National Youth Commission Amendment Bill: briefing

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Meeting report

JOINT MONITORING COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITY
24 May 2000
NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION AMENDMENT BILL

Documents handed out:
National Youth Commission Amendment Bill (attached below)

SUMMARY
The committee was briefed on why the National Youth Commission Act needed to be amended. The New National Party disagreed with passing the Bill as they had reservations about Section 7a (1) – Relationship between Commission and provinces. They also believed that the Bill should be designated a Section 76 and not a Section 75 bill as it involved the provinces. Due to these objections it was agreed that political parties caucus the following day and the committee would sit again on 26/5/2000 to conclude the matter.

MINUTES
National Youth Commission Amendment Bill
The Chairperson welcomed the delegation from the National Youth Commission, Miss Nomfundo Mbuli and Mr Bradley Swartland, as well as Mr Louis Du Plooy, Head of Ministerial Services in the President’s Office. The Chair noted that the Bill has been designated a Section 75 bill. He then invited the Commission to commence presenting. The presentation by Mr Du Plooy covered the Memorandum on the object of the National Youth Commission Bill, 2000.

Discussion
Mr Morkel (NNP) said the State Law Advisers should submit a written explanation to the committee stating why the Bill has been designated a Section 75 and not a Section 76 bill. He expressed reservations, without stating reasons, about section 7a (1) of the Bill – Relationship between Commission and provinces. He also wished to know if the Auditor General’s report had been considered.

Ms Mbuli explained that the current amendment gives better co-ordination and section 7a was very clear on that. The structural adjustment will have positive financial spin-offs and will facilitate an integrated holistic adjustment in all the provinces. The objective is efficiency and proper utilisation of resources. Workshops occasioned an all-inclusive and participatory process. Direct response to the Auditor General’s report is not necessary.

Mr Raju (DP) was of the opinion that its best that all provinces have structures in place first before the amendment be made. Mr Swartland replied that all provinces do have structures. The only issue is that they all look different and so the challenge and an ideal situation would be to manage how they look.

Mr Moloi (ANC) from the NCOP said that the NCOP should legislate on the matter and the committee need not be apprehensive about bringing the issue to that body.

Mr Gigaba (ANC) expressed his view that the Bill addresses the main issues that were of serious concern in the past. He appealed to the committee to adopt the Bill, especially since the term of office for the current commissioners ends in June. They must expedite the process or chaos awaits after June. Mr Du Plooy concurred.

Mr Morkel countered by saying that time pressure relates to the appointment of commissioners and not to the relations of provinces to national government (Section 7) which needs more time. He suggested that the Bill be passed save for Section 7. The Commission vehemently rejected Mr Morkel’s proposal and said the section was actually a compromise in comparison to what the Commission had initially wanted.

Mr Moloi changed his initial stance and said, considering all factors, it was best that this joint committee passes the Bill.

An ANC member wished to know whether new commissioners are going to be given terms of reference since experience has shown that office bearers’ willingness to execute duties is frustrated by lack of clear job-description. The availability of such terms of reference was confirmed by the Commission.

The Chairperson said the committee seemed to agree in principle to passing the Bill. Mr Morkel expressed his objection to this statement.

Mr Moloi and Mr Gigaba pleaded with Mr Morkel to agree that the Bill be passed, noting that the concern raised by Mr Morkel was adequately covered.


Ms Tshope (ANC), to break the impasse, proposed that political parties meet the day after the meeting and deliberate on the matter. The committee would have a special meeting to finalise the matter (Friday, 25 May) .


The Chairperson repeated this proposal and it was unanimously accepted. The meeting was adjourned.

[Editor's note: The committee did not meet on 25 May, as planned.]

Appendix 1:
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION AMENDMENT BILL

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(As introduced in the National Assembly as a section 75 Bill; explanatory summary of Bill published in Government Gazette No. 21107 of 17 April 2000)

(The English text is the official text of the Bill)

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(MINISTER IN THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT)

[B - 00]

___________________________________________________________________

REPUBLIEK VAN SUID-AFRIKA

WYSIGINGSWETSONTWERP OP DIE NASIONALE JEUGKOMMISSIE

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(Soos ingedien in die Nasionale Vergadering as 'n artikel 75-Wetsontwerp; verduidelikende opsomming in Staatskoerant No. 21107 van 17 April 2000 gepubliseer)

(Die Afrikaanse teks is die amptelike vertaling van die Wetsontwerp)

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(MINISTER IN DIE KANTOOR VAN DIE PRESIDENT)

[W - 00]

GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTE:

[ ] Words in bold type in square brackets indicate omissions from existing enactments.

___________ Words underlined with a solid line indicate insertions in existing enactments.

___________________________________________________________________

B I L L

 

To amend the National Youth Commission Act, 1996, so as to further regulate the constitution of the National Youth Commission; and to regulate the relationship between that Commission and provinces; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:—

 

Amendment of section 4 of Act 19 of 1996

1. Section 4 of the National Youth Commission Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), is hereby amended—

(a) by the substitution for subsection (1) of the following subsection:

"(1) Subject to subsection (2), the membership of the Commission consists of[—

(a) one part-time member from each province, who shall be a fit, proper and experienced person, nominated by the Premier and appointed by the President;

(b) (i) five part-time members who are fit for such appointment on account of any qualification, knowledge or experience relating to the functions of the Commission; and

(ii) up to] five full-time members who, taking into account the objects enunciated in section 3, are—

(a) fit for such appointment on account of any qualification, knowledge or experience relating to the functions of the Commission; and

(b) appointed by the President on the advice of a committee of Parliament constituted in terms of the rules of Parliament, according to the following principles, namely—

[(aa)](i) participation by the public in the nomination process;

[(bb)](ii) transparency and openness; and

[(cc)](iii) the publication of a shortlist of candidates for appointment

[duly taking into account the objects enunciated in section 3 of this Act]."; and

(b) by the substitution for subsection (3) of the following subsection:

"(3) The President shall designate two of the persons referred to in

subsection (1)[(b)(ii)] as chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Commission, respectively, and when the chairperson is not available the deputy chairperson shall perform the functions entrusted to the chairperson by or under this Act or any other law.".

 

Insertion of section 7A in Act 19 of 1996

2. The following section is hereby inserted in the principal Act after section 7:

"Relationship between the Commission and provinces

7A. (1) In promoting the objects of the Commission and the effective co-ordination of services directed at promoting youth development—

(a) the Commission shall, in consultation with the chairpersons of the provincial youth commissions and every Member of the Executive Council responsible for youth matters in every province, determine procedures and programmes to promote and maintain a sound working relationship between the Commission and the various provinces;

(b) the chairperson of the Commission shall submit a copy of the minutes of every meeting of the Commission to the chairpersons of the provincial youth commissions and to every Member of the Executive Council contemplated in paragraph (a).".

Amendment of section 11 of Act 19 of 1996

3. Section 11 of the principal Act is hereby amended—

(a) by the substitution for subsection (1) of the following subsection:

"(1) The remuneration, allowance and other terms and conditions of office

and service benefits of the [full-time and part-time] members of the Commission shall be determined by the President in consultation with the Minister of Finance."; and

(b) by the deletion of subsection (2).

Short title

4. This Act is called the National Youth Commission Amendment Act, 2000, and commences on a date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette.

 

MEMORANDUM ON THE OBJECTS OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION AMENDMENT BILL, 2000

BACKGROUND

1.1. The National Youth Commission Act, 1996 (Act No.19 of 1996), in terms of which the National Youth Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) was established, currently makes provision for the appointment by the President of five full-time commissioners and five part-time commissioners on the advice of a committee of Parliament, and nine part-time provincial commissioners nominated by the Premiers.

1.2. The Commission raised concern with the Presidency about the proliferation of full and part-time members of the national and provincial commissions as well as difficulties with provincial co-ordination of youth development related activities and initiatives. Since the establishment of the Commission in 1996, seven provinces passed legislation to establish provincial youth commissions.

2. OBJECTS OF BILL

2.1. The Bill seeks to reduce the number of commissioners of the Commission to five full-time members.

2.2. The Bill also aims to provide for a more constructive relationship between the Commission and provincial youth structures, whether they be Provincial Youth Commissions, or cases where a Member of the Executive Council takes primary responsibility for youth development initiatives.

2.3. The Bill commits the Commission to promote and maintain sound

working relationships between the Commission and the provinces. It also compels the Commission to provide provincial structures with minutes of every Commission meeting.

3. CONSULTATION

The following bodies were consulted:

3.1. The National Youth Commission.

3.2. Provincial representatives on the National Youth Commission.

4. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

4.1. The limitation of the National Youth Commission to five full-time members will bring about savings on the Commission’s budget, which will be redirected to work on the Commission's programme.

5. PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

The State Law Advisers and the Office of the President are of the opinion that the Bill must be dealt with in accordance with the procedure prescribed by section 75 of the Constitution, since it contains no provision to which the procedure set out in section 74 or 76 of the Constitution applies.

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