Committee reports: Parliament 2022/23 Mid-Year Report, 2023/24 & 2022/23 Q3 Performance; Committee second term programme

Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament

21 April 2023
Chairperson: Mr B Radebe (ANC) & Ms DG Mahlangu (ANC, Mpumalanga)
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Meeting Summary


The Committee convened to consider various internal reports, minutes and its second term programme.

As the Committee considered the reports, discussion on issues to follow up on were noted such as the institutionalisation of the office of the Chief Whip and the functionality of Committee meeting rooms. It was pointed out that the Committee had to improve its oversight of Parliament, and the issue of the Committee rooms was a part of that. It was agreed there would be a feedback in a meeting on this matter. There was also a request for an update on the issue surrounding the former acting Secretary to Parliament by the Executive Authority. 

The Committee considered its programme for the term. The programme included meetings on an update on meeting room functionality, especially in the NCOP wing, restoration of Parliament, critical vacancies and organisational structure, BRICS Parliamentary Forum preparation, regulations to the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act and medical aids. The budget vote would also be taking place next month.

It was said that all meetings would be held physically as of 9 May 2023.

Meeting report

Committee minutes

Minutes dated 2 December 2022

Chairperson Radebe said that he was not present during the meeting, and asked Members who were at the meeting to provide their input. He pointed out an issue on page 6 (leading onto page 7), 2.2.5: “The Division Manager: Strategic Management and Governance explained that all transition services were provided internally.” He said it could not be ‘transition services’, but it had to be ‘translation services’.

Mr M Moletsane (EFF, Free State) moved to adopt the minutes, and Ms R Lesoma seconded.

The minutes were adopted. There were no objections.

Minutes dated 24 February 2023

Chairperson Radebe pointed out on page 2, under ‘Media and Guests’, that the Senior Researcher from the African National Congress: Parliamentary Caucus was ‘Mr N Razwiedani’, not ‘Ms N Razwiedani’. He asked if there was anything that the Committee wanted to add. There were no further comments.

Ms Lesoma proposed adopting the minutes, and Mr Moletsane seconded.

The minutes were adopted. There were no objections.

Minutes dated 03 March 2023

Chairperson Radebe went through the minutes, and there were no comments or amendments.

On page nine, Chairperson Radebe pointed out in 3.2.4 that a multi-party steering committee for regular feedback on the progress in the implementation was not agreed upon and it was rejected on the very first instance.

Ms Cindy Balie, Committee Secretary, asked the Chairperson to repeat what he said.

Chairperson Radebe said a multi-party steering committee was not agreed on, but they agreed on the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament doing oversight (the following bullet under 3.2.4).

Ms Lesoma seconded what the Chairperson said, and agreed that removing the part that the Chairperson pointed out was better.

Chairperson Radebe pointed out on page 13 (leading onto page 14), 3.3.22: “Some members were of the view that Committee meeting venues and plenary spaces should be a priority instead of office space for parliamentarians. Other Members felt that, as many members of the majority party were without office space since the fire, arrangements had to be made to ensure that those Members were given office space as soon as possible”, he said that the issue of the office space remained a priority.

Ms Balie added a sentence stating, “It was agreed that office space should be prioritised.”

Mr T Brauteseth (DA, KZN) proposed the adoption of the minutes and Ms Lesoma seconded.

The minutes were adopted. There were no objections.

Report of the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament on the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa’s Draft 2023/24 Annual Performance Plan

Chairperson Radebe asked that on page 14, Part D: Recommendations, they go through the Recommendations together. He read through the Recommendations – see linked report

He asked if the Committee agreed with the recommendations.

Ms Lesoma recalled that she had network problems during that meeting and asked how they dealt with the institutionalisation of the Office of the Chief Whip. She said that they did not reach a finalisation on how they were going to progress.

In terms of the Committee’s mandate, they are supposed to guide Parliament in terms of the best practices, either in terms of tools of the trade in capabilities of the Committee rooms. She said that Mr M Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape) and Mr Brauteseth would agree with her in saying that even the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has challenges with its Committee rooms, which is why they were fully virtual again.

Regarding the institutionalisation of the Chief Whip’s Office, Chairperson Radebe said that the issue was not dealt with in the Committee and could be a stand-alone item to discuss in the next meeting.

Looking at the restoration of Parliament, he pointed out that, in the report, they had to improve their oversight of Parliament, and the issue of the Committee rooms was a part of that. Chairperson Radebe asked Ms Balie to indicate that the issue of the Committee rooms had to be a stand-alone item on the agenda. They had to have feedback on the progress of this matter.

On the recommendations, he asked if there were any further comments from the Committee before they adopted the report.  

Ms Lesoma proposed the adoption of the report, with the recommended amendments, and Ms N Mahlo (ANC) seconded.

Report of the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament on the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa’s 2022/23 Third Quarter Report

Chairperson Radebe asked the Committee to go through the recommendations together on pages 16-17, under Part D. He read through the recommendations:  see linked report

He asked if there were any additions from the Committee’s side.

Ms Lesoma raised an issue with the then Acting Secretary to Parliament, which had nothing to do with the Quarterly Report. She said that they would still like to receive clarity on the issues, even if they were not part of the quarterly report.

She requested the Committee Content Advisors ensure that the figures in the budgets were correct and that they cross-checked the figures before they signed it off to the ATC.

Regarding the former Acting Secretary to Parliament, Chairperson Radebe said that Ms Lesoma was correct in saying they could not put it in as part of the Quarterly Report. But what they could do as a Committee was to request a report and to request the Executive Authority to give the Committee a briefing on what happened. He asked the Co-Chairpersons to handle this matter.

On the matter of cross-checking the figures in the budget, he agreed that it was very important to have that done.

He asked if the Committee agreed with the recommendations in the report.

Ms Lesoma proposed adopting the report, and Mr N Singh (IFP) seconded.

The last item on the agenda was the Committee Programme.

Ms Balie said there was one more report left that they had to discuss.

Chairperson Radebe asked what the report was about.

Ms Balie said that it was a Report on the Mid-year Performance Report that they received last year. However, she seemed to save the document incorrectly and forgot to send it to the Members.

Chairperson Radebe said that it was sent to the Members.

Chairperson Radebe said he had to leave to attend another meeting and asked the Committee if they could look at the report at another time.

The Committee agreed.

Committee 2023 Second Term Programme

Chairperson Radebe pointed out that they would not have a meeting on Friday, 28 April 2023, because they were going to be on leave.

On Friday, 05 May 2023, there would be a meeting to consider the fourth quarter performance report and consider minutes. He requested that the report for that meeting be sent to the Committee so that the report was not outstanding for a longer period.

He said it was important to add the issue that Ms Lesoma raised about the functionality of the NCOP wing and that they send the Committee an update on that matter.

Ms Balie said that that item was included. She reminded the Committee that the meeting on the restoration was taking place at Parliament and that the Members had agreed that the Committee must be allowed to view the damaged buildings.

Ms Lesoma said that the meetings had to be attended physically in the future.

Mr Singh reminded the Chairperson and the Committee that they agreed that all the meetings would take place in person from 09 May 2023, and they were informed about what venues would be able to them.

Chairperson Radebe asked Mr Singh to repeat what he said. Mr Singh repeated what he said and he agreed with him.

Ms D Dlakude (ANC) requested Ms Balie to make an application for a room for all their meetings, as it worked on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Ms S Gwarube (DA) said they had their budget votes at the end of May, and she assumed that one of the meetings had to brief the Committee accordingly. She pointed out that the meeting to be held on 19 May was only about the organisational structure and critical vacancies. She said they should probably notify the institution that they would like to be briefed before the budget vote before the end of May.

Chairperson Radebe agreed that 19 May would be the ideal date for the Committee to be briefed on the budget.

The Chairperson said that the adoption of the Budget Report had to be done on 26 May because the debate was happening on 30 May.

Ms Balie reminded the Committee that, unlike other Committees, they were required to consider the Draft APP and the Draft Budget, and they did that last year. Their budget was not treated like other departments’ budgets.

Chairperson Radebe asked to have the budget by 19 May and to indicate that the Parliamentary Budget Debate was happening on 30 May.

He pointed out that the meeting on 02 June was important because that was when they were going to receive an update on the status of the regulations to the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act. He said that they were going to need the Speaker on the issue of medical aid on 09 June. Another matter raised in other minutes was the issue of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum preparation, and they needed to discuss that.

Ms Balie said she could add that to the agenda for 02 June.

The Chairperson said that that was all.

Mr Brauteseth noted that all the meetings were scheduled for Friday mornings. He said that it was a problem for some of the Members to attend meetings in person on Fridays, and asked if they considered moving it to another day, like Wednesday evenings

The Chairperson said that it was important to take note of that. He said that he was going to leave it in the hands of the co-chairpersons to address the matter.

Ms Balie took note of the recommendations.

Ms Lesoma proposed adopting the programme, and Ms Mahlo seconded.

Chairperson Radebe thanked the Committee Members for their inputs, and wished them a splendid weekend.

The meeting was adjourned.

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