The Select Committee met for the consideration and adoption of Progress Reports on Executive Undertakings made by the Minister of Health (during policy debate of 7 May 2015); Consideration and adoption of Progress Reports on Executive Undertakings made by the Minister of Human Settlements (during policy debate of 12 May 2015); and to adopt outstanding minutes.
The Committee adopted both sets of reports:
Committee minutes of 30 May 2018 were also adopted.
The Chairperson welcomed all present in the meeting and asked whether there were any apologies.
Mr Nkanyiso Mkhize, Committee Secretary read apologies from Ms M Chetty (DA), Mr M Mohapi (ANC) and Mr G Michalakis (DA).
Ms G Oliphant (Northern Cape, ANC) said she was concerned about Members of the Committee that were in the Parliament building but could not attend their meeting; a serious issue which the Committee has to note.
The Chairperson said Ms Oliphant is correct and that concern will be noted by the Committee.
The Chairperson said there are 3 items on the agenda of the meeting. The first item is the consideration and adoption of Progress Reports on Executive Undertakings made by the Minister of Health (during policy debate of 7 May 2015). The second one is the consideration and adoption of Progress Reports on Executive Undertakings made by the Minister of Human Settlements (during policy debate of 12 May 2015). And thirdly, the consideration and adoption of outstanding Minutes.
Consideration and adoption of Progress Reports on Executive Undertakings made by the Minister of Health (during policy debate of 7 May 2015)
Ms T Mokwele (North West, ANC) said before they adopt this report she wished to express her dissatisfaction that most of the Members in this meeting were not part of the Committee when the Executive Undertaking was taken by the Minister of Health. So, in future when dealing with Executive Undertakings the Committee must make sure they are dealt with in a short period of time so in order to trace whether that Executive Undertaking has been implemented or not. Now three years have passed and still they have to deal with this report and there are so many issues that have developed after that Executive Undertaking, and now the Department of Health is in a crisis. Therefore, it is an appeal that this type of report must be prioritised going forward.
The Chairperson thanked Ms Mokwele for her input. He asked whether it is the Committee which is supposed to submit the report to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
Ms M Gondwe, Content Advisor, said it should be remembered that they received the mandate with the rising of the 5th Parliament. In this instance they received the undertaking from the procedural officers who cut it from the Hansard and referred it to the Committee. Then they only focus on whether a particular undertaking has been fulfilled or implemented. They did not go beyond the undertaking.
Mr S Mthimunye (ANC, Mpumalanga) said the issue raised by Ms Mokwele actually revolved around the turnaround time in terms of a particular petition that is dealt with by this Committee, and whether or not the subsequent fulfilment or non-fulfilment of that issue which has been raised in the petition. They can crack their heads but they cannot win it without some way of modus operandi that can be found or must be found between the Committee and the Provincial Legislatures, probably to certain municipalities to some extent, and that bolts down to the issue of cooperative governance. They cannot go to each and every hospital or clinic in the country to verify whether or not that which has been committed in the Executive Undertaking by any Minister sitting in Parliament in Cape Town, to really in the true sense monitor that. And this goes back to that space of regulating the environment of the Petitions Committee. Therefore, they should recommend to Parliament that it develops a framework around which the Committee should operate and monitor the Executive Undertaking.
Ms Oliphant asked whether they should look at the draft report and do a quick oversight so as to revive this Executive Undertaking.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their comments.
Ms Mokwele said two matters have been raised and they need to make a decision on that. The first matter is to go for an oversight visit to see whether things have been implemented in terms of the Executive Undertaking that was made by the Minister. Secondly, there is an issue of the framework on how to attend to issues like this one, which was raised by Mr Mthimunye and what is their role as Parliament if they have to deal with an Executive Undertaking.
Mr Mthimunye said they need to separate two issues, the long-term intervention and short-term intervention. The Framework that has to be developed is a long-term issue because they cannot take a short cut on it. The short term is that they include in their recommendations that a communication be written to the Chairpersons of the hospital boards of all the affected hospitals so that the board could respond to these issues if they were implemented or not.
The Chairperson suggested that they put these issues in their recommendations. They should recommend that they need to do an oversight to ensure all the things the Minister indicated in his Executive Undertaking were implemented or not.
Ms Gondwe said there is a framework in place and it should be remembered that the Committee adopted some guidelines in terms of the Executive Undertakings mandate because they were given that mandate without any rules and they had to come up with their own guidelines on how they were going to approach this mandate. The problem that they have is the programming issue and they would like to have a quick turnaround in terms of meetings because the Executive Undertaking was referred to the Committee 14 May 2015, a week after the Minister gave the undertaking. Therefore, they need to relook how many times they can meet in terms of ensuring these undertakings are adopted timeously.
Mr Mthimunye said they should be given those guidelines so that they can familiarise themselves with them.
Ms Mokwele suggested that they do an oversight in the Free State hospital so as to check whether the Executive Undertaking made by the Minister has been implemented or not.
The Chairperson said all of them are talking the same language in this regard. They should go through the report page by page so as to adopt it with those recommendations suggested by Members.
Mr Mthimunye moved for the adoption of the report.
Ms Oliphant seconded the move.
The Committee adopted the report with amendments.
Consideration and adoption of Progress Reports on Executive Undertakings made by the Minister of Human Settlements (during policy debate of 12 May 2015)
Mr M Mthethwa (KwaZulu-Natal, ANC) moved for the adoption of the report.
Ms Oliphant seconded the move.
The Committee adopted the report without corrections.
Adoption of minutes
Minutes of Committee meeting dated 18 May 2018 were adopted with no corrections.
The Chairperson informed Members that they were still waiting for the Ghana trip. The application had been submitted and so far, there is no answer; a follow-up would be made to the office of the Chair of Chairs.
The meeting adjourned.
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