Eskom Conversion Bill: finalisation

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Meeting report

LABOUR AND PUBLIC ENTERPISE SELECT COMMITTEE

LABOUR AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISE SELECT COMMITTEE
20 June 2001
ESKOM CONVERSION BILL: ADOPTION


Chairperson: Mr SLE Fenyane

Documents handed out

Amendments proposed by the Select Committee to the Eskom Conversion Bill (see Appendix)

SUMMARY

The Committee passed the Bill unanimously with amendments.

MINUTES
The Chair acknowledged the presence of the Department, Eskom and Cosatu and then asked the Department to speak to the amendments before reading the motion of desirability, which would be voted upon before being adopted.

Mr L Montana (Director: Parliamentary Services) said in the previous meeting they had indicated that the Department might introduce additional clauses to the Bill, but have decided that would not be necessary. Instead they would focus on the amendments already distributed at the previous meeting.

Mr D Matsila (Director: Legal Services) focus on the change to the proposed amendments as requested by the Committee in the previous meeting:

The new subclause 6 (4) would read as follows: "The Minister must enter into a Shareholder compact with Eskom." The current subclause 6(4) would become 6(5).

He pointed out that they were faced with a problem with regard to the Memorandum on the Objects of the Eskom Conversion Bill. Point 3 on the purpose of the Bill reads as follows:
"The benefit to the country of the unbundling of Eskom is that in the long run Eskom might decide to draw on the benefits of listing on a stock exchange and, in that event, citizens and foreigners alike will be in a position to acquire shares in Eskom. Eskom can only be listed on a stock exchange if it is a company and Government is preparing for that eventuality, should it arise."

The Department had wanted to scrap Point 3. He said that procedurally, even if they want to take this paragraph out, the Department could not, and he was advised to ask the Chair if the Committee could assist in its deletion.

The Chair proceeded to read the motion of desirability which was moved and seconded.

At this stage, all the Cosatu representatives left the room.

Ignoring the filing out of Cosatu, the Chair continued that in terms of parliamentary rules the Bill would be read clause by clause which he asked the Department to do.

On clause 1 and 2, members said they were in agreement with the two amended clauses.

Mr M Moosa (ANC) pointed to clause 2 and asked the Department how the process would take place if the share capital were not entirely owned by the State?

Mr L Montana repied that their understanding was that they would have to come back to Parliament.

All the remaining clauses were agreed to without any opposition.

The Chair informed the Committee that he had noted in a report to the Presiding Officers that Point 3 of the Memorandum on the Objects of the Eskom Conversion Bill was going to be deleted.

Mr M Moosa pointed out that it could be deleted by the Committee. The Chair agreed and proceeded to read the Committee Report adopting the Bill unanimously with amendments.

Appendix:
AMENDMENTS PROPOSED BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO THE ESKOM CONVERSION BILL

CLAUSE 1
1 On page 2, in line 14 after 'agreement" to insert "to be".

CLAUSE 5
1. On page 3, in line 11, to delete "." to insert "; and"

2. On page 3, in line 1 2, to omit "The", to substitute "the"

3. On page 3, in line 15, to omit "."to substitute ";"

4. On page 3, in line 1 6, to omit "No", to substitute "no"

5. On page 3, in line 17, to omit "."to substitute "; and"

6. On page 3, in line 1 8, to omit "The" to substitute "the"

CLAUSE 6
1. On page 3, in line 25, before "articles "to insert "memorandum and the"

2. On page 3, after line 27, to insert new subclause:
"(4) The Minister must enter into a Shareholder compact with Eskom.".

3. On page 3, in line 29, to omit "may" to insert "must"

CLAUSE 8
1. On page 4, in line 6, after "Act," to insert "a majority of"

CLAUSE 11
1. On page 4, in line 40, after "relevant" to omit "register", and replace "Registrar".

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