Hansard: JS: Debate on Heritage Day - Celebrating 20 years of democracy
House: Joint (NA + NCOP)
Date of Meeting: 18 Sep 2014
No summary available.
18 SEPTEMBER 2014
THURSDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2014
PROCEEDINGS OF THE JOINT SITTING
The House met at 14:01.
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
Start of Day
DEBATE ON HERITAGE DAY CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY: TELL YOUR STORY THAT MOVES SOUTH AFRICA FORWARD.
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members of the NA and the NCOP, colleagues, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon MECs, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, this month we remember the assassination of the king of the Zulu Nation, King Shaka, ...
Kwaze kwas’ amanxulum’ esibikelana.
Usala kutshelwa usala kunyenyezelwa.
The theme for this heritage month is, “Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy: Tell Your Story that Moves South Africa Forward”. We strongly encourage all South Africans to take the opportunity to reflect on the significant life-changing transformation that South Africa has experienced since the dawn of our democracy. It is also indeed true that various sectors of our society have a positive story to tell about the progress made since 1994 in promoting and preserving the heritage of this country.
The transformation of the colonial heritage landscape is one of the biggest challenges we face today. In fact, redefining the soul of this nation, defining a new identity and building new monuments, heritage sites to honour our legitimate historical figures should rally us together. At some fringe corners, we have met resistance. Thus we have wrestled in court with some fellow South Africans who, presumably, should have known or should know where we come from and where we are going to. It is time we make it clear what we mean by heritage in this beautiful land that far too many cannot yet enjoy because of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid.
At the centre of the debate about heritage is the contestation between two cultural forces which have shaped the character and identity of the South Africa that we live in today - the colonial cultural landscape on the one hand and the struggle of a new African heritage landscape on the other. The colonial and apartheid cultural landscape have tried but failed to wipe off the African heritage that existed before 1652. Our languages and indigenous African knowledge systems, customs and traditions, among others, continue to exist.
As Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has aptly captured it, and I quote:
Africa uncritically imbibed values that were alien and had no immediate relevance to her people. Thus was the richness of Africa’s cultural heritage degraded, and her people labelled as primitive and savage.
The advent of western imperialism and cultural domination has, over three centuries, certainly co-opted and created opportunities for Africans who were willing to turn their backs on their African identity, culture and heritage.
We define our heritage as the dreams of our visionaries, leaders and intellectuals who went before us. In fact, we who live today stand at the vast pyramid of African self-determination and struggle, slowly but surely accumulated through the many long struggles against colonialism and apartheid. We are the living link, the African heritage that they dreamed of, thought about, fought and died for.
Today when we face what is probably the greatest challenge humankind has ever known – to give the world a human face or ubuntu. It is very important to draw a distinction between history and heritage. The two terms are misunderstood, confused and sometimes used interchangeably.
History is the remembrance, recording or account of everything that has happened in the past. The colonial prism has over-determined how we look at the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 to 1902, for example, where over 21 000 African women and children in concentration camps were blind-spotted out of history deliberately. In fact there is nothing called Anglo-Boer War and this was in fact the South African War.
But not all history is heritage. For heritage is the principles, ideals, personalities and institutions that we consciously select to transmit from the past because they have helped move us forward. We cannot consider the history of violent oppression, dispossession, land loss, prejudice and exclusion of fellow human beings as part of our heritage to be celebrated. Thus we choose to define our heritage as visionary pronouncements that have helped us move forward as envisioned by that great son of the soil, Pixley ka Isaka Seme in his award winning oratory work in 1906 on The Regeneration of Africa and the call he made for the unity of Africans in October 1911, among others.
This vision was further elaborated in the document African Claims of 1943, the Freedom Charter of 1955, the Constitutional Guidelines for a new Democratic South Africa of 1989, the Harare Declaration of 1989 and culminated in the pledges of the world-renowned Constitution of the Republic of South Africa as we know it.
Sihlalo, uMthethosisekelo wezwe uyakucacisa ukubaluleka kwezilimi zethu zomdabu ekuvikelweni kwamagugu namasiko ethu. Umbhali uNgugi wa Thiong’o uqhube wathi kukhona izinto ezithile abomdabu abangeke bakwazi ukuzichaza ngezilimi zezifika namthwalo ezichazeka kuphela ngokujula nokuceba kwezilimi zethu. Konke lokhu kungenza ngiqiniseke ukuthi ukuthuthukiswa kwezilimi zethu yikho okuyokwenza ukuthi iphupho lokuvuselelwa kwezwekazi i-Afrika lifezeke.
Lo mbhali ubuye abonise ulwazi olunqala ngezwe lakithi eNingizimu Afrika lapho ephawula ngezinga eliphezulu lababhali bakwaDlomo, u-H I E nomnewabo U-R R R bengcwenga njengezincubabuchopho ngokubaluleka kolimi lo mdabu. Omncane waseMakhabeni u-H I E ebeka ukubaluleka kokusetshenziswa kwezilimi zasentshonalanga kanti umnewabo u-R R R eqhakambisa ulimi aluncela ebeleni kunina.
Enye yezingqalabutho zababhali bakithi u-S E K Mqhayi eyayizazisa kakhulu izilimi zomdabu nokusetshenziswa kwazo yayinemibono efanayo nekaNgugi. Encwadini yakhe Ityala Lamawele ukhombisa ikhono lomdabu ekuxazululeni kwezinkinga esibhekene nazo. Le nto ichaza ukuthi izinkinga zethu thina bomnsinsi wokuzimilela ziyaxazululeka ngendlela yethu uma nje sizinika isineke. Sikhumbuza-ke amalungu ale Ndlu yesiShayamthetho ukuthi kulo nyaka sihlanganisa i-100 leminyaka umbhali uMqhayi abhala incwadi yakhe, Ityala Lamawele. [Ihlombe.]
The value of languages is what has motivated us to intervene to resolve what is happening there which is a crisis and an impasse at the Pan South African Language Board, as part of our task.
Cultural and traditional practices are intrinsic to creating a new language of symbolism in an emerging democracy. As such, we have moved with speed to transform national symbols. It was necessary to create new symbols to help foster new cultural practices associated with the burgeoning democracy. The new national anthem is potent with the symbolism of reconciling previously irreconcilable anthems. It supports a new practice in South Africa of reconciliation. Also, the conceptualisation and the design of the new national coat of arms as well as the popular national flag have a rich, beautifully textured meaning and symbolism that is all-embracing of our heritage.
As the theme for this year says, the stories of the legendary figures and all our people will be used to examine ideological issues and to situate their personal choices and sacrifices within the on-going struggle for a truly just and equal society. We can only understand ourselves when we know who we are and where we come from. Above all, we must know who our real heroes are. The narratives of these outstanding individuals have laid the foundation not only for our heritage but also to inspire all of us, especially the youth, to do and say what will move South Africa forward.
The individual sites and monuments that have been identified and built over the last 20 years have been introduced because they were subjected to a certain type of cruelty and oppression in their efforts to bring about change. They are part of our larger movement towards a just and equal society.
The renaming of Johannesburg International Airport to O R Tambo International Airport is quite significant and has such symbolism only to be paralleled by the likes of JFK International Airport in New York and Charles de Gaulle in Paris and this is a fitting tribute for the colossus of our revolution. [Applause.] Think of the larger than life statue of former President Nelson Mandela at the Union Building, the symbolism of the triumph of the human spirit in Robben Island, the erection the statue of iNkosi Bhambaha in Greytown and the refurbishment of the Wesleyan Church in Waaihoek, among others.
Thus we provide resources for the refurbishment of Beyers Naudé and Rahima Moosa’s graves, the revamp of Bram Fischer in the Free State and John Dube’s homes in KwaZulu-Natal. This is an essential aspect to the programme of the celebration of our heroes and heroines and the retelling of our stories. It speaks to an important agenda of memorising and decolonising our identity and heritage.
Let us underscore our commitment to building a national heroes acre. Work is under way as a tribute to the heroes and heroines of our people from the pre-colonial era to the liberation heritage. The theme for this year has been chosen to mark an important milestone in our achievements and to mark a turning point. All our people have stories to tell. We are determined to give an opportunity to make a distinction between history and heritage and, at the same time, reconcile with heroic figures as they shape a new identity.
We will start celebrating Africa Month next year with our compatriots, our brothers and sisters on the continent and the Diaspora through the sharing of our arts, culture, heritage and all other genres of humanity’s fountain of wisdom. Cultural determination occurs when people use their imaginations to create positive images that portray their true selves striving for their own goals. Over the last three centuries the entire African way of looking at the world was determined by colonialists. In Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, Ngugi says:
The economic control of the African people was effected through politics and culture. Economic and political control of a people can never be complete without cultural control.
Thus we have embarked on a radical socioeconomic transformation programme to empower people with important tools to produce content that reflects their creativity. This will make them keepers of the memory of our society.
In conclusion, we borrow the words of poet Aimé Césaire in his poem Return to my Native Land when he says:
No race possesses the monopoly of beauty, of intelligence, of freedom. There is a place for all at the rendezvous of victory.
We end by saying, our heritage should belong to us all, our heritage is our pride as South Africans. Tell Your Story that Moves South Africa Forward.
Mrs Z B N BALINDLELA
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE
Ms Z B N BALINDLELA: Hon Speaker ...
Lo uthethayo nguSomlomo welizwe elitsha elizayo. [Uwele-wele.]
Our heritage does not only consist of valued objects ...
... ezi ndizingqinayo noMphathiswa wethu othethileyo ngazo, izakhiwo, imimangaliso yendalo yelizwe lethu, amasiko nezithethe. Ndiyangqina, Mphathiswa, ngokwenene zibalulekile ezo zinto. Kodwa namhlanje, mna ndingumama walapha ndifuna ukuthetha ...
... about the beautiful legacy of the heritage left to us by our elders.
Bonke abangamakhalipha esizwe angasekhoyo nala asekhoyo, endibala kuwo igqala nohloniphekileyo uTata uNkosi Buthelezi, yena usadla amazimba, okwaziyo ukuthi kuthi ‘hayi’ apha athi ‘ewe’ phaya. Ngoko ke, singamangqina akho ke Tata uButhelezi kule Ndlu ibalulekileyo.
I think we can also agree that we should increase all these efforts – Save the Rhino; save our national heritage – vibrant places to be protected.
Zonke zibalulekile, Mphathiswa, ndingqinelana nawe, Tata wam.
But our most important legacy will be ensuring that our traditions, practices and beliefs are permeated with the values of respect, dignity and freedom. [Applause.]
Culture is not static. The customs and beliefs that we inherited from our forefathers should constantly be re-evaluated to determine if we want them to form part of the legacy we want to leave our children. But this is not always an easy task.
I want to mention some formidable women who challenged the norms of their time and who bequeathed us a better world and richer heritage: South African writer Olive Schreiner, who died in 1920, was not a woman who would be constrained by the practices and beliefs of her time. At the beginning of the Victorian era in which Schreiner grew up, women did, amongst other injustices, not have the right to vote, but she became a spokeswoman for the feminist cause. She was also a campaigner for passivist causes, anti-imperialism and the rights of black servants. She was also right when she said, “there was never a great man who had not a great mother”. One of these great mothers ...
... nguMama uMbeki, owancama ubomi bakhe bonke esilwela ukuba oomama, abantwana namakhosikazi akhululeke ekwenza oko ngomoya omhle ...
... and within this parliamentary precinct ...
... masikhumbule ukuba wayelapha uMama uHelen Suzman [Uwele-wele.]
... for 36 years - 13 of them as the only member of her party - fighting and fighting against a government governing the National Party’s policies of apartheid. [Applause.] Even after the ANC was elected to government she continued to speak out against abuses of women. I therefore would like to celebrate the legacy of such women who, despite the challenging societies they lived in, managed to contribute so richly to our heritage. We owe it to them ...
We cannot go backwards, yet the ANC insists on bringing legislation to Parliament that will not improve the lives of our women.
The Traditional Courts Bill would have enforced a controversial version of customary law that infringes upon women’s constitutional rights. The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill would have done nothing for the most vulnerable women of this country. Women have continually been undermined with regards to landownership and in some instances have been disempowered to rightfully own land due to the chiefs or leaders of their communities forcing them out in the case of communal landownership.
Due to the dysfunctional Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, it seems as if the new Ministry for Women basically has to start from scratch.
Ndiyamkhuthaza uMphathiswa weliyaa sebe. Ndimkhuthaza kakhulu kuba ndiyaziva izingqi zakhe azifani nezayizolo. Uza kusilungiselela ezi zinto sifuna azilungise.
One example of such inequality is the practice of ukuthwala.
Nam ndakhe ndaphantse ukuyifumana loo nto yokuthwalwa, kodwa ke utata wam wema entla akayivuma. Baninzi ke ngoko abasetyhini ekufuneka sibakhusele.
Our generation should take up the challenges of inequality and gender discrimination. Section 9 of our Constitution guarantees formal equality. In 2005 our Constitutional Court ruled that the state could not deny same-sex couples the ability to marry. However, the battle is not over. There are certain groups who want the removal of lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex rights from the Constitution and we should challenge their backward thinking at every opportunity. [Applause.]
Corrective rape – an 18-year-old girl, Gift Makau, brutally raped and murdered in the North West. Only, she is one of many women and men. We cannot let any form of homophobia stay part of our heritage. [Applause.] Of course, our cause is not helped when a national government Minister walks out of an exhibition featuring photographs of nude lesbian couples, because he found it “immoral” and “against nation-building”.
Hayini, madoda. Yiyo loo nto esiyicelayo kangangokuba ndifuna ukuya kuphunga iti noTata uNxamalala, uMongameli, ukuze ndifumane ithuba lokuba ndincokole naye ndive izimvo zakhe malunga nabo bathi ngesiZulu ngoongqingili. IsiZulu ke andisazi, kodwa ke kuthiwa ngoongqingili, igama elichaza ukuba ngaloo madoda anjalo ke.
The legacy that we leave will become the heritage of our future generations. Changing attitudes and beliefs is not easy. Every South African should do their part to leave a legacy, no matter how big or small.
Senze njengokuba senzile eKhubusi.
I have encouraged young women like Babalwa, Alfina, Xoliswa, Siphokazi, Goodman and Ndileka to complete their computer literacy courses and to empower themselves by obtaining their driving licenses. They will now be in a position to empower others and that should be part of the legacy we leave behind. Let us build our South Africa. This is my story that moves South Africa forward. [Applause.] [Time Expired.]
Somlomo, andinawo nomzuzu kusini na ndifuna ukucula. Ndingacula?
Mr K Z MORAPELA
Mrs Z B N BALINDLELA
Mong K Z MORAPELA[mm1] : Motsamaisi wa dipuisano ya hlomphehileng, mmoho le maloko a kopaneng a Ntlo ena e hlomphehileng, ha ke lebohe monyetla le sebaka, ke dumedise kajeno lena. Botjhaba le setso sa rona ke ditho tse bohlokwa haholo ho motho e mong le e mong ya phelang tlasa kgwedi le letsatsi. Ke ntho e pepeneneng hore moetlo, ha o ya baneng, o a fela, mme lebaka ke hore re iphumana re se re hapilwe ke botjhaba ba mafatshe a mang.
Naheng ena ya rona, re iphumana re sa phonyoha le rona. Ha re sa itseba hore hantlentle re bo mang. Sena o se bona ka mokgwa oo re seng re phedisana ka ona re le Maafrika. Thuto ya baholo ba rona, eo ba re sietseng yona, re e lahlile. Re se re phela sekgowa haholo ... [Keno hanong.] mme hona ho etsa hore ditaba tsa rona tsa Maafrika di be thata haholo [Keno hanong.] Taba ke ena: Lefatshe la rona; botjhaba ba rona! [Mahofi.]
Ke maswabisa dihlong hore lemong tse mashome a mabedi, pusong eo re reng ke ya batho-ka-batho, e be bongata bo ntse bo phela bo se na lefatshe moo ba ka iphedisang teng. [Mahofi.] Haholo jwang ka mora hore setjhaba sa Rantsho se sotlakakwe ke makgowa ka ho bankela lefatshe la bona ka kgang. [Keno hanong.]
Baheso, hopolang hore madi a ile a tsholoha. Batho ba ile ba shwa, ba nkelwa tsohle tseo e neng e le tsa bona. [Keno hanong.] Ke hobaneng re le lesisitheho hakana ho bona hore batho ba habo rona ba fumantshwa lefatshe mme ba tsebe ho iphedisa?
Our oceans, minerals and our land is our heritage ... [Interjections.] ... that must benefit the people of South Africa. [Applause.] We must do away with privatisation of these important endowments. Profit-making through our heritage by monopoly capital must be fought with everything in our power. [Interjections.] [Applause.] This is our land; it belongs to us! [Interjections.] No rich white male who happens to control means of production should exploit and own the land at the expense of the people of South Africa, particularly black people. [Interjections.]
It is quite shocking to see that 20 years into our democracy we are still surrounded by statues of apartheid representatives; people who caused a lot of pain to our people during difficult times. [Interjections.] The government of today, which purports to represent the aspirations and the interests of our people, is so disappointing that it even spends money to continue to erect statues of those who were oppressing our people during difficult times.
Tse tswang mobung ka tlase ho lefatshe; ke botjhaba ba rona! Re tletse ke ho sarelwa le ho phoqeha ka moo ditaba di leng ka teng, mme hona ho etsa hore re hlobaele boroko. Ka mona kgauta, taemane, mashala le tse ding tse ngata ha di ruisi Maafrika Borwa, empa makapitale e ba ona a unang molemo ho tse tswang mobung wa rona. Basebeletsi ba dimaeneng maemo a bona a ntse a sa ntlafala. Batho ba phelang moo dimaene di fumanehang teng ba ntse ba phela le ka thata kajeno ya mmakajeno!
Seo re se bonang ke ho hloka sebete le thahasello ho tswa ho ba mmusong, kapa ba ka sehlohong, ho nka diqeto tse ka etsang naha ya bo rona e tswelle pele moruong mme batho ba bo rona ba kgole tse molemo lefatsheng la bo bona. [Keno hanong.] E be lebaka ke hore bana ba mmusong ba kgotsofetse, ba a ja, mme ba bile ba jella lebitsong la ba fumanehileng na? [Keno hanong.]
Tsena ke di nnete tsa pale ya Afrika Borwa, dilemong tse mashome a mabedi re le mmusong wa setjhaba-ka-setjhaba, ho ya ka mokgwa oo ho bolelwang ka teng!
It is our firm belief as the EFF that our heritage should place the interests of the people of this country first. Our culture and traditions must be placed at the same pedestal with other dominating Western cultures. The government must take keen interest to develop and promote African culture. Our arts and culture - our heritage - must help to grow our economy and benefit our people, particularly those who are highly involved in this industry.
As things stand, our African artists seem to be at the receiving end. Their stories, the music that they produce and the performing arts do not get enough coverage. We are flooded by European stories that are not promoting ubuntu in our communities but promote Western culture and self-hatred amongst black people. Heritage should not be a curse to us as Africans.
Our warriors fought many battles that, when we look back, we must be proud of their deeds. They taught us to be courageous and uncompromising in the fight for justice. In our struggle for economic freedom, we draw our inspiration from our ancestors, kings and queens, heroes and heroines. We draw our courage from Moshoeshoe, Sekhukhune, Hintsa, Bambatha and Dingane. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
These African warriors promoted the spirit of ubuntu among the African people unlike leaders of today who have sold out our people, who are embroiled in scandal after scandal, hiding behind parliamentary processes to answer and take responsibility for their actions. [Interjections.] [Applause.] This is what we are subjected to in South Africa today.
People behave like demigods and untouchables even when they have done wrong things: [Interjections.] The moral decay that we see on a daily basis for those who are supposed to provide leadership and direction; and for those who are supposed to uphold and embrace dignity. They continue to degenerate and represent moral decay! [Applause.]
This is a sad and a true story about South Africa today. Our people continue to live underdeveloped. Our people continue to suffer. Let their land benefit them! [Time expired.] We need land to benefit our people! Ke a leboha. [Applause.]
Ms L C DLAMINI
Mr K Z MORAPELA
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson of the House, my greetings to hon members and our guests. Before I speak ...
... ngiyavelana kakhulu nelilunga lelihloniphekile, Balindlela ...
... who is aspiring to be a Speaker of the future ...
... ngatsi ugibele ibhasi lekungasiyo. Lebhasi loyigibelile ngeke ikufikise lapho uyakhona.
To the hon member from the EFF: My belief is that you lead by example; you walk the talk. When you spoke about European and Western culture, I was looking at you with interest ...
... kusukela etinyaweni kuyofika etulu kulesembatfo losigcokile.
It is Western culture. What do we learn from you? [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, members! Order!
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson and the House, it takes ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chairperson, on a point of order: We had a ruling in the House yesterday - in the National Assembly - that members may not address other members directly in the House and that they must address them through you, Madam Chair. I would like you to give us an indication today whether that Rule is going to apply in this Joint Sitting as well.
Ms L C DLAMINI: I apologise. I apologise.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, please desist.
Ms L C DLAMINI: I apologise.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Continue, please.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson and the House, it takes a visionary organisation with the interests of the people at heart to aspire to being a nation united ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Members, order! The speaker is not audible from the podium.
MS L C DLAMINI: I was saying that it takes a visionary organisation with the interests of the people at heart to aspire to being a nation united in diversity, no matter the circumstances it finds itself in.
At its founding conference in 1912, the ANC issued a clarion call for African unity under the slogan “We are one people” - the creation of one South Africa - which, in terms of the words of the Freedom Charter: South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. Simply put: A South Africa united in diversity, sharing one unique culture, a culture that is a weapon in our national democratic revolution. That is why ...
... tsine sibeketelela naloku lokungafanele sikubeketelele lokwentiwa ngulamanye emalunga alendlu ...
... because we have a responsibility, a responsibility of building a united nation. Some of the things that they are doing are not tolerable but, because we have a responsibility which we committed ourselves to 102 years ago, we started with an end in mind. So each and every step we take is a step towards achieving an ideal nation, united in diversity. That is what we aspire to.
This finds expression in our policy orientation, the Women’s Charter, the Freedom Charter, the Ready to Govern document and the National Development Plan or NDP. Borrowing the words of the late former President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Nelson Mandela, on the occasion of the opening of the cultural development congress at the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg, I quote:
Through the destructive and violent legacy of apartheid, where sacredness of life had no meaning, we inherited a culture of death that is what we inherited from the apartheid government and destruction from the white minority regime, and torture, detention and massacre were the principal weapons used by the then government to keep itself in power.
During the worst years of oppression, when all avenues of legitimate protest were closed by apartheid legislation, it was the arts and culture that articulated the plight and the democratic aspirations of our people. These were demonstrated through drama, dance, literature, songs, films, paintings and sculptures that defined the silence that apartheid sought to impose.
Inspired by a rich, diverse and proud heritage since 1994, there have been strides made in building a truly united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. The richness of our heritage is also reflected in the diversity of our languages, including the languages of the Khoi, the San, the Bushman and the Griqua communities.
The richness of our heritage has also found expression in the diversity of religious beliefs, all of which define ...
Mr J A MNGXITAMA: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: If it is a point of order, please proceed.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Indeed, the Khoi and the San are not Bushmen. Could she withdraw that statement? [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, the lingo is Khoi or Khoe and San. You withdraw?
Ms L C DLAMINI: I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It is withdrawn. Please proceed.
Ms L C DLAMINI: I withdraw. It is this collective heritage that must also be at the centre of ongoing efforts to promote social cohesion, nation-building and reconciliation. This heritage must bind South Africans together towards a common national identity and a common South African consciousness.
This debate takes place when women of this country are celebrating 60 years of the Women’s Charter. The Women’s Charter was adopted on 17 April 1954, setting out the philosophy and vision of the newly formed federation. For the time, its tone was defiantly feminist. Its preamble reads as follows, and I quote:
We, the women of South Africa, wives and mothers, working women and housewives, African, Indians, European and Coloured, hereby declare our aim of striving for the removal of all laws, regulations, conventions and customs that discriminate against us as women, and that deprive us in any way of our inherent right to the advantages, responsibilities and opportunities that society offers to any one section of the population.
The Women’s Charter was a ground-breaking document. We always think that the first charter was the Freedom Charter, but the Women’s Charter was done before the Freedom Charter. The Women’s Charter was a ground-breaking document, bringing women’s rights into the broader human rights’ spectrum demanded by the liberation movement. Its stipulations were eventually incorporated into the Freedom Charter, the blueprint of the antiapartheid struggle adopted at Kliptown in June the following year.
The aim of the Women’s Charter was to declare that the organisation be formed for the purpose of uniting women in common action. That is what we mean when we say “united in diversity”. It contains the right to vote and to be elected to all state bodies without restriction or discrimination. That is why today, as women, we enjoy equal participation with our men in this House. It is because of that action.
In addition, there are the rights to full opportunities for employment with equal pay and possibilities of promotion in all spheres of work; to equal rights with men in relation to property, marriage and children, and for the removal of all laws and customs that deny women such equal rights; for the development of every child through free compulsory education for all. This was said by the women in 1954 ...
... bakhona labo labenta kwangatsi ngibo labeta nemfundvo yamahhala. [Free education.]
The women of 1954 were calling for free education. The charter also contains the removal of all laws that restrict free movement, that prevent or hinder the right of free association and activity in democratic organisations, and the right to participate in the work of these organisations; as well as the rights to build and strengthen women’s sections in national liberation movements, the organisation of women in trade unions and through the people’s varied organisations; and the right to co-operate with all other organisations which have similar aims in South Africa as well as throughout the world.
Hon Chairperson, I must say that if you look at all these demands that were raised by women in 1954, we must congratulate the women of South Africa on the achievements they have made so far and we also congratulate the government that has been ... [Time expired.]
Prof C T MSIMANG
Ms L C DLAMINI
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Chair, the IFP is not looking forward to commemorating Heritage Day. As a country, we have not handled social cohesion in a satisfactory manner; we are even more divided than during the 2010 World Cup. Even in this House, racial slurs are common and do not reflect any measure of cohesion or nation-building.
One of the greatest ways in which we can respect our past is by bettering our future. In many ways this has been achieved, but in far more ways it has not. A great deal of work must still be done.
In the realm of HIV and Aids, its recognition and treatment, we have seen this government evolve from the position of total denialism to one in which HIV and Aids, its prevention and cure, is now first and foremost on our health agendas.
The IFP has always championed the fight against this scourge, even when it was widely unpopular to do so. We supported the Treatment Action Campaign in its legal battle to have nevirapine given freely to pregnant HIV-positive women so as to prevent the transmission of this dreaded disease from mother to child.
The last 20 years have accorded us a heritage of transition from the old apartheid style of governance to the new democratic dispensation. We still face many challenges. Our municipal services are in a state of disintegration that beggars belief. Year after year, we see service-delivery protests over basic services such as water, housing and electricity. Our municipal system is on the verge of collapse.
We speak proudly of how far this country has come from the days of apartheid. Yet shades of what that government did to our people are evident in our current government - I cite here the recent horrors of Marikana and Ficksburg as examples. Future generations will have nothing of substance to celebrate if all they receive from us is a political, social and cultural heritage that completely divides us.
In fact, it is high time that this government draws a line in the sand stating: This far and no further on public services mismanagement, corruption, fraud and incompetence. This is not the heritage we want to leave to our children. I thank you.
Mr S C MNCWABE
Prof C T MSIMANG
Mr S C MNCWABE: Madam Chairperson, hon members of this House, the preamble of our Constitution captures vividly the nature of our national heritage:
We, the people of South Africa, recognise the injustices of our past; honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
The NFP wishes to applaud the people of South Africa for successfully celebrating their diverse heritage in the 20 years of our democracy. We are reminded, in the preamble of our Constitution that we, as South Africans, are commanded to remain united in whatever we do. We are also reminded that our rich diversity is the fountain from which our unity originates.
Our heritage has many facets; it can be social, natural, political or cultural. As the NFP we wish to reflect on the story of our traditional leaders and recognise their contribution in advancing our heritage in the 20 years of our democracy. We commend our traditional leaders for their efforts to preserve our cultural practices which seek to promote moral regeneration and healthy living of our people. In particular we refer to practices such as the circumcision custom in the Eastern Cape and other provinces, as well as the annual reed dance and virginity testing in KwaZulu-Natal.
We urge our government to continue to support these practices and traditional leaders by bringing medical experts in where necessary. This is crucial because soon it will be impossible or difficult to advance the interest of our people if we have citizens who are sick and paralysed by moral decay.
In as much as we celebrate the above, let us be mindful that there are many poor, unemployed and marginalised people in our country who have very little to celebrate.
We would be lacking if we did not pay tribute to our performing artists who have established themselves internationally. In particular, the NFP wishes to make mention of the achievements of Baba Joseph Shabalala and Ladysmith Black Mambazo who have won, for our country, several Grammy Awards. Their music, as you all know, has fused elements of our culture with that of the West. This fusion has resulted in a style of music which is unique, drawn from diverse influences and offered to the world a uniquely South African feel.
Siyabonga kakhulu kuMshengu Shabalala naMambazo kanti futhi siyalibongela nezwe lonke ngokuba nabaculi abafana nalaba. Ngiyabonga, Sihlalo. [Ihlombe.]
Mr J VOS
Mr S C MNCWABE
Mr J VOS: Madam Chair, hon members and the public in the gallery, good afternoon. Shortly before he died, French President, François Mitterrand, was asked how he thought history would judge him. “It all depends on who is writing it,” he replied. Now, as we celebrate our South African heritage and acknowledge the past, let us reflect on Mitterrand’s wise observation and ensure that our history as a people is written in the name of all South Africans – and that our past, however terrible and traumatic, humane or heroic, is an inclusive account of our story as a nation and of our place in the world.
Daar is een nalatenskap wat ons as Suid-Afrikaners almal as ’n nasie deel. Dit is die erfenis van ons grondwetlike demokrasie. Ons demokrasie gee betekenis en voorsorg vir alles wat ons erf. Hiermee saam verskaf die instellings van ons land, soos onderskryf in die Grondwet, wigte en teenwigte wat ons kan gebruik om die misbruik van mag hok te slaan. Ons moet alles doen om ons demokrasie te bewaar en te beskerm, want sonder demokrasie is ons nie vry om ons pragtige land wat ons geërf het, te geniet nie. Sonder demokrasie is ons ook nie vry om ons kulturele diversiteit te vier nie, en ons moet nooit vergeet dat ons kinders en hulle kinders nie kan kies watter soort nasie hulle sal erf nie.
In order to really understand the true sense of this important day in our calendar, we must ask ourselves the following questions and contemplate. What are we celebrating on Heritage Day? What does Heritage Day mean, and what does it mean to all of us, as South Africans?
Heritage means tradition, birthright or legacy. On the face of it, does that represent unity or does it represent disparity or separation? As South Africans, should we be focusing on our history or should we be looking forward towards the future? I believe that today, here in South Africa, we are building a new heritage. It is a history that our children can look back on and celebrate.
I believe that Heritage Day should also be a day of reconciliation, celebrating the huge steps that we have made as a nation, following the example of Nelson Mandela. This, of course, raises the question, What do we all have in common that we can celebrate?
Equality is something that we can all aspire to, whatever our background or culture may be. The desire for equality, strange as it may seem, could, in fact, be a unifying factor. Furthermore, the South African Constitution, praised all over the world, was built on the premise of equality and freedom for all. Of course, it is all well and good criticising a particular policy, but the key is finding a viable and workable alternative.
What is needed is training for young people, and, at the same time, providing older people with new skills, regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. The Constitution of our nation is there to abide by and not to pick and choose from.
Daar is nie baie mense wat die ware betekenis van Erfenisdag verstaan nie. Vir sommige is dit ’n geleentheid om bymekaar te kom saam met familie en vriende vir ’n braai – maar neem dit in ag die menigte van kulture wat van ons die reënboognasie maak? Ons erfenis is baie uniek en kosbaar, want dit help ons om ons kulturele identiteit te definieer. Dit lê dus in die hart van ons geestelike welsyn en dit het die mag om ons nasie te bou.
Daarom glo die DA dat Erfenisdag ’n groot herinnering is van wat ons inherent maak – van die vele kulture en tradisies wat uiteindelik bymekaar gekom het en beïnvloed wat ons almal vandag is. Dit is ’n dag wat ons herinner om nie net mekaar se verskille te omhels nie, maar om mekaar se kulture en tradisies te verken en te ervaar wat anders is as wat ons ken.
So, this will become our heritage, something to really celebrate, a gift that we can pass on to our children and their grandchildren.
One such project that should preserve and advance our heritage is the Robben Island Museum. I am sure that we would all agree that this is the one, single place in our history that represents South Africa and the world’s memory of Madiba.
Now, the reality is that the Robben Island Museum is mismanaged and this is an insult to Madiba’s memory. [Interjections.] It is important that all heritage sites be properly managed. The Robben Island Museum has been a problem, from the management through to the operations, for many years, and this can no longer be tolerated.
HON MEMBERS: Hear! Hear!
Mr J VOS: According to the Robben Island Museum’s annual report, revenue from tour sales has decreased by R1,4 million in the 2012-13 financial year. [Interjections.] Furthermore, visitors to Robben Island declined by 5% in December 2013 compared to December 2012. Madiba, South Africa and the world deserve better! [Interjections.]
In closing, our heritage celebrates our achievements and contributes to redressing past inequalities. It educates and it also deepens our understanding of society, while, at the same time, it encourages us to empathise with the experiences of others. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M M NTULI
Mr J VOS
Ms M M NTULI: Chairperson and hon members of this august House, it is an honour for me to participate in this debate on heritage on behalf of KwaZulu-Natal. Indeed, it is a core aspect of our lives and it will always remain important. South Africa is on top with regard to the preservation of languages and thus I would also like to express myself in my mother tongue.
Sihlalo ohloniphekile ngivumele ukuthi ngithi ukuhlehla kancane ngokucaphuna umlando weNingizimu Afrika. Kuyiqiniso elingeke laphikiswa ukuthi ...
... the current democratic South Africa is a product of many years of colonialism of a special type, where both the oppressed and the oppressor occupied the very same space. Beyond this historical fact, I agree with the late Steve Biko – who was brutally killed by amavaka [cowards] – that “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
However, I will add that the distortion and undermining of African heritage and the issue of identity were also important weapons used by the oppressor, with the intention of eroding African pride, heritage and identity that are key foundations upon which self-determination and self-realisation are founded.
Ngamafushane isizwe esingazi imuva laso asingeke sazi nalapho siyakhona. INingizimu Africa inomlando ocebile kanjalo neKwaZulu-Natal njengengxenye yayo. Siyaziqhenya ngobuthina ngemvelaphi yethu. Umlando wethu ukubeka kucace ukuthi amakhosi oSwela kanye namanye amaqhawe awavumanga ukufunza abezizwe nje athule - alwa. Siphuma kwelikaMthaniya lapho ilembe eleqa amanye amalembe ngokukhalipha labona kusemqoka okwakha isizwe esiqinile nesihloniphekile. Singelibale ke ukubonga kuhulumeni kakhongolose ngokulokhu ekhombisile njalo ukubaluleka kwamaqhawe ethu alilwele leli lizwe ngokubuyisa amathambo awo ekhaya ngoba alwe ngezindlela ezinhlobonhlobo. Ake ngibalule ukuthi laphaya KwaZulu-Natal bekubekwa amathambo ka-Nat Nakasa owayeyiqhawe lombhali owahamba walifulathela leli ngoba ebenyamanambana kuhulumeni wobandlululo. Aseze abuya amathambo akhe kodwa emva kweminyaka emingaka.
Ngiyafisa ukusho ukuthi la uma sibheka emuva, sibuyela emlandweni wakithi kwakufundiswa abantu besebancane indlela yokuziphatha kubona bonke ubulili. Kwakuba nemigidi enhlobonhlobo yenjabulo nayo okwakuhaya kuyo amaculo aphinde abe nemiyalezo eyakhayo. Kwakuthi nje noma kusuka insizwa igiya kube nezibongo ezingumyalezo futhi ngokunjalo; kwakunenhlonipho ke nangokubuka izikhathi zonyaka, kwakunendlela okwakuhlonishwa ngazo. Kuthiwa lokhu akwenziwa ehlobo noma ebusika – kuhlonishwe lezo zinto zingenziwa. Kunezimo zomlando zokuvikela isizwe ngingabala nje impi yaseSandlwana, impi yaseNcome nokunye okwakuvikela isizwe kanye namagugu aso.
Nanamhlanje ke iSilo samaBandla kunemikhosi edumile nehlonishwayo esisayiqhuba ukubuyisa isithunzi sethu. Ngingabala umkhosi wokweShwama, umkhosi weLembe, umkhosi woMhlanga neminye kanti nemindeni isalokhu iqhubekile izenza ezinye izinto ezikhombisa imvelaphi yethum ezisiza kakhulu ekufundiseni ngokuziphatha nokwakha isizwe. Kukhona umhlonyana, umgongqo, umemulo nokunye, zonke lezi zinto azizi nje mahala zinokufundisa nokwakha phakathi. Nabafana abancane bebethi uma sebengena ebudodeni baphume izintatha baphikelele ehlathini, kukhishwe izinkomo nezisengwayo zingabuyi zize zilandwe yizintombi ngempi. Bayoyalwa ke indlela yokuziphatha badle namakhubalo okubaqinisa.
Namhlanje sibhekene nezinkinga eziphathelene nokuhlalisana okuyinto entsha okukhombisa ukuthi kukhona okulahlekile; kumele siqinise kumagugu akithi. I-KZN inamagugu ayo ewabambe okwezikhali zamantungwa kwazise phela nezinye izindawo ezithintekayo zamagugu omhlabo akuyo le ndawo ngingabala Isimangaliso, Drakensberg namanye. Sihlalo ohloniphekile mhlawumbe nje uma ngingayibeka kafushane ...
... to put it simply, the exclusive minority, not being satisfied with accumulating wealth through dispossessing the native people of their wealth, also ensured that they tore asunder their cultural life, heritage and identity. What was done to us by the settlers reminds me of the biblical verse, Psalm 137 from the Holy Bible.
... leli vesi elisencwadini eyingwele likhuluma ngabantu ...
... who, as the former President of South Africa, once said ...
An HON MEMBER: Which one?
Ms M M NTULI: ... Madiba ...
... had been forcibly transported from their ... [Interjections.] ...
... ancestral and spiritual home of ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members!
Ms M M NTULI: ... Jerusalem and Zion, dumped in hostile Babylon and required to repudiate their identity. The former President correctly continued by saying that:
The response of the captives, who refused to carry out the commands of their captors, conveys to us the important message that memory, heritage and identity assume their real meaning when they belong to the collective, as unique features of a community, signifying a social memory, a social heritage and a social identity which even a captive people must fight to defend and sustain.
From where I am standing, I would argue that the people of South Africa obtained the practical meaning above the “response of the captives”, when in 1955 they declared in the Freedom Charter that:
The doors of learning and of culture shall be opened. The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life. All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands.
The ANC has devised a number of different campaigns and inventions, including legislation that seeks to ensure – just like captives referred to in the above paragraphs – that memory, heritage and identity assume their real meaning. This is important at this second phase of our transition as we navigate towards addressing social ills and forging social cohesion, which are integral parts of our struggle to address the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Again, forging a common sense of identity remains one of the important steps towards realising a nonracial, united and democratic society, amongst other things, as part of the strategic goals of the national democratic revolution as the maximum programme of the ANC. On this note, allow me ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, I rise on a point of order in terms of Rule 46.
USIHLALO WENDLU YOWISO-MTHETHO YESIZWE: Yima kancinci nje Tata uFiltane. Ewe, Tata u-Singh.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, while I understand that the last member who spoke was soft-spoken, it becomes increasingly difficult to hear what is being said when members in this House converse aloud. That is not allowed in terms of Rule 46, particularly when members of the NCOP try to converse across the floor with members on this side of the House. If they want to sit on the NA benches then they are welcome to do so. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member Singh is correct. Hon members, may I ask all of us to converse softly if we have to, particularly those of us who may be meeting friends whom we haven’t seen for a few days, so that we do not drown out the speaker on the podium? I know that the temptation of wanting to speak is there; however, you are allowed to step outside and do whatever you want to do. For now, can we allow uTat’uFiltane to take his place? Thank you.
Mr M L W FILTANE
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon House Chairperson and hon members, this 2014 Heritage Month coincides with the beginning of the second centenary of dispossession of the indigenous people of South Africa of their heritage, the land.
South Africa still suffers the effects of the 1913 Native Land Act, even as we celebrate our heritage. It is this statute that was used to dispose black people of their land, livestock, seeds, wagons and all forms of production, robbing them of their livelihoods, trampling on their dignity and violating their human rights and, indeed, their heritage.
High levels of poverty, underdevelopment, inequality and unemployment have their origin from, amongst others, the legacy of land dispossession. If we are to tell a story of heritage that takes South Africa forward, surely it cannot be business as usual.
We can’t claim to be celebrating our culture, traditions and beliefs, hoping to build a cohesive society when part of our heritage, the land, is not part of us. We cannot claim a living heritage in a land not of our own. We can’t remember and heal the wounds of the past and celebrate our history with land ownership patterns still remaining the same or with minimum shift.
This Heritage Month - the 20th one since the advent of democracy - must recommit and unite us to do everything possible to address land ownership in order to be able to celebrate future heritage together in our land. It is when we have aggressively tilted land ownership patterns in favour of indigenous citizens that, indeed, we can tell a story that moves South Africa forward.
Land ownership continues to play a significant role in social cohesion and a central role in the racially divisive politics of the past. Equally, land ownership plays a central role in celebrating heritage for a nation united in diversity.
The current slow delivery of land caused by ineffective governance and maladministration must be attended to with immediate effect. The failure to move with the necessary speed in addressing this complex matter does not only rob South Africans of their heritage, but also deprives them of their economic and emotional opportunities to become active citizens of the country. Land creates wealth and equal land ownership by South Africans is vital for the success of planned sustainable development, thus government has to double the speed with which it tackles this problem.
In closing, rapid land reform targeting urban and semi-urban communities must be implemented urgently. Government must speedily move. I thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS
Mr M L W FILTANE
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chairperson, the Greeks have a word much like our own ubuntu that cannot be translated. It represents a set of values and is considered one of the highest virtues. This word, this value, is called Philotimo.
Philosopher Thales explained, “Philotimo to the Greek is like breathing. A Greek is not a Greek without it”.
This feeling that many of us know without ever having heard the word before, literally means "love of honour". In its simplest form, it means "doing good, doing what is right", putting your country, your people and your fellow beings before yourself.
Mr Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson, I rise on a point of order. Is it parliamentary to be told of the Greeks when we are celebrating South Africa? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Hon Ndlozi ...
Mr Q NDLOZI: We are debating heritage in South Africa.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Hon Ndlozi, take your seat. I think we need to be tolerant.
PRINCE M G BUTHELEZI: I rise on a point of order: The word demos, is a Greek word and it means “the people”. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Hon members, thank you very much. I think we are learning and we are being taught something new and as such, I am sure Bab’ uNdlozi you can learn more from hon Buthelezi. I am handing over to you, sir.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chairperson, Philotimo is an appreciation and admiration for heritage and the ancestors. It is honour and pride. It is a sense of duty towards your people, often through generosity and sacrifice and ultimately, your legacy which you leave behind to make the world a better place.
Thales could just as well have said, “Philotimo to the human race is like breathing. An individual is not a person without it”.
Hon House Chairperson, on 24 September, we as a nation, celebrate national Heritage Day. We become even more united in our diversity as we recommit to the values that have built this nation over the past 20 years.
Heritage is a constantly changing concept. We are shaped by it and each generation in turn does its part to shape the heritage of those who come after them. We, therefore, are to some extent our heritage as individuals and as a nation.
We, as a young, united nation, are still finding our feet and building a heritage we can all be proud of, together. This is done through individual actions, respect and a love of who we are as a collective and what we stand for.
Slowly but surely, it gives form to a rich and joint heritage where the statue of a boer general can stand in the shadow of our democratic flag with a radical group protesting at his feet, where hardcore rugby fans flock to Soweto stadium with their vuvuzelas and "shisa nyama" becomes just as colloquial a term as "braai", where it is not uncommon to hear Sakkie-Sakkie and Brenda Fassie at the same event, or a thousand hearts beating in rhythm with the Kaapse klopse. [Applause.]
To some, the juxtaposition of these apparently conflicting cultures may seem peculiar. But to me, it is in this diversity that I find what it means to be a South African. [Interjections.] The magic of our heritage, unlike nations that have enjoyed peace and unity for centuries before us, lies not in what has already been built by those who came before us; the magic lies within ourselves and the moments we create. That is our heritage.
It is enshrined in the overwhelming sense of pride when we read that Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the world, or that Gauteng alone has a larger economy than almost all other African countries. It is in the knowledge that we were the inventors of the Cat scan, thin solar cells, the cyber tracker, the oil-can guitar, the first to introduce street lights, the first to turn coal into oil, the first heart transplant, the world's first digital laser and the second oldest air force in the world, to name a few.
Our heritage is also that strong sense of love one feels for our fauna and flora, our coastline and mountains, the love that drives us to fight for the rhino, or to vote for Table Mountain, the love that so quickly becomes a longing when we are abroad and the knowledge that wherever we are, whatever we are, we are all South Africans.
Similarly, our heritage is to be found in the actions of strong leaders. Their legacy became our heritage. I think of King Moshoeshoe from the region where I come from, who chose peace above revenge and personal interest. I think of Mahatma Gandhi. These men had philotimo. Our people, like Helen Suzman and President Mandela, who, in their different ways, along with thousands within the borders of our country and without, fought for the very principles we base our nationhood on today, out of a certain philotimo.
They displayed these virtues without ever having heard the Greek word before. They left us a heritage, as a young and vibrant nation, of unity in diversity, respect for the rule of law, a love for democracy and democratic values, a sense of duty and pride.
Of course, there are those few who do not share in the dreams or this legacy. But it’s their heritage too. Often, we concentrate so much on giving our children what we did not have, whilst we should perhaps concentrate a bit more on giving them what we were fortunate enough to indeed have.
Unfortunately, House Chairperson, we currently run the risk of leaving them nothing, but a culture of corruption and a legacy of unemployment, where those who care for no one but themselves and nothing other than to dodge their day in court become the unfortunate stuff heroes are made of, with Nkandla as their monument to corruption, one monument the hon Minister conveniently failed to mention earlier.
The legacy of those who came before us is our heritage. What then, hon friends and members, will our legacy be? What will be the heritage that we leave our children upon which to build their hopes and aspirations? Whatever we, as a nation, leave behind, through our actions, may it always display some measure of philotimo. May we build such a legacy that will ultimately be a heritage of which those who will come after us can be proud of. Only then can we say, without blatantly lying, that this generation has a good story to tell. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms X S TOM
Mr G MICHALAKIS
Nksk X S TOM: Sihlalo obekekileyo, le nyanga sikuyo yinyanga yamafa namagugu ethu. Ilifa ke yinto oyifumana ungakhange uyisebenzele. Isetyenzelwa ngomnye umntu, wena uxhamle. KwaXhosa kukho intetho ethi ‘uqweqwedisa ilifa ngathi ngumgqakhwe’ xa usenza into ongayikhathalelanga. Uthatha into esetyenzelwe ngomnye umntu uyenze unobenani. Siyawubona ke lo mkhwa unomdintsi netyheneba.
Igugu yinto oneqhayiya, ozidlayo, oyixabisileyo nonebhongo ngayo. Yiyo loo nto uxolele ukulikhusela nangobomi bakho igugu lakho. Namhlanje sifanele sikhe sithi nqumama singamalungu ale Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho. Ewe, yinyaniso into yokuba thina sifuna ukwakha amagugu nelifa abantwana bethu ... [Uwele-wele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon Tom, can you take your seat. Hon member, from the NCOP who are in front ... Can you please take your seat, sir. Thank you. Hon member, you may proceed.
Nksk X S TOM: Ilifa namagugu esifuna ukuwashiya siwashiyele izizukulwana ngezizukulwana eziza emva kwethu. Kodwa ke, asikwazi ukulibala apho sisuka khona. Ingxaki yinto yokuba sifuna ukulibala apho sisuka khona, sileqe phambili. Kanti ke, kukho intetho ethi indlela enqumlayo eyirhangi ngehle ufike ingaphumeli kwelinye icala. Baza kuyazi abantu baseBhayi kuba zikhona irhangi ezingaphumeliyo phaya. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Ngalo mhla sikhumbula apho sisuka khona, kurhulumente wocalucalulo owawucinezela ubulala abantu ngobuninzi babo. Asinakuyilibala indlela ababethetha ngayo besenyelisa umbutho kaKhongolose, besithi ngelo xesha ngabagrogrisi. Indlela ababethetha ngayo icaciswe kakuhle kwincwadi kaDe Wet Potgieter ethi Total Onslought. Ndimcaphule:
A similar propaganda war, based on unctuous lies and disinformation in order to win the favour of the black population and subtly turn them against the ANC in South Africa and the South West Africa People’s Organisation, Swapo, in South West Africa, Namibia, did not work either. Furthermore, it cost taxpayers billions of rand over more than a decade. ... The communication operations ... and the strategic communication operations ... Both were aimed at attacking the enemy psychologically by broadcasting disinformation and falsehoods all over the world, in order to confuse and spread panic in their ranks. ... In many instances, certain damning information about the enemy was withheld until it was strategically advantageous to release it, and thus achieve maximum success against the foe.
Siyazibona ezi zinto zisenzeka nanamhlanje. Eli libali lethu, kulapho sivela khona. Ayisincedi into yokuba siyibaleke inyaniso emsulwa engenakuphikiswa nangubani na. Ilifa lethu namagugu ethu asekelezelwe ekubeni singoobani na, senza ntoni na ngoku kwaye siyaphi na xa sisiya phambili.
Hon members, we should really look at those things that unite us. We know that we are from this horrific history. The history of horror stories, but we as the ANC have put this framework forward for reconciliation.
Siyabacela ke abantu ukuba beze ngaphambili sisebenzisane.
We can never forget the day that we all voted for the first time. This is one of those days, as South Africans, that we all know people are proud of.
Leyo yinto ekufuneka sisoloko siyikhumbula kwaye isikhuthaze ukuba into nganye esiyenzayo masiyenze ngeenjongo zokusimanya. Besohlukene ixesha elide asinakuphinda siyivumele loo nto ngoku.
The Freedom Charter, the backbone of our democratic principles states that all the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all. The ANC, driven by its strategic perspectives, believes that culture is an integral component of the processes of development in that it contributes to such processes. Culture also seeks to inform and contribute to nation-building efforts. These two processes have been the highest priorities in our country and culture has a central role to play in the successful unfolding of these.
For any country to become prosperous, it has to gear its citizens towards a shared vision, a shared culture and a shared identity. This drive towards oneness is crucial, as it chisels citizens to work in partnership rather than against each other. It is indeed when we understand and accept each other’s differences that we can build a thriving nation.
To achieve this, we must use the experience that we have acquired. It is a pity that one cannot buy experience over the counter. One has to go through a process to get experience. [Applause.] One can never become mature without going through a process. Maturity cannot be bought over the counter. [Interjections.]
Amava akathengwa. Ukuvuthwa nokuchubeka akuthengwa. Kufuneka uyihambe le ndlela inde ude ufikelele ekubeni uvuthwe ube namava.
When developing a shared identity framework, the ANC is mindful of not suppressing the alternative culture or other identities. The ANC is a movement of the people and it derives its mandate from the electoral majority. [Interjections.] As a government of the people, the ANC cannot be seen to distort culture and memory.
Kufuneka inyaniso ithethwe ngobunjalo bayo.
While the ANC strongly believes in the shared identity principle, it also recognises that the diversity is what makes us as South Africans unique. Within that context the ANC strives for the protection and promotion of all cultures, languages, traditions and histories.
The ANC has made a pledge to build a nonracial, nonsexist and a democratic South Africa. Over the past 20 years the ANC has built foundations for a socially cohesive society which recognises each other’s differences. Various studies have been made, and have indicated that the national pride of South Africans has improved, but we are not yet there. There is a lot that still needs to be done for us to reach unity.
Loo nto ke ifuna ukuba siqale kuthi, thina malungu aleNdlu yoWiso-mthetho.
It begins with an individual.
Uqala ngesiqu sakho. Uqala ulungise ingqondo yakho uyilungiselele le nto intsha, kuba kaloku undalashe uyathanda ukuhlala ekhondoza. Akululanga ukuphuma kwinto yakudala, isiqhelo siyayoyisa ingqondo, utsho umXhosa. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
I have a story to tell. [Interjections.] The story is a good one. [Interjections.] One day a lady came to me and told me that her brother was lost and killed whilst skipping the country. She said they did not know where he was. The woman said that she actually dreamt about her brother asking her why they were not fetching him. She asked herself about where would they go and find him. This was Vuyani Goniwe, an Umkhonto weSizwe member who was killed by the forces of apartheid. There were four of them. He was found in a shallow grave with two other comrades. The National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, through his DNA identified Vuyani Goniwe and his remains were taken to his province. When his remains were given to the family, they were so relieved and excited because it is our culture to bury our own in dignity. [Applause.] His remains came back and he was buried in dignity in Alice.
This is what this government is doing, bringing back the remains of the people who were killed by another system; as the ANC did not kill Vuyani Goniwe. He was killed by the apartheid system, but the ANC brought his remains back for the family to be at peace and be in a position to move forward. When a family moves forward, the community moves forward, the society moves forward and that means South Africa moves forward. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D CARTER
Ms X S TOM
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, the preamble to our Constitution reads: South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. It is worth recalling how 24 September became a Heritage Day indeed. Traditionally, on 24 September, the Zulu nation would gather at King Shaka’s grave in Kwadukuza to honour him. The Public Holidays Bill ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member! Can we please converse a bit lower so that we can hear the speaker on the podium?
Ms D CARTER: The Public Holidays Bill presented to Parliament at the time did not have the 24 of September included on the list of proposed public holidays. As a result of this exclusion, the IFP at the time objected to the Bill and a compromise was reached, giving life to a public holiday known as Heritage Day. How Heritage Day evolved is a lesson on how we as South Africans can use Heritage Day and our various heritages not to divide but to unite.
Cope believes that over the past 20 years, our full range of diverse traditions and culture have been subjected to contemporary political realities, sporting activities, contested meanings, and new behaviours that were never part of our previous experiences.
Heritage is both tangible and intangible. Songs, weddings, funerals, recipes, languages, recreation, dance, our wildlife, our elephants, our rhino and many other elements is how we identify ourselves. On the other hand, we have very important archaeological sites that go back to the very origin of human kind. Then there are buildings with foundations in the apartheid period but with a superstructure that reflects what we are about today. Every person has the opportunity to create fusion.
On Heritage Day we should witness active public reflection of what we should keep, what we should acquire and what we should invent. Heritage must be viewed as a contemporary activity with far-reaching effects. Knowing who we are and knowing who others are, each of us becomes a bigger and a better person.
At the moment we are still a no man’s land and leadership of the Mandela style is required to help us to take each other’s hands, share each other’s experiences and speak each other’s languages so that we see ourselves in a broader light than ever before. Our young people will know more and understand more of one another than has ever been experienced in our country. Let’s take hands together and fuse. I thank you.
Ms C DUDLEY
Ms D CARTER
Ms C DUDLEY: Chair, I will not have time today to talk to the story of our youth, but I would like, however, to quote one young man from the North West Province, Kagiso Monyadiwa, who said:
National Heritage Day is a day to celebrate the contribution of all South Africans to the building of this country. What we have done well, was to realise that we are all South African - the challenge now is the economic imbalance amongst us which still divides us and must be dealt with.
Instead, I will speak about the story of faith-based South Africans and Christians in particular, who would like us to relook government’s policy on religion in schools. They say this with the conviction that we are tearing at the fabric of our society when we impose unrealistic guidelines that prevent learners, parents and communities from influencing the religious ethos of their local schools. Freedom of religion is not about creating one religion for all but allowing people the freedom to believe as they please and to share their belief respectfully and peacefully. Religion and culture are closely related and should not be stifled.
Clearly this freedom like all others must not negatively impact on others but all learners and students should be able to proudly acknowledge their religious and cultural beliefs and express themselves in line with these in a manner that does not impose on others.
Without outside interference, where the majority of learners at a school are of one faith, for example, Christian, Muslim, Catholic, etc, it follows that the ethos of that school will appear to be that of the religion of the majority and where the community is more evenly spread across religions the diversity will be more apparent in the ethos.
There is general agreement that factual learning about religions can be useful but many parents specifically want their children in a school that embraces and teaches their values and I know Christians feel very strongly about this. Madiba is reported to have said in 1999 that religion was one of the motivating factors in everything he did, “without the church”, he said “without religious institutions, I would never have been here today”.
For a significant majority of people in South Africa who believe in Jesus and have chosen a Christian way of life it is important to obey Jesus’ command of “Let the children come to me” and they passionately agree with the words of Eben Le Roux that:
As long as we deny the call of Jesus to bring the children to Him we will deny ourselves the most important platform for peace.
In essence he says, “When our children grow up being taught they are their own god and are in need of no other help they suffer from arrogance - arrogant people are selfish, selfish people are disruptive and disruptive people behave like fools”.
Faith-based parents instil their religious values in their children from the cradle. Christians, for example, teach their children to love God, love others, forgive and care for others and to follow the Ten Commandments, so that as they grow up these become firmly held moral standards. [Time expired.] Thank you.
Mr M P GALO
Ms C DUDLEY
Mr M P GALO: Hon Chair, the AIC fully understands that Heritage Day is one of the newly created South African public holidays. It is a day in which all people are encouraged to celebrate their cultural traditions in the wider context of the great diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions that make up the nation of South Africa.
However, the AIC is of the view that, as public representatives in this House, we must be honest in saying that we are not disciplined.
Xa sithetha ngamasiko, uyabona ke phaya eMatatiele koo-Mt Fletcher singamadoda entaba. [Uwele-wele.] Uyayiva le nto? Ithetha into yokuba xa uza kuba yindoda esizweni uqala ngokwaluka, ukhutshwe le ngqondo yobukhwenkwe. Ohloniphekileyo uMphathiswa uNxesi ubuza apha kum ngenye imini ukuba kutheni ndixoxa ngathi ndisesibayeni nje? Mntwana kaNxesi ndisibona isibaya singcono kakhulu kunale nto yenzeka apha. [ Kwahlekwa.]
Isibaya singcono kakhulu kuba kaloku phaya singamadoda siyamamelana kwaye siyahloniphana. Esi sikhwenkwe senzeka apha kule Palamente masiphele. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
However, at the same time the ruling party must be honest with the people of this country in admitting the fact that it has failed in ensuring that the very democracy that we are talking about benefits the poor masses of this country, not the leaders - as it is the case right now.
The ANC has failed to ensure that the government is the government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is not the government of the leaders, by the leaders, for the leaders as is the case now. We are the change that we seek together we can start a new beginning for ourselves and our children. [Time expired.]
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nks A T Didiza): Hayi, andiyazi ke nokuba bakwazile ukuyitolika kusini na aba baphezulu le nto yesikhwenkwe. Mhlawumbi bebemamele, bavile.
Mr M Q NDLOZI:I rise on a point of order, Chair.
USIHLALO WENDLU: (Nks A T Didiza): Ithini i-order, Ndlozi?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chair, I think we must check if it is indeed parliamentary to call what is happening here “isikhwenkwe”. As far as I am concerned, even in the language we are being insulted. I think we must check if it is parliamentary to say ...
... kwenzeka isikhwenkwe apha, ndiyacela. Kuba kukho abantu abadala apha.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you hon Ndlozi. Hon Ndlozi, can you take your seat? I heard you, hon Buthelezi.
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Chair, on a point of order: I would like to ask the hon member whether by “isikhwenkwe” he was referring to my ... [Inaudible.] [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members!
Ngelishwa ke ku tat’ uShenge sele hambile waya kuhlala phantsi. Ndiyathemba ukuba xa niphuma ngala mnyango niza kuthetha-thethana nobathathu, ibe nguye utat’ uGalo, uNdlozi kunye nawe Sokalisa, nibonisane ke ukuba olu lwimi beluthethwa apha luthethwa ngoobani na. Andiqondi ukuba uthe umntu koko uthe “isikhwenkwe”. Yiyo le nto ndisithi kuza kufuneka ukuba anicacisele. Ndikuvile tat’uNdlozi, siza kujonga ke apha eTafileni ukuba ingaba ikhona kusini na kulwimi olusetyenziswa apha. Enkosi.
Mr L G MOKOENA
Mr M P GALO
Mr L G MOKOENA: Chairperson ...
Ke leboha batlotlehi ka kakaretso, Ntlong ena e hlomphehileng.
I do not have a long time, so I am going to be very short. It is important that the EFF becomes the government of the day so that we have a bigger platform on these issues. [Laughter.] I just want to speak about two issues on this important day. I think many speakers have elaborated on other issues that are important to our national conscience.
There are two issues that are important to me - language and history. I will start with language. The great Frantz Fanon says, “To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture”. We speak of equalising the language space in South Africa. However, we have failed to elevate the language space in our country to a time in which we are able to give our people the tools to emancipate themselves economically. The best way to do that is to translate the technical subjects that we find so difficult, like maths, science and history. All of those subjects should be translated into the indigenous languages of this country.
As Fanon says, this is a key subject. When we have done that, we then shall have encouraged our people to take on the world of science, maths, history, and so on; and then it will become their culture. [Applause.] It is important that we do this so that an old man in a township or a young man in the rural areas of Nkandla, for instance, [Laughter.] ... can walk into a library and be able to learn about science, history, aths and all of these things with the basic tools of reading and writing.
On the question of History, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o says:
If we want to turn Africa into a new Europe ... then let us leave the destiny of our countries to Europeans. They will know how to do it better than the most gifted among us.
Our country has some of the richest history, especially around 1700 and 1800, the history of uShaka whom we are celebrating today, Moshoeshoe, Nongqawuse, Manthatisi, Soshangane, and Hintsa. We need to tell their stories. It is the duty of government to take on the responsibility of telling those stories, because if we do not do that and we leave that in the hands of the private sector, the private sector is still largely untransformed. The means of productions are still in the hands of the minority.
If we leave telling our stories in those hands, we will never have justice in this country. Therefore, it is important that government takes on the responsibility of telling those stories. We need national stories, hon Minister of Arts and Culture. We need national stories that we can tell on Heritage Day.
One of the key ways we can do that is to have national studios. [Applause.] Let us have national studios because the cost of production for people in the industry is the biggest in any of their projects. We can alleviate that problem by taking it on, as government. I thank you, Chair. We will have more time when we are government of the day to discuss these things. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms P T VAN DAMME
Mr L G MOKOENA
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson, a sense of heritage is a feeling in the soul of every human being. It is a sense of belonging to a group of people, a sense of identity, dignity and pride. Apartheid robbed many South Africans of their heritage and created a populace that felt alienated. A populace that felt like it did not belong to the country ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Hon members, can we please remember what hon Singh said, reminding us of the Rule, of behaviour in the House when a speaker is at the podium. Can we please allow hon Van Damme to be heard?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Apartheid robbed many South Africans of their heritage and created a populace that felt alienated. A populace that felt like it did not belong to the country it lived in. I too, like many South Africans, have recently had the misfortune of being made to feel alien in the country I live in.
Sihlalo lohlon, ngingumtukulu wa-Ethin Mayisela wase-Alexandra, umtukulu waPhumzile Khumalo wase Danhauser, umtukulu waVuyiswa Msomi waseMlazi nemtukulu wa-Ephraime Masuku waseSwatini.
Through my veins courses the blood of the Swatis of Swaziland, the Zulus of KwaZulu-Natal and the Xhosas of the Western Cape. I am a child of this country ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Hon members, can we please allow the speaker to be heard.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Lalelani.
I am a child of this country, this continent, and the international community. I owe my life to Swaziland, South Africa and Belgium, the country my stepfather comes from; like all human beings, no one can ever take my heritage away from me. It is ingrained in the very depths of my being.
Hon Chairperson, as a South African, an African, and a citizen of this world, I am disappointed by how our country has appeared to stand by idly while human rights abuses rage all over our continent. I would love to see our government taking more of a lead role in condemning human rights abuses in Africa, our continent. Last month, Parliament rightfully discussed the plight of the Cuban Five.
However, what about the unlawful arrest in Swaziland of human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko and the editor, Bheki Makhubu? Last month, we rightfully discussed human rights abuses in the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. However, what about the abuses that have happened in South Sudan, Somalia and Niger? What is our government doing to make sure that the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are returned to their families? Hon members, we should not be afraid of condemning fellow African leaders if they treat their people unjustly.
We owe it to the people of Swaziland, and those living in other parts of Africa to stand up for their rights. After all, it was the people of African countries, like Swaziland, who allowed many apartheid activists, including those sitting on ANC benches today, to live and prosper in their countries. Why does the ANC government neglect Africa now that South Africa’s freedom has been won?
It is, unfortunately, not only those living in African countries whom the ANC government has neglected. There are many living in post-apartheid South Africa today who still feel the same sense of alienation they felt during apartheid. To these people, I imagine, it is as if their heritage does not matter to the government.
I am talking about people like Gogo Johanna Mokobane, who tragically lost her life after falling into a well while trying to find drinking water. Her village had been experiencing serious water shortages since before 1994. Did Gogo Mokobane feel like she belonged to the South Africa, that her heritage mattered and was respected? I doubt it.
I am also talking about the residents of Walmer Township in Port Elizabeth where the use of bucket toilets has increased by a staggering 8 000. In provinces such as the Western Cape, bucket toilets have decreased. However, in others such as the Eastern Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal, bucket toilets have increased. Do the people in the provinces where no real efforts are being made to decrease bucket toilets feel like the ANC government cares about them? I doubt it.
I am also speaking about young black people between the ages of 25 and 34, like myself. The quality of education provided post-1994 has been so poor that skilled employment in this category has regressed. How is this even possible? Hang your heads in shame, ANC, for failing our youth. Our young people deserve better. [Interjections.]
Mr J M MTHEMBU: Are you South African?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: I am. Thank you. Hon Chairperson,
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chairperson, while the hon Van Damme was talking, then – and I use the word loosely - hon Jackson Mthembu shouted out the words, “Are you South African?”
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Xenophobia.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I will treat it as offensive and I will ask you to rule that the hon Mthembu, if he wants credence to that title, should withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members, unfortunately because of the high level of noise, I did not pick up what he said. [Interjections.] No, no, can we please listen to one another? The unfortunate part of it is that there was also an exchange. While hon Mthembu spoke, hon Van Damme responded, and I did not hear what either of them said to the other. As you – hon member, we have not finished. I was still clarifying to hon Steenhuisen what had happened. Hon Mthembu, did you say what is alleged you have said? [Interjections.] Hon members, you would want to hear what hon Mthembu says; so can we please listen?
Mr J M MTHEMBU: Hon Chair, with due respect, she raised all sorts of issues whilst she was debating. [Interjections.] On the basis of what she said about Swaziland and other countries; I asked if she was a South African. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Mthembu, I think you must just withdraw.
Mr J M MTHEMBU: Well, I withdraw, Chair. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you. Hon Van Damme, what was your response, because you also responded?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: I clarified for him that I am a South African, but ... [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members!
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Okay, I withdraw. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza[tz2] ): Hon member Van Damme, I did not hear what you said earlier, when hon Steenhuisen spoke you said “xenophobia”. Can you please withdraw that too?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson, all hope is not lost. It is possible to restore our people’s dignity and cultural pride. The best way to do this is to deliver services and create jobs in order to meet the imbalances created by apartheid. The ANC, granted, has done a lot to ensure this, but it can do better. According to Statistics SA’s recent nonfinancial census of municipalities, the Western Cape has the highest proportion of residents benefiting from free basic services such as water, electricity, sanitation and solid waste management. In each of these categories, the Western Cape is far, far ahead of ANC-run provinces.
The fact of the matter is, hon Chairperson, while the DA is not perfect, we work the hardest for vulnerable South Africans. That is why I have chosen the DA as my political home. It is a home where all are welcome regardless of race, social class or heritage. The DA has become part of my heritage. Those who use the language of our former oppressors to call black DA voters like myself house niggers, hired natives, puppets, do not deter me. Haters will hate.
The struggle against apartheid was a struggle of political choice. A struggle for all South Africans not only to vote, but to vote for the political party of choice. Like many young South Africans, I have chosen to vote for the DA. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order hon member! Who is asking for a point of order?
Ms T V TOBIAS: Is it permissible to use the word nigger, in this House?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, can you take your seat? She was referring to a speech that was made. So it is perfectly in order. Hon member, can you conclude?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Like many young South Africans, I am choosing to vote for the DA. I understand that the ANC is scared because young black voters are leaving the ANC, and they are doing so in droves. The tide is turning. The ANC is becoming the party of the past, and the DA is becoming the party of the future. [Time expired.] I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr G A GARDEE: Hon Chairperson, may I be recognised? May I check with the Chairperson, in terms of the Rules, do we still form a quorum? Because the benches are very empty. [Laughter.] Perhaps, we can now vote on the motion of no confidence.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Gardee, we are perfectly in order, you can take a seat. Thank you very much. I would ask members not make many points of orders. That will delay all of us from leaving this House earlier than we would want to. I would now - hon members, can we allow the speaker on the podium to be heard, hon Speaker.
Ms P T VAN DAMME
The SPEAKER: Hon House Chairperson, hon leaders of opposition parties, hon Members of Parliament, we meet at this Joint Sitting to celebrate our rich culture and heritage, to narrate our unique story of struggle, grief, restoration, resilience and victory, and perhaps, above all, our sheer optimism for the future.
The theme for this year’s Heritage Day is “Celebrating 20 years of democracy: Tell your story that moves South Africa forward”. We chose this theme because the celebration of this day is almost as old as the 20 years of our freedom. Each one of us has a story to tell about the past 20 years, and each of these stories has to help our country move forward in our collective quest for a better South Africa.
Whilst reflecting on the meaning of this day, I was taken back to the address delivered by our late President Nelson Mandela on Heritage Day of 1997 on Robben Island where he had spent years of incarceration as a prisoner. He said:
In affirming a joint heritage, in this place, we are reminded that our noble ideals were spurred on even more by their long denial, that today’s unity is a triumph over yesterday’s division and conflict.
He went on in his address to say—
... entrench the conditions in which one can participate in building our collective democratic future, speak one’s own language, have pride in one’s culture and one’s heritage. In seeking to ground our heritage in these ideals, we are striking out in a new direction.
Like with the theme for this year’s celebrations, therefore, on Heritage Day, we turn to the past in order to move forward into the future. On Heritage Day, we celebrate who we are: our South Africanness, our nationhood, which is, of course, still in the making. We recall our past, affirm ourselves, celebrate and recommit ourselves to remain focused on the nation we want to become. Indeed, this day is about the past that has shaped us and brought us to where we are, the present that we create with every step we take and the future which is in our hands.
The essence of what we celebrate today is captured in the Preamble to our Constitution which declares that—
... We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
The same Constitution says about us who are in this House that we are elected to represent the people and to ensure government by the people under the Constitution. In a word, we are the embodiment of the “we, the people” that’s in the Preamble to our Constitution. Hon members, we say with pride and without any sense of contradiction, that we are a diverse people who are united in our diversity. The different colours we carry on our skins may have divided us in the past, but today we are learning to be proud of them. [Applause.]
Our many languages no longer define us into ethnic or tribal groups that must hate each other but are today the harmonic melodies spoken by our people. [Applause.] Differences in religion or faith are to us not a source of division or enmity, and I want here to share with you the pride I used to feel when we were at the Pan-African Parliament. At every event at the start, we would have our multifaith prayers, and Africans would marvel at this because on the rest of the continent there are some places where there is no way you are going to have people at the same event representing different faiths. I am not one of those who believe that we have done everything and we are fine in terms of heritage, in terms of our cultural pride in what we do, but that we are far ahead of many countries because we are able to be at the same event and have those multifaith prayers, which I believe to be one of the prides of the new South Africa. [Applause.]
All of us have opinions. All of us have strong political beliefs. In the past, this could mean a prison sentence for some of us. Today, we speak freely and associate with whoever we want. This Parliament is a true expression of all these freedoms that we enjoy today. We relish these freedoms knowing very well that we are the embodiment of the “we, the people” that is in the Preamble to our Constitution.
The last 20 years of our freedom are a story we will keep on telling, but we should tell this story recognising that the long walk to freedom is far from over. The 20 years that are behind us have bequeathed us a legacy that must sustain us in the long walk that is ahead of us. We, all of us, are creating a lasting legacy for those who will come after us - our children, grandchildren, and many of those beautiful ones that are yet to be born. A better South Africa must be part of a better Africa and a better world. We cannot escape our African identity which shaped us in the struggle for decolonisation here in our region and beyond.
Hon members, I am proud to remind us that this Parliament was declared a Grade 1 National Heritage Site by the SA Heritage Resources Agency due to its historical, aesthetic, scientific and social value to our country. [Applause.] We were honoured with this highest recognition of a heritage site because, indeed, this Parliament has been at the centre of our politics since the 19th century when its buildings were first erected. It was from this quarter of our city where this Parliament is located that colonialism set out on its brutal journey of dispossession and conquest in our country.
It was from here that a Union of South Africa was created in 1910 that excluded the majority of Africans, coloureds and Indian communities. It was in this building where apartheid triumphed, its draconian laws passed one after another. Finally, emerging from our painful past, it was in this building that in 1994 a truly representative government was inaugurated. [Applause.] It was here that a Constitution for a new South Africa was crafted and adopted.
Hon members, we have said that this year’s celebration of Heritage Day must be about telling a story that will help our country move forward. This must be about creating a positive legacy for the future. As Tata Madiba put it in his speech that we cited above, “In seeking to ground our heritage ... we are striking out in a new direction”.
I believe that there are five ways that the Fifth Parliament can create its own positive legacy, and I wish to suggest them. Firstly, we have to begin by defending, preserving and consolidating the stature that earned this Parliament a Grade 1 National Heritage Site status. This means that the aesthetics of our surroundings and buildings have to be serviced and expanded. So must be our social value to the country which all of us, individually and collectively, have to protect and promote.
Secondly, the meaning of the “we, the people” that is in the Preamble to our Constitution must be realised when our people see in all of us their true representatives throughout our term of office. It must not only be when we campaign for their votes before an election. They have to know and believe that in us our country is in good hands.
Thirdly, Parliament has a critical role to play in making our Constitution a living document, upholding and defending its ideals. Our Constitution is supreme, and its supremacy must reign. Parliament is crucial to ensuring that this happens.
Fourthly, as one of the three arms of our state, Parliament has to be at the frontline of the second transition towards our goal of building a national democratic society. In this second transition, on the one hand, we should consolidate our story of the last 20 years and, on the other, upscale the measures required for the further radical transformation of our society. I want to say here to the hon Minister, I think much as we wish we could truly say we are all on the same wavelength concerning what we are talking about when we say we are trying to build a heritage that we all share, one of the critical points that has to be emphasised relates to not pretending that, in fact, everyone is equal. I want to highlight the issue of black artists, hon Minister, in that we cannot pretend that an artist who is sitting in a rural area somewhere has equal access to the information that he would need in order for him to have equal access to what he, in fact, does have a right to. I say this because one has interacted with the community of artists, and one knows that black and young artists in townships, in rural areas, really need a lot more attention and help to develop the skills that they were endowed with by nature. [Applause.] The past has been very unfair to our people, including artists. I really urge that, Minister, as you settle into your portfolio, we look at these issues in finer detail so that it can be part of what we are talking about when we talk about economic development. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): It is very difficult to say to the Speaker, you can’t speak, but we have to.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, your time has expired. [Applause.] It is very difficult to say to the Speaker, “You can’t speak,” but we have to.
Hon Plouamma – I hope I have pronounced your surname correctly, sir.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: It’s okay. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Ithini, tata?
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Plou-yam-ma.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Oh. Thank you very much. Over to you.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon Minister, I want to take this opportunity to thank you ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Could you please settle down?
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Minister, I want to take this opportunity to thank you and your department for the reburial of the remains of Nat Nakasa.
Today is the day to thank our forefathers, who remained resilient against all odds, when our culture, dignity and identity were under serious attack by colonial and racist forces, and who through their courage and generosity in spirit still inspire us today.
Ke bua ka, Kgosi Sekhukhune ...
... Chief Makgatho, Steve Bantu Biko and Frances Baard.
Agang believes that there is no story that moves South Africa forward without establishing a cultural awakening in which all races forge a new identity, a national consciousness of citizenship. Our actions should reflect a multiracial society in harmony with itself in which all our heroes are celebrated without cultural and political limitations.
In conclusion, in our culture we should derive our spiritual completeness and character from our collective consciousness of who we are and from our embedded values of respect and honesty, which must be the bedrock of our democratic civilisation. Thank you.
Ms M S KHAWULA
Mr M A PLOUAMMA
Ms M S KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, South Africa suffered devastating cultural, spiritual and social divisions, first at the hands of colonial rule and later at the hands of successive apartheid governments. These politically engineered divisions not only created barriers amongst and between the different peoples of our country, but also sowed deep-rooted seeds of hatred, animosity and selfishness.
Heritage, properly handled and properly implemented, has the potential of closing these gaps among the people of South Africa. Black people in Africa and South Africa lost their cultural identities along the way. Properly utilised, heritage has the potential of bringing back our identities and a love of who we are.
On behalf of the IFP, I wish to express gratitude to the first Cabinet of a democratic South Africa in 1994 for ensuring that the date of 24 September is made Heritage Day for our country. I also wish to express my gratitude to the first Minister of Home Affairs of a democratic South Africa for his historic legacy to our country.
Our people were made to forget themselves, their identities and their backgrounds, but heritage celebration has the ability, capacity and potential to reverse these into positive achievements. Africans went as far as almost abandoning the key social maxim of “Umuntu ungumuntu ngabantu”, but through heritage, a cultural renaissance programme, we can rekindle this social belief.
I say “potential” because we have not yet had a government that utilises heritage to bring people together and close these gaps. I come from a province where the IFP government of 1994 to 1999 was able to forge ahead with a multiparty government – incorporating both the ANC and the IFP – in order to give essence to the reconciliation in that province. But at the first opportune time, hardly two years down the line into his premiership, the first ANC premier after 2004 destroyed this spirit and threw multiparty governance out the window.
The IFP has recently championed a debate in this House about the current practice of government to use public holidays and gatherings of the nation for their own political ends. This will never enable South Africa to achieve the much-needed social cohesion in our communities, and we call on the ruling party to stop this practice. The national days of our country belong to all the people of South Africa, irrespective of political ideology and irrespective of who you are.
The IFP therefore says, in conclusion, that in the spirit of ubuntu, heritage is a platform that can enable the creation of a better South Africa, a proud and unified South Africa, and a South Africa with a lasting positive legacy for future generations. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms C C SEPTEMBER
Ms M S KHAWULA
Ms C C SEPTEMBER: House Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, visitors in the gallery, comrades and fellow South Africans, good afternoon - molweni nonke. It is this collective heritage of struggle, these common yearnings which are our greatest strength that we as the ANC have built our programme of transformation on, our programme of social cohesion for our country, South Africa.
It must be understood why we celebrate Heritage Day. It is to ensure that we continue to build our new nation through cultural heritage. We define as South Africa our heritage of who we are, what we have and how we do things. We chose to embrace diversity by recognising the rich natural resources and the potential of our people. This collaborative, innovative, peaceful approach marked the rebirth and transition from a pariah state to a growing democracy.
Hon Chair, culture, of which heritage forms a part, is an essential component of human development, providing for economic growth and ownership of development processes. It is a truism that heritage with its value for identity and as a repository of historical, cultural and social memory preserved through its authenticity, integrity and a sense of place forms a crucial aspect of the development process.
The challenge of integrating heritage and ensuring that it has a role in the context of sustainable development is to demonstrate that heritage plays a part in social cohesion, wellbeing, creativity and economic appeal, and indeed a factor in promoting understanding between communities. As the ANC our people-centred approach lends itself towards ensuring that local people, civil society will play a role in the design and implementation of heritage as a driver of development.
Hon members, there is evidence that environmental resources are more likely to be conserved when local residents actively participate in decision-making. One such example we as the ANC will celebrate as part of Heritage Day is our continuous recognition of creating local economic development through some of the projects that have been started, such as what had it been referred to as the route tourism strategies. Some of these strategies together with the private sector initiatives that we have in areas such as the Midlands Meander in KwaZulu-Natal, the Makana Heritage Route and the Phalo Heritage Route recognising the role of a number of local leaders and communities.
Hon Chairperson, we as the ANC laude the effort of the National Heritage Council together with the Nelson Mandela National Museum and the Eastern Cape Department of Sport and Recreation and other departments. One of the aims that they’ve put together under the the Liberation Heritage Route, is to translate the wealth of heritage knowledge and resources into economic capital.
Recognition has finally been given to houses of our leaders who were instrumental in the liberation struggle; significant schools and churches are being identified and dignity has been restored as well as their pride and ours. Ownership of our past, the present and the future has been and is being realised.
Another example of such an initiative was the Amathole and Chris Hani District Municipalities that have been joined by the Nelson Mandela Metro, which has identified, mapped and described about 25 sites. Several of very high potential development, including the Calata House in Cradock; the Jabavu House in the Middledrift; the Xuma House in Ngcobo; Fort Armstrong near Balfour; the house in Cala where Bathandwa Ndondo was shot; the Sanlam building in Port Elizabeth. And the list continues, including the Pepco three who were murdered.
The Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg built with a great deal of national and some donor funding. By contrast, the South End Museum, also in Port Elizabeth, has managed to attract considerable support among the Khoisan community, and is now largely self-sustained.
Between South Africa and Mali we have also given meaning to the concept of African solidarity through the project to conserve the manuscript of the Ahmed Baba Institute - an ongoing process. Therefore, arts and culture can and should encourage discourse and debate, broaden outlooks and horizons and nurture understanding within the concentric rings of South Africa’s communities.
Hon Chairperson, you also said that we must to tell the stories here today, and I have such a story to tell, where, out of our own initiative, South Africa has been moved forward. We recognise that before 1994 classical ballet was seen as the symbol of elitist and white art. The fact that it has not only remained an integral part of our cultural fabric but has grown over the past 20 years, is a tribute to the government’s policy of inclusivity.
Ballet has a long history in South Africa, but the company that symbolises postapartheid classical ballet in South Africa is the Johannesburg ballet, under the leadership of its CEO, Dirk Badenhorst, who joins us in the gallery today. [Applause.] He conveyed a message to thank you, Madam Speaker and Deputy Speaker, for visiting them last week.
His company traces its beginning to 2001, when six dancers came together and, with determination and backed by a supportive board, with no public funding, gathered the company together and began to present performances for the public. So, began their long arduous road to becoming an active professional part of the country’s cultural fabric.
The five-year ballet company that has a relationship with Cuba has an impact on the development and growth of ballet in South Africa, further highlights the impact of classical ballet in South Africa and the world. It is also important to talk about the milestone in the journey towards the establishment of the company, the creation that started off in 2012 with the South African Mzansi Ballet, Samb, bringing two of the original six founders, a dozen years before, back together with the CEO and the artistic director of the new company in June 2013.
We must thank the City of Johannesburg that announced a generous funding grant for the company, in terms of which the name was changed to Joburg Ballet. The company nurtured Andile Ndlovu who was raised in Soweto and trained in the ballet outreach programme. He became a company dancer and has since pursued his distinguished career with the Washington Ballet in the United States. [Applause.]
There is also Kitty Phetla, one of the most iconic of all South Africa’s ballet dancers, who not only brings her unique talents to the glamorous professional stage, but also inspires thousands of young South Africans, dancing for them in dusty quadrangles and on small stoops in dozens of schools across Gauteng. We say well done to them. The ANC is proud of your innovative ways of moving South Africa forward and giving hope to the people, especially the young people in this country. [Applause.]
Partnering with the Gauteng Department of Education is to inspire younger generations of South Africans. Also, 2014 marks the year that Joburg Ballet began the initiative to build and expand its already existing Joburg Ballet development programme and Joburg Ballet Cuban school with a project aimed at reaching 40 000 children in Gauteng.
This development project drives the process of social uplifting and, through the arts and education, beginning with Gauteng youth and with the aim of increasing the scale, to a nationwide project. Of course, they are encouraged by comrade Fidel Castro in collaboration with Madam Alicia Alonzo. The Cuban National Ballet School developed a unique ballet training method that is used at the Joburg Ballet Cuban School.
It is particularly heartening to see the roles being played by the Joburg Ballet dancers like Thabang Mabaso, a born-free South African who is not only pursuing a burgeoning professional career with Joburg Ballet, but is also giving back to the community as a teacher now and as a role model. Lerato Letlape and John Sinclair are also men who have passed our community programme – I say “our” because I’ve worked with them quite a lot – and having now come full circle teaching the children of today they are also achieving economic independence through the work in this field.
I would like to conclude by highlighting the fact that ballet has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of South Africans with events such as the opening ceremony at the Africa Cup of Nations, dancing a world-first in tandem with a Boeing airliner at the Swartkops Airshow and to the millions of television viewers who watched this event; and let us not forget what they did on the Gautrain.
The cultural landscape of South Africa is a fascinating, rich, unique and a diverse one. In the artistic and cultural aspirations of South Africans lie an infinity of possibilities waiting to be set free, ready to take wing, we have tapped some of these richest, but so much more is waiting to soar. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: I just want to check with the hon Thoko Didiza; are you going to be chairing from there now?
The TEMPORARTY CHAIPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Ndlozi, can you take your seat? Take your seat!
Mr N T GODI
Ms C C SEPTEMBER
Mr N T GODI: Chairperson, comrades and hon members, it was Dr Kwame Nkrumah who said that freedom must lead to the projection of the African personality. This is a recognition that white minority rule was not satisfied with political and economic domination but consolidated it through the distortion and vilification of the history and culture of the Africans.
This had the desired outcome, as Frantz Fanon said, of depersonalising and alienating the native from himself. Thus, 20 years after the attainment of freedom, the overwhelming African majority in South Africa is a cultural minority. The stubborn demon of racism is still the proverbial elephant in the room, projected in part by the twin evils of African inferiority and white superiority complexes. The APC therefore sees this question of the projection of the African personality as a fundamental issue for a free people because the mind of the African was the greatest battlefield during slavery, through colonialism, and up to today.
As we celebrate 20 years of freedom and September as Heritage Month, the big question is: What about the heritage of the descendents of the Khoi and the San? They are victims of cultural genocide, their language, culture, and identity consigned to the darkroom by deliberate and systematic colonial oppression. What is done to restore and promote their heritage? Yes, we are reopening the land claims, but will their language be taught in schools to their kids? Will the Western Cape have a house of traditional leaders like all other provinces? [Interjections.] [Applause.] What this colonial catastrophe of cultural dislocation bequeathed to the democratic state are, amongst others, unacceptably high levels of alcoholism, gangsterism, drug abuse, tuberculosis, and the embarrassment of white trusteeship in the Western Cape. [Interjections.]
Chairperson, the sad reality remains that 20 years down the line, the values and norms that inform our national life as a country remain strongly at the expense of the African majority. [Interjections.] The African majority constitutes 80% of the South African population. Surely, that must count for something. Thank you. [Applause.]
Cllr D NTINGANE (Salga)
Mr N T GODI
Cllr D NTINGANE (Salga): Chairperson, Speaker and hon members, Salga is honoured and pleased to participate in this debate today as we celebrate 20 years of democracy and freedom and tell our local government story.
Indeed, we have come a long way on our democratic journey – 1994 seems like yesterday when we dreamed of a new and brighter future. This momentous occasion presents an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress made in deepening democracy and expanding development, in particular on the role of local government in building our democratic foundations. Perhaps it is our impatience and justifiable haste to rid our people of the shackles of inequality, poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment that have caused us, as South Africans, to often forget the tremendous strides we have made to date and resilience shown in doing so against the odds.
Whilst the country is celebrating 20 years of democracy and freedom, we must bear in mind that local government is not yet 15 years old. Next year will be the milestone 15 years of democratic local government, which we look forward to reflecting on and celebrating in Parliament. We are of the persuasion that local government has come a long way since its establishment in 2000. Fourteen years on and a firm foundation has been laid which we should build on as we lead up to the fourth democratic local government elections in 2016. Let us not forget what a massive transition this was in which we moved from a highly fragmented race-based system of local government to an integrated democratic system with uniform wall-to-wall municipalities. In doing so, we consolidated local government from a race-based system of over 1 000 local authorities into more than 880 before the 2000 elections and 283 municipalities in 2000, now 278, and, in 2016, there will be 267 municipalities. For us, this is a massive transformation.
We established local government in areas with little or no local government previously, ensuring that every South African enjoys democratic participation. No citizen is unrepresented and citizens are able to local leaders accountable. We have developed a comprehensive policy and legislative framework, which have been vibrant and responsive. The approach is being continuously refined. Significant progress has been made also in addressing backlogs as registered in the 2011 census results, notably the expansion of social infrastructure and services to poor households in the form of a basket of social services like free basic water, electricity, solid waste collection, sanitation and sewerage connectivity. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Me D VAN DER WALT
Cllr D NTINGANE (Salga)
Me D VAN DER WALT: Voorsitter, volgende week herdenk Suid-Afrika Erfenisdag, ’n dag waarop ons moet besin oor ons erfenis, dit wat ons as Suid-Afrikaners van geslagte voor ons geërf het en die erfenis wat ons aan ons nageslagte wil nalaat.
Die titel van vandag se debat is egter misleidend en fokus nie regtig op die totale erfenis van ons land en sy mense nie, maar wel op die ANC se poging om verlore stemme by die 2014 stembusse te probeer herwin deur voort te gaan om Suid-Afrikaners te indoktrineer met hul “goeie storie om te vertel” verkiesingsboodskap. Dit is dus op hulself gerig.
It is upon us, the public representatives of the people, to ensure the heritage we leave behind is of a well-educated and skilled people who will be able economically to achieve their own dreams and look after themselves and their families economically instead of being dependent on the state. Quality education is the heritage we should leave our future generations. Bantu education and the Soweto massacre of 1976 is a painful part of our heritage where people were essentially disenfranchised and had little to no opportunities. We should honour our painful past but use the lessons we learnt to fiercely fight for a future of an open-opportunity society for all.
More and more often, we experience school boycotts as learners, teachers and communities are dissatisfied with the ANC being unable to deliver textbooks on time, provide school furniture to all schools, alleviate the shortage of qualified teachers, and the list goes on. [Interjections.] The disregard for a court order to deliver school furniture by mid-June and the broken promise made by President Zuma during his state of the nation address on 17 June this year when he said that “furniture will be delivered in all Eastern Cape schools by the middle of August 2014” makes it clear: the ANC has no intention to leave behind a heritage of quality education, which is clearly enshrined in our Constitution. To the hon President, we want the desks you promised the children delivered now!
In an attempt to hide the failures of the targets set for each financial year by the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative school delivery programme, which targeted 510 schools since its inception in 2010-11 and built only 75 to date, government then initiated the “one school a week” delivery programme. It would be a very good initiative if we could deliver on it, but what are we really achieving if more and more abandoned schools worth millions of rand are found weekly across our country?
On Monday, I visited Lebaka Primary (B) school in Greater Letaba area, a brand new supposedly state-of-the-art school built at a cost of R17 million, which has been empty for years. The donkeys are now roaming the classrooms and schoolyard. [Interjections.] Brand new desks are gathering dust in the unused classrooms and so is all the office furniture in the admin offices. Many desks and office chairs are lying outside in all weather conditions; buildings are being stripped of their roofs and windows. Why? Why aren’t our children in this school? Is this the legacy the ANC wants to leave behind?
Hon members, let me assure you, we as the DA want all South Africans to rest assured that the DA loves this country as much as you do. That is why we are here. We must all honour our past and strive together towards a better future. What we want, however, is that, whilst young people should be given every opportunity to honour their past, they must, even more so, be provided with support to allow them to own their futures. So we call on the Minister of Basic Education, Ms Angie Motshekga, to be thoroughly transparent in her handling of the matter regarding the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union’s proposal to rewrite the history syllabus and to make the subject compulsory until matric. If she considers the demand to so, she should engage in extensive public and expert consultation before making any decisions. It is important to note, from the outset, that the DA cannot support history being compulsory through to matric. This runs counter to the principle of choice which should be available to all children, based on their skills and their aspirations. [Interjections.]
But let us ask ourselves: What heritage is it that this Fifth Parliament will leave behind? Will we be remembered as a Parliament where hooliganism reigned? Will we be remembered as a Parliament where a President refused to answer questions? Will we be remembered as a Parliament where the majority party tainted the office of the Speaker with a deployee? Will we be remembered as a Parliament that ignored the big matters of national importance: unemployment, corruption, service delivery and quality basic education? I am very worried, fellow hon members, that we are walking on a path to a rotten heritage for this Fifth Parliament. It does not have to be this way. We can engage in robust and constructive debate on the issues that really matter to all South Africans. We can work hard, sometimes together, sometimes disagreeing with each other, towards making our country a better place.
I would like to conclude my speech by appealing to all members to think about the heritage we are leaving behind in our term in Parliament. Think about how we are framing the national debate and the example we are showing to our people with our debates. Let’s take the time during this constituency period to think about the legacy we are leaving. I hope we can come back in the next term and work on the real issues affecting our people.
Voorsitter, ek wil net graag aan die Minister van Kuns en Kultuur baie dankie sê vir die bevestiging in sy toespraak waarin hy weereens gesê het ons tale en moedertaalonderrig is veilig. Ek wil graag vir hom sê, saam met Koning Shaka se herdenking het ons ook Maandag nog ’n ikoon herdenk. Dit was genl Koos de la Rey wie toe 100 jaar gelede vermoor is. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Aan die agb Morapela wie duidelik nog nooit die Grondwet van hierdie land gelees het nie ...
... and also to hon Ndlozi and the hon Godi in his speech now, hon Chair, through you, please, I quote from the Constitution, section 6(5) of the Founding Provisions:
A Pan South African Language Board established by national legislation must ...
... not may!
- promote and create conditions for the development and use of—
- all official languages;
- the Khoi, Nama and San languages ...
- promote and ensure respect for—
- all languages commonly used by communities in South Africa, including German, Greek ... Hindi, Portuguese ... Urdu; and Arabic ...
That is what we are doing. There is no use standing up here if you had not read this. [Interjections.] I thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES RESPONSIBLE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Mr J H Jeffery)
Mrs D VAN DER WALT
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES RESPONSIBLE FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Mr J Jeffrey): Hon Chairperson, hon members, our heritage is what gives us our sense of identity and belonging. Each and every person has their own unique story to tell. It is these stories which, when woven together, tell the tale of a country, which, despite its tragic history and centuries of suffering, has emerged proudly to take its place in the world.
It tells the tale of groups of people who, for a very long time viewed each other with suspicion and anger, but are now coming together to form a nation with a unique South African identity. That is our heritage.
Heritage Day is a day of celebration of different cultures and diversity of our people’s traditions in the wider context of a country which belongs to all who live in it. In this regard, it is a pity that Heritage Day in some quarters is being reduced to national braai day. It is a lot more than just that element.
We must learn about, and respect the heritage of each and all of the peoples of South Africa. As it has been mentioned by the Minister, 24 April is the anniversary of the assassination of King Shaka in 1828.
Fred Khumalo writes, and I quote:
Shaka’s Day in honour of the man who used a spear to embroider together a diverse collection of tribes and clans into one mighty cultural quilt ... had gifted us with one thing and that you can’t take away from a people: a sense of history, a sense of dignity.
I will return to these issues of history and dignity shortly. It is a feature of A democratic and inclusive South Africa that the dates of our national days are set on the anniversary of a specific happening, such as the assassination of King Shaka or the massacre at Sharpeville, but are widened to include a broader theme - such as Heritage Day and Human Rights Day, with regard to the two examples I have mentioned.
This inclusivity must be a central part of how we celebrate our country’s heritage. Perhaps the central lesson that the ANC, the 102-year-old organisation I represent here in Parliament, learnt in its long years of struggle was that of unity and inclusivity. From uniting the different ethnic groups from its founding in 1912 to working in the Congress Alliance with the SA Indian Congress, the SA Coloured People’S Organisation and the white SA Congress of Democrats, the ANC forged nonracialism and respect for all South Africans. [Applause.]
This unity and inclusivity is specifically stated in the Freedom Charter adopted in 1956, with its striking opening line that says:
We, the people of South Africa declare for all our country and the world to know that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white ...
It is in the Preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa that, and I quote:
We, the people of South Africa ... believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
And it is expressed in our National Development Plan and I quote:
South Africa belongs to all its peoples. We, the people, belong to one another. We live the rainbow.
I stated earlier that we need to learn about each other’s heritage. We come from a past which specifically sought to prevent that. In order to justify, first of all slavery – the enslaving of a fellow human being as mere property - and then colonisation - the subjugation of indigenous people and the occupation of their land - the European mind had to propagate myths, such as the superiority of Europeans and their culture and history and the inferiority of the peoples of Africa. This continued in the era of apartheid which was built on the myth that white people were superior to black people.
Part of this process was the concealment of the existence of advanced African societies such as Mapungubwe, the propagation of myths such as the assertion that great Zimbabwe couldn’t possibly have been built by indigenous people but must have been built by Phoenicians and other such claims that Europeans and Bantu-speaking people arrived in South Africa at the same time - which I think we have heard before in this House.
How much of this mindset, this stereotyping still dominates some of our thinking even subconsciously. One of the problems of our society - and in this regard I refer particularly to people of my own background, white middle-class South Africans – is a belief in their own cultural superiority, that their way of doing things and their outlook and values are the only ones that are correct. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Our struggle for a South Africa united in its diversity is a struggle, not just to learn about the past, but also not to forget it. We must never forget it. In our past, there was no justice in the justice system. It was a system of injustice which upheld and defended the apartheid state. Constitutional safeguards and rights which we consider the norm today were nonexistent under the previous regime.
During the 1960s to 1980s, many people were detained without trial, often tortured and many of them died in detention. Many people tell their stories of how they came to dread night time approaching as this was when the security forces were likely to strike.
I want to quote from Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali’s poem, Nightfall in Soweto, that goes:
Nightfall comes like
a dreaded disease ...
Where is my refuge?
Where am I safe?
Not in my matchbox house
Where I barricade myself against nightfall.
I tremble at his crunching footsteps,
I quake at his deafening knock at the door.
“Open up!” he barks like a rabid dog
thirsty for my blood.
You are my mortal enemy.
But why were you ever created?
Why can’t it be daytime?
Daytime forever more?
I never actually did national service, thank you for asking. I don’t know who asked that question. I avoided conscription, unlike, I think, most of the members of this House. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Apartheid laws were dehumanising and the so-called security legislation was draconian in nature. Many would say that because of this, our country’s story must be one of bitterness and resentment, but we can proudly and humbly say that this is not the case. One of the problems we face as a country is that of deliberately forgetting.
Even though the National Party government was kept in power by white votes - and I think the hon Van Der Walt, one of the previous speakers, was a National Party councillor - it is very difficult today to find a single person who supported apartheid. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, OVERSIGHT AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES RESPONSIBLE FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Mr J Jeffrey): Everyone in South Africa, in particular on this side of the House, is in love with our first President, Nelson Mandela. But it was only a few years earlier that white South Africans, particularly these on this side of the House, regarded him as a terrorist who was trying to destroy white civilisation. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
I spoke earlier of the Freedom Charter Now, just about everybody, with the exception the FF Plus and the PAC, supports the Freedom Charter, including the people here, but right up until the dawn of democracy most white South Africans regarded it as a communist document. Didn’t you, hon Van Der Walt? [Laughter.] And because of state propaganda, they regarded communism as particularly evil.
The contrast between our country’s past and future is stark and dramatic. We have struggled and we have overcome. We have succeeded in building a constitutional democracy that is often hailed as one of the most progressive in the world. We have gone from a brutal and dehumanising regime of control to building a society based on human dignity, freedom and equality. We have made significant progress towards eradicating inequality and injustice and building a more equal society.
Since the advent of democracy, government has consistently worked on improving the lives of all. Today, more people have access to safe drinking water and more than twelve and half million people now have a place to call home ... [Interjections.] ... as government has invested more than a R100 billion in building new homes since 1994. There have been major improvements in access to health care since 1994 as well and we have more children going to school with the number of children enrolled for Grade R increasing year on year.
I gather from the heckling on this side that that is something they want to challenge. [Interjections.] This does not mean that there are no challenges, particularly poverty, unemployment and inequality. It means that the gains we have made outweigh the challenges that remain. We must take pride in the fact that we have made massive gains in our society and towards building a more equal South Africa. [Interjections.]
Heritage is also about social cohesion. In its 1992 document called Ready to Govern, the ANC policy guidelines for a democratic South Africa states, and I quote:
We have to develop a truly South African vision of our country, one which is not distorted by the prejudices and sectarianism that has guided viewpoints on race and gender, in the past. We have to rely on the wisdom, life experiences, talents and know-how of all South Africans, women and men. There can be no “apartheid” in finding solutions to the problems created by apartheid.
So, what does it mean to be South African? I have been asked to deliver a lecture tomorrow at the University of North West in Mafikeng in honour of the late professor of law, Prof Carmen Nathan. In reading about Prof Nathan’s life I was struck by the following - and you should really listen to this so that you might benefit from it. [Interjections.]
Prof Nathan was a white English-speaking South African who had worked for a long time in the North West. She had mentioned in her will that she wanted a Tswana-Jewish burial and her wish was granted when she passed away, with a funeral that she probably herself would not have imagined. Over 4 000 people showed up at the village of Motswedi in the North West province. The village is rather remote, being about 70 kilometers from the nearest larger town which is Zeerust. So, the rabbi had to be flown in by helicopter. Prof Nathan was buried in Motswedi, along to the sounds of both a Tswana gospel choir and the saying of traditional Jewish prayers. Every person in this country has their own unique South African story to tell.
As I conclude, what is heritage? Heritage is memory. Heritage is what we leave behind when we are no longer here. The question really is: What do we leave behind? What are you going to leave behind, hon member of the DA? [Interjections.]
Perhaps the very best we can leave behind is an unwavering commitment to the Constitution and its guarantees. We must also leave, as our legacy, a steadfast belief in democracy and the rule of law. We must entrench a culture of and respect for human rights and the dignity, freedom and equality of all people.
We must respect the institutions of our democracy, one of which is Parliament and it is a very central institution. In this regard, I would like to reflect on certain recent events and the conduct of both some members of this House and commentators.
The Speaker of the National Assembly has recently been subjected to considerable criticism. When the President was in the National Assembly to answer questions, the Speaker was criticised by commentators such as Judith February for not allowing an additional follow-up question after the four that had been asked. However, the fact of the matter is that the Rules of the National Assembly do not allow for this and the Speaker has absolutely no discretion in this regard.
Surely, one would expect that people will familiarise themselves with parliamentary Rules before expressing expert opinions on it. [Interjections.] Yesterday, the Speaker was accused by a Whip of the DA for taking instructions from Luthuli House ... [Interjections.] ... because she did not force the Deputy President to answer a specific question. [Interjections.] However, the same ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, OVERSIGHT AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, hon members!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES RESPONSIBLE FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Mr J Jeffrey): ... and his Chief Whip sitting next to him, both know full well that the Rules and the practice do not provide for this. Members of the executive must respond to questions but there is no policing how they should respond. [Interjections.] It seems the issue of a selective memory that I was speaking about earlier continues to this day.
Even Tuesday’s motion of no confidence debate was a desperate attempt but the “Desperate Alliance” to reclaim the opposition initiative from the EFF by attacking the Speaker without having anything really substantial to say. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The problem is, in attacking the legitimacy of Parliament for short-term gain, we are damaging the pillars which support our democracy. Reference is being made ...
Mr K Z MORAPELA: Chairperson, on a point of order: Can the Deputy Minister confine himself to the heritage ... [Interjections.] ... because this is the topic that we are talking about.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, OVERSIGHT AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi):
Hon member, take your seat. Continue, Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES RESPONSIBLE FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Mr J Jeffrey): I was talking about the need to protect institutions and what is interesting is the relationship between the EFF and the DA. They talk about the DA being the EFF-lite or maybe even EFF-white.
We have fought too long and too hard to make a mockery of this institution. Obstructing speakers by making perpetual points of order when a member feels they are being insulted and then the following day insulting someone and refusing to withdraw the insult, is showing disrespect to Parliament. And walking out of Parliament’s proceedings is being fundamentally disrespectful to the struggle of each and every life lost during the struggle. [Applause.] Where is the sense of history? Where is the sense of dignity? And I know that the EFF Chief Whip admits that he showed the middle finger to the Deputy President. That’s on your website.
The liberation struggle has taught us that the impossible is possible, despite the odds. We have learnt that achieving a desired goal takes time, enormous commitment and courage. We have learnt that as long as inequality exists, our work is not done. We have learnt that we are better together, united in our diversity, celebrating that we are all children of the African soil. I thank you. [Applause.]
The House adjourned at 17:10.
[mm1][[xxx Sep 18 14:27:21 2014]]
[tz2]urgently Take care!
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