The Ad Hoc Committee on Probing Violence against Foreign Nationals could not adopt its Draft Report on violence against foreigners because there was no quorum. For the Committee to adopt the report, it needed 6 members from both the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces. In the Committee there were two Members from both Houses. The Chairperson asked for an advice from the Members. The Members agreed the report was not to be adopted but it should be discussed. The Chairperson indicated it is pointless to discuss it because the majority of people who were going to make contributions were absent form the meeting. Eventually, the Chairperson allowed members to point out what they need to be improved on the document. The Members agreed that the structure, paragraphing, numbering, and spelling mistakes should be corrected. It was agreed that the Committee will request both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to extend the reporting deadline of the Committee to both Houses. The Committee was meant to report to both Houses by 30 September 2015.
Consideration of the Draft Report
Mr R Chance (DA) stated that if there is no quorum to adopt the Draft Report, it is better to discuss the document and asked the Chairperson to request for an extension from both the Houses. He also expressed fear that if the adoption of the Draft Report is delayed, the work of the Committee is going to lapse.
Mr E Makue (Gauteng, ANC) supported Mr Chance on the suggestion that Members should discuss the document even if it is not going to be adopted. He further wanted to know why the Co-Chairperson was not at the meeting.
The Chairperson informed Members that she was out of town and was going to arrive in Cape Town after 6pm on the same day. He noted that most Members would be out of Cape Town as from next week for constituency work. Therefore, there was a need to ask for an extension for the adoption of the Draft Report.
Ms L Zwane (KwaZulu-Natal, ANC) wanted to know if it is possible for the Committee to meet during the constituency week to adopt the report. But if that proves to be impossible, the Committee should request for an extension.
Ms T Wana (Eastern Cape, ANC) pointed out that there is no guarantee that Members who were in the Committee meeting would be present during the recess to attend the Committee for the adoption of the Draft Report. She suggested a request for an extension.
Mr Makue indicated that in terms of the procedure there is no way they could get the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces to consider the request of the Committee. The Members should be procedural in whatever they decide to do.
Mr S Motau (DA) agreed with Mr Makue but maintained that the document should be discussed.
The Chairperson said it was inappropriate to discuss the content of the report because the majority of the people who were going to make an input were not in the meeting.
Mr Chance suggested Members should discuss the structure of the report, especially the findings, and asked the secretariat to redraft the findings before the Committee adopts them.
Mr Makue added there were lots of improvements that needed to be done on the format of the report. He suggested that someone with journalistic skills should re-draft it to make it an easy read. Because of the seriousness of the problem, the Committee needed a report it could be proud of.
The Chairperson noted that he would let the Co-Chairperson know that there were loopholes in the report that needed some improvements. He asked Members what they want the report to reflect on.
Mr Motau pointed out that there should be no ellipses in the document. There must be sections that reflect on what happened and what was observed.
Ms Zwane indicated that paragraphs and numbering need to be improved. The document had no page numbers.
Mr Motau pointed out spelling mistakes on page 15 of the document.
Mr Makue suggested that every paragraph should be numbered for referencing purposes. He wanted to know if, as Members, they should be given a lengthy document or a shortened version that is easy to read.
Mr Chance explained it is important to have a record of the oversight visit. It is better to have recommendations, findings and an introduction, and the rest be attached as appendices.
Ms Zwane supported Mr Chance.
The Chairperson highlighted that even if there was a quorum, it was going to be difficult to adopt the report seeing that there are changes that need to be made on the structure of the document. He asked the officials to go back and do a thorough job and include the input the Members had made so that the report is inclusive. He said the improved document should be given to Members in time before it gets adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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