The Select Committee on Public Services met to adopt the final mandates on the Rental Housing Amendment Bill [B56B-2013]. Seven provinces voted in favour of the Bill. Free State Provincial Legislature did not submit its final mandate to the Committee. The Western Cape Provincial Legislature voted against the adoption of the Bill. Members had some disagreement on whether the vote of the Western Cape could be considered, seeing that no permanent delegate from the provincial legislature was present at the meeting. The Parliamentary Law Advisor advised that section 3 of the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Act set out the criteria that the final mandate needed to indicate whether the provincial legislature voted in favour, against or abstained from voting on the Bill, the final mandate needed to contain the signature of the Speaker and be addressed to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces among other things. The Act did not expressly require that the mandate be presented by the person designated by the province, so the mandate would be valid even if not presented by the permanent delegate.
The Committee Legacy Report (2009 -2014) was adopted with amendments, including a suggestion that the Department of Human Settlements try to standardise rental housing.
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed Members to the meeting and reminded Members that following on the last meeting on the Rental Housing Amendment Bill, two provinces had requested that the period for presentation of negotiating mandates and public hearings be extended for them, namely the Western Cape and Limpopo. Fortunately, these two provinces had since responded, and the final mandates were ready to be presented.
Mr Z Mlenzane (COPE; Eastern Cape) asked whether the Committee Secretary should not be reading out the provinces’ final mandates, seeing that Members had already submitted these to the Committee, as this would save time.
Ms M Themba (ANC; Mpumalanga) objected and said the Committee did not want to “rush time”, especially when dealing with legislative matters. The permanent delegates should be the ones tabling the mandates, and not the Committee Secretary.
Mr Mlenzane said his suggestion was merely made in the interests of better time management.
Mr Mlenzane then noted that as the permanent delegate from the province of the Eastern Cape he presented the final mandate, which was that the province voted in favour of the Bill.
Mr M Jacobs (ANC; Free State) said the Free State had not yet submitted its mandate to him as the permanent delegate.
Mr H Groenewald (DA; North West) said that the North West Provincial Legislature voted in favour of the Bill.
Ms L Mabija (ANC; Limpopo) said the Limpopo legislature supported the Bill and recommended to the House that the permanent delegate vote in favour of the Bill.
Ms Themba said the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature voted in favour of the Bill.
The Chairperson said he would read out the mandates from the provinces whose permanent delegates were not present at the meeting.
Mr R Tau (ANC; Northern Cape) apologised for arriving late to the meeting. He read out the final mandate from the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature and said the province voted in favour of the Bill.
The Chairperson read out the final mandate from the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, noting that the province voted in favour of the Bill.
The Chairperson read out the final mandate from the Western Cape, which wished to mandate its delegate to vote against the Bill.
The Chairperson confirmed that the Committee was still awaiting the mandate from the Free State, as indicated by Mr Jacobs.
The Chairperson then read out final mandate from KwaZulu Natal and said this provincial legislature voted in favour of the Bill.
He summarised that, therefore, out of the nine provinces, the Western Cape was the only province which voted against the Bill; seven provinces voted in favour of the Bill and one had not submitted the mandate.
Mr Mlenzane suggested that the final mandate of the Western Cape, which voted against the Bill, should not be considered because no permanent delegate from the province was present.
Mr Nathi Mjenxane, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, advised that section 3 of the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Act set out the requirements in respect to final mandates. The criteria were that the final mandate needed to indicate whether the provincial legislature voted in favour, against, or abstained from voting on the Bill. The final mandate needed to contain the signature of the Speaker and be addressed to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. The Act did not, however, require that the mandate be presented by the person designated by the province, so the delegate of the province did not need to be physically present to present the final mandate.
Mr Tau said it was not a “warm body” which was voting, but merely the mandate of the province being presented. The provincial legislature’s vote carried the weight, not the actual presence of a person.
Mr Mlenzane said the actions of the Western Cape not being present should be looked into by Members. Voting in the Committee was not the same as voting in the House; it was in the House that an individual needed to vote.
The Chairperson thanked Members and said the mandate from the Western Cape would be accepted.
Committee draft Legacy Report (2009 -2014): Consideration and adoption
The Chairperson said Members had been given a copy of the Report earlier.
The Committee Content Advisor read out the Committee Legacy Report.
Mr Tau said the names of all Members should be added to the Report.
Mr Jacobs wanted a suggestion to be added that the Department of Human Settlements should attempt to standardise the rental houses.
The Chairperson agreed.
Members moved for, seconded and adopted the Legacy Report, with the amendments.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their contribution, together with the representatives from the Department of Human Settlements.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Select Committee’s Legacy Report 2009 -201
- Gauteng Provincial Legislature
- Northern Cape Provincial Legislature
- Western Cape Provincial Legislature
- Limpopo Provincial Legislature
- Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature
- Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature
- North West Provincial Legislature
- KwaZulu Natal Provincial Legislature
- Free State Provincial Legislature
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
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