The Committee met virtually for the consideration and adoption of the provincial negotiating mandates on the 2021 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B18-2021].
Members presented the mandates from the various provinces which they represented, and all were in favour of the Bill except the Western Cape, which asked its delegate in the Council to abstain from voting on the Bill.
Members raised concern over the disregard for procedures, National Treasury not holding province-specific briefings and the general lack of time when these important Bills come to the NCOP. Members agreed that this issue had been raised many times, but had fallen on deaf ears.
National Treasury responded to some of the concerns raised by Members
Division of Revenue Amendment Bill: Negotiating Mandates
Mr Y Carrim (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal) presented the negotiating mandate on the Division of Revenue Bill [B19-2021] from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), which was in favour of the Bill. He referred to the early childhood development (ECD) grant from the Department of Social Development (DSD) and the concern that had been raised over job losses.
Mr S Du Toit (FF+, North West) said the North West was in favour of the Bill. He read out the recommendations in the report to the Committee.
Mr E Njadu (ANC, Western Cape) read out the mandate on behalf of the Eastern Cape - the Eastern Cape was in favour of the Bill. He mentioned a disregard for the Money Bills, which referred to Section 118 of the Constitution.
Mr M Moletsane (EFF, Free State) said the Free State was in favour of the Bill. He read out the comments from the province
The Chairperson said the Committee had noted the recommendations and concerns.
Mr D Ryder (DA, Gauteng) said Gauteng was in favour of the Bill. He read out the comments from the province
Mr Njadu read out the mandate on behalf of the Limpopo province – the province supported the Bill.
The Chairperson presented the negotiating mandate from Mpumalanga, which was in favour of the Bill.
Mr S Aucamp (DA, Northern Cape) said he had received a message from the liaison officer in the Northern Cape, who had informed him that it was not necessary for a briefing as some of the Members had attended the meeting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). He had discussed this with the Chairperson before, and it was completely unacceptable. The blatant disregard for procedure was shocking. One could not think that a meeting with the NCOP without having a province-specific briefing by National Treasury was acceptable.
He presented the negotiating mandate from the Northern Cape, which was in favour of the Bill. He read out the comments from the province.
Mr Njadu said the Western Cape requested that the permanent delegate reserve the right of the province to vote on the Bill. The province said it was not given adequate time to conduct proper public participation on the Bill
See mandates attached for further details
Mr Du Toit said a general concern throughout all the provinces was about time, which had not allowed for public participation. There were currently financial constraints in the country. The focus had not been placed on infrastructure, but on the salary bill in the different areas, such as the ECD facilities. These items must be considered in future.
Mr Carrim referred to Mr Aucamp’s comments, and said if it was stripped of melodrama and emotion -- to which he was entitled -- these issues must be raised with the chairperson [in the province] concerned. Committee secretaries were functionaries of Parliament, and they could correct the chairperson if the rules were not followed. At the end of the day, the report had been delivered and its outcome was good. He had raised this issue many times as well, and it was regrettable. Time and public consultations had always been raised as issues. These issues should be raised with Mr J Nyambi, House Chairperson for Committees, and the Chief Whip in the NCOP. The Committee received Bills from the National Assembly (NA) very late. Even if legislators were given more time to consult the public, the outcomes would not be very different.
Mr Ryder said he was well covered by Mr Du Toit and Mr Carrim on time pressures, as this was the most important Bill relating to provinces. Consultation should be better in future.
The Chairperson agreed with Members' comments.
The National Treasury responded to issues raised by Members, and would submit written responses as well.
Mr Bongani Daka, Intergovernmental Policy and Planning, National Treasury, referred to the over-allocation of infrastructure budgets to some municipalities, and said that it was approved for the duration of a project, which could be more than seven years. The Division of Revenue Amendment Bill was making only very minor changes to the main Bill tabled during the February budget. Recommendations on how this discriminated against rural municipalities were not accurate, as it in fact favoured them and gave them more weight in comparison to metros, which received only basic services equipment.
National Treasury was currently in the process of reviewing the provincial equitable share, and the review of the health component had recently been completed. The health component had a subcomponent called "sparsity," which recognises the cost of providing services in areas that have a displaced population.
Members adopted the negotiating mandates on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill [B18-2021].
Members considered the minutes of 25 November 2021. The minutes were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned
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