The Portfolio Committee on Labour considered the draft budget vote report on Budget Vote 28, titled: Labour and on the Strategic Plans of the Department of Labour (2014 -2019) and its entities as well as one set of outstanding minutes.
The Chairperson took Members through the report swiftly, pausing only when Members raised points regarding changes or amendments. The amendments to the report were largely minor typos or rephrasing. The only major change was deletion of bullet point (d) on page 11 relating to capacitating of the Employment Conditions Commission.
Similarly, the outstanding minutes were adopted without amendment.
Committee Report on Labour on Budget Vote 28:
The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration and took Members through the document page by page and invited them to comment where necessary. She also ensured that members who arrived late were included in this.
Ms T Tongwane (ANC) noted that there was an error on page 5. In addition, Mr M. Bagraim (DA) noted that page 5 also contained a factual error, as there could not be over 171 000 new cases referred to the CCMA daily.
Mr I Ollis (DA) apologised for being late, as he had attended the budget vote. He noted that there should be an addition to page 14 on the UIF recommendations. He suggested adding a recommendation regarding the computer system that was off line all the time. This must be added in order for the Minister and his team to be aware that they must attend to the stabilising of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) system in the labour centres.
The Chairperson asked for suggestions from Members with regard to the phrasing of the addition to the recommendations.
Ms S Van Schalkwyk (ANC) suggested that Mr Ollis’ original wording be kept, i.e. that the department report back to the Committee on the progress of stabilising the ICT system in the labour centres for UIF.
Mr M. Bagraim (DA) raised a concern with regard to (d) on page 11 that referred to the capacitating of the Employment Conditions Commission in case it took over the responsibility of determining the level of the national minimum wage. He was under the impression that they had been referring to an independent body determining the level of the minimum wage.
Ms F Loliwe (ANC) responded that this should be balanced with the responsibility of the Committee, which was to ensure that the department did its job. Further, they should not outsource this function, rather that the committee should exert pressure on them to deliver as they would be unable to do so if it were outsourced to a third party who did not report to the Committee.
Mr Ollis requested that Ms Loliwe clarify the issue around not having an independent body.
Ms Loliwe said she had responded to what Mr Bagraim had raised but had confused (a) and (d) on page 11 and thus the confusion was cleared up.
Mr D America (DA) added that only legislation could create an independent body.
Mr Bagraim suggested that bullet point (d) therefore be removed as they were anticipating something that had not happened yet.
Ms van Schalkwyk supported this argument and agreed that bullet point (d) be removed.
Members decided to remove bullet point (d).
The report was unanimously adopted.
Adoption of minutes:
The minutes of a previous meeting were adopted without amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.