The Committee met to consider its report on the Department of Home Affairs Budget. The report highlighted that the Department simply did not have money. There were certain implications arising out of its assignation to the Security Cluster, and it was suggested that it must continue to engage with National Treasury to ensure that sufficient resources were allocated for it to fulfil its role. The Department had an important role to play in promoting non-racial and non-sexist society, especially given the resurgence of xenophobic incidents in around the county. It was also reported that the country needed to take full advantage of the recent changes in the visa regulation and the South African migration policy should make it possible to import scarce skills. The Committee adopted the Report without amendments. The EFF rejected the Committee Report while the DA was still to caucus on the position to be taken.
The Committee lso considered and approved its Operationla plan for the year and outstanding minutes.
Election of Acting Chairperson
Due to the absence of the Chairperson, the Committee had to select a Member to preside over the meeting.
Ms D Raphuti (ANC) nominated Mr D Gumede (ANC).
Ms N Mnisi (ANC) seconded the nomination.
Mr Gumede was elected as the Acting Chairperson.
Opening Remarks and Agenda
The Acting Chairperson welcomed everyone in the meeting and then indicated that there had been apologies from Ms S Nkomo (IFP) and the Chairperson, Mr B Mashile (ANC). The Committee would start by adopting today’s agenda, the Committee Report on Home Affairs Budget and then the Committee’s Annual Operational Plan.
The Committee adopted the agenda as is.
Committee Report on Home Affairs Budget
Mr Adam Salmon, Committee Content Adviser, took the Members through the report page by page highlighting issues that had been flagged by both the Department and Members. The report highlighted the importance of managing and maintaining the country’s borders and that biometric data should be captured for those who are exiting South Africa. It was noted that all government departments had been instructed to cut budgets, and so the various departments would have to work only so far as their resources allowed. The DHA simply did not have money, but there were certain implications arising out of its assignation to the Security Cluster, and it was suggested that it must continue to engage with National Treasury to ensure that sufficient resources were allocated for it to fulfil its role. The Department had an important role to play in promoting a non-racial and non-sexist society, especially given the resurgence of xenophobic incidents. The country should take full advantage of the recent changes in the visa regulation and the South African migration policy should make it possible to import scarce skills. All South African citizens were encouraged to participate in the local government elections that are to take place in 03 August 2016.
The Acting Chairperson said that Members would be given enough opportunity to debate matters in the report in the House during the Budget Vote.
Ms D Raphuti (ANC) moved for the adoption of the report and was seconded by Ms N Mnisi (ANC).
Ms H Hlophe (EFF) mentioned that the EFF was objecting to the report.
Mr M Hoosen (DA) said that the DA still needed to caucus its position regarding the Budget Vote 5 Report of the Department.
Adoption of Committee report on Annual Operational Plan
The Content Adviser took Members through the report on page by page highlighting matters to be undertaken by the Committee in 2016. The Committee would be dealing with the Refugee Amendment Bill this year and the draft version of the Bill had already been published for comment. The draft version of the Border Management Agency Bill had also been published and was ready for comment.
Members adopted the Committee Annual Operational Plan without amendments. It was highlighted that the Committee needed to ensure that there was proper legislative process that was followed in the processing of the any bill and written submission with dissenting views should also be submitted.
Adoption of minutes
12 April 2016 minutes
The Chairperson took the members through the document page by page.
Mr B Nesi (ANC) moved for the adoption of minutes without amendments.
Mr A Figlan (DA) seconded him.
The minutes were adopted without amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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