Committee Legacy Report; Ingonyama Trust Board matters

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

26 March 2024
Chairperson: Nkosi Z Mandela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Portfolio Committee convened virtually for its final meeting to consider and adopt the Legacy Report covering its work during the Sixth Administration, from May 2019 to March 2024.

Members raised concerns and sought clarification regarding engagements with stakeholders, including the Citrus Growers Association, and the status column in the Report. The Chairperson ensured that there was thorough discussion and clarification before moving to adopt the Report, which Members supported.

Following the Report's adoption, the Committee addressed matters concerning the Ingonyama Trust Board's structural change, seeking legal advice on the implications of King MisiZulu kaZwelithini assuming the role of Chairperson. Due to a legal advisor's illness, the Committee agreed to defer the discussion and decision on the matter to the next Parliament.

The meeting proceeded with the adoption of outstanding minutes from previous meetings.  

The Chairperson expressed gratitude to the Members for their dedication and highlighted achievements during their tenure. Plans for a farewell luncheon were announced, and the Secretariat was tasked with coordinating the event.

Meeting report

The Chairperson greeted the Members, saying that he hoped they were revived for the last week of parliamentary proceedings. He mentioned that before they rose, they had quite a short and tight programme, aiming to dispense with the Committee’s Legacy Report and outstanding minutes to get underway with constituency work and elections ahead. He expressed the need to proceed quickly with the session to wrap it up and bid farewell, wishing the Members the best of luck in their election year.

He outlined the agenda, stating that it aimed to deal with the Legacy Report of the Sixth Parliament, which would serve as a document transitioning into the Seventh Parliament. It would consolidate all efforts over the past five years. He reported that content advisors, researchers, and the Secretariat had diligently worked on the document to ensure accuracy. He mentioned the intention to go through it page by page, allowing Members to make additions and omissions if necessary.

He also mentioned seeking an opinion from the legal advisor regarding the matter of the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB), as King MisiZulu kaZwelithini had now become the chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust. He mentioned the entity's obligation to present before the Committee, and the need for clarity on the positions and roles involved. Legal services would clarify whether the Trust was in breach of its establishment, aiding in advising the Seventh Parliament on how to proceed with the entity. Finally, he mentioned reviewing the last set of minutes as efficiently as possible, and requested the Secretariat to display the Report.

Committee's Legacy Report
The Chairperson said the Report covered the activities during the Sixth Parliament from May 2019 to March 2024. He remarked on how swiftly time had passed since the start of the Sixth Parliament.

Mr N Masipa (DA) interjected, expressing uncertainty about the engagement of the Citrus Growers Association, and seeking clarification.

The Chairperson advised him to check with the Content Advisors.

The Committee Secretariat added that there had been two oversight meetings held in the Eastern Cape with the Citrus Growers Association, which might explain the engagement.

The Chairperson also clarified the engagement with the Citrus Growers Association in the Sundays River Valley, and sought confirmation from the Content Advisor.

The Content Advisor explained that the engagement was not just limited to meetings, but also included site visits and written submissions during legislation.

Acknowledging this, the Chairperson highlighted that the Legacy Report reflected input from the public and stakeholders beyond parliamentary sessions.

Another Member raised a concern about the status column in the Report, seeking clarity on its meaning.

The Chairperson clarified that it indicated the completion of the Committee's legislative work, with bills forwarded to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Moving through the report pages, the Chairperson confirmed its completion, and highlighted the accompanying documents.

Ms T Mbabama (DA) expressed concern about oversight of the Department of Labour not being included in the Report.

The Content Advisor assured her they would look into it, and the Chairperson referred to relevant recommendations within the Report.

Mr S Matiase (EFF) pointed out the section in question, and the Chairperson confirmed its presence on page 64.

Ms Mbabama expressed satisfaction with the clarification.

The Chairperson thanked her, emphasising that the Report reflected the Committee's work since May 2019.

Ms Mbabama then inquired about the recommendations, prompting the Chairperson to explain that they were going through the report page by page due to time constraints.

Adoption of Legacy Report

Ms B Tshwete (ANC) moved the adoption of the legacy report, which was seconded by Dr M Tlhape (ANC).

The Chairperson acknowledged their motions, affirming that the Report would be sent to the National Assembly and the Speaker's Office as a true reflection of the Committee's work.

View Legacy Report here

Ingonyama Trust Board

The Chairperson said that the Committee would seek advice from a legal advisor regarding the ITB's recent structural change. King MisiZulu kaZwelithini, who was previously the sole trustee, had now assumed the role of chairperson. The Chairperson raised a concern about whether holding both positions concurrently was permissible.

Mr Bulelani Simani, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, confirmed receipt of a request for a legal opinion concerning the chairpersonship of the Ingonyama Trust Board and its implications regarding calls for independence, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development. However, the legal adviser assigned to the task had unfortunately fallen ill and hospitalised for over a week. Consequently, they had missed the deadline of 22 March, as they had become aware of the request only the day before his address. He asked the Chairperson and the Committee to allow for more time to deliver a comprehensive legal opinion, as rushing it could compromise the quality and relevance of their response.

The Chairperson expressed gratitude to Mr Simani, and extended good wishes for his colleague's speedy recovery. He emphasised that the matter concerning the chairpersonship of the Ingonyama Trust Board would be left for the Seventh Parliament and administration to address, as the current session was concluding. He underscored the importance of distinguishing between King MisiZulu kaZwelithini as the monarch of the Zulu Kingdom and as the chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board, an entity accountable to the Portfolio Committee. He stressed the Committee's focus on engaging directly with the entity, and reminded Members to confine discussions to matters within the Committee's jurisdiction. He clarified that the ITB's headquarters were located in Pietermaritzburg, and urged Members not to be diverted by discussions concerning the monarchy or the kingdom.

Committee Minutes

The Committee considered and adopted minutes dated 20 February, 23 February, 27 February, 5 March and 12 March 2024.

Closing remarks

The Chairperson expressed gratitude to the Members, considering it a privilege and honour to have chaired the Portfolio Committee during the Sixth Parliament. He thanked all Members for prioritising the Committee's work and holding the Department accountable, especially during challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. He also congratulated those Members who had shown growth and development during their tenure, highlighting Dr M Tlhape’s (ANC) achievement in attaining her doctorate while serving on the Committee.

He also extended thanks to the Committee's staff, including the Secretariat, content advisors, researchers, logistics, and information technology (IT) and communications personnel, for their support and assistance in making the Committee's work easier.

He announced plans for a farewell luncheon arranged by the Secretariat, inviting all Members and staff to bid farewell to each other as the Sixth Parliament concluded, acknowledging that some may not return for the Seventh Parliament. He requested the Secretariat to coordinate the event and determine the availability of Members and staff, suggesting potential venues for the luncheon.

The Chairperson wished everyone well for the upcoming day and week as they wrapped up their work in Parliament.

The meeting was adjourned.


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