The Ad Hoc Committee: WCPP Seats convened in a virtual meeting to elect its new Chairperson. It elected Mr A Van Der Westhuizen (DA) as its Chairperson.
The Committee was established to consider whether the number of seats in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament was suitable for the increasing size of the province’s population.
Members emphasised the time constraints the Committee faced and agreed to immediately start with research looking at national and international best practise.
Election of Chairperson
Ms Waseemah Kamish-Achmat, Committee Procedural Officer, welcomed all Members to the meeting. She said that as per the ATC 63 of 2022, establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee was announced in accordance with Standing Rule 119, and as per Standing Rule 82, Members must elect a Chairperson for the Ad Hoc Committee: WCPP Seats. She then asked Members to make their nominations.
Mr G Bosman (DA) nominated Mr A Van Der Westhuizen (DA).
Mr R Mackenzie (DA) supported the nomination.
Mr P Marais (VF) nominated Mr D Plato (DA) and noted that Mr Van Der Westhuizen was already Chairperson of another Committee and should not be overburdened.
Mr K Sayed (ANC) supported the nomination of Mr Plato.
Mr Mackenzie requested the Procedural Officerask which of the nominated Members accepted their nominations.
Mr Marais wanted to know if it was normal to ask nominated Members to state whether they accepted their nominations before a vote was done because no one had asked Mr Van Der Westhuizen if he accepted his nomination.
Mr Plato said that he was not accepting his nomination.
Mr P Marran (ANC) wanted to know if it was normal for a nominated Member to state their availability for the position before a vote is done.
Ms D Baartman (DA) suggested that the Committee move forward with the nominations that were seconded.
Mr Marais said that Ms Baartman must not decide the way forward for the Chairperson of the meeting because he had asked a question that still needed to be answered.
Ms Kamish-Achmat said that she was only overseeing the election of the Committee Chairperson and proposed that they move forward with the election.
Mr Marran said since Mr Plato declined his nomination, there was no need for a vote to happen.
Mr Marais nominated Mr Sayed.
Mr Sayed declined the nomination because of his workload.
Mr Johan Vermeulen, Senior Procedural Officer, said that although it was not in the rules that Members could decline nominations before a vote, there was nothing untoward about them doing so if they did not know that they would be nominated.
Mr Sayed nominated Mr Marais.
Ms Kamish-Achmat said that nominations were closed, and Mr Van Der Westhuizen was duly elected as Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee: WCPP Seats. She then allowed the Chairperson to address the Committee.
The Chairperson appreciated the opportunity and said that he would approach the position with the seriousness it deserves. He said that the Committee would have to move as quickly as possible with its mandate and asked the research division to start comparative research on other provinces and other countries so that the Committee could create a working formula for the Western Cape.
Mr Bosman agreed that research must be done and added that the example of the Welsh Parliament should be studied as it emerged that they were also embarking on the same exercise of increasing the size of their legislature to meet the changing demands of their population.
Mr Sayed welcomed the Chairperson to his new position and said that he was looking forward to working with him and the rest of the Committee to achieve the same goal. He agreed with Mr Bosman that the Welsh Parliament should be studied by the Committee and added that perhaps Mr Bosman could be asked to speak to the Committee on the experience of the Welsh Parliament as his understanding and experience would aid the Committee. He said that the Committee would also need to create a timeline of when it aims to conclude its work, and a schedule of its meetings.
Mr Marais congratulated the Chairperson and said that they should not compare themselves with other countries but rather the other eight provinces within the country to see the areas they cover.
Mr Marran agreed with Members and added that the Welsh Parliament should not be the only example but the Committee should also look inward.
Mr F Christians (ACDP) agreed that national and international best practices should be used and added that there was also a need for an extension of the legislature. He said that it would be good for this to be done speedily because, in the last term, the Committee ran out of time.
The Chairperson thanked the Members and the Committee Procedural Officers for their assistance in the meeting. He said that he would see to it that a draft timeline of the Committee was drafted and noted that the Committee would probably have its first meeting at the beginning of the third term when Parliament reconvenes. That should give Members and the research division enough time to do research.
The meeting was adjourned.
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