Committee reports

Water and Sanitation

16 November 2016
Chairperson: Mr T Makondo (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

Documents handed out:
Draft Report of Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation on Third Quarterly Progress Report for Department of Water and Sanitation for 2015/2016 Financial Year
Draft Report of Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation on Fourth Quarterly Progress Report forDepartment of Water and Sanitation for the 2015/2016 financial year
Draft Report of Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation engagements, 14-16 September 2016
Draft Report of Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation oversight visit to the North West Province 20-22 September 2016
[All Committee Reports available under Tabled Committee Reports once published]

The Committee met to adopt the outstanding draft Minutes and the draft Reports. The Committee adopted draft minutes of meeting held between 24 August and 9 November 2016, all being adopted without objections, but some with minor corrections to grammar or spelling.

 The reports adopted related to the third and fourth quarter briefings by the Department of Water and Sanitation, a report from the Committee on its oversight visit to the North West from 20 to 22 September, and a report on the engagements of the Committee from 14 to 16 September 2016.

Specific questions were raised by Members during the debates. One EFF Member asked why members from the ANC appeared to be holding private discussions with officials from the Department after the meetings, but it was clarified that these were in no way private, that any Members could contribute, and that the discussions were intended to clarify questions asked in the meetings.

Members expressed the desire that the Committee be included at an earlier stage in draft legislation but it was clarified that it could not be briefed on any bills before the public consultation process had been completed. Members stressed that they would like to see a copy of the Water and Sanitation Master Plan.

Meeting report

Appointment of Acting Chairperson
Members were asked by the Committee Secretary to nominate an Acting Chairperson, in terms of rule 159 of the National Assembly Rules, since the Chairperson was in Morocco.

Members nominated Mr T Makondo (ANC).

Mr L Basson (DA) announced that Ms Z Balindlela (DA) is no longer a Member of the National Assembly, as she has been moved to the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature. Ms T Baker (DA) will now become a full member replacing Mr Balindlela.

Adoption of the draft Minutes
24 August 2016

The minutes were adopted, with no amendments.

7 September 2016
Mr Basson commented that the numbers of responses in the meeting notes do not equate to the number of questions that were asked. He suggested that each response must be listed after a question asked so that the Committee could be sure that all questions had been answered.

Ms M Khawula (EFF) asked why the ANC members always remained behind after meetings had been adjourned, to have private discussions with the Director-General of the Department of Water and Sanitation and wanted to know what they were discussing.

Mr Basson responded that the Committee Members should be seen as members of the Committee, not as political parties, when raising any points, and he thought that this question was unfair and implied that there may be other agendas.

Ms Khawula said she understood what Mr Basson is saying, but still wanted to know why there had been private discussions after the meetings without the other Members of the Committee being present.

The Acting Chairperson replied that there were no private discussions. Ms Khawula could have stayed had she wished. The only time the ANC members might have a private discussion was if they were asked to remain behind for a party discussion.

Mr Basson added that he also often had discussions with the Director-General and the Departmental officials after a meeting, to get more clarity and assistance on matters, and that any other Member would have the right to do so if they felt that their questions were not answered to their satisfaction.

Members adopted the minutes.

18 October 2016
The minutes were adopted.

20 October 2016
Ms Kekana noted that she had tendered her apologies for the meetings between 18 October and 2 November because of a clash of meetings of the committees on which she served. Her apology was not noted.

Mr Basson suggested that under the heading ‘Matters arising’ it should be added that a full report on the money spent on the bucket irrigation must be sent to the Committee. The report should include information on whether the amounts had increased or decreased, how much money was spent and how much was left.

The  minutes were adopted, subject to these amendments.

21 October 2016
Mr Basson noted that these minutes reflected changes in how questions and responses appeared, and was a improvement.

The minutes were adopted.

25 October 2016
The minutes were adopted.

26 October 2016
The minutes were adopted.

2 November 2016
Ms T Baker (DA) asked if it was possible for the Committee to get the Department's Draft Water and Sanitation Bill and the complete Water and Sanitation Master Plan, which should set out how the Department intended to deal with the shortage of water in the country.

Mr Basson said the matter being raised by Ms Baker was also raised during last week’s meeting. He asked that the Department at least should send the Committee a draft plan even if the full plan was not finalised. It was supposed to be released in September but it was recently said that it would be released only in 2018.

The Acting Chairperson said a meeting should be scheduled in order to report the plan to the Committee.

Mr H Chauke (ANC) responded to Ms Baker’s request by saying that only after the Department had completed its public hearings could the draft Bill be released to the Committee. He added that this is a Parliamentary process and the rule does not allow for the Committee to receive the draft Bill at this point.

Ms Baker said that the Chairperson had brought up these rules at the previous meeting and it was unfortunate that the Committee was not involved earlier in the process, while the public hearings were still taking place.

The minutes were adopted.

9 November
The minutes were adopted.

Committee's draft Report on the Third Quarterly Progress Report of the Department of Water and Sanitation for the 2015/2016 Financial Year
Members adopted the Committee's report.

Committee's draft Report on the Fourth Quarterly Progress Report of the Department of Water and Sanitation for the 2015/2016 Financial Year
Members adopted the Committee's report.
Committee's Draft Report on the Portfolio Committee engagements: 14-16 September 2016
Mr Basson reminded the Committee that Statistics South Africa was scheduled to report to the Committee next year. He asked that this be added to the minutes as well.

He also added that the Department should provide the Committee a report of the Master of Water and Sanitation Plan that was mentioned on page 16.

Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee: Oversight visit to the North West Province 20-22 September 2016
Ms Kekana said the spelling of ‘Boitkong’ on page 10 is incorrect and the correct spelling is ‘Boitekong’.

The report was adopted, subject to this amendment.

The meeting was adjourned.


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