Committee Report on 2018/ 19 Annual Report of the Department; Way forward on Children’s Commissioner; Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill

Social Development (WCPP)

12 November 2019
Chairperson: Mr G Bosman (DA)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to consider and adopt its report on the 2018/19 Annual Report of the Department of Social Development. The Committee Report was adopted without amendment. The Committee also considered and adopted the minutes of its meetings held on 8 October 2019 and 23 October 2019 – both minutes were adopted without amendment.

The Committee discussed the way forward on the appointment of the Western Cape Commissioner for Children. The Committee would convene an off-site workshop, on Monday 18 November 2019, where the Committee will focus on criteria for short listing, agree on an interview schedule and agree on timelines. The workshop will enable Members to talk broadly around understanding the appointment process of the Children's Commissioner going forward.

The Committee discussed the tabling of the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill. The Bill was introduced to the Provincial Parliament by the MEC for Social Development. The Bill will be published for public comment over a 21-day period. The Bill will then come to the Committee. There is no timeframe as to when the Committee should conclude the process. The Bill proposes the repeal of specific ancient parts of legislation. It covers two pieces of legislation that require technical changes

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed everyone in attendance to the meeting. He welcomed Mr Galil Brinkhuis, who is a new Committee Member from the Al-Jamah Party. Ms W Philander (DA) sent apologies and was represented by Mr D Mitchell (DA).

Consideration of Committee's Report on Annual Report of the Western Cape Department of Social Development
The Committee considered its Report on the Annual Report for the Western Cape Department of Social Development. The Committee interrogated and processed the Annual Report on the 23 October 2019.

The Committee Report was adopted without amendments. Mr R Mackenzie (DA) moved for adoption of the Report. Ms N Bakubaku-Vos (ANC) seconded the move.

Committee Minutes dated 23 October 2019
The minutes were adopted without amendment. Ms Bakubaku-Vos moved for adoption of the minutes and Mr Mackenzie seconded the move.

Committee Minutes dated 8 October 2019
The minutes were adopted without amendment. Ms R Windvogel (ANC) moved for adoption of the minutes and Ms Bakubaku-Vos seconded the move.

Western Cape Commissioner for Children

The way forward on the appointment of the Western Cape Commissioner for Children was added to the amended notice of the meeting. Nominations closed on 23 October 2019. The Committee sought opportunity to look through all 59 nominations received and Members have already received objections.

Members also sought opportunity to engage with the content and the Act. Members decided, in the previous meeting, that they would like to hold a workshop where Members will determine the next step, which is short listing. Members also agreed that during the workshop, the weighting of the shortlisted candidates will be decided. The Committee will also determine the interview schedule during the workshop. The Committee is looking through the parliamentary programme to assess if the entire process can be finalised before the House arises but this looked impossible.

The Chairperson proposed the Committee holds the workshop on 22 November 2019, which is a Friday. The workshop could be held from 11am to 4pm. The only other parliamentary event on the same day is the Budget Committee’s meeting from 10am – 11am. The Committee's Procedural Officer will look for an off-site venue that is suitable for the meeting. The Committee will convene the workshop in collaboration with the Department of the Premier and possibly with Adv. Maasdorp (WCPP Legal Adviser) and an academic that could take the Committee through the requirements for the appointment. Members will have the opportunity to ask questions on the appointment process, especially on short listing of candidates.

Ms Bakubaku-Vos was happy with the process.

Mr Brinkhuis noted that he would be busy with Islamic prayers on Friday 22 November 2019. He, however, might attend the workshop if the time is shifted to 2pm - 7pm.

Others Members did not agree with the timing. The workshop was eventually scheduled for Monday, 18 November 2019 from 9am to 2pm. The Chairperson said the workshop will focus on the criteria for short listing, agreement on interview schedule and agreement on timelines. The workshop will enable Committee Members to talk broadly around understanding the appointment process of the Children's Commissioner going forward. The Legal Adviser and other Committee staff prepared a copy of every nomination that was received and it was quite a tedious exercise. Members will receive a copy of relevant documents.

A staff member of the Committee said only permanent Members of the Committee will get the copies of the document for the proposed workshop. There is no point giving a copy to alternate Members, who do not have the right to make decisions on short listing.

Mr Mitchell pointed out the Standing Rule of Parliament states that an alternate Member has full right on the Committee in the absence of a permanent Member because no one can predict what will happen on the day of the meeting or any other function. Any alternate Member that stands in for a permanent Member should have the opportunity to receive documents distributed during the meeting if they so desire.

The Chairperson said a hardcopy is available for Ms Windvogel, an alternate Member of the Committee. He said digital copies are also available to Members.

Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill
The Committee discussed the tabling of the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill. The Bill was introduced to the Provincial Parliament by the MEC for Social Development. The Bill is being proofread at the moment and the Procedural Officer will publish the Bill for public comment over a 21-day period. The Bill will then come to the Committee. There is no timeframe as to when the Committee should conclude the process. The Chairperson said this leaves the Committee with a bit of breathing space. Parliament will conclude its business around 9 December 2019 and afterward has a constituency period. This period is followed by recess. The Committee will receive the Bill after 21 days of public comments. The Bill proposes the repeal of specific ancient parts of legislation. It covers two pieces of legislation that require technical changes.

Mr Brinkhuis asked when the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill will be tabled.

The Chairperson said the Bill has been tabled already. It will be published for public comment for 21 days after which it comes to the Committee for processing.

Resolutions
The Chairperson said the workshop will held on Monday, 18 November 2019. Adv Maasdorp, the Procedural Officer and Chairperson will organise the programme and send the order of the programme to Committee Members.

The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documents

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