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LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
29 February 2000
LABOUR LEGISLATION SUMMARIES
Documents handed out
Labour Relations Act, 1995: summary
Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases Act, 1993: summary
Employment Equity Act, 1998: summary
Skills Development Act, 1998: summary
The Department was not present to deliver its presentation to the Committee. The Chair apologised for the Department’s absence and indicated that the presentation would be delivered at the Committee’s next meeting. The process of the budget vote was discussed.
The Chair, Mr M Manie (ANC), informed the members that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Department would not be able to attend the meeting and would, however, deliver its presentation at the Committee’s next meeting.
The Chair noted that the research department had been asked to summarise some important pieces of labour legislation and these summaries had been issued to the members. The members could therefore refer to these summaries rather than having to read the original legislation.
The Chair asked for suggestions regarding the process of the Department’s budget presentation. The normal procedure is for the Department to deliver its presentation, following which the members ask questions to which the Department then responds. He suggested that the Committee publish a report which incorporates these responses.
Mr Sithole (ANC) noted that at the last meeting it had been resolved that the Department be requested to submit a progress report to the Committee. He commented that, as it could not be assumed that all the members had read all the original legislation, the summaries would be useful in assisting the members to understand the relevant legislation. He stated that it was important that the members understand the legislation in order to play a useful monitoring role over the Department. He stated that the Committee has the "openness" to pick up on the problems with the Department. He called on the members to acquaint themselves with the budget so that relevant questions could be asked.
Mr M Maphalala (ANC) noted that something which should have been considered earlier was dividing the Committee into subcommittees in order to consider the budget. He noted that some of the members had not read the budget and that individual members reading the budget may have difficulties in understanding it. He suggested therefore that the parties get together before the next meeting to read through and consider the budget.
Mr Sithole suggested that it may be useful for the members to look at the Explanatory Memorandum.
The Chair emphasised that it was not the members who would be delivering the budget presentation. The members’ role is to consider whether the budget is linked to service delivery. They are required to determine whether there have been achievements where money has been spent. He stated that the members should read through the budget and come up with clear questions before the Department delivers its presentation. He stated that the process should not be mechanical - the members simply picking up on points in the Department’s presentation.
The Chair commented that the broader problem was how to engage committees with departments prior to the drawing up of budgets. He stated that MPs should be more involved in the detail of what informs the budget.
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