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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
20 June 2006
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA SPECIAL MEASURES BILL: DISCUSSION
Chairperson: Mr CT Frolick (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Draft Committee Report: Study Tour Visit to Germany
A draft copy of the Committee’s report on a Study Tour Visit to Germany was given to Members for their consideration. The report was to be adopted at the following meeting. Members raised questions regarding the equitability of the selection processes in deciding which Members, both of the ruling party and the opposition, would form the delegation for study visits.
It was also announced that the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Special Measures Bill had been ruled to have both elements of Section 75 and 76, and the Department of Sport and Recreation had been tasked to split the Bill. The new version would be fast-tracked. A program would be drawn up to cover necessary meetings during the forthcoming Parliamentary recess in order to have the Bill ready in time for the deadline of 31 July.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) took the Chair in the absence of Mr B Komphela (ANC). He said that the purpose of the meeting was to consider the German study tour report. However, since the last meeting, the Joint Tagging Committee had considered the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Special Measures Bill and had decided that it was a mixed Bill, with elements of both Section 75 and Section 76 legislation. The Bill had therefore been referred back to the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) for splitting. They had done so, and were awaiting a letter from the State Law Advisor to certify the revised form. He hoped that this would be tabled in Parliament the next day. The Committee would not be able to proceed with its deliberations until the Bill had been split.
He added that the Bill would be fast-tracked. This meant that some of the normal Parliamentary restrictions would be dropped. Both the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Committees would then be able to proceed. This Committee would need to reconvene to consider the new Bill. SRSA would have to brief the Committee. Only then could the two Committees deal with the Section 76 portion of the Bill. It might miss the cycle of the NCOP, as they would first have to obtain mandates from the provinces. Joint meetings might help to expedite the process.
In terms of the Section 75 parts of the Bill, the Committee would probably have to call for public submissions. This could possibly lead to public hearings, which could be held in the second week of July. Members could then return to their constituencies, and would need to return to Parliament in the week of 24 July to finalise the legislation.
Mr E Saloojee (ANC) asked if Members would have to use air tickets from their annual allocation to attend the meetings during the recess.
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked if the relevant Departments would be present. He said that both the Director-General and the legal advisor for each Department should attend.
The Chairperson replied that the approach taken by the Departments was not commendable. Contributions had been made to clauses in the Bill, but there had not been any meetings afterwards. Some Departments were now making amendments to their own proposals. They needed a wake-up call if they thought this was the way to do the job. A date had to be set for a meeting where the issues could be settled once and for all. Differences of opinion within any Department must also be settled. He said that Parliament would provide the tickets for the Members, as this was standard procedure when Members were recalled during a recess period.
Mr B Solo (ANC) said that the Directors-General should not be at other meetings when the date for the next meeting was set. He felt that the Special Measures Bill had been drafted without thought to the political context. Dr Joe Phaahle was regarded as being the driver of the legislation, but he questioned his office structure. He did not understand the thinking of SRSA and confirmed that all Departments should attend.
The Chairperson said that Mr Solo was correct. He was uncomfortable that the Directors-General in charge of certain line functions were absent. The 2010 Unit at SRSA was a unit on its own. It must be made clear to Dr Phaahle that he needed to be present for the duration of the program. Failure to do this would make it difficult for the Committee to meet its deadlines.
He referred to the question of the names of stadiums, which Dr Phaahle and other officials of SRSA could not answer. Articles were published in the newspapers which indicated that certain stadiums might have to change their names for extended periods. Mr Danny Jordaan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), had said he could not understand what the problem was, as these arrangements were specified in the host city agreements. Affected stadiums would be renamed for the two weeks before and after the event, and this was clear in the agreements between the host cities and the stadium owners. Two weeks after the Confederations Cup in 2009 the stadiums would revert to their normal names until a date two weeks before the start of the World Cup, when they would again revert to FIFA’s control. He was puzzled that well-paid Department officials were unaware of these arrangements, and asked if they were doing their jobs properly.
Mr Frolick said that the Department of Provincial and Local Government must be involved. There was a major impact on them, and they also served as the representatives of the cities.
Summarised copies of the government guarantees were distributed to Members, and the Chairperson asked them to read these at their leisure. They pointed to the issues raised and formed the basis for undertakings. He said that he had been personally informed that FIFA had met with the host cities and government Departments at lengthy workshops. The guarantees had been interpreted at these workshops to guide the local authorities in the drafting of the necessary legislation, but now it seemed that the Departments were hearing about the guarantees for the first time.
The Chairperson said that two legal advisors from the LOC would be called upon to explain the process of interaction between Departments. The Committee had never been told about this process. If there was a different understanding, then these legal advisors could explain the situation.
Mr Dikgacwi said the Chairperson was correct, and all role players needed to be on board. No apologies except death certificates would be accepted.
Mr R Reid (ANC) said that a schedule of meetings was needed, as the meetings during the recess would impact on the Members’ constituency work.
Mr Frolick said that a structured approach was needed for the Committee’s program. This would be discussed with Mr Komphela on his return.
Mr Saloojee said that Members would need to inform their constituency offices. Written schedules would be needed to convince the office staff of the need to release the Members to return to Parliament.
The Chairperson said that program information would be provided. He would arrange for the Chief Whip to confirm the meetings in writing. He stressed that the legislation would be fast-tracked, and therefore all Members were expected to attend.
Committee Report on Study Tour to Germany: Informal discussion
The Chairperson said that the final draft of the study tour report had been received. Copies were distributed to Members, and he said that the report would be adopted at the next meeting.
Mr Reid said that the criteria to select the delegation were unclear.
Mr Saloojee said that he had served on the Committee for ten years. Equity principles were not being applied. It was almost obligatory to take two Members of the opposition parties on study tours. Discussions had been held with the Chief Whip about the small parties always having the advantage of going on such trips. Opposition parties assumed that they would be in the delegation, but some equity was needed with the ANC Members. It seemed to him that some Members were more equal than others. This issue should be discussed honestly. All Members should have the chance to participate meaningfully. An equitable solution was needed.
The Chairperson replied that the criteria needed to be decided, as several parties were represented on the Committee. The make-up of the ANC’s delegation would be discussed in the study group and not in the Committee. One study group would be held during the recess. An impediment was the restriction on size as determined by Parliament. The Chairperson had wanted to send a delegation of nine people, but Parliament had only approved a delegation of five, of which at least two had to be Members from the opposition parties. There were many small parties in Parliament, all of which were represented on Committees. They were therefore entitled to send their Members on all visits organised by the Committees as well as Parliamentary delegations. However, it seemed that the same opposition Members were always going overseas while the greater number of ANC Members meant that some of them never got the chance to travel. Some opposition Members were never present at meetings and were therefore not able to share their experience and enrich the Committee’s discussions based on their overseas visits. Some opposition Members also refused to travel on study tours inside the country.
He said that Parliamentary requests were in place. That was good, but certain realities had to be faced and could not be ignored. The ANC’s structures dictated that certain Members had to be included in delegations, while the rest should be included on study tours on a rotational basis. There were other specific requests. He said that he had been requested to address a meeting in Johannesburg later in the week on affairs related to the World Cup, as the presence of either the Committee Chairperson or Whip had been requested.
Mr Saloojee said that the whole ANC component should take the decision on the identity of delegations in an equitable manner. He said that the point had been raised that there were too many opposition parties. In principle there should be some opposition representation, and this pattern had been followed for ten years. He said it was not the ANC’s fault that opposition parties could not garner as much support as the majority party.
Mr Dikgacwi agreed that the discussion should take place in the study group.
The Chairperson said that there would be a meeting the next day if the revised Special Measures Bill was tabled in Parliament on that day.
The meeting was adjourned.
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