Committee Programme & Annual Report for 2006; President’s Letter on SANDF Deployment to DRC


16 February 2007
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

Joint Standing Committee on Defence

16 February 2007

Chairperson: Mr S Montsitsi (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Draft Committee Programme for first quarter of 2007.
Committee Annual Report 2006
Letter by the President on SANDF deployment to the DRC

Audio Recording of the Meeting

The Committee discussed its First Term Programme, its 2006 Annual Report and its Report on the letter from the President on deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to the DRC. Certain amendments were proposed to the First Term Programme. However the Committee could not adopt those documents because they could not reach a quorum.

Committee First Term Programme

Ms D Seadimo (ANC) proposed that on 9 March the committee should include another topic, instead of only discussing and preparing for public hearings. She also proposed that the meeting of 16 March should be scheduled for another day and use that time for strategic planning.

The Chair reminded the Committee that Ms Seadimo’s proposition could not be formally by the Committee, but was just a recommendation which the Committee would discuss at its next meeting.

He noted that the Committee was unable to adopt the Programme because it was not quorate.

Committee 2006 Annual Report
Ms P Daniels (ANC) noted that the Report indicated an expenditure of R3 315.36 on catering, and questioned whether that was the only Committee expenditure for 2006.

The Chair replied that the budget statement did not reflect the true expenditure because traveling expenses were not recorded. He asked the Committee Secretary to explain the budget report.

Mr J Ramrock (Committee Secretary) explained that Parliament announced last year that it did not have funds available for Committee travel expenses. That was the reason why it was not recorded in the Committee’s Annual Report. He also added that during the course of the previous year Parliament suddenly announced that it did in fact have money, which the Committee used for its traveling on its oversight visits. Thus those oversight visit expenses did not form part of the Committee’s initial budget allocation. Lastly, he informed the Committee that he had just been informed that the traveling expenses would be deducted from the Committee’s budget surplus.

Ms Seadimo proposed that the surplus should be use to buy diaries or blazers for Members, as was done by other Portfolio Committees.

Mr Z Ntuli (ANC) disagreed with the inclusion of the NCACC (National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) as an entity which falls under the oversight of the Committee.

Secondly, he proposed that the budget of the Committee be increased so that Members could, for example, fly business class and not economy class on Committee international trips. This would benefit Members who had health problems and who were not comfortable on those lengthy international trips.

The Chair responded that the issues raised would be taken up with Parliament. He noted that the Committee was unable to adopt its Annual Report because it was not quorate.

Letter from the President
Ms Seadimo complained that the Committee had not received the letter on 18 October 2006 as indicated in letter, but were in fact seeing it for the first time today. There was thus insufficient time for proper consideration of the letter. by Parliament.

Mr Ntuli seconded Ms Seadimo’s concern. He added that it was not acceptable, and was in fact unconstitutional.

The Chair replied that the blame could not be laid solely with the President, as the problem might have been with the Control Secretary or other related structures who were supposed to send it to the Committee. He added that such irregularities should be corrected and followed up, so that it did not happen again.

Lastly, the Chair reminded the Committee that it could not adopt the documents it had just discussed because the Committee was not quorate. The recommendations made would be discussed at its next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned


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