Most Members of the Committee were absent at the beginning of the meeting. The Secretary of the Committee went through the minutes of the previous meeting and said that the Committee had some outstanding resolutions, based on last meeting, which needed to be adopted. Upcoming Women’s Day and the participation of the Department of Social Development were discussed. Concrete agreements were not reached due to a proposed trip to New York by the Minister of Social Development later in March. Adoption of proposals was postponed till the meeting of March 2.
The Committee Secretary recorded apologies on the behalf of the Members of the Committee who had sent prior notice of their absenteeism. Ms D Robinson (DA) attended briefly before requesting permission verbally to leave early due to an alternative engagement.
The Chairperson welcomed every Member and other attending delegates who were represented at the caucus meeting. She requested the Secretary to provide the names of Members who were absent with prior notice, and those without prior notice.
The Secretary reported that there were five members with prior notice for their absence.
The Chairperson said letters should be forwarded to absentees so that this scenario would not repeat itself in the near future. She added that communication might be the main challenge responsible for the low turnout of Members.
The Secretary responded that at the last meeting, Members had been briefed on the forthcoming meeting for the draft of fourth term programmes, as well as for the preparation of programmes in relation to the forthcoming International Women’s Day, which was coming up on 8 March 2016.
The Chairperson said that at the last meeting, the Committee had discussed accelerated empowerment programmes for the women through engagement. Also, the Committee needed the input of traditional leaders with regard to the disbursement of the bursaries to those maidens who had made Members proud during the virginity testing.
Ms P Benghu (ANC) apologised for her late arrival at the meeting, and said that at this stage, there was no additional information with regard to the maidens’ bursaries, apart from the previous deliberations.
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP), at the request of the Chairperson, highlighted the programmes for the quarter.
The upcoming event on 8 March 2016 – Women’s Day -- was a United Nations (UN) initiative, and the programme was part of sustainable development goals, which was the responsibility of the Department of Social Development. She suggested it would be nice if the view of the Minister of Social Development was known, and her intention to change the quality of life through this medium.
The Chairperson supported this proposal, and said it would be important to include this in the Committee’s upcoming programmes.
The Secretary pointed out there were challenges surrounding venue for the programmes on 16 March 2016. It was getting more difficult to secure venues for the Committee’s programmes.
Ms Benghu asked whether the Minister of Social Development was aware of this programme, as apparently she was scheduled to travel to New York on 23 and 24 March for another official engagement, and would therefore not be available on the proposed dates.
The Chairperson agreed it was important to note this and to confirm her availability, if possible.
Ms Benghu said this information had not been confirmed yet, nor the number of people that would be going with her on this trip, as well as the nature her engagement.
The Chairperson conceded that most issues raised at the meeting were still in the pipeline, and could not adopted. They could be adopted at the meeting on March 2.
The meeting was adjourned.
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