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PUBLIC SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
9 February 2005
COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT, BUSINESS PLAN AND PROGRAMME, KWAZULU-NATAL VISIT REPORT: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Mr R Tau (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Committee Annual Report: May – December 2004
Committee Business Plan: 2005 – 2007
Committee Programme 2005
The Committee discussed its 2004 Annual Report, the Business Plan and also its Programme for the first term of 2005. It adopted its Annual Report with recommendations and its Business Plan as a working document. There was agreement to add items to the 2005 Programme and to engage the Committee researchers more.
Committee Annual Report 2004
Mr M Mzizi (IFP) said that regarding the Committee plan on Integrated Sustainable Human Settlement, he was not sure through which strategies the Committee could achieve the 2014 targets. He specifically mentioned the settlements "mushrooming" along the N2 near Cape Town. These presented an unpleasant view to foreign visitors and tourists.
He also asked about the awareness of communities in relation to the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP), under the Department of Transport. The Committee needed to host public debates on the issue to prevent misunderstandings.
The Chairperson stated that the points raised by Mr Mzizi was valid, but would better be dealt with under the Committee Business Plan. He suggested that Members identify areas within the report for correction. The report could then be adopted with amendments, which would allow the Committee to jot down issues arising to be included in the current programme.
Mr C Rooyen (ANC) asked why the section named "Oversight Conducted" referred to information on what the President. Thus this could not be treated as oversight conducted by the Committee. He also asserted that while it appeared that this Committee and the Land and Environmental Affairs Committee had jointly agreed to fund their trip, the report indicated that money for the trip had only been withdrawn from one Committee.
The Chairperson explained that though the Committee did not carry out a physical oversight, the brief from the Department of Housing amounted to oversight. There were imbalances in the financial statement about reporting on expenditure within Parliament. The financial statement therefore intended to show the inaccuracies of reporting on expenditure in Parliament.
Mr A Watson (DA) asked for explanation on whether the issue of the financial statement concerned inaccuracies of reporting, or the Committee’s overspending and not allocating funds properly.
Rev P Moatshe (ANC) requested that the issue be considered carefully to understand whether the imbalances stemmed from improper allocation of money by the Committee. If the situation was about Committee overspending or improper allocation of funds, then some explanation would be requested from those involved.
The report was adopted with recommendations, and included the issue of finances that would be dealt with in the next Committee meeting.
Committee Business Plan
Mr C Rooyen complained that the Business Plan did not include capacity building for Members or a financial statement. He was also concerned that the business plan did not include a mission statement. The statements included in the plan belonged to Parliament in general. The Committee would need its own vision and mission plan.
Mr M Nguqu, Committee Secretary, suggested that if Members could identify areas of need, training courses could be arranged.
Mr A Watson (DA) asserted that the both houses should debate on the mission statement as soon as possible. The Committee would have to wait for the conclusion of the debate before taking a final stand.
The Chairperson stated that the Business Plan was a draft. He requested that the plan be adopted as a working document. The Committee agreed and adopted the plan.
Committee Programme 2005
The Chairperson explained that budgeting and spending in Committees needed serious adjustment and had been raised in the meeting of Chairpersons. The issue would need to be discussed with senior management in Parliament before engaging with it as a Committee.
Mr Rooyen stated that the Auditor-General’s report on the Department of Public Works was deplorable. He asked if it was possible to include the Department Annual Report briefing.
Mr Watson stated that the Department of Public Works presentation could pose a problem because it might not fall in line with the timeline for the Department financial plan. He suggested that the Committee find alternative ways of dealing with the issue.
Mr Rooyen stated that it was very important for the Committee to conduct oversight on past Annual Reports of the Department. It would be difficult to solve the problem with the Department if the Committee did not investigate.
The Chairperson stated that there was agreement in principles amongst Members. Disagreement only existed in the method of resolving the issue.
Rev Moatshe asked if the Committee had the capacity to interrogate past Annual Reports of the Department of Public Works. He suggested that they request quarterly reports to be reviewed. Another strategy would be for the Committee to put its researchers to work on the issue.
The Chairperson stated further that the issue of the N2 settlements was a very serious problem and the Committee needed to slot in a time on the programme to visit these disadvantaged areas.
Mr Mzizi suggested that the issue of the N2 should be addressed with the provinces and others concerned.
Rev Moatshe suggested that the Committee had many issues and could not consider all of them within a short time limit. The Committee needed to set a strategic plan to accomplish solutions on important issues.
The Chairperson proposed that the Committee programme be adopted at the next meeting after all additions and considerations had been made. He also proposed that the research unit of the Committee look into the issue concerning KwaZulu-Natal.
The meeting was adjourned.
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