Mediation Committee on Mandating Procedures of Provinces Bill [B8D-2007]

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Justice and Correctional Services

21 October 2008
Chairperson: Kgoshi L Mokoena (NCOP: ANC/Limpopo); Ms Carol Johnson (NA: ANC)
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Meeting Summary

After the Committee had elected the Chairpersons, the Co-Chairperson for the National Council of Provinces outlined their objection to the National Assembly’s amendment to the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Bill [B 8D-2007].

The National Assembly Co-Chairperson said that the Bill mainly affected the National Council of Provinces and the National Assembly would have ‘no objection’ to deletion of the offending clause, with the provision that confirmation from the state and parliamentary law advisors that they would be satisfied with that deletion.

Meeting report

Introduction
Kgoshi L Mokoena (ANC/Limpopo) said that Parliament had appointed a mediation committee in respect of the Mandating Procedures of Provinces Bill (as amended by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development (National Assembly) [B 8D-2007].

The Committee Secretary, in terms of the Joint Rules, presided over the election of Co-Chairpersons.
Kgoshi L Mokoena was declared Co-Chairperson for the National Council of Provinces and Ms Carol Johnson was elected as Co-Chairperson for the National Assembly's component of the Committee.

Consideration of Mandating Procedures of Provinces Bill [B 8D-2007]
The Chairperson (for the National Assembly) asked the Co-Chairperson (for the NCOP) to outline the issues concerning the Bill.

The NCOP Chairperson said that Members would recall that they had amended the Bill and sent it to provinces; it had ‘come back with a final mandate’. In terms of the Rules, they had referred it to the National Assembly who had made amendments and approved the Bill. However, there was one technical matter that had given rise to the formation of the Mediation Committee. This was the Bill’s requirement that the NCOP obtain a mandate for ‘each and every decision’ taken by the House. This would be a ‘serious burden’ to the House. Otherwise all amendments made by the National Assembly had been accepted by the NCOP. He considered it ‘a slight and minor problem’. He called for Members' responses.

Mr D Worth (DA / Free State) asked for clarification. He said that his own province had agreed, but, according to his understanding, there had been objections from the eight other provinces. He asked if these objections had been to the amendments under discussion.

The NCOP Chairperson replied that the objections concerned the requirement about ‘all the normal, simple questions … put to the House’. 

The NA Chairperson said that the Bill mainly affected the NCOP. When the National Assembly had amended the Bill, it had done so largely on the advice of some of the procedural staff. If the NCOP wanted the objectionable clause removed, the National Assembly would have ‘no objection’. It was the role of the National Council of Provinces to take the decision.

The NCOP Chairperson said that this response greatly simplified matters for the Committee. He observed that the National Assembly was ‘so progressive’. He asked if Members were in agreement.

Members indicated their agreement.

The NCOP Chairperson said that they would report to their respective Houses accordingly.

The NA Chairperson said that she had just one qualification: that confirmation be obtained from the state law advisors or from the parliamentary law advisors that they would be satisfied with that deletion. 

The NCOP Chairperson thanked his Co-Chairperson and Members from both Houses for their participation in this Mediation Committee. 

The meeting was adjourned.

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