Hansard: NA: Debate on Vote 4: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (NA Chamber)
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 14 May 2015
No summary available.
EPC – NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 14 May 2015 Take: 1
THURSDAY, 14 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – CHAMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the National Assembly Chamber at 14:01.
House Chairperson, Mr C T Frolick, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Start of Day
Debate on Vote 4 – Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson; Ministers and Deputy Ministers; my colleagues, Deputy Ministers Nel and Bapela; mayors and councillors; provincial Members of Executive Councils, MECS; our traditional leaders; the Chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs; hon members; ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour to present Budget Vote 4: Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the fifth democratic Parliament of South Africa.
Today we reiterate our vision for cities, towns and villages in South Africa, a vision which underlines our values of human dignity, achievement of equality, the advancement of human rights and freedoms, nonracialism and nonsexism.
We submit a plan which recognises that whilst building resilient institutions to serve the development and wellbeing of all our people is a decades-long task, we will implement concrete plans which will positively impact on the lives of people over the next year.
All sectors of our diverse and colourful nation – the poor, workers, professionals, small and big business people, the youth, women, all our children – live in our villages, towns and cities. This government has both a long-term and immediate plan to respond to their needs and aspirations.
In the National Development Plan, NDP, we commit to doing things differently to improve the living conditions of our people. This will require improving the capabilities of the state and, of course, local government is a crucial part of the state.
In the year ahead we will make sure that the various elements of the Back to Basics programme are implemented vigorously and that we address, amongst other things, issues such as municipal debt-payment to Eskom; improved municipal procurement; pilot projects to strengthen districts; the root causes of some of the conflicts that we have in our communities; and introduce community feedback mechanisms and enforce competency requirements to improve institutional capacity are.
This Budget Vote debate takes place against the backdrop of the passing of one of our struggle stalwarts and great leaders, Mme Ruth Mompati, who dedicated her life to the creation of a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. She was the epitome of humility, selflessness and concern for the plight of the poor. She served as the Executive Mayor of the Naledi Local Municipality in Vryburg.
As we mourn her passing, we recommit ourselves to the implementation of all measures necessary to bring about improvements in the administration of local affairs in order to impact positively on the living experiences of all communities in our country.
It is of note that on this day 64 years ago, 14 May 1951, the apartheid Parliament voted in favour of a Bill for the removal of the coloured people from the voters’ roll. The coloured communities of Cape Town embarked on a campaign to oppose that Bill and successfully challenged the Bill in court in the Supreme Court, which declared the Bill to be invalid. History has strange ways of revisiting us.
Municipalities form part of an important sphere in government, and, to reinforce this, let me outline some numbers for you. The combined budget of municipalities is approximately R380 billion, both in terms of own revenue and transfers. Municipalities collect some R280 billion of their own revenue.
They are responsible for some 407 000 km of roads, of which some 300 000 km are gravel roads and some 90 000 km are paved roads.
In 2011, municipalities collected 59 million tons of general waste, 5,9 million tons were recycled and 53 million tons had to be placed in landfill sites.
It is clear, if we look at these numbers, that local government is an important crucible in which complex processes of development, governance, transformation and the change in living conditions take place.
In my Budget Vote speech on 17 July 2014, I highlighted the important role of local government in giving concrete expression to our constitutional democracy, in promoting social justice and protecting human rights. I highlighted some of the successes we had had in the improvement of the quality of life but also acknowledged that many challenges faced us.
In September last year, the President convened a Presidential Local Government Summit which adopted the Back to Basics programme as a government-wide programme. Today I am pleased to present to this august House the positive developments that have taken place over the last year and those which we intend to implement over the next year.
I can highlight the following as examples of a growing list of successes as a result of implementing the Back to Basics programme.
All provinces have established the Back to Basics provincial task teams. We have recognised the active participation and co-operation of the Departments of Water and Sanitation, Public Works, Energy, and Treasury, amongst other departments.
Support plans have been developed for identified municipalities across the country and integrated into integrated development plans.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has established a national monitoring centre and municipalities are beginning to report – at this stage, over 50% of them – on a regular basis on the Back to Basics performance indicators. MECs report on their Back to Basics implementation successes and challenges in provinces at the Ministers and Members of the Executive Council, Minmec, meetings that we hold.
Although the municipal monthly Back to Basics reporting system was only launched in October, as I have pointed out, over 58% of municipalities now report regularly. The aim of the system and the indicators is to produce good quality, standardised, reliable and consistent information in order to be able to support and intervene in municipalities where this is actually necessary.
The following concrete progress in terms of rolling out the Back to Basics programme has been reported by provinces up to the beginning of May this year.
In relation to putting people first, restoring confidence in local government is obviously a vital priority. An example of our progress in putting people first is illustrated through the Back to Basics task team’s positive engagement, for example, with the Thabazimbi Ratepayers’ Association to discuss the collapse of relations between the ratepayers and the municipality.
The Chairperson of the Thabazimbi Business Chamber had the following to say:
At least, they are starting to have meetings with us, and they are listening to us. They have changed their attitude towards the ratepayers. I must be honest, from the moment we spoke with the Back to Basics team, I felt like I could do something for my municipality. Thabazimbi can become the best municipality in South Africa. Now we are kept informed about the state of municipal services and any interruptions in the services.
This is but one of many examples of productive and constructive developments that have actually occurred.
Key to progress in municipalities is the involvement of citizens. An understanding of public sentiment is powerful in determining not only the trends in service failures, but also the successes. Citizens can help in the early identification of issues and service failures. We will pilot with selected municipalities and invite the public to submit complaints, compliments and photos of service failures and successes through an appropriate technological platform that we are currently experimenting with.
Improving the delivery and management of municipal infrastructure is vital in improving service delivery in our municipalities. To date, we have received encouraging reports about improvement in service delivery. Increasing numbers of municipalities are improving their response times when faced with electricity outages, sewage spillages and water stoppages, such as occurred in Stellenbosch.
The first step is to improve infrastructure planning. The Interministerial Task Team on Service Delivery, which is co-ordinated by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, is overseeing a process of developing integrated infrastructure plans for the 27 district municipalities with the largest backlogs of basic infrastructure.
These plans will identify the infrastructure investments required to eradicate the backlogs.
Through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, Misa, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will continue to provide support to individual municipalities to develop better sector infrastructure plans covering the construction, maintenance and operation of infrastructure, as well as better integrated development plans to ensure that the sector plans are co-ordinated, for example, to ensure that water reticulation planning is co-ordinated with planning for new housing developments.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will request the major industries operating in the area, including mining companies and Eskom, to assist with this support.
Gauteng is an example of best practice where the active involvement of the province has led to the roll-out of infrastructure delivery in previously troubled spots. The situation in Randfontein and Westonaria has improved and the challenges of protests have been brought under control. This has led to the area of Bekkersdal in Westonaria Local Municipality no longer being considered an area of concern.
The following infrastructure projects are being implemented in Westonaria: building of a school in Bekkersdal in partnership with a gold mine, cleaning and waste management projects through Pikitup, upgrading of the sewer infrastructure in Bekkersdal and so on.
The implementation of these plans and the delivery of infrastructure will be expedited through the continuous monitoring of municipal infrastructure expenditure, including both expenditure on the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, MIG, and expenditure of municipalities’ own revenue on infrastructure.
A total number of 247 municipalities will benefit from the 2015-16 MIG allocation amounting to some R14,7 billion, out of which over 3 000 projects have been or are in the process of being implemented by municipalities.
In 2013 there was a significant improvement of 91% expenditure of the MIG. This is up from 79% in 2012 to 2013. Municipalities need to be congratulated on this improvement, which was also assisted by the application of reallocation provisions in the Division of Revenue Act.
Over the last three municipal financial years, from July 2011-12 to June 2013-14, the number of municipalities achieving 100% expenditure on their MIG funding has increased from 110 to 130.
The number of municipalities spending less than 51% of their allocation has decreased from 31 to 16 – definite signs of progress although much more work to do.
We will request municipalities to provide us with information on all of their substantial infrastructure projects which will enable us to identify bottlenecks at an early stage and intervene where necessary to ensure delivery.
This coming year, through Misa, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will be working with the chief procurement officer, CPO, in National Treasury to improve infrastructure procurement in municipalities.
One aspect of this work will be to put in place a national transversal framework contract for certain goods and services related to municipal infrastructure. We intend to have initial contracts in place for electricity distribution equipment by the end of this financial year.
The aim of these contracts will be to procure more smartly and achieve economies of scale, which will result in a reduced level of administrative burden, lower prices and substantial savings for municipalities and, obviously, citizens in those municipalities. Individual municipalities will be able to place orders against the national contract, without going through their own procurement processes.
On good governance, we continue to identify and implement support and intervention packages for all priority municipalities experiencing governance distress. These packages take the form of invoking sections 154 and 139 of the Constitution.
I am happy to report that we are witnessing many areas of improvement in this regard. Provinces have invoked section 139 interventions in several municipalities across the country. There are 16 municipalities in four provinces that are, or have been, placed under section 139 of the Constitution. Again, these are distributed in various parts of the country.
Another example of our intervention is the Mogalakwena Local Municipality, where political instability that was caused by various factors resulted in a litany of governance and administrative challenges, including the collapse of delivery of basic services.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, working in collaboration with the MEC for local government in Limpopo, intervened to restore normality in the municipality. Normality has been restored in the administration of the municipality. We will continue to monitor and support the municipal council to ensure that it gets back to full functionality.
Apart from the aforementioned, I would like to mention that we continue to work with national and provincial departments to support other distressed municipalities, such as Oudtshoorn, Makana, Ngaka Modiri Molema and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
The department has also introduced a number of measures as a way of strengthening the fight against fraud and corruption in municipalities in line with our Back to Basics approach. To date we have brought together, at a national level, some 115 forensic or internal audit reports. Ninety-eight of them have been assessed by the department with the assistance of law enforcement agencies, the Office of the State Attorney and National Treasury.
The following actions are now being followed in respect of those that have been assessed. Some have been referred for asset forfeiture, others for disciplinary processes within the municipality, and yet others for civil claims and criminal prosecutions.
The department will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure there are consequences for fraud and corruption within municipalities.
Topical at this point has been consumer debt owing to municipalities. We are all familiar with the numbers, that some R98 billion is being owed to municipalities. This debt comprises R5,5 billion owed by national and provincial departments, R22 billion owed by businesses and some R60 billion owed by households to municipalities.
The arrears debt of national and provincial departments has accumulated over time as a result of disputes over municipal invoices or billing. The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in collaboration with the Department of Public Works has conducted an audit and verified contested invoices.
This exercise has resulted in affected government departments paying a total of R1,5 billion to relevant municipalities between September and 31 December 2014.
In the second phase we are dealing with all the remaining contested invoices. We believe that whilst the audit and verification exercise is still under way, extra measures must be introduced to expedite the payment of the outstanding debt owed by government departments to municipalities.
We also urge business that are indebted to municipalities to pursue the same approach whilst they contest a fraction of the bill that they may have been presented with.
We will be mounting a government-wide campaign also in collaboration with other government agencies and departments, to cultivate a culture of civic responsibility and payment for services throughout all of our communities in our country.
We call upon all hon members of this House, regardless of their political persuasion, that they support this campaign on a nonpartisan basis. We cannot have a sustainable municipal system if we do not have our public co-operating with us by paying for the services that they actually utilise.
We will reach out to all public representatives, public servants and business leaders to heed the call.
We have further noted with concern that some municipalities are still spending municipal resources on nonpriority items. Recent media reports have indicated that expensive vehicles are still being bought for use by public office bearers in municipalities, when they only have a year to spend in office. This nonsense clearly has to stop.
The enforcement of competency requirements is also something that we have worked on very hard together with National Treasury and other partners. To date MECs have made five applications for declaratory orders, which are still pending in the courts, to nullify the appointments of the municipal managers in several municipalities.
In several others, candidates who did not meet the minimum competency requirements are also being dealt with. These councils were advised by their MEC that they were noncompliant. Our data shows, however, that in the case of municipal managers, 56% have already completed all four minimum competency requirements.
We have a vacancy rate of 19% and the remaining 25% are in progress to complete the fourth area of their requirements. At chief-financial-officer level, 61% have already completed all four minimum competencies, and others are on their way to making progress.
An important development over the next year is to strengthen districts and create shared service centres in districts. I indicated last year that districts have an important role to play and that we plan to strengthen their governance capabilities.
We have found in our Back to Basics assessments that the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality in the Northern Cape has put in place a shared services model to alleviate financial and human resources strain on local municipalities. Over the next year, we are going to replicate this as a pilot in three district municipalities, namely the John Gaetsewe, Ugu and Central Karoo District Municipalities.
I will convey my thanks and appreciation to the various people who have contributed to the good work of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs when I round up later.
Let me mention, in conclusion, that the Community Work Programme is a crucial part of the responsibilities that this department has. Over the next year we intend to increase by 30 the number of sites of municipalities that will have Community Work Programmes that they can implement in their municipalities.
My colleagues, the Deputy Ministers, will address issues of the Integrated Urban Development Framework, IUDF, the various contributions that the private sector is making to the development of municipalities and also various other matters, in particular, the coronation of His Majesty King Sigcau tomorrow in the Eastern Cape. I will comment on this further as I round up later. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr N A MASONDO
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Mr N A MASONDO: Hon Chairperson, Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan, hon members, traditional leaders and fellow citizens, the narrative of the budget is not only about the numbers. It is also a conversation about policy development and implementation.
The concept of the budget on matters of local government prompts one to think in terms of an operating budget which covers areas such as salaries of employees, repayment of loans and the payment of other day-to-day running expenses of the municipality as well as the capital budget, which reflects the Council’s future development proposals or priorities such as buildings, dams, roads and reticulation systems.
In compiling a budget, the municipality may not budget for a year-end deficit on its operating account; it must ensure that the budget is in accordance with both its year and the five-year Integrated Development Plan, IDP.
It must also compile capital programmes that outline its overall investment plan. Dr D L Craythorne, in his Municipal Administration, the fourth edition of the handbook, provides the criteria that can assist to ensure critical strategic thinking when one considers a budget programme, as he poses the following questions, and I quote:
Why is this activity being undertaken? Why is it being proposed? What are its objectives? Is this the only way of meeting the objective? What are the other ways of meeting the objective? How effective is it in meeting the objective, and what does it cost and how does it compare with the other ways of meeting the objective?
We may argue that compilation and the approval of a budget is not entirely a purely rational process. Many would indeed agree that the politicians, being the decision-makers or the principals, may prefer brokerage and negotiations and/or lobbying in addition to the above-mentioned, but all of this should happen within the context of good governance, transparency and accountability.
The Back to Basics programme calls, amongst other things, for a better management of financial resources allocated to local government. This is informed by the realisation that mismanagement could lead to a situation where a municipality that is visible is made invisible. This is because residents are burdened with additional taxes and payments.
All South Africans have a responsibility to defend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa as adopted on 08 May 1996 and as amended on 11 October of the same year. We defend the Constitution not only by what we say but by what we do. It is in this context that I wish to raise the question of the equitable share, and its implications in improving the quality of life of all South Africans in general, and the workers and the poor in particular.
Chapter 13 of our Constitution, under General Financial Matters, provides for a national revenue fund and the equitable shares and allocation of revenue. The national revenue fund into which all money received by the national government must be paid, except money reasonably excluded by an Act of Parliament, provides all the resources that are made available through the fiscus for development and services to all South Africans.
These funds from the national fiscus can only be withdrawn in terms of an appropriation Act of Parliament or as a direct charge to the National Revenue Fund. In addition, a province’s equitable share of revenue raised nationally is a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund.
The equitable share must take into account, amongst other things, the national interests determined by the national objective criteria, national debt and other national obligations.
This ensures that provinces and municipalities are able to provide basics services and perform the functions allocated to them. Perhaps it is worth emphasising that the purpose of the equitable share is to enable municipalities to provide basic services to poor households and to enable those with limited resources to perform core municipal functions.
We know that the work of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the current and coming period will be characterised by the implementation of the Back to Basics programme, which is designed to ensure, as the portfolio committee report fittingly observe that all municipalities perform their basic responsibility and functions without compromise.
The five pillars, briefly put, capture the following key points. People and their concerns, through constant contact, are at the centre of our focus; everything should be done to create conditions for delivering quality services, cutting wastage and promoting prudent spending of resources, transparency and accountability. Sound financial management and accounting is critical, and the engagement of dedicated and skilled personnel should be the norm.
It does seem that the recent withholding of equitable share from 59 municipalities, initiated and implemented by the Treasury, can only ensure the reverse of what the strategy of Back to Basics seeks to achieve. This is especially disturbing if one considers the fact that there has been a lack of a positive response from the Ministry of Finance to a letter written by SA Local Government Association, Salga, on 09 March 2015.
We should all be preoccupied with the question of seeking and achieving an amicable and sustainable solution. We should be seeking to promote co-operative governance.
Section 40(1) of the Constitution speaks of the government of the Republic as being constituted as national, provincial and local spheres of government which are distinctive, interdependent and interrelated.
Section 41(1), amongst other things, refers to the principle of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations and raises the following points: securing the wellbeing of the people of the Republic; being loyal to the Constitution, the Republic and its people; not assuming any power or function except those conferred in terms of the Constitution; adhering to agreed procedure and providing for appropriate mechanisms or procedures to facilitate settlement of intergovernmental disputes
Chairperson, the equitable share should not be made a conditional grant. It is too important a matter to be given such treatment.
We hold the view that the local government should collect all the money that is due from each municipality, but debt is the result of many factors such as unemployment; poverty; a poor revenue base; poor revenue collection; insufficient skills; tariffs that do not cover the full cost of services; high interest rates, charges and penalties; and ageing infrastructure, etc.
That all those who consume services should pay is the point we should emphasise at all times. Only the indigent and those who are genuinely poor should be exempted and supported through the provision of free basic services. Debt collection should be pursued with vigour and passion especially against the well-to-do individuals as well as corporate and related institutions.
We should all know that debt is spiraling out of control can, if this is not addressed, do South Africa a great harm. Similarly, withholding the equitable share can be equally bad and harmful.
The equitable share should be utilised, going into the future, as an instrument to empower local government to ensure meaningful development and delivery of basic services to local communities. This is especially important given the fact that local government in South Africa is not meant to be marginal or merely symbolic.
The three spheres of government are provided for in the Constitution. They are meant to work together to enhance the quality of life of all citizens and residents. Beyond the formal institutions of government, ours is meant to be a participatory democracy, not merely a representative democracy where people are largely alienated and only cast a vote once in a five-year period.
The national and provincial departments which owe municipalities should urgently make a commitment to paying all their outstanding debts to municipalities. There must be a sense that all spheres of government are treated with a sense of justice and equity. Everything possible should be done to avoid a perception that some government departments and officials are a law unto themselves and can do as they please when interacting with communities.
Finally, going forward, I would like to urge all the stakeholders to reflect and consider whether or not our budgets can be crafted to ensure long-term sustainability of local government.
This is not a movement away from an appreciation for the work that is being done to deliver a complex budget that takes into account competing priorities and ever improving efficiencies to create space to free resources to address other critical needs. This includes the whole question of equitable share. Chairperson, we support the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr B M BHANGA
Mr N A MASONDO
Mr B M BHANGA: Chairperson, addressing the Minister through you, I would like to say that the people of the Nelson Mandela Municipality are waiting for you to respond. We have asked you a question about the Deputy Mayor, Chippa Ngcolomba, who has solicited millions of rands from a sponsor. Chippa Ngcolomba, himself, confirmed that he did not find the gift register for him to confirm or to declare gifts.
Is it normal in South Africa that in a municipality you cannot find a gift register to declare gifts for years and years, yet that deputy mayor is still in office?
Can you promise South Africans here as we speak, and the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality that, like Councillor Mafana, Chippa Ngcolomba will not be with the people of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality as we are going there on Friday with President Jacob Zuma? [Interjections.]
Will we have your word as the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality? These councillors continue to loot and steal the money of our people, and the service generally – and the city — is going down. [Applause.]
The recent xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal requires an unambiguous interrogation of the role of traditional leaders in relation to the values of our Constitution. The Constitution states in the Preamble, and I quote:
We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic, so as to- Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; ...
This begs the following questions: Is noninterference with traditional leadership regarded as more important than the rights and values contained in our Constitution? Do traditional leaders understand that South Africa is a democratic state and not a monarchy? Do we understand that the Constitution entrusts the national executive authority only to the President and his Cabinet, not the kings?
The past few weeks have shown that the above is misunderstood by the institution of traditional leadership, through King Goodwill Zwelithini. The king was recorded as stating that foreign nationals must pack their bags and leave the country. [Interjections.]
The audio tapes are available. The executive, who is supposed to promote our Constitution, flip-flopped in their response. Many Ministers, as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Premier, abdicated from their responsibility to hold the king to account for his utterances. Instead, they lined up to apologise to the king.
Then just a few weeks later the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government convened an imbizo for the king. Once again, he threatened the country by saying that if he calls for war, South Africa will be in ashes.
UMzantsi Afrika uza kuba luthuthu.
He further dared to give instructions that all indunas [chiefs] should monitor the documentation of foreign nationals. How is it possible for a king to have executive authority to monitor and implement government policy? Chapter 12 of the Constitution recognises the institution, status and role of traditional leadership according to customary law, but this recognition is subject to the Constitution.
Furthermore, the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003, and its regulations, states that the institution of traditional leadership must be transformed to be consistent with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; that it must promote freedom, human dignity and the achievement of equality and nonsexism; and must promote nation-building and peace amongst South Africans.
The cost to the taxpayer, in order to fund our traditional leaders, is spiralling out of control. In 2013, for example, 10 kings and one queen, 829 senior traditional leaders and 5 311 Chiefs were paid an estimated R650 million, only in salaries. This figure excludes benefits and other subsidies. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr A M MATLHLOKO
Mr B M BHANGA
Mr A M MATLHOKO: Hon Chairperson, we have always insisted that the ANC has run out of ideas to provide solutions for many of the problems which South Africans are facing. The ANC suffers from a poverty of ideas. The EFF rejects the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Budget Vote. [Interjections.]
South Africa has been dubbed the protest capital of the world. In 2014 alone, there were 3 000 protest actions in less than 90 days involving more than 1 million people. [Interjections.] In 2013, police arrested more than 14 000 protesters who were demanding access to basic services.
Every day South Africa has an average of 30 protests in various communities, the majority of them against local government. The design and nature of local government currently is not viable. The division of revenue is not assisting in the situation because how do you explain that out of a trillion-plus budget, local government receives less than 10%.
This less-than-10% budget has to cater for salaries of councillors and the rest of the personnel in local government and still provide services. If there is not going to be a total overhaul of local government, the crisis that we currently see will continue.
We need a decisive and radical configuration of local government in South Africa which should deal with how local government is structured in South Africa.
This is how we should do it. We should reduce municipalities from the current 284 to a reasonable, manageable size. We must dissolve district municipalities. We must allocate 33% of the national budget to local government with the prioritisation of rural and underdeveloped areas. No municipalities should have less than 25 wards. [Interjections.] How do you explain it when a municipality has four wards, four ward councillors and four PR councillors?
Over one-third of our municipalities is dysfunctional and incapacitated. This is an indication that the current funding structure needs to be reformulated. [Interjections.] You will refuse to agree with me, precisely because you have run out of ideas. The Back to Basics strategy is similar to many other strategies pronounced upon by previous Ministers.
You will remember Minister Sicelo Shiceka’s Operation Clean Audit 2014, OCA 2014. We are still crying because even today there is no clean audit. This is a clear admission from the Minister that we should go back to the basics because for 15 years we have done nothing.
Minster, unless there is clear vision of a radical configuration of municipalities and how they are funded, South Africa will remain a protest capital. We reject this Budget Vote. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr M HLENGWA
Mr A M MATLHOKO
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Ministers, I want to say at the outset that the IFP supports the Budget Vote, lest I do not find the time to do so, as now I will actually be dealing with the issues that have been raised.
It would be a dereliction of duty on my part if I do not correct what has been said by hon Bhanga when coming here and attacking the king in the fashion that he did, based on nothing other than hearsay. [Interjections.]
You know, I think we have a responsibility in this House to present facts to South Africans ... [Interjections.] ... and you must condemn xenophobia in the strongest possible terms and not exacerbate it in the manner that you have. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Firstly, the Minister of Police and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal were present when the king spoke at Pongolo, and both of them have said that at no point did the king issue an instruction for people to be attacked in the manner that they have been. [Interjections.]
Secondly, traditional leaders fully understand their role and function within the parameters of the Constitution in terms of Chapters 7 and 12. [Interjections.] So to come here in the fashion that you have ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Let’s listen to the speaker.
Mr M HLENGWA: … and launch such an attack in the fashion in which you did so, based on nothing but your wanting to glorify Queen Elizabeth in England and all the other monarchies ... [Interjections.] [Applause.] ... is totally unacceptable.
Because the king is not here to defend himself I should, as his subject, say that he condemns xenophobia just as all of us in this House condemn xenophobia. Traditional leaders condemn xenophobia just as they should.
None of these attacks took place in jurisdictions where traditional leaders reside. None of them! They took place in the cities. Why should they be blamed for it? Just because they are not here to defend themselves then you ride on the crest which you came to do here.
That is very wrong, and when it comes to elections you want to parade them - like King Dalindyebo - and say that they have joined you. They are only good for elections, but when it comes to dealing with their issues you are totally averse to that. [Interjections.]
Hon Minister, I want to say that your Back to Basics Programme is an island of hope in a sea of chaos. It is important that we implement it, because the audit findings of the Auditor-General have consistently pointed out that those audited had findings on compliance and regulations, many of which are related to supply chain management as well as irregular and wasteful expenditure mainly due to a lack of basic controls, a lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions.
Municipalities continue to find themselves collapsing in one way or another and it is important that you put in place measures that are going to actually ensure that they don’t do that — because if local government fails then it’s the people who suffer. If local government works, South Africa works, because all development, as far as we are concerned, is local.
I am not a Zulu nationalist. I take strong exception to that, hon Mileham – strong exception! We are sick and tired of being attacked by you on the basis of race and ethnicity and when we throw it back at you, you cry foul.
Why should we allow ourselves to be bullied by the DA for everything that we say? Why must we do that? So don’t do it! Don’t at any point attack me as being a Zulu national.
I am first and foremost a South African and a South African who happens to be a Zulu, but respect all ethnicities. If you want South Africa to descend into ethnic politics that is your own baby to feed, but don't drag all of us into that. [Interjections.]
I want to say to you, hon Minister, I would like to touch on the issue that you have raised. It is totally unacceptable that government departments, particularly Health, Public Works and Basic Education are owing so much money to municipalities in terms of rates and taxes. I think that that on its own sets up local government for failure, when their counterparts in government, which are government departments, are not paying.
It is, therefore, incumbent on all of us to ensure that people do exactly what they are supposed in order to imagine that the point of departure will be back to basics. We can’t be pessimistic about it because we have a duty and responsibility to ensure that local government, which is a sphere of this government, actually works, performs and succeeds for the sake of the many South Africans who, on a daily basis, are suffering and face poverty as their reality. They need those basic services and service delivery to be part and parcel of their lives. I thank you. [Interjections.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon member, why are you rising?
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chair, I rise on a point of order: From the speaker, hon Hlengwa, I understand that a member of the DA called him a Zulu nationalist. I would like him to withdraw. I would like you to ask him to withdraw that particular saying. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! The hon member who made the remark to the hon Hlengwa, is it the hon Mileham? [Interjections.] Order, hon members!
Mr K J MILEHAM: Hon Chairperson, I made no remark to hon Hlengwa. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The hon member is indicating that he did not make a remark to the hon Hlengwa. Hon Hlengwa?
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Chairperson, may I address you? [Interjections.] Hon Mileham did call me a Zulu nationalist. I was standing right there, but if he is not man enough to man up I would accept that it is part and parcel of his discourse. But he did label me as a Zulu nationalist and I still take strong exception to that because I respect him as a colleague and don’t expect him to address me like that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon member. Hon Mileham?
Mr K J MILEHAM: Hon Chairperson, if hon Hlengwa is offended, I am most sorry ... [Interjections.] ... but I did not address him as a Zulu nationalist. I am sorry, but I did not.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Just withdraw the remark, please.
Mr K J MILEHAM: I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you. Thank you, hon member. [Interjections.] Take your seat.
Prof N M KHUBISA
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick)
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon Chairperson, hon members, it’s one of the sad days in this House. We are flabbergasted and really appalled by what the hon Bhanga has said about His Majesty King Zwelithini and we find this to be an insult, not only to His Majesty but also to the amakhosi themselves. [Interjections.]
We never thought that a member would come and bash His Majesty and make the issue of xenophobia a ball to be played with. Xenophobia it is a very serious matter, a critical matter that affects all of us.
Just because you find this platform, you come here and you parade about as if you are coming with a different philosophy all together and we find it really ludicrous and disgusting. I am sure at some point you will find the time to apologise because we are dealing with a very sensitive matter.
We didn’t want to talk about this, but really, you have provoked all of us. You have spoken very badly about His Majesty. We all hope that at some point you will find that you are speaking about issues that you don’t understand. It seems to me that you are ignorant about these issues. [Interjections.]
The adage says where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise. Really, it is an insult, in fact, to everybody in this country because everybody has come out to say we condemn xenophobia. To me it seems you ... [Interjections.] ... don’t know what you are doing. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR C T Frolick): Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Take your seat, I am recognising hon Bhanga. [Interjections.] Hon members! [Interjections.] Why are you rising, hon member?
Mr B M BHANGA: May I ask whether the king is above the Constitution of this country? [Interjections.] And he is not. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR C T Frolick): No, no, no, order! Order, hon Bhanga!
Mr B M BHANGA: The king ... [Interjections.] ... is not above the Constitution of the country.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR C T Frolick): Order, hon Bhanga! Hon Bhanga! Hon Bhanga! [Interjections.] Hon Khubisa!
Mrs N W A MAZZONE: Chair, on a point of order …
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR C T Frolick): Before I take the point of order, hon Bhanga, when you rise, you should first ask if the hon member would like to take a question. You don’t simply get up and ask the question anyway, so you are out of order as far as that is concerned. Why are you rising, hon member?
Mrs N W A MAZZONE: Hon Chairperson Frolick, I am rising on a point of order because firstly, the member at the podium is addressing one of my members directly and the members have to be addressed through you, Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
AN HON MEMBER: So what!
Mrs N W A MAZZONE: It’s not “So what!” It’s the Rule of the House. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR C T Frolick): Order, hon members! [Interjections.]
Mrs N W A MAZZONE: Secondly, Chairperson, a personal attack is being made by the member at the podium on one of my members and that is not allowed according to the Rules of this House. The member may not attack one of my members for it being his constitutional right ... [Interjections.] ... to deliver a budget speech.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (MR C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Hon member, you have made your point. Hon Khubisa, will you continue with your speech. [Interjections.]
Order, hon members! Hon members, I am not going to take any further points of order on this matter. It is part of the debate that is happening. There were certain things that were mentioned and different speakers are responding in different ways to them.
We are, however, dealing with the Budget Vote of the Minister of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs. Let us not get deflected and start moving into another debate that will best be left for another day. Continue, hon Khubisa.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon Chair, let me say that the NFP supports this budget because we want our people to be served.
Minister, we understand that you have taken on your Back to Basics programme with passion, but the NFP, of course, is worried about the knee-jerk approach of some of the municipalities and the shoddy, poor services that our municipalities are indulging in. They are not using the government fiscus correctly. Those are the issues that have to be attended to.
I think, hon Minister, having said that, we understand that our people need water, services and roads — and you can see the apathy, the despair they displayed. In spite of that apathy and despair, however, it is not good to destroy the property that we do have. The property that we have must be maintained; it has to be there and we need to instil some values and responsibilities and shy away from this culture of entitlement which is affecting most of our people.
I repeat: Our people need water, electricity, roads, houses and all the services that they require.
Hon Minister, the question of expanding the role and function of traditional leaders is still an outstanding matter which needs to be dealt with. The department still has to see to it that the role played by traditional leaders in municipalities is tangible and is also visible.
Traditional leaders need to be capacitated to be able to participate fully in the development of their communities. In addition, the NFP believes that an increase in their allowance and affording them the necessary fringe benefits is important. In conclusion, the NFP welcomes and supports this budget. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL AFFAIRS)
Prof N M KHUBISA
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, Minister and Deputy Minister of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, I pay tribute to Mme Ruth Mompati, Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe, a freedom fighter, a leader who served with humility and commitment wherever she was called, whether it was to the world stage as an ambassador or as the mayor of Naledi Local Municipality.
It is a tribute to her leadership that the Naledi Local Municipality, which she led as mayor from 2000 to 2010, was one of the 12 municipalities in the Bokone Bophirima province that received unqualified, improved or consistent audit outcomes for the 2013-14 financial year. [Applause.]
These results were achieved through strong political oversight, constant monitoring by councils, improved performance management, a functioning internal audit and audit committees, as well as sound administration and leadership.
North West was the first province in which a joint national and provincial Back to Basics team was established
The Community Work Programme, CWP, provides an employment safety net for the poorest of the poor. It provides a basic level of income security through work. It helps to address poverty and unemployment while other government programmes create decent work, especially among women and young people.
The Community Work Programme supplements government’s social grants programme by putting R1,4 billion rand in the pockets and on the tables of more than 200 000 participants.
What makes the Community Work Programme different is that it is also a community programme. People in the area help to decide on the kind of work needed. This could be looking after orphans and vulnerable children, helping sick people, assisting teachers at schools, looking after children while their parents are at work or working with the local police to improve safety and reduce crime.
We are committed and on track to establish at least one CWP site in every local and metropolitan municipality by the end of 2016-17.
In 2013-14, there were 148 CWP sites in 140 municipalities. By the end of 2014-15, we had added an additional 37 sites in 19 municipalities. There are now 185 sites in 159 municipalities covering 2302 wards.
This financial year we will establish sites in a further 30 municipalities, bringing the total number of CWP sites to 220. Over the next five years of this administration, the CWP will put R5,6 billion in the pockets of the poorest of the poor.
In the past financial year, 43 634 CWP participants benefited from training opportunities offered by the programme. This has helped skill participants to start their own sustainable income-generating initiatives.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs participates actively in the war room on energy chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. We are tackling the difficult and complex issue of debt owed by municipalities to Eskom and water boards. We have met with the 20 top-owing municipalities, the SA Local Government Association, Salga, National Treasury and Eskom. The meeting agreed on a clear action plan for the next six months.
The National Treasury will continue working with municipalities which are persistently defaulting on payments to Eskom and water boards to ensure that they implement the necessary financial recovery plans.
We will also work with Eskom, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Nersa, National Treasury and Salga to, amongst other things, firstly review the requirement that municipalities pay within a 15-day period, rather than what is required in terms of section 65 of the Municipal Finance Management Act. This results in municipalities being charged unnecessary interest.
Secondly, we will review the penalties being imposed on municipalities for exceeding their reserve capacity and thirdly, establish an integrated tariff regulatory body that looks holistically at the basket of municipal services.
We will also take decisive action to ensure that national and provincial spheres of government settle their debt with municipalities. This will include giving consideration to withholding equitable shares. We are saying: Pay first, and argue later. These matters are complex and difficult, but the bottom line is that owing Peter to pay Paul is simply not sustainable.
We are deeply concerned about reports of deliberate damage to local government infrastructure, especially water infrastructure, to achieve political goals or economic gain. The loss of income, disruption of essential services and diversion of scarce resources, as well as social instability caused, often outweigh the value of the material stolen.
A working group formed by the Deputy Ministers of this Department and Police, State Security, Justice, and Public Enterprises departments has recommended measures to the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, to tighten legislation and strengthen co-ordination among law enforcement agencies and the private sector.
It is recommended that existing legislation be tightened by: firstly, amending the Criminal Law Amendment Act to provide for minimum sentences of between 15 and 25 years in cases where the theft of nonferrous metals has caused serious interference with or disruption of an essential service rendered for the benefit of the public, serious damage to an infrastructural facility or system, whether publically or privately owned; secondly, amending the Criminal Procedure Act to make it more difficult to obtain bail in cases involving the unlawful possession or illicit dealing in nonferrous metals; and thirdly, to amend the Second Hand Goods Act to further tighten the regulation of scrap metal dealers.
We need to build a civic morality that respects public infrastructure and demands its defence. We call upon all South Africans to say:
Asifuni izinyoka. Uma izinyoka zintshontsha izinto zabantu, sizozibopha.
Sadly, 20 years into democracy, South Africa’s cities continue to reflect the spatial legacy of apartheid. The architect-in-chief of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd, must be rejoicing that some of his designs not only remain intact, but are being celebrated as triumphs of the human intellect by “izimbongi” [the poets] of illiberalism.
The poet Gabeba Baderoon writes that, and I quote:
Geography is history. Living in Cape Town means you travel through the past all the time. Geography is learning how to step gently on the past, and walking from present into history and back with each footstep. This oscillation between temporalities makes me think of the back and forth relationship I have with Cape Town.
It contains all the things that make me angry, almost as much as my heritage, and the things that I adore. When I shop there, I get cross about the magazines in the queue leading to the tills. They almost always present a line of white faces.
Last week, I felt guilty when an American friend said that when she landed in Cape Town, she didn’t know if she was in Africa. There were so few black faces. I felt guilty because the city looked to her like those lines of magazines I get cross about displayed at checkouts.
The draft integrated development framework seeks to deal with these challenges in a rapidly urbanising society while recognising the inextricable links between urban and rural development.
The Integrated Urban Development Framework, IUDF, marks a new deal for South African cities and towns. It sets out a policy framework to guide the development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements. It is based on the goals of access, growth, governance and spatial transformation.
It is undergoing an extensive process of consultation. We expect the final draft to be complete by November 2015. We thank the Deputy Ministers in the IUDF political oversight committee for their continued guidance and wisdom. We also thank our partners in academia and the private sector, as well as the SA Cities Network, Salga, our international partners, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, and the European Union Dialogue Facility.
Spatial transformation and rapid urbanisation, however, cannot wait for policies to be completed. The late Gil Scott Heron said, and I quote:
The revolution will not be televised …
The revolution will be live.
Urbanisation is very live — it will not be televised. Therefore, even as we are finalising the integrated urban development framework, the 2015-16 budget already starts to realign public spending to support the spatial restructuring of our urban areas.
In the one second that remains I would like to say that the process of preparing for the local government elections is on track. There is an interministerial committee chaired by the Ministry of our department. The Demarcation Board is at an advanced stage of demarcating wards. They will be handing that over to the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, to complete the process of allocating voting districts.
We call upon all parties who will soon be choosing candidates for the local government elections to remember the late Ruth Segomotsi Mompati as they do so. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A M MUDAU
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL AFFAIRS
Mr A M MUDAU: Temporary Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, receive my greetings. "Ndi masiari". Hon Hlengwa, hon Khubisa ...
... tše re di tlwaetše, le se ke la makala. Di swana le tša nako yela ya ntwa magareng ga mokgatlo wa ANC le wa IFP. Batho ba bangwe ba ile ba tšea mešidi ba tlotša difahlego tša bona go fehla ntwa, re ka se lwe.
Hon Chair, let me start by saying:
Nṋe ṅwana wa vho Tshipuke, nga masiari a ṋamusi nga fhasi ha dzangano ḽi vhusaho ḽa ANC, ri hanana na u vhengiwa ha vhabvannḓa, ri ri a ri pfanani nazwo hezwo. Ri ṱuṱuwedza vhathu vhoṱhe uri vha funane ngauri Mudzimu O ri vhumbaho ndi muthihi.
Chair, I stand here shortly after the people of South Africa, the African continent and the whole world received the shocking and sad news of the passing away of the icon of our struggle, lsithwalandwe, Mme Ruth Mompati.
Mme Mompati was a revolutionary who made an invaluable contribution to the struggle for freedom and liberation of our country. She remained focused on the struggle of the oppressed masses of our people until she ceased to exist in the material world.
Hon Chair, I understand Rule 47 of the NA on page 17,
Fhedzi ndi humbela u ri hu songo vha na muthu na muthihi hafhanoni Mudzulatshidulo a ne a ḓo ima a ri o humbela zwauri u khou ṱoḓa u mmbudzisa mbudziso. Ndi ḓo humbela zwauri vha ḓo mmbudzisa mbudziso musi ndo no fhedza kana kha E 56 hune nda dzula hone kana hune nda shuma hone.
If she were alive, Mme Mompati would challenge us as representatives of the people to ensure that the budget we are debating responds to the material needs of the most vulnerable in society. Now, I am disappointed, Chair, when I hear hon member of the EFF in this House reject this Budget Vote. They are like wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Ba tla mo ba apere diaparo tše khubedu mola ka mo gare ba apere Dipierre Cardin gomme ba re bona ba tlile go emela batho eupša ba gana Kabotekanyetšo. Ga ke tsebe gore ba ra ge ba emela batho ka mokgwa ofe ka gore ga ba dumelelane le Kabotekanyetšo. Ge nkabe Mme Mompati a be a le gona o be a tla re...
Mme Mompati would be the first one to remind us of the unfinished business of eradicating the legacy of the system of apartheid colonialism, especially the stubborn remains of the patterns of apartheid spatial planning. Hon members, you would remember that the apartheid regime introduced a framework for a centralised spatial planning ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Just hold on hon Mudau. Can you take your seat. What is your point of order?
Mr A M MATLHOKO: My point of order is that hon Mudau must take his time. He must not rush his issues.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Thank you, sit down. Can you proceed, hon Mudau.
Mr A M MUDAU: Ndi ngazwo ndo amba zwauri a thi ṱoḓi muthu a tshi ima musi ndi tshi khou amba ngauri a ni ḓivhi zwine na khou amba zwone.
Hon members, you would remember that the apartheid regime introduced a framework for a centralised spatial planning for spatial segregation, which was enforced through Group Areas Act and other mechanisms that were aimed at preventing the affluent white municipalities from bearing the financial burden of servicing the areas of disadvantaged Africans, coloured and Indian communities.
Bagešo, kamoka tšeo di dirwago ke Group Areas Act, di bonagala mo Profenseng ya Western Cape. Batho ba ntšhitšwe Kensington le Factreton ba bewa Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Manenberg le Gugulethu ba se hlokomelwe gomme lehono ba nyaka go bona ANC molato. O a ba kwa ka mokgwa wo ba bolelago ka gona.
The apartheid planning left deep scars on the spatial structure of our cities, towns and rural areas and the lives of millions of individuals and households. What the EFF is doing now is like this Apartheid Planning Act.
Ba bea batho gohle mo re swanetšego go lokiša gona. Maikemišetšo e le go re batho ba ba boutele, kganthe ba ntšha batho tseleng. Re kgopela gore ba se hlwe ba dira bjalo. Taba ye e makatšago ye, go ba mathata a re a bonago a, a bonagetše gabotse malobeng ge mokgatlo wa DA o swere kopano. Go ile gwa kgethwa motho yo moso gore a ba ete pele. Ba be ba dira se go goketša lešaba. Ba mo diriša bjalo ka mogoketši. Ke sona seo se dirago gore lehono ba kgone go tšwela pele ka go buša batho ba gaborena.
The new government inherited towns and cities that were products of the apartheid master plan, which was fragmented and differentiated along racial lines. From the outset, the new government emphasised strategic spatial planning that focused on macro-level spatial restructuring. The spatial frameworks became elements of the Integrated Development Plans and the guide of the planning of municipalities.
The initial spatial frameworks did not sufficiently talk to the spatial dynamics in cities, towns and rural spaces. In fact, they were poorly linked with infrastructure development and did not link with land issues.
Bagagešo, rena ba ANC, re tseba seo re se dirago. Le Beibele e boletše, ge nkabe mohl Moruti Maimane a be a le gona ka mo, o be a tla ema le nna. Puku ya Luka kgaola ya 14, temana ya 28, ge e bolela e re: “Motse wo o sa agwang ke moagi, baagi ba wona ba itshwenya fela, o tlo wa”
Tshivenḓa tshi ri, tshilonda tshi vhavha mukweti.
Batho ba bangwe ga ba na taba le dilo tšeo di diregago mo. Ntlo ye e sa agwago ke motho, ke bolela ka EFF, yeo e sa agwago ke baagi ba nnete, yeo e agilwego ke bahlankana le bašimanyana, batho bao ba e thekgago ba itshwenya fela. Ka gore e i le go wa.
The ANC supports this Budget Vote because it seeks to advance spatial transformation and improve the quality of life of South Africans. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.] [Time expired.]
AN HON MEMBER: That was the weakest speech.
Dr P J GROENEWALD
Mr A M MUDAU
DR P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, ek wil net vir die vorige spreker sê dat apartheid al 21 jaar gelede verby is, maar die ANC het die kultuur van wanbetaling van dienstegelde gedurende apartheid gekweek. Na 21 jaar het die ANC nog niks gedoen om daardie wanbetalingskultuur te beëindig nie.
Abg Minister, ek wil terugkom na die debat oor plaaslike regering. Jaar na jaar moet ons in hierdie Begrotingspos hier luister na die Minister wat sê dat hy bekommerd is. Die agb Adjunkminister sê dat hy diep bekommerd is. Hulle het uitdagings wat nagekom moet word.
Die agb Minister sê vanmiddag hier dat slegs 56% van die munisipale bestuurders en slegs 61% van die finansiële bestuurders behoorlik gekwalifiseerd is. Is ons dan verbaas dat ons met die chaos op plaaslike regeringsvlak sit? Daar is R98 miljard uitstaande dienstegelde. Die staatsdepartemente betaal nie eens hul rekeninge nie.
Agb Minister, u was ’n vorige Minister van Finansies. Hoe is dit moontlik dat ’n staatsdepartement nie sy rekening kan betaal nie? Dis mos ’n boekjaar. As hy weet hy is agterstallig, moet hy dit mos betaal. Hoekom moet dit elke keer weer oorgedra word?
Dit is waar die probleem lê. In die Noordwes provinsie, byvoorbeeld, is daar vir die afgelope vier tot vyf jaar feitlik geen munisipaliteit wat ’n skoon oudit gekry het nie, maar dan kom die regering en hy kondig aan dat hy hierdie projek en daardie projek van skoon oudits het en dan stel hy administrateurs aan.
Van die administrateurs wat hy aanstel is eintlik nog meer korrup as die ander amptenare wat daar was!
U los nie die probleem op nie. U wil nou die probleem probeer oplos deur die munisipaliteite saam te voeg, want u versoek die Herafbakeningsraad om sekere munisipaliteite se grense te verander en om wyke by te voeg. Die argument wat u gebruik is om te sê dat daardie munisipaliteite wat swak finansiële ondersteuning het, kan dan baat by die ander munisipaliteit wat ’n sterk finansiële basis het.
Agb Minister, u mislei uself. Dis nie dat hulle ’n swak finansiële basis het nie, dis swak finansiële bestuur. Dis onbevoegdheid.
Ek sien die agb Adjunkminister skud sy kop. Hy moet saam met my kom na die Noordwes. Ek sal hom vat na daardie amptenare toe wat onbevoegd is. Dit lyk vir my hulle weet nie wat aangaan nie, as hy sy kop so skud. Dit bekommer my, agb Minister, want dit lyk my u weet nie wat die probleem is nie.
Daarom sê die VF Plus vir u dat as u wil begin om plaaslike regering reg te ruk, is die eerste ding wat u moet doen om onmiddellik van die onbevoegde amptenare ontslae te raak — soos in onmiddellik. Dan moet u nie verdere kaderontplooiing gaan doen om ander onbevoegde lede in daardie poste te gaan sit nie, want dit gaan nie werk nie.
Die tweede ding wat u sal moet doen, is om te versker dat dienstegelde betaal word. As ons net kyk wat in Soweto gebeur, sien ons dat hulle nou nie wil betaal nie, want hulle sê dat daar beloftes in 1994 gemaak was.
As u vanoggend na die nuus geluister het, sou u gehoor het wat die belofte is. Die mense van Soweto sê dat die ANC ’n belofte gemaak het dat krag verniet sal wees as hulle wen. Dis weereens ’n geval van u wat politieke beloftes maak wat u weet u nie kan nakom nie.
Dit is die gevolg van die chaos op plaaslike regeringsvlak en die belastingbetaler betaal die prys. U, as Minister, moet ophou om hier te kom en te sê dat u bekommerd is. U moet iets begin doen. Ek dank u.
MS D CARTER
Dr P J GROENEWALD
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, Minister Gordhan, many would agree with my stating that you have been one of the few Ministers respected by many opposition parties, even if we differed sharply on matters of policy and fiscal and economic direction.
It was sad to see you having to respond to aspersions cast against your integrity and your record of good public service in relation to the current Sars war that is going on.
Minster, in breaking your silence on the matter you said, and I quote:
I have not spoken in the public domain until now out of regard for the incumbents and in the belief that good sense will prevail and alleged disputes among others will be resolved constructively.
Minister, local government has faced various interventions, including Project Consolidate, the Local Government Turnaround Strategy and now the Back to Basics strategy. How many more times will we hear of the need for an improvement in governance, greater public participation, sound financial management or the need to build capable institutions and administrations?
It is a shocking indictment that there is a need to call for municipalities to provide the most basic of services and to ensure that our towns are clean, meetings of the councils are convened, that budgets are realistic and based on cash available and that the top six posts in municipal administrations are filled by competent and qualified persons. All of these requirements are fundamental requirements in law.
The same remedies are proffered from intervention to intervention, sadly. It is nothing more than applying expensive government Band-Aid to a deep-seated problem.
In 2014 protests in South Africa reached an all-time high of 218 protests. Worryingly, 80% of these protests involved violence by participants or authorities. What is required is the acknowledgement of the root cause of the rot.
Minister, I hoped that you would have used the opportunity today to have said: I have not spoken in the public domain until now out of regard for the fact that I am a loyal cadre and in the belief that good sense would have prevailed. I can no longer keep quiet. The root cause of the continual failing of local government is to be found in incompetent, self-serving political leadership at all levels that has caused untold damage to the cause of good local governance; and rampant corruption and the capture of municipalities by powerful local and regional ANC elites.
For a country the size of ours to have 8 434 councillors is like having an army to deal with service delivery problems. This army is in rapid retreat. It is big in size and just as big in failure.
Quantity is no substitute for quality. It is imperative to halve the number of councillors. A new formula must allow proportionality inside a ward system, not parallel to it, as at present.
The panicky ruling party, sensing the punishment in 2016, is now planning to plough R4 billion into housing in the Nelson Mandela Bay area. Hon Mudau, why is this not happening in all the other cities? We need local spheres of economic growth.
Hon Minister, will you support a Bill for the establishment of a local investment corporation? Minister, it is your integrity and your public service record that is on the line. The reality is that no intervention to try to save what is left of our local government sphere will succeed.
The only solution does not lie with me and it does not lie with you; it lies with the electorate. I thank you.
Mr M P GALO
MS D CARTER
Mr M P GALO: Hon. Chair, let me first and foremost, on behalf of the AIC, thank the people of Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal for the support they have demonstrated for the AIC. This is a clear indication that the AIC is growing in this country. [Interjections.]
The AIC reluctantly supports Budget Vote for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. We say reluctantly, because the AIC is concerned about the web of corruption, not only in local government, but in the state as a whole. It is, however, worse in our local municipalities where you will find ANC councillors fighting over the spoils, while service delivery is not taking place in our poor communities. The fact that the people of Ward 2 and Ward 12 in Mtubatuba have no water, after 21 years of democracy, is a cause for concern.
The AIC does not support the steps taken by the National Treasury of withholding the equitable share of 60 municipalities, because this move by the National Treasury will negatively affect service delivery in those municipalities.
This is what the National Treasury should have done, in our view: It should have withheld the salaries of the councillors, the municipal managers and the chief financial officers in those municipalities because they are the main culprits in this regard.
Another area of concern for the AIC is the district municipalities. In your aggregated revenue and expenditure for municipalities in the second quarter of 2014-15, district municipalities received 23% of the main appropriation from revenue and spent 22,1%. These municipalities are sharing the same jurisdiction with the local municipalities, which means there is a duplication of some services by these municipalities. This anomaly needs to be corrected in order to save the tax payers’ money.
In conclusion, Minister, in your Back to Basics strategy, please, don’t forget to phase out the district municipalities. They are of no assistance; they are just for the get-rich-quick project offices of certain individuals in the ANC. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Mr M P GALO
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan; Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Andries Nel; chairperson of the portfolio committee; members of the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs; MECs for co-operative governance and traditional affairs and co-operative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs in the provinces; executive mayors and councilors; the leadership of the Houses of Traditional Leaders; the leadership here of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities; ladies and gentlemen; and fellow South Africans, we present our second Budget Vote speech of the 5th Parliament at a time when we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, as adopted on 26 June 1955.
It is important to highlight that in 2003 the democratic government brought in measures specifically meant to give effect to the provisions of Chapter 12 of the Constitution through the passing of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, to give effect to what the Freedom Charter states:
The people shall govern!
The legislation outlined the roles and functions of traditional leaders in a democratic dispensation and how government would interact with traditional leaders in building a united South Africa.
As noted from the Minister’s speech, we are committed to finalising the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill to give effect to an important milestone in the history of our democracy: recognising and affirming Khoisan leadership structures and communities.
You spoke as the Khoisan leadership, and we listened as government and, without a doubt, we are proud of the fact that we will pass this legislation, which will give hope to you as a community. Also, the Bill, once enacted, will close the gaps in the current legislation and strengthen the developmental role that the institution plays in traditional communities.
We are making progress towards addressing the issue of the fatalities resulting from the cultural practice of initiation. Last year, in this House, we indicated that we would be finalising the policy on initiation and, as the Minister said, I am also pleased to indicate that Cabinet has approved policy and we will indeed be releasing it for public comment. We will be guided by that particular policy to ensure that we save lives.
Furthermore, the Ministry’s Initiation Intervention Programme that is driven by the National House of Traditional Leaders and the Department of Traditional Affairs has been effective. As you may be aware, more deaths were experienced in the Eastern Cape than in any other province, and through this programme we saw a reduction in the number of deaths resulting from initiation.
In this financial year we will embark on a similar programme, as we did last year, to monitor initiation schools to achieve a zero death rate. We call upon traditional leaders across South Africa to work with us in this regard.
We further commend and recognise the good work that traditional leaders are doing to advance socioeconomic development in their own communities. There are those traditional leaders who use land to advance economic development within their own communities.
There are various best practices across the country, and I will highlight few examples. To start with there is the Royal Bafokeng. The Bafokeng nation owns 2 000 km2 of land that is underlaid with the second-largest known platinum deposit in the world. The Royal Bafokeng developed Vision 2020 with the aim of enabling it to be a self-sufficient community and will be producing 15 000 entrepreneurs, among other things.
The Royal Bafokeng traditional council gives Bafokeng children bursaries for tertiary education studies. They have built a school called Lebona High, and even traditional leaders from Africa are sending their children to the North West to study.
The Empangisweni Traditional Council, under the leadership of progressive traditional leader Inkosi Zondo, is highly engaged in agricultural produce and stock-farming projects and these have created employment for local communities, with a vegetable project employing 80 members of the traditional community, the majority of whom are women and youth earning R2 000 a month.
In this regard, there is the citrus fruit project, with 22 small-scale farmers employing women and youth. This is the good work that traditional leaders are doing.
I also commend the work of the Dzumeri Traditional Council, under Hosi Dzumeri in Limpopo, which has given 50 wheelchairs to needy men, women and children and which has committed to increasing the number of wheelchairs to 100 in the next year.
I commend also the Morena Paulus Moloi of the Makholokoe community in the Free State which has built a computer centre, bakery and launched agricultural projects.
I also give praise to Kgosi Pilane and the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Traditional Council for the big development projects that they are running within their communities. These projects have created employment for the youth, women and other members of these communities.
I applaud them for their commitment to serving and bringing change to these communities, and for also developing bulk services such sewages and electrification, using mining proceeds to develop and improve service delivery - working with the municipalities.
We call upon traditional leaders to join hands with government in addressing the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality in their communities.
Traditional leaders, as custodians of land in most of our rural areas, can address these challenges by making land available for use by the community as per the applicable legislation. Please don’t sell the land, but rather lease it once you have acquired it, ensuring therefore that development takes place. Also, ensure that this land is utilised effectively and that support is obtained from the relevant government institutions.
In addition, together with government, develop cultural tourism within your own areas — in this regard, all heritage sites within your own communities. I also applaud business and others for partnering with traditional leaders and their communities to bring about a better life, though that has not yet been realised in other areas such as Vhembe, Lephalele and Sekhukhune, which are emerging platinum belts. We hope, therefore, that the lessons of Ba Kgafela and Bafokeng will replicate themselves in those areas.
The Programme of Action emanating from the President’s speech when he was addressing the National House of Traditional Leaders will go a long way in addressing poverty and joblessness in traditional communities.
President Jacob Zuma has called on traditional leaders to organise themselves and work together to claim land that was taken from their forefathers. The President said that land was a very important aspect of economic growth and that the people of South Africa were nothing without it.
The importance of utilising land, therefore, after claiming it is going to be key and very important. What the debate should be about is: What do we do after reclaiming the land? This is so that people use it productively.
We recognise the role that the institution of traditional leadership and interfaith communities plays in building social cohesion in the country. We applaud all our traditional leaders for providing leadership over the past months when there were attacks on foreign nationals, ensuring that no incidents took place in all those traditional communities.
I really want to support what the hon Hlengwa said in that not a single incident was recorded. Therefore that shows that leadership of the traditional leaders is here and they are giving it, including King Zwelithini. So I do not know then why other people also decide that they will comment in the manner in which they did.
Traditional leaders, you have heard with your own ears what the DA said about you. You are the people who have been hurt. They have not apologised and they have not withdrawn what they said, so you be the judges. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
We have made major strides in restoring the dignity of our traditional leaders and ensuring that there is stability within traditional communities. To this end, 844 traditional leadership disputes and claims, which are handled currently by the Nhlapo commission, have been finalised.
In this financial year we will finalise the outstanding 400 disputes and claims. Royal families are urged to resolve their succession disputes amicably within the family without taking each other to court.
There are 829 traditional councils, with 11 kings and seven provincial houses, and about 8 000 headmen and headwomen. Yes, government pays them. In Europe the government of the United Kingdom, the government of Spain and the government of the Netherlands look after their monarchical institutions. What’s wrong with South Africa doing that I don’t know. I don’t know what the DA wants to imply and what they want to do. [Interjections.]
Traditional leadership has a role to play in the extension of democracy and accountability to our traditional communities. It is therefore of critical importance for municipalities to make appropriate space for traditional leaders in matters of governance that affect them and that they work together in ensuring that the Back to Basics programme is realised and that we are able to work together.
I urge traditional leaders also to promote ubuntu and lead in the Moral Regeneration Movement, so that they can then begin to foster the issues of culture and ensure that our languages are protected and that we are able to retain our national identity.
I therefore want to say as the Deputy Minister of the Department that we will work with you to ensure that we indeed achieve all the goals. In that regard, we salute Mpendulo Sigcawu and say, “Ah! Zwelonke!” as you are having your coronation ceremony tomorrow.
In conclusion, the Ministry is committed to restoring the dignity and integrity of the institution of traditional leaders. I would like to thank my family, the staff in my office and the Cogta family as a whole for their continued support.
Let’s join all South Africans and the ANC in paying tribute to Mama Ruth Mompati. May her soul rest in peace. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr C D MATSEPE
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Mr C D MATSEPE: Chairperson, the SA Local Government Association, Salga, is meant to serve as the representative voice of all 278 municipalities in the country.
The main cost driver over the medium term is compensation for employees which is expected to grow to R311,1 million in the 2017-18 financial year.
One of the biggest recipients in this regard is Salga’s Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Xolile George, who receives an amount of R2,8 million, plus bonuses and allowances annually. This is more than the President receives. While Mr George has done much to clean up the internal affairs of Salga, our municipalities remain in a dire state.
We remain cautiously optimistic about Salga’s intention to implement a self-sustaining funding model from 2016-18 onwards, because many municipalities are unable or unwilling to even pay their electricity and water bills.
The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, Misa, will receive over R300 million in the current and coming financial years to support municipalities with infrastructure delivery. Unfortunately, we heard this year that Misa was complicit in awarding a contract of over R600 million to the politically connected Siyenza Group without a competitive bidding process having been followed. [Interjections.]
Misa cannot be just another state entity where tenderpreneurs come knocking on the door for lucrative contracts.
The department will also transfer R116,8 million to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic ... [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
Ms N MTHEMBU
Mr C D MATSEPE
Ms N MTHEMBU: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Ministers, chairperson of the portfolio committee, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Through you, Chair, it will be important that when we come here we come with facts and not to play to the public. I will also request hon Carter to make time to attend our committee meetings. She has never been to our committee meetings, yet she comes here and misleads the nation.
It is important for her to be factual in everything that she says. She has embarrassed herself in saying that there must be a sphere of local government when we already have a sphere of local government.
Allow me to convey my condolences to the family of Me Ruth Mompati. She was a stalwart of our movement and today I stand here as a woman because of her selfless efforts towards the emancipation of women. Today I am proud of her contribution to us as women.
Lala ngoxolo, Mbokodo. [Rest in peace, Mbokodo.]
Fellow South Africans, I speak in support of the Budget Vote on behalf of the ANC. In the year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in action to advance economic freedom, as it was declared by President J G Zuma in his 2015 state of the nation address, it is important for us as a nation not to forget where we come from so that we will not find ourselves making the mistake of praising the previous oppressors as happened during the DA’s elective conference.
A Mr Allistar Sparks boldly told the delegates that he considered Verwoerd as having been one really smart politician.
Abahlali baseNingizimu Afrika mabangakhohliseki ngoba i-ANC iseyiyo inhlangano nanamhlanje elwaziyo usizi lwabantu nezingqinamba ababhekene nazo. [Ubuwelewele.] Yingakho yenze ukuthi lolu hlelo loMqulu weNkululeko ikakhulukazi umshwana wesithathu uthi ...
... the people shall share in the country’s wealth.
Historically during the 20th century, Africa was racially segregated and the then government was characterised by a strong focus on central planning and control, with almost no role for local authorities in economic planning and development beyond certain spatial planning responsibilities. In addition, it was evident that there was a clear policy of neglect in many areas where the population was predominantly nonwhite. Hence there is a need to revitalize local economies.
In contrast, the post-1994 government has placed a strong emphasis on community and grassroots initiatives and participation. Importantly, local government is now viewed as a sphere of government, with the allocation of a range of roles and responsibilities with respect to economic and social development. This environment has proved to be supportive of the general concept of local economic development.
Twenty-one years into the democratic dispensation and after 15 years of developmental government, local government still works within an apartheid landscape where cities and towns are racially segregated, with the poor often living in townships kilometres away from business and industrial areas.
The creation of liveable, integrated cities, towns and rural areas means that we have to overcome the terrible legacy of apartheid.
In ensuring that the local authorities do in fact focus on local economic development as a priority, the ANC-led government introduced mechanisms that will improve the economic and social conditions of our people, as we have inherited significant inequality gaps, spatial disparities and backlogs in access to basic services.
Municipalities have now been given the roles and responsibilities to develop good plans and strategies such as the Integrated Development Plan, IDP, and Local Economic Development, LED, which will ensure that poverty, unemployment and inequality are dealt with.
The Constitution also recognises the importance of local government in economic development, by stating that-
153. A municipality must—
(a) structure and manage its administration and budgeting and planning processes to give priority to the basic needs of the community, and to promote the social and economic development of the community; …
Ms A M DREYER: So why don’t they do that?
Ms N MTHEMBU: The concept of a developmental local government was defined in the White Paper on Local Government as, and I quote:
Local government committed to work with citizens and groups within the community to find sustainable ways to meet their social, economic and material needs and improve the quality of their lives.
The ANC-led government is indeed implementing clause 3 of the Freedom Charter which states that people shall share in the country’s wealth. This clause has been brought to life by the introduction of initiatives such as the Urban Renewal Programme and the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant, which was introduced in the mid-90s as a mechanism to revitalise historically marginalised towns and townships — which were created by you. [Interjections.]
Through these approaches or initiatives, government has a decisive and unapologetic role to play in shaping the economic destiny of our country. We have created an environment in which the overall economic and social conditions of the locality are conducive to the creation of employment opportunities. This is now the responsibility of local government.
As hon Carter requested, we must have a sphere of local government. Well, we do have one and it has roles and responsibilities. The ANC is indeed a working organisation. [Interjections.]
Re a sebetsa. Re tswela pele.
Furthermore, local economic development is an outcome of actions and interventions resulting from good local governance, and the constant improvement and integration of national priorities and programmes in local spaces. Therefore, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in its 2015-16 Budget Vote, aims at assisting municipalities to be able to facilitate the process of improvement. The ANC supports the budget. I thank you. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chair, on a point of order: While the previous speaker was at the podium and she talked about the ANC being hard at work, I overheard hon Mileham saying, “And lining your pockets”. That is an allegation of corruption. Is that parliamentary? [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPESRON (Mr B L Mashile): Did you say that?
Mr K J MILEHAM: Chairperson, it’s a statement of fact. We know that R30 billion goes missing every year through corruption. So yes, the ANC is working to line its pockets.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, he should submit that through a substantive motion. I think the hon member should withdraw his statement. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Order hon members! [Interjections.] Order hon members! Hon Mileham, did you refer to the member who was on the podium in saying that she was lining her pockets?
Mr K J MILEHAM: Chairperson, I did not refer to the member. I said that the ANC is working to line its pockets. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Chair, may I address you?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Yes, hon Waters.
Mr M WATERS: Thank you, Chairperson.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): I am requesting that we first deal with this particular point of order and finalise it.
Mr M WATERS: It is on this point, Chair. [Interjections.] May I address you?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Okay, continue.
Mr M WATERS: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Mileham did not cast any aspersions on an individual member. He cast aspersions on a party, and that is parliamentary. If the hon member had cast aspersions on an individual member, which he had not, then yes, he would have to withdraw. However, he didn’t.
He cast aspersions on a party. Many a time the ANC stands up and accuses the DA of a, b and c, and we have to take it on the chin. It’s time that the ANC took criticism on the chin. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Thank you very much. Are you also standing on the point of order, hon Deputy Minister?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERBNMENT: Chairperson, the hon member said, “Siyasebenza!” (“We are working!”) to which the hon Mileham said, “Working to line your pockets”. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon members, may I consult on this specific matter before making a ruling, just before the end of this sitting? Thank you very much.
Mr L R MBINDA
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile)
Mr L R MBINDA: Hon Chair, hon members, the system set out in Chapter 3 of the Constitution is very clear in relation to government spheres. We have noted that in respect of policy development it is centralised. As a result, the roles that are meant to be played by provinces are not clear.
Municipalities are not expected to engage in law-making in any substantive way. However, they keep on breaking the laws. They know that, as political parties, we deploy and recall councillors.
Examples are the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and Mnquma Local Municipality, who keep on refusing to create positions as per PAC instruction, because of the relationship they have with those particular councillors.
They need to understand that we are not asking favours of them. They must simply carry out the instruction because we have created the vacancies – as they normally do, by the way, with the ruling party. Too many reports of fraud and corruption in municipalities point towards inappropriate interference exercised by political office bearers.
Protests over poor service delivery are becoming the order of the day. The masses of our country are liberating themselves, so the PAC will have to come in as a vanguard party to give them direction.
The PAC believes that greater emphasis should be placed on accountability and performance and strengthening the institutional capacity of provincial and local government. The restructuring of intergovernmental structures at provincial and local level will ensure that functions are not duplicated. Government should not just manage sectors, but co-ordinate and integrate functions in order to promote sustainable development.
We know that if political office bearers and officials in the public sector change their mindset to embrace co-operation, there will not be chaos with performance and accountability. The department should focus on capacity building and strengthening their institutions. We support the Budget Vote. Thank you, Chair.
Mr N T GODI
Mr L R MBINDA
Mr N T GODI: Hon Chair, comrades and hon members, the APC supports the Budget Vote of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which has the responsibility of ensuring that participatory democracy and development happens at the local level.
The overwhelming majority of municipalities have not fully lived up to their responsibilities. The reports of the Auditor-General do not paint a good picture, especially on financial management. In spite of the millions being spent on consultants, capacity and service delivery still lag behind.
Your Back to Basics call is commendable, but to succeed, it requires all spheres fully to play their roles.
Comrade Minister, there is a need to strengthen the oversight capacity in municipalities, especially in the municipal public accounts committees. They remain vulnerable to political machinations.
We also believe that a full implementation of available legislation would not require the kind of interventions that you are making. Just look at section 47 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act and sections 131 and 134 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act.
Councillors and municipal officials must serve the public wholeheartedly; shun corruption, waste and mismanagement; and report through appropriate channels any acts of financial misconduct. The people deserve better.
I also want to state, Comrade Minister, that the institution of traditional leadership is part of the Constitution. However, it appears as if it is being attended to piecemeal and reluctantly.
Our concern is especially about the motive force of that institution – that is, the headmen and headwomen, traditional councillors and employees in traditional authority offices. Their plight was laid bare to the director-general in a recent meeting in his offices. The APC calls for decisive action to address their misery.
Lastly, the APC supports your call for all of us to urge on and educate the public about their civic responsibility to pay for services and respect and preserve public facilities. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr K J MILEHAM
Mr N T GODI
Mr K J MILEHAM: Such a good story to tell? Chairperson, according to the Roman historian, Tacitus, citizens of ancient Rome watched helplessly as their city burned for six days and seven nights.
The great fire that consumed Rome in 64 AD spread quickly to destroy more than 70% of the city. Legend has it that the Emperor of Rome, Nero, had set the fire himself in order to rebuild the city in a style more to his liking. The most enduring rumour of all, however, was that Nero played the fiddle while watching his capital burn.
Fast forward now to 2015. South Africa’s municipalities are in complete disarray. Service delivery protests are widespread, reaching a record high in 2014, according to Municipal IQ’s Hotspots Monitor. And, for the record, most of those were recorded in Gauteng, narrowly followed by the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
South Africa is burning, but what does our good Minister Gordhan do? He fiddles. His Back to Basics programme has demonstrated no tangible outcomes. It is aimed at ensuring that all municipalities perform their basic functions and responsibilities; and although the programme itself is well intentioned, it does not address the primary cause of local government failure, namely the deployment of incompetent or overly politicised ANC cadres.
The department’s previous attempts to address the systemic issues in local government - Project Consolidate, the Local Government Turnaround Strategy, Batho Pele, Operation Clean Audit - were all spectacular failures, and there is little indication that this programme is going to be an improvement.
Now, in reply to a question I asked the Minister in this House on 10 September last year, he said: “Please can I be given a few months to implement Back to Basics?” It’s been eight months and what has he achieved? Nothing!
The Minister decided to seek the amalgamation of municipalities in order to ensure financial viability. Well, so much for Back to Basics. He did this with a little over a year to go before the local government elections, knowing full well that such amalgamations would disrupt the ward delimitation process and delay the IEC’s voter registration.
It is clear that these amalgamations are thinly veiled attempts to gerrymander ANC majorities in municipalities where the ANC has failed to deliver. And, as if that were not enough, he allocates a mere R139 million over the course of the next three years to cushion the effects of those amalgamations, when it is common cause that the merger of Metsweding with Tshwane cost in the region of R1,2 billion – and that was for one municipality, Minister.
Now, if we have so many dysfunctional municipalities, as your own government analysis indicates, why have there not been more section 139 interventions, or more section 154 support and assistance? And, on that note, what happened to the promised legislation to regulate those interventions? Again, Minister, I say to you that you are fiddling while South Africa burns.
The Minister has admitted to the portfolio committee that the division of revenue allocated to local government, a mere 9%, is too little for them to fulfil their mandate. The SA Local Government Association, Salga, reiterated this and pointed out that the allocation for electricity supply in the equitable share fell short by R3,56 billion of the cost of actually providing the service. The allocation for water also fell short.
Given that the equitable share is meant to ensure the provision of basic services to indigent consumers, is it any wonder that municipalities are unable to meet their basic obligations to Eskom and the water boards?
We further note that the baseline allocation for conditional grants to municipalities has been significantly reduced despite — as we are repeatedly informed by municipalities and Salga — an increase in the number of unfunded mandates devolved down to them by national government and provincial governments.
While we are talking about equitable share, where was the Minister when the withholding of this grant to 59 municipalities was discussed in the portfolio committee meeting on Tuesday? During that meeting, National Treasury was unable to point to the legal authority to withhold the equitable share from those municipalities and, of all those municipalities, only 13 out of the 59 have ever been under section 139 administration.
It seems obvious that this should be the first step when municipalities face financial difficulties, not the withholding of much-needed grant funding intended to ensure the provision of free basic services to the indigent. And, yet, this was not done.
National Treasury took the draconian step of stopping the payment of grant-funding without so much as consulting the municipalities concerned. So, again, we have a Minister who fiddles while municipalities burn.
The proposed cutting of electricity to 20 municipalities by Eskom, in a misguided effort to force them to pay their bills, is a further example. That is little more than punishing the residents — many of whom religiously pay their bills— for the failures of the municipalities and their incompetent leaders.
The DA is pleased to note, however, that the department has heeded our call for electricity revenue in those municipalities to be ring-fenced for the sole purpose of settling their obligations to Eskom and the maintenance and improvement of electricity reticulation.
Now, in contrast to our Minister, who is more absent than present – perhaps he is still dealing with those Sars investigations – the DA has an inspiring and uplifting vision for towns and cities in South Africa.
We believe that local government is key to ensuring a better quality of life for all our people. To make this better life a reality, our governments must be forward-thinking. They must create caring, safe and inclusive environments for all our residents, be well run and provide opportunities for all.
As I raised last year during the budget debate, the DA calls on government to review the funding model for local government, to reject unfunded mandates from national government and provincial governments, to ensure that a minimum of 7% of operational budgets is allocated to the maintenance of municipal infrastructure, to promote inclusivity and diversity, to redress past spatial injustices, to hold municipal officials and public representatives accountable and to reject the policy of cadre deployment.
In conclusion, Chairperson, I have a few questions for the Minister today. When are you going to answer all these questions I have in my hand that remain not properly responded to? When are you going to properly attend to your parliamentary duties by attending portfolio committee meetings? When are you going to constructively engage with me and other Members of Parliament who seek to raise concerns with you and your department?
Minister Nero, the time has come to face facts. [Interjections.] South Africa’s municipalities under your administration are collapsing. Service delivery protests and citizen dissatisfaction are on the rise. Our country is burning, and you, sir, are fiddling. [Applause.] [Interjections.] Would you like the questions? [Time expired.]
Mr M R MDAKANE
Mr K J MILEHAM
Mr M R MDAKANE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minsters, hon Deputy Ministers, MECs, mayors and councillors, traditional leaders, comrades and friends, I rise on this occasion on behalf of the ANC, with the support of the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in support of the Budget Vote 4 allocation to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
On 8 May 1996, all parties represented in the NA at the time adopted our Constitution whose preamble captured the belief that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
On the 26 June 2015, South Africa will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. The City of Johannesburg will host a celebration at the place where the Freedom Charter was adopted and signed, namely Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in Kliptown, Soweto.
The celebration will honour the square’s rich history and the activities of ordinary people who braved police intimidation in order to be part of the Congress of the People that adopted the Charter. Let me comment on two issues. Firstly ...
... ukuya kumhlonishwa uBhanga. Isilo samabandla siyichazile inkulumo yaso esiyenze oPhongolo, sathi azange siyisho le nto oyishoyo. Inkinga onayo ukuthi ngaso sonke iskhathi ukhuluma izinto ozizwe emabhasini. [Ihlombe.] Nanso inkinga onayo, futhi kade sasikuzama. Yiminyaka sikuzama ukuthi ungakhulumi into oyizwe emabhasini. [Ubuwelewele.] Manje ngoba awulaleli, uyayenza le nto. Musa-ke ukwenza izinto ezingafanelanga ukwenziwa umhlonishwa. Abahlonishwa bonke uma beza lapha kufanele bakhulume lokho abakwaziyo; abangakwazi bakuyeke ngoba lokho kuyasiphazamisa kakhulu.
Okunye-ke engicela ukuthi ukwenze, ukuthi wazi ukuthi umsebenzi esiwenzayo wokweza ngcono izimpilo zabantu uyaqhubeka, uyaqhubeka futhi uyaqhubeka nje njalo! [Ihlombe.]
The hon Galo raised the issue of corruption. What is strange though is that even if I accept that corruption is a problem or a disease and all of us must defeat it, I would have thought that those who knew people who are corrupt would have gone to the police to report them ... [Applause.] [Interjections.] ... because they are committing crime.
However, the hon members come here and just play on these issues when they should have gone to report those people who are corrupt because corruption is a theme on the line, anyway.
I suppose that hon Galo is going to do that, as he is going to Matatiele tomorrow. He would not just come here and tell us about corruption but then not report anyone who is corrupt because that is a bigger problem. [Interjections.]
Hon Mileham, there are two things that you should note and accept. The Minister is not a member of the portfolio committee. He attends the meetings of a portfolio committee on invitation to come and account or report to the committee.
He was not at the meeting precisely because he submitted his apology and the committee accepted his apology. He was deployed to do the work necessary to improve the quality of life of the people.
Another problem that is imminent is that parties come here, but we do not even know what their policies are. They come here using their natural intelligence, but there is no policy that is put forward to address the challenges that we are facing at local government level. [Applause.] [Interjections.] I am coming to you!
The ANC has presented a plan: Back to Basics. The plan was accepted by all parties in the Chamber and we have started to implement the plan. [Interjections.] The plan is working. We are bettering the living conditions of people in every corner of our country. We have also accepted that the plan is not going to be implemented overnight, but the programme is there. We have started to implement it.
In fact, we have changed things around. We have arrested people who are corrupt. We do not come and talk about them here; we arrest them. [Interjections.] We have dealt with the problems that are faced by our people. We have dealt with the question of basic services. The plan is being implemented as we are speaking here.
The problem also, hon Matlhoko, is that we have known you for some time, but you have never presented any substantive issue that all of us can then engage on and entertain the discussion of the organisation. [Interjections.] [Applause.] Every time you come here I know that you would generally use your natural intelligence because you have got no policy. [Interjections.]
You have got no policy! If you would submit your policy then we could engage with you. I declare, therefore that the ANC is a leader of this society. [Interjections.] And, since the ANC is a liberation movement, all of you will make the policies of the ANC a reference point. We declare that! We declare that! [Interjections.]
However, hon Mileham, you have one problem. One thing that is worrying me about you is that every time you participate in a debate, you demonstrate anger of the highest order. [Interjections.] You will have to decide — we are not the ones who are going to decide which trend of liberalism you must follow. [Interjections.]
It is not we who have to decide for you. You have to decide whether the negative liberalism that you are following is the correct one or not. [Applause.] We are not the ones who are going to decide it for you. Your approach generally at times, makes it difficult even to understand the point that you are talking about.
You know that your party had a conference, I think last week, and there was no policy matter that was debated in that conference. [Interjections.] You have no policy on local government. What you do is to take the ANC policies and use them as your own policies.
In fact, I think it has taken your leader no less than 20 years to understand that the enemy of our people is poverty, unemployment and inequality. It took him so many years to understand that, and then suddenly he is talking the language of the ANC because the ANC is the leader of society. [Applause.] We accept that, and that is point we are making so you should address some of these issues.
We know that many members ... [Interjections.]
Mr K J MILEHAM: Address the issues that I raised in my speech.
Mr M R MADIKANE: No, I know ...
Mr K J MILEHAM: Because you can’t. [Interjections.]
Mr M R MADIKANE: The issues that you addressed in your speech do not say anything because you have repeated them several times, and we have given you answers on each and every point that you have raised.
Every day you come here to raise the same issues. They do not become new just because you keep raising them again. We have replied to those issues a long time ago. There is no other issue that you should be coming here to raise with us. It is important to understand that.
Some of the issues that were raised by hon Matlhoko, even some of the points by hon Hlengwa, we agree with and accept them because, again, the ANC has always since its inception respected the traditional-leadership institutions. [Applause.]
We have never questioned the existence of kings, chiefs or traditional systems. We have always respected them. In fact, many of them were a part of the conference that formed the ANC. [Interjections.]
The point that we are raising is that no one is above the law in South Africa. [Interjections.] No one is above the law in South Africa and no one ever argued that the king is above the law in South Africa. It cannot work that way. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Order, hon Bhanga. Do not drown out the speaker.
Mr M R MDAKANE: The point that we are raising is that we have a plan to address the challenges that we are facing at the local-government level. We have implemented the plan. The majority of our people everywhere in the country are very excited that the plan is in place. They have seen the results of the plan.
Of course, you are the opposition. Sure, you are the opposition. Therefore you have to say anything that you want to say precisely because you do not have the responsibility of governing the country. [Applause.] You have no responsibility to govern the country so then you can say anything you want to say.
The point that you must face though is whether it’s correct for you in the 21st century to follow negative liberalism? [Interjections.] You must take a decision on that yourselves as a party because the manner in which you are engaging on matters is very negative.
You are very negative and then you are not addressing some of these issues that we have raised. Let me also raise the issue with the hon Cater that the ANC is not panicking about anything. We are addressing the problems of our people. We live with them and we understand their suffering.
Hence, we are working day and night to resolve those problems. [Applause.] Surely, we are with them every time. That is why we are resolving their problems because we understand the suffering of our people. We have no time to waste discussing matters that you have no policy to even attend to. [Interjections.]
Ms CARTER: We do have a policy.
Mr M R MADIKANE: Where is the policy; where is this policy? [Interjections.] There is no policy here! [Interjections.] The point that we are raising though is that all of us, members of the governing party, are committed to implementing our manifesto. We are committed to implementing the Back to Basics programme. We are committed to ensuring that we address the problems of our people.
We are also fighting against corruption and nepotism, but what you do not appreciate is the ANC itself is transparent. In fact, there is no other party as transparent as the ANC in the world [Laughter.] [Interjections.] There is no other party like it. [Interjections.] In fact, I have never seen any party like the ANC in terms of its transparency.
You know that when we designed the Back to Basics programme, we said these are the political problems that are facing local authorities. We gave you that information, you know it very well. We said that corruption is a problem. We said that factions sometimes are a problem. There are many issues that we mentioned — you did not tell us what those issues were. [Interjections.]
Suddenly you become the experts of local government because we are debating it here, when you know that you have no capacity to do so. [Applause.] That is a bigger problem that you are facing. We will address some of the issue. [Interjections.] We will have a discussion in committee and we will address some of these issues. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Mr M R MDAKANE
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, as the hon Mdakane has said, ours is the responsibility to transform; ours is the responsibility to change; ours is the responsibility to serve 50 million people, not just a small fraction; ours is the responsibility to act on those things that we see as being in the interests of all the people of South Africa. In the case of local government and the Back to basics programme, that is exactly what we are doing.
Let me reiterate. The first is that the Back to basics programme is working. Secondly, there is evidence that we are shifting municipalities from the states of dysfunctionality or challenges that they have. We have lists of them, and there is proof that as we continue we will do so. Thirdly, in respect of the Eskom debt we have an approach which says, let’s collaboratively sit with the Treasury, the SA Local Government Association, Salga, and with the affected municipalities and lets solve the problems.
I think it is common sense that as municipalities face some of these challenges we certainly need to review the fiscal framework within which we work. So I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to come along and tell us, “I’m proposing that this fiscal framework must change”.
It will change. It has been evolving and it will evolve further as we actually go on. I have taken the trouble to meet with the mayors and municipal managers of the top 20 municipalities that are affected by this particular problem.
We have a clear plan of action. We will implement and monitor that plan of action. We made it clear to them that they, together with us, must make sure that communities pay. We must make sure that government departments pay. I said so in my speech. They need to ensure much better financial management than they have been undertaking up to this point and make sure that they collect the debt that is actually due to them.
On the question of corruption, we just go on pointing fingers. The chair of the portfolio committee is correct; I have told you that 115 forensic reports have appeared before us, and that 98 of them have been assessed with the law enforcement agencies.
Four types of action are being taken: asset forfeiture, disciplinary hearings, and criminal prosecutions and civil claims. Take up the chairperson’s offer. Come and tell us in the next debate how many complaints you have laid with the police about corruption taking place, with specific examples of it actually having taken place. Then let’s have a debate on this matter.
On the question of improving services to the people, we are developing a shared service model which is going to enhance our ability with municipalities to make sure that even the smaller municipalities that lack planning, engineering or legal capabilities are provided with those capabilities as we go forward.
On the question of procurement, I reiterate that we have said that we want to save money; we want to spend our money better; and we want better deals with the private sector in respect of those goods and services that are related to municipal infrastructure. In a few months we can come back to Parliament to say what progress we have made in this regard.
We want to promote citizen participation and ensure that citizens also help us to understand where the difficulties in municipalities are and how we actually deal with them, with them being part of this particular process.
Hon Bhanga, perhaps the newly crowned leader of your party needs to tell South Africa where you stand on traditional leadership; where you stand on the constitutional recognition that traditional leaders are given; where you stand in respect of the total disrespect that you have shown his Majesty the King. [Applause.]
I think there is a huge difference between disagreement with something and disrespect for somebody, and that is what the DA doesn’t understand. They don’t understand what it means to fire cheap shots across the floor here without understanding the consequences of those shots.
I think that sometimes you have to learn what it means to be principled, as difficult as it may be. Hon Bhanga, your comments are inflammatory, they are dangerous and they are risky in the kind of diverse society in which we live. [Applause.] You need to go home and think about that.
Hon Hlengwa is absolutely right. If local government fails, it affects our people. There are some things that we need to put above everything else. There are some things that we need to make work despite our political differences, and that is the call, together with the maturity that is required. I’m not sure whether we are going to get it from everybody on the left of this particular floor.
Hon Groenewald inspires a particular thought. Is it not time to start helping those of us who are still in a denialist mode about our past, by having a special debate on 20 years since apartheid and what we still suffer from as a result of apartheid?
Hon Groenewald, don’t be a denialist. Face the facts of life. Even as you stand here speaking in your language, although through interpretation, you can’t help yourself but say, “them” and “us”. You constantly refer to them in an insulting and derogatory way.
No, you must rethink how you approach these particular questions. We are no longer your servants. We are no longer second-class citizens. [Applause.] We are equal citizens in a democratic South Africa. Learn to respect us. [Interjections.] Learn to respect us!
Hon Carter, I see that you have let yourself down. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon Minister, take your seat.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: I will stand if you don’t mind. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Just take your seat, sir.
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Ek wag vir die agb Minister om te sit. Ek het respek vir hom ... [Tussenwerpsels.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Is that a point of order?
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Dit is ’n punt van orde. Ek wil weet of dit aanvaarbaar en parlementêr is dat die agb Minister hier kan kom en ’n onwaarheid vertel van wat ek gesê het. Ek was nog nooit disrespekvol of eenigsins andersins, veral teenoor die agb Minister nie. [Tussenwerpsels.] As ek van hom praat ... hy is die Minister, nie ek nie. Dit is so eenvoudig soos dit. [Tussenwerpsels.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Thank you very much. That is not a point of order. Continue Minister.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chair, when we are at the receiving end it’s always a bit more difficult. When the giving happens it seems it’s actually fairly easy.
Hon Matsepe, let me make it very clear that there is no complicity between the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, Misa, and the Siyenza Group project. In fact, there are certain processes, which unfortunately are subject to the law, on which we shall soon be commenting publicly, which indicate that there are certain things that we have to review as a result of new information we have. So please be careful about the allegations that you make.
Hon Godi, we agree with you on oversight and the necessity to actually strengthen the impacts on our particular environment.
I thought that hon Mileham would have something substantial to say. Once again he has displayed his total bankruptcy. He displays his total inadequacy in trying to understand not only the nature of the challenges that we face but also the nature of the progress that we have made as South Africa.
He stands here creating such melodrama – in Durban where I come from, if the hon Chairperson doesn’t mind, we call them drama queens – about South Africa burning. Where is it burning?
Is that the image that this patriotic member of the DA wants to create about South Africa? That we are burning; that we are a country in disarray; and that we are a country that doesn’t know where it is going? Is it? Is that how you go about winning votes — with such irresponsibility and no sense of what it means to have the national interest at heart?
You must be able to differentiate between national interests and party political interests. [Interjections.] I repeat, there are times when you must put party political interests second. Your analogy is about Nero and fiddling. You fiddle around whilst you also deny, and become an apartheid denialist about the spatial arrangements in Cape Town or anywhere else.
How can we deny that we still have the structural effects of apartheid spatial planning? We are still waiting for the DA and its leadership in Parliament and elsewhere to tell us where they stand on Mr Verwoerd. We haven’t heard a thing! We haven’t heard a thing, so are they in sympathy with Mr Verwoerd?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon Minister, take your seat.
Mr K J MILEHAM: Chairperson, on a point of order: the Minister is misleading the House. [Interjections.] He is misrepresenting what I said. I have at no stage denied any spatial injustices. In fact, in my statement I called for the redress of spatial injustices. [Interjections.] That is a complete misrepresentation of what I said. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Mileham is an apartheid denialist! [Interjections.]
Mr K J MILEHAM: Chairperson, I demand that that remark be withdrawn! [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: He is an apartheid denialist! [Interjections.]
Mr K J MILEHAM: Chair, I demand that it be withdrawn! [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: He does not want to confront ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): It’s not a point of order.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: He does not want to confront the reality of the effects of apartheid on our municipalities. [Interjections.] May I continue, Chairperson?
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon Minister, take your seat. Take your seat, hon Minister.
Mr M WATERS: May I address you, Chair?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): What are you rising on?
Mr M WATERS: On a point of order. May I address you?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Okay, proceed.
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, the hon Minister just said that hon Mileham is an apartheid denialist, thereby ... [Interjections.] ... casting aspersions on an individual member. Therefore, he should withdraw that comment. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon Minister, just take you seat. Hon Minister, take your seat!
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Oh, are we not finished yet? [Interjections.] How dare you! [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon members, we are close to the end of this debate and we have been conducting ourselves much better. I would have loved us to complete the debate successfully rather than creating drama right at the end. Hon members, can you allow the Minister to complete? [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, I asked you to make a ruling on what the hon Minister ... [Interjections.] ... called an individual member.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: On a point of order, Chair.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon Minister, take your seat. What are you rising on, Mr Waters?
Mr M WATERS: Hon Chair, I rose on a point of order, saying that the hon Minister called an individual member, hon Mileham, an apartheid denialist. It directly casts aspersions ... [Interjections.] ... on an individual member, which is unparliamentary. I would like you to make a ruling and ask the Minister to withdraw those comments please.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, I don’t understand how these hon members think. The Minister is responding to what was said. What is wrong with that? If the kitchen is too hot, just get out! [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon members, I thought that the hon Minister had expressed a view. [Interjections.] That is why I requested us not to transform a view that he had expressed with regard to what he had heard, and thereby create drama in the debate. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, may I address you? The Minister was directly casting aspersions on an individual member of the House. [Interjections.] I would hope that the Table would actually guide you in this regard. We have precedence in this House that when members cast aspersions on other individual members, they must withdraw their statements. Please!
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, may I address you?
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: I have to address you. [Interjections.] Join the fun! Join the fun! [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Hon Deputy Chief Whip?
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, the very same member did the same thing to the hon Mthembu and he refused to withdraw his remarks. We were sitting here. If you can’t take it, just get out! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Chairperson, the test that applies in this House is whether the remarks are unparliamentary. I don’t know what it means when saying that a member is casting aspersions on another member. The issue is whether that remark is unparliamentary or not. [Interjections.] Perhaps it will be best to study Hansard and then give a considered ruling on the matter. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Yes, hon members, I think that will be the best route. Of course, at the moment it is the Minister who is the last speaker of the debate, which means that after consultation on this specific matter the ruling will have to be made at the next plenary. Hon Minister, you may continue and conclude the debate.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, an apartheid denialist is one who denies that space was configured during that period and that it still affects us.
An apartheid denialist is one who doesn’t take history into account in terms of the kind of challenges that we face on the ground. [Applause.]
An apartheid denialist is one who can’t understand or provide the answers, as the hon chairperson said, about how we recover from the kind of backlogs that we actually have.
An apartheid denialist is one who just blindly says, “If I govern this place I can do everything that needs to be done”. That is not true. An apartheid denialist is one who doesn’t confront the very structural challenges that our society actually faces at this point in time.
In conclusion, I would like to thank my two Deputy Ministers for the kind of support and good working relationship that we have; the two directors-general, Mr Madonsela and Mr Nwaila, and various officials in the department; the staff in my office; the chair of the portfolio committee, Mr Mdakane, and members of the portfolio committee; the Salga leadership; the MECs; the mayors and municipal managers; and indeed all of the political parties who have supported this Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B L Mashile): Thank you very much. Hon members, with regard to the previous point of order, I had earlier indicated that we are consulting. I have not completed verifying the exact words that were spoken. Therefore, I will request that the ruling on that point of order, together with the ruling on this one, be made in the next plenary by the Chair of this House.
Members are reminded that the debates on the Budget Vote on Public Enterprises and the Budget Vote on Environmental Affairs will take place at 16:40 in the National Assembly Chamber and Old Assembly Chamber respectively.
The Committee rose at 16:33.
No related documents