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PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION SELECT COMMITTEE, JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE: JOINT MEETING
7 December 2005
CROSS-BOUNDARY MUNICIPALITIES LAWS REPEAL BILL: VOTING
Chairperson: Mr S Tsenoli (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill [B36-2005]
Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill: Proposed Amendments
Draft Committee Programme
Committee’s Annual Report
Committee Report on the Department's Annual Report
The Department presented the wording of the two minor amendments requested by the Committee to the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill, which had been discussed on 6 December. It was highlighted that contrary to reports in the media, the Gauteng Legislature had not yet taken a decision on whether or not to support the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill.
The Committee adopted the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill with amendments. The Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party representatives abstained as both had not yet received a mandate from their parties.
The Committee adopted its Annual Report and the Report on the Department Annual Report.
Further Amendments to the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill
In addition to the amendments presented the previous day, the following were outlined:
Amendment to the New Clause
Adv S Kholeng (Department of Provincial and Local Government: Legal Services) noted that the Members had requested an amendment to a section of the new Clause at the 6 December meeting. In line with this request, the Department had amended sub-clause 3 (b) to read: "The National Council of Provinces [
must] is mandated to assist the provincial governments in any manner necessary in order to reach agreement within two months after the commencement of sections 2 to 4 of the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Act".
Amendment to Schedule 3
Adv Kholeng noted that a reference to Westonaria had been inserted into Schedule 3. This related to the fact that Westonaria was no longer being relocated to the North West Province.
The Committee accepted these proposed amendments.
Status of the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill: Discussion
Mr S Shiceka (ANC, Gauteng) noted that during the 6 December meeting, the Department delegation had stated that the Sowetan Newspaper had reported that the Gauteng Legislature had decided to support the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill. However, the Gauteng Legislature had, in fact, not yet taken any decision on the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill. The Gauteng Legislature would convene to vote on the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill possibly on the 9 December. The Gauteng Legislature would only be expressing its opinion on the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill during the 12 December Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs’ meeting.
Mr P Smith (IFP) asked whether there would be any implications for the process surrounding the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Bill if the Gauteng Legislature selected not to support the provisions in the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill.
Mr Shiceka replied that the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration would be meeting on the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill. This would take place once the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government had referred the Bill to the Select Committee.
Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill: Vote
The Portfolio Committee agreed to the amendments to the Cross-Boundary Laws Repeal Bill, which included the amendments to Clause 2, the amendments to Clause 5, the insertion of a new Clause, and the amendments to Schedules 2 to 5.
Mr M Likotsi (PAC) stated that he thought that would be updated on the issues that had caused a delay in the Bill’s passage. There had also been public hearings in the areas where there had been disputes regarding the relocation of certain municipalities. He felt that the Committee should have received a briefing on the matters that had arisen out of these hearings.
Mr S Mashudulu responded that the issues that Mr Likotsi had raised could be addressed in a report.
The Chairperson added that the Committee had dealt with the proposed amendments, in depth, during the 6 December meeting. The provinces had also agreed to the amendments in the Bill.
Mr Likotsi replied that he thought that the Gauteng Legislature had not yet indicated its support for the Bill. Members needed to receive up to date information on the issues surrounding the Bill.
The Chairperson responded that Members would be updated on any issues surrounding the Bill. Added to this, they would be provided with a report on the public hearings.
The Portfolio Committee voted on the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal Bill. The majority of the Members voted in favour of the Bill, with the proposed amendments.
The IFP Member indicated that he would abstain from voting. He indicated, however, that the IFP would be voting on the Bill when it was in the House.
Mr W Dorman (DA) said that the DA would also abstain from voting during the meeting. The DA would need to receive a mandate from its caucus before it voted on the Bill in the House.
Committee’s Annual Report: Adoption
The Chairperson asked whether the Members had any comments regarding the contents of the Committee’s Annual Report.
He noted that follow up work would have to be done on certain issues that the Committee had covered in 2005. For example, the Committee needed to follow up on the instance where a certain municipality had auctioned the house of a private individual. Mr P Smith (IFP) added that the Department had been mandated to produce a report on the instances where municipalities had auctioned the property of private individuals.
Mr Smith commented that the Annual Report broadly covered the themes that the Committee had dealt with during 2005. However, it did not contain the details of the follow-up work, which the Committee needed to undertake. Nonetheless, the Annual Report was acceptable.
The Committee adopted the Annual Report.
Committee Report on the Department's Annual Report: Adoption
Mr Smith stated that perhaps the Committee Report needed to include details on the follow up work that would have to be conducted around the Annual Report and Financial Statements that had been tabled. The Chairperson noted that the Department needed to prioritise responses to the recommendations that had been made by the Committee. He added that the Committee needed to strengthen its oversight role.
The Committee adopted the Report on the Tabling of the Annual Reports and Financial Statements.
Draft Committee Programme for the First Term of 2006: Discussion
The Chairperson noted that the Draft Committee Programme outlined the work that the Committee would possibly be undertaking during the first term of 2006. The Chairperson invited the Members to comment on, and make suggestions around the Draft Committee Programme. The Draft Committee Programme would be used as a basis for planning the Committee’s work for the first term in 2006 and was open to alteration.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee would have to deal with any outstanding issues, arising from 2005, in 2006 and these needed to be factored into the Committee’s 2006 programme.
Ms L Mashiane (ANC) suggested that the outstanding issues should be dealt with at the beginning of 2006.
Mr Smith and Mr W Dorman (DA) were concerned that a lot of Committee meetings and work had been provisionally scheduled for February and March 2006. They pointed out that the municipal elections were due to be held in March 2006. As a result, they felt that the Committee should be undertaking minimal work in February and March. This would allow the Members time to undertake their campaign work.
Ms Mashiane added that, due to the elections, Members would perhaps not be available to attend some of the meetings that had been provisionally scheduled for February and March 2006.
Mr Dorman and Ms Mashiane suggested that perhaps the Committee should only deal with essential issues such as the budget, and meeting with the Minister, in February and March 2006. The Chairperson agreed that certain meetings would have to be rescheduled.
Mr Smith suggested that the Committee re-establish a small management team to deal with Committee logistics.
The Chairperson commented that the Draft Programme for the First Term would be reformulated and streamlined. However, the Committee would still have to meet with the Department and important organisations, such as the South African Local Government Association, during the first term of 2006.
The meeting was adjourned.