Hansard: Debate on the President 's State of the Nation Address
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 03 Jun 2009
No summary available.
Thursday, 4 June 2009 Take: 18
THURSDAY, 4 JUNE 2009
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:10.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
FILLING IN VACANCIES
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to announce that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly owing to Mr J G Zuma being elected President has been filled by the nomination of Ms T E Lishivha with effect from 12 May 2009 and the vacancy which occurred due to the passing away of Ms K N Shoba has been filled by the nomination of Ms T D Chiloane with effect from 21 May 2009.
The vacancies which occurred owing to the resignations of Ms N C Madlala-Routledge and Mr T J Mathebula have been filled, with effect from 5 May 2009, by the nominations of Ms P E Adams and Mr E N Ngcobo respectively.
The members have made and subscribed the oath and affirmation in my office on 27 May 2009.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
DEBATE ON THE PRESIDENT'S STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I have received a copy of the President of the Republic's address delivered at the Joint Sitting on Wednesday, 3 June 2009, and the speech has been printed in the Minutes of the Joint Sitting.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, hon President, before the President's inauguration on 9 May 2009, it rained to purify our land and its people. The sun shined immediately to mark the moment of renewal and to signal the pleasure of God and the gods at the ascension of the popularly elected President Jacob Zuma to the throne. [Applause.]
The inauguration of the President marked the beginning of the era of renewal. His opening address to Parliament contained a ten-point national programme of renewal. The programme is deeply rooted in spiritual and moral values that the President, like his predecessors, cherishes and believes are the prerequisites for building cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.
In the opening paragraph of his speech, the President displayed a deep commitment to the moral and democratic culture and values born out of the spirituality and protracted struggles of our people, which gave birth to freedom and independence from the inhuman apartheid system. He highlighted the people's desire for change and their endorsement of the ANC's call for unity and co-operation, for continuity and change.
He reaffirmed the vision of an inclusive society, united in its diversity, and the collective wellbeing embodied in the Freedom Charter, which profoundly influenced the 1996 Constitution. The President recognised and acknowledged that the ANC received a decisive electoral mandate to create a cohesive, caring and sustainable society based on spiritual, moral and democratic values.
Furthermore, he demonstrated his confidence in the institutions of democracy, including the judiciary, established on the basis of, and to give effect to, our revolutionary democratic culture and values. He recognised and acknowledged the contribution of the founding President of the Republic, Tata Nelson Mandela, and his successors, Comrades Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, and highlighted our culture of continuity and collective responsibility, and our exceptional ability to manage change.
President Zuma placed the war against poverty at the centre of our efforts to recover the humanity of black people as the surest means of securing the humanity of all South Africans, both black and white. He made the war against poverty the cornerstone of his administration, because he knows from experience that poverty dehumanises, that is, it robs people of their humanity.
The President reaffirmed that through social partnerships we can recover our humanity and its inherent values, and create cohesive, caring and sustainable communities. He and our revolutionary movement, the ANC, did not suddenly discover spiritual and moral values because of the 2009 elections. From its inception, the ANC's moral vision was shaped by spirituality and revolutionary moral values.
In his 1892 public lecture titled "Upon my Native Land", the founding president of the ANC and self-confessed Ethiopian Christian John Langalibalele Dube foresaw the birth of a spiritual, humane, caring and prosperous Africa. The values were echoed by Dr Pixley Isaka Ka Seme, the convener of the founding conference of the ANC and the architect of the concept of an African Renaissance.
In his ground-breaking speech, the President echoed Dr Pixley Isaka Ka Seme's call for unity and co-operation. In his call for social partnerships President Zuma followed the path of the founders of the ANC, who included intellectuals, and traditional and religious leaders. The President's commitment to work for a better Africa and world stems from the ANC 1919 constitution, which described it as a Pan-African organisation.
Soon after its formation the ANC realised and acknowledged the need to build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities. For instance, in 1921 Rev Z R Mahabane observed in a public lecture that Africans were degraded and forcibly robbed of their humanity, denied the vote, and made landless, homeless and hopeless. Thus at the 1923 ANC national conference, Mahabane argued that the African condition challenged the ANC to strive for the recovery of African humanity - ubuntu/botho - as a prerequisite for the recovery of the humanity of all people, both black and white. At this conference the ANC adopted the first bill of rights on the African continent.
The opening paragraph of this bill reasserted the African humanity and went on to demand the participation of African people in the economic life of the country. In 1943 the ANC adopted the African Claims, the second bill of rights, which called for the right of African people to self-determination, and cultural, social and economic rights, five years before the universal declaration of human rights.
In 1945 the Pan-African Congress held in Manchester in the United Kingdom established the principle that working together we can achieve our rights. The conference called on peasants and workers, intellectuals, students, women and the youth, traditional and religious leaders to use all the means at their disposal to liberate their countries.
The 1955 Freedom Charter, adopted under the stewardship of former ANC president Albert Luthuli, which shaped our vision of postapartheid South Africa and profoundly influenced our Constitution, was the product of unity and co-operation of the kind that President Zuma spoke about. The first and only Congress of the People on South African soil inherited and propagated revolutionary morality and values of a cohesive and caring society. [Applause.] Nkosi Luthuli embraced all sectors and people of different political persuasions. He reconciled his African culture, Christianity, traditional leadership and political leadership, and saw nothing wrong in the alliance between the workers' organisations and the Communist Party of South Africa, among others.
Like Seme, Nkosi Albert Luthuli called for a unique civilisation for Africa and Africans. Following in his path, President Zuma told a gathering of intellectuals at the University of Johannesburg that universities should not produce graduates who are aliens to themselves. These are the values that President Zuma called on us to use for building cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.
Since his election as the ANC president in Polokwane, the President called on the youth, women, the rural poor, workers, professionals, traditional healers, organisations, and traditional and religious leaders to work together for the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans. The social partnerships which emerged from this call led to unprecedented social mobilisation.
For the first time South Africa saw a high level of racial and religious tolerance that led to interfaith gatherings, including traditional healers and practitioners of African religion. This racial and religious tolerance has also seen the birth of a partnership between Afrikaner churches, the ANC Commission on Religious Affairs and the interfaith National Religious Leaders' Forum that is rooted among the people. The forum and its provincial, regional and local structures have put moral regeneration for sustainable development at the centre of its desired partnership with government for the creation of cohesive, caring and sustainable communities. In its manifesto, the ANC undertook to enter into partnerships with interfaith forums to advance social education for moral regeneration, religious tolerance, social cohesion and development.
President Zuma is alive to moral decay in our society. He condemns all manifestations of moral degeneration. The envisaged partnership between the President's administration and interfaith organisations should address, inter alia, the challenges of moral degeneration through social education. The President derived his moral vision from his predecessors, especially our icon, Nelson Mandela, and ANC conference resolutions. For instance, in his address to the National Interfaith Leaders' Summit, he observed that our Constitution embodies the values of the just and caring society that the ANC seeks to build. More specifically, he observed that the ANC seeks to build, and I quote:
A caring society based on ubuntu values and principles. Our value system, based on ubuntu, promotes social cohesion and nation-building by transcending our cultural, religious, racial, gender and class differences.
One of the resolutions of the Polokwane Conference was to integrate ubuntu/botho values and principles into public policy. The ANC strategy and tactics document, adopted by the Polokwane Conference, highlights the universality of the spiritual philosophy of ubuntu. It states, and I quote:
The dark night of white minority political domination is receding into a distant memory, yet we are only at the beginning of a long journey to a truly united, democratic and prosperous South Africa in which the value of all citizens is measured by their humanity, without regard to gender, race and social status.
The Polokwane Conference therefore correctly elevated ubuntu principles to an overarching value system for all South Africans, both black and white. In his address to the National Interfaith Leaders' Summit, held in Kempton Park on 27 November 2008, the President reaffirmed ubuntu values and principles, and I quote:
The challenge is how do we then inculcate these values in our society, starting with our children? We want to use education as a tool to cultivate moral and social values among the youth and encourage them to lead healthy lifestyles.
We want our children to respect the next person on the basis of their humanity and not based on their status in life. To promote these values among all people, we need to work together in all provinces in a structured way. The provincial interfaith forums should play a leading role in promoting moral regeneration and in the promotion of values to help us build the caring society we envisage.
The National Interfaith Leaders' Forum and its provincial structures have identified social dialogues and education as the surest means of moral regeneration for sustainable development. The President envisaged the partnership between interfaith organisations and government in definite and emphatic terms, and I quote:
We also see a critical role for religious bodies in providing social education and to help us build a caring society. From their inception, religious institutions played both a spiritual support and developmental role.
A parish should have a house of worship; a library; community hall; community gardens; workshops for creative industries; health clinics; and a school.
On partnership between the interfaith organisations and government, President Zuma had this to say:
Many church institutions have underutilised facilities, which can be used for social education in partnership with government and the private sector. Social education would be addressed, in particular moral regeneration and social development. Most importantly, we urge the faith communities to partner with us to achieve moral regeneration for sustainable development. Together with faith-based organisations we engaged in the struggle to eradicate racism, sexism, gender inequalities and class oppression. Since 1994 we have also worked together on reconstruction and development.
In September 2008 the ANC wished all religions well, including African religion, celebrating their spiritual and cultural festivals as the surest means of inculcating values and principles. African religion is not only a fountainhead of spiritual and moral values, but it is also important for moral regeneration, rural development and agrarian reform. It provides an indigenous calendar that regulates spiritual, cultural and agricultural festivals based on a cosmic framework which transcends race, creed and religion. For instance, the African calendar system places the new year in September, which is shared by the Muslim, Jewish and many indigenous African faith communities. The recognition of this calendar would promote rural development and agriculture based on indigenous knowledge systems that are rooted in African tangible and intangible heritage. The annual celebration of these cultural festivals by rural communities would restore spiritual and moral values, work ethic, love for agriculture and the culture of self-help and self-reliance.
The role of faith communities in development, as envisaged by the President, poses challenges to government departments, especially arts and culture, social development, education and agriculture, to consider urgently the establishment of the desired partnerships with interfaith organisations for sustainable development.
In conclusion, on his 91st birthday on 18 July 2009, we shall be celebrating Mandela Day, which offers us a platform to recall and internalise the ubuntu values and principles that Mandela espoused and used in his service of humanity in our troubled land. The annual celebration of this day will offer us a platform to celebrate and internalise our history, culture and revolutionary values of human compassion, social and international solidarity. The day offers all of us, including workers, families and learners, the opportunity to let their inner light shine upon others through service to others.
Through the constituency offices throughout the country, the ANC will call on all communities and sectoral organisations to celebrate Mandela Day on 18 July 2009 by spending at least 67 minutes of their time doing something useful within their communities, especially among the less fortunate. [Applause.] This will mark the beginning of a nationwide effort to build a caring society. On this day the ANC idea of an activist Parliament will be realised. All public representatives will be instructed to lead community work campaigns on Mandela Day every year.
All of the things I have said above proceeds from the understanding that comprehensive social transformation entails changing the material conditions of all South Africans for the better. It also ensures that we forge a nation inspired by values of human solidarity. It is the combination of these factors that describes the civilisation of national democracy we seek to build. Thank you. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Speaker, hon members and distinguished guests, President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma …
Wena mfokaMsholozi, Nxamalala … [Ihlombe.] … kaphuma ephethe inyama ngapha namasi ngapha, siyakuhalalisela ngokukhethwa kwakho Msholozi.
Mina neqembu engiliholayo i-Democratic Alliance siyalihlonipha ihhovisi lakho, futhi singathanda kakhulu uma ingxenye yeqembu eliphikisayo kanye nabalandeli abayizigidi ezinthathu abalikhethile nabo bahlonishwe.
Mr President, you reminded us at your inauguration that this fourth democratic term of office is a moment of national renewal. You committed yourself and this Parliament to the historic undertaking made by President Mandela that never, never and never again would this land experience the oppression of one by another.
You referred to the spirit of reconciliation that shone so brightly through the, regrettably, all too brief window of national pride during the late 1990s. The window is still there. All we need do is draw back the dark drapings that have shut out the light in the past decade. This is a task that we are all surely up to.
We were treated yesterday to the powerful words of two patriotic poets that provided us with soul food. We, the privileged few of this Parliament, must take care of our national thread.
You committed yourself to this in Pretoria. You said:
I commit myself to the service of the nation, with dedication, commitment, discipline, integrity, hard work and passion.
I, too, commit myself and my 66 colleagues in the National Assembly and my 10 colleagues in the NCOP to do the same.
Your State of the Nation Address was indeed positive. We need to be positive in these difficult times, but we need to be realistic and honest about the economic realities too. We have no choice in this regard because the people of this country have become disillusioned by what we do or don't do here.
If we do not change the way we do things, we might hear from the people of this country what the parliament of Oliver Cromwell heard from him when he put their term of office to end in 1653. Cromwell said that those representatives had dishonoured the parliament by their contempt of all virtue and practice of every vice. He said, and I quote:
You have grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, yet yourselves have become the greatest grievances and enemies to all good government.
Mr President, your international undertaking to hold ourselves to the highest standards of service, probity and integrity and to build a society that prizes excellence, rewards effort and shuns laziness and incompetence, is the clarion call that our nation so desperately needs and deserves to hear.
The challenge, however, is not only to speak these fine words, as you did yesterday, but to ensure that they translate into fine actions. There are immediate concerns that this noble intent is being undermined right here in the parliamentary committees by the appointment of people to positions of public authority who obviously do not espouse these values, people who have actually defrauded Parliament. The ANC will have to consider whether these appointments are in accordance with your public blueprint for national renewal and the call to arms against the cancer of corruption that is ravaging this country. [Applause.]
The DA commits itself to the proposed partnership for reconstruction, development and progress that you spoke of, Sir, because you said that in this partnership there is a place for all South Africans, black and white. I found it significant that you made no differentiation between the languages they speak or their ethnicity; this is the essence of a true, successful rainbow nation.
The party that I represent here is a party for all South Africans and we have promised our almost 3 million voters that we will contribute to building one nation with one future. Therefore, if you mean what you say, we can be partners in building this country into a prosperous nation.
As jy kyk hoe ons, as die DA, hier lyk, sal jy besef dat ons 'n weerspieëling van ons bevolking is, en, nog meer, dat ons almal Suid-Afrikaners in murg en been is. Ons verteenwoordig nie kolonialiste of uitgeweke Suid-Afrikaners nie. U of die ANC kan ons nie wegwens nie, want ons is kinders van die stof van die vasteland van Afrika. Ons het nie 'n ander heenkome nie. Suid-Afrika is ons tuisland en ons wil en sal tot haar vooruitgang bydra deur ons rol as die amptelike Opposisie in die Parlement.
Professor George Devenish recently said:
A responsible opposition is as necessary to the proper functioning of parliamentary democracy as is a responsible government. It simply requires political maturity to recognise this fact.
Personally, hon President, I am South African to my core. The bookcase in my office proudly accommodates my grandfather's Hansard records of his contribution in this Parliament, and they have found their way back to Parliament more than half a century later. I come from a family that has served this country and also paid the ultimate price over generations. My family and I remain committed to this cycle of service, motivated by proud patriotism and a deep love for this country. So are my colleagues. [Applause.]
Mr President, I appreciate the way you welcomed our party's leader, Premier Helen Zille, to your Cabinet lekgotla. You have done what you committed yourself to doing at your inauguration on 9 May, where you said that you would -
... seek a vibrant, dynamic partnership that is enriched by democratic debate, that values diverse views and accommodates dissent.
This example will, hopefully, eventually reach the ANC representatives in the Western Cape legislature and their alliance partners too.
Amalungu e-ANC apha eKapa awonwabanga, ngakumbi la ahleli kweli cala lasekhohlo. Kambe ke aza kude aliqhele eli cala.
The DA is accustomed to sitting on the left-hand side of the House - here and in most provinces – but all opposition parties aspire to occupy the benches that you and your party occupy. We have now achieved this in the Western Cape and plan to do so here too. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
We will not be spectators or passive participants in this House. We will hold you to account on your electoral and manifesto promises. We will play an even more vigilant oversight role, but will always offer alternate views and advice in the best interests of the country in this regard. The role of the planning and monitoring commissions, with regard to performance evaluation of the Cabinet, will be closely watched. I hope this evaluation will be implemented better than the evaluation under the Public Finance Management Act and Municipal Finance Management Act that are also performance related.
Speaking of that, it is now more important than ever that we recognise the full extent of the international recession and the fact that we are firmly gripped therein. We must begin to isolate the opportunities for South Africa in this global predicament. Many skilled people who left our shores are returning. We must harvest their skills and place them in the vacant critical posts of the Public Service in order to improve service delivery.
For far too long now, too many parents in this country have encouraged their children to attain a worldly education so as to be globally mobile; the truth is that the pastures are not greener on the other side. We must encourage our family members and friends to contribute to the development of South Africa and Africa. This is a place of enormous opportunity, but we will only succeed if our children and grandchildren become teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen, detectives, transport specialists, engineers, scientists and telecommunication experts, with a view to applying these skills to the advantage of a neglected continent and a developing country.
The 2010 Soccer World Cup, hon President, will be a success. To the amazement of the entire world, we showed that we could host the Indian Professional League T20 tournament. The tournament could not be hosted in India, because of their fractious elections, so we hosted it in South Africa, with three weeks' notice, during our peaceful election. [Applause.] We cannot allow this golden opportunity to showcase our wonderful country to the world to be jeopardised by self-serving parochial protestations.
When we come out of this cycle of recession, the focus of the developed world will become fixed on Africa, and South Africa in particular, as we are the gateway to a continent blessed in abundance with the natural resources that are in such short supply elsewhere. This will be our springboard to unprecedented economic growth and prosperity, if we are appropriately prepared.
Op die oomblik het u, mnr die President, twee dinge in gemeen met die president van die Verenigde State, President Barack Obama. Julle is albei onlangs verkies en julle moet albei die gevolge van 'n resessie hanteer en oorkom.
This might not be the best time to become a president, but many of the greatest in history have emerged from similar adversity. I hope, for our country's sake, that your name will be added to the illustrious list of successful post-recessionary presidents. Remember though, at this time, that it is the poor that need more attention and that depend more on effective and efficient service delivery. The ANC's cadre deployment policies have compromised service delivery standards and needs, for the good of the country, to be reconsidered.
What will also make things more difficult for you than for President Obama, is the dichotomous composition of your Cabinet and party. This is going to prove extremely difficult to handle, especially with regard to your macroeconomic approach in dealing with economic growth and the creation of decent jobs. A decent job is not one created by an Expanded Public Works Programme that, incidentally, abuses most labour legislation and takes people out of penury for a short while, while they dig a trench from point A to B, only to be plunged back into having to illuminate their homes again by candlelight or paraffin lamp after they had become accustomed to flicking a switch on a wall.
Your welcome reference to reducing bureaucratic red tape restrictions in order to allow for easier licensing and registration of SMMEs is good news, but you neglected to tell us what you are going to do with the most inhibiting factor in this regard, which is restrictive labour legislation.
Die SAKP-leier en Minister van Hoër Onderwys, dr Blade Nzimande, het byvoorbeeld onlangs onomwonde gesê dat wat Suid-Afrika nodig het, is 'n sosialistiese ekonomiese beleidsraamwerk. Hy het verder gegaan om te sê dat die ANC nie langer die belange van sy linkse alliansievennote kan ignoreer, of toegelaat gaan word om dit te doen nie.
Mnr Heinrich Wyngaard van Die Burger het heeltemal korrek opgemerk dat dit sterk woorde is van die nuut bemagdigde linkervleuel wat kennis gee dat hulle die dividend vir hul aandeel aan u verkiesing soek. Ons gaan fyn dophou om te sien hoe hierdie tweeledigheid ontvou.
Your duty is to serve the country and not the SA Communist Party nor the ANC Youth League. [Applause.] What is more is that you cannot afford their socialist agenda. With the constricting economy, tax revenues will decrease drastically, and your expensive plans of infrastructure spending, Expanded Public Works Programmes and additional social grants can only come from greater deficits, which is ultimately irresponsible in this economic climate.
The economic realities of this country are going to determine much of what we do over the next five years, and the ANC and its socialist tripartite alliance members would do well to recognise that our population estimates are way off the mark. This has a direct impact on the planning and provision of social services such as hospitals, housing, education and social security. The situation will have to be dealt with much more effectively and efficiently by the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation - and corruption is endemic in these departments. However, this fact also directly affects the Departments of Police, Justice and Constitutional Development, State Security, Transport, Tourism and Trade and Industry. South Africa is the destination of choice for African immigrants, and we need to be properly geared to deal effectively with the consequences of these migration patterns.
Mr President, much has been said about the olive branch you have extended to the opposition - and I heard you do so again yesterday.
Kodwa ndifuna ukuthi, eli sebe andikaliboni mna. Ndibone abanye bephiwa amagqabi kwisebe loMnquma, kodwa ndicinga ukuba xa sibheka phambili siza kude silibone eli sebe.
It is a source of great concern to the DA to be called "secessionist". I know, hon President, that it is convention not to be too controversial in a maiden speech. But this is the part I want you to pay special attention to. It is a source of great concern for the DA to be called "secessionist" by none other than former Deputy President Baleka Mbete. It is also unacceptable that the Chief Whip of the ANC in the NCOP can say the following about the Premier of the Western Cape, and I quote:
I want to say, Chair, and of course, hon Chief Justice, that I am not a racist. If she wants to lead her race, she has the right to do so. She has won the race to lead, but not the people of my province. This is my home, and she has to be very serious when she leads the people of this province.
My question is: Who is "our people", and who is not serious? This was said without rebuke from the Chair of the NCOP, the ANC or the media. No one in the DA here or elsewhere has ever uttered such racist drivel about the ANC electoral victory or indeed your appointment, Sir. Neither have we called people witches or lesbians with a designed intent to malign and foster homophobic or genocidal emotions. We have not called any elected representatives an enemy of the state, nor threatened to make anywhere ungovernable. This kind of rhetoric has no place in our society, less so in our Parliament. [Applause.]
I hope, hon President, that this debate will set the tone for this term of office, so that we can concentrate on the seminal issues that challenge our nation's prosperity. Incidentally, for the Chief Whip of the ANC in the NCOP, the DA will be a government for all the people of the Western Cape. This Parliament will have to rise to the occasion.
Soos u gister gesê het, mnr die President, ons sal mekaar se hande moet vat in die gees van 'n Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap as dié 'n periode van hernuwing gaan wees. Baie dankie. [Applous.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I am advised that the interpretation system is down at the moment. It is being attended to, but that should not discourage people from using the language of their choice.
Rev H M DANDALA
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Rev H M DANDALA: Hon Speaker, Mr President and hon members of this House, Cope takes this opportunity to thank the President for his address to the nation yesterday, and welcomes the opportunity to offer reflections on the speech and the plans that he outlined. Many South Africans welcome and agree with the President's analysis of the problems facing our country. Where we need greater engagement is on how we will respond to these.
Cope commends the President for reminding us that we have a nation to build together. We support this call, as it is at the heart of our own agenda for change and hope, an agenda on whose mandate we stand here to speak and an agenda that would guide Cope in being a patriotic opposition.
The prudent economic policies that South Africa pursued over the past 15 years are in part responsible for shielding South Africa from the global economic crisis. Looking at the President's response to the recession, however, a few questions yearn for answers.
We would like to hear more about the government's practical intervention plans as a response to this recession. The country is left guessing about suggestions made by some to consider huge bailouts, as well as suggestions made by others to bankroll companies and/or banks in distress. A clear statement in this regard needs to be made. The investor community cannot be left guessing.
Baza kuncedwa njani kwaye bakhuselwe njani abantu ekuweni koqoqoqsho lwelizwe lakokwethu? [How are the people going to be assisted so that they can be protected during the economic meltdown in our country?]
We believe that we need to go beyond the generic mention of the social partners' consultation that would stop retrenchments. This is challenging. What we need is to hear more about the plans and details of the industries involved in plans that are going to assist us to overcome this problem. How are the fears of ordinary people going to be addressed? Job losses, repossessions and retrenchments are already the order of the day.
I missed in the President's speech a programme that inspires confidence among ordinary people, and how they should weather the storm in the face of repossessions by financial institutions. We need to hear more about a plan to engage these institutions in the face of the high repossession rates. Is there at least a call to these institutions by government to present a plan that would shield people from their crumbling financial situations?
All of this happens in the face of debilitating poverty. As the President correctly pointed out, 13 million people are reliant on social grants. It cannot be right that a quarter of the population has to be reliant on grants. We agree with the President that we need to extricate our people from this dependency.
We need to hear how the government plans to create stable and decent jobs for our people. We will look closely at the promised half a million jobs in the next six months, hoping these will not merely be job opportunities where people who have worked one week here and another day there are counted as having had one job. [Applause.] We believe that it is crucial to ensure that the government mobilises all the people to intensify the efforts of building and supporting small businesses and new enterprises.
In the past, the government of the Republic has had programmes such as the RDP, Gear, Asgisa and Jipsa. One expected that we would hear the President's analysis of the impact and effect of these schemes. We are left with a feeling that reference was not made to these programmes because they were not successful. Where is the follow-up on these programmes? Or are we going to see new plans without a proper evaluation? What is the plan to tackle poverty on a sustained basis? How are we planning to utilise social grants and public works as stepping stones to sustainable job creation, thus dealing with systemic poverty and turning South Africans into economically self-sustaining citizens?
We welcome the fact that a new department has been established to look at rural development. Of course, it is disappointing that after 15 years we still do not have a well-tried and developed strategy to transform our rural areas into economically active hubs. We will watch the pilot project in Giyani with bated breath.
There is a need for Parliament to be fully exposed to the plans to tackle poverty. Here is another issue that is beyond party politics, but must be the business of all of us in this House.
We welcome the President's call for nation-building. We also need to caution that such a call can no longer be made lightly. Members of Cope in the Public Service are being hounded out of their jobs. [Applause.] We will encourage them to use the President's hotline to complain and ask his office to take up their plight. The harassment of Prof Pityana, Prof Nkuhlu and many others calls for your intervention. [Interjections.]
Nation-building must become more than just a slogan. We welcome and embrace Mandela Day, as Madiba truly belongs to all of us South Africans and the people of the world. [Applause.] His legacy will inspire us to build tolerance.
Finally, we are pleased that the President has highlighted the culture of learning. We support the rallying of children to study and the rallying of teachers to teach. It is the success of education in the long run that will help our people to extricate themselves from poverty as well as lay a foundation for the building of a value-centred society.
Because of the importance of education, we need to invest seriously in infrastructure to make education a success. The phenomenon of schools under trees, for example, is an embarrassing act and continues to say that we need to plan well for the education of our children. This is a matter of national concern which, unfortunately, did not find its way into the President's speech.
As we have said many times over, the problem in our country has never been policy. The state of our nation is that of despair when it comes to service delivery. That is why we welcome the President's determination to hold Ministers accountable. We look forward to a discussion between the Ministries of evaluation and planning about how Parliament will be included to ensure overall accountability. We also hope that this focus will permeate all levels of government, particularly the local level.
Mr President, we respect the choice of our people at the polls. And we wish you, Mr President, and your government well as you implement the promises that have been made. Where you excel, we will commend you. Where you falter, we will be there to point it out and work with you to build a country where all our people can be safe and prosperous. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I'm advised that the interpretation system is now working.
Mr M G BUTHELEZI
Rev H M DANDALA
Mr M G BUTHELEZI: Hon Speaker Xhamela, your Excellency the President Nxamalala, hon Deputy President, hon Ministers and hon members, the people have spoken through the results of the last elections, last month, although there has been electoral fraud, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. [Interjections.] In spite of its extensive nature one cannot detract from the fact that the people have spoken and that the President has received a powerful mandate to govern. I am therefore not rising to oppose the President or his government, but to offer my counsel and admonition.
I do not do so because I feel I am wiser than anyone else in the House. It is true that I may be the only one in this House, apart from my brother Andrew Mlangeni, who has interacted with heads of government of South Africa from Prime Minister Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd to Prime Minister Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom, Prime Minister Balthazar Johannes Vorster, President Pieter Wilhelm Botha, President Frederik Willem de Klerk, President Mandela, President Mbeki and President Motlanthe, all of whom I have seen rise to power and relinquish office.
I have known and personally interacted with great leaders in the ANC, from its founder Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, who was my uncle. From my childhood I knew the first president of the ANC, Rev John Langalibalele Dube. I knew Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma and I had the privilege of having dinner in his home in Toby Street in Sophiatown with his wife Madie Hall Xuma. I knew President James Moroka and one of my mentors was none other than Inkosi Albert Mvumbi Luthuli.
I knew and worked with Mr Oliver Tambo until 1979, a fact which was confirmed at this podium by none other than President Mbeki in your presence. I have known President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela over 60 years, and I had the privilege of being one of his Ministers. I have known President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki and I was one of his Ministers for five years. I have known President J G Zuma for quite a few decades, and we worked together in President Mbeki's Cabinet.
But, hon Speaker, I do not speak from the strength of this experience. Today I am speaking with the confidence of a newfound sense of freedom. Throughout my life, history compelled me to balance conflicting interests in my contribution to public life. Before liberation, I was at the centre of political activities which were not banned by the apartheid regime. But this role limited what I could do. After liberation, I subscribed to our joint endeavours to consolidate the gains of our struggle. I accepted that in the initial stages of our post-liberation Republic, not all things would go well.
I am now free from all constraints and empowered by freedom of thought and speech I never enjoyed before. I now enjoy the freedom to speak truth to power. I do not intend to oppose or undermine the popular mandate President Zuma has received from the electorate, but to provide assistance in the form of counselling and admonition so that our Republic, through his leadership, may succeed in fulfilling the aspirations embodied in that mandate.
I commend the President for his positive overture to the opposition yesterday to be leading players in shaping the destiny of our nation. As patriots, we in the opposition must work together with the ruling party for the sake of our people in the present circumstances of global economic meltdown. I also commend the President for emphatically stating that our institutions and Constitution must be respected.
But in speaking truth to power, there are many aspects of the presidential debate which need to be addressed. Time dictates that I focus on the single most critical aspect. Nothing is of graver importance than addressing the economic crisis facing South Africa.
When I spoke in response to his Excellency President Motlanthe's State of the Nation Address this year, at this podium, I warned that South Africa would not be spared from the global depression and that we were ill prepared to deal with it. Despite my warnings, government officials and politicians boldly declared that South Africa would only be marginally affected by the global depression. The worst, they said, was already over and recovery was in sight. I remember even our most popular magazine had a cover story assuring us of these things. And this was irresponsible nonsense, of course.
We lost precious time to formulate our response to the crisis. I know, Xhamela, that my contribution in trying to address this issue may be seen in the words of an old song, which was popular in my youth, to be rushing in where angels fear to tread.
Against this backdrop, South Africa is awakened to the harsh reality that in the first quarter, 22% of its manufacturing capacity has been shut down, mining has been reduced by 33% and the GDP is down by at least 6,7%. This is just the beginning. In all likelihood the recession will gather pace in the next quarter, and the collapse of the real estate market, which has been held back by the expectation of a quick recovery, now seems inescapable.
His Excellency the President addressed the problems of the economy in his State of the Nation Address and he was of course right, because the economy is our first priority. The recession will undermine government's efforts, from the upliftment of the poor to fighting crime - all issues which were addressed by the President yesterday. Mr President, the laudatory pledges you announced yesterday would be difficult to fulfil in times of prosperity, let alone in the times of severe austerity in which we are living.
The recession cannot be addressed by a bureaucratic administrative or legislative response. We are not going to fix the economy only by establishing new departments of state, appointing new Ministers or holding policy summits. The delay in taking action has restricted what we can do and what we could have done. We must now liken the global depression to a world war. We must transform our thinking and build a new financial architecture. Only the countries that adjust their economies will survive the global economic depression.
The impact of the global depression is going to be greater than World War II. We dare not be on the losing side, lest South Africa is reduced, once again, to a mere global supplier of commodities and raw materials. For years our country has tried to develop an industrial basis, and we must now protect it, as our future depends on it.
Already we are experiencing casualties. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, and more will. As winter sets in, we will see widespread hunger and despair. Under such pressures, our health care system is likely to disintegrate, alongside our already failing education system. This, therefore, is not the time, to quote my friend Baroness Margaret Thatcher, to "go wobbly". The hour demands courage and determination.
Mr President, if we are serious about protecting jobs in our shrinking industrial base and attracting foreign direct investment, we must devalue the rand immediately. We cannot wait for months, weeks or even days. United States Federal Reserve gave the example by cutting the prime rate to zero within hours of the United States markets hitting rock bottom.
Having a strong rand is nothing but ill-conceived national pride. Our economy is not reliant on imports and we produce enough to ensure that the devaluation of the rand will not necessarily affect the goods and services consumed by the low and middle classes. We must devalue the rand and then stabilise the devalued rand.
No business can cope in an environment of two-digit currency fluctuation. Government must aggressively use whatever means available to keep the devalued rand stable. Undoubtedly, devaluing the rand will increase the inflation rate over time. But economists and policymakers have informed me that, for a country such as South Africa, it is better to deal with a little more inflation than with widespread joblessness and long-lasting depression.
We should now act. We should save our real estate market before it collapses and force the SA Reserve Bank to cut its interest rate to single digits and as close as possible to zero. This by itself will cause the devaluation of the rand, as the currency would no longer be attractive to currency investors and speculators.
This compels us to re-evaluate our relationship with the SA Reserve Bank, which still remains a private entity owned by private shareholders, and controlled primarily by such shareholders which the law requires to be kept secret. One can only assume that this money trust of bankers acts in the public interest because they are so tied to our economy that, if the economy suffers, they suffer too.
But we are living in extraordinary times. The American people have begun to question the old maxim that "what is good for General Motors is good for America". It might equally be the case that what is good for the South African bankers might not be good for the South African people and the economy. The SA Reserve Bank should become what the Constitution envisages it to be - an organ of state, part of the government of our country.
This process will take time, even if conducted through nationalisation. I think "nationalisation" resonates well with my brothers on the right. [Laughter.] But the urgent need to cut interest rates to a minimum cannot wait if we want to avoid the compounded domino effect of widespread repossessions and the domestic devaluation of the South Africa real estate asset base.
I know that it is difficult for us as politicians to focus on delicate economic issues, which are often subcontracted to academics, think-tanks and bankers. As politicians, we often rely on our gut instinct to know what is right or wrong and what needs to be done, and we are often right. But when it comes to economic issues, we have long been trained not to do so. I plead with His Excellency the President to be responsive to the mandate he received from the people and to make sure that we maintain employment levels, jobs and industrial capacity.
I respect the role in which history has cast His Excellency the President. And I hope that he will respect the role in which history has finally cast me. I received my mandate from the poorest of the poor, who stand to suffer the most. Both he and I live amongst the poorest of the poor. The economic crisis could jeopardise everything we have fought for. I plead with the President to focus on it, not only with his mind, but with his heart. I pledge to him my full and truthful support, without abandoning my role as an opposition party, whose duty is to hold government to account and to keep government on its toes.
Finally, let us be honest ... [Interjections.]
NgingumZulu mina, angilona iNgisi! [Uhleko.] [I am Zulu and not white.] [Laughter.]
Finally, let us be honest about the widespread electoral irregularities in the recent elections. We saw acts unbefitting our democracy, such as the IFP secretary-general, who is our colleague in this House, the hon Rev Musa Zondi, being searched in broad daylight, and being humiliated by the National Intervention Police Unit in Nongoma. Election irregularities are not new to us, but they should become unacceptable.
When the former Secretary-General of the OAU, His Excellency Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, who is now one of the "wise men of Africa", visited South Africa ahead of our elections, I met him in Durban. He was to lead the African Union monitoring team during the election. I gave him a copy of my aide-mémoire, which I provided to the chairperson of the IEC, Dr Brigalia Bam, and members of the IEC when they met with me and members of the national council of my party on 31 March 2008. In it I had listed all the irregularities that had taken place during our elections from 1994 to 2004. [Interjections.] Dr Bam and the IEC had promised to come back to us. But a year had already passed and they had not done so.
In our conversation, I asked Dr Salim whether we in Africa were using different standards in declaring an election "free and fair". I recalled that in a previous election in Zimbabwe most political parties in South Africa sent monitors, including my own. All of them, except the IFP monitoring team, the chairperson of the IEC Dr Bam and the European monitoring team, declared the Zimbabwean election "free and fair". Dr Salim chuckled and said he preferred the word "credible" rather than "free and fair". This reminded me of the wisdom of one of our African sayings …
Lentswe la Sesotho le re: "Motswalle wa moloi ke moloi, motswalle wa leshodu ke leshodu." [Setsheho.] [The friend of a witch is a witch, and the friend of a thief is a thief.] [Laughter.]
The mandate our President has received places great responsibility on his shoulders, and we wish you well, Msholozi, Nxamalala. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE
Dr M G BUTHELEZI
UNGQONGQOSHE WAMAPHOYISA: Somlomo ohloniphekile, noMhlonishwa Mongameli wezwe, Mhlonishwa Sekela Mongameli wezwe, Sekela Somlomo ohloniphekile, oNgqongqoshe Namasekela oNgqongqoshe, Malungu eSishayamthetho, maqabani nabangani. Siyemukela ngezandla ezifudumele inkulumo kaMongameli nengumkhombandlela esizweni sonke.
Sinethemba futhi lokuthi umphakathi uzobambisana nohulumeni ukuze konke lokhu esizibophelele kukho kuphumelele. Kuningi okuyinqubekela phambili esesikuzuzile kwiqoqo lezobulungiswa nokuphepha ukuvimbela ubugebengu. Nokho, indlela isende, njengoba ubeka Umbutho Wesizwe ukuthi ngokubambisana singenza lukhulu.Njengoba echazile uMongameli, umthethosiseko nesimo somthetho wezwe kuqinile futhi kusesimeni esikahle, kuhlumelelisa intando yeningi.
Iqoqo leMinyango ebhekene nokuphepha lisebenze ngempumelelo lengamela ukhetho lwesine kaphansi kwentando yeningi. Nakuba siphumelela kokunye kodwa zisekhona izinselelo njengoba ucwaningo ngokusebenza kweqoqo nezinsiza zalo kucacisa.
Kodwa-ke siyoze sikuzuze ukuthula, ukuphepha nokuhlala kahle.[Ihlombe] Siwethulela isigqoko umphakathi ngokubamba iqhaza ekwakhiweni izinhlaka ezilwisana nobugebengu ubambisene namaphoyisa. Nathi njengoMnyango wezakaDalawane sizoqhubeka siwugqugquzele umphakathi ngoba impi nobugebengu idinga kubanjiswane.
Kwezinye zezinto ezishiwo nguMongameli izolo uthe:
Ngokubambisana masenze lukhulu ukulwa nobugebengu. Inhloso yethu ukwakha uhlelo lwezobulungiswa nokulwa nobugebengu oluhambisana noguquko oluxhaswe ngezinsiza-kusebenza lwesimanjemanje noluphethwe eqophelweni eliphezulu.
Emva kwenkulumo kaMongameli yayizolo kube khona abaholi abathile emphakathini abathe bafuna imininingwane ngezinhlelo zikahulumeni. Ake sisike elijikayo kwiqoqo lobulungiswa, ukuvimbela ubugebengu nokuphepha kanje ...
Hon Deputy Speaker, this is a massive task that involves many aspects of the criminal justice system. Central in this regard, is the development of capacity for fighting and reducing crime, and thus the need to review the functioning of the whole Justice, Crime Prevention and Security value chain and to ensure integration and co-ordination.
Specific measures include, amongst others: Steps to ensure speedy finalisation of investigations and cases; use of alternative custodial sanction where appropriate; maintaining and safeguarding the identity of citizens and foreign nationals; the maximum and efficient utilization of facilities and infrastructure within the cluster, including the integration of IT systems; bringing courts closer to communities; increasing the number of prosecutors; and the establishment of the awaiting-trial detainees branch as part of the Department of Correctional Services to reduce recidivism.
As part of the effort to improve our crime fighting capacity, the President highlighted, amongst others, the need to enhance our detective and forensic services. To give a sense of the scale of the programmes being undertaken, we should mention that with regard to detectives, approximately 12 900 members are already undergoing training in various detective courses, this financial year. [Applause.] More than 1 120 of this number are sitting for advanced courses. The programme started at the beginning of April 2009.
Contrary to the negative propaganda suggesting otherwise, our training programmes are benchmarked with international policing agencies to ensure the maintenance of the requisite standards.
Part of the criminal justice system modernisation process will involve the application of technology solutions to manage routine operations, reduce costs and eliminate waste, and automating paper-intensive systems. The IT systems of various cluster departments are being integrated to ensure greater utilisation of technology in the fight against crime.
Our forensic services will be strengthened through the passing of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill, a task we must accomplish within the year.
We have declared war against organised crime and corruption in the public as well as in the private sector. We shall move with speed to finalise all matters relating to the establishment of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, the DPCI. As members know, the head of the DPCI has been appointed. We are on course to ensure that the DPCI will be fully functional by 5 July 2009. [Applause.]
We are going to be tough on criminals. We shall adopt the same approach as we did when we dealt with possible hotspots during the election campaign. [Applause.] A leaflet by the National Action Council in 1955, in preparation for the real and true Congress of the People, made a clarion call to the people of our land. Amongst other things, it said, and I quote:
Let us speak of the light that comes with learning and the ways we are kept in darkness. Let us speak of great services we can render and of narrow ways that are open to us. Let us speak of laws, and government, and rights … Let us speak together of freedom. And of the happiness that can come to men and women if they live in a land that is free. Let us speak together of freedom and of how to get it for ourselves …
The titanic struggle against the racist policies of white domination taught us never to surrender, even in the face of mammoth adversity. Through our own actions we taught ourselves to act in unity to determine our own destiny. It would be a great sociopolitical tragedy if the majority of the people of our land who were at the core of the battle against apartheid colonialism, those who played a central role in the realisation of the democratic form of government, were to remain marginalised and not take part in the process of defining and realising the content of our democracy. Such a situation is not only a threat to future stability, but also a break to development. The effort to ensure a people-centred and people-driven process to change must succeed.
Over the centuries, African communities used letsema/ilima as a way of tackling problems collectively. We must continue with the effort aimed at the retention of this progressive tradition which gives practical expression to the aspiration of human solidarity. We should work to deepen our understanding of the practical implication of this tradition, taking into account our history, the specific socioeconomic conditions, and short- and long-term objectives.
The youth is the energy of society. Unemployment represents wasted creative potential. Therefore, the youth should occupy our foremost attention as we work to harness all the people's creative potential and to deepen the culture of civic responsibility and human solidarity. [Applause.] Let us commence so in this, the month of the gallant youth of our land.
It is the foregoing understanding that will inform our endeavours as we work to mobilise society, and in particular the youth, to take a more active part in the fight against crime. The young lions have the energy and capacity to land a telling blow against crime.
The time has come for the subject of crime to be on the agenda of every home, private or public organisation, not only in the form of passive debate, but as part of the effort to reclaim peace, security and comfort.
Rightfully so, the people of our land demand effective provision of safety. Our history has taught us that, in the execution of its duties, a police service should always be mindful not to infringe upon the people's human rights. We need an accountable and service-oriented police organisation.
We have an ongoing responsibility to improve our capacity to prevent crime before it is committed. However, no police organisation can be everywhere all the time. Nor is there a police service that can predict every possible incident of crime.
To ensure accountability, the continued observance of human rights and improved capacity to prevent crimes before they occur, we require partnerships between the police and the public.
Accordingly government continues to strengthen the structural design aimed at assisting us to better realise our safety objectives and at deepening and tightening the interface between communities and the police service. This design includes the establishment of community safety forums, street or village committees, and the strengthening of the current Community Policing Forum establishment programme. To this extent, the Ministry of Police is in the process of establishing a section dealing with strategic partnership and popular participation.
Community Safety Forums will help in the monitoring and functional co-ordination of the criminal justice system at the local and municipality level. The establishment of street and village committees will take crime combating and crime prevention to every corner of our country. We commend those communities already in action on this score and encourage others to follow suit.
We have noted that there are certain isolated voices who have raised some objections about the establishment of street committees. We regard such objections as a typical case of social consciousness having fallen behind imperatives of social evolution and development. These are the views of those who are comfortable, wherever they are. The social status and high security walls have blinded them, making them unable to appreciate the daily reality faced by millions who, in order to have any sense of safety and security, must rely on state services and their own sense of civic duty.
There is nothing genuine about these objections. These views constitute the natural waste produced by the great river of progress. Let us ignore them and continue to speak together of freedom and of how to get it for ourselves.
As part of strengthening the social contract against crime, the security cluster will also deepen the interface with labour, churches, business, the private security industry, traditional leaders, and other stakeholders.
Hon Deputy Speaker, the President has indicated that government intends to improve the legislative framework governing the activities of the private security industry. In March this year, the Minister of Police appointed a task team to conduct an in-depth enquiry into the functioning of the Private Security Regulatory Authority. Consequently, we have come to the conclusion that the authority has in many ways become dysfunctional. Remedial measures are being taken to rectify that serious situation.
We are also determined to strengthen partnerships among government departments, as well as among various spheres of government.
The experience gained during the recent elections has convinced the Ministry of Police that every department within the security cluster indeed has a role to play in the fight against crime. We believe that crime and perceptions about it are such a serious matter in our country that all of us need to give added attention to the issue.
Law enforcement cannot succeed if social, economic, ideological and cultural conditions continue to spawn criminality. The living environment itself must be less conducive to crime.
Commenting on the role that other departments can play, the 1999–2004 White Paper on Safety and Security states, and I quote:
Important also, is the need to strengthen partnerships and co-operation with the key departments involved in crime prevention and those departments which have valuable skills and resources to offer, such as the South African National Defence Force.
It is our view that in a country where centuries of institutionalised racism condemn the black majority to conditions of extreme poverty, lack of skills and underdeveloped localities, the SANDF, with their skills, indeed can play an important role in the process of skills transfer and the transformation of the living environment. We should also contemplate ways in which the Force could assist in the fight against cash-in-transit heists - this is in the process of consultation. This murderous kind of crime is not only a source of fear to those guarding these assets, but also breeds a culture that cheapens human life.
In many cities and localities, environmental issues that create conducive conditions to commit crime remain a challenge. Together with local government, we must change this situation.
We also wish to inform the nation that we shall soon be launching and escalating throughout the country, Operation Washa Tsotsi. [Applause.]
Before the attainment of democracy, meagre policing resources were spent on poor communities. We have to monitor progress in this regard, and ensure that this situation changes. Failure would be an act … [Time expired.] Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms P DE LILLE
The MINISTER OF POLICE
Ms P DE LILLE: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, we appreciate your invitation to civil society, business and nongoverning political parties to come to the table.
Ek waardeer ook u poging om Afrikaans te praat. Ek kan help met 'n paar lesse! [Gelag.]
It is our hope that this is not just a symbolic invitation to us, because we in the ID are ready to engage with you to find solutions to the challenges that we face.
The global recession means that we need a plan around which all South Africans can rally, a plan that can tap into our collective patriotism, skills and wisdom, and bring us together as a nation.
Mr President, in your State of the Nation Address you shared the beginnings of such a plan. Your list of goals and priorities is laudable, but we've heard some of them before and the key issue, as always, will be implementation.
The ID has always said that without implementation and monitoring the best plans will come to nothing, which is why we need to hear the details about the National Planning Commission, how it will work and its role, so that we can get the job done.
The ID is pleased to hear that for the first time there is going to be monitoring and evaluation of the performance of Ministers. We have repeatedly said that Ministers should be held accountable and responsible for their actions. We hope that you will make these performance indicators public every three months, so that we as a nation can be kept abreast of delivery, achievements and failures.
It is our hope, Mr President, that you will become the first President to fire a Minister for incompetence and failure to spend their budgets. [Interjections.] This is one time when "Mshini Wam" would be relevant and we in the ID will be prepared to sing with you. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Mr President, we think there are several issues that you should address. You have called upon our nation to cut our cloth according to our means, but you have made several promises and commitments which pose the question: Where will we get the resources from?
We are also concerned about the large-scale mismanagement of our state-owned enterprises at a time when we cannot afford it. The SAA, SABC, Denel and the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor have cost taxpayers billions of rands which we urgently need for health, education and rural development.
We are also concerned about the effect this recession will have on BEE as a whole. Often in the past we have relied on economic growth to fund BEE deals and the current economic outlook means that this funding has fallen away. The ID would like to see targets and timelines for BEE and affirmative action. Leaving these processes open and without sufficient targets has produced a few wealthy individuals while the vast majority of our people continue to be excluded.
Mr President, our public health system is in a state of disrepair and has been starved of financial and human resources. While the ID applauds your goal of delivering ARVs to 80% of Aids patients in need by 2011, this cannot be achieved unless there are drastic improvements in the sector as a whole.
The ID supports the idea of a national health insurance scheme and we urge Cabinet to devise a comprehensive plan for its implementation. We recognise the complexities involved, but the first step must be an injection of funds into the health sector and massive improvements in the way it is managed.
We also urge you to intervene in the dispute with the doctors in the public sector, who, we must all agree, are underpaid and overworked.
We welcome the emphasis on rural development and we support your comments that teachers must be in the classroom teaching. However, this commitment will only be realised if you are able to get the support of teachers, children, parents and the unions.
The economic crisis we are facing will require innovative thinking. It is our belief that we can turn this crisis into an opportunity, and the ID Member of Parliament Lance Greyling will present to this House ID solutions in this regard tomorrow. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr B H HOLOMISA
Ms P DE LILLE
Mr B H HOLOMISA: Hon Deputy Speaker ...
Ewe, mfana, ndiza kuthetha kakuhle; andingxaki ngaloo nto.
Hon Deputy Speaker, his Excellency the President of the Republic and his deputy, hon Ministers and hon members, the UDM congratulates the newly appointed Cabinet members. In the same vein, we wish to congratulate the new parliamentary leader of the DA, the hon Mr Trollip, for the honour bestowed upon him by his party.
The reality is that President Zuma and his Cabinet, as well as the majority opposition party, will be carefully watched by the voters who gave them the mandate to improve the quality of their lives. However, judging by the recent public spat between the two parties, the advice one can give is that if you want to focus on the real issues you would need to respect one another.
It is therefore gratifying to hear the hon Trollip recognising that ...
... ukususela ngomhla we-9 kuMeyi 2009, kuyasholozwa kweli lizwe.
The golden rule is that, irrespective of our mandates in this House, the office of the President must be respected.
Mr President, South Africans have taken note of your statements of intent. From today onwards we will try to unpack and understand them. The people in the rural areas and outlying towns in particular will breathe a sigh of relief after you committed your government to improving their conditions. For the first time the people from areas such as Mokgalwana and Matlametlong of the North West, and towns such as Umtata and Butterworth, who are struggling for water and electricity, and are experiencing impassable roads in their areas, will possibly be heard. Indeed, the people of the OR Tambo region in the Eastern Cape will expect an answer from your government as to why building of the stadium promised to them for the 2010 Fifa World Cup has not yet begun.
One other issue which I wish to raise during this debate on the State of the Nation Address is how we as a country have conducted the recent elections. Despite the reported intimidation, the maturity displayed by all political parties is commendable. However, the IEC, government and political parties must accelerate the improvement of the infrastructure so as to eliminate any chances of fraud in future.
The fact that it is becoming so easy for any Jack and Jill to have access to ballot papers and scanners, as we witnessed in Cape Town, serves as a reminder that a lot still has to be done. I therefore would like to remind all political parties present here that the multiparty forum to which we all belong has been engaging with the IEC on a number of issues. We should use this legislature to finalise the pending issues, such as the party-funding legislation; the IEC's level of independence; the decision-making level of the political liaison committees; the media, especially public broadcasting; and creating an enabling environment for participatory democracy.
The most critical challenge facing our country and this new government today, I agree with Msholozi, is to continue to fight poverty with job creation.
We believe that jobs are the ultimate weapons against poverty and that the country must be managed to ensure the achievement of this goal. Government has a responsibility to intervene and protect the South African economy and jobs when necessary. Whilst free-market capitalism is the best economic system developed by humanity, it is still fraught with weaknesses and failures that must be actively managed.
We should take a leaf from the book of the outside world, which, when they were faced with an economic meltdown, did not pussyfoot around, but instead took decisive steps to remedy their situations.
Iyahlekisa le nto ndiyithethayo, Mphathiswa?
South Africans are suspicious and mistrust government because of perceptions that it is not equitably distributing the resources of the country. Indeed, since 1994 there has not been consensus on a macroeconomic policy that can transform the economy in a manner that could create jobs and spread the wealth wider, and improve the lot of the disadvantaged majority. There are in particular concerns about the inadequacies and contradictions of the fiscal and industrial policies. Consequently, the gains of the liberation in 1994 have not translated into real economic freedom for all, and that's a reality.
A classic example is the recent call by Cosatu to boycott Vodacom products and services. However, their call should be viewed in the context of a directive issued by the former secretary-general of Cosatu in his capacity as then Minister of Communications, Mr Jay Naidoo, which culminated in the selling of 15,2% of Telkom shares to the Thintana group of the USA. Those shares, as we all know, made their way back to a South African consortium, which includes an entity that carries a beneficial interest of some individuals and institutions aligned to the ruling party.
Before any intended boycott therefore takes place, I would like to call upon you, Mr President, to investigate the structure and beneficiaries of an entity known as Clident 1 and Clident 445 Pty Ltd, which also have an interest in the sale of Vodacom shares by Telkom.
We contend that this economic policy uncertainty is unhealthy for the long-term growth of the country. Just as Codesa served as a forum where the nation could gather to find broad consensus on the political dispensation, so an economic indaba is required to find broad consensus on the economic dispensation.
For our part the UDM will enter such an economic indaba with one goal, namely to argue that the basis of economic policy must be the expansion of the economic cake so that we can give a bigger slice to everybody. Right now the economic cake remains overwhelmingly in the hands of the minority, and that of a small black elite, whilst the majority do not have a seat at the table and must survive on the crumbs that happen to fall on the floor.
Our only option, if we are serious about uplifting the masses and sustaining the democratic project, is to adopt economic policies that are geared towards opening the doors to the fortress of the formal economy for the millions who are locked out of it.
The very few blacks who are recipients of the BEE crumbs have instead accumulated more liabilities than assets through overpriced shares of the white-owned companies. Yes, we need to deracialise our economy. Since 1994 black South Africans have made no real progress in ownership and control of the economy.
In conclusion, both Minister Manuel and hon Minister Patel ... [Interjections.] No, you are not honourable.
Awukho "honourable" wena tu, mfana. [Kwahlekwa.]
... need to keep contact with the public. They should give serious attention to the UDM policy proposal to establish a presidential council on sustainable development where all stakeholders in society would actively interact and participate in developing their communities instead of being excluded and waiting for handouts.
Such an approach would quickly determine why people have been living in the dark without electricity since 1994, or why many have been living in shacks since the '80s in places such as Cape Town, leading people to ask where this so-called freedom of 1994 is.
We must begin to give the people of the country an input.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired.
Mr B H HOLOMISA: They can't simply be used as voting cattle every few years ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member ...
Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Uxolo, mhlekazi; ungu "hon Manuel".
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
Mr B H HOLOMISA
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon President and Deputy President, hon members, our hon President laid out a comprehensive work programme for government. He identified both the tremendous possibilities that lie before us and the challenges we face today. He also emphasised the role that our country needs to play in the international world and in rejuvenating our economies, not only of South Africa, but of the continent as well. It must be the spirit of collectivism that guides us as South Africans and as Africans, otherwise …
... ka Sepedi ba re: Tau tša hloka seboka di šitwa ke nare e hlotša.Se se bolela gore ge re sa šomišane mmogo le dinagamabapi, re tla ikhwetša re le mathateng ao a fetago a re lebanego le wona. [in Sepedi they say: Lions which don't hunt in a pack can't even catch a limping buffalo. This means that if we don't work together with other countries, we will find ourselves in more trouble than we already find ourselves in.]
We are therefore called upon to play our role in the design of the international order that will better deliver for the peoples of the world, many of whom still live in conditions of abject poverty and squalor. The message of our movement, "Working together we can do more", is relevant and apt to our international relations work. It will guide us as we build partnerships with other nations of the world to address the many challenges that face the international community.
Our people declared through the Freedom Charter that there shall be peace and friendship. Based on this vision of the Freedom Charter, the democratic South African government is at peace and enjoys friendly relations with the nations around the globe. Thus, as we start our new term of government, we can do no less than preserve this proud heritage. We are expected to marshal these peaceful and friendly relations for further advancement of our country and our people.
Mohlomphegi Modulasetulo, ge e le bothata bja ekonomi ya lefase, gora gore kgomo e tswaletše mphorogohlong wa dithaba, e gana ge bašemane ba tšea mohlana wa yona ka gobane e hlaba.
If anyone had any doubt, the financial crisis has proved that today we live in a global village. A crisis that originated in one part has quickly spread to all the corners of the globe. In its wake it has left no country untouched, increasing unemployment in some countries and causing a recession in others. In general it is setting us back many years against the gains that we made in pushing back the frontiers of poverty in the developing world.
We know that the crisis was caused by, amongst other things, a lack of effective regulation of global finance. Significantly, the crisis has also exposed the democratic deficit in global governance. The existing global institutions do not reflect the world of today. They were not created to deal with the challenges that the world is facing currently. We should see in this crisis an opportunity to hasten the reform of global governance. We should not let this opportunity pass. We urge those who occupy positions of privilege in the current global architecture to realise that it is also in their interest that these institutions are reformed.
It is these perspectives that will inform us in our participation in both the UN conference on the global financial crisis in June and the next group summit of the Group of 20 and the G8 plus 5, as well as in all the WTO processes. Our view is that the strategy for South Africa out of this crisis would include, amongst other things, to strengthen South-South relations, as those countries offer new market opportunities for South Africa's exports as well as opportunities for investment. We need to develop strong links with countries in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, and further enhance our partnerships with IBSA and China and other like-minded countries.
It is our considered view that the United Nations as an institution that is at the centre of multilateral systems is also in need of urgent reform, both politically and structurally, in particular with regard to its key organs such as the Security Council. You may wonder why we are talking so emphatically about the reform of global governance. We talk of reform because of our strong belief in the importance of multilateralism. We talk of reform, therefore, because we wish these institutions of global governance to be more effective in discharging their mandates.
I also wish to submit to this esteemed House that we will struggle to achieve the objectives that we have set for ourselves as a country without a conducive international environment. The current global environment also convinces us of the correctness of our quest for a stronger and more effective integration of our continent. We have always been convinced that it is when Africa is united that our voice will be stronger in the world. As we conclude our term as the chair of the SADC, we are happy with the strides that our region has made. In addition to the launch of the SADC Free Trade Area, work is advancing towards the implementation of other protocols that will further enhance the integration of our region. We have to continue pursuing this important objective.
What we seek is a regional integration process that is underpinned by our developmental perspective.
The President called upon the international community to support Zimbabwe's inclusive government to achieve their economic recovery. We can only add to that call by stressing that this is an important window of opportunity for all of us to help the people of Zimbabwe to help themselves. We believe that this support should not be delayed any longer, since it is critical for the consolidation of the political process in that country.
Bjale ka ge Mopresidente a boletše gore mo nakong ye re lego mo go yona e bima, e nyaka kopano magareng ga baagišane.
We will continue to work with other SADC countries for the restoration also of the democratic government in Madagascar.
We have always looked at the African regional economic communities, such as SADC, as building blocks to a stronger continental integration. Indeed, this was the wisdom that informed the Abuja Treaty of 1991. Since then, we have also seen the entry into force of the African Union in 2002. The birth of the African Union marked a new dawn in the history of the integration of our continent. What we have witnessed in the continent in the recent past could not have been foreseen a few decades ago. Then some saw our continent as a place without hope. In the eyes of some, Africa was defined only as a place of conflict and misery. But today we can boldly say that that these sceptics of yesteryear are also witnesses of the important progress that our continent is making. The spread of democracy and the increasing recognition of the need to respect human rights, the emergence of institutions such as the African Court for Human and People's Rights and the Pan-African Parliament all give us hope and give hope to the people of the entire continent. They also serve to redefine the image of our continent in the eyes of the world.
We also have to contend with the fact that challenges remain on our continent. Indeed, some of the progress that we speak of can still be reversed if we do not apply the necessary vigilance, and if we decide to rest on our laurels. What this calls for are strategies that include effective post-conflict peace-building and the provision of support to those who wish to build democratic institutions on our continent. It also means that we have to promote these and other values within SADC and the African Union.
South Africa's role in post-conflict peace-building initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Sudan is contributing to the consolidation of the peace processes in those countries. We have to continue on this path. As the President has said, and I quote:
We will continue to encourage a peaceful and sustainable settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution. We will support the peace efforts of the African Union and United Nations on the African continent, including in the Saharawi Arab Republic and Darfur in Sudan.
We also welcome the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba and look forward to the normalisation of relations between these two countries.
At the ANC's 52nd national conference, we said that South Africa should be proactive in the debate and processes that lead to the creation of the African Union government, including the mobilisation of progressive forces and governments towards a common understanding of the strategic plan. This Union government must be built through regional structures as building blocks, with strong economic integration at all levels.
To achieve these objectives, we will partner with countries on the continent and others outside of the continent. It also means working for the implementation of Nepad and the strengthening of the African Peer Review Mechanism. It is also in this context that our government has taken the important decision to change the name of our department to the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. The President also reminded us that we will establish, as agreed at the 52nd national conference of the ANC, the South African Development Partnership Agency, which will enhance our capacity to contribute to the development partnerships that Africa needs.
Our work in international relations will continue to be informed by the domestic priorities of our government. The international relations work that the President highlighted in his address to this Chamber and the decisions of the ruling party's conference are based on the Freedom Charter and South Africa's own national interests.
The first President of democratic South Africa, Isithwalandwe, Tata Nelson Mandela, correctly and wisely reminded us that South Africa could never be an island of prosperity in a sea of poverty. We must use Mandela Day to propagate to the world the spirit of ubuntu.
A re kopantsheng lefase ka letšatši le, re le dire letšatši la boditšhabatšhaba, le tme dinageng mabapi le mose wa mawatle. Serokolwana se senyane se ikoetša ka monkgo.
We also join the President in popularising Mandela Day.
I have talked mainly about our work in advancing the consolidation of our African agenda. South Africa is privileged to enjoy peaceful relations with countries all over the world, both in the North and in the South. As the President indicated, we will continue to enhance these relationships. Our success as a country is predicated on peace in the world as well as on strengthening our cordial relations with countries both in the North and the South.
To achieve all these goals we also have to recognise the important role that nonstate actors play in international relations. Therefore, among the partnerships we will seek to build are partnerships with South Africa's own business community and civil society, including academics and the media. We have to enhance the potential and the capacity of all these partners to represent Brand South Africa abroad.
In conclusion, the President also reminded us that we should continue to extend our solidarity with the suffering people of Palestine and Western Sahara. To all of us, and to the rest of the international community, it should not be acceptable that the sister peoples of Palestine and Western Sahara should continue to live in the conditions that they are in today.
Ours is to export ubuntu and partnership amongst the people of the continent and the world. Let their problems be our problems because "Indlovu ya le". We are, because they are. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D SMUTS
THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
Ms D SMUTS: Madam Deputy Speaker, we were greatly encouraged by our hon President's remarks yesterday on the enhancement of judicial independence, even if that independence was rhetorically presented as part of transformation. The reference to independence was welcome, because it is so necessary.
I would like to say to the hon the President that I can think of no single act of statesmanship that would more resoundingly restore confidence in this government's commitment to our constitutional order than the appointment in a few months' time, of a good choice for a Chief Justice of South Africa, and it would help with economic confidence too.
That appointment will perhaps be the single most important function which our hon President will fulfil during his tenure as head of the executive. He may also appoint a new Deputy Chief Justice - that would happen, should he decide to elevate the sitting deputy to the position of Chief Justice when our esteemed Chief Justice, Judge Pius Langa, retires.
The difference between those positions - the Chief Justice of South Africa and the Deputy Chief Justice - and the appointment of the other Constitutional Court judges is that our hon President can appoint a person, or in the second scenario two persons, of his choice. He does not have to draw on a list emanating from the Judicial Service Commission. He will choose, not in consultation with, but only after consulting the JSC and the leaders of parties represented in Parliament.
I remember that Mr George Bizos has said that his predecessor, President Mbeki, never departed from the JSC's recommendations and we hope that the President, too, will take wise counsel, because our constitutional order has been shaken to its foundation over the last year by unwise comment and sometimes by wild comment about the judiciary, such as the charges of counterrevolution made against our judges, which we all remember. There was an aftershock recently, at the last weekend, when our new justice chairperson, the hon Ramathlodi, said to the Mail and Guardian that the judges should know their place. Now, I hasten to add that the hon Ramathlodi offered us an explanation, unasked, on the occasion of his election this week and we readily acknowledge his assurance that he believes that our independent institutions need to restored and to be given their rightful space.
It is just that we have so often felt, Sir, during this last year that we were losing South Africa, because it is no exaggeration to say that if the courts crumble the whole of the constitutional construct comes crashing down, pillar and pediment. The courts are part and parcel of the constitutional architecture, but let us never forget that they are separate and subject only to the Constitution and the law, and that they are the authoritative interpreters of the supreme law.
Dit is ons, as die wetgewende gesag van Suid-Afrika, se werk om uitdrukking te gee aan die Grondwet en aan die fundamentele regte wanneer ons wette skryf of herskryf. Ons interpreer ook.
But it is the courts that can strike down our work and government's conduct for unconstitutionality. As a parliamentarian, I believe we, as one arm of the state, have a particular duty to the people to protect that other separate arm, and to protect in particular the status and the stature of the judges, the very people who can throw out our work, suspend it and send it back after months and years of work, because if we do not so respect and protect them, if there are no such courts, there is no supreme Constitution. Then Parliament is sovereign again, as it was until we created this constitutional democracy, and then our hon President becomes just like Mr PW Botha, who set up nextdoor in Tuynhuys as an executive president. We don't want that, Sir, and he will not want that.
I hope, therefore, that the President will send a clear signal of statesmanship and constitutionalism when he appoints the Chief Justice of South Africa a little later this year. I think in August, I am not sure.
A last thought: no doubt there is more than one good choice available on the highest Bench, but it is interesting to remember that when natural successors are passed over, confidence can be affected. Judge Michael Corbett, recently departed - much loved and rightly honoured - was the natural successor in 1986 to the Chief Justiceship as it then was when Judge Rabie was due to retire. The hon President will remember only too well that these were the emergency years. Judge Rabie, himself reappointed, was instrumental in getting the right man - Judge Mick Corbett - appointed after his own extended service.
The late Kobie Coetzee, whom many of us remember for his many contributions to the founding of our new state, was then Justice Minister and he was said to have been toying with another choice altogether at the time, but the right man was appointed. I leave only the thought, hon President, that it can make a very big difference to have the right person in the right post at the right time, and when the right people, moreover, make the right appointments in turn, well, you make new countries or you recapture them. We wish you very well, hon President. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Ms D SMUTS
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Mr Chairman, President, yesterday I listened to the second State of the Nation Address this year and to my 17th since 1994.
My overarching impression of President Zuma's address was "back to business". Government in the past often got stuck in complicated ideological debates, debates where the existence of serious problems such as crime, Zimbabwe and HIV/Aids had been denied. This was not the case in yesterday's address. President Zuma had identified most of the core problems of South Africa and made proposals as to how these could be addressed. This includes the present recession and issues such as our high crime rate, corruption, poor health services, discipline in education, poverty, etc.
The FF Plus, however, foresees one big problem. Among these proposals of the government on the one hand and the populace on the other, one finds the Public Service. They have to implement these plans at ground level to the advantage of South Africa.
I know many wonderful public servants, who work very hard and go out of their way to deliver good services to the people, but I have encountered so many incompetent officials, officials who are political or cadre appointments, officials who are arrogant and do not go to any trouble to render a service to the public.
South Africa needs a professional, nonpolitical public service where competence and nothing else determines one's position and promotion. Such a public service is loyal to the government of the day, regardless of which political party is in charge. The President yesterday repeated that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. The Public Service also in the same way belongs to all South Africans. Therefore, if there is no renewal in the Public Service, many of these proposals will only create expectations, but will not be implemented in practice.
The President concluded his speech yesterday by saying:
To be a citizen is not only about rights, it is also about responsibility, to make a contribution to make ours a better country.
The FF Plus agrees with this. It is not only the government's job to make a contribution to a better South Africa. Every citizen, every nongovernment organisation and every political party has a duty and a responsibility.
Then where does an opposition political party such as the FF Plus fit in?
In a mature democracy there should also be room for opposition politics. I stand here with a mandate from the FF Plus voters. That mandate differs from the mandate of the ANC or of the DA. It is a mandate to manage the interests of the FF Plus voters as best as I can in this Assembly. It deals with self-determination, the protection of minorities, about the pressure which Afrikaners and Afrikaans is experiencing and with constructive opposition - that is the mandate.
Why does the FF Plus believe that good opposition is necessary and that it is our contribution "to make ours a better country", as the President said yesterday?
Because the true test of democracy does not lie in the existence of different democratic institutions alone, but in the functioning of these institutions. The most important institutions would be the media, Parliament, opposition parties and the state watchdogs such as the Auditor-General and public accounts committees.
In countries where there have been a move from a democratic to an autocratic state, the move took place gradually. Government slowly scales down the role of the media and other democratic institutions. The result is that it becomes more difficult for the opposition and the media to gain access to the information it needs to fulfil its roles. The next step of an autocratic government is to employ people who are sympathetic to the ruling party in all the troublesome positions, positions such as the Auditor-General, the chairs of public accounts committees and judges. The annual reports of governmental departments become increasingly vague. Questions in Parliament are not answered. Through these steps, information regarding government's activities becomes less and less available. Without this information, the opposition cannot function effectively.
The last step in losing democracy would be elimination of the opposition as the unpatriotic enemy. In South Africa we are far removed from this, but this does not mean that we can take democracy and freedom of speech as a given. As an opposition party the FF Plus will help guard over this. It is important to remember that the longer any government rules, the less it tolerates being controlled.
Daarom het VF Plus as opposisieparty nie gehuiwer om die ANC-regering Grondwethof toe te vat oor stemreg vir Suid-Afrikaners in die buiteland nie. Daarom het die VF Plus die Openbare Beskermer gevra om die vermorsing van geld te ondersoek nadat die aanklagte teen mnr Zuma laat vaar is. Indien nodig, sal ons weer sulke stappe neem. Ek het hierdie standpunt in my gesprek met die President oor die aanvaarding van 'n Adjunkministerspos aan hom oorgedra.
Sedert die stigting van die VF Plus met genl Viljoen as leier was die party se uitgangspunt dat verantwoordelike opposisie nodig is, maar dat dit nie net afbrekend is nie.
Suid-Afrika beleef tans 'n resessie wat almal raak. As die Suid-Afrikaanse skip ekonomies sou sink, dan sink die DA- en VF Plus- ondersteuners saam. Daarom is die VF Plus ook bereid om 'n konstruktiewe rol te speel in belang van almal in Suid-Afrika.
Artikel 83 van die Grondwet lees as volg:
The President –
(c) promotes the unity of the nation ...
Hoe doen 'n President dit in 'n land met 11 amptelike tale, agt hoofgelowe en 31 kultuurgroepe? As President Zuma dan in sy inhuldigingstoespraak by die Uniegebou sê, en ek haal hom aan:
We must forge a partnership for reconstruction, development and progress. In this partnership there is a place for all South Africans, black and white. It's a partnership founded on principles of mutual respect and the unfettered expression of different views. We do not seek conformity. We seek a vibrant, dynamic partnership that is enriched by democratic debate that values diverse views and accommodates dissent.
Dan sê die VF Plus ons is bereid om die risiko te loop en as opposisieparty op hierdie basis 'n bydrae in belang van Suid-Afrika te maak. Op hierdie basis steun die VF Plus se federale raad, as hoogste beleidmakende liggaam van die party, die VF Plus se aanvaarding van 'n Adjunkministerspos.
Die praktyk sal aantoon tot watter mate sukses op hierdie basis moontlik is of nie. Kom ek gee vir u 'n voorbeeld: in sy toespraak verwys die President na 'n gemeenskaplike en inklusiewe benadering ten opsigte van naamsverandering. As dit in die praktyk op grondvlak gaan lei tot 'n nuwe, lang en uitgerekte stryd van dorp tot dorp waar een groep se helde en name verwyder word en met 'n ander groep s'n vervang word, dan is hierdie leë beloftes. Dan sal dit net lei tot groter polarisasie en vervreemding tussen groepe in Suid-Afrika.
As die President se verwysing na 'n gemeenskaplike benadering tot naamsverandering egter beteken dat daar so gou as moontlik duidelike riglyne kom oor hoe dit gedoen moet word, met erkenning aan alle groepe, dan verwelkom die VF Plus dit. Sulke riglyne sal aandui hoe daar ruimte gelaat moet word om erkenning aan almal se helde en verlede te gee, met 'n afsnypunt wanneer hierdie saak afgehandel behoort te word.
Suid-Afrika is 'n pragtige land met pragtige mense wat 'n model vir die res van die wêreld kan word oor hoe verskillende tale en groepe in harmonie 'n toekoms uitwerk met 'n plek in die son vir elkeen, maar juis hierdie verskillende tale, groepe en verskille maak Suid-Afrika 'n baie ingewikkelde land wat met 'n verkeerde besluit of onverantwoordelikheid in geweld kan ontplof. Dis ons taak as leiers wat hier sit, almal, ook die wat hier mor, om die Suid-Afrikaanse skip veilig deur die waters te stuur. [Tussenwerpsels.] Die VF Plus beplan om as 'n konstruktiewe opposisieparty op die wyse wat ek hierbo uitgespel het die volgende vyf jaar sy rol in hierdie Parlement te speel. Ek dank u.
BUSINESS SUSPENDED AT 16:17 AND RESUMED AT 16:32.
BUSINESS SUSPENDED AT 16:17 AND RESUMED AT 16:32.
UMPHATHISWA WEZOPHUHLISO LWAMAPHANDLE NOHLENGAHLENGISO LOMHLABA: Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, Mongameli ohlonipheke kakhulu, Sekela Mongameli nabahlonipheki bonke, asikuko nokuba liwonga elikhulu ukuba ndithathe inxaxheba kule ngxoxo yentetho kaMongameli ngobume besizwe, kambe nokukhonza abantu besizwe sethu kukwanjalo.
Mr President, we have heeded your call to duty and shall endeavour to serve the people of this country as dedicated cadres in the war against poverty. In that regard, our mission is to build as well as facilitate vibrant and sustainable rural communities through the effective implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, as envisaged by the 52nd national conference of the ANC.
Ngonyaka ka-2004 i-ANC yenza isibhambathiso nabantu boMzantsi Afrika, sokuba iya kudala amathuba omsebenzi, ilwe intlupheko. Konke oku yayikwenzela ukuba kwakheke intlalo okanye ubomi obungcono babo bonke abantu baseMzantsi Afrika.
Ngo-2009, ngaphezu kwezigidi ezilishumi elinethoba zabemi boMzantsi Afrika baya kuvota, ngomhla wama-22 ku-Epreli, bengqinisisa ukuba basazimisele ukuba yinxalenye yeso sibhambathiso. Ngobuninzi babo, bavota bevotela izinto ezisibhozo, zinto ezo ezisuka kwisigqibo senkomfa ye-ANC ePolokwane ngo-2007. Ezi zinto zisibhozo ndithetha ngazo ziziintsika zomqulu wonyulo we-ANC: Imisebenzi efanelekileyo; intlalo entofontofo; uphuculo lwemfundo; uphuculo lwezempilo; uphuhliso lwamaphandle; inguqu kwintlalo noqoqosho kumaphandle; uhlengahlengiso lwemihlaba; nokulwa ubundlobongela nobuqhophololo.
Just as you said yesterday, Mr President …
… laat ons mekaar se hande vat en saam oplossings vind in die gees van 'n Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap. Die tyd het gekom om harder te werk. Ons regering gaan vorentoe kyk; nie agtertoe nie. So het die President gister gesê. [Applous.]
Siza kujonga phambili, siqinise imiqolo, sifinye ngemikhono yeehempe sizalisekisa esi sibhambathiso sisenze nabantu baseMzantsi Afrika. Kwezi veki zimbalwa zidlulileyo, uMongameli wesizwe uye wathetha ngembali yokwakhiwa kwamaphandle neefama zaseMzantsi Afrika ngoorhulumente bangaphambili. Ngenxa yaloo nto, ndiye ndakhumbula ukuba ndikhe ndahlangana nayo le nto, ndiyibona kwezinye iincwadi ezibhaliweyo. Ikhona indoda ebhale ngembali yabasebenzi basemgodini eMzantsi Afrika, kwaye umqulu wokuqala wale ncwadi iwubhale ngo-1992.
Le ncwadi, Mongameli, ingqinelana nale nto uyithethayo, ndiyacaphula:
After the Anglo-Boer War, the government pursued a policy which favoured the white farmers. The switch to the white farmers was intensified by the ability of white commercial farmers to secure favourable legislation, from colonial, republican and later Union governments. The commercialisation of white agriculture was aided by a massive programme of subsidies, grants and other aid. Assistance to farmers came forth in the shape of fencing, dams, houses, veterinary and horticultural advice; farmers were cushioned by generous rail rates, by special credit facilities and by bountiful tax relief. As early as 1908, with the floodgates of interest politics not yet fully raised, it was remarked that "it is probable that during the last twenty years more money per head of the rural population has been devoted to the relief of farmers in South Africa than in any other country in the world". Then, to cap it all, as the railways passed through farming country the demand for farms and land rose and so did their value.
Loo nto ibonakalisa kakuhle ukuba le nto ibithethwa nguMongameli wesizwe, eneneni kufanele ukuba siyithathe nje ngomzekelo omhle wokwenziwa zizirhulumente zangaphambili ukuncedisana nophuhliso lwamaphandle, ukuze namhlanje sithethe singamafama oshishino ngakumbi, sikwazi ukuthetha ngolu hlobo sikholelwa ekubeni …
… we were aided by the government of the day, so should it be …
kumafama akhoyo …
And that is what the President was saying. We will follow that, Comrade President. We intend to accelerate transformation - agrarian transformation in general and land reform in particular.
Lunayo ingxakangxaka olu daba lomhlaba, ngoba olu daba lunento yokuba lufikelele kule nto yemali. Loo nto ke ithi isenze sicinge ngakumbi ukuba siza kujikela njani kulo mcimbi wemali, ngoba kunyanzelekile ukuba …
… we must ensure that there is increased food production, sustainable land use and that previously disadvantaged people in this country participate in the mainstream of our rural economies. We will, as a short-term measure, expedite the processing of settled land claims, as well as settling outstanding land claims, by addressing internal and institutional factors. In the medium to long term, we will deal with external sociopolitical factors affecting finalisation of restitution as well as postsettlement programmes. We further commit to ensuring that effective and regular communication takes place with claimants on the status of outstanding claims.
Abantu bayabuza: "Ndandifake ibango lam ngo-1997, ngo-1998. Kumanxa lindawoni ngoku?"
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Minister, just a minute. Our apologies for the translation services. We said to them 10 minutes, but they are not yet back from their 10 minutes. Somebody is attending to it. We really want to apologise, but continue, Minister, in whatever languages that you speak.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Thank you, hon Chair.
In terms of land redistribution, we will, as a medium-term intervention, take a closer look at the relevant legislation currently before this House, including the Land Use Management Bill, as directed by the President yesterday. Furthermore, we will finalise the review … Perhaps review is too strong a word, but we will certainly take a closer look at the willing-buyer, willing-seller model of land redistribution, as well as investigating other less costly alternative models of land redistribution. It is clearly not possible over the next five years, particularly under the current economic recession, to raise R71 billion to fulfil this requirement. This is an imperative intervention in ensuring that we find mechanisms to speed up land reform processes.
It is our considered view that we need to get into close interaction with those South Africans who are privileged enough today to control land resources in our country to ensure that we debate this issue and collectively find solutions that will be favourable to all South Africans.
With regard to tenure reform, we will review policy and legislation relating to tenure security and in particular patterns of land ownership. This relates to the point I have made above. We will enhance the capacity of the state to effectively respond to challenges of land administration, to create certainty and unlock development potential in these areas. Our view is that some of the blockages are more internal institutional problems that need to be resolved.
It was imperative for us to take bold steps to deal effectively with hunger and poverty. No South African should go to bed hungry when we have the possibility of optimal use of and benefit from our relatively vast natural resources. We shall, therefore, through the rural development programme, improve social and economic infrastructure, public amenities and facilities.
I have said what the President thinks, but I heard the secretary-general of the ANC say: "We want you to build dams. Construct dams, provide fences, mechanisation, shearing shears, and all these kinds of practical issues." I have also heard the Deputy President say: "Why don't you look at all the boarding schools that are closing down?" Some of the buildings are still there, but they're dilapidated. "Why don't you go and look at them, renovate them and turn them into centres of excellence in education? Get the best coaches to train children in sports. Get the parents to plough the land and grow vegetables to cook for their children?" These are elements of a model of rural development, one from the President, the other from the secretary-general and the other from the Deputy President of the country. Their wish is our command.
We are talking about rural development as a cross-cutting function. We are looking at working together with other departments, municipalities and South Africans in the private sector, NGOs, to look at issues such as clean water, sanitation and even ICT hubs. It is not fair that children from rural areas must go to cities to go to the cinema or the theatre. We are looking at livestock and crop farming, electricity, communal and household gardening, on- and off-farm roads, small-scale irrigation schemes, recreational facilities for young people, revival of land that is lying fallow, and conservation for local economic development as well as human development. This is what we want to do as part of our mandate - social cohesion and development.
When we are talking about development, we really refer to shared prosperity: equity, full employment and cultural progress in the long term. This will be the bedrock and the measure against which the success of this programme should be measured. We have to reverse the creeping fragmentation of rural communities and restore the spirit of ubuntu. Umntu ngumntu ngabantu. [I am because of you.]
In fast-tracking the implementation of all our land reform programmes, working together with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, we will ensure that the Water for Growth and Development Strategy is implemented and that water allocation reform is an integral part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme to ensure equitable distribution of this scarce natural resource. For every community plan and every land reform project, we will ensure that sufficient water is secured for that purpose and that there is optimal use and management of this natural resource.
It is of critical importance that during this difficult period of economic recession we strive to put in place measures to harness and streamline available rural development financing to make sure that it is accessible, affordable and effective. We are currently developing a national template which will serve as a framework to guide all spheres of government in the implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme. We have identified the greater Giyani Local Municipality, especially the villages of Muyexe, Dingamanzi and Gon'on'o, as the pilot sites. As we speak, all three spheres of government are working together with the people of Giyani, concretising their Comprehensive Rural Development Programme priorities and costing them.
In addition to Giyani, we will in the next three months, roll out the programme to other provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, the Free State, the Eastern Cape and the North West. Next week we are going to Riemvasmaak in the Northern Cape to interact with that community to better understand their developmental needs and thus work together with them and other departments and other stakeholders to bring about change in their lives. The Riemvasmaak community, which in the past received more that 75 000 hectares of land, shall be receiving a further 46 000 hectares through the restitution programme during this land month of June. As we interact with them next week, we want to understand the best interventions and initiatives to effectively deal with the prevailing poverty in that area.
The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme is not another social security programme. Its key objective is social cohesion and development. It is therefore important that communities organise themselves, and that we assist them to organise themselves as well in the spirit of "Vukuzenzele! Hi ti hluvukisa!"
I have committed myself as part of development, because I need to develop in this regard. I have committed myself, with the traditional leaders of Giyani, that every time we visit there over the next two years, we will be involved with them, that we will have 30 minutes and that I will learn the language.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order! Hon Minister, unfortunately your time has expired.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Before I call the next speaker, I just got information that the interpreting services have been there the whole time. However, they are experiencing technical problems. Please do not crucify them for my earlier remarks. They are experiencing technical challenges.
Rev K R J MESHOE
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM
Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, hon President, Deputy President and colleagues, the ACDP welcomes President Zuma's State of the Nation Address, which we believe was positive and daring, and instilled hope in many of our people. We further welcome his acknowledgment that our country has entered a recession and his intention to have government act speedily to minimize the impact of this economic downturn on those most vulnerable – particularly by protecting jobs.
When highlighting some of the steps that will be taken by government in response to the economic crisis, the President left us with questions that need answers and statements that should be clarified.
As an example, the President said, and I quote:
Workers who would ordinarily be facing retrenchment due to economic difficulty would be kept in employment for a period of time and be re-skilled.
While acknowledging that the President did say that discussion on the practical detail is continuing, the ACDP wants to know whether all workers in all sectors, including mining, will benefit from such an arrangement and whether the re-skilling the President spoke about will also benefit those doing low-paying jobs, such as cleaners and domestic workers.
We also want to know whether there are sufficient funds to help all companies that are in distress. What will the criteria be for funding a company in distress, and will small businesses also benefit from such a programme?
The ACDP also welcomes plans to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses which will reduce the cost of doing business in South Africa. This, we believe, will help to attract new investment opportunities that are urgently needed during the recession.
The President also said, and I quote again:
We are mindful of the need to link social grants to jobs or economic activity in order to encourage self-reliance among the able-bodied.
The ACDP believes this link is important as it will prevent our country from turning into a welfare state that robs people of initiative, dignity and independence. What we want to know is when this need to link social grants to jobs or economic activity will become government policy, by when will it be implemented and will government have the capacity to make it a success?
We commend the President for admitting that the quality of health care is deteriorating very fast. We were unfortunately not told what this administration is going to do about it. We trust that government will move from the position of just being concerned, to actively reversing the deterioration. Our people who have been promised a better life deserve quality and professional health care and they deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.
Mr President, the treatment given to some patients, particularly the elderly, is appalling and is nothing but abuse. This practice has to stop and the elderly must be given back their dignity and the respect they deserve. There was a shocking story on the front page of the Pretoria News which told of a helpless patient who described the ordeal he allegedly suffered at the hands of Steve Biko Academic Hospital nursing staff as "hell on earth". How can nursing staff be allowed to get away with letting a patient lie in his own faeces for almost three days? If the President has not heard about this shocking abuse, he must please get a copy of the relevant article and read first-hand about the dire extent of the deterioration of service in some public hospitals. The ACDP believes that the culture of proper caring, compassion, respect for the rights of patients and love for those who are suffering must be restored in all our hospitals.
While we understand that our health workers are underpaid, overworked and under a lot of pressure, we find it totally unacceptable that a patient who is crying in pain and in need of help and pain-killers should be told by health workers that they are on their tea break or having lunch. Where is ubuntu in all this? Urgent attention must be given to the bad attitude and work ethic of some of our health workers.
Having said the above, the ACDP believes doctors and nurses should be paid well, to minimize the poaching that is taking place and to ensure that we do not lose any more doctors. We believe the salary demands made by doctors are not unreasonable and that the occupation-specific dispensation should be finalised as soon as possible.
Mr President, we believe doctors must be paid well because we need them and we do not want to lose them to the private sector or to countries that will show them more appreciation.
As far as crime is concerned, the ACDP believes that police powers must be revisited and more teeth must be given to law enforcement officers. We have been assured many times before that particular attention will be given to combating the theft of police case dockets, but this is still happening. Is there anything new that this administration intends to do to ensure that the theft of case dockets comes to an end?
Mr President, the Forensic Procedures Amendment Bill was not finalized by the third Parliament, notwithstanding it being referred to an ad hoc parliamentary committee for urgent attention earlier this year. It is disgraceful, we believe, that the SA Police do not have access to the fingerprints contained in the databases of the Department of Home Affairs, which contains about 31 million prints, and that of the Department of Transport, which has a further six million prints. It is no wonder that so many offenders are not apprehended.
The Bill also sought to enhance DNA profiling. It is irrefutable that the effective use of fingerprints and DNA evidence helps to track down criminals, and, once apprehended, ensures that the prosecution's case succeeds in court. We heard the hon Minister of Police saying that this Bill would be finalised within a year. We trust that it will be done as a matter of urgency, sooner rather than later.
It is not enough, Speaker, to merely say that the most serious attention will be given to combating organized crime as well as crimes against women and children. Has this not been said before? Reported stories about sexual abuse of boys are worrying. According to reports, children's clinics around the country are struggling to cope with the huge increase in the sexual abuse of boys, some as young as three years old.
Mr President, government is failing our children. Not a single day passes without one hearing about a child who has been raped, and many of these incidents are not reported to the police.
The ACDP has been saying for years now that pornography is harmful and should be removed from street corners and shops. Those who defend pornography still claim that there is no scientific proof linking pornography to rape. I am sure, Mr President, you will agree with me when I say that pornography is the theory and rape is the act. What other conclusion could there be to explain why a baby of a few months old is raped by an adult, or why a 65-year-old grandmother was raped by a 16-year-old boy, as happened in Mthata this past weekend? I urge the President to bite the bullet and declare that pornography is dangerous, harmful and addictive, and that its easy availability has contributed immensely to the unacceptably high incidence of rape in this country.
Please could you tell us how this government is going to protect our children and babies from the scourge of rape? Let us not only talk about loving our children, but let us go, if necessary, even to what some might call extreme measures in order to protect our children. [Time expired.]
Ms M N MATLADI
Rev K R J MESHOE
Ms M N MATLADI: Madam Chairperson, hon President, my colleagues: Thank you very much, Mr President, for the speech you delivered at the opening of the fourth democratic Parliament. It was a speech that was easy to comprehend and that had targets. This speech is going to make it easy for us to assess the performance and achievements of your government. It will be easier, as well, to remind you that these targets were not met or were met, and what could have been the obstacles or the problems in meeting them. We will know who is performing and who is not, and corrective measures will be put in place timeously.
The President has hinted to the people of South Africa that South Africa cannot escape the consequences of the present economic meltdown and he has admitted that the country is facing a recession, and that the government is joining hands with its social partners to come up with plans to minimise the impact of this recession. This is a step in the right direction. However, we wish that hon President could have revealed what plans are in place so that we could engage in robust debate on the successes and the limitations of these plans.
In numerous speeches, the President has indicated that he is willing to work closely with opposition parties, and we would like to be engaged in the formulation of plans so that we own them, and not later blame the ruling party for having failed South Africa.
An amount of R787 billion is a good amount of money that could be used to improve on the dilapidated infrastructure throughout the country and move on with the building of new structures. But the question is: How will the rural areas benefit from the R787 billion of infrastructure development? If we do not cater for the rural areas, we will be perpetuating the economic imbalance as it exists in South Africa now. We hope and trust that the National Planning Commission in the President's Office will address the issue.
We congratulate the President for coming up with intervention strategies to address health problems, including the introduction of the national health insurance scheme, and paying attention to the issue of the remuneration of health professionals.
On the second issue of the remuneration of health professionals, the government must take a holistic approach rather than the piecemeal approach solution. Is it not time that the whole salary structure of the public sector be reviewed, so as to avert strikes and picketing by unions that affect service delivery and the economy of the country?
The President has indicated that he will be meeting with school principals because of the lack of discipline, the lack of work ethics, ill-mannered learners, the low morale of teachers and teachers who abuse learners sexually. In doing this, if I am not wrong, he will be the first Head of State to meet with the teaching fraternity, and this is another step in the right direction. [Applause.] If he can solve the problems facing the education system in South Africa, it will be a giant step forward. More often than not, research reveals that our learners are rated the lowest in reading and writing skills. It is high time that educators are reminded of their responsibilities, and it is in meeting with these professionals that their responsibilities would be spelt out.
The President, in meeting with these teachers or educators, must remind them that reading makes a man, and reading and writing at the same time make a full man. Therefore, no time wasting, like the President said: If you don't deliver, give way.
There are two Ministries of Education now, and we hope that these Ministries will not perpetuate the fragmentation that exists in the education department, the system of unco-ordinated directorates.
We humbly submit that the curriculum be looked into. It should not change from one Minister to the other. Since 1996, we have had Curriculum 2005, or OBE, which changed to the Revised National Curriculum Statement, or RNCS, which also changed to the New Curriculum Statement, or NCS. These changes confuse educators, who are not properly trained to deal with them, thus resulting in the low morale of educators and the poor products of our education system, that are less competitive in the international educational arena.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired.
Ms M N MATLADI: When the Americans landed on the lunar surface for the first time, there was a saying: One giant step forward! And the Rural Development Ministry is such a giant step forward. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Ms M N MATLADI
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Madam Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament, dumelang bomme le borre! [Interjections.]
Yesterday, the hon President warned us that the global economic downturn should not cause us to change our plans to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor. Instead, it should urge us to implement our plans with speed and determination.
It is in this spirit of the address of the hon President that we will speed up economic growth and transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.
Here we will encourage small business development, the development of co-operatives, the creation of "green" jobs, investment in appropriate public infrastructure, as well as agricultural broad-based black economic empowerment and the national youth service for agriculture.
In the same breath, we will work together with our people in the rural areas to ensure a comprehensive rural development strategy that is linked to land and agrarian reform and food security, as already outlined by the Minister.
This is also reiterated in the manifesto and the Polokwane resolutions, which appeal for food security to ensure that not a single person goes hungry. We will also reduce our dependence on food imports, and develop access to food at affordable prices, especially as it relates to the poor. We further need to expand acces to food production schemes in rural and periurban areas and advance land and food production in schools.
Our co-operation with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will begin to address a massive programme to build economic and social infrastructure, to ensure the realisation of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme. To this end we will unfold and massify a programme of fencing in rural and farming areas which will create a sizeable number of jobs through the Expanded Public Works Programme. We will also, in light of co-operatives, hand out the massification of the Nguni cattle project, which to the surprise of many members will give co-operatives ten pregnant heifers and one bull, to assist the bull and give the bull a headstart in the production of Nguni cattle. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
The vision of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme is about enabling rural people to take control of their destiny, thereby dealing effectively with rural poverty through the optimal use and management of natural resources, thereby creating and maintaining an intricate balance between human civilisations and Mother Nature.
Madam Chairperson, more than two thirds of Subsaharan Africa's population are employed in agriculture, yet the sector contributes only about a third of the region's gross domestic product.
However, China's overall political and macroeconomic packages enabled their agricultural policy package to realise its objectives in the economy. In this regard, amongst others, the Chinese developed a unique rural pathway, namely "village industrialisation", which is the setting up of township enterprises to provide jobs for the rural population. This is exactly what we seek to do in Riemvasmaak through our Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.
On 19 June we will be commemorating the Native Land Act of 1913. This year, on the very 19 June, we will be descending on Riemvasmaak to launch the Riemvasmaak Comprehensive Rural Development Programme. We will be taking the hon Derek Hanekom down memory lane.
Efforts to bring the people of Riemvasmaak back to their land got momentum in 1993. The decision to give 74 000 hectares back to the people was taken in February 1994, and this became the first land restitution project in the new South Africa, under the able leadership of President Nelson Mandela. Most of the original residents were back on the land at the end of 1995. In 2002 the people of Riemvasmaak received title deeds to the plot they live on, a milestone for those who were landless for so long. However, economic development has evaded this poorest of the poor community for more than 15 years.
Through our project, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the IDC will partner with Citro Gold on 80 hectares, on behalf of the community, and R200 million of investment will be utilised for this purpose. Citro Gold's once-off investment of R200 million will immediately include the creation of 280 permanent jobs. [Applause.] Mr President, you can subtract that from the number of jobs you wish to create. The figure is further expected to double during the peak season.
On that same day, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform will hand over about 46 000 hectares as the last phase of the settlement of the claim. Together we can do more! [Applause.] We will use agriculture, forestry and fisheries as a catalyst to chip away at the vestiges of rural poverty. Step by step we will create jobs in rural areas through agricultural intervention.
Madam Chairperson, energy has always been perceived as widely abundant and forever available for use. Human societies over the years have failed to pay attention to the sustainability and importance thereof. It is evident that an ignorant approach to energy sources will not just stall human development, but indeed can cost us dearly as nations of the world.
Significant improvement in research and development of technologies over the years has enabled us to access energy from different sources to power human civilisations. We need to creatively exploit energy sources that are mutually beneficial to the environment and human life.
The recent economic concerns raised by our President, such as the depletion of resources, have called for the development of urgent plans to develop our own renewable energy needs. In our case, we will follow through the proposed Industrial Strategy for Bio-Fuel Production, which was approved by Cabinet in 2007. Through bio-fuel and our other strategies for renewable energy, we envisage creating more than 500 jobs in the forthcoming financial year. This would be 500 sustainable, permanent jobs in the industry.
South Africa cannot ignore the global drive towards green fuels. Our approach will have to take into consideration the effects of climate change and also look into creating green jobs and the application of scientific technology in the production processes.
In doing so, the options proposed should create a balance between economic development and national food security.
Deur saam te werk met ander departemente soos Minerale Sake asook Wetenskap en Tegnologie, sal ons in staat wees om die gebruik van hernubare hulpbronne van energie maksimaal te kan benut. Ons moet konstant aandag gee aan en bewus wees van energiebesparing en die gebruik van alternatiewe vorme van energie, as dit kom by landbouproduksie.
Through the forestry sector, the effects of desertification will be receiving our attention; amongst other things, we will continue to intensify the drive to plant more trees to protect the environment. In addition to the implementation of the National Industrial Policy Framework, particularly in the forestry, pulp, paper and furniture sectors, we will establish ways of increasing our forestry resources for trade purposes.
Pressure on our marine environment is mounting. Careful planning and good policy decisions necessitate us to relook at fishing quotas as they have been handed out on the West Coast, particularly as these pertain to poor rural communities. [Applause.] Our approach will be to continue supporting food security, with a specific bias to giving fishing quotas and reassessing fishing quotas to the rural poor. [Applause.]
The developmental state must have the technical capacity to translate broad goals and objectives into practical programmes and projects and ensure their implementation, which requires effective training, appropriate orientation and leadership skills. Our structures and systems will effectively facilitate the implementation of programmes that have been decided upon. I think the President's speech called on us to have this kind of practical implementation of our programmes that he has spelt out.
An alliance between the state, civil society and business will be a fundamental necessity, where the state takes the role of leader in effecting a developmental agenda. Our strong government, through your leadership, hon President, is a prerequisite for the developmental state we are building, with the capacity to be responsive to changing conditions and the ability to lead and manage our economic relations.
South Africans have it in their power, as a people, to continually change the environment in which we operate in the interests of a better future. However, we will have to display remarkable ingenuity if we wish to succeed as a nation. But, as demonstrated by the vision in your speech, we have broken the back of poverty.
Die rottang is alreeds geknak.
Silufezile ugqatso! [We have succeeded!] [Applause.]
Mr W G JAMES
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Mr W G JAMES: Chairperson, we could say that freedom is the autonomous and self-generating ability to do what needs to be done. President Zuma spoke yesterday about what needs to be done. He is to be congratulated for firmly placing service delivery, and especially so for poor people, in our line of vision and sight.
Government can count on our wholehearted support for the service delivery project. We cannot prosper, we all realise, unless we make poverty history. And the question, of course, is how. There is no straightforward answer to this, especially at a time when the growth that confirmed the macroeconomic dogma has come to a recessionist halt. Still, we do know that education matters and it matters enormously. It matters to our changing position in the global economic order as we seek to move from a resource-based export economy to a knowledge-based one.
Education matters to our efforts to modernise our communications, our energy and our science-based health sectors. It matters immensely to the quality of our democracy, for a dynamic one cannot function effectively without having educated citizens who are accustomed to thinking for themselves. Most of all, it matters to our young people, for education remains the most powerful route to moving from the tyranny of survival to the freedom of self-actualisation.
We therefore applaud President Zuma and his government's embrace of education as a priority. But we need to go much further than simply emphasising teacher discipline, important as that may be. At the heart of what needs doing in our country is the professionalisation of the vocation of teaching. We often say that teachers are the most important people because we entrust our children's education to them, and then we proceed very easily to treating them very badly indeed. We should stand firmly behind the good teachers, of whom there are many in this country.
The hon Minister of Higher Education and Training must ensure that teacher training becomes excellent, because it is not. Set aside attractive bursaries; make teaching a worthwhile career; provide incentives for improving their academic education; strengthen the professional associations; shield the teachers from the distraction of self-serving, instrumentalist and reckless trade unions. Please do not put teachers through another round of curriculum reform. Refine, focus and support teaching, and ensure that the basics – reading, writing and arithmetic – are there.
Young people from poor areas struggle to get access to higher education. The educational quality of entry undergraduates is not very good at all. The dropout rate is much too high. There are not enough science, engineering and medical graduates. We are not graduating enough doctorates, in some critical fields, to replace the ageing professorial populations.
Let the institutions of higher learning play to their strengths. Let the community colleges graduate adults with Grade 12 and some employment-related diplomas. Let the undergraduate universities offer a well-rounded four-year bachelors degree. Create professional colleges for teacher, nursing and agricultural science training. Let the postgraduate divisions of the major research universities expand and pull these universities closer to the Department of Science and Technology with their elaborate and sometimes aloof science councils. And, yes, do this in a financially sustainable way. The hon Minister of Higher Education and Training should therefore talk to the hon Minister of Finance before he declares his unwise favour of free undergraduate university education.
President Zuma was silent on science and technology applications when it comes to poverty and development. There are new technologies for waste removal, for sanitation, for water supply and irrigation. There are low-cost energy panels for people living in informal settlements under development. Many of these innovations take into account some critical global warming and climate-change issues.
There is a world of biology that yields new diagnostic and predictive biomedical technologies. There are new ways of using genome-based science to make vaccines for animals and human infectious diseases. Remember that as a country we are not very good at discovery science, but we are very good at adapting discoveries made elsewhere for local use.
Most of all, I would like this government to stop the ambivalence it has when it comes to science and technology, and to start owning what is the largest science and technology infrastructure on the African continent.
I end by introducing you to Roekshana Parker. She is from Mitchells Plain and she is a student at the University of Cape Town working towards a BA in English. I asked her to come to Parliament today. I want to say that there are thousands of Roekshanas in Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Langa, Kraaifontein, Soweto, Eldorado Park, Chatsworth, Uitenhage and the many places we, hon members, represent, waiting to have their talent discovered and nurtured. We owe it to them and to our children to use taxpayers' money to give them the best education, using the best science and technology that there is, leading into the future. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M A MANGENA
Mr W G JAMES
Mr M A MANGENA: Hon Chairperson, Mr President, hon members, in Azapo we listened with appreciation, Mr President, to your timely call to join hands, not only to survive the present crushing economic squeeze, but to progress, to develop our country, to create jobs, to defeat poverty and to create a more caring society. It is particularly at difficult times such as these that the whole country looks up to you for leadership.
The story is told of a prisoner in Pretoria Central Prison in the sixties who called himself Long John Silver. He was the boss in his cell and, naturally, had the best blankets and could get the prisoners to amuse him in whatever way he desired.
They would run in a circle singing his favourite song:
"Mmutla ka bohlale o tlogetse bana ba hae, o tlogetse bana ba hae."
Sitting in his corner Long John Silver would be going: "Krr ... Qah! Krr ... Qah!" At some point he would stand up and ask: "Ngubani lo?" And they would say: "ULong John Silver." "Ngubani lo?" "ULong John Silver."
Udlani na? Udla imealie rice, isonka ne shukela, USilver wabandwana.
The point is that he was locked up in this cell like the rest of them and he didn't have the key to get out.
The vast majority of us in this House, together with our compatriots in the townships and villages, are in a giant cell, without a key. Some of us might have better blankets, or afford imealie rice, isonka ne shukela, but, fundamentally, we are all in a cell.
That might explain why we would smash up a university if we were angry with the vice chancellor; why we would trash the city and break as many things as we could find if we were in disagreement with the council or the mayor; why we would burn the train if it arrived late at the station. There is no sense of ownership of the city, metro rail and its trains, and, of course, the university.
The terribly skewed ownership of the economy, the huge inequalities and the crushing levels of poverty all combine to deny us the strong clue required to unite the country - that is the workers, peasants, business and government – to work together to save our country from the ravages of the global economic meltdown that you referred to.
We agree with you, Mr President, that we must cultivate and nurture patriotism amongst all our people, but the content of that patriotism must be a more equitable ownership of the economy of the country. That's the missing key, and we must find it. Otherwise, how do we continue to ask people to save an economy from which they feel alienated?
We are pleased that education and skills have been prioritised. Without a functioning, effective and efficient education system, we will not get anything right – not the economy, not social infrastructure, not crime. As long as we fail as a society to give our youngsters skills and good character through education, the criminal justice system will continue to battle difficult odds.
We also hope, Mr President, that we will take advantage of these economic difficulties to develop, fund and commercialise new South African technological innovations, so that when the upturn arrives, we are ready to trade with the world in goods and services containing our own intellectual property. The talent and know-how are there, needing only support, recognition and encouragement. Increasingly, let our "Krr ... Qah!" take place outside the cell. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE
Mr M A MANGENA
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon Speaker, hon President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, hon members, the ANC remains guided by the Freedom Charter that states:
The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!
The government shall discover, develop and encourage national
talent for the enhancement of our cultural life. All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands.
In the words of this extract, we will ensure that indeed we open our arts and culture to all.
It is this knowledge and understanding that only freedom of expression and freedom of creativity can serve to deepen democracy, and that only free and fruitful exchange can build a more unified and dynamic society that underpins the ANC's policy on culture. Yesterday President Zuma gave us a call to build a more cohesive society.
The President reminded us that our vision remains that "of an inclusive society, a South Africa that belongs to all, a nation united in its diversity, a people working together for the greater good of all".
Let us embrace this rallying cry by promoting unity in diversity and developing a shared value system, based on the spirit of community solidarity and a caring society. In the spirit of ubuntu we shall work in this regard with the moral regeneration movement to reach all our communities, including the religious and faith-based communities.
Our task must be to strengthen the gains of our national democratic revolution and to continue to work towards a truly nonracial, nonsexist and united South Africa.
In this regard, arts, culture and heritage will play a significant role in social regeneration, unity and reconciliation. As we transform our country, we need to ensure that we build cohesive, sustainable and caring communities.
The Department of Arts and Culture is tasked to lead and co-ordinate efforts to promote national identity and social cohesion.
We pledge our full support to the campaign to celebrate and commemorate Mandela Day on the 18th July every year. We call upon all South Africans to spend 67 minutes of their time on this day doing good deeds in the spirit of ubuntu, serving their communities and assisting others in order to strengthen our values and our resolve to work together for a better life for all our people.
In the next quarter, Mr President, we shall consolidate our work in building a more cohesive society and in nurturing our people's culture. We shall pool our efforts by encouraging national dialogue and community mobilisation towards a more caring society.
In the second half of this year we shall hold the first national conference on social cohesion that will be hosted in KwaZulu-Natal. The theme of the conference is "Building a Caring Society".
Zizakujula ke iingxoxo apho. Sizakube sixoxa khona ngokwakha isizwe. Le nkomfa izakudibanisa iinkokheli zethu zemveli, iinkokheli zethu zakwalizwi, iinkokheli zethu zoluntu, ulutsha, amakhosikazi nabantu abakhubazekileyo. Sisonke sizakube sixoxa sinenjongo enye yokuba siwakha njani na uMzantsi Afrika, sizakha njani na isizwe sethu saseMzantsi Afrika.
We shall continue to strive to make the arts accessible to all. We shall focus our attention on what needs to be done, including amending legislation as well as modifying our policies in order to create a more enabling environment for the flourishing of the arts.
We shall look at ways of strengthening the work of our councils and institutions so that they can better serve the needs of our people.
Through our national legacy projects, the department is broadening access to heritage resources in the country. The Sarah Baartman project in particular seeks also to provide opportunities for South African architects to design a memorial and interpretation centre in the Eastern Cape. [Applause.]
We shall also promote the people's arts within our communities and especially our rural areas, including community arts centres, local theatre groups – a favourite of Minister Nkwinti - music groups, local cultural forms of expression and creative work in all our national languages, including traditional dance and music, our poetry and literature.
We shall improve arts, culture and heritage education and training programmes by placing 400 artists in schools and community arts centres. We shall also assist with programmes at community arts centres.
We shall increase access to arts, culture and heritage by providing at least one programme for women, children and people with disabilities in all 27 arts, culture and heritage institutions in the country.
Through investing in the culture programme we will ensure that our investment results in thriving communities which ultimately can stand on their own and grow.
Culture must be rooted in the realities of our people, in their daily lives, struggles and victories. Creative industries are critical for our country and for nation-building. They create critical opportunities to uplift and empower our people, especially the youth and rural women.
We shall work together with cultural workers and our communities to ensure that we use the opportunities to do more and to create a better life for our people, including the youth, women and people with disabilities.
We shall focus on creating sustainable jobs through supporting initiatives in training and skills development, and by expanding opportunities for cultural workers. We are also eager to expand our contribution to economic growth.
The arts, culture and heritage sector prides itself on its potential to create sustainable jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities even in areas where people have minimum or no formal education at all.
We shall work towards the nurturing of sustainable jobs in the sector and be part of the national effort to fight poverty and unemployment.
During the Expanded Public Works Programme, Phase 1, the Department of Arts and Culture, through its investing in culture programme, created 7 374 job opportunities. Of these 51% were for women, 44% for the youth and 5% for people with disabilities.
In the next five years, we shall redouble our efforts to match the expansion requirements for the Expanded Public Works Programme, Phase 2, in promoting sustainable job opportunities and ensuring skills transfer for unemployed arts, culture and heritage practitioners.
We shall place particular emphasis on encouraging women in rural communities to produce high-quality products for both domestic and export markets. This year, the department established the annual national craft awards, where no fewer than 60 crafters across the nine provinces received awards and recognition for their contribution to craft development.
Through the national craft awards the Department of Arts and Culture hopes that South African crafters will become global players and will develop high-quality products for the export market.
Our private sector partners have also been instrumental in providing infrastructure and other resources to assist this sector. We shall continue to strengthen our relationship and build stronger public-private partnerships in the future.
In our efforts to bring arts and literature to our people in all our communities, the department is engaged in the recapitalisation of community libraries. This focuses on extending library services to previously disadvantaged areas, including our rural areas.
The department is also encouraging the development of reading material in all our official languages. The national library is republishing classics in African literature. Thusfar 24 classics have been republished, including the work of AC Jordaan, and the national library is also embarking on the second phase of this project. This will include, among others, the Sesotho classic, Chaka by Thomas Mofolo, and Insila ka Tshaka by John Langalibalele Dube.
We are also awarding language bursaries, especially in African languages, to help build capacity in the language sector.
We shall finalise the name changes. We shall continue to work together on the matter of name changes of our towns and cities. It is indeed our collective responsibility and interest to ensure that we do not only liberate ourselves but that we also liberate our cities and towns and other geographical areas.
Angeke sithi siwuqedile umsebenzi wethu wenkululeko kusekhona izindawo ezibizwa abo Kafferfontein.
We continue to encourage the development of local content. We call on the SABC to do more to support local content and local artists. Investing in culture is also investing in artists and creating enabling environment for our artists to lead a healthy, long, productive and prosperous life.
The other challenge that faces us in this sector is the fact that the entertainment industry is dominated by only a few multinationals, who dominate the profit, yet cultural workers who are the real creators of music, films, drama and poetry in our country are exploited throughout their lives and they end up being given a pauper's funeral.
We shall work with the unions and artists to strive towards ensuring that social security becomes a reality for the arts and culture community. We must work together to fight for transformation and equity in the creative and entertainment industry. We must work together towards transforming the entire industry, where black artists also must have ownership rights throughout the value chain of this important industry, and where black artists, not multinationals and business managers, decide what to produce and decide what they want to create.
It is important therefore that our interventions assist in broad-based black economic empowerment in the arts and heritage sector. We can also do this by developing co-operative production facilities which can provide employment opportunities for more of our artists.
We must also guard against the fake tapes, CDs and DVDs that we buy on the street. If we do that, we are actually stealing from the livelihood and the bread of our artists and cultural workers.
In line with our vision of developing sustainable cultural industries, the department bought the Downtown Music Hub in November 2008 from Gallo/Avusa. We believe that the Downtown Music Hub will become a unique and innovative music production entity that will empower our stakeholders in the music industry, especially previously disadvantaged artists. The Hub will be in partnership and involves corporate and community-based entities. We believe that, working together with our artists and the private sector, we can do more in creating a better life for the arts.
The department is also working together with the Department of Sport and Recreation on the 2010 World Cup. As South Africa prepares to welcome guests for the Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup, let us recognise that the cultural component is also very important in sharing our arts and culture with our visitors, the fans and the players that will be coming to our country and also ensuring that we leave a legacy for the future.
The department has initiated a project that will seek to document the history and culture of host cities in South Africa and in the SADC region as a whole.
Internationally, we shall continue to play an important role in ensuring that we strengthern South-South co-operation. We shall continue to be part of projects that foster relations between Africa and its Diaspora. We have seen the great success of the first Nepad cultural projects in January this year, with the launching of the new library building for the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu in Mali. The South Africa-Mali project should also pave the way for further Nepad cultural projects that seek to preserve ancient heritage for the purpose of new and future generations. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms A M DREYER
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE
Ms A M DREYER: Chairperson, to achieve our goals we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of service, probity and integrity. Together we must build a society that prizes excellence and rewards effort.
This is what President Jacob Zuma said in his inauguration speech at the Union Buildings. The DA wholeheartedly agrees with these principles of achieving high standards and rewarding excellence.
However, Minister Richard Baloyi, Minister for the Public Service and Administration, recently acknowledged that there are difficulties in reaching these ideals when he said, "The quality of service the public receives needs much improvement in many areas." The DA also agrees with the Minister on this score.
Sadly, the Public Service Commission revealed that between 2006 and 2007 there was a 46% increase in cases of corruption reported to the national anticorruption hotline. Therefore, we were glad that President Zuma highlighted his commitment to fighting corruption in the Public Service.
Further, year after year, the Auditor-General highlights financial mismanagement by various departments, seemingly without consequence. These problems are linked to not signing performance contracts with senior management staff. A Public Service that cannot measure the performance of its officials cannot hold them accountable for failures. It also cannot acknowledge the hard work done by the many dedicated officials.
A responsive government will ensure that senior managers enter into performance contracts and are held accountable for service delivery.
In sy staatsrede het President Zuma gehaltedienslewering juis verbind met batho pele – mense eerste. Wat 'n treffende beginsel! Hoe kan ons dit ten beste uitleef? Deur by elke gemeenskap se unieke behoeftes aan te pas. As owerhede eiesoortige stelsels in die verskillende provinsies toepas, sal 'n mens sien watter metodes werk die beste. Stelsels wat werk vir die Noord-Kaap is nie noodwendig die antwoord vir Gauteng nie. Die diversiteit van gemeenskappe moet lei tot die diversiteit van stelsels.
Die gedagte van een gesentraliseerde staatsdiens vir al drie sfere van regering waarin Minister Collins Chabane – ek sien hy's nie nou hier nie – die mag gaan hê om prestasies in nege provinsies, 56 distriksmunisipaliteite, ses metro's en 283 munisipaliteite landwyd te moniteer, is egter gevaarlik. [Tussenwerpsels.] As Ministers dienste in hulle eie departemente nie kan verseker nie, hoe gaan een sentraal beheerde staatsdiens vir nege provinsies dit regkry? [Tussenwerpsels.]
Hiermee tel die regering 'n las op sy skouers wat selfs die kommunistiese Sowjet-Unie met miljoene amptenare nie kon baasraak nie. [Tussenwerpsels.] Kort voor lank stort alle dienste in duie. [Tussenwerpsels.]
The biggest problem with service delivery is at local government level. Minister Baloyi once again acknowledged this when he said, "It is clear that local government faces a challenge that is sometimes met by filling posts with people who do not have the suitable skills." Once again the DA agrees with the Minister. Service delivery depends on having the right people in the right positions. We must fill the many vacancies with suitably skilled people.
In provincial government, at senior management level there was a 16% vacancy rate in the North West, 19% in the Free State and 31% in the Northern Cape. In local government in January this year there were 32 vacant municipal manager posts. Often these positions are not filled because there are no suitably qualified candidates in the required racial category. Surely, it is better to fill the position with a suitably qualified person of any colour in the interests of service delivery. [Applause.]
In conclusion, the DA follows the three principles I have emphasised here, namely accountable performance, diversity and merits. In fact, President Zuma pleaded for this once again when he said:
We do not seek conformity. We set ourselves a task of ensuring that we create a state that is responsive to the needs of all the people of the country, a state that will ensure that basic services were available to all regardless of race, colour, gender or creed.
President Zuma also gave sound advice when he spelt out his vision. He said:
We must build a society that draws on the capabilities, energy and promise of all its people.
Mr President, if you ensure that proper services are provided by all the people, regardless of race, colour, gender or creed, to all the people, regardless of race, colour, gender or creed, the DA will support you. Siyabonga. [Applause.]
Ms H N NDUDE
Ms A M DREYER
Ms H N NDUDE: Mr Chairperson, hon President, hon Deputy President, members of the executive and hon members, the arrival of Cope on the political land scene has forever altered the political landscape of South Africa. [Applause.]
Its emergence is an affirmation of our democracy. The hon President has asserted in his speech that we have a strong and fully functional constitutional democracy system, and that what we witnessed yesterday in this House was a celebration of what makes this democracy work.
These are fine words, but it is with a heavy heart that I must refer to the personal persecution that members of Cope have suffered in recent months … [Interjections.] … persecuted for doing nothing more than expressing their democratic choice and in a supposedly free and democratic country. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, can you just take your seat for a moment? Hon members, can we allow the hon member to make her speech without being disturbed, please. [Applause.]
Ms H N NDUDE: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. If I may proceed, on 15 December 2008 the National Post and The Star reported the following statement that was made by the president of the ANC:
It is better when you have an enemy that you do not know than the one that you know.
The one that you know is more difficult. In Zulu we refer to a form of witchcraft called ukuphehla amanzi, where your enemy would mix dirt from your body in a calabash and stick a spear into the mixture to cause you sharp body pains. [Applause.] When the witch is a family member, we know that it is more dangerous than an enemy from outside. [Applause.]
In November of last year, in an interview with Al Jazeera, Themba Ndaba, the chairperson of the Sedibeng ANC Youth League, was reported to have said, and I quote:
People like Terror Lekota and all those people who want to destroy the history of our organisation behave like cockroaches and they must be destroyed. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairperson, we cannot choose to have our cake and eat it. If we are proud of our democracy, then we must uphold that democracy with the responsibility and integrity that it deserves. And this must not happen some of the time, but all of the time.
In a democracy, those who choose to be in opposition cannot be termed witches, traitors, dogs, snakes or baboons. [Applause.] When the rhetoric of politics descends to this level, it becomes a blight on our democracy and diminishes the soul of our great nation. Madiba would never have countenanced this. [Applause.]
Polokwane is behind us now. [Interjections.] The common road that many of us walked … [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Hon member, there is a point of order!
Mr C T FROLICK: Chairperson, on a point of order: We understand that this is a maiden speech of the hon member. However, there are certain conventions in the House when a maiden speech is being delivered, and that is that we will respect the input of the member, unless it is provocative. And it is provocative at this stage. And we ask you to rule on that matter, please. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Ms H N NDUDE: Mr Chairperson, I have said that the common road that many of us have walked together … [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order, hon members! I am going to appeal once more to hon members. The hon President will be responding next week, and I am quite sure that the President wants to hear what each and every member has to say. [Interjections.] So, can we simply tone down our expressions and utterances?
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairman, may I just say that the DA doesn't find this provocative at all. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Can you continue, hon member?
Ms H N NDUDE: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. The common road that many of us have walked together in the search for freedom diverged at Polokwane. [Interjections.] For many of us, the treatment that was meted out to former President Mbeki was regrettable. We are deeply hurt at the handling and the timing of his recall. The removal of a President must never, ever happen like that again. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
This Parliament must ensure that the power to remove a President must reside here and nowhere else. [Applause.] [Interjections.] The Constitution of South Africa should never, ever be trumped by the constitution and processes of any political party. [Interjections.] Our nation's Constitution must reign supreme. Therefore, Parliament should ensure that its authority … [Interjections.]
Mr O E MONARENG: Chair, on a point of order: I think hon member Frolick did ask for your indulgence in terms of … [Interjections.] Chief, keep quiet, please. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order, please!
Mr O E MONARENG: The hon Frolick has asked for your indulgence in terms of the relevance of what the member is saying. She is giving us information. Can she now inform us if hon former President Thabo Mbeki is Cope's member? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): No, that is not a point of order. [Applause.] Can you continue, hon member? Order!
Ms H N NDUDE: Mr Chairman, our national Constitution must reign supreme. Therefore, Parliament should ensure that its authority is not denuded in this way again.
Cope wishes to bend its back to alter the bleak and tormented lives of millions of our people. We wish to co-operate with the ANC on a professional and dignified basis. [Interjections.]
We wish to do so because our forebears have left us the legacy of ubuntu, and it is incumbent upon us to work in the spirit of ubuntu. [Interjections.]
We want to hold the President responsible for ensuring that our Constitution is upheld at all times and that everyone acts accordingly. Hon President, we cannot comprise on this. This is what South Africans expect of you and this House demands of you. [Interjections.]
It is very unfortunate that we have been so reckless in damaging and degrading the environment as though there is no tomorrow. The hon President has correctly pointed out that South Africa, being a dry country, requires urgent action to mitigate adverse environmental changes and to ensure the provision of water to citizens.
But, hon President, that is only part of the problem. The big issue is that of our climate change, which is already here. Within a decade or two, the western half of South Africa will begin to dry up even further and the ocean could rise to submerge parts of Cape Town. [Time expired.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Ms M T KUBAYI
Ms H N NDUDE
Ms M T KUBAYI: Hon Chairperson, His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, members of the National Assembly, ladies and gentlemen …
... ndi masiari. [… good afternoon.]
I think my colleague, hon member Ndude, is going to learn with the process that we should focus on the ball and not on the people. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Mongameli wezwe, intsha yoMzansi Afrika iphumile ngobuningi ngomhlaka 22 Apreli iyovota, ivotela uKhongolose wabantu futhi yethemba ukuthi ikusasa layo lizokuqhakaza ngoba …
They believed that "ANC rocks for sure!" and that "ANC is cool!" [Applause.] This was to defend the gains of our democracy and our revolution.
In 11 days' time, we will be commemorating 33 years of the June 16 uprising. The launch of this agency on June 16 gives hope to young people in South Africa in terms of what has been raised as concerns around the issue of inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund. It is a signal that the ANC-led government is able to listen to young people.
This launch signals new hope for all young people of South Africa, black and white. [Applause.] It gives the young people of South Africa an opportunity to grow, develop and learn. The mandate of the institution itself will be to initiate, design, co-ordinate, evaluate and monitor all programmes aimed at integrating youth into the economy and into the society at large. The agency will play an instrumental role in ensuring that young people are self-reliant and do not rely on government alone to be able to have a better life.
It will ensure that departments develop policies that are friendly towards procurement from young people, and also that, as government, we take young SMMEs seriously, so that we continue to create jobs for young people. The success of the agency will be measured by the extent to which young people contribute positively to the developmental state, and hence it will be critical to ensure support for young entrepreneurs.
I would also like to appeal to provincial governments to fast-track the repeal of the National Youth Commission legislation, so that they make way for the implementation of the National Youth Development Agency Act, 2008. We cannot delay the development of young people any longer. [Applause.]
We have seen the success of the first phase of the Extended Public Works Programme and the National Youth Service Programme, as a tool to absorb young people into the economic system. More than 20 000 young people have received offers locally, and 700 have been placed internationally in the work placement programme. We are looking forward to the success of the second phase of the EPWP, which will create 500 000 jobs by December this year, and 4 million jobs by 2014. We believe that the ANC-led government is going to deliver on this. [Applause.]
Hon members, rural development will not be sustainable if young people do not become a key element of it. We need to ensure that we cut the cycle of poverty in rural areas and that young people do not inherit poverty, but are able to be absorbed within the economic system in their own areas. Young people in rural areas are often forced to leave their areas in search of better opportunities in urban areas such as Johannesburg. They end up being exploited and abused. This needs to stop, as we are encouraging them to be part of the rural development in their areas. We appeal to young people that, as these rural development projects come to their areas, they should take the opportunity to develop their own areas.
In 1953, when Hendrik Verwoerd was addressing the Senate, he said, and I quote:
The native will be taught from childhood to realise that equality with Europeans is not for him. There is no place for the Bantu child above the level of certain forms of labour. Until now, he has been subjected to a school system which drew him away from his own community and misled him by showing him the green pastures of European society in which he was not allowed to graze.
We need to deal with the legacy of apartheid in our education system, in basic and tertiary education. The Freedom Charter promises that the doors of learning and culture shall be opened to all. [Applause.] Working together we can do more in our societies in terms of education. We need to work together, parents fulfilling their responsibilities, taking the initiative and being part of the school governing bodies; teachers being in classes, being responsible and doing what they are expected to do; and learners themselves being responsible and committing themselves to their education. This can be achieved if we work together as a society.
Bontši bja baswa ba Afrika-Borwa ba phela ka tlase ga kgatelelo le tshokolo. Bontši bja bao ba lego dinagengmagae ba fetša mphato wa marematlou gomme ba palelwa ke go tšwetša dithuto pele ka lebaka la gore ba sa kgone go fihlelela thuto ya ka godimo.
Mr President, tertiary education cannot continue being a luxury in our country. There is a need to have serious engagement with institutions to ensure that students do not drop out of institutions because of lack of financial support. [Applause.] The National Student Financial Aid Scheme also needs to exhaust its entire budget allocation each and every year.
In the previous financial year, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme was not able to exhaust its funds, despite the fact that a lot of young people continue to drop out of tertiary institutions because of financial exclusions. This is cause for concern. We need to look into this institution to ensure its effectiveness and review it so that it is able to support young people.
Resourcing of training institutions and refocusing them is a critical tool that we should use for young people who are dropping out of high school and are not able to be absorbed back into the education or schooling system. This category of young people is also an important group in society, because this group mainly falls between the ages of 20 and 29. They are out of the schooling system, they are not absorbed by the tertiary education system, and they are unskilled. If we don't focus on them, we will face a bleak future because these are young people who need to contribute to the economy of South Africa. So we need to look at this.
Mr President, I am happy that you spoke about resourcing and revitalising the training institutions as well. Despite many efforts to ensure youth development and empowerment, many young people are still facing challenges, one of which is experimentation with alcohol and drugs. Often, this leads them to being involved in crime. The implementation of the Child Justice Bill is critical, as it will assist with the issue of children in conflict with the law. We need to ensure that these children are rehabilitated and that they don't eventually become hardcore criminals. It is their constitutional right that children should not be detained, except as a measure of last resort. I know, Mr President, that this Bill was passed last year, and therefore it is critical that, as Parliament, we ensure that its implementation becomes a success.
The President yesterday committed to improve implementation of the comprehensive plan for treatment management and care for HIV and Aids, and further to reduce new infections by 50% by 2011. Young people can play their part by being responsible and ensuring that we strive to achieve an HIV-free generation. We need to work together with the ANC-led government in ensuring that this target becomes a reality. [Applause.]
Maitshwaro a rona jwale ka batjha, ke ona a tla etsang hore re kgone ho fihlella mona.
As part of social cohesion and promoting a healthy lifestyle, there is a need to ensure that all sporting codes exist, even in previously disadvantaged communities. We need to ensure that young people, even in black communities, are exposed to sporting codes such as tennis and cricket. These should not continue to exist elsewhere and not in these communities. We cannot continue perpetuating the legacy of apartheid, where black South African children were only exposed to sporting codes such as soccer and netball.
The hon President highlighted yesterday that sport should become part of the curriculum. I hope that indigenous sporting codes will also become part of the curriculum, as part of restoring and promoting our heritage and culture as South Africans.
South Africans will be hosting the 2009 Confederations Cup in less than 10 days. We need to come out in numbers with our energy and vibrancy as young people to support this tournament and make it a most memorable one for our guests and Fifa. We are a truly unique country, rich in diversity and heritage. This is the South Africa that the world should experience when they come here.
Sepedi se re moeng tla ka gešo re je ka wena.
Young people need to make use of the opportunities that will exist during this tournament and grab them. We need to come out in numbers to support our South African team, Bafana Bafana. We wish them well in the tournament. We trust that they will do us proud during this tournament.
In conclusion, as we move forward, it is important that we understand that a true national, democratic society can only be achieved when the youth have been fully emancipated from the fetters of the past which continue to truncate their development. There should be a clear intention which manifests itself in progressive programmes to empower the youth. The youth of our country have always been loyal to the objective of the revolution. They need to be harnessed, mobilised and engaged in the journey to a truly united, democratic, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa. It is the duty of the ANC to reverse the damage done to the youth by the apartheid system. Ndza khensa. [I thank you.] [Applause.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: I wish to refer to the speech by the hon member from Cope before the last speaker, when she was very loudly booed. I submit to you, with respect, that booing is unparliamentarily. I request you to consult, if necessary, with the Speaker and to make a ruling by the Presiding Officers on whether booing is parliamentary or not. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): We will look into that, hon member.
Mr M M SWATHE
Ms M T KUBAYI
Mr M M SWATHE: Hon Chairperson, the DA supports sustainable and equitable land reform and rural development. We view this as both a moral necessity to correct the imbalances of the past and as a fundamental condition to growing our economy to benefit all South Africans.
We would also like to congratulate the President for recognising the need to address problems in the rural areas by appointing a Minister and a new department to deal specifically with both rural development and land reform. The appointment of Minister Nkwinti shows how crucial this portfolio is. We extend a hand of co-operation to his department, while also assuring him of our critical engagement when things go wrong. We will not be doing this for cheap political point-scoring but in order to ensure that all South Africans enjoy and share the wealth of this country.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform faces numerous challenges. It inherits one of the poorly functioning departments under the previous Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs.
The reality is that many landless people feel neglected in the democratic dispensation. Our collective task will be to address, as a matter of urgency, the target of reaching 30% of land redistribution by 2014, which seems unachievable. The previous administration sought to introduce manifestly unconstitutional laws, such as the Expropriation Bill, to accelerate land redistribution, but this was not going to work and would scare off investors.
We need to develop legally justifiable laws that will speed up land reform processes to ensure that new landowners are provided with adequate post-settlement financial and material support. It is indeed an indictment that over 50% of land reform projects are failing because the state does not provide adequate support to the land reform beneficiaries. South Africa cannot afford this when millions of our people face the danger of food shortages and go to bed without food.
We need to accelerate the settlement processes of over 4 000 land restitution claims which still remain unsettled; we need to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks which hinder the settlement process; and we need to upgrade land titles to freehold titles to as many South Africans as is legally and economically feasible. Indeed, it is an anomaly that there are still South Africans who hold their land under the apartheid-type title deeds while we are 15 years into democracy.
The hon Minister must take swift steps to ensure that vacant posts in his department are filled with efficient and properly qualified people. We cannot afford the policy of cadre deployment when our people go hungry and remain landless.
Morena Modulasetulo, setšhaba sa gešo sa dinagamagae se dutše godimo ga kgatelelo e kgolo ya go hloka thušo go dinaga tšeo ba di filwego. Ditšhaba tše di nyaka thušo ya mašeleng le thlahlo gore ba kgone go tšwetša temo pele. Nakong ya pušo ya pele, balemi ba makgowa bao ba filwego dinaga ba be ba thušwa ka mašeleng le thekgo ya mahlale a temo. Re le ba DA re ka thabela go bona Tona ya tša Tlhabologo ya Dinagamagae le Mobu a šomiša tsebo yeo ya boradipolase bao ba tlogelago dipolase tša bona. Re rata go bona tlhabologo ya motheo naga ka bophara.
Re le ba DA, re dumela gore naga ke ya batho bohle, gomme ditšhaba tšohle di swanetše go hlabollwa ka go lekana. Re re dikgoba tša thlabologo a di fiwe batho kamoka ba Afrika Borwa.
Ditšhaba tša dinaga magae di lla ka kabo ya ditirelo tša motheo. Ditšhaba tše di nyaka meetse a go hlweka, ditsela tše kaone, mohlagase le mešomo. Ditšhaba tše tša dinagamagae di rata go bona thlabologo dinageng tša bona. Ke ka fao ba ilego ba tšea karolo ka bontšhi dikgethong tša naga. Ga go Mopresidente yo a ka thopago dikgetho ntle le thekgo e kgolo ya badudi ba dinagamagae.
Re le ba DA, re hlompha le go amogela di poelo tša dikgetho gomme re holofetša setšhaba gore re tla se šomela ka potego le bikgafo. Re tla dira bonnete bja gore ditshepišo di phethagale ka go hlokomela gore mmušo o aba ditirelo go batho bohle ba Afrika Borwa.
We will need to develop economies that are integral to development in the rural areas.
Once more, Mr Chairperson, the DA will support the new administration and we will gladly make available all our policy inputs on land reform. We hope that this will be reciprocated with the co-operation it deserves. Our role as the official opposition party will continue, but the interests of South Africa's land reform will inform all our critical engagement with the administration. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Mr M M SWATHE
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, His Excellency the President of the Republic, the Deputy President of the Republic, Cabinet Ministers present, hon members of the House, guests in the gallery: Firstly, I want to address myself to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Trollip, on the issue of appointing people who were involved in the travel issue as chairpersons. The issue here is that the DA as an organisation is always talking about the rule of law and respect for the rule of law. Not only that, they talk about respect for the Constitution. In this matter, when we were dealing with the Scorpions, the parliamentary legal services pronounced on the issue, but not only that. Mr Hugh Glenister took the matter to court, even to the highest court of the land. They failed. The members who were involved in the travel issue are members of the House and they can participate in all parliamentary processes. [Applause.]
Now they are talking about respect for the rule of law while they are undermining the Constitution and the Constitutional Court, which says these members have the right to participate here. They talk about morals and respect for the law and the Constitution when it suits them. What I was saying is that, even thereafter, the Electoral Court handled the matter and pronounced on it. You can't awake ghosts on matters that were finalised by the courts if you respect the rule of law. We must speak the same language. [Applause.]
What we probably should do is to have some sort of induction for new Members of Parliament on decisions that were taken by the previous Parliament, so that they do not repeat the same ground in that respect. [Interjections.]
The second issue that was raised by the Leader of the Opposition was that of the ANC in the Western Cape. He said that the ANC in the Western Cape was adverse to being in opposition; they are uncomfortable. That's what he said. Since 1994, the ANC has been in opposition. We know about this. When the then National Party and the then Democratic Party formed a coalition of convenience, in that situation the ANC was an opposition and we never had any problem with that. Even today we will continue to be an opposition representing almost 700 000 people in the Western Cape. What we are saying is that, as an opposition, we will be effective and robust.
What is more important, is that Mr Trollip said that the leadership of the DA here represents all the people of the Western Cape. We want to challenge you, Mr Trollip, that the leadership here doesn't represent all the people. If you did, why do you have an all-male cabinet? Where are the women of the Western Cape if you are taking that position? [Interjections.] Do you mean that you are representing them? [Laughter.] Therefore, you can't speak in the way that you are speaking.
He continued to say that there was corruption in the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. No corruption whatsoever has ever been recorded in this department. If you have evidence, present it; we would like to attend to the matter. [Applause.]
The hon Rev H M Dandala raised an issue. He said that the Ministers in The Presidency must come here and educate parliamentarians on the issues of oversight and monitoring. Hon reverend, in terms of parliamentary processes and the institutions in South Africa, there is a separation of powers. The executive accounts to Parliament. You can't have a situation where the executive teaches parliamentarians on how to monitor and do oversight. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The other issue that he raised was that the President was supposed to have given details in his speech. Of course, hon Dandala, I think you would know that there are time limits on what you can do. Not only that, but there is a space and a time when Ministers are able to speak on their policy debates. You will get the details at that time. You can wait patiently. You will be able to get the information on what is going to happen. [Applause.]
Another issue was raised by the hon Rev Dandala. He talks about members of Cope who are hounded out of jobs and out of positions. People can talk about the issue of the vice chancellor of Unisa: If you'll recall, long ago, there was a disagreement, even then, between the then Minister of Education and the vice chancellor on issues. This government has not pronounced whatsoever on the issue of the vice chancellor.
Regarding the issue that Rev Dandala raised about Mr Mkhuhlu in the Eastern Cape, that issue relates to a difference between the MEC and Mr Mkhuhlu. When Mr Mkhuhlu was requested to come and account to the MEC as an executive authority, he could not do so. If he then defies an elected leader and does not want to account, what must one do? [Interjections.] Therefore I think we must put things in context when we talk about this.
I would be happy if you presented empirical evidence to the Minister for the Public Service and Administration and myself. As we are responsible for governance and the administration cluster in government, we will be able to handle and process these issues. There is nobody, to our knowledge, who has been hounded because of their political affiliation. If there is evidence to that effect, please present it and we will take it up.
The other issue that was raised by hon Inkosi ...
Umntwana kaPhindangene ukhuluma ngodaba lokuthi kube nobugebengu nenkohlakalo endabeni yokhetho. Manje-ke into esiyi shoyo uthi yena lokho kwabonakala ngokuthi ubaba unobhala-jikelele uMhlonishwa, umfundisi uZondi waye waseshwa.
Sithi–ke thina ngomthetho wezwe lakithi ukuthi abantu bayalingana ngaphambi komthetho. Okusho ukuthi amaphoyisa anelungelo lokusesha noma ubani uma kunento angayiboni kahle. Akukhethwa ukuthi uyisikhulu seqembu elithize manje ungayekwa ngalokho. Ngaleyo ndlela leyo sithi-ke thina, amaphoyisa enze ngendlela efanele, ngendlela ekufuneka kwenziwe ngayo ngoba siyalingana emthethweni welizwe lakithi ngendlela esibona ngayo.
Kodwa ukhuluma ngendaba yenkohlakalo, umbuzo wukuthi ubani oye waboshwa eboshelwa ukuthi kuye kwatholakala izinto zeKhomishane Ezimele Yokhetho futhi uphuma kuliphi iqembu ngizoshiya lowo mbuzo Shenge. [Uhleko.]
Mnur M G BUTHELEZI: Ukhukhalima ophambukayo: Mhlonishwa ngithanda ukumtshela ukuthi ngingamfundela. [I can read the affidavit of the person who did it. I've got the affidavit, but it is not here.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: I Ngiyabonga, Sihlalo, engikushilo mina angikhulumanga gama lamuntu, ngibuze umbuzo nje kuphela azange ngiqhubeke nenkulumo. Okunye okukhona engifuna ukukuphawula yikuthi ubaba umntwana kaPhindangene ngendlela ebekhuluma ngayo kwezomnotho ubungasho impela ukuthi cha le nkulumo ibi bhalwe yikomanisi elikhulu ubaba uBlade Nzimande uma ekhuluma ngokubekwa phansi kwesizwe. Kangazi noma bayawa hlanganyela amanothi kulodaba lolu ngendlela ebekhuluma ngalo.
Enye into ayikhulumile umama uDe Lille uyewakhuluma ngodaba lokuthi.
She spoke about the issue of the National Planning Commission and that the Minister must elaborate on the matter. The Minister in The Presidency will talk about it tomorrow as he deals with the commission. This issue will be elaborated on further during the policy debate.
I want to move to the issue Mr Holomisa spoke about, regarding the Umtata Stadium in 2010. We went to the area two weeks ago and we found that the council was sitting with an amount of about R280 million for the stadium. We are assisting them in processing the issue around the construction of the stadium.
I want to conclude with the issue alluded to by hon Ms Ndude. We believe that Rev Dandala spoke in a very dignified way, which actually respected the decorum of the House. However, I must say that hon Ndude was a bit provocative in raising issues not pertaining to the President's speech. This possibly reflects two things: Firstly, maybe there is no coherence in the party's strategy in terms of what must be articulated.
Mr M J ELLIS: Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it the right thing to do for the Minister to talk about one member not responding to the President's speech, when in actual fact he's done anything but that himself? [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: I am saying then, to me, it might be an issue of saying that the member is undermining the leader, by ensuring that things are articulated that are not consonant with what is expressed by the leader of the party in that respect. These issues that were raised were done within the law and within the Constitution of the Republic. There was no subversion of the law or the Constitution in this respect.
Mr President, yesterday a five-year programme was tabled in terms of the priorities of this democratic government. When the President concluded, he posed the following open question and invitation:
Indeed as citizens we should at the same time ask ourselves what is it that we can do on our own to help promote this national programme.
Today and tomorrow all of us must be able to answer that question, decisively and boldly. We need to answer this question as elected public office bearers; as public servants in the national, provincial and local government; as businesspeople; as workers; as leaders of civil society formations, as well as religious people; as traditional leaders; as academics; as students and the youth; as men and women and patriotic citizens. My submission to this esteemed House is that the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs that the President announced on 10 May 2009, will play its role diligently and relentlessly as a choir conductor of the system of co-operative governance.
This single, sovereign government is constituted under the Constitution as one government with three spheres, which are distinct, interrelated and interdependent. The same can be said about the choir that the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will be leading and orchestrating until the end of this term. In our system of government we have a choir where some will be singing baritone, others will be singing alto and others will be singing soprano. [Laughter.] This department will protect, guide and direct our unique voices and roles over the next five years. As we project a single national harmonious melody, we must have rhythm, vibrancy and meaning. This must be so good that it must inspire people to get up from their chairs and join this choir. This is simply our understanding of the issue of co-operative governance and our role as the conductor of the choir for the next five years.
Mr President, you have given the musical score and the songsheet to government and the nation. It is clear, inspiring, unambiguous and focused. We understand that we'll need to build on the gains that we have made in the past 15 years, and simultaneously attend vigorously to our weaknesses and deficiencies. Fighting poverty, creating decent work and improving the lives of our people will be at the centre of our collective actions. We will need to address the misaligned government processes and systems between the three spheres of government. We must make sure that the essence of the choir is felt by the conductor.
The integrated development plans and local economic development strategies of municipalities must reflect the priorities of the entire public sector, including those in the public entities, as well as those in business. We are aware that this misalignment is a fundamental challenge. In the OR Thambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, for example, two weeks ago the district went to the same local municipality to conduct outreach around the IDPs. The municipality was in the same area, in a different village, conducting the same processes. We believe that we must ensure that we co-ordinate our efforts so that we can maximise the impact on the limited resources we have. We believe that we must be able to ensure that we work very closely with the National Planning Commission, because we must ensure that the views of the people on the ground, the IDPs that are expressed there, must be linked with the provincial growth and development strategies.
The implementation of government programmes in many areas continues to experience some fragmentation, disjointedness and lack of co-ordination. In September last year, Parliament went to Bushbuckridge on a parliamentary programme. In November we were given the responsibility to make follow-ups on the issues that were raised at that level. Within a period of three months, we managed to ensure that government works together and a lot was achieved in that area through this co-ordination. It shows that the issue of co-ordination is something that must be taken up and driven.
We believe that traditional leaders and traditional communities must be at the centre of rural governance. They must make sure that they participate in these issues and that these issues are dealt with. In addition, we must ensure that the issue of disputes around the recognition of traditional leadership is also dealt with and resolved in the next five years.
Mr President, we believe that, as we move forward, we must be able to ensure that the state functions in a coherent and seamless way in delivering services. We believe that in doing so we will be able to ensure that we take our country to another level.
Our understanding is that the role of the Ministry is to ensure that we are the envoys and emissaries who go to the Premiers and provinces. In that respect, I have had a discussion with the Premier of the Western Cape, Ms Zille. She said she was going to work with us, as long as we work with her, within the Constitution and the laws of the country, and I believe we are going to do exactly that. She has invited us to meet with her within the next few weeks to come and present the report on the state of the Western Cape as a province, as well as address the structures of local government in this province. We are going to ensure that we work with her. We believe that she is part of South Africa – she can't be an island here in the Western Cape, as she believes.
As the appointed choir conductor of our system of co-operative governance in this country, we will ensure the maxim that says: Many voices, one message - melody and song. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Before we adjourn, I would just like to respond to the hon Ellis' earlier question about relevance. I think it is also a concern of some other members regarding the relevance of some of the speeches. If you look at the nature of the President's address, it touches a wide range of political issues, and therefore members are going to respond likewise. They would talk about various political issues in response to the President's address. I am sure even tomorrow this is still going to happen, members will do that. I think it stems from the nature and focus of the President's address.
The House adjourned at 18:46.
END OF TAKE
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