Statutory Levy on Sorghum; Meat Safety Bill; Provincial Tours

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Meeting report

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AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
7 June 2000
STATUTORY LEVY ON SORGHUM; MEAT SAFETY BILL; PROVINCIAL TOURS

Documents handed out:
Proposed Amendments to Meat Safety Bill (See Appendix 1)
National Agricultural Marketing Council: application for the continuation of the statutory levy in the sorgham industry [e-mail linden@iafrica.com for document]

SUMMARY
The Committee approved the statutory levy on Sorghum, as requested by the Agricultural Marketing Council. The Meat Safety Bill was adopted with amendments.

MINUTES
The Chairperson, Adv. Holomisa, welcomed the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr Dirk Du Toit, to the meeting.

Sorghum Statutory Levy
Mr John Gordon of the Agricultural Marketing Council (AMC) reported that the continuation of the statutory levy on sorghum was supported by the majority of role-players in the industry. Funds from the levy were used to support ongoing research both locally and internationally. While the industry acknowledged that the long-term vision was that the individual stakeholders would start funding specific research in the near future, a period of a few years in which the levy was applied was still required to ensure the continuation of current projects.

The Committee agreed to the continuation of the levy. At the suggestion of Mr Hanekom (New National Party), the AMC stated it would welcome the opportunity to bring a presentation to the Committee on a variety of issues. One of the key issues would be the status of the various trust funds. The AMC noted that the maize fund currently had R280 million, while the sorghum fund was at R6.2 million.

Meat Safety Bill
The Chair requested the Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs legal officer, Adv. Ranel Van Zyl, to introduce the amendments as the committee went through the Bill. Ms Van Zyl noted that amendments to clause 1, 7 and 11 were discussed at previous meetings, and that she and the state law advisors had come up with the wording as contained in the document of proposed amendments. The Committee agreed to the amendments.

The Committee went through the rest of the Bill, noting the chapters where amendments had been drafted. The amendments to Clauses 1, 11, 12, 15 and 22 were mainly technical in nature and improved the drafting of the Bill.

The amendment to Clause 7 was aimed at preventing people from selling meat killed outside of an abattoir under the guise of having butchered the animal for own consumption, cultural or religious reasons.

The insertion of a new clause 23 was proposed by the department. The Clause would enable the Minister to delegate certain functions. Such a clause was standard in legislation of this nature, and should have been included in an original draft. The new clause was accepted.

The Bill was formally put to the Committee, and was accepted by all the parties at the meeting with the amendments.

The Chair noted the Bill was due for debate on Friday, 9 June, and asked for the committee's guidance as to whether there should be an internal debate. The Deputy Minister noted he would not be able to be present at the debate. The Committee felt that an internal debate on the Bill was not necessary, and suggested the Chair be mandated to report to the National Assembly and cover the key issues.

Provincial Study Tours
Mr Hanekom (New National Party) briefly updated the Committee on the status of the planned study tours. The date for the tours to the four provinces would be the 27-29 June, and seven Members would go to each province. The Members were requested to fill in a form identifying which province they would like to visit. Of the seven members for each tour, parliamentary protocol was that the ANC would have four members, with the minority parties comprising the other three seats. The minority parties would therefore need to agree amongst themselves who went where.

The Committee and the Deputy Minister discussed the importance of making sure the tours enabled to MP's to reach and talk to the people on the ground, in particular the farm workers. The Chair noted that the Committee secretary, Mr J Ramrock, was initiating contact in the provinces, and requesting that all interested people, including NGO's and workers, participate.

Appendix 1
AMENDMENTS PROPOSED
MEAT SAFETY BILL
[B29-2000]

CLAUSE 1
1. On page 2, in line 30, to omit "agriculture" and to substitute "abattoirs"

CLAUSE 7
1. On page 10, in line 17, after "(2)" to insert "(a)".
2. On page 10, after line 18, to add the following paragraph:

(b)
No meat or animal product obtained from an animal slaughtered as contemplated in paragraph (a) may be sold to any person.

CLAUSE 11
1. On page 14, in line 45, to omit "class" and to substitute "category".
On page 14, in line 46, to omit "class" and to substitute "category".

CLAUSE 12
1. On page 14, in line 52, to omit "classes" and to substitute "categories".
2. On page 16, in line 39, to omit "class" and to substitute "category".

CLAUSE 15
1. On page 20, in line 17, to omit "office" and to substitute "working".

CLAUSE 22
1. On page 28, in line 9, to omit "class" and to substitute "category".
2. On page 28, in line 101 to omit "class" and to substitute "category".

NEW CLAUSE
1. That the following be a new Clause:
Delegation
23. (1) The Minister may, subject to such conditions as he or she may impose, delegate or assign to the national executive officer, any officer of the Department or authorised person any power or duty conferred or imposed upon the Minister by or under this Act except the power to make regulations under section 22.
(2) The Minister is not divested of any power or exempted from any duty delegated or assigned as contemplated in subsection (1), and may amend or set aside any decision taken in the exercise of a power or performance of duty so delegated or assigned.

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