Election of Chairperson

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Defence and Military Veterans

02 July 2019
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to elect its Chairperson. Mr V Xaba (ANC) was nominated unopposed as Chairperson of the Committee, he accepted the nomination and declared as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.

The newly elected Chairperson alerted Committee Members that the Committee was expected to hit the ground running. As such, he proposed dates for the Committee to meet with the Department and its entities to deliberate on the budgets, Annual Performance Plans (APPs) and Legacy Report.

Members made suggestions regarding the activities that would enable the Committee to run smoothly going forward. These included an induction session on the Department and its entities, site visits to help Members understand issues the committee will be dealing with and to always ensure the Department accounts to the Committee.

Meeting report

Election of Chairperson

The Committee Secretary welcomed every Member to the Committee and said that his role was to preside over the election of the Chairperson of the Committee.

The Committee Secretary confirmed Members did form a quorum. He outlined the process for the election included calling for nominations, calling for a seconder for a nomination and checking if the nominee was available for election. Should there be further nominations, Members would be asked to vote by show of hands.

The Committee Secretary asked for nominations.

Mr T Mmutle (ANC) nominated Mr V Xaba as Chairperson of the Committee.

Ms D Dlakude (ANC) seconded the nomination of Mr Xaba.

The Committee Secretary asked Mr Xaba to indicate if he was available for election.

Mr Xaba responded positively.

There were no further nominations.

Mr Xaba accepted the nomination as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.

Chairperson’s Remarks

The Chairperson thanked the Committee Secretary for conducting the election of the Committee Chairperson and thanked Members for the honour bestowed on him. He thanked the ANC for putting his name forward for the nomination.

The Chairperson shared that he had been in the legislature since 1994 until 2009 when he was deployed to the office of the Premier as a Special Advisor to the Premier. He remained in that position until 2014. He was then redeployed to the legislature as a Member of the Executive Council in the provinces. In the legislature, he served in several Committees as Chair of Public Works, Chair of Finance, Chair of Economic Development and as Chief Whip.

The Chairperson said the Committee was expected to hit the ground running. He recommended a meeting be held the following day.  The meeting would consider four items. These included a briefing by the Department of Military Veterans on its budgeting and Annual Performance Plan (APP) for 2019/20, a briefing by the Department of Defence on its budget and APP, briefing by Armscor on its budget and APP and a briefing by the Castle Control Board on its budget and APP.

He said that if there was not enough time to cover all the presentations, there would be another meeting on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, to accommodate outstanding briefings.

The Chairperson proposed that on 24 July 2019, the Committee be handed the Legacy Report of the previous Committee.  He proposed the Committee should go through it. The Report would inform new Members of the work of the previous Committee.

The Chairperson said the Committee is expected to produce its own second term programme. The second term programme will then inform the Committee's work for the second term.

Mr S Marais (DA) said Members must learn what is expected of them in terms of oversight. Members must be informed in terms of what the Committee's programme needs to be and the needs to be concentrated on in the work of the Committee. He suggested the Committee should deal with this matter on 24 July 2014.

Mr J Maake (DA) suggested Committee Members get a chance to go to the Department to enhance the understanding of what the Committee would be working on.

Mr S Matiase (EFF) suggested there should be a workshop to orientate Members on the Department and its entity components and on what should be anticipated in terms the work of the Committee.

Mr Mmutle cautioned that the Committee must derive its mandate from the Department. A suggestion that the Department should tell the Committee what to do would be wrong. The Committee does not account to the Department - it is the Department that must account to the Committee. The Committee should not get guidance from the Department because the Committee would then end up doing everything the Department wants. The Department should brief the Committee. And out of that briefing, the Committee would then rely on the research team so that the Committee is able to keep the Department accountable.

The Chairperson confirmed there was no objection to the proposed meeting the following day as well as the follow-up meeting on 10 July 2019 to further deliberate of the presentations of the Departments and the entities.

The meeting was adjourned.  


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