Hansard: JS: Debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address
House: Joint (NA + NCOP)
Date of Meeting: 17 Feb 2015
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2015
PROCEEDINGS AT JOINT SITTING
TUESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2015
PROCEEDINGS AT JOINT SITTING
Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 14:02.
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces took the Chair.
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
START OF DAY
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, I would like to address you on a point of order. May I proceed?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please proceed.
Dr C P MULDER: Thank you, Ma’am. Hon Chairperson, we have received the minutes of the proceedings of last Thursday evening and, if you have a look at the minutes, not only are they incomplete but they are also not a true reflection of what happened in the House.
I would like to refer you to the National Assembly Rules. I know this is a Joint Sitting, but I want to refer you to the National Assembly Rules, specifically Rule 327 and Rule 328, because the National Assembly Rules remain in force if in the Joint Rules there is no provision. That goes for the NCOP as well.
Rule 327 says the following: The minutes of proceedings shall be noted by the Secretary and shall, after having been perused by the Speaker, be printed and supplied to members. That has been done, and I have to accept that the Speaker has perused the printed minutes.
Then, Rule 328 says regarding Journals of the National Assembly: The minutes of proceedings signed by the Secretary shall constitute the journals of the National Assembly. That goes for the Joint Sitting as well.
However, that is not the problem, Chairperson. If you look at the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, Act 4 of 2004, you will find the definitions clause at the beginning. The definition of what journals mean is given. It says:
Journals mean any recording of the proceedings of Parliament, or a House or a committee, including minutes, manuscripts and tape recordings.
Then, I want to refer you to section 20 of the same Act. This is where the problem lies, Madam Chairperson. The proceedings of Thursday evening may very well lead to legal action, and we are all aware of the fact that there have perhaps already been legal proceedings instigated. Section 20 of this Act says: “Admissibility of journals as evidence” - the minutes are seen as such. Section 20 says the following:
In any proceedings before a court, or any other tribunal in which the proceedings of Parliament or a House are relevant, a copy of the journals printed or purported to have been printed by all of the Houses or the House concerned, or the Speaker or Chairperson, is admissible as evidence of the journals without any proof being given that the copy was so printed.
Now, Madam Chairperson, this is our problem. If you look at the printed minutes – and I have to accept that the Speaker perused them before they were signed by the Secretary, printed and sent out to all the members and the media – you will not find any indication of exactly what happened in terms of the jamming of the signal, the points of order taken in that regard, as well as the undertaking given by the Speaker that that matter will be investigated.
Madam Chairperson, all I am asking for, in terms of the Rules and in terms of the provisions of the Act, is that those minutes be rectified. We cannot accept the current minutes as a true reflection of what happened on Thursday evening. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, members!
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Chair?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd, I want to rule on the point of order raised by the hon Mulder. Please take your seat. Please take your seat. Order, members! Order! Hon Mulder, I am indeed aware of the matters you are raising. The Speaker and I have had sight of the minutes and we want to give you the assurance that the minutes and the issues you are raising with us will be investigated. We want to assure you that by tomorrow’s sitting the minutes will be put in the manner in which they are usually put.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Thank you very much, Chair. With the assurance that the minutes that were deliberately concocted are going to be corrected, we can now at least substitute one issue that we wanted to raise with regard to that ... [Inaudible.] ... reflective of that issue.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd!
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: The second issue we want to raise is with regards to ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd, firstly, I had not recognised you. I would have recognised you had you given me the chance. Secondly, I have given my word to this House that the minutes will be ready by tomorrow according to the standard that this House, the National Assembly, and the Joint Sitting’s minutes are usually followed. Take my word for it.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Can I then continue on the point of order and in terms of my understanding of the Rules ... [Interjections.] ... and I am on a point of ... [Inaudible.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: I am rising on a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chief Whip, are you rising on a point of order?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: There can’t be another member rising on a point of order when I am still on the floor. [Interjections.] Could the Chief Whip ... [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chief Whip, I will come back to you. Go on.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Could the Chief Whip sit down? The programme of the Joint Sitting is agreed upon in the Joint Programming Committee. We agreed that this session is going to ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: My point of order relates to the previous matter and not to this one, so I can’t wait for him to finish. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chief Whip, please be patient. I will give you a chance. [Interjections.] Continue, Comrade Floyd.
An HON MEMBER: Call the police! Call the police! [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Shivambu?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: I think those services of the other day ... [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please address me, hon Shivambu.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Let me continue, Chair. The programme of the Joint Sitting is agreed upon in the Joint Programming Committee which says what should happen. We agreed in that committee that this sitting should start at 10:00 to debate the state of the nation address. Why are we starting at 14:00? We want drivers tonight as those rascals who came to harass us here came at night. We are not comfortable working into the night because the majority of our members get harassed and assaulted by the rascals here.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please get to the point.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Why are we starting at 14:00 when there was an agreement that we would start at 10:00?
Chair, the last issue is that somewhere the Speaker said that elected members of this House are cockroaches and thugs. Where is she because we want her to clarify that issue before we deal with most of the issues? We want to be assured that, while interacting with hon members, we can at least respect our integrity as individuals and that we not be referred to as insects. We want to deal with that issue before we proceed. Could that be noted, Chair?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Chief Whip, you had a point of order? I will rule on this matter.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chair, the hon Shivambu is casting aspersions on the persons and positions of the Speaker and Chair by accusing them of having concocted the minutes. I want him to withdraw that.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Singh?
Mr N SINGH: Thank you, hon Chairperson. I rise on the question of the minutes and would like to suggest that because the Joint Rules don’t make provision for how minutes should be recorded and how what transpires in the House should be captured, that you refer the matter to the Joint Rules Committee so that they can deal with the question of minutes, their recording and other matters related to them.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I don’t want to make a big issue of something which I have already undertaken will be dealt with by tomorrow. Remember that the minutes for the state of the nation addresses are always read together with Hansard, and all that information will be provided tomorrow.
On the matter raised by the hon Shivambu about minutes being concocted and whatever, that is the member’s opinion. The minutes in Parliament are compiled in a particular way. They are then brought to the attention of the presiding officers, so there is no concoction of minutes. However, I have already said that the minutes will be worked on.
On the insect matter ... [Laughter.] ... the hon member used the word insects, so I’m just using the word he used. Hon members, I think we are aware that there is an insect matter which is doing the rounds. We are also aware that that matter did not happen in this House. We also want to allow for space to deal with this matter. So, hon Floyd, that matter does not belong to the Joint Sitting of this Parliament. Hon Steenhuisen?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chair, as you know the House operates on precedents, and rulings that come from the Chair and from you form the precedents that determine how we conduct ourselves thereafter. In light of this matter, I think it’s very important - and I’ve checked through Hansard, so I’m aware of it - that the Speaker herself, when making a ruling for members of this House to be removed, relied on comments that related to threats of disruption that had been made outside this House. She relied upon those for her ruling. [Applause.] I would submit to you that if we are going to make rulings in the House they must be consistent with each other. [Applause.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chair, I would really like to add to that if you don’t mind.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is it a point of order?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Yes, Chair. May I address you?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, address me.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: We would really like to submit that the dignity and authority of this House are invested in particular in the presiding officers and, above all, in the Speaker. Her utterances, wherever she is, particularly about matters that happen in this House – she was talking about games that are played elsewhere – could have been a matter of debate, but firstly, she was referring to hon members that she presides over and that she rules over, and, secondly, about things that happened in this House. It is really critical for the type of relationship we all want to share here - of respect, of sound - that we can respect her as the Speaker. [Interjections.] She really needs to withdraw the comments on irritants, on insects and on all the violence that she was calling for on hon members. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Ndlozi and hon Steenhuisen, you have made your points. Hon Steenhuisen, you are right. Our rulings set precedents. You are also right in that I do not want to make a precedent of presiding over the utterances or otherwise of another presiding officer, because I know that you know that provision is made in terms of the Rules and in terms of the Constitution of this country for issues regarding presiding officers.
You are also right in saying that the Speaker is a presiding officer and a leader of this House. I cannot make a ruling and I cannot apologise on behalf of the Speaker. What I can do is to convey the sentiments and message of this House to the Speaker. [Interjections.]
That is not a point of order and it’s not a matter I am going to respond to. I will convey the sentiments and the messages that come from this House on the matter of the utterances she is alleged to have made. Hon Ndlozi?
TAKE ENDS AT 14:16
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Thanks, Chair. I would really like you to clarify this for us. The hon Speaker is an hon member of this House. She is not above the rulings and the Rules of this House. None of us are, including her. Therefore, I would like to challenge you, Chairperson, in that it is incorrect to say that you cannot make a ruling that binds her. It is not a sentiment that she must withdraw the questions ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Ndlozi, I would like to remind you of one thing. I am very sorry to interject. Firstly, this is a Joint Sitting. Secondly, you are asking a presiding officer to sit in judgment of another presiding officer, and I think there is something very wrong. That process of how the House – Parliament – deals with issues which it is not happy about regarding presiding officers is outlined. Please follow that route. You are making me very uncomfortable. You want me to make a ruling on a matter that I am not competent to do.
Hon members, she is the Speaker of the National Assembly. Therefore, she is accorded certain responsibilities and authorities in this House. That is why there is a whole procedure which is set out on any discontent that the Houses might have about their presiding officers. Now, if you will, I would like to get on with the business of the day. [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Chair ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Malema, are you ... ?
Mr J S MALEMA: May I address you?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are insisting.
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Chair?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am asking whether you are insisting.
Mr J S MALEMA: Everybody else spoke here, and they were never asked that question.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Proceed.
Mr J S MALEMA: I do not know what the problem is here because every time I speak in this House ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No! No! Proceed.
Mr J S MALEMA: ... there is a big problem. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Proceed, hon Malema.
Mr J S MALEMA: No! No! [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, comrades and members! [Laughter.]
Mr J S MALEMA: This is what we are dealing with here: comradeship instead of matters of Parliament ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Malema!
Mr J S MALEMA: Will you withdraw that “comrades” first? [Laughter.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I said “hon members” when I realised what I had said.
Mr J S MALEMA: Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: In any case, in South Africa, almost all of us are comrades. You were my comrade not long ago. [Interjections.] Proceed, hon Malema.
Mr J S MALEMA: Chair, I want to just make a point that we make a terrible mistake if we come with preconceived and predetermined responses to questions. If this matter is raised here, the best thing for you to do is to say, “I note this matter and I shall come back to you,” so that you go back and consult the Speaker of Parliament. [Interjections.]
However, because you have been told to come and dismiss us, you do not even subject this matter to a process. We want to discuss the state of the nation, and we do not want to cause any problems. That is why we are here, so we are asking that you do not just dismiss it without subjecting it to some consultation with the hon Speaker. As another presiding officer, you are correct in saying that you cannot make a ruling on another presiding officer, but please take our concerns and raise them with her, and let’s see whether she will come back and apologise. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Order, members!
Mr J S MALEMA: We are pleading that you do not come with predetermined responses because those are the things that collapse this House. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Malema, you did not listen to me. [Interjections.] I started where you have ended. Firstly, I said that you should not make me preside and rule over a fellow presiding officer. Secondly, I said I would convey the feelings of this House about the utterances of the Speaker. That is what I said, something that you are saying in different words. I did not dismiss it. I did not come here with predetermined whatevers.
I think we must leave it at that, hon members. I will convey the message and the sentiments of the House. Now, I want to continue with the business of the day. Secretary, please read the Order of the Day. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Chair, I raised the issue about the process of how this House is constituted. The programme of events is agreed upon elsewhere, not ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd! Hon Floyd Shivambu, please take your seat!
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Please address me on that so that ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd Shivambu, please take your seat. This is a Joint Sitting. This is a Joint Sitting, and I have outlined how this process ... you want the process of the Minutes. I have said we will follow the usual process of giving the minutes for the Joint Sitting. I have addressed you. You brought up the issues of the utterances out there. I have said there is a particular manner in which Parliament deals with its business. That process must be followed. I then made a third point, stating that I would go and convey the sentiments, the feelings of the House, to the Speaker. [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: No, hon Chair, you are not listening to Floyd. You are making a mistake. In terms of the decision of the National Assembly Programming Committee, we were supposed to start at 10:00. Now we are starting at 14:00, and there is no explanation as to why this thing changed without the consultation of the programming committee. That is where all of us participate in determining how this Parliament is going to be run. You are not going to do it alone.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are right. I responded to the earlier questions. Hon members, the Joint Sitting is called by both Houses. We, in the NCOP, had urgent business that we had to attend to. Therefore, we couldn’t have been around at 10:00 when we were dealing with the urgent business of the matter of a dissolution of a KwaZulu-Natal municipality issued in terms of section 139(1)(c).
As to whether this matter was communicated at the Chief Whips’ Forum and the programming committee, I do not know. I will find out, but that is the reason why the NCOP was not available to be in this House at 10:00. I would like the Secretary to read the Order.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Chair, could you put it on record that the explanation you gave is not correct, because the hon Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC said that we were going to start at 14:00 because the President was busy with something else? This is basically saying that this Parliament’s programme is determined by a President who is supposed to come and be accountable to us. [Interjections.]
We agreed in the programming committee that this is when we want to deal with issues of this Parliament and then, because he is busy somewhere else, he does not come to account here. You have changed the programme just like that because of one person. Four hundred elected Members of Parliament are being given the run-around by one President who is supposed to account here. [Interjections.] Let’s put it on record that it must never happen again. We can let it go for now. It must never happen again that we change the programme of Parliament because a President is not available. Please! [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd Shivambu, the NCOP had to have a sitting. That sitting took place. That is the reason why a Joint Sitting could not take place without the other House. As to what you as whips discussed – you and the Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC – I am not privy to that. I have also said that if - and I do not even know whether - the NCOP had to have an urgent sitting today to deal with issues of municipalities was conveyed to you... any other matter, I think, we will discover when we engage with the whips outside this meeting. Secretary, read the Order.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Van Lingen?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: May I speak?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Speak.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: The Whippery had a meeting this morning. In the Whippery meeting we were told that because of the changes in the programme of the President, the meeting – the Joint Sitting – was scheduled for this afternoon at 14:00 ... [Interjections.] ... and that we could slot in our sitting in the NCOP this morning. So, that is the exact opposite, and I concur with the previous speaker. The stories don’t make sense.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Van Lingen!
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Furthermore, it was not approved by our programming committee to have that meeting this morning on behalf of the NCOP. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Van Lingen, I preside ... No, hon Nzimande, may I suppress you. [Interjections.] We had to have a sitting. I have made a ruling. If members of the National Assembly and now the NCOP say to us, when you want to change the programme, please communicate properly and timeously, that point I accede to. That I agree that we must do, but I think that the whips also need to go and fix whatever it is that they tell each other when we are not there. Hon Deputy Chief Whip, please bear in mind that I have ruled on the matter.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Alright, thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Secretary, please read the Order.
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE
STARTS AT 14:28
DEBATE ON THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Madam Chair, His Excellency the President of the Republic J G Zuma, His Excellency Deputy President Ramaphosa, Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
premiers here present, hon members, distinguished guests, comrades and friends, at the outset, I wish to congratulate our compatriot Mr Wouter Kellerman on winning a Grammy Award a few days ago. He collaborated with Ricky Kej in the New Age category, and it is with great joy and happiness that we congratulate the pair on winning this Grammy Award.
The album, titled Winds of Samsara, is inspired by the spirit of former President Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. Both leaders shared a common vision of peace, love and prosperity for humanity.
We are working with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services to promote the Bill of Responsibility, Constitutional Values and National Symbols in schools and society. We encourage the reciting and understanding of the preamble to the Constitution. This is done to ensure that our children grow up with positive values and a love for their country and their people. We should start identifying projects in our schools and society that give life to these values.
On our national symbols, the President highlighted the following:
We are already inculcating a new national identity through promoting national symbols, such as the national flag, the national anthem and the Preamble to the Constitution, in every school.
Prior to 1994, there was no nation to speak of. There was no nation. Since the democratic breakthrough, we have embarked on a process of nation-building. These symbols are at the core of being a nation. These tangible and intangible features of our nationhood begin with the appreciation and understanding of the national symbols that define us. These range from our flag, our national anthem, our national days, the coat of arms and the national orders to the animals and plants which the country holds dear.
Language is the bedrock of culture. Hence, we must take deliberate action to keep our indigenous languages alive.
During the celebration of Heritage Day in September 2014, we publicly launched a book called Passport of Patriotism in the North West province. This important booklet is intended to deepen the awareness and consciousness of the nation on its national symbols.
Together with the Department of Basic Education, this year will see a mass roll-out of flags to schools as part of the Flag in Every School campaign. Over 15 000 flags have already been hoisted in schools across the country. In the second phase of this campaign, government will also roll out African Union flags, the AU Anthem and the Agenda 2063 document in every school to cement our oneness with our continent. Emphasising this point, the President echoed the following words:
From this year, schools must also practise the African Union anthem in preparation for the celebration of Africa Month in May, as we implement the African Union decision in this regard.
From May onwards, every government building must hoist an African Union flag alongside our national flag. The month of May will be designated as Africa Month, during which time we will call on all South Africans to embrace in patriotic libation with our compatriots across Mother Africa and the Diaspora. The clarion call during this month-long celebration of our Africanness is, “We are Africa - Opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo.”
During Africa Month, we will feature various genres of the arts, culture and heritage. The Africa Month festivities, hosted with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, will give life to the AU 2063 vision of the African Cultural Renaissance, which aims to propel Africa’s development and integration. This gift of a common ancestry and shared heritage is the fodder that will see us, as the African continent, accelerating the restoration of our glory to become a true global industrial giant.
For its part, government is playing a leading role in uniting our people across all divides of race, colour and creed. Together with the Department of Sport and Recreation, in November last year, we hosted a programme under the theme, Unite for Mandela, Generation 2.0, which was a resounding success. In this campaign, South Africans participated in sport and cultural activities, such as cycling, walking, running, a fashion showcase, and the performing arts - in particular, poetry and music. This year, the campaign should expand across the country.
Apartheid spatial patterns mean limited opportunity for the sharing of space across race and class. Thus, there is still limited interaction across race. The social, psychological and geographical elements of apartheid continue to shape the lives and outlook of many South Africans, even though apartheid no longer exists on the Statute Book.
In December 2014, on Reconciliation Day, we continued on the journey towards a reconciled society with the opening of a bridge as a symbol of uniting amaZulu and Voortrekkers, who fought in Ncome, in 1838. Speaking at the opening, the President said:
Both groups have crossed the river and crossed the bridge in the literal and figurative senses, which demonstrates that reconciliation is possible if both sides make an effort.
We believe this is important because reconciliation does not mean forgetting or trying to bury the painful history of conflict. It means that while we remember the pain of the past, we will not allow it to stop us from building a better tomorrow. Indeed, if you want to go far, go together.
The long walk to nationhood begins with the smallest steps. When we begin to learn one another’s languages, to tolerate one another’s cultures and religion, to listen to one another’s fears and aspirations, to understand our pains and our dreams, we begin to find the Mandela within us. While our economy will continue to build bridges through concrete and mortar, as people we must build bridges of human compassion and solidarity that will outlive time itself, through the sinews in our hearts.
The President spoke about the repatriation of the remains of national liberation heroes, Moses Kotane and J B Marks, to be reburied in South Africa, in March. His Excellency went on to express appreciation to the government and people of the Russian Federation for looking after the mortal remains of our heroes with dignity for so many decades. We have already begun the process to facilitate the repatriation of the mortal remains of these struggle stalwarts in collaboration with the Minister in the Presidency, the Departments of Defence and Military Veterans, Public Works, International Relations and Co-operation, and the North West provincial government.
As the nation is aware, these great patriots can rightly be considered the founding fathers of our liberation struggle. [Applause.] These are people who inspired the likes of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, among others, to become the selfless leaders that they turned out to be in life. We also want to express our appreciation to the President for according the reburials of these outstanding patriots the status of special official funerals. [Applause.]
We will continue to build an inclusive heritage over the next five years through building imposing monuments and other symbols that honour the heroes of the struggle that delivered the freedom and democracy we all enjoy today. Work is under way on many seminal legacy projects, which include discussions with provinces on the National Liberation Heritage Route. Similarly, advanced preparations have been made with the Metro of Tshwane and with the Gauteng provincial government in commencing with the building of the Heroes’ Acre in Tshwane as a national monument to honour the triumph of the people against colonialism and apartheid.
More recently, the mortal remains of celebrated and iconic author, Nathaniel “Nat” Nakasa, returned to the land of his forefathers. As a tribute to Nakasa and the countless literary giants of our nation - including the recently departed and eminent author, Andre Brink - the government will promote a culture of lifelong learning and reading. We are committed to working towards improving access to information and opening the doors of learning, reading and writing to all. To this extent, we also need to appreciate the efforts and passion of the Deputy President in encouraging the youth to read. Last week, on Wednesday, 11 February, the Deputy President launched a book club in Harare Township in Khayelitsha.
One of the pillars of government’s work, as defined in the National Development Plan, is nation-building and social cohesion. These tenets are at the heart of the quest for a truly united, democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous society. In the words of our founding father, the late President Nelson Mandela, nation-building, social cohesion and reconciliation are “a spiritual process which requires more than just a legal framework. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of people.”
It is an abiding aspiration of the overwhelming majority of South Africans that, by 2030, our people will be more conscious of the things they have in common than of their differences. Their lived experiences will progressively undermine and cut across the divisions of race, gender, disability, space and class. The nation will be more accepting of peoples’ multiple identities.
As we enter the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society, we have to embark on radical socioeconomic transformation to push back the resilient fault lines of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The new society cannot emerge without new arts, culture and heritage. To create it, however, the society must feel the world in a new way. We must continue to build understanding, tolerance and reconciliation, and together fight racism, tribalism, Afrophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, and all related intolerances.
To this end, we need to invoke the Moral Regeneration Movement Charter of Positive Values. These values entail the following, amongst other things: generating a moral vision for South Africa by defining what constitutes morality and rightful conduct, thus laying the foundation for commitment; restoring and anchoring values enshrined in the Constitution, including respect for human rights and accepting accountability for one’s being and actions; respecting human dignity and equality; and improving material wellbeing and economic justice.
Our call today is for all South Africans to “find the Mandela within”, because his spirit resides in each and every one of us. His long walk is the embodiment of the African proverb which teaches us that if you want to go far, go together. When these bridges of the heart are built, we will begin to heal and free our society from the cancer of racism, xenophobia, Afrophobia, tribalism and cultural chauvinism, because, in that way, we shall have found the Mandela within.
The spiritual process about which Madiba spoke must include the consensus that our prosperity must be driven by the quest for inclusive economic growth. It is a consciousness born of the acceptance that our economy truly belongs to all South Africans, black and white.
The successes of nation-building and social cohesion depend on changing the material conditions of all South Africans for the better. In this quest, we are informed by the precepts of the country’s Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, which recognise that attached to individual freedom is individual responsibility, and attached to collective freedom is collective responsibility. These principles and values are borrowed from the wisdom and magnanimity of the Freedom Charter, a timeless monument of courage, nationhood and justice, which was authored by all our people, black and white.
We look forward to the fruition of the Mzansi Golden Economy, a flagship programme of the department, through which government intends to harness and grow national economic prosperity through the creative industries.
To protect the rights of artists and creative workers so that they do not to fall prey to unscrupulous individuals in the industry, work is at an advanced stage towards the formation of the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa. The launch will take place in March this year. [Applause.]
In conclusion, at the heart of these pursuits must be the recognition that to go far, we must go together. On that journey, I urge all of us to find the Mandela within us, and, in that way, together we will move South Africa forward. I thank you. [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS 14:45
Mr M A MAIMANE
TAKE 4 STARTS 14H45
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon President, hon Deputy President, hon members of this House, fellow South Africans and those sitting in the gallery ...
... bagaetsho, dumelang.
Eleven days ago we lost one of South Africa’s literary giants, Prof André Brink. Our sadness at his passing is tempered only by the great literature he bequeathed us. Prof Brink taught us a powerful lesson. He taught us that you cannot blame a faceless system for the evils in society. It is human beings who perpetrate wrongs against others. And it is human beings who have the power to correct those wrongs. We would do well to heed these lessons as we debate the state of the nation address today.
If we are to succeed as a nation we need to start believing in the power of human agency. We need to resurrect the idea that the choices we make and the actions we take matter. It is true that the uneven legacy of the apartheid system weighs heavy on us. It is a fact that black children still do not have the same opportunities as white children. This is a human tragedy that nobody in this House should ever accept.
Much has been done to redress the past, make no mistake. Life in South Africa today is certainly better than it was during apartheid, but we need to hold ourselves to a much higher standard than that. We need to become the nation that President Nelson Mandela helped us believe we could become, a place of hope, prosperity, selfless leadership and mutual respect.
So, I think the question we must ask ourselves today is: What is holding us back from achieving Madiba’s vision? We can blame apartheid. We can blame the global financial system. We can even blame Jan van Riebeeck, if you like. [Interjections.] But in our hearts we know exactly what the problem is. We have allowed those in power to become bigger than our institutions, breaking them down bit by bit. [Applause.]
We have indeed allowed one powerful man to get away with too much for far too long. [Interjections.] [Applause.] This honourable man is in our presence here today. Hon President, in these very chambers just five days ago you broke Parliament. Please understand that when I use the term “honourable”, I do it out of respect for the traditions and conventions of this august House. But please do not take it literally. For you, hon President, are not an honourable man. You are a broken man presiding over a broken society. [Applause.]
You are willing to break every democratic institution to try to fix the legal predicament you find yourself in. You are willing to break this Parliament if it means escaping accountability for the wrongs you have done. On Thursday afternoon, outside this very House, Members of Parliament were being arrested and assaulted by your riot police. A few hours later inside this House, our freedom to communicate was violated by an order to jam the telecommunications network. Not long after that armed police officers in plain shirts stormed into this sacred Chamber and physically attacked members of this House. This was more than an assault on Members of Parliament; it was an assault on the very foundations of our democracy. [Applause.]
Parliament’s constitutional obligation to fearlessly scrutinise and oversee the executive lost all meaning on Thursday night. In fact, the brute force of the state won and the heart of our nation was broken.
Ibingikhumbuza ogqoka sihambe, batshele abantu ukuthi, “Gqoka sihambe.”
We knew at that very moment that our democratic order was in grave danger. But, here is the question: What did you do, Mr President? You laughed. [Interjections.] You laughed while the people of South Africa cried for their beloved country. You laughed while trampling Madiba’s legacy in the very week that we celebrated 25 years of his release. Hon President, we will never ever forgive you for what you did on that day.
I led my party out of these chambers on Thursday night because we could not sit by and watch while our Constitution was being destroyed right in front of us. We could not. [Applause.] In fact, the justices walked out; they walked out with the defenders of the Constitution. [Interjections.] When we emerged from this Chamber, we heard the President reading the cold and empty words of his prepared text. They were words of a broken man presiding over a broken society.
For six year he has run from 783 counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering that have haunted him from before the day he was elected. For six years, this broken man has spent his waking hours plotting and planning to avoid his day in court. In this broken man’s path of destruction lies a litany of broken institutions, each one of them targeted because of their constitutional power to hold him to account. A broken SA Revenue Service, Sars, that should have investigated the fringe tax benefits from Nkandla, the palace of corruption that was built by the people’s money, a broken National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, that should have continued with its prosecution of the President without fear or favour, a broken Special Investigations Unit, SIU, a broken Hawks, a broken SA Police Service, SAPS. And so we can go on with the list of institutions President Zuma is willing to break to protect himself and his friends.
This is why we are a broken society - because the abuses do not stop at the door of the Union Buildings. The power abusing is happening at every level. We have seen mini-President Zumas in government, in municipalities - all over South Africa, in fact.
Hon members, I went to Mogalakwena. I met a woman there who had not been able to bath for days. It wasn’t because of me. The lack of water in Mogalakwena was not a system failure. It was a failure of your local comrades, to use that term, who, in that community, have started to fight amongst each other and have long forgotten the people of Mogalakwena. That’s whose fault it was. [Applause.]
It was, in fact, that ANC councillors waged a factional war, simply fighting over power not for the rights of the people of this country. Local police officers, with a duty to serve the community, have been co-opted by factions to intimidate residents and to suppress protests. As the war rages on, rubbish piles up, sewerage pipes continue to leak, and the taps, in fact, run dry. This is all because of broken men presiding over broken towns and broken cities, but they have learnt from the best.
Fa ke fitlha kwa Atteridgeville, ke kopane le rre o o eteletseng hosepese pele. O sotlwa ke motlakase o o kgaolwang mo lefelong la gagwe. Fa madi a hosepese a tshwanetse go tlhokomela batho ba ba bobolang, rre yo, o dirisa madi a go tshela lookwane mo sefetlha-motlakaseng.
This is their last line of defence against an electricity crisis that plagues them on a daily basis. The daily struggle of this community-funded organisation is just one example of the devastating impact this electricity crisis is having on households, businesses, schools, hospitals and countless facets of society.
Where is the accountability from this broken man, who claims to be our President, when all he can offer is more of the same? [Interjections.] All he does is promise to bail out Eskom and secure its monopoly over power. Load shedding is a crisis that will take our economy to the brink of an economic shutdown. Our economy has lost R300 billion since 2008 because, without a stable electricity supply, manufacturers cannot produce, investors are driven away and, ultimately, jobs are lost.
That is why, Mr President, when you stand here and promise more of the same - jobs every year that never materialise - we simply cannot believe you. On Thursday the President said that the National Development Plan’s ambition to grow by 5% by 2019 was at risk as a result of slow global growth and domestic constraints. How is it then that other SADC countries are growing at a rate of 5,6%, facing the same external pressures? The answer is that our real constraints are because of our policy failures of this particular government.
In his nine-point plan he failed to address the needs of a solid economic infrastructure. Instead, he left the electricity monopoly with Eskom. He gave the broadband monopoly to Telkom, and then left the SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, to toll our roads in Gauteng. The legacy of this will mean more government bailouts and failing infrastructure, leading us to more job losses, more debt and a broken society. This broken man has indeed broken our economy.
Despite all his past promises, what President Zuma failed to tell us last week was that today there are 1,6 million more South Africans living without jobs than when he took office in 2009, living and breathing human beings being robbed of their feeling of self-worth and their ability to provide for their families.
From Ikageng, to Nelson Mandela Bay, to Soweto, I met unemployed youths who have lost hope in finding jobs. They are victims of an unequal education that serves the interests of a powerful teacher union over learners, in which poorer schools go without textbooks, desks and proper classrooms. The consequences, as parents in Riverlea told me, are that crime and drugs continue to enslave our young people and druglords and criminals operate freely within our community. This is the state of a broken society, battling under the burdens of unemployment, crime, power cuts and an unequal education system.
South Africa may be a broken society under a broken President, but the spirit of our people is a lot harder to break. [Applause.] We are standing today as people because South Africans were able to free themselves from the worst form of oppression under apartheid. Today, we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights that are admired across the world. We have an obligation to future generations of South Africans to make sure that we continue to fight for a fairer society, in which there are greater opportunities for all to live a better life, in which the rights and freedoms granted to us by the Constitution are protected. But, on Thursday, we received a weak account of the state of the nation from a broken President.
We can have a stable electricity supply in South Africa, but a war room is certainly not going to solve it. The President knows what needs to be done to keep the lights on. And this is it: you’ve got to break the Eskom monopoly. As long as they are in charge of the national grid, they will act to prevent any meaningful contributions by independent power producers to our electricity supply. And, more seriously, Mr President, you must abandon the R1 trillion nuclear deal. Future generations will pay for these electricity price hikes while we wait for over a decade to see any power. Of course, the secrecy behind this deal means there is scope for corruption on a mega arms deal level as we have seen.
We can and we must have an equal education system where schools are properly resourced, teachers are well trained and there is a commitment from school principals. There are many hardworking educators out there, but the President ignores the need to hold principals and teachers accountable when they fail our children.
We believe it’s possible for entrepreneurs to flourish, with an economy that grows at 8% and creates millions of jobs if we make the right choices. But the government’s ideas are stale. We need economic infrastructure that is reliable. We need tax incentives for established businesspeople to participate in mentorship programmes. We need a national venture capital fund to fund start-ups. We need to roll out opportunity centres where advice and support is readily available. We need a real youth wage subsidy that benefits even the smallest of businesses.
We believe it’s possible for our country to be a place where streets are safe and communities are healthy places to raise families, where the police are properly managed and trained. Our communities are overrun by druglords - and the President said nothing about crime on Thursday. Where are the specialised anti-drug units? Drug crime has doubled since these were taken away. People don’t trust the police, but if the SAPS is going to have its integrity restored it needs to start right at the top with the National Police Commissioner. [Applause.] Our crime-fighting institutions, such as the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority, the NPA, and the Special Investigating Unit, the SIU, must be led by people committed to fairness and justice, and be free from interference from powerful political interests.
We believe it’s possible to realise a vision of South Africa where every effort is made to redress the legacy of apartheid through a land reform programme that truly benefits those who were denied access to land. All the President has offered is a populist proposal to ban foreign land ownership. This will only kill investment and jobs.
The 17,5 million hectares of fertile soil in communal land must be unlocked for reform purposes. State-owned land must be fully audited and used to fast-track redistribution to deserving beneficiaries, and farm workers must become farm owners in partnership with commercial farmers through the National Development Plan’s system of identifying and purchasing available land on the market.
Mongameli, uyalwazi olwaa xwebhu lweSicwangciso soPhuhliso seSizwe ...
... the NDP, the one that the Ministers don’t read? That one. That’s the one. But we all know that half of the people who are sitting behind you don’t support the NDP and will not implement it. Only through bold reforms that go to the heart of the problem will we meaningfully redress the legacy of restricted access to land.
The tide is turning in our country. As Prof Brink wrote in his most celebrated work, A Dry White Season, the image that presents itself is one of water:
A drop held back by its own inertia for one last moment, though swollen of its own weight, before it irrevocably falls ... as if the water, already sensing its own imminent fall, continues to cling, against the pull of gravity, to its precarious stability, trying to prolong it as much as possible.
Madam Speaker, let me help you. Change may seem slow, but it is coming. There is a swell starting to build and when the wave crashes, it will sweep away this broken man out of power. [Applause.] When that happens we will be there to start fixing our broken society and unleash the potential of every South African. That is why the party I lead in this Parliament will not join other parties in breaking down our institution, because one day when we are in government we will want the very same institutions and this Parliament to hold us to account. [Applause.]
So, we will work within the institutions of democracy to hold this government to account, and we will continue creating opportunities for all where we govern. We will work tirelessly to build a truly democratic alternative in South Africa. Indeed, I stand before you pronouncing that for my children and your children their future can only be bright under the DA when we come to power. [Applause.] [Interjections.] That change is coming, and I would propose you get ready for it. We will restore power to the people. Nkosi sikelel’ i-Afrika! Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso! Let us live and strive for freedom in South Africa, our land. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
NS (English & IsiXhosa)/ Mosa (Sesotho bit)/ EKS (Setswana phrases)
Mr J S MALEMA
TAKE STARTS 15H04
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Mr J S MALEMA: Chairperson, Deputy Speaker, leadership of the EFF led by the deputy president of the EFF and the secretary-general, the President of the ANC Mr Jacob Zuma, we are here today to debate the state of the nation address, taking note of the fact that when it was presented we were not here because the Speaker ordered the police to forcibly remove and assault us for asking the simple question of when, Mr President, you were going to pay back the money.
There is no doubt that you unduly benefited from the construction of your private residence in Nkandla, and, in our absence from this Parliament, you never said anything about the fact that you unduly benefited and must pay back the money. That is a question for another day and you will answer that question on 11 March when we meet here. Today, I am not here to deal with that issue.
When we were away from the Chamber, being assaulted, harassed and manhandled by the police, we know that you mentioned rhetorically the fact that 2015 represents the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, yet nothing you said connects government projects to the people’s manifesto and liberation programme called the Freedom Charter. That is what I am here to deal with today.
You said that 2015 was the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. It is the year of going the extra mile in building a united, democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous South Africa. As a matter of fact, before our leadership of the youth movement, there was no mention of economic freedom in the liberation movement and its entire literature. We started with the concept of the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime and said it was fundamental that it be attained. And we said we were not going to turn our back on the struggle for economic freedom.
We do not have a problem with anyone mentioning the struggle for economic freedom and the Freedom Charter, but whosoever does so must acknowledge that it started when we led the youth movement. Failure to quote that this started under our political and ideological leadership is plagiarism.
Those who claim that we stole the struggle for economic freedom from the Youth League are also misled because we came up with it and left with it. [Interjections.] Currently, we are the only ones who can speak with authority about the contemporary meaning of the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime. That is why we are called the Economic Freedom Fighters.
When we speak about the Freedom Charter, we always mention the reality that when it was adopted in 1955, it was never a programme of the ANC, such that when it was adopted by the ANC in 1956 it led to a split which genuinely questioned the notion that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. This is the question that must still be answered because since dispossession by colonisers, it looks like South Africa belongs to white people only. They own everything and control our lives and the lives of politicians of the ruling party.
What you said here in our absence and when the police were assaulting women MPs, breaking their jaws and fracturing their chins and pulling us by our private parts, is not consistent with what the Freedom Charter says, and we are back in this Chamber to expose you to that reality.
The National Development Plan Vision 2030 is the official programme of the ANC, adopted at its 53rd national conference, and this programme is light years away from the Freedom Charter. Thus, mention of it is meant to mislead the people of South Africa. What we know about the Freedom Charter, which the ANC government will never implement, are the following. The Freedom Charter provides that “The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole”. In your address here you never said anything about the transfer of banks to the people, but complained about banking fees. You never said anything about the transfer of mines and minerals to the people, but referred to the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, because white monopoly capital in the form of Total and ExxonMobil said they do not agree with it.
Private capital, in the form of banks, continues to keep millions of South Africans in debt and many live in homes they do not own; drive cars that they do not own; use household furniture they do not own. South African banks own many of the houses South Africans call their homes. This is the state of the nation.
The Freedom Charter says,”All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people.” What we know is that the ANC is committed to free-market capitalism and will never control trade for the benefit of the people. Many goods and services imported into South Africa do not have tariffs, even in areas where the right wing and neoliberal godfathers like the World Trade Organisation say they can have tariffs.
In fact, your NDP attributes blame to the organised trade union movement and its demand for minimum wages for the high levels of unemployment. Like Gear, or the Growth, Employment and Redistribution strategy, and Asgisa, or the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative-South Africa, the NDP advocates for a flexible labour market.
The Freedom Charter says, “The land shall be shared among those who work it!” What we know is that the ANC has failed dismally to redistribute land and will continue to buy land from those who stole it, despite their admission that the willing-buyer, willing-seller approach to land redistribution has failed dismally.
It is no secret that only the EFF campaigned on the banning of foreign ownership of land. It is only the election manifesto of the EFF which said categorically that there would be no foreign land ownership in South Africa. Thus, your proposal to implement this demand is as a result of how sharply we had raised it broadly in society. [Applause.] However, you went on to say that you would be limiting private ownership of land to 12 000 hectares.
All credible indicators in South Africa illustrate the fact that our country has 14,753 million hectares of arable land. With your formula, Mr President, if we were to allocate this arable land at 12 000 hectares per person, only 1 229 people would have land. That is not even 1% of the people of South Africa.
Langa alone equals 309 hectares, Gugulethu equals 649 hectares, Umlazi equals 4 746 hectares, Mdantsane equals 4 555 hectares and Marikana equals 1 754 hectares. All these combined amount to little over 12 000 hectares, meaning for you, Mr President, that one person can own the townships of Langa, Gugulethu, Umlazi, Mdantsane and Marikana combined. And you think, with this proposal, you are declaring this year the year of the Freedom Charter.
With your formula, an arable piece of land the size of Soweto would only be given to one person because Soweto is 12 000 hectares. The Freedom Charter says, “The land shall be shared among those who work it!” Let us take this further, Mr President of the ANC. The Freedom Charter says, “All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose.” Let’s repeat this: The Freedom Charter says, “All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose”. But when homeless people in the Lusaka community in Mamelodi occupied unoccupied land, your government sent the police to forcefully remove them. In Nellmapius, where 7 000 people had signed up for houses, your government not only sent the police to forcefully remove them, it also sought a court interdict to disallow them from occupying unoccupied municipal land.
In Sasolburg, Zamdela, when homeless people occupied unoccupied land, your government again sent the police, not blankets, water or electricity, and many were arrested and today face criminal charges, all for asking to call South Africa their home.
Your government cannot implement the land clause of the Freedom Charter because it has no commitment to the homeless. It also has no commitment to genuine decolonisation. If you do not know, Mr President, land occupation struggles are happening everywhere in the country, under the bridges in big cities and by the road sides in major towns and metropolitan areas. In addition, you still need to build over 2 million houses for homeless people, unless you want to perpetuate their hobo status.
The Freedom Charter says, “The doors of learning and culture shall be opened!” What we know is that the ANC government has failed dismally to provide free quality education at post-secondary level and has not built adequate capacity to absorb the entirety of students who exit the secondary schooling level.
An average of 49% of the learners who should have sat for exams in 2014 dropped out of school. Your government cannot tell us where they are, what are they doing and under what circumstances. Mr President, this is the state of the nation.
By the admission of your own government, only 204 522 new-entrant opportunities at universities were available this year. This is despite the fact that of the 532 860 Grade 12 pupils who wrote matric in 2014, only 403 874 passed with marks that allow them to study at tertiary universities either for a degree, diploma or a higher certificate. However, your government cannot tell us what will happen to those who cannot find schooling, totalling 199 352. This is the state of the nation.
We are told that thousands of students at Wits University have no place to stay. They sleep in the libraries and corridors of university buildings like all the hobos you keep shooting in the townships. This is the state of the nation. It is a fact that in the 2015 academic year, 90 000 students applied for admission to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and only 7 000 could be admitted, and the university cannot give financial aid to all academically deserving but needy students.
The Freedom Charter says, “Child labour, compound labour ... and contract labour shall be abolished.” In 2013 your own government reported that the number of children affected by child labour remains an estimated 821 000. What is the state of these children, Mr President? Tell us why they are not in school.
In 2012 the labour movement reported that Checkers employs 73 000 workers, of which only 35% are permanently employed earning a minimum of R4 000, while 60% are supplied by labour brokers earning a minimum of R1 800. Pick ’n Pay employs 36 538 workers, of which only 16 000 are employed full time earning a minimum of R4 500. The rest are employed part time earning a minimum of R2 000. At Woolworths, it is estimated that the ratio is 70% casuals to 30% permanent employees. This excludes workers in hotels and restaurants, and in the mining and construction sectors. What is the state of these workers, Mr President? Tell us: Have they realised the Freedom Charter?
The Freedom Charter also says, “Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, crèches and social centres.” What we know is that 21 years since the first inclusive elections, with the ANC in power, more than 15% of the South African population lives in slums and informal settlements without basic services. In fact, those with houses in Zamdela, Mothutlung, Mohlakeng and Malamulele do not have basic services.
The people of Malamulele are part of Limpopo's second biggest local municipality called Thulamela, with the biggest being Polokwane. Your government is refusing to give the people of Malamulele a municipality because they are poor, forgetting that the poverty of Malamulele was worsened by the lack of government services and infrastructure.
The town of Malamulele has not seen many changes since 1994. The villages of Shikundu, Mphambo, Madonsi, Mavambe, Jimmy Jones and Mahonisi have not seen real development. They are within their right to demand a government which will be closer to them.
We want to promise you that your attitude will never take this country forward. If you continue doing what you are doing it will lead to political and social instability. Do not reduce genuine demands of the people to tribalism, because without proper explanations of what causes their continued suffering and exclusion, people will always look for easier reasons.
The Freedom Charter says, “South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war.” Yet your government, Mr President of the ANC, is involved in the illegal wars in Chad, the DRC and the Central African Republic. It also voted for the brutal killing of Muammar Gaddafi in collusion with imperialist forces.
The Freedom Charter also says, “Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all.” But your government killed workers in Marikana and continues to do everything in its power to undo peace through police brutality including in this Parliament.
You shall be known as the President who brought violence and not peace from the workers in Marikana, right to this honourable House. You shall be known as the President whose rule violated the fundamental rights of Members of Parliament to hold the executive accountable.
You shall be known as the hooligan President because you use hooligan tactics to silence the opposition duly elected to represent the aspirations of ordinary and poor South Africans. Only a programme based on the mission of economic freedom in our lifetime can truly change the lives of our people. And that programme is only found in the EFF.
While you are telling the so-called good story here, the children of the Zenzele informal settlement do not have water. While you are telling the so-called good story here, the children of Stjwetla sleep side by side with rats. While you are telling the so-called good story here, mineworkers continue to suffer indignity in the belly of the earth. While you are telling the so-called good story here, Mothutlung and Giyani do not have water. While you are telling the so-called good story here, Mogalakwena has no government and factions of the ruling party are fighting over who should steal more. While you are telling the so-called good story here, the women of Princess Magogo have no sanitary towels.
We have to save these people by removing you from political office and take political power on behalf of the people. Whatever it takes, however long it takes, by whatever revolutionary means, we will take over this country with the aim of total liberation and emancipation.
No amount of violence and harassment will stop us from taking over this country. We will do so because we are a generation with a mission. We are not scared, Mr President, neither are we scared of you or your factions, including state institutions because we know that we shall overcome and victory is certain. Mintirho ya vulavula. [Actions speak louder than words.] [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS 15H23
Prince M G BUTHELEZI
Mr J S MALEMA
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Hon Deputy Speaker, Your Excellency the President, Your Excellency the Deputy President, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members of the House, what happened last Thursday was an embarrassment to our country that should make us deeply ashamed. The integrity of this House was torn to shreds in front of our honoured guests, diplomats, dignitaries, and the citizens we serve, and, in fact, in front of the whole world, leaving us with fundamental questions that must be answered.
Today, however, lest we fail our people again, let us focus the debate on responding to the state of the nation address.
Last Thursday, Mr President, you quoted many numbers. Our citizens could quote many more numbers, like the R300 billion a year which is the loss to our economy from an unstable electricity supply, or the R45 million which is the Presidency’s unauthorised expenditure over just two years, or the 3,2 million unemployed youths who are frankly unimpressed by the 203 000 jobs being created, some of which are no more than just temporary jobs, amatoho. What about 23 million, which is the number of Africans who are living below the poverty datum line?
There are many significant numbers we should be talking about. But, today, I want us to focus on just three numbers: 164, 15 and 40. The number 164 is the difference between a child born into our poorest community and one born in our most affluent suburb. A South African household living on the poverty datum line would need to save every cent of its income for 164 years in order to put a child through one of South Africa’s elite schools: a school with a laboratory, a computer centre and a solid maths programme - 164 years! That is the level of inequality that exists after 21 years of our ANC government. Isn’t it time the ANC started being honest with us?
In 1994, the ANC promised a better tomorrow. In 2015, they are still promising a better tomorrow. But now we know that when they say “tomorrow”, they mean some time in the next 164 years, provided that corruption disappears, the energy infrastructure doesn’t collapse, and our economy miraculously discovers a way to pay back the mounting debt this government is accumulating.
I urge you, Your Excellency, not to ignore the meaning of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, when it points out the amount of bureaucratic squabbling taking place; when it points out the poor planning that is taking place and the weak execution at different levels of government. The words in the report which states, “We will not meet the manifesto target,” simply means that the ANC has misled the electorate.
It is not enough to say that 92 schools have been built. It’s an improvement on the only 33 schools built in 10 years in KwaZulu-Natal. But it comes nowhere near the 1 000 which were promised in the ANC’s election manifesto. It’s nowhere near good enough.
We can commend the strides the government has made in fighting HIV and Aids. In this case, we give credit where credit is due. We all appreciate what the government is doing as far as this scourge is concerned.
But, in so many other areas, the ANC doggedly pursues bad policy. Our economy’s major push forward, which you mentioned, Mr President, will not come from what you called “boosting the role of state-owned companies”. When Eskom needs R23 billion and SA Airways can’t afford to fly internationally anymore, it’s time to stop “supporting state-owned companies”, as the President said. Pouring good money after bad won’t ignite growth in our country.
Let’s consider the UK’s example: When Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher privatised parastatals the economy in Britain dramatically turned around. Instead, as one Business Day reader points out, the ANC seems inclined to follow the Russian policy of Maskirovka, which Stalin once confessed to Churchill meant denial, disinformation and deceit. One hundred and sixty-four symbolises every broken promise and every leadership failure under the ANC.
The second number I want us to focus on is 15. Fifteen is the number of months we have left to awaken South Africa to the power and responsibility that we hold in our hands. In 15 months’ time, we will vote in local government elections. This is our chance to change who runs our municipalities and to put watchdogs in place in municipal councils. This is our chance to change 164, and to make tomorrow a day we can actually see.
The third number is 40. In South Africa there is only one political party with 40 years of experience in governance. There is only one party that hasn’t abandoned its founding principles or somehow changed its values over the course of 40 years. In March 2015, the IFP will celebrate 40 years of service to our nation ... [Laughter.] ... 40 years of speaking truth to power; 40 years of clean governance; and 40 years of courageous leadership. You can laugh until the devil laughs ... [Laughter.] ... his lungs out in hell. [Laughter.] That won’t change the truthfulness of what I am saying. The way to change 164 in 15 is by looking to 40.
In 1975 ...
... Inkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe ...
... Kgare ya Tokologo ya Setšhaba ...
... was founded on the liberation principles that my uncle, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, laid as the foundation of the SA National Native Congress in Bloemfontein - our life’s longest liberation movement in Africa - the principles of equality, inclusivity, negotiation and nonviolence. Those were the principles on which it was built. That was on the approval of the President of the external mission of the ANC, Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo.
At that time, Mr Mandela encouraged those who were incarcerated with him to help me when they were released. Many stalwarts of the ANC joined the IFP, such as the widow, for instance, of our leader iNkosi Albert Luthuli, uMama Nokukhanya Luthuli, who was a card-carrying member of Inkatha. She was, she was ... [Laughter.] She was! You can laugh. She was. [Laughter.]
Soon a million card-carrying members of Inkatha rallied under black, green and gold - the colours of our liberation movement. I was raised in the ANC Youth League, and Inkatha was founded in the mould of the ANC. We shared the same goal of freedom and the same principles. I worked with Oliver Reginald Tambo until 1979. There came a point when our organisations split as our ideologies could no longer coincide.
Then the ANC abandoned our founding principles and engaged in the armed struggle and the people’s war. In the midst of bloodshed and division, it was left to Inkatha to continue the legacy of our original struggle on the principles of 1912. Thus, Inkatha built bridges across racial divides. I brought different peoples together, first through the Buthelezi Commission, then the KwaZulu-Natal Indaba ... [Laughter.] ... which gave us South Africa’s first nonracial and nondiscriminatory government in the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Executive Authority. We proved – long before 1994 – how governance for all by all could be reached. The English have a very good expression about what is going on here: “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”
The SA Black Alliance, which I chaired, included Africans of many ethnic groups, and Indians and coloureds. I worked with Mr Colin Eglin, Dr van Zyl Slabbert and Dr Zac de Beer of the Progressive Federal Party. The only one-on-one meeting that I had with Mr Vorster was when he called me up to Pretoria to ask me why I was being used by the Progressive Federal Party. I said, “Why do say they are using me?” He said, “But you addressed their congresses.” I said, “If the National Party invited me, I would address their congress.” I counted individuals like Ms Helen Suzman and Alan Paton as friends. Even 10 years into democracy, all of you know that I reached out for inclusivity when I established the Coalition for Democracy with Mr Tony Leon.
Inkatha sought to engage parties across the political spectrum, advocating level-headed debate and genuine engagement on the issues. We did this in an environment of firebrand rhetoric and political agitation with the hope of bringing solutions that every South African could embrace.
We seek to unite and not divide our nation. Forty years later, the IFP remains committed to the founding principles of the liberation struggle as propounded in 1912. They are our principles; principles that we can never abandon.
We look now to the state of our nation with deep concern. Mr President, if the ANC returned to the founding principles of 1912, the IFP would stand with the ANC. But while self-deception bars the ruling party from doing what needs to be done, the IFP must continue to stand in opposition even if this means standing alone. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS 15H35
Ms P C MAJODINA
TAKE 7 STARTS 15H35
Prince M G Buthelezi
Nks P C MAJODINA: Sekela Somlomo ohloniphekileyo wale Ndlu, kuwe Mongameli welizwe noSekela wakhe, iziphathamandla zonke ezikhoyo namahlanje, zidwesha nani zidwangube ndivumeleni zinkokeli zam ndithi ngqanga neentsiba zayo, ndithi amaqobokazana angalala endleleni yazini kunyembelekile.
Ndima apha ndize kuvuma kwaye ndibetha umnwe kwintetho yakho Mongameli welizwe.
Ebile ke tlile ho kgalema lenyatso. [Mahofi.]
Ukhongolose, olilweleyo eli lizwe, uthi uyibekile intetho esolungikileyo, enenyani yodwa. Lowo unendlebe makeve kuba kaloku iindlebe zizinto zokuphulaphula. Uye athi ke umntu ongafuniyo ukuphulaphula abenesibhukubhuku nje sentloko, iindlebe zibe yimihombiso. [Kwahlekwa.]
Kaloku Mongameli uwubekile umkhomba-ndlela. Kubalulekile ukuba ndikhe ndigqithe kuMalungu ePalamente amabini. Alilunganga elima kule ndawo lifike lixokisele iNdlu. Lithe elinye ilungu ebelime apha elakhe iqela lezopolitiko liye laphuma; likhokelwa nguye. Hayi akunjalo, yena ulandele amalungu ebemshiya apha ngaphakathi.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, point of order ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member? Hon Majodina, please take your seat. What point are you rising on, hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The English interpretation that came through said that the hon member is rising to respond to the lies told by two members in this House. [Interjections.] I submit that members of this House are honourable; they do not tell lies in this House. I therefore ask that, if that is what the hon member said, that she be asked to withdraw it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, do it quickly.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Apha ilungu ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Withdraw. Yitsho mama, mama yitsho.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Ndenze ntoni?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Withdraw. Please!
Ukuba uthi amalungu axokile. Akutshiwo njalo eNdlwini.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Hayi ndithe aphosisile. [Uwele-wele]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please withdraw. [Interjections.]
Nks P C MAJODINA: Ilungu alixokanga liphosisile. Okwesibini, akuyiyo inyaniso ukuba ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member ...
Mr G A GARDEE: Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no! Hon member, please take your seat ...
Mr G A GARDEE: Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member ...
Mr G A GARDEE: Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Wait a minute! Hon Gardee, no, no! Get to your seat! Don’t even think of doing that!
Hon member, please withdraw and don’t do what you did before. Please!
Nks P C MAJODINA: Ndiyarhoxa Sekela Somlomo ohloniphekileyo.
UMqulu weNkululeko waziwa sithi ngcono singuKhongolose kwaye kumhlathi wesithandathu, owenziwa nguKhongolose, uthi wonke umntu uyalingana phambi komthetho. Bonke abantu baxhamla amalungelo; bonke abantu bayalawula eMzantsi Afrika; iminyango yamaziko ezemfundo ivuliwe; umcimbi womhlaba uyaziwa ukuba ukwinkqubo yokubuyiselwa ebantwini.
Umntu othi akwenziwa nto ngumntu ongayaziyo ukuba i-ANC isekele ngantoni na. [Kwaqhwatywa.] Monagmeli wesizwe, into obuyenza xa ubume kule ndawo, ubunika ingxelo yonyaka omnye. Mihlanu iminyaka yalo rhulumente. Abantu ebebelindele ukuba uza kunika ingxelo yeminyaka emihlanu, noko bebephupha emini.
Sikubonile uqhuba uphuhliso loluntu kakhulu kulo mbutho ngoba namhlanje uhamba kumzila owagangathwa ngobuchule ngooNkosi Dalibhunga kaMthirara kaMandela. Asilahlanga nanye kwizinto ebezimele uQabane uMandela. Thina be-ANC siyazazi izingqi zalo rhulumente kwaye umntu ongafuniyo ukubona ngumntu ofake iindondo endlwini kumnyama. [Kwahlekwa.]
Kubalulekile ukuba nditsho ukuba isidima sabantu bakowethu sibuyile; isidima sabantu abangoomama; abantwana; abantu abakhulu kunye nabantu abakhubazekileyo ngenxa yemithetho epasiswe ngokuvuma, utyikitye wena Mongameli. [Kwaqhwatywa.] Nguye yedwa urhulumente ovumayo ukuba ukhokela isizwe esilambileyo kwaye uza kungenelela ngokunceda ngezibonelelo. Asenzi ilizwe ukuba lixhomekeke kwizibonelelo koko ngurhulumente okhathalayo owaziyo ukuba abantu mabangalali bengatyanga. Ayililo ihlazo loo nto. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Iingcango zivuliwe zokuba abantu mabafunde nakubantwana abangathathi ntweni. Kamnandi ndithetha ndingakhange ndaya kuphonononga, ndenze uphando. Mna ndakhulela endlaleni ndime kule ndawo, andenzi uphando ngendlala. Ngulo rhulumente owayengekho ngexa ndandikhula, ngeba ndaxhamla ngcono kodwa abantwana abazalwe emva kwe-1994 bayaxhamla ngenxa yalo rhulumente. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Izixhobo zokuphila ziyanikezelwa ebantwini bakowethu. Aba bafuna ukuqala amashishini, ulutsha noomama baqala amashishini baqhube. Inamhlanje lingcono kunayizolo; kutsho abantu beli lizwe. Ukuba bebengatsho Mongameli welizwe nawe Khongolose ngeba awulawuli namhlanje. Abantu bavumile bathi qhuba ANC, bekhona aba bangxolayo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Abantu banethemba kwaye asinakuze sibadanise kwaye elam ithemba limile oku kwe-ankile yomphefumlo. Bayayazi ukuba amaxhala abo bonke bawaphosa kulo ubakhathaleleyo, uKhongolose. [Kwaqhwatywa.] Kuyafuneka ukuba sinqande isimilo ngemithetho yesizwe. Isimilo asikuko ukumila kakuhle kodwa yindlela othetha ngayo. Kaloku kukho izimilo ezikrazukileyo ezigcwele amaqhakuva anemihlisela namathumba, into ethi umntu omdala ethetha abe ethukwa. Ayisiso isimilo loo nto. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Asililo ilizwe lezimilo ezitenxileyo nakowuphi na umzuzu.
Ms E N LOUW: Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I rise to ask the member a question. Does the hon member agree that women of this House should be beaten up by men? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you are not supposed to ask your question until such time as the hon member agrees to take your question. Proceed, hon member.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Kubalulekile ke ukuba ndichaze ukuba kwilizwe loMzantsi Afrika abantu abachubekileyo engqondweni nakubugcisa bayayazi ukuba owabo umhlawuleli i-ANC ikhona. Yabalwela kwaye iza kubakhusela nangowuphi na umzuzu. Iza kuba phuhlisa ukuze babone ubomi obungcono. Bekungenje eMzantsi Afrika.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy Speaker, I rise in terms of Rule 14(b). Could you please request the hon member to lower the volume, because ... [Interjections.] ... we really can’t hear the interpretation. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Singh, that’s a frivolous point of order.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Kuhle ke ukuba balwelwe ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take it further away from your head. No, I’m talking to him. Proceed, hon member.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Kuhle ke ukuba balwelwe namhlanje bathetha utyhatyhiwe ingathi bakhwele ehagwini. [Kwahlekwa.] Kaloku umbutho wesizwe wenze kwabamnandi kwaba mthebelele kwabanje kwaye ekhonkothwayo zizinja yehambayo.
Mr G A GARDEE: Deputy Speaker, a point of order ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
Ms P C MAJODINA: Hayi, sukaa!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order? Hon member, take your seat, please.
Mr G A GARDEE: The point of order here is that the hon member is speaking about iihagu [pigs]. I don’t know whether there are iihagu here. [Interjections.] I don’t know who ... I think she’s taking from the Speaker that there are cockroaches. Now she is continuing to say ...
... kunamahagu la. [Kwahlekwa.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, if any such reference is not to you, why do you bother? Please take your seat. [Interjections.] Please take your seat! Proceed, hon member.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, point of order ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What point are you rising on, hon member? [Interjections.] Hon members here are honourable members, you know that. Hon member, proceed.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, while you were busy trying to deliver your ruling, the hon member turned to members on this side of the House and gestured in a way that was threatening ... [Interjections.] ... and then repeated ... [Interjections.] ... and then repeated the word “sukaa” twice.
We have had a ruling in this House as late as last year, in which the word “sukaa” was ruled unparliamentary. I would ask that she withdraws.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What word?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: “Sukaa”.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: “Sukaa”? [Interjections.] Hayi, hayi, hayi, hayi, hayi! [Interjections.] Hon members! Hon members!
Malungu ahloniphekileyo, malungu ahloniphekileyo Kahleni! Kahleni!
Ms P C MAJODINA: Deputy Speaker ...
Ms H O MAXON: Order, Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, can I address you? Take your seat! Take your seat!
Ms P C MAJODINA: Not me?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat, hon member. [Interjections.] Hon members, please! Let’s conduct the business of this House orderly. [Interjections.] Your language and gestures are out of order if they provoke any other members. Let us keep to the points of order that are appropriate. [Interjections.] Hon members, I request you, please, the word “sukaa”... [Interjections.] No, no, no! You disrupt the House if you talk in the middle of someone speaking here. Please do not do that. Proceed, hon member. [Interjections.]
Nks P C MAJODINA: Hayi khange ndithethe ngezandla mna.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, just take your seat. Yes, hon member, what point are you rising on?
Nks H O MAXON: Sekela Somlomo ohloniphekileyo, siyasiva nathi isiXhosa. Umama uMajodina usibiza ngeehagu apha kanti ke iihagu sazigqibela kuThandi Modise ngokuya wayezibulala efameni yakhe.
We do not have pigs here. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Proceed, hon member. Hon members, I want to draw your attention to the requirements that you are out of order if you raise a frivolous point of order. You know what that means. Proceed, hon member.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Order, Deputy Speaker. Order.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Sekela Somlomo ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, why are you rising?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: I am rising on a point of order, Deputy Speaker.
May I speak, hon Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Speak. Proceed.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Deputy Speaker, please rule that it is inappropriate for the hon member who is addressing us to refer to hon members of the House as “pigs”. [Interjections.] This is not frivolous. [Interjections.] Even as a point of analogy, to compare hon members ...
ekuthiwa bagqwele apha ingathi ngamahagu ... [that are here to pigs.]
... is dishonourable. Please rule. [Interjections.] This is not a frivolous point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat, hon member. We will check Hansard and come back to you. Proceed, hon member.
Nks P C MAJODINA: Sekela Somlomo ohloniphekileyo, uMongameli welizwe makathobe umoya kuba abantu boMzantsi Afrika basemva kwakhe. Bayawubona umahluko obungekho kwiminyaka yangaphambili. [Kwaqhwatywa.] Abantwana abangazange bayazi ukuba bangaze bakwazi ukungena esikolweni namhlanje baya esikolweni bengahlawulanga nto kuba ukhona urhulumente wabo. Abantwana bayatya ezikolweni namhlanje ngenxa karhulumente wabo.
Abantu abadala bayayazi ukuba ukhona umntu obalwelayo, oqinisekisa ukuba namakhaya abo ayakhuseleka ingakumbi la ancediswa ngurhulumente. Amaziko abantwana abancinci urhulumente uyawaxhasa, umntwana ngamnye nokuba usezilalini okanye elokishini na. Yonke loo nto yenziwa ngenxa yesikhokelo se-ANC ohleli kuso Mongameli kwaye ...
O se ke wa tshwenyeha Mopresidente hobane re teng kamora hao, ebile rona batho ba Aforika Borwa, re a dumela hore re na le Mookamedi ya kgabane ya re etellang pele. [Mahofi.]
Uze ungavumi ke ANC nawe Mongameli kuba kukho abantu abathi xa isenyuka eqhineni inqwelo bafake ibreki. Inqwelo ayifakwa iibreki xa isenyuka eqhineni. Ngaloo mazwi ndivumele ngoba ndiye ndayitshuba injobe, ndayibeka ebandla, ndithi huntshu, qhuba Mongameli. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Deputy Speaker, I wanted to check if it is not traditional for iimbongi to conclude by saying hhe hamm hooo! [Laughter.]
TAKE ENDS 15H50
Mr M L SHELEMBE
Ms P C MAJODINA
Mnu M L SHELEMBE: Sekela Somlomo, mhlonishwa Mongameli, amaLungu ePhalamende ...
... the state of the nation address of 2015 will forever be remembered in South African politics for all the wrong reasons. What was supposed to be a dignified event turned into a collective night of shame.
As the NFP we believe that the Presidency has become the antithesis of democracy, the very same democracy which so many sacrificed so much for. Our President has systematically surrounded himself with close political allies within his Cabinet and within the government, and these allies have seemingly pledged their loyalty to the President and not to the interest of the country, or even the ANC for that matter. Our President has created a high-speed gravy train for him and his allies to serve and cater for their needs whilst our country is slowly sinking into a crisis we could never have imagined.
On Thursday we watched with sadness as our President sat laughing whilst fellow elected representatives were forcibly and violently ejected from this honourable House. The shameful intimidation we witnessed in this House made the address of the President meaningless. South Africa did not pay much attention to what he was saying, because we were all horrified by the scene of a mob of hooligans storming into this august House, organised and called in by the Speaker of the day. I specifically use the term “mob of hooligans” because even up to now we still have no clarity on who they were.
The NFP finds that the state of the nation address was a mere repackaging of previous empty promises, giving rise to far more questions than answers. The land reform issue is a point in case.
We are also perplexed at the one-size-fits-all approach to the size of farms. Surely, the President and his advisers must know that agriculture is not a homogeneous sector? Different farms have different needs, and this applies to the size too. Whereas a 1 000-hectare wine farm in a water-rich area may be sufficient to be a productive farm, a 1 000-hectare farm in the Karoo will not support enough sheep or goats to make such a farm economically viable. Was this obvious distinction considered before the decision was made to restrict the size of farms across the board? We, as the NFP, believe that the President did not apply his mind to this issue, as with many other issues he touched upon in the state of the nation address.
We are also unclear about the figures bandied about by the President in trying to convince South Africa that the government cares for our youth. The stated R25 million distributed by the National Youth Development Agency and the R2,7 billion fund created by a partnership between the National Youth Development Agency and the Industrial Development Corporation tells us nothing about how it will empower our youth.
Furthermore, we are unclear about the figures quoted with regard to youth employment. The tax incentive scheme for businesses to employ young people does not create permanent jobs. It serves to assist with skills development. So we should not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked into believing that this is a success story as far as job creation is concerned. Neither should we be lulled into a sense of reliance on the employment opportunities created by the different environmental programmes, for these are also desperate interim measures that do not create permanent and decent jobs.
The state of housing in South Africa is yet another aspect we as the NFP find confusing. Despite the figures presented by the President alluding to the new houses built, we find that informal settlements are mushrooming relentlessly across our country. We put it you, hon members, that the ANC government of President Zuma has no co-ordinated and systematic plan to reduce informal settlements and address the housing crisis in our country.
We are also of the opinion that the government under the leadership of President Zuma is failing to address service delivery. It is ironic that the vast majority of service delivery protests that are continually flaring up across the country occur in ANC-led municipalities. Why is the government not calling upon these municipalities to attend to the grievances of the protesting communities? The answer is simple: The President and the ANC do not have the willpower nor the political integrity to call themselves to account. The ANC government under the leadership of President Zuma has lost its political and moral compass.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is another failure, which we can lay at the feet of President Zuma and his government. As we speak, several of our universities are plunged into chaos, because students are voicing their anger at being denied their right to further their education and prepare adequately for the day when they can take their rightful position as productive members of society, bringing with them knowledge and skills to contribute to the improvement of our country.
The crisis we see at our universities is not the only educational crisis we are faced with in South Africa. The President was silent on the issue of the drop in the matric pass rate and chose to highlight the number of schools built. We would like the President to tell us how many of these schools are in fact new schools, and how many are mere replacements for mud schools. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms T MAHAMBEHLALA
Mr M L SHELEMBE
Ms T MAHAMBEHLALA: His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa President Jacob Zuma, hon Deputy President, Speaker, and Chairperson of the NCOP, fellow members, allow me to greet you. Deputy Speaker, when defining what a democracy is Adam Przeworski captured it as follows:
Democracy is the realm of the intermediate; the future is not written. Conflicts of values and of interests are inherent in all societies. Democracy is needed precisely because we cannot agree. Democracy is only a system for processing conflicts without killing one another; it is a system in which there are differences, conflicts, winners and losers. Conflicts are absent only in the authoritarian systems.
Inevitably, we accept that there will be conflicts in our democracy. However, we expect that our conflicts and differences may be resolved through consensus. We have every right to demand accountability from our elected representatives.
With this in mind, allow me to interrogate this question, which has caused so much conflict in this House. On the face of it, asking when certain monies will be paid back may seem like a valid question. I would hasten to point out that this question, which has caused so much consternation, is premature. This question is a tool used for a populist’s end. Its premise is that an amount has been determined, or we know exactly how much should be paid. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.
The Public Protector herself has not made pronouncements on how much must be paid and what must be paid for. So, how then do we ask: When are you going to pay? In essence, this question is not one predicated on conviction of accountability, but on opportunism. [Applause.] This kind of opportunism is not surprising from a group like the EFF. They have a leader who has made anarchy and hatred of President Jacob Zuma his ideology. The hon Malema has brought nothing but hatred and anarchy to this legislature. As some have discovered, in his very own clique he is the embodiment of hypocrisy. Through his rebellious antics, he portrays himself as someone who has a conscience.
Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for those held captive to the cult of commander in thieves. The rebellion we’ve seen in recent times is evocative of a passage from George Orwell’s epic work Nineteen Eighty-Four. I quote:
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
Hon President, very little can be done about individuals who attentively listen in order to manipulate your words so as to display their hatred of you.
Sadly, opportunism breeds opportunism and the DA has jumped on the bandwagon. The hon Maimane, through his rhetoric, portrays himself and his organisation as the guardians of the Constitution. The hon Maimane is very quick to run to court to demand administrative justice. The premise of this approach is supposedly based on the fact that liberalism rests on four pillars: access to justice, freedom of speech, political freedom and economic freedom. Birds of a feather flock together. [Applause.]
However, let us look here where they’re governing. Can we find any tangible evidence of their transforming previously disadvantaged communities? [Interjections.] Let us look at KwaLanga, the oldest township in Cape Town. There are no signs of economic development in that community. The most recent example of DA hypocrisy manifested itself through a matriculant of the Manyano High School in Khayelitsha. The Manyano High School has been terrorised by gangsters. Appeals for intervention by the DA administration have been utterly ignored. [Interjections.] Despite this, Sanele Mangena, a pupil at this very troubled school, defied the odds. With the assistance of hardworking, dedicated and excellent teachers, Sanele obtained six distinctions. Sanele obtained an outstanding 91% in mathematics and 81% in natural science. [Applause.]
Sadly, had Sanele been white and had Sanele attended school in Constantia, things would have been remarkably different. Race under the DA administration is still a central determining factor to access basic rights like the right to education, which is enshrined in section 29 of the Constitution. What is it that you protect, hon Maimane, the Constitution or white privilege? [Interjections.]
Faced with a tragic situation, Sanele’s dream found refuge in the ANC constituency office. We could have run to court like the DA, but we chose to be where the action is. My constituency office solicited action from the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, the hon Mduduzi Manana. Through his intervention, we kept Sanele’s dream alive. We applied the Freedom Charter to the letter: “The doors of learning ... shall be opened!” [Applause.]
Another school, the Siphamandla High School in Khayelitsha, obtained a pass rate of 92%. This amazing achievement was swept under the carpet. The hard work of those teachers was not commended by your provincial administration, hon Maimane. Why would you, hon Maimane, represent such an organisation - an organisation that has steadily protected and advanced white privilege and white interests?
The DA should be exposed for what it is in this House. They use the likes of the hon Maimane as fronts of transformation, whilst in policy they continue to oppress previously disadvantaged communities. [Applause.] This is a classic liberal trait: pretending to be friends of the natives, yet stabbing them in the back. [Applause.]
Each one of us sitting here today represents a constituency in this rainbow nation. For example, I carry a mandate to serve our people in Khayelitsha. My constituency is the incarnation of the inequality some of us eloquently speak of from this podium. During consultations with the people of Khayelitsha, I am reminded too often that a nation as wealthy as ours should not be custodians of such abject poverty.
The Freedom Charter does not envision a South Africa in which some of her citizens live in a place where inequality is the order of the day. We all know the level of inequality in our country is not paralleled by most countries, and as the gap widens we continue to entrench an economic legacy that our forebears sought to eradicate.
There have been numerous approaches by our government to find solutions to this ailment. However, before I move to those solutions, I must emphasise the following: radical policies, which have failed in other countries, should not be entertained by this legislature. The EFF must learn quickly that revolutionary-sounding phrases can never be equated to policies. [Applause.] Our responsibility as legislators is to halt the soaring inequality in a country that is endowed with all kinds of mineral resources and a favourable climate.
Whilst the government continues to produce progressive policies, these policies remain idle on paper if we are not able to implement them. A stark example of this is here in the Western Cape where the black communities still resemble the days of apartheid. The provincial government could not be bothered with the economic development of these communities and have made themselves enemies of progress. Upon taking charge, the DA administration, without any explanation, shut down the Real Enterprise Development initiative, affectionately known as Red Door. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
NN/NM(ed)/TAKE ENDS 16H07
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS
Ms T MAHAMBEHLALA
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, it is a welcome relief to see your face in the Chair. If ever South Africa needed final proof, then last Thursday showed that the ANC will not listen, will not learn and will never change. The ANC has to be voted out of office. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Upon seeing the hon President laugh at what he witnessed in this House, I was reminded that this President is a win-at-all-costs kind of politician - the very worst kind, for whom political survival trumps everything else. We saw on Thursday night a President who is willing to sacrifice anything: the sanctity of Parliament, the Constitution, the future of our country, all to save himself.
This is a President who will not go quietly. But he is guilty of no more grave indictment than the neglect with which he has treated the South African economy. This President is the kind of leader who is happy for others to lose their jobs so that he can save his. Make no mistake, Mr President, you must answer the questions about Nkandla. You are not above the law.
But let me be very clear: Nkandla is not the most important charge you face. The most important charge this President faces and that voters must hold him accountable for is his government’s wholesale destruction of good jobs and the failure to grow our economy. That is his legacy.
There are now 1,6 million more unemployed people than on the day this President took office. That is the staggering number of people who are unemployed because of this President. But he has no shame in sacrificing all of their jobs to save his. Mr President, I went and worked it out: for every day that you are in office, 730 more South Africans become unemployed. For every day that you are in office! That is the staggering measure of the destruction you wrought on our economy. President Zuma, by a mix of vague leadership and political expedience, has broken the South African economy.
Mr President, on Thursday night you said “Siyasebenza. We are a nation at work.” Honestly, sometimes I wonder whether I live in the same country as our President. [Interjections.] No, sir. [Interjections.] No, sir. [Interjections.] No. We are not a nation at work. We are not a nation at work - 36% of the nation is unemployed and 54% of the nation lives below the poverty line, according to government statistics. [Interjections.] Because of us – it doesn’t even make sense. [Interjections.] You are in government. You are in government. [Interjections.] How does that even make sense? [Interjections.]
Gross Domestic Product growth has dropped in every single one of the years of your Presidency. Not once has it increased. This is how South Africa will remember you, President Zuma. This is how history will remember you. If you are to have any hope of recovering your legacy now, you must take drastic action to reform the economy and back the policies that work.
But, frankly, I expect more of the same. For example, just a few weeks ago, President Zuma, you spoke with rare clarity at Davos about your commitment to the National Development Plan and your commitment to not shy away from the tough reforms necessary to turn our economy around. But no sooner had your plane hit the tarmac than your claim that “South Africa is open for business” been exposed as lacking all credibility when you announced a ban on foreign land ownership. [Interjections.]
President, here is a direct question that I would like you to answer in your response: Why do you say you are committed to attracting investment, but then consistently propose policies that are guaranteed to discourage investment and cost jobs? It does not make sense. Are you really so scared of the radical left that you are prepared to surrender economic policy-making to them? Or is it just the worst kind of cynical politics in which you are pandering to the xenophobic instincts of some disaffected voters in Gauteng - and some Ministers in your Cabinet - the province in which you are most vulnerable? I think, to be honest, it is just another example of your looking after your own interests, rather than the nation’s interests. Anything to stay in to power.
President Zuma, South Africa needs to promote and attract, not discourage and deter, new investment, especially in our agribusiness sector so that they can expand, produce more, export more and employ more. And on producing more: in every single state of the nation address since you became President, you have included a line about the money allocated to the Department of Trade and Investment’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, or Mcep. But speak to the average investor and they will tell you how completely dysfunctional this programme is. Businesses go bankrupt in the months and years they wait to even get a response to their e-mails. This is no way to invigorate the economy.
The ideas in the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan are simply too weak to create the millions of jobs that South Africa needs. And, in any case, the Cabinet is too divided to implement it. On that score, Mr President, you must settle the economic policy standoff in your own Cabinet. You need to personally lead the economic policy-making process and the debate yourself. You place far too much trust in Minister Davies and Minister Patel.
If those two Ministers, Davies and Patel, are telling you that the economy is performing well or that the next big growth spurt is just around the corner, or that all that is wrong with South Africa is the fault of the global economy, then they are misleading you. They are giving you poor advice and you should fire them.
South Africa is literally and figuratively in a dark place. In these times, we need a President who wakes up every morning thinking about the economy, eager to find new ways to put South Africa on the investment map. Instead, we have a President who spends every waking moment trying to stave off the latest crisis relating to his personal conduct. We have a President who is happy to sacrifice the jobs of ordinary people to save his own job.
The DA is not in the business of single-issue protest politics, nor are we here as an exercise in vanity – for the flyovers, the gun salutes and the disproportionate amount of security that you have amassed around yourself, Mr President.
The DA is a party of government. We aim to govern to improve the lives of the people of South Africa. We aim to govern to provide South Africans with the opportunities they deserve, and to make our nation a fairer place in which to live. We are in politics to win so that we can benefit the many, not the well-connected few. We eat, sleep, dream and live every moment thinking about how to grow this economy and create the jobs our country needs.
That is the difference between the DA and the ANC. We are the government of opportunity, of social justice and of growth. You are the government of a broken economy, a failed legacy and 1,6 million more unemployed people than when you started.
Mr President, you may never answer to this House. You may succeed in evading us for the sunset years of your term, but you will never avoid answering to those voters – to those unemployed South Africans who you have let down. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, “Msholozi” Your Excellency the President, Your Excellency the Deputy President, I want to preface my speech with a quote that says, “Honesty is a very expensive gift, therefore never expect it from cheap people.” The same goes for integrity, accountability, reliability, ubuntu, owning up, responsibility, respectability - the list goes on and on.
Mr President, the image of your statesmanship as South Africa’s No 1 citizen is very important to the country. If this image goes up, the country goes up with you. If this image goes down, the country goes down with you. Right now, the image of our country is at rock bottom, unfortunately. I subscribe to the current popular sentiment that the South African political and/or governance system is crying out for leadership.
Your Presidency, Mr President, is characterised by instability in important governance institutions, like the NPA, the Hawks, the judiciary, the intelligence services, the police and Chapter 9 institutions. Some of these institutions are nearing a state of paralysis because of lack of proper leadership from government. More often than not it is the usual mistake of cadre deployment that comes back to haunt the Presidency.
In education, South Africa has been piloting one programme after another since 1994. This has been to the detriment of the future of our nation. This has badly compromised the quality of the education system that the government offers to our youth. A young South African who was born in 1994 has had to finish matric in 2014 on pilot programmes. They themselves have become pilot projects of this government. This has seriously jeopardised the quality of adulthood of our young South Africans.
The President spoke about the construction of three new power stations: Kusile, Medupi and Ingula, in order to resolve the energy crisis currently experienced by the country. The President says further that this is not a crisis but a challenge. The fact of the matter is that the country is building two power stations and not three. The third one, referred to as Ingula, is a pump storage scheme and not a power station. I wonder why the President is running away from the term “crisis” when industries are losing millions of rand a day and tens of working hours per day owing to power cuts; when hundreds culminating in thousands of jobs get lost because of power cuts; when millions of South Africans get destabilised in their daily lives because of power cuts. This is indeed a crisis and not merely a challenge.
The President presented the state of the nation address on Thursday and had an interview with the SABC about this speech on Sunday. It provides an interesting observation in that the issues presented on Sunday differ widely from those issues presented on Thursday. For example, in the interview the President spoke about protest action in Malamulele and other areas. He spoke about attacks on foreign nationals owning shops in the townships and villages. But all these issues were not touched upon in the state of the nation address.
Coincidentally, one Minister in your government, Mr President, speaks in a manner which incites the attacks, while another Minister in the very same government speaks against these attacks. This presents a picture of a confused government in policy approach.
With regard to unemployment, despite the President’s advice to the contrary, we note that it continues to increase and that we still have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and this has not changed since the 1990s.
According to a recent HSBC report, economic growth and GDP declined by 0,3% to 1,6% for 2015. The rand-dollar exchange rate is at its lowest level since 2008.
The endless rhetoric over the past years by this Presidency and government is now leading us into a perfect political and socioeconomic storm from which we fear there will be no return. Thank you. [Time expired.]
TAKE ENDS 16:20
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
Mr M KHAWULA
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency the President, Deputy President, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members and our guests in the gallery, this fifth term of Parliament patently marks a defining moment in the history of our beloved country.
As I stand here today in this House to address my hon colleagues and our nation, the authenticity of this nonracial Parliament, which was once only a dream, now serves as a sharp reminder of where we come from as people.
As the nation watches today, it is with great pride that I come face to face with the torchbearers and inheritors of the Freedom Charter to celebrate the remarkable progress that the ANC-led government has made on the international stage over the brief 20-year period of our young democracy. As enshrined in the Freedom Charter:
We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white ...
This great country of ours leaped from being an international pariah to being one of Africa’s leading participants on the global stage. Our smooth transition to democracy instantly placed us on a pioneering path as one of Africa’s leading states. Our movement is guided by the Freedom Charter, which, in fact, remains the cornerstone of our international relations strategy. The Freedom Charter emphatically declares that South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations. It further declares that South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation not war. It also states that peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding equal rights, opportunities and status.
Sixty years after the adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1955, this declaration on how to position ourselves on the global stage remains as relevant today as it was then. This in itself proves that our core values as an organisation cut through time, geographic location, race and class lines. This ANC-led government, as guided by the Freedom Charter, has always and will continue to commit itself to multilateralism, the fight for human rights, social justice, the facilitation of peaceful conflict resolution and the transformation of the global political and economic order.
Since the inception of our democracy in 1994, South Africa has built strategic partnerships with various countries and international organisations to assert the African agenda on the international stage. Today, South Africa has far-reaching representation across the globe in the form of more than 150 embassies, consulates and offices around the world.
To give a brief overview of some of our challenges and achievements in pursuit of building solid international relations with key players on the global stage, it is pertinent that I factually outline a few of the triumphs our country has relished and the challenges we have faced during the existence of our young democracy.
The NDP asserts that the most significant achievement in South Africa’s post-1994 international relations has been our assent to the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, commonly known as the G20. The NDP further highlights the fact that one highly significant outcome of our membership of the G20 was that South Africa was invited almost regularly to the Group-7 meetings of the world’s most powerful elites, namely the political leadership that effectively decides on the direction of world affairs, universally known as the G8. In recent years, however, there has been a moderate decline in these invitations. This has been due to the overall demise of the golden decade of African diplomacy, spanning 1998 to 2008.
As we stepped out of the shadows of an international pariah state to become the most celebrated African country in the global arena, we have also experienced many structural changes and transitions which helped define our identity as a global participant. We remain well poised and committed in our resolve to engage and deliberate in strategic structures, such as the G20 and G8, in order to effectively articulate and advance the African Agenda. History also reminds us that our previous engagements on this platform were both fruitful and mutually beneficial in our advance towards a progressive global order.
We are currently faced with the colossal task of clawing our way back to the top of the list of African countries at the forefront of world matters on the global stage. It is our collective responsibility to rise up as government, as the business community, as civil-society organisations and as citizens of this great country to reclaim our rightful place in the global arena. We did it in 1994 when we collectively stood for something we all believed in, and together we succeeded. We became historic pioneers of transformation nationally and globally. We instantly became one of the most celebrated countries in the world, perceived as heroes and heroines by people who reside in countries and cities some of us have never heard of.
And that is the remarkable impact that rising up as a nation, united in its diversity, can accomplish. There is no single reason why we cannot rise up to conquer again in the same way we did in 1994. This time we will collectively champion an agenda that spans beyond the borders of our country. Together, we will become pioneers of the great African Agenda.
South Africa’s involvement in the United Nations has also seen a few milestones since the inception of our democracy. While South Africa is not a member of the United Nations Security Council, we have a nonpermanent seat. In 2015, the UN celebrates its 70th anniversary but the decision-making Security Council, composed of 15 member states of which 10 are nonpermanent and five permanent, remains largely unchanged. South Africa is therefore calling decisively for the transformation of the United Nations Security Council to be more accountable, democratic and representative, and to work for the reform of global governance institutions so that their decisions promote equity and fairness.
One of our finest moments was when we became an official member of the Brics group of countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - in the year 2011. Indeed, this was a noteworthy milestone, imprinted on the pages of history of our country. It was a defining achievement worth celebrating.
Some questions have been raised about our country’s membership of the Brics group owing to the fact that South Africa’s economy is smaller than the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The NDP, however, affirms that South Africa can play a leading role in Brics by helping to facilitate deeper integration of relations between African states and the other Brics member countries and by focusing on other niche advantages.
The NDP further asserts that South Africa has several strengths that can be used both when negotiating with Brics and in broader global negotiations between Brics and the world. In going forward, the NDP recommends that South Africa’s foreign relations must reflect its role as an equal member and strategic African partner in the Brics group in world affairs in general.
We will contribute to the African Agenda for industrialisation and regional integration for sustainable and inclusive development. The ANC is satisfied with the notion of trade, political, economic, security, environmental and social exchange that will develop from the Brics relationship.
Our involvement with Brics will provide us with a fair opening to reaffirm our political voice on the global stage as one of the fastest growing African economies with increasing influence. The ANC is hard at work to break this country out of the inherited mould of the fragmented economic structure we inherited from the apartheid regime.
We are fully committed to strengthening relations with the business community in order for us to collectively chart a common course that will carve inroads into the global arena for the economic advancement of our country which, in turn, will impact the lives of ordinary South Africans at large.
Solid international, political and economic affiliations with associations such as Brics are critical aspects of our strategy towards the radical economic freedom of all our people. We are indeed proud to be associated with the Bric countries and we will continue to utilise this platform as a powerful instrument to further the African Agenda on the global stage and to further expand our economic, social and political standing in the global arena.
Securing world peace and fighting for human rights are ideals that remain at the centre of the ANC government’s political mandate. Therefore we will support the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, strengthen African Union institutions to ensure that they serve the interests of the people, and promote democracy and good governance across Africa.
We will continue to show our support for, and encourage peace in, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and many other parts of our continent. The ANC’s commitment to safeguarding peace and security on the African continent has seen us committing many of our young men and women to peacekeeping missions on the continent. The ANC will continue to play a critical role towards restoring peace across Africa, first and foremost by taking action and speaking out against acts of terrorism that directly affect the men, women and children of this great continent of ours.
The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgents sent a shock wave across the globe in April 2014, compelling South Africa, together with many other nations, to add its voice to the “Bring Back our Girls” global campaign.
The ANC condemns the kidnapping and rape of women and children as acts of war. We therefore remain deeply concerned about the disappearance of these girl-children. We will continue to communicate with the government of Nigeria to keep track of progress made for the safe return of these children whose human rights have been grossly violated. As an international agent of change for Africa first and foremost, we resolve to take the lead in the process of reviving the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign on a global scale by using technology as a means of communication in order to put the matter back at the centre of the international agenda. We will call all international architects of change for Africa to join this noble fight for humanity for the safe return of these vulnerable children who are in need of urgent help from the global community.
Our experience as a once oppressed nation under the apartheid regime has indeed heightened our intolerance of governments that perpetrate acts of violence and oppression against humanity. The UN General Assembly designated 2014 International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in an effort to foster global action and direct peace negotiations by the UN. Sadly, the year turned out to be a grey one for both the Israelis and, even more so, for the Palestinians.
As discussions broke down, violence escalated. In July 2014, Israel invaded the Palestinian territory of Gaza, which led to ...
Mr G A GARDEE: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I rise on a point of order.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Yes, sir.
Mr G A GARDEE: We are debating the speech of the President, but the President was sleeping. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] He is waking up now that we are ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No! No! No! Hon member, that is not a point of order. Please sit down. Could you sit down, please.
Mr G A GARDEE: Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Could you continue with your speech, hon member.
THE DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: As discussions broke down, violence escalated. In July 2014, Israel invaded the Palestinian territory of Gaza, which led to the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, many of them children.
These incidents harshly remind us the time when black South Africans were held captive by the commands of white domination. Our history compels us to hear and respond to the cries of this vulnerable nation of Palestine. The ANC has therefore pledged solidarity with the people of Palestine, and we will continue to speak out against the occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli government. As international agents for global transformation fighting for human rights and social justice, as enshrined in the Freedom Charter, we will support any means to force the Israelis to free the people of Palestine, which includes the imposition of economic sanctions against Israel. We will not end this fight until the people of Palestine have gained absolute liberation from Israeli domination.
We have also played a critical role in the campaign for the Cuban Five to be freed from prison in the United States of America. As asserted in the ANC’s January 8 statement, we celebrate the release of the remaining three members of the Cuban Five, and applaud President Raul Castro and President Barack Obama for taking a step in the right direction to secure peace between Cuba and the USA. [Applause.] We further wish them well in forging diplomatic relations between the two countries.
One of the greatest leaders to walk the face of our planet during our times, the great Tata Nelson Mandela, once said, and I quote, “Money won’t create success but the freedom to make it will.” Today we live in a country where we are free to move, to dream, to create and to define and redefine our own destinies regardless of our race, gender, class or creed.
Our children go to school freely without fear of being massacred on school benches as an act of war. Our girl-children are encouraged to get an education and to reach for greatness. Our women hold prominent positions in government, in business and in various civil-society and international organisations. The great men of our nation are also fighting to roll back the shadows of our history by defining and redefining their own destinies as we work collectively towards building lasting legacies that will stand on the global platform long after we are gone.
As South Africans we should be truly proud to be South Africans because we have peace and stability, and the liberty to rise to greatness in our own country without fear of being incarcerated or even executed because of our race, gender, class or creed. Today our country is truly living this vision, as declared in the Freedom Charter. We, the ANC, believe that we are a great nation to be proud of and that many war-torn countries can learn from our history and present-day circumstances in order to build a peaceful and secure system for all the men, women and children of their own countries.
The past 20 years of our young democracy have laid the foundation for us to announce our socioeconomic and political greatness on the global platform in the next 20 years to come. Therefore this era demands that we collectively display decisive leadership on the global stage by closing the gaps between government, the business community, civil-society organisations and the people of this great country.
Let us rise up fiercely as a collective to chart forth this great course for the next 15 years as defined by the NDP, which demands that the people of South Africa ... Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): I therefore call on the hon Holomisa to continue the debate.
TAKE ENDS 16H40
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
TAKE STARTS 16:40
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Chairperson, on a point of order: May I address you, Chair? I rise on Rule 14(s). It has been practice and convention in the House that when members are in this House, we refrain from wearing party-political regalia for obvious reasons. Now, I know that given the in-fighting it’s becoming more and more important to identify yourself in the ruling alliance. However, has that changed and, if so, is the hon Minister of Higher Education and Training appropriately dressed in light of that convention, given the lapel badge he is wearing?
Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Bakufumene Blade, bakubambile.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Ndzimande.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon Chair, I am willing to apologise, but the political party shown here is not represented here in Parliament. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): That is exactly what I wanted to make a ruling on to say I can’t remember that party being registered with the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC. Therefore, may I allow the hon Holomisa to continue with the debate? Thank you.
Mr B H HOLOMISA: Chairperson, hon President and Deputy President and hon members, one of the five priority areas for this administration, as identified in the state of the nation addresses of the 2013 and 2014 financial years, is the fight against crime and corruption. We have noted and welcome the report on work done in the area of corruption. We may as well add, Mr President, that in our small way the UDM has, in support of the campaign against corruption and the promotion of ethical governance, helped the Independent Electoral Commission to reclaim its image.
The UDM has also advised you of potential irregular expenditure of no less than half a billion rand of public funds by the then Minister of Communications, Ms Dina Pule. You intervened and what would have been an unprocedural expenditure was averted. The UDM will continue to make its contribution in this important task of the nation. Accordingly, and in the interest of the public, we have already referred to the Public Protector for an investigation into allegations of possible wrongdoing in the Jobs Fund established in 2011, with an investment of no less than R9 billion.
In the interest of the image of Parliament, the UDM has also asked the Public Protector to investigate the alleged involvement of the Speaker of the National Assembly in the Gold Fields mine black economic empowerment - BEE - share transaction. We will follow these matters until they are concluded and will keep you posted.
The UDM is currently considering the best way of dealing with the irregularities in Brand SA involving the treasurer general of the current ruling party. The reported involvement of the police in serious and violent crime related to murder, armed robbery, rape, theft, torture and burglary is cause for concern. Government must attend to this. The instability at the top echelons of the crime-busting institutions in the country is cause for great concern. We invite government to give urgent attention to the resolution of this situation.
During the apartheid days security forces were preferred above a political approach in resolving political problems. As the apartheid government was gradually losing its grip, they intensified this strategy, including sponsoring what was called “black-on-black violence”. You will surely recall that those assassins would even go to the extent of painting themselves black at night. All this was meant to suppress the divergent views of political opponents. That strategy failed as politics emerged victorious.
The difference with the incident last week is that the security forces were disguised as parliamentary chefs. One thought they would bring us water which was needed in the House at the time. [Laughter.] Alas, it turned out to be trained armed men deployed to defuse engagement on a political matter. Having been drilled and dressed in parliamentary clothing, their only mission, Operation Eject All, was to be executed willy-nilly. Both the Speaker and the commander in chief of our security forces, the President, owe the nation an explanation.
Regardless of their explanation, the most credible way to get to the bottom of this incident, and avoid the invited visit by the apartheid tactics, is the appointment of a judicial commission of inquiry.
Chairperson and hon members of this House, if the truth be told, the scandals associated with our President have replaced the role of this House and divided the nation down the middle. It is no longer about the citizens of this country. The President has presided over the vicious attacks on the institutions of our democracy. Confidence in our judicial system is under pressure due to many cases involving him in our courts. In the process investor confidence is diminishing and we have the lowest ever economic growth rate.
Finally, unfortunately, the citizens do not vote for a President in this country. However, we cannot continue in this way, it is time to say, “South Africa first.”
We say, ANC, take your President. [Interjections.]
Mthatheni ahambe aye kuphumla ekhaya siqhubeke thina noMzantsi Afrika. [Uwelewele.][Kwaqhwatywa.]
Ms P T VAN DAMME
Mr B H HOLOMISA
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson, two weeks ago I visited the town of Jan Kempdorp. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Order, order, order! Hon members! Could we allow the hon member to continue with the debate?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Let me start again. Hon Chairperson, two weeks ago, I visited the town of Jan Kempdorp in the Northern Cape following the alleged rape, brutal assault and racial abuse of a learner by his peers at a local high school.
During the visit, members of the community informed me that racial tensions in the town had been simmering for many years. The situation in Jan Kempdorp is in no way an isolated one and occurs frequently across South Africa. Just yesterday, there were reports of learners being subjected to racial abuse at a school in Witbank, Mpumalanga. It is tragic that 21 years into our democracy, racism is still rife in South Africa. Racism is one of our country’s biggest wounds festering untreated. We cannot continue to pretend that racism only exists in specific enclaves. It is not a problem unique to any geographic location. [Interjections.] Racism is a problem in Cape Town; racism is a problem in Johannesburg; racism is a problem in Durban. It is a problem in every single corner of South Africa. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Our young people are unfortunately not immune to the evil that is racist beliefs. Sadly, many children in our country are raised by racist parents who teach them hate. It certainly does not help that some schools still perpetuate this hate by segregating learners according to race. We cannot have a situation in which our young people are being taught to hate by parents and schools.
It is time for government to take a tough stance against racism and that a tough stance be taken against racism in the ANC. The hon Mahambehlala stood here earlier on saying black people in the DA can’t think for themselves. [Interjections.] That is apartheid thinking and it is racist. [Interjections.] The ANC must also deal with its racism. [Applause.] As the DA, we are taking a tough stance against racism. We have made it clear that we are not a party for racists. Racists are not welcome in the DA! [Interjections.] [Applause.]
It has to be made clear in the minds of our children that there are dire consequences for racist behaviour. In Germany, education is used to make sure that new generations will never forget the Holocaust. [Interjections.] The teaching of the Holocaust is not limited to historical facts, but makes sure that young Germans appreciate the values and institutions that protect freedom and democracy. We need something similar in South Africa.
In addition, I think it is important for municipalities around the country to initiate dialogue about racism, like the Mayor of Cape Town.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Is that a point of order, hon member? Just take a seat, hon member. Could you use your mike, sir?
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Hon Chair, is it parliamentary for somebody who is not a South African to participate in the Parliament of South Africa? [Laughter.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, no, no, I have not even made a ruling. [Interjections.] Order, order! Hon members, order! [Interjections.] Hon members, are you going to allow me to make a ruling on the matter? Hon Chief Whip of the DA, are you going to allow me to make ruling on the matter? Would you please allow me to make a ruling on the matter? The ruling is as follows: That is not a point of order, and I will allow the hon member to continue with the debate.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order: Members of this House, as you know, are elected through specifications laid out in the Constitution. He has made an allegation that she is not a South African. He must withdraw. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon member, no, no. There is no point. I don’t know what this level of excitement is about. I don’t know why we are excited about this, because ... [Interjections.] Maybe I must keep quiet and listen to you. The point is very clear. I allowed the member to speak on a point of order and the member raised his point in a question form. In my response I then made a ruling to say that that is not a point of order and I am allowing the member to continue with the debate.
Mr G A GARDEE: Chairperson ... Chairperson!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): May I recognise you, hon Gardee?
Mr G A GARDEE: Thank you. Notwithstanding the fact that the Premier of the Free State raised a point of order, which was in a question form, there was an insinuation that he is making for the public to know that there is a member who is not a South African. He must be called to order.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon members, please take your seats. [Interjections.] I have made a ruling. My ruling is that that is not a point of order. Therefore, I am not going to entertain it and I am allowing the member an opportunity to continue with the debate. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: May I address you please, House Chair? With respect, House Chair, there have been rulings and if one looks at through the annotated digest of rulings, it is unparliamentary, even in the form of a rhetorical question, to make an allegation that a member is not honourable. [Interjections.] By saying that the hon Van Damme is not a South African citizen is saying that she has perpetuated fraud and it casts aspersions on her character ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon member ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Let me please finish, Chair. All I’m asking is that you ask the hon member to withdraw the statement. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon members, as I’m sitting here, I did not hear a statement that alleges ... [Interjections.] No, no, no. We don’t have to get excited about it. There was no statement that alleged, but rather there was a point of order that came through in the form of a question on which I made a ruling to say that it was not a point of order. I’m allowing the member to continue speaking. Could we continue with the debate, hon member?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson, a couple of weeks ago ...
Mr S J MASANGO: Chairperson ... Chairperson ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Are you challenging my ruling? Okay fine. Hon member, may I therefore advise you that if you are not happy with my ruling ...
Mr S J MASANGO: No, it is not about the ruling; I’m rising on another point of order.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): It’s another point of order that is different from this one?
Mr S J MASANGO: A different one. Chairperson, according to you, you are saying it was a question ... [Interjections.] ... and according to this sitting - listen to me, Chairperson, don’t shake your head - when you ask a question, you first ask if the member will take my question before he can ask a question. Now, according to him he did not even ask if the member was prepared to take a question, he just made a statement. I want your ruling on that. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Okay, hon members, hon members, I have made a ruling. My ruling is that that point of order that was raised by the member was not a point of order. I requested the member to take his seat and allow the member to continue with the debate. Hon Van Damme, please continue with the debate.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Chairperson, Hon Chairperson ...
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, I was just wondering if the hon member could start from the beginning as I have forgotten everything that she has said. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Okay, you may take your seat, hon member.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, I respect the fact that you have the right to rule. We disagree with the ruling. Can we ask that you examine Hansard and come back to the House at a later stage with a more determined ruling on the matter?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Just as you are asking me to do that, that is exactly what I’m asking you to say that if you are aggrieved by my ruling, there are processes that you can follow in order to deal with this. However, for now, I have made a ruling and I’m ordering the member to continue with the debate. Would you continue, hon Van Damme?
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson, a couple of weeks ago there were foreign nationals in this country who were attacked and murdered, and you should be ashamed, Premier of the Free State, to stand up here on xenophobia! “Sies!” “Sies!” [Interjections.] As I was saying ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Van Damme, please address me, even if you are not looking at me. Please address me.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Sorry, hon Chairperson, the Premier of the Free State should be ashamed of himself. “Sies!” [Interjections.] As I was saying ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No, hon Van Damme, the word “sies” ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Hon Deputy Chair, you have over and over insisted that language that is not in conformity with this House should not be allowed. “Sies” is not in conformity with this House. [Interjections.]
Ms P T VAN DAMME: I withdraw “sies”, and I say his behaviour is disgusting. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Van Damme, hon Van Damme ... Order! Order! Order, hon members! Hon members, order! Hon Van Damme, please withdraw the word “sies”. [Interjections.]
Ms P T VAN DAMME: I withdraw “sies”; I did withdraw “sies”.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): I asked the speaker to withdraw the word “sies”.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: I withdrew it.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Van Damme! Hon Van Damme!
Ms P T VAN DAMME: I withdraw the word “sies”.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Thank you very much. Please continue with the debate.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: As I was saying on the issue of racism: I think it is important for municipalities around the country to initiate dialogues about racism like the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, has done. Such dialogues are, of course, not a cure-all solution, but could inform any policy interventions required.
I think it is also time to realise that our education system is not doing nearly enough for our young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Over the past 20 years, we have made significant headway in expanding education access to more learners. However, learners from disadvantaged backgrounds are still being left behind.
If we calculate the 2014 matric pass rate, taking into consideration the learner retention rate, it reveals that in essence, only one in three matric learners passed. Almost a quarter of the total bachelor passes were produced by schools considered more affluent, with only one in 10 produced by the poorer schools.
Due to insufficient funding being allocated to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, those learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who passed may not even make it to tertiary institutions. Like racism, inequality in our education system is still rife.
There was little or no detail in the President’s state of the nation address about how this inequality would be dealt with. In fact, education was only mentioned three times, focusing almost exclusively on education infrastructure upgrades.
We will be taking the announcements on infrastructure upgrades with buckets of salt. [Time expired]. [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS 17:00
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Ms P T VAN DAMME
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Mr President, Mr Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members: some by convention, some by substance, and hon Chairperson, on 11 February 1990, 25 years ago, President Nelson Mandela was released from prison after spending 27 seven years in jail. On his release he said, and I quote:
The destruction caused by apartheid on our subcontinent is incalculable. The fabric of family life of millions of my people has been shattered. Millions are homeless and unemployed. Our economy lies in ruins and our people are embroiled in political strife.
He spent the next 10 years putting in place a Constitution, a democratic government and a programme for the transformation of South Africa, the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, which still serves as our foundation.
The moral courage that Tata Madiba displayed in staying true to the values of nonracialism and reconciliation should still serve as an inspiration to all of us to transform the lives of our people – all our people.
This debate takes place at a fascinating and crucial moment in our short democratic history. The contest for the support of different sections of our society and their votes has reached a stage at which principles and vision matter little. In a vain effort to project ourselves as sole guardians of democracy, some amongst us engaged in rank opportunism and brinkmanship. [Interjections.]
What we often refuse to do, because it is too risky, is to tell the South African public the truth as it is. [Applause.] [Interjections.] The truth! The truth is that change is a messy, uneven, unpredictable process; that change does not have a straight-line trajectory. It has many bumps, many zigzags and many potholes, both figurative and literal. [Interjections.] So, for anyone to come to this platform and say to the South Africa public, “Leave it to me. This side here is completely incompetent; that side there has all the competence in the world,” means we must ask this side the question: What organisation or institution of substance have they run in their lives to give people the confidence that they can run this country? [Applause.] [Interjections.]
In a world in which tax evasion by the rich is rife, we rarely hear this voice raised, where Swiss accounts often protect malfeasance; where the top 1% will soon own more than the 7 billion people on earth; and where there is no immediate answer to the challenges of growing inequality and alienation in society, some of us use the rhetoric of constitutionalism and the mantle of righteousness to hide the real agenda: simple rank careerism, looting from the fiscus and patronage of a sophisticated sort for our favourite clients. [Applause.] [Interjections.] [Interjections.] Ours still remains the task in the ANC, notwithstanding the many hurdles, to create a better South Africa and a better life for all 50 million people in South Africa.
We, in the ANC, do not have the luxury of merely preaching, and complaining, and moaning and analysing. [Applause.] [Interjections.] We have the responsibility to continue with the tough work of changing South Africa ... [Applause.] ... of giving people hope not despair. We are not a broken organisation; we are not a broken country. [Applause.]
The local government sphere provides a unique microcosm of all the challenges that face progressives who earnestly want to change both the structure and the daily suffering of some 50 million people so that they can live better.
We want our 50 million people to live in dignity and decency. We want them to live in harmony and peace, not in strife. [Interjections.] We want them to live in safety and be creative contributors to building a different and caring South Africa.
A crucial part of this programme, of overcoming the divides of the past, is the historic project of building a new nation in which nonracialism and nonsexism will thrive, and in which the diversity of our people is embraced with increasing understanding and respect for different cultures, religions and languages.
The ANC, we insist, remains the leading champion of transformation in South Africa. Notwithstanding many challenges and impediments, the ANC remains the most committed organisation to pursue the task of transforming local government and, thereby, the lives of all sections of South Africa over the next few decades - because it is going to take decades to do the work we have to do. [Interjections.]
Local government is both the site of great excellence - as I will point out in a moment - and a site for the most regrettable neglect. We will not deny this reality. Ours is the responsibility to continue to change the reality faced by our people daily, not just criticise and condemn.
In his address on 12 February 2015, the President announced various measures to support district municipalities, ranging from funding for electrification projects, agripark initiatives, commercial farming to support 300 farmers, the upgrading and funding of informal settlements, and support to mining towns, amongst other things.
The narrative about municipalities is often a very negative one. We need to change that narrative to ensure that this topic is approached in a balanced manner. The government ... [Interjections.] They will keep quiet in a moment. Just watch. [Laughter.] The government is thus not shying away from the real challenges facing our municipalities.
But as government we refuse to fall into the trap, as I have said, of pronouncing that South Africa is a “doom and gloom” country. Our responsibility is to restore the necessary confidence in this crucial sphere of government. We believe it can be done.
Over the past year, a number of municipalities have taken initiatives to promote municipal excellence and innovation across various fields of service delivery and socioeconomic development. Let me mention a few. For the period April 2014 to February 2015, the Johannesburg Roads Agency programme, JRA programme, called Find and Fix was recognised by Microsoft South Africa as the Microsoft Application Development of the Year in 2014.
The Fix and Find application, which empowers citizens of Johannesburg to help themselves in the city by providing concise and accurate information about road-related matters for which the JRA is responsible, is very useful.
Now let us come to the Overstrand Municipality, which is a DA-controlled municipality. I want to hear the heckling now. This municipality was the winner in the category of waste management during the 2014 Greenest Town competition, and the new Preekstoel biofiltration water treatment plant received an award for excellence in municipal engineering from an engineering organisation in South Africa. Let us congratulate them. Let’s be fair. [Applause.]
The municipality of Umhlatuze, comprising Richards Bay and Empangeni, was recognised for the installation of a computerised system that monitors sewage flow and picks up faults on the grid. The Umhlatuze Municipality won the award for the best performing municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. [Applause.]
As we celebrate 21 years of freedom, we must acknowledge the critical role local government has played in significantly enhancing basic service delivery to millions of South Africans. While major advances have been made, it is true that significant challenges remain, and we in the ANC will not hide from those challenges. These challenges include increasing inward migration and urbanisation into our cities, apartheid spatial patterns which still persist in our country, the character of our towns and cities is still essentially what it was in the past, basic service delivery backlogs, and problems with infrastructure maintenance, amongst other things.
In addressing these challenges, we must recognise that the municipalities are at different levels of development. In terms of their capacity, they have socioeconomic challenges, they operate in different geographic locations, and they have different economic and revenue potential.
Through the Back to Basics approach, which the President launched in September last year, where he pronounced on the five key pillars of the Back to Basics approach, we want to radically transform the way in which municipalities operate.
Our injunction to all municipalities, regardless of which political party controls them, is: Put people first, listen to their concerns and respond to them; ensure that there is good governance in municipalities - and if there is not, take the necessary action; ensure that there are financial management audit results, and that financial prudence is practised in every municipality. Above all, ensure that services are delivered in the way they should be to the South African public and build institutions in a way in which future generations can benefit from the resilience of these institutions.
Crafting a new deal for cities is an important adjunct to the Back to Basics approach. Through the Integrated Urban Development Framework, IUDF, the restructuring of a city’s space and economy, by instituting changes in land-use planning and management and co-ordinating investments in public transport and the built environment, we will ensure that there are changes taking place in the urban environment in South Africa.
To create a voice for and a platform for engagement with cities, we are establishing an intergovernmental forum for engaging metros and large cities to deal with the specific challenges that they actually face.
We are also quite frank about the fact that where there are problems, we will be bold enough to intervene. So, these are examples where interventions, together with the relevant provinces, have taken place in respect of section 139 of the Constitution: the Mtubatuba Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, which the NCOP was discussing this morning; the Matlosana Local Municipality in the North West; the Mpofana Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal; the Makana Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape; and the Mogalakwena Local Municipality in Limpopo.
The reasons that led to these interventions range from nonadherence to pieces of legislation, poor leadership from senior management – and, indeed, sometimes the council - to poor internal controls and several other factors.
But what I would like to report to Parliament is that in respect of Mogalakwena, after much work, together with the province of Limpopo, we have ensured that we brought about a situation in which there is broad-based support for a programme of changes that will be introduced within the next 24 to 48 hours. [Applause.]
During this process, we have consulted political parties across the board, including DA councillors in this municipality. We have talked to ex-councillors and current councillors. We have talked to the trade unions. We have talked to workers who are at work and those who are not at work.
We have a package which ensures that, firstly, the staffing situation will be normalised and all staff will be invited to get back to work; secondly, that a thorough forensic investigation will be done and the correct kinds of actions will be taken against those responsible for any kind of illegal behaviour; and, thirdly, we want to make an assessment of service delivery in that area and indeed put in a top-class team that will attend to the kind of service challenges that we have.
We want an audit of all legal cases. There has been a kind of ping-pong match going on in the court at the moment. We want an audit of all legal cases so that we have absolute legal certainty. Is the municipal manager that claims to be a municipal manager the actual municipal manager, or should he go and find another job? Is the mayor in the right place? Are the councillors in the right place? I hope that within the next few weeks we will actually get the certainty that we require in this area. [Applause.]
Similarly, our approach is not to go around creating problems. The hon Maimane was in Mogalakwena. I did meet one of his colleagues from the DA who told me approximately who he met in Mogalakwena. He did not go there to solve problems; he went there to create problems. [Interjections.] They took sides in this matter, rather than talking to people across the board. [Interjections.] We spoke to all the concerned people that were in that particular area.
A similar approach ... [Interjections.] They do not like it when the truth is told about them, you see. A similar approach, after intense efforts by many arms of government at a national level and provincial level, has seen as a result the decision by the Malamulele Task Team to end the shutdown. This morning schools are open, buses and taxis are operating, businesses are open, and normality is beginning to return. [Applause.]
The following are some of the measures that have been offered by the government to the Malamulele Task Team and the Malamulele community so that we get down to work and get down to solving the problems that they have identified. Firstly, we want to bring the area into a state of functionality and normality. Secondly, we want Malamulele to participate in the process that we have created through the request made by the Minister, in terms of section 22(2) of the Demarcation Act to the Municipal Demarcation Board, to review and redetermine the boundaries of a number of unviable municipalities in South Africa. Thirdly, we are asking for an independent audit of the delivery of services and employment practices in Thulamela Local Municipality and Vhembe District Municipality more broadly. Fourthly, we want to ensure that current service delivery projects and infrastructure investment projects are speeded up. A special task team is being set up in the next 48 hours to help the municipalities in the areas concerned to ensure that we get down to work in this particular area.
So, despite the goodwill and commitment by the people of Malamulele to resolving their challenges in the kind of way that they have, in the community meeting held on 16 February 2015, yesterday, out of 20 stakeholders that were present, only four, interestingly, voted for the continuation of the shutdown. I am informed that of the four, three are represented in this House.
So, here in this House we call for stability and progress at running municipalities, while out there, for whatever reason, the same parties are allegedly – and I will check with them personally, that is why I am not mentioning them – undermining the process of normality. [Interjections.]
The additional effort that we have taken, together with the relevant Ministers, is that, apart from opening schools, Minister Motshekga is arranging for those who might have missed one subject or the other in writing the matric supplementary exams to avail them of the opportunity to do so.
Similarly, Minister Nzimande and his colleagues have enabled students who want to register at the university to do so and at the further education and training colleges, the FET colleges, as well. So, we hope that by working with the Malamulele community, we can in fact ensure that there is normality and show progress in this area.
Amongst the other critical challenges that we face, which I will mention briefly, will be ensuring that we in government act in an integrated and co-ordinated way. Integrated planning and delivery, which is the mandate that the President has given to the basic services interministerial task team, is the challenge that we are ready to take on.
Similarly, in this context, ensuring that we have integrated urban development linked to rural development is a crucial challenge for the next two to three years as we create the right kind of infrastructure to make sure that spatial planning and other forms of planning take place in the way they should.
The next area is economic opportunities. There is absolutely no doubt that because of our past and our economic marginalisation of the majority of our people, we have the kind of problems and discontent that we see in many of our areas. We cannot deny that there is a big difference between Diepsloot and Sandton and between Constantia and Khayelitsha.
Our challenge is to ensure that initiatives are taken, both at a municipal level and at a national level and by many Ministries, to create economic opportunities and a climate of support for those who actually want to get involved in enterprises of one sort or another.
But as we do that, Mr President, what is crucial is that all of us, regardless of our political background and political party, should be committed to saying: We do not want violence when there are protests. We want to ensure that all our public representatives act within a proper ethical and values-based approach. We want self-restraint when there is dissatisfaction in our communities, so that we don’t destroy the very assets that we are creating with public funds, such as libraries, schools, clinics, community halls and municipal buildings. All of us have a collective responsibility to make sure that we secure these assets for future generations. [Applause.]
Equally important, as many colleagues have said here today, is nation-building and social cohesion. They are absolutely crucial. Fighting racism and fighting divisions on any basis – ethnic, sexist, or whatever it is - is not in the kind of line that we want to build a future South Africa.
The Freedom Charter is quite clear about us creating a nonracial, nonsexist and democratic society, as is our Constitution. It is important that we do whatever possible to use the work that we do within the local government terrain to advance that kind of future for ourselves.
Mr Maimane has said that one day when he is in government he will do X, Y, Z. [Laughter.] We should tell him that if he wants to be in government, he has got to join this side. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
What was fascinating for me, though - I have 45 seconds left - is sitting down there on Thursday and watching the interaction between him, the leader of the parliamentary party, and his real leader, the leader of the DA. It was a fascinating picture. [Interjections.] They couldn’t work out who was boss here. [Laughter.] They couldn’t work out who was going to lead them out. [Interjections.] They couldn’t work out which tactic was right at which particular point in time. [Laughter.] So, who is the real leader, Mr Maimane? [Applause.] [Laughter.] And who do you really listen to? [Applause.]
So let me conclude in repeating what Mr Mandela said, “The need to unite the people of our country is as important a task now as it has always been.”
We have a choice, hon members ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Could you conclude, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: We have a choice. The choice is to continue to divide ourselves and continue to sow conflict, or, rather, to sit down like reasonable, mature people and solve our problems in a room. South Africa wants us to solve our problems by constructive dialogue. [Applause.]
BUSINESS SUSPENDED AT 17:21 AND RESUMED AT 17:45.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President of the Republic Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers who are here, hon Members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, hon Speaker, we have convened here this afternoon to debate the substance of the broad policy outlines, as tabled before this House by the President of the Republic five days ago.
The ANC, over the past 82 years, between 1912 and 1994, conducted a struggle to bring about freedom and democracy in South Africa. A united and democratic South Africa that is able to take the rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations was achieved through the selfless struggle conducted by our movement, the ANC.
Since 1994, South Africa’s fiscal framework has been grounded in a sustainable, countercyclical approach to managing revenue and expenditure. Fiscal consolidation remains a priority, whilst our government continues with social and economic programmes as planned.
In essence, the ANC-led government argues very strongly that our macroeconomic policy is sound and stable, providing certainty to international markets, predictability of investment returns and giving us, as a country, leverage to focus all our energies on our microeconomic policy affecting our domestic environment.
Allow me to reflect on the ANC-led government’s microeconomic policy environment since the dawn of democracy. Between 1994 and this year, a number of key policies have been pursued by the democratic government in order to rebuild and transform the economy. Firstly, the RDP, with a net effect around issues of redress through the social security net, was delivered extensively by our government.
Secondly, the 1996 policy of Growth, Employment and Redistribution, Gear, was introduced to deal with inflation and the fiscal deficit, amongst other things. These were slightly achieved, bringing about macroeconomic stability. In 2005, we also had the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, Asgisa, to focus on poverty and unemployment, and there were also some notable achievements around that particular area.
Thirdly, the New Growth Path, the NGP, was announced in 2010 and the National Development Plan, the NDP, in 2013, providing a long-term planning horizon of up to 2030.
As we celebrate 60 years of the Freedom Charter, the President correctly reminded us that the people of South Africa declared, amongst other things, that South Africa belonged to all who live in it, black and white, and that the people shall share in the country’s wealth.
The ANC government’s task in the second phase of the democratic transition is that of radical socioeconomic transformation to democratise our economy. This represents a fundamental break in the ownership patterns of the past and the putting in place of a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, as per our Freedom Charter.
Allow me to define what the ANC means when talking about radical socioeconomic transformation. In general terms, when we speak about radical socioeconomic transformation, we refer to a systematic restructuring of our political economy in a manner that breaks with the past ways of economic mismanagement in which the vast majority of our people were locked in the margins of the economic mainstream. It is about building economic relations that promote historically marginalised social classes by drawing them into the field of asset ownership in the main.
It is particularly important to lay down this definition so that analysts, who continue to cause confusion in the minds of our people, are able to know what exactly the ruling party is talking about on some of these matters. At the centre of the radical socioeconomic transformation programme are programmes addressing a number of areas in this regard. I think the President was able to touch on some of the issues.
Land and agrarian reform is the apex priority, and all of us would know that the draft Expropriation Act is now before this Parliament for us to consider. Some of the issues that are being raised include the mineral sector, in particular issues of beneficiation through Phakisa; the creation of a steel company, including strengthening the state mining company to focus on strategic minerals; massive youth employment programmes; and resolving the energy crisis, including the issues of industrialisation and infrastructure roll-out that the President spoke about.
The ANC-led government has undertaken to put together an industrial policy framework that will achieve an integrated industrial growth strategy that is underscored by a deliberate move to build a broad asset base that crowds in new industrial players, specifically targeting the historically marginalised sectors of our society.
For a great deal of time our economic growth has been based largely on GDP and increasing market value of a fixed set of assets, particularly in the extractive industries. This has also been punctuated by a period of growth that was driven by consumption, fuelled by and associated with unsustainable increases in private credit extension, without viable capital assets through which debt could be serviced. The long-term results have proven disastrous.
Government has doubled its infrastructure spending over the past five years to over R1 trillion, providing market opportunities to advance the transformation agenda of the ruling party. There have been troubling instances with regard to collusion, particularly around monopoly companies in the private sector.
This remains a sore point for our government, and the government will be tough against monopolies and their opportunistic tendencies in order to achieve transformation targets on procurement and jobs, as set out in the manifesto of the ruling party.
Central to our improvement of the rate of employment in our economy is the creation of a broad and robust manufacturing sector. I want to speak on the creative ways through which we managed to salvage our existing industrial assets in the manufacturing sector from the negative impact of volatile global economic issues.
The example in our automotive sector, as the leading subsector of manufacturing, comes to mind. The Automotive Investment Scheme and the Automotive Production Development Programme are amongst the key fiscal support mechanisms that are set out to assist the auto industry by our own government.
Incentives such as the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, Mcep, which was spoken about here, have recorded the highest uptake from our industries, including creating a number of job opportunities for our people as outlined by the President.
In 2014, the President called upon all of us to endeavour to build an inclusive economy, anchored on a large and growing industrial base, underpinned by broad-based black economic empowerment. This year, again, the President reiterated the call last Thursday when the majority of the opposition were not in the House.
We have already made headway in institutionalising this call. We are leading the charge of transforming the sector, in particular there is a lot of emphasis on our work around black economic empowerment and SMME - small, medium and micro enterprises - policies.
President Zuma announced ground-breaking initiatives, firstly, on the designations, and, secondly, on the set-asides. In no time at all we expect the National Treasury to issue practice notes to all spheres of government so that this programme can be implemented. This will benefit our co-operatives, BEE, SMMEs and black industrialists.
The President also made a call to ensure that the country and the private sector, in particular, comply fully with the charter, starting with the Mining Charter amongst many other charters that are out there in the industry.
Our Black Industrialists Development Programme is a systematic initiative to crowd in new industrial actors into a network of productive industrial assets as well as financing the development of new industrial assets. Mr President, there is already a huge inflow of applications to participate in this programme around black industrialists.
We are now in the process of consolidating a mechanism to support these black industrialists. We are exploring a framework that will use the existing capacity of institutions like the National Empowerment Fund, or NEF, the Industrial Development Corporation, the IDC, the Public Investment Corporation, or PIC, amongst others, including our own incentive schemes at Department of Trade and Industry to serve as a base upon which this programme will be rolled out.
Government incentives have been quite effective in leveraging investment in this country. As things stand, there is over R39,9 billion in the pipeline for potential investment in the third quarter of this financial year. This is part of the investment consolidation that will accelerate the realisation of the 6 million job opportunities that are raised in the manifesto of the ruling party.
There can be no radical transformation of the productive side of the economy without a matching move to build a robust network of foreign markets for sustainable trade. Our view has always been that we have to pursue trade relations in a manner that is systematic and we have to improve our trade balance by yielding more export opportunities for South Africa. Realising this trade advantage also imposes on us the obligation to build an industrial base with a diverse output that can appeal to various markets, domestically and abroad.
In respect of this, the consolidation of existing trade partnerships and the exploration of other market avenues, such as African regional integration, become crucial. South Africa is currently engaged in trade negotiations that will upscale its partnerships with other African economies.
Through our location in the Southern African Development Community, SADC, we are engaged in a free-trade agreement negotiation that will enjoin three regional economic blocs consisting of over 26 countries with a combined GDP of US$860 billion and a population of almost 590 million people. This is the SADC-EAC-Comesa free-trade agreement negotiation, or the Southern African Development Community-East African Community- Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa free-trade agreement negotiation.
The Tripartite Initiative comprises three pillars that will be pursued concurrently in order to ensure an equitable spread of the benefits of regional integration: market integration, infrastructure development and industrial development. The free-trade agreement will, as a first phase, cover trade in goods and services and other trade-related issues.
All of these initiatives can and will ride on the massive infrastructure plans that we have developed over many years. We seek to galvanise emerging industrial players to use the infrastructure network of the trade corridors that we already have.
South Africa continues to work energetically to ensure participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act, Agoa, in order to improve the trade position of particularly South African farmers in accessing the American markets.
There is also a renewed effort towards concluding the Doha Development Agenda in the World Trade Organisation, WTO. It is important for Africa to be properly co-ordinated to ensure that development remains at the centre of negotiations and that agriculture is central to any development around issues that we are raising as a continent.
Similarly, our membership in the Brics group - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - is part of the strides we continue to make in accessing a wide range of markets. This will allow South Africa to enter more favourable trade markets for investment capital and exports.
The institutional formation of the Brics organisational machinery is already under way. Work is under way to fully establish the African division of the Brics Bank here in South Africa. This will be used as a springboard for infrastructure investment in the continent and will provide huge market opportunities and, certainly, our economy will receive a major boost from this development.
I want to state that the ANC is hard at work in pursuit of socioeconomic freedom. This is a struggle we have committed to pursue with vigour, determination and discipline as we have done during the days of apartheid. Unlike some overzealous people in the House, we appreciate that the struggle for socioeconomic freedom is not ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Is that a point of order? Hon Masina, could you take your seat. On what point are you rising?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: I think we must bring the Deputy Minister to order because the ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): What is the point of order?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: I am speaking!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Okay. [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: But I am speaking!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No, I was trying to understand. [Interjections.] No, no, no. [Interjections.] What is the problem? [Interjections.]. No.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: I am saying that ... I am saying: Be patient, hon Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Yes, I am very patient with you. Could you speak to me?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Yes, I am saying that I am rising on a point of order ... [Interjections.] ... that the Deputy Minister be aware that the Speaker is not with us. He keeps saying “hon Speaker” ... [Interjections.] ... “Madam Speaker”. He is referring to you as a madam. I am not sure we are going to ... [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Okay, hon member, take your seat. Hon Deputy Minister, proceed with the debate.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Point taken, hon Ndlozi. I want to state that the ANC is hard at work pursuing socioeconomic freedom. This is a struggle we are committed to pursuing with vigour, determination and discipline as we did during the struggle against apartheid. Unlike some overzealous people in the House, we appreciate that the struggle for socioeconomic freedom is not an event and does not depend on the howling of slogans.
As the ANC, we are committed to implementing all the ideals of the Freedom Charter. We remain the only liberation movement that will continue to contest for state power to transform society in order to deal decisively with poverty, unemployment and inequality.
The ANC supports the state of the nation address as delivered by President Zuma, and further commits to working tirelessly in government with business, labour and civil society to change the structure of our economy using our long-term plan, the NDP.
I want to take this opportunity to remind Mr “Six Percent” Malema that President Zuma is Mr Sixty-Two Percent in electoral terms. [Interjections.] He won the elections decisively. Mr Maimane should also be reminded that he is holding the fort for the madam who is unfortunately not in the House. Very soon he will also be shown his way to Harvard before he can finish his term in that particular office. [Interjections.]
The hon Holomisa and the hon Lekota must stop walking out when they don’t know where they are going. [Laughter.] They can’t just follow people because people are walking out, and they are directionless. [Laughter.] They must spend time in Parliament because they represent the very tiny constituencies, which deserve to hear, so that they don’t debate the state of the nation address out of context.
Mr Malema, as a man of many slogans, one of the things we want to appeal to you to do, as an hon member, is to bring back our hon Mngxitama ... [Laughter.] ... as we deal with issues of the expropriation of land for public use - before he is sent to the docks. So, we would want him to come here to engage with us because that is very important. [Interjections.] On the land question, we want Mr Mngxitama to be here.
Mr Maimane, we must remind you that the time has come for all of us to remind you that the legacy of Nelson Mandela can never be appropriated by a person like you, who serves a puppet master. Nelson Mandela served the ANC. He is currently in the branch of the ANC wherever he is. [Interjections.] We have no time to entertain you ... [Interjections.] ... trying to reconfigure who Nelson Mandela is, because Nelson Mandela is one of our own. Thank you very much. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS AT 18:04
Mr D J MAYNIER
TAKE 14 STARTS AT 18:04
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
Mr D J MAYNIER: Deputy Chairperson, 21 years ago I took my seat in the public gallery to witness the first state of the nation address in the first democratic Parliament of South Africa. What an honour it was to see President Nelson Mandela inspire the nation with a vision of a shared destiny of freedom and of hope. But that vision has been shattered, and it has been shattered by one man, and that man is President Jacob Zuma.
This is because, for the past six years, the President has given the middle finger to the Constitution; given the middle finger to this Parliament; and given the middle finger to the people of South Africa. In so doing, he has shattered the vision of a shared destiny of freedom and of hope set out in this Parliament 21 years ago by former President Nelson Mandela.
In his state of the nation address, President Jacob Zuma told us that the fight against corruption continues. But the truth is that we are in the middle of a country-wide robbery in progress. At the centre of this robbery in progress is one case, and that case is Nkandlagate, while at the centre of Nkandlagate is one man, and that man is President Jacob Zuma. A forensic audit report prepared by KPMG in 2006 found that:
Zuma in his personal capacity did not have access to sufficient funds derived from his position as an official employed by the South African government to fund his expenses and liabilities, and as a consequence had to rely on funds from external sources.
At the time those external sources made up 783 payments, totalling over R4 million to the President. This illustrates the root cause of the problem, which is that the President’s household expenses exceed his household income, and that the President is therefore forced to rely on external sources of funding. Those external sources of funding have included the Shaiks, the Reddys and the Guptas, but now also include the taxpayers who have been forced to fork out R246 million on the President’s private residence at Nkandla. [Applause.]
Adv Thuli Madonsela, the Public Protector, found that the President improperly benefited from measures implemented in the name of security, which included nonsecurity comforts such as a swimming pool, an amphitheatre, a cattle kraal, a culvert and a chicken run. But that report has been buried and the President has no intention of ever paying back the money. That is because we are governed by those who, in exile, ground and crushed their opponents to win power in South Africa, and they are grinding and crushing their opponents to stay in power in South Africa.
The executive has been crushed by appointing Cabinet Ministers whose principal qualification is that they can be relied upon to say: “Yes, Number One.” The perfect example of that is Minister of State Security David Mahlobo ... [Interjections.] ... who, when asked to jam the signal in this Parliament, said “Yes, Number One”, and for that he should be forced to resign.
The legislature has been crushed by appointing a Speaker whose principal qualification is that she can be relied upon to say, “Yes, Number One” ... [Interjections.] ... and by appointing committee chairpersons whose principal qualification is that they can be relied upon to say, “Yes, Number One.” [Interjections.] The perfect example of this is the chairperson of the ad hoc committee on Nkandla, who, when asked to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, can be relied upon to say, “Yes, Number One.” [Interjections.]
The independent investigating units have been crushed by purging officials who, of course, don’t say “Yes, Number One”: the Scorpions crushed, the Hawks crushed, the National Prosecuting Authority crushed, the Special Investigating Unit crushed and the SA Revenue Service crushed. That is why when the President tells us that the fight against corruption continues nobody believes him, because the truth is that he is not fighting corruption. He is fighting those who fight corruption.
We must accept that President Jacob Zuma has broken what President Nelson Mandela built in South Africa ... [Interjections.] ... and because of that there is a new battle line and a new struggle for freedom between the champions of Nelson Mandela’s vision in the opposition and the enemies of Nelson Mandela’s vision in the ruling party. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
TAKE ENDS AT 18:10
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES
TAKE STARTS AT 18:10
Mr D J MAYNIER
Mr M Q NDLOZI: I rise on a point of order, Chairperson. I would like to ask hon Minister “Ginger” Lindiwe Zulu to stop singing in the House, or she must be referred to the Powers and Privileges Committee. She is chanting: “Yes, Number One.” She is destructive. [Interjections.] She must be taken to the Powers and Privileges Committee, because I am trying to listen, but she is chanting: “Yes, Number One.”
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Ndlozi, I think that is a very important observation. I tried to call members to order because that affects the decorum of the House. But members continued to chant “Yes, Number One.” I think the order that you are calling for is for all members of the House to respect the decorum of the House and allow members, when they speak, to be heard and also allow members to hear. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, on a point of order: My name is Lindiwe Daphney Zulu. The one who refers to me as “Ginger” ... [Laughter.] The “Ginger” shall be outside. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Order! Order! [Interjections.] Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Order, hon members! That also comes back to the same issue that I ruled on earlier. May we respect one another as hon members and stop calling members by other names. That is why I was a bit lost when I heard some other names and so on. So, may we please refrain from using other names that might be misleading to this House? Please proceed, hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr J S MALEMA: I rise on a point of order. Chair, I think the hon Minister made a very serious threat against an hon member. [Interjections.] And it has been made inside the House here. We don’t want to take things very lightly here; we have had a very bad experience. [Laughter.] So, I think, she must be asked to withdraw that statement, please. That is a serious threat. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Minister, if that was a threat to another member inside the House, may that please be withdrawn.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KWAMABHIZINISI AMANCANE: Uyazi mina ngiyaxakeka uma nabangani sebethinteka kabuhlungu ukuthi kusho ukuthini. Angimazi ukhuluma ngani lo okhulumayo. Akayichaze yena le nto ayikhulumayo.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Alright. Hon Malema, take your seat. This is going to make things very difficult for me because I am also not sure of the threat that was made. [Interjections.] Can I rule on the matter? Can I be allowed to rule on the matter?
Mr J S MALEMA: Can I tell you the threat?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Can I be allowed to rule on the matter? This is because this is going to be a debate now. Allow me to check on the Hansard and then make a ruling at the next sitting. [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Deputy Chair of the NCOP ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Yes.
Mr J S MALEMA: The member raised a genuine concern that she must not be called by names she doesn’t know; otherwise she would meet this hon member outside. [Interjections.] And we know her tendencies. [Laughter.] So could you please ask her to withdraw, because this is going to degenerate. It’s like we are in a shebeen here where people just threaten each other like that. There is no order coming from you. There are secretaries there. They heard her. They can confirm, and you can then ask her to withdraw. We do not want this hon member to be dealt with outside. [Laughter.] This woman has a picture carrying an AK47. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Malema, please take your seat. Hon members, my ruling on the point of order is that I did not hear that part and therefore ... [Interjections.] You see, if you were not shouting and making noise and being too excited, I might have heard it, but I didn’t pick it up because of that.
Hon members, the ruling is that I be allowed to check with the Hansard and make a ruling at the next sitting on that particular matter. Okay. Hon Deputy Minister, may you proceed with the debate.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Thank you, Chairperson ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Is that a point of order? [Interjections.] Hon member, there is a microphone there. Could you use that?
Ms B T SHONGWE: Chairperson, I want you to rule on what was said by the hon Malema when he referred to the hon Zulu as “this woman”. We take offence as women. [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: I withdraw, Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON ON THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Thank you very much for that co-operation. Hon Deputy Minister, please proceed.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Chairperson, at this point in time I would like to acknowledge the Speaker of the National Assembly in her absence, His Excellency our President Mr J G Zuma, His Excellency our Deputy President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, all our premiers present and all the hon members of both Houses.
It is indeed a privilege and an honour for me to participate in the debate on the 2015 state of the nation address following the presentation by His Excellency our President Jacob Zuma on 12 February 2015 in this very House.
Chairperson, allow me to express our highest consideration for the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly. Once more, we would like to express our respect for and confidence in her inspiring leadership. [Interjections.] [Applause.] Our Speaker is one of the tried and tested cadres in the history of this country. [Applause.] As she continues to stand tall, we look up to her, especially when we remember how she used her leadership skills during the difficult times in the history of this country, such as at the Codesa negotiations, or the Convention for a Democratic South Africa negotiations.
She emerged as one of those women who were able to unite all of us, across political, class, rural, religious and human rights social formations, and ensured that gender equality and women’s right to participation were respected during the country’s high-level negotiations.
Maybe I should just reflect a bit about events and circumstances in the run-up to the historical day. Threats of violence before the start of this annual historical day and the actual aggression seen while the head of state was on stage created a feeling of possible imminent danger.
And, for me, the danger was really seeing what people have died for being eroded by a few individuals. [Applause.] I think it is appropriate, Mr President, to assure you that on the side of the ANC we bring our traditions of respect and commitment to the cause of uplifting the plight of the poorest of the poor. We are not the sheriffs; we are not the judges or the prosecutors. We do believe this is the platform for high-level political debates to look at the state of the nation and to reflect deeply on each and every problem, and not to take superficial positions in terms of defending the Constitution, defending democracy, and defending human rights.
We do believe we have a history in this country, which has created the kind of legacy that makes our problems deep and which call for the kind of leadership that, Mr President, you have been giving us, and you continue to challenge us to commit, especially to look at the situation of the poorest of the poor.
You mentioned all the priority areas, Mr President. And I must say, standing here, that it is our commitment to go back to the basics and to ensure that we deliver along the same lines as you articulated to us.
Mr President, I come from the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. [Interjections.] The apartheid government denied our people access to information, education and knowledge. Instead, they used the state apparatus to spread propaganda through the state broadcaster, and the Post Office was used as a conduit for letter bombing against our comrades who were in exile.
In this regard, we remember antiapartheid activist Ruth First who was killed on 17 August 1982 by a letter bomb in Maputo, where she lived in exile. Similarly, we remember our comrade Bheki Mlangeni who was also killed by a letter bomb sent by Eugene de Kock to Lusaka. When the letter was “returned to sender” it blew him up at his mother’s house in Jabulani, Soweto.
Mr President, I am reflecting on this because sometimes when we talk about the state-owned entities, it’s almost like the creation of the democratic government. I am reflecting on the abuse of these institutions over years and decades. Today, people who are sitting here in the House, representing the people of South Africa, fail to take a closer look at the deep nature of our problems.
The President reminded us correctly by entitling his speech: The Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. The Freedom Charter declares that all shall enjoy equal human rights. The Freedom Charter was crafted to counteract apartheid-legislated racism, a system which was declared by the United Nations as a crime against humanity. And, I think, Mr President, there will be no debate around the Freedom Charter if we don’t talk about racism.
Those who seek to defend white privilege must appreciate that apartheid and its segregation policy committed acts of criminality against the majority of our black people, hence this House cannot be used except as a battleground for reparative measures.
Our Constitution also states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. This Parliament, as an important institution for upholding the Constitution, should dedicate itself to building a united and democratic South Africa, able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
Sometimes the name-calling, accusations, diagnoses and classifications add to the problems we are talking about. I think we are all here as representatives positioned to reflect on the challenges we have and to find solutions to them.
Coming back to the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, it is responsible for developing policy and regulatory functions which facilitate the deployment of infrastructure and postal services.
Ms H O MAXON: Order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Deputy Minister, could you take your seat. What is the point of order, hon member?
Ms H O MAXON: Chair, I just want to check if the Deputy Minister is prepared to take a question. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Deputy Minister?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: As soon as I finish, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Okay, hon member, you can take your seat. She will check when she finishes whether she has time to respond to you. Over to you, Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: The ANC government has made strategic interventions since we started over in 1994. We took a deliberate policy to grow the ICT sector. Since the licensing of Vodacom and MTN in 1993, these companies have become giants not just in the African telecommunications market but also worldwide.
Further on their success, the South African public benefits through high-tech modern technology. For example, one of the companies, Vodacom, accounts for more than 31,3 million subscribers, a growth in number from over 26 million subscribers in 2010. The market cap of Vodacom is currently sitting at R200 billion. This is indeed a good story to tell, moving South Africa forward.
Gogo, uSilambanezigwili in Msinga can now regularly communicate with her loved ones in Cape Town or anywhere on the continent, managing family affairs under any circumstances at affordable call rates.
Before 1994 we had only one fixed-line operator, that was Telkom, but today we can proudly boast of four mobile network operators. South Africa had moved from two mobile network operators to four licensed operators by 2012. I am not going to mention them.
Chairperson, let me remind you of some statistics regarding where we are to date in our pursuit of universal access to ICT services for all. Internet access has increased, with over 40,9% of the population enjoying access to the Internet. Connectivity for schools continues to be a goal of the current administration. Over 22% of schools of the total 24 619 schools have now been connected for teaching and learning. [Applause.] And this is very important. We have paid particular attention to schools in rural areas and schools in the townships, because we believe it is our responsibility to assist the most vulnerable by improving their education.
Also, the President referred to the first year of the implementation of the National Development Plan. This NDP makes special reference to the importance of infrastructure. And, Mr President, I am always puzzled by the manner in which you do not take any glory for having steered the ship towards the commission which drove the outcomes of the NDP. We will always be grateful for the kind of leadership you provide. I vividly remember – and I think most members on the right would remember - that, we, even as executives, wanted to be the commissioners of the NDP. And, really, Number One was Number One. [Applause.] He insisted that the NDP commission should be independent and should be headed by people of good standing who represent different stakeholders. In terms of the outcomes we had, we commit to implementing the NDP and ensuring that we bring about outstanding results.
Mr President, you and the leadership of the ANC introduced the the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services and the Department of Communications. I must say, we have one integrated information and communications technology policy. The separation was a strategic one to ensure efficiency and to deliver on strategic issues. But, of course, the prophets of doom and gloom had already seen that as a move away from convergence and as creating confusion. But, I must say, we are beginning to see the fruits of the wise division of the two. We will continue to co-operate and to ensure that our policies are aligned so that we can deliver at a faster rate.
Mr President, you made special reference to broadband policy, the South Africa Connect policy. The broadband policy strategy and plan was adopted by Cabinet in 2013. We are grateful to the then Minister who drove it, and we have now inherited it. We are concerned about the low level of broadband penetration, which stood at only 17% in 2014.
It is our commitment, then, to improve in terms of broadband penetration so as to ensure that by 2020 we achieve the 100% broadband penetration speeds that have been earmarked. These targets are set in order to move our country forward.
Also, the President made special reference to a strategic move towards identifying one of the state-owned entities as the champion of the ICTs. I must say, Telkom has been identified by Cabinet as a lead state-owned enterprise in terms of broadband deployment at national, provincial and local levels. During the market sounding study on broadband, led by the then Department of Communications and by National Treasury, the ICT industry called for Telkom to play this lead role in broadband, following the successes in countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand, that adopted the same strategy.
This decision is important in our transformation agenda in that the broadband network built by Telkom will be open for use by all industry players ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): Hon Deputy Minister, your time is up.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: And, also, another ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): Hon Deputy Minister, your time is up.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS AT 18:33
Mr J W W JULIUS
TAKE 16: STARTS AT 18:33
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): I now call the hon member Julius. [Interjections.]
Mnu J W W JULIUS: Hayi suka wena! [Kwahlekwa.]
Mr J W W JULIUS: House Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member! Just for clarity, this is hon member J Julius. He is not hon Julius Malema. I heard others asking, “Julius who?” I just thought it was important to clarify that.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you, House Chair. That’s my surname, House Chairperson, originally. One cannot respond to the state of the nation address without reflecting on the state of our provinces.
In the next two weeks, premiers across the country’s nine provinces will address their legislatures on the progress of their governments, their performance and areas that have been identified in which significant improvements can be made. But, before we hear the details of every province, we must assess national government’s impact on the two other spheres of government, where South Africans face day-to-day struggles that affect their livelihoods. A poor attempt was made by Minister Gordhan.
It is no surprise that many of the problems faced in ANC led-provinces and municipalities are based on internal squabbles, cadre deployment and a lack of management. This is exemplified by our President himself. The ANC dismally fails across all three spheres of government, running local government into the ground, weakening the efficiency of provinces and creating more and more ministries for cadres, as we see.
Now, here is a snapshot of what is really going on in our provinces. In January 2015, the Eastern Cape education department still had no plan for an effective scholar transport system due to a bungled tender process. For a province that consistently fails our children, we cannot afford to hold our learners hostage by denying them their constitutional right to education.
Due to the ANC’s infrastructure mismanagement, South Africans in municipalities like Makana in the Eastern Cape, Ngaka Modiri Molema in the North West and devastated Carolina in Mpumalanga go without water for months, Minister Gordhan. May I reiterate: It is not our taps that need fixing; it is proper infrastructure that will stop us from losing 30% of our water.
Now, one would expect the highest paid municipal administrator in our country to do the best job of running that municipality. Sadly, in Makana, Pam Yako earns an exorbitant R327 000 a month for a mere 12 days of work whilst she is clearly running Makana into the ground.
Minister Gordhan, in the Eastern Cape our health system continues to be crippled. Last year, we discovered the massive medicine stock-outs to deal with chronic diseases at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth. This could have been prevented if the Health department followed due process and put the tender for medicine out on time. It would be incorrect to say our health system is improving if patients, young and old, are put in this life-threatening position.
An example of a growing trend where the ANC governs is the fact that the NCOP, just this morning, ratified the decision to dissolve Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal due to mismanagement and infighting amongst themselves. Again, the taxpayer must foot this bill.
In contrast to every province in South Africa, the DA-led Western Cape remains the best province in this country. [Applause.] Provinces like KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, the North West and Limpopo continue to regress in the management of their finances. The DA-led Western Cape government, as proven by the Auditor-General, has a proud and outstanding record of delivery and sound financial management; and you can take that to the bank.
While the rest of the country suffers, cadres and ANC politicians continue to line their stomachs and fatten their pockets with the money of the very people they have forgotten about out there. Where the DA governs, we spend the bulk of our budgets on poor South Africans.
The President has shown no impetus when it comes to how our provinces and, subsequently, how our municipalities are managing this country. Last week the President mentioned in his state of the nation address ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Rre J W W JULIUS: Ke a leboga.
Mr N T GODI
Mr J W W JULIUS
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): I now recognise the hon Godi. [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Order! Could we allow the speaker to make his input?
Mr N T GODI: Chairperson, Comrade President of the Republic, comrades and hon members, the APC believes that the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, which are the product of settler colonialism, remain the proverbial elephant in the room.
Two decades after our liberation, our socioeconomic space is, in large measure, still a reflection of the past. Freedom must have material meaning for the lives of the people, Africans in general and the working class in particular.
Comrade President, we need to deal head-on with the structural challenges of our economy. It, horrifyingly, reproduces the poverty and inequalities of the past. What is missing here is the firm and central role of the state. Anything else will be Waiting for Godot as the past two decades have shown.
Summing up our experiences must tell us that waiting for white capital to transform society is waiting in vain. We witness daily the reactionary stance of their political representatives here in Parliament, and their reluctance to embrace affirmative action and employment equity. Our hard-won freedom has been good to business, but business has not been good to freedom. [Applause.]
The protests we witness continually are a finger of accusation, a cry from the working poor about their material conditions. However, we want to make a call that it is wrong, and the APC condemns the closing and burning of schools, clinics, libraries or damage to infrastructure that is there to serve them. [Applause.] This can only be a reflection of the levels of self-alienation and depersonalisation of our people, thanks to the colonial policies of the past.
We must build a capable state. Even at this juncture, Comrade President, the gap between policy and implementation is unacceptable. Whether we are talking about social and labour plans for the mines, land reform or public administration, effective and timeous implementation or monitoring is lacking.
Economic development is the central task, and all policies and programmes should serve it. Let us, as a country, face our economic challenges head-on with courage and determination. I thank you. [Applause.]
MALUTA//A N N(ed)
TAKE ENDS AT 18:42
Mr Z N MBHELE
TAKE STARTS AT 18:42
Mr N T GODI
Mnu Z N MBHELE: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo, ngizwe iPhini likaNgqongqoshe wezoHwebo neZimboni lisinikeza imibono ayigaqulayo ngekusasa lelungu elihloniphekile leqembu eliphikisayo. Bengicela ukuthi angazenzi isangoma kule Ndlu. [Uhleko.]
There is only one party in this Parliament that is writing the future and that party is the DA. [Applause.]
Chairperson, the National Development Plan, or the NDP, outlines a vision of safer communities in South Africa by the year 2030 in which people feel safe at home, at school and at work, and in which they enjoy community life free of fear. Everyone would walk freely in the streets and children could play safely outside. The Police Service would be well resourced and professional, staffed by skilled officers who serve the community, safeguard lives and property without discrimination, protect the vulnerable against violence, and respect all citizens’ rights to equality and justice. For many of our people this vision remains far too removed from reality, and their lived experience, in fact, makes this vision a pipe dream.
In his state of the nation address, President Zuma mentioned that crime is one of the top concerns among South Africans. However, he offered nothing new or concrete to inspire confidence that 2015 could be a safer year than previous ones, especially for the most affected and poor communities.
The fact of the matter is that the state of policing, like the state of the nation, is one of stagnant decay, poor management and directionless leadership. It is therefore little wonder that the Police Service struggles to bring about major reductions in our crime rates and ensure that our communities are safe.
It is especially concerning that our citizens sometimes feel insecure, not just because of criminal elements in our society, but also because of abusive behaviour and misconduct perpetrated by some police officers themselves.
It would appear that police brutality and criminality are on the rise, with little to no handling from the Police Service management to arrest this state of affairs. As a result, only 47,9% of citizens trust the police, which is down from 60,2% in 2012, according to a report by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. There are thousands of incidents every year that erode the trust between the police and the citizens they are meant to serve, and only a fraction of those are ever reported.
Just in the past few days, two incidents have come to light that knock yet more chips off the block of the credibility of the SAPS. On the morning of the state of the nation address, a young woman in Alexandra by the name of Rikky Minyuku was victimised at a police roadblock in a xenophobia-based attempt to extract a bribe from her by an officer who accused her of possessing a fake identity document. She was not only verbally abused, but physically assaulted as well.
In another more harrowing incident that occurred in the early hours of this past Saturday, another woman by the name of Lana Stander alleges that she was arrested on false charges and handcuffed so roughly and tightly that her wrists bled. When she started having an epileptic seizure in the back of the police van, she was dragged out by her ankles and mocked about having a seizure by police officers who danced and toyi-toyied around her. [Interjections.]
This kind of abuse happens ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Order! Could you please lower your voices so that we can hear the speaker? He might have made a mistake in pronunciation, but I am sure you got the message. [Laughter.] Over to you, hon member.
Mr Z N MBHELE: Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms DIANNE KOHLER-BARNARD: Point of order, if I may, hon Chairperson: Would you please ask the hon Lindiwe Zulu not to laugh at the plight of someone who has an epileptic fit? I am horrified at her amusement. [Interjections.]
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KWAMABHIZINISI AMANCANE: Hhayi wena!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Lindiwe, you wanted to address the Chair?
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: On a point of order, Chair: I am not sure what the member is talking about. If she feels that I knew, I apologise. It wasn’t on the basis of what the member is. You are sensitive to that member. I was merely repeating what he said: “toyi-toyi”. [Laughter.] It has nothing to do with the knowledge of his fit or anything of that sort. If that was the case, I apologise to the member and not to the one who raised the issue.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Minister, thank you very much for your explanation. Hon Barnard, I think the Minister has explained that she was not laughing at the member or at what he said. Accept the matter. Order, hon members! Order! I addressed the issue of the pronunciation and asked members to be sensitive to that. I will allow the hon member to continue with his speech.
Mnu Z N MBHELE: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo. Noma ningathini ngizokhuluma ngendlela engiyithandayo! [Ubuwelewele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member! Hon member at the podium: Mbhele ...
... bengisiza wena, manje nawe uma usumosha-ke sithini? Qhubeka nenkulumo yakho. [Ubuwelewele.]
Mnu Z N MBHELE: Hhayi, Sihlalo ngiyabonga.
Chairperson, this kind of abuse happens because of a culture of impunity and weak accountability in the Police Service. It is little surprise that this is the case when the evasion of accountability has become the dominant theme of the governing party and this administration. When you have a President over whom hangs a cloud of over 700 corruption allegations, when you have a dysfunctional criminal justice system, when you have the unconstitutional deployment of SAPS officers in Parliament to forcefully remove members of this House, and when you have a governing party wherein one is no longer sure if the C in ANC stands for corruption, cronyism or censorship of cellphone signals, it is inevitable that people will see the brutality and power abuse perpetrated by criminal cops.
Our police should serve and protect the citizens of this country, especially the poor and vulnerable, and not terrorise and victimise them. The SAPS must shape up and shed its notorious image of thugs camouflaged in blue uniforms. The people of this country have been losing confidence in the ability of the police to keep them safe, and in the near future ...
... ngicela nilalele ngoba lena yimibono eqagulwe futhi yanikezwa umhlonishwa iPhini likaNgqongqoshe lininikeze yona. [Ubuwelewele.]
In the near future the people of this country will also lose confidence in the ability of the ANC to lead and govern. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! I can see that on the one hand we don’t have psychics, but on the other hand we seem to have some. I hope one day we will hear who is right of the two.
GG // TH //
TAKE ENDS AT 18:51
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE
Mr Z N MBHELE
TAKE STARTS AT 18:51
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Hon Chair, President of the Republic of South Africa, Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, the proclamation by our forebears 60 years ago at Kliptown on the solemn occasion of the adoption of the Freedom Charter ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam House Chair, I rise on Rule 14(s) of the Joint Rules. Is it parliamentary for a premier who has presided over massive corruption in his province to speak in this House today? [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member Steenhuisen, that is not a point of order. If you have substantive issues that you know about an hon member, you address that in an appropriate manner in a substantive motion. I don’t think this is a matter and I rule that you are out of order. I allow the hon premier to proceed with his speech.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE: Well, hon President, let me tell you that the people of South Africa have shown confidence in the ANC by continually voting for this party ... [Applause.] ... for the past 20 years and they will continue doing so. Under your leadership, South Africa today ... [Interjections.]
Mr K Z MORAPELA: Chairperson, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon premier, could you take your seat. Yes, hon member, what is the point of order you are rising on?
Mr G A GARDEE: Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Gardee, could you allow the Chair to chair. There is one Chair who is presiding, and I am allowing your colleague to address me on a point of order on which he has risen.
Mr K Z MORAPELA: Chairperson, is it parliamentary to be addressed by a person who is in the pocket of non-South Africans, the Guptas? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, I think we need to respect this debate. I have said that if members have substantive motions, they know what to do. You cannot keep on rising on a points of order which are actually not and want to make political statements. Hon premier, could you proceed.
Mr J S MALEMA: On a point of order, Chair: The speaker of the EFF had not even concluded what he wanted to say. [Interjections.] I think it is wrong of you to cut him off, because you don’t know if he has more information to share with you. [Interjections.] This is because the reality is that we are being addressed by a person who is funded by foreigners, called the Guptas. So that is the point the hon member wanted to raise. Is it parliamentary to be addressed by a person who is in the pocket of foreigners with the name Gupta? That is what we want to check. If it is parliamentary, he can continue.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Malema and hon members, I really hope that all of us sitting here do respect this House. I have said to your colleague, and I have also said to the hon Steenhuisen, that if there are matters that members know, they need to make substantive motions and not what they have done on the pretext of points of order. Could we please allow the premier to continue?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chair, could we please check if the hon premier is at least South African. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] Could he show us his ID, passport or something? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, I really ask members that we allow the debate to proceed.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Chair of the House ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Floyd, what is your point of order?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Thoko, could I address you on the issue I have risen on?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): You can address me. Could you please not point at a member. You are speaking through the Chair.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Yes, through you, Chair: the gentleman who is sitting down here is eating his own medicine. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, could you please stop interjecting so that I can hear the point of order. What is your point of order, hon member?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: The gentleman who is sitting there ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): No, could you address me on the point of order on which you rose?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: The point of order is that we have been having a debate here about the state of the nation address. This guy stands up and ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Sorry, there is no guy. [Interjections.] He is an hon member.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: The Premier of the Free State. The hon member – which is questionable - stood up here to disrupt proper proceedings. So he is eating his own medicine. He must ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Shivambu, could you take your seat, because what you have just said is not a point of order. Hon premier, could you proceed.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Hon Chair, I am not worried at all ... [Interjections.]
Mr G A GARDEE: Hon Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon premier, could you take your seat. Hon Gardee? [Interjections.]
Mr G A GARDEE: Thank you. Sit down.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): No, Gardee! [Interjections.]
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): You are not the Chair.
Mr G A GARDEE: The Chairperson said, “Sit down.”
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): You are not the Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon premier, could you take your seat. [Interjections.] Hon Gardee, could you make your point of order?
Mr G A GARDEE: Hon Chairperson, it is unfortunate, if I may address you, in that when a member of this House was addressing this House, the premier stood up and asked if she was a South African. Now, we also want to ask him a question. He did not withdraw, he was not made to withdraw and he was not even reprimanded for that. Could he be reprimanded so that he can continue very well? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon Gardee, you are not rising on a point of order. The Deputy Chair of the NCOP ruled on that matter, and we are not going back to that ruling. Hon premier, could you please address the House. He would probably be able to address you if you gave him a chance and listened.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Well, I am not bothered at all. This is what the opposition always does. [Interjections.] President, the people of South Africa have full confidence in you. [Applause.] The President of the country, the Deputy President and the ANC must just stay focused.
Let me tell South Africans about the history. [Interjections.] Yes, there is a number one in South Africa and that is President Jacob Zuma, not Helen Zille. [Applause.] There are people who love to be called presidents and all of them joined the ANC. When they are not leaders, when they are not premiers, when they are not mayors and councillors, they start their parties because this title of president can actually be given to everybody. All of them, from Julius Malema to the rest, when they were in the ANC ... [Interjections.] ... all of them ... That’s why they are jumping.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Hon Premier of the Free State, could you please address the member of this House as “hon Julius” and not by his first name.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): That’s convention: hon Malema. All of them, when they were in the ANC, said to South Africans that the ANC had delivered. Some of them said, “My blood is black, green and gold and I will die and kill for Zuma.” [Applause.] All of them may pretend today - from the DA to the hon Malema. They have interacted with the Guptas because the Guptas are businesspeople in South Africa - all of them. [Applause.]
Mr J S MALEMA: On a point of order, Chair: It is extremely wrong for the hon Magashule to suggest that I have interacted with the Guptas. [Interjections.]
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): You have! [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: I have never interacted with the Guptas. President Zuma can confirm that. I don’t know those people. Please! [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon Malema, your point has been noted even though it was not a point of order, but a point of clarity for the premier. Hon premier, you can proceed.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): One day I will tell South Africans how we interacted with the Guptas. I was with the hon Julius Malema the first time we met them. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon premier ...
Mr J S MALEMA: On a point of order, Chair. Ace, you are lying. Ace is lying. I have never interacted with the Guptas. [Interjections.] The person who asked for a meeting with me and the Guptas was President Zuma’s son, and I refused. [Interjections.] Vuyiswa can tell you that. [Interjections.] [Applause.] I have never interacted with the Guptas. [Interjections.] [Applause.] Stop lying, Ace. Stop lying. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon members, could you please be quiet so that we can hear one another. Hon Mandela?
Mr Z M D MANDELA: Chair, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary to say a member of the House is lying in the House? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! As we all know, as we all know it is not parliamentary to say that a member is lying. We dealt with that matter earlier. Could I please ask members to remember the rulings of this House and the protocols and procedures? Could we also listen to one another so that we can conclude the debate on time? Hon premier?
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): I was saying that there is no need to worry about cadre deployment. When the DA came into power in the Cape Town Metro, a former municipal manager, Mqoqi, was immediately expelled by the DA. [Interjections.] There is a municipal manager called Bruce Kannemeyer. I still have his letter when he was dismissed by the DA. [Interjections.] That letter will be for the public. The letter said:
You are an ANC member. There is no way you will carry out the policies of the DA. Therefore, you are dismissed.
There is nothing to worry about with the DA. The ANC and the President must govern this country without fear. We have been democratically elected by the majority of the people of South Africa ... [Interjections.]
Mr I OLLIS: Chairperson, would you ask the premier if he would take a question about his website? I can’t find it? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon premier, would you take a question?
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): I will be wasting my time.
Mr I OLLIS: It’s blank.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ollis, could you take your seat.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): The problem with South Africa today is that when we were building the nation and reconciling our people, we never went for those people who murdered and killed. Some of them are hon members who were in the SA Defence Force, who maimed and killed our own brothers and sisters here in South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia. They are sitting here with us in this House. [Interjections.] Truth be told.
Mr G A GARDEE: On a point of order, Madam Chair: Is it parliamentary for a member who is speaking at the podium to cast aspersions on hon members, because none of them here was involved in the killing of our people in Marikana? Thank you. [Interjections.]
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Some of the hon members ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon premier. Hon Gardee, could you also be patient as you ask others to be. The hon premier in his speech did not refer to any specific member. However, hon premier, I would ask that we not use references that might be inferred as casting aspersions on others. Could we continue with the speech?
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): It’s just that, Madam Chair, it is factual and it is true that some of the hon members here during the apartheid era participated in murdering our brothers and sisters. [Interjections.] It is the truth. We can cite them; we can call them by name. It is unfortunate we can’t do it now. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon members, could we please lower our voices in order to be able to listen to one another. Hon premier, could you please proceed with your speech.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Hon President, even President Nelson Mandela, the icon of the entire world, was never wanted by the opposition party, especially the DA. Former President Thabo Mbeki was never wanted by the opposition, especially the DA. [Interjections.] So, there is no way that they will want you. There is no way that they will love and want the ANC to rule this country, because their time is over. There is no more time for “klein miesies” and “klein baas” [small madam and small boss]. That is the problem with South Africa today. Some of the hon members are still longing for the days of apartheid when they were called “base” and “miesiese” [bosses and madams]. That time is gone; it will never come back. South Africa is moving forward – it is a nonracial, nonsexist and united democracy. [Applause.]
In terms of local government ... I heard one of the members of the opposition here talking about provinces. This member of the opposition, from the DA, is not saying - hon Julius - all the provinces of South Africa, especially those under the ANC, have water, electricity, housing. [Interjections.] Last year in the Eastern Cape, they delivered a school every week. [Applause.] [Interjections.] Every year the ANC government, through the national fiscus, builds houses in each and every municipality, including the municipalities of the DA, because that is not a provincial competence. [Interjections.] It is a national competence, and the ANC is doing well there.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Premier, could you take your seat? [Interjections.] Hon premier ... ? Hon members, could we please not shout at members to take their seats. The premier has heard me and he was going to take his seat. Hon member?
Mr K Z MORAPELA: I just want to check whether the hon premier is prepared to take a question. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon premier, would you be prepared to take a question?
Mr K Z MORAPELA: ... because Brandfort does not have water as we speak.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Sorry, hon member. You asked, so I am asking the premier. He will respond.
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): The hon member Morapelo knows - he was a spokesperson of the premier and we fired him. [Laughter.] [Applause.] [Interjections.] And he knows the reasons why we fired him.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Order, hon members! I take it that the premier was saying he was not going to answer your question.
Mr K Z MORAPELA: But it is not true that I was his ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: On a point of order, Chair: You can’t do that because the premier is behaving in an unparliamentary manner. [Interjections.] You asked him if he would take the question, and he said other unnecessary things, instead of you saying to him, “Are you going to take a question; yes or no?” I know for a fact that if it was a member of another political party you would have dealt with that person harshly. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Malema, hon Malema ... [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: Please ask Ace to behave. This is not a legislature; it’s the national Parliament. Please! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Malema, could you stand up. Could you address the premier as “honourable”? I did the same on your behalf, so can you do it.
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Ace Magashule. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much, hon member. Can I please ... Yes, hon member, what point are you rising on?
Mr K Z MORAPELA: Could it be on record that the premier is lying? I was never his spokesperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, could you please withdraw the word “lying” because it is not parliamentary. [Interjections.]
Mr K Z MORAPELA: He is intentionally incorrect by saying that I was his spokesperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, could you withdraw.
Mr K Z MORAPELA: I withdraw the word. [Interjections.]
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Well, let me leave the hon Kgotso Morapela because he knows he was indeed the leader of the Youth Commission ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member! Hon Gardee, could you please not exchange words with members on the other side of the House. Hon member, what point are you rising on?
Mr N S MATIASE: I rise on a point of order to call on the hon the Premier of the Free State.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Yes, could you address the Chair and not the premier.
Mr N S MATIASE: He should not claim easy victories and tell lies. Kgotso Morapelo was never a spokesperson of the Free State. I want to challenge him to produce evidence that Kgotso Morapelo was once - or was ever - his spokesperson in the Free State. I am from the Free State, as a matter of fact.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Producing evidence for one another, I am sure, will happen outside of this House and the evidence will be provided to you.
Ms H O MAXON: Chair, the 10 minutes of the premier has come and gone. Could he move on? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, could you please not rise on spurious points of order. Hon premier, could you please round up your speech.
Mr P G MOTEKA: Point of order, Chair: The Premier of the Free State has misinformed the public, because the people of Sekhukhune are not drinking water. He is saying the ANC has delivered water in all municipalities. He must withdraw that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member. Could you take your seat? Could we allow the premier to conclude his speech?
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule): Hon Chair, simple logic tells us that there is no way that you can address all the challenges of South Africa at once. That is why the ANC says “Tomorrow will still be better than today.” There are people who got houses in 1995, there are people who got houses in 2012, and there are people who will get houses today and tomorrow. You can’t in life - in any part of the world; anywhere - deliver everything. People don’t want us to talk about apartheid and what apartheid did to us. [Interjections.]
The ANC has indeed electrified South Africa. It is only in the term of President Jacob Zuma that we now have long-term planning. That is visionary leadership. The long-term plan, the National Development Plan Vision 2030, has been adopted by the masses of this country. I am not worried about these political parties. [Applause.] It is through the ANC, under the leadership of Jacob Zuma, that South Africa has, for the first time, envisaged an infrastructure plan. For the first time in the history. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS AT 19:17
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
TAKE 19: The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr S E A Magashule)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam House Chair, it is very clear today that the ANC brought their B team to Parliament, and it has been great fun taking them on. But let’s be honest - and the Premier of the Free State has proven it here in the House today - there is a man called No 1, and he is absolutely right. He is No 1, because in this House he is the No 1 rule breaker of the parliamentary Rules.
He broke his compact with Parliament and his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution when he failed to appear in this House to answer questions, as he is meant to do, and then spent the rest of the year hiding away from Parliament whilst playing a bizarre pass-the-parcel game with the Speaker of the National Assembly.
We saw him on SABC news the other evening. When asked what we need to do to sort Parliament out, the man had the temerity to say we must apply the Rules sharply. [Laughter.] Apply the Rules sharply? Well, when are those Rules going to be applied sharply to you, Mr President? You lost every right to complain about Parliament when you broke the Rules. We are going to court as the DA to ensure that your storm troopers are never, ever, ever allowed to come into this Chamber and haul elected Members of Parliament out of their seats in defiance of the Constitution. [Applause.]
We had the Premier of the Free State here today. Thank goodness he only comes once a year. [Laughter.] And he starts to talk a little about the past. But, you know, when you talk about the past, you’d better make sure your facts are right, because in his ranks sit former members of P W Botha’s cabinet. We’re not even going to go into some of the stuff that happened at Quatro, perpetuated by some people in this House. Mr premier, your memory is short: We didn’t get rid of President Mbeki; you got rid of President Mbeki. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The hon Maimane spoke earlier today about all these mini-me Zumas running around the country, and there is the best example: tenders, Gupta connections for him and his son, employment in his province the lowest in the country, corrupt MECs kept in office despite despicable findings against them, not to mention the 11 Mercedes-Benzes.
So, instead of coming here and bullying a young woman in Parliament, perhaps your time would have been better spent in your province sorting out the 26 towns that don’t have water. [Applause.] You’ve proven that in your province nothing is free, and everything is in a state.
Hon MEMBERS: Hear! Hear!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: If you are the ace up the ANC’s sleeve, man you’ve got a weak hand! [Laughter.]
We then had the former Minister of Police, the current Minister of Arts and Culture, come and tell us about the national symbols. He left one out, ladies and gentlemen. He took us through them one by one, but he left the most important national symbol out and that is Nkandla, because Nkandla is a national symbol of corruption, greed and abuse of political office. [Applause.]
Then we had the former Minister of Finance, the current Minister of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. I don’t know if he is in the House, it looks like he may have scampered off. But, frankly, your actions in Mogalakwena created the problem. It took the DA precisely to raise it in Parliament and for us to go and see for ourselves on the ground what a terrible job you and your department were doing in dealing with it. It took the DA to get you off your hands and into the community to try and sort it out.
We see the original archetypical technocrat, hon Gordhan, coming here today, talking about the systems and all the tinkering around the edges with the structure. The problem is not with the structure. The problem is with the substance. Your municipalities have been infiltrated by cadres who want to rape and plunder the public coffers for their own benefit and for the benefit of their families. [Interjections.] [Applause.] That’s the problem. When are you going to do something about that? [Interjections.]
I have a theory about why he is no longer the Minister of Finance, and that might be because he’s not very good with figures. He kept saying that if the hon Maimane wanted to be in government, he must come to this side of the House. The ANC has lost votes in every single election since 1994 and in every single election the DA has gone up. It’s not going to be long before we’re there. [Applause.]
Hon Masina, shame - hon Malema will know very well - he was put in charge of the ANC Youth League task team that eventually drove the ANC Youth League into liquidation. The ANC Youth League had to shut its doors under his watch and now he is doing the same to business in South Africa.
Then we had the hon Mahambehlala who lectured us on democracy. She lectured us on democracy. But, please, hon member, give a copy of your speech to the President and the Speaker, because they need the lecture in what democracy is, not the opposition. You moan about the fact that we’ve got to go to court, well, that’s because you’re all so awful at doing your jobs in government and so inept that we’ve got to go and fix your mess in the courts. It’s instructive to note that every time we go to court we win and you keep losing, but perhaps that goes without saying. [Interjections.] You moaned about Khayelitsha. Well, a very interesting fact, colleagues: every single ward in Khayelitsha has an ANC ward councillor. The subcouncil is an ANC subcouncil. If your councillors are not doing their jobs, don’t come and blame it on us. [Applause.]
The next person we had this afternoon was the hon Patel. We all heard what the hon Nzimande said in the House about the SACP and how they’re not represented here. Well, we all know the truth. The truth of the matter is that the last time the SACP had a real Red amongst them it was a Johnny Walker Red. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
TAKE ENDS AT 19:24
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Hon President and Deputy President, hon members and guests, on Thursday evening the state of the nation address placed the economy at the centre of government’s plans for this administration. It was timely because slower domestic and international growth requires that we do much more to speed up inclusive growth, job creation, radical economic transformation and realising the vision of the Freedom Charter.
We have enormous challenges. We also have cause for optimism on investment, on infrastructure and on jobs, and we need to build on these. First, on investment: The broad trend line of investment in the past four years has been positive - recovering from the dramatic loss of investment during the global economic crisis. A number of surveys on investment from outsiders tell the same story.
Africa is successful in attracting foreign direct investment and South Africa, in turn, attracts the largest share of such investment. The latest report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said that South Africa attracted R79 billion in foreign direct investments in 2013, a 110% more than the previous year. [Applause.]
Ernst & Young’s 2014 African Attractiveness Survey says that South Africa has risen to become the second most attractive investment destination in the world, tied with Asia. [Applause.] South Africa remains the largest destination of foreign direct investment projects on the continent, according to Ernst & Young, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 16% since 2007. And South Africa’s foreign direct investment projects exceeded that of the whole of North Africa.
Government supports efforts to boost private-sector investment consistent with the National Development Plan. The Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, is ramping up its industrial funding, committing an average of R12 billion a year over the past five years in helping to create or strengthen new industries, such as the Green Energy and film-making sectors. Every R1 billion IDC investment on average attracts R2 billion from other investors, crowding in private investment to get the economy moving.
The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordination Commission, PICC, work on infrastructure encourages companies to commit new investments, as a recent letter from a large mining company executive illustrates, and I quote:
As a result of the integrated PICC planning process, Exxaro has been able to advance its feasibility studies relating to multibillion-rand investments in coal mining activities in the Waterberg.
The hon Hill-Lewis asked us to focus on agroprocessing. Eleven months ago Asia’s largest commodity trader opened a major soya-crushing plant in Standerton in Mpumalanga. The company invested R720 million and now produces more that 900 tons of soya cake, hull or edible oil a day - every day. [Applause.] Much of this is going to expand poultry farming as the products are largely used as chicken feed. A few days ago the Industrial Development Corporation agreed to a loan facility to enable the first group of black famers to become suppliers of soya beans to this factory.
The weaker global growth underlined the need for greater value-addition in our domestic market, more reliance on domestic and regional sources of demand, and the urgency of addressing industrial relations tensions and conflict.
We are not alone in confronting these challenges. Indeed, growth rates as a whole have slowed across the world. And in the Brics group – the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa group - both Brazil and Russia now have growth rates below that of South Africa. A key market for our goods, the European Union, is trapped in low growth of about half a percent. Yet, given the scale of our own needs as a country, we need to do more on growth and on jobs.
During a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos recently, President Zuma shared a platform with investors and other heads of state. One major private investor was blunt in his advice. “Use your minerals to build a manufacturing base. If companies want to do business on the continent, they need to help industrialise Africa,” he said.
The state of the nation address nine-point plan is our response to the weakening global and domestic economy. It places more focus on adding local value to our mineral resources, expanding agroprocessing, growing the oceans economy, expanding investment, promoting infrastructure development and reducing workplace conflict.
This brings me, secondly, to the National Infrastructure Plan, the NIP. We are now implementing the largest infrastructure programme in the country’s history and the largest on the continent. Employment numbers are sharply up on infrastructure projects. Spending in the past two quarters is 10% higher than a year ago. Local manufacturing of buses, taxis, rail wagons, locomotives and trucks is the backbone of the programme.
There are challenges as we roll out this programme, but there is also real tangible progress. The hon Buthelezi recognised the frank advice we give about the infrastructure programme. But we do believe, hon Shenge, that our targets are achievable if we work differently. For example, in three weeks’ time, we will visit the town of Pofadder in the Northern Cape to open a new solar power plant: KaXU, developed ... [Interjections.]
Mr M L W FILTANE: On a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, Minister, could you take a seat. Hon Filtane?
Mr M L W FILTANE: Chair, it pains me to see so many male members from this side fast asleep during deliberations. [Laughter.] Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you, hon member. Hon Minister, could you proceed.
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: As I was saying before I was interrupted, in three weeks’ time we will visit the town of Pofadder in the Northern Cape to open a new solar power plant, KaXU, developed in partnership with a foreign investor and the IDC. The plant is ready to bring 100 megawatts of solar energy onto the grid, and a similar size Eskom wind farm was opened recently in Matzikama. [Applause.] Together these two power plants will bring 200 megawatts to the grid - roughly equivalent to the annual household energy consumption of Newcastle, Grahamstown, Stellenbosch, Knysna and Mossel Bay combined ... [Applause.] ... or more than the entire energy-generating installed capacity of Lesotho and Swaziland combined. [Applause.]
A day later, we will open a hydroenergy scheme on the Orange River that will generate 10 megawatts of energy equal to the annual household energy use of Swellendam, or Gamagara or Kokama. [Applause.] Since the start of the Green Energy programme, we have generated 1 700 megawatts of energy from the sun, wind and water, more than the entire installed energy capacity of many developing countries. This is real progress. Green Energy, real development. [Applause.]
Load shedding is damaging to the economy and to the lives of South Africans. Imagine having load shedding not for two hours a day, but for 24 hours a day for the whole year. [Interjections.]
An HON MALE MEMBER: It is coming ... [Inaudible.]
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Regrettably, many South African families experience exactly that because they have no access to energy, but we are changing that. Miss Boniwe Gabela is a resident of Jadu Place, a settlement near eThekwini. She is an unemployed mother of two children. In July last year, her residence was connected to the grid. She says that this has changed her life. She used to buy paraffin, a candle and matches for R20 a day; now she pays less than R5 a day for electricity because she qualifies for free basic electricity. [Applause.]
Her story is not unique. Since April last year, 159 000 houses were connected to the grid, which means, Mr President, that about 650 000 more South Africans - women, men and children - were able to access electricity. [Applause.] Energy transforms lives, and therefore it is so urgent to expand our capacity to generate electricity for more South Africans.
In the year ahead we expect a substantial quantity of Green Energy to come onto the grid. We are going to open 13 more solar, wind or hydro plants. My colleague, Minister Brown, will address the House on other steps to deal with the energy challenges tomorrow.
Cities are being transformed through the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, system that allows those without cars the same convenience to move around their city, but quicker and cheaper. Thembi Zondo is a resident of Tshwane. She travels daily to work at the local district hospital on the new A Re Yeng system. She says she pays R16 a day on the bus compared to R40 she used to pay for the taxi. Every bus has free WiFi, a boon to the students ... [Applause.] ... and I should say there is no scrambling of the signal. There are now eight cities building new bus lanes for the BRT system, and currently many thousands of passengers are using this.
As we celebrate 60 years of the Freedom Charter, infrastructure development is key to realising its goals. Infrastructure development promotes the charter’s provisions:
The people shall share in the country’s wealth!
There shall be work and security!
The land shall be shared among those who work it!
The doors of learning and culture shall be opened!
There shall be houses, security and comfort!
The major new water programmes will bring water to smallholder farmers and allow small businesses to obtain a reliable supply of water to takes their businesses forward. In the water sector, there are 12 large infrastructure projects, ranging from dam building at Mzimvubu, Clanwilliam, Nwamitwa and Lesotho; water pipelines from Mokolo Crocodile, Vaal Gamagara and Olifants River; sanitation projects such as the Sedibeng scheme; to addressing acid mine drainage.
Infrastructure is powering our industrialisation programme. In the past 12 months we have opened many factories, directly connected to the supply of components or rolling stock used in our infrastructure. In February last year, PTIP opened a thin from solar experimental plant in Stellenbosch. In March, DCD Wind Towers open a plant making wind towers in Coega. In April, Grindrod expanded their locomotive furbishing capacity. In July, foreign investor FAW opened a large truck factory in Coega. During the same month, Jinko Solar opened a factory to assemble and laminate solar panels in Epping. In October, Iveco opened a truck and bus plant in Pretoria - 350 new jobs and 1 000 planned at full production. [Applause.] In November, Gestamp opened a wind tower plant in Atlantis. In December, SMA Technologies opened a factory making solar inverters in Cape Town. In March this year we will open the new premises of a majority black-owned factory in Blackheath which supplies buses to municipalities. Busmark has IDC support to expand its operations. [Applause.]
Two years ago we imported buses for municipalities from Brazil. Today, we assemble them here; most of the bus bodies are made here. [Applause.] Since April last year, 151 buses have been made locally here in South Africa - in Germiston, Randfontein and Cape Town. [Applause.] While the hon Maimane laments about jobs, that he says we talk about, we work with investors and we create jobs.
In the limited time available I cannot tell the story of Mrs Rosina van Royen, who now uses the new Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington, whereas she previously had to go to Kimberley for cancer treatment; or the story of Bafana Mdluli, who grew up on the disability grant of his aged dad and is now a third-year medical student, living in a newly built 300-bed student residence at the University of Pretoria ... [Applause.] ... or the story of Punyeziwe Wulana who is a 14-year-old scholar at a newly built school in the remote village of Tsomo in the Eastern Cape, whose school was built in 12 months compared to the normal 30 months; or the story of Sanele Khumalo who works at Ingula as a mechanical engineering technician; or the stories of the rural communities connected to telephone signals and broadband through the SKA project in the Karoo.
I do want to make the point that infrastructure is transforming this economy. There are successes, but there are also challenges - real challenges - and mistakes that are made, poor execution of projects. They are there, they are real and they are taking place. This means we must fix them and we must do things differently. We must focus on maintenance so that communities do not sit with broken infrastructure. We must integrate our regulatory systems so that permissions and permits are better integrated, and we are doing that now.
We must use the hard lessons from the construction of Medupi, Kusile and Ingula to build capacity in the state, and to build engineering project management and financial control systems. We are reviewing ways to increase funding through the private sector, public institutions, such as the IDC, and institutional investors. We are dealing with cartels that corruptly fix prices and markets, and we will be strengthening our actions, our laws to activate criminal sanctions for collusion in the period ahead.
Mr I OLLIS: Chairperson, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member! Hon Minister, could you take your seat. Hon Ollis, what point of order are you rising on?
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Hon Chairperson, could Minister Patel take a question on Medupi? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Minister, could you respond - take a question?
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: I would be very happy to, once I am done. [Interjections.]
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: You never will be.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much. Minister, you can continue.
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: The theft of copper cable and metal from infrastructure causes serious damage to the economy - disrupting trains, cutting water supplies and disrupting energy to the economy. This year, proposals with the full support of all the premiers will be tabled to strengthen legislation through, one, minimum sentencing of 15 years where theft causes serious disruption; two, tightening the regulation of scrap-metal dealers and prohibiting payments in cash for scrap; three, making it more difficult to obtain bail in cases of unlawful possession of copper cable; and, four, clamping down on the trade and export of scrap metal.
In the four years left of this administration we will make the changes to our systems to allow large infrastructure programmes to reach more communities and assist with more investment. It is said that countries do not invest in infrastructure because they are wealthy. They become wealthy, because they invest in infrastructure, and they create jobs which brings me thirdly and finally to jobs.
Statistics SA released the latest jobs numbers on Tuesday last week. It pointed to the still continuing high levels of unemployment which require bold steps and consistent effort. But it also showed that the economy created 203 000 new jobs in the last quarter of 2014: 15,3 million people are now employed, the highest yet in our economic history. [Applause.] The number of unemployed dropped by 242 000 and the number of discouraged job seekers declined.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Minister, could you take your seat. [Interjections.]
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Would the Minister take a question on those jobs statistics?
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: As soon as I am done. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Annual job creation grew by 143 000, and most of the new nonseasonal jobs came from construction, underlying the importance of infrastructure. These are positive signals, but we cannot be complacent because millions of South Africans are still unemployed. We need to increase the rate of job creation, and we also need to meet the aspirations of young South Africans.
But while I reflect on this debate, I saw very little reference earlier, particularly from the Leader of the Opposition to some of these recent developments in our labour market. Now, fans of Sherlock Holmes will recall the story of the dog that did not bark. [Interjections.] The dog that did not bark. We saw the hon Maimane’s passion and eloquence and we saw the national statistics quoted very selectively. We saw playing to the gallery when the nation looks to Parliament for leadership and maturity. What we did not see was any comment on the DA’s record in power in the Western Cape to show that they can offer anything more than showmanship. Permit me therefore to use the same definition of unemployment, the same database that the hon Maimane used, but just apply it to the Western Cape. What does it show us?
Premier Zille took office in 2009, in a province without the enormous underdevelopment of areas that incorporated the poverty-stricken ex-Bantustans, without the skills deficits in many parts of the country. In 2009, Premier Zille inherited from the ANC administration a provincial unemployment rate of 19,9% - remember that figure: 19,9%; write it down - the lowest in the country. Today that rate is 24,5%, almost five percentage points higher. [Interjections.] And it grew at a faster rate than the national rate. [Interjections.] When she assumed power, there were 525 000 unemployed persons in the Western Cape.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Minister ... Order, hon Minister! [Interjections.]
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Minister, will you take a question on those statistics?
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: After I am done.
When she assumed power there were 525 000 unemployed persons in the Western Cape. Today, six years later, there are 705 000 unemployment persons in the Western Cape, or 181 000 additional unemployed people, 34% more than when she took office.
While job numbers have grown in both the Western Cape and South Africa as a whole since 2009, the racial composition of the jobs go to the tragedy of DA policies. The bulk of job creation in the Western Cape continues to benefit white compatriots. [Interjections.] Now, white South Africans are a valued and important part of our country. They are part of our nation as are our black South Africans. They made up 16% of Western Cape residents of working age in 2014, yet they benefited from 57% of total job growth in the province, or 73 000 net new job opportunities from April 2009. In contrast, Africans, who make up 32% of the working-age population, only got 16% of new jobs. [Interjections.]
The DA members who spoke here today failed to do a provincial comparison of job numbers for the past 12 months, as they have done on previous occasions. I wonder why? Perhaps it is because the number of new jobs in the North West grew by 80 000, in Limpopo by 67 000, in Gauteng by 58 000, in the Free State by 26 000 and, regrettably, in the Western Cape 65 000 jobs were lost. [Applause.] [Interjections.] I say “regrettably” because the people of the Western Cape deserve better. [Interjections.]
The hon Hill-Lewis asked if he lived in the same country as the President. I invite him to visit the other country, the one where most voters live - not Camps Bay, not Bishopscourt but Masiphumelele Township near Ocean View. Visit the area where people live side by side next to open sewer canals, where young children play in conditions of squalor and stench, where their dreams are dashed because they speak isiXhosa and come from the wrong part of town. Thank you very much. [Tim expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon members, order! Hon members, could you take your seats. Hon members, could you please take your seats. Order!
Regarding those members who requested to ask questions which questions were allowed by the respective Ministers, I would appreciate it if they put those questions in writing or answered one another outside.
The House Chairperson of the National Assembly adjourned the Joint Sitting at 19:47.
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