The virtual meeting to consider the report on the Determination of Remuneration of Independent Constitutional Institutions was based on the discussion surrounding a letter sent to the Committee by the President. The report stipulated that there would be a 0% increment for the financial year of 2020/2021. The stipulated time period on the documents caused lot of confusion, considering the start of the new 2021/22 financial year.
A Member pointed out that parliamentary processes would not allow for the Committee to adopt a report that had already been implemented. The Committee then agreed to adopt the report, based on their agreement of a 0% increment for the year 2021.
The amendments and adoption of the Committee's minutes of 11 May 2021 caused some frustration owing to the structuring of the report and the grammatical errors. The Chairperson emphasised the importance of having a coherent report for the sake of the Portfolio Committee's image. The Minutes were amended and adopted.
Ms Neliswa Nobatana, the Committee Secretary, noted apologies from Ms N Sharif (DA) and Ms N Ntlangwini (EFF).
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on the Draft Notice on the Determination of Remuneration of Independent Constitutional Institutions
She took Members through the draft notice report on the Determination of Remuneration of Independent Constitutional Institutions.
The Chairperson asked what the figures in last year’s report were.
Ms Nobatana said she would check.
The Chairperson questioned whether the salaries were the same as last year.
Ms Nobatana responded that she would check the last year’s report.
The Chairperson instructed Ms Kashifa Abrahams, Committee Content Advisor, to check.
Ms Abrahams said that she would do so.
The Chairperson informed Members that this report had been sent by the President and to the Committee by the Speaker for consideration.
Ms M Hlengwa (IFP) requested that the Members see last year’s report on the salaries, and said there did not seem to be an interaction with this report. The report was considered to be straight forward, and the Committee should adopt it.
The Chairperson said she could see the report was the same as last year's, and that there had been a 0% increment. Last year, Chapter Nine institutions had not been given an increment. The President was endorsing the recommendation made by the Committee responsible for the salaries of the Chapter Nine Institutions.
Ms Hlengwa agreed.
Ms F Masiko (ANC) said that she was confused by the dates. The above paragraphs referred to the last financial year of 2021, and currently the country was into the new financial year of 2022. A paragraph in the report stated that a recommendation had been made that all public office-bearers would receive a 0% increment for the financial year of 2020/2021, which was the last financial year. She questioned whether it would remain a 0% salary increment for the financial year of 2021/22 for Commissioners, and if it had increased, by what percent had it increased? If the increment remained 0%, it would seem appropriate considering the conditions prevailing in the country, and in that case, the Committee would support that determination. The concern that was raised by the Committee in previous meetings had questioned the work that some of the Commissioners did, and how they did not deserve the salaries they were receiving. The role of the Commissioners in provinces should be overseen by the Committee so that it could be matched with their salaries.
The Chairperson said that the years were confusing, and asked Ms Nobatana to correct them.
Ms Nobatana said that the years had been taken from the letter sent from the President.
Ms Nobatana took Members through the letter from the President, and said that it was dated 13 April 2021. The determination of the letter was for 2020/21.
The Chairperson said that her interpretation of the letter was that it confirmed a 0% increment for 2020/21, unless the dates on the letter were a mistake.
Ms B Maluleke (ANC) agreed with the Chairperson’s interpretation of the letter.
The Chairperson confirmed her understanding of the letter, and said that the Committee had adopted it last year.
Ms Hlengwa agreed.
The Chairperson said that the letter was confirming that the increment remained the same for 2021. Perhaps at a later stage, 2022 would be dealt with.
Mr L Mphithi (DA) agreed with the concerns about the period stipulated in the report. The dates on the letter from the previous year also stated 2020/21. It was stated that according to the salaries, it did confirm the 0% increment that was being tabled to the Committee for approval. If that was the case, the Committee supported the proposal. However, he suggested that the stipulated period be investigated, as the financial year of 2020/21 had passed. The process of Parliament would not allow for the Committee to approve a report that had already been implemented. The report had already been actioned, and the Committee needed to investigate the period stipulated.
The Chairperson said that she had had the same concerns until reading the letter sent by the President dated 13 April 2021. Ms Nobatana had been asked to check the dates with the Speaker. It was understood that the letter was just confirming the salaries that were adopted last year for 2021. However, if it was a mistake, the Speaker had to ensure that it was corrected. The Committee stills supported the recommendations sent to it by the President.
Mr Mphithi said that the Committee supported the report with the 0% increment. If there was a change in the date, it would not affect the Committees position on the report.
Ms Hlengwa said she supported the report, as it was straight forward.
The Chairperson checked a document that referred to the salaries for 2019/2020, which did not indicate any changes.
Ms Hlengwa agreed, and said the Committee should support the report.
The Chairperson thanked Ms Hlengwa, Mr Mphithi and Ms Masiko for supporting the report, and said that the report had been duly adopted by the Portfolio Committee as per the recommendation of the President.
Consideration and adoption of minutes
Ms Nobatana took Members through the minutes of 11 May 2021.
The Chairperson questioned the structuring of a particular sentence. The use of the word “former” caused uncertainty.
Ms Maluleke suggested that Ms Nobatana remove the word “former” and replace it with "the South African Human Rights Commission."
Ms T Mgweba (ANC) agreed that the sentence did not make sense.
Ms Nobatana corrected the sentence.
The Chairperson agreed with the amendment.
The Chairperson questioned the wording under the section numbered two.
Ms Abrahams said that the word “questioned” had been omitted.
The Chairperson agreed to the amendment. It was suggested that the use of commas should be more frequent, and that the sentences should be shortened.
The Chairperson questioned the bullet points, and asked Ms Abrahams if she was reading it.
Ms Abrahams responded that she was.
Ms Mgweba suggested that an “s” be added to the word “detail”, under the heading “Stakeholder Engagements.”
The Chairperson questioned Ms Abrahams about whether or not they were starting with the "NST" and not the "NSP." The NSP was the National Strategic Plan. The headings were questioned.
Ms Abrahams responded by saying the Committee had a lot of observations. Therefore, sub-headings were provided. If the Committee looked under a particular outcome, it could easily go back and check what the issue was. The headings in bold highlighted what the observation had covered.
The Chairperson understood.
Ms Maluleke corrected Limpopo to Mpumalanga under the sub-heading “Resolutions”.
Ms Mgweba also stated that the word “with” in bullet “f” could be removed.
The Chairperson suggested the amendment of a sentence to ensure it encapsulated "the requisite details" that the Committee had requested.
Ms Maluleke disagreed, and suggested that the word “requisite” be changed to “required”.
The Chairperson added the amendment.
Ms Mgweba argued that the word “requisite” and “required” meant the same thing.
The Chairperson agreed. The sentence was read repeatedly in an attempt to understand the use of the two words.
Ms Maluleke argued that the use of the word “required” should be used specifically, because the Committee “requires” the details.
Ms Mgweba responded by saying that the two words had the same meaning, and it would still articulate the needs of the Committee.
The chairperson suggested the use of the word “requested.”
Ms Maluleke agreed.
The Chairperson suggested that Ms Abrahams assist Ms Nobatana in correcting the grammatical errors.
Ms Abrahams agreed.
The Chairperson emphasised the importance of using the correct English and grammar, as it was a bad reflection of the Committee. She asked for a mover for the adoption of the minutes.
Ms Mgweba moved the adoption of the amendments.
Ms P Sonti (EFF) seconded the adoption.
The Chairperson said that all the minutes have been adopted, and that the minutes of 11 May 2021 had been duly adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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