The Committee met to deliberate on the 2018/19 Budget Vote Report. Before the deliberations the Chairperson first informed the Committee about the email she had received from Mr Mhlongo of the Democratic Alliance, who was complaining about the changes in the Committee programme,
On the report, Members of the Committee gave their inputs by making corrections and additions to the report.
The report will be adopted next week after the Committee has received a written report from the Auditor-General of South Africa on the finances of the Department of Sports and Recreation.
The minutes were also deferred for the following week
The Chairperson informed the Committee that an email was sent by Mr T Mhlongo (DA) of which she thinks he is out of order. The Committee had called a meeting the day before to discuss the Committee Programme and the issue of the Mabhida stadium. It was not just one political party that was present in that meeting and Mr Mhlongo had sent an apology, which was accepted by the Committee. But yesterday he sent an email to the Chairperson telling her that she must consult because the Committee cannot just change the programme. The Committee had changed the programme on the understanding that they did not have a researcher and a content adviser.
Mr Mhlongo is out of order for sending that email and complaining of not being consulted in the changing of the programme. After the Committee finished the report on that day they agreed to apply for a slot for today. They are here and their secretary did amend the programme accordingly and circulated it to the Committee Members. But now Mr Mhlongo is claiming that she was not consulting as a Chairperson and this offended her. She responded to Mr Mhlongo that he is out of order because things that were discussed in his absence were binding to the Committee. This was just to inform the Committee about the email that was sent to her by Mr Mhlongo complaining that she was not consulted about the change in the programme of the Committee and her response in that regard.
Deliberations on the 2018/19 Budget Vote Report
The Chairperson said the report was sent to Members a week ago and they should go through the report page by page, making additions and corrections if necessary before they adopt the report next week. The minutes will also be considered and adopted next week.
The Chairperson appreciated the person who wrote this report in the absence of the Content Adviser.
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) said sometimes they forget to thank the support staff for the good work they were doing.
The Chairperson welcomed a new Member of the Committee, Mr Ivan Botes (ANC).
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said he has already communicated and welcomed Mr Botes to the Committee noting that his contribution will be highly appreciated and valued going forward.
Ms Abrahams made a correction on bullet point 3.2, on page 8 of the report on an issue regarding the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).
Mr Botes noted that under Committee observations, bullet point 5.1 (a) on page 10 of the report, which stated that “provinces are still unable to spend allocated funds”, but nothing is said about the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in the observations. He suggested therefore that the observations should be clear and speak about the MIG because on the first paragraph of page 10 it is stated that municipalities are unable to spend the MIG and National Treasury has withheld an amount of R287 million because of poor spending.
The Chairperson said they had noted the under spending by municipalities and the amount of 287 million which has been withheld by the National Treasury will feature in their discussions. But it should be noted that not all provinces are unable to spend allocated funds. It is only seven provinces that under spend. The Western Cape and the Free State provinces are effectively utilising their allocations
Mr Ralegoma said they should include both provinces and municipalities on the first bullet point of the observations because Mr Botes is correct, municipalities under spent on the MIG.
Mr Ralegoma said they should recommend specifically when it came to MIG that they continue with the interaction with both SALGA and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to assist the municipalities to ensure that they spend the MIG.
Mr Ralegoma said they normally get reports from the Auditor-General (AG) with regard to the finances of the Department and know that the department has been getting clean audits, but its entities were struggling. He asked what the case is with regard to the entities.
The Chairperson said what Mr Ralegoma suggested was that they should get a report from the AG, which must be circulated to Members of the Committee to consider before they adopt the report. That report from the AG is also important for the debates because they cannot just say the Department has a clean audit. Therefore, it is necessary for the AG to give a detailed and written report of the Department. The Committee Secretary would write to the AG to request a written report of the Department.
Ms Zoleka Kula, Committee Secretary, said she would write again to the AG, but informed the Committee that they had received a letter which indicated findings with regard to the Department and these findings were subject to the corrected final versions of the Annual Performance Plans (APPs), and therefore, there were no findings to be communicated to the Committee.
Mr Botes proposed that they needed a particular session with both the AG and the Department before adopting this report because the Committee cannot go to the National Assembly and account reluctantly.
Mr Ralegoma said it is more on finance that the AG should state clearly whether the Department has done things correctly so that they know what the opinion in that regard is.
The Chairperson said that the Committee is emphasising that the AG should give a detailed report on the finances of the Department. Therefore, the Committee Secretary must write to the AG requesting that information before the report can be adopted next week.
The minutes will also be considered and adopted next week.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their inputs.
The meeting was adjourned.
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