Nonprofit Organisations Amd; Welfare Governance Draft Bills: discussion

Social Development

08 March 2000
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


8 March 2000

Documents Handed Out:
Nonprofit Organisations Amendment BiIl
Draft Developmental Welfare Governance Bill

The committee passed the Nonprofit Organisations Amendment Bill as is, and discussed the Developmental Welfare Governance Bill. The committee found various problems with the Bill, and agreed to invite the Department for further discussion on the Bill.

Nonprofit Organisations Amendment Bill
Mr du Preez, from the Department, stated the Bill's main purpose was to amend section 6 of the principle Act, which, in effect, would no longer require model documents and codes of good practice for nonprofit organisations (NPO) to be announced in either the Gazette, or any other widely circulated form of communication. The cost to the government of advertising for submissions was felt to be too expensive to the State, since most advertisements rendered either no submissions, or submissions that lacked "necessity" to the issues.

Mr Saloojee (Chairperson) asked it be noted that a reason for the lack of submissions received might be due to when and how advertisements requesting submissions from the public were placed.

Ms Cupido (DP) raised concern over how individuals would know when submissions were being asked for if notices were not published?

Ms Gordhan, (NPO Directorate) replied that the deletion of 6(2) will not have any effect on regulations, but rather that the Bill dealt specifically with subsidiary documents such as model constitutions.

The Bill was passed unanimously.

Developmental Welfare Governance Bill
Mr Du Preez noted that only two submissions had been received on the Bill even after the closing date had been extended.

The Chair said he had been contacted by many concerned organizations who still wanted to make submissions, and, as such, it was necessary to hear from them. It was also suggested and agreed to that the committee hear from the National Interim Consultative Committee on Development Social Services (NICC) .

Mr Du Preez stated that the major criticisms of the Bill focused on clauses 1-5. The definitions were thought to be either too broad or too specific, while the objectives, and powers and functions of the Council were criticized for being unrealistic. The composition of the Council was also found to be problematic. The NICC had requested that the Council consist of 17 members to ensure adequate representation, instead of the 9 members as stated in the Bill.

A question was asked as to how the Bill addressed the issue of getting NPOs into rural areas, and benefiting those areas? Mr Du Preez responded that he was unsure, and that that was one of the reasons for this meeting. Ms Ghandi (ANC) felt that the Bill made way for the devolution of powers and functions to the local governments, and that this was how rural areas would benefit.

The Chair asked it be noted that more information was needed on the specific powers and functions of local governments, and on whether the Bill addresses issues of rural communities.

Mr Masutha (ANC) raised three concerns. First, that many of the objectives outlined in the Bill required financial resources to implement, but it did not address where the money would come from. Second, that the Bill required a representative from national networks within the social welfare sector to be included in the composition of the Council. He argued that one person could not represent the interests of the entire sector, because many organizations within that sector had competing interests, and thirdly, that the Department did not have the labour capacity to carry out this type of legislation.

Ms Chalmers (ANC) agreed with the sentiments of Mr Masutha adding that the powers and functions outlined in the Bill were "unrealistic".

Ms Ghandi (ANC) asked when the Bill will be translated into other languages? Mr Du Preez replied that it had been translated, but not into all the official languages.

The Chair asked if the portfolio committee would have a role in recommending people to the Council? Mr Du Preez was unsure. Mr Saloojee felt the committee's involvement in selecting and finalizing the names of the members would be "essential to the process". The committee concurred.

The Chair asked what was the thinking behind listing under Clause4: Powers and functions of Council, that the Council "investigate the availability of additional funding for the work of the Council." He stated that the Department needed to elaborate and clarify this point, as the Chair was unclear as to whether this was an appropriate function for the Council to have.

In regard to Clause 10: Other committees, Mr Masutha (ANC) stated that mention of remuneration to sub-committees established by the Council to perform specific tasks had not been addressed. He asked who would be responsible for paying the costs of those sub-committees? No answer was given.

Mr Du Preez said that he had made note of all of the questions and concerns raised by the committee, and that he would take them back to the Department. He suggested that the Department and the NICC should be present at the next committee meeting to answer to the committee. The Chair agreed.

The meeting was adjourned.


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