Committee Programme: consideration; Report on Thailand Study Tour: adoption; Sustainable Development Conference & Transnet Parli

NCOP Public Services

19 August 2002
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Meeting report

PUBLIC SERVICE SELECT COMMITTEEE

PUBLIC SERVICE SELECT COMMITTEE
19 AUGUST 2002
COMMITTEE PROGRAMME: CONSIDERATION; REPORT ON THAILAND STUDY TOUR: ADOPTION; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE & TRANSNET PARLIAMENTARY STUDY TOUR: DISCUSSION

Chairperson: Ms PCP Majodina (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Committee Programme (document awaited; email info@pmg.org.za)

SUMMARY
The Committee discussed the programme for the current parliamentary term. Issues identified as needing attention include a survey on the Rural Housing Strategy, linking poverty alleviation with Black Economic Empowerment and the safety of taxis and commuters. The Committee noted the crisis in the Eastern Cape and the fact that there was some relief available to people in the area. Members suggested a visit to the province at an appropriate time.

MINUTES
The Chairperson opened a discussion on the public hearings to be held jointly with the Portfolio Committee on Transport on 21 August. However, there were some hiccups because the Chairperson of the Committee of Chairpersons requested motivation on why they needed to hold such hearings. She requested Members to be part of the hearings.

Mr VV Windvoel (ANC) said it was good that they are holding these public hearings although the National Land Transport Transition Act has already been passed. He did not understand why the Ethekwini Municipality was represented separately from the SALGA delegation. He suggested that on 4 September, during a briefing session, they should also involve the Portfolio Committee.

Mr NM Raju (DP) supported the sentiments of Mr Windvoel on the Ethekwini Municipality delegation and said that SALGA is an umbrella body that represents all municipalities. He said maybe there is a special reason why they want special representation.

The Chairperson said they are not comfortable with the separate representation for Ethekwini Municipality.

Mr MA Sulliman said in general they have a good programme but perhaps the dates should be reconsidered.

The Chairperson said it was a matter discussed by the NCOP but they thought they were going to utilize this week as the Provincial Week.

Mr Sulliman said according to his own understanding Provincial Week meant that Members would visit their own Provinces.

The Chairperson asked whether Members wanted to make a recommendation to the Whip that the Select Committee goes to each Province or they target certain Provinces.

Ms JL Kgoali said they should make proposals to the Whippery.

Ms JN Vilakazi (IFP) said the Provinces are busy planning but they have to feed them information on what is supposed to be happening.

Mr Windvoel suggested that they should link with their counterparts in the Provinces.

The Chairperson suggested to Members that they should identify issues that they want to propose to the Whips. For instance, there is a survey on the Rural Housing Strategy and they need to link up with Local Government.

Ms B Thompson (ANC) asked whether Members are coming up with issues that need to be addressed and if so she would like Members to focus on poverty alleviation and link it with Black Economic Empowerment.

Ms Vilakazi said HIV/AIDS is still an issue and Members should focus on home based care.

The Chairperson said the Department of Transport has a strategy for HIV/AIDS.

Mr Windvoel said he wanted to know the involvement of Network Transport and whether the Municipality have control over it.

Ms Kgoali said if they look at the housing situation in rural areas those are important issues. She added that the last meeting of the Portfolio Committee that she attended they have resolved to call the Housing Agencies to come and address the Committee.

Mr Windvoel suggested that the discussion about housing agencies should be slotted on the workshop.

Mr Raju noted that the KZN Transport Department went on blitz to check for vehicles which were not roadworthy and the task of the Portfolio Committee is to applaud such initiatives. The issue is that rural people depend on the transport that has been impounded because people use them, irrespective of whether they are roadworthy.

Ms Kgoali said in Gauteng most people use taxis but safety comes first. She said they cannot allow coffins to move around. Another issue is the closure of many testing stations, which they need to take up with the Department of Transport. Taxis that have stickers have been certified as roadworthy.

The Chairperson said they could invite the Department to address them but they need to allocate time.

Ms Thompson said that she agreed with the Chairperson, but they need not compromise on this very important issue.

The Chairperson noted that on 18 September they will discuss a short amendment to the Road Accident Fund Act, which will allow the Minister to make appointments to the Road Accident Fund Board, should vacancies arise. She also expressed concern about the Road Accident Fund because they are hearing stories of people being cheated by attorneys.

Mr Windvoel said they need to interact with the RAF and suggested that their presentation should be coupled with the briefing on 18 September 2002.

Mr Raju said attorneys are becoming millionaires overnight and this has been going on for years. RAF has been exploited all these years.

The Chairperson said before they amend the Bill they need to hear input from the and Members should go and read the Bill.

Ms AM Versveld (DP) said research has been done on the Bill for Parliament for the presentation by the Minister.

The Chairperson suggested that on 21-25 October the housing agencies should show them the projects that they have undertaken more especially in Gauteng they must not only make presentations.

Ms Kgoali said she was going to supply the Chair with numbers of the various standing committees in the Provinces.

The Chairperson said she was not sure whether they need to discuss that.

Mr Windvoel said he was of the view that the programme is not rigid and suggested that it will be strategic to have that closer to November because they need to make informed input on the Intergovernmental Fiscus.

The Chairperson said on the issue of Sustainable Development for Sustainable Transport they were told that they have no specific role to play.

Mr Windvoel said they were supposed to have dealt with this matter during the previous meeting but there were some walkouts. He moved that the Committee should mandate the Chairperson, together with Members who attended the meeting, to give a report.

The Chairperson said there was no report from the Committee except from the Commission and added that the Thailand report is still outstanding.

Ms Thompson said it was outstanding because they still needed to put in some recommendations.

The Chairperson asked if there is any person who wants to move for the adoption of the Thailand report.

Mr Windvoel moved for adoption with amendments.

Mr Raju seconded the motion.

The Chairperson said there is a disaster in the Eastern Cape but it has not yet been declared as such. She pointed out that in 2000 they went to the area when the was a similar catastrophe but it was a month after the incident. She said there was snow and then fires thereafter floods. As she was talking a meeting has been convened by the MEC for Local Government in the Province and relief is already happening. She said that as Members they are not always available when people are in need. They feel that they need to alert the Committee and see what they can do.

Mr Sulliman suggested that they need to pay a visit to these areas but they cannot go into detail as the Chairs of the relevant Committees need to discuss the issue.

Mr Windvoel suggested that they also need to link up with the Executive to avoid a situation where a ministerial visit is followed immediately by a visit from Members. This will send a wrong signal to the people.

The Chairperson said that should happen before next week and a motion to that effect should be written.

Mr Sulliman suggested that the Chair move a motion in the House the following day.

The Chairperson reminded Members that they do not have a researcher as the one they were assigned has left. Mr Windvoel noted the need for a researcher.

The meeting was adjourned.

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