Hansard: Second Reading Debate: Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill ; Social Assistance Amendment Bill / Minister's Response / Member's Statements

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 01 Jun 2010

Summary

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Minutes

START OF DAY

TUESDAY, 2 JUNE 2010

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

_______

The House met at 14:03.

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, we come to notices of motion. I am looking around because I know there was a request that I have granted for a Statement by the Minister of Correctional Services.

Ms S P KOPANE: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates the poor performance, ineffectiveness and wasteful expenditure of the entities under the Department of Social Development and the negative effect this has on service delivery, and come up with possible solutions.

[Applause.]

Dr J C KLOPPERS-LOURENS: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates declaring Basic Education as an essential service, and in doing so, comes up with solutions to curb the high number of schooling hours lost due to teacher strikes, demonstrations and union meetings held during school hours.

[Applause.]

Ms E MORE: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates the negative impact that the Gauteng Shared Services Centre, GSSC, has on the quality of health care service delivery at Gauteng health institutions and comes up with possible solutions.

[Applause.]

Ms A M DREYER: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving on behalf of the DA:

That the House debates the appointment criteria of senior officials of public entities and comes up with proper guidelines for their appointments. [Applause.]

Ms J D KILIAN: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving on behalf of Cope:

That the House debates the implications of the ill-considered about-turn by the Minister of Communications to revisit the issue of DVB-T standards for digital migration happening after state-owned entities such as the SABC and Sentech, as well as the private sector, have already invested billions of rands in the specific technological platform agreed to by Cabinet five years ago.

Ms E M COLEMAN: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving:

That the House debates the new economic growth path to tackle the challenges of our current conjuncture.

Mr N E GCWABAZA: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving on behalf of the ANC:

That the House debates the integrated Public Service as a model to enhance service delivery.

AGREEMENT SIGNED AND FUNDING PROVIDED FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT THROUGH FOOTBALL PROJECT, YDF

(Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that Sport and Recreation South Africa, German Technical Co-operation, GTZ, and the German Development Bank, signed an implementation agreement on the Youth Development through Football, YDF, programme;

(2) further notes that Sport and Recreation South Africa and GTZ have recently signed the implementation agreement on the Youth Development through Football, YDF, programme; and that the German government has provided €7,5 million for this initiative;

(3) recognises that through the delegated agreement, the European Union, EU, will provide funding to the amount of € 6 million to the Youth Development through Football and that this amount will be utilised for projects in South Africa and ten Sub-Saharan African countries;

(4) further recognises that the implementation plans for the project include the training of youth in all nine provinces in development through sport methodologies, capacity building covering nine Mass Participation Programme, MPP, hubs of activity and two nongovernmental organisations per province, as well as the implementation of the Africa Legacy Programme in Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya; and

(5) welcomes this initiative as it will take sport to poor, disadvantaged communities across South Africa and also contribute positively towards the improvement of school sport by grooming young talent from an early age.

Agreed to.

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, 5 JUNE 2010

(Draft Resolution)

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that 5 June 2010 is World Environment Day;

(2) further notes that on 15 December 1972 the United Nations elected to dedicate a day of the international calendar to reflect upon the state of the environment in order to heighten global awareness around this issue and sense by world leaders to act collectively to take measures to enhance and preserve our environment;

(3) recognises that there are several challenges facing our environment, such as the issue of global warming, green house gas emissions, the depletion of fossil fuel resources and scarce water resources;

(4) acknowledges that it is essential that we, as a nation and as part of the global community, must adopt measures to preserve the environment; and

(5) enjoins all South Africans to adopt an eco-friendly attitude in their daily lives and to actively work together to clean up and preserve our environment.

Agreed to.

SILVER MEDAL FOR SOUTH AFRICA'S CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW EXHIBITION

(Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

That the House –

(1) South Africa's entry, entitled "Bio[logical] diversity is the variety of life", scooped up a silver medal at the prestigious 2010 Chelsea Flower Show, CFS, in London;

(2) further notes that South Africa is always one of the frontrunners in winning medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, and notched up 18 medals in 18 years of designing the exhibit;

(3) congratulates designers David Davidson and Ray Hudson for designing an innovative interpretation of South Africa's spectacular plant heritage; and

(4) notes that the 2010 award-winning exhibit will be recreated in South Africa later this year in Port Elizabeth, Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town, giving South Africans the opportunity to celebrate another medal-winning exhibit.

Agreed to.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF INNOCENT CHILD VICTIMS OF AGGRESSION

(Member's Statement)

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that 4 June is the International Day marking innocent children who are victims of aggression;

(2) further notes that the decision to dedicate a day to child victims of acts of aggression was taken by the United Nations on 19 August 1982;

(3) acknowledges that despite the fact that 28 years have passed since the world leaders collectively condemned violent acts against children, there are still numerous cases of aggression against children, particularly in conflict zones around the world;

(4) recognises that the abuse of a child in any circumstance or manner whatsoever is an abhorrent act;

(5) further recognises that as South Africa enters Youth Month it is essential that we reflect upon the atrocities which are perpetuated against children not only within the context of war but also within a domestic context; and

(6) encourages the leaders of South Africa and the world at large to condemn acts of violence against children in all its forms and to collectively act to reduce this scourge.

Agreed to.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am very thrilled to see that the Chief Whip of the Majority Party bows to the superiority the DA motions. That is a very important factor. [Laugther.] I hereby move without notice:

MAIDEN VOYAGE OF GAUTRAIN

(Draft Resolution)

That the House –

(1) notes that the first phase of the construction of the Gautrain has been completed and on 8 June 2010 the Gautrain will undertake its maiden voyage between Sandton and the O R Tambo International Airport with scheduled stops at Marlboro and Rhodesfield in Gauteng;

[Interjections.]

Ms G N M PANDOR: Sir, on a point of order, I thought Mr Manamela was far better-looking. [Laughter.]

Mr M J ELLIS: I want to say, Madam Deputy Speaker, that is purely a matter of opinion. [Laughter.] And I would suggest that the hon Pandor keeps her opinions to herself. [Laughter.]

Now, I don't know where I was, Madam Speaker. [Laughter.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Start from the beginning.

Mr M J ELLIS: And this is a very long Motion without notice. If the House is gets very cross, please appeal to the hon Pandor. [Laughter.]

Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that the first phase of the construction of the Gautrain has been completed and on 8 June 2010 the Gautrain will undertake its maiden voyage between Sandton and the O R Tambo International Airport with scheduled stops at Marlboro and Rhodesfield in Gauteng;

(2) recognises that the construction of this world class transport service comprised of both a rail and bus services will revolutionise the transport system within the province by providing thousands of commuters with an alternative cost effective and more eco-friendly form of transport to motor vehicles, which will thus alleviate traffic congestion within the economic hub of South Africa;

(3) further recognises that this project will help to stimulate economic development without undermining the profitability of the established taxi industry and will also help to alleviate poverty by creating at least two million further job opportunities for South Africans over the course of the next 15 years;

(4) acknowledges the years of planning and hard work, which have been invested into this project, which was first conceived in 2002, and also the men and women who have worked tirelessly over the past 45 months during the construction of phase one of this project;

(5) congratulates all members of the management structure comprised of the Provincial Political Steering Committee, the Gautrain Project Team and the Project Review Committee who, through their hard work, have ensured that South African commuters and tourists alike will have access to a range of services including a world class airport service and dedicated commuter service before the kickoff of the Fifa World Cup; and

(6) wishes the management structure and all interested stakeholders everything of the best for the maiden voyage of the Gautrain on 8 June 2010. [Applause.]

Agreed to.

THE CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY


MR M J ELLIS

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Thank you, hon Pandor. Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

That the House notes that after Order No 3 precedence be given to Order No 1 under Further Business on today's Order Paper as reprinted: Consideration of Report of Ad Hoc Joint Committee on South Africa's Readiness for Fifa World Cup.

Agreed to.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to bring to the attention of the House that I have approved a request by the Minister of Correctional Services to make a statement on issues pertaining to the escape of 42 inmates at the Harrismith correctional facility on 31 May 2010. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

The DEPUTY SPEAKER

THE ESCAPE OF AWAITING TRIAL DETAINEES IN HARRISMITH

(Statement)

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank hon members for affording us the opportunity to make this statement this afternoon.

Between 17:00 and 18:00 on Monday, 31 May 2010, a total of 41 awaiting-trial detainees escaped from section B of the Harrismith correctional facility during lockdown time.

This escape represents by far the largest group of inmates to escape from our facilities to date. I felt it important that we should report to the House and to the South African public the known circumstances surrounding the escapes, as well as the actions that we have already taken to deal with the matter.

Upon receiving this report, the National Commissioner and I visited the centre yesterday to ascertain the facts about the escapes and how they happened. From the information at our disposal so far, it seems that during the change of shifts after lockdown on the day in question, the head of the awaiting trial detention, ATD, section allowed officials to leave early and undertook that he would conduct the handover to the next shift himself.

Not only was this decision highly irregular, but it also resulted in the facility operating under capacity, as it left a time gap between the change of shifts.

Secondly, the same head of section allowed for another irregularity when he gave permission, against policy, for an advocate to enter the holding cells to consult with a client after lockdown, without the necessary capacity to even escort this advocate safely into the holding cells.

It was after this consultation, as they tried to lock the advocate's client up in the communal cell, that the head of the section, together with another official who accompanied the advocate to section B, were accosted and overpowered by the detainees.

Now in possession of keys, the detainees then proceeded to open the other cells to release other detainees before advancing towards the administration block of the centre. The correctional official who guards the entrance gate at the admin block was then made to open the gate under the pretence that he was opening for the two officials who initially went to section B. This was as a result of the detainees knowing the code used between officials to request the opening of doors and gates.

In addition, it is important to understand that there is a peephole, and that the correctional officer did not look through the peephole to verify the identity of the people at the door. The detainees forced this official to open the gun safe, took two firearms and proceeded to the main gate where the official on duty opened the gate for them to leave.

I am particularly disturbed by the actions of the head of the awaiting-trial detention section who disregarded departmental protocol by allowing a shift to knock off without a handover, and further allowing a consultation to take place between a detainee and a lawyer after lockdown.

It has also been brought to my attention and that of the National Commissioner that some of the escaped detainees are charged with serious crimes.

We have since taken the following action: We have decided that a multidepartmental investigation should be instituted to investigate the matter further. This will also include criminal charges to be laid against those who are found to have been complicit in this incident.

It is also important to mention that by the time that we arrived there, the South African Police Service, SAPS, had already been seized upon this matter.

We have decided that the head of the awaiting-trial detention section and the official, who was at the gate during this incident, should be dismissed summarily, as of today. We have decided that a risk assessment of all our centres needs to be conducted urgently, looking at both infrastructural and human risks that lead to escapes.

I am raising this because, as much as this is a medium facility designed to accommodate inmates who are categorised as "mediums", what we have found is that, in the awaiting-trial detention section, we had inmates who were charged with violent and serious crimes and who should never have been placed in that facility in the first place.

By close of day yesterday, eight of the escapees had already been rearrested and sent back to the centre. I want to reassure you that everything will be done, both to get to the bottom of these recent escapes, and to deal with the inherent system risks to avoid these levels of escapes in the future.

We once again call upon the members of the public not to panic. We know that this is portraying us as the weakest link in the chain of the security preparations for the World Cup, however, we want to assure you that everything will be done to apprehend these awaiting trial detainees.

We also appeal to members of the South African public that, should they see these escapees, they should not approach or attempt to apprehend them, but should report them to the nearest police station. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J SELFE


THE MINISTER FOR CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

Mr J SELFE: Hon Deputy Speaker, we would like to thank the Minister for taking Parliament into her confidence with her statement; and I would like to thank her for the courtesy of informing me of this incident on Monday evening. What happened in Harrismith on Monday is extremely serious and needs to be seriously interrogated.

Even a single offender who escapes from prison is one too many. In this case, 41 people escaped and this comes shortly after another incident in Durban Westville in February, in which nine people escaped, and another in Newcastle in March in which four inmates escaped.

We note that the Minister is to undertake a risk assessment of all correctional centres. With respect, this was done a couple of years ago. As a result, over the last five years, the Department has spent hundreds of millions of rands on improving security in our prisons. Many are now surrounded by as many as three fences, some electrified. Movements of inmates and staff are supposed to be carefully monitored and controlled by CCTV and access control mechanisms.

We can have as many risk assessments as we want, but these mechanisms will only improve security and prevent escapes if they work properly, and if we have trained people to operate them. In many centres, the turnstiles that should be electronically operated are now only padlocked, either because they don't work or they haven't got staff to operate them. It is scandalous to have this equipment acquired at vast costs that quite simply isn't operational.

Secondly, there is invariably a link between escapes and human error. Officials do not always follow procedures; they become lax, are undisciplined and arrive late or book off sick. And sometimes the so-called human error is actually caused by corrupt collusion with the inmates.

For that reason, we are pleased that some of those responsible for the incident at Harrismith have already been dismissed and others face action following the investigation. It is only when officials know that there will be definite consequences for an escape in which there is complicity, that we can stop escapes. And if the investigation finds that there was corruption involved, the officials concerned must be charged and face the full might of the law.

We quite simply cannot afford to let this happen. Our country already has an astronomically high crime rate. When inmates escape, police are then forced to track them down and arrest them, often at great danger to themselves. When inmates escape, they reoffend and commit more crimes, with the result that more South Africans are robbed, raped and murdered.

We hope and trust that those who are still at large will be rearrested quickly, and we are looking forward to the Minister informing us when the results of the investigation are known. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms B C BLAAI


Mr J SELFE

Ms B C BLAAI: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, I would like to thank the hon Minister for bringing to Parliament the matter of the 41 escaped prisoners from the Harrismith Medium Security Prison,. What happened at that prison, as the Minister has outlined, is a matter of grave concern. A breakout of prisoners of this scale is absolutely alarming. Even more alarming are the circumstances under which the breakout occurred.

Failure to observe protocols strictly is becoming common. There is a tendency for officials to act unilaterally as though they constitute the law. Lawlessness is now becoming rooted in the institutions that are supposed to be upholding the law.

From what the Minister has reported, it seems very likely that the head of the awaiting-trial detention section cleared the desk, as it were, to allow for certain irregular actions to take place, presumably at a price.

What we are witnessing here is what is happening throughout the Public Service. The system has been totally corrupted. Integrity is lacking and senior officials are ready to undermine the institutions they are appointed to.

Dereliction of duty and irregularities are destroying government institutions. The rot is everywhere. If the Minister does not clean up the Correctional Services, starting from the top, criminality and corruption will prevail in the department. Harrismith is only one sore on a sick body. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr V B NDLOVU


Ms B C BLAAI

Mr V B NDLOVU: Hon Deputy Speaker, the IFP wants to thank the Minister for immediately taking action against the head of the department. All government employees who disregard instructions from their departments and who are not observing all the relevant and applicable laws that apply to government employees, should be dealt with properly.

Why was the advocate allowed to enter the cell without the proper procedure and enough security? Is the advocate seen as part of the escapees' plan or not? If not, why not?

All escapees charged with serious crime should be reported to this House so that the House can assist the Minister in whatever action. And we should undertake to help her in making it easy to explain all these things every now and then. Thank you. [Applause.]

MR S Z NTAPANE


Mr V B NDLOVU

Mr S Z NTAPANE: Deputy Speaker and hon members, the UDM appreciates the hon Minister's statement and thanks her for coming before this House to discuss this matter. What we are concerned about is that there are media reports indicating that the department possessed information beforehand of a planned escape, yet did not put into place safety measures.

Thorough reviews of the problems and challenges of Correctional Services have been conducted previously. The problems that come with overcrowding, especially with regard to awaiting-trial prisoners, are well known. Regrettably, the challenges have never been adequately addressed and keep coming back to haunt us.

As the Jali Commission demonstrated comprehensively, corruption is widespread in the department. The failure to root it out lies with the leadership of the department and, as such, despite the circumstances surrounding this incident, the department is not absolved of its responsibility.

However, we highly appreciate the swiftness and decisiveness of the hon Minister and the actions that the hon Minister has taken to address this matter. Thank you. [Time expired.]

Mr P J GROENEWALD


Mr S Z NTAPANE

Mr P J GROENEWALD: Deputy Speaker, I want to say to the hon Minister that if one wants to achieve success in life, one has to do the right thing, at the right time, at the right place. I want to congratulate the Minister. The action she took was the right thing, at the right time, at the right place. I think she sets an example for her colleagues for how one should deal with public servants who do not comply with procedures.

Afrikaans:

Suid-Afrika gaan gebuk onder misdaad, agb Adjunkminister. Die gevangenis is deel van daardie ketting om te verseker dat misdadigers agter slot en grendel bly. Daar moet verdere ondersoek gedoen word.

Ek is oortuig daarvan dat hierdie laksheid en hierdie gebrek aan dissipline nie net by hierdie een gevangenis is nie, maar dat ons hierdie probleme by feitlik al die gevangenisse sal kry, en ek vra die agb Minister om so voort te doen, om ondersoek by die ander gevangenisse in te stel, en te sorg dat die misdadigers agter slot en grendel bly. Dankie.

Rev K R J MESHOE


Mr P J GROENEWALD

English:

Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, the ACDP also thanks the Minister for bringing this important matter before Parliament. It is totally unacceptable that so many detainees can manage to escape from prison, thus exposing our people to danger, as we believe some of the escapees have been arrested for serious crimes.

While we agree that a high-level investigation has to be instituted to investigate this matter, there is no doubt that the officials who were on duty when the escapes took place were negligent. We would, therefore, as the ACDP, support the Minister's decision to summarily dismiss certain officials.

The possibility of corruption must also be investigated. The ACDCP questions why a prison official would want to enter a cell with keys if he did not want the detainees to grab them. We also want to know why the head of the awaiting-trial detainees section allowed prison officials to leave early so that he could conduct the handover to the next shift on his own. There must have been an impure motive, hence our call for the possibility of corruption to be investigated; and we will appreciate the report back, Minister, about the results of your investigations. Thank you.

Mr J K DIKOBO


Rev K R J MESHOE

Mr J K DIKOBO: Madam Deputy Speaker, we are shocked and horrified by the report of the escape of 41 detainees, because this represents a setback to the good work done by police officers who risked their lives when they arrested those suspects. It also means that we have potentially dangerous people on the loose. Therefore, the community is at risk, and police officers once more have to go and mop up and arrest them again.

We are glad, hon Minister, that eight escapees have already been arrested. We commend you for your prompt response and urge you to do what you have undertaken to do. It is safe to say, hon Minister, that I'll always have a problem with so-called summary dismissals. Thank you.

MR V G SMITH


MR J K DIKOBO

Mr V G SMITH: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, the current strategic plan of the department lists the vision of the department as follows:

To be one of the best service providers in the world by delivering correctional services with integrity and commitment to excellence.

Minister, it has become very clear that there are employees who do not belong in this department; neither do these employees identify with the vision of the department, and it is our contention that the sooner such employees are identified, the better.

Part of the risk is that we just do not know who we employ in those departments, and who has the role of the safe custody of inmates. I believe that the vetting process of the Department of Correctional Service employees can no longer be delayed, and it must be completed as soon as possible.

From your statement today, Minister, it appears that collusion between detainees and department staff cannot be ruled out. I agree with Mr Selfe; not so long ago, a similar incident occurred in Durban, and there again collusion is being suspected.

Correctional Services has a pivotal role to play if we are ever to succeed in reducing crime in South Africa. And therefore, all acts that undermine the role of the department need to be dealt with speedily and decisively. We support you, Minister, for doing exactly that: dealing with this matter decisively and with great speed. However, we believe that the political authority of the Department, together with senior management, must send out a clear message that anybody in your department who is found guilty of unacceptable conduct will not be spared.

We agree with most of the speakers that spoke before us and with you, Minister, that those who were party to this incident must be criminally charged with aiding and abetting the escape of awaiting-trail detainees. Thank you.

MR J B SIBANYONI


Mr V G SMITH

OPENING OF SMALL CLAIMS COURT IN ALEXANDRIA AND GUIDELINES FOR COMMISSIONERS AND CLERKS

(Members' Statements)

Mr J B SIBANYONI (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, this statement is about the opening of the Small Claims Court in Alexandra, as well as the guidelines for the commissioners and clerks. The ANC welcomes the opening of a Small Claims Court in Alexandria by the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, hon Andries Nel, last week.

This court will provide residents of Alexandria with a speedy, simple and accessible forum to resolve their disputes. Residents no longer have to travel to Randburg to lodge their complaints. There is a need for such courts in townships and rural areas.

On the same day, the department launched the guidelines for commissioners and clerks. Commissioners are appointed from amongst the ranks of practising attorneys and advocates, retired magistrates, as well as legal academics.

They are appointed on a voluntary basis and, therefore, do not receive any remuneration from the department. These legal practitioners are volunteers.

IsiXhosa:

Malibongwe igama lamaVolontiya, malibongwe! [Let the name of volunteers be praised!]

English:

Small Claims Courts are a powerful mechanism to provide access to justice, especially for the poor. These courts are based on speed, simplicity and cost-effectiveness. They are created to eliminate time-consuming adversarial procedures before and during the trial.

These courts deal with civil disputes of up to R7 000, and no legal representatives are required or allowed to appear on behalf of the litigants. The recently launched court will play a major role in the lives of the residents of Alexandra and the department plans to embark ...

The ANC commends the department for its endeavours to improve access to justice to all our people. Thank you. [Time expired.]

Mr A C STEYN (DA)


Mr J B SIBANYONI (ANC)

OVERSPENDING AND IRREGULARITIES IN HOUSING PROJECTS

(Member's Statement)

Mr A C STEYN (DA): Madam Deputy Speaker, it shouldn't come as a shock to learn that the ANC-run North West Department of Local Government and Human Settlements spent over R100 million on two housing projects. However, what should come as a shock to everyone of us here is that only four houses were completed.

The DA has documents in its possession which were presented to the Rustenburg Local Municipality in November 2009. These documents reveal a number of irregularities in the Meriteng Housing Development Project.

The documents show that the contract was awarded to a contractor which is not registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council. The contractor was overpaid by R6 million, and the rectification process will now cost R72 million. The local municipality swept the issue under the carpet.

When Minister Shiceka came into office last year, this matter was referred to him. Needless to say, in typical ANC style, nothing has been done to date. In the case of the Vryburg housing project, 470 houses were meant to be built. But, thus far, only four have been completed. The amount spent so far is R114 million, which translates into R28,5 million per completed house!

The situation in the North West is very serious. The citizens of that province are already facing long waiting lists, and are being denied an opportunity to access housing opportunities.

The Public Protector needs to investigate these projects, whilst the Minister of Human Settlements needs to increase his efforts to root out corruption and inefficiency in housing projects. The DA will be writing to the Public Protector to request a full investigation into these projects. Thank you. [Time expired.]

Mr P B MNGUNI (Cope)


Mr A C STEYN (DA)

FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR

(Member's Statement)

Mr P B MNGUNI (Cope): Deputy Speaker, President Zuma in his state of the nation address this year said:

We will pay particular attention to the combating of corruption and fraud in the procurement and tender processes.

We all supported the President's call. Again, the Minister of Finance repeated this call, asking Parliament to work together in fighting corruption in the public and as well as private sector. We would like to receive an update on the progress made on this front, especially in government departments.

We should remember that recently our newspapers have been reporting on a range of corrupt practices. The Auditor-General also has a report on this problem.

Today we wish to ask what progress has been made with regard to a R55 million tender that was awarded to the Minister of Communications' company. The manager who manipulated the tender has been fired.

Now when are we going to proceed to recover the R55 million that is due to government, which was lost through this defective tender that was awarded to the Minister of Communications? The contract has been declared invalid and manipulated, therefore we must urgently move to get the money back.

We also want to know what action has been taken as a result of the malpractices and the corrupt and unacceptable conduct of the Minister of Co-operate Governance and Traditional Affairs? We are happy that today, at least, Cosatu has now come to the fore, and raised this matter of corruption. We want to know what progress has been made by the President as well as the Minister on this matter. [Time expired.]

MR G T SCHNEEMANN (ANC)


Mr P B MNGUNI (Cope)

OPERATIONS CONDUCTED BY POLICE IN PRETORIA AND JOHANNESBURG

(Member's Statement)

Mr G T SCHNEEMANN (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the SA Police Service recently conducted operations in Pretoria and Johannesburg, which targeted unregistered private Further Education and Training colleges. Out of five institutions which they visited in Pretoria, only one was properly registered according to the Department of Higher Education database.

These illegal institutions have a negative impact on South Africa's education system. We agree with the Minister of Police when he said that such acts are unconstitutional and tantamount to thuggery, and law enforcement agencies will be tough on these scandalous people, who are driven by greed and rob our children of a bright future.

The directors of the four unregistered institutions, who were arrested, are expected to appear in court soon. In Johannesburg, police arrested a director of an unregistered institution and when they questioned him they discovered that he owns 28 schools around the country.

It was also found that students who had passed their exams were issued with false certificates that are not recognised by the Department of Higher Education.

According to the SAPS, they will be visiting all private schools around the country, in the coming weeks and months, to verify their status. We wish to congratulate the SAPS on the work well done and ensuring that these illegal institutions are closed down. We wish them every success as they continue with this operation.

At the same time, we call on parents to ensure that private institutions are correctly registered before they enrol their children. Thank you.

Mr P F SMITH (IFP)


Mr G T SCHNEEMANN (ANC):

NEWS REPORTS ON PROBLEMS AT SABC

(Member's Statement)

Mr P F SMITH (IFP): Deputy Speaker, it is a matter of great concern to the IFP that the Public Broadcaster is again making news for all the wrong reasons. Although we were initially optimistic that under the leadership of a new board, the SABC would be able to address its critical problems and chart a new way forward, the current shenanigans suggest that our confidence was premature.

The contempt for the board, which the chair of the board has recently displayed, is bad enough. But the fact that Mr Solly Mokoetla, the CEO, has now entered the fray by telling senior staff that Mr Phil Molefe has indeed been appointed as head of news, beggars belief.

This represents another direct challenge to the board and cannot be ignored. It is the duty of both Parliament and the shareholder, represented by the Minister of Communications, to uphold the integrity of the board.

The IFP calls on the Minister to demonstrate leadership on this issue and, at the very least, to show that he disapproves of and will not tolerate the antics of the board chair and of the chief executive officer, CEO.

Ms T E KENYE (ANC)


Mr P F SMITH (IFP)

LAUNCH OF RETIRED NURSES FORUM

(Member's Statement)

Ms T E KENYE (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the ANC welcomes the launch of the Retired Nurses' Forum to retain the skills of retired nurses within the health system. At the beginning of 2008, the Department of Health began returning retired nurses to the profession. The retired nurses are assisting in maternity wards and clinics.

This forum will be responsible for guiding and mentoring young nurses. Approximately 480 retired nurses are already working in the provinces' primary health care clinics and hospitals.

Nurses are the backbone of our health care system. Therefore the ANC-led government will find new and inventive ways of training more nurses to support the present workforce, and to prepare for the Fifa World Cup and beyond. The initiative is part and parcel of the ANC government's strategy to improve quality standards for both public and private sectors. This initiative will include specific targets for the provision of adequate numbers of workers at all levels of the health care system, including recruitment, training and filling of vacant posts. Thank you. [Applause.]

Ms T E KENYE (ANC)


MR J K DIKOBO

ISRAEL ATTACKS TURKISH FREEDOM FLOTILLA SHIP

(Member's Statement)

Mr J K DIKOBO (Azapo): Azapo condemns in the strongest possible terms Israel's attack on the Turkish ship, which was part of the Free Gaza convoy. Deputy Speaker, at the moment we have the following information: The ship carried 10 000 tons of aid. It had on board 700 peace activists, 35 international observers and politicians and 40 journalists. A South African journalist was also on board. The Free Gaza convoy was sailing in international waters.

Israel used the army in what could have been a simple police operation, assuming that they had a right in the first place to do what they did. At least 19 people on board the Turkish ship died.

Azapo believes that the South African government must do something stronger than summoning the Israeli Ambassador to the Union Building. We call upon the International Criminal Court to investigate laying charges against both Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.

We call upon the United Nations to force Israel to stop the blockade of Gaza because it has brought untold suffering to the Palestinians living in the area. The blockade is inhumane and illegal. The UN should not allow Israel to behave like Somalian pirates. We want to emphasise that we recognise Israel's right to exist and to defend their citizens. We equally recognise Palestine's right to exist ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr V B NDLOVU (IFP)


Mr J K DIKOBO (Azapo)

POTENTIAL THREATS AND TERRORIST ACTIVITY DURING 2010 WORLD CUP

(Member's Statement)

Mr V B NDLOVU (IFP): Deputy Speaker, the IFP urges the Minister of Police to take any potential threats and any activity by any terrorist organisation regarding the safety of the World Cup very seriously. Even though both Fifa and Interpol state that there is no credible threat to the safety of the World Cup, we still need to be extremely vigilant in this respect.

Newspapers have reported seeing terrorist training camps in Mozambique as well as a fact that some of these terrorists may already be inside our borders. With all international terrorists, watching organisation stating that they believe that there is a very high probability of a terrorist attack, adding that terror strike, teams are already well established in South Africa.

We therefore urge both our police and intelligent services to exercise the utmost vigilant and request the Minister of Police to address this House urgently if there is that such a threat. Thank you very much.

Ms M A RANTSOLASE (ANC)


Mr V B NDLOVU (IFP)

ANC'S CONDEMNS CHILD LABOUR

(Member's Statement)

Ms M A RANTSOLASE (ANC): Deputy Speaker, World Day against Child Labour will be celebrated on 12 June 2010. It comes just one month after a major global conference on Child Labour that was held in the Netherlands. The International Labour Organisation, ILO, launched the first World Day against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of these children.

The day is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour, reflected in the huge number of ratifications of ILO Convention No 182 on the worst forms of child labour, and ILO Convention No 138 on the minimum age for admission to employment.

Hundred of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are still engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure, basic freedom and which violates their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as working in a hazardous environment; slavery or other forms of forced labour; elicit activities such as drug-trafficking; and prostitution as well as involvement in armed conflict.

The ANC-led government ratifies ILO laws against child labour as a way of stepping up opposition to the practice. The ANC believes that all children have the right to be protected from child labour and any other form of economic exploitation which endangers the child mental, physical or psychological health and interferes with ... [Time expired.]

MR N J VAN DEN BERG


Ms M A RANTSOLASE (ANC)

SABC WASTES MONEY ON TICKETS TO SPORTING AND CULTURAL EVENTS

(Member's Statement)

Mr N J van den BERG (DA): Deputy Speaker, today the DA has learnt through replies given to written questions put to the Minister of Communications that the SABC and the SA Post Office have spent almost R5,5 million on tickets to various events.

This expenditure includes more than R5 million for Fifa World Cup tickets; more than R60 000 for Cape Town International Jazz Festival tickets; R93 000 for tickets to the IPL Cricket Tournament; and R158 000 for tickets to Tri-Nations Rugby matches.

Although the DA agrees that national and international events should be supported, we struggle to understand how these entities of the Department of Communications can justify the purchase of these tickets. How can the SABC expenditure be justified in the light of the fact that the SABC received a R1,4 billion guarantee from National Treasury because of their poor financial management and governance issues.

The SABC is a public broadcaster and its duty is to provide quality and cost efficient programming for South Africans. Buying tickets for a select group of officials and their guests does not achieve this goal.

So many entities including the SABC, have publicly committed to cutting back spending, but surely high spending on tickets suggests their commitment and honesty cannot be believed. It is irregular and wasteful. [Time expired.] Thank you, Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Mr D A KGANARE (Cope)


Mr N J van den BERG (DA)

INCOME INEQUALITY IN OUR COUNTRY

(Member's Statement)

Mr D A KGANARE (Cope): Deputy Speaker, income disparities in South Africa have continued to widen in the last five years. Private corporations and the government have continued to concentrate wealth in the hands of the opulent minority through remuneration packages for CEOs and senior personnel that are taking off like rockets, while the workforce remuneration packages remain fairly static.

It is obvious that workers are going to be disgruntled. Loss of jobs adds to their discontent. As the Gini coefficient shows, income inequality in our country has now widened to a point where South Africa is the world's most unequal society. This has happened under the ANC-led government that promises a better life for all.

According to Statistics SA, if social grants are excluded, South Africa's Gini coefficient would rise to a staggering 0,8. There is no doubt that social grants are helping, but we would do well to heed the point made by Dr Martin Luther King Jr who said:

The difference between social service and social justice is that social service works to alleviate hardship while social justice aims to eradicate the root causes of that hardship.

Deputy Speaker, something has to be done to contain salary packages in order to reduce income disparity, increase economic opportunity for all and to allow social justice to prevail. The population is waiting to see how the ANC tackles these issues. I thank you.

H F MATLANYANE (ANC)


Mr D A KGANARE (ANC)

DOORNSPRUIT VILLAGE NEAR POLOKWANE IN LIMPOPO IS BENEFITING R20 000 PER HOUSEHOLD

(Member's Statement)

Ms H F MATLANYANE (ANC): An emerging piggery in Doornspruit village near Polokwane in Limpopo has benefited more than 130 families and now it hopes to become a commercial giant. The project has prospects of supplying Pick 'n Pay stores with pork.

Beneficiaries contributed R10 each to become active members who receive dividends after selling the pigs. Each household received a subsidised amount of R20 000 from the then Department of Land Affairs to plough into the project.

The project exists because the community wanted to develop a successful black-owned piggery enterprise in Polokwane Municipality to contribute to the economic growth of the country. This enterprise can be used as a model to pave the way for other black emerging farmers to enter the piggery industry.

This initiative is part of the ANC government strategy to strengthen the partnership between government and rural communities to focus on rural development and fight poverty. I thank you. [Applause.]

AFRICAN 19th FIFA WORLD CUP READINESS

(Member's Statement)

Mr G R KRUMBOCK (DA) : Madam Deputy Speaker, our world–class, iconic new stadiums, spacious new airports and infrastructure all bear testimony to the fact that, both as a continent and nation, we are ready to deliver a successful and uniquely African 19th Fifa World Cup.

Every citizen's constitutional rights are no less important now than at any other time. To strike and create the worse possible impression of our country while the gaze of the world is upon us is the same as striking at the future of our country. We call on all our citizens to exercise their strength and judgment and put the nation first.

The DA also calls upon the Department of Public Enterprises as well as several municipalities to use the last week prior to kick-off to resolve issues that will improve the experience of all visitors to our shores. There is no reason, for example, why SAA should be charging more than triple the fare of all other domestic carriers before the World Cup semi-finals.

Equally, the disgraceful state of the Heroes Acre and Westford monument in Gauteng must be rectified in the coming eight days, as it will be visited by a significant number of visitors during the tournament. Further, it is not too late to fix our broken pavements and cut the waist-high weeds proliferating along the verges in some of our cities. Therefore, use these last few days imaginatively and productively; and use all available resources and the willing hands of our citizens to clean up our cities and enhance the anticipated success of the 2010 World Cup. Ke nako! Feel it; it is here! [Applause.]

Ms L M DUNJWA


MR S R KRUMBOCK

INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, ICT, PROGRAMME TO EMPOWER RURAL COMMUNITIES

(Member's Statement)

Ms M L DUNJWA (ANC) : The ANC welcomes the implementation of the National ICT Research, Development and Innovation, RDI, strategy, currently being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology, which will target rural and marginalised communities.

The strategy seeks to ensure the development of high-end skills to enable, build and strengthen the innovation chain and the capacity of South Africa to perform competitive research in the field of ICT. The programme includes the Digital Doorway, which is a robust computer facility, designed to provide access to computing resources to these disadvantaged communities.

Another project from the ICT RDI implementation programme, aimed at enhancing access to ICT in rural areas, is a large scale technology demonstrator pilot project, which seeks to deploy affordable broadband connectivity infrastructure. Currently, the pilot focuses on providing broadband connectivity to schools and other government and public facilities in three municipalities, in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, respectively.

The implementation of these projects will usher in a new era where our historically deprived communities will get the opportunity to participate in socioeconomic activities using the ICT platform. The roll out of effective ICT services will ensure that our people know what government services are available to them, equitably, irrespective of where they are in the country. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr A R AINSLIE


Ms M L DUNJWA

ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS IN BY-ELECTIONS

(Member's Statement)

Mr A R AINSLIE (ANC): The ANC won nine of the 15 seats in the municipal ward by-elections which took place on 26 May 2010, in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape.

Out of a total of 15 contested wards in six provinces, we are encouraged to have retained eight wards. In addition, in my constituency of Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC convincingly took ward seven from the IFP with a very large majority.

The ANC congratulateS our cadres in KwaZulu-Natal for having worked hard for this victory. The ANC has committed itself to key priority areas to improve the lives of our people; which include crime fighting, rural development, health and education. The ANC will continue to put up a good performance in all by-elections and we are confident that we are the only party that can deliver a better life for all South Africans. [Applause.]

UNREGISTERED PRIVATE FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES

UNREGISTERED PRIVATE FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES

SAFETY DURING WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT

(Minister's Response)

The MINISTER OF POLICE: Deputy Speaker and hon member Schneemann from the ANC, on the issue of unregistered private further education colleges, we agree with the statement.

We further call on everyone in our communities to be vigilant against these parasites and these fly-by-night colleges. They are playing with the genuine feelings of our children to acquire knowledge and skills. People should be vigilant and be in touch with the Department of Higher Education to ascertain whether or not these are genuine colleges.

Hon Ndlovu raised a very important point. We take your point, hon member. Most of these things are set up as a scarecrow. Nevertheless, we are not lowering our guns. We will ensure that this World Cup is secure and that there are no incidents. Everyone must feel it; it is here.

The country which was said to be Option B is here with us. It is feeling it with us here in South Africa and not in Australia. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER TRAINING AND EDUCATION


THE MINISTER OF POLICE

FIGHTING CORRUPTION

UNREGISTERED PRIVATE FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES

(Minister's Response)

The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Deputy Speaker, I would like to respond to two issues. The first one is on the number of points which members raised about the challenges of the scourge of corruption.

This government is very serious about tackling corruption. To that extent, President Zuma has, amongst other things, appointed an interministerial committee to deal with the problem of corruption. It is not only the government, but the ruling party also fully backs this campaign to stamp out corruption in the whole of society.

I also want to comment on the matter of unregistered private colleges. In addition to what Minister Mthetwa has said, as the department, we are working very closely with the police. We have taken further measures which include a dedicated phone line that we have publicly announced. Parents and students can phone in to check if colleges to which they are applying are registered or not.

We are also going to take further measures to ensure that even the registered colleges do not offer programmes beyond what they are registered for. This is another problem that we are experiencing.

Beside the courts operated by the police, we as a department are also considering additional measures, including the possibility of preventing them from applying for registration for a particular period after that.

We wish to urge all private providers in the area of further education and training to apply. This government has one of the most advanced, highly respected and transparent registration regimes for private colleges in the world. Thank you. [Applause.]

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION


THE MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION

ISRAEL ATTACKS GAZA AID SHIP

(Minister's Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Deputy Speaker, I would like to respond to the hon member from Azapo who raised the question on Israel's attack on the ship bearing aid to Gaza Strip.

His information is correct. South Africa called in the ambassador of Israel to our offices yesterday in order to record our strongest objection. We stated the strongest possible objection in diplomatic terms to the incident that took place on Monday in international waters.

The hon member's information that there were hundreds of international activists and journalists on board is entirely correct. The vessel was in international waters. We believed Israel has contravened international law in this regard.

I would like to report that the South African journalist who was on board, Gadijah Davids, has been released and she is on her way home. This is something for which we are very grateful. [Applause.]

We would like to say that we totally agree with the hon member that the blockade of Gaza is inhumane, and we also would like to reinforce the UN'S statement made at the UN Security Council calling, amongst other things, for a full inquiry into this incident.

We have joined the entire international community in our condemnation of this appalling act. I would like to thank the hon member in particular, because it shows that the entire South African community is behind our move in this regard. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS


THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION

OVERSPENDING AND IRREGULARITIES IN HOUSING PROJECTS

(Minister's response)

The Deputy MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Deputy Speaker, I would like to respond to hon member Steyn on the issues raised regarding housing in Rustenburg and Vryburg.

I want to assure the member that the meeting of the Minister and Members of Executive Councils, Minmec, we held in October last year was in Rustenburg, and that we were able to visit that project. We agree with you that the wastage of money is not acceptable. The explanation we got from the province when we asked questions around that issue was that the municipality was serving as a developer.

The province has taken upon itself to be the developer of the project. The province and the municipality are working together at finding ways and means of recovering the money. We have put the matter under the Special Investigation Unit, SIU, and assure you that the issue of corruption is receiving high attention as far as our department is concerned.

The North West scenario is part of this package. We hope that you are going to give us detailed information regarding this project so that we can take the process forward. I thank you. [Applause.]

THE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

INCOME DISPARITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

(Minister's Response)

The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Deputy Speaker, an hon member from Cope raised the important matter of income disparities in South Africa. This includes the inequalities that exist in our society, particularly the measure, the Gini co-efficient, which indicates the widest disparities in earnings of all countries in the world.

I heard the member saying that the ANC has led us to this, which is an absolute untruth. We do not set salary scales in the private sector, and it is primarily in this sector where these wide disparities exist.

I would suggest that the hon member would be better served by asking that the relevant committee of Parliament conduct an investigation into income levels and disparities in South Africa and then Parliament can examine whether it could generate legislation which would address this matter. All of us are concerned about closing these gaps. The ANC has been the first to alert the world to inequality, no other party. Thank you. [Applause.]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT


THE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

CRIMINAL LAW (FORENSIC PROCEDURES) AMENDMENT BILL

(Second Reading debate)

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Deputy Speaker, the Office for Criminal Justice System Review has, through an analysis of existing legislation and regulations in South Africa, together with a comparative overview of recent crime scenes and forensic developments in other jurisdictions, identified certain major legislative and technological constraints and deficiencies in respect of at least two pivotal aspects of our forensic crime-fighting capacity, namely fingerprinting and DNA evidence.

Despite the fact that a number of government departments administer fingerprint databases, the South African Police Services, currently due to legal and information technology reasons, only have access to the fingerprints stored on the SAPS's Automated Fingerprinting Identification System, Afis. As a result the SAPS currently has no direct access to the Home Affairs National Identification System, HANIS, of the Department of Home Affairs where the fingerprints of 31 million citizens and about 2,5 million foreigners are kept, or to the National Traffic Information System, eNaTIS, of the Department of Transport where a further six million thumbprints are kept.

In this regard, it must be noted that the Office for the Criminal Justice System Review, through an analysis of a compendium of statistics, found that in the financial year 2006-07, 52,5% or 46,2% of all crime cases, the perpetrator remained undetected. A further 11,3%, in 2006-07 and 13% in 2007-08 of cases were withdrawn before reaching court. In other words a total of 63,8% ...

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, you have a right to go out if you don't want to listen. Please, other people are listening and you are really distracting them.

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: In other words, Deputy Speaker, a total of 63,8% in financial years 2006-07 or 59,2% in financial years in 2007-08 of all crimes investigated never reached court. Of the 6,5 million "most serious crimes" in the criminal justice system, for the period 2001 to 2006, a total of 4,4 million or 68% of cases were undetected or withdrawn before reaching court.

In addition, the current legislation scheme as set out in section 37 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 does not make the taking of fingerprints compulsory, even in instances where a person has been convicted of an offence. Therefore, the manner in which fingerprints are currently collected, loaded onto the SAPS's fingerprint database and used, means that a fingerprint lifted at a crime scene will most likely only be checked against the limited number of fingerprints of convicted offenders, which have been included in that database.

The purpose, therefore, of this Bill is to address all these shortcomings by ensuring that the SAPS will have access to the fingerprint databases of other government departments for criminal investigations only, and by expanding police powers to take and retain fingerprints, body prints and photographic images of persons charged with, or convicted of, offences.

With these objectives in mind, the Bill amends Chapter 3 of the Criminal Procedures Act as well as the South African Police Services Act of 1995, the Firearms Control Act of 2000 and the Explosives Act of 2003.

The new provisions contain strict safeguards and penalties to ensure

that fingerprints, body prints and photographic images are collected, stored and used only for purposes related to the detection of crime, the investigation of an offence, the identification of missing persons and the identification of unidentified human remains or conducting a prosecution.

Care has thus been taken to strike an appropriate balance between an individual's rights to dignity and privacy as entrenched in sections 10 and 14 of our Constitution, and the legitimate demand by the public that the police must pursue the objectives of preventing, combating and investigating crime; maintaining public order; protecting and securing the inhabitants of the Republic and their property; and also upholding and enforcing the law as set out in section 205(3) of our Constitution.

Care has also been taken to safeguard the rights of children who are suspected or accused of having committed an offence by providing that whenever prints are taken from a child the police officials must have a due regard for the personal rights relating to privacy, dignity and bodily integrity of the child; and to do so in private, not in view of the public; and also ensure the presence of a parent, a guardian, a social worker or an appropriate person; and treat and address the child in a manner that takes into account his or her gender and age.

The Bill does not constitute an ad hoc or random measure aimed at enhancing the SAPS's capacity to achieve the objectives that I have highlighted. It forms part of the greater objective of the review of the criminal justice system which is a work in progress.

Moreover, it is a further manifestation of the government's commitment to the combating of crime, a commitment that is reflected in the 2009 Elections Manifesto of the ruling party, the ANC, which under the heading, "Together intensify the fight against crime and corruption", amongst other things has stated the following:

Fighting crime and fighting the causes of crime will be a priority of the ANC government in the next five years and there is a need to overhaul the criminal justice system to ensure that the levels of crime are drastically reduced. Corruption must be stamped out.

The ANC government will:

Establish a new, modernised, efficient and transformed criminal justice system ...

And it will -

Actively combat serious and violent crime by being tougher on criminals and organised syndicates.

I call on all hon members of the House to support us towards achieving these objectives. I move that we do so. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.

Ms L S CHIKUNGA


The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ms L S CHIKUNGA: Deputy Speaker, Deputy Ministers and Ministers, hon members and fellow South Africans, when the democratic government came into power in 1994, it took over an unjust justice system that was never meant to administer justice but to protect and preserve apartheid; that is why investigations into the murders of Steve Biko, Samora Machel and other brutal murders were never finalised. It is therefore correct for me to start by saying we are correcting deep and entrenched systemic errors.

It was in recognition of these historical realities that the former President, Thabo Mbeki and the current President, hon Jacob Zuma, called on us to establish a transformed, integrated, modernised, properly resourced and well-managed criminal justice system.

The Bill before the House is as such a product of an involved process which was led by the hon Johny De Lange as the then Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, and now by Minister Jeff Radebe. This Bill was introduced to Parliament by Minister Jeff Radebe and referred to the Portfolio Committee on Police for processing. At the time when it was being referred to the Portfolio Committee on Police, it included parts on fingerprints, body prints, photographic images and deoxyribonucleic acid which is known as DNA.

It must be noted that the Bill had previously been considered in 2008 and early 2009 by an ad hoc committee which decided that there were a number of areas that raised the potential for a constitutional challenge. Following extensive deliberations, the Portfolio Committee on Police agreed on the fact that the Bill was an important piece of legislation that would bring some progress in the integration of the criminal justice system as well as the fight against crime.

Furthermore, the Portfolio Committee on Police noted that to process the Bill in its then current form was problematic and could take a much longer time or even have delays. The portfolio committee then resolved to split the Bill into two phases. In the first phase, the Bill deals with aspects of the fingerprints, body prints and photographic images.

We believed then, as we believe even more now that it was possible to process this aspect as quickly as possible without serious challenges and pass it into law. Today's debate indeed marks the culmination of this resolution.

Whilst not at all abandoning the DNA part, we resolved to process it as a second phase of the Bill. We resolved that the processing of the second phase of the Bill, that is the DNA aspect, should be preceded by the following, which was informed by the many submissions that had been received: firstly, benchmarking ourselves with other countries that have the same legislation as well as the Bill of Rights; secondly, a comparative study to be undertaken by our research unit; and thirdly, a study tour to countries that have the legislation on DNA together with the Bill of Rights.

Following our visit to the Forensic Laboratory in Pretoria, early this year, we are more convinced that our decision was perfectly correct. The fact that the European Court of Human Rights, in a landmark judgement delivered in December 2008, decided that the United Kingdom policy of retaining the DNA samples and profiles of innocent people is indiscriminate and unlawful, also justified our decision to split the Bill.

Assisted by our research unit, we have since identified two countries that have the best DNA services in the world, namely Canada and the UK. We hope to go to these two countries in October, this year, as part of our second phase of processing the Bill.

Looking at the Bill before us today, I just want to remind members in the simplest language that, as we speak, today, when a criminal commits a crime, like breaking into somebody's house, police may take fingerprints. I say, "may" because section 37 of the Criminal Procedure Act, Act 51 of 1977, does not make the taking of fingerprints compulsory even in instances where a person has been convicted of an offence.

But say fingerprints are lifted from the crime scene, they will be checked against the limited number of fingerprints from convicted offenders that have been included in the SAPS database. If they match any fingerprint, well, good luck for SAPS and victims; if they do not match they will be stored and wait for the arrest of a suspect whose fingerprints will then match them. If no suspect is arrested, hard luck for the police and the victims; those fingerprints will remain in the SAPS database and that is it.

This Bill seeks to make it compulsory for the police officials to take fingerprints or to cause fingerprints of any arrested person to be taken upon any charge; any person released on bail; any person upon whom summons have been served; and any person convicted by a court of law. The Bill also aims to strengthen the forensic investigative powers and the capacity of SAPS.

It strengthens the capacity and the powers of SAPS by allowing them to access fingerprints, as mentioned by the hon Minister, of 31 million citizens and about 2,5 million foreign nationals kept by the Department of Home Affairs as well as the Department of Transport's 60 million thumbprints for comparative searches only.

In simpler terms, this means that if a criminal breaks into one's house or commits any crime, protection of the crime scene by the first police official to come to the scene is very important. It means that after police officers take or lift fingerprints at the crime scene they will be able to immediately compare them with the fingerprints that are kept by the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Transport.

This implies that unless the suspect is an illegal immigrant, it must be possible for the police to quickly link the suspect with fingerprints by comparing the fingerprints with those lifted from the crime scene and those stored by the Department of Home Affairs as well as the Department of Transport.

Furthermore, the Bill makes it compulsory for police officials to take fingerprints; hon Lekgetho will cover the details of this aspect. I must mention that the Bill provides for strict safeguards and penalties to ensure that fingerprints, body prints and photographic images collected and stored are only used for purposes related to crime detection, investigation of all offences, identification of missing persons and the identification of unidentified human remains or conducting of prosecution. Hon Annelize van Wyk will cover the details of this aspect.

The advantages of a strengthened forensic crime fighting capacity in respect of fingerprints, body-prints, and photographic images can be summarised as follows: The expansion of the fingerprints capacity, which this Bill does, can lead to significant increases in matching suspects to crime scenes; an increase in plea bargaining as suspects are confronted with real evidence, such as fingerprints, linking them to a crime scene is also possible; and it should also be noted that fingerprints are used not only to prove guilt but also to prove innocence.

As I conclude, let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank the state law advisors who assisted the committee by splitting the Bill. Let me also thank the lawyers from the Department of Police and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development lawyers for walking all the way with us; and actually including all our demands and inputs in the Bill with the language of the learned friends. Thank you very much. I also want to thank our support staff for providing the much needed support during the processing of this Bill.

Chairperson, let me appreciate and thank the hon Members of Parliament who serve in the Portfolio Committee on Police across party lines. I thank them all, including hon Mluleki George of S-Cope - not the T-Cope! - for their hard work and contributions when we were processing this very important Bill.

Deputy Speaker, we are presenting the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedure) Amendment Bill before this House and the ANC supports the Bill. Feel it; it is here. Africa, Ke Nako! I thank you.

MS D KOHLER-BARNARD


Ms L S CHIKUNGA

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Madam Deputy Speaker, studies relating to crime have found that the probability of an individual committing a crime is inversely proportional to the probability of getting caught. In other words, the more likely a person is to get caught committing a crime, the less likely it is that that person is going to commit the crime.

In South Africa where the conviction rate for murder is less than 13%, something certainly needs to be done to bolster detective work so that those who commit the crimes are brought to book.

The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedure) Amendment Bill is an attempt to do exactly this. However, in its initial form, it had the potential to be frozen in a quagmire of dissenting voices. In its original format it included the establishment of a DNA database, and numerous organisations, from the Cape Bar Council to the Law Society of SA via the Medical Rights Advocacy Network, had substantial issues which they raised in relation to the creation of such a database.

I take typed notes of all meetings and on 28 October last year I wrote, in despair, "This Bill is becoming a disaster!" There seemed to be no inter-Ministerial co-ordination, budgets were not supplied and sometimes junior members, who were incapable of answering our questions, were sent to come before the portfolio committee.

When budgets did arrive, they were in the hundreds of millions of rands; and rather than simply providing the SPAS with the tools to access fingerprints from other databases such as those in the Transport or Home Affairs Ministries, they were grandiose visions of a massive police database of every fingerprint from any and every person in the country. At one stage the whole process seemed ready to spin out of control.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police deliberated on this Bill for months and finally determined that, in order to achieve proper outcomes, the Bill needed to be split in two, as the chair has outlined. This section before you today relates only to the taking of fingerprints, palm prints, footprints and photographic images, as well as the keeping of relevant databases.

As for the mooted DNA database, there are certainly over 50 countries throughout the world that have already passed DNA databases and DNA database legislation. Each country has had to address similar issues that arose here. It has been agreed that the committee will travel to investigate international best practice before considering the possibility of introducing such legislation here in South Africa.

If there is anyone in this House who believes that the Portfolio Committee on Police is not unified in its attempts to strengthen the hand of law enforcers in this land, they are wrong. Our members across the board were intimately involved in this amendment and certainly, the DA believes implicitly that granting the SAPS the right to access other databases will assist in the tracking down of, as yet, unconvicted criminals whose fingerprints do not yet appear in the police database.

The second issue, the identification of bodies, is an enormous issue that my colleague, the hon Debbie Schafer, will address. We must, as a nation, be highly alert to the integral link between human trafficking, drug dissemination and money laundering, all under the umbrella of organised crime, as well as, in certain cases, terrorism. By allowing our SAPS to run unidentified fingerprints through the other databases in this country, one will, without a shadow of a doubt, see increased conviction rates.

Certainly, we must all agree that the fight against transnational organised crime must be strengthened and intensified so as to foster solutions involving co-operation with sub-Saharan Africa and the Southern African Developmental Community, SADC. Allowing the SAPS to access other national fingerprint databases will allow them, in turn, to assist law enforcement agencies throughout the world to identify South African members of international syndicates.

As a nation, we have for far too long failed to focus on crime prevention from a global perspective. We have become bogged down in the incident of this terrible murder; that rape of a baby; this multi-million rand fraud - single cases hitting the headlines. Yet where we have failed, is in pulling together the causal strands in order to understand the drivers behind the blood-letting.

We are not alone in this lack of vision; indeed the international community has, as a whole, largely failed to anticipate the evolution of transnational organised crime into the strategic threat which it now poses globally. Transnational organised crime is an instrument to generate profit and it is no longer the sole preserve of specialised criminal organisations. It is now an essential strategy for armed groups around the world, and is a source of funding for corrupt politicians as well as warlords and terrorists.

A global survey from the University of Maryland's Centre for International Development and Conflict Management shows that one of the areas at greatest risk of armed conflict is sub-Saharan Africa. The nature of transnational organised crime syndicates allows them to be structured horizontally, and they operate flexibly with a decentralised leadership, while countries such as ours are limited by the silo mentality with vertical, blinkered thinking, which results in poor information-sharing and co-operation.

To transnational organised crime syndicates, borders are irrelevant, while countries are obsessed with formal sovereignty. Transnational organised crime syndicates are incredibly well funded, while our operations are underfunded and frequently ill utilised. The transnationals are at the top when it comes to new technologies, whereas we are slow to adapt, and, in fact, make little use of new technology.

Once we pass this amendment to the Criminal Procedures Act to allow access to fingerprint databases, the public will presume that we have the technology to allow for a quick computer search, but this will not be the case. The big problem here is that the databases of the SAPS, Home Affairs and Transport and Correctional Services all use different technologies, so that these searches will initially be long and laborious. This is something that needs particular attention.

Certainly, I would wish to see the same determination as has been evident in the preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup to be present in the fight against these syndicates, which, for example, see this country both importing and exporting drugs. We have to study this threat to boost our intelligence across regions and shape up our technical ability. This is also pertinent to domestic crime, of course, which is linked in many instances to the transnational organised crime syndicates I have been referring to.

Perhaps the one crime that makes us all feel under siege is house robbery. There has been a 100% increase in house robberies over the last five years, and these crime are committed by, to quote Professor Rudolph Zinn, "the most callous of criminals." Last year there were 18 000 residential robberies, up from just 9 000 in 2003. In the main, these house robbers are 20 years old and have committed 100 robberies before arrest. They do their homework and they often prepare for up to four months before they strike. They also torture their victims as a means of establishing where valuables are hidden, and they rape and kill without remorse.

Currently, the reality is that only 12,5% of robberies with aggravating circumstances end up being prosecuted. We have already fallen behind because of the bad judgement of the previous National Police Commissioner, and statistics have shown shocking increases in crimes in areas affected by the closure of our globally admired specialised units. Consider the 87% increase in drug-related crime since the shutting down of the SA Narcotics Bureau!

Investing in this technology would ramp up our efficacy in relation to the drug crisis in South Africa. The year the bureau was disbanded, the Saps reported 62 000 drug-related crimes; the figure now stands at 117 000.

Crime must be recognised as the greatest threat to our democracy and to an open society that can be shared and enjoyed by all. Of course, the state has a duty to uphold the Constitution and keep its citizens safe.

Approving this Bill today will give the SAPS tool that, if efficiently used, will, I have no doubt, assist in pinning down the criminals, not after they have committed 100 crimes, but after they have committed just one. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr L RAMATLAKANE


Hon D Kohler-Barnard

Mr L RAMATLAKANE: House Chairperson, it is both appropriate and timely to amend the Criminal Procedure Act, Act 51 of 1977 to allow for the forensic procedures to be applied at a crime scene. Cope will support this amendment.

It is our considered view that we must do all in our power to make sure that we capacitate the police in the fight against and combating of crime. Therefore, the amendment today is a tool that is appropriate in capacitating the police in order to make sure that they combat crime and keep a database of criminals.

We all already heard that the Department of Home Affairs has 31 million fingerprints in their database. We already heard about 6 million in the National Traffic Information System, eNaTIS, which the Department of Transport has in the database. We already heard that 2,5 million fingerprints belong to foreigners. But one thing that continues to worry us is that when we talk about the database and we talk about the fingerprints, we do not continue to look at an integrated way of dealing with crime and organised crime.

We continue to be concerned about organised crime, particularly about the data on organised crime and the information that is not kept. We have in our country today many experienced and organised syndicates who come from other countries, but we don't have a database. So we believe that dealing with the amendment of this Act will go a long way in addressing that particular weakness.

Experience has shown all over the world that forensics play a central role in the combating and investigation of crime, particularly fingerprints and all other things that go with it. However, we know that in all the attempts that we need to make, there is always going to be a place where the buck stops.

We believe that the amendment of this particular Act will also begin to give the police, including the commissioner, the power to say what will happen to those who are going to be letting things fall through the cracks. This is where the buck stops. Now that we have this tool, we must make sure that it remains a tool to make the sure that the police are capacitated.

Cope won't be found wanting when it comes to the issue of supporting the work of the police to make sure that the police combat and ... [Interjections.] We will not be found wanting; we are going to support this amendment Act. We have already indicated that we are supporting it.

Therefore, the only thing that Cope will not associate itself with is the rhetoric of "shoot to kill". The shoot to kill rhetoric is that one thing that we say we do not associate ourselves with.

We associate ourselves with the tools that make sure that the police fight crime and make sure that it is combated. We want to particularly raise the serious matter of serious organised crime syndicates that are operating. It is a matter that must be looked at and measures must be found as to how we can make sure that we keep a database of those particular criminals so that we are able to make sure that we combat them and nip them in the bud.

Therefore, we know that supporting this Amendment Act brings us one step closer to dealing with organised crime. We know that by supporting this Act, the police will be one step ahead in making sure that they defeat corruption and crime. Today, the debate and subsequent approval of this Act squarely puts the responsibility on you, Minister, to make sure that the work is done.

We will support this amendment. We are supporting it because we know that it is a necessary tool to fight crime and make sure that our people feel safe wherever they are. I thank you. [Applause.]

MR V B NDLOVU


MR L RAMATLAKANE

Mr V B NDLOVU: House Chairperson, the main aim of this Bill is to intensify the criminal justice system by strengthening the SAPS crime-fighting capacity in respect of fingerprinting and body printing.

It is our view that the correct implementation of this Bill will enhance the investigation capacity of the SAPS which is bound to assist in the dramatic reduction of crime. The IFP, therefore, welcomes these changes to the legislation to bring us into the 21st century. We believe that this Bill should be implemented as soon as possible in consultation with the Ministries of Transport, Home Affairs and State Security.

The costing of this Bill will be very high because of the human resources involved and the upgrading of forensic laboratories. This will shorten the time waiting for the courts to get results from the laboratories.

The IFP supports this Bill because it will eliminate forgery and tighten up investigation, thereby finding the criminals guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The IFP believes that the laboratories will need to be run professionally and must be transformed, so that they are not used by certain elements with ulterior motives against others as if it is their domain.

The IFP wants to thank all those who were involved in making sure that this Bill came to fruition; that includes all stakeholders and the Chairperson who has been chairing this meeting. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

MR S Z NTAPANE


MR V B NDLOVU

Mr S Z NTAPANE: Chairperson and hon members, the Bill before us has been the subject of a long and complex process of evolution. Two years ago, there was the case of deep constitutional concerns with regard to citizens' privacy and other rights. After much delay and deliberation, we are today considering a Bill that will allow the police access to the Home Affairs database of fingerprints. In principle, we support this concept, since it should radically improve the odds of the police identifying the perpetrators of crime.

However, allow me to outline three major concerns which relate to the harsh reality that exists in our country. Firstly, we are talking about giving the police access to a database of law-abiding citizens' most basic information. It is fine and well to claim that the police will not abuse this access, but unfortunately the track record of the police is not spotless.

Secondly, the database that we are talking about is situated within the Department of Home Affairs, which one can safely describe as one of the most corruption-riddled departments in government. The Bill seeks to address this concern, with the inclusion of severe penalties for tampering with the database. However, we cannot but wonder to what extent crime syndicates, who have already infiltrated the Department of Home Affairs, will simply manipulate the database to protect their interests.

Thirdly, and most importantly, access to this database is no guarantee of improved police arrest rates, when the police's forensic capacity hardly exists. Anecdotal evidence of the police failing to take fingerprints at crime scenes is rife. On top of that, the official statistics for the state of forensic laboratories indicate that they are on the verge of collapse.

We support the intention of this Bill, but call on the Minister and the security cluster to begin addressing the well-known underlying issues. The UDM supports the Bill. Thank you.

Rev K R J MESHOE


Mr S Z NTAPANE

Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, the ADCP will support all legal measures that are taken by the police to nail criminals and to reduce the unacceptably high levels of crime in our country. The fact that the current legislation, as set out in section 37 of the Criminal Procedure Second Amendment Act, Act 85 of 1997, does not make the taking of fingerprints compulsory, even in instances where a person has been convicted of an offence, is a serious oversight.

The taking of fingerprints of certain categories of persons must be compulsory, as we believe it will lead to a significant increase in suspect-to-crime-scene matches. The ACDP believes the police should not only have access to the fingerprints stored on their database, but to all fingerprint databases in the country.

It is unfortunate that even though members of the public have been complaining about low conviction rates, as suspects could not be linked to crimes, the SAPS did not have access to the HANIS system of the Department of Home Affairs, where fingerprints of 31 million citizens and about 2,5 million foreigners are stored, or to the e-NaTIS system of the Department of Transport, where a further 6 million thumbprints are located.

What is of concern to the ACDP, however, is the possible misuse of or tampering with the profiles on the expanded database, even though the committee reached consensus that such abuses must carry a 15-year sentence without the option of a fine. The storage and integrity of the fingerprints database must be tight and unquestionable at all times. The ACDP will definitely support this Bill, as it will enhance the work of the police. Thank you.

Mr P J GROENEWALD


Rev K R J MESHOE

Afrikaans:

Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, in Suid-Afrika het 'n misdadiger 'n 90% kans om weg te kom met misdaad, want as daar gekyk word na die statistiek sien ons dat die aantal sake wat aangemeld word en daardie sake wat dan suksesvol deur ons howe gevoer word en waar 'n vonnisbevinding plaasvind slegs 10% is. 'n Misdadiger het dus 'n 90% kans om weg te kom.

Hierdie wysigingswetsonwerp is 'n stap in die regte rigting. Die VF Plus verwelkom dit dat die regering darem op 'n stadium gekom het waar hulle besef het dat daar drastiese stappe gedoen moet word. Ek het wel kritiek. Die vraag is: Hoekom moes ons so lank wag? Ons wag nou al vir, kan ek amper sê, jare om te sê dat daar indringend na die misdaadsituasie gekyk moet word.

Dit help nie dat die Minister van Polisie en sy mense hard werk om misdadigers te vang en aan te keer en dat hul hande dan agter hul rûe vasgemaak word as hulle sekere ondersoeke moet doen nie. Dit is ook waar. Dit is gesê dat die publiek dalk nou die indruk mag kry dat, omdat vingerafdrukke nou ook met Binnelandse Sake en Vervoer gekontroleer kan word, 'n misdadiger baie vinniger opgespoor gaan word. Ons het nou wel die wetgewing in plek, maar dit help nie as die rekenaars nie met mekaar aanpasbaar is nie, want dan sal dit nie vinnig gedoen kan word nie.

Dit sal beteken dat daar kontak gemaak moet word met 'n persoon binne Binnelandse Sake, maar die VF Plus sou wou sien dat die rekenaarstelsel van so 'n aard is dat dit onmiddelik opgevolg kan word. Afhangende van 'n misdaad word daar gepraat van die kritieke 24 uur of die 36 uur of die 48 uur. Hierdie wetgewing is die stap in die regte rigting om dit vinniger moontlik te maak om misdadigers te identifiseer, te ondersoek, en te arresteer. Ek dank u.

MR G LEKGETHO


MR P J GROENEWALD

Mr G LEKGETHO: Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament ...

Setswana:

... maloko a mantle a ANC,

English:

SA Communist Party, Cosatu and Sanco ... (Laughter)

Setswana:

Baagi naga ka bophara, ke a lo dumedisa.

English:

The Policing the Transition document of the ANC recommended that the SAPSs' capacity be strengthened through training to ensure more effective, investigative and technical skills so that our police would effectively perform their duties in the fight against crime and corruption. This position was later reaffirmed at the 2002 Stellenbosch National Conference.

In 2009, the ANC manifesto proposed that the forensic capacity of the SAPS be strengthened in order to help combat organised crime. The manifesto argues that in order to combat crime there is a need to establish a modernised, efficient and transformed criminal justice system.

This is to ensure increased capacity for fighting and combating crime, thus promoting a co-ordinated and an integrated approach to crime. In this regard, the manifesto prioritised the fight against crime and corruption. It articulates for the enhancement of police capacity through vigorous training on forensics, in particular, to capacitating detective services and crime investigation.

Similarly, the review of the criminal justice system has revealed the need to strengthen the forensic investigative powers and capacity of the police as a priority. South Africa has no specific legislation regulating the collection of fingerprints and similar evidence. There is a need to improve all the laws governing fingerprints and other pieces of law.

The Bill contributes to law enforcement policing through detections and making use of forensic evidence collected from crime scenes. This Bill is at the centre of the philosophy of partnership between the police and the community in the fight against different categories of crime.

In terms of the Bill, an expanded fingerprint capacity is an intelligence tool, particularly in crimes where detection is generally low, such as property crimes, and can lead to a significant increase in suspect-to-crime-scene matches. The Bill emphasises that fingerprints are used not only to prove guilt, but also to prove innocence.

The Bill relates directly to Constitutional rights such as equality before the law; human dignity; freedom and security of persons; privacy; children; and arrested, detained and accused persons.

This Bill extends the police's powers not just by strengthening their own database collection and extending the capacity to store fingerprints of more than a limited number of convicted persons; it also enables the Criminal Record and Forensic Science Services of the police to have access to the databases of the Departments of Home Affairs and Transport.

Clause 1 amends the heading of Chapter 3 of the Criminal Procedure Act to ensure that the provisions thereto are not limited to accused persons only. The new section provides for the definitions of "authorised persons", "body prints", "child" and "comparative search".

The new section 36(B) provides for police powers in respect of the taking of fingerprints of accused and convicted persons. It provides for the compulsory taking of fingerprints from certain categories of accused persons and for the retention of such prints. Members are advised to read these amendments because of time constraints.

The Bill has a strong constitutional and political undertone. Politically it appears to strengthen forensic investigatory methods in order to promote the state's capacity to fight crime. There is a need to strengthen economic and political capacity of the developmental state in order to implement the current Bill appropriately in line with the national democratic revolution.

The state's capacity to collect and store fingerprints, body prints and photographic images is of vital importance to ensure accountability, the rule of law and social cohesion. The state's forensic power to fight crime should not suddenly be subjugated to a facilitating role, which would elevate the role of private forensics, as this often presents a risk to state power and national security due to the lack of accountability of such companies.

New scientific methods for crime fighting, information technology and confidential databases should be in the hands of the state as an institution which is accountable to its citizens. Our police must be equipped through training in forensic matters relating to the crime scene, as prescribed in the Bill, for public confidence in them to be strengthened.

In this regard, the police's existing forensic laboratories need to be strengthened and rolled out for all local police stations to have easy access to them so as to ensure that forensic services are consistently deployed at crime scenes.

This calls for community education on the forensic role after a crime has been committed to ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes do not unknowingly temper with the fingerprints, body prints and other evidential information at the crime scene.

In conclusion, this Bill is long overdue to strengthen our fight against crime. We believe that through this Bill we will be able to arrest criminal suspects, reduce court backlogs, improve conviction rates and combat crime. The ANC supports this Bill. Thank you.

Mr G LEKGETHO


MS D A SCHAFER

Ms D A SCHÄFER: Mr Chair, it is very encouraging to note that, in approving this Bill, we are united across political lines in our desire to improve the tools that the police have to detect crime. Given the appalling detection rates such as a mere 15% for property-related crime, they can certainly use all the help they can get.

By providing the extension and enhancement of police databases of prints and photographic images, and for the compulsory taking of these in certain cases, this Bill will ensure that police have access to the biggest possible base for comparative purposes.

By enabling the police to have access to the fingerprints of 31 million citizens and 2,5 million of foreigners, which are retained by the Department of Home Affairs, as well as the 6 million thumbprints in possession of the Department of Transport, the ability to improve the detection rates of all crimes will be substantially increased. This, of course, is based on an assumption that the fingerprint evidence was correctly collected in the first place. However, as this is a definite step in the right direction, let us be positive today and not go down that road.

Whenever police have access to personal information, there is always the very real fear that the potential for abuse exists. The portfolio committee has been very mindful of this fear and we have imposed strict mechanisms for the retention, storage and control of these prints and images.

Firstly, the obligation is imposed on the national commissioner to take all reasonable steps to secure the integrity of the database. In addition, he and the committee of the directors-general of the Departments of Home Affairs, Transport and Correctional Services must, within six months of the commencement of this section, ensure that standard operating procedures regarding access to the databases of the respective departments and implementation of safety measures are developed. This is a very serious obligation, which we believe the commissioner will treat as such.

In addition, the seriousness with which the committee regards any abuse of prints or images stored in any of the databases is reflected in the fact that the penalty we have imposed for any contravention of this legislation, is a maximum of 15 years imprisonment without the option of a fine.

We trust that this will serve as a sufficient deterrent to prevent people from testing just how long the period of imprisonment will be if a court were to take into account the seriousness of our intention in this matter.

The retention of prints on the police database is also strictly regulated so that people who have not been convicted of a crime will not have their details retained on a criminal database. The prints of adults who are convicted of a crime will be retained indefinitely. Children who are convicted will have their prints retained indefinitely, but subject to the provisions relating to the erasure provided for in the Child Justice Act.

With the assistance of the Justice Department's legal advisors, we believe that this Bill is fully in line with the provisions of the Child Justice Act, and that children's rights are adequately protected. In the event that people are found not guilty, their convictions are set aside, or there is a failure to prosecute for any reason, the police are obliged to destroy the prints within 30 days after the officer commanding the division responsible for criminal records has been notified thereof.

An important new development in this Bill, as my colleague the hon Kohler Barnard has referred to, is that the comparison of prints may now also be used for the identification of missing persons and unidentified human remains. This can be an extremely valuable tool in a number of respects. Firstly, by being able to take the fingerprints of people who have lost their memory and comparing them with such a huge database, the police should be able to quickly reunite them with their families.

Secondly, being in a position to quickly identify bodies has two important advantages. If bodies can be identified more quickly, the chances that the perpetrator, in the case of criminal activity, will be more easily and quickly apprehended are significantly increased.

The inability to identify bodies can also have serious implications for the families of the deceased, as they cannot be declared dead. This then means that benefits payable to families, such as insurance policies, cannot be paid out, and estates cannot be wound up. Making it easier for the police to identify these bodies, therefore not only assists in solving possible crimes, but also has very real, practical benefits for the family members.

It is unlikely that we will see an immediate surge in the detection rates as this will be phased in, as my colleague has said. However, if we do not start somewhere, we will never get anywhere. The DA, therefore, is happy today to support this Bill. Thank you.

MS A VAN WYK


MS D A SCHAFER

Ms A VAN WYK: Chair, to those who are looking for a catfight, I'd like to say that it's not going to happen today!

Hon Ministers and members, there can be no doubt in the minds of any of us that we need to use whatever technological advantages and developments that science brings to us in the fight against crime.

Law enforcement agencies should beat the technological advances that criminals are using in the commission of their crimes. That means that the criminal justice system should be on top of scientific developments in the field of forensics, whatever the crime. Technology changes the way crimes are committed and, as a result, should change the way in which crime is combated.

Today, in this House, as we debate a Bill that would give the SAPS access to the databases of other government departments that store fingerprints, scientific developments are already talking about "bacterial fingerprinting" and "brain fingerprinting" crime as the next advances in forensic science's contribution to the fight against crime.

A crime can occur anywhere, at any time, night or day. It can happen in a place and at a time where there are no witnesses present. Sometimes, the only witnesses present are the clues that are left behind at the scene.

It is the crime scene investigator who collects these clues, which are sometimes things that cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is forensic science that converts these clues into evidence that allows the detective to track the perpetrator, and it is the prosecutors that will use this evidence in the courts of law to ensure that criminals are taken off our streets and that our communities become safer places.

Chair, the Bill is a further step in the ANC's resolution and commitment to the people of the country to create an environment in which people are, and indeed feel, safe. As indicated by others in the debate, this Bill gives the SAPS access to run comparative searches against the databases of the Departments of Home Affairs, Transport and Correctional Services.

This will immediately improve the possibility of the police identifying a suspect if they can retrieve fingerprints from the scene of a crime. This brings us to one of the first requirements for the successful implementation of the legislation: In order for the legislation to make an impact on apprehending and convicting perpetrators of crime, the SAPS will have to ensure that our crime scene investigators are properly trained and that those who are the first on the scene understand and know fully how to preserve a crime scene. Without these supportive actions, the Bill becomes paper filled with good intentions.

I will be dealing with the storage of prints; the comparative searches against other databases; the national instructions relating to the collection, storage, maintenance, administration and use of prints and photographic images; as well as the security measures on the integrity of information on the database.

Clause 15 of the Bill obliges the national commissioner to ensure that any fingerprints, body prints or photographic images are stored, maintained, administered and are readily available, whether in electronic or other form. This clause of the Bill prescribes that the fingerprint database must be located within the division of the service that is responsible for criminal records. It is important that our fingerprint laboratories have proper protocols and effective and efficient training programmess in place, which would put the work conducted in them, above any dispute.

The Bill also gives effect to the Sex Offenders Register. Clause 15(2) and directs the national commissioner, or his delegate, to ensure that the fingerprints and photographic images of perpetrators whose names must be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders, are taken and dealt with according to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, Act 32 of 2007. This clause will thus ensure that the Sex Offenders Register is populated.

The clause further makes it a crime for any person to use or allow the use of fingerprints, body prints or photographic images for anything other than the detection of a crime, investigation of an offence, the identification of missing persons, the identification of unidentified human remains or the conducting of a prosecution. Any person who is found to be tampering with or manipulating the process, or falsely claiming that prints are from one person while knowing they are not, will be guilty of an offence and can be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 15 years.

The Bill, under clause 15(b), gives the SAPS the right to run a comparative search – and I think the fact that it is a comparative search is an important point - against the database of the Departments of Home Affairs or Transport, or any other department within the national sphere of government. So should other departments have databases, those are covered as well.

This simply means that, while the SAPS can currently compare a fingerprint found at a crime scene only with those on their own database, the Bill now allows them to run the print against other existing databases, thereby increasing the chances of identifying the person.

These comparative searches can only be done for the purpose of a crime investigation, for the identification of a missing person or for the identification of unidentified human remains. Doing so for any other reason, or manipulating or tampering with the fingerprint, is declared an offence punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 years.

The committee felt that a strong message must go out that the abuse of these prints will not be tolerated and that the integrity of fingerprints as evidence must be protected. We believe that this message is clearly conveyed through the harsh sentences proposed.

The commissioner, in consultation with the Minister, must within six months after the commencement of the Act, issue national instructions. The instructions can address all aspects that are necessary for the implementation of the Act, but must include the following: How to deal with the collection of prints and photographic images; instructions that deal with the storage, maintenance and the administration thereof; how the information collected must be handled; and the manner in which all statistics in this division must be kept concerning all information collected, stored and analysed, including the recording and storage of all exhibits collected from a crime scene.

Furthermore, the national commissioner must develop training courses on the national instructions and ensure that adequate training takes place within the police.

Chair, this is of the utmost importance. We need to establish a uniform way to deal with these prints at every one of our stations. A minimum operational standard needs to exist in order to ensure that evidence used in our courts cannot be challenged or rejected because of the way it was collected, stored or analysed.

We want to make sure that this Bill improves our crime-fighting capability by convicting the guilty and ensuring that the innocent remain exactly that.

The integrity of the information on the database is paramount. In clause 15(d), the Bill provides for the necessary measures that must be taken on a technical and organisational level to ensure the protection of the integrity of the database. This will ensure the prevention of the loss, damage or unauthorised destruction of the information on the database. It also ensures that only authorised access to the database takes place and that data are used only for the legitimate purposes set out in the legislation.

It further places a responsibility on the national commissioner or his delegate to ensure that they identify all reasonable internal and external risks to the information on the database. Appropriate safeguards must be put in place against those risks identified, and they must regularly ensure that those safeguards are effectively implemented and updated in response to new risks identified or deficiencies identified in safeguards already implemented.

Due regard must be given to the general information security practises and procedures of the department. The importance of this aspect cannot be overemphasised. Backlogs and systems that are down create a serious threat to the integrity and efficiency of this tool in the fight against crime.

This means that everything humanly and technically possible must be done in order to limit and eliminate such problems. It would be good, in preparation for the full implementation of the Act, to do a process analysis and determine where processes can be improved. Downtime, for instance, can be limited by ensuring that automatically scheduled updates and backups of the system take place. This can be done after hours, over weekends, without human intervention and, though the system might be slower at the time, it will prevent downtime or system crashes. We can ill afford that to happen.

The last part of the Bill deals with the standing operating procedures that must be agreed upon between the SAPS, the Departments of Home Affairs, Correctional Services and the national Department of Transport. The Bill instructs the directors-general of these departments, under the chairpersonship of the national commissioner, to agree on the standing operating procedures within six months after the commencement of the Act. The standing operating procedures should address access by the SAPS to these departments' databases for the purpose of comparative searches and the implementation of safety measures to protect the integrity of the information contained on the relevant databases.

Again, this is of the utmost importance since information on the databases of the other departments includes information of innocent people and information on individuals not relevant to the purpose of this Bill. This, hon Groenewald, is why they cannot have free access to other departments' databases. If you had bothered to attend the meeting you would have known that. That is why it is not relevant for the purpose of this Bill. They don't need free access to those databases. SAPS's interaction with these databases should be limited to establishing a hit and identifying the person the prints represent. Any further access would be unnecessary and unlawful.

This Bill – which is supported by the ANC – is a further step, as promised in our 2009 Manifesto, toward establishing a modern, efficient and transformed criminal justice system. It further gives life to our contract that we will increase the capacity of the detective services and forensics. It illustrates the ANC government's commitment to fighting crime with everything available to it.

While I have a few minutes left, just allow me to deal with a few issues. Mr Ramatlakane shouted a lot. That's what happens when you've got too much time and you have only prepared for and are used to two minutes. Now, suddenly, you have more. Mr Ramatlakane said that they will not support the "shoot to kill" policy. There is no such policy, so I am actually glad to hear that. Unlike Cope, the ANC also does not have a policy that says, "Bash a head to lead". [Laughter.]

I would like to say to the UDM: If you had actually read the Bill, you would have seen that there are checks and balances in it to address exactly the concerns that you have raised. It is incredible how people cannot attend one single meeting on a Bill that has been in process for more that two years, and then stand up here in this House and try to make a speech as if they are the people who actually know what is in the Bill!

Afrikaans:

Agb Groenewald, as jy, soos die res van ons, so bekommerd oor misdaad in hierdie land is – wat ek glo jy is – wil ek jou graag uitnooi om daad by word te voeg, en om 'n slag of wat die komitee te kom bywoon, en om daar te probeer om 'n verskil te maak. Dit sal waardeer word. Dankie.


Afrikaans:

Mr P J GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, die agb lid het al klaar weggestap. Ek wou vir haar 'n vraag gevra het, maar siende dat sy klaar weg is sal ...

English:

Chair, I want to raise a point of order: I have listened to hon Diane Kohler-Barnard and hon Anneliese van Wyk. The manner in which they delivered their speeches was so calm that I think they must have taken some or other drug, and I want to know whether that is parliamentary. [Laughter.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon member, that is not a point of order.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT


MS A VAN WYK

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, I would like to thank all political parties for supporting this Bill and the also House for its enthusiastic support of the Bill. I thank you.

Debate concluded.

The Bill was read a second time.

Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Social Development on Social Assistance Amendment Bill

There was no debate.

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

That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

THE MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT


THE CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY

Second Reading debate - Social Assistance Amendment Bill

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, hon Ministers, Members of Parliament and guests, I want to thank you for this opportunity to speak at the second reading of the Social Assistance Amendment Bill.

The mission of the Department of Social Development is to enable the poor, the vulnerable and the excluded within the South African society to secure a better life, and to do so in partnership with them, as well as those who are committed to building a caring society.

To give effect to this mission statement, the Department of Social Development provides a range of welfare services, developmental services and social security programmes. We can say without equivocation that these programmes have had a significant impact on the lives of the poor, destitute and vulnerable. Our programme on social assistance continues to improve the consumption capacity of the poor and contributes positively to their wellbeing.

The cash transfer system has enabled millions of our people to meet their basic needs, and has empowered all these millions to invest in the future of their children through education. Whilst continuing to expand the reach of our programmes, we continually work towards improving the management and administration of social assistance to ensure that we pay the right person the right grant amount at the right time.

It is in pursuance of this objective that we reviewed the reliability and validity of the instruments used for the assessment of disability. We are also determined to ensure that all our administrative systems are geared towards treating the beneficiaries of our services with dignity and with due consideration for administrative justice. We, therefore, also carefully considered whether the application to the approval process within the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, was just and fair.

It is in the light of these assessments that we sought to make changes to the administration of certain aspects of our social assistance programmes through the Social Assistance Amendment Bill. We sought to amend the definition of "disability", so that we are better placed to identify people who are permanently disabled, those who are temporarily disabled and those who suffer from chronic illnesses.

The current definition leaves too much discretion to individual medical practitioners and Sassa officials, resulting in significant variations in the way people are assessed for the purpose of receiving disability grants. This has resulted in people who are chronically ill qualifying for permanent and temporary disability grants. In some cases, people who are, indeed, permanently disabled were not able to receive support from the state based on the outcome of a medical assessment.

We have, therefore, introduced to Parliament the Social Assistance Amendment Bill with a view to redefining "disability" and implementing the Harmonised Assessment Tool, Hat. The intention behind these amendments was to provide a more rational and less arbitrary means of assessing disability through limiting the discretion of individual doctors and our officials.

With respect to enhancing administrative justice within our administration, we proposed the amendment of section 18 in the original Act as amended, or the Social Assistance Act of 2004 with a view to improving the review process by having more senior officials in Sassa reassessing the decision made by junior officials who have declined an application for a grant.

These proposed amendments were approved by Cabinet and duly submitted to Parliament for further deliberations and public participation. Let me state that when Cabinet approved the amendments as discussed, we also approved a process wherein the Department of Health would develop a strategy to manage the chronic illnesses.

I must admit that the Parliamentary process was very robust, and significant submissions were made by civil society organisations on their concerns and wishes about the proposed changes to the Social Assistance Act.

We are satisfied that the Portfolio Committee on Social Development approached this matter carefully and holistically, reflecting on the impact of such policy amendments and, therefore, proposed that those policy areas that have not been addressed by the Department of Health should first be dealt with before we pass this amendment.

The portfolio committee also called on the Department of Health to present the case regarding readiness form the perspective of the department. I should say at this point that it is possible that we did not fully appreciate the scale of work that needed to be done by the Department of Health to develop a detailed response to dealing with chronic illnesses.

In this instance, the changes that we proposed would have had the effect of removing from the grant system significant numbers of people who, due to their being chronically ill, were accessing the disability grants without the Department of Health's response to those who would fall out, through combating chronic illnesses and also through primary health care which will ensure access to heath services, amongst other things.

The Minister of Health emphasised that managing chronic illness effectively cannot be separated from improving the primary health care system. Given the level of work needed by Health to develop its capabilities to manage chronic illnesses, we accept the portfolio committee's recommendations that they refer the sections of proposed amendments pertaining to the definition of disability and related matters back to Cabinet.

Indeed, as a department deeply concerned with the wellbeing of South Africa's most vulnerable groups, we welcome this development. If the amendments went through without the appropriate response from the health system, many people may have been left without any form of support from the state.

I am thankful that the checks and balances imposed by robust committee debates have made us aware that even the most noble intentions could have negative, albeit unintended outcomes. We are, however, pleased that Parliament has decided to adopt some sections of the Bill which will make the administrative process fairer and more responsive to our clients.

The amendments will enable Sassa to reduce the backlog in the appeals system and expedite the process of reconsideration of a decision to decline an application for a social assistance grant.

The Ministers of Social Development and Health will revert to Cabinet to discuss how we aim to proceed with the management of disabilities and chronic illnesses. I trust that civil society organisations that engaged us on this matter will also use their similar legislative advocacy skills and resources to assist in the passing of good policies and laws, such as the proposed National Health Insurance, NHI, and other comprehensive social security measure.

In conclusion, I want to thank the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development and all the committee members for processing this Bill through the public hearings in Parliament. We accept the deferring of clauses dealing with the definition of "disability" and related matters and also the passing of the remaining two clauses of this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]

MS Y R BOTHA


THE MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Ms Y R BOTHA: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, comrades and friends, the purpose of the Bill, when it was tabled by the Minister of Social Development, was to amend the Social Assistance Act of 2004, so as to have a definition for "disability", and to regulate the application process for the grant.

Furthermore, it aimed to regulate the work of the agency to reconsider the decisions it took with regards to grants; to clarify the process of appeals against the decisions of the agency, and also to effect certain textual corrections, and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Now, as we all know, one of our key and effective antipoverty programmes implemented since the establishment of democracy, is the Expanded Social Assistance Programme. Since then, the number of beneficiaries receiving social grants has increased from fewer than 1 million in 1994 to 14 million today. This is indeed a monumental achievement, given that the programme is focusing on the most vulnerable members of our society, who are the children, women, the disabled, orphans and older people.

The committee had public hearings in Parliament that were attended by various stakeholders. Most of the stakeholders raised concerns about the state of readiness of our health system to assess disabilities, and the fact that the definition, as it stands in clause 1 of the Bill, excluded people with chronic illnesses. They also lobbied us for a chronic illness grant of R1 000 a month.

Now, chairperson, there are currently 1,4 million South Africans on the disability grant programme. Disability is determined through a medical process which is done by doctors in the public sector and in the private sector. About 230 000 beneficiaries are in receipt of a temporary disability grant. This grant is defined as a grant that will last for a period of more than 6 months but less than 12 months.

The grant processes have been complicated for a very long time now, and that needs to be addressed. One of the contributing factors lies in the lack of uniformity of assessment methods, which results in errors of inclusion or exclusion. By this I mean that there are people who are receiving the disability grant, but who are not eligible or entitled for such a grant, because they are simply not disabled.

We are further well aware that many of these people are poor and unemployed, and as a result are manipulating the system by collaborating with the doctors in their area, because of lack of income support to these unemployed people.

Let me give you an example, let us take a Dr Van Wyk who knows a Mr Khumalo very well, and this Mr Khumalo has a condition called asthma. His asthma can be managed through appropriate medication and he can still enter the labour market. Now, in medical terms asthma is regarded as a chronic illness and not a disability.

A chronic illness can be defined as an illness that is prolonged, and would not be resolved spontaneously, but can be cured completely. A person with a purely chronic illness alone cannot be deemed to have a disability. Yet Dr Van Wyk would classify Mr Khumalo as disabled for the purpose of the opportunity to receive the disability grant, because he is sympathetic to him, as Mr Khumalo is unemployed and lives in poverty.

Hon Chairperson, the opposite can also be true. There are instances where a person who has asthma goes to the same doctor, but that doctor does not classify that particular person as disabled despite the person being poor and unemployed. I am sure that you will agree that such a practice opens the social grant system to fraud and abuse, and in the long run it undermines the integrity of the system.

Now, in view of this challenge, some time ago Cabinet approved a definition of disability for a disability grant and free health care to address this challenge. The Bill as tabled sought to activate that particular definition. During the public hearing, as I said earlier, the stakeholders consistently raised the issue of exclusion rather than inclusion.

As the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, we also invited the national Department of Health to explain to us the sector's readiness to implement the Bill since its medical officers and other health professionals have a responsibility to use the health assessment tool when they assess disability; and we wanted also to ascertain their state of readiness to dispense chronic medicine, as the Minister said.

I want to commend the department for their open and frank approach to the matter. They, together with the provinces, are in the process of strengthening their primary healthcare facilities in order to timeously dispense medicine, although the shortage of healthcare professionals is also one of their challenges. The committee report, if one looks at it, actually elaborates on this matter in detail.

Now, since we are the Parliament of the people, and especially an activist parliament, we have listened to the people. We have, therefore, decided that only the clauses that have unintended consequences be considered, as well as the clause that deals with the appeals process of the agency.

The committee has rejected the clauses that define "disability" and other clauses that are related to it, and have referred them back to Cabinet for reconsideration. Both the Department of Social Development and the Department of Health must keep the committee abreast on their progress with regard to the state of readiness of the said clauses. The committee will obviously monitor their progress in this regard.

So, the long title of the Bill will now read:

To amend the Social Assistance Amendment Act 2004, so as to enable applicants and beneficiaries to apply to the agency to reconsider its decision; to further regulate appeals against decisions of the agency; and to effect certain textual corrections and to provide for matters connected therewith.

There should be a distinction in the definition of "disability" for children and adults. Also, there should be an assessment tool for the care dependency grant. The department has assured that there is a draft that is ready, but it has not yet been approved by the executive. The draft assessment tool for the care dependency grant determines disability and the extent to which a child requires care and support.

Let me comment on the issue around corruption, because as far as the social assistance grant is concerned, the definition of "fraud" is thrown loosely around, and there are also some allegations. I now want to use this opportunity to commend the Minister and the South African Social Security Agency for the fact that 13 000 public servants and civilians have been convicted of swindling the state about out of R191,3 million through fraudulent welfare grant claims.

I want to laud them for their action of actually tracking those people down and having them prosecuted so that they can pay back the money to the state. [Applause.]

Sometime I get the impression that members ...

Afrikaans:

... verlang terug na die vleispotte van Egipte ... [... are longing for the flesh-pots of Egypt].

English:

There was no such thing, and no issue around fraudulent grants. Those of us, who lived in communities where people got grants - if they were lucky - know about the schemes that were there. So far the department has recovered R56 million, and the committee will monitor Sassa closely to see whether they are recovering the rest of the money.

Most of the public servants supplied false information when they applied for social grants, so now that Sassa has access to the Government Pension Fund they can do runs with other government agencies. I am sure they can clean up the system thoroughly.

Obviously, when you have 14 million beneficiaries on the system you will have grantees that fall through the cracks and that come on to the system fraudulently, but when you do your checks and balances that is when you track them down. So the will to prosecute is commendable. It is obviously the right thing to do, and we hope that government will recover all its money.

In conclusion, the ANC supports the Bill as amended by the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. I thank you. [Applause.]

MS S P KOPANE


MS Y R BOTHA

Ms S P KOPANE: Chairperson, the level of unemployment is rising on a daily basis in our country. Women bear almost all the responsibility for meeting the basic needs of the families, yet they are systematically denied the resources and freedom to play such a role.

HIV and Aids are rapidly destroying our country. The current food price crisis has a severe impact on our nation. The level of desperation of our people also rises every minute. As we are seated here today, maybe we need to ask ourselves the question: What have we done to change the lives of our people, especially when there are those who go to bed with an empty stomach? For how long do we expect these people to be patient while this government is failing to create employment, and while this government is also wasting millions of rands?

Let me take this opportunity to advise this august House that each and every government deserves the number of criminals it has. The power is in our hands to eradicate the number of social ills in our country.

Because of the level of desperation our people tend to manipulate or abuse the present systems to survive. During the public hearings, many of the organisations alleged that doctors solicited bribes.

Mr M G BUTHELEZI: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Is that a point of order, hon member?

Mr M G BUTHELEZI: Chairperson, I don't know whether I'm sleeping or not because the noise reminds me of a visit to a beer hall in Munich. [Laughter.] I don't know whether we are still in the House.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon members, please let's lower our conversation so that other members are able to hear the speakers. Continue, hon member.

Ms S P KOPANE: This implies that people were forging cases to get grants and some HIV/Aids patients and chronic illness patients were deliberately not taking their medication as prescribed by the doctors so that their conditions could deteriorate, and as a result their grants would not be terminated.

Presently there are 13 million people receiving grants in our country. About 1,4 million receive disability grants that cost about R16,9 billion. If all the departments within the social cluster, including the Department of Health, can take their responsibility seriously it will reduce the burden facing the Department of Social Development.

This picture clearly shows how many people are solely depending on social grants as a source of income, but it is not a sustainable solution at all.

Sesotho:

Setjhaba se hloka mosebetsi e seng diphuthelwana tsa dijo. Batho ba rona ha ba rate ho ba mekopakopa. Mosotho wa kgale o re "mphemphe e a lapisa, motho o kgonwa ke sa hae."

English:

However, the Social Assistance Amendment Bill was an attempt to deal with the definition of "disability", which is a very complex matter. There was a need to decide to review the existing legislation after noticing a significant increase in the uptake of applications for disability and care dependency grants.

Upon closer scrutiny it was discovered that the current definition of "disability" as defined by the law, included many people, who should be excluded, and vice versa, because there was a lack of uniformity in assessment methods. The Social Assistance Amendment Bill aims to define what exactly constituted disability and who should and who should not benefit from a disability grant.

One of the criteria used in terms of the new Bill is to determine whether a person has a disability or whether a person is able to enter into the labour market. The underlying principle of the Bill was that it will bring about the correct selection and targeting for eligibility for disability grants and a free health care. The harmonised assessment tool will facilitate the uniform assessment and will significantly reduce disability grant fraud.

Section 18 as it stood, only permitted applicants or a person acting on their behalf to appeal against the decision of the agency relating to any matter regulated by the Act. This section did not permit beneficiaries whose grants had been terminated or suspended to appeal against any decision of the agency. According to the agency, relating to any matter regulated by the Act, a beneficiary thus had no choice but to approach the courts for a review.

The amendment to this section will allow a beneficiary to appeal against a decision by Sassa. The amendment also allows Sassa to reconsider the decision by means of an internal review process.

The constitutional implication is that people with chronic conditions, once this tool has been implemented, will no longer qualify for the disability grant as is currently the case. The exclusion is not intentional, but is a means to address the effective identification of disability.

On 18 May 2010, the Department of Health made a presentation before the committee on the state of readiness to implement the Harmonised Assessment Tool, but to our surprise the department reported that they were not ready to implement the tool to assess patient eligibility for disability grants due to a shortage of trained health professionals who could use the tool. They further acknowledged that the Primary Health Care System needs to be strengthened.

According to Chapter 2 of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Department of Health must ensure that everyone has a right to have access to sufficient food, water and social security, including - if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants - appropriate social assistance. Furthermore, the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures within available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these services.

The current state of the primary health care has deteriorated a hundredfold. Therefore, the shortage of staff, equipment and other sources has posed a high risk and many challenges to primary health care. Given the abovementioned concerns, the committee, therefore agrees not to approve the clause defining "disability" and the related clauses.

In conclusion, the DA demands that the Department of Health must come up with a clear time frame to state exactly when they are going to be ready, so that the Department of Social Development can approve the amendments of the Bill. Thank you.

MS N P GCUME


MS S P KOPANE

Ms N P GCUME: Chairperson, all Acts of Parliament have unintended consequences and therefore schedules have to be regularly amended. This amendment Bill became necessary because of inadequacies in the definition of disability. This led to a lack of uniformity in assessments methods, which in turn led to budgeted amounts for disability grants being exceeded.

Cope believes that the definition of disability in the Amendment Bill will work better, but a question remains: Will the 400 trained officials whom the department trained at a cost of R462 683 be able to uniformly determine whether an applicant has a moderate to severe limitation to his or her ability to function as a result of physical, sensory communication, intellectual and mental disability making it impossible for such a person to obtain the means for maintenance or employment?

Government will have to institute some kind of peer review to ascertain whether provinces were assessing disability uniformly. Presently, the corrupt practices of South Africa also need to be taken into account. Each of the 400 health facilities that will be set up across the country in support of this Act will have to be regularly audited in order to contain irregularities and corruption.

Officials who have been trained to assess disability should be routinely transferred to other centres so that corrupt practices do not become rooted. We also want to urge the hon Minister to present the portfolio committee with a review of this amendment 12 months after it has been enacted. We need to gauge whether the amendments we are making have, in fact, been effective.

As we are now operating on the basis of a fiscal deficit and it is imperative that we keep government expenditure in check. In two years time, the cost of servicing government debt will have risen to over R100 billion. As with Greece, the deficit is going to have serious consequences for our economy.

Furthermore, as the present government is using debt to pay for consumption, not infrastructure development, we can expect resources to become very constrained in the months and years ahead.

The amendment of section 18 of the Principal Act is a great improvement as it allows for self-correction through an appeal of the agency itself. It is very important that the agency fully comprehends the nature of due process and will be able to handle appeals with juridical capability and medical competence.

To obviate litigation is always a preferred way of settling disputes. The courts must always be the final recourse. Litigation is horrendously expensive.

It will be of great importance to Parliament if appeals are analysed to get to the bottom of the problem. If the same problem is continually surfacing from a certain office, area or individual, the department can deal with the root cause quickly and effectively. As a member of the portfolio committee, I urge the hon Minister to ensure that an analysis of appeals takes place routinely and that we are kept in the loop.

Finally, I come to the question of the appointment of a tribunal. In Japan there is an agreement that it is better to take 90 days to plan and 10 days to execute the plan. In the West, planning takes 10 days and the execution takes 90 days. I am making this point that if officials in the provinces do their job well and thoroughly and provide the applicant, who has been turned down, with a detailed explanation it will help to ease up the appeal process and save the Minister from having to appoint an independent tribunal.

In our view the agency itself should never disqualify any applicant without a second opinion and some kind of peer review. Every disqualification should be made as watertight as possible. If an appeal succeeds it will simply mean that someone has not done his or her work properly.

While we support the Bill, we trust that the Minister will keep us in the loop as we have requested. It is very important for us to know whether the amended Act is moderately or substantially better than the Principal Act. Thank you.

MS H N MAKHUBA


MS N P GCUME

Ms H N MAKHUBA: Chairperson, in South Africa we have a situation in which 82% of the population is classified as being poor, with poverty levels ranging between 50% and 80%. Unemployment is the root cause of poverty in our country. Inequality is another issue driven more by wage disparity than unemployment.

By 2010, over 13 million people would have received social aid assistance. The question of sustainability is of concern, with some economists saying that South Africa is already the largest welfare state in the world. The problem that we are currently vexed with from a social assistance point of view is how to create a situation in which self-reliance will be promoted and not sole dependency upon state social aid relief.

However, social security is a socioeconomic right that is underwritten by our Constitution. Therefore, we are duty bound to ensure that it fulfils its purpose of financially assisting our most vulnerable and poverty stricken. The Department of Social Development is at the forefront of poverty alleviation and must have the correct legal instruments with which to fulfil its mandate, both effectively and efficiently to the poor and poverty-stricken of our country.

The current Amendment Bill seeks to provide the applicant with greater powers in terms of the appeals procedure, as well as empowering the beneficiaries of social aid grants with the right of appeal to the agency for reconsideration of its decision in respect of a grant, before appealing to an independent tribunal.

The addition of the beneficiaries to the appeal procedure is most welcome because it enables beneficiaries to institute appeal proceedings independently or on behalf of the applicant, thus, once again ensuring a "cover all" clause for social aid relief.

When people living below the poverty line apply for social aid, they are already in a desperate state of affairs. These amendments allow for the expediting of appeals in such matters, thus enabling the government to provide real-time assistance to people in need.

Enjoyment of the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection is of critical importance to the people of South Africa. Regulating the appeals to independent tribunal will also greatly assist in streamlining the procedure, thus providing more effective delivery of aid by the department.

The above is in line with the international norms and conventions, such as the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and certain constitutional imperatives of our own Constitution, such as Section 33, which ensures just administrative action. This accordingly makes the amendment of this Act a very necessary one.

The IFP supports the amendment to the Social Assistance Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]

Hon C DUDLEY


MS H N MAKHUBA

Ms C DUDLEY: Chairperson, the need for the amendment to the Social Assistance Bill was realised when the 2003-04 uptake of disability grants, spiked at more than three times the projected figure for that period.

An investigation was done to establish the cause of this sudden increase. The core findings were that there was no common definition for what constituted a disability, and that there was no uniform assessment, method or tool to determine whether a person had a disability. This situation resulted in errors of both inclusion and exclusion.

The Social Assistance Amendment Bill was an attempt to deal with the definition of "disability", which is an extremely complex matter. One of the criteria used in terms of the proposed Bill to determine whether a person has a disability, was whether he or she was able or not able to enter the labour market.

It seems as if that contentious issue was not going to be decided for now. Very real concerns were raised regarding current recipients of disability grants being disqualified from receiving a disability grant in terms of the proposed definition and that it could have led to more litigation against Sassa and the Department of Social Development.

The ACDP is of the opinion that the definition of "disability" should be exclusively in relation to social grants and not a broad definition. In discussing social assistance in the context of disability, the ACDP would like to draw attention to the present situation where children with disabilities are excluded from receiving social grants until they turn 18 years.

This is because their caregivers receive R280 per month. It is clearly an impossible situation as no one in their wildest dreams would think that a child with a disability could be cared for on that amount. The ACDP will be supporting this Bill as it is amended. I thank you. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, before I call the next speaker, some members were assisting me. I heard some members saying, "Shh! Shh!". Hon Ellis, this reminded me of primary school, where you had a monitor or prefect.

Every time the when the teacher left the class, he would appoint a monitor or prefect. Some people loved the job of being a prefect or monitor. When the monitor or prefect was sitting there and someone spoke, he would look at the person and they kept quite. The monitor used to look to the side and then quickly looked at one again. Then they would write your name down. [Laughter.] The Chairperson is not like that. Therefore, I am not going to do it. [Interjections.]

MS H LAMOELA


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana)

Ms H LAMOELA: Chairperson, the aim of the Social Assistance Amendment Bill is to, and I quote:

Amend the Social Assistance Act of 2004, so as to insert a definition to further regulate the eligibility for a disability grant; to enable applicants and beneficiaries to apply to the agency to reconsider its decisions; to further regulate appeals against decisions of the agency; to effect certain textual corrections; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Afrikaans:

Die hantering van so 'n belangrike stuk wetgewing wat die lewens van so veel arme mense diep raak, was betreurenswaardig en uiters swak. Advertensies rakende hierdie stuk wetgewing wat veral die armes in verafgeleë plattelandse gebiede raak was geadverteer in koerante soos die Mail & Guardian en Sunday Times, om slegs twee koerante te noem, teen 'n koste van plus-minus R94 000.

Hierdie belangrike advertensie het toe, nogal, ook oor die Paasnaweek geskied. Slegs plus-minus ses instansies het voorleggings vir bykans 1,4 miljoen begunstigdes gemaak.

Onnodige ritte na Kaapstad deur die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling was onderneem om voorleggings aan ons komitee te doen, wetende dat die afwesige Department van Gesondheid 'n leidende rol in die implementering van hierdie stuk wetgewing sou speel.

Na bykans vier sulke ontmoetings, het die Departement van Gesondheid uiteindelik hul opwagting gemaak. Die departement se situasie was baie duidelik uitgespel. Ek haal dr Pillay aan toe hy baie eerlik en opreg die volgende gesê het:

English:

We are not in any way close to rendering quality healthcare.

Thanks to Dr Pillay for the honesty shown rather than him pretending that everything was in order and that we could proceed. We do want to proceed, but under better conditions.

Implementation of legislation plays a pivotal role in getting systems up and running. The Department of Health can in no way implement what is expected of them in the Bill, bearing in mind the tremendous shortages of health professionals and resources, especially in primary health care.

Afrikaans:

Voorsitter, die Wet op Maatskaplike Bystand, Wet No 13 van 2004, wat net voor die verkiesing geteken was, nogal, het duidelike oogmerke uitgespel. Ek herinner graag die departement daaraan: eerstens, om vir die administrasie van maatskaplike bystand en betaling van maatskaplike toelaes voorsiening te maak; tweedens, vir maatskaplike bystand voorsiening te maak en die vereistes om daarvoor te kwalifiseer te bepaal; derdens, om te verseker dat minimum norme en standaarde vir die lewering van maatskaplike bystand voorgeskryf word; en laastens, baie belangrik, om vir die instelling van 'n inspektoraat vir maatskaplike bystand voorsiening te maak.

Die vrae is dus nou as volgs: was hierdie inspektoraat ooit geïmplementeer? As dit nie geïmplementeer was nie, waarom nie? Wie was die uitvoerende direkteur van hierdie inspektoraat? Mag ons miskien nou weet of iemand ooit in die pos aangestel was?

Sou dit, soos saamgevat en uiteengesit in hierdie wetgewingstuk, plaasgevind het, kon deeglike monitering, wat onafhanklikheid teweeg sou bring, plaasgevind het. Sodoende, kon die volgende probleemareas betyds identifiseer word: eerstens, die misbruik van maatskaplike toelaes wat op 'n grootmaat plaasgevind het en baie ekstra administratiewe tyd en geld van die departement geëis het; tweedens, kon korrupsie in die departemente wat selfs deur hul eie personeel gepleeg is, bekamp word, soos daarna verwys word deur die voorsitter van ons komitee. Miljoene rande het in die proses verlore gegaan.

Derdens, die agterstand van die aangestelde tribunaal wat gruwelik misluk het, sou betyds aangespreek en reggestel kon word, en hofsake sou vermy kon word.

Laastens, heel moontlik sou hierdie wysiging van wetgewing nie eers nodig gewees het nie.

Voorsitter, ek weet dat niks vir altyd dieselfde kan bly nie, en dat aanpassings van tyd tot tyd gemaak moet word om stelsels te laat werk. Maar om wetgewing te onderteken en dan in argiewe te bêre – en hier verwys ek veral na die 2004 stuk – bring geensins voorspoed of hoop vir veral die armes wat so swaar op ons steun nie. Baie dankie.

MS H H MALGAS


MS H Lamoela

Ms H H MALGAS: Chairperson, I would like to greet the Ministers and all members of the House.

I don't think my speech is going to be very long because, at the moment all the parties that have spoken – the DA, Cope, the IFP and the ACDP – have supported the Bill.

I would like to thank this House for giving us the opportunity to present issues and concerns relating to the Social Assistance Amendment Bill which is before Parliament. As the chairperson said before, I would like to say that we are all aware of the fact that the grant system is not perfect and will require continual changes, from time to time, to adequately respond to the needs of our people.

To improve the provision of social assistance, Cabinet has approved the Social Assistance Amendment Bill, which is before Parliament today.

We know what the Bill seeks to attain by allowing applicants and beneficiaries an opportunity to request the South African Social Security Agency, Sassa, to reconsider decisions, before they appeal to the independent tribunal. It is in order to expedite the resolution of agreements between applicants, beneficiaries and the agency.

It also allows beneficiaries an opportunity to appeal a decision of the agency. It makes provision for the appointment of an independent tribunal in a manner prescribed by the legislation. Lastly, as the chairperson and other speakers have said, the Bill seeks to insert a definition of "disability".

As the ANC and the ANC-led government, we are aware that we have made it clear that it is important to provide income support to all those who are disabled and who, as a result of their disability, are unable to enter the job market.

The chairperson and other people present here spoke about the public hearings, so I won't speak about them or the state of readiness of the Department of Health to implement their assessment team. Chairperson, in conclusion I would rather speak about the desirability of the Bill before I pass a few remarks.

Concerning the desirability of the Bill, we, the committee, would like to request the House to reconsider some clauses of the Bill, in order to address unintended consequences. Our proposal, as the Social Development Portfolio Committee, is, firstly, that the definition in the disability clause be completely withdrawn from the Amendment Bill before this House.

Secondly, seeing that there were no objections to the other clauses, our proposal is that the generic correction in section 5 of the Principal Act and the request on the reconsideration for the right to appeal, as well as the consideration of the decision by the agency for appeal in sections 14 and 18 of the principal Act, be adopted.

As I put it in my speech, we therefore would like Parliament to consider our view and to process these clauses for the acceptance of the Amendment Bill.

Then there are few housekeeping issues that I would like to address. When it comes to the time frame, we do agree that there should be a time frame in place, but we know that there are still challenges when it comes to the Department of Health. So when we get together for our first meeting, we have to look at we what would like to achieve. In this meeting we should discuss the way forward on the milestones concerning the implementation of the Department of Health's strategic plan to manage chronic illnesses.

We also have to look at the care dependency grant because, according to the amendment, there was no assessment tool. We would like the department to brief us on that assessment tool, but after the care dependency grant assessment tool has been approved by Cabinet.

Our social development chairperson gave the long title of the Bill. I therefore would like to place the short title of the Bill before this august House. This Act is called, "The Social Assistance Amendment Act of 2010". The ANC supports this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

THE MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT


MS H H MALGAS

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, I would like to express our appreciation for the inputs that have been made by the hon members, who also happen to come from the portfolio committee - all of them. I'm saying so because they have been engaged and they were quite helpful in getting us to the point where we are, in particular the chairperson who has led this process quite well.

I also note that all the hon members, who stood here at this podium, expressed support for the adoption of this Bill, the sections that have been referred to. Having said so, I would just like to respond to some of the issues – quite a few of them – and will be very brief.

The issues that relate to the need for the creation of jobs has been discussed in our portfolio committee on several occasions. We have all acknowledged that it is necessary that government creates jobs so that we are able to ensure that we reduce the burden on the state, in terms of giving grants. That is an issue we have long accepted. We even went to the extent of indicating what measures are in place in moving towards that.

However, it is important to recognise that whilst our people are still suffering, we do have to continue to support them in alleviating poverty; so there is really no debate. We shouldn't stand at this podium and make this issue quite a big issue. There has been this agreement and acknowledgement.

The issue of corruption is not a new thing. It is this particular department, working together with government, which has actually discovered these fraudulent activities in the department. We have been dealing with these activities within the system, so, hon Lamoela, I want to reiterate that it's not a new discovery by any member, particularly from the opposition. It's we people in the department who have found these things and we are dealing with them on a continuous basis, as we are reporting to the portfolio committee.

With regard to the issue of time frames, I want to indicate that indeed we agree that we will come back to the portfolio committee. We'll keep you in the loop, but we will come back with a plan once we note that Health has developed a plan. I did indicate that, as the two Ministers, we will go back to Cabinet to report and to develop mechanisms as to how we are going to take it further. Definitely, we are not going to wait for the time when Health is fully ready because that time will be very far. We would like to have the deferred sections also adopted at some stage.

I would like to thank all hon members and, indeed, agree also that this Bill be passed. Thank you very much.

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time.

THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR K O BAPELA)


The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon members, kindly note that while the committee report is before the House for consideration, there will not be a debate on it today. Members may, however, use the information in the report for the joint debate tomorrow on the Fifa World Cup. I'm sure you will love that; It will be a full House tomorrow. I now recognise the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.

Consideration of Report of Ad Hoc Joint Committee on South Africa's Readiness for Fifa World Cup

There was no debate.

The Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

MS L S MAKHUBELA-MASHELE


THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR M B SKOSANA)

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP LEGACY (Subject for Discussion)

Ms L S MAKHUBELA-MASHELE: House Chairperson, hon members, guests in the gallery, let me greet you by saying, "Feel it; it is here! Bafana kaofela."

I would like to begin from the premise that comprehensive social transformation not only entails changing the material conditions of all our people, including the youth, for the better, but it is also ensuring that we build a nation on values of Ubuntu and true human solidarity.

It is the combination of these factors that give form and character to the national democratic society that we seek to build through the national democratic revolution. It is still our resolution to build a society based on the will of the people without regard for race, gender, belief, language, ethnicity or geographical location.

During this period of Youth Month, we must reaffirm our commitment to redressing poverty and inequality. The challenge faced by young people in the country is enormous. According to Statistics SA, the unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2010 increased by 0,9% to 25,2%. The youth unemployment rate is higher than the national average. The Ford Foundation has shown that approximately 2,8 million of people aged between 18 and 24 are unemployed.

We know that many young people do not complete high school, and those who do battle to get access to postmatric education. We need not forget the unemployment opportunities due to lack of skills. This shows that our country's socioeconomic problems are essentially centred on youth development.

Therefore, this calls for concerted actions aimed at youth development if, indeed, the future of our country is to be put on a sustainable and vibrant developmental trajectory. The historical role of the youth movement at the forefront of the liberation struggle has elevated the youth as a motive force for socioeconomic transformation.

Throughout different stages of our history, young people were at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid and socioeconomic exclusion. Issues of youth development were neither prioritised nor institutionalised during the pre-1994 period.

During that period, issues of youth development were left mainly to civil society and youth organisations, and never found expression within apartheid government structures or legislation policies and their programmes. The challenges of youth development over the last decade have resembled the extent to which the apartheid legacy sought to entrench itself in the socioeconomic and sociopolitical life of South Africans.

Resolving the challenges of youth development requires an approach anchored on integration, sustainability, responsiveness, and the demand and aspirations of the country's youth. The approach in this regard must not only be to confront current challenges of the national economy, but to confront the internal issues that hinder growth and development in a way that would meet the developmental needs of our people in general, and young people in particular.

We need to strengthen the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, in its work to promote participation of young people in the economy through targeted and integrated programmes. We acknowledge that the NYDA is committed in promoting access to quality education and skills to both youth in school and out of school through work and life skills programmes.

This has made significant progress in promoting entrepreneurship among people, targeting youth aged between 18 and 35 in helping them start new businesses or growing existing ones. Social transformation must also mean that young people drive activities to build their social capital, networks and strengthen the relationship that bind people and communities together.

These activities will propel young people to reach their full personal goals and develop their full capacity. This will ensure that young people are aware of themselves, their rights and their responsibilities. The youth are undoubtedly the custodians of the future of South Africa. Therefore, they have a responsibility to ensure that they are comprehensively prepared for the future and leadership roles.

It is noticeable that, through social transformation, youth development has assumed centre stage in our country since democracy began. However, there is an acknowledgement that, despite such general commitment towards youth development, the absence of institutional and programmatic capacity to address youth development has meant that the historic backlogs created by apartheid persist.

The strategic objective of the ANC continues to be the liberation of the majority of our people: working people; the urban and rural poor; youth; women; and people with physical challenges. The ANC is committed to developing ways that seek to better the lives of all, especially the rural youth through the elimination of hunger; illiteracy; improving the quality and access to education; health services; and the creation of jobs.

In doing so, we must ensure that ANC's young cadres must support government by aligning ANC efforts with the objectives of government for our common benefit. In all these things, we must highlight the role played by the ANC youth cadres as agencies and drivers of transformation.

Our attack on poverty must seek to empower young people to take themselves out of poverty while creating adequate social security nets to protect the most vulnerable of our youth.

We must commend the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, for her ground-breaking proposal that the country should create a national service where young people would gradually be absorbed into the training facilities and gain more skills in order to get opportunities for decent work. [Interjectoins.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order, order!

Ms L S MAKHUBELA-MASHELE: The ANC recognises the importance of the family as an institution. Steps must be taken to ensure that its centrality in advancing and preserving human solidarity must be promoted at all costs. The institution of the family is a unit of mutual support towards raising principled individuals of high moral standards and values; for therein lies a virtuous social transformation.

As a young woman, I re-emphasise the need to ensure that young women also obtain technical and scientific skills in the study of science and technology. South African women face specific challenges and, in particular, difficulties in society today.

The youth constitute a large portion of the South African population. We are a resourceful sector of society with diverse needs. Our government has to meet the consistent challenging needs of young people - the rural youth, urban youth, and youth with physical and other disabilities.

In conclusion, we as youth must be the centre of social transformation as one of the motive forces to ensure that, together, we build a national democratic and caring society. The Youth Month debate affords us the opportunity to reflect on the historical role of the youth within the social transformation discourse, its challenges and achievements.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot "uneducated" a person who has learnt to read; you cannot humiliate a person who feels proud; and you cannot oppress people who are not afraid anymore.

As young people, at all times and under all circumstances, we have the power to transform the quality of our lives. For social transformation creates space for effective social change. We are the future, and the future is ours. I thank you. [Applause.]

MR S MOKGALAPA


MS L S MAKHUBELA-MASHELE

Mr S MOKGALAPA: Hon Chairperson, it is quite an honour and privilege to speak on this important topic. In nine days time, Africa and the world will be celebrating one of the most historic events in the form of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. We never in our wildest dreamS thought that it would happen in Africa, and in South Africa.

This means that the 2010 Fifa World Cup is relevant in addressing the needs of the youth. However, let us focus on the reality on the ground. For a nation such as ours that has a rich diversity, the 2010 Fifa World Cup should be used to empower this generation. The youth should have been involved in all phases of the World Cup processes, from the decision-making, infrastructure development, skills development, and, most importantly, employment opportunities.

Let us frankly assess how the 2010 Fifa World Cup should have been used to create opportunities and address the needs of young people. Firstly, with regard to unemployment the shocking statistics reveal that South African youth contribute to 72% of unemployed people in this country. About 3,1 million youth are unemployed, 35% of the South African population is the youth and this translates to about 16,3 million people of whom 36% are jobless.

This is due to a lack of skills and poor education, and the question is: What has the Local Organising Committee, LOC, done to assist young people with learnerships or in-service training to empower young people in information technology, infrastructure and engineering? If the answer is no, then the World Cup means nothing to the South African youth.

Secondly, this concerns education whereby only 15% of the Grade 12 learners who pass are able to enter university; only 5% of them graduate from tertiary education; and most of them drop out. What has been done by the Fifa World Cup organisers to ensure that the education level of our people is improved and that they invest in our youth by offering them bursaries?

The World Cup has taken much of the time of learners and they will be two months behind schedule at school while busy focusing on the World Cup.

The third issue is that of crime. South Africa's youth experience violent crime on a daily basis. Murder and residential robberies have increased, which shows that there is a lot of antisocial behaviour among our youth. The youth incarceration levels have increased yearly. The World Cup should have been used to address these issues by giving the young people hope and skills to sustain themselves.

Fourthly, with regard to the issue of health, most of the young people have no access to health care. The growing number of teenage pregnancies, high levels of HIV/Aids and drug and alcohol abuse among our youth is a source of concern.

Most young people in South Africa experience physical and psychological trauma due to gender-based violence and sexual abuse. Awareness campaigns are urgently needed and the World Cup should have been used as the platform to communicate with the youth about these issues.

Lastly, rural youth development is another issue which the World Cup should be addressing in order to breach the growing gap between the urban and rural youth. This event is inaccessible to the rural youth with most of them having no means to enjoy the World Cup. The tickets are too expensive and even the Bafana Bafana T-shirts are too costly; they cannot afford them.

They still hope that one day they might be rescued from their plight and do not even have a sense of feeling that the World Cup is here in their country. The National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, is inaccessible to the rural youth. While on a mobilisation visit of the World Cup in Lichtenburg in the North West, last week ... [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, order!

Mr S MOKGALAPA: ... found that the World Cup is even unknown to them, with community members saying, "We hope that after the World Cup maybe there will be improvements in our small village; maybe the eyes of our officials will now be opened to poverty in the rural South Africa."

This means that the people in rural areas don't feel it; they feel left out. One youth member even said, "I do not know anything about the World Cup; I don't even know the players. It is not often that anything happens. It only happens in townjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, can you take your seat for a moment. Hon members, please, you might not like what the hon member is saying, but you can also be orderly, please. Let other members hear what the hon member is saying.

Mr S MOKGALAPA: The LOC of the South African Football Association, Safa, together with the government should ensure that this World Cup leaves behind a lasting legacy for young South Africans by developing soccer academies in every rural area and maintaining the existing urban structures. This is possible for the youth through the proceeds from this World Cup, rather than sharing the proceeds amongst themselves.

In conclusion, we welcome this 2010 Fifa World Cup and we are 100% behind Bafana Bafana. We wish them well and the sky is the limit for them. If they put everything into it, they can make it. Feel it, it's here! Ke nako! Let's celebrate African humanity. I thank you.

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: I rise on a point of order, Chair, if I may. There are members there, who are gesticulating, pulling faces and acting like three-year-olds. This is the National Assembly, I would ask you to please attempt to instruct the ANC members on how to behave in the House.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): I think this is what I've been trying to say, hon member, that we can dislike things that other members are saying, but we can also be orderly. Please, let us be orderly.

Ms A MDA


Mr S MOKGALAPA

Ms A MDA: House Chairperson and hon members. Let me start by saying, "Feel it, it is here South Africa".

This debate takes place 34 years after the 1976 Soweto uprisings which was one of the most political activities that had been seen in this country. These uprisings were led by young people who proved beyond doubt that the young person can be a dedicated builder of a society, can achieve that and can give all his life to achieve the needs of the society.

We depart from this debate today by saying that the announcement of the hosting for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which took place in Zurich in May 2004, was awaited with bated bread breath by all South Africans. When Fifa President Sepp Blatter finally announced that for the first time in history this event will be held on African soil, in South Africa to be exact, we all ululated in joy as we were predicting that it was a rare opportunity that would bring about change in many ways to South Africans than ever expected.

Every young person in this country across the urban and rural divide started to pent their respective goals to be achieved taking advantage of this big event ever to come to their land. There were dreams for some to do unique artwork which would get tourists to empty their pockets; others were banking on exposure for their poorly marketed tourist attractions which would make better profits if tourists visited them.

Amongst those who had hopes and wishes were the unemployed young graduates ranging from engineers, architects, artisans and many more, who were counting on this event to create sustainable jobs.

On 10 May 2004, the Deputy President of South Africa, hon Jacob Zuma, addressing a 2010 World Cup bid farewell banquet, said:

The benefits of this project to our nation to be so enormous that would take the whole evening outlining what contribution does hosting the World Cup mean and what would it make of our programme to alleviate poverty, creating jobs and generally in social upliftment.

He further said:

The economic spin-offs of this tournament for Southern African Development Community, SADC, region are enormous as well; and it will fit in with our objectives of working for a sustainable development, not only of our country but for our continent as well. Our victory is, therefore, a victory of our sister countries in this region as well.

Indeed, Africa is celebrating this big event taking place in its shores but the critical question that must be asked first is, "Are young people in this country having anything to celebrate or to show for South Africa hosting this event? This event,through its own legacy, must be able to respond to this critical question confronting the young people of this country.

In our attempt to respond to this question, we must be able to understand that the legacy of this event cannot just be limited to infrastructural development. When bidding for this event, however, the creation of jobs, alleviation of poverty, etc, were the anticipated benefits.

We believe that the conditions of young people in this country in just nine days before the kick-off are as they were six years ago when we were still bidding to host this event. This clearly demonstrates how we treat matters concerning young people's interest as secondary and this is a serious indictment all of us in this august House.

This World Cup event was an amazing opportunity to expose our young people's talent, skills and uniqueness but, again, little has been done in this regard. Our young people remain at the periphery in as far as benefiting from this event is concerned.

The fanfare that characterised the hosting of this event by South Africa has been short-lived for our young people. Many of our youth in rural areas, when on 11 June match starts between South Africa and Mexico, will not have anything to show for it because no mechanisms would have been devised to ensure that this event is enjoyed by all South African young people from host cities and non-hosting cities across the country.

This is despite the fact that sport and recreation offer a sense of hope and can make dreams a reality in many instances. Our rural youth continue to yearn for sporting facilities in order to fulfil their dreams of playing at the professional level, but their last hope that having the 2010 Fifa World Cup hosted in South Africa would change the situation for the better has, yet, to yield results as awaited.

It is our view that sport has deep roots within South Africa, especially within disadvantaged communities where violence and crime are most evident. It is therefore essential for South Africa to wake up and see this critical link and indeed make use of it. Sport has the ability to join the separate parts of this nation and get rid of social evils that are destroying our young people and the legacy that we have inherited. It is in this regard that we must remember how the 1996 World Cup united South African people beyond party and racial lines.

Sport possesses a special power and the capacity to change a person's life by improving psychological and physical wellbeing. It offers a sense of belonging and connectedness to orphans, street children; it teaches teamwork, sharing, discipline and respect for playing by the rules. Sport is, indeed, a universal language that can help bridge the divides and promote core values necessary for lasting peace in our society.

On the playing field, cultural differences and political agendas dissolve and melt away. This is the most magical thing that sport can do in our society. Sport is therefore a tool with which we can create unity and transcend racial barriers, as was beautifully depicted on last Saturday when the Blue Bulls were playing at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. It was something that was making history for the first time in this country.

Through hosting this World Cup, our government should adopt a new strategy to advance youth development through sport as this will deal with a lot of the socioeconomic conditions that are faced by young people in this country. At the centre of this agenda should be the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, which has a duty to advocate this.

We wish all South African players in the Bafana Bafana team good luck and we are fully behind them.

MS S P LEBENYA-NTANZI


Ms A MDA

Ms S P LEBENYA-NTANZI: Chairperson, the World Cup soccer tournament is an opportunity for successful teams of various nations of the world to display the talent of their youth. The tournament has undoubtedly become one of the premier opportunities for various nations of the world to display their national unity, cohesion and pride.

The 2010 World Cup takes place in our country, and is the first of its kind on the continent of Africa. This is a moment of great significance and, indeed, it instils in all of us a great sense of pride and contentment to be able to host the world-renowned tournament.

Successful nations invest a lot in their youth because they realise that the youth are the future of every nation. They not only do so in the area of sport, but they do so holistically in the overall development of their youth; be it in education, skills development and training or health. Therefore it is important to contextualise the standard of performance of our national team, Bafana Bafana, as it somehow truly reflects our nation's contribution to the development of our youth.

Sesotho:

Naheng ena re theile National Youth Development Agency ho etella pele matsete a naha ya rona ntshetsopeleng e phethahetseng ya batjha Aforika Borwa. Se re ngongorehisang haholo ke hore ha re eso utlwe kapa ho bona mananeo afe kapa afe a thakgotsweng ke National Youth Development Agency a reretsweng ho sebetsa le Fifa ho thakgola mananeo a ntshetsopele ya batjha.

English:

This Parliament appropriates huge chunks of money for education and the majority of the beneficiaries in this regard are the youth. Apart from this, there are other programmes across government from which the youth benefit.

While we recognise this reality, the fact is that there is still a lot to do to enable our youth, who for no fault of their own, were bypassed by development and now need to catch up. We need to be mindful of the statistical reality that the majority of the citizens of this country are both women and young people. These two segments of our society are the most marginalised.

Statistics that have been recently quoted in the Business Day are frightening. These statistics reflect that about 2,5 million youth aged 18 to 24 are neither working nor in any kind of education and training - most have dropped out of school early; only 46% of them remained in school long enough to write matric; and only 60% passed. South Africa's rate of unemployment is estimated at 26%, and the youth make up 70% of this figure.

The IFP feels that it is, therefore, important to look at what impact the 2010 World Cup will have on youth development, and whether it will deliver on the hopes and dreams of the millions of unemployed young people of this country.

Youth development remains one of the complex challenges facing democratic South Africa. Sixteen years after the transition to democracy, it is young people who are most severely affected by negative socioeconomic factors such as HIV and Aids, the high level of unemployment, poverty, unplanned pregnancies and a lack of participation in political and economic development processes.

Sesotho:

Mothating ona, ka Mohope wa Lefatshe le kamora wona, mekga ya bohanyetsi le mekgatlo ya batjha e na le monyetla o fetang yohle e kileng ya ba teng, wa ho sebetsa mmoho ho rarolla diphephetso tseo batjha ba tobaneng le tsona naheng ya rona.

Ho hlokeha sebete le boitshepo ho ntshetsapele sepheo se le seng sa ho netefatsa hore batjha ba naha ena ba nka seabo ka ho lekana moruong le dipolotiking.

English:

Therefore let us recognise that even though there will be some benefit for our youth through the hosting of this soccer extravaganza, we must use this opportunity to utilise the power of football to build a brighter future for our youth beyond the 2010 World Cup.

Sesotho:

Ha ke diela dikgala, IFP e lakaletsa Bafana Bafana katleho. Re kgothalletsa batjha ho tswa ka makgalo ho ya tshehetsa dipapadi tsena tsa bolo tsa pele tsa mofuta wa tsona. Dikgomo!

MR M C MANANA


MS S P LEBENYA-NTANZI

Mr M C MANANA: Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon Members of the NA and distinguished guests, the pleasure will be mine to take this House through the legacy of the youth in bringing about a democratic South Africa.

I would firstly mention that 66 years ago, Anton Lembede, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, A P Mda, Mxolisi Majombozi, and many others were profoundly aware of the challenges facing the youth of their generation. They then agreed to form the African National Congress Youth League, ANCYL, because they were a generation that was cognisant of the interconnectedness between the liberation and development of South Africa and that of the African continent.

They believed that Africans would be freed only by their own efforts, and they aimed to involve the masses of our people in militant struggles. There was the assurance that the African youth would not allow the struggles and sacrifices of their forefathers to perish. They said it then and we are saying now that we will continue from where they left off in bringing about a thorough emancipation of our people.

The year 1976 was even more historic, as the youth of our country correctly identified the challenges and tasks they had to confront. Today, 34 years later, our youth are once again faced with the obligation of identifying the challenges and tasks they confront. As much as it was a reality that the youth of 1976 had to go into exile to train as soldiers of liberation, it should then dawn on us today to use our talents to mobilise and campaign for the advancement and development of our country and the African continent as a whole.

The nation expects the youth of today to follow in the footsteps of the 1976 youth and become agents of change in the continuing struggle to achieve the goal of a better life for all our people.

We have the common responsibility to always recall the events of 1976, so that the bravery and sacrifices of that generation of young people should serve as an inspiration to the present day youth to work hard in contributing to the solution of the challenges they and our nation confront.

Today we are hosting the Fifa World Cup because of great sacrifices. We are free today because of the blood that had to be spilled in our black townships. This freedom did not come cheap and there was no room for amagwala [cowards]. It is on these grounds that I make this clarion call to all young people to defend and guard this freedom, which has, in turn, brought about many opportunities for them in the democratic order. Had it not been for the efforts of our movement, the ANC, hosting the Fifa World Cup would be a phantom dream.

The youth of 1944 helped to mobilise and unite the young people of our country, behind the perspective that the goal of national unity must be the guiding ideal of every young African's life. And our youth must rally behind the ANC, which is destined for a great purpose and mission.

The youth of 1976 helped to mobilise and unite the youth of our country to become part of the disciplined vanguard forces of our revolution, under the leadership of the ANC. They were serving as dedicated and gallant fighters in the forward ranks of our revolutionary struggle. This happened while continuously improving their level of competence in all fields in which they were involved, whether politically, militarily, academically or administratively.

The legacy of freedom bestowed on our people by the sacrifices of the youth of 1944 and 1976, has placed additional responsibility on the youth of today. This was to defend and help entrench the value system that inspired the earlier generations of our youth. That value system was based on a set of moral injunctions that prescribed that the revolutionary youth must be inspired by one objective and one objective only. The objective was to serve the people of South Africa, with no expectation in terms of personal wealth, power, position or prestige.

The achievement of political democracy in 1984 was the nexus for the militant youth of the predemocratic era. The adoption of the democratic dispensation in 1994 brought to the fore a different set of new challenges for the youth in general. The challenge, from a political perspective, was to actively participate in the newly established political and economic structures and to make a meaningful contribution towards the future of the country.

It is now 16 years into our democracy and the youth continue to face challenges. Participation in national debates, policy formulation and political structures brings with it the need to sharpen skills and capacity on a continuous basis. The dialectics that need to be understood is that state power, as an instrument for effecting change, has huge potential for the youth, whilst at the same time it has limitations.

It is therefore an undisputed truth that the youth of South Africa contributed in liberating the people of South Africa from the system of colonialism and apartheid. Given this contribution in deepening and advancing constitutional democracy in our country, youth development has to be central in the developmental agenda of the state. The impact of this should, in effect, generate the South African youth to participate in deepening democracy and shaping the direction of our country.

The youth must invigorate their interaction to build a strong political consciousness grounded on the principles of our democracy. They should always be willing to shoulder more responsibilities in dealing with the complexities of practical political problems. These responsibilities require the kind of youth who are definitive and who understand that the future lies in their hands. This requires new thinking, perspectives and strategic ways to be formulated and carried out with skill and dexterity.

The ANCYL made its mark at the 2003 Growth and Development Summit through its submission that the different social partners, that is, government, business and labour, are acutely aware that the problem of unemployment is essentially a youth problem. Like their forebears, the youth of today take seriously the words of Moses Kotane, when he said, and I quote:

The future will be what you make of it.

The youth of South Africa are born against a background whereby the previous generation was instrumental in shaping the political landscape of this country. Previous generations were the foot soldiers of the armed struggle. Our youth, therefore, have a primary obligation to defend our democracy that brought about this World Cup. As this manifests itself, the youth must set the agenda in the national public discourse, as they remain the opinion-makers who must influence the direction of our national development and growth.

The design of democracy is, however, not enough if citizens only engage periodically with the diverse processes of democracy. If young people feel that politicians do not engage with them on challenges that they face, they will not participate actively in the democratic process.

We must, therefore, in this national youth month, pledge that we will mobilise the youth of our country to focus on the task of developing and building the nation. Also, we must prepare the conditions for our youth to participate enthusiastically in democratic processes, informed by the knowledge that their hopes rest in the democratic order.

This call was endorsed by President Zuma, when he said at the launch of the National Youth development Agency, NYDA, a year ago, that he expects the NYDA to, amongst other things, assist in promoting the youth with participating in democratic processes, community and civic decision-making and development at all levels.

The youth are well positioned to play a significant role in further consolidating democratic gains associated with nation-building. We know, as a matter of fact, that only 60% of the South African population ranges between the ages of 14 and 35 years, which in itself clearly explains why the youth in this country should remain central in the national efforts to consolidate democratic gains and advance the developmental agenda of our state.

In an article published in Inkundla ya Bantu, the first President of the ANCYL, Anton Lembede, said, and I quote:

We need young men and women of high moral stamina and integrity, of courage and vision. In short, we need warriors. This means that we have to develop a new type of youth, the type of youth that will achieve the national liberation of the African people.

The ANC's policy position is buttressed by the notion of ensuring a better life for all, even when it comes to youth development, as it tends to be more sympathetic towards the marginalised youth.

The ANC policy regarding youth and youth development is the one based on basic values of democracy, nonracialism, respect for human dignity, nonsexism and tolerance.

Young people by their very nature are part of the society that absorbs and transforms cultural values from one generation to another. The youth of 1976 earned the honoured title of the "Young Lions" because of what they did to contribute to the liberation of the nation from apartheid and white minority rule.

The youth of 2010 must again earn this honoured title "Young Lions" because of what they are doing to rid the nation of the legacy of apartheid. This is also to end the scourge of poverty and underdevelopment, which continue to imprison many of our fellow citizens, both young and old.

We remain resolute, determined and committed, like the youth that came before us, to do everything possible to advance the struggle to achieve a better life for all.

We must look to the visionary youth of 1994 and those of successive generations for inspiration and guidance, as we ready ourselves to host our visitors during the Fifa World Cup. We may not need to employ the same methods as those of previous generations of youth, but we can draw on the rich tradition of activism, innovation, organisation and intellectual engagement that they embodied.

His Excellency, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said, and I quote:

We should seek to emulate in our actions their determination, steadfast commitment, selflessness, humility and readiness to sacrifice.

As we recall the momentous achievements of the youth of this country, we are challenged to define the contribution that this generation of youth will make to advance the cause of our people towards a better life for all. We are challenged to examine what it is that history asks of this generation of young people and to demonstrate how this generation will respond.

We salute those among the youth, who have played a leading role over the decades. Underneath this land lie their bones, their blood still smells fresh and their spirit lives with us forever. They have made it possible for us to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Good luck Bafana Bafana! I thank you. [Applause.]

MR N M KGANYAGO


Mr M C MANANA

Mr N M KGANYAGO: Chairperson and hon members, as I said in this House yesterday, the surest measure of a successful state are the health and happiness of its children. As we celebrate Youth Month, it is most appropriate that we will also be showcasing our country to the world in a month-long festival of soccer. The skill and youthful exuberance of soccer is a demonstration of the energy and vibrancy of the youth.

We need to ask ourselves deep and far-reaching questions about how we approach the question of the youth in all policy matters. The suggestion, for instance, that national service might be helpful to the youth has merit. However it is incorrect to claim that national service would give the youth the discipline to refrain from participating and leading community protests over service delivery.

We need to recognise that the youth have a legitimate claim to challenging the status quo, and that vast numbers of them are loitering in the streets in search of meaningful employment. We also need to understand that the entire democratic project loses its legitimacy if it does not provide the next generation with hope.

The South African youth are coming into their adulthood at a time of freedom. They are born at a time when they can look upon the moral victory of democracy over tyranny. They are on the cusp of taking custody of the legacy of such giants as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Few generations can claim to have been born into a time of such opportunity. It is our duty, as the previous generation, to help them nurture and grow this country.

The youth grasp their place in history much better than many of us realise. Their frustration at being locked out of the economic and social life of society stems from the realisation that there is much they can and must achieve.

During this Youth Month we should collectively focus our attention on unlocking and throwing wide open the doors of opportunity so that the energy of the youth can carry our nation to a better and more prosperous future. Ke a leboga. [Thank you.] [Applause.]

Mr M I MALALE


Mr N KGANYAGO

Mr M I MALALE: Chairperson, hon members of the House, I think today, 2 June, is a wonderful day. In fact, it is the day on which young students in China protested for the emergence of democracy in their land. Ordinary people in that land, about a hundred thousands ordinary inhabitants of China, felt it was important to rally behind the cause of democracy, and they stood at Tiananmen Square on that day, resolutely blocking a force of ten thousand men carrying guns, some driving tanks.

Those people were inspired by the spirit of freedom and democracy. As I speak today, the young workers of China are beginning, under the nose of unions that are sponsored by the State, to galvanise themselves to stand up for human rights for the workers, and that is the hope we must talk about as young people.

Manana spoke so well and mentioned great luminaries of our own struggle, people who believed in inspiration, who did not become pessimistic because at that point it seemed so impossible that we could have freedom. They formed the ANC; they radicalised the ANC in 1949. Who are we then today, that when our role is so small - just to deepen democracy, just to defend democracy - to say the World Cup does not bring us anything? In fact, Bafana Bafana is a team of young people; we are the beneficiaries.

The roads that have been constructed are going to be enjoyed by our nation. The stadia will never go with the World Cup; they will remain with our people. Any enlightened inhabitant of our society must come to a level of recognising that. I think I would agree with hon Mda. She spoke so well about the World Cup today, and I think she must advise hon Mokgalapa, who is utilising just a single media snippet to suggest that South Africans are not familiar with the great political, economic and social significance of this World Cup.

I think that is the misrepresentation of the reality in which we live. We hope that we will cultivate positive thinking amongst particularly Parliamentarians, because we are gradually turning this House into a platform to peddle newspaper articles. We are not elevating our engagement to speak about strategic issues of our society.

I think we have that duty; we must break out of the mould of artificial, oppositional politics where if an ANC member speaks you must howl, or if an ANC member sees a DA speaker he must howl. That is not how we must cultivate democracy, we must go beyond that now. We must try to show that we, as the youth of this country, have a duty to advance towards a nonracial society; a society in which we believe in the sanctity of the idea that whether one is in the ANC or in Cope, one must be able to engage and that this is the platform for doing so. That is very important.

With regard to Aids, statistics all over are creating a certain impression about our situation. It is suggested that every day about 1 600 people die of Aids and 1 500 become infected. Someone who spoke here said that South Africans are not aware of the scourge of Aids; that is not true. In the 1980s, yes, it might have been true, but not now. Where we live, in our families, in our communities, people are dying. We are well aware of that reality. We are making things very difficult in this democracy.

When I am a patient going to hospital now, I don't know what my ailment is. When I arrive in hospital, if a medical practitioner, who has been trained to examine my disease, enters the office, examines me and says, "Ishmael, you are HIV positive," would that infringe on my human right to privacy? Would that infringe on my human right to physical integrity? I don't think so. It will advance my health situation so that I am able to contribute to a better life in our land.

I think those are the issues that this society must tackle. That is a society of young people regardless of political affiliation and age. In fact, the young people of progressive youth formations are saying that these great revolutionaries in the ANC, who fought for freedom, began showing obvious political sympathies at the age of 14. Now, however, in terms of universal adult suffrage, there are people who are 16 years of age, who really have clear ideas about democracy, yet they do not have access to that political right.

The youth in the Youth League are saying, "Let's expand the frontiers of involvement of youth in politics." That is what this Parliament must debate. We are challenging our colleagues to engage in that debate so that we can get into to a lot of engagement. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mrs C DUDLEY


MR M I MALALE

Ms C DUDLEY: Chairperson, South Africa is a democracy, and we thank God that now our youth's focus does not have to be on tearing down the system, but on building it up. While political parties choose to regard youth as people under the age of 35, they are nevertheless from the age of 18 years, men and women of responsibility and we should expect respect and nurture such a mindset.

The challenges the youth of today face are as important as the challenges youth had faced at any time in history. These challenges will require of them a determination and bravery, second to none. The youth of today should not be expected to walk in the shadow of a past generation. They should be valued for who they are and what they bring to this moment in time.

This year, as we commemorate Youth Day, we turn our focus to youth development in the context of the 2010 Fifa World Cup legacy. Part of the legacy of the Soccer World Cup is to extend the benefits to the whole continent. It should not only be experienced by ourselves as the host nation.

Imperative in carrying this legacy forward is the upright stature of Africa's youth; they will set the tone for the future of the African continent.

Fifa's Football for Hope movement, which uses the game for social change will involve youth from 50 organisations in 35 countries, chosen not for their skill on the pitch, but for their contribution to social change in disadvantaged communities. They will be playing football, but without a referee. Any disagreements between the teams will be resolved through, I am told, dialogue.

They will tackle issues of ethnic violence in Israel and Palestine, environmental pollution in the slums of Kenya, HIV/aids education in South Africa, landmine education in Cambodia and a gang culture in Ecuadore - off the pitch, we imagine!

The ACDP wishes this ground-breaking event taking place in Alexandria during the final week of the 2010 Fifa World Cup every success. We, however, as footballers and as those who have participated in this game of life, have found through experience that referees can be very useful in minimising potential damage.

In everyday life, a "referee" can be a policeman, a judge or even one's own self-discipline and conscience; and these qualities are best nurtured within a family environment.

The ACDP wholly agrees with the Youth Development Month message, and calls on society to strengthen relationships within families to create a safe and caring setting that enables young people to have more positive and healthier lifestyles.

Youth development in South Africa is everyone's responsibility, including young people themselves and no amount of rhetoric can replace hard work and integrity. Young people, who have broken free from poverty and distress, have done so with the help of an attitude and determination to succeed.

These are the moral values which will ensure that the youth of today are best placed to build a caring society and extend the legacy of the Fifa World Cup to benefit our neighbours and the whole of the African continent. Feel it, it is here, South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]

MS N W A MICHAEL


MS C DUDLEY

Ms N W A MICHAEL: Chairperson and hon members, it gives me great pleasure to stand here today on behalf of the DA and address this House during this celebration debate on Youth Day.

In 1976, we saw the greatest acts of bravery shown by any generation for the liberation of our country. Young people stood up, united and said, "This far, but no further". Although I was not born in 1976, it is thanks to the bravery of those young men and women that I enjoyed the education that I did and that I stand before you here today in a democratic and free Parliament.

One of the messages that I would like to bring to this debate today is the importance of the youth vote. Too many people died to give us the right to vote for us not to exercise this right. Our debt of gratitude for the bravery and self-sacrifice can only be repaid by us, the youth of South Africa, by being responsible democrats and voting in our country's election. Your vote does count, your voice is strong, and your country does need you.

The youth of our country face many problems and many dangers. Unemployment and crime are but two of the dangerous problems we face on a daily basis. However, the biggest scourge facing our youth today is human trafficking.

When I was asked to explain to a group of young teenagers what human trafficking is, my description was this: It is modern-day slavery, be it for sexual purposes, forced labour, to repay debt, or in some cases, for the harvesting of human organs. Human trafficking is the sickest that our society can be. It is the absolute worst form of human behaviour. How do we stop it? By standing up and repeating the words of 1976, "This far, but no further".

Many South Africans have questioned our lack of law regarding human trafficking. I am relieved that Parliament has tabled the human trafficking law. Although it is disappointing that this law took so long to be drafted and tabled, we cannot, as responsible legislators, rush through this law.

It is of paramount importance that the law is clear concise and implementable. Although the worry exists that human trafficking will occur during the Fifa World Cup, the reality is that human trafficking occurs on a daily basis. We, as Members of Parliament, have to draft legislation to protect our people every day, not just during the World Cup.

We do, however, take comfort in the fact that existing legislationing including the Sexual Offences Act and the Children's Act, will assist officers of the law to take action against those taking part in human trafficking. We thank organisations including the International Organisation for Migration and other safe houses for assisting the victims of human trafficking.

It does, however, remain our responsibility to keep our youth safe. Although it can be an uncomfortable topic, speak to children about the dangers of human trafficking. Let them know what lies can be told to lure them away from areas of safety.

Encourage outings in groups, as opposed to boys or girls walking around alone. Ensure that young boys and young men understand that human trafficking does not only affect girls and women - all young people are vulnerable.

Human trafficking does not only occur when people are smuggled in or out of our country. It happens within our borders. For example, a person could be kidnapped in Limpopo and human trafficked to Kwa-Zulu-Natal or to Gauteng; we must be aware and ready to take action.

The government must make sure that information is distributed widely, indicating who to contact if you suspect human trafficking is happening or become a victim yourself.

Let us live by the mantra, "Your sister is my sister, your brother is my brother and your child is my child". Together, as South Africans, let's look after each other. Let us protect each other and safely grow our youth into tomorrow's future, today. I thank you. [Applause.]

MS M N MATLADI


MS N W A MICHAEL

Ms M N MATLADI: We commemorate Youth Month and Youth Day as the direct result of the events of 16 June 1976. As we do so, I would like us to remember and give thought to the words uttered by Mrs Nombulelo Makhubu, mother to Mbuyisa Makhubu, an 18-year-old boy who carried a dying Hector Peterson.

Mma Makhubu said that Mbuyisa is or was her son -

... but he is not a hero. In my culture picking up Hector wasn't an act of heroism, it was his job as a brother. If he would have left Hector on the ground and someone saw him jumping over him, he would have never have been able to live here.

I stated Mma Makhubu's words because we need more Mbuyisas in the youth of our country - more than we ever did before. Picking Hector up was not an act of heroism, but an act of brotherhood that characterised the youth of that era. The challenges that the youth fought against then still persist today, probably in a different form and manner.

Our youth face unemployment and poverty, but instead of seeing the legacy of brotherhood left by Mbuyisa and his likes, we see youth leaders who are so self-absorbed, greedy and corrupt that they cannot pause for a moment and pay attention to the plight of their brothers and sisters. They enrich themselves with corrupt gains from tenders and cannot see the poverty that is killing their counterparts.

This month, we pray for a consciousness that would recall the sacrifices of the youth of yesteryear and the richness that comes from laying your life down for your fellow. We pray for youth leaders that do not claim to be heroes and leaders when they could not pick up a dying Hector. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms S T NDABENI


MS M N MATLADI

Ms S T NDABENI: Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, guests and the secretary of the ANC from the Eastern Cape Province, comrade Mabuyana, feel it, it is here!

In the life of a nation, there arise men who leave an indelible and eternal stamp on the history of their peoples, men who are both products and makers of history. And when they pass they leave a vision of a new and better life and the tools with which to win and build it.

These are not just ordinary words; they are words that were used by Dr Dadoo when describing Moses Kotane. Are we then that youth today, given the current challenges of the century? An honest response coupled with serious introspection will make future generations really proud of us.

The challenges facing young people within the economic realm are multifaceted. For instance, the majority of unemployed young people experience long-term unemployment. Even those who are employed are concentrated in the service sector and tend to work in temporary positions. Racial and gender contradictions manifest themselves as Africans experience higher rates of unemployment compared to their counterparts in other race groups, and women relative to men.

It has also been suggested that youth self-employment could help to achieve youth development, employment creation and poverty reduction. For the majority of those who cannot access wage employment, the alternative to unemployment is self-employment. However, this appears to be an option chosen only by a small proportion of young people, despite the high unemployment rate among them.

As we are in the month of the official start of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, it is in order to remember what was said by one of the African revolutionaries in an economic summit of his country, the late Moses Samora Machel:

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

[Applause.]

I am deliberately quoting him as we are to witness the first Fifa Soccer World Cup on our beloved continent, Africa.

A thriving economy should reflect the natural endowments of the country and the creativity that a skilled population can offer. It should be an economy in which cutting edge technology, labour-absorbing industrial development, a thriving small and co-operative sector, utilisation of information and communication technologies and different forms of production and management are combined to ensure national prosperity.

This is conditional on ensuring that the brains and brawn of all society are brought to bear on all economic activities. It requires deracialising ownership and control of wealth, management and professions.

From the fundamental principles of building an economy utilising all the available factors of production, the youth is an integral component of ensuring that attainment of transformation, which is being sought in the national democratic revolution. The South African nation is called to encourage, harness and incorporate the creativity, daring and energy of the youth into its endeavours. This relates to such issues as access to social and economic opportunities, engendering activism around development and values of community solidarity as well as creating the space for youth activity to thrive.

While the national democratic revolution creates an environment for discharging potential capabilities, it also recognises the youth as one of the motive forces of production in line with the character of a national democratic society. Such a character includes local economic development, research and development, job creation and skills development.

In the quest to realise these objectives and in pursuit of its major task of a better life for the youth, the ANC Youth League has placed itself at the centre of the broadest spectrum of youth organisations for the advancement of a youth agenda in areas of social and economic transformation.

The manifesto of the ANC at its last congress correctly noted the challenges and the way forward. It is against this background that the government has to ensure that the agency is at the centre of the developmental programme of the government, and that this agency is capacitated and resourced to provide leadership in encouraging youth participation in production and developmental activities.

While the economic development of young people remains critically important because it is a matter of economic survival and advancement, the government would have to promote issues relating to social elements of youth development. These are issues of spiritual and cultural development, which are vital for societal development.

The right of the youth to be involved and contribute to their development finds credence in a statement by the former President of the ANC Youth League. Responding to a question about the growing unemployment of young people in the country, Comrade Malusi Gigaba said:

There are specific interventions that we want our government to do on our behalf, supported by us and in partnership with us – the youth. You must also know that we are attending to the matter of self-employment because we would like the youth to become entrepreneurs. We would like to see a national consensus emerging on a national youth entrepreneurship strategy, with targets and clear time frames and support mechanisms. In this is also incorporated the idea of youth co-operatives.

[Interjections.]

Ms S T NDABENI: You wish, my darling! [Applause.]

The emphasis of the above response underscores the importance of economic participation as a critical national process for growth. The National Youth Development Agency, in partnership with government departments, has initiated and implemented programmes that are targeting the youth. Some of the programmes are earmarked for this year.

The programmes that I am talking about are as follows: The National Youth Service and volunteer programmes, which are aimed at young people for community development. In collaboration with 19 departments, it is encouraging to note that this programme has benefited more than 15 000 young people and the volunteer programme is in excess of 20 000.

The Expanded Public Works Programme has created more than 1,5 million work opportunities since its inception, of which 30% has benefited the youth mainly in infrastructure; the social environment and economic sectors; and youth advisory centres for career development and improving access to employment opportunities.

Over 1,1 million youth have benefited since the inception of this programme. The Targeted Skills Development Programme, is focusing on training interventions for young graduates. The projects are implemented through the FET colleges and NGOs.

With regard to economic participation for 2010 to 2011, the NYDA will focus on intensifying the National Youth Service Programme, the creation of business opportunities for young entrepreneurs, mentorship programmes, business consultancy vouchers and entrepreneurship education.

Various surveys and economic experts agree that unemployment mostly affects young persons in the age group of 17 to 24 years, in excess of 50%; and the age groups of 25 to 34 years, above 30%. Those who are employed are mainly in short-term, contractual jobs that do not offer job security or a skills transfer; and they do not belong to the trade unions.

Youth in rural areas face additional constraints, such as accessibility to services and facilities compared to their urban counterparts. These constraints result in the increasing migration of rural youth to urban areas and reproduce the cycle of rural poverty, hence the government has prioritised rural development.

To improve the economic circumstances of the youth requires the acknowledgement of the fact that various forms of employment are central to finding lasting solutions. Government has created several initiatives that are geared towards the participation of young persons in the mainstream economy.

Some of these initiatives have had a very limited impact as their implementation has not been aligned with similar programmes of other government agencies.

According to the National Youth Policy Framework, the absorption capacity of learnerships is insufficient to meet the demand from industry or to absorb the supply of young people requiring training.

Self-employed youth or aspiring young entrepreneurs face a variety of barriers to entry to trading if they are already in business. These include lack of appropriate business education, limited access to capital, lack of social or business networks or access to markets for their products and services as well as the availability of basic service facilities, especially for rural youth.

The lack of access to capital is one of the key barriers to youth participation in the economy. It is in that context that we are urging Members of Parliament to make sure that the newly enacted Money Bill is really put into practice to push for an effective National Youth Development Agency budget, in order to push away the frontiers of poverty facing young people.

It would be advisable that the national youth fund, under the national youth development agency, should create funding models that absorb high-risk premiums to make the cost of capital cheaper for potential youth entrepreneurs with sustainable business plans, compared to private sector financial institutions that do not, in most cases, fund high-risk projects.

I hope hon members will really understand the critical challenge faced by the NYDA. It is not an issue that can be debated, but it must be realised.

It is essential that the NYDA must be a catalyst for diverse and creative ideas that include other progressive stakeholders, in support of the overall objectives of the ANC-led government for advancing the development and empowerment of young people.

Oversight and other mechanisms created in the National Youth Development Agency Act should be used to ensure accountability of the agency to young people.

Needless to mention it, young people need to directly influence the process of appointing the people to govern the agency and operations of the board to deal with the challenges of education and agriculture. Indeed, an NYDA that is efficient is critical.

The role of the fourth democratic, activist Parliament is a must in advancing the national democratic revolution. For the benefit of the opposition, the National Democratic Revolution is a process of the struggle that seeks to transfer power to the people, and transform society into a nonracial, nonsexist, united and democratic one; that changes the manner in which wealth is shared, in order to benefit all the people. [Applause.]

In conclusion, today we are proud of the role played by the past generations and we want future generations to be proud of us. Hence I leave you to be always conscious of the seven things that will destroy us if we are not careful, as mentioned by Gandhi.

These are: politics without principles, science without humanity, religion without sacrifice, commerce without morality, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character and wealthy without work. Thank you. [Applause.]

MS S T NDABENI


Mr I M OLLIS

Mr I M OLLIS: Chairperson, hon colleagues, my name is Ian Ollis and I am here to recruit you! [Laughter.] The youth of South Africa need you, they need us, often in ways that we do not really expect or anticipate. They need role models to follow in order to understand their place in the world and, boy, do we often disappoint them!

The hon Malale did not like the fact that my colleague used one newspaper reference. Well, let me give him another one. This weekend the hon Deputy Minister of Transport, who has not bothered to stay for this debate on the youth, in exasperation at the landslide defeat of the ANC in by-elections in the Western Cape, said:

The (by-election) results are another warning to us. I think there have been very serious mistakes from the side of a certain organisation that is a league of the ANC ... or certain personalities in there.

Of course, the leaders of the ANC Youth League have been calling for the destruction of property in the Western Cape, which is appalling.

Afrikaans:

Maar dit is net een voorbeeld van die manier waarop die jeug deesdae teleurgestel word. Die VF Plus, wat ook nie hier is nie, sowel as sy bedmaat, die ANC, trek die jeug agteruit deur hul herhaaldelike verwysings na die verlede se probleme. Hulle het albei 'n patologiese verslawing aan die pyn en swaarkry van apartheid.

Daar is net drie woorde wat oorbly in die ANC se woordeskat – apartheid, Polokwane en rassisme. En hulle herhaal dit oor en oor en oor in hierdie Huis totdat die jeug die televisie se afstandbeheer gryp en die kanaal verander!

Die VF Plus is in dieselfde posisie. Hulle gee die jeug niks om na uit te sien nie, want hulle hak vas in die verlede. Dit is eintlik geen verassing dat die VF Plus en die ANC so heerlik saamwerk in die regering nie. Hulle leef die rasse-nasionalisme van die verlede uit – presies wat ons jeug nie nodig het nie.

Wat ons wel benodig is leierskap wat die jeug 'n droom gee van 'n toekoms waarin hulle kan glo. Sal dit nie wonderlik wees as ouers in hierdie land ons kinders hoop gee vir die toekoms nie?

In November verlede jaar het 'n vriendin van my, wat in 'n township grootgeword het, my in 'n restaurant vertel sy staan op die punt om na Londen-toe te vertrek. Haar redes was nie wat ek verwag het nie. Sy het gesê dat sy baie na aan haar ouers is, maar hulle leef in die verlede, en hulle kan nie aan die rassisme van die apartheidstyd ontkom nie. Sy kan dit nie meer vat nie, daarom verlaat sy die land. Sy het in Londen nou werk gekry. So verloor Suid-Afrika nog 'n belowende, jong, swart uitblinker wat hierdie land kon maak werk.

English:

Chairperson, parents and grandparents who are still holding onto the pain of the past do not have a free and open hand to grasp the opportunities of the future.

Another friend of mine told me last week that his grandmother has just declared that when the 2010 Fifa World Cup is over she intends burning down the house and the spaza shop of the illegal immigrant family that live at the end of the street! She feels that these illegal immigrants are taking job opportunities and housing space away from true South African families.

This kind of behaviour does not set a good example to our youth and it is, then, not surprising when we get the behaviour that the hon Deputy Minister of Transport, who is not here, was referring to this week. Shame!

So, I am here to recruit you to rise above the suffering of the past, to tell our young people about the extensive goodwill in this country, and to tell them that there are opportunities out there waiting for them so that they can excel. They can start new businesses, like Mark Shuttleworth did, and make it big in the international arena. They can succeed, like the 1995 South African rugby team did. They can build South Africa's first satellite and launch it into space, as they did at Stellenbosh University with the Sunsat project.

I am here to recruit you to set an example by telling our youth that they can and that they will succeed, and that their generation will rise above what we have done and break those racial chains of the past. They will inherit a truly equal-opportunity society. Now, let us go out there and build it! I thank you.

MR K B MANAMELA


MR I M OLLIS

Mr K B MANAMELA: Hon Chairperson of the House, hon members, while I was sitting here I was planning to stick to what I was going to say, but I was distracted by the hon Ollis who has just spoken. I don't know where he came from; he just popped up at this podium and said things with which I suppose the majority of young South Africans would definitely never ever agree. This is precisely because if they did, they would have queued to vote for the DA in the last elections. And that is why they didn't do that! [Interjections.]

This year we are commemorating the 34th anniversary of June 16, which saw the revolt of young people against the oppressive system of apartheid. When they marched out of school on that day, they chanted slogans for democracy and immediately pushed South Africa's brutal regime back onto the international agenda. They had teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition fired at them and, on the spot, Hector Peterson became the first victim of the brutal force unleashed by the regime on that day, June 16.

The scores of young and innocent bodies recorded on that day that was meant to intimidate any form of uprising anywhere in the country. That failed, as the youth went all out to depose the apartheid regime and ultimately did so 28 years later.

As we commemorate this day today, I am reminded of what popular jazz artist Wynton Massalis said in his eulogy to Duke Ellington:

If you give me a fair chance, I will show you the true meaning of democracy.

That is the fair chance, hon Ollis, that the majority of young South Africans are still lacking.

These words are what have inspired different generations of young people since colonisation, oppression and exploitation. From the youth rebellions led by Shaka – Ufasimba - to those led by Bambatha against the tax laws; to those who were forced to work underground in the mines for the gold and diamonds they would never own while they were dispossessed of their land and cattle; to those who fought against the Land Act of 1913, were all pushed by these words: If you give me a fair chance, I will help you understand the true meaning of democracy.

From the youth, who protested against the terrible working conditions in the economically booming Johannesburg; to those who felt the harsh and brutal realities of apartheid capitalism as they were forcibly removed from Sophiatown to Soweto; to those who formed the ANC Youth League, the SA Student Organisation and the Congress of South African Students; to those who revolted on the cold morning of June 16, beginning their action in Morris Isaacson, they shared that sentiment. [Interjections.]

If you give me a fair chance, hon Barnard, I will make you better understand the true meaning of democracy. [Applause.]

These words pushed into action those young people who skipped the country to train as soldiers of uMkhonto weSizwe and the Azanian People's Liberation Army; those who were incarcerated on Robben Island; and those who today are afforded an opportunity to vote. Yet the brutal force of the capitalist system, defended by the DA on a daily basis, prevents them from truly enjoying the true fruits of democracy. These words echo: If you give me a fair chance, I will help you understand the true meaning of democracy.

As a free, democratic country we have made significant strides towards a better life for all South African citizens, black or white. However, we constantly remind ourselves that much more needs to be done if we are to speak of a truly free, democratic and just society. This is all that our youth of today are fighting for: a fair chance.

Of course they know that the blood of Kalushi Mahlangu did nourish the tree of democracy and freedom. They know that had it not been for our democratic system ushered in in 1994, they would still be required to carry pass books, be forced to learn in the language of the oppressor, see their parents being humiliated for opposing the system of apartheid and hear that their brothers and sisters were harassed and detained without trial.

They also know that they would never have been allowed to vote for the government of their choice and see the ANC-led alliance being the majority party. Instead they would not have had any hope and have been full of despair at the prospect of there being a black president of this country.

Yet they still say, "Nay, these are the only political gains from the sweat that Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Robert Sobukwe shed as they languished in jail. What about the economy? What about the land?" they ask.

"What about the ownership of the factories and the mines? What about the banks and the monopolies; were these not the same fair chances that Ruth First and Chris Hani fought for? These are the same institutions that formed part of the exploitation of our parents and our parents' parents. If we are given a fair chance in the ownership of these institutions, then we will help you understand the true meaning of democracy." [Applause.]

The youth declare that our country is the most unequal society in the world, surpassing Brazil in terms of the Gini coefficient measure of income inequality.

They come out onto the streets in true June 16 protest style and bemoan poor service delivery by municipalities, but yet the main precursors of these protests remain unemployment. They come out onto the streets in true June 16 style and blame people from neighbouring countries for their economic miseries; and yet the true precursors of their unemployment is the continued skewed racial ownership patterns of our economy.

They come out onto the streets in true June 16 style and demand to be taken to Gauteng or Mpumalanga, and, yet, the real precursors are the actual demands for land and bread in our country.

If you listen to them carefully, they ask, this youth: "Is this what Mandela fought for? Did he fight only to have our government being held solely accountable for our misery? Did he struggle only to have us pushing each other to be first in the queue for social grants?"

What about the accountability of the private sector? Are they not the ones who are looting us – our sweat and blood – and then rewarding themselves with huge bonuses? Are they not the ones who are pushing our government away when it seeks to transform the ownership patterns of our economy?

Many in the private sector celebrate the fact that they have reached their 26% black economic empowerment and 40% black management targets of their companies, as per the Employment Equity Act. But is that a fair chance, especially when 74% of the economy is still in white hands – and the DA, on a daily basis, is here to defend that? [Applause.] Look at the racial profiles of the owners and managers of the companies listed on the stock exchange. Is that a fair chance? That's what we ask. [Interjections.]

For them – and listen to them closely – true and total transformation and a fair chance mean that the ownership of wealth should be in the hands of the majority in pursuit of a humane society.

For the youth of our country, June 16 means that we should pursue the values of a caring, loving and secure society. For them, June 16 should be about education and skills for those who are illiterate and unskilled so that they are able to get jobs or create jobs.

June 16 for the youth of our country means access to health care for those who are sick. It means housing for those who have no shelter. It means an end to exploitative practices, especially in the private sector. [Interjections.]

If you look at the inequalities in our society, in which CEOs of banks are paid millions of rand on the basis of how much debt they are able to sell to our communities, there is no accountability. If you look at the CEOs of bread companies who are paid millions of rand on the basis of how much price-fixing they are able to do, that is what we call a lack of accountability in the private sector.

If I start with you, hon Kohler-Barnard, you would not even be able to finish saying "BBC". [Interjections.] [Applause.] Others will proclaim and say: "But it is our constitutional right to accumulate as much as possible and then the government should take care of the rest. You cannot take away our factories and our land because they are protected by the Constitution." [Interjections.]

But is it not the same Constitution in which the right to work, the right to life, the right to speak in Parliament ... [Interjections.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Chairman, I rise on a point of order. It would appear that the hon speaker at the podium is now talking in some kind of code. I believe it is important that he explain to us what "BBC" actually means. [Interjections.] Because, quite frankly, Mr Chairman, if he is making some kind of crude joke, it is important that we understand it. [Interjections.] It's not possible that he could stand up there and speak in a kind of ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order, hon members!

Mr M J ELLIS: It's not possible that he could stand up there and speak in a kind of code that is not understood by all Members of Parliament. I suspect it is unparliamentary. [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Manamela, could you explain what "BBC" is, if you can. [Interjections.]

Mr S L TSENOLI: Point of order, point of order, Chairperson!

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): What is your point of order? I didn't say it is unparliamentary; I just said he should explain. That's all I am asking.

Mr S L TSENOLI: Chairperson, I believe the hon Ellis is playing games and interrupting the speaker. There is no reason for him to explain that, in our opinion.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): I will leave it to Mr Manamela to explain, if he so wishes. When he continues with his speech he will probably give us an opportunity of knowing what BBC is.

Mr K B MANAMELA: Thank you very much. With the 2010 Fifa World Cup around the corner, researchers in the field of ...

Mr M J ELLIS: On a point of order again, Mr Chairman. I thought that you had ruled that he had to tell us what BBC stands for. [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): I said ... [Interjections.]

Mr M J ELLIS: But, Mr Chairman ... [Interjections.] Mr Chairman ... [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): I said he could continue with his speech. At the end, he can explain what it is.

Mr M J ELLIS: But, Mr Chairman, what he actually said now might be incredibly pertinent to what he says in the future. [Interjections.] He can't tell us at the end, sir. He has to tell us now. [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): The difficulty here is that we don't know what BBC stands for.

Mr M J ELLIS: But, Mr Chairman, he knows ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): We can't say it is unparliamentary at the same time, right?

Mr M J ELLIS: I agree with you fully, sir. But the trouble is that he needs to tell us what it means, because he is the only one, as far as I know, who knows what it is. [Interjections.] He needs to tell us now, sir.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Ellis, thank you very much. Hon Manamela, I said you could explain it to the House, but continue and then before you leave the podium if you could just explain it. [Interjections.]

Mr K B MANAMELA: "BBC" is a public broadcaster in Britain, so there is nothing unparliamentary with saying BBC. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]

Let me just deal with you very briefly. I searched very hard in the manifesto of the DA for values that would build a nonracist, nonsexist and democratic society. I must tell you that it was a fruitless exercise. I also hoped to come across a clause in that manifesto speaking to an open-toilet society for the residents of Guguletu. [Interjections.] And I still did not find that particular clause in the manifesto.

Whatever opportunities there are in open toilets, I can only leave to the imagination of the Premier of the Western Cape and the Mayor of Cape Town. I wonder if their houses have the same toilets as those in Guguletu. But how ironic that a struggle for better toilets has sparked the downward spiral of the DA government in the Western Cape. The people of this city will flush you down the same toilet.

I also came across a statement by the same DA about why there is a need to implement a youth employment subsidy, because they insist that this is their idea. There is nothing whatsoever.

What the ANC government will implement is a youth employment subsidy to the benefit of the youth of our country and not in the way in which you are trying to present it, which is to the benefit of the company bosses and all of those things. That is not going to happen.

Thirty-four years after June 16, the objectives of building a nonracist, nonsexist and democratic society still remain. The goal of liberating blacks and Africans from economic and political bondage still remains. In doing this, we have to understand that there is growing anger and frustration among the black youth who are yet to share the collective fruits of our democracy.

This leads them to violent protest, usage and trafficking of drugs, prostitution, co-option by crime cartels, desire for the life of "bling" as most of the opportunities are closed by the unaccountable - in particular, the private sector.

Equally, in doing so, we have to address the fears and suspicions of young, white South Africans – and not in a political way because we know that if we begin to engage with these issues, in particular with political parties, all they are interested in is perpetuating the racial profiling of our political parties. Therefore, it should be engagement with the majority of our people in building a collective society.

We, equally, have to ensure that a nonracist society can only be attained if it is an equal society. We have to contribute equally to ensuring that white is not generally identified with wealth, whilst black is identified with poverty. It is in the interests of all South Africans, especially us as the youth, that we pursue the goals of an equal, nonracist and democratic society based on social justice. In that way, in our striving for social justice, the other accompanying ills of crime, HIV and Aids, and so forth, will come to an end.

I think it should be very embarrassing that you compare a young person, whose opportunities are closed completely, to Mark Shuttleworth, who had abundant opportunities provided to him by a long-standing, oppressive apartheid regime. [Applause.]

I think that you should be very embarrassed to begin to compare the opportunities of young people in Alexandria to those of young people in Sandton. [Interjections.] You should be very ashamed of yourself to actually come here and do that. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

In closing, I think the only thing that will keep the DA alive is to speak as long as possible about the president of the ANC Youth League. I think he will continue to disappoint you, because his role is not to build the DA. I think if your policies are based on that, you must be careful of what the ANCYL and the Young Communists League are doing - flushing out the DA! [Interjections.]

To conclude, to borrow from Don Mattera's lovely poem "Sea and sand". He writes:

Sea and sand

My love My land,

God bless Africa

But more the South of Africa where we live ...

Bless the angry mountains

And the smiling hills

Where the cool water spills

To heal the earth's brow

Bless the children of South Africa

The white children

And the black children

But more the black children

Who lost the sea and sand

That they may not lose love

For white children

Whose fathers raped the land ...

... But when,

Oh when will I see that day

When love will walk the common way

To heal my wounded people

And break the shackles around their hearts?

[Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order, order, hon members! Order!

Debate concluded.

MR I VADI


MR K B MANAMELA

CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF CANDIDATES RECOMMENDED FOR APPOINTMENT TO COUNCIL OF INDEPENDENT COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (ICASA)

Mr I VADI: House Chairperson, I am not here to recruit anybody, and I hope I will be given a fair chance. My report will be less poetic, less emotional and more sedate.

Last week I reported to the House that the Portfolio Committee on Communications had completed the process of interviewing candidates for four vacancies on the Council of Independent Communications of SA, Icasa.

The committee, and subsequently this House, recommended to the Minister seven candidates for appointment. They were: Mr John Matisonn, Ms Ntombizodwa Ndhlovu, Mr Joseph Lebooa, Ms Mankakane Violet Magagane, Mr William Currie, Adv Luthando Mkumatela and Dr Stephen Mncube.

The Minister had to consider these recommendations and had to recommend four candidates to the House for a final decision. The Minister has now done so. He recommended that Ms Ntombizodwa Ndhlovu, Mr Joseph Lebooa, Mr William Currie and Dr Stephen Mncube be appointed to the Icasa Council. The Portfolio Committee on Communications met yesterday and unanimously agreed to support the Minister's decision. That includes all parties in the committee.

The Minister has considered the matter very carefully and has heeded the advice of the committee. He has taken into account the many challenges that beset Icasa. The recommended candidates possess skills relating to electronic engineering, broadcasting, electronic communications and postal policy, as well as public policy development. The recommended list also goes some way to meet the requirements of representivity.

Should the House approve these candidates this evening, the Minister will have to indicate the respective appointment dates as the vacancies come into effect in June, September and October this year. As I pointed out last week, he must also ensure that there are no conflicts of interest and that each candidate has disposed of any financial interests in terms of section 6 of the Icasa Act before the actual appointment is made.

The committee therefore recommends that the House approve the appointments of Ms Ntombizodwa Ndhlovu, Mr Joseph Lebooa, Mr William Currie and Dr Stephen Mncube to serve on the Council of Icasa. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Question put: That the House approve the Minister's recommendation for the appointment of the following four candidates as councillors to fill the vacancies on the Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa:

Mr William Hamilton Currie;

Mr Joseph Morakile Lebooa;

Dr Stephen Sipho Mncube; and

Ms Ntombizodwa (Miki) Ndhlovu.

Question agreed to.

OVERSIGHT VISIT UNDERTAKEN ON 19-22 APRIL 2010 TO EASTERN CAPE AND KWAZULU-NATAL

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

BUDGET VOTE NO 14: BASIC EDUCATION

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Basic Education thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

VOTE NO 1: THE PRESIDENCY [NATIONAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY]

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

VOTE NO 9: NATIONAL TREASURY

(Consideration of Report of Standing Committee on Finance thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

WITHDRAWAL OF DECLARATION OF LAND FROM LOWVELD NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, NELSPRUIT

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report adopted and the exclusion of a portion of state land from the Lowveld National Botanical Garden accordingly approved.

ANNUAL REPORTS OF DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY AND ITS ENTITIES FOR 2008-09 FINANCIAL YEAR

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

PSC REPORT: EVALUATION OF SUPPLY-CHAIN MANAGEMENT PRACTICES WITHIN THE R200 000 THRESHOLD

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

VISIT TO PLANTBIO NATIONAL INNOVATION CENTRE FOR PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY AND PEBBLE BED MODULAR REACTOR (PBMR) IN PIETERMARITZBURG AND PRETORIA RESPECTIVELY, 1-3 FEBRUARY 2010

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): The motion is that the Report be adopted. Are there any objections?

Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairman, I simply stand to say that there is no objection from the DA. [Laughter.]

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

PUBLIC HEARINGS ON LABOUR BROKING

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Labour thereon)

OVERSIGHT VISIT TO DE DOORNS FARMS

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Labour thereon)

There was no debate.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Reports be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report on Public hearings on Labour Broking accordingly adopted.

Report on Oversight Visit to De Doorns Farms accordingly adopted.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon members, you are reminded to put on your Bafana Bafana gear again tomorrow, but to bear in mind the decorum of the House; no takkies and no jeans.

The House adjourned at 19:00.

END OF TAKE

LB/


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