Deputy Speaker, I have only two minutes. I had wanted to pay tribute to the hon Smuts, but I will also need to respond to some of the issues that she raised.
Firstly, I want to pay tribute to the hon Smuts. As other members have said, she is an extremely hard-working and well-prepared member of the committee. But I think she is also someone that other members of the DA can learn from in that she makes a difference. She is constructive, she engages the majority party and she is listened to, rather than being somebody who is more interested in getting into the newspapers and issuing press statements.
On the issues that were raised, this Bill enhances the independence of the Chapter 9 Institutions by having the commission investigate and make recommendations on their salaries. Currently, with regard to the Public Protector, the law says that the Public Protector cannot earn less than a High Court judge. The salary of the Public Protector is, in fact, higher. It is at the level of a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal. This is going to mean that there is an independent body, as with the judges, that makes recommendations.
The issue of the consultation with the Minister is an after-consultation and not an in-consultation, and that is what happens with the judges. The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development gets asked for an input by the commission before they make their final recommendation. As far as the issues relating to the judiciary are concerned, we do, as I think you pointed out, have in our Constitution reference to a member of Cabinet responsible for justice. I am not sure of the role of that person, if that person has nothing to do with the courts, which is what you seem to be suggesting. In addition, is it appropriate for the Chief Justice to come and account to the National Assembly, as the Chapter 9 Institutions do, about how money is spent and the budget? The issue is, as in the Superior Courts Act, that the responsibility is shared.
I have run out of time but I am sure we can respond on other platforms at a later date. Thank you. [Applause.]
Bill read a second time.