Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Bill [B2-2019]: deliberations; with Minister and Deputy Ministers

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

25 June 2020
Chairperson: Acting: Mr B Hadebe (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 25 June 2020
Audio: Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill [B2-2019]: deliberations

The Minister and both Deputy Ministers were present while the Committee deliberated on the Local Government Municipal Systems Act (MSA) Bill. The original Bill was introduced in 2010 to strengthen governance, oversight and the capacity of municipalities to perform their functions. The Amendment Bill was introduced in 2019 after the principal legislation was legally challenged and ruled invalid. The Committee is required to fix the procedural defect.

The Department presented the motivation supporting the limitation of political rights of municipal managers and managers directly accountable to municipal managers as contained in clause 5 of the Amendment Bill for noting and consideration by the Portfolio Committee. The presentation covered the policy intent of the limitiation clause, context of the Amendment Bill, comparison with other sectors and the limitiation inquiry. It was recommended that the Portfolio Committee note and consider the rationale for limitation of political rights of senior managers before passing the Amendment Bill - is a reasonable and justifiable limitation in terms of section 19 of the Constitution.

The State Law Advisor agreed with the Department that the Bill (section 56(a)) would pass constitutional muster.

The Committee agreed with the recommendation from SALGA to extend the limitation of political rights to all employees. This will mean the lines between the state and party can be cleared. The Committee discussed the 14 days in which provinces have to make inputs and the Minister’s role in this. Members asked about the provision in the Bill for existing employees who already held political office and if if there will be a phasing out/ phasing in period to allow this specific clause to take effect over a period of time. Other matters raised included the six month period for the other clause to the suspended, the effect of the Act on employees already employed, definition of office bearer,

It was agreed that once some of the matters raised (terminology and wording) in the meeting were addressed, an A List version of the Bill would be drafted for Members to go through clause-by-clause. A transitional clause would also be drafted.

Meeting report

An apology was read for the Chairperson of the Committee, Ms F Muthambi (ANC)

Mr Tebogo Motlashuping, Deputy Director General (DDG), Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), made the presentation. The purpose of the meeting is to make final deliberations on the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment (MSA) Bill. The presentation outlined the purpose of the Bill and its background. It explained the policy intent on the limitation clause, compares the situation with similar legislation within other sectors, and explained the context of the Amendment Bill.

The purpose of the Amendment Bill is to present the motivation supporting the limitation of political rights of Municipal Managers and Managers directly accountable to Municipal Managers, as set out in Clause 5 (five) of the Amendment Bill.

The Bill has a nine year long tumultuous history. The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill, 2019 [the Amendment Bill] was introduced to Parliament in 2010 to strengthen governance, oversight, and the capacity of municipalities to perform its functions. The Amendment Bill was approved by Parliament and assented to by the President on 5 July 2011 [Municipal Systems Act, 2011] (Act No. 7 of 2011).

South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) challenged the Amendment Act on two grounds:

  1. Tagging.
  2. The constitutionality of section 5 (five).

The High Court:

  • Declared the Amendment Act unconstitutional and invalid because it fails to comply with the procedures set out in section 76 of the Constitution; and
  • Considered it unnecessary to decide the substantive issues relating to limitation of political rights of Municipal Managers and Managers reporting to Municipal Managers.

On 9 March 2017, the Constitutional Court:

  • Confirmed the High Court ruling – declared the Amendment Act invalid.
  • Suspended the invalidity of the Amendment Act for a period of 24 months to enable the legislature an opportunity to correct the tagging defect.
  • The Amendment Act was invalidated on 9 March 2019 before the procedural defect was corrected by the Legislature.

A new Amendment Bill with the corresponding provisions as the invalidated Amendment Act was re-introduced to Parliament on 6 February 2019 and properly tagged as a section 76 Bill.

During the deliberations on the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill (Amendment Bill) held on 28 May 2020, the Portfolio Committee for CoGTA resolved, the Department must submit a motivation supporting the limitation of political rights of Senior Managers.

Clause 5 (five) of the Amendment Bill provides as follows –

Limitation of political rights of Municipal Managers and Managers directly accountable to Municipal  Managers - a Municipal Manager or Manager directly accountable to a Municipal Manager may not hold political office in a political party, whether in a permanent, temporary or acting capacity.

The Amendment Bill defined political party as –

(a)        the position of Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Deputy Secretary or Treasurer of the party nationally or in any Province, Region or other area in which the party operates; or

(b)        any position in the party equivalent to position referred to (a) above, irrespective of the title designated to the position.

Policy Intent

The intent is to depoliticise municipal administration/ management, prevent political infighting from getting in the way of service delivery, and to transform municipalities into professional work environments conforming to the Code of Conduct for Municipal staff.

A holder of a political office is not prevented from applying to be a Municipal Manager. However, if he/she is appointed, he/she must resign his /her position before commencing work as a Municipal Manager or Manager directly accountable to a Municipal Manager (Senior Manager).

Other policy intents are to affirm and strengthen the democratic and administrative accountability relationships, as prescribed by the Constitution and legislation.

Context of the Amendment Bill

It is widely accepted political interference in Municipal Administrations is one of the factors hampering the effective and efficient functioning of municipalities and constitutional obligations to deliver basic services. Political interference in Municipal Administrations manifests itself in a number of ways, including the appointment by Municipal Councils of persons holding political office in a political party rather than on merit, influencing tender decisions to favour certain individuals, and, in general, operating municipalities in a partisan manner.

Local government in South Africa contributed to the achievement of a number of significant social and economic development advances, since the ushering of the new democratic municipal dispensation in December 2000. The majority of communities increased access to a wide range of basic services and more opportunities were created for its participation in the economy. There is a risk the overall positive progress and success of the new local government system is increasingly being overwhelmed by, inter alia, negative practices both internal and external to municipalities.

Good or even satisfactory practices are not institutionally sound, but dependent on few leaders and personalities. This has the effect of undermining the objects of developmental local government intended to provide democratic and accountable government for local communities, as well as ensure provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner.

A deliberate subversion of policy laid a foundation for corrupt and criminal activities to advance personal interest at the expense of community and public interest by politically influential officials and individuals. There is little doubt the negative effects of corruption, nepotism, lack of accountability, and improper influence by persons holding political office undermines remedies or actions necessary to restore the confidence of communities in local government.

In response to these challenges, CoGTA adopted a local government turnaround strategy which became the key driver to rebuild and improve the basic requirements for a functional, responsive, effective, efficient, and accountable developmental local government, including legislative reforms.

The Amendment Bill is one of the legislative reforms which, inter alia, empowers the Minister to prescribe:

  • the minimum requisite skills, experience, competencies and qualifications for senior managers;
  • A set of criteria and procedures for appointment and disciplining senior managers;
  • A greater separation between political-administrative interface by prohibiting senior managers from occupying key elected positions in political party structures; and
  • Placing restrictions on the re-employment of any staff member who was dismissed for misconduct.

The Amendment Bill is a well-targeted, evidence-based, legislative measure to provide a necessary regulatory framework according to which some of the problems relating to the lack of professionalisation and the politicisation of the administration can be addressed.

A study entitled: The Quality of Local Democracy: A study into the Functionality of Municipal Governance Arrangement was conducted by the University of Cape Town, Community Law Centre in 2009. In summary, the findings of this study are as follows:

  • Where the Municipal Manager is a political office bearer, outranking the Councillors, the former’s accountability relationship to the Council is nullified and the office bearer municipal official becomes the Master of the Council.
  • Where the legally prescribed accountability relationships are disregarded, it has a demoralising impact on both Councillors and staff.

Limitation Enquiry

There is no doubt Clause 5 (five) of the Amendment Bill limits the rights of Senior Managers to exercise certain political rights guaranteed to citizens by section 19 of the Constitution.

The right to participate in the activities of a political party includes the right to stand for, and hold office within a political party. As Clause 5 (five) restricts the right, the issue which must be determined is if the restriction can be justified according to the criteria set out in the limitations clause, Section 36 of the Constitution.


The Portfolio Committee must note and consider the rationale for limiting political rights of Senior Managers, before passing the Amendment Bill to be a reasonable and justifiable limitation according to Section 19 of the Constitution.  Members asked if the amendments will truly put an end to cadre deployment, a situation where political office bearers are deployed to influential managerial positions in municipalities, but lack the requisite qualifications and experience to fulfil the functions the position require. This causes municipalities to become dysfunctional and unable to deliver fundamental services. Members also asked how this amendment will make sure people with essential skills and qualifications, such as engineers, will be attracted to take on positions in rural municipalities. Members asked how the Minister will know when to intervene, when MECs did not sign off within 14 days on filling essential vacancies in municipalities.


The Acting Chairperson asked the State Law Advisor (SLA), Ms Yolande van Aswegen, to give a perspective regarding if what the Department presented will meet constitutional legal scrutiny or not.

Ms van Aswegen replied that she completely agrees with everything said. As the Deputy Director General (DDG) said, the SLA already gave its view on Section 56(a) passing constitutional muster.  It is of the view, even if it is applied across the board to all employees, it will still pass constitutional muster because of the purpose it serves. This purpose is to professionalise local government and to make it free from political interference. The view of the SLA stays the same.

It seems, when the Bill was initially passed in 2013, the limitation of political rights only extended to senior managers, and now the proposal from both South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Department is to extend it to all employees. The Acting Chairperson asked the DDG if it is correct to say this.

Mr Motlashuping replied that SALGA proposes this limitation must extend to the levels below senior managers. The Department is in support of this proposal.  This is because the same argument used for senior managers, resonates with the relevance of what Parliament wants to achieve regarding provisional local government. The Department therefore supports SALGA in this particular instance.

The Acting Chairperson said the Committee heard what the Department, SALGA, and other stakeholders who participated in this process up to this point produced. It is incumbent upon the Committee to interact with the resolutions.  This meeting is supposed to attend to the amendment clause by clause. He asked the Committee for guidance on how to proceed with addressing the matter.

Mr H Hoosen (DA) said his party supports the view the Department took, to extend the limitation of political rights to all employees. His party welcomes it and has put it on record previously.

Ms G Opperman (DA) fully supports SALGA’s recommendation to extend the limitation to all municipal employees. This will mean the lines between the state and party can finally be cleared. There is more than sufficient evidence from over the last 20 years for the Minister to justify this limitation, and to also prove this limitation is the least destructive way to achieve the main purpose. The main purpose is stabilisation, professionalisation, and de-politisation of the local government space, to allow service delivery to continue unhampered and public confidence restored.  She supports SALGA’s recommendation.

Mr K Ceza (EFF) agrees with SALGAs proposal for local government space to be professionalised, and de-politicised. When municipalities present to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA), it is clear there is a crisis in local government.

The Acting Chairperson said regarding the 14 days provinces are given to make an input, both SALGA and the Department refer to 14 days. If the province fails to make an input within 14 days, the Minister must intervene. In the current proposal there is no indication at which stage the Minister will be informed, so the Minister is in a position to monitor if the province made its input or not.

Subsection 9 of the current amendment requires the Minister to intervene, but Subsection 7 only says the Municipal Council must inform the Member of Executive Council (MEC). Nowhere in the clause does it say at what point the Minister must be informed. The question is, at which point according to the Act will the Minister be informed to enable her to track if the MEC adhered to the prescribed legislation or not.

Mr Motlashuping said that Deputy Minister Tau explained the situation with the 14 day period provinces have to submit reports within on 28 May 2020. The Committee said the 14-day period is not cast in stone. Ample time will be allowed for municipalities to submit reports to MECs and for MECs to submit reports to the Minister. The timeframes of reporting must be reformulated down the line. 

The Acting Chairperson said the Committee and Department are expected to finalise arrangements before the meeting the next day. In Subsection 9 of the Act, it says the MEC has to submit a report within 14 days, but it does not prescribe at which point the Minister becomes aware of the matter, so the Minister can monitor the time it takes for the MEC to submit the report.

The Committee hopes all proposals will be processed during this meeting, to finalise the processing of the Act the following day.

The Acting Chairperson asked the Deputy Minister what his take is on Section 54(a), Subsection 9 where the Bill says: When an MEC for local government fails to take appropriate steps in subsection(a), the Minister may take steps contemplated in this subsection.

This section specifies 14 days for the MEC, but it does not specify at which stage the Minister must be informed. Subsection 7 mentions Council submitting to the MEC only.

Deputy Minister Parks Tau replied that the idea of stipulating 14 days is to avoid a situation where decisions are not made within a reasonable time for people to assume responsibility. Another reason is to capacitate institutions regarding management and the provision is, if after 14 days the MEC did not process the decision, it is incumbent on the Municipality to request the Minister to apply his/her mind to this decision. No provision is made for a prescribed timeframe for the Minister to reply.

The idea is to ensure MECs meet the time limits. This is borne from experience. With certain areas of appointments of senior managers where MECs concurrence is needed, it was not done timeously. This impacted on the abilities of Municipalities to fill in critical vacancies.

The Acting Chairperson asked if Subsection 7 must not read:... that the Municipal Town Council has to, within 14 days, inform both the MEC and the Minister so the Minister is able to track if the MEC acted accordingly or not.

If one wants things to be done within 14-days, if 14 days lapses, it means there will be more additional days before the Minister can act. The 14 days might eventually turn into 28 days.

Deputy Minister Tau replied that it is something to consider, without usurping the role of the MEC. It is possible to find a formulation which will get the MECs to apply the MECs minds in the first instance.

Mr Hoosen asked about the provision in the Bill for existing employees who already held political office. He asked if there will be a phasing out/ phasing in period to allow this specific clause to take effect over a period of time. He said, as long as it is not ten years, and asked if the Department had any comment on this matter, or if provision was made for it.

Mr C Brink (DA) said another issue needing attention is the six months-or-so period for the other clause to be suspended, to give people an opportunity to get things in order.

The Acting Chairperson said, when one looks into the legislation, it says once this amendment takes effect, it will not apply to those already employed. It will only apply to those who will be employed after the Act takes effect. He asked if the Department and SALGA will still maintain its current proposal according to Section 56 (a)(ii), which states:… this section does not apply to a person or persons already employed as Municipal Manager or managers directly accountable to the Municipal Manager.

Once this Act takes effect, the question is what will happen to those political office-bearers who are already employed.  Some of these politicians are office bearers. The term of office is five years. These office bearers are also eligible for re-election. The question is what will happen to those who are already employed.

Mr Motlashuping said the Department and SALGA will sponsor a transitional clause to add to the legislation. This will deal with how staff members who are already holding political office will be dealt with.  This transitional arrangement must be valid for a finite time and there must be a stipulated time when the arrangement will come to an end.

Mr Hoosen asked exactly what the DDG meant when he said there will be a transitional clause. He asked if the transitional clause includes a phasing in/phasing out period for existing political office bearers, or if the Act does not affect them.

Mr Motlashuping said a clause will be developed. The Labour Relations Act (LRA), deals with matters regarding phasing out, not phasing in. The transitional clause will provide for a time period, during which political office bearers must align with the legislation. The Act cannot have immediate bearing on political office bearers from the moment of promulgation.  There must be an adjustment period. The transitional clause will be phrased so as not to prolong the current situation where political office bearers have managerial positions in municipalities.

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the DDG pronounced on the transitional clause which must be in the Act. The idea is to make sure those already in place will transition to also comply with this legislation.

Mr Ceza asked how this limitation of political rights amendment will give rise to the required skills and qualities needed in rural municipalities, and how it will be attracted to this space.

Mr Motlashuping said the proposal is, once the Minister is empowered by the empowering legislations, the Minister must develop regulations looking into municipalities ability to attract suitably qualified personnel. This relates to qualifications, some sort of special allowance must be given to qualified staff. It relates to special arrangements regarding rural municipalities. The Department’s experience since 2011 shows one must have some levers to assist municipalities to attract suitably qualified staff. Once this law is passed, the Minister must develop regulations to respond to the situation as put forth by Mr Ceza.

Mr Ceza said he is concerned about the amendments not pointing out how the political office bearers already in positions in municipalities can be up-skilled. He is worried about the skill levels in rural municipalities. If the situation is left as it is, it will be a crucial mistake in oversight, because then mediocrity is promoted.

Mr Motlashuping said the skills gap is addressed on another platform.  Based on the report received from the skills system currently in place, the Department is of the opinion in some instances, capacity building is needed. There are initiatives put in place to see to it these political office bearers are skilled to execute the mandate of delivering quality service to communities.  The exercise of up-skilling employees is ongoing. It is a separate issue from the objective of this legislation.  The Minister’s regulations will stipulate the skills candidates have to have to be considered for a certain position.

The Department already started with identifying skill sets employees in municipalities have to have. Once this is finalised and the Minister signs it off, the person who is in the system, who occupies a position already, while not having the skill set to fulfil that function, will be given the necessary skill.  

The competency the Minister is busy with at this moment, will identify what the skills gaps are, will look into it and will then give support to municipalities to improve the skills already in the system.  This is a separate process already underway. It cannot be accommodated within this process.

The Minister said she wants to add to the question asked about skills in the rural municipalities.  She thought even though it is not dealt with here, and the DDG answered, she wants to add, the Ministry is looking at having skills in the Districts which can be shared by municipalities. Some municipalities are very small and are trying to attract skilled people, but are unable to pay the skilled people.  In addition to what the DDG said, the District Development Model also envisages some shared skills within the District.  If there is a shortage of engineering skills, for example, engineers can be shared by the municipalities within the District.

Ms H Mkhaliphi (EFF) said all present, including the Minister and Deputy Ministers, must be frank and honest because dysfunctional municipalities affects Members of all parties adversely. For this reason she agrees with the proposal by SALGA and the Department to get municipalities to function properly and to do away with political interference. She asked if this amendment will also address political deployment.

This is important because it affects her party. She made an example of the eThekwini region. A certain political party is in charge and there are smaller parties not in charge. Appointments are made without following the prescribed legal procedures. This practice has a demoralising effect on the stakeholders affected by these appointments. She asked if these amendments will address all those challenges in local government.

Deputy Minister Tau said, regarding the methods of deployment, this Bill is not focused on the methods or the practice of deployment. He thinks it will be a matter to be considered in line with the overall public administration legislation, Parliament has to process. This Bill deals with the phenomenon of political office bearers assuming administrative positions in municipalities.

The Minister said this legislation does not replace how normal recruitment in the public service must be done.  If it is in the municipality or elsewhere, there are procedures which must be followed.  If procedures are not followed, it is incorrect.  It is not a matter of political deployment.  It just means recruitment departments are not following the procedures it must follow and it must not be allowed, irrespective of which political parties candidates belong to.

Mr Brink reminded the Acting Chairperson of the issue of political office bearers. One cannot get co-opted on to an Executive Committee where one does not hold any of the top five positions, but is still influential in the decision-making process.

In this case this amendment will defeat the purpose if the definition of political office bearer is too narrow.  He said he thinks this definition must be finalised before the Committee goes through the amendment clause-by-clause.

The Acting Chairperson said the other aspect he wants clarity on is the definition of political office-bearer. This is one of the aspects someone is challenging in Court.  He is sticking to the amendment as it is when it was adopted in 2011. These are the questions he needs clarity on.

Mr Motlashuping replied regarding the definition of political office. He said there must be some sort of discussion if the definition of political office must be broadened, and to which extent it must be broadened. A too broad definition can also defeat the purpose of what the amendment is trying to achieve.

If the amendment is going to restrict individual political rights, there is a need to explain it well. There must be absolute clarity and no ambiguity about the definition of political office bearer.

Ms van Aswegen said she proposed earlier she draft the A-list in consultation with the parliamentary legal advisor, because she has a concern, which the Committee must consider.

The concern is the definition of political office. The Municipal Systems Act currently has a definition for political office bearer. The Department must consider it when drafting the proposed clause with SALGA. The DDG said there is no confusion about what a political office and what a political office bearer is. These are two distinct definitions.

People confuse holding political office with being a political office bearer. These have two different things. She agreed to draft the A-list, as long as it is in consultation with the Department and the departmental legal advisor.

The Acting Chairperson said political office bearer refers to positions like the Mayor, the Speaker, and such, in the municipal structure. Political office means being on the executive of a political party outside of the municipality. This is his understanding. He asked the State Law Advisor what she found confusing about the definitions.

The Acting Chairperson asked the DDG what he thought about the State Law Advisor’s proposal for the Department’s legal team, the Parliamentary legal team, and the State Law Advisor working together on drafting the A-list.

Mr Motlashuping said it is a good proposal and he wants to work on it.

Mr Brink said he understands the State Law Advisor is concerned about the terminology.  He suggested, instead of the term political office bearer, the term party office bearer be used to exclude confusion.

Mr Brink said the amendment will be rendered meaningless if the exclusion-of-political-office-bearer rule not only narrowly applies to the top executive positions in political parties, but casts a wider net to include other leadership or influential roles as well.

Ms van Aswegen clarified where the confusion comes in for her. She said Mr Hoosen raised a matter before about the Big Five sitting on the National Executive Committee. The problem is with the term Executive Committee. This already causes confusion because when looking at the term political office bearer, it also refers to an Executive Committee. The only difference is, the term actually, as used in the political office bearer definition, refers to the Executive Committee as contemplated in Section 43 of the Municipal Structures Act. This has nothing to do with the political party. This has to do with the internal structures of the municipality. When one looks at political office and when one considers expanding this and looks at the b-part of the political office definition, one must attempt to not use the term Executive Committee specifically. This is because it will cause confusion again, unless one explicitly states which Executive Committee is referred to.

If one looks at the definition for political office, one may consider also using the word political in front of the word party. If one looks at paragraph A for instance, where it refers to …the treasurer of the party…, and to, party, it must be changed to political party or something to this effect to bring out the meaning of political office,  which means holding office in an outside political structure.

When referring to an Executive Committee within this context, one refers to the Big Five leadership positions of external political party, as opposed to the Executive Committee referred to in the Municipal Structures Act. She means the definitions must be fine-tuned to clarify the difference between political office bearer and political office, so the Bill will be easier to interpret once it is promulgated.

The Acting Chairperson summarised as follows: the following day, the legal advisors will meet to clarify the definitions of political office versus political office bearer as outlined in the legislation. The legal advisors will also draft the A-list for the Committee to go through the Act clause-by-clause.

The Minister asked if the definition of people holding political office will be restricted to the people in the top five executive positions in political parties, or if it will include the entire executive.

The Acting Chairperson said, according to the current definition, it reads:

 …political office, in relation to a political party or a structure thereof means the position of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or Treasury of a political National, Provincial, or Regional, or other areas in which the party operates. Any position in the party, equivalent to the position referred to in paragraph a, irrespective of the title designated to the position…

The Minister said the Chairperson misunderstood her.  She reiterated her question.

The Acting Chairperson said he understood what the Minister means.

Mr Brink referred to the second part of the definition, namely…Any position in the party, equivalent to the position referred to in paragraph a, irrespective of the title designated to the position…

 This can suggest it excludes anyone who holds a similar position. He said he thinks it will be better to get a clause including anybody on an Executive Committee. A person can be a co-opted member or a special member of the Regional Executive Committee, and be an office bearer in a municipality. He might participate in the deliberations of the political party’s Committee and participate in its decisions.

The question is what the amendments will achieve if the person is not excluded from holding municipal office. If the definition is limited to the Big Five, it can create a gap rendering the amendment to the Act meaningless.

The Acting Chairperson asked if the Committee feels the definition of political office must be extended to the entire Executive Committee, not only to office bearers, all levels of political office, be it Local, Regional Provincial or National. This way, a person holding political office will be excluded from being given a position in a municipality.

Ms Mkhaliphi agreed.

Mr Ceza concurred. He said he witnessed where the Chairperson of a political party in the Kangala Region, Mpumalanga influenced the Municipal Managers regarding allocating tenders and destabilising running of the Municipality. He did not work in this Municipality, but he intimidated the Municipal Managers. The municipal space had to be professionalised.

Mr I Groenewald (FF+) agreed with Mr Brink. The broader definition will assist in preventing people from circumventing the objective of the amendments. The Committee can learn from the Companies Act where an independent director is defined. The broader definition will assist.

Mr Hoosen agreed. The point Mr Brink made reinforced what the Committee is trying to achieve with the particular clause. He said he thinks the Department must spend time selecting the wording carefully. The wording used in the Clause must be a catch-all to cover the broad principle of what the Committee is trying to achieve.

Mr Hoosen proposed the Committee leaves the clause-by-clause engagement for the next meeting, when Ms Muthambi is present. It will be the sole item on the agenda.

The Acting Chairperson said the next meeting is the next day.

Mr Hoosen replied this is fine.

Mr Motlashuping said the transitional clause will be drawn up for deliberation, overnight. The definition of political office bearers will be finalised and there will be a final position on the 14-day period, so the Committee can process the Act clause by clause the following day.

The Acting Chairperson said he is not sure if the limitation is not stretched too far, but he is subject to the advice by the parliamentary lawyers. He asked if all agreed the Department will do the all the drafts during the day, forward it to the parliamentary legal team and the Department, then by the time the meeting takes place, all parties concerned saw the draft A-list to make sure all amendments and proposed suggestions are taken care of.

The Acting Chairperson thanked the Minister. He invited the Members to confirm there is consensus amongst Members regarding the latest amendments SALGA and the Department, in agreement with each other, proposed. He ensured there are no fundamental objections to it from any political party.  All the inputs to the amendments to the Act submitted by the provinces were considered. Where views were discarded, it was done after substantive discussion and consideration. The Committee now gave the instruction to the State Law Adviser to draw up an A-list to be used as a guide when the Committee processes the Bill clause-by-clause the next day.

The Minister thanked the Committee and officials for the work done already. He said the clause-by-clause processing of the Act will happen the following day.

The Acting Chairperson asked for more comments. There were none.

The meeting was adjourned.

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