Arbour Day Programme: briefing

Water and Sanitation

30 August 1999
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Meeting report

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY

Water Affairs & Forestry Portfolio Committee
31 August 1999
Abour Day Programme

SUMMARY
The Portfolio Committee was briefed by the Chairperson on the plans of the Minister and Department for Arbour Day. The committee members were encouraged to attend the functions.

MINUTES
The Chairperson, Ms Sonjica (African National Congress) welcomed the Members of Parliament to the first meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry. She was looking forward to a healthy relationship with the members. She hoped the Portfolio Committee would be guided by the principle of striving to contribute to changing and improving the lives of people, through the delivery of water services.

Ms Sonjica apologised for the short notice of the meeting. The key reason for the meeting was to discuss the plans for arbour Day that had been set up by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The theme for the day was "Arbour day is everyday". A second theme of Arbour day was the commemoration of hero's of the struggle, in particular the women who had been killed, raped and abused. The Chairperson had arranged for local travelling costs to the various Cape Town events to be paid by the Department, and two combis would take MP's to the official opening in Gugulethu. The whips of the various parties have also agreed that the chief whip of the majority party would table a motion supporting arbour day. The Chair had also prepared a press release, which would be read out at the official opening with the Minister at the site of Amy Biehls murder.

After a brief discussion on arrangements for getting the members to the Cape Town events, Mr Arendse (African National Congress) suggested that even though the Portfolio Committee had limited funds, it would be appropriated that the Portfolio Committee had some representation at events in other Provinces. He therefore suggested that the Chair should try and attend some of the events in other provinces, using the Portfolio Committee budget.

Mr Maluleke (Democratic Party) seconded the motion. He added that the Portfolio Committee should live the theme, making everyday an arbour day, and encouraging programmes that greened the country, encouraging schools and communities to plant trees.

The Chairperson noted that a provisional date for the Minister and Department to brief the Portfolio Committee had been set for the morning of the 14 September. The agenda for the meeting included an introduction to the Portfolio Committee, and briefings on the functions of the department, the structure of the department and the staff, the Departmental budget, the transformation process, and key issues facing the department. At the suggestion of the Portfolio Committee, future legislation plans and future plans for dams were added to the list.

The Chair added that Parliament would soon be running a programme on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for Parliamentarians. The Chair therefore thought that a briefing by the department on the Budget would be a good idea. She asked whether any of the members had suggestions as to further issues for the Portfolio Committee programme.

A member of the committee suggested that the water boards should brief the Portfolio Committee. The chair requested that the party study groups think of other institutions that they would like to receive briefings on. The department was working on a documentation package for the Portfolio Committee members.

The meeting was closed.

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