Summary of the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee Meeting of 2 November, at which the report was presented.
The South African Heritage Resources Agency briefed the Committee on its overall performance during 2010/11 and provided an overview of its legislative mandate - the National Heritage Resources Act 1999 (Act No.26 of 1999 - and functions. information on human resources management (HRM) was given. The Agency explained some of the exciting work that it was doing. The Agency was restructuring and had closed the provincial offices and handed them to the provinces to set up provincial heritage resource agencies. These would create a total of 10 jobs per province giving a total of 90 jobs in total. There had been rumours of retrenchments but the Agency Chairperson said that there would be no retrenchments as per the media report. Consultations had taken place with the trade unions. The Agency had received a qualified audit opinion with matter of emphasis. It explained that the S&Tamount was an extrapolated amount. The absence of a functioning audit committee was also one of the reasons why this problem was raised by the Auditor-General. It was resolved that no monies would be written off and the monies had to be recovered from the staff members. A training session had been arranged for the finance staff as it faced a challenge during the audit as it was unable to retrieve the required age analysis. Steps had been taken to establish the audit committee so as to avoid such problems in the future. Emphasis was made on maintaining employment of the staff. The Agency announced that it would also empower society through the training centre in Grahamstown in association with Rhodes University. The Agency also sought of review and costing of its Act.
The Committee was happy with the Agency’s presentation but was not pleased by the fact that it had only sent the Annual report the previous day. It was dissatisfied with the qualified audit opinion as it was the first in the last five years. The Committee was disappointed that the African Heritage Resources Agency Act did not provide for the remuneration of the council members. The Committee hoped that in the following year the issues raised would not be repeated again.
These annual report presentation is available for download on the Parliamentary Monitoring Group website, along with presentations and audio recordings from the meetings.