Review of Chapter 9 & Associated Institutions & Upcoming Urbanisation Seminar: Discussion; 1st Term Programme: consideration

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

12 February 2007
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
13 February 2007
REVIEW OF CHAPTER 9 BODY; URBANISATION SEMINAR; COMMITTEE PROGRAMME: CONSIDERATION

Chairperson: Mr S Tsenoli (ANC)

Documents handed out
Annual Report 2005/2006 of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights Commission [available at
www.crlcomission.org.za]
Draft Committee 1st Term Programme
List of Items that Require the Attention of the Committee

Audio Recording of the meeting

SUMMARY
The Committee had been requested by the Ad Hoc Committee for the Review of Chapter Nine and Associated Institutions to formulate its views on the performance of the Chapter 9 body over which it had oversight responsibility, this being the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights Commission. Members raised questions about the scope of the mandate and insisted that this be determined. The Chairperson noted these concerns and told Members to deliberate further and then report back to the Committee.

The Chairperson said he intended to organise a seminar on urbanisation and migration. He indicated that he would invite various role players to make submissions. This seminar would enable the Committee to understand urbanisation and how it affected service delivery. Members were universally supportive of this endeavour and suggested that the scope of the seminar be extended to include spatial development. The lack of integration between the departments was also highlighted as an issue that needed to be debated.

The Committee agreed to its programme for the First Term of the parliamentary session.

MINUTES
Review of CRL Rights Commission
The Chairperson noted that the Ad Hoc Committee for the Review of Chapter Nine and Associated Institutions (chaired by Prof K Asmal) had requested the Committee to examine the Chapter 9 body over which this committee had oversight, this being the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights Commission. He encouraged Members to provide only initial remarks and general comments because the Committee’s deliberations on this would not be finalised at this meeting.

Mr P Smith (IFP) confirmed that this Committee had passed legislation that had given rise to the CRL Rights Commission. He expressed confusion regarding Professor Asmal’s mandate. He wondered whether the Committee needed to express a view on whether the CRL Rights Commission should continue to exist in its current format.

Mr S Mashudulu (ANC) voiced uncertainty concerning the terms of reference of the mandate. He insisted that the Committee first establish what the actual mandate was. The provisions in the preamble and elsewhere in the Constitution elevated the status of this institution. It was necessary to weigh whether the institution adhered to the Constitution and its enabling legislation.

Mr Smith enquired whether the Chairperson could read out the letter that contained the mandate from Professor Kader Asmal.

The Chairperson replied that he would circulate a copy of the letter to Members after the meeting. The CRL Rights Commission had not yet appeared before the Ad Hoc Committee on Chapter 9 Institutions. It was within the Committee’s mandate to make its views known on any legislation or institution. He accepted the recommendations and asked Members to deliberate further and revert with a firm view. Finally, he hoped that the Committee would improve its interaction with the CLR Rights Commission and associated institutions.


Upcoming Urbanisation Seminar
The Chairperson remarked that the impact of migration between rural and urban areas and the arrival of foreigners in the country created service delivery challenges. He highlighted that undocumented persons (non-South Africans) placed a burden on the municipalities. He maintained that the Committee had a responsibility to examine whether provincial and local governments could meet this demand to provide services for a growing population. He added that the Cities Network Report and the Macro Social Report would assist the Committee to understand the reasons why people migrated and other related population patterns. He recommended that the Committee host a seminar with the principal authors of these documents, NGOs and other institutions. He wanted this to take place in the first term.

Mr Smith endorsed this suggestion. He proposed that the upcoming seminar be conducted over a full day and wanted its scope to be broadened to include matters pertaining to spatial development.

Mr Mashudulu offered that this seminar would be the ideal platform to interrogate the Spatial Development Programme and the contested definition of boundaries.

Mr M Solo (ANC) concurred with the prevailing sentiment that the seminar was a good idea. He preferred that the seminar took place outside Parliament. Furthermore, he questioned whether the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) had the correct people in its employment because he was under the impression that they had experts that would monitor social trends and movement patterns. Lastly, he said that the issue of urbanisation should involve other Committees because municipalities needed physical and economical infrastructure.

Mr M Swathe (DA) stated that it was imperative that the Committee conducted oversight visits. He emphasised that this was the best way to ensure that proper implementation took place.

Mr Mashudulu complained that there were too many theories, myths and assumptions regarding urbanisation and migration. He argued that the Committee would be best served if it consulted parliamentary researchers and other institutions for their expert opinions. He concluded that this would assist the Committee and prevent it from drawing the wrong conclusions.

The Chairperson repeated that it would be beneficial to study the Cities Network Report and the Macro Social Report prior to the seminar. He was convinced that the reports would arm the Committee with useful information. Also, he agreed that the seminar would look at service delivery and the National Spatial Development Programme.

Ms T Nwamitwa-Shilubana (ANC) bemoaned the lack of integration between government departments. She mentioned that in some communities there were clinics but no running water.

The Chairperson acknowledged that integration of development was a major problem. He instructed the Committee to look at areas where there were successes and then implement these strategies everywhere else.

Consideration of Draft 1st Term Committee Programme
The Chairperson observed that the programme was dominated by the upcoming strategic workshop with the Department and future budget discussions.

Mr Smith was adamant that the issues itemised in the annexure to the document be incorporated into the programme. He motivated that they needed to be prioritised because they had been outstanding for some time already.

Mr Mashudulu supported this assertion.

The Chairperson asked Members to consider and then advise how to approach any incorporation of the itemised issues. He observed that the Committee budget was not in the Programme. Also, he reminded Members that last year the Committee was denied permission to carry out certain activities and thus had unspent money. Lastly, he said that the research capacity of the Committee would be strengthened in the forthcoming year.

Minutes of Meeting dated 23 January 2007
The minutes were adopted without any amendments.

The Chairperson thanked Members for their participation. The meeting was adjourned.


 

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