Expropriation Bill: Final Mandates; Department of Transport 2022/23 Annual Report: with Deputy Minister

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Meeting Summary



North West did not submit final mandate

Department of Transport gave a briefing on its 2022/23 Annual Report with overall achievement of performance targets recorded at 77%. However, during the annual audit, material findings were identified in the performance reports for Programmes 3, 4, and 7. Material misstatements were found in the reported performance information for all selected programmes under audit. Despite being notified of these discrepancies, management failed to correct all the misstatements, resulting in findings being reported.

The provincial legislatures presented their final mandates on the Expropriation Bill [B23B – 2020]. There were eight final mandates as North West failed to submit in time. Seven provinces supported the Expropriation Bill. The Western Cape did not support it.

In consideration of the Committee Report on the Bill, the KwaZulu-Natal delegate objected to voting on the Bill as the proper final mandate procedure had not been followed according to section 3(b) of the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Act. Four final mandates were questionable as the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Western Cape provincial legislatures had not yet adopted them only their standing committees. The Mpumalanga delegate also objected to proceeding with the vote. The objections were noted but the Committee

Meeting report

Department of Transport on its 2022/23 Annual Report
Mr Bosa Ramantsi, DoT Head: Strategy & Planning, gave a performance overview noting key performance highlights per programme, selected consolidated indicators, governance matters, and a summary of the Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) audit report.

Overall performance was recorded at 77%. However, during the annual audit, material findings were identified in the performance reports for Programmes 3, 4, and 7. Material misstatements were found in the reported performance information for all selected programmes under audit. Despite being notified of these discrepancies, management failed to correct all the misstatements, resulting in these findings (see presentation).

Ms H Boshoff (DA, Free State) welcomed the reduction in fatal aviation accidents by 25%. She asked for an indication of who is under review and why. She had submitted a question about a certain flying school/club in Cape Town for which she had not received a response yet. Secondly, she asked about the outcome and costs for the 74 bursaries given to DoT employees. It is great giving out bursaries, but Members need to get a report on the outcome of these bursaries. Thirdly, she asked about the status of the precautionary suspension.

Ms Boshoff noted that the 8,000 bicycle target is a great initiative, but DoT only managed to give out 2 901; could DoT increase this number? How many were still in use and who was responsible for the repairs to these bicycles? Learners are given these bicycles but who maintains and repairs them as these students were in dire situations and could not afford the associated costs.

Mr T Brauteseth (DA, KwaZulu-Natal) said the report only presented one case of irregular expenditure, but the corrective measures referred to nine, five and seven cases and this seemed unusual. He asked for the amounts of the irregular expenditure.

Mr Brauteseth said the R102 on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal suffered damage in the April 2022 floods. At the Mkhomazi River bridge there is a section of the road washed away. Sanral took over the repairs from the provincial department due to insufficient funds, but the R102 remains unrepaired with half of the road gone which cannot be used. This is causing major backlogs in the area and has a huge impact on the tourism industry with one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. What is DoT doing to repair the R102 road?

Mr M Dangor (ANC, Gauteng) said underspending did not necessarily mean savings but it meant non-delivery. He noticed underspending in several programmes and asked DoT to provide a broad view of its underspending.

He wanted to know the status of the rail line from Orange Farm to Johannesburg, and when it will be completed. Secondly, work is underway on the rail line from Randfontein to Johannesburg, but there are no security personnel at the railway stations. He believed that they may be vandalised again.

Mr T Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape) suggested that in future DoT should provide details on the footprint of its programmes in the nine provinces Members represent. He commented on the underspending in some programmes – Administration was underspent by R44.7 million due to items and projects that will commence in 2024/25. Why would DoT include this project in 2023/24 APP but it targets it to commence only in the next financial year?

DoT lists the areas of underspending, but it does not provide reasons those projects were not realised. Consequence management is also not indicated for failing to meet performance indicators. It is rare to witness senior management being disciplined for failing to meet targets or underperform.

He asked about the 23% vacancy rate, which exceeds the 10% threshold set by DPSA. He wanted to know how many employees DoT could hire to reduce the vacancy rate.

Mr Rayi asked if the Vala Zonke programme was being monitored. It would assist greatly to get details on how the programme is performing in each province. This could be provided in writing within seven days.

The audit findings on lack of compliance with procurement legislation and poor contract management were indicated to be immaterial by the DoT CFO, but it led to AGSA findings.

He requested a written provincial breakdown of road infrastructure and job creation projects. However, he was unsure of the role of National DoT for the audit findings of provinces in the sector. The presentation isolated the North West, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces for qualified audit opinions for the past four years. What is DoT doing to intervene and assist these provincial departments to perform better?

AGSA drew attention to infrastructure projects, specifically the upgrade of the R23 which aimed to create 270 jobs in the Standerton area. However, the audit found that a proper needs assessment and feasibility study were not conducted, which led to project delays, increased costs, and financial losses. Contractors were paid for work that did not meet the required quality standards, and payments made to consultants were not in line with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) guidelines. Excessive variations were made without prior approval due to the lack of a proper needs assessment and feasibility study. There was also a lack of accountability to take action against non-performance by contractors and professional service providers. Project managers failed to adequately review project claims before approving payments. As a result, project delays led to project overruns, putting pressure on the fiscus, and the deterioration of roads resulting in road accidents.

The second project highlighted by AGSA was the upgrading of Sterkspruit to Mlamli road in the Eastern Cape. Expenditure incurred was R11.9 million for remedial work to finish the site. Gross quantity over-measurement resulted in a variation amount of R33.5 million. What is DoT doing to intervene in the mismanagement of funds on this project?

As for the Rural Roads Asset Management Systems Grant, the report indicates R115 million available but only R49.3 million utilised. He asked DoT to follow up why the allocations were not being spent when the roads needed to be upgraded and maintained.

Deputy Minister response
Mr Lisa Mangcu, Deputy Minister of Transport, said that roads denoted with an ‘R’ mean it is a provincial road, and the NDoT could not be responsible. However, Members may be privy to the Minister imploring provinces to hand over critical roads. The R23 in Standerton is one such road. NDoT would respond in writing on the status of the roads.

The maintenance of bicycles is a complementary or supplementary part of the scholar transport programme, which is handled by provinces. The targeted beneficiaries are children who walk a minimum of three kilometres to school. Once the bicycles are handed over, DoT encourages the School Governing Body (SGB) to assist parents in maintaining them, by allowing small businesses to operate within the school that can provide repair services to learners. Although DoT does not get involved at that level, schools have been urged to explore this idea. DoT has decided to go back to the schools to evaluate the condition of the bicycles and determine their value for money. However, some provinces have already reported an increase in attendance due to the provision of bicycles. DoT plans to conduct a sample survey to determine what happened to the bicycles already distributed. The intention is to distribute more bicycles, and in Mpumalanga (Nkangala and Gert Sibande Districts) last week, DoT handed over 1 500 bicycles.

Ms Boshoff noted in the chat box that her province Free State was not participating in this programme.

The Deputy Minister replied that Members would know as representatives of provinces that this function is a concurrent function. The provinces are responsible for maintaining what is theirs. It does not solve the long-term challenge if NDoT is always taking over from provinces. However, NDoT wants to assist by closing gaps where gaps exist in the capacity of provinces.

Operation Vala Zonke is monitored and its call centre is hosted by SANRAL at the Central Command Centre in Midrand. People must report potholes and the reports are captured and sent to the municipalities or provinces to respond. SANRAL and DoT do not have a team of fieldworkers or maintenance workers who go out physically to fix the potholes. However, there is a coordinated effort to monitor and follow up to ensure the potholes are closed. Local municipalities are still responsible for repairing local roads, but Vala Zonke is about pooling resources together to close potholes throughout the country. He suggested that the Committee invite SANRAL to brief it on the details of this programme.

On the negative audit outcomes of some provincial transport departments, provinces have responsibilities and must address their negative audit outcomes. DoT does not supervise the provinces on how they should respond to audit findings. To the extent that it affects the NDoT audit outcome, it may take a keen interest in closely monitoring the province or the municipality. He recalled that recently NDoT and National Treasury intervened in the Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) and decided to suspend three municipalities due to non-spending. In addition, at the MINMEC level, the Minister can raise these concerns with the MECs.

Due to time constraints the Chairperson suggested that the outstanding answers be provided in writing. Also, several reports were referred to during the presentation and they must be shared with the Committee. Lastly, the Committee will need an update on the progress made on the audit findings on the performance information..

Final mandates on Expropriation Bill [B23B-2020]
The Committee Secretary noted that the Committee had received eight mandates with only the North West province outstanding.

Mr Brauteseth was concerned that most of the mandates came through while they were sitting in the meeting. Thus Members have not had a chance to evaluate these mandates. He had severe concerns about some of the mandates received.

The Chairperson said that he may bring these matters up once the provincial mandates have been processed. He asked him to allow the Members to go through the mandates first and then he can comment thereafter.

Eastern Cape
Mr Rayi said that he had received the mandate some time ago, and it was resent to him last night by the provincial liaison officer. Eastern Cape votes in favour of the Bill and mandates the Eastern Cape permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to vote in favour of the Bill.

Free State
Ms M Moshodi (ANC, Free State) submitted that the Free State Legislature voted in favour of the Expropriation Bill [B23B – 2020].

Mr Dangor submitted that the Gauteng Legislature supports the principle and the detail of the Bill and therefore voted in favour of the Bill.

Mr Brautenseth submitted that the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature agreed to mandate the delegation to the NCOP to support the Expropriation Bill.

Ms M Mamaregane (ANC, Limpopo) submitted that the Limpopo Legislature voted in favour of the Bill.

Ms Boshoff submitted that the province of Mpumalanga hereby conferred its mandate to vote in favour of the Bill.

Northern Cape
The Chairperson submitted that the Northern Cape Legislature supported the Bill.

The Committee Secretary indicated that the North West Legislature would submit its mandate to the House.

Western Cape
The Chairperson read the Western Cape Legislature confers on the Western Cape delegation the authority not to support the Bill.

The Committee Secretary tabulated and stated that one province did not submit its mandate, and one province did not support the Bill. Seven provinces are in support of the Bill.

Mandate procedure discussion
Mr Brauteseth pointed Members to the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Act 2008. Section 3(b) indicated that the final mandate must indicate if the provincial legislature votes in favour of or against or abstains from voting on the Bill. The information he received from the Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs) in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Western Cape is that none of these provinces put the Final Mandate Committee Report before their legislatures to adopt. This brings into question if those final mandates are final mandates. He suggested that the Committee should pause and consider if the final mandates were processed or not. Four mandates were presented today that are questionable. They may be ratified later but the Act is clear that there must be a vote in the provincial legislature. It does not mean that a committee may present a final mandate as if it comes from the Legislature. Those provincial legislatures must go through the same process as the other five provincial legislatures. North West has done its final mandate but it has not yet been submitted.

He was concerned that this may be outside required procedure. Stakeholders could attack the passing of the Bill in the NCOP because of this. No Rules of any House can override legislation. Therefore, the DA will not be supporting the Committee Report based on the issues he raised.

Ms Boshoff agreed with Mr Brauteseth, saying if this Bill goes through, it will set a bad precedent.

Mr Rayi pointed out that for Section 76 Bills, Members operate based on provinces, not on individual political parties. The provinces state in their reports the processes followed. We do not go to provinces to ask about processes followed in the provinces. If Members have declarations, they can make declarations in the House. They are also welcome to challenge the process legally.

The Chairperson noted the comments and stated that as outlined in the Committee Report, most provinces supported the Bill.

Committee Report on Expropriation Bill
The Committee Secretary presented the Committee Report.

KwaZulu-Natal, represented by Mr Brauteseth and Mpumalanga, represented by Ms Boshoff, objected to the adoption of the Committee Report on procedural grounds.

The Chairperson noted the objections and indicated that the Report was supported by five provinces with no abstentions. Thus, the Committee Report on the Bill was adopted.

Committee minutes for the 6 March meeting were adopted and the meeting adjourned.


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