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WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
25 February 2004
COMMITTEE MINUTES AND LEGACY REPORT: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Mr J van Wyk
Documents handed out:
Legacy Report: Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry
The Chair invited everyone present to the farewell function of the Committee to be held at 12.00 p.m. in the Goodhope Chamber, Parliament. He added that the Committee had been invited to visit projects during Water Week from 22 March 2004.
The Chair highlighted concerns that the Joint Budget Committee had raised about the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. These concerns involved the Department's lack of capacity at local government level, as well as the exorbitant water tariffs being charged. The Committee agreed that the Department be requested to submit a progress report addressing these concerns. The contents of the report would be dealt with by the Committee's successor.
The Committee minutes and Annual Report were unanimously adopted.
Mr A Nel (DA) and Mr S Simmons (NNP) both felt that it would be difficult for the Committee to commit themselves to the Water Week visits, given campaigning priorities for the upcoming elections.
Mr D Mabuyakhulu (ANC) and Mr D Maimane (ANC) proposed that the Chair and Mr Nel represent the Committee on the visits, which were located within their constituencies. supported the proposal. The Chair noted this.
Minutes of Meetings
The minutes of the Committee's meetings were unanimously adopted subject to minor spelling and grammatical changes.
The Chair informed the Committee that the report (attached) contained the outstanding issues on the Committee's agenda, such as follow-up visits to certain provinces as well as briefings by the Department and other role-players that had not taken place.
The report also contained the following recommendations made by the Committee:
- an increase in the Committee's resources to ensure that oversight work was being done properly
- increased portfolio training of Members
- greater interaction between the Committee and the Minister
- speeding up the process of sanitation delivery.
Mr Mabuyakhulu asked why the Committee had only decided on follow up visits to certain provinces.
The Chair responded that the provinces identified in the report had major backlogs in water resources delivery. There had also been external factors hampering the provision of services in those provinces ie outbreaks of cholera.
The Committee unanimously adopted the report.
The Chair applauded the manner in which the Committee had performed. He also thanked members, Committee assistants and Committee/Departmental liaison personnel for their commitment and co-operation. The Chair mentioned the work done by NGOs in facilitating the work of the Committee and expressed the Committee's thanks towards the Parliamentary Monitoring Group and the Contact Trust.
Members also expressed their gratitude for Mr Van Wyk's excellent performance as Chairperson.
The meeting was adjourned.