Hansard: Second Reading debate: Division of Revenue Bill (Provisional)
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 17 Feb 2006
No summary available.
FRIDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2006
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 10:01.
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.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Mr K M Moeketsi)
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes with profound sadness the untimely death of Mr Khahliso Meshack Moeketsi on 7 February 2006;
(2) recalls that –
(a) Mr Moeketsi was a Member of Parliament from 1999-2004 and that he served in the Portfolio Committees on Housing and on Correctional Services; and
(b) at the time of his passing on he was a member of the Mayoral Committee of the Fezile Dabi District Municipality in the Free State;
(3) further recalls that Mr Khahliso Moeketsi was a prominent member of the African National Congress Youth League and the ANC and that he had served as Deputy Chairperson of the Regional Executive of the ANC Youth League and that at the time of his death he was an African National Congress Regional Executive Committee Member; and
(4) conveys its condolences to the Moeketsi family and friends and the African National Congress.
ADOPTION OF REPORT OF AD HOC COMMITTEE ON NOMINATION OF PERSONS TO FILL VACANCIES ON COMMISSION ON GENDER EQUALITY
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House, with reference to the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Filling of Vacancies on the Commission on Gender Equality, published on the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports of Thursday, 16 February 2006, adopts the report, thereby extending the deadline by which the Committee must report to the House to 22 March 2006.
RATIFICATION OF DECISION OF JOINT SUBCOMMITTEE OF JOINT PROGRAMME COMMITTEE TO FAST-TRACK DIVISION OF REVENUE BILL
There was no debate.
Decision of the Joint Subcommittee of the Joint Programme Committee to fast-track the Division of Revenue Bill ratified.
The SPEAKER: Order! As the fast-tracking has now been ratified, the Rule that at least three working days must elapse from the time the committee reports to the time the debate takes place in the House is waived. The requirement that a translated version of the Bill be available before the Second Reading debate takes place is also waived.
DIVISION OF REVENUE BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Speaker, hon members, I'd like to express my sincere appreciation for the decision just taken to waive the requirements normally associated with the passage of the Bill. I think it is in our collective interests.
We all need to get out into the field and persuade voters that there is only one way to vote – and that is for the party that we represent. [Interjections.] No, I'm not saying for the party I represent. We all will go out and persuade them. That's what I'm saying, hence the fast-tracking.
The Constitution requires of us to govern in a co-operative way, and right at the very heart of this co-operative governance, in respect of public finance management is, of course, the Division of Revenue Bill. The Bill that serves before this House in its second reading is the product of very extensive consultation – across government and between the spheres of government. Certainly, the Treasury has consulted quite extensively with provincial treasuries, with Salga, but also in line functions through Minmecs and so on. The inclusions in dealing with conditional grants and so on all come from line-function relationships, and so it is right at the very heart of intense consultation, which defines co-operative governance.
What we have built here in South Africa as the system of intergovernmental fiscal relations remains unparalleled in the world. Increasingly, our people from our intergovernmental fiscal relations branch – headed by Mr Fuzile, who has run away somewhere now – are called upon to explain the system elsewhere. We do so not just as government but also with the FFC.
The Bill before us gives effect to section 214 of the Constitution, and that requires that each year we present a piece of legislation before Parliament that divides nationally raised revenue. Over the past few years since we first introduced a Bill like this, it has gone through many changes. Now we believe that it is significantly user-friendlier.
What the 2006 Bill does is to provide details on every grant, including its purpose and the criteria for allocating that grant, and account for the performance of each grant. I believe that in tabling a piece of legislation like this we, in the executive, invite Parliament, through its committees, to increase its oversight role. There is transparency and certainty about the allocations. There is clarity also about the rationale behind each of the grants – the detail on conditional grants. And we can do so much and now we ask of Parliament not just to approve this legislation, but also to use it as an instrument of oversight.
A number of provinces are tabling their budgets today and municipalities will do so before the start of the new fiscal year. Through the budget processes provinces must explain in more detail how the resources that we are allocating here will be used for the furtherance of democracy in their particular instance of government.
Schedule 1 of the Bill provides a summary of the allocation of funds. Of the R418,2 billion, which we tabled in this House on Wednesday, national department functions will receive R215 billion. Now, we need to remind ourselves that there is a significant transfer this year with the social security transfers now a national competence.
The debt service costs amount to R52,1 billion. There is a contingency reserve of R2,5 billion. The provinces receive R176,7 billion; and R26,5 billion is allocated to local government, an amount that includes some R7 billion to make good that which has been lost as a result of the termination of the Regional Services Council levies.
The second schedule of the Bill deals with the provincial equitable shares, and those are the amounts to which the provinces will now add provincial own revenue and appropriate in a process which started in some provinces yesterday, but I think the bulk of them are delivering their budgets today. The allocations in the Bill reflect those big changes, including, as I said earlier, the shift for social security funds.
Schedules 2 and 3 allocate the equitable shares of provinces and of municipalities, and so we can see in some detail how we arrive at the numbers for each of the provinces. Schedules 4, 5 and 6 allocate conditional and other grants, and schedule 7 provides for indirect or in-kind transfers to municipalities.
Because of the emphasis that we placed in the budget on pro-poor spending – and, I think, this takes forward the spirit of the time of hope that President Mbeki spoke of just a fortnight ago – a substantial share of the additional resources is expected to go to education to fund the phased implementation of no-fee schools and further expansion of early childhood development programmes in poor communities.
Of course, it is up to the provinces to allocate the resources. We've discussed this matter with them. The Minister of Education has discussed this intensely with them. We want to ensure that where there is a broad objective we have to improve on the quality of outcomes, and that we can work together, recognising that provinces must take the decision. But in the spirit of co-operative governance we must ensure that you don't have policy determined primarily at national level, which is not supported by the allocation of resources at provincial government level. That is heart and soul. That is what we have to work through, because it is really the acid test of whether co-operative governance works or not.
The further education and training grant allocation of R1,9 billion is included, as a conditional grant, and that is money that we can watch and monitor because that is a conditional grant.
The provincial budgets will also reinforce the strengthening of the health sector. Now, I'd just like to say something on health. A few years ago this Parliament approved a scarce skills strategy for health. Today I'm pleased to share with members of Parliament the fact that in the three years to December 2005, employment in the health sector increased by more than 12 000 new professionals. It's significant that a decision like that can have that impact. So, in this year there are additional resources allocated for emergency services. We call them ambulances; other people may call them other things. There will also be services for forensic pathology.
In respect of local government allocations, over the next three years municipalities will receive R97,3 billion, or an additional R32,7 billion over the baseline that we announced last year. As a result, the local government share increases from 4,6% in the current financial year to 6,3%.
One of the decisions we have also taken – announced perhaps too quietly last week – is that, having evaluated the remuneration of councillors, we've now been able to bring all councillors onto the same system so that off a single grid you can see what the President earns, what a Minister earns, what an MEC earns, and what a metro councillor earns, that is the interrelationship between remuneration scales in provincial legislatures and what is happening in councils. This follows the six-category grading system and it will cost us some R584 million. We will assist only the poorer municipalities to ensure that they can remunerate adequately.
The MTEF year also sets aside R31,3 billion for municipal infrastructure. There is a reduction in the restructuring and capacity-building fund here – we're doing capacity-building elsewhere.
Let me conclude by thanking this House for its forbearance in agreeing to fast-track the processing of the 2006 Division of Revenue Bill. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mnu N M NENE: Somlomo wePhalamende ohloniphekile namalungu ePhalamende, Ngqongqoshe ubuqinisile uma uthi wonke umuntu kufanele avotele leli qembu lethu ngoba elawo wonke umuntu.
Wathi uNgqongqoshe weziMali umfo ka-Manuel oqeda ukusuka lapha mhla ethula isabelo sezimali ezinsukwini ezimbili ezedlule, inala ifikile asivune. Impela siyavuma baba, idubukele. Okuhle kakhulu ukuthi lo hulumeni kaKhongolose uma eseyikhipha ngezithebe, uyaba ngononina ngokusobala futhi ngaphandle kokukhetha.
Lo Mthethosivivinywa esiwudingida namuhla ungolunye lwezinhlelo zokuqiniseka ukuthi lo mnotho waleli zwe udliwa yibo bonke abantu ngaphandle kokukhetha iphela emasini. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr N M NENE: Hon Speaker of Parliament and hon members, the Minister was quite correct when he said every person should vote for our party, because it is everybody's party.
Two days ago, during his Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance, Mr Manuel, who has just left the podium, said the time of plenty has come. We do indeed agree with you, Comrade Manuel, that everything is now in the open and every person should help themselves. What is even better is that the ANC-led government is very good at portioning the Budget, giving every department what is due to it.
The Bill that we are discussing today is one of the programmes to make sure that the wealth of this country is shared equally amongst all people.]
This Division of Revenue Bill is an important instrument put in place by the ANC democratic government with the objective of ensuring that revenue raised at national level is equitably divided between the three spheres of government. As the Minister has said, section 214(1) of the Constitution and the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Act of 1997 are the two pieces of legislation that are instructive on us as Parliament and the executive.
When the Minister of Finance tabled the Appropriation Bill two days ago, he also tabled this Division of Revenue Bill, which we consider here today as referred to our committee by this House. We therefore would like to report that the committee has considered the Bill and adopted it without amendments as reflected in today's Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports.
The ANC is the only party that has a plan to make all spheres of government work better for the people of South Africa and that plan dates back to 1956 when we adopted the Freedom Charter as the ANC. The theme for this year's state of the nation address was, "Equality for All" and indeed a clear plan was put before the nation as to how this ANC government is going to ensure that this equality is realised in our lifetime.
On tabling the Budget the Minister of Finance also reaffirmed this season of hope that the President spoke of by putting resources to the plan. This Division of Revenue Bill of 2006 has a number of features that reflect the changes that seek to put the plight of the poor at the centre of our agenda for a developmental state that continues to cater for the vulnerable.
Lo Mthethosivivinywa uqinisekisa ukuthi zonke izigaba zikahulumeni zithola izabelo ngokulingeneyo, hhayi ngokulinganayo, ukuze zikwazi ukufeza izidingo zabantu bakuleli njengoba sathembisa mhla kubhalwa loSomqulu weNkululeko eminyakeni engaphezulu kwama-50 eyedlule.
Uma sithi kubantu uwodwa umbutho onezinhlelo zokwenza izimpilo zibe ngcono nazo zonke izinhlelo zikahulumeni zibasebenzele kangcono, bayazi ukuthi sikhuluma ngani ngoba kule minyaka lo Khongolose ebusa sebebheme bakholwa. Isithunzi sabo siya sibuya imihla namalanga. Sebenezwi ekuthathweni kwezinqumo zezinhlelo eziphathelene nezimpilo zabo. Siyazazi izinhlelo zo-IDP namakomidi ezigceme nazo zonke izinhlelo zentando yeningi ezisebenzela abantu bakithi. Sebenelungelo lokuzikhethela ohulumeni abazobabusa kusukela kokazwelonke kuya kowesifundazwe, ngisho nabasemakhaya imbala.
Leli zwe selinoMthethosisekelo ohlonipha isithunzi sawo wonke umuntu ngaphandle kokucwasa ngobuzwe, ngobulili nangebala. Umnotho waleli zwe udlondlobala ngesivinini esingakaze sibonwe ngaphambili. Amanani nawo akhula ngokusezingeni elamukelekile, lokhu esithi yi-inflation ngokuphakathi kwama-3% nama-6%, nokuningi-ke engingakubala kuze kushone ilanga, abantu bakithi bayakwazi.
Lo Mthethosivivinywa uyisisekelo sohlelo lokukhulisa umnotho okukhulunywa ngaso oluyisixaxambiji somfelandawonye wokukhulisa umnotho, esithi yi-Asgisa.
Uma kwehliselwa ukwabiwa kwemali esiya esigabeni sikahulumeni wesifundazwe nowaseskhaya kulapho phela izinselele eziningi ezikhungethe abantu bakithi zikhona. Kulapho futhi la abantu bakithi bedla khona imbuya ngothi nalapho sithola khona lesi sigaba somnotho sesibili esidinga ukuthuthukiswa ngesivinini esikhulu ukuze sifice labo akade kwasa bedla amantshontsho emsamo.
Ozakwethu bazokhuluma kabanzi ngezinhlelo zohulumeni basekhaya lapho bezocacisa khona ukuthi lo Mthetho ubhekana kanjani nezinselelo zokufakwa kwezingqalasizinda ezinjengemigwaqo, amanzi, ugesi nezingcingo zikathelefoni ezizokwenza ngcono izimpilo zabantu ngokuphindwe kaningi ngoba phela vele umsebenzi usuqalile. Esikushoyo nje ukuthi kumele sithi ukufingqa imikhono ukuze lo msebenzi uphothulwe manje.
Uma ubheka lesi sabelo sezimali esethulwe kulo nyaka, singasho ngokukhulu ukuziqhayisa ukuthi impela indlala izobhincela nxanye kwelakithi ngoba, ngaphezu kwezimpesheni nezibonelelo zabantwana kanye nalabo abakhubazekileyo, nezindlu ziyakhiwa ngisho nasemakhaya imbala. Osozinkontileka abancane nabo igcagcele esokeni kubo ngoba bayahlomula kulezi zinhlelo zokufakela ingqalasizinda nokwakhiwa kwezizinda zomphakathi. Abantu bakithi-ke abaningi bathola nethuba lokufunda amakhono anhlobonhlobo ngenkathi kwakhiwa lezi zingqalazizinda.
Isamba semali okwabelwana ngaso kulo nyaka wezimali sesisonke – ayibizeki ngesiZulu – sibalelwa ku-362,7 billion. Ngithi ayibizeki ngesiZulu ngoba inkulu kakhulu ngakho asikaze sicabange ukuthi kuyoze kufike kulezi zigidigidi. Ngonyaka olandelayo siyokwenyuka sibe ngu-R395,8 billion bese kuthi ngaloya sibe ngu-R427,5 billion. Isabiwomali salonyaka-ke sigxile kakhulu ekwelekeleleni ohulumeni bezifundazwe nabasekhaya ukuze bakwazi ukunikezela ngezidingongqangi, nokuqinisekisa ukuthi labo hulumeni bayizinsika nodondolo lwentuthuko.
Kusukela ngonyaka ka-2002 isamba semali esiya kohulumeni basekhaya silokhu sikhule njalo. Kulo nyaka singama-4,6% njengoba somzwile uNgqongqoshe, sikhule ngozayo sibe u-6,3% bese kuthi ngo-2008/9 siyobe sesingu-7%. Uyibizile-ke ngezigidigidi nayo uNgqongqoshe. Ngaphezu kwakho konke, omunye wozwakwethu uzophinde asicobhelele-ke ngezincomo zekhomishane eyeluleka uhulumeni ngokwabiwa kwemali kulezi zigaba zikahulumeni okubizwa nge-FFC, nokuthi zizoba namthelela muni ezimpilweni zabantu bakithi.
Lesi-ke isikhathi esimbi-ke. Sekusuka nokungebani nje kukhulume kugeqeze mayelana nezidingo zabantu okungathi uma bekhethwa ngabantu kukhona abangakwenza. UKhongolose kuphela onohlelo nosenomlando wokuletha ushintsho ezimpilweni zabantu, ikakhulukazi labo ababecindezelwe yibo laba namuhla asebethi bayasikhulumela. Sithi-ke siwuKhongolose abantu abaqaphele lezi zimpisi eziza kubo zigqoke izikhumba zezimvu. Azisoze zaguquka emikhutsheni yazo. Njengoba ziphikisa yonke into ezoletha ubungcono kubantu lapha ePhalamende, ziyohlale ziphikisa njalo. Yingakho bephika nokuthi babengobhongoza bobandlululo ngesikhathi esedlule. [Ihlombe.] UKhongolose-ke uyowa evuka nabantu kuze kubhubhe umhlaba, awusoze wabalahla. Yingakho-ke siwu-ANC siweseka loMthethosivivinywa. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[This Bill makes sure that all tiers of government get an equitable but not equal share so that they can fulfil the needs of our people as we promised them during the writing of the Freedom Charter over 50 years ago.
If we say to the people there is only one party that is capable of making their lives better and making local government work better for them, they know what we are talking about because since the ANC took over they have been completely satisfied. Their dignity is coming back day by day. They now have a voice in the daily discussion of decisions regarding their lives. We know about programmes such as IDPs and the ward committees and other democratic programmes working for our people. They have a right to choose their own representatives, from national to provincial government, and even in local government.
This country has a Constitution which respects the dignity of every person, without looking at ethnicity, sex and colour. The economy of this country is growing tremendously and it has never been like this before. Inflation is also increasing by between 3% and 6%. There is a lot to mention in this regard, and our people know it.
This Bill is the foundation for the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, or Asgisa.
It is indeed good when most of the revenue goes to local government, because that is where the real challenges are. This is where our people, the poor of the poorest, are and it is where we find the second economy, which needs to be developed in order to reach those who have always been part of the economy.
My colleagues will talk extensively about the local government programmes. They will clarify how this Bill aims to face the challenges of infrastructure such as roads, water, electricity and telephone lines, which will make the lives of our people better. We have already started doing that, but what we are saying is that we need to speed up the processes.
If one looks at this year's Budget, we can proudly say that hunger will indeed suffer in this country. Over and above pensions and grants for people with disabilities, houses are being built, even in the rural areas. Up-and-coming contractors are also getting something in terms of building infrastructure. Our people also acquire skills during the process of building infrastructure.
The budget allocation for this year is not easy to pronounce in isiZulu – it's about R362,7 billion. I am saying it is not easy to pronounce it in isiZulu because it's too much and we never anticipated that we would have so many billions one day. Next year the budget allocation will be R395,8 billion, and the year thereafter it will be R427,5 billion. The budget allocation for this year is aimed at helping the provincial and local governments to meet the prime needs of the people, and also to make sure that these spheres of government become the pillars of development.
Since 2002, the budget allocation to the local governments has been growing steadily. This year alone it is 4,6%, as we heard the Minister say; next year it will increase to 6,3%, and in 2008-09 it will be 7%. The Minister expressed the money in billions. On top of that, one of my colleagues will tell us about the recommendations of the FFC and the implications thereof in our people's lives.
These are bad times. Every Tom, Dick and Harry now has the audacity to talk about the people's needs as if there is something that they would do if they were voted in. Only the ANC has the programmes and the history in terms of bringing change in people's lives, especially for those who were oppressed by the very people who today claim to be talking on their behalf. We as the ANC say people should heed these wolves in sheep's clothing. A wolf will always be a wolf. They always oppose everything here in Parliament which aims to bring a better life to our people. They will forever be opposing. That is why they even deny that they were the architects of apartheid. [Applause.] The ANC will be with the people until the end of the world. The ANC will never forsake them. It is for these reasons that we as the ANC support this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mr I O DAVIDSON: Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's under a year since we last debated a Division of Revenue Bill and I was new to the finance committee at that stage and I came with a fresh mind. And certainly I was aware of the problems that existed. But after reading the Finance and Fiscal Commission's report last year – much of which was frank and to the point – and after noting government's positive response, which was a positive response thereto, my view was to support the Bill at that stage and that is exactly what the DA did, because I believed there would be a significant improvement in expenditure and a significant improvement in respect of delivery.
One year later, I have a distinct sense of déjà vu, because the underspend continues, more particularly in respect of conditional grants, capital grants and municipal grants. In some respects this underspend has become chronic. The only difference between now and last year is that, I think, last year the FFC's comments were more frank and to the point and this year they are somewhat more benign.
Two points of the Bill give what I believe is a sense of unreality. Firstly, the increase in the allocations of many of the capital, conditional and municipal grants; and that provinces have exhibited an inability to spend what they have, let alone spend more of what they are about to be given.
Secondly, the debate around sections 19 and 20 of the Bill, which allow National Treasury to stop after a process and reallocate an allocation to another department or province. Once again I make the point that very often those provinces and departments are unable to spend what they have been given, let alone absorb a greater allocation.
An analysis of the latest provincial expenditure figures reveals that, once again, provinces are likely to end the financial year with massive underspending. Failure to spend on services even when plenty of money is available is failure to deliver. While some provinces have performed well, others are failing their residents by lagging behind. By the end of the third quarter of 2005-06, the provinces had only spent 55% of their R13,9 billion capital allocation. Not one of the nine provinces had spent 75% by the end of the third quarter. The worst performers did not even spent 50%. The Free State spent only 46%, Limpopo 43% and the North West only 48%.
It seems that while provinces are perfectly capable of spending taxpayers' money on salaries and to keep bloated provincial bureaucracies running, they are unable to spend money on tangible benefits to citizens.
Underexpenditure on the capital portion of the budget points directly to service delivery failures. Underspending on conditional grants is even more worrying. Conditional grants are used, among other things, to finance the hospital revitalisation programme, to provide support for land transfer beneficiaries, HIV/Aids programmes and school feeding schemes, to name but a few.
Despite the urgency of these humanitarian and socioeconomic projects we find once again that provinces are lagging behind. By the third quarter, four provinces had spent less than 65% on education. The Western Cape spent 57%, the Free State 60%, the North West 60% and Limpopo 62%. When it comes to health, the Free State spent 39%, Limpopo 46%, the Eastern Cape 51% and the Western Cape 56%.
The Minister spoke of the health sector. Let me choose but one conditional grant, that is the Hospital Revitalisation Programme. It is unsurprising that public hospitals are in the state that they are in. Despite the fact that R1,2 billion had been allocated to the Hospital Revitalisation Programme by December last year, only 53% of it had actually been spent. The worst offenders were the Free State, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, spending only 31%, 35% and 38% respectively. Now if underspending on this programme continues we will have an underspend or saving of R250 million on that programme.
Now if one looks to the 2003-04 financial year, there was a saving of R306 million on the Hospital Revitalisation Programme and last year there was a saving of R231 billion. That is three quarters of a billion rand unspent on the Hospital Revitalisation Programme in three years and we ask ourselves why our hospitals are in such a state.
Last financial year only two provinces, ie the Northern Cape and the Western Cape, spent their entire budget in this programme. The worst performer was KwaZulu-Natal. It spent only 26% of its budget last year and 36% the year before. National Treasury's allocations in the Northern Cape were equally as bad. This year the National Treasury is allocating an increase for the next three years of R500 million to this Hospital Revitalisation Programme.
Doesn't one get a distinct sense of unreality of money that is budgeted for, able to be spent and yet not spent? And yet we have budgets coming through that project increases in the amounts to be spent. And if one turns to the municipal infrastructure grants that likewise the Minister focused on we note again with concern the revelation that municipalities around the country last year failed to spend R1,2 billion of their municipal infrastructure grants, because of a lack of skilled engineers.
The Department of Provincial and Local Government's 2005 Report on Skills Levels in municipalities noted that:
Resignations had played a significant part in the outflow of skills, particularly from managerial and skilled technical occupations; significant number of engineers had been offered early retirement or had been replaced by non-technical decision-makers.
Placed on early retirement at this time of our skills crisis? It goes further:
Many engineers had left the sector out of extreme frustration; an introduction of equity targets ...
This is their report, not mine –
... at all levels of the state had resulted in the sector losing staff and being unable to fill vacant posts.
This in a time when we have a skills crisis in our country. The result is that 74 out of 231 local municipalities have no civil engineers, technologists or technicians; 45 have only one civil technician and 186 local municipalities have no civil engineers whatsoever.
Alarmingly, the report noted that the system of internship at local government is not at all well developed. And so, we now reflect on whether we need to, as the DA, support this budget. It goes against my natural instincts; and I repeat that: it goes against my natural instincts. But if you ask me whether the DA can support these increased allocations, I have to say; we cannot.
It is not money that is lacking, and it is not an increase in budgets that is needed, but the ability to appropriately spend and deliver. Thank you.
Mr T E VEZI: Thank you, Madam Speaker, section 214(1) of the Constitution requires that every year a Division of Revenue Act determines the equitable division of nationally raised revenue between the three spheres of government. This year's division of revenue is framed against the backdrop of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa. The design of the equitable share formula for both provincial and local government is such that these spheres have desirable, stable and predictable revenue shares and that existing economic and fiscal disparities are addressed.
Investing in people and ensuring that skills development complements employment creation are critical platforms on which to build future prosperity. The IFP supports labour-intensive rural infrastructure development. The IFP supports the FFC proposal that the government should address housing delivery bottlenecks to reduce underspending in provinces. We further support the devolution of bus and taxi subsidies to municipalities where the capacity exists to manage these services.
Despite the Minister's logical explanation, we are still of the opinion that he could have done a bit more in respect of social grants. The IFP further supports the FFC proposal that consideration be given to link new housing subsidies with the municipal infrastructure grant, and to the equitable share formula to ensure that municipalities can deliver basic services to poor households.
In conclusion, the IFP supports the Division of Revenue Bill and applauds the SA Revenue Service, Stats SA and National Treasury for a job well done. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms J L FUBBS: Madam Speaker, hon members of this House, cadres, comrades and people, this division of revenue marks these allocations as a milestone in the human rights reflected in the Constitution, but it also underpins the ANC's goal of a social contract with South Africa.
Yes, we pledged in 2004 to enter into a people's contract to create jobs and to fight poverty, and this division of revenue is a fundamental plank of the financial commitments to bring about this pledge that was made to the people then. As we go into another election one is certainly confident that the pledges we make are quite clearly commitments and not idle promises.
Significantly, this division of revenue marks an unbroken thread that has characterised the struggle for political, economic and social justice. How the government divides the money collected from the people is directly informed by the principles translated into its policies and its implementable actions. The ANC-led government's basic policy remains reconstruction, development, meeting basic needs, growing the economy and promoting social development, and this year it is quite clear that Asgisa is our weapon against the war on poverty and a sharp policy instrument that will fuel the second and survivalist economy into an engine of skilled workers in employment.
What the division of revenue does is to translate these policies and strategies into measurable objectives, clearly defined outputs and realistic outcomes informed by collective engagement with the people through izimbizo and other outreach processes.
The division of revenue, as I said, marks a milestone in the equitable allocation of funds to the three spheres of government: national, provincial and local. However, the primary objective of the division of revenue is that South Africans receive basic services. Nevertheless, look at some of the highlights of departmental expenditure allocations: R82 billion more has been added to departmental expenditure plans over the next three years. These allocations provide financial resources for the objectives of human development, and poverty reduction; and they emphasise education and the built environment.
There is tax relief to companies and, indeed, the allocations that are made in the division of revenue are informed by sustainable and implementable measures rather than vague promises generated by an election year.
The key objectives of the intergovernmental transfers are to promote efficiency, equity and democracy. The Financial and Fiscal Commission has once again provided its impartial checks and over the years many of these radical recommendations have been phased in. This year a number of them were fully taken on board, in particular those related to local government and the conditional grants.
My comrade, Yusuf Bhamjee will deal in depth with the provincial allocations, broadly speaking. I think it is worthwhile noting that although I won't focus on local government elections, I want to just refer to a clause in the Division of Revenue Bill, clause 38, which is of great interest to all South Africans. Why is it so significant? Because it is related to the social conflict in some of our municipalities, particularly those involved in the redemarcation, as it were.
This clause is testimony to the fact that conflict is unnecessary because the relevant clause 38 ensures that a province, that is the releasing province, must continue to spend its allocation for the financial year commencing 1 April 2006 in terms of this Bill, as if that particular area was not reallocated to another province. The receiving province thereby ensures that the affected municipality will not be negatively financially impacted in any way whatsoever.
This clause confirms, once again, the ANC's government's commitment to ensure that the legalities of the Constitution are balanced by its social and moral principles. Clearly, social upheaval is not warranted in these cases.
I now wish to go back to the provincial side of things and look at literacy. Literacy, skills, specialised skills, employment and indeed the fight against poverty are critical. This importance of literacy and increased and focused skills in our learners as an instrument for employment and fighting poverty is supported by a number of measures in education.
Apart from the R565 million extra for libraries and the shift from local government to provinces, there have also been additional funds allocated to higher institutions of learning, amounting to as much as R1 billion over three years. An increased amount of funds has been allocated for upgrading of existing facilities in schools. Yes, the 17 learners under trees will be in buildings, but those already in buildings will find that issues such as equipment, doors, windows, toilets and all the other things that full upgrading will address are met decisively in this division of revenue.
With regard to hospital revitalisation, there has already been reference to the fact that there is not enough money, and I ask you to ask any wife, mother or any person in a home who is providing for a family, "Have you got enough money?" You never have enough money. The critical issue is the expenditure of those funds that are available for that allocation and how best those funds are employed. I mean that R900 million will now boost this hospital revitalisation programme to R5,1 billion.
I want to ask members, those who do not have amnesia, of course, to just refresh their minds and recall what the situation was 10–12 years ago and how progressively over the years this has been addressed. Of course we were left with areas - I hate to say it - in Johannesburg where the infrastructure under the DA was left to rot and left for the ANC to pick up. [Interjections.] But never mind, of course you were, man! Of course you may think you were not in charge but you were elected to be in charge.
Now, with regard to social development: R70 billion a year, that is what it is now getting, which is 3,4% of GDP. It reaches 10 million beneficiaries and will continue to reach more.
The other issue, as some governments before us said, is: Let's put a roof over their heads. We know that housing is not a roof over your head. I can put a roof over my head with a raincoat. No. What it means is schools, clinics, roads and transport. It means all of those things plus cohesion in the community. Working with the community, that is what it means. [Applause.]
Transport is getting up to R2 billion by 2008-09, nearly R700 million this year. For those of our people living in rural areas, this includes the rural areas significantly. Provinces will get up to R4 billion over four years with the implementation and for the implementation of several social service employment-intensive programmes with regard to community health services, for one. [Interjections.] My job is not in danger, but yours is.
The other factors in this regard are that there will be several community services, early childhood development and associated training projects. All of these recognise the need to build cohesive communities.
The other point, which I think is worthwhile noting, is that conditional grants to provinces have been rationalised. Over many years the provinces constantly complained of what they called fiscal dumping, that is the inability to shift the conditional grant around if for legitimate reasons it wasn't spent, and how this could be used more effectively, say, if you couldn't spend your own conditional grant fully on housing or whatever. This is now able to go into the national kitty, to another area in our country where such funds can be effectively used. In other words, we've become more practical, realistic, prudent and efficient. I wish a lot more businesses would follow suit, because we hear every day about the inefficiency in business. One only has to look at one's own bank account - but never mind.
I just want to complete this aspect on intergovernmental fiscal relations. The Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Act is unique in some ways. And one of these ways in which it is unique is that it rests on - for me, it would seem - a very ubuntu-like and African concept, a very collective and sharing-based concept of co-operative governance. It is something foreign to some members of the House, but if all of our allocations are examined, it is quite clear that the concept of co-operative governance, the concepts of collectivity and sharing and working together are present. We appeal to businesses in this country to see how we allocate the funds.
When you look towards the division of your profits remember we are living in South Africa where only together can we become a prosperous nation in which all people benefit in the wealth of the country without any one having to make the heavy sacrifices and bear the burden of poverty that they currently may still endure. I thank you. The ANC supports this. [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART: Madam Speaker and hon Minister, the ACDP supports the Division of Revenue Bill. However, we do have certain reservations. We share the concerns expressed relating to underspending by provinces and municipalities. These spheres of government must be capacitated to spend their capital budgets and must retain skilled engineers and technical officials.
The division of the equitable share allocation takes into account population size and education and health needs, amongst other factors. The question arises, hon Minister, whether the equitable share has been adjusted following changes to provincial boundaries flowing from last year's elimination of cross-border municipalities.
The previous speaker also referred to this issue. Clearly, this is the case over the MTEF period and this issue will undoubtedly allay fears of those communities whose municipalities have been moved from one province to another and we trust that this information is communicated to communities involved.
At this stage we also wish to commend the Receiver of Revenue and Ministry for the budget and, as I indicated, we will support the Division of Revenue Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Dr G G WOODS: Madam Speaker, Nadeco is satisfied with the criteria and the overall formulation used to establish the divisions as they appear in the Bill, and for those reasons we support it.
While sharing the concerns mentioned earlier on by the hon Davidson, we do think that that is a separate issue. In terms of the Constitution, the Bill has its role that it has to carry out. It must equitably provide the divisions and allocate them.
We do think that the strong features that the Bill has are the conditions of transfer, which continue to develop year by year. We see the transfer accountability arrangement strengthening as we continue each year. In particular, I would like to mention that the risk management requirements in chapter 3 are very innovative and are a welcome addition to the Bill in recent years.
Chapter 3 covers schedule 5 and schedule 6 allocations. Chapter 4 covers the duties of transferring and receiving officers, which in turn deal with schedules 4, 5, 6 and 7 allocations. I think these will go towards providing initiatives for capacity increases at both provincial and municipal levels. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M T LIKOTSI: Madam Speaker, the PAC wishes to thank the Minister of Finance and the Treasury for a well-presented and balanced Budget estimate. We had hoped that the budget would resolve most of our problems, reach out to our expectations and meet the demands of our nation, but it is not likely to do so.
The nation had visualised the emergence of a completely new order that would result in the creation of scarce jobs, address abject poverty and revamp our living conditions in general. The projected budget indicates otherwise.
Let me take a leaf from the writings of Dale Carnegie in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, and I quote:
You may satisfy some of the people some of the time, but you may not satisfy all the people all the time.
The PAC supports the Bill. [Applause.]
Mr Y S BHAMJEE: Madam Speaker, thank you for inviting me to participate in this debate. Firstly, I wish to just make a few comments on the views presented by hon Davidson. Members of this House should know that yesterday when we were sitting in the committee the hon Davidson did not utter a single word while we were discussing the Division of Revenue Bill. When we asked him to support the Division of Revenue Bill, he said he must first get a mandate.
I can safely argue that he came to this House with an incorrect mandate, because the ANC has clearly identified challenges and backlogs. The ANC is a people's organisation. Therefore if there are backlogs and challenges, we will not deny that reality when speaking with our people; because, at the end of the day, we know that the people believe in the ANC.
In fact, his comments were so banal that he did not take into account the corrective measures put in place by the conditional grants, etc. [Interjections.]
Mr W P DOMAN: What are you going to say next year?
Mr I O DAVIDSON: There is still underspending.
Mr Y S BHAMJEE: You see, once you put them in a tight corner and you tell them that they haven't read the documentation, they start shouting like small babies.
The ANC is the vanguard – the beacon of transformation. The ANC leads and others follow. The ANC was and is the beacon for all South Africans. It might not be to the DA but, certainly, for the vast majority of the people, the ANC is hope. It is historically the only organisation that has the virtue of political struggle and continues to declare to the world, and to South Africa, that South Africa belongs to all who live in it – black and white.
We have successfully restored the dignity of South Africans, Africans in particular and blacks in general. The world respects and admires our approach on how we addressed the legacy of apartheid, and set about transforming and reconstructing our country. All, including those who were historically advantaged, admire the impact we are making on the international scene.
Now that we have constructed and consolidated the foundations of our young democracy, guided by the principles of the Freedom Charter, we can meaningfully focus on the reconstruction and development of our country. We are now in a position to make it happen in areas that we live in. Yes, there are huge challenges and backlogs, but it is only the ANC-led government that has a plan to improve the general quality of life of all South Africans, including the historically advantaged.
There is some discomfort in some areas. But when we unpack these challenges we realise that our people also believe that it is only the ANC that can make a difference in their lives and in the community in which they live. Thus, not to vote for the ANC would indeed be a wasted vote. Now is the time to consolidate and advance the people's charter to its logical conclusion in order to ensure that all shall be equal before the law and that all shall enjoy the fruits under the South African sun.
The amount of R14 billion in additional taxes generated in this fiscal year by a booming economy and the efficient administration of Sars offered the opportunity to the hon Minister to cut taxes levied on individuals. In fact, all South Africans, without exception, have benefited substantially from the tax cuts. This can only serve to enhance local economic development.
But all of us must agree that lots more still needs to be done on the local government front to sustain delivery of services and to create an environment that is conducive to healthy living. To this effect, the hon Minister of Finance has, through the Division of Revenue Bill before this House, significantly increased the allocation to local government. The amount of money allocated to local government, adding to equitable share and conditional grants, has significantly increased from the 2002-03 allocation of R8,1 billion to R16,9 billion in the 2004-05 allocation. It has now been announced that it has increased to R25,9 billion and it is projected that the 2008-09 allocation ought to be in the region of R30,9 billion.
This allocation is part of the plan that will play a significant role in realising the ANC's vision of speeding up delivery to ensure that all South Africans have access to clean water and decent sanitation by 2010; that all houses have electricity by 2012; and that all houses receive free basic services. Schedule 6 of the Division of Revenue Bill deals with specific allocations to municipalities to effect good governance practices and give meaning to the ANC's manifesto. This is what the hon Davidson failed to read, understand and internalise.
As a recurrent grant, the Department of Provincial and Local Government has, via its municipal systems improvement grant, allocated R200 000 million to assist municipalities in building in-house capacity, and to perform their functions and stabilise institutional and governance systems. It is a challenge. We have identified it and we are moving head.
As a recurrent grant, the National Treasury has allocated R145 000 for local government financial management with the objective to promote and support reforms to financial management and implementation of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act that is equivalent to the Public Finance Management Act, which this House is familiar with. We have identified the problem and we are advancing.
Furthermore, Treasury has made R350 million available for local government restructuring, with the intention of supporting municipal restructuring initiatives of large municipalities. We have identified the problem and we are advancing. Water Affairs and Forestry, via the water services operating subsidy, is committed to augment the water trading accounts to subsidise water schemes owned and/or operated by the department or other agencies on behalf of the department. We have identified the need and we are advancing.
The Department of Minerals and Energy is committed to implement the electrification programme by providing capital subsidies to Eskom in order to address electrification backlogs regarding permanently occupied residential dwellings, the installation of bulk infrastructure and the rehabilitation of electrification infrastructure. We have identified the need and we are advancing.
The Department of Transport is to provide for accelerated planning, establishment, construction and improvement of new and existing public transport and nonmotorised transport infrastructure and systems. We have identified the challenge and we are advancing.
To ensure that the people take pride in the development of their local neighbourhoods by fostering partnerships, Treasury will provide municipalities with technical assistance to develop appropriate project proposals for property development in townships and new residential neighbourhoods, which include the construction of community facilities and, where appropriate, attracting private sector funding and input.
These and many other grants are directed at improving the delivery of services. It is in this context that the Accelerated and Shared Growth for South Africa begins to have meaning, for it is a set of interventions whose aim is to accelerate growth and development. It is work in progress and focuses on key elements of the economy that currently serve as impediments to high economic growth.
In addition, through public-private partnerships, government will make large investments in different sectors in order to meet the demands of electricity, provide an efficient and competitive logistics infrastructure, expand and modernise the telecommunication infrastructure, and satisfy the demand for water.
This project is a people-centred development paradigm. Therefore it is crucial that public representatives – particularly councillors - communities, ward committees, businesses – both big and small, cultural, religious, sporting, professional and worker organisations are all on board or need to be on board to develop local integrated development programmes, IDPs, that will truly reflect the will and vision of each municipality on how it will forge a partnership that will be committed to improving the quality of life for all.
Yes, this process will draw up its own challenges. There are no ready-made answers, but it is a challenge and we are up to it. We have identified it and we will advance. It is this that gives all citizens the hope for a better life. The Public Finance Management Act and the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act are the envy of the world. There are very few parallels to match the oversight role contained in documents that are guided by our Constitution.
When the President spoke of hope for a better life for all, he was challenging and inspiring us to play a robust oversight role to ensure that the monies allocated via the Division of Revenue Bill are deployed to achieve the desired outcomes. We need to hold all departments, public entities and public-private partnerships to account.
We need to give practical meaning to the ANC's election manifesto, which declares that, together with the people, the ANC will, and I quote:
Speed up delivery; improve the provision of housing; build infrastructure; stimulate local economic development; create job opportunities; make sure that the people's voices are heard by strengthening participation in ward committees and other forums, so that ordinary citizens can have a greater direct say in the development of their communities; help local councils to meet their communities' needs through programmes like Project Consolidate and others, that ensure national and provincial governments work harder to support local councils; provide more resources and trained staff for local government; train all councillors so that they can effectively serve the communities; and regularly review the performance of councillors to ensure that they meet the obligations of the people.
These guidelines signal the fact that the ANC has a plan of working with people to make it happen where we live. Collaborative efforts are needed by the public and private sector in order to fight corruption. All role-players in the economy must address capacity and skills shortages. Dangerous tactics must not be used to chase away South Africans whose destiny is South Africa.
Short, medium, and long-term learnership and mentorship must be effected. I hope the DA is listening. All patriots need to join hands to creatively address the shortage of appropriate skills. Now is the time to walk the talk. We need to share services with regard to scarce resources, forge partnerships between a regional municipality and its family of municipalities to monitor key performance indicators on a regular basis. Project management units with the necessary skills and expertise need to be institutionalised in each of the regional municipalities until such time that each municipality has developed its own resource base. The private sector will always be there to put skills into their organisation.
Government needs to be proactive and competitive to absorb the scarce commodity of expertise. It must appeal to the social consciousness and social responsibility to be creative and innovative role-players, in developing a stable local environment, so that ordinary citizens can determine their destiny with pride. The ANC supports the Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Igama Lamakhosikazi! [Praise the name of women!] Chairperson, I think there's an old bit of Confucian wisdom that suggests that if you haven't asked the right questions you will never get the right answers. I think the question before the House relates to the Division of Revenue Bill. Key about it is that the Constitution assigns powers and functions to different spheres of government and having done that, one thing you could try and do is overthrow the Constitution; the other is to recognise that the Constitution is a product of negotiated settlement.
The ANC certainly didn't ask for all of these provinces, but they're there. They're there and they have powers and functions as set out in the schedules of the Constitution. Having established that, you must then ask whether the resources have been fairly allocated to other spheres of government from nationally raised revenues and secondly, whether the resources available equip these spheres of government to deal with the responsibilities the Constitution assigns to them.
The other issues, hon Davidson, are actually immaterial to the question before the House. These are the issues that the hon Davidson raises about the numbers of engineers, technicians and so on; all of those we supply. The section 32 reports in terms of the PFMA are numbers that we supply. And we do so because we're conscious of the fact that Parliament has an oversight role. The reason why we supply those numbers is to invite Parliament to more actively participate.
Now, the hon Davidson speaks of capex. There have been very significant changes in this year. Treasury facilitated work between the Department of Public Works, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and there has been acceleration of spending on capex. We need to understand that there always are long lead times, but in the period that the hon Davidson referred to – the first three quarters – R1,2 billion more was spent on capex this year compared to the previous year.
Sure, there will be a bit of underspending, but it will be marginal, probably something in the order of R800 million. But, with capex everywhere you always have overflows between one year and the next, and the numbers we shared earlier this week on both the building of classrooms and what remains to be done speak volumes to that.
The issue of the availability of engineers, civil engineers and technicians touched on by the hon Davidson, hon Woods and hon Swart is a reality. The SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors has published the numbers. There is an acute shortage in this country and in these circumstances it is more likely that people will leave the Public Service for the greener pastures of the private sector. This is an enormous challenge. I referred in the speech to the changes that we have been able to effect by building in the scarce skills allowance in Education, and how this has impacted on the ability of Health to employ 12 000 more people. Similar things are going to happen with the other scarce skills and Siyenza Manje [We are doing it now] at the Development Bank will clearly facilitate this process going forward. I am clearly not pessimistic about the issues.
In respect of the cross-boundary municipalities – the matter raised by the hon Swart – we don't have all of the numbers. If you look at the Northern Cape, and I have said this, there is conjecture that the inclusion of the Kgalakgadi District Municipality in the Northern Cape may actually increase the population in the Northern Cape by 10%. How then will you fund Education, Health and all those issues going forward? There is no ready-made formula. We have teams that are actively engaged in the process, not to take it away from one province, but we will have to find additional resources in here to ensure that by the time that the next Division of Revenue Bill is tabled these matters would be dealt with with a lot more certainty than what we have at the moment.
Finally, I am not sure what the hon Davidson is suggesting. He is suggesting that the DA will not support additional resources for the other spheres of government - we'll go out and tell the municipalities now that the hon Davidson and the DA will not support additional resources for municipalities. [Applause.] Let's do it at the hustings. Thank you very much for the support. [Applause.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Chair, the DA is not in any way put off by the Minister of Finance's statement and I wish that our objection be recorded. Thank you.
Bill read a second time (DA dissenting).
MURDER OF MUSA MASONDO
Mnu B Z ZULU (ANC): Ukubulawa kweqabane uMusa Masondo obengenele ukhetho ku-ward 7 egameni le-ANC futhi engusihlalo we-Dr Pixley ka Seme branch kuwashaqisile amalungu e-ANC kanye nomphakathi wakwaNomgoma. Iqabane uMasondo ubulawe ngesihluku esikhulu ekuseni izolo mhlaka-16 eduze komuzi wakubo. Lolu lunya lokubulawa kweqabane uMasondo lwenziwe ngababulali abanenhloso yabo ecacile yokwesabisa umphakathi wakwaNongoma ukuze ungavoteli i-ANC. Sizakwalisa ukudabuka okukhulu esikubhekise emndenini weqabane uMusa Masondo ngokulahlekelwa yilungu lomndeni.
Sinxusa amaqembu ezombusazwe endaweni yakwaNongoma, ikakhulukazi i-IFP ne-ANC ukuba abambisane ngokuba akuchithe ukubalanana okwenziwa ababulali bebhace ngegama lezombusazwe. I-African National Congress yenza inhlabamkhosi iyibhekise emaphoyiseni nakubantu bakithi kanye namasotsha aqaphe ukuthula ukuba benze isiqiniseko sokuthi abalulali balethwa ngaphambi kokwahlulelwa yingalo eqinile yomthetho. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu member's statement follows.)
[Mr B Z ZULU (ANC): The killing of Comrade Musa Masondo, who took part in the elections in ward 7 on behalf of the ANC and who was the chairperson of the Dr Pixley Seme branch, has shocked both the members of the ANC and the kwaNongoma community. Comrade Masondo was brutally killed yesterday morning, on the 16th, near his home. The killers, who clearly intended to threaten the kwaNongoma community so that they would not vote for the ANC, performed this brutality of murdering Comrade Masondo. We convey our condolences to Comrade Masondo's family on their loss of a family member.
We request the political parties of kwaNongoma, especially the IFP and the ANC, to work hand in hand to put an end to the murdering of people for political reasons. The ANC is sending a warning signal to the police, the community and the soldiers to make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. Thank you. [Applause.]]
EXTENSION OF CONTRACT OF CAPE TOWN
Mr W P DOMAN (DA): Chair, the ANC is not only giving jobs to pals, now it is giving golden handshakes to pals. The extension of the Cape Town municipal manager's contract for another year, a decision taken solely by the ANC Mayor Mfeketo, who claims she has the delegated powers to do so, only days before the election date is further evidence of the ANC using its ratepayers' money to look after its friends.
Municipal manager Wallace Mgoqi has played an active pro-ANC role, attacking the DA in letters to the press and publicly stating his bias in favour of the ANC. As a result, he was forced to resign as the municipal electoral officer.
In Mbana vs Mnquma Municipality 2004, the court held, and I quote:
That section 82 of the Local Government Municipal Structures Act gave the municipal council, and no other person or committee, the power to appoint a municipal manager.
This was supported by section 30 of the same Act, as well as the provisions of section 160 of the Constitution and sections 57 and 59 of the Municipal Systems Act.
Hierby is natuurlik inbegrepe die afdanking en verlenging van 'n munisipale bestuurder se diens. Die DA glo die burgemeester het buite haar magte opgetree. Haar besluit het geen bindingskrag nie, en die DA sal die provinsiale minister van plaaslike regering versoek om in te gryp. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[This naturally includes the dismissal and extension of a municipal manager's service. The DA believes that the mayor acted beyond her powers of authority. Her decision is not binding and the DA will request the provincial minister for local government to intervene.]
Mr H P CHAUKE: On a point of order, Madam: I just want to understand. I think it is not correct if a member cannot pronounce a name, or perhaps he is speaking of someone that we do not know. With regard to the names of Mr Mgoqi and Ms Mfeketo, I am not sure if he means the mayor of Cape Town or if he means the manager of the City of Cape Town. I am not sure whom he is speaking of. If he says it's the mayor, I can help him; if he says it's the city manager, I will help him.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms C-S Botha): I was going to take your point, because I thought you were going to be helpful.
Mr W P DOMAN: Chair, may I address you on that point? I just want to thank the hon member, Patrick Chauke, for drawing more attention to this matter. [Interjections.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Chair, it's all very well for the hon Chauke to start making his allegations. [Interjections.] It's a point of order, but it's not really a point of order; however, I would like to make it anyway. When he starts making points like this, if we start standing up every time his members mispronounce names, we could have a great deal of fun in this House and, I think, he must understand that as well.
SIXTEEN DAYS OF ACTIVISM CAMPAIGN
Prince N E ZULU (IFP): Madam Chair, each year the Sixteen Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse campaign highlights and brings to the fore sensational issues of gross inhuman behaviour and the levels of moral decay found in society. It is unfortunate that once this campaign is over these very important issues seem to fall out of the spotlight and to the back of our minds, until the next Sixteen Days campaign begins a year later.
It is encouraging and uplifting that the Gauteng department of education has committed itself to creating safer schools that do not tolerate gender violence. This is especially relevant as violence and abuse towards female learners becomes more and more rampant around the country.
We hope this initiative will have the desired effect and create a safer environment for school-going children. We raise our voices to other education departments, relevant stakeholders and schools around the country to implement initiatives that will rid our schools of all forms of gender violence. Thank you.
SOUTH AFRICA IS CHANGING FOR THE BETTER
Ms M P MENTOR (ANC): Chairperson, this statement is on the current optimism and positive outlook that is displayed by South Africans in terms of their future due to what government is doing, and how government is performing.
Recent surveys, including the one that is conducted by the AC Nielsen Consulting Group, confirm that South Africans believe that life in our country is changing for the better. The survey found that many people believe the following: many more people than ever before have access to clean water and have electricity in their homes; more South Africans have gained access to housing, land and education, and government services are improving.
The government works to promote the interests of children, persons with disability, the youth, women and elderly people better than at any time before. To accelerate the pace of social transformation and service delivery, the ANC has developed a plan to make local government work better for the people.
The ANC therefore calls on the people of South Africa to join in the people's contract to make local government work better by only voting for the ANC. Amandla ngawethu! [Power to the people!][Applause.]
CONDEMNATION OF ACTIONS OF MR JACOB ZUMA'S SUPPORTERS
Mr S N SWART (ACDP): Madam Chair, the ACDP supports organisations such as the Commission on Gender Equality, the SA Human Rights Commission and People Against Women Abuse, which have raised serious concerns about the unacceptable behaviour of former Deputy President Zuma's supporters outside the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.
The treatment of the complainant by Mr Zuma's supporters, who jeered and shouted insults at her, was appalling and has to be condemned by all South Africans who believe in justice for all, particularly for victims of serious crimes such as rape.
Whilst we welcome the majority party's condemnation of these actions, it should also instruct Mr Zuma's supporters to desist from carrying placards that have the potential to incite public violence, such as the one that is alleged to have read: "SANDF, SAPS – Be ready for civil war if Zuma ..."
It should also bring its youth league, which reportedly criticised these organisations, into line. Any form of intimidation or violence, including throwing stones at a woman mistakenly thought to be the complainant, is totally unacceptable and illegal. The police should act immediately to arrest such perpetrators.
The ACDP believes that these actions undermine both the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, and must be condemned in the strongest terms. I thank you.
CITIZENS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE OF SOUTH AFRICA
Mr S E ASIYA (ANC): Chairperson, my statement is about elections. In the past 12 years we have been in government the ANC has not disappointed the people, despite the severe constraints inherited from the apartheid system.
Ellen Mphumela said, and I quote: "I will be voting next month, because things are going to be better." Lenton Radebe, who is 76 years old, expressed satisfaction that he has just received a house of his own.
Taxi owners and drivers are excited about the ranks built recently. Jewel Babamba holds the hope that hawkers will be provided with space to trade.
The optimism of our people about the future of our country is not unfounded; it is based on the correct understanding that the country they love – their own and only homeland – will not disappoint them in their hope for an accelerated advance towards the day when they will be liberated from the suffocating tentacles of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. Amandla! [Power!] [Time expired.]
HON MEMBERS: Ngawethu! [To the people!]
PAC COUNCILLORS TO ADD VALUE AT LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL
Mr M T LIKOTSI (PAC): Madam Chairperson, the PAC is making a clarion call to all our citizens to approach the forthcoming local government elections with one thing in mind, namely addressing the plight of the poor.
The PAC wants to place on record that it has positioned itself to serve the citizens of our country with distinction. We screened all our candidates fielded for these elections and the nation should brace itself for a world-class service by well-disciplined, industrious and committed PAC councillors, who will add more value at local government level. There shall be zero tolerance of all forms of corruption and underperformance by our councillors.
Comrades, it is now time for cadres who know what the struggle was all about to take centre stage and to fight any form of manipulation of our young and fledgling democracy.
The PAC calls upon all Africans in our country to vote for it to further the means towards total freedom. The PAC has long declared its unambiguous position on the return of the land to the rightful owners, the Africans. This is the only reliable tool for socioeconomic emancipation of our African masses. As we approach 1 March the PAC candidates, who are prospective councillors, fully understand this point. [Time expired.]
ANC CANDIDATE CAUGHT WITH 75 DA ELECTION POSTERS
Mr M J ELLIS (DA): Madam Chair, today two members from the ANC have raised the issue of the level of optimism among the people of South Africa and given that as the reason people would vote for them. But, I want to say that if the ANC really believes that people are going to vote for them merely because of the level of optimism at present, then we have to question their tactics in the local government elections and why they are, among other things, taking down DA election posters. [Interjections.]
Yesterday an ANC candidate was arrested after he was found in possession of 75 DA posters in the ANC Chatsworth office. And quite frankly, the rate at which the DA posters have been disappearing from poles around the country is certainly higher than in previous elections. Obviously, the ANC is aware that the DA's message is hitting home amongst the voters.
But I want to say, Madam Chair, that removing election posters is illegal and the ANC has some explaining to do about why their candidate was taking down DA posters, and we have to question how widespread this behaviour is around the country.
Quite frankly, it's clear that the ANC's election promises have grown tired – the same promises every election; the same lack of delivery between elections. I want to say to the ANC that removing DA posters from view won't change that perception in the minds of voters at all.
ANC VICTORY IN FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS WILL SPEED UP SERVICE DELIVERY
Mr S L TSENOLI (ANC): House Chairperson, the ANC applauds the increasing resources for building the capacity of local government towards accelerating service delivery. The proximity of local government to the people makes local government the coalface of people's power.
In recognition of this seminal role of local government, especially in service delivery, the ANC has declared the year 2006 as the year of mobilisation of people's power through local government. This acknowledgement is a fitting tribute to the 50th celebration of the adoption of the Freedom Charter by the ANC.
The ANC manifesto announces a good plan to make local government work better, in the interests of a better life for all.
The building of local government capacity is an indispensable ingredient for successful implementation of government policies. Already Project Consolidate is making a positive impact on service delivery. The victory of the ANC in the elections on 1 March will speed up service delivery and a better life for all of our people. I thank you. [Applause.]
STRATEGY TO FIGHT BIRD FLU ESSENTIAL
Dr R RABINOWITZ (IFP): Chairperson, in the world's scientific community the jury is still out as to the possible likelihood of the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus mutating to become infectious amongst humans. However, the emergence of the strain of this deadly virus on the African continent is a definitive signal to government to be prepared for the possible threats this virus presents.
While we commend the Medical Control Council for rapidly registering Tamiflu, the benefits of this drug are themselves still questionable. To deal with a bird flu outbreak amongst birds, animals and humans, is there a task team combining agriculture, tourism and health? Is there a strategy to protect South Africa's wildlife? Is there readiness and capacity in public and private hospitals to identify patients and isolate them? Do we have tests available in the country to identify the disease?
The worst way to deal with such a crisis, as we have seen with Aids, would be to leave the population in a state of confusion and fear. Clear and unambiguous responses should be formulated and widely communicated to all South Africans.
It's also interesting to note that the Tamiflu itself derives from an Indian herb, and in South Korea scientists claim that a mixture of red pepper, radish, garlic and ginger increases resistance to the disease, both in birds and in humans. And this suggests the importance of combining conventional science and medicine with responsible research into indigenous knowledge and the use of herbal and homeopathic medicines. Our Health Minister has a poor record in this regard. [Time expired.]
URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT COMMENDED
Ms S P RWEXANA(ANC): Chairperson, my statement is about the urban renewal project.
Ndenza umpoposho malunga nonikezelo lwezindlu ebantwini. Isantya sokubonelela abantu bakuthi ngezindlu sithande ukuthi kratya kwaye singumbutho wesizwe, i-ANC, siya kuqinisekisa ukuba abantu bakuthi bayangcamla kulo mthi wenkululeko njengoko sizimisele ukudala ubomi obungcono kumntu wonke.
UMasipala weSixeko saseKapa, okhokelwa ngumbutho wesizwe i-ANC, uye wanikezela ngezindlu kwiintsapho ezingama-600 zaseKhayelitsha. Le ndawo yaseKhayelitsha yenye yeendawo awathi uMongameli Thabo Mbeki wayityumba njengendawo ekufuneka iphuhlisiwe kulandelwa inkqubo yokuhlaziywa kwemimandla yasezidolophini.
Kwiiveki ezintlanu ezigqithileyo umbutho wesizwe wathi waphehlelela umgaqo-nkqubo wokulawula oomasipala kunye nooceba. Loo mgaqo-nkqubo uya kuphucula inqanaba lokuziswa kweenkonzo zikarhulumente ebantwini.
I-ANC yiyo kuphela eneenjongo kwanomgaqo-nkqubo wokuzisa impilo engcono ebantwini. Ndiyabulela. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa member's statement follows.)
[I want to inform you about the houses that were handed over to the people. Housing delivery has been achieved by the ANC at a rapid speed to ensure that people enjoy the fruits of democracy and a better life for all.
The ANC-led Cape Town City Council handed over houses to 600 families in Khayelitsha. President Thabo Mbeki identified Khayelitsha as an area that has to benefit from the urban renewal programme.
Five weeks ago, the ANC launched the municipality development programme, a programme that governs municipalities and councillors. This programme will help to improve service delivery in our communities.
The ANC is the only party that has this programme to provide a better life for the people. Thank you. [Applause.]]
VIOLENT CRIME HAS BECOME PART OF EVERYDAY SOUTH AFRICAN LIFE
Mr R J KING (DA): Chairperson, Melissa Shelver's unborn daughter was callously murdered by a hijacker who deliberately fired two bullets into the pregnant victim's belly. This was after he had already shot the baby's father in the chest. The murderer then stole a wallet, a cellphone and a watch before running away.
The victims co-operated with the hijacker, but he showed them no mercy. The fact that he deliberately targeted the most defenceless of victims, an unborn baby, makes the crime that more shocking.
Gruwelik gewelddadige misdaad het onder die ANC se bewind so deel van die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing geword dat die mees waansinnige vergrype teen mens en dier skaars meer opslae maak of wenkbroue lig. Die regering faal die wetsgehoorsame inwoners van ons land. Die regering volhard steeds om rasgebaseerde besluite te neem, waar veiligheid die enigste norm behoort te wees.
Die afskaffing van kommandos sonder om die leemte te vul, is dwaas en uiters onverantwoordelik. Die bevordering van polisielede sonder dat meriete en verdienste in ag geneem word, is dikwels die beloning vir onbekwaamheid en ondermyn dissipline en prestasie. Bemagtig ons polisie en herstel vertroue by 'n vuisvoos publiek. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Horrific violent crime under the ANC government has become such a part of South African society that the most demented transgressions against man and animal hardly cause a stir any more or raise any eyebrows. The government is failing the law-abiding citizens of our country. The government persists in making decisions that are based on race, when safety should be the only norm.
Doing away with commandos without filling the gap was unwise and extremely irresponsible. The promotion of police officers without taking merit and worth into consideration, is often the reward for incompetence and undermines discipline and performance. Empower our Police Service and restore confidence in a punch-drunk society.]
The government is failing the people of South Africa. In particular, the government has failed this unborn child and her parents. I thank you.
NGO WOMEN VOLUNTEERS HAILED
Ms D M RAMODIBE (ANC): Madam Chairperson, Siphiwe Mphala and Angie Diale, two women volunteers from Meadowlands, Soweto, run a skills development programme for young people in the area. They also run awareness campaigns around issues of HIV/Aids and help people to access government services.
The ANC is heartened by the work these two young women are doing to help change people's lives. Their efforts give meaning to the ANC's call for people to continue to act as builders of their own future.
It is heartening to observe that the spirit of Vukuzenzele continues to inform the actions of our people.
The ANC salutes the work of these two young people and, on this 30th anniversary of June 16, calls upon the youth of our country to mobilise the people to vote for the ANC to ensure further rapid progress to a better life for all. I thank you, Madam Chairperson. [Applause.]
2006 PROGRESSIVE GOVERNANCE SUMMIT
Ms S D MOTUBATSE-HOUNKPATIN (ANC): Madam House Chairperson, I rise to applaud the ANC-led government for its commitment to good governance by accelerating the effort to work with all progressive forces as part of building a progressive movement for transformation and a better life.
The Progressive Governance Summit comprising eight heads of state from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Republic of Korea, Ethiopia and Brazil was hosted by South Africa and it took place during the week of 11 February 2006. This should be supported by all peace-loving people, internationally and at home.
Members of the network are bound together by common values, including commitment to solidarity and social fairness.
The summit focused on the challenges of the 21st century relating to economic growth, eradicating poverty, new security threats and building cohesive societies.
Certainly, from the ANC, we welcome this initiative since we believe that it is the task of all democrats and humanists to identify opportunities in search for a just, humane and equitable world order.
Yo a sa rego šate o a duma. Mošito o tšwela pele! Khutšo e tla rena! Viva ANC! [Legofsi.] [Only those who are jealous will not be able to shout words of praise. The beat goes on! Let peace reign! Viva ANC! [Applause.]]
2006 PROGRESSIVE GOVERNANCE SUMMIT
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: House Chairperson, I would like to respond, firstly, to the statement just read in respect of the Progressive Governance Summit.
It was a very good experience to participate in the summit, because you have government representatives of people in different parts of the world struggling with what it means to put people first and what the opportunities are.
Amongst the issues raised is, of course, the sharing of information and experiences.
There are some issues that other governments are taking to heed from South Africa; not just the Constitutional order and the methodology we apply, but also systems such as free basic services, which creates an extension to the social wage that protects the poor from the ravages of the market. This is something that is likely to take root. Another of the issues that was accepted by the heads of state and the other participants in the summit that was the defining of the humanism that is required of progressives the world over.
So, I want to express appreciation for the matter being raised here. Clearly, we have work ahead because we are not just doing it for ourselves, we are doing it for the world.
The second issue relates to the matter referred to by the hon Mentor on the AC Nielsen study. The AC Nielsen study comes after the Gallup international study, which was released on 1 January 2005, which confirms that South Africans in general are amongst the world's most optimistic people, and that's not without reason. [Applause.]
Similarly, the AC Nielsen study confirms in detail that South Africans, many of whom are poor, feel that there are measurable improvements in the quality of life.
When you take these issues together, namely the Progressive Governance Summit and the AC Nielsen study - and it's not an ANC study, it's an AC Nielsen study of respondents out there - I think we can confirm that this is the time of hope. We've got to build on that. I'm pretty sure that the electorate will respond accordingly.
I would like to make a quick response in respect of what hon Ellis raised on the posters. I'm advised that some of the DA posters have found their way into schools of anatomy in various parts: DA Lewer! Mense soek nou die hart, die longe, die kop en die ore! [DA "De-livers"! People are now looking for the heart, the lungs, the head and the ears!]
So, it's that kind of thing we see on those posters. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
THE MURDER OF MUSA MASONDO
The MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Ngifuna ukugcizelela amazwi eqabane uZulu uma ethi kuyashaqisa ukuthi iqabane lethu uMasondo obehola igatsha le-Pixley ka Seme kwaNongoma libuwale kabuhlungu ngale ndlela elibulawe ngayo. Ngifuna ukuthi ... (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[I want to emphasise Comrade Zulu's words when he says it is shocking that our Comrade Masondo, who led the Pixley Seme branch in kwaNongoma, was brutally killed in such a way. I want to say ...]
... in reality, this shouldn't be happening in the year 2006. It is time for us to mature. We all have the responsibility of adhering to the electoral code of conduct. We as leaders gathered here, representing our parties and indeed playing very important leadership roles, have a responsibility to ensure that our members are not involved in violence and thereby in breach of a code that we all have signed as political parties.
I want to say that our cluster is committed to ensuring that the rule of law is respected in our country and that those guilty of this dastardly act will be found and indeed brought before the courts and hopefully, if guilty, they will be convicted.
And this brings me to the remarks made by the hon member of the DA. All of us, all good citizens abhor crime. But I think that in order to deal realistically with challenges that face us, we must stay away from hysteria and exaggerations.
There is no link and good sense in raising the commandos and giving us information on what could have happened around a crime scene. I thought that it was disingenuous, but let me say that we are committed. I think there has been progress in combating crime in the past 10 years; we are indeed committed to deal effectively with the scourge of crime. We are dealing with this matter in an integrated fashion. We do not only want to arrest the criminals, and we are not only arresting the criminals; we also want to secure conviction. [Applause.]
SIXTEEN DAYS OF ACTIVISM CAMPAIGN
PAC COUNCILLORS TO ADD VALUE AT LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL
CONDEMNATION OF ACTIONS OF MR JACOB ZUMA'S SUPPORTERS
TONA YA LEFAPHA LA THUTO: Modulasetulo, ke rata go simolola ka go leboga moemedi wa IFP ka go amogela boeteledipele ba Lefapha la Thuto la Gauteng, le le tshepisang bana ba rona ba basetsana polokego mo dikolong tsa rona. Re amogela tiro e, e e tlileng go dira gore bana ba rona ba tlhokomelwe. Re batla go tlhokomela bana botlhe, basetsana le basimane. Ke tshepa gore mafapha a mangwe a thuto a tlile go dira jaaka Gauteng.
Re setse re simolotse mono mo Kapa Bophirima. Re dira porojeke ya rona ya dikolo ya go tlhokomela basetsana. Re tlile go dira jalo mo mafapheng otlhe a Aforika Borwa. Ke batla go fetsa ka gore, le rona re le batsadi re tshwanetse go netefatsa gore mo magaeng re ruta bana ba rona gore ba itshware jang fa ba le mo dikolong, segolo bana ba basimane.
E kete ga go na yo o nthusang go bua puo e ke e buang e ka sekgoa. Fa e le gore ga bayo, ke tla kopana le baemedi ba ba sa nkutlweng sentle ke ba tlhalosetse gore ke ne ke bua ka eng.
Kwa bofelong ke batla gore re dumalana le Khomišhene ya Tekatekanyo ya Bong [Commission on Gender Equality]. (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)
[The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Chairperson, I would first like to thank a representative of the IFP for welcoming the leadership of the Gauteng Department of Education, which has promised our female learners that they will be safe in our schools. We welcome this initiative and hope it will ensure that our children are safe. We would like to ensure that all the children, both boys and girls, are safe. I hope that other education departments will do what Gauteng did.
We have already started in the Western Cape. We have a girl child project in schools. We will do the same in all other government departments. I would like to conclude by saying that as parents we should ensure that we teach children, especially boys, how they should behave at school.
It looks like there is no one to interpret my speech into English. If this is the case, I will meet with the representatives of those who did not hear and explain to them what I said. In conclusion, I would like to say that we agree with the Commission on Gender Equality.]
There is no organisation that has been as open in speaking out against the conduct of persons who were outside the court in Johannesburg and their conduct towards the alleged victim, as well as the person that was mistaken for the victim. Any such act against women who we have encouraged to speak out should be condemned. I don't think we should make any politics out of this. The Women's League statement has to be welcomed, and we object to any conduct that would further abuse victims. [Applause.]
Finally, we would want to say to the PAC that they should not mislead the electorate. If any PAC member is elected as a councillor in local government – which is very doubtful - they will have very little impact on the redistribution of land because that is executed at national level. We urge voters to vote for the ANC. Thank you. [Applause.]
EXTENSION OF CONTRACT OF CAPE TOWN MUNICIPAL MANAGER
SPEEDING UP OF SERVICE DELIVERY
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Hon House Chairperson, I am going to respond to two statements: one from the hon Doman and second another from the hon Comrade Lechesa.
The first one is on the reappointment of the Unicity manager of Cape Town. There is nothing wrong with that. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms C-S BOTHA): Hon Minister, could you kindly pronounce his name for us just to help us with the pronunciation.
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: The name is pronounced Mgoqi, and not "Magogi". I almost didn't know who he was referring to, until an hon member on that side intervened. It was then that I realised he was referring to Mgoqi, and not Magogi, whom I don't know.
There is nothing wrong in the re-appointment of the city manager. It is the prerogative of the Unicity mayor to reappoint a manager. At least this manager, we understand, is very, very active in the transformation of the Unicity and making a people's Unicity, unlike the managers that you used to appoint who used to deal with "spooks" and all such things in the buildings. That is what your managers used to do instead of dealing with transformation and delivery issues. So, there is nothing wrong with that. They were busy with "spooks" strategies. [Interjections.] Mr Doman, don't get uncomfortable, please, just listen. I listened to you; don't get uncomfortable.
With regard to Mr Lechesa's statement I would like to say: Viva Project Consolidate Viva!
HON MEMBERS: Viva!
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: This government is well aware of these challenges and we are dealing head-on with them. In the past 10 years we have identified exactly where the challenges are. But, the DA is going around and saying that we have failed the people of South Africa in the past 10 years. I am going to refer them to this province and the Unicity, where they governed . . . [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms C-S BOTHA): Order! Hon Minister, would you please take your seat.
Mrs S A SEATON: Madam Chair, I'm just wondering if we are in an ANC rally today, because it certainly sounds that way.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: I'm responding to statements about where they governed. They would have at least halved the ANC's work in this province and in the Unicity if they had delivered during the years they governed.
Now, what the DA delivered in the province and in the Unicity was the eviction of poor people . . . [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms C-S BOTHA): Order! Hon Minister, I'm sorry, the time for ministerial responses has expired. Would you please conclude?
Mr M B SKOSANA: I am sorry to come in this late, but I think you didn't see me. I simply wanted to get a confirmation from the Minister with regard to the killings in Nongoma. I sympathise with the member who made the statement, but then when the Minister made the statement or reiterated it, I needed confirmation as to whether that was really a political killing or not. Or is it related to party politics?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms C-S BOTHA): Order! Hon member, I don't consider this as a point of order. I suggest that you take it up with the Minister after the sitting.
Mr M B SKOSANA: It is not a question to the Minister.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms C-S BOTHA): I'm afraid there's no opportunity for a question now.
The House adjourned at 11:51.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
THURSDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2006
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Classification of Bill by Joint Tagging Mechanism
(1) The Joint Tagging Mechanism on 16 February 2006 in terms of Joint Rule 160(6)(d) classified the following Bill as a section 76 Bill:
(i) Division of Revenue Bill [B 3 – 2006] (National Assembly – sec 76).
1. Referral of Bills
The Additional Adjustments Appropriation Bill (2005/06 Financial Year) [B 4 - 2006] (National Assembly - sec 77) was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Finance on 15 February 2006. In considering the Bill, the Committee is instructed to confer with the Portfolio Committee on Transport and the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises with regard to the adjustments that affect those portfolios.
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Finance on the Division of Revenue Bill [B 3 – 2006] (National Assembly – sec 76), dated 16 February 2006:
The Portfolio Committee on Finance, having considered the subject of the Division of Revenue Bill [B 3 – 2006] (National Assembly – sec 76), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 76 Bill, reports the Bill without amendment.
2. Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Nomination of Persons to fill vacancies on the Commission on Gender Equality, dated 15 February 2006:
The Ad Hoc Committee on Nomination of Persons to fill vacancies on the Commission on Gender Equality, having been appointed by the House on 2 November 2005 to make nominations to the House in order to enable it to recommend to the President in terms of section 3(2) of the Commission on Gender Equality Act (Act No 39 of 1996) persons to fill vacancies on the Commission on Gender Equality, reports as follows:
The Committee met on 15 February 2006 to elect a Chairperson and to outline the process it will follow.
In order to be adequately capacitated to deal with its mandate and be clear on all its options, the Committee resolved to invite an official from the Department of Justice to brief it on certain matters pertaining to the appointment of Commissioners.
The Committee therefore requests the House to extend the prior deadline of 15 February 2006 by which it was required to report, to 22 March 2006.
Report to be considered.
FRIDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2006
1. Message from National Council of Provinces to National Assembly in respect of Bills passed by Council and transmitted to Assembly
(1) Bill, subject to proposed amendments, passed by National Council of Provinces on 16 February 2006 and transmitted for consideration of Council's proposed amendments:
(i) Electricity Regulation Bill [B 29B – 2005] (National Assembly – sec 75) (for proposed amendments, see Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, 15 February 2006, p 237).
The Bill has been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy of the National Assembly for a report on the amendments proposed by the Council.
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