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SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
20 November 2007
CHILDREN’S AMENDMENT BILL [B19D-2006]: FINAL MANDATES
Chairperson: Mr B Tolo (ANC Mpumalanga)
Documents handed out:
Children’s Amendment Bill [B 19D-2006]
Children’s Amendment Bill [B 19E-2006] amendments of Mediation Committee
Children’s Amendment Bill [B 19F-2006] final version approved by both Houses 22/11/07
Minutes of Proceedings of National Assembly
Final Mandate on Children’s Amendment Bill for the following provinces:
Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Limpopo
Audio recording of meeting
The Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Limpopo rejected the Children’s Amendment Bill. The reasons given were that there were textual, technical and grammatical errors. The other four provinces did not submit final mandates. The Bill would be referred to the Mediation Committee where the corrected version would be approved. [Note: The corrected Bill was finally adopted by both Houses on 22 November 2007]
The Chairperson reminded the Committee of the proceedings of the meeting of the 13 November 2007. It had been decided that the Children’s Amendment Bill would be forwarded to Provinces to assess and then the Provinces would send their mandates with the Provinces decision. Subsequent to that meeting, it was discovered that there were errors in the version of the Bill that was before the Committee. Some errors were substantive and others were textual. The Provinces were informed of those errors and the Provinces were aware of the issues when drafting their mandates.
Mr M Sulliman (ANC: Northern Cape) read out the Eastern Cape’s mandate that stated the Committee resolved to vote against the adoption of the Children’s Amendment Bill B19D-2006.
Mr L Govender (ANC: Kwazulu-Natal) stated that its provincial committee had met on the morning of 19 November 2007 to confer the final voting mandate. Only later that afternoon the Committee had received four pages of amendments. Unfortunately, they could not meet again to analyse and vote on these. Furthermore in the four pages of amendments there were a number of errors. Therefore the mandate that had been conferred on 19 November did not include the additional four pages of amendments.
The Committee had thus resolved to reject the Bill for purposes of conferral of a final voting mandate of the Provincial delegation, to enable the Bill to be referred to mediation in terms of Section 76.2D in the Constitution for correction of the textual errors, to mandate the provincial delegate designated to attend the Mediation Committee to support the Bill as amended by the National Assembly; to draw attention to a further textual error on page eight of the Bill and to mandate the provincial delegation to support the Bill as amended.
Ms H Lamoela (DA; Western Cape) stated that the permanent delegates representing the province of Mpumalanga in the National Council of Provinces conferred with authority and mandate to vote against the adoption of the Bill.
Mr Sulliman stated that its provincial Portfolio Committee on Social Services had a meeting on the 15 November 2007 where they had deliberated on the Children’s Amendment Bill and agreed to reject the Bill in its current form due to technical and grammatical errors.
Ms F Mazibuko (ANC) said that the final mandate rejected the Bill as amended by the National Assembly.
Although the final mandates of the other four provinces were missing, Mr T Setona (ANC; Free State) proposed that if there were sufficient written mandates, then the meeting should proceed.
The Chairperson agreed. Furthermore there were five provinces that had rejected the Bill. This represented sufficient consensus to summarily reject the Bill. Once the Bill was rejected it would then go to the mediation committee so that all the errors that had been found could be corrected.
The Chairperson asked if the Committee suggested a statement be made or should they just vote on the Bill.
Mr Setona proposed that the Chairperson make an extensive statement. Mr Sulliman suggested that a statement be made only after the mediation committee had met.
The Chairperson agreed that a statement be made after the mediation.
The Chairperson then read and signed the formal report that stated that the Committee had rejected the Children’s Amendment Bill.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
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