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LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE
1 August 2005
India studytour planning
Documents handed out:
PMG was regrettably not able to attend the first ten minutes of this meeting, and should be receiving meeting tapes from the Committee in the coming week.
The Committee discussed logistical preparations for their August 2005 studytour to India. Members raised concerns that the Office of the NCOP Chairperson was not prepared to fund the independent researcher due to travel with them to India. They were also not pleased that the Committee had not been invited to attend the Johannesburg Land Summit in July 2005. The Committee then requested the Secretary to convene a meeting between the Minister, the Director-General and the Committee to discuss ways to improve relations between these institutions.
Ms Mahlanyane (ANC) asked why an invitation had not been extended to the Committee to the Land Summit held in Johannesburg in July 2005. The Committee Secretary replied that the Committee had been invited, but the Department had not been in a position to fund the trip. Some Members had paid their own travelling costs to the Summit. Members from the Portfolio Committee on Land had attended the Summit.
Mr Watson (DA) said that the relationship between the Department and the Committee needed to be improved
Mr Mzizi (IFP) recommended that the Director-General and the Minister be called to address the Committee to discuss ways of improving the relations between Committee and the Department. Mr F Adams (NNP) suggested that this be a closed meeting. Mr Mzizi objected to that.
Studytour to India
The Committee Secretary informed the Committee that the two-week tour to India would commence on 6 August 2005. The six Members who would travel to India would have to pay their own vaccinations and Parliament would refund them. During the course of the visit, Members would visit Delhi and the surrounding areas. It would be difficult to visit the far-flung provinces because it was in the middle of the monsoon season. The Committee Secretary would provide the full programme of the visit later that week. Parliament had refused to fund travelling costs for the independent researcher who would be accompanying Members.
Mr Mzizi (IFP) emphasised the importance of the presence of the independent researcher for expert advice.
The Chairperson felt that that the Committee had not been treated fairly for quite some time and provided some anecdotal complaints.
Mr Mzizi asked who was responsible for choosing the Members for the trip. The Secretary replied that the office of the NCOP Chairperson and the Chief Whip had reduced the numbers of the Members travelling from nine to six.
The meeting was adjoined.
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