The Select Committee on Appropriations met virtually for the consideration and adoption of the final mandates and Committee report on the 2021 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill. Eight provinces were in support of the voting mandate, but the DA and FF+ Members of the Committee voiced their rejection of the Bill.
There was disagreement over whether the Bill could be separated from the Committee report. The Chairperson said the report had been adopted. Members' concerns would be raised at a later stage, and advice from the parliamentary legal team would be considered.
The Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B19-2021] was adopted
Members of the Committee presented the voting mandates of their respective provinces on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill
Mr M Moletsane (EFF, Free State) said the Free State was in favour of the Bill.
Mr D Ryder (DA, Gauteng) said Gauteng was in favour of the Bill.
The Chairperson presented the final voting mandate from Mpumalanga, which was in favour of the Bill.
Mr W Aucamp (DA, Northern Cape) said the Northern Cape was in favour of the Bill.
Mr F Du Toit (FF+, North West) said he had received a letter from some of the Members of the Provincial Legislature in the North West province. The letter was on the adoption of the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill tabled in the morning. Many Members had been unable to attend the meeting between 8:30 and 9:00. The timing and link to the meeting did not correspond.
He said the North West was in favour of the Bill.
The Chairperson presented the final voting mandates on behalf of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, the latter which did not support the Bill.
Mr Y Carrim (ANC, KZN) said KwaZulu-Natal was in favour of the Bill.
The final voting mandates were unanimously adopted by the Committee.
Report of the Select Committee on Appropriations on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B19 – 2021]
Mr Ryder said it was an excellent report which covered all that had been discussed in depth. He referred to the Committee recommendation on the Bill in Paragraph 11, and proposed that the paragraph be changed to recommend that the Bill be rejected and amended in light of the comments from paragraph 10-15.
Mr Du Toit said the FF+ did not support the Bill.
Mr Carrim said everyone should vote on the Bill.
Mr Ryder raised a point of order, and said he was not talking about the Bill, but the report. The Committee must make a clear differentiation between the Bill and the report. He repeated that he would like to reject the Bill.
The Chairperson said the Members should engage each other before voting.
Mr Carrim said the report dealt with the Bill and the two could not be mechanically separated. The report was about a Section 76 Bill. The Members' role in Parliament was not simply to be in this Committee. The matter needed more consideration and should be addressed at a higher level. He proposed that the Committee go ahead with voting in favour of the Bill.
The Chairperson appreciated the Members' comments, and reminded them that they were not representing parties, but rather provinces.
Mr Ryder insisted that the report and the Bill be separated.
The Chairperson said she could not do this, as the report was about the Bill.
Mr Aucamp said he agreed with Mr Ryder, and questioned why the report had been put before the Committee if Members could not provide input. The Committee should vote on the report, as well as its amendment.
Mr E Njadu (ANC, Western Cape) asked about the presentation of the Western Cape’s mandate.
The Chairperson said she had made the presentation to the Committee on behalf of the Western Cape.
Adv Frank Jenkins, Senior Parliamentary Legal Advisor, said it was unprecedented to have a report that differed from the province’s mandates simply because the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) consisted of permanent delegates. When the delegation received the mandate, the report must reflect this. The Committee could easily reject a Section 75 Bill, but Committees could not contradict mandates.
Mr Andile Tetyana, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, agreed that the Committee report must follow the final mandates.
The Chairperson said the report should indicate that only some provinces supported the Bill, but there were eight provinces which did support it, so the Committee did not have the legal right to reject the mandates.
Mr Njadu said the mandates coming from provinces were final and the Committee should accept them, as they could not be overruled.
Mr Z Mkiva (ANC, EC) agreed with Mr Njadu, and said the Members were permanent delegates who represented provinces, and should mainstream their views, thoughts and ideas.
Mr Moletsane said he agreed with Mr Ryder on checking the wording in paragraph 11. It should reflect that the provinces disagree, and not the Committee.
The Chairperson said the issue was about Members representing provinces.
Mr Carrim said the rules were clear and moved for the adoption of the report.
Mr Njadu seconded the adoption of the report.
Mr Mkiva said he also supported the adoption of the report.
Mr Ryder said he would like to voice his rejection of the report. He pointed out to Mr Carrim that the rules were not clear. The provinces' mandates were on the Bill, not on the report, which meant that they were separate. The report was the Committee’s document, and the Committee was responsible for it. No one could tell the Committee what they should or should not include in it. He said that the Committee Whip should share his salary, because when he suggested the Committee should vote, Members had “crawled out of the woodwork”. Members who had not been seen on the platform for some time had suddenly voted, and the Members of the governing party suddenly had their numbers in order at the time of voting.
Mr Njadu said Mr Ryder was out of order.
Mr Aucamp interjected, and said Mr Njadu was not chairing the meeting and should be quiet.
Mr Mkiva said the problem with Mr Ryder was that he represented the interests of the DA.
Mr Ryder asked the Chairperson to be protected.
The Chairperson said Members should put their hands up.
Mr Du Toit said the FF+ rejected the report.
The Chairperson said Mr Du Toit was saying that the Committee did not do what was contained in the report.
Mr Moletsane said the EFF did not support the Bill.
Mr Du Toit said the Chairperson had put words in his mouth, and that he was simply rejecting the report.
The Chairperson said she was not adding to what Mr Du Toit had said, but was merely stating her own views.
Mr Aucamp said it was important for the Chairperson to show that she was chairing the meeting, and that Mr Njadu could not silence the Members. He agreed with Mr Ryder’s comments that Mr Mkiva had not been seen on the platform for a while.
ANC Members interjected, saying Mr Aucamp was not the registrar.
The Chairperson called everyone to order.
Mr Aucamp said he could make a point of order if Mr Njadu could, and that he would give him lessons on this [the rules]. He reiterated that two people who were not present at the beginning of the meeting were now there, and he questioned whether they were doing their work.
The Chairperson said there were reports of Members having connectivity issues, and that Mr Njadu always attended meetings.
Mr Carrim said there should be a discussion on party votes and mandates relating to Section 76 Bills. Those who lived in wealthy or middle class areas should be sensitive to those who lived in rural areas, as they battled to find network connectivity. He lived in a middle class area, but experienced endless power cuts. Mr Njadu’s attendance was excellent -- he was always present. Mr Mkiva was chairperson of another committee, and also plays a role in the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA). There were many party political meetings. He said this was like showmanship, as Mr Njadu had been an excellent member of the study group and Committee.
He said if Mr Ryder was correct, and matters had been handled incorrectly for years, it still meant that a majority would decide on this, and asked why this could not be accepted. The ANC made up the majority of the Committee. Even if Mr Ryder was correct, it did not mean the DA would get its way. Rules must be clarified, and this could be taken to the highest court. He asked the DA to deal with the matter through the relevant structures first and allow democracy to prevail. He said the Chairperson was very good and was very balanced.
The Chairperson said the report was adopted. Members' concerns would be raised at a later stage, and advice from the legal team would be considered.
Members considered and adopted the minutes of 2 December 2021.
The meeting was adjourned.
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