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WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 February 2005
COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT, REVISED BUDGET AND STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKSHOP REPORT: ADOPTION
Documents handed out:
Committee Annual Report, August – November 2004 (Available shortly at Committee Reports)
Draft Report of Strategic Planning Workshop, 3 – 6 February 2005
Group 1: Unpacking the Committee’s Business Plan
Group 2: Discussion on Oversight and Accountability
2005/6 Committee Budget Analysis
The revised Committee budget (reduced to R822 654) and the Annual Report were adopted, and the report on the Strategic Planning Workshop was approved. The need for more funding for research was mentioned. Some Members were unhappy with the rules and processes of Parliament that had resulted in certain of their needs not being funded adequately.
The Chairperson announced that an IT training session and a workshop would be conducted during the following week.
Mr L W Sibuyana (IFP) suggested that municipalities be required to submit progress reports to the Committee to indicate that the Committee was serious about its oversight function. Group funding of small farmers was ineffective – farmers should be funded individually.
The Chairperson declared that the report on the West Coast visit had unanimously been approved by the Committee. The report on the Strategic Planning Workshop was also adopted by the meeting even though some Members had not received their copy of the Report.
The Chairperson explained that the original request for funding of the Committee’s activities by the Treasury was for R1 697 000, but that they were now requested to slash two-thirds off that amount. After cutting the envisaged international visit, a training workshop and funding on parliamentary recess days, a reduced budget of R822 654 was being proposed.
Mr J Arendse (ANC) was unhappy with the "high-handed" Parliamentary system that had resulted in Committees being unable to spend their budgets.
Mr Maluleke wanted to know how special research by the Committee would be funded.
Mr Sibuyana insisted that overseas visits were indispensable because in that way Members would learn by seeing for themselves.
Ms D van der Walt (DA) suggested that picking up relevant information from the Internet could be done in lieu of overseas visits and that available money should rather be spent on research in South Africa.
The Chairperson explained that research was funded by another section in Parliament, not taken out of the Committee’s budget. In water management, South Africa was "lagging behind" in the world. Parliamentary processes were being revised.
Mr S Simmons (NNP) proposed that the Chairperson should liase with the chairpersons of other committees about problems with Parliamentary rules and processes.
Mr P Ditshetelo (UCDP) stressed that if a Committee identified a need, such as the study visit to Brazil, Parliament should not deny that need.
The revised budget of R 822 654 and the Annual Report were unanimously adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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