Hansard: JS: Debate on the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want (170)
House: Joint (NA + NCOP)
Date of Meeting: 31 Oct 2014
No summary available.
START OF DAY
Friday, 31 October 2014 Take: 100
FRIDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2014
PROCCEDINGS AT JOINT SITTING
Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 9:00.
The Speaker of the National Assembly took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
START OF DAY
AFRICAN UNION’S AGENDA 2063: THE AFRICA WE WANT
(Subject for Discussion)
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Hon Speaker, hon Ministers, hon members, members of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen.
We must continue to promote the African Agenda. It remains the anchor of our foreign policy. We should thus continue to work closely in support of the African Union, and its agencies to build a credible, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
This is what the hon President Jacob Zuma told the 2014 Heads of Mission Conference, HoM, about the tasks that must be executed effectively and efficiently by all South African diplomats abroad. Therefore, today we are gathered here to speak about the Africa we want for our generation and those who will inherit this continent from us.
Africa has undoubtedly transformed from where it was in 1963 – when I was born – when we formed the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, to chart a new path for the continent and lay the foundation for the African Union, AU, we are proud members of today.
Last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU.
Moropa o lidile kgorong tsa Addis Ababa.
We look back with a measure of satisfaction at the road we have travelled. We have, however, also committed ourselves to doing more and better in the next 50 years. In making this commitment, our leaders at their May 2013 summit, undertook to prepare a vision and roadmap of where Africa should be in the next 50 years, in 2063.
This vision, now consolidated into a framework document, is what we know today as Agenda 2063. What we are talking about here is not a wish list but a well-thought-out plan with identified drivers and an implementation strategy.
Agenda 2063 is about the Africa we want to build for the future. It connects the Africa of yesterday to the Africa of tomorrow, and indeed our future. The Africa of yesterday is the indispensable lessons we have learnt since the days of our independence. The Africa of today is our destiny that is firmly in our hands with every action we take. The Africa of tomorrow is the future we are creating through what we do today.
However, Agenda 2063 is people-centred and people-driven. In this regard, the June 2014 Summit of the AU requested member states to consult domestically to ascertain the views of all our people across all sectors on this Agenda 2063. This Joint Sitting today in this Parliament is part of these consultations.
Other South African stakeholders are also being consulted. Our department has convened consultations with other government departments as well as representatives of the youth, academics and think-tanks, women, civil society and the consultation process with the business sector continues.
In the consultations convened by International Relations and Co-Operation, Dirco, the stakeholders welcomed the African Union’s decision to develop Agenda 2063. Amongst other things, the consultations confirmed the urgency with which the stakeholders want the African Union and its member states to strengthen the implementation of policies aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary Africans.
Stakeholders emphasised that Africa should have the essential resources to attain the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063.
The stakeholders said that what will be needed from us are sustained political will as well as bold and transformational leadership across the sectors of our society and nation.
Government departments also had their say. Their input highlighted the need for strengthened co-operation and coherence in the formulation of policies at the national, regional and continental levels. This would ensure clarity and complementarity in resource allocation and management, as well as for monitoring and evaluation.
The phase of conceptualisation of and consultations on the base programme of the Agenda 2063 is expected to be concluded at next year’s January Summit of the AU where, among other things, the first of the 10-year implementation plans for this vision will be considered.
The AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities will be required to include the elements of Agenda 2063 Plan in their national and regional programmes, respectively. This Parliament will be expected to be an active part of the implementation of this Agenda 2063 Plan, including through its oversight role.
To jog our memories, the evolving Agenda 2063 is currently premised on seven aspirational pillars, which are: a prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development; an integrated continent politically united, based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism; an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for law and human rights, justice and the rule of law; a peaceful and secure Africa; an Africa with strong cultural values and ethics; an Africa where development is people-driven, relying particularly on the potential of our best resource, our women and our young people; and Africa as a strong and influential global player and partner.
In highlighting the above aspirations, the African people unequivocally expressed a collective desire to uplift the continent from the morass of underdevelopment and degradation. With Agenda 2063, the AU is rallying all Africans to continue the march for the rebirth of the African continent in all aspects in order to extend our political liberation to economic and social liberation.
We once again commend Parliament for convening this Joint Sitting the purpose of which will be, amongst other things, to get Parliament’s insight into and full participation in Agenda 2063 processes; gather inputs for the finalisation of the Agenda 2063 Draft Framework Paper which has been widely circulated; validate and strengthen the seven aspirations that will drive the continent’s transformation; and determine how Africa should resource its transformation and continental institutions to reduce its dependency on donors, among other things.
Hon Speaker and hon members, Agenda 2063 prioritises our unity and regional integration as key vehicles for Africa’s accelerated social and economic development. The solemn declaration adopted by our leaders at the 50th anniversary celebrations held in May 2013 speaks to the determination and the collective responsibility required in order to develop Africa to its fullest potential.
In recognising that Africa can achieve this potential, Agenda 2063 echoes the Pan-African call that Africa must unite in order to realise its renaissance. The destiny of Africa is in our hands. We must act now to shape the future we want. This is what is at the heart of Agenda 2063.
Agenda 2063 is thus a shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development for Africa’s transformation; a continuation of the Pan African drive for self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity.
Our government’s work for a better life for South Africans is intertwined with the country’s pursuit of a better Africa in a better world. The county’s destiny is linked to that of the Southern African region and the entire Africa. Regional and continental integration is the foundation for Africa’s socioeconomic development and political unity.
South Africa’s National Development Plan, NDP, already includes the key proposals in Agenda 2063, including a strengthened focus on regional co-operation and integration. It also highlights that South Africa needs to deepen its investment and promotion of co-operation and integration as a means to enhance socioeconomic development. Both Southern Africa and the rest of the continent need to be seized with this.
Amongst other things, enhanced regional integration will expand regional and continental trade, and the sharing of experiences and technical co-operation across the sectors.
Hon Speaker and hon members, the realisation of Agenda 2063 will be influenced by the world we live in and the world we foresee in the next 30 to 50 years. Several scenarios have been developed by experts and think-tanks for the world of the next five decades.
Scenario-mapping and planning is, of course, not an exact science but it is nonetheless helpful for planning purposes and projecting into the future. One thread running through the various scenarios for the future tells the story of the shift in the international balance of forces in the direction of countries of the South. Therefore, Africa has to ensure that it is very much part of this shift and that it leverages it to attain the goals of Agenda 2063.
There are challenges in our current global system that will need to be overcome. Among other things, to name a few, are the untransformed and undemocratic nature of the global institutions that govern the world we live in today; the unipolarity and unilateralism which undermine our multilateral institutions and the multipolarity required for Africa to have a greater voice in the world; and the continuing threat to international peace which affects our continent and other developing countries whose objective, in many instances, is regime change and control over our natural resources.
A transformed international order is what we want as Africa. Indeed, one of the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063 focuses only on this. But how high and fast we rise as a continent will also depend on what we do today. We, therefore, need to continue following the aspirations that I referred to earlier on and insist on it that our programmes are at the centre of African ownership; the silencing of the guns; self-reliance; putting our people first; industrialisation; unity of our continent; and remaining assertive in world affairs and not giving up on our demand for a permanent presence on the UN Security Council.
The potential of our continent is not in doubt. The UN’s children’s agency, Unicef, estimates that based on current trends, within the next 35 years, 25 out of every 100 people in the world will be Africans, and by then, 40% of the children in the world aged under five years, will come from our continent. Our people are our best resource and we need to invest in them.
I need to remind us that Kwame Nkrumah, our forebear from Ghana once said this:
The resources are there. It is for us to marshal them in the active service of our people. Unless we do this through our concerted efforts, within the framework of our combined planning, we shall not progress at the tempo demanded by today’s events and the mood of our people.
Therefore, Agenda 2063 intends to provide this framework we have today, which will seek to respond to the demands of our time.
As I close, I need to remind us here that our own leader, President Oliver Tambo, had us in mind when he addressed the 50th session of the OAU Liberation Committee in Harare in May 1988 when he said, and I quote:
As we mark this historic occasion of the 25th anniversary of the OAU Liberation Committee and its 50th session, and cast our eyes west into the Caprivi Strip and Namibia and across the Limpopo into South Africa, we see the tree of freedom rising in all its magnificence, watered by the blood of our own peoples and nourished by the victories that the peoples of our continent have scored during the last quarter of a century.
There will be no 50th anniversary of the Liberation Committee to celebrate and no 100th session, because long before then, we shall all meet in a liberated Namibia and a liberated South Africa, together to attend to the urgent question of the rebuilding of our continent as a zone of prosperity, peace and friendship among the people.
Two years later, after this address, Namibia got its independence. Ours followed four years later. Our freedom was just the beginning of a more difficult struggle for a better life for South Africans in a better Africa and a better world. President Tambo was clear about what we need to be doing.
Hon members, I am looking forward to listening to your inputs and encourage you today to offer critiques, solutions and strategies on the Africa we want and the contributions we’ll make as South Africans.
Tau tsa tlhoka seboka di siiwa ke nare e tlhotsa.
Now is the time to contribute to the vision of our forebears to achieve the goals of the Africa we want. Thank you. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, members of the NCOP, the diplomatic corps ...
... setšhaba sa Aforika borwa, bagaetsho dumelang. Go a itumedisa go dula mo kontinenteng e ntle go tshwana le e ya rona ya Aforika, lefelo le le ntle le le nang le tshepiso le tshepo ya gore maphelo a batho ba rona go tloga kwa godimo go fitlha kwa tlase, a tla tokafala. A ke tshimolole ka go romela ...
My condolences go to the people of Zambia on their loss.
I am proud to live on this continent and in this world. It proves that, in fact, this particular country of ours tells the story of a divided nation that is able to become one. I am proud to be part of an opposition political party that is growing, proving the simple story that Africa’s success depends on strong opposition. [Applause.]
In fact, we are showing this continent that multiparty democracy can flourish in Africa, and we offer the hope of a peaceful change of government here on the southern tip of this magnificent continent.
Our job, all of us today, is to prove the Afropessimists wrong. We need to show the world that democracy can work in Africa, but, hon members, as former President Nelson Mandela said, and I quote:
Africa suffers not from natural disasters but human disasters, man-made challenges: poverty, joblessness, disease, and corruption. These are challenges we face as a continent and as a country.
Africa’s future depends on the number of bridges that we have to build from today up to the accomplishment of the goals of Africa 2063. To do so, we have to have the compelling vision that resides principally on building the strong bridge of institutions through solid leadership and economic growth. Then we will have institutions that work in the way that our Constitutions has designed them to work, institutions that ensure that powerful people are held to account when they let people down.
These are institutions that strengthen governance on this continent for an independent judiciary, an accountable executive and strong legislature.
The task of African leaders is to ensure that we preserve democracy and good governance. Leadership will be vital on this continent if we are to realise this dream.
This continent has produced great men such as Nelson Mandela, but, sadly, also corrupt leaders who refuse to be held accountable ... [Interjections.] ... and who post-election they truly enter into the politics of the stomach. Self-preservation becomes the norm rather than building the nations of which they are the custodians.
They, in fact, live in R256 million houses whilst their nations face poverty and rising unemployment. [Interjections.] Critical to this is that leaders must be accountable to strong parliaments. Lesotho is a good educator of what happens when parliament is suspended.
I want to put a question to this House: Can we honestly say, hand on heart, that this Parliament is working to hold the executive to account? [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Yes! The answer is yes!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: What example do we hold, sir, if, in fact, the President refuses to stick to the Rules of this House and refuses to answer questions? [Interjections.] What kind of message do we send when our President, in fact, has not showed up in this House since November of last year? [Interjections.]
Madam Speaker, President Zuma must follow the example of great leaders such as Nelson Mandela, who understood that in the fight for democracy the rules enshrined in the Constitution must be followed. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Madam Speaker, we are here today to hold a special debate on a policy document for Africa, and yet we cannot hold a debate with our own President who happens to be right here in this country. [Interjections.] He joins the rank and file of leaders on this continent who believe that institutions serve them and that the people serve them, not the other way around. [Interjections.]
We perhaps have followed examples of leaders who refuse to be held accountable. The Vision of Africa 2063 is presented as an Africa at peace with itself, secure, corruption-free, democratic, and properly governed by states that are run by an efficient Public Service.
If we want to help Africa succeed, we need to start right here, at home. The failure of governments must mean that corruption will thrive and those who are corrupt must, in fact, account. Africa does not have a good story to tell about corruption, which isn’t, in fact, a Western concept or a victimless crime. [Interjections.]
The President must come and explain why South Africa suffers from the cancer of R30 billion per year.
Hon members, governance alone will not deliver the future we live in and which we want to bequeath to the next generation. It has to be good governance – good governance where ideas and plans must move beyond the pages of vision documents. It allows for a hopeful future to be created, not just simply to be envisioned.
Why is it that when African countries hold their elections, the world descends upon them through election observers to avoid the obvious narrative that the elections will not be free and fair?
A crucial institution is the independence of Chapter 9-type institutions. Our fight here is for the Public Protector, but I can assure hon members that in other nations their fight is to ensure the independence of the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, or bodies such as that.
Ultimately, the accountability of African leaders must reside in the ballot box, so electoral change in Africa is vital for the purpose of governance. The damage done by the conception that Africa, at times, does not hold free and fair elections does not create a stable environment for investment. In fact, we will not stand by and allow quiet diplomacy. We would like to say quite strongly that President Robert Mugabe must go, and he must take his heir apparent with him. [Applause.]
It is because of this ... [Interjections.] ... that we we’ve seen Ian Khama’s Botswana Democratic Party fall below 50% of its popular support in Botswana — the first time since independence — and its people are moving slowly towards this mandate, election by election.
This is, indeed, a better story to tell, as Africans realise that democratic change through the ballot box is better than change through military force. They are doing so, because they cannot accept the poor governance decisions his government is making. They cannot accept accountability for a party that has remained in power for so long and is, in fact, crumbling.
In Burkina Faso, the people have spoken out against a president who is now attempting to amend the constitution to give himself three full terms in office. [Interjections.] The people there have risen up, and they have refused to accept that their government can trample their rights.
The people of this continent inherently deserve good governance, inherently deserve good leaders who do what is right, and not just for the leader’s own benefit.
The third and crucial chapter of this continent must be economic growth. It must be the development of infrastructure, the development of health services, the development of educational excellence and the development of a banking sector.
The grave threat of Ebola, in fact, highlights the issue that when nations are underdeveloped, the dreaded disease spreads rapidly, but when nations are developed, the virus can be contained.
What Vision 2063 must emphasise is a healthy Africa on the back of a healthy infrastructure. We cannot expect our people to be healthy if governments fail to deliver health infrastructure.
Likewise, we must fight harder for the restoration of the dignity of the women on this continent. It is an assault on our collective dignity that the women in Africa are insufficiently empowered and protected. In fact, women in Africa are too often subjugated. Hon members, by 2063, this nation, this continent, must stand proud.
We must do everything we can to fight the increasing plight of HIV/Aids victims. We must ensure that we build funding mechanisms that allow for Africa to be independent. We must see economic growth that rivals the strongest in the world. We must see intra-African trade that breaks down barriers, breaks down conceptions that view Africa as a burden to other nations. Trade barriers must fall, and protectionism against African competition must be reconsidered.
We must see a domestic-resources mobilisation into Africa. We must see the repealing of the worsening terms of trade in Africa, this continent. Whilst African economies produce goods that cost a steady price to produce, other global economies are constantly reducing their production costs, and so trade in Africa is costing us more and more. We must fight against this.
The future of Africa that we shape today is a mission that I, in fact, hold quite dearly. Speaker, we have to have strong governance, we have to have strong institutions, we have to empower women in Africa, and we have to make sure that the levels of literacy continue to improve.
This particular Parliament can set a good example in this regard. It can be a Parliament that holds its leaders to account. It can be a Parliament that makes sure that we set an example for the rest of the continent.
Our contribution as a political party and as a Parliament is to ensure that we build good governance. The DA will hold the government of the day to account, to the highest standards of good governance in our Constitution. That is why we will make sure that President Jacob Zuma accounts for the money misspent on Nkandla. [Interjections.]
Our commitment to Africa, and our commitment to the next 50 years in the African Union, is that we will continue to campaign for good governance.
Bagaetsho, re batla Aforika e re tla ikgantshang ka yone. Ke a leboga. Modimo ke yoo.
Ms M MOONSAMY
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Ms M MOONSAMY: Hon Chairperson, Burkina Faso is burning. The attack on Parliament and the state is an exercise against the continued abuse by power mongers who refuse to exercise the determination of the people in the name of democracy and majority rule. When the people oppose prolonged abuse of the state, the state exploits its authority in the name of governance that it itself cannot adhere to.
This is not the Africa we want. This is not our vision for Africa. The EFF wants an Africa that is free of corruption, an Africa that is sovereign and has a secure future.
The continued interference in Burkina Faso by France and its puppet president — through special-forces bases that want to capture and sustain colonial power — has resulted in rebellion by its people.
It is not the people of Burkina Faso who refuse to adhere to democracy and the incomprehensible, imported traditions and practices of its colonial masters; it is the continued submission of the leadership of this continent to neocolonialism and imperialism that they can no longer tolerate. This forces them to protest for Africa, the Africa they want, and to instal the rightful legitimacy of African governance. [Interjections.]
This is true of the institutions of this continent which remain highly dependent on the conditions of its European Union, EU, Chinese and United States, US, funders. [Interjections.]
The compromising of this continent by the African Union, AU, subjects its sovereignty to rubber-stamping by imperial demagogues, who have no interest in the peace and security of this continent. It cares only for its own natural-resources consumption in order to feed insatiable vulture capitalism greed, whilst the people of this continent wither away from poverty, which is fuelled by gross unemployment and results in devastating inequality.
Agenda 2063 boasts characteristics of the National Development Plan, NDP, which is synonymous with the support for capitalism demonstrated by the ruling party. [Interjections.] The interests of the poor are achievable in the distant, improbable future, while the rich continue to buy buffaloes and live in Resort Nkandla. [Interjections.]
The Africa that we, as the EFF, want is a continent that will realise its potential. This means that base erosion, transfer pricing and profit-shifting will be national crimes and constitute international money-laundering.
Illicit financial flows to tax havens undermine the quality of life of the poorest of the poor and deliberately plunges a resource-rich continent into further darkness. This is how the compromises made by the leadership of this continent affect its own people. It assumes that poverty becomes their opium at the polls.
Was the Lonmin subsidiary worth the loss of almost 40 lives in Marikana? Was the extension beyond 27 years of rule worth Burkina Faso’s democracy? Is Nkandla worth destroying the exercising of political freedom and participation in South Africa?
Whose agenda is Agenda 2063? Whose interests does it protect? Is it the agenda of capital and corporate criminals that seek only to prioritise and protect funders and donors of the African Union and requires it to align itself to them? It definitely does not protect the interests of the working class and the poor of this continent. [Interjections.]
The African identity should be characterised by prosperity and not poverty for the future of the African child. The struggle against colonialism must be fought through the liberation of the only colony, the Western Sahara, and the forceful rejection of abuse and torture, as well as the continued humanitarian crisis in the Western Sahara that is being perpetuated by another African state, namely Morocco.
Solidarity should mean the rejection of all forms of exploitation of the resources and invasion of the shores of the Sahawari people, especially by Spain, its administrative authority and Spain’s allies.
Integration should go beyond South-South co-operation and the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brics, bloc, making efficient the regional economic communities that have, for too long failed the economic development of the people.
This must be done to use the natural resources of the African continent in the interests of the African people, and not as the basis for fuelling rebellion against the scramble in Western interest.
Social and economic development should no longer be a pipe dream that will be realised in the future for those who aspire to rule from the grave, but a real, immediate solution to problems standing in the way of food security, clean water, land and agrarian revolution for economic development and enrichment of communities, which will lead to social upliftment.
Peace and security cannot and must not be about ensuring the discipline and control of the people under capital anaesthesia to create an environment conducive to looting.
It is the perpetrators of theft of natural resources who create conflict in a peaceful and safe Africa. The EFF rejects the continued establishment of military bases and the deployment of special forces on the continent only in order to secure the deals of the leaders of the continent and to export the continent’s wealth in exchange for, amongst other things, luxurious medical treatment. [Interjections.]
The African Union cannot be the lighthouse of democratic governance on the continent when its structures are not owned by the people of this continent but is a mere donation in exchange for direct access and exploitation – so, too, its resolutions.
The EFF believes that in order to determine the destiny of this continent, we have to own our borders, our land and the natural mineral wealth beneath its surface.
Economic freedom is the continent’s immediate destiny and will determine Africa’s potential to lead the world. It was by no coincidence that the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, was formed to eradicate all forms of colonialism and white minority rule.
Its intention was to reclaim the self-determination of the continent through unity and the use of its resource potential against its colonial masters. Fifty years later, the African Union, AU, provides us with a plan that can be realised in the next 50 years.
Kwame Nkrumah foresaw Burkina Faso as inevitable, and I quote, “... as the national solidarity of the colonial peoples against imperialism”.
Restraint of any form, whether through the gross abuse of state machinery in the name of the Constitution or rules and regulations that appease only the madding crowd, is the propaganda of the denialist.
The continent is youthful and the women of this continent remain oppressed. It is not the simple acknowledgement of a youth bulge that will eliminate the reality that young people want to design and shape their future – not in 2063, but now, because now is the time for economic freedom. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The founding manifesto of the EFF makes a firm analysis for the struggle for economic emancipation within the long resistance of South Africans to racist, colonial and imperialist, political, economic and social domination. This represents more than 350 years of African resistance to colonial and economic domination and exploitation.
More than 350 years later, the wars of resistance have not been won. The battles that we fought represent almost nothing, because 20 years after the attainment of formal political freedom, the black people of South Africa still live in absolute, mass poverty. They remain landless. Their children have no productive future. They are mistreated and are looked down upon by those living in a sea of wealth.
Thomas Sankara refers to the enemies of a people – those who continue to keep them in ignorance. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Mr E R MAKUE
Ms M MOONSAMY
Mr E R MAKUE: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members of this House, it is a South African woman and a continental leader, our own Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is the chairperson of the African Union Commission that launched Agenda 2063. [Applause.]
During October, we in the ANC celebrate the life of our father and leader, Oliver Reginald Tambo. Out first President of this democratic Parliament and country, Dr Nelson Rohlilhahla Mandela, said the following about Comrade Tambo, and I quote:
He is my greatest friend and comrade for nearly 50 years. If there is anyone amongst you who cherishes my freedom, Oliver Tambo cherishes it more, and I know he would give his life to see me free. There is no difference between his views and mine.
Both these leaders of the ANC and the majority in the ruling party dedicated their lives to the National Democratic Revolution. In the ANC we have a collective leadership. These two heroic leaders practised the popular Zimbabwean saying, “If you want to walk fast, you walk alone, but if you want to walk far, you walk with a friend.”
While he was still in exile in 1980 our visionary leader, O R Tambo said:
A long-cherished dream of the ANC came true with the formation of the OAU in 1963. The continent has torn asunder almost every chain of colonial bondage and joined the world community of nations as a full and equal member, contributing, with great effort, to the solution of international problems. Southern Africa has undergone geopolitical transformations and social upheavals in the course of which colonial foundations, some laid 500 years ago, have been reduced to a heap of ruins.
The enduring Pan-African vision encapsulated in Agenda 2063 is for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”
The plan with Agenda 2063 is to rekindle the African solidarity and unity of purpose that underpinned the struggle for emancipation from slavery and freedom from colonialism, apartheid and liberation from economic subjugation.
This plan requires a recommitment to self-determination, integration – political and economical – solidarity and unity, enriching what was started by the founders of the Organisation for African Unity, OAU, and is now pursued by leaders of the AU.
The African leaders, heads of state and governments indicated that it must be stressed that Agenda 2063 is-
… an endogenous plan of transformation that seeks to harness the continent’s comparative advantages such as its people; its history and cultures; its position and repositioning in the world, to develop Africa’s human capital; to build social assets, infrastructure and public goods; to empower women and youth; to promote lasting peace and security; to build effective developmental states and participatory and accountable institutions and governance.
That is what it said.
The adoption of this historic Agenda is confirmation of a collective vision and African roadmap for the next 50 years.
Our own President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, during the state of the nation address in June 2014, said:
Sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly becoming a more important trade partner for our country. South Africa will continue to champion broader regional integration through the Southern African Customs Union, SADC, and the envisaged tripartite free trade area that spans Eastern and Southern Africa.
President Zuma went on to say that-
South Africa will continue to support regional and continental processes to respond to and resolve crises, promote peace and security, strengthen regional integration, significantly increase intra-African trade, and champion sustainable development.
This he says-
… will entail supporting end executing decisions of the AU as well as the promotion of the work of its structures".
We, in the ANC, are proud to give our unqualified support to this Agenda. We are proud of the interventions and progress that we have already made in implementing what our President said.
Africa is a young continent in the sense that over 60% of its population is young people. Therefore the creativity, energy and innovation of African youth will be the driving force behind the continent’s political, social, cultural and economic transformation.
The common and combined African journey towards 2063 has started. The ANC and most other members of this Fifth Democratic Parliament of South Africa endorse the National Development Plan, NDP, 2030. We do so out of a commitment to our future and to make our future work for generations and us. By 2030, we, in the ANC, want to live in a country that we have remade. You are welcome to join us on this journey. [Applause.]
To take charge and ownership of our resources is a priority of Agenda 2063. This Agenda has been developed to galvanise and unite in action all Africans and the diaspora around the common vision of a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa. Agenda 2063 endeavours to link and co-ordinate our many national and regional frameworks into a common continental framework.
The evils of the apartheid education system that intended to make the African child a hewer of wood and a carrier of water still plagues us, even 20 years into our democracy. Unemployment still haunts us. Poverty and hunger continues to be the life experience of many people. Inequality worsens the livelihoods of people.
However, would be the first to say, go and listen to what the electorate is saying. We have made progress. [Applause.]
Education and training, both formal and informal, are of great importance in equipping our people to be self-reliant and engage in sustainable and meaningful economic development. The ANC is committed to and engaged in addressing these historic injustices.
We cannot afford global politics where African heads of state and governments are summoned to the capitals of various countries to discover their policies on Africa. Our policies must be developed indigenously, informed by the needs of our people and to their benefit. In the RSA, we strive towards localisation and beneficiation.
Conditions must be created for our sisters and brothers, our children, our mothers and fathers in the diaspora to return to the continent with their skills.
The NDP offers exciting proposals to reposition South Africa in the region and the world. These proposals favour our ongoing discourse and positioning within the African Union and Agenda 2063.
It is evident that a better Africa is possible, and the future is in our hands. We know that Africa will arise and we are there to be part of that arising. I thank you. [Applause.]
Prof C T MSIMANG
Mr E R MAKUE
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Deputy Speaker, as the IFP we would like to add our voice in expressing our deepest condolences to the people of Zambia on the recent loss of their President.
As we celebrate the golden jubilee of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, and look back upon the progress of the continent during the last 50 years, we take pride in how far the organisation has come and salute its sustained efforts at bringing continental peace and security, economic growth, democracy and integration to the people of Africa.
Twenty–five years ago, only four countries in Africa were considered electoral democracies; in 2011 that number had risen to 18. The African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, now boasts a membership of 32 out of 54 African countries, 16 of which have already submitted themselves for voluntary assessment.
This, together with great shifts in governance in respect of state accountability participation of the citizenry, the rule of law and a tough stance on corruption, clearly indicates a new way of thinking on the continent and this is as a result of the hard work of the African Union.
Continental infrastructure remains key to our growth and will continue to contribute to future growth. The AU programme for infrastructure development will greatly enhance such efforts. Exploitation of our natural resources and the exportation of the same in its raw state remains a serious concern. Our oil, mineral and other resources must be used for beneficiation by the continent.
Why are we not processing oil into petroleum and chemical products? We hold 30% of the world’s natural resources. We must ensure that we use these sustainably. Africa has every opportunity to become a global powerhouse, but we must be relentless in our pursuit of these opportunities.
We support and encourage the vision of the African Union agenda for an Africa, “that is at peace with itself, secure, corruption-free and encompassing democracy and property.” I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members, may I draw to your attention that if you watch the clock to your left, when it shows red, your time has expired so you can manage your time yourselves. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Prof C T MSIMANG
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, the topic under discussion today, is indeed an emotional one for all of us, because no matter from which angle you look at our continent, although we can see noticeable progress, we also see the faces of hunger, fear, malnutrition, underdevelopment and a continent at war with itself.
We see a continent where people are under threat from armed gangs, human traffickers, terrorists, and drug lords. A continent where violence, social protests and conflict are the order of the day. Undeniably, this is the continent where we are battling to silence the guns, where there is untold and undocumented misery experienced by civilians.
Undoubtedly, this is not the Africa we want, where extremist groups like Boko Haram wreak havoc and torment civilians. More than six months have passed since the Boko Haram group seized the world’s attention by kidnapping 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria. Fifty-seven of the girls have escaped, but 219 remain captive. This is in spite of international campaigns such as, Bring Back Our Girls.
On 18 October 2014, the day after the Nigerian military announced that it had reached a ceasefire agreement with the group, Boko Haram went from house to house searching for young women in two Nigerian towns and took 60 of them. Last weekend alone, Boko Haram kidnapped 30 teenagers, including girls as young as 11 years old.
Certainly, this is not the Africa we want. As the NFP we want an Africa where there is peace and security. We want a continent where job opportunities are created and young people are employed.
We want a continent where people are capacitated and empowered to start their own businesses. We want a climate that is conducive for people to create job opportunities.
We want our children to go to school and study and not be forced into marriage, prostitution or child labour and turned into warlords at a tender age.
We want an Africa where democracy would be the thread that binds together our common goals and aspirations and the rule of law upheld as guiding principle in the way our affairs are conducted. We want an Africa that respects its citizens and remains accountable to them.
We want Africa that is free of corruption and greed amongst member states, where excellence will be applauded and embraced. We want Africa where the ancient and time-tested philosophy of ubuntu will be restored and practised as a shining example to the world of the strength of African unity. Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
Mr W F FABER
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Mr W F FABER: Hon Deputy Speaker, the African Union Agenda 2063 is more than just a vision or an action plan for Africa. It is also a rejection of Africa’s past of war and oppression, genocide, apartheid and the widespread abuse of fundamental human rights.
It’s a call for an African future based on a common respect for human rights. It’s a call for an African future based on a common respect for human rights and the rule of law and for us to be a continent that achieves prosperity through political and economic stability. The vision requires all segments of African society to work together, growing, learning and developing.
To make Africa great we must first address the issue of leadership. Africa will rise or fall because of the quality of her leaders. In the wise words of one of Africa’s sons, Fred Swaniker, a Ghanaian by birth:
In Africa, more than anywhere else in the world, the difference that just one good leader can make is just greater than anywhere else.
He goes on to explain that when societies have strong institutions, the difference that one good leader can make is limited. However, when you have weak institutions – you must listen to this – then just one good leader can make or break a country. This is why it is so important not only to defend and support institutions such as our Constitution, our judiciary and our Chapter 9 institutions, but also to assist other African countries to put similar checks and balances in place in their own countries.
Where these institutions fail, it leads to political instability and political instability leads to economic instability. In turn, this leads to food insecurity and hunger.
The securing of African agricultural output and food security is paramount to empowering and developing individuals and achieving the AU’s Agenda 2063. Deputy Speaker, according to the World Food Programme, Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of hunger in the world where one person in every four is undernourished.
Across our continent, 23 million primary-schools-aged children attend classes hungry. The Millennium Development Goals, MDG, aimed to halve the proportion of people who go hungry over the period from 1990 to 2015. However, Africa has only made modest progress towards this goal and is unlikely to achieve this by next year. We are already on the back foot before we have even begun.
Even in South Africa, food security remains a serious challenge; one where we cannot rest on our laurels. An estimated 20% of South African households have inadequate or severely inadequate access to food, according to a recent 2013 General Household Survey by Statistics SA. The percentage of South Africans that experiences hunger decreased only marginally from 13,7% in 2007 to 13,4% in 2013.
To ensure that the agricultural sector is productive is a primary concern for any government if it is to reduce food insecurity and increase economic growth. Agriculture contributes to poverty alleviation by reducing food prices, creating employment opportunities, increasing farm income and wages. Yet, farming in Africa is not for the fainthearted and farmers face harsh political, economic and environmental conditions.
As a primary, labour-intensive industry, agriculture kickstarts the economy and this leads to growth in other sectors. In countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya, agricultural growth has shown to reduce poverty twice as fast as any other sector. Furthermore, it is a major earner of foreign exchange, and in South Africa our economy benefits every year from the fact that we are a net exporter of primary agricultural products. This is South Africa.
If by increasing agricultural production in Africa we can reduce hunger, create jobs and reduce poverty, then the only question that remains is: Why wait for 2063?
With good leadership and strong institutions, we have the opportunity to remove political instability from the challenges faced by farmers. Then we must ensure that both commercial and smallholding farmers have the necessary skills and the equipment to be productive and to turn Africa into the bread basket of the world.
I conclude by saying it: Simply put, if we are to achieve Agenda 2063, then unlocking the power of our African soil through agriculture must be one of our primary focuses, for in Africa our children will reap the future that our generation sows here today. Let us ensure that the future grows strong, tall and healthy. I thank you.
Mr L K B MPUMLWANA
Mr W F FABER
Mr L K B MPUMLWANA: Deputy Speaker, I am indebted to the Leader of the Opposition. I am indebted to you, sir. You are proud of being in the opposition and you are proud to oppose anything — any progress that the ANC is making.
You are paid to do so. [Applause.] We want to build Africa and you oppose it. We want to build schools you oppose it.
I-job yi-job. [Umsebenzi ngumsebenzi.]
You are so obsessed with attacking the President that ...
Dr D T GEORGE: On a point of order, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What point are you rising on, hon member?
Dr D T GEORGE: Deputy Speaker, could the member please address the Deputy Speaker and not the Leader of the Opposition directly.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Proceed, hon member.
Mr L K B MPUMLWANA: Thank you, sir, I will do that. Hon Deputy Speaker, he is so proud. He is so obsessed with the President that he even said that he was in this Parliament last year in November. He even forgot the dates! [Laughter.]
Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Chairperson, hon members of the NA and NCOP, members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, friends, comrades, ladies and gentlemen, today we are invited to discuss a dream of the African people; a dream of Africa that is free from tribalism, racism and sexism; a dream of a free Africa based on shared values and a common destiny; a dream of a peaceful and prosperous people in a united continent; a dream of one continent with one defence force and one foreign policy; and a dream of a friendly Africa that speaks with one voice in all international forums.
This dream is called Vision 2063. It is both a vision and an action plan.
The source of Africa’s problem can be summarised by the following cry against colonialists, which is common to all African countries:
They crossed the seas to make us slaves; they made us slaves across the seas; they sliced our sons and called us tribes; they cut our lands and called us countries; they sucked our wealth and built their homes; they washed our brains and made us zombies; they stole our children and turned them against us; and they killed our culture and left us cold, cold in a dark hole, chained and starving to death. So Africa shall always bleed, bleed it will, it will bleed until it has sons and daughters with brains.
Hon Deputy Speaker, political subjugation of Africa continues to be the major source of the strife and conflict in Africa. This manifests itself in all facets of African life. Tribalism, religious intolerance, political intolerance, gender violence and racism continue to ravage the African continent.
The divide and rule has been a potent tool in the hands of the oppressor. It must be said that this has served the interests of the greedy. Africans have been at each other’s throat instead of uniting for the common good and African welfare - as is happening in this House.
It must be said that coups, dictatorships, terrorism and human rights violations are all grandchildren of a politically fuelled subjugation.
In 2063, peace and security will prevail only when we, as Africans, enjoy a common philosophy, common identity and common world view and language. The institutions of learning are crucial in this regard.
African pride ought to be inculcated in the youth of our continent. Our philosophy of ubuntu, “You are because I am”, captures the essence of our values as Africans. This dream of a united and prosperous Africa is, however, not new. It was once dreamed of by earlier African leaders.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana once said in Addis Abbaba in 1963, and I quote:
The masses of the people of Africa are crying for unity. The people of Africa call for the breaking down of boundaries that keep them apart. They demand an end to the border disputes between sister African states - disputes that arise out of the artificial barriers raised by colonialism. It was colonialism’s purpose that divided us. It was colonialism’s purpose that left us with our border irredentism, that rejected our ethnic and cultural fusion. Our people call for unity, so that they may not lose their patrimony in the perpetual service of neo-colonialism. In their fervent push for unity, they understand that only its realisation will give full meaning to their freedom and our African independence.
These words of freedom are an affirmation of Nkrumah’s assertion that Africans must recognise themselves as potentially one nation, whose dominion is the entire Africa. If we, as Africans, still do not recognise each other as one nation, we don’t recognise ourselves but we are phones as the Berlin Conference labelled us, history will pass verdict on us as cowards and villains of human history as we will have betrayed the trust and legacy of our forbearers.
Founders of the Pan-Africanism had a crystal-clear vision. They wanted to see the liberation of African people from all forms of bondage, humiliation and degradation. They wanted to see African people, regardless of borders, being treated with respect and dignity and not as Anglophones or Francophones, Lusophones or Nokia phones, Blackberry phones or any other phones but as Africans who are members of the human race. Therefore, for Africans to realise our renaissance, we need to move together as one united continent and people. Unity is our watchword, unity is our salvation. We need to delete imaginary boundaries imposed on us and reclaim the glory of ubuntu.
Indeed, one of the sons of Africa and the first Prime Minister of Congo-Brazzaville, Patrice Lumumba, said in 1960, and I quote:
We all know and the world knows it that Algeria is not French, that Angola is not Portuguese, that Kenya is not English, that Ruanda-Urundi is not Belgian. We know that Africa is neither French, nor British, nor American but it is Africa. [Applause.]
Today there are internal civil wars and ethnic conflicts in many African countries. There are also interstate conflicts. Terrorists are also destabilising some countries. This is very common in countries that are rich with minerals or other resources.
Most of these wars are sponsored by foreigners who want to loot Africa’s resources or who are manufacturing weapons and want to sell those weapons. There are also small countries who are too poor to defend their borders and as a result their resources are easily looted.
These problems, it is hoped, will be solved by Vision 2063 if common defence force is realised. A step in the right direction has been taken. The launching of the African Union in 2002 was seen as a milestone in the evolution of the continent’s peace and security architecture. This optimism stems from the perceived potential of the Constitutive Act to provide possibilities in confronting African internal violence.
Allow me, hon Deputy Speaker, to congratulate the South African government, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, the Department of Defence and the President of South Africa, as well as his Deputy, for taking an active part in promoting and enforcing peace on the continent. [Applause.] Their efforts have saved many lives.
Indeed, the ANC has always been the leader in promoting peace and security in Africa. The last clause of the Freedom Charter states that there shall be peace and friendship. For the ANC this has been a guiding light in conducting international relations. For us, forging peace and friendship will endure beyond 2063, as this is also the basis of our humane philosophy, ubuntu.
Oliver Tambo occupies a prominent position in the diplomatic psyche of our nation. It is this great son of the soil who pioneered the forging of peace, friendship and solidarity between South African people and the African continent, and indeed the world.
I am proud to be a member of the ANC and I am proud to be an African. [Applause.] Of course, by 2063 some of us will have been long departed and will be part of the African ancestors who will be watching the next generation and wishing them well in their endeavour to unite Africa. I don’t know how many will be there. [Interjections.] Maybe you will be there.
I therefore call upon all South Africans and, indeed, all Africans, to join hands with the ANC to adequately and collectively address the root cause of conflict and work tirelessly to ensure that Vision 2063 is realised by endorsing Agenda 2063.
Izinyanya zase-Afrika madoda, ziza kusakhela umkhanyo! Zinxakama zinxakamile! Zikhalima zikhalimile, zikhalim’imihla nezolo, zisityityimbisela umnwe zisithi: Zemk’inkomo magwalandini! Maz’enethole!
Mr N L S KWANKWA
Mr L K B MPUMLWANA
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Deputy Speaker, hon members, thank you very much. On 3 May 1999, respected BBC Newsreader and former African correspondent, George Alagiah wrote a piece for the Guardian of London; and he said the following:
For most people who get their view of the world from television, Africa is a faraway place where good people go hungry, bad people run government, and chaos and anarchy are the norm.
He continues and says:
My job is to give a fuller picture. I have a gnawing regret that, as a foreign correspondent, I have done Africa a disservice, too often showing the continent at its worst and too rarely showing it in full flower.
To make a bad situation worse, even Africans themselves contribute to the negative African narrative. In the study of Rainbow Warriors: South African Afropessimism Online in 2011, Martha Evans highlights, and I quote:
Online expatriates’ responses to events in South Africa perpetuate its Afro-pessimist thinking to varying degrees, with openly racist declarations and fantasies of recolonisation sitting at the extreme of the continuum, and predictions about the country’s decline and apologetic speculations about the benefits of apartheid situated further along the scale.
Even today there is a litany of media stories both here at home and abroad that propel this negative narrative about Africa. However, beneath this media-fuelled pessimism is a continent that dreams of moving out of the malaise of poverty and underdevelopment and building a new Africa.
After many decades of relative economic stagnation, a number of African countries have achieved economic growth through the adoption of prudent microeconomic policies and have seen improvements in political stability and more transparent elections.
The AU’s Agenda 2063 should, among other plans and programmes, serve as a new trajectory for Africa’s development.
Despite these achievements, Africa’s development is retarded by the yawning disconnection between word and deed, between our grand plans and implementation. In addition, this disconnection tends to be couched in idealism rather than pragmatism.
To renew Africa, we must demonstrate the political will and the capacity to implement plans and commitments to eradicate poverty and place African countries on a path of sustainable growth and development.
In Africa, for example, we commit to good governance and democracy but tolerate authoritarian regimes. So long as we continue to tolerate authoritarian regimes that brazenly fiddle the public purse for self-enrichment, we will never be able to remove the detritus that shackles Africa’s potential.
Despite numerous commitments by the big men of Africa to bring peace and stability in their countries, many African countries are still torn asunder by conflict and endless wars.
We should compel African countries to create the conditions necessary to help democracy take root. The success of nations rests on their ability successfully to entrench good governance and promote and consolidate democracy, because where there is democracy there is likely to be observance of the rule of law and of human rights. Such steps would, among other things, help improve the depressed investment climate of the continent.
Africans need a leadership that ensures that its people assimilate the productive instead of the consumerist features of Western civilisation; a leadership that is able to reconfigure the hidden dynamics in the world that shape the relationship between Africa as the powerless continent and the mighty of the world. This is important for how trade and wealth accumulation are determined.
We need good leadership that takes on an iconoclastic character to providing African solutions to African problems. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please join us in welcoming the children from Mkhanyiseli Primary School and their teachers. [Applause.] Welcome to Parliament.
Mr Y C VAWDA
Mr N L S KWANKWA
Mr Y C VAWDA: Deputy Speaker, allow me first and foremost to acknowledge the presence of our supreme forces irrespective of whatever our perceptions may be. I greet you all with As-salaam-ulaikum.
Hon Deputy Speaker, not only is it the second most populous and second largest continent in the world, but Africa is blessed with tremendous resource potential. And when I look around at this illustrious gathering, I am reminded also to humbly include the human resource potential.
This potential offers Africa the opportunity to truly live up to the expectation of becoming the continent of the 21st century. This potential has, however, made this continent an invitation to foreign interest over many centuries.
This interest has, however, unfortunately not always arrived with the benevolence that the people of this continent so richly deserve but has often been tainted with the ugly scars of exploitation, oppression, colonialism, and more recently, not only economic imperialism, but also other dubious forms of exploitation such as capital flight and the theft of blood diamonds.
These latter activities, have sadly established themselves as the norm rather than the exception, and not without clandestine support from misguided local individuals.
This has largely left the people of this beautiful continent in the depths of poverty and despair with little opportunity to participate in the exploitation of the natural resources surrounding them.
The people have also been deprived through socioeconomic systems that allow for little or no beneficiation as far as those who need it most are concerned.
The challenge then facing us is to realise an African dream by 2063. Hon Deputy Speaker, at this point I take the opportunity to remind this auspicious gathering that delivery on many basic issues will have to be achieved within the confines of human patience. And compromise in this regard will serve only to hinder the road towards a glorious dream.
The dream then, hon members, moving forward is a continent with political stability, free of unnecessary conflict, free of corruption, a continent with no serious health challenges that boasts a developed economy with equal opportunity for all; and developed housing, electricity, water and sanitation and all other basic services.
We need a continent that can truly take its rightful pride of a place on the various stages of the world. In order to realise these goals and achievements will require profound leadership.
How often have we not heard, I humbly indicate, the lead role that South Africa is playing and can still play with increasing importance on the continent being spoken about with a degree of assumption? This then would place us, South Africa, in a position of great responsibility to play an exemplary role for others to emulate.
This role must be played on a stage decorated not only with responsible government but also immaculate governance, regulated by fundamental and radical legislation, which aims to make meaningful and far-reaching changes in the basic living experience of our people and especially seeks to redress the huge and growing socioeconomic gap that exists in this country.
In so doing there will be little understanding and even less appreciation for the irresponsible development of residences for our leadership as well as uncontrolled violence perpetrated by our security forces against our people; increase in justified civilian unrest; and untold socioeconomic injustices that will further compromise the dignity of our people. The details I leave to this illustrious gathering of intellects not only to ponder upon, but also to act upon. Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, I thank you very much indeed. [Applause.]
Ms T E KENYE / TAKE ENDS AT 10:33
Mr Y C VAWDA
Ms T E KEN
YE: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members of this august House, members of the diplomatic corps, our guests in the gallery, especially our youth, whom I’m also going to talk about this morning.
Hon Deputy Speaker, Agenda 2063 of the African Union, AU, is a blueprint of the Africa we want and, therefore, a call of action to all of us as Africans from different segments of society. It is a call to work together to put Africa on a new trajectory of development that will unleash Africa’s massive potential, lift the continent to prosperity and help it take its rightful place among the nations of the world.
Our continent is endowed with resources and people that will certainly make these aspirations come true. We need to unite and redouble our efforts at working together to lift the continent out of the vicious cycle of underdevelopment, emanating from years of colonialism, patriarchy and gender discrimination.
Our continent cannot be allowed to operate within the model of serving the parasitic interests of neocolonial tendencies that have seen not only the exploitation of our mineral resources but also our own people being made strangers and beggars in their own land, serving the interests of the other nations.
Agenda 2063 reinforces the reality that Africa has risen, that we are standing up to take into our hands our destiny and future.
As we march forward towards the realisation of Agenda 2063, as the champions of equality, the ANC leads by example in championing gender equality and advocating the aspirations of the youth. Women and youth will and must be important cogs in the engine that will drive development in Africa.
Hon Deputy Speaker, it is a known fact that with the right resources and guidance, the exuberance, aspirations and energies of our youth can be harnessed to take our continent to a different level of development. The affording of opportunities for decent work and education to our youth will be a better way of building responsible families and communities.
The African Youth Charter — which I think I know that it is one of the resolutions of the 53rd Conference — is meant to address the marginalisation of youth from the mainstream society as they face the realities of unemployment and inequality in income and wealth. I also invite the hon Maimane, the Leader of the Opposition, to join the youth of Africa.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Unesco, indicates that 65% of the total population in Africa is below the age of 35 years. Over 35% of that is between the ages of 15 and 35 years. Several programmes on youth development are in place to address these issues at international, continental and country level. Such programmes include the African Youth Decade Plan of Action.
The urgent need to provide decent and productive employment to the youth is a societal, national and global challenge that will bring peace, prosperity and stability to the continent. To achieve our commitment to the continent’s development to be people-driven, it is imperative that we direct our resources in developing our women and youth and ensuring that they lead in the development and prosperity of this country and the continent.
The biggest challenge of our country and the continent has been the high rate of youth unemployment as recently shown by Statistics SA, where 73% of the 25% of people who are economically active but unemployed, are the youth. We are failing to get our youth into productive employment and decent work hence their energies get easily diverted to other unproductive activities such as crime that work against our development goals.
As the ANC government is always visionary, it has from its inception anticipated the challenges that the country would face, namely undereducation and the shortage of skills, hence the establishment of the Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, to ensure that our youth are equipped with the necessary skills and on-the-job training to take this country forward.
All that is needed is for us to work together to move South Africa and the continent forward. If our young people do not find productive employment and we do not devise better strategies to ensure that they do, all our investments that we have committed to education and training over the years will be lost and they will be unable to pay their public dues.
We have formulated good relations and conceptualised good programmes that must start to deliver for our youth across the continent. The International Labour Organization, ILO, reports have shown that on average, young women and men are two to three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
This has become more pronounced for young women. The decision to make women and youth key figures of people-driven development in the Africa Agenda 2063 is informed by the practical realities on the ground.
Programmes that address issues of women empowerment include the successful New Partnership for Africa's Development, Nepad-Spanish Fund, which was created in 2007. It contributes to eradicating poverty as well as the economic empowerment of women and is meant to assist Africa to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, by 2015.
The African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, checks the progress on women and youth empowerment in its evaluation instruments. It checks the progress towards gender equality, especially access to education for girls at all levels.
One of the key objectives is to monitor the promotion and the protection of rights of women, children and young persons. On the other hand, the Pan-African Women’s Organisation, Pawo, unites African women to exchange views and promotes full development for African women.
Agenda 2063 offers us as Africans the opportunity to transform the rapidly changing world to favour and champion our interests, if we take into account the challenges faced by women and the youth.
Through Agenda 2063 what we aspire to is that by 2063, gender parity will have reached 50% with women represented in all societal structures and employment both in the private and the public sector. It is noteworthy again that the ANC has for many years championed this course, and that the ANC is the only organisation that ensures that this happens. It has also led by example in this regard and we therefore encourage all the other political parties and sectors of society to follow suit.
Hon Deputy Speaker, Agenda 2063 is a noble attempt to reverse centuries of colonial, patriarchal and gender oppression that has kept our continent in bondage to underdevelopment. As is usually the case, the oppression of one man by another has always been driven by the evil of excluding one or more groups of people from the resources that would otherwise be utilised for economic development.
Africa has been at the receiving end of this evil system which even takes the vicious form of negatively affecting women and the youth.
For Africa and the world to achieve lasting peace and prosperity, women and the youth must be the drivers of the engine of development. I would like the House to remember that the late Bob Marley captured our struggles in his songs and aptly prophesied when he sang that:
That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all,
Without regard to race
Dis a war.
And I should further add instability, underdevelopment and gender.
That until that day
The dream of lasting peace,
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion to be pursued,
But never attained,
Now everywhere is war - war.
What we might not know is that this song is actually a speech that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia delivered in 1963 at the UN Assembly. The song, War, captures our resolve and struggles to make the continent and the world a better place to live in and prosper. This song so aptly captures this moment and the vision of AU, sung by a revolutionary musician who adapted it from a revolutionary leader.
Today Africa is free and today Africa is rising to claim its place in the world, and women and the youth have the keys to a sustainable development of our continent. Our heritage as South Africans, and Africans in particular, dictates that we will never give up on our aspirations until our dreams are fulfilled.
Not long ago, peace, democracy and freedom were regarded as “fleeting illusions that will never be attained”. Today these are the standard-bearers of our nationhood and we have become exporters of peace and the equality of al, as well as development. To achieve development for women and youth, and I paraphrase Bob Marley again, we Africans will fight and- “We know we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”
Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, Deputy Speaker, I just want to speak on the issue of Tata Mandela who is the icon of the ANC. We become worried when we hear people now claiming him. Madiba has been the leader of the ANC and worked for the ANC for 67 years until he died. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr W M MADISHA
Ms T E KENYE
Mr W M MADISHA: Chairperson and all here present, thank you very much. The Africa we want is an Africa that is richer in its human resources than it is in its considerable natural resources. Former President Thabo Mbeki spoke of and introduced us to the concept of the African Renaissance. Today we reaffirm and embrace that same dream for our continent.
The United Nations, UN, set out eight basic Millennium Development Goals, MDG, for realisation by 2015. The Africa that we want must show that African countries have, indeed, eradicated poverty and hunger; achieved universal primary education of our children; achieved gender equality and the empowerment of women; reduced child mortality; improved maternal health; combated HIV/Aids, Ebola, malaria and other diseases; guaranteed environmental sustainability; and established a global partnership for development.
If African countries substantially achieve these Millennium Development Goals, we shall have begun to create the Africa that we want.
Again, former President Mbeki showed great foresight in setting up the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Nepad. In the last 15 years, the number of countries organising democratic elections in Africa has risen sharply.
The Africa we want is a people-centred Africa with an activist citizenry. We want an Africa where governments address inequality and work diligently to end poverty. The Africa we want must show that all 54 countries in Africa have succeeded in tackling drought and famine, thereby guaranteeing food security.
With the pool of natural resources Africa has, and the youngest population in the world, Africa needs to invest in education to achieve a brighter future.
The Africa we want is an Africa that can realise all of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and the aims of Nepad, as well as the African Renaissance.
The Africa we do not want is an Africa permeated by intrastate and intragovernmental corruption or theft, joblessness and poverty. We do not want an Africa of lies, where, to give you an example, leaders in our country will rise and say that employment is very good.
We talk about 20%, etc, whereas, in actual fact, in South Africa more than 40% of the people of our nation are not employed. We are very poor. The working class and the poor are growing on a daily basis. Indeed, something has to be done and I hope that we, here present, and our people, both outside the borders of this House and beyond, will be able to rise up and correct this state of affairs. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY
Mr W M MADISHA
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, when thinking about the Africa we want, I start from the position of the ACDP which adheres to the concept of sovereign states working together on issues of peace and security, as well as mutually beneficial development and trade agreements.
We do not favour one Africa in the sense of there being a common currency and legislative process. We are of the opinion that South Africa as a sovereign state has more influence for the good in regard to human rights, democratic values, governance and democratic institutions, than we will have as a miniscule part of Africa as a whole.
The hold that Islamic extremists have on Africa is one particularly concerning factor, given the clearly stated agenda of imposing Sharia, law without exception, throughout the world, as well as the many successes of extremist organisations in recruiting fighters and terrorising and destabilising people and governments.
The ACDP aligns itself with government’s considered approach of minimal interference in the affairs of sovereign states. At the same time, we recognise that peace and security, especially in neighbouring parts of Africa, do require us to join forces in combating military coups, terrorism, violent extremism, and trafficking of humans, drugs and arms.
When speaking about the Africa we want, issues of peace and security stand out, precisely because of all the other challenges we face in Africa being heavily impacted by this. How we deal with the present realities in this area will determine whether or not we achieve the Africa we want.
With the increase in conflict and terrorism on the continent, Chief of the Army Lt-Gen Vusi Masondo’s assessment that South African National Defence Force, SANDF, involvement will need to be ramped up is logical, but in these circumstances it is more important than ever that the state is accountable to the people and that the country be taken into its confidence on matters of security.
It is also critical that arms procurement processes are fully transparent and as corruption-free as humanly possible.
The ACDP has frequently called for improved data-gathering and research with an adherence to common technical standards and ethics in the collection, ownership and use of data because of its essential position in decision-making processes. Now, there is an urgent need for official statistics for economic and social development for use in integrated policy analysis and planning.
Africa and South Africa could lead the way if we were to promote the emergence of a community of African futures practitioners and an improved domestic capacity for data analysis. Futures studies postulating possible, probable and preferable futures are as valuable as their sister science, namely history, which helps us learn from the mistakes of the past.
Futures studies seek to understand what is likely to continue and what could plausibly change. It is a systematic and pattern-based understanding of the past and present to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. I thank you.
Ms S V KALYAN
Mrs C DUDLEY
Ms S V KALYAN: House Chair, the 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the African Union was dedicated to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, and the African Union, AU.
In the context of these celebrations, the AU heads adopted the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration, which is now referred to as Agenda 2063. They acknowledged past successes and challenges, and also rededicated themselves to the continent’s development agenda.
The converging voices of Africans from different backgrounds painted a clear picture of what they desire for themselves and the continent at large. From the conversations, a set of eight aspirations emerged. You heard the Minister refer to these aspirations, so I won’t repeat them.
These aspirations are, indeed, noble ideals. However, they cannot be achieved without the full participation of its people, because it is the people who give legitimacy to governments – and this is where the Pan-African Parliament, PAP, as the voice of the ordinary people of the continent, can play a vital role.
Aspiration 3 refers to good governance, which suggests that by 2063, Africa will be a continent where democratic values, cultural practices, universal principles of human rights, gender equality, justice and the rule of law are entrenched; and will have capable institutions and transformative leadership in place at all levels.
Now, as we all know, Africa has suffered decades of bad governance, which has delayed the attainment of our Millennium Development Goals, MDG. It is therefore useful, at this point, to assess how the Africa Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, can contribute to the full realisation of Aspiration 3 in the coming years.
The APRM is a voluntary, self-monitoring instrument that was agreed upon by member states of the AU. Its primary objective is to adopt policies, standards and practices which result in political stability and high economic growth, amongst other things. Twenty-one member states acceded to the memorandum of understanding, MOU, but only 17 have been peer-reviewed.
South Africa took the process seriously. It undertook an extensive consultation process and was reviewed by Ghana. However, while three progress reports have been submitted since 2009, these reports have yet to be debated in this House. While the APRM is a very good mechanism, its limitation is that African leaders are reluctant to publicly criticise each other.
Yet another mechanism to realise the vision of Agenda 2063 is for all countries to ratify legal instruments and policy frameworks. However, the slow pace of ratification is the first stumbling block to Agenda 2063.
A case in point is the following. Only seven countries have ratified the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance. This is already problematic because one of the key focus areas in Aspiration 1 is about African identity and the African Renaissance. South Africa has not ratified it.
Aspiration 4 talks about the Agenda for Social and Economic Development. Economic interest should be the key driver to ratify the Protocol on the African Investment Bank. Yet, only two countries have ratified it and South Africa is not one of them.
The absolute importance of the protection of human rights should have galvanised more of the 54 member states to ratify the African Court of Justice and People’s Rights. Yet, only five countries have ratified it. Sadly, South Africa, which has one of the best Constitutions in the world that protects human rights, has not ratified this instrument. This is not a great start for Agenda 2063!
It is perhaps in this area that the role of the Pan-African Parliament, PAP, can be emphasised. Legislators in the PAP can exploit their twin membership of their national legislature and the continental body to push for the implementation of AU instruments at national level.
It is at the continental level that legislators are mandated to co-ordinate and harmonise laws of member states in consistency with the AU agenda.
Pan-African parliamentarians can become champions of international laws and instruments by explaining them to their national parliaments in a consultative manner, and ensuring they are debated and ratified. I, personally, had first-hand experience of this when I championed the Charter on Democracy in the last Parliament, and brought it to this House for debate and ratification.
During the last sitting of the Pan-African Parliament last week, the revised PAP Protocol was discussed. It was adopted by heads of state and governments during the AU summit on June 2014, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Once 28 countries have ratified the revised protocol, the PAP will be transformed from a consultative body to a legislative one, with a clear mandate to propose draft model laws for adoption by the Assembly in the approved areas.
Agenda 2063 is supposed to represent the aspirations of the people of the African continent to set a course for the future. It incorporates both a vision and an action plan. While a 50-year-plan sounds like a long time – and many of us in this august House will not be around to see it happen – it needs political will for its realisation.
We have got to start here. We have a runaway President! If he’s here and drives it, we will achieve it. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] It also needs a results-based, multitrack approach with concrete targets which are both measurable and can be tracked and monitored.
It is my considered opinion that Agenda 2063 will remain a utopian dream if all Members of Parliament fail to expose and unearth corruption and maladministration in many parts of our continent, including South Africa. By debating it today and making input and recommendations, the Parliament of South Africa is articulating its support for making Agenda 2063 a reality.
However, what I found disappointing during this debate is that all the ANC speakers are claiming it as their very own, personal possession. [Interjections.] They are claiming ownership of it. What a selfish attitude to have! [Interjections.]
Madam Kenye said Mandela belongs to the ANC. [Interjections.] He belongs to every one of us in this country! [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, members! Order! [Interjections.]
Ms S V KALYAN: In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a few lines ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, allow the speaker on the floor to speak! [Interjections.] Continue, madam. [Interjections.]
Ms S V KALYAN: In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a few lines from the AU anthem ... [Interjections.]:
Let us all unite and celebrate together
The victories won for our liberation
Let us dedicate ourselves to rise together
To defend our liberty and unity
O sons and daughters of Africa
Flesh of the Sun and Flesh of the sky
Let us make Africa the Tree of Life
[Applause.] [Interjections.] Stop howling at me! Stop howling at me!
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION
Mrs S V KALYAN
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, hon members, hon Deputy Speaker, hon Speaker, I would like to the state fact before the House and the nation that Comrade President Nelson Mandela was made and was presented to the world and the country by the ANC. [Applause.]
He became a global icon, not because of those who are speaking nonsense, but he became a global icon because of the work of people like Comrade President O R Tambo, he became an icon because of the work that was done by people of the world, he became an icon because of the work the ANC did, he became an icon because of the solidarity of the peoples of the world. [Applause.]
Nelson Mandela went to jail because of the ideals of the ANC. [Applause.] But, of course, through its generosity, not its selfishness, the ANC delivered Nelson Mandela to the world and to the people of South Africa. He died a member of the ANC and in his own words he said that when he reaches heaven or wherever he is today, he will look for the nearest branch of the ANC, not any other party’s. [Applause.]
We have today many illustrious leaders of this continent who brushed shoulders with leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe and many other illustrious leaders of this continent. Occasions like this do not come out of nowhere. Occasions like this come about because of the blood, sweat and tears of the people of the continent who liberated all of us sitting here today. [Applause.]
I want to say to the children sitting in the gallery today, do not listen to this rhetoric that is untrue. [Interjections.] Again, to the children who are sitting in the gallery and the children of our country and the children of the continent, we want to pledge solidarity and chart the way forward so that this continent remains a continent that looks after its people. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
While taking a long walk through the valley of the glorious history of our mother continent, I came across the inspiring words and the wisdom of one of the finest minds, Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, when he said in 1909, and I quote:
The regeneration of Africa means that a new and unique civilisation is soon to be added to the world.
Today Africans are proudly asserting their independent voice in the international community and setting their own agenda, direction and pace of change. Internationally Africa is also, once again being spoken of as a continent of great potential on which to rely as it reclaims its rightful place within the Northern-dominated, hegemonic nirvana.
As we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU last year, we did so with pride in the achievements of the past, while recognising the objective challenges we face.
Permeating the celebration was an invigorating mood of confidence in Pan-African solidarity towards the achievement of a brighter future for all the peoples of the continent, and by extension, for all the peoples of the world.
As this historic House will recall, on Monday this week we commemorated the 97th anniversary of the late former leader of the ANC in exile, Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo. At the OAU Liberation Committee in Arusha, Comrade Tambo had this to say, and I quote:
The continent of Africa today carries a primary responsibility to defend the enormous success it has achieved over the last two decades and beyond. The reality of those successes is not in doubt. We cannot forget that only a few decades ago, Africa was described in supercilious tones as the Dark Continent.
However through their heroic efforts, the people of Africa rent asunder the veil of darkness that colonial and imperialist domination had draped over the continent. Acting as self-confident and conscious makers of history, as liberators, we, the offspring of the so-called Dark Continent, destroyed and buried an entire historical epoch that had been imposed on the peoples of the universe by the ruling classes of an allegedly enlightened Europe and North America. We who were described as backwards became the midwives of the new social reality of independent people, the reality of the collapse of the colonial system, and confounded those who, having invested themselves with an omnipotent and omniscient personality, had thought such a result impossible, undesirable and even inconceivable.
This prophetic message of Tambo finds true resonance in the The Africa We Want theme that we are reflecting on today. Incredible as it may seem, the visionary Tambo had his sights on Agenda 2063, when he made these seminal remarks. Indeed, Agenda 2063 is as much about Africa rising as it is an effort to be a midwife to new social reality for the African people, as Tambo envisioned.
It is pleasing to be standing before this august House today to talk about Africa in futuristic terms. The African Union Agenda 2063 is in many ways a culmination of the struggles waged by the people of Africa against the malaise of underdevelopment, exploitation, poverty and disease and sets us on a long-term path to the future of our beloved continent.
The Agenda is underpinned by the philosophy that in 2063, Africa should be a better continent to live in, that the problems of the past will have been left in the past and the peoples of Africa will be living in a state of abundance.
One of the aspirations of The Africa We Want, which is the subject of my input today, is an Africa of good governance, democracy and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law. At the turn of the 21st century we adopted the African Union’s development programme, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Nepad.
We said there was no denying that poor governance and corruption were the pervasive forces that have undermined, to a significant degree, the development of our continent. Weak states and dysfunctional economies, the condition of which were further aggravated by poor leadership, corruption and bad governance had for a long time hampered the development of accountable governments across the continent.
It is in this narrative that the introduction of many initiatives aimed at promoting good governance must be commended. These initiatives include the work that was done by the continent’s public service ministers since 1994, under the auspices of the African Union, to strengthen and develop public institutions as well as for the development of competent, efficient, professional, representative, ethical and organised public servants to lead an accelerated economic development on the continent.
Core frameworks such as the Africa Peer Review Mechanism, APRM; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the African Charter for Popular Participation on Development and Transformation; and the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration are a culmination of these efforts.
The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance was adopted by the AU owing to an overarching concern about political instability caused by unconstitutional changes of governments. It marked a clearly demonstrated commitment of the African Union member states to the universally accepted principles of the pillars of our democracy; and as a result of that we saw less and less coups occurring on our continent.
The diagnosis of the African Charter for Popular Participation on Development and Transformation is that the political contents of socioeconomic development have been characterised in many instances by an overcentralisation of power and impediments to the effective participation of the overwhelming majority of the people in social, political and economic development.
As a result, the motivation of the majority of African people and their organisations to contribute their best to the development process, has been severely constrained and curtailed and their collective and individual creativity has been undervalued and underutilised.
It is pleasing to note that the picture has changed significantly, thanks in large measure to the democratic governance framework that now exists in Africa. We are now seeing more and more free and fair elections, and political stability is the order of the day in Africa at present.
The African commitment to democratic governance is even demonstrated in the continent’s participation in the newly formed Open Government Partnership. This partnership is an important peer consultation mechanism among the participating countries across the world as it encourages the sharing of best practice and innovation in tackling governance and service delivery.
There is no denying that the investment in good governance and democratic consolidation in the last two decades is beginning to yield dividends for Africa, though more work is required to expand the scope of good governance and deepen its impact. More and more African countries are taking bold steps to truly embrace the ideals of government with, by and for the people. The APRM is a verifying instrument with which to advance the next level of accelerated development.
In Africa we have been constructing democratic developmental states. Under the banner of good governance, a list of what needs to be done by states has led to an increase in initiatives that states are obliged to implement in order to realise these noble objectives.
These interventions, among other things, include: promoting professional ethics; fighting corruption; building efficiency, economy and effectiveness; promoting participatory practices; developing a service ethos underpinned by sound public service administration and human resource management.
All these interventions require a new set of skills, competencies, systems, institutional transformation and application of new technologies and this has forced states to go back to the drawing board in order to develop the requisite capacity for implementation.
Good governance and its attendant capable state structures also require popular participation and the engagement between the different branches of government, including the administrative apparatuses of the state and civil society.
The discourse of popular participation constitutes one or more progressive elements of the good governance discourse which is equally a major challenge to realise in practice. This is because popular participation cannot be fostered in the absence of new forms of democracy, which in many instances do not exist.
It also requires decentralisation of resources and functions that makes provision for a measure of local discretion in the practice of service delivery. From this understanding, the conclusion is irresistible: that key tenets of good governance, including developing a professional public service grounded in meritocracy as well as popular participation for people-centred development, cannot mechanically be viewed as technical requirements.
The truth of the matter is that these lofty ideals can only be achieved by states that are able to assert their legitimacy, as this state is able to do.
As I conclude, and in pursuit of the African Agenda 2063, we dare not forget the peoples of the Saharawi Democratic Republic, who are still under colonial rule, as well as the people of Palestine who are currently living under occupation. [Interjections.]
Mr E J MARAIS: That’s not in Africa.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Deputy Chairperson, solidarity with the peoples of the world — that is what Nelson Mandela, the icon whom you so lay claim to, taught us all. [Applause.]
Let us remember them in the same way that the gallant leader, Augustino Neto, of the Republic of Angola, remembered us when he unequivocally stated that Africa would never be free until South Africa was free. As such, serious investments were made in achieving the objectives of the liberation movement.
Agenda 2063 requires a conscious investment in the young people of our continent for a brighter future. Transformational leadership is typically proactive and receptive to new ideas coming from the young.
The pursuit of good governance and capable states will invariable impose new ways, unknown to the many, but not at variance with the long-term objectives of the people. Let us, therefore, heed the call made by one of the fathers of our democracy, Oliver Reginald Tambo, when he said, “A nation that does not invest in its young does not deserve its future”.
A transformational leadership should drive the efforts to ensure that young Africans are empowered as we steadfastly march with determination towards 2063, a future we desire and deserve.
Today is the last day of October 2014, marking the end of the month that celebrates the life and time of one of Africa’s most illustrious heroes. President O R Tambo would have turned 97 years on 27 October 2014, and is a leader in a generation of African leaders who liberated the African continent from a scourge of racism, subjugation, colonialism and disenfranchisement.
Delivering a speech at the OAC Liberation Committee in Arusha on 10 February in 1983, President Tambo said, and I quote:
The continent of Africa today carries a primary responsibility to defend the enormous success it has achieved over the last two decades and beyond. The reality of those successes is not in doubt. We cannot forget that only a few decades ago, Africa was described in supercilious tones as the Dark Continent.
Thank you. [Time Expired.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Before I call on the next speaker, I want to acknowledge the learners from Garden Route Primary School in Mossel Bay who are sitting in the gallery. You are welcome, my children. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA
THE DEPUTY MINISTER PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, in the persons of, amongst others, Kwame Nkrumah, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Abdel Nasser and others, indeed did a sterling job.
Under the very trying circumstances of the time, they succeeded in bringing parts of Africa together for the ultimate goal of unifying Africa in a spirit of Pan-Africanism and ensuring that, someday, all the countries of Africa would be free from the bondages of colonialism, etc.
In later years, the efforts of leaders such as Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Olusegen Obasanjo, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and others, through the founding of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Nepad, and the transition of the OAU into the African Union, AU, were a continuation of this original noble dream. This was aimed at transforming Africa’s focus from political liberation activities to economic development activities.
The seven aspirations of Agenda 2063 are, of course, grounded in Nepad, the AU and the OAU. What then are the problems standing in the way of the dream?
The first is self-centred presidents, Prime Ministers and leaders in government who want to enrich themselves whilst those who have put them in power are suffering.
The second problem is the stifling of democratic principles because those who abuse power must not account through the proper channels.
The third is collusion with neocolonial forces in order to continue the looting of African resources on the continent.
The fourth problem is poor-quality education for the poor and high-level education for the rich, so that the big divide between the haves and the have-nots becomes a recurring decimal.
The fifth is good plans on paper and poor implementation on the ground.
The sixth problem is corruption — endless corruption which changes colours like a chameleon and the seventh is appointing family and friends who are incapable whilst sidelining those who have the capacity and ability to do the job. This goes along in creating opportunities for friends and the connected who have no regard for the masses.
The eighth is the over-reliance upon donor funding from outside the continent. As a result, some governments are remote-controlled from somewhere by those who foot the bill. Lastly, we have the civil wars which are a struggle over who controls power so that they can control the material resources of the country.
There is much more than this. Without ironing out the problems with governance, the rule of law and all these governance hindrances, the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063 will never be realised.
South Africa was indeed blessed with a smooth transition in 1994. Whilst our transition had its turbulent moments, it was, comparatively speaking, much better and left a better legacy on which to build.
Lastly, dear Kwame Nkrumah, on this, the 31st day of October 2014, this is the message we have given Africa on your behalf. We hope that they have listened. Yours sincerely, the IFP.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA
Mr M KHAWULA
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon Chairperson, hon members, the AU’s Agenda 2063, the Africa we, as the AIC, would like to have is an Africa that is free from corruption, an Africa that is very prosperous, and an Africa that is very much integrated.
The AU’s Agenda 2063 is a well-thought-through vision and action plan for all African societies with which to build a prosperous and united Africa. However, when contributing to these goals, the stakeholders are encouraged to base their approach on the lessons from the past, while building on the progress now underway and exploiting every possible opportunity available.
To realise this AU Agenda 2063 requires strong political leadership of each African state and of the union itself. Such leadership should be committed and be prepared to take constructive criticism.
We, that is, South Africa, also need to be prepared to contribute to this agenda as a country. We need to be the Parliament that South Africa wants before we contribute towards building the Africa we want.
We can do this by learning from our predecessors and the vision they had for South Africa and the continent as a whole. We must learn from how they faced the challenges of their time to put us where we are today, and build on that foundation to unite this continent.
We should not underestimate the leading role already being played by South Africa. An example is the role that is currently being played by the hon Deputy President, where he is trying to intervene in Lesotho so that the Parliament of Lesotho can resume. This is a great step indeed. [Applause.]
A dream of that great leader of Africa, Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, was that Africans now should do or die. It is either you unite or you perish. That dream should be realised indeed. Then the establishment of the OAU that led to the AU marked the watershed for this ... [Time expired.]
Ms D D RAPHUTI
Mr L M NTSHAYISA
Ms D D RAPHUTI: Hon Chairperson, hon Speaker, hon members of the NCOP and the NA, members of the diplomatic corps, senior government officials, ladies and gentlemen, the people of Africa and our children in the gallery, good morning.
What is in the name, in Setswana they say ...
... Leina lebe seromo
I joined the ANC because it was the best organisation in Africa.
Leina lebe seromo
You can see that the ANC is making an impact in Africa. [Interjections.] That is why it is called the ANC, and I am very humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity to make an input in the debate on the AU Agenda 2063: The Africa we want.
It is our belief that in their collective wisdom, Africa’s heads of state and government in adopting the solemn declaration for our continent’s development, gave us the normative tool to chart the way forward to the Africa we want.
This is a call to action. Now the time is opportune for us to tell our stories, write our own narratives and decide how best to achieve the implementation of the Agenda 2063, as articulated in the Agenda 2063 draft conceptual framework document. [Interjections.] Listen!
We dare not fail in our duties to navigate the future of Africa for the next 50 years. [Interjections.] Heyi! [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member! No Heyis in the House, please.
Ms D D RAPHUTI: Okay. [Laughter.] Africa has to seize the moment. Let us remain seized with the Agenda 2063 as the legislators of the Republic of South Africa’s National Assembly and the NCOP. The hon members ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members! Continue, please.
Ms D D RAPHUTI: Our iconic statesman, the global icon, President Nelson Mandela said ... [Interjections.] Can you listen! [Laughter.]
I dream of the realisation of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent.
He was speaking about this unity; a unity that is powerful and a unity that is strong.
I am going to talk about one of the aspirations, namely Aspiration 7: Africa as a Strong and Influential Global Player and Partner. We are committed to Africa being reawakened as an active player, an influential partner in global affairs.
We call upon the reform of the global systems of the governance. About 60% of the UN Agenda is about Africa; but who makes decisions? Africa must continue to advocate for the reform of this institution. Africa remains the only geographic region not represented on the UN Security Council. However, Africa remains the greatest generator of the work of UN Security Council.
In the future geopolitical dispensation that the Agenda 2063 seeks to achieve we cannot continue to wait on the sidelines when our issues are discussed and agreed upon. We refuse to be bench-warmers and we demand to be active participants in bringing about African solutions for African problems.
There will be no solutions about us, without us. That has to begin with a determined push for the reform of the UN systems and the international finance institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, IMF.
The National Development Bank, NDB, of the Brics member states aims to be a game changer in the balance of forces in the international financial architecture. Africa must occupy her rightful place in the international financial space, at that long buffet table of international financial institutions.
Africa’s development aspirations should be underpinned by international support through a meaningful global partnership for development. To have a global development agenda without addressing adequate means of implementation would be meaningless.
In this regard, Africa’s united participation in the international finance and development forums can never be overemphasised. It would be important for Africa to affirm the importance of the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Hon members, Africa is rising and is now a growing destination for both advanced and emerging economies. We have 30% of the world’s mineral reserves. This shows Africa’s untapped potential. Properly managed, these minerals endowments offer unparalleled economic growth and development. This growth can be instrumental in eliminating the social challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
It is also important that African countries work together to deal with the ever-present threat to their peace and security. The AU Peace and Security Council will need to be strengthened to be able to deal with and respond promptly to peace and security threats on the continent.
While conflict has been on the decline, Africa cannot afford to rest on its laurels when there are new emerging transnational threats that defy our collective defence.
As we meet today to take charge of the direction of the future —to the Africa we want in 2063 — let us be realistic and face the fundamental questions that will be bottlenecks on our path towards 2063.
The following questions will continue to occupy us as Africa moves along with her partners in the next 50 years.
First, what are the key challenges? Amongst the many challenges what will be our priority challenges for the short-term or long-term planning?
Second, what solutions will be needed? Who will be our partners in achieving those solutions? What motivates our partners to join us? What are their interests in the partnership?
Third, what resources would be needed to achieve the ideals, goals and commitments for Agenda 2063 to be successful? How do we, as Africans, mobilise these resources? Can we harness them locally, or will we go begging for them?
Fourth, what methods and mechanisms will be put in place to monitor and evaluate progress? What rules of accountability will be in place to ensure that progress is characterised by good governance and best practices?
Fifth, what roles and responsibilities will be allocated to the parliaments of Africa? Will they continue to perform oversight duties within sovereign member states? Do we have strong democracies that will tolerate the changes?
Finally, will the AU Commission be capacitated to deal with implementation of Agenda 2063? Will the AU be ready to serve the Confederation of African States?
To resolve some of these challenges, we should strive for a united Africa that has to commit to being socially cohesive, politically united ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Raphuti, your time has expired, ma’am.
Ms D D RAPHUTI: To meet this aspiration, of being globally stronger ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Raphuti, your time has expired! [Interjections]
Ms D D RAPHUTI: … we must change the mindset! [Interjections.] You must change your mindset!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Your time has expired, hon member! [Interjections.]
Ms D D RAPHUTI: Thank you, Deputy Chair.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA
Ms D D RAPHUTI
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon Chair, President Dr Kwame Nkrumah once said, and I quote:
Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neocolonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly.
The key question is: Why is economic freedom still a pipedream? We should not be reduced to collecting scraps under the table of Western emperors. We are experiencing informal imperialism through the collaboration of legally independent but actually subordinate governments in Africa.
There is a pattern of control exercised indirectly by bribes and manipulation of dependent collaborating elites. The current generation of African leaders has turned their public offices into instruments of public gain.
Africa needs leaders who will know the difference between state property and personal property. The new face of these imperialists manifests itself through multinational corporations and institutions which represent a military economic ideology of the worst kind.
I want to say that, we, as Africans, are truly assimilated; we are like rhinos — we are almost extinct. Our kings are still indirectly the subjects of the Queen of England, by culture, norms and values. The only thing left for us is nostalgic poetry, dance, traditional attire and our forefathers’ graveyards. As Africans, we have no God; our God has been exterminated. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members!
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Chairperson, if we want to emancipate Africans from the past, we need to make sure that we discover who we were when we came onto Planet Earth. We should not come to this Parliament of South Africa and see people looking like a Western Minister in Britain.
All I am trying to say is, let us be honest with ourselves and make sure that we go out and research about who we are as Africans ... [Interjections.] ... and what our values are. [Interjections.] Agang believes that...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Allow the member to finish his speech. Proceed, hon member.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: I am not surprised, hon members, because you can’t find the path to go back to becoming true Africans. But I urge you that if we want to save this continent we must begin by looking at ourselves and whether we truly reflect Africanism, true Africans who holds the values ... [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
CLLR F MABOA-BOLTMAN
Mr M A PLOUAMMA
Cllr F MABOA-BOLTMAN (Salga): Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Speaker and Deputy Speaker in absentia, hon members of both the NA and the NCOP and ladies and gentlemen, first, let me start by indicating that it is a great honour and privilege to participate in this important debate on the future direction of our continent.
We want to declare that our interest in this matter is the role decentralisation and local government can play in realising the Agenda 2063.
We wholeheartedly agree with the aspirations as expressed in the 2063 Agenda, in particular that key thereto is: the mobilisation of people and the importance of capable, inclusive, accountable states and institutions at all levels and in all spheres; and the importance of regional economic communities as building blocks for continental unity, and holding ourselves and our governments and institutions accountable for results.
Of course, the great question is: How? And here we certainly agree with its concluding enablers that we need to instil accountable leadership and promote responsive institutions. It will require visionary leadership, democratic and developmental governance institutions and capable and developmental states to revitalise African development planning which will strengthen and transform regional and continental institutions as well as the manner in which we do business.
It is in this context that Salga has been playing a pivotal role, first, in the establishment of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, UCLGA, which was done in 2005, and more recently, in facilitating the reunification of the continental body.
We are also leading and hosting the Southern African chapter of the organisation, the South African regional Office, Saro, particularly to strengthen local democracy in our neighbouring countries and support the establishment of local government associations in our region.
Our next quest is to have the UCLGA be the formal local government body of the AU, so as to profile local government in continental forums and platforms, as well as strengthening local governance and decentralisation for better development outcomes.
Indeed, the vision of the UCLGA is, Building African Unity from, and Driving African Development through the Grassroots Local government is therefore the appropriate vehicle of people’s mobilisation to include Agenda 2063, particularity that of fast-tracking the key pillars of boosting productive competitiveness and industrial capacity.
Lastly, before I go on for too long, the African Summit, which the City of Johannesburg will host in December 2015, will discuss the issues of urbanisation, economic development and city growth. In our view it will be a great opportunity to share experiences and develop innovative approaches to our challenges for the overall growth and development of our spaces.
As I conclude, let me say that as local government we wish to be at the forefront of realising our economic potential within, and across our communities, countries and continent. In this context, we are confident that the UCLGA will, in time, play a pivotal role in building and advancing the cause of decentralisation and local government on the continent for greater developmental impact and the mutual benefit of the African people. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J P PARKIES
Cllr F MABOA-BOLTMAN
Mr J P PARKIES: Hon Chairperson, hon members and invited guests, the theme of today in this House confirms the nature and the character of the struggle that we represent today, have represented yesterday and and will represent tomorrow.
It confirms the political necessity and the recognition of such necessity to talk about the continent that we belong to. In history’s hourglass, 20 years of freedom and democracy amount to just a dribble of sand.
The formal imperialism of partitioning the African continent in 1884 has destroyed our beautiful continent. The reality always alters the fiction. This is confirmed by the stubborn vestiges of colonialism and reproduction of such social ills in our societies as the tormenting poverty, inequality and the level of unemployment.
This beautiful continent of ours cannot continue to be characterised by ethnic wars and divisions. This continent should not descend into venality; it should be the paragon of moral integrity.
The internal conflicts besieging our continent is a constant benefit for the private corporations, with their pirate souls, operating in our land. Our collective, undying tenacity and shared political perspective, as respective governments and states with a particular ideological clarity and political outlook, are essential conditions to our continent moving forward.
Laced with the mobilisation of the working class and the progressive forces, we want to say to the opposition, any pessimism has its own class base and class senile interest.
We need tenaciously to contest the negative effects of colonialism. We are the defenders of the frontiers of freedom and democracy of our continent. This debate, today, should inform the call for a well-explored path outside the capitalist nostrums for the qualitative development of Africa.
This needs calcified political leadership with a developmental-state intervention in the economy. This needs to be divorced from the calamitous rule of capitalism. Africa is always advised to open its markets for the exploitation by the multinationals, yet all the while they protect their own markets.
Africa can no longer be a minnow in the face of either European powers or the former colonial authorities and be a reviled continent. Knowledge and skills development for our continent is a fundamental ingredient for mutual respect and trust.
This debate should signal a cut-off point for inordinate control and the conspiracy against and exploitation of our natural resources that cannot benefit our toiling masses.
Yes, other stupid and progress-hating bodies, including the DA - a bumptious opposition — will expectorate on us as the ANC government. [Applause.] They will use every platform to advance their malicious ends. [Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: Chair!
Mr J P PARKIES: The private investment in these developing countries laced with the concerns for profit ... [Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: On a point of order, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there a point of order?
Ms D CARTER: Chair, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for the member to use the word stupid in the House?
Mr J P PARKIES: I recoil.
Ms D CARTER: I am not talking ...
Mr J P PARKIES: I recoil.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member.
Mr J P PARKIES: I recoil.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, are you withdrawing?
Mr J P PARKIES: Yes, I recoil. [Laughter.] Private investment ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Parkies! Order members, hon members, order! Hon Parkies, the parliamentary way of speaking is, “I withdraw.”
Mr J P PARKIES: I do. [Laughter.] Private investment in the developing countries laced with the concerns of profit should be the basis for the African continent to pay attention to the issues that relate to foreign aid on our continent.
For our continent to be an equal partner in trade and effective on the economic fringes of the world, requires unity in theory and practice. Going against the liberal parrot cry, we need an independent, united, sovereign Africa that can develop and implement its policies without any interference from the West or imposed solutions foisted on it by the imperial powers.
The big question is: Is Africa really sovereign? This continent of ours — its genuine sovereignty — should find expression in its economic policies and development programmes that seek to bolster the economic growth and development.
We ought to present a view that begins to neutralise discursive power and the influence of the entrenchment of new liberal economics and US-led imperialism in Africa. African leaders should not serve as conduits for naked imperialism or as active agents of pillaging. It is our political duty to decry and deplore any form of extravagance and face up to the masters of grand larceny in our societies.
The scramble for Africa’s resources, notably its oil and other resources, is much more located in the context of scant resources that besiege the world today. Its unity is dependent on and can only succeed if African leaders and African countries could cut their umbilical cord with their former colonial powers.
We need to fund our own programmes using our own financial institutions that are not functioning on the basis of the imposed liberal framework but practical development of our continent.
Agricultural production and beneficiation of our natural resources ought to be the drivers of industrialisation in our continent against the negative attitude. Access to quality medical care, shelter, formidable infrastructure and manufacturing capacity should occupy the centre stage in our policies. [Interjections.]
Ms S V KALYAN: Hon Chair, may I address you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Kalyan?
Ms S V KALYAN: I would like to know if the speaker at the podium will take a question.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Parkies, will you take a question?
Mr J P PARKIES: No, only when I am done, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, hon Kalyan. Please proceed.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, please just warn me when I am left with two minutes.
The Africa we need, in manner and appearance, is the one that uses its virgin land or productive land to feed the masses. The Africa that we need is the one that cannot be beguiled by the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank to dispense the land for greedy schemers that grab our land.
In our country, the reopening of land claims is a political method for a sustainable livelihood for our people who were robbed of their land. This is a grim reality confirmed by historical accuracy. This cannot be beyond our political grasp. We must control what we consume. The former and the latter are the necessary conditions to be a cut-off point to what hon Nkosazana Zuma said, and I quote:
How we used to be summoned by various countries to their capitals to discuss the policies on Africa.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson!
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, I rise because the hon member wanted to be reminded when his two minutes was up. It is one minute now, so I suppose he can take a question. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The hon member still has 19 seconds to two minutes.
Mr J P PARKIES: Woah!
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please continue.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, I want to make two last points. We need a genuine transformation in the United Nations, UN, and we need a united Africa that will challenge the anachronistic privileges of the vetoing powers of the permanent member states serving on that body. [Applause.] It is our own ideological tinge and outlook that should define the nature and character of the military security ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, you are now left with two minutes.
Mr J P PARKIES: ... we need on our continent and define our relationship with the global political economy. It is not for other people to define it for us. Our body, the African Union, AU, must define our relationship with the International Criminal Court on the continent.
Lastly, let me quote one of the African leaders, the great son of Africa, Thomas Sankara, who was never a hypocrite, who was killed on 15 October 1987:
Let us avoid ramblings that give rise to useless theoretical flow charts devoid of interest of the masses, simply destined for contemplation by few dreamers and self-gratifying fanatics.
Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, let us welcome the learners from Phumlani Primary School, Queenstown, who are sitting in the gallery. You are welcome. [Applause.]
Mr T C R WALTERS
Mr J P PARKIES
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, the Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration read out a long list of leaders that she calls illustrious leaders. What was telling is that she left President Jacob Zuma off that list. [Laughter.] [Applause.] It seems to me that the ANC is as embarrassed about him as the rest of South Africans are. [Interjections.]
I have a dream that one day the President will come to Parliament to answer questions ... [Interjections.] ... but he will not because he knows he will have to face his Nkandla waterloo. [Interjections.] Yes, and the spy tapes!
Our vision for Africa in 2063 is limited only by our imagination. The legacy we leave for future generations will be determined by our actions today and whether we tackle, head on, all the potential inhibiters that could prevent us from being an economic power house, a shining example of a country with respect for human rights and a continent of peace.
One factor that will forever hold us back, if we do not address it head-on, is that of gender equality. I recently attended an Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting where the topic was gender equality. Listening to many of the countries delivering their reports to the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU, one would have thought that gender equality was a fait accompli around the world.
It got me thinking that gender equality is relative and each country has its own understanding of what it actually is. There seems to be no standard baseline of what gender equality is, and there is no doubt that there is a gulf between what we consider in South Africa as gender equality and what other countries do, particularly those in the east and north of Africa.
Article 4(L) of the Constitutive Act, lists the promotion of gender equality as a guiding principle of the African Union, AU. In addition we have the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the Maputo Protocol to give effect to the charter.
The Maputo Protocol guarantees comprehensive rights to women, including the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality with men, control of their reproductive health and an end to female genital mutilation. To date, 28 states have ratified the protocol; 18 states have signed but not ratified it; and eight states have neither signed nor ratified the protocol.
The failure of some countries to sign and ratify the protocol speaks to the reluctance and slow progress of many African countries to prioritise the political, economic and social promotion of women and women’s rights. This is particularly true of many countries in North Africa. Recently we have seen women being used as pawns in Nigeria, with 276 school girls being abducted by Boko Haram.
One of the stumbling blocks, which is preventing the AU from making significant and tangible steps in aligning policy on the continent in line with declarations and other legislative proposals and provisions, is that of the discrepancies between different regional bloc provisions on gender equality, gender-based violence, femicide and discrimination based on gender.
Without a clear mission and vision, and no visible mass mobilisation behind the Maputo Protocol, the promotion of gender equality, and particularly gender mainstreaming on the continent, will continue to be comprised. In essence, the AU’s directorate and executive leadership must assert their own leadership in their role as it should want to achieve the vision it has set out for itself.
The AU has not specifically failed in terms of setting benchmarks and targets for the promotion of gender equality, or even in the realm of prioritising women’s rights, rather the factors most hindering the union’s success in this regard are the varied directions in which efforts to realise progress have gone in.
This has to do with the regional blocs having established their own individual mandates, effectively making it difficult to consolidate efforts behind one common vision for the AU, even though this was recorded and accepted by members in the Maputo Protocol.
Furthermore, ineffective and selective interventions in individual countries achieve little towards the greater achievements in the long run. What is needed is a unified and coherent strategy across the entire continent in order to achieve gender equality for all.
Another area where the African Union is dismally failing is in the protection of gay and lesbian rights or the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex, LGBTI, community. We, as a country are failing to speak up for the voiceless and the defenceless in this regard. Here I directly point fingers at the ANC-led government!
In spite of the African Union having a Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, many African countries have embarked upon an anti-LGBTI campaign. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has jurisdiction over the rights set out in the African Charter. Its duties include examining national reports on the situation of human rights which each state is required to submit every other year. In addition, the Commission can also submit cases to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Despite the resources available to it, the commission has not acted against the violations of human rights of the LGBTI community in numerous African countries. The commission is given a fair amount of scope to act in cases where domestic legislation goes against the spirit of the AU member states’ commitment to upholding and protecting the basic human rights of all African people, regardless of their nationality.
In January 2012, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, spoke at the opening of the AU’s new headquarters in Addis Ababa, calling on governments to do more to help root out prejudice and discrimination in their individual countries; and to help promote the protection of all citizens’ rights.
Since Ki-moon’s address to the AU, a populist wave of antigay legislation has swept across several African countries, with very little or no response from the AU, and no response from the South African government either!
Whilst Western countries, like the United States of America, USA, the United Kingdom, UK, and Sweden took decisive action by withholding aid to Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda as a result of these countries’ openly homophobic laws, the AU leadership, however, did not engage these countries in a similar manner.
This represents a failure of the union to act proactively and decisively as a custodian of the AU Constitutive Act and an influential regional power.
So where do we stand in Africa at the moment? On the African continent, homosexuality is outlawed in 36 countries – 36! It is punishable by imprisonment, forced labour, corporal punishment and the death penalty. The last five years have witnessed legislative attempts to further criminalise homosexuality in Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, Liberia and Nigeria.
To date, as South Africa, we are the only country on the African continent with a Constitution which guarantees gay and lesbian rights and legal same-sex marriage. Yet, we fail to promote those same values on the African stage.
In some African countries, such as Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya, Liberia and Uganda, leaders openly and falsely accuse the LGBTI community of spreading HIV/Aids, “converting” children to homosexuality and even the outbreak of Ebola — thus increasing levels of hatred and hostility towards this community within the broader population.
Even members of the Pan-African Parliament informed members of the European Parliament, EU, this year, in regard to LGBTI rights — and I quote — that-
The rights of gays and lesbians is not a priority to the African continent.
The African Union leadership and its institutional components have failed dismally to proactively develop legislation and other measures to combat the rising levels of homophobia on the continent. This prejudicial sentiment has risen to the point of it being accepted as national legislation in many countries.
By failing to condemn and act against governments which have passed homophobic legislation on grounds which clearly violate the principle tenets of the AU Constitutive Act, the UN Charter on Human Rights and internationally accepted basic human rights, the AU has failed to fulfil its mandate in a myriad of ways.
At the very least, the AU should have moved to suspend, on the grounds of human rights violations Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia, as well as other countries which have moved to further entrench and condone homophobia through legislation.
The AU should have acted when widespread reports of violence against gays and lesbians in the wake of the legislation enacted in the above-mentioned countries first emerged. The AU should now take steps to prevent more countries enacting discriminatory and prejudicial legislation. [Interjections.]
Should diplomatic engagements... [Interjections.] [Laughter.] Hon members, we are not going to get there if you keep on persecuting gays and lesbians. Yes!
Should diplomatic engagements not work, suspension of membership and other sanctions should be strongly considered by the commission and the AU leadership with regards to the protection of the rights of the LGBTI community on the continent.
If Africa is to become all it can be, then it must be allowed that every individual, every citizen of Africa, has the freedom to reach their full potential. Africa will only be truly free when every citizen is equal before the law and is guaranteed equal human rights. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr B A RADEBE
Mr M WATERS
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and members of this august House, I greet you all in the name of the National Democratic Revolution, the revolution which is going to deliver a strategic, national, democratic society where people of all races will be treated equally, and where there will be nonracialism and equal opportunities on the continent of Africa.
This debate today comes at the right time, when we have just celebrated the 97th anniversary of the birth of the late president of the ANC, O R Tambo, on Monday 27 October 2014. We all know that he was a towering giant and a Pan-African leader par excellence. This debate is a fitting tribute to him for steering the ANC liberation movement during the Cold War, when the ANC was represented in both the Eastern and Western capitals of the world.
It was only Oliver Tambo who could pull off that feat. His attribute of being able to deal with the Western and Eastern blocs must be used now, just as he tried to forge a better and prosperous future for the African continent, in the era where there is a single hyperpower, which is the USA, and the emergence of China as the second biggest economy in the world.
With this background, I recall Marcus Garvey once said that a people who do not know their history are like a big tree which does not have any roots. When the wind blows the tree will fall in any direction that the wind blows.
From what we have heard today, it looks as if we don’t know where we come from. We simply forget that in 1899 there was the Berlin Conference in Germany where Africa was partitioned and divided up so that it could be plundered by the colonial powers.
Today we are still experiencing the effects of the Berlin Conference, but when we look at the opposition and the way that they grandstand, they act as if the underdevelopment of Africa is due to African leaders per se. I have never seen such Afropessimism in my life.
What is critical is for us to face the truth. The truth is that the people of South Africa and the people of Africa have the deepest respect for the ANC. [Interjections.] [Applause]
AN HON MEMBER: Why?
Mr B A RADEBE: Why? Why? It is because it remains the only liberation movement and the only party which was able to come up with a coherent vision of a united Africa, as we are going to see by 2063. [Applause.]
However, the ANC did not only bring a vision, it also walked the talk. How did it do that? In 1955 in Kliptown, it was able to adopt the Freedom Charter which embraced all the people in Africa and which was able to advance the development of the African continent. [Interjections.] That was walking the talk.
Yet, it is surprising today that the very same leaders of the opposition are able to point fingers at the ANC, saying that it undermines Chapter 9 institutions and that the ANC does not want accountability. Let’s face the facts. Who undermines the Chapter 9 institutions except the opposition?
Let me give a simple example. Let’s go to the office of the Public Protector. The office of the Public Protector is supposed to be neutral, apolitical and able to deal with the issues of the public – ordinary citizens of South Africans.
Yet, what did the DA do? The DA invited the Public Protector to a party-political meeting of the DA. What was the effect of that? The effect was that all the other people at that office would start to look skeptical.
However, as the loyal servant of the people, the ANC – day in and day out – always makes a clarion call for the Office of the Public Protector to be protected. [Inaudible.] That’s the ANC! [Applause.]
Nkk M S KHAWULA: Yebo. Kukhona umbuzo omncane nje engifuna ukumbuza wona.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon, Radebe, will you take a question?
Mr B A RADEBE: No, I will deal with it when the time comes and I have finished my speech. [Interjections.]
So, what is very important is that here we have the Leader of the Opposition who comes here and says that the President does not want to account ... [Interjections.] ... who comes here and grandstands, saying that the President of the country is running away. [Interjections.]
Let me make a very simple assertion: Before the Leader of the Opposition was born, the President was facing the might of apartheid ... [Interjections.] ... and facing the might of colonialism. That’s why, by 1990, when the ANC was unbanned, it was one of the strongest cohesive liberation movements which came back into the country.
That’s why we were able to deliver a united South Africa in 1994 because of the work which was done by the President of the Republic when he was the head of the intelligence unit of the ANC.
What is also very important to note is that there is a lot of grandstanding coming from these leaders on the opposite side, where they come and claim that there is no democracy in Africa. People from Europe come and observe our elections because they don’t trust African leaders, but when George Bush was elected as President of the USA and when Afro-Americans were disenfranchised during that time, the DA had nothing to say; it kept quiet.
I think what we must do now, as we move forward, is for the AU to ensure that those people who want to observe our elections must also allow us to observe their elections so that there can be equity.
It is also very important to note that the Leader of the Opposition says that the ANC has plans which only remain dreams. However, it is very important that one looks at the 1964 Organisation of African Unity, OAU, Summit, where Dr Kwame Nkrumah said the following:
By far the greatest wrong the departing colonialists inflicted on us, and which we continue to inflict on ourselves in our present state of disunity, was to leave us divided into economically unviable states which bear no possibility of real development.
Today we have to appreciate the current leadership of the continent which has designed a blueprint for Africa’s development. Dr Kwame Nkrumah agitated for African states to have common policies on trade, industrialisation and development.
This Agenda 2063 is precisely what Dr Nkrumah agitated for; that all African states must come together and have common policies. What did the ANC do? By the time that the AU was agitating for Vision 2063, the ANC had already put plans into action. How? The first plan which it put into action was the Reconstruction and Development Plan, RDP. The second plan was the New Growth Path, NGP, and the third plan was the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap.
What is happening here? When one looks at all these policies, they speak directly to the issues that affected the African continent at the time when colonial powers were only there to plunder the natural resources of the African continent.
What the ANC has done through Ipap is to identify the sectors which were going to be the growth points for South Africa to move forward. Today, because of Ipap, one finds that the automotive industry of South Africa is respected throughout the whole world because of the quality cars that are manufactured, because of the job creation opportunities which are being created and because of research in that field.
When one looks at Aspiration 1, which deals with creating inclusive growth and sustainable development, the ANC-led government is already doing that. It’s already walking the talk. That is why, as I speak today, you can go anywhere in the world and get a right-hand C Class Mercedes Benz which comes from the Eastern Cape. That is what the ANC has done.
It is also very important that in the process of doing that, it is a fitting tribute to the AU that it now has a mining vision which has, at its centre, the issue of a skills revolution to train hundreds of thousands of young Africans in science, technology, engineering and innovation and research.
This will also involve the development of skills in priority sectors such as mining, infrastructure development and finance. A central aim of the Africa Mining Vision, AMV, is to move mining out of its enclave and turn it into a sector that can be a catalyst and contribute to the broad-based growth and development of a single African market within which it will be fully integrated.
According to Prof Ben Turok in his lecture at the University of Johannesburg on 17 July 2014, the African continent must start beneficiating the minerals which are mined in of Africa so that they can be transferred into value-added products which can be locally consumed and exported.
He gave the classic example of the value chain of iron ore. With regard to the value chain of iron ore, when it was exported as iron ore around 2008, it was generating only around US$400 per ton. When iron ore was converted into iron sheets it increased to around US$800 per ton.
However, when it was turned into alloy steel, which is used in spacecraft and in aircraft, the product generated US$1 300 per ton.
These values indicate that a country can benefit enormously through this and foreign institutions can contribute to a better current account balance.
Since Africa has the largest share of mineral resources in the world, it must stop selling it as raw materials so that it can ensure that real economic growth and development in the sector is distributed throughout the entire economy. What is very important is very simple ... [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: What is very important is to congratulate the South African government which has already introduced laws such as the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and programmes such as Ipap and the NGP, which address beneficiation of our natural resources. All these interventions will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth and development.
The AMV has also identified the need for productive infrastructure that can lead the member countries to enter into inter-African trade, so that inter-Africa trade can be promoted.
The AU has envisioned it that the intercontinental intervention will start in the regional economic communities like the Southern African Development Community, Sadec. Sadec has already developed the Sadec Regional Infrastructure Masterplan, RDMIP.
A key element of this plan is the North-South Corridor which has made notable advances with road upgrading, rail links and one-stop border posts. With these major projects the continent is able to access quality foreign direct investment.
One of the AU’s flagship projects is the Grand Inga hydropower plant which has already attracted foreign direct investment to the tune of US$80 billion. This led to the consultancy firm Ernst and Young observing that the number of foreign direct investment projects grew by 27% between 2010 and 2012.
The Grand Inga Dam project will supply 20% of the energy needs of the continent. This extra capacity will involve almost all the member states of Sadec.
What is very important is that, although in the past Africa was seen as a lost cause and a lost economy, the very banks of the West are coming into Africa to invest. This investment of US$80 billion in the Grand Inga Hydroelectric project has seen the World Bank, European Bank and the African Development Bank chipping in.
However, what is very important is that they are coming in because they know that Africa is rising. The growth of the world is in Africa. We are moving forward. Why is that? It is simply because of the natural resources which Africa has and the potential of its youth, in moving forward.
The AU has already embarked on the creation of a Tripartite Free Trade Area, which all three regional economic communities, namely Sadec, the East Africa Community, EAC, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Comesa, support. The major aim of this is to pursue deeper integration, free trade and to develop partnerships. [Time expired.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, Agenda 2063 is Africa’s way forward. It will be implemented in stages. It is the first time that Africa as a continent puts forward a plan which we will follow systematically. [Applause.]
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces adjourned the Joint Sitting at 12:13.
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