The Department of Public Services and Administration briefed the Committee on the proposed amendments to the Public Service Commission Act. The first amendment sought to allow for a renewal of the term of the Commissioner on recommendation from the National Assembly or Provincial Legislatures. The second amendment sought to allow the President to appoint an Acting Commissioner in the absence of the Chair and the Deputy Chair.
The Committee could not proceed with the negotiating mandates on the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill [B8B-2017] due to the absence of many permanent delegates.
Election of an acting Chairperson
The Committee Secretary mentioned that the Chairperson of the Committee has been booked off, and in terms of the rules for the purposes of the meeting members had to elect someone to chair the proceedings.
Ms T Mokwele (EFF; North West) nominated Mr S Mthimunye (ANC) to Chair the Committee. She referred to the lack of ANC members present at the committee meeting as being an indication that members do not take their work seriously.
The Committee Secretary said that apologies had been received from the Chairperson and Ms T Wana (ANC; Eastern Cape).
The nomination of Mr Mthimunye went unchallenged and he welcomed Mr Mthimunye to take the Chair.
The Acting Chairperson welcomed the delegation from the Public Service Commission, which was led by Ms Ranesh Naidoo, head of legal services. The Minister had tended an apology for not attending the meeting.
The Committee Secretary confirmed that in terms of official records the Department had sent in an apology and due to prior engagement the Minister could not attend the meeting. Instead, senior government officials were to represent the Department.
Ms Makwele rejected the apology of the Minister. The Deputy Minister should have attended the meeting in the absence of the Minister.
The Acting Chairperson said that the Committee should not engage that which they do not have facts on. There was a written apology from the Minister. The two Deputy Ministers had not submitted apologies and he agreed that they should have attended the meeting.
Briefing by Department of Public Services and Administration
Ms Ranesh Naidoo spoke briefly about the background of the Bill, the Objects of the Bill, as well as the two clauses being amended. The two clauses being amended are on the renewal of the term of the Commissioner as well as the appointing of a Commissioner to act in the absence of a Chair and a Deputy Chair.
Section 4 of principal Act
Ms Naidoo said that the amendment to Section 4 of the principal Act seeks to allow for continuity in terms of experience of the commissioners. The Constitution allows for a renewal of a Chairperson's term for a maximum of five further years. The Act in it its current form does not allow for a renewal process. The Bill seeks to fill the gap and create a renewal process. It seeks to allow the President to extend the term of the Commissioner on the recommendation of the National Assembly or the Provincial Legislature depending on which commissioner is being appointed or renewed. The Bill further seeks to allow the National Assembly or the Provincial Legislature to provide for the criteria which must be used in such renewals.
Section 5 of principal Act
Ms Naidoo said the amendment to section 5 is to allow for the designation of an acting Chairperson in the absence of both the Chair and the Deputy Chair. It seeks to allow processes to unfold to assist the administrative gap that is created when a Chair is not present. The Act currently allows for the Deputy Chair to be appointed as the acting Chair in the absence of the Chair. It does not allow for a scenario where there is no Chair and no Deputy Chair. The Bill seeks to allow the President to appoint one Commissioner from the remaining Commissioners to act as the Chairperson in the absence of both the Chair and the Deputy Chair.
The Acting Chairperson asked if there are any questions from the members.
No questions were forthcoming.
The acting Chairperson advised Members to do briefings at their respective provincial legislatures now that the Department had done an official presentation to the Select Committee.
Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill [B8B-2017]: Negotiating mandates
The Acting Chairperson asked to take a five minute break to consult on whether to proceed with the mandates due to the large number of permanent delegates being absent. After consultation, he said that the negotiating mandates could not be dealt with in the absence of the permanent delegates.
Ms Makwele said she was disappointed in the manner the Select Committee was performing its responsibilities. She said there must be consequences.
Mr M Chetty (DA; KZN) said he was disappointed at the absence of permanent delegates as well as the absence of the Minister and the Deputy Ministers.
The Acting Chairperson said he could not respond to why members did not attend the meeting. He will be briefing the Chief Whip on the matter.
The meeting was adjourned.