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JOINT COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
24 February 2004
2003 COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT AND APPROVED 2004-05 BUDGET: ADOPTION
Acting Deputy Chairperson: Mr P Setona (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Amended Draft Annual Report
Recommended Committee Expenditure
The Chairperson briefly went through the Amended Draft Annual Report and the Budget for 2004. A few minor technical corrections were made to the Annual Draft Report. The Members adopted the Annual Report and Budget for 2004.
Acting Deputy Chairperson advised that the Chairperson was absent due to maternity leave. She had proposed proposal that the Committee proceed, even if a quorum was not present. He had only received apologies from two Members, namely the Chairperson and Mr Durand (NNP). He asked if members had received the documents pertaining to the meeting.
With the exception of Mr L Nzimande (ANC), the Acting Deputy Chairperson confirmed that everyone present had received the documents. The Members agreed that they should proceed even though there was not a quorum.
ANNUAL AMENDED DRAFT REPORT
The Acting Deputy Chairperson read the Draft Report that debates had been held in the National Assembly, National Council of Provinces and provincial legislatures. The Committee also facilitated the establishment and relocation of provincial plans of action for children in all nine provinces with relative success. They had not succeeded in having programmes located in the Office of the Premier in all provinces.
With regard to support staff, the Committee had had no researcher or legal support for the last five years. Some of the Members had resigned from the Committee. They had not dealt with any legislation or government reports during the period under review as this was only but a Monitoring Committee. However this Committee needed to confer with the Portfolio Committees on legislation that affected the lives of children, youth and persons with disability. No Cabinet Minister had appeared before the Committee.
In conclusion, the Acting Deputy Chairperson advised that the Committee was financially constrained and therefore unable to perform its duties accordingly. They had no researcher or legal adviser and needed to build capacity in these areas. They were often ignored by Portfolio Committees on issues relating to the Child Justice Bill, the Children's Bill, the proposed Sexual Offences Bill, etc. Members of political parties had not prioritised the meetings of the Committee. The Committee structures were ad hoc and undermined its capacity.
Mr MJ Mzondeki (ANC) informed that he was still not a Member of the Committee. He had raised this issue some time back but nothing had been done, although he did appear as a Member of one of the Sub-Committees. Secondly, the word "Action" indicated what had been done by the Committee. In three instances, there was a problem as this section should not have included future plans. The Acting Deputy Chairperson agreed and said that it would be corrected.
Ms L Mbuyazi (IFP) advised that the Committee have had two provincial visits, and not one, namely to the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga. The report therefore incorrectly stated that the Committee had only undertaken one of the eight planned outreach visits. The Acting Deputy Chairperson agreed.
Mr Mzondeki advised that he was unhappy with not being a Member of the Committee.
The Acting Deputy Chairperson agreed and appreciated his regular attendance and contribution. The report would state that he was an observer and not a Member.
Ms Mbuyazi said that it would be correct to say observer but that Mr Mzondeki's name should be included on the list of the people who were Members of the Committee. The Acting Deputy Chairperson agreed.
Mr SL Dithebe (ANC) advised that the date of his appointment should read 2000 and not 1999. The Acting Deputy Chairperson agreed and advised that no NGOs dealing with youth or child trafficking had attended their meetings. There had been a visit by the Committee to a juvenile centre in Cape Town. They would look at the records and amend where necessary.
Mr Dithebe asked why the committee clerk has not typed up his handwritten recommendations. The Acting Deputy Chairperson interrupted that they had already dealt with that section and they should only refer to substantive issues.
Mr MS Masula (ANC) said that although he was not a Member, he suggested that if there were no new "train smash issues", the report should be adopted.
Acting Deputy Chairperson said that the Members should find ways of better prioritising their meetings. The report was adopted.
The Acting Deputy Chairperson asked the Committee Clerk, Mr Moses, to take the Members through the Budget.
Mr Moses said that they could not change, amend or dispute the budget and so it was adopted. He said the newly elected Committee Members would have to challenge the timing of the budget approval process.
Mr Dithebe thought the Acting Deputy Chairperson should appraise Members on how the figure of R372 995 had been attained. The issue of inadequate resources needed to be discussed. There was no uniformity regarding the amounts that had been allocated to the various Committees. It would depend on how the Committee justified what they had done. If one looks at 2 aspects of the Budget, namely as oversights. Bthe amounts for public hearings and provincial visits were almost equal. Nothing has been allocated for overseas trips.
The Acting Deputy Chairperson agreed and expected Members not to go through it line by line but rather to broadly question allocations. For example, no funds had been allocated for international trips but funds had been allocated for research - was this wise? If there are no other suggestions, then the budget should be adopted.
Mr Masula said that this Committee had not been concentrating on a strategy for promoting its work which ha probably influenced its budget. They have already mentioned financial constraints for the incoming Committee.
Mrs W Newhoudt-Druchen (ANC) said that she had been invited oversees to deal with a programme relating to youth and children's rights, but no allocation had been made.
Mr D Kwgare (ANC) said, as a Chairperson of a Committee, he could request budgets to be changed.
The Acting Deputy Chairperson agreed and said that recommendations could still be made. He also said that there was no indication of how the Committee could utilised its budget for 2003 in the report.
Mr Dithebe enquired about the overseas trip and said that he would like to accompany Mrs. Newhoudt-Druchen.
The Budget was adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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