Draft Land Affairs General Amendment Bill: briefing

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

8 September, 1999

Documents handed out:
Draft Portfolio Committee Programme for the year (see below)
Explanatory Notes on the Draft Bill

The Draft Land Affairs General Amendment Bill was introduced to the Portfolio Committee. The Bill is still with the state law advisors, and has not been officially tabled in Parliament. The Bill contains amendments to six Acts currently administrated by the Department of Land Affairs. The Portfolio Committee will discuss the Bill again once it has been approved by the Law Advisors, and tabled in Parliament.

The chair, Adv. Holomisa (African National Congress) noted two items on the agenda. The first was the initial briefing on the Draft Land Affairs General Amendment Bill. The second item, the Portfolio Committee programme for the year, would be looked at first. The chair had drafted an initial programme for the year based on the input from the members, and a draft had been circulated. Comments on the draft programme should be forwarded to the Chair, and a final programme will be tabled at the next meeting.

The chair noted that one of the issues for the Portfolio Committee was to look at international agreements that impacted on Agriculture. With this in mind, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry had invited the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs to join them in receiving briefings on international trade agreements. The briefings would be held on the 17 and 22 of September.

Mr Hanekom (African National Congress) commented that in the past agriculture had not had sufficient influence in the trade agreements, and the Portfolio Committee should not leave their involvement to chance.

The chair agreed, and the Portfolio Committee decided to make the joint meeting an official meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs.

Mr Schoeman (New National Party) stated that the Portfolio Committee must ensure that agriculture is represented early on in trade agreement negotiations in a stronger manner.

The Chair noted that the National Council of Provinces Select Committee was going to have a briefing by the Chief Land Claims Commissioner on the 22 September. He urged all members to attend. The department was asked to introduce themselves, and brief the Portfolio Committee on the Draft Land Affairs General Amendment Bill.

The Departmental team comprised of Ms Lala Stein, the Chief director for redistribution and land rights, Ms Vuyi Nxasana, the Director land rights, Ms Lynette Sing, the Director of redistribution policy, Mr Thabo Gereke, the Legal Officer for restitution, Ms Rosie Raath and Mr Jack Viljoen, from the Deeds office.

The memorandum on the Draft Bill was presented.

Mr Ginida (African National Congress) asked for a definition of the word "impose" in the introduction to clause 3. Ms Sing (Department of Land Affairs) noted that the word was not intended to be autocratic, but rather referred to the Minister setting the basic framework.

The meeting adjourned.

Appendix 1:
Draft Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs programme for the Year

1 Legislation

Land Affairs General Amendment Bill
Meat Safety Bill (still to be tabled)
Animal Identification Bill (With State Law Advisor)
Agricultural Credit Amendment Bill (Awaiting Cabinet Approval)

Briefing on the Bills to be arranged with the Department.

2 Briefing on:

2.1 Matters of common interest with other Ministers and Departments
2.2 Current issues such as international trade negotiations, treaties and agreements, the Agriculture Organisation, the World Trade Organisation, the European Union, The Southern African Development Community etc.
2.3 The Land Bank, the Agricultural Research Council
2.4 The Land Claims Commission
2.5 Court decisions on land related Acts
2.6 Medium Term Expenditure Framework
2.7 Policy issues in general eg. Rural Development Strategy

Briefing to be done by the Minister/Deputy Minister and the two Directors General, the Chief Executive officers of the Parastatals and the Chief Land Claim Commissioner.

3 Interaction with:
3.1 South Africa Agricultural Union
3.2 National Land Committee
3.3 National House of Traditional Leaders
3.4 National Union African Farmers

4 Provincial and International Study Tours

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