Housing Portfolio Committee Business Plan

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

04 June 2008
Chairperson: Ms Z A Kota-Fredericks (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee on Housing had held a strategic meeting where their Business Plan 2006/07 - 2008/09 had been discussed and reviewed. Great emphasis was placed on its oversight role as well as the importance of engaging with its partners in ensuring that housing delivery was not compromised. A called had also been made on members to ensure that they did their own strategic planning around their diaries in order to avoid being late or not attending meetings, conferences and imbizos.

Meeting report

The Portfolio Committee on Housing had a strategic management meeting to review and revise their Business Plan 2006/07 - 2008/09. The Business Plan outlined that the mandate of the Portfolio Committee on Housing was a commitment in fast tracked housing delivery by playing a key role in the scrutiny, monitoring and oversight over the implementation of legislation passed by Parliament and to monitor and evaluate the performance of the Department of Housing by ensuring that it met its constitutional mandate and its deliverables.

The Mission and Vision of the Portfolio Committee on Housing stated that the Portfolio Committee's mission was to ensure that Parliament got value for money spent for the purpose of building human settlement and the continued encouragement of visible housing delivery and adherence to better quality of housing units. The Vision of the Committee was to the willingness to engage and form partnerships with relevant stakeholders in the provision of houses and to assist the Department of Housing in its constitutional imperative.

The Core objectives set out in the Business Plan was to draft frequent and more new legislation pertaining to the Social Housing Bill, the Prevention of Illegal Eviction (PIE) Bill and the Rental Housing Amendment Bill as well as facilitating its oversight function over the Department of Housing as to determine their strategic plan and priorities. The Committee also aimed to perform proper oversight functions over the housing support institutions in order to determine if they fulfilled their mandate.

In order for the Portfolio Committee on Housing to perform to its optimum it has a list of government departments and statutory bodies that served either as customers/clients or as partners. The Departments of Housing, Land Affairs, Local Government, South Africa Local Government Association, National Housing Finance Corporation, National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency and the People's Housing Trust counts amongst clients and partners of the Committee.

The Committee had identified several challenges such as: effective communication between relevant stakeholders had to be intensified, the rapid realisation of the cluster approach to service delivery, improve public participation by means of committee outreach programmes, effective scrutiny of legislation, scrutinize other committee reports that had bearing on housing, ensure committee members received ongoing training and empowerment to increase their oversight capacity through workshops seminars and conferences.

The Committee identified that it had problems in securing quarterly reports of the Department of Housing to include reports from the housing support institutions and that the Portfolio Committee had to contend with administrative bottlenecks as well as a lack of research facilities at their disposal.

The main task of the Portfolio Committee on Housing was to process, institute and amend legislation, to conduct oversight over the budget and the strategic plan and to monitor and evaluate all housing support institutions as well as engagement with other relevant stakeholders.  The Committee had also highlighted the promotion of integrated housing delivery through public hearings been held with Mayors and SALGA.

Ms Z Kota - Fredericks (ANC, Chairperson) said that it was very important for Committee members to ensure that they did effective planning as there had been too many instances of people not attending meetings, conferences and Imbizos due to not managing their diaries effectively. She stressed the importance of the Portfolio Committee in ensuring that it delivered on its mission, vision and policy directives as guided by Parliament.


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