The Committee considered and adopted the Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR).
A few Members suggested that the word “commended” in paragraph 5.1.3 in was problematic as the Committee did not receive any briefing from the Department around the effectiveness of Operation Phakisa. The better word to be used was “noted” or “acknowledge”. The majority of Members voted for the retention of the word “commend”. One Member suggested that the Report should stipulate the timeframe for the finalisation of the disciplinary process for the suspended Director-General (DG) of the Department. This proposal was rejected.
The Committee formally adopted the Report without amendments. The EFF objected to the Report.
Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR)
The Chairperson welcomed everyone in the meeting and indicated that Members had already received the copy of the BRRR and therefore they would just need to flag important issues to be noted or modified in the Report.
Ms A Steyn (DA) suggested that the word “commended” in paragraph 5.1.3 was problematic as the Committee did not receive a briefing from the Department on Operation Phakisa. The better word to use was “noted”.
Mr N Paulsen (EFF) agreed with this suggestion as the Committee was not even aware of the effectiveness of Operation Phakisa.
Mr P Maloyi (ANC) explained that the Committee was only commending the development and the idea behind Operation Phakisa and this did not mean that it had received a briefing about the effectiveness of the programme.
Mr P Van Dalen (DA) indicated that the Department had received an unqualified audit opinion with findings and therefore the Committee cannot commend Operation Phakisa.
Mr N Capa (ANC) mentioned that the Committee was just noting that Operation Phakisa is a government programme without focusing on the progress that had been made in the programme. The Committee commended that Operation Phakisa had been initiated and was already there.
The Chairperson agreed that the focus at the moment should be on the programme and not its overall progress as there was still lack of information in that regard.
Mr S Mncwabe (NFP) supported the suggestion as the focus at the moment was not on the successes and failures of Operation Phakisa but rather coordination of Operation Phakisa.
Mr Van Dalen said that the better word was “acknowledge” and not “commend”.
The Chairperson stated that the better solution would be for the Committee to vote on the matter.
The majority of Members voted for the retention of the word “commend”.
Mr Paulsen asked about the finalisation of the disciplinary process for the suspended Director-General (DG) of the Department. It is clear that the report was silent on the timeframe for the finalisation of the suspension as every person should have a right to a speedy disciplinary process.
Mr Capa noted that there are words like “fast-track” and “finalisation” in the sentence on page 37 and therefore the sentence expressed the need for the finalisation of the case of the suspended DG.
Mr Paulsen maintained that there should be a specific date on the finalisation of the case.
The Chairperson said that it was pointless for the Committee to stipulate the timeframe for the finalisation of the case without consulting stakeholders involved to hear about the progress of the case.
The Chairperson asked the Committee should now move for the adoption of the Report.
Adoption of the Report
Mr Baloyi moved for the adoption of the Report and was seconded by Ms Steyn.
The Report was adopted without amendments.
Mr Paulsen indicated the EFF’s objection to the Report.
The meeting was adjourned.
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