The Committee met to consider the Report on Quarter 1 Expenditure Patterns of National Departments and the Report on the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) conference.
Both reports were adopted with amendments..
The Chairperson said that a quorum was needed for the adoption of the reports. In the past, the reports were forwarded to National Treasury for validation of figures because a single wrong figure could ruin the entire report. The Committee had to produce quality reports. She asked the Members to check for spelling or grammatical errors, and any inconsistencies page by page.
First Quarter Expenditure Patterns for 2018/19
The Chairperson said the Members should go through the recommendations to ensure that they were implementable and would bring about change.
A Member pointed out that section "5.2.3 is a detailed section of the summaries contained in 5.2.1"
Mr A McLoughlin (DA) said that the report showed that Committee did not express its concerns. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) needed to take its work seriously because no one could survive without water.
The Chairperson said the report talks of political interference. This meant that the departments got instructions from Parliament. This caused them to expand their projects. However, the government did not work like that. If a department wants to deviate from its plan, it has to consult Parliament and the deviation cannot exceed 8% of its budget. On administration, the departments must request the political head to give instructions in writing to avoid insubordination.
Ms A Manana (ANC) said that the Committee cannot just assume that the politicians did in fact interfere. The Committee must request letters that were sent to see who was telling the truth. Since there was no proof of political interference, it should not be in the report.
Mr B Martins (ANC) said that the issue of non-payment within 30 days was a trend in almost all reports. The Committee should recommend that there be indirect responsibility for which the Directors General (DGs) would be held accountable, as well as for late payments.
The Chairperson said that the accounting officers should be held accountable and that sanctions should be imposed on all transgressors.
All Members agreed that this recommendation should be added on the report.
Mr Martins said that on decentralisation, the departments must increase their capacity to deal with the volume of work. He said the departments needed to look at efficiency and efficacy of centralisation and must note that the Committee was merely recommending and not giving an instruction.
The Committee adopted the report with amendments.
South African Local Government (SALGA): Conference report
Mr Martins said that on the first page it was confusing that the conference was referred to as a one-stop shop, because by its very nature a conference was to facilitate discussion.
A Member said that the objectives of the conference should have been added to the report.
The Committee agreed that “one stop-shop” would be amended to read “to facilitate discussion between municipalities and financiers.”
Ms Manana moved the adoption of the report.
Mr Martins seconded.
The report was approved with changes.
Adoption of minutes
The Chairperson asked the Committee to peruse the minutes of 12 September, and the Committee went through them page by page.
No amendments were made.
Mr McLoughlin moved their adoption, and Ms Manana seconded.
The Chairperson proceeded to the minutes of 14 of September. She said that the report should specify which targets had been achieved and which were not.
The minutes were approved with amendments.
The Chairperson read the itinerary for the rest of the year, and meeting was adjourned.