Thank you Sir. Hon members, in terms of Rule 171(1), the committee to which a Bill has been referred to is required to table a report to this House. The Bill as agreed to or the Bill as referred to. Rule 171(2) compels the committee in its report to
states whether it recommends approval or a rejection of the Bill. The Bill tabled by the committee in terms of Rule 171(1) must relate to the content of the Bill. This will be a clear indication that the committee has considered the Bill in detail. Rule 171(2) requires the committee to report to the House on the conclusion that the committee has reached on the Bill.
Hon members, in terms of this report as presented by the Chairperson, equal numbers of votes, for and against, in fact, it was three - three and there was one province that abstained. The committee could therefore not take a decision. Consequently, the committee makes no recommendations to the House on how to deal with the matter. We then had to consider what to do with the Bill. We had to research because this is the first time the NCOP gets in to this situation.
We have an option to take the Bill into the House and convert the House into a committee. Now, this will be cumbersome if not constitutionally impossible for the House to deal with a Bill in this way, especially because this particular Bill affects the provinces. This will be tantamount to convert the House into committee as a whole. Our Rules actually do not make provision for this and it is therefore desirable to give the committee the opportunity to finalise the deliberations on
the Bill and make recommendations to the House as required by Rule (171)(2).
Therefore, this Bill is therefore referred back to the committee for it to conclude the deliberations on the Bill in terms of Rule 238 so that this Bill does not lapse. I know that members are going to jump and say but this is your last sitting. Hon members, we are in terms of the Constitution, still in office and our term expires immediately before the first sitting of the provincial legislatures.
We also want to say that we would exhort in terms of Rule 238 that the Sixth Parliament actually gets ceased with this Bill. Therefore, that would be my ruling on how we need to deliberate with this. Thank you very much. If we are allowed to continue, the Secretary will read the next order.
Bill referred back to the Committee.