The scheduled briefings did not take place. After consultation with the Committee management, the Chairperson decided that the corporate strategic plan of the Industrial Development Corporation had not been received in time for members to prepare themselves, and that the two briefings could not be heard. There was a discussion with members, in which a DA Member appealed that the briefings be heard for educational purposes, especially for new Members. But the overriding ANC sentiment was that it would be a departure from correct procedure that documents be delivered in advance. A strong message had to be sent to the departments to adhere to Parliamentary rules.
The Chairperson told Members that she had to discuss a technical matter related to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) strategic plans with the Committee management. She requested that Members leave the room for 15 minutes. On their return, she would explain matters further.
Mr S Marais (DA) objected that time would be wasted on a matter not on the agenda.
The Chairperson replied that it was part of the meeting, and important.
Members left the room for 15 minutes.
On their return, the Chairperson announced that in terms of Parliamentary rules, strategic plans of entities had to have been received by Friday 27 June from the Speaker’s office for deliberation on the day. The IDC had failed to submit its corporate strategic plan on time. It was therefore not advisable to hear the briefings. A meeting would be sought with the Minister after the Extended Public Committee (EPC) debate, to clarify why the strategic plan had not been tabled in Parliament. The presentation could take place after that. In terms of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009 the relevant Member of Cabinet had to table a strategic plan for each department. In terms of section 52 of the Public Finances Management Act (PFMA) entities had to submit a strategic plan to the executive authority for consideration, as well as an annual report. Members did not have time to process the IDC corporate strategic plan.
Mr Marais said that he concurred with the Chairperson about Members not having had an opportunity to prepare themselves. But the question was how to treat what was in front of them. The IDC corporate strategic plan was in front of Members, and members were assembled. It could be valuable to hear the presentations. It could not replace proper investigation that would allow Members to interrogate but it could be educational for new Members. There was a need for discipline, but it could be beneficial not to waste the opportunity.
The Chairperson replied that she did not understand Mr Marais. He was saying that he concurred with her, but still wanted the briefings to continue.
Mr Marais responded that he agreed that it was unacceptable, but the entities and Members were present, and hearing the briefings could be educational for new Members, although it could not replace proper interrogation.
The Chairperson asked the Committee to consider the matter.
Ms D Rantho (ANC) said that she was a new Member. The Committee had expected the IDC to make the strategic plan available in advance. To hear the briefings would be akin to being lectured to by the entity. It would be a waste of time.
Mr S Tleane (ANC) said that it was not in order to hear the briefings. Procedures had not been followed. The entities could be engaged politically and strategically at a later stage. It was not enough to just listen. Content had to be engaged with.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting, after a provisional date of 18 July had been set for the briefings.
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