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SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
18 October 2007
CHILDRENS BILL: POSTPONEMENT OF DELIBERATIONS
Chairperson: Adv T Masutha (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Draft Childrens Bill [B19-2006]
Audio recording of meeting
The Chairperson proposed that voting on the clauses of the Bill be postponed to allow the caucuses of the political parties adequate time to prepare their responses to the public interest that was expected on the Bill.
Postponement of further deliberations on the Children’s Bill
The Chairperson advised that deliberations were concluded and the content of the Bill was agreed on 17 October 2007. The Committee planned to vote on the clauses, report on the Bill and submit the Bill for debate on 25 October 2007. Given the significance of and the high degree of public interest in the Bill, it was agreed by the Committee to afford the caucuses of the political parties the opportunity to prepare their positions and responses to the issues of public interest. The Chairperson proposed that the formal consideration of the Bill be postponed to that end.
Ms J Semple (DA) had no objection to the postponement and asked whether the Bill would still be debated on 25 October 2007.
The Chairperson said that it would be necessary to re-schedule the Committee’s business on 24 October 2007, and the planned debate on the Bill would be withdrawn from the Order Paper. Tthe caucus requested to determine when proceedings could be resumed.
Ms C Dudley (ACDP) asked whether the contentious issues could not be removed from the Bill, so that deliberations on the Bill could continue.
The Chairperson said that the matter of corporal punishment was integral to the Bill and there would be re-drafting implications. He reiterated his suggestion that the proceedings be postponed and that Members report on progress at the Committee meeting scheduled for 24 October 2007.
Ms Semple advised that the DA wished to withdraw Option 3 under Clause 139 of the Bill and submitted an alternative proposal. She thanked the Chairperson for the exemplary manner in which he managed the proceedings and expressed appreciation for the contributions of the Members and the personnel of the Department.
The Chairperson added his thanks to the Committee Secretary, the Assistant Chairperson, the NGO’s involved and acknowledged the valuable role of the media in raising public awareness in the Bill.
The meeting was adjourned.
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