The Chief Whips Forum had proposed that the date for the disclosure of Members’ Interests be extended from 30 June 2015 to 31 July 2015, in order to avoid a situation where Members would be late in the disclosure due to a busy programme. The Committee agreed that the deadline be extended.
The minutes of the meeting dated 6 May 2015 were adopted and matters arising were attended to.
Adoption of previous minutes
The minutes dated 6 May 2015 were adopted.
The Chairperson asked Members if there were any corrections to the minutes of the previous meeting or whether they should adopt it.
Ms D Rantho (ANC), who had not been able to attend the previous meeting, asked for clarification of who the stakeholders were as recorded in the previous minutes.
The Chairperson said that the people at the meeting who tabled the report included the provincial legislatures, and the municipality of Sedibeng.
Ms Rantho asked for clarification as to whether Mr B Mashile (ANC) had agreed that mortgages exceeding 5 years should be termed ‘long term loans’, as this was vague in the minutes.
Ms Fazella Mahomed, Registrar, Ethics and Members’ Interests, Parliament, responded that Mr Mashile had said that it was important that Members disclosed their encumbrances, the meaning was changed to read short or long term debts. Being a new requirement in terms of the rules, Mr Mashile used the word ‘appreciate’ which she understood to mean important.
Mr S Thobejane (ANC) had received an invitation not bearing his real name and requested that this be corrected.
The motion for the adoption of the minutes was formally moved by Mr S Mthimunye (ANC, Mpumalanga) and seconded by Ms P Adams (ANC).
Postponement of disclosure of Members’ Interests
The Chairperson referred to item 5 of the minutes of the meeting dated 6 May 2015. This set the date for the disclosure of Members’ Interests as 30 June 2015. It was proposed at the chief whips forum that this be extended to 31 July 2015
Ms Mahomed explained that she had briefed the chief whips forum, which was of the view that that the date should be changed to avoid a situation where Members would be late in the disclosure as the programme was too tight as it stood. The forum had asked that the Committee review the decision.
Mr Mthimunye said he was not convinced of the reason for the extension of the date.
The Chairperson explained that the reason was because the date coincided with the recess period and members might miss the deadline if the date was not extended.
Mr R Majola (DA) said he was not persuaded by the reason, since the recess was on 29 June it should not be used as an excuse. Members had more than a month to prepare for the disclosure.
The Chairperson found the justification reasonable.
The extension of the date was endorsed by the Members.
Booklet: Guide to the code of conduct for Members of Parliament.
Ms Mahomed said that there were two matters regarding the booklet, which were the issue of comparison between the different codes and the draft booklet on the new code.
She had made draft which was distributed to Members for comparison. She asked that Members look at the booklet and send their comments to her.
The Co-Chairperson asked that the picture be changed.
The Chairperson asked that the comments be passed to the registrar and also reminded the Members that the booklet was not the code but only a guide.
Ms L Van der Merwe (IFP) asked for the contact details of the registrar to be included or sent in case Members had queries or comments.
Mr Majola said the meeting should be rescheduled closer to the deadline.
Ms Rantho said that if they reached a decision as a Committee, it should be adhered to instead of having unending extensions.
Mr Majola said continuous extensions should not be entertained.
The Chairperson thanked Members and the meeting was closed for the day.
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