The Select Committee met for the consideration and adoption of the Hlabana Petition (Petition on the alleged failure of Mantsopa Municipality to provide basic services and emanating from the Free State Province); and to adopt outstanding Minutes.
Initially Ms B Engelbrecht (Democratic Alliance) wanted the Committee to first deal with the issue of the Chris Hani Petition, which was tabled before the Committee in 2014. Apparently, she had an issue with the Chairperson of the Committee who visited the Khayelitsha District Hospital alone without the other Members of the Committee. According to her the Chairperson had previously refused to deal with this issue. The Committee briefly discussed this matter before Ms Engelbrecht walked out of the meeting.
The Committee deferred the adoption of the Hlabana Petition for further recommendations to be included in the report
Committee minutes of 18 May 2018 were adopted without corrections.
The Chairperson welcomed all present in the meeting. There are only two items on the agenda, they could adopt the agenda or add other issues if Members wished to do so.
Ms B Engelbrecht (Gauteng, DA) said on two previous meetings she wanted to discuss the issue of the Khayelitsha hospital, and add it to the agenda, but the Chairperson had refused her.
The Chairperson said he had checked his records and found that the report Ms Engelbrecht was talking about and wanted to be included in the agenda was tabled in the Committee on 2 May 2018. Therefore, he did not see that it should be taken back to the agenda because Ms Engelbrecht just wanted to say something on that report. They could only put in the current agenda other issues and then Ms Engelbrecht could raise whatever she wanted to raise
Mr S Mthimunye (Mpumalanga, ANC) said in as far as this issue is concerned rules are there to be interpreted, but common practice is that leadership determines the items for agenda in any meeting. If Members wanted anything to be discussed in a meeting they should submit those items on time to the Committee Secretary so that they are processed accordingly before the meeting sits.
The Chairperson asked for a mover for the agenda.
Ms Engelbrecht interjected that two weeks ago she gave the Chairperson a letter requesting that that issue be added to the agenda. But now the Chairperson is stalling and stalling for the third time. In last week's meeting it was agreed to discuss this issue this week; it is critical that the issue be discussed so that they can correct things as they move forward as a Committee.
Mr Mthimunye suggested that they allow a discussion of that matter for only 10 minutes.
Mr M Mthethwa (KwaZulu-Natal, ANC) did not support the 10 minutes for discussion of the matter, but rather supported discussion of the matter.
The Chairperson said they should hear what Ms Engelbrecht had to say and that would determine the time of the discussion.
Ms G Oliphant (Northern Cape, ANC) supports the 10 minutes discussion of the matter because the Committee was already running out of time for that meeting.
The Chairperson said the agenda is adopted with the other business from Ms Engelbrecht which will be allowed 10 minutes. He read the agenda as follows: The consideration and adoption of the Hlabana Petition (Petition on the alleged failure of Mantsopa Municipality to provide basic services and emanating from the Free State Province); and consideration and adoption of outstanding Minutes.
Mr Mthethwa said they should first deal with the issue from Ms Engelbrecht.
Chris Hani Petition
Ms Engelbrecht said the Chris Hani Petition came to the Committee in 2014. The Committee had several meetings with the different members of the Hospital regarding the Chris Hani Petition. Then unfortunately she and other DA Members discovered that the Chairperson went on an unauthorised visit to the Khayelitsha District Hospital. In invoking rule 91 (2), normally when the Chairperson goes to visit he/she must seek request from the Committee, which is warranted. But it was disturbing to her and other DA Members that the Chairperson undertook a visit on his own escorted by the media, and she was not there. Apparently, the Chairperson assaulted medical staff of the Khayelitsha District Hospital, to such an extent that half of the staff wanted to resign.
Her concern was that as Chairperson he is allowed to request and the Committee must support him if they cannot come with him. Now the original petition was in 2014, but four years later the Chairperson decided to go to that hospital and she was not there, she only heard from the medical staff how he had abused them. After four years the records kept in that hospital are in storage and it made no sense for the Chairperson to go there alone. The Committee should have gone there immediately in 2014. That was why the Committee needed to discuss this so that things like this should not happen again.
The Chairperson interjected by indicating that killing their black people
Ms Oliphant said the Chairperson did have the right to go for fact finding missions.
Ms Engelbrecht said she will not be associated with a Chairperson that says medical staff are killing people, which was not acceptable.
At this stage Ms Engelbrecht walked out of the meeting.
Mr Mthimunye suggested that they first get advice on this matter in terms of how they handle it. Secondly, they are now being blackmailed by Ms Engelbrecht and requested the Content Adviser to read rule 91 (2).
Dr Mimi Gondwe, Content Adviser read rule 91 (2) as follows:
The Chairperson of the Committee or Sub-Committees subject to the provisions of these rules and the directions of the Committee or a parent committee in the case of a Sub-Committee presides at meetings of the Committee or Sub-Committee may act on any matter on behalf and best interests of the Committee or Sub-Committee to discuss that matter if that matter concerns a request by a person to give evidence or to make oral representation to the Committee or Sub-Committee. Any other request to this Committee or Sub-Committee and the initiation of facts or decisions necessary for the Committee or Sub-Committee to perform its functions or exercise its powers and performs the functions task duties and exercise powers of that legislation, resolutions of the Council and the Committee or parent committee in the case of a Sub-Committee assigns to the Chairperson.
Mr Mthimunye read rule 91 (2) (b) as follows: The Chairperson may act in any matter on behalf of and in the best interests of the Committee or Sub-Committee when it is not practical to arrange a meeting of the Committee or Sub-Committee to discuss that matter if the matter concerns a request of a person to give evidence or to make oral representation to the Committee or Sub-Committee.
Mr Mthimunye said according to this rule the Chairperson of the Committee is allowed to do an oversight alone. Secondly, the Chairperson is from the Western Cape and his political constituency resides there. Therefore, they should close this matter and never allow it to come before the Committee again, and Ms Engelbrecht if free to challenge their decision wherever she wants.
Mr Mthethwa seconded that suggestion.
The Chairperson added that in their strategic plan the Committee gave him permission to go on such a visit. And further they had another meeting as a Committee where the Committee allowed him to go alone as they were doing in CoGTA. Ms Engelbrecht was accusing him falsely because even the media was there, so how can he abuse medical staff. She was lying to the Committee.
The Chairperson said they should proceed to the next item on the agenda which is the draft report.
Draft Report on Hlabana Petition
The Chairperson said they would go through the report page by page. From pages 30 - 33 of the report are the observations and findings of the Committee. Members therefore needed to add recommendations to the report.
Ms T Wana (Eastern Cape, ANC) said the Content Adviser could put some recommendations to the report and they as Members of the Committee could add other recommendations because this document has not been finished so that they can correct the recommendations as people that were there.
Dr Gondwe said Ms Wana should recall that a decision was taken that the Committee should be the one that comes up with recommendations, but she was willing to guide the Committee with regard to recommendations.
Ms Wana said the petitioners raised a number of largely service delivery complaints against the municipality and sought the intervention of the Committee in resolving those issues. For example, they (petitioners) complained that the road is gravel and was supposed to be finished in the following financial year. Secondly the sewerage infrastructure needed to be revitalised because flow of the sewerage goes to the houses and that issue should be given six months to be repaired. Lastly there is no road between locations and a bridge was needed in that regard.
Mr Mthethwa said it should be remembered that there was a proposal that a person who drafted the report must come up with the resolutions because if they say Members should come up with resolutions in the document that has been drafted by Dr Gondwe obviously those recommendations will not be in line with what the document is saying. So, the person who drafted the document should come up with the resolutions and they as a Committee will either accept or add to those resolutions. Therefore, the support staff should help the Committee to come up with recommendations on this draft report.
The Committee agreed that the draft report should be deferred back so that the Dr Gondwe can effect the necessary recommendations before Members can either accept or add other recommendations to the report.
Minutes of 16 May 2018
Committee minutes of 16 May 2018 were adopted unamended.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their inputs.
The meeting adjourned.
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