Small Enterprises Ombud Service Bill: Committee Report

Small Business Development

20 February 2019
Chairperson: Ms N Bhengu (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development met to consider the report on the motion of Undesirability of the Small Enterprise Ombud Service Bill; and to consider and adopt minutes. There was a minority report by the Democratic Alliance which had to form part of the report on the bill. Previously, members voted against the Bill (four ANC Members) against two DA Members and one ACDP Member who wanted the bill passed. The Committee thus rejected the bill.

The report on the bill was adopted without amendments.

There were some discussion around the Committee programme and the Chairperson made it clear the there would be no condensing of the programme – Members should be prioritising parliamentary work until Parliament shut down and can thereafter concentrate on campaigning for the 2019 elections.

Meeting report

Apologies were noted for the Minister, Ms Lindiwe Zulu and Mr S Mncwabe (NFP) who would be arriving late.

Consideration and adoption of minutes

Committee Minutes dated 28 November 2018

The Chairperson tabled the minutes for consideration. The Committee went through the document page-by-page. 

Minutes were adopted without any amendments.

Committee Minutes date 05 December 2018

Mr R Chance (DA) asked for a minute to read through the minutes, which the Chairperson granted.

Minutes were adopted without any amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 13 February 2019

Mr N Xaba (ANC) raised a matter on page 3. He said maybe management had to look at “squeezing the programme” and wanted to know if any progress was made by the secretariat on this matter.

The Chairperson reminded him that the Committee was first dealing with the correctness of the minutes and thereafter, should Members wanted to raise matters arising from the minutes, his question would be addressed.

Minutes were adopted without any amendments.

Matters Arising

Mr N Xaba (ANC) wanted to know if management could look at “squeezing the programme”, as there were already challenges to reach a quorum at the meeting and also wanted to know and if progress has been made by the secretariat. On page 4 of the minutes dated 13 February, he wanted clarity on the phrase ‘that the Department is also responding to what the country is focusing on and understanding that services are provided’.

On Resolutions and Recommendations, he said there was a strong matter raised by Members with regard to incubators on the presentation. This was understood that the Department was or is able to grant the millions to help these hubs. This was supposed to have been a collective effort by entities who have successfully implemented the Ford Industrial Revolution trainings or support to small businesses. In particular four provinces were left over. The resolution was that there would be a combined funding to help government implement the training. However, a briefing as to how this would be materialised, was not available. This matter, as expected should be followed up as it would be reflected to the Department when it would be raised again for discussion.

The Chairperson ruled that the points raised on page 4 on the Resolutions by Mr Xaba would be amendments to the minutes.   

Responding to the issue of ‘programme,s he said the Committee held meetings on a Wednesday and the following Tuesday a Management Committee meeting would be held. The Management Committee meeting included the Chairperson, the Parliamentary Liaison Officer who represented the Department, the Whip of the majority party and the secretariat along with their researchers. In that meeting, all the issues raised were discussed as well as time allocated to discuss each matter. The programme would then be changed or time would be allocated to discuss a particular matter, depending on its importance.

The Department was fully aware of the upcoming elections, which would not be happening for the first time.  Parliamentary work would have to continue and Committee Members were expected to attend meetings. There was another item which did not appear on the programme which the Department presented. The Office of the Auditor-General would be invited to make a report to the Portfolio Committee. There was another item which should also be added to be programme and no “squeezing” of items on the programme would be allowed and one item, as requested by the Committee, would be added to the programme.

The Chairperson urged Members to take parliamentary work serious and they should avail themselves to attend meetings.  The Committee recognised and appreciated that there must be campaigning, but this should be done when Parliament stopped work.  There would be no ‘squeezing’ or condensing of any items.

Report on the Motion of Undesirability of the Small Enterprise Ombud Service Bill dated 24 October 2018   

Mr R Chance (DA) described the report as fair and expressed the DA’s appreciation for having included its report.  Mr Chance made a small correction to his name on page 2.

The report was adopted with amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.

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