The House Chairperson instructed that all the bills from 2013 up until 2017 must be finalised before the end of the third quarter. The Committee needed to look at its own programme so as to be able to keep up with the instruction of Parliament.
The Committee noted that it had two bills currently before 2017: the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill and a private members’ bill – the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) bill. The processes of the bills had to be accomodated into the programme.
The Committee adopted the Second Term Committee Programme notwithstanding the objections of the DA.
The DA objected with going ahead with the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill in its current form as it was not the only solution for challenges within the Road Accident Fund (RAF). The DA felt that the RABS Bill would need more time for deliberation and all the process to be followed.
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed and indicated that the House Chairperson instructed that all the bills from 2013 up until 2017 must be finalised before the end of the third quarter. The Committee needed to look at its own programme so as to be able to keep up with the instruction of Parliament.
Adoption of the Committee Programme
The Committee had two bills currently before 2017 and these included Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill and a private members’ bill – the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) bill. The Committee would need to do public hearings on the Road Accident Benefit Scheme on the week of 15-22 of May 2018. The private members’ Bill would be published by next week.
Mr S Sibande (ANC) said that he was in support of the programme and the process to be followed by the Committee.
Mr C Hunsinger (DA) commented that the RABS Bill would need more time for deliberation and all the process to be followed. It was also strange that the Committee suddenly had the RABS Bill as an active item. It was clear as far back as 2016 that the Committee required more information on the RABS Bill. It was promised that the Committee would have a full two day workshop on RABS so that the Committee could have more information on the Bill but this did not happen. The Committee had been productive in dealing with other bills but this had not been the case on RABS Bill. The fact is that Road Accident Fund (RAF) is currently under financial pressure and this needed to be addressed. There are solutions to the RAF and RABS Bill in its current form is not the only solution that could address challenges within RAF. The RABS Bill is hugely dependent on the health insurance which is not in place and there are a lot of controversial issues that had not been resolved.
Mr Sibande explained that the Committee was aware of the concerns that had been expressed by Mr Hunsinger but the Committee was dealing with the process to be followed.
The Chairperson added that the Committee would deal with these problematic areas. The Committee was aware that the doctors and lawyers are not happy with RABS Bill and these are the concerns that would be taken into consideration when engaging on the Bill. This is a section 75 Bill and therefore it required the Committee to undertake public hearings. It would be up to the Committee to decide on the way forward and the decision would be taken in consideration of the public opinion.
Mr Hunsinger indicated that it was concerning that there had not been any public hearings for RABS Bill. The Bill had not been scrutinised to the level where the Committee could perhaps say there is a different solution than RABS Bill.
Mr Sibande moved for the adoption of the Committee Programme and seconded by Ms Z Faku (ANC).
Mr Hunsinger formally objected with going ahead with the RABS Bill in its current form as it was not the only solution for RAF.
The Committee Programme was adopted with objection from the DA.
The Chairperson said that the consideration of the first draft of the Committee’s reports on the 2018/19 budget and the APP of the Department of Transport would be dealt with in the next engagement.
The meeting was adjourned.
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