Hansard: Questions to Deputy President K Motlante
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 31 Aug 2010
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 2010
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:03.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
START OF DAY
The Speaker announced that the vacancy which occurred owing to the passing away of Dr M E Tshabalala-Msimang had been filled by the nomination, with effect from 19 August 2010, of Mr J D Thibedi.
The member had made and subscribed the affirmation in the Speaker's office earlier in the day.
QUESTIONS: The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Question 9)
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, hon members and hon Singh, yes, there has been progress with the implementation of the key agreements made at the Electricity Advisory Council meeting on 8 December last year.
The Electricity Advisory Council arose out of the Energy Summit convened by the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, in May 2008. It consists of government, business, labour and the community as represented at Nedlac. The Advisory Council is supported by a national electricity response team comprising all social partners.
I would like to highlight some of the key areas of implementation; more details can be obtained from the Minister of Energy. Since the last Advisory Council meeting, Eskom's generator performance level has improved to the required levels.
In anticipation of increased electricity demand during the Fifa World Cup, a programme was initiated in the host cities to identify critical infrastructure that needed urgent attention. A more comprehensive strategy has since been completed to address the rehabilitation of municipal distribution infrastructure as a specific focus in the current government programme of action.
As to the policy framework for private-sector participation and the introduction of a non-conflicted independent system and market operator, since the last meeting the issues have been addressed through various processes through the Interministerial Committee on Energy that was created through a Cabinet decision. The committee comprises the Departments of Energy and Public Enterprises, the National Treasury, the Departments of Economic Development, Science and Technology, and Trade and Industry, and the Presidency.
The following has been achieved in relation to each of the elements above. The Integrated Resource Plan will be promulgated by the last quarter of 2010. The plan will indicate the generation technologies that South Africa will require over the next 20 years, in a manner that diversifies our energy mix from being coal dominated.
The process to revise the regulations promulgated under the Electricity Regulation Act, Act 4 of 2006, has been completed after consultation with lenders and potential investors. The draft regulations, licensing framework and standard power purchase agreement provisions, together with the evaluation criteria for independent power producers, IPPs, will be issued by the end of November 2010 to coincide with the conclusion of the Integrated Resource Plan.
Perhaps the most critical element for private-sector participation relates to the resolution of the conflicted role that Eskom plays as both a generator and buyer. The introduction of an independent system and market operator will address this conflicted role of Eskom.
The cost recovery mechanism, in terms of which private-sector generators are given the assurance that their costs will be recovered from the electricity tariff over the term of the power purchase agreement, has been concluded in consultation with the National Energy Regulator of SA, Nersa.
Concerning solar water heating and a standard offer incentive, one of the other initiatives introduced since the last Advisory Council meeting involves providing solar water heaters in place of electric geysers to all residential users of hot water.
The public consultation process for the solar water heaters financial incentive scheme was concluded in July 2010. The process will culminate in the determination of the level of the incentive in rands by Nersa and this is scheduled for later this month. I thank you for your attention. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Speaker, I would like to thank the hon Deputy President for that response. I must say, hon Speaker, that is was quite difficult to get information on the Net about what the council does, but I think the Deputy President has quite clearly elucidated the functioning of this council.
What I would like to ask the Deputy President is: Given the fact that the provision of a cost-effective, uninterrupted and available supply of electricity is core to the economic development and the future growth path of this country, as well as to rural development – because there are still many rural areas that don't have electricity – is he satisfied that the work being done by this council is going to contribute in a meaningful way towards ensuring that, 20 years from now, we not only have an alternative energy supply and sources, but that we will be on a positive growth path?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Singh, I am satisfied with the work that this council does. By its addressing, for instance, the control of the greed and monopoly of Eskom as a generator, buyer and distributor at the same time, I think we will be able to open up the requisite space for participation by independent power producers. That, together with the rest of the plan, as well as the imperatives of moving in the direction of renewable energy, means that we are looking, for example, at technologies that will enable us to extract gas from coal without mining the coal, and use that gas for electricity generation. I think that would also address the commitments to lower gas emissions with regard to the United Nations climate change imperatives. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: If hon members do not intend speaking, they should please not press the "to talk" button; you should only press it when you want to talk.
Mr S C MOTAU: Mr Deputy President, with regard to the Independent Sales and Marketing Authority, ISMO, the Department of Energy has actually confirmed that this is being done, and we welcome that. However, there is a concern, as Eskom now says that this authority would initially be established as an interim body, situated at Eskom, and that it could possibly take five to 10 years before a permanent structure is established. Clearly, this would mean that we are operating as business as usual, and that would retard the entry of the IPPs into the system. We will therefore not draw the benefit from this input.
What I would like to know, Mr Deputy President, is: What will you do to ensure that the establishment of the ISMO, independent of Eskom, is not unduly delayed so that the participation of IPPs can be fast-tracked to relieve the pressure on the national electricity grid?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon member. Hon members, that is certainly not my understanding. My understanding is that this matter is fairly urgent and that that is the attitude of the Ministry as well. The gate-keeping role of Eskom has got to be addressed so that we can, as I said, encourage and welcome the participation of independent power producers. That is my understanding. Thank you.
END OF TAKE
QUESTION 10: The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
QUESTION 9: Ms S C MOTAU
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon members, in April 2009 Cabinet took a decision to return the responsibility of border security to the SA National Defence Force. This therefore makes Defence the principal department on border security.
Very strong defence co-operation exists with all Southern African Development Community, SADC, neighbours with whom we share a border. These are underpinned by a SADC co-operation agreement. In addition, South Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding with all our neighbouring countries. For each of our neighbouring countries we have a Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security. These ensure maximum co-operation from state to state and at the levels of affected departments, such as Home Affairs, State Security, the SA Revenue Service, Justice and Correctional Services. The commissions meet annually to review co-operation and conduct joint operations to combat crime and exchange information.
There are quarterly border forums with all our neighbouring countries, and from time to time they deal with matters that may affect our common border security.
Even though this level of co-operation has not been in existence for long, it has yielded very good results. The World Cup was not only protected by South Africa, but all our neighbouring countries stepped up security on their own borders to ensure a secure Fifa World Cup. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms S T NDABENI: Thank you, Speaker. Hon Deputy President, does this joint commission take consideration of the financial implications of the work done on the borders; for example, the fencing that is usually cut by illegal immigrants? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes it does, hon Speaker and hon members. Thank you.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Deputy President, we have taken notice of the actions that are being taken by SADC and many departments in respect of border control, but the facts are that millions of people are streaming from the north into South Africa. That makes a mockery of the words border control, and it also brings into doubt the Department of Home Affairs, because people just come here without any authorisation to enter South Africa.
Why do people from elsewhere have to apply for visas and get permission to enter South Africa? My question is: Has border control not become obsolete, and the Department of Home Affairs impotent to attend to this question, because millions are just streaming into our country?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon Speaker. Hon Van der Merwe, I can assure you that there are not millions of people who are not documented entering our borders. Our borders are not as porous as you suggest. As I stated, the joint permanent commissions on both sides of the borders also meet to review this kind of work.
We are aware that there are a number of economic refugees from other countries – put, very bluntly - job seekers who find their way into South Africa. However, those are people with the requisite travel documents. The number of those who are without such documents is very small. That is why the only transit camp of note that we have is the one out in Roodepoort in the Gauteng province. For the rest it is really pockets of refugees, mainly economic refugees. I am quite convinced that if our borders were not tightly monitored we would be having very serious problems, for instance, of drug abuse and all of that.
Every other day you read about our guards and law enforcement officers at our ports of entry impounding contraband of all manner, and that happens throughout. Also, some of our own people hijack cars and try to export them to the neighbouring countries get arrested. I can assure you that if, next time, these Ministers are here, do put the question to them. They can even give you figures of the number of people who are convicted of these offences. Thank you.
Mr K S MUBU: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Deputy President, my follow-up question is: To what extent does this co-operation that we have with our neighbours guarantee the combating, particularly of human and drug trafficking, as well as car and stock theft? What kind of commitment have we received from these neighbours in this regard, and can we trust them to commit seriously to this co-operation?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon Speaker. Yes, we do trust our neighbours, and we do trust that they will continue to work in a co-operative fashion. That is why, as I said in response to Mr Van der Merwe, our experience and our information is that indeed hustlers, rustlers, car hijackers and all of those kinds of people who engage in trafficking of contraband do get arrested and convicted in our courts of law. If you need the figures, Home Affairs can give them to you, because Home Affairs keeps the entry figures into the country. That is why we are able to say that most of the people who enter the country have documents – one kind of document or the other.
Cabinet has taken a decision to do away with the special dispensation, for instance for Zimbabwe. As you know, during the special period in Zimbabwe when everything was collapsing, there was a special dispensation for Zimbabweans to be in the country for nine months and so on. That has now been done away with, because the situation in Zimbabwe is a little bit more stable, and that will reduce the number of people who come from our neighbouring countries.
President Museveni once said to me that if we really wanted to make progress in South Africa, we must consider finding a way of ensuring that there would be free movement of people and goods from Windhoek to Maputo. Perhaps that is food for thought - that perhaps one day we will be one country; one big happy South Africa right from Windhoek to South Africa. It is just a thought. Thank you.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon Deputy President, an article in The Zimbabwe Times was very critical of the South African government and accused it of failing to protect women and young girls who were terrorised by armed gangs operating on the South African side of the Zimbabwe-South Africa border.The reporter further alleged that the Zimbabwean women were raped, stripped and tied to the side of the road, and that, at the time of writing, about 142 women had sought medical help following the rapes.
What I want to know, hon Deputy President, is whether or not this matter has been raised in the quarterly border forums that you referred to, and what has been done to stop these alleged atrocities. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Meshoe. I am not aware whether or not this matter was ever raised in the joint committee meetings. What I can say is that the veracity of the allegations, as reflected in The Zimbabwe Times, is something that may have to be checked. In the run-up to the Fifa World Cup, one British newspaper warned the British national team that were going to be based in Rustenburg, that there are pythons in Rustenburg that ate five human beings every day. [Laughter.] It happens that some journalists write about these things. It is very difficult to verify the correctness of these articles.
What I do know, however, is that the police along the Zimbabwean border have been able to pick up young children who were left in the bush there by their parents in case they got arrested and so on. Those children were then reconnected with their families. Thank you.
END OF TAKE
QUESTION NO 11: The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
QUESTION 10: The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker and hon Lotriet, I assume that the question you have asked refers to the proposal of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions that was made to the National Assembly on 31 July 2007. With regard to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the ad hoc committee recommended, inter alia, the incorporation of the Pan-South African Language Board, PanSALB, into the commission and the designation of the Minister of Arts and Culture as the member of the executive dealing with the commission.
The ad hoc committee further outlined a process which involved the appointment of a task team consisting of three members of the commission, three members of PanSALB and six members of the National Assembly to report to the National Assembly with a practical plan for implementing the proposal. I note that when the National Assembly dealt with the ad hoc committee's report in the last Parliament on 21 November 2008, whilst adopting the recommendation on the establishment of a parliamentary unit on constitutional institutions and other statutory bodies, it resolved that the rest of the report, including the provisions I have referred to, be held in abeyance with a view to allow the fourth Parliament – that is this Parliament – to consider the matter in a manner it deemed fit.
It is therefore up to this fourth Parliament to debate and discuss these issues relating to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, and determine whether there is a need to devolve its management to another department. Thank you.
Dr A LOTRIET: Mr Deputy President, yes, we are quite aware of the proposals that were made by this ad hoc committee, but the question is that we should have some timeframes, otherwise we are going to perhaps wait another three years before this happens. This morning we even had a presentation by this commission, indicating the tremendous problems that they have and the fact that they cannot do their work effectively because of these overlapping mandates and functions. Therefore, my question to you is the following: Could you please give a timeframe and more specifics as to how this Parliament should then go about addressing this?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon members, the recommendations of the ad hoc committee were very clear that Parliament itself would have to appoint six members of this House to serve together with three from the Pan-South African Language Board and three from the commission, in order to give effect to its recommendations.
The recommendations, among other things, were that the units that fell under the Pan-South African Language Board would have to be integrated and migrated to the Department of Arts and Culture, as well as its portfolio committee, and that these two bodies may be merged without the need to amend the Constitution through legislation. That is why this task clearly rests with the House itself. I have brought the report – I think it is on page 144 where the recommendations spell out the steps that need to be taken, including the timeline.
The suggestion in the report was that within 12 months of Parliament considering this report such structures should be put in place. As to why Parliament is not doing that, I have no idea. I suppose this is a timely reminder of what ought to happen in order to give effect to these recommendations. Thank you.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Speaker, the hon Lotriet has made a fundamental mistake in the question that she asked. The question refers to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. There is no such commission. Section 185 of the Constitution is the foundation for a different commission, namely the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. It is about rights and social cohesion. I can understand that she has made that mistake, because the party that she belongs to does not believe in the rights of communities.
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Speaker, on a point of order, Sir: The item on the agenda is questions to the Deputy President. I was not aware of the fact that we were on statements here, and I believe that the hon member should put a question to the Deputy President, rather than stand up and talk nonsense. [Interjections.]
Dr C P MULDER: Speaker, I will ask a question to the Deputy President in a few seconds to enlighten the DA about what is in the Constitution. Hon Deputy President, the question that I would like to ask you is the following, and the fact of the matter is that ...
The SPEAKER: Order! Order, hon members!
Ms A M DREYER: Vier en twintig stemme in Carletonville!
Dr C P MULDER: Speaker, the fact of the matter is that there is no member of the executive that deals with the commission. This commission is a chapter 9 institution that is independent and only subject to the Constitution and the law. The executive only gets involved in terms of the budget.
What I would like to ask is the following: Is there a possibility that government will think about, once again, looking into the mandate of this commission – what it is supposed to do and not what it is doing at the moment – because this commission is not living up to what is expected of it in terms of the rights of communities or the question of social cohesion? Thank you. [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon Mulder. The ad hoc committee report looked into all of these chapter 9 institutions, including this one. It has made very clear recommendations, which need to be given effect to by this House. Therefore, it falls upon this House really, to take that process forward, not so much the executive. The executive would be directed by the legislation which would come out of this House. Thank you.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Thank you, hon Speaker. Thank you, hon Deputy President, for pointing out that in the ad hoc committee there are three members from the Pan-South African Language Board also serving there, because, in the first place, the linguistic communities' rights were misplaced in these communities when we already had the Pan-South African Language Board.
My concern is since there is an outcry in this country that the Pan-South African Language Board is failing dismally in promoting and developing languages in this country, how will it help should this ad hoc committee decide that linguistic communities' interests should reside with the Pan-South African Language Board? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Msimang. In fact, the recommendation of the ad hoc report is for the Pan-South African Language Board to be matched with the commission. There were units, if you remember, under the board which dealt with lexicography. It was recommended in this report that those units should be located in the Department of Arts and Culture. That was the first recommendation of the ad hoc committee and, once again, I think that the next step is for this House to look at that report again – the House's decision was to keep it in abeyance – and perhaps dust it off and select the six members and set the process in motion. Thank you.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Hon Deputy President, whilst your replies have answered me in part, I think it may still be useful for me to ask my questions, and that is: Has the work done by the commission justified its existence? Is the work of the commission adding value to the lives of people living in South Africa, and how is this effectiveness measured? What are the challenges facing the commission with regard to fulfilling their mandate and playing a meaningful role in society? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, the work of evaluating the effectiveness and relevance of these chapter 9 institutions was done by the ad hoc committee, and these recommendations that I've alluded to try to address their findings, even though there was a qualification in the report to the effect that this particular commission had been in existence for a much shorter period than the others. That is why the ad hoc committee felt that there hadn't been sufficient time to actually assess its effectiveness or lack thereof. Thank you.
END OF TAKE
QUESTION 12: The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
QUESTION 11: The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, yes, the national Department of Social Development receives reports on the number of child-headed households identified and serviced as well as on the types of services rendered to them on a quarterly basis.
The statistics that government relies on are received from homes and from community-based care organisations which report to provincial departments of social development on the number of child-headed households identified and serviced and the types of services provided.
Government attempts to assist child-headed households through social workers at the district level who are assigned to these households and whose responsibility it is to link the children to all government services including, but not limited to: psychosocial support; linking children with relatives and extended family; facilitating access to official documents; and application and access to social grants such as the child support grant, the foster care grant, grants in aid and also of social relief of distress and food parcels.
The reason for the continuing phenomenon of child-headed households in South Africa is primarily attributed to HIV and Aids. Other reasons identified are unemployment that results in people leaving home to seek employment elsewhere; desertion or abandonment of children and excessive abuse of alcohol, which renders adults incapable of parenting.
We all have a collective responsibility to ensure that the hardships suffered by children who have to assume responsibility for their families are minimised so that all children in South Africa can experience the true joy and freedom of childhood. Thank you.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Thank you, Speaker. Deputy President, according to statistics, it seems that we have a particular problem in specific provinces. Does government keep tally of the rural-urban divide as far as this serious problem is concerned? It seems that about 90% of all child-headed households are located in three provinces: Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. What additional interventions does government plan to ensure that we actually address this very serious social ill in society, so that we can help the children who emanate from these homes to become skilful, disciplined South African citizens? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, yes indeed, government, through the national Department of Social Development keeps accurate records of child-headed households. The prevalence of this phenomenon in certain provinces is a result of unemployment, when parents, tired of staring in the eyes of hungry children going to bed without food, end up migrating to urban centres in search of employment.
In certain instances, arrangements are made with relatives who, from time to time, check on the children. The net effect is that these children are left on their own, and that is why the national Department of Social Development has to keep track of all of this. Through the work done by community-based care organisations and so on, these reports filter through to the department which is able to respond accordingly. Thank you.
Ms S P LEBENYA-NTANZI: Thank you, hon Speaker. Mr Deputy President, I am sure that you will agree with me that the issue of child-headed households is a serious issue as these children not only lose their parents or guardians, but their childhoods as well. Many are unable to afford school fees and other such expenses, even though they get grants. Deputy President, what is government doing to ensure that planning is done to address this escalating problem and to make sure that money is budgeted to address the problems faced by these children? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Hon Lebenya. As I said, government takes steps to ensure that such children receive support, guidance and foster care, precisely because if government does not intervene decisively, such children will become a burden on the social welfare system of the country. To the extent that such a problem is known and properly recorded in government departments, everything possible is done to ensure that such children grow up in an environment that is very supportive and that they receive the necessary education. That is why the general approach is that no children of school-going age should be out of school simply because they have no parents or their parents and unemployed and so on. Thank you.
Mrs S P KOPANE: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon Deputy President, I have the government's own costing report on the Children Act in my hand and it states that if we want to implement this Act properly, we need 66 000 social workers in our country. Currently, we have about 11 000 social workers for 49 million South African citizens. That is a shortfall of 83%.
Given that we only have 17% of the social workers that are needed, it is impossible for your department to monitor the increase of child-headed households, let alone ensure that the children are properly cared for. Could the Deputy President kindly explain to us how the government is helping children in child-headed households in terms of foster care placement or permanent adoption?
Secondly, I really appreciate the Deputy President's answer regarding home and community-based care, but home and community-based caregivers are not qualified people. They need supervision by qualified people. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon Kopane. Yes, indeed, the shortfall of qualified social workers is a problem, hence the introduction of home and community-based caregivers as a supplement to the work that would normally be done by qualified social workers. This, unfortunately, is our situation and we can't say that we will do nothing until we have sufficient qualified social workers. It is thus a stop-gap measure in an attempt to address this dire challenge.
Where cases are reported in the districts, all the necessary steps are taken by the national Department of Social Development to ensure that such children are put up for adoption if they are the appropriate age, and others receive the requisite support. I havementioned a number of those kinds of support measures. That is not an exhaustive list. The government is able to intervene depending on the situation. The critical point here is for such situations to be reported to the relevant authorities in the district and localities and then for such problems to be attended to.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon Deputy President, legislation, we know, allows for households to be headed by children of 15 years and older. As there is no perfect age for children to take on such a responsibility, has the legislated age of 15 been found to be useful or problematic, either blocking families being together where the older sibling is perhaps 13 or 14, or placing undue stress on 15-year-olds? Is government satisfied that the concept of child-headed households and policies around that, are working and in the best interests of these children and what are the relevant details? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon Dudley. As I said, it is abnormal for 15-year-olds to be heading families and what government does in those cases is to lend a supporting hand to ensure that such children are not burdened with the responsibility of adults. But that is really a stop-gap measure. We should try to address all the other social ills to ensure that we don't have many cases of 15-year-olds heading families, because a 15-year-old is still a minor and may need guidance and support, rather than being burdened with the responsibility of parenthood. Thank you.
END OF TAKE
QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS – PEACE AND SECURITY CLUSTER - QUESTION 171: The MINISTER OF POLICE
QUESTION 12: The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS
PEACE AND SECURITY
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Mr Speaker, hon members, after the strike and other problems related to the deployment of private security bodies appointed by Fifa, a total of 1 184 additional SA Police Service, SAPS, members were deployed during the period, and performed functions on match and non-match days. Some of the functions of private security bodies were taken over by the SAPS. Members of the SAPS were deployed over a period of 31 days. The additional deployment costs for personnel have been estimated at R89,6 million. Thank you.
Ms A VAN WYK: Thank you, Speaker. Thank you, Minister, for the answer. First and foremost, I think that we need to congratulate the SAPS on the swift and professional manner in which they stepped in and assumed these extra duties. We owe each and every man and woman in blue our gratitude and appreciation. However, Minister, given that the Local Organising Committee, LOC, and Fifa have budgeted for private security at these venues, are you considering any legal avenues and taking steps to recover these costs from Fifa?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. We have already written to the LOC to recoup this amount; it is needed very much by the police. Thank you very much.
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Ngiyabonga Somlomo, mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe, kukhona ukukhala okuthi abanye bamaphoyisa abathatha umsebenzi emva kokuba onogada betelekile, abakakucoshi lokho okufanele bakucoshe. Okokuqala, izikhalo lezo ezinjalo sezafika kuwena? Okwesibili, bangakanani labo abangakucoshi okufanele bacoshe, bayokucosha nini-ke okufanele ukuba bakucoshe?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Madam Deputy Speaker, the answer is what we have said: that the LOC has to pay this money.
Kusho ukuthi izocoshwa kanjalo-ke mhlonishwa. I-LOC kufanele iphendule ngoba sithe siyayidinga.
We need that money. Thank you very much.
Mrs D A SCHÄFER: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Apart from action against Fifa, Minister, is there a provision in the contract with the security companies themselves for damages to be paid to the state in the event of the security companies breaching the agreement? If not, why not? If so, what steps is the Minister planning to take to recover the wasted taxpayer money from the security companies? We trust that one way or the other, either Fifa or the security companies will be sued if necessary.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Thank you, hon member. I must say that's not our call to make, because the contract was between the LOC and those private companies. So, they must sort their stuff out; we want ours. OkukaKhesare kuKhesare. [What belongs to Caesar must go back to Caesar.] Thank you.
Mrs D A SCHÄFER: Madam Speaker, I would like another question if there is the opportunity to do so.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, you may.
Mrs D A SCHÄFER: Minister, given the fact there were already problems with procuring the services of suitable private security companies for the Confederations Cup in 2009, and given that the appointment of private security companies for the World Cup was left to very late in the day, does the Minister agree that the strike action could have been prevented with proper advanced planning? If not, why not? If so, why was this not done?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: We share that sentiment, hon member. We are one on that matter. Perhaps that is why we have emphasised the point that those who are supposed to secure public facilities like the stadia, should indeed have gone through the processes of the PSIRA - Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority – in ensuring that they met the requirements. This is what we have been emphasising, both to Fifa and the LOC. For them, in particular, this should have been a lesson because we even raised the matter before all the things that happened thereafter. Thank you so much.
ARM/Eng / JN/ mmbhele (ISIZULU)/END OF TAKE
QUESTION 155: The MINISTER OF POLICE
QUESTION 171: The MINISTER OF POLICE
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Madam Deputy Speaker, according to the reports I have received, the arrest was made by the local Rosebank police station after the investigating officer from Mpumalanga had waited for more than two hours at the Rosebank station for the person to hand themselves over to the police. When the suspect failed to present himself to the investigating officer, two other officers proceeded in one vehicle to this person's place of work where a commotion broke out and other vehicles were dispatched to establish the problem. The costs for any arrest are not calculated on an individual basis, but are part of the SAPS' operational budget.
There was no impact on the general duties of the SAPS as the dispatched vehicles hardly spent 10 minutes at the scene after this person was arrested. The person in question was arrested on charges of fraud and forgery after a case was opened in Mpumalanga.
The person's lawyer was present at the time of arrest and, therefore, there was no time delayed in contacting his lawyer. The National commissioner is not informed every time the police effect an arrest. Therefore, on this matter it was not required for the investigating officer to first inform National Commissioner General Cele. As such the National Commissioner was not informed and this should be an obvious thing. Every investigating officer has the powers and authority to effect an arrest after a docket has been opened, and this instance was no different. Thank you.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: In January, two and half years ago, Adv Gerrie Nel who, at the time, was head of the Scorpions in Gauteng, was arrested in exactly the same manner as the Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi Wa Afrika was arrested just one month ago.
In the first instance it was to protect the now disgraced ex-National Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi. Then it took 20 armed police officers to serve the warrant of arrest on Adv Nel. It took the same number to swoop on Mr Wa Afrika, an unarmed journalist. Adv Nel was driven around all night in an attempt to intimidate him and his cellphone was taken. Mr Wa Afrika was driven around, and despite many of us searching throughout the night, we were unable to locate him as we faced what seemed to be deliberate obstruction on the part of the Hawks. His cellphone was also taken.
Mr Wa Afrika was one of the authors of a story published just two days before about the dodgy rental of new police headquarters. Minister, the arrest of this journalist in many eyes has negated gains we made during the Fifa World Cup. Would you explain who exactly was behind the extraordinary arrest and assure this House that this jackboot intimidatory policing is not making a comeback in this country? [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Deputy Speaker, I do not know which part of the answer the hon member does not get, because the issue here is that a human being was arrested. After that arrest, charges were levelled against the individual and, by the way, he is not the only person who was arrested on that charge for that particular incident. She chooses to omit one of the two people who were arrested and I do not know why.
The fact of the matter is that, if you are arrested and you are being charged, face the music and do not let a Member of Parliament represent your case because someone else is not represented. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr G LEKGETHO: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, there is a lot of fuss being made about the arrest of this Mzilikazi. Could you respond as to why there should be this sensationalism when two other people were arrested with the reporter? Why is the DA only mentioning one person, as if the others were not human beings? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. The question posed by the member, I think, should be directed to where it comes from, not to the Minister, because I am as baffled as you are. Let me say that the individuals concerned were given bail of R5 000 each because of what they were arrested for, both of them individually. Both of them have had their passports confiscated, but we are still to hear someone representing the other individual. Maybe he is not that important. I don't know. I am assuming, hon member.
Mr M E GEORGE: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon Minister, this apartheid-style display of excessive power and massing of police cars to arrest unarmed civilians is not consistent with the democracy we have evolved into. My question to you is: Do you encourage that type of abuse of power?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Your question is very simple, hon member. I am supposed to say no and sit down, because it is a very simple question. The issue here is that I explained that an investigating officer was sent and was made to wait for more than two hours. He took it to heart to wait two hours. But when he wanted to effect an arrest, the police were told that the person concerned would hand himself over, hence those two hours. The police then tried to effect an arrest. I hope you will agree with me, hon member: nobody is allowed to obstruct that particular process. That is when the investigating officer called for others to come and help him because there was a commotion. There was resistance to arrest. Do you support resistance to arrest, hon member? You won't support that, I assume. I thank you.
Mr M S SHILOWA: Hon Minister, there is a protocol, as I understand it, entered into between the police, the department and your Ministry on the one hand, and the National Prosecuting Authority and the SA National Editors' Forum - Sanef - on the other hand on the kind of processes that need to be followed as and when there are going to be arrests of media people.
So, this is not so much that they should be treated in a special way. In our view, the protocol, as outlined, was not followed in dealing with the issue. Could you indicate whether or not the protocol was followed and, if it wasn't followed, what was the problem in following that particular protocol?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Deputy Speaker, as I explained, hon member, even after that protocol we reported in this House some two months ago that we were going to further engage Sanef. Whatever we agreed on, it does not involve forgery and fraud. So, it falls outside of that. But over and above that and keeping that protocol in mind, the police were very patient – you would agree with me – as they waited for more than two hours for a person, being shunted from pillar to post. What else was the police suppose to do? We took cognisance of everything and we were very patient and gentle with the gentleman concerned. [Interjections.] Thank you very much. [Applause.]
END OF TAKE
QUESTION 178: The MINISTER OF POLICE
QUESTION 155: The MINISTER OF POLICE
The MINISTER OF POLICE: the SA Police Service, also known as the Force, is not mandated to procure new office accommodation and does not deal with the procurement policies and tender requirements thereof as this is the responsibility of the Department of Public Works. The SAPS identifies its accommodation needs by means of a needs assessment and then takes that to the Department of Public Works. Thank you very much.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, following your reply to the question, it has been reported in various media outlets that the Gen Cele was involved in the initial negotiations of that very same building with someone that is very close to the ruling party by the name of Shabangu. Now we have seen the abrupt resignation of Gen Hlela and Siwundla, as well as Strydom. Has this got to do with this issue - in fact, the question has been raised by the committee itself – of the same corruption that has been reported, which is going to be investigated imminently by the Special Investigating Unit? Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, hon member, the resignations you referred to are resignations. I want us to see them that way. But, regarding your specific question related to the Special Investigating Unit, the SIU, it is the Ministry and the Department of Police which actually approached the Presidency, because some of the things related to what the committee raised, as you've said and even before that, were by and large to do with supply-chain management. So, that process is ongoing. I do not want to refer to the specific names you referred to, but the people you referred to have resigned. Thank you very much.
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Ngiyabonga Sekela Somlomo, mhloniswa uma kuthiwa umuntu wasayina ethi omunye akazange asayine, iqiniso likuphi ngempela?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, did you hear the question?
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Uma mhloniswa kuthiwa wasayina omunye ethi angizange ngisayine, ngubani okufuneka aphenye ngempela ukuthi lo wakwenza lokho, iqiniso likuphi ngempela kulokho?
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZAMAPHOYISA: Lunga elihloniphekile, angazi ukuthi kusayinwa ini baba. Kodwa-ke nami ngiyayifunda lento oyifunda emaphepheni. Engikwaziyo ukuthi …
... on the issue of procurement, the Department of Public Works is dealing with the matter because it belongs there. I have been informed by my colleague, the Minister of Public Works, that most of these procurements, across the board in government, have been frozen.
Mhlawumbe ukusayina kuyotholakala uma seliyoshona ilanga baba, angikakazi okwamanje. Siyabonga.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, more than any other department, the SAPS is expected to set a good example for all government departments by upholding the rule of law, which is their core function. It is therefore inexcusable for the Police to violate Treasury regulations.
Having heard what the hon Minister said about the resignations of the Deputy National Commissioner of Police, I still want to know whether the hon Minister will consider looking into the real reasons for the resignations, particularly because these resignations were made in the middle of the probe involving contracts totalling more than R4 billion in the department. Minister, there must be something that we need to know and would you please look into that. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZAMAPHOYISA: Sekela Somlomo, ubab' umfundisi ngabe uyasisiza nje asithandazele bakwethu, sibhekene nomsebenzi onzima. Cha, ngeke ngikwazi ukuwuphendula lowo mbuzo angibuza wona kodwa engikushoyo ukuthi umsebenzi wokubheka izinto,
... checking and putting things where they are supposed to be within the Police will continue. But I can't ask a member why she or she is resigning. I don't even want to go there. I don't wish to take that route. Thank you very much.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, I want to say that at least the Commissioner of Police had to complete a needs assessment, which he forwarded to the Department of Public Works. Now, my follow-up question is: Is there really a need for a second 18-storey building for police headquarters when you already utilise the present one? Is there really a need for that? Was it really a good assessment as far as that is concerned? At least you, as the Minister, must have known about this because R500 million is not a small amount. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon member, there is no need for an 18-storey building. In fact, I do not even know where that comes from, because there is no such thing as an 18-storey building. The assessment and the needs of the police have always been raised.
Hon member, because you are a member of this committee, you should know better in that even last year the matter was raised of building headquarters for the police. That was supposed to be done as a public-private partnership option. I was told, after the assessment, that these headquarters would cost more than R4 billion. The new management then decided that if that continued, the first point of call would be the building of the police station rather than building those headquarters. Thank you very much.
JN…/mmbhele (ISIZULU)/VM (ENG)
END OF TAKE
QUESTION 167: The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
QUESTION 178: The MINISTER OF POLICE
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. I would like to inform the hon member that I found that the Small Claims Courts and the Equality Courts are successful initiatives of government that are aimed at improving access to justice for all. However, these courts should not be seen as special courts as they are normal, permanent courts established by legislation with specific goals in mind.
The former Chief Justice, Pius Langa, stressed that access to justice becomes an empty gesture and makes a mockery of the Constitution if it is not backed by mechanisms that are adequate for the enforcement of rights. In this regard, both the Small Claims Courts and the Equality Courts play a vitally important role.
These courts are powerful mechanisms in aiding the provision of civil access to justice especially for the indigent. These courts are based on speed, simplicity and cost-effectiveness, and they eliminate time-consuming, adversarial procedures regarding the resolution of disputes up to R7 000.
No legal representatives are required or allowed to appear on behalf of litigants in these courts. One of the objectives is to ensure that there is at least one functioning and active Small Claims Court in each and every one of South Africa's 384 magisterial districts. We are just over the halfway mark in this regard. Currently, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has already established 211 Small Claims Courts, and the proclamation of a further three is imminent. Significantly and in keeping with our objective of ensuring access to justice for all, most of the newly established courts will be in rural areas.
Furthermore, we have initiated a campaign to familiarise various role-players with Small Claims Courts and popularise their usage amongst as many people as possible. As you would know, we have also made a call on all Members of Parliament to assist us in speeding up the establishment of Small Claims Courts by heeding the call, "One constituency, one small claims court". Thank you.
Mr M GUNGUBELE: Thank you, hon Speaker. Thank you, hon Minister. Taking into account that this is a very noble cause whose intention is to ensure access for the many disadvantaged and their challenges and with respect to the intention, we assume that this noble cause will be accompanied by continual capacitation. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Well, as the hon Gungumbele is aware, we are also going to inform the portfolio committee from time to time on additional capacity. So your valuable assistance in procuring more funds for matters of this nature will be greatly appreciated.
Mrs N W A MICHAEL: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Minister, I hear what you say, and the DA is very pleased with the establishment of these Special Courts and these Small Claims Courts. However, at a presentation to the portfolio committee by the department, we were shown large number of vacancies in courts ranging from clerks of the court, court officials, prosecutors and magistrates. Are these Special Courts adequately staffed, thus bringing and ensuring universal justice to all South Africans?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: As the hon member is aware, there are always competing needs and that is why as Cabinet we take collective responsibility in terms of our budget. As and when funds become available, we fill posts. You may be aware that every year we fill posts for clerks of the court,prosecutors, magistrates and even judges. As the economy grows, I am sure that we will be able to fill all the necessary vacancies in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Mr Minister, I thought that you gave a very good answer. I want to know what reaction you are getting from Members of Parliament. This is because there was a call on all of us to assist in ensuring that there is a Small Claims Court in every magisterial district. Are the Members of Parliament assisting you? How is that going?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Well, I assume that Members of Parliament are responsible, so this campaign should be proceeding. I am aware that hon Van der Merwe is a lawyer as well, so he is aware that many lawyers in South Africa, from time to time, leave their offices and participate in these Small Claims Courts, which play a very significant role in providing access to justice for all the people of South Africa.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Minister, following your reply, I think all of us from this side will support the programme. In terms of the establishment, you said that the following proclamation is imminent in terms of the plan that you have in the department, particularly for the rural communities. When do you envisage that all the declared municipal districts will have functioning Small Claims Courts?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Well, it is our plan that this should happen as soon as possible, but it all depends on the resources that are made available to the department. I have indicated already that we have 211 of these Small Claims Courts throughout South Africa. Our aim is that in the next three or so years, all the 384 magisterial districts of South Africa will have these Small Claims Courts. The Equality Courts are functioning. All magistrates' courts have been designated as Equality Courts. So it is for the public to utilise them whenever they feel some injustice has been done to them.
END OF TAKE
QUESTION 154: The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
QUESTION 167: The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. Our response to the hon Mokgalapa is, yes, heads of missions, ambassadors and high commissioners represent the head of state abroad. Therefore, according to the Constitution, their appointment is the sole prerogative of the President. The department provides the President with recommendations on the appointment of ambassadors.
In making the recommendations, the department takes into account, amongst other things, other priorities and needs at our headquarters, priorities at the missions where the proposed ambassadors will be sent, and the experience and profile of recommended designates.
On allegations against the ambassador, which we have read about in the newspapers, the allegations have not been tested and therefore the ambassador is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. I thank you.
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Thank you, Minister, for the response. In light of the Minister's response indicating the high calibre she considers as a criterion for appointing ambassadors, how then, Minister, was it possible that Mr Rasool was still appointed even though the ANC secretary-general, Mr Mantashe, admitted publicly at a media briefing on 4 August 2010 that Mr Rasool had been recalled as premier, stating that: "Rasool was removed on a basis of this case."
This was a reference to allegations detailed in an affidavit that money was paid to a former Cape Arguspolitical reporter. Don't you think this smacks of double standards?
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Hon Mokgalapa, the allegation remains an allegation and remains to be tested through the proper processes. So, I will not take a quotation from a press conference to be the basis for me to make those considerations. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, has the question of making decisions, like the criteria on ambassadors that affect international relations, more transparent and people friendly been discussed at Cabinet level? Is there recognition of a possible need to make this and other similar processes more transparent in order to allow the South African public to better connect and view international relations with less suspicion and scepticism? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Deputy Speaker, well, South Africans are being engaged at large through public diplomacy, an initiative that's new, and we engage with all South Africans from all walks of life.
Talking about transparency in the appointment of ambassadors, one thing that has happened in this country is that the President of the Republic considers even making appointments from opposition parties. So, I don't know what further transparency is needed. When we make such appointments, we normally get whispers of "Thank you very much" in the corridors, but never out here in the open to say: I come from this party; this number of people were appointed from our party; and they are doing a good job.
Please don't ask us to judge people when the due process of the law is taking place. When that time comes into play, we will take the necessary action. So, let's not confuse reaching out to the public about what we do in our international work with appointments of ambassadors, because when the President finds the time and space he does reach out to all political parties represented in this House. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I find it very strange that the hon Minister actually rejects the statement by the secretary-general of her party - that this person was recalled. I want to ask the Minister and, through her, the President of course: Is it not wiser and better to wait until the law has taken its course before a person is appointed to such a high position?
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: You know, hon member, through you, Deputy Speaker, South Africa will continue to be respected in the international arena when all South Africans consider issues of international relations and national interest in this House as priorities for all us.
Firstly, I think it is opportunistic that when a person is nominated there is no noise made, but when the appointment is confirmed and on the eve of the ambassador leaving there is a leak to the newspapers and that therefore we should make decisions based on what the newspapers say.
Secondly, I will not come into this House and wait to be taught how to listen to the leadership of the organisation I belong to. I take orders directly from the organisation I belong to, not via media conferences and third parties. [Applause.]
Mr M E GEORGE: Deputy Speaker, Madam Minister, why do you make such important positions, as you have explained, a sanctuary for party members who have done some wrong in the country, because it was made very clear by the secretary-general? You have explained the importance of these positions very well. Why do you make them a sanctuary for wrongdoers in your party? [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Hon Muleleki George, I have never seen a he who looks like me, ever. [Laughter.] So I'm sure you are going do withdraw that when I finish.
Secondly, the President, advised by the department, looks at all South Africans, largely internally in the department because we do have very senior and professional diplomats within the department. Also, constitutionally, the President can also appoint people outside the department to represent the country. So, if you have a list of sinners, don't just pick and choose so that we are able to focus on building the national interest and the image of South Africa truthfully. I am not about to pass judgment on a matter that has not arisen as yet. Thank you. [Applause.]
END OF TAKE
QUESTION 164: The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
QUESTION 154: The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. The ratio which the hon member is referring to simply reflects the calculation of the current staff complement in relation to the estimated number of offenders, including projections of growth and releases. The ratio of 1:4 is therefore based on the total number of offenders divided by the total number of members nationally - that is, 160 000 inmates to 40 000 officials.
This formula is inclusive of all components: support staff, specialised staff and security staff. Therefore, it is not a reference to the staff inmate ratio deployed for case management and security personnel in terms of the unit management model in centres. The current ratio for the unit management model at the centres is averaged at 1:17. The international norm is benchmarked at 1:20.
Following the agreement on occupational specific dispensation, OSD, of 2007, the department has implemented a process of migration to ensure that all officials who are trained as correctional officers are deployed to centre levels. This was aimed at ensuring increased capacity for the provision of security and programmes to offenders at the centres.
Following the National Treasury directive that the department's total organisational establishment should be reduced from 46 000 to 40 000, a team was established for the revision of the staffing ratios based on the alignment of structure, and functions of the department. I have since also directed that an audit of our small centres be conducted to determine which one of these centres can be rationalised in order to share resources and improve the rendering of services. Some of these centres have an inmate staff ratio of 1:1 and less.
Lastly, the project's target date for completion of the migration process is 30 September 2010. In the meantime, the department is currently filling critical posts in the support sections to allow those correctional officers who are currently engaged in support work to be redeployed to the centre. I thank you.
Mr V G SMITH: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Minister, if one looks at the annual report for 2006 to 2007, the administration staff complement was 7 433; in 2007 to 2008, it was 6 593; and 2008 to 2009, it was more or less 6 630. The question that I would like to ask the Minister is: Does the department have the right number of properly trained staff, in the right places, doing the right thing?
My own view is that 6 000 people at head office or office-based staff is a bit too much and top heavy. I think that we should be looking at redeploying some of those office-based staff to working in the centre. I would be interested in your views on that, Madam Minister. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, I thought the hon member understood me when I said that one of the priority areas of the department right now, was that of migration, which means movement of some of the employees from head office, from doing administration work, to doing the work of custodial services. There is also a directive given to us by the National Treasury which says that we should reduce the staff numbers within the Department of Correctional Service, from 46 000 down to 40 000. That is one of the things that we are doing.
I have also indicated that the last date, which is D-day for this migration process to be completed, was 30 September 2010. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mazibuko ...
Mr A T FRITZ: Deputy Speaker, it is Fritz. There is something wrong with our system at the back. It is common cause that with the introduction of the seven-day establishment and the two-shift system into correctional centres, incentives had been created for
centre-based officials. This resulted in many office-based officials in critical positions in those administration posts, electing to migrate to centre-based positions. I heard the Minister talking about this migration process.
But this is purely on paper. In reality, at the centre level, it is not in existence. The question we want to ask is: What is the Minister going to do - and specifically doing and implementing - in managing the flow of critical office-based officials to centre-based positions that we all know only exist on paper, as I indicated? Secondly, what has she done to remedy the situation in which the ratio of centre-based officials, in many instance at correctional centres, is 1:200 and, in some instances, is 1:300? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. Hon Fritz, I don't know where you get the figures from. The ratio of 1:300 I am not aware of. Nonetheless, you are a member of the portfolio committee, I expect that at any time on any day you may want to invite the department, led by me, to come and present the exact figures and the exact state of affairs in the regions.
One of the issues you raised was the 12-by-two shift system. You and I understand very clearly the reasons behind the decision to go the route of the 12-by-two shift system. It was at a time when we were introducing the seven-day establishment. However, we later received reports that this system was not working. We issued a directive that, in fact, all heads of centres should use their discretion as to what kind of shift system they would want to embark upon. We are all aware of this.
Now, what is a problem for me is this directive was issued in March 2010 to try to rectify the situation. After a lot of lobbying by officials, Members of Parliament, the South African public and civil society and so on, we then went back and issued a directive. To my surprise, to date, 80% of the centres continue to use the 12-by-two shift system.
When you talk to officials, they will tell you that they were satisfied with the 12-by-two system. Yes, there are challenges of human resource capacity here and there, but, in fact, this is the ideal shift system. It is the only shift system you may want to have in a centre in order for you to meet the requirements which have been created by the seven-day establishment.
Therefore, with regard to the written question you gave us, I actually tabulated in the response all the regions and all the centres to try to prove that, in fact, it is a very strange development that people complain about the 12-by-two shift system. We issued a directive, but people still retained the 12-by-two shift system. Therefore, we are now at 80% at all the centres, and we are using the 12-by-two shift system. Maybe you and I need to sit down and engage on what best we can do to turn the situation around. Thank you very much.
Mr V B NDLOVU: Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. Minister, you said that the directives sometimes are issued and then turned by those people who are working under the two-day shift system. How do you monitor that? I ask this question because some of the people who escape from Correctional Services escape because the human resources are not equal to the numbers they were looking after. As management, how do you monitor that?
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you very much.
Tat' uNdlovu, andikholelwa nakancinane ukuba into yokubaleka kwamabanjwa kumaziko ibangelwa yinto yokungabikho kwabasebenzi abaneleyo. Ewe, ikhona ingxaki esinayo yokungabikho kwabasebenzi abaneleyo kwiZiko lezeLuleko, kwaye nokuba singafaka inkqubo yamaxesha okungena amathathu, amane okanye amathandathu siyakuhlala sinayo ingxaki yabasebenzi kwisebe. Njengoko besenditshilo ngaphambili ukuba iNational Treasury sele isixelele ukuba kufanele sithoba ukusuka kuma-46 000 amasentile ukuya kuma-40 000 Khawube nombono woko kuza kwenzeka ngenxa yaloo nto. Into ebalulekileyo yeyokuba sibe neenkqubo ezifanelekileyo ezizakusincedisa ekubeni iso kakuhle, ngaphandle kokuxhomekeka kuthi bantu. Kufanele ukuba sibe neenkqubo eziza kuthi zikwazi ukusibonisa abanjwa xa ehamba-hamba, kanti naxa ebaleka.
Ingxaki esinayo ikakhulu yeyokuba, iinkqubo esinazo apha kwiZiko lezoLuleko azisebenzi ngendlela ezifanele ukuba zisebenze ngayo. Kufuneka siphucule iinkqubo zethu sizidibanise nabo. Ikhona enye ingxaki eyaziwa ndim nawe yokuba ngamaphuth' ahlathinye apho abasebenzi bamaZiko oLuleko anceda amabanjwa ukuze akwazi ukubaleka. Yenye yezinto ezi ekufanele ukuba sizilungise kwiZiko lezoLuleko.
Abasebenzi beSebe lezoLuleko abazange benziwa uhlolo lwabaqeshwa ukuqinisekisa ukuba ababadakanyeki kulwaphulomthetho. Ngoku enye yeengxaki esijongene nazo kukhlolwa kwabalawuli ukuqinisekisa ukuba ababandakanyeki kulwaphulomthetho. Ukusuka kwethu kuhlolo lwabalawuli kwizenzo zolwaphulomthetho sizakuhla siye kumaziko. Sesiqalile ngabalawuli abazintloko zamaziko, kuba oku kokunye kwemimngeni yethu emikhulu. Umngeni ngowokuba likhona eli yelenqe phakathi kwamabanjwa kunye nabasebenzi bamaZiko oluLeko.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Minister. Hon Mnqasela?
Mr A T FRITZ: Hon Speaker, again, I am at his desk.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are you hon Mnqasela?
Mr A T FRITZ: No, no, I am Fritz. I am at his desk; my thing does not work at the back. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Don't do that, because there are other people here who want to speak.
Mr A T FRITZ: I pressed this button. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I said, don't do that. You should press "Fritz" because you spoke earlier.
Mr A T FRITZ: "Fritz" does not respond.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, no, there's "Fritz" here. Before that, there was "Fritz" who responded. So, you are not the hon Mnqasela? Hon Mnqasela, you didn't press your button.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, it seems as if a lot of things are not working in Parliament at the present time. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: They are working.
Mr M J ELLIS: I can assure you that the hon Fritz is working very well; it is just his microphone that is not working. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I doubt it. [Laughter.]
Mr M J ELLIS: His name is Fritz and not Mazibuko. Please give him a chance to speak.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: His microphone is working. It's him who is not working. [Laughter.] That's for the last time.
Mr M J ELLIS: We actually think he works quite well, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wouldn't want to say: "Don't touch me on my studio". Hon Fritz, you can speak. [Laughter.]
Mr A T FRITZ: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I want to really thank the Minister for the response. I will take you up on your invitation to go on a site visit. We can go to Pollsmoor - it's just 25 kilometres from Cape Town - unannounced. You will find 3:300 people on duty at any time. I want to suggest to the Minister that we should take do this. We should go there unannounced. We should not tell them that we are coming.
I want to say further to the Minister that the reason why so many people say to you that they are happy with the two-shift system is because they work for four days, get two days off and then stay off three more days on sick leave. They do not come back. You have an absenteeism rate of 40% to 50% at any given time at correctional centres. This is our problem.
Hon Minister, how do we address the absenteeism rate relating specifically and directly to the two-shift system? That is the point we are making. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: So, finally, your thing is working? [Laughter.] I was just wondering what I was supposed to do with your thing that was not working. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Hon Fritz, I fully agree with you that it's good to go on unannounced visits, because that is where you get to know and understand the system better and how its managers do their work at a centre level. But ... [Interjections.] I'm sorry. [Laughter.] You see now ... [Laughter.] ... Minister of Home Affairs. Which Minister of Home Affairs?
The hon Ellis seems to understand that his thing works better. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, the reason why I said Mr Fritz's thing was working very well, was because he came to me earlier today and said, "I just want to let you know that my thing is working very well indeed." [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I am sorry, Madam Deputy Speaker. Yes, the rate of absenteeism is a big problem. I agree with you, and I am sure all members of the portfolio committee are aware of it. Actually, we have just discovered that we have officers who have been on leave for more than two years. [Interjections.] We have had to give a deadline for them to report to work; otherwise, medical boarding will be the next step. This is because most of them are said to be on sick leave. These are big numbers we are talking about; this, when in fact we could actually use the posts they have been occupying.
So, I do agree. But this is not as a result of the 12-by-two shift system. You should remember that the 12-by-two shift system was introduced in September last year. So the high rate of absenteeism has everything to do with lack of management and supervision by managers who are supposed to be managing at the centres; and, secondly, with the laissez faireattitude of officials, something that all of us need to tackle. This certainly cannot be tackled by us on our own.
That is why we are also encouraging the portfolio committee to embark on unannounced visits, but not only that, individual members of the committee or MPs in their constituencies, where there are centres, have the right to go in. So whatever you pick up, you sensitise us about it, so that we can deal with it. Thank you very much.
Your thing must now work. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
END OF TAKE
QUESTION 165: The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
QUESTION 164: The MINISTER OF CORRETIONAL SERVICES
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Deputy Speaker, let me say from the outset that South Africa acceded to the treaty of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, Tribunal. We think it is a very useful institution.
However, SADC has realised that there are challenges in running the SADC Tribunal. These challenges make the judgments which emanate from the tribunal difficult to implement in member countries. Zimbabwe leads in this regard.
In light of these several challenges, let me just quote the decision taken at SADC's 30th jubilee summit which was held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 16 to 17 August 2010: "A review of the role, functions and terms of reference of the SADC Tribunal should be undertaken and concluded within six months."
This is a follow-up of an endorsement of a recommendation that was made by SADC Ministers of Justice in April 2010 in Kinshasa. It was not just a meeting of Ministers of Justice; the meeting included a delegation of attorneys general of SADC.
Now, this review is necessary to give this tribunal the necessary credibility and effectiveness to which the hon member referred.
The interpretation of how the SADC Tribunal itself should have been put to use differed across SADC member countries. Many SADC countries assumed that, by acceding to the treaty, there would be no need to ratify the protocol in their respective parliaments. So, this is just one of the big challenges with which the SADC Tribunal is faced.
We truly hope that by the end of the six months, Ministers of justice and attorneys general of SADC would have applied their minds and taken care of the many loopholes that have been identified by the learned Ministers of justice and attorneys general. Thank you.
Mr H T MAGAMA: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Minister, in view of the decisions of the summit that you have just outlined, what then are the implications for the Tribunal in the interim and, of course, for the matter of the Zimbabwean farmers on whom the Tribunal has passed judgment? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Deputy Speaker, one of the key challenges, as I said earlier, is the enforceability of the outcomes or judgments from the Tribunal, particularly on member countries that have not ratified the protocol itself.
What will happen within the six-month period to the life of the Tribunal is that it will continue its work, pending the outcome of the review by the Ministers of justice and attorneys general.
Mr K S MUBU: Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank Madam Minister for her response.
It is true to say that the SADC Tribunal was known to have taken certain decisions to punish one of the member states – that is Zimbabwe, of course – but it appears now that, in turn, the summit itself decided to punish the Tribunal by not reappointing the judges. Surely, this raises suspicions that there must have been some kind of interference from the Zimbabwean government, because that is the government that was in breach of the decisions of the tribunal itself. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Hon Deputy Speaker, for the hon member's information, Zimbabwe has actually withdrawn from participating in this matter. They actually had a sitting judge who they have officially withdrawn. So, the decisions were not taken or influenced by what is happening in Zimbabwe.
Member countries, who so dearly respect the Tribunal and want it to continue, deemed it necessary and important that we strengthened it and gave it the necessary legitimacy, after having realised the shortcomings in the way in which this matter came up.
But, there is also an issue around the number of countries that have actually ratified the protocol itself, which will then have to be taken into consideration within this period of six months.
So, the decision by the Ministers of justice and the summit leaders or heads of state was not influenced by Zimbabwe at all.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Deputy Chairperson, I'd like to ask the hon Minister whether South Africa was able to discuss the impact of Zimbabwe's refusal directly with Zimbabwe, in view of the significant impact Zimbabwe has on South Africa owing to a common border. If not, why not, and is government concerned about the situation? If we have discussed it directly, what are the relevant details in terms of a one-on-one relationship? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I don't understand the question. Is it about the Tribunal or Zimbabwe-South Africa relations in general? I need clarity, so that I'm able to respond to the question.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Deputy Speaker, it will be linked to the Tribunal only in terms of the relationship we have with Zimbabwe. Are we able to discuss this sort of issue with them directly on a one-to-one basis?
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Well, hon President Zuma remains the facilitator that, on behalf of SADC, monitors the full implementation of Zimbabwe's global political agreement. Now, yes we are engaging with Zimbabweans on other matters relating to the full implementation of the global political agreement. But, on the matter of the Tribunal, one of the difficulties is the enforceability of judgments passed by the Tribunal which actually do not consider Zimbabwe's own national Constitution.
So, we cannot choose to engage Zimbabwe on outcomes of the Tribunal outside the SADC summit. If we were to do that, it has to be within the parameters of where the matter is being discussed. We will wait for the outcome of the review by the Ministers of justice and attorneys general. Thank you.
Mr L S NGONYAMA: Deputy Speaker, I would like to know what the hon Minister's understanding is of this matter of Zimbabwe refusing to comply with the SADC Tribunal. Does Zimbabwe want to cherry-pick by asking for SADC to help them resolve their problems, yet refusing to honour SADC decisions when it does not suit them? If this is so, what does South Africa do generally, especially with regard to other SADC members, including Zimbabwe, when they act this way?
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Deputy Speaker, I have said that member countries, starting with South Africa, have acceded to the treaty and have all acknowledged – the acknowledgement was made and confirmed by the Ministers of justice and our attorneys general – that there are challenges within this Tribunal, particularly on issues of enforceability. Enforceability is one of the key problems, particularly enforceability of the judgments taken by the Tribunal itself.
Now, Zimbabwe has withdrawn from the Tribunal and they were not even part of the meeting of April 2010 to which I have referred. Even the member countries that want to continue with the Tribunal and strengthen it, have themselves said: give us time to strengthen this institution.
How do we then turn around – even before we get the full review report of the Ministers and the attorneys general of all our member states, 14 of them – and say, "No, let's first deal with Zimbabwe and their cherry-picking", when we ourselves are still waiting for the report that comes out of the review process of the Ministers of justice and attorneys general?
I think we should also not cherry-pick; we should wait for the outcome of the review process so that we can duly deal with this matter accordingly. [Applause.]
END OF TAKE
NOTICES OF MOTION: Mr M S F DE FREITAS
QUESTION 165: The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: Deputy Speaker, on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move that this House debates the impact of toll roads on the economy and alternatives that could be considered.
Mr D A KGANARE
Mr M S F DE FREITAS
Mr D A KGANARE: Deputy Speaker, on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move that this House debates the 36% increase in robberies in many of our cities where people are followed home from banks where they had gone to withdraw money. This unacceptable state of affairs goes against the grain of the rights of individuals to have freedom of movement and the right to protection.
Ms P BHENGU
Mr D A KGANARE
Ms P BHENGU: Madam Deputy Speaker, on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move that this House debates how to reduce the number of fatal accidents on our roads with special emphasis on public transport.
Mrs P TSHWETE
Ms P BHENGU
Mrs P TSHWETE: Deputy Speaker, on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move that this House debates how to strengthen the current safety nets that deal with child poverty, ongoing killings, disappearances, abuse and neglect.
Mrs F F MUSHWANA
Mrs P TSHWETE
Mrs F F MUSHWANA: Deputy Speaker, on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move that this House debates how to strengthen collaboration between the Departments of Basic and Higher Education and Social Development and other related departments in the provision of early childhood development.
Mr P D DEXTER
Mrs F F MUSHWANA
Mr P D DEXTER: Deputy Speaker, on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move that this House debates the massive cost of the installation by the Department of Correctional Services of 50 television sets in the new Kimberley Prison, at a cost of R31 021 each, especially at a time when the Minister for the Public Service and Administration is pleading poverty and suggesting to the unions that the envelope is not empty, but broken, and especially since when these things are put up, they end up being broken.
END OF TAKE
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
NOTICE OF MOTION: Mr P D DEXTER
NATIONAL ARBOUR WEEK
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:
That the House-
(1) notes that 1 September marks the start of National Arbour Week which ends on 7 September;
(2) recognises that the purpose of National Arbour Day in South Africa is to increase public awareness of indigenous trees within this country by encouraging the people of South Africa to plant a rare tree and a common tree during the course of the week, and to highlight the importance of preserving our environment for future generations to come;
(3) further recognises that planting trees is one of the means by which carbon emissions, the driver of anthropogenic climate change, can be offset; and
(4) encourages all South Africans to honour the week, plant trees, and get involved in communal events that will help clean up our environment.
THE DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
STATE-OF-THE-ART WEATHER RADAR SYSTEM LAUNCHED IN MTHATHA
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House-
(1) welcomes the South African Weather Service's launch of the new state-of-the-art weather radar system in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, which will enhance the monitoring capability in an area of the country which is prone to natural disasters that often go unnoticed by the general public;
(2) notes that this new weather radar network forms part of the government's programme to upgrade and replace current weather radars, many of which are over 30 years old; and
(3) believes that the new weather radars will play a vital role in enhancing adaptation tools and products, such as the Severe Weather Forecast Project and the Flash Food Guidance System that minimise loss of lives and damage to property in events of severe weather.
THE DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
THE DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
CONGRATULATIONS TO LEE-ANNE PACE ON WINNING FINNAIR MASTERS TOURNAMENT IN FINLAND
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House-
(1) congratulates Lee-Anne Pace on winning the Finnair Masters tournament in Finland, to claim her third title of the season on the ladies' European Tour on Sunday, 29 August 2010;
(2) notes that the 29-year-old South African first won the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open in June, and a fortnight ago won S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe;
(3) believes that she has put our country on the international map, and is an inspiration to other young women; and
(4) wishes her all the best for future games.
The House adjourned at 17:13.
END OF TAKE
No related documents