Child Care Amendment Bill; Probation Services Amendment Bill; Films and Publications Amendment Bill; Prevention and Treatment of

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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

24 March 1999

Documents handed out:
Child Care Amendment Bill (s 75);
Probation Services Amendment Bill (s 75);
Films and Publications Amendment Bill (s 75);
Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Amendment Bill (s 76).

Dr SA Cwele (ANC)

Departmental representatives in attendance:
Mr Coenie Du Toit ( Probation Service-Dept of Welfare)
Mr Pierre Du Preez (Legal Advisor, Dept of Welfare)

The Probation Services Bill will be withdrawn and re-introduced in the next session of Parliament as there were last-minute proposed amendments from the Department of Justice.

The Child Care Amendment Bill, the Films and Publications Amendment Bill and the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Amendment Bill were formally voted on again as the previous meeting's voting had been technically invalid.

The chairperson explained that the committee had voted on bills at the meeting of 17/3/99 which had not formally been referred to the NCOP by the National Assembly. This made the voting invalid and these bills (Child Care Amendment Bill; Films and Publications Amendment Bill; Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Amendment Bill) would need to be voted on again.

The bills were voted on again and unanimously accepted by the committee. All provinces agreed to the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Amendment Bill which was the only Section 76 bill voted on.

Probation Services Bill
The Chairperson explained that it was intended that the Minister of Welfare be present to explain why this Bill has being delayed and to facilitate its last-minute processing. [Ed. note: The Bill had been passed by the Portfolio Committee with amendments on 4 March 1999; it had been slotted for debate in the National Assembly on 17 March 1999 but there had been a last-minute cancellation as the Department of Justice wanted to introduce an amendment. The Department of Justice's amendment was only ready for consideration on 23/3/99.]

The chairperson asked the department representatives whether they had managed to get any information on the procedure for processing the Probation Services Bill during the tea break. Mr du Toit communicated the latest information: a decision had been made by Parliament that the Houses had too much work on their agenda for the last two days of parliament and that there would be no time to process this Bill. It will be re-introduced in the next session. The minister consequently did not attend this meeting.

Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill
The committee had to decide whether discussion on the Tobacco Bill in the NCOP should involve a debate or merely declarations. The chairperson indicated that the Minister of Health had been prepared to attend the NCOP plenary debate regarding the Tobacco Bill. Regrettably she could not since one of her bills which is being opposed in the National Assembly is being debated at the same time and she has to be there. Mr Makoela (ANC- Northern Province) indicated that the bill has already been debated in the previous meeting and there was no good reason to debate it again. Declarations would be more appropriate. Mr Ackerman (NP- Western Cape) indicated that he was not present in the previous meeting. He insisted that the bill should be debated, and the minister be present. He insisted that even if the minister has other commitments she has a duty to introduce the bill in the NCOP. The Chairperson called for a tea break while the Minister of Health was contacted as regards to her attendance.

Having failed to get the Minister to attend the NCOP meeting, Mr Ackerman felt that it would be fruitless to debate the bill in the Minister’s absence. The committee agreed that the NCOP meeting should take the form of declarations from different provinces. It was agreed that since the Western Cape and KZN are the only provinces disagreeing to the bill, they will be given 5 minutes whilst other provinces will get 3 minutes each. The meeting accepted this ruling.

Prevention and Treatment Of Drug Dependency Amendment Bill
The Prevention and Treatment Of Drug Dependency Amendment Bill will be discussed in the NCOP Chamber in the form of declarations and members are free not to use all time allocated to them.


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