Provincial Monitoring Reports; Committee Minutes: discussion

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


10 March 2006

Mrs M Morutoa (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Committee Minutes:
12 August 2005
24 August 2005
9 September 2005
16 September, 2005
25 October 2005
2 November 2005
11 November 2005

The chairperson highlighted the inability of Parliament to take the Joint Committee seriously. Committee members agreed that the Programming Committee should refrain from scheduling meetings on Fridays. The Joint Committee agreed upon forming a small multi-party and gender sensitive committee that will forward such complaints to both the Speaker and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. A proposition was accepted to invite the first lady, Ms Zanele Mbeki, to address the Joint Committee.

Mrs M Morutoa (ANC) said that Parliament’s inability to take the Joint Committee seriously was evident in its failure to respond timeously to the Committee’s requests.

Ms S Vos (IFP) seconded the Chair and added that apathy towards the Joint Committee’s pleas was apparent in cases where it had taken parliament a period of almost 2 years to formally appoint a Chairperson for the committee, as well as the fact that the Joint Committee did not have a researcher specialising in gender-related matters. Although the government had excellent intentions with regards to empowerment and the improvement of status and quality of life for women, the outcomes have however been very poor. She stated that investigations of cases, which were core to women, such as domestic violence and child maintenance, were taking place at a very slow pace. However, she was aware that slow delivery was not a problem experienced by that Committee solely, but across all sectors.

Mr F Maserumule (ANC) agreed with Ms Vos with regard to the slow pace of delivery and added that members should refrain from excusing slow-paced delivery, as 12 years of democracy was a long time. Unless a meeting was called and all Members of Parliament were compelled to attend and address the issue of delivery, delivery would continue to be unsatisfactory.

Ms Makasi (ANC) suggested that the Program Committee be approached and discouraged from scheduling briefings on Fridays, as this forced members to choose between meetings.

Ms S Mabe (ANC), the Deputy Chairperson, agreed with Ms Makasi and said that the matter had been constantly raised in meetings held by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), but nothing had been done thus far. She suggested the formation of a small committee, which would be responsible for forwarding the Committee’s frustrations and complaints to the Speaker and Chairperson of the NCOP.

Mrs Morutoa agreed to the suggestion of selecting a committee that would approach the NCOP and added that the committee be representative of all parties.

Mrs Makasi seconded the chair and added that the elected committee be gender-sensitive, suggesting that Mr Maserumule be part of it.

The candidates nominated by the committee included: both chairpersons; Mr Maserumule; Ms Rajbally (MF); Ms M Mdlalose (IFP) and Mrs J Vilakazi (IFP).

Mrs Makasi said the voting for absent members was not ideal, because members ended up having other commitments, seeing that they were unaware of such elections.

The Chairperson responded that only the Joint Committee members engaged themselves in other activities whilst they having a responsibility to the Joint Committee. Members’ lack of commitment towards the Joint Committee was apparent during provincial meetings, as not only was the attendance poor, but some members’ flight tickets had been lost at the airport and they were left to account for such carelessness. She pointed out that the Commission on Gender Equality had engaged men as partners and that the partnership was operating well. The only issue that had been of disturbance thus far was that of the picture that had been televised, which included black people from the poorest of the poor. Such a picture was disturbing and humiliating and there were doubts that it would ever be shown again, as it did not represent South Africa.

Ms Vos congratulated Ms Sunaya on the excellent report and said that it went to the heart of what was being done in Parliament.

Mrs Morutoa suggested that papers be extracted from the report and sent to the Department. She commented on the satisfaction of the meeting that had been held in Potchefstroom and stated that they had agreed on regular annual meetings. She further commented on the lack of progress in Umtata, saying that it made her wonder whether the issue of transformation was being taken seriously there.

The Chairperson suggested that, as a means of demonstrating that the Joint Committee was heeding what had been said at previous meetings, each member come up with an opinion before the report was sent to the relevant Departments. She urged members to become actively involved in the task and complained that certain Members of Parliament were not actively involve, but instead were just there to record their presence. The Chairperson wanted to find out from the Committee whether there was anything they wished to be addressed.

Ms Mabe suggested that another meeting with all members of parliament on gender related matters be held. She said it should be a day whereby no committee meetings were being held as it was very likely that male Members of Parliament would not attend such meetings.

The Chairperson mentioned that she had been called by the first lady, Mrs Zanele Mbeki, to talk about the inaccurate report on National Gender Missionary. She critiqued the author, saying that she sounded like someone who had been out of South Africa for the previous 7 years

Ms Vos said she had spoken to the first lady, who was very keen on poverty alleviation programs. She suggested that Mrs Mbeki to be invited to address the Joint Committee on such programs and other gender related issues.

The committee accepted the proposition

The meeting was adjourned.


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