The Committee met to receive and consider the negotiating mandates on the Expropriation Bill from the nine provincial legislatures. All provinces, except for the Western Cape, voted in favour of the Bill.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) gave its responses to the proposed amendments that had been presented in the negotiating mandates by the provinces on the Expropriation Bill.
Some Members were concerned that the Department's recommendations to consult further with banking sector was being ignored. It was agreed that DPWI, Parliament's Legal Services and the State Law Advisor will meet to reach consensus on what was being recommended and what should be the Select Committee proposed amendments to the Expropriation Bill.
The Chairperson explained that the Committee Secretary will present the nine negotiating mandates. Thereafter, the Department and then Parliamentary Legal Services will be allowed to express their views on the proposed amendments in the negotiating mandates. He hoped that by next week the Committee will vote on the proposed amendments.
Provincial Legislature negotiating mandates
The Committee Secretary presented an overview of the provincial mandates:
The Province votes in favour of the Bill, with the proposed amendments and therefore mandates the Permanent Delegate to the NCOP to negotiate in favour of the Bill within these parameters.
The Portfolio Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure, Roads, Transport, and Human Settlements as designated by the Free State Legislature propose the following amendments to the Bill and votes in favour of the Bill.
The Gauteng Provincial Legislature votes in favour of the Bill subject to its proposed amendments being considered.
The Portfolio Committee on Public Works met on Monday agreed to mandate the KwaZulu-Natal delegation to support the Expropriation Bill with the consideration of its proposed amendments.
NCOP Permanent Delegates to negotiate in favour of the Bill with its proposed recommendations.
The Portfolio Committee on Public Works, Roads and Transport, Community Safety, Security and Liaison after considering the Expropriation Bill confers on the permanent delegate representing Mpumalanga Province in the NCOP, a mandate to negotiate in favour of the Bill without any proposed amendments.
The Committee support the Expropriation Bill [B23B – 2020].
The North West Provincial Legislature vote in favour of the Bill.
The Standing Committee on Infrastructure, having considered the subject of the Expropriation Bill referred to the Committee under Standing Rule 217, confers on the Western Cape’s delegation in the NCOP the authority to not support the Bill with its recommendations.
Department’s response to negotiating mandates
Adv Uday Naidoo presented the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure comments on the proposed amendments contained in the provincial negotiating mandates [see document for details].
Mr T Brauteseth (DA, KZN) said the Department had sent its response document to the Committee. The Department said it would be advisable and strongly recommended having a further interaction with the banking sector. The last time he raised this issue he was shrugged off and dismissed saying that it was just a comment from a stakeholder. He thought that the Department was more than a stakeholder in this process. It is a major player and we rely heavily on its recommendations.
He was concerned that rushing the process was ignoring a very important recommendation from the Department. He asked when that recommendation will be included and if there are to be further interactions with the banking sector before asking the provinces for their final mandates. He did not believe this recommendation should be ignored.
Mr Masilo Maake, DPWI Deputy Director General: Policy and Regulation, replied that the issue arose in the context of the submission when Adv Naidoo was making the presentation on behalf of the Department. He asked if Adv Naidoo could continue with the Department responses and he could revert to the Committee at a later stage.
The Chairperson said he thought Adv Naidoo was not expressing the view that given the unfolding process, the Committee cannot proceed without further engagements with the banking sector. He assumed that all the stakeholders were allowed to make oral representations and made their written representations to the Committee upon invitation. In the response to the oral representations by the stakeholders, it did not imply that the Committee cannot proceed.
Adv Naidoo noted that he would consult with his client and once he has taken instructions will revert regarding further inputs from the banking and agricultural sector, if any.
The Chairperson noted the response and advised him to continue with his presentation.
Ms Phumelele Ngema, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, noted that it may be fair and correct to allow the Department to respond to everything before a discussion session with Members ensues. The Department should conclude its presentation according to the agenda for today’s meeting. It would have been easier if Parliament's Constitutional and Legal Services Office (CLSO) had met with the State Law Advisor and the Department to reach consensus. She felt that they might hamstring the process if they spoke to issues before the Department could conclude its responses and have a chance to meet. If she were to speak, she believed she would make generalised points on the submissions. They had made individual preparations but the three legal teams did not meet to reach consensus as the three support systems for the Committee.
The Chairperson agreed with Ms Ngema. The Committee will provide some time for CLSO, the State Law Advisor, and the Department to meet and consolidate. He allowed Adv Naidoo to continue.
Mr Brauteseth referred to paragraph 98 of the response document, which was a lengthy discussion on the Appropriation Bill and asked Adv Naidoo to clarify the paragraph. This paragraph was interpreted as a recommendation for further engagement with creditors and mortgagees especially on agricultural land.
The Chairperson appealed to Mr Brauteseth to allow the Department to finish its responses to the clauses. He noted that Mr Maake had earlier indicated that they would revert to the Committee on this matter.
After Adv Naidoo completed going through the Department response document, the Chairperson thanked him for giving Members context and insight into critical proposals canvassed during the negotiating mandates. Now, the Department, State Law Advisor and CLSO will meet and once they are ready, they will communicate and hopefully things will be finalised by Wednesday 29 November.
The Chairperson said that it must be noted that the Committee has not taken an offer to extend a round of engagement with the banking sector; however, the interaction with the Department will provide clarity on this. Members were now in a much better position and had more insight on the issues raised in the proposed amendments.
Mr Shaun Van Breda, State Law Advisor sought clarity on the process the Committee will follow. According to the Committee programme, the final mandates meeting will be held on 6 December. The programme indicates that there will be a meeting next week. He understood that he, the CLSO and the Department will have to reach consensus about the proposed amendments to the Bill. It will be a time-consuming process. Is there an expectation that a C-List reflecting proposed amendments will be presented at the next meeting? If so, furnishing the Committee with a C-List at such an early stage may not be possible.
The Chairperson said that the Committee relies on the technical expertise of the legal teams. The goal is to finalise the work but not gloss over the work. We want to ensure that what we receive from the State Law Advisor and Ms Ngema will not be compromised due to time pressures. He suggested that correspondence with the Committee Secretary will be kept open to finalise the arrangements.
Mr Van Breda welcomed the response and noted that they will need about a week to prepare and come up with consensus on the proposed amendments.
The Chairperson said the Committee Secretary will inform Members when the legal teams are ready to present the C-List containing the Select Committee proposed amendments.
He expressed gratitude to the teams for their assistance in the process. The CLSO and the State Law Advisor will correspond with the Committee Secretary when they are ready to present to the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
- WC Negotiating Mandate
- WC Committee Report
- NWL Negotiating Mandate
- NWL Committee Report
- NCL Negotiating Mandate
- MPL Committee Report
- MPL Negotiating Mandate
- LPL Negotiating Mandate
- KZNL Negotiating Mandate
- GPL Negotiating Mandate
- GPL Committee Report
- FSL Negotiating Mandate
- ECL Negotiating Mandate
- ECL Committee Report
- [B23B—2020] Expropriation Bill
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