Road Traffic Bills: negotiating mandates

NCOP Public Services

23 May 2000
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION OF ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES SECOND AMENDMENT BILL; ROAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CORPORATION AMENDMENT BILL: NEGOTIATING MANDATES

PUBLIC SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
24 May 2000
ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION OF ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES SECOND AMENDMENT BILL; ROAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CORPORATION AMENDMENT BILL: NEGOTIATING MANDATES

Chairperson: Ms P Majodina (ANC Eastern Cape)

Documents handed out
Reports from all nine provinces on their negotiating mandates on both the above mentioned bills
Administrative Adjudication Of Road Traffic Offences Second Amendment Bill [B31 - 2000]
Road Traffic Management Corporation Amendment Bill [B32 - 2000]

SUMMARY
All the provinces, except Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape supported Administrative Adjudication Of Road Traffic Offences Second Amendment Bill without any amendments.

The amendments proposed by Free State were that the process of appointment of the registrar, a deputy registrar as well as a representations officer be published in the Government Gazette. These amendments were accepted and included in the Bill. The concerns of Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape were clarified and all three provinces resolved to support the Bill without further amendments.

As raised by North West, it was agreed that the following be inserted in the Bill: funds will initially come from the provinces until the agency is self-sustainable.

The Western Cape negotiating mandate only arrived halfway through the meeting and appeared not to be an official document. The Committee resolved that a letter rebuking their unprofessional conduct be sent to this province. Their mandate was confusing and it was discovered that their proposals were already featured in the Bill.

All the provinces, except Northern Cape, supported Road Traffic Management Corporation Amendment Bill without any further amendments. Northern Cape proposed that it be specified in the Bill that South African citizens should be appointed. The Committee noted that it was stated as such in the principal Act and that exceptions can only be made on advice from the Minister. Northern Cape then agreed to support the Bill without further amendments.

MINUTES
Administrative Adjudication of the Road Traffic Offences Second Amendment Bill

Eastern Cape
Mr L Suka (ANC Eastern Cape) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Free State
Mr A Marais (ANC Free State) proposed that the process of appointment of the registrar, a deputy registrar as well as a representations officer be published in the Government Gazette. With these amendments his province would support the Bill. The Committee agreed that it be included in the Bill.

Gauteng
Ms R Ndzanga (ANC Gauteng) confirmed that her province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

KwaZulu-Natal
Ms B Thompson (ANC KwaZulu-Natal) reported that her province supports the Bill with certain proposed amendments. These went back to the qualifications as previously determined in the principal Act and suggests that it be included in the Bill supplementary to the discretion of the Minister. Ms Thompson then became confused and said that it appears that the amendments proposed by the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature are featured elsewhere in the Bill.

The Chair inquired whether the province had actually received the amendments as proposed by the Committee and whether they were briefed on them, since the KwaZulu-Natal negotiating mandate makes its proposals sound like completely new ideas, while they are already included in the suggested amendments.

The assistant delegate from KwaZulu-Natal explained that the majority party had no problem with the amendments as proposed by the Committee, but that it was the minority parties who queried the official proposals. She suggested that they had no real fundamental objection and had simply posed their concerns for the sake of delay.

Mr Sulliman (ANC Northern Cape) exclaimed that the Committee was not interested in the views of minorities but wanted to know what the decision of the Legislature was.

The Chair concluded that the KwaZulu-Natal proposed amendments appeared to be covered elsewhere in the Bill and can therefore be rejected.

Mr L Suka (ANC Eastern Cape) reminded the members that they represent their respective provinces in the Committee and not their own parties. Differences between parties in the provincial legislatures should therefore be sorted out before the delegate reports to the Committee. In this light it appears that the province as a whole supports the Bill without further amendments.

Chief Mokoena ( ANC Northern Province) pointed out that KwaZulu-Natal negotiating mandate states that there are no proposed amendments. The pages that follow are merely meant to give the Committee insight in their meeting.

Ms Thompson defended herself by saying that she had said that her province accepts the Bill, but that she had to inform the Committee of the detail in the negotiating mandate. The issue was thus resolved and it was accepted by the Committee that KwaZulu-Natal supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Mpumalanga
Mr BJ Mkhaliphi (ANC Mpumalanga) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Northern Cape
Mr M Sulliman (ANC Northern Cape) said that he was mandated by his province to vote for the Bill, with the proviso that certain concerns be taken into consideration. The Legislature felt that the power of the Minister in the appointment of the deputy registrar is too broad. They also proposed that the qualifications stipulated in the Bill should take into account the policy of Affirmative Action and the National Qualifications Framework.

In response, the State Legal Advisors explained that the position of the Minister in the appointment of the deputy registrar does not really involve power, since he merely determines the relevant qualifications while the actual appointment is made by the Board. The Chair stated that the policy of Affirmative Action and the National Qualifications Framework is already provided for in the Constitution. The concerns of Northern Cape were thus resolved and Mr Sulliman pronounced their support of the Bill.

Northern Province
Mr M Mokoena (ANC Northern Province) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

North West
Mr P Maloyi (ANC North West) reported that his province generally supported the Bill, but had two concerns to be clarified before the final mandate was to be drafted. These were (a) that it appeared that the Members of the Executive Council (MEC) were not involved in the appointment of the registrar, the deputy registrar and the representations officers and (b) that 50 % of the R30 million needed to implement the Act was to come from the provinces whilst appointing powers were not in their competencies.

Mr van Tonder, from the Department of Transport, referred to the earlier explanation by the State Legal Advisors of the Minister's role in appointments and added that the Minister is no longer in the position to appoint the board members, but that this responsibility has been signed to the MECs.

On the issue of the provinces' financial contribution, Mr van Tonder explained that the Bill previously allowed the Department to borrow money from the private sector in order to implement the administration agency of adjudication, but that they were advised by the Department of Finance to remove that clause. A MINCOM meeting was held to discuss how the funding problem could be addressed, since it was of vital importance that the conditions on South African roads improve. It was here decided and approved that the national Department shall pay 50% of the costs, while Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape are to pay R3 million each and the rest of the provinces R1 million each.

Mr van Tonder emphasized the urgency of the funding, since funds will only be coming in from offenders when the system has been sufficiently improved. He pointed out the national benefits of effectively dealing with road traffic offences through the new Agency and thereby justified the financial contribution of the provinces to establish such an agency.

Mr Sulliman commented that each province should know very well what the financial implications will be for them.

Mr Marais was upset because the Bill states that its implementation shall have no financial implications (page 6 of the Bill), while these provincial contributions contradict that.

Mr van Tonder agreed that it be inserted in the Bill that funds will initially come from the provinces until the agency is self-sustainable. He was granted permission to formulate the Bill as such.

Mr Maloyi expressed his extreme dismay that the Committee did not seem to realize the contradiction hidden in the provision. He wanted to know if they had no objection to the implication that appointments are a national competency, while the funding is to be provincial.

The Chair asked for a debate on the matter.

Mr van Tonder reemphasized that the whole country will benefit from safer roads and pointed out that the long term result will be a higher income for the provinces.

Ms Thompson remarked that MINMEC had already reached consensus on the matter and that it was pointless to dwell on it now, at which Mr Maloyi exclaimed that all members of the committee have brains and that they have a right to differ from any MINMEC regulation.

Mr Marais said that he agrees with Mr Maloyi, but that members must respect the separation of powers in government. He also said that one must also understand that the funding serves only as a kick start and suggested that official documents concerning the funding be altered accordingly after two years.

Chief Makoena pointed out that the Committee is now trying to amend the principal Act. The Chair then ended the discussion and North West accepted the Bill as proposed without any further amendments.

Western Cape
At the beginning of the meeting, the Western Cape negotiating mandate had not yet been received. The Chair expressed her dissatisfaction with the province's unprofessional conduct and asked the delegate to deliver the Provincial Legislature's mandate within five minutes.

When the mandate from the Western Cape finally arrived there was great dissatisfaction among members concerning the way it was presented.

Mr Suka pleaded that the Committee should reject the mandate, since it was not printed on an official letterhead. The Chair wanted to know who the undersigned Mr Isaacs was and of which body he was the deputy chairperson.

The delegate from the Western Cape did not know who Mr Isaacs was herself and on hearing this, Mr Raju (DP KwaZulu-Natal) supported Mr Suka and requested that the mandate be presented properly at a later stage. He pointed out that accepting it in such an improper form, would set a dangerous precedent for future official communication between the Committee and the provinces.

The Chair decided to allow Western Cape to present its mandate.

The delegate from the Western Cape reported that her province supports the Bill with the proposal that "adequate" be inserted in the reference to the qualifications determined by the Minister for the registrar, deputy registrar and representations officers.

In reaction, Mr Marais remarked that the amendments are interconnected, since amending one section would imply the amendment of the other two sections. He placed Western Cape's proposed amendments in the same category as that of KwaZulu-Natal, saying that the issue had already been dealt with.

Mr Makoena added that there are many different definitions for the word "adequate" and that it is thus not fit for use in legislation. He suggested that it not be inserted and was supported by Mr Raju. The Chair agreed and reminded the Committee that it was similar to the phrase "fit and proper" which had been discussed at a previous meeting. All Members consequently agreed that Western Cape's proposals not be accepted. Western Cape agreed to support the Bill without further amendments.

Mr Marais requested the Chair to write a letter to Western Cape addressing their unprofessional conduct, to which she agreed.

Road Traffic Management Corporation Amendment Bill
Eastern Cape

Mr L Suka (ANC Eastern Cape) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Free State
Mr A Marais (ANC Free State) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Gauteng
Ms R Ndzanga (ANC Gauteng) said that her province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

KwaZulu-Natal
Ms B Thompson (ANC KwaZulu-Natal) said that her province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Mpumalanga
Mr B Mkhaliphi (ANC Mpumalanga) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Northern Cape
Mr M Sulliman (ANC Northern Cape) reported that his province generally supports the Bill, but has some concerns that must be considered by the Committee before they can vote for the Bill.

Northern Cape felt that it must be specified in the Bill that the position of Chief Executive Officer to the corporation be restricted to South African citizens only. The intent to recruit locally must be stated in the Bill. Another proposal
dealt with Affirmative Action and had been dealt with in the discussion on the first Bill B31-2000.

Mr van Tonder from the National Department of Transport said that it was technically possible and could be built into the legislation without a problem.

Mr Marais brought it to the attention of the Committee that two South Africans from the SABC have recently been appointed to CNN. He feared that restrictive appointments in South Africa might put the country in bad international favour and that might lead to South Africans being excluded from key international positions.

Mr Suka suggested that Northern Cape's proposal be rephrased so that preference is given to South Africans and thereafter we can go beyond the border.

Dr P Nel (NNP Free State) said that the Bill should be left as it is, since the principal Act determines that appointments should be South African, except when the Minister feels differently.

The Chair asked Northern Cape whether they agree to that. However Mr Sulliman was upset about the remark about the principal Act and asked why the matter should then have been brought up in the first place. He was still concerned about local applications not receiving the proper preference.

Mr van Tonder explained that the rule is to appoint South Africans and that exceptions are only made when so advised by the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the South African Local Governments Association (SALGA).

Northern Cape hereafter agreed to support the Bill without further amendments.

Northern Province
Mr M Mokoena (ANC Northern Province) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

North West
Mr P Maloyi (ANC North West) said that his province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Western Cape
The delegate said that the proposed amendments from her province are along the same lines as those for the previous Bill and need not be considered. Her province supports the Bill without any further amendments.

Mr Sulliman asked that the minutes of the meeting be given to all permanent delegates as soon as possible. It was agreed.

The meeting was closed to members of the public for the last five minutes of the meeting. The agenda for this part of the meeting was not disclosed.

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