Draft Programme

Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery

18 May 2022
Chairperson: Mr C Frolick (ANC) and Mr J Nyambi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

In this virtual meeting, the Committee met to consider its draft programme. The programme highlighted a series of engagements with relevant stakeholders and planned oversight visits to the areas affected by the floods.

Committee members said the draft programme is a living document and should be changed if a need arises.

Members sought details about the scope of the Committee.

They noted that the Auditor-General will be briefing another parliamentary committee on the real-time audit and asked if the Committee could join this meeting or if the Auditor General can also brief the Committee.

Meeting report

Co-Chairperson Frolick welcomed everyone. This meeting is convened to consider the draft programme. The draft programme has been circulated to all the members. He asked for comments on the draft programme.

Mr H Hoosen (DA) thanked the Co-Chairpersons for including the oversights visits on the programme. He said when National Treasury presents, they should give a breakdown of the R1 billion and how it will be spent, so Members can consider their oversight activities properly.

Mr F Du Toit (FF+, Free State) enquired about the meeting that took place last week Friday. He did not receive an invite to that meeting and asked if all political parties were invited to the meeting or only selected political parties.

Mr D Macpherson (DA) thanked the Co-Chairpersons for including DA’s submissions. He asked for clarity on what the actual oversight visits will look like and suggested Committee Members should meet upfront with the provincial government and local municipalities in each of these provinces. There should also be engagements with them to understand what has been done till this point.

Ms V Mente (EFF) wanted to understand the scope of work Committee members will be doing besides the visits. She sought clarity on the focus areas and tasks for Committee Members. The Auditor-General will have a meeting the following day on the real-time audit and any funding coming from the government. She asked if the Committee could join this meeting or if the Auditor General can also brief the Committee so members can have an understanding of how this project will be audited to curb any corruption that might take place.

Ms M Lesoma (ANC) welcomed and appreciated the draft programme and noted it accommodates other parliamentary business to continue. The programme does include working on weekends and this is a good thing. This will allow for everyone to be represented. She asked if Committee members will be given the report by the Auditor-General. She agreed with the issues raised by Honourable Mente. Committee members must also be provided with a scope report, so they don’t overstep their duties. She said when needs arises the draft programme might be changed.

Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) accepted the draft programme as a living document. The main objective of the Committee is to do financial management oversight on this project. The Committee was set up to do check and balance on how funds will be used. He said it would be important for National Treasury to brief the Committee prior to the oversight visits. National Treasury needs to brief members on mechanisms that will be put in place in terms of the R1 billion rand. If Members don’t get this briefing, they will be behind on information. National Treasury is important for the work of this Committee. The briefing needs to be ahead of all oversight visits.

Co-Chairperson Frolick thanked members for their input. He clarified that the programme is a working document. He agreed that there should be engagements with provincial and local governments so that they can give their input. However, there needs to be a balance and the Committee can’t delay oversight visits for too long. The Committee staff is currently busy putting together a programme for the first oversight visit.

He asked Committee staff to include some of the considerations by members to the programme. The research unit has prepared initial documents which include the mandate and scope of the Committee. He is busy going through the documents and as soon as they are finalized, they will be sent out to all members by end of the following day. This will deal with matters raised.

He agreed that the briefing with the Auditor General is very important and it won’t be the first time a real-time audit is done. It also happened during the COVID programme since different Departments got involved. The meeting with the Auditor General will be an open meeting and members will be able to join the meeting if they want to. There are a lot of discussions happening with National Treasury on where the money will come from. The Committee will look into the practicality of having a briefing by National Treasury before oversight visits. The Co-chairpersons will engage and see if the Minister is available and the meeting could happen next week Wednesday.

The comments made about what should be included in the oversight visits will be included. Committee Members must keep their diaries open for next Wednesday so the Committee can get a briefing not only from National Treasury but also Auditor General and Provincial and local governments. There is a lot to be covered and the work will be the responsibility of all members. He is engaging with Parliament’s budget office. R1 Billion is a lot of money. He had asked the budget office to consider some matters. He will report back on these matters.

He explained that the first meeting was not convened by the Chairperson but by the Acting manager. The invite went out to all members who were asked to serve on this matter. The invitation went out to all NCOP and National Assembly members. There was a case where some email addresses did not work.  He asked Committee members to ensure they give Committee staff their correct email addresses and contact details.

Co-Chairperson Frolick thanked the Members and said the next meeting will be the following Wednesday, the whole afternoon. If there are specific issues members have, they should contact him or the committee staff at any moment.

The meeting was adjourned.

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