Economic Development Committee Programme; Oversight report; Capacity building workshop report

Economic Development

17 March 2015
Chairperson: Coleman, Ms EM
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met briefly to consider the programme for the year as well as the oversight reports from visits up until February and their Capacity Building Workshop Report. The matters were reviewed swiftly with minimal dissent and settled for further review.

The Chairperson said the meeting was convened to consider the reports from the outreach visits to the various provinces, excluding the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, which was cancelled due to being summoned back to Parliament for a special sitting. The report had previously been considered and amendments made, however it was necessary to make additions regarding oversight in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng. The Content Advisor would provide urgent issues to be included. The outstanding capacity building reports would need to be tabled with the extensive support of Members as the Chair had been unable to attend that workshop and the committee secretary was on sick leave at the time. The workshop was convened in September last year and the report was only now being compiled.

Meeting report

Committee programme
The Chairperson continued that the committee programme was dependant on Parliament’s schedule, as well as the availability of stakeholder to be consulted. The programme is only meant as a guide as to how the Committee can plan its work. Members would be informed of any changes as they arose. She directed the members to page one and asked if any members needed clarity about what was written.

Mr S Marais (DA), asked why the Committee was scheduled to be at the reserve bank for the whole day? He thought a whole day visit might be a bit much.

The Chairperson responded that the schedule was still being developed however they were indeed scheduled to be at the reserve bank the whole day, as the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development were interested in all areas of the work of the Reserve Bank, their fiscal and monetary policy, and the issues the Reserve Bank faces given they are guided by the economic policy of the country. The Committee would be briefed on their operations. Having not previously been to the Reserve Bank this would be a good opportunity for The Committee to get to know the institution better. If interactions with the bank determined that the visit need not take the whole day the Committee could leave early.

Page one outlined the schedule for the first quarter and she directed the members on to page two.

Mr Marais referred to the meeting scheduled with the IDC. From past experience briefings with the IDC it usually required more than just one meeting and he asked how it was planned to allow for a proper meeting with the IDC in the short time scheduled.

The Chairperson responded that this had not been fully considered. The IDC is not structured the same way every year and this year may be structured in a way that can only accommodate one meeting. The Committee must also seek permission to sit with them and if permission is granted, can only sit when they are available. The schedule is not final.  She asked the members if they were satisfied with page two. The members indicated that they were and she directed them on to page 2.

Ms N Skaka, Committee Secretary, said there would be changes to the schedule and the follow up scheduled for 26 May would now be moved to 1 September.

Mr Marais asked whether the change was necessary, whether they would be going on site to Kalagadi or if they would be meeting their representatives in Parliament?

The Chairperson responded that they had initially thought 26 May would be fine to meet with them however it was determined that there was a need to go back, as Kalagadi had still been in the implementation stage for some of their plans. There would not be adequate time to do this in May and the committee administration had determined that September would be a better time to conduct this visit. She directed the members to page 3.

Mr S Tleane (ANC) asked why it was necessary to return to Kalagadi, by calling Kalagadi representatives the Committee would receive a report on those plans that had still been in the implementation stage during their first visit. He suggested that their visit to Kalagadi include the giving of the presentation by the Kalagadi representatives so that they could metaphorically kill two birds with one stone.

Mr Marais asked about the proposed study tour, and whether the Committee would be briefed on it separately from the programme?

The Chairperson responded that the Committee would be briefed once they were done with the administrative side to the tour. At present they just needed to ensure that members were fine with the proposed dates.

She continued with discussion of page 4 saying that the BRRR midterm reports were yet to be concluded.

Mr Marais asked whether the ITECH Amendment Act was still being worked on, or whether it was not yet under consideration.

The Chairperson reminded Members that when the Minister had briefed the Committee he had told them of the three Acts to be reviewed, ITECH and another, the Competition Authorities and the Development of Infrastructure Act. The Competition Authorities and Development Infrastructure Amendment Act were ready and would, in consultation with the Committee, be tabled before Parliament. The ITECH Bill was still to come and may not be ready this year. She emphasized to the Department that they did not want to have to consider any amendment bills towards the end of the term as it could be strenuous so it would be better to defer it to when there was ample time so the Department could respond adequately. She directed Members on to the December report, and asked if they could get a move for said report for submission to the house.

 The programame was adopted.

Oversight report
The Chairperson continued on to discuss the report. In order to comply with parliament rules and procedures the report must be tabled before the committee and considered in the next meeting. All the reports would be tabled except the report on the outreach visit in November. This would be to certify the correction that would be directed. She asked Ms Skaka to talk them through the amendments to be made. The visit to Pretoria was not included in the Committee’s outreach visits. She asked the administrative staff if there was any reason why this visit was not included.

Ms Skaka responded that it was an error. ‘

The Chairperson asked that the amendment to be done and the report to be circulated to Members by the end of the day. She handed the floor to Mr Masilela.

Capacity Building Workshop Report
Mr Z Masilela, Content Advisor, directed the Committee to the pages where amendments had been made and were clearly highlighted. The amendments included the replication and spread of the idea of Cape Town Film Studios around the country, HI Sense oversight visits that were intended to tackle issues of remuneration and health and safety issues, as well as proposed meetings with HR departments, IDT and other DFIs with respect to Kalagadi.

The Chairperson recommended further typographical amendments so that the information could be represented more clearly and requested Members to confirm whether they were happy with the proposed amendments made.

Mr Marais, asked if the Committee recalled that on their last visit to COEGA when he had been left behind, he had been shocked to learn that there was no emphasis on the smelter and he felt that this a very important aspect to look into on their trip to Kalagadi.

The Chairperson responded that on that particular visit the committee had been unable to remain because it was not a part of their programme, however she had encouraged those who had wanted to remain to do so. She had known when they had made that visit it would produce nothing; even the Committee on Trade and Industry had not been satisfied. There was no link between the work done there and the work done in the quality that had been planned for it, this was a corridor that was under construction and requires further discussion by The Department and Finance to be further clarified. It would be necessary to also raise these questions to the IDC in engagement with them. The IDC is active in the COEGA as well as the Kalagadi development. She proposed they raise the topic with the IDC in their next meeting, when the IDC would present their corporate plan.

This concluded the consideration of their report

Mr Tleane added to say that the names on both reports should be the Committee on Economic Development.

The Chairperson seconded this claim, saying that the Minister was particular about this, the name of The Department was The Department of Economic Development and they must be consistent in how they refer to the Department.

Mr P Atkinson (DA) asked for further clarity on the replication and spread of Cape Town film studios, commenting that the idea was currently being replicated on the Durban beachfront.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Atkinson for this update and said they should look into who was behind this venture for follow up. She asked for moves from the members for the adoption of the reports.

The report was adopted.

Adoption of minutes
Committee minutes would be considered in the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.



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