Adoption of Committee Programme

Social Development

20 February 2007
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Meeting report

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
21 February 2007
ADOPTION OF COMMITTEE PROGRAMME


Chairperson: Ms T Tshivase (ANC)

Documents handed out:
First Term Committee Programme
Overview of issues
Social Cluster 2 Media Briefing: Second economy interventions and poverty alleviation
South African Social Security Agency: Service Delivery Fact Sheet
Ministers Briefing Note on Social Security

SUMMARY
The Committee met to consider its Programme for 2007. Before adopting the Programme, the Committee agreed that it would have to be briefed by the Department on its budget vote as soon as possible.

MINUTES
Committee 2007 Programme

Ms I Mars (IFP) enquired as to the doubt concerning the dates for the budget hearing meetings.

Mr S Whiting, Department of Social Development Parliamentary Liaison Officer, responded that due to the Appropriation Bill being tabled  in late March, there maybe a possibility that the Department’s Budget Vote be postponed until May. This would have an affect on the Committee’s briefing schedule.

The Chairperson wanted the Committee to meet on the Department’s budget soon after the Budget Speech by Mr Trevor Manual, Minister of Finance. She was of the view that its postponement would delay the Committee’s Programme.

Adv T Masutha (ANC) stated that due to the renewed momentum in comprehensive social security following the President’s State of the Nation Address, the Department must brief the Committee on it as soon as possible after Minister Manuel’s Budget Speech. This was important because the Department was the lead government department on the issue. The briefing should take place the following Tuesday, before key officials within the Department left for the International Conference on Social Security in Warsaw, Poland. This, he suggested, would allow the Committee’s Programme to continue as scheduled. The Department will present their budget and strategic plan on 7 March, and Budget-related issues must be finalised before the end of March before the Minister’s debate on the Department’s budget vote.

Ms Mars pointed out that Tuesday would be problematic for Members of the smaller political parties, as they were scheduled to attend other Committee meetings.
 
Mr B Mkongi (ANC) agreed with Ms Mars. He proposed that it be scheduled for 14:00 on Tuesday, while the House would be sitting.

Ms S Rajbally (MF) agreed that it would cause difficultly for the smaller parties, but stated that she would agree with the decision taken by the Committee.

The Chairperson emphasised the importance of compromise.

Adv Masutha respected Members’ commitment to other Committees and understood their resistance. An afternoon meeting would not be feasible due to the departure time for the conference in Poland. He proposed that the briefing on the Department’s policy framework take place in the week of 21 March. Multi-portfolio Committees should be invited as Comprehensive Social Security was an interdepartmental issue.

Ms C Dudley (ACDP) agreed that it would be beneficial to align with other Committees.

Adv Masutha confirmed that the proposal was to attempt to schedule a meeting for the Wednesday of the week of 21 March, with the hope that the other Committees would agree to a joint effort.

Ms Dudley requested that priority be placed on issues concerning the Childrens Bill, as the Committee would have to set aside time for a briefing on the issues.

Adv Masutha expressed the importance of joint efforts to clarify issues and reduce duplication in the legislation.
 
The Chairperson noted that the Committee adopted its programme, as amended.

The meeting was adjourned.

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