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The aim of this report is to summarise the main events at the meeting and identify the key role players. This report is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings.
LAND AND AGRICULTURE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
1 March 2002
PLANNING PROFESSION BILL AND VETERINARY AND PARA VETERINARY PROFESSIONS BILL: DELIBERATIONS
Chairperson: Adv S.P. Holomisa
Documents handed out:
Planning Profession Bill
Veterinary and Para-veterinary Professions Bill
The Committee accepted the amendments on the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Bill proposed by the NCOP. Regarding the Planning Profession Bill they discussed the Bill clause by clause, the Department had to clarify the meaning of the different clauses. The Committee had a feeling that all planners should be assessed regardless of whether he or she graduated from college, Technikon or University.
Mr S. Abram asked how possible it was for people with little property to minimize costs when hiring planners or surveyors.
The Deputy Minister, Dr Du Toit said the answer for that question is in section 16(1)(2) of Bill. He said the worry should lie in consultation.
Mr K Ditshetelo (ACDP) said in 18(1) there is no mention of how the Minister would get involved in the process of drawing up a code of conduct.
Dr Makgalemela replied that the Department has made provisions for minutes of any meeting of the Council to be forwarded to the Minister within 30 days.
The Chairperson suggested that it should be said recordings instead of minutes because, for instance in the code of conduct, the Minister would not be interested in minutes per se, but the recordings.
Adv. K. Myburgh, Principal State Law Advisor in the Department of Justice, said he would like minutes to be included because recordings alone are too ambiguous.
The Deputy Minister wanted to know the nature of the code of conduct.
Mr K Kabagambe, a Chief Director in the Department said a code of conduct would comprise the rules. The rules would lay certain standards that needed to be adhered to.
Mr Abram suggested that in clause 19(2)(b) "is" should be changed to "maybe".
Dr Makgalemela said there is a verb that says, "suspect", if the Council has reasonable grounds to suspect a person, so there is no need to change that wording.
Mr Ditshetelo asked in clause 19(1) who would bear the costs of the investigating committee.
Dr Makgalemela replied that it would be the Council that would bear the costs.
Mr P. Gerber (ANC) said in clause 21(2)(c) the words "if the Council deems it necessary" should be removed.
Mr Kabagambe said this would apply only where the nature of the subject needs a specialist and this would happen whenever the need arises. Evidence from specialists was sometimes needed.
Mr Gerber suggested that clause 24(2)(a) should include "Associate Planners".
Dr Makgalemele said the Department had looked at that and they have amended it so that there should be a legal person in there.
Mr A Van Niekerk (FA) said it seemed that the Minister is involved in every aspect of the Bill and that should not be the case.
Mr Ditshetelo said he did not think it was possible to involve the Minister on a regular basis. He added that the Committee should not anticipate that appeals would occur regularly.
The Chairperson said the Department did not want to create a legal vacuum, otherwise they knew that it was not possible to have appeals regularly.
Mr Gerber asked on clause 25(3) and 25(5) whether the Committee is happy with those provisions.
The Deputy Minister said it is a question of quorum, if for instance three people are available, then the meeting could take place. Otherwise the actual number is five.
Mr Gerber wanted to know whether clause 27(2) is a standard.
Mr Kabagambe said yes it was a standard.
Mr Gerber asked why in clause 30 it is said that regulation would be made available for public comment but in clause 29 it is not said, why is it published in the gazette.
Mr Kabagambe said for practical reasons the public could be involved to a limited extent, that is why it is only stated in clause 30.
The Chairperson asked why should the Minister be held accountable?
Deputy Minister said the Minister should not be held accountable.
Chairperson said members of the public who would be affected by the clause should be allowed to make comments with the involvement of the Minister.
On Clause 29 the Committee flagged the involvement of the Minister for the next meeting. However the 30 days for public comments should be made.
In clause 36(3) the Deputy Minister told the Committee that they should look at whether the word institution should be kept there.
Mr Kabagambe said the word institution should be limited to the appointment of the first Council.
Mr Gerber wanted to know whether for the first Council to be formed other institutions are expected to nominate.
The Deputy Minister suggested that the word institution should be expanded.
Dr Makgalemela said they amended clause 17 where they said there would be voluntary associations when the act is passed to address the Deputy Minister's question.
The Committee agreed that clause 36(3) needed to be reformulated.
In clause 36(4) Mr Gerber said the planning profession has been marred by problems. He said previously people graduated from Universities were much preferred than those who came from Technikons, this should come to an end.
Dr Makgalemele said the objectives of the Bill are to maintain standards in the profession. That is why the Department felt that everybody should be assessed.
Mr L. Modisenyane wanted to know whether those from universities would be the only ones to register as town and regional planners. If yes what about technicians and those from Technikon.
Chairperson said it would be necessary for technicians to be assessed in the same way as professional planners; there should be no distinction.
Deputy Minister said the new Act would not talk about universities or Technikons. This would all depend on experience and qualifications. The Act aims to destroy all those distinctions.
The Department said they would consult with the current Council to see what is the position presently.
Dr Makgalemele said the profession is still problematic. Everybody should apply for registration and everybody would have an opportunity to be a professional planner regardless of whether he or she came from Technikon or University.
In conclusion Advocate Myburgh suggested that his Department, which is the Department of Justice, would look at whether there is any discrimination of people on the basis of one being a technician or professional planner.
The meeting was adjourned.
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