Department of Constitutional Affairs Budget Review

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

02 March 1999
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
3 March 1999
DEPARTMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET REVIEW


Documents distributed:
Report of the Volkstaat Council to the Portfolio Committee (Appendix 1)
Report to the Portfolio Committee on the 1998/99 Expenditure of the National House of Traditional Leaders (Appendix 2)
Municipal Demarcation Board: Budget Review (Appendix 3)

SUMMARY
The committee was briefed on Municipal Service Partnerships and the Decentralised Development Programme.

There was also a presentation on Local Government Finance concentrating on two projects, Project Viability (to work with the provinces to monitor and stabilise municipal finances) and Municipal Finance Policy. The issue of equitable share allocations to municipalities will be looked at in depth later this session.

The Local Government Training Board made a presentation on progress in closing down training centres and setting up Sector Education and Training Authority bodies (SETA).

The Chairperson of the Demarcation Board briefed the Committee on the Board’s mandate and timeframe.

The Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders presented their annual report. It was acknowledged that their complaint about the lack of support received from the Department was accurate.

There was a report from the Volkstaat Council which will cease to exist on 31 March with its presentation of a final report to Parliament.

The Chief Directors for Disaster Management and Development and Support also provided reports.

The Third and Fourth Amendment Bills are back on course. A subcommittee of this Portfolio Committee, consisting of all interested members, would hold a closed meeting with the Minister that evening at the request of the President.

A subcommittee will be formed to deal with the issue of Y2K compliance within the municipalities.

MINUTES
The Chair, Mr Carrim (ANC), opened the meeting and noted that no members of the NNP were present. He said he had some announcements to make but would postpone them until more members of the Committee had arrived. He turned the meeting over to the head of the Local Government Branch of the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

The head of the Local Government Branch said Chief Directors would lead the presentations into their areas. Today the Committee would hear from Infrastructure and Planning, Finance, Development and Support, and Disaster Management.

The Chief Director of Infrastructure and Planning, Ms Gugu Moloi, gave a brief presentation. She addressed the issue of Municipal Service Partnerships, and said the Department was exploring them because many people in the country would be without access to basic services unless the Department could think of creative ways to address the problem. Public-Private partnerships would allow them to do this. Ms Moloi said this is a critical issue in terms of investigating alternative methods of service delivery. In March 1998 the Department began developing a regulatory framework for Municipal Service Partnerships, and established a steering committee to help municipalities design service partnerships in their areas. The Department is currently finalising this framework and hopes to implement it soon. In addition, they will develop guidelines and offer support to municipalities on how to interact and deal with service providers.

Ms Moloi said the Department had consulted with COSATU last year on the issue of Municipal Service Partnerships. COSATU had been concerned because they thought the Department planned to privatise certain functions. They have clarified the framework with COSATU.

On the issue of Municipal Planning, the structure currently in place is called the Decentralised Development Programme. Local Economic Development (LED) publications were developed last year to establish guidelines for municipalities to follow, but the Department remains concerned about municipal involvement in this area. Many municipalities do not have strategies for dealing with issues like urbanisation, urban renewal, and so on. In this light, the Department plans to assist municipalities with various LED programmes. In addition, the Department is currently consulting with the National Planning Commission to get recommendations on municipal planning.

On financial issues of the Directorate, Ms Moloi said they have two areas of focus. The first is information dissemination, as part of a broad communication strategy to inform the public about current programmes. The second is the implementation of the rural Municipal Infrastructure Programme, to ensure a basic level of service provision in all areas of the country.

In conclusion, Ms Moloi said that as a Chief Directorate they are facing problems in terms of backlogs from last year. As a result, they have had to look at creative ways of assisting municipalities in driving some of their projects forward.

The Chair said he would make some announcements and then take questions. The Third and Fourth Amendment Bills are back on course. The President was expected to announce a date for the election today, and he has requested that the Portfolio Committee find a way to deal with the Third and Fourth Amendment Bills. At 18.00 this evening, a subcommittee of this Portfolio Committee, consisting of all interested members, would hold a closed meeting with the Minister. The second announcement regards the formation of a subcommittee to deal with the issue of Y2K compliance within the municipalities. A meeting will be held in three weeks to table reports from all Committee members on the status of Y2K compliance in their municipalities.

An MP asked what obstacles there have been to providing infrastructure in rural areas, and how synergy will be achieved between the different government departments responsible for various aspects of infrastructure management.

Mr Bhabha (ANC, NCOP) asked what kind of investment is required to get provision of basic services through Municipal Service Partnerships.

The Chair mentioned that it is important for all Committee members to read the framework agreement with COSATU on the issue of Municipal Service Partnerships. On a separate point, he told the Department that the quality of the documents and booklets they produce is quite high, not only in content but also in presentation. Unfortunately, most Committee members never see them. Does the Department monitor how their publications are used, and to whom they are distributed?

Mr Eglin (DP) asked about development programmes currently under way in the Western Cape and KwaZulu/Natal – will these types of programmes be undertaken in other provinces as well? And will they be implemented uniformly?

On the question of development programmes in the Western Cape and KwaZulu/Natal, Ms Moloi replied that provinces are given the flexibility to apply development programmes within their preferred frameworks. Uniformity is not a criteria.

The Chair said that in the interest of staying on schedule, he would have to cut short the amount of time for replies. MPs who felt their questions had not been answered could follow up with the Department.

The Chief Director of Finance within the Department began her presentation on Local Government Finance, and noted two major programmes. The first is Project Viability – to work with the provinces to monitor and stabilise municipal finances. They would provide management support within municipalities, to help refocus programmes and ensure that managers had the appropriate skills. They would also develop guidelines on key areas of financial management, such as budgeting, credit control, and revenue collection.

The second key focus deals with Municipal Finance Policy. This involves establishing and targeting the "equitable share" allocations for local government, as well as dealing with credit control and debt collection. The major area of work regarding equitable share is in dealing with provinces and municipalities to transfer resources. On targeting equitable share, the Chief Directorate is working on developing guidelines to help municipalities target transfers to households that most need subsidies in terms of the provision of basic services.

Another focus for the Chief Directorate is to put in place a system of local government finances that is sustainable in the long run. They are addressing the issue of how to empower municipalities to collect property taxes and generate the revenue they need. They are also developing a Property Tax Bill, which is necessary to address the issue of property taxation in non-urban areas. In addition, they are addressing the issue of administering property taxes. To do this they are embarking on pilot studies to assist municipalities in valuing properties and collecting the appropriate tax. The final issue involves the vertical division of national revenue, to make sure division of national revenue is equitable in terms of the expenditure requirements of the three spheres of government.

Professor Du Toit (ANC) said he wanted to address the issue of equitable share and how it affects local government. He thinks share allocation as outlined in the Division of Revenue Bill is unconstitutional.

The Chair asked Professor Du Toit to be brief with his question, as the Committee will deal with local government in more detail on 23 March.

Professor Du Toit thinks the current structure of equitable share is a complete misunderstanding of what fiscal equalisation is all about. Equality needs to be ensured where resources are scarce, but local areas are intended to get over 90% of their revenues from property tax. It therefore needs to be ensured that where a municipality gets enough revenue from property taxes, it does not get any additional money through equitable share allocations.

An MP (ANC) asked if the Department has identified those municipalities most in need of assistance.

The Chair asked if the Department has the capability to monitor whether allocations through equitable share are being used appropriately. They are only intended to be used under specific circumstances, to fund basic service provision, but he has heard of cases where equitable share funds were used to pay councillors’ salaries. Regarding Professor Du Toit’s question, he said it raises a number of interesting issues but is probably too broad to be dealt with at present. He said it would be placed on the agenda for a future meeting.

The Chief Director answered that regarding equitable share and vertical division, the Directorate is conducting a study in conjunction with SALGA and the Department of Finance to determine what an appropriate allocation is. They are also studying the purpose of horizontal equalisation across municipalities.

On the issue of monitoring allocations, the Chief Director replied that unfortunately they are a small Department and lack the capacity to monitor all municipalities. They do clearly state what the allocations are to be used for. Over the next year they plan to do a review of equitable share monies to see whether equitable share is having an impact on people’s lives.

The head of the Local Government Branch said that Professor Du Toit has raised some complex legal issues, and while he does not agree that the Bill is unconstitutional, he does feel that there should be time for a more studied reply. A separate issue he did want to raise is that not all municipalities submit financial reports timeously, if at all; and not all pay audit fees. In these cases it is impossible for the Department to determine what is happening to public funds. He thinks it would be appropriate to suspend transfers into municipal accounts in these cases, and they are looking into the legality of this issue.

The Chair said that there appears to be general consensus that this whole equitable share issue leaves much to be desired. A day should be set aside to discuss it more thoroughly. The Chair then moved on to the next section on the agenda, covering reports from Statutory Bodies.

The Chair of the Local Government Training Board, Mrs Dube, said she had tabled a report before the Committee. The report covers several key areas in detail. The first is the dis-establishment of training centres. The Board sent notices to close them down by December 1998, but it has been quite a task because the notices said that while the centres had to close, training had to continue. So they had to find a balance, and the task has not been an easy one. Consultation is continuing, and significant progress has been made in closing the training centres.

On the Skills Development Act, Mrs Dube said they need to make sure that the process of setting up the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) is an inclusive one. The Danish government has approached Idasa to help develop SETA, and project proposals have been drafted.

On the issue of Project Viability, a pilot study was launched last year in the Free State. This pilot showed some weaknesses in some training programmes which the Department subsequently addressed, and training is now continuing in all Provinces.

On the issue of training in intervention modules, development funding has been provided by USAID. This training focuses on human resource issues, supervisory skills, computer literacy, and day-to-day finance and accounting skills. If members are interested in more detail on these programmes, Mrs Dube will be happy to provide it.

Other training modules include training on recent legislation. Municipalities will receive a summary of new legislation that is relevant to them, as well as education around the obligations that the new legislation places on municipal government.

Professor DuToit asked if all training modules are now finished, or if there are some still being developed. He also asked if the Board has any indication of results of their training programmes – for example, can they say whether financial management on a local level will improve this year?

Mr Eglin asked what cost was incurred in closing down training centres last year, including the cost of letting workers go. He also wanted to know when the new structures would be fully on-stream and functioning.

The Chair wanted the Board to note that the Committee had an extensive discussion yesterday about the degree of oversight the Committee should have over the statutory bodies. They also agreed that any report to the Committee must be presented at least ten days before the relevant meeting. The Board received several reminders of this policy in the course of the past few months, and yet did not present the Committee with a report until the day before the meeting. In the future, if reports are not received at least ten days in advance, the Committee will consider not endorsing the budget. In addition, the report of the Local Government Board is almost 200 pages long, which is far too detailed to be useful. They would prefer a six to ten page summary of key points, with the full document included as an annexure for those Committee members inclined to go into more detail.

Mrs Dube said the Chair had made reasonable points. On Mr Eglin’s question of the closure of training centres, this had not cost much in monetary terms because staff members were absorbed back into the municipal structures. The Board therefore did not have to offer severance pay. However, it has been a costly process in terms of not having full-time staff to help with training issues at a municipal level. Regarding when new structures will be in place, they should be up by July.

On Professor Du Toit’s question on the training modules, not all have been completed. The results are measured through an evaluation committee that looks into feedback from a number of areas, including input from the trainers. The Board is not currently able to assess the success of its training programmes in terms of skills improvement or monetary savings.

Professor Du Toit said that next year the Committee would like a report on the effect this training has had in terms of results, because that is why money is allocated to the Board.

The Chair closed discussion on the Local Government Training Board, and introduced the Chair of the Demarcation Board.

Mr Sutcliffe, Chair of the Demarcation Board, introduced his Deputy Chair, Mrs Matela. He said the Demarcation Board comprises the Chair, Deputy Chair, and nine other representatives, one from each province, with a range of backgrounds and skills. It is important for the Demarcation Board to recognise from the outset that its role is to make decisions, not necessarily to become experts on all issues regarding demarcation.

Mr Sutcliffe said that on the issue of accountability, his reading of the Act is that the Demarcation Board is accountable to the Constitutional Affairs Committee. As such, the Board will try to keep the Committee regularly informed of its activities. In addition, the Board is in the process of setting up meetings with representatives from all the political parties, to inform them of the Board’s mandate and timeframe.

Mr Sutcliffe said the timing of the Board’s activity is very tight. In order to have elections in November 2000, the IEC needs about four months of lead time for co-ordination purposes. The deadline the Board is working towards, therefore, is 1 June of next year. What they are currently doing is setting up a comprehensive system of databases and geographical information systems (GIS), working with the IEC’s very sophisticated GIS data. They will spend a few months setting up an information system to provide basic information on existing ward boundaries and demarcations.

The Minister for Constitutional Affairs has requested that the Board give him advice on the question of metropolitan areas, and they also need to establish the boundaries for district councils. The second step will be to deal with the issue of cross-boundary municipalities. They are trying to determine how many settlements currently exist that cross provincial boundaries. They will also have to determine whether the political will exists to deal with cross-boundary municipalities, because if it does not they will not be able to address them until after the election.

By the end of July the Board hopes to finalise all metropolitan and district council boundaries, and within the first four to five months of 2000 they will have set ward boundaries. In this process the Board wants to be in the position to put forward a demarcation proposal and then make adjustments based on the reaction they receive. They do not want a process where everyone comes to them with ideas, and they are then in the position of having to judge and decide among hundreds of proposals.

Professor Du Toit asked what form the demarcation must eventually take, based on the requirements of the Demarcation Act. Must it be a proclamation in GIS form? And should the Act be amended to specify the form in which the proclamation should take place?

Mr Sutcliffe said that the Board is looking into that, but it is not a major issue. Previously, demarcation proclamations were point-to-point, which meant the entire boundary was not totally clear. They currently plan to make two proclamations, one in map form and one that will satisfy the Surveyor-General’s office. There is no need for an amendment to the Act, as the Act is flexible enough to allow them to make their proclamation in the most appropriate manner.

The Chair said he welcomes the approach the Board has taken to have concerted interaction with the Committee. His concern is that given the time constraints, there should be more than one full-time member to deal with the work. He also suggested that the Board take more of a public profile, so people know what the demarcation process will be.

Mr Sutcliffe answered that if people expected the Board to be doing all the work, it would not require one or even eleven full-time workers – it would require several hundred. That is why he said earlier that the point of the Board is to make decisions, and to take advantage of the work that has already been completed on this issue by the IEC and others. The Board’s job will be to make decisions. They will set up investigating teams within each province to do much of the work.

On taking a more public profile, Mr Sutcliffe said he thinks that is important but might be unwise in the first few months. The Board does not want to have to deal with all sorts of vested interests who have their own agendas regarding demarcation, especially at the beginning of the process. Too much publicity at this stage could result in making the entire process more difficult.

Mr Sutcliffe asked the Chair if it would be possible to arrange for sub-committee meetings after the Parliamentary session had ended. He anticipates issues arising by April or May that he would like to engage the Committee on.

The Chair said that could be arranged, as Parliamentarians understand their obligations to Parliament do not end until election day. The Chair then introduced Mr Mzimela, the Chair of the National House of Traditional Leaders.

Mr Mzimela apologised for not submitting his annual report on time, and said that in the future they would comply. The year under review was a promising one for the National House of Traditional Leaders, and details are outlined in the annual report. In addition, the Minister and Director-General of the Department have been active in advising the House on their relationship with the national government.

The House did have some problems this year, including the fact that they had no office, no staff, and no control of their budget. In addition, it took the Department too long to pay them their allowances. On an organisational level, Mr Mzimela feels that the Chair of the National House of Traditional Leaders should be elevated to the level of Chief Director within the Department

The Director-General, Mr Titus, said that he would like to add a few comments to Mr Mzimela’s comments. The field that the National House of Traditional Leaders has to cover is quite vast, and Mr Mzimela’s comments about the lack of support received from the Department are accurate. Mr Titus said that as a Department they will endeavour to assist the House in the future, and he appealed to the Committee to help as well. There were a number of administrative issues to be dealt with, and Mr Titus said he appreciates Mr Mzimela’s understanding of those constraints.

The Chair asked what type of relationship exists between the National House and the Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders.

Mr Mzimela answered that relations between the houses are quite good.

The Chair called on the Volkstaat Council to give their final report.

Professor Roberts, Chair of the Volkstaat Council, said that the Council has made an important contribution to the issue of self-determination in South Africa. While they had a specific focus on the needs of Afrikaner people, they feel that other groups will benefit from their research as well.

While it has been stated that the Volkstaat Council will cease to exist on 31 March, Professor Roberts said that there had been no official proclamation in that regard. He hoped the issue would be dealt with in an appropriate manner. He would ask for no more of the Committee’s time, as a final report would be presented to Parliament on 31 March.

The Director-General said that the Minister is in the process of conferring with the President on legal obligations for the dissolution of the Volkstaat Council and the presentation of a final report.

Professor DuToit said that the Council has said they will distribute a final report on 31 March, which means political parties will not be able to react to it in this Parliamentary sitting. He would much prefer the report to be available to Parliament sooner. In addition, the Committee has received interim reports from the Council along the way, and they show that most of the conferences have been dominated by people who support the Volkstaat idea. Professor Du Toit is concerned that the final report will be one-sided.

Professor Roberts responded that over 2000 invitations were sent out for the last conference, including one to Professor Du Toit, who chose not to attend. The Council has heard from people who are critical of its proposals, so the final report will not be one-sided.

The Chair thanked the Council for their excellent work. He said the process has been very valuable, because supporters of the Volkstaat idea, lacking this type of forum, could easily have turned to violence. The value of the Council should therefore not be underestimated.

The Chair then asked the Department to continue with its presentations, but to be very brief.

The Chief Director for Disaster Management said that the main objective this year will be the implementation of the White Paper on Disaster Management, and the submission by the middle of this year of a Bill on Disaster Management. Another focus will be to set up a National Centre for Disaster Management.

The Chief Director for Development and Support said that over the past two years they have focused on policy and legislation. This year they will focus on implementation. Regarding the Demarcation Board, they hope to have a very interactive process with the Board without compromising its independence. If recommended by the Board, the Department will consider the possibility of cross-border legislation to address issues of cross-boundary municipalities.

A major development for the Directorate has been the launch and maintenance of their website, which now receives over 10,000 hits per week. This represents a major savings in terms of the manpower costs of answering phone calls and other queries.

The Chair thanked members of the Department and statutory bodies for their attendance. He reminded the Committee of the sub-committee meeting to be held to address the Third and Fourth Amendment Bills. The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1: Report of the Volkstaat Council to the Portfolio Committee


REPORT TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS REGARDING THE EXPENDITURE OF THE VOLKSTAAT COUNCIL

1. TERMINATION OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE VOLKSTAAT COUNCIL

Both the minister for Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development and certain political party leaders, have announced inside and outside parliament that the Council shall cease to exist on the 31 March 1999.

Act No 30, 1994 on the Volkstaat Council, makes the following provision in this regard:

" ... 7(1). This Act shall lapse on a date fixed by the President, after consultation with the Council, by proclamation in the Gazette.

(2) … The Council shall ha dissolved on the date referred to in subsection (1)"

The Council has, however, not yet been formally consulted by the President regarding its dissolvement. On its own initiative, the Council has, via the minister of Constitutional Development requested the President that we now embark on the formal processes which is prescribed by the Act.

Because of the expected dissolvement of the Council on 31 March 1999, no funds were allocated by the government in subsequent budgets. This: submission is, therefore, not -- as in the past -- a motivation for expenditure to come. It will rather summarise the activities of the Council up to the end of January 1999. The following aspects will be discussed:

- The political, constitutional and judicial empowerment of the Council;

- the structure and functional organization;

- the implementation of its mission;

- publications of the result of the research of the Council;

- notes on the appropriation items of the budget 1989/99.

2. THE ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF THE VOLKSTAAT COUNCIL

The establishment of the Volkstaat Council is a result of the following:

2.1 Political agreement. On 23 April 1994 an accord was reached between the Freedom Front, the African National Congress and the then government of the Republic of South Africa. The Accord inter alia, states:

"The parties agree to address, through a process of negotiations, the idea of Afrikaner self-determination, including the concept of a Volkstaat.

The parties further agree that in the consideration of these matters, they shall not exclude the possibility of local and/or regional and other forms of expression or such self-determination."

In the same Accord it was stated that a Volkstaat Council should be established to investigate and to report on measures which can give effect to the above agreement.

2.2 Constitutional empowerment.. As a result of the Accord reached, Sections 184A and 184B of the Interim Constitution was enacted.

Section 184A states:

"The establishment of a Volkstaat Council is hereby authorised."

Section 184B gives an unambiguous description of the functions of the Volkstaat Council within the following parameters:

"The Council shall serve as a constitutional mechanism to enable proponents of the idea of a Volkstaat to constitutionally pursue the Establishment of such a Volkstaat

These Sections also contain a description of the Volkstaat Council's commission, namely "to submit representations and recommendations with regard to the possible establishment of a Volkstaat and any matter in connection therewith ..."

2.3 Judicial and administrative regulations.

According to the above provisions, the Volkstaat Council was established on 2 December 1994 by the promulgation of Act No 30 of 1994 and continues to function as such. This law provides for the appointment of councillors and staff. It also regulates administrative and financial aspects.

The purpose of the Volkstaat Council, inter alia, is stated as follows:

* "With consideration of the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1993) and of the constitutional principles, to examine, make recommendations and advise the government, the Constitutional Assembly, the Commission on Provincial Government (CPG) and other bodies concerned, regarding self-determination in general and the attainment thereof of a Volkstaat for the Afrikaner.

* "The Council shall serve as a constitutional mechanism to enable proponent of the idea of a Volkstaat to constitutionally pursue the establishment of such a Volkstaat"

2.4 The New Constitution.

The New Constitution of the Republic of south Africa (Act 108 of 1996) provides in Schedule 6, Section 20 5(a) and (b), as follows:

"(5) (a) The Volkstaat Council established in terms of the previous Constitution continues to function in terms of the legislation applicable to it, and anyone holding office as a member of the Council when the new Constitution took affect, continues to hold office in terms of the legislation applicable to the office, subject to:

(i) any amendment or repeal of the legislation and

(ii) consistency with the New Constitution.

(b) Sections 784A and 184B (1) (a), (b) and (d) of the previous Constitution continue in force until repealed by an Act of Parliament passed in terms of section 75 of the New Constitution."

3. THE STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL

3.1 Article 184A of the Interim Constitution stipulates that the Council "shall consist of 20 members elected by members of parliament who support the establishment of a Volkstaat for those who want it."

3.2 Ten full-time and ten part-time councillors were originally elected. However, since 1 June 1997, the chairman, vice chairman and all councillors now serve on a part-time basis because of budgetary reasons. For the same reasons vacancies were not filled.

3.3 The present composition of the Council is as follows:

Chairman

Vice Chairman

Eleven members

3.4 The administrative support of the council was originally rendered by five full-time officials. Because of budgetary reasons, the number of personnel was also reduced to one full-time and two part-time employees.

3.5 The Council originally met on a monthly basis. To economise on travel and subsistence costs, the council now meets quarterly. The Management Committee, on the other hand, meets on a more regularly basis.

3.6 For research purposes the Council divided its functions into three main programmes, each of which is supported by specific activities. The programmes are:

3.6.1 Territorial self-determination as it relates to four specific areas, namely:

* The Bushveld area

* Drakensberg North

* Pretoria/Centurion area

* The Northwestern Cape

3.6.2 Cultural self-determination

3.6.3 General research supportive to the two main programmes.

4. IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS MISSION

To put the research programme of the council in perspective, mention must be made of its submissions to the constitutional Assembly

4.1 Submissions to the Constitutional Assembly.

The Council was specifically tasked to make recommendations to the Constitutional Assembly and the Commission on Provincial Affairs. These tasks were the primary responsibility of the Council in the first two years of its existence. All other activities and expenditure of the Council were subservient to this task. Of necessity some programmes were, therefore, postponed. The magnitude of the task is evident from the following data:

* 24 submissions to the various theme committees

* a special report on group and individual rights

* a submission containing holistic view of the political and constitutional proposals of the Volkstaat Council

* two external workshops on various matters, were held with sub-committees of

the Constitutional Assembly.

The Council also made submissions and gave oral clarification to the constitutional Court on certain aspects of the draft constitution.

The monthly meetings and ad hoc workshops with The Commission of Provincial Affairs were ended on the termination of the Commission.

4.2 Contact with other institutions and interest groups

4.2.1 Relationship with political parties

From the outset efforts were made to keep the Volkstaat Council out of political party affairs. However, this did not preclude the Council from keeping the political parties informed of its activities, research results and recommendations. This applied also to extra-parliamentary political parties. Discussions, therefore, took place on a formal as well as informal basis with all major political groupings. Particular attention was paid to the matter of cultural self-determination, with specific reference to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, as well as the formation of cultural councils.

4.2.2 Relationship with supporters of a Volkstaat

The Volkstaat Council continues to communicate as widely as possible with supporters of the Volkstaat idea. This is in accordance with its mission as stipulated in the constitution. A number of organisations and individuals gave oral and written evidence and, in a few cases, the Council received suggestions or research into matters of mutual interest.

4.2.3 Non-governmental Organisations

Meetings were held with several non-governmental organisations and interest groups. The main focus has been the question of cultural self-determination.

4.2.4 Foreign contact

Contact with foreign institutions, individuals and missions were maintained by means of:

* attendance of members of the diplomatic corps to conferences held by the council;

* individual briefing of diplomats;

* distribution of reports of the council to all foreign missions in South Africa as well as to South African embassies abroad;

* On request, the Council briefed a number of foreign specialists who are interested in the aspects of self-determination in South Africa.

4.3 The gathering and analysis of information

As in previous financial years the gathering, analysis and synthesis of information continue. In a sense this is the most important task of the council.

4.3.1 The Council initiated and managed the following sources of information:

* Research done by full-time councillors up to June 1997;

* Research undertaken by part-time councillors on instructions of the Council;

* Research-related work done by the administrative staff;

* Tasks performed by experts in the employ of the state, free of charge;

* Research undertaken by experts not in the employ of the state or the Council against a fee payable;

* Evidence by experts obtained by means of formal presentations to the Council-in-session;

* Evidence received by means of correspondence;

* Councillors held hearings in various cantra in the Republic (grass-roots evidence).

4.3.2 The topics studied are all related to the question of self-determination and cover a large field which are summarised below:

* The concept and various forms of self-determination;

* Resolutions and discussions by multi-national organizations regarding minorities and the right to self-determination;

* Publications of authorities on the subject;

* The relations between group and individual rights;

* The experience, world-wide, in connection with self-determination and minorities;

* The question of citizenship;

* The history of self-determination of the Afrikaner;

* The demographic distribution of the populations;

* Fiscal arrangements;

* The economic impact;

* All aspects or international law relating to the constitution;

* Comparative constitutional law;

* The constitutions of various countries.

5. PUBLICATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH BY THE COUNCIL

The contacts made and researched done as enumerated in paragraph 4, resulted in the publication of the findings of the Council. These publications are listed hereunder:

5.1 Reports published up to the financial year 1997/98:

First Report: FIRST INTRIM REPORT. MAY 1995

Second Report: SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE

Third Report: SELF-DETERMINATION, its nature, development and application. A historical survey

Fourth Report: CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION OF THE

PRINCIPLE OF SELF-DETERMINATION IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

Fifth Report: THE HISTORY OF AFRIKANER SELF-DETERMINATION

Sixth Report: CONSTITUTTONAL PROPOSALS OF THE VOLKSTAAT

COUNCIL

Seventh Report: AFRIKANER SELF-DETERMINATION

(Eight Report): REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF A CONFERENCE ON THE COMMISSION FOR THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS AND LINGUISTIC COMMUNITIES

5.2 Reports finalised in the financial year 1998/99:

The Afrikaner's pursuit of self-determination and a Volkstaat in the light of the New Constitution.

Preliminary research reports by the various task teams regarding:

The Northwestern Cape

The Bushveld area

The Pretoria/Centurion area

Local and cultural self-determination

Report on self-determination and higher (tertiary) education.

Report on education and the Afrikaner's strife towards self-determination.

Constitutional guidelines for the establishing of Afrikaner Councils.

5.3 Monographs published up to January 1999:

Juridical claims of the Afrikaner to the territories of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek.

Establishment of an Afrikaner Volkstaat in terms of Constitutional and International Law.

The internationalisation of the Afrikaner's struggle for self-determination.

Belange-groepe: 'n Teoretiese verkenning.

Die Stigting en Registrasie van private instellings in hoër onderwys gebaseer op 'n gemeenskaplike kultuur in die lig van die Handves van Regte en die Beginsele van Selfbeskikking.

Report on the Constitutional regime of Brussels and the possibility of applying some of its principles to Pretoria.

5.4 Submissions were made to various government departments regarding matters of cultural self-determination.

6. APROPRIATION ITEMS OF THE BUDGET

6.1 An amount of R2 675 000 was allocated to the council to finance its programmes, activities, research and publications. In this regard the following general comments are made:

The Director-general of the Department of Provincial Affairs and constitutional Development is also the Accounting officer for the council. The budget and expenditure is, therefore, included in that of the said Department. As such, the Department are, in fact, the controlling financial authority.

6.1.2 The Council wishes to record that, within budgetary and regulatory restraints, the Department fulfilled this duty in such a manner that it never curtailed the Council in the execution of its task. The Council wishes to express its appreciation to all the officials of the Department who so professionally advised and with sensitivity assisted the Council in this regard.

6.1.3 The control exercised by the Department did not preclude the Council to install and maintain its own control mechanisms to ensure sound financial administration. The Council , therefore, adopted its own "Rules and Regulations". The control of expenditure is, therefore, extensive.

6.1.4 The fact that the Minister of Constitutional Development in the final instance advises the Government on the amount to be voted for the Council, constitutes the ultimate control, not only on the method of expenditure, but, in fact, on the extent of the Council's activities.

6.2 The details of expenditure for the period 1 April 1998 to 31 January 1999 are set out in Table 1.

 

ITEMS BUDGET

R EXPENDITURE

R

Administration 712 000 380 056

Supplies 100 000 17 987

Equipment 20 000 16 364

Professional Services 1 843 000 1 098 848

2 675 000 1 513 255

6.3 General Comments:

At this stage of the financial year, it is not possible for the Council to calculate the actual payments that will still be made to the end of the financial year. A few general comments are offered as to the purpose of the expenditure.

6.4 As stated above, the Volkstaat Council has five functional programmes related to its research functions. These programmes are the following:

* Cultural self-determination

* The Bushweld autonomous area

* The Eastern Transvaal autonomous area

* The Pretoria/ Centurion area

* The Northwestern Cape area

6.5 In addition, some research is one that is applicable to all five the "line" programmes. These expenditures are allocated to a genera research programme.

6.6 The remainder of the costs required are on behalf of:

* Cost of personnel

* Council and committee meetings

* Liaison

* Conferences and workshops

* printing and

* General administration

7. DETAILS OF FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMES

7.1 Local and Cultural self-determination:

* Analysis of the opportunities for cultural self-determination made possible by the new Constitution;

* Constitutional restraints on self-determination and methods of adaptation to these restraints;

* The role, functions and legislation regarding the Commission to be established under act 185 of the Constitution;

The implementing of cultural self-determination at local-, provincial and central governmental level;

* The role of specifically local-, provincial and central cultural councils

* The relationship between territorial and cultural self-determination and the possibility of creating an Afrikaner Heimat;

* The relationship and differences between the rights of peoples, groups, communities and individuals;

* The international application of the right to cultural self-determination and

The administrative and fiscal aspects of cultural self-determination and costs thereof. How is the problem internationally solved?

7.2 The establishment of autonomous areas in the Bushveld, Eastern Transvaal and Pretoria/Centurion.

The further analysis and interpretation of existing research material to establish the economic potential of the areas and to address the following questions:

* How can the potential be transformed into self-generating economic development?

* Can the economy sustain a political autonomous area? What is the interaction between political autonomy and economic self-sufficiency and what is the experience in other countries?

* What type of political, institutional and administrative arrangements will have to be made to establish an autonomous area in the region? What must the process be?

* What will the impact be on fiscal arrangements and the economic and financial arrangements between other tiers of government? How did other countries overcome these problems and issues?

* Applicable international case studies and

* Liaison and workshops.

7.3 The Northwestern Cape area

* An economic study is also being undertaken for the Northwestern Cape. The Council is also investigating several development possibilities, for example regarding agriculture and tourism

7.4 General research This programme include the following:

* Demographic studies and settlement patterns;

* Legislation which affect self-determination, e.g.:

--- education

--- labour

--- affirmative action

--- local government

* The fiscal arrangements;

* self-determination and legislation and practices;

* Centralization and decentralization;

* The relationship between cultural, political and territorial self-determination and

* The importance of acceptances by the people and how to measure it.

7.5 General administration includes expenditure on the following:

Liaison with:

* governmental structures;

* cultural and political institutions;

* academic and research institutions and

* foreign missions in the SA.

* opinion surveys

* Workshops and conferences

8. THE CAPACITY OF THE COUNCIL TO EXECUTE THIS PROGRAMME

8.1 The extent to which the Council could execute its constitutional assignment, was severely impaired by successive budgetary constraints. The amounts voted were as follows:

Financial year: Amount in R

1994/95 3 560 000

1995/96 6 042 000

1996/97 4 435 000

1997/98 2 000 000

1998/99 2 675 000

8.2 Because of budget limitation imposed on the Department of Constitutional Development as a whole, as well as political uncertainties regarding the Volkstaat Council, the exact amount allocated so the Council was, as of 1996/97, only finalised during the last quarter of the calendar year. This prohibited proper financial planning and actual expenditure was far less than that budgeted for. The average amount not spend was 23% of funds voted.

8.3 Thus, not only did the amounts voted decline, but because of mainly political uncertainties, the amount voted could not be spent in total. Therefore, a backlog of tasks developed.

8.4 Measures to save on expenditure resulted, not only in a decrease of financial resources, but also impeded the Council to execute its functions efficiently. These measures described above, are summarized hereunder:

* Decrease in number of councillors from twenty in total to thirteen;

* The loss of the full-time service of ten Councillors;

* The reduction of the number of full-time personnel from five to only one full time and two half-time employees;

* The decrease in the number of meetings of the Council from one per month to one every three months;

* Restrictions on travel inhibits research and liaison;

* The Council experienced resistance by outside professionals to work for R96 per hour. They increasingly demand marker related fees. The savings for not employing full-time councillors are thus annulled;

* The overall leadership planning, execution and control of the Council severely affected by the fact that neither the chairman, nor the vice chairman is available on a full-time basis. An unfair load is placed on the one full-time officer.

* The whole research programme of the Council had to be reconsidered and a new timetable set. The result was that some programmes had to be repeatedly postponed: the most serious of which is research into the economic impact of the Constitutional proposals of the Council.

Prof. H C G ROBBERTZE

CHAIRMAN

VOLKSTAAT COUNCIL

Appendix 2: REPORT TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

REGARDING THE EXPENDITURE OF THE VOLKSTAAT COUNCIL

1. THE ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF THE VOLKSTAAT COUNCIL

The establishment of the Volkstaat Council is a result of the following:

1.1 Political agreement. On 23 April 1994 an accord was reached between the Freedom Front, the African National Congress and the then government of the Republic of South Africa. The Accord, inter alia, states:

"The parties agree to address, through a process of negotiations, the idea of Afrikaner self-determination, including the concept of a Volkstaat.

The parties further agree that in the consideration of these matters, they shall not exclude the possibility of local and/or regional and other forms of expression of such self-determination."

In the same Accord it was stated that a Volkstaat Council should be established to investigate and to report on measures which can give effect to the above agreement.

1.2 Constitutional empowerment. As a result of the Accord reached, Sections 184A and 184B of the Interim Constitution was enacted.

Section 184A states:

The establishment of a Volkstaat Council is hereby authorised."

Section 184B gives an unambiguous description of the functions of the Volkstaat Council within the following parameters:

"The Council shall serve as a constitutional mechanism to enable proponents of the idea of a Volkstaat to constitutionally pursue the establishment of such a Volkstaat..."

These Sections also contain a description of the Volkstaat Council's commission, namely "to submit representations and recommendations with regard to the possible establishment of a Volkstaat and any matter in connection therewith..."

1.3 Judicial and administrative regulation.

According to the above provisions, the Volkstaat Council was established on 2 December 1994 by the promulgation of Act No 30 of 1994 and continues to function as such. This law provides for the appointment of councillors and staff. It also regulates administrative and financial aspects.

The purpose of the Volkstaat Council, inter alia, is stated in the Act as follows:

* "With consideration of the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1993) and of the Constitutional Principles, to examine, make recommendations and advise the government, the Constitutional Assembly, the Commission on Provincial Government (CPG) and other bodies concerned, regarding self-determination in general and the attainment thereof of a Volkstaat for the Afrikaner.

* "The Council shall serve as a constitutional mechanism to enable proponents of the idea of a Volkstaat to constitutionally pursue the establishment of such a Volkstaat."

1.4 Procedures and functions. The Council is competent and compelled:

* "to deliberate with interested parties, persons, societies and institutions and to submit in reports such information, points of view, advice and recommendations obtained as well as reservations which they may raise, together with the observations of the Council regarding the above, to the authorities, the Constitutional Assembly and the CPG;

* to submit representations and recommendations to the Constitutional Assembly and the CPG with regard to the possible establishment of a Volkstaat

* to obtain oral evidence, accept written submissions and to receive the help and advice of experts, in exchange for compensation if necessary;

* to negotiate with the Constitutional Assembly, the CPG, the authorities, parties, communities and societies, leaders and institutions about its recommendations and to comment on any disputes that may arise from those recommendations;

* to elect or appoint consulting and advisory committees to represent different communities or interest groups who wish to express an opinion about the Volkstaat

* to publish the results of this process in a report."

[Note: The reference to the CPG and the Constitutional Assembly is no longer applicable, since these bodies have ceased to exist.]

1.5 The New Constitution.

The New Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) provides in Schedule 6, Section 20 5(a) and (b), as follows:

"(5) (a) The Volkstaat Council established in terms of the previous Constitution continues to function in terms of the legislation applicable to it, and anyone holding office as a member of the Council when the new Constitution took effect, continues to hold office in terms of the legislation applicable to the office, subject to:

(i) any amendment or repeal of the legislation; and

(ii) consistency with the New Constitution.

(b) Sections 184A and 184B(1)(a), (b) and (d) of the previous Constitution continue in force until repealed by an Act of Parliament passed in terms of section 75 of the New Constitution."

2. THE COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL

2.1 Article 184A of the Interim Constitution stipulates that the Council shall consist of 20 members elected by members of Parliament who support the establishment of a Volkstaat for those who want it."

2.2 Ten full-time and ten part-time councillors were originally elected. However, since 1 June 1997, the chairman, vice chairman and all councillors now serve on a part-time basis because of budgetary reasons.

2.3 Four councillors resigned during the year under review. One because of reasons of health and three on account of other work commitments.

2.4 The present composition of the Council is as follows:

Chairman

Vice Chairman

Eleven members

2.5 The administrative support of the Council was originally rendered by five full-time officials. Because of budgetary reasons, the number of personnel was also reduced to one full-time and two part-time employees.

2.6 The Council originally met on a monthly basis. To economise on travel and subsistence costs, the Council now meets quarterly. The Management Committee, on the other hand, meets on a more regularly basis.

3. FUNCTIONAL ORGANISATION

For research purposes the Council divided its functions into three main programmes, each of which is supported by specific activities. The programmes are:

3.1 Territorial self-determination as it relates to four specific areas, namely:

* The Bushveld area

* Drakensberg North

* Pretoria/Centurion area

* The Northwestern Cape

3.2 Cultural self-determination

3.3 General research supportive to the two main programmes.

4. IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS MISSION

4.1 Submissions to the Constitutional Assembly.

The Council was specifically tasked to make recommendations to the Constitutional Assembly and the Commission on Provincial Affairs. These tasks were the primary responsibility of the Council in the first two years of its existence. All other activities and expenditure of the Council were subservient to this task. Of necessity some programmes were, therefore, postponed. The magnitude of the task is evident from the following data:

* 24 submissions to the various theme committees

* a special report on group and individual rights

* a submission containing a holistic view of the political and constitutional proposals of the Volkstaat Council

* two external workshops on various matters, were held with subcommittees of the Constitutional Assembly.

The Council also made submissions and gave oral clarification to the Constitutional Court on certain aspects of the draft constitution.

The monthly meetings and ad hoc workshops with The Commission of Provincial Affairs were ended on the termination of the Commission.

4.2 Relationship with political parties

From the outset efforts were made to keep the Volkstaat Council out of political party affairs. However, this did not preclude the Council from keeping the political parties informed of its activities, research results and recommendations. This applied also to extra-parliamentary political parties. Discussions, therefore, took place on a formal as well as informal basis with all major political groupings. Particular attention was paid to the matter of cultural self-determination, with specific reference to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, as well as cultural councils.

4.3 Relationship with supporters of a Volkstaat

The Volkstaat Council continues to communicate as widely as possible with supporters of the volkstaat idea. This is in accordance with its mission as stipulated in the Constitution. A number of organisations and individuals gave oral and written evidence and, in a few cases, the Council received suggestions for research into matters of mutual interest.

4.4 Non-governmental Organisations

Meetings were held with several non-governmental organisations and interest groups. The main focus has been the question of cultural self-determination.

4.5 Non-supporters

The Council also discussed the matter of self-determination in all its forms with institutions and professionals which are not supportive of the Volkstaat-idea and included these opinions in its reports.

4.6 Foreign contact

Contact with foreign institutions, individuals and missions were maintained by means of:

* attendance of members of the diplomatic corps to conferences held by the Council;

* individual briefing of diplomats;

* distribution of reports of the Council to all foreign missions in South Africa as well as to South African embassies abroad;

* On request, the Council briefed a number of foreign specialists who are interested in the aspects of self-determination in South Africa.

4.7 The gathering and analysis of information

As in previous financial years the gathering, analysis and synthesis of information continue. In a sense this is the most important task of the Council.

4.7.1 The Council initiated and managed the following sources of information:

* Research done by full-time councillors up to June 1997;

* Research undertaken by part-time councillors on instructions of the Council;

* Research-related work done by the administrative staff;

* Tasks performed by experts in the employ of the state, free of charge;

* Research undertaken by experts not in the employ of the state or the Council against a fee payable;

* Evidence by experts obtained by means of formal presentations to the Council-in-session;

* Evidence received by means of correspondence;

* Councillors held hearings in various centra in the Republic (grass-roots evidence).

4.7.2 The topics studied are all related to the question of self-determination and cover a large field which are summarised below:

* The concept and various forms of self-determination;

* Resolutions and discussions by multi-national organisations regarding minorities and the right to self-determination;

* Publications of authorities on the subject;

* The relations between group and individual rights;

* The experience, world-wide, in connection with self-determination and minorities;

* The question of citizenship;

* The history of self-determination of the Afrikaner;

* The demographic distribution of the populations;

* Fiscal arrangements;

* The economic impact;

* All aspects of international law relating to the Constitution;

* Comparative constitutional law;

* The constitutions of various countries.

5. THE PUBLICATION OF THE RESULT OF THE RESEARCH BY THE COUNCIL AND CONTACT WITH OTHER GROUPS

The contacts made and research done as enumerated in paragraph 4, resulted in the publication of the findings of the Council. These publications are listed hereunder:

5.1 Reports published during the financial year 1997/98:

THIRD REPORT: Self-determination, its nature, development and application. A historical survey.

FOURTH REPORT: Constitutional recognition of the principle of self-determination in international context.

FIFTH REPORT: The history of Afrikaner self-determination.

SIXTH REPORT: Constitutional proposals of the Volkstaat Council.

SEVENTH REPORT: Afrikaner self-determination.

REPORT of the proceedings of a conference on the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

5.2 Reports finalised in the financial year 1997/98:

The Afrikaner's strife for self-determination and a Volkstaat in the light of the New Constitution. (In the press).

Preliminary research-report of the Drakensberg North task team.

5.3 Reports already written in the financial year 1997/98 and presently in the process of editing:

Affirmative action and self-determination.

Preliminary research reports by the various task teams regarding:

The Northwestern Cape

The Bushveld area

The Pretoria/Centurion area

Local and cultural self-determination

Report on self-determination and higher (tertiary) education.

Report on education and the Afrikaner's strife towards self-determination.

Constitutional guidelines for the establishing of Afrikaner Councils.

5.4 Monographs published during the financial year 1997/98:

Juridical claims of the Afrikaner to the territories of the ZuidAfrikaanse Republiek.

Establishment of an Afrikaner Volkstaat in terms of Constitutional and International Law.

The internationalisation of the Afrikaner's struggle for self-determination.

5.5 Submissions were made to various government departments regarding matters of cultural self-determination.

5.6 An amount of R2 000 000 was allocated to the Council to finance these programmes, activities, research and publications.

6. NOTES ON THE BUDGET 1997/98

6.1 The following general comments on financial control are firstly made:

6.1.1 The Council was not granted financial autonomy. The Director-general of the Department of Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development is also the Accounting officer for the Council. The budget and expenditure is, therefore, included in that of the said Department. As such, the Department are, in fact, the controlling financial authority.

6.1.2 The Council wishes to record that, within budgetary and regulatory restraints, the Department fulfilled this duty in such a manner that it never curtailed the Council in the execution of its task. The Council wishes to express its appreciation to all the officials of the Department who so professionally advised and with sensitivity assisted the Council in this regard.

6.1.3 The control exercised by the Department did not preclude the Council to install and maintain its own control mechanisms to ensure sound financial administration. The Council, therefore, adopted its own "Rules and Regulations".

6.1.4 The control of expenditure is extensive and emanates from the following sources:

* The State President who approves the appointment of full-time councillors;

* The Exchequer and Audit Act;

* The yearly financial laws;

* Treasury regulations;

* Tender Board regulations;

* Personnel directives of the Public Service Commission;

* The Ministers of Finance and Constitutional Affairs;

* The Director-general of Constitutional Affairs as accounting officer;

6.2 The details of expenditure and savings for the period 1 April 1997 to 31 March 1998 are set out in Table 1.

TABLE 1

[Ed note: entire budget has not been included]

Budget: 2000000

Expenditure: 1893000

Savings: 107000

6.3 Expenditure and saving on personnel

6.3.1 The saving on salaries could be achieved by not filling vacancies which arose during the financial year. It must, however, be pointed out that six full-time Councillors had to revert to a part-time basis to enable the Council to keep within the budget of R2 000 000. Similarly, the staff of five full-time personnel, was reduced to one full-time and two part-time employees. This had the effect that the output and effectiveness of the Council was adversely affected.

6.3.2 The allowance of a part-time councillor is R761 per day for attending meetings of the Volkstaat Council. If not present for the full duration of a meeting, an amount of R96 per hour for actual attendance is paid.

6.3.3 The emoluments of administrative staff are in accordance with those of the public service. All appointments are subject to the approval of the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the Public Service Commission.

6.3.4 Administrative expenses

6.4.1 These expenses relate, inter alia, to subsistence and travelling allowances paid to councillors

* not residing in Pretoria but attending meetings of the Council and its committees;

* attending meetings in Cape Town during sittings of Parliament;

* hearing evidence in areas outside Pretoria;

* conducting regional development surveys;

* liaising with second and third tier governments;

* undertaking overseas visits and

* routine office expenses such as telephone and postal services.

[Note: The allowances are in accordance to those paid to public servants.]

6.4.2 A saving of R169 000 was achieved. The main reason for this is that vacancies were not filled, but also because the strict measures to economise were continued. The more significant of these measures were the following:

* The system of committees was abolished;

* The number of meetings of the Council were decreased from one per month to one every quarter, thus saving on subsistence and transport;

* Every effort was made to economise on the type of accommodation;

6.3 Supplies

There was over expenditure on the purchase of research material and books, as well as stationary. In order to accommodate these increases, exclusive use was made of the services of the Government Printer. Although this resulted in some delay, it was offset by the savings achieved.

6.4 Equipment

The equipment involved is mainly data processing and reproducing equipment. A departmental committee contracts the acquisition and renting of this equipment only after a thorough organisation and method analysis.

6.5 Professional Services

6.5.1 Type of professional services

Professional fees paid by the Council are of two kinds:

* Services which the chairman or his delegate deem fit to be rendered by councillors. These include professional research work as well as special tasks.

* Where specialist knowledge is required which is not available within the ranks of the Council or government departments, outside consultants are briefed. In every case special permission is obtained from the department.

6.5.2 Overexpenditure

* Savings on this item were firstly effected through continuing to pay a very modest fee. The fees of R96 payable per hour is equal to the basic salary per hour that used to be paid to full-time councillors. It is not at all market-related and is, in all cases, far below fees paid in private practice to professional people such as lawyers, etc. as well as by other governmental agencies and departments.

* On the other hand, the work done by full-time councillors had to be contracted out, which decreased expenditure on salaries, but increased that of services rendered by professionals outside the sphere of the Council and government.

7. PROGRAMME OF WORK IN THE FINANCIAL YEAR 1998/99

7.1 The Council reorganised its system of work during the financial year 1997/98. It substituted the committee system for a new planning, programming and budgeting system. This not only decreased expenditure, but increased effective execution of plans and policy.

7.2 As stated above, the Volkstaat Council has five functional programmes related to its research functions. These programmes are as follows:

* Cultural self-determination

* The Bushveld autonomous area

* The Eastern Transvaal autonomous area

* The Pretoria/Centurion autonomous area

* The Northwestern Cape area

7.3 In addition, some research is done that is applicable to all five the "line"

programmes. These expenditures are allocated to a general research programme.

7.4 The remainder of the activities of the council are directed to:

* Liaison

* Conferences and workshops

* General administration

7.5 Duration: The programmes will run for the whole of the next financial year (1998/99). The nature and extent of research thereafter, will depend on a political decision as to the future of the Council, however, the Council itself c ensure to be part in this decision-making process.

7.6 Local and Cultural self-determination: Details of programme:

* Analysis of the opportunities for cultural self-determination made possible by the new Constitution;

* Constitutional restraints on self-determination and methods of adaptation to these restraints;

* The role, functions and legislation regarding the Commission to be established under act 185 of the Constitution;

* The implementing of cultural self-determination at local-, provincial and central governmental level;

* The role of specifically local-, provincial and central cultural councils;

* The relationship between territorial and cultural self-determination and the possibility of creating an Afrikaner " Heimat";

* The relationship and differences between the rights of peoples, groups, communities and individuals;

* The international application of the right to cultural self-determination and

* The administrative and fiscal aspects of cultural self-determination and costs thereof. How is the problem internationally solved?

7.7 The establishment of autonomous areas in the Bushveld, Eastern Transvaal and Pretoria/Centurion areas.

The further analysis and interpretation of existing research material to establish the economic potential of the areas and to address the following questions:

* How can the potential be transformed into self-generating economic development?

* Can the economy sustain a political autonomous area? What is the interaction between political autonomy and economic self-sufficiency and what is the experience in other countries?

* What type of political, institutional and administrative arrangements will have to be made to establish an autonomous area in the region? What must the process be?

* What will the impact be on fiscal arrangements and the economic and financial arrangements between other tiers of government? How did other countries overcome these problems and issues?

* Applicable international case studies and

* Liaison and workshops.

* Liaison with provincial and local authorities as well as workshops.

7.8 The Northwestern Cape area

* To a lesser or larger extent, all the above research aspects will have to be addressed in the case of the Northwestern Cape. The main difference is that in this case, the Council proposes that the emphasis initially be placed on two relatively small growth-points.

* Basic research has already been done in the case of other autonomous areas, but extensive field work must still be undertaken with regard to the two nodal points. This, therefore, will increase costs relative to the other areas.

7.9 General research. This programme include the following:

* Demographic studies and settlement patterns;

* Legislation which affect self-determination, e.g.: education, labour affirmative action local government

* The fiscal arrangements;

* Self-determination and legislation and practices;

* Centralization and decentralization and fiscal vs. unitary options;

* The relationship between cultural, political and territorial self-determination and

* The importance of acceptance by the people and how to measure it.

7.10 General administration includes the following:

Liaison with:

* governmental structures;

* cultural and political institutions;

* academic and research institutions and

* foreign missions in the RSA.

Workshops and conferences:

Personnel, meetings, publications and general office administration.

8. COST OF THE PROGRAMME IN THE FINANCIAL YEAR 1998/99

8.1 The cost of the various programmes for the financial year 1998/99 are estimated to be as follows:

Research:

* Northwestern Cape Area: R 280 000

* Bushveld area: R 80 000

* Pretoria/Centurion area: R 110 000

* Eastern Transvaal area: R 80 000

* Cultural self-determination: R 115 000

* General research: R 300 000

R 965 000

Liaison, workshops and conferences: R 330 000

General administration:

* Salaries of staff: R 244 000

* Cost of council meetings: R 290 000

* Printing costs: R 150 000

* Supplies & equipment: R 21 000

* Travelling & subsistence: R 50 000

* General administration: R 41 000

R 796 000

TOTAL EXPENDITURE: R 2 091 000

9. THE CAPACITY OF THE COUNCIL TO EXECUTE THIS PROGRAMME

9.1 The extent to which the Council could execute its constitutional assignment, was severely impaired by successive budgetary restraints. The amount of R1 245 000 shown in the printed estimates obviously fall short of the requirement of R2 091 000 in the resent financial year. The amounts voted in the past were as follows:

Financial year: Amount in R

1994/95 - 3 560 000

1995/96 - 6042000

1996/97 - 4435 000

1997/98 - 2000000

1998/99 - 1 245 000

9.2 Because of budget limitations imposed on the Department of Constitutional Development as a whole, as well as political uncertainties regarding the Volkstaat Council, the exact amount allocated to the Council was, usually, only finalised during the last quarter of the calendar year. This prohibited proper financial planning and actual expenditure was far less than that budgeted for. The average amount not spend was 23% of funds voted.

9.3 Thus, not only did the amounts voted decline, but because of political uncertainties in particular the amount voted could not be spend in total. Therefore, a backlog of tasks developed.

9.4 Measures to save on expenditure resulted, not only in a decrease of financial resources, but also impeded the Council to execute its functions efficiently. These measures described above, are summarized hereunder:

* Decrease in number of councillors from twenty in total to thirteen;

* The loss of the full-time service of ten Councillors;

* The reduction of the number of full-time personnel from five to only one full-time and two half-time employees;

* The decrease in the number of meetings of the Council from one per month to one every three months;

* Restrictions on travel inhibits research and liaison;

* The Council experiences a resistance by outside professionals to work for R96 per hour. They increasingly demand market related fees. The savings for not employing full-time councillors, are thus annulled;

* The overall leadership, planning, execution and control of the Council is severely affected by the fact that neither the chairman, nor the vice chairman is available on a full-time basis. An unfair load is placed on the one full-time officer.

* The whole research program of the Council had to be reconsidered and a new timetable set. The result was that some programmes had to be postponed: the most serious of which is research into the economic impact of the constitutional proposals of the Council.

* There is uncertainty to which specific authority the Council must report.

10. CONCLUSION

The Council is experiencing a back-log of work and needs a budget of at least R2 091 000 to rectify the situation.

Prof. HCG ROBBERTZE

CHAIRMAN

VOLKSTAAT COUNCIL

Appendix 2: Report to the Portfolio Committee on the 1998/99 Expenditure of the National House of Traditional Leaders

NATIONAL HOUSE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS OF SOUTH AFRICA

ANNUAL REPORT

TO PARLIAMENT IN TERMS OF SECTION 7(2)(d) OF COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS ACT NO.10 OF 1997

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 WORLD TRADE CENTRE RESOLUTION

The Traditional Leaders of South Africa and all political parties agreed at the Multi-Party Constitutional Talks on 11 December 1993 that at a national sphere of Government the role of Traditional Leaders would be:

"4. At National Level

4.1 There shall be a Council of Traditional Leaders, composed of not more than 20 traditional leaders elected by an electoral college composed of the various Houses of Traditional Leaders at provincial level, which shall meet when necessary, for the purposes set out in the paragraphs hereafter.

4.2 Legislation and constitutional amendments pertaining to traditional leadership, traditional authorities, indigenous law and custom, shall be referred to the Council for its consideration and comment. In its comment the Council shall also indicate whether it supports such legislation or not. Such comment shall not be withheld for a period longer than 30 days after date of receipt.

4.3 Passage of legislation through the National Assembly and Senate shall not be delayed whilst proposed legislation is referred to the Council as set out above. To ensure that undue delay is avoided, proposed legislation shall be referred to the Council simultaneously with its submission to the Senate.

4.4 Should the Council in its comment express opposition to the legislation, such legislation if passed by the National Assembly shall be delayed for thirty days before final approval by the National Assembly.

4.5 The Council of Traditional Leaders will be entitled to advise the Government from time to time on any matter which it considers to be relevant to indigenous/customary law, traditional and custom.

4.6 The State President may seek the advice of the Council of Traditional Leaders on matters of national interest."

See: Resolution 34.

1.2 In line with the aforementioned solution all political parties adopted as one of the Constitution principles that would bind the Constitutional Assembly the following Constitutional principles, viz.:

1.2.1 "The institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to indigenous law, shall be recognised and protected in the Constitution."

See: Constitutional Principle XII in the Schedule to Interim Constitution, Act 200 of 1993.

1.2.2 "At each level of Government there shall be democratic representation. This principle shall not derogate from the provisions of Principle XIII."

See: Constitutional Principle XVII in the Schedule to Interim Constitution, Act 200 of 1993.

1.3 CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS

The Constitution of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) provides in Chapter 12, that national legislation may establish a Council of Traditional Leaders.

See Section 212 of Act No 108 of 1996

1.4 ENABLING LEGISLATION

1.4.1 Establishment of the Council

The Council has been established in terms of Section 2(1) of the Council of Traditional Leaders Act (Act No. 10 of 1997). Furthermore, in terms of Section 3(1) of the said Act the Council shall continue for five years as from the day on which the first meeting of the Council after its constitution takes place.

1.4.2 The Council was inaugurated by President Nelson Mandela in Cape Town on 18 April 1997 and is composed of 18 members made up of 3 members from each of the 6 Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders.

1.4.3 The functions and objects of the Council are set out in Section 7 of the Act and include the following:

(a) To promote the role of Traditional Leadership within a democratic constitutional dispensation.

(b) To enhance unity and understanding amongst traditional communities.

(c) To enhance co-operation between Council and various Houses with a view to address matters of common interest

(d) To advise National Government and make recommendations on the following issues:

(i) matters relating to traditional leadership;

(ii) role of traditional leaders;

(iii) customary law;

(iv) tradition and customs of communities observing a system of customary law.

(e) To investigate Issues pertaining to traditional leadership, traditional authorities, customary law and customs.

(f) Advise the President on matters pertaining the above issues.

2. REPORT

2.1 RULES OF PROCEDURE

On 22 May 1997 the Council adopted its own rules and orders in connection with the order and conduct of its business and proceedings in accordance with the provisions of Section 10 of the Act.

The copy of such rules are annexed hereto.

2.2 WORKING DOCUMENT

The Council, having considered the provisions of the Constitution and the enabling legislation, considered and adopted a working document which sets out its mission and vision.

We annex hereto a copy of the document for your information.

2.3 ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMITTEES

In accordance with the Interim Rules and Orders of the Council the following Committees were established, viz.:

2.3.1 Management Committee

Composition

This Committee consist of six (6) members of the Council of Traditional Leaders. Both its Chairperson and his Deputy were elected from the members of the Council. It is chaired by the Chairperson of the Council and its members are :-

Kgoshi V. Suping - Chairperson

Inkos M. B. Mzimela - Vice-Chairperson

Nkosi M. Nonkonyana

Morena M. S. Mopeli

Hosi M. L. Nkuna (deceased and replaced by Kgoshi NM. Malekane)

Inkosi M. M. Khumalo

Functions:

- Monitoring the general functions of the Council.

- Submit recommendations to the Council for decisions.

- Oversee the administrative component of the Council..

- Formulate strategies for proper functioning of the Council.

- Identify and facilitate community projects.

- Interact with Government, both nationally and provincially through the Houses.

- Interact and liaise with the NGO's, CBO's and parastatals.

- Facilitate and manage dispute resolution mechanisms.

- Harmonise relations between traditional leaders and civic structures.

- Advance peaceful co-existence and promote multiculturalism amongst various traditional communities.

- Ratify decisions of committees.

- Advice the Council on its program of action.

- Compile and present a report to the Council.

Meetings

The Committee met three times.

2.3.2 Committee on Rules of Procedure

Composition

This consists of six (6) members from the members of the Council and its members are: -

Inkos M. B. Mzimela - Chairperson

Kgoshi V. Suping

Kgoshi N.M. Malekane

Inkosi M. M. Khumalo

Kgosigadi A.G.G. Moroka

Prince Z. Burns - Ncamashe

Functions:

- Advise the Council on its Rules of Procedure.

- Attend to the development and the upgrading of the Council's Rules of Procedures.

- Attend to the development and updating of the Council's Rules of Procedure.

- Attend to the sitting arrangements during the Council's sitting.

- Attend and address the Council's rules of debate, rights of members to speak, nature and notices of motions, and how to deal with options without notice.

Meetings

The Committee met once.

2.3.3 Constitutional Development Committee

Composition

This Committee consists of six (6) members of the Council and its members are: -

Nkosi M. Nonkonyana - Chairperson

Morena M. S. Mopeli

Inkosi S. H. Gumede

Kgosi M. N. Malekane

Kgoshi M. Motsatsi

lngwenyaria Mayisha II

Functions:

- Establish a working relationship with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Constitutional Development.

- Establish working relations with the Select Committee on Constitutional Development in the NCOP.

- Inter-act with Government committees on referral matters.

- Establish partnership relationship with the Department of Law and Order along the lines of community policing forums for the various rural communities.

- Compile and present a report to the Council.

The Committee also strives for the following:

- to clearly define the jurisdiction and powers of the traditional courts

- Establish an interface between the traditional courts and the western courts.

- Capacity building on traditional leaders for the administration of justice, both criminal and civil in conformity with the Constitution.

- Making inputs in the legislative process.

- Pro-actively contributing by making representations to Parliament on behalf of traditional communities.

- Make representation to the South African Law Commission on behalf of traditional communities and on matters in the western legal system which affect traditional communities.

- Facilitate the process of land reform by building capacity of the rural communities and facilitating their access to the Land Reform Commission.

- Compile and present a report to the Council.

Meetings

The Committee met three times.

2.3.4 The Committee on Traditions. Customs and Culture

Composition

The Committee consists of six (6) members from the members of the Council and its members are: -

Ingwenyama Makosonke II - Chairperson

Inkosi W. Mavundla

Nkosi A. D. Joyi

Khosi D. E. Mulaudzi

Kgosi D. L. Motsatsi

Morena J. K. Tsotsetsi

Functions:

- Attend and promote multi-culturalism amongst various communities.

- Inter-act with NGO's, interest groups, and cultural organisations with a view of developing and promoting respective cultural tolerance.

- Inter-act with Government in an effort to address traditional and cultural matters.

- Recommend and present a report to the Council on customary matters.

Meetings

The Committee met once.

2.3.5 Internal Arrangements Committee

Composition

This Committee consists of six (6) members from the members of the Council and its members are: -

Khosi D. E. Malaudzi - Chairperson

Kgosi S.S. Montshioa

Inkosi S. H. Gumede

Ingwenyana Mayisha II

Kgosi S.S. Montshioa

Prince Z. Burns - Ncomashe

Functions:

- Oversee the welfare of the members of the Council.

- Attend to issues related to the office accommodation of the Council.

- Address matters related to membership of the Council by interacting with respective provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders.

- Attend to matters referred to it by the Council.

- Attend to the administrative matters of the Council.

- Compile and present a report to the Council.

Meetings

The Committee met two times.

2.3.6 Social DeveIopment Committee Composition

The Committee consists of six (6) members from the members of the Council arid its members are: -

Kgosigadi A G G Moroka

Kgosi S S Monthioa

Nkosi A D Joyi

Inkosi W.T.C. Mavundla

lngwenyama E. M. Mabhena - Makhosonke II

Hosi M. Ntsanwisi

Functions:

- Devise strategies for the improvement and continuation of the welfare services to people in rural areas.

- Inter-act with the Department of Health and Welfare to facilitate programmes for health and social services to rural people.

- Attend and advice the Council about the welfare and social services policies.

- Compile and present a report to the Council.

(c) The Committee met once.

3 ADMINISTRATION

Appointment as Secretary

In terms of Section 14(1) the Director-General: Constitutional Development shall designate any officer of his or her Department to act as Secretary until an appointment is made by the Minister with the approval of the Council.

In accordance with these provisions the Director General designated Miss L Matyolo to act as Secretary of the Council. She acted as such from the time of the inauguration of the Council until she received a better position in Parliament. We would like to record our indebtedness to her for the manner in which she performed her duties as our Secretary, particularly prior and immediately after the inauguration of the Council.

The Director-General subsequently designated Mr S Masilela to act as Secretary and he is acting as such to date.

The process of appointing the Secretary was initiated by the Department and it is hoped that the Secretary would be appointed soon.

We hope that once a Secretary is appointed he or she will produce a staff organogram in line with our founding document referred to above. Be that as it may the Department meantime has seconded a researcher in the name of Miss V Dyani and also provide us with the services of other staff members on an ad hoc basis.

4. BUDGET

4.1 NOTES ON THE APPROPRIATION ITEMS OF THE 1997/98 BUDGET

The details of the expenditure for the period 18.04.1997 to 31.03.1998 are set out:

 

ITEMS ALLOCATIONS

1997/98 EXPENDITURE BALANCE SHORTFALL

Personnel 200 000,00 247,09 199 752.00

Admin. Exp. 987 000,00 575 606.27 411 393.73

Stores and

Stock 73 000,00 8 229,42 64 770,58

Equipment 840,00 840,00

Professional

Services 160 000,00 8686,50 151 313,00

Diverse Exp. 1 423 000,00 603 609,68 819 390,40

TOTAL R2 843 000,00 R115 418,90 R1 211 595,10 R65 610,58

4.2 GENERAL COMMENTS ON THE BUDGET OF THE COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS

4.2.1 The Council and its Committees met when a need arose and the department was paying the travel and subsistence costs to each member attending meetings. However, the Council expressed Its displeasure when it failed to meet due to non-approval of meetings by some departmental official or officials.

4.22 The Council was not granted financial autonomy. The Director-General of the Department of Constitutional Development is also the Accounting Officer for the Council. The budget and expenditure of the Council is therefore included in that of the Department. The Department is therefore the controlling financial authority.

4.2.3 The control of expenditure is extensive and emanates from the

following sources:

- the Councils budget

- the Exchequer Act

- the financial statements

- the yearly financial laws

- treasury regulations

- Tender Board regulations

- the Minister of Finance and Constitutional Development

- the Director-General of Constitutional Development as the

Accounting Officer

4.2.4 The Minister of the Department of Constitutional Development in the final instance advises Government on the amount to be voted for the Council. This constitute the ultimate control not only on the method of expenditure, but also on the extent of the Council's activities.

4.2.5 The Council, however, registered its unhappiness about the fact that its financial authority should be vested in the Department of Constitutional Development. In its meeting held on the 10th December 1997, it resolved that:

- it do not see itself as an appendage of the department;

- its budget should be a responsibility of its Management Committee;

- it need not get an approval of the Department before it can hold its meetings;

- it should be offered with its own personnel that shall operate independently from the Department, be responsible and accountable to its Management Committee. Such personnel to be stationed and accommodated in the Council's offices at Momentum Building.

- The Secretary of the Council should be accountable to the Council, Auditor General and Parliament

4.3 EXPENDITURE

4.3.1 Administrative Expenditure

These expenses relate, inter alia, to the following:

- Subsistence and travelling applicable to the public service and paid to members not residing in Pretoria/Cape Town and attending meetings of the Council and its Committees.

- Attending meetings in Cape Town during the Council meetings and during the sittings of relevant Parliament any portfolio committees.

- Attending workshops and seminars.

- Routine expense such as telephone and postal services.

A saving of R41 393,72 was achieved out of the original R574 742,59 budget allocation. This is mainly because the Council is mostly utilizing departmental facilities. The original budget was based on estimations as it was for the first time that the Council was established.

The Council also adopted a cost-effective approach that helped to economize:

- Its committees met mostly when the entire Council was meeting.

- Every effort was made to economize on the type of accommodation.

- The cheapest means of transport was used.

4.3.2 Personnel Expenditure

No expense was incurred on personnel expenditure This is mainly because the two personnel that served the Council was seconded by the Department of Constitutional Development.

4.3.3 Professional and Special Services

Two capacity building workshops were held for the members of the Council of Traditional Leaders and funded out of its budget, viz.:

- A Workshop on the Role, Powers and Functions of Traditional Leaders in a democratic South Africa.

- A Workshop on Administration and Public Financial Management skills conducted by the University of Pretoria.

- A Workshop on the Green and the White Paper on Local Government. It was funded by the Chief Directorate: Local Government.

- An amount of R151 313,00 out of the budgeted amount of R160 000,00 was saved on professional and special services.

- This saving was attained due to the fact that other workshop programmes were funded by NGO's.

4.3.4 Stores and Stock

An amount of R64 770,00 out of the budgeted amount of R73 000,00 was saved from the item stores and stock. This is mainly because the Council is utilizing the Department's stationery.

4.3.5 Remuneration

The remuneration of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, and members of the Council was not effected. This was mainly due to the fact that according to the Department there existed no legal provision for the Department to effect such payments. This fact has adversely affected the work of the Council. We have been promised that the members would be paid with retrospective effect.

4.3.6 Summary of savings

* Non-remuneration of members of the Council.

* Decrease in the frequency of the Council and Committee meetings.

* Economizing on the type of accommodation.

* Utilization of departmental facilities by the Council.

* Secondment of two personnel to serve the Council.

5. SUBMISSIONS BY COUNCIL

Funds provided for the Council was used to finance certain submissions that were made to:

- The Parliamentary Committee on Local Government White Paper process.

- The South African Law Commission in respect of Customary Marriages.

The Council could not make further submissions because no Bill or Law was referred to it by Parliament.

The President or the Government did not seek to advise of the Council on any matter during the period under review.

6. RELATIONS WITH PROVINCIAL HOUSES OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS

The Council could not visit Provincial Houses. This was due to budgetary constraints.

Delegates from Provincial Houses represented aspirations of respective Provincial Houses from each province.

7. CONCLUSION

7.1 The period under review has been extremely difficult for the Council due to administrative, legislative and financial constraints.

7.2 We would like to record that it is our view that all Bills be referred to the Council and in this regard both the Constitution Act 108 of 1996 and Act 10 of 1997 need to be amended.

7.3 We need our own offices, staff and budget to fulfil our legislative duties

DATED IN PRETORIA ON DAY OF DECEMBER 1998

SECRETARY CHAIRPERSON

COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL

LEADERS LEADERS

Appendix 3: Municipal Demarcation Board: Budget Review

MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION BOARD

BUDGET REVIEW PRESENTATION TO:

Constitutional Affairs Portfolio Committee

2 March 1999

Dr. Michael Sutcliffe, Chairperson

Mrs. Nkaro Mateta, Deputy Chairperson

INTRODUCTION

On 20 January 1999 the President appointed the following persons to the Municipal Demarcation Board, with effect from 1 February 1999:

Dr. Michael Sutcliffe (Chairperson)

Mrs. Nkaro Mateta (Deputy Chairperson)

Mr. Vuyo Mlokoti (Eastern Province)

Ms. Renee Hartslief (Free State)

Mr. Prince Duke Dludla (Gauteng)

Mrs. Rosemary Monyamane (Mpumalanga)

Mr. Abraham Marais (Northern Cape)

Ms. Jackie Subban (KwaZulu-Natal)

Khosi Jeffrey Ramovha (Northern Province)

Professor Robert Cameron (Western Cape)

The first Board meeting was held on 2 February 1999 and a second Board meeting held on 28 February 1999 until 1 March 1999.

FUNCTION OF THE BOARD

The Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 states that:

"The function of the Board is to determine municipal boundaries in accordance with this Act and other appropriate legislation enacted in terms of Chapter 7 of the Constitution", in terms of the objects of local government (sec 152(1) of the Constitution) and the Demarcation objectives (sec 24 of the MDA).

The Board must determine boundaries in such a manner that areas are established which would comply with the Constitutional objects and the demarcation objectives namely areas that would:

(a) enable the municipality for that area to fulfil its constitutional obligations, including -

· the provision of democratic and accountable government for the local

communities;

· the provision of services to the communities in an equitable and sustainable

manner;

· the promotion of social and economic development; and

· the promotion of a safe and healthy environment;

(b) enable effective local governance;

(c) enable integrated development; and

(d) have a tax base as inclusive as possible of users of municipal services in the

municipality.

The Board has two major functions. The first is to make decisions about all municipal and ward boundaries. Such decisions have to made in terms of the constitution (without fear, favour or prejudice) and in an open and transparent way. The second role is for the Board to give advice to the Minister and MECs on a number of matters specified in legislation.

BUDGET

A study of the Act reveals that the Board will have to provide for expenditure in a number of areas, such as the costs associated with the Board, its institutional base, investigations required in terms of the Act and operational/production costs associated with the determination of boundaries.

A budget was submitted on behalf of the Board for an estimated expenditure of R80 422 900 for the funding of the Board's establishment and activities during the 1999/2000 year.

R15 000 000 had been allocated to the MDB for the 1998/1999 financial year to perform its functions. It is envisaged that only less than 10% of this amount will have been spent for functions performed by the selection panel, the establishment of the Board and the performance of the Board's functions during February and March 1999. A request to roll over the balance of funds has been made to the Minister of Finance.

In terms of the MTEF, R19 million has been allocated for 1999/2000, but no allocations have been made for the other two years.

While no rationale has been provided for how State Expenditure arrived at a figure of R19 million, the Board has resolved that before approaching State Expenditure, the Board would need to provide a fully motivated budget covering expenditure particularly for the 1999/2000 year. This will be provided once the Board's institutional base has been established and operational costs determined.

BROAD TARGETS

In order for municipal elections to be held around 1 November 2000, the work of the Board over the next fifteen months or so easily divides into the following phases:

· Phase 1: Board focusses on developing policy statements on

rationalising municipalities and draft frameworks for demarcation.

This will end in late June 1999.

· Phase 2: Finalisation of Metropolitan and District boundaries. This

should be completed around 31 August 1999.

· Phase 3: Finalisation of Municipal Boundaries. This should be

completed around 31 January 2000.

· Phase 4: Finalisation of Ward boundaries. This must end around 31

May 2000, in order for the IEC to have enough time to prepare for the

elections.

These phases all run concurrently with different end-points. In addition, provision is being made for the Board to ensure its advisory roles are effectively provided. At the same time, co-operative relationships with associated institutions (IEC, Statistics SA and National Spatial Information Framework) and all Departments of government are being developed.

A programme is in the process of being finalised to ensure that the Board is able to meet these targets dates. Regular reports in this regard will be provided not only to the stakeholders as defined in the legislation, but also political parties, other role-players, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.

National Council of Provinces

1999 Parliamentary Media Briefing

PARLIAMENTARY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES (NCOP), MR PATRICK LEKOTA

10 FEBRUARY 1999

1. Achievements of the NCOP

The NCOP has succeeded to forge a closer link between the central government and other spheres of government. It has provided a platform where national issues are dealt with from provincial and local perspectives.

Due to its focus on provincial and local government issues, the NCOP has been able to give a voice to hitherto forgotten and marginalised communities.

The NCOP represents cooperative governance in practice.

The NCOP is a training ground for national leaders, both in the executive and legislative sense.

The NCOP has contributed towards the goal of nation-building. It has served the purpose of bringing all provinces together in an attempt to address key national challenges.

The NCOP has removed the notion that provinces are just federal independent institutions: it has brought them together by fostering a spirit of national co-operation.

The NCOP has also contributed towards national reconciliation. Unlike the National Assembly, NCOP debates have been conducted in a conciliatory manner. This has promoted closer co-operation between the various political parties.

The NCOP has built its profile within Parliament and it has also managed to develop better co-ordination and consistency in the manner in which its has dispensed its responsibilities in law-making through better programming. Provinces now have a better understanding of the long-term parliamentary programme and, therefore, plan their work accordingly. There are current plans to improve the manner in which the NCOP functions.

The NCOP now receives better and positive coverage in both the print and electronic media.

2. Challenges Facing the NCOP - 1999

2.1. Immediate Challenges

To ensure that all pieces of legislation tabled before the House is passed during the course of the current legislative session.

2.2. Long-term challenges

Proper co-ordination between all bodies is required if the synergy between national and provincial parliaments is to work effectively.

The NCOP has to give attention to its resources. Many provinces have argued that they do not have adequate resources to carry out their legislative functions properly.

The NCOP needs to develop self-confidence and assertiveness in order to ensure that it does not become the National Assembly's rubber stamp.

The NCOP must improve its communication systems.

Members of the executive - both national and provincial - must take the NCOP seriously.

Permanent delegates must sharpen their sensitivity to the fact that their responsibility is to examine national issues from provincial and local perspectives.

Provincial whips must improve information flow processes so as to ensure that provinces plan appropriately.

The NCOP is a legislature-oriented institution. Yet, at the same time, it has strong executive input. There is a need to strike a balance between these two roles.

Inter-legislature co-ordination must be improved. For example, the application of section 139 of the Constitution emphasises a need for such coordination.

Provinces should develop their own legislative programmes in such a way that they are consistent and compatible with the national legislative process.

3. Conclusion

The NCOP can develop in two ways. It could be a mechanism by which the central parliament co-opts provinces or it could develop into a chamber where the central government engages with provinces in the search for better and more inclusive democracy.

The NCOP must steer away from being a duplication of the National Assembly.

Questions: NCOP

10 February 1999

Present: Mr. Patrick Lekota, Chairperson

Question (from the Cape Argus) referring to a report of the European Union Parliamentary Support Programme, which found that given the complexity of the legislative process in the NCOP, many Provinces were operating incorrectly or inefficiently – have those problems been addressed? And given the complexity of the NCOP process, how successful has the NCOP been in meeting its budget?

The Chairperson replied that the EU study referred to was conducted at the beginning of the Parliamentary term, when the learning process was still taking place. Each province is currently implementing their mandate correctly. Additionally, Mr. Lekota indicated that they had taken steps to improve the efficiency of the NCOP legislative process, by helping to improve the flow of information from the NCOP to the Provincial legislatures, and by helping to prioritise where legislative energy should be focused. Early in the term, Mr. Lekota said, the Provincial legislatures focused their energy on all Bills without distinguishing between them; the NCOP has helped them to focus on Bills most relevant to the Provinces (Section 76 and 74 Bills), while spending less time and energy on Section 75 Bills.

Regarding the question of staying on budget, the Chairperson replied that the NCOP has never exceeded the budget it has been allocated. The Chairperson said he believes the perception that the NCOP is an expensive organisation comes from the fact that members must travel back to their regions, but in fact the travel costs for the NCOP are only marginally higher (on a per-MP basis) for the NCOP than for the NA.

Question (from Business Day) on whether the NCOP will ever be able to put Provincial interests before party loyalty. The questioner referred specifically to two Bills passed last year – the Tobacco Bill and the Liquor Bill – which seem to infringe on Provincial power.

The Chairperson replied that he must be realistic enough to say that party loyalty does play a role in the process. If a situation ever developed where the majority party in the NA happened not to be in the majority in 5 or more Provinces, one could expect Provinces to begin asserting themselves more. But for the time being party politics would continue to play a role in the process.

Question on whether that answer indicates the Chairperson thinks the ANC needs to lose a few Provincial elections in order for the NCOP to function properly.

The Chairperson replied that he doesn’t feel that the NCOP is functioning improperly.

Question regarding the Chairperson’s personal aspirations – is he committed to staying with the NCOP?

The Chairperson replied that he is committed to serving the people of South Africa, and any chance he gets to pursue that will make him quite happy. He did it for some time from prison, and the current circumstances are much more pleasant.

Question regarding the causes of the relative stability of cabinet and government membership at a national level compared to the instability at the Provincial level.

The Chairperson replied that he believes it can be explained by the fact that in 1994, most of the politically experienced people gravitated to central government, while the Provincial ranks swelled with people who were less experienced. He believes the system has settled down somewhat and will continue to do so.

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