Approval of Programe of committee; Consideration of Report of Study Tour to Chile.

Water and Sanitation

28 August 2001
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Meeting report

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

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This Report is a Contact Natural Resource Information Service
Taking Parliament to People, and People to Parliament

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The aim of this report is to summarise the main events at the meeting and identify the key role players. This report is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings.

WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
29 August 2001

1. APPROVAL OF PROGRAMME OF COMMITTEE
2. CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STUDY TOUR TO CHILE

Documents handed out:
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry on a Study Tour to Chile, Santiago, dated 1 July 2001.
Draft Committee Programme for August 2001 to November 2001 (Appendix 1)

SUMMARY
The Portfolio Committee firstly considered and approved their draft programme for this term. The Committee also approved the sending of various members to tour the provinces with the Chief Director of the Sanitation Programme. This tour has been set up following reports by various municipalities that they were unable to fulfill their activities under the programme due to the fact that they were not receiving their equitable share. The Portfolio Committee had planned to consider the Report of the study tour to Chile. The Report was not however considered as those persons who had been on the study tour had not had an opportunity to comment on the draft Report. Once the members of the study tour had met to finalise the Report, the Portfolio Committee will consider it.

MINUTES
The Chairperson welcomed all the members to the meeting. Prior to considering the main two issue of the meeting the Chairperson considered certain "housekeeping" matters.

The first of these dealt with the Protocol on Shared Resources in the Southern African Development Community. The Chairperson requested that the members familiarise themselves with the Protocol to prepare for the Department of Water Affair's briefing on the matter.

The second housekeeping issue dealt with certain information that had been received from the Chief Director of the Sanitation Programme that various municipalities had not received their portion of the equitable share. This was apparently impacting on their ability to provide the services under the Sanitation Programme. According to the Chairperson, the Chief Director had proposed visiting three Provinces (Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Province) to establish the extent of the problem. The Chairperson stated that she believed that it was important that members of the Committee form part of this tour party. She reiterated the need for the Committee to be aware of what was happening at ground level in relation to service provision.

Discussion
The Chairperson requested the Committee's comments.

Mr M. Ngenya (ANC) and Mrs T. Ndzanga (ANC) believed that the Committee's participation was very important as it would give Committee members and opportunity to interact with local counselors and communities and hear their concerns first hand. Mrs Ndzanga proposed that Mpumalanga Province be added to the list of provinces visited and the Chairperson noted this proposal.

Mr S. Simmons (NNP) state that if the Committee's involvement would assist in resolving the matter, certain representatives should be sent on the proposed fact finding visit.

The Chairperson concluded the issue be reiterating her belief in the importance of the Committee being involved in the tour. She further stated that owing to the fact that the Committee was not presently overly pressurized with the consideration of legislation at present, they should utilise this opportunity to meaningfully interact with local communities on ground level.

APPROVAL OF PROGRAMME OF COMMITTEE
The Committee then considered the draft programme (Appendix 1) for the term as presented by the Chairperson. The Committee provisionally approved the programme. The Chairperson then entertained comments from various Committee members on the programme itself and on certain general matters.

Mr Ngenya raised concern about the fact that the Committee had not been invited to the Workshop on Climatic Change hosted by the Portfolio Committee of Mineral and Energy Affairs on 28 August 2001. He also raised his concern that there was not sufficient accountability from the Department on the implementation, budgeting and success of Provincial and National projects.

The Chairperson responded that a major problem faced by the Committee was to clarify its role as its functions overlapped so many other Portfolio Committees. She proposed that the Director General provide some input on the matter. She further stated that she believed the Committee should become more integrally involved in the planning of the World Summit on Sustainable Development as the issues of water and forestry were central to this conference.

Ms C.Dudley (ACDP) proposed that the hearings on "Water, Women and Poverty", scheduled to take place on 3 October 2001, should be held in the Provinces so that the Committee to get a feeling off what the issues were at community level. She believed that this would be more beneficial than a presentation in Cape Town.

Mr Simmons raised a concern that the Committee needed to get more regular updates from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and Provincial and Local Government on their activities and functions within the sector. He stated that one of the functions of the Committee was to oversee and monitor these entities performance and without regular reports, they were unable to fulfill this function.

Mr T. Brutus (Department of Water Affairs) confirmed that the Department had all the information readily available but that it would be very problematic to distribute the volume of information to all the members. He proposed that the Committee should have access to all the information at the Department, and that copies could then be made of any relevant information they specifically identified.

Ms Dudley proposed that a task team be set up to meet with the Department and that this task team could then determine what information was relevant and distribute the information to the other members of the Committee.

The Chairperson intervened and stated that she believed it would be too time consuming for the Committee to deal with all the detailed information. She suggested that the Department send the Committee brief summaries of its activities. She agreed that an important role of the Committee was to ensure that the Department delivered on its projects. She however stated that she did not believe that the Committee needed all the detailed information on the projects to fulfill this function and that brief summaries would suffice. No decision was reached on the issue.


CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STUDY TOUR TO CHILE
The Chairperson advised that the Report presented to the Committee was merely in draft form. She further stated that various members of the team who had been to Chile had not had an opportunity to consider the report and that until such time as this had taken place, the Committee was not in a position to consider it. The consideration of the Report was accordingly delayed.

The meeting was adjourned.

The copyright in this material subsists with the Contact Trust. Further distribution or copying of this material is prohibited without the prior agreement of the Contact Trust.
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Appendix 1
PROGRAMME FOR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY
FROM AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2001
(SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Date

Agenda

Venue

Time


Wed 29 August 2001

Consider and Adoption of the Chilean Report

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 - 13:00

Wed.12 September 2001

Community Forestry and Poverty alleviation
By Dr Guy Preston

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 -13:00

Wed.19 Sept 2001

Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses in SADC, tabled as section 231(2) of the Constitution 1996 & Water Regulation by DWAF

Venue to be confirmed

To be confirmed

Sat. 22 Sept 2001

Workshop on Forestry Restructuring

Venue to be confirmed

To be confirmed

Wed. 26 Sept 2001

Progress Report on Sanitation by Dwaf

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 -13:00

Wed.03 October 2001

Hearing on Water, Women and Poverty and Globe - Climate Change and its effect on Water

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 -13:00

Wed, 10 October 2001

The use of chlorine and its effect on Water

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 -13:00

Wed, 17 October 2001

Water Regulation 19.5

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 - 13:00

Friday 19/20 October 2001

Forestry Indaba

Venue to be confirmed

09:3- 13:00

Wed.24 October 2001

Briefing on strategic Planning by DWAF

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 -13:00

Wed.07 & 14 November 2001

Consider & Adoption of Annual Report

Venue to be confirmed

09:30 - 13:00

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