The Committee met on a virtual platform to consider and adopt its final mandate on the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill. The Committee supported the Bill with comments. The EFF indicated it still needed to consult the party
Members lamented the continous absence of the permanent delegate from meetings as the delegate is a critical link in communicating the views of the province to the NCOP - a letter would be sent to the NCOP about the continued absence of the permanent delegat
Deliberations on Final Mandate
The Chairperson informed the Committee the purpose of the meeting was to consider and adopt the Western Cape final mandate on the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill. On 11 May 2021, a negotiating mandate was finalised and there was a presentation by the department and contribution by Adv Romeo Maasdorp (from the WCPP). It is regrettable that the permanent delegate for the Western Cape did not attend that meeting and had also chosen not to attend the meeting today.
Minutes of the meeting were received by Members where it was indicated all nine provinces had to submit their mandates. All submissions were considered. He stated the C-list contained effected changes to the Bill, while the D-list is the final Bill. The Committee further expressed its position on 11 May to support the Bill, but it would like to see its input considered. Some of its proposals were considered, while a few were not accepted. The date of the final mandate would be announced on 14 September 2021. He also noted concerns raised by Mr P Marais (FF+) in the previous meeting have been addressed in the Bill. He then asked Members to make comments.
Mr A Van der Westhuizen (DA) stated that since the Committee has supported the Bill, its mandate was now to vote in favour of it, including amendments from the NCOP.
Ms M Maseko (DA) seconded the motion tabled by Mr Van der Westhuizen and indicated the technical minor amendments contained in the Bill do not add value to the whole document.
Mr P Marais (FF+) indicated he trusted the work of the Committee because this was a unanimous decision, and the intention was to solve the problem. He expressed support for the Bill and stated his colleagues in national Parliament have also voted in favour of it.
Ms N Makamba-Botya (EFF) said she would consult her party first and would communicate its stance to the Committee in writing or via email.
Adv Romeo Maasdorp, Legal Advisor for the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, stated the position of the Committee was to support the Bill in principle and recommend changes to national. Some of the proposed changes were accepted while others were not. The changes that were not accepted do not render the Bill challengeable or compromise the Committee mandate. The continued absent permanent delegate was not doing the Committee any favour because the part of the process of coming up with a well-thought product is involving many people, including the permanent delegate who is a critical link for conveying the Committee input and feedback.
The Chairperson said the absence of the permanent delegate is a repeat of what happened in the past and has been communicated to Parliament.
Mr Marais emphasised the NCOP had a limited veto and could not vote against the National Assembly because the majority party in the NCOP was the same majority party in the NA. The NCOP rubber-stamped the work of the NCOP.
The procedural officer stated the meeting was a report back because the Committee had all the documents. The biggest problem when the Committee dealt with intricate pieces of legislation was when the permanent delegate was absent because then there was no one to send and sell the piece of legislation to the NCOP.
The Chairperson said the NCOP accepted the Committee proposals based on their strength. A letter would be sent to the NCOP about the continued absence of the permanent delegate. Seeing as there was nothing unconstitutional about the Bill, the Committee has to consider and adopt it and that Ms Makamba-Botya’s response would not preclude the Committee from supporting the Bill.
The Committee unanimously adopted the final mandate.
The meeting was adjourned.
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