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SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
13 September 2005
COMMITTEE REPORTS ON NORTHERN CAPE STUDYTOUR AND CHILDREN’S BILL WORKSHOP: ADOPTION
Documents handed out
Committee Draft Report: Oversight Visit to Northern Cape, 8 – 12 August 2005
Poverty Relief Projects in Northern Cape
Committee Draft Report: Workshop on Children’s Bill (held 30 August 2005)
Children’s Bill [B70B-2003]
The Committee adopted the Clerk’s minutes, their report on the workshop held in Simon’s Town on 30 August on the Children’s Bill, and their report on the Northern Province visit, and another report on specific poverty-relief projects in that province. All reports were adopted with minor amendments.
The Committee decided that advertisements would be placed in all national newspapers on 18-19 September for hearings on the Children’s Bill on 11 October. Discussion revolved around who would be invited, such as the House of Traditional Leaders and representatives from each province. The report was adopted with minor corrections.
Draft Committee Report on Northern Cape visit
The Select Committee on Social Services had undertaken a studytour to the Northern Cape from 8 – 12 August 2005. The visit’s primary objectives included:
- oversight over the management and quality of services rendered;
- to inspect various Health, Social Development and Home Affairs facilities to determine the state of physical infrastructure and equipment; and
- to identify progress made and challenges being experienced by all stakeholders.
Members felt the report was well captured and showed the Committee’s hard work. It was unanimously adopted without amendments.
Committee visit to poverty-relief projects in the Northern Cape
This report gave an account of progress on all poverty relief projects funded by the Department in partnership with the Independent Development Trust (IDP) in the Northern Cape. Projects were funded according to measurable objectives as required by the Department of Social Development. The objectives included the establishment of five food security projects; three HIV/AIDS community-based projects, one Urban Renewal Youth Development Project; three women’s co-operatives; and three dual-purpose projects on older persons and children.
Committee Report on Children’s Bill workshop
A full-day workshop had been held on 30 August at the Quayside Hotel in Simon’s Town, near Cape Town. Representatives of the Department of Social Development and the SA Law Reform Commission had briefed the Committee and representatives of the Provincial Legislatures, on the controversial aspects of the Children’s Bill.
Particular attention had been paid to the issue of virginity testing. Some Members felt strongly that it was an important cultural practice, and that there had been insufficient consultation before its prohibition. It was agreed that further consultation was needed, and that this had to include fora in which young women could state their views. It was also recognised that this was not simply a rural debate.
The Chairperson announced that the Committee had come up with an ongoing programme for the Children’s Bill. Advertisements would be placed in national newspapers on 18-19 September that hearings would take place on 11 October 2005. This would give a week for people to send submissions between 12 and 18. Thereafter the Department would deal with the Bill clause by clause.
The workshop report was unanimously adopted with minor technical amendments.
Mr B Tolo (ANC, Mpumalanga) felt that many civil society groupings would not be able to come to the public hearings because they would be held in Cape Town. The National House of Traditional Leaders should be invited and provinces should be identified where initiation and virginity testing were occurring. Those interested in submitting from poor areas, should be funded to come to the hearings.
Ms Mazibuko agreed that it was important to receive more input. The Chairpersons from the Portfolio Committees and the various provinces should be asked about criteria for invitations.
Ms Madlala-Magubane supported Mr Tolo. There had been an outcry in the media, especially in KwaZulu-Natal where it was a tradition for those girls to go for virginity tests. There should be at least one person from KwaZulu-Natal and one from the Eastern Cape.
Ms H Lamoela (DA, Western Cape) felt that all nine provinces should be involved. Ms Masilo agreed about KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, but added her support for involvement by traditional leadership from North West and Limpopo.
Ms Madlala-Magubane felt that if all provinces were invited, the public hearing would need to be at least two days. The people of KZN would need to give their side of the story on virginity testing.
It was agreed that the Chairperson would negotiate with the Chairperson of the Chairperson’s Committee, and look at budget implications. The House of Traditional Leaders would have to be invited. One stakeholder per province would be invited. It was agreed to send letters to all the Portfolio Committees. The date of 11 October was agreed on for the hearing.
Committee Clerk’s minutes and planning
The Committee Clerk’s minutes of 2 August, 24 August and 6 September were approved and adopted subject to minor corrections.
Ms N Madlala-Magubane (ANC, Gauteng) requested that minutes, reports on oversight visits and reports on workshops be mailed to the provinces, ministers and other relevant officers so that they could have the background before coming to meetings. These were currently only being sent to the affected provinces.
Discussion then took place on the proposed visit to Canada. It was agreed that the Chairperson and Secretary continue with research work and to submit to the next meeting of the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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