Prevention of Illegal Eviction from & Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill: update, delegation for Northern Cape Oversight

Human Settlements

10 October 2005
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HOUSING PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
11 October 2005
PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL EVICTION FROM AND UNLAWFUL OCCUPATION OF LAND AMENDMENT BILL: UPDATE, DELEGATION FOR NORTHERN CAPE OVERIGHT TOUR & CONFERENCE OF INSTITUTE FOR HOUSING

Chairperson:
Ms Z Kota (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Programme for the oversight visit to the Northern Cape
Fourth Term Committee Programme: 2005
Letter (undated) from Department of Housing re: Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill (PIE Amendment Bill) (see Appendix)

SUMMARY
The Committee decided on delegates for an oversight visit to the Northern Cape (13-14 October) and to an Institute for Housing of SA awards ceremony in Durban where the Chairperson would receive a Presidential Award for her contribution to housing development.

The Committee had assured the Department of Housing on 25 May that the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill would be fast-tracked. However, since then the Department had informed the Committee that it was involved in ongoing discussions about the Bill with the Department of Land Affairs and recommended that the Bill be delayed until those discussions had been concluded.

MINUTES
The Committee Clerk read the list of apologies.

Minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2005 were accepted subject to minor corrections.

Oversight visit to Northern Cape
It was agreed that the delegation to visit the Northern Cape would consist of the Chairperson, Ms Z Kota, Mr D Mabena (ANC), Mr Z Mkhize (ANC), Mr G Schneemann (ANC), Mr S Masango (DA), Mr A Steyn (DA), Mr B Dhlamini (IFP), Ms S Sigcau (UDM), Mr R Bhoola (MF), Ms N Ngele and Ms M Ntuli (Committee Clerk).

The lack of accommodation for 12 October necessitated that the Committee had to be booked on a 06h15 flight to Kimberley; arriving 08h10 with the programme beginning 09h00. The trip had not yet been officially approved.

Fourth Term Committee Programme 2005
The programme was tabled.

Delegation to conference of the Institute for Housing of SA in Durban: 16-19 October 2005
Invitations had been received from the Institute for Housing of SA for a small delegation from the Committee to attend an awards ceremony at the conference on ‘Capacity to Implement or Deliver’. The Chairperson had been nominated for an award for her contribution to housing development. The Committee congratulated Ms Kota. Mr M Sonto (ANC) and Mr T Dodovu (ANC) agreed to accompany Ms Kota to the ceremony.

Status of PIE Amendment Bill [B11-2005]
It had previously been agreed to have discussions with the State Law Advisor and there was a need to adhere to the programme. The consultation had not yet taken place.

A letter from the Acting Director-General of the Department of Housing stated that the Department had received instructions to enter into further discussions with other state departments for the purpose of consolidating all eviction legislation. The Department would be holding meetings with the Department of Land Affairs to look at all legislation pertaining to evictions, with special reference to evictions contained in legislation administered by that Department. It was therefore suggested that the PIE Amendment Bill be held in abeyance pending the outcome of those discussions. It was anticipated that due to the complexity of the issue it was likely that the matter would only be dealt with in Parliament early next year.

This had been communicated to media organisations that wanted to know the status of the Bill and whether the concerns of stakeholders had been taken on board.

Discussion
Mr A Steyn (DA) felt that the resolution taken in June was of extreme importance and had to be resolved otherwise access to funds might be hampered.

Mr T Dodovu (ANC) felt that any conflict between the relevant departments should be clarified so that the Speaker could also be satisfied.

Ms Kota responded that the Housing Department was taking this matter very seriously. Synergy was critical and the Committee had stipulated to the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) the need to see progress and to pass legislation. At the meeting held on 25 May, the Department had noted that the Amendment Bill was an important piece of legislation, and needed to be passed as soon as possible. The Committee had reassured the Department that it would fast-track consideration of the Bill.

Mr Steyn asked whether the Minister had identified pieces of legislation that would be amended, as requested. Ms Kota confirmed this, and undertook to inform Members in detail.

She added that there was a need to assess the work done by the Committee and also to deal with the Department’s annual report. The Committee was waiting for the Auditor-General’s report on the Department’s accounts.

Replying to a question from Mr Steyn whether the resolution that the Committee’s Management Committee would tighten up recommendations had been implemented, Ms Kota pointed out that this had not yet been done.

The meeting was adjourned.


Appendix:
06 October 2005
From: A Vawda : Acting Director-General
To : Ms Z Kota : Chairperson : Portfolio Committee on Housing

PREVENTION OF lLLEGAL EVICTION FROM AND UNLAWFUL OCCUPATION OF LAND AMENDMENT SILL


This serves to confirm that this Department has instructions to enter into further discussions with other state departments for the purpose of consolidating all eviction legislation.

This Department is shortly holding meetings with Department Land Affairs in order to took at all legislation pertaining to evictions, with special reference to evictions contained in legislation administered by the Department Land Affairs.

In the circumstances it 15 respectfully suggested that Pie Amendment Bill be hold in abeyance pending the outcome of the current negotiations. It is anticipated that due to the complexity of the issues the matter is only likely to be dealt with in parliament early next year.

With kind regards

MR VAWDA
ACTING DIRECTOR-GENIERAL





 

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