critical component was stepping up some of the core processes of the Council in terms of its operations. The Council had identified from previous processes where there were weaknesses and the objective had been achieved by redefining and tightening up loose ends.

On the particular focus of Council projects, it had to ensure that the work done was disseminated. For example work on rock fall-related accidents and the work that the Council had been doing. The rock fall detection project Council had completed. The project looked at detection of loose rocks prior to it falling and to be able to come up with ameliorating systems which prevented this hazard from occurring. The Council had also completed a seismograph project, where the Council had looked at integration of the national surface network as well as the local mine networks where the actual live data was streamed from the 16 sites that had been installed from Bushveld in the Westrand. The data was then reported to the National Seismograph Network  and Database where it would be picked automatically to determine location and if a greater analysis of data was required then it would be sent to a seismologist to interrogate. The final project which had been successfully completed was on PPE and the notes had been submitted to the Minister and had been approved.

Mr Singh said that the core focus of Council to undertake research was to prevent the reoccurrence of accidents and for the new year the Council’s focus had been technology transfer from projects. Once a project had been completed it was packaged in such a way that it could be disseminated and easily used whether by a technical professional or a mine worker who needed  to utilise the research findings. The Council was still working on noise identification and ways of treating the noise source before sending equipment underground. This was still a focus within Council in addition to the completion of all outstanding projects. Two of the completed projects had been mentioned before and these were in regards to the rock falls. From a health perspective the Council had focused on digital chest x-rays so that it was possible to convert the analogue system for easier tracking of health processes that needed to be brought in.
Mr Singh said that for the learning and growth perspective, one of the core aspects was to ensure that the office in which the Council served as secretary to the Board as well as the advisory committees were adequately capacitated to undertake work to support the Board and ultimately make submissions to the Minister. In terms of the strategic objective, the target had been achieved. The establishment of a knowledge and information management system in as far as being a knowledge generated entity needed adequate systems so that information could be installed and be easily accessed by the sector. One of the problems was that there were a few issues with the Council’s ICT environment and the focus was to ensure that the environment was strengthened before a new system was introduced as such the target was partially achieved.

In terms of target for Council, when the target was set at a summit in 2003, three pillars were identified as follows; health and safety culture, a learning industry and ensuring that workplaces were healthy and safe for employees. Through various initiatives, the Council was still continuing to lead these projects. A summit was planned for the latter part of the year where the Council would report not only against the milestones that the CEO had alluded to earlier on but also to these initiatives on how the Council had achieved them or what it had done to achieve them and that would be the core of the discussions to take place at the summit.

Mr Singh said that culture transformation required a paradigm shift. A lot of work had been done by the Council by coming up with new standards and systems. When the Council undertook the project it was looking at the softer side on the aspects that were not normally considered under engineering controls. At the summit in 2011, the culture transformation was launched and five pillars were identified which would be the focus until the new summit when the next six pillars would be launched. Various platforms were used for implementation. During the conference stakeholders and their principals talked about the manner in which implementation was taking place and the success to date and some of the challenges that lay ahead in the sector. The conference was well received by all participants and the same process was taken to the coal sector and had similar discussions. The Culture Transformation Framework was signed by the principals and all attendees (about 500 signatures) pledged implementation of the Culture Transformation Framework.

Mr David Molapo, Chief Financial Officer, MHSC, said that the Council had achieved its listed objectives and the challenges that were mentioned needed financial sustainability which had been achieved by ensuring that mines were levied and contributions collected that the DMR was supposed to make as per legislation. Once the money had been collected there was a need for systems and processes, budgetary control, monetary management, reporting and dealing with variances on time which was also achieved in the last financial year. As a result of focusing on the two objectives, Council was able to project a high level picture of what performance was like. The Council had budgeted for a possible under spending of R12 million but the actual under spending was R26 million. The main contributing factor for the under spending was the savings that happened from major savings in personnel costs due to vacant positions in the financial year as the full approved structure was not engaged. Also a reduction in spending led to higher finance income than had been budgeted for. The budget was for R6.6 million but the actual finance income was R6.78 million which also contributed to the higher surplus than was budgeted for.

Mr Molapo said that usually at the end of the financial year the Auditor General checked and gave an opinion on the work claimed to have been done. In 2013 the Auditor General provided an unqualified report, however there was an emphasis of matter because debtors from the mines had to be written off as some could not pay as they had undergone liquidation. Thus requests were made for the debts to be written off. Also there was irregular expenditure which had dropped drastically from the previous year. This was as a result of processes that the Council had focused on as indicated in the strategic map where there was a special strategic objective looking at these processes.

The causes of the irregular expenditure were attributed to a violation of delegation of authority which was an internal document and whilst doing its work the Council had overlooked the delegation of authority that had been provided. As much as this was adequately presented to the Board for condoning, the Council also made the mistake of awarding tenders to three suppliers to a total value of R338 000 when their tax clearance certificates had expired. Also expenditure was incurred in relation to the leased equipment. According to Treasury guidelines a lease should not be in excess of 36 months however a lease was entered into in 2008 which had just ended - but all expenses that had been incurred had been reported on as irregular, as it was against the prescriptions.

Mr Molapo said that another contributing factor to the irregular expenditure was failure to comply with Treasury prescripts. There were incidents where the Auditor General felt that when suppliers were invited for tenders there were no clear terms of references and also the evaluation criteria were not clearly stated in some instances. All these findings for the year under review added up to R653 000 as compared to R6.5 million in the previous year. This indicated success for the Council’s reported performance as the targets the Council had set for internal processes had actually worked. Realising the challenges that the Council had with particular attention to the irregular expenditure, it looked at how it could improve Supply Chain Management and undertook a project called Re-Engineering of the Supply Chain where the policy and processes were reviewed as well as the composition of the bid committees to ensure that issues that the Auditor General had reported on, especially with non-compliance with Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA), would no longer happen. In addition the database had been improved to ensure that all suppliers on the database had tax certificates that were in order.

Mr Singh concluded by highlighting the strengths and opportunities as well as challenges faced by the MHSC and the sector. The most significant strength was the spirit of tripartitism which revealed that all stakeholders were working collectively towards a target of zero harm. Visits to organisations in Australia, North America and Canada showed that they did not have this type of set-up in terms of the Council that had the key stakeholders working together towards a common goal from a country perspective - a similar voice working towards a target of zero harm. Improved risk management within the Council focused it into identifying weaknesses and putting in place processes so that there were no re-occurrences.

Some of the challenges faced as a sector and as an organisation was the need to start looking at leading indicators. Research was carried out based on post- or lagging indicators where an event takes place or somebody got injured first and only then would programmes be implemented. From that perspective the Council was now looking at the target of leading indicators that would identify issues earlier and come up with mitigating strategies. There had been a serious lack of research capacity nationally which had impacted on the Council’s ability to get researchers to undertake the identified programmes. Research implementation was still a challenge. The most significant change that all researchers had welcomed was the inclusion in the Mining Charter requiring employees to indicate how research work was being implemented and if it had not been implemented, what had been done over and above what the Council had been doing. From a Council and sector perspective, reporting of health data was still a concern. It was one of the lacking indicators. Looking at statistics, the health related incidents were almost four times greater than the safety related incidents. There should now be a focus on how health data was managed and reported so that programmes could be developed for that.

In terms of opportunities that the Council faced, the summit was where the sector met as a collective - not just the principals but also the captains of the industry. They looked at the initiatives identified, the implementation plans and the targets which had been set.  The forthcoming summit as well as the reporting against the ten-year period milestones would take the sector significantly forward. The Centre of Excellence from the Council’s perspective would work towards strengthening of the research capacity nationally which would benefit the sector with new research programmes. The Council was in a fairly advanced stage with the Board and more details would be available in future sessions. The Cultural Transformation Framework was still critical for the Council and the six pillars that still needed to be implemented post the summit was once again the paradigm shift that was required. There was a focus by all stakeholders on technology transfers on how to package the research so that it could be fully implemented across all spheres of the mining sector. Whether it was a rock belt operator or a mining manager, the research work had to be disseminated accordingly for implementation. As mentioned earlier, there was the welcome introduction of OHS reporting in the Mining Charter in terms of actual statistics as well as the use of research which was a significant opportunity for the Council.

The Acting Chairperson asked what was exactly being reported on in the Charter as it was going under review this year. In terms of processes of transformation in relation to the Charter, when it came mining and safety had there been any achievement in training and development. Also would the Council be in a position to provide the relevant statistics as this would enable the Committee  to see the significance of the Charter in light of its achievements and challenges and provide a feel on the status of the Charter.

Mr Singh responded that to be clear the Council was only focusing on the Council’s perspective on OHS and not the whole Charter. The reporting that was requested would take place with the DMR. In terms of education there was a project under the summit initiative which focused on the learning industry and there had been significant discussions with the MQA in driving the process of education programmes within the sector looking at illiteracy and other training. He did not have statistics with him but when the Mining Charter reported, then it would be possible to provide the figures to the Committee.

Mr Dube added that on the Charter itself, the Council was of the view that implementation of research had not taken off. It was now one of issues included in the Charter specifying that mines had to state how much and which outcomes had been implemented out of the research carried out by the Council. The mining industry would also be reporting on that.

The Acting Chairperson said that the Supply Chain Management Engineering Project was part of the Council’s internal action plan. Looking at the Council’s finances, in relation to the difficulties experienced, as this was a new project, did it mean that the Council was on track?

Mr Molapo responded that the Council was very much on track as the policy had been reviewed and revised in line with the latest PPPFA guidelines issued by Treasury. The Council had also mapped the positive steps internally to ensure that compliance was checked regularly. Bid committees had been established which were found to be lacking in the previous year which was what had led to the irregularity.

The Acting Chairperson said what was important was that the outdated tax clearance certificates and irregular expenditure should be in order so that the health of Supply Chain Management (SCM) would be evident six months down the line, since implementation had started in January.

Mr M Sonto (ANC) said that the Council had held workshops on fitness. In the past there were fitness programmes for miners to keep them fit and now there were workshops. He asked the Council what it would do to keep miners fit after the workshops. What result had the early detection of faults yielded on the ground as it was one of the areas where most of the injuries occurred? When talking of rock fall elimination, was the Council trying to say that there were no rock falls in the mines?

Mr Sonto said that the Council had presented achievements in its performance objective for ensuring appropriate financial resources were available. In fact the Council had reported a surplus. Yet the Council had reported that it was lagging behind in research capacity. How was that possible when there was a surplus of R26 million?

Mr Sonto said that the Auditor General’s report for the Council was unqualified with irregular findings and the Council had reported that there were some violations of delegation of authority which was tantamount to insubordination. Sanctions had been applied to correct the matter. He did not know much about the suppliers whose taxes were not in order, however, what exactly was checked on about suppliers to avoid being caught in a mistake.

The Acting Chairperson said that surely there was a budget for ICT. Had the budget been utilised and if not what exactly was the problem?

Mr Singh responded that the perhaps when reporting on the fitness workshop the Council was trying to be economical with words. The workshops were held after the Council had developed the guidelines on how to implement the code of practice for fitness for work. The workshops were held for practitioners and regulators as well as organised labour on how the regulations or guidelines would be implemented in the mines. The workshop was on how issues of fitness would be treated from a mine management perspective, from a regulator’s perspective as well as from a mine worker’s perspective through the codes of practice and not necessarily as a replacement for actual fitness.

Mr Singh said that the early detection system for rock falls was part of a research project in terms of identifying a tool that could be developed for early detection. The Council was now at an advanced stage of looking at the commercialisation of the product because under the R&D phase it was more about the development of a particular tool that was non-existent before. The tool had now demonstrated that it worked. The Council was looking at how the product could be taken and developed for use across the sector. Discussions had been held with agencies such as the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to look at how the product could be taken forwards so that it could be used in all the mines. The success rate for the product had been quite high in identifying loose rocks during the research phase. It worked on a thermo basis where if a rock was loose, it would be at a lower temperature because air could flow around it and lower the temperature - that was the mechanism behind the product. The product worked in the platinum as well as the gold sector. Currently the Council was looking at a tool that would work in all mines.

The Acting Chairperson said that a lot of deaths in the mines were caused by chemical explosions. She asked if chemical explosions had any effects on rock falls and if the rock fall detection product would be able to detect potential chemical explosions as there would be movement in the rocks.

Mr Singh said that perhaps there was a need to engage more on what was meant by chemical explosions because the focus was identification of loose blocks so irrespective of the inertia behind it or like an explosion the aim was to identify loose blocks up front so they could be eliminated. The product was run together with an electronic sounding device. The rock would be tapped and the sound made would determine whether the rock was loose or not. Acoustic emissions were then developed and based on their frequency would tell whether a rock was loose or not. The two pieces of equipment would go towards eliminating the loose rocks and even if there was an energy source going through it, nothing loose would fall on mine workers.

The Council was doing other projects as well and was just being economical with space in the presentation slides. The Council was looking at other mechanisms as the elimination programme was a three phased approach. The first looked at legislation to see how good it was in addressing the impact of rock falls or rock fall related injuries and results showed that the country was leading in that. The second phase looked at risk methodologies, which had been rolled out. It was now doing technology transfer in the platinum sector so from a risk perspective and support design the phase had been completed. The third phase was early detection and measuring and monitoring for rock falls, and that aspect had been completed. Now the Council was looking at a new component for barring practices and how to improve those standards. The Council was also looking at technology transfer on site, specifically the platinum sector. Results for the gold sector showed that a lot of work had been done on it and when going deeper into the platinum sector, focus should be on understanding how the rock mass responded to mining and what needed to be done to control it. The Council was doing projects on rock falls, it just was not articulated in the presentation.

In response to the question of surplus and research capacity, Mr Singh said that the Council had identified that as a challenge. The Centre of Excellence was geared towards the utilisation of the surplus funding and the manner in which research capacity could be enhanced. Discussions had been held at Board level as to the model for strengthening research capacity through the identification of research providers and how they could be assisted in strengthening their own internal capacity as well as developing projects for the Council that would be of quality. The Council was certainly looking at closing the gap on the lack of researchers to do the work especially since surplus funds were available.

Mr Molapo added about the surplus, when comparing budget and expenditure, the contributing factor for under spending was personnel costs which had contributed hugely to the surplus. There were challenges. Vacancies were advertised but the Council was not able to find the right people to fill the vacancies and the process had run on past the end of the financial year. On delegation of authority, this occurred due to ambiguity in the document which had been presented to the Board. Following this, the document was revised with clear authority. On the expired tax certificates, it was as a result of challenges in the SCM processes. This had a weakness in the system as it did not reflect whether the tax certificates or BBBEE certificates were expiring or had just expired.

The Acting asked whether tax compliance was one of the check points in the tender process.

Mr Molapo responded that it was part of the processes. It was attributed to a weakness in the bid committee structures who were not able to properly adjudicate on tax certificates. As a result, stronger bid committees had been formed and also an electronic database of suppliers had been installed which was capable of flagging expired tax or BBBEE certificates.

Mr Dube added that one of the controls for the bid committees was a checklist that the chairperson heading any bid committee must go through before going through the tenders such as check if tax and BBBEE certificates were in order. If the bid did not meet these basic requirements, they would not be considered.

Mr Sonto asked what made it difficult to comply with Treasury requirements.

Mr Molapo responded that as indicated by the CEO, the Council had now taken a quantum leap by putting in place checks and balances which the Council was comfortable with.

Mr Sonto asked about the lease that exceeded the 36 month limit.

Mr Molapo replied that the lease was something that the management inherited as it was signed in 2008 for five years but fortunately had come to an end and the issue would not occur again. 

Mr Dube added that the Council had also revised its delegation of authority to say that the Council would not commit itself beyond 36 months.

Mr Sonto asked what had happened to those who were found to be responsible for causing insubordination.

Mr Dube responded that after receiving the outcome of the report from the Auditor General, internal investigations were instituted to establish what went wrong and the Council underwent disciplinary counselling sessions with the individuals involved and some received written warnings.

The Acting Chairperson thanked MHSC for the presentation and said that the problems were visible but the Council should be given a chance. In the meanwhile she was interested in the re-engineering processes which sought to correct what was incorrect in the sector. However, it was unacceptable that the Council should have problems with the Auditor General. With the efforts being made, hopefully the implementation processes would show progress.

The Committee did not have a quorum to consider and adopt its Legacy Report or adopt minutes.

The meeting was adjourned.


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