South Korea Study Tour Report; Committee’s 2022 Annual Report

Standing Committee on Appropriations

17 February 2023
Chairperson: Mr S Buthelezi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


Table Committee Reports

The Standing Committee on Appropriations met on a virtual platform to conclude several items of Committee business.

The Committee considered the report on its study tour to the Republic of Korea that the Portfolio Committee had undertaken in December 2022. It was noted that the country did not refer to itself as South Korea but as the Republic of Korea. It was determined that additional comments should be made on the economy of the Republic of Korea but as the conclusion and recommendations were in order, the Committee adopted the report with the proviso of a final viewing before submission.

The Committee considered its annual report to the House of Assembly for 2022. The lengthy and detailed document was adopted by the Committee. Committee business including correspondence to and from the House Chairperson concluded the meeting.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee had undertaken a study tour to South Korea (Republic of Korea). The aim had been to benchmark what the Committee was doing against their counterparts and international standards and to see where the Committee could improve. The report would show that a lot had come out of the tour and much of what the Committee was doing had proved to be in line with their counterparts. He noted that the South Koreans wished to continue the interaction with the Committee and with the South African Parliament and Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO).

He also thanked the Director of the PBO, Dr Dumisani Jantjies, for accompanying the Committee.

Presentation of the Report on Study Tour to South Korea, December 2022
The Chairperson stated that the report had been circulated and now included all suggestions by Members. He requested the Secretary to take the Committee through the report, page by page.

The Secretary screened the 16-page report.

Mr N Kwankwa (UDM) stated that the report was comprehensive but recommended that the section on the economy of South Korea be improved. That would be a cosmetic change.

The Chairperson considered that an appropriate addition.

The Secretary stated that he would expand on the economy and would ask Dr Jantjies to assist in that regard and then send the final version to the Chairperson.

Mr Z Mlenzana (ANC) noted that the word “South” had been omitted in certain places and requested that the omission be corrected.

The Chairperson noted that the country called itself ‘The Republic of Korea’ and recommended that the correct name be used.

The Secretary confirmed that the country never referred to itself as South Korea.

The adoption of the Report on the Study Tour to the Republic of Korea was proposed by Mr Kwankwa and seconded by Mr Mlenzana. There were no objections.

Adoption of the Committee Annual Report for 2022
The Chairperson referred to the disjuncture between the Annual Report that worked according to the calendar year and the fiscal year which ran from April to March. He believed that the anomaly should be corrected.

Mr Mlenzana informed the Chairperson that the matter was raised in the Fourth Parliament and the reasoning behind that approach was that, at the time, Parliament would start each year with training sessions and strategic planning sessions, which would then inform the work of each Committee throughout the year up to December. The calendar year kind of arrangement had to be followed. He suspected that the same reasoning behind the question would be given, even in 2023.

The Chairperson took the point but he was not comfortable with the disjointed approach. He would raise it in the Chair of Chairs meeting to determine whether the same position pertained. He requested the Secretary to go page by page through the Committee's Annual Report for 2022

Mr O Mathafa (ANC) proposed the adoption of the Committee Report for 2022.

Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) seconded the adoption and there were no objections.

Mr X Qayiso noted that Ms D Peters had left the meeting as she was ill.

The Chairperson thanked the Members for their participation in the study tour, and the engagement of Members during the past year. There was a lot that the Republic of Korea had gained from the Committee while the Members had gained experience in how to do things better. When it came to the Annual Report, Members could see the number of legislation that the Committee had dealt with in 2022. He commended Members that not in a single instance had they missed the prescribed dates, which showed an excellent work ethic. It was good that the Committee led by example. He thanked the support staff for their stellar work.

Committee Programme for Term 1 2023
The Secretary referred to items on the programme, including amendments concerning time.

The Chairperson stated that oversight of Transnet was very important considering the critical role that it played as far as transporting the commuters was concerned, especially the poorest of the poor, and the fact that the Committee had been dealing with a lot of underspending in that regard. He noted that it was a very full programme.

The Committee Members supported the Programme.

Consideration of Committee Minutes
The minutes of 22 November, 25 November and 29 November 2022 were adopted without alteration or objection.

The Chairperson had reported two matters to the Chair of Chairs, Mr Frolick. The first was the matter of Integrated Public Transport Network Grants (PTNGs) that the Committee had addressed with the Department of Transport and with some municipalities. The Committee’s concern had been the non-usage of that grant. He had since written to Mr Frolick and requested the Portfolio Committee on Transport to oversee the matter and ensure that it was concluded. The second issue was the question of pit latrines that had to be taken up with the Department of Basic Education with a request to do the necessary follow up. The Committee had too much work to follow up on those things as it literally dealt with all departments. That was why he was involving the relevant Portfolio Committees.

The Chairperson added that Mr Mashile, one of the Committee Secretaries, was hijacked and injured so he was not with the Committee in the meeting, but he was getting better.

Mr Shaik Emam noted that R2 billion had been set aside the previous year for the building of Parliament. He had a serious concern as some disagreement between Parliament and Public Works was hampering progress. They had to decide who was going to be responsible so that the project could start without any further delay. He requested that the Committee intervene because the money had been appropriated and it was time something was done.

The Chairperson stated he would elevate the matter to Mr Frolick.

Mr Kwankwa concurred. The good thing about it was that they were holding their own institution to account saying Parliament should lead by example. The Committee had to make sure that the funds were spent appropriately and accordingly.

The Chairperson agreed that it would not look good when it was Parliament underspending for whatever reason.

Mr Kwankwa agreed with the strategy to look to the Chair of Chairs and other Portfolio Committees to collaborate in getting things done. He also reminded Members of the responsibility of those who sat in other forums such as the Whips’ Forum to raise the issues and run with them, thereby supporting the work of the Committee.

Closing Remarks
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting until the following Wednesday.

The meeting was adjourned.


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