Committee Reports and Programme

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

03 December 2019
Chairperson: Mr F Xasa (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

In the last meeting for the year, the Committee considered and adopted it oversight reports and looked at the Committee programme for the new year.

Meeting report

Minor corrections and additions were made to the various Committee Reports and thereafter they were adopted. Members thoroughly went through each report. In 2019 the Committee had gone to Hout Bay and Kirstenbosch for oversight visits.

As part of his introduction the Chairperson emphasised the role of the Committee as an advisory and inquisitorial body  to help strengthen the spheres of government.

Ms H Winkler (DA) asked if the Committee Reports recommendations are implemented and if the Department takes those seriously. How do they ensure that the Committee is effective in their suggestions for implementation by the Department?

The Chairperson remarked that Parliament would have to provide clarity on the impact and influence of Committee in its oversight role of the Department and the extent of the effect of the recommendations the Committee gives to the Department.

Committee Report on Oversight visit to Hout Bay Harbour 29 October 2019
Ms S Mbatha (ANC) noted that the report did not include the challenges that small-scale fishers face and these were raised by the fishers.

Ms A Weber (DA) asked that there be a separate point about the incorporation of women in small scale fishing as it relates to the temporary rights relief issued to women in the community and their integration into the small-scale fishing rights. Another point was the pollution in the harbour and its effect on marine life.

Mr P Modise (ANC) pointed out that the current discussions were to look over the report and confirm what really transpired during that oversight and then at a later stage the Committee will deal with recommendations for the Department.

Ms Mbatha suggested that the lease between the Department of Public Works and small-scale fisheries be added to the recommendations as it was something that was discussed. Security should also be added under recommendations.

Ms Winkler added that under recommendations there should be a review of the stakeholder participation on small scale fishing rights. Another recommendation is to look into alternative employment opportunities and eco-tourism in the area. There is a need to create alternative industries for individuals who cannot participate in fishing any longer.

The Committee Report was adopted with amendments.

Mr Modise said the Committee must set a timeline by when these recommendations will be implemented in order to provide the community with a report back.

The Chairperson indicated that normal time frame for feedback on reports is three months from the date of the meeting.

Committee Report on DEA Quarter 4 Performance of 2018/19, dated 23 September 2019
The Committee Report was adopted with corrections.

Committee Report on DEA Quarter 1 & 2 Performance of 2019/20
Ms Weber noted that the Committee was not satisfied with the manner in which the SAWS Board handled the suspension of the CEO and the time it took. The Department was also not forthcoming with the Committee about the charges against the CEO.

Mr Modise explained that two CEOs are involved in SAWS. There were allegations that SAWS was paying two CEOs. That is where the quagmire stemmed from.

Ms Weber agreed that it was about Linda Makuleni and Julia Mphafudi who were both suspended. Linda Makuleni received R2.8 million and the Julia Mphafudi matter took long which cost DEA and it was not transparent about the matter.

The Chairperson noted the Committee Report was adopted.

Committee Programme First Term 2020: 27 January – 27 March 2019
The Chairperson gave a summary of the programme for the following year and said that should Members want to make additions they are at liberty to do so. Once it has been adopted, it adopts the work the Committee does, and they have to commit to it.

Ms Weber asked if the stakeholder meeting on equality is it still in Mpumalanga? Secondly, the visits to Sasol and Eskom power plants are also in Mpumalanga? Can the landfill also be visited whilst the Committee is still in Gauteng?

Ms Winkler made a request to visit the landfill in Pietermaritzburg and take a look at the Umgeni River pollution because it is a major issue.

Mr Modise said that the oversight visit programme is already set and is informed by Parliament's schedule and because of that these late suggestions for oversight visits will not be possible.

The Chairperson explained that other items will be visited in the next oversight programme and they are not being excluded. This is a framework from the House Chairperson for Committees.

Committee Minutes
The Committee adopted the meeting minutes of 2, 3,10, July 2019, 27 August 2019, 3,10,13 - 17 September 2019, 8, 9 - 23 October 2019, 12 and 19 November 2019.

Ms Mbatha noted that the from 3 July 2019 minutes stated that the current suspended CEO matter must be dealt within three months.

Ms Winkler said the Department had concluded its disciplinary process and that is why the Committee gave them three months to come to a resolution about the CEO.

Mr Modise added that he had committed to giving a report on the current suspended SAWS CEO and he still needs to get back to the Committee on that.

Ms Winkler commented that SAWS had ongoing litigation with the two prior CEOs and wondered how the litigation costs were affecting the budget, plus the exorbitant rent for the new SAW premises.

The Chairperson pointed out that all the matters being raised have been captured in the report and that those minutes are a summary.

The meeting was adjourned.


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