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TRANSPORT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
29 August 2007
TRANSPORT AGENCIES GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Mr J Cronin (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill with proposed amendments incorporated
Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill [B27-2007]
Memorandum by the State Law Advisor on the Meaning of Ex Officio
Audio recording of meeting
The Department of Transport (DoT) tabled the proposed amendments to the Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill. The Bill amended the different pieces of legislation that created the various transport agencies.
Members made further generic amendments that threaded throughout the Bill. These included the right of the Minister to appoint a CEO after considering the recommendation of the relevant agency board, Parliament’s right to be notified about appointments and making explicit the non-voting status of ex officio members. The State Law Advisor assisted the Committee in the formulation of provisions and matters pertaining to legality.
The Bill was adopted with amendments.
Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill: deliberations
Mr Adam Masombuka (Director of Legislation: DoT) guided the Committee through the revised issue of the Bill. The presentation highlighted the amendments incorporated after the Committee’s previous meeting on the Bill.
Members acknowledged these amendments and made further changes to the Bill. The State Law Advisor provided guidance in this process.
Clauses 1- 4 amending the Cross-Border Road Transport Act (CBRTA)
Amendments to Section 5 of CRBTA
Mr B Mashile (ANC) suggested that the word ‘or’ in the last line of subsection (3)(b) be replaced with ‘and’. He argued that this would ensure that the Board benefited from a broader set of knowledge and skills.
The Chairperson countered that the word ‘including’ would be a better substitute than ‘and’. This proposal was accepted and the subsection now read: ‘…an interest in the cross-border road industry including the labour and consumer sectors.
The Committee decided to delete subsection (3)(c)(i).
The Chairperson addressed Mr Mashile’s concerns regarding subsection (3)(c)(ii) and suggested this wording be added: ‘have legal knowledge and corporate governance experience including financial management experience.’ This amendment was approved together with the deletion of the word ‘or’ at the end of the subsection.
The Committee identified that some of the qualifications listed in subsection (3)(c)(iii) were unnecessary and a duplication of other competencies already mentioned. Consequently, a call was made to delete a portion of the subsection, which now read: ‘are knowledgeable about the cross-border road transport industry including labour and consumer matters.’
Mr Farrow posed two questions. Firstly, he sought clarity on whether the persons specified in subsections (2)(bA) and (2)(bB) were ex officio members. Secondly, he wondered whether they had any voting rights.
Regarding the first question, the Chairperson answered in the affirmative. Thereafter he read out the memorandum prepared by the State Law Advisor on the meaning of ex officio. The latter question was referred to the Department for a comment.
Mr Marius Luyt, Acting Deputy Director General: Public Entity Oversight, DoT, commented that the Department had no intention of giving ex officio members voting rights.
The Chairperson responded that this should be specified in the Bill. He approached the State Law Advisor for guidance on the matter.
Ms B Lufundo, Principal State Law Advisor, clarified that unless otherwise expressed, an ex officio member acquired the same rights and privileges as other Board members. Consequently, this implied that ex officio members could vote because the Bill was silent on this issue.
The Chairperson requested the State Law Advisor to correct this oversight.
Ms Lufundo formulated a new subsection, called (2)(c), which stipulated that Members contemplated in subsections (2)(bA) and (2)(bB) did not have voting rights.
Amendments to Section 7 of CRBTA
Mr Mashile believed that subsection (3) created an impression of entitlement. He argued that this was essentially a provision to extend the term of the Board members. Furthermore, he called for the deletion of the portion of the subsection that stated: ‘including the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson’.
The Chairperson explained that eligibility did not mean entitlement. He maintained that the specific subsection dealt with re-appointment and not extension.
Mr Masombuka agreed with the Chairperson’s explanation. He added that the Department was acting prudently and felt uneasy about deleting the portion identified (for deletion) by Mr Mashile.
The Chairperson acknowledged that the phrasing was redundant. Nevertheless, he appealed for the Committee to adopt a cautious approach and keep the entire section.
Amendments to Section 10 of CRBTA
The Chairperson amended this, insisting that Parliament should be informed about any board appointment. The new provision read: ‘The Minister shall within 30 days from the date of appointment of a member or alternate member of the Board, inform Parliament and cause a notice to be published in the Government Gazette.
Mr Masombuka deemed this amendment unnecessary. He suggested that the administrative arrangements could be strengthened to ensure that Parliament was notified about any appointments.
The Chairperson rejected this thinking. He commented that the Committee considered the agencies too independent and far removed. Accordingly, this amendment would allow the Committee to exercise greater oversight and monitoring.
Amendments to Section 14 of CRBTA
The Chairperson was satisfied with the amendment to 14(1)(a), which empowered the Minister to appoint the CEO after considering the recommendation of the Board.
Clauses 5 -11 amending the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)
The Committee made minor changes to this. Amendments were again made concerning the right of the Minister to appoint a CEO and Parliament’s right to be notified about appointments. These generic changes were threaded throughout the Bill. Section 12 of SAMSA would provide that ex officio members had no voting powers.
Clauses 12 -16 amending South African National Roads Agency Ltd & National Road Act
The Committee made minor changes about the right of the Minister to appoint a CEO and Parliament’s right to be notified about appointments. There was also an amendment stipulating that ex officio members contemplated in Section 12(2)(b), (c) and (d) did not have voting rights.
Clauses 18-20 amending the Civil Aviations Authority Act (CAA)
The Committee likewise made minor amendments about the right of the Minister to appoint a CEO and Parliament’s right to be notified about appointments. An amendment stipulated that stipulated that board members contemplated in Section 8(2)(b) and (c) did not have voting rights.
Clause 21 amending the Road Traffic Management Corporation Act (RTMC Act)
The Chairperson and Mr Mashile voiced concern about the mandate of the RTMC. The Department was requested to look into this.
Clause 22 amending the National Railway Safety Regulator Act
The Committee made minor amendments to this Act. Amendments were made to the previously deliberated issues concerning the right of the Minister to appoint a CEO and Parliament’s right to be notified about appointments. The new Section 8(5)(c) of the Act dealt with ex officio members and stated that: “Members contemplated in (5)(b)(i), (ii) and (iii) did not have voting rights”. In addition, the Committee rephrased Section 8(5)(b)(iii). It now read: “a person delegated by the Minister of Labour and a person delegated by the Minister of Safety and Security”.
Voting on the Bill
The Chairperson established that the seven Members who were present constituted a quorum.
The Committee surveyed the revised Bill and adopted it with amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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