Casp and Ilima /Letsema 2016/17 Business Plans [Document not available email firstname.lastname@example.org]
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF) presented its 2016 Annual Performance Plan, and briefed the Committee on the Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill [B9B-2015].
The DAFF firstly indicated that it had brought some additional information on training in cooperatives and graduate programmes, and studies on smallholder farmers as they would ultimately culminate in one comprehensive approach in supporting the smallholder farmers. It had submitted its climate change mitigation and adaptation plan to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) which was the lead Department in that respect. In view of the drought currently it was even more important that DAFF accelerate its work in that area. Under Programme 2, DAFF described that the bulk of the budget went to services, conditional grants and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), with the remainder dealing with regulatory services. The DAFF described its youth placement programme – Young Producers – which placed youth in the agriculture industry. . The Department had also been working with Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) on export and the agric-export technology services, and the PPECG took on some graduates and trained them so that they would be able to move across later to the DAFF inspection services. A professional development programme allowed DAFF to fund Masters and PhD researchers, and it had interns. Compulsory community service for veterinarians (vets) had been instituted. DAFF was doing project management and monitoring to support the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP), and CASP had placed graduates in the provinces to strengthen DAFFs team, help it with verification and with the project registers.
It was noted that the Department of Planning, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation had conducted an evaluation on the Extension Recovery Programme and a CASP impact study, and the last part must go through Cabinet. An improvement plan was drafted but DPME suggested that DAFF hold it back until other studies had been completed. The Micro-agricultural Financial Institutions of South Africa (Mafisa) impact evaluation had also been completed. CASP and Ilima/Letsema would support projects within the Agriparks and Government support would be consolidated. DAFF was prioritising putting more land under macadamia nut plantations, and had a focus on aquaculture.
Members asked for an indication of the success rate of supported cooperatives. They asked for elaboration on the intention of the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework (PDALF) Bill. They asked for a breakdown of the type of support given by provincial departments, and whether the interventions were sustainable and allowed farmers to be self-sustaining after a year. They asked about the training of the agro-processing entrepreneurs, how they were identified and from which provinces they hailed. They asked about which policies were finalised, and which were ongoing. They questioned how the AGOA deal could help access to markets, and where the vets were placed. More detail was needed on Fetsa Tlala, and whether crops production would be done in all underutilised arable land areas, and wanted more detail on the climate change plans, and the baselines. Members also questioned the nature of jobs, and the levels of support to difference provinces under CASP and Ilima Letsema. Members wanted to know more about the vacancy rate and when people would be appointed to permanent posts.
They asked if the possible duplication of functions with other provinces had been ironed out. They queried the impact of the AGOA deal and how it might have impacted on the challenge of access to markets. Members also questioned the aquaculture schemes and whether they applied to sea and fresh water. The Deputy Minister prefaced his response with a remark that he hoped that the Parliamentary committees would note their concerns about adequacy of the budget to meet the mandate of the Department.
The DAFF then presented the Performing Animals Protection (Papa) Amendment Bill (B9-2015) to the Committee, noting that it was fairly technical in that it would transfer the administrative function of issuing licences to the Provincial State Veterinary Office, rather than having them continue to be issues, as the original Act required, by the Court. This would meet the doctrine of separation of powers and comply with the Constitutional Court ruling. The various options were outlined, and it was noted that eventually in the longer term the legislation would be consolidated. Comments on the Bill from stakeholders related to exemption, which was felt to be a double standard, the capacity of DAFF and location of State Veterinary offices and animal scientists. Members asked how DAFF would deal with people not renewing their licences, what the cost of appeals was and whether it might be refunded in cases where the appellant was successful, and asked the DAFF to review all its outdated legislation. They asked why the Bill had not been tagged as a section 76 Bill, and this was explained by the Parliamentary Legal Advisers.
Department Of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 2016/17 Annual Performance Plan (APP)
Mr Mortimer Mannya, Acting Director-General, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said that the Department (or DAFF) had brought additional information giving details on cooperatives and the training therein, and the graduate programme which had various components. There was also a slide on the studies being undertaken on smallholder farmers as they would ultimately culminate in one comprehensive approach in supporting the smallholder farmers. Additionally there was information on the pipeline projects being discussed with the private sector.
Mr Mannya said he would be selective in what he would be reading from the presentation. He then took the Committee through the presentation (see attached document for full details) on the Annual Performance Plan (APP). He said DAFF had to ensure that it positioned its Human Resource capacity, including the youth, into transforming the work place and addressing the challenges of an ageing and ailing workforce especially in remote areas where working conditions were supposed to be improved.
DAFF had submitted its climate change mitigation and adaptation plan to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) which was the lead Department in that respect, and since there was a drought currently it was even more important that DAFF accelerate its work in that area. In summarising the jobs to be created, he said that this included only jobs that would be created where Government was spending money directly, and not jobs created in the sector indirectly.
He highlighted the work in Programme 4: Trade Promotion and Market Access, on slide 51, and said that these were the totals for the targets in the APP, and also showed what the budget expenditure on services was.
He also highlighted the targets for Programme 2: Agricultural Production, Health and Food Safety. He said that the bulk of the budget in that programme went to services, conditional grants and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) with the remainder dealing with regulatory services.
In Programme 3: Food Security and Agrarian Reform, the services were lower with the bulk of the budget going towards development.
Speaking to Programme 5: Forestry and Natural Resources Management, Mr Mannya said he realised the question was always arose as to why DAFF had spent the whole budget, and he emphasised that the budget was split between the APP and the services as outlined in the DAFF operational plan, which were the maintenance services DAFF was providing to communities and its clients.
Programme 6: Fisheries had another split, because DAFF was providing funding for staff, with a bit allocated to aquaculture and the remainder being funded from the revenue that fisheries generated themselves with marine living resources.
Mr Mannya then wanted to give more detail on the graduate programme. Within that programme, DAFF had a youth placement programme called the Young Producers; where youth had been placed within the industry. The Department had also been working with Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) on the agric-export technology services. PPECB had been taking some graduates for training so that DAFF could use them in its inspection services in the future. There was also a professional development programme where DAFF was funding researchers doing Masters and PhD studies, and the normal internship programme. The compulsory community service for veterinarians (vets) had been introduced. The project management and monitoring was another innovation which would support the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP). CASP had placed graduates in the provinces who would strengthen DAFFs team during the planning and monitoring. This would also help DAFF with verification as well as helping with populating its project register and keeping it updated. DAFF had also started with a farmer register, and would rely on its graduates in the provinces to ensure that the data was captured on the system it was developing. Essentially DAFF believed the programme would grow as soon as it placed the 30 graduates across the provinces.
The Department of Planning, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) had conducted an evaluation on the Extension Recovery Programme (ERP). The CASP impact study had also been completed, and only the improvement plan had to go back to Cabinet. The improvement plan had been drafted though it had not been completed, and DPME was suggesting that DAFF needed to wait until a few other studies were completed.
The Micro-Agricultural Financial Institutions of South Africa (Mafisa) impact evaluation had also been completed, with the smallholder diagnostic evaluation of the smallholder support programme being under way. At the conclusion of all those evaluations, they would be collectively considered, in order to draw an improvement plan on support for the smallholder farmers. He said that DAFF had had to hold back finalising some of the intended policies for the same reason.
The mechanisation support would become another aspect of that, as DAFF was developing the Comprehensive Producer Development Support Policy and it was currently engaging various Departments and industry in that regard.
When all that was done, the DAFF believed it would have a comprehensive producer development support which would help it determine how it supported, how much it needed to give, and for how long that had to happen. That could eventually guide the various Departments. At the moment, the multiple departments involved in agriculture were applying different standards in terms of support.
DAFF was expecting to get the whole or some elements of the policy legislated so that a consistent approach could be enforced in providing development support.
Casp and Ilima /Letsema 2016/17 Business Plans
Mr Mannya outlined some of the elements of the business plans under the following headings:
Casp Allocation 2016/17
Mr Mannya said that the disaster allocations had been to provinces which had been affected severely by floods and they included the Western Cape (WC), Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Revitalization of Agriculture and Agro-processing Value Chain (RAAVC) Outcomes
CASP and ILIMA/Letsema would support projects within the Agriparks so that Government support would be consolidated.
He said that DAFF would certainly want to make more land available to the planting of macadamia nuts as it was a high value commodity.
Mr C Smit (DA: Limpopo) said the Committee heard a presentation recently on food security where the presenter noted that water quality had an adverse effect on the standards of SA products for export. The water quality had been compromised by various users, including the municipalities. He asked if DAFF had a strategy to mitigate compromised SA produce as a result of polluted waters?
Mr Smit noted that there were 595 existing cooperatives which were to be supported through Programme 4 over five years. He wanted to know the percentage of success status of the cooperatives, as the small fisheries industry cooperatives' historical record had shown a lot of failures, even with support. He also asked for a breakdown which would specify in which industries the 595 cooperatives were operating, and how sustainable they were.
He also requested that DAFF briefly elaborate on what the intention of the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework (PDALF) Bill was.
Mr Smit noted that SA was investing a lot on sea-water aquaculture when there was potential for expansion, job creation, rural economic stimulation and food security in fresh water aquaculture, and asked when DAFF would prioritse the latter also.
He asked for an indication of what had happened in Limpopo, where about 37 000 agriculture jobs had been shed, in contradiction to Outcome 4: decent employment through inclusive economic growth.
Mr Smit suggested that the Committee needed to do oversight on Agriparks to see how they were performing, and deliberate on the success factors, and how they were impacting on the actual outcome for which they were intended.
Mr J Parkies (ANC, Free State) said that the presentation had been speaking to R2 billion allocated to provinces. His biggest concern was the efficacy of following that money trail and whether the money was servicing citizens. Was DAFF able to say in a specific province, that the provincial DAFF had given National Department particular numbers covering the entire spectrum of subsistence, commercial and or small holding farmers, so that the National DAFF could specify what job support was given to each spectrum of farmers? He also asked if those supported would be self-sustaining enough after one year so that a new pool of farmers could then get support.
Mr Parkies asked how was the allocation of veterinarians concluded, for the compulsory community service.
Mr E Mlambo (ANC, Gauteng) asked DAFF to elaborate on the challenges it was facing in trying to gain access to the agricultural markets. Was DAFF still going to train the 62 agro-processing entrepreneurs or were they currently being trained, in terms of programme 4, and where did they come from and how had they been identified?
Ms C Labuschagne (DA, Western Cape) said she recalled that in a previous presentation the failures of DAFF strategies to open the market for farmers had been mentioned, and that it had also been said that the strategy would be reassessed and reformulated. Nothing was mentioned on that in the APP, and she wanted to hear about the progress. She also asked whether all the policies mentioned as ground-breaking legislative and policy reforms had been finalised or were still in the process.
Ms Labuschagne also wanted to know” the how, the where and the when” in terms of the Fetsa Tlala commodity crop production per province. Would the crop production be done on all the underutilised arable land in communal areas, as alluded to in slides 17 and 33 of the APP? She asked if the climate change mitigation and adaptation plan was a national plan or was it an amalgamation of provincial plans? Which provinces already had mitigation strategies and what were the timeframes for their implementation.
She asked if the projected jobs outlined in slide 21 were seasonal or permanent jobs? What was DAFFs method of counting to curb the recounting of the same people in different places? Could DAFF indicate from which provinces the 16 000 smallholder producers who would be assisted would be found, and what numbers from each province would constitute that total? She wondered why that number was standardised and not increasing year-on-year?
Ms Labuschagne questioned the figures for the climate change through the biogas production integrated crop-livestock system. If this was the baseline was she correct in assuming that the plan was already being implemented? If so, was it being implemented in all provinces? She referred to the change in measurable content annually until 2019/20, and asked if DAFF could explain the measurement of those term targets. She asked if there was a reason why the WC would be receiving very minimal support in terms of CASP and Ilima/Letsema.
Mr M Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape) said that the APP had not spoken to the issue of the 13% vacancy rate at DAFF though the Annual Report (AR) had indicated it. He noted that Mr Mannya was still in an Acting post and asked when the Director-General position would be filled. The AR had also alluded to “a challenge” in monitoring the use of the conditional grant by provinces, and he wondered if any progress was made on that. He asked what role DAFF was playing in assisting provinces in building capacity so as to ensure that grants were being used instead being returned to the fiscus because of incapacity? There had also been a concern of duplication of functions between DAFF and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and he asked if that had been resolved.
The Chairperson asked to what extent the recent AGOA deal had been contributing to the challenge of access to markets for the producers. Was there any Departmental partnership between DAFF and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in the revitalisation of irrigation schemes? He asked that DAFF supply the Committee with its climate change mitigation and adaptation plan.
General Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, hoped that the committees in both the NA and NCOP would raise the adequacy of the budget for DAFF, in relation to its mandate, with the National Treasury (NT). The Nine point plan was not being implemented in that only revitalisation and agro-processing were under way and the resources for that had not moved in tandem with the implementation. He shared with the Committee that he had recently attended the OECD meeting at the G20, where the world found consensus that agriculture was the driver of growth in the entire globe.
He said that DAFF had requested National Treasury (NT) to move CASP from Schedule 4 to Schedule 6 because Schedule 4 allowed grant recipients to determine themselves what to do with a grant, whereas Schedule 6 instructed recipients to do what had been agreed on. That request had been submitted in the 2014/15 financial year, but NT had refused it. It was thus very difficult for DAFF to monitor what the CASP money was being used for at provincial level. From what he understood, the DAFF request would have had no legal implications on the grant; NT would simply notify provinces about the movement from Schedule 4 to 6. Furthermore, the last tool that DAFF had to monitor CASP had been an incomplete report by DPME in the 2013/14 financial year, which had indicated CASP was not having the impact originally envisaged.
In terms of the impact on food security and the remuneration, the statistics showed that, globally, the numbers of people going to bed without food had moved from 805 million to 795 million people in 2014. The Southern African region had also moved by 30%. The SA figures were that 12 million people were going to bed without food in 2012. In 2013 that number had been 13.8 million and in 2014 it had become 14.1 million. That raised severe questions whether things were being done correctly, whether the right monitoring was happening, and whether DAFF's budget was adequate. On the previous day before he had been at kwaMbonambi in kwaMthethwa, Richards Bay, visiting sugar cane communal farmers. The 500 individuals shared production of 2000-plus hectares of sugar that they had not harvested since 2013. The farmers had told him that they had never received any form of assistance from Government even though the provincial Department had told the Ministry it had R69 million, and DRDLR had also allocated R71 million, whilst the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) also allocated a particular amount. He had asked the province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN) where the money was coming from, but there was no answer, and he suspected that the money was the CASP allocation.
Gen Cele said that the DRDLR was responsible for infrastructure such as fencing and the irrigation equipment. He said that market access was intensely fought for between the established players in the agriculture sector. For example all his Ministerial counterparts from different countries wanted to sell SA chickens. The very same counterparts then closed their markets to SA produce. For example, at the beginning of AGOA negotiations, the United States of America (USA) had three states selling chickens to SA, rising to 9 part way through negotiations, with 21 states at the conclusion. The slogan had been that whatever was good for the USA was good for the world. However they did not want produce from SA. That was how market access challenges were structured.
Gen Cele noted that the Youth in Rural Development (YARD) was a youth run initiative in eight provinces across the country, and in May 2016 the national project would be launched. He had also met a young man in KwaMthethwa who was farming 17 hectares of sugar cane with a R20 million turnover.
The programme for the implementation of the climate change mitigation and adaptation plan was owned by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
Mr Mannya said that DAFF was working with DWS on its water resources strategy and water quality issues. Farmers were required to monitor the quality of the water in use as it did affect the quality of their produce.
Mr Mannya answered questions on the cooperatives and raised the point that agriculture was a rural activity impacted upon by the standard issues of underdevelopment, under-resourcing and fragmented governance systems. As long as those matters remained unresolved, they would continue affecting cooperatives' success. He had engaged with DRDLR saying that rural governance systems needed to be strengthened. Even in the irrigation schemes governance issues kept resurfacing, as the land being farmed on was communal. There had been one very successful irrigation scheme in a partnership which had collapsed because a R4 million assistance portion for that partnership had stayed in the bank for four months whilst members of the scheme were fighting amongst themselves. DAFF provided technical support training to cooperatives and had approached the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) to assist it with strengthening the governance and business development aspect of training. DAFF wanted to assist cooperatives with assessing whether they were still viable annually. DAFF would certainly provide the list of the 595 cooperatives to the Committee as Mr Smit had asked.
He spoke to the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land framework (PDALF) also against the backdrop of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) which was responsible for the spatial planning and use of all land broadly. DAFF was looking to protect agricultural land and ensure that the limited high and moderate potential agricultural land was preserved and used specifically for that purpose. If that land were to be lost to either mining or industrial or residential development; that would reduce South Africa's ability to feed itself. There was on-going engagement in Mpumalanga where the mining sector was looking to withdraw 50 000 hectares of agricultural land, for mining purposes. If the PDALF Bill was adopted, DAFF would be able protect that agricultural land.
There were projects for aquaculture, and though the base initiator for the oceans economy had started in the oceans it was moving inland with the new aquaculture projects. In Limpopo, DAFF had identified areas for revitalisation such as the hatchery in Turfloop, in the Free State there was a centre that had been developed in cooperation with China, where DAFF was allocating a budget to ensure that the remaining components would be implemented. CASP was not necessarily for the ocean based aquaculture alone but also for inland aquaculture. It had to be admitted that the R44 million was still very little as DAFFs desire would have been that in the irrigation schemes the holding dams could have been used for a dual purpose namely; to irrigate as well as produce fish.
Mr Mannya confirmed that indeed 37 000 jobs had been lost in Limpopo and Mr Mannya’s colleagues in economics and from the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) were busy doing a disaggregation to try and locate where the jobs had been, in terms of area and commodity. He reminded the Committee that when 200 000 jobs were added to the sector most had been from the food sector. That fruit sector could be found in Limpopo, KZN and some parts of the Eastern Cape (EC). Both food and livestock would have contributed to the loss of jobs, but he could only provide comprehensive details on completion of the disaggregation.
Mr Mannya said that the DAFF would provide the Committee with the details on the CASP projects and beneficiaries before leaving the meeting.
In answer to the question on smallholder farmers graduating to being self-sustaining after one year of support; Mr Mannya said that in all fairness the reality was that a smallholder farmer would not succeed within a year, or with a once off support package. Europe and America were supporting commercial farmers consistently, and those farmers were by far the most supported generally. Historically, commercial farmers in SA had also been supported consistently, though the pressure to date was for smallholders to be supported once off. Interestingly there was a livestock farmer from the Free State who had been supported with R500 000 from Mafisa, had bought 76 heifers, and was to date about to complete repayment of that loan with about 270 head of cattle.
Mr Mannya said that because the assistance DAFF was giving smallholder farmers was infrastructure and production resources for a while to ensure that they created paying jobs; DAFF had to support them with technical training, business management, and water and soil conservation strategies. Therefore to expect graduation within even three years would be over ambitious on DAFFs side.
Mr Parkies noted Mr Mannya's comment on the impact of underdevelopment and under-resourcing of rural communities affecting agricultural success, and asked how DAFF was linking that with communal farming and the support he had just alluded to for smallholder farmers?
Mr Mannya said that both CASP and Ilima/Letsema provided for communal areas and land reform, and in the rural provinces the bulk of the support was going there. Fetsa Tlala was predominantly supporting communal areas but the R1.1 billion that DAFF was providing was almost like a drop in the ocean.
In terms of DAFFs information system, he said the Department had established a project register where all past, ongoing and future projects would be captured so that a database with all information pertaining to each project would be available. DAFF had also embarked on a register for farmers so that it could track the progress of a farmer who had been assisted previously and would also know when a farmer was being helped by multiple departments successively.
In terms of impact, there had been a number of evaluation studies that had been done by the DPME namely, on CASP, Mafisa and those in Rural Development recapitalisation. The DAFF had been asked to hold off on finalising its improvement plan because there was a study which was being conducted on smallholder farmers, so that the results of that study could be integrated to the DAFFs improvement plan on smallholder support.
The breakdown of the compulsory community service for vets would also be provided with the other documents which the Committee had requested, although Mr Mannya had thought they had been provided before the meeting. Mpumalanga had received the biggest number of vet placements, at about 24, since the criterion had been linked to the shortages per province. Moreover the idea was to place them in more remote areas where there was most need and though members could be concerned that Gauteng also had a big number of placements, they were serving the area beyond Hammanskraal, which was relatively rural. Some vets had also been placed with some of the welfare organisations.
The biggest challenge with market access was infrastructure. In order to connect people to the markets there had to be value-adding infrastructure on the farms. Logistical and electronic networks for farmers to receive real time information on markets were also a requirement. Over and above that, resources to access the markets were needed and they had to overcome other institutional market challenges barring easy access. It was expected that in the medium term Government would be a buyer and by so doing provide a market for farmers. However; there had been a delay on Government’s procurement support. DAFF was hopeful that the set-aside support in that regard would be finalised by June 2016.
Mr Mannya said that the bigger portion of the agro-processing value in the APP came from Gauteng. DAFF was looking at modifying the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) current agro-processing strategy for the small to medium agro-processors.
The 600 000 hectares for Fetsa Tlala was running up to 2019/20, where the average annual rate of land uptake would be 120 000 hectares annually.
Mr Mannya agreed that DAFF could make the climate change mitigation and adaptation plan available to Members and indeed it was a national plan constituted from plans from all provinces. The plan was to look at crop suitability, bio-gas and generic materiel adapted to the current conditions. It also was to look at the changing land use practices. DAFF also had been implementing some of the mitigation plans within the drought and flood challenges recently. It had started on biogas and was currently looking into crop suitability in the various provinces - for instance, there was a portion of Limpopo that did well with sorghum under rain-fed conditions. Such were the solutions that DAFF wanted to provide whilst encouraging change in behaviour so that people could adapt to growing what was suitable.
DAFF wanted to move away from open irrigation systems to more water efficient systems, under the revitalisation of irrigation schemes strategy. The drought tolerant maize cultivar that ARC had released formed part of DAFFs adaptation plans.
On job creation he agreed that indeed some of the jobs were seasonal. In the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) for land care, DAFF was talking about full-time equivalents. In other jobs where it would be developing infrastructure the jobs would be for that period only. Similarly within the production sector one would find seasonal jobs. DAFF was still struggling to find a common measure across all, for disaggregating and accounting for job creation.
The CASP allocation for the WC was done using a number of criteria, amongst which were demographics, the need, and whilst Ms Labuschagne was lamenting the small value, DAFF was also being criticised for allocating too much to that province, where it was questioned if the farmers were really in the category of smallholder farmers.
The Chairperson, with Members' agreement, requested DAFF to consolidate and respond in writing to all outstanding questions, to leave sufficient time to consider the Bill. He noted that agriculture was the lifeblood of the economy in SA also, and that perhaps Government had to host a summit inviting NT and other stakeholders to discuss whether the budget for DAFF was in line with its mandate.
Adoption of Committee report on Annual Performance Plan and budget
The Chairperson then read out the Committee's report on the DAFF APP and budget.
Two Members indicated that they were prepared to adopt the report. However, Ms Labuschagne interjected, asking whether the Report would contain the recommendations and questions raised from the deliberations or whether they would be contained in the minutes.
The Chairperson said that 90% of the questions raised had been agreed upon, but the remainder would be in the minutes.
Performing Animals Protection (Papa) Amendment Bill (B9-2015)
Dr Tembile Songabe, Director: Veterinary Public Health, DAFF, took the Committee through the presentation.
In a nutshell, this Bill would transfer the administrative function of issuing licences to the Provincial State Veterinary Office. No inconvenience would come to those who would be applying as the state vets office would be in the same vicinity as the Magistrates Court. In doing this DAFF would have complied to the requirements of the separation of powers.
Dr Songabe set out some of the opinions raised by stakeholders. There had been three options:
- A total repeal of the Animals Protection Act (APA)
- A total repeal of the PAPA
- Consolidation into one Animal Welfare Act.
In the original PAPA, there had already been animals that had been exempted, as set out in page 21 of the presentation. Stakeholders had felt that the exemption was a double standard, as that list had an effect on them as well. There was a further concern about the capacity of DAFF to carry the functions, and the location of State Veterinarians and Animal Scientists, Dr Songabe said that where there was no Provincial State Veterinary Office, specifically in small towns, DAFF would have an animal health technician that would be attached to the state vet.
Mr Rayi asked whether the old Act had catered for inspection of licenses. He asked how DAFF was going to deal with people who, after 12 months, would not renew their expired licenses whilst continuing with their animal business. In terms of the fee for appeals, he questioned if it was not fair for the appellant to be reimbursed if the Appeal board found in favour of the appellant.
Mr Parkies said that he supported the option that DAFF had taken in response to the Constitutional Court ruling however, but in the long term option 3 would be better. He also recommended that DAFF had to review all outdated pieces of legislation within its DAFFs mandate.
Ms Labuschagne asked why the Bill had not been tagged as a section 76 Bill as it required a separate budget in the outer years.
Mr Mannya said that indeed DAFF had already embarked on an exercise as recommended by Mr Parkies to identify and review old legislation.
Dr Songabe said that the concerns of stakeholders in terms of exemptions of certain groups of animals were being provided for through the Animal Welfare Strategic Framework.
In issuing the licence for 12 months, DAFF envisaged that, at renewal time, it could also see whether the individual’s facility/ facilities were still meeting the necessary requirements. The owners whose licenses had expired but who had not reapplied would be red-flagged because the implication would be that the business had ceased to exist or it was existing illegally. Moreover the general routine policing provided for in the APA by welfare organisations would still continue, so that even after evaluating, and issuing a license, welfare organisations were still empowered to go and to do an inspection while the activities (for instance, a circus) were ongoing.
The appeal fee DAFF was envisaged to curb a repetitive appeal by a third party who possibly would object to the issuing of a license to a particular owner. Section 3q (4b) in the Amendment did provide for the reimbursement of the fee to an appellant.
Ms Phumelele Ngema, Legal Advisor, Parliament, said that tagging was getting more complicated with all the judgements that were before the Joint Tagging Mechanism. Section 76 said that a matter would fall under a section 76 tagging, if it fell within the Schedule 4(a). The main functional point/subject matter in Schedule 4(a) that PAPA could have been deemed to have fallen into was “Animal Control and Diseases”. However, the courts had set a test for interpreting section 76, which was that the Bill had to have a “substantial measure” of its content related to subject matter named in Schedule 4(a). Therefore the legal advisors had been asked to look into the specific content of the PAPA Bill word by word, to see what it was that the Bill was seeking to address and regulate. If the Committee were to look at the whole content of the PAPA Bill, they would no doubt also agree that is was not actually addressing Animal Control and diseases. Those topics would be covered in the forthcoming Animal Welfare Bill. The PAPA Bill was only addressing the procedural aspects as to when the specific performing animals had to be protected and looked after, and what was necessary, and what processes had to be followed. Therefore the Bill was essentially addressing the process of licensing and who would deal with the licenses, as the principal Act – which had been drafted before the constitutional framework required a separation of powers – had given that power to the judiciary. Now, the constitutional framework had completely changed and there had to be a separation of powers. The court had ruled that that function was administrative and could not rest with the judiciary. She repeated that the content of this Bill thus had nothing to do with controlling animals or dealing with diseases. For this reason, the PAPA Bill failed the test for being a section 76 Bill.
Ms Labuschagne commented that, as DAFF had indicated, the Bill had been taken to the Constitutional Court in 2012 and the ruling of 2013 said that DAFF had to make the necessary changes within 18 months of the ruling. With the option 1 process still being finalised in 2016, and the more correct option 3 following thereafter, Departments still had to follow the timeline because that would save a lot of state resources.
The Chairperson said there was still going to be a process of public engagement on the PAPA Bill.
The Deputy Minister said that it was highly unlikely that any department could in fact amend a piece of legislation within the set timeframe, which was why the courts provided a backup statement of what would happen in the event that the Department could not adhere to the timeframes. He was definitely in favour of a summit to discuss the adequacy of DAFF s budget.
He noted that Europe, led by France, was diversifying its protein supplements through aquaculture alternatives such as insects as mini-livestock farming.
Members adopted the minutes of the last meeting, without amendments.
The meeting was then adjourned.
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries on its 2016 Annual Performance Plan; Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill [B9B-15]:briefing, with Deputy Minister present 2
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries on its 2016 Annual Performance Plan; Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill [B9B-15]:briefing, with Deputy Minister present 1
- Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill [B9B-2015]
- Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill [B9A-2015]
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries 2016 Annual Performance Plan
- Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill [B9B-2015]: DAFF briefing
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries 2016 Annual Performance Plan presentation
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.