Follow-up on discussion of Chapter Nine & Associated Institutions; Committee Report on Study Tour to India

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

26 February 2007
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
27 February 2007
FOLLOW-UP ON DISCUSSION OF CHAPTER NINE AND ASSOCIATED INSTITUTIONS; COMMITTEE REPORT ON STUDY TOUR TO INDIA

Chairperson:
Mr S Tsenoli (ANC)

Documents handed out
Report on visit to Kerala, India (Draft Copy) (available at Tabled Committee Reports once adopted)
Adhoc Committee on review of Chapter Nine and Associated Institutions Questionnaire
Update on Adhoc Committee review of Chapter Nine and Associated Institutions

Audio Recording of the Meeting


SUMMARY
The Committee focused on its formal response to a request by Prof K Asmal, Chairperson of Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Related Institutions, that the Committee indicate the role and function of the Chapter 9 institutions that fell under its jurisdiction, and the extent of the Committee’s oversight over those institutions. The Committee would report on the South African Human Rights Commission, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Gender Equality Commission (CGE). Its formal response must be given to Prof Asmal’s Committee by 14 March 2007.. of the meeting The Chair welcomed all the Members and the main topic that was discussed was the review of Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions and what form of review the committee would take.

The Committee Report on the visit to Kerala, India was adopted with a few amendments. The minutes of the previous meeting were adopted.

MINUTES
Discussion on Review of Chapter Nine and Associated Institutions
The Chair explained that the Committee was requested to inform Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Related Institutions on the institutions that fell under its jurisdiction. The purpose of the meeting was thus to discuss the role and function of the South African Human Rights Commission, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Gender Equality Commission (CGE). An update had been done on the accomplishments of those institutions, as well as the relationship between each of those institutions. The Ad Hoc Committee had sent questionnaires to each of the institutions, but responses were still awaited from some of them. He requested guidance from Members as to the way forward.

Mr P Smith (IFP) questioned whether there was a need to interact with the IEC, and what the role of this Committee would be in exercising an oversight function over such Chapter Nine and institutions. He commented that the answers to the self-assessment questionnaires that was given to the Chapter 9 Institutions would be helpful to this Committee in the oversight role that it was being required to play.

Mr M Likotsi (PAC) commented that the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistics Communities (CRL Rights Commission) had not responded to the questionnaire, but the Committee was expecting a report. This report must to be responded to by the Committee before 14 March 2007. The challenges facing traditional leaders should be recognised, as well as the challenges facing the different languages in the country.

Mr Smith stated that the institutions needed to be effective in order to continue to exist. The answers the provided to the self-assessment questionnaire would assist the Committee to develop its response.

The Chair commented that it would be helpful to hear the responses directly from the Institutions themselves, and to speak to them directly.

Mr Smith believed it would be helpful to see the responses of each of the institutions to the questionnaire.

The Chair replied that it would be difficult to proceed without the relevant information or without being able to interact with the South African Human Rights Commission.

Mr M Likotsi (ANC) stated that the recommendations from this Committee needed to be tangible, as Members wanted to increase awareness of those institutions within their constituencies. A road show had been conducted to educate the public about these institutions. He believed that the Committee’s report on those institutions would assist them to run more effectively.

The Chair stated that its report was not yet available. The Committee’s role was to decide whether the institutions that fell under its jurisdiction should continue to exist, and whether the work they did would continue to be valuable. The Committee would also have to assess the kind of support those institutions required.

The Chair stated that the quality of the interactions with the institutions needed to improve. The interaction between the Committee and the other Parliamentary Committees was very important in exercising effective oversight over those institutions.

Committee Report on India study tour
The Chair stated that the relationship between the Committee and those in the Ministry in Kerala, India, needed to be strengthened if there was any hope to aid the poverty stricken and marginalized people in that area. He suggested that other relevant Parliamentary Committees receive a copy of the report attached with a letter from him.

The report was adopted..

Adoption of minutes
The Committee adopted its minutes of previous meetings.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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