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LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION SELECT COMMITTEE
10 April 2000
FIRE BRIGADE SERVICES AMENDMENT BILL [B63B-99]: FINAL MANDATES
Documents handed out:
Fire Brigade Services Amendment Bill
Here follows the official minutes of the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration as provided by the committee secretary, Mr E. De Koker.
The Bill was adopted without amendments, and urged that the principal Act be reviewed and either redrafted or amended to reflect the terminology and constitutional arrangements contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
Fire Brigade Services Amendment Bill [B 63B-99] (sec 76)
The Committee considered the amendments proposed by KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape. The chairperson noted that the proposed amendments were good and shows that provinces gave due consideration to the bill. However, the similar proposals were made in the National Assembly.
The Department has been requested to inform this committee of the response to the Portfolio Committee's report on this Bill. The department however failed to attend this meeting.
With regard to changing "Administrator" to "Premier" the response was that even if the word "Administrator" is retained it would not affect the contents of the bill. Also, the entire principal Act will soon be redrafted and will contain the necessary changes to reflect the spirit of the new Constitution and dispensation.
With regard to the inclusion of "gender and race" the response was that to include "race" will lead to difficulties especially when an argument is raised for the inclusion of ethnicity. Also, it is very difficult to form a board based on racial equality where a big number of members are appointed by the respective provinces. The suggestion is that the reference to gender in the bill i.e. "women and men" be retained.
The chairperson proposed that in light of the above explanations and the fact that the principal Act will be redrafted, the bill be finalised so that the Board may be established and commence its work.
KwaZulu-Natal stated that it accepts the explanations but that the Department be urged to redraft the principal Act soon.
The chairperson put the Motion of Desirability. Agreed to.
Clause 1, agreed to.
Clause 2, agreed to.
Clause 3, agreed to.
Fire Brigade Services Amendment Bill [B 63B-99](sec 76), agreed to. The Committee further reports that:
1. In view of the urgent need to restructure the Fire Brigade Board, the Committee focused on the composition of the Board.
2. The principal Act must be reconsidered: It must be reviewed and either redrafted or amended to reflect the terminology and constitutional arrangements contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The chairperson informed members that the Municipal Systems Bill will be tabled in Parliament soon. Joint meetings with the Portfolio Committee will be held so the Select Committee members will be able to participate in the meetings when this bill will be considered.
The meeting adjourned.