WSSD: briefing; Proposed NCOP Amendments to Planning Professions Bill: consideration

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PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS
20 August 2002
BRIEFING ON WSSD, CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSED NCOP AMENDMENT TO PLANNING PROFESSION BILL

Chairperson: Mr N. H. Masithela

Documents handed out:
Briefing by the Department on WSSD

SUMMARY:
The Committee could not understand the argument put forward by the Select Committee on their proposed amendments to the Planning Professions Bill. After deliberating on the amendments the Committee decided to reject the amendments from the NCOP and that the Bill should remain as it was. The decision on how the Committee delegation would be constituted was to be discussed in a meeting that was to be held on the same day of this meeting. The Department assured the Committee that logistical issues have been already addressed for when the Committee arrive in Johannesburg. However, transport costs from Cape Town to Johannesburg would be incurred by the Committee.

Consideration of proposed NCOP amendment to the Planning Profession Bill [B 76B -2001]
In his opening remarks the Chairperson noted that the issue of Zimbabwe needed not to be discussed in the meeting because it was a national issue and that Zimbabwe was a sovereign state. The draft of the report on the visit to Pretoria was not yet finalised so the issue was shelved for a later meeting.

The Committee looked at the amendments by the NCOP on the Planning Profession Bill. The NCOP wanted the Clause 5(1)(h) which reads as follows, "is a political representative at the national, provincial or municipal sphere of government"; to be changed so that "political representative" be replaced by "public representative". The issue of Public office and political office was discussed.

Mr M. Maphalala (ANC) said he could not grasp the argument put forward by the NCOP on the public versus political office issue. He said because these people were elected into office it was appropriate to call them political representatives, but that did not mean that the person belonged to any political party.

Mr A. Botha (DP) concurred with Mr Maphalala, adding that the Committee should look at what the law said in relation to issues of public and political office and that they should be careful before passing the Bill as proposed by the NCOP.

Ms C. Dudely (ACDP) argued that it seemed as if there was no clear reasoning on the side of the NCOP.

The Chairperson said the issue was that "public office" was very broad, hence they preferred "political office". He subsequently gave the go ahead that the Committee should reject the amendment outright.

Mr D. Maluleke (DP) suggested that the two words 'public and political' should be used jointly or be combined.

Mr B. Radebe (ANC) said since this was a Section 75 Bill he would suggest that the Bill should be adopted in the way the Portfolio Committee agreed upon.

Mr S. Abram (UDM) said in the context of political representation the Bill should be accepted in the way the Committee agreed. He said the Bill as it was reflected the three spheres of government, National, Provincial and local.

The Committee clerk read the statement pronouncing the rejection of the amendment from the Select Committee.

Briefing on WSSD:
Mr Zola Phinda, assistant Director of Communications in the Department, noted that issues of market access of agricultural products, food security and poverty alleviation were among the ones to be discussed in the Summit. He said these issues would be discussed within the context of Nepad and sustainable development. He noted that the Department has organised exhibitions that would demonstrate the importance of agriculture for sustainable development. He said there would be a showcasing of land care issues between Australia and South Africa and that all the events have been approved by the United Nations.

He said the Committee has a major role to play in the summit especially in clarifying some of the issues that have been reported in the media, such as the land issue. Because they wanted to be visible the Department has set aside R3, 5million for exhibition stands. He said the organising committee, Jowsco has agreed on the number of delegations that should attend the summit. The Department has secured everything including accommodation. It was up to the Committee to decide on the numbers.

Questions and discussion:
Ms O. Kasienyane (ANC) wanted to know the position of the Department concerning landless people. Was the Department aware of what the landless people were planning ahead of the summit?

Mr Z. Phinda (Department) replied that the Department needed to seat down and strategise on how they would deal with the matter. He noted that the Department was aware of the problem and they did watch the TV programme where a representative of the landless people was presenting the story. Subsequently, they requested that the Director General of the Department Mr G. Mayende should also be invited to present the Department's side of the story. However, he believed that the DG was given very little time as compared to the landless representative. So the Department would seize that opportunity to explain all those issues.

Mr R. Schoeman (ANC) asked why the Chairperson of the Committee was excluded in the delegation that discussed preparations for the summit.

Mr Phinda said that issue was going to be discussed in the afternoon of the same day.

Mr A. Botha (DP) asked how would the launch of the Farmers' Charter feature in the summit.

Mr Phinda responded that the discussions would be about the process towards the launch of a Farmers' Charter, it was not about the launch of the farmers' charter per se.

Mr M. Maphalala (ANC) proposed that issues of delegation to the summit should be discussed by the Chairperson and organisers of the summit.

Mr S. Abram (UDM) asked what role did the Department expect the Portfolio Committee to play in the summit.

Mr Phinda replied that the scheduled meeting of organisers, the Department and the chairperson of the Committee would iron out issues of role players in the summit.

Mr Abram further asked what would happen to the structures that the Department will use for exhibition in the summit.

Mr Phinda responded that the structures would be used to market the Department even after the summit. They would not be "thrown away".

Mr B. Radebe (ANC) said there would be a need for Parliamentarians from all over Africa to interact so as to share their experiences. He added that since most countries in Africa have been liberated long time ago, this would help them to learn how other countries have coped with the different problems of governance.

The Chairperson told the Committee that he has been invited in a pre-summit meeting of the 22nd and 23rd to discuss preparations and other issues. He noted that the Committee would incur the costs of flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg. The ground transportation from the airport to the venues, as well as accommodation would be catered for by the Department.

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