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Meeting reportNATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES RULES COMMITTEE
20 SEPTEMBER 2006
These minutes were provided by the National Council of Provinces Tabled Staff
Mahlangu, Mr M J (Chairperson of the NCOP)
C M (
Hendricks, Mr N D (UIF)
N J (
Ms H F
Mokoena, Kgoshi M L (Chairperson: Subcommittee on Review of
Mzizi, Mr M A (IFP)
Oliphant, Mrs M N (House Chairperson: NCOP)
Tlhagale, Mr J O (UCDP)
Mr Tshwene ,
Mr B S (Chief Whip:
Vilikazi, Ms J N (IFP)
Van Heerden, Dr F J (Freedom Front Plus)
Mr C J (
Watson, Mr A (Democratic
Windvoël, Mr V V Z (Chief Whip of the NCOP)
APOLOGIES: Ms P M Hollander, Ms B
IN ATTENDANCE: STAFF: Adv. L L Matyolo-Dube (Secretary to the NCOP), Adv. B V L Momoti, Mr B Tyumre, Mr B Nonyane, Ms J A Borien, Adv. A Gordon, Mr M Nguqu, Ms E van der Horst.
The Chairperson of the NCOP, Mr M J Mahlangu, opened the meeting at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed all to the meeting.
The Chief Whip proposed that items 6.1. and 6.2. on the agenda be treated as one item. The meeting agreed.
As stated above under apologies.
3. ADOPTION OF AGENDA
The agenda was adopted without additions.
4. CONSIDERATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF 14 JUNE 2006
The minutes were adopted as a correct reflection of the meeting of 14 June 2006.
5. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 14 JUNE 2006
The Chairperson referred to the bottom of page 3 of the minutes of 14 June 2006. He reminded the meeting that when Mr Setona presented the proposed Oversight Model he said that it was important for the NCOP Rules Committee to look at the implications of the report on the NCOP and to arrive at recommendations which could enrich the report. That Mr Setona also stated that it was important for the NCOP to prepare its position around specific matters in the report. The Chairperson referred to the above extract from the minutes and asked Mr Setona to indicate who would be dealing with the matter. The Chairperson was of the view that there should be someone who would be able to guide the meeting or at the least put some ideas on paper so that the meeting could consider the matter.
Mr Setona responded that a joint workshop of the Joint Rules Committee (JRC) was supposed to take place but that it was cancelled at short notice. He said that a review of the report, which content differed from the report presented to the NCOP Rules Committee, would have taken place at this workshop and would have provided a basis from which the two Houses would have engaged the report before it would have been submitted to the JRC. He said that he needed guidance as to how to proceed with the matter since the workshop had not taken place.
The Chairperson asked if it would not have been better for the workshop to take place.
Mr Setona said that there were issues of contention. He said that at the last meeting of the Task Team new issues, which were different from the ones that were presented to the NCOP Rules Committee meeting, arose. He said that these issues were political in nature. That it was thought that in the joint workshop the issues would be attended to and issues unique to the NA and NCOP would have been referred to the two Houses. Thereafter, the two Houses would have conferred with the Task Team before a final report would have been presented to the JRC.
Mr Setona proposed that a special NCOP workshop be convened to look at the report. He emphasized that the report was different from the one that was presented to the NCOP Rules Committee. He said that most of the issues were political in nature and needed political decision. That the Task Team did not have the authority to make decisions on these issues but that it could identify the options and present them to the relevant competent bodies such as the NCOP and NA Rules committees and finally the JRC.
The Chairperson asked whether Mr Setona was talking about the report that had been presented to the NCOP Rules Committee meeting.
Mr Setona responded in the affirmative and said that it was a draft report. He said that the report had not been presented to the JRC.
Mr Setona repeated that a workshop had been convened but was cancelled due to both Presiding Officers not being available to attend the workshop. He said that the workshop was intended to highlight some of the issues and arrive at political agreement on the issues in the report.
The Chairperson asked whether Mr Setona’s proposal was that the NCOP should have its own workshop or whether the joint workshop should be proceeded with.
Mr Setona responded that the workshop of the JRC was supreme and from that workshop the two Houses could look at the implications of the report. He cautioned that the report belonged to the JRC and proposed that a joint workshop should take place before issues that were pertinent to the NCOP could be identified.
The Chairperson asked who the coordinator was.
Mr Setona responded that Mr Bapela and himself convened the workshop. Mr Setona added that the JRC workshop would have been convened on instruction of the Presiding Officers. He said that it would be helpful if the Presiding Officers could identify a date for the JRC workshop to take place. He further said that the report was supposed to be launched in October or November 2006. However, that most of the processes could not take place before the joint workshop had taken place.
The Chairperson responded that the conveners of the Task Team should propose dates to the Presiding Officers, which the Presiding Officers would then consider.
The Chief Whip was of the view that it was important for the NCOP to prepare its position prior to attending the JRC workshop. He said that it would empower members who were attending the JRC on behalf of the NCOP to understand the issues in the report and would enable them to participate maximally in the JRC workshop. It would also ensure that the views of the provincial legislatures were taken into account because oversight could not be done in isolation and without acknowledging the implications on provincial legislatures and SALGA. He proposed that the NCOP conduct a preparatory meeting in order to formulate a common understanding before attending the joint workshop.
Mrs Oliphant supported the suggestion that a NCOP workshop be held. She was of the view that the Presiding Officers and not the conveners of the Task Team should coordinate the JRC workshop since it was the work of the Joint Rules Committee and not the Task Team.
The Chairperson requested the meeting to indicate whether it was in agreement with the proposal of a NCOP workshop to enable members to have a common understanding of the report.
The meeting agreed. The Chairperson requested Mr Setona to facilitate the NCOP workshop.
- The NCOP to have a workshop on the Report of the Task Team on Oversight and Accountability in order to prepare NCOP members for the JRC workshop.
- Mr Setona to facilitate the NCOP workshop on behalf of the Chairperson.
Mr Watson referred to item 7.1. on page 13 of the minutes. He said that he had still not received copies of the ruling from the Deputy Chairperson.
The Chairperson replied that the matter would be raised with the Deputy Chairperson.
6. MATTERS ON THE AGENDA
6.1. Discussion on the establishment of a committee dealing with discipline of the House as well as contempt of members.
6.2. Discussion on the mandate of the Disciplinary Committee (its powers and functions) and its composition.
As per agreement, Items 6.1 and 6.2. were dealt with as one agenda item.
The Chairperson requested Kgoshi Mokoena to report on the item.
Kgoshi Mokoena said that the matter had been removed from the agenda of the Subcommittee on Review of Council Rules. He reminded the meeting that the Subcommittee had briefed the meeting but that it was then decided that the forum consisting of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Chief Whip would attend to the matter.
He said that the Report of the Subcommittee, dated 17 October 2005, had been re-distributed to allow members to refresh their memories. He referred to the report and said that the report contained different options which were to be considered by the meeting.
The Chairperson referred the meeting to the 3 options provided for in the report of the Subcommittee. He requested the meeting to discuss the principle, agree on it and leave the establishment and composition of the committee to the Chief Whip’s Office. He said that the Presiding Officers and the Chief Whip had considered the matter and that the forum had specifically looked at section 12 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act. He said that the Act provided for the establishment of a contempt committee. He said that the forum was of the view that since the Act provided for the establishment of such a committee, the said committee’s functions should be extended to deal with issues of discipline. In this way there would be one structure to deal with both contempt and discipline.
The Chairperson requested the meeting to pronounce itself on whether it agreed with the principle namely, that a committee with extended functions be established. He proposed that the committee should consist of no more than 5 members and said that the committee would report back to the Rules Committee.
Mr Watson was in agreement with the principle. He also agreed that the committee should consist of fewer rather than more members. He said that the question arose as to the composition of the committee as well as its mandate. He also said that a document on the matter was needed as members would need to report back to their parties or provinces to discuss the matter. He said that the committee would function like a court and that it would need to have powers of suspension. That there should also be a structure where charges could be laid and the member should also have the opportunity to state his/her case.
The Chairperson said that Mr Watson was already raising the second part of the process. That he wanted the meeting to agree on the principle before it entertained discussions around the composition and functions of the committee. That the report contained the proposed powers and functions of the said committee.
Mr Watson replied that consideration should be given to the mandate of a contempt committee as opposed to a disciplinary committee.
The Chairperson emphasised that the powers of the contempt committee would be extended. In terms of section 12 of the Act, a contempt committee should be established. He said that his proposal was to extend the powers of the contempt committee in order to prevent the creation of more than one committee.
Dr Van Heerden said that the principle of the contempt committee having to deal with disciplinary issues was obvious. That if a body was tasked with hearing charges of contempt, that body would also have to provide judgment and penalties. He was in agreement with the principle and also supported the recommendation that the committee be small in its composition.
Mr Mzizi supported the principle of the creation of a committee with extended powers. He said that the committee should have disciplinary powers as well. He expressed his concern regarding the election of the members of the committee. He said that members came from different parties as well as different provinces and that these two backgrounds would play a role.
Mr Setona stated that he was reluctantly in agreement with the principle and the composition. He said that the ideal situation would have been to have a committee if and when the need arose. That it should not be a permanent committee as it would create stigmatisation. He was also of the view that it should be a small committee of the House which would not be representative of provinces.
The Chief Whip was also in agreement with the proposal and the composition of the small committee. He said that there should not be two structures dealing with overlapping issues, as most contentious conduct would also cover issues of ill discipline.
Kgoshi Mokoena referred to section 12 of the Act and said that it provided for the appointment of a standing committee which would deal with discipline in the House. That the constitution provided for the creation of this Act and non-compliance with the constitutional imperative could lead to legal challenges.
The Chairperson read section 12 of the Act to the meeting. He said that it was important for members to familiarise themselves with the Act and specifically section 12 thereof. He also referred to the report of the Subcommittee and specifically to the part dealing with the powers and functions of the committee. He said that the powers and functions as stipulated in the report were taken directly from the Act. He referred to the annexure to the report and said that the procedures were contained there.
He added that he was aware that members wanted to brief their caucuses on the matter and asked members to look at the powers, functions and procedures. He further requested members to relook the report of the Subcommittee, to discuss it with their caucuses and to come back with a decision for the next meeting. The Chairperson said that he wanted the powers and functions of the committee to be adopted at the next Rules Committee meeting. He reiterated that the proposal was that a small committee be established composed of 5 members. That the committee should not be cumbersome or political in nature and able to discipline any member regardless of the member’s party or province affiliation. That the committee, in terms of the Act, would be representing the House and that the House will decide and vote on the report of the committee.
The meeting agreed to the principle and that the composition of the committee should be small.
The Chairperson further added that the committee would have to be appointed before the end of the next term, as there were many issues the committee would have to deal with.
Mr Hendricks asked whether there would be a space for appeal.
The Chairperson replied in the affirmative. He requested members to scritinise the report and to make additions if need be. He said that the report would be considered in the next meeting.
Mr Watson asked if the report of the Subcommittee dated 17 October 2005 was the correct report. He proposed that the formula currently used for overseas travel be used as a basis when composing the committee.
Mr Mzizi was in agreement with the Chairperson. He said that there would be a problem if the connotation of party representation came in. He said that if there were five members and one of the five members asked to be recused, the committee would not be able to quorate.
Dr Van Heerden requested that a copy of section 12 of the Act be circulated. He was in agreement that the committee should not be representative of parties but requested that the appeal procedure be looked at.
The Chief Whip said that it should not be a committee of one party but a multi-party committee. However, that should not mean that it would be party representative. That it would be a committee of the House and when the committee was appointed, consideration would be given to members with the necessary background and members who would be able to be objective. That the committee would be constituted of those members that would be able to look at contemptuous conduct regardless of party affiliation.
The Chairperson requested that the Act and the Report of the Subcommittee be re-distributed to all members in the meeting. He again said that a decision should be taken in the next meeting and appealed to all members to consult with their caucuses and come prepared to the next meeting.
· That the principle of the establishment of a contempt committee with extended functions be agreed to.
- That such committee would consist of no more than 5 members.
- That parties would scrutinize the report of the Subcommittee, discuss it in their caucuses and come with a decision to the next Rules Committee meeting.
- That the composition, powers and functions of the committee be considered and adopted at the next meeting.
- That the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act be distributed to all members in the meeting.
- That the report of the Subcommittee be redistributed to all members in the meeting.
6.3. Report of the Subcommittee on Review of Rules
Amendment of Rule 232 (Questions)
The Chairperson reminded members that the issue was that questions should be directed to the ministry which was officially tasked with it. To re-route a question that had been incorrectly directed, to the relevant minister.
The Secretary said that the Questions Office on behalf of the Chairperson generally did the processing of questions. She said that there were two documents in Parliament that outlined the rules regarding the form and content of questions and that it provided a guideline as to what should be contained in a question. She said the Questions Office was supposed to apply these guidelines. She added that when there was a misunderstanding between the Questions Office and a member, it should be brought to the attention of the Office of the Chairperson. That the Questions Office should inform the member that the question was incorrectly directed and if the member insisted, the Questions Office should direct the matter to the Chairperson’s Office. The scenario that members were referring to should not have happened since the procedure was provided in the rules. If there was a misunderstanding between the Questions Office and the member, the Questions Office must submit the matter to the Chairperson’s Office. The Chairperson would then inform the member that the question needed to be redirected to the relevant minister.
Kgoshi Mokoena referred to the incident that happened in the House when the Deputy Minister of Local Government said the question should be asked to the Minister of Finance. He proposed that to avoid similar occurrences, if a question was directed to a particular minister, the Questions Office should assess the question and, in consultation with the member, redirect it to the relevant Minister.
Kgoshi Mokoena requested, on behalf of the Subcommittee, that the meeting approved the review of Rule 236(2) and Rule 237(1) as amended. He said that since the Rules Committee had taken the decision to allocate a specific day to questions, it was no longer necessary that a member be restricted to two questions per day.
Mr Watson agreed that once a question had been printed on the Question Paper it had to be attended to. He referred to a scenario that occurred in the House when Mr Setona was in the chair and said that neither the chair nor a minister had the right to decide that a question should not be attended to.
Mr Mack was in agreement with Kgoshi Mokoena and said that a review of the mentioned rules was necessary. He requested that the documents that the Secretary referred to, be made available. He asked who decided which questions would go on the Question Paper. He said that he would like to sit on the subcommittee and be a Questions Whip.
Mr Sulliman agreed that there was a need to revisit the rules. He said that previously all the questions could not be dealt with during one sitting due to the fact that the House dealt with other business as well. He said that the situation had changed and the rules should reflect that.
The Chairperson said that since no one disagreed, the Subcommittee had the mandate to revisit the rules.
Mr Mzizi asked why a minister should refuse to answer a question in the House based on that it should have been referred to another minister. He agreed that once a question was printed on the Question Paper, it should be attended to during the Questions session.
Mr Setona said that rules could not be created to compensate for human error. He referred to the statement made by Mr Watson and said that the member who had asked the question was not in the House at the time. That he wanted to bring the two parties together before making a ruling on the matter.
The Chairperson responded that the matter should not be discussed at the Rules Committee meeting.
The Chief Whip of the
The Chairperson said that there were rules guiding this process. He said that the Office of the Secretary should, on his behalf, when there is any question which the Question Office doubts refer it to the Office of the Chairperson, discuss it with the member and redirect the question. However, that once the question appeared on the Question Paper, it was the business of the day. He said that members of the executive needed to avoid refusing to answer a question on the basis that the question was not correctly directed. He said that his office would talk to the Leader of Government Business. He further said that members of the executive should not be rude to members.
- That the Subcommittee on Review of Council Rules would review rules 236(2) and 237(1) as amended.
- That the documents the Secretary referred to be distributed.
- That the Secretary would, when there is any question which the Question Office doubts, refer it to the Office of the Chairperson, discuss it with the member and redirect the question appropriately.
- That the Chairperson’s Office would address the etiquette of members of the executive with the Office of the Leader of Government Business.
6.4. Continuation of discussion on:
definition of sitting days; and
when does a member lose his/her seat in terms of his or her absence from Parliament
The Chairperson requested the Chief Whip and the political parties to provide a report on the agenda item.
The Chief Whip said that the definition of sitting days should include both plenaries and committee work. He said that the word “or” was used in the rule and that it should be replaced with the word “and” as it provided an option. In terms of when a member loses his or her seat, the Chief Whip responded that the NCOP should remain within the framework of the constitution.
The Chairperson referred to section 62(4)(e) of the Constitution and read it aloud. He also made reference to rule 17(2) and said that the word “or” resulted in a different interpretation. He said that there were members that continuously absented themselves from committee meetings without requesting leave. He asked whether members were in agreement with the proposal.
Kgoshi Mokoena said that the Subcommittee had proposed that rule 17 be deleted as the Constitution already dealt with the matter. He said that the National Assembly had removed the rule from their rules. He further said that the Constitution states that action must be taken if a member absents him or herself. That the Subcommittee had consulted widely on the matter and was of the view that rule 17 should be removed. He said that in the previous Rules Committee meeting the Subcommittee had proposed that the rule be removed and it was decided that members and parties would consider the matter and provide feedback to the Rules Committee.
The Chairperson responded that he did not always want the NCOP to refer to what the NA had done since the NCOP had its own dynamics. He said that it was important for members to be informed by the dynamics of the NCOP.
The Chairperson further asked how the absenteeism of members should be dealt with. He said that the Constitution said that it must be prescribed in the rules.
Mr Watson recommended that the rules be changed to reflect the words “and” and “or”.
At this stage of the meeting, the Chairperson had to leave to attend another meeting and Mr Setona took the Chair.
Mr Mzizi said that the rule should include both sittings and committee meetings. He proposed that the word “and” be used and the word “or” be deleted.
The Chief Whip said that the constitution stated that the rules and orders must provide for the circumstances under which a member may absent him/herself. He said that if some members absented themselves in the NA, a quorum could still be formed. That this was not possible in the NCOP, as it had different dynamics. Practically, once two members were absent in a committee, their absence would be felt. He said that if rule 17 were retained, it would be in conformity with the constitution. He proposed that the Secretary looked into the proposed amendment. He was in agreement with Mr Mzizi that even if the word “or” was combined with “and” it would still create an option. He proposed that “or” be deleted.
Mr Tshwene was in agreement that the word “or” should be deleted as it created an option.
Mr Setona said that the proposal was that the definition of 15 sitting days should include both sittings and committee meetings. He said that the committee would look at the draft in the next meeting.
Kgoshi Mokoena said that he was in agreement. He asked what would the position be if a member was absent from the Council for 8 days and from committee work for 7 days.
Mr Setona said that Kgoshi Mokoena was opening another debate and said that there was a view that it would be a party matter since members were nominated by their parties.
The Chief Whip said that it was within the mandate of the constitution to take that decision. He said that no consultation was required with the provincial legislatures as the constitution referred to the rules and orders of the NCOP.
- That the word “or” in Rule 17 be replaced with the word “and”.
- That the Secretary would look into the proposed amendment.
- That the NCOP Rules Committee would consider the draft rule in the next meeting.
6.5. Legislative cycle in the NCOP
The Secretary reported that the item was back on the agenda due to the discussions in the Programme Committee meeting. She said that the Chairperson was responding to the discussion and the question as to why provinces were not utilising JR 159 (why provinces were not dealing with the Bill once it has been gazetted). The Chairperson requested that the matter be further discussed in the Rules Committee meeting. The Secretary said that provinces were advancing different reasons for not being able to deal with the draft legislation. One of the reasons was that they had to deal with it in terms of their rules and another was that they were supposed to deal with the Bill that had been referred to the NCOP. The Secretary reminded the meeting that a decision had been taken on the matter which effectively provides for a cycle of 4 weeks. That rule 230A had been drafted and adopted by the Rules Committee.
The Secretary enquired whether members were aware that the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) was not a NCOP committee and that a proposal would therefore have to be made to the JRC to change the functions of the JTM. She asked how this would practically be done as tagging was done by the two Presiding Officers and the legal advisers attached to that process. Without the provinces, who will be taking the decision? She also informed members that the JTM decision was not appealable. If provinces found that they could not deal with the Bill in four weeks and the JTM had said four weeks, what would happen?
Mr Setona related a practical example from his province. He said that the relevant committee would get the briefing on Friday and in terms of the cycle, the following week they should have Public Hearings. That effectively, whoever wanted to make submissions would not have enough time. He said that there was already legislation dealing with uniform mandating procedures. He asked the legal adviser and the Secretary to what extent the rules of the provincial legislatures were subordinate to the rules of the NCOP. He said that he thought that only legislation could bind the provinces.
Mr Watson referred to the Joint Programming Committee process and said that it was clear that in order to avoid all the problems, a lot more thinking would have to go into the process.
The Chief Whip said that in the long term mandating legislation might cover some of the issues. That there might be a need to have regulations. However, that the question was what would happen in the interim. He said that it was clear that the four-week cycle was no longer an option. That the NCOP should take lessons from the recent constitutional court judgments and understand that if provinces were not given enough time, the NCOP would be held liable. He said that it was important to table priority legislation in time.
The Secretary responded to the question of whether the rules of the provinces were subject to the rules of the NCOP. She quoted section 116 of the constitution and said that the provinces had the right to determine their own procedures. That the NCOP do not have the right to set rules for the provinces.
Mr Setona replied that the provinces said that their rules only allowed them to consider legislation once they had been briefed by a permanent delegate and not at the time of receipt of a JR 159 notice.
Mr Sulliman said that the Further Education and Training Bill (FET) was a clear indication that the six-week cycle was not sufficient. That the NCOP needed to apply its mind to six weeks and more.
Mrs Oliphant said that in the previous Programming Committee meeting the Chairperson requested provincial whips to indicate how long provinces took to process Public Hearings. She said if that information was there, a decision could be taken on the cycles and how to deal with particular legislation. In terms of fast tracking of section 76 legislation, if the provincial legislatures could indicate whether it was possible to fast-track section 76 legislation. She said that the FET Bill missed the deadline and she was not sure whether provinces had been requested to allow members to work during the constituency period.
The Chief Whip said that if provinces were requested to work during recess or constituency period, such a request should go through the Office of the Chairperson.
Adv. Gordon referred to the two recent
In relation to the question regarding the relationship between the provinces and their independence in respect of the NCOP, section 116 of the constitution provided that provinces were independent. She said that it was so because some of their business fell outside the scope of the NCOP. That provinces had an independent mandate to govern provinces but that there were matters in which provinces needed to have a say in national government. She said that the court, in the same judgment, said that the NCOP was a Council of Provinces and that provinces must inform the processes in the NCOP. That without provinces, there would be no NCOP. She said that one paragraph stood out in the judgment namely that “…the NCOP played a pivotal role as a linking mechanism…” Adv Gordon was of the view that this was important when looking at the relationship between provincial legislatures and the NCOP in relation to cycles and time. That national government should take into account the time demands of provincial legislatures.
Adv Gordon further commented and said that the court did not touch on the issue of mandates. It set a benchmark for what would be regarded reasonableness in the legislative process. The court cautioned that if provincial legislatures were not going to apply themselves when mandates were communicated to the NCOP, it would be difficult for the court or anyone else when having to review a process to exercise its discretion appropriately. That mandating was not only casting a vote. The court said that it wanted to see record keeping and motivations. Adv Gordon said that the court had in effect given the NCOP clear direction. That when there was a constitutional obligation on the NCOP, the NCOP could defer that obligation. She used the example of public participation and said that if the provinces would do it, the NCOP itself would not have to do it but the NCOP would remain the ultimate custodian of the constitutional obligation. However, if no effective mandate were communicated to the NCOP, how would the NCOP be able to say that it could correct the falter on behalf of a province?
Adv Gordon concluded by saying that it ultimately was national legislation which provinces had an interest in and which the NCOP took responsibility for. Therefore, the four-week cycle should no longer be an option.
Ms van der Horst said that she would like to bring it to the attention of the meeting that the NCOP normally faced a problem with the Division of Revenue Bill. That in terms of the Programming Framework accepted for 2007, the NCOP would have four weeks to deal with the Bill. That Treasury usually insisted that both Houses process the Bill by end March.
The Chief Whip responded that the issue of the Division of Revenue Bill and its programme should be dealt with in the Programme Committee meeting.
Mr Setona said that the programming of the Division of Revenue Bill was essentially related to the discussion on the four-week cycle.
The Chief Whip said that he would not participate further in a discussion run in such a manner. He said that some issues belonged to the political leadership. He referred to the question asked by Mr Setona regarding Treasury.
Mr Setona said that Treasury was the executive and it was talking to the NCOP which was the legislature. He said that the NCOP had in the past been told to pass the Bill before the time and now this should be looked at since there was a ruling of the court.
Mrs Oliphant responded that a Joint Programming workshop would be held to finalise the issue of how to deal with the programming in order to accommodate the cycles of the NCOP. She said that the NCOP should in the interim continue with its cycles. She said that whilst she understood the rulings by the constitutional court, it was important for the NCOP to deal with its programming. Also, that after the workshop all stakeholders might be in a position to come up with a final solution to the issue.
Mr Setona said that if everyone were in agreement with Mrs Oliphant, the envisaged follow-up workshop on programming would look at the short and long term implications.
· That the envisaged follow-up Programming Workshop would finalise the issue of how to deal with programming in order to accommodate the cycles of the NCOP.
The House Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:15.
Hon. Mr. M J Mahlangu, MP
Chairperson of the NCOP Rules Committee