Home Affairs Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR): briefing

Home Affairs

16 October 2018
Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

Committee Report available once published 2018 Budget Review & Recommendations Reports – BRRR

The Committee discussed its report on the Home Affairs Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report.

The report was based on past meetings which include (and is not limited to): legislative analysis, state of the nation address, policy documents, annual performance report and estimates of national expenditure

The Committee Researcher provided a brief summary on the contents of the report and thereafter Members made inputs and corrections to the document.

It was suggested that that the recommendations in the report should be aligned to the observations. There was also a suggestion that the report had too many recommendations and that it needed to be narrowed.

The Committee did not adopt the report and agreed to finalise it next Tuesday ahead of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that was scheduled for the day after.

Members were also informed that the Committee would be briefed on the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill the following week.

Meeting report

Election of Acting Chairperson

The Chairperson was announced absent and an apology was received by Members of the Committee.

The Committee Secretary indicated that an Acting Chairperson had to be elected from the attending Members.

Ms N Dambuza (ANC) nominated Mr D Gumede (ANC).

The nomination was seconded by Ms N Tshabalala (ANC).

The nomination was uncontested.

Opening Remarks by Acting Chairperson

The Acting Chairperson welcomed everyone and stated the agenda for the meeting: there would be a presentation by the Content Advisor on the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR).

The Acting Chairperson highlighted that the purpose of the BRRR process is to assess the annual performance of the national department, and its entities. The Committee is required to submit a BRRR annually to the National Assembly which assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department. The BRRR should detail how the Department used resources allocated to it and forward allocation of available resources. Moreover, the Committee should recommend on the use of resources in the medium term.

Electoral Laws Amendment Bill Introduction

The Committee Secretary informed the Committee that the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament on 15 October and published in the ATC. 

The Committee would receive a briefing on the bill the following week. In addition, the Committee will consider the Immigration Bill as it was previously agreed that the Department should consult.      

The Acting Chairperson then invited the presentation on the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR).

Home Affairs Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report

Mr Adam Salmon, Committee Content Advisor, went through the document page by page in detail and committee Members were invited to make comments.

He highlighted that the report is based around 26 meetings that happened since last year which include (and is not limited to): legislative analysis, state of the nation address, policy documents, annual performance report and estimates of national expenditure.

Mr Salmon pointed the Committee to the Department’s 9 strategic objectives and annual performance plan. The annual targets changed from 32 to 28, of which only 4 were not achieved. Among the unmet targets are the delays in enhanced movement control system from the previous year and a failure to reach the target of issuing 3 million smart ID card. He attributed the lack of not meeting the target of smart ID cards to not opening on weekends.

Mr Salmon highlighted the achievements by the DHA, which included the appointment of the new service provider to take over from the DHA national identification system.

Discussion

The Acting Chairperson pointed the Committee to bulletin 7.2.19 and stated that according to the Committee Secretary, the DHA in Port Elizabeth was opened on Friday (12 October 2018), but Mr Salmon had expressed doubt about this.

The Acting Chairperson further listed several issues of concern which included the Fireblade Aviation matter, Sterkspruit and SITA. He further advised that the Committee should revisit last year’s resolution.

Ms Dambuza reminded Members of the meeting the Committee had with SITA where confidential information was shared. She further reminded the Members of the problems that SITA brought forward in that meeting and suggested that the Committee sets up a meeting with the entity without the Department. Secondly, she stated that there are many recommendations and suggested that there should be a manner which these recommendations are narrowed down. She further sought clarity on paragraph 7.2.2.

Ms Dambuza suggested that the recommendation in paragraph 7.2.4 should be inclusive, ensuring that it refers to the reduction of the departmental budget. She advised that there needs to be a correction paragraph which spoke about the expected presentation by DIRCO to the Committee. She suggested that the paragraph should be reworded to “Portfolio Committee to convene a meeting with DIRCO to discuss/engage on the matter”.

Ms Dambuza pointed the Members to paragraph 7.2.1.5 and stated that the report is a public document and as such abbreviations should be written out for public understanding.

Ms Dambuza stated that paragraph 7.2.12 was not clear in term of Fireblades matter at OR Tambo.

Ms Dambuza referred the Members to the observations on page 32, and stated that the Matatiele issue must not be part of the report but it is an issue that the observation should state that in rural areas this issue has been observed.

Ms Dambuza further suggested that the time frame allowed by Parliament should be included in the recommendations.

The Acting Chairperson said that areas of clarity should be checked and be considered.

The Acting Chairperson expressed his concerns around the undocumented citizen, interrogating the legal consequences of undocumented citizen, comparing it with other neighbouring countries (i.e. Swaziland and Zimbabwe).

Ms D Raphuthi (ANC) suggested that this matter is perpetuated by Home Affairs employees expecting kickbacks/bribes from poor people resulting in long queues. She further pointed that a standard operating procedure is required to monitor the queues at Home Affairs.

The Acting Chairperson highlighted that other countries have push factors and others have pull factors. These may contribute to undocumented migrants. As such this needs to be addressed and discussed.

Ms T Kenye (ANC) agreed with the point made by Acting Chairperson. They are lawmakers and need to curb the issue of undocumented immigrants. She pointed out that the country has porous borders and monitoring is not done even by soldiers. She then suggested that there should be a law to curb undocumented immigrants.

Ms Kenye raised a question around the Border Management Bill outlined in paragraphs 7.22 and 7.23.

The Acting chairperson commented on the IEC recommendations, noting that the Committee will receive a briefing on the Bill next week. He further urged the Committee to look at the Bill and monitor how it improves the need to be addressed by the IEC.

Ms Dambuza proposed that the report should be adopted today but next week Thursday.

The Acting Chairperson concurred with the proposal which was further seconded by Ms Tshabalala and Mr M Hoosen (DA) stating that there is still time to look into the information that the Committee will receive from Mr Salmon and others.

Mr Hoosen broadly suggested to Mr Salmon that the recommendations in the report should be aligned to observations.

Mr Hoosen made an example that EOH matter is a recommendation but not an observation, to further explain his suggestion.

Mr Salmon highlighted that the report should be adopted before the budget policy statement scheduled for next week Wednesday.

The Committee resolved to meet on Tuesday 23 October to finalise the Report.

The meeting was adjourned.

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