Kenya Study Tour Report: discussion; Committee Programme and Minutes: adoption

NCOP Public Services

20 February 2007
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Meeting report

SELECT COMMITTEE PUBLIC SERVICES

PUBLIC SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
21 February 2007
KENYA STUDY TOUR REPORT: DISCUSSION; COMMITTEE PROGRAMME AND MINUTES: ADOPTION

Acting Chairperson:
Rev P Moatshe (ANC, North West)

Documents handed out:
Amended Draft Programme – first quarter 2007
Report – Study tour to Kenya, Nairobi 2nd to 9th September 2006 [available at Tabled Committee Reports once adopted]
Sessional Report – January to November 2006 [available at Tabled Committee Reports once adopted]
Budgetary Control Statement

 

Audio Recording of the Meeting

SUMMARY
The Committee met to deal with administrative business. The Acting Chair ruled that the Committee’s oversight visits to Upington and Motherwell would not be addressed in the meeting as the Chairperson was absent. Concerns about programme clashes were raised and Members agreed that Committee representation at all meetings should be resolved in good time while ensuring that the Chair was not double booked. The Committee’s programme for the first quarter was adopted. Technical, grammatical and factual concerns were raised concerning the Report on the Kenya Study Tour. It was concluded that the Report be discussed when the Chair was present and the necessary technical changes had been made to the document. The Committee decided that the 2006 Sessional Report could not be discussed in the Chair’s absence, as he was a co-author of the document. The Committee also adopted minutes of meetings held in the fourth quarter of 2006.

MINUTES
Introductory Remarks
The Committee Secretary extended the Chairperson, Mr R Tau’s (ANC, Northern Cape) apologies. Rev Moatshe chaired the meeting in his absence. Rev Moatshe introduced the items on the agenda. He mentioned that the oversight visits to Upington and Motherwell could not be discussed as the Chairperson had more intimate knowledge of them.

Draft Programme First Quarter
Rev Moatshe invited Members to comment on the Committee’s Draft Programme for the first quarter of 2007.

Mr A Watson (DA, Mpumalanga) asked that apologies for himself and Mr F Adams (ANC, Western Cape) be noted for the meeting to be held on 28 March 2007.

Ms M Oliphant (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal) made a suggestion regarding the meetings dedicated to housing issues on 7 March. She suggested that three dates directly after these meetings be set aside to meet with the various Housing Institutions together since the issues for discussion were interlinked. This would ensure continuity and prepare all concerned for the budget vote.

Ms B Dlulane (ANC, Eastern Cape) reminded Members of a clash in the programme for 23 February. She noted that while the Committee would attend Public Hearings on 3rd Quarter Conditional Grants and Capital Expenditure, the Public Hearings on Eradication of the Bucket System would be continuing and it was very important that these hearings be attended by at least two Members of the Committee.

Rev Moatshe agreed and proposed that the Chair and another member should attend.

Ms Dlulane clarified that the Hearings on the Eradication of the Bucket System would take place over two days, the 22nd and 23rd, hence potential scheduling clashes would have to be avoided.

Rev Moatshe said the Committee would take this into consideration.

Mr Adams asked if the Committee Secretary had any idea of potential dates for the Department of Transport’s budget vote and Strategic Plan presentation.

The Committee Secretary responded that she had been in touch with the relevant parliamentary officer who had not specified a date, but said the meeting would only be held in the second quarter.

Ms Oliphant noted that when Departments are asked to attend Committee meetings they should not be asked when they would be ready to attend. Departments should simply be informed of their need to attend and brief Committees. Secondly on the issue of the Public Hearings on 3rd Quarter Conditional Grants and Capital Expenditure, she mentioned the necessity to include the Select Committee on Finance as this Committee had already adopted the same programme. The Committees had to look at the programme jointly and once having established their positions on the hearings, proposals should be made for the next Hearings.

Mr Watson proposed that the programme be adopted.

Ms Oliphant seconded the proposal and the programme was adopted.

Committee Report on Kenya Study Tour
Rev Moatshe stated that while in Kenya, Kenyan parliamentarians had mentioned that there was not a great difference between the Public Service in Kenya and that of the Eastern Cape. These statements prompted the Committee to visit the Eastern Cape for verification. The visit showed Members that these statements had been untrue, but rather that great progress had been made in the province.

Mr G Krumbock (DA, KwaZulu-Natal) had not participated in the study tour and asked for clarity concerning the statement in the report that South Africans were perceived as key role players in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Mr Adams responded that South Africa’s High Commissioner to Kenya had mentioned to the Committee that South Africans perceived themselves as key role players in NEPAD while Kenyans saw equality amongst Africans with regard to NEPAD.

Mr Watson had not participated in the tour, but raised issues concerning technical and grammatical errors in the Report.

Ms Oliphant noted that several additions needed to be made to the Report. She asked that Members who had been part of the tour peruse the report and then the necessary adjustments could be made. At the next meeting the Chair would submit the Report to the Committee and it could be adopted.

Mr Krumbock put forward concerns with factual validity. Some of the facts in the Report needed to be challenged and verified. He pointed out a statement concerning land use in Kenya as an example of information that was not reflective of Kenyan realities.

Rev Moatshe said that Ms Oliphant’s suggestion for processing the Report would be followed.

2006 Sessional Report
Rev Moatshe asked for comments and if the Report could be adopted.

Mr Watson raised a concern. He noted that although all Members have a number of other responsibilities, when the Committee is required to deal with issues such as reports on international tours, the Chair would have to be present. It was not the Committee Secretary’s role to answer non-administrative questions. He proposed that the Kenya Study Tour Report and the Committee Budget Statement be dealt with when the Chair was present.

Rev Moatshe asked if Members agreed to this proposal.

Mr Krumbock seconded the proposal and the Members agreed.

Minutes of Meetings
The Committee considered two sets of minutes for 17 October 2006 and 1 November 2006. Rev Moatshe asked if the minutes could be adopted.

Mr Adams mentioned corrections regarding attendance at the meeting of the 17th October as well as grammatical errors.

Mr Watson asked for clarity on minutes of the meeting held on the 1st November. He felt that a third meeting held on the 25th October 2006 in Johannesburg should be minuted. The meeting was crucial and as the Department of Transport had been dealt with severely, the events had to be documented.

Ms Dlulane added that serious discussion had taken place at the meeting and it was necessary to reflect why the Department’s presentation had been rejected. The issue was so serious that it had been taken to the Minister’s office.

Ms Oliphant indicated that the Department had submitted the same bill, previously presented to the National Assembly, to the meeting in Johannesburg. The Department had not made any amendments to the bill and therefore the Committee felt it could not deal with it.

Mr Watson still felt that the minutes contained contradictions and suggested that an entire paragraph be deleted.

With this agreed upon, Mr Watson moved to adopt the minutes.

Mr Adams seconded the proposal.

The minutes were adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.

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