Hansard: Minister's Response / Members' Statements
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 05 Jun 2008
No summary available.
Thursday, 5 June 2008
THURSDAY, 5 JUNE 2008
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:05.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
NOTICES OF MOTION
START OF DAY
NOTICES OF MOTIONS
Dr S M VAN DYK: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following motion that:
In the light of the slowdown, in the first quarter, of economic growth to 2,1%, the House debates the effect of load shedding on the 4% annual growth rate predicated by Treasury.
Mr G G BOINAMO
Dr S M VAN DYK
Mr G G BOINAMO: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following motion on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the ongoing disruptions of classes at high schools in Khutsong due to learners protesting against being registered for Matric examinations under the North West province despite being from Gauteng province, and government's response on this matter.
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
NOTICES OF MOTION
SA RUGBY TEAM PLAYING FIRST TEST UNDER COACH PETER DE VILLIERS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I want to move without notice: That the House-
[TAKE IN FROM MUNITES.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, the Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC is very keen to lecture us when we don't do things quite according to his book. I want to say that the motion, while we have no problem with it, is not the one that we received earlier today, in which it indicated that this House should wish the South African rugby team well on its visit to Wales. We are very pleased that the ANC have changed the wording, but we would appreciate it if, in future, the hon Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC would give us the correct wording before it comes to this House. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: It looks like he heard you very well!
INSTALLATION OF A WOMAN AS A CHIEF
Ms C NKUNA (ANC): Madam Speaker, the Constitutional Court gave a ruling yesterday, 4 June 2008, that Tinyiko Lwandlamuni Phillia Nwamitwa-Shilubana is the Senior Traditional Leader Hosi of the Valoyi people, a community near Tzaneen, in Limpopo. [Applause.] Her title is Hosi Nwamitwa II. [Applause.]
Hosi Nwamitwa II is a South African woman who has been going through lengthy court challenges preferred against her by a member of her royal family, whose claim was mainly that Phillia should not be allowed to reign because she is a woman.
This ruling upholds the decision of the royal family and people of Nwamitwa further to strengthen the customary position that it is the royal family that has the responsibility and authority to confirm traditional leaders according to the customary rules of succession.
The ruling is a direct reversal of the apartheid-created male primogeniture in traditional leadership succession, which used to prescribe that only male descendants of traditional leaders were entitled to inherit the throne of leadership.
It is a conformation that our democracy, under the leadership of the ANC, restores the dignity and status of women, even in the institution of traditional rule. [Applause.]
Hi tlangela xiboho xa huvo.[ Nkarhi wu herile.][We welcome the decision.][Time expired.]
Mrs D VAN DER WALT
Mrs C NKUNA
DISCRIMINATORY CRITERIA OF TEACHING BURSARIES
Mrs D VAN DER WALT (DA):
Agb Speaker, die DA vra dat die kriteria vir alle studiebeurse hersien moet word om gelyke toegang tot studiegeleenthede vir alle voornemende onderwysstudente te verseker.
Die opstel van studiebeurskriteria, sodat voornemende studente uit sekere taalgroepe nie meer aan die beursvereistes voldoen nie, is verregaande. In hierdie tydvak waarin die skaarste aan gekwalifiseerde onderwysers een van die grootste krisisse is wat die onderwys in die gesig staar, kan nie een voornemende onderwysstudent 'n studiegeleentheid geweier word op grond van moedertaaldiskriminasie nie.
Dit is veral skokkend om te let op die bepaling van die Fundza Lushaka-program, dat slegs studente wat Engels en Xhosa saam met Wiskunde en Wetenskap neem, vir onderwysbeurse kwalifiseer. Dit sal daartoe lei dat arm Afrikaanssprekende studente in die Wes-Kaap nie toegang tot leergeleenthede kan kry nie. Ons praat hier van sogenaamde Kleurlingstudente wat in arm Kleurlinggemeenskappe wil gaan skoolhou, waar die voertaal oorwegend Afrikaans is.
Ek praat dan nog nie eers van die voornemende onderwysstudente wat graag ons ander agt landstale deur die onderwys wil laat voortleef en uitbou nie. Hierdie beursprogramme is veronderstel om die onderwys 'n aantreklike beroep te maak, nie om ons Grondwet te ondermyn deur bloot net nog deel te wees van die ANC se ras- en etniesgebaseerde nasionalisme nie.
Minister, ons is nou 14 jaar in 'n nuwe demokratriese bestel. Ons kan nie bekostig om dieselfde foute van die verlede te herhaal, deur mense op grond van hul taal, uit te sluit nie.
Mr V B NDLOVU
Mrs D VAN DER WALT
RENAMING OF MANGOSUTHU HIGHWAY
Mr V B NDLOVU (IFP): Madam Speaker, South Africa's place names reflect our history, culture and, in many respects, our heritage. Changing existing place names must therefore be approached in a more sensitive way so as not to demean, belittle or deny any aspects of our past history.
History is history; no amount of rewriting or revision will ever change that, but that is exactly what the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants to do by changing the existing names to reflect only their history or heroes. One such example is the decision by the ANC-dominated eThekwini Council to change the name of the Mangosuthu Highway in Umlazi to that of the Griffith Mxenge Highway. This is a glaring example of the ANC – especially in KwaZulu-Natal – attempting to undermine the achievements of Prince Magosuthu Buthelezi, Member of Parliament, by ignoring his legitimate claims to have contributed positively to development and progress in KwaZulu-Natal.
The contribution of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi during the struggle against apartheid cannot be ignored. Even now, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP, refused to condemn those that vilify him, and pities them for their small minds. This, after all, was the man who fought apartheid for more than 60 years, and steadfastly fought for the release of Nelson Mandela. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N C MFEKETO
Mr V B NDLOVU
DECISION OF ANC NEC ABOUT RECENT ATTACKS
Ms N C MFEKETO (ANC): Madam Speaker, the recent ANC National Executive Committee meeting decided, among other things, that the ANC leadership, led by ANC President, Jacob Zuma, must visit the areas that have been affected by the recent criminal attacks.
We commend this decision by the ANC, and believe that it will assist our leadership further to deepen its appreciation, not only of the causes underlying the attack, but will also help in deepening our comprehension of the difficulties resulting from the attacks.
This work will contribute to the national effort to find short and long-term solutions to the challenges we face as a country in this regard. We are also heartened by the ongoing community initiatives aimed at the integration of the displaced back into communities, as well as gestures of goodwill and material support that various organisations, public representatives, branches and individuals continue to spearhead.
We must continue to unite in the national effort to strengthen the wave of humanness as we work together to defeat the inhumane violence wracking our communities apart. The ANC is confident that South Africans will succeed in changing our country for the better. Thank you. [Applause.]
Rev K R J MESHOE
Ms N C MFEKETO
NEED FOR NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND REPENTANCE
Rev K R J MESHOE (ACDP): Madam Speaker, at the beginning of this year, I warned many people that a storm was about to come to this nation. This storm would be in three parts. We already had a xenophobic storm, we are going into an economic storm and then there will be a political storm.
It is because of the political storm that is still ahead of us that I want to appeal to church leaders in this nation to call for a national day of prayer and repentance. South Africa urgently and desperately needs God's intervention. We have sinned against one another, against foreign nationals and against God Almighty. We have become a nation that rapes children and burns people alive, as recently happened to foreign nationals in the xenophobic attacks.
It cannot be business as usual. Our nation is in danger, hence my appeal to church leaders to call for a national day of prayer and repentance. Those who are asleep must wake up and those who have buried their heads in the sand and have chosen to live in denial of the reality around them must be warned that dark clouds are gathering around them.
2 Chronicles, 7:14 says:
If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Thank you.
Ms D M RAMODIBE
Rev K R J MESHOE
FOURTH TOKYO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT
Ms D M RAMODIBE (ANC): Madam Speaker, Yokohama City hosted the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development. The conference was held under the theme ``Towards a vibrant Africa – a continent of hope and opportunity'', and addressed three main issues, namely, boosting economic growth, ensuring human security and addressing environmental issues.
It adopted a programme of action aimed at implementing the recommendations of the conference. Amongst others, the conference agreed on the following: to help Africa to build its infrastructure, develop its agriculture, spreading access to education, access to health and on issues of international trade. These are issues that present great difficulties at the World Trade Organisation. The conference agreed to put in place a joint monitoring mechanism between Japan and the African Union to look at what is practically being done to implement these agreements.
The ANC supports strategic partnerships aimed at the consolidation of the African agenda. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L M GREEN
Ms D M RAMODIBE
DEBT AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mr L M GREEN (FD): Madam Speaker, it is with great concern that we note that more and more South Africans are being caught in a debt trap.
South Africans owe R1,1 trillion in debt. Compared to the total household income of R1,4 trillion, we are faced with an economic disaster. There is no relief in sight as the SA Reserve Bank entrenches the debt trap by periodic hiking of interest rates. The Bureau of Market Research at the University of South Africa warns that, currently, interest costs alone amount to R224,4 billion without cutting into capital repayment, and should there be an interest hike of one per cent, as predicted, the annual interest cost could rise to R235,8 billion.
The situation is serious enough to demand urgent intervention to cut the debt cord that is strangling the economic life out of our struggling households. The National Credit Act may help to contain the borrowing frenzy of our people, but it cannot raise our people out of debt nor does it help to build public confidence when it seems that government and the Reserve Bank are losing control over rising inflation and interest rates.
We need a comprehensive plan that addresses debt entrapment which should not only look at how to contain people from spending more, but also the plan must help to minimise the risk associated with rising costs of living. Finally, we need a new economic approach for current times, given that developed nations are overdeveloped and can diversify while economies in developing countries are in fact not moving forward. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: May I make a correction? The name of the party is the Federation of Democrats.
Mr N T GODI
Mr L M GREEN
SANFORD AND LISBON FARMS IN MPUMALANGA
Mr N T GODI (APC): Madam Speaker, the farms, Sanford, between Marite and Hazeyview and Lisbon near the Huntington Kruger Gate, were bought with millions of rands and given to their claimants with high hopes and expectations. It is disappointing that a few years later these farms are deteriorating, are subjects of endless disputes amongst claimants and thus not fulfilling their set objectives. These two farms are an epitome of some of the serious challenges that relate to post-settlement support.
The challenges regarding these two farms revolve mainly around governance, the issues of transparency and accountability by the trustees and amongst the trustees. Despite our interaction with the then acting head of Department of Agriculture in Mpumalanga, and promises to intervene and provide information, this has not happened. A month later and numerous phone calls, we seem no nearer to a resolution than at the beginning. In the meantime the farms are going to ruin.
We call on the Minister to exact greater political pressure on her provincial counterparts, especially, in Mpumalanga to ensure that officials act timeously, fairly and in the national interest.
Land restitution and agrarian reforms are of strategic national importance to enhance national sovereignty and food security. The APC condemns the lackadaisical attitude of the Department of Agriculture in Mpumalanga to the problems in Sanford and Lisbon farms. I thank you.
Mr C M LOWE
Mr N T GODI
Mr C M LOWE (DA): Madam Speaker, in a most insensitive, hurtful and a logical manner, ANC councillors in Durban have rammed through the renaming of the 101 streets in the city. They have ignored sound expert advice, refuted local concerns and failed to take note of successful renaming exercises in Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg.
Their actions fly on the face of arts and culture Minister, Pallo Jordan's sensible and measured call last week for the name-changing process to be about nation-building to accommodate all sections of the population. Instead of bringing communities together and a shared history of our city, the ANC's actions have created distress and anger and have the potential to reignite violence in the province.
They've renamed the Mangosuthu Highway in Umlazi, as if by a stroke of a pen they can remove the IFP leader's place in history. Bizarrely Durban North's main thoroughfare is called Broadway and I ask you, how noncontroversial can the name Broadway be? It is to be renamed Swapo, the minds simply boggles.
Perhaps the name Edith Benson is no longer acceptable because she was a white woman councillor on a whites-only Durban Council. But she was also a pathfinder, the first woman to be elected deputy mayor in 1923. So too is the name of Edwin Swales VC, a heroic fighter pilot who gave his life to save his crew, removed from history.
A road in the very suburb where Andrew Zondo planted a bomb, which killed five innocent civilians, is named after him. Now, I personally believe that he should be remembered for his role in the struggle, but it is disgraceful to do it in this manner.
Perhaps the greatest irony is that in a city that cannot fill potholes or repair traffic lights, the new signage is being quickly rolled out with little of the normal difficulty associated with service delivery in an ANC-controlled municipality. [Applause.]
Mr P S GABANAKGOSI
Mr C M LOWE
ANIMAL ACTION WEEK
Mr P S GABANAKGOSI (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC wishes to congratulate hon Judy Chalmers for having won the Animal Action Week Award from the Education For All Fund for Animal Welfare (EFA) in the category of lifetime dedication award.
The EFA is an international nongovernmental organisation, which runs campaigns that educate and raise awareness about animal's welfare issues, particularly, amongst young people. The award recognises the sterling contribution she has made to the environmental welfare of both people and animals. She is indeed a worthy recipient and we are happy to congratulate her on receiving this prestigious award. The ANC salutes her and hopes that she'll for ever cherish this honour. I thank you.
Mr N SINGH
Mr P S GABANAKGOSI
GOLD MINING AND THE ECONOMY
Mr N SINGH (IFP): Madam Speaker, when the national electricity crisis turned into an emergency at the end of January this year, the hon Minister of Public Enterprises was bold enough to state that he did not expect the week-long shut down of the mining industry between 25 and 31 January to have much effect on our economy. How wrong he was.
This week the Chamber of Mines announced that South Africa's gold production in the first quarter of 2008 fell by more than 15% when compared to the last quarter of 2007. When compared to the first quarter of 2007, gold production fell by almost 17% in the first quarter of this year.
The industry lays the blame for this massive reduction squarely on the week-long shut down and the 10% electricity saving forced on it from the beginning of February. According to figures supplied by the Chamber of Mines, "the gold mining industry accounted for R40 billion or 7,5% of South Africa's merchandise exports and employed 168 860 employees or 34% of total mining employment in 2007".
The IFP is of the view that our economy cannot afford a repeat of the late January electricity fiasco that so badly hurt exports and employment. The mining industry may be an industry in decline but it is still vital for Forex earnings, industrial output, the balance of payments and tax revenue; not to mention, employment levels.
We have no doubt as the IFP that the hon Ministers in the economic cluster are aware of what has happened in the gold production industry. Thank you very much.
Ms T J TSHIVHASE
Mr N SINGH
STANDARDISATION OF GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES
Mrs T J TSHIVHASE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister of Arts and Culture on the inauguration of the new South African geographic names change and also the announcement of national programme of action on the standardisation of geographical names in the country.
We have great confidence both in this council and the Department of Arts and Culture in taking this responsibility of processing and providing the name changes. Public hearings would be held throughout the country in all provinces as the department seeks to restore precolonial names to certain places or to replace existing names with new ones.
It is crucial to note that in terms of the United Nations Resolutions, article 4 of the first UN Conference on the Standardisation of Geographical Names, each country has sovereign right to standardise on its geographical names, to decide what the appropriate name is for each feature in that country and how that name should be written. Furthermore, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended the renaming of geographical features as a form of symbolic reparation to address South Africa's unjust past.
The process of name changes and renaming of geographical places should be reviewed by South Africans as a national effort to build a new South Africa, which is identified by our common destiny. I thank you.
Mr W P DOMAN
Ms T J TSHIVHASE
FORMER MAYOR MFEKETO AS MP
Mr W P DOMAN (DA): Madam Speaker, it is revealing that the ANC has rewarded an individual with a disastrous record in governance with a seat in Parliament. Hon Mfeketo's tenure as mayor of Cape Town was characterised by allegations of corruption, financial mismanagement and controversy; all of which questions her suitability to really serve the interests of the people. Evidence of this is contained in the Auditor-General's report into this ...
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I think the purpose of members' statements really is to highlight issues. This is an unbridled attack on an individual without any substantiation.
The SPEAKER: Hon Doman, if you want to raise something that deals with the character of an hon member of the House, you know how to go about doing it. A member's statement is not the way in which to deal with it.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, I am afraid to say that, while I would tend to agree with your ruling, at the same time, regrettably, that there had been many precedents in the past of this kind of statement in the House. Either we go back to the drawing board and sort this matter out, or I would urge you to, on this occasion, allow the hon Doman to finish his statement.
The SPEAKER: I will but I won't allow it to continue. I will look into it and then the hon member has to be reconsidering his options. The ANC.
Mr W P DOMAN: Madam Speaker, I am ready to change the statement.
Mr R D PIETERSE: No, sit down.
The SPEAKER: Not on the spot. No, hon member; redo the statement. The ANC.
Mr R D PIETERSE
Mr W P DOMAN
ACDP MEMBER ATTENDS RIGHT-WING CONFERENCE
Mr R D PIETERSE (ANC): Speaker, it is reported that a member of the ACDP recently took part in a right-wing conference, which sought the annexation of the West Bank by Israel. This conference was held in Washington and discussed the proposal by B Elon, which rejects the two-state solution agreed to by the international community, which includes the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
According to this ethnic cleansing plan, Israel would be annexed to the West Bank and the people who are currently living there would be given Jordanian citizenship. This member of the ACDP as a participant of this conference ... [Interjections.] ... a victim of apartheid and colonialism, social exclusion and exploitation should be ashamed of himself. Really he should be ashamed of himself. It is inconceivable how he would allow himself to be associated with such a cruel plan, aimed at the violation of the human rights of people in the West Bank, as well as the internationally recognised position of the resolution of the Israeli Palestine conflict. Indeed, Mr Oliphant, he should be ashamed of himself.
Mr G LEKGETHO
Mr R D PIETERSE
ARTS COUNCIL OF NORTH WEST PROVINCE
Mr G LEKGETHO (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC takes this opportunity to congratulate ...
Mrs C P DUDLEY: Sorry, on a point of order. Would that not be construed as a personal attack on a member of this House?
The SPEAKER: The issue was not the personality of the member. It was the issue about Israel. [Interjections.] Can I now take the last statement from the ANC?
Mr G LEKGETHO: The ANC takes this opportunity to congratulate the North West province on the establishment of the North West provincial arts and culture council. The provincial arts and culture council is meant to support and encourage the development of arts and culture in all facets.
The North West provincial arts and culture council will be responsible for the following activities: To promote the development of arts and culture in the province; to ensure an equitable allocation of funds to arts and cultural activities throughout the province; to foster the expression of national identity and consciousness by means of arts; to encourage excellence in the arts; to advise the responsible MEC on policy matters relating to the development of arts and culture in the province; to report to the responsible member on the actual disbursement of grants to artists, students, cultural organisations and other worthy causes in the field of arts and culture; provide and encourage the provision of opportunities for persons to practise arts; to promote appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the arts; promote and facilitate national and international liaison between individuals and institutions in respect of arts and culture. This council will also play a leading role in the promotion of social cohesion and nation-building. I thank you.
Mr G LEKGETHO
CONGRATULATIONS TO HOSI PHILLIA N'WAMITWA II
SOUTH AFRICA IS FACED BY XENOPHOBIA
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Madam Speaker, may I also on behalf of the President and the government of South Africa extend our warmest congratulations to Hosi Phillia N'wamitwa II on her succession. I agree with the ANC speaker that this is a significant contribution to the empowerment of women in South Africa.
Secondly, with regard to the two speakers on the issue of the appalling and barbaric violence that has taken place against foreign nationals, I would like to say that the most important thing for us is to ensure that we don't party politicise this matter. It is not a fight between political parties. This is a challenge that all of us face as South Africans. And what is clearly important right now is that we must do everything possible - working in partnership with civil society organisations, international organisations such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, and the International Red Cross, IRC, to ensure the speedy reintegration of the displaced persons back into the communities where they belong. This is the way we should approach the situation. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER FOR PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY
THE MINING INDUSTRY AND LOAD-SHEDDING
The MINISTER FOR PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, it is correct as it has been reported in the statistics that there was an impact on the output of gold and certainly we would have expect that in the first quarter that there would be significant growth.
There are two points I would like to make. Firstly, I once again want to commend the mining industry for the tremendous efforts they themselves put into co-operating with us. It is regrettable, as we've indicated before, that in those early stages after the 24 January that the bulk of the savings burden fell on the mining industry and other big industrial users. It is for this reason - as you know - that we've attempted to spread the burden and then we entered into the phase of scheduled load-shedding to try to get savings in other segments of our users.
The position as you know is that we stopped that and the savings are still being achieved by the industrial sector and we are seeing improvements in the savings and other sectors in the economy. But, as you know, the position remains very tight. We must do everything we possible can do to continue to reduce the demands in savings, which is very, very important indeed. All of us can make that contribution because it is crucial.
With regard to the growth rate as such, I think the Minister of Finance has dealt with it quite exhaustively in his recent Budget Speech again and in many statements recently because, of course, the situation is more complex. It is not only the fact that we've had the load-shedding; we've got this very rapid rise in primary energy supply. We will have to expect some increase in the electricity prices and that the matter is before the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Nersa. As with other economies in the world there is a serious problem, because food prices and energy prices are rising, and these are some of challenges all economies face. But, I share the Minister of Finance's basic confidence that the underlying strength of our economy remains positive.
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM
The MINISTER FOR PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
CONGRATULATIONS TO MRS CHALMERS
PLACE NAME CHANGES
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM: Madam Speaker, I would like to respond to the statement congratulating the hon member Chalmers, then the one on the Yokohama Declaration and the two on place name changes. I would like to associate myself with the one congratulating the hon member Chalmers. I don't see her in the Chamber now. I may just have missed her, but we know that she is a tireless worker, one of the more active members in that portfolio committee who is really committed to the cause that she has been committed for many, many years and that award is well-deserved.
Then with regard to the Yokohama Declaration, the President represented us last week and the African Heads of State committed themselves to that declaration. We welcomed the aid announced but specifically that aid is more trade-focused and the rational behind that is to ensure that we have more free trade between developing and developed countries. But the part of the declaration dealing with climate change was the one part where African leaders amended that declaration.
Our view points was unequivocal and very strongly that we are not willing to commit developing countries to have the same targets that developed countries have. There is a history to climate change. The developed countries have used up to 70% of the carbon space and they must first fulfil the historical responsibility. But obviously, we are willing to do more. [Applause.]
That TIKA Conference was a very important building block in preparing for the G8+5, and the Africa Outreach on 8 July, and that is the viewpoint that South Africa will certainly take in those meetings.
Then with regard to the statements dealing with place name changes, let me say that whenever members raise this issue, members on this side take note of those sentiments. The President has expressed himself on more than one occasion on this issue, as well as the Minister of Arts and Culture.
There are sides to this. There is the one feeling that we cannot go around this country willy-nilly changing place names. But there is also the other strong demand that the place names in our country must reflect the history of everybody and the country as the whole.
Some of the issues raised must be debated. But when people criticise the ANC, they must first ensure that they get their own house in order. In Cape Town, we know that one party in the coalition here, has very strongly objected to the way that the DA handled the place name issue in Cape Town. They believe that the DA wants to get rid of Afrikaans names and erase Afrikaans history. Before the DA criticise the ANC, they must ensure that they get their own house in order in this regard. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM
AVAILABILITY OF BURSARIES FOR TEACHING CAREERS
DEBT LEVELS IN SOUTH AFRICA
NATIONAL DAY FOR PRAYER AND MORAL REGENERATION
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, I just want to reply to the statement concerning the Fundza Lushaka Bursary Programme and to say that this is a very important intervention by government in reintroducing full bursaries to young people who wish to become teachers in South Africa. The bursaries have identified key subject areas in which we lack personnel at the moment.
I am very keen that the hon Van der Walt should give me the specific name of the student that she has referred to, as well as the institution so that I might investigate the reasons, if there are any, for the student not being given access to a bursary.
However, I would think that I might be accurate in saying her reference to exclusion on the basis of language or race is mere politicking. She should assist us with investigating exactly what had happened.
Nevertheless, we will investigate and we will ask for an opportunity to come back to the House and report on this matter.
Finally, I do agree with the statement made by the hon Green that we must exert maximum effort in ensuring that we address our debt levels in South Africa.
As political parties, it is incumbent upon us during the constituency periods to engage in some consumer education on debt and really ensure that our people begin to take more decisions that are in accord with their ability to manage debt levels. It is clear from the reports and from its own statement that we are all living way beyond our means.
I think the Credit Act has been an important law in terms of introducing consumer protection, education and regulation on credit access in South Africa. Therefore, it is incumbent on us as members to ensure that we go out there, and in fact, even as MPs that we ensure that our debt package is not too high.
Finally, I may say that the hon Meshoe has called for a day of prayer and repentance. I would say it should not just be a day of prayer but that we should call on all religious leaders and all leaders in society to became far more involved in educating our nation on values, in reviving the morals of our nation and supporting a national action toward moral regeneration in South Africa. I think that an active role in this regard would certainly take our country way ahead and while the day of prayer might be useful, the ongoing engagement in new values and a moral revival in our society is perhaps a more important role for all religious leaders to play. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members are reminded that the EPCs on Vote No 14 on Health and Vote No 18 on Correctional Services will start at 15:00 in the Old Assembly Chamber and in Committee Room E249 respectively.
The House adjourned at 14:47.
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