National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill: consideration

Small Business Development

01 December 2023
Chairperson: Ms V Siwela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Committee met online to hear responses to outstanding questions and issues from the previous evening’s meeting on the National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill. This included the long title, reference to the Companies Act, small enterprise organisations, cooperative enterprises, unfair trading practices, the service delivery network, independent assessment of the Board's performance, and Section 13 on the National Service Delivery Network.

Following discussions, the Committee then adopted the A-List of the Bill where amendments concerned: Ensuring representativity of the Board from various provinces; Incorporating the term "inclusive economic growth" instead of "domestic economic growth; and Adjusting the appointment procedure of the Ombud to involve Parliament.

Meeting report

Opening remarks

The Chairperson, Ms V Siwela (ANC), outlined the agenda, which included the consideration, deliberation, and adoption of the A-list of the Small Enterprise Amendment Bill [B16 - 2023]. She declared the meeting officially open, welcomed everyone, and proceeded to item 2, the roll call. She inquired if there were any apologies.

Roll Call and Apologies

The Committee Secretary, Mr King Kunene, reported the Members present on the platform together with the officials from the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and legal advisors.  

Mr H Kruger (DA) had sent an apology, citing an urgent matter involving his wife's hospitalisation. Mr Kunene mentioned that Mr Kruger could join later if he resolved the emergency.

Adoption of the Agenda

The Chairperson acknowledged the apologies. Moving on to the next item, the adoption of the agenda.

Mr H April (ANC) proposed the adoption, and Mr E Myeni (ANC) seconded the motion.

The agenda was duly noted.

Second adoption of the Public Hearings Report

Mr Sibusiso Gumede, Committee Content Advisor, conveyed his appreciation for the opportunity and mentioned that during the report review the previous day, the Members were content with the quality of the report. He noted that the only outstanding matter related to the ease of doing business, which Mr Kruger had raised. Unfortunately, Mr Kruger was not present today to confirm if the revisions aligned with his expectations. Despite this, they incorporated exactly what Mr Kruger would have wanted in the document.

Mr Gumede briefly highlighted two observations, specifically focusing on red tape and tracking the ease of doing business. He opted not to go through the entire document, as the Committee had gone through it in the previous meeting. Instead, he focused on two observations and the recommendation related to the ease of doing business.

In the first observation, sections 7.6 and 7.7, they noted that red tape-related issues featured prominently in the hearings, written submissions, and oral sessions. Mr Gumede emphasised the importance of governments ensuring that rules and standards strike a balance to encourage small business startups. Measures to reduce red tape, possibly through granting more powers to the Ombuds Office, should find expression in the Bill.

Moving on to the second observation, 7.7, Mr Gumede expressed the Committee's concern about a disconnect and lack of synergy between the Presidency's Ease of Doing Business programme, initiated in 2019, and the Department.

Concerning recommendations, the final one, 8.5, suggested that the Department should intensify efforts and collaborate more closely with the Presidency to address red tape-related bottlenecks. The ease of doing business within the Department should align with the Presidency, incorporating a verifiable and measurable performance matrix. Mr Gumede concluded by expressing uncertainty about the acceptability of these amendments, particularly to Mr Kruger, who unfortunately was not present in the meeting.

See report here


Mr April acknowledged that Mr Gumede had effectively captured what Mr Kruger had asked for. He expressed agreement with the inclusion, especially regarding the matter of the Presidency. He concluded by endorsing the addition made.

The Chairperson expressed gratitude and asked if there were any additional contributions. She confirmed that the content was accurately captured, and Members were satisfied. The Chairperson emphasised the collective effort to address the issue of red tape, highlighting its prominence across all provinces. Seeking agreement, she then requested someone to propose the adoption of the report, enabling the transition to the next agenda item, which involved considering the Bill clauses.

Mr J De Villiers (DA) expressed his discomfort with the last line of the added content. He noted that it was his understanding that Mr Kruger's task of reducing red tape did not necessarily imply giving the Ombudsman more powers. He stated that he did not recall such a comment in stakeholder inputs or public participation sessions. According to him, the last sentence seemed to attempt to grant more far-reaching powers, and he disagreed with it. He mentioned that the sentence did not accurately reflect the discussions, as there were complaints about red tape, but no one had proposed empowering the Ombudsman to eliminate it, which, in his view, did not make sense.

The Chairperson appreciated Mr De Villiers offering his perspective, emphasising the collaborative effort within the Committee. The main focus was on addressing the issue of red tape, which was deemed essential. The inclusion of the Ombudsman's role might have introduced some complexity. In response to Mr De Villiers' discomfort with the last sentence, the Chairperson urged him to contribute to finding an optimal solution. The Chairperson mentioned that there was a need to reduce red tape with the Ombudsman seen as a supportive element in handling the diverse facets of the issue. The Legal Advisor and the Content Advisor were also encouraged to provide clarification and assistance in resolving concerns.

The Content Advisor highlighted the importance of the last sentence, citing the submissions from the South African Cooperative Banking Association and Takealot as supporting examples. He noted that while some suggestions from Members may not have explicitly called for granting more powers to the Ombuds office, there was an implicit direction in that regard. The emphasis was on the Ombudsman having authority or power, and he expressed uncertainty about the specific term, suggesting that the legal team could provide guidance. According to him, the key point was that public sentiment indicated the need for the Ombuds office to have a significant impact and influence, capturing the essence of the particular sentence under discussion.

The Chairperson invited Ms Telana Halley-Starkey, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, along with other Members, to join the discussion. The Chairperson acknowledged the potential complexity of the issue of red tape, emphasising that various facets may arise. She emphasised the importance of the Ombudsman taking effective action and underscored the need for a comprehensive resolution. The Chairperson highlighted the impracticality of merely establishing an office without determining the approach for its functionality.

Mr De Villiers apologised for the interruption and proposed a potential resolution to streamline the discussion. He acknowledged Mr Gumede's assertion and verified the wording of a specific submission. Mr De Villiers emphasised the rapid pace of the proceedings and explained that he was accessing information from his phone. Upon reviewing the submission, he noted that it suggested the achievement of the desired outcome might involve granting more authority to the Ombudsman. Reflecting on this, he found comfort in the conditional language used, indicating that it "may be achieved." Consequently, Mr De Villiers expressed his comfort with proceeding, as the language implied a discretionary rather than mandatory course of action.

The Chairperson expressed gratitude to Mr De Villiers, commending his familiarity with the matter at hand. She acknowledged his informative input and emphasised the collaborative effort in navigating the complexities of the Bill. The Chairperson underscored the significance of this collective endeavour, given the unique nature of the situation. She stressed the importance of mutual assistance in addressing this novel legislative scenario. Concluding her remarks, the Chairperson expressed appreciation to Mr De Villiers and signalled the readiness to proceed, extending an invitation for further contributions.

Mr April noted that his hand had been raised for some time without recognition. Further, he acknowledged that Mr De Villiers' recent input had addressed the points he intended to make. Consequently, he formally withdrew his raised hand and expressed his comfort with the current content under discussion. Mr April acknowledged the substantial challenge posed by red tape and emphasised the importance of examining various perspectives and strategies to tackle it.

Adoption of the Public Hearings Report

The Chairperson extended an invitation to Members to endorse the Public Hearings Report as an accurate representation of the proceedings.

Mr April proposed the adoption of the report.

Mr F Jacobs (ANC) seconded the motion.

Mr De Villiers requested that the Democratic Alliance reserve their position on the matter. He expressed gratitude and explained the reason behind this request. Mr De Villiers cited the challenging time constraints, making it difficult to scrutinise every detail thoroughly. While not intending to vote against the report, he expressed hesitancy to immediately adopt it. Instead, he suggested reserving their position for further consideration.

The Chairperson noted Mr De Villiers’ remarks and asked for the meeting to proceed with the agenda.

Responses to Questions Raised in Clauses of the National Small Enterprise A/Bill

Ms Halley-Starkey outlined the version of the Bill used in the previous night's meeting, highlighting sections flagged for responses from the Department or legal services. She explained that during the morning, discussions were held with the Department and drafters, resulting in drafting the A-list and responses to issues raised.

Addressing specific issues:

Amendment to Long Title

Ms Halley-Starkey clarified that the long title did not require amendment, as the details on empowering the Minister were adequately covered in Section 17(y)

Reference to Companies Act

After checking the Companies Amendment Act, it was confirmed that the referenced sections in this Act were not being amended, addressing Mr Kruger's request.

Small Enterprise Organisations

Ms Halley-Starkey explained the distinction between small enterprises and small enterprise organisations, noting that the reference to late payment or non-payment would only involve small enterprises, not organisations. No proposed amendments were made.

Cooperative Enterprises

The definition included cooperative banks and financial institutions, validated through a check of the Cooperative Banks Act in 2017. Ms Halley-Starkey clarified that small enterprises included cooperatives, cooperative financial institutions, and cooperative banks.

Unfair Trading Practices

Ms Halley-Starkey indicated that an amendment to Section 17Y would address this issue, to be discussed later.

Service Delivery Network

The definition and objectives were clarified, explaining the synergy of service delivery partners and the agency's role in creating an ecosystem. Ms Halley-Starkey emphasised the historical continuity of this provision since 1996.

Independent Assessment of the Board's Performance

It was explained that the three-year interval for an independent assessment was appropriate, distinguishing it from the annual assessments conducted by the Board.

Section 13 - National Service Delivery Network

Ms Halley-Starkey clarified that it mirrored the previous 9(a) of the National Small Enterprises Act, with additional language about historically disadvantaged people.

Concluding her input, Ms Halley-Starkey proposed going through all responses first before presenting suggestions, seeking approval from the Chairperson.

The Chairperson agreed and stated that Ms Halley-Starkey’s suggestion would assist the Committee.

Ms Halley-Starkey indicated her intention to revisit a suggested change. She addressed concerns about the absence of provincial structures and physical agency presence in each province. Ms Halley-Starkey explained that the limitation was financial, as physical buildings in every province were not feasible. However, she emphasised the agency's operation in a digital landscape, leveraging technology for connectivity to each province.


Mr April sought clarification on whether the responses covered all issues discussed the previous day or only those where changes were proposed. He expressed concern about potential duplication or time wastage and suggested focusing solely on the items with proposed changes.

Ms Halley-Starkey addressed Mr April's concern, clarifying that she was systematically going through all the highlighted questions and proposed changes. She explained that any section not highlighted in red (in the document that she was presenting) was presumed to remain unchanged. Ms Halley-Starkey assured that, at this point, no amendments had been made to the Bill as she had provided responses to each raised question. She indicated her intention to explain any amendments when presenting the actual A-list, seeking guidance through the Chairperson.

The Chairperson acknowledged Mr April's attempt to assist and clarified that Ms Halley-Starkey's approach involved addressing all the highlighted questions and proposed changes before going back to discuss each clause.

Mr April affirmed that he was satisfied with the explanation.

Ms Halley-Starkey, through the Chairperson, sought feedback from the Members, asking if there was anything she had mentioned that they disagreed with, needed clarification on, or if her explanations had been sufficient.

The Chairperson reminded Members that the responses provided by Ms Halley-Starkey were the result of their directive from the previous evening to consult with the Department and the legal team. The Chairperson invited Members to share their thoughts and opinions on the presented responses.

Ms Halley-Starkey informed the Chairperson that she had not completed all the responses but expressed her willingness to address any questions at that moment.

The Chairperson encouraged her to continue and finalise the responses without interruption, emphasising the need to proceed with the discussion and avoid unnecessary delays.

Ms Halley-Starkey addressed several points, beginning with Section 16. A suggested change proposed that the Board must consist of a minimum of seven and a maximum of 13 directors. The question raised was why these members could not come from different provinces. Ms Halley-Starkey clarified that the Board, treated as a state-owned company with the Minister as the shareholder, prioritised competence and expertise over geographical location. She explained that representativity would be addressed in Clause Y, involving provincial structures and digital means. Additionally, she mentioned a proposed amendment to include local representation at the municipal level, to be presented later.

Regarding advocacy, raised by Mr Kruger, a change was suggested to provide a clearer definition of advocacy. Ms Halley-Starkey mentioned considering the Australian Small Business Ombudsman as guidance and proposed amendments, to be elaborated on with the A-list.

She justified the presence of more than one deputy by highlighting the need for accessibility.

The term limit of seven years for the Board was questioned, and a proposal to change it to five years was made, which Ms Halley-Starkey indicated she would show in the A-list.

Moving on to Section 17Y, she informed Members that suggestions were considered regarding the Minister's power to declare a practice unfair.

Ms Halley-Starkey expressed her intention to present the A-list, but before doing so, she offered Members an opportunity for questions of clarity.

The Chairperson thanked Members for their attention and acknowledged that the questions raised the previous day had been addressed. She emphasised that if any Members were not satisfied with the responses, it was their responsibility to express concerns before proceeding to adopt the A-list. The Chairperson then invited Members to raise their hands and share their thoughts.

Further Discussion

Mr Jacobs expressed his satisfaction with the presentation from the Legal Advisor. He acknowledged the rationale behind the provincial breakdown and indicated his contentment with the work done. Mr Jacobs noted that the presentation likely represented consensus among officials, the Department, and the legal team. He concluded by stating his comfort and happiness with the overall progress, stating that he had no additional inputs.

Ms Nwabisa Mbelekane, Committee Researcher, through the Chairperson, requested a revisit to the issue she had raised the previous day concerning Section 13, specifically items 10, 11, and 12. She highlighted a technical aspect, suggesting a change from "domestic economic growth" to "inclusive economic growth," noting that in public policy discussions, the term "inclusive economic growth" is commonly used. She referred to the relevant page number as page 6, focusing on the agencies' powers and functions.

Mr De Villiers sought clarification, expressing a need to confirm whether the discussion was progressing toward Section 17Y and if there were still proposed amendments to be discussed.

The Chairperson confirmed that it was the appropriate time to discuss Section 17Y, noting that the Legal Advisor had provided responses and submitted them from the legal perspective.

Mr B Luthuli (IFP) raised a specific concern about the composition of the Board. He acknowledged satisfaction with the overall discussion but highlighted his worry regarding the Minister's directive that board members need not be from all provinces. Mr Luthuli pointed out that during public hearings, there were calls for board members to be chosen from within the provinces they represent, allowing them to better understand and represent the needs of the local community. He posed a question on how the issue would be resolved if the Department or Minister refused to select the Board based on South African provinces. Mr Luthuli emphasised the importance of addressing the concerns of citizens who feel distant from decision-making processes.

The Chairperson acknowledged Mr Luthuli's concern and expressed agreement with the sentiment raised. The Chairperson emphasised the importance of respecting the views of the people on the ground, as highlighted during the public hearings. Contrary to the Legal Advisor and the Department's response, the Chairperson disagreed and stressed that skills were present in all provinces, making it feasible to have board members from various regions. The Chairperson echoed the call for board members to be representative of all provinces and supported the idea put forth by Mr Luthuli.

The Chairperson further advocated for a term limit of five years instead of seven, expressing satisfaction with the overall progress and congratulating everyone for their hard work. The Chairperson urged the discussion to move forward, particularly focusing on Section 17Y, and invited the Legal Advisor to present the A-list for further engagement.

Ms Mbelekane raised a concern about the appointment of the Ombudsman, specifically in relation to whether the issue of the Ombudsman being appointed on the recommendation of the National Assembly had been addressed. She mentioned that this concern was previously raised by Mr Kruger and sought clarification on its resolution.

The Chairperson acknowledged Ms Mbelekane's question and requested assistance or suggestions on the matter of the Ombudsman's appointment, particularly in response to Mr Kruger's concerns. The Chairperson invited Ms Halley-Starkey to provide insights or guide the Committee on addressing this issue.

Ms Halley-Starkey responded to Ms Mbelekane's question, noting that the issue of the Ombudsman's appointment had been addressed in the previous night's meeting. She clarified that both Parliament and the Minister were involved in the appointment process. However, she expressed uncertainty about any additional questions or clarifications that might be needed.

Ms Mbelekane, through the Chairperson, clarified the point raised by Mr Kruger. She indicated he was suggesting a process similar to the one used for the SABC board, where the recruitment process and interviews go through Parliament. The recommendation is then made to the President. In this context, the proposal was for the Committee to handle the recruitment process, make the recommendation to the Minister, and follow a similar pattern to the SABC board appointment process.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Mbelekane for her input and suggested that Ms Halley-Starkey take note of the suggestion regarding the appointment process for the Ombudsman, particularly the idea of involving Parliament in a manner similar to the process used for the SABC board.

Ms Halley-Starkey requested a brief pause to clarify two proposals. The first proposal involved adding an amendment or section to ensure the Board's makeup is representative of all provinces. She sought confirmation from the entire Committee on this proposal and requested resolution to proceed with amending the A-list accordingly. The second proposal, raised by Ms Mbelekane, pertained to Section 13, specifically the last item. Ms Halley-Starkey sought clarification or confirmation on the details of this proposal.

Ms Mbelekane clarified her earlier proposal, stating that it pertained to the change from "domestic economic growth" to "inclusive economic growth" in Section 13. She sought confirmation or clarification on this specific amendment.

Ms Halley-Starkey presented the third proposed change, stating that the appointment of the Ombudsman should be through the Minister via Parliament.

Mr April clarified Ms Mbelekane's point, noting that she was referring to the recommendation made the previous day. The recommendation was that the Board conducts interviews and makes recommendations to the Minister, who then appoints the Ombudsman. He highlighted the similarity to the process followed for the SABC board.

The Chairperson clarified the point, emphasising that when referring to Parliament, it meant the Committee. To simplify, the Chairperson suggested adopting the route of having the Committee handle the appointment process, aligning with both Mr April's and Ms Mbelekane's points.

Mr De Villiers expressed agreement with the proposal and suggested giving Ms Halley-Starkey the mandate to ensure the wording is accurate. He outlined the process, mentioning that the Committee would conduct interviews, select the Board, compile a report adopted in Parliament, and then the Minister would appoint the Board after the report's adoption. Mr De Villiers emphasised the importance of wording the process correctly and suggested granting the Legal Advisor the mandate to incorporate it into the A-list.

Ms Halley-Starkey clarified that the specific wording for the proposed changes was not currently available on the A-list. She explained that the Committee could give her a mandate to correct the A-list, and once finalised, it could be circulated for agreement. Ms Halley-Starkey was open to the Committee's decision on how to proceed.

The Chairperson suggested proceeding with the discussion on other clauses and then returning to address the proposed changes regarding the appointment process later. The Committee was advised to continue with the examination of clauses.

Clauses Further Examination

Ms Halley-Starkey outlined several proposed changes to the Bill during the Committee meeting. These included suggestions for Clause 4 on Page 7, such as establishing provincial structures and facilitating devolution at the municipal level, subject to resource availability.

Another proposed change, affecting Line 36 on Page 9, aimed to clarify advocacy functions "in relation to the powers and functions of the ombud."

Additionally, amendments were suggested for the term of office, changing it from seven to five years on both Pages 9 and 10.

Further adjustments involved including "electronically" in relation to keeping records on Page 16. The most significant proposed change was in Section 17(y) on Page 17, aiming to modify the Minister's power to declare certain practices by inserting "on the recommendation of the ombud" after the word "may."

Lastly, Ms Halley-Starkey discussed the deletion of Section 17(y)(3), arguing that it was unnecessary as the guiding principles in Section 17(y)(4) could serve as an adequate gauge for unfair trading practices.

Further discussion

Mr De Villiers expressed his agreement and support for the proposed amendments, summarising his points for clarity. He agreed with the geographical representation amendment, supporting Ms Halley-Starkey's mandate to find the right words for the A-list. He also supported the proposal for the Ombud's appointment to go through Parliament.

Regarding Section 17Y, he sought confirmation that the Minister could only declare something an unfair business practice if it had been referred by the Ombudsman, and he sought clarification on the deletion of subsection 3 of Section 17Y. Mr De Villiers indicated that while he needed more time to thoroughly review the changes and consult with legal advisors, it appeared that Parliament's legal services had made positive changes, aligning powers with a more rational approach. His final question was whether Ms Halley-Starkey and parliamentary legal services were confident that the amended clause would withstand constitutional scrutiny, preventing potential challenges in the Constitutional Court.

The Chairperson requested assistance from the state law advisors to finalise the wording for the clause related to the appointment of the Board, specifically stating that Parliament should appoint the Board. The Chairperson acknowledged that this was the only missing element and sought help from the legal advisors to formulate the sentence correctly. The Chairperson expressed agreement with the proposed amendments, including the deletion of Section 3 and the changes to Section 17Y, emphasising the importance of proper wording in the clause related to the board appointment.

Ms Halley-Starkey clarified Mr De Villiers' interpretation of Section 17Y, confirming that the Minister cannot declare an unfair trading practice without recommendations from the Ombudsman. She further explained the procedural steps involved, including consultation with relevant ministers and advertising in the Gazette. Ms Halley-Starkey suggested two options: either stand down for 30 minutes to amend the A-list and then come back to adopt it formally, or adopt the A-list later in writing with the Chairperson's instructions.

The Chairperson indicated that the second option, adopting the A-list later in writing with the Chairperson's instructions, would be a suitable approach to avoid derailing the process.

Members expressed their agreement and satisfaction, particularly regarding Section 17Y, which had been a contentious issue.

Ms Halley-Starkey highlighted three additions suggested during the meeting:

  1. Ensuring representativity of the Board from various provinces.
  2. Incorporating the term "inclusive economic growth" instead of "domestic economic growth."
  3. Adjusting the appointment procedure of the Ombud to involve Parliament.

These changes were discussed and would be incorporated into the A-list later.

The Chairperson is suggested two options: a) Adopt the A-list with the proposed changes, and Ms Halley-Starkey would go and make the necessary amendments, or b) Adjourn for 30 minutes, allow time for the changes to be incorporated into the A-list, and then reconvene to formally adopt it.

Mr April raised a concern about gender-neutral language in the clause regarding the Ombud, suggesting that it should have read "he or she" for inclusivity.

Mr De Villiers proposed a 30-minute break to allow the Legal Advisor to refine the wording and reconvene to ensure accuracy in the amendments.

Mr Jacobs expressed support for adopting the amendments with the understanding that the wording would be refined during a 30-minute break.

The Chairperson sought advice from Mr Sisa Makabeni, State Law Advisor, regarding the two proposals: adopting the amendments or adjourning for 30 minutes to finalise the wording of a particular clause.

Mr Makabeni suggested taking a 10-minute break to work on the changes and then reconvene to adopt the document.

The Chairperson agreed, and the meeting went on a break for tea.

The meeting went on a 10-minute break.

Ms Halley-Starkey presented the changes made to the document based on the Committee's proposals. These changes reflected the Committee's decisions on various sections of the document.

Here are the summarised changes:

  1. Page 7, Line 2: Omit "domestic" and substitute "inclusive."
  2. Page 7, Line 5: After "functions," insert "including, subject to the availability of resources, facilitating the devolution of such implementation at the municipal level."
  3. Page 8, Line 12: After "collectively," insert "representative of the 9 provinces."
  4. Page 9, Line 36: After "functions," insert "in relation to the powers and functions of the Ombudsman."
  5. Page 9, Line 38: After "vacancy," insert "following a transparent nomination process and a shortlisting by the National Assembly."
  6. Page 9, Line 45: Omit "7" and substitute "5."
  7. Page 10, Line 2: Omit "7" and substitute "5."
  8. Page 16, Line 2: After "records," insert "including electronically."
  9. Page 17, Line 11: After "May," insert "on the recommendation of the Ombud."
  10. Page 17, Line 13: Omit "5" and substitute "4."
  11. Page 17, Line 29: Omit "3" and renumber the following sections accordingly.
  12. Page 18, Line 15: Omit "7" and substitute "6."
  13. Page 18, Line 20: Omit "8" and substitute "7."
  14. Page 18, Line 21: Omit "8" and substitute "7."

The Chairperson requested Members’ inputs.

Mr De Villiers sought clarification on whether the amendments to clause Y (Section 17Y maybe?) had been discussed or if they were still pending.

Ms K Tlhomelang (ANC) expressed her agreement with the proposed amendments, indicating that the issues raised before the adjournment, including the representation per province, were covered in the provided information.

Without further comments or objections, the Chairperson requested a mover to adopt the A-list as a true reflection of the proposed amendments.

Ms Mbeleka suggested including the Deputy Ombudsman in the section related to the appointment of the Ombud, as per the Bill where the Minister appoints both the Ombud and the Deputy Ombud. Ms Mbeleka suggested including the deputy ombud in Section 17(f), which pertains to the appointment of the Ombud and deputy ombud.

The Chairperson indicated reliance on the legal advisors, expressing uncertainty about any objections or disputes related to the highlighted issues discussed during the meeting. The Chairperson then invited the Legal Advisor to provide further input.

Mr Makabeni highlighted the customary practice where the appointment of deputies is not typically included in such processes. He emphasised that the discretion lies with the Minister, allowing flexibility based on the office's structure and the evolving requirements for appointments.

The Chairperson acknowledged Mr Makabeni’s point, emphasising the uncertainty of the demands and structure of the office, suggesting that there might be multiple deputies needed.

Ms Halley-Starkey highlighted the need for accessibility and flexibility in the appointment of deputies for the Ombudsman, suggesting that going through another nomination process for each additional deputy might be cumbersome for Parliament.

Adoption of the A-list

Mr April moved for adoption with Mr Luthuli seconding the motion.

The Chairperson announced that the A-list was adopted.

Mr De Villiers requested to reserve the opposition of the Democratic Alliance on the adoption, explaining that he needs more time to review and analyse the changes made.

The meeting was adjourned.

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