Hansard: Second Reading debate: Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendment of Certain Laws Amendment Bill [B 15 – 2009]
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 11 Nov 2009
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2009
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:02.
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.
WELCOME TO DR BARAKAT AND DELEGATION
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Dr Ghiath Barakat, minister of higher education in the Syrian Arab Republic, and his delegation. [Applause.] Welcome to our Parliament, hon minister and your delegation!
The first item on the Order Paper is Questions addressed to the President. Let me remind members that they may press the buttons on their desks if they wish to ask a supplementary question. There will only be four supplementary questions, and that includes the supplementary question of the person who raised the question.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC:
Measures to strengthen governance at local government level
7. Ms D G Nhlengethwa (ANC) asked the President of the Republic:
What (a) are the outcomes of the recent discussions between the Presidency, municipal managers, directors-general and representatives from all three spheres of government on the state of local government on 20 October 2009 and (b) measures will be implemented to strengthen governance at local government level? NO2630E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, let me first express my appreciation to the mayors and municipal managers of all 283 municipalities for having taken the time to attend the meeting that was held in Khayelitsha on 20 October 2009. We had fruitful discussions and the meeting was a success.
One of the recommendations of the meeting was that government should do everything possible to address the major challenges facing local government. We also resolved that we needed to capacitate municipalities and strengthen intergovernmental relations in order to improve delivery of services to the people. We also resolved that we would improve governance, financial and administrative capacities in some municipalities, root out corruption and address the political problems that are causing great delays in service delivery.
Furthermore, we agreed that there was a need for municipalities to prioritise skills development as well as the recruitment of accountants and other skilled personnel to ensure efficiency. It is apparent that at some municipalities, lack of service delivery and the mismanagement of resources are the result of poor or unavailable skills.
The local government indaba on the state of local government, which was held a day after the Khayelitsha meeting, resolved to develop a turnaround strategy for local government, which will be ready in the next few months. The strategy is aimed at explaining in detail how government plans to change the state of local government in a manner that will ensure that local government functions efficiently and effectively in delivering services. This strategy is also designed to provide solutions on how the lack of service delivery in municipalities could be turned around for the benefit of our people.
We have asked the other two spheres of government to provide all the necessary support to municipalities in order to make sure that local government functions better. In addition, provincial and national departments as well as other state organs that owe money to municipalities have been encouraged to pay what is owed as soon as possible.
Perhaps, most importantly, we have made a call to all municipalities to focus on their mandate of serving our people with dedication, humility and honesty, because we believe that better-functioning municipalities will play a meaningful role in ensuring that our dream of a better life for all is achieved.
The Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will monitor progress in this regard and report back on a quarterly basis. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D G NHLENGETHWA: Hon Speaker, I thank the hon President for his comprehensive reply. The assessment of the level of discussion at that local government indaba – I'm mentioning it, President, because you've also included it in your reply – was designed to find the root causes of the current state of distress in many of the country's municipalities, to inform a national turnaround strategy.
One of the fundamental findings – I agree with you – was weak oversight supervision, which led to a backlog in service delivery, lack of support and intervention mechanisms across the three spheres of government. Since the meeting and the indaba over the two days in question, what has been done as a short-term solution?
You mentioned the fact that the Minister will carry out monitoring, and we want you, Mr President, to expand on what the Minister will be doing to monitor and assist those municipalities. As a long-term solution, what will be done to address this distress? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, of course, the hon member will appreciate that the events I described here have just taken place. It's not as if we did this some months ago. The Minister is in the process of putting together a report on the work that was carried out at the indaba, which will then be presented at the right time.
Of course, the responsibility of local government lies with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. This means that in the long term, that department is going to be monitoring the situation and supervising activities in local government.
I don't think that we could create a new structure to look at the progress and functioning of local government. I think they will do things the normal way. The Minister certainly has the responsibility to ensure that local government functions. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr P F SMITH: Speaker, I'm actually somewhat puzzled and also disappointed by the President's comment. I heard him say that the turnaround strategy will be available in a few months. Now, colleagues, I was at the indaba, and the agreement at the end of it was that the turnaround strategy would be available in a few weeks, and the reason for that was because this whole exercise was meant to have a sense of urgency.
The agreement there was that all municipalities in the country would develop their own local turnaround strategies in conformity with this national framework, and would do so by March 2010, to introduce the new municipal cycle in their budgeting.
If this national strategy is only available in a few months' time, it means that the municipalities will not be able to develop their strategies in accordance with it. This means that the whole sense of urgency in the framework is thrown out of kilter. So, in that regard, I'm rather disappointed.
I hoped the President would say that Cabinet approved it yesterday and it is now ready for implementation. Why is that not the case? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I'm sure the hon member must have been preoccupied with something else when I was speaking. I didn't say that the turnaround strategy would be ready in a few months. He must have confused the different points that I was making when I mentioned "a few months".
All I said is that the Minister is working on it, with the municipalities. Certainly, he's going to be able to present a report as to what is happening.
What I said in relation to "a few months", in response to the hon member who previously asked a supplementary question, is that the indaba took place just recently, and not a few months ago. You must have just misunderstood the point, unfortunately for you. [Applause.]
Mr W P DOMAN: Mr President, you referred to the acquisition of skills. I am also going to quote from your speech. You said in Khayelitsha:
We must find ways of attracting the best technical, managerial and financial minds to our municipalities, even the most remote, to effect a turnaround.
Mr President, we in the DA need an answer from you. Will you give guidance as to whether, "fit for purpose" will be the sole criterion in the appointment of officials and that cadre deployment by any party is actually wrong?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, correctly, the hon member says I made the statement; yes. In the presence of Ministers, including the Minister responsible for local government, and mayors and managers, I didn't suggest that I needed to take up that task as the President of the Republic and now take on the details regarding how these skills will be acquired. I think that is the task of the leaders I was talking to.
I can't say, look, this is how you are going to do it. I'm sure the hon member would be the first one to complain that I was actually doing the work of departments. I was giving them a guideline to follow and according to which they must operate. Thank you. [Applause.]
Rev H M DANDALA: Mr President, given your commitment to fighting corruption and the knowledge that many service delivery complaints are related to corruption, I wish to ask if, during the indaba, you gave any assurances and/or special measures to assist public servants who strive to resist corruption.
The premise of my question, Mr President, is the issue relating to the acting director-general of the Department of Public Works, who has claimed to have been demoted by his political principal, the Minister, for resisting what he understood to be an unreasonable instruction to appoint companies in what in his view would have amounted to an unsolicited bid.
My premise is also the fact that procurement is a big problem that cuts across political lines. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, at the meeting, we made the statement, and we have been making statements to the effect that we will fight corruption. This was not the first time I had made the statement; I've been making the statement all the time. In other words that empowers everybody - those under political leadership and those in leadership - to deal with it and to know that they have support, at least from the Presidency.
Unfortunately, I don't have the details of the area on which you premise your question so that I could deal with a matter that, at the moment, has not even reached my desk for me to deal with.
I think it would be unfair of you to think that I could comment on that matter. So, that matter will be commented on once the facts have been established.
Position regarding proposed revision of certain laws
8. Rev K R J Meshoe (ACDP) asked the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether, during a meeting with religious leaders held in Bishop's Court on 17 October 2009, he stated that some laws on the nation's statute books are not in line with God's laws and need to be revised; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, which laws was he referring to;
(2) whether (a) he intends to propose for these laws to be repealed or amended and (b) public engagements will be held in this regard; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, when will this process start? NO2628E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, during an address in Cape Town on 17 October 2009, I said that "some Christians sometimes feel that some of the country's laws do not accord with Christian principles to the extent that they should".
Having expressed this view, I wish to remind the House that South Africa is a secular state in which the Constitution and the rule of law are supreme. It is a country of many faiths, denominations and beliefs. The Bill of Rights stipulates that "everyone has a right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion". It would therefore be incorrect to give reference in the development of legislation to any one religion or faith.
As publicly elected representatives of our people from diverse religions, faiths and beliefs, it is my contention that we should at all times strive to ensure that our laws neither offend the beliefs of any group nor impose the beliefs of others. Rather, we should ensure that our laws are consistent with the values that are common to all South Africans.
As hon members would know, there are channels available for people who believe that within plausible grounds, certain laws need to be repealed or amended. I would therefore encourage people to understand the context within which our laws have been formulated. Any person has the right to approach any of the relevant institutions should they feel that their constitutional rights have been infringed upon. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Speaker, Mr President, please accept hon Meshoe's apology. I am speaking on his behalf.
At the meeting, you are reported to have warned South Africa about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah and that laws on the nation's Statute Book that are not in line with God's laws needed to be revisited. If these statements were misconstrued, what is your opinion on this issue, and which laws concern you in this regard, particularly since in 1996, when the abortion on demand law was passed, 57% of your own party alone was opposed to the passing of the law? Were you among these people; and if so, does this still bother you? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, firstly, I'm not sure about this, because the hon member was not in the meeting. She is certainly quoting me out of context. I talked about laws and principles. I was raising the matter with religious people who were there that, given the fact that they are religious people, are they keeping track of the laws that Parliament passes - whether they are in line with the beliefs and principles of God. It was a question to them.
They need to help those of us who are seated here if there are laws that they believe deviate from the principles. I did not say that these laws talk about Sodom and Gomorrah. I don't use such language, and I would not have used it in front of bishops and pastors. So it's a wrong quotation – a totally wrong quotation. I was raising the question with them.
This Parliament passes laws according to the majority. The laws you are referring to were canvassed, and indeed Members of Parliament voted. The majority decided that these laws should be laws. So, I don't think I can now go back and ask why people voted this way or that way. They were indeed discussed extensively. I was not saying we should discuss these laws again. I was merely addressing the leadership of religious people to find out whether they track the processes of making laws in terms of their own beliefs. That was the issue.
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon President. Hon members, there are only four supplementary questions that will be allowed. The second supplementary question will be asked by Mr V B Ndlovu, followed by hon F C Bikani and hon P de Lille. Hon M Smuts, you are number five on the list, and hon Kganare, you are number six. So, only four questions are allowed.
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Sihlalo, Mongameli wezwe, sekela Mongameni, Nedlu ehloniphekile, uma sikhuluma ngobuntu Mongameli, ngesikhathi ukhuluma nabaBishobhi nabefundisi, bakubona kufanele yini ukuthi thina njengePhalamende sivumele izingane ezineminyaka eyishumi nambili ukuthi zihushule izisu na? Bakubona kufanele yini njengabantu abangamakholwa ahlukahlukene ngokwezinkolo - lapha kubalwa nathi basemakhaya esihlaba izimbuzi sifake iziphandla - okuyinkolo yethu leyo - ukuthi izingane zethu zingabiki konina nakoyise uma zifuna ukuyohushula izisu na? Ngabe umhlonishwa uMongameli yena wathini uma ekubona njengobaba wesizwe nobaba waseNingizimu Afrika - ukuthi sizokwazi yini ukuthi sibuyise ubuntu bethu njengabantu baseNingizimu Afrika? Ngiyabonga.
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABHULIKHI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Somlomo, lungu elihloniphekile Gatsheni. Hhayi, uwubuzile umbuzo wakho Gatsheni impela wawunonisa. Kodwa okubalulekile ukuthi ngenkathi sihlangene nabaholi bezenkolo asilukhulumanga lolo daba. Aluzange nje luze luphathwe. Ngaleyondlela asikho isidingo sokuthi ngiwuphendule umbuzo wakho ngoba aluzange impela lubikwe lolo daba. Kodwa ngiwuzwile wona impela umbuzo ukuthi ukhuluphele. Unjengenkomo ekhuluphele kodwa othi uma uyihlabile kuthiwe ayidliwa. Ngiyabonga. [Uhleko.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Chairperson, President of the country, hon Deputy President and this august House, if we are speaking of ubuntu hon President, when you were speaking with the bishops and the ministers of religion, did they feel that it is correct for us as Parliament to make laws that allow children as young as 12 years to terminate a pregnancy? Did they feel that it is appropriate that as people of different religions – this includes us from the rural areas who are traditionalists who slaughter a goat for a traditional bracelet – which is our religion of course – that our children should not consult their mothers and fathers when they need to terminate a pregnancy? What did you say to them hon President, as the father of the nation and the father to this country South Africa, that will enable us to revive our ubuntu as the people of South Africa? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Mr Speaker and hon member Gatsheni. Well, you have asked your question and you have fattened it. But what is important is that when we were meeting with the religious leaders we did not talk about that issue. We did not mention it. Therefore, there is no need for me to respond to your question, because that issue was really never mentioned. But I realise that the question is fat. It is like a fat cow that when you slaughter it, it is said not to be edible. [Laughter.]]
Ms F C BIKANI: Speaker, President, with regard to the presidential hotline which is meant to improve service delivery, what monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are put in place to ensure that public liaison officers keep up to the expectations of the public in the context of the Batho Pele principles?
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Your question is not quite related, hon member. [Laughter.] So, the President does not have to answer you.
Ms P DE LILLE: Speaker, hon President, are you implying or stating that when we make laws we need to consider religion so that it does not offend some people? And are you still of the view that the ANC is going to rule until Jesus comes? [Laughter.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, no, I don't necessarily mean that before we make laws as Parliament we should ask the leadership of religion to come and make their own comments. I think the procedures are very clear. Laws are made public, and every citizen, whether from religion or from any other aspect, is free to come and make comments on the laws. So, this is there. We can't do anything else. If they don't come, they don't come.
I think the point that was being made was that, as religious leaders, that's one of the tasks they have to undertake. This is to ensure that we don't make laws here and then find out that they never participated in the public scrutiny of the laws when they were passed and then have them complaining. The point was: Where were they at the point when these processes took place? That was the point. We don't have to say that we give them a special dispensation.
On the second question, I made this point some time ago, and I've been making it several times. I know that some people protested, particularly from the opposition at that time, that I am using the big name wrongly. But equally, religious leaders were very happy because they appreciated that the ANC knows Jesus and God and even knows that the Day of Judgment is coming. [Applause.] So, they were very happy and very much against the people who were critical, etc.
Of course I was making the point after I made an analysis. I said that ANC policies are superior. There is no party at the moment that can compete with them. It is clear that we will then rule until Jesus comes. That was the point I was making. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
Ms M SMUTS: Hon President, we welcome the fact that you have stated clearly that the law of the land has to be in line with only one fundamental law, and that law is the Constitution. We also welcome the fact that you have indicated by implication that one cannot use religious doctrine as a source for interpreting the Constitution.
But sir, having heard from you today a very clear statement of your position, may I point to the difficulty that arises when someone like Rev K R J Meshoe believes that he has heard one thing at a meeting and you tell us that in fact that's not what you said. This is something similar to what happened with the hon Smith. He believes he heard something and you say that's not what you said.
I would like to put it to you, sir, that it must be very difficult for a warm-hearted President not to tell every audience what they would like to hear. [Laughter.] But the hon President cannot be a kind of Father Christmas to every formation in the nation. Therefore, I would like to ask him whether in future he can perhaps give a clear ... [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Well, firstly, the first lady who spoke was not in the meeting. It was not Rev Meshoe who spoke. I'm not even sure whether Rev Meshoe gave her the background to ask the question. But Rev Meshoe was not alone. There were other people there. I would not have said that kind of thing. I have just clarified the issue. So, this is not an issue.
Clearly you were sitting here as well. The first person did not hear me, and I was very keen to answer the question. I mean the enthusiasm that makes people miss the point is not my problem. So, you can't question me on that. Absolutely not! Thank you, Speaker. [Applause.]
Details pertaining to proposed amendment of section 49 of Criminal Procedure Act
9. Mr J H van der Merwe (IFP) asked the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether he has been informed that the police have the requisite training to make split second decisions when he informed 1 000 police station commanders that section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, Act 51 of 1977, will be amended to give police leniency to shoot; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether this amendment would be extended to ordinary citizens; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2639E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, hon members, no one in this Parliament can refute the fact that our law enforcement forces are confronted with perilous situations as they seek to ensure the safety of the nation. Having said that, at no point in my address to the station commanders and other leaders of the police force did I give police a licence to shoot suspects in circumstances other than those provided for by the law.
It is worth reiterating what I told the station commanders, and I'll quote what I said so that there will be no misunderstanding:
As you are aware, we seek to strengthen the hand of the police in dealing with violent criminals. We intend to finalise amendments to section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, with a view to taking the amendments to Parliament soon. This is a measure aimed specifically at dealing with serious violent crime and dangerous criminals.
It is the duty of the police to protect all people against injury or loss of life. But when their lives or the lives of innocent civilians are threatened, police sometimes have no choice but to use lethal force to defend themselves and others. We expect our police officers to observe the law and respect the rights of innocent citizens, at all times.
The Criminal Procedure Act deals with the use of force in effecting arrest. In our view, where the law still exhibits gaps that impact negatively on the ability of the police to perform their work effectively, then such gaps in the law must be addressed without delay. This includes the use of deadly force, as provided for and defined in our legislation.
As the Minister of Police has already said in this House, the technical amendments to section 49 will take cognisance of the founding principles of our Constitution. The exact detail of the wording of this amendment is being finalised and still has to be submitted to Cabinet for ratification.
Police recruits undertake general training, part of which includes equipping them with the skills and knowledge required for them to use deadly force under the circumstances stipulated by law. But that training needs to be improved.
Therefore, the proposed amendments that seek to provide more clarity need to be complemented by the training of all police officers on the relevant sections of the legislation. Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 refers to "an arrestor", who can be any person who is authorised in terms of the Act to effect an arrest, including a citizen's arrest.
In light of the work still being undertaken, it is not possible to say what effect, if any, the proposed amendment would have on this provision. I thank you, hon Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Mr Speaker, Mr President, I think that was a good answer. I asked you about the training of police in order for them to make split-second decisions, and you made it clear that attention will be given to the training. You also answered the second question; that section 49 is applicable to citizens. So, you have answered the question, with respect.
However, the impression that has been created has caused us now to expedite the amendments that you have in mind, because some people think - there is a perception - that they can shoot outside the ambit of section 49.
Finally, we in the IFP support this idea and all methods to fight crime and we will support you. I just urge you, with respect, Mr President, to expedite the amendments to this Act. Thank you. [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, certainly, we will expedite the process of the Bill. Thank you.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Hon Speaker, Mr President, certainly in the past month, we have seen the police shoot to kill an unarmed hairdresser, an unarmed food vendor and unarmed man cleaning his shoes, shot in the back of the head as he ran away, and a three-year-old baby in a car because the police said they thought he was armed.
The Constitutional Court has already, very carefully, reworked section 49, taking it from the odious apartheid era section to one that clearly gives police the right to shoot and kill armed criminals aiming a firearm at them or at others.
We've seen unprecedented police murders in the now-national Police Commissioner's province of KwaZulu-Natal, and he too was saying that section 49 would be a mandate to give police increased leniency to shoot. As the police already have this right to shoot armed criminals, obviously the fear in this country is that you - and this is still a great secret; we don't know what amendments you are proposing – are looking at going back to the days of allowing the police to shoot unarmed citizens in the back. That's what we are seeing today. Please, clarify that.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I think it is very clear that the hon member is basing her question on speculation. On the basis of what is being said and what we see, we, therefore, think this is what is happening, because we don't know what the contents of the amendments are. She is speculating, therefore, that maybe this is what the commissioner means, or that maybe from what you say, this is what you mean. That is how I understood the question.
I think we are very clear on this matter: We are dealing with crime. The crime in South Africa is different from that of other countries, although it may be the same in terms of quantity. It is different from the point of view that crime in South Africa is more violent than in any other parts of the world. Criminals here act differently; if they break into somebody's house, they wait for the person to arrive and demand the keys to your safe, etc. In other countries they steal and run away.
Here, criminals have been killing people. That is why crime here is characterised as violent. We are, therefore, dealing with that situation. In addition, South Africa is heavily armed as a country. There are lots of guns all over and they are being used to commit crime.
We are saying that we need to fight crime. We have made the point that when criminals are cornered, they take out guns and they don't fire warning shots; they shoot to kill. There are many police who have died as a result of that, while observing what ought to be standard practice.
After I addressed the police officers, a policeman in Pretoria who did not have his bullet-proof vest on was killed. The policeman shouted at a criminal three times, "Put your gun down!", and the criminal shot and killed the policeman.
The point that I have been making at least is that when criminals take out their guns, their intention is not to warn; they take them out with the intention to kill.
On the spur of the moment, what do you do as a policeman? Should you say, "I'm a very good policeman and I've got a gun, but I'm not going to shoot you. Please, put the gun down!" How do you deal with the issue of violent crime? How do you limit the numbers of police that are killed by criminals? That's the point we are dealing with, within the law, not outside of the law; hence the amendment to the Act.
Some of the police officers who have made such mistakes as shooting innocent people are now in prison; they have been arrested. There is no open-ended policy that gives the police the right to shoot randomly. That is why the emphasis has been on the amendment of the law. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs L S CHIKUNGA: Speaker, hon President, I think you have partly covered my question, but I will still ask the question. We agree, Mr President, that crime in South Africa is in the main violent and that criminals do not hesitate to murder innocent citizens and even our police officers.
It is also true that as they respond to crime, a few amongst our police officers sometimes act in a manner that makes them seem to be trigger-happy. Statistics reveal an upward trend of complaints received over the past five years, from 5 996 in 2004-05 to
6 119 in 2008-09 - an increase of 2%.
Mr President, what is the position of government towards such alleged trigger-happy officers? I thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, as the hon member has said, we have already answered the question. I'm sure she will be happy to note that the reply to the question she is asking is part of the reply that we have just given. [Applause.]
Ms S P RWEXANA: Mongameli ohloniphekileyo [Hon President], if you agree that section 49 gives the police the power to use force, then it violates the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the people of South Africa. [Interjections.] No, she did not. Please! Please!
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
Ms S P RWEXANA: What I'm trying to say, Mr President, is how can you make an inflammatory statement that violates the Constitutional Court's judgment regarding the rights of South African citizens and the Bill of Rights? [Laughter.] [Time expired.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I regret that the hon member's time has expired. I did not get the question clearly, because I don't know what statement she is talking about that I made, that is inflammatory and anti-Constitution.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Speaker, on a point of order: Could I just please request you to allow my colleague to reformulate the question? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon member, that is not a point of order. There are procedures here, and no procedure has been violated. Please take your seat, hon member.
Obstacles and challenges facing AU and PAP
10. Mrs F Hajaig (ANC) asked the President of the Republic:
What are the (a) obstacles and (b) challenges facing the African Union and the Pan-African Parliament in promoting (i) peace, (ii) development, (iii) democracy and (iv) economic growth on the African continent? NO2631E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, the African Union has, since its inception in 2002, made important strides towards the goal of establishing an African Economic Community as outlined in the Abuja Treaty. However, as the African Union continues to grow as a continental entity, a number of challenges remain, particularly with respect to peace and security, regional integration, development and economic growth. Some of these relate to the African Union's institutional architecture and capacity constraints. Decisions of the African Union Assembly are often not implemented timeously. It often takes a long time for treaties to be ratified by member states.
There are also challenges around the mandate of the African Union Commission, especially the implications of transforming the African Union Commission into the African Union Authority. The financing of African Union activities and nonpayment of contributions by some member states limit its capacity to undertake its work. Peace missions in Africa often face challenges relating to funding and capacity.
During its tenure in the UN Security Council, South Africa advocated the need to strengthen and enhance the relationship between the United Nations and regional organisations such as the African Union. Despite a UN Security Council resolution, the African Union continues to struggle for funding from its own resources to intervene in the continent's conflicts.
The attainment of democracy in all parts of Africa is an important African Union goal. In this regard, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance marks the culmination of commitments that have been collectively taken by African member states over the last two decades. It provides a consolidated point of reference for all African Union efforts to enhance the overall state of democracy, elections and governance across Africa.
The pace of regional integration on the continent is uneven. Within the eight regional economic communities, protocols and programmes are often not harmonised. Some countries are members of more than one regional economic community. There is also a disjuncture between the integration processes underway in the regional economic communities and the accelerated momentum given to the union government process. In other words, the political integration process is not sufficiently aligned to the economic process.
Development is hampered by the low levels of intra-Africa trade and the lack of cross-border infrastructure. Poverty and unemployment, exacerbated by the global economic downturn, continue to undermine development. This is compounded by food and energy insecurity, the impact of HIV and Aids, malaria and tuberculosis and low levels of education.
The Pan-African Parliament similarly faces challenges around its institutional and financial architecture. These challenges are not unique to a structure of this magnitude that is still in its infancy. There is a need to improve the working relationship between the African Union and the Pan-African Parliament. Since the election of the new Bureau of the Parliament, the relations are on the mend.
Another challenge is the absence of terms of reference to guide the review of the protocol establishing the Parliament. These are important for guiding the transformation of the institution from an advisory body to a legislative structure elected by universal adult suffrage. Since the African Union is yet to make a final determination on this matter, it is difficult for the Parliament to chart its way forward. The Parliament's lack of enforcement powers, its inability to ensure that its recommendations and resolutions are binding, reduces its capacity to contribute to peace, development, democracy and economic growth.
Despite these challenges, the organs of the African Union continue to play a critical role in advancing the renewal of the African continent. Much progress has been made since their establishment in forging African unity and developing a common vision for a peaceful, stable and prosperous continent.
As South Africa, we must undertake to work with our fellow Africans to overcome these challenges and ensure that the African Union and Pan-African Parliament realise the expectations of the people of this continent. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs F HAJAIG: Speaker, Comrade President, thank you for a comprehensive reply. In keeping with our policy to promote the African Renaissance and the African Agenda, we need to take into account the devastating and debilitating effect of conflict in Africa, as you have pointed out. There cannot be development, economic growth and the eradication of poverty without peace, security, stability and justice in a human rights culture.
The organs of the African Union are still at fledgling level. Some have not as yet been established, for example, the full operation of the continental early warning system in order to avert possible conflict situations. Another example is the fact that we haven't as yet managed to get the African Court of Justice functioning.
For the rule of law, good governance, promotion of democracy ... [Interjections.] The question is: Can we as South Africa ... [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
The SPEAKER: Hon President, if you want to you can answer that unasked question. [Laughter.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, it would be difficult to answer an unasked question because I can just give any answer. I think there will be difficulties. Thank you.
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Speaker, Mr President, if we are committed to strengthening peace, security and promoting democracy in Africa, then why is it that we sold more than R64 million worth of category A conventional weapons, which are described as major conventional implements of war, to Sudan in the 2008-09 financial year? I thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, well, firstly, this was in the 2008-09 financial year. I'm sure the hon member knows that I was not part of that decision. How do I then answer the question? [Interjections.] No, I am starting at a point that the hon member should appreciate.
Secondly, there are relations between countries with regard to the sale of weapons. The only thing that can stop the sale of weapons and that can be criticised is when the sale violates international law or the United Nation's rules about the selling of arms. Part of the reason why I started where I did start is that I do not know what the conditions and the details of that sale were. But I never heard that South Africa was debarred from selling arms in Sudan. There may be other issues which I might not be aware of. The question would be more legitimate if South Africa had violated rules or laws by so doing. Thank you.
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Somlomo, Mongameli, Sekela Mongameli, neNdlu ehloniphekile, uMongameli ukhulume ngokuthi nePhalamende laseAfrika alinawo amandla. Wakhuluma nokuthi Umkhandlu Wezokuphepha nawo usuzame konke ukuthi lamazwe alapha e-Afrika akwazi ukuthobela umthetho.
Imibuzo yami mibili Mongameli: Okokuqala, kufuneka kwenziwe njani uma kunjalo; okwesibili, kwenziwa yini ngoba kwavunyelwana kuqalwa i-AU ukuthi kube khona ibutho elizokwazi ukuhlanganisa la mazwe ase-Afrika wonke; okwesithathu, kwahamba kwagcinaphi lokho Mongameli? Uma ungakwazi ukubuze kulo okululekayo khona ezokululeka kahle. [Uhleko.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Speaker, President, Deputy President, and this august House, the President spoke about the fact that even the Pan-African Parliament does not have power. He also said that the UN Security Council has also tried everything so that these countries in Africa should abide by the law.
I have two questions, President: Firstly, how can it be done, if it is like that? Secondly, what is the cause, because it was agreed at the inception of the AU that there should be a peacekeeping force that would cover all these countries in Africa? Thirdly, how far did that go President? If you don't know, ask your adviser to advise you. [Laughter.]]
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, this is just to remind you that we are asking supplementary questions and not questions. There should be only one question per person.
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABHULIKHI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Somlomo, lungu elihloniphekile leNdlu yeSishayamthetho Kazwelonke, Gatsheni, sonke njengamalungu akule Ndlu siyingxenye yaleNdlu yeSishayamthetho sezwekazi lase-Afrika. Nathi sinelungelo lokuba sibe neqhaza esilibambayo ekwenzeleleni ukuthi lokho okwathathwa njengesinqumo kwenzeke njengoba wazi. Ngiyethemba ukuthi amalungu aleNdlu angamalungu aleliya phalamende ayazi ukuthi izinto zihamba kancane kangakanani maqondana nezindaba ezifana naleyo.
Luyaxoxwa udaba njengoba ngishilo, le Ndlu yeSishayamthetho kade kungeyokuthi iyacebisa nje kuphela, kodwa iyashintsha manje ukuthi ibe yiSishayamthetho, isizokwazi ukushaya imithetho. Kusho ukuthi amandla iyawathola manje ngoba sekufikiwe kuleso sinqumo, isizokwazi ukuthi ibe namandla aphelele okukwazi ukushaya umthetho ngendlela okufanele ngayo, ngokuhambisana nokuthi isishayamthetho sezwekazi lase-Afrika akusona isishayamthetho esinjengesishayamthetho sezwe, uyoba khona lowo mehluko. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, hon member of the National Assembly, Gatsheni, all of us as members of this House, we are part of this Pan-African Parliament. We also have a right to lend a hand in making sure that the decisions taken are implemented, as you know. I hope that the Members of this House, who are members of that parliament, know how slow things are, concerning matters like that one.
This matter is being discussed as I have already said - this Pan-African Parliament was established to give advice only, but now it is changing from being an advisory Parliament, to one which will be able to pass legislation. This means that it is gaining power because that decision has been reached. It will be able to have complete power in order to pass legislation in the most befitting manner, which will be that of the Pan-African Parliament and not that of the National Assembly; that will be the difference. Thank you.]
Mr L S NGONYAMA: Speaker, hon President, can you assure this House that government is still fully committed to using instruments like the Peer Review Mechanism, Nepad and other relevant instruments that the government of the Republic of South Africa adopted in the past as instruments that can deal with some of the challenges that are referred to in the question, such as matters relating to peace, development and growth within the continent? I thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, I assure the House of that. [Applause.]
Government policy towards political and economic stability in Zimbabwe
11. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) asked the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether the Government has a different policy towards the political and economic stability in Zimbabwe as compared to the quiet diplomacy of the previous government; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether he has been informed of a certain document (details furnished) that was submitted to his office on 23 October 2009; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so,
(3) whether the Government will consider implementing the proposals contained therein; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? N02638E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, South Africa's approach to the political and economic challenges facing Zimbabwe is premised on the sovereign right of the people of Zimbabwe to determine their own future. Its approach is guided by the common values and objectives of the Southern African Development Community, to which both countries belong.
Our response needs to be located within the positions adopted by multilateral institutions such as SADC and the African Union. As is commonly known, SADC has been engaged with the parties in Zimbabwe in pursuit of a solution. Under the auspices of SADC, the main political parties to the political dialogue concluded and signed the Global Political Agreement which in turn formed the basis for the formation of the inclusive government in Zimbabwe. As part of SADC, we have consistently worked towards ensuring that all of the terms and conditions of the Global Political Agreement, GPA, are implemented by all parties.
As the chairperson of SADC, from August 2008 to September 2009, South Africa played a central role in facilitating the current agreement. There have been some notable achievements since the inception of the agreement, including the establishment of an inclusive government, an improved political environment and progress towards economic recovery. Where obstacles have been identified, we have wasted no time in interacting with all role-players, particularly the Zimbabwean protagonists, to impress upon them, both publicly and in private discussions, to remain true to the commitments contained in the GPA.
To this end, South Africa participated in the Summit of the Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, which met in Mozambique on 5 November 2009. The summit decided that the three political parties, signatories to the GPA, should engage in dialogue with immediate effect, within 15 days and not beyond 30 days. This dialogue should include all the outstanding issues emanating from the implementation of the GPA and SADC communiqué of 27 January 2009.
The summit confirmed South Africa as the facilitator on behalf of SADC and charged it to remain seized with the developments on the implementation of the GPA. We are required to evaluate progress and to report back to the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation. South Africa will, therefore, be engaging with the parties in Zimbabwe, in the coming days and weeks, to assist them to resolve all outstanding matters within the deadlines to which they have all agreed.
The difficulties experienced in fully implementing the GPA should not cause us to abandon this agreement, as some have proposed. The progress that has been made should, instead, encourage us to work harder to resolve the few outstanding issues. The contents of the document referred to in paragraph two of the question are being studied and will be accorded the necessary consideration.
It is, nevertheless, important to reiterate the point of principle, that the people of Zimbabwe have a sovereign right to determine their own future. Our role, as South Africa and the broader international community, is to provide whatever assistance we can to ensure the resolution of the challenges they face. South Africa is fully supportive of the Global Political Agreement and is committed to the decisions that SADC has taken on this matter. I thank you.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, hon President, thank you very much for your response, and noting that Zimbabwe, in exercising their sovereign rights, established a Global Political Agreement and that South Africa respects that, and that Robert Mugabe seems to respect it in the breach, and that there has been an undertaking that they will revisit the GPA within 15 days and not longer than 30 days; if, when you visit Zimbabwe in 15 days' time, you find that there's ongoing disregard of the GPA and ongoing persecution of MDC, Movement for Democratic Change, members and ongoing land grabs under Zanu PF, will you ask SADC to take punitive action against Zimbabwe or will you ask that fresh elections be held, having considered that the MDC actually won the elections and they have the majority support in Zimbabwe?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I'm sure that the hon member is aware that we cannot go to a country and dictate - tell them what to do and what not to do. Our function, as decided by the SADC organ, is to help and indeed evaluate. And if, in the evaluation, we think that the parties have not done what was asked, we'll certainly engage the parties and encourage them to do so.
Of course, our function is to report back to SADC whatever we have found out and SADC will probably then take whatever decision. We cannot go there and tell them what to do and what not to do. I don't think that would be facilitating. Our function is to help evaluate if there are difficulties, and, if there are any, help them overcome those difficulties. If it does not work, then we report back to those who had sent us to Zimbabwe, and I'm sure SADC will then take the appropriate steps. [Applause.]
Mr T W NXESI: Hon Speaker, the President has indeed responded to the question by making reference to the meeting of the troika held in Maputo and the mechanisms that have been put in place in dealing with that.
What I just want to check with the President is whether or not South Africa, and even SADC, has the right to undermine the sovereignty of Zimbabwe, as suggested by the opposition? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, no, South Africa has no such a right. There's no country that has a right to undermine the sovereignty of any other country. It's unheard of; it shouldn't happen.
Mr T BOTHA: Speaker, hon President, given that the solving of the Zimbabwean question is critical to the growth and stability of the South African economy, is the hon President optimistic about the future of the Government of National Unity in Zimbabwe? If so, what does he base that optimism on? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I believe that the agreement will be implemented. Firstly, you know that there was no agreement before; the situation was very serious in Zimbabwe after the elections. In fact, no one thought that these two parties could have an agreement. They engaged in interaction and negotiations and finally emerged with an agreement.
Initially, the agreement was very difficult to implement. Then there was a SADC summit which had agreed to specific matters, which then called for them to implement the agreement; and they have implemented it.
A number of issues have been covered in the agreement, but there are others that have not. Some agreements have already been reached and some decisions are in the process of being implemented. However, that is not a reason for me not to believe that the agreement will succeed.
The other point is that there is no alternative, for now. That agreement is the only route, so far, that the Zimbabweans have to solve their problems, and I think our function is to help them. They work together and respect one another in their operations. Even when the MDC said that they were disengaging from the government of national unity, they did not say "We are pulling out". I think that indicates the commitment of that party, which they have stated. I think the fact that it's now six months later, shows that they are trying their level best.
They were part of the summit in Maputo and again they committed themselves to the agreement. I think there is no reason for one to believe that they cannot succeed. Thank you.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Mr Speaker, the President said that there is notable improvement in Zimbabwe; I don't see that. What I see in Zimbabwe is hunger and a person who lost an election and rules as a dictator, whose people are leaving that country in their millions and coming to South Africa to live here, causing huge problems for us.
I think all the negotiations are a waste of time and the person who laughs last is Mugabe. I think the time has come for the President of this country to protect South Africa from the influence of that dictator and take steps for a general election to be held there, so that the true representatives of Zimbabwe can rule and so that Zimbabweans can go back to Zimbabwe, so that we can have peace here. Mugabe must go! [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, the hon member says that he does not see progress in Zimbabwe. Certainly, he has never been to Zimbabwe, so he can't have seen it. I have been to Bulawayo and I have been to Harare in Zimbabwe, invited to an agricultural show there, and there is certainly a marked difference. Even the delegation that came from the EU, which travelled to Zimbabwe from South Africa, admitted that there is progress in that country, because they went to Zimbabwe and they saw it. The hon member has never been to Zimbabwe; that's why he hasn't seen it. So I don't blame him. Thank you.
Position regarding publication of records of complaints received through presidential hotline
12. Rev H M Dandala (Cope) asked the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether he will publish the records of complaints received through the presidential hotline; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether any person has been investigated as a result of the presidential hotline; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2640E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, the presidential hotline was established as part of an enhanced public liaison capacity within the Presidency. Its objective is to provide redress for members of the public who have not been adequately assisted by the structures and processes of government, as well as for those who are too far from where government centres or offices are found.
The hotline is an important part of our effort to improve the accessibility, responsiveness and transparency of government. We will therefore be publishing, on a regular basis, reports on the complaints received through the hotline. We will also indicate what responses or actions have been taken to address the matters raised.
I have requested the public liaison unit in the Presidency to develop a standard reporting format that will enable us to make public a detailed report on the matters handled by the presidential hotline. This will assist us in understanding the nature and extent of the challenges our people face and, importantly, also in monitoring how these issues are being attended to by government departments. We will then be able to check progress over time.
We are committed to making available as much relevant information as possible, without compromising confidentiality and the privacy of any callers or other individuals. The hotline has received a number of corruption-related allegations. These have been forwarded to the relevant departments or entities affected.
However, owing to the sensitive nature of the information and the fact that these are still at the stage of being allegations, divulging details could compromise any subsequent investigation that may follow. It could also prejudice the rights of those against whom allegations have been made. I thank you.
Rev H M DANDALA: Hon Speaker, I'd like to commend the President on the establishment of the presidential hotline and also just indicate that Cope does support the money that has been voted to strengthen the Presidency's initiative on this matter.
I also appreciate the fact that you are not only publishing the complaints, but also the action taken. I think that is the most critical part, as we saw in the case of Home Affairs recently, when they published the action that was taken in the Pinetown case. I'd like to commend you on that, sir. [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I really appreciate the comments by the hon member. I think that is what we need as we deal with matters in the country; that even if people are in opposition, their appreciation of what is right is noted. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Speaker, I think hon C T Msimang's button was pressed in error, so we can take one more question.
Hon President, thank you very much for your response. Given the fact that so many complaints were lodged with your Office, and were received, does it not indicate that the departments against which many of these complaints were lodged are not living up to the adage of "government for the people by the people"? Does it not indicate that they, themselves, should set up hotlines to deal with some of these problems that have been brought to the attention of the President?
I say this, Mr President, because, while the Presidency has the role of monitoring and evaluation, it shouldn't become the switchboard of government, because government departments themselves need to ensure that they attend to complaints that people lodge. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, yes, departments do have their own liaison units. However, we believed that it was important to set up this hotline in addition to those that were already there. This was partly to put together those kinds of concerns and complaints.
One of the realities is that if departments are at fault and people complain about them, at times you might not get everything fixed. I was very interested to know in greater detail what is happening. Other people might not have an opportunity to get through to departments. I'm not certain, for example, the extent to which departments have publicised the kind of numbers that people must call.
Furthermore, departments also deal with different aspects. I think having a number that is known nationally adds value to what the departments are doing. It is also worth noting that if you phone the Presidency, you can reach any department. You are not subjected to one specific line, so much so that if you don't get through, you have a problem.
I think the concerns and complaints that have been coming through indicate the importance of this hotline. I'm sure you will recall that on the first day, a lady from the Eastern Cape raised the issue that she could not get money due to her following the death of her husband and the fact that she was being sent from pillar to post by people who wanted the money for themselves. Once the issue was raised, we were able, as the Presidency, to trace the money to the Eastern Cape, and now she has received her money. If she had called any department – in fact, she had done so and she was frustrated.
There are many such cases. For example, in one province there is a report that will be coming out soon indicating that, following the complaints and concerns raised, further investigations were carried out and it was discovered that things were even worse than was suggested in the complaints. Government had to take action.
So, I think that these measures complement each other. They are neither a waste of time nor are they something unnecessary. I think the hotline adds value to what departments are doing. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Mr President, the ID remains concerned that the hotline, in its current form, offers no hope to the rural, poor communities that bear the brunt of government's poor service delivery record.
The hotline only benefits those in urban areas because it is only toll-free from a landline. Are we waiting for the hon Patricia de Lille to bring down cellphone rates first, or can you immediately give our rural people the same rights to contact your Office? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, the hon member, unfortunately, is not informed: People from the rural areas are connecting. The lady that I just mentioned as an example comes from the area of Flagstaff, which is a rural area. They are, in fact, calling in and they are connecting.
I'm sure that the liaison people could give you some information in this regard. So, that statement is not accurate; they are connecting. Thank you.
Ms A MDA: Hon speaker, hon President, whilst Cope eagerly welcomed the hotline initiative, can we at least get an assurance that when the people of South Africa help the Office of the Presidency in rooting out corruption and any act that sullies the work of government, their safety will be guaranteed so that this good work of the government can continue? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, certainly, the liaison unit is handling that; we do not breach confidentiality when it comes to information that implicates other people. We are very careful that we do not do that, so we protect the confidentiality of information supplied and deal with the issues. The reason people have the confidence to call this line is because they know that it is handled with great care. So, I agree with you, that concern is appreciated and we do guarantee confidentiality. Thank you. [Applause.]
See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES.
PRECEDENCE TO ORDER OF THE DAY
The SPEAKER: Hon members, this session of Parliament is not over yet! There is a precedence motion. I now recognise the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, hon President, I move:
That precedence be given to Order No 1 on the Order Paper.
CONSIDERATION OF CANDIDATE NOMINATED FOR APPOINTMENT AS INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
Mr C V BURGESS: Mr Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, hon members, the term of the present Inspector-General of Intelligence comes to an end on 31 December 2009. Section 210 of the Constitution, read with section 71 of the Intelligence Oversight Act, Act 40 of 1994, provides for the appointment of an Inspector-General of Intelligence to allow for the civilian monitoring of the activities of the intelligence services, including the intelligence division of the SA National Defence Force and the Police Service.
The Inspector-General of Intelligence is appointed by the President, on approval of a resolution adopted by the National Assembly. Some of the functions of the Inspector-General are: To monitor compliance by the intelligence community with the Constitution of the country, applicable laws, and relevant policies on intelligence and counter-intelligence; and to review the intelligence and counter-intelligence activities of the intelligence services.
The Inspector-General can also be designated functions by the President and the various Ministers concerned. The Inspector-General can also receive and investigate complaints from members of the public and members of the intelligence services on any alleged maladministration, abuse of power, or transgressions of the Constitution, laws and policies. The Inspector-General also reports to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence on the work that he does.
The oversight Act specifically provides that the Inspector-General must be a fit and proper person with the necessary knowledge in intelligence, and he or she must serve impartially and independently, and perform his or her functions in good faith and without fear or favour, bias or prejudice.
The vacancy was extensively advertised and the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence received 74 applications. Five candidates were eventually shortlisted, to be interviewed by the committee. On Tuesday, 10 November 2009, the committee interviewed five candidates in an open session. Finally, after a short deliberation, the committee unanimously agreed to recommend to this House Her Excellency Adv Faith Doreen Radebe for appointment to the position of Inspector-General of Intelligence.
Adv Faith Doreen Radebe was born in February 1952. She is married and has two children. She was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of South Africa in 1996. She has an LLB degree, and also holds a Masters degree in law, which she obtained in 1994 from Bond University in Australia. She has also obtained several certificates in various fields of training, including project management and leadership.
For the period 1995 to 1996 she worked as a legal adviser in the SA Secret Services. From 1999 to 2005 she worked within the intelligence community, inter alia for the Intelligence Services Council, for the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee, Nicoc, and the National Intelligence Agency, NIA. In 2005 Adv Radebe was appointed High Commissioner to the Caribbean Community, a position which she currently still holds.
The committee has found Her Excellency Adv Faith Doreen Radebe to be a fit and proper person to fill the vacancy and accordingly recommends her to be considered by the House for appointment by the President as Inspector-General of Intelligence.
I wish to pass on a special word of thanks to the outgoing Inspector-General, Mr Zolile Ngcakani, for the work he has done. The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and I wish him well in his future endeavours. I also wish to thank all the staff who assisted in the process, and address a special word of thanks to all those hon members who serve on the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence for their dedication and support throughout this process. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Question put: That the nomination of Adv F D Radebe for appointment as Inspector-General of Intelligence Services be approved.
AYES - 234: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Baloyi, M R; Bam-Mugwanya, V; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, P; Bikani, F C; Blaai, B C; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Bonhomme, T J; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Bosman, L L; Botha, Y R; Burgess, C V; Carrim, Y I; Cebekhulu, R N; Chauke, H P; Chikunga, L S; Chohan, F I; Coetzee, T W; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Davidson, I O; Diale, L N; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlulane, B N; Doidge, G Q M; Doman, W P; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Dudley, C; Dunjwa, M L; Farisani, T S; Figlan, A M; Fihla, N B; Fransman, M L; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; George, D T; George, M E; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Godongwana, E; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Greyling, L W; Gumede, D M; Gungubele, M; Hanekom, D A; Hangana, N E; Hogan, B A; Huang, S-B; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, M; Kalyan, S V; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Barnard, D; Komphela, B M; Kopane, S P; Krumbock, G R; Kubayi, M T; Landers, L T; Lebenya-Ntanzi, S P; Lekgetho, G; Lishivha, T E; Lorimer, J R B; Luthuli, A N; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; MacKenzie, G P D; Madasa, Z L; Mafolo, M V; Magama, H T; Magazi, M N; Magwanishe, G ; Mahlangu-Nkabinde, G L; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manana, M C; Mandela, Z M D; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Marais, S J F; Martins, B A D; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, D H; Mathebe, P M; Mathibela, N F; Matladi, M N ; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Mayende-Sibiya, N A; Maynier, D J; Mazibuko, L D; Mbalula, F A; Mbili, M E; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mdladlana, M M S; Mentor, M P; Mjobo, L N; Mkhize, H B; Mkhize, L N; Mmusi, S G; Mnguni, P B; Mnisi, N A; Mnqasela, M; Mocumi, P A; Mohale, M C; Molebatsi, M A; Moloi-Moropa, J C; Morgan, G R; Morutoa, M R; Motlanthe, K P; Motshekga, M S; Mpontshane, A M; Msimang, C T; Mthethwa, E M; Mtshali, E; Mufamadi, T A; Mushwana, F F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlovu, V B; Nene, N M; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nkwinti, G E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyama, M M A; Nyanda, M F; Nyanda, S; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, G G; Oliphant, M N; Oosthuizen, G C; Pandor, G N M; Petersen-Maduna, P; Poho, P D; Pretorius, P J C; Pule, D D; Rabie, P J; Rabotapi, M W; Radebe, B A; Radebe, J T; Rantsolase, M A; Robinson, D; Rwexana, S P; Schafer, D A; Schmidt, J; Schneemann, G D; Sefularo, M; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; Selfe, J; Shabangu, S; Shiceka, S; Shinn, M R; Sibanyoni, J B; Sisulu, M V; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, P F; Smith, V G; Smuts, M; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Steele, M H; Stofile, M A; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Swart, M; Thomson, B; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Trollip, R A P; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Turok, B ; Twala, N M; Vadi, I; Van Dalen, P; Van der Merwe, J H; Van der Merwe, S C; Van der Walt, D; Van der Westhuizen, A P; Van Dyk, S M; Van Wyk, A; Vukuza-Linda, N Y; Wenger, M; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Yengeni, L E.
The two-thirds majority required in terms of section 7(1) of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act, 1994 (Act No 40 of 1994), not being obtained, decision of question postponed.
DRAFT NOTICES AND SCHEDULES REGARDING DETERMINATION OF REMUNERATION OF JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, on notices of motion I have to announce that I have received a draft notice and schedule from the President of the Republic, regarding the determination of remuneration of Constitutional Court judges and judges, as well as a draft notice and schedule regarding the determination of remuneration of magistrates. The draft notices and schedules have been sent to parties. I now recognise the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
TOTAL REMUNERATION PACKAGE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House, in terms of section 2 of the Judges' Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001 (Act No 47 of 2001), approves the draft notice and schedule received from the President of the Republic on 12 November 2009, determining the total remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges with effect from 1 April 2009.
TOTAL REMUNERATION PACKAGE FOR MAGISTRATES
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House, in terms of section 12 of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act No 90 of 1993), approves the draft notice and schedule received from the President of the Republic on 12 November 2009, determining the total remuneration of Magistrates with effect from 1 April 2009.
TOTAL REMUNERATION PACKAGE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) in terms of section 2(1) of the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, 1998 (Act No 20 of 1998), and having due regard to the criteria listed in that subsection, determines the remuneration payable to the President of the Republic of South Africa at two million two hundred and fifty four thousand seven hundred and thirty rand (R2 254 730,00) per annum, with effect from 1 April 2009; and
(2) resolves that the total remuneration package mentioned above shall include the following elements:
(a) a basic salary component equal to 60 per cent of the total package, which constitutes the pensionable salary;
(b) an amount of one hundred and twenty thousand rand (R120 000,00) per annum, which is an amount to which section 8(1)(d) of the Income Tax Act, 1962, applies; and
(c) a flexible portion for the remaining amount of the total remuneration.
APPOINTMENT OF CANDIDATES FOR SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes that the President has appointed five of the six candidates recommended by the National Assembly for the South African Human Rights Commission, namely: Adv B J Malatji, Ms L Mokate, Adv L M Mushwana, Ms J Love and Dr T Titus;
(2) further notes that the President has not appointed Adv L K B Mpumlwana in order to allow the National Assembly an opportunity to reconsider his nomination;
(3) amends its resolution of 22 September 2009, by omitting the nomination of Adv Mpumlwana pending its reconsideration; and
(4) refers the matter of the nomination to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development for further consideration and report.
COMMEMORATION OF DEATH OF YASSER ARAFAT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes that yesterday, 11 November 2009, marked the fifth anniversary of the passing away of the great Palestinian leader, the late chairman Yasser Arafat;
(2) further notes that 29 November was declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People in 1977;
(3) believes that only a just solution that takes into consideration the strengthening of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state, co-existing alongside Israel will help to bring peace to the region and put an end to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis;
(4) acknowledges the government's resolve to encourage an inclusive peaceful process leading to a negotiated settlement between the parties concerned; and
(5) welcomes the efforts aimed at engaging all parties in Israel and Palestine to find an amicable resolution to the solving of the Palestinian question and peace in the Middle East, and therefore the fulfilment of the aspirations and dreams of the late leader of the Palestinian people, Yasser Arafat: A dream to which he dedicated his entire life.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR DISABLED PERSONS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes that 3 December is the International Day for Disabled Persons;
(2) further notes that the annual observance of the day aims to increase understanding and awareness of disability issues and trends, and to mobilise support for practical action at all levels by, with and for persons with disabilities;
(3) recognises the oftentimes unnecessarily difficult circumstances these citizens are faced with due to a lack of compassion and willingness to accommodate their needs in our country; and
(4) calls on all South Africans, and especially those in positions of power, to do more to assist persons with disabilities and to ensure that whatever actions they undertake do not add to create a disabling environment for anyone.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: If there are no objections, I put the motion ...
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Deputy Speaker, I don't think we can accept the motion with that clause or section that says we apologise to disabled people. I think, given that it is a motion that the House is being asked to adopt, it perhaps should be in a more positive vein in saying that we undertake to do more to respond to the needs of persons with disabilities, rather than apologising, because I am not sure what the basis of the apology is; and given that there isn't an agreement on a basis without detracting from the need to act, I do think given the House adopting such an important resolution, it should say that we undertake to strengthen our actions in this regard rather than apologising.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Alright, with that ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Can I help you, Madam Deputy Speaker? Madam Deputy Speaker, I am happy to excise clause 3, which will help the hon Minister.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we then agree to the motion as amended? Are there any further motions without notice?
DAY OF RECONCILIATION
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes that 16 December is the Day of Reconciliation, a day which celebrates the common determination of all our people to overcome the forces of prejudice, conflict and division;
(2) remembers that on this day many South Africans lost their lives, suffered and sacrificed for a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa in which the value of every citizen is measured by their common humanity;
(3) congratulates the nation's people for working hard over the years in strengthening democracy, deepening and entrenching values of a caring society, such as human and social solidarity, without regard to race, class and gender; and
(4) calls on all South Africans to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our young democracy, as we commit ourselves to work with renewed vigour and determination to improve the quality of life of all the people of the nation, both black and white.
WORLD AIDS DAY
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes that 1 December is regarded as World Aids Day and that World Aids Day is an important reminder to people that HIV/Aids has not gone away;
(2) further notes that the theme for World Aids Day 2009 is "Universal Access and Human Rights", meaning that the recognition of universal access to HIV/Aids prevention, treatment and care, are fundamental human rights;
(3) believes that World Aids Day provides an opportunity for all of us to take action and ensure that human rights are protected and global targets for HIV/Aids prevention, treatment and care are met;
(4) commits itself to the reduction of the rate of new infections by 50 percent, and the extension of the antiretroviral programme to 80 percent of those who need it, both by 2011; and
(5) urges people to work harder with renewed focus and move with urgency and purpose to confront this enormous challenge as we approach 1 December 2009.
TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF RULE 253(1)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:
That the House suspends Rule 253(1), which provides inter alia that the debate on the Second Reading of a Bill may not commence before at least three working days have elapsed since the committee's report was tabled, for the purposes of conducting the Second Reading debate today on the Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendment of Certain Laws Amendment Bill [B 15 – 2009].
Mr W P DOMAN: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: On the Order Paper, Orders two and three are also two Bills that we are going to discuss later this afternoon, and we need the same motion for those two Bills. If my point of order is correct - because we only completed those two Bills on traditional leaders yesterday - we can just add this to the resolution, since we don't want to come back tomorrow because we think that things were not done properly. If it is not correct or there is a motion at a later stage, of course then we can accept it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I am told that the Rule does not necessary apply, because on those orders - two and three - we are only dealing with the amendments from the NCOP. So, that Rule doesn't apply.
Mr W P DOMAN: Deputy Speaker, with all due respect, I disagree. Those Bills lapsed last year, and they were introduced anew, first in the NCOP and now they have come to us, so we dealt with them as two totally new Bills. Perhaps that is the interpretation that was given, but I beg to differ with that.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, the advice that I am getting from the Table is that the Second Reading was completed. The Rule definitely does not apply. Can you maybe check your facts with them so that we don't delay the House?
Mr W P DOMAN: I accept it. If that is a ruling, we want order and that things go through, but in the new Parliament we haven't yet dealt with these Bills, so I disagree, but I respect the ruling.
EXTENSION OF DEADLINE BY WHICH AD HOC COMMITTEE TO CONDUCT CO-ORDINATED OVERSIGHT ON SERVICE DELIVERY HAS TO REPORT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:
That the House, notwithstanding its resolution adopted on 22 September 2009, extends the deadline by which the Ad Hoc Committee to conduct co-ordinated Oversight on Service Delivery under the Theme: "Working together to ensure the delivery of quality service to communities'' has to report, to 26 February 2010.
STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AT ESKOM
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the House for the opportunity to account to it as a shareholder of Eskom.
Regrettably, the past 14 days have been a turbulent time for Eskom and the economy, due, unfortunately, to a breakdown in the relationship between the board and its former chief executive officer. Unfortunately, this dispute did not remain an internal matter for the company to resolve in terms of its own corporate governance framework, as it should have but, disturbingly, it entered the public domain through groups with their own political and vociferous campaign in support of one party against another. They provided undue pressure through a never-ending stream of public commentary that sometimes had no basis in fact or law, and only served to inflame and exaggerate an already complex and difficult boardroom matter. This is indeed lamentable.
As my colleague, Minister Naledi Pandor, commented yesterday, the boardroom of Eskom was politicised. This has wrongly painted an exaggerated image of a company in crisis. Yes, there was a breakdown in the critical relationship between the board and the chief executive officer and this is indeed a serious matter. But the fact of the matter was that Eskom and its operations continued. Lights went on, mines were mined, factories manufactured, the wheels of commerce and industry continued to turn, our homes were lit and our food was cooked.
The timing of this debate was potentially damaging, as it happened at a time when the Minister of Finance was abroad, raising funds from investors in our parastatal. Fortunately, the damage done to Eskom's reputation was minimal, as investors are well-acquainted with Eskom's performance, but those who want to make a political crusade out of boardroom politics need to reflect on the potentially damaging consequences for a company such as Eskom and for the economy of South Africa. As one frustrated board person said to me in this process, "Minister, how can it be that one person can be so important and override completely the interests of this country and its economy?" [Interjections.]
It is very disturbing to note that this matter also became a racial football, targeting certain individuals who I believe have integrity and only the best interests of the country at heart. Such a racial slur, particularly directed at Mr Bobby Godsell, the former chair of the board, goes against what we fought for and codified in Kliptown and is also against the core values of our society and our Constitution, especially the value and importance of nonracialism and building a united, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa. I want to thank Mr Godsell for his exemplary leadership in this moment and for his leadership in the last 15 months.
In the midst of all of this, I am grateful for the sanity and sobriety that prevailed in important sectors of our country. Madam Deputy Speaker, let me say thank you to Cosatu, to the ANC and to the National Union of Mineworkers, NUM, and those people and forces in our country who chose not to enter publicly into this fray, but to maintain their discretion in the interests of Eskom and the country in these trying two weeks. They have served this country well. They have also served this country well in speaking out on principles that we all love and adhere to. I also look forward to further constructive engagement with the trade unions, especially NUM and the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, Numsa, and Solidarity on matters relating to Eskom.
Eskom is probably the most important company and parastatal in our country. We do not deny that Eskom has problems, but we cannot allow Eskom to be fundamentally upset by forces trying to push a political agenda that has no relation to the actual issues that Eskom is trying to address. [Applause.]
In this highly charged and volatile environment, I felt it wise to maintain a prudent silence and to refrain from making public commentary, which would only serve to heighten tensions and embroil government itself in that debate. Instead, the Deputy Minister and I, together with the board, busied ourselves, tirelessly trying to reach an amicable settlement. Days of long hours and complex negotiations ensued. Our aim was to try and reach an amicable settlement that would resolve the matter in the best interests of Eskom and the country.
Madam Deputy Speaker, I wish to acknowledge my colleague in the House here, the Deputy Minister, Enoch Godongwana, for his unflagging support, energy and effort in this matter. I also wish to thank the staff at the Department of Public Enterprises and in particular the directors-general for their unstinting and invaluable support.
We tried to pursue options of facilitation, mediation and arbitration, even a negotiated settlement. During this difficult period, a demand arose that the Minister must provide "leadership". As we were to discover, the subtext of this demand was much more sinister. It was in actual fact a demand that I, as Minister, override the board and confirm a person in his position as chief executive officer, against the wishes of that board and against all corporate governance principles. As Minister, I refused to override the principles of corporate governance by using my political authority to impose a person in the position of chief executive officer without the authority of the law. The type of leadership I preferred to exercise was rather to work indefatigably behind the scenes to resolve the matter within the confines of good corporate governance.
At a certain stage, the President's Office offered its assistance to break the deadlock, and the board was approached to delay its processes in a final attempt to resolve the matter. This intervention, I must stress, was not taken lightly and was not done to undermine the board but rather to lend it support to resolve the dispute. Government's overriding concern was the strategic importance of Eskom to the economy and to the country, and addressing the highly charged political environment that was infusing this debate and dispute and that was, indeed, creating the false notion that Eskom's operations were being compromised.
Let me say upfront, that this government is completely committed to abiding by the principles of proper corporate governance in all of our relationships with our state-owned enterprises, SOEs. As a shareholder, the Articles of Association of Eskom allow me to appoint a chief executive officer, after consultation with the board. The chief executive officer then enters into a contract of employment with the board, which is governed by company and labour law. Included in that contract are the terms for termination of that employment relationship. It would have been inappropriate and entirely illegal for a Minister to interfere in that contractual relationship and, might I add, I am not a signatory to that contract. The right of either party to that contract can be asserted in a court of law, a right that this progressive government entrenched.
Madam Deputy Speaker, I am constitutionally obligated to operate within this legal framework, one which has due regard for our country's labour laws and the Companies Act. As a shareholder, I am already attending to ensuring that we align our state-owned enterprises with the King III report and the new Companies Act, which is due to be implemented in mid-2010.
Let me stress that the integrity of a board is paramount. Boards are appointed by government and, by law, are obligated to govern the company with the support of senior management. The shareholder oversees the functioning of the board, to ensure that the board and the company give effect to the strategic intent and objectives of government.
I am now pleased to inform this House that the board has moved decisively in the last few days, and in the interests of the company and the country, to finally resolve this matter in the following manner: A press conference was held earlier this afternoon, in which the board announced the measures that are being taken. The following facts are relevant: Mr Maroga is no longer the chief executive officer of Eskom. The search for a new chief executive officer will now commence. [Applause.]
Mpho Makwana – you know, the very thing that I have been speaking about of people using political agendas to drive comment on the chief executive officers of boards is just unacceptable. [Interjections.] Mr Makwana will act as the executive chair of Eskom until a permanent chief executive officer is appointed, and he will be appointed by two senior managers ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, what is the point of order?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I don't understand the point that the hon Minister just made. [Interjections.] All that we were doing was expressing our opinion that corporate governance has been upheld. That is the very point that she made.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: I find it difficult, Madam Deputy Speaker, that you didn't applaud when I spoke about commitment to corporate governance. You only applauded when I said that Mr Maroga is no longer the chief executive officer. It is required that a certain amount of dignity be maintained in this House.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Please allow the Minister to finish.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Furthermore, a search for a new chief executive officer will now commence. Mr Mpho Makwana, a longstanding member of the board and a seasoned and experienced director and manager will act as executive chairperson of Eskom until a permanent chief executive officer is appointed, and he will be supported by two senior managers in the execution of the chief executive officer's functions. He will also act as an interim chair. In addition, the board is attending to the realignment of board committees and their composition, as well as the necessary delegation of executive functions.
I would like to firmly assure this House that we are on track to ensure that Eskom and all state-owned enterprises have the capacity and support to carry out government's strategic intent, and that I, as shareholder, together with the SOE management and boards, will always act within the law and sound corporate governance principles.
Yes, Eskom is on track. The lights are on, and its most urgent priority – the revised multi year price determination application, the electricity tariff application, due to be submitted to the Regulator on 30 November 2009 – has and is feverishly being attended to.
Madam Deputy Speaker, if there are any concerns about governance of parastatals in the country, let me assure everyone in the House that this Ministry and the boards of state-owned enterprises have full authority to govern their companies without unlawful or inappropriate interference and, might I add, without feeling the pressures of people who make political crusades out of board appointments or board matters. We say to the boards of these companies, hell yes, you must govern. So let us get back to the business of building our economy and back to the business of Eskom doing the work that it has to do, providing energy to this country. Thank you very much.
Dr S M VAN DYK: Adjunkspeaker, ek wil graag die Minister bedank en gelukwens dat sy die Eskom-raad ondersteun dat mnr Maroga nie meer die hoof uitvoerende beampte is nie.
Die belangrike rol van Eskom as die suurstof van ekonomiese ontwikkeling is sedert die negentigs oor die hoof gesien. Die ANC-regering het die waarskuwing van die komende krisis van die destydse Departement van Mineraal- en Energiesake reeds in 1998 geïgnoreer. Asof dit nie genoeg was nie, het die voormalige Minister, minister Alec Erwin, hierdie Parlement in 2006 die versekering gegee dat daar nie 'n krisis op hande is nie.
Dit is opgevolg met versekerings van mnr Maroga met sy aanstelling in 2007 dat die raad in beheer is, maar hy het vinnig sy mening verander toe Suid-Afrika in 2008 in donkerte verval het, en toe is die skuld gepak op steenkool wat te nat is, te lae elektrisiteitstariewe en dat onafhanklike kragvoorsieners nie na vore tree nie. Die daaropvolgende beurtkrag en energiebesparings in Suid-Afrika het die ekonomiese groeikoers help afdruk na 'n verwagte 1,5% per jaar.
Benewens die agterstand in die onderhoud van kragsentrales en die feit dat die bou van nuwe sentrales agterweë gelaat is, het die steenkoolkrisis met betrekking tot laegehaltesteenkool en die leemte van voortgesette verskaffing daarvan Eskom se steenkoolreserwes afgedwing en ook die energiereserwes tot 'n laagtepunt beperk.
Wat kommerwekkend is, is dat mnr Maroga sedert 2007 oor die steenkoolkrisis ingelig was deur die Olson-verslag, maar dat hy dit blykbaar nie met sy raad gedeel het nie. Daarbenewens het mnr Godsell op 23 Oktober vanjaar – 'n paar dae terug – 'n memorandum geskryf aan Eskom se raad oor 41 aangeleenthede soos deur die Mail & Guardian geopenbaar is.
Hier het ek 'n afskrif van mnr Godsell se dokument in my hande; die sogenaamde "41 points of unfinished business" waaraan onvoldoende aandag geskenk is ten opsigte van raadsbesluite die afgelope twee jaar. Dit het 'n vertrouensbreuk gebring tussen die hoof van die bestuur en die raad. Hierdie 41 punte kom basies daarop neer dat daar groot ontevredenheid by Eskom is oor die werksomstandighede van die werkers.
Die hele kwessie van gehaltesteenkool teen haalbare pryse en die voortgesette verskaffing daarvan aan Eskom word ook in die dokument vervat. Ook die herbesinning van langtermynkontrakte met elektrisiteitsverbruikers, die behoorlike bestuur en invordering van agterstallige skuld, die voorsiening van langtermynsteenkoolkontrakte ... (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Dr S M VAN DYK: Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister and congratulate her for supporting the decision by the Eskom board that Mr Maroga would no longer be the chief executive officer.
The vital role that Eskom plays as the oxygen of economic development has been overlooked since the nineties. The ANC government ignored the warnings given by the then Department of Minerals and Energy, as far back as 1998 already, of looming crisis. As if this was not sufficient, in 2006 the former minister, Minister Alec Erwin, gave this Parliament the assurance that there was no crisis.
This was followed by assurances from Mr Maroga, on his appointment in 2007, that the board had things under control, but he soon changed his tune when South Africa was plunged into darkness in 2008, and then coal that was too wet, electricity tariffs that were too low and the fact that independent power suppliers were not coming forward were blamed. The subsequent load shedding and energy-saving in South Africa helped to push down the economic growth rate to an expected 1,5% per year.
Apart from the backlog in the maintenance of the power-stations and the fact that the construction of new stations fell by the wayside, the coal crisis, related to low grade coal and lack of continuity in its supply, impacted negatively on Eskom's coal reserves and also brought down the energy reserves to an all time low.
What is a cause for concern is that Mr Maroga had been aware of the coal crisis since 2007 through the Olson report, but that he apparently did not share this information with his board. Besides this, on 23 October this year - a few days ago - Mr Godsell, according to a report in the Mail & Guardian, wrote a memorandum to Eskom's board regarding 41 areas of concern.
Here in my hands I have a copy of Mr Godsell's document; the so-called "41 points of unfinished business" which had been given insufficient attention in decisions by the board in the past two years. This brought about a breach of confidence between the CEO and the board. These 41 points basically amount to the fact that there is general dissatisfaction at Eskom regarding the working conditions of the employees.
The whole matter regarding quality coal at a reasonable price and its continued supply to Eskom is also mentioned in the document, as is the reconsideration of long-term contracts with electricity consumers, the proper management and collection of arrears, the provision of long-term coal supply contracts ...]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: The document that the hon Van Dyk has: Is it a public document or is it a document that was stolen from the boardroom of Eskom? That is my question, because if it is, then there is a fundamental breach of confidence that should be dealt with in terms of the Rules of Parliament. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr S M VAN DYK: Deputy Speaker, I don't know whether he has accused me of being a thief, but I will give you a copy of the document after the meeting, Mr Manuel.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: He didn't answer the question.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, the question is whether it is a public document: Yes or no?
Dr S M VAN DYK: Agb Adjunkspeaker, ek dink nie ek hoef daarop te reageer nie. Ek sit met 'n dokument in my hande. Hoe dit in my hande beland het, dink ek nie is ter sprake vir minister Manuel nie.
Mag ek voortgaan? (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Dr S M VAN DYK: Hon Deputy Speaker, I don't think I have to respond to that. I have a document in my possession. I do not think how it came to be in my possession is of any concern to Mr Manuel.
May I continue?]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Continue, hon member.
Dr S M VAN DYK: Dankie, Adjunkspeaker. Verder verwys hierdie dokument ook na 'n langtermynenergie-aanbodprogram wat benodig word en 'n langtermynenergiefinansieringsprogram waaraan die Departement van Finansies in die verlede nie genoeg aandag geskenk het nie, mnr Manuel.
Feit is dat die raad mnr Godsell se benadering om Eskom reg te ruk aanvaar het en mnr Maroga bereid was om te bedank. Die res is geskiedenis, maar ek dink dit dien vermeld te word dat die Swart Bestuursforum se opmerking in die media dat openbare ondernemings 'n slagpale vir swart bestuurders geword het nie waar is nie, en dat die ANC Jeugliga se kommentaar dat mnr Godsell rassistiese motiewe gehad het met mnr Maroga se vertrek ook van alle waarheid ontbloot is.
Dit blyk tog of dit 'n invloed gehad het op die politieke burokrasie van die ANC in Luthuli-huis, wat die aankondiging van mnr Maroga se bedanking vertraag het omdat die regering nie die raad van Eskom se besluit wou aanvaar nie. Die ANC het dus ingemeng sonder 'n mandaat van die staat as aandeelhouer ten spyte daarvan dat dit die raad se verantwoordelikheid is om die bestuur se prestasie te evalueer.
Die aankondiging deur die waarnemende voorsitter van Eskom, mnr Makwana, vandag, dat mnr Maroga se bedanking van 28 Oktober aanvaar is en dat hy nie meer die hoof uitvoerende beampte is nie, word deur die DA verwelkom. Die vertrouensbreuk tussen mnr Maroga en die raad sou Eskom se geloofwaardigheid net verder in gedrang bring en dit moeiliker maak om die R400 miljard te bekom wat nodig is vir uitbreiding.(Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Dr S M VAN WYK: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Furthermore, this document refers to a long-term energy supply programme that is required and a long-term energy funding programme to which the Department of Finance did not pay enough attention in the past, Mr Manuel.
The fact is that the board accepted Mr Godsell's approach to straightening out Eskom and that Mr Maroga was willing to resign. The rest is history, but I do think that it should be mentioned that the statement by the Black Management Forum, BMF, in the media that public enterprises have become slaughterhouses for black managers does not hold true, and that the statement by the ANC Youth League, ANCYL, that Mr Godsell was motivated by racism with regard to Mr Maroga's departure is also completely devoid of any truth.
Nevertheless, it appears that this had some influence on the political bureaucracy of the ANC in Luthuli House, who delayed the announcement of Mr Maroga's resignation, because the government did not want to accept the decision by the Eskom board. The ANC, therefore, interfered without a mandate from the state as a shareholder, despite its being the responsibility of the board to assess the performance of the management.
The DA welcomes the announcement today by the acting chairperson of Eskom, Mr Makwana, that Mr Maroga's resignation on 28 October has been accepted and that he is no longer the CEO. The loss of confidence between Mr Maroga and the board would have led to Eskom's credibility being even more in jeopardy and would have made it more difficult to acquire the R400 billion that is needed for expansion.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired.
Dr S M VAN DYK: You wasted my time, Mr Manuel. [Applause.]
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Deputy Speaker, let me say from the onset, from Cope, that we wish the Minister well in a difficult portfolio. However, we agree with the Minister about the statement that has been made in the House that the problem of Eskom cannot only be placed on one individual. What the Minister did not say, however, is that government must take responsibility for the collective failures of Eskom, because government had been warned long ago about it, but did not heed that warning. The Minister was therefore sure to say that, as government, we take a collective responsibility for the failure of Eskom, and that it will not all be placed on an individual only.
Minister, we do agree with you on the issue of corperate governance, but we worry when a corperate governance is taken to the extent that it seems as if the Minister is a lame duck. We are worried about that and we worry when the Minister does not say a word when other Ministers are making policy decisions for that Minister in parastatal management. We worry about where that corperate governance is that you are speaking of.
We wonder whether this is in fact a wake-up call. Regarding the problem we have in parastatal management, including the issue around the call that pressure has been put on you, but we have not seen anything so far. We wonder whether it is going to be only when Malema is speaking about something that the Minister does something else.
I want to say that we must see the independence of the executive in action in order for us to give support in resolving the problems in South Africa. Thank you.
Mr N SINGH: Deputy Speaker, now you see me, now you don't. Is the chief executive officer gone, or is he still around? We don't know, but thank you, hon Minister, for clearing that up.
The dismal state of affairs at Eskom has impacted negatively on the image of our country, while it has deterred international investment in our economy. The latest Eskom crisis proves that Eskom's problems cannot be dealt with by Eskom alone. Eskom's problems have to become the country's problems and all of us who have been forced to pay up to solve them have not had a say in the matter. What we need from government is a clear commitment to turn around Eskom's ongoing management crisis and we rely on you, Minister, with your bold and courageous leadership to see that that happens.
The IFP calls on government to present to this House a detailed Eskom turnaround plan. We also repeat our calls that public hearings must be held in Parliament to receive both public and expert inputs to determine whether there is an alternative way to fund Eskom's huge expansion programme. [Time expired.] I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L W GREYLING: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, the public did not deserve this. Our most important public enterprise has been treated like a children's playground, with each spin of the merry-go-round revealing a different person in charge. We simply cannot afford this kind of power vacuum at Eskom at a time when it is asking the public for exponential tariff increases and the government is having to guarantee loans of up to R300 billion for it.
Government should have come out in support of the board at the very outset of this debacle and not allowed the chief executive officer and organisations like the ANC Youth League to turn this tragedy into a farce. The worst aspect of this though is how the public and indeed Parliament were kept in the dark about these developments with no one in government providing the much-needed political leadership. Whoever ends up running Eskom, it is clear that a major overhaul of the governance of this institution is required if the public is to regain trust in Eskom and its ability to provide energy security for our nation. I thank you.
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Adjunkspeaker, ek wil vir die Minister sê, u moet nie hier kom staan soos 'n Pontius Pilates en u handjies in onskuld was nie. [Gelag.] U is net so skuldig. U kom vertel vir ons in die opposisie ons moet nie verpolitiseer nie. Wat het u met u eie lid, Julius Malema, gemaak? Het u hom aangespreek? [Applous.] Het u hom weggejaag? Nee, u moet nie vir ons kom preek nie. Ek wil vandag vir u sê, u het te lank getalm. Hierdie verleentheid van Eskom is nie net 'n verleentheid vir Eskom en vir die agb Minister nie, dit is 'n verleentheid vir Suid-Afrika en die verbruiker moet opdok daarvoor – dit is total onaanvaarbaar.
Die VF Plus verwelkom die afdanking, of dan die bedanking, van mnr Jacob Maroga en ek wil vir die agb Minister vra om te verseker dat die nuwe hoof uitvoerende beampte 'n bevoegde persoon is wat in belang van Suid-Afrika en die verbruiker sal optree, want Jacob Maroga het bewys dat hy onbevoeg is vir die pos, ongeag politieke inmenging. Ek dank u. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD: Deputy Speaker, I want to tell the hon Minister, you should not come and stand here like a Pontius Pilate washing your hands in innocence.[Laughter.] You are just as guilty. You come and tell us in the opposition that we should not politicise issues. What did you do about your own party member, Julius Malema? Did you take him to task? [Applause.] Did you chase him away? No, you should not come and preach to us. I want to tell you today that you waited too long. This embarrassment caused by Eskom is not only an embarrassment to Eskom and the hon Minister, it is an embarrassment to South Africa and the consumer has to foot the bill for this – it is totally unacceptable.
The FF Plus welcomes the dismissal, or rather the resignation, of Mr Jacob Maroga, and I want to ask the hon Minister to ensure that the new chief executive officer is a competent person acting in the interests of South Africa and the consumer, because Jacob Maroga has proved that he is unfit for the post, notwithstanding political intervention. I thank you. [Applause.]]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Deputy Speaker, thank you hon Minister for your frank explanation which has brought clarity around the Eskom saga. This debacle has undermined confidence in South Africa, negatively impacting on South Africans and the world in general.
Minister Hogan, it was our understanding that you had said that government did not see it as their role to interfere and of course the ACDP is encouraged by your explanation and we are relieved that decisions have been taken to put in place leadership that can inspire confidence. We congratulate you on your decisive and rational leadership in this matter, which is critical to the economy of South Africa and our future development. The demand for power is of course rising faster and faster and a capable captain is required at the helm. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Deputy Speaker, government's programme is based on infrastructure development and if one of the key institutions, Eskom, doesn't have its house in order, and with all the infighting, it is basically holding the country to ransom. What do you say about our strategy of economic and social development?
It is important that we bear in mind the consequences of this type of conflict in institutions for delivery and for the workers. We don't want this behaviour to spread to other parastatals. South Africa is now getting a dismal record on parastatals. It is very important that our country does not lose outstanding personalities because of race. Furthermore, there should be no political meddling.
Eskom is in a critical period as regards tariff increases and some sound decisions have to be taken. We have demolished power stations and there were bad decisions and government can't keep on bailing out Eskom. The sooner things stabilise, the better it will be for our country. Thank you.
Ms M P MENTOR: Deputy Speaker, the ANC welcomes the statement by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Barbara Hogan, which finally sets the record straight on Eskom and underlines and explains to the House the managerial and board conflicts that have beleaguered Eskom in the last few weeks.
The Minister has acknowledged that there were problems at Eskom and we hope that they have finally been resolved. Although there were problems at Eskom, as the Minister emphasised, the lights kept on burning, and there were no major shutdowns. We have learnt this afternoon from the Minister that not only are an acting chief executive officer and a chairperson in place but processes are underway to appoint a fulltime chairperson to find a new chief executive officer for Eskom.
There was squabbling in Eskom's board, as is normally the case in a lot of boardrooms, but I think there are also lessons that we need to learn from this squabbling. As the chairperson of the portfolio committee, I submit that one of these lessons would be to tighten oversight mechanisms, because little did we suspect, three weeks ago when Eskom put their annual report before us, that the relational problems between the board and the chief executive officer had deteriorated to that extent. We submit that we will have to improve as Parliament in terms of oversight of state-owned enterprises, SOEs; and we agree with the Minister, in terms of corporate governance issues.
We also remind the House that yesterday the Minister of Finance submitted to this House that he and Minister Barbara Hogan and, I assume, the cluster of Ministers in the economic sector, are reviewing SOEs. When that process of reviewing SOEs is underway, it must be matched in checking whether the oversight of those mechanisms is in place and is able to ensure that boards do what they are supposed to do, management does what it is supposed to do and the Department of Public Enterprises also does what it is supposed to do.
Accusations have been heaped on government by the media that there is political interference of some sort and micromanagement of state-owned enterprises. We submit that these accusations are unfounded. Just this morning, it was announced that government has granted a guarantee for Eskom to borrow an amount of R350 billion from the markets. It would be grossly irresponsible on the part of government, either in the person of the representative member of the shareholder, as Minister of Public Enterprises, or as Cabinet itself, just to give these guarantees for loans or to provide equity injections or to give loans to SOEs, without ensuring that things are being done right in those SOEs. When things go wrong, it is not political meddling when the shareholder gives directions and gets involved; otherwise one will continue to throw money into a bottomless pit, and other SOEs will continue to claim bailouts.
The projects of Eskom are well underway. Cabinet has also expressed concerns about the impact that the 45% tariff increase might have, not only on the poor but on all South Africans, and is looking for ways and means to mitigate the impact of such tariff hikes. We do, however, know that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Nersa, has the last word on this.
I submit that transformation cannot be the sole monopoly of Blacks or Africans, for that reason. All South Africans, black and white, should participate in the process of transformation and we cannot, just because of the colour of a person's skin, level accusations of racism. We will continue, as Parliament, to demand transformation across all sectors of South Africa and we will not claim racism only where there are people of a certain race group. In fact, you do find racists and tribalists in all ethnic groups and in all groups. As a result, you cannot just claim racism. [Interjections.]
I also submit that it is not correct that government has not collectively taken the responsibility for failure to heed the call of Eskom over many years to build power stations and to get ready for economic growth. When one administration goes into office, it inherits all the good and bad things and liabilities of the administration before it. [Interjections.] The previous ANC government has collectively apologised to South Africa through former President Thabo Mbeki.
I want to conclude by thanking the Minister for finally clarifying matters for South Africans, as to where we stand in terms of Eskom, and we hope that we have learnt the lesson that we cannot afford to move from one problem to the next in state-owned enterprises, and we think that the review of these SOEs, including parastatals, that lie across all government departments, should be accelerated. I thank you. [Applause.]
STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS ON MOBILE TERMINATION RATES
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, good afternoon. South Africa's high telephone rates have been of much concern to all in this House, and rightfully so. Telephones, particularly cellular telephones, are the main tools of communication available to our people. Telephones keep us, as South Africans, connected. Our telephones enable us to communicate with people in other parts of the world. Without telephones and Internet, business cannot be conducted. Communication costs in this country are resulting in a potential loss of investment in the economy. High mobile termination rates are impeding any possibility of new entrants into the market.
The intervention I implemented, as the Minister of Communications, has yielded some positive results and it was with the support of my Deputy Minister, the Portfolio Committee on Communications, the staff of the Department of Communications, under the leadership of the director-general, the mobile operators and the South African public at large. This is yet another example that working together we can do more.
I am pleased to announce that the initial reduction of mobile termination rates by Cell C, Vodacom and MTN are as follows. Currently, the situation pertaining to termination rates is the following: At peak hours the rate is R1,25 and off-peak it is R0,77. There is what is then called a blended rate, which is R1,03. What we know of, as consumers, is R1,25 and R0,77. The agreed reduced mobile termination rates are the following: Peak R0,89 and off-peak R0,77. The blended rate has, therefore, been reduced from R1,03 to R0,77. The overall total cost reduction on peak rates is from R1,25 to R0,89, totalling an amount of R0,36. This, hon members is putting money back in the pockets of ordinary South Africans, who need it now more than ever.
With regard to the issue of the effective date of implementation, we have noted that there are various small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, that are reliant on the value chain of interconnection fees. We have, therefore, agreed with Vodacom and Cell C that the effective date for the reduction for them would be February 2010 - this excludes MTN that wants to implement on 1 March 2010. This will allow the mobile operators and the SMMEs to realign their business operations accordingly.
Furthermore, I am glad to report to the House that mobile operators have committed to introduce new and affordable retail products, based on their reduced rates, from 1 December 2009. I have been assured that these developments will also introduce more competition on the retail market. That on its own, hon members, is the big early Christmas and Easter present that we can give to the nation. [Applause.] In the same breath, it is important to emphasise that the commitment we have received is within the parameters of the business imperatives of these operators and that it was voluntary.
In implementing the tariff change, operators are requesting a glide path period that is aimed at facilitating adjustments to their business models, renegotiation of contracts with service providers and, in some instances, changing their billing systems. I will facilitate the process further, by withdrawing the Ministerial Policy Directive on Mobile Termination Rates. A glide path intervention process will, however, be considered for implementation by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa, as it is of a regulatory nature.
My intervention should be viewed as an initial intervention, taking into account the fact that the reduction of the costs to communicate should not necessarily address the wholesale market, but should also make an impact on the retail sector, as this affects end users. Therefore, further consultations between operators and Icasa will still be constituted to conclude the interconnect agreements.
It must be recorded that due regard to the principles of nondiscrimination will be applied; therefore, the reduction in rates will be concluded within appropriate interconnection agreements. I will then present the mobile termination rate offers to Icasa for review, consideration and implementation.
In addition to this process, I will be reviewing all other aspects that relate to the cost to communicate; this includes fixed and mobile termination rates for public phones and community service telephones. This is in line with my programme of action on the reduction of the cost to communicate that was recently submitted for approval and approved by Cabinet.
Madam Deputy Speaker, as I promised during my Budget Vote earlier this session, reducing communication costs remains a key priority of mine and the Department of Communications. For this reason, I have elevated it to our Medium-Term Strategic Framework.
Last, but not least, it is important that we should not just celebrate great leaps, but also small steps that make a significant and great difference. I present this report not to sound triumphant, but to acknowledge that small steps can move us forward as a nation and that together we can do more. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mnr N J VAN DEN BERG: Mevrou die Adjunkspeaker, dis die eerste aankondiging wat ek vandag hoor van die planne van die Minister. Ek gaan Afrikaans praat omdat dit my moedertaal is, so as u wil luister, is u baie welkom.
In die eerste plek moet ek vir u sê, van die DA se kant af, deel ons absoluut die sentiment van die Minister dat kommunikasie so 'n belangrike item in ons land is, want dit bring mense in verbinding met mekaar; dit veroorsaak dat daar nie probleme of misverstande en dies meer ontstaan nie, en dis 'n wonderlike ding wat gebeur. Ons is baie dankbaar dat hierdie sogenaamde interkonneksietariewe verlaag gaan word.
So 'n maand of twee gelede in die Portefeuljekomitee oor Kommunikasie het ons openbare verhore gehad, soos die Minister self weet, en daar het 'n mens agtergekom hoeveel probleme daar is in die entiteite wat onder die Departement van Kommunikasie ressorteer. Die Minister en ons voorsitter, mnr Ismail Vadi, is ook bewus van die feit dat die Onafhanklike Kommunikasie-owerheid van Suid-Afrika, Okosa, nou reeds baie, baie jare lank die voete sleep. Dis my eerste termyn in die Parlement, maar ek wens hierdie dinge was al 'n paar jaar gelede opgelos.
Ons almal het gedink, toe Cell C in 2002 na vore gekom het, dat hierdie interkonneksietariewe gaan daal omdat daar toe 'n mate van kompetisie in die mark was, maar wat het toe gebeur? Daar was ' n styging van 500% tot by R1,25 op die ou einde, en dit is 'n onaanvaarbare situasie. 'n Mens wonder of die Mededingingskommissie nie vroeër moes ingegryp het nie.
Daar is net een ding wat ek net graag hier in die Parlement wil sê: dit is die rol van die Onafhanklike Kommunikasie-owerheid van Suid-Afrika om te kyk na die strukture, die uitdeel van frekwensies en dies meer. Dis hoekom hulle die Onafhanklike Kommunikasie-owerheid genoem word.
Ek is net bekommerd dat ... Laat ek myself in die rede val: dit ís so dat die Minister wel direktiewe aan Okosa kan gee, maar, soos hulle in Engels sê, " they're not bound by this directive". Ek hoop dus dit was, soos hulle in Engels sê, "that due process was followed," dat alles volgens die wet verloop het en dat dit nie 'n onaanvaarbare ingryping deur die Minister was nie, want Okosa is nie verantwoordelik aan die Minister van Kommunikasie nie. Die raad van Okosa word deur die Parlement aangestel en dan moet hulle onafhanklik optree.
Ons hoop daar gebeur binne Okosa 'n klomp dinge, want dis nie net die telefoonkoste wat 'n probleem is nie; daar is geweldig baie ander probleme ook in Okosa wat die toekenning van frekwensies en dies meer betref. Ons het netnou gehoor van al die probleme in Eskom, en ek wil vir u sê met ons oorsigbesoeke wat ons aan Okosa gebring het, kon ons sien daar is baie probleme; daar is gevegte tussen die raad en die uitvoerende bestuur van Okosa, en die personeel is nie baie gelukkig nie.
Daar is dus 'n hele klomp dinge wat in hierdie stadium opgelos moet word, maar namens die verbruiker is ons gelukkig met die verlaging van hierdie koste. Dit was 'n sterk besprekingspunt in die Portefeuljekomitee oor Kommunikasie.
Daar is net een ding, en u het dit self ook genoem. Ek hoop net nie dat hierdie ingryping die markte gaan beïnvloed nie, want daar kan geargumenteer word dat, as die Minister die mag het om in te gryp en pryse te manipuleer, as ek die woord mag gebruik, van die internasionale ouens sal kan besluit om eerder 'n bietjie versigtig te wees, want hulle kan dalk in die moeilikheid beland. Baie dankie vir die geleentheid, agbare Mevrou die Adjunkspeaker. [Tyd verstreke.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)
[Mr N J VAN DEN BERG: Madam Deputy Speaker, this is the first announcement I have heard today about the Minister's plans. I will be speaking in Afrikaans because it is my mother tongue, so if you want to listen, you are very welcome.
Firstly, I must tell you that we in the DA absolutely share the Minister's sentiment that communication is such a big issue in our country, as it brings people into contact with each other; it prevents problems and misunderstandings from developing, which is a wonderful thing to take place. We are very grateful that these so-called interconnection rates will be reduced.
About a month or two ago we had public hearings in the Portfolio Committee on Communications, as the Minister himself knows, where we realised how many problems there are in the entities that fall under the Department of Communications. The Minister and our chairperson, Mr Ismail Vadi, are also aware of the fact that the Independent Communications Authority, Icasa, has for many, many years now been dragging its feet. This is my first term in Parliament, but I wish these things had already been solved a few years ago.
We all thought that when Cell C stepped up in 2002, the interconnection rates would drop because there was a degree of competition in the market, but what happened then? In the end there was an increase of 500% up to R1,25, and this is an unacceptable situation. One wonders whether the Competition Commission should not have intervened sooner.
There is just one matter I would like to mention here in Parliament: namely the role of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa in looking at the structures, the allocation of frequencies and so on. That is why they are called the Independent Communications Authority.
I am just concerned that ... Let me interrupt myself: it is true that the Minister may issue directives to Icasa, but, they are not bound by these directives. So I hope, that due process was followed and that everything was done in accordance with the law and that it was not an unacceptable intervention by the Minister, because Icasa does not answer to the Minister of Communications. The board of Icasa is appointed by Parliament and then they must act independently.
We hope that a number of things will take place within Icasa, because it is not only the telephone costs that constitute a problem; there are a great number of other problems in Icasa, also as regards the allocation of frequencies and so on. We have just heard about all the problems in Eskom and I can tell you that during our oversight visits to Icasa we could see that there were many problems; there are altercations between the board and the executive of Icasa, and the staff members are not very happy.
So there are a lot of things that need to be sorted out at this stage, but on behalf of the consumer we are happy about the reduction in these charges. This was a major point of debate in the Portfolio Committee on Communications.
There is just one issue, which you yourself have also mentioned. I just hope that this intervention will not influence the markets, because it could be argued that if the Minister has the power to intervene and manipulate prices, if I may use that word, some of the international firms may decide to be a little careful, because they could get into trouble. Thank you for this opportunity, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Time expired.]]
Mrs J D KILIAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of Cope we would like to thank the Minister. We welcome this, and I am sure the South African consumers will cope with this early Christmas box. [Applause.] Cope wants to ensure that Chapter 9 institutions, such as Icasa, are supported to effectively fulfil their mandates. Cope believes that it is the role of the independent regulator, Icasa, not the Minister or the director-general or Parliament, to regulate tariffs and rates. Minister, we welcome the fact that you have intervened in the negotiations.
We just want to caution that we don't want political interference into the role and responsibilities of Chapter 9 institutions. Icasa councillors should execute their legislative responsibilities. If they fail to do that, it is our role to hold them accountable. The law stipulates that they can be dismissed and we should do that. But for that to happen, we need the Minister and the department to forthwith pass the necessary performance agreement with those Icasa councillors. If that is done, which should have been done some four years ago, then we can hold them accountable and get them to carry out their responsibilities.
It is a misnomer to believe that interconnection rates will necessarily result in cheaper cellphone costs. For that to happen, we must open up the market. Therefore, other long overdue regulations, such as fixed number portability regulations, local loop unbundling and all those issues, should be introduced. Only then will the cellphone industry really become liberalised and there will be proper competition within the cellphone and the communication industry as such.
In conclusion, government must not try to be the bride at every wedding ceremony or the corpse at every funeral. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Sekela Somlomo, neNdlu ehloniphekile, Mhlonishwa okokuqala sicela ukubonga kakhulu kuCell-C ngokuthi athathe iqhaza eliphambili ahole kulomsebenzi wokwehliswa kwemali yokuxhumana kwabantu.
Okwesibili sithanda ukubonga kakhulu kuwena Mhlonishwa ukuthi ugqugquzele noTelkom ukuthi uma sishaya izingcingo zizokwehla njengoba benzile nalaba abanye ngoba uma beme bodwa ngale eceleni nabanye benza lokho kuzoba sengathithi sikhetha izingane zabantu bandawonye.
Okokugcina-ke siyacabanga ukuthi i-Icasa izowenza umsebenzi wayo. Kanti uma ingawenzi umsebenzi wayo, kubonakala sengathi kulukhuni ukuthi yenze umsebenzi wayo, uyilethe lapha eNdlini, sibagudlule sifake abanye. Ngiyathokoza kakhulu. (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Deputy Speaker, this august House and hon Minister, firstly I want to sincerely thank Cell C for taking the initiative in taking the lead to reduce interconnection rates across all networks.
Secondly, I would like to sincerely thank you, hon Minister, for encouraging Telkom to bring call rates down as the others have done, because if they are standing to one side all by themselves and others are doing the same thing on the other side it would be as if we are dividing members of the same family.
Lastly, I hope that Icasa will perform its duties. But if it does not perform its duties, and it looks like it is difficult for it to perform its duties, you should bring them to this House, and we will put them aside and put others in their place. Thank you very much.]
Mrs P DE LILLE: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, I want to assure you that you have not interfered with the independence of Icasa. In terms of the Electronic Communications Act, you have the right to get involved. Therefore, forget about those who said you have interfered. [Applause.] I would like to give special thanks to your director-general. She has worked very hard.
Hon Minister, I have been vindicated. In this country we have been paying exorbitant fees to cellphone companies. The Competition Commission that I have laid a complaint with is also going to benefit from this, because they have now voluntarily reduced their costs due to your intervention, and not interference.
I want to tell all South Africans that this is a sign that we as consumers should not just accept these high prices, but should speak up for our rights and take on these operators and companies that have made obscene profits for many years. I thank you. [Applause.]
Adv A De W ALBERTS: Mevrou die Adjunkspeaker, die VF Plus wil die Minister van Kommunikasie gelukwens met die ferm besluit om teen gulsige selfoonmaatskappye op te tree by wyse van die verpligte verlaging van interkonneksietariewe.
Die selfoonbedryf het 'n gulde geleentheid verspeel om tot 'n sinvolle vergelyk te kom in die verband en dis jammer dat hulle nou deur middel van wetlike instrumente gedwing moet word om hul maatskaplike plig teenoor die vuisvoos verbruiker in Suid-Afrika na te kom.
Eintlik moes hierdie proses al baie vroeër begin het, maar ongelukkig neem dit 'n krisis om 'n geleentheid te skep, en hier verwys ek na die sokkerwêreldbekertoernooi in 2010 wat deur die breë publiek in Suid-Afrika net op tradisionele televisie of selfoon-TV besigtig sal kan word. Die regering het egter 'n verdere belangrike taak om 'n omgewing vir kompetisie in die selfoonbedryf te skep.
Die beste wyse om pryse op 'n volhoubare wyse te bepaal is deur die daarstelling van intense kompetisie tussen besighede. Die verlaging van die interkonneksiefooi kan verseker self 'n bydrae in dié verband lewer.
In die algemeen is dit kommerwekkend dat daar steeds maatskappye in Suid-Afrika bestaan wat ongewoon hoë winste maak uit 'n brandarm burgery en wat spandabelrig te werk gaan asof daar geen einde in sig is vir hierdie finansiële golf waarop hulle ry nie.(Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Adv A De W ALBERTS: Madam Deputy Speaker, the FF Plus wishes to congratulate the Minister of Communications on the firm decision to act against greedy cellphone companies by means of the obligatory reduction in interconnection rates.
The cellphone industry missed a golden opportunity to come to a meaningful agreement in this regard and it is a pity that they are now compelled by means of legal mechanisms to fulfil their social responsibility towards the punch-drunk South African consumer.
In fact, this process should have started much earlier, but unfortunately it takes a crisis to create an opportunity, and here I am referring to the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament which w the broader South African public will only be able to view on traditional television or cellphone TV. The government, however, has another important task of creating a competitive environment in the cellphone industry.
The best way to fix prices in a sustainable manner is through the creation of intense competition between businesses. The reduction in the interconnection rates could in itself certainly make a contribution in this regard.
In general it is worrying that there are still companies in South Africa that are profiting from the unusual high prices they are charging impoverished citizens and are operating in a thriftless manner as if there is no end in sight while they are riding on the crest of this financial wave.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member, your time has expired.
Adv A De W ALBERTS: Dis 'n onvolhoubare situasie, maar ons wil vir die Minister dankie sê vir sy harde werk in hierdie verband. [This is an untenable situation, but we want to thank the Minister for his hard work in this regard.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Deputy Speaker, the ACDP would like to congratulate the hon Minister on successfully facilitating the agreement to reduce mobile termination rates. The cellphone industry leaders appeared unlikely to reduce rates unless there was significant regulatory or political pressure. So, we are impressed.
The Department of Communications studied the benchmark South African communication costs against our peer countries, comparing us to Brazil, Chile, Korea, India and Malaysia, and found that our country has exceptionally high telecommunication prices, relative to our peer group countries, and that we had the least competitive market.
Interconnection rates were designed to help the mobile operators bill their networks when they launched; and these are not necessary now. Industry commentators said the evidence was overwhelming that there was little justification for pushing the fee up in the first place. They have estimated that a fee of R0,10 to R0,25 would now be more than adequate to cover the costs.
We are looking forward to your ongoing success in the interest of the people of South Africa and future development. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Hon Deputy Speaker, the MF welcomes the Minister's intervention in addressing the high telephone rates and Parliament has to implement this immediately. Vodacom and MTN plough millions of rand into marketing programmes, which come from the unusually high tariffs that the citizens have to pay. Most people are using mobile phones. Operators must not only be user-friendly, but price-friendly. We urge the Minister not to delay in the implementation of the lower costs. I thank you.
Mr I VADI: Deputy Speaker, the ANC and the Portfolio Committee on Communications welcome the statement by the Minister of Communications that a voluntary agreement on reducing mobile termination or interconnection rates has been reached among all the mobile and telecoms operators in the country.
The Minister has achieved in four months what the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa, failed to do in four years. This interim measure is an encouraging and positive development. Parliament must appreciate the significance of this voluntary step by the mobile and telecoms industry and it must recognise the leadership offered by the Ministry of Communications.
We are also heartened by the news that some mobile operators have indicated that they are going to introduce specific relief measures through promotional offers to cash-strapped consumers in December. This, together with the reduction in interconnection rates by March 2010, will ultimately benefit virtually every citizen in our country, as it will become cheaper next year to communicate using cellphones and home telephones. We must acknowledge that these voluntary initiatives by mobile and fixed line operators have placed the interest of the public before profits.
This is precisely what the committee had championed in September this year, when it adopted a resolution calling on the mobile operators to drop the interconnection rates with effect from 1 November 2005 to R0,60 per minute during peak times. The committee further called for interconnection rates to be reduced by R0,15 annually for each successive year until 2012. We were absolutely clear that interconnection rates are excessive and not in the best interest of the public. This high cost of mobile and fixed telecommunications has impacted adversely on the South African economy and negatively on our citizens, particularly the poor and marginalised.
Today, some might legitimately ask the question: Has the committee achieved all that it had set out to do in its resolution? That is not the real issue; the fact is that ours is a proposal for consideration by mobile and telecoms industries and other stakeholders in civil society. It was meant to stimulate a robust and hearty debate and it was aimed at educating consumers and galvanising them to support the call for a reduction in telecommunication costs in our country. In fact, during our public hearings in October, almost all the written and oral submissions made supported the call for reductions in interconnection and retail rates. The only question up for debate was the extent of the reduction and the speed with which it was to be effected.
We are more than satisfied that for the first time in almost a decade, there is now a tangible and positive reaction from the industry to government's call for a reduction in telecommunication costs. The demand for reductions of mobile and telecommunication costs has been on the agenda for a number of years. For example, former President Thabo Mbeki said in his 2007 state of the nation address:
With regard to communications, I'm pleased to announce that the Department of Communications together with the mobile telephone companies and Telkom are finalising plans to address call termination rates this year for the benefit of the consumers.
It is now a matter of history that no agreement was concluded in that year. This issue was again raised by President Zuma in his state of the nation address on 3 June 2009, when he said, "overall we will ensure that the cost of telecommunications is reduced through the projects underway to expand broadband capacity".
There can be no doubt that progress has now been made.
There is an outstanding issue that I wish to touch on briefly. The committee supports the idea of a glide path to progressively reduce interconnection rates over a period of time. Such an approach will help to balance the competing objectives of the affordability of mobile and telecommunication services to the public with the principle of fair profitability of private companies.
On this question, our view is that the glide path should perhaps be determined by Icasa and not the industry itself. Any final decision on the glide path by the industry alone might convey a negative perception that the industry is again acting in its own interest. The actual decreases in interconnection rates and the timeframes of the glide path should rightfully be determined through an Icasa-led process based on empirical data rather than through an arbitrary process managed by the industry itself.
I must point out that a major responsibility now rests on the shoulders of Icasa. In the past it had not succeeded in reducing interconnection rates. It lacked clarity of purpose and confidence to act decisively. Icasa now needs to act with courage, efficiency and professionalism. It must duly follow the steps set out in chapter 10 of the Electronic Communications Act and issue final regulations on interconnection rates.
All outstanding issues, the question of a flat rate; asymmetrical rates; the timeframe for a glide path and the rate by which interconnection rates are to be reduced over the next few years must be determined by Icasa based on its research. We are aware that it is not the responsibility of Parliament to intervene on these issues. It is strictly the remit of Icasa. It must do its job and its actions must inspire confidence in the sector.
Finally, I'd like to thank all political parties for the nonpartisan approach they adopted on this issue. In dealing with Icasa and the approach to the mobile operators, I think it was quite clear that we worked as a united front and on a nonpartisan basis because that was in the public interest. It is a very important step to co-operate to advance the interest of our citizens. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
CONSIDERATION OF NATIONAL HOUSE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS BILL AND OF TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK AMENDMENT BILL AND OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS THEREON
Mnr W P DOMAN: Voorsitter, die proses wat gevolg is om eergister en gister dié wetgewing in die komitee te behandel, het veel te wense oorgelaat. Ons het by tye nie eens die korrekte bewoording van al die klousules voor ons gehad nie, maar desnieteenstaande het ons 'n moedige poging aangewend en almal saamgewerk, en die DA sal hierdie twee stukke wetgewing steun. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Mr W P DOMAN: Chairperson, the process which was followed the day before yesterday and yesterday to deal with this legislation in the committee left much to be desired. At times we did not even have the correct wording for all the clauses in front of us, but despite this we all made a valiant effort and worked together, and the DA will support these two pieces of legislation.]
These Bills went through a thorough process of consultation in the provinces. The Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill in particular deals with complicated matters about which traditional communities feel very strongly, and it will require Solomon's wisdom to resolve all the matters.
With the National House of Traditional Leaders in operation for three years, and the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims also in operation for some time, shortcomings in the present legislation and problem areas clearly came to the fore, and a good effort was made in this legislation to deal with these. Whether these Bills will be able to resolve all these challenges in practice, remains to be seen.
For example, the creation of a new layer in the traditional leadership landscape of "principal traditional leader", "principal traditional communities" and "principal traditional councils" is very interesting. But it will also be very costly. The cost to the fiscus of the whole system of royal houses and traditional leaders is something that is worrying.
In this regard, I must point out that the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims has up to now cost about R50 million, and this commission has not performed very well. Hundreds of claims have not been resolved, and decisions are still outstanding.
It was argued before our committee that the work of this commission is necessary, and we agree. Its processes have to be speeded up and therefore we are approving a new structure today of five commissioners heading committees in the different provinces to deal with claims and issues in a decentralised way. They will also only be making recommendations.
Dis nogal goed dat die ANC so 'n bietjie iets leer teen sentralisasie, want dis heeltyd net "sentralisasie, sentralisasie". Hier is 'n goeie ding wat hulle gerus op ander terreine van die openbare lewe ook kan toepas. (Translation of the Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[It is quite good that the ANC is learning something negative about centralisation, because throughout it is all about "centralisation, centralisation". This is a good thing, which it is worth their while to apply in other areas of public life as well.]
Why we are concerned about cost is also that each and every claimant who is successful will mean that the salaries and allowances bill for divisional leaders rises, not to mention the full operational costs of the National House of Traditional Leaders and its counterparts in the different provinces.
We have just received the Sereti Commission's proposals that members of the different houses should come onto the Political Office Bearers Pension Fund and also that funeral benefits should be provided for traditional leaders. In this Bill, for the first time, a sitting allowance is also provided for nontraditional-leader members in the different houses and committees. It is estimated that this alone will amount to R36,7 million per annum. And we have all read the reports in the newspapers about the royal house in KwaZulu-Natal exceeding its budgets.
Yesterday the Minister of Finance warned us all that we are living in difficult times and that we all have to apply financial constraint. The principle for us in the DA is that the country must receive value for money. Of course, accountability for all budgets is non-negotiable.
The institution of traditional affairs must always be instituted and operate within the ambit of the Constitution. We are therefore grateful that gender issues are given the necessary attention in these two Bills – not only that the terminology is gender-sensitive, but also that they provide for the protection of women, from queenships to the gender composition of the different houses.
Within the ambit of the Constitution and the laws that govern municipalities, the relationship between traditional leaders and authorities, on the one hand, and councillors and municipal councils, on the other hand, is quite often contentious. Section 81 of the Municipal Structures Act stipulates that traditional authorities must participate in councils, and this is not actually happening.
On the other hand, the Bill that we are changing today also provides for a code of conduct for traditional leaders. If you look at that code of conduct, they must not be gatekeepers but must allow for local development in the communities. [Time expired.] I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr T BOTHA: Chairperson, the institution of traditional leaders is an integral part of our society. If appropriately utilised, it may bring value to our people, because it is a link between formal institutions of state and our rural informal communities. Our Constitution requires that governance structures give cognisance to the principles of nonsexism, co-operative governance between the legislatures and the houses, nation-building, unity and peace among the houses and traditional communities.
There is no question about enhancing traditions and culture. The Bill also satisfies another long-standing vacuum, namely giving serious attention to the lot of the rural people of our country. The establishment of the House allows for it to participate in international and national programmes geared towards the development of rural communities. It also has the power to participate in national initiatives meant to monitor, review and evaluate government programmes in rural communities.
The code of conduct in Schedule C compels members of the House to perform the functions of their office in good faith and in an honest, nondiscriminatory and transparent manner, and to act at all times in the best interests of the House in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the House are not compromised.
The fact that traditional leaders have always exercised authority in their areas in a traditional manner does not mean that our constitutional dispensation must not be allowed to hold sway. [Time expired.] Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr P F SMITH: Chair, members of the House, the IFP will not be supporting these Bills today. We have problems not only with the content, but largely with the process. These Bills were presented to us on Tuesday and voted on on Thursday, and to be honest with you, it is quite astonishing that one is expected to look at a Bill comprising 50 pages of amendments – here is page 1 and here is page 50, if you think that I am exaggerating – in five seconds and vote on it.
I have been here for 15 years and I have never yet been in a committee where pages of amendments are placed before a committee without even being read. They simply said: "What do members think? Is it OK? Ja, fine. OK, any questions? Move on." As if everybody is an Einstein or everybody has studied the amendments before. There was such a rush to get this thing through that there was not enough time given to deliberating on the content, and we find this highly problematic.
In fact, the whole process, to be honest, Chair, was a charade. And the reason for that is that this is a Bill that has been returned from the NCOP. And because the NCOP only voted on it on Tuesday, and we were voting on Wednesday, had we effected any amendments, it would have had to go back to the NCOP or for mediation, and the ANC didn't want mediation; they wanted it approved. So why bother scrutinising it? We are going to rubberstamp it anyway! Which is what we did, at the behest of the executive, anyway.
So that is a hell of a problem, Chair, and we really think this is unacceptable, because it makes a complete mockery of the principle of the separation of powers. The executive comes along to us and says: "Hey, please pass this thing quickly." And the little committee sits there and says, "Ja, baas." Rubberstamped! That is not the way Parliament is meant to operate. So we are very unhappy.
And let me add to that: The problem is that there has been no consultation whatsoever in the NA. Now, it is quite true that in the NCOP they consulted everybody. I don't care what they did in the NCOP. It's got nothing to do with the National Assembly. We have a duty in the National Assembly to say, "Is the content of these amendments correct or not?" Nobody came to us, no inputs were received from civil society, nothing came from the House of Traditional Leaders, and we were expected to say, "Fine. No problem." That is not the way it should be done either, Chair.
So we think this Bill should have been prioritised for next year and we could have given it due consideration. It is really sad for the legislature to be a lapdog of the executive. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Chairperson, the UDM supports the Bills before us. Allow us, however, to raise a few concerns regarding the state of traditional leadership in the country. It is true that traditional leaders are in control of the lives of millions of South Africans. However, for traditional leaders to find their rightful place in the new dispensation, it is vital that certain disparities are addressed.
Uya kufumanisa ukuba ookumkani abarhunyiswa ngokufanayo. Yingxaki enkulu ke leyo. Kananjalo noncedo abalufumana kurhulumente alulingani. Urhulumente kufuneka ayiqwalasele into yokuba ikumkani yikumkani nokuba ivela phi na, kwaye kufuneka ihlonitshwe.
Uye ufumanise ukuba ezinye iinkosi zenza umsebenzi wooceba abangawenziyo umsebenzi wabo. Enkosi. [Laphela ixesha.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[You will find that kings are not given the same amount of money. That is a big problem. Even the government subsidy is not the same. The government must take into consideration that a king is a king irrespective of where he comes from, and that he must be respected.
You will find that councillors are incompetent and as such chiefs end up doing their jobs. Thank you. [Time expired.]]
Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Chairperson, governance needs to be taken seriously and both traditional and municipal structures need to coexist and govern in unison and harmony.
These "principal traditional leaders", a new creation in the traditional leadership, will definitely cause confusion. The tribes may drift away from the authority of kings and queens and form their own traditional authorities - hence it needs to be thoroughly explained to our traditional leaders and authorities.
The plight of the poor will remain with us and it is our responsibility to provide much-needed support and align powers and functions.
In conclusion, Madam Speaker, the choice of who is to be in the principal traditional council and kingship and queenship councils remains a big question, because a traditional leader is born, not elected. That is our African culture.
The UCDP supports the Bill, though. [Applause.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Hon Chairperson, the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill deals with the recognition of kingship and queenship. It also deals with the relationship with local government regulations relating to the establishment of local traditional councils.
These Bills represent an improvement which was long desired. There are people who are going to express different views but it is very important that, although political arms are given responsibility over traditional matters, they should be guided by the long-established traditions and customs of the people. We cannot do away with traditions and customs.
Throughout the world traditional structures remain. In India they remain very strong at local level. They are called the Panchayat raj and they play a pivotal role. So traditionalism and traditional leaders are going to remain in the country for a very long time.
The MF will support the Bills. Thank you.
Mr S L TSENOLI: House Chairperson and hon members, the ANC will support this legislation. We do so because we understand that in the process of lawmaking there will be no sterile environment that is vacuum cleaned completely, having no relationship with the executive and Parliament.
These are Members of Parliament who also happen to come from our ranks and we appreciate that in the process of doing their work, they will come across instances and issues that require, in hindsight, a request to introduce things they may not have had in mind at the beginning of the process. That is life; and experience. Therefore, we appreciate that they've done as they requested, on the understanding that legislation is coming to us for further debate and more time to interrogate these issues as well; and where the need arises we will not hesitate to introduce changes that will satisfy both the process and the content.
Hon Smith says that they will reject the Bill; it's their right to do so. But he exaggerates, naturally, he dramatises what happened in the committee. He spoke the most; contributed - in my opinion - the most useful questions and comments in the committee; and he intimidates with the size of the documents. However, consequential amendments often appear huge but are technical and not much time needs to be spent on them. We've done this before, Peter. You are surprising, today; but I suppose you have to meet the mandate to act dramatic. That's politics, we understand it.
There are two things that I would like to say. Of course, in the initial stages, pieces of legislation do often cause confusion as they require explanation. We are not naïve; we appreciate and understand that this is why there are Members of Parliament who have to explain this legislation. This is why the structures in the provinces that interacted with this legislation gave them permission.
You cannot say that you don't care about what is happening in the provinces, including yours, when, in their wisdom, they agreed with the legislation. Its a bit strange to say that, especially if they represent the majority of the people in KwaZulu-Natal. It is strange to dismiss them as insignificant.
The concerns raised about disparities in remuneration and support are matters of substance and content, of transformation of the institution of traditional leadership. We understand that the work underway is intended to provide a thorough systematic look at all of these issues so that the department that is going to be set up will be in consultation with traditional leaders across the country, and find sustainable solutions to these problems that speak to all the concerns we have in our country to provide equitable support across all institutions of governance.
We also appreciate that some of this legislation seeks to provide coherence in the relationships across the three areas of national, provincial and local Houses. This is one of the tasks of the new legislation that is being introduced. This is very useful, because without that coherence we cannot deal with this problem in a manner that makes sense, because of the fragmentation that exists currently. In that sense, they constitute a very important piece of work that needs to be done.
We are appreciative of the necessity to fast-track the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims because of the outstanding work that still needs to be done; the agitation on the ground - in most of the areas of our country - where people are concerned about those who, in the opinion of their communities, are not really traditional leaders.
They need to be told in a manner that explains the negative consequences that may arise from this. Consenquently, this commission and how it will work, its modus operandi – learning from the previous commission – it must be changed to make it more effective in providing for more provincial input so that the solutions raised reflect the peculiarities of each province.
On this matter, hon Doman, ideologically, the problem with the old-fashioned ideologists like you is that you don't recognise the value of managing polarities. Decentralisation and centralisation - the two go together. Some things are best done at a national level and some at a local level. You have to always look at situations; you can't ... as if ...
... o fana ka makgona tsohle ... [... you are giving a solution to all problems ...]
... a solution to all problems, every time, and say "decentralise". It is ridiculous; it doesn't work in that way. [Applause.] You have to study, look at the circumstances and look at what is best done and work on the basis of circumstances - decentralise or centralise if appropriate. Yes, you do that. This is what we agreed on with the Planning Commission, how it is going to do it.
There is no doubt about accountability, since every institution of government, elected or traditional, must be accountable to the people of this country. We have required that governance must be people-centred and people-driven. Communities in areas under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders need to see them being responsive to their needs, especially if they are using the state's resources.
We are appreciative of the gender language of the legislation. This is the responsibility we have as MPs. When the executive does it, it's correct as the hon member said appreciatively. It is not only in the language, in other words, in the form, but the content of the work of this institution must express its value to men and women, young and old people in their work. It is for that reason that this important work needs to be followed up.
The objection is that this happened at the behest of the executive. We have, as Parliament, delegated that the executive will initiate legislation and present it to us to look at it. In these instances, we negotiated and agreed that in future we need to have a process that will allow a lot more qualitative input and debate and discussion in different circumstances. These are special circumstances. It is one of those species dealing with the transition that we must treat exceptional without, thereby, giving up our responsibility to engage in intense debate and discussions.
But we have been promised that legislation a this will be tabled and we'll deal with it appropriately and will continue to be in consultation with traditional leaders. We are aware that a summit of traditional leaders will be taking place, possibly in December, at which these issues on traditional leaders will be addressed.
The civil society organisations and we ourselves should familiarise ourselves with the legislation without being intimidated by the size that Peter Smith is talking about. We have to read, Peter. It is the responsibility that we undertook in our constituencies, that we will do work in their name and interest. There is no doubt that the question of costs is an issue that needs to be attended to.
Finally, the capacity of Parliament needs to improve dramatically around technical mistakes that occurred. We need to get work done to minimise the number of mistakes made in the legislation to be tabled before the House. There is no question about the need for this capacity of work. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the Bills be passed.
Question put: That the National House of Traditional Leaders Bill be passed.
The House divided:
AYES - 201: Abram, S; Adams, L H; Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Bam-Mugwanya, V; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bikani, F C; Bonhomme, T J; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Botha, T; Botha, Y R; Burgess, C V; Carrim, Y I; Carter, D; Chauke, H P; Chikunga, L S; Chohan, F I; Coetzee, T W; Coleman, E M; Dandala, H M; Davidson, I O; Davies, R H; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlamini, B O; Doman, W P; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Dudley, C; Dunjwa, M L; Ellis, M J; Farisani, T S; Figlan, A M; Fihla, N B; Fransman, M L; Fubbs, J L; Gaehler, L B; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gcume, N P; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; George, D T; George, M E; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Greyling, L W; Gumede, D M; Gungubele, M; Hajaig, F; Johnson, M; Kalyan, S V; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Kilian, J D; Kohler-Barnard, D; Komphela, B M; Koornhof, N J J v R; Krumbock, G R; Kubayi, M T; Lekgetho, G; Lotriet, A; Luthuli, A N; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Madasa, Z L; Mafolo, M V; Magau, K R; Magazi, M N; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malale, M I; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manana, M C; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mataboge, D K; Mathebe, D H; Mathebe, P M; Mathibela, N F; Matladi, M N; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Mazibuko, L D; Mbalula, F A; Mbili, M E; Mdakane, M R; Mdladlana, M M S; Mfeketo, N C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhize, L N; Mnguni, P B; Mnisi, N A; Mnqasela, M; Mocumi, P A; Mohale, M C; Molao, S K; Molebatsi, M A; Morutoa, M R; Motshekga, M S; Mthethwa, E M; Mufamadi, T A; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndude, H N; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngonyama, L S; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nkwinti, G E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntshiqela, P; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyama, M M A; Nyekemba, E; Oliphant, G G; Oosthuizen, G C; Petersen-Maduna, P; Poho, P D; Pretorius, P J C; Radebe, B A; Ramatlakane, L; Rantsolase, M A; Rwexana, S P; Schneemann, G D; Sefularo, M; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; Selfe, J; Shinn, M R; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibhidla, N N; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Smuts, M; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Steele, M H; Stofile, M A; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Thabethe, E; Thomson, B; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tolo, L J; Trollip, R A P; Tsebe, S R; Tsenoli, S L; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Twala, N M; Vadi, I; Van Dalen, P; Van den Berg, N J; Van der Linde, J J; Van der Merwe, S C; Van der Walt, D; Van Dyk, S M; Van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Van Wyk, A; Vukuza-Linda, N Y; Wenger, M; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Yengeni, L E.
NOES - 11: Cebekhulu, R N; Lebenya-Ntanzi, S P; Lovemore, A T; Magama, H T; Mpontshane, A M; Msimang, C T; Msweli, H S; Ndlovu, V B; Oriani-Ambrosini, M G; Singh, N; Smith, P F.
Question agreed to.
National House of Traditional Leaders Bill accordingly passed.
Question put: That the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill be passed.
The House divided:
AYES - 212: Abram, S; Adams, L H; Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Bam-Mugwanya, V; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bikani, F C; Bonhomme, T J; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Botha, T; Botha, Y R; Burgess, C V; Carrim, Y I; Carter, D; Chauke, H P; Chikunga, L S; Chohan, F I; Coetzee, T W; Coleman, E M; Dandala, H M; Davidson, I O; Davies, R H; De Freitas, M S F; Diale, L N; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlamini, B O; Doman, W P; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Dudley, C; Duncan, P C; Dunjwa, M L; Ellis, M J; Farisani, T S; Figlan, A M; Fihla, N B; Fransman, M L; Fritz, A T; Fubbs, J L; Gaehler, L B; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; George, D T; George, M E; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Greyling, L W; Gumede, D M; Gungubele, M; Hajaig, F; Hanekom, D A; Johnson, M; Kalyan, S V; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Barnard, D; Komphela, B M; Koornhof, N J J v R; Kopane, S P; Krumbock, G R; Kubayi, M T; Lekgetho, G; Lotriet, A; Luthuli, A N; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Madasa, Z L; Madisha, W M; Mafolo, M V; Magau, K R; Magazi, M N; Magwanishe, G ; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malale, M I; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manana, M C; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Marais, E J; Masango, S J; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mataboge, D K; Mathebe, D H; Mathebe, P M; Mathibela, N F; Matladi, M N; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Maynier, D J; Mazibuko, L D; Mbalula, F A; Mbili, M E; Mdakane, M R; Mdladlana, M M S; Mfeketo, N C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhize, H B; Mkhize, L N; Mnisi, N A; Mnqasela, M; Mocumi, P A; Mohale, M C; Mokgalapa, S; Molao, S K; Molebatsi, M A; Morutoa, M R; Motshekga, M S; Mtshali, E; Mufamadi, T A; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndude, H N; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngonyama, L S; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nkwinti, G E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntshiqela, P; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyama, M M A; Nyekemba, E; Oliphant, G G; Oosthuizen, G C; Petersen-Maduna, P; Poho, P D; Pretorius, P J C; Radebe, B A; Ramatlakane, L; Rantsolase, M A; Rwexana, S P; Schafer, DA; Schmidt, J; Schneemann, G D; Sefularo, M; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; Selfe, J; Shinn, M R; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibhidla, N N; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Smuts, M; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Steele, M H; Steyn, A; Stofile, M A; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Terblanche, J F; Thabethe, E; Thomson, B; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tolo, L J; Tsebe, S R; Tsenoli, S L; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Twala, N M; Van Dalen, P; Van den Berg, N J; Van der Linde, J J; Van der Merwe, S C; Van der Walt, D; Van Dyk, S M; Van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Van Wyk, A; Waters, M; Wenger, M; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Yengeni, L E.
NOES - 10: Cebekhulu, R N; Lebenya-Ntanzi, S P; Motau, S C; Mpontshane, A M; Msimang, C T; Msweli, H S; Ndlovu, V B; Oriani-Ambrosini, M G; Singh, N; Smith, P F.
Question agreed to.
Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill accordingly passed.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON REPEAL OF BLACK ADMINISTRATION ACT AND AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the Report be adopted.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Are there any objections? Hon Mpontshane?
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Chair, the IFP won't call for a division or objection this time. [Laughter.]
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
REPEAL OF BLACK ADMINISTRATION ACT AND AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF AD HOC COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND REPORT ON GREEN PAPER ON NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING, SEPTEMBER 2009
Mr T A MUFAMADI: Chairperson, hon members and Ministers present here ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon members ...
... sicela ukuthi noma ngabe siyahleka, sihlekele phansi, uma singakwazi ukuhleba kungcono sithule noma siphumele ngaphandle. [... my request to you is that even if you are laughing, keep it down, and if you cannot keep your voices down, you better keep quiet or leave the House.]
You may continue, hon member.
Mr T A MUFAMADI: ... the immense socioeconomic challenges facing the leadership of this country, irrespective of political affiliation or differences, demand of all of us that everything we say and everything we seek to do as a people must be guided and underpinned by our common desire to achieve our long-term strategic objectives. That is the creation of a prosperous, nonracial, nonsexist and democratic South Africa.
To achieve this national project, there is a need to forge a national consensus, translated into a national long-term plan, which will be clearly defined in terms of short-term interventions in the form of a developmental state. Secondly, our discussions must be guided by the work we have done in the last 15 years. We need to take stock of our successes and failures, and identify the areas that need serious attention, to improve the quality of life of the ordinary masses of our people. Therefore, the Green Paper should be seen as the beginning and not the end of a process that seeks to enhance or improve the work of government that is undergoing serious structural changes.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the executive on taking this bold and courageous step, in particular the Minister in the Presidency responsible for the National Planning Commission, by engaging Parliament in the consultative processes that seek to generate public discussions on how government can best improve its work. Judging by the number of written submissions and public debates on this topic, there is no doubt that it is, indeed, a matter of national importance. It is an important proposal that will have a far-reaching, really positive impact on the successes of a developmental state.
I must mention and commend the high interest that the opposition parties have shown in the processing of this matter. Not only did they participate in the committees, but they also did so at the highest level of their leadership.
What is the Green Paper all about? The Green Paper is a platform to test ideas, to consult with the public, to broaden the debate and build consensus around a national vision. Through the ad hoc committee, Parliament, as a vehicle to realise the abovementioned objectives, has succeeded in discharging its mandate.
After going through this process, the committee also agreed that not all the issues raised in the Green Paper would be resolved overnight. Some of the issues should be treated as work in progress that the executive must, and will, continue to pay attention to. Equally, Parliament will also have to continue on an ongoing basis to perfect its oversight role in line with the challenges that are arising at the level of government.
Some of the concerns raised with the committee during the public hearings or through written submissions included the following: the leadership and location of the National Planning Commission; over-concentration of power at the centre and probably with one or so individuals, to the exclusion of the executive; inclusivity of the National Planning Commission in terms of appointing national commissioners, but also independent institutes that tend to take on a life of their own and become unaccountable; and the status of the National Planning Commission, as an advisory body or a statutory body.
The other concern that was raised was that there might be a tendency from the centre to undermine the constitutional provisions, in terms of other spheres of government, such as municipalities, in terms of planning, and concerns that strategic plans of other spheres will be undermined by the centre. Centralisation of planning equals state planning, to the exclusion of market objectivity, and it might inhibit creativity in the line departments and other spheres of government.
I must say that after processing more than 56 written submissions and eight oral submissions, there were more areas of agreement than disagreement, that South Africa needs a long-term plan to guide shorter term trade-offs. It needs to improve planning and co-ordination at the level of government, but interrelationships between policy planning, monitoring and evaluation are intertwined.
We need international experience in appointing the national planning commissioners, but not to the exclusion of local experience and local competence. There is a need for the National Planning Commission to be located within the Presidency, and the Minister responsible for the National Planning Commission should supervise the activities of this commission. The national plan is the domain of the executive committee, meaning Cabinet.
An area that needs further clarification is the status of the National Planning Commission: if it is considered as an advisory body, whether the process is going to culminate in a White Paper, and constitutional provisions to protect the autonomy or plans from other spheres.
In conclusion, it is our considered view that, as the ad hoc committee, we have discharged our mandate as expected by this House. We have provided the public with the platform for South Africans to engage with the consultative document, and their concerns and advice are of great value that has shaped the overall thrust of this document or report. We appreciate the consultation sought by government from Parliament to process this important debate.
As regards our recommendations, I will not go through all of them. They are there in the report, but I think it is important that, as Parliament, we should support that the Green Paper on National Strategic Planning should be allowed to proceed and that the National Planning Commission should be a body that should be supervised by the Minister in the Presidency responsible for the National Planning Commission. Lastly, the primacy of Cabinet should not be debatable. I, therefore, recommend that the House accepts and supports the report as tabled before this House. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon members, can we please go back to the Fifth Order? The question that was put was put as the report that should be adopted. However, the question was supposed to enquire whether there were any objections to the Bill being read a second time. Are there any objections? No objections. Agreed to. The secretary will read the Bill a second time.
Mr P F SMITH: Sorry, Chair, may I ask which Bill you are referring to?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): The Fifth Order is on the Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendment of Certain Laws Amendment Bill.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, the DA firmly supports the establishment of a national vision and long-term planning. However, consider the words of Alexis de Tocqueville when he described what kind of despotism democratic nations have to fear, and I quote:
Over these men stands an immense tutelary power, which assumes sole responsibility for securing their pleasure and watching over their fate. It is absolute, meticulous, regular, provident, and mild. It would resemble paternal authority if only its purpose were the same, namely, to prepare men for manhood. But on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them in childhood irrevocably. It likes citizens to rejoice, provided they think only of rejoicing. It works willingly for their happiness but wants to be the sole agent and only arbiter of that happiness. It provides for their security, foresees and takes care of their needs, facilitates their pleasures, manages their most important affairs, directs their industry, regulates their successions, and divides their inheritances. Why not relieve them entirely of the trouble of thinking and the difficulty of living?
In the extract De Tocqueville describes the particular guise that despotism might take in future democratic states. His fear was that democracy would become a proxy for control and that the centralisation of power could produce a government the purpose of which was to manage, not merely the organs of state, but the private affairs of individuals.
De Tocqueville does not suggest this process is violent, but mild; and its realisation not sudden, but gradual. Little by little it robs each citizen of the use of his own faculties. The danger, then, lies in the fact that this threat is not immediately apparent. The primary challenge facing the citizens of any democratic state begins in recognising how it manifests itself contemporarily, and then in acting to counter its influence.
His warning is prescient and relevant still today. Central to this threat is the agenda of the ANC, its understanding of the role it plays in society and the manner in which its pursuit of power manifests itself in government thinking. Ideologically incapable of properly separating party and state and, through a policy of cadre deployment and a culture of nepotism, practically concerned with bending all key levers of power to its own will.
The ANC has overseen a decade-long destructive drive to centralise power. The result of this has been that those institutions designed both to deliver basic services, hon Stofile, and to act as a bulwark against an encroaching majority have seen their integrity systematically denuded. Against this background the ANC has proposed the establishment of a National Planning Commission.
The Green Paper, which sets out the vision that would underpin such an institution, has all the characteristics of the veiled intent that belies cadre deployment. It uses phrases like national interest and ideas such as a single national vision to detract from the way in which it would centralise control. It uses universal problems like poverty and HIV and Aids as the excuse to justify a series of possible interventions for it proposes no checks or balances.
Most disturbingly, and clearly underlying the entire Green Paper, is the assumption that the ANC would have been elected to power at every level. We know that that is not the case. Co-ordination and planning is not merely a matter of encouraging best democratic practice but of ensuring that ANC policy is adhered to and properly implemented.
Any proper and objective analysis of a National Planning Commission must interrogate the institution itself; in other words, the structure and powers of the mechanism as opposed to the intent of those individuals in charge of managing it. This distinction has not been properly made to date. In much the same fashion, one needs to draw a distinction between the National Planning Commission's ability to generate a co-ordinated plan and the power it may or may not have to implement that plan.
The Green Paper does not sufficiently address these latter two concerns. It talks in generics and uses imperatives such as poverty eradication to mask a less well-defined and possibly far more powerful set of political objectives, which are only ever hinted at. For example, the paper says things like:
The state has a leading role to play in reshaping the economy; our society needs more than coherent plans to shape our programmes, priorities and budgets; the commission needs to strengthen the relationship between state and society; the planning process will allow the state to identify the self-interest of various sectors and, where practicable, synthesise these into a common national interest; operational plans must take account of the broader national plan.
We need an agreed vision about the country's direction; an agency that can authoritatively and forcefully drive planning, monitoring and evaluation and institutional improvements; the commission will have the power to investigate under the supervision of the Minister for National Planning specific areas of policy the results of which would be presented to Parliament and prepared for decisions where appropriate; the Minister in the Presidency for National Planning will be politically accountable for delivering certain outputs; and that, in order to achieve that, he will have to be backed by a well-organised and technically capable institutional machinery infused with a high degree of authority and leverage.
There has also been a tendency to measure this proposal against the public record of the Minister responsible for its formulation. This is a mistake. I must tell this House that the Minister himself will be the first to admit that this proposal is a consequence of the ANC's policy. It was conceived with the ANC's approval and it was designed to oversee, first and foremost, the implementation of the ANC's programme of action.
The real test of this proposal, as it is with any institution, is the answer to the following question: Will the structural integrity of this institution prevent its abuse in the wrong hands of a particular individual, or in the hands of an organisation concerned with the centralisation and abuse of power at the expense of our democratic state? [Interjections.] If it was in your hands, hon member, it would be opposed more vigorously, but in the hands of Trevor Manuel, we are not too concerned, but if it is in your hands ...
... siya kuba nengxaki enkulu. [... we are going to have a big problem.]
Against this background, a political culture, which has created and continues to promote a policy of cadre deployment, deliberately blurring the line between party and state and a political programme, which is focused on centralising power, the proposal that a National Planning Commission be established cannot be supported. It is a proxy for control. In the hands of the ANC NEC, its ostensible purpose and power masks a more dangerous reality. It is a focal point for power, which, as part of the ANC's political agenda, stands in stark contrast to the federal nature of our constitutional democracy.
An important point that must be made is that the DA agrees that every government needs to plan. We welcome and fully support any government initiative in this regard; the purpose of which is to better co-ordinate and more effectively map the country's future. Identifying norms and standards and articulating strategic objectives are a critical component of effective governing, without which any administration will flounder. However, the Constitution provides certain conditions to which such planning must adhere. It clearly and expressly identifies the boundaries that define the influence of the national administration and any plan generated on its part must, in turn, adhere to those boundaries.
The proposal contained in the Green Paper fails to adequately satisfy these conditions. It fails properly to account for the ANC's policy of cadre deployment and does not attempt to describe how such an institution would not be protected from the ANC's inability to properly separate party and state, or its party political agenda.
Furthermore, there is the assumption that a single party governs all spheres of the South African state. This is not true. And while it is a constitutional imperative that all provinces "maintain essential national standards and meet established minimum standards" in rendering services, outside of that requirement, a province's plans and strategies for achieving those objectives cannot be dictated by the national administration.
Chapter 3 of the South African Constitution describes the nature of co-operative governance in South Africa in sections 41(1)(e), (f) and (g). That chapter states, among other things, that all spheres of government and all organs of state within each sphere must -
(e) respect the constitutional status, institutions, powers and functions of government in the other spheres;
(f) not assume any power or function except those conferred on them in terms of the Constitution;
(g) exercise their powers and perform their functions in a manner that does not encroach on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere.
As this Green Paper stands, the DA is not satisfied that these provisions will be adhered to. As such, we propose the following recommendations: That the ANC's policy of cadre deployment be abandoned. It has done irreparable harm to our democracy and if its imposition is facilitated by a National Planning Commission, the damage it has caused will become far more acute; that the Planning Commission's mandate be limited simply to the production and co-ordination of policy and not to include any powers or authority to impose that plan on any organ of state or sphere of government; that the Planning Commission's plans and strategies adhere to the constitutional requirement that no one single course of action be imposed on every sphere of government; and that under no circumstances should the process of formulating a White Paper on the National Planning Commission be by-passed or expedited.
The White Paper will set out the precise powers and the particular nature of the commission and, if those vague suggestions in the Green Paper are any indication as to the nature of these powers, they are inappropriate and, possibly, unconstitutional. Their precise nature needs to be properly defined before any considered position on this proposal can be adopted. When we pass this legislation in this House today, we must consider what its impact would be in different hands and at different times.
In conclusion, it's worth turning one last time to De Tocqueville, who makes the following observation, and I quote:
There are many people nowadays who adjust quite easily to a compromise of this kind between administrative despotism and popular sovereignty and who believe they have done enough to guarantee the liberty of individuals when in fact they have surrendered that liberty to the national government.
And so the ANC government is facing two challenges - a pragmatic and an ideological problem. What this Green Paper fails to understand, is that the pragmatic problem, a huge skills deficit and a failure to deliver, is born out of the very ideological problem it now posits as a solution - centralisation and a drive to control every aspect of the South African democratic state.
If one is to properly address those practical challenges facing our country one must first reverse the ideological drive that underpins their creation. This Green Paper achieves the very opposite. It reinforces centralisation with little or no reference to any appropriate checks and balances. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L S NGONYAMA: Chairperson, for weeks, the matter of the commission has been hanging in the air. Thankfully, we are here at last to talk about the Green Paper on National Strategic Planning.
The one thing almost all of us can agree on is the need for proper long-term and clear-sighted planning to effect cohesive and durable government programmes and a buy-in from all role-players.
Of plans, Robert Burns wrote:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Since we, as Cope, agree with that, we need to place a few issues on the table. First of all, we support the report of the ad hoc committee. Therefore, we need to make a clear differentiation between a long-term strategic plan and plans for integrated government. Long-term plans take a long-term view; they are discussed by the people as a whole, and are not fundamentally altered by mandates that governments obtain in elections. Mandates are meant to deliver the long-term plans in an effective and efficient manner. The distinction between the two must remain clear.
The fact that the National Planning Commission, NPC, and the Minister in the Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration are located in the Presidency ought to signify to the nation that government is very serious about the three critical Ds - democracy, development and direction.
As Cope, we would have implemented an activist state so that people could start tasting the fruit of democracy rather that waiting for the developmental state to come about some time in the future.
People are losing confidence in the government. State enterprises are at sixes and sevens. Will these enterprises ever conform to any master plan? In our view, in these parastatals, self-interests will not allow the public interest to flourish.
It is common knowledge, as the Minister of Finance indicated yesterday, that corruption, like cancer, has spread throughout the government. Under these circumstances, will the NPC not just become another Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, document where we have turf wars that will prevent the National Strategic Plan, NSP, from remaining intact?
I understand a few things about "iindlovu" [elephants.] and I, therefore, am asking if this will not just be a white elephant. Let's be very clear. Cope recognises that we need co-ordinated planning in South Africa so that we can have a clear vision of what we want to achieve as a nation. Our question is whether or not Ministries and government entities and agencies will sing from a common hymnbook. It is not with the theory that we are concerned, but the praxis.
For the government, this is indeed the last throw of the dice. The very credibility of the government hangs in the balance. It has to get this right.
When all the fundamentals are altering to such an extent and in such a manner, we have to be fundamentally certain that we have a plan that is credible, clear with a vision, relevant and practical. There are totally new imperatives in the new changed economic and natural landscape, and we must have a brilliant master plan.
The essence of this Green Paper is that we are pushing for what we can term OBG – that is an outcomes-based government. We hope that the obsession in government will not be with recordkeeping to the exclusion of implementation and delivery, because outcomes-based education, OBE, failed in schools, and OBG will fail in government if not properly executed.
I now come to the commissioners. The idea of using experts outside of government is a sterling idea until one considers what happened to Bobby Godsell.
Our concern in Cope as we look ahead is whether or not the national vision will cohere, given the manner in which contestations within the ruling party are currently taking place. Minister, let the challenges that you have in government be as complex as you can handle, but Cope is asking that the structure you are proposing as a solution be made lean and simple.
Cope is in favour of setting clear national goals, but, as with OBE, we do not want this government to become obsessive about administration and monitoring. Our support for the Green Paper is conditional on Parliament retaining its full mandate and power in respect of monitoring government. [Time expired.]
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson and hon members, in processing the Green Paper, we, in the IFP, did not try and look for a snake behind every bush, but participated, being mindful of the fact that since 1994 our country's development has been contradictory and that there has been progress, stagnation and regression.
Whilst we should be proud of what we have collectively achieved over the past 15 years, poverty especially remains as critical as ever with the numbers of the poor increasing every year. Inequality is growing, and the income gap between the rich and the poor is widening. Obscene wealth lives alongside obscene poverty.
In the past 15 years, many promises have been made, many of which have just been empty promises. As the recent service delivery protests highlighted, many South Africans still lack access to basic services, sustainable jobs, quality education and healthcare and security.
Fifteen years since the dawn of democracy, South Africa stands at a crossroads. Ordinary citizens are demanding that the promise of a better life for all be fulfilled.
The IFP's vision of a prosperous society is one in which mass poverty is eradicated and in which our people are able to pursue a better life. The IFP believes that addressing our societal ills is not just a matter of changing policies, but how one deals with them. For too long, policies have remained mere pieces of paper. One thing has been said, and another done.
We, therefore, welcome government's frank admission in the Green Paper on National Strategic Planning that their lack of coherent long-term planning has limited their capacity to mobilise all of society in pursuit of its development objectives.
Furthermore, we welcome the admission that a weakness in the co-ordination of government has led to policy inconsistencies and, in several cases, to poor service delivery outcomes and also that government faces serious challenges in intergovernmental co-ordination.
We would like to reiterate our support for a co-ordinated service delivery plan, which must ensure that policies do not remain mere pieces of paper, but can be implemented on the ground.
The IFP, however, warns against the potential danger of using this National Planning Commission, NPC, to centralise too much power in the hands of government. We see the role of this new NPC merely as a co-ordinator between the three spheres of government in line with the Constitution of our country.
We have a few concerns, and I will just highlight one or two matters. One of them is: what role will Parliament play? In this respect, hon members, the IFP suggests that there should be a standing committee on the NPC to ensure that Parliament has checks and balances against political influence and to ensure that the voices of those we represent are taken into consideration.
We also want to emphasise that, as the National Planning Commission goes about its work and focuses on specific areas of research, such as the eradication of poverty, unemployment or meeting the Millennium Development Goals, MDG, etc, there must be maximum consultation with all stakeholders. All voices must be heard on the issues that this commission will be dealing with. Broad consensus from all sectors of our society is needed if the commission wants to reach its goal of building a truly nonracial, nonsexist, prosperous and democratic society.
The IFP supports the recommendations in the Green Paper and we would like to thank the chairperson and other hon members for the collegiality that exists in the ad hoc committee. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M F TLAKE: Hon House Chairperson, South Africa as a democratic state is founded on the provisions of the Freedom Charter, the national democratic revolution, the Constitution and the ANC manifesto. These provisions uphold the values of human rights, human dignity and human freedoms.
I want to reassure the hon Trollip and the hon Ngonyama that the ANC-led government will indeed improve the lives of the people through this Green Paper and this strategic national plan.
In the situation that we are in now, we find that South Africa is grounded on the national strategic objectives as entrenched in Chapter 2 of the Constitution - the Bill of Rights – to render this country nonracial, nonsexist, united and democratic in order to redress the atrocities of the past.
In the past 15 years significant progress has been made by the ANC-led government through the establishment of a stable economic platform that has enabled investment and the provision of basic quality services to our communities to improve their lives. However, through massive public participation processes, research has shown that, in order for South Africa to realise its strategic objectives and its vision, we need a coherent, co-ordinated, long-term plan that will provide clear and consistent policies, and for there to be sustainable monitoring and evaluation tools which will enhance quality implementation of our co-ordinated programmes that are envisaged to provide quality service delivery to communities.
In order to overcome this challenge, the Presidency, led by the Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Commission, tabled a Green Paper on National Strategic Planning in Parliament on 8 September 2009. The Green Paper calls for a vast public participation process in which different stakeholders will take part.
This led to the ad hoc committee processing 56 written submissions to ensure a democratic, open and consultative process. The ad hoc committee found that most submissions agreed on the need for the establishment of a national planning body, as captured in the report, known as the National Planning Commission, for the development of a strategic, national, coherent, long-term plan for South Africa.
A national, strategic, long-term plan is critical, as it will clearly define the measurable objectives a country such as South Africa has set for itself. It assesses at a micro level where a country is in relation to its strategic objectives, and describes the policies, programme options and trade-offs required to achieve those measurable objectives in terms of the desired outcome for the country.
As the ad hoc committee, we therefore call on Parliament to support the Green Paper on National Strategic Planning as well as the National Planning Commission in order to promote intergovernmental work, interrelatedness, as opposed to working in silos by the different spheres of government, a co-ordinated approach to matters of national interest, sustainable monitoring and evaluation tools for quality service delivery to our communities. As we all know, working together we can do more. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L W GREYLING: Hon Chair, unlike the DA, the ID certainly supports the formation of the National Planning Commission. It was our sincere hope that this Planning Commission would be able to build consensus in our country around a national vision and the kind of plans that are needed to achieve it.
This is supposed to represent a new era in governance, one in which different views are engaged with in a constructive manner so as to produce outcomes that all of us can buy into. Unfortunately, though, even before we had processed the Green Paper, differences within the Cabinet emerged and this issue become a divisive rather than a unifying one.
The ID, therefore, urges the President to pronounce on the parameters of each of the new Ministries, which is something I tried to get the Minister to do to no avail.
It is hoped that the White Paper process will also clarify issues such as a greater role for Parliament in the planning process and an oversight mechanism that covers the appointment of commissioners.
The ID, however, supports the adoption of this report. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chair, as economist James Galbraith stated:
Planning, properly conceived, deals with the use of today's resources to meet tomorrow's needs. It specifically tackles issues markets cannot solve.
In a properly designed system, planning and markets do not contradict one another.
There can be no doubt that challenges such as climate change, energy supply, food and water security, and structural inequalities such as systemic poverty, require longer-term planning. It will, of course, be necessary to involve independent experts and strategic thinkers in determining these long-term planning priorities and to draw up a national strategic plan.
For the ACDP, the fact that planning internationally has been used by dictators to impose a specific agenda only highlights the absolute necessity for Parliament to play a far greater role in oversight over the National Planning Commission, and a standing committee should be established for this purpose. Any tendency to centralise or abuse power would then be held in check.
The ACDP agrees that this process can only benefit by developing a White Paper first. We will support the report on this basis. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs L S MAKHUBELA-MASHELE: Chairperson and hon colleagues, I greet you all.
A review of the past 15 years and an analysis of the challenges for the next decade clearly indicate that unemployment, inequality, HIV/Aids and poverty stand out as the foremost challenges of our time. We cannot talk of a better future without decisively tackling these types of challenges.
Secondly, transforming a state and building its capacity to act as a co-ordinated, cohesive and effective instrument of change is another important challenge.
The mobilisation of all sectors of society, including their resources, behind a shared vision is required. Such a vision should be a concrete expression of how the National Planning Commission intends to mobilise the different sectors of our society around a shared vision.
In order to effectively tackle these challenges, there is a need for both a transformed and a developmental state that works effectively with the different sectors of our society behind a clearly articulated shared vision. There is a need to establish a unifying agency for the overarching shared vision around which the state, civil society, communities and the private sector will work together to build a better future for all of us. This overarching shared vision will go some way towards answering the economic, social and political questions around the kind of society that we are seeking to build.
Some countries, such as Brazil, India, Malaysia and Tunisia, have already adopted a firm and unshakeable position to establish and implement long-term strategic planning in order to set a coherent vision backed by clear and measurable objectives.
The aim of the long-term planning was not to sacrifice the medium- and short-term needs of societies, but to ensure that there was a long-term horizon, of about 10 to 30 years, which caters for both medium- and short-term planning.
From international best practices it becomes clear that, for this long-term planning to succeed and ensure sustained growth and development, is largely dependent on the mobilisation of the public service and all other members of society at large.
Parliament is a constitutionally mandated forum for public participation on matters of national interest. The Green Paper, as a consultative and a discussion paper, was considered in a manner that accommodated public interest and allowed for national consultation. Parliament has also provided the platform for matters of national interests to be debated and considered. It has played its role as a representative of the people.
During the public participation process it became clear that there was general consensus on the need for the establishment of this unifying planning body, which will co-ordinate and advance the policy direction and priorities of government in the long term.
There is, therefore, an urgent need to act swiftly and expedite our actions so that, as a country, we are able to address the challenges of economic growth with equitably shared benefits; decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods; accessible quality education and skills development; reduction of poverty and inequality; rural development; improved health care for all; community safety; and social cohesion in a united nation, in a way that is structured from the short to the long term. Thank you.
Mr M GUNGUBELE: House Chairperson, hon members of this House, what is crucial is that we are in the process of nation-building. As proposed in the Green Paper, there are implications in accepting walking on that path.
In the Green Paper it is proposed that since we are a nation, we need to agree on a national vision. We need to have a short-, medium- and long-term national plan. The major implication for that kind of a situation is that there is a need for a planning mechanism; a planning system according to J K Galbraith, as quoted in the document.
In this situation a national buy-in is critical. What are the determinants of a national buy-in? The importance of those determinants is informed by a system that is aware of the fact that, for any nation to succeed, it needs a policy that releases the capacity of its own people. What are the determinants to release that capacity? It is a short-, medium- and long-term predictability, especially in a globalised village, involving an open economy like ours, with limited substitutes against foreign imports.
Another determinant is a minimum certainty that society must begin to plan its life in the long term, based on the assertion and existence of that certainty. Other determinants are consistency, which is a hallmark of integrity; coherence, which provides for dependability in the environment within which one operates; and continuity, because there are instances where the success of the project of various stakeholders lies in long-term continuity. Thus, a national planning mechanism must seek to host and affect the above elements.
It seems, in principle, that there is an agreement on all the issues I have just articulated. However, there are challenges that lie in the fear of centrality - at times an attempt to cast aspersions on the role of the state as stated in the Constitution. For instance, I have tried to find the basis of this fear, but I could not find it. Is it sometimes ignorance or negation of our Constitution, or is it ideology for ideology's sake? By the way, there is a difference between adhering to an ideology for change and being a fanatic for an ideology for ideology's sake.
If you read the Constitution, I would not have accused you as a fanatic of your ideology. If you read the following words - in the very same section - that say:
All spheres should and must secure the wellbeing of the people and they must preserve the peace, national unity and the indivisibility of the Republic.
I think if you are not that fanatic, this part is very important. The very same section you read deals with the people of the Republic, not the people of the Western Cape or Eastern Cape. Also, the very same section you have read speaks about areas of common interest throughout the country, as well as the need for effective co-operation.
What does the Green Paper say? There is a distinction between planning and policy-making. Planning, as articulated in the Green Paper, details an account of how to implement policy, thus translating policy into short-, medium- and long-term objectives. It ensures prioritising objectives and sequencing implementation.
Of course, the Green Paper does accept that this distinction is less clear. But it will be argued that the very act of developing a vision and setting long-term objectives, as articulated in the Green Paper, is part of the essence of policy-making. Implementing a strategic plan could be a tool to expose policy gaps.
In other words, a debate on who should plan or implement policy amongst a collective could unintentionally create a cumbersome relationship or interaction. It could border on superfluity. The simple dictionary view of policy states that it is a mere course of action, thus you can plan to develop or devise policy to implement a plan.
How does the Green Paper attempt to address this predicament? It argues that governance consists of a continuum of related activities which feed into one another. These activities are as follows: policy development; strategic and operational planning; resolution; resource allocation; implementation; and performance, monitoring and evaluation. Page 13 of the document states that, "all departments and spheres of government undertake elements of each of these activities".
What determines the depth of these undertakings are the functions and responsibilities as defined by the Constitution. And I repeat, hon Trollip, "as defined by the Constitution". Therefore, I would have been comfortable if you had done a critique of the inadequacy of our Constitution to deal with this phenomenon before speaking about the checks and balances ... [Interjections.]
In other words, one of the key things that we must actually take care of is that, in a country that comes from a divided history, positive leadership exploits every initiative as a means of interaction to continue, through trial and error, to find one another. You don't object to a policy upfront or before it is implemented and declare it a sin.
In that context, we have no hesitation, as the ANC, in agreeing with the IFP on the fact that there is a need to begin to look at the extent to which Parliament corresponds with the new initiatives in the executive. This will ensure that we move together for mutual accountability, using a language that ensures we understand one another. In that context ...
... sithi uMzantsi Afrika mawucathule kuhle kunye. Ungaphazanyiswa nto, ube yimbumba yamanyama ngoba ngaphandle koko uyakungenelelwa zintshaba. Bakufika oogqoloma inkungu isemnyama. Khululeka Mzantsi Afrika, ziphathe uzakhe ngokutsha. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[...we say that South Africa must tread carefully as one. It must not be derailed by anything and it must be a united front, otherwise it will be easy for enemies to penetrate our borders. Enemies will catch us unawares. South Africa be free, administer and rebuild yourself. [Applause.]]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, one of the finest decisions the President could have taken was to appoint the National Planning Commission. When India established its planning commission it was going through a very bad period.
The success of the National Planning Commission is dependent on the appointment of the people who are going to serve on it. We should not be too race-conscious. The country must get the best economic planning brains onto the National Planning Commission. If it is going to be political favours that determine appointment, this wonderful structure will fail. In my previous speech I referred to Prof Allahwala, a genius who performed an economic miracle.
Of course, it is very important that the function of this commission and what flows from it when accepted by the Cabinet and government must result in implementation.
If we are all united in working together to ensure that there is delivery and a reduction in unemployment and poverty, then we can say, 10 to 15 years later, that the National Planning Commission was worthwhile.
The MF supports the National Planning Commission.
Nkul X MABASA: Manana Mutshamaxitulu, hina va ANC hi vona Mpfapfarhuto wo Sungula lowu vitaniwaka Pulani ya Rixaka wu ri wona wu nga ta endla leswaku hi humelela ku ya emahlweni.
Afrika Dzonga ri le ku tsutsumeni hi rivilo lerikulu, rivilo ro fana na ra xitimela xa gezi. Ri kongomile ku antswisa vutomi bya vanhu va Afrika Dzonga. ANC yi vula leswaku yi fanele yi engetela rivilo leri Afrika Dzonga ri tsutsumaka hi rona ku lunghisa leswi swi faneleke ku lunghisiwa. A ku nga ha vi rivilo ra xitimela, ri ya va rivilo ra xihahampfhuka. Hi ndlela leyi, Pulani ya Rixaka yi engetela mafurha ya rivilo ra ku tsutsuma ka ANC hi ku lunghisa swilo leswi.
Yi lunghisa ku pfumaleka ka mitirho, swa rihanyu, swa dyondzo, nhluvukiso wa swa le makaya, ku lwisana na vugevenga na makwanga. Freedom Charter yi vurile leswaku, "Vanhu va ta fuma; ku ta va na rihanyu leri fikeleleka vanhu hinkwavo, hambi u ri xisiwana kumbe xifumi." Dr Aaron Motsoaledi u vurile leswaku hi ya eku akeni Ndzindzakhombo wa Rihanyu wa Rixaka lowu nga ta tiyisisa leswaku na munhu loyi a pfumalaka na tiki a kota ku nghena exibedhlele a tshunguriwa tanihi mhunhu wa nkoka. [Mavoko.]
Hikwalaho ndzi vulaka leswaku ku ta va na rihanyu ra vanhu hinkwavo. Swibedhlele, titliliniki, na tin'anga ta xintima va ta khomisana na Holobye wa Rihanyu ku tiyisisa leswaku hambi byi ri vuvabyi bya HIV/Aids ha byi hlula.
Loko ANC yi rhangele emahlweni a hi hluli hi nchumu. Yi endlile mihlolo hi ku rahela xihlawuhlawu etlhelo. Na yona HIV/Aids hi yi kombetela hi rintiho hi ku, "Siku rin'wana hi ta ku hlula."
Eka dyondzo, loko ANC yi vulavula hi dyondzo a yi swi vuli ntsena, yi vula hi ku tiva leswaku matiko hinkwawo ya misava lawa ya humelelaka hi swa ikhonomi na nhluvukiso wa vanhu ya endla sweswo hikwalaho ka ku veka dyondzo emahlweni. Tinhlayo, Thekinoloji na Sayense, Xitsonga na Xinghezi leswi Dr Vewoerd a nga hi tsona swona, hi swin'wana swa tidyondzo leti ti faneleke ku dyondziwa swinene hi vuenti.
Vana va kona naswona va dyondza. Vana va hina va fanele va etlela dyondzo, va lorha dyondzo no dya dyondzo. Vantshwa va fanele ku lemuka leswaku hi 1976 va hlurile ndzingo wa byalwa va wisa na mavhengele ya byalwa. Namuntlha ndza hlamala leswaku swi endla hi yini leswaku byalwa lebyo bava byo fana na ti 'gin' na burandi, hi ku va byi cheriwile swichukelana, vana va hina va nghena eka byona va pela. Leswi ndzi swi vula hi ku kombisa leswaku dyondzo i xilo lexikulu xo pfuna tiko.
Etindhawini ta le makaya hi tlhelo ra swa nhluvukiso wa le makaya na swa misava xikan'we na swa vurimi, Freedom Charter yi ri, "Tiko na misava swi ta nyikiwa na ku phemeriwa vanhu lava va yi tirhika." ANC yi ta hatlisisa ku averiwa ka misava. Vanhu va ta pfuniwa hi ku rimeriwa, ku nyikiwa titeretere, na ku nyikiwa mbewu leswaku va byala swibyariwa leswi faneleke.
Ha swi tiva leswaku vanhu va hina va vekiwile eka tindhawu leti kayivelaka mpfula. Mi nga ehleketi leswaku ANC a yi swi voni sweswo. Ha swi vona leswaku laha hi nga lahleriwa kona hina vanhu va ntima hi 1913, hi laha mpfula yi nga neki. Eka swona hi ri eka lava nga khoma tiko na misava va nga vi na makolo na makwanga. Tiko i ra hinkwavo lava tshamaka eka rona. Misava yaleyo a hi avelaneni yona, hi avelana tanihiloko hi ku vana va munhu va xekelana nhloko ya njiya.
Loko mi nga endli sweswo swi ta endla leswaku vanhu van'wana va ntima va ta twa ku vava no helela hi timbilu. Holobye wa Nhluvukiso wa le Makaya na Mpfuxeto wa Misava u ri, "Titeretere, mapuluhu na swikomu hi ta swi nyika vanhu loko va rima va hlanganile, ngopfungopfu loko va vumba mihlangano leswaku va ta kota ku vuyeriwa hi ku tirhisana swin'we".
Sweswi hi vulavula hi mitirho ... [Nkarhi wu herile.] (Translation of Xitsonga speech follows.)
[Mr X MABASA: Madam Chairperson, we, as the ANC, see the Green Paper which is referred to as the national strategy as the one that will ensure progress.
South Africa is moving at a very high speed like the speed of an electric train. It is heading for the betterment of the lives of the people of South Africa. The ANC says that it is supposed to accelerate the speed at which South Africa moves to fix what is supposed to be fixed. It will no longer be the speed of a train, but it is going to be the speed of an aeroplane. In this way, the National Planning Commission will accelerate the speed of the ANC in regard to fixing things.
It addresses issues ranging from a lack of jobs to issues of health, education and rural development as well as fighting crime and selfishness. The Freedom Charter says, "The people shall govern; there shall be accessible health for all, whether poor or rich". Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said that we are going to set up a National Health Insurance that will ensure that every person who does not even have a half cent can enter a hospital and be treated as a person with dignity. [Applause.]
That is the reason I am saying there will be better health for all. Hospitals, clinics, and traditional doctors will work together with the Minister of Health to ensure that we defeat even HIV/Aids diseases.
When the ANC is leading, nothing shall fail us. It has done wonders by pushing apartheid aside. We are also pointing a finger at HIV/Aids and saying, "One day we will defeat you."
With regard to education, when the ANC talks about education, it is not just talking; instead it is saying that on the basis that every country in the whole world which is making progress economically and in the development of people does so because of making education a priority. Mathematics, Technology and Science, Xitsonga and English, of which Verwoerd deprived us, are some of the subjects that have to be studied in great depth.
There are children and they are learning. Our children should sleep education, dream education and eat education. The youth should be made aware that in 1976 they defeated the temptation of alcohol and destroyed bottle stores. Today I am surprised as to what makes alcohol beverages such as gin and brandy much sought after by our children, and it is because they have added a little sugar. I am saying this to indicate that education is key to helping the nation.
When it comes to the development of the rural areas, land and agriculture, the Freedom Charter says, "The land shall be given to and shared among those who work it." The ANC will speed up the process of land restitution. The people will need assistance with the cultivation of the land, and should be provided with tractors and seeds so that they plants the right crops.
We know that our people have been placed in areas which have a shortage of rain. You must not think that the ANC does not see that. We know that where we were thrown as black people in 1913, is where it does not rain. Concerning this we say to those who have land that they must not be greedy and selfish. The land is for those who live on it. We must share the land; we must share the little we have as brothers.
If you do not do that, it will make some of the black people feel hurt and they will become impatient. The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform says, "Tractors, ploughs and hoes will be given to those who plough communally, particularly those who form organisations so that they benefit by working together".
Now we are talking about jobs ... [Time expired.]]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: House Chairperson, hon members, let me start by expressing appreciation to those who participated in the work of the ad hoc committee. We understand that it was akin to working in a "pressure-cooker", but we are very appreciative of the quality of the report prepared.
And, of course, we were there to witness the detail of the debate as it proceeded. In saying that, we clearly want to express our appreciation to the hon Mufamadi who chaired the committee, amongst other responsibilities he had in the context of Parliament. We also want to express our appreciation to all the parties that supported this.
Now it does appear that between all of that which happened in the committee and the report here, something happened. Something happened. I'm trying to understand, hon Trollip. "Ndisoyikiswa nguGodongwana." [I'm threatened by Godongwana.] Why have you created this straw man? That is what we have to deal with.
That brings us to the scope of this discussion: Why the straw man? What is the origin? You see, yesterday I sat in my seat and I listened to the hon Trollip. He was exceedingly erudite on the successes of the Constitutional Court in terms of its history and certainly under the tenure of former Chief Justice Pius Langa.
What he was articulating yesterday is that South Africa's Constitution and the rights of people are protected by the strength of the Constitutional Court. Today, he says "abandon hope". We don't have a Constitution. We don't have a Constitutional Court. We are as unprotected as the United States was in 1835 when De Tocqueville wrote that piece – in trying to understand what had happened between the French Revolution and the time that he wrote that piece.
If you treat history in that way, sir, you will be trying to create what the hon Narend Singh said - pretending that there is a snake that isn't actually there. [Applause.] That is part of the difficulty about the way in which the DA has constructed the debate to argue against the importance of planning.
Firstly, we must go back to the Constitution. The Green Paper starts with the Constitution. It starts with the preamble to the Constitution. Part of what the preamble to the Constitution entreats us to do is to deal with the ravages of the past. It requires of us to build a South Africa that is different from that which apartheid created. It asks of us, it compels us, the preamble creates a mandatory circumstance that requires of us to deal with the inequality and poverty that arose from apartheid.
The question that we therefore have to answer in the context of planning is: How do you discharge that? That is the mandate. That mandate is in the preamble. Chapter 3 talks about co-operative governance and asks of us to recognise the distinctiveness, the interdependence and the interrelatedness of the spheres of government. That is a check and balance. But it doesn't in any way detract from the mandate given to those of us who make laws in this House, to advance a South Africa that is premised on the recognition of the wrongs of the past.
So, as we deal with those issues, I think we then need to look at how government needs to operate. Apart from the Constitutional Court, there's Parliament. One of the things I've said - I said it in the committee and I'll say it again – is that the way in which we can get planning to work is to take out narrow sectional interests. The way in which the National Planning Commission is constructed is a web of narrow sectional interests. Also, it is necessary to plan beyond the term of a single government.
By planning beyond the term of a single government, we are saying to opposition parties, "for heaven's sake, have some ambition". Have some ambition. You are not going to remain in opposition unless you think yourselves in opposition for life, and then we must wait until Jesus comes. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
But if you are going to change these issues, then it is important that you understand that the planning deals with the shadow of history. Now, you see, there is this wonderful quote from Galbraith. He says, "In the discourse inherited from the age of Reagan, syphilis, leprosy and planning more or less rank together: they are all no longer frightening, slightly ridiculous, curable afflictions from another time."
What Joseph Schumpeter thought drearily inevitable, what Friedrich von Hayek denounces as the greatest threat to freedom, a later generation has reduced to a sound bite. He says then that, after all, "the Soviet economy was planned" and it has collapsed. "Does anything more need to be said?" Instinctively, the epithet "central" is affixed to the word "planning" in order to discredit it.
No economic topic except price control is more easily pushed off the table. No declaration comes more easily than one that favours the market and opposes planning – that needs to change.
If there is anybody in this House who believes that right now the market will resolve the problems of inequality, of the absence of jobs, of the absence of adequate health care, of the absence of access to adequate public services, raise your hand because you are in the wrong place. But if you understand that you are here because you have taken an oath that ensures that we treasure the Constitution, then to suggest that the market will resolve these problems places you outside of the oath that you took right here before this podium. That is the issue we have to take forward. It's nothing else; it is that.
The issue is about understanding that we have to then deal with the shadow of history, and, in dealing with the shadow of history, we must understand that the state has to be an activist one. It has to be developmental. It has to do that especially right now in the world. In fact, the two walls are very important. On 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall collapsed; on 15 October 2008 there was the almost collapse of Wall Street – the two walls.
But the collapse of Wall Street put to bed the notion of market fundamentalism. It brings us back to what the Constitution requires of us, and that is the discussion that we need in the context of planning.
This then brings us to the issue of the developmental state. This is what Buck Gee suggests. Let us see what the developmental state means in the era of the global spread of capitalism. It is a state that puts economic development as a top priority of government policy and is able to design effective instruments to promote such a goal.
The instruments would include the forging of new formal institutions – the National Planning Commission – the weaving of formal and informal networks of collaboration among the citizens and the officials, and the utilisation of new opportunities for trade and profitable production. Whether the state governs the market or exploits new opportunities thrown up by the market depends on particular historic conjunctures.
That is what we have to take account of. Our mandate is to improve the quality of life of all South Africans with a focus on the poorest. Our mandate is to deal with the shadow of history that has denied access to so many people in our country. Our mandate, therefore, must understand that poverty is passed on from one generation to the next. And, if we want to deal with it, then we have to do a lot better than what we have done in the past 15 years.
I commend the Green Paper to this House, and ask for your support. We will deal with the issues in the manner we committed ourselves to in the ad hoc committee: that we would take up all of the issues. We have the report. There are many formulations that are rather awkward in the document. We will deal with those issues. But we ask that this House supports us as we proceed. The object is to be measured in the lives of the poorest South Africans. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the Report be noted.
Motioned agreed to.
Report accordingly noted.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA CONCERNING MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS AND SURRENDER OF FUGITIVE OFFENDERS
Mr M GUNGUBELE: Madam Deputy Speaker, we are here to table a report that deals with the following regarding the report by the Magistrates' commission to our committee. But there are proposals and recommendations that have been made to us. Firstly, there was a proposal to suspend a particular magistrate called Ndamase ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, are we on the same order? The chairperson of that particular portfolio committee is not here. [Interjections.] I can see you are tired, hon members. [Interjections.] You can't say no before you know what I am going to say.
There was no debate.
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China concerning Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters approved.
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China concerning Surrender of Fugitive Offenders approved.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF ACCESSION TO THE REVISED COTONOU PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT: AGREEMENT AMENDING THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE MEMBERS OF THE AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND PACIFIC GROUP OF STATES, OF THE ONE PART, AND THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND ITS MEMBER STATES, OF THE OTHER PART
Mr T W NXESI: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, this is a report on the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The African-Caribbean-Pacific Group and European Community, ACP-EC, Partnership Agreement is a covenant between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its member states of the European Union, of the other part. It was signed in Cotonou, Benin, on 23 June 2000.
The Cotonou Agreement encompasses various aspects, including trade, development and political co-operation. The underlying objective of this partnership is embodied in Article 1 of the agreement, which provides that it is meant to eradicate poverty and create an environment for sustainable development to take place and eventually facilitate the integration of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries into the world economy.
The origin of the ACP group of states dates back to the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community in 1957. The ACP countries formalised their relationship with the European Community in 1975, when parties engaged in the preferential trade arrangement as part of the Lomé Convention. The external parties only enjoyed preferential trade as part of the general system of the preferences. Due to the fact that external parties could not enjoy the same benefits as the ACP countries, this arrangement put the Lomé trade regime at odds with the rules of the World Trade Organisation. Hence, it had to be amended.
The 2005 revision of the agreement focuses on strengthening the political dimension, by placing emphasis on the effective dialogue end results. In addition, it also introduces new dimensions to the co-operative arrangements, so as to include the new issues, such as co-operation in countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, co-operation in the fight against terrorism as well as against mercenary activities.
The revised agreement marks an important break with the past. It was designed to promote economic, social and cultural development of the ACP states, contribute to peace and security, and promote a stable and democratic political environment.
South Africa participates in three joint political organs of the ACP-EU, namely the Council of Ministers, the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and the Committee of Ambassadors. The ACP-EU also provides South Africa with the opportunity to promote its policy objectives of strengthening South-South co-operation, advancing the consolidation of the African agenda, and advancing economic regional integration.
South Africa has to accede to the agreement, as the stipulated time for the ratification of the agreement lapsed in June 2005. The Portfolio Committee on International Relations has engaged intensively with this subject and adopted it unanimously. The committee moves that the House adopts the report in order for this agreement to satisfy the constitutional arrangement. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Accession to the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement: Agreement Amending the Partnership Agreement between the Members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part approved.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will now take Orders ten to fourteen together. These are reports of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development concerning magistrates.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: We object to taking four together. We want them to be taken separately.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Uthini mhlonipheki? [What are you saying, hon member?]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I help you out? I suspect that what we too would like, when it comes to voting, is for voting to be taken separately. If the chairman wants to speak on all four as a whole, that's one thing, but when it comes to voting, we would like it to be done separately.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is acceptable, but as long as the speaker is going to speak about all four of them. Is that what you meant?
PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION OF A MAGISTRATE: MRS N E NDAMASE, AN ADDITIONAL MAGISTRATE AT PRETORIA
PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION OF A MAGISTRATE: MR C M DUMANI A MAGISTRATE AT GRAAFF REINET
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE T C OLIPHANT
UPLIFTMENT OF PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE A BACHARAM
(Consideration of request for approval by Parliament)
Mr M GUNGUBELE: Madam Deputy Speaker, I just quickly want to take the House through the background of the reports.
In the general disciplinary process of magistrates, the Portfolio Committee - thus Parliament - constitutes one of the stages in the process. It is on that stage of the process that I am reporting here today.
We had to deal with the disciplinary cases of four magistrates.
The first case concerned Mrs N E Ndamase. The committee deliberated on this matter and reached a decision that the suspension should not be confirmed due to the fact that the committee felt that there were a lot of unsatisfactory elements presented by the commission.
The next case concerned Mr C M Dumani, in whose case we proposed that the provisional suspension be confirmed.
The third case concerned Ms T C Oliphant, in whose case we proposed that the removal from office not be confirmed.
The last case concerned the upliftment of the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate A Bacharam. We proposed that it be confirmed. Thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Question put: That the recommendation of the committee be adopted, namely that the provisional suspension of additional magistrate N E Ndamase not be confirmed.
Agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People abstaining, and Inkatha Freedom Party dissenting).
Provisional suspension of Magistrate N E Ndamase accordingly not confirmed.
Question put: That the recommendation of the committee be adopted, namely that the provisional suspension of Magistrate C M Dumani be confirmed.
Provisional suspension of Magistrate C M Dumani accordingly confirmed.
Question put: That the recommendation of the committee be adopted, namely that the removal from office of Magistrate T C Oliphant not be confirmed.
Agreed to (Inkatha Freedom Party dissenting).
Removal from office of Magistrate T C Oliphant accordingly not confirmed.
Question put: That the recommendation of the committee be adopted, namely that the upliftment of the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate A Bacharam be confirmed.
Upliftment of provisional suspension from office of Magistrate A Bacharam accordingly confirmed.
Mr N SINGH: Deputy Speaker, in the case of Magistrate A Bacharam, we do not have an objection to the committee's recommendation, but we would like to point out that, in the ATCs (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 11 November 2009, page 1609) in item 6 of the report, it is said that Ms Bacharam was acquitted by the Regional Magistrate's Court in Port Elizabeth. It was, in fact, Port Shepstone. I trust that that will be corrected.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO THE EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE TO OVERSEE THE STATE OF THE PROVINCE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENT DELIVERY ACCELERATION
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to assure this House that there has been no coup. I am not the Chief Whip; I am the Deputy Chief Whip.
We have come to the end of the third and final term of 2009. It has been an extremely busy term, and we have been called upon to perform our public representative duties to the best of our abilities.
Our disagreements over the correct and strategic way forward are natural. In fact, they enrich our young democracy and give it the sharp perspective that it needs if we are to respond to the many, and often contradictory, challenges facing us.
Upon reflection, we have been able to raise the level of debate in this House, but the challenge must be to keep raising this level through the articulation of our policy perspectives, conceptual analysis, wisdom and knowledge.
We have all been through challenging times this term against the backdrop of huge global and local economic challenges. We have debated these matters publicly and I am sure the nation has witnessed our seriousness in seeking to make Parliament part of the solution in the fight against job losses, hunger and poverty. We have spoken to the programmes of action that need to be implemented and how Parliament can play a role in this.
We are the makers of history when it comes to this House. Therefore we carry a huge responsibility and the onus to ensure that we do what our people have called upon us to do.
We would like to thank all members of the House for their dedication and hard work. We would like to take this opportunity to also thank the members of the opposition for their support, especially members of the Chief Whips' Forum. They have really assisted us in the smooth running of this House.
We would like to thank the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker for their exemplary leadership. Sometimes it is not a good idea to deal with the Speaker if your case is not well prepared. We really would like to thank him for his firmness.
We would also like to thank the Secretary to Parliament, the Table staff, and the staff of political parties for their hard work and dedication.
We hope next term will be better than this term. We commit ourselves to continuously improving the services to our people.
It is my privilege to recognise the contribution of all South Africans who have made it possible for this House to function the way it does. We wish to thank our families and friends for their support.
Finally, I wish all members well and urge them to enjoy themselves, so that their constituencies are well-served by their rejuvenated efforts. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, we are entering a season of peace and goodwill, and so this is the occasion for kind words, for thanks and for holiday good wishes. But, before I get to the good wishes, perhaps you would, on this last day, indulge me a little mischief.
Last year, in my farewell speech, I told a Christmas allegory. You will recall that Parliament was going into recess with elections in the offing. I said that the Christmas season is about giving and receiving - giving and receiving presents. As I looked around the Chamber it reminded me of a family around a Christmas tree on Christmas morning - eagerly awaiting their presents, full of anticipation and excitement. I warned, however, that not everyone's anticipation would be met - some would be disappointed and there could even be tears. We know that Christmas has come and gone, as have the elections, and some of my prognostications were, unfortunately, correct.
I decided to write to Father Christmas and ask him why, for instance, the ANC had not received as many presents as it had anticipated. "Well", he said, "there was too much infighting and they really hadn't performed." [Laughter.]
He had been really pleased with the DA, hence the extra presents - he was even going to make its leader sit on top of a Christmas tree as a little angel!
He said he had rewarded Cope generously, but that there was still too much sibling rivalry. He did promise, however, that if they co-operated with the DA, they would in future receive an abundance of presents. [Laughter.]
The IFP, he said, received fewer presents, but that was because they did not do their homework.
As for the Freedom Front Plus ... well ... yes, they did not receive more presents simply because they still believed there could be a white Christmas in Africa. [Laughter.]
I did say to Father Christmas that I was disappointed that he had sent some early presents this year - BMWs and Mercedes Benzes. One Minister was even able to choose the colour of his Mercedes Benz. One went to a Minister, a committed communist, who, I doubt, even celebrates Christmas.
I asked why the poor Minister of Finance only got a suped-up Volkswagen. "Well", said Father Christmas, quoting the Bible, "the poor shall inherit the earth", and with a budget deficit that size, I think the Minister of Finance is waiting for that inheritance to come very quickly!
Well, perhaps once again, this allegory is a bit too complicated for the end of this session, so I will leave it there.
So let me just move on and thank, first of all, the House for its full co-operation; the Chief Whips and the Chief Whips' Forum for working so well together; and the Speaker, for being who he is, and for presiding over this House with his customary elegance.
Allow me also to thank the Whippery of my own party, more specifically, my Deputy Chief Whip, Mike Ellis, and all other Whips who help me and make the functioning of my office efficient; likewise my staff, my personal assistant and my various assistants. Indeed, I would like to thank all the Whips of all the parties who co-operate so well in the interest of Parliament.
Allow me also to thank all the presiding officers and all the staff of Parliament from the most senior to the most junior for doing their best to treat us with courtesy and consideration and for giving their best.
Finally, may I take the opportunity to wish the Speaker, the presiding officers and all hon members and staff a happy, blessed Christmas and a very good new year.
Rev H M DANDALA: Deputy Speaker and hon members, even though the year may have felt long, it is appropriate that, at this point, we appreciate and acknowledge the hard work of many.
Election years are difficult at the best of times, especially with the economic meltdown and all the other challenges that faced us during this year. We have to appreciate the efforts of this House to co-operate and work well together during this period.
I am inclined to believe that, while the summer recess will be most welcome, we are likely to miss one another. Personally, I must say that I loved the spirit of camaraderie that marked relationships in this House.
Some senior members of the ruling party benches warned me quite early on that Cope would have to brace itself for a rough ride in the House. They also said that, beyond the heckles in the House, we would still be wayfarers together in the spirit of the privilege afforded to us collectively by the people of South Africa to represent their best hopes, even when disagreements were sharp and robust. So, I have chuckled merrily under my breath at the parliamentary "hallelujahs" and "amen, mfundisi". [Laughter.]
As I attend Christmas services during this break, I will look forward to the real hallelujahs that will be sung harmoniously and in tune. I trust that the hon members on the other side, who consistently sang hallelujahs, even if out of tune, will also take the time to go and retune their hallelujahs in the true places of worship.
Cope joins the other parties in saluting the Speaker for the even-handedness that sustained the dignity of the House and the focus of the exchanges among its members. Except for the times hon Khompela did so, I can recall only one other time a member mistakenly called the Speaker "Madam Speaker"! [Laughter.] We salute you, Speaker, and wish you a restful summer and Christmas.
Cope wishes our President, the Deputy President, and hon members of the House a happy and restful recess, a blessed Christmas, and, till we meet again, may we be preserved into the new year in 2010.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mhlekazi uTrollip, umnumzana uyakwazi kanene ukuthetha ethwele umnqwazi endlini? Nam andikholwa. [Mr Trollip, can a man speak in this House wearing a hat? I don't think so.]
Monghadi J H VAN DER MERWE: Bomme le bontate kajeno ke batla ho bua Sesotho. Kgotsong! Le tsohile? Le nna ke tsohile hantle. Ha ke tsebe ho bua Sesotho hantle empa ke a leka. Ho bohlokwa hore bohle re leke ho bua dipuo tsa Maafrika. Puo ya ka, Afrikaans, le yona ke puo ya Afrika. E ile ya tswalwa hona mona naheng ya rona e ntle.
Bomme le bontate kajeno ke letsatsi la bohlokwa. Ke letsatsi la hore re a leboha ho bohle ba ileng ba etsa hore Palamente ya rona e atlehe. Re leboha haholo ho lona bohle. Hape kajeno ke letsatsi la hore tsamayang hantle. Le kganne ka hloko ha le ya hae hle, le itlhokomele, le phomole hantle.
Kaofela ha rona re kgutle re na le matla a ho ema mmoho re rarolle mathata a naha ya rona. Jwale, rona re le IFP re le lakaletsa Keresemese e nang le thabo le selemo se setjha se nang le katleho. [Mahofi.] Eka Modimo a ka ba le lona, tsamayang hantle ho fihlela re bonana ka 2010. Ke a leboha, kgotsong! [Mahofi.] (Translation of Sesotho speech follows.)
[Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Ladies and gentlemen, today I would like to speak in Sesotho. Hello! How are you? I am also well. I can't speak Sesotho properly but I will try. It is important that we all try to speak African languages. My language, Afrikaans, is also an African language. It was born in this very country of ours.
Ladies and gentlemen, today is a very important day. It is a day that we thank all those who made our Parliament a success. We thank you all very much. Today is also a day to bid each other farewell. Drive safely on your way home, look after yourselves and get a good rest.
All of us should come back strong enough to be able to tackle our country's problems. Therefore we, as the IFP, wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year that is full of success. [Applause.] We hope that the Lord will be with you. Go well until we meet again in 2010. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mr S Z NTAPANE: Deputy Speaker and hon members, since this Parliament was sworn in, time has flown by. Despite a truncated year, we have managed to attend to the most urgent business before the House. During this short time, we have welcomed numerous new members to the House, including myself. We have seen the inauguration of a new President and several new Ministers. We have bid farewell to the Chief Justice and welcomed a new incumbent. Unfortunately, membership of this institution doesn't make us immune to the demands of old age or the whims of misfortune, and so we have also lost colleagues to mortality.
At a time such as this, it is prudent to thank one another, because, even in our differences, we are participants in the science of democracy. Whilst we are expressing gratitude, we need to thank the parliamentary and party officials who work behind the scenes to ensure that this institution functions as it should.
At this time of year, we are in the midst of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, which we should all promote, as we return to our constituencies. The school holidays and the festive season are nearly upon us. We hope that every member and all staff will spend this time relaxing with friends and family, in order to recuperate for the year that lies ahead. It is also a time when we need to be vigilant about travelling on the roads of our country. Every year the festive season is marred by the deaths of thousands, due to road accidents.
In conclusion, to our Christian colleagues and supporters, we wish a blessed Christmas. May your faith be renewed in celebration of the birth of Christ. To all our non-Christian colleagues and supporters, we wish the gift of peace, and to our Speaker, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr C P MULDER: Deputy Speaker and Speaker, we have come to the end of a rather tumultuous year, a year in which we had an election and, if I am not mistaken, of the 400 members in this House, 198 joined us for the first time in April this year. Basically, we have constituted a completely new Parliament for the first time after the election.
We have come to the end of this specific year, a year in which we experienced very interesting things. It is also appropriate, at this stage, to say thank you to all the relevant institutions and divisions of Parliament, be it the catering staff or the financial sector. To all the different divisions, the security people, from the FF Plus' point of view, thank you very much for everything you have done. We appreciate that, and we look forward to a very positive year when we return next year.
To all our colleagues in the different parties, thank you for your co-operation and for your friendship. We are all South Africans in the end, serving the people of our country, albeit from different communities. It makes no difference. We are all South Africans; we are trying to find a solution and a better future for our children.
Deputy Speaker, I would like to conclude with two specific issues, one positive and one not so positive – I would rather say, perhaps even negative, and I want to put them on the table. The first one, the positive thing, that I would like to conclude with is I think that for the last couple of years, the role of Parliament, in the way that I experienced it, was diminished in certain respects, but it has changed.
I want to thank the government in the sense that we are bringing back the relevance of Parliament. The fact that Ministers are coming to this podium to make statements on a regular basis and to inform Parliament first is a positive step to bring Parliament back to where it belongs. It should be done here, not outside to the press. You report to Parliament and the representatives of the people in the first instance, and I think that is very positive.
The second point, Deputy Speaker, is more negative, and I want to address the Speaker himself. Mr Speaker, you will know what it is all about. It is the question that remains outstanding, as far as we are concerned, of seating in this very House. [Interjections.] Mr Speaker, I am addressing you, not that hon member who thinks it is a joke.
Mr Speaker, we have been very patient. I am speaking on behalf of nine political parties who have been pushed to the back of this Chamber, parties that have been very patient in putting our case on the table and saying please address this issue. I am asking you, since it has not been addressed, to please do so. We do not want to come back next year with that matter still unresolved. I am asking you; let's sort it out once and for all.
I want to say to Members of Parliament have a beautiful Christmas, have a wonderful rest out there, and let's all come back refreshed next year. And, Mr Van der Merwe, even you are welcome here. In any case, we will still tolerate you next year. Thank you.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Deputy Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues, the hon Kenneth Meshoe and hon Steve Swart, I thank you Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Ministers, and fellow Members of Parliament. Thank you for your dedication and hard work, and for being you. We have been challenged and inspired, and we do appreciate you.
Thank you, Lord, for the awesome privilege of serving the people of South Africa through the institution of Parliament. Thank you for the institution of Parliament and for the amazing people we cross paths with every day who make it work, the officials, researchers, legal advisers, administrative clerks, Chamber staff, catering staff, security staff, cleaners, etc. You are a blessing.
Thank you, Lord, for a South African people who have grown to appreciate more and more the benefits of a democratic process of governance. You are our cause, our mission and our inspiration because you are God's cause, mission and inspiration.
Yesterday I was just thinking how amazing the early days of this Fourth Parliament have been as we gathered in a Joint Sitting of both Houses of Parliament, at the bidding of the President, to say farewell to former Chief Justice Langa, and to welcome Chief Justice Ngcobo. It felt like a family function, so natural. How weird is that? We are a peculiar people from such diverse backgrounds and walks of life, with different world views, personalities, gifts and abilities. And yet whether we like it or not, wanted it or not; we are a people.
It is difficult not to feel respect, appreciation and empathy for such a people. We have a common cause, and that is the people of South Africa. We also have a shared responsibility, a responsibility which is not carried lightly.
I will conclude with the words of Frederick Buechner:
You can kiss your family and friends goodbye and put miles between you, but, at the same time, you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, and your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.
We pray you'll have a happy Christmas and that the new year will bring many blessings. Thank you.
Mrs M N MATLADI: Deputy Speaker, mid-May 2009 was a time of uncertainties as we were coming to the national Parliament for the first time; not knowing where to stay, whom we would meet, and with whom we would work. But one found a family of friendly, reliable and kind-hearted colleagues in this House. [Applause.] Thank you for the warmth of togetherness.
I would like to thank the hon President for his transparent, consultative, fatherly, effective leadership, and enthusiasm about people. [Applause.] Indeed, the hon President is the people's President, he must keep up the good work. [Applause.]
To the hon Deputy President, I would like to say thanks for the listening ear you always had for us, and also for the unison you have shown in working co-operatively with the hon President. Unity is power. Another word of thanks goes to the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the House Chairpersons for the even-handedness with which they direct the proceedings of the House. Our robust engagements with one another sometimes put them in a difficult situation to handle.
We in the Chief Whips Forum heaved and puffed for a great chunk of the year with hon Motshekga, the Chief Whip of the Majority Party. I want to thank him very much for the good work he has done in the interest of all parties, and above all in the interest of South Africa.
Let me thank the administration of Parliament, the Secretary to the National Assembly and the entire staff who always assist, update and remind us about our business in the House. We thank the affable service officers for the delivery of documents and the upkeep of our offices.
To the hon Ministers, the leaders of political parties, Chairpersons of all portfolio committees and standing committees, especially hon Godi the Chairperson of Scopa, and the committee members, my colleagues; I say "Aluta Continua"! [The struggle continues!] Let the good work continue for future generations of our country. [Applause.]
May God be with you 'till we meet again. When life's perils thick confound you, may He put His arms unfailing round you. God be with you 'till we meet again. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Bhoola ... [Interjections.] Order! Before you speak, hon Bhoola, let me address that crowd of "ayobas" there. [Interjections.] Hon members, I understand the spirit of the festive season has started, but you are still hon members until you go out of this House. So, please tone down that spirit.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, maybe only time will allow them to tone down those spirits. Maybe they had lots of spirits and therefore it's got to wear through their system. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I didn't say that.
Mr R B BHOOLA: Madam Deputy Speaker, it is indeed unbelievable how fast the year passed, and that we have once again concluded our final term. The MF, however, pays respect to 2009 as a constructive, progressive and eventful year for Parliament and for South Africa as a country. The President has indeed set the stage. He has given direction. Let us hope that in the next 12 months those that are placed in positions will follow his directions.
The MF would like to applaud the three spheres of government for their great effort to fulfil their mandate. Mahatma Gandhi once said that as long as there are tears and suffering, our work as leaders is not over. Remember, hon members, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. We are here to make sure that we represent the poor and long-suffering masses, and to remove tears from everyone's eyes.
As long as there is poverty, suffering, illiteracy, and unhealthy conditions, our work will not be over. That is why on important issues you must forget party political divides and look at the flag. As we march forward to receive 2010 with the greatest spirit of togetherness and brotherhood, let's fly under one flag as we approach the greatest sporting spectacle of Africa in the world, the World Cup.
We applaud both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces for a good year's work. Thanks and appreciation go to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker for their impeccable leadership. Applause is rendered to the Chairs of both Houses and the administration just below the bench for its auspicious management of House affairs. To our hon members, I look only to the good qualities of man. Not being faultless myself, I won't presume to probe into the faults of others. It has been a productive and a progressive year.
We have an impeccable team of staff and support at Parliament that has been by our side. As we return to our constituencies, let us never forget that to give service to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
The MF thanks all our supporters and members in our constituency for their support and trust in our leadership and ability to best represent your interests. We wish all matric students the best of success and great opportunities. With beautiful thoughts and wonderful wishes, we wish you a merry Christmas and Eid Mubarak.
Finally, there is nothing that wastes the body like worry. One who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever in 2010. Have a prosperous New Year, and may God bless you all.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order: Is it appropriate for the hon Bhoola to wear his pyjamas to Parliament? [Laughter.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Madam Speaker, this was not unexpected of Mike Ellis but, nevertheless, we can bear with him because he will be blessed in 2010. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Deputy Speaker, as the year draws to a close, it is time for us, as is the custom, to review the progress made, thus far, and bid farewell to hon members as we come to the end of this year's session. This has been a very busy year for all of us, particularly for new members who have had much to learn and adapt to; they have certainly had to hit the ground running and keep on running.
The new government has effected several changes to the structure of ministries and government departments; and therefore we have to align some of the committees accordingly. This has been no minor task, so we acknowledge with thanks the work of the National Assembly Table staff and the committee section in this regard.
I would like to touch briefly on some of the highlights of the Fourth Parliament and to report on the progress made on certain issues. Members would have noticed that the policy imperative document setting out the strategic framework, including the vision and the strategic objective, has been tabled.
The strategic framework was developed and based on the provision set out in the Constitution and the numerous planning sessions that were conducted in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. These planning sessions included active participation and direction by the presiding officers, office bearers, political parties and members.
Of course, the strategic framework highlights the vision of the Fourth Parliament, which is to build an effective peoples' Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people and driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of life for all the people of South Africa.
Under the leadership and stewardship of the Deputy Secretary, Mr Coetzee, and the House Chairperson, hon Bapela, the implementation of the oversight and accountability model adopted by the National Assembly earlier this year, is progressing well; and we thank them.
The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act of 2009 will extend the scope of our oversight framework. However, its implementation is a complex and intricate matter that will involve a range of institutional reforms. A political task team has been established and is led by the House Chairpersons and the committees on finance and appropriations.
Not without controversy, Parliament has also facilitated appointments to the SA Human Rights Commission, the Board of the SA Broadcasting Corporation and oversaw the appointment of a new Public Protector. We wish them all well and success in their endeavours within their respective institutions. Our thanks must go to the Ministers, chairs of committees and all the members who participated in ensuring that this and other business was dealt with properly.
We have successfully concluded important business of Parliament, for example, the state of the nation address of 2009 and the mid-term Budget. We've also had three sittings of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. Firstly, we celebrated Mandela Day; secondly, yesterday, we welcomed new Chief Justice Ngcobo and bid a fond farewell to Chief Justice Langa; and lastly, on Tuesday, we discussed the preparations for the Fédération Internationale deFootball Association, Fifa, 2010 Soccer World Cup. This is testimony to the fact that Parliament is a national forum for public consideration of issues of importance to our people.
We will also remember that during the answers to the President's state of the nation address Fifa presented the Confederations Cup trophy to President Zuma. This was a highly symbolic gesture designed to illustrate the connection between the people's game, soccer, and the peoples' Parliament. At that time, President Zuma wondered aloud whether we shouldn't keep the Cup; and he was politely advised that we could, indeed, but only after winning on the ground; we nearly did. We hope that in the World Cup we will do even better.
Parliament has hosted a number of incoming delegations from strategic partners in the international community, this includes, amongst others, high level delegations from the People's Republic of China and the Speaker from Nigeria. These and other delegations have interacted with parliamentarians as a component of the expanding role which the national Parliament is playing in pursuit of our strategic objectives in bilateral and multilateral forums.
At domestic level, we hosted a delegation from the Royal Bafokeng nation led by Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi. This visit was the first of its kind and they expressed appreciation for the opportunity to interact with our national Parliament.
The World Cup will focus considerable attention on South Africa next year. The programme of Parliament for 2010 had to take into account the World Cup tournament and this means that our work in the first and the second terms has to be programmed to ensure that Parliament adjourns in time for members to be a part of this important event.
We anticipate a huge influx of visitors as well as many international television crews whose platform will beam images of our country to television screens across the world. I suspect that here, in Parliament, our hands will be full. I encourage you all to rest well over this holiday period in anticipation of a full programme in the next session.
The excitement of the Fifa 2010 World Cup cannot destract from the very important business we still have to do. In the next session, we will continue to give in-depth consideration to the legacy issues from the third Parliament. These include the report of the Independent Panel Assessment of Parliament as well as the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions.
The Third Parliament adopted a resolution that required the Speaker to establish a unit to support the National Assembly in co-ordinating its work with institutions supporting democracy. The Office of the Speaker is in the process of establishing the unit, which we envisage will be up and running by April 2010 as the budget requested is being approved for 2010-11.
The Space Utilisation Project addresses the acute shortage of office space for parliamentarians; the presiding officers of Parliament have agreed to prioritise the need for an office block for members.
On the issue of unanswered questions, we have raised this matter with the Leader of Government Business and this House. He gave the undertaking that this would be attended to. And, certainly, we will – together with him – ensure that this receives priority. [Applause.]
We also lost some Members of Parliament during the course of the year. This included Ms Shoba, who died on 9 May 2009 at the inauguration of President Zuma, and Mr F G Masango, who died on 18 October 2009. We also recognise the passing of former Members of Parliament, which include Prof Du Toit; Mr M J Monaphala; Mr J P (Past Four) Phungula; Mr Ginyizembe Mpehle; Mr P O Moloto; and Imam Hassan Solomon on 28 October 2009. We'll remember these individuals and their contributions with affection and a sense of profound sadness and loss.
Finally, I wish to thank the Deputy Speaker, Ms Nomaindiya Mfeketo, for her support and dedication; and the House Chairpersons, Mr Obed Bapela, Mr Ben Skosana and Ms Mildred Oliphant for their contribution to the work of the Office of the Speaker. My thanks also go to the Secretary to Parliament, Mr Zingile Dingani and the Deputy Secretary, Mr Mike Coetzee, who lead this administration of hardworking and dedicated officials. Our best wishes go to all of them during this festive season.
Although this is the last plenary of the National Assembly, committee work continues next week. Members will have the opportunity to reconnect with their constituencies before breaking for annual leave on 11 December. Hon members, please drive safely and take care and relax with family members and friends.
I hope you return refreshed and ready to continue the sterling oversight work which started this session. I also, on your behalf, wish to convey our best wishes to Deputy Minister Zoliswa Kota-Fredericks and her driver who are both in a serious condition in hospital. We wish them a speedy recovery. I wish you all safe trips home. Let me finally apologise that we won't have an official farewell dinner due to budget constraints. I hope you understand. Thank you.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Deputy Speaker, I wish to make a correction to a mistake made by the IFP by objecting to the Twelfth Order of the day. Could it kindly be recorded in Hansard that we support it?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, that brings us to the end of the business of the House. Let me take this opportunity to thank all members for their good wishes. In particular I wish to thank the Speaker for his leadership – I'm one of those people who are fortunate to have a leader that gives you scope to work on and not be threatened. Under his leadership this Parliament will grow and do what is expected of it.
We will resume on 25 January 2010. We won't wait for 11 February 2010 for the state of the nation address. I wish you a wonderful time with your families. I also want to join those who wished you a lovely Christmas and rest period, because the year 2010 is not a holiday to rest, but rather to prepare for the elections of 2011. This is the only December in which we can all recharge and come back refreshed.
The House adjourned at 20:13.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
(1) Bills passed by National Assembly on 12 November 2009:
(a) National House of Traditional Leaders Bill [B 56D – 2008] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).
(b) Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill [B 57D – 2008] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).
1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled
(1) The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities:
(a) Report of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) for July 2008 to December 2008, tabled in terms of section 18(5)(c) of the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 (Act No 116 of 1998).
(2) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor‑General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the President's Fund for 2008‑09, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2008‑09 [RP254‑2009].
(b) Report for 2008‑09 on the Government's Progress with the Implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Recommendations.
(3) The following paper is referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and to the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development:
(a) Reply from the Minister of Finance to recommendations in Joint Report of Standing Committee on Finance and Portfolio Committee on Economic Development on Budget Vote No 7: National Treasury, and the 2009‑12 Strategic Plan (Update) of National Treasury and the 2009‑12 Strategic Plan of the South African Revenue Services (Sars), as adopted by the House on 25 August 2009.
(4) The following papers are referred to the Standing Committee on Finance:
(a) Government Notice No R. 975, published in Government Gazette No 32630, dated 9 October 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/1386) in terms of section 48 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(b) Government Notice No R. 950, published in Government Gazette No 32616, dated 9 October 2009: Amendment of Rules (DAR/62) in terms of section 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(c) Government Notice No R. 951, published in Government Gazette No 32616, dated 9 October 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 2 (No 2/320) in terms of section 56 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(d) Government Notice No R. 952, published in Government Gazette No 32616, dated 9 October 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 4 (No 4/321) in terms of section 75 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(e) Government Notice No R. 953, published in Government Gazette No 32616, dated 9 October 2009: Amendment of Schedule No 3 (No 3/649) in terms of section 75 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(f) Government Notice No R. 941, published in Government Gazette No 32601 dated 2 October 2009: Amendment of Rules (DAR/60) in terms of sections 46A, 59A and 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(g) Government Notice No R. 943, published in Government Gazette No 32609, dated 29 September 2009: Amendment of Rules (DAR/61) in terms of sections 18, 18A and 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(h) Government Notice No R. 932, published in Government Gazette No 32593, dated 23 September 2009: Amendment of Rules (DAR/59) in terms of section 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(5) The following paper is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements:
(a) Letter from the Minister of Human Settlements dated 30 October 2009 to the Speaker of the National Assembly, explaining the delay in the submission of the annual report of the National Home Builders Registration Council for 2008‑09.
(6) The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development for consideration and report:
(a) Report of the Central Drug Authority (CDA) for 2008‑09 [RP252-2009].
(7) The following paper is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development:
(a) Letter from the Minister of Social Development dated 5 November 2009 to the Speaker of the National Assembly, explaining the delay in the submission of the annual report of the Central Drug Authority for 2008‑09.
1. The Speaker
(a) Draft notice and schedule in terms of section 2(4) of the Judges' Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001 (Act No 47 of 2001), determining the rate at which salaries are payable to Constitutional Court Judges and Judges annually, with effect from 1 April 2009, for approval by Parliament.
(b) Draft notice and schedule in terms of section 12(3) of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act No 90 of 1993), determining the rate at which salaries are payable to magistrates annually, with effect from 1 April 2009, for approval by Parliament.
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform on the 2008/09 Annual Report of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, dated 4 November 2009
The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, having considered the 2008/09 Annual Report of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, reports as follows:
The briefing on the 2008/09 annual report of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR) took place on 28 October 2009.
The following people appeared before the committee for the briefing on the annual report: The Chief Land Claims Commissioner (CLCC), Mr. Andrew Mphela and Deputy Director General – Land Tenure Reform, Mr. Mdu Shabane. They were accompanied by the following Regional Land Claims Commissioners (RLCCs): Ms. Beverly Jansen (Western Cape), Mr. Sidney Hlongwane (Free State and Northern Cape), Ms. Tumi Seboka (Gauteng and North-West; also acting for Mpumalanga); Ms Linda Faleni (Eastern Cape) and Mr. Tete Maphoto (Limpopo). At the time of the briefing, Commissioner Mr. Mphela was also an acting RLCC for Kwazulu-Natal.
The CRLR is established in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, No. 22 of 1994 with powers to provide restoration of land rights and equitable redress in line with provisions of section 25 (7) of the Constitution,1996 (Act 108 of 1996). The aim of the CRLR is to be "leaders in the restitution of land rights to victims of racial land dispossession in a manner that ensures sustainable socio-economic development". Its mission is "to promote reconciliation by ensuring equity for victims of land dispossession by the state, through sustainable development initiatives and equitable redistribution of land'.
This report is presented against the background of the following strategic objectives that the CRLR set for itself:
To provide equitable redress to victims of racial land dispossession in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 (No.22 of 1994);
To provide access to rights in land, including land ownership and sustainable development;
To foster national reconciliation and stability; and
To improve household welfare, underpinning economic growth, contributing to poverty alleviation.
Various targets for settlement of all land restitution claims were set since 2005. The CRLR currently intends to finalize the land restitution process by the year 2014. Over the years public expectation for the resolution of the question of land restitution was high. This report, therefore, should also be understood in the context of a program of land restitution that began 15 years ago and is still struggling to finalize claims irrespective of the various readjustments of targets and increase in budget allocation over the years until a drop in allocation in the financial year 2008/09.
The Committee's main concern is with regards to the performance of the CRLR in relation to redressing the land dispossession injustices by restoring original land or a just and equitable compensation in the form of alternative land, monetary compensation or development package. The committee notes that the escalating land prices are a hindrance to the speedy resolution of land claims. The CRLR has maintained its track record of spending almost 100% of their budget allocation but without making significant progress in meeting the targets set. The committee is further concerned about the number of failed land restitution projects.
This report shall first provide a summary of the presentation by the CLCC, Mr. Andrew Mphela, then offer the committee's findings with regards to the 2008/09 annual report of the CRLR and conclude by presenting the Portfolio Committee's recommendations regarding the land restitution process, the role of the CRLR and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
2. Presentation of the Annual Report of the CRLR by Mr. Andrew Mphela, the CLCC
2.1. Overview of the performance of the CRLR
Restitution of land rights involves a process of redressing the racially based land dispossession of the past, and further building the nation guided by the principles of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights provides for right to gain access to land. It specifically also puts the state under obligation to ensure that a person or community disposed of property after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled to either restitution of that property or to equitable redress.
Access to land, particularly by the rural poor, has a potential to impact positively on their food security needs and their basic means of livelihoods. A successful land restitution process therefore, is a significant and crucial factor in rural development especially with the current trends around escalation of food prices and global economic meltdown. Achieving a successful land restitution process that empowers beneficiaries and help fight against hunger and poverty is dependant upon effective post settlement support within the context of rural development. It further requires sufficient resources, capacity building programmes and cooperative governance.
The CRLR's endeavours to fast track the settlement of land claims have been affected by a variety of factors, namely;
Complexity of rural claims affects the pace at which the CRLR can settle land claims. Rural claims are characterised by large numbers of beneficiary households and large number of hectares of land, overlapping of rights by claimant communities often leading to community disputes based on boundaries and who the rightful claimant is, and the kind of production and enterprises poses challenges to post settlement arrangements.
Land claims on forestry and mining land also present a greater challenge to the CRLR and even more risk because of the nature of business operations. The CRLR has had to find innovative ways to ensure that the successful restoration of forestry and mining land.
The cost of land is a critical matter that affects the CRLR's efforts to fast track the restitution process. With the limits in terms of budget allocation, the CRLR can only restore a certain number of hectares. During the year under review the CRLR estimated the average cost of land at R12 949.00 per hectare and has found that they spent more money to buy less hectares of land.
During the 2008/09 financial year, the CRLR had planned to settle 2585 land claims, revised to 389 in line with the CRLR's extended tenure. By the end of the financial year 2008/09, the CRLR managed to settle a total of 653 land claims (545 settled and 108 dismissed), involving about 30 112 households comprising approximately 136 000 individuals. Since 1995, the CRLR has cumulatively settled a total of 75 400 claims benefiting total number of 315 433 households. The total claims settled represent 95.5% of claims lodged by the cut off date of 31 December 1998. By the 31st March 2009, the CRLR was yet to settle 4296 claims detailed as follows: Eastern Cape (552), Free State (28), Northern Cape (189), Gauteng (3), North West (195), Kwazulu-Natal (1652), Limpopo (422), Mpumalanga (712), and Western Cape (573).
Cumulative statistics on settled land claims (1995 – 31 March 2009)
2.2. Performance Perspectives of the CRLR
The CLCC presented the following perspectives in relation to the performance of the CRLR: finances, business process and the finalization of the outstanding land claims.
The CLCC provided an overview of financial matters of the CRLR's with specific reference to 2008/09 budget allocation and its spending. The Commission spent almost 100% of their total budget allocation of R3.1 billion. A total amount of R2, 8 billion was spent on land purchase and financial compensation to land claimants, whereas approximately R338 million was spent on recurrent costs including salaries and service providers. A total of R803 million was committed as development grants to assist beneficiaries with the development of their newly acquired land.
Business Process Perspective
The CRLR set 2005 as a deadline to complete all land restitution claims lodged by the 31st December 1998. Subsequently, the end of 2008/09 was also set as a deadline after a realization that it was impossible meet the deadline for restitution. During the reporting year, the CRLR further readjusted targets to completing the restitution process by the end of the year 2013/2014 subject to availability of sufficient budget allocation. The extension was motivated for on the basis that the majority of outstanding claims are rural and complex in nature. The completion of such claims would require sufficient resources for land acquisition and provision of development support to beneficiaries.
The CRLR also experienced challenges with regards to some of the strategic partnership arrangements entered into between government, beneficiaries and private sector agricultural companies. These joint ventures are commonly referred to strategic partnerships. One of the large strategic partners called the South African Farm Management (SAFM) collapsed and faced liquidation together with some of its subsidiary companies. The collapse of SAFM affected certain projects in Limpopo (Levubu, Mamahlola, and Zebediela) and Mpumalanga (Giba). The CLCC also pointed out that not all such relationships did result in desired skills transfer and economic beneficiation of beneficiaries. The CRLR has started with the review of all partnerships in order to ensure that the state as well as beneficiaries obtains value for money for the financial investment that goes into such partnerships.
The provision of strategic support for restitution beneficiaries has been identified as a critical and priority issue by the CRLR. The CRLR, therefore, concluded agreements with the First National Bank (FNB), Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), Amahlathi Forestry Group and Anglo regarding provision of such support. Additional agreement was entered into with AgriSETA for the provision of critical skills training for the new land owners.
Following a review of land restitution projects, the CRLR identified some 200 struggling projects which they intend to recapitalize with the support from the Department of Agriculture as part of the Land and Agrarian Reform Project (LARP).
Strategic Plan for finalization of outstanding claims
By the 31st March 2009 the CRLR was yet to settle 4296 land claims across all Regional Land Claims Commissioner's (RLCC) offices. The CLCC further pointed out that four RLCC offices are preparing to finalize all land claims at the end of 2009/10 financial year; namely Gauteng (3), Free State (28), Northern Cape (189) and Western Cape (573) depending on availability of resources. The remaining offices would complete their claims over the next four years, i.e. Mpumalanga (2012), Limpopo (2013), and Kwazulu-Natal (2014). The CRLR would further require a total amount of R65, 3 billion to settle all outstanding claims by the 2014.
Total projected cost for restitution
Kruger National Park
2.3. Corporate Services
The unit is located under the Chief Directorate Restitution and Management Support and assists the CLCC and RLCC offices in developing internal policies that are consistent with the Restitution of Land Rights Act and the Public Funds Management Act (PFMA). It also deals with compilation and monitoring of policy, post settlement support, quality assurance to set standards, risk management , legal services, communication and human resources management and administration and information management services. The annual report highlights the following achievements under this unit:
During the year 2008/09, vacancy rate of the CRLR decreased from 30% to 20%. The CRLR experiences high rate of staff turnover due to the high pressure and workload for project officers. It is also difficult to fill vacancies because in the market there are fewer people who have an understanding of Restitution process.
The unit is implementing a training program to ensure that project officers involved in negotiation of sales do understand the field of property valuation. This program intends to curb the challenge of paying for unnecessary high land prices.
The unit has also developed settlement models that will ensure sustainability.
By the end of the financial year 2008/09, there were 174 matters in the Land Claims Court. The Commission also took two matters for expropriation, i.e. Sandford community in Mpumalanga and Moeketsi Ga Chathleka Community in Limpopo.
3. The Portfolio Committee's findings on the 2008/09 Annual Report of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights
The Committee commended the CRLR for the report presented and the commitment to land restitution. However, the Committee is concerned about failure to meet the targets, the cost of land restitution, impact of land restitution, and lack of detail in the published report.
The following are specific findings with regards to the land restitution and the performance of the CRLR:
§ Failure by the CRLR to fill in strategic vacancies and the vacancy rate of 20% is among the factors that lead to failure to achieve targets and to poor and unsustainable projects. Strategic positions include those ones for people with understanding of the property market to assist in negotiating good purchase prices, those responsible for quality assurance and risk management.
§ There is a high number of dysfunctional Communal Property Associations (CPAs) owning land restored in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994. The committee could not establish if there were systems in place to support these Communal Property Institutes (CPIs). Majority of the CPAs do not report to the Director-General as per provisions of the Communal Property Associations Act, 1996 (Act 28 of 1996). Many CPAs are crippled by infighting, conflicts between the traditional councils and the elected CPA committee members. Such often hampers development and are a threat to sustainable development on restored land.
§ It takes a long time between the publication of a gazette notice about a claim on a piece of land and the actual transfer of land. It is in this interim period that many farms get run down due to lack of investment on production or the property itself which in most cases can be linked to the feeling of uncertainty by the land owners. The committee has also received many concerns from both the property owners and their organizations and well as the land claimants on questions related to lack of information from the CRLR on status of specific claims and farms associated with those claims.
§ The committee noted that the annual report lacked detail on the outstanding claims. Whilst the report mentions the numbers of outstanding claims, it does not say what hectares are to be restored per province; it also does not provide status of projects in order to determine an estimate of the amount required for settlement of such claims and target dates for settlement. The committee acknowledged the specific dates targeted for various RLCCs and the projection of costs. However, based on the detail provided it is not possible to ascertain if the projections and targets are realistic or not.
§ Weaker institutional arrangements within beneficiary communities are some of the reasons for the failure of projects and a threat to the realization of the livelihoods benefits of land restitution. The Committee is again concerned about absence of support the CPAs and Trusts.
§ The committee found that an existing decision taken by the previous cabinet on how the CRLR should deal with land claims in the Kruger National Park (KNP) and other national strategic assets is the main reason why claims on the KNP land have not been finalized yet. The decision is that the CRLR should not restore original land to the land claimants as part of the settlement agreement. However, the CRLR must seek alternatives such as alternative land, development package or financial compensation.
§ A number of specific restitution projects were referred to during the discussion to highlighting challenges and frustrations of the beneficiaries. Those include the Babanango claim in the Kwazulu Natal, Koega in the Northern Cape, Ten bush and Inala projects in Mpumalanga, Levubu communities, Makgoba and Seshego in Limpopo, and Duiseldorp in the Western Cape. These examples reflected on the challenge of post settlement, community disputes, the challenge of strategic partnership, failure by the CRLR to pay amounts due because they have exhausted their budget allocation.
§ There are commitments made by the CRLR in respect of the payments of development grants to communities but because of exhaustion of budget allocation, the CRLR has not been able to honour some of those agreements. This raises concern whether the CRLC will be able to meet its targets in the following financial year as it has to pay commitments for the previous financial year.
§ The committee found it regrettable that the Department sometimes pays the landowners three times higher than the market value of the property and therefore the review of mechanisms for land acquisition is long overdue. The practice confirms the call for a review of the willing buyer willing seller approach to land redistribution in South Africa.
Having received a briefing from the Chief Land Claims Commissioner, further having engaged with the CRLR on its 2008/09 Annual Report, the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform makes the following recommendations:
(i) The CRLR to identify and fill key strategic positions to assist the CRLR to perform on its mandate expeditiously and achieve its targets. The CRLR should also report to Parliament by the end of November 2009 on its time framed plans to reducing the 20% vacancy rate.
(ii) The CRLR to submit a report to parliament about details of all outstanding claims according to provinces by the end of November 2009. The report should detail the number of claims per province, how many beneficiaries are involved, the type, extent and estimated costs of the land under claim. It should finally state what settlement option has been agreed upon and what the target date for settlement of each claim is.
(iii) The CRLR and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to review all the Communal Property Associations and identify possible measures to ensure that the CPAs and Trusts (Common Property Institutions) function properly. They should further report to Parliament on the findings of the review and what they are doing to support the dysfunctional CPAs.
(iv) That provision of post settlement support should support the different targets of land reform beneficiaries as set out in the 2009-2011 strategic plan of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. In the context of the comprehensive rural development program, targeted attention should be placed on the needs of the landless poor people whose access to productive land will assist them to meet their daily household food needs.
(v) The CRLR to submit a report to Parliament about the review of all land restitution projects in South Africa, and strategies for dealing with 200 struggling projects by the end of the second week of November 2009.
(vi) The Department puts in place mechanisms that would ensure that different state departments dispose state land for restitution purposes.
(vii) There should be a review of the cabinet decision not to restore land claims on the Kruger National Park and other national strategic assets, ensuring public dialogue involving the land claimants and interested parties.
(viii) There should be an increase in baseline budget allocation for Restitution in order to enable the CRLR to finalize all land claims.
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