Division of Revenue Amendment Bill: Final Mandates

NCOP Appropriations

28 November 2023
Chairperson: Ms L Moss (ANC, Western Cape)
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Meeting Summary


The Select Committee on Appropriations met virtually to adopt the final mandates and report on the 2023 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill.

The final mandates from the provinces were all in favour of the Bill, although the response from the Western Cape was still outstanding. The Committee's report on the Bill was also adopted, but the DA and the FF+ did not support it, and the EFF reserved its rights.

There was an altercation between the DA Members and the Acting Chairperson over events of the previous meeting, where the Members felt that she had not heeded their requests to seek legal advice on the process. She was defended by other Members of the Committee, who said it was irresponsible to undermine the position and authority of the Acting Chairperson on groundless allegations. No wrong had been done.


Meeting report

Opening comments

The Acting Chairperson said the "16 Days of Activism" against violence to women and children was soon to commence. She commented that women and children were suffering from violence all over the world, including in the war taking place in Palestine. In society, there was a lot of selfishness and jealousy, and this was costing lives. She condemned the high rate of unemployment and crime in the country -- enough was enough. All types of abuse were being observed, and this led to incidents of rape. Sexual harassment in the workplace should end. She hoped they would have better days with progression in service delivery.

2023 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B33-2023]: Member’s Disagreement  

Mr Lubabalo Nodada, Committee Secretary, said that at the previous meeting, he had referred to section 12 (11) of the Money Bills Act, which stated that the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill must be adopted nine days after the adoption of the revised fiscal framework. Subsequent to the meeting, he had received communication that the version of the Money Bills Act he had quoted was incorrect, and that the current version was silent on the processing of the Bill. When the section was amended, the sub-section he quoted had been deleted. He apologised sincerely -- it was a mistake he had not been aware of. He wanted to bring this to the attention of the Committee.

The Acting Chairperson thanked Mr Nodada for bringing this matter forward. In the Constitution of South Africa, it stated that they must serve the country properly and honestly. He had been honest in bringing this issue forward so that the Committee was not mislead. She called for comments, and asked them to be brief so that they could proceed.

Mr D Ryder (DA, Gauteng) appreciated Mr Nodada’s candour. He acknowledged that his work could be difficult to manage with all the amendments to legislation, and accepted the apology.

He said that at the previous meeting, he had suggested twice that the Committee call on the advice of Adv Frank JenkinsParliamentary Legal Advisor, and the Acting Chairperson had rejected his suggestions. Later on in that meeting, Mr Ryder interjected to say that the advice received was procedural advice, not legal advice, and the Acting Chairperson had again chosen to ignore this, and had not made moves to acquire legal advice, and the result was a deeply flawed process.

He advised the Acting Chairperson that not all who sat with her were her friends, and not all who sat opposite her were her enemies. There had been at least five instances where the matter had been flagged to her for legal opinion, and she had ignored them. They were now expected to proceed with a deeply flawed process, although everything had been done on the surface. The spirit of the Constitution said there must be consultation, especially on something as important as the DORA empowered provinces and municipalities to do their work. He wished the Committee well with any challenges.

Mr W Aucamp (DA, Northern Cape) said he fully agreed with Mr Ryder.

Ms N Nkosi (ANC, Mpumalanga) said that Mr Nodada had made a mistake, and she did not think that their previous meeting had been fraudulent. The provinces were aware of what needed to happen, and when. The Committee adopted a programme for this meeting. She accepted the apology, saying the process was based on the advice and the programme -- it was not fraudulent.

The Acting Chairperson said that Ms Nkosi’s explanation was clear, and she did not wish to regress. Nothing was fraudulent about the previous meeting -- she was doing as advised, and the matter had been rectified. If the Members of the DA deemed it fraudulent, they should clarify this. She had previously stated that the timeframes were too short for National Treasury to respond to. If the DA did not accept Mr Nodada’s explanation, then this should be noted.

Mr Ryder responded that the Acting Chairperson had misinterpreted his comment entirely. In his comment, he had been clear that he accepted the apology, but the behaviour of the Acting Chairperson [in the previous meeting] was problematic because she had not followed advice and had not sought legal advice. The Acting Chairperson had exposed herself and the process to “a field day”, as it was flawed. This would delay meetings. The process was deeply flawed.

Acting Chairperson said she did not want to be treated like a child -- she wanted to move forward. In her opening comments, she had mentioned the different types of abuse, so she would not undermine what the Members were proposing. The Content Advisor had given advice. If Adv Jenkins was in the meeting, it was his prerogative to assist with the meeting. She would not stop him from doing so, as he was appointed by Parliament.

Mr Z Mkiva (ANC, Eastern Cape) interjected to say he sensed “political mischief” from Mr Ryder. Mr Ryder had no authority to label a process as fraudulent. Who gave him this power? It was irresponsible of him to undermine the position and authority of the Acting Chairperson on groundless allegations. No wrong had been done. He was an ordinary Member of the Committee and should remain respectful. Perhaps the Committee was being too silent on this matter – Mr Ryder was in the wrong. Mr Nodada was advising on various matters which required legal assistance, and Mr Ryder was bringing the Committee down on issues of political superstition. The meeting should proceed.

Mr Aucamp pointed out that Mr Mkiva had spoken without raising his hand. The Committee had the right to raise issues where they were concerned. On five different occasions, he and Mr Ryder had previously asked the Acting Chairperson to seek advice from Adv Jenkins, and she had ignored them. They had all received the final mandates that morning. Five hours was not enough time to deliberate on a mandate -- this was an injustice to the country. Mr Ryder suggested they postpone this meeting for a week to do a thorough consultation, with ample time. This was a mockery of the timeframes which they had allowed themselves.

The Acting Chairperson noted that all had given their opinions, and suggested they proceed.

Ms Nkosi requested they proceed with the meeting.
Mr Ryder interjected that they were going to proceed, and it was Ms Nkosi who was halting the meeting.

Ms Nkosi was angered by this and mentioned that when Mr Ryder spoke, she had never once interjected.

The Acting Chairperson interjected to point out that her comments about the types of abuse covered what was happening currently -- that Mr Ryder, a man, was being disrespectful to a woman on the platform, and undermining her.

Ms Nkosi thanked the Acting Chairperson, and said Members on the platform must be respected.
The fraudulent claim was false, and, as such, should be removed. The Committee had based the process on the programme adopted by the House. They should proceed.

The Acting Chairperson agreed that they move forward with the next item on the agenda.

Committee minutes

The minutes of 27 November were flighted.

Mr Aucamp proposed some amendments. He referred to page 7, and asked for it to be added that he had to present the negotiating mandate, not the Acting Chairperson. He did not see mention of the conversation that had taken place the previous day regarding the postponement of the meeting and the suggestion to acquire legal advice. There was also no mention of the Acting Chairperson, who had initially said she would vote on the mandate but had abruptly changed her mind in the end. This should all be reflected in the minutes.

The Acting Chairperson responded that she had asked Mr Aucamp to present the Western Cape mandate on her behalf, as she had network issues. The postponement of the meeting had been because National Treasury was saying it was at short notice. The other matter was the nine days issue, on which they had gone back and forth on.

Mr Aucamp noted that Mr Ryder had indicated in the Zoom chat a proposal that it be stated that Mr Aucamp had assisted the Acting Chairperson. He was happy with this and asked for his last name to be correctly spelt.

He wanted it to go on record that the discussions previously had called for a postponement so the provinces would have more time to view the documents.

The Acting Chairperson mentioned that a Member had raised the point that if they delayed the matter further, the provinces and local government service delivery would be hampered.

Thereafter, the minutes were adopted with the amendments.

National Treasury's response to mandates

Ms Wendy Fanoe, Chief Director: Intergovernmental Policy and Planning, National Treasury, apologised to the Committee for submitting the response late. They tried their best to submit on time, but the time frames were very tight.

She suggested that they should rather respond to issues addressed by the Committee.

The Acting Chairperson asked that the issues be raised province by province.

Mr P Malema (ANC, Gauteng Provincial Legislature) said that they had noted the responses received from National Treasury, as stated in the minutes. They were happy with the received response.

Mr Mkiva suggested that they should not get into this discussion, as the provinces had indicated that they were happy with the responses received from National Treasury. They could skip this part and go to the final mandate, which was the most important.

Mr M Ndabeni (ANC, Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature) said he was covered by what Mr Mkiva had raised. The final mandate was important. They did not agree with National Treasury, but they would not oppose the Bill. They should engage National Treasury on such matters before the next financial year, as this continued to hamper service delivery, conditional grants and budget cuts. Mr Mkiva had been right to suggest that they proceed with the final mandate. National Treasury should not leave the meeting thinking the Committee agreed with them -- they did not. Next year, they would have a main appropriation Bill discussed where they would again raise these issues. National Treasury should be prepared in the meantime.

Mr F du Toit (FF+, North West) noted the Acting Chairperson’s network issues, and suggested that they accept her nomination of Ms M Mamaregane (ANC, Limpopo) as the new Acting Chairperson so that they may proceed. This was supported.

Mr Nodada said he would call the provinces as they proceeded, and the respective member would speak on the final mandate accordingly. He began with the Eastern Cape.

2023 Division of Revenue Amendment Final mandates
Mr Mkiva tabled the final mandate signed by the Eastern Cape Provincial Speaker. They voted in favour of the Bill.

The Free State voted in favour of the Bill.

Mr Ryder tabled the final mandate signed by the Gauteng Provincial Speaker. They voted in favour of the Bill, and gave special thanks to Mr Malema and members of his provincial committee.

Ms L Bebee (ANC, KZN), tabled the final mandate signed by the KZN Provincial Speaker. They voted in favour of the Bill.

Ms Mamaregane tabled the final mandate signed by the Limpopo Provincial Speaker. Limpopo was in favour of the Bill.

Ms Nkosi tabled the final mandate signed by the Provincial Speaker. Mpumalanga was in favour of the Bill.

Mr Aucamp tabled the final mandate signed by the Provincial Speaker. The Northern Cape voted in favour of the Bill.

Mr Du Toit tabled the final mandate signed by the Provincial Speaker. The North West Province was in favour of the Bill.

Mr Nodada interjected to remind the Committee that the Western Cape had not yet responded to his email, and it therefore remained that there was no final mandate from the Western Cape. At times, it happened that a certain province was unable to submit a final mandate, but when the process was escalated to the House, they would then submit a voting mandate. This was not the first time this had occurred.

The Acting Chairperson proposed that Mr Nodada liaise with her regarding the Western Cape the following day. This proposal was supported.

The final mandates of the eight provinces were adopted.

Committee Report: 2023 Division of Revenue Amendment

The report was adopted. The DA and FF+ indicated that they did not support the report, and the EFF reserved its position.

The meeting was adjourned.


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