Report Back by Workgroups and Committee Position on Dealings with Media on Matters of SCOPA

Public Accounts (SCOPA)

06 September 2006
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report





Chairperson: Mr T Godi (PAC)


These minutes were compiled by the Parliamentary Committee Secretary

1.       PRESENT



Mr P J A Gerber

Mr D M Gumede

Ms L Mashiane

Mr T R Mofokeng

Dr E Nkem-Abonta

Mr V G Smith



Mr E W Trent

Ms A Dreyer





Mr N T Godi (Chairperson)



Mr G T Madikiza






Ms N Madide

Mr G Dixon



Mr L Zepe



Committee Adviser: Ms N Hlasa







The Chair opened the morning’s proceedings and welcomed the observers from Zambia to the Committee.


3.       APOLOGIES


Mr T J Bonhomme is on compassionate leave

Mr B E Pule is booked off sick

Mr F Jenkins is serving on an interview panel


4.       AGENDA




             (i)      Apologies

           (ii)      Adoption of the Agenda

          (iii)      Adoption of the Minutes

          (iv)      Report Back by Work Groups




             (i)        UIF Resolution

           (ii)         SAWS Resolution


4.3. Dealings with Media on matters of SCOPA: Committee Position

5.       Additions made to the agenda:


5.1              Mr Trent distributed a document containing eight points for discussion. The Committee, having received the document at the meeting, requested the following:


                         (i)      The eight points must be elaborated to explain why the topics are being raised.

                       (ii)      The Committee proposed postponing the discussion to the next meeting to review the eight points that will be further explained.


5.2              Agenda item 3.3 Dealings with Media on matters of SCOPA: Committee Position


                         (i)      The Committee agreed to postpone the issues for discussion to the next meeting of SCOPA.


6.       MINUTES No 19: 30 August 2006


The Committee agreed to the following amendments:

Pg 05: Replace, “improvements effected at train stations” with “state of government assets at train stations.”

Pg 05: Replace, “62” with “62nd”.


Mrs A Dreyer moved and Mr P Gerber seconded the adoption of the minutes.


6.1              Matters Arising:


            (i)      Visit by Ghana Delegation:


The International Relations Section is still in the process of confirming the programme. They will inform us of further developments.


          (ii)      Parliament appearing before SCOPA:


The Chairperson reported that the Portfolio Committee on Finance submitted the Financial Management of Parliament Bill to the NCOP to verify the amendments made by the Portfolio Committee on Finance. The PC will then adopt the Bill.


Mr G Madikiza requested a brief explanation of what transpired in previous meetings. Mr P Gerber referred Mr G Madikiza to page 25 of the Presiding Officers’ Report, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa 2004-05, that states the following:


“It is the considered view of the current Presiding Officers that while it is important for Parliament as an institution to be accountable for the use of taxpayers’ money, the integrity of Parliament as an institution and as an arm of government should still be maintained. To this effect it was resolved that Parliament should not account through the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to the Houses. In line with the Constitution, Section 188 (1) provides that the Auditor-General will audit and report on the accounts, financial statements and financial management of Parliament. In order to maintain the separation of powers, that report will not be tabled before SCOPA, but to the Parliamentary Oversight Authority, which is a multi-party structure that will scrutinise and follow up on all the matters raised by the Auditor-General.”[1]


Mr P Gerber then referred to page 11 of the report that deals with the composition of the Parliamentary Oversight Authority (POA). The member noted that the POA is comprised of the,


“Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP); the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP; the Chief Whip of the Majority Party in the National Assembly; the Chief Whip of the largest Opposition Party in the National Assembly; the Chief Whip of the second largest Opposition Party in the National Assembly;” etc.[2]


The Secretary to Parliament is an ex officio member of the POA.


This essentially means that Parliament will be reporting to itself on financial transgressions that occurred during the financial year.

The statement made in the Presiding Officers’ Report does not take into account the 2004/05 Annual Report and audited financial statements.


Committee decision:


The Committee agreed that the 2004-05 report must be assessed with the 2005-06 report that must still be tabled by September 30 to avoid dealing with an issue already resolved in the new report.

The Committee further agreed that the SCOPA must follow-up the issue autonomously and not await the adoption of the Financial Management of Parliament Bill.


        (iii)      Request by Mr Mokoena, former CEO of SALGA, to appear before SCOPA


The Chairperson reminded members that the Committee must nominate members to serve on the three member grievance committee agreed to in Minute No 19 of 30 August 2006. The African National Congress (ANC) agreed that they would nominate members to serve at the next meeting of SCOPA.


Mrs L Mashiane informed the Committee that she received communication from Mr Mokoena that he would be in Cape Town today and that he requests to meet with her. She indicated that she would not be entertaining the request but required the Committee to note this information.





7.1               Group 1


             (i)      The Group reported that it deliberated the resolution on the Department of Labour and its entities but did not dispense with it and plan to do so at the next meeting of the Group.


           (ii)      The Group reallocated the reports of the Department of Communication of former SCOPA Member, Mr D Maluleke to Dr A Nkem-Abonta. Dr Nkem-Abonta will also deal with the Department of Trade and industry.


          (iii)      The Group also dealt with the preparation for the intended oversight trip of the improvements effected at train stations.


          (iv)      The Group submitted South African Airways as a Category A. The Committee awaits the tabling of the motivation report to plenary.




7.2               Group 2


Ms L Mashiane reported the following:

      (i)      PRESIDENCY Unauthorised Expenditure


The Group provisionally adopted the unauthorised expenditure of R15 331.06 but requested the Secretary to confirm the amount with Treasury before tabling it to Plenary.


    (ii)      Categorisation of New Reports 2005/06


a         Status Report 2005/06


The Secretary tabled the status report for the tabled 2005/06 Annual Reports. The administration meeting agreed to stipulate timeframes for MP’s to report back to Groups when they receive their audited financial statements.


Group decision:


The Group decided that two weeks would be sufficient time to assess and report back to the Group. It also agreed that all categorisations must be done by October 2006 as per the Business Plan.


b         Reallocation of Mr Ndou’s portfolio:


Mr Ndou’s replacement was still being dealt with by the relevant structures but it was stressed that a replacement was needed urgently. Mr Ndou’s portfolio was re-distributed as follows:


Mr T Godi: Water Affairs and Forestry

Mr V Smith: Social Development

Ms L Mashiane: SAMDI


Mr Trent will be approached at the next meeting of the Group to determine whether he will remain with his present portfolio.


The Secretary will also distribute reports that are tabled to the relevant member this week.


c         Outstanding Category B Questions:


The Group agreed that the questions of the 2004/05 reports will be assessed with the 2005/06 reports to avoid redundancy.


The Convenor requested a Category B Tracking Document to be produced that will contain the following requirements:


1.             Classification date

2.             Question sent date

3.             Follow-up date

4.             Received date

5.             Assessment date

6.             Resolution produced date

7.             Group adoption date

8.             Plenary adoption date

9.             ATC tabling date


Group decision:


Resolutions must also be refined to include the matter that was questioned and whether this was adequately answered by the department.


        (iii)      Business Plan Focus Areas discussion


It is the intention of plenary to adopt the Business plan on Tuesday, 12 September 2006 but the Committee must still adopt the focus areas agreed to at the workshop. This also affects the business plan timeframes that is dependent on the focus areas. This was tabled for discussion at the next Group meeting.


         (iv)      Programme update


The Group was in agreement with using this period to categorise and noted that no hearings were scheduled for the period to October 2006. They agreed that the programme should be flexible if hearings are required.


           (v)      Other Matters


a         Group 1: SARCC Oversight Visit:


The PC on Transport must be informed of the intention of the Committee. The Group agreed that any members of Group 2 interested in attending the oversight visit must submit their names to Group 1 Secretary, Mrs N Nkabinde.




                        (i)      Attendance at meetings:


The problem of attendance at the Group meetings was highlighted but the Committee agreed that where work was lagging members of the Group needed to assist and reallocate Reports.

The Chairperson reminded the African National Congress that Mr S Ndou’s replacement was urgently needed in light of the new reports that are being tabled.




            (i)      Unemployment Insurance Fund Objective for Special Investigation:


The Committee adopted the resolution with the following amendment:

Delete: “The Committee further recommends that the audit costs arising from the above recommendations be carried by the UIF.”


The Committee agreed that the Auditor-General is an independent entity and that the cost of an audit must be governed by the Public Audit Act No 25 of 2004[3] and must not be facilitated by a resolution of SCOPA.


          (ii)      South African Weather Services:


The Committee adopted the resolution with the following amendments:

Delete “identified” and replace with “declared”

Page 3 replace “recommend” with “recommends”

Page 4 replace “recommeds” with “recommends”


9.             OTHER MATTERS:


            (i)      Group meeting on Wednesdays:


The Committee agreed to a suggestion by the Chairperson for Groups to meet on Wednesdays from 09:00 – 11:00 with Plenary at 11:00 – 13:00.


10.         ADJOURNMENT


The meeting adjourned at 10:16





Chairperson: Mr N T Godi Date:


[1] Presiding Officers’ Report Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, 2004-05, p25

[2] Presiding Officers’ Report Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, 2004-05, p11

[3] Public Audit Act No 25 of 2004, Section 23 & Section 29 (4)



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