Department of Land Affairs Budget: hearings

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Meeting report

This report was produced by the Contact Trust - www.contacttrust.org.za
 
AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS  AD HOC COMMITTEE
2 June 2004
DEPARTMENT OF LAND AFFAIRS BUDGET: HEARINGS


Chairperson: Mr Masithela (ANC)

Relevant documents:
Department Budget Vote

Department of Land Affairs presentation
Ingonyama Trust

SUMMARY
The Committee heard submissions from the Department Land Affairs, KZN Ingonyama Trust Board and the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB)

MINUTES
The Director-General of the Department, Dr. Gilingwe Mayende introduced members of the Department.

Presentation by the Department
** For complete details of the Department's presentation, please refer to the attached documents.

Discussion
 The Chair asked members to refrain from asking questions on policy, as this will be dealt with at a later stage. He said questions should be restricted to the presentation on the budget. He however did note that some questions were critical and that the committee will have to deal with them soon.

Concerning state land, the Chair asked how much land is left in the hands of the Department and how many black people own land? The Chair asked for statistics from the Department and stressed that this information was important and would help government in their programmes.

The Department could not answer the question because they did not have the exact statistics with them.

The Chair requested the Department to forward information on statistics to Parliament before 8 June.

He was supported by Dr Pheko (PAC) who said it was important to know how much land there is because there are some statisticians who say there is no land while others say there is.

Mr Schoeman, (ANC) asked whether the Dept has a way of monitoring whether programmes are sustainable.

The Dept responded that the people taking over the land are responsible for making it sustainable. Responsibility falls under different clusters. However the Dept has a leading role to play in this.

The Chair requested that a meeting be arranged with the social clusters to deal with matters arising from the Department He also asked the dept to set up goals and time frames so that they are judged on those.

Mr Schoeman asked how sure the Department was about figures listed in the presentation?

The Department replied that it was sure of the figures because of the budget.

Miss Ntuli (ANC) aske what was meant by international activities?

The Dept responded that they met at SADC to establish a body that would look at land affairs in the region. They also have to make sure that the SA land reform programme is clearly articulated through foreign affairs to allay fears that they might follow Zimbabwe.

Mr Radebe (ANC) noted that the problem with delivery seems to be at the micro level. He asked how they evaluate the performance at district level and ensure that more communities benefit from the programmes.

The Dept responded that they recognise the need to spread their programmes and ensure that more communities benefit. They are working with provinces and will open district offices to help the communities.

Mr Radebe asked whether the Dept could give the Committee the profile of companies they work with and whether they are aware of programmes such as BEE.

The Dept responded that it has started to focus on BEE initiatives this year. They have set a target of 20% of goods and services rendered to the department.

The Chair noted that this was a small amount, and questioned why they had not chosen 80%. He noted that the department must re-look into this matter for the benefit of the majority of people in this country.

Mr Nel (DA) asked what the relation of joint ventures to the 30% marked for distribution was.

The Dept responded that Joint ventures add to the 30% of land marked for redistribution.

In conclusion the chairperson thanked the department for the presentation. He stated that there were outstanding matters that will be dealt with by the committee in consultation with the department. He said the public would appreciate the manner in which we handled the issue of land.

Ingonyama Trust
Justice Ngwenya introduced members of the board accompanying him for the presentation. He stated the Trust represents communities from KwaZulu Natal and that the management structure of the board was under the chairmanship of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Justice Ngwenya stated that one of the problems facing the trust was that the communal land is not surveyed, not demarcated. The Board had surveyed the land and know how much land there is. The job of demarcation must still be done. This puts communities at a disadvantage and poses a problem for members of the communities that the Trust represents in terms of funds. He noted that the Financial Management Act requires people to have a fixed address.

Justice Ngwenya stated that another problem facing the Trust was that the secretariat was understaffed and that they had to hire people with specialised skills on a contractual basis. He highlighted that in the past people left the secretariat in search of greener pastures. He said this was hampering the work of the Trust and that they have made recommendations to the department about the staff component of the secretariat.

Board member Adv Raubenheimer joined Justice Ngwenya. Adv Raubenheimer highlighted that as His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini had observed that in the past minerals were taken from people without any benefit for communities.

Adv Raubenheimer indicated that the Trust would apply for mining rights to be reserved for the benefit of communities and that royalties be reserved for development projects in communities. He noted that the Trust was working with the Department as to the “how� of bringing the Act (Clara) in to fruition.

**See a copy of the presentation for more information.

Discussion

The Chair asked the Trust to furnish the committee with all financial transactions of the Trust.

The Chair asked about the professional and special services, and what they consisted of.

The Trust officials responded that it is attorneys and surveyors who help the Trust in taking land back to the people.

The Chair asked if it is the responsibility of the Department to give support staff.

Mr Ngema (IFP) asked, In relation to capacity, whether the budget caters for bridging the gap?

Adv Raubenheimer responded that the expenditure for staff is within the appropriation of the money allocated. When it comes to people with super numerals the Trust pays for that.

A Member asked a question in relation to the training of youth and how they incorporate women and the disabled into the training programme.

Adv Raubenheimer responded that that decision is left to communities. The Trust sees it responsibility as being to monitor the programmes.

Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB)
The PPECB made a presentation on their work saying that the legislation relevant to them includes:
Act 12 of 1925 - Fruit Export Control Board
Act 53 of 1926 - Creation of PPECB
Act 9 of 1983 - present PPECB Act
Act 119 of 1990 - designated assignee in respect of Agricultural Products Standards Act.

They noted that their deliverables in the first decade of democracy included:
1./ transformed board / stakeholder representation
new leadership and strategic definition
stakeholder needs analysis and response
2./ adapted to deregulated marketing environment
stabilising role on SA standards and quality
sustained international confidence in SA products
3./ Supported dynamic growth in SA exports:
volumes
exporters
customer accounts
finances
4./ Extension of roles and services from "farm to fork"
5./ modernised business systems, IT and governance practices
6./ "value adding" partnerships with government, industries or individual companies
7./ internationally promoted as "quality assurance partner" to Fruit South Africa

Environmental scan and challenges
International:
1./ EU policy harmonisation and reform in food safety, common agricultural policy, biotechnology, etc.
2./ increased globalisation and international competition for "sa
products"
3./ new market and partnership opportunities for production and services.
4./ market access into traditional and non traditional countries (UK, EU, USA, China, Africa, India, etc.)

National:
1./ government initiative on "delivery" in next decade
2./ national policy environment focus on integrated food safety, export promotion, capacity building NEPAD, CAADP, Agri BEE, etc.
3./ harmonisation of common industry needs.
market access
industry information, tracking and traceability.
confidence and maintenance in internationally credible certification
services.
4./ outdated legislative support framework for PPECB
5./ PPECB stakeholder needs analysis and requirements

They noted their objectives and outcomes as follows:
confidence in services
minimised risk in supply chain
custodian of industry information
customised services on demand
differentiated cost/benefit pricing
integrated SA food safety policy and legislation(authority)
SA food safety agency ("new PPECB")
international expansion (Africa/trading countries)

Their purpose statement was " PPECB instils confidence in food by impartially performing food safety & quality assurance services"

In terms of Human Resources they are "developing the capacity of the organisation to meet stakeholder requirements in a dynamic & diverse environment "

They plan a phased approach to transformation:
1./ analysis & design organisation & systems 2002/3
2./ development & implementation HR systems 2003/4
3./ developing culture & capacity, external focus on organisation design 2004/5
4./ develop external capacity - industry 2005/6
5./ evaluate & redesign for next era of organisation 2006

BEE Scorecard:
(Component; percentage; scoring)
management ; 20%; 5%
skills development 20%; 5%
employment equity 20%; 5%
preferential procurement 10%; 2.5%
enterprise development 10%; 0%
agricultural QA capacity development 20%; 5%

They noted that they were developing both internal capacity (HR systems, employment equity, skills development and organisational development) and in the sector (partnerships in Africa countries; enabling technology, external skills, enterprise development and quality and risk management capability)

The PPECB Chairperson, Mr Anton du Preez concluded that they felt the PPECB Act needed to be redrafted and they needed the Dept to initiate that.

Discussion
The Chair asked why they wanted the Act to be amended.

The PPECB Chairperson noted that they were still working with the 1983 Act, and that the functions required under the Act are no longer relevant. He said that they should amend the Act to meet modern challenges.
The Chair asked for examples.

The PPECB Chairperson said that currently they are expected to inspect a 2% sample. In terms of current volumes this is no longer feasible. He added that all modern regulations are above the minimum standards set out in the Act.

The Chair noted that whatever changes were made to the Act, they should take into account all current political, social and economic issues.

Dr van Niekerk (DA) thanked the PPECB for their presentation, and asked if it was possible that its functions could be privatized. In other words is there a need for a control board.

He then asked to what extent the PPECB is monitored by other institutions in the USA, Europe etc. Also to what extent the PPECB monitors produce coming in from other countries, and if this was part of the Act?

The PPECB responded that it was important that there were statutory standards, although it was not necessary for the PPECB to manage it all, some functions could be privatized or be public private partnerships. In terms of maintaining credibility it is important that the Act is modernized.

It was noted that the EU does monitor produce from SA and have found incidents of non compliance and require reasons for the non compliance. They added that they do not monitor imports and that this is done by Dept of Agriculture.

In terms of other trading partners there is strong control on their side.

Mr Radebe (ANC) thanked them for a clear presentation, but was concerned about the low scores in terms of BEE. He asked how many exporters are reserved for the Historically Disadvantaged.

Mr Howse said that the PPECB has three components where there must be a holistic approach. He added that history has not allowed for the previously disadvantaged to gain skills. The PPECB has been working with universities to identify students working in the area of food quality, so that the company can move forward on the issue of BEE.

The Chair asked if they were saying that no institutions provide training on food safety?

The response was that only Pretoria University does.

The Chair asked how many black students there are.

Ms Du Toit responded that they are now focusing more on the Technikons than Universities for students. At University there are 5 students, and they have 17 students on experiential training, of whom 12 are black.
The Chair asked how many students are being paid for.

The response was that none were being paid for. The PPECB allows students to work with them to gain their experiential training, and offers them the option to work at PPECB once they have completed their studies.

The Chair noted that it was important to try and get black people to those institutions which provide the training. He said that they should not consider this issue further but that the PPECB should take it back with them to consider.

The PPECB representatives said that they were unable to say how many exporters were from disadvantaged backgrounds but would provide that information to the PC.

A member asked about equity - not only in terms of race but also gender.

The Chair asked what products the PPECB bought in the running of the organisation.

The Financial Head, Mr Schwiebus noted that the majority of expenses were Human Resources (65%). In addition there was technical equipment, stationery etc. to a total of R5 million.

The Chair noted that there are black companies who can provide these things and benefit from a positive procurement policy, and that the PPECB should take cognisance of this.

The PPECB representatives noted that the Procurement supply policy and plans were given to Treasury. They noted that they would list their suppliers and score them and provide this to the PC at the next quarterly meeting.

The Chair said that they should persuade companies that they work with to take BEE seriously.

Mr Radebe noted that on p9 there was a deficit budgeted for. He asked how this could be.

The Financial Head, Mr Schwiebus noted that the budget was based on expected volume and costs. They had had a good year so the volume was more than budgeted for. Thus in the next year they planned to re invest the surplus in the company.

The Chair said that he would like to see close contact between the Committee and the PPECB. He said that the Committee would have in depth discussions about the changes to the Act.

He said in conclusion that the PPECB should consider South African relations and their impact on the work of the PPECB, so that they can be one step ahead. He added that the Committee would visit the Institution and the places where they work. He thanked them for their presentation.

 

 

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