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SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
25 February 2004
NCOP AMENDMENTS TO THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE AND SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY BILLS: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Mr E Saloojee
Documents handed out:
Explanatory Memorandum: Proposed Amendments to the Social Assistance Bill and the South African Social Security Agency Bill
Report on the Committee study tour to KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape (10-16 August 2003)
The Committee voted formally on the amendments made by the NCOP and adopted the report of the Committee's tour to KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Social Assistance Bill
There was much confusion at the meeting because Members had been given copies of the Bill on which the NCOP changes had already been effected. The changes had affected the page and line numbering and the cross-referencing on the members' copies was incorrect. The State Law Advisors, who should have been able to correct this, were not present and so the Bill amendments could not formally be approved. Later, the State Law Advisors pointed out they had already "picked up on" the errors in cross-referencing and so the meeting proceeded. Mr. Saloojee read out the proposed changes. [See document for Select Committee amendments].
Ms G Borman (DA) asked why Clause 13, which dealt with ministerial allocations to welfare and nonprofit organisations, had been omitted. She said that its removal 'left a vacuum for provinces to fill'.
Mr M Masutha (ANC) explained that the Social Assistance Act had been assigned to provinces. The Committee could not repeal provincial legislation and therefore this Act would not technically repeal it. Provinces could redesign legislation on these grants as they saw fit. The national authorities would deal with social grants only, i.e. the legislation effected a division of responsibilities.
Ms Borman was satisfied with this and the amendments were formally approved.
South African Social Security Agency Bill
The NCOP amendments were all approved. [See document for Select Committee amendments].
The Committee agreed that Mr Saloojee should write to the Speaker to ask that the Bill not be referred to the Committee again because the NCOP amendments were inconsequential.
Report on study tour to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
Mr Saloojee assumed that the Committee members had read the report and proposed that it be adopted.
Ms Borman said that the report had many grammatical errors which she assumed would be corrected. She felt it was important to scrutinise the report to make sure that all promises made on the trip were kept. She was not however questioning the integrity of the Committee.
Mr Saloojee and Members thanked each other, officials from the Department of Social Development, state law advisors, researchers and Committee assistants for their contributions during the Committee's session.
The meeting was adjourned.
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