Meeting with Indonesian Parliament delegation

Social Development

16 May 2018
Chairperson: Ms R Capa, (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met with a parliamentary delegation from Indonesia.

The Chairperson explained that the South African government was a unitary state divided into many spheres of government; how South Africa was divided into nine provinces; how the government structure consisted of the Cabinet as headed by the President, and the National Assembly as headed by the Speaker of Parliament, and that we also have the National Council of Provinces, which has a specific focus on local government which is composed of cities and municipalities. 

The Chairperson elaborated on the election system in South Africa as guided by the Electoral Act. She pointed out that provinces have legislatures too, and how the last sphere of government is divided into cities; municipalities and that is referred to as Local government.  She briefly explained how the Constitution recognised traditional leaders, and that the country had a system with Kings or rather traditional leaders. And that we also do have a national house as well as provincial houses for traditional leaders. 

As far as Social Development was concerned, she explored how the South African government preferred to be that rather than Social welfare, as we were currently looking at how our children access child support grants and appealed to the Indonesian government to also show South Africa the spread of their social development projects. 

South Africa also had a serious task in ensuring that the elderly is taken care of through Old Age grants; and also those with disabilities. 

The South African government would like to learn from the Indonesian government and see how they treated their people and determine whether there are synergies between the two countries.

The Indonesian Deputy Speaker of Parliament conceded that so many Indonesians came here since the 1700s due to Dutch colonisation. They had met with families that have direct relations with Indonesian families during this visit. Relations between Indonesia and South Africa have always been a close one, and the late, Mr Mandela was a global man who ensured that these relations stayed that way.  Mr Mandela was honoured in Indonesia. 

He believed the South African government had done a great job in managing their social issues.
Indonesia consisted of thousands of tribes.  They, just like South Africa, have no law that discriminates any individual in the country.  They hoped that the two countries will have deep co-operation in the future.

He invited the South African government to spend time in Indonesia and see how they lived and also visit their parliament.  They also hoped that there would be business to business co-operation as Indonesia is a maritime country.  He appealed to the South African government to look into making a direct flight from Jakarta to Cape town so they did not have to go via Dubai when coming to Cape town or Johannesburg. 

The team was invited to a tour of Parliament and the meeting adjourned.

Meeting report

The Chairperson greeted and welcomed everyone in attendance.  She expressed gratitude as South African government to have been honoured to have the Indonesian delegation at its midst. She told the delegation how the Constitution in South Africa encourages relations with other countries, apart from African, other countries as well.  She further opened the floor by allowing members in the chamber to introduce themselves by stating their constituencies and political affiliation. This was due to the fact that South Africa was a democratic state, with various political parties in parliament, hence it was crucial that Members introduced themselves as such. The Secretariat was also awarded the same platform by introducing the team as technical support in this Portfolio Committee. After that, she conceded, that the Indonesian guests introduce themselves in the manner they preferred. 
The South African Members of Parliament introduced themselves. Where after Mr Fari Hamza, Deputy Speaker of Indonesia Parliament, greeted the meeting and expressed profound gratitude in return, to have been part of this auspicious meeting between the two countries. He then introduced his team.

The Chairperson then said it was then time to exchange views and roles. She reported that the South African government was a unitary state but was divided and had many spheres of government. She explained to the delegation how South Africa was divided into nine provinces i.e. Free State; Mpumalanga; North West; Northern Cape; Gauteng; KwaZulu-Natal; etc. She mentioned how the govt structure consisted of the Cabinet as headed by the President, and the National Assembly as headed by the Speaker of Parliament, and that we also have the National Council of Provinces, which has a specific focus on local government which is composed of cities and municipalities. 

The Chairperson elaborated on the election system in South Africa as guided by the Electoral Act, which specifies that the President of this country will be elected by parliament.  She gave a picture of how each party is allowed to put forward their candidate, where after the voting would take place.  However, she pointed out that provinces have legislatures too.  She told the delegation about the last sphere of government which is divided into cities; municipalities and that is referred to as Local government.  She briefly explained  how the Constitution recognised traditional leaders, and that the country had a system with Kings or rather traditional leaders. And that we also do have a national house as well as provincial houses for traditional leaders. 

Mr Hamza commented that there were not so many distinctions between the two countries’ systems.

Ms Capa responded by explaining the legislative procedure; that when a legislation is approved, where it is first presented, it lands in the Speaker’s office, where it gets interrogated by all the Members of Parliament regardless of any Member’s political affiliation. She explained how the portfolio committees were key in making the executive authorities to account, and how the President accounts to parliament according to South African laws, that he comes once in a while to answer questions posed to him.  Also, there were motions where members raised their concerns, where ministers in charge would respond to Members. 
She added that Members had a right to write letters to the President raising concerns from their constituencies.  She further explained how it was a critical time in SA as we were currently debating budget.  As far as Social Development was concerned, she explored how the South African government preferred to be that rather than Social welfare, as we were currently looking at how our children access child support grants, that as a country we want to check how many children have already been registered to receive this grant and appealed to the Indonesian government to also show South Africa the spread of their social development projects.  She maintained that as members they also have to pay attention to over-sight in ensuring that the child grants reach the intended beneficiaries. 
She elaborated on the requirements for children to receive these grants, which is clinic cards and proof that the child is registered under an institution that ensures their health is taken care of.  Because of their lifestyle, these grants assist in that they are taken care of.  Also, the Low-income group does qualify for this grant as part of meeting them halfway in taking care of the child.  South Africa also had a serious task in ensuring that the elderly is taken care of through Old Age grants.  Those who live with disabilities, are also taken care of. We also have a number of programmes that address various pockets of poverty and South Africa had a biggest budget for the poor that runs into billions, merely addressing the plight of the poor. 
Due to poverty, we have an agent called the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) that was created by the late Mr Zola Skweyiya, and that this Committee tried our best to ensure that this agent is sustainable as it is responsible for oversight where these grants are concerned and worked with the Auditor General who reports to the Portfolio Committee in ensuring that the budget is allocated accordingly. 

The South African government would like to learn from the Indonesian government and see how they treated their people and determine whether there are synergies between the two countries.
Mr Fari Hamza, Indonesia Deputy Speaker of Parliament, thanked the Chairperson for the presentation and the entire committee for accommodating them.  He conceded that they can to follow the footstep of their ancient, that so many Indonesians came here since the 1700s due to Dutch colonisation. They had met with families that have direct relations with Indonesian families during this visit. Relations between Indonesia and South Africa have always been a close one, and added that the late, Mr Mandela was a global man who ensured that these relations stayed that way.  He was honoured in Indonesia. 

On the Social issues the Chairperson mentioned, he believed the South African government had done a great job in managing their social issues.

Indonesia consisted of thousands of tribes.  They, just like South Africa, have no law that discriminates any individual in the country.  By having this kind of similarity, they hoped that the two countries will have deep co-operation in the future; and cooperation between their people. 

He invited the South African government to spend time in Indonesia and see how they lived and also visit their parliament.  They also hoped that there would be business to business co-operation as Indonesia is a maritime country.  He appealed to the South African government to look into making a direct flight from Jakarta to Cape town so they did not have to go via Dubai when coming to Cape town or Johannesburg. 
The Chairperson thanked the delegation and advised Members to interact after the meeting in an effort to enhance relations. 

The team was invited to a tour of Parliament and the meeting adjourned.

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