Committee Annual Report and Approved 2004/5 Budget: briefing

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Meeting report

AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
25 February 2004
COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT AND APPROVED 2004/5 BUDGET: BRIEFING

Chairperson:

Mr N Masithela (ANC)

Documents handed out:

Committee Annual Report
Committee 2004/5 Approved Budget (Paper copy available on request)

SUMMARY
The Committee discussed the Annual Committee Report, which was provisionally adopted pending certain technical changes. The Committee rejected the 2004/5 approved budget because it was felt that the budgetary allocation would not allow the new Committee to effectively fulfil its duties. The issue of wrongful recipients of drought relief food funding was added to the agenda and it was decided that investigations around this issue would be made.

MINUTES
The Chairperson thanked the Committee members for their contributions throughout his term of office, adding that they would be leaving a good legacy for incoming members. He also commended the Department of Agriculture for their remarkable contribution in achieving fruitful co-operation with the Portfolio Committee.

Annual Report of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture
Mr A Botha (DA) requested the addition of drought aid to the agenda, to which the Chairperson agreed.

Mr Botha asked why the report on the Committee visit to Zimbabwe had not been debated in Parliament as requested.

The Chairperson felt that the issue could be added to the recommendations section of the Annual Committee Report and that Parliament should try and implement the decisions of the Committee. He would draft a letter to request the reason why it had not been debated in Parliament.

Mr S Farrow (DP) requested that the Committee Secretary send the final annual report to all Committee members, containing the necessary changes.

The Chairperson agreed and the Committee unanimously provisionally approved the annual report, pending technical changes.

Approved Budget 2004/5
Mr Radebe, Dr Schoeman, Mr Botha and Mr Farrow agreed with the suggestion that the Committee write to the person responsible for allocating the budget in order to ascertain why the monies had been allocated in that way. They would not approve the budget and recommended that the new Committee discuss and approve the budget.

The Chairperson said that he written a letter asking for clarity on the budget allocation but had not received a reply. The Committee agreed on a unanimous rejection of the budget.

Mr Botha voiced a concern that drought relief money for vulnerable subsistence farmers was being channelled to the wrong recipients. Fully employed farmworkers in the Free State Province were getting food relief money. The Committee should investigate the matter.

The Chairperson said that he would investigate the matter and requested Mr Botha to raise the issue with the relevant authorities.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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