Committee's Business Plan: discussion

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Meeting report

LABOUR AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISES SELECT COMMITTEE
13 August 2003
BUSINESS PLAN: DISCUSSION


Chairperson: Ms C Nkuna

Documents Handed out:
Business Plan for Labour and Public Enterprises Select Committee (Appendix)

SUMMARY
The Committee tabled the Business Plan for the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises. Members recommended certain changes and amendments to the Plan. Issues arising included the Committee's responsibility in dealing with SALGA, clarity regarding areas of oversight and intergovernmental relations. The Committee also discussed the impending trip to the Limpopo province.

MINUTES

The Chair informed Members that only the Business Plan and not the Budget for Committee would be tabled for discussion. She referred to the mandate, mission and vision and identified the objectives of the Committee.

Discussion
Mr Tolo (ANC) asked if it was the Committee's responsibility to deal with SALGA (South African Local Government Association).

The Chair replied that oversight duties required that the Committee was responsible.

Mr Kolweni (ANC) suggested that the Constitution be consulted regarding lines of operation.

Mr Tholo commented that MEC's and MPL's do not fall under the Committee's jurisdiction. He said that a core function was exercising oversight over Departments.

Mr Lever (DA) said that only indirect contact was necessary, in same way that clients were dealt with.

The Chair accepted the suggestions and said that SALGA would be moved to Local Government. Structures within provincial legislation would also be moved. There was not enough clarity regarding areas of oversight and some stake-holders did not know exactly to whom they were accountable. She referred to the challenges listed and noted that there was not enough research being done, presiding officers attempted to address issues around clustering, ineffective communication, little public participation and no uniform manner of presenting reports. She said Committee reports should be given an opportunity to be debated and not simply filed away.

Mr Lever said that the two points raised were not necessarily related. He said that the concern should be around how the Committee presents to the House and also scrutinises reports from public bodies. Concerning reports from public bodies, he said that reports should be prioritised and a standard way of reporting to the Committee should be devised. He said that a different interaction was necessary to determine what needs to be done.

The Chair said that when a report is tabled, recommendations were made on whether or not to debate an issue. She said that most reports chose to conceal those areas where the Committee could assist.

Mr Kolweni suggested that intergovernmental relations be categorised as a challenge.

Mr Lever said that caution should be practiced to avoid the blurring of lines regarding the Committee's role. He suggested that Schedules 4 and 5 o the Constitution be consulted to clarify the Committee's role.

The Chair agreed and added that intergovernmental relations should also be explored.

Dr Nel (NNP) asked about what happened to recommendations after being submitted, and whether it the problem could be monitored.

Mr Tolo asked whether the Department was obliged to accept recommendations made.

Mr Lever replied that this was not the case, but that the Department should pay attention to those areas highlighted by the Committee. He went on to say that pressure should be applied if necessary.

Mr Tolo said that there should be feedback from Departments regarding recommendations.

Mr Nel (NNP) mentioned that the same applied to motions made in Parliament.

Ms Ramodibe (ANC) asked if there were mechanism in place for following up on recommendations.

The Chair said that many motions were tabled and then not taken forward. She had found out that if a motion was raised, a follow-up must be made for it to be taken forward.

Regarding problems, the Chair asked for comments.

Mr Lever pointed out that it would seem as though the Committee was passing judgement on certain province participation levels. He also said that skilled people often felt that incentives were not enough.

Mr Tolo asked if it could be changed to "inability to retain necessary skills".

Mr Kolweni said that incentives should be put in place so that they were not enticed beyond the boundaries set for them.

Mr Bhengu (IFP) pointed out that it was not a lack of skills, but rather the under-utilisation of the skills they had.

Mr Lever said that the problem could not be isolated as there were several interrelated problems. He mentioned BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) and Affirmative Action and said that "headhunting" occurred. He said that this was not a challenge for the Committee. With regard to financial system and budget control, he said that a wider issue concerned the Financial Management Act (FMA) and parastatals not fully understanding it. He stressed the importance of the Committee and public bodies understanding the FMA.

The Chair clarified for the Committee the concept of integrated planning. This was done in terms of its programmes at community level to ensure uniformity. Plans would be implemented for close coordination, protocol of Committee work, harmony within clusters and counterparts.

Mr Tolo sought clarification on the White Paper and the role of the Committee concerning participation.

The Chair replied that, as legislators, the Committee was indicating that it wanted to be part of the process from the outset.

Mr Kolweni commented that the Committee did not have the necessary capacity. The Committee was not ready for such an undertaking.

Mr Lever agreed and said that the issue should not be debated by the Committee as it was the duty of the Department to do so.

The Chair said that the suggestions would be taken into account concerning participation in the initial process.

Mr Lever said that activities related to amending legislation should include the debating of the new bill, and that Committee deliberation should be reflected in the plan.

The Chair agreed with Mr Tholo's suggestion that "commission research" should be changed.

Mr Lever commented that it should be clear that research was done internally.

The Chair concluded deliberations regarding the Business Plan and turned to the issue of the trip to the Limpopo province. She handed to Mr Tolo to address the Committee on the subject.

Mr Tolo said that the Committee had been invited by the CSIR to the Cape Town Convention Centre on 19 August 2003. The Committee would leave for Limpopo on the 20 April 2003. He said that they would be checking on economic development in the region as well as projects undertaken for job creation. Nine Members would be going and that flight arrangements would be taken care of. The Committee had also been in invited to Cancun in Mexico from to 9 to 14 September 2003.

Mr Kolweni asked who would be leading them on the trip.

Mr Tolo said that it was important that they touch base with their counterparts and meet the Department with the Legislative Committee. He answered Mr Kolweni and said that all necessary arrangements had been made.

Meeting was adjourned.

Appendix
BUSINESS PLAN FOR THE

SELECT COMMITTEE ON LABOUR AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

 

Mandate

 

 

    • To scrutinise legislation and other policies that impact on Labour, Public Enterprises and Communications
    • To scrutinise legislation and other policy instruments relevant to the portfolios of Labour, Pubic Enterprises and Communications
    • To facilitate governance relationships with structures such as trade unions, the SABC, NEDLAC, SETAs, Telkom, Eskom, Alexkor and Transnet

 

2. Mission

To create an enabling environment through legislation and oversight for:

    • harmonious labour relations
    • beneficial restructuring of state assets
    • appropriate means of communications and media strategy

 

 

3. Vision

 

The Committee aims to be sensitive to provincial interests in the conduct of it business at National Parliament

 

4. Core objectives

 

 

The priority areas for the Committee is the set of objectives identified for the ongoing business of the Committee as derived from its mission.

 

The priority areas for the Committee are as follows:

 

Core Objective 1: Process new legislation

Core Objective 2: To process amending legislation

Core Objective 3: To facilitate oversight functions over parastatals (two focus areas per year)

Core Objective 4: To facilitate oversight functions over NEDLAC (two focus areas per year)

Core Objective 5: To assess readiness of provinces in terms of Information Technology (two focus areas per year)

Core Objective 6: To facilitate oversight functions over the risks in working environments specific to the Committee

 

5. Customer, client and stakeholder analysis

Our customers/clients are:

  • Department of Labour
    • COSATU
    • NACTU
    • Sector Education & Training Authorities (SETA)
    • Training Centres
    • Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CCMA)
    • National Productivity Institute (NPA)
    • National Economic Development & Labour Council (NEDLAC)
    • Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)
    • Compensation Fund
    • Umsobomvu
  • Department of Public Enterprises
    • Denel
    • Eskom
    • South African Forestry Company Limited (Safcol)
    • Aventura
    • Alexkor
    • Transnet
    • Department of Communications
    • South African Post Office
    • Sentech
    • Universal Service Agency
    • Telkom SA
    • Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa)
    • National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (Nemisa)
    • Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA)
    • International Marketing Council
    • South African Local Government Association (Salga)
    • Provincial legislatures
    • Premiers
    • MECs
    • MPLs

 

Our stakeholders are:

 

    • Organised groups (NGOs and CBOs)
    • Other select committees
    • The public
    • Unions

6. Challenges and problems

The following challenges were identified:

  • Effective functioning of Committee
  • Clustering of committees (e.g. SC on Economic & Foreign Affairs)
  • Effective communication
  • Effective scrutiny of referred legislation
  • Improved public participation
  • Accurate scrutiny of Committee reports

The following problems were identified:

  • Participation of provinces (low level)
  • Lack of utilisation of acquired skills
  • Lack of financial systems - budget control
  • Lack of integrated planning

7. Main tasks

 

Main Tasks

Activities

Outputs

Responsibility

Timeframe

Process new legislation

White Paper processes:

    • Radio interviews
    • News paper articles
    • Travelling

White Paper processed

Committee

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

Briefing meetings:

    • Arrange for meetings
    • Invitations
    • Catering
    • Provincial briefings (Sec 76)

 

Briefings held

Committee

Researchers

Commissioned Research

Legal Advice

Committee Secretary

Ongoing

Committee meetings:

    • Sourcing of provincial mandates
    • Transmit Committee reports

 

Meetings held

Committee

Provincial desks

Committee Secretary

Ongoing

Scrutinise regulations

 

Regulations scrutinised

Committee

Ongoing

 

Process amending legislation

 

Briefing meetings:

    • Arrange for meetings
    • Invitations
    • Catering
    • Provincial briefings (Sec 76)

 

Briefings held

 

 

 

 

 

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researchers

Commissioned Research

Legal Advice

Ongoing

Committee meetings:

    • Sourcing of provincial mandates
    • Transmit Committee reports

Meetings held

Committee

Provincial desks

Committee Secretary

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise oversight over BEE in the ICT sector and provincial mini-summits on broadcasting (two focus areas per year)

Oversight over ICT sector:

    • Commission research
    • Hold public hearings
    • Place advertisement in media
    • Meetings with DOC

Oversight exercised

 

 

 

 

 

Committee

Committee Secretary

Commissioned Research

June

Oversight over provincial mini-summits on broadcasting:

    • Commission research
    • Hold public hearings
    • Place advertisement in media
    • Meetings with DOC
    • Report to NCOP

 

Oversight excercised

Committee

Committee Secretary

Commissioned Research

Provincial committees

September

 

 

Exercise oversight over the restructuring of SOEs and over the role of Transnet in provincial infrastructure development

Oversight over the restructuring of

SOEs:

    • Commission research
    • Meetings/briefings
    • Report to NCOP

 

Oversight exercised

 

 

 

 

 

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researchers

Commissioned Research

 

Within the provincial cycle

Oversight over Transnet:

    • Commission research
    • Briefing/meetings
    • Report to NCOP

 

Oversight exercised

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researchers

Commissioned Research

Within the provincial cycle

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise oversight over the implementation of the occupational health and safety accord in provinces and over the implementation of the Unemployment Insurance Act (two focus areas per year)

Oversight over provincial labour centers:

    • Commission research
    • Develop questionnaire
    • Visit provinces
    • Travel arrangements
    • Report to NCOP

Oversight exercised

 

 

 

 

 

 

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researchers

Commissioned Research

Within the provincial cycle

Oversight over implementation of Unemployment Insurance Act:

    • Commission research
    • Develop questionnaire
    • Hold public hearings
    • Place advertisement in media
    • Report to NCOP

 

Oversight exercised

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researchers

Commissioned Research

Within the provincial cycle

 

Exercise oversight over the use of eleven languages by the electronic media

Oversight:

    • Conduct interviews and consider reports from DOC
    • Interview SA National Editors Forum
    • Receive reports from PANSALB
    • Hold workshops on language use

Oversight exercised

Committee

Committee Secretary

 

Within the agreed timeframes, guided by the NCOP programme

 

 

 

 

 

 

Develop co-operative relationships with provincial committees to obtain provincial insight on national matters and a national understanding of provincial processes

 

Oversight:

    • Hold workshops, visit relevant provincial standing committees and hold joint public hearings on Sec 75 bills affecting provinces

Oversight exercised

Committee

Committee Secretary

Research

Within the provincial cycle

 

 

 

 

 

Promote public participation and education in provinces in the processing of legislation

 

Oversight:

  • Determine how far Government is in the establishment of multi-purpose community centres

 

Oversight excercised

Committee

Committee Secretary

Research

Within the provincial cycle

 

8. Priority Areas

 

Key Priorities

Activities

Outputs

KPI

Responsibility

Timeframe

Process legislation

Consider Sec 75 Bills:

  • Briefings by departments
  • Analysis of Bills
  • Obtain party positions
  • Conduct research
  • Discussion of bills
  • Drafting amendments

Sec 75 Bill passed

Sec 75 Bills signed into law by President within reasonable time

Committee

Committee Secretary

Relevant dept

Commissioned research

As stipulated in the NCOP Programme

 

 

 

 

 

Consider Sec 76 Bills:

  • Briefing by departments
  • Receive negotiating mandates
  • Negotiate mandates in the committee
  • Receive final mandates
  • Negotiate the final mandate
  • Dispute resolution

(when amendment is proposed this is optional)

 

Sec 76 Bills passed within reasonable provincial cycle

Sec 76 Bills signed into law by President within reasonable time.

Committee

Committee Secretary

Relevant dept

Within the provincial cycle

Key Priorities (contd)

Activities

Outputs

KPI

Responsibility

Timeframe

Conduct oversight

Assess effectiveness of Sec 75 & 76 Bills in provinces:

  • Provincial visits
  • Evaluate passage of legislation in provinces
  • Assess policy impact

Effectiveness of Bills assessed

 

 

 

 

Development of alternatives

 

 

 

 

 

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researcher

Within the provincial cycle or during the provincial week

Assess and evaluate the implementation of the strategic priorities as identified by the President:

  • Visit projects in provinces
  • Evaluate effectiveness of projects
  • Make necessary recommendations for consideration

 

Government performance assessed

Development of recommendations for the right course of action

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researcher

Relevant dept

During the committee weeks as stipulated in the NCOP Programme

 

Process reports

Consideration of reports

  • Deliberate on reports
  • Effect amendments if necessary
  • Adopt reports
  • Publish reports in ATC
  • Table reports in NCOP

 

Reports adopted

Consideration of reports and necessary steps taken by the Minister

Committee

Committee Secretary

Researcher

Relevant dept

Within reasonable timeframe

 

 

 

 

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