The Department of Transport took the Committee through the working draft of the Road Accident Benefit Scheme clause by clause noting all the proposed amendments that had been effected for its approval. Members agreed to the proposed amendments and there were no substantive changes proposed and effected further. DoT also briefly went through the Schedules. The Members agreed to them and no changes were effected. The final version of the Bill would be presented the next day for voting on.
Members sought clarity on the rules for claiming the funeral benefit and the powers of the CEO to appoint or dismiss executive managers.
The Chairperson indicated that the Department would go through the Bill clause by clause and Members could engage the Department on specific matters that needed clarity.
Deliberations on the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill
Mr Johannes Makgatho, Department Deputy Director: Legal Services, led the Members through the working draft of the Bill clause by clause noting all the proposed amendments that had been effected. The following clauses were discussed:
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) said that this provision stated that the “Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with the Board, appoints and dismisses executive managers”. He asked if DoT did not see a problem with the ‘in consultation’ phrase because it meant that the CEO and the Board must manage the staff together. They are asking the CEO to do something but both hands are tied, because if there is no meeting of the minds between the CEO and the Board, then the CEO cannot discharge those duties. He proposed that consultation with the Board should happen afterwards.
Mr M Sibande (ANC) agreed with Mr Ramatlakane stating that the CEO was not sufficiently empowered to discharge his or her duties on the appointment and dismissal of executive managers that would require an approval by the Board.
Mr T Mpanza (ANC) suggested that perhaps the Committee needed to deliberate on this matter further but he suggested that the consultation should be afterwards as proposed by Mr Ramatlakane.
Mr Chris Willemse, Senior Manager: Regulations, RAF, said that the way the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) deals with the CEO is different; if that responsibility was vested solely in the CEO it would create a significant contravention of the PFMA. The intention is to not contravene the PFMA.
A DoT official suggested that perhaps the phrasing should rsther pertain to the Board intervening when there is a review undertaken of an executive manager that has been dismissed by the CEO. This would ensure that there is a level of independence for both the Board and the CEO, and during the process of the review the CEO would need to justify the dismissal to the Board.
DoT agreed to amend the provision.
Mr Ramatlakane asked about the rules for funeral benefit claims. He said in previous engagements with DoT there was phrase ‘subject to the rules’ that was brought up regarding the funeral benefit. He asked what those rules were and what exactly do they entail.
Mr Willemse replied that the rules would be merely for the Administrator outlining what the process of claiming the funeral benefit would entail – the rules would basically outline the process and procedure of claiming. The rules and the regulations would be completely independent, as the former is already explained; the latter would speak to adjustments of the value of the funeral benefit which is within the purview of the Minister. The rules would be set out by the Board and implemented by the Administrator.
The Chairperson asked DoT to summarize the schedule due to time constraints.
After DoT had finished summarising the schedules, the Chairperson informed Members and DoT that the Parliamentary Legal Advisor would make the minor changes that were recorded so the Committee could vote on the Bill the next day.
The meeting was adjourned.
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