OFFICE OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF HOME AFFAIRS: AUBREY MOKOENA (MP)

13 March 2002

The Chairperson
National Assembly Rules Committee
The Speaker
Dr. Frene Ginwala

Re: Processing of the Immigration Bill Dear Madam

I wish to respond to your letter dated 12 March 2002, in point form, in order to enable a systematic understanding of the facts and circumstances around processing the Immigration Bill.

1. I thank you for inviting me and the Members of the PC on Home Affairs, as well as the Chief Whips of All Parties, to attend this special meeting of the Rules Committee of the National Assembly today at 14h00 in E249.

2. Your welt-structured letter of invitation is premised on the assumption that there was an earlier letter written to us to urge us to finalise the Immigration Bill 'before the end of this term".

3. I am however, aware that the Programming Committee had decided about three weeks ago that this Bill must be finalised by the end of this term. This information came through Whips to Caucuses at all Parties. (In my case; the ANC).

4. I responded to this announcement in the ANC Caucus, and discussions ensued, which I am not at liberty to disclose to this Multi Party Forum.

5. As I indicated in point 2 above, if their was a letter to the Portfolio Committee similar to the one we received now, then I would have tabled it before the PC for deliberations.

6. This would have enabled you and the Programme Committee to understand our strategy and process of finalizing the Immigration Bill and this would have obviated anxieties, uncertainties and unnecessary tensions that have clouded this process.

7. To facilitate the processing of the Immigration Bill, the ANC tabled, a document entitled; Proposed Programme and Process for the treatment of the Immigration Bill, to the PC on Home Affairs on 12 February 2002.

8. All the Parties were asked to come with responses in two weeks time, but did not respond and thus the deadline was extended.

9. Some of the responses came on the eve of our Portfolio Committee meeting, which was held yesterday.

10. I am pleased to report the following facts that emanated from our Portfolio Committee meeting of 12/03/02, which was held at S12A at 11h00, concerning the processing of the Immigration Bill.

10.1 The ANC had submitted its earlier proposal as indicated under part 7. (see Annexure A)
10.2 The IFP tabled its responses (See Annexure B)
10.3 The DP tabled its responses (See Annexure C)
10.4 The UDM tabled its responses (See Annexure D)
10.5 The NNP responded verbally, by Mr. Sakkie Pretorius (No Annexure)
10.6 The UCDP was not present. No response received
10.7 The ACDP was not present. No response

11 The tabling of responses was characterised by healthy robust debates that take place in Portfolio Committee meetings.

12 After all was said and done, the Portfolio Committee agreed on the following:

12.1 That we must finalise the Immigration Bill, by the end of May, in compliance with the Constitutional Court Ruling on the Aliens Control Act.
12.2 The passage of this Bill will, ipso facto, repeal the irksome Aliens control Act.
12.3 The Chair and the Committee Secretary were mandated to draw up a programme with details of people who will make inputs, as well as dates and time slots. All of which will comply with the deadline before the end of May 2002.
12.4 First to brief the Committee will be the Minister.
12.5 There will be a clustering of inputs with strict time slots, in order to economize on the time, e.g. Chairs of PC's, Business Sector etc.
12.6 The Bill will be fast-tracked like we did in the case of the Municipal Electoral Bill, where extra meetings were called even at night, to speed up the process.
12.7 As extensive Public Hearings had been conducted by the Portfolio Committee during the White Paper stage, there is no need to duplicate this exercise, because issues are more or less the same.

1 3. Hereunder is a detailed draft programme;

13.1 Briefing by and by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. MG Buthelezi, Special Advisor to the Minister, Dr. M Oriani-Ambrosini;

Date; 19 March 2002
Time; 11h00- 13h00
Venue;

13.2 Briefing by the Deputy Minister, Mr. C Nqakula;
Date; 15 April 2002
Time; 11h00- 13h00
Venue;

13.3 Briefing by the Department;
Date; 16 April 2002
Time; 11h00- 13h00
Venue;

13.4 SARS (South African Revenue Services) on Customs and Excise at border posts
Date; 16 April 2002
Time; 13h00 - 16h00
Venue;

13.5 SALGA (South African Local Government Association)
Date; 17April 2002
Time; 11h00- 13h00
Venue;

13.6 Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council)
Date; 17April 2002
Time; 14h00 - 16h00
Venue;

13.7 Business
13.7.1 Business South Africa
13.7.2 CDE (The Centre for Development and Enterprise)
1 3.7.3 British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa
13.7.4 American Chamber of Commerce
13.7.5 Nafcoc
13.7.6 Fabcos

Date; 18 April 2002
Time; 10h00 - 16h00
Venue;

13.8 Trade Unions;
13.8.1 Cosatu
13.8.2 Fedusa
13.8.3 Nactu
Date; 19 April 2002
Time; 10h00- 16h00
Venue;

13.9 Briefing by Portfolio Committee Chairpersons on relevant sections of Immigration Bill;

13.9.1. Chairperson of PC on Safety and Security
13.9.2 Chairperson of the PC on Defence
13.9.3 Chairperson of PC on Justice
13.9.4 Chairperson of PC on Finance (budgetary implications of Bill)
13.9.5 Chairperson of the PC on Trade and Industry
13.9.6 Chairperson of the PC on Foreign Affairs
13.9.7 Chairperson of the PC on Education
13.9.8 Chairperson of the PC on Labour
13.9.9 Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on
13.9.10 Intelligence (overview)
Date; 22 April 2002
Time; 10h00- 16h00
Venue;
13.10 Non Governmental Organisations; Approach Sangoco (South African NGO Coalition)
Date: 23 April 2002
Time: 11h00 16h00
Venue;

13.11 Academia
Date; 24 April 2002
Time; 10h00- 16h00
Venue;

13.12 South African Human Rights Commission
Date; 25 April 2002
Time; 14h00 - 16h00
Venue;

13.13 Input by PC on Home Affairs on experiences and insight gained on the SADC study tour
Date; 26 April 2002
Time; 09h00 - 11h00
Venue;

13.14 Consolidations of inputs (By Chairperson and Committee Secretary)

Date; 29 April 2002 - 03 May 2002
Time;
Venue;

1 3.1 5 Inputs by parties; Direct involvement of PC on Home Affairs

Date; 07 May 2002
Time; 11h00- 13h00
Venue;

13.16 Further inputs by parties; Direct involvement of PC on Home Affairs

Date; 08 May 2002
Time: 1 8h00 - 20h00
Venue;

1 3.17 Finalisation and Vote on the Bill by the PC on Home Affairs
Date; 15 May 2002
Time; 11h00- 13h00
Venue;

13.18 Debate and Vote in the National Assembly
Date: 21 May 2002

13.19 Finalisation and Vote by NCOP Select Committee

13.20 Presidential Assent

13.21 Gazetting

N.B.
1. Members of the PC of Home Affairs have not seen this Draft Programme since they mandated us to draw it up at our Committee meeting that was held yesterday and may alter it here and there.

2. Everybody's co-operation will be required in order for this programme to work.

3. We had to cut our SADC study trip by 50% in order to save time.

4. There is a definitive commitment by the Portfolio Committee to process this Bill.

5. It is vital that this should be brought to the attention of all Caucuses as early as tomorrow.

cc: Minister of Home Affairs: Dr. MG Buthelezi
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs: Mr. C Nqakula
Director General of Home Affairs: Mr. BL Masetiha
Chief Whips of All Political Parties
Members of the PC on Home Affairs

ANNEXURE A

PROPOSED PROGRAMME AND PROCESS FOR THE TREATMENT OF THE IMMIGRATION BILL [B 79-2001] (TO BE TABLED ON 1210212002)

1. Briefing by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr M G Buthelezi, and by the Special Advisor to the Minister, Dr M Oriani-Ambrosini.

2. Briefing by the Deputy Minister, Mr. C Nqakula, on the functions allocated to him by the Minister.

3. Briefing by the Department;

3.1 Director-General, Mr. B L Masetlha
3.2 Deputy Director-General, Mr. I Lambinon
3.3 Advocate K R Malatji

4. Briefing by Portfolio Committee Chairpersons on relevant sections of Immigration Bill;

4.1 Chairperson of PC on Safety and Security
4.2 Chairperson of the PC on Defence
4.3 Chairperson of PC on Justice
4.4 Chairperson of PC on Finance (budgetary implications of Bill)
4.5 Chairperson of the PC on Trade and Industry
4.6 Chairperson of the PC on Foreign Affairs
4.7 Chairperson of the PC on Education
4.8 Chairperson of the PC on Labour
4.9 Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (overview)

5. SARS (South African Revenue Services) on Customs and Excise at border posts

6. SALGA (South African Local Government Association)

7. Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council)
8. Business

8.1 Business South Africa
8.2 CDE (The Centre for Development and Enterprise)
8.3 British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa
8.4 American Chamber of Commerce
8.5 Nafcoc
8.6 Fabcos

9 Trade Unions;

9.1 Cosatu
9.2 Fedusa
9.3 Nactu

10 Non Governmental Organisations; Approach Sangoco (South African NGO Coalition)

11. Academia

12. Human Rights Groups;

12.1 South African Human Rights Commission
12.2 South African Human Rights Committee

1 3. Any other stakeholders

14. Court judgments regarding immigration and existing Aliens Control Act

1 5. Input by PC on Home Affairs on experiences and insight gained on the SADC study tour

16. Consolidation of inputs

17. Inputs by parties; Direct involvement of PC on Home Affairs

18. Finalisation and Vote on the Bill by the PC on Home Affairs

19. Debate and Vote in the National Assembly

20. Finalisation and Vote by NCOP Select Committee

21. Debate and Vote in NCOP

22. Presidential Assent

23. Gazetting

NB! Timeframes will be determined by progress we make at each stage.

ANNEXURE B
To: The Chairperson, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs
From: IFP

8th March 2002

Dear Mr Mokoena

IMMIGRATION BILL

In reply to your request to parties for feedback on action programme for the Immigration bill, I wish to inform you that I have been directed by the IFP Parliamentary Caucus to reply to you as follows:

1. This Portfolio Committee is under instruction from Madam Speaker, the ANC Chief Whip and the National Assembly Programming Committee, to schedule the Bill for debate in the House and to finalise the Bill before the end of this term, which ends on Wednesday 20th March 2002.

2. We urge you to abide by these instructions and take the Bill to the National Assembly for debate on or before 20th March 2002.

3. We are satisfied that during a three year process, this Bill has been sufficiently considered and now urgently needs to be finalised.

Yours faithfully

PRINCE NE ZULU MP

ANNEXURE C
To: The Chairperson, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs
From:

11 March2OO2

Dear Mr Mokoena

IMMIGRATION BILL PROGRAMME

Dear Mr Mokoena

The Democratic Party proposes that the following programme be adopted for the deliberations concerning the Immigration Bill. We have taken into account the Constitutional Court deadline of 2 June 2002.

1. Only one day be set aside for public hearings, as society and the business community has had an opportunity to present their opinions. This would however, not prevent any individual or organisation from submitting written reports.

2. The committee systematically works through the Bill, clause by Clause-

3. State Law Adviser should be present at all times7 while we deliberate on the Bill. This would assist the process tremendously as they would be able to inform the committee immediately as to whether any suggestions or amendments are in fact legal. They could also help with the wording of clauses it we, as a committee, want them changed.

4. The relevant persons from the Department of Home Affairs are present in order to clarity issues that may arise. This is common practice in other Portfolio Committee meetings.

5. We strongly believe that opposition members must be given the right to suggest a timeframe for the deliberations and implementation of Immigration Bill.

Yours sincerely
GAJ GROBLER, MP
DP

ANNEXURE D
To: The Chairperson, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs
From: UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

11 March 2002

RE: PROPOSED PROGRAMME OF IMMIGRATION BILL

Mr Mokoena

The UDM believes that the process of finalizing the Immigration Bill should be expedited.

I therefore propose that we receive a Departmental briefing only on the substantial changes in the Bill. The Committee should then immediately thereafter start discussing me Bill clause by clause -and in the presence of the Departmental Officials who can clarify issues on behalf of the Department and on request of the Committee.

We would also urge that a State Law Adviser be present so that if the committees would want to change clauses, the State Law Advisor can assist in the legal drafting of proposed changes. This we believe would further assist in the expedition of the process.

I would like to remind you that there are Constitutional Court rulings which require that this Bill be passed by June 2002.

I would further like to suggest that all other activities of the Portfolio Committee be put on hold, including any study tours, so that the Immigration Bill can be finalized.

Thanking You
Annelize van Wyk, MP
UDM