The Committee met for the first time to elect its chairperson and adopt its programme. Ms R Capa (ANC) was nominated without objection as the Chairperson of the Committee.
The Committee adopted the Committee Programme. The Chairperson noted that both committee members and staff were all women.
Introduction by Committee Secretary
The meeting was opened by the Committee Secretary, Ms L Ntsabo. She introduced the support staff who included the Committee Researcher Ms S Koyana, the Content Advisor Ms M Nogenga and the Committee Assistant Ms N Mnyovu
Election of Chairperson
Ms Ntsabo explained that the Rules of the National Assembly require an official to preside over the election of a Committee Chairperson. She asked members for nominations.
Mrs H Malgus (ANC) nominated Ms Capa for the Chairperson.
Ms Ntsabo registered the nomination and asked Members to nominate other candidates for which none raised her hand.
Ms P Mogotsi (ANC) seconded the nomination
She asked if Ms Capa accepted the nomination which she did.
Ms Ntsabo explained to the Committee the duties the Chairperson as stipulated by Rule Number 129 of the National Assembly which are to preside at meetings of the committee, to act in any matter on behalf of and in the best interests of the committee when the meeting of the committee to discuss that matter is not practical should the matter had been requested by the committee or taking decisions necessary for the committee to perform its functions. If it is a matter that concerns, the Chairperson may request a person to give evidence or make oral representations to the Committee. The chairperson must exercise a casting vote, in addition to his or her vote as a member, where an equal number of votes are cast on both sides of a question.
In her maiden address to the Committee, Ms Capa (ANC) appreciated the trust bestowed to her by the Committee members as Chairperson. The intense campaign period gave a great opportunity for committee members to reach out to the houses of the poor, rich, the downtrodden and marginalised, in urban and peri-urban, rural and deep rural and members across the political divide witnessed the challenges out there. This needs a collective dedication from the Committee to better the lives of those they saw in the field and move South Africa better and forward. She emphasized that the Committee was not a small given that it aims to intervene and make life better for everybody, to uplift and empower so as to reach a stage where the country is not dependent on social grants, but social cohesion and citizens’ participation in the social and economic development of their own country. She implored all members across the political divide to hold their study groups together and come clear for a constructive going forward movement. The success and failure of the Committee is not on the Chairperson alone, but of all the members.
Ms P Kopane (DA) appreciated the inspiring words that came from the Chairperson, congratulated her for the new position and assured her of the support from the Democratic Alliance as South Africa belongs to all.
Ms Malgas (ANC) hailed the election of Ms R Capa as the Chairperson as she hails from deep rural areas in OR Tambo. Social development is mainly for the downtrodden. She pleaded with members to work as a collective as everyone plays an important role in the Committee. She congratulated the Chairperson for the taking over leadership of the Committee from her.
The Chairperson asked Members for any suggested changes to the draft programme.
The Committee Secretary told the Committee it had to finalise deliberations on the budget by 11 July which meant they had two weeks to adopt it. The support staff will be making presentations on 02 July 2014 to explain to the budget process, provide a sector overview and provide an analysis of the budget. This will equip members about the type of questions to ask the Department of Social Development, the National Development Agency and the South Africa Social Security Agency which will present its budget to the Committee in early July 2014.
Ms Kopane (DA) did not have problem with the draft and asked the Chairperson to have the briefing documents handed out to members in a timely manner.
The Chairperson referred members to the draft programme and said this will act as a guideline for future meetings. She asked members to adopt the proposed programme which was done.
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) asked members to introduce themselves so that they get to know each other.
The Chairperson noted that the attendance register showed who is present and absent, sharing their contact numbers so that members can engage even when they are not sitting.
Members introduced their names, the political party they represented and from where they came.
The Chairperson asked members to bear with her as it would take time to remember their names since she is not young anymore having served since the First Democratic Parliament. She thanked whoever deployed only women to the Social Development Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.