The Select Committee on Finance met to consider and adopt the Report on its Oversight visit to Gauteng. It was noted that the report provided a very good picture of what is happening in those metros, and set a benchmark on how to engage with other metros before the fifth Parliament ends. Members made a few amendments to the report.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone. He said purpose of the meeting is for the consideration and adoption of the Committee Report on the Gauteng Province Oversight Visit.
The Chairperson said in terms of the programme the Committee is supposed to be dealing with the Corporate Plan of the Land Bank. However; he got the Corporate Plan of the Land Bank yesterday at 16:40pm. It was tabled the previous afternoon between 15:00pm and 16:00pm and signed by the Minister on 16 October 2017, and tabled in Parliament on 17 October 2017, as it stands. So, it's a very interesting situation that the Corporate Plan that should have been in Parliament in March, but it arrived yesterday afternoon. Therefore, the Committee will have to see where the Committee can fit it in. The Land Bank and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries went together and the Committee has questions for the Bank in terms of its Corporate Plan and assistance provided to farmers. This was unacceptable and he made his views clear to National Treasury when he interacted with them.
Committee Report on the Gauteng Province Oversight Visit
The Chairperson said the oversight visit to Gaunteng was very informative for the Committee, The report was sent to him a while ago and he has made his own corrections. In his view, the presentation is captured correctly. Reading through the report again it gives Members a very good picture of what is happening in those metros, which gives them an appetite to engage other metros before their term ends in 2019.
He asked if Members had read the report.
The Chairperson said if it is possible they should do a follow up so as to measure the progress. The Committee should look at the report page by page.
Ms T Motara. (Gauteng, ANC) said it was very important to note that there is R5bn which came from external funding for universities in terms of the provinces' five year plan.
Mr T Motlashuping (North West, ANC) asked if they've made a correct observation on bullet point 7.5 under observations, on page 9 of the report regarding the City of Johannesburg.
Ms Motara said they should enquire whether it was the City of Johannesburg or City of Ekurhuleni because in the City of Johannesburg Rea Vaya buses were not running but in City of Ekurhuleni they were running late.
The Committee Content Adviser said she will have to confirm on this matter.
The Chairperson said this must be double checked and they should also concentrate on what they've done in terms of their oversight.
Mr F Essack, (Mpumalanga, DA) said this report incorporates the presentations they've received in Parliament and the oversight work they've done in the province..
Ms Motara emphasised that this issue must stay in the report but be double checked.
Mr Essack referred to paragraph 7.3 where is states that " the City of Ekhuruleni requires support from the NCOP", what does Ekhuruleni requires from them, does it require a license from ESKOM or are they going to come back with a form of presentation?
Ms Motara clarified the issue here was that the Department of Energy is responsible for its entity: ESKOM. There was an engagement between the City of Ekhuruleni and the Department on the process of collection of revenue. The argument of the municipality was that constitutionally it's the role of the municipality to provide electricity, but the problem was that ESKOM is frustrating that process by not allowing municipality to take over the supply of electricity. Therefore, one is arguing in terms of the constitution and the other is saying the supply of electricity is ESKOM.
The Committee advised that the municipality must approach SALGA because this issue does not affect Ekhuruleni alone but other municipalities as well. As the Select Committee they will directly support the City of Ekhuruleni in facilitating together with other sister Committees in Parliament, but indirectly it impacts on the revenue generation of the municipalities. But as Committee they will find mechanisms of bringing them together with SALGA, and they've agreed with the municipality in terms of the interpretation of the constitution, and therefore the municipalities need to generate income.
Mr Motlashuping referred to paragraph 7.5 where it implies that the contract has been illegally awarded and indicates that the matter is under investigation. It is alleged, it's not that the contract was illegally awarded because the matter is still under investigation.
Ms Motara agreed with what Mr Motlashuping is saying, but what they should do is give wording to it by saying " the Committee noted with concern that should it be found that the contract of installation of pipe metres was done irregular it will have budget implications for the city" because what they're saying this is still under investigation.
The Chairperson said they should put themselves in the shoes of the person who is going to read this report.
Mr Motlashuping moved for the adoption of the reports with amendments.
Mr Essack seconded the move.
The Committee adopted the report with amendments.
Minutes of 2 August 2017
The Committee went through the document page by page.
A Member moved for the adoption of Minutes.
Ms Motara seconded the move.
The Committee adopted the minutes with no changes.
The Chairperson thanked Members of the Committee for their inputs.
The meeting was adjourned.