The Standing Committee on the Premier and Constitutional Matters convened on a virtual platform to finalise three Committee reports.
One Member called for his minority view to be reflected in the report on the Premier. He also noted that he had yet to receive a copy of the Constitutional Amendment Bill and did not know what it entailed.
The same Member then referred to the tabling of the Constitutional Amendment Bill to the Western Cape Constitution in the House, on 08 January 2021, and another item of legislation related to biodiversity. He requested clarity on which sections of the Constitution would be amended.
One of the procedural officers provided clarity on the current process. She explained that the report had been sent to be proofread and that the various role players would be meeting to deliberate on the way forward. She added that the Bill was currently in draft format and thus could not be distributed yet. The Department of the Premier would provide a briefing to the Committee possibly on March 17, 2020.
Despite the objections by the ANC, the majority of Members supported the adoption of the reports.
The Chairperson opened the virtual meeting and proposed that it commenced with the consideration of the report. No apologies had been reported to the secretariat.
Committee Report: Department of the Premier's Annual Report 2019/20
The Chairperson requested clarity from the procedural officer whether more information behind the requested policy or guidelines for staff working from home during the state of disaster management had been provided.
He asked for clarity on when the guidelines had been discussed and whether the matter had been raised.
The procedural officer responded that she could not recall this matter being raised in the previous meetings. She also pointed out that the matter had not been raised during the COVID-19 meetings.
The Chairperson then asked one of the other Committee officials whether the matter had been addressed in one of the Ad-hoc meetings or the Standing Committee meeting that dealt with COVID-19.
The official responded that the matter regarding the policy or guidelines for staff working from home had been raised at the said Standing Committee meeting and that she had made a note of that.
Mr C Dugmore (ANC) requested a date by when the information would be provided to Members.
The Chairperson responded that it generally took 14 working days.
The procedural staff reminded Members that weekends are not counted.
The Chairperson proposed that the report be adopted as is and Mr P Marais (FF+) supported the motion to adopt the report.
Mr Dugmore indicated that he would wait for the resolutions and that he wanted his views to be formally recorded as a minority view in terms of the views outlined. He also requested that his views be formally reflected in the minutes.
Members moved to adopt the minutes and the minutes were adopted.
Mr Dugmore was still dissatisfied and asked the Chairperson whether his views had been recorded as the minority view. He pointed out that the minority view had not been included in the report.
The Chairperson requested the procedural staff to flight the draft report.
Mr Dugmore asked for clarification on how questions had been raised.
The Chairperson responded that it was unclear whether Mr Dugmore was referring to the adjustment budget annual report.
Mr Dugmore spoke about the matters around the vote. He also asked for clarity on whether procedural officers could table reports and whether or not the reports will be debated.
Mr D Mitchell (DA) expressed that the procedural officers could provide some guidance. He explained the budget vote process as he understood it.
Mr Dugmore asked for clarification about the adjusted budget.
One of the procedural staff members explained the basic process. She said that votes would be scheduled for discussion in the House, and then the different parties would deliberate on the various current annual reports from the respective standing committees.
Ms W Philander (DA) asked if Mr Dugmore would like to be noted with regards to the report and the question of the minority view. She suggested that Mr Dugmore provide a written motivation attached to it.
Mr Marais further tried to explain the process to Mr Dugmore.
Mr Dugmore maintained that the minutes did not reflect the decision of the Committee. The minutes, he charged, only just note discussion and points that were raised.
He referred to the tabling of the Constitutional Amendment Bill to the Western Cape Constitution in the House, on 08 January 2021, and another item of legislation related to biodiversity.
He further requested clarity on which sections of the Constitution would be amended.
He also posed a question to the Chairperson about the amendment of the Constitution and lamented his failure at obtaining a copy of the Bill.
One of the procedural officers provided clarity on the current process. She explained that the report had been sent to be proofread and that the various role players would be meeting to deliberate on the way forward.
She also mentioned that the Bill was currently in draft format and thus could not be distributed yet. She further informed the Members that the Department of the Premier would provide a briefing to the Committee in March. The probable date set for that engagement had been pinned for the 17th of March so as to coincide with the appropriation meeting.
The Chairperson thanked the Members and Committee support staff.
The meeting was adjourned.
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