Local Government Laws A/Bill: Department briefing & Public Service A/Bill: adoption

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

Welcome

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION SELECT COMMITTEE
15 November 2007
LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAWS A/BILL: DEPARTMENT BRIEFING & PUBLIC SERVICE A/BILL: ADOPTION

Chairperson:
Mr S Shiceka (ANC, Gauteng)

Documents handed out:
Local Government Laws Amendment Bill presentation
Local Government Laws amendment Bill [B28-2007]
Public Service Amendment Bill [B31B-2006]

Audio recording of meeting

SUMMARY
The Department of Provincial and Local Government formally briefed the Committee on the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill. The Bill contained a number of amendments to various pieces of local government legislation. Problem areas had been identified, and the Department sought to address areas where disjuncture existed between planning and implementation. Questions were asked by Members around municipal finances and financial management especially the issue of out of pocket expenses for ward committee workers, codes of conduct of municipal officials and employees, protocol around running for public office and being a municipal worker and differentiations in property rates across provinces. The Chairperson commented that further amendments might be required on the issue of ward committees, particularly since they had varying levels of financing and resources. Issues raised around Section 106 should be presented in a full report that was to be sent to the Committee and the Minister. He emphasised the importance of the NCOP being informed about all processes and receiving all reports.

The Minister of Public Service and Administration attended the second part of the meeting, which dealt with the final mandates on the Public Service Amendment Bill. The Minister addressed the Committee, assuring it that the Ministry was supportive of the process. Although the Ministry was intending to move to a single public service, this Bill would be the most transformative piece of legislation, dealing with many long outstanding issues, including involvement of public servants as councillors. She suggested that a single meeting should be set aside to debate this issue, when research by the Public Service Commission would be made available.  The Committee proceeded to read out the mandates. The Eastern Cape supported the Bill but suggested that there must be amendment to the principal Act. It was reported that the amendments made already by Clause 10 of the Bill fully covered those issues. There was some difficulty with the Gauteng mandate and it was decided that the report of the ad hoc committee of that Province would be accepted, and that the Ministry and Department should respond to the queries of that province.  Other provinces supported the Bill. The issue of double salaries would be clarified. The Committee voted on the Bill and resolved to adopt it. It would be debated in Parliament on 20 November.

MINUTES
The Chairperson announced that the Minister of Provincial and Local Government would join the meeting for discussions on the Public Service Amendment Bill, which was the first formal briefing on the Bill. 

Local Government Laws Amendment Bill: Briefing by Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG)
Mr Myron Peter, Chief Director: Institutional and Administrative Systems, DPLG, gave an overview of the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill (the Bill). He outlined the main components, noting that the Bill included amendments to the Municipal Demarcation Act (MDA), the Municipal Structures Act (MSA), the Municipal Systems Act (MSyA) and the Municipal Property Rates Act (MPRA). The Schedule to the Bill dealt with the repeal of other legislation that had been considered redundant. This version included changes made as a result of consultations by the Portfolio Committee on Local Government. He also made mention of a one page document prepared by the Department that showed which sections had been amended.

The Chairperson asked that this be copied for the benefit of members.

Mr Peter briefed members on the background to the Bill. He indicated that the Memorandum on the Objects of the Bill would be useful.  He outlined the problem areas of the MDA and MSA. The Department had attempted to highlight areas where disjuncture existed between planning and implementation. He mentioned that National Treasury required re-determination of fiscal spending within the relevant financial year so as to allow for inclusion in the Finance Minister’s annual budget. An additional problem area was alignment with the Constitution and implementation of policy.

Chapter 2 of the Bill dealt with amendments to the Municipal Systems Act. Again problem areas were identified, and the Bill focused on enhancing synergies and alignment between management systems. It also considered the duties of provinces in conducting investigations in instances of non-performance of personnel. The changes would empower municipalities to initiate and conduct investigations where Local Government had been reluctant to do so. The third aspect was leniency in addressing corruption in procurement processes, again where there had been reluctance to do so by Local Government. The fourth area looked at ambiguity with regard municipal officials’ participation in elections for public office. The fifth referred to advance payments for issuing certificates, with the aim that the financial burden of consumers in terms of property transfers was relieved. The last area concerned technical corrections and again raised the issue of synergy.

Chapter 4 looked at amendments to the Municipal Property Rates Act. First, it dealt with technical corrections. Secondly there would be better alignment of rates policies to municipal budgets including how the budget was drawn up and tabled, with emphasis on the proposition that quantification be reflected in the budget. The third aim was to have the burden of valuation removed in relation to rates being levied, to provide a smoother process of expenditure determination. The fourth area was differential rating, which tried to avoid differing legal interpretations that would result in differential adherence. There would be protection of ratepayers through set limits of rate revenues. This essentially provided a clause for Ministers to prevent high revenues being set that would have an adverse effect on economies where these categories of properties existed.

The Schedule covered the repeal of legislation where old legislation had been replaced with new.

Mr Peter tabled a list of the bodies consulted, noting some of the comments given in relation to the first version.

Mr Peter finally took the Committee through amendments made to the first version of the Bill by the Portfolio Committee. He noted that the first three amendments existed in previous version but had been rearranged in an order that the committee preferred. Other amendments referred to grammatical and sentence construction errors.

Discussion
The Chairperson stated that this Bill tried to address certain deficiencies in the Department’s legislation.

A number of questions were then posed by Members, which were answered in broad terms by the Department, which expanded also on the presentation.

Mr J Le Roux (DA, Eastern Cape) wanted clarity on why it was necessary for Local Government officers to resign once they had become elected officials.

Mr le Roux asked, with regard to reducing theft and misappropriation of public funds, if there was sufficient in the Bill to eliminate ‘sleeping partners’ of companies linked to the Department.

Mr A Worth (DA, Mpumalanga) queried that if the equitable share was only available from 1 July then how did Local Government operate up until that date.

Mr M Mzizi (IFP, Gauteng) asked if differential rating applied province by province. His question was related to the issue of improving budgeting outlined on page 4 of the presentation. He felt that there should be uniformity in the system across provinces.

Mr Mzizi queried the Mkontwana judgement on rental housing and cutting off of amenities. He wanted to know what the judgement dealt with and how it impacted on rental housing.

Mr Mzizi asked why the Department would want to do away with a system that provided an interface between councillors and ratepayers.

The Chairperson remarked on a trip that Committee Members had taken to Stellenbosch, when they discovered that people viewed ward councillors there with contempt because they felt councillors did not allow for public engagement. Mr Mzizi’s view was not applicable to all provinces.

Mr Mzizi felt that it was important to debate this issue owing to other judgements that continued to leave people out of processes and resulted in their views not being considered.

The Chairperson noted that the IFP views had not been known by other members of the committee.

Mr Z Ntuli (ANC, Kwazulu-Natal) wanted to know how the Bill would strengthen ward committees in terms of Section 139. When a municipality dissolved and an MEC took over service delivery in its place, the resultant dismissal or removal of chairpersons of these committees led to the interruption and then cessation of all ward council work. He asked what would be done about this situation once Section 139 was in effect.

Kgoshi L Mokoena (ANC, Limpopo) queried the assistance given to ward committees as out of pocket expenses, and said that ward committees were at the mercy of municipalities who held committees hostage because of access to funds and other resources like transport. He wanted to know how the out of pocket funds were going to be regulated, as it was not right that those who assisted government could control the work of government.

Kgoshi Mokoena expressed satisfaction with the clause proving protection of contracts of municipal managers. He was pleased this was being corrected, and cited some instances where municipal managers were paid higher salaries than the President of the country.

Kgoshi Mokoena noted, with regard to awarding of contracts, that in the Vembhe district the councillors had stated that they alone could determine the terms of contract for the municipality. As a result the mayor, who had tried to stand her ground, was expelled. He gave an example of the employment procedures of municipal councillors and how the link between designation and remuneration was blurred. He sought clarity on the code of conduct of municipal councillors and staff and wanted to know if the two were the same. He then referred to the issue of an individual who was a candidate of a political party and also a municipal staff member, who was at the point of running for public office, and asked what would be taken as the precise moment of resignation.

Ms F Nyanda (ANC, Mpumalanga) asked the reasons for the proposal that the property transfer period be shortened from 120 days to 60 days.

Mr Worth asked if the Department had done a costing of the awarding of out of pocket expenses to ward councillors. He noted that some municipalities were poorer than others, which necessitated local councils determining the amounts for out of pocket expenses. He felt the issue was being thrown back to local councils and the Department had not taken responsibility. He asked what a ‘reasonable’ amount would be. He sought clarity on the actual costs, noting that there were too many ambiguities.

Mr Ntuli noted that a previous version of the document had made an exception for part time councillors with regard to their resignation if they were elected for public office. In the current document this had been omitted, and he wanted to know if this had been an intentional omission and what the current status was.

Kgoshi Mokoena commented that the Bill was trying to avoid the awarding of a contract to a person who was an advisor to or part of the municipality. He wanted to know how the Department would achieve this. Following the chain of these contracts invariably led back to funds being paid to individuals who oversaw the awarding of the contract. He sought clarity on this issue.

Mr Peter first addressed the questions on ward committees. He noted that the department did not want to micromanage the municipalities because there were structures that municipalities had put in place to deal with issues. DPLG had rather identified needs in municipalities and ward committees through out of pocket expenses. There were many committees that reported to Council on what people living in the wards needed. It was necessary to be able to reward these members, and DPLG needed to adopt a policy with regard to providing resources for the work to be carried out. The municipalities had budgets for which they had to be responsible and this placed an automatically constraining factor on how much out-of-pocket expenses municipalities could provide. He emphasised that municipalities needed to play a part in their own financial health.

In terms of public participation there was a document that looked at regulating the ward committees.

On the issue of development in ward committees the DPLG did not want to be accused of interference and being prescriptive. Furthermore, they did not expect that ward committees would be involved in huge structural development projects but that they would contribute to the initial stages of planning or conceptualising development projects for their wards.

Mr Peter explained that the proposed reduction from 120 to 60 days for property transfer had been effected to lessen the burden from individuals who wanted to do such transfers but had been constrained by the cost implications involved in a longer process.

Mr Peter noted that on the issue of costing, it was expected that all senior officials, including mayors, should abide by the law. A defined policy needed to be adopted by the council so that out of pocket expenses could be paid.

Mr Mizilikazi Manyike, Executive Manager, DPLG, responded to the issue raised in the context of supply chain and councillors benefiting from being awarded contracts. He noted that the issue at hand was not the regulation of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) but rather that DPLG had tried to align existing pieces of legislation to deal with financial matters. The intention was not to introduce new legislation. The MFMA and other regulations were designed to deal with these issues. He emphasised that the Local Government Amendment legislation amended laws that affected municipalities, not provinces. The equitable share would be dealt with in the Division of Revenues Act. Once amended, the new policies would set out a clear regime of law that would take into account the powers and functions that Local Government dealt with.

Mr Manyike responded to Mr Mzizi that the different ratings mentioned on page 11 applied to the MPRA, which was an internal issue referring to what a municipality charged for various property categories within individual municipalities, as opposed to provinces. This was aimed at assisting municipalities to interpret the law. The Department was committed to improving planning and implementation through ensuring gaps that had been created by enactment of various pieces of legislation were identified and dealt with. This would make the work of municipal councillors and practitioners more efficient. He concluded that the practice of ‘fronting’ was not confined to municipalities, but was rather a national issue. Norms and practices in this regard had to be dealt with nationally first. In addition these occurrences were difficult to prove.

Ms Veronica Mafoko, Senior Manager: Equitable and Fiscal Transfers, DPLG spoke briefly of the Mkontwana judgment, and said that details would be made available to the Committee upon request. She outlined the principle of the judgment, which were aimed at ensuring that new owners of property did not inherit the debt of previous owners on the property inherited.

Mr Mafoko noted that if the principal body that had instituted a ward committee dissolved, then the ward committee could not continue. Therefore if a council ceased to exist, the ward committee automatically ceased to exist.

Mr Elroy Africa, Deputy Director General: Governance and Development, DPLG, added that ward committee provisions were not mandatory but guiding. The issues that had been raised fell within the ambit of ward committees being part of voluntary systems of government. Efforts had been made to implement innovative policies that would strengthen ward committees and enable them to allocate resources. The DPLG had not undertaken a costing of some of the new provisions, and an additional policy framework was being developed.

Mr Africa emphasised that when the department insisted on development in terms of the law, it meant that all development should take place with local Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). In terms of Section 139 it should be borne in mind that though ward committees carried advisory roles, they were being strengthened and could undertake some development projects. He said that in general Local Government and municipalities had been receiving more funding. With regard to financial alignment he mentioned that proper and timely budgeting and planning were necessary, especially given the time lag between a budget being submitted and funds being made available.

Mr Africa added that previously the legislation had separated the codes of conduct for municipal councillors and staff, but the present Bill aimed for uniformity. In terms of municipal employees running for public office, Mr Africa acknowledged that there were some places where the distinctions had been blurred, and that the Department had attempted to circumvent this. It was a very complex issue from a governance point of view.

Mr Worth asked if the Department had considered the constitutionality of a municipal official standing for public office. He queried whether consideration had been given to other means as he felt that there was a risk that the present dispensation might infringe on an individual’s constitutional rights. He stated that the differentiation of out of pocket expenses according to ward committees was not fair, because wards did not have the same level of finances.

Mr Ntuli wondered if Mr Africa was avoiding the question of the part time councillors’ issue. During a previous meeting it was said this issue would be dealt with at the next meeting but once again no answers had been given.

Kgoshi Mokoena referred back to the requirements for a public office candidate being a municipal employee. He referred to Clause 32.2 of the Public Service Amendment Bill, regarding when resignation took place, and asked whether the old or new clause was more correct.

Mr Africa did not have anything to add to his previous responses. He said the Department was willing to abide by the ruling of the Committee on the Bill. The Department had presented the positive and negative aspects of the employment/ public office issue. Furthermore the Department did not have a formal opinion on the constitutionality aspects around candidates for public office but it was an issue that had been debated internally.

The Chairperson noted that this was the first briefing by the DPLG. He warned Mr Africa and his team that a further amendment might be needed on the issue of ward committees and the time allowed for management of finances, given that different ward committees had varying levels of financing and resources. In this regard a hand over period, of perhaps six months, would be discussed. The issues around Section 106 should be presented in a full report that was to be sent to the Committee and the Minister. He emphasised the importance of the NCOP being informed about all processes and receiving all reports, because in the past they had only been informed at the time of implementation, which had limited their involvement.

Advocate Zuraya Adhikarie, Senior Parliamentary Legal Advisor, expressed concern with the constitutionality of Section 106 and would welcome the report.
 
Public Service Amendment Bill: Briefing by Minister and Department
The Chairperson welcomed Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moloketi. He said he hoped the Bill would be finalised so that it could be adopted soon. Unfortunately the Minister would not be present when the Bill would be debated in Parliament the following week. He suggested the Minister gave her input before the formal process around the mandates continued.

Hon Minister Fraser-Moloketi appreciated the commitment displayed through Parliament’s desire to pass sound legislation. She re-iterated that this meeting had been convened because of issues raised by KZN and Limpopo provinces.

She assured Members that the Ministry did not intend to force their way on the Committee. They would follow all necessary procedures. She notified the Committee that the Ministry was intending to move to a single Public Service, but that there would be a full study conducted on it. She concluded that it was not only the level of remuneration that reflected the level of a person in society, and that it was the responsibility of all Public Service workers to carry and conduct themselves in a professional way that would lead the public to trust in government.

The Ministry was also committed fully to the Bill and its intentions. Until a single Public Service Act legislation was brought into effect, which would have major implications for the operations of Public Service, it would be difficult to debate this issue. She noted that this Bill would be the most transformative piece of legislation for the Public Service since 1994. It would be dealing with emotive issues for the Public Service, such as the longstanding issue in Local Government legislation on the question of the involvement of public servants as councillors. Having looked at past practice in previous Acts the aim had been to gain constitutional alignment. There was a report on the management of public servants employed as local councillors in Limpopo and Western Cape provinces. The case argued very strongly for the exclusion of public servants from serving in elected positions as part and full time councillors. She said this issue should be dealt with in a single meeting where research by the Public Service Commission would be available to the Committee. Discrepancies needed to be cleared up and corrected before issues were taken to the press and which would then have to be incorporated as amendments.

The Chairperson thanked the Minister for her input. He noted that this meeting would examine the latest provincial input, their views and the earlier deliberations.

Mr A Worth asked to clarify Gauteng mandates.

Mr A Manyosi (ANC, Eastern Cape) reported that the Eastern Cape had engaged vigorously with the Bill and by and large supported it, subject to the amendment of Section 7(3) of the principal Act. This was the province’s only point of contention.

Mr Worth reported that he had presented the Bill to the Provincial Legislature of the Free State, they had carried out three discussions after which the Legislature voted in favour of the Bill.

Mr M Mzizi (IFP, Gauteng) addressed the House on the Gauteng mandate. He noted that his report back was not based on a documented report, and was oral. He relayed that on the first hearing the Province had claimed that its Provincial Committee had not received communication from the Parliamentary Committee. He had communicated the deadline of the negotiating mandate as 13 November 2007. Ms Manana, the provincial legal advisor, had been told that the final mandate must be submitted on that day. The provincial committee had not yet met, and the highest authority in the province had not signed the mandate. On this basis, the Bill was then sent to an ad hoc committee to establish their views. The provincial committee decided that the report submitted by the ad hoc committee would be accepted. He stated that it was envisaged that Gauteng would table its deliberations at the earliest opportunity. In essence, owing to the province’s circumstances and its substantive issues, this Province supported the Bill although they had not had not had time to lobby other provinces.

The Chairperson stated that he had personally presented the Bill to Gauteng. This had been followed by amendments as well as public hearings, yet the outcomes of these seemed to have disappeared. The provincial committee had then said they would wait for the Executive body to share its views before conveying the views to this Committee. Given these events, he did not understand this new position. He stated that the way forward would be to deal with the issues recommended by the ad hoc committee. The only problem was that the recommendations had not been signed. He ruled that the Committee should engage with the substance of the Gauteng ad hoc committee’s recommendations.

Mr Z Ntuli (ANC, KZN) suggested that the final mandate should be final, not mixed with amending and negotiating mandates. Any amendments suggested by a province should be done at the negotiating stage. At the final stage there should be a ‘yes or no’ mandate.

Mr Ntuli reported that KZN had resolved to vote in favour of the Public Service Amendment Bill.

Kgoshi L Mokoena (ANC, Limpopo) wanted to know why the amendments that concerned resignation of public representatives, as suggested at the previous meeting, had not been included. His province had supported the Bill provided that clarity on this issue was given. All provinces had indeed supported that clause, but it did not appear in the draft. Limpopo supported the Bill but wanted to know where the amendment was.

Ms F Nyanda (ANC, Mpumalanga) declared that the provincial input had been instructive and all provincial committee members had been pleased with the process. She reported that Mpumalanga supported the Bill.

Kgoshi Mokoena read the vote of the Northern Cape, which voted in favour of the Bill.

Mr Mzizi read out a letter from the North West provincial legislature’s committee. North West was unable to submit the final mandate because its committee had not met to discuss the Bill. They hoped this was in order.

The Chairperson interjected that this particular meeting had been convened at the behest of North West and KZN provinces, and it seemed that internal dynamics had led to a failure of the provinces to meet.

Mr Ntuli read out the mandate of the Western Cape, which had resolved to adopt the Bill without amendment.

Mr J Le Roux (DA, Eastern Cape) noted that the committee had not followed procedure. He wanted to know how Gauteng would be dealt with. He noted that Gauteng’s actions could be interpreted as a lack of respect for the NCOP, and they needed to be dealt with.

Mr Mzizi concurred with Mr Le Roux regarding procedure. It was good that Mr Ntuli and KZN had adhered with what they had been asked to do. He related the events that had taken place in the meeting, where his mandate had not been signed. He had asked for time to phone his province to get the appropriate signatures to enable him to vote. He had been granted this time and then reverted to the committee. He noted that according to the letter there had been no provisions attached to voting in favour of the Bill. He asked that the Committee allow him to get the relevant signatures and agreement for the bill to be passed.

Kgoshi Mokoena stated that his two colleagues were out of order. The purpose of the meeting was to deal with the Bill. The Committee was supposed to engage with the mandates from the various provinces in order, and then deal with them systematically. He asked that the members follow procedure.

The Chairperson referred to the issue raised by the Eastern Cape and that it needed to be dealt with.

The Minister replied that the Eastern Cape had raised significant issues with regard to heads of departments in provinces. She noted that this issue had in fact been dealt with, noting that Clause 10 had inserted clarification of the roles and functions of head of units.

Ms S van Schoor, the Chief Director of Legal Services for the Department of Public Services, clarified that these powers were specifically those given to directors general in respect of particular human resource issues, in addition to their powers when dealing with the Office of the Premier. She recommended that these issues not be interpreted too narrowly. These were issues that related to human resource management.

Mr Mzizi reminded members that they were dealing with a final mandate and queried why the Committee was entertaining the Eastern Cape amendment. Other provinces were being prejudiced and their mandates were being jeopardised.

Kgoshi Mokoena asked for the Department’s response on the issue of synergy regarding the head of governing component reporting directly to the Minister and the delivery service units to be established in all provinces and heads of departments of units. He asked where the synergy would lie within the three units. He further referred to some provinces where the powers of directors general in provinces would be compromised or weakened.

The Chairperson replied to Mr Mzizi and said that the Committee had to take advantage of the Minister being present to discuss a Bill.

The Minister notified the Committee that government had consulted a wide range of stakeholders and that the legislation aimed at effecting more efficient service delivery. When looking at agencies set up since 1994, there were many operating at arms length from the Executive, with no accountability. Cabinet had reviewed this over the last five to six years. It had put in place a body that would try to control the plethora of agencies. They attempted to reel in agencies while still allowing for provision of services with less bureaucracy than that attached to normal government departments. She agreed that a Director General was the first adviser to the Minister so as to ensure direct links and avoid bottlenecks. She encouraged members that this should be understood as an attempt to ensure the existence of a vehicle for service delivery and maintaining accountability. There had to be an executive authority, but one that could delegate where necessary. There was legislation regarding the role of directors general, which provided flexibility to provide for efficient service delivery and enhance the interface required with provincial directors general. She emphasised that the fears expressed by the Eastern Cape had been fully covered in the amendments and that the Bill was dealing with organisational structures that would deal with oversight in departments.

The Chairperson clarified that the focus was to create flexibility and avoid problems and tensions created through many levels of government.

Mr Manyosi clarified that the rationale of the concerns by Eastern Cape lay in the fear that there could be a unitary state where the head of an Administration could prevent involvement by other government representatives. The province’s concern was how stubborn heads of departments would be dealt with.

The Minister noted, with regard to Gauteng, that there had indeed been communication to the province without response. This was unfortunate because the issues raised by Gauteng could have been dealt with beforehand.

Kgoshi Mokoena interjected that if the Ministry and the Department responded to Gauteng’s queries the Committee would be out of order.

The Chairperson asked that the Department put the information in writing and that it be forwarded to Gauteng province for the sake of time.

The Chairperson noted that the proposal on people being in office and receiving two salaries had been dealt with.

The Minister noted that the legislation was very clear at what point individuals had to step down. Persons who were employed in a part time capacity would have to apply to the Ministry if they were to receive two salaries. She referred to regulatory systems that would check if people received double salaries. There would be a review of senior managers serving as part time councillors, and this was an issue particular to Limpopo Province. She added that during election times circulars would be sent to all provinces to inform them of this.

The Chairperson said that in Limpopo some of these individuals were teachers and also part time councillors.

The Minister responded that part-time councillors must apply for permission to engage in a second occupation. She added that this was a rather emotive issue because it was necessary that educators spend time focusing on educating learners. She noted that in more remote areas teachers would be considered as public officials because they were recognised as individuals of good standing in society. DPLG were unequivocal on the issue of public servants being elected officials. She said that the debate that had been opened up should be spread to all the communities, to get a better understanding.

Mr Mokoena said that in his province there were double standards because teachers who were councillors had been paid twice, yet teachers who were traditional leaders were not.

The Minister assured the Committee that this issue would be clarified.

The Chairperson declared that the provinces had clearly indicated their support for the Bill.  The motion of desirability was adopted.

The Chairperson suggested that the Committee go through the Bill clause by clause.

Mr Le Roux stated that the DA did not agree with the notion of a single Public Service and would therefore abstain from voting on each clause.

Kgoshi Mokoena called a point of order and said that the DA could not abstain as this was an NCOP issue and not a party issue.
 
The Minister interjected that the Bill was not a Bill dealing with a Single Public Service issue but a legislative proposal.

Mr Mzizi said that the Province had given the mandate to Mr Le Roux to agree to the Bill, so he had to vote and agree on behalf of the Province.

The Committee went through the Bill clause by clause. The Members agreed to all clauses and therefore formally adopted the Bill. It would be debated on 20 November in Parliament.

The Minister thanked all present. She said her presence at the meeting had been to reflect the Ministry’s commitment and to assure the Legislature of the Executive’s desire to work with Legislature and Parliamentary committees. The goal was to deliver services efficiently to all South Africans.

Kgoshi Mokoena thanked the Minister and her Department for their availability and their openness in explaining the Bill to the Committee.

The Chair requested that the Committee be included in engaging in the conceptualisation of a Single Public Service rather than be consulted at the end of the process.

The meeting was adjourned.

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