Higher Education Amendment Bill [B36-2015]: finalisation postponed
Higher Education, Science and Innovation
04 May 2016
Chairperson: Ms Y Phosa (ANC)
The Bill could not be considered due to lack of quorum. The meeting was therefore rescheduled for 8.00am on Wednesday, 11 May 2016.
Apologies were received from Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Mr Mduduzi Manana.
A quorum could not be formed due to the absence of many Members. The Chairperson therefore proposed that the meeting should proceed as planned, and the Amendment Bill be discussed. However, no decisions could be taken as regards the adoption of the Bill.
Mr Y Cassim (DA) objected to the proposal, noting that there was a possibility of repeating the same exercise at the next meeting, due to the absence of Members who may request an opportunity to make their inputs. The exercise may end up being a futile one since Members had to attend the EPC meeting that would be starting at 10h00.
Mr Cassim proposed that consideration and adoption of the Bill be postponed to a correct meeting, where all Members could be given the opportunity to raise issues; and that Members be allowed to attend the EPC meeting.
Mr Cassim expressed his disappointment in the absence of Members, the meeting should have been better prioritised by Members.
Ms J Kilian (ANC) agreed with the Chairperson that the meeting proceed, noting that officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) were present and could be engaged with. She made reference to Rule 133 (2) that provided that a Committee meeting could proceed irrespective of the number of Members present, but may decide on a question if a quorum is present. She opined that the exercise would not amount to a futile one, and it was an opportunity to engage further on the Bill.
She also pointed out that some Members had to attend other meetings, particularly the adoption of budget vote reports that was time bound. Parliament had to congest its usual operations so that it could close at the end of May, instead of the usual closing at the end of June. It was therefore a very hectic period for all Members of Parliament.
Ms B Bozzoli (DA) also objected to the Chairperson’s proposal as Members also had to attend the EPCs. She proposed that the adoption of the Bill be postponed till the next term since there was no hurry for the Bill to be implemented or passed by the House.
The Chairperson informed the House that she had to preside over the Social Development meeting by 11.00 am. She therefore proposed that the meeting be postponed to Wednesday, 11 May 2016. The Committee Secretary was instructed to ensure that all Members attended the next meeting.
Mr Cassim also suggested that the Bill be adopted in the next term since there was no need to rush the process.
Ms Kilian opined that it would be better for Members to finalise their work on the Bill in this term, notwithstanding when it would be implemented.
The Chairperson clarified that the Bill would still have to go to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence and further decision, after the Committee had to adopted it. It was therefore necessary for Members to adopt the Bill as soon as possible.
The meeting was adjourned.
No related documents
Phosa, Ms YN
Bozzoli, Prof B
Cassim, Mr Y
Kilian, Ms JD
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