The Committee considered and approved three outstanding reports with amendments. The Committee also adopted several outstanding minutes.
The Chairperson spoke about the CEO of PansalB becoming an accounting officer in the Portfolio Committee meeting, the Committee then realised the urgency of the matter and wrote to the Minister to indicate what had occurred at PansalB. The Minister then wrote to the Speaker to inform her that the matter regarding the CEO at Pansal B was urgent; therefore, the Committee would need to deliberate on the matter again and sooner. When this was ATC’d, information was provided indicating that the Board has challenged the outcome of the court judgment. If that meant the Committee would go back to square one, it shall do so.
The Chairperson indicated that the Committee has the file of nominees, but nothing can be done until everything has been sorted out with the courts. This has affected the schedule of the Committee because it had already planned its programme. The Committee appreciated that PansalB is doing a lot of good work and it is in the media for all the right reasons.
The Committee could not have the discussions that were planned regarding the status of PansalB, so it needs to find time to do so. She stressed that, the matter before the court has nothing to do with the Committee. The Committee needs to get to a point where it was clear about the status of PansalB.
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) stated that board’s term has come to an end, she asked for the legal team to provide some clarity on this because as she understands the matter the Board’s term had already expired.
The Chairperson stated that the legal team would be consulted.
She then welcomed the members, and stated that the business of the day was the deliberation and adoption of previous minutes and committee reports.
Referring to the report, the Chairperson said there is a challenge due to the lack of a Content Advisor. She wrote to the management of Parliament to request for a Content Advisor. She stressed how strenuous this issue is, but the lack of the content advisor makes the Committee’s job very difficult.
Deliberation and adoption of outstanding minutes
Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on October 24, 2017
Minutes were adopted the proposed grammatical corrections, and there were no substantive amendments made.
The corrections were highlighted and the minutes adopted by the Committee.
Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on November 7, 2017
The Chairperson noted a typographical error on page three of the minute and thereafter moved for adoption of the minutes.
The Minutes were also adopted without any substantive amendments.
Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on November 14, 2017
The Chairperson said that the word ‘had’ on the third line of the last paragraph on page three should be amended to ‘have’ as the impact on the community is continuous.
Mr G Grootboom (DA) suggested a minor grammatical correction.
The Chairperson said that there was absence of consequences and follow-up actions on the minutes. Henceforth, all follow-up actions would be on the agenda.
The minutes were adopted with the proposed amendments.
Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on November 28, 2017
Ms Tsoleli said that there should be a reference to the report that was discussed in the meeting as the report formed a crucial part of the discussions held at the meeting.
After the consideration, the minutes were adopted with the proposed amendments.
Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on February 6, 2018
Incorrect minutes were circulated to Members, and the Chairperson suggested that the minutes be revisited later after considering the report.
Report on Oversight visit to Mpumalanga
The Chairperson indicated that the report was from the oversight visit that was undertaken in Mpumalanga and highlighted that it was a hectic oversight visit.
On Page five, the Chairperson stated that the Department was not responsible for building libraries. The provincial departments must decide what to do, but the Department must find a way to communicate to the provinces and work with them in such a way that the provinces do not relegate their mandates to their local municipalities.
Furthermore, the Committee can not recommend a uniform structural plan for all libraries since National Department is not responsible for the structural designs of library building. Provinces are constitutionally mandated to determine the structural designs of libraries within the provinces but the National Departments can liaise with the provinces in ensuring uniformity in the structural designs of libraries across the country.
Mr Grootboom said that the reference to recommendations on page 8 were in fact not recommendations but merely findings and should be amended.
The Chairperson said that for each finding, the Committee must give its recommendations. It was the Department’s responsibility to ensure that the findings were addressed, and produce a report in that regard. She emphasised that people have come before the Committee and mad promises on how issues that came up during oversight visits would be addressed but nothing happens.
Mr Grootboom suggested that perhaps the Committee should write to the people who are solely responsible for addressing the findings and requests a follow up report or a report detailing how the findings were addressed and progress.
The Chairperson concurred, and submitted to Members to adopt the report with the proposed amendments.
The report was adopted with changes.
Report on visit to the Enyokeni Cultural Precinct and the Kwazulu-Natal Museum, 14-15 September, 2017
The Chairperson took Members through the report page by page.
Mr Grootboom said that the name of the cultural precinct was not spelt correctly and should be amended. The last paragraph on page two should also be corrected as the first two lines were not comprehensible. The recommendations were generalised without any clear directive or specific timelines. He suggested that there should be timelines when the recommendations are expected to be carried out by the Department. This would help the Committee monitor whether its recommendations were carried out.
The Chairperson said that the second bullet on the Committee’s recommendations should be amended as the Committee cannot dictate to the Department what to do. Consequences for failure to carry out the recommendations should also be stated.
The report was adopted by the Committee.
Report of the governance workshop with the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the entities of Department of Arts and Culture
Mr Grootboom said that the Committee received some report at the beginning of the year concerning the victimisation of some staff of the Department who cooperated with the Committee by providing it with information. Some of the staff were suspended because of whistleblowing activities to the Committee.
The Chairperson said she was informed that the staff in question were been prosecuted for leaking information to the press and not because of the information given to the Committee.
Mr T Makondo (ANC) said that whistleblowers - whether they were staff members or members of the public - should be protected as provided by the law. The Legal unit should advise the Committee on the protection affordable to the whistleblowers.
Ms Tsoleli said that the law did not only afford protection to whistleblowers but further provided that the information given in the course of whistleblowing can not be used as evidence in prosecution of the whistleblowers. The Committee should seek the advice of the legal unit and act on it so that the staff of departments would not be afraid of victimization while providing information to Parliament. Despite the code of conduct of departments, the Constitution is still supreme to the code of conduct.
The report was adopted with minor grammatical corrected errors.
ng was adjourned.
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