ATC200605: Report of the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Minerals & Energy on the Budget Vote and Annual Performance Plan 2020/21 of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development (DALRRD) – Budget Vote No 29, dated 22 May 2020.
NCOP Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy
Report of the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Minerals & Energy on the Budget Vote and Annual Performance Plan 2020/21 of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development (DALRRD) – Budget Vote No 29, dated 22 May 2020.
The Select Committee having considered Budget Vote: 32 and Annual Performance Plan 2020/2021 of the DALRRD, reports that the committee met jointly with the Portfolio Committees of the National Assembly on 5 and 15 May 2020, where the department briefed both committees on the matter.
Prior to the actual meeting, the Select Committee resolved to request the Department to continue presenting provincial breakdowns of data, as was the practice over the last years. It was felt that there was a high likelihood that the Department, faced with time constraints posed by the virtual meeting timeslot, would not be able to cover the amount of detail requested. The following details were requested:
The overview should be inclusive of:
1. The financial allocations of CASP, Ilima Letsema and Land Care;
2. The compliance monitoring and reporting structures between spheres of government in order to ensure compliance with PFMA and DORA;
3. Causes and sources of audit opinions – in other words if an audit opinion is received that is related to a conditional grant, which sphere of government and which aspect of disbursement or monitoring/reporting resulted in the adverse finding or opinion;
4. Oversight over the performance of provincial programmes;
5. Re-allocation of funds due to non-performance;
6. Withholding of funds as a result of non-compliance with requirements of grants
Any reporting on Agri-Parks progress, funding, redesign of the programme or future plans should also be broken down to provincial level.
It became known to committee management that the Portfolio Committee had also forwarded members’ questions to the Department prior to the meeting, and that the Department would be responding to these while the presentation was delivered. It was decided to follow up on the initial request and also submit detailed questions focusing on the details requested earlier.
The presentation supplied in the joint meeting, as well as the narrative of the Department during the meeting, focused exclusively on the Portfolio Committee and its oversight focus. It focused on the Department’s Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan, and covered two entities – the Ingonyama Trust Board and the Land Claims Committee. The Select Committee members did not receive any detailed provincial breakdowns related to the highlighted oversight interests, and questions asked during the meeting that required such details could not be sufficiently answered.
Apart from the detailed questions sent to the Department, committee members posed additional questions on the following matters:
- The Department’s plans in relation to South Africa attaining the Sustainable Development Goals;
- What progress has been made in completing the 1998 set of land claims as instructed in the LAMOSA judgement;
- The country’s state of readiness to implement the Continental Free Trade Agreement;
- The ability of the department and the sector to deal with Covid-19 in the wake of years of debilitating drought;
- The breakdown of departmental budget that is actually dedicated towards fulfilling its core mandate in comparison to expenses;
- The provincial breakdown of CPA’s as well as clarity on the problems experienced by a specific group in the Eastern Cape attempting to register a CPA;
- Details on possible departmental re-alignment plans after its restructuring but also in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown and post-lockdown changes in how it will operate;
- The risk of providing funding to the Land Bank after reports of a credit rating downgrade and reports of cash flow challenges at the bank;
The joint committee resolved to receive written answers to all questions due to challenges with sound quality during the virtual meeting. At the time of completing the report, the written responses to committee questions have not been received. The secretariat of the committee will circulate all written responses to the committee prior to the budget debate in the NCOP.
The Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral & Energy having considered Budget Vote: 29 and Annual Performance Plan 2020/2021 of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development, reports that the Committee has concluded its deliberations thereon.
Report to be considered
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