The Committee discussed its programme for the third term. After discussions the programme was adopted. Members also discussed the upcoming oversight visit to the office of the Auditor-General in Gauteng. The Members agreed to visit two municipal offices, in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni though they had considered informing SCOPA about the visits and also invite them to accompany Committee before finalizing plans for the visits. Members agreed that in the fourth quarter they must deal with the Annual Report, Auditor Directives and other legislative requirements.
The Committee Secretary, Mr Johnny Ramrock informed the Members of the Committee that Ms Z Dlamini-Dubazana (ANC) and Ms D Carter (COPE) had submitted apologies. He said Ms P Boshielo (ANC) and Ms M Moonsamy (EFF) were no longer Members of the Committee and needed to be replaced.
Adoption of the Third Term Programme and Upcoming Oversight Visit in Gauteng
The Chairperson explained that the agenda of the meeting was to discuss the finalization of the oversight visit programme on the 21st of August 2015, the briefing by the Auditor-General (AG) on the latest Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) audit outcomes on the 28th of August, the actual oversight visits that will be on the 15th - 18th of September in Johannesburg at the AG`s offices and the discussion of draft report on the oversight visit on the 25th of September. He pointed out that Members might not want to come to the meeting on the 25th of September as the 24th of September is a holiday. So they will need to discuss another date for the meeting. The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary to brief the Members on the finalization of the oversight visit programme.
The Committee Secretary explained that the committee made a decision last term to go on oversight in July but unfortunately parliament changed its programme and the committee could not go as a result of that. However, parliament has given an additional week for oversight which is the proposed week of the 15th – 18th of September. He said that the committee will need to make an application for the oversight. Further, he mentioned that the reasons for the oversight remain the same for the visit in the AG`s office in Gauteng and the visit to Johannesburg.
The Chairperson then invited comments and suggestions from Members about the oversight visits.
The Members agreed to the proposed date for the oversight visit programme.
Mr Xolisile Mgxaji, the Content Advisor to the Committee, suggested that when they are in Johannesburg they can visit both Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. The reason for visiting Ekurhuleni is because of the progress the Municipality has made in the previous financial year in terms of achieving clean audits. Perhaps the Committee could learn how they have met this great achievement of clean audits.
Mr N Singh (IFP) responded that he recalls that in the last week or so he read an article that the minister of local government is instituting some serious inquiries into the way tenders are allocated in Ekurhuleni, he stands corrected but for that reason again the Committee needs to go to Ekurhuleni. This is because sometimes municipality can get a clean audit but there are other aspects within the municipality, perhaps the Committee needs to get some briefing, even if it’s a briefing document from local government or from the minister of local government if he referred to Ekurhuleni.
The Chairperson responded that the principle of going to see two municipalities is fine as the Committee has decided but now Ekurhuleni now seems to be one. He advised the Committee to inform and extend an invitation to the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) in Gauteng to accompany the Members as he is scared that they will seem to be entering their territory without them and he called on the Members to comment.
Members agreed to the Chairperson`s suggestion and the visit to Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni will be confirmed later.
Members also agreed that they will invite the AG to come and brief them on the MFMA on the 28th of August in Cape Town.
The Chairperson said the discussion on finding another date for the discussion of draft report on the oversight visit that is proposed for the 25th of September can be done after their visit.
Mr M Ntombela (ANC) agreed and said he does not think it will create any problems.
Mr Singh tendered his apology for the 28th of August as he has another important engagements on the day. Further, he asked to be briefed on the Audit Directives that the office of the AG would want the Committee to consider as he cannot remember at which part of the year the Committee would discuss them.
The Committee Secretary responded that the Committee Researcher, Mr Mbuyiselo Hlekiso will be able to help with that.
Mr Hlekiso answered that the Audit Directives are done with the Annual Report once the Committee has adopted the Annual Report and it also approves the Surplus it has to utilize its formula and then Audit Directives also approve it.
The Chairperson emphasized that the question that Mr Singh is asking is that has the Committee done that.
Mr Hlekiso replied yes the Committee has done that. He mentioned that last year things were done unusually because the Audit Directives and the Annual Report were not done as normal.
Mr Singh replied he knows that it is a requirement in the Performance Financial Management Act (PFMA) that the Committee looks at the Audit Directives Annual Reports and the Audit Reports should be coming out in September so he suggested that the Committee should start applying their minds, possibly for the next term about when the Committee is going to consider the Report and the Directives.
Mr Hlekiso replied the AG is done with the Annual Report, the time that they adopt the Annual Report they also access the Audit Directives and the Surplus that they did before they can start with the process.
Mr Mgxaji added that although things were done unusually last year, they certified the requirement of the PFMA and it has been discussed that the compliance of the requirements of the Act will be dealt with in the Fourth Term.
The Chairperson summarized and confirmed that the adoption of the Committee third term programme, he mentioned that the Committee has agreed on the possible municipal offices to be visited and the Members have also agreed that in fourth quarter they must deal with the Annual Report and all the other legislative requirements.
The meeting was adjourned.
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