Division of Revenue Amendment Bill: Negotiating Mandates

NCOP Appropriations

21 November 2022
Chairperson: Ms D Mahlangu (ANC, Mpumalanga)
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Meeting Summary


The Select Committee on Appropriations convened on a virtual platform to consider the negotiating mandates of provinces on the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B22-2022].

Due to load shedding, the Committee experienced some trouble in connecting with the Chairperson. Members expressed impatience and frustration at this situation, with one of them describing it as unprofessional and saying that Members should have ensured good connectivity prior to the meeting. There were others who countered that load-shedding and unstable internet connectivity were out of their control.

The provincial negotiating mandates had raised issues around the disaster fund allocations, why the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant had been allocated only to certain provinces but not all of them, and Treasury’s plans for the 3% salary increase for public servants. Some mandates also urged the Treasury to review its contingency reserve, and called for more provision for disasters.

The negotiating mandates were adopted, with the Eastern Cape abstaining and the Western Cape voting against the bill.

Meeting report

Load-shedding challenges

Due to the Chairperson experiencing load shedding, the Committee Secretariat suggested that Members elect Mr E Njadu (ANC, Western Cape) to chair the meeting in the interim. However, Mr Njadu also got disconnected from the platform.

Mr Y Carrim (ANC, KZN) expressed his frustration, and suggested that the Secretariat should put his phone on speaker so that Members could hear what the Chairperson was saying regarding the plan of action. He said Members were losing a lot of time, and urged the Secretariat to hurry up. Due to his phone also being on charge, which would not last long, Mr Carrim indicated that should the Chairperson agree, he would be happy to chair the meeting in the interim.

The Chairperson was re-connected to the platform.

As the original agenda stated that the Committee should adopt its outstanding Committee minutes first, Mr F du Toit (FF+, North West) pointed out that since most Members were experiencing load shedding, it would only be right to prioritise the adoption of provinces’ negotiating mandates before Members lost connectivity.

Mr Carrim pointed out to the Chairperson that the convention should be that a Member from the majority party chairs the meeting in her absence. After that, a Member from the second-largest party chairs. He believed this process should be in place automatically in cases where Chairpersons are suddenly unavailable on the platform. He believed that all committees should practise this principle.

The Chairperson agreed with Mr Carrim’s suggestion.

The Committee noted an apology from Ms Z Ncitha (ANC, Eastern Cape).

Given that Members were experiencing challenges with load shedding, the Chairperson suggested deferring the adoption of the outstanding Committee minutes to the next meeting.

Division of Revenue Amendment Bill negotiating mandates


Since Mr Carrim would be disconnected soon due to his gadget, the Secretariat suggested that he present his province's negotiating mandate first. The Chairperson agreed, and invited him to proceed.

Mr Carrim said the KZN provincial legislature had convened on Thursday during lunchtime. There were mainly two issues that were arisen from the meeting. Firstly, the province was of the view that it was not getting the funds it needed for the flood disaster despite the continuous promises by the National Treasury. Secondly, it was about the Izinduna remuneration in KZN -- the province felt that funding had been promised to them because it could not pay. For years, the issue had dragged on without a satisfactory outcome.

Nevertheless, the province voted in favour of the Division of Revenue Bill.

Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape indicated that it abstained from voting.

Mr D Ryder (DA, Gauteng) noted the absence of Ms Ncitha, and expressed his concern as Ms Ncitha had been absent a few times.

The Secretariat explained that Ms Ncitha’s apology had been noted and recorded by him. She explained that her flight would land in Cape Town only at 5pm.

Free State

The province voted in favour of the bill.


The province voted in favour of the bill.


The province voted in favour of the bill.


The province voted in favour of the bill.

Northern Cape

The province voted in favour of the bill.

North West

The province voted in favour of the bill.

Western Cape

The province did not support the bill.

Ms Wendy Fanoe, Chief Director: Intergovernmental Policy and Planning, National Treasury, noted that some provinces raised concerns that the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant had been allocated to only a few provinces, but not to all the provinces. She pointed out that this was an adjustment budget, three-quarters of which would be spent on dealing with unforeseeable and unavoidable disasters. Hence, those allocations would mainly fund the repair of the damage incurred on the roads due to the floods, and the rural bridges programme. The rural bridges programme commenced in 2022 and was supported by the funds made available through the re-prioritisation in the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI). The new budget would be coming only in February 2023. For instance, even though only two provinces got the money for the rural bridges programme, that did not mean that other provinces would not be allocated funds during the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) process.

Responded to the concern around disaster fund allocations, she said an amount of R1 billion had been made available immediately. There were also additional funds that were made available through the adjustment budget, as well as an allocation that was made available over the 2023 MTEF disaster response, which was specifically made available for the April floods but was also for the other disasters.

Concerning rehabilitation, it usually took longer, and the funds would come from the MTEF. During an immediate disaster, the funds would be released as soon as the Treasury received the notice from the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) or the Department of Human Settlements. To access that fund, a disaster must be classified, either as a municipal or a provincial disaster. Verification needed to come through from the NDMC before the request for the release of funds could be granted. She understood and agreed with the concern that this process could be where a lot of those delays took place, sometimes taking up to three months to get the verifications up to the national level. She suggested that municipal and provincial NDMCs expedite those verifications to shorten the waiting time.

Ms Fanoe noted the input suggesting Treasury look at its contingency reserve, and called for more provision for disasters. She agreed, and indicated that the issue would be dealt with in the 2023 budget process.

Treasury would definitely look at its options regarding increasing public servants’ salaries by 3% or higher. If such a situation occurred, the Treasury would communicate with the provincial treasuries.

She said more details would be provided in a written response to the Committee.

Mr Ryder remarked that the meeting had been unprofessional from the start to its end. It reflected poorly on all Members. He urged them to ensure that they had connectivity beforehand.

The Chairperson explained that this incident had happened for the first time, and was beyond Members’ control.

She indicated to Treasury that the Gauteng Provincial Legislature would await their comprehensive written response. She set the deadline at 10am the next day for Treasury to provide its response.

Ms Fanoe responded that it would be difficult for them to send the response to the Gauteng legislature before 10am. Her staff members were already working overnight. The work on the negotiating mandates was a complex process which still needed to be signed off by Treasury. She asked if 1pm tomorrow would be acceptable.

The Chairperson did not think that Ms Fanoe’s suggested time was a good idea. She said she would not want the Committee to be blamed by the provinces for not giving them sufficient time to deliberate. She therefore did not think that 1pm would be a good idea, since the Provincial Legislature convened at 10am.

She emphasised that Ms Fanoe and her team should be aware that Members were also pushing themselves to the limit. She thus requested that Treasury and Ms Fanoe’s team should do everything possible. She also reminded Ms Fanoe that since she had just responded to the Members, it was only a matter of putting words to paper, which should not involve any research process and should not take much time.

Ms Fanoe replied that she and her team would try their utmost best to meet the deadline.

Mr Njadu commended the Chairperson for having managed this meeting very well under this difficult situation of load shedding. He described the meeting as fruitful, as the Committee had completed its agenda.

Mr Ryder said this was not the first time the Select Committee had processed negotiating and final mandates. Normally, provincial committees met late on Thursday afternoons. He tended to agree with Ms Fanoe that for Treasury to submit its response by 10am tomorrow could be a bit ambitious, so the Committee needed to decide whether it wanted a good or a timeous answer. He suggested the Select Committee could ask the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to defer its meeting to noon or 1pm.

The Chairperson replied that the Committee was not trying to be unfair to Treasury or deliberately making them work overtime. However, Treasury had the response -- they just needed to put it on paper. She did not see why Treasury could not get the work done with both quality and efficiency. She maintained her view that the Committee needed to put its foot down, and that Treasury should send the response to the Gauteng Legislature before 10am tomorrow.

The negotiating mandates were duly adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.

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