SADC Aviation Safety Organisation Charter; Committee Report on RABS Bill

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13 November 2018
Chairperson: Ms D Magadzi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee deliberated further on the Committee Report and the Minority Report submitted by the Democratic Alliance at the previous meeting. The Committee rejected the Minority Report as a separate report arguing that it would populate the Committee Report and the Committee did not sub-contract the DA to write part of its Report. The DA insisted its Report be included in the Committee Report. The proposal was put to a vote and the Committee voted against its inclusion.

The Committee was briefed on the SADC Aviation Safety Organisation (SASO) Charter and it was adopted.

It was noted that the ATNS and ACSA Amendment Bills would be processed early next year.

Meeting report

Committee Report on Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill
The Chairperson noted that in the previous meeting Members suggested that the DA Minority Report should not be presented to the National Assembly as Rules 166 and 288 (available below) have a bearing on this.

Mr Ramatlakane said that Rule 288(f)(i) directed the Committee to specify where there was no consensus and why. Rule 288(f)(ii) stated that the Committee majority must convey the views of the minority. In the previous meeting he indicated that it was not the responsibility of the minority to write the Committee Report. If the Committee Secretary deemed herself incompetent to capture the view of the minority, the Committee would have to dictate what the content should be. Therefore it would be wrong to sub-contract the Committee responsibility to a minority party to convey its view.

Mr C Hunsinger (DA) asked for clarity barring Mr Ramatlakane’s opinion and personal comments on the Rules.

The Chairperson said that the Rules needed to be read so that Members understood the process and the Rules. Rule 288 outlined how the process should unfold and the Committee must abide by the rule and outline the aspects that were raised by the minority – where there was no agreement or consensus on clauses in the Bill. Therefore, we do not need to have a thesis as a report.

Mr Hunsinger said that he did not take kindly to the Minority Report being referred to as a thesis. He quoted Rule 166(v). It did not state can it be interpreted in any way that the minority view should be a certain format. The DA submits that the minority report must be included in the Committee Report in its complete nature – we are not seeking for approval on this.

Mr T Mpanza (ANC) said that Members needed to be fair. The Rules outline that the Committee Report is of the Committee and it must be presented as such – that is the point of departure.

Mr Ramatlakane said that the rule read by Mr Hunsinger was the incorrect one because it did not refer to Bills referred to the Committee and its Committee Report thereof. The correct rule was Rule 288 and nowhere in the Rule does it state that a political party should formulate its view in the Committee Report. It is the Committee who decides what should be in the report. The document stands rejected. It must be redrafted and the Committee in-session can make that call when there are disagreements. Nowhere in the Rules does it state that a party can make a submission and colour it as the view of the minority. The DA should have made its submission during the public hearings, not at the tail end of the process where it does not fit in.

Mr N Seabi (ANC) quoted Rule 166(3) and (4)(a) and (b). The Rules needed to be interpreted correctly. He supported the resolution taken at the previous meeting that the Committee Report should be re-drafted and the Committee would consider the re-drafted Report.

Mr M Sibande (ANC) said that one must refrain from using the term “I do not take it kindly” because that was not proper language. We do not want to take it there, but if we are pushed we will take it there as Members. He agreed with Mr Ramatlakane and other Members who echoed the same sentiments about the objection to the minority report. These Rules clearly state that it is about the Committee Report. Therefore, it is clear what needs to happen and we must not abuse the Rule 166 language. The DA Report is not the view of the minority parties but only of one party which is the DA – the DA does not represent other minority parties.

Ms S Xego (ANC) said that the DA Report stands rejected. Thus, the Committee now needed to proceed to formulating the Committee Report because all Members could have their own views.

Mr M De Freitas (DA) said that the Report did not represent the views of other minority parties. Secondly, it is not up to the Committee to accept or reject the Report. Thirdly, the Chairperson would hopefully do the right thing because a clear precedent is set by the Portfolio Committees on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Economic Development on the inclusion of minority views in Committee Reports. He appealed to the Chairperson to rule carefully taking into consideration the input submitted by the DA.

Mr Hunsinger said that Rule 166 is appropriate and stands over Rule 288. It is clear about the Committee Report and Minority Report that it is not discretionary in any way. In Rule 288, it is clear that the majority party should convey the views of the minority and it does not say how the minority report should be formatted or how those views should be conveyed.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would go with Rule 288 and it would not accept Committee Report to be populated by the views of the minority. Now the Committee would discuss the dissenting views and consider inputs from Members that would be included in the Committee Report and each Member would be expected to submit their own input.

Mr Mpanza said on 7 November 2018 there was no consensus on the motion of desirability on the RABS Bill. The DA objected on the basis of the no fault principle and the common law. None of the other opposition parties raised any views. He moved to have those views incorporated in the Report.

Mr Ramatlakane agreed that the views should be captured in that fashion.

Mr Seabi agreed and said the Committee writes up its report and it must outline what transpired for full transparency.

Mr Sibande agreed.

Ms Xego said Members needed to make inputs on what should be included in the Committee Report. If the Secretariat was not competent enough to write the Committee Report, the Chairperson should write to the Office of the House Chairperson.

Mr Hunsinger asked that all the views of the Democratic Alliance are captured in the Committee Report.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would not accept the views conveyed by Mr Hunsinger.

Mr Shelembe said he could not comment much as he was not present in that meeting. Based on what was said in the meeting, the Committee Report can state that those are the views of the Democratic Alliance.

The Chairperson put the matter to a vote – whether the issues raised by Mr Hunsinger in the DA Report should be included in the Committee Report or not.

Mr Mpanza said that in the last meeting it was moved that the DA Report should be rejected altogether. He moved that it should be rejected.

Mr Ramatlakane seconded.

Ms Xego moved for the exclusion of the points made by Mr Hunsinger.

The Chairperson said that the Committee should also have a report containing what transpired from the inception of the process.

Mr Ramatlakane thanked the Chairperson. It was clear the DA report would not be accepted. The Rules are directive in nature on what the Committee should or should not include in its Committee Report.

The DA minority report was rejected.

South African Development Community Aviation Safety Organisation (SASO) Charter
Mr Hlabisa, Acting Director General: Department of Transport, briefed the Committee (see document).

Mr Hunsinger suggested that the Charter be approved.

Mr Ramatlakane supported the suggestion.

Mr Shelembe said that the President has already authorised the Minister of Transport to sign, but he wanted to know whether the President was not aware that the Charter first had to go before Parliament.

The Chairperson said that once the Charter has been before the Committee, it would then go forth to be signed by the Minister. The Minister would not sign if the Committee did not support the Charter.

The Committee adopted the Charter without any deliberations.

ATNS and ACSA Amendment Bills
The Chairperson said that she would request the advice of the House Chairperson about the ATNS and ACSA Bills as they would come before the Committee early next year. Hopefully, the Committee would be able to finalise the Bills before the State of the Nation Address and National Elections because the Deputy President had indicated that the Bills were urgent.

The meeting adjourned.

National Assembly Rules
166. Reporting
(1) A committee must report to the Assembly on a matter referred to the committee —
(a) when the Assembly is to decide the matter in terms of these rules, the Joint Rules, a resolution of the Assembly or legislation;
(b) if the committee has taken a decision on the matter, whether or not the Assembly is to decide the matter as contemplated in Paragraph (a); or
(c) if the committee is unable to decide a matter referred to it for report.
(2) A committee must report to the Assembly on —
(a) all other decisions taken by it, except those decisions concerning its internal business; and
(b) its activities at least once per year.
(3) A report of a committee —
(a) must be formally adopted by the committee;
(b) must be submitted to the Assembly by the chairperson or another member of the committee designated by the committee; and
(c) may request that the chairperson or another member of the committee designated by the committee introduces or explains the report in the Assembly.
(4) (a) A committee may not submit a minority report.
(b) If a report is not a unanimous report, it must —
(i) specify in which respects there was not consensus, and
(ii) in addition to the views representative of the majority in the committee, express any views of a minority in the committee.

(5) If a committee reports on a matter other than a matter mentioned in Subrule (1)(a) and is of the view that its report, or a specific matter mentioned in the report, should be considered by the Assembly, it may make a request to that effect in the report.

288 Committee’s report
(1) The Assembly committee to which a Bill is referred must table in the Assembly —
(a) its report;
(b) the Bill that has been agreed on by it, in its final amended or redrafted form as adopted by the committee where applicable, or, if it has not agreed on a Bill, the Bill as referred to it;
(c) the supporting memorandum which was introduced with the Bill or, if the memorandum has been amended by the committee, the amended memorandum; and
(d) if the Bill was introduced by a member in his or her individual capacity, the views, if any, expressed on the Bill by the relevant department in the national executive authority or executive organ of state in the national sphere of government.
(2) The committee may report to the Assembly only after the JTM has classified the Bill and has made its findings on the Bill.
(3) In its report the committee —
(a) must state the JTM’s classification of and findings on the Bill;
(b) must state whether it recommends approval of the Bill with or without amendments, a redraft of the Bill, or rejection of the Bill;
(c) in the case of a Bill introduced by a member in his or her individual capacity, must state the views on the Bill submitted by the relevant executive authority;
(d) must specify each amendment if an amended Bill (other than a redraft of the Bill) was agreed on by it, and each amendment that was considered and, for a reason other than its being out of order, was rejected by it;
(e) must specify each amendment rejected by the committee if a redrafted Bill was agreed on by it;
(f) must, if it is not a unanimous report—
(i) specify in which respects and why there was not consensus, and
(ii) in addition to the views representative of the majority in the committee, convey any views of a minority in the committee in order to facilitate debate when the report comes before the House;
(g) may specify such details or information about its inquiry and any representations or evidence received or taken by it as it may consider necessary for the purposes of the debate on the Bill;
(h) may report on any matter arising from its deliberations on the Bill but which is not necessarily related to the Bill; and
(i) may recommend to the Assembly that any matter contained in the report be placed on the Order Paper for separate consideration either before or after the Assembly considers the Bill.

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