Report by The Human Rights Commission: deliberations

Social Development

05 August 2003
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Meeting report

JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTOFORLIO COMMITTEE

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
6 August 2003
DELIBERATIONS ON THE REPORT BY THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

Acting Chairperson:
Ms N M Tsheole (ANC)

Documents handed out
Report by the SA Human Rights Commission:
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

SUMMARY
The Committee deferred deliberations on the Human Rights Commission (HRC) report because the presence of the Department was required to answer to what extent it had attended to concerns raised in the report. An intersectoral cluster meeting would also be necessary.

The Committee discussed the programme for the follow-up tours to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Eastern Cape. The tour was scheduled for Monday morning in Bisho and then Umtata on Tuesday before proceeding to KZN, where the itinerary had still to be confirmed.


MINUTES
In the Chairperson's absence, Prof. Mbadi proposed that Ms Tsheole lead the meeting and this was unanimously accepted.

There were two items for discussion on the agenda: firstly, the HRC report and secondly, the programme for the oversight tour to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

HRC Report
Ms Chalmers (ANC) noted that the HRC report was almost 18 months old and wondered whether it was appropriate for members to plough through a report that might have been overtaken by events.

Ms Rajbali (FF) agreed and suggested the HRC brief the Committee on areas that had been attended to since the report was released.

The Chair said the report was fairly comprehensive and that members had not had enough time to digest it. Issues raised in the report were inter-sectoral which necessitated a cluster meeting. She suggested that members isolated issues concerning the Department for discussion.

Ms Bowman (DP), Ms Mars (IFP), Ms Rajbali, Mr Van Jaarsveld (NNP) agreed with the suggestion for more time and a briefing summarising the salient issues.

Ms Chalmers said the presence of the Department was required to answer to what extent it had attended to service delivery issues raised in the report. This would also afford the Commission an opportunity to point out other concerns.

The Chair said she would secure an appropriate date for such a meeting with the Department.

Ms Chalmers congratulated the Commission on its comprehensive report on service delivery challenges.

Oversight tour
The Chair reported that a number of issues had been raised from the oversight tour to the Eastern Cape and that the Committee had also met the CBS. A programme had been drawn up for follow-up tours to the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal.

Ms Bowman protested that she was unaware of the oversight tour arrangements.

The Chair promised to liase with the Committee section about Ms Bowman's protestation. She said that the tour was scheduled for Monday morning in Bisho and then Umtata on Tuesday before proceeding to KZN. She pointed out that the programme for the KZN tour had not been confirmed yet.

Ms Bowman wondered why, as an official opposition, she had not been included in the programme.

Prof. Mbadi suggested that since Ms Bowman resided in KZN, she could still join the delegation from her constituency in the same way he would join the Bisho delegation from his East London home.

The Chair clarified that it was not the prerogative of the Committee to discuss the composition of the delegation and that the Committee section would handle the matter through the party whips.

Ms Bowman agreed with the Chair's ruling and promised to seek clarity from the party whip.

The Chair requested members to peruse the report and identify issues. The meeting was then adjourned.

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