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ECONOMIC AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE
1 December 2005
DIAMOND SECOND AMENDMENT BILL: NEGOTIATING MANDATES; COMMITTEE REPORT ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO EASTERN CAPE: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Ms Ntwanambi (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Diamonds Second Amendment Bill [B39B-2005]
Negotiating mandate: Gauteng
Negotiating mandate: Western Cape
Negotiating mandate : Northern Cape
Negotiating mandate : Eastern Cape
Negotiating mandate : Kwazulu Natal
Negotiating mandate : Limpopo
Negotiating mandate : Mpumalanga
Draft Committee Report on oversight visit to the Eastern Cape
The negotiating mandates of the provinces on the Diamond Second Amendment Bill were presented. All provinces present supported the Bill. Some provinces raised concerns about there not being an organised labour representative on the Board of the State Diamond Trader and how to handle applications for a diamond exchange centre. The Committee also adopted its committee report on its oversight visit to the Eastern Cape
The provinces reported on their negotiating mandates:
Ms Cheng (DA, Gauteng) said that the Gauteng legislature‘s Economic Affairs Portfolio Committee met on 25 November 2005 to deliberate on the Bill and to adopt a negotiating mandate. The Committee had agreed with the principles and detail of the bill. It thus supported the Bill with no proposed amendments.
Mr Hendricks (UIF, Western Cape) said that the Western Cape supported the Bill without amendment.
The Northern Cape legislature had conducted public hearings where the stakeholders had raised concerns unrelated to this Bill but relevant to the industry. Its negotiating mandate had taken note of the concern regarding pricing that might negatively affect emerging miners. It stated that the price structure should be dealt with in the regulations issued in terms of Section 95 of the principal Act. The limitation on foreign traders should not be too severe. The Bill was supported without amendment.
Ms Temba (ANC, Mpumalanga) said its provincial committee had taken the decision to make the Bill available to the public and the Bill was forwarded to various stakeholders for their comment. She said that no written comments had been received by the committee. The committee having considered and deliberated on the Bill, supported the Bill as is.
Mr Sibiya (ANC, Limpopo) said that its provincial committee had not been able to conduct public hearings on the Bill as they had needed to submit its negotiating mandate by the deadline of 29 November 2005. The committee had deliberated on the bill. It was concerned that there was no labour representative on the Board of State Diamond Trader and that the purpose of the Act did not state anything on the matter of social responsibility such as beneficiation, ownership, BEE. The committee had recommended that the provinces should be given enough time to consider Section 76 Bills in order to do justice to the Bills. He said that organised labour representatives should be included in the Board of the State Diamond Trader. The province supported the Bill with the recommendations it had mentioned.
Mr Mkono (ANC Eastern Cape) said that they had received no inputs from outside of the legislature. The provincial committee supported the Bill without amendments. It requested clarity on the Diamond Exchange Centre, asking how the province would deal with an application for a diamond exchange centre.
The Kwazulu Natal legislature supported the Bill without amendment.
The Deputy Director General of the Department of Minerals and Energy, Mr Mngomezulu, responded to Eastern Cape's query saying that the export centre would not necessarily be located in Johannesburg. In response to the Limpopo query, he said that labour representation has been provided for in the Section 75 bill, the Diamonds Amendment Bill.
The department's legal adviser added that there had to be lot of insurance on diamonds as they were a high value commodity. They did not want the government to carry the responsibility of insurance. Any person could apply to the department to display diamonds irrespective of from which province they were.
Committee Report on oversight visit to the Eastern Cape
The Committee adopted this report. The Report noted that the Committee had undertaken an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape province to investigate challenges of economic development, Black Economic Empowerment and job creation in September 2005. It had met with the provincial Department of Economic and Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation and the Eastern Cape Industrial Development Zone. The Committee had hoped to meet with the relevant provincial committee in the Eastern Cape Legislature in order to strengthen the relationship between the two committees. However the meeting could not take place due to it having other commitments.
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