ATC140910: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs (the Committee) on an Induction Workshop held on 29 July 2014, dated 9 September 2014

Home Affairs

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs (the Committee) on an Induction Workshop held on 29 July 2014, dated 9 September 2014.

  1. Introduction

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs conducted an induction workshop on 29 July 2014. Mr BL Mashile, the Chairperson of the Portfolio on Home Affairs officially opened the workshop. He raised a concern over the poor attendance of the Committee members. The apologies that were received were from Dr CP Mulder, Mr MH Hoosen and Mr GA Gardee .

T he purpose of the workshop was to induct the Committee members in relation to their roles and responsibilities with regard to government departments and entities. He urged members to share information with members who could not attend the workshop.

The following members attended the workshop:

African National Congress (ANC)

Mr BL Mashile (Chairperson)

Mr DM Gumede

Ms DD Raphuti

Ms TE Kenye

Ms NA Mnisi

Mr CT Frolick (Presenter)

Democratic Alliance (DA)

Mr AM Figlan

Parliamentary Staff

Mr Eddy Mathonsi – Committee Secretary

Mr Adam Salmon – Committee Researcher

Ms Nandipha Maxhengwana - Committee Assistant

Ms Xolelwa Mabindisa – Executive Secretary

Mr Evans Molepo – Parliament Communication Officer

Mr Kayalethu Zweni – Acting Head of the Office on the Institutions Supporting Democracy

  1. Presentation by the Committee Researcher on the role and Responsibilities of Committees in Relation to Government Departments and Entities and Yearly Planning Cycle

The Committee Researcher briefed the Committee on the mandate and activities of the Committee in relation to the organs of state. He explained that the Committee conducts oversight over the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and Government Printing Works (GPW). He reported that the Film and Publications Board (FPB) had been moved to the new established Department of Communications as of 12 July 2014. He spoke of the legal framework that the DHA and its entities operate under. These include the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Public Service Act, the Public Finance Management Act, the Rules of Parliament and the Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Act.

He pointed out that in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, all organs of state are accountable to the National Assembly. The Committees maintain oversight of executive, organs of state and processed legislation.

With regard to the Public Service Act, the Director-General is the accounting officer of a department. He/she is responsible for efficient management of the department including staff, property and finances. The Government Printing Works (GPW) is a government component with the Chief Executive Officer as accounting officer.

According to section 38 (b) of the Public Finance Management Act the accounting officer is responsible for effective, efficient, economical and transparent use of the resources of the department, entity or institution. The accounting officer ensures effective, efficient and transparent financial management and internal control systems before transferring funds and the accounting officer is responsible for submitting all reports, returns, notices and other information to Parliament.

The summoning of a person is only done if a person refuses to appear before the Committee on request.

A committee must report to the National Assembly on –

All other decisions taken by it, except those decisions concerning its internal business and its activities at least once per year.

A committee may:

  • Summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, or to produce documents.
  • Receive petitions, representations or submissions from interested persons or institutions.
  • Conduct public hearings.
  • Permit oral evidence on petitions, representations, submissions, and any other matter before the committee.
  • Meet at a venue determined by it, which may be a venue beyond the seat of Parliament, and
  • Meet on any day and at any time including on a day which is not a working day, on a day on which the Assembly is not sitting, at a time when the Assembly is sitting or during a recess

No member shall refer to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending.

Parliament has passed the Money Bill Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act in 2009.

Through this Act, committees must annually assess the performance of each national department with reference to the following:

  • The Medium Term Estimates of Expenditure of each national department, its strategic priorities and measurable objectives, as tabled in the National Assembly with the national budget.
  • The Expenditure reports relating to such departments published by the National Treasury in terms of section 32 reports of the Public Financial Management Act.
  • The financial statements and annual reports of such departments.
  • The report of the Committee on Public Accounts relating to the department, and
  • Any other information requested by or presented to a House or Parliament.

The Committee Researcher reported that the Committee’s yearly planning cycle consisted of the State of the Nation Address by the President in February, the Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance in February, followed by Budget Votes debate, review of the annual reports of the departments and entities in October, the annual reports must be tabled to Parliament by the end of September and it is followed by the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in October.

  1. Presentation by Committee Secretary on the Legacy Report of the 4 th Parliament of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs

The Committee Secretary made the presentation on the Legacy Report of the 4 th Parliament. The report outlines the activities that were conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs during the 4 th Parliament from May 2009 to March 2014.

The presentation covered the following:

  • Mandate of the Department of Home Affairs.
  • The Department must ensure the efficient determination and safeguarding of the Identity and status of citizens and the regulation migration to ensure security, promote development and fulfill our international obligations.

  • Entities of the Department of Home Affairs.
  • The Electoral Commission (IEC) – its responsibility is to manage elections and to establish and maintain the voter’s roll.
  • Government Printing Works (GPW) – its role is to provide security printing to government departments, provincial government and local authority.
  • Film and Publications Board (FPB) – it regulates the creation, production, possession and distribution of films, interactive computer games and publications and it is also responsible for monitoring adult premises.

  • Functions of the Committee.
  • To consider legislation referred to it.
  • To exercise oversight over the Department of Home Affairs and its entities.
  • To consider international agreements referred to it.
  • To consider the budget vote of the Department.
  • To facilitate public participation in its processes.
  • To facilitate appointments to statutory bodies, and
  • To consider all matters referred to it in terms of legislation, the Rules of Parliament or Resolutions of the House.

  • Method of work of the Committee
  • Provincial Managers of the Department of Home Affairs were invited to brief the Committee on the state of their respective provinces before the Annual Report was tabled and scrutinized by the Committee.
  • The Committee undertook oversight visits to offices of the Department of Home Affairs and Ports of Entry.

  • Key highlights during the 4 th Parliament.
  • Oversight visits to provinces, including Ports of Entry, Lindela Repatriation Centre and Refugees Reception Offices.
  • The Introduction of the ID Smart Card as part of the Department of Home Affairs Modernisation Programme.
  • The Committee amended seven pieces of legislation and a decision was made that the Refugee Reception Offices would be moved closer to the land borders.
  • Children would be registered within 30 days after birth.
  • Allowing South Africans living abroad to vote in national elections starting from 2014 elections.

  • Oversight visits and international study tour
  • The Committee participated in a joint oversight visit with other parliamentary committees to check the readiness of the host cities for 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • In addition, the following provinces were visited by the Committee:
  • Free State
  • Gauteng
  • Limpopo
  • Mpumalanga
  • North West
  • Kwazulu – Natal
  • Eastern Cape
  • The Film and Publications Board and Electoral Commission were visited. There is an outstanding oversight visit to Government Printing Works (GPW). The GPW has also invited the Committee.
  • The Committee participated in one international study tour to Russia in 2012.

  • Legislation processed.
  • The South African Citizenship Amendment Bill [B17-2010].
  • The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Bill [B18-2010].
  • The Local Government: Municipal Electoral Amendment Bill [B27-2010].
  • The Refugees Amendment Bill [B30-2010].
  • The Immigration Amendment Bill [B32-2010].
  • The Electoral Amendment Bill [PMB2-2013], and
  • The Electoral Amendment Bill [B22-2013]

  • International agreements
  • There was only one agreement processed by the Committee – an Agreement between the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho on the facilitation of cross-border movement of citizens of the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho. The agreement was not approved by the Committee.

  • Statutory appointments
  • The Committee recommended to the House for the appointment of a Commissioner in May 2011 before the Local Government Elections.
  • Commissioners were recommended for appointment by the House in 2011. Commissioners are appointed for a period of seven years.

  • Committee’s focus areas during the 4 th Parliament.
  • Modernisation Programme of the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Identity Document duplicate cases.
  • Late Registration of Births (LRBs).

  • Issues requiring attention in the 5 th Parliament
  • Closure of the Refugee Reception Offices and moving them closer to the land borders.
  • Modernisation Programme and roll out of the Live Capture for the ID Smart Cards and passports in all offices.
  • Filing of priority and vacant funded posts.
  • Obstacles encountered with the Department of Public Works (DPW) in acquiring new offices by the Department of Home Affairs and Government Printing Works.
  • Duplicate cases of Identity Documents.
  • Finalisation of the Regulations related to the Immigration and Refugees Amendment Bills.
  • Phasing out of Late Registration of Births.
  • The Committee to learn more on issues of regional integration as it relates to immigration on the African continent and on fast facilitation of recruitment of scarce skills from other parts of the world.
  • Better monitoring and management of migrants within the country.
  • The development of Migration Policy by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • On the Study Tour to Russia, the Russian Federation is interested in forging cooperation with South Africa in the area of higher education. The focus area could be in the area of Information Technology and IT security and establishing exchange programmes.

  • Stakeholders
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Law Society of South Africa (LSSA)
  • People Against Suffering Suppression, Oppression and Poverty ( Passop )
  • Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa ( CorMSA )
  • Forum of Immigration Practitioners of South Africa (FIPSA)
  • University of Cape Town Law Clinic
  • African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS)
  • Lawyers for Human Rights
  • Edward Nathan Sonnerbergs
  • Deloitte and Touche ’
  • PriceWateHouseCoopers (PWC)
  • Centre for Development and Enterprise
  • AfriForum
  • Citizenship Rights Africa Initiative (CRAI)
  • Commission for Gender Equality (CGE )

  1. Presentation by the Acting Head of Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD)

Mr Kayalethu Zweni , Acting Head of the Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD), presented on the Role of Parliament in relation to Chapter 9 Institutions or Institutions Supporting Democracy (ISDs). He reported that the OISD was created in 21 November 2008 by resolution of the National Assembly. The OISD was created to:

  • Provide strategic support and advise the Speaker and Deputy Speaker on matters relating to ISDs.
  • Strengthen relationship between ISDs and Parliament.
  • Coordinate communication between the National Assembly and the ISDs.
  • Increase the impact made by the ISDs in the National Assembly.
  • Facilitate the increased use of ISDs by the National Assembly for increased complimentary oversight impact.
  • Support the National Assembly in its oversight responsibility over ISDs.

He further reported that the OISD interacts with committee on matters relating to appointment of members of ISDs, complaints by or against ISDs, reports submitted by ISDs, general requests from ISDs, requests from the Portfolio Committees and governance within ISDs.

The relationship between Parliament and ISDs is threefold:

  • Support relationship – Organs of state should help and protect the ISDs to ensure their independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness.
  • Accountability relationship – these institutions are accountable to the National Assembly and must report on their activities at least once a year.
  • Oversight relationship – the National Assembly is required to maintain an oversight of any organ of state. Oversight seeks to detect and prevent abuse, arbitrary behavior, or illegal and unconstitutional conduct. The ISDs also act as watchdogs and report to Parliament on their findings and recommendations.

He indicated that these institutions and Parliament have a complex working relationship. It is complex because these institutions receive funding from government and have to account to the National Assembly. As a result they confuse accountability with interference.

He reported the following as challenges often raised by the ISDs:

  • Little time allocated to interact with committees.
  • Short notice meetings.
  • No feedback from Parliament, and
  • Funding Constraints.

  1. Presentation by the House Chairperson on roles, responsibilities and expectations for the Committee.

Mr BL Mashile, Chairperson of the Committee, welcomed Mr CT Frolick . He indicated that Mr CT Frolick had advised the Committee to hold its own strategic planning workshop outside Parliament. In that strategic planning workshop, the Committee could invite the DHA and entities. The strategic planning workshop could be conducted even though Parliament had not finalized its own strategic planning. The Committee Strategic Plan could then be updated once Parliament has finalized its Strategic Plan.

Mr Frolick encouraged members of the Committee to attend future training on the election observer mission training. He gave a detailed presentation on the relationship between the Chapter 9 Institutions and Parliament. He said that these institutions were created in terms of the Constitution. He urged the Committee to have a thorough understanding of the roles of these institutions, particularly the Electoral Commission.

He informed the Committee that these institutions had been invited to brief the joint committees in the second term of the 5 th Parliament on their roles and mandates.

He emphasized that it was important that the committee interacts with the Auditor-General (AG) to assist it with the information on the audit outcomes of the DHA and its entities. He stressed that the interactions with the AG was necessary for the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) as the process of the BRRR is an ongoing one. Mr Frolick encouraged the Chairperson of the PC on Home Affairs to regularly interact with the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Appropriations.

  1. Consideration, discussion and adoption of the Second Term Programme of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs

The Committee Secretary presented the Second Term Programme and it was adopted. The first meeting of the Committee would commence on 19 August 2014 with a meeting with the Electoral Commission. The IEC would brief the Committee on its roles and mandates as well issues requiring immediate attention. The second meeting would be on 26 August 2014 with the Department of Home Affairs on the Immigration Regulations. The Committee would thereafter conduct an oversight visit to the Department of Home Affairs in Barrack Street in Cape Town. The oversight visit would be followed by a meeting with the Government Printing Works on 2 September 2014. Government Printing Works would brief the Committee on its roles and mandates as well as issues requiring immediate attention.

The Auditor-General was scheduled to brief the Committee on 9 September 2014 on the audit outcomes of the Department of Home Affairs. The Auditor-General would focus on the past audit outcomes and the last meeting of the Committee would be with the Department of Home Affairs on 16 September 2014 on the First Quarter Expenditure and Performance Reports. The Committee adopted the programme without amendments.

  1. Consideration and adoption of the minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2014.

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2014 was adopted with amendments .

  1. Committee Resolutions

8.1. The Committee resolved that the Committee Secretary should get a list of the Identity Document duplicate cases from the DHA.

8.2 The Committee members present at the workshop should share the workshop information with other members who were not able to attend the workshop.

  1. Closing Remarks by the Chairperson

The Chairperson thanked the members for their attendance and adjourned the workshop.


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