Hansard: Broadcasting Amendment Bill: President's Reservations on its Constitutionality / Minister's Responses / Member's Statements

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 16 Feb 2009


No summary available.




Tuesday, 17 February 2009 Take: 99




The House met at 14:03

The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.




(Member's Statement)

Mr B M SOLO (ANC): Madam Speaker, 23 million South Africans have registered to vote in the provincial and general elections set for the 22 April 2009. The ANC welcomes the interest demonstrated by our youth during the voter registration that took place on the weekend of the 7 and 8 February 2009. A total of 1 508 000 new registrations were recorded during the last registration weekend; 78,3% were South Africans younger than 30 years old.

The interest shown by our young people in the affairs of their country is encouraging. It resonates with the role played by the youth in revitalising the ANC in the 40s until now. The ANC urges all South Africans to go out in their numbers and vote on 22 April. Go out and vote for peace, development and social progress. Working together we can do more. Vote ANC!


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(Member's Statement)

Mr T D LEE (DA): Madam Speaker, Carl Niehaus, the ANC's spokesperson, is a fraudster par excellence. He has lied about almost everything in his life. He has forged the signatures of government officials. He has lied about his health and even the death of his sister, and now it has emerged that he is also lying about his academic qualifications.

The fact that the ANC continues to embrace Niehaus despite his dishonesty, is a disgrace beyond imagination. The ANC saw nothing wrong in employing him despite its knowledge of his tainted integrity. Now it insists it will redeploy rather than dismiss him. This shows that the ANC is bent on looking after its corrupt cronies instead of stamping out corruption in its ranks and in our country.

Redeploying Niehaus creates a mockery of the ANC's so-called commitment to the fight against corruption as per their current election manifesto. We therefore support the decision by the DA leader in the Gauteng legislation, Mr Jack Bloem, to lay charges against the Premier of Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, for obstructing justice and failing to report corruption. Thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Mr E J LUCAS (IFP): Madam Speaker, an entire flight crew was detained at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday morning after 5kg of cocaine was found hidden in a crew member's luggage. This is the second time in less than a month that a crew of our national carrier has been detained at Heathrow for a drug-related incident.

South African Airways is our national carrier and is meant to represent us with dignity and pride. One of SAA's stated corporate values is integrity. They are meant to practice the highest standards of ethical behaviour in all their lines of work and maintain credibility. This is clearly not happening at SAA, it is failing in its bid to attain this important value while the actions of its crew members are tarnishing our country's reputation.

Our national carrier is already under great pressure, and criminal incidents such as this only add to the woes and increase negativity surrounding SAA and South Africa as a crime hotspot. A thorough investigation must be conducted into this affair and legal action must be taken against all those found guilty.

Its security measures must therefore also be reviewed with a view to strengthening them as they are clearly lacking in this department, and their inadequacy is having a negative effect on our country's image. This incident comes at the time when visa requirements have been imposed on South Africans entering the UK, as we were not able to rectify areas of concern to the UK, including the ease with which non-South Africans can obtain genuine South African travel documents. Thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Ms N P KHUNOU (ANC): Madam Speaker, since Monday 16 February 2009, Public Service Commissions from across Africa gathered in Cape Town for the first general assembly of the association. The aim of the gathering, amongst other things, is to discuss how to improve public service on the continent.

The ANC believes that the Association of African Public Service Commissions, known as AAPSComs, has the challenge of linking its work to continental initiatives currently unfolding within the AU, including continental integration.

The ANC believes that the outcomes of this gathering will help us set standards and targets for the performance of our public services. We need to constantly improve our delivery of service to our people. "Working together, we can do more". Vote ANC. [Applause.]


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(Member's Statement)

Mrs C DUDLEY (ACDP): Madam Speaker, speaking at the preliminary election meeting in Umlazi on Sunday 15 February 2009, the ACDP deputy president and MP Jo-Ann Downs explained how the massive shortfalls in education funding and management has caused the system to deteriorate and prevent the quality of Education delivered to black pupils from equalling the standards of education received by other population groups.

Downs compared the present situation to that of the former Bantu Education system. Noting that South Africa now has one of the worst systems in the world, according to the HSRC, Mrs Downs explained that this was another example of how corruption in the upper echelons of government has jeopardised the advancement of poor people and that the kickbacks involved in the arms deal alone could have funded 30 well-equipped, modern schools.

Following on from the ACDP's successful manifesto launched in Soweto on Saturday, Mrs Downs explained that the ACDP would work towards establishing a high standard of education that was free right up to tertiary level for pupils who are willing to work hard. She assured her audience that there was no shortage of intelligent students in the country; the problem occurs when they are taught by ill-disciplined teachers in a system designed to politicise rather than educate them.

We must harness the enormous talent available amongst South Africa's youth. As they excel, they will inspire youth throughout Africa to realise the prosperity awaiting this generation, if they rise to the challenge. Thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Mr M H HOOSEN (ID): Madam Speaker, in the interests of taking collective responsibility for education in South Africa, the ID ensured that all our councillors and local leadership were involved in the opening of schools in their immediate areas. From this exercise there were three main issues that arose that we would like to bring to the attention of the House.

Firstly, vandalism was still a big issue at a number of schools, especially those in poor and impoverished communities. The second issue was that a number of children are still being refused access to schooling because their parents could not afford to pay the fees. Thirdly, there was the issue of late registration.

With regard to vandalism, government needs to work in partnership with communities to take ownership of schools and report acts of vandalism to the authorities.

Regarding late registration, the ID believes that government needs to do much more in terms of an awareness campaign to inform parents about early registration. This will ensure that schools are not faced with unnecessary administrative hold-ups on the first day, but that the education of our children can start in earnest.

Finally, the government needs to ensure that schools are fully informed about the rights of learners and the constitutional provisions for schooling. We cannot have cases where learners are turned away because they are poor. The ID has thus far assisted two primary school learners with their right to education, as enshrined in our Constitution, and urges communities and parents to report other such incidences. No child can be discriminated against. These issues must be resolved so that our teachers can concentrate on teaching and our children on education. Thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Mr B L MASHILE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC recognises that tourism is an important sector for job creation. It needs to be prioritised and adequately supported to enhance its performance and capacity for job creation in the economy.

Bushbuckridge local authorities have initiated a plan to establish a tourism owner's forum which aims at creating synergies involving the local authorities, local communities, accommodation sector, transport sector, hospitality sector and conservation authorities.

The forum will give the local communities an opportunity to be involved at all stages of responsible tourism development, which includes planning, decision-making and implementation of tourism development activities in their area.

Together with our people, the ANC will continuoually work to expand business opportunities for a sustainable livelihood for our people. Working together we can do more. I thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Ms S RAJBALLY (MF): Madam Speaker, the MF is extremely despondent over the REBEL attacks on civilians in Sri Lanka. It is most disturbing that an estimated 32 000 people have fled their homes in an attempt to escape from the war zone territories of Sri Lanka.

Fights between the Tamil Tiger rebels and the military are taking place, with civilians being held and forced to part take in this war. We call on the government to intercede with a call for a ceasefire. We also need to evaluate how we may assist in terms of health care, food and services for those ousted from their homes and exiled to other places of safety.

We are praying that the war and violence around the globe will come to an end. So many lives have been lost and nothing has been accomplished through the bloodshed but the careless loss of lives and robbery of livelihood. The MF calls on the global community to call for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. I thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Mr W J SEREMANE: Madam Speaker, the DA's manifesto which we

released last week outlines a plan for a DA government which will see an end to the cronyism that allows the ruling party officials to plunder the public purse. [Interjections.]

Under a DA government, no one who has been convicted on any charge of corruption, theft or fraud will ever be entitled to hold public office - unlike that side. At the same time, we have proposed a package of carefully costed and mutually reinforcing policies that set out practical steps to attain our vision of an open opportunity society for all.

Our manifesto addresses our top five policy priorities, which are: reducing poverty; improving the quality of education and health care; fighting crime and corruption, including, last but not least, protecting and defending the Constitution.

All these policies are directed at ensuring that every single South African, no matter what the circumstances of their birth, has the chance to use his or her talents and follow his or her dreams - unlike that side where people are marginalised. I thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Ms A VAN WYK (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC-led government will continuously work with our communities to make sure that criminals are not given hiding places, but exposed for their criminal activities.

On Friday, 13 February 2009, a ceremony was held in Pretoria to award 16 courageous members of the SAPS for their outstanding efforts in combating cash-in-transit heists. This is in recognition of two incidents that were foiled by the SAPS in November and December 2007 during which 16 heavily armed suspects were killed after they exchanged gunfire with the police.

The ANC calls on all civic and community organisations to introduce safety and security programmes as part of their day-to-day activities so as to prevent crime. It is also the responsibility of the communities to provide greater support to our law-enforcement agencies, especially support to combat attacks on the members of the SAPS. I thank you. [Applause.]


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(Member's Statement)

Mr M W SIBUYANA (IFP): Madam Speaker, the IFP praises the courage displayed by the hon Minister of Health who stood up in this House and said sorry to the people of South Africa for the department's failure to dispense medication and other service delivery to the public.

Measures taken by this Ministry displays commitment to meeting people's aspirations. It is hoped that other Ministries such as Water Affairs and Forestry will follow suit since many South Africans have lost their lives due to the lack of quality drinking water.

The IFP will continue to support steps taken in the right direction. Vote IFP, the tested and the tried alternative! Thank you.


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The SPEAKER: Hon members, it seems you have taken a decision that the time that we give you in the House is going to be used for campaigns. We are not approaching elections for the first time in this House. I would like us to stay and focus on the message that is in your statement. There will be ample time from Friday for us to campaign. [Applause.]

Let us please respect the rules of our House and respect each other.

Nobody on either side of the House is innocent here. I would like to hear the clapping from both sides of the House. [Applause.] Thank you.


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(Member's Statement)

Mr R P ZONDO (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC-led government, together with the people, is making every possible effort to decisively tackle the scourge of crime by drawing on resources and the capacity of all sectors of society.

A community safety plan was developed by the Gauteng Community Safety department and the Eldorado Park Community Policing Forum to ensure that residents living in the area felt safe. The plan was designed to ascertain and strengthen the strategic partnership between the community and the police. It aims to improve the delivery of services by law-enforcement agencies such as the school safety project, including the prevention of drug consumption at schools and the elimination of gangsterism.

The ANC calls upon all our people to mobilise themselves and participate in the fight to combat crime through establishing street committees and community courts, amongst other things. "Working together we can do more". I thank you. [Applause.]


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(Member's Statement)


Dr S M VAN DYK (DA): Speaker, minder as 'n maand gelede is 'n SAL bemanningslid en 'n SAL veiligheidswag wat bemanningslede se bagasie moes keur, in London in hegtenis geneem toe dagga en kokoïene in hul bagasie gevind is.

Wat gaan aan met die SAL? Ek verwys na 'n paar voorvalle. Na vele pleidooie deur die DA, het die SAL uiteindelik sy bestrede hoofuitvoerende beampte uit sy pos verwyder, as gevolg van finansiële wanbestuur.

Tweedens het die Minister reeds verlede jaar in 'n antwoord op 'n DA Parlementêre vraag erken dat 3 124 SAL passasiers maandliks slagoffers van bagasiediefstal is. Dit is kommerwekkend, want as bagasie oopgeskeur kan word om iets uit te haal, dan kan dit ook net sowel opgeskeur word om iets ongewens soos plofstof en dwelms daarin terug te sit. Waar is die SAL se beheermaatreëls?

Vandag berig die media weereens dat nog 15 van die SAL se bemanningslede op Heathrow Lughawe in hegtenis geneem is, omdat sogenaamde smokkelgoedere op hul bus gevind is. Die feit dat 'n SAL veiligheidswag by die ongeruimdhede betrokke is, laat mens onwillekeurig terugdink aan die SA Helderberg, wat 'n paar jaar gelede neergestort het toe, na bewering, plofstof of ander brandmateriaal, sonder die medewete van passasiers, aan boord was. Die vraag is nou, hoe veilig is SAL passasiers en kan ons nog steeds praat van die SAL as "Proudly South African"?

Die DA verwelkom dit dat die SAL sy veiligheidsmaatreëls gaan opskerp en die DA eis dat 'n volledige verslag aan die Parlement voorgehou word oor preseis wat dit sal behels, sodat die veiligheid van die SAL passasiers verseker kan word. Ek dank u.


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(Member's Statement)

Ms T B SUNDUZA (ANC): The ANC-led government believes that rural development is a central pillar of our struggle against unemployment, poverty and inequality. High levels of rural poverty and inequalityinhibit the growth of our economy and undermine our efforts to ensure that growth is more equitably shared amongst our people.

The ANC-led government launched an Ilima/Letsema Campaign aimed at mobilising communities to use the ploughing of fields in order to ensure that no land lies unplanted and that all land available is used productively to ensure food security. Through this campaign the government aims to distribute agricultural starter packs to poor households. An amount of R1,2 billion has been allocated for this purpose.

Together with the people, the ANC is intensifying the land reform programme to ensure that more land is in the hands of the rural poor. We will provide them with technical skills and financial resources to productively use the land to create sustainable livelihoods and decent work in rural areas. Working together we can do more! Vote ANC. Thank you. [Applause.]


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(Member's Statement)

Mr H P MALULEKE: Madam Speaker, the ANC recognises that climate change is a new threat on a global scale and places an enormous burden upon South Africans and Africans as a whole. Because we are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, the risks to the poor are the greatest.

The Western Cape provincial government led by the ANC, in concert with our people, has developed an action plan known as the climate change strategy and action plan. The plan is aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases that speed up the effects of global warming and also to mitigate the resultant effects and adaptation.

The ANC government's vision of the future includes a sustainable economy where all South Africans, including the President and future generations, realise their rights to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing.

Working together, we can do more! Yes, we can! [Applause.]


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The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Speaker, let me deal with a few of these statements. The hon Lucas has raised the issue of the drug bust involving the staff members of SAA, and it's very important to indicate that it was the entire crew which was arrested. There is one individual who had these drugs in her bag. Let's not tar everybody with the same brush. I thought that with the hon Lucas having raised it in English, perhaps some other members would have followed. English is not such a foreign language.

But I think the point to make about it is that nobody in this House and in the SAA must try and protect corrupt and criminal individuals. They bring down the name of all South Africans and that's what we must do together as a nation. [Applause.]

And part of the issues includes the responsibility by Acsa to ensure that there are security provisions and that it's not merely left to the airlines individually, but Acsa will have to deal with this issue and be held to account.

The hon Dudley had raised a rather confusing message. I don't know that Mrs Downs's views on life are necessarily correct, because on the other hand she is saying that there is inadequate funding and then she brings in all kinds of things that have nothing to do with education, because education in South Africa by international comparison is adequately funded.

The same hon Dudley then proceeds to contradict everything that she says but holds it is still correct because Mrs Downs, the deputy leader, said so at this large, mass, multi-million rally at the launch of the ACDP. I counted 17 people, but be that as it may. [Applause.]

The point about education is that unless you deal with school governance and unless we oversee what happens in the classes, you will get lazy teachers and nonperforming teachers. It's not the money problem. It is a management issue and it involves all of us in every community. So, let's take collective responsibility whether Mrs Downs said so or not.

With regard to the hon member from the ID, I accord with what he said. We must get our schools to start on the first day of school. That is a great divide between well managed and poorly managed schools.

The hon Rajbally had raised the very important issues about Sri Lanka and I think we must accept that some of the accesses in the North East part of that island are exceedingly worrisome. With regard to the hon Seremane, I think he was saying that chickens will grow teeth because a DA government is as possible as chickens growing teeth. Thank you very much. [Applause.]


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(Minister's Response)

The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Speaker, Deputy Speaker and hon members, I would like to respond to the statement by the member of the IFP, hon Sibuyana – whose statements are almost predictable, these days.

Firstly, I want to say that we should never, ever campaign at the expense of people's lives. The tragedy of those people who have lost their lives because of the recent outbreak of cholera, cannot be turned into a political football.

Secondly, I want to point out that the hon member is from the area – he referred to Bushbuckridge – and he is a member of the Portfolio Committee of Water Affairs and Forestry. The department has fully briefed this committee on the causes of the problem. The committee has also been briefed on the measures that are being taken collectively to ensure that the situation is arrested and on the measures that are being put in place to avert a situation like this occurring in the future.

The hon member will know that, in collaboration with the Department of Health, assisted by the province and the municipalities affected, we have arrested the spread of disease in this area. No more deaths as a result of cholera have been reported.

We have put measures in place to ensure that there is sufficient clean water for people to drink and that there are temporary structures that ensure clean sanitation.

We have spread the message of health and hygiene not only in Limpopo, but also across the Beit Bridge. We have assisted Zimbabweans to reconstruct their infrastructure. As a result, no more effluent runs down into our rivers. All of that has been done to ensure that we prevent further deaths in that area.

So all is being done, hon members, to ensure that we prevent a similar situation. However, the responsibility lies at national, provincial and municipal levels to ensure that our infrastructure is improved to the extent that such events do not happen again.

On the issue of climate change, I would like to agree with the hon member of the ANC's statement regarding the impact of climate change on vulnerable groups but particularly on the environment.

On the issue of water conservation, I think a national, collective response to climate change is required. Rainfall patterns will change and global warming will increase. The one thing we need to do is realise that we are a water-scarce country and that we must stop wastage of our water resources. Municipalities and other water service authorities have to stop the leaks. All of us have a responsibility towards making sure that we save our water. Thank you.


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(Minister's response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, I would like to respond to the statement by hon Zondo. Firstly, I would like to thank the member for his statement on the collaboration between SAPS and the community of Eldorado Park to combat crime.

Secondly, I would like to say that, as government, we have always said and continue to say that fighting crime is everybody's responsibility, not just that of government. Therefore we commend the community policing forum of Eldorado Park for working with SAPS to eradicate crime, drug abuse, and gangsterism in that community. As communities, we must say no to all these social ills and emphasise that it is only together that we can do more to say no to crime in its totality. Thank you.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: The hon Manuel certainly had five interventions all on his own. He made a little bit of a picnic of things today, I suspect. The Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry had at least one intervention. The Deputy Minister of Correctional Services had one. I just wonder how many interventions the Ministers are going to be allowed to have this afternoon.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, we allow for six ministerial interventions. I need to be advised if we have ...

Hon members, I will allow the Minister to proceed. Just a point of clarification: We do watch the time here and Minister Manuel did not take more than three minutes.


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Minister's Response

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (Mr G Q M DOIDGE): Madam Deputy Speaker, I was also a presiding officer.


Ek kan ook tel.


You must count! On the statement made on rural development, I want to assure the hon Member and the House that since the Presidential Co-ordinating Committee, PCC, met in December, we as Public Works had made sure that we interacted with provinces and with Salga, because our focus is on rural development and certainly we take that very seriously.

If you look at the Extended Public Works Programme, EPWP, Phase 2, our bias is towards rural areas and we are going to make sure that those municipalities get the incentives that Minister Manuel spoke about in the Budget, to make sure that we provide the capacity and deliver to the rural people.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I must also concur with Minister Manuel that some animals like chickens will never grow teeth. [Applause.]




Minister's Response

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Ms F HAJAIG): We concur with Ms Rajbally. The Department of Foreign Affairs is very concerned about the ongoing violence in Sri Lanka, where the civilians bear the brunt of this conflict.

Let me assure the House that we are in dialogue with the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE, to initiate an immediate ceasefire so that humanitarian assistance can be made available and a permanent solution be found in this conflict. Thank you. [Applause.]


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(Minister's Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION (Adv A H GAUM): Deputy Speaker, just to respond to the statement of the ID, I would like to thank the ID and all other political parties who participated in school visits at the onset of the school year and in assisting us to identify problems that need to be addressed.

It is true that vandalism is still a problem in some of our schools and that is why provincial departments are taking various steps to improve the safety in schools by providing fences, alarms and other infrastructural support. In some cases we even appoint guards in some of these schools.

At the end of the day, however, it is very important to mobilise communities to stand together to make sure that we make safe havens out of our schools.

On school fees the policies vary; if parents cannot afford fees partial or full exemption of school fees have to be provided according to the means test. No-fees schools may not charge any fees, so political parties should also assist us in making this policy clear and in not allowing schools to short-circuit it.

All provinces have early registration campaigns to prevent late registration as far as this is possible, but all of us should encourage parents to make sure that their children are indeed registered in time. Thank you very much.


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(Consideration of Bill and Report thereon, and President's reservations on constitutionality of Bill as submitted to him)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party: Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be passed.


End of Take


Declarations of vote:

Ms M SMUTS: Madam, you will allow me the time, I hope. The DA petitioned our President to send this Bill back, because it tried to write an unprocedural political purge into the law.

There are three provisions dealing with the removal of SABC directors: The first is the old one, under which the board itself can ask the President to remove a member for misconduct or incapacity after due inquiry.

The second is the new provision, which I first proposed a year ago, under which Parliament, as the institution that selects the board members in the first place, may resolve, after a finding of misconduct, incapacity or ineligibility, that an individual member should be removed.

Nothing more than this is needed, as I have said before, for any bona fide case where a member is found unfit. However, this Bill creates a third removal provision: The National Assembly may by simple resolution decide on the dissolution of the entire board for failure to discharge its duties and, by a further vote, recommend five persons, hand-picked, without public nomination or participation or any transparency, as an interim board, which the President must then appoint within ten days - in time for the election, of course.

The absence of any explicit requirement for procedural fairness in this third removal clause stands in stark contrast to the requirement for due inquiry in the two proceeding provisions. In legal terms this may therefore be read to be intentional thus, constitutionally speaking, to exclude the right to fair procedure. It is this that formed the basis of our petition and it is this that has caused our President's reservations and the sending back of the Bill.

In practical terms, we may remind the House that not only is the omission intentional, it was intentional: Due inquiry was actually removed from the draft after the SACP's submission. However, this has been tried before. An unprocedural purge has in fact been tried before.

When you undertake administrative action, you must inform the affected people of the nature and purpose of the proceeding and you must give them a reasonable opportunity to put their case. The unsuspecting board, however, last April at the age of four months, was subjected to a kangaroo court, which I have described here before and which resulted in an attempt at passing a motion of no confidence which failed, thanks to the hon members.

This dissolution clause is a further attempt to achieve the same end. This Bill has been rendered constitutional, thanks to the fact that the President has sent it back, and that we welcome, but the dissolution provision is still unnecessary, it is undesirable and therefore we will still vote against this Bill and also against the idea of an interim board to be appointed for the purposes of the election.

I suspect my ANC colleagues are very relieved that this has been corrected and that they will now have to abandon the attempt to unseat the board. [Interjections.] [Applause.]


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Ms S C VOS: Deputy Speaker, if ever there was proof needed that South Africa requires strong and principled opposition political parties, the amendments to the Broadcasting Amendment Bill, forced on the ANC alliance here today, is a shining example.

If ever there was proof that South Africa needs a strong and principled President of the Republic, willing to return legislation supported by his/her own party, which he/she decides is problematic, here yet again is an example.

We thank President Motlanthe for considering the petition of the IFP, the DA and the FF Plus not to ascent to signing the Broadcasting Amendment Bill into law and for sending it back to require this Parliament to affect crucial amendments, which have now been affected.

We thank the Chief Whips of these parties for making it possible for expert legal opinion to be obtained at considerable cost to assist the President in his deliberations. This honourable House perhaps needs reminding that President Nelson Mandela also returned the first version of the Broadcasting Bill to Parliament in the early 90s when the IFP and the DA petitioned him to do so due to its then quite clear unconstitutionality before correction. At that time we also appended expert legal opinion.

There is a history to the ANC alliance wanting to control our public broadcaster, and the Broadcasting Amendment Bill before us today was yet again a direct and deliberate attempted assault on the independence of the SABC as a public broadcaster, which the ANC tried to ram down the throats of the opposition in this Parliament and the people of South Africa. It failed yet again.

While the IFP supports the amendments to allow due inquiry before the board of the SABC can be sacked - due inquiry, which the ANC alliance resisted vigorously in the communications committee - we nevertheless do not support the intention of the Bill, which is to give the ANC an opening to turn the SABC back into an apartheid style state broadcaster, controlled by its own ANC party political hacks. Thank you. [Applause.]


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Dr P W A MULDER: Madam Deputy Speaker, the word democracy is abused by many countries that are not democratic at all. Communist East Germany was called the German Democratic Republic.

It is also easy to call yourself a democrat when your party has 70% of the vote. The real test comes when your party might lose power in the next election or might lose control of a province and has to hand over the keys of the Union Buildings.

Do you keep to the rules and accept this, or do you start all sorts of undemocratic actions to ensure that you stay in power? [Interjections.] Mr Mugabe is a very good example of how this is done. This Bill must be judged against that background.

The SABC is South Africa's public broadcaster, it is not the ANC's or government's broadcaster, it is a public broadcaster with the public paying licences. This Bill enables the ANC to get rid of the SABC board. Public interest is not the same as government interest or ANC interest. The FF Plus supported the amendment, but will vote against the Bill.


Die VF Plus het 'n brief aan die President geskryf oor daardie aspekte van die wet wat ons as ongrondwetlik beskou het. Daarom is ons dankbaar dat die President die wet terugverwys het en die wet inderdaad daardeur verbeter is.

Die feit dat die wet so verbeter kon word, bewys weereens die belangrike rol wat opposisiepartye in die Parlement speel. Ongelukkig is die wysigings nie genoeg om die kern van die probleem van hierdie wet reg te stel nie.

Demokrasie is nie net die reg om gereeld te mag stem of jou mening vrylik te kan uitspreek nie. Instellings soos howe, die media en spesifiek die openbare uitsaaier is belangrike instrumente wat 'n reuse rol speel om ware demokrasie instand te hou.

As 'n regering met hierdie instrumente begin peuter, met die spesifieke doel om die instrumente gedienstig aan die regering van die dag te kry, dan begin die alarms afgaan – en dis presies wat met hierdie wysiging gebeur. Die ANC kry met hierdie wetgewing die reg om 'n swaard oor die kop van die openbare uitsaaier, en spesifiek die SABC raadslede, te hou. Tree enige van die SABC raadslede nie op in belang van die regerende party nie, dan val hierdie swaard en dan word daar van die betrokke SABC raadslid ontslae geraak.

Dis onaanvaarbaar. Dit laat rooi ligte flikker en dit behoort nie toegelaat te word in 'n ware demokrasie waar jy nie bang is vir verkiesings en demokrasie nie. Daarom sal die VF Plus daarteen stem. Ek dank u. [Applous.]


End of Take



Mr I VADI: Madam Deputy Speaker, I have listened very carefully to what the opposition members have said. But I think that some of the fundamental questions that they are failing to address are the following. What must the government do or what must this institution, Parliament, do when a board of a public entity fails hopelessly in discharging its responsibilities, is unable to carry out its legal mandate, is locked in conflict with its executive management and is unable to provide effective corporate governance over a public entity. What must we do?

These is a challenge that faces not only the SABC – I want members here to listen very carefully – but also faces SAA at the moment. it's a challenge that faces Iscor and Eskom, with the power failures. It's a challenge that is facing Armscor. A colleague of mine, Mr Benjamin Ntuli, indicated to me last week that the service contract of the CEO of Armscor has still not been signed, after six or seven years at the helm!

The question is: What are these boards actually doing to exercise effective corporate governance over public entities that utilise public resources? We have to answer that question. It's pointless saying here that we are threatening the independence of the public broadcaster, etc, in a generalising kind of way, without actually dealing with the challenges facing us.

With respect to the SABC itself, we have recognised – and I think that members of the opposition accept this – that there is a legal vacuum; there is a weakness in the legislation because while provision is made for the removal of a single member, there is no provision that deals with the board as a collective entity.

I don't think it is the intention of the ANC to cripple the board unilaterally. It's not its intention to manipulate it politically. The intention is to strengthen corporate governance and to ensure that the board discharges its fiduciary responsibilities effectively and honestly, and that is not what is happening.

We are gripped in a crisis at the moment; the SABC is facing a crisis. You may have seen a few weeks ago in the media that the current SABC might be facing a deficit of R500 million, and the financial year is not over yet! We haven't had an opportunity as the portfolio committee to summon them here and deal with this particular matter.

You can't have a situation where people overrun their budget by half a billion rand and the board doesn't exercise responsibility. So, those are some of the challenges that face us, and I think we have to deal with these things in an honest and an objective manner.

The portfolio committee and the ANC welcome the fact that the President has returned this Bill. Whilst he has declared the Bill to be not unconstitutional, he has expressed his reservations. We think his reservations are valid. These deal largely with the due process when you institute any proceedings against the board. We think it is a sensible suggestion and we agree with the President.

We think that this is a good example of the executive head exercising independent scrutiny and review of the work of the National Assembly so as to test the constitutionality of its legislative proposals. It also demonstrates to us the value of the principle of separation of powers between the executive and Parliament. So, we want to thank the President for applying his mind and referring the Bill back to us. How have we dealt with matter ... [Interjections.]

Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC commends this Bill and we hope that the Assembly will pass it so that this matter can be put to rest and we can deal with the problems at the SABC. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.


That the Bill be passed.

Agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party, Freedom Front Plus and Independent Democrats dissenting).


End of Take



Ms F I CHOHAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, the former Speaker, the hon Dr Frene Ginwala, commissioned consultants a while ago to produce a document detailing the challenges that faced our Parliament in relation to its oversight role.

The Report was produced in 1999, and was subsequently referred to the Joint Ad Hoc Sub-Committee on Oversight and Accountability, which I co-chaired with most wonderful hon Ms Constance Nkuna.

There are members of this House who will remember this committee with a long name. The people who were quite instrumental were hon Mr John Jeffrey, Ms Dene Smuts, Mr Enver Surty, who was Chief Whip of the NCOP at the time, Mr Farouk Cassim and Lawrence Lever, former members of this House and the NCOP. We were capably assisted by Mr Casper Hahndiek.

During our deliberations on our oversight role, we discovered two truths. The first one was that our Parliament is quite unique in its mandate and in its make-up. The second was that the expertise concerning this Parliament and the different aspects of our Constitution lies firmly here in Parliament amongst members themselves, many of whom have helped to fashion our Constitution.

The ad hoc committee presented a set of eight recommendations. It also went a step further and produced an implementation plan which was adopted by the Joint Rules Committee in 2003.

During the time that we worked with the subject we learned that oversight was definitely linked to the primary function of Parliament as the highest law-making authority. As such, Parliament has a vested interest in the implementation of the laws passed. But through oversight we as parliamentarians gain a unique insight into the capabilities of the bureaucracy.

Oversight, therefore, also allows law-makers to adapt laws to the capacity of the bureaucracy at different stages of its development. While not suggesting for a moment that bureaucracies shouldn't be challenged to transgress their limitations, it is also true that many well-meaning laws have gathered dust on proverbial shelves for the lack of implementing capacity.

While we strive to push the boundaries, we dare not set the bar so high that implementation is beyond the capability of a bureaucracy in transition, whether it is in the police service, social welfare, hospitals or schools - I see, hon Sybil Seaton, you were also part of that committee - yet as law-makers our task should always be to ensure a constant striving to fuller attainment.

During my time as co-chair of that committee I had an opportunity to visit the House of Commons. This august House, upon which, by the way, many of our previous parliaments were based, has one of the finest reputations in the world. But it hardly, if ever, amends legislation tabled by the executive in the manner we do.

Their oversight over the executive is often very closely connected to the intrigues of persons in positions and personal lives. And there is a very close relationship between British MPs and the British media. However the party whip still features quite strongly in that constituency basis, a system which has evolved over hundreds of years.

It works for that society, but in a society such as ours that is in transition, where implementation and delivery is a challenge, this parliament's strength, I believe, is in the winning of small things. Small things like the delivery for the first time of water to a small town in far-off places; the issuing of an ID to an old lady who has never before been documented so that she can for the first time access her old age pension; the passing of uniform and appropriate sentences in the case of serious crimes, such as murder and rape are all small things won through oversight work.

These things happen everyday because we as the representatives of the people concern ourselves with these issues. We could reprioritise our values and our discourses and deal with things in a different way, and we could become very popular and become household names ourselves. But I think we don't because when it comes down to it, to a person in this house, I would say with conviction that we hold high ambitions for this country and its people.

To strike a comparison, following the attacks of the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001, the world's media and politicians focused almost exclusively on terrorism, rendition military spending and war.

In his book, A Short History of Progress, Ronald Wright says:

First, terrorism is a small threat compared with hunger, disease, or climate change. Three thousand died in the United States that day; 25,000 die every day in the world from contaminated water alone. Each year, 20 million children are mentally impaired by malnourishment. Each year, an area of farmland greater than Scotland is lost to erosion and urban sprawl.

This Parliament has firmly understood through its oversight discourse over the past 15 years that much of the world's ills are bred from injustice, inequality and poverty. I have heard these and other messages constantly in various portfolio committees from various members from Health to Foreign Affairs.

This, I submit, is a worthwhile discourse for a worthwhile parliament. It may be stale news to some, but it is not about popularity; it is about our future, the future of our children, the future of our country, and indeed about the very survival of the human race on this planet.

There are many other issues that we will have to grapple with over time such as, given our vested interest in the efficient functioning of our courts. For instance, how do we hold the judiciary accountable without impingeing on their impartiality? How do we hold organs of state, as defined by the Constitutional Court, accountable, given the definition of portfolio committees and their structures?

I believe that these issues that we have been in constant discussions about are worthwhile and as long as we are on a worthwhile course, I submit, we are on course.

The model that is being tabled today for adoption is a culmination of our collective efforts and in truth marks the beginning of a new chapter of this young institution, which on the eve of a new Parliament in which it is apt to note many of us have had a hand in crafting. Those who come after us will hopefully build on the foundations we have laid today to allow this body to take its rightful place amongst the foremost legislatures of the world. [Applause.]


End of Take


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, the DA essentially supports the document tabled as we see it as a useful framework, going forward.

This document is based on current practice and our own experience indicates that there are various problems such as constraints with regard to the implementation. One of the critical constraints that exists is an attitudinal one because one can produce any theoretical model one likes, but if the attitudes of the members of this House and the executive are not in tune with the model, then I'm afraid you are wasting your time.

So it is this relationship between the members and the executive that I initially want to focus on. Section 42(3) of the Constitution, clearly gives this House the right to exercise oversight over the executive; and Section 55(2) requires this House to actually bring government to account where there are problems. Yet, what is our experience?

I'm reminded of the electricity crisis that we went through early last year. Our desire on this side of the House was to bring the then Minister of Public Enterprise, hon Alec Erwin, to account or rather be fired, because he did not exercise due diligence in his portfolio.

Now Section 92(2) of the Constitution specifically says that members of the executive are collectively and individually accountable for the exercising of their powers and performance of their functions. Yet the ANC and the Cabinet hid behind the whole concept of collective responsibility, contrary to what is in the Constitution.

So the nub of the issue is this: Unless members and the executive take on board exactly what is in this model, are prepared and have the courage to actually implement the model, then I'm afraid the model is useless. We have to exercise that oversight and demand accountability irrespective of what party bosses say - and have the courage to do so - because the attitude of the members, and not the model, will define the credibility of this institution.

This brings me to the attitude of some of the Ministers of this House. All too often they treat the House at best as an irritant, at worst as an institution for which they have extreme disdain, bordering on contempt.

Why do I say this? Take questions, for example; they are a critical part of exercising oversight and demanding accountability. What is our experience? First of all, let me just say that in respect of written questions last year, 1 757 questions were tabled. The ruling party tabled 12 questions - 0,68% of all the questions. The DA tabled 1 512, which is almost 86%. But that is by the bye.

More importantly, what is the record in respect of answers? Now, it is the Rule of this House that Ministers have to answer within 10 days. Our experience, first of all, is that very often there are no responses at all. As at the end of 2008, 56 questions had not been responded to. In October last year, there were over 280 questions that had not been answered, some of them stretching back to as early as February 2008 - late replies. In fact, the vast majority of replies ignores that Rule which is in the model.

So it is the attitude of Ministers that is pivotal as far as this is concerned. And very often when the replies come, they are fudged replies. In law we call it "vague and embarrassing", and indeed the replies are very often vague and embarrassing.

So, what is the solution? The solution is, as we see in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, that if a Minister is unable to reply in time, he has to give an explanation in writing. If he does not give an explanation, must appear on the next oral day, table a response and give an explanation as to why that response was not in time. It's done in other legislatures, and there is no reason why it cannot be done in this legislature.

Now, what about oral questions? Regarding oral questions, we know that Ministers come here, but very often they are not present. The nadir was in October 2007 when, in the social clusters, 11 Ministers were required to appear, but only four of whom did. Clearly, that can neither be an exercise of oversight nor the accountability demanded in those circumstances.

Very often Ministers do not appear and the Deputy Ministers are required to actually respond, and very often they have not been properly briefed. So, in respect of follow-up questions, quite clearly it is a waste of time; and very often not even the Deputy Minister is here and the response is given to a Minister in that cluster. Well, I get more response from my puppy dog, which at least wags its tail. So, we need to do what we do as far ... [Time expired.]


End of Take


Mrs S A SEATON: Chairperson, hon members, there is no doubt whatsoever that the oversight and accountability model is both necessary and well overdue. The committees, task teams and consultants of Parliament worked extensively for some years to develop this model; they really did their research and to a large extent have developed a good and comprehensive model.

I do, however, believe that there needs to be some tweaking. It is important that it becomes fully functional. Considering that the Joint Rules Committee adopted the model as far back as March 2008 and that 11 months later only are we now debating this issue , it raises some very serious concerns, specifically about the administration of this Parliament.

We can have, as Mr Davidson has said, all the good intentions in the world, but if we do not act on our decisions as has so often been the case in this Parliament over the years, then we might just as well not make decisions at all; we might as well function as an entity that is not in fact Parliament.

The chairperson of the committee is very correct in saying that this is a unique Parliament - all too often we take decisions we do not follow through! We have over the years lost many good opportunities to improve our lot as Parliament, and the lot of our electorate.

We put in place the Parliamentary Oversight Authority, POAS, which rarely meets. We have a Joint Rules Committee that seldom meets; and when it does, it takes decisions that get nowhere, apropos what I said earlier on about this report that we are debating only today, 11 months later.

Our committees, portfolio committees and ad hoc committees meet, make decisions, resolve to get things happening. And what happens? By the time these resolutions and decisions get to Parliament, circumstances have overtaken them, and we're back to square one.

An example of this is the Private Members' proposal on the remuneration for public office bearers. What happens, of course, is that other processes have overtaken them, and nothing can be done.

As Parliament, we also need to ensure that the laws we make are constitutional, that they can, in fact, be enforced and that the departments concerned have the will and the resources to carry out our decisions. As Parliament, we do not hold the executive accountable as we should and the executive certainly does not always accept that it is the role of Parliament to hold them accountable.

Many of our executive members are arrogant and refuse to report to Parliament as requested. I cite the example of the Minister of Correctional Services who refused to report to Parliament on a very serious issue relating to problems in that department.

He pushed out a man in charge of that department who was doing an outstanding job at exposing corruption and refused to say anything to Parliament or to our committee about it, notwithstanding our concerns.

The ruling party has become arrogant, making unilateral decisions without consulting opposition parties. For example, the recent axing of President Mbeki was such arrogance. Parliament, in terms of our Rules, our Constitution and our oversight and accountability model, elects the Presidentandit should have been Parliament that took the decision as to whether or not to axe the President.

We provided the oversight and the accountability model. Now we have to put in place the processes, resources and the will to carry on with our responsibilities.


End of Take


Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, the Oversight and Accountability Task Team WAS established to review the need for a co-ordinated approach to Parliament's oversight function and to develop a relevant model for Parliament.

The proposed model, aims to enhance Parliament's oversight capacity and bring current practices in line with Parliament's strategic plan. Two critical factors for ensuring the success of the model, are the need to integrate Parliament's public participation function within its overall oversight mechanism and the provision of appropriate capacity, especially, human resources, to committees and members.

At some point, Parliament should also consider the development of further legislation relating to oversight, which will include committees that are currently regulated by the rules, as is the case with the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence.

The ACDP commends all those who have been involved in this process and supports efforts to ensure that Parliament is relevant, efficient and effective. Thank you.


End of Take


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (K O BAPELA): Chairperson, many critics are saying our Parliament's oversight function is not robust, assertive or pointed at the executive, and this renders Parliament weak. We, as the Oversight Task Team members, spent time in our research to understand what oversight is and also engaging with this notion and the criticisms levelled against Parliament.

In Chapter 2 of the Oversight Model itself, we tried to give some kind of a definition, as was agreed in the task team. There is one view that says the Conventional Westminster view on oversight, as inherited by many former British Colonies, is often rather adversarial, and in some instances oversight is professed to be the purview of the opposition politicians and not the legislature as an institution. I think that is one of the criticisms that are guiding this very agreement on this classical narrow definition of what oversight ought to be.

Instead, we are living in a modernised society. Obviously the Constitution of South Africa has given some kind of requirements and a mandate to Parliament, also, as an institution to then assert itself in as far as oversight is concerned.

The oversight emphasis and argument should always be placed on the oversight rule of legislatures, especially, as it relates to ensuring government's compliance with approved public spending. As alluded to by other speakers, Section 55(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, states that the National Assembly must provide mechanisms. Unfortunately, unlike other chapters of the Constitution, the oversight mechanisms were not provided for such as in sections 74, 75 or 76 in terms of how Bills need to be processed in Parliament.

So the National Assembly was, therefore, requested to begin bringing up these particular mechanisms. Firstly, those mechanisms are to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are accountable to Parliament; secondly, to maintain oversight on the exercise of the National Executive Authority, including the implementation of the legislation and any organ of state.

The question is: Why did it take Parliament so many years to come up with such mechanisms? The response is that Parliament does have mechanisms; it is not as if Parliament did not have any form of mechanisms in existence, instituted by it.

It has over a period refined mechanisms such as questions to the President, the Deputy President, the Ministers, members' statements and the new innovation, which was developed in the last few years around the issues of members statements, which is a prompt mechanism that allows Ministers without any warning to respond or reply to such members' statement.

So those mechanisms have always been there and also committees themselves have been created to ensure, therefore, that they make the government to be more accountable and to oversee its implementation of the programme.

Maybe, the debate should be about the value and quality of questions, members' statements and motions that are being debated generally in this House, and whether they are beginning to assist this institution to effect accountability, ensuring that indeed there is oversight over the executive authority and that it is implementing the constitutional mandate as the preamble states.

For example, in the preamble it deals with laying the foundation for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law. The other point it makes is about improving the quality of all citizens, freeing the potential of each person and also build a united and a democratic South Africa, which is able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations, etc. These quality values are being presented in Parliament to ensure that indeed they assist us in achieving all of these things. Those are the issues we ought to be looking at.

Parliament, as it maximises and brings into place new mechanisms, should also deal or engage with robustness and assertiveness and become a people's Parliament as its vision and mission describe. It must also be balanced to be a people's voice and ensure that the respective public representatives and parties that are elected to Parliament also begin to play that particular role.

In responding to the question of what oversight is, the model defines it as follows: Oversight intails the informal and the formal; it has a suprise element in it; the strategic and structural scrutiny exercised by the legislature in respect of the implementation of laws; the application of the budget and the strict observance of the statutes and the Constitution.

In addition, most importantly, it entails overseeing the effective management of government departments; hence we have portfolios and select committees to do that in respect of individual members of the Cabinet in pursuit of improved service delivery for the achievement of a better life for its citizens.

In terms of the constitutional provisions of the Constitution and the Joint Rules, Parliament has powers to conduct oversight over all organs. The organs are all these agencies or public entities that are publicly funded or partly funded, and we have 700 of such bodies at national, provincial and local government levels. We then need to begin looking at mechanisms of overseeing these agencies and whether they are indeed implementing and delivering on their mandate.

The Model goes further to describe oversight functions, which aspects include political, administrative, financial and ethical accountability, and legal and strategic elements. Some of the functions are to detect and prevent abuse, arbitrary behaviour or illegal and unconstitutional conduct on the part of government and public entities; to hold government accountable in respect of how taxpayers monies are used; to detect waste within the machinery of government and public agencies; and to ensure that policies and programmess announced by government and authorised by Parliament are actually delivered. This function includes monitoring the achievements of goals set by the legislation and government programmes. Lastly, it is intended to improve the transparency of government operations and enhance public trust in the government, which in itself is a condition of effective policy delivery.

The Model suggests new mechanisms, amongst other things: The first is the passing of the Money Amendment Procedure Bill, which is currently scheduled for passing by both Houses. It will give Parliament the impetus and power on the procedures of amending Bills, should the need arise.

Secondly, Parliament has also been given a mandate here to amend the Act establishing the Reserve Bank without compromising its independency although it must account to Parliament, as is the case in other developed nations like the USA.

Thirdly, it suggests a Government Assurance Committee, the role of which is to monitor and hold the executive accountable on all matters, promises, undertakings and assurances raised on the floor of Parliament during debates or replies or responses to questions.

Fourthly, the model outlines mechanisms to oversee the compliance of government with all treaties, conventions and protocols and scrutinise the particular reports that go to those agencies.

The fifth mechanism is the establishment of a centre in Parliament, with skilled people to monitor, track and advise committees on oversight work done, outstanding issues to be followed, co-ordination with provinces and other spheres of government to avoid duplication.

The sixth mechanism concerns the amendment the rules to be flexible on the joint reporting of committees.

The seventh concerns the establishment, in the Speakers Office, of an office that would monitor Chapter 9 institutions. The eighth recommendation outlines creating space for MPs to report on their own constituencies' work so that individual members can stand up in Parliament and present reports so that those reports are considered and processed through parliament, and lastly, to introduce sanctioning in case of noncompliance by the executive.

Should all protocol mechanisms be exhausted, and if they do not comply, we need then to call for their sanction if that need arises.

Therefore, that is the model that we are adopting and we are calling upon the National Assembly to adopt this principle and recommendations so that the forthcoming Parliament can then begin to look at the Rules and effect these changes. I thank you.



End of Take


Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, the MF strives to uphold the national Constitution that carries the purported values and dignity of the South African people. Parliament has been empowered by this Constitution of the people and it is our prerogative to undertake our duties in the most suitable manner that the Constitution instructs us to do.

One of our many functions is that we are to hold the executive accountable by regular oversight visits. I am pleased at the introduction of this oversight model that clearly heightens the Parliament's oversight function and allows us to fulfil our duties within a democratic environment.

The MF further feels that it is crucial that in all these visits, representation by all the parties concerned need to be made, especially in the view of the constituency concerned.

We need to remain accountable and answerable to the people at all times. The MF feels that the model ensures this. The MF supports the oversight and accountability of this model. Thank you.


End of Take


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A C Nel): Chairperson and hon members, many of my colleagues have spoken extensively and eloquently about the history and the detail of the oversight model that we are discussing here today, so I won't repeat that.

I want to focus very briefly on the special and very important role that parliamentary committees play in the oversight model. Parliamentary committees are one of the most important mechanisms to facilitate accountability and conduct oversight over the executive.

We have seen over the past years a paradigm shift from committees focusing on legislation to oversight. This new oversight model will bring with it an enormous shift. Previously committees relied on the executive for information; now they will have their own resource personnel, and it is very crucial to develop Parliament's capacity to undertake this performance of its oversight and to fulfil its mandate of holding the executive accountable.

In terms of the new model, parliamentary committees will be expected to develop oversight programmes that are informed by 5-year overarching strategic goals that are in alignment with the vision of Parliament of building an effective People's Parliament. In doing so, parliamentary committees will move from a narrow focus on monitoring the performances of individual departments to a more expansive oversight role of realising the ideal of a better life for all the people.

The new oversight model constitutes a strategic paradigm shift because it is based on the premise that the oversight function of parliamentary committees are knowledge-intensive and that parliamentarians have to deal with a massive amount of information that needs to be processed into useful knowledge in order to carry out their oversight function effectively.

The success or failure of this model is going to depend to a large extent on the support that is given to parliamentary committees. That support entails administrative support, research support, adequate budgets, legal and procedural support, mechanisms to ensure executive co-operation and last but not least the capacitation of members.

On 22 April, we, the people of South Africa, will go to the polls to elect our representatives. It is these representatives who will constitute the fourth Parliament that will be responsible for implementing this oversight model. What is it that this oversight model will have to focus on?

The ANC approaches these elections with a manifesto that recognises clearly that we have made tremendous progress towards the creation of a better life for all over the past 15 years. At the same time, the ANC acknowledges that there is much to be done and that there are many challenges that need to be dealt with.

The ANC manifesto represents a set of workable ideals and plans to deal with these challenges. The ANC has identified five key priority areas for the next five years: firstly, the creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods; secondly, education; thirdly, health; fourthly, rural development, food security and land reform; and fifthly, the fight against crime and corruption.

As the ANC, we will tackle these priorities with all means at our disposal - the resources of government, the vision of the Freedom Charter and the energy and commitment of our people. These priorities set by the ANC, based on extensive consultation and dialogue with our people, will specifically target the needs of the youth, women, workers, the rural poor, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The ANC will build on the economic achievements of the past 15 years. The ANC will use various measures to build and accelerate the sustainable, equitable and inclusive economic growth path to address these five priorities. Our economic and social programmes will work together to ensure that they support each other.

The ANC believes that the developmental state must play a central and strategic role in the economy. The ANC will ensure a more effective government, improve the co-ordination and planning efforts of the developmental state by means of a planning entity to ensure faster change.

A review of the structure of government will be undertaken to ensure effective service delivery. The ANC is committed to ensuring that we develop a service-delivery culture that will put every elected official and public servant to work for the people and ensure accountability to the people. We will continue to develop social partnerships and work with every citizen. The ANC will manage our economy in a manner that ensures that South Africa continues to grow and that all our people benefit from that growth, and that we create decent work for the unemployed, workers, young people, women and the rural poor.

The ANC will remain in touch with the people and listen to their needs. We respect the rule of law and we will defend the Constitution and uphold our multiparty democracy.

We have achieved much in the last 15 years, but we are aware of how much more needs to be done. The fourth Parliament will have to ensure that it implements this oversight model so that it can exercise effective oversight to ensure that the ANC manifesto is implemented. Working together we can do more!

The ANC supports the adoption of the Second Report of the Joint Rules Committee on the Oversight and Accountability Model. Thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party: Chairperson, I move:

I move that the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.


End of Take



(Subject for Discussion)

Ms J L FUBBS: Hon Chairperson, colleagues, comrades and fellow South Africans, decent work is what we all ask for – each one of us sitting in here in this House. I believe and I know that there is no one sitting in these benches who would oppose the principle of decent work for themselves or their families, so surely niether will the South Africans.

The commitment to the provision of decent work is not simply a new ANC slogan, but it can be traced to the Freedom Charter, which embraces the power of sharing. It is within this environment that the ANC government has over the years and over the decades created the conditions in which a developmental state can be built - the kind of state that recognises that people are its greatest and most essential asset, which is why we do not simply talk of but are committed to bring about people-centred solutions. Some of these include a clear focus on rural poverty and will be and are addressed through the ANC programme for land and agrarian reform, food security and rural development.

In this regard, the ANC 2009 election manifesto speaks to the need to ensure the implementation of special-sector programmes embracing industrial trade and other measures backed by adequate resources. And we should remember that adequate resources are not simply finance or money, but it is people, finance and equipment, among other issues, it also includes manufacturing, mining and other vulnerable sectors.

The ultimate aim, however, of all of these special programmes is to ensure that jobs are not simply created but that they are saved and retained. This whole tradition of getting rid of people at the drop of a hat, of casualisation, has to stop for all our benefit if we are going to develop and grow the economy.

Part of building local industries is to ensure that the primary sectors go beyond simply producing goods for export markets without value being added. So at the centre of this is and will be downstream industries for beneficiation to include and expand a broader participation in the economy.

That is why the ANC argues for a comprehensive package of measures to be introduced to promote these programmes, thus ensuring that the natural wealth of this country is shared, and developed locally. The spin-off from this will be the creation of decent work opportunities in both the manufacturing and services sectors.

As we build viable local industries, we know that there is also a need to widen the scope of enterprising by also investing in enterprises such as co-operatives. It is in this regard that we recommitted ourselves in the 2009 election manifesto to engage the private sector for the purpose of facilitating the transformation and also diversification, including the development of the co-operative financial institutions as well as ensuring that the sector contributes to investment and developmental priorities of the country.

Indeed, we will fight unemployment and create decent work. As they say in isiZulu, and mine is not very good...

*** Language spoken has changed to IsiZulu:

Sizozama ngakho konke ukudala amathuba omsebenzi.


We want to build nurturing sectors that can protect jobs and that have a potential to create labour-intensive jobs. This concept of labour intensive jobs has a very high multiplier effect on the eradication of poverty. And for the ANC and all those who believe in decent work that it is the nerve centre of a national democratic society as indeed envisioned by the ANC.

The ANC argues that the national democratic society should be founded on a thriving economy, the structure of which should not only reflect the natural endowments of the country but also the creativity of a skilled population.

What is the private sector doing in this regard? It is right for you, your approach is to say, "Government, government". However, Nobody builds anything alone except an artist. The kind of economy we are building is one that grows along labour-absorbing lines on the one hand, and on the other hand, cutting-edge technology;

industrial development; thriving small business alongside co-operative sectors; the utilisation of information communication technologies; and efficient forms of production and management - all to combine to ensure national prosperity.

I wish to add that we believe that it is critical for us to ensure - and we will ensure - the protection and building of key industries with the potential to eradicate poverty. But eradicating poverty, we must all remember, lies at the very heart of social cohesion and maintaining stability, and in this regard the state will make decisive interventions such as the implementation of the integrated antipoverty programme geared towards not only social assistance but also the sustainable integration of communities into economic activity.

I addition, some of you may have a lot greater respect for the economist Joseph Steiglitz who only recently reiterated in response to the economic crisis that our response as responsible members of our country should be based on social justice and solidarity, and one that goes beyond national boundaries. He stressed the need to reflect on the role of financial markets in the economy and said that they should be evaluated on how they serve citizens and they should not be an end in themselves.

This ANC government, and the next one coming in this year, will not and is not prepared to allow economic growth to be fuelled by unbridled greed and a new breed of predators. Instead we will ensure employment creation by state-led developmental institutions and we will provide decent work opportunities for all because working together we can do more. Indeed we can. Viva South Africa! Viva! [Applause.]

Mr I O DAVIDSON: On a point of order, I would like to congratulate the hon Member on her recent marriage. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): That's not a point of order.

Mr M WATERS: Mr Chairperson, on a point of order, I too should like to congratulate the hon Fubbs on her recent marriage. I do hope she returns as we have great entertainment at her expense.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): We may as well all congratulate her.


End of Take


Ms A M DREYER: Chairperson, times are tough. Unemployment in South Africa, including those who are no longer looking for a job, sits at 36% and accounts for about 7 million people. Most are young, black, and unskilled and have given up hope.

With the global economic downturn, this situation is worsening daily. In the mining sector alone, more than 20 000 jobs have already been lost. However, trade unions in the mining sector have demonstrated a sense of responsibility. The chairman of the National Union of Mine Workers in the North West said their members were willing to give up holidays in order to keep production going and avert further job losses.

Now, if it's okay for workers to negotiate to preserve jobs, why is it not okay for job seekers to negotiate to get a job and why should companies specialising in placing people in jobs, fear being closed down?

Let's look at this situation: Company A offers short-term contract work to unemployed and unskilled people; It pays R46 per day for manual work, which is well below the minimum wage, without medical aid or pension fund benefits.

On the other hand, company B offers short and medium-term contracts to unskilled and semiskilled workers. It complies with all the requirements of the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Bargaining Council Agreements. It also complies with legislation regarding employee deductions for tax, unemployment insurance and occupational injury insurance and contributes to medical aid and pension funds.

It is clear that company A falls far behind company B in providing rewards and benefits to its workers. Well, let me tell you, company A is the government's Expanded Public Works Programme, while company B is a private company called Intuthuko Group Holdings. They are labour brokers. Yet, the private company fears closure for allegedly not providing decent work.

This example illustrates that governments don't provide sustainable jobs; they only provide relief in the form of public works programmes during times of economic hardship. The private sector creates jobs, especially small and medium firms. For a vivid example, look at North and South Korea. North Korea, with its centrally controlled economy, cannot feed its own population; while South Korea, with its free market, prospers.

While smaller firms often need to employ more workers, they don't because of the myriad of rules and regulations, too high minimum wages forced on them by collective bargaining, the cyclical nature of their businesses and because it's too difficult, too costly and too time-consuming to fire people who are not performing.

On the one hand, there is a huge pool of unemployed people who are desperate for a job, on the other, there are local businesses who need to employ people, but don't. We need a bridge to cross this divide. Legitimate labour brokers can play this role by managing the administrative and legal responsibilities of small companies and directing job seekers to employers. In his state of the nation address President Motlanthe said:

A country that does not ensure the involvement of all its population at all levels of economic activity is certainly going to perform well below its actual potential.

The DA agrees with him. Therefore, a DA government will allow law-abiding labour brokers to help connect the two sides of the labour divide, amend job-crushing labour laws to encourage the private sector to employ more people, give tax breaks and wage subsidies to companies for employing first time job seekers, and let job seekers decide for themselves under which conditions they are prepared to work. This way, we can give back hope and restore the dignity of our people. [Applause.]


End of Take


Dr U ROOPNARAIN: Chairperson, hon members, the debate before us is very real and relevant. The times facing us call for urgent resolve. The global economic meltdown is negatively impacting on industries, causing major distress and closure of major production lines.

Worldwide we see massive job losses and foreclosure on homes. Time does not permit me to give details, but the numbers and statistics are frightening. Yet the numbers don't show the clear picture of what is happening as more and more workers are casualised; more and workers are outsourced to labour brokers; more and more workers fall into the trap of low-paid jobs, insecurity and temporary forms of employment.

As a result of the job losses, food prices are on the increase at a faster pace than the state social security system can handle. Coupled with these spiralling levels of unemployment, this spells disaster for ordinary South Africans.

Access to a job means access to dignity. It is a legitimate expectation, even after 15 years of democracy. A denial of a job is a denial of a social economic right, hence culminating in a deficit of trust in the present government. Consequently, the unemployed are unable to contribute either as producers or consumers. The impact of this exclusion of large numbers of people from effective participation in society has a serious effect on social stability. They are denied economic emancipation.

One point that holds true throughout the world is this: To invest in decent work is not only a driver for fairness and justice, but also a move towards better economic performance, more effective public policy and better governance. In so doing, we must ensure that our labour laws are fair and flexible. Show me an economy that grows without jobs or job creation without a growing economy. You cannot - the two are interlinked. There is no such thing as a jobless economy.

Most industries have learned that decent work makes decent workers. It will mean having policies in place to retrain the most vulnerable workers. Yes, the Setas are not working and we need an overhaul here. Billions are spent, yet the quantitative results tell a different story. Setas are fraught with their own problems. The results are uneven and fractured.

Decent work is fairly paid work, safe work, working in an environment where that is gender blind, in a nurturing environment. Pressures are put on the South African skills stocks and this is likely to continue in the near future.

Decent work is what lifts people out of poverty. It gives them a sense of dignity; it gives them a sense of confidence and opportunity. Even when people have jobs today their level of insecurity and uncertainty has mounted. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the current job situation is its impact on young people. Research shows that it takes a young person from anywhere 18 months to 36 months, to find a job.

Employment and improvement of working conditions have been frustratingly slow. Research shows that close to 70% of our youth are unemployed and the challenges are indeed immense. Any policy has to transcend race, gender and identity.

As we approach the elections we face critical choices over what solutions to adopt. Democracy demands that this should be debated and contested. Recently, the leader of the IFP, the hon Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said:

We don't need anymore political statements. We don't need anymore conferences or summits. We need action.

People are waiting for policies of action. They don't need rhetoric; they need tangible results. Thank you. [Applause.]


End of Take


Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, the ACDP is in full agreement that efforts to eradicate unemployment have a far greater chance of success if the building of local industries is a key focus. In order to create decent or good, honest work we must not only build what is local but attract industries from near and far to relocate to South Africa.

The ACDP is convinced that a particular focus on rural development through incentives for industries to relocate to rural areas, will address many problems, including those resulting from mass urban migration; incentives that include the necessary infrastructure and training facilities for relevant skills to facilitate these industries. It will also be important to reduce the cost and obstacles of doing business. Steps must be taken to reduce red tape and streamline approval processes.

The ACDP would like to see greater support for small business development with greater access to financial assistance and mentorship programmes; more privatisation and labour intensive initiatives; the streamlining of labour legislation to remove obstructions to growth within the framework of fair labour practices; a focus on investment in infrastructure to address the power crisis, ports, roads, public transportation, water and sanitation systems; the development of a culture of savings, investment and the patient building of capital and hard work.

We would also like to see a broader socioeconomic upliftment instead of the current culture of entitlement and the enrichment of a small group; training and development within industries through grants, tax incentives for apprenticeship, appropriate skills and for labour intensive practices; a greater emphasis on beneficiation or adding value to raw materials, particularly in the mining and agricultural industries; initiatives to address the developmental challenges of women, in particular rural women; and intensified efforts towards fair trade internationally.

The ACDP believes that this will lead to the creation of decent work, of jobs and entrepreneurship, helping us to win the fight against unemployment. The ACDP has noted with interest that in both rural and urban communities, initiatives centred on working with markets that draw on existing activities among the poor have proven beneficial and should be encouraged. Where goods and services are delivered without linking people to market opportunities, despite good intentions these initiatives are just not sustainable and ultimately fail, leaving people more despondent than ever.

The role of the state should always be primarily that of providing security, upholding the rule of law, ensuring society has the right institutions and infrastructure for effective development, building capacity, extending property rights to as many as possible and providing an uncomplicated regulatory framework. Thank you.


End of Take


Prof B TUROK: Chairperson, I would like to thank the last two speakers for really thoughtful contributions, in particular the hon Dudley. I think we can talk to each other and do business. Your approach was a very positive one and much to be welcomed, in contrast with the hon Dreyer's contribution.

We talk about "Neanderthal man", but there is also "Neanderthal woman", and it is quite remarkable how the values she espouses are really harking back decades, if not centuries. I mean to argue today that the labour market brokers make a positive contribution to South Africa, is really quite remarkable. The labour brokers' job is to undermine permanent jobs, well-established jobs that are protected precisely by collective bargaining, which is part of our history and part of our liberation.

Have you not heard that the movement that brought this democracy and yourself to this House was based on defending the rights of workers against labour brokers? The labour brokers are actually a pain, a sore spot in the sight of people like us who want to see a decent South Africa.

Furthermore, the hon Dreyer - and I could spend my whole speech on her, but I will just make one more point - cites the statistics of 36% of unemployment. Clearly, you can cite statistics about unemployment every day and they will differ. The truth is that we all know unemployment for what it is, but it is very difficult to define.

The International Labour Organisation has made one definition, which in my opinion is a rather silly one. Unemployment is defined by the ILO as "somebody who is paid for one hour a week". That is called an employed person. Clearly, it is far too sweeping and really unacceptable. It is very difficult to define unemployment as it is difficult to define employment in a developing country. If you go to any country across Africa you will see that there are grades of employment, part-time employees, voluntary employees, and so on; so one cannot cite the statistics of 36% as though it is a fact. This is a matter of careful definition and we need much more science than the hon member brought to the process. [Interjections.]

An HON MEMBER: Chairperson, will the hon member Turok like to take a question?

Prof B TUROK: I would love to take a question.

An HON MEMBER: Does the hon member deny that we have an unemployment problem in South Africa?

Prof B TUROK: I am grateful for that question and the answer is yes, we have a very substantial unemployment problem. There is no doubt about that, and one of the reasons for the increase of unemployment is because there are many, many new entrants onto the labour market.

The fact of the matter is that democracy in South Africa has brought many women onto the labour market who would never have been there under apartheid. [Applause.]

Secondly, the removal of the pass laws, the removal of all the apartheid laws has brought freedom to many people, which they didn't have before and now they are looking for work. This is something in a way to recognise and even to celebrate because those people now feel that they can be part of the workforce, whereas if you had been in power before 1994, they would have still have had the apartheid legislation and all the rest. So, the answer is yes. [Applause.]

Let me pay attention to the rest of the resolution facing us, and that is the question of decent work. Some people interpret the clause "decent work" as referring only to formal sector employees working in industry or in the service sector. We have discussed this thing at Polokwane and at the Alliance Economic Summit, and we came up with a definition of what decent work means.

I hope the hon members on this side will accept that it is not only people in formal sector jobs who want decent work. There are plenty of people in the informal sector and in the second economy who also want decent work. Indeed, there are many casual workers - the kind of people that the labour brokers are so keen on - who also want decent work, so the ANC stands for decent work for everyone at all levels, even the most casual by-products of the formal sector. We want decent work and it is a very important concept that we must take forward.

Let me spend a little time on the question of building local industries, which is not as simple as some people think. The fact of the matter is, this government is about to embark on a huge infrastructure programme. It is important that that infrastructure programme should not only be carried out by the large construction firms in South Africa and international firms, but this infrastructure programme should be carried out with two things in mind.

Firstly, it must open up the whole country's economic activity, including the rural areas. We must ensure that the infrastructure programme also leads to decent roads in the Transkei and the former homelands. Therefore, infrastructure must be seen not merely as the Gautrain and highways between the major cities of South Africa, but also as instruments of opening up the whole of South Africa including the underdeveloped, rural areas which have been neglected for so long.

Secondly, the infrastructure programme must surely include semiskilled workers and even unskilled workers who are given work, and not only highly-skilled workers in automated companies using high-quality machinery.

What kind of local industries do we want? I think sometimes we've been confused by the notion that all industries must be export-oriented, that the main way of developing South Africa must be through export-led growth. I don't agree! It seems to me that what the local industries must do is to provide work for people, goods for the local economy and they must focus on the domestic market.

Indeed, there is a large debate internationally as to whether economic development and economic progress must be focused only on the international globalisation arena or whether industrial development and industries, local industries in particular, ought not to be primarily focused on the communities in which they are based and on the local market.

Let me give you an example, I visited Kgalagadi near Kuruman not long ago. It is an area with a great deal of mining. None of those mines are integrated in any way into the local community. When I asked people there what kind of local economy they have, they said they don't have an economy, forgetting that there are large mining companies in that area which are exporting South Africa's resources without any benefit to the local people in that area.

So when we talk about unemployment, decent work and building local industries, let us go to those very mining companies and tell them that we require them to outsource locally; to employ locally; to build infrastructure programmes and above all to beneficiate so that we have local products and commodities which are part of the South African economy.

In summing up, I want to say that South Africa is very rich in natural resources, but the riches of South Africa do not benefit South Africa. They benefit companies overseas and they provide low-price commodities externally and internationally. It is time we reverse that. Our mineral and natural resources must generally benefit South Africa.

If you want to know more, please read my new book From the Freedom Charter to Polokwane: The Evolution of ANC Economic Policy. I recommend this to the hon Dreyer. Thank you.


End of Take


Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, this morning the SABC 2 news had a member of the Small Business Development Agency who certainly offered glimmers of hope for the development of the sector. However, progress is slow and the effects of poverty are fast.

While we certainly can applaud the rate of jobs created, we cannot applaud the lack of security in long-term employment and that many of these posts should have not been ended, leaving families in a similar situation on the expiration of contracts.

Another matter of concern is that the agriculture and mining industries remain at the forefront and their condition remains under the drawing board. The hon Minister of Finance's indication of investing in rural South Africa and creating assistance to farmers does give the rural communities a ray of hope, but many remain unemployed.

We need to necessitate the production and selling of South African goods, with South African labels, and made by South Africans. We need to look at all ends of manufacturing and create a totally self-sufficient industry that employs and empowers our people. We need job security, long-term security, which is established by creating opportunities through sustainable industrial growth. I thank you.


End of Take


Mr L M GREEN: Chairperson, hon members and the Federation of Democrats. A member of the CDA believes that the time has come to change the way we think about economics.

Traditionally economics is about the survival of the fittest as the better way of doing things to attain what is good for the society. Such reasoning creates the practice that resources or production are best utilised within a system of monopolies and cartels and that the surviving businesses must fight and bribe each other to procure business deals. At individual level, people almost destroy one another to get ahead, which is seen as an acceptable practice.

Unemployment is partly a consequence of resources being controlled by a few powerful businesses which determine the flow of supply and demand. We need a radically different global economic system. An economic system based on greed and the exploitation of people cannot survive the test of time. The global economy is facing its most dire challenge since 1939. Most First World countries are in recession and possibly depression.

We need a more compassionate market system that can limit our dependence on foreign market controls. Yes, we have to contest at global market levels, but when such contests threaten our own ability to feed and employ our nation, other measures must be initiated. For instance, our clothing industry, once a proud industry of employment, had to be substituted with inferior imports from foreign nations that are known to exploit cheap labour. We must put labour back in the hands of our people.

We must create industries that protect our environment. We build cars, but they contribute to the pollution of the environment. Let us build more railways; invest more in a public transport system that is close to the people and that reduces the costs of their travel. We need a new labour deal that differentiates between global and national requirements. I thank you.


End of Take



Mr R J KING: Voorsitter, geagte kollegas, vergun my 'n opregte dankie-sê geleentheid met my laaste parlementêre toespraak na 40 jaar in die aktiewe politiek.

Ek het geen ander grootmenslewe geken nie en is aan die einde van 1969 direk van die universiteitsbanke by die Nasionale Party van Kaapland as voltydse amptenaar aangestel. Na diens in Kaapstad, Kimberley en Oos-Londen is ek in 1979 deur die Worcesterkiesafdeling, wat my geboortedorp, Robertson, insluit, verkies tot die Provinsiale Raad van Kaapland.

Ek is sedertdien die unieke geleentheid gegun om oor 'n dienstyd van ses termyne die kiesers van die Breëriviervallei te verteenwoordig. Die ou provinsiale raad, die Volksraad, die Wes-Kaapse parlement en nou die Nasionale Vergadering.

As ek vandag dankie sê aan die mense van Worcester en Robertson dan is dit met 'n uiterste besef van die liefde, lojaliteit en ondersteuning wat so onverdiend mildelik myne was oor drie dekades heen. Waar ek hier tussen u staan met 'n hart vol dankbaarheid na 'n politieke lewe vol hoogtepunte wat ek vir geen ander lewe sou wou verruil nie, 'n paar gedagtes vir die pad vorentoe.

'n Politikus wat met albei voete in Kaapstad geplant staan en skaars grondvat in sy of haar bedieningsgebied, versaak 'n groter roeping en doen die beeld van 'n verteenwoordiger skade aan. Ek het in my loopbaan dikwels belowende parlementslede aan die hand van hul ondersteuningsbasis tuis gesien sneuwel, om rede die kiesafdelingsdeel van hul roeping afgeskeep is.

Deernis en nederigheid, vir my oneindig belangriker as vertoon en aanstellerigheid, verseker 'n plek in ons mense se harte. Hoe geringer u en ek onsself aanslaan in die oë van ons steunbasis, hoe hoër sal hulle ons ag en die monumente wat u en ek staangemaak het in antwoord op die behoeftes in ons gemeenskappe – huise, paaie, dienste, welsynshulp, brood op die tafel, maar ook infrastruktuur vir dié wat deur entrepreneurskap welvaart moet skep - is geensins minderwaardag aan die rol wat ons in hierdie plek gespeel het om die demokrasie sterk te maak nie en sal die een been nie staan sonder die steun van die ander nie.

Ek sien rykhalsend uit na die terugkeur van die kiesafdelingstelsel in ons land wanneer parlementslede weer volle verantwoording vir hul doen en late op die tuisfront verskuldig sal wees. Dit is die ware remedie vir kliekforming, nepotisme, swak dienslewering en al die onwelriekende goggas wat spruit uit die huidige gebrekkige stelsel, 'n stelsel tans waar die partyleier die enigste kieser is wat tevrede gehou moet word om nog 'n termyn te verseker.

Kollegas, ons teenwoordigheid hier is tydelik – vyf, tien, vyftien jaar as ons gelukkig is. Al my dank aan my Hemelse Vader wat my so uitermatig geseën het en aan my vrou, Carlin, en ons kinders wat met hul bystand alles moontlik gemaak het.

Meer mense het tot my en my lewe en roeping bygedra as wat ek ooit kan vergoed - vrywillig, lojaal en onbaatsugtig. Dankie aan hulle daar buite. [Applous.] Mag u voel dat ook ons geringe bydrae sal help verseker dat hierdie geliefde land onder die Suiderkruis sal slaag. Ek dank u. [Applous.]


End of Take


Ms O R KASIENYANE: Madam Speaker, members of the executive present here, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, we have reached yet another milestone when millions of South Africans will gather at various polling stations around our land to practice their democratic right of electing a government of their choice. And yet this is also a period laden with a number of challenges. For that reason it is also an opportune moment for leaders to be carried away by words and political rhetoric.

While logic and dialectics should be guided by philosophical constructs to win the hearts of potential voters, history should reign over words.

Chairperson, since 1994, the ANC has worked hard to free our people from the chains of poverty. Our history tells a story of an organisation that has championed the will of the people through the Freedom Charter, which states that the people shall govern, share in the country's wealth, be equal before the law, enjoy human rights, and that there shall be work and security, the doors of learning shall be open, that there shall be houses, security and comfort and that there shall be peace and friendship.

And that for these freedoms, we shall continue to fight side by side throughout our lives until our people have broken the chains of poverty! Our history as a people's movement confirms that the ANC, and only the ANC, can fight unemployment, create decent work and build an efficient economy. Using the words of the great leader of our time, the late OR Tambo, I quote:

Just as we shall never rest till we are freed so shall we work till all the non-Europeans get equal treatment.

This election year comes at a time of global crisis. South Africa, as a player in the global markets, is not immune to all these developments. Already faced with massive challenges, the South African labour market is heavily burdened with poverty and inequality, which are as a result of an extremely skewed income distribution.

While there has been steady economic growth of 2,7% per annum between 1995 and 2002, disappointingly this rate has not yet been fast enough for a fast-growing population. Inequality has increased and the workers' share of national income has been declining. Accompanying high unemployment and inequality is the rising cost of living for many of our people.

The period after 1994 saw the unemployment rate increase to a 31% peak, but it fell to 23% in 2003. The ANC government has been swimming against the tide since 1994 to change perceptions about our country, our continent and about our abilities as Africans to be more than what our colonial masters perceived us to be.

The battle is not yet won! While there are a fast-growing number of black people who now fall within the middle class, the Bureau of Market Research released statistical findings which confirm that the white population still dominates the high-income bracket.

In recognition of the global labour market development, the ANC has recommitted itself to the creation of decent work opportunities for all South Africans. That is what the DA doesn't know about – the decent work - and I hope Mrs Dreyer got a good lecture from the hon Turok. The emergence of atypical forms of work, which are nonstandard forms of employment, pose a serious threat to the protection of workers, particularly those in vulnerable sectors.

Workers who fall under this category are deprived of their workplace rights as they are regarded as casuals. Their employment relations are shaped to deprive them of their statutory and constitutional rights as employees. These are farmworkers, domestic workers, home workers and security guards, amongst others.

The real challenge rests with employers who discard their responsibilities hiding behind the legislation. A study that examined cases referred to the CCMA and Labour Court, found that the majority of cases were dismissed due to the difficulty in determining the correct employer.

Theoretically, part-time and temporary workers are protected by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. However, certain provisions are not readily applicable to workers in part-time or temporary positions, or are bluntly not applied in practice.

Subsequent to these practices, there are also disparities in wages between workers in standard employment and externalised employment. This makes reasonable business sense and is logical. However, it also has fatal consequences for decent work and socioeconomic rights as preserved by the Constitution.

While we continue to search for solutions, Namibia has taken bold steps in curbing these forms of abuses. In the decision by the High Court of Namibia, the government won a case which outlaws labour brokers in the country.

Namibia has set the pace for us as well, that we should put a stop to employers who choose to pay low wages, hire and fire at ease without any trouble at all. As a result of feminisation of poverty, it is mostly female workers who are attracted to these informal employment arrangements and the poor wages paid to them do not ensure poverty alleviation.

Hence the current labour market reproduces gender and race in equalities because most casual workers are either female or African. In short, casualisation of work, or labour brokerage, moves against all that we continue to fight for: an equal society, where all citizens, regardless of race or gender should have equal socioeconomic rights. For this reason, government has to swiftly address legislative gaps.

Equally, to remedy all these numerous setbacks, we have to put in place measures that resulted in 500 000 new jobs created annually since 2004 and have expanded the UIF coverage to include nearly a million domestic workers and farmworkers.

Other laws aimed at workers include those setting out basic conditions of employment, regulations setting minimum wages for domestic workers, farmworkers, those in the taxi industry and security sectors. These measures will undoubtedly form the basis to move forward with our campaign against poverty and inequality.

These new realities call for us to rethink how we create jobs and which sectors to focus on. In reality, we cannot continue operating as we did before this global crisis. Those of us who have been entrusted with the responsibility ... [Interjections.] ... Working together we can do more! [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Debate concluded.


End of Take



(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Defence)


(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Defence)


(Consideration of Report by Portfolio Committee of Defence)

Mr S B NTULI: Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and hon members, following the notable issues from the Reports of the Portfolio Committee on Defence on the Annual Reports and Financial Statements of the Department of Defence, the Armaments Corporation of South Africa and the Annual Report of Castle of Good Hope, the following could be highlighted:

The need for the committee to be briefed on the defence update 20-25; the decisive management of human resource matters of the Department of Defence, DoD, including labour matters; the conclusion of regulations pertaining to the prohibition of Mercenary Activities Act; the rejuvenation of the SA National Defence Force through the necessary skills development systems; and the backlog in the maintenance of the Department of Defence facilities.

In the committee report on the annual report of Armaments Corporation of South Africa, Armscor, there was a finalisation of the grievance against the CEO by the general manager of corporate affairs, and the associated costs and management challenges. The committee expressed the concern that it had not been continually informed and consulted about the restructuring of Armscor and the defence-related industries.

In the committee report on the annual report of the Castle of Good Hope, the outstanding matters of noncompliance with the relevant legislation and matters of governance, as raised by the Auditor General, should be addressed as a matter of agency.

The development of a strategic business plan should be finalised as soon as possible. The DoD should ensure that there is a holistic preservation the maintenance of the Castle and the related defence endowment properties. The SANDF has successfully executed its ordered commitments comprised of six peace support operations, six general military assistance missions and three internal deployments.

The role of the ANC-led government in the DRC needs to be expanded here. For us to understand those deployments, perhaps we were supposed to bear the following in mind. The DRC is bordered by the nine countries as its neighbours – the Congo Brazzaville, the Central Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola.

Why is peace and reconstruction of the DRC important for South Africa and Africa as a whole? The DRC is critical for the holistic development of Africa because, amongst other things, it has more natural resources than any other country in the world. It has a population of 60 million people living in abject poverty and thus their suffering could not be ignored.

The DRC has plenty of strategic resources, for example, water, which could feed the rest of the continent. It is rich in minerals and its strengths vary, but outsmart the rest of the continent and some European countries combined.

Thus when looking at the ANC-led government taking a keen interest in the conflict resolution of the DRC and some of its surrounding neighbouring countries, it did so having in mind the broad goals of peace, reconstruction and development of Africa and the whole world.

It is for this reason that we in the ANC take pride in our involvement in peace-keeping missions. We appreciate the continuous commitment, sacrifice and professional service displayed by our men and women in uniform in serving their country, continent and people.

I hereby commend the annual reports of the Department of Defence, Armscor, the Castle of Good Hope and the defence-related industries before Parliament for adoption. I thank you. [Applause.]

There was no debate.


That the Reports be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report of Portfolio Committee on Defence on Annual Report and Financial Statements of Department of Defence for Financial year accordingly adopted.

Report of Portfolio Committee on Defence on 2007/2008 Annual Report of Armaments Corporation of South Africa, Pty Ltd accordingly adopted.

Report of Portfolio Committee on Defence on 2007/2008 Annual Report of Castle of Good Hope accordingly adopted.

The House adjourned at 16:27.


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