Hansard: NA: Questions for Oral Reply: Deputy President; Cluster 1: Peace and Security
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 05 Nov 2014
No summary available.
5 NOVEMBER 2014
Wednesday, 05 November 2014
Proceedings of the national assembly
The House met at 15:00.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY: DEPUTY PRESIDENT.
START OF DAY
Questions for oral reply:
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, the Amnesty International report to which the hon member refers is based on some data that they collected, in 2011, through case studies that were done in two of our provinces. The government, itself, has reported before on the relatively high rates of maternal mortality, and it is unlikely that, as a country, we will meet the Millennium Development Goal target by 2015, in this regard.
The government, though, through its Department of Health, has taken steps to expand access to services for pregnant women and their infants through the various health care projects that we have. In this regard, we have also come up with a three-pronged approach or strategy, which is a district-based clinical specialist team process; a school-based primary health care services process; and municipal ward-based primary health care - and this has agents that go around the municipal wards.
The District Clinical Specialist Teams are part of an effort to strengthen the district health care system to improve the quality of care that our government gives to mothers and newborn children, to reduce mortality and improve health outcomes in these groups.
The impact of these programmes includes what we have observed as the decline in HIV transmission from mother to child from 8%, in 2008, to 2%, in 2011. This is a result of the progress we are making in ensuring that HIV-positive mothers are receiving early antenatal care and antiretroviral treatment. Maternal and child health specialists have been placed and deployed in each health district as part of a concerted strategy to improve clinical governance and overall quality of care.
The proportion of pregnant women accessing antenatal care before 20 weeks into their pregnancies has increased quite significantly, across all provinces. In this regard, we have found that our programmes are bearing fruit and we are making a significant impact at improving the health of pregnant mothers and reducing the child mortality levels in our country. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon Deputy President for that response. Yes, indeed, South Africa can pride itself in the great strides that have been made in dealing with those who have the human immunodeficiency virus, and educating people about HIV and Aids.
This is welcome, when we look at the dark days of denialism, when somebody in this House said that HIV did not cause Aids; and from the days when an ANC MEC in KwaZulu-Natal took his own government to the Constitutional Court. There, he challenged Premier Mtshali when Premier Mtshali authorised the giving of nevirapine to pregnant mothers. That was a sad day in our history. I think we also have done well, hon Deputy President, in educating men that it is a myth that the status of a person who is HIV-positive would be reversed if they have sex with a virgin or a child; and that you would not contact the virus if you have a shower after having an unprotected sex with a person who is HIV-positive. [Interjections.]
However, hon Deputy President, these gains that South Africa has achieved - and they are considerable gains in reducing the disease, despite trying circumstances - will definitely be reversed if we do not deal comprehensively with the findings of the report that was published by Amnesty International. We understand that the report was just case studies in two areas, but if it is widespread, then we are in for serious challenges.
So, we are pleased that the Deputy President is giving us an assurance that the health care system can accommodate these kinds of challenges. However, we often hear of clinics that are understaffed, clinics that are ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: Clearly, that is a statement. It is not a follow-up question. What is the question?
THE SPEAKER: Yes, hon Singh. Can you be ... In fact, your time has expired, but I will allow you if you have a question.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Speaker, the question is – had the hon Chief Whip of the Majority Party not interrupted, I would have asked – can the Deputy President assure us that all clinics will be adequately staffed; that they would have the necessary drugs there; and that the people will not be humiliated when they go to those clinics, because their status is often divulged to members of the community. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I can say that we face a number of challenges and we are recognised around the world for being the leading country that has taken strong and effective steps to deal with the HIV pandemic. We are also having to deal with various other challenges in relation to how our health care system functions in clinics and hospitals.
I will be in Mpumalanga on Friday and will be visiting a number of clinics in that province. I will be doing so just to go and see for myself, and thereafter we will want to take remedial action where we find that there are weaknesses. I will be accompanied by the Minister of Health and a number of officials in his department. So, we are taking steps.
There are challenges and I don’t think we can ever want to deny that we face challenges but we are taking steps to address those challenges. So, you can rest assured that the government is not sitting on its laurels. It is taking action where it is required and we will solve all our problems. Thank you very much.
THE SPEAKER: The hon Cardo from the DA. [Interjections.] It is a DA member: Cardo. [Interjections.]
Dr W G JAMES: No, it can’t be. I think that must be a mistake, Madam Speaker. I pressed the button first. [Interjections.]
THE SPEAKER: Your name is lower down. The first DA member who pressed the button is Cardo. [Interjections.]
Dr W G JAMES: It cannot be.[Interjections.]
THE SPEAKER: No. I am just referring to what is presented to me, here.
Dr M J CARDO: Sorry, Speaker. I am happy to give the question to my colleague. [Interjections.]
THE SPEAKER: Please ... Alright. Hon James.
Dr W G JAMES: Thank you, Madam Speaker. A visit to Port Elizabeth’s Livingstone Hospital revealed major failure in the management of the medicine and pharmaceutical tender process by the national department and the Eastern Cape’s health authority.. The results of this are that that hospital is running out of multidrug resistant tuberculosis drugs and will run out of antiretrovirals to deal with HIV. They have run out of asthma pumps and medication for hypertension, already.
Would the Deputy President make a commitment, in this House, that he will engage with the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, to find a solution to the perennial stock-out problem when it comes to HIV and Aids and its nasty friend, the coinfective TB drugs, and to report on the progress that he makes to this House? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, and hon member, you will be pleased to know that the Minister of Health and I are in continuous conversation as two of the participants in the SA National Aids Council, Sanac, about some of the challenges that you are talking about. The availability of medication in our various clinics and hospitals is a topic that we keep talking about. We are also looking very closely at the causes of those challenges and problems. It is a matter that continues to enjoy attention and we are solving a number of problems in those provinces and districts where they prevail.
I am sure that the Minister of Health, if he were here, would testify to the fact that the very one that you have referred to has come before his desk and is being attended to. It is an ongoing process, and we are happy to come back and report to Parliament about the progress that we are making as we roll out more effective health care to our people. Thank you very much.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Speaker, I want to withdraw. I must have pressed a little too early. Mine is a follow-up question on the second question that the Deputy President will be responding to. I am sorry.
Ms A MATSHOBENI: Sorry, Speaker. I have made a mistake. [Interjections.]
Mr A F MAHLALELA: Cha, ngiyabonga Somlomo. Ngiyabonga nakuSekela Mongameli ngetimphendvulo lasinikete tona. Lengitsandza kukulandzelela nje kuwe Sekela Mongameli kutsi, kutsantana nje ...
... recently, the Minister of Health launched a programme or initiative called MomConnect. I just want to check the extent to which this programme will have an impact in relation to access to antenatal health care for people, particularly those who are living in the rural areas; as well as the challenges around mobile clinic and emergent services, in terms of access to transport for people living in the rural areas. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, the MomConnect programme is actually becoming quite popular and widespread. We have found that a number of people and, indeed, those living in rural areas, are participating in it. Even those who will have challenges in relation to transport, at the district level, will be finding that assistance will be on hand. It is a particular problem that has been raised and it is being addressed as we speak.
However, I must just say that the MomConnect programme, which enables people, through the internet, to participate in a programme in large numbers is going to have an impact on their health and improve health care. It is going to be quite effective and we would like to spread it around the country more than what we have now. So, it is being rolled out. Thank you very much.
Ms H O MAXON: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, despite hopes for a decline in new HIV infection, recent statistics indicate that, in actual fact, new infections continue to be on the increase. Would the Deputy President please provide a scientific explanation to this House as to why this is so.
Despite the huge and costly HIV campaigns championed by the Department of Health and all other departments may the argument go beyond the human behaviour factor, because human behaviour does get influenced every day by the media? Is it not perhaps because there is not enough exemplary moral leadership by the executive of this country, especially by your President? Thank you. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I can say to the hon member that the question that she has raised is one that we are addressing at Sanac level. We are going to be having a plenary shortly, and ... if members would listen because we are dealing with quite a serious matter that affects the lives of many South Africans ... the increase in the number of infections is a matter of concern to all of us. We have been witnessing much higher increases, particularly amongst the youth. There are quite a number of reasons why this is so, andwe are going to be probing them.
Indeed, it is not only a question of whether the media is spreading the information or not, or whether the leadership that is in this House also has a role to play in being exemplary and in spreading the message. The message that we are spreading is that we would like young people, particularly because they are so exposed, to abstain much longer from participating in sexual activity at a young age. We are going to be ensuring that the messages, the awareness campaigns that we have to embark on are put at a much higher tempo.
The Sanac Plenary, which will meet in a few days, will be dealing with all of these challenges. I am sure that after that Sanac Plenary we will be able to make a number of announcements with regard to the programmes and activities that we are going to embark upon to stem this high tide of the increase in infections.
The new infections in our country are quite alarming, at this stage, and we would like to reverse that trend. We will be taking steps to reverse the trend. However, the message that should go out, quite honestly, is that it is not only the role of one person. It is our collective role. All of us, as leaders, seated in this House, have a role to play when it comes to curbing the Aids pandemic. Let us go out and play our role. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, as the Leader of Government Business, as soon as I was appointed, I intended and still intend to meet the parliamentary leaders of all parties. I started with that process and was able to meet, if I may say so, with the Leader of the Official Opposition. We had a discussion and I outlined to him the type of engagement that I would like to have, not only with himself, as Leader of the Official Opposition, but with all other leaders.
To this end, I have sought, in the last two months, to arrange appointments with the other leaders of the parties represented here. In some cases, we actually settled on appointments but we had to shift and postpone those meetings because of my tight programme. I then got involved in the Lesotho process and, in some cases, some of the leaders were not able to meet me when we were meant to meet.
I intend to continue with this resolve to meet all the parliamentary leaders of various parties and I would actually like to have a meeting with them before we adjourn for this year. I have already started a process of getting my office to try and settle an appointment for 18 November, after my birthday, so that I can have breakfast with the various leaders of the political parties. [Interjections.]
In that meeting, we would like to have an engagement with the various leaders on issues of common interest. Matters of national importance will be discussed at that meeting and I am hoping that the leaders will make themselves available on 18 November. If they are not available, we will set another date, but the intention to meet the leaders of the various parliamentary parties is there, and I am looking forward to having a meeting with them as the Leader of Government Business. Thank you.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Speaker, it is thoroughly pleasing to hear the sweet response of the hon Deputy President to a letter dated 30 July from the UDM requesting this kind of meeting. I just want to get your assurance - this is a question without a question mark. In that meeting, will you definitely consider - as I would like for this to be put on the agenda - the following matters that I know we raised in our letter to you?
Firstly, is the allocation of more time to the smaller parties. [Interjections.] Now, contrary to what is expected members of the ruling party will jump to, we are not asking for time from the ruling, majority party. We want a more rational allocation of time because, practically, it is very difficult, unless we are not regarded as qualified Members of Parliament. [Interjections.] It is very difficult to develop a rational debate inside three minutes. We need more time. Time and time again, the majority party has admitted that it is unable to overcome some of the challenges of our society. The majority party needs input from this side of the House. That is the basis of it all.
The second matter is funding legislation. Those are some of the issues that we request you to include. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I can say that, at that meeting, we will be prepared to discuss anything under the sun, including the allocation of time, funding legislation and, indeed, anything of national importance. So, I am happy to give the member the assurance that the agenda will not be limited. It will be as broad as they want it to be and we will want to discuss matters as effectively as possible and find solutions to some of the challenges. There are many challenges faced by minority parties and we will find answers to all those problems. Thank you.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, hon Deputy President, Leader of Government Business, since our first meeting in July, which I appreciate, I have written to your office three times. I hold up this one particular copy that acknowledges receipt of the email. I wrote again on 22 August. Here is another email I wrote again in October, simply asking that, in fact ... Since then, I have spoken to different staff to schedule a follow-up meeting between you and me and I appreciate that one has been scheduled.
Deputy President, I want to thank you for that commitment. Here is my challenge though: When is President Zuma going to appear in this House? [Interjections.] [Applause.] I think you can agree, as Leader of Government Business, that, in fact, it is fine for the President to go to the NCOP but he must come here for accountability. This is where he is accountable.[Interjections.]
Is he going to be accountable for Nkandla, for the electricity crisis, for the levels of unemployment that are rising, for Guptagate and for crime? [Interjections.] Deputy President, as Leader of Government Business ... Rosatom – we can keep going ... are you going to ensure that the President complies with the Rules of this House that he must be here four times a year? I would like to know if you are going to put forward a commitment: When will President Zuma appear before the NA? I thank you very much. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, to be more specific to the question that hon Maimane is raising, we will all recall that the President did appear before this House on 21 August. [Interjections.] When he appeared, six questions had been put to him. He was able to answer three of those questions and he was not able to complete his answers to all the questions that had been posed ... [Interjections.] ... largely because of the incident that occurred here. That incident is currently under review. It’s currently being handled by a committee and that committee still has to complete its work. [Interjections.]
Much more than that, the President issued a statement on 19 October. Some people had gone public to newspapers, where they were seemingly suggesting that the President will no longer attend to parliamentary responsibilities. The President’s Office issued this statement:
The President continues to meet his parliamentary obligations. The President responds to oral questions four times in a year in the NA and the President continues to respond to written replies from members of this very Parliament.
[Interjections.] The President will tomorrow be addressing the NCOP and the President is very clear about his own responsibilities. When he appeared here members of this very House prevented the President from answering all the questions that he wanted to answer. So, what more do you want? [Applause.] [Interjections.] It is these very members who actually stood in the way of the President answering questions. Now, the President has a responsibility which he will not shy away from because that is what he was elected for. So, let us be clear about things like that. [Interjections.] Thank you.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Speaker, on a point of order: I think the Deputy President must not make conclusions on behalf of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Committee.[Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, that is not a point of order.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Madam Speaker, I am saying the issue is sub judice. There was a ruling in this House yesterday. He cannot make concluding remarks.
The SPEAKER: That is not a point of order, hon Ndlozi.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: It is! He is anticipating and there was a ruling yesterday in the House. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No. It is not a point of order. Hon Ndlozi, take your seat so that we can proceed. I now call upon the hon Nkomo.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker ...
THE SPEAKER: Yes, hon Maimane, you have had your chance to ask ... [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I know that, but I am afraid, the Deputy President blamed another process and did not answer the question.
The SPEAKER: Hon Maimane ...
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: When will the President appear? It is as simple as that. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Maimane ...
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: If you ... just prove the point. Ask the Deputy President to answer the question, please. Please, please, Speaker, let him answer the question! [Interjections.]
THE SPEAKER: Hon Nkomo of the IFP.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Speaker, hon Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, hon Shivambu, please take your seat. I want to proceed.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: But we’ve got a right to speak in this House, man ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No. You can’t just speak anytime you want to speak. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: But when we call to be recognised, you must ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, hon Shivambu. I have recognised the hon Nkomo from the IFP ...
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... because you are making wrong rulings.
The SPEAKER: ... it is her chance to speak ... [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We want to call you to order for wrong rulings. You must allow us to do that.
The SPEAKER: Please take your seat. [Interjections.]
Ms S J NKOMO: Hon Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Nkomo, please proceed.
Ms S J NKOMO: Thank you very much, hon Speaker. This is to our hon Deputy President: In your opinion, is the current relationship and oversight between the executive and Parliament conducive to an effective and working Parliament? How can the relationship between the executive and Parliament be improved? I ask this because it seems to be strained. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I should say that ... [Interjections.] ... the relationship between the executive and Parliament is a relationship that is enshrined in our Constitution. It is a relationship that should be based on Rules and on mutual respect.
What I do know is that the President respects this House. [Interjections.] He has deep respect for this House. [Interjections.] He is prepared to execute his task as the President of the Republic by honouring the oath that he took. [Interjections.] As members of the executive, what we would like to see is the relationship between Parliament and the executive functioning well. Right now, however, it is a relationship that is not functioning as well as we want it to. It is precisely this that, as Leader of Government Business, I would like to address in my meetings with leaders of the political parties. It becomes very difficult to have a reasonable relationship when there is howling, and screaming, and shouting. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Now, if you want to promote a good relationship, you’ve got to create a climate and a conducive environment for that relationship to thrive. [Interjections.] For as long as the type of behaviour that one is getting from members of the parties in opposition persists, we will not have a good relationship between Parliament and the executive. [Applause.] I want to call upon members of the opposition parties to be respectful to the President of the Republic, to be respectful to the office of the President of the Republic. [Interjections.]
Mr I M OLLIS: Speaker, on a point of order: The opposition doesn’t have to do anything. The Rule is laid out in the Constitution and in the Rules of this House.
The SPEAKER: Hon member, allow the Deputy President to finish. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: If the opposition does not need to do anything, then stop complaining! [Interjections.] That is exactly what you should do, because if you want, it is a two-way street. [Interjections.] It is not a one-way street; it is a two-way street. If you want a good relationship between the executive and this House, then it must be mutually beneficial and it must be executed on both sides. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr N S MATIASE: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: Unless he wants to lead us in concluding that there is no honour amongst dishonourable people, can he please stop misleading the House? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. Hon members, I now wish to invite the Rev Meshoe to ask the final supplementary question.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, the first democratic President of the new South Africa, the late President Nelson Mandela, used to hold regular meetings with leaders of the opposition, not only to streamline the political arrangements of the government’s legislative programme in the NA, but also to get their opinions on important matters facing the nation. I am delighted that it sounds like the Deputy President is planning to emulate him in this manner.
What I want to know, Deputy President, is whether you will consider informing the President of the country, President Jacob Zuma, about your meeting with leaders of the opposition on 18 November and convey the request of leaders of this House to meet with him, also, before Parliament rises towards the end of this month. We believe that such a meeting will help to foster greater co-operation between all parties in this House. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I would like to say to the hon Rev Meshoe that the President of the Republic is well aware of the meeting being planned for 18 November. In fact, he inspired it. [Interjections.] He is the one who said, “Why don’t you do this?” So, that meeting will take place with his full knowledge.
Let me just say that the President has had a number of meetings with some members of the opposition parties and it is within his programme that he would like to meet more and more members of the opposition. Obviously, when he meets them, firstly, he will not be insulting them.
Secondly, he will not be screaming and shouting at them. He will be showing total respect to them because he remembers one thing - as much as they are in the minority in Parliament, they are leaders of our people. They are here because they were elected by our people to be here and that only makes him respect them, recognise them and want to work with them. That is the approach of the President. [Interjections.] Now, if leaders of political parties are going to be insulting, disrespectful, and are not going to recognise the position that he and other leaders hold, then it makes it very difficult for that type of meeting to take please. [Interjections.] Let us be aware that the President wants to meet various political party leaders. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, can I rise on a point of order, please? Recurrently, Cyril is saying that ... [Interjections.] ... the hon Ramaphosa is saying that leaders of political parties are disrespectful and are insulting. What is he talking about? I ask because he is casting aspersions on us as leaders of political parties. [Interjections.] Really, he is not assisting us.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: Hon Shivambu, that is not a point of order. It is your opinion on what the Deputy President ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Yes, and disrespect to the Deputy President. You call him Cyril. [Interjections.]
THE SPEAKER: Hon members, we now move ... [Interjections.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, hon Lekota, what are you rising on?
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: I became Speaker long ago. I am not the Deputy Speaker. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Speaker, I humbly rise on an issue that I really think I do not want to be part of the rocus,: Madam Speaker, I humbly rise on this issue: I really don’t think I want to be part of the ruckus, but an impression must not be created in the House that we can only expect to be addressed by the President and the Deputy President on condition we behave in some way that they dictate to us. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Lekota, please ...
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Our lives cannot be subjected to that. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Please raise that issue when you meet the hon Ramaphosa.
We now come to Question 7, asked by the hon Masango. May I take the opportunity to remind members, when we get to supplementary questions, the supplementary questions must be based on the original question. We shouldn’t take the opportunity of the supplementary question to then divert and go off to some other question that, in fact, has nothing to do with the original question on the Order Paper.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, considerable progress has been made in restoring security and political stability to the Kingdom of Lesotho. This follows the unfortunate events of 30 August. As part of SADC, we met the SADC leaders, the Double Troika Plus Two - the two being the DRC and Tanzania, that met in Pretoria. They appointed us as a facilitator, and, as facilitator, we proceeded to Lesotho. We have had a considerable number of meetings with various political players and other role-players in Lesotho. This includes meeting with His Majesty King Letsie III, leaders of various political parties, church leaders, NGOs and members of parliament.
On 2 October, all political parties that are represented in parliament signed what we called the Maseru Facilitation Declaration. In terms of this, amongst other things, all these parties committed themselves to facilitate the holding of early elections in February 2015. Elections were due to be held only in 2017, but when the leaders met in Pretoria, they realised that the only way to restore stability in Lesotho was to bring forward the elections. The commitment that has been made by parties is in line with the analysis that was made by the leaders in SADC. So, they agreed to this, which also led to parliament being reopened on 17 October.
After parliament was successfully opened, we then proceeded to sign what we have now called the Maseru Security Accord, in terms of which we sought to restore peace and security in the Kingdom of Lesotho by getting the army and the police force to start working together. One of the ways to achieve this objective was to get three leaders of the security forces - the leader of the army, General Kamoli; the leader of the police, Commissioner Tsooana; and Lieutenant-General Mahao - to take a leave of absence. We are rather pleased that these officers agreed to take a leave of absence after they realised that the tension that existed between the police and the army was bringing a measure of instability to Lesotho. Lesotho is now enjoying a good measure of stability and peace as the nation prepares itself for the elections.
One of the objectives that we have, as SADC, having set up a mission in Maseru, is to help with the de-politicisation of the Lesotho Defence Force and the Lesotho Mounted Police Service, and to work with all the role-players in that country to ensure that we have a peaceful election in February. His Majesty the King is still to pronounce a date for these elections. We are hoping that once that date is announced, parliament will be dissolved and the various political parties will then go to the hustings and campaign amongst Lesotho nationals for a new parliament and a new government to be elected.
All this we are doing in the spirit of international solidarity. We find that the interests of the people of Lesotho are not only inextricably linked with the interests of the people of South Africa but to the whole region. Now, it is great credit to SADC, as a whole, that SADC leaders were able to act very quickly and swiftly to restore peace and security in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and due credit must also go to the Basotho themselves for being steadfast in their commitment to having Lesotho as a democratic country. So, they are going to go to the polls, and I think we should just support their resolve to be democratic and to elect a new government. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Masango?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, may I address you?
The SPEAKER: On what, hon Ndlozi? [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: There is a Rule here that the Deputy President must speak for three minutes. I did not want to disrupt him.
The SPEAKER: I also have the option to add two minutes and therefore he spoke for two minutes more, a right which I have, as a Chairperson, to give when I know that the information he is giving to the House is critical. So, it is within the Rules. Please take your seat, hon Ndlozi. [Interjections.]
Mnu M S A MASANGO: Ngiyathokoza Somlomo ohloniphekile ...
Hon Deputy President, in your assessment, are you confident that peace and stability have now returned to Lesotho for parties to be able to campaign; and that the parties to the agreement will respect the timeframe for the holding of general elections in 2015?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I have reason to believe that peace and security are being restored in the Kingdom of Lesotho. We remain engaged, as SADC. The Southern African Development Community, composed of the various countries in our region, has deployed a number of officials and officers, who are helping in terms of supporting Basotho nationals and the government of Lesotho to move towards elections. So, we are monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis.
There is a great deal of co-operation between the SADC officials and the SADC office, and the government of Lesotho and, indeed, the various political parties. We believe that they will be able to proceed to the elections in February and hold free and fair elections. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mnu Z N MBHELE: Ngiyabonga Somlomo ...
Hon Deputy President, while we are happy to support our country in giving assistance to our regional neighbours, we are also aware that there are still SA Police Service, SAPS, officers deployed in Maseru, and other parts of Lesotho, to protect and guard Prime Minister Tom Thabane and other opposition party leaders. So, we would like to know: How many SAPS officers are deployed in Lesotho? Is their deployment part of the negotiated settlement that you mediated, as the SADC facilitator; and on what date will these officers come back to South Africa to protect our citizens in the face of increasing crime levels?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I should say that I am not, at the moment, aware of the total number. The number fluctuates from time to time. Let me say that the component of security officers in the form of police, and others, that we have deployed in Lesotho has been done at the SADC level.
A number of countries in the region – to be specific, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi – have contributed members to the team that we now have in Lesotho. This team is meant to be in Lesotho right up until the elections. So, we are looking at a period just beyond February of next year. That is the time that we will have them on the ground to help stabilise the situation and to make sure that we consolidate the peace and security that we have achieved.
This is a contribution that we have to make, as members of SADC, and, indeed, other countries are doing precisely the same thing. So, South Africa is not the only country that has deployed people in Lesotho - a number of countries have done so - and we are working in great co-operation with all of them. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Dr B H HOLOMISA: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President, your good work in Lesotho is commendable, sir. However, don’t you think that SADC, as a region, needs to consider a sustainable strategy to minimise these incidents and conflicts through regional integration in the areas of finance, security and infrastructure?
Masingabi ngabacimi bomlilo kuphela kodwa nathi xa sinengxaki masikwazi ukuncediswa ngabo. Apha sibelwa iimpahla, iinkomo, ziirhino, abantu babaleke abalapha kuthi baye kuzifihla ngaphaya ze ngaphaya beze ngapha. Ingathi masele siyithatha le nto ibe kwelinye inqanaba, singapheleli nje ukuba ngootata beeKresimesi nabacimi bomlilo. Enkosi.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, hon Holomisa, I wouldn’t characterise our involvement in Lesotho as South Africa being Father Christmas. I think we have interests too, that, as South Africa, we have to advance and protect. You will recall that, at an economic level, we are inextricably linked with Lesotho in many, many ways.
We have the Southern African Customs Union process between ourselves and Lesotho and a number of countries in the region. We also buy quite a lot of water from Lesotho. The water that we get in the Gauteng area - and some of it is spilling towards the Free State - is from Lesotho. So, when we take action, we are also protecting our own interests. We are acting in our own interests, and one should never see it or dismiss it as us acting as Father Christmas. We, obviously, extend our co-operation with countries in the region to other matters way beyond just political matters.
Ewe, nayo ingxaki yokubiwa kweenkomo naleyo yamapolisa ...
... we are also involved. So, our involvement with various countries in the region is multipronged. It is not limited to one issue only. Of course, South Africa should never consider itself more important than other countries or as being Father Christmas. We get a lot of support from them, and so, when they are going through stress and difficulties, so must we support them. That is what Oliver Reginald Tambo taught us - that we should be fired up with the spirit of international solidarity, and we are acting it out.
Mfo wethu ...
... it’s international solidarity.
Le sithetha ngayo.
Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr K Z MORAPELA: Speaker, Deputy President, despite this being a SADC mandate, isn’t it ironic and doesn’t it smack of double standards that South Africa can negotiate a democratic settlement in Lesotho with a straight face, while opposition parties are struggling to exist and to hold the executive to account here in Parliament, without risking being sanctioned and dragged into a kangaroo court? By the way, charity begins at home. After all, President Zuma once said in this House that opposition parties have no say in the manner that government is run because they are minorities. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, I did not get the gist of the question, but for what it is worth ... I didn’t get a sense that there was a question there, save for a comment. The government of the Republic of South Africa does everything to advance the interests of the people of this country. We are not only acting to advance the interests of other people. When challenges occur, even in other countries in our region, we are duty-bound, as we are seeking to advance our own interests, to intervene and to help where we can. I don’t see any irony there, because we are acting in our own self-interest. We are advancing our own interests. If members do not see those interests that we are advancing, then I would say that we are all blind. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, on the question of nongovernmental organisations, the government administers the register of nonprofit organisations, NPOs, in terms of the Nonprofit Organisations Act of 1997.
The Register of Nonprofit Organisations is a voluntary registration facility that enhances the credibility of the registered nonprofit organisation, as it reports to a public office. The NPO Directorate holds information about registered NPOs for the public to access. This increases transparency and accountability of those organisations beyond its own immediate role-players. It also contributes to better governance, as a registered NPO must comply with the requirements of the Nonprofit Organisations Act.
The registration gives the NPO status. It is also a funding requirement for most donor organisations that want to fund NPOs to know that they comply, that they are registered and that they issue financial statements on an annual basis. The NPO registration facility therefore brings many NPOs into a public system that allows for information about the sector to be gathered and to be made publicly available. This, in many ways, increases the confidence of the public in the nonprofit sector.
Government is therefore committed to ensuring that we have a thriving nongovernmental organisation, NGO, sector because it plays a critical role in our society and in entrenching democratic practice in our country. However, the financial sustainability and the viability of an NGO remains the responsibility of the NGO, because many of these NGOs have their own governance processes and structures. They also have programmes that they have to pursue on an ongoing basis. So, they, in the end, are independent entities that must look after their own structures and organisational matters.
The state funding of an NGO is often provided on the basis of a service or a product to be delivered and according to a clear set of criteria and competitive processes. I must say that a number of NGOs do derive funding from the state and they get funding on a basis that’s clearly laid out in executing certain campaigns and programmes and for providing certain services. The state or the government is intricately linked to a number of interests and operations of a number of NGOs. Our democracy thrives because we have well-functioning NGOs that also assist the state in executing its programmes. Thank you very much.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Hon Speaker, may I ask the Deputy President if, firstly, the information as to the annual amount of money made available from public funds can be made available to the opposition and to the legislature so that we can continue to monitor whether even those public funds that are allotted to the NGOs are actually employed, as indicated?
Secondly, can we be given an indication of how many of those formations that were part of the struggle against apartheid, like the SA Council of Churches, SACC, survive –? Do they continue to receive support from the state, as they did not get any support, previously, and as they are tried and tested, reliable strugglers for a democratic South Africa?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, in relation to the various NGOs that get support, the details are in various government departments. Various government departments, in executing their mandate, do work with a number of NGOs. A number of entities, as I said earlier, in executing their campaigns and programmes, actually do so through some NGOs and they do fund them in as far as those programmes are concerned. It might be difficult to have a consolidated list, but that is something that we can look at.
In relation to those NGOs that participated in the struggle against apartheid, such as the SACC and a number of others, and whether they are being funded by the state, if they are not executing programmes through various departments, like I’ve outlined, it might be difficult to actually get to know whether they are being funded. However, hon Lekota, that is information that we can find out. If it exists in a way that it can be properly packaged, we will be very happy to make it available to the hon Lekota. Thank you very much.
MOETELEDIPELE WA LEKOKOKGANETSO: Motlatsamoporesitente ke a leboga. Ke ne ke batla fela gore re botsa dipotso tsa rona ka tlhompho, ebile re dumelana gore ...
You can’t pick and choose ...
... gore Molaotheo o o tshwara jang, ka jalo ke ne ke ke re ...
You can’t say this circumstance is right for you to fulfil the Constitution.
Ke ne ke re o mphitisetse molaetsa mo go Moporesitente o mo reye o re ka re a gopole kwa gae, tswee-tswee.
However, in line with your responsibilities as Leader of Government Business, will you please make an undertaking to this House that the National Lottery Board’s revised provisions for the funding of NGOs will prevent situations like that of Cosatu receiving R1 million for anniversary celebrations from the National Lottery Board? [Interjections.]
Furthermore, what will you do to make sure that organisations such as the Treatment Action Campaign, TAC, will continue to receive funding that is adequate, rather than this money going to Cosatu for birthday bashes? I thank you.
MOTLATSMOPORESITENTE: Rre Maimane ke a leboga. Ke go utlwile sentle. Lebaka le la lekgotla le le tlhopelwang ka tengwa ...
... and how are they changing their rules? That is something that can be looked at. Organisations like the Treatment Action Campaign do get funding to execute their campaigns and, obviously, every organisation under the sun in our country always requires more funding. This is a question of the availability of resources and, clearly, every organisation should be supported. As I said earlier, organisations that act in the interest of our people deserve a lot of support. They need to be assisted financially, organisationally, and otherwise. So, on that score one would say, yes, we agree with you, because they play an important role. We have no problem whatsoever in assisting various organisations to continue executing their task.
We work with the TAC, and the SA National Aids Council, Sanac, is one of those organisations that we think highly of and hold in high regard. We are rather pleased, as a government and through Sanac, that we co-operate and we work very well with the TAC. It is one of those valued NGOs in our country, and so are organisations like Cosatu, which plays an important role in the body politic of South Africa. Whether people like it or not, Cosatu occupies a prime position in the governance of our country, generally, and they also need to enjoy a level of support. [Interjections.] Fortunately they have a solid membership – a membership that supports their programmes and actions and they should continue to grow stronger and stronger. That is precisely what we want to see with Cosatu. Thank you.
Ms A MATSHOBENI: Deputy Speaker, in light of the hon Lekota’s question, the EFF would like to extend it further to pronounce that a recent study indicates that the NGOs that enjoy government support are those in which senior members of the ruling party sit on the executive boards. Isn’t it clear that the ruling party has come to master the art of talking democracy but walking autocracy? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, I have no evidence that indicates that members of the ruling party sit on various NGOs that get funding from government, so I’m not aware of that. All I know is that those NGOs that get support from the state are NGOs that continue to work in the interest of our people - NGO’s that, through their programmes, through the products that they are able to put out there, interface with government at a number of levels. This happens, not through one department, but a variety of departments in government. You will find that government works through various agencies, and many of those agencies are NGOs.
I find it difficult to understand that it could be said that members of the ruling party sit on all the NGOs that government works with. I don’t think that is possible. I don’t think that is what is happening. It could well be something that the hon member may well want to put forward to us as evidence so that we can see. What I do know, however, is that the government of the Republic of South Africa supports NGOs and it will continue doing so. Thank you very much.
Mr S N SWART: Hon Deputy Speaker, arising from your response, hon Deputy President: Many NGOs in South Africa have also been able to obtain funding by having themselves registered as public benefit organisations with the Receiver of Revenue. This then allows donations made to such organisations to be tax deductible in terms of section 18(a) of the Income Tax Act. In view of the reduction in funding that many NGOs have been experiencing, it is a pity that section 18(a) is to be amended. Commentators have indicated that the increased compliance burden associated with the proposed amendment is unfortunate and is likely to detract from funds available for public benefit purposes, such as NGOs.
Would you agree then, hon Deputy President, that, given these challenges regarding funding, should this amendment result in fewer funds becoming available, it may need reconsideration? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, to the extent that such a provision could lead to, yes, less and less funding for NGOs, it is up to this House that deals with amendments to legislation to give consideration to the matter and through various other mechanisms, such as public participation and engaging with those NGOs, we should be able to get to the root of the matter and find out the extent to which they are going to be hamstrung in executing their task. I would like to say that this should be done on an interactive basis where we have discussions with those NGOs and arrive at common solutions.
In this regard, we should engage with Treasury and find out the extent to which what the hon member is saying is actually going to happen. Right now, where I stand, I do not have any knowledge, or the deep knowledge that he has, about those amendments and we should have a discussion on an interactive basis and find out the extent to which they are going to find their organisational objectives being hamstrung and prevented. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That concludes questions to the Deputy President, and I thank the hon Deputy President. [Applause.]
Hon members, the next item on the Order Paper is questions addressed to Ministers in the Peace and Security Cluster. Hon members will recall that certain questions stood over during the questions to Ministers in the Economics Cluster, and as requested in terms of Rule 109(3), the questions will be taken out of the cluster today. For this reason, there will be an additional 30 minutes added to the time allotted to questions for oral reply today.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER
QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS:
PEACE AND SECURITY
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Deputy Speaker, the challenge that the department encounters in the delivery of benefits, like housing, job facilitation and placement, education support, and health care to military veterans, is with regard to the implementation process. In most cases, the actual delivery agencies, which are mainly state departments and, to a limited degree, private sector entities, have their own policies, long-term plans and procedures that have to be adapted to accommodate the Department of Defence and Military Veterans’ requirements and needs. The service level agreements are entirely dependent on the planning process of the implementing department and have no effective enforcement enablers beyond the practices of co-operative governance. This results in protracted negotiations that take a long time and affect the ability of the department to meet its targets. Discussions are currently taking place with the National Treasury and other relevant authorities to improve the delivery agreements and to ensure better monitoring of the implementing departments. I thank you.
Mr J J SKOSANA: Deputy Speaker, I thank the Minister for an adequate response to my question. Will the Minister review the system of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans’ dependency on other departments to administer services to military veterans? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Deputy Speaker, hon member, I must say it is not an easy matter, certainly from the point of view of the failures, so far. Something seems wrong. So, from that point of view, you may want to review, for instance, a system, but such a review may be about making improvements and not about discarding the current approach altogether. There may be such categories of benefits, for instance, which you may want to deal with internally, such as burials, funerals, memorials and training. However, many socioeconomic benefits certainly need to be directed as constituting part of our national efforts in areas such as housing and health care. These you may not want to deal with internally. I thank you.
Nks N V NQWENISO: Mphathiswa, ndicela ukuqonda, emehlweni akho, indlela obajonga ngayo bonke abantu abangamaqhawe okulwela inkululeko, njengabe-Apla ne-Azanla, ingaba babaluleke kangakanani na? Ukuba bonke babalulekile kutheni kukho abamalunga abafana noKenny Motsamai abasengaphaya kwezitshixo zesisele? Abo bathi babanethamsanqa lokuba baphume entolongweni bahleli kwintlupheko engaphaya kwamandla, kwaye kubo sibalula nabo babengamagqala omkhonto wesizwe. Ukuba babalulekile, ingaba bona baza kukhululwa nini?
UMPHATHISWA WEZOKHUSELO NAMAGQALA OMKHOSI: Ndifuna ukuthi onke amaqhawe, nokuba ngawe-Apla, uMkhonto weSizwe, okanye i-Azanla, abaluleke kakhulu kuthi. Uza kuqaphela ukuba ngexesha esasiseka umbutho obizwa ngokuthi yi-SA Military Veterans’ Association, onke la maqhawe avela kwi-non statutory forces aye angena kwisigqeba salo mbutho kwakunye nabo babekwi-statutory forces. Sasiyenzela ntoni loo nto? Sasiyenzela ukuba sikwazi ukuba nequmrhu apho sinxulumelana nabo bebonke, kungakhange kubekho mkhethe wokuba ubani uphuma kowuphi na umbutho. Nokuba abantu baphume besilwa kwiitrench ngeetrench, okubalulekileyo kukuba besigalela bhayini linye, sonke silwela into enye. Leyo ke yindlela esiwuphethe ngawo lo mba njengeSebe lezoKhuselo namaGqala oMkhosi. Nditsho neenzuzo, iinzuzo ziya kubo bonke. Asikhathalelanga ukwazi ukuba ubani ebekowuphi na umbutho.
Hayi, kona unyanisile kulo mba wentlupheko, inxwaleko inkulu kakhulu kumagqala ethu omkhosi zizonke. Isizathu soko yile nto uyaziyo, ngelishwa thina singurhulumente sithathe ixesha ukuseka eli sebe liza kujongana nokunikezela inzuzo kumagqala omkhosi awayesilwa. Esi sigqibo sathathwe kwinkomfa yasePolokwane ngowama-2007 yaza yafezekiswa ngowama-2009. Ndizama nje ukuchaza into yokuba ezinye zezinto ezibangele ukuba imeko yamagqala omkhosi ibembi kakhulu kukuba sisilele ukuthatha isigqibo sokuba sibe nesebe eliza kujongana nabo kuphela.
Okokugqibela ke, lungu elihloniphekileyo, kulo mba wejele. Kaloku andinguye uMphathiswa weeNkonzo zoLuleko, ndingowezoKhuselo namaGqala oMkhosi. Okwesibini, kwizinto ezimalunga nengqawule nankuya uSekela Mphathiswa kwaye noMphathiswa ukhona. Ngabo ke abajongene nengqawule uze umba woxolelo ujongane ngqo noMongameli. Imiba efana nengqawule noxolelo yimiba enokubhekiswa kwiSebe lezoLuleko. Ndiyabulela. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Mr S ESAU: Hon Deputy Speaker, there are five instruments required to work in concert for the delivery of military veterans’ benefits and also to avoid the need for a ministerial directive to be issued to override any one because of a lack of it. These are, of course, a verified database which is incomplete at this stage - funding - that is also insufficient - memoranda of understanding, MOUs, and service level agreements, SLAs, that are still incomplete, regulations that were completed in February of this year and, of course, policy and frameworks that are also incomplete.
Now, the issue I want to raise is with regard to the MOUs and SLAs. I put the question to the hon Minister: Will those deserving military veterans who qualified for a benefit at a certain time be compensated retrospectively because of the delay or lapse of time due to incomplete MOUs or SLAs? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Deputy Speaker, the member is correct. There are five instruments. However, it should be borne in mind that one of the biggest challenges we have had, as you would know, is that the database of military veterans has just been completed. Not only has it just been completed, but it also needs to be audited and verified over and over again, precisely because not all the organisations from the nonstatutory forces necessarily submitted the lists of their military veterans. So, even as people are coming forward to claim benefits, we still have to verify from their organisations to make sure that we are not granting military veterans’ benefits to people who are not necessarily military veterans.
I think I also need to say this. You ask whether they will be rolled out retrospectively. I guess we would have to do that because it is not their problem that, for instance, we still do not have a database which one can safely say is credible. There is a database. We are trying our best and there are organisations that are co-operating with us. However, whether that database is absolutely credible is another matter.
As I say, it has taken us quite some time to establish this department. At times, it is even difficult to find people who can actually attest to the fact that a particular person is a military veteran. I would assume that, once all that information has been verified and there is evidence that this person is a military veteran, whatever is due should be given to that person retrospectively. Thank you.
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Deputy Speaker, in an attempt to address the ever-increasing number of health beneficiaries, is the department looking at ensuring that military veterans can also visit any hospital, including private ones, in order to take advantage of their health benefits instead of their just going to military and government hospitals? If not, why not? If so, what are the relevant details, Madam Minister?
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Deputy Speaker, hon member, as you would know, we encourage military veterans to go to hospitals which are run by the military, in the first instance. That is the first one. Of course, where there are no such hospitals, we then encourage them to visit public hospitals, for obvious reasons. Private hospitals should really be the last alternative. For now, it is preferable that, if there is no military hospital where the military veterans reside, they should rather go to public hospitals.
I’m sure that hon members are also aware of the fact that as we were distributing these medical cards, we had a team of doctors and nurses who were contracted by the Department of Defence and Military Veterans to go around and examine all the military veterans we are attending to. So, yes, there are private services that we render at times, but our first recommendation is for people to go to military hospitals. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Speaker, the department’s strategic plan is aligned to the objectives, amongst others, of the National Development Plan, NDP, of having a capable state that is efficient, effective and professional.
The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for identity systems that are relied on by all citizens, foreign visitors and residents, government departments and the private sector. In order to deliver secure, effective and efficient service, the Department of Home Affairs has a launched a modernisation programme to professionalise its staff and build integrated digital systems.
The same systems prevent fraud and provide statistics for planning. These systems will lower the cost of services and doing business, and improve access. The modernisation programme of the department can reduce fraud and the cost of doing business by enabling e-government, thus attracting more investment.
The civic mandate of the Department of Home Affairs is to confer citizenship - hence status and rights - and to register births, marriages and deaths. The inclusion of all citizens in democracy and development is enabled by providing them with a status and an identity that gives them access to rights and services.
With regard to immigration, the National Development Plan has called on the department to streamline the issuing of visas and permits so that South Africa can recruit foreign nationals with the critical skills needed to grow our economy. This is in line with the department’s mandate to authorise the entry or exit of persons into or out of South Africa and to issue permits and visas. In this regard, the department has introduced visa facilitation centres to facilitate and streamline the process for applying for these enabling documents.
The department also has a role to play in enabling regional development by working with SADC countries to establish the efficient, secure and managed movement of people. The department is leading the establishment of a border management agency that will ensure South Africa can control the border environment. A learning academy has been established, delivering professional courses of high quality to officials. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D M GUMEDE: Hon Deputy Speaker, I thank the hon Minister very much for a comprehensive response. [Interjections.] I have had three unannounced visits to five offices of your department and I have been deeply impressed ... [Interjections.] [Applause.] ... by the caring attitude of the staff, including that of a busy Barrack Street office on a Tuesday. On my enquiring about their professionalism, they told me that there was a skills enhancement programme. My question, hon Minister, is: Could you kindly expand on this wonderful programme? [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Speaker, as much as we acknowledge that there are many improvements in the department, there are many offices of the department that are performing well. Many officials of the department are professional and conscientious, and perform in terms of the Batho Pele principles, serving the people of South Africa.
We also do acknowledge that we still face a lot of challenges. Many of them relate to leadership and to people – not only the numbers of people we have, but also their performance and capability relating to systems and their integration. That is why we have launched a number of programmes to enhance the systems of our offices and to integrate them, as well as ensuring that we professionalise our staff. Part of that, which is critical, is the launching of dedicated offices for smart ID card, 70 of which were opened during the last financial year. A further 70 will be opened in this financial year in order to offer quality services to our people.
We are quite conscious of the challenges that our people are still facing with regard to a range of documents which they need, and we are working around the clock to ensure that we can deliver these quality services and provide capabilities for e-government. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon Deputy Speaker, first of all, I would be failing in my duty if I did not commend the Department of Home Affairs, especially the Commercial Road branch in eThekwini, Durban ... [Interjections.] [Applause.] ... for the efficient, professional and urgent way Mr Gobhoza of the Commercial Road branch and Mr Plaatjies of the Barrack Street branch in Cape Town assisted when I took two orphans for their smart cards.
To the hon Minister, my question is: In light of the ever-increasing demand for these smart cards, what is being done to ensure that the different branches are capacitated to be able to roll out the smart cards? My view is that, at this stage, there are limited branches. So, could you please advise, hon Minister? Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is your turn, sir!
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (Mr K M N Gigaba): Thank you, sir. I do not want to speak before I am invited to do so.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Absolutely. You would be thrown out!
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Deputy Speaker, as we have indicated, there are 70 more dedicated offices for smart ID cards that are going to be opened during this financial year. The reason we cannot immediately convert all our offices to be able to provide smart card technology is that we need to align the technology. We need to redesign the offices because the smart ID card process is completely paperless. For us to be able to convert all of these offices, we would need more resources than we command at the present moment.
So, we have converted a number of offices. We will also be converting Umgeni Road office in Durban into a smart ID card dedicated office. We have opened some offices in the shopping malls and are identifying a little bit more, starting with the Maponya Mall in Soweto.
We are in discussions with the banks to ensure that we can offer a dedicated, specialised service within the branches of some of the banks in South Africa, so that South Africans can have convenient access to apply for their documents and ID cards and get critical services which they require from Home Affairs. So, we are undertaking a process to expand these smart ID card offices even as we speak. Thank you.
Ms S J NKOMO: Deputy Speaker, Minister, in order to achieve the goals as stated in the NDP, what steps has the department taken through its modernisation programme to eradicate current fraud and corruption with regard to the granting of refugee status to people who are not refugees but are merely seeking illegal entry into South Africa by exploiting such loopholes? How many officials have also been found to be implicated in fraud and corruption, and how have these cases been addressed? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the hon member for the question. The department is in the process of reviewing some of our asylum seeker management processes in order for us to be able to combat exactly that challenge the hon member is talking about.
The difficulty that we are facing is that South Africa is a country of mixed migration flows. We attract a whole range of immigrants, many of whom are economic migrants. Because of the lack of avenues to regularise their stay in South Africa, they then seek to exploit the asylum seeker processes for them to become regulars, to regularise their presence in our country.
One way to address that has been through implementing the Zimbabwe Special Permit process, for example, which ensured that we removed scores of people who had initially applied for asylum in the country by giving them permits in terms of this process. However, in the long term and on a sustainable basis, we certainly need to have a policy on economic migrants so that we can manage the entry of economic migrants in our country and their regularisation. It is not going to be an easy process but it is something that we are undertaking.
On the other hand, our asylum seeker management processes have been greatly enhanced. One of the projects that we are now working on is the introduction of the new national identification system. This will integrate the national immigration identification system with the National Population Register so that we can have an integrated database for South Africans and immigrants. This would enable us to verify the status and the records of the people who are applying for our documents, including those who might have breached South African law, in case we need to establish their identity. Therefore, we are in the process of improving our asylum seeker management, our immigration systems and all the systems of the department through this modernisation programme.
I am establishing an integrated modernisation task team, which is going to involve a whole range of units and branches in the department, working together with other departments. In this way, we can have an integrated system that we can manage in almost the same fashion as the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission.
In so far as fighting corruption is concerned, more than 40 officials in the department have been charged with corruption. Some officials have been dismissed. Others have had charges laid against them in terms of our courts and legal processes. We are dealing with the processes.
Everybody will agree and admit that corruption and fraud in the Department of Home Affairs has been vastly reduced as a result of the introduction of these technologies that we are currently implementing. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M H HOOSEN: Deputy Speaker,:hon Minister, you will agree with me when I say that the NDP identifies the tourism industry as one of those sectors that can make a huge contribution to economic development and job creation.
Not too long ago, the hon Maimane and I approached you in your office and we pointed out to you a number of problems that we have with the new immigration regulations and how it is impacting negatively on the tourism industry. Since then, we appreciate the concession you have made on the unabridged birth certificates and the postponement of that until June next year. However, there are still a number of unintended consequences of those immigration regulations that are having a devastating impact on the tourism industry.
My colleague, the hon Vos put out a statement yesterday, pointing out genuine evidence of how the number of tourists has now reduced drastically because of that. Are there any further concessions that we can expect from you that are going to help mitigate against the damage in the department? Are there any steps that you are going to take to try and reverse the situation, especially as we are approaching the festive period?
An HON MEMBER: Hear! Hear!
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Speaker, it is true that we have had engagements with the DA and the Western Cape Standing Committee on Agriculture and Economic Development as recently as yesterday to discuss these immigration regulations.
However, we have not only met with them. We have met with the religious fraternity. We have met with the tourism sector. We have met with the aviation and travel agencies to discuss all of these challenges and how we are going to deal with them. It is also true that we have made certain concessions as a result of the concerns they have raised.
However, it is also true that we have made it clear that we are going to go ahead with implementing these regulations, because we are not taking a one-sided view in so far as the regulations are concerned. We are not only concerned about the impact on tourism. We are also concerned about security laxity that has been prevalent up until now, the abuse of our legislation, and the potential damage that would be caused by the laxity, resulting in us being soft and easy on human and child trafficking, in particular.
So, where we are concerned, we are not only looking at this from a one-sided perspective. We are taking a balanced view because we understand the important role of our department in facilitating not only economic development but also national security.
The Department of Home Affairs stands at a critical point between national security and economic development. We are a security department that offers critical services and we need to concern ourselves about unintended consequences of the lack of regulations that we have had. We have had the ”Black Widow” travelling through South Africa to commit a crime of mass murder in Kenya. We have had somebody coming into our country to commit a heinous crime in Sandton, strangling someone else to death.
So, we need to bear in mind that this is not a world of tourists alone. It is a world which they share with criminals, some of whom travel as tourists, and some of whom travel as regular immigrants carrying proper documents to commit crimes in foreign countries. We must not sleep on duty. We must take into consideration the fact that, if we were lax on security, even the tourism we are talking about, or the investments we seek so much, or the skilled migrants we require so much are going to dissipate.
Therefore, we need to balance how we deal with issues of immigration so that we can provide security, even to the tourists, the immigrants and the critically skilled people who enter our country. We must assure South Africans that we taking all the steps that are necessary to provide security to them in the country. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, Question 322 has been asked by the hon Leader of the Opposition to the Minister of Police. I have been informed that the Minister of Police has requested that the question stand over in terms of Rule 115(1). [Interjections.]
Question 250 has been asked by the hon Shivambu to the Minister of Trade and Industry. Hon Davies.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Sorry, Deputy Speaker, what Rule was that in terms of? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Rule 115(1).
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Alright, thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, steps have indeed been taken to address irregular expenditure arising from supply chain management processes. These steps have included the holding of regular information and training sessions on the requirements for procurement, with staff members; the preparation and dissemination of an easy-to-follow procurement guide with additional communication being provided via financial circulars; the launching of an internal campaign, entitled, Eradicating Irregular Expenditure; and the monitoring on a monthly basis of all potential irregular expenditure, with transgressions being reported to relevant heads of department to take appropriate action in good time.
Based on the additional controls implemented, irregular expenditure in the department has reduced significantly. In fact, on the Auditor-General’s reports, irregular expenditure for the Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, reduced from R32,9 million in the 2012-13 financial year to R6,4 million in the 2013 financial year, which represents about 20% of the amount in the previous year. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Minister. The hon Msimang of the IFP?
Mnu N F SHIVAMBU: Hawu!
It’s supposed to be me. Oh!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Oh! Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Awukho la ... [You don’t appear on my list.]
... It’s alright. Go ahead.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: No, Deputy Speaker, the process is that when a person has asked a question, when the Minister has finished responding ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The original person who asked must be given the first space.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Yes, must come ... must get an opportunity for a follow-up question.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, and it must appear on my machine here.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: I thought that because you have got a red tie today, you will have a better understanding of this process. [Laughter.] Now ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You don’t have it. This is why you don’t understand me. [Laughter.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We are asking this question in the context of the following. In your own manifesto, Minister, in the first state of the nation address for this Parliament, there was a commitment that the South African government is going to procure 75% of all goods and services produced locally. There seem to be weaknesses, broadly-speaking, in the whole procurement supply chain space to enforce such, because when we debated on trade and industry, our emphasis was to say that, if you are really serious about the pursuit of a radical industrial expansion programme, you need to strengthen the instruments of the state to purchase locally produced goods and services.
As things stand, it looks like the state is consuming virtually everything from externally produced goods - almost everything, like the cars, the food, and everything else that the state consumes. So, that was the context within which we raised that question. [Interjections.] How far are you in terms of strengthening the capacity to procure locally produced goods and services? [Interjections.] That is the context within which we raised it. It is not a mechanical question in the manner in which the Minister has responded to it. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, I think, then, the hon member should write what he means, rather than try to get me to guess what he means! If he wants to talk about localisation, that’s another question.
However, I could say that, indeed, we are committed, as a department, to pursuing localisation. We have designated a number of items that need to be procured only from South African sources. We are in the process of preparing another batch. We are also the custodians of other policies, like the National Industrial Participation programme, and various others.
I suggest that if the hon member wants to have a proper and comprehensive answer to what’s being done and what the challenges are, I suggest he puts down a question in which it’s clear that it’s about localisation, and not about irregular expenditure. Thank you very much.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Deputy Speaker, in light of the Auditor-General’s concerns, I would like to know from the Minister whether he is taking steps to reduce the number of consultants used in his department’s supply chain management and procurement processes. Are the necessary processes in place to ensure that officials working in supply chain management receive the proper skills training and are held to full account on all supply chain management and procurement? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, I think the figures that I quoted actually show that there is progress. The officials from the Auditor-General’s office who worked with us told us that we were very close to getting a completely clean audit.
The irregular expenditure of the amount that I mentioned earlier of about R6,4 million is all, in our case, transactions below R500 000. Because irregular expenditure is not the same as unauthorised expenditure, they are mostly cases where three quotations were not obtained. Sometimes, they were by officials of our department located in foreign offices where it was difficult to get multiple quotations for travel, and so on, and so forth. Our target, however, is not to have a minimal level, like we’ve got, but is to have no irregular expenditure. I think that we are pretty close to that, and our target is in sight. Thank you.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Deputy Speaker, Minister it is good of you to turn up today. I thought you had pulled a President Zuma on us last week! [Laughter.] Since we’re on the topic of supply chains, I want to focus on the very important supply chain issue of late payments by government departments. This is something which I know you care about.
It’s well known that most government departments take months, sometimes even longer, to pay their suppliers, and that it often destroys businesses which cannot wait so long for payment. In a recent example, a Free State entrepreneur employing 17 people had to close his business – this was just a few weeks ago – after waiting for more than a year for the provincial government to pay for the goods his business had already delivered. [Interjections.]
Currently, there are over 13 000 invoices that have been outstanding for more than 30 days. [Interjections.] The bottom line, Minister, is that this is putting a lot more people out of work, and that there is absolutely no excuse for government not to pay its bills on time.
Now, as the department responsible for business and for industry, what is your department doing to get other Cabinet Ministers to take this issue seriously?
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, first of all, I need to just point out that, contrary to what the hon Hill-Lewis said in a press statement, I was not absent without leave, AWOL, I was absent with leave on government business last week, which is why I wasn’t here. [Interjections.] Let me just say, however, that, indeed, we are, as a department and as a government, concerned to ensure that there is prompt payment of valid invoices.
So, let me just say what we, in the DTI do, by way of example. The number of valid invoices which are unpaid in our department is zero, nil, zilch, nothing. What we’ve also done has now fallen to our colleagues in the Small Business Ministry. The Small Enterprise Development Agency has been running a hotline. People can phone in, and it has secured a number of payments in cases where there were disputes. It has played the role of trying to intervene, in that regard.
In addition, I think that, increasingly, the Auditor-General’s reports are going to become a matter of concern for auditors. It is a transgression of applicable rules and regulations and so, our commitment, as government, is to work to try to eliminate the late payment of valid invoices. Sometimes you may hear complaints of various sorts. Perhaps the work wasn’t done or there was a dispute about whether the work was done, but in the case of a valid invoice, it ought to be paid in 30 days.
By the way, I think that if the private sector were to follow suit, it would make a huge difference, because there are many, many cases where small businesses are held hostage by big companies because they have the muscle to look after their own cash flows at the expense of small businesses. [Interjections.] Thank you.
Mr B M MKONGI: Deputy Speaker, I would first like to say that when a compliment is due, I think congratulations are also due. [Interjections.] We need to congratulate the Department of Trade and Industry on the good work that they have done. [Interjections.] Thank you very much, hon Minister, for the detailed response to the question from the hon Shivambu.
I want to base my question on that which appeared on the Question Paper: May you please provide the details of whether the training in the supply chain management unit is still continuing? If not, why not? Thank you very much. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, the programmes I mentioned in my original answer are, of course, all continuing and we are actually making every effort to ensure that we do not have any irregular expenditure in the forthcoming audit year.
Just to reiterate, I think it is important to say, that we are not talking about unauthorised expenditure here. These are not people who are stealing money. These are cases of people who have transgressed some of the rules and regulations, sometimes with fairly understandable explanations. Despite that, however, our goal is to ensure that we have zero irregular expenditure, and as I said, I don’t think we, as the DTI, are very far from that. Thank you very much.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, may I address you in terms of Rule 115?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, go ahead.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I would like to just establish from you, Deputy Speaker, whether what we are dealing with is in terms of Rule 115(a), where a letter has been received by the Secretary to Parliament. If so, can we have confirmation that that letter was received; or, are we dealing with Rule 115(b), where the Minister’s not here; and if he’s not here, has he been sent out to look for the President? [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, the direct answer to you is that, yes, a letter was received, and this has been shown to me. Yes. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, the figures as at 30 September 2014 are as follows in respect of both departments, Justice and Correctional Services. There are 15 that have already been vetted with regard to Justice and 137 with regard to Correctional Services There are eight in the process with regard to Justice and 399 with regard to Correctional Services. Those in the process at the departments themselves are 34 and 274 for Justice at Correctional Services, respectively. The compliance rate is 78% at Justice and 68% at Correctional Services Outstanding, therefore, are 16 at Justice, which makes 22%, and 390 at Correctional Services, which makes 32%; and the totals are 73 with regard to Justice and 1 200 with regard to Correctional Services.
We may just indicate that it is not the ideal. The ideal should be 100%. I have requested both departments to clarify the circumstances of the outstanding figures. Thank you.
Adv B T BONGO: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, you will recall that this matter was part of the President’s state of the nation address. So, when do you envisage the 100% compliance, and what measures have you put in place to ensure that the department disciplines those who do not want to comply? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, the circumstances are not always simple. The senior management segment of the administration is highly mobile. People move from one position to the other fairly rapidly, and, given the time it takes to complete a vetting process, it sometimes makes it difficult to ensure that everybody has been compliant, as a result. However, as I indicated earlier, we have requested both departments to actually establish where there is deliberate or negligent noncompliance, so that we can take appropriate corrective measures. Thank you.
Mr W HORN: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, the announcement of the vetting of supply chain management personnel in the department was, in fact, made during the state of the nation address of 2012 and not 2014, as stated by the hon Bongo. Prior to that, it was also included as an initiative in the strategic plan of the department. The question therefore is: How many of the supply chain management personnel of the department were vetted in the years 2012 and 2013, especially in light of the total amount of a staggering R812 million worth of irregular expenditure in the department in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, we would be happy to provide a breakdown that would specifically illustrate which of the noncompliance specifically deals with supply chain management. At this spot in time, I only have ballpark figures and not a breakdown that focuses on the specific line-function areas. Thank you.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy Speaker, I thank the Minister for the reply. What I would like to know is: What kind of vetting are we talking about? Is it vetting on the competence of the supply chain management staff or is it vetting on the issue of conflict of interest, because we may have supply chain management people in place, but their competence needs always to be tested because otherwise, it can have disastrous consequences, Minister.
I have a case in point here, where in KwaZulu-Natal, there has been a tender that has been investigated since 2009 and no one has been charged as yet. It involves a very serious matter of a state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine at a Durban hospital. The hospital has forced the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Health Department to send cancer patients to a private hospital. That is because the supply chain management team did not look at this contract properly, and the MEC there has refused to pay the monthly instalments on this machine.
So, I just would like to ask, again, of the Minister whether he, as the Minister of Justice, will try and assist the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department to investigate this matter from the point of charges. In addition, what kind of vetting is takes place and what is the process for vetting?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, we would certainly like to be provided specific information, preferably in writing from the hon member, and to investigate the facts in that particular instance in order to determine an appropriate intervention.
Vetting and assessing officials’ competencies to continue in their current responsibilities, I think, are two slightly different sides of a coin. With regard to the latter, an appropriate process would involve a multiplicity of interventions assessing ongoing assessment of competencies based on obvious performance or nonperformance as we observe the product of the work of officials. That would, in turn, also lead us to the kind of competencies that would need to be enhanced. This would ensure that, through ongoing training, for example, and similar programmes, we continue to capacitate the Public Service to provide an effective and efficient service. Thank you.
Mr N P KHOZA: Deputy Speaker, Minister, what is the rationale behind the idea of vetting because, in all fairness, just a mere vetting of officials will not assist in dealing with the maladministration and corruption that we see in government departments and entities? When you see dubious and questionable political deployments being done every day - an example being that of SABC - what effective strategy does your department have to deal with maladministration and corruption, other than just vetting? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, one of the advantages of vetting is that it can provide information about a person’s background that is pertinent to establishing whether they are a fit and proper person to perform a particular role, especially where trust is an issue. People who, in the past, have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, for example, could easily be established through vetting so that we isolate them, or, at least, put in place monitoring measures. This is to ensure that we treat those with some circumspection to avoid a repetition of such conduct. Where appropriate, of course, exclude them altogether from the Public Service so that we keep the Public Service as clean as possible and, of course, get rid of some unwanted and dubious characters in the process. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the hon member for the question. The African Standby Force is an initiative of the African Union, AU, to assist the continent in managing incidences of insecurity and to ensure stability on the continent. However, the decision has not been implemented since 2003.
As a result, in June 2013, following the proposal by our commander-in-chief, the hon President Zuma, the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government resolved to establish the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises, ACIRC. This new initiative is a short-term solution until the African Standby Force has been fully established. South Africa, of course, is one of the 10 contributing countries to the ACIRC initiative. I thank you.
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Madam Chairperson, arising from the Minister’s response: Is the Minister going to give us a breakdown of the contributions in terms of manpower per country? I know that the Minister has said that South Africa is also a contributing country to ACIRC. Which other countries are contributing and what are the numbers that each country is actually contributing? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Chairperson, I thank the hon Mncwango very much for the question. The countries that comprise ACIRC are, amongst others, Algeria, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Senegal. Those are but some of the member states that are contributing to ACIRC.
The ACIRC heads or chiefs of service have met three times in South Africa to discuss and plan the way forward for ACIRC. However, it should be borne in mind that, in the first instance, as I said earlier on, ACIRC is a stopgap measure until such time as the regions are ready to activate their standby forces.
Different countries have pledged different items. For instance, in our case, we hope that we would be able to assist in the provision of logistics, for example, the transportation of logistics. Perhaps we would be able to assist by allowing ACIRC to conduct exercises in our country. Perhaps we would be able to assist with a motorised battalion. However, it should be borne in mind that we, in South Africa, have had serious financial problems. The budget cuts have affected the SA National Defence Force, SANDF, in a very negative way. Whatever it is that we pledge, we should do it in a responsible manner such that it does not impact negatively on the activities of the SANDF in the country.
We have also pledged a Level 3 hospital which means that whatever kind of injury may occur, people will be brought to South Africa for treatment. In spite of all these plans that are in place right now, it is our hope that, by the end of 2015, the African Standby Force will be in place. As I have said, this ACIRC is a stopgap measure. Therefore, the standby force should get its act together and should be ready to embark on whatever deployment or operations when and if it is necessary to do so. This should happen, at the very latest, by end of the year 2015.
We are hoping that we won’t find ourselves in a situation where the African Union will take decisions on matters of deployment - because once they do so, we will have no choice but to deploy the ACIRC to contributing countries. Thank you very much.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, Minister, I am sure that the African Standby Force and the ACIRC would love the spy satellite capability, especially if it is a Kondor-E spy satellite capability developed by our new best friends, the Russians! [Laughter.] So, I wonder if the Minister would confirm whether her department has a not-so-secret contract to develop a spy satellite capability, and whether the spy satellite may be used in the future to benefit the African Standby Force or ACIRC. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Just stand still. Learn to stand still because when you dance you divert the attention from what you are saying to what you are doing. Just stop it! [Laughter.] [Applause.] Anyway, the matter is ... [Interjections.] ... I wonder what point of order you are going to raise, because he is dancing.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order: It is unparliamentary to reflect on an hon member in that way. [Interjections.] I would ask that the hon Minister be requested to withdraw that. I would be very wary about them talking about dancing because right now the dance card for the President in this House is very empty. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. You don’t need to explain. Some things are just practices and we don’t even have to rule on them. Hon Minister, please continue.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon Chairperson, the truth of the matter, my brother, is, I think, honestly, you know yourself that there is no point of order in this matter. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, please answer.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: The truth of the matter is that I have not questioned the integrity or anything about the member. I am just saying what he is doing. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, can you please respond?
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chair, on a point of order: Rule 58 is very clear that members of this House must address the Chairperson and not members across ... and I ask that ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): That is why I intervened, and I think you heard me. Please sit down. Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Chairperson, you are a good teacher - actually, a very good teacher. Hon Maynier, I honestly don’t know whether you really, with all seriousness, expect me to respond to this question. [Interjections.] If so, then I will request the Chairperson, in terms of Rule 115, to put that question on hold to allow you the opportunity to go to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence or to the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and invite me to come and present to that forum this particular project you are interested in. I am not going to give you that answer here. Thank you very much. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, let us make sure that the follow-up questions that we ask are in line with the original question. If you bring in a new question, you are making it difficult for the hon Ministers to answer. I don’t rule on behalf of the Ministers that they shouldn’t answer new questions. It is up to them - but let’s refrain from asking new questions. If you will listen, please! Let us refrain from asking new questions. As far as the Minister’s request is concerned, the staff says that that can be done, and we advise the hon Maynier to do so. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chair, I just want some clarity, because there has been some drama around this issue already this week. Are you saying that, in terms of Rule 115, that question will go onto the Order Paper for the next sitting? I ask because that is what the Minister suggested.[Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no, no, no, no.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: But that is what the Minister suggested! [Interjections.] It is not our fault she is not on top of her portfolio and cannot answer a question in this House. She suggested it.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Chair, it has nothing to do with not being on top of the subject matter. The point is you all know very well just how irresponsible it is to raise that kind of question in public, in a National Assembly. [Interjections.] You know! If that ... I wish that was how you conducted yourselves at the time you were managing some of these issues. There is no way that I will provide information on the satellite systems or anything that is related to it in a National Assembly and address the South African public on such matters. [Interjections.] If that is what you were taught, hon Maynier, I bet it is not the kind of training I have received.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, on a point of order: I think even if the Minister feels she is right, she can’t address an hon member directly in that manner because if some of us are addressed in that way it will be provocative. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ndlozi, the hon Minister addressed the member through me.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: No, she did not do that. However, you must assist the House, Chair.
MODULASETULO (Moh M G Boroto): Ke kgopela gore o dule fase abuti wa ka.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: No, she did not do that. You can’t speak like that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Honestly speaking, can you please sit? [Interjections.] Hon members, we now proceed, and, as I have said, I still insist.
Ms N A MNISI: Hon House Chair, arising in response to our hon Minister: I would like to check with the hon Minister if the whole question regarding the African Standby Force meets with international agreements, as well as the AU agreements. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Chair, as you would know, the decision to establish the African Standby Force and the ACIRC was taken by the Heads of State at the level of the AU. The decisions were taken at a summit of the heads of state. It is just unfortunate that, after the decision to establish the African Standby Force, the regions did not move fast enough, because the decision was taken that the African Standby Force should be demarcated according to regions. So, each one of the regional bodies should have established its own African Standby Force.
I should say that, for SADC, we are way ahead in establishing the African Standby Force and SADC, East Africa and West Africa have done very well. However, we can’t say the entire continent is, in fact, ready with their pledges and with the running of the African Standby Force., As I have said, only three regions have done extremely well and one of those is our own region. Yes, in terms of protocols and everything, once a decision is taken by the Heads of State, obviously, all protocols are set in motion to make sure that we have a legal framework within which that establishment is put in place. Thank you.
Mong K Z MORAPELA: Modulasetulo, ke ne ke batla feela ho botsa Letona le Hlomphehileng hore jwalekaha ho tsebisahala hore dinaha tse ding tsa mona Afrika, bongata ba tsona din a le bothata ba tsa tshireletso. O ka fumana hore ha ba matla jwaloka Afrika Borwa. Ebe ke sefe seo e leng hore re tlo tla se kenya tshebetsong ho bona hore le kgona ho phema bothata boo e leng hore batho ba se ke ba iphumana e le hore jwale Afrika Borwa ke yona e seng e sebetsa ka matla bakeng sa ho bona hore sena seo e leng hore ho batleha se qalwe, e leng Lebotho la Afrika le Malala-a-laotswe, hore le be matla, ke mokgwa ofe oo le tlang ho o sebedisa ho phema dintlha tseo ke seng ke buile ka tsona? Ke a leboha.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Chairperson, it is true, of course, that as we go into the African Standby Force or even to ACIRC for that matter, contributions by different countries will not be the same. Each country will contribute what is available to that country. So, I think that is one thing which we all need to understand.
Of course, I must be honest and say that, at times, there is a perception that South Africa and some of the countries ... in fact within the continent there are five countries which people tend to look at and really believe that these are countries that have resources. I think we are one of those countries, even though we know we don’t necessarily have the resources, which people claim we do. However, we are able to make whatever small contribution we can to whatever initiative is in place, with any decision that comes from the Heads of State.
Even in terms of these two, you can rest assured that the fact that these have not really taken off has to do with what each one of the countries is able to contribute and what some of the counties are unable to contribute. So, as much as we would want to be equal partners, we don’t expect that the contributions will necessarily be the same.
We also believe that the three regions are the ones whose standby forces have really taken off. In SADC, we had what is called Exercise Golfinho. This was a regional exercise, bringing together all of our forces to make sure that we can move together, in unison in the event of a deployment. In so doing, we could also develop a kind of common doctrine for the region.
We have done very well. Even in that Exercise Golfinho, they did not expect all of the countries within the region to have contributed equal amounts. Nonetheless, we are very optimistic that, even if we are not equals, in the event of a serious crisis occurring anywhere on the African continent, ACIRC will be ready to move in.
We hope that because we have given the African Standby Force and all of the regions enough time to sort themselves out, when the time comes for Africa to deploy its African Standby Force, we will be able to do so with whatever contributions, however small. Those who can, give more. Fortunately, contributions are not always about boots on the ground and putting warm bodies. You can pledge whatever it is that you have as a country and not necessarily warm bodies – as in, soldiers - to go and fight. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much, Minister. That ends the supplementary questions to the question posed by the hon Mncwango. May I plead with the Ministers as they come that we have given two minutes for the responses and we know that the information is very important but can we just try and bring it down to two minutes?
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (for The MINISTER OF POLICE): Hon Chairperson, with respect to the question that has been asked, I want to reiterate that over the last 10 years, as a country, we have seen a steady decline in crime statistics. We want to indicate that out of 17 crime categories that were reported in the last statistics, only six have demonstrated an increase, and the rest decreased by 0,4% from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
We agree that the level of violent crime continues to bedevil our society, and we have become a violent society as a result. As for the common denominator, they sometimes vary in these matters of crime, with respect to the possession of firearms, alcohol and substance abuse. These, in effect, sometimes affect the cognitive capabilities of certain individuals to behave in an appropriate way.
Some of these crimes take place in private spaces which, at times, our officers will not be in a position to reach. Some of the problems are related to issues of domestic violence. As we have seen, they do impact on some of these crimes that I referred to.
We think that we must be able to commend the police for the work they have done, especially in some of these crimes. An example is the crime that was perpetrated against the former Bafana Bafana captain, and their swift response in arresting the suspect. Looking at the cluster as such, over the last few days, the court meted out nine life sentences to Mr Ntokozo Hadebe who brutally killed three young children in Diepsloot in Soweto.
As the police, and the cluster as such, some of the actions that are being taken are to improve crime intelligence, issues of detection, issues of investigation and prosecution. We are also moving ahead in dealing with issues of border management in order to curb the flow of arms and ammunition into our country. We are also saying that the matter of crime is a societal problem. All South Africans must be able to join hands. The police alone will not be able to deal with this matter. Therefore, some of these criminals and murderers stay within our own communities, and the society must be able to take a stand; say no to these criminals and participate in those forums that we have established, in order to assist the police in keeping our country and our people safe. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Sorry, House Chair, may I address you in terms of Rule 115? Earlier in this afternoon’s sitting, we received notice that the Minister of Police was holding questions over, obviously because he couldn’t be here. Now, I find it very strange that a question from the ANC is supplied with an answer, but a question put by the opposition, which just happens to deal with Nkandla, is now being held over. [Interjections.] Is this not selection and cherry picking of questions in the House? [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Steenhuisen, if I heard the Deputy Speaker correctly when he ruled on that issue, he was saying for that question. That is if I heard him ... [Interjections.] So, no, I am sorry. I cannot answer the question “Why?” What we are doing now is what we have to do. [Interjections.] Thank you very much. Hon Molebatsi, a supplementary question?
Mof M A MOLEBATSI: Ke a leboga Motl Modulasetilo, gape ke leboga le Motl Tona ka go fana ka karabo e manontlhotlho. Ke rata go botsa gape ke re ...
What is the role of the Community Protection Services, CPS, Community Security Schemes, CSS, and the neighbourhood watches to assist in crime fighting? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (for The MINISTER OF POLICE): Hon Chairperson, these are the structures that we have legislated as a country that give an opportunity to our citizens to be part of an effort in addressing the issues that affect our communities. In this case, these structures – the neighbourhood watches, the Community Safety Forums, the Community Policing Forums, and so forth – are the structures to which we want to make a clarion call. Those people who are involved in some criminal activities live within our communities. We know them. They are related in one way or another to one person in our society, and those are the structures that must work closely with the police.
If you look at every point of our country where there is a police station, these structures are functional. They are given the required support, and in those areas where people are participating actively, we have seen a steady decline in crime in those particular communities.
Yingakho-ke ngesintu sithi: Abantu baseNingizimu Afrika mababambe iqhaza ekulweni nobubha, nobugebengu futhi baqinisekise ukuthi nabo bangamaphoyisa emphakathini yangakubo.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon D /kɒχlə/.
Ms D KOHLER: Chairperson, it is Diane /kəƱlə ba:na:d/. Thank you. The National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, claimed at the release of the crime statistics this year that the national crime statistics had been audited. Now, the Auditor-General’s office then denied this claim twice. Had they been audited, I doubt the wrong statistics for both Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal would have been released. Can the Minister – I doubt it, but anyway – please explain what the National Police Commissioner’s basis was for the claim; and what steps have been taken to ensure that the national crime statistics, which have been bungled by this self-same woman for two years in a row, will, at last, be credible?
I also wanted to ask the Minister if he would not introduce real-time crime statistics at all the stations so that we can find out what is happening in our neighbourhoods and, basically, protect ourselves.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister? Before he answers, I am sorry. On my screen is just written / kɒχlə /, and I apologise if it is not correct. Thank you. Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (for The MINISTER OF POLICE): Chairperson, with regard to crime statistics, we must accept that it was through this government, led by the ANC ... [Interjections.] ... who chose, when there were people who were speaking ill about their own country, like calling it the criminal capital of the world, that we decided to report. It is part of our own initiative that we are going to continue to report on this. [Interjections.]
South Africans at home appreciate that this government is transparent when it deals with these particular issues. [Interjections.] We are the first, when we are using this instrument, to admit that more still needs to be done.
When it comes to crime statistics, when it suits the opposition, when the recent crime statistics indicate a rise in crime levels in a province that they are managing, there is now an issue about the crime statistics. [Interjections.] When the same instrument is being used, and it indicates some improvements in a particular province, they have an issue. South Africans have a lived experience. What are these issues of crime? The statistics does not lie. We have indicated, out of 17 crime categories, only six have increased, and the rest has decreased. [Interjections.]
We are very humbled, as the ANC government, that there are plans and initiatives, as indicated in the National Development Plan and the outcomes-based approach, to say what we are doing. Therefore, if there are people who have problems with the crime statistics that are there, these are the official figures that, as government ... the team that is working on it does quality assurance, and they are accepted as credible. Even other agencies that are very independent are able to indicate that we are, indeed, making progress, as a country. Our interventions are working. We don’t need people who are not going to be part of an effort to assist our country in moving forward. [Interjections.]
Our message is that crime affects our own people. Our own people are going to be their own liberators. Join hands with our own government. Let’s fight crime in our own neighbourhoods, and we will start to see the difference. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Excuse me, Chairperson. Many times in this House when some members become disrespectful and call the honourable Zille “madam”, the members on the other side stand up simultaneously and shout at us. We have disciplined our members not to do that, but the hon Kohler-Barnard calls the National Police Commissioner, Mrs Phiyega, “that same woman”. [Interjections.] Mrs Phiyega is not ... [Interjections.] ... Mrs Phiyega is not ... you can say that because you are comfortable. You do not care about her. We care about all our civil servants, including this particular one. [Interjections.]
If you disrespect any one of us, you are disrespecting all of us. [Interjections.] Because of that, we will never rest until you recognise us as human beings too. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you! Thank you very much. I didn’t understand that, but what I can say is that, please, let us make sure that we respect everybody in his or her position. [Interjections.] Let we not go further on that. My next speaker is the hon Mashabela from the EFF.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Chairperson, you know me very well. [Interjections.] Clearly, crime is on the increase, as stated already. Citizens must be very desperate to call back a commissioner of police engulfed in corruption, like we heard in the media yesterday.
Ms D KOHLER: Hear, hear!
Ms N R MASHABELA: In plain language, why is the SA Police Service losing this battle? Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (for The MINISTER OF POLICE): Chair, I think the statistics are available. They must be read correctly. [Interjections.] In terms of our own categorisation, there are 17 categories of crime. If you put your numbers well, out of 17, only six are on the increase, especially the violent crimes. [Interjections.] When you say, 17 minus six, it means that there are 11 crime categories – which is a fact – 11 crime categories that have seen a decrease in various provinces. On average, that decrease amounts to 0,4%, if you report between the two financial years.
This issue saying that the police are losing the battle is lost because there is no understanding that crime is a societal problem. The police are part of a cog and an instrument of the state in the hands of the people to be able to address the conditions in which our people fight. Those men and women are working so hard to keep you and me safe. They have kept this country safe for the last 20 years. [Interjections.] We are in a position to indicate ... the fact of the matter is that Mr Hadebe, who slaughtered our children and raped them in Diepsloot, got nine life sentences. [Interjections.] It is thanks to the police’s good work.
We must also include what happened to the national captain of Bafana Bafana. Those men and women are always working so hard. They have apprehended suspects. However, we are saying that more still needs to be done. If communities are not part of the solution ... we are living in an area with high walls and security fences. You will never understand the plight of our people. [Applause]. Our people understand their plight in the conditions, but structures are there. Let’s use our structures to deal with the issues of crime and let not those who are living in glass houses and behind high walls say those men and women are not doing their jobs when they are being safeguarded by them ... [Interjections.] Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon Minister. Hon members, gestures ...
An HON MEMBER: How high are your walls?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You know what I mean. Can we allow the Ministers to respond and you listen? Please! [Interjections.] The last one to ask a question is the hon Mpontshane.
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Chairperson and hon Minister, my statistics are correct when I say that there has been a sharp increase in the incidence of murder and rape at our higher education institutions. Examples include the rape of a student at Wits University and the murder of another student at the Tshwane University of Technology at the Soshanguve North Campus. My question, hon Minister, is the following: Has the Minister of Police met with the Minister of Higher Education and Training to develop a strategy on how to deal with the ongoing violence at our tertiary institutions? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (for The MINISTER OF POLICE): Chairperson, while I am not in a position to say whether the Ministers have met or not, what we know in terms of our Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster is that any loss of life is one too many. As a country and as the ANC-led government, we are always saddened by those particular incidents.
We have noted the incidents at the universities that you mentioned, and, as we have said, we have our own structures - those matters were, indeed, reported to the police. Regarding those cases, we are working with the university management, and we are appealing to the people from those universities to co-operate with the investigations. Remember, some of the campuses are secured. Some of the campuses are not secured. Therefore, the security of our own students, whether in higher education or at boarding school, remains a matter of concern for us, as this government.
We call on those who have information on the two incidents to report it. We would be able to put more emphasis on those particular areas. Remember, even if you go boarding schools, there is an issue of substance abuse. You go to certain schools, working with the Department of Basic Education – it is not a new matter – where children bring weapons to school. It is not only at universities. That is why safety in schools is one of the programmes of this government.
You can go everywhere. We have prioritised safety in schools and ensured that there are also stringent measures being put in place to deal with those particular conditions. As we have said, we don’t want to see any lives lost, because there is a human element. Therefore, the police, as I conclude, must be supported by all of us, must be encouraged. Where they are not doing well, there are programmes. They are being trained. Where there are rogue elements within the Police Service, decisive action is being taken, and there are oversight mechanisms that you, as Members of Parliament, have established to deal with that. However, to cast aspersions on those men and women will not be good for our country. As the ANC-led government and the people of this country, we do have confidence in those men and women who serve us, and they are serving us well. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members! The time allocated for questions has expired. Outstanding replies received will be printed in the Hansard.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: House Chair, on a point of order: It was either the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker who said at the beginning that an extra 30 minutes had been added to today’s question time, specifically to deal with the questions that stood over from Minister Davies, from his absence last week, but he has not dealt with those questions. He used, at maximum, 10 minutes to deal with one of them. The other 20 minutes have been absorbed by the other Cabinet members’ nonanswers.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, are you saying they are nonanswers? Did I hear you correctly?
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Evasive manoeuvres, perhaps, but ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, you cannot do that. [Interjections.] You cannot do that. I want to respond to you, but can you just withdraw that “nonanswers”?
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Withdrawn.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Hon members, the time for questions is up to 17:00. If you check your time, we have actually added more than the 30 minutes that was expected. [Interjections.] We are now on a different issue. I see two people.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Chair, the 30 minutes was added specifically to deal with the questions posed to Minister Davies.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, Mr Davies was in the House. Questions were answered by the hon Davies ...
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: One question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): ... as the Minister. It depends on the ... you don’t have to argue with me. You know how we work.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Alright.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The questions are listed as they are listed. If another member has to come in, he will come in. We don’t have to ... even if he was here, he wouldn’t answer six questions at a go. He will answer according to the number and the sequence. Can we understand each other? Please, hon member. Stop arguing and sit down. I think I have answered you.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Can I just address you, Chair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no, no! [Interjections.] I think you have made your point, and you have been clarified. Thank you very much. Sit down.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Chair, can I just place on record my objection to this?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh, you want to place something on record?
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Yes, please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Please.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: I would like to place on record, Chairperson, that Minister Davies evaded answering questions in this House last week ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No! That ... [Interjections.]
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: ... and he has done so again today. It is not acceptable.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Alright, thank you very much. Is that a point of order?
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Can I address you, House Chairperson? On the particular issue that my hon colleague has just referred to, it was made very clear that the Minister would deal with the three outstanding questions that were posed to him ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon ...
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Sorry, Chair, can I finish, please?
HON MEMBERS: Let him finish! Let him finish!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, we have a sequence that we follow.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): We have processes that we follow. Let us not deviate from that.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: But, Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): If we have security cluster questions, it does not mean all the security ... all three police questions will be answered. Let me not start a workshop in this House. [Interjections.] Allow me to continue. Sit down! [Applause.] Hon Davies?
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Chairperson, on a point order: May I register my serious objection to any allegations that I evaded questions either last week or this week.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Alright, hon ...
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: I answered the questions! I am ready to answer.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, you are covered. Please take your seat. We now come to notices of motion. Does anyone wish to give a notice of motion?
NOTICES OF MOTION – Mr J J MCGLUWA
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the worrying increase in the social assistance being granted along political lines.
Mr D W MACPHERSON
Mr J J MCGLUWA
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the severe effect that rolling blackouts will have on our nation’s ability to ramp up industrialisation, including beneficiation, as envisaged in the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap, and the NDP.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Before you speak, I can’t hear because there is too much noise, hon members. There is also too much movement on both sides of the House. Can we please minimise that?
Prof N M KHUBISA
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto)
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the NFP:
That the House deliberates on the high incidence of violence in tertiary institutions.
Mr N SINGH
Prof N M KHUBISA
Mr N SINGH: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the IFP:
That the House debates the moving of nonreligious public holidays to the nearest Friday or Monday within the week in which they fall, so as to minimise the associated negative economic impact on the working week.
Mr C T MSIMANG
Mr N SINGH
Mr C T MSIMANG: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the IFP:
That the House debates the current state of maintenance of all operational, contributing power stations in South Africa, as well as measures that can be put in place to ensure that they are routinely and correctly maintained, as Eskom is clearly not equal to this task.
Mr G S RADEBE
Mr C T MSIMANG
Mr G S RADEBE: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates curbing the rampant vandalism and arson attacks on trains, which cost millions of rands to be replaced.
Mr N S MATIASE
Mr G S RADEBE
Mr N S MATIASE: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates what measures the country and, particularly, the Department of Forestry and Water Affairs, should take to secure South African water, in the light of the report that South Africa is on the tipping point of a water crisis which could render the country waterless and risk the security of water in the next five years, and which is probably as a result of poor infrastructure maintenance and continued privatisation of this scarce resource.
Mr A M MUDAU
Mr N S MATIASE
Mr A M MUDAU: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates combating the alarming rate at which liquor outlets are operating next to places of worship and learning institutions.
Ms S V KALYAN
Mr A M MUDAU
Ms S V KALYAN: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the mandate of the United Nations Security Council and the need to reform it.
Ms S P TSOLELI
Ms S V KALYAN
Ms S P TSOLELI: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates reviving crime-fighting structures in our communities in support of the law-enforcement agencies.
Mr N P KHOZA
Ms S P TSOLELI
Mr N P KHOZA: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates that the peasantry is not dead, but misguided, and agrarian policies and choices are inimical to its growth, smallholder agriculture and a vision of a self-sufficient and flourishing countryside.
Ms M R SEMENYA
Mr N P KHOZA
Ms C N NDABA: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates engaging pharmaceutical companies to prioritise investment in TB and multidrug-resistant TB in South Africa, Africa and the developing world.
Ms K DE KOCK
Ms C N NDABA
Ms J STEENKAMP: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the role of government in advancing the recycling of nondegradable goods and promoting a culture of recycling in South Africa.
Ms A MATSHOBENI
Ms J STEENKAMP
Ms A MATSHOBENI: Hon House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates alternatives to the addictive fixation of neoliberal economics with foreign direct investment as necessary precursors to economic freedom and growth, an economically free country, liberated from the shackles of neocolonialism and imperialism.
Mr D MNGUNI
Ms A MATSHOBENI
Mr D MNGUNI: Hon House Chair, I hereby move give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates strengthening the management and control of South Africa’s borders.
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
Mr D MNGUNI
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
FINDINGS OF UN INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Chair, I move without notice on behalf of the NFP:
That the House—
- notes the findings of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, produced by 800 scientists from across the world, which confirms that—
- the atmosphere and oceans have warmed;
- the global amount of snow and ice has diminished;
- the sea level has risen; and
- the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased to a level unprecedented in at least the last 800 000 years;
- further notes in particular, that emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, may need to drop to zero by the end of this century for the world to have a decent chance of keeping the rise in temperature below a level that many consider dangerous;
- recognises that South Africa is one of the top 20 countries in the world measured by absolute carbon dioxide emissions, with emissions per capita in the region of 10 tons a year;
- calls upon all industries and role-players in South Africa to double their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the targets committed to at the 2009 Copenhagen Conference of the Parties; and
- also calls on members of the House to lead by example in their constituency offices ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms G Boroto): Hon member, can we please make sure that we do motions without notice and not statements? Let us please do that. I think we have listened many a time and we can differentiate. Are you done, hon member?
Mr S C MNCWABE
Mr M L SHELEMBE
MEDIA REPORTS ON NEW ZIMBABWE SPECIAL PERMITS
Mr S C MNCWABE: Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the NFP:
That the House—
- notes media reports that, to date, 195 000 Zimbabwean citizens have, in recent weeks, applied to remain in South Africa under the new Zimbabwe Special Permits, ZSP, dispensation which is a successor to the Dispensation for Zimbabweans Project, and aims to deal with the influx of people seeking economic opportunities, with a further 50 000 estimated to do so by the end of November 2014; and
- also notes the reassurance given by the Department of Home Affairs that the renewal of these permits will not lead to any form of naturalisation at all and that the permits will be valid for three years only; therefore once that time is up all Zimbabweans with ZSP permits will be required to apply for standard study, work or business visas in order to remain in South Africa and will have to return to Zimbabwe to do so.
Mr A F MAHLALELA
Mr S C MNCWABE
DEATH OF JOSEPH JIYANE
Mr A F MAHLALELA: Chair, I move without notice on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the House—
- notes the sudden passing on of Ibamba leSilo and Chairperson of Umzinyathi House of Traditional Leaders, Joseph Jiyane, recently;
- further notes that Jiyane was appointed by His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini, to look after the area of KwaJama on his behalf;
- acknowledges that Jiyane was a member of the executive committee of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial House of Traditional Leaders; and
- conveys its condolences to his family and to the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders.
Prof N M KHUBISA
Mr A F MAHLALELA
MINIMUM WAGE TALKS BETWEEN LABOUR, BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT
Prof N M KHUBISA: House Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the NFP:
That the House—
- notes that talks on a minimum wage between labour, business and the government are ongoing;
- acknowledges that the discussions on a minimum wage are extremely crucial, especially when viewed in the light of the fact that our country faces an unemployment rate of 35,8%, the sluggish economic growth, and poverty levels that grow unabatedly; and
- calls upon government, organised labour and business to quickly resolve the issue of a minimum wage in order to address the high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Mr T W MHLONGO
Prof N M KHUBISA
DEATH OF BUTI SAMUEL RAMPA MULAUDZI
Mr T W MHLONGO: Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the DA:
That the Council—
- notes with sadness the passing of Buti Samuel Rampa Mulaudzi, an upcoming, young journalist and presenter for Soweto TV, on 4 November 2014;
- further notes that he was a young, well-known figure in the community and a mentor to many young people in Soweto;
- acknowledges the role that he played in uplifting and developing young people in the area of journalism;
- further acknowledges the momentous impact that he had on community-based journalism; and
- conveys its sincere condolences to his friends, Soweto TV staff and the Rampa Mulaudzi family, and trusts that his soul may rest in peace.
Ms N R MASHABELA
Mr T W MHLONGO
SERVICE DELIVERY PROTESTS IN LIMPOPO
Ms N R MASHABELA: Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the EFF:
That the Council—
- notes that the ongoing protests by residents in Budeli and Dumasi in Limpopo have seen them blockade the Malamulele-Thohoyandou road with stones and burning tyres, and demanding water;
- further notes that this is despite millions of rands having been spent on water at Nandoni Dam;
- acknowledges that the department responsible... [Interjections.]
Please, members of the ruling party, keep quiet so that you can hear what I am saying. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member ...
Ms N R MASHABELA: Thank you. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members, order! Please continue.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Thank you, hon Chair.
- further notes that the department responsible made a commitment to the residents of Vhembe District that the water would be fully functional by September this year;
- condemns the use of violence by police against residents who simply demand better services but who are failed by the ruling party; and
- further condemns the lies and empty promises made by the ruling party.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Objections are noted. The motion is not agreed to.
Mr N SINGH
Mr N SINGH
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the IFP:
That the House—
- welcomes the yachts and crews of the Volvo Ocean Race as they arrive in Cape Town later this week;
- recognises the significant increase in tourism revenue and employment opportunities that this event creates in the City of Cape Town and for South Africa, as a whole;
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members... Sorry, Mr Singh. Hon members, we cannot hear him. Continue.
Mr N SINGH: Thank you, Chair.
- salutes the brave men and women who are undertaking this gruelling global yacht race; and
- wishes them Godspeed and a safe journey until the end of the race in Sweden’s second largest city of Gothenburg.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon Singh. The EFF? The hon member here...
Ms H O MAXON: My name is Hlengiwe, Madam Chair ...
Mr N SINGH: Sorry, Chairperson, I think you first have to put the motion.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh! Sorry! I made a mistake, you see ... please. Are there any objections to the motion by hon Singh?
Ms H O MAXON
Mr N SINGH
TAX AVOIDANCE STRATEGIES PRACTICED BY LONMIN
Ms H O MAXON: Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the EFF:
That the Council—
- notes that, during the Farlam Commission hearings, it emerged that Lonmin is involved in practices of transfer pricing and profit shifting as a form of tax avoidance;
- further notes that, during his response to a question in the National Council of Provinces asked about transfer pricing, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said that tax avoidance and transfer pricing are not criminal activities;
- acknowledges that transfer pricing, profit shifting and base erosion deprive South Africa of billions of potential revenue which could have been be used to benefit poor people on the ground;
- further acknowledges that in the period where Lonmin was avoiding tax through transfer pricing and refusing to pay workers R12 500, the company paid a company owned by the Deputy President more than R400 million and that Shanduka has since claimed that that payment was a loan, which is ridiculous ... and
- calls on government to strengthen its laws, combats all form of transfer pricing and act on greedy capitalists to kill profit.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, before I continue, please, I have warned against making statements rather than notices of motion. Please ...
Ms H O MAXON: Thank you, Chair, but it is a motion without notice. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Alright. If there are no objections, I put the motion. [Interjections.] The motion is not agreed to.
Ms L A MNGANGA-GCABASHEMs H O MAXON
DEATH OF THANDILE RHUXWANA
Ms L A MNGANGA-GCABASHE: Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the House—
- notes with sadness the death of Thandile Rhuxwana, who lost his life in shack fires that destroyed 18 shacks at Marcus Garvey informal settlement in Philippi East on Saturday night, 1 November 2014, leaving 56 people displaced;
- further notes that 30 more shacks were also destroyed by fire at the Mandela Park informal settlement in Hout Bay on Sunday, 2 November 2014, leaving 60 people homeless;
- encourages people to be cautious, as shack fires are more frequent at this time of the year; and
- conveys its condolences to the Rhuxwana family.
Mr D L TWALA
Ms L A MNGANGA-GCABASHE
WHITE RACISM IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mr D L TWALA: Chair, I move without notice on behalf of the EFF:
That the House—
- notes the continuing white racism in South Africa in the light of reported segregated toilets in a Vleissentraal office in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo;
- further notes that such practices are not limited to rural towns but occur even in major cities, like Johannesburg and Cape Town;
- also notes that the University of Witwatersrand had a similar policy when it came to black cleaning staff, which management justified through its outsourcing policy;
- notes that the SA Human Rights Commission is set to launch an investigation into this matter;
- condemns this act of white racism in the harshest terms possible;
- acknowledges that racism is not a crime in South Africa;
- further notes that the need to criminalise racism is urgent;
- further recommends that the SA Human Rights Commission reports its finding and recommendations to Parliament.
Mr A F MAHLALELA
Mr D L TWALA
FINA SWIMMING WORLD CUP SERIES
Mr A F MAHLALELA: Chair, I move without notice on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the House—
- notes that South Africa’s Olympic gold medallist, Chad le Clos, and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszú were the overall winners of the Fédération Internationale de Natation, Fina, Swimming World Cup series which ended in Singapore on Sunday, 2 November 2014;
- further notes that Le Clos won gold in the 100 m butterfly on the final day to add to his two gold medals in the 50 m and 200 m butterfly events on Saturday;
- acknowledges that, although coming close to world records in all his races, he again just missed out in his last race;
- recalls that with a tally of 27 gold medals in the series, which took place over seven legs starting in Doha, in August, it is the third time Le Clos has won the prestigious title with a purse of US$100 000; and
- congratulates Le Clos on his performance.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Nobody has registered an objection, so it is agreed to. Hon members, please, don’t do that. I’m not going to allow – are you objecting? I don’t want any statements. [Interjections.]
Nkk M S KHAWULA: Cha, cha, cha! Kusemthethweni ukuthi kuthiwe kukhona abantu abazithuphethu la!
No, no, no, no!
The HOUSE CHAIPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, can I hear you properly? Is it parliamentary? Let me translate.
Nkk M S KHAWULA: Cha, cha, cha! Akungadlalwa ngathi la! Asikho isilima la! Hhayi xolisa mfowethu, xolisa!
The HOUSE CHAIPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, state your issue! [Interjections.] No, state your issue. Anybody ... whover called the hon member “stupid”, can you please stand?
Ms N R MASHABELA: Chairperson, this hon member of the DA called the hon member of the EFF “stupid”. He should apologise for what he did.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mackenzie. Alright, hon Mashabela and the hon member, please, if you do that ... [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: No, man, “stupid”, what is “a stupid”?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, with those gestures I will be unable to assist you. Please, listen! There’s complaint by the hon Khawula that she was called “stupid”. Now, I want to verify that. The finger is pointed at the hon Mackenzie. Hon Mackenzie, did you say that?
Mr C MACKENZIE: Hon House Chair, I did not call the member “stupid”. Thank you, Chairperson. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Unfortunately, the microphone was off. Therefore, I can’t rule on that matter, but if you do that, please, this is a House, let’s not do that. Order! Order, hon member!
Ms N R MASHABELA: Hon Chair, yes, he did so - or maybe he was meaning that he’s stupid himself. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Alright, hon member, now you’re making my work more difficult.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: No, but hon Chair, I’m here. I was sitting on this side and the word “stupid” clearly came from that side.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): From the hon Mackenzie?
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Yes, he mustn’t deny something - we heard it on this side. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mackenzie ... [Interjections.]
Mr C MACKENZIE: Chairperson, I withdraw my comment [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mackenzie, please stand. [Interjections.] Hon members, order! Hon Mackenzie, did you call the hon member “stupid”?
Mr C MACKENZIE: No, House Chairperson, I did not. What I said - and I will say this for the Hansard - was the objection to Chad le Clos winning a race and this House celebrating Chad le Clos winning a race, was stupid. I did not say that the member was stupid. Thank you, House Chairperson. [Interjections.] However, I withdraw the remark.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I will report. I will make an investigation and see how we rule on that matter. I’m not going to rule now.
Ms K LITCHFIELD-TSHABALALA: Hon Chair, may I address you? I think the member is incorrect. He’s saying that he was saying the objection is stupid, and nobody objected.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I know that. Sit down, hon member. That’s why I’m saying that I will get advice on this issue. Order, hon members! That concludes ... [Interjections.]
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Hon Chair, excuse me. There’s a witness from that side and there are witnesses here who heard him say so. [Interjections.] There are witnesses here who heard him say so.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Shenge, Baba, I have a problem with ruling.
Dr D T GEORGE: Chairperson, on a point of order ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Please, sit down, I’m speaking. I have a problem with ruling now. That’s why I say that I’m going to seek advice. Even though he was heard, there’s nothing on the Hansard about that, but we will deal with it, I promise. Can you allow me to continue, please?
... ngenhlonipho enkulu, Bab’uShenge.
The House adjourned at 18:14.
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