Hansard: NCOP: Annual Address by the President of the RSA to the NCOP “Celebrating 20 years of a Democratic Parliament – together moving the NCOP forward as a vanguard of the interests of provinces”
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 06 Nov 2014
No summary available.
"NCOP Main",Unrevised Hansard,16 Feb 2015,"Take 54 [NCOP Main].doc"
"NCOP Main",Unrevised Hansard,06 Nov 2014,"[Take-54] [NCOP Main][90P-5-085b][nm].doc"
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Thursday, 6 November 2014 Take: 54
THURSDAY, 6 NOVEMBER 2014
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:01.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP
START OF DAY
(Motion on Order Paper to stand over until next plenary)
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, we want to propose that the motion on the Order Paper stand over to our next plenary.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP
ANNUAL ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF A DEMOCRATIC PARLIAMENT - TOGETHER MOVING THE NCOP FORWARD AS A VANGUARD OF THE INTERESTS OF PROVINCES
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We take this opportunity to thank the President of the Republic for coming to the NCOP to address us on his annual address to the House. We further take this opportunity to welcome you, sir, to take the podium and to address us, Mr President. [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Ms Thandi Modise; hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Mr Raseriti Tau; Ministers and hon premiers; Deputy Ministers and MECs; executive mayors; hon members of the NCOP; Members of Parliament, MPs and members of the legislatures; the leadership of the South African Local Government Association, Salga; and special guests, thank you for the privilege of addressing the NCOP today.
It is always a pleasure to come to the NCOP. This House brings together the three spheres of government to discuss matters which affect the lives of our people.
You have chosen as the theme for this year’s annual address and debate, Celebrating 20 years of a Democratic Parliament - Together Moving the NCOP Forward as a Vanguard of the Interests of Provinces. The theme reminds us of the progress that the country has made over the past 20 years. We are meeting here today in a free, democratic Parliament because we fought relentlessly and dismantled apartheid and colonialism.
At times, people do not realise that this was a major achievement by the people of this country which needs to be celebrated. We should not forget. I know that at times other people forget because it is easy to forget where we come from.
It is part of the celebration that we succeeded as a people of this country to defeat a system that was condemned by the whole world as a crime against humanity. This is a major achievement that we should never forget or lose sight of as South Africans.
At times I hear people, when they are in a mood, saying that it was better under apartheid ...
... bese ngithi mhlawumbe babengakazalwa.
Hon Chairperson, Chapter 4 of the Constitution outlines the role of the NCOP as being one of representing the provinces and ensuring that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. This makes it a very important House of Parliament as it deals with matters that affect our people directly.
The NCOP has played its role efficiently over the past few years.
This House has provided a platform for the provinces to shape legislation and the national agenda. The NCOP has also diligently processed many transformative laws falling within its oversight, particularly the section 76 Bills which affect provinces.
Another remarkable achievement of the NCOP has been the programme of Taking Parliament to the People.
IsiZulu: Le Ndlu yePhalamende uMkhandlu kaZwelonke weziFundazwe inezinhlelo ezinhle lapho iPhalamende lihambela imiphakathi. Abantu bathola ithuba lokuba yingxenye yePhalamende, babambe iqhaza, babike izinkinga zabo futhhi babeke nemibono kalula. Siyanihalalisela ngalolu hlelo oluhle kangaka. [Ihlombe.] Abanye abantu okwakumele ukuthi bagcine belizwa ngendaba iPhalamende manje balibona ngamehlo lifika kubona. Yinhle leyo nto Sihlalo. [Ihlombe.]
Hon Chairperson, the NCOP has also played a very meaningful role on the continent by sharing experience and helping various countries with shaping their own Houses of Parliament.
It is through our effectively functioning institutions such as the NCOP that we are able to celebrate 20 years of democracy with pride and a strong sense of satisfaction and achievement. Indeed, South Africa is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994. [Applause.] For that, we should congratulate ourselves as South Africans.
We can count many achievements that we have scored, working together. South Africa today is a stable democracy with a firmly entrenched human rights culture. Our Constitution is recognised as being one of the most progressive in the world. Our democratic institutions are vibrant and independent. We have held five successful democratic elections in our country.
We also pride ourselves on the fact that freedom of association and freedom of expression are part and parcel of daily life in South Africa, guaranteed by our Constitution. Our independent judicial system is respected for its high standards and integrity. Indeed, South Africa has a good story to tell, and it is a story of success and achievement. [Applause.]
We appreciate these achievements more when we think of where we come from. The reality of the vast majority of our people before 1994 was poverty and deprivation, with no hope of a better future. Every aspect of society was designed to favour the minority at great expense to the majority of our people.
The entire structure of our society had to be dismantled and reassembled to give effect to the imperative of equality. This we have done.
We have not as yet completed the transformation process but we have certainly made a good start in the past 20 years. Among our key achievements has been the development and implementation of policies that favour the poor. The result is that our country is on track to achieve most of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, UNMDG, by 2015.
We have made good progress in meeting these goals which include the eradication of extreme poverty; the achievement of universal primary education; attaining gender equality and the empowerment of women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; reducing the burden of disease through primarily combating HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis; protecting the environment and mobilising global partnerships for development by 2015.
What is more impressive about the achievement of the education targets is that the proportion of girls attending primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions has improved significantly. We have also recorded progress through our infrastructure plan for building and renovating clinics and hospitals.
We are also continuing to implement the National Health Insurance, NHI, scheme at a number of pilot sites. The scheme is aimed at making access to health equal for all, regardless of class or financial means.
Our remarkable achievements with regard to providing treatment, care and support for persons living with HIV is positively acknowledged by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids, Unaids. The life expectancy of our people has improved dramatically, because government has succeeded in prioritising the fight against diseases, including HIV.
We also need to produce more doctors and other key health professionals. We trust that the hon premiers will continue to work with national government, as they have been doing, to recruit young people for medical training locally and abroad. [Applause.]
Our comprehensive social assistance programme has enabled us to do well in meeting the Millennium Development Goal aimed at eradicating extreme poverty. Government provides extensive income-support programmes such as social grants for the poor, access to free education and primary health care and the provision of free basic services, such as water and electricity, to poor households.
Hon Chairperson, we are taking these achievements forward by implementing the National Development Plan. This plan is one of the major achievements of the fourth administration. The NDP requires us to undertake certain measures to grow the economy and create jobs. [Applause.]
We are implementing various programmes such as the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap, and the National Infrastructure Plan to promote inclusive growth and development. We are also implementing the NDP through the innovative delivery programme, Operation Phakisa.
We have launched Operation Phakisa which focuses on unlocking the potential of the country’s oceans. Studies show that the ocean economy presents an estimated potential of R177 billion contribution to the GDP as well as the potential to create between 800 000 and 1 million jobs by 2033. We are working with business, labour, academia and civil society to ensure the success of this programme. Later this month we will launch Operation Phakisa Two, which is aimed at improving the functioning of clinics. [Applause.]
On infrastructure, we are working closely with premiers and executive mayors who are members of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, in order to unblock and fast-track infrastructure projects. During the past five years, we invested about R1 trillion in new infrastructure to provide water, energy, transport, sanitation, schools, clinics and internet connections to our people. [Applause.] Over the next three years, we will spend R847 billion on infrastructure.
A lot has been done already in the past few months with regard to infrastructure development. In the past 100 days of this new administration, 12 schools were completed to replace dilapidated structures. Thirty-three schools were provided with sanitation and 22 with electrification. [Applause.] In addition to the three new universities that we are establishing, 16 sites have been identified for the construction of 12 new technical and vocational education and training college campuses.
Hon Chairperson, we also continue to support business financing, promoting economic transformation in the process. We have, through the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, disbursed about R2,61 billion in the first 100 days of the fifth administration. In addition, for the period from May to August 2014, the Public Investment Corporation approved over R4,7 billion for job-creating investments.
These new projects have created and maintained 16 884 jobs across a range of industries such as renewable energy, agriculture and agro-processing, as well as small and medium enterprises.
Hon Chairperson and hon members, South Africa has a good story to tell. [Applause.] Even though we have not yet reached every South African, the lives of millions have already changed for the better. [Applause.]
We have continued to make progress in providing basic services to the people in the first 100 days of the new administration. We have connected 48 751 households to the electricity grid, and 3 786 households were provided with access to electricity using nongrid technologies. Siyaqhuba [We are progressing] [Applause.]
The electricity shortage in our country continues to be a concern to us, hence the announcement that we are developing an energy security master plan. The plan will include an energy mix comprising nuclear, coal, solar, shale gas and renewable energy as well as other forms. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, water continues to be a challenge for many communities. To make water a key priority we established a stand-alone department in May this year and separated it from environmental affairs. We have already done some visible work in the past 100 days. [Applause.]
The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, Misa, is providing technical support to 27 poor priority district municipalities to assist them to deal with water and sanitation backlogs.
In the past 100 days, practical training has been provided to 17 wastewater process controllers and 22 artisans in the Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo. A similar programme for 127 identified apprentices is being extended to the Ugu, uThungulu and Harry Gwala District Municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal. [Applause.]
The eradication of bucket toilets continues to be high on our agenda. In the Northern Cape, 513 households had their bucket-toilet systems replaced with ablution facilities through the Municipal waste water process controllers . [Applause.]
The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission has also facilitated a project to eradicate the bucket system at Hobhouse in the Mantsopa Local Municipality in the Free State. [Applause.] The bucket system is still a major form of sanitation for 3 900 residents in that community.
Government has also facilitated electrical connections to boreholes in Ngobi village in the North West Province, ensuring a safe water supply to 5 000 people. The lack of capacity of the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality to render water-services functions has been dealt with. Rand Water was directed to provide these services until the functions were transferred to either the Magalies or Sedibeng Water Boards.
Last week we visited the community of Giyani in Limpopo to celebrate the provision of water to 55 villages, which will alleviate water shortages in Mopani District Municipality. [Applause.] The Makana District Municipality is unable to provide effective bulk water supply to the City of Grahamstown resulting in frequent disruptions in water supply. Amatola Water has been directed to implement a refurbishment plan and to bring the systems into full operation.
Water restrictions had been imposed in Mangaung due to drought conditions in the Free State. The Department of Water and Sanitation intervened to transfer water from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project to the Caledon River to relieve the water situation. [Applause.] These releases also benefited the towns in the Setsoto and Mohokare Local Municipalities which also draw water from the Caledon River. [Applause.]
Government has also launched the first phase of a project to supply water from Jozini Dam to the people of uMkhanyakude District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. This will be the first time in 40 years that these communities benefit from this dam which was built in 1973 as a single-purpose dam for agricultural use. The project will provide 16 200 households with water. [Applause.]
Abantu baseMkhanyakude sebezothola amanzi ngenxa yalolu hlelo olusha lukahulumeni lokudonsa amanzi edamini eJozini elalakhelwe ezolimo. Singayeka kanjani ukugubha bakwethu. Hhayi-bo! Zishintshile izimpilo.
Lives have absolutely changed. To ensure that all these programmes succeed, local government needs to function effectively. We hosted a Presidential Local Government Summit in September this year and called upon our municipalities to go back to basics and deliver services to our people more efficiently.
This is not because the other spheres of government do not have challenges. We are prioritising local government because it is closest to the people. It should be the best-performing sphere as it is the first port of call for services.
This fifth administration will thus work tirelessly to assist struggling municipalities and to prioritise local government in general. It is for this reason that we are also increasing the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, Mig, quite considerably so as to enhance capacity in our municipalities.
Efforts to strengthen and broaden public participation in local service delivery through ward committees are in progress. In the past 100 days, a total of 450 Ward Level Service Improvement Plans have been developed focusing on, amongst other things, the filling of potholes, nonfunctioning traffic lights, curbing service interruptions, attending to billing queries and cleaning up open spaces.
More than 3 200 Ward Level Service Improvement Plans have been developed to date. [Applause.] When we say back to basics, we are saying to our people, let us do simple but important things. [Applause.] Just sweep in front of your house, just make it look clean. It is very important because if we live in dirty places, it influences even our thinking at times. [Applause.] During our time before the child left for school they woke up, cleaned the house, had a bath and got ready to go. Also, I was training them to become clean citizens.
O-anti abahlala nezingane bayasaba ukuzithethisa ngoba bethi uzothetha umama wazo. Ngiqinisile.
Education in the home is very basic and important.
The National Development Plan promotes active citizenry and partnerships in building our country. We must let go of the tendency to think that government will come and sweep. We must stop depending on the fact that one day government will come and do this or that.
There is a story that a dam was built in some place by government. They put water in it and people were using it. At some point a dog died in the water. They were waiting for government to come and remove the dog.
That is a tendency, a wrong culture that causes citizens not to participate in their own development. We need to change that culture and that is why we have the campaign which says, Back to Basics.
In this regard, I have convened the Presidential Business Working Group and have also met with the mining sector to discuss how to revitalise and strengthen that industry following a series of difficulties.
The Deputy President met with the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, partners on 4 November 2014 to take forward the labour dialogue. We will also be engaging other stakeholders such as the media, higher education, youth, women and the disability sector. One of the cultures that we have is to market our country negatively; therefore it is important to meet those who create stories so that they understand that we need to promote our country.
Hon Chairperson, the fight against crime continues to be a high priority for government. We are concerned about the high rate of armed robberies at malls and shopping centres in all provinces, but especially in Gauteng and the Western Cape. It is, however, important to note that in responding to this threat, police have in the past few days made a considerable number of key arrests to stem this noted increase in mall robberies and also violent crime in general.
The SA Police Service, SAPS, has launched the Operation Duty Calls campaign, which is the festive season safety campaign to make South Africans feel safer.
It has been proven that a high incidence of crime occurs between October and January. The festive season campaign is focused on all aggravated robberies, the proliferation of firearms, secondhand goods, tracing and arresting of wanted suspects as well as road safety and border security. [Applause.]
Hon Chair, hon members, let me emphasise that we are seriously concerned about the proliferation of guns in our society and the level of violence that we have seen on display. To this end, police will take advantage of the proposed changes in the Firearms Control Act to introduce more stringent measures for gun control and ownership.
The police anticrime campaign will encompasses various activities during the forthcoming 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, which begins on 25 November 2014. We urge the public to participate actively so that we can eliminate all forms of abuse of women and children. [Applause.]
Hon Chair and hon members, up to 1994 our country had been a pariah state. We are now a proud member of the international community. We remain steadfast in our foreign policy commitments to promote a better Africa and a better world.
We joined the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, Brics, forum in the past administration which was a major achievement for our country. On 15 July 2014, the Brics finance ministers signed the Articles of Agreement Establishing the New Development Bank, NDB. The bank is expected to provide much-needed funding assistance for our vast infrastructure projects, not only in this country but on the continent at large.
Next week, we will travel to Australia to participate in the G20 Summit, where we will promote inclusive and equitable growth for the developing world. We continue to play a role in SADC by working with sister countries locally. During the Ordinary Meeting of the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, in August this year, South Africa was elected as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation. [Applause.]
We continue to work for peace and stability. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, as SADC facilitator, continues to help the people of Lesotho to resolve their challenges. [Applause.] The Deputy President is also playing a mediatory role in South Sudan to promote peace between the Sudanese parties.
We have also appointed envoys for the Israel-Palestine conflict to encourage the estranged parties to return to the negotiating table.
Distinguished guests, we have come a long way since 1994. We have made remarkable progress in the past 20 years. The NCOP has played a key role in the progress made and we must work together to continue to bring about a better life for all.
This House, as the voice of the provinces, will play an important role in ensuring that the legislation coming out of our Parliament is transformative and will lead to a better life for our people.
Compatriots, let us continue to work together as we move South Africa forward. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
WELCOMING OF PREMIERS, MEMBERS OF PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURES AND SA LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION DELEGATION
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, Mr President. Hon members, we want to acknowledge that seven of the nine premiers of the provinces of South Africa are here. One premier could not make it as he is not feeling well. The other premier could not postpone a trip, but both premiers have ensured that they are well represented.
We also want to acknowledge among us the speakers from the provinces and MECs. We want to acknowledge MPLs from the different provinces of South Africa. We also want to acknowledge the Salga delegation led by the Deputy Chair of Salga. You are all welcome. [Applause.]
We now move on to the debate on the annual address by the President and I take this opportunity to invite the hon R J Tau, the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, to address us. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Your Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, Chairperson of the NCOP, Hon Premiers present, hon members, this annual address by the President to the NCOP is indeed a very significant undertaking of our burgeoning democracy. It lends credence and validity to the constitutional legitimacy of the NCOP as a potent platform for expressing provincial interests.
We celebrate 20 years of our democratic Parliament as an apex achievement in building a responsive People’s Parliament and a compelling metaphor of our democratic stability in South Africa. It is indeed good to be a South African today ... [Applause.] ... particularly as we reflect on our cumbersome and testing journey of transformation which began 20 years ago through the efforts of the architects of our democracy.
Having battled with the unrelenting onslaught to harm the reputation of our nation’s leadership collective, through attempts aimed at decreasing respect, regard, or confidence in the democratic systems that we have worked so diligently to build and sustain, we remain standing. [Applause.]
Despite the concerted attempts to damage the good name and reputation of our leadership collective over the years, particularly through the manipulation and framing of information, we will remain standing as a cause, to ensure that we transport South Africa into a new dimension of radical economic transformation. [Interjections.]
It is worth noting that the slander and contempt that we are often faced with, was indeed also experienced by the founding fathers of democracy. It was no mistake that during his state of the nation address, on 17 February 1995, our former President Nelson Mandela said, and I quote:
Whatever our critics might have to say, we can take pride in the fact that not only did we succeed in establishing our two Houses of Parliament, as required by the Constitution, we have also ensured that they play their role in the governance of our country.
Today, we too can take pride in the fact that we have succeeded in building a burgeoning democratic Parliament with an illustrious 20-year lifespan. I believe that it is safe to say that we have advanced light years ahead in our resolve to dismantle the oppressive systems of the past and we continue to work in ensuring that we are able to achieve the Constitutional deliverables as we proceed.
I also believe that we have proven our political dexterity as a country in that we have continued to ensure that we deploy the very best in our ranks to lead this nation forward. If our struggle heroes were able to withstand intimidation, torture and displacement, surely we too can withstand the vile manifestations of untruths and slander. [Interjections.]
In the past, this House often came under attack and received harsh criticism. This onslaught was often initiated by those who criticise carelessly through feeble attempts that often display feeble political posturing. [Interjections.] These are attempts that often seek to weaken or misconstrue the legitimacy of our democratic institutions, in an effort, of course, to delegitimise this era of democratic evolution.
Despite the regressive rhetoric that often attempts to reduce the legitimacy of this institution, it is an undisputed fact that we remain a constitutionally mandated and relevant institution. [Interjections.] We will continue to evolve in dynamism, relevance and potency as a catalysing institution which aptly, of course, echoes the voices of our people.
It is certainly through the democratic sacraments practised on the NCOP institutional platform that we have brought together and ensured that at all times we bring together radical transformation, so that all spheres of government work together.
I must emphasise that it is indeed good to be a South African today. [Applause.] We not only celebrate the democratic transition as a movement and as a country, but reflect on the key catalyst that is the institution of Parliament as the hallmark of legislative transition in our country.
Over the last 17 years of the NCOP’s lifecycle, we have made concerted efforts to ensure that the historic echo of the Freedom Charter which states that “The people shall govern!” indeed aptly reverberates through our legislative processes. To this end, we cannot celebrate 20 years of a democratic Parliament without recounting and acknowledging the legislative milestones achieved by this institution.
The national Parliament, and in particular the NCOP, has a constitutional mandate set out in Chapter 4 and 6 of the Constitution. This legislative process or mandate relates, amongst other things, to the key functions of lawmaking, oversight and public participation.
As our founding father once more said – and this is not necessarily a quotation but a recount - because the people of South Africa finally chose a profoundly legal path to their revolution, those who frame and enact a constitution and law are in the vanguard of the fight for change. Therefore it is not by mistake that we refer to the NCOP as a vanguard of the provinces. [Applause.]
It is in the legislatures that the instruments have been fashioned to create a better life for all. It is here that oversight over government has been exercised. It is here that our society in all its formations has had an opportunity to influence policy and, of course, its implementation.
We must therefore note the progressive laws that were passed by this Parliament and, in particular, acknowledge the role that the NCOP has played, especially in regard to the section 76 Bills where our people, as ordinary citizens, have participated during the public hearings in our respective provinces and municipalities.
We need, as we do this, to juxtapose this with the ideological doctrines of our democratic predecessor. These 20 years are a testament to the fact that this institution has worked tirelessly to produce legislative instruments which are inspired by our resolve for social justice and principles of democracy.
I believe that it is imperative to reflect on the evolution in the minutes that I am left with here. In our Interim Constitution of 1993 we established our democratic Parliament in the form of a bicameral Parliament which was the Senate and the National Assembly.
However, as we progressed, we then realised that the Senate had no strategic role to play in advancing the course of our transformation. Therefore, there was a need to transform the Senate to play that strategic role and we subsequently emerged with the NCOP, NCOP, in which we sit here proudly today representing the interests of our provinces.
Over the 17 years, the NCOP has continued to provide provinces with a forum in which to engage with national government on matters concerning areas of shared national and provincial legislative powers, while overseeing the programmes and activities of national government and so forth.
Due to its unique positioning, this institution has established its own systems which have greatly contributed to the strengthening of our democracy. We have taken radical steps to ensure that more time was set aside for us, as an institution, to conduct oversight activities through our select committees.
To this end, special oversight weeks were introduced thus creating more time for the NCOP to synchronise oversight activities with those of the provincial legislatures.
Some of the issues that came out of the oversight activities included, amongst other things, poverty in the rural areas; the need for increased empowerment and opportunities to be created for women, youth and the disabled in particular; the need to support job creation initiatives; the need for provinces, together with national institutions, to address the educational, economic and social needs of our people; and lastly, the need to make the necessary interventions in the area of land reform.
In seeking to respond to the above challenges, in 2004, the NCOP held a round-table meeting on the empowerment of women, children and the elderly. The roundtable looked at the legislation that had been passed since 1994 and its impact on children, women and people with disabilities.
In an effort to deepen participatory democracy, we have also introduced some other instruments that we have successfully implemented. Let me just share this as a matter of interest because I have decided to leave out the unnecessary matters.
The round-table meeting was so successful because, not only was it an exercise led by the NCOP outside of recognising other institutions, but it was also a joint effort between United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, Unicef, and the NCOP, where we brought together children, people with disabilities and the elderly from the respective or different provinces under one roof and we shared these experiences.
Of course, bringing together NGOs and allowing them to tell us exactly where and what kind of legislation is not assisting them is the reason why this legislation was in actual fact enacted. Its intention is to advance and improve their lives.
Surprisingly, we had so many interesting stories, even from the children, who participated in this round-table. As a result, there was an agreement that was then signed with Unicef, which stated that this programme will not be a once-off programme but rather a continual one. We are looking at taking it even further by going to the provinces, and if possible, also linking it with the municipal programmes that are there. [Applause.]
The President has spoken about our programme of Taking Parliament to the People because it has allowed our people to have access to politicians, especially those in far-flung areas who would ordinarily not be able to even write an email to a Member of Parliament, MP.
However, through that programme, we were able to use the Rules of Parliament which allow for Parliament to sit outside the precinct of Parliament. We have done that effectively and many of our people appreciate the effort.
Over and above that, over the years we have also introduced a flagship programme referred to as the Provincial Week. The Local Government Week was also part and parcel of ensuring that we build and strengthen our relationship with the SA Local Government Association, Salga, in order to have a better platform from which to understand exactly what is it that municipalities are faced with; and how then we, as the NCOP, directly co-ordinate our programmes in such a manner that we reinforce what Salga is doing to improve local government.
Due to time constraints, I want to come to an important issue which, I think, if we left it behind we would be failing as a vanguard of provinces in actual fact. Throughout all these exercises, there is something common that runs through all provinces, namely the importance of having another look at the division of revenue and how it impacts on provinces.
I want to give an example of this situation by focusing on the Northern Cape with its recent challenges caused by the unrest that took place there. There are issues about road construction, yet when you go to the Division of Revenue Act, Dora, they would have funds but the funds are only meant for the maintenance of bridges, roads and every other thing.
Provinces are expected to raise their own revenue in order to construct their roads. If that thing should happen, looking at the growth domestic product, GDP, of the Northern Cape, you would then ask yourself: For what new stretch of road would they be able to raise revenue to build? They will never be able to do this!
That on its own should give us cause for reflect, namely how then do we advance the programme of infrastructure development in the country as part and parcel of creating jobs, giving our people skills and ensuring that we take our country forward? [Applause.] [Interjections.] Therefore, it is important that this particular aspect or piece of legislation should really be looked at.
As I conclude, may I just state the fact that we are on track. The President has given us the mandate. In 2009, he called for the state to be developmental. He referred to the state as a developmental state, but we sometimes make the mistake of looking at the state as comprising only the executive and the judiciary, forgetting that the legislative sector is part and parcel of that state.
Therefore, it is important that we need to say to His Excellency that we are on path; we are trying our best to respond to those developmental challenges that he has referred to us. We will do our best to ensure that South Africa becomes a country that is better for all of us. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms E C VAN LINGEN
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP:
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson the theme, Celebrating 20 Years of a Democratic Parliament – Together Moving the NCOP Forward as a Vanguard of the Interests of Provinces, is exactly where the NCOP started in 1997, under its first chairperson, the hon Naledi Pandor.
For the information of the President and the members of his Cabinet, who infrequently visit the NCOP and who might not understand what it is required to do, section 42(4) of the Constitution states that “The NCOP represents the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account … " and it does this in two ways.
First, it participates in the national legislative process; and second, it provides a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting the provinces.
On this point, I am reminded of the words of the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP who said in June this year that the NCOP is there to revive oversight, represent the provinces and provide checks and balances in relation to the NA.
It is not there to take instructions from political parties. It is there as a sphere of government accountable to the Constitution and the law. It is important for people to understand their mandate and not to go in there as if they are taking instructions from Luthuli House. [Interjections.]
One can only agree with the words of the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, as she strives to assert the independence of this House and reminds us of our duty as delegates to the NCOP. It is a shame then that this view is not upheld by all members of government.
As the NCOP, we are in a privileged position to influence and monitor national legislation that often finds a unique effect in each of our nine provinces. Now, after 17 years in this role, the time has come to ask ourselves whether this House is living up to its constitutional mandate. Is this House working for the people of South Africa? [Interjections.] Or, are we a destitute family living in a crumbling infrastructure with no head of the house to lead by example?
Once a year, we sit and listen while the hon President pays lip service to the state of our nation and conveniently sidesteps the crumbling state of our provincial governments. [Interjections.] And through this, year in and year out, he continues to display that he has lost touch with the provinces, and ultimately the ability of the three spheres of government to deliver what he so easily promised. [Interjections.]
The hon President continues to run from his responsibilities in the NA, but he cannot hide in the NCOP; he must account to the people’s democratically elected representatives in the House that elected him.
Ms M F TLAKE: Chairperson, on a point of order: The hon member is out of order to say that the President has been paying lip service. You know that there is the National Development Plan, NDP, and you know that this ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon member! [Interjections.] Hon members!
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: That’s not a point of order!
Ms M F TLAKE: So the point I am ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members! Hon member on the floor, address me, and please make your point of order direct.
Ms M F TLAKE: I am saying that she is referring to the President as someone who is paying lip service, whereas she knows that there is a National Development Plan, NDP. So that is the point of order. She is deceiving ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That is not a point of order, please take your seat. Hon van Lingen, continue.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Thank you, hon Chairperson. As the hon President will note, my colleagues in the gallery from the NA are present here today. [Applause.] But let me say, the President said, ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon van Lingen, respect the Rules of this House; address the House through me.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN Hon Chairperson, the President ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Dlamini, I think I have dispensed with the matter, please take your seat. Continue hon member.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, the President said that we must each sweep in front of our houses; he has to sweep in front of his own house. [Interjections.]
He must also be mindful of the fact that we, the members of the NCOP, are the ones who directly account to the people of South Africa throughout the year for his government’s failures. Through the various initiatives of the NCOP, such as the Taking Parliament to the People programme, the NCOP Provincial Week, and Oversight Week, the NCOP is at the forefront of what government is doing on the ground.
However, it is 17 years on and the NCOP is still largely unknown to lots of South Africans. Our programmes have been usurped by the ANC in order to spread the ANC’s supposed good story, and in doing so the ANC tries to lend the authority of this House to the failures of government. During our provincial and oversight visits, we’re led to see very exciting and very successful government programmes while others are hidden from us.
Our work in the NCOP has become a farce and it is like this in each of the nine ANC-led provinces. Our constitutional role has become less about ensuring that government delivers to our people and more about networking opportunities between ANC comrades, as one faction plots against the other. [Interjections.]
Even when it comes to legislation, there is more than enough evidence to prove that the ANC bulldozes legislation through this House and the provinces, as it did with the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill.
The Bill went through this House and the provinces in 19 days, whereas normally it takes eight weeks and there is public participation. The ANC’s flagrant disregard for the legislative process undermines this House, the Constitution and the people of South Africa.
Given the truly deplorable state of the NCOP, it cannot be described as a vanguard of the interests of the provinces — it lacks both the authority and credibility of that title. [Interjections.] As we sit here today, we must decide either to fight for the independence of this House so that it will be able to fulfil its important constitutional role, or we can scrap it altogether, hon Dlamini.
The DA will not stand by idly ...
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Hon Chairperson, I would like your ruling in regard to the reflection on the integrity of the House, when this member says that this House is deplorable.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, hon member. It’s a very simple matter: All members make up the House so if the House is deplorable, each and every member of the House is deplorable. That is my ruling. Please proceed hon van Lingen.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Thank you, hon Chairperson. I will repeat the last paragraph because I think it’s very important. As we sit here today, we must decide to fight for the independence of this House so that it will be able to fulfil its important constitutional role; if not, we must scrap the NCOP entirely.
The DA will not stand by idly and allow Luthuli House to corrupt yet another democratic institution for its own narrow political ends. I thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN CAPE
Ms E C VAN LINGEN
Die PREMIER VAN DIE NOORD KAAP (Me S Lucas): Baie dankie, Voorsitter. Dit sou nogal beter gewees het as ons dit van Luthuli Huis af gesê het, maar Maimane sit net hier om seker te maak dat Van Lingen die nonsens praat wat sy hier moet praat.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Premier, he’s an hon Member of Parliament, MP.
Die PREMIER VAN DIE NOORD KAAP (Me S Lucas): Agb Voorsitter ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Premier, may I just address you quickly.
The PREMIER OF THE NORHERN CAPE (Ms S Lucas): Hon who is it now again? Sorry Chairperson ...
... ek verstaan mos nie Engels nie. [Gelag.] Agb Voorsitter ... [Tussenwerpsels.]
Die VOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Hy is ’n agb lid van die Nasionale Vergadering.
Die PREMIER VAN DIE NOORD KAAP (Me S Lucas): Agb Maimane, dit is so lekker om te praat van Luthuli Huis wat in Gauteng sit, want Luthuli Huis stuur nie mense om ons op te pas sodat ons praat wat ons hier moet praat nie. [Gelag.]
’n AGB LID: Luthuli Huis pas julle mooi op.
Die PREMIER VAN DIE NOORD KAAP (Me S Lucas): Nee, Luthuli Huis het ons klaar mooi geleer. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Agb Voorsitter, voordat my tyd verstreke is, wil ek die President van Suid-Afrika, agb Jacob Zuma, premiers van die verskillende provinsies en lede van die NRVP bedank.
First and foremost, Chairperson, allow me to commend our President for the visionary and caring leader that he is. Ever since I became a premier, President, I have observed how impatient you became with the fact that there were still such high levels of poverty and inequality in the country.
Hon President, you must never forget that we are trying and attempting to address a historical background of a hundred years. Today some of those who benefited are the ones who are screaming the loudest that we are failing. They think that if you tell a lie for long enough it will become the truth.
Just yesterday research confirmed that among our peers South Africa has done the best in addressing poverty, and comparatively speaking, the grant system of South Africa has put more disposable income in the hands of the poor than any other country regarded as our peer.
But what was so significant is that just a few weeks ago there was the Oxfam report which spoke about the high levels of food insecurity in households in South Africa — pages and pages full. Hardly a few weeks before the good news about our poverty strategy — three publications, one small column!
Hon President, we must remember we will never win, for, besides the opposition in this House, we have seen the media taking the same stance of being in opposition to the good story of the ANC. They think that this good story is something to ridicule and will never acknowledge what we are achieving as the ANC government.
They think if they continue attacking you they can delegitimise this government that has been elected by the people of South Africa, and overwhelmingly so. They say the ANC has lost support under Zuma, but go and look at the figures. The same percentage that Mandela got is what Zuma got in these elections. Let’s just go back and see.
Hon Chairperson, but let me come back to my point and say that I really appreciate this opportunity that we have as provinces, through this platform of the NCOP, to once again confirm that we do have a good story to tell. Actually, we have got a great story of change and transformation to tell here in South Africa.
Let me go on to the Northern Cape. Our economy is historically based on the primary sectors of agriculture and mining. We are very excited by the developments in the renewable energy sphere and we are in the process of becoming the energy hub of this country. The growing energy provision will enable us to meet the ever-expanding energy challenges, not only in the province but in the country and perhaps beyond.
We have already put South Africa in the top-10 countries providing renewable energy, especially solar. We, as a province, have an abundance of renewable energy sources and we are best suited and strategically poised for a number of these projects. Solar and wind, and even shale gas, are some of the things that are being explored in our province.
During this term, the government in the province will focus on enterprise development, economic empowerment, trade and investment promotion and sector development, as well as tourism and industry development in order to set the province on a growth path and create more jobs. To this end, we have just last week hosted a Brics expo and investors’ conference to showcase opportunities in this province to our partners in the Brics countries. Besides China and India, it was also attended by Mauritius and Thailand as countries that are interested in the opportunities that the Northern Cape can offer.
We will be improving our partnership with the national strategic infrastructure project champions as well as the provincial and local government in the province in order to expedite the implementation of these strategic infrastructure projects in our province. We are particularly focusing on Sol Plaatjie University, the Square Kilometre Array of Carnarvon.
I think don’t I have to tell people that in the Northern Cape South Africa worked on more than 80% of the Square Kilometre Array development, and we are focusing on such projects as well as solar and related renewable energy sectors.
Hon Chairperson, in 2015 you will see the Northern Cape hosting the Bloodhound, when a retired airport pilot will attempt to break the land speed record of 1 600 km p/h at Hakskeen Pan in Meer, Kalahari.
A few of our schools have already benefited from this technology. In Meer, MTN has installed internet connectivity of four gigabytes, GB, which means in Meer you can get onto the internet faster than in Cape Town. That is what is happening through the Bloodhound project.
The community survey by Statistics SA shows that we are making significant in-roads in improving the quality of life of our people in the provision of basic services such as water, electricity, housing and sanitation.
The province has experienced improved levels of access to potable water. We are pleased to report that 93,6% of households in the province have access to water inside their dwellings or in their yards. More than 79% of households have access to basic sanitation, 82% of households in the province have access to electricity, in excess of 63 000 houses have been built in the past 20 years, and more than 76 600 sites have been serviced.
We fully recognise the economic importance of good road infrastructure and over the past years, in spite of the challenges that we are experiencing, we have transformed the landscape of this province through the construction, rehabilitation and upgrading of existing roads. We have particularly paid attention to rural access roads with the view to enhancing accessibility.
Hon Chairperson, I must say, besides those who are paying e-tolls we have the best roads in South Africa in the Northern Cape.
The mining industry in the Northern Cape should be seen as the provincial government’s blueprint for transforming our economy, creating jobs and halving poverty and reaching equality by 2030. The National Development Plan, NDP, expects mining houses to play a pivotal role by empowering communities.
Hon Chairperson, early in 2015 you will see two major mining developments being initiated in the Northern Cape province. The one under West Coast Resources will be taking over the De Beers operations in Kleinsee, the second one will be Gamsberg near Eigenhuis through the Verdanta initiative. With that we are already expecting to initially create more than 2 000 jobs in the province.
In recent times the mining sector has come under close scrutiny with various communities in the province raising legitimate concerns that mining houses were doing very little to improve the lives of communities in areas in which the mines are located.
Therefore, it is expected that mines within both a historical and socioeconomic perspective would leave a lasting but positive legacy for the communities where they source their vast profits and wealth. Moreover, as mines are in partnership with government, skills and procurement should be anchored domestically.
Hon Chairperson, as a government we remain committed to supporting women and young people who aspire to be the businessmen and businesswomen of tomorrow. The more entrepreneurs we create the better, because we will be opening up more opportunities for job creation. As such, we have revitalised the Mme re ka Thusa Women’s Development Trust as an important development vehicle to empower and support them to own their own businesses.
So far since the beginning of this term we have supported more than 50 women entrepreneurs in their endeavours.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Premier, you are finishing.
The PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN CAPE (Ms S LUCAS): Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. I still have a lot to say, but let me conclude by saying that the Northern Cape, hon President, is a hidden treasure and more and more people are experiencing what we are all about. I thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, before I call the next speaker I would like to say to the members of this House that they must always take note of the Rules that we have in this House.
In the past we’ve heard MECs — two MECS to be precise — who the ANC called to order by saying they should confine themselves to provincial issues.
I have ruled from this Chair that the NCOP does not confine members who come here to their provinces and that they have every right in this House to deliberate on matters national. I thought I should remind you because the Premier was reminded by hon members to confine herself to the Northern Cape. Please remember that these rulings also take precedence.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Hon Chairperson of the Council, His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa, the one and only hon Gedleyihlekisa Jacob Zuma, premiers from our provinces, members of the executive present, ladies and gentlemen, all protocol observed, I will always agree with our late comrade Dumisani Makhaye who believed that it is the responsibility of the ruling party to lead and educate the opposition.
The Leader of the Opposition this morning has just demonstrated that we need not forget what Comrade Dumisani said. Of what use will it be if we disband this august House in spite of all the good that it is doing to keep the three spheres of government together. It is like cutting your own nose to spite your face.
At the state of the nation address, His Excellency the President said that South Africa needs a constructive opposition. We are yet to see and hear that in this Parliament, and therefore, let us all heed the advice of our late comrade Dumisani. As we work in our constituencies let us make sure we lead them and educate them.
Secondly, I must indicate that we are a constitutional democracy but often times, even yesterday, I listen and watch with dismay when the Leader of the Opposition in the NA indicates that he believes whenever the bells ring in Parliament, he looks around and expects to see our President walking the corridors.
Section 87 of the Constitution indicates that our President is not a Member of Parliament, MP. Our President has national presidential responsibilities, continental presidential responsibilities, even responsibilities worldwide. We must educate them about the Constitution. We are a constitutional democracy.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, on a point of order: I would like to know if the hon Chief Whip will take a question.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order members! Hon Chief Whip will you take a question?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: No, no, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: She says no. Please continue, madam.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: AS this House, we are giving expression; I am back to my point on us being a constitutional democracy, section 60 up to section 72 of the Constitution enjoins us to exist and function in this fashion. I would therefore challenge the opposition to indicate which section guides their proposal that this House be disestablished.
Allow me to take this opportunity to begin by thanking and welcoming the annual address of the President under the theme, Celebrating 20 years of a democratic Parliament: Together moving the NCOP forward as a vanguard of the interests of the provinces.
We are aware that there are some amongst us who will rise to throw all kinds of misguided accusations at us because of their lack of understanding of the work that the President is doing.
Indeed, over the years, Mr President, you have reached a number of historical milestones with our Council. We checked the records of this institution since its inception, and not only were you the first President ever to take questions in this House since its establishment, but you also addressed us more often when you made an appearances in this Council. Our records show that.
Mr President, your presence today not only demonstrates your support for the work of our Council but it also serves as a firm acknowledgement that the makers of our Constitution created an important vehicle for the representation of the will of our people.
We are truly grateful for the manner in which you, our President, continue to show profound appreciation for the work of our Council and its important role as the vanguard of the interests of the provinces. You have truly shown the character of what our late President Nelson Mandela in his prolific book Long Walk to Freedom defines as a visionary leader who serves and leads with purpose and commitment; a leader who is guided by a great sense of purpose and determination to change and who at times allows himself to move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.
That is you, Mr President.
Further, Mr President, we would like to remind you that no dog in its right mind would bark at a stationary car. Indeed, your address today, Mr President, truly reaffirms the sentiments that you expressed in your first address to this august House when you said that the NCOP occupies a unique and a special place in our democracy.
The dawn of democracy in our country in 1994 ushered in momentous institutional changes in the structure and role of our Parliament.
Since 1994, we have miraculously dismantled the toothless and docile Parliament we inherited from the apartheid state that was governed by the fathers and forefathers of some people in this House, who argued that this institution must be dismantled when we see the value that this institution is adding to the lives of our people.
Besides, they are the very people who, during the governance of their fathers and forefathers, would never have had the honour of sitting here as hon woman members.
In his inaugural address in 1994, our icon, the late President Nelson Mandela, laid a firm foundation for nation-building and social cohesion when he reminded us of the need to work together as a nation. Our Madiba said and I quote:
We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people for national reconciliation, for nation-building, for the birth of a new world.
In my language, Chairperson, they say ...
“Tau tša hloka seboka di šiwa ke nare e hlotša.”
Ten years later, in May 2004, during his last address to the joint sitting of Parliament, our late President reflected on the character of our Parliament when he said, and I quote:
The make-up of this Parliament confirms that the people of South Africa have spoken in their diversity asserting the strength of our unity in diversity and that Parliament should serve as their voice.
Some people say we must dismantle it.
At the 52nd National Conference of the ANC, we committed the fourth term of our Parliament to moving with urgency to continue in our national quest to build an activist Parliament. We said this because the Freedom Charter, which laid the formidable foundation for our democracy, committed us to ensuring that we put in place all the necessary measures to ensure that our people govern.
The Freedom Charter sketches out in clear terms the central objectives of the national democratic struggle and the kind of South Africa we want. Most importantly, the Freedom Charter contains the founding principles that served as the cornerstone of the Parliament we aspired to have, as we waged a concerted fight against minority rule and the repressive and discriminatory conditions we faced under apartheid. Forward ever, backward never!
The Freedom Charter, which is a unique document that gives expression to the vision of the kind of Parliament we envisage, states that the people shall govern. This expression finds resonance with the decisions that were made by the First Consultative Conference of the ANC that was held on 26 April 1969 — the Kabwe one — when it said, and I quote
The expression that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, embodies the historical principle which has characterised the policy of the ANC towards the peoples who have settled in the country in the past centuries and the kind of Parliament that they want.
The third National General Council of the ANC, which was held in Durban in 2010, stressed the need for an activist Parliament. It further characterised an activist Parliament as a-
… legislature [which] must be felt by the people. It must be visible through its representatives and have a meaningful impact upon the lives of the people so that they can practically feel and see in practice the concept of, “The People shall Govern!” that the Freedom Charter spoke of in 1955.
The National Consultative Conference of the ANC also observed that:
The Parliament of South Africa will be wholly transformed into an Assembly of the People. Every man and woman in our country shall have the right to vote for and stand as a candidate for all offices and bodies which make laws. The present administration will be smashed and broken up.
That is the apartheid one.
In its place will be created an administration in which all people irrespective of race, colour or sex can take part. The bodies of minority rule shall be abolished and in their place will be established democratic organs of self-government in all the Provinces, districts and towns of the country.
I must indicate that in this Chamber, we unfortunately have those organisations that don’t seem to understand what they were elected to do in this House — the EFF in particular, we are not afraid to say.
They go away for a week, come back and then they want to debate, but they don’t communicate their intentions and I get slapped with a form. They say no, we had ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mathys, a point of order?
Ms L MATHYS: Chairperson, on a point of order …
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Hon Chairperson, there are Rules in this House, there are Rules in this House!
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Chief Whip! Hon Chief Whip, there is a point of order.
Ms L MATHYS: No, no, there are rules ... [Interjections.] ... but, Chief Whip, it’s not for you to come to the House and discuss what is … [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Mathys! Address me! Address me now!
Ms L MATHYS: I am so sure that it is not proper to have discussions about what the EFF MPs are doing. We are here to discuss 20 years of a democratic Parliament and, if you must know, we are very, very busy running our elected assemblies so that we can have a democratic EFF. So that is what we are doing.
My point of order is that this is not an appropriate place to be discussing what we are doing as EFF MPs.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mathys, order! [Interjections.] Order! Hon Mathys you have made your point. Hon Chief Whip, please stick to the script.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chairperson of the Council, I thank you very much ...
... ke be nka se e tliše mo ge e be ele gore ga se ya re tšwa matsogong.
I want the people of South Africa to know.
Indeed, Mr President, as the ANC, our Parliament continues to define its place and role in our ongoing national efforts to transform our society and meet the most urgent and pressing needs of our people.
As we are celebrating 20 years of democracy and of a democratic Parliament, today is a moment of utmost significance for all those of us whom the people of South Africa and our respective provinces have entrusted with representing their needs in this House.
The evolution of the NCOP is on course. However, I must indicate, Your Excellency the President, that we still have a long way to go; we still have challenges. The other day, Mr President, the one and only member of the IFP in this House comes to my office and says to me, “Hon Chief Whip, I need to have my own study group.” [Laughter.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Chief Whip, please round off.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: I am rounding off, Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Khawula, is that a point of order? [Laughter.] Order members! The man must be protected; he is an hon member.
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson, on a point of order: The hon Chief Whip of the NCOP is misleading the House in the presence of the President of the country. I did not run to her office; I raised this point in a meeting of the Whippery. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order members! The hon Khawula says that the hon Chief Whip of the House is misleading the House. It is a very serious point to make. I undertake to investigate this matter and come back to this House and report on this matter of the study group. [Laughter.] Please conclude, hon Chief Whip.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: We did not disagree that day. We agreed that if he tells me who would be presiding, who will be deliberating and who will be keeping the record, then I would ... [Time Expired.] Thank you.
The PREMIER OF LIMPOPO (Mr S MATHABATHA):
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP
The PREMIER OF LIMPOPO (Mr S Mathabatha): Chairperson, it is indeed an honour and interesting to be in a law-making body of South Africa.
His Excellency, hon President Jacob Zuma, Speaker of the NA, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon premiers present here and hon members of the NCOP, in July this year, as the Limpopo provincial administration, we had the honour to appear before the NCOP Joint Select Committee on Finance to give a detailed account of progress made on the implementation of section 101(1)(b) of the Constitution in Limpopo.
We commend the NCOP for its pivotal oversight role in ensuring compliance and successful implementation of the intervention in our province. Surely this cannot be said to be deplorable.
Today Limpopo is in a much better financial and administrative position than the one before the intervention by the national government. [Applause.]
Just over a month ago, we also enjoyed the privilege of hosting some of the members of this august House during a week-long NCOP visit to our province. During this visit, we briefed the hon members of the NCOP on the state of service delivery in Limpopo. Hon members left Limpopo with a clear sense of the state of service delivery in our province.
These interactions have affirmed the central and vanguard role of the NCOP on matters of interest to provinces. This indeed, hon members, cannot be said to be deplorable. It is this vanguard role that makes the past 20 years of our democratic Parliament worth celebrating.
In the same vein, the ever-present executive leadership of President Zuma on matters of interest to provinces, particularly as it relates to matters of service delivery, cannot go unnoticed. I am speaking here, just under two weeks after having hosted the President on the occasion of the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Visit to Giyani in our district of Mopani.
This visit, which was also about officially launching a Giyani Water Treatment Works, was preceded by two similar visits by the President in Sekhukhune and Vhembe District during the opening of the De Hoop Dam and national dams respectively — and this is not lip service. [Applause.]
The people of Sekhukhune are already getting fresh and running water from the De Hoop Dam project. This cannot be said to be lip service, President. The people of Giyani are now getting water, fresh water, in that district due to this project which you launched last week. The people of Vhembe who are now benefiting from the Nandoni Dam reticulation project are today enjoying fresh water. [Applause.]
The people of Limpopo are very grateful for the visible work of the NCOP, and Parliament in general. I am saying this because, through the oversight role and support from this august House as well as our provincial legislature, the lives of our people have been changed for the better in the past 20 years. [Applause.]
Today in Limpopo, 86% of people enjoy access to clean and potable water. Over 87% of households in Limpopo are connected to electricity today, and this is real and actual and cannot be said to be lip service. We have built over 250 houses for poor families, benefiting about one million people in our province.
Hon President, with your authorisation, we visited China only last week, 10 days ago. There we managed to clinch a deal for the women in Thabazimbi for a project worth R3 billion, out of which R1 billion is already in the country now, as I speak. [Applause.] And that is actual delivery of services and cannot be said to be lip service.
Through the Limpopo Economic Development Agency, Leda, during the same trip to China, hon President, we managed to clinch another deal for a project worth R38 billion in Musina. That project has the capacity to absorb about 19 000 employees. This is actual and real — hard facts. [Applause.] It cannot be said to be lip service.
These achievements, to a great extent, reflect the success of Parliament both with regard to its law-making mandate and the oversight role. Together we must celebrate the past 20 years of a democratic Parliament because our people’s lives have radically changed thanks to the work of this House. [Applause.]
Going forward, we will continue working together with this august House and our provincial legislature in advancing the goals of our Provincial Development Plan, PDP. Some of the goals we have set for ourselves to achieve over the next five years and beyond, include: the development of our rural communities through agrarian and land reform; the expansion of the productive capacity of the economy and the creation of jobs which includes the development of special economic zones in Musina and Tubatse; the expansion of health care infrastructure and the provision of quality primary health care services to our people through the provision of adequate human settlements for our people; and the provision of quality education and training for our youth with a target of more than 80% in the matric results for the Class of 2014.
Ke šetše ke bontšhitše gore re leboga bohlokwa bja karolo yeo le e bapetšego ge le romela sehlopha sa thušo kua profenseng ya rena, nakong ya ge profense ya rena e be e lewa ke mafele le magotlo. Ka go realo re re a bona gore tema yeo ba e kgathilego, e wetše. Go feta moo, re tšhoga gore ba ka ba ba feleletša ba lemolla mola ba lemilego ntshe, ra feleletša re jelwa ke ponyane re se ra ba ra mediša.
Ge ke feleletša ke rata gore re kwešiše gore bjale phala tšela di nwele marula. Tama kgoši. [Legoswi.]
Mr S J MOHAI
PREMIER OF LIMPOPO: Mr MATHABATHA
Mr S J MOHAI: Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Thandi Modise, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade President Jacob Zuma, hon Premiers, fellow delegates and comrades, allow me to join the others by welcoming our President to this august house which marks his first address to the NCOP in this the fifth term of our democratic Parliament.
This debate marks an important milestone in the country’s continued efforts to advance the clarion call of radical economic transformation. As we surge ahead with social transformation in this second phase of our transition, the centrality of the economic question in our social transformation is about tackling the three interrelated social ills of unemployment, poverty and inequality. It is about advancing the values of social emancipation, solidarity and equality.
The Minister of Finance made it clear in the recent Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement that economic programmes remain critically important to our success and will not suffer because of tight fiscal measures, despite the main theme of consolidation.
Hon Chairperson, we further note that this address by the President takes place hardly five month after the first state of the nation address to this fifth democratic Parliament of which we are a part. This indeed represents to this august House a moment of reflection on the journey traversed thus far.
The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement has appropriately located our domestic economic outlook and performance within the broader context of the global economic outlook. According to the recent IMF report, the world economic outlook remains uncertain with clouds of risks and there is an urgent need for structural reform in both advanced and developing economies to address legacies that continue to block recovery and sustain growth.
Mr President, our successes in the last twenty years are echoed not only by the ANC; the recent World Bank report entitled Fiscal Policy and Redistribution in an Unequal Society attests to this reality. The World Bank report says, and I quote:
The share of the population living on $1.25 a day or less falls from 34.4 percent to 16.5 percent, reflecting the impact of cash transfers and free basic services net of taxes. Inequality goes from a situation where the incomes of the richest decile are more than 1,000 times higher than the poorest to one where they are about 66 times higher. As a result, the Gini coefficient on income falls from 0.77, where it lies before various taxes and social spending programs are applied, to 0.59 after these fiscal interventions are incorporated. Still, the level of inequality remaining is higher than what all other countries in this sample start with before they apply fiscal policies.
South Africa uses its fiscal instruments very effectively, achieving the largest reductions in poverty and inequality of the 12 middle-income countries [featured in the research].
This point was made earlier by Comrade Lucas, the premier of the Northern Cape province. I continue to quote:
As a result of South Africa’s fiscal system, some 3.6 million people are lifted out of poverty, measured as those living on less than $2.50 a day (in purchasing power parity dollars). The rate of extreme poverty is cut by half.
Chairperson, this is a direct impact of the cash transfers and basic services net of taxes from the state to the people.
On the same question of employment, the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey released on 30 October 2014, shows a modest growth in employment over the past three months. The total increase was 22 000 new jobs between 1 July and 30 September 2014.
If we look at a provincial breakdown of the jobs, it shows that six provinces had actual job increases. They are Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, the Free State and Northern Cape. I wouldn’t say that the Western Cape is not mentioned, but I would say that the employment numbers show we must build on the successes and improve our efforts in the provinces where we have not done well.
The central thrust of the President’s address to this august House reaffirms our commitment to this second phase of our transition, which is a radical economic transformation at the centre of our work in the current period. In this process mistakes will be committed and lessons will be learnt. However, we should continue to inspire hope in the masses of our people about a better future through resilience, steadfastness of principle and tactical flexibility, as demonstrated over the last two decades of our transition.
Chairperson, the greatest test of our relevance to the masses of our people lies in our ability to remain true to their aspirations, hopes and dreams at all time, whatever difficulties there may be. This is also demonstrated by telling the truth at all times through the victory of successive electoral victories by the ANC which is nothing else but the legitimate test of our people.
To this end, a fundamental question for this House that we must seek to respond to in this debate is: What issue should we focus on, what is it that we should do and how, in order to advance the agenda of radical economic transformation?
Mr President, we wish to commend you on your efforts to build a wider consensus in the economy since the beginning of your administration.
The National Development Plan, NDP, as anchored by the National Growth Path, NGP, and Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap, is our collective road map to the future which represents the collective views and aspirations of our people. It clearly outlines the broad, strategic priorities of economic growth and development within which the current Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, is anchored.
The MTSF identifies industrialisation, manufacturing, agriculture, sustainable energy infrastructure and generation, mining and the development of productive sectors of economy as critical. Accordingly, these are labour-intensive sectors which can play a critical role in the fight against joblessness, poverty and income inequality in our country.
Industrialisation is going to be a key factor in developing our economy in a way which breaks down all industrial structures that promote extractive production and export of raw materials.
We will have to develop a local value chain and build large manufacturing sectors. Our industrial development effort should therefore create jobs on a large scale, develop skills, create local capacity for producing capital machinery and invest in new technology. This will make our products competitive in international the community and increase exports.
The sustainable energy infrastructure and generation is critical for the continued expansion of productive sectors of our economy and the decent livelihood of our people. We, therefore, support the current bold steps taken by our government in stepping up the development of the energy infrastructure including alternative sources of energy as spelt out by the President.
The state-owned enterprises, SOEs, are also very important in helping government deliver infrastructure that will constitute a base of our industrial expansion. They will also help government reorder industrial production in line with imperatives of the NGP and Ipap.
Government must therefore work faster to address inefficiencies in the operation of all our major state-owned enterprises. Within the context of these strategic priorities and initiatives, how then do we carve a niche for the NCOP as a voice of the provinces in the national sphere?
Hon President, this question is fundamental because most of these initiatives impact on our communities in the provinces although they are an exclusive competency of the national sphere of government. Accordingly, as an intersection of the three spheres of our government in our constitutional architecture, the NCOP must identify high-impact strategic priorities around which to foster co-operation and convergence frameworks between the three spheres of government in terms of implementation and monitoring of these projects.
In doing this, a high premium must be placed on our communities through innovative structures and systems to enhance participatory development on an ongoing basis. As a matter of common knowledge in history, every situation of hard and pressing socioeconomic challenges produces its own heroes and heroines in the body politic of a nation.
Some of these individuals camouflage their adventurism behind revolutionary-sounding slogans, thus presenting themselves as genuine alternatives to the ANC, on the one hand. On the other hand, there is the neoliberal agenda that advances naked market fundamentalism and falsely positions itself as an alternative to the current socioeconomic trajectory pursued by the ANC, and it must be defeated in order for us to move forward in this second phase of our transition.
On that aspect we welcome the President’s bold initiatives and intervention in the ocean economy and the ANC intervention in terms of tempering of the structure of the economy so that we cannot leave things as they are to benefit a few white minorities in our country.
The majority of our people are yearning for economic benefits. Mr President, armed by our commitment to unity in action towards radical socioeconomic transformation, summed up by the revolutionary forum of the ANC at its Mangaung conference, we will not be distracted from our noble cause of changing the living conditions of our people for the better.
We call on all social partners in business and labour to say what they will bring to the radical economic transformation that our country needs. The ANC is confident that you are leading us in the right direction to ensure that the majority of our people in rural communities, especially women and the youth, stand to benefit from this radical economic transformation. I thank you.
PREMIER OF KWAZULU NATAL: Mr S MCHUNU
Mr S J MOHAIMr S J MOHAI
The PREMIER OF KWAZULU-NATAL (Mr S Mchunu): Thank you very much, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Your Excellency the President of the Republic Nxamalala, the hon Premiers and my colleagues in other provinces, members of the NCOP and all ladies and gentlemen who are here.
Hon members, in September this year the NCOP visited our province eThekwini to afford us the opportunity to interact with them on issues of delivery. Before that, over the last three years, the NCOP has been in our province a number of times with the main sitting taking place in the uMzinyathi Municipality. There we were addressed by the President of the Republic. At all these gatherings a number of issues were raised to which we needed to respond.
As part of that response we would want to report to this august House on our overall response to these issues which were raised and discussed in these gatherings on service delivery.
As part of that response, as government we decided last year to launch a programme which we called the Inkululeko Development Programme.
This was a programme which was aimed at gathering together all of us, different departments and different sectors, in order to collaborate on development in our province; to go into one place at the same time and then respond to the basic needs of our people.
We started at Ndumo, where we invested more than one billion rands. It is now showing results and I am not going to be able to count all the projects that are there. All of these actions have answered the call that our people expected us to respond to their expectations and call for their basic needs to be met.
The Inkululeko Development Programme is targeted at rural areas and it involves the roll-out of infrastructure in all our districts in a co-ordinated manner with maximum impact. It involves, among other things, the construction of schools, provision of libraries in rural areas and the construction of clinics, hospitals and road infrastructure. Through this programme we provide decent housing and we also set aside budgets for water and rehabilitation of business activities.
We want to demonstrate that the people in rural areas are there to enjoy the fruits of freedom just like those people who live in big cities. Through the apartheid system areas such as uMzinyathi and uMkhanyakude in our province were severely neglected, with millions of people remaining isolated from basic amenities such as water, sanitation, electricity, recreational facilities and social infrastructure, such as that which I have referred to above.
If you go there today you will either be met with a lot of enthusiasm as a result of what has been delivered already or you will be confronted by the hope that ...
... nakithi kuzofika okungcono okunjengalapho sekufike khona.
That is what they will be saying. Indeed, many of our people in rural areas know the changes that have been brought about by the past 20 years of freedom.
We don’t have to speak for them all the time; they can speak for themselves. They know that when they voted in 1994, they were voting for water, they were voting for clinics and hospitals, and they were voting for all the basic requirements of a good life, as well as justice, which for them is the real meaning of politics.
The NCOP has been an instrument which has assisted us, as the KwaZulu-Natal government, to assess the impact we were making in relation to service delivery. It is important that the NCOP has inculcated and promoted the habit of firm consideration for the plight of the electorate, and for that we appreciate your support and thank you very much.
It has made us, the elected representatives, understand the importance of accounting to our people who exercised their democratic right and voted. You understand that any failure to account to the electorate may manifest itself, amongst other things, in service delivery protests. However, it is our view as KwaZulu-Natal that we can still improve our accountability levels and mechanisms.
One of the suggestions that have come from our province in this regard is for us as legislators to afford members of the NCOP the opportunity to come to our legislatures to account for themselves. On the other hand because they represent our provinces here and we do need to afford them the opportunity to report back in an open forum so that they can take on board our members of the legislature on that side.
May I say that since the visit of the NCOP in September, members of the provincial council have visited two more districts in UseMzinyathi following on our programme which is called Operation Sukuma Sakhe, OSS, through the Sukuma Sakhe Cabinet days.
During our visit to these districts we visited to war rooms assess the impact of government programmes and to ensure participation of ordinary members of our society in the improvement of service delivery. Operation Sukuma Sakhe has ensured the integration of joint delivery of departmental programmes and services in war rooms across the province. All MEC’s including me have been assigned to act as champions of service delivery in various districts and municipalities across the province under Operation Sukuma Sakhe.
Through this we give ordinary people of our society in our province the opportunity to monitor the speed of the delivery of such services. We want community members to be part of all efforts aimed at finding solutions to our local problems.
We have encouraged communities to hold the executive council accountable for the lack of service delivery because this a democratic government and they have responded, and are responding very well. Given the fact that nonparticipatory governance was the order of the day under the old system, it is important that the practice of community participation is promoted.
Community participation creates an environment of hope among all our people that their lives will get better if they get involved. As far as government is concerned, the generation of hope and confidence among all of our people will help build a prosperous and bright future.
Chairperson, this morning before coming here I had an interview with one of the journalists. This journalist insisted that I must give him an indication of what the National Development Plan, NDP, has delivered, and what we ourselves in the province are doing. Of course, I did refer him to our Provincial Growth and Development Plan, which is carved out and modelled on the National Development Plan, and which is by and large bearing fruit.
As I took him through the number of projects we had referred to as examples, I could see that he was not very convinced at all. I remembered that the Chinese people have always had a long-term vision — a 50-year vision or 50-year plan, as they may be called.
However, when the people of China built bridges over rivers or built roads and cities, they didn’t go there each time and tell people that this is the 50-year horizon in terms of how far it is. They just built continuously. That is exactly what is happening in our country.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Premier, I must ask you to round off.
The PREMIER OF KWAZULU-NATAL (Mr S Muchunu): Thank you very much. I want to advise our President that as we implement the NDP through many of the projects that have been rolled out may be we need to tell people
... sekuyikho lokho, yiyo i-NDP le. Siphinde sibatshele ukuthi yikho lokhu ukuphakelwa kwezinsiza. Ngoba uma singabatsheli ...
... and take it for granted that they see delivery. Sometimes they don’t see it, even those who live in RDP houses. They don’t see that this is delivery and we need to tell them that ...
... yikho lokhu ukuphakelwa kwezinsiza okukhulunywa ngakho kumabonakude nasemsakazweni. [Ihlombe.]
However, as I round off, I do want to say we have a number of challenges at present. The first one of three is the levels of crime in our province. The second challenge is that in some of the provinces, like ours at present, the businesspeople feel that we are squeezing them with the way in which we have trade agreements . As an example, the cement industry and the chicken industry in our province, to name just two, feel that they are being squeezed by foreign companies.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Ngiyabonga, baba.
The PREMIER OF KWAZULU-NATAL: Thank you very much.
Mr A BREDELL
The PREMIER OF KWAZULU-NATAL
Mr A BREDELL (Western Cape: MEC - Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning): The hon President of the Republic of South Africa, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members and ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour for me to represent the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, WCPP, here today.
In line with this year’s theme of celebrating 20 years of our democratic Parliament, I would like to reflect briefly on the journey we have travelled since 1994, and then make some suggestions as to how we can work better together to move South Africa forward. Hon President, the South Africa of 2014 is a much better place than the pre-1994 South Africa.
This is not in doubt and we owe this to some of the greatest leaders this world has ever seen; people like Nelson Mandela who helped us to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles to bring democracy to this country at the foot of Africa.
Twenty years ago President Nelson Mandela helped make our country the darling of the world as our people became free in their own country. We developed what is surely the world’s best Constitution, which guarantees the rights of every individual in this country of ours.
Things like electricity, houses and better education became things every South African, regardless of the colour of their, skin could get. Our democracy inherited many challenges and, whilst our democratic government has done a tremendous amount of good work since 1994, the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment is casting a long shadow over our rainbow nation.
Hon members, like many of you, I am from a rural area. It is a place where I have experienced both the good and the bad of democratic South Africa. In the rural areas I have seen poverty etched into the faces of desperate, unemployed people who don’t know where they will get their next meal from.
I have seen parents in areas where drugs and violence abound, who fear for their lives and the future of their children. These are the things that keep me awake at night. Hon President, despite all the good that is being done, these triple challenges simply keep catching up with us. It doesn’t help that the democratic South Africa has seen an increase in corruption and waste of public resources.
Corruption is one of the worst kinds of crime, especially when it happens in government structures. Why? Because when one steals in government, one is stealing directly from the poorest of the poor. Rich people and middle-class people will generally be okay if some money for services goes astray. If money meant to maintain a water facility is stolen or redirected elsewhere, for example, rich people can buy bottled water. Poor people must drink from polluted streams and dams and they get sick, and the situation gets worse.
The Auditor-General, AG, recently announced that irregular state expenditure increased from R26 billion in 2013 to R62 billion in the 2014 financial year. That’s an almost threefold increase in one year. My department and I, Mr President, believe that municipalities which are well managed and held accountable for their actions are vital, if we want to improve the lives of our citizens.
I oversee 30 municipalities in the Western Cape province and therefore earlier this year we were very pleased when the Auditor-General awarded 29 out of the 30 municipalities with unqualified audits. Additionally, 11 of those municipalities also achieved further by getting clean audits. Bear in mind that only 22 municipalities across the country got clean audits.
I do believe that these types of benchmarks are important as they are a way to tell the poor people that their government is spending the entire budget it gets in their best interest. Hon President, I am sure you will agree with me that these municipalities must be congratulated and celebrated. We are very proud of their achievements.
Hon President, when travelling across the province I see another challenge that I think has never been properly addressed in the democratic South Africa, and that is making local communities truly feel part of the decision-making process in government entities. Too often people simply feel that they are not being included in decision making. This lack of inclusivity, I believe, leads to protests and marches and unhappiness. To address this is also a priority for my department and me.
Hon President, it amazes me when I hear of delegations going overseas or into Africa to see how some countries or places are doing things or managing their entities. Best practices often seem to mean, not in South Africa. I cannot agree with this. I believe we have lots of best practices in this country that are too often overlooked.
Also, too often we don’t want to work together. This is nonsense and we should stop this. We should look for examples of developing models such as twinning successful municipalities with struggling ones, and even more successful provinces like Gauteng and the Western Cape with perhaps ones that struggle.
The same goes for departments. Let entities that actually share a similar background and history rather work together to help one another to improve services. Why go overseas when we are already doing it here?
Hon President, one final idea I would like to leave you with is one that I believe may resolve a lot of mismanagement problems at local government level. It relates to the internal-audit function at local government level.
Bear in mind, Mr President, that currently an internal-audit function gets funded by a municipality. This often places these internal auditors in a severely compromised position if their job is funded by the same municipality they must monitor. They may not be so keen to uncover irregularities.
I would like to suggest that we should perhaps make the internal function of a municipality independent of its local entities. In essence, this would mean funding these functions from the national fiscus, directly from Treasury. If one builds in added initiatives for internal auditors, I am sure these officials will be very keen to ensure that local municipalities are not spending money irregularly.
In an area where there are small municipalities or councils, we can deal with a shared system within the district municipality. This would mean that the district municipality will get funding to carry this. This is an idea I believe that could have instant and long-term results and benefits for our municipalities and the residents.
Hon Chair, let me end by saying that as we celebrate the achievements and the victories that 20 years of democracy have brought us, we must join hands and together build bigger bridges between us as government and our people who are still struggling on.
In this regard it is important that we strive to keep this house as an independent institution where provincial governments can raise common concerns and share best practices with each other.
Hon Chairperson, allow me to express my gratitude to the NCOP for its continued efforts to bring together individuals, communities and different spheres of government. I thank you.
The PREMIER OF GAUTENG (Mr D Makhura)
Mr A BREDELL
Mr A BREDELL
The PREMIER OF GAUTENG (Mr D MAKHURA ): Thank you very much, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP; His Excellency the President, Jacob Zuma; hon premiers of the provinces who are here; hon Speakers of legislatures; hon MECs; Special Delegates from the provinces; the representatives of Salga, led by Clr Mpho Nawa; and fellow South Africans, it is a great pleasure and privilege for me to join this debate today on the President’s annual address under the theme, Celebrating 20 Years of a Democratic Parliament — Together Moving the NCOP Forward as a Vanguard of the Interests of Provinces.
I would like to suggest from the outset that indeed we need to celebrate our Constitution and the democratic institutions of our country. At the same time, we need to celebrate material improvements and the overall progress in the quality of life of millions of our people, as correctly captured by the President in his address earlier on.
The NCOP has been at the centre of this progress. I would like to quote from the Preamble of our Constitution:
We, the people of South Africa, recognise the injustices of our past; honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
Firstly we must understand that, as the President correctly said, we meet today as free men and women and we celebrate our freedom, we celebrate our unity in diversity. We also meet here to rekindle our unwavering commitment to redress the injustices of the past as the Constitution correctly says.
Again, we also meet to honour those who suffered for justice and freedom and to respect those who have worked to build and develop our country. Again as the Preamble of the Constitution of the country states, those who still bask under the glory of centuries of racial privilege may not understand when we say freedom was not free. But those who fought for freedom deserve our respect.
Among those we honour and respect for playing a key role in bringing freedom and continuing to lead our country, is our own President who is here with us today. Your Excellency the President, I must say to you that you are leading us well. There is absolute evidence to this effect and even those who pretend not to see, who close their eyes to the facts, will be forced to listen because the facts speak too loudly to be ignored. [Applause.]
Whatever disagreements we may have as lawmakers in the House, we must not allow national and provincial legislatures to degenerate into platforms for hurling insults and abuse at our nation’s leaders. There is indeed a big difference between insults and robust debate in a democracy, so when we celebrate our Constitution we must also reassert our dignity and respect for our institutions. [Applause.]
We must celebrate it that as a country we have strong and sound democratic institutions which we have been building over the past two decades. We can also celebrate that as a young democracy and an emerging economy, South Africa has distinctively strong and sound institutions which are the cornerstones of any democracy and development.
Our democracy has checks and balances and there is clear separation between powers, as well as distinct roles and responsibilities between different institutions of our constitutional democracy. Even at the slightest provocation no institution must encroach on the space of another. Our Constitution doesn’t allow that.
We are much stronger as a nation when all our institutions carry out their constitutional responsibilities in a way that is underpinned by co-operative governance. No single institution must pretend that it is the paragon of virtue among the various institutions of our democracy.
Hon members, it is tempting sometimes and some of our institutions may pretend that they are the ultimate, but the NCOP has never done that. Our democratic Parliament is one of the cornerstones of our democratic institutions. Our Parliament is now an institution through which we foster social cohesion, nation-building and social and economic transformation.
We indeed count as one of the many successes of the past twenty years of our freedom and democracy the fact that we now have an activist Parliament — as the hon Chief Whip has asserted quite convincingly.
As we look back over the past twenty years of our democratic Parliament, we do so with pride that this institution of our people continues to strengthen our advancement towards the kind of society that is based on equality, social solidarity, human dignity and prosperity for all.
Therefore, hon members, we ourselves must respect our democratic Parliament by insuring that we conduct ourselves with dignity, integrity and honour. Again, we must not allow anyone to vandalise and vulgarise the institutions of our democracy.
In the mosaic of our democratic institutions, the NCOP occupies a special place as the vanguard of the interests of provinces. The NCOP ensures that the voices of the provinces and the voices of the municipalities are heard so that their interests can be safeguarded when the laws and the policies of our country are made.
On behalf of the people of Gauteng, I would like to acknowledge the particularly important role of the NCOP as the vanguard of the interests of the provinces. We, in Gauteng, have an enormous confidence in this House, hon members. We continue to respect you, we continue to support you and to us you are also an example in discipline. I saw how you conducted yourselves when the President was speaking here; you are an inspiration to us. [Applause.]
We are also here to reaffirm the important role of the NCOP, not only as an oversight institution, but also as a catalyst for co-operative governance in our system of democracy. Going forward, we will continue to look up to the NCOP as an instrument with which to strengthen the ongoing efforts to build a seamless and connected government across all spheres of government in our beautiful country.
As provinces, we also want to reaffirm an important principle, hon President, that we are one country and we are one people – we are one nation, united in our diversity.
The NCOP is one of the instruments we are using to forge our common nationhood and to tirelessly work to eradicate all injustices of the past, as well as to honour and respect those who have suffered and sacrificed for justice and freedom and those who are continuing to work hard amongst our people to build and develop our country.
Lastly, I would like to focus on our own contribution as Gauteng province. It is against this background that as we celebrate the Constitution and the democratic institutions, we must also celebrate the concrete achievements we have made in building a better life for all our people. Also, hon President, you have been very consistent in capturing in better ways than anyone of us the progress we have made over the past twenty years.
Our Constitution calls on us to address all injustices of the past by building a society in which all the people enjoy the fundamental human rights. Equally, we must be unwavering in our commitment to improving the standard of living of all our people. Even the most cynical amongst us find it hard to dispute and disprove the evidence that South Africa is a much better country now than it ever was.
And I must say that particularly now, after the elections, one will find fewer people who say South Africa is the same as before. But I know that before the elections, hon President, as you said, there were many who were saying life was better under apartheid. We welcome those who have seen the facts that South Africa is better now than it ever was before.
Hon President, notwithstanding all the advances we have made, the fifth administration under your leadership has identified the need to particularly move our country into a radical new phase that will be characterised by radical, socioeconomic transformation in order to rid our country completely of the legacy of colonialism, racial oppression and exploitation of our people.
The National Development Plan, the NDP Vision 2030, is our road map which will guide us over the next 15 years in our quest to build a South Africa of our dreams. Hon Chairperson ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Premier, you have to conclude.
The PREMIER OF GAUTENG (Mr D MAKHURA): May I conclude? Thank you.
I therefore would like to conclude, Chairperson, by thanking the NCOP delegates who visited our province in September and went throughout the province to witness how hard we are working to improve service delivery and to take our province forward.
We are confident that working with the NCOP and other spheres of government, and under the wise leadership of hon President Jacob Zuma, our country shall move forward.
Hon President, we will continue to seek your warm embrace and your wise council as we face the many challenges. Particularly in Gauteng, our greatest challenge is rapid organisation and it is not easy, but ...
IsiZulu: ... siyaqhubeka.
English: We shall overcome. Thank you very much.
Clr M NAWA
Mr D MAKHURA (Premier of Gauteng)
Cllr M NAWA (Salga): Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP; His Excellency the President of South Africa, President, Jacob Zuma; hon Deputy President in absentia; hon premiers who are present; hon Speakers of the provincial legislatures; hon Chief Whip of the NCOP; hon Members of Parliament; fellow councillors and mayors; and distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is our privilege to be invited and be part of this august and distinguished gathering.
Chair, we stand tall when we say the President has said it all that in celebrating 20 years of our democracy, as Salga we are satisfied that the President has profiled and ensured that local government is part of his discussion in raising issues of governance.
We must use this opportunity to reflect on the progress made in deepening democracy and expanding development in our country and particularly, the role that is played by the NCOP in building and ensuring that we firm up the democratic foundations. It is our impatience, President, and justifiable haste to get rid of the shackles of inequality, poverty and underdevelopment that has caused us, as South Africans, to often forget and ignore the tremendous strides that we have made in our country to date that throughout this process our system has been very resilient in doing so against all odds.
We therefore want to confirm what the President said, that we have a good story to tell. And that is the story of changing the lives of our people; the story of ensuring that in all the villages of our country there are clinics; in all the villages of our country there are also libraries; and in all the villages of our country schools are being built. So, that is a good story to tell.
It should be emphasised that the principles of co-operative government are a constitutional covenant, that all spheres of government need to work together to improve the lives of all South Africans.
There can be no more befitting platform than the NCOP so, as Salga, we are very grateful that the NCOP throughout its processes has created a platform for the local-government interests to be shared in this House. We will ensure that all spheres of government are able to come together and share their own experience.
We, therefore, think that the NCOP has become the mechanism for harmonising the interests of national, provincial and local government. We confirm that this House has sufficiently fostered a greater understanding of co-operative governance and ensured that there is better collaboration and co-operative governance in our country.
Allow us, therefore, hon Chairperson, to indicate that as the local-government sector we are very happy about your programmes and that you have always invited us to be part of your programmes. You also have, as you visited provinces, ensured that we were part of your programmes. Indeed, we appreciate that because we are able to infuse local government interests in the programmes of the national government and the NCOP.
The Constitution provides part-time representatives to be part of the NCOP and that we appreciate. We ensured that they represent categories of municipalities in the proceedings of the NCOP. The former representation of Salga in the NCOP completes the fundamental make-up of the House as the only institution that brings all representatives of the three spheres of government together. This is important for the purpose of promoting adherence to the principles of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations as Chapter 3 of the Constitution states.
While the NCOP is indeed the vanguard of the provincial interests, the NCOP has also gone further and became the bedrock of the local-government interest in the law-making and oversight processes. The voluntary hosting of the annual local government summit week in the House for the past two years is highly appreciated.
We are also very grateful that next year, 2015, there will be a local government week in September. Therefore, we would like to invite the President to be part of that local government week.
We want to reflect on the fact that the NCOP has seriously considered the key legislative and policy issues that are affecting local government negatively, including enquiry on the part of both national and the provincial spheres as to whether they are adequately supporting the strength of the local government as required by the Constitution.
This is what the NCOP has committed itself to do, thus giving more meaning to the constitutional arrangement that organised local government must have a space to participate in the national deliberations through the NCOP.
Chairperson, through this House, when building upon what we believe to be a very strong foundation we must ensure that provincial and local government interests form the policies and the law-making processes of this House. The NCOP must be robust in how it engages in its oversight responsibilities. Those of us who are in local government are indeed open to ensuring that we live up to the promises of what the President has raised in the recent local government summit, namely that we should all go back to basics.
The local government would have ensured that all councils across our country are able to adopt that document of Back to Basics. So, the struggle of local government is to ensure that we also have good governance and that our municipalities function properly.
That is only possible if all spheres of government are better aligned. So we are committed to ensuring that what the President has launched, which is the Back to Basics programme, is going to live up to its promises as outlined by the President.
We, therefore, want to say that while we are correct not to rest until we have addressed the bulk of our challenges, we must first take stock of our progress made to date and remind ourselves that we have made significant progress in building our democratic foundations. Those of us in local government here confirm that we have built a better democracy and we have a quality democracy in our country, comparatively speaking.
Chairperson, the local-government sphere will be celebrating its 15th anniversary next year, 2015. We want to ensure that, as we move into the next decade of local government, all challenges that we have seen in nonfunctional municipalities are history in our country. So, as Salga, we are committed to ensuring that we root out the challenges of local government and restore it to what it used to be. [Applause.]
We appreciate being part of this co-operative and collaborative partnership with the NCOP, and remain committed to working with the national and provincial spheres of government. This will ensure that we move forward and more significant strides are made with regard to meeting the expectations of our communities and building South Africa.
We appreciate this opportunity that was provided to us and we do want to confirm that we have a good story to tell. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms T MOTARA
ClLR M NAWA
Ms T MOTARA: Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma, hon premiers, hon provincial Speakers, MECs, special delegates from provinces, hon Members of the NCOP, the leadership and representatives of SA Local Government Association, Salga, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, let me take this opportunity to thank the hon President, His Excellency President Zuma, for his annual address to the NCOP just a few days before we commemorate the death of the 7th President-General of the ANC, Dr James Sebe Moroka, who led our organisation from December 1949 to 1952.
Allow me, hon Chairperson, to take this moment to pay tribute to this great stalwart of our movement, the grandson of Kgosi Moroka of the Barolong in Thaba Nchu, whose gallantry and bravery narrate a profound journey travelled by one of the living embodiments of the spirit of ubuntu and humility.
Hon President, your address this year takes place a few months after the establishment of the 5th Parliament, which saw our movement receiving a resounding victory to continue to lead South Africa out of the squalor of poverty and underdevelopment.
Under the pioneering leadership of the hon President Jacob Zuma, it is indeed a rare privilege for me to accompany a strong leadership collective that is progressively realising the vision of making South Africa a place where the rule of law, within the ambit of our constitutional democracy, shapes the mandate of building a new society.
I am indeed humbled and honoured to take part in this debate of the annual address of the President and narrate the good story of the journey our nation has travelled since the dawn of democracy in 1994. As the ANC, we are humbled by the fact that the people of South Africa have once again given our movement a decisive mandate to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.
We are also aware that this decisive mandate given to our movement places an immense responsibility on us to stand in the front ranks of the national forces, charged with the historic task, which is to achieve the goals of the national democratic revolution.
We want to reassure you, Mr President, that indeed, as the ANC, we remain committed to walking the long and hard road to total freedom and complete emancipation, always conscious of our obligation to serve the people of South Africa and pursue the goals of the revolutionary transformation that was championed by the likes of Dr Moroka, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Helen Joseph, Lilian Ngoyi, Doris Nyembe, Amina Cachalia and many more.
It is important, Mr President, that your address this year takes place when we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our democracy and the Constitution of the first democratically elected Parliament in 1994. This momentous occasion presents an opportunity for us to reflect on how our democracy and freedom were achieved, the progress that we have made in the past 20 years in achieving the goals that we set for ourselves in 1994, and how we continue to move South Africa forward, working together with our people to achieve the Vision 2030 and the goals that we have set out in the National Development Plan, NDP.
Hon Deputy Chairperson, Chapter 3 to 7 of our much acclaimed Constitution details the country’s democratic system of government, one characteristic of which is the stress on interaction between the national, provincial and local spheres of government through numerous mechanisms of co-operative governance.
We have introduced ourselves to interesting concepts such as vertical and horizontal co-operation and integration. In these chapters of the Constitution, it is clearly spelled out that South Africa is a unitary state with elements of federalism. With this in mind, the NCOP was born, unique in character, design and function.
The interests of provinces remain at the epicentre of this House. Perhaps it’s because we, as permanent members, are appointed by our provinces to serve here, but more likely it’s because we are duly mandated to do so by the Constitution. Lawmakers deliberate over issues, ask difficult questions, and we apply our minds to the impact of the laws we pass on the everyday quality of life of our citizens.
As we pause to assess the strength of our democracy and how it continues to grow and mature, let’s also take time to fairly assess the role played by the NCOP in less than 20 years of existence since its establishment in 1997.
Central to the tasks and mandate of the NCOP, is to represent the interest of provinces. We are also in charge, with the ultimate responsibility of scrutinising laws with the intention to ensure that the laws do not hamper functionality of provinces, but that they rather enhance the ability to advance the lives of our people.
Hon Deputy Chair, the establishment of the NCOP to replace the Senate arose out of the people of South Africa’s yearning for a practical instrument that would bring functional democracy to the streets and communities where they live. In this 5th Parliament, our focus must be on whether the practical impact of our health, education, infrastructure, special planning and delivery of basic service commitments have been realised.
From its inception, the NCOP has responded very well to its mandate, evolving, maturing and redefining its character with every term that it has lived through. Through its law-making and oversight functions, the NCOP continues to support the realisation of co-operative governance in a manner that advances government’s commitment to service delivery and the attainment of a better quality of life for our people.
The NCOP continues to serve as the custodian of the rights enshrining our Constitution at provincial level and ensure the participation of all the people of South Africa in parliamentary activities through programmes such as Taking Parliament to the People, Provincial Week, Oversight Week and Local Government Week
The NCOP continues to provide a unique platform for our people to take part in the governance of their affairs. Hon Deputy Chairperson, some amongst us speak very highly about the NCOP needing to remain independent of political parties. However, let me remind them that during Provincial Week this year, we proposed to visit Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, to deal with the issues of toilets and the lack of housing, but they chose instead to visit a fishing area on the West Coast.
In fact, the report is the only report that makes no mention of service delivery issues, despite our theme, Together Making Service Delivery Work for our People. [Applause.] A greater revolutionary, Enesto Che Guavara once said ... [Interjections.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: On a point of order, Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Motara, just hold on please. What point is it, hon member?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: On a point of order, Chair, is one allowed to pre-empt the next debate?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I can’t hear you, hon Labuschagne, what is the issue?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: The point of order is that the speaker is pre-empting the next debate in this House. According to the Rules, it’s not allowed. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members! That is not a point of order, hon member.
Ms T MOTARA: Deputy Chair, a great revolutionary, Ernesto Che Guevara, once said, and I quote:
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.
Indeed, the task that is facing the NCOP as we move into the second phase of transition is to continue to define itself as one of the vanguard of our democracy and the representation of the interests of the provinces.
We must continue to ensure that we remain the voice of the many South Africans who over the years have knocked on our door to seek intervention and refuge to ensure that they too enjoy a better quality of life. We must remain resolute and decisive in our quest to take on the challenges of the future and not just consolidate our wins. We must continue to play an important role in our national efforts of building social cohesion through active citizenship and participatory democracy.
We must continue to inspire our people’s confidence in the institutions of our democracy. Indeed, hon Deputy Chair, in building a socially cohesive, democratic society in which all people participate meaningfully, there needs to be equality between the sexes. We need to continue to wage a concerted fight against cultural, economic, social and political discrimination against women and young people in our country.
Professor Christina Murray, who is one of the renowned scholars who played a pivotal role in guiding the NCOP to become what it is today, once asserted, and I quote, when she said:
The NCOP must continue to be informed by the perspectives which guided us as we drafted the Constitution. It must, therefore, succeed not because it exists as an institution, but because of its vision which is fundamental to the success of the democracy that we sought.
As provinces and members of this august House, we have a collective duty to ensure that the NCOP remains the epicentre for the articulation of local government and provincial concerns at national level. We must continue to ensure that the NCOP remains a microcosm of local, provincial and national interests of government.
Through you, hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, let me thank His Excellency President Jacob Zuma for always giving the NCOP the recognition it deserves. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Mr Deputy Chairperson …
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, hon Khawula, I haven’t called you. Probably that’s the problem of having a one-person caucus. [Laughter.]
Mr M KHAWULA
Ms T MOTARA
Mr M KHAWULA: Welcome, President. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, it’s not necessary.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, His Excellency the President of South Africa, Msholozi, and hon Premier of Gauteng, there could never be anything good about apartheid, and therefore the post-1994 South Africa is a better place than the pre-1994 South Africa. [Applause.]
I wish to start by reiterating the words of former President Kgalema Motlanthe, who recently at the OR Tambo Memorial Lecture, urged leaders of the ANC to emulate the party’s former leader Oliver Tambo when he said, and I quote:
During the 30 years that Oliver Tambo was at the helm of the organisation, there was never a single allegation of misappropriation of funds, corruption or any act that suggests self-enrichment.
I wish that you could learn from this, Mr President. This observation is not new. In February this year, IFP President, Prince Magosuthu Buthelezi MP said, and I quote:
Twenty years ago words like “rainbow nation”, “miracle transition”, “freedom and reconciliation” filled the discourse. Under your leadership, Mr President, those words have become “Marikana”, “scandal”, “protest” and “corruption”.
Mr President, the current leadership of our country and government is a far cry from the country’s and government’s leadership of 20 years ago. If you can see so much good in the happenings and the goings-on of what is taking place today, you must have a wonderful skill of seeing things that the rest of the world cannot see.
Before exiting office, our former Auditor-General, AG, Mr Terence Nombembe, lamented the loss of state financial resources which pointed to irregular expenditure, misappropriation or other losses.
Your Department of Trade and Industry, Mr President, has recently reported to the NCOP that South Africa’s trade balance with the world has been going down since 2012, and is not recovering. Your Minister of Finance has recently reported that the previously expected growth of our economy at 2,7% has now been revised downwards to 1,4%.
At the height of all these issues, there is a huge problem of unemployment, especially youth unemployment, in our country. Surely, these are not good stories at all, and are in fact a stain on your leadership of this government. We advise that the cabinet salary bill is over R143 million a year and this excludes all ministerial expenses, which may run into hundreds of millions of rands.
Your Cabinet, hon President, is the biggest that the country has ever seen. In times of such economic distress, surely our Cabinet should be smaller and leaner
Hon Chairperson, in a young democracy and developing country such as ours with a small tax base and struggling economy, how do we justify having one of the largest Cabinets in the world?
Your Department of Education, Mr President, lowered the minimum pass rate for our matriculants to a mere 30%. This enables large numbers of Grade-12 learners to easily get through their matric, yet the quality and standard is poor.
It is a mere feel-good syndrome, which is a disaster for the future of our children who go through an education system of this nature. How will these children cope with the tertiary education which is of much higher standard?
Crime levels have soared to maximum heights in our term. We experience service delivery protests day in and day out. Our citizens are not happy with the poor service they are getting from government.
On Tuesday last week in this House, your Deputy President ascribed almost 80% of the service delivery protests to local government. If this is true, then it shows the kind of disintegration that is taking place in our local government under your leadership, Mr President. Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
Mr V R SHONGWE
Mr V R SHONGWE
Mr M KHAWULA
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga MEC — Community Safety, Security and Liason): Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency, the hon President of South Africa, Msholozi, our hon premiers, Speakers and MECs, permanent delegates and special delegates to the NCOP, ladies and gentlemen, I greet you all.
Before I start engaging in this debate, let me just correct one thing in terms of the National Democratic Revolution, NDR. The hon member from the IFP is misrepresenting facts in terms of the National Democratic Revolution. Oliver R Tambo was never a leader of a government for your information. [Applause.] As we celebrate 20 years of freedom, our belief remains that of a nation united in diversity ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there a point of order? Hon Shongwe, just hold it. On what point are you rising, hon Khawula?
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson, on a point of order: I did not say what the speaker says I said. I never said OR Tambo was the leader of government. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That is not a point of order. Hon member, continue with the debate.
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga): Thank you, Deputy Chair. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, may we not use points of order to disrupt other speakers, please.
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga): Well, I was saying ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Continue, hon member.
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga): ... our belief remains that of a nation united in diversity and common purpose to move the country forward.
We have all, in one way or another, experienced the consequences of a long history in which race, ethnicity and culture were used as the basis for the imposition of a divided ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: There is a point of order. Just hold it, hon Shongwe. Please, may I rectify this. May this situation not be seen again. Hon member, you may proceed.
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga): Thank you, Deputy Chair. Parliament was an exclusive institution in which the majority of the citizens of this country were denied the right to participate. This long-standing exclusion still has an adverse social and economic impact on the lives of many South Africans.
The challenge of our new democracy has been there, hence the social cohesion, a collective identity and a sense of national pride. The social cohesion that we want to manifest in our province, the beautiful Mpumalanga, in particular, is rooted in our region’s diverse cultural heritage and the natural resources that we are working together to conserve and share.
We take pride in the fact that we have worked hard to build a united and multicultural province, characterised by diverse racial and ethnic identities that enrich our collective experience and common destiny.
Hon President, Mpumalanga is better than it was in 1994. Today, every child has the potential to be anywhere he or she desires to be because this government has put in place policies to ensure this particular practice. It does not matter where the child was born or even the social standing of his or her parents in the society; both orphans and street kids have the same opportunities under the ANC-led government. [Applause.]
Prior to 1994, Early Childhood Development, ECD, Centres were not funded and this crucial step in every child’s development was not given the consideration it deserved. In Mpumalanga, we have ensured that our children go through Early Childhood Development to better prepare them for the future. As a result of all the programmes we have implemented over the past 20 years, we have seen a general improvement in the quality of our education system.
Our forebears dedicated themselves and sacrificed their lives to the struggle for liberation and equality of all South Africans. Their ideals of a free and united society are being taken forward through the work of institutions such as the NCOP.
Over the past 20 years we have honoured and paid tribute to our struggle and liberation heroes and heroines, whose selfless sacrifices have made it possible to unite our country and create a sense of common nationhood and national pride. We have immortalised the contributions of our heroes and heroines to the struggle for our freedom with cenotaphs and statues as a constant reminder to our people of the road we have travelled and those who cleared the way.
In the province of Mpumalanga we have developed the Mpumalanga Infrastructure Master Plan, a framework that will guide our infrastructure build programme in the future. Apartheid has created a legacy of an unequal society with highly underdeveloped areas where our people live. The backlog necessitated that we design a plan to confront this sad reality.
Today, we are walking tall as a people, both black and white, coming from different parties because our political landscape and the quality of our lives have changed for the better. [Applause.]
What some people are talking about here today is because of the quality of leadership, hon President, you are providing day in and day out. And I must say, hon President, just as a word of advice:
Kufanele wazi ukuthi inhlonipho nokuziphatha komholi kuhambisana nokuthi ukhuliswe kanjani lapho evela khona. [Ubuwelewele.] Uma umthole enamazinyo angama-32 lapha eMkhandlwini Kazwelonke Wezifundazwe ngeke umshintshe, Mhlonishwa. [Ihlombe.] Bonke laba abaziphatha ngendlela abaziphatha ngayo kuveza amakhaya abavela kuwo kanye nabazali babo. [Ubuwelewele.] Ngani ngoba umuntu ohloniphayo omncane kunawe kufanele uma ekhuluma nawe acabange ngeminyaka yakho; ngoba naye ngeke athande uma efika ekhaya afice ubaba wakhe noma umkhulu wakhe ongangawe ekhonjwa yizingane ngezandla. [Ubuwelewele.]
To this day our people are still confronted by the interrelated triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality – a challenge the ruling party has been confronted with since the dawn of democracy.
The battle against diseases such as HIV and Aids is far from over, and requires ongoing intervention and innovative strategies on a number of fronts. The province established and launched the Mpumalanga Provincial Aids Council, MPAC, with the primary objective of co-ordinating a multisectoral response to HIV and Aids, sexually transmitted infections, STIs, as well as tuberculosis, TB.
The province has improved significantly in the fight against crime, which is indicative of the strides we have made over the past 20 years to make sure that our people are safe on our roads as well as in their homes. Our province is counted amongst those that have delivered successfully in the fight against crime. In fact ...
... umhlonishwa, uNdunankulu waseFreyistata kusafanele sibhekisise kahle ukuthi ngubani ohamba phambili eNingizimu Afrika mayelana nokwehlisa ubelelesi. [Uhleko.]
We are accelerating the provisioning of housing opportunities for deserving households in rural and urban areas, implementing the human settlement master plan, providing basic service delivery and bulk infrastructure, increasing access to affordable housing and implementing the ground breaking news models.
In the Mpumalanga province, we have experienced service delivery protests, Mr President, and we are able to deal with them. We understand exactly that people have the right to march and protest, but at the same time, they must not turn Mpumalanga into a banana republic. [Laughter.]
Umuntu uma ngabe uzabalazela izinsiza kufanele akhumbule ukuthi kukhona izimoto ezifanele zihambise abantu ezibhedlela, kunabantu abafanele baye emsebenzini, kunezingane ezifanele ziye esikoleni, kunomama abamele bayoteta, ngakho-ke lawo malungelo angeke sivume ukuthi anyathelwe ngomunye umuntu. [Ihlombe.]
In closing, Mr President,
... inhlonipho, Mongameli noSekela Sihlalo, ngifuna ukufundisa nokukhuluma nabanye abaholi abakhona lapha, kuwo wonke amaqembu ezombangazwe, ukuthi inhlonipho nokuziphatha iyisibuko sakho la oasiskufanele uzibuke khona ukuthi ungumuntu onjani nokuthi ungumholi onjani. Akekho umuntu ongalandela umholi ongenanhlonipho nongaziphathi kahle. Inhlonipho yiyo engakha leli lizwe liye phambili. Ngiyabonga, Sekela Sihlalo. [Ihlombe.]
Mr J J LONDT
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga)
Mr J J LONDT: Hon Deputy Chairperson, it was a refreshing surprise to hear the President stand up in the NCOP today and publicly pledge his support for Parliament as an institution. In fact, it was a pleasant surprise to see the President here at all! [Interjections.]
In particular, I was greatly encouraged when the hon President said provincial interests must be taken into account in the national sphere of government. These words by the hon President renewed my hope that our work as Parliamentarians, and specifically NCOP members, is valued by the executive. However, hon President, this dream was shattered when I realised your actions do not reflect your words.
The year 2014 will go down in history as the year that Parliament could not call the President to account for the work of his government. He failed to answer questions in the NA, let alone once every term, as required by the Rules of the NA. The fact that it was election year or the conduct of certain Members of Parliament, MPs...
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Deputy Chair, I rise on a point of order: This is the NCOP and not the NA, so the hon member must speak about the NCOP. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, no, hon members, I need to make a ruling on this matter. This is a matter that is quite serious and I want this point of order to be sustained.
The subject matter before us is the address by the President in the NCOP and therefore there is no need for reference to the NA. We need to respect the Rules of the NCOP, so let’s refrain from that. [Interjections.]
Ms L MATHYS: Hon Deputy Chair …
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member Mathis, do you want to make a ruling on my behalf? I am making a ruling now; you can’t make a ruling on my behalf. Hon member Lund, please refrain from applying the Rules of the NA in the NCOP.
Mr J J LONDT: Niether the fact that it was an election year nor the conduct of certain Members of Parliament are an excuse and does not excuse the hon President from meeting his duties to the democratically elected representatives of South Africa, including the NCOP members. In fact, one might go so far as to say the hon President was the cause of the members whom he now finds so offensive. [Interjections.]
Mr A J NYAMBI: Deputy Chair, I would like you to make a Ruling in terms of Rule 46. When we were sworn in, all of us as Members of Parliament were given the Constitution. It is misleading the Council when one knows very well that there is no obligation under any Rule, even if you go to the Constitution, which obliges the President to come to the NCOP and respond to questions. The hon member is making these allegations. That is the first part.
The second part is about saying the President is not attending to questions in Parliament. It is a contradiction of the definition of Parliament. The NA is not Parliament and the NCOP is not Parliament — Parliament is both Houses.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, order, hon members! I earlier made a ruling on sustaining a point of order that was raised insofar as the applications of the Rules of the two Houses are concerned. Hon member, please refrain from referring to the Rules of the NA ... [Interjections.] I am making a ruling. Please allow me to do so.
I just need to confirm the second part, hon Londt. Did you say that the hon President has refused to answer questions in the NCOP? [Interjections.] No, no, no, hon members, I want to make a ruling and I can only do that if I satisfy myself in so far as information is concerned. Did you say that?
Mr J J LONDT: You will have to look at the Hansard, hon Deputy Chair. I don’t think I said it, but have a look and make a ruling.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am affording you an opportunity now.
Mr J J LONDT: If I said that then I will change it and say that he failed to answer questions.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: If that is what you said then, which you confirm, I am going to order you to withdraw that because there is no obligation on the part of the President to answer questions in the NCOP. Please withdraw that statement.
Mr J J LONDT: Deputy Chair, I withdraw and I respect your position ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members! I can’t even hear what the member is saying. Please withdraw what you said.
Mr J J LONDT: Hon Deputy Chair, I withdraw.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. Continue with the debate.
Mr J J LONDT: In fact, one might go so far as to say that the hon President was the cause of the members whom he now finds so offensive. His illegitimate red children are kicking and screaming and he is the absent father who doesn’t want to go back to his house and pay his “papgeld” [child maintenance.].
Hon Shongwe, you said it — children behave the way they were taught and that is why hon Malema behaves that way. He was taught that way.
Mr President, you can run, but you cannot hide. You must go back to the House that elected you and answer the questions there.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, your time has expired.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, on a point of order: I was watching the time, and this hon member had two-and-a-half minutes ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, I don’t know what’s happening with this sound system. This sound system is weak and you are also making a lot of noise. I can’t hear.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, I was saying that I timed the hon member and he only spoke for two-and-a-half minutes. He has four minutes and I’d like to ask him a question.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, please take your seats. If that is the case, I will keep quiet and listen to you. Thank you very much. Hon members, please take your seats.
May I allow you, hon member, if you are aggrieved by my decision to cut off the hon member, to follow the necessary process as outlined? That is a ruling. [Interjections.] I don’t know what you are saying, because I am not engaging with you.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, the hon member was interrupted and you ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am not engaging with you. Please take your seat.
The PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE (Mr P MASUALLE):
Mr J J LONDT
The PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE (Mr P Masualle): Deputy Chairperson, Presiding Officers, His Excellency the President of the Republic, hon premiers, hon delegates to this august House, good afternoon.
I appreciate the honour of participating in this important debate. I wish to premise it ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members! What is this excitement about? All of a sudden you are energised now. Can you just relax? Please proceed, premier.
The PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE (Mr P Masualle): I preface my contribution to this debate by borrowing from the very first president of the then newly elected South African National Native Congress, SANNC, way back in 1912, Rev John Langalibalele Dube.
In his speech entitled, “The awakening of the natives”, he had this to say, and I quote:
It will be an uphill fight, but our watchword shall be “Excelsior!” - onward, higher, cautiously, ploddingly. By dint of our perseverance, our patience, our reasonableness, our law-abiding methods and the justice of our demands, all these obstacles shall be removed and enemies overcome.
Under the theme, Celebrating 20 years of a Democratic Parliament: Together moving the NCOP forward as a Vanguard of the Interest of Provinces, we state without fear or favour that, indeed, our constitutional democracy is maturing. Excelsior! Onward, higher. ploddingly.
The NCOP, as ably led by our President and the delegates here from the provinces, has indeed moved our parliamentary democracy forward. The provincial delegates gathered here today are an embodiment of the South African people’s hopes, their dreams and aspirations.
Almost 60 years ago, when our people assembled in Kliptown, they declared that the people shall govern. This NCOP, as mentioned by one of the speakers, indeed embodies that resolve. Onward! The current generation has taken the baton and fulfilled the mission that was handed over to them by earlier generations who formed part of the first Senate, which was the precursor to the NCOP we have today.
Buoyed by the spirit of the late Oliver Tambo, that great internationalist, as well as our Madiba and Govan Mbeki who was the Deputy Chairperson of the first Senate, this NCOP has, through its actions, truly become an embodiment of the aspirations of our people.
Given our history of exclusion, which only 27 April 1994 sought to rectify, the story of moving South Africa forward is a story depicting the heroic victories and battles fought by our people against colonialism and domination.
Even in the darkest moments, when the road to negotiations was not easy, when we suffered severe setbacks, our resolve never slackened. As Dube wrote in his inaugural address, we shouted, “Excelsior! Onward, cautiously, ploddingly”. And our determination never wavered.
The NCOP has a unique and important role to play in South Africa’s constitutional democracy. It represents the provinces to ensure that their interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues, be it law-making or the implementation of policies.
Where laws err, the provinces must provide their lived experiences to make amends. Where there is discord in the implementation of laws, we should create that harmony.
Our Constitution also directs the NCOP to provide for the participation of representatives of organised local government, thus making sure that the voice of this critical sphere of government is taken seriously. Being at the coalface of service delivery, provinces have a responsibility to assist municipalities.
Earlier this week, we stood in this Chamber and denounced the many acts of vandalism and theft of critical service delivery infrastructure across the length and breadth of our country. Subsequently, as the province, we made the announcement following the launch by the President of the Back to Basics campaign that we shall proceed with a chapter of the province, come 12 November, when we will we follow suit in taking forth the effort of ensuring that the municipal sphere of government is made effective and able to deal with the challenges that confront society. We did this fuelled by nothing other than the love of our country, which calls upon us through our provinces to be the custodians of our people’s resources.
As our President has led the debate this afternoon, we feel proud that, in celebrating 20 years of our parliamentary democracy, our NCOP representatives are representing the majority who, more than 100 years ago, as Sol Plaatje wrote in 1913, found themselves not only slaves, but pariahs in the land of their birth. [Applause.]
The convening of this debate is a significant, historic milestone in the consolidation of our parliamentary democracy. We no longer have deputations and partitions, as it was the case for the likes of John Dube and Walter Rubusana, who had to travel to Great Britain to protest against the Native Land Act of 1913.
Our Parliament now takes the legislature to the people through various public outreach programmes. Only a few weeks ago in Joe Gqabi District, for almost four full days, we had occasion to concern ourselves only with the business of listening to and acting on our people’s concerns – a responsibility that this government does not outsource.
Clearly, gone are the days when Rubusana, Plaatje and Dube had to meet the then colonial secretary the Rt Hon Harcourt in 1914, who concluded that they had to go back and address their concerns to their Parliament and not the British Crown. They had no Parliament, as they were not represented in the Union that existed at that time.
The celebration of the 20-year mark of our parliamentary democracy proves, once more, that that era of petitions is dead and buried and that truly, today is far better than and different to yesterday. This NCOP continues then to be that tribunal – an expression of the aspirations of our people.
The people-centred nature of our democracy project, as inspired by the South African National Native Congress, continues to inspire us to move South Africa forward, onward and cautiously as we enter our third decade of democracy.
South Africa, undeniably, is no longer an inactive reject and a pariah state. The latest visit by the NCOP oversight committee to our province in October this year, during which it visited schools and other facilities, continues to strengthen the link between the national and local spheres. The NCOP therefore has a responsibility to contribute to a dynamic style of participatory democracy by hosting the many public hearings as well as promulgating laws that speak to the hearts and minds of our people.
I agree indeed with the Chief Whip of the NCOP that only a person whose cognitive faculties are severely impaired could make a case for the closing down of this important tribunal of our people. [Applause.]
In closing the many gaps that were deliberately created through spatial distortions of the past ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That was not me, hon member ...
The PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE (Mr P Masualle): I rest my case then. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I now call hon Mokoena.
Ms L MATHYS
The PREMIER OF THE EASTERN CAPE (Mr P Masualle)
Ms L MATHYS: Hon Deputy Chair, the hon member sent apologies and I will speak on behalf of the EFF.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Eish! Hon Chief Whip?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Thank you, hon Deputy Chairperson. As I indicated, we have Rules and procedures in this Council. We don’t do the speakers’ list in the Chamber. The name that is officially forwarded to my Office is the name that is here, so let us be orderly. The name that was forwarded is the name that is reflected here.
Ms L MATHYS: Deputy Chair, it is my understanding that our personal assistant, PA, had sent correspondence that the name had changed on the speakers’ list before the sitting started. And is it also procedure, hon Deputy Chair, that we have chief whips calling our offices and speaking directly to our administration staff? We must be consistent when we want procedure to be followed.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What?
Ms L MATHYS: Hon Deputy Speaker, is it in our Rules that Chief Whips can call our staff directly to give orders to us? I am just saying we must be consistent when applying the Rules.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Okay, just for the record, hon members, so that tomorrow we don’t have unnecessary issues being raised, I want to read out section 44(3) of the Rules of Debate: Part 2, so that everyone, including other political parties, can avoid situations of this nature. It says, and I quote:
44(3) The list of scheduled speakers must be prepared by the delegation whips or, if the debate concerns a matter to be decided in terms of section 75 of the Constitution, the
So by the time it comes to the presidium or Presiding Officers it’s then a matter that should have been sorted out at the Whippery level. Therefore I will continue with what’s before me which is the fact that the hon Mokoena is not in the House, and therefore I will call on the next speaker. Are you challenging the ruling, madam?
Ms L MATHYS: I am not challenging the ruling, but there have been times in this House where speaker’s lists have been changed.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I don’t know about that. I was referring to the Rule. If there is an issue that the Whippery must deal with it, it must be dealt with by the Whippery.
Ms L MATHYS: We are just being inconsistent here. We pick and choose when we are going to have Rules.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you take your seat.
Ms L MATHYS: Is this how it works in the House?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you take your seat. Thank you very much.
THE PREMIER OF THE NORTH WEST (Mr S MAHUMAPELO)
Ms L MATHYS
TONAKGOLO YA BOKONE BOPHIRIMA (Rre S MAHUMAPELO): A ke tseye tšhono eno go dumedisa, Motlatsamodulasetilo wa Ntlo ya rona ya bosetšhaba ya diporofense, Rre Raseriti Tau. Ke tseye tšhono eno gape go dumedisa Moporesitente wa rona Tautona Rre Jacob Zuma, mapetekane wa ga mosetlha, mothulong, mokotla o o thupa. E re ke tseye tšhono eno gape go dumedisa bao ba ba emetseng diporofense tsotlhe tseo di leng teng gape mo letsatsing la gompieno, ke dumedise gape le ditonakgolo tsotlhe tseo di leng teng le baemedi botlhe ba NCOP, le lona lotlhe maloko a a tlotlegang...
... good afternoon. On behalf of the people of the North West, Bokone Bophirima, it is our belief that we are debating here today what we have said in our view is a collective triumph of good over evil. This evil is the evil which manifested itself through colonialism and apartheid; a system which sought to kill, maim, dehumanise, delegitimise, peripheries, divide, detain, contaminate, poison and to popularise our people
Our people collectively refused to give in to this evil, which is represented by colonialism and apartheid. I want to quote the first President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. On 9 May 1994 he said:
Our country has arrived at a decision. Among all the parties that contested the elections, the overwhelming majority of South Africans have mandated the African National Congress to lead our country into the future. The South Africa we have struggled for, in which all our people, be they African, Coloured, Indian or White, regard themselves as citizens of one nation is at hand. Ours has been a quest for a Constitution freely adopted by the people of South Africa, reflecting their wishes and their aspirations.
That is President Nelson Mandela saying these words in his inauguration on 9 May 1994. However ...
... sinenkinga ... [we have a problem]
...because we have in this House, in other pockets, in our country, in other areas and in Parliament, people who are referred to as suffering from memory-lapse syndrome and Zumaphobia. [Laughter.] I say they suffer from memory-lapse syndrome and Zumaphobia because even this, which was said by Nelson Mandela in 1994, they don’t want to hear.
As a consequence of this disease they suffer from, even when you say that South Africa is a better place to live in than it was before 1994, they don’t listen.
I’m saying this because they don’t understand that our democracy, which has been unfolding since 1994, has ensured that malnutrition has decreased from 83 971 to 23 521, as we sit here today.
It is because of this syndrome of memory-lapse syndrome and Zumaphobia, which I referred to, that they are unable to realise infant mortality in our country has decreased from 63% and is currently standing at 41,7%.
It is because of this disease they suffer from that they are unable to realise that when it came to accessing clean drinking water, only 2% of the marginalised was accessing clean drinking water before 1994. Today, of clean drinking has been distributed to over 98% of our people. [Applause.] However, they will not see it and they will not hear it because they suffer from memory-lapse syndrome and Zumaphobia.
They are not even be able to see that as we sit here today, we have built over 2,6 million houses in the context of what the Freedom Charter says, and I quote:
There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!
Therefore, because of this sickness I have referred to, they cannot see and will not be able to realise that 75 000 people, our children, are fed in school and are no longer suffering from malnutrition. This is happening mahala hala haa from our own government led by the ANC. [Applause.]
It is because of this sickness that they will not realise that to carry forward what Nelson Mandela said in 1994, under your stewardship the people of South Africa have unanimously accepted the National Development Plan, NDP, as the most progressive, revolutionary plan to change the lives of our people and take South Africa forward.
They are unable to realise that this is an unprecedented revolutionary plan under your leadership, President Jacob Zuma. [Applause.] However, I want to say to you, President Jacob Zuma, that you must remain steadfast, focused, unmoved, undeterred, unshakeable and upright.
Jy moet bly staan.
Don’t blink and just focus on the strategic objective of making sure that we better the lives of our people in the context of the National Development Plan. [Applause.]
It is because of these sicknesses of memory-lapse syndrome and Zumaphobia I referred to that they do not even realise that Parliament elected you as the President of the Republic of South Africa, RSA.
Hon President, part of your mandate - and you are executing that mandate very well - is to make sure that every year there is a state of the nation address, and you do this. You also have to make sure that after the state of the nation address you go to Parliament and respond to questions, and you do this without fail.
They will not realise that you have this responsibility, because you are elected as the President, to go and represent us at the United Nations Security Council, at the World Trade Organisation, WTO, and other global forums where our voices as South Africans need to be heard.
They will not realise that when you go into Africa and intervene in the problems and the challenges that are facing the African continent, you are doing so because you have been elected by them in Parliament. Therefore, you are executing your mandate and they will not realise that because they suffer from these sicknesses of memory-lapse syndrome and Zumaphobia. You cannot be held responsible for that sickness, hon President.
They will not even realise that you are implementing Operation Pakisa. They will not see the impact Operation Pakisa is going to make on the lives of South Africans because they suffer from this disease. They will not realise that in the Free State they are pursuing Operation Hlasela to deal with problems of poverty.
They will not realise that in the people’s province of Bokone Bophirima, we are pursuing the Setsokotsane Programme to make sure that we deal with poverty. They will not realise that in KwaZulu-Natal there is Sukuma Sakhe programme which responds to the challenges facing our people. They will not realise that you are saying we must go back to basics to make sure that we change the situation in as far as local government is concerned.
They will not realise that we have made strides in building a nonsexist and prosperous society because they suffer from this serious disease which I referred to. They will not realise that Strategic Integrated Project 4, Sip 4, is one of the Sips dedicated to the people’s province of Bokone Bophirima and the masses of our people are happy because you have announced that there is an investment in making sure that we provide water and sanitation in the district of Ngaka Modiri Molema.
They will not realise that today, as we stand here, because of the mandate you gave us the people in Khunotswane are living in peace. There is stability now. They will not realise that people in the Boikhutso and Bloemhof area are now living in peace today. There is no destabilisation.
They will not realise the efforts you are making to respond to the particular energy challenges that are facing this country because they suffer from memory-lapse syndrome and Zumaphobia.
In conclusion, we want to say to you, President, just make sure that all the commitments, that on behalf of the people of South Africa, we are pursuing as the ANC, in the context of the implementation of the National Development Plan, we remain resolute on those commitments. We must pursue them without winking or blinking an eye so that our people tomorrow can say, South Africa continues to be a better country than it was before 1994.
Ditau di se nang seboka di siiwa ke none e tlhotsa; kgakakgolo ga ke na mebala, mebala e dikgakaneng.
When they ask you why are you saying these things, President, you must say to them it is because you believe in “saamwerk en saamtrek” [working together and pulling together] as a philosophy in working with the people of South Africa. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr ACE MAGASHULE)
The PREMIER OF THE NORTH WEST (Mr S MAHUMAPELO):
The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Mr E S Magashule): Hon Deputy Chair of the NCOP, His Excellency Comrade President Jacob Zuma, hon premiers and members, delegates, the media and everyone present, I am also humbled by being able to participate in this debate and I think what the President did today was to do what all leaders of the ANC have done.
I always remind people that when the ANC was established, Nelson Mandela was not there. Oliver Tambo was not there. This organisation came before many of its leaders because this organisation believes in collective leadership.
That is why, even today, when you talk about other political parties, whether it is the EFF, the IFP, the UDM, Unico or any other political party in this country, those leaders came out of the ANC. After the ANC made them, they then decided to betray the struggles of our people. That is why the ANC is still here today, and it will be there even tomorrow. [Interjections.]
One person SMSed me and told me to remind the President of South Africa that he was elected by the democratic majority of South Africans; that he must provide leadership, as he has done, and take charge, and never, ever, ever think about anybody in the opposition. I think, hon President, take charge, run and govern this country. [Applause.] Occupy the space. You are on the right course.
One hon member reminded me — and I always relay this story — that you, as President, and members of this organisation, have been tortured, detained without trial and forced to leave our country. Many of our people, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, have been killed, and some of the people who killed these people are hon members today ... [Interjections.] ... but we have forgiven them.
We have reconciled with the past, and that’s why this organisation is still here today and for the future of this country.
President, you have reminded us of our past – the past of evil, hopelessness, torture and hatred. However, you have also reminded us of the present and the future – the present of hope, nation-building, nonracism, nonsexism, and a united and democratic South Africa.
Before I am a Free-Stater, I am a South African, and I am happy if Mpumalanga becomes number one. I am happy if the Western Cape becomes number one, because we belong to this country, and this country is South Africa.
For, now, we are number one in education ... [Applause.] ... and even in crime. [Laughter.] Fighting crime! It wouldn’t be a problem, hon Shongwe, if you are number one, because we all belong to this country, South Africa.
Indeed, South Africa and our provinces are better off today. You know, when I grew up in the township, or town where I come from, Parys, there was one secondary school. I could only attend that one, secondary school up to Grade 10. After Grade 10, I had to go to either Gauteng or to the former Bantustan, Qwaqwa.
If you go to that town today, there are seven high schools. [Applause.] There was one primary school, but if you go to that town today, there are eight primary schools.
If you go to that town today, the man who was an administrator of both the Tumahole and so-called Parys townships had Standard 1 or Grade 3. Because he was white, he was running our town. You can go to our provinces and our administrations today — and I suspect, even all government levels and government departments –and if you look at their colour you will see that whites who don’t even have matric certificates are holding senior positions.
You could go to all the police stations in the past: the commissioners — Botha; the station commanders, Botha’s wife and family; the police — Botha’s children. You can even go to the departments, and I see it in our departments in the province, but because we came in and reconciled with the past, we never talked about these things because we are building a nonracial, nonsexist, united, democratic South Africa. [Applause.]
You can talk about the collapse of health services, but in the past, only a few people could access free medicine. Today our people go to clinics. You, as the opposition, can complain that there is no medicine. It is because of the large numbers of people who are getting free, basic medicine.
You can go to our schools today. There is the school nutrition programme. It was not there in the past, and that’s why our children are passing today.
You can go to our provinces. A certain Dr Verwoerd, in 1953, brought in the Bantu Education Act. Today our children understand mathematics and science, and they are passing. [Applause.] You can go to our provinces today and look at highly competent and qualified black people who are occupying higher positions.
You can say anything you like, but today South Africa and our provinces are better than at any other given stage. [Applause.] You can talk about and criticise our municipalities, but they are serving multitudes of people. They are not just serving small, white minorities. That is why we have challenges.
When they talk about bucket eradication and that we can’t have buckets here and all that, they forget that when we took over power, the situation was like that. We have moved on! That’s why we have moved from the 2%, as the hon Mahumapelo says, about water. These people have access to water. Today, it is 98%. Those people have access to electricity.
We have done a lot of things in only 20 years. We have made sure that the white people of South Africa today are no longer indoctrinated. The fact of the matter is today we have one department of education. Indeed, South Africa has been transformed into the voices of freedom and justice. [Applause.] We have moved South Africa, and the ANC must remain in charge.
I was happy when I listened to the hon Bredell. As a responsible Member of the Executive, MEC, of Local Government, he was talking more sense than a young chap could write. [Applause.] More sense! I could see that with people like him, South Africa will be far better — even the Western Cape. Even the Western Cape will be better if they can actually deal with Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, and many other areas, and not just go to our people during elections.
I am happy that everybody realises that during your term, hon President, there was never a long-term plan for the country. President Nelson Mandela came in and reconciled our people. President Thabo Mbeki came in. Then you came in and during your administration, which is still an ANC-led government, you came up with a game plan for the country – Vision 2030. [Applause.]
What visionary leadership! You came up with infrastructure provision for the entire country. You did not just think about those who live in urban areas. You came up with rural development, and you can go to our rural communities, you can go to the Free State, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal and see that the lives of our people have changed [Applause.]
You can go to universities. In the past, university students who were black were not given equal subsidies. You can go to any university today – black and white are treated the same. What a wonderful country under the rule of the government led by the ANC! [Applause.] Indeed, it is better to live in South Africa today than it was to do so yesterday.
As we said in the Freedom Charter:
Suid-Afrika behoort aan almal, wit en swart. [Tussenwerpsels.] Soos ons in die Vryheidsmanifes gesê het: die rykdom van die land moet gedeel word deur die mense van Suid-Afrika. Soos ons gesê het in die Vryheidsmanifes: die mense sal regeer. [Tussenwerpsels.]
The people are governing.
Abantu bayabusa namhlanje.
President, stay on course. They can say anything but don’t waiver. You are on the right course. Take charge. Let them feel that you are the President of the people of South Africa, black and white ... [Interjections.] ... and let the ANC rule forever and forever, amen. [Applause.]
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE
Mr E S MAGASHULE (Premier: Free State)
Mnu S G MTHIMUNYE: Mongameli, njengekholwa ngiyathemba ukuthi uyalazi iculo elithi: Noma izivunguvungu zingihlasela, ziyifisa impilo yami; noma ukholo lwami belunyakazisa, ngizothemba wena Nkosi.
These are the words from which I advise you, young as I am, to take solace. The EFF has a tendency, a very bad tendency, of abdicating their parliamentary responsibilities all the time. When they have to answer for their irresponsible actions, they always point fingers at other people. And, out of that, they always look for a scapegoat to walk out of Parliament. I hope South Africa is watching.
Hon Bredell, what a well-rounded, honest, truthful and loving member of the DA you are. [Applause.] I am, however, not sure if the same can be said about hon van Lingen and hon Londt.
One member of the DA says: The President must sweep his front yard. The historical fact is that the President has not only swept his front yard but he has swept the entire country. [Applause.] This, by the way, is the Jacob Zuma who was commander of Operation Bible, which later was merged to become Operation Vula, which was sweeping away the elements of apartheid at the time.
So hon van Lingen also continues to make an inference or to make a point that as Members of Parliament, MPs, of the ANC, we take instructions from Luthuli House. The election system of this country is such that political parties contest elections, not individuals. [Interjections.] We owe no apology to her for taking instructions, as members of the ANC, from Luthuli House; we make no apology for that. [Applause.]
One Ho Chi Minh of the Vietnamese People’s Armed Forces makes the point below, on the integral unification of ethics in men’s life, and I make reference to that viewpoint. He makes the reference that-
Morality is part of the world outlook which governs all men’s consciousness and action. Revolutionary ethics require the unifications between motivation and effect; between speech and action; and between public and private life.
Ho Chi Minh’s thinking on ethics requires a high-level unification of virtues in all his life activities, ethics and politics, with laws and talent. Revolutionary ethics, with everyday-life ethics, between the call for the practice of virtues whether one is still working or has retired. Everybody needs to always have constant moral behaviour.
I make reference to the teachings of the great revolutionary and fighter of his time, a true fighter, by the way. Propelled by the observations I have made since the beginning of the 5th term of Parliament, we have seen the worst the behaviour and heard the worst utterances in both Houses of Parliament and on public platforms.
We have observed the decorum of Parliament being dirtied by the behaviour of some to the extent which, in my observation, it also has damaged the decorum of the House. Again, on the one hand, it will take this ANC, this caring ANC, to correct and to bring back the decorum of the House.
On the other hand, it has exposed the proponents of this bad behaviour by the people who claim they have brought new life, vibrancy and revolutionary practices to Parliament.
How laughable are they! Their conceptualisation of their so-called new radical revolutionary theory — and pseudo-struggle — from where I stand, is a concoction of half Marxism, half Trotskyism and half Hitlerism, in one political party. [Applause.]
They claim to have conceptualised a theory never before seen in history, but, from where I stand, this ANC, which I belong to, has learned from many revolutions in the world. But this kind of revolution, if it happens to be a revolution, was never seen in the history of politics.
Therefore, the theme of this debate is perfectly of cause: Celebrating 20 Years of a democratic Parliament - together moving the NCOP forward as a vanguard of the interests of provinces. However, it must be recorded that what we have observed since the inauguration of the 5th Parliament is definitely ironic in terms of this theme.
The report on the 20 years of democracy captures the past two years as those of affirming dignity and freedom. The cardinal question is: Can we say the same in the next two decades of freedom and democracy? My answer in isiZulu is:
Asikho isikhali esibaziwe, sacijiswa, sicijiselwa u-Khongolose eseyophumelela, Mongameli. [Applause.]
The ANC will deliver the national democratic society as it delivered democracy, together with the people of this country. The ANC members, cadres and leaders have internalised these revolutionary values as per the teachings of Ho Chi Minh and Ernesto Guevara de la Serna.
I make reference to our own movement, from which our own leaders have drawn great inspiration. This is a fighter of the universe, who was born in Argentina and died in the trenches of the struggle in Bolivia. My leaders, my ANC, resemble this gallant fighter. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Chairperson of the NCOP, premiers, speakers and invited guests, from my point of view I think that by and large this debate has been a very good one.
I think members have raised issues and really debated them, particularly those who appreciated the objective of the debate. However, as always, there will be those who would not appreciate it. In the majority of cases, it is based on their historical background. [Applause.]
Some people have not seen the change because to them nothing has changed – the situation has been like this all the time. I think those who have seen the change were seen in the debate to be appreciating the fact that we have moved forward.
When I was the Leader of Government Business a few years ago, I used to advise the opposition that all of us are looking for a prosperous South Africa. My understanding is that our differences are because of the route we are taking.
However, once you fail to appreciate what an opposition should be and you can’t be constructive, then you can’t help us in constructing South Africa. You will always be an obstacle. Anyway, those who are learned say that it is material conditions that determine the consciousness of the person. [Applause.] Therefore, I am not going to say much because I think a lot has been said in this very important debate which celebrates 20 years of our democracy.
We decided that 2014 will be utilised by us to celebrate our freedom. We even focusEd on different sectors because we remembered that during the struggle almost everyone in the country, as well as the globe, participated in one form or another.
We wanted to be good and give those sectors a focus. Therefore, we had the religious sector, where we came to celebrate and remember the role which they played in the broader situation; but there were very specific things that they did as religious groupings. We recognised and remembered them.
We also remembered those who were arrested, those who served time in prison and some of whom left the country. We wanted to thank them for the contribution they made in defeating apartheid. [Applause.]
We also gathered the media to celebrate their participation in the struggle to defeat apartheid. Again, we wanted to be very specific with regard to the role they played – as well as the journalists who were arrested, tortured and some who died in action – and celebrate that today they are expressing themselves freely without fear.
We succeeded in freeing ourselves and we have free expression by the media without anyone stopping them. They can wake up and write anything about anybody, including the President, and nobody is going to say anything to them.
We will also be meeting with the artists as well some of the other sectors. We might not meet all of them. Therefore, the theme today was very relevant to the NCOP in celebrating our freedom; the demise of apartheid; and the establishment of the democratic Constitution and institutions, including the establishment of these two Houses wherein we can gather to express our views.
Of course, some will be critical, which is expected of the opposition. However, it should be done with an understanding that South Africa has changed. You can’t start by saying South Africa has changed and then in the process of your discussion you almost reflect that South Africa has not changed. There is something wrong. It has changed in many ways.
I think we tabulated what has happened since 1994 up to now. As we gain more experience we are moving faster all the time, and we are very happy. I think the debate was very good. In a debate, there are always different views and that is part of the elements of democracy.
Uke uthi ugqoke ingubo emhlophe uthelwe wudaka nje ungalindele.[ Uhleko.] Ubone sekukhona ibala elimnyama. Akusho lutho ke lokho ngoba yimpilo. Mhlawumbe kudlule imoto eduzane ikuthele ngodaka.
Overall, I think we are happy with the debate. I think colleagues really went into issues that give us cause to celebrate today.
I also need to thank the premiers. I think ever since I have come to the NCOP I have been very critical about the attendance of premiers. I am sure those who represent them have said so in the past. You would either find one or two premiers here, while others would not be here.
I seemed to feel that perhaps premiers did not appreciate that this is, in fact, their House. They’ve got to be here and participate. [Applause.] So I am very happy today that they are here in large numbers. There were apologies from those who were not here and that is a first since I have been coming here. [Applause.]
Premiers, I would like to thank you very much. Please don’t miss the opportunity to come here. It is here that you can speak from a platform, which is partly national, but talks to the provinces. So, it is very good. I am happy and I feel very good.
I don’t want to mention names, but I must say that I was impressed by some of the speakers, including a young one. I can tell you that I felt so good to hear the young lady who spoke here — particularly as she is a lady. [Applause.]
It gave me a good feeling to know that there are still young people who are very clear, straightforward and respectful, and who therefore give an impression about our country to people out there that we have youths who are the leaders of tomorrow. [Applause.]
I said to myself, “Well, even if we are roll-called to go up there, this country will remain in good hands.” Thank you very much, young lady. [Applause.] You have inspired me as a young person in Parliament and in being clear about why you are here, and I am very happy. I just wanted to single out the young lady ... [Applause.] ... because others have been making great speeches everywhere but I can’t single them out, not even for the quotations from Ho Chi Minh ... [Laughter.] ... but thank you very much.
The truth that we must always maintain is that South Africa was a bad country during apartheid. It was a bad country with bad stories. There was nothing to tell. The only thing you had to do was to fight the monster. South Africa has changed and there is a good story to tell. [Applause.]
Don’t stop saying that even if it irritates others. Just bear in mind that they need to be pitied because they come from an environment that causes them not to see. I think Mahumapelo said it very well when he said that they suffer from something. [Applause.] I don’t know what he was saying because ...
... ebekhumsha gqitha, andimvanga. [Kwahlekwa.]
Thank you very much. I would like to thank the Chair, the members and everybody else. I always feel very good when I have been in the NCOP. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, members! Order, members! I am sure that when I have closed the proceedings of the day you can resing the songs. I just thought that we should thank the President for being available to come to us for this debate which was really invigorating.
We must thank all the political parties who participated because indeed there is no single party that will build the country. All of us have the responsibility towards the different constituencies of South Africa. Hon members, that brings us to the conclusion of the business today.
The Council adjourned at 18:28.
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