This meeting, to discuss plans to address the challenges faced by small harbours, was attended by the following stakeholders:
- Department of Public Works (DPW)
- Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
- Port St Johns Development Agency
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)
- SA Police Services
- Department of Home Affairs
- Northern Cape Legislature.
The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the Department of Tourism was invited but could not attend.
A key theme in this meeting was that the Committee was extremely disappointed about the lack of inter-departmental working relationship between all the government departments that were responsible for operations of small harbours around South Africa. Small harbours played a leading role in the country’s economy - in empowering impoverished communities living in and around them. Government had to play a pivotal role in ensuring this. All departments had to work together and co-operate to make small harbours productive and accessible to people.
In addition it felt that most departments did not adequately address the concerns raised by the Committee emanating from the oversight visits. There were a number of departmental plans and strategic ideas on the issue - but none contained any practical and definitive suggestions to address the challenges identified.
DAFF in particular was lambasted by all members, whilst DPW as the lead co-ordinating department was criticised for not co-ordinating and leading he response more effectively. Members felt that the SAPS presentation correctly identified the challenges and provided solutions but lacked giving the Committee a clear direction of which proposal would work best for the country. The presentation by the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality was appreciated by all members who felt it gave a good idea of the challenges municipalities faced and what support they needed from other arms of government.
The Committee has therefore requested the Department of Public Works, which was the coordinating department to submit a detailed consolidated report from all the departments that were responsible to address the challenges faced by small harbours, to respond and address all the questions and concerns that were raised by members of the Committee by 18 February 2018.
The Committee hoped to have a follow-up engagement with stakeholders within the next six months and would invite involved in the operation and development of small harbours.
Opening Remarks by Chairperson
The Chairperson said that small harbours should play a leading role in the country’s economy - small harbours had to become “big” harbours in empowering impoverished communities living in and around them. Government had to play a pivotal role in ensuring this. All departments had to work together and co-operate to make small harbours productive and accessible to people.
He welcomed all the stakeholders participating, especially the senior SAPS delegation led by Major General Chilembe and Mayor Mqwebu from Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, but was critical of those departments that sent junior staff members and those that were invited, but were absent like the SA National Defence Force and the Department of Tourism.
Presentation by DPW
Mr Dhaya Govender, Department of Public Works:DDG, Small Harbours and State Coastal Properties Development Unit (SH&SCPDU) led a large DPW contingent that included the national head office, Northern Cape legislature, Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and the Port St Johns Development Agency.
He said that it was imperative that all three spheres of government had to work together to ensure the success of small harbours and uplift people out of poverty, as small harbours resided in some of the poorest areas of the country. DPW was the custodian of most of the state owned small harbours and coastal properties - the largest coastal property portfolio in the country - and thus played a leading role in its economic development.
DPW SH&SCPDU operations was mandated via the Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA) that seemed to facilitate the investment in three areas:
- marine infrastructure and repairs
- maximum utilisation of coastal land and properties for business and or social purposes
- local socio-economic development
He said that due to significant budget cuts in government programmes, DPW had to make do with limited resources to implement its SH&SCPDU plans. A key component was the implementation of DPW’s new radical economic transformation initiatives that would focus on empowering local black communities on aspects such as fishing quotas, ownership, job creation, suppliers of goods and services. DPW participated in the Phakisa Oceans Economy to re-develop small harbours with an explicit outcome to kick-start local economic development in collaboration with Provincial Task Teams (PTT’s)
He outlined some of the problems related to the management of state coastal properties and the interventions to address this by DPW. This included the establishment of an entity to manage coastal harbours in partnership with DAFF, Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), National Treasury (NT), as well as representatives from provincial and municipal governments. Another key intervention strategy was a more effective management of both coastal properties and marine infrastructure.
Ms Nolizwe Hlengwa, DPW:Director of Property Management,Cape Town - briefed the Committee on DPW’s management of State Coastal Properties.
She listed some of the key problems faced by the state in terms of its coastal properties-
- vacant derelict and neglected properties that become hubs for criminal activities
- historically, black communities were denied access to these state properties
- local suppliers were not utilised, leading to lack of local development
- low and/or nominal rentals paid by current businesses
- leases were not renewed since 2008 (only short term leases granted)
To address these problems, DPW had taken some remedial steps that included the following - partnerships with provinces, municipalities and development agencies to support the development of properties to facilitate the granting of licenses and permissions such as new zoning.
DPW has approached the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to establish a fund for black property developers and had also approached NT, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Development Bank of SA (DBSA), the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA) and the Small Enterprise Funding Agency (SEFA) for funding and support.
DPW has also held property marketing events in the Western Cape (WC), Eastern Cape (EC) and Kwazulu Natal (KZN) to inform investors, provincial and local governments on its new letting out and rental model, that was developed in partnership with NT. This new framework would create further opportunities for black entrepreneurs, job creation and stimulation of local economies. The new plans would target both renewals and new leases.
In addition three new unregistered economic sites had been identified for socio-economic development - these were at Kleinzee (decommissioned De Beers mining land), Doringbaai (creation of a special economic zone ) and Houtbay (expansion of cold-room infrastructure).
The majority of DPW’s current 333 leases were in the WC (78%), with 19% in KZN and about 3% in the Northern Cape. There were no leases in the EC.
Ms Nomini Kele, DPW:Project Manager, SH&SCPDU - briefed the Committee on DPW’s Marine Infrastructure Management plans. Her presentation focused on the initiatives in the 19 coastal sites under DPW control - 9 in the WC, 5 in KZN, 3 in the Northern Cape (NC) and 2 in the EC.
The problems that hampered effective development of these coastal sites were that most previous maintenance and expenditure had been skewed towards the WC (12 proclaimed fishing harbours in the 9 sites controlled by DPW). In addition small harbours and state property had not been maintained or repaired, hence the economic potential of small harbours had not been realised.
To remedy these constraints, DPW have developed Spatial and Economic Development Frameworks (SEDF’s) at key sites disadvantaged in the past. This had been earmarked for the following small harbours - Port Nolloth, Hondeklipbaai and Kleinzee (NC), Port Alfred, Port Grosvener and Coffee Bay (EC) and 6 sites n KZN - Port Edward/Margate, Hibberdene/Port Shepstone/Shelley Beach, Blythdale, Mthunzini and Pelican Island. The SEDF’s would prioritise the construction of breakwaters, jetties and quays, slipways for launching and dry dock repairs, cranes, cold storage rooms and facilities to clean fish. The budget for the above over the period 2016/17 to 2018/19 was R269m (this severely curtailed from previous approvals by NT). Another important programme was the salvaging of sunken vessels in the Western Cape, where 29 permanent jobs were created (and 65 temporary jobs) at small fishing harbours like Laaiplek, St Helena Bay, Lamberts Bay and others.
Mr Dhaya Govender resumed the briefing DPW’s National Priority Projects.
The problems that DPW had to address in its national priority projects were related to (amongst others) the lack of proclaimed fishing harbours other than in the WC, lack of maintenance and repairs in small harbours, poaching and other illegal activities and the lack of access to fishing activities due to non existent marine infrastructure.
The intervention strategies by DPW’s national priority projects were amongst others to develop three new harbours (Port Nolloth, Port St Johns and Port Edward), increased community consultation and to conduct feasibility studies for the funding of the construction basic infrastructure at prioritised sites (slipways, jetties and cold storage rooms)
Mr Govender then asked the Mayor of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality (KZN South Coast) - who was part of the DPW delegation - to brief the Committee on some thoughts and ideas the municipality had to stimulate the local economy, linked to DPW initiatives.
Councillor Nomusa Mqwebu, the Mayor of the Ray Nkonyenyi Municipality told the Committee that the municipality was as prime beach resort area (7 blue flag beaches) and that it was 80% rural. Like most areas in the country unemployment was a big problem - around 28%, so any economic stimulus in the area was welcomed, especially for previously disadvantaged people. Some of the ideas to develop the area were to revitalise Port Edward by constructing a small craft harbour, develop a desalination plant, boat building activities, maritime training and to develop rural tourism. Other opportunities would be to develop the beach fronts at Margate and Port Shepstone and a small craft harbour at Shelly Beach. These proposals were developed as part government’s Operation Phakisa Programme. She requested assistance from the Committee, to enable the municipality to acquire land owned by Transnet for these projects, funding to help with the commissioning of feasibility studies and to help with the co-ordination of land, earmarked for development, that is private hands.
Mr Dhaya Govender then briefed the Committee on the last DPW programme to remedy the current abject state of affairs at small harbours - the establishment of the Small Harbours Management Entity.
He said this was a GIAMA initiative and that DPW as the lead government ministry would establish the entity in conjunction with DAFF, DEA and NT. Current government structures to manage small harbours only focussed on the 12 proclaimed fishing harbours (WC) and did not serve the best interests of the whole country, so other non proclaimed fishing harbours were excluded. In addition current harbour tariffs were low and outdated and did not cover the costs of harbour operations. He said that establishment of the Small Harbours Management Entity would be facilitated at DG level and an interdepartmental task team - that would drive the process including new legislation to establish the entity and the funding thereof.
The Chairperson thanked DPW for the comprehensive presentation and asked for ideas on the way forward as the next presentation was by DAFF - but as the Committee did not have any copies of their presentation, wanted to know if SAPS could proceed with theirs as the Committee did receive their presentation.
Dr Q Madlopha (ANC), said she was not happy with the lack of documents from DAFF. Not have the pre-read documents meant that Committee members could not make meaningful assessment and comment on presentations.
Mr L Filtane (UDM) said that he agreed with Dr Madlopha, and requested that SAPS proceeded with their presentation while DAFF obtained the pre-read documents for the Committee.
The Chairperson reminded DAFF to take note of the member’s displeasure and concerns regarding the lack of pre-read documents and asked them to take account of the concerns and to remedy the situation.
Presentation by SAPS
Major General David Chilembe led the SAPS delegation. He was accompanied by Brigadiers, Malashele and Hlongwane and by Colonels, Olivier and Steyn.
He gave the Committee an overview of SAPS operations regarding the policing of small harbours in response to the Committee concerns on small harbours. He said that the key deliverable for SAPS, was to have a crime free area - a safe and secure environment for all - at small harbours and coastal properties.
SAPS had a presence in most small harbours visited by the Committee - ie a police station - except at Yzerfontein where service was provided from the Darling police station.
Major General Chilembe outlined some problem areas for SAPS that constrained the effective policing of small harbours and some solutions to address these challenges.
Amongst the challenges he highlighted, were the following:
- That SA had a long coastal area of around 2798km with only 8 declared ports of entry and several registered and unregistered small fishing harbours. Declared ports of entry (POE) had dedicated policing resources, small fishing harbours none.
- That there was no specific legislation for policing of small fishing harbours, hence these were serviced via normal policing operations. Small harbours were not designated as ports of entry, hence had no defined policing and security prescription
- Some launching areas and slipways were managed privately and not by the state.
- Recent Operation Phakisa outcomes placed small harbours at an equal (if not elevated) priority to that of ports of entry from a policing and security perspective.
Major General Chilembe then mentioned some options for small harbour policing based on models in Canada, United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU). He elaborated on the USA where small harbours were privately run and policing (by the US Coast Guard) concentrated their efforts on territorial waters up to 45 nautical miles offshore. In SA the offshore extention was only 12 nautical miles from ports of entry for police patrols. Beyond 12km, coastal patrols was the navy’s responsible but only for defence and not to combat crime.
He outlined three possible scenarios for policing and security at small harbours.
- Scenario 1 - all small harbours declared as ports of entry for trawlers and fishing activity for international vessels in terms of ISPS code and the Merchant and Shipping Act (The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code - ISPS was a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities).
- Scenario 2 - a scaled down version of port security for small harbours. The small harbour became part of the local police station operations. Establishment of water wing crime prevention unit to police “crime on the water” and support in terms of border policing provided from the nearest POE.
- Scenario 3 - somewhat similar to scenario 1 but with the addition that SAPS established a new harbour police function on the same model as police stations with a water wing crime prevention unit under the VISPOL programme (VISPOL = visible policing).
The SAPS Component Organisational Unit would explore the viability of establishing a water wing unit with a clear differentiated focus from border policing - i.e the water wing would function like a local police station with additional crime prevention capabilities on the water. This would require new and/or amended legislation.
He in indicated that until these proposals were evaluated by SAPS, policing of small harbours had to be shared been declared ports of entry and local police stations.
Major General Chilembe said the SAPS had recently launched a successful policing strategy in the Western Cape, based on concerns raised by the Committee. This was a recent development and he wanted to know if SAPS could brief the Committee on some of the outcomes as it was not originally part of the SAPS presentation, so no handout was available. The handout would be provided after the meeting.
The Chairperson agreed that the additional briefing could go ahead.
Colonel Olivier gave brief overview of recent crime prevention strategies in the Western Cape, specifically focussing on policing activities where, as he said - “the rubber meets the tar” - i.e. actual police operations to combat crime across the Western Cape, from Hout Bay (where where police recent chased a boat suspected of illegal activities from Cape Point into the harbour) to Gansbaai where some abalone poachers were apprehended.He said that the policing model was based on one standard but that it was adjusted to suit local conditions e.g. Houtbay vs. St Helena Bay vs. Hermanus all had slightly different conditions. SAPS local policing in partnership with harbour masters operated in most small fishing harbours and was underpinned by an integrated policing and crime prevention strategy with the harbour as a key point and some additional measures based on the local conditions, eg.
- in Saldanha Bay there was also a border policing component (Saldanda Bay was a POE)
- in Stillbaai there was increased policing during the festive season
- Kalkbay harbour had a drug problem so a different policing strategy in place
- in Hermanus and Gansbaai some communities were intertwined with corruption that placed extra strains on normal policing (eg. abalone poaching)
The Chairperson thanked SAPS for the excellent presentation, especially the last section where the Committee was briefed on actual crime prevention operations that took place in small harbours.
He asked the Committee’s indulgence to allow a Department of Home Affairs representative to briefly inform the Committee on the Department’s plans seeing it was “absent” - i.e no head office staff - and not able to brief the Committee
Mr Yusuf Simons, Department of Home Affairs:Provincial Manager - Western Cape apologised for the department’s absence, specifically the DG and DDG. He said the Department would provide the Committee with a response on the concerns raised from its oversight visit by the end of business on the 7th of February. This would focus on activities to combat illegal immigrants.
Presentation by DAFF
Sue Middleton, DAFF: Chief Director, Fisheries Operational Support led the DAFF delegation supported by Mr Lucas Williams, DAFF: Director, Socio Economic Development and Mr Asanda Njobeni, DAFF: Fisheries Acting Chief Director, Resource Management. The DAFF prevention was delivered by Mr Williams.
A large part of his presentation related to historical developments impacting on small harbours from a pre-1994 and post 1994 perspective. Prior to 1994 respective governments established development agencies to support fishermen and fishing infrastructure, like the Fishing Development Corporation (FDC). Prior to the new government coming to power in 1994 the custodianship of fishing harbours resided in the DPW at national level.
Post 1994 this custodianship was transferred to the DEA. In 1996 the Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA) was promulgated by DAFF with a mandate to provide for the long term sustainable utilisation of marine living resources and the orderly exploitation of some marine living resources. The MLRA included the declaration of (fishing) harbours subject to the approval of the Minister of Transport. Harbour infrastructure included amongst others - dry docking, vessel mooring, processing facilities, engineering services etc.
The current small harbour management regime meant that DPW was the custodian of all state immovable property, e.g. harbours, whilst DAFF was responsible for the day to day management of fishing resources and related aspects, including compliance.
Since 2005 there had been substantial inter governmental discussions regarding the management of small harbours, including the establishment of a Harbour Steering Committee (HSC) by DPW, NT and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (now DAFF). By 2014 these developments were overtaken by Operation Phakisa initiatives.
The fishing sector had since declined significantly, unemployment had increased at small harbours and this coupled with other socio-economic ills like crime and poaching meant development had been slow. The state’s lack of investment in small harbour infrastructure had exacerbated the problem.
However, there were some opportunities to address the general decline of small harbours like aquaculture, tourism, retail activities and support of fishing activities like boat building/repairs.
He said the way forward to address the challenges faced by small harbours would be to implement the Operation Phakisa recommendations, but he cautioned that the constant changes in the drivers to revive small harbours resulted in frequent stop/start scenarios.
The Chairperson thanked DAFF for the presentation. He said he would have preferred a more senior DAFF delegation (more than just a Chief Director) He was also very concerned that the DAFF briefing focussed too much on history and not on any clear decisive current actions, to address the concerns raised by the Committee as discovered during the oversight visits. It seemed as if since 1994 “nothing” had been done. He said he was not satisfied with what DAFF was doing in this regard, based on this ineffective presentation.
He asked Committee members for their comments.
Ms P Adams (ANC) said that she was very unhappy with the overall briefings to the Committee as the answers to the questions posed that arose from the oversight visit were not evident in the briefings. She felt the presentations were too rushed and requested that all presenters return in 6 months time to re-brief the Committee. She was particularly critical of the “silo” mentality still evident in the briefings with no explicit co-operation or interaction between the departments supposed to drive this process, there was no integrated approach - each department merely stated its own approach with very little on how the inter-departmental teams co-operated to address the problems associated with small harbours and state coastal properties. She proposed that the inter ministerial team tasked with addressing the issue be summonsed to present their work to the Committee. She said the SAPS was a critical stakeholder who had to ensure that the current gap in security and policing at small harbours and state coastal properties was addressed urgently.
Dr Q Madlopha (ANC) was very critical about the departmental briefings, she said it was unacceptable that some departments had totally incorrect briefings (to the Committee) and did not answer challenges raised by the Committee.
She was very critical of the DAFF presentation and, she said it contained nothing substantial - all it did was focus on history. What the Committee needed was a clear strategy to deal with the challenges at small harbours. After 23 years in power we have neglected our assets in harbours and DAFF had no clear plan on how to reverse this.
She said it was unacceptable that Home Affairs was not present and the response from Mr Simons was not sufficient.
The presentation by SAPS was detailed and contained specific plans of action to address the challenges at small harbours but it lacked a critical aspect - which scenario would provide the best solution. Another concern was how to address the 12 nautical mile constraint - surely there had to be better co-operation with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to co-ordinate this. Was this issue discussed in the Security Cluster? She wanted to know when SAPS discovered that there was a security problem at small harbours. Dr Madlopha asked which legislation had to be amended or introduced to empower SAPS to police small harbours more effectively as the Committee could help to fast-track that. She said the Committee needed time frames of when and how suggestions tabled in the presentation would be implemented. Were these plans submitted to the National Police Commissioner for comment and what was the response.
She thanked Mayor Mqwebu for her presentation and was pleased that Mr Govender invited her as this gave the Committee a clear insight of what was required to uplift local communities and the challenges they faced at the “coal face”. The Department (Mr Govender) had to assist the Mayor to acquire the land from Transnet for the proposed projects. The Committee would do all it can to support and assist the Municipality as well.
Regarding the DPW presentation, Dr Madlopha wanted to know what the departmental strategy was to ensure “our people” were involved in measures to redress past imbalances - they had to be part of the radical transformation projects, especially black woman who was notably absent from the presentation on transformation - this was not right, she said. She wanted to know if the department had already engaged the PIC and what the outcomes were - the Committee needed more specific information that would address the problems at small harbours, not broad outlines of plans. She commented further that DPW was very scant with providing information to the Committee - “the information was in a dishing spoon, but all the Committee got was information in a tea spoon”
Dr M Figg (DA) said his views were similar to that of Dr Madlopha. The DAFF presentation was not good and did not contain any information the Committee could use.
He was happy with prevention by SAPS and by the Mayor of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and said that the Committee should support and help them with their plans and proposals.
The DPW presentation continued too much planning and broad high level plans and not enough actual implementation of plans on the ground. He wanted to know why emergency repairs were not fixed straight away and why these had to wait until the second half of 2018. He was concerned about the very slow pace of progress on departmental plans, specifically on ensuring that there was sufficient capital to roll out planned programmes speedily. He wanted to know what was being done (on the ground) to ensure that local suppliers and local businesses would benefit from plans to revive the state of small harbours. Other concerns he raised was - on the slow pace of implementing Operation Phakisa outcomes and wanted to know if this programme was still relevant, why rentals at state coastal properties were so low as it undermine the state’s income streams. He was critical regarding departmental plans and operations on a number of crucial issues that hampered service delivery - the slow repair programme of state assets in small harbours, the lack of information regarding the negotiation of new leases and the lack of any visionary thinking to utilise the valuable state assets in small harbours more effectively (rather than just wait for funds from NT).
Mr D Ryder (DA) was similarly critical of some of the presentations. The assets under DPW represented a significant portion of state value and he wanted to know if Mr Govender felt he was sufficiently resourced and empowered to do his work. What was the his budget, how many staff did he have and did the directorate have the necessary tools to manage the work. He wanted to know what the role was of DPW - were they only a custodian of the assets or was there a role to work with others like SAPS and DAFF to improve the operations of small harbours.
He said the Mayor of Ray Nkonyeni needed help to unlock the opportunities identified and wanted to know what the role of DPW would be in this.
He wanted to know if DAFF was still issuing licenses to the declining fishing industry and if these were earmarked for local traditional fishermen rather than the large corporations. He was concerned that it seems like the overall planning of small harbours was done in “silos” with little or no interdepartmental interaction.
He wanted to know if the Department and government departments were engaging with other important role players like the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and local municipalities via the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) as the latter was crying out for opportunities to develop and spend money to uplift communities - they had to brought into the loop.
Mr K Sithole (IFP) said the briefings by all the stakeholders attending was an eye opener. He was particularly pleased with the SAPS and Ray Nkonyeni presentations as these provided clear and concise plans to address concerns raised by the Committee.
He was concerned about the lack of information on interdepartmental meetings on the issue and what the outcomes were to remedy the concerns raised by the Committee. He wanted to know what was being done to address the criminal activities at small harbours as encountered by the Committee during its oversight visit. He requested more information from DPW on the Provincial Task Teams - specifically on how it worked, who were on these teams and its operations as linked to Operation Phakisa.
Ms E Masehela (ANC) said she was not satisfied with the information contained in the presentations. DPW merely re-hashed problem areas already identified by the Committee during its oversight visit, had grand plans and strategies BUT not enough on actual departmental plans to address the problems. She also requested DPW to provide more clarity on its marine infrastructure budget as stated on slide 33.
She asked Major General Chilembe what the SAPS was doing on the ground to ensure the safety of people in harbours - she mentioned the harbour master of Hout Bay who was female and had to work under very challenging circumstances - in vandalised offices (no doors, no windows). Contacting SAPS was not working as often there was no response.
She wanted to know if the many foreign multinationals working in our harbours were there legally as it impacted on the employment of locals. She felt that on the whole “we” were not taking locals on board (with our plans), hence it seemed as if plans and operations at small harbours were disadvantaging locals.
She said that departments were not working together to address the problems at small harbours - there was only blaming and finger pointing
Mr M Filtane (UDM) said that based on what he heard it seems as if the departments wanted to collapse government - they sat in their air conditioned offices and made grand plans, made no progress on implementing them and so failed the state. He said that according to the Auditor General “you” (collectively referring to mainly DPW but also DAFF as lead government departments for small harbours) had no basic plan to maintain state infrastructure. This was evident during the Committee oversight visits to various small harbours and state coastal properties - he cited Hout Bay harbour as a prime example where offices were in disrepair. If the state was unable to maintain properties then it needed to sell it. This would also help to address the land problem we had in the country. He asked for a list of all the state properties under the custodianship of DPW.
He wanted to know if local people were being involved in the upgrades and maintenance at harbours - e.g. to gain new skills in building the new harbour at Port St Johns. He asked if the plans for the new harbour was available, when the construction would start and how jobs there would be.
He said that DAFF had “dropped the ball” - their presentation was meaningless and gave the Committee nothing to work with. He said that DAFF had to give DPW a clear indication on what services it needed to enable it to plan for these - this not forthcoming in the presentation. He wanted to know if DPW had the necessary financial skills to verify and check the financials of companies renting state property.
He was particularly critical of the funding and capital required to realise these plans - if there was no one to fund it the plans had to be terminated immediately - radical economic transformation was supposed to have a radical impact, but it means nothing if there was no funding. Mr Filtane wanted to know if there was any risk analysis done on the departmental plans as the Committee could not agree to any plans without a proper risk analysis.
He wanted to know how the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality would revive its small harbours plans via Operation Pkakisa, particularly if it would it create employment sorely needed in the area.
He also was not sure how the collection of departments managed the state properties - there was DPW, DAFF and many others, including Provincial Task Teams (PTT’s). The Committee had no idea how these would work.
He said the SAPS presentation was good but included no clear plan of which scenario SAPS favoured and why. The Committee needed an assessment of each scenario and how they compared with one another to decide which was the best option.
DAFF was central to the revival of small harbours, so needed to go back and draft a more appropriate response to the concerns raised by the Committee.
Mr F Adams (ANC) said he was perturbed that the departmental blame game was still going instead of doing the work to redress the problems identified. DPW as the lead department had to take responsibility and had to lead on the issues raised. He said that DPW had was “failing government”.
Mr Adams said that this was not a workshop but that clear and concise plans was needed to address concerns raised by the Committee as picked up in the oversight visit. the DPW as lead co-ordinating department had to do more. DDG Govender had done some sterling work since coming into the job, but his briefing to the Committee had left out critical issues that was raised in other meetings related to small harbours and state coastal properties (he did not elaborate what these were, but said it had important impacts on the outcomes discussed thus far). He felt that the DG and the Minister had to come to the Committee and explain this in more detail.
He said that DPW had to ensure that assets at small harbours were not sold to bigger organisation to the detriment of smaller local communities and business. The business model had to ensure that local communities also benefited - perhaps a 50:50 model would be appropriate. He was also concerned at how it was possible for large corporations to lease buildings at such low nominal amounts.
Silos were still at play he said and it seems as if DPW was not talking to SAPS. More engagement was needed amongst “ourselves’ he said to help unlock opportunities and help our people.
He said the current state of affairs could not be allowed to continue and that if people were not taking the Committee serious they had to be subpoena’d - the rot had to be stopped now.
The Chairperson said he appreciated the input from the Mayor of Ray Nkonyeni and that the Committee would support and help her to ensure that these ideas could be implemented. The Committee would use her example as a “benchmark idea” in dealing with other similar coastal municipalities.
He said he was disappointed at the lack of senior departmental officials at the meeting - given the seriousness of the issues, DG’s had to be present not Chief Directors. The Committee appreciated the input by those present at lower levels, but needed more senior input to help fast-track ways to address the challenges.
He felt that the DPW correctly identified the problem areas but that there was not enough action - “we had to walk the talk” to empower those that were left behind by apartheid , e.g WC vs. EC where the latter needed more resources now.
He said the Committees letter to various departments was very clear on what needed to address the problems discovered during the oversight visits. As a follow-up, the Committee would invite the inter ministerial committee (and other bodies like PTT, HSC etc.) including Ministers to ensure the issue received the proper attention.
He said DPW had to ensure that it avoided the mistakes made by Eskom - it must not allow itself to be pressured into empower the already empowered. It had to give the poorer communities a chance now.
He said that due to time constraints it was now difficult to engage the departments further on the responses as raised by Committee members and wanted to know how to proceed further based on the views from members.
Mr Sithole suggested that all departments responded to the Committee in writing detailing all the concerns raised and what they would do to address these.
Mr Filtane agreed but felt that perhaps DPW as the lead department could make one or two comments.
Mr Adams suggested that all departments had to provide their feedback to DPW, who, as the led department could collate these and provide the Committee with a consolidated response. Dr Madlopha supported this.
The Chairperson agreed and asked DPW to provide a consolidated report based on all other department’s input by thursday 8 February 2018. He further advised that the Committee would request input from the SANDF, Department of Tourism and Home Affairs who were not present at the meeting. All stakeholders would be invited back within 6 months to brief the Committee on its plans
He also informed members that due to the glaring concerns that was discovered in the EC during he oversight visit, a small delegation from the Committee would be conducting a follow-up visit in due course.
He said that an important aspect of everyone involved in this issue was to know that a lot of work still and to be done to improve the lives of marginalised people in SA.
The meeting was adjourned at about 15h15.