The Committee met to discuss the Annual Performance Plan (APP) of the Western Cape Premier. The Chairperson suggested five topics for discussion relating to the APP that the Department had to present on -- the five year provincial strategic plan; the master plan for provincial-wide data governance; the broadband strategy; public participation and citizenship; and the international relations strategy.
Members commented on the absence of a strategy to eradicate poverty or an indigent policy in the APP. They also noted the lack of a human resources (HR) strategy and development plan in the APP, and called for these items also to be included for discussion. They agreed that the dates for these topics should fall in the next calendar year.
The Chairperson also spoke about improving best practices, and a proposal was made to visit the UK and the Netherlands, tentatively between 26 January to 6 February. He added that advertisements for the position of Children's Commissioner had been placed, and encouraged Members to spread the word about this vacancy.
The Chairperson said the meeting agenda was to discuss what annual performance plan (APP) items the Department of the Premier had to present to the Committee, as well as to see where these items could be slotted in on the Committee’s calendar.
He had five suggestions for items from the APP that the Department had to present to the Committee to consider:
- The five year provincial strategic plan, because this was a new government and a new premier;
- The master-plan for provincial-wide data governance;
- The broadband strategy;
- Public participation and citizenship; and
- The international relations strategy
He said the next Committee meeting would be on 10 October, and would deal only with deliberations on the annual report. On 22 November, the Committee would convene on the Western Cape Adjustments Appropriation Bill, so the only available dates for the five items would be 19 February, 6 March and 1 April, unless a special meeting was called.
Other possible matters to be looked at were youth development, unemployment and women’s affairs. The Children’s Commissioner would be appointed by the Western Cape Social Development Committee, but the oversight mechanism for the Children’s Commissioner was still with the Office of the Premier. There had been discussions on best practices in a number of areas. On the money bills, Canada and the UK were good, while Canada was the best as far as the Children's Commissioner was concerned, and the UK had the best mechanism at looking after the rights of children. On constitutional matters, the UK was also well placed. Initial research had shown that the UK and the Netherlands were the best places to visit to find out what they had done regarding best practices, and he suggested a tentative date of between 26 January to 6 February for a visit.
Mr C Dugmore (ANC) said that given the available time slots, the items would be difficult to include in this year’s programme. He suggested that the five presentations, as well as the employment equity status, be placed in the new calendar year.
Mr Peter Marais (FF+) said he noticed the absence of a strategy to eradicate poverty or an indigent policy in the APP. He quoted Judge Arthur Chaskalson as saying the right to life was unqualified, with no exceptions. He said, for example, that there were many cases where people went to hospital but did not get treatment and died. Hospitals were providing a right to access hospitals, but not to health services. In his time at the helm, he had insisted that casino money be channelled into a poverty relief fund to help the indigent.
Mr Mackenzie said such a programme would fall under Social Development.
Mr Marais said he would prefer the Premier to instruct the Cabinet.
Mr Dugmore said the overall input by the Premier should not only be economic, but also about poverty, which should also be on the agenda.
Mr Marais asked what the success rate was in empowering the staff of the Western Cape Government, as there should be a human resources (HR) strategy and development plan in the APP.
Mr Mackenzie then read a resolution for the Chairperson of the Committee and two other Members to undertake a trip to the UK and Netherlands.
He said that advertisements for the position of Children's Commissioner had been placed, and encouraged Members to spread the word about this vacancy.
The minutes of the meeting of 14 August were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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