The Subcommittee sat to consider matters referred to the Committee. The Subcommittee agreed that a report on proposed amendments should be submitted to the NCOP Rules Committee for consideration. The Secretariat would prepare a draft proposed Rule Book for approval by the Subcommittee prior to submission to the Rules Committee.
Based on the advice of the Secretary, the Subcommittee agreed that it was not necessary to propose amendments to this matter, as it would necessitate amendment of the Constitution.
Regarding proposed rule 93A, (removal of the Committee Chairperson), the Subcommittee agreed that it was not desirable to have this rule.
The Chairperson opened the meeting and welcomed everyone in attendance.
An apology was received from Mr C Labuschagne (DA, Western Cape) who asked Mr G Michalakis (DA, Free State) to stand in on her behalf.
Consideration of Minutes of 31 July 2019
The minutes of the Subcommittee on Review of Council Rules were adopted without amendments.
Consideration of summary of decisions of the Subcommittee on 31 July 2019.
Adv M Phindela, Secretary to the NCOP, indicated that most of the issues were agreed on except for the matter on the Rotating Deputy Chairperson.
Matters to be revisited by the Subcommittee
The following matters are to be revisited by the Subcommittee:
• incorporation of e-petition process into the petition guidelines, subject to the outcome of the investigation on the possibility of an e-parliament led by the Deputy Presiding Officers of Parliament;
• proposed rule on physical division in instances where the electronic system was not functional; and
• alignment of the rules to the conventions of the NCOP.
Mr A Nyambi (ANC, Mpumalanga) thought the procedure had been dealt with the last time the House sat where it had been decided that some of the procedures would be discussed and considered.
The Chairperson spoke about whatt Mr Michalakis had proposed.
Mr Nyambi pointed out that the rules indicated that after the term then those bills lapse and when the new term arrived there was a process to be followed if they wanted to be revived. The process required a resolution by the House. Mr Nyambi said that it would be a good idea to document that procedure in writing as there had been no confusion as to what the procedure should be. Having it in writing would address the issue Mr Michalakis had and everyone would be on the same page.
Adv Phindela, said provision had been included in the rules currently, which was on page 131 of the document: Rules of the NCOP with Amendments and which he proceeded to read out.
“Lapsing and resumption of proceedings on Bills and any business before the Council
203. (1) All Bills [introduced in the Council and] which have not yet been passed by the Council [in terms of rule 197], and any business before the Council when it rises on the last sitting day in any [annual session], term lapses, but may be reinstated on the Order Paper during the next ensuing session by resolution of the Council.”
The Chairperson echoed that the rule had already been followed by the House.
The Chairperson proceeded onto the last outstanding issue that had been brought by Mr Nyambi and she proposed that the draft be circulated to the Committee section so that Members could see if there was anything they felt was outstanding before the final draft was adopted. She asked if she could meet with the Members before the next Rules meeting to adopt the final draft, which would include the proposals from Mr Nyambi.
Mr S Mohai (ANC, Free State) asked that the secretariat compile the final draft to be circulated.
Mr Michalakis asked the Chairperson when she foresaw the electoral meeting taking place.
The Chairperson replied that she did not know, as she did not deal with the programme. She asked Adv Phindela when the rules meeting would be held.
Adv Phindela said it would be held on 28 November 2019.
Mr Michalakis said that the schedule might be tight seeing as it was in a week’s time.
The Chairperson said the Committee had been busy with the rules for a very long time. She asked the Advocate to take them, as the changes made were minor additions not substantive changes. She asked if the final draft, with amendments, could be ready by the following Wednesday. There would be a meeting on 26 November to finalise everything.
Mr Nyambi felt that it was too soon to expect the final draft by the following week. He suggested that Members could meet after the adjournment of the House.
The Chairperson offered to make it a working lunch so that Members could go through the final draft.
She felt there were very few issues that Members did not agree on which indicated to her that those working in the fifth Parliament had done a good job and Members concluding the matter would be following suit. She realised that the rules were very dynamic and sometimes could always be found to be lacking on certain points. That was why she felt it was important to keep an open mind.
Mr Nyambi asked if Members could agree that the meeting take place the following Tuesday and be restricted to adopting the draft. He wanted the issues to be concluded once and for all. The meeting of 28 November 2019 would still take place.
The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending and adjourned the meeting.
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