Hansard: Second Reading debate: Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B 34– 2010]
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 17 Nov 2010
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2010
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:03.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
ASPERSIONS CAST ON CHARACTER OF MEMBER
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, on Tuesday, 2 November 2010, during members' statements, the hon M J Ellis raised a point of order, objecting to allegations in a statement made by the hon P J Gelderblom. I undertook at that time to consult the Hansard and return to the House with a ruling.
Having now had an opportunity to study the unrevised Hansard, I wish to rule as follows. After studying the hon Gelderblom's input, I can confirm that serious aspersions were cast on the character of a member of this House. The hon Gelderblom started his statement by mentioning that the member in question was currently facing rape charges, a matter that is before the court for decision. He then expanded on his inference by mentioning further actions, which if true, would constitute reprehensible conduct on the part of that member.
It has been ruled often enough in this House that members may not make unsubstantiated allegations against or cast aspersions on other members. Members have a duty not to make insinuations or accusations of improper conduct on the part of their fellow members, without the matter complained of being clearly stated or the complaint properly substantiated. Couching such allegations in quotations, hypotheses, figures of speech or other semantic devices does not render them parliamentary.
I urgently call on all hon members not to refer to corrupt actions by other members, unless they seriously wish to have such actions investigated. Members who impute improper or unworthy motives, dishonesty or hypocrisy to their fellow members, through any means other than a substantive motion are themselves guilty of irregular conduct. They only succeed in lowering the tone of the debate and impairing the dignity of the House in the eyes of all our country's citizens.
In view of this, I rule hon Gelderblom's statement out of order and ask him to withdraw all allegations.
Mr J P GELDERBLOM: Hon Speaker, I withdraw. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Mr Speaker, I would like to approach you on the matter of what was uttered by the hon Ellis on the same day, who repeatedly said "rubbish". You were going to check on it, Mr Speaker, and come back to us.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, please allow the Speaker to speak. The Speaker doesn't speak most of the time; he listens, and I am going to make a ruling on the matter.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: My sincerest apologies. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order! Order! Shortly thereafter, on the same day, the hon Minister of Science and Technology asked whether interjections such as "rubbish" and "nonsense" qualified as unbecoming language in terms of Rule 63, and were therefore unparliamentary. I ruled at the time that they were unbecoming and appealed to hon members to respect the Rules of the House, also with regard to language.
I then asked the hon Ellis whether he wanted to withdraw his interjections of "rubbish". He declined, and said he did not think there was reason to withdraw them, considering the manner in which they had been said. I responded that I would look at the Hansard and return with a ruling.
Interjections are very seldom reported verbatim in Hansard. In most cases they are merely indicated by the word "Interjections" in square brackets. Such interjections are an integral part of lively debates in the House and the Chair does not involve itself in the verbal sparring between members, unless the interjections are disruptive to the actual debate or its tone in the sense that they have the potential to be disruptive.
In the case in question, the interjections "Rubbish" and "nonsense" were not recorded by Hansard, and appear to have been thrown about in jest between members on opposite sides of the House. Though I want to appeal to the hon Ellis to be circumspect about the use of "rubbish" and "nonsense", it would appear on that day that they were part of a robust and friendly exchange. Thank you. [Applause.]
NOTICES OF MOTION
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I hereby give notice that I shall move, on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the findings of the 2010 Human Development Report, with specific emphasis on South Africa's decreasing life expectancy and how the country's rigid labour market regulations have impeded South Africa's level of development, thus further compounding poverty and contributing to the declining life expectancy rate in South Africa.
Mr M C MANANA: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice, that on the next sitting day, of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates innovative solutions for the rehabilitation of the youth in conflict with the law.
Mr A D MOKOENA: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice, that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates measures needed to ensure transparent tender processes in the tendering system, to make sure that there is strong accountability by all involved in the tendering processes.
Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N D DU TOIT: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice, that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House -
(1) debates the small-scale fisheries policy of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and
(2) assesses whether, in its current form, it will achieve what it aims to achieve, and whether changes can be made to improve opportunities in coastal communities.
Ms M C DUBE: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House debates ways of dealing with the challenges that slow down the process of opening nursing colleges in order to increase the number of health workers and revive the primary health care system.
Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs S P KOPANE: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice, on that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move behalf of the DA:
That the House -
(1) debates ways to improve the relationship between the Department of Social Development and NGOs working on social upliftment projects, with a particular focus on the funding of NGOs; and
(2) comes up with recommendations to improve outcomes.
Dr J C KLOPPERS-LOURENS: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice, that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House -
(1) debates the massive shortage of social service providers in our country; and
(2) comes up with solutions to improve the situation.
Mr M A NHANHA: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice, that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of Cope:
That the House debates the continuing ease with which this government is duped by people like Phil Mohlahlane faking doctorates without a matric pass and raking in millions in earnings on the strength of lies.
Thank you. [Applause.]
PHILANTHROPY AWARD GIVEN TO NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE DESMOND TUTU AND TO HIS WIFE NOMALIZO LEAH TUTU
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that internationally renowned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Desmond Tutu, and his wife, Nomalizo Leah Tutu, were awarded the Inyathelo Indima-Tema Philanthropy Award for their tireless efforts to enhance the lives of others;
(2) further notes that the South African Institute for Advancement with these awards acknowledges, celebrates and profiles South African philanthropists, as well as encourages and inspires South Africans at all economic levels to give and contribute what they can and by doing so take responsibility for South Africa's social development;
(3) recognises the contributions made by Archbishop Emeritus Tutu and his wife by championing human rights issues; and
(4) congratulates Desmond Tutu and Nomalizo Leah Tutu for receiving this award.
BAFANA BAFANA TO PLAY AGAINST USA IN NELSON MANDELA CHALLENGE AT CAPE TOWN STADIUM
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that Bafana Bafana will be playing against the United States of America in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Cape Town Stadium this evening;
(2) recognises the important contribution our national team plays in building the rainbow nation;
(3) acknowledges Bafana Bafana's rise up the Fifa rankings and their continuously impressive performances in 2010;
(4) calls upon all South Africans to support Bafana Bafana and to continue the spirit which was created by the 2010 Fifa World Cup;
(5) praises the efforts of the South African Football Association in its noble gesture to pledge R1 million to the worthy cause of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund; and
(6) wishes Bafana Bafana the best of luck for the game.
BEST GOALS OF 2010 FIFA SOCCER WORLD CUP
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that Siphiwe Tshabalala's spectacular opening goal for Bafana Bafana against Mexico in the first match of the Fifa Soccer World Cup has been named on a shortlist for the best goal of 2010;
(2) further notes that Fifa also announced Giovanni van Bronckhorst's goal for the Netherlands in its semifinal victory against Uruguay among the 10 Puskas Award contenders for the best goal;
(3) congratulates Shabba for his brilliant goal that made it onto Fifa's shortlist for the best goal of 2010;
(4) calls on all South Africans to vote for Siphiwe Tshabalala to be the winner of the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2010 on Fifa's website.
ANNUAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR ROAD TRAFFIC VICTIMS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that Resolution 60/5, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, calls for the third Sunday in November to be recognised as an annual day of remembrance for road traffic victims;
(2) recognises that annually, over 15 000 South Africans die in road traffic accidents costing the South African economy approximately R46 billion and that this leaves a trail of untold suffering for victims and families;
(3) encourages the improvement of global road safety; and
(4) calls on all South Africans to take special care on the roads during the upcoming festive season.
ACCLAIMED BURMESE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST DR AUNG SAN SUU KYI RELEASED FROM CAPTIVITY
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that the acclaimed Burmese human rights activist Dr Aung San Suu Kyi was released from captivity on Saturday, 13 November 2010, after spending 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest;
(2) further notes that Suu Kyi is a former Nobel Peace Laureate, receiving the prestigious award in 1991 for her selfless, lifelong dedication to the struggle for freedom and democracy in Burma;
(3) acknowledges that she is internationally admired as the personification of peaceful resistance;
(4) further acknowledges that Suu Kyi's cause, and that of the National League for Democracy, is similar to the struggle fought by many South Africans for a free and fair society governed by democratic rule; and
(5) welcomes the government's belated recognition of the injustices of the Myanmar regime and acknowledges the importance of Dr Suu Kyi's release for the sake of democratic reform.
MUSLIMS THE WORLD OVER CELEBRATE EID-UL-ADHA
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid-Ul-Adha today;
(2) further notes that on Eid, Muslims around the world will commemorate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, and distribute food to those less fortunate - a reminder of the shared values and the common roots of three of the world's major religions; and
(3) wishes all Muslims across the country a happy Eid-Ul-Adha and safe travel for those performing the Hajj.
The SPEAKER: Order! We will now take Orders No 1 to 8 together, as they appear on the Order Paper. These are the budgetary reviews and recommendation reports of the committees. As there is no speakers' list, I recognise the hon Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ON PERFORMANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATIONS ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ENERGY ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the reports be adopted.
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Speaker, these are not necessarily objections, but I do want to say that with regard to certain of these budgetary reviews and recommendations from committees, there are two reports from committees that we want to make absolutely certain are passed in their original form. This is because, as far as we are concerned as the DA, we have not agreed to any amendments.
So, as far as Order No 9 is concerned, the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Correctional Services, I just want to make sure that this particular report is going through in its original form.
The SPEAKER: I'm sure we can agree to that – that it goes out in its original form. Any other comments? There are no objections.
Motion agreed to.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of the Department of Science and Technology for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Economic Development for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Transport for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Communications for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Energy for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Social Development for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Trade and Industry for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FOR 2009-10 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2009-10
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson I move:
That the reports be adopted, subject to the following amendment to the Report on Performance of Department of Human Settlements for the financial year 2009-10: That on page 3420 of the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, recommendation 10.1 be omitted.
Motion agreed to.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Correctional Services for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Health for 2009-10 financial year accordingly adopted.
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report on Performance of Department of Human Settlements for the financial year 2009-10, as amended, accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ON MEDIUM-TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE ON MEDIUM-TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT
ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
(Consideration of Report)
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the reports be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report of Standing Committee on Appropriations on Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement accordingly adopted.
Report of Standing Committee on Finance on Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement accordingly adopted.
Report of Standing Committee on Appropriations on Adjustments Appropriation Bill accordingly adopted.
MEDIUM-TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT
ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
(First Reading debate)
Mr T A MUFAMADI: Hon Speaker, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement provides the basis upon which the 2011-12 Budget and Medium-Term Budget Expenditure Framework will be funded. The fiscal policy guides government's decisions about revenue spending and borrowing. The South African government's fiscal policy enables it to deliver on its developmental mandate by providing resources in a manner that is sustainable and reinforces the stability of the economy.
As we all know, the budget is a function of economic growth that underpins sustainable developmental goals of governments. Therefore, this Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement has based its proposals on the assumption of how the economy might perform globally and locally. Our starting point is premised on the understanding that the world in which we live in inherently imperfect and that we are part of the same world we ourselves seek to understand.
However, our approach should be underpinned by our understanding that globalisation is not about bridging the economic divide between poor nations and rich nations. Evidence has shown that it has engendered sovereign interests, greed and prosperity for the few rich nations and hence it should not come as a surprise to all of us that big economies such as the US have recently resorted to currency depreciation and pumping billions of US dollars into the market, which will definitely have serious and dire consequences for emerging economies such as ours.
One of the key lessons that world policy-makers, particularly from developed countries, have come to terms with in relation to this recent financial economic crisis, is that when money becomes free, even the rational lender will keep on lending until there is no one to lend to. They will lend to people with no jobs, people with no income and sometimes to people with no assets. That is the basis on which we have found the world economy to be today.
The above observation can be attested to by the current currency war debate which has dominated the recovery path of the world economy. Whilst it is important to focus internally on the value of our own currency the rand, in particular, and the exchange rates, coupled with low inflation and slow economic recovery, it is equally important to note that countries such as Brazil, China and India, which are export driven, have chosen to retain their currencies at a low level to stimulate and propel their economic growth, supported not only by exports, but by domestic demand and domestic savings.
Therefore, it is understandable that there is a need in our case to find a balance between external and domestic demand for goods and services we produce on our own. The 2010 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement indicates that the net capital inflows to South Africa have risen strongly over the past two years, reaching 5,5% of GDP in the first half of 2010, compared to 4,7% in 2009 as a whole. This shows that the positive achievement of our flexible exchange control mechanisms strengthens investor confidence, although short-term speculative investments dominate the current phase of our economy.
The key economic questions that require our immediate attention are as follows: What are the implications of retaining relatively high interest rates as compared to the developed and developing economies in the same space in which we operate? The implications of short-term speculative capital inflows in the long run need to be examined. We also need to ask: Can a weaker currency improve domestic demand and productivity? What is the impact of all those things on foreign reserves?
Considering South Africa's low savings propensity and its dependency on foreign capital inflows to finance its current account deficit and funding requirements, negative perceptions may have serious adverse repercussions. The timing of interventions is of critical importance in our own currency in order to minimise the unintended consequences, for example a negative impact on the cost of investments related to imports, while exports may not recover sufficiently owing to weaker global demand.
As we ponder these questions, we must also remind ourselves that our key priority spending on infrastructure projects such as roads, stadia and social spending, particularly on health and education, were sustained over difficult periods. We must thank the Minister and his team for those achievements.
Secondly, key to the responses we give to the above challenges should remain the creation of decent work and youth employment in particular. Despite the positive global economic outlook, the forecasts are that recovery remains fragile and uncertain.
The growth prospects are likely to be negatively affected by the following factors as defined in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement: depressed employment and low demand in many countries, particularly in the United States; a threat of deflation in developed economies attributable to low levels of capacity utilisation and weak demand; a threat of rising debt levels in most of the world's largest economies; and the challenge of banking sector reforms in reducing nonperforming banking system assets.
Monetary policy instruments alone are not sufficient conditions to tackle the current economic challenges. Therefore, we must explore other possibilities that emerge from this crisis. This presents us with an opportunity to look into improving our competitiveness and productivity to stimulate our own local economy. The need to integrate regional economies to broaden our consumer base and demand for own products is imperative to the future of the continent and ourselves.
We agree with the Minister that the challenge is not to dwell and yelp about the past, but to focus on what needs to be done to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. As we do so, we must think of the younger generation's prospects to realise employment. For us as South Africans to meet our priorities, the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement seeks to put us on a new growth path that will propel economic growth from 6% to 7%. Such growth will require serious engagement and compromises by all social partners.
Therefore, we welcome and support the executive for adopting a new economic growth path that will form the basis of engagement with all relevant stakeholders, business, labour, government and the rest of civil society. In entering the space of discussions, we will require people with sober and practical minds – leadership that will not elevate sectarian interests above the interests of the nation as a whole.
The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement analysis of the global economic outlook and its attendant policy propositions are consistent with the ANC policy of positions regarding South Africa's role in the global economy to better the standard of living of ordinary citizens. On the basis of this, the ANC supports the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. I thank you. [Applause.]
Dr D T GEORGE: Speaker, the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement details government policy that will inform the national Budget to be announced in February next year. It also sets out the macroeconomic fiscal framework for the next three years, and Budget priorities in the division of revenue between national, provincial and local government.
The numbers on the revised fiscal framework reveal the extent to which our economy was negatively affected by the world financial crisis that started in 2007 and has not yet worked its way through economies across the world, including our own.
Although projections have improved since February - most notably, an upward revision of expected GDP growth from 2,3% to 3% - the rate of revenue increase, given the tax-to-GDP ratio, is lagging. This reflects a possible underestimation of projected revenue. Given successive revenue overruns in the past few years, there appears to be a trend in the estimation of national revenue that results in collection targets being exceeded.
Although projected government expenditure as a percentage of GDP has only increased by 0,1%, this number should be decreasing, and not increasing. As GDP grows, government expenditure as a percentage of GDP should move in the opposite direction. Although the deficit has been reduced, if the projected rate of revenue increase and expenditure decrease as a percentage of GDP remains constant beyond the current three-year projection, our economy will remain in deficit until the 2018-19 financial year. Given government commitment to countercyclical fiscal policy, this is too slow given likely economic uncertainties beyond the medium term.
Government debt continues to climb and will reach 41% of GDP in 2012. Relative to many other economies, this does not appear to be excessive, but government debt reflected in the projections does not include municipal debt which would significantly and negatively impact on the overall picture.
Following its deliberations on the fiscal framework, the Standing Committee on Finance recommended that the rate of decline in expenditure should be accelerated, the issues regarding the SA Customs Union revenue-sharing formula should be resolved, and the National Treasury should provide a detailed report on the impact of a zero-rating of VAT on books on the fiscal framework.
The rules of the game have changed significantly under the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act that enables Parliament to amend the fiscal framework within various parameters. Although Parliament has not yet exercised this power, the time for this to happen is fast approaching. If this Parliament intends to become the active Parliament which it aspires to be, it needs to take the necessary bold and pioneering steps to amend the Budget in a carefully considered and appropriate way. The Act was passed to empower Parliament to not only hear the people's voice, but to also enable us to demonstrate that we are listening, and can and will act in order to exercise our mandate.
In his introduction of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, the Minister of Finance indicated that firm measures would be taken to counter the creeping culture of corruption that has infected our public financial system, especially the procurement process. The DA welcomes this commitment. There has been much talk about apprehending the criminals who feast at the expense of the most vulnerable members of our society. Yet, little, if any, political will has been demonstrated to date.
We look forward to comprehensive details of legislation that will be introduced or amended to implement this commitment. We also look forward to timeframes within which the people can expect to receive the promised protection from the parasites who feed off the leaking bucket into which hardworking South Africans pour significant amounts of their very scarce financial resources.
The Minister was silent on further details of the youth wage subsidy proposals that he promised to table by the end of March 2010. At his subsequent appearance before the committee, the Minister assured members that the proposal had not been shelved, and that a discussion paper was in progress. We know, Minister, that Cosatu is opposed to the youth wage subsidy. They said so during their presentation to the committee. Their argument is that young people aged 15 to 24 should be acquiring education, training and skills, rather than be employed in a workplace where they learn nothing.
When the DA designed its wage subsidy, we targeted it more widely at new entrants to the job market because previously marginalised youth are no longer young, and should not be excluded from incentives to uplift them into economic activity. There is no reason why a wage subsidy cannot be complemented by a programme to encourage remedial skills development.
The DA believes that, instead of funding dysfunctional sector education and training authorities, Setas, employers should be encouraged to provide meaningful training and development on the job. A wage subsidy will attract new entrants into the workplace and improve their future mobility and marketability through skills acquisition. The solution to the current stalemate on the youth wage subsidy lies in the benefit design. The DA, especially the DA Youth, welcomes the Minister's commitment to a wage subsidy and will pursue a programme of action to ensure that his commitment is honoured.
On the subject of mixed signals, the ANC has announced that independent researchers will be employed to report on various models applied to the nationalisation of mines. This is intended to assure investors that the matter will be thoroughly considered before any policy decisions are made. The problem with washing garbage is that it remains garbage.
No matter how the message is packaged, it still simply remains that property rights are under threat and that the ANC seeks to relentlessly extend the role of the state in our economy. If investors doubt the security of their ownership rights, they will simply factor the risk into the price of the transaction or not participate at all, making our economy even less efficient and less attractive to long-term productive investment than it is now. South African taxpayers need an assurance that their hard-earned money will not be wasted on unnecessary research into an unnecessary policy that generates unnecessary uncertainty.
On Monday, following his return from a meeting of the G20, the Minister of Finance announced that a stimulus package would be introduced. It has been reported that this will feature in the national Budget to be announced in February.
Our Budget tip to the Minister is that government intervention should aim at increasing economic activity by easing individual entry to the economy, expanding individual choice, and increasing private-sector participation in our economy - and not the size and influence of government and its associated cronies.
The most important lesson from the world financial crisis is that appropriate regulation is required to ensure that an economy remains as functional and efficient as possible, especially under turbulent conditions. Our economy is now experiencing severe turbulence as developed economies struggle to emerge from recession and the emerging market group: Brazil, Russia, India and China - the so-called Bric economies that we aspire to join - surge ahead. Our growth lags far behind and we grapple with an appreciating currency that restrains our ability to export.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank began its meeting today and all indications point to a reduction in interest rates. We cannot, however, rely on the monetary policy to resolve this imbalance. Quantitative easing will not work but will merely feed inflation. Fiscal policy needs to complement monetary policy and steps need to be taken to cushion the impact of a lower interest rate cycle on the net savers in our economy, especially pensioners who rely on income from interest-bearing investments. Steps are also required to facilitate a more competitive and productive economic environment.
Poverty and unemployment remain by far the greatest problems we face in South Africa today. The DA's vision of an open opportunity society for all, where everybody, irrespective of their circumstances at birth, can achieve their full potential and become everything that they are capable of being, can be achieved.
We need to support those who are already in poverty and develop a road that will enable all our people to emerge from poverty. By so doing, the vicious cycle can be broken and the lives of our people continually improved from this generation to the next, until we are the great, leading nation that we are capable of becoming, given the right policy choices. We just need to make them. Thank you, Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr N J J KOORNHOF: Mr Speaker, in recent weeks, the world economy has been on a war footing. Ever since Brazil's finance Minister referred to "an international currency war", the global debate has been recast in battlefield terms.
According to The Economist there are three battle fronts. The first is over the unwillingness of China to allow their currency to rise more quickly. The second is over the rich world's monetary policies, in particular to print money to buy bonds - the USA has just embarked on this. And the third is over how the developing countries respond to the extra capital flows.
This is exactly where South Africa comes in and where some role-players want us to enter the currency war. The question is: Can we and should we enter this war?
Since January 2009, as the rand has appreciated, we have seen an adverse impact on export trade, but the negative impact on import values has been of a similar nature, so currency competitiveness is not a sole determining factor within a global and local environment and we all know there are many serious "other forces" at play. We cannot escape this truth.
We were reminded at the public hearings that it was insufficient regulation and greed that dumped us into this recession and in the aftermath we now see "loose monetary policy" with "political interference" and it's clear that nations are starting to look after themselves. Unfortunately, even decisions by G20 countries are pushed aside if they are not in the national interest of a particular country. In 2008, after the Washington G20 meeting, 17 countries went against so-called agreed resolutions.
We are back in the era where economies rely on demand of products, on government interventions and on a climate of currency stability. So the trick is to play within these rules and to recognise the driving forces of these times. We are a small boat with no aircraft in this currency war and not many bazookas mounted on it, so there is no room for mistakes - a free-falling rand, because of mistakes, will be far more negative to our economy and will especially impact badly on food security.
The Old World economies are under pressure - the reality is that the euro and the dollar will remain under pressure; commodity prices, that is energy, will be higher and, unfortunately, the rand is going to be strong. What happened yesterday and what is happening today in the euro zone will impact on us. We cannot escape it. So South Africa's reaction to this set of conditions is vital. It's time for consistency and to be conservative, and the hon Minister must be congratulated on his stance in the policy statement.
We should make sure that our fiscal policy focuses more on savings. We must shrink our current account deficit faster and our interest rates should be low for a while. Our currency should be stable, and we must be more productive and reduce our costs to service debt as soon as possible.
When a country faces enormous challenges, such as poverty and inequality, as we do, the table is set for an active role to be played by the state. The New Growth Path is sort of new, but there are many similarities to the previous plans in it. The question is: Will it work this time?
Time is running out, hon Minister. We do not have another 16 years in which we do not resolve the basic problems in education - maybe we should be bold and make education compulsory until the age of 18. We haven't got 16 years in which we do not resolve infrastructure and maintenance problems and establish a culture of entrepreneurship.
There is no room for populist economists like the Congress of SA Trade Unions, Cosatu. The vengeance of their written presentation at the public hearings addressed specifically to the hon Minister and the Treasury was uncalled for. Cosatu should simply employ better economists.
There are no holy cows in this growth debate and we should not allow them to dictate the debate - if we do not get better "spending performance" and do not up our productivity there will no be money left for the state to intervene.
Hon Minister, by your own forecast, our economy will grow by between 3% and 4%, but, unfortunately, by even mentioning the figure of 7% - a little bit of a pipe dream - and the millions of jobs that will follow that growth, I think you have created some sort of false hope for many unemployed people in South Africa. Let's rather start doing things slightly differently. Let's cut the red tape. Let's address the greed in this country. Let's deal with outrageous chief executive officer salaries and share options that are not sustainable.
The inequality in South Africa is fast becoming a huge stumbling block to growth. Let's deal with the holy cows in this debate and make sure that fundamental changes are being made timeously and not forced upon us, because if that happens, we will create instability in South Africa.
I think it is our time. I think it is time for the emerging markets of the world. I think Europe and the United States have had their time and I think it is Africa's time now. Let's play our role in this region. Let's make sure that the region integrates and let's use this window of opportunity that has been created after this recession. Cope will support the statement. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Mr Speaker, the IFP has repeatedly expressed its concern about the skyrocketing national debt. This concern remains largely unaddressed by the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. According to our calculations, by 2015 the national debt will be up to R1,5 trillion. In addition, there is skyrocketing municipal debt, which in the end will need to be paid by the National Treasury. After 2015, the national debt will continue to increase, albeit at a lower rate.
We have repeatedly asked the Minister how he plans to repay the debt, and the only answer we have received is that our debt is lower in proportion to that of the United States of America. To the IFP, our fiscal deficit remains a major critical challenge.
The IFP warmly welcomes the increase in spending on health, particularly for HIV and Aids prevention, the increase in spending on infrastructure, and the R50 million that has been set aside for drought relief. In addition, we welcome the Minister of Finance's plans for better financial discipline in service delivery and improved management of education, health and infrastructure programmes.
Furthermore, the IFP recognises that South Africans aren't receiving value for money. As the IFP, we believe that the performance and the reputation of many state departments and public entities leave a lot to be desired in terms of optimal service delivery and benefits to the taxpayer. We don't believe that the answer will be found in throwing more money at these entities, but instead the focus should be on ensuring that the money is effectively spent; which means that we need more accountability and better management.
In addition, productivity, for us, remains a critical concern. Each year when the Budget is tabled we allocate more resources to different areas, but despite this, we believe that productivity is steadily decreasing. The countless service delivery protests nationwide during the past financial year have sent out a clear message that, amongst other things, our policing system, health care system, and education system - despite education receiving the biggest chunk of our budget - remain in a critical condition.
What we would also like to find out from the Minister is how government intends financing the mooted National Health Insurance plan. We would like all the citizens of our country to enjoy acceptable levels of care.
Turning to job creation, the IFP agrees that job creation requires a broad range of policy initiatives, but government's supposedly powerful new economic policy framework lacks details. We believe that the Minister of Finance should provide details on how it plans to supplement the New Economic Growth Path.
The latest figures from Statistics SA show that unemployment is at 25,3%, which is alarmingly high. The IFP has always emphasised that 7% to 8% growth must be the goal that we aspire to. And we agree with the hon Minister that we must aspire to 7% to 8% growth, for this will ensure that many more jobs will be created and that we will have a sustainable economic growth path in the future.
Whilst the IFP believes that government's investment plan in urban centres to help turn cities into engines of economic growth is a step in the right direction, we should not lose focus on the continued development of the rural areas. It is in the rural areas that South Africa's biggest social problems are to be found.
Whilst the IFP welcomes the increase in spending, we agree with the hon Minister of Finance that wasteful and inefficient patterns in state departments and entities and in the use of resources must be rooted out. Again, as in previous years, the hon Minister has promised to root out corruption and inefficiency, but the IFP believes that the time for talking is over. Now is the time for action.
Finally, corruption remains a cancer that is threatening to derail all of South Africa's progress made since the dawn of democracy. And whilst the IFP recognises that government at different levels has put in place many measures to curb the scourge of corruption, they have been largely unsuccessful. It is now time for a concerted, co-ordinated and aggressive campaign against corruption in South Africa.
In conclusion, the IFP supports this Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement of the Minister. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr E M MTHETHWA: Hon Speaker, hon members, comrades and distinguished guests, the present economic growth trajectory cannot meet the country's employment needs. Faster growth is required over an extended period of time to significantly increase labour absorption, reduce high unemployment and achieve a more equitable distribution of income.
To achieve 5 million jobs over 10 years, growth of over 6% a year must be achieved together with measures aimed at broadening participation and inclusive development. This is what the New Economic Growth Path proposes, in order to bring about the marked reduction in poverty and inequality we all seek.
To achieve the developmental aims of the new growth path, there needs to be more rapid job creation through a broad range of policy initiatives. These would include: labour market institutions that must be strengthened; expanding further education and training, and with specific interventions needed to increase both public and private-sector demand for labour, especially for young workseekers; and greater participation of our development finance institutions in co-financing infrastructure projects, enterprise development, housing and farming support.
In addition, in implementing the Industrial Policy Action Plan, together with increased support for small enterprises and local economic development, the following areas are critical in creating decent work and more jobs: greater investment is needed in the electricity, transport and communications sectors; improved economic co-operation between countries in Southern Africa, including financial and trade institutions and transport; improved communications, energy and water networks; and improvements in Public Service delivery and increased filling of vacant posts that are funded in pursuit of agreed service delivery outputs and targets.
Measures to support exporters and manufacturers through trade facilitation agencies, investment in technology and industrial development zones and institutions, such as the Industrial Development Corporation, are all critical in the creation of jobs.
The executive, in a recently convened special Cabinet meeting to discuss the key economic challenges facing South Africa, endorsed a proposed new growth path for the country that will place employment at the centre of government economic policy.
The new growth path is a broad framework that sets out a vision and identifies key areas where jobs can be created. A series of implementation plans for consideration and signing off by the Cabinet is being worked on.
The new growth path is intended to address unemployment, inequality and poverty in a strategy that is principally reliant on creating a significant increase in the number of new jobs in the economy, mainly in the private sector.
The new growth path sets a target of creating 5 million jobs in the next 10 years. This target is projected to reduce unemployment from 25% to 15%. Critically, this employment target can only be achieved if the social partners and government work together to address key structural challenges in the economy. These challenges include: bottlenecks and backlogs in logistics, energy infrastructure and skills, which constrain economic growth and raise costs; low domestic savings and inadequate levels of investment in the productive sectors of the economy; economic concentration and price collusion in key parts of the economy, which raises costs and limits innovation and new enterprise development; an uncompetitive currency that limits employment growth in manufacturing, mining, agriculture and tourism; and a persistent balance-of-trade deficit funded with short-term capital inflows attracted largely by high interest rates by international standards.
At the national general council of the ANC in 2005, council warned that consumption and commodity-led economic growth would, in time, have its own consequences and would lead to the classic economic commodity price boom, which would not result in revenue being sufficiently applied to promote economic diversification and skills development. This form of growth is usually not underpinned by a strong production base.
The global economic crisis of 2008 has posed new challenges for South Africa. The 2008 to 2009 recession led to more than a million jobs being lost in the South African economy. The global economic crisis has also highlighted the emergence of new centres of economic power, with rapid recovery and fast growth in China, India and Brazil, as the chairperson has stated before, backed by decisive action by their governments. This creates new opportunities for South Africa that the new growth path identifies.
The new growth path will now seek to place the economy on a production-led trajectory with growth targeted in 10 "jobs drivers". Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon members, please tone down your conversations.
Mr L W GREYLING: Hon Chairperson, it's an understatement to say that we live in uncertain economic times. Across the globe we are still witnessing the aftershocks of the financial earthquake that took place in 2007. Countries in Europe are battling with deficit containment while their economies are still not growing sufficiently.
The United States has just lurched to the right politically, and it seems that their small steps to economic recovery could be derailed through major cuts in government spending. Unfortunately, our future economic success is in some ways determined by the cumulative impacts of these global forces.
Having said this, however, the ID believes that we still have a significant amount of power to determine our own economic destiny. Countries in Asia, along with Brazil, which has demonstrated how to reduce both poverty and inequality simultaneously, prove that it is possible. It is time for us to take up this challenge, and this budget statement goes some way in doing that.
We have enormous challenges, though, such as the R1,5 trillion backlog in infrastructure investment that we have accumulated over the past 10 years. This is manifesting itself in our failing water treatment plants, road infrastructure and, most challengingly, our energy sector.
Minister, we are essentially mortgaging the country to provide collateral for Eskom to build new power stations. The country takes the risk while large energy-intensive users reap the rewards. Surely we should rather be looking at engaging in some risk-sharing arrangements with those companies which are going to benefit from our energy expansion.
Minister, the central crux of our challenge is to find ways of reducing our infrastructural and social deficits while reducing our fiscal deficit at the same time. In meeting this challenge, we are going to have to form concrete partnerships with other actors in our society so as to ensure that in the long run we can grow our economy at much higher rates and generate the sorely needed government revenue to fund these activities. The ID certainly hopes that we can finally get this equation right and that we too can enjoy the economic success that other emerging economies have experienced. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S Z NTAPANE: Hon Chairperson, hon members, as far as the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement is concerned, the UDM concurs with the hon Minister of Finance's assessment that the economic outlook is grim. Despite marginal improvements in economic indicators, it is definitely not time yet to celebrate the end of the recession.
The UDM welcomes the exchange control reforms and other measures to stabilise the currency. The UDM also welcomes the hon Minister's strong words on corruption. However, in this regard and equally so for the other policy priorities that he identified, we are sceptical about government's commitment and ability to deliver. These sound like the same old promises dressed up in a new language. A prime example of this is the so-called "new growth plan". We have had the RDP, Gear and Asgisa come and go without any impact on the massive rate of unemployment in this country.
As far as the Bill before us is concerned, the Adjustments Appropriation Bill is a regular constituent of the Budget cycle to accommodate the occurrence of unexpected and unavoidable expenditure. Such expenditure is an understandable occurrence since economic fluctuations, consequent changes in tax revenues, as well as the fluctuation of revenue collection itself all impact on the difference between the projected Budget and the actual Budget. It is appropriate that this Budget cycle recognises this and allows for a mid-course correction where necessary. It is also at this point that we often detect the mismanagement or misuse of budgets, which is the other reason why adjustments need to be made.
As the UDM indicated last year, the introduction of newly constituted or reconstituted departments and Ministries has impacted significantly on the overall Budget process and also on these appropriations. The question remains ... Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, the hon Minister of Finance succeeded to a large degree in maintaining a balance between financial restrictions caused by the recession and the demands placed on government spending. Where the Minister earlier this year predicted a growth rate of 2,3% for South Africa, the growth rate forecast has now been adjusted upwards to 3%. This is positive and indicates how the country is slowly moving out of the recession.
However, to create five million new job opportunities in the next 10 years, as the Minister had undertaken to do, a growth rate of 6% is required. In the Minister's speech there was, however, no indication as to how the growth rate would double from 3% to 6% in order to accomplish this objective.
Suid-Afrika is besig om al meer 'n welsynstaat te word. Waar die Skandinawiese en Europese lande hiermee kon eksperimenteer, kan ons dit net eenvoudig nie bekostig nie. Tans kry ongeveer 14 miljoen mense uit 'n bevolking van 50 miljoen maatskaplike toelaes van die staat. Dit moet vergelyk word met 'n belastingbasis van 5,3 miljoen tot 5,6 miljoen mense uit die bevolking van 50 miljoen. Dan gaan die ontvangers van staatstoelaes in die toekoms nóg groei tot 19 miljoen. Dit is net 'n onvolhoubare verhouding van een belastingbetaler vir elke drie persone wat staatstoelaes ontvang. Die belastingbasis moet vergroot en die aantal toelaes moet verminder. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[South Africa is increasingly becoming a welfare state. While Scandinavian and European countries could experiment in this regard, we simply cannot afford to do so. At present about 14 million people out of a population of 50 million are receiving state grants. This should be compared to a tax base of between 5,3 and 5,6 million people out of a population of 50 million. And in the future those receiving state grants are still going to increase to 19 million. This is just an unsustainable ratio of one taxpayer for every three persons receiving state grants. The tax base must be broadened and the number of grants must decrease.]
The Minister also made provision for the 7,6% salary adjustment of public workers following strikes earlier this year. It is an economic truth in the private sector - but also in government - that where a salary adjustment is higher than the inflation rate, this has to be accompanied with increased productivity to prevent it from pushing up inflation. The only other way to handle this is by scaling down the number of jobs available.
The question is whether the Public Service's productivity will increase. If this does not happen, the number of jobs will have to be reduced in order to prevent government spending on salaries that are increasing unnecessarily. In this regard, the proposed measures to combat corruption in the Public Service as well as the attempts to curb the unnecessary growth of the Public Service through unnecessary administrative personnel are welcomed. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon members, I want to appeal to you again that the level of noise is very high. It's very disturbing to speakers. Please!
Nksz N N SIBHIDA: Into ebalulekileyo kolu phuhliso kukuba lulawulwe zintlaka zikarhulumente; inkxaso yayo ingaphumi kwingxowa yelizwe. U-Eskom, nje ngokuba eza kukwakha, aphuhlise aqinisekise ukuba umbane uyafumaneka kwiindawo zonke, asisayi kuphinda sehlelwe sisihelegu sokuba abantu bakuthi bangabinawo umbane ngamaxesha abalulekileyo kubo. UKhongolose uhambisana kakhulu noluvo olubekwe nguMphathiswa apha kule Ndlu, lokunyuswa kwale ngxowa ejongene nophuhlisoculo lwezibonelelo zolwakhiwo kumacandelo ahlukeneyo.
Kodwa, Mphathiswa, sithi masikubeke kucace ukuba singuKhongolose sinokuncwina kakhulu kuba akucaci ncam nokuba le mali ikwaquka ukuhlaziywa kwezibonelelo zolwakhiwo ezikhoyo nezo zizaaleyo eza kusungulwa, kuquka nokuhlaziywa kwayo, kuba ethubeni ukuba asikwenzi oko kuza kufuneka ukuba siphinde sibuyele kuni size kucela inkxaso ngemali.
Siyalwamkela uphuhliso nokukhula kwenkxaso zimali kushishino loluntu oluthe kwakhula nge-15,9% kule minyaka igqithileyo nekulindeleke ukuba iphinde ixhume kunyaka ozayo iye kuma-20%. Amaziko afana no-Eskom, nje ngokuba sesitshilo, nawophehlo- mbane, oololiwe nezokubhabhaiphapho apha kweli lizwe nawo azakuxhamla kanobom kolu nyuso lwezimali. Iingcali zoqoqosho zamandulo ziyibeka icace into yokuba uphuhliso lwe zibonelelo zolwakhiwo lolona luhamba phambilidla ubhedu ekunikezeleni iinkonzo nasekuphuhlisweni koluntu ngokubanzi kwanoqoqosho.
Kungenxa yokuba izibonelelo zolwakhiwo zixandile kwimiba yemveliso, impucuko kunye nemo yemigangatho yentlalo yoluntu. Kumazwe aphuhlayo, afana neli loMdibaniso, uphuhlisoculo lwezibonelelo zolwakhiwo lungundoqo kuphuhliso loqoqosho. Ukuze kubekho uphuhliso kufuneka izibonelelo zolwakhiwo esezingeni eliphezulu, iindlela ezihambekayo, izibhedlele ezamkelekileyo, imigaqo yamanzi, umbane ongenamaginxinxi ofumaneka ngalo lonke ixesha, nako konke okunye ukwenzela ukuba uluntu luphile impilo engcono.
Mphathiswa, nhoko, asiwuqinisi umnqwazi isihelegu sokuba imali ejongene nokuphuchulwao lkwemo yamanzi isuke isetyenziselwe uphando lwemo esele isaziwa phaya koorhulumente basekuhlaleni. Umzekelo, zizigidi ezimashumi mabini anomvo kuMasipala wesiThili saseSedibeng eya setyenziswa kuphando.
Singumbutho ogxalaba libanzi lokuthwala iinzingo zeempula zikalujacu zeli ne-Afrika yonke, uKhongolose lowo, siyakwamkela konke okubekwe ngoNongxowa kule Ndlu. Sinethemba lokuba konke oku kuza kuhamba indima ende kuphuhlisoculo lwempilo yoluntu ngokubanzi. Sicela le Ndlu ukuba ilwamkele uluvo lwesebe malunga nayo yonke le miba ibekwe ngaphambili. Ndiyabulela. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa speech follows.)
[Ms N N SIBHIDA: What is important in this development is that it must be controlled by organs of the state; it must not be supported with funds from the national coffers. As Eskom is going to build, develop and ensure that electricity is available everywhere, we will not experience the horrible situation that our people do not have electricity at times which are important to them. The ANC supports the idea suggested by the hon Minister in this House, that the fund responsible for infrastructure development must be increased in the various sections.
However, hon Minister, we must state categorically that we, the ANC, are not very pleased because it is not clear whether this amount includes the renovation of existing infrastructure together with that which must still be built and its maintenance – because if we do not maintain it we will have to come back to you and request funds for that purpose.
We welcome the development and increment with regard to the financial support which has gone up by 15,9% in the previous years and which is expected to increase to 20% next year. As we have said, institutions like Eskom, electricity generation, trains and aviation in this country will also greatly benefit from this increment. Economic experts put it clearly that infrastructure development is vital in service delivery, community development in general and the economy.
This is because infrastructure development is wide and includes production, development and the standard of living of the general public. In the developing nations, such as South Africa, the upgrading of infrastructure development is the basis of economic development. In order for development to happen there must be infrastructure development of the highest standard: usable roads, hospitals of acceptable standards, electricity supply that is always available and without any load shedding, as well as everything else in order for the community to experience a better life.
Hon Minister, we do not welcome the horrible situation in which finance was allocated for the purification of water but instead was used for research which the local government had known about. For example, the Sedibeng District Municipality spent R21 million on research.
As the party that shoulders all the problems of the poorest of the poor of this country and Africa at large, the ANC, we welcome everything that the Treasury has tabled in this House. We hope that it will go a long way towards developing the lives of the communities in general. We appeal to this House to accept the view of the department with regard to all the issues that were brought to its attention. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, the ACDP supports the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement which sets out government's spending plans for the next three years, based on certain macroeconomic assumptions.
As we expressed our concern at the ballooning budget deficit forecast in February, we particularly welcome the downward revision of the budget deficit from 6,5% to 5,3% of gross domestic product, GDP, for this year; reducing further to 3,2% over the medium term. This is on the back of gradual, yet sustained domestic economic growth, revised upwards from 2,3% to 3% of GDP for the year, resulting of course, in increased revenue collection, which is welcome.
However, despite a relatively healthy fiscal position, the projected economic growth is uncertain and predicated upon a number of economic variables. In this regard, the ACDP has expressed its concerns about the net loan public debt set to reach R1,46 trillion by 2013-14, which is a significant figure. I wonder how many hon members know how many noughts there are in a trillion rand. I would like them to work it out.
The actual outcome will depend largely on the pace of economic growth. In our view, government debt levels, shared by many others, must be reduced to manageable levels. Failure to do so could result in sovereign debt crises similar to those faced in the euro zone. I am sure you would agree with that.
In this regard, the ACDP is concerned about the impact that the deepening credit crises of both Greece and Ireland will have on demand for South African goods. Has this been factored into the economic growth projections or is it envisaged that this contagion may spread to other European countries? You are no doubt aware that last night the markets took a hammering owing to concerns about Ireland.
Minister, you have also been vocal in your criticism of the US pumping an additional US$600 billion into its economy. We share your views on this issue and the impact that it will have on strengthening currencies such as ours with the capital inflow.
Lastly, regarding the structural reforms and the Seoul G20 meeting, we would like more information related to sustained global demand, job creation and global rebalancing, or was the meeting, in effect, much ado about nothing? I thank you.
Mrs M N MATLADI: Hon Chairperson, the UCDP agrees with the Minister's statement that South Africa's success in delivering the 2010 World Cup illustrates its ability to unite a nation behind a common goal, and that we as South Africans can draw from this experience and work to transform the country's economy into one that can grow fast enough to create the jobs that we need.
However, in order to reach our goal we have to address the following. We have to increase the performance of public spending, in particular addressing the value-for-money aspect, including tender allocations and management, project management, and prevention of fraud and corruption in departments and entities. And we have to address underspending that usually leads to rollovers and overspending by departments.
It is good that the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement should reflect revenue that is higher than expenditure. What remains a concern is the scenario in which we continue to applaud the economy for its growth, but growth that does not cater for its citizens. Total employment has declined by more that a million jobs between the first quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2010, and the unemployment rate has reached 25,3%.
We welcome the fact that a larger proportion of funds in the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will go towards disaster management. We hope this will empower municipalities to handle disasters and offer the necessary relief and care when disasters hit.
We expected a significant adjustment to the university education item of Higher Education and Training. Access to higher education by the deserving poor is still an issue that needs budgetary attention. While looking into the allocation to women ... We support the Bill. I thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, in order to raise the level of service delivery, constructive spending patterns are of paramount importance. On the issue of debt:GDP ratio, the MF believes strongly that National Treasury should have come up with a model to reduce it in order for there to be stability.
We are constantly reminded by the Minister of Finance that we are in a globalised world, but that indicates that we are neglecting issues of domestic infrastructure and that the economy is dependent on what is happening in other countries. The movement of currencies between countries does not mean that we have a recession. Therefore, it is imperative that a country should put great emphasis on domestic infrastructure and social priorities.
Grants to municipalities are an area of great concern. Indeed, there should be a constructive oversight monitoring mechanism. Communities continue to fall victim to the lack of better service delivery because of corruption, nepotism and maladministration. The MF welcomes the Minister's commitment and dedication to getting rid of corruption.
Land reform is a very critical issue. Whilst land restitution is a right, land reform is a policy choice. It is sad that foreign industrialists are controlling most of the land in South Africa. Therefore, we must put emphasis on land reform. It is no use saying we are on South African land - on this land - yet know that most of it is owned by foreigners.
Provinces also need to play a pivotal role in revenue collection. We only look at national revenue collection. What mechanisms are in place to bring provinces on board?
The MF welcomes the youth wage subsidy. However, youth unemployment and the skills shortage are structural unemployment problems. The skills that graduates have are not required by the labour market. While South Africa is spending greatly on our education system by hiring educators and building colleges, are we spending on a relevant education system? The MF will support the Bill.
Nkk B T NGCOBO: Somlomo, namalungu ahloniphekileyo, uKhongolose usiqhakambisa kakhulu isimo semfundo kuleli lizwe; kodwa ngeke kwenzeke ukuthi ngale minyakana nje embalwa sibusa kuhulumeni wentandoyeningi sibe sesibona ushintsho olukhulu ngoba ku sukela kudala ukuthi abantu babandlululwe kwezemfundo. Ngoba uKhongolose uyaziqhakambisa ezemfundo; ubhekelela kuqala ojahidada emazingeni aphansi kuze kuyofinyelela kulabo asebephothula emazingeni aphansi.
Okubaluleke kakhulu wukuthi njengoba siqala kojahidada sifuna abantwana bazijwayeze ukufunda besebancane, baqhubeke noma sebesemazingeni aphezulu. Yingakho nje inani lokubhaliswa kwabantwana abasebancane ngonyaka wezi-2014 liyobe selifinyelele kwabayikhulu. Yingakho futhi ngonyaka ozayo - ngoba akusenzekanga ngodlule - abantwana bezothola izincwadi zokusebenzela kanye nezokufunda bese othisha bona bethola izincwadi zokufundisa.
Sizophinda futhi sibhekisise ukuthi abantwana abafundayo bazohlolwa ebangeni lesithathu, elesithupha kanye nelesikhombisa ukuze bakwazi ukukhuluma kanye nokubala, ngoba kuyinto esemqoka leyo. Akusizi ukuthi siqhubeke nokufundisa abantu abangakwazi ukusebenzisa ulimi. Ngakho-ke sincoma ukuthi isabiwomali somhlaka-27 sikubhekelele ukuphuculwa kwesimo semfundo. Ngqongqoshe kanye nozakwenu, kungayinto enhle ukuthi namakolishi othisha nawabahlengikazi avuleke phela ukuze kuqhutshekwe nokubhekelela imikhakha yokufundisa neyokwelapha.
Uma ngibheka uMnyango Wezempilo, impilo ayibheki isimo somzimba nje kuphela kodwa sibheka umuntu ewonke; emzimbeni, emphefumulweni kanye nasengqondweni. Isabiwozimali sihlahlelwe ngendlela yokuthi kukhona nemali ebhekelele ingculazi, isandulela-ngculazi kanye nesifo sofuba ngoba yizona zifo ezande kakhulu futhi eziqhubeka nokubhebhetheka.
INingizimu Afrika ibulawa wukuthi ikholelwa kakhulu ekwelapheni kunokuvimbela ukugula. Kufanele ukugula sikuvimbele, laba abaphila kahle sibakhuthaze ukuze baqhubeke bephila singakhokhi izimali ezinkulu zokwelapha. Siyakuncoma kakhulu ukuthi isandulela ngculazi, ingculazi kanye nesifo sofuba sekusukunyelwe futhi kuyelashwa ezindaweni eziningi. Kubalulekile ukuthi labo bantu abahlala ezindaweni zasemakhaya, ikakhulukazi abesifazane bafundiseke ngezimo zempilo, nengculazi ngoba yibona abatheleleka ngokushesha ngenxa yesimo sobuphofu obukhona kulezo zindawo.
Siyakuncoma-ke futhi ukuthi nabantu abasebenza kwezempilo bazozithola sebehola kangcono; mhlawumbe lokho kuzobakhuthaza ukuthi basebenze ngokuzikhandla. Kubalulekile ukuthi sisonke la sikhulume okuhle kodwa ngodaba lokuphucula izimpilo zabantu.
Uma sibheka udaba lwempesheni; lapha siqonde zonke izinhlobo zempesheni ngoba siyazi phela ukuthi impesheni lapha eNingizimu Afrika ibhekelele abantu abaningi kusuka ezinganeni ezincane kuya kwabadala, abakhubazekile kanye nabagulayo. Liphezulu kakhulu inani labantu ababhekwe yile mali. Ngeke phela-ke kube nguMnyango wezokuThuthukiswa koMphakathi kuphela obhekelele lesi simo.
Neminye iminyango kufanele ukuthi ingenelele. Yingakho nje sikuncome kakhulu ukuthi uMnyango wezokuThuthukiswa kweziNdawo zasemaKhaya neziNguquko zoMhlaba usuthathe umthwalo wokufundisa intsha ngezindlela zokulima nezokukhiqiza ukudla. Lokho kuzokwenza ukuthi intsha ifunde iphinde ikwazi ukululeka abantu ngokukhiqizwa kokudla bese nomphakathi uphile kangcono ngoba ukudla kuzobe sekwandile. Siyayikhuthaza intsha ukuthi izame ukuthi ilibambe ngazo zombili leli thuba.
UMnyango wezemiSebenzi yoMphakathi unendima enkulu kabi oyidlalayo ngale nje kokuzibandakanya kulezi zinhlelo ezincane. Sathi uma siqala ngonyaka wezi-2005, uhlelo lokukhulisa ezemisebenzi yomphakathi kuyothi ekugcineni kosuku ihlomise abantu ngamakhono azobenza ukuthi bakwazi ukuzimela, nokuzisebenzele bengayanga ukuyofuna imisebenzi kobasi ngoba bazobe sebengobasi bona uma sebethole amakhono. Siyakukhuthaza ukuthi lowo mnyango uzame ukuthi uphushe umsebenzi wawo uze ufike lapho kulelo zinga.
Kuyasiphoxa nokho ukuthi kuba khona lezo zihibe zokungasebenziseki kahle kwezimali kulabo abazokhokhela izimpesheni, nakulabo ababhekelela abantu abazofaka izicelo zempesheni. Siyakuncoma kakhulu ukuthi uNgqongqoshe ukubeke ngale kokuthandabuza ukuthi lezo zimo zizofakelwa amehlo kanti neKhomishane yemiSebenzi yoMphakathi ilokhu iziqaphile lezi zimo. Uhulumeni usezimemezelile ezinye izinyathelo ezithathwayo ukuze le ndlela yokusebenziseka kabi kwemali iye ngokushabalala.
Siphila ezweni elingenawo amanzi kodwa sinamadamu amaningi okufuneka akhiwe aphele; sinamadamu amadala okufuneka alungiswe ukuze abantu bakwazi ukuthola amanzi. Kusenjalo futhi sinezimayini nazo ezibuye zisebenzise kakhulu amanzi agcine engasakwazi ukuyofinyelela kahle kubantu. Yikho-ke uma sikhuluma ngamanzi siye sithi uma kuvuleleka ukuthi abantu bakwazi ukusebenza embonini yamanzi, baningi abantu abayothola amathuba okuqashwa, bathuthukise nekhono labo ukuze nemiphakathi ihlomule ngamanzi ngenxa yamakhono abo. Silushayela ihlombe nalolu hlelo lwemali ehlalele ukubhekelela izimo zamanzi.
Sengiphetha Ngqongqoshe, ngizovumelana nokusho kwakho ukuthi intuthuko ayiyi ngezibalo kuphela kodwa iya ngokuthi izimpilo zabantu ziyaguquka yini ukuze bathole lokhu ababekade bekulangazelele; ukuthi uma sekuphethe uhulumeni wabantu siyophila impilo engcono, nemali esiyikhiphayo siyayilandelela yini ukuthi yenza lokhu ebekufuneka ikwenze. Sihlushwa ukuthi amakhono awakabi mahle kodwa mhlawumbe ngelinye ilanga siyothi uma ngabe singcweka la sikhuluma ngokwabiwa kwezimali, sigxile ekukuthuthukisweni kwamakhono. Siyaluseka lolu xhaso, siyancoma. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)
[Ms B T NGCOBO: Speaker, and hon members, the ANC takes education seriously in this country; but we cannot, in these few years of democracy, see much transformation because people were deprived of education during the apartheid era. Because it takes education seriously, the ANC caters for children in the foundation phase and those who are about to finish the foundation phase.
What is most important in respect of the children is that we want them to get used to reading while they are still young, and for them to continue doing so even when they are in senior phases. That is why the number of enrolments will reach 100 in 2014. That is why next year, because it did not happen last year, children will get workbooks and learner books and teachers will get teacher guides.
We will also make sure that children are assessed in Grades 3, 6 and 7 so that they will be able to speak and count, because that is very important. It does not help to continue teaching children who do not know how to use the language. We applaud the fact that the Budget Vote on the 27th considered improving the state of education. Minister and your colleagues, it would be very nice if teaching and nursing colleges were to be reopened in order for the education and health fields to be considered.
Take, for instance, the Department of Health; health does not only refer to the physical state but to a person as a whole - physically, spiritually and mentally. The Budget has been allocated in such a way that funds have been allocated for HIV/Aids and TB because these are common diseases that continue to spread.
South Africa is disadvantaged by the fact that we believe in treatment rather than in preventing sicknesses. We must prevent sickness; those who live healthy lives must continue to do so, so that they can live longer and we will not have to spend more money treating them. We applaud the fact that HIV/Aids and TB have been taken into consideration and that they are being treated in many areas. It is very important for the people who are in the rural areas, especially the women, to be taught about health and Aids because they are the ones who get infected easily due to poverty in those areas.
We appreciate that people who work for the health services will find that they are being paid better; maybe that will motivate them to work harder. It is important for all of us here to speak well of the issue of improving people's lives.
If we look at the issue of grants - here we refer to all kinds of grants - we know that it sustains many people in South Africa, from the children to the elderly, the disabled and the sick. The number of people who are being sustained by this money is very high. It cannot be the Department of Social Development only that takes care of this situation.
Other departments must intervene. That is why we highly appreciated the fact that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has taken up the task of teaching the youth ways of planting and producing food. That will educate and enable the youth to advise people about food production so that the communities can live better because food will be in abundance. We encourage the youth to grab this opportunity with both hands.
The Department of Public Works has a very crucial role to play besides getting involved in these small programmes. The programme which was launched in 2005 for developing public works will, at the end of the day, equip people with the skills that will sustain them, and help them create jobs for themselves; which means they will not have to seek employment because they will be employers themselves once they acquire the skills. We encourage that department to push its work until it reaches that level.
It is disappointing to see that there are discrepancies with regard to the mismanagement of funds by those who pay pensions, and those who help with pension or grant applications. We are happy because the Minister clearly said that those situations will be looked at and the Public Works Commission is always on the lookout for such situations. The government has announced some measures to be taken to minimise the mismanagement of funds.
We are living in a country that does not have enough water but we have many dams that need to be built and finished; we have old dams that need revamping so that people can get water. We also have mines that use more water which results in water not reaching people. That is why when we talk about water we say that if it happens that a chance arises for people to work in the water supply industry, many people would be lucky to be employed, and develop their skills so that the community can be supplied with water because of their skills. We applaud the Budget that is intended to take care of issues regarding water.
In conclusion, Minister, I agree with what you said with regard to development not being measured by the statistics, but by whether the lives of people do transform so that they get what they have been longing for; that if the democratic government was in power we would live better lives, and the money that we are distributing is in fact used for what it is intended for. We are set back by the fact that skills have not been acquired well, but maybe someday when we debate the Budget, we will focus on skills development. We support this Budget; we applaud what has been done. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mnr S J F MARAIS: Voorsitter, die Minister van Finansies het oor tyd 'n reputasie opgebou vir 'n redelike geloofwaardige mediumtermyn-begrotingsbeleidsverklaring, MTBPS. Behalwe vir die aanvullende begrotings, is die belangrikste sekerlik die aanduiding van beleidsaanslagte wat impakteer op die Begrotingsrede in Februarie, maar ook die effek op die geloofwaardigheid en aanvaardiging daarvan deur beleggers binne en buite Suid-Afrika.
Ons ekonomiese herstel- en groeipotensiaal is positief, maar baie kwesbaar. Volgehoue ekonomiese herstel hang af van, onder andere, die skepping van volhoubare en netto werksgeleenthede, en die aantrekking van buitelandse beleggings, veral vaste kapitaalbeleggings. Tans het ons genoegsame portefeulje en institusionele beleggings om ons handelstekort te befonds, maar dit skep nie noodwendig werk nie, en dis korttermyn en baie vloeibaar van aard.
'n Negatiewe impak op beleggersvertroue en sentiment kan hierdie fondse oornag laat onttrek, wat ons ekonomie en sy herstel broos en kwesbaar sal laat. Gelukkig het ons 'n omgewing van geloofwaardige beleggings, banke en finansiële sektore, en bied ons kompeterende reële opbrengste. Dit beïnvloed ongelukkig die sterkte van die rand disproporsioneel, wat uitvoere en werkskepping in die geaffekteerde sektore ontmoedig.
Hoewel die Minister positiewe aankondigings gemaak het, is daar kommer wanneer dit ontleed word, en ek raak enkeles aan. Eerstens, die skep van die addisionele vyf miljoen netto volhoubare werksgeleenthede teen 2020, wat net so uit die ambisieuse nuwe ekonomiese groeipad ontleen is, is nie realisties nie. In u eie woorde, Minister, het ons 'n bruto binnelandse produk, BBP, groeikoers van 7% per jaar nodig om 5,5 miljoen poste te skep, hoewel u beleidsverklaring 'n groei van 4,4% teen 2013 voorsien en nadat daar, sedert 1994, slegs sowat vier miljoen poste geskep is. Hoe gaan die vyf miljoen poste geskep word, Minister? Nie net u verklarings nie, maar ook die nuwe ekonomiese groeipad, is uiters vaag hieroor.
Tweedens, ons het kennis geneem van die Aksieplan vir Nywerheidsbeleid, Ipap, en sy groeidoelwitte, veral ten opsigte van die groen- en agrinywerhede, die bevordering van 'n uitvoerklimaat, nywerheidsontwikkeling, die bevordering van plaaslike inhoud, ensovoorts. Die struikelblokke vir die privaatsektor om ekonomiese groei te ontsluit en aggressief werk te skep, is egter legio. Ons nywerheidsektore is nie kompeterend genoeg teenoor ander ekonomieë nie, soos byvoorbeeld dié van Brasilië, Rusland, Indië, China, Bric-lande, met wie ons wil assosieer nie. Ons vergelykbare produktiwiteitsvlakke is ook te swak.
Derdens, beleggers en die privaatsektor wil werk skep, maar dan moet 'n omgewing deur die staat geskep word om dit te bevorder. Minister, ons sal aansporings- en ondersteuningspakkette moet saamstel, wat die globale kompeteerbaarheid van ons ondernemings moet verbeter. Met inbegrip van die reëls van die Wêreldhandelsorganisasie, is dit nodig om soortgelyke en kreatiewe oorsese subsidies en aansporingsmaatreëls teen te werk. Indien daar nie voordele vir ondernemers is nie, sal werk nie geskep en die ekonomie nie ontwikkel word nie. Vennootskappe tussen die staat en die privaatsektor moet hier 'n poging wees waaruit almal kan baat.
Vierdens, die huidige arbeidsregime is egter nie bevorderlik vir werkskepping nie, en daarom is nuwe en kreatiewe benaderings nodig 'n Nuwe beleid ten opsigte van nywerheidsontwikkeling sones moet ontwikkel word, om unieke werkskepping en kompeterende nywerheidsontwikkeling hier aan te moedig.
Werkskepping kan die belastingbetalers tot bo 5,5 miljoen verhoog, en die afhanklikes van staatstoelae tot onder 13,8 miljoen verlaag. Dit sal die staat se inkomstes verhoog, en kan lei tot beter toelaes aan die mense wie dit werklik nodig het, insluitend kinders, ouer mense, gestremdes en werkloses. Hulle koopvermoë, "self-esteem" [eiewaardigheid] en die algemene verbruikersvertroue sal hierdeur 'n positiewe uitwerking op ekonomiese groei hê.
Ten laaste, laat ek 'n diensleweringsakie aanroer wat my na aan die hart lê. Uit skakeling met die Nasionale Tesourie en Sars, was dit my persepsie dat die 2009 verandering aan die belastingwet, spesifiek die gedeelte wat op belastingkortings en -aftrekkings aan persone met gestremdhede betrekking het, ten doel gehad het om dit makliker te maak vir beide Sars en die belastingbetalers om regmatige eise te finaliseer, voldoening aan die Sars vereistes te verseker, en vir die staat om sy maatskaplike verantwoordelikheid teenoor hierdie uiters gemarginaliseerde groep na te kom.
Ongelukkig verskil die toepassing deur Sars en ervaring van belastingbetalers dramaties van die bedoeling, uitgespreek in komiteevergaderings. Was die bedoeling nie opreg nie, of het die amptenare eenvoudig nie die kennis en ervaring om dit te implementeer nie?
Ondanks die oortuiging van sekere amptenare, is daar baie belastingsbetalers wat onbillike diskriminasie en vooroordeel oor Sars se toepassings daarvan ervaar. Die ervaring is ook dat daar nie genoeg empatie betoon word nie, en die verskil tussen die hantering van persone met enkel gestremhede teenoor persone met meervoudige, erge gestremdhede, eenvoudig nie verstaan word nie. Ek kan u verseker dit verskil soos nag en dag.
Die moontlike probleme van bedrog met personeel en konsultante by Sars, bring nou mee dat alle belastingbetalers met "excessive medical costs" [buitensporige mediese koste] - dis alle gestremdes - deur Sars in 'n brief, as moontlike bedrieërs uitgemaak word, met die onus op hulle om Sars verkeerd te bewys, sonder enige prima facie-bewyse.
Die lys van toelaatbare aftrekkings word nou gebruik as redes om eise nie toe te staan nie, eerder as om dit as riglyne te gebruik om voldoening te bevorder. Die jagmaak op die mees kwesbare mense as sagte teikens, is eenvoudig onbillike diskriminasie. U word versoek om in te gryp, sodat die oorspronklike bedoelings reg geïmplimenteer word. Ek dank u. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)
[Mr S J F MARAIS: Chairperson, The Minister of Finance has over time established a reputation for producing a fairly sound Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS. Except for the supplementary budgets, the indication of the impact of policy on the Budget Speech in February must surely be the most significant, but also the impact on the reliability and acceptance thereof by investors within and outside of South Africa.
Our economic recovery and growth potential is positive, but very vulnerable. Sustained economic recovery depends, inter alia, on the creation of sustainable and net job opportunities and the attraction of foreign investments, especially fixed capital investments. Currently we have sufficient portfolio and institutional investments to fund our trade deficit, but this does not necessarily create jobs and it is short-term and of a very fluid nature.
A negative impact on investor confidence and sentiment could result in these funds being withdrawn overnight, which would leave our economy and its recovery fragile and vulnerable. Fortunately we have a reliable investment, banking and financial sector environment and we offer competitive real returns. Unfortunately this influences the strength of the rand disproportionately, which discourages exports and job creation in the affected sectors.
Although the Minister has made positive announcements, there are concerns when these are analysed and I would like to touch on a few. Firstly, the creation of the additional five million net sustainable job opportunities by 2010, which was adopted as is from the ambitious new economic growth path, is not realistic. In your own words, Minister, we will need an annual growth rate of 7% in the gross domestic product, GDP, to create 5,5 million positions, while your policy statement predicts a growth of 4,4% by 2013, and this after only about four million positions have been created since 1994. How will the five million positions be created, Minister? Not only your statements, but also the new economic growth path, is very vague in this regard.
Secondly, we have taken note of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap, and its growth targets, especially with regard to the green and agro-industries, the promotion of a climate conducive to export, industrial development, the promotion of local content, and so forth. However, the obstacles for the private sector to be able to unlock economic growth and to aggressively create jobs are legion. Our industrial sectors are not competitive enough when compared to other economies, such as those of Brazil, Russia, India, China, Bric countries, with whom we would like to be associated. Our comparative productivity levels are also too low.
Thirdly, investors and the private sector want to create jobs, but then an environment should be created by the state to promote this. Minister, we will have to put together incentive and support packages, which must improve the global competitiveness of our enterprises. While cognisant of the regulations of the World Trade Organisation, it has become necessary to counteract similar and creative subsidies and incentives abroad. If there aren't any advantages for entrepreneurs, jobs will not be created and the economy will not develop. Partnerships between the state and the private sector must, in this instance, be an endeavour from which everyone can benefit.
Fourthly, the existing labour regime is not conducive to job creation, however, and therefore new and creative approaches are required.
A new policy with regard to industrial development zones must be established to encourage unique job opportunities and competitive industrial development in that area.
Job creation can increase the number of taxpayers to more than 5,5 million and those dependent on state grants to less than 13,8 million. This will increase the state's revenue and could result in an improvement in the grants for those people who really need them, including children, elderly people, those with disabilities and the unemployed. In consequence of this, their buying power and self-esteem, and consumer confidence as a whole will positively impact on economic growth.
Finally, let me touch on a service delivery matter that is close to my heart. From interactions with the National Treasury and Sars, it was my perception that the objective of the 2009 amendment to the taxation law, particularly the section pertaining to tax rebates and allowances to persons with disabilities, was to make it easier for both Sars and the taxpayers to expedite lawful claims, ensure compliance with the requirements of Sars, and for the state to fulfil its social responsibility to this very marginalised group.
Unfortunately, the manner in which it is applied by Sars and experienced by taxpayers differs significantly from how it was intended, as expressed in committee meetings. Was the intention not sincere or do the officials simply not have the knowledge and experience to implement it?
In spite of the belief by certain officials, there are many taxpayers who are experiencing unfair discrimination and prejudice because of how Sars has implemented it. The experience is also that there isn't enough empathy displayed, and the difference in the treatment of persons with single disabilities compared to persons with multiple, severe disabilities is simply not understood. I assure you that it differs like night and day.
The possible challenges regarding fraud among staff and consultants at Sars have resulted in all taxpayers with excessive medical costs - thus all of the disabled - being made out to be possible fraudsters in a letter by Sars, with the onus falling on them to prove Sars wrong, without any prima facie evidence.
The admissible deductions listed are now being used as reasons not to approve claims, rather than being used as guidelines to assist with compliance. Hounding after the most vulnerable people, because they are soft targets, is simply unfair discrimination. You are requested to intervene, so that the original intentions are correctly implemented. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mr E M SOGONI: Hon House Chair, hon members, in today's debate we are charting new ground created by the ANC, continuing along the road of transforming our budget and finance processes to make them more transparent, efficient and effective.
The ANC also acknowledges the teething challenges associated with the implementation of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, Act No 9 of 2009, which will improve with time. The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement and adjustments delivered six months into the financial year serve as a barometer of the road travelled since the tabling of the main Budget.
It affords lawmakers the opportunity to prepare for the next year and the two outer financial years. This is an opportunity for Parliament to amend the fiscal framework of the 2011-12 budgets if it so wishes. It also takes place within the context of the 12 agreed outcomes. Also crucial to this Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement is the centrality of the people; in other words, the extent to which the Budget addresses the needs of the majority of the people who are poor. It also takes place in the context of the performance agreement signed between the President and the executive. This signals a real paradigm shift in terms of how government business has always been conducted.
This MTBPS spells out clear, measurable objectives as evidenced in the public hearings by different stakeholders such as the Human Sciences Research Council, that agreed "in the challenge of finding the right balances in the economic and development priorities", that unemployment become the top priority; that the cities be recognised as engines of growth requiring more investment in infrastructure to address bottlenecks and backlogs; and, finally, that due attention be given to the rural development and post-school employment opportunities for the youth.
Going forward, the downward revision of agriculture and health spending over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, please! Continue, hon member.
Mr E M SOGONI: ... would require attention particularly in light of the positive contribution of these sectors to the economy, if we want to defeat poverty associated with underdevelopment and migration to the cities.
The ANC welcomes the introduction of the rural household infrastructure grant which will result in job creation through construction and maintenance of infrastructure in the rural areas. Many houses have been delivered over the past few years. However, housing accreditation for municipalities will go a long way in accelerating housing delivery by the cities, as a start, and other municipalities in the long run.
The Constitution enjoins national and provincial governments to strengthen local government to ensure that resources made available through the municipal infrastructure grants are expended to the benefit of the communities to avoid rollovers. The underexpenditure of R1,8 billion with regard to the municipal infrastructure grant needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency.
On the adjustments appropriation, the Minister of Finance tabled the Adjustments Appropriation Bill together with the MTBPS. Assessing the adjustments against policy priorities, it was encouraging to note that departmental spending was R26,4 billion compared to the same period in 2009. However, the spending is still less than 50% as a benchmark.
Section 30 of the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA, says that national adjustments may only provide for unforeseen and unavoidable expenditure. I'm sure the hon member from the UDM is not very clear on what section 30 says about the adjustments, because what he said has nothing to do with section 30 of the PFMA.
We can confirm as a committee that this clause has, to a large extent, been complied with. However, the issue of salary adjustments could be looked at if it can't be addressed earlier and there could be negotiations to cover a longer period of time than is covered under the current arrangement.
The MTEF budget process gives departments and entities plenty of opportunities to plan. However, there are still challenges around this issue. The committee did not receive any proposals for the amendment of the budgets from the portfolio committees.
May I take this opportunity to thank the finance family, including Minister Gordhan, Deputy Minister Nene, all members and staff of the committee for their support by working tirelessly in ensuring the success of the committee meetings and of the report. I hope they will take a deserved rest and summer holiday. The ANC proposes the adoption of both the MTBPS and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank all the members who have participated in this debate, but in particular Mr Sogoni and Mr Mufamadi and their respective teams from all political parties for their excellent work.
I know reading is not a popular sport, perhaps, in this House sometimes, but if you read these reports they are extremely valuable. They demonstrate that the portfolio committees have gone into far greater detail than ever before. They have tried to command the facts and the figures; they have asked the right sorts of questions; and certainly they are beginning to discover both the good things that are happening in government and departments and the not so good things that are happening in government and departments. I think the House needs to compliment all the portfolio committees for the excellent work that they have done. Could you applaud them, please? [Applause.]
In the course of their work they have looked at the roles and mandates of departments; they have assessed the strategic priorities of departments and their measurable objectives; they've examined the operational plans and the extent to which they are being delivered. There is a powerful relationship between the executive, the administration, the Appropriations committee, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, and indeed all of the other committees as well.
Now, one of the things that has come through in this debate is the necessity to reinforce what the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement is. The MTBPS is not the Budget. The MTBPS is here to update you on the economy to undertake certain adjustment appropriations and to give an indication of the fiscal framework which will guide the Budget for the next year and indeed the two years that follow. In doing so, it sets out, as many of you have pointed out, the revenue picture, the debt picture, and the expenditure picture.
What is interesting about the debate and the contributions of the various members and indeed the reports as well is the vast areas of agreement that we seem to have amongst us. We have agreement that the global economy is an unsteady picture; that there are still uncertainties in this environment in which we operate which we need to be extremely vigilant about. We agree that the South African economy is recovering, but clearly the growth isn't reaching the levels that it should reach. We also agree that the current levels of growth or the past levels of growth, and our capacity to create jobs and our ability to reduce poverty are not good enough for the future.
At least we seem to agree that corruption is a problem that all of us need to tackle. We seem to have some doubts in certain quarters about the will or political will of government. Let me, on behalf of government and indeed the ANC, emphasise very clearly that we have no shortage of political will. There is enough demonstration of that in terms of the number of investigations and so on going on in our country - you can clap louder for that one. [Applause.]
We also seem to agree that value for money is a concern for all political parties in this House. All I can say is that through the vehicle of the portfolio committees, can we start interrogating value for money in respect of all the departments and all they are doing on a much more rigorous basis than we do.
We also agree that infrastructure projects are key, whether they are operated at the national or provincial level through municipalities or state-owned entities. We also agree that skills development is a crucial project for our country and, as the hon Ngcobo pointed out, even in areas such as nurses' training colleges, we need to do a lot more to reopen them, re-establish them, and widen their capacity.
Interestingly, in much of what I have heard in the debate, there is also agreement that in a country like ours where poverty is a serious challenge and where development is a serious challenge, the state must be much more active than in other economies where this problem does not exist to the same extent. So, perhaps this is another area of consensus amongst us, and it should not become an ideological debate as it often does. The state must do much more. It must do it with a greater sense of urgency and a lot more efficiently than it does currently.
There is also agreement amongst us that monetary and fiscal policies on their own don't really solve our problems. As we approach the challenges of the growth path, the challenges of creating more jobs in South Africa, and the challenges of meeting the target of five million jobs we need a combination of policies, actions, institutions, and indeed the participation of all our people and actors if we are to deliver. So, more and more we should talk about not which single instrument is going to get us to where we want to get to, but what this package is that we need to put together; and that is what the growth path attempts to do.
In that particular context, the hon Mufamadi and the hon Koornhof made very important comments about the so-called currency wars, about where the world stands at the moment; about how national interests and global interests don't always align in a particular way. We also need to keep a very watchful eye on how South Africa's interests are affected by the actions of other, far more powerful countries than us.
It's a risky business to raise our voices, as I've learnt recently, but nonetheless we've got to speak truth to power and we have to say to those who take policy choices which impact on other countries - or have what the International Monetary Fund and others call a spill-over effect on other countries - what those impacts are and why we should continue to search for alternative ways of doing things which will give us a different set of answers.
With regard to areas that, clearly, you were expecting answers to and in regard to which you didn't receive as detailed answers as some of you would have liked, I want to repeat the message that this is not the Budget and this is not where all our answers and questions will be spelt out. So, on the growth path more details will indeed follow. There is a lot of intensive work being done by the whole Cabinet, and in time those details will become clearer.
Some of you have raised questions about our debt being high. The hon Singh even went to a dramatic extent, I thought - or the melodramatic extent - to say that debt was skyrocketing. We are nowhere near the skyrocketing range in the world, hon Singh, so please do not lose any sleep over this. You know we are really worried about your health in this regard.
The debt is under control. We have a credible fiscal path; we have a credible exit plan; we know exactly where we are going; we are not underspending nor are we overspending; we are underspending to an extent - as the committees have pointed out - in that in certain areas we don't spend the money we allocate to various departments and provinces, and that certainly is an area of concern.
Some colleagues and hon members have raised questions about where the details are of the National Health Insurance. The hon Minister of Health is not here, but I'm the Acting Minister of Health, so let me say on his behalf and mine that this is an area which is being worked on intensely and as soon as the numbers are available, we will certainly make them openly available to all of you.
Similarly, on the five million jobs, many of you have said that it is not clear how these jobs would be created. True, it is not absolutely clear, but I think we are beginning to choose a path that is fairly clear, and a set of strategic choices which are actually saying: firstly, if we continue like this, we won't succeed in creating the jobs - I think we all agree on this. Secondly, we have to do something different - I think we all agree on this as well. Thirdly, we need to put this package together under the title of the growth path and say what it is that we are going to do differently; how we are going to commit our resources; and what other concrete things - not just policy papers - we are going to do which will give hope to the millions of unemployed youth and other unemployed people amongst us.
You mentioned some areas - several colleagues and hon members have done this as well - of concern. There is absolutely no doubt, as the hon Koornhof, the hon Swart and others were saying, that what is happening in the euro zone is certainly an issue of concern. You would have heard us saying from this platform and others that there is no environment at the moment where you can say you can sleep in peace for longer than three days. Because as soon as you think that one set of problems seems to be resolved, another set of problems arises. That is the story of the last two years: that every couple of days there is something new happening - new fault lines, if you like, are being exposed, new imbalances come into play, and different trajectories are being followed in trying to sort out some of these problems.
From a South African point of view, we've got to watch all these developments and keep asking questions as some of you have correctly done: What is the impact of this for us; what are the implications for us; and what proactive or defensive measures do we take in order to ensure South Africans that we are doing the right things and not allowing these things to have a negative impact on us?
We agree with you on the value-for-money question. But, again, as Parliament you have a powerful role to play both as the ANC and as the opposition parties to ensure that our interrogation is far more detailed, the questions that we ask far more probing, and the demands that we put upon departments and officials to deliver value for money far more strident than we've had until now.
The issue of corruption keeps coming up, and whether we have the political will or not and whether we are going to be able to deliver or not. But let me repeat what I've said many times before on this platform: This is not a problem where one brush will eliminate all of the problems that we have.
We have to make this a matter of national conscience and national consciousness where every citizen understands that, whoever the public official might be in a political office or in a bureaucratic office that engages in this kind of activity, it is the public of South Africa that is short-changed at the end of the day. When the masses of our people begin to understand how they are being short-changed a lot more cutely than they do currently, well, those who are engaging in this type of activity had better be careful because that anger is going to come out in quite a ferocious way.
There was a concern raised about rural areas, and I'm sure Minister Nkwinti, if he had an opportunity to address you, would reassure you that we are doing extremely good work in this particular area.
The Appropriations committee has also raised other concerns in that, for example, a number of departments have been neglecting section 43 of the Public Finance Management Act, and engaging in virements or shifting of funds outside of the provisions of the PFMA. About 11 departments have been engaged in authorising such shifts of greater than 8%. Again, I hope that Parliament will follow this up as much as Treasury will and ensure that the right things are done.
The other concern raised by the Appropriations committee and the standing committee is improved management of capital spending in government - and some colleagues have also mentioned this. There are areas where we have given money and it has not been spent; there are grants that have been allocated to either provinces or municipalities which have not been spent; and there were hospital revitalisation grants given to provinces, and almost one billion rand may have to be recouped in this regard. In certain provinces, though, excellent work is being done. These are areas which Parliament and the National Treasury as well as all Ministers need to take a lot more seriously.
The committee has also raised concerns about the plethora of funds, agencies and entities that departments seem intent upon creating. We are living in a period in which we need to be a lot more careful about the extent to which we expand our fiscal envelope, but I don't think that consciousness is going through sufficiently. Parliament can help a great deal by exposing some of these things - those departments and entities that want to multiply these, if you like, money-absorbing activities - and try to restrain them in some way.
There has also been some criticism and observations about the MTBPS - if the size of the deficit is too small or too large, whether there are enough details about the growth path, whether the department or financial institutions are active enough or not, and whether the revenue picture is correct or not.
All I want to do in concluding is to commit from the Treasury point of view that we would like to engage with all stakeholders; listen to the views even if we disagree with them; and allow both ourselves and others to put facts on the table and let the facts begin to persuade us as to whether we are pursuing the right track or not.
I want to conclude by echoing what the hon Ngcobo had to say - that development is not about figures, but about how we change peoples' lives. The hon Sibhida made a similar point. The assurance that we need to give the South African public is that we are passionate about making changes which will affect people's lives positively and doing this in such a way that we spend our money wisely and make real differences to people and the conditions in which they live. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Bill read a first time.
Adjustments appropriation bill
(Consideration of Votes and Schedule)
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, the proceedings will initially take the form of a question-and-answer session. I shall put each Vote in respect of which adjustments have been made in turn, whereupon members will have the opportunity to pose questions to the relevant Ministers in respect of these adjustments. Each party has been allocated a global time for all votes. Once a party's time has expired, they will not be allowed to put further questions.
Hon members should please press the "to talk" button - I hope they are working - if they wish to ask questions. Hon members should please wait until I recognise them before they put their questions.
Vote No 1 - Presidency - put.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any questions?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSTION: Hon Deputy Speaker, the Presidency's appropriation process is severely undermined by the absence of a portfolio committee to oversee its activities as well as the absence of the President today. As a result, Parliament is denied the opportunity to properly interrogate the performance and activities of the Presidency, which has a significant impact on its ability to make an informed appraisal of this Budget.
Minister, on what grounds has the National Youth Development Agency been granted an additional R29 million, given that in the last financial year it failed to meet two thirds of its targets while still pouring R11 million of state funds into salaries for members of its operations executive committee?
How much of the additional R17 million of funds allocated to support services to the Presidency has been earmarked for the spousal support office?
Why has the state-owned enterprises review committee been allocated such a sizeable budget of R10 million, which is in fact equivalent to virtually half of the budget of the entire National Planning Commission?
Lastly, what are the details of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation's expanded mandate for which an additional R20 million has been allocated?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING, EVALUATION AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Deputy Speaker, in answer to the first question, the R29 million to the NYDA is meant as seed funding for an international conference which the NYDA will be hosting from 13 to 21 December this year. [Interjections.] That amount of money is meant to assist in hosting a conference which will bring together young people from more than 153 countries to South Africa to deliberate on youth matters, the resolutions of which will be passed on to various multilateral institutions internationally to assist in the development of the youth worldwide.
In reply to the second question, with regard to the additional budget to the Presidency, as you know, the Presidency has various functions to perform. Some of them have been expanded, as you said. This money is meant to assist in the performance of the functions of both the President and Deputy President and the running of the administration of the Presidency.
On the question of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, the expanded mandate of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation includes, among other things, the capacity for us to be able to deal with the municipalities, provincial governments and other state entities, because in the initial Budget we had only focused on setting up capacity at the head office to deal with issues relating to the national departments alone. Thank you.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, after South Africans voted against sanctions against Iran during its last term of office on the UN Security Council, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation was quoted as having said that, "If South Africa had understood the rules better, then they would have voted in support of the sanctions against Iran." As the Presidency oversees all government departments, how would the adjusted budget for the Presidency help to bring about a better understanding of the UN protocols to ensure that we do not make other embarrassing mistakes at the UN Security Council?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Administration in the Presidency: Deputy Speaker, obviously I think the question does not really relate to the adjustment estimates, but to policy issues for the operations of our international relations department and its policies. To that extent, I believe that the Department of International Relations and Co-operation will be able to address those issues, not necessarily in the context of the adjustment estimates of the Presidency. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Deputy Speaker, the current Cabinet is the biggest we have had since the advent of our democracy. At the beginning of this year, it was fully catered for. We need some clarity on what made it necessary for the Presidency to require yet another R84 million solely for the Presidency, at a time when we are running short of funds and communities are up in arms because of a lack of delivery, and when the Minister of Finance actually advised that there was a need to employ at the point of service delivery. What is the meaning of this? Why was it necessary to have this R84 million - to employ people that walk the grounds of this Parliament here?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING, EVALUATION AND ADMINISTRATION: Deputy Speaker, the R84 million, which is an addition to the budget of the Presidency, is an accumulation of various items. However, as we have said, the capacity of the Presidency has got nothing to do with the appointment of the Cabinet. It has to do with the functions of the Presidency itself.
Therefore, the only addition which would probably relate to the changed Cabinet would be the addition of the Deputy Minister in the Office of the President and that would be catered for within the current Budget without having to increase it, as we know that the changes took place after the Budget had been tabled in Parliament.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I did not hear the hon Minister responding to my question about how much of the R17 million allocated to support services would be earmarked for spousal support.
I really look forward to seeing the response of the 3 million unemployed young South Africans when they hear we are going to spend R29 million on a conference.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I do not know the exact amount allocated to that item, but what I do know for sure is that the amount that has been allocated to the Presidency is in addition to the budget that we had at the beginning of the year. As I said, the increasing capacity of the Presidency requires that we have that amount of money available to be able to expand on the services that we provide for the functioning of the office. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Deputy Speaker, I would like to appeal to the Minister that if he does not know what the R84 million is for, it is better to say so, so that we can follow up on the matter later on. It is important to know what the R84 million is for. If it is not for Ministers, what is it for? [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING, EVALUATION AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Deputy Speaker, the hon member's question was in regard to our expanding the Cabinet. My understanding is that this is related to the expansion of the Cabinet. I am responding to that question in that the costs of the Cabinet are borne by the various departments.
In respect of the Office of the Presidency, this only pertains to the appointment of one Deputy Minister which I said would be catered for within the context of the money that we have, because the changes took place after the Budget had been tabled. So, there is no money in that Budget which relates to the expansion of the Cabinet. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Minister. Are there other hon members who would like to ask questions on this Vote? Can we move to the next Vote?
Vote No 2 - Parliament - put.
Vote No 3 - Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs - put.
Mr J R B LORIMER: Madam Deputy Speaker and Minister, contained in this Budget is an amount of R390 million described as "equitable share transfer". If this means paying money to municipalities that are wasting it, then we cannot support this Budget. Minister, we need a comprehensive description of how it is intended that this money be spent and which municipalities will be the beneficiaries.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Madam Deputy Speaker, last year some municipalities could not account for the monies given to them. Now, we took a decision with the National Treasury that we could not continue giving those municipalities the tranches of money which we always gave them.
Now, in that respect, until we solve or deal with their problems, we and National Treasury will assist those municipalities to do their work. We have done that and have agreed that the money will be rolled over. Those municipalities are now getting the money that belonged to them for which they could not previously account. This is what is going to happen.
Now, in terms of monitoring the expenditure, we have put systems in place. We have developed monitoring mechanisms to enable us to see what is happening. We believe that those municipalities won't repeat what happened. Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr T BOTHA: Madam Deputy Speaker, the underexpenditure of the municipal infrastructure grants, which has resulted in rollovers or proposed rollovers for the next Budget, raises a number of concerns. How does the Minister intend to resolve this problem? How will the proposed special purpose vehicle improve the level of service delivery on the ground - which the department cannot do currently - and will this not constitute a further bloating of bureaucracy and an infringement of the functions of the district councils and other municipal structures? Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Madam Deputy Speaker, the first thing that you must talk about, bab' uMawawa, is that in many municipalities there are no technical people, particularly engineers. [Interjections.]
Now we have identified the problems that are being experienced. What has happened is that we have agreed that, for expenditure to happen, we have to support and assist municipalities in the deployment of engineers so that things can get done. That is the first thing.
The second thing that we are clear about is that it will take a long time for some municipalities to develop capacity. That is why we want to assist at a national level through the establishment of a special purpose vehicle to deliver service at that level. We know that it is a short-term measure. In the long term, those municipalities must acquire the capacity to do their work.
We believe that this view has been canvassed with the municipalities and with provinces. There is no interference whatsoever in that.
The functions and tasks of district municipalities include water and sanitation. District municipalities have never had the capacity to assist municipalities on the ground because the things that are being done there are not their functions. Therefore, this area that you are talking about is where we saw a gap. We think that we must assist so that there is not talk about underexpenditure of the municipal infrastructure grant all the time. Thank you.
Mr P F SMITH: Deputy Speaker, are these buttons not working, because I did press them repeatedly? They show that they are working. Do they not show on your side?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will attend to that.
Mr P F SMITH: Oh, all right. Deputy Speaker, may I ask the Minister about an amount here of R214 million for flood relief, which is unforeseen and unavoidable expenditure? Could I ask the Minister how much of that has already been spent this year, and what measures have been put in place to ensure that it is all spent this year and does not become a rollover next year? Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Madam Deputy Speaker, let me start by saying that the bulk of the money is, in fact, going to the Western Cape, to municipalities under the DA. [Interjections.]
They have done the planning; they are clear on who must be paid; they are clear who to give support to. This is because when it comes to disaster management, we give money after the fact; after the work has already been done to deal with the issues. We come later. It is something which we believe must be changed and which we are discussing with Treasury.
When these disasters happen, municipalities must be there on the ground to assist. It means then that they will be able to pay people who are owed to ensure that the money goes to them. There is no way that the money cannot be spent, because it has been spent already. Thank you.
Mr P F SMITH: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I follow up? Thank you.
Madam Deputy Speaker, I am intrigued to hear that the bulk of this money is for the Western Cape, because this delightful book I am reading here mentions the repair of roads and infrastructure damaged by floods in the KwaZulu-Natal province, so perhaps the Minister could also comment on the position regarding KZN. Thank you. [Laughter.]
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Madam Deputy Speaker, well, we know that baba Smith comes from KwaZulu-Natal. Of course, I referred to the bulk of the money, but money is also going to KwaZulu-Natal to deal with the issues.
Now, regarding the expenditure to which you have referred, all these provinces are going to spend the money. If you look at it, they wanted more money than we had. It is clear then that those monies are going to go to people who need them, and ensure that they are supported.
We have developed a mechanism ourselves to ensure that the money does what it is supposed to do, and what it was requested for. That is what will happen. Thank you.
Vote No 4 - Home Affairs - put.
Vote No 5 - International Relations and Co-operation - put.
Vote No 6 - Public Works - put.
Vote No 7 - Women, Children and People with Disabilities - put.
Mrs D ROBINSON: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Minister, what turnaround strategy do you plan to implement to justify the increase in funding in a Ministry that has been dysfunctional from the outset? Could the lumping together of the vulnerable groups be reconsidered, as many within the three groups find this grouping objectionable? Paying special attention to the varying needs might also ensure greater efficiency. I would like to know what your view is on how we can make this Ministry really relevant and meaningful in order to justify its creation. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Madam Deputy Speaker, we are busy looking at the structure and at how we can capacitate the Ministry. Already, we have a director-general in the department and a chief financial officer ... [Interjections.] This will assist us in ensuring that we put systems in place in the department, which will see to it that we cut costs on travel and make sure that the money goes where it is supposed to go.
We have already had a strategic session, and we will be coming out with our strategic plan. Since Monday or Tuesday, we have been dealing with that, and I will come to the portfolio committee to brief them on our strategic plan. I believe, also, that we will boost our communications unit to ensure that the work of the department is transparent and that Parliament and the nation are aware of the programmes and plans of this department.
I know that there have been questions about whether or not we need the department. The women of South Africa have said they need this department. [Interjections.] [Applause.] All the other sectors - people with disabilities, children's groups, the children's rights structures - say that they need this department. In the past two weeks we have been consulting with our stakeholders, with national women's groups, with children's welfare and children's rights groups, and with people with disabilities, and we will come up with a turnaround strategy in which they have participated. We have committed ourselves to only doing things about them, with them. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Vote No 8 - Government Communication and Information System - put.
Vote No 9 - National Treasury - put.
Vote No 10 - Public Enterprises - put.
Dr S M VAN DYK: Hon Deputy Speaker and hon Minister, this unforeseeable R181-million transfer to Denel is just another example of where government has had to bail out a public enterprise. Minister, my question is: How much more money has to be paid to Denel as a result of government again standing surety with taxpayer's money for Denel Saab Aerostructures' indemnity agreement? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: In terms of the Denel Saab Aerostructures indemnity agreement, five claims have been submitted to date, three of which have been paid. Correctly, the outstanding amount is R181 million, which is catered for in the Budget. There was a total indemnity amount of R1,6 billion, and the balance available under the indemnity agreement is just over R748 million. Thank you. [Applause.]
Vote No 11 - Public Service and Administration - put.
Vote No 12 - Statistics South Africa – put.
Vote No 13 - Arts and Culture - put.
Dr A LOTRIET: Deputy Speaker, an amount of R18,625 million has been rolled over for investment in culture projects. These projects were supposed to promote job creation for poor communities. However, no new projects are supported in 2010-11 due to the fact that no advertisements for new applications have been published. What are the roll-over funds going to be used for, and what mechanisms has the Minister put in place to prevent another report of nondelivery in this important programme?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Minister ... ? Is she here? [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I am sure you want to hear the response. [Interjections.] Hon Minister, you may respond.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: In my former life, hon members, I was in this department and I know that there was an investigation that was commissioned on investing in culture and other projects. There were a number of ghost projects in that department. The investigations pointed out that a number of officials, both nationally and provincially, were involved. They were suspended, hearings were conducted, and they were dismissed.
There was a moratorium that was put in place to ensure that the money didn't go to those ghost projects, which moratorium was lifted early this year. Those projects that had applied and the new projects will receive funding going forward. The funds were stopped to ensure that we cleared up all the projects and made sure that the money would go to the rightful beneficiaries.
According to the investigations, there was money that was not used for the intended beneficiaries. Some of the money was used to buy cars, engines and furniture for project co-ordinators, and not spent on the ordinary rural women and communities that the money was intended for. After that has been cleared up, the money will go to the rightful owners. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: May I ask why the Minister of Arts and Culture is not in the House to reply to questions on this additional budget.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, to whom are you directing your question?
Dr C P MULDER: I am directing it to the Speaker. If somebody from the government could reply, I think that would suit us. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, I'm sure the Speaker will respond once he knows. If there are no more questions for Vote No 13, may I put Vote No 14 - Basic Education? Are there any questions?
Vote No 14 - Basic Education – put.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, this is just a follow-up to the point of order from the hon Mulder ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, no. We have already moved on. [Interjections.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Really, it is unacceptable that the House is not given explanations as to why Ministers aren't present. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Ellis, I have moved on. I don't have a letter from the Minister and therefore I cannot respond on his behalf. [Interjections.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, but there is another point here ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Ellis, could you sit down? I have moved from that point. I have put Vote No 14.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am sorry, on a point of order: It is not possible just to move away from something like that. The question has been asked as to why the Minister is not available. Are the other Ministers not available? That is a totally legitimate question in this House, and you can't just move away from it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is noted, and it will be answered once we know why the Minister is not here, which is what I said before. Are there any questions on Vote No 14?
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Deputy Speaker, we would like to know why there has been a downward adjustment in Programme 3 by R11 million when we have such a high teaching skills and human resource shortage in our schools, particularly considering the fact that the department's annual report indicated that the department had not yet rolled out the teacher recruitment strategy to provinces? I thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister of Basic Education is not here either. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: I am obviously not the Minister of Basic Education, but I have been asked to stand in for the Minister of Basic Education to respond to this question. [Applause.] She was not able to be here because she is unwell. The question that has been asked about the rollover has also been discussed in the portfolio committee meeting.
We do know that the rollover arose from the fact that there has not been completion of appointment of those educators. However, that money was also needed in other very important programmes in the meantime. As we know, education is indeed a priority in this country. The money that could not be used for salaries, which was needed for other areas of service delivery, was then reallocated to those functions.
That is the response we have for now. This is not because educators are unimportant, but because there were other programmes that the money was rolled over to. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order: This issue of the absence of Ministers is a matter that must be paid attention to. We want to place it on record, because Ministers are appointed and they are the executive and they must respond to the nation. We want that. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Deputy Speaker, from the information I have been given, both the Minister and the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture are abroad.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Minister. I am just hoping ... Hon members, I said earlier that I am sitting here not knowing really. The questions or the concerns have been raised and noted. We will respond to them when we know the information. The first piece of information has come in now, and earlier there was other information. Even if there is another Minister that is not here, as I said earlier I note the concern. We will respond when we know why they are not here. It must be something that we would understand. [Interjections.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I think it needs to be recorded that the one Minister stood up and said that the Minister of Basic Education was ill; and the other Minister stood up and said the hon Minister was overseas. [Interjections.] That in itself is interesting. But, Madam Deputy Speaker, the most important point is that we in the opposition benches ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is a point of order. Could you sit down, Mr Ellis?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Deputy Speaker, the hon member must not waste our time. The Minister responded to Arts and Culture, and not to Basic Education. He heard what he said, but he wants to waste our time. Please, we don't have the time. [Interjections.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to apologise to the hon Mthethwa severely and deeply for having wasted his time. But there is another point that does need to be made this afternoon, and that is that we as opposition parties should be given the courtesy to know when Ministers are not coming to this House. It would make a massive difference in terms of our planning. It is not good enough to stand up and say that Ministers are overseas or sick or anything like that. We need to know this information up front.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Ellis.
Vote No 15 - Health – put.
Mr M WATERS: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, an additional R100 million has been allocated to Programme 2 for HIV and Aids, resulting in 90% of this programme's funding now being allocated to HIV and Aids. While the DA welcomes additional funding, we are concerned about what the Auditor–General raised when he said that as far as this grant was concerned, only 53% of the targets set for the 2009-10 financial year were achieved, although 99% of the grant was actually spent, resulting in a huge disjuncture between the money spent and targets achieved. What steps does the Minister intend taking to ensure that the money allocated will be more effectively and efficiently spent this year in order to improve on the low level of targets being met?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Deputy Speaker, and thanks for the question, hon member. First and foremost, I would like to indicate that the Minister is overseas. [Interjections.] But the Acting Minister is here, and I support the Acting Minister of Health. Indeed, it is important to note that there are measures that the Ministry has put in place to ensure that the areas of budget underexpenditure are also dealt with. That issue that has been raised has also been catered for in this budget adjustment, including building the capacity of management. We will be reporting in detail on some of those measures that have been taken. Thank you. [Applause.]
Adv A W ALBERTS: Speaker, my question is in Afrikaans.
Gegewe die substandaard toestand van sommige staatshospitale en die substandaard dienslewering wat daar plaasvind, hoe sal die Minister verseker dat die aangepaste begroting effektief gebruik word om die standaarde te herstel? (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Given the substandard condition of some of the government hospitals and the substandard service delivery taking place there, how will the Minister ensure the effective allocation of the adjustments appropriation so as to restore the standards?]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Deputy Minister, did you get the question?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much. My understanding is that the hon member was asking about the rehabilitation of infrastructure. Am I correct, member, through you, hon Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Was that the question?
Adv A W ALBERTS: The question was about standards in state hospitals, the substandard delivery that's happening at the moment and how the Minister will use the budget to rectify the situation. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much. Actually, we are in the process of establishing an office of norms and standards and compliance for the whole country. We are aware that there are provinces that have the accreditation processes for the various facilities, and nationally we are quite advanced with our plans to ensure that there is a dedicated office that will enforce and certify facilities for compliance with national norms and standards. This matter is already on the table of the Cabinet committees and the House will be informed of further developments in this regard.
You would recall that the introduction of the National Health Insurance system will also require not only a strong health care system with a referral that is effective, but also quality health services so that the public can have confidence in our health system. So there are measures in place to deal with that. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Madam Deputy Speaker, could the Deputy Minister explain to this House why it has taken over seven years to establish the Office of Standards Compliance that is stipulated in the National Health Act of 2003. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Through you, hon Deputy Speaker, as I said earlier, provinces had established a number of processes to accredit facilities for quality and at the national level there has been a process of looking at these various pilots and also engaging with the private sector to ensure that the national office of norms and standards is not only for the public sector, but also for the private sector. So that consultative process has matured and we have arrived at a point where this office will certify both public and private hospitals in the best interests of South Africans. Thank you. [Applause.]
Vote No 16 - Higher Education and Training - put.
Dr J C KLOPPERS-LOURENS: Madam Deputy Speaker, the increase in administration costs amounts to almost 30%. Given government's commitment to ensuring a more efficient administration, with a focus on placing more resources at the coalface of service delivery in education rather than in the back offices, why is the substantial increase in administration costs necessary?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Deputy Speaker, I would briefly just like to remind the hon member about the core function of the Department of Higher Education and Training, which aims to promote and ensure access to higher and vocational education and skills development training opportunities, which will, in turn, contribute towards improving the quality of life of all citizens.
With regard to the approved rollovers, which have gone through the portfolio committee and have been discussed with Treasury, the rollovers really speak to the shortfalls from the establishment of the new department and for the compensation of examiners and moderators, as well as the establishment of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. [Applause.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: The answer that we just received has no relevance to the question that was asked at all. The hon Mthethwa stands up and says I am wasting Parliament's time. Quite frankly, it is these Ministers who are not here who are wasting our time. This is unforgivable. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Deputy Speaker, if I may rise on a point of order: Can't we be given the courtesy of a reason why the Minister of Higher Education and Training is not here; just that? [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Madam Deputy Speaker, maybe I should have started off by apologising for my Minister. He is on an official trip abroad. [Interjections.]
Vote No 17 - Labour - put.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Could I ask all Ministers, whoever is in an acting capacity, to give an apology for a Minister so that we can save time?
Mr I M OLLIS: Minister, welcome to your department. I am glad that you are not sick abroad. [Laughter.] Unfortunately, you have also been given a department with no director-general and a cloud hanging over the previous director-general, but I will focus my questions on service delivery.
I want to know, Minister, about service delivery, because your department is one of those that, unfortunately, consumes a lot of money on administration that should be spent on service delivery. If you check the record for the past year, all the virements, except for one in your department, have taken money from service delivery and given it to administration.
I want to know how this additional budget that has been given to Labour remedies the information technology system that is still not functional and the shortcomings of the Compensation Fund which is still not working. That IT system cost the public R1,9 billion, after a budget of R1,2 billion, and it is still not working. The Compensation Fund, after a lot of effort, is also still not delivering. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Speaker, in terms of the adjustments that are before this House, there is no allocation in terms of the IT system. The portfolio committee was briefed on what was happening regarding that particular programme, in terms of which the department said they were reviewing the contract with Siemens in particular.
Secondly, in terms of the virements that are in our budget, they are based on the commitments that were made previously, particularly in terms of the inspection and enforcement services. The R2,571 million has been received from Programme 1, following the shift of the office of the deputy director-general to the general inspection and enforcement services. Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Deputy Speaker, government department employment statistics indicate the following: On a semi-skilled level, whites and Indians are underrepresented at 4,8% and 2,3% when compared to the employee assistance programme of 12,2% and 3% respectively, and Africans at 80,9% and coloureds at 11,9% are overrepresented at this level; and on an unskilled level whites are at 1,1% and Indians are at 1,2% and are underrepresented when compared to Africans and coloureds, who are overrepresented at 85,1% and 12,5% respectively. How will the Minister ensure that the budget portion towards compliance, monitoring and enforcement will be used effectively to rectify these imbalances?
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Speaker, I am not going to respond to the first question, because the hon member knows the processes of this House - if you want to ask a question in this particular House. With regard to what the department is going to do in terms of service delivery, it is in the strategic planning of the department which the portfolio committee was briefed about. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Sekela Somlomo, ngiyathokoza kakhulu, kunemali lapha mhlonishwa eyizigidi eyi-R10,5 yezimpahla nezinsiza efakiwe kodwa yase iyancishiswa lapha kubasebenzi. Ezinsizeni zokwenza uphenyo nokuqinisa umthetho kanti yilapho kufanele kube khona abasebenzi. Kwenzeke kanjani lokho ngoba kukhona amafemu adla izimali zabantu ngokungafanele?
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZABASEBENZI: Ubaba mhlonishwa uNdlovu, angiyazi lemali akhuluma ngayo ngoba uma sikhuluma ngokulinganisela sikhuluma ngezigidi ezingama-R28 ezifakelwe iKhomishana Yokubuyisana Nokulamula [i-CCMA] ukuze ibhekane namacala aphambu kwayo njengoba kunezidingo.
Okwesibili, ukulinganisela okuyizigidi eziyi-R19 ezabelwe ukukhutshulelwa amaholo abasebenzi ngesivumelwano okwafinyelelwa kuso, ngephesenti lokukhuphula kanye nesibonelelo zezindlu Ngiyabonga Sekela Somlomo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am very delighted because an amount of R10,5 million has been granted for facilities, but it is not enough to appoint investigators to do investigations to strengthen law enforcement. How did that happen as there are factories that are unlawfully taking people's money?
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: I do not know where hon Ndlovu got the amount he is talking about from, because we are talking about the estimation of R28 million which is allocated to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, CCMA, so that it can address pending cases in order to fulfil its mandate.
The second one is the estimation of R19 million that is allocated for the increment of workers' salaries as per the agreement that was reached - a percentage of increment and housing allowance. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.]
Vote No 18 - Social Development - put.
Vote No 19 - Sport and Recreation South Africa - put.
Vote No 20 - Correctional Services - put.
Mr J SELFE: Deputy Speaker, a total of R236,2 million budgeted for the compensation of employees is not being spent and represents savings, if they can be so called, from unfilled vacant posts. Many of these posts are in the crucial programmes of development and social reintegration.
Could the Minister explain what she is doing to attract and retain skilled staff so that the department can deliver on its core mandate of rehabilitating offenders? In the portfolio committee only this morning, we heard from the inspecting judge that in many correctional centres there are no rehabilitation programmes that can be rolled out because there are no educationalists, no skills training and, in many cases, no adequate care. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Selfe, with regard to what we are doing to fill vacancies, I thought you were aware that we have just embarked on a process of identifying critical vacancies that need to be filled. Not only have we identified them, I am sure that you are aware that in the past two weeks we have actually advertised 300 posts in the first batch. The second batch was for 450 vacancies. So, we are doing something about this, and I thought you were aware of that. Thank you.
Vote No 21 - Defence and Military Veterans - put.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Deputy Speaker, the Defence Force, especially the Air Force, is in deep trouble. At current funding levels, the Gripen advanced light fighter system, which cost billions of rand, cannot be fully implemented. According to a briefing by the Air Force, the intention at this stage is to fly the Gripens at a minimum to maintain system integrity and to maintain competencies only.
Rather than allocating more money within the existing Defence budget to the Gripen system, the Minister appears to be allocating R971 million less to the Gripen system. In light of this, would the hon Minister explain whether she has a plan to ensure that the Gripen system is fully implemented and, if indeed the Minister does have a plan, whether she would be prepared to share the details of that plan? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Deputy Speaker, the details of how we intend to ensure maximum use of the Gripens were shared with the portfolio committee on my behalf and the member is fully aware of what we want to do.
I would like to indicate that yes, indeed, we have serious problems with funding of the Air Force. This is nothing new. We have said it over and over again; at every Budget Vote we have had the occasion to express our concern around this matter.
We had requested an amount of R325 million. Unfortunately, because of the situation that the country finds itself in, the request was turned down. I am sorry - it was R322 million that had been requested and refused by National Treasury. What we have done is ... [Interjections.] I am sorry, by Cabinet. My sincerest apologies - I can't go wrong with you: I need a lot of money. [Laughter.] The Minister of the National Treasury has just corrected me; it was not Treasury that turned it down, but Cabinet. Please correct that for Hansard purposes. I was not party to the decision.
However, what we have done is try to use the virement method, and we are very cognisant of the fact that the Minister has insisted that it should not be beyond 8% to make sure that we can have the Gripens fully functional.
In fact, you are putting this in the wrong context, because this year alone we have flown the Gripens more times than we had allocated for them - we were present at the ceremonies of the Soccer World Cup and therefore utilised all the space and time for the flights that were available. So, for this year, we are quite comfortable with the usage of the Gripens. We bought those Gripens because we needed them. We will therefore make sure that they are fully funded. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any other questions? No.
Vote No 22 - Independent Complaints Directorate - put.
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Jammer, Adjunkspeaker, maar ek dink ons moet maar die vraag vra. U het te vinnig gepraat. Ek wil aan die agb Minister die volgende punt maak: Ek dink nie dit is net die Lugmag wat in die moeilikheid is as gevolg van te min fondse nie. Die hele SA Nasionale Weermag het 'n probleem.
My vraag is, agb Adjunkspeaker, en ek vra dit nie aan die agb Minister van Verdediging nie en Militêre Veterane - ek vra dit aan die agb Minister van Finansies: Wat gaan die Kabinet doen om te verseker dat ons nog 'n professionele Weermag bly? Daar word hopeloos te min begroot. Dit is 'n wêreldstandaard dat ons minstens 2% van die bruto binnelandse produk nodig het om te kan oorleef. Ons is nou op 1,3%. Wat gaan die agb Minister van Finansies daaromtrent doen? Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD: I am sorry, Deputy Speaker, but I think I have to ask the question. You spoke too quickly. I want to raise the following point to the hon Minister: I think that the Air Force is not the only entity suffering due to a lack of funds. The whole SA National Defence Force is suffering.
My question, hon Deputy Speaker, and I am not asking it of the hon Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, but of the hon Minister of Finance: What is Cabinet going to do to ensure that we remain a professional Defence Force? Large-scale underbudgeting is taking place. According to the world standard, at least 2% of the gross domestic product should be allocated to the Defence Force. We are currently allocating 1,3%. What is the hon Minister of Finance going to do about this? Thank you.]
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Deputy Speaker, I am not sure whether that question is in line with the Rules; we are here to discuss adjustments appropriations. But as a generous gesture to you, we will have to, as part of the overall balancing act, balance all of the requirements of this country. Of course, everyone is able to put forward a very persuasive argument about why they should get more than somebody else, but as you well know - and you have been around for a long time, hon member - life is about balancing different priorities and trying to get to where we want to get to. So, that objective all of us agree with, but let's see how we can get there. Thank you.
Vote No 23 - Justice and Constitutional Development - put.
Vote No 24 - Police - put.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Deputy Speaker, at the risk of wasting more of the Minister's valuable time, in light of the fact that in relation to the massive SA Police Service budget and considering that the Minister has been disinclined to provide answers to the DA's questions regarding the expenditure of taxpayers' money, for example the Police Day party in Bloemfontein, we are concerned that money is being spent in areas that are not specifically targeting the fight against crime.
The Police Ministry is one of the leaders on the DA's wasteful expenditure monitor, having spent R7,1 million on bling, ultra-luxury vehicles and five-star hotels, for example, that you stayed in, sir. Today we need a personal assurance from the Minister that the additional funds approved for this Vote will be spent to boost the security of our citizens, and not on parties, trips and luxuries. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Was that your question?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Madam Deputy Speaker, the hon member has exposed her ignorance regarding the budget. [Interjections.] There is no single question she has asked because she can't ask any. There is nothing to ask. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Vote No 25 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries - put.
Dr L L BOSMAN: Hon Deputy Speaker, I wanted to put a question to our Minister, but I see she is not present, neither is her Deputy, nor the chairman of the portfolio committee. So, I think I will have my question stand over. Thank you.
Vote No 26 - Communications - put.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Deputy Speaker, I'm very happy to see that at least the Minister of Communications is in the House today. Through you, Madam Deputy Speaker, could we ask the Minister of Communications the following. We are six months into the new financial year and only 26% of the budget of the Department of Communications has been spent. What is really at the root of this underexpenditure? Is it poor budget planning, or is it a lack of capacity to implement the programmes? And how does the Minister intend to remedy this serious apparent skills shortage that he has in the staff in the Department of Communications? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I think the hon member would understand that there has been an acknowledgement of serious underspending in the department, and certainly it has to do with capacity constraints and certain rollovers which the adjustments indicate what they are there for.
Please be assured that we are attending to that matter in the sense that we are making a decisive effort to upskill the department and to resolve the problem of vacancies in order to bring us back on a par with the spending.
Mrs N W A MICHAEL: Deputy Speaker, the DA supports this adjustment because we want to see the department functioning correctly and, quite frankly, we want to see the department rise from its virtual ruin. However, a ministerial task team report into the crisis at Sentech and the SABC, in which massive irregular expenditure was revealed, remains a secret and thus protects those who are responsible for this irregular expenditure. Would the Minister give us his assurance that in future his department will follow a zero-tolerance approach and lay criminal charges against those responsible for irregular expenditure?
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Madam Deputy Speaker, let the hon member be assured that that action has already been taken by me. On my second day in office I issued an instruction to Sentech that they must stick very strictly to all good corporate governance principles. We are very focused on that particular matter. So, you have our assurance that these things will be dealt with very speedily. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Deputy Speaker, I thought you made a ruling that we must be told why the Ministers are not here. We didn't hear an explanation here, please. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Lekota, are you saying that you want more than the Minister of Communications? [Interjections.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: No, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Speaker, I think the hon Lekota is looking for a pastoral Minister. [Laughter.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: I apologise. I didn't realise you'd gone past ... [Interjections.] But still, Madam Speaker, we do need to know where the Minister is. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Lekota, for the record, I said that if there were Ministers who were acting on behalf of other Ministers or if there were Deputy Ministers, when they stood up they must give an apology. But in this case, where there is no acting Minister and the Deputy Minister is not here, the Speaker will withdraw the Vote. This means that as there is nobody here, the earlier ruling of noting this so that we can explain later stands. Could you bear with me on that?
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Vote No 27 - Economic Development - put.
Dr L L BOSMAN: Madam Speaker, unfortunately I see my Minister is also not here. I had a question to ask, but in light of this it will also have to stand over.
The SPEAKER: You can ask your question. Maybe the Minister is represented. So you don't want to ask your question? Okay.
Vote No 28 - Energy - put.
Vote No 29 - Environmental Affairs - put.
Vote No 30 - Human Settlements - put.
Mr A C STEYN: Deputy Speaker, I notice that my Minister is not here, but I am still going to put the question. When Minister Sisulu announced the Breaking New Ground policy, the department soon afterwards embarked on a turnaround strategy.
Now we are asked to approve money today to complete the turnaround strategy five or six years later, and we have actually come full circle in terms of the turnaround strategy. I wanted to know from the Minister what turnaround strategy he was embarking on after the turnaround strategy of Minister Sisulu, when she was the Minister dealing with human settlements? Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is there a Minister acting on behalf of the Minister of Human Settlements? No, the question will stand over. I now put Vote No 31 - Mineral Resources.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Deputy Speaker, please ... [Interjections.] We must place this on record: This is Parliament and this House serves the people of South Africa. When the Ministers are supposed to be here, they must be here because they get paid for it. [Interjections.] Thank you.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, I just need to address you on the same point, and I understand the ruling that you gave in this regard. The practical problem is that, at the end of this process, we are supposed to ask Parliament to vote on these allocations. This is very difficult, because how are we supposed to vote on these allocations if we cannot handle the questions in terms of which government is asking for additional funds? I don't know how we are going to do that. That is really a serious problem.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I was going to rise later on a point of order, because what we are going through now in this process goes to the heart of democratic government and the operation of this Parliament.
I have counted that no less than 9 Ministers, perhaps 10 Ministers, are not here. Now if there was ever a time when there had to be a three-line whip for all parties to be accountable, for the Ministers to be accountable to Parliament, it is now.
My request to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, is to direct an enquiry to the Leader of Government Business to demand an explanation as to why Ministers refuse to be here in Parliament, to account to Parliament at the very time when they have to account to Parliament. It is absolutely unacceptable. We come here and we register - and I am sure the other opposition parties do as well - our strongest protest as far as this is concerned. [Applause.]
Adv T M MASUTHA: Deputy Speaker, may I address you on this point? I think the point has recurred throughout the afternoon. You have ruled on the matter, and hon colleagues in the opposition are aware that matters of this nature can be raised in the Rules Committee. If there are issues of this nature ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Would you allow the hon member to speak.
Adv T M MASUTHA: Deputy Speaker, hon colleagues know full well that the Rules Committee is the appropriate platform. It will not assist us this afternoon for them to keep on standing up and raising the same issue on which you have ruled. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, earlier I said I had taken note of this issue. That meant that I acknowledged what was being raised and would do exactly what hon members were saying, which is to check why members were not here, to check with the Leader of Government Business and then come back to this House.
Now, may we proceed with our work here? Regarding those Ministers who are not here, naturally if you don't want to ask a question, even if there is an acting Minister, you need not ask a question. But I don't know, hon members, what else you want this Table to do now when the Minister is not here, when I've said I'm taking note and that the issue will be addressed. I don't know what you want, when we keep on repeating the issue. [Interjections.] Hon members, please!
Mr M G P LEKOTA: If I may, Madam Deputy Speaker: The only thing we will do, which we must do, is accept your ruling. But every time a Minister is not here, we must place it on record as it is for the sake of history. People who are appointed to the executive must understand that they are accountable to the citizens and when that must happen, they must be here. [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING, EVALUATION AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Deputy Speaker, I think we should acknowledge that the fact is, one, that most of the Ministers are not here; two, that there are those who are overseas, which has been indicated; three, that there is also a visit by the vice president of China and there was a binational commission today. Some of them might be there; I am not sure.
We would like to apologise on behalf of those Ministers. Let us allow the House to proceed on the basis of the ruling which you have made. We accept the points that have been raised by the opposition. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, if I may address you on the same issue, and I appreciate what the hon Minister in the Presidency said and I accept it. The problem is basically this: Isn't it normal practice that if a Minister leaves South Africa, somebody else is appointed in that Minister's stead and to take responsibility? Then it would mean that the person who is standing in for that Cabinet colleague will be prepared to come to the House and to answer the questions that we are asking.
The practical problem is this: I can understand your ruling that we cannot now ask those questions. But it's not about the questions. It's about the process that comes after this. When Parliament is asked to approve what the executive is asking from us in terms of additional amounts to be budgeted for, how can we ask Parliament to approve those things if those answers have not been given to Parliament? That is the problem.
What I would suggest - and I know it has huge implications - is technically we should not proceed in approving the additional Budget. We cannot do that. [Interjections.]
Ms Z S DUBAZANA: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: It is very surprising that we are debating instead of looking at various adjustments. What is even worse is that we have a programme that was decided on at the Chief Whips' Forum forum by all the parties. According to the programme, there were not going to be questions on Vote No 30, but now we have questions and debates. The point of order I am making is that we are not following the programme which was agreed upon by the opposition. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, could we go back to the business of the day, having heard all the speakers and all the concerns. Could we go back to the business of the day? We are only at Vote No 31, and this is a long process.
Vote No 31 - Mineral Resources - put.
Adv H C SCHMIDT: Deputy Speaker, the amount of R5 million is to be rolled over for the rehabilitation of derelict and ownerless mines. According to the latest Auditor-General's report, the total outstanding liability amounts to R50 billion. That is a thousand times the required roll-over amount. With acid mine drainage levels rising between 0,5 and 0,9 metres per day in underground Witwatersrand mines, and severe historical environmental damage which, to date, has not been addressed, only 0,01% of the total amount required for rehabilitation is to be rolled over.
The question is: What steps are the hon Minister and the interministerial committee taking to deal effectively with the issue of unrehabilitated mines in order to prevent the increasing threat of acid mine drainage and unrehabilitated mines to the population?
I thank you.
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Hon Deputy Speaker, as you know, the R5 million is a rollover, and a report was given to the portfolio committee explaining that, owing to the various tender processes which were followed, the people who had tendered unfortunately did not qualify, so this money was rolled over.
On the issue of acid mine drainage, I think you are aware that we have put together an interministerial committee which intends to address this. We have only been working for two months, so the issues that you have raised are issues which are being attended to, and we hope that through the various Ministers who have come together we will be able to find a solution, working together with the industry.
I must also say that derelict and ownerless mines, which need to be rehabilitated in South Africa, are issues of the past, are issues of irresponsible mining which occurred in South Africa, where there was no legislation which said that those who were mining then should take responsibility.
The current situation, as you know, is that the new legislation says that the polluter pays. Those who become involved in mining, currently, will have to take responsibility. The challenge, as you correctly say, is about the R50 billion in rehabilitations that must happen because of past practices. Unfortunately, the taxpayer in South Africa will have to take responsibility in making sure that we rehabilitate those ownerless mines and the people who left them. Unfortunately, that is what we will have to do at this stage. [Applause.]
Vote No 32 - Rural Development and Land Reform - put.
Ms H F MATLANYANE: Deputy Speaker, in response to the high failure rate of land reform projects, has the department reprioritised its budget for these failing projects?
Could the Minister indicate to this House the progress made in the spending of budgets on these projects and the challenges, if any, and plans to address them?
Lastly, could he indicate the number of projects that are being revitalised and the impact that these projects are making on the lives of ordinary rural people in South Africa? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon Deputy Speaker, yes, we have reprioritised in terms of the baseline budget for land reform. We have taken 25% of that for recapitalisation and development, and that is in the R900 million for this financial year.
There are challenges. For example, we are visiting all the farms – in terms of the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development programme and previous programmes. A lot of people are not on the ground. Nothing is happening; nobody is there; you don't find anyone. So, there are many farms that are lying fallow with no one taking responsibility. That is a major challenge. Therefore we don't have an exact portfolio of evidence of who is supposed to be there and who is not there. That is really the challenge and we are working on that right now.
With regard to the number of revitalised farms, for now in the Free State there are 11 farms that we are focusing on. We have created a partnership with the Bloemfontein Abattoir, and are working on that. This is a programme which we will be launching this coming Saturday, 20 November 2010.
There are many families, certainly, who will benefit from this. Over the past weekend we interacted with more than 100 projects that related to the farm equity scheme, which we had put a moratorium on. We are lifting that in January. We have met with them and we know now what is coming from the people themselves, and what it is that we need to do.
Vote No 33 - Science and Technology - put.
Mr P F SMITH: Deputy Speaker, through you to the Minister, if you look at your budget, a quarter of your total budget - in terms of the economic classification - is transfers to nonprofit institutions, which have been slashed by some 65%. If you go into the programmes, you will see that the Research, Development and Innovation programme has had massive cuts - space science, hydrogen and energy, biotechnology and health, and so on that have been slashed.
My questions to you are: Why are there these cuts? Secondly, as a country we are already underspending on R&D, so if government is cutting back its contribution to R&D, what is that doing for our national plan to reach a certain target? Thirdly, you have a performance agreement with the President about maintaining certain targets, which has just been increased to 1,5%. What does this do for your performance agreement? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Thank you very much, hon Smith. I hope the day will come when South Africa will spend more than 1% of its GDP on research and development. The movement of funds from Research, Development and Innovation concerns allocations to new institutions - the Technology Innovation Agency - and then, of course, the rescheduling, as you know, of the programme with respect to the space science programme - the building of the Square Kilometre Array.
As you would be aware from a recent statement I made, we have rescheduled because the global committee on the Square Kilometre Array has indicated that the science points to a need for a redesign of the actual Square Kilometre Array - the dishes and the type of antennae that would be utilised. So, we don't want to proceed to build immediately and use a design that would not make us fit to compete effectively for the bid.
So, it's not a reduction in terms of the programme intention, but it's really a rescheduling. That's the primary part of the change that there is in the Research, Development and Innovation programme's budget. It's not money taken a way; it's rescheduling of our programme of build with respect to our largest intervention, which is the space science programme. [Applause.]
Vote No 34 - Tourism - put.
Mr G R KRUMBOCK: Deputy Speaker, let us just hope there are as many gaps in the United States of America's defence tonight as there are in the ministerial benches today. [Applause.]
I would like to ask the Minister about the head office for Tourism. An amount of R40 million has been appropriated for the head office for Tourism, of which about R14 million is for refurbishment and nearly R9 million for furniture.
Would the Minister or the Deputy Minister be getting some of that office space? In which case, what will it cost to equip, refurbish and put furniture into their offices? If not, what is it going to cost to refurbish and furnish the office of an average senior official? I would like the House to be told whether, in fact, we are spending this money wisely or whether, indeed, it is going to be just another example of wasteful or frivolous expenditure. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is there an Acting Minister of Tourism, or Deputy Minister? [Interjections.] No. The Minister is not here. May I then put Vote No 35? Hon member, your question will be relayed.
Vote No 35 - Trade and Industry - put.
Ms C M P KOTSI: Deputy Speaker, I can see that my Minister is also not here, but I see the Deputy Minister is here. My question is: Does the Minister agree that the department seems to have constraints with budget planning, with more than 26% in virements? This does, indeed, demonstrate poor budget planning or a lack of capacity to implement this programme. I would like the Minister to respond to that. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY : Madam Deputy Speaker, the reasons for the virements are clearly explained. But, I think, at the portfolio committee level we also explained this. The reasons are different. For example, for Coega the funds were shifted to allow the obligations that we had in Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth to be met. We cannot just spend money without proper due diligence with the local people there.
You can also look at the film incentive scheme: Due to the World Cup, their production declined. And, in regard to this particular issue, we had to shift the money to ensure that we could have a higher uptake, because during the World Cup the uptake was very low.
That is just an example. It is not that there was no proper planning. There is planning. As the hon member knows, there is strategic planning, for example Ipap. It is just that we had to do it that way. I thank you. [Applause.]
Vote No 36 - Transport - put.
Mr S B FARROW: Madam Deputy Speaker, Transport and Water Affairs are usually the last Votes that we deal with in this particular debate. One of two things happens: We either have no time to speak or more time to speak. Because there are no Ministers in the House today, I have the latter opportunity. I want to thank both of our Ministers for being here and being held accountable. I appreciate them being here.
I will be talking about Programme 3: Transport Regulation and Accident and Incident Investigation, which, if the Minister would like to look in the book, it is on page 350. I will refer to it specifically. It is very nice to know that Minister Manuel is also in the House, because he will remember what I am going to be talking about here.
If you recall, when Natis - the National Traffic Information System - was migrated to eNatis, there was a big deficit of about R111 million, if I remember correctly. The Minister then decided in his wisdom that the best thing to do in order to recover that debt and to repay the deficit, was to levy a fee on every vehicle registration licensing transaction that takes place in the country. It was then about R30; it is now R36.
Minister, in light of the revelations we had yesterday in the portfolio committee, during which it was stated that R315 million of the very money I am talking about - the licensing transaction fees that were collected by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, is now being utilised for their operating costs, against a Treasury directive, I might add, I would like to know what action is being considered to recover those funds and will the R195 million now appropriated under Programme 3 suffice to continue the maintenance of the eNatis database?
Furthermore, could the Minister give his assurance to the motoring public that as a result of the irregular transgressions of this transaction fee by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, he will not increase the R36 transaction fee in any manner to offset this irregularity? To continue with this transaction fee beyond the original recovery cost, which Mr Manuel wanted to get back - and which I think he has more than trebled by now - won't be necessary. Thank you very much. Can I talk some more? [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the hon member for the question. The member is aware that disciplinary action has been instituted against the CEO of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, and that the RTMC itself has been dissolved. The member is also aware that criminal proceedings are being preferred against the former CEO of the RTMC. That matter is at hand. I think that was adequately explained at the portfolio committee meeting. [Applause.]
Vote No 37 - Water Affairs - put.
Mr G R MORGAN: Minister, you have taken over a water department that has some serious governance problems. The level of virements and shiftings in the department is 36,7%, which exceeded the 8% permitted by the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA. In addition to this, the department underspent by 37,7% in the first six months of the financial year.
In terms of performance during this financial year, the target of providing water to our citizens who previously did not have access to water has been adjusted downwards from 1,2 million to 800 000. So, the underexpenditure is affecting delivery.
My question, though, Minister: If you walked into this office two weeks ago with no new director-general, an acting director-general who was suspended two weeks ago, and a chief financial officer who was also suspended two weeks ago, now that more money has been appropriated to you, what assurances can you give us that the financial governance in this department will be improved and that you will deal with the skills problems in top management? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Speaker, although the question at the end was really all about assurances regarding the availability of senior managers able to manage this budget, I just want to start by also making some comments because the hon member made comments which I think also deserve to be responded to.
We do acknowledge that the level of virements in the department has been quite high. In that regard, a programme has been introduced to try very hard to stick to the required levels of expenditure - per Vote, per programme and per line item. That improvement is due to happen. We are definitely going to monitor this together with the managers who are currently in the department.
The second issue that was raised is that there has been an impact on the service delivery programme. Indeed, I want to say that there has been a bit of a lack in terms of ensuring that we deliver, particularly in terms of the sanitation programme. I'm sure all of us are aware - as per the discussions in the portfolio committee - that the sanitation programme has been lagging behind because of the municipalities' programmes and the availability of funds that have to come in as matching funds from the municipalities.
We are, however, going to be expanding on and accelerating this programme. We are definitely looking forward to a situation in which we work closely with municipalities and provinces so as to align every function, particularly those which have to do with service delivery. This will ensure that, in terms of service delivery, there is quick movement in everything we do.
Yes, two of the senior managers are on suspension. A lot of other junior managers are also going on suspension. But, with regard to the director-general, the case has been finalised at least at the level of the department. All things being equal, we should now be able to at least get a new director-general. As I've said: "All things being equal."
With regard to the two other senior managers – the chief financial officer and the corporate services manager – that process will still continue because their cases are still pending and have not yet been concluded. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mrs H N NDUDE: Deputy Speaker, I appreciate that the Minister is new to this portfolio, and I'm sure she has inherited some serious problems. She has just attested to the suspension of the acting director-general and the chief financial officer.
Having said that, Minister, there seems to be a serious problem with multiyear budget planning, and the management of dam-building projects. Underexpenditure in the dam-building programmes results in the escalation of costs. How does the Minister intend to address this so as to avoid the unnecessary wastage of public money and the high cost of construction and infrastructure? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Deputy Speaker, once again I acknowledge the question. We would actually use the services of experts to build dams. The acting deputy director-general has been suspended, and the case of the director-general - as I said – has been concluded. That matter is being attended to as per the earlier discussion. The matter about the backlog in the building of dams is indeed also an issue that needs to be attended to.
However, we need to take note that, even in the report, the Nandoni Dam in particular has been lagging behind with some 40% of work that needs to be done. Indeed, a lot of money had to be adjusted to actually cover the escalating costs. So, the infrastructure programme is one of the areas that we need to attend to, and we will attend to it.
I am told, much as I am new, that there is infrastructure provision to the tune of about R6 billion for dams that are being built all over the country.
I want to ensure that going forward we actually introduce some of the measures in government, like the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, Idep, which are related to planning and preplanning. What is most important is that those dams be completed on time without cost escalations, and not as has happened with regard to the Nandoni Dam. Thank you very much.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I just want to register the fact that the DA will not be voting, but will, as a point of protest, be abstaining on the Votes of those Ministers who were not present when their Vote was called. I also want to point out that it is little wonder that there were no Ministers present, as the Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party, who are responsible for ensuring the presence of Ministers and members, have been absent during this entire process.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. I now put Vote No 1 -Presidency. Are there any objections? [Interjections.]
Mrs S V KALYAN: Madam Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I really want to proceed. I'm putting Vote No 1 - Presidency. Are there any objections?
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Madam Deputy Speaker, Cope will also abstain on all of those Votes where the Ministers were not present.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, the problem is that that is going to be very difficult because the Votes will be called one by one. It will help the recording, me and the meeting if you abstain at the time. Could we do it that way, as we are not going to record your abstentions now, because, by the time we get to the item, we won't know if you are abstaining or not. I will be putting the Votes again. Hon member?
Dr C P MULDER: Chairperson, that may be the case, but that will mean that all the parties will get up every time and that is going to take more time. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: But it must be the case.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, what I suggest is that you take note that parties will abstain, and they will do so. I would like to call on the majority party, because they are also supposed to act in the best interests of Parliament.
Discussion on Votes and Schedule concluded.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, when I put a particular Vote, could I appeal to you that you record your aye, nay or abstention at that time?
Vote No 1 - Presidency - put.
The House divided.
AYES - 211: Adams, P E; Alberts, A D; Baloyi, M R; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, N R; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bikani, F C; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Botha, Y R; Burgess, C V; Buthelezi, M G; Cebekhulu, R N; Cele, M A ; Chabane, O C; Chikunga, L S; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Cwele, S C; Dambuza, B N; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Dikobo, K J; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlulane, B N; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Dunjwa, M L; Fihla, N B; Fransman, M L; Frolick, C T; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hanekom, D A; Huang, S-B; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kekana, C D; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Komphela, B M; Koornhof, G W; Kotsi, C M P; Kubayi, M T; Landers, L T; Lebenya- Ntanzi, S P; Lekgetho, G; Lishivha, T E; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabedla, N R; Mabuza, M C; Madlala, N M; Magama, H T; Magazi , M N; Magubane, E; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhuba, H N; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Makwetla, S P; Malale, M I; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manana, M C; Mandela, Z M D; Manganye, J; Manuel, T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Martins, B A D; Maserumule, F T; Mashigo, R J; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matladi, M N; Matlanyane, H F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Maziya, A M; Mdaka, N M; Mdakane, M R; Mjobo, L N; Mkhize, H B; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlangeni, A; Mmusi, S G; Mnisi, N A; Mocumi, P A; Mohale, M C; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Molewa, B E E; Moloi-Moropa, J C; Moloto, K A; Morutoa, M R; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Mpontshane, A M; Msimang, C T; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E M; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mulder, C P; Mushwana, F F; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndebele, J S; Ndlanzi, A Z; Ndlovu, V B; Ndude, H N; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngwenya, W; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Nkwinti, G E; Nonkonyana, M; November, N T; Ntuli, B M; Ntuli, Z C; N'wamitwa-Shilubana, T L P; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D ; Nyalungu, R E; Nyanda, M F; Nyanda, S; Nyekemba, E; Oliphant , G G; Oliphant, M N; Oosthuizen, G C; Padayachie, R L; Pampiri, S G; Pandor, G N M; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Pule, D D; Radebe, B A; Radebe, G S; Radebe, J T; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramodibe, D M; Ramokgopa, G; Schneemann, G D; Selau, G T; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Shabangu, S; Shiceka, S; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibhidla, N N; Singh, N; Sisulu, L N; Sithole, K P; Skosana, J J; Smith, P F; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Thabethe, E; Thibedi, J D; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Turok, B; VAN Rooyen, D D; VAN Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zulu, B Z.
NOES - 77: Adams, L H; Balindlela, Z B; Blaai, B C; Bosman, L L; Botha, T; Coetzee, T W; Davidson, I O; De Freitas, M S F; Doman, W P; Dreyer, A M; Du Toit, N D; Duncan, P C; Ellis, M J; Farrow, S B; Figlan, A M; Gcume, N P; George, D T; George, M E; Harris, T; Kalyan, S V; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Barnard, D; Koornhof, N J J v R; Kopane, S P; Krumbock, G R; Lamoela, H; Lee, T D; Lekota, M G P; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; MacKenzie, G D; Marais, E J; Marais, S J F; Masango, S J; Max, L; Maynier, D J; Mazibuko, L D; Mda, A; Michael, N W A; Mokgalapa, S; More, E; Motau, S C; Mubu, K S; Nhanha, M A; Njobe, M A A; Ntshiqela, P; Ollis, I M; Pretorius, P J C; Rabie, P J; Rabotapi, M W; Ramatlakane, L; Ross, D; Schafer, D A; Schmidt, H C; Selfe, J; Shinn, M R; Smalle, J; Smuts, M; Steele, M H; Steyn, A; Steyn, A C; Stubbe, D; Swart, M; Swart, S N; Swathe, M M; Tolo, L J; Trollip, RAP; Van Dalen, P; Van de Linde, J J; Van den Berg, N J; Van der Westhuizen, A P; Van Dyk, S M; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Vukuza-Linda, N Y; Waters, M; Wenger, M.
Question agreed to.
Vote accordingly agreed to.
Vote No 2 - Parliament - agreed to.
Vote No 3 - Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs - agreed to.
Vote No 4 - Home Affairs - agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party and Freedom Front Plus abstaining).
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Madam Deputy Speaker, I am not sure but I think this is the first time that we are recording abstentions. We have recorded objections in the past, but how do you record an abstention? Technically we should ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member. If members stand up and say, "I will abstain," they are not asking us to vote in the House. That is exactly why I am saying that that will be recorded, otherwise if they wanted something else they would have called for a vote, and then we would have voted.
Vote No 5 - International Relations and Co-operation - agreed to.
Vote No 6 - Public Works - agreed to.
Vote No 7 - Women, Children and People with Disabilities - agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 8 - Government Communication and Information System - agreed to.
Vote No 9 - National Treasury - agreed to.
Vote No 10 - Public Enterprises - agreed to.
Vote No 11 - Public Service and Administration - agreed to.
Vote No 12 - Statistics South Africa - agreed to.
Vote No 13 - Arts and Culture - agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Congress of the People and African Christian Democratic Party abstaining).
Vote No 14 - Basic Education - agreed to (African Christian Democratic Party abstaining).
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Deputy Speaker, I am a bit confused because as early as last week we were sent forms on which to indicate our responses to these categories. There are three categories, namely question, objection and division. There was no space for abstention. We are disadvantaged now because we are deviating from what was in the form. As a publicity stunt people are standing up to abstain. [Applause.] We should be standing up for what is in here ... [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is a speaker on the floor, hon Ellis.
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Deputy Speaker, I am raising this point because I did hear from that corner someone asking: "Where is the IFP?" That is why I am raising this issue. [Interjections.] Our responses to the different Votes did not depend on whether the Ministers were here or not. I must say, though, that as the IFP we are as aggrieved as the other opposition parties about the absence of the Ministers, but I will defend our party's right to act independently and it is not for the parties to ask where the IFP is. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I think that we fully understand the IFP's right to vote the way they want to vote, so we are not going to interfere with them. However, I need to make it clear to the IFP that the piece of paper that the hon member is holding is purely a guideline to the Table staff and to yourself, Madam Deputy Speaker, and certainly no party is obliged to vote according to this piece of paper.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Deputy Speaker, when we were done with all the discussions about abstaining or not abstaining, I had understood that the intention of the opposition parties was some measure of sanction on those Ministers who were not here. In the specific case that we are dealing with now, which is Basic Education, it was explained that the member was unwell and there was an acting Minister. I cannot, therefore, understand the principle and the logic behind this. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, not only that - the other Minister was here and responded to questions, but still the DA abstains. So it's not like that. I think it is the choice of parties to abstain. Can we move on?
Now I hear, hon member, what you say about categories, but the issue is that if people want to abstain, even though they are not supposed to abstain in a vote, they want to record their abstention without calling for a division to vote. So, I don't think that is a problem as such. This is just like when members of different parties make a statement in that they object to the budget, even when the Minister is here. I think then they must be allowed to do that. [Interjections.]
Hon member, do you have ... What?
Mrs S V KALYAN: May I address you, Madam Deputy Speaker? The hon Sisulu reminded us, with regard to the Basic Education Vote, that a reasonable explanation was forwarded as to why the Minister of Basic Education was not here and that she was unwell, and indeed her question was answered. So, based on that, I would like to withdraw the abstention of the DA. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. Can we move on to Vote No 15 ... [Interjections.] Order, hon members! I am sure we all want to go home at some stage. Do you want to withdraw, hon member?
Mr M E GEORGE: Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to welcome the Minister of Human Settlements who has just returned from overseas and the Minister of Agriculture ... [Interjections.] [Applause.] We were told they were overseas; they have just quickly returned. Thank you. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
Vote No 15 – Health – put.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, we are voting and we are not supposed to be making a noise or jokes in the House.
Vote No 15 - Health - agreed to.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there are objections?
Mrs J D KILIAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, we would like to have the abstention of Cope recorded on Vote No 16 - Higher Education and Training.
Vote No 16 - Higher Education and Training - agreed to (Congress of the People abstaining).
Vote No 17 – Labour – put.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any objections? Are there any objections to Labour? Yes, hon member?
Mrs S V KALYAN: Please record the objections of the DA on Vote No 17 - Labour.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That's because the questions were not answered properly, hey? Okay.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, I would request that you record our objections. This is not because the Minister was not here, but because we do not agree with the amount that has been requested and for the purposes.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Objections recorded.
Vote No 17 - Labour - agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus dissenting).
Vote No 18 - Social Development - agreed to.
Vote No 19 - Sports and Recreation South Africa - agreed to.
Vote No 20 - Correctional Services - agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 21 - Defence and Military Veterans - agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 22 - Independent Complaints Directorate - agreed to.
Vote No 23 - Justice and Constitutional Development - agreed to.
Vote No 24 - Police - agreed to.
Vote No 25 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – put.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any objections?
Mrs S V KALYAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, although the Minister has arrived, I see, she was not here when the questions were asked, and therefore the DA would like to abstain on that Vote.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, for the same reason please also record the abstention of Cope.
Vote No 25 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries - agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People abstaining).
Vote No 26 - Communications - agreed to.
Vote No 27 - Economic Development - agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People abstaining).
Vote No 28 - Energy - agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People abstaining).
Vote No 29 - Environmental Affairs - agreed to.
Vote No 30 - Human Settlements – put.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any objections?
Mrs S V KALYAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, although the Minister has arrived, he was not here when the questions were put. Therefore the DA would like to record its abstention.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. The same applies to us. We are very happy that he is back from overseas, but he was unfortunately too late for questions.
Vote No 30 - Human Settlements - agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People abstaining).
Vote No 31 - Mineral Resources - agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 32 - Rural Development and Land Reform - agreed to.
Vote No 33 - Science and Technology - agreed to.
Vote No 34 - Tourism - agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Congress of the People and Freedom Front Plus abstaining).
Vote No 35 - Trade and Industry - agreed to.
Vote No 36 - Transport - agreed to.
Vote No 37 - Water Affairs - – agreed to.
Schedule agreed to.
Adjustments appropriation bill
(Second Reading debate)
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
The House adjourned at 18:11.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. Report of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests on the Auditor‑General's report on the alleged non-disclosure of members' interests:
The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests, co‑chaired by Mr L T Landers and Mr B L Mashile, met on 19 August 2010 to consider the report of the Auditor‑General on the alleged non-disclosure of interests by members of Parliament.
Mangena, M S
Ngcobo, B T
Nhlengethwa, D G
Van der Merwe, J H
National Council of Provinces
Mabe, B P
Magadla, N W
Moshodi, M L
Rantho, D Z
Bekker, J M
Radebe, B A
The Auditor‑General's annual audit of Parliament for 2009‑10 included a full audit of the 2009 Register of Members' Interests, focusing on the accuracy of disclosures by members of Parliament in respect of their interests in companies or close corporations. Members' disclosure of interests in 2009 was tested against the Company and Intellectual Property Rights Organisation (Cipro) database.
Upon examining the Auditor‑General's findings, the Registrar determined that 31 members had not complied with the requirements of the Code of Conduct. After consultation with the co‑chairpersons, the procedure used for the investigation of complaints in respect of non-disclosures was followed. This approach is consistent with previous practice when the Auditor‑General found that members had not fully disclosed their interests.
On 20 July 2010, correspondence was sent to each member who had been identified with a request that they respond to the allegation that their disclosures for 2009 were not complete. Each member responded to the allegation, the details of which are set out below.
After consideration of the explanations received, the Committee agreed that in most cases the companies in question are dormant or never operated. Some members indicated that their omission had been an oversight. They had previously disclosed the interests and therefore there was no intent wilfully to mislead the Committee.
In its consideration of the matter, the Committee also noted that the disclosures that had been audited were the first of the 4th Parliament and the majority of members were newly elected.
The Committee further noted that in most instances the companies are dormant and members had not received any benefit from the company or companies concerned.
The Committee acknowledged that it has the mandate to assist members with compliance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct and that there should be ongoing briefings to ensure that members are properly informed.
The Committee reiterated, however, that the onus for full disclosure rests upon members. It agreed that members of Parliament are expected to comply fully with the requirements of the Code.
All members, with the exception of Mr Van der Merwe, agreed that the non-disclosure of interests is a breach of the Code of Conduct, even if the companies are dormant or if the non-disclosure had been an omission.
The Committee therefore recommends the following penalties. All members who have been found guilty of breaching the Code must -
(a) attend a compulsory briefing on the requirements of the Code of Conduct;
(b) be informed in writing that the non-disclosure of interests is considered seriously;
(c) correct their existing records in their 2010 disclosure; and
(d) issued a warning that any future non-disclosure could result in the maximum penalty.
Mr Van der Merwe was of the view that as there had been no wilful breach, members should only be required to correct their disclosures.
The Committee is aware that in some cases members did not disclose more than one company and though it may appear that the Committee has been lenient in the penalty imposed, it wanted to be consistent in its approach to all members and issue a uniform penalty to all who have not disclosed.
1. BHENGU NR
62 ARUBA, registration 1998/041240/23,
The member tried to contact the other directors, but they too indicated that they have no knowledge of this company. The company has had no business dealings. The member indicated that she is in the process of checking with Cipro whether the registration was wrongful. To date the member has not been able to provide further information. She is in the process of resigning from the company.
Breach - cited as a member by Cipro. The member could not provide additional information to show that the company had been registered without her authorisation.
2. BLAAI, BC
SIYATHEMBANA TRADING 166, 2008/008778/07,
The member responded that the exclusion had been an omission and that no benefits had been received. The member apologised for the oversight.
Breach - the member conceded that she had not disclosed.
3. BOROTO, M G
THEMBISILE TRANSPORT SERVICES, 2004/051764/23,
The company never operated. The member was not aware that the company was registered. However, the member apologised for the non-disclosure.
Breach - the member had not complied with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for members of Parliament.
4. CHAUKE, H P
IKAMVA LETHU MKHONTO INVESTMENTS, 2008/012108/07,
PEOYARONA HOLDINGS, 2008/024876/07,
CAMEL ROCK TRADING 443, 2008/080286/23,
IMVUSA TRADING 2155, 2009/025821/23,
GOT THE EDGE 2, 2002/008570/23,
SIZISA UKHANYO TRADING, 2004/083348/23,
The member indicated that the companies are dormant and he had received no benefit from them. He said that the non-disclosure was an omission.
Breach - the member conceded that he had not disclosed. The committee noted that seven companies had not been disclosed.
5. DUMA, N M
SEKADUMA CONSTRUCTION, 2004/041736/23,
The company is dormant. It was an omission, as it had been disclosed previously.
Breach – the member conceded that he had not disclosed.
6. GOLOLO, C L
KGA KUNA MATATA TRADING, 2008/009917/23
SUNSHINE DUNES TRADING, 2003/003584/23,
SAMKEDZE TRADING ENTERPRISE, 2008/155839/23
The companies were dormant and never operated. No benefits were received. The member apologised for the omission.
Breach – the member conceded that he had not disclosed.
7. HOLOMISA, S P
KWA TSHEZI LODGE, 2000/028550/07,
This company name has changed and member was informed that he was no longer a director. Following up to see why this was not affected.
Breach - it is the member's responsibility to ensure the correctness of his disclosure.
8. KOMPHELA, B M
MATSAPA TRADING 618, 2008/166309/23,
The member said that he had updated his disclosure on 5 September 2008. However, the information had not been included in the 2009 disclosure.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
9. KOPANE, S P
DELA CASA TRADING 550, 2008/014235/23,
KHATHOLOHA BED AND BREAKFAST, 2008/019104/23,
The companies are dormant and never operated.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
10. KRUMBOCK, G R
RUPERSASH SURVEYS, 1997/041207/23,
The company is dormant. This was an oversight, as the company had been disclosed in previous years.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
11. LUCAS, E J
JABULANI SPARES, 1992/015723/23,
JIL BUSINESS CONSULTANCIES, 1998/024076/23,
VUSANI MINING RESOURCES, 2005/099750/23,
CORPCLO 2210, 2004/044237/23,
INKULULEKO INVESTMENTS, 1999/019975/07,
INKULULEKO LEISURES, 2000/016649/07,
INKULULEKO OFFICE AUTOMATION, 2000/009478/07,
UNGOYE INVESTMENTS, 2005/004425/07,
LANDA PETROLEUM, 2008/005772/07,
The member apologised for the omission. He said that he was rationalising his representations to the companies at present. The Committee noted that nine companies had not been disclosed.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
12. LUTHULI, A M
ALBERLITO HOSPITAL PROPERTIES, 2004/023093/07,
ALBERLITO HOSPITAL, 2006/005938/07,
The member, as alternate director, received no remuneration. She has resigned and the resignation has been accepted.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
13. MABIJA, L
TATAMASASE TRADING CENTRE, 2008/025680/07,
The Cipro document indicated that the member was appointed on 20 October 2010, i.e. after the date of disclosure.
No breach - the member was appointed on 20 October 2009, after the date of disclosure.
14. MGABADELI, H C
VPZ CONSULTING, 2004/034742/23,
The company is dormant and never operated.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
15. MNGUNI, P B
ZIYAWA BUSINESS ENTERPRISE, 2003/006038/23,
The company never operated and the member has no contact with other directors.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
17. MOKGORO, G G
MAJESTIC SILVER TRADING 40, 2005/003527/07,
The member represents the interests of the Kuruman community in this company and does not receive any remuneration.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
18. MOSS, L N
SIYATHEMBANI PROPERTY AND EQUITY INVESTMENTS, 2008/002784/07,
At the time of disclosure, the member was not aware that the registration of the company had been finalised.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
19. MSIMANG, C T
NASOU VIA AFRIKA, 1996/012379/07,
TOWER CITY TRADING 263, 2003/053113/23,
VIA AFRIKA INTERNATIONAL, 2006/023443/07,
FUNDA NJALO TRAINING, 2007/056778/23,
THABIZOLO PROMOTIONS, 2008/121362/23,
NEG is a holding company of which Nasou via Africa and Via Africa are subsidiaries. NEG was disclosed. Funda Njalo is an NGO. Tower City only started operating in 2010. Thabazolo Promotions is dormant.
Breach in respect of Tower City Trading and Thabazolo Promotions, as they were not disclosed. The member is also in breach in respect of Funda Njalo, as it is registered as a close corporation and should therefore be disclosed.
20. MSWELI, H S
SIGAWULA CATERERS AND EVENTS MANAGEMENT, 2005/019097/23,
The member did not realise that she was expected to disclose as the company is dormant.
Breach – the member conceded that she did not disclose.
21. NDABANDABA, G
LOZANO PROPERTY INVESTMENTS, 1988/014254/23,
The company is dormant. The member was not aware that the company still exists.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
22. NTAPANE, Z S
SEE BEYOND TRADING, 2004/062859/23,
The company is dormant and should have been deregistered. The member will deregister the company.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
23. NZIMANDE, P M
EYETHU SONKE DRIVERS TRAINING, 2001/051404/23,
The company is dormant and should have been deregistered. The member will follow it up with Cipro.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
24. NYANDA, F N
THANDA VIVI CONSTRUCTION, 2002/017235/23,
The company is dormant and the member received no benefit.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
25. RASMENI, R N
BUNU SISTERS TRADING AND PROJECTS, 2007/141468/23,
The non-disclosure was an omission.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
26. RWEXANA, S P
AFRICAN WOMEN CO-ORDINATED INVESTMENTS, 2003/012102/07,
UNCEDO LWAMAKHOSIKAZI TRADING, 2007/183297/23,
ABAPHUMELELI TRADING, 2005/105361/23,
AFRICAN WOMEN COORDINATED INVESTMENTS, 2003/012102/07,
The companies are dormant and did not operate.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
27. SCHAFER, D A
MTS INSOLVENCY ADMINISTRATORS, 2009/028139/23,
The non-disclosure was an omission. The member is not sure if the registration had been finalised at the time of disclosure.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
28. SIBANYONI, J B
MALUJU CIVIL ENGINEERING, 2004/054333/23,
The company is dormant and never operated.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
29. SIZANI, P S
WOODY CAPE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, 1998/042298/23,
EAGLE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, 2003/104395/23,
STONE SIZANI CONSULTING, 2004/063102/23,
PURPLE MOSS DEVELOPMENTS, 2007/151336/23,
BUYISIKAMVA HARDWARE SOULTIONS, 2005/053332/23,
MENTACOR TRADING, 2002/011739/23,
EXCEL INDUSTRIES SOUTH AFRICA, 2004/092613/23,
The member had asked a private company to do a search of all interests registered at Cipro and that information was submitted. However, the company did not do a check of close corporations and therefore they had not been included in the member's submission. There was no intention to mislead the Committee.
Breach – the member did not disclose as required. The Committee noted that seven companies had not been disclosed.
30. THOMPSON, B
LION'S HEAD TRANSPORT SERVICES, 2006/144197/23,
The company is dormant.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
31. TSHWETE, P
UNCEDO LWAMAKHOSIKAZI TRADING, 2007/183297/23,
MELODY HILLS TRADING 196, 2008/228305/23,
THUTHUKANI WOMEN INVESTMENT, 2008/231725/23,
NKONKA ENERGY RESOURCES, 2009/018728/07,
The companies are dormant, but their non-disclosure was an omission.
Breach – the member did not disclose.
32. ZULU, M M
BANELE INVESTMENTS, 2004/067671/23,
The member is in the process of resigning.
Breach - the member did not disclose.
LT Landers BL Mashile
Report to be considered.
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism on Oversight Visits to Northern Cape and Limpopo Provinces, dated 2 November 2010
Having undertaken oversight visits in Northern Cape and Limpopo provinces, the Portfolio Committee on Tourism reports as follows:
The committee undertook an oversight visit to Northern Cape Province from 24 July 2010 to the 30 of July 2010 and the Limpopo Province from 2 August 2010 to 6 August 2010. The objectives of the visits were to:
· Assess the alignment and integration of tourism in the three spheres of government.
· Assess the level of stakeholder participation - both in the public and private sectors - and provincial government support.
· Analyse the contribution of the sector in job creation, with a focus on challenges, opportunities and prospects.
· Assess support for cultural and heritage tourism growth.
· Evaluate and assess the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and its outputs and outcomes.
· Assess the support for sustainable livelihoods, particularly for people involved with Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME's).
The Northern Cape leg of the visit incorporated the following areas: Kimberley (Sol Plaatjie District Municipality); Kuruman (John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality); and Upington (Siyanda District Municipality).
In Limpopo, the following areas were prioritised: Polokwane (Capricorn District Municipality); Thohoyandou/Mutale (Vhembe District Municipality; and Modjadji (Mopani District Municipality).
There has been a positive move taken by the Northern Cape Department of Tourism to redefine the province's tourism industry, positioning it as a premier tourism destination, with attractions such as extreme sports, nature, cultural exploration and escapism. The initiative undertaken by the provincial department seeks to address issues that were previously lacking in the Northern Cape, one of which was active marketing. This drive has been substantiated by proactive moves such as bidding for events that are of an extreme nature such as the Maloof Money Cup and the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car, with both events having been safely secured for hosting in the 2011/12 financial year. The provincial government envisages that the marketing of these mega events nationally and internationally will be critical, as the full attendance of these events could yield positive returns for tourism in the province.
It was encouraging to note that the province is on track in addressing the issue of tourism development as well as rural tourism development. In line with the national priorities of government to fast-track rural development, the province has embarked on tourism route development projects in the following areas: Namakwa; Siyanda; John Taolo Gaetsewe; Pixley Ka Seme; and Frances Baard.
Although it is not yet evident whether this project will fully address the issue of rural tourism, this move will nevertheless create a platform for people in rural communities to participate in the development of rural tourism.
The move to increase the budget from an all-time low of 2 million rand in 1994 to about 32 million rand in the 2010/2011 financial year suggests the importance of tourism contribution to rural development, as well as economic development in the province. This is evidenced by the average yearly growth of 17% of national visitors as well as 25% in international visitors. However, it needs to be highlighted that the budget allocation received by the tourism department remains inadequate for its mission to completely unlock the potential of tourism in the province.
There is a high drive of entrepreneurial activity in the province, especially in the accommodation and hunting industries. Nevertheless, it is important to note that interest generated in the two industries could lead to over-saturation if the demand to visit the province does not match the supply. This was observed in one of the meetings in Kuruman, where the industry sector complained that business was becoming minimal, which suggested that the area might be moving towards over-saturation. There is growing support for emerging entrepreneurs in the province, through awards such as the ETEYA (Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award) awards and the 'bubbling under' awards. The 'bubbling under' award is a sub–award to assist entrepreneurs who do not qualify for the ETEYA awards but bear potential to grow in the tourism sector.
Access to training by business operators who wish to send their staff for training remains a hurdle. The department has, to some extent, availed resources for training to individuals who have an interest in tourist guide training, foreign languages, and so forth. Training in the tourism sector need not only be available to post matriculants, but must be a practice that is entrenched from the early stages of child development, and from the primary school level, in order to promote and engender interest in the tourism sector in people from an early age.
Accessibility to tourist sites in the Northern Cape has proved to be problematic in spite of the growth of tourism industry. At the current juncture, there is only one airline carrier that ferries people to the Northern Cape. This contributes to the high-ticket prices, thus making it difficult for people to travel by air. In addition, the Northern Cape is the largest province in South Africa with a size of 361,830 km², which makes travel by road very daunting and undesirable to international and domestic travellers. Hence, growth in visits to the province is negatively affected by limited transport accessibility.
There is a lack of cooperative governance between the three spheres of government, which has also proven to be a bottleneck in the growth of tourism in the Northern Cape. The province seems to be affected by bureaucratic red tape issues. One of the matters that have yet to be addressed is the lack of road signage, which restricts access to roads. The establishment of the intergovernmental relations framework is the first step taken by the province to address issues of cooperative governance. This will allow the three spheres of government to work in partnerships to improve communication lines between municipalities and provinces, and national department.
In the Limpopo Province, nature reserves have taken centre stage as tourist attractions. This is evident in the development of the African Ivory Route, which includes a total of 54 provincial reserves. These reserves form an arch and follow the peripheral borders of the province along Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The province has further embraced the initiative by the private sector of promoting the golfing sport in order to enhance their tourism package. The province has also formed a partnership with Entabeni; and this partnership involves the combining of the Entabeni game reserve with the Doorndraai Dam Nature Reserve, with prospects of further developing the reserves as a tourist attraction.
The constant threats of mining activities to the vitality and growth of tourist attractions, such as Mapungubwe and Nylsvlei remains a problematic issue that requires government intervention and cooperation between relevant stakeholders. Both these sites are of national importance with one being a world heritage site and the latter a Convention on Wetlands of International Importance site (or RAMSAR in short). Lake Fundudzi, one of the few true inland lakes in South Africa has been threatened with extinction through the filling up of sand. There is a need for intergovernmental cooperation between the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environmental Affairs to resuscitate the lake for the benefit of securing this national resource, as well as ensuring rural development.
The access roads leading to attractions in rural areas such as the Fundudzi Camp and the Modjadji Cycad Forest are in poor shape and pose a big challenge. There is a need for cooperation between municipalities and provincial governments who need to understand the importance of upgrading roads in order to facilitate easy access for tourists. There is a need for municipalities to recognise the importance of tourism to the growth and development of municipal areas. Municipalities need to effectively consider tourism in the municipal Integrated Development Plan. There seems to be challenges with a conflict of interest and the confusion of roles and responsibilities, with regards to community representatives who are also public officials. The latter should be pioneering the implementation of programmes and resolve bureaucratic red tape issues.
Stakeholder engagement in Limpopo is not at optimal standard, especially in the rural areas where dissemination of information remains a challenge. It is important to note that in Limpopo, industry stakeholders seem to be organised and clearly understand the challenges to the growth of tourism in the province. The completion of the EPWP programme in the Cycad Forest remains a challenge. The grading of accommodation run as businesses do not seem to be run in a consistent fashion, as the status of some of the bed and breakfast places do not seem to correspond to the quality. There is therefore a need for the grading council to look into this issue as it has serious repercussions on the credibility of grading institutions.
The importance of intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance is in the forefront for the growth of tourism in the country. There is a need for the tourism national strategy to be filtered down to municipal levels in order to ascertain growth in the tourism sector. In the same vein, it is important to engender a culture of innovation and that can only come about if space is created for an integrated approach involving feedback from the municipalities, and other stakeholders. Education and training remains a critical component for the development and growth of tourism in the two provinces. Although the current state of affairs in the two provinces is not completely fulfilling, there is a huge potential for the two provinces to advance in the tourism sector. There is therefore a need for the tourism budget allocations in the provinces to be increased for this potential to be unlocked. This will significantly increase the contribution of tourism to job creation and sustainable livelihoods, as part of the key national priorities of Government.
In relation to the role of Parliament, the following could be considered:
· Working with provincial legislatures to oversee the blockages created by red tape issues, (such as signage, access to funding, etc.), as well as ensuring the accessibility of tourism initiatives to previously disadvantaged individuals.
· There is a need for parliament to advocate for the review of funding mechanisms to SMMEs, as current mechanisms are not as accommodating of SMMEs in the tourism sector.
· Joint committee initiatives on tourism should be undertaken to oversee the challenges, and develop recommendations for the growth and development of the tourism sector.
· A need to constantly engage with industry and communities on issues of tourism for the purposes of contributing to tourism growth and development.
The following members formed part of the delegation:
African National Congress
Mr D.M Gumede (Leaders of the delegation);
Ms X.C Makasi;
Ms T.J Tshivhase;
Ms J. Manganye
Congress of the People
Ms M.A Njobe
Inkatha Freedom Party
Ms C.N Zikalala
Mr J. Boltina, Committee Secretary
Ms J. Ntuli, Committee Researcher
Mr M. Vumzonke, Committee Assistant
In support of the national effort for development, the committee visited the Northern Cape and Limpopo from 26 July to 6 August 2010.
Part of the mandate of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism is to conduct oversight in its efforts to promote optimum benefits for the resources and capacities available to the three spheres of government.
The committee visited the two provinces, which are mainly rural that benefit the least from the industry, that is, at a national level. The committee felt that it was necessary to conduct a study tour so as to assess the nature of challenges and prospects for inclusive growth, particularly in the rural areas.
The committee's visit is in line with the following points that are relevant to national priorities:
· Inclusive growth that creates decent jobs, promotes sustainable livelihoods with meaningful participation of the historically disadvantaged communities and individuals.
· Involvement of rural communities in tourism growth and development in the mainstream industry.
· Assess the skills development in the industry.
· Impact of crime and corruption in the industry and response thereto.
The following national priorities informed the committee objectives, which are:
· To prioritise the provinces, which least benefit from the tourism industry.
· To align and integrate tourism in the three spheres of government.
· To assess the level of stakeholder participation - both in the public and private sectors - and provincial support.
· To provide an analysis of the contribution of the sector in job creation, which look at challenges, opportunities, and possible alternatives.
· To assess support for cultural and heritage tourism growth.
· To implement the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and its outputs and outcomes.
· To provide support for sustainable livelihoods, such as that of Small, Micro, Medium Enterprises (SMMEs), co-operatives and individuals.
· To assess the performance of government institutions that are meant to support the industry and its stakeholders e.g. ESKOM, municipalities, roads and department.
· To meet relevant stakeholders like development banks, FET's, and universities, among others.
The briefing session conducted in Parliament on 16 March 2010 was the basis upon which provincial oversight visits were conducted. This provided a broad national perspective on the state of tourism in the provinces and the challenges experienced at provincial and municipal levels.
Subsequent to that session, the committee visited the Northern Cape and Limpopo provinces to conduct oversight in terms of the objectives outlined above. In an attempt to obtain a balanced view on the state of tourism in the provinces, the committee visited various cities and attraction sites in Northern Cape to ascertain their state of tourism and the challenges.
The areas visited in the Northern Cape and Limpopo are reflected in Table 2:
Northern Cape Province
27 July 2010
Sol Plaatjie District Municipality
28 July 2010
John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality
29 July 2010
Siyanda District Municipality
3 August 2010
Capricon District Municipality
4 August 2010
Vhembe District Municipality
5 August 2010
Mopani District Municipality
The process followed during the oversight visits included:
· Briefing sessions with district and local municipalities: Mayors outlined existing state of tourism and perspectives on challenges and opportunities.
· Three public hearings were held with tourism industry stakeholders.
· The committee undertook site visits to obtain first hand the challenges encountered by communities.
· Oversight visits were concluded by holding stakeholder engagement sessions which sought to work out the plan of government as a collective (local, provincial and national) on those issues raised by communities.
2. BRIEFING SESSIONS, SITE VISITS AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENTS
2.1 Briefing by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism
The department presented an overview of the status of provincial tourism. Economic growth rates improved steadily over the past few years and the contribution to gross domestic product was just over 2% in 2004. 92% of worlds' reserves of iron ore and manganese are found in this province. The province has the highest concentration of available solar energy. The economy relies heavily on mining, agriculture and tourism.
The tourism industry in the province confronts the following challenges:
· The provincial tourism industry is vulnerable to economic down cycles.
· Emerging small tourism enterprises struggle for survival as they have to compete with more established tourism enterprises.
· Established tourism enterprises are unable to make significant contribution to provincial tourist attraction development and promotion.
· Lack of growth in arrivals and market share makes rapid provincial tourism industry development and transformation very difficult.
Some of the reasons for underperformance by the tourism sector in provinces comprise the following:
· Constrained access: Expensive air tickets, flight frequencies and capacity, types of aircraft used, underdeveloped small town airports travel by vehicle, lack of reliable rail-based passenger service and quality roads.
· Inadequate product development: General lack of maintenance, quality, diversity, attractions, activities, service excellence, geographical spread.
· Poor product packaging: Lack of cooperation between communities, and the government. The private sector generally leaves individual/s to undertake work with no support, and this creates a sense of isolation. No tangible product to sell and to leave visitors with a 'wow' experience.
· Inadequate marketing and promotion: Insufficient brand building, over emphasis on exhibitions and advertising, lack of targeted selling approach and lack of efficient and effective tourist information distribution network.
2.2 Impact of the tourism industry development
· Tourism destination development projects for 2010/11 budget year will eventually create 100 permanent jobs as projects are introduced in the market.
· Tourism Business Development projects for 2010/11 budget year will eventually create 10 permanent jobs as clients further develop their product and market awareness is raised.
· In Siyanda Region: 10 accommodation venues were established in 1992 and 124 accommodation establishments in 2010.
· Black-owned small tourism enterprises: 12 in 1995 and 80 in 2010.
· The provincial tourism industry contributes on average of R1,5 billion to the Northern Cape economy, making it one of the most valuable economic sectors in the province.
· The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup had its impact in that the Kimberley and Upington airports were upgraded and the N12 from Johannesburg to Three Sisters was reconstructed. It was highlighted that the bad state of this route was a main reason for Kimberley's tourism industry slowly failing and this factor in now no longer a concern.
2.3 Challenges facing provincial government
· Municipal capacity and slow responses as project implementers.
· Own capacity to implement projects and monitor progress in terms of staff numbers, skills levels and work environment.
· Community dynamics – internal and political – tear communities apart and prevent them from becoming self –sustainable. (Owning land is the short cut to real wealth but in these cases, the poverty trap is still strong).
· Management of Expanded Public Works Programme –style employment creation. Few people want to work for the rates paid.
· Road sign application process and Road Sign Manual prescriptions for N and R routes working severely against the needs of the tourism industry.
· Land-use zoning process delays impact on tourism development and especially the pace of tourism industry transformation.
2.4 Bloodhound and skateboarding
Bloodhound Super Sport Car (SSC):
The car is designed and built to achieve 1000 minutes per hour (mph) (1600 kilometres) on land. This would create opportunities for Education through its Science, Technology and Engineering initiatives.
The Track: The Northern Cape Province is to assist the Bloodhound Team to build the World's Fastest Track at Hakskeenpan – 20 km (I) x 500 m (w).
Progress: A survey of the track has been concluded. An EIA study is currently being commissioned. Buy-in from the District and Local municipalities has been secured. The Departments of Education and Public Works were on board and the following elements were being investigated – preparation of the track; grading and maintenance; water tankers; camping facilities; maintenance camps; fencing; medical facilities and the erection of a grand stand (viewing platforms).
Skateboarding is the number 1 growing action sporting code in the world, which trumps other action sports when it comes to the number of participants, buying power of audience and the industry's overall influence on pop culture, fashion, movies and music. For the past 10 years, while traditional sports participation has stagnated, the fastest growing sport in America has been skate boarding and has more than 9 million participants.
How does this benefit South Africa, and specifically Kimberley? The journey begins with a vision which allows for infrastructure development that will bring the youth of the country together. This could transform empty roads into a pathway for locals and visitors afar to gather at a central point of contact to witness the top international and local skaters competing, but will also allow them the time to interact and teach other aspiring skaters to be the next skateboarding champions of the world.
Kimberley will be at the forefront of this extreme vision by ways of the Maloof Money Cup Skateboarding Championships.
This vision comprises the following components:
· Contractual elements: event description – international world class skateboarding event; with two qualifiers to be held in the United States and the final in Kimberley, South Africa.
· Commitment to infrastructure development: Design and construction of 1 400 square meters skatepark, vert ramp and concert stage.
· Media partnerships objective: To secure media coverage to facilitate adequate ROI for sponsors.
· Awareness campaigns establishing the brand: With the high celebrity status of the event in the United States and the alignment of the Maloofs, their identity needs to be entrenched into the South African market place. This will take place in the form of a national road-show, and will be multi-dimensional and aligned to public relations strategy.
· Content production: The value of capturing every aspect of the event would create an unquantifiable asset in terms of broadcasting and merchandising.
· Merchandise economic opportunities: There are countless ways of creating merchandising opportunities, which will encourage local involvement.
This will require the support of many sectors, to ensure that it becomes a reality for Kimberley and the Northern Cape. At the national level, the following interventions are required to assist the Northern Cape:
· Actively assist with finding a sustainable solution to address the access constraints to the Northern Cape by road, rail and air.
· Actively assist to develop tourism management capacity and skills levels at municipal level.
· Actively and urgently assist to review the Road Sign Manual to mitigate is severely negative impact on tourism development and promotion.
· Actively assist to secure funding for the development of a network of gateway tourist information centres. Recommended locations are Steinkopf. Nieuwoudtville, Victoria West, Honover, Garies and Kuruman.
· Actively assist with bringing harmony to communities in land restitution areas and guide them in best ways to make their land work for their own wealth and pride.
· Actively assist to raise the importance of tourism as a valuable economic sector in the Northern Cape.
An overview of the key issues emanating from public hearings with stakeholders in the tourism industry in Kimberley, Kuruman and Upington, reflected the following:
In Kimberley, the stakeholders complained that the Restitution of Land Rights Act (Act No. 22 of 1994) is generally perceived by people as a good gesture of restoring the dignity of communities that were dispossessed. Such a gesture should heal the wounds, uplift the socio-economic standard of life and pave the way for genuine reconciliation. However, the moratorium placed on land is a challenge. Further challenges comprised the following:
· Training opportunities in the sector are inaccessible to many because of cost, geographic location or high level selectivity in admitting students to programmes and tourism training in higher education is assessed as having little industry relevance, and not adequately preparing people for the requirements of jobs.
· Lack of managing inter-departmental relations to support the tourism industry.
· Lack of feedback from government officials.
· Time taken is too long for people to get license permit.
· Registration of Guest Houses with MATCH.
· Tourist attraction areas: opening and closing time were not conducive to tourism.
· Tour Guide registration.
· Liquidation of businesses had increased by 10% because government takes too long to pay entrepreneurs.
· Attendance of international exhibitions – small businesses are taken to those exhibitions, yet there are no returns to their businesses.
· Market share is small because Northern Cape is inaccessible and it is very expensive to run a business.
· FET colleges.
· Lack of entertainment/there is lack of night life in Kimberley.
· SITA money / levies are inaccessible.
· Access roads are limited.
In Kuruman, the following concerns were raised:
· Ineffective community participation in Local Economic Development (LED) and Integrated Development Planning (IDP) processes was a crucial matter that emerged.
· Lack of development of the tourist attraction areas.
· Lack of employment opportunities for locals. Community complained that all constructors working in Northern Cape were from outside the province. Procurement benefits were enjoyed by people outside the province.
· Lack of infrastructure development, including access roads.
· There was a suggestion of tourism route development.
· Provincial government takes too long to approve projects, for example, one person made a point that he has been sitting with a project for five years, no government officials wanted to take a decision.
· Hunters were frequent in the Northern Cape but this was limited only to 7 days and 90% of them would end up in Cape Town or Kruger National Park.
· There was also a complaint that some areas in Kuruman lack cell phone networks.
· A proposal was made that there should a district coordination structure to coordinate the tourism activities in the at district level.
· Lack of adequate budget.
In Upington, the following concerns were raised:
· Stakeholders complained about the lack of tourism road signs. At some point, there was a meeting in Kimberley where the matter was discussed and there seems to be no movement on the part of the government.
· The museum is dirty and not maintained and tourists are not guided.
· Government takes too long to pay entrepreneurs for services rendered and as a result, this was impacting negatively on their businesses.
· There is no signage for attraction sites/areas.
· There is a challenge with street names.
· There is a lack of recreational facilities and as a result, the youth are heavily involved in alcohol abuse.
· Lack of communication between government and stakeholders, in that, 3 years ago, a submission was made for the department to provide tour guides to assist tourists. To date, there has been no response. The local community is not updated on developments.
· Parks are dilapidated due to a lack of maintenance.
· Lack of tourism information desks at the airport.
· Inadequate budget for tourism.
· The Black community submitted that they are not benefiting in anyway in Upington. Stakeholders have however noticed that what is developing is the increase in numbers of Somalians and Indians that have opened up businesses in Upington.
· Lack of access to facilities for people with disabilities.
3. Committee observations
Most of the issues raised during the hearing by tourism industry stakeholders revolved around poor governance systems. Some of the issues include: lack of accountability by relevant authorities; lack of communication between local, district, province and the stakeholders on matters of development in the province. At times, meetings are called and subsequently cancelled at the last minute. At another level, the Northern Cape is a vastly spread province and is mainly rural. As a result, limited financial resources of municipalities are unable to fund all the services required by stakeholders.
The process followed during the oversight visit in Limpopo Province included briefing sessions, site visits and stakeholder engagement.
The Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism submitted the Draft Revised 5 year Provincial Tourism Growth strategy. The strategy document outlines three areas for further consideration: the current tourism status; opportunities and interventions still to be realised; and will increase Limpopo's competitive advantage.
Limpopo experienced a gradual growth in tourist numbers over the last few years. However, Limpopo is positioned as the fifth most visited province in South Africa and this indicates that there is still place for improvement. Hunting in Limpopo is seen as a major contributor to the number of tourist visits, length of stay and tourist spend. Historically, hunting has not been seen as a tourism sector, and therefore its contribution was not seen as important and therefore not included into the economic calculations determining growth. However, hunting's contribution was determined and should be acknowledged within the context of Limpopo and therefore be integrated within the tourism growth strategy. Private sector and government invested in tourism infrastructure projects that enhanced the implementation of tourism growth strategy.
Tourism products were developed and/or upgraded through private sector and government initiates enhancing the tourism clusters. Tourism sector skills development programme implemented and capacitated 756 PDI's. 150 businesses recorded to be owned by PDI's. Tourism awareness created and two annual provincial events established the (Marula festival and the Limpopo Soccer Challenge). Limpopo recorded 773 registered tour guides; 1048 tourism establishments with 33229 beds, of which 47% have been graded. A provincial Tourism Bill has been drafted and promulgated as an Act in 2009.
The presenters noted the following opportunities and interventions that still need to be realised:
· The establishment of routes and basic infrastructure in rural areas still needs to be expanded and/or upgraded to ensure that tourists can safely travel to the remote corners of the province.
· The flow of tourists into rural areas will not only enhance Limpopo's unique product offerings but will contribute to the growth of economic opportunities in these areas.
· Polokwane, as a Host City during the 2010 World Cup, opportunities were identified around the offering of more recreational and entertainment activities, and expansion on the shopping experience Polokwane currently has to offer, business tourism through conferences and events, organised sport tourism that has also been identified as one of the national tourism focus areas and the establishment of an effective tourism information and event management office.
· A major intervention and opportunity for tourism lies within the transport sector. This includes rail and air transport. An intervention strategy to increase the Airlift from and to Polokwane – linking with routes to SADC countries and visa versa will enhance the tourism strategy.
· It has been acknowledged that the communication between government and tourism industry is not at a desired level. It is known that to grow tourism, interactive liaison and cooperation between all role players are required. The streamlining of communication channels and the establishment of partnerships between government, the private sector and communities therefore requires further attention.
· The lack of implementing an integrated spatial and land use development plan on provincial level has led to various ad hoc developments that are in direct conflict with other land uses. This directly impacts on tourism planning and this needs to be put on the agenda as an issue that needs serious intervention at provincial and local government level.
Limpopo has the following tourism advantage:
A growing interest in natural heritage and opportunities to experience high-quality natural environments has been identified as important factors of competitiveness in the Travel and Tourism Industry. Limpopo's competitive advantage as a tourism destination is based on its natural (scenic beauty, wilderness landscape and diverse wildlife), culture and heritage resources base and is therefore positioned to cater for this interest. This is substantiated by the following factors:
· 4.1 million (approximately 30%) hectares in Limpopo is dedicated to game farming and provincial nature reserves (48) that offer various consumptive and non-consumptive tourism opportunities.
· The Kruger National Park, South Africa's prime eco-tourism destination adds an additional 1.9 million hectares to this natural experience.
· Three National Parks converge in Limpopo: the Kruger National Park, Marakele National Park and the Mapungubwe National Park (also part of the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site).
· Limpopo is also home to three registered UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, namely the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve, the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve and the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve.
· Limpopo is the furthertest part to two transfrontier conservation areas, namely the Greater Limpopo transfrontier conservation area and the Mapungubwe transfrontier conservation area.
· Limpopo has two Ramsar sites, 28 registered natural heritage sites and still many un-proclaimed cultural and natural areas.
· Furthermore, Limpopo is home to three national centres of endemism, namely the Soutpansberg Centre, the Wolkberg Centre, and the Sekhukhune Centre.
The indicators identified by the World Economic Forum to measure the competitiveness of the natural resources base of nations are determined according to the:
Number of UNESCO natural World Heritage sites.
· The total known species (animals, birds, and frogs) included on the IUCN Red List.
· Endangered species (as a % of total known species) on the IUCN Red List.
· Index of ratified environmental treaties (total number of treaties ratified by each country based on a sample of 25 most relevant treaties).
· Nationally protected areas (a % of the total land area).
Priority Tourism Projects
In order to cope with extremely limited resources against a requirement of approximately R3 billion to develop the much needed tourism infrastructure to realize the potential of tourism in the province, there is a need to facilitate large scale private investment, and projects had to be prioritized. The following criteria were used:
· The long term sustainability of the project.
· Important anchor project for tourism growth.
· Current status of the project.
· Potential job creation for PDI's and SMMEs within the short and long term.
· Specialized maintenance and small upgrades to ensure a consistent quality standard on 12 provincial owned resorts.
· Critical nature reserve infrastructure required to support the tourism investment on the reserve.
· Community beneficiation and new landowner support to enhance the social impact of the project.
· The strategic link with the objectives of the tourism growth strategy.
Main challenges to overcome facing tourism in Limpopo province
· Using the existing (limited) marketing budget allocated for tourism, posed various challenges to enable Limpopo to optimise the opportunities offered through hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, not to mention the implementation of a desired marketing strategy for Limpopo.
· Prolonged land reform processes, linked to inadequate after care programmes in wildlife and tourism business sector hampers investment opportunities in tourism.
· Lack of adequate integrated land use planning at a provincial level resulted in uncoordinated development that directly impacts on provincial tourism icons and therefore on tourism growth.
· Lack of tourism units/managers within municipal structures hamper tourism planning and development at a local level.
· Poor secondary road infrastructure and proper signage impacts on the access to tourism products based in rural areas.
· Airlift – lack of low –cost airline services to Polokwane (direct flights to SADC countries) impacts negatively on tourist arrivals to Limpopo.
4. SITE VISITS
4.1 Greater Entabeni Safari Conservancy and Doorndraai Dam
The Entabeni Safari Project is a dream in the process of being realised to create a unique paradise using the ancient building blocks which historically occurred in the Waterberg. The aim of the project is to restore the full historic biodiversity of the area in a beautiful setting framed by the majestic Weterberg and the lake formed by the Doorndraai Dam.
The project is undertaken by merging the 12 500 hectares Entabeni Private Game Reserve and the public Doorndraai Nature Reserve of almost 8 000 hectares to create a 22 000 hectares nature reserve. The nature reserve would be expanded over time by adding adjacent private and public properties until it is able to cater for the full historic biodiversity of the area on an ecologically self-sustaining basis.
The project forms part of the Waterberg Savannah Biosphere Reserve and already offers all five members of the Big Five as well as an array of other wildlife. Currently, there are six (3 to 5 star) game lodges, game drives, scarce game breeding centre and a major golf estate built on the scale.
4.2 Nylsvley Nature Reserve (Ramsar Site Project)
This project was designated a Ramsar site in July 1998. Ramsar is an international convention that seeks to recognise and urge protection for globally important wetlands. The reserve is one of about 20 sites currently registered in South Africa and one of 1600 in the world and is also listed by Bird Life International as an 'Important Bird Area'.
Much of this recognition stems from the variety and abundance of waterbirds that are attracted to the floodplain during flooding. More than 100 waterbirds species have been recorded – more than that recorded in any other South African wetland. Many of these species are rare or highly localized elsewhere in the country. Nysvley is an important breeding ground for them in wet years and the 380 species recorded makes it one of the most bird –rich reserves for its size which is 4 000 hectares, in South Africa.
The committee was informed of the following threats to Nylsvley and its Ramsar status:
· Unrestricted development in the catchment area.
· Water (including human waste) being pumped into the Nyl River from Modimolle.
· Proposed prospecting for coal in catchment area.
4.3 Mapungubwe National Park (World Heritage Site)
The ancient city of Mapungubwe meaning 'hill of the jackal' is an Iron Age archaeological site in the Province on the border between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is close to the point where Limpopo and Shashe Rivers meet. One thousand years ago, Mapungubwe appears to have been the centre of the largest kingdom in the African sub-continent.
Archaeological enquiry uncovered the remnants of numerous dwellings, which had been built on the ruins of predecessors over many generations, resulting in a serious of habitation phases. It is said that radiocarbon dates show that the first buildings were erected below the hill at the beginning of the 11th century AD.
Greefswald farm remained the property of the State from the 1930s. Management of the farm was taken over by the provincial Department of Nature Conservation in 1992 and control was transferred to SANParks in 1999. Mapungubwe was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in July 2003.
The park is also part of the proposed Transfrontier Conservation Area Initiative (TFCA), with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in June 2006.
4.4 Engagement with Nwanedi (Project) Community Representatives
Stakeholder concerns focused mainly on the following areas of service delivery:
· Expansion of tourism infrastructure and services.
· Upgrading of access roads to Gumela Gate.
· Upgrading of existing facilities to 3 star grading.
· Upgrading of tourist roads.
· Unresolved land claims. This poses a challenge because even those who wish to invest are unable to invest in the project.
· Training and Development programme for the locals to sustain the businesses.
· The road which is inaccessible does not belong to the municipality, but to the Provincial Government.
· Part of the challenge is that the land is a communal land, and once a portion is developed, a Chief will demand that developed area.
· New water purification unit.
· Rehabilitation of old mines.
· Hiking trails.
· Poaching is a challenge due to lack of rangers, those present are old people who were expected to retire.
· Marketing of the Nwanedi Resort is a challenge because it is located inside the Nature Reserve.
· The complex nature of the contract entered into between LIMDEV (Development cooperation) and the 'Black Tsepisi' needs to be reviewed.
· Many complaints note that the 'White Tsepisi' was only paying R46 000 per annum or royalties.
4.5 The African Ivory Route Safari Camps
The committee was informed that the province was running the programme to convert villagers and township residents into tourists by sending them on an adventure into their own country and culture. Tourism was not very popular in the province, especially among the black people. The aim is for the African Ivory Route to benefit its communities.
Of the ten cultural camps based in villages along the route, where tourists get to see traditional dances, eat local food, enjoy traditional music and storytelling, and interact with villagers, the committee was able to visit only two camps namely: Fundudzi and Modjadji Camps.
4.6 Meeting with community leaders at Fundudzi Camp
The following issues were raised:
· Stakeholders in the community complained that they were still waiting for the department to hand over the camp to the community as promised.
· The ownership, management and control of the camp is still a challenge.
· The size of the camp is not known by the community and there is no security in the camp.
· Water availability is a challenge.
· Lack of communication between the province, district and local level of government.
· There is a lack of infrastructure development, including access roads.
· Lack of maintenance.
· Budget allocation needs to be increased.
· Lack of clear marketing strategy of the camp.
· The community wants to make the camp traditional.
· It was also indicated that the Fundudzi Lake may run out of water in 3 to 5 years time. The lake is gradually being filled with sand now.
The community is of the view that the camp has a potential because it is enjoined by the sacred lake Fundudzi, the Holy Forest, the Thathe Dam and the tea estate.
The provincial department indicated that the government is of the view that the project should be handed over to the community once there is sufficient revenue for the project to sustain itself. Progress should be handled in terms of phases on the ground and the capacity available within the community. The government still believes that the project is not fully functional to be handed over to the community. The camps are currently operated by LIPSA on behalf of the community. LIPSA is a parastatal contracted to develop small businesses, and already there are 4 operations guide trained by the parastatal.
4.7 Meeting with community leaders at Modjadji Nature Reserve & Giyani Tourism Association
Key issues raised at Modjadji Nature Reserve:
· The cultural and traditional tourism can contribute to provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
· The project in the Nature Reserve is incomplete.
· The Royal Palace is dilapidating, with no improvement.
· The traditional offices are too small to accommodate many people.
· The Kraal was established in 1910 and has a rich history.
· Modjadji Lodge was donated by government 10 years ago and has not been maintained.
Key issues raised by Giyani Tourism Association:
· Lack of coordination and expansion of tourism and support infrastructure.
· Lack of enhanced route development link.
· Lack of development products.
· Packaging of the products.
· Lack of marketing strategy and information centres.
· The community expressed a need for the possibility of reopening the Giyani Airport.
5. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
While the legal and policy framework for service delivery has been strengthened continuously since 1994, capacity and resource constraints continue to hamper implementation particularly at local government level.
The committee acknowledges that many of the challenges manifest themselves most directly at local government level, long term and fundamental solutions can only be found if all the three spheres of government work together.
At the same time, the committee recognises the critical importance of changing both the mindset and practical conduct of government and all the other social partners. Through such partnerships, the committee aims to ensure that tourism reaches new heights of growing the economy, reducing unemployment, poverty and promoting greater equity and social cohesion.
Therefore, as planned, the committee should return to these provinces to assess the situation in order to evaluate the progress made in relation to the shortcomings and challenges identified in various projects. This element of monitoring and evaluation should be an integral part of all future oversight visits as it is the only reliable way of ensuring the long term success and sustainability of the interventions proposed during these visits.
Once again, the department is called upon to establish a monitoring mechanism to assess progress in provinces and intervene with corrective and support measures where applicable.
Based on the stakeholder engagements, submissions by provincial authorities and site visits held, the following commonalities were identified and the committee recommends that:
· Institutional arrangements: The implementation of the Tourism Growth Strategy requires substantial institutional support and the Constitution defines tourism as a Schedule 4 competence, which means that national and provincial governments jointly have authority over tourism activities. This implies that national and provincial governments have the power to structure and arrange tourism at national and provincial adhering to the principles of cooperative governance. Tourism should be institutionalized at local government level.
· Tourism and Local Government: Local government does not have legislature and or regulatory powers pertaining to tourism, but local tourism is a local authority function. Local authorities are important contributors to the success of tourism activities in terms of community driven tourism philosophy. Their efforts should be coordinated within the provincial tourism strategy.
· Tourism Budgets: The successful implementation of the tourism growth strategy requires substantial financial resources. The current national and provincial tourism budgets are extremely limited and are not able to allow for the successful implementation of the tourism strategy. It also does not compare favourably with the budgets of other provinces. Innovative models will have to be found to supplement the current budget.
· Marketing: The committee found that using the existing or limited marketing budget allocated for tourism, posed various challenges to enable the provinces to optimize on the opportunities on offer.
· Strengthen partnerships: The provincial tourism industry has been identified as an important intervention to enable tourism growth. A provincial structure to enhance this partnership, and to create an effective communication channel between the different tourism structures in the province, is proposed to enhance the provincial growth strategy.
· Land Reform/Claims/Restitution processes: The prolonged land reform processes linked to inadequate after care programmes in the wildlife and tourism business sector hampers investment opportunities in tourism.
· Lack of adequate integrated land use planning: At the provincial level this aspect resulted in uncoordinated development that directly impacts on provincial tourism icons and therefore on tourism growth.
· Signage: Poor secondary road infrastructure and proper signage impacts on the access to tourism products based in rural areas.
· Airlift: Lack of low –cost airline services to Upington, Kimberley and Polokwane impacts negatively on tourist arrivals to these provinces. Provinces expressed the view that it is very expensive to travel both by air or road.
· Skills Development: The committee found that there is a need for dedicated resources to be set aside to recapitalize FET colleges to ensure that they develop and offer appropriate training programmes to support rural economies with tourism being at the centre of development. Need to support FET colleges and Sector Education and Training Authorities to be linked to with business, industry and other advanced education and training programmes.
· Small, Micro and Medium – sized Enterprises (SMMEs): All spheres of government should work towards strengthening competitiveness and promotion of SMMEs and cooperatives as they remain the cornerstone for growth of the economy and the creation of decent work opportunities. Government to facilitate market access and entry into value chain by small business and cooperatives and reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses.
· Provincial and Local Government capacity: The improvement of provincial and local government capacity to plan for and maintain infrastructure to ensure continued efficient delivery of economic and social services.
The committee would like to extend the special appreciation to the MEC responsible for tourism in the provinces, portfolio committees of the provincial legislatures, provincial Heads of Departments, projects managers and the rest of officials who provided support throughout the provincial oversight.
Report to be considered.
2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Notice on Remuneration of Magistrates, dated 17 November 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the draft Notice and Schedule determining the rate, with effect from 1 April 2010, at which salaries, allowances and benefits are payable to Magistrates annually, tabled on 16 November 2010 and referred to it, recommends that the House, in terms of section 12(3) of the Magistrates Act (No 90 0f 1993), approves the Notice.
Report to be considered
3. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Notice on Remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges, dated 17 November 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the draft Notice and Schedule determining the rate, with effect from1 April 2010, at which salaries, allowances and benefits are payable to Constitutional Court Judges and Judges annually, tabled on 16 November 2010 and referred to it, recommends that the House in terms of section 2(4) of the Judges' Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001 (Act No 47 of 2001), approves the Notice.
Report to be considered
4. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the request for filling of vacancies in Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board, dated 17 November 2010.
The request from the Minister in the Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration, to fill three vacancies at MDDA was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Communications on 22 September 2010 (see ATC 22 September 2010).
The Committee called for nominations and received 22 CV's. The Committee subsequently shortlisted the following candidates:
Mr Brian Makeketa
Mr Siviwe Minyi
Dr Simangaliso S Malinga
Mr Tahir Zakariya Sema
Mr Tyrone August
Ms Nomonde Gongxeka
Ms Louise Carol Vale
Mr Dinkwanyane Kgalema Mohuba
Ms Phelisa Nkomo
Ms Nadia Bulbulia
On 16 November 2010, the Portfolio Committee on Communications interviewed all the above candidates except for Dr Simangaliso Malinga, who could not attend due to death in his family. No exceptions could be made for Dr Malinga due to the urgency of the appointments.
The Committee thereafter deliberated on the matter. Consequently, the Committee unanimously recommends that the following candidates be appointed to serve on the MDDA Board:
1. Ms Louise Carol Vale
2. Ms Nadia Bulbulia
3. Ms Phelisa Nkomo
Report to be considered.
CREDA INSERT - T101117e-INSERT 6 – PAGES 4037-4061
No related documents