In Parliament, the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities briefed the Portfolio Committee on its responses to the 17 oral and 52 written submissions on the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NGBFV) Bill.
All the Members of the Committee voted in favour of the Bill and agreed that it would remain part of section 75 because it was widely consulted in all nine provinces.
The Chairperson said that members of the Council will be nominated by the civil organisations. Parliament will facilitate the process, including short-listing. The process is going to be open and transparent, and people will be short-listed only if they meet the necessary requirements. The President would be the last person to appoint the candidates.
The Committee was further briefed on the Public Hearings Report. It was pointed out the majority of the submissions were in favour of the Bill. The report also captured all the work of the Committee and Department concerning the Bill.
National Council on GBVF Bill: DWYPD Response to Public Submissions
Ms Nondumiso Ngqulunga, Director: Legal Services, Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD), took the Committee through the responses of the Department, page by page.
See attached for details
The Committee agreed that the Bill would remain part of section 75 because it was widely consulted in the nine provinces.
Ms N Sharif (DA) raised points related to being exact on the wording of the reporting of Council.
The Chairperson suggested the wording be clearer on the terms of Council members.
Ms M Khawula (EFF), concerning the clause on vacancies, remarked that not all deserving candidates were appointed to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) because they did not belong to any of the political parties.
An official from the Department responded and said that the process was fair and there was no political interference in it. Some Members came from community-based organisations (CBOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), etc.
The Chairperson said that members of the Council would be nominated by the civil organisations. Parliament would facilitate the process, including short-listing. The President would be the last person to appoint the candidates.
Ms N Sonti (EFF) commented that vacancies do not normally come directly from political parties. She wondered why it was important for Members to know the political affiliation of the candidates. The vacancies were for the public, but not for the political parties.
The Chairperson said that the process is going to be open and transparent. People will be short-listed if they meet the necessary requirements. They are free to apply and to be nominated.
Ms Mikateko Maluleke, Director-General, DWYPD, thanked the Committee for supporting the efforts of the Department towards the Bill, in ensuring its success. She said that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has been included to deliver services and programmes aimed at eliminating victimisation, crime and GBVF, and to coordinate OCLA. Therefore, it is going to be easy for the Council to incorporate NSP.
The Chairperson indicated that the Council was not just an added structure, but would be there to look at other critical matters of GBV.
The legal team said everything will be ironed out following the meeting today, ready for the clause-by-clause deliberations next week. Once this deliberation was complete, an A-List would be drafted with all the agreed-upon changes.
Report on the Motion of Desirability
Ms Kashifa Abrahams, Committee Content Advisor, took the Committee through the desirability report.
Members unanimously voted in favour of the Bill.
It was confirmed the Bill would remain a Section 75 piece of legislation.
The Chairperson confirmed the Committee has dealt with all the submissions and responses by the Department.
Public Hearings Report
Ms Abrahams informed the Committee that the majority of the submissions were in favour of the Bill. The report captured everything that the Committee and the Department have done concerning the Bill.
The Committee then agreed it would deal with the Bill clause by clause in the next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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