The Select Committee met virtually to consider written submissions and the Department response to the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Amendment Bill and Airports Company Amendment Bill. There were no written submissions received by the Committee and therefore no need for the Department to respond. Members said this points to the fact that the Bills were not contentious. A Committee report on the Bills would be prepared for adoption of the Bills in the coming weeks.
The Chairperson welcomed all Members and acknowledged the presence of the Deputy Minister. He expected representatives from the Department to be in attendance because the agenda of the meeting was to consider written submissions on the two Bills. The Committee was briefed on 26 August 2020 and members of the public were invited to comment on the Bills. He asked the Committee Secretary if there were any written submissions received.
There were no written submissions received.
The Secretary said the purpose of the meeting was to consider the written submissions on the two Bills and to receive responses from the Department. The due date for submissions was 2 November. The advert for submissions ran for a month.
The Chairperson emphasised what the Secretary had said and added that public involvement is essential as it is demanded by the Constitution. Since there were no written submissions, there was no response from the Department. The Secretary would brief Members on what will happen the following week. He asked if there were any legal advisors from Parliament to guide the Committee in a situation where there are no written submissions.
Ms Fatima Ebrahim, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, said that she was advising on the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Amendment Bill together with her colleague, Ms Phumelele Ngema, who was advising on the Airports Company Amendment Bill. She said that in the absence of any written submissions, there is no response required from the Department. The Committee would have to decide whether to proceed adopting the Bill or look further for any issues.
Mr T Brauteseth (DA, KZN) said that in his understanding, neither of the Amendment Bills are contentious. In the previous engagements of both Houses, there was no contentiousness. The Committee can proceed adopting the Bills if there are no submissions and that would not be out of line.
Mr M Dangor (ANC, Gauteng) seconded this.
The Secretary suggested that the Committee adopt the Bills in the following week as per the schedule of the Committee programme.
Mr Brauteseth pointed that there will be by-elections around the country the week of 11 November. He will be fully involved in the elections in Pietermaritzburg and will not be available. He was concerned whether his absence would cause a problem of quorum. He was sure that would be the same situation with other Members as their parties have instructed them to be highly involved in the by-elections. He suggested postponing for another week or to schedule another date.
Mr Dangor said he has three by-elections in his PCO.
Ms Ngema commented on what the Secretary had said and asked if the report was already prepared in line with NCOP rules to indicate that the Committee was adopting the Bill with no amendments.
The Secretary said Ms Ngema was correct to say the report should be prepared following procedure, but the current meeting was scheduled to consider written submissions. The meeting to adopt the report was planned for the following week. There was no report available as it would be available in the following week.
The Chairperson mentioned that since most Members had indicated unavailability for 11 November, the Committee would have to agree on another date probably the week after 11 November.
The Secretariat will have to rework the programme to accommodate the adoption of the report since Members reflected unavailability. The Secretariat and the Chairperson would look at the dates and revert to Members.
The Chairperson asked the Secretary to check the Tuesday programme to see if the Committee could be accommodated.
Ms S Boshoff (DA, Mpumalanga) said since Wednesday 11 November is problematic, the Committee should look at a Friday as it is a Committee day.
Mr Dangor said another joint Committee normally sits on Friday, which is also problematic.
Mr E Landsman (ANC, North West) agreed with Mr Dangor
The Chairperson would work with the Secretary to get a different date and will then communicate with Members.
Mr Brauteseth pointed that the adoption would not be very lengthy and can be scheduled in a week after 11 November.
The Chairperson acknowledged the presence of the Deputy Minister and asked if she had any suggestions or comments.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Dikeledi Magadzi, greeted the Members and mentioned that she was very keen to hear the input from the written submissions. She complimented the Committee for doing a good job seeing that there were no written submissions. In the midst of Covid-19 level one, the two entities are really struggling. The adoption and sending the Bill to the President would be essential as that could increase the operations capacity in the country.
The Secretary said his manager had proposed that the current meeting would adjourn and reconvene on the same day after a report is prepared. Members would have to discuss the convenient time to go and prepare the report.
Mr Landsman said he will not be able to attend.
The Chairperson suggested 6pm as he had another meeting at 12:30.
Mr Brauteseth mentioned that he had another meeting at 6pm but, suggested a week after 11 November.
Mr Landsman said the Secretary must give Members space before the next meeting.
Consideration and adoption of Committee minutes dated 21 October 2020
The Chairperson thanked Members for indicating other commitments and expressed gratitude for the presence of the Deputy Minister. The Committee still needed to discuss the minutes of the meeting which was held on 21 October 2020 where the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) was hosted to give an overview on the plans to deal with the damage caused by vandalism and theft of its infrastructure. He asked if the attendance was correct from the PRASA representatives and the parliamentary staff. The issues that were covered were the mandate of PRASA, theft and vandalism and required actions, infrastructure challenges and the capital program. Three sets of minutes were also adopted in that meeting.
Members were asked for any comments.
There were no comments
Mr Dangor said he visited the railway lines in the provincial week and there were no railways left in some areas. He proposed that the Deputy Minister engage with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition about scrap metal.
The Chairperson noted this and said hopefully a report would be made available in terms of the work that is being done to enable successful oversight.
The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
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