ATC191209: First Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation to Amend Section 25 of the Constitution on the Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill, dated 5 December 2019
The Chairperson informed the Committee that there was a perception that Parliament was rejecting email submissions sent in response to the Bill amending section 25 of the Constitution.
The parliamentary Communications Unit was invited to speak to the matter and to explain what was happening and how the system worked so that no disinformation was circulated about how Parliament worked.
The Acting Chief Information Officer informed Members that her preliminary report was in response to the accusations by a non-profit organisation in a media article that Parliament was blocking emails. The preliminary investigation showed that 46 emails had been blocked because of the general information security measures that Parliament had on all its incoming emails, i.e. malware, viruses and certain videos had been detected on the 46 emails. The system was not blocking specific emails. 140 000 emails had been received to date in respect of the submissions. It was possible to identify those who had submitted the blocked submissions and to ask them to resend the submissions.
An extension of the deadline of 31 January 2020 for submissions in respect of the Bill amending section 25 of the Constitution was discussed by the Committee. The ANC proposed an extension of 15 days but, because it would take some time for the message to filter through to members of the public, the opposition parties proposed that the deadline be extended for the month of February. In order to give every South African an opportunity to give input, the deadline was extended to the end of February 2020.
Members believed that it was necessary to clarify to the public that the current Bill under public scrutiny dealt with the detail of the amendment to section 25. The previous public hearings had addressed the desirability of changing the Constitution. Members of the public were, nevertheless, permitted to express any views they had on the Bill.
The programme for public hearings was discussed and, despite objections about holding hearings on a day when most Christians would be in church, it was agreed that hearings would take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during March and April. That would be followed by three days of oral submissions in Parliament. As many of the suggested towns had been visited during the public hearings on the desirability of amending the Constitution, it was suggested that additional places be added to the programme.
The secretariat agreed to present an amended programme for public hearings to the Committee at a meeting on 4 February 2020.
The Chairperson welcomed Members of the Committee and the media. Before commencing the agenda, he explained that he wanted to clarify some matters that had been brought to his attention that morning. There was a perception that Parliament was rejecting email submissions. He had therefore invited the Communications Unit to speak to the matter and to explain what was happening and how the system worked so that there was no disinformation circulating about how Parliament worked.
The Communication Unit was represented by Ms Fatima Boltman, Acting Chief Information Officer for Parliament, and Mr Ravi Poliah, IT Section Manager.
Ms Boltman explained that she was presenting a preliminary report in response to the accusations by Dear South Africa, a non-profit organisation, in a media article that accused Parliament of blocking emails. The preliminary investigation showed that 46 emails had been blocked because of the general information security measures that Parliament had on its incoming emails, i.e. malware, viruses and videos. It was not blocking specific emails. 140 000 emails had been received to date in respect of the submissions.
The Chairperson said he wished to place on record that the parliamentary staff were non-partisan people who were doing their work and he was satisfied that there was nothing that they were doing that was unacceptable.
Adv S Swart (ACDP) wished everyone a blessed new year. He stated that the ACDP would be praying for wisdom for the very significant matter that the Committee was addressing. He asked for clarity on the blocked emails. Was a record being kept of the 46 emails that had been rejected? He understood that 46 emails in the context of 140 000 was almost insignificant and he appreciated the bona fides of the staff and understood the broader context, but the public would be concerned and would like to know what had happened to their emails. He was, consequently, asking that a record be kept.
Dr A Lotriet (DA) had a similar concern. She asked what would happen to a submission that had been rejected. What were members of the public to do if they noticed that an email had been rejected?
The Chairperson noted that the questions were fair and asked the Acting Chief Information Officer to respond.
Ms Boltman indicated that when one received a message stating that an email had been blocked because of unsatisfactory content, Parliament would look into the specific reasons relating to the email. A record was kept for three days on the server. The internet service provider would be requested to keep emails for three days and to provide a record of blocked content every three days or three times a week so that Parliament would have a record of everything that had been blocked.
The Chairperson asked if it was possible to identify those who had made the blocked submissions and to ask them to resubmit the submissions.
Ms Boltman agreed that the staff could do that.
Ms R Lesoma (ANC) suggested that Parliament had to have a mechanism of educating citizens about the security measures in place when one contacted Parliament via email. The public was not aware or they would not have done that. There was a gap that had to be addressed.
The Chairperson agreed and added that it was also necessary for public representatives to be informed about the security measures so that they would know what to tell members of the public. The Acting Chief Information Officer should provide Members with “speaking notes”. He hoped that there would be no disinformation going forward.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee could proceed to the matters on the agenda but he begged the indulgence of the Committee as he recapped events.
On 3 December 2019, the Committee had held a meeting to consider a draft Bill presented by the parliamentary staff. All political parties were present and had agreed on the text. The Committee had decided to give political parties an opportunity to go back and consult their parties or to hold a caucus, but at the second meeting, on 5 December 2019, it was discovered that some parties had not yet consulted their principals. As a compromise, it was agreed that the earlier version of the Bill be gazetted so that political parties could have an opportunity to seek mandates. The gazetting of that version was important to kickstart the process.
The Chairperson added that there had been some misunderstanding because, subsequent to the gazetting, the ANC NEC had held a lekgotla and had come up with a proposal that was the same as had been suggested in Parliament. However, it did not mean that the Committee had endorsed that position. The Committee had not yet endorsed anyone’s submission. There was no preference given to any political party. He had repeatedly said in the meetings that all political parties could make proposals and they would all be given equal weight; the small parties would be listened to as much as the governing party and the official opposition. South Africa was a representative and participatory constitutional democracy.
The Chairperson said that the Committee accepted that politicians or public representatives did not have the monopoly of wisdom. They were not cleverer than the public. The public had not said that those who were elected to Parliament had more wisdom than they had. That was why there was a provision for public hearings. The Committee was going to listen to the people and would take the proposals of the political parties and the views of the people and then a new Bill would be crafted that would be presented to the National Assembly for consideration. No political party need fear that it was not going to be heard. The public need not fear that its voice would not be heard. Parliament was the only mechanism of participatory democracy and it was the duty of the Committee to make sure that Parliament gave effect to the will of the people.
The Chairperson emphasised that the outcome of the process had to be an outcome that meant all South Africans could say that the people had spoken and not only one grouping or the other. The Committee had no agenda other than giving effect to the will of the people. He wanted to give that assurance to all South Africans.
Deadline for submissions on the Section 25 Bill
The Chairperson informed the Committee that he had been approached about extending the time for comments as the submission period had been over the festive season. However, he had been unable to make the decision to extend the deadline as he was not the Ad Hoc Committee. He was only the Chairperson. The Members had the deciding powers. It had to be a decision of the Members of the Committee as it was the competent authority to make that decision. Thereafter, Members could debate by how much they wanted to extend the period.
The Chairperson was mindful that the matter was a critical one of national interest. He was aware that people were uncertain about where the country was going. The economy was not in good shape and investors were uncertain, so the sooner the matter was settled, the better. The people would be able to go on with their business when they had entrusted the decisions to the Committee. He had not wanted to invest powers in himself to extend the deadline.
Ms Lesoma noted that Members had been provided with an adjusted programme. What would it mean if the Committee extended the dates for public submissions? She suggested that the deadline for public submissions could be extended by 15 days which would mean that there would be an impact on the Committee lifespan which would need to be extended by another month to the end of April 2020.
She added that when the Committee split into two to go to the provinces, Members should consider the geographic spread and be sure to include all corners of the provinces, i.e. rural areas, affluent areas and farm areas. The Committee should spend at least three days but not more than four days in a province. Members had to take into account travelling time from one venue and one province to another. It was also important to consider the distance and the fact that there were no flights in the rural areas. It would be necessary to create an opportunity for the Committee to meet the tribal leaders in the rural areas. The Committee had to introduce itself to the tribal leaders in each rural area. She suggested that the parliamentary Communications Division should inform municipalities, etc.
The Chairperson agreed that it was a good proposal that protocol regarding kings and queens and tribal leaders be respected.
Ms K Mahlatsi (ANC) asked if the Chairperson’s office had received formal requests for an extension of the deadline. If so, who had requested the extension, and on what basis? As a Committee, Members were aware that the Bill had been published during the festive season but they could extend the period as they were dealing with a very significant issue and she wanted it on record who had requested the extension and on what basis.
She asked that the office of the Chairperson take the Members through the proposed programme regarding public hearings and the implications of extending the life of the Committee so that Members could get clarity and understand the implications of the proposals by Ms Lesoma.
Dr Lotriet stated that it was extremely important to discuss the extension of time. Her party had made a case for the extension in the previous meeting but the requests had not been taken into consideration. The DA had also written a letter to the Chairperson. She proposed an extension of four weeks as the information had to go out to the public. The proposals of the past week had caused a great deal of confusion and people were not sure what they were commenting on.
As she had been involved in the previous round, Dr Lotriet could say that public hearings could not be rushed. One of the big problems that Parliament had experienced on the previous occasion was that there was a rush. The Bill had implications for the life of every person in the country. She added that outsourcing to a company that did not have the capacity to deal with the number of submissions had also caused problems. She could not see why the National Assembly would not extend the life of the Committee as that had been done before with the previous Committee.
She asked that the Committee not rush matters. She was aware that there was a sense of haste but she was not aware of the reason for the timeline.
The Chairperson said that Dr Lotriet had to be more specific like Ms Lesoma. Four weeks was not precise.
Dr Lotriet proposed the whole of February, i.e. 29 days, until 29 February 2020.
Dr M Ndlozi (EFF) said that the EFF had written a letter to the Chairperson and to the Speaker asking for an extension to Friday 28 February 2020. The EFF had proposed the 28th because the 29th was a Saturday but it did not matter as he and Dr Lotriet were of the view that written submissions could be submitted for the whole of February. The reason was that after a long and difficult year, the Committee had published a Bill when people had gone to rest on a legitimate break. The people required staff to write the submissions but those staff members were not available. He did not want the public to have the perception that the Committee was sabotaging the people. He thought that another month would be great.
In addition, he thought it unfair to rely on emails. He had wanted the Communications staff to stay in the meeting as he proposed a WhatsApp line and even an sms line because more people had WhatsApp than emails. Especially for young people, WhatsApp would be the most powerful mechanism for their responses. Dr Ndlozi declared that he was not discussing the programme until after the Chairperson had discussed the programme.
The Chairperson assured Dr Ndlozi that no one would suspect him of sabotaging the people.
Adv B Bongo (ANC) appreciated the information about who had wanted an extension. He had wanted to know who had requested a submission but he saw that it was a matter that had been raised by his colleagues. Having heard the Chairperson’s response, he supported the proposal of 15 days for submissions and the extension of the Committee until the end of April. The Committee was dealing with the nitty-gritty of section 25. The previous public hearing had been about the desirability of making the change to the Constitution and people needed to be informed that it was no longer about the desirability but about the nitty-gritty of the mechanism. He agreed with the introduction of a WhatsApp line.
Adv G Breytenbach (DA) urged the Chairperson to share the correspondence with the Committee as, although the correspondence might have been sent to the Chairperson, he needed to share the letters with Members. What was the process for determining the places chosen for the public hearings? How were they decided upon? It was not a process that had been decided upon by the Committee. The Committee had not decided on a process. Why were decisions being taken on behalf of the Committee?
Adv Swart stated that the ACDP fully supported the extension of the submission period until end of February as at least two weeks were needed to get the message out. He disagreed with Adv Bongo that submissions could only comment on the mechanisms of amending section 25. The public could also support or oppose the Bill. It was not about the process of the Bill and the manner in which the Committee was dealing with it. There was no consensus on the Bill itself. The political parties themselves had a right to present any views on the Bill and their concerns about it.
Adv Swart also proposed that public hearings be held at Parliament to hear oral submissions on some of the written submissions. He believed that it was necessary for Parliament to pass a resolution before the ad hoc committee was officially dissolved at the end of March. He supported the proposal for the extension of public comments, without restrictions, until 29 February 2020.
The Chairperson noted that what Adv Swart said differed from what Adv Bongo was saying. Dr Lotriet was right that there was a lack of clarity on the public comments required. What did the Committee mean by “comment”? What was the meaning of “comment”? The public needed to know what they were commenting on. As Adv Bongo had correctly pointed out, the issue of the desirability of amending the Constitution had been resolved. He thought that the communication to the public should address that issue so that people did not give blanket answers that would not take the process forward.
The Chairperson agreed with Dr Ndlozi that the majority of people were young people and WhatsApp would give the opportunity for young people to engage. Regarding who had asked for the extension, he had not given any extensions because he did not have the power to even consider extensions. He would provide the information as to who had requested. He commented that Adv Swart and Adv Bongo still had the legacy of antagonism from the Justice Committee. He welcomed the engagement with the public.
Adv Swart stated that there was confusion. He was adamant that Parliament could not prevent the public from opposing the Bill. The fact that the majority of Members of Parliament had commented on the Bill did not mean that other people could not oppose the Bill or provide any opinion they chose. That was his legal opinion. He did not want to engage in a one-on-one but that was his opinion. Adv Bongo could differ from him.
The Chairperson said that Adv Swart was reasonable and the Committee would give the Members a chance to meet over tea and lunch to resolve their disagreement.
Ms Lesoma suggested that the Committee should resolve the issue of who had come up with the venues or places for public hearings. She had simply considered them to be proposals. Adv Breytenbach had proposed that the Committee should look at the principles of how the decision regarding the programme had been made.
Inkosi E Buthelezi (IFP) supported the proposal to extend the submissions to the end of February.
Resolution: The Committee unanimously agreed to extend the date for submissions to the end February.
Programme for Public Hearings on the Amendment of section 25.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee should consider the dates for the public hearings so that people would know that after the submissions had been received, the public hearings would begin. He agreed with the proposal by Ms Lesoma and Ms Mahlatsi that even the poorest of the poor should be reached so that Parliament could speak on their behalf. He requested that the Committee Secretary, Mr Ramaano, make a presentation on the programme for public hearings.
The Committee Secretary stated that the proposal before Members was based on the assumption that the Committee would ask for a two-week extension of the deadline and that Members would break into two groups to undertake the hearings: one group would go to the inland provinces and the second group would go to the coastal provinces. The proposal was that the Committee Members spend three days in each province: Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The secretariat was proposing three days per province as Members of the Ad Hoc Committee were also the Chairpersons of other parliamentary committees and there would be plenaries, and Members would want to attend. Attendance would, therefore, pose a challenge. He had assumed that an extension would be requested.
The Secretary’s proposal, based on an assumption of a 15-day extension, would mean that the hearings would start after the reply to SONA, on 20 February 2020 in the Thohoyandou district of Limpopo. The hearing there would be on 21 February 2020. Thereafter the team would move to Polokwane on 22 February and to the Mopani district on 23 February 2020. The team would visit Mpumalanga in Week 2: Mbombela/ Nelspruit, Ermelo and Middelburg. The following week, the team would go to North West province, starting in Vryburg or Taung, followed by Mahikeng or Klerksdorp and then Rustenburg. In Week 4, the team would go to Gauteng. There Members would have hearings in Westonaria, Vereeniging and Pretoria. Finally, the team would go to Mossel Bay and Worcester in the Western Cape.
The second team, Team B, would start in the Northern Cape, going to Springbok, Upington and Kimberley. The team would then go on to the Free State where meetings would be held in Lejweleputswa, Sasolburg, and Bloemfontein or Phuthaditjhaba. In KwaZulu-Natal, the team would go to Vryheid or Glencoe, Jozini or Ulundi, Pietermaritzburg or Durban. In the Eastern Cape, the team would go to Umtata, Port Elizabeth and East London. Finally, the group would go to Saldanha Bay and Citrusdal in the Western Cape. Between 17 and 22 April 2020, the Committee would find time to hold public hearings in Parliament.
The Secretary informed Adv Breytenbach that no one had agreed to the programme, but it was made as a proposal to facilitate discussions.
The Chairperson noted that the dates would have to be adjusted as the programme currently started in the month of February. The decision to extend the closing date would require some adjustments.
Adv Breytenbach told the Secretary that, with one or two small adjustments, the programme seemed to target the same places as the public hearings held by the last Parliament. She suggested that the Committee should consider places where people had not yet had the opportunity to express their views. She supported the criteria of going to places where people found it difficult to get to hearings.
The Chairperson noted that the previous hearings had been for a different purpose and so places should not be excluded, but he agreed that the programme should extend to other areas.
Adv Swart supported the notion of prioritising other areas that had not been visited on the previous occasion. He also reminded the Committee that many people had not been heard as the Committee had only been able to listen to 100 – 150 people per day. There were many, many upset people when the Committee left the venues. He suggested that the hours would have to be extended to accommodate the numbers of people. He disagreed with the Committee sitting for hearings on Sundays as many people would be in church on that day. In addition, MPs needed to rest at least one day a week. Sunday could also be used for travelling. Many Christians in the nation would be in church on Sundays and the Committee might not hear that constituency.
The Chairperson agreed that people of faith would not be available on Sunday. However, he did not want to immobilise Parliament and he wanted to be sure that Parliament could quorate. He suggested that the Committee discuss the proposal that hearings be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Could the Committee reach agreement on the proposal?
Nkosi Z Mandela (ANC) said that the Committee should not entertain the issue of religion and bring it into such a discussion because it would cause the focus of the Committee to deteriorate. As a Muslim, he could say that he was not available on Friday and Jews could say that Saturday was the day of Sabbath. It was, therefore, not appropriate for a Member to advocate for Christians going to church on Sundays as if everyone was a Christian. He took exception to such an approach. The Committee should focus on the programme and the dates and not treat one religion as if it were senior to all others.
The Chairperson noted that Mr Mandela was raising an important issue. People should consider being absent from one’s place of worship for one day in the national interest. He did not think that to sacrifice one day would be too big a sacrifice. In his faith, he was not available on Wednesdays, but he sacrificed and went to Parliament. There would be no days available if one considered all faiths. Could the Committee reach consensus on the matter?
Adv Swart said that he appreciated the comments of Mr Mandela but he was looking at the numbers. Statistics showed that the majority of South Africans were Christians. He appreciated the Jewish people and the Muslims, but when it came to numbers, the majority of South Africans were Christians. For a matter of practicality, surely Sundays should be available travel and for other issues. Sundays could be for going to church and the Committee could use other days. His objection was on record and it stood.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee agree to holding the hearings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. People who were in church on a Sunday could attend on another day. It was important to uphold the principle of equality of all religions, no matter how small.
Adv Swart asked if a church service could be held at public hearings when meetings were held in a church building. He asked that the meetings would, at least, be opened with a prayer.
The Chairperson said that the Committee respected all religions but asked that, for practical reasons, hearings be held on Fridays, Saturday and Sunday. He pointed out that it would not be every Sunday and the Committee had a duty not to immobilise Parliament. He asked if there was consensus.
Nkosi Mandela said that Adv Swart spoke on the majority of Christians, but he spoke on behalf of the majority of South Africans who “yearned for land hunger” and did not have any more tolerance “for not having the issue attended to”. South Africans had been displaced and moved off the land of their forefathers and they wanted to return to their land. They wished to have the problem of land access resolved. He spoke on behalf of South Africans who wanted the land of their forefathers back. He did not want to side-track the issues by discussing religion but to come back to the matter that the Committee had been tasked with. The Committee had been established to ensure that the desires of the majority of South Africans be fulfilled.
The Chairperson said that Adv Swart should agree on the three days.
Adv Swart stood by his view. Even the Constitutional Court had said that Sunday was a secular rest day. The High Court had said that SA was not a secular state but did not adhere to a single religion. However, he had voiced his opinion and if the hearings went ahead on Sundays, his party would mobilise people to attend as it was obviously a matter of great importance. Jewish and Muslim people would agree with him that the hearings should not be held on a day of faith.
The Chairperson stated that Mr Mandela had helped the Committee by reminding Members that SA was a secular state.
Adv Swart corrected the Chairperson. The High Court had stated that SA was not a secular state. The state did not prefer one religion but it was not a secular state. The narrative that SA was a secular state had to come to an end.
The Chairperson stated that, as Mr Mandela had said, the intention was to meet the needs of the majority of South Africans.
Inkosi Buthelezi supported the proposal of Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. At the previous hearings, the majority of people had complained that they were at work during the week and so could not attend hearings. Weekends were better.
Inkosi Buthelezi formally proposed that Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays be accepted as the days on which the hearings would take place. The proposal was seconded by Ms Mahlatsi. There was one objection from the ACDP, but the proposal was carried by the majority.
Resolution: The Committee agreed that the public hearings would take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Venues for public hearings
The Chairperson informed Members that the matter of venues had to be addressed. He asked if the Committee wished to engage in discussion or whether the work could be left to the capable secretariat.
Dr Ndlozi asked for clarity regarding the intention to use weekends only. He had not heard the origins of using weekdays. Was he correct in understanding that the only reason for restricting public hearings to weekends was that some people were chairing committees in Parliament? He had got lost in the South Africans versus religion debate. He apologised for taking the Committee back.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee worked on consensus and Dr Ndlozi wanted clarity. He was not challenging the decision. He had a constituency to report to.
The Chairperson asked the Secretary to explain to Dr Ndlozi the reasoning behind the three days over the weekend.
The Secretary explained that one of the reasons was that there were persons chairing parliamentary meetings during the week. As Inkosi Buthelezi had reminded Members, they had to consider the availability of members of the public to attend the hearing. He added that the administrative staff also supported other parliamentary committees.
The Chairperson noted that some employers would not want to release workers during the week.
Dr Ndlozi said that he then objected because the hearings would take two months of all weekends. That was too much damage. Some people would be able to do nothing but Parliament work for two months. People had other pressing things that they had to balance. His was not a religious objection. For two months he could not do any other deployment. He requested that the Committee consider the possibility of not holding hearings every weekend. Other than that, the programme was balanced.
Everyone belonged to other Committees, even he, although he was not a chairperson, but, surely, there could be interventions in Parliament time and work during the week. Some Saturday and Sundays were fine, but not all. It could not be every Saturday and Sunday. It seemed unliveable. Imagine two months with nothing but Parliament work. In principle, the programme was not bad. He would add Johannesburg, as geographically it was small. What about funerals and deaths, and so on? It was an attack on weekends and that was not acceptable. In principle, it was not bad but he would have added Johannesburg to the Gauteng visits but the attacks on the weekends was not acceptable. There was no need to go every weekend.
The Chairperson noted that there was a need for a balancing act but the balancing act should not be done by the Committee but by the whippery. He asked if the Committee could accept that hearings would be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and he would speak to the whippery with regards to other days.
Dr Ndlozi stated that he did not see any national hearings in the programme. The time of 14 to 17 April 2020 had been set aside for hearing submissions but was the Committee not going to be hearing some people present their written submission in Parliament?
The Secretary pointed him to the bottom of the page where it said 17 to 22 March 2020. That was five days. He suggested that the Committee go to the public for two days, and two days in the week would be for the hearing of written inputs.
Dr Ndlozi said the secretary should have intellectual honesty – he had not put it in the programme. He had to put it in the programme. He was concerned that the secretary could slot the oral submissions of written submissions in that weekend and that would not have been acceptable to him.
The Chairperson said that the hearing was implied, and he defended the Secretary as a man of integrity.
Dr Ndlozi said that the staff must be spoken to and must do things properly.
Adv Breytenbach said the Secretary had stated the date and had explained about the hearing but Dr Ndlozi had not listened. He had wasted the Committee’s time and had blamed the Secretary for something mentioned at the beginning of the Secretary’s presentation.
The Chairperson said that he was happy that everyone knew where they were going.
Inkosi Buthelezi asked about the issue of towns to be visited. He wanted to add two towns to those to be visited in KwaZulu-Natal. There had also been talk of meeting kings and queens and he was not sure that those visits had been catered for in the programme.
The Chairperson asked that recommendations be sent to the secretariat.
Dr Ndlozi noted that there was no House sitting for the whole of February so the proposal regarding the extension of the date for submission to House could not happen prior to the changes in dates. When would the Members get the final dates?
The Chairperson explained that the secretariat would rework the programme, circulate it and request input from Members and then it would be finalised with the whippery.
Ms Mahlatsi said that the Committee should approach the programming committee to have a special sitting for the extension of the deadline. The date regarding the closing of submissions had been a Committee decisions and was not the decision of the House. She was not sure if the report adopted in the House regarding the closing of submissions was specific, but she suspected that it had been the Committee’s decision and so the Committee could re-organise the date and the programme.
Dr Ndlozi asked for a deadline for submissions on the programme so that Members knew when to expect the final programme. By next Wednesday or Thursday, Members had to receive the programme. When would the Committee meet to adopt the programme?
The Chairperson said the Secretary would be ready with the programme by the following Tuesday. The Committee would meet on Tuesday, 4 February 2020. All proposals and suggestions were to be submitted by Friday, 31 January 2020. Those with suggestions should submit by Friday for the proposals to be worked into the programme. On Tuesday, the Committee would meet to agree with the programme by consensus.
Dr Ndlozi asked that the extension be communicated to the public that day as it was only midday. He asked that the public be informed of the WhatsApp line the following day.
The Chairperson assured him that Rajaa Azzakani, the communication person, would do it and would do a good job of it.
The Chairperson said that everything to do with land matters had to be agreed upon by consensus. He could see that consensus was holding in the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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