Higher Education Amendment Bill [B36B-2015]: re-adoption; Election of Chairperson

Higher Education, Science and Innovation

18 May 2016
Chairperson: Ms C September (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee elected Ms Cornelia September as the new Chairperson to replace Ms Yvonne Phosa who has taking up the chair of the Standing Committee on Appropriations. The adoption of the Higher Education Amendment Bill was reconfirmed as the previous chairperson had already been discharged from the Committee when she had chaired the 18 May adoption of the Bill. 

Meeting report

Election of Chairperson
The Committee Secretary conducted the nomination process for the position of Committee Chairperson.

Mr C Kekana (ANC) nominated Ms September for the position of Chairperson.

Mr E Siwela (ANC) seconded the nomination  

The Committee Secretary called on Ms September to come and take the chair.

The Chairperson, Ms C September (ANC), said she appreciated being elected to this position.

Higher Education Amendment Bill: adoption
The Chairperson drew the Committee’s attention to the consideration and adoption of the Higher Education Amendment Bill in the last meeting. The reason that this bill is back on the table again, is that at the time of that meeting Ms Phosa was already discharged as the Chairperson. Legally speaking, the Committee dealt with the Bill while the chairperson was no longer a member of this Committee. Members would agree with me that it would be best for the Committee to place the Bill before the Committee again. This is to avoid any technicalities that may arise that the Committee is currently not aware of. The Committee can go through the Bill clause by clause or it can reaffirm the decision it took at the last meeting. The decision that was made by the Committee is in front of her or it might be best for the Committee to deal with the bill again.

Mr E Siwela (ANC) said he would like to reconfirm what the Committee had done instead of going clause by clause.

Ms M Nkadimeng (ANC) agreed.
Ms S Mchunu (ANC) said the Committee needs to ensure it includes the decisions reached on clauses.

The Chairperson read through the Committee Report on the Bill which was approved on 18 May. It said the Committee reported the Bill with amendments [B36A of 2015]. The Committee approved the Bill. The DA objected to clause 1, 16, 25, 28, 37. The EFF objected clause 37. The DA also objected the Bill as a whole.

The Committee reconfirmed this.

The Chairperson said that the Bill will be adopted in the National Assembly next week.

Committee Programme
The Chairperson said that the following week they should deal with the Department of Higher Education and Training quarterly performance plus their briefing on the forensic audit report of the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA). The Committee should discuss whether both agenda items are possible for one day.    

Dr B Bozzoli (DA) said the Construction SETA has been a perpetual problem, with issues of ongoing lack of payments and management of student bursaries, and the abandoning of students. She would like to propose both be on the agenda next week.

Ms Mchunu said she agreed with Ms Bozzoli, but she is reluctant that it all happen next week as more time is needed to address these matters. The meeting time would not be enough because the Committee also expects to hear about the progress of the Department.   

Mr Kekana said the Committee should do as much as the Committee can within the three hour meeting next week. He suggested that the Committee do them both and highlight what it needs to highlight.

The Chairperson agreed that the Committee should deal with both. The members are correct -  it is not that the Committee is going to solve everything by inviting the SETA next week. The Committee has to think through the SETAs as a whole. The Committee would invite the Department and the Construction SETA to appear before the Committee.     

The meeting was adjourned.  



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