Poor Attendance of Members; Umsobomvu Youth Fund (postponed)

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Labour

16 March 2006
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
17 March 2006
POOR ATTENDANCE OF MEMBERS; UMSOBOMVU YOUTH FUND (POSTPONED)

Chairperson:

Ms O Kasienyane (ANC)

Documents handed out:

Umsobomvu Youth Fund presentation
Umsobomvu Youth Fund Info For 2006/7

SUMMARY
The meeting with the Umsobomvu Youth Fund was postponed due to the poor attendance of Members. Members who did attend felt that if the meeting continued, the lack of attendance would not do justice to the Fund’s Report. The Chairperson voiced her concern over the poor show of attendance and the fact that Members were often late for meetings. She felt that the postponement would create a serious problem as the Fund would still have to brief the Committee before it (the Committee) met with the Department on 29 March. The Fund delegation was prepared to reschedule the meeting and would move its diary around so that it would be able to meet with the Committee before 29 March. The Chairperson concluded that a new meeting date would be determined as soon as possible.

MINUTES
Discussion
The Chairperson stated that she had received apologies from three Members who could not attend the meeting. However, the Committee consisted of nineteen members, only six of whom were present at the meeting. She asked the Members who were present if they felt that the meeting should continue or be postponed and moved to a future date. She reminded Members that there was not much time for new meetings as the Committee had aimed to finish hearing presentations from all entities by the end of March.

The Committee would then to meet with the Department and it would be unfair if it had not met with the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) before that meeting. It would also be unfair if the meeting were to be postponed and the UYF was then unavailable to meet with the Committee before the end of March. She requested Members’ opinions on whether the meeting should continue or be postponed.

Mr G Anthony (ANC) was worried that if the meeting was allowed to continue, the Committee would not do justice to the UYF’s Report due to the absence of Members. He assumed that the Committee would be contacting the UYF towards the beginning of May before it began the Budget Vote 17. He therefore proposed that the Committee consider rescheduling the meeting with the UYF so that justice could be done to the UYF Report. He highlighted a number of issues that had been raised by the Committee in its previous meeting with the UYF. Not all of the issues had been dealt with due to time constraints. This further emphasised the fact that justice would not be done to the UYF Report if the present meeting continued.

Ms D Ngcengwane (ANC) agreed with Mr Anthony’s point of view. It was important that the Committee did justice to all the presentations given by stakeholders. It would not be fair to hear a presentation just for the sake of hearing it.

Mr S Siboza (ANC) supported the Members’ views as long as the UYF was not inconvenienced and was prepared to come back and brief the Committee at a later stage.

The Chairperson stated that the Members had not addressed the issue she had raised regarding the end of March deadline. When the Committee met with the Department on 29 March it was expected to raise the issues that had arisen from its meetings with the various entities. The Committee would obviously not be able to raise any issues regarding the UYF if it had not met with the organisation by then.

She agreed with the points that the Members had raised. However, she believed that Members were not doing justice to themselves or to Parliament. Fridays had been set aside for Committee meetings and even though Members were concerned with this arrangement, meetings did not even occur every Friday. She was planning to approach the Chair of Chairs with the problem of Friday meetings in the future. However, she felt that, even though Members were raising genuine issues at meetings, they were often late. This tardiness occurred even though the meetings had been moved from 9am to 10am at the request of Members.

Mr Anthony felt that Members agreed with the Chairpersons concerns. However, he felt that the present issue that needed to be addressed was not that of Friday meetings but rather whether the Committee should deal with the UYF Report as required by the terms of the Public Management Act. He personally felt that this was the real issue that needed to be addressed.

The Chairperson interrupted and said that the reason she had raised the issue of Friday meetings was because of the apologies she had received from Members who could not attend the meeting. She fully agreed that if the meeting continued with only six Members present, justice would not be done to the UYF’s Report. She wished to know if the UYF delegation would be able return at a later date and also if they were willing to do so.

Mr M Kekana (CEO, UYF) replied that the UYF was quite willing to return so that it could then properly engage with the Committee. This would not be an inconvenience for the UYF, and it was prepared to move its diary around so that it would be able to meet with the Committee before 29 March as this seemed to be a critical issue.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Kekana and stated that the Committee would determine a new meeting date and would inform the Committee secretary of that date. She thanked the UYF for its understanding as she was aware of the financial costs imposed on the organisation when it visited Parliament. She requested that Mr Kekana introduce the rest of his delegation.

Mr M Ntlangeni introduced himself and stated that he was the Director of the Process Sector Management Unit. The other member of the delegation was Ms J Law, Chief Financial Officer of the UYF.

The Chairperson welcomed them and noted that it was the first time that the Committee had met with Mr Ntlangeni. She highlighted the fact that the Committee had only received a copy of the UYF’s presentation just before the meeting began. The actual trend was that entities that were going to make presentations to the Committee were required to send a copy of their presentation at least three days prior to the planned meeting. According to regulations, the Committee should actually receive a copy seven days before the meeting but three days was adequate.

Members served on a number of Committees and also had full programmes. They therefore needed enough time to be able to read through the presentations before they attended these meetings. Now that Members had received a copy of the UYF presentation they would have enough time to read through it and to compare it with the previous presentation the UYF had made to the Committee in October 2005. She hoped that issues of concern that had been raised by Members in the previous meeting had been covered by the new presentation. She reiterated that a new meeting date would be arranged by the Committee as soon as possible.

The meeting was adjourned.


 

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