The Committee was supposed to receive a briefing on the Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill from the Department of Transport.
However, due to the absence of the Minister, the Deputy Minister of Transport as well as the Acting Director General, the Committee saw it fit to reschedule the briefing until such time that the Minister and Acting Director General could avail themselves for the meeting. Members were hugely offended and wished to send a strong message that such behaviour would not be condoned.
The delegation from the Department comprised of amongst others Advocate Adam Masombuka, Chief Director: Legal Services, Mr Sello Mokubyane, Senior Legal Administration Officer, Mr John Motsatsing, Chief Director: Road Regulation, Mr Ngwako Thoka, Senior Legal Administration Officer and Mr Mcedisi Bilikwana Executive Manager: Legal and Governance, Road Traffic Infrastructure Agency.
The Committee had received apologies from the Minister and Deputy Minister of Transport for their absence.
Adv Masombuka extended apologies for the Acting Director General and the Registrar of the Department for not being able to attend the meeting. The Acting Director General was tied up with other Department related business.
Mr S Mthimunye (ANC, Mpumalanga) asked whether the delegation under the leadership of Adv Masombuka had the proper authority to represent the Department in the present meeting. Was there a written letter of delegation? It was important considering that none of the accounting officers of the Department like its Acting Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) were present.
Mr M Chabangu (EFF, Free State) felt that the briefing could not proceed without the Acting Director General of the Department being present.
Mr W Faber (DA, Northern Cape) also felt that the briefing should not continue without the Acting Director General of the Department being present. The reason given for the Acting Director General not being able to attend the meeting due to having to deal with other Department related work was not good enough. The Committee needed to send a strong message to the Department that it would not condone such behaviour. The Bill was important and things would not be done half way. If members could make it to attend the meeting then so could the Acting Director General of the Department.
Mr L Magwebu (DA, Eastern Cape) agreed with the sentiments of Members but was concerned that if the meeting was adjourned and postponed, then when would it be rescheduled considering that the Committee’s programme was already congested. He suggested a compromise. He proposed that the meeting continue and that the Committee write a letter to the Ministry expressing its dissatisfaction with the absence of the Acting Director General. The Acting Director General of the Department was not taking the Committee seriously.
Mr Mthimunye asked where the Acting Director General of the Department was. He suggested that the meeting be adjourned for half an hour so that the whereabouts of the Director General could be traced.
The Chairperson asked whether the Acting Director General was in Cape Town.
Adv Masombuka was unaware of the whereabouts of the Acting Director General.
The meeting was adjourned for a short while in order for members to discuss whether or not to continue with the meeting.
When the meeting reconvened the Chairperson stated that the Committee was serious about the Executive and the Acting Director General needing to be present when meetings took place. Members of the Committee were offended by the absence of both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Transport. Both the present Minister and the Deputy Minister of Transport were yet to attend a meeting of the Committee. The Committee had in a previous meeting been lenient to allow a briefing to go ahead under the leadership of the Acting Director General when the Minister and Deputy Minister had also been absent. He stated that the Committee had, after a brief discussion, decided to postpone the present briefing to another time when the Minister and Director General could avail themselves to attend the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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