The Committee elected Mr M Johnson (ANC) as the Chairperson. The Draft Strategic Plan was also adopted without amendments.
The Committee also discussed the Draft Programme of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation. Members were reminded that the Department of Water and Sanitation was a new department and the only matter that had to be dealt with was the Budget Vote of the Department of Water Affairs. The Department and 27 entities were scheduled to deal with the Budget Vote on 2 July 2014.
During discussions, Members stated that there were audio and translation devices present in Parliament and the Committee had to ensure a balanced approach in dealing with the different languages. Members had to liase with their different Committees if they were present in more than one, to avoid time clashes. The Committee noted that the Department had requested a start time of 10am to save costs.
The Secretary of the Committee, Ms Nadia Solomon said that this meeting would deal with the election of a Chairperson for the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation.
Ms J Maluleke (ANC) nominated Mr M Johnson (ANC) for the position of Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation.
Ms N Bilankulu (ANC) seconded the nomination.
Honourable Johnson was asked if he accepted the nomination for Chairperson of the
Committee. Honourable Johnson accepted the nomination.
In the absence of any other nominations, the Committee congratulated and recognised Mr Johnson as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation.
The newly elected Chairperson said that he appreciated the confidence which had been bestowed upon him. He said that this was nothing else but part of a process that the African National Congress (ANC) had started since 1994, the aim of which was to do nothing else but transform the country from being bad under apartheid, to being a better country under democracy.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee had the opportunity to speak very briefly about the provisional programme. His only hope and wish was that because this was a very sensitive matter to do with water and sanitation, that everyone worked together because at the end of the day it was not narrow political agendas which would win the day, it was about the people out there. The Committee had everything to lose, and everything to gain if Members acted as one. He stated that the provisional agenda had to be adopted so that it could be taken through for processing. The Committee had to be proactive with regard to the allocation of venues and meeting times because there were 27 entities accountable to this Committee. The Draft Strategic Programme had to be adopted.
Adoption of the Draft Strategic Plan
Ms Maluleke moved for the adoption of the Draft Strategic Plan.
Mr LJ Basson (DA) asked if it could be safely assumed that all Committee meetings would take place on Wednesdays. If this was the case he seconded the proposal.
The Draft Strategic Plan was adopted.
The Chairperson said that Wednesday was the day allocated to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation for meetings.
Mr A Mpontshane (IFP) indicated that he had to leave the meeting early to assist a stranded colleague.
The Chairperson gave Mr Mpontshane leave to do so.
Draft Programme of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation
The Committee Secretary informed the Committee that it should be noted that, essentially, the priority of the programme was the Budget Vote of the Department of Water Affairs. Members were aware that the Department of Water and Sanitation was a new department, and as such, the only budget that could be dealt with at the moment was the Budget Vote of the Department of Water Affairs. A meeting to deal with the budget vote had been scheduled with the Department and all the entities for 2 July 2014.
In terms of the parliamentary framework, the Extended Public Committee who had to deal with the Budget Vote, started around the 15 July, so this Committee had until that date to conclude its deliberations on the Budget Vote. A meeting was going to be held next week for this purpose. The first part of that meeting would be a briefing from the Content Advisor, Ms Shereen Dawood. She would provide a basic overview of the Budget. The Researcher would provide an analysis of the Budget. The week thereafter on the 9 July, the Committee would be sitting to consider the report of the Committee in relation to the Budget Vote.
In terms of the Programme, the Committee Secretary said that time was an administrative issue. A request had been received from the Department that meetings start at 10am to save costs.
The Chairperson said that those requests depended entirely on the programme of the Committee, as they were the ones who determined what happened.
The Chairperson asked the support team of this Portfolio Committee and everyone present in the meeting to introduce themselves.
The following persons introduced themselves: The Chairperson, Ms Maluleke, Mr Bilankulu, Mr T Makondo (ANC), Mr D Mnguni(ANC), Ms H Kekana (ANC), Mr L Basson (DA), Ms M Khawula (EFF), Mr M Galo (AIC), Mr A Mpontshane (IFP), Mr M Shelembe (NFP), Ms Shereen Dawood (Content Advisor), Ms Nadia Solomons (Committee Secretary), Ms Zoleka Kula (Assistant Secretary), the researcher and Ms V Kleinsmidt (PMG Parliamentary Monitor).
The Chairperson appealed to the Committee to nurture and nurse each other in the chambers of Parliament and other rooms with regard to the use of the different languages. There were listening and translation devices in Parliament and the Committee would have to see how best to accommodate each other in this regard. This democratic Parliament allowed for the promotion of all languages, but there had to be a balance as to what worked best.
While a slot for meetings had been allocated on Wednesdays, the Committee had to be open to do their work on other days as well. There were 27 entities and the Committee was therefore expected to do a lot more.
Mr M Galo (AIC) congratulated the Chairperson on his election. He suggested that the Programming Committee deal with issues related to Members being part of more than one Committee to avoid time clashes for different meetings.
The Chairperson said that the matter of programming resided with the Programming Committee and emails were usually distributed in this regard.
Ms Maluleke said that the challenge was only for this week so Members could speak with their Committees about deployment.
The Committee Secretary thanked the Chairperson for availing himself for this meeting even though his father had passed away.
The meeting was adjourned.
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