The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform considered and deliberated on the Draft Report Budget Review and Recommendation Report. Members made amendments to its recommendations. Concerns were raised about which Department was responsible for the Recapitalisation and Development Programme. The response of the Minister indicates that it rests with the DAFF however; members said that there is no executive decision on this. As a result, the function remains with DRDLR until there is a formal transfer.
It was decided that the BRRR will be adopted next week with amendments.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone and said the Committee would focus on the recommendations in the Budget Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR).
The Chairperson then asked Mr K Robertson (DA) to read out the recommendations to Minister of Finance, which he did.
Rural Development and Land Reform Budget Review and Recommendation Report
The Chairperson said this point deals with Recapitalisation and Development Programme. The Committee was told that the Recap programme has been transferred to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries but there seems to be a problem.
Dr Tshililo Manenzhe, Committee Content Advisor, said that a response has been received from the Minister regarding the issue. The response is that the issue was resolved and the function has been transferred to DAFF effective from 1 April 2017. Even though the function has been transferred, the Committee has not seen or received the funding model. The recommendation should therefore be left as is.
The Chairperson noted that paragraph 7.1.1 is not a recommendation but a statement. What does the point mean?
Mr M Filtane (UDM) suggested that the point be rephrased as follows: The Minister of Finance must indicate whether any budget has been allocated for the Recapitalisation and Development Programme, seeing that the programme was transferred from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR).
The DRDLR has indicated in the previous meeting with the Committee that there is no specific budget for the programme. The function is followed by budget for operationalisation.
The sub-question should be whether the budget has been transferred to DAFF.
Ms N Magadla (ANC) asked whether the diversion/transfer of function is in line with National Treasury Regulation. DAFF is always in need of funding, where is the funding for the Programme coming from?
Mr P Mnguni (ANC) said there is no executive decision with regards to the transfer. He suggested that the phrase should read: that the Minister of Finance must provide dedicated funding for the programme.
The Chairperson said the proposal is that ‘there should be dedicated funding for recap’. The function was with DAFF before but when there was no funding the Department shifted it to DRDLR. So therefore, there must be funding, the programme is an important programme in the Department. Even if the function is with the DRDLR, during transfer it will be transferred to DAFF with the resources.
Mr Filtane said the recommendation should be referred to the Minister and not the Treasury.
The Chairperson responded that the Minister of DRDLR will motivate for the funding to be available and how much is needed.
Dr Manenzhe said the function has been transferred to DAFF according to the response of the Minister.
The Chairperson said that if there is no cabinet decision on the Recap programme, the function remains with DRDLR until it is formally transferred. The recommendation remains.
Mr Filtane suggested that the last sentence be rephrased thus: ‘Further minimise duplication of services between DRDLR and DAFF.
Ms T Mbabama (DA) suggested the removal of ‘to’ from the first sentence.
Ms Mbabama suggested the word 'about' be removed.
Mr Filtane read the recommendation to the Minister of DRDLR with regards to DRDLR
Dr Manenzhe said it should read clear definition of rural areas.
Mr Filtane corrected the numbering of the points.
Ms Mbabama suggested that the second sentence should be rephrased as it does not make sense.
Ms Magdla asked about the state lands. The recommendation deals with only national lands.
Mr Robertson agreed with this input.
The Chairperson suggested that another recommendation should be added: ‘the 2nd phase of the land audit should be finalised and be presented to the Committee’.
Mr Robertson said there should also be a timeframe attached to it.
The Chairperson said that the submission of the report on these recommendations will be within three months of adoption of the report by the House.
Mr Filtane suggested that the last sentence should read: ‘Further indicate lessons learnt from …’
Dr Manenzhe said some things should not be mentioned as recommendations since the Committee have the power to invite the Minister to come and present before it.
Mr Filtane said the Committee is dealing with the matter in the context of the BRRR. The Minister should be influenced by the Committee’s recommendation.
Mr Filtane suggested the addition of the letter ‘s’ to the word 'adhere' in the first sentence.
Ms Mbabama said that the second sentence is too long and should be rephrased.
Mr Filtane asked if the function of the Department whether is to coordinate or implement Agri-park interventions.
The Chairperson replied that the Department coordinates.
Ms Magadla suggested that the wording “other relevant Departments” should be used in the second sentence instead of listing them.
Mr Filtane suggested that the word ‘continue’ should be replaced with ‘strengthen’.
Mr Filtane suggested that this point be the first point since it is very critical.
The Chairperson responded that all the recommendations by this Committee carries equal weight and are very important.
She further added that all transfer of functions or programmes must be done procedurally and formally.
Mr Filtane said that the recommendation should read : ‘Produce programme which they will use to build internal capacity. The programmes must show that the Department is working on capacity building”..
Dr Manenzhe said this recommendation should be removed since the Minister has responded to it.
Mr A Madella (ANC) suggested that since the Minister has responded to some of the recommendations and since the Committee just got the response, it would be good for the members to be given time to read through it before making any other comments.
The Chairperson said there are no major changes in the recommendation. The recommendation will however be adopted next week.
Mr Robertson suggested the submission of reports quarterly as a new addition.
Ms Mbabama read the recommendation to the Minister of DRDLR with regards to Commission on Restitution of Land Rights.
Mr Filtane said that the transformation of the Commission into a chapter 9 institution will have an implication on the Constitution.
Mr Nchabeleng asked what is wrong with the Commission being as it is.
Mr Madella said the Commission must not stop its work because of this process of transformation.
The Chairperson replied that the Commission will continue its work.
Mr Filtane asked if there is any other instrument to finalise the 1998 claims. There should however be an estimated timeline on the finalisation of the 1998 land claims.
Ms Magadla asked if the Ingonyama Trust Board works together with the Local Government. It is very important for the Board to link with Local Government.
Mr Filtane agreed with this comment.
The Chairperson said the recommendation should be as is but there will be an allocated time and date for the discussion of the matter.
Mr Filtane suggested that the first sentence should read ‘impact of the livelihood rather than livelihood impact.
Consideration of minutes of 6th September 2017
Ms Mbabama moved for adoption seconded by Mr Nchabeleng
Consideration of minutes of 3rd October 2017
Mr Nchabeleng moved for adoption seconded by Mr Robertson.
Consideration of 4th October 2017
Ms Magadla moved for adoption with amendments seconded by Mr Madella.
Consideration of 5th October 2017
Ms Mbabama moved for adoption with amendments seconded by Mr Madella.
The meeting was adjourned.
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