A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
Taking Parliament to People, and People to Parliament
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 ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE
19 September 2000
MEAT SAFETY BILL AND TOURISM AMENDMENT BILL: DISCUSSION & ADOPTION
Documents handed out:
Draft Amendments Agreed to - Tourism Amendment Bill
Voting Mandates from Provinces - Tourism Amendment Bill
Tourism Amendment Bill
Amendments Proposed - Meat Safety Bill
Meat Safety Bill - Dept Responses to Issues at Sept 12 meeting
Voting Mandate - Gauteng Province
Meat Safety Bill
Mr M Matola - South African Tourism Board (SATOUR)
Ms Ronel von Zyl - Senior Legal Officer of the Dept of Agriculture
The Department reviewed the proposed Tourism Amendment Bill and heard further concerns from the committee. After going through the bill clause-by-clause the committee reached agreement and passed the bill. The chair then turned discussion to the Meat Safety Bill and reviewed the proposed amendments from the previous meeting. After deliberation the bill was reviewed clause-by-clause and the committee consented to pass the bill.
Tourism Amendment Bill
Ms Ronel von Zyl (Dept of Agriculture) reviewed the draft amendments agreed to by the Department. Ms A M Versfeld (Western Cape - DP) expressed concern the wording of Clause 5 (2) which refers to the provision that the National Assembly and the NCOP shall meet in "joint committee" and submit their comments to the Minister. She observed that a joint committee for environmental affairs does not exist and asked if one will be created specifically for this bill. Gauteng, the province who initiated the provision, responded that what was meant was that the two houses will meet jointly, not that a joint committee should be established. At this point Mr A E Van Niekerk (Northern Cape - NNP) suggested that the difference between a joint meeting and a joint committee is that in a joint meeting the two houses are represented separately and may submit two different proposals. A joint committee is required to submit one proposal. The chairperson then turned to the law advisor from the Department who advised the committee to just delete the words "in joint committee" to avoid confusion. Chairperson Rev P Moatshe agreed and observed that it is the usual practise to ask both houses to submit separate proposals and it would be unusual for them to meet in joint committee for this bill.
Ms Versfeld inquired the Department as to why her previous requests regarding funding the new legislation has yet to be addressed in the bill. The Department responded by saying that although they did present her funding concerns to the DG, he felt it was unnecessary to include provisions for this in the bill because the function would self-generate revenue. They added that they are prepared to establish a separate memorandum which would provide for initial set-up costs.
Ms Versfeld then provided the Department with a list of estimated costs involved with implementing the new legislation. She reiterated her position that the Western Cape lacks the capacity to fund the new legislation, and is unwilling to support a bill that they cannot implement. She also encouraged the other provinces to commit to this position and demand adequate funding before passing the new bill. She reminded the Department that at the previous meeting they had reassured the provinces that funding would be provided for.
The speakers from the Department agreed that an accompanying memorandum would be helpful to address these concerns. They noted also that Ms Versfeld's cost estimation figures do not include the increased registration fees that would take effect. Current registration fees for tour guides have not kept up with inflation. Although the Department is willing to fund initial set-up costs, they see no need to provide funds on a continuing basis for a function which is self-generating. Further, funds provided will be established on a needs basis and will be different for each province.
Mr M L Mokoena (Northern Province - ANC) expressed support for Ms Versfeld's funding concerns. Ms Versfeld then stated that the issue of funding needs to be rectified before voting can take place. Chairperson Moatshe noted that time was running out and that decisions needed to be made. He suggested that the committee move to go over the final mandates from the provinces and review the bill clause-by-clause.
Eastern Cape and Free State both expressed support for the bill with no further amendments. Mr D M Kgware (Northern Cape - ANC) reviewed the final mandate of the Gauteng province as there was no representative from that province present. There was a concern under Clause 2 subsection 20(2)(f) which should be amended to add "Tour Operators" and "Tour Operator Associations". The Department stated that the clause as it stands refers to the category "and any other person" which is taken to include tour operators/associations (Tourism Amendment Bill 4). Mr Matola (SATOUR) commented that many guides don't always belong to an association or may not be registered. He encouraged the committee to look at the realities of this sector - it is very fragmented in respect to tourist operations. The omission of these clarifiers and the ambiguity in the current text will be more inclusive and allow for people who are not part of an organized structure.
Kwazulu-Natal representatives then went over their final recommendations. It was considered that the word "shall" be replaced with the word "must" in all relevant sections. As well, under Clause 4 it was recommended that section 21D(3)(b) line 26-27 be deleted because this statement is duplicated under section 21D(2)(b)(i). The Department responded that subsection (b) involves tourist guides while subsection (i) refers to employees of tourist guides. Kwazulu-Natal reasserted the concern of duplication, and chairperson Moatshe moved to continue reviewing the mandates.
Ms Versfeld expressed the desire for further debate regarding the issue of funding. She re-stated her position that the Western Cape is adamantly against accepting new legislation it cannot fund. She also pointed out that although Mpumalanga province representatives were not present, they also submitted concerns about funding in their final mandate.
The members then reviewed the submission from Mpumalanga province. It was recommended that tourist guides be confined to operate only in provinces where they have been registered, and that a guide who wishes to operate in more than one province should register in all such provinces. The Department stated that current categories of guides will be altered in the new system. Different "levels" of guides will be established which are not aligned with geographical boundaries. There is a need to further research this classification. Ms Versfeld asked if there will be a National Registrar for tourist guides and where the revenue will go. Mr Matola responded by saying that registration does not depend on place of residence. Guides may operate nationally depending on the license they obtain (i.e. a level 5 guide may operate nationally, whereas a level 1 guide may be more restricted). Ms Versfeld wanted clarity as to how the function will be self-generating if the revenue goes to the province of registration while guides are allowed to operate across the country. Mr Matola clarified that the area of operation does not factor in to the amount of revenue generated. The issue is more to do with how many guides live in a certain area.
In reply to the suggestion that the word "shall" be replaced with the word "must", the Department felt that this change would be merely stylistic and pointed out that it is common practise for documents to use traditional wordings. Changing these wordings would not be cost efficient at this point. Kwazulu-Natal reemphasized their view that changing this wording will make the bill clearer and sound less archaic. They did not recognize how leaving the wording as it stands would be cost efficient as the entire bill will be reprinted by the Department anyways. Mr M L Mokoena inserted that if the change will not affect the substance of the bill then there is no need to change it.
The committee then decided to review the bill clause-by-clause and moved to vote. All provinces present voted in favor of passing the bill as it stands.
Meat Safety Bill
Ms R von Zyl reviewed the submissions for amendment from the provinces. The committee then reviewed the bill clause by clause.
Mr M MacKenzie (Kwazulu-Natal) asked for clarity as to the distinction between the Ministerial power to "delegate" his/her duties and to "assign" his/her duties. Ms von Zyl replied that when the minister delegates duties it is to someone within the hierarchy of the Department. Alternatively, when duties are assigned they are given to someone employed outside of the Department. She stipulated that duties may be taken back as well.
Mr M L Mokoena presented a concern that the operating requirements of abattoirs, outlined in the bill, may be so strict that the Government may have to deal with unintended consequences later on. He also asked for more clarity as to the definition of "animals".
Ms von Zyl referred the committee to section 7 of Clause 2 which includes exemptions for the slaughter of animals intended for own use. She elaborated that under Clause 1(2) the Minister may add any animal to Schedule 1 and that this list is not intended to be inclusive. Mr Mokoena conquered.
At this point Chairperson Moatshe motioned to vote on the bill clause-by-clause. The committee unanimously approved the bill with no further amendment.
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