Committee Reports and Programme

NCOP Finance

30 August 2005
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Meeting report

FINANCE SELECT COMMITTEE

FINANCE SELECT COMMITTEE
31 August 2005
COMMITTEE REPORTS AND PROGRAMME

Chairperson:
Mr T Ralane (ANC) (Free State)

Documents handed out:
Committee Programme (see Appendix)
Committee Report on the Division of Revenue Bill
Committee Report on SA Local Government Association briefing
Committee Report on Conditional Grants 2004/05 Hearings (available shortly on
Committee Reports )
Development Bank Annual Report - see
DBSA website

SUMMARY
The Committee previewed their programme for the September and October 2005. The Committee noted that it was important to investigate if funeral benefits and insurance products had any benefits to the poor.
It was agreed that the visits to the North West and the Development Bank of South Africa should be re-scheduled for early 2006. It was agreed that the Committee Report on the Public Hearings on Conditional Grants would be adopted at a later stage as Members still had to read the report. The Committee also adopted its minutes of previous meetings with minor technical amendments.

MINUTES

Committee Programme
The Chairperson took the Committee through its programme. (See appendix)

Mr E Sogoni (ANC) (Gauteng) said that programme should included "report on the Eastern Cape visit" because there were urgent things that needed attention. The Chairperson agreed.

Mr B Mkhalilpi (ANC) (Mpumalanga) asked who the Committee would meet during the public hearings on funeral benefits schemes. It was important to know because Members would have to prepare questions for different institutions.

The Chairperson agreed that this was a crucial matter. Members of Parliament had already raised critical questions about credit bureaus. Public hearings had been held on credit bureaus. The question was whether products like funeral benefits schemes that were offered by banks benefited the poor. He indicated that he had received a call from a person employed by one of the big banks (Bank A). The person had tried to persuade him to remove his accounts from where he was banking and move them to the other bank, Bank A. Consumers ended up poorer are buying products like funeral benefits products.

Ms D Robinson (DA, Western Cape) agreed that it was important to look at the question of funeral benefit. She asked what was the duration of the workshop scheduled for Friday 9 September.

The Chairperson responded that the intention was to finish early.

The Chairperson noted that the planned visit to the North West province would not be possible due to the congestion of the programme. The visits to the North West and the Development Bank should be re-scheduled for early next year. It was important to thoroughly engage with the annual report of the Bank.

Mr D Botha (ANC) (Limpopo) said that the Eastern Cape Regional Manager of the Bank had appealed for some assistance from the Committee. At the moment the Bank could offer loans and grants only on certain conditions. The bank should change its policy so that it could assist small businesses without certain conditions.

The Chairperson replied that there a broad discussion on this had been started when the Committee had previously met with the Bank. A proposal had been made that the Bank should create a package for rural areas. The Committee needed to be prepared for their next meeting with the Bank and should go through the annual report and see if there was mention of such a package. The Bank should be asked how far they had gone in developing the package.

Mr Sogoni agreed with the suspension of the visits and said that the Committee should prioritise the Annual Report of the Development Bank of South Africa.

Committee Report on Public Hearings on Conditional Grants for 2004/05
The Chairperson referred to the public hearings the Committee had held on conditional grants in June. As a result of these hearings, the Committee had decided that it would visit certain provinces that were in the "intensive care unit". Such visits had not yet been undertaken.

The latest report based on the new financial year was available and it showed under-spending on capital and many other items. This meant that the Committee would have to go back to the commitments it had made. The North West province had appointed a new MEC and the question was whether this would bring about stability in the province. Some provinces had, during the hearings, indicated that parts of their budgets had been committed to certain projects. It had been recommended that provinces should provide details of the projects. The Committee should meet the people to whom monies had been committed.

The Chairperson suggested that the report should not be adopted then as Members should first read the report and prepare to adopt it at its next meeting.

In reply to Mr Sogoni asking what had happened with the provinces' quarterly reports for this financial year's conditional grants, the Chair said that the Committee would conduct public hearings before adopting those reports. The Committee should identify provinces that had problems relating to conditional grants and capital spending. He asked Members if, in view of the programme congestion, the Committee should convene immediate public hearings on the first quarter reports or delay the hearings.

Mr Sogoni said it was very easy to say "let us delay the hearings due to the congestion. It was important to look at the report first so that one could make an informed decision on whether or not to postpone the hearings.

Mr Z Kolweni (ANC)(North West) said that the planning for public hearings should not be done in isolation of other NCOP committee programmes. Experience had taught that it was better to involve other Committees when conducting hearings.

Mr Sogoni commented that it was important for the Committee to have provincial and local government audit reports.

The Committee adopted its minutes from previous meetings with minor technical amendments.

The meeting was adjourned

Appendix

DRAFT PROGRAM OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE FOR THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2005 (AUGUST - SEPTEMBER)

 

DATE

TIME

AGENDA

VENUE

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

09:30 – 13:00

FAPLA

E249

Wednesday, 31 August 2005

09:30 – 13:00

Adoption of Outstanding Matters:

  1. Preview of Committee Program
  2. Possible Committee Activities eg: DBSA project Visit to NW
  3. Visit to the Bank (DBSA)
  4. Conditional Grants Expenditure Trends
  5. Outstanding Reports
  6. Minutes

Any other matters pending

E305

Thursday, 01 September 2005

Constituency

Friday, 2 September 2005

Constituency

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

09:30 – 13:00

Hearing on Funeral Benefit Scheme

E249

Wednesday, 7 September 2005

08:30 – 10:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10:00-13:00

Briefing and Adoption of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Malaysia for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on income (Tabled on 16 August 2005) (NCOP: Referred to Select Committee on Finance on 24 August 2005)

FAPLA Deliberations

E216

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E249

Thursday, 8 September 2005

 

Workshop on Intergovernmental Fiscal Review (IGFR)

To Be Confirmed

Friday, 9 September

2005

 

Workshop on Intergovernmental Fiscal Review (IGFR)

To Be Confirmed

Thursday, 15 September 2005

14:00

Plenary: Debate on Intergovernmental Fiscal review (IGFR) (Provisional)

NCOP CHAMBER

Friday, 16 September 2005

09:30 – 13:00

Legislation/Oversight

E249

Monday 10 – Friday 15 Oct 2005

09:30 – 16:00

Public Hearings on IGFR

Venues to be Confirmed

       
       

 

 

 

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