Members of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation went to a meeting unprepared and the Chairperson did not arrive, only to inform Members of his unavailability at the time the meeting was due to begin.
Members could not engage with the six Water Boards that were supposed to brief the Committee on their first quarter progress reports for 2015/16 because they saw the presentation documents for the first time during the meeting. There was uncertainty as to whether the meeting would happen or not. After the nomination of an Acting Chairperson it took place but was over soon. Members agreed to a postponement.
Postponement of meeting
The Acting Chairperson warned Members and representatives of the Water Boards that the industrial action taking place in Parliament might disrupt the proceedings of the Committee, as had happened to other Committees during the week. She also indicated that the presentation documents were not sent to Members in time for them to prepare.
Ms T Baker (DA) said it was pointless to continue with the meeting if Members had not prepared for it; even the Chairperson was not in the meeting. It had been indicated the day before not to continue to have the meeting.
Mr L Basson (DA) reported that in another meeting the day before with the Chairperson he had asked him if he was going to attend the meeting but the Chairperson gave him no indication. He suggested that the meeting not continue. He further indicated he was going to leave the meeting after an hour to attend to other matters and that was a concern for the quorum.
The Acting Chairperson agreed with Members to postpone the meeting. The Chairperson should write a letter of apology to the Minister and Water Boards. The fruitless expenditure incurred was the responsibility of the Committee.
Ms N Bilankulu (ANC) agreed with the postponement but pointed out that even the day before it was clear what would happen. Somebody from somewhere made sure the meeting happened though it was clear it was not going to happen. Before Members speak of fruitless expenditures and apologies, Members should be called to the next Committee meeting when it was known it would happen. Members should not be called to a meeting when there was uncertainty. The Committee should monitor itself first before talking about monitoring other people.
Ms Baker proposed that the meeting be held on the 25 November 2015 in the morning before the afternoon plenary session.
Mr Basson pointed out that 25 November was scheduled for the oversight visit to Lesotho.
The Committee Manager reported that the Lesotho visit was still under discussion and the Committee was waiting for the approved date.
The meeting was adjourned.