Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003]: sent to Mediation Committee

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


8 June 2006

Chairperson: Ms J M Masilo (ANC, North West)

Documents handed out:
Provinces’ Final Mandates Part one & two
Portfolio Committee Amendments to Older Persons Bill [B 68B – 2003]
Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003]
Older Persons Bill [B68F-2003] (Final version as agreed by Mediation Committee in Parliament on 20 June 2006)

The Chairperson explained that the meeting was a special meeting due to the fact that two amendments made by the National Assembly (NA) as contained in the version B68C of the Older Persons Bill had been omitted from the version B68D. This was an administrative error. Owing to this error, the Bill was referred back to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to get the mandates from provinces.

After deliberations the NCOP determined that six provinces out of nine rejected the Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003]. It was then agreed to recommend that the Mediation Committee of Parliament, in accordance with Section 76(2) of the Constitution, be established, and for the Mediation Committee to consider the incorporation of the amendments as contained in the version B68C.

Ms D Sikani (UDM: Eastern Cape) explained that the Eastern Cape province rejected the Bill on the grounds that it was in favour of incorporating the amendments which were in the B68C version. Those amendments were as follows: “clause 5 – to insert the following section: (4) Temporary registration contemplated in subsection (3)(b) may not be extended for more than 12 months under the same conditions. And on page 5, in line 48, after ‘months’ to insert ‘for permanent registration and one month for temporary registration.’”

Mr T Setona (ANC: Free State) explained that the Free State delegation was given a mandate not to vote for the adoption of the Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003].

Mr J Bertina (Committee Secretary) read the KwaZulu-Natal final mandate to the Committee. The mandate read as follows: “The Provincial Standing Committee on National Council of Provinces Matters met on Tuesday, 6 June 2006, and agreed to mandate the KwaZulu –Natal delegation to the National Council of Provinces to reject the Older Persons Bill (B 68D – 2003) as tabled.”

Mr B J Tolo (ANC: Mpumalanga) explained that the Mpumalanga province rejected the Bill on the grounds that the Bill did not include all the amendments as proposed in B68C version.

Mr Sulliman (ANC: Northern Cape) explained that the Northern Cape province rejected the Bill on the grounds that it did not incorporate all the amendments as proposed in B68C version of the Bill.

Ms H Lamoela (DA: Western Cape) reported that: “The Standing Committee on Social Development, having considered the subject of the Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003], referred to the Provincial Parliament in terms of the rules of the NCOP, begs to report that it confers on the Western Cape’s delegation in the NCOP the authority to support the Bill.”

Ms M Madlala (ANC: Gauteng) explained that the Gauteng Provincial Legislature was not in a position to pronounce its acceptance or rejection of the amendments as put before the Committee on Social Development for a report and recommendation to the House, until errors had been duly rectified by the NA.

Adv G Hoon pointed out that, according to the rules, the Bill could not be sent back to the NA, and so the proposal made by the Gauteng province could not be accepted.

Mr M Thetjeng (DA: Limpopo) reported that the Limpopo Legislature sat on 6 June 2006 and adopted the report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Social Development on the Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003], and further conferred a mandate on NCOP Permanent Delegates to support the amendments in full and to vote in favour of the Bill being passed into law.

Mr Tolo pointed out that Limpopo’s position was confusing, as the province had recommended that the NCOP should push for the incorporation of the amendments, and to do that meant to reject the Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003]. On the other hand, the same province voted in favour of the Bill being passed into law.

The Chairperson remarked that the Limpopo mandate did not differ from its first mandate. She suspected that the Limpopo province had not met again after the first mandate to discuss the issue further, hence the confusion.

Mr Bertina read the mandate of the North West Province: “The Committee recommends that the previous mandate forwarded to the NCOP is hereby revoked, and that the new final mandate of the North West Province should be that the Older Persons Bill [B68D – 2003] should be rejected by the NCOP.”

The meeting was adjourned.


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