Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 06 Sep 2017
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER 2017
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:04.
The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, members! Order! Hon members, before we proceed with today’s business, I wish to make the following announcements – that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly due to the passing on of Mr T Z M Khoza has been filled by the nomination of Ms A T Mfulo with effect from 1 September 2017 and that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the resignation of Dr W G James has been filled by the
nomination of Mr R T Hugo with effect from
4 September 2017. [Applause.]
The members have taken their oath of affirmation in the Deputy Speaker’s Office. Welcome, once more, members, to the National Assembly.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, at the last sitting where you were present, you indicated that you would be returning to this House with a ruling on the behaviour of Mr Dirks. I wondered if you were in a position to deliver that ruling today.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will let you know when we are ready to do it. We will do it, yes. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, I thought I should do something unprecedented ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Resign?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: ... and start off by addressing a matter which has embroiled me in matters that affect my personal life. I thought ... [Interjections.] ... because I work with all of you – right across party lines – and, in many ways, all of you are my colleagues that I would just say that I will be addressing this matter in a day or two. This one does because I do need to take responsibility and be accountable – indeed, not to this House, but I just wanted to say it. So, I had a sense that because we are all colleagues, much as this matter is a personal one, I should make this type of statement. Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Deputy President ... you are still
... sorry. [Interjections.] Go ahead.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I want to proceed with answering questions.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yesterday, we received the rather positive news that South Africa is out of a technical recession. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
We have seen how multilateral organisations like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the G20, and many others that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, stable have been seeking to find answers for reforms in order to reverse global lack of growth and inequality. Many countries have to deal with their own challenges of growth. Therefore, the news from our own Statistics SA that GDP had risen 2,5% in the last quarter was very encouraging indeed.
However, this is not the time to celebrate yet, for the task before us remains huge. We are far behind our National Development Plan, NDP, target of 5% growth per annum. The triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality remain. Our young people continue to be at the epicentre of the unemployment challenge, and poverty, as we have all heard, continues to rise. Like several sectors of the economy, mining remains a priority sector. We believe that the sector retains great potential to create jobs and to contribute to our national wealth.
The plan that is in place for mining is beginning to bear fruit. Mining production increased by 4,6% year on year in February this year. Statistics SA recently reported that, compared to previous years, job losses in the mining sector had slowed down substantially in the last quarter of 2016. The 2017 employment numbers show that the mining sector is thus far making a positive contribution. As a demonstration of working together, government convened mining industry stakeholders in 2015 in the collaborative Operation Phakisa, which in itself is showing positive results. To substantially raise employment, we need to have more inclusive growth. We also need to change the structure of our economy and demonstrate that, if we have startups and new entrants in our economy, we should be able to stimulate greater competition and, therefore, growth.
We need more regional trade and better integration into global value chains. We need to work with all social partners to rebuild confidence and to stabilise our state-owned enterprises. These expectations are matched by our daily actions to reignite growth, as we are doing
in InvestSA. Reducing red tape and the cost associated with starting new businesses is beginning to work.
In unlocking our ocean economy, Operation Phakisa has unlocked investments estimated at R24,6 billion, with government contributing R15 billion to this. The Department of Trade and Industry is currently providing incentive support to the tune of R428 million for investment in ports and marine manufacturing, including boat building and aquaculture, and this has led to the creation of almost 7 000 jobs. We are working on several fronts to build confidence and productivity in our economy.
In pursuit of stability, peace and fairness in the workplace, we have been working with social partners to reduce the risks of prolonged and violent strikes. This has borne fruit. The principles of the national minimum wage have been agreed, and we should be in time to introduce the national minimum wage on 1 May 2018.
Through a collaborative effort, government and business have agreed to set up the youth service employment service, which will bring up to one million young people
into work opportunities where they will be able to gain skills and be in internships.
These are just some of the highlights that show that when government and social partners work together, they are able to improve the investment climate and create work opportunities for our people. We are fully aware that GDP growth is not enough unless the economy creates sustainable jobs and closes the inequality gap. It is important for all of us to focus on the positives. Our potential remains greater than our current difficulties, and it is up to all of us, as South Africans, to ensure that we stay the course of growth and development. It is upon all of us to demonstrate that we can infuse hope and opportunity within the South African marketplace, which would be to the benefit of our nation. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please allow me to interrupt the Deputy President and the next speaker to welcome a delegation from the Republic of The Gambia, led by the honourable attorney general and minister of justice, which is in South Africa for a week-long study
tour on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. [Applause.] Welcome to our Parliament, honourable members.
Ms J L FUBBS: Deputy Speaker, through you to the Deputy President: Thank you for your response. It was very comprehensive. [Interjections.] I would like just one or two issues clarified. You have emphasised the need for a broad, overarching partnership with all sectors of society to effect more jobs to actually implement, among other things, the mining plan, which also looked at stemming retrenchment, creating new jobs, but perhaps, most of all, your reference to the minimum wage, which has taken two years since the President mooted it in 2014. Perhaps the most important thing, as we have seen from the technical recession being overcome, is that you have managed to develop a platform on which all sectors of society can work together and overcome labour instability and what I would call investor strikes.
My question then is this: What measures are you considering at the moment to escalate, to accelerate, the creation of employment, not only among the youth, which
is a huge section of the population, but also among those 40- and 50-year-olds who were retrenched due to a lack of strategic skills? Can you please share with us what measures you are considering at the moment in government? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, clearly, the issue of unemployment is much more overarching, and it does not only affect young people. It also affects older people who have been displaced out of their jobs through the lack of economic growth and companies running into difficulties.
We are already beginning to see green shoots – green shoots in a number of sectors of our economy. If you look at what drove the last quarter growth to 2,5%, you will see that mining was one of those. Agriculture was one of those, and a number of other sectors also contributed.
Government was on the negative, and trade was slightly on the negative, as well. This demonstrates that various sectors in our economy can indeed generate growth, and that is where our focus should be. Energy also demonstrated that it can generate growth.
Agriculture was a very pleasant surprise, but not so much a surprise because in our Nine-Point Plan, we did identify agriculture as a growth driver. [Interjections.] Indeed, in the National Development Plan, we had projected that agriculture could create up to one million jobs. We are beginning to see the green shoots in as far as agriculture on its own is concerned.
The productivity increase in the mining sector also has shown that, when people focus on increasing productivity, we can see genuine growth. What does genuine growth finally lead to? It leads to creation of jobs. We are seeing it in agriculture already, and we are seeing it in other sectors of our economy. That, in a number ways, is precisely what we want to see. The overarching process that we have put in place is the way in which we have crafted this structure where government, business, labour and the community are able to get together to address the challenges that face our economy.
As it is now, they have been busy looking at issues such as the downgrading. A structure was created. The issue of looking at labour stability has yielded good results, and
the issue of investment, encouragement and confidence building is another. So, we have built a number of structures and institutions that have the ability to address all these challenges that our country faces. As I said when I ended the answer to my initial question, it is when we work together, when all sectors or stakeholders in South Africa work together, that we are able to address the problems. We are seeing precisely the benefit of working together. I have no doubt in my mind that, if we continue along this way, we will see GDP growth figures going up in the next quarters. Thank you very much.
Ms R N MASHABELA: Deputy Speaker, through you to the Deputy President: Job loss is the crisis of over accumulation and the capitalist contradiction we talk about. We all know that the capitalists cannot exploit other capitalists but can only exploit workers.
Pick ’n Pay is removing tellers to install machines. Marula Platinum and Twickenham Platinum mines retrenched workers and immediately replaced them with machines. This is happening in all other sectors, including
manufacturing and agriculture. This is not a recent but a long-time trend of a capitalist system in perpetual crisis. In this anticipated environment ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, what is your question? Your time has expired.
Ms R N MASHABELA: In this anticipated environment ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your question, hon member? [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: Here is my question. Listen to me. In this anticipated environment conducive to economic growth with increased job creation, how do you intend ... but I am still ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member. Your time has expired. [Interjections.] Your time has expired. I am sorry. [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: No, Deputy Speaker. You must be consistent.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member. The time allocated to supplementary questions is known to each one of you.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Why are you so harsh?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no! There is no additional provision.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Why are you so harsh?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member. You are one minute over your time. This cannot be harsh.
Ms N R MASHABELA: It must be applicable to all members, not to my side only. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat, hon member.
Ms N R MASHABELA: You have to do the same on that side.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Deputy President, would you like to comment? Hon member, take your seat, please.
Ms N R MASHABELA: The Deputy President has heard me!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no! Hon member, no, please.
Ms N R MASHABELA: The Deputy President has heard the question.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat, hon member, please. Please take your seat. Go ahead, hon President. Comment.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy President. Thank you. [Interjections.] Deputy Speaker, indeed the issue of job losses that is given rise to by technological advances where machines replace workers is a matter of concern to all of us. This is an age-old problem. We saw it as industrialisation started speeding up, and, in a number of sectors of our economy, we have seen how workers have lost jobs to machines or to new processes that are put in place.
The challenge that all of us have, and particularly now as we face the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is that we are going to find robots replacing workers. This is a
global problem. We have to be ahead of the curve. As a developing economy, we have to find ways in which we can keep our people in jobs. We have to create the type of jobs that are smart, jobs that will not easily be replaced by machines. However, if that happens, we should be able to ensure that our workers are so well trained and so well prepared that we will be able to absorb this storm that is coming – because it is going to come, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to be driven by machines and new technologies.
So, the challenge for us is to determiner whether we are prepared for that. I would say that it is also up to this House, these clever minds that are here, to come up with ideas on how we can ensure that we do not get our people to lose jobs, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes root also in our economy. Thank you.
Mr W M MADISHA: Deputy Speaker, the unemployment rate has been rising annually for the past nine years.
Mr H P CHAUKE: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I don’t have a problem. It is just that the Deputy Speaker
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Please, order!
Ke kopa le thole. [Please keep quiet.]
Hon members, I am chairing the session. Go ahead, hon Chauke. Hon Chauke, stop smiling and talk. [Interjections.]
Mr H P CHAUKE: Deputy Speaker, you called for hon Carter. I don’t know from when the hon Carter has a beard and has changed to look like Madisha. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, leave that to the Chair. Hon Madisha, please proceed. Order, hon members!
Mr W M MADISHA: Mr Deputy President, I already indicated that, for the past nine years, the unemployment rate has
been rising annually. Neither the President’s Nine-Point Plan nor the Minister of Finance’s 14-point plan appears to provide a real solution for tangible and meaningful economic growth. Fundamental structural reforms and confidence in the country’s leadership are required, but the executive appears unwilling or unable to take decisive, brave, and coherent action ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I am afraid your time has expired. Hon members! Hon members, the time allocation is dealt with by the Whips. I have nothing to do with it. I only enforce it. So, please, if you spend your time to comment and not ask a question, there is nothing I can do. You have already had 30 seconds more, sir. I cannot give you any more. Let the President – Deputy President – comment or respond to what you have already said. Thank you very much.
Mr T RAWULA: On a point of order, Deputy Speaker: For the second time now you have referred to the Deputy President as “President”. Don’t bring your factional battles to Parliament.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Oh? Alright. [Interjections.]
Mr T RAWULA: He is the Deputy President, not the President. You said it the first time; you are saying for the second time. Please, it is “Deputy President”. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, thank you very much for your wise advice. Hon members, please be mindful of the time allocation. I do want to repeat it – that I was not given the discretion to add a lot of additional time to the time allocation. [Interjections.] The room is very limited. Hon Deputy President, please go ahead.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, the little bit that I heard ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! You are absolutely out of order. You should not disrupt the House! Just keep quiet, please. There is order here. Go ahead, Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The little bit that I heard before the question was posed seemed to be leading to one of the problems with the levels of unemployment or what causes it being the structure of our economy. I think I heard that. If that is the case, I would agree that, yes, the structure of our economy does, in a number of ways, also give rise to the levels of unemployment, our inability to create the greater number of jobs that the country should have.
It is when we go to the root of these real systemic challenges and problems that we will be able to resolve the structure of our economy and therefore unlock growth. I have no doubt in my mind that if we were to do that, and already we are focusing on how we can restructure our economy and go to the root, we would be able to open up a number of opportunities that will lead to greater job creation. Thank you very much.
Mr J R B LORIMER: Deputy Speaker, you cannot hope to save mining jobs unless the mining industry has confidence in this government and its policies. We know the industry
does not have confidence in this government because it is taking your government to court over Mining Charter III.
So, Deputy President, do you acknowledge that Mining Charter III is a barrier to the restoration of confidence? If you do, why don’t you scrap it?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, the Mining Charter was released to industry, and what is now ensuing is that discussions are taking place between the mining industry, government, labour and, indeed, other players. I have often said that we should allow the process to carry on. That is a process through which the role players in the industry will be able to resolve the problems that beset the industry right now.
The 10-point mining plan that was released ... [Interjections.] ... the 10-point mining plan that was released seeks to address some of these challenges.
Addressing the Mining Charter is also going to allow the stakeholders to talk to each other. I was one of those who said I want us to encourage collaboration and dialogue between all stakeholders in the mining industry.
I said that advisedly because I saw what dialogue yielded when we were able to sit down to discuss issues of labour stability in the broader economy.
So, you may not have faith and confidence in people sitting around a table and having a dialogue, but some of us do because we have seen the results of what dialogue can do. [Interjections.] It is now under way, and it is no use crying over spilt milk. We now need to focus on the dialogue that is going to happen. That dialogue is the one that you should focus on and have confidence that it will yield good results. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, as I said in this House two weeks ago, in 2015, the President announced the reprioritisation of government interventions to support economic growth ... [Interjections.] ... Yes, indeed, you guess right, through the 9-Point Plan. In 2017, our implementation of the 9-Point Plan continues and it continues to create a better life, and indeed, a better economy for our country. I will tell you how it is doing so.
In the course of revitalising the agriculture and the agro-processing value chain, we have seen an export of agricultural raw products. We have seen them increasing, on average, by 14,6%, since 2012. Twenty-three agri-parks are currently being developed and will be completed by 2019. Through the implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, four industrial parks have been launched in South Africa.
We continue to see expansion in the auto sectors of our economy with auto-manufacturing companies investing billions and billions of rands. In May of this year, Beijing Automotive Works together with the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, launched the expansion of the new era facility in Springs in Gauteng. The investment into this expansion is estimated at
R250 million and will create 100 new jobs.
The MAM plant in Olifantsfontein in Gauteng is now producing busses for our Tshwane bus rapid transit, BRT, service with 80% local content. The first auto works of China invested R600 million in a truck assembly facility at Khuga in the Eastern Cape.
The clothing and textile industry turnaround has resulted in 70 000 jobs being saved with an estimated 9 550 jobs created and 28 new companies that were established. The Black Industrialist Programme has supported 46 projects that have attracted R3,7 billion of private-sector investment and this has created almost 20 000 jobs.
To support localisation, 21 products and sectors have been designated for local production. This includes products such as bus bodies, clothing, textile, leather, footwear, school furniture, office furniture, steel power pylons and canned or processed vegetables.
Our intervention to support investment and growth through the 9-Point Plan includes unlocking the potential of SMMEs, co-ops and rural and township enterprises by implementing the policy that set aside 30% for small businesses that was adopted by this government.
The one-stop shop launched in 2016 is now fully operational. You can go and visit it. On 8 September, this Friday, President Zuma will launch the first invest South Africa one-stop shop here in Cape Town. This
facility aims to provide strategic guidance, reduced regulatory inefficiencies and reduced red tape for all investors looking to invest in the Western Cape.
Now these are some of the problems that a number of members raised here and this is a clear demonstration that we have heard you and that we have also heard our people and the investing community. These problems are now being resolved. You can go and join President Zuma when he opens that facility and see how best it is going to work. This initiative aims to improve the business environment for investment in the local economy.
Our work at Nedlac in reducing workplace conflict has resulted in the agreement that I always talk about here and we are constantly planting seeds of future growth. We are extremely encouraged by the green shoots that we steadily see in various sectors of our economy.
Our greatest investment is not cash; our greatest investment is confidence. We are seeking to engender confidence in this country and in this economy. This is what this government is busy with on a daily basis.
If we can remain focussed on the progress that we are making daily in our economy, this will give us the inspiration to create the South Africa that all of us desire. The key issue is that we must remain focussed and have confidence in our own country. Thank you.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Deputy Speaker, on a lighter note, this is an ideal opportunity for the Deputy President to demonstrate his fitness for higher office and name the nine points in the 9-Point Plan, without looking in his notes. On a more serious note, the Deputy President tells us that the 9-Point Plan is having a positive affect on the economy, but just two weeks ago, the Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, told us and I quote: “The 9- Point Plan has not yet resulted in an improved impact on the economy.” So, could the Deputy President tell us why, when it comes to the 9-Point Plan, he at least, as far as the Minister goes, has no idea what he is talking about, or alternatively, is he suggesting that the Minister, when it comes to the 9-Point Plan has no idea what he is talking about? Perhaps a timeout, so that the Deputy President can confer with his colleagues and this Cabinet
can get there story straight on the 9-Point Point Plan. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: No need to get our story right. [Laughter.] The 9-Point Plan ... [Interjections.] ... No, listen, the 9-Point Plan, like any other plan we craft is a long-term plan. It is long term. Let me tell you what the 9-Point Plan ... [Interjections.] No, listen first.
You listen now. The 9-Point Plan contains nine elements. The first one was to resolve the energy challenges that our country was going through. Tick. Tick that one. Tick that box. That has worked extremely well. The energy challenges that the country face are behind us now.
The GDP figures that have just come out have demonstrated that the 9-Point Plan is working. The agriculture contribution to our GDP growth was 2,5% during this past quarter. It is something that we had not foreseen. We had not foreseen it. Even your own economies could not have foreseen that agriculture would make such a great contribution. It is part of the 9-Point Plan, my friend, because the 9-Point Plan addresses the challenge that we face in agriculture.
Now, you look at the contribution that energy has done in terms of driving the growth. It has driven great growth – our 2,5% rise.
The Ocean Pakisa, which as I said in my answer, has already attracted R47 billion. We are already building boats. We are building tugboats that we are exporting out of the country. [Interjections.] We are doing precisely that. Whether you like it or not, it is happening in this very economy.
The issue of localisation is taking root. The busses that are now being used in our major metros are being manufactured here and 80% of the content is local content. This is how the 9-Point Plan is moving this country forward.
Mining is also a critical sector in our economy. [Interjections.] No, no, no. The Minister in the Presidency had not foreseen that mining would have made such a great contribution. So, he made the statement earlier and now, because we have a very scientific approach to the way we do things, the Statistician-
General, who is independent, by the way, said:”Good news, good news, to you all.” We have grown by 2,5% and these are the key drivers to the growth that we have achieved.
So, I would like you to go and take the 9-Point Plan and take it for bedtime reading. Study it very carefully and see how it is driving this economy forward. Thank you very much.
Ms S Z DLAMINI-DUBAZANE: Hon Deputy Speaker, may I address you on Rule 66? The member has asked the question and the Deputy President is trying to answer the question, but he gets interrupted by the members of the DA. [Interjections.] I am addressing you on Rule 66.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, you heard the member. Hon members, please.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Acting President, since the President is away, it is all good and well what you received yesterday – the 2,5% growth. However, if you recall in 2005, we also celebrated the 5,5% growth as a
country, but it was a jobless growth. The same has happened now.
Youth unemployment, in particular, is what I would like to focus on. The youth unemployment now stands at 55,9% and continues to increase. So, while you speak about the 9-Point Plan, I would like to find out what the targeted areas are in the 9-Point Plan, which deal specifically with ensuring that youth unemployment is addressed, particularly along the lines of innovation, skills development, knowledge and expertise. I would like to know whether business incubation is taking centre stage, as we try to give SMMEs a priority in the economy. So, please sharpen on youth unemployment within the parameters of the 9-Point Plan.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, we are focussing on a number of interventions to address the issue of youth unemployment. The first and key one that we have decided to focus on is collaboration between business, government and labour, where we are setting up the youth employment service.
As I said, through that, we are going to create at the very least, 330 000 jobs a year, over the next three years. That is a million jobs where young people are going to be brought into internships and learnerships and our experience is that up to 60 to 70% of young people who get into learnerships, do finally get absorbed into the labour market. So, we are hoping and it is taking quite a lot of hope for this process to work well.
The agro-processing initiative that we have embarked upon in terms of the 9-Point Plan is also going to focus on how we bring young people into agriculture. It will focus on how we are going to equip them with skills, how we are going to attract them to become employed in agriculture and to start off with agricultural studies.
We are seeing something very interesting at university level and at Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TIVET, college level. A number of young people are taking up agricultural studies. When it comes to the issue you mentioned which is business incubation, a huge industry is growing around incubation and we have found that the incubation of start-ups, small and medium
enterprises does actually yield a lot of benefits. Many young people are being drawn into that.
At some universities, initiatives have actually been started where young people who are innovative and clever and who have new ideas are being brought into incubation processes, so that they can showcase their ability to deal with new technologies and a whole number of new developments.
These are incubation processes that lead to the establishment of businesses, getting people to be properly mentored and starting small and medium enterprises that immediately have a market in one way or another.
Many other things that we are doing in terms of this plan are targeting young people because we have decided that we want to focus on bringing young people into the world of work. We want to take as many of them as possible out of unemployment into employment. So, we have a plethora of initiatives.
Even the Rural Development Ministry is involving young people in an initiative where they are being trained into a whole number of other skills.
Our public employment programme also brings in a number of young people and this is another important one because as they get into the public employment programmes, we find that they learn skills, they become accustomed to the world of work and they are then able to get into the labour market with greater ease and get into new jobs.
So, work is underway to get young people into jobs throughout the economy. So, we are not sitting on our laurels; we are doing quite a lot of things. I could go on and on and give you a whole number of other initiatives that we are busy with.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, when delivering his state of the nation address in February this year, the President lamented the fact that the economy was not growing fast enough to create the much needed jobs. Among other things, he mentioned transport infrastructure as
one of the crosscutting focus areas that would be added to the 9-Point Plan to reignite the economy.
There are companies we know of that are suffering profit decline because of Metrorail’s poor service. Some are reportedly operating at 50% capacity, as a result of the erratic rail service. When trains are late, staff arrive late at work, resulting in the loss of essential working hours and consequently, there is a decline in profit margins. What would government do to ensure that South Africans get an efficient and reliable train system that would ensure that our workforce reaches their place of employment safely and on time, thus ensuring profitability and a boost to our failing economy?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: You will be pleased to know ...
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: Sorry, future President. I am just concerned. The hon Mbatabhele is drinking some greenish substance. So, is that allowed? I just want to check with you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, we have in the past advised members not to bring any drinking stuff accept those that is served by the service officers. Hon members, please do not do that.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: But you must ask her to leave with that greenish substance because we don’t know what is in there. Please, you must ask her to leave with it. Because in the past you have asked others to leave. So, she must do the same. She is not immune to the Rules of the House.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, no.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI Yes, you have done it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, take your seat. Stop telling me what rulings to make in future. Allow me to make the rulings, please.
Ms L VAN DER MERWE: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I think you need to be consistent because the other day you were very harsh with me when I brought in a cool
drink and you chased me out. So, you must give her the same treatment. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Pleae hold on, hold on. Hon Van der Merwe, you were sitting here next to your Whip, you went back to your seat and you never went out. Hon member, please remember ... [Interjections.] No, no. From the Whip, you went to your seat where your drink was and you never left. That is out of order. Hon members, please mind the truth. It is always useful to be accurate and so on. Even if you think it is not your advantage, say it.
It liberates you, even if it pisses you off. Hon Minister, let us do as we have suggested.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: With regard to parliamentary language, the example should be set from the Chair. I would submit that the word that you have used is unparliamentary.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Which one?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I don’t want to repeat it because I don’t what to be guilty of the same
transgression, but it starts with a P and ends with an S. It has to do with urination. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no no. Hon members, that word means that it makes you angry, it makes you mad. That is what it means and not what the hon Chief Whip is saying. [Laughter.] If you feel it is offensive, I will withdraw it immediately.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Perhaps in a different cultural context but it would be safer if you withdraw.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is not about a cultural context. No, no, no. Deputy President, did you finish answering hon Meshoe?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: No.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please go ahead.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I am about to answer hon Meshoe. I was going to say that you will be pleased to hear that I have just come out of a meeting where the issue of the
trains and Prasa were being discussed. A number of the concerns that you have articulated like delayed trains, trains being cancelled, trains never arriving and people arriving late at work were issues that were discussed and raised very sharply.
In that regard, having discussed the matter, we said that we will take action to address all those issues, starting off clearly with making sure that we have proper structures that are going to run Prasa. We will make sure that the board is properly constituted, make sure that the management is properly streamlined and that they know what they should be doing and make sure that the trains run properly throughout the country. We have received reports that it is not only in one area. It is in the Western Cape, in Gauteng, and a number of places where we have such challenges. So, problems are being addressed and thank you very much for raising the issue.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Deputy Speaker, there is no doubt that ocean economy plays a critical role when it comes to job creation and you have just referred to Ocean Pakisa, which plays a cardinal role in job creation and skills
development. What strides have been made to ensure that the people within the proximity of our ports for instance Khuga, Durban, Richards Bay get some opportunities to have their skills developed, equipped and our youth in particular, are they getting access to job opportunities. Are they getting equipped for them to get skills, especially with regard to scares skills?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Khubisa, you will be pleased to know that we are taking a lot of initiatives to skill young people to get ready for the ocean economy take-off. I have been privilege enough as I have travelled around a number of countries to visit young people that we have sent to countries such as Sweden to get marine training. I met almost 25 young people who are doing Masters Degrees in marine training. This having been arranged by the Department of Higher Education, I have been privileged enough to go to Japan and met young people that we are training, and some of whom are about to complete their studies. I did the same when I went to Vietnam. I met a number of these young people who come from here who have been trained in marine training and various aspects, including boatbuilding. I
also went to Singapore where I met young people who are being trained in ocean transportation to be able to manage harbours. I also went to China and met young people from here who are being trained at some of the big universities on the ocean economy.
So, what we have sought to do was to send many of our young people to go and get trained in various skills. These are skills that were closed to many black young people in our country. Now they are acquiring those skills. Let me say to you that they are all enthusiastic, rearing to come back to contribute to the country that has enabled them to go out and learn all those skills.
We also had an opportunity as we travelled, particularly to Vietnam to go with a number of people who want to get into the ocean economy business, into boatbuilding. They were able to see that this is a business that can yield quite a bit of profit for them.
So, a lot is happening in that sector that is going to yield good results for us. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, as I have stated in this House on a number of occasions that members of the executive are collectively and individually accountable to Parliament and this is in terms of our Constitution and also in terms of our Rules of the National Assembly. The Constitution further says that members of Cabinet must provide Parliament with full and regular reports regarding matters under their control. The executive itself remains committed to making sure that members of the executive do account regularly and effectively to Parliament.
As the Leader of Government Business, I provide Cabinet with regular reports on this matter. Each time Cabinet meets, I table a report on the activities of the executive members in relation to their responsibilities to this Parliament. It is a fairly extensive report which deals with various aspects of the way in which members of the executive interface with Parliament. Where difficulties arise between Ministers and committees, such issues should be escalated to appropriate structures. And we know that a number of committees do at times raise
concerns about the manner in which they are functioning or working with members of the executive. In this regard we say that if such incidences do come up, there is nothing that stops Members of Parliament from raising these matters through appropriate structures of the National Assembly.
In fact, this House has full rights and full authority to sanction members. It has the right to call members to come here. It also has the right to sanction members of the executive. Those who miss scheduled meetings without reasonable explanation can be sanctioned by this House.
Such powers do not reside with the Leader of Government Business. This is so because it is this House that can also sanction the Leader of Government Business if, as your Deputy President I do falter in my task and do not account to you, you can sanction me.
It is my wish that the executive in Parliament will maintain the good track record that we have established and that disputes will be resolved with the ultimate objective of ensuring that there is accountability, first
and foremost, and that this Parliament functions as we want it to function. Thank you very much.
Ms N V MENTE: Deputy Speaker and Deputy President, you have said a mouthful and yet we remain with empty chairs especially here in the front where your Ministers are supposed to be seated. [Applause.] That does not happen only today, but it happens during member’s statements and motions where they are supposed to be giving answers.
Secondly, on this question, I specifically asked about Minister Muthambi, and you did not go there. You are saying the committees have powers. Let me tell you something, that committee sanctioned Minister Muthambi. Guess what happened, it was withdrawn from another level. So, where are these powers, exactly? It was withdrawn at another level and the chairperson of that committee was never made aware that the subpoena has been withdrawn.
Thirdly, Minister Muthambi, we just hear that you did a very good thing; you are a very disciplined Member of Parliament who takes accountability and responsibility of actions, in fact, allegations. But she never came here to
explain why she is flying her own family; she never came here to explain why she is hiring her own family in the department; and she has never accounted for anything, and yet she remains a member of the Cabinet. Why is it like that? [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon member, I am sorry that you had a sense that I did not answer the matter of Minister Muthambi. The matter of Minister Muthambi as I understand is being dealt with at the committee level. That is where it should be and I will follow it up so that the matter is dealt with. I will follow it up because that is where it should start. Members of the committee as a structure of this National Assembly should be able to deal with that matter and they should get an explanation from the member in question. So, that I trust should then take place and I will be raising it as well. Thank you very much.
Hon member: When?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Soon.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon Deputy Speaker and hon Deputy President, I want to recommend some tablets to heal your fear. You must agree with me that it is truly mysterious and suspicious that Minister Faith Muthambi is still a Minister, where good Ministers were fired. These latest shenanigans of this Minister show that you are undermined as a Leader of Government Business. Can you show some courage and recommend that this Minister must be fired.
Otherwise, Deputy President, this will contaminate you and the chances of you being the leader of this country.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, it is such an easy question to answer. The Deputy President does not appoint members of the executive. So, I cannot do that and I cannot even venture into the direction that you are suggesting. To suggest, recommend or not recommend is not my task, it is not my duty, it is not my burden and it is not my area of responsibility. I am just the Deputy President and the President is the one who appoints and does all that. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Gcwabaza.
Mr T RAWULA: Order Speaker! Order Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What are you rising on, hon member?
Mr T RAWULA: The Deputy President has responded previously. He said that he will follow up. Can he put flesh on the follow up because we think follow up includes firing where it is needed?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please, take your seat. Hon Gcwabaza!
Ms N P KHUNOU: Deputy Speaker! Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member.
Ms N P KHUNOU: It is hon Khunou.
Ooh! Awuyena uGcwabaza? Qhubeka.
Nks N P KHUNOU: Siyabulela Sekela Mongameli ngendlela owuphendule ngayo umbuzo.
As parliamentarians, we are accountable to the public by ensuring fulfilment of their needs through service delivery. It is also important to proof that there are also consequences for every action taken not only by accounting officers but by executive as well. The Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA, is a critical department to oversee other departments. There should be zero-tolerance for noncompliance.
However, agreeing with what the Deputy President has said, as Parliament, the portfolio committee has a responsibility to play their role. [Interjections.] Let us leave this process and let it be discussed by the portfolio committee.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please.
Ms N P KHUNOU: But however, Deputy President, my question is that ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I am afraid your time has expired.
Ms N P KHUNOU: ... how are you, as the Leader of the Government Business, making sure that the resolutions of this House are implemented?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please, stop screaming. That is the job of the Chair in the House, don’t do that. Deputy President ... [Interjections.] No, no, no, don’t tell me that, you are out of order. In the first place you are really stretching it now. Don’t think about that, please.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Deputy Speaker, there was such a noise I actually did not hear the last tail of what she was asking.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Because they don’t want to hear that. Repeat that question.
Ms N P KHUNOU: The question is that, as the Leader of the Government Business ... [Interjections.] how is he making
sure that the resolutions taken by this House are implemented in government?
Mr T RAWULA: Point of order! Point of order!
Ms S S THEMBEKWAYO: No, no, no, Deputy Speaker, the one minute has expired. Deputy Speaker! No, the one minute has expired. [Interjections.] Why do you allow her to speak?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members.
Ms S S THEMBEKWAYO: Her time has expired, chief. Aa!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members.
Mr T RAWULA: Deputy Speaker, you did not give our member the opportunity to repeat the question because of time, but you are awarding that member a second opportunity [Interjections.] You must be consistent.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I have consistently requested you to be quiet and to lower your voices
because it improves the quality of hearing in the House. If you don’t do that you kill it. Your member in front here has just asked a question. I have allowed him to ask a question where I shouldn’t have done that. I have done that, okay. [Interjections.]
Ms S S THEMBEKWAYO: Deputy Speaker! Deputy Speaker! Deputy Speaker, may I address you. I think you need to be consistent.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Look at you now, you are talking, but nobody recognised you.
Ms S S THEMBEKWAYO: Yes, can you recognise me, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon members, you speak when you are not supposed to speak in the first place ... [Interjections.]
Ms S S THEMBEKWAYO: Can you recognise me?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You have violated the Rules.
Ms S S THEMBEKWAYO: Can you recognise me?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, I am not, we are proceeding now.
Ms D CARTER: Deputy Speaker!
An hon member: Hayi wena, sit down.
Ms D CARTER: You cannot say that we are violating the Rules of Parliament whereas you are doing it yourself. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member!
Ms D CARTER: You clearly said to hon Madisha, sit down your time is up and he could not get the last part of his question, but you allow it when it happens on the ANC benches.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Carter, you were not here when hon Rawula stood and asked a question, alright; you were not here.
Ms D CARTER: Says who? Says who?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: This is the problem. Take your seat. You are out of order. Take your seat.
Ms D CARTER: You are the only one that is out of order, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, thank you very much for that observation. Hon members...[Interjections.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the point of order, hon member?
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Deputy Speaker, you are consistently doing this everyday and you think this is your House.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member!
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: This is not your House.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member!
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: There are Rules in Parliament and if you are giving it to the ANC to repose the question, then all of us must get an opportunity to do that. This is not your House. Please, respect us because “wena” [you] don’t respect us.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member!
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: You demand respect, but you don’t do it. Please!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, hon member take your seat. I respect the Rules and I respect you.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: You don’t!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat, please, hon member. The Rules require that if a decision has been made by the presiding officer and you want to challenge it, please, do it properly. You know the Rules, please, do that.
Ms D CARTER: Hon Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: So that we address it and it doesn’t arise.
Ms D CARTER: Hon Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Carter!
Ms D CARTER: Hon Deputy Speaker, respectfully so, we do address communication to the Office of the Speaker and to your office and you never reply to any of it. Like the apology that you are supposed to do in the House for the way you treated hon Madisha.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We have replied. [Interjections.] Hon member, please take ... [Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: Yes, we do put complains through, but you do not respond to it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member, please take your seat. We have already responded to you. Don’t worry about
that one it was answered. Deputy President, please, go ahead. Please, go ahead, hon Deputy President.
Mr T RAWULA: Point of order, Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, what is the point of order, hon member?
Mr T RAWULA: You are making a mistake and you must withdraw. You are saying, Rawula rose and asked a question. I have not asked a single question. It is only one Rawula in the House.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, and you commented, right, hon member.
Mr T RAWULA: I have never asked a question withdraw that because you are misleading Parliament by saying that I have asked questions. I haven’t asked questions here, and I am here to ask one. Can I ask one a question?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I think I want to rule on this thing comprehensively and I will come back to you. I will do that.
Ms S V KALYAN: Deputy Speaker, I would like to be recognised.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes.
Mrs S V KALYAN: Thank you. Whenever the hon Carter is speaking, there is howling, cat-calling and meowing from the ANC benches. I would ask you humbly, sir, to ask the Whips to discipline their members. It is demeaning to the female members of this House to be cat-called in that way and it is specifically directed at hon Carter. I think it is unparliamentary and I would like to call them to order. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, that is correct and that point of order is sustained. Please, you know the conduct. Hon members, can I appeal to all of us to behave appropriately and not scream at anyone no matter how intolerant we are of their views. It is incumbent upon us
that others can do the same thing to you and you and it will be completely out of order. I request you to really behave appropriately.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, I am afraid I have to say to you that I did not hear the question in full. As she was trying to repeat it, there was too much noise and I did not hear it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, hon Deputy President, we will have to go over that.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Chair, good afternoon Mr Deputy President.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Deputy Chief Whip of the Opposition, heckling is not a bad idea, but when you repeat what you called unparliamentary comments across the floor, we can’t but hear it from where we are seating. So, I plead with you not to do that. Please, let’s not do that.
Mr M WATERS: Deputy Speaker, it is amazing that you hear me saying, but no one from the ANC.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, no!
Mr M WATERS: Maybe you need a hearing aid in your right ear. You are biased.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please, let’s not do that it is inappropriate. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Hon Waters, I have spoken to you. Can you stop, please, hon Waters. Hon member, I have spoken to you. Hon member, stop talking, please. Hon Filtane, go ahead and ask your question.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Chair, from the mixed responses you have been given to this answer, it is clear now why so many Ministers are not brought to book when they fail to discharge their duties. You say it is the President’s function and authority to fire, which is the extreme end, and you say it is none of your business to bring them to book. But earlier you said that you will attend to this matter. So, we are left confused.
As committees of this Parliament we still depend on the co-operation of the majority party in order for Ministers of the ANC to be sanctioned. What are the specific and transparent methods of bringing Ministers who are delinquent to book? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I should have added more information on the earlier one with regard to Minister Muthambi. My information is that, her matter is before the portfolio committee. The chairperson of that portfolio committee was elected this morning. That is the information I have. The portfolio committee itself must deal with this matter and all the issues related to Minister Muthambi.
When I said that I will address this matter it was precisely to make sure that indeed the portfolio committee does deal with this matter. So, it is now before the portfolio committee and that is where it will be dealt with. Beyond that, clearly, I cannot do. But at the end it is the President who has to deal with members of the executive in relation to their jobs. I raise issues at the Cabinet level about various matters, the
attendance, various matters, responses to questions and all that. But in the end it is the President who is responsible. I hope that helps you a lot. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, the constitutional assembly process represented what I would call a unique moment in the history of our nation.
Although there were strongly opposing positions as we were drafting the Constitution, it was possible, even with all that, to reach agreement, because there was sufficient commitment to the goal of a peaceful, nonracial, nonsexist and democratic South Africa. From that period we drew strength and lessons to deal with contemporary challenges. We are required as leaders to see beyond the immediate interests of ourselves and our organisations. We are bound by history to work together with a view of moving South Africa forward.
The constitutional assembly process was possible because leaders of our country engaged each other on matters of substance and were prepared to negotiate in good faith.
It’s pleasing to see that a number of those leaders who were involved in this process are still here. I can cite hon Buthelezi who was a very active member of that whole process. He is still here, as well as a number of others on this side. All of them were bound by history to work together. In a way it was almost a situation of, whether they liked it or not, they needed to work together to produce the South Africa that we have today. The constitutional assembly process was possible because leaders engaged each other on matters of substance and were prepared also to negotiate in good faith.
Now, as the country faces several challenges, including slow growth and high unemployment, similarly, leaders are called upon to guide our nation to greater and better things. Such engagement is taking place amongst leaders in government, in business and in labour on matters and measures that need to be taken to reignite growth and create jobs in our economy. As leaders of different political parties we need to ensure that we act at all times in the interests of South Africa and at all times in the interests of our people as a whole. We need to show South Africans that, collectively, we as leaders
remain committed and capable of resolving the many challenges that our country faces. We must consistently be lead by the needs, the feedback and suggestions of ordinary South Africans who possess a wealth of ideas and knowledge about how to move South Africa forward. Our leadership must flow from our ability to listen and to learn from the citizens of our country and the communities across the nation. Working together we can move South Africa forward. I have no doubt about this.
Thank you very much.
Mr J L MAHLANGU: Deputy Speaker, Deputy President, congratulations on your Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of your leadership role during that period – a gruelling 730 days of Constitution-drafting. And thank you for your eloquent response. [Interjections.] As the ANC we concur with your elucidation.
My follow-up question is: What will it take for the current leadership, both here in South Africa and in SADC, to learn and do, sacrificing their narrow interest in pursuit of the common good of the people in line with the leaders whom you referred to earlier on in the cause
that we have identified ourselves and measures that need to be taken, to address the triple challenges facing our country, which is unemployment, poverty and inequality? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I guess, hon Mahlangu, what leaders need finally to be aware of is that there is no better way to resolve problems than working together for the common good of our people. They obviously need to agree on a vision, on a shared future and on the interests of our people as a whole. I have found that once that type of an agreement is reached on a clear vision of where we want the country to go to and on a shared future, people become much more co-operative. Knowing that in so doing they are not casting their differences aside, but they are agreeing on a common vision, a shared future and a programme that needs to drive that vision and that shared future.
You talked about SADC – we have proposed such in another country where I myself as Deputy President am involved, in Lesotho, after the holding of the SADC summit it is precisely what we suggested. We said the various
political parties in Lesotho need to cast away their various differences and sit down to craft a future for the people of Lesotho.
Now, they are meant to have a national dialogue which we hope they will have soon. And it is out of that type of dialogue that they will be able to craft a common vision and a common future for all the people.
Similarly, here in our own country, we have got a number of overarching problems. The one is unemployment. If we were to collectively sit down, like the government is doing now with business, and address the real challenges that our country is facing, which is unemployment right across the board, I am sure that we will be able to come up with solutions. It requires determination on the part of leaders and those leaders must not hide behind the fig leaves of petty differences. They must be able to say, we agree on one thing and one thing, which is a clear vision of how to address the issue of unemployment and we work together to achieve that goal. Thank you.
Mr S C MOTAU: Deputy Speaker, Deputy President, I think we need to bring this subject closer to home. You as leader of government business have from time to time been assuring this House that members of the executive will be in this House when we have sessions like this. Even today in your presence, look around you, over the last few days there hasn’t been anybody.
The question is very simple. It is a failure of leadership on your part. Now the question that is very important for me is that, if you are not able to whip these members into line now, how are you going to be able to do it if you become the President of this country?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, maybe what I should have brought, rather than ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Ministers! You should have brought some Ministers!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: ... what I should have brought is, if you like, the list of apologies that I was dealing with earlier when we were in Cabinet committees. Many of
the Ministers who were supposed to be sitting here had travelled with the President to China.
HON MEMBERS: No!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: When Brics ... [Interjections.] ... Listen! When Brics meet we interface with other countries that take their country’s participation in Brics rather seriously. And they make sure that they participate at the highest and most appropriate level, because in the Brics summit we have got a number of other tasks and groups and task teams and ministerial committees that have to meet all the time, during the whole session of Brics. The Chinese bring an army of their senior officials, the Brazilians do the same and so do the Russians and the Indians. We are similarly expected and we are the smallest participant in Brics. We have got to be punching at the same level as them. So, when you see members of the executive absent here, many of them – and I can name almost each one who is not here – are involved in Brics processes and are in Brics sessions and in Brics ministerial committees doing a lot of things. On a day
like this I would like you to be kind. To be kind to the executive, ...
An HON MEMBER: They are never here!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: ... knowing that this time round they have been travelling with the President to Brics. The President arrived this morning, but many of them are still travelling because they have had to travel on commercial flights. So they are on their way and please be kind and accept their apologies. Thank you very much.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, on a point of privilege: The Deputy President knows full well that Members of Cabinet, according to this document, are accountable to this House. They are not accountable to Brics. [Interjections.] How on earth are they prioritising Brics over the business of this House?
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy
Speaker, on a point of order: Hon Deputy Speaker, the DA asked a question to the Deputy President and he responded. What more do they want from him?
[Interjections.] He responded to your questions! Just keep quiet and listen!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: It would be very easy to keep quiet and listen if there were decent answers. There were no decent answers. He sounds more like Mr Zuma every day.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, I did not recognise you. Please let us not go there.
Mr N SINGH: Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, congratulations on a coveted award. Quite coincidentally, just the other day, I found a 20-year-old copy of Reader’s Digest, July 1997, and in it was an article with a very young looking Deputy President on Countdown to the Constitution, South Africa’s Second Miracle. I’ll share with you a little later where the miracle came about.
Hon Deputy President, those were the days of the principled leadership you spoke about, a unity of vision
across the multiparty spectrum and a royal road lay ahead for the people and the economic future of South Africa.
Today we do not see that.
What are you doing, hon Deputy President, as leader of government business and as an example of principled leadership, to ensure that government is purged of its current leadership crisis which seems dominated by some who are only concerned in furthering their own self- serving interests? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: In everything that we do as leaders and in leaders’ leaders of government we should be guided by our Constitution. Our Constitution embodies the values that we want to guide us in everything we do. It has crafted a clear vision for our country and if anyone of us takes the time to read the Preamble to our Constitution and read that wonderful poetry that is pregnant with so much promise and a clear vision of where we want to take this country, that is where we should start. It is this Constitution that should be heralding us forward and making sure that we achieve our objectives.
Will we falter along the way? Yes, it is possible that we will falter along the way. But the important thing is, will we be able to correct our ways, having fallen, having faltered and if we make mistakes, can we correct those mistakes? I would say that is how we should be judged. That is how the leadership, not only on this side, but the leadership that sits in this House collectively, should be judged. We have got a very well- crafted Constitution that sits as the loadstar and that should guide all of our behaviour collectively. That is the real litmus test that we should use. Thank you very much for raising the matter.
Mr S C MNCWABE: Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, our Constitution is a result of a compromise, we normally say that, which was a necessity in that time to avoid the possibility of a civil war. However, many people today are increasingly critical of this compromise and refer to it as a sell-out in favour of the white people, especially when it comes to the land question. Could the Deputy President please comment on this trend? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Our Constitution was crafted at a certain point in time in the history of our country.
Those who crafted the Constitution took the time and trouble to weigh up the balance of forces that existed at the time and they also focussed on what our people wanted. Our people wanted freedom, our people wanted stability and our people wanted to shed the yoke of oppression and exploitation. In doing so, we had to weigh up our own strengths and the strengths of, as we called them at the time, the “enemy”, and agreed collectively that that moment in history gave all of us an opportunity to make a breakthrough to separate ourselves from a horrible past, which was apartheid. Did it mean that we had achieved everything we had struggled for over the years? The answer is no, but it gave us a breakthrough, it gave us an opportunity we could utilise to win further gains. I would like to believe that in the 23 years of our freedom we have been able to utilise the opportunity that that breakthrough gave us. Have we made missteps along the way? I must say, yes, we have. No one, no organisation is ever perfect. Are we trying to address those missteps? I would say an enthusiastic yes. Were there things that we could have done differently? The
answer is yes. There are many things that we could have changed immediately and we took our time and because the leadership – and some of them are sitting here – wanted to build a nation, they wanted very carefully to usher us into a South Africa that would deliver a better life for all.
In many ways we have made progress. We have made progress in delivering a South Africa that is better than the South Africa that our people lived under. We all agree that the glass is not full. In fact, the glass is half full and what we are seeking to do now is to try to improve the lives of our people using the platform that we have. We have built a very good platform. We have built a very good system which can enable us to move forward. The real call for all of us is, can we all work together to move South Africa forward? We’ve got a great foundation - our Constitution gives us that – we’ve got a leadership that is there that wants to move the country forward and our people are ready to walk this journey with us. Therefore I would say that, much as we have not achieved everything we needed to, we have made great advances and the call on all of us is to consolidate the
victories that we have gained and move forward with determination to truly improve the lives of our people. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: House Chair, the decision to grant Mrs Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity was taken by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, hon Maite Nkoana Mashabane. She has indicated that she did so in terms of section 7(2) of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, a piece of legislation that the Minister administers.
The Minister has sent correspondence to the Speaker of this House in this regard, and I understand that the relevant portfolio committee is now seized with this matter. Furthermore, both the ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: ... both the DA and AfriForum have approached our courts to review this decision, which they
are entitled to in every way possible. I trust that this House, through the portfolio committee process and taking into account the courts proceedings that are currently underway, will deal with the matter on whether or not the Minister’s decision was appropriate.
This is a difficult case, in the light of the complexities of balancing diplomatic conventions, as well as protocols against the imperatives of natural justice. Where violence against women and children is concerned, the authorities must exercise their duties in line with the applicable law and in the furtherance of the goal to end the scourge to whoever may be affected.
So, all I would say on this matter is that, there are two processes that are underway. There is a portfolio committee process and there is also the court process.
Even if we may think that the one may not be as successful as the other, but certainly, the court process through the exercise of the powers that our judiciary has, they will be able to deliver solution and end or judgement in this regard. We will then be able to know what should have happened.
So, I would say that we should leave it on that level, even as we’re insulting and say: “Shame on you, this and that.” In the end, it is the courts of our country that will make a determination. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Let us give the hon member an opportunity to put the question.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Chairperson, thank you very much. Mr Deputy President, let’s get real. Why is it that it must be courts all the time that should tell the ANC government what to do? Why do you fail to do the right thing for the South African citizens?
A dangerous precedent has been set with the issue of President Omar Al-Bashir, and the courts had to tell you that you are wrong. You then go and sacrifice a South African, Gabriella Engels, at the altar of expediency and allow Mrs Mugabe to leave the country, freeing her whilst she is found wanting here in this country. When will you put the South Africans first?
You have sacrificed the human rights. Dalai Lama was refused a visa because you said that you are protecting the diplomatic relations. When is it that the ANC government will take the side of that which is right when dealing with the issues of diplomacy? We cannot possibly, hon Deputy President, have a situation where a South African is left helpless because there is power on the other side of Mrs Mugabe. So, whilst you wait for the courts, I would like to hear your views.
Do you think that what has happened is correct? And provide the necessary leadership so that you can actually be a gleam of hope that there is somebody in the ANC benches who actually believes in human rights? This current prevailing situation is not in the interest of our Constitution, and most certainly, does no justice for Gabriella Engels. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Hlengwa, we do believe in human rights and we do believe in their exercise. You’ll also remember it was this side of the House that as early as 1912, believed that South Africa should be a country that has human rights.
Throughout the years - you can go and study the Freedom Charter, the African’s Claims and all the other documents like Ready to Govern, you’ll find that this side of the House has always been strong on the issue of human rights. Now, on this matter, the Minister has taken a decision. The very good thing is that we have a Constitution that has a separation of powers, where we have the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
Where the executive makes mistakes when taking certain decisions, we have a system that has checks and balances. Therefore, what we should now allow with the decision that has been taken is to allow the courts of our country, who are the arbiters and are able to resolve the disputes between various components of government.
Also, it is not a situation where we are always running to the courts for assistance. This is a case in point, and as I said to you, this is a difficult one and we would like the courts to rule on it. Indeed, I would like the courts to rule as quickly as possible on this matter so that we know precisely how the executive should behave in future.
I am awaiting that and if you like, I would say that we welcome the fact that the matter has been taken to court. We will not run away from that, and the courts will then take a decision on this matter. But rest assured, we will never waver on the issue of human rights. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, order hon members! The next follow-up question is to be taken by hon Xalisa. [Interjections.] Is the hon member here?
Mr N S MATIASE: House Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are you taking the follow-up question on behalf of the member?
Mr N S MATIASE: Yes! More often than not when the Deputy President is found wanting on moral questions such as human rights question, common and often regular offenders such as Zuma appears to be born-again Christians, almost close to sainthood. Now, I want to ask him if he is prepared to go down with the people like Zuma and them,
and take the fall for them? Why can’t he stand up now in defence of the South Africans?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I didn’t get the real - sort of, heart of the question. Am I prepared to go down on my knees; am I prepared to go underground or am I prepared to go wherever? I didn’t quite get the question.
What we have said is that the ANC and this government place the issue of human rights extremely high. In fact if you like, it was this issue that really inspired the ANC to be formed, and we will not retreat on the issue of human rights and respect for human rights. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr Z N MBHELE: Chairperson, Deputy President, during this reply session you have spoken a lot about the missteps made, the mistakes made and the faltering made by this government. But the fact is that the real leadership would be the one that learns from those mistakes and that enforces accountability to set a new benchmark that prevents them from being repeated again.
What we have seen with the Grace Mugabe episode is a situation where principle was sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. So, facts on the table! Will you admit that this ANC government does not in fact believe in, or practice principled and accountable governance?
Because if it did, Mrs Mugabe would not have been allowed to get away scot-free. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: It is this government, more than any government that I know, that has ever existed in this country that is very strong on all the issues that you mentioned, like responsibility, accountability and doing the right thing. So, this is what defines the ANC, the government that currently governs this country. Thank you very much.
Mr S C MNCWABE: Hon Chair through you to the Deputy President, has the government not created a dangerous precedent by overriding the rule of law for political reasons and giving effect to the concept of “some are equal but some are more equal than others?” Our Constitution guarantees in section 9 that all are equal before the law. What steps can the government take to
redeem itself in the eyes of ordinary South Africans and restore our faith in section 9 of the Constitution which guarantees equality before the law? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The government will continue to state and repeat that all the people of our country are equal before the law, and that nobody may be treated better than any other, or in a much more favourable way than any other South African. So, we are all subject to equal treatment without any favour and without any privileges being loaded on anyone else. That I am able to confirm and that is what drives us as the governing party of this country. Thank you very much.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Chairperson, I am standing on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes hon member!
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Comrade Chair, I just want to have some clarity from you. I have pressed the button to make a follow-up question. I have noted that you recognised a
number of people and that you recognised somebody who has not pressed the button.
I don’t know how the person who is not in this House could have pressed the button to ask the question. Now, you recognised somebody who volunteered to take this question whilst I have pressed the button which shows that it is reflecting where you are. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Can you please explain to me? I don’t know what these ones are talking about. Can you explain to me, how is it possible that you recognised somebody who has not pressed the button when I’m here and have pressed the button?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon member, just to clarify the matter, your name did appear on the screen, but there were 12 requests for the follow-up questions, and your name was number eight on that list. In terms of the Rules, we take four follow-up questions.
In terms of the member ... [Interjections.] Will you just allow me and take your seat, please. I’m responding to you.
In terms of the follow-up question that was asked, the name of the hon member of the EFF who is not in the House appeared. Thereafter, there was a name of the member who eventually took that follow-up question, which is why I allowed that member to take that follow-up question.
However, the point that you are raising is that the members must continuously be reminded that if they request a follow-up question, they should press their own buttons. Unless that is done, we will not recognise them. However, in this instance, the hon member, Matiase’s name, did appear that on the list that we had in front of us, and that is why I allowed him.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: May I make a follow up on that question, Chair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes ...
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Oh please, I didn’t arrive here for you to do me a favour.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Well, just continue, hon member.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Just give me a chance to finish.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Order! Just be calm! Continue, hon member.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Chair, I think that we must advise the members in the House that if somebody who is not the person supposed to speak presses a button, it is fraudulent behaviour. [Interjections.] No, no! It’s a fraudulent behaviour, which is a crime at law. We can’t make the law in this House and break it in this House. [Interjections.] No, make it here and break it on the streets.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon member. Your point is noted. However, as I said, that the name of that hon member who eventually took that follow-
up question was on the list of twelve names that was in front of us, and that is why we allowed it.
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, can I please just ask you on a point of clarity?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, on terms of which Rule? I’ve dealt with your leader who raised a point of order.
Ms D CARTER: I understand that. I just want to know ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What more do you want to know?
Ms D CARTER: ... from you as the presiding officer. Do you follow the format of how the names appear on the screen like number one, two, three, four and five? Do you recognise the first one that pushed the button or do you work on your prerogative to decide which are the eight names or the 12 names that are selected? This is just on a point of clarity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, we take the names as they appear on the screen, and then by also allowing that, we have a good spread of participation from the different members. For instance, if Cope had 15 members in the House, which they don’t have, and all the
15 names appear from Cope, then we would just give one member of Cope the opportunity to ask the question. That is just to ensure that we have broad participation in the House. I think that settles the matter now.
Ms D CARTER: Okay, Chair it actually doesn’t; it opens it up. If I can explain to you ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, I have addressed the matter!
Ms D CARTER: For question number two, the Cope was first on the list. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, take your seat!
Ms D CARTER: Cope was first on the list, but we were never given an opportunity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, we have exhausted this point. Please, take your seat! Thank you. I have been informed that ... [Interjections.]
Mr W M MADISHA: I am rising on a point of order, hon Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr W M MADISHA: It’s a point of order, please!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): In terms of what Rule are you rising, hon member?
Mr W M MADISHA: I shall explain the point of order!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member. There is no such Rule as explaining a point of order.
Mr W M MADISHA: It is that which has been raised here.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Why are you rising?
Mr W M MADISHA: When the Deputy Speaker was presiding, when we were supposed to speak, simply instructed our member that, whether he likes it or not, he shall decide because it’s him that decides. Are you saying the same thing?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, we are now delaying the question session.
Mr W M MADISHA: That is the same thing you yourself doing.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): This is a wrong forum. You are in the wrong forum. Raise that in an appropriate forum, the Rules or Joint Rules Committee and then we can attend to that. I cannot answer; I can only deal with the issues as they are in front of me.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes hon member.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: House Chair, I’m rising in terms of Rule
92 of this House. Hon Lekota made a remark that there were fraudulent behaviours here, and the member who stood up is from the benches of the EFF. Hon Lekota must actually withdraw because he is speaking to our benches.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, I’ve dealt with the matter, okay? Since I’ve dealt with the matter, I want to request the Whips to discuss this matter in the appropriate forums, right? Although the hon member has made a broad statement, I think that we must be very aware of what the Rules say that, we cannot cast aspersions on the members of the House.
I have dealt with this point of order and therefore, would like to get to the question that was raised by the hon Nkwankwa. I was busy informing the House that the hon Filtane will take charge of the first supplementary question on behalf of the hon Nkwankwa in accordance with
Rule 137 (10)(a). I would now request the Deputy President to reply to the question asked by the hon Nkwankwa.
Mr T RAWULA: House Chair! I rise on Rule 92.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes hon members!
Mr T RAWULA: You are saying that you have dealt with the matter, but you are raising a point that an aspersion has been cast. The only person who rose at that time is the member of the EFF which is hon Sam Matiase. So, the member is saying that he had fraudulently risen up. So, you are asking him to withdraw.
Therefore, there is no way of saying that you have dealt with the matter. We don’t know if you are overruling him or sustaining his point that we are sitting here as fraudsters when we have to rise. Please, rule on the matter.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, I have made a ruling in this regard and I want to proceed
to the reply to Question 6. Over to you hon Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chair, South Africa belongs to all who live in it, but it does not belong to abusers, racists and bigots of any kind. The Constitution provides the basis for a new South African identity and enables South Africans to have a common bond. It is our responsibility as individuals, institutions and the state to forge that new identity and establish that bond. In short, we all bear responsibility for building social cohesion. We need to promote increased interaction between South Africans from different social and racial groups so that each group discovers in the other common humanity.
It is very difficult to measure social cohesion where we have indicators; the results are often mixed. For example, the proportion of people who thought that race relations were improving declined from about 70% in 2000, to the current figure of 37% in 2015. In 2000, 85% of the population were confident of a happy future for all
races. This is declined to 65% in 2015. On the other hand progress has been made to address social and economic inequality through the provision of housing, basic services, education and health care. The racial incident to which the member refers to, offers a glimpse of the very worst in our society.
However, the way that most South Africans reacted to these incidents with shock and condemnation reflects the extent to which the basic values of our Constitution have become embedded in our national consciousness. These ugly and humiliating encounters among citizens should not just be met with tweets, Facebook posts, media reports and research studies. They must be met with the full might of the law. Unapologetic bigots, abusers and racists must be put in their place and that place is off our streets. We must work to create an inclusive tolerance society, but those who pertinently refuse to be part of this society must, indeed, be dealt with in terms of our law. I thank you.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Well said, the Deputy President, the admission of worsening situation is much appreciated.
Racism runs very deep in the South African society. Social cohesion cannot solely rely on the justice system due to the long process of receiving justice finally.
Therefore, there is a high attrition rate of these cases not going through the justice system like so many unreported cases of rape. Justice system does not offer sufficient deterrents for racial attacks, let us admit.
Now, my question is, what proactive social programmes are there being initiated by government to enhance interracial social cohesion taking it beyond just a mere tolerance level. Such programmes should bring about social congruent of purpose instead of the ravaging the diametrical opposition that we see daily in our country. What proactive social programmes does your government offer? That is the question. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chair, the government embarks on a number of initiatives to enhance social cohesion. I can cite a few and there is the major one that is going to be coming shortly. A various national days that we have are: 27 April which is an important day, our Freedom Day; 16 June, 9 August and now we are
going to the 24th of September which is National Heritage Day. These are days during which government tries to bring the people of South Africa together to celebrate their success in becoming one nation, but also to commemorate important days.
The National Heritage Day is a particularly important one where government through this initiative seeks to bring people together so that they can participate in family oriented activities, but also in the national activities. Now, we often say that we would like all South Africans to participate. Now, we are always pained when a few in our communities do not even make an appearance. When a few do not even lift their feet to come and participate in these because quite often these occasions give us an opportunity to display our culture, to display even our languages, to display even our national clothing and all that and many and a number of groupings in our country’s stay aware.
Now, we want to make a call ahead of this day that all South Africans should find a way and a time an opportunity to participate in these days, because these
are important initiatives that government embarks upon. The others are dialogue processes that are led by the Ministry that Minister Mthethwa leads. The Ministry that embarks on these dialogues and bring people together to talk about their South African nationhood, to talk about what is a common identity amongst all of us and the moral regeneration committee also seeks to find ways of doing that. Our religious leaders right across various religions also work with government to embark on many of these activities.
These are active programmes in which the government also allocates funding. Therefore, we invite all South Africans to be part of this process of celebrating our South Africanness and making sure that we participate in this one nation that we should all be very proud of.
Thank you very much.
Mr P D N MALOYI: Thank you very much Comrade President for your comprehensive and a well thought of answer.
Given the unquestionable commitment of the ANC and the ANC-led government to transform South Africa into a united nonracial, nonsexist democratic and a prosperous
country, to what extent are the principles of such common nationhood, national pride and civic responsibility being assimilated by all South Africans and moreover because we spoke about moral regenerations. What should be the whole and responsibility of the moral regeneration in fostering social cohesion? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The various initiatives are right across the country. We even seek to inculcate these very important values at the school level to get South Africans to be proud of their national symbols, to get South Africans to not only know their National Anthem, but also to try and speak other languages other than those that they were brought up with. Therefore, this in our view would promote a common South African citizenship that all of us can be proud of. The government is reaching out just beyond even schools on the sporting field that is precisely what we are also seeking to do.
In institutions of higher learning that is also what we are seeking to do.
In order for all these to be successful, it requires the active participation of all key stakeholders in our
country. It might be the business, political parties, trade unions and if all of us could participate in the nation-building effort where we engender and encourage social cohesion, we would then be able to get rid of all these prejudices that a number of people still have in our country. If we acted as one, as collectively as South Africans, and embrace the values that are embodied in our Constitution, we would make a great deal of headway.
Thank you, House Chair.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon House Chairperson, through you to the hon Deputy President, we understand that a lot of resources were pumped in, in dealing with antiracism in our country. There was an International Antiracism Conference, National Racism Conference, etc. However, we see the resurgence of racism in certain quotas of our country. Just recently, we saw a Public Relations, PR, Company from Britain, Bell Pottinger, coming to sow seeds of division and discord within our country. They have admitted and eventually the chief executive officer, CEO, has to resign, they kept on passing the bug. The owner says that no, he was misled. The CEO said that he was misled.
I just want ask from you, hon Deputy President, will there be any steps that perhaps would be taken to ensure that this company is called to come and account because seemingly it was protecting the interest of the Guptas and certain individuals. What is it that can be done to mitigate the damage that this company has done? Thank You.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chair, what I do know is that this company has had to account to its British Standard Organisation and coming here to South Africa I have not seen any sign of this company being taken to book. However, at the political level I think a lot of people have commented quite extensively about the influence that this company has had in terms of propagating views that have had an influence of what happens here in South Africa, particularly when it comes to propagating a very narrow racial type of ideology or approach that we find very inimical with what we stand for here in South Africa.
Therefore, the South African market place I don’t know whether the PR Agency that we have in South Africa has
had to deal with them, but what I did see is how they were dealt with in the United Kingdom, UK, which seems to be affronted by what Bell Pottinger has been seeking to do here in South Africa. Thank you.
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Thank you, Deputy President. On this subject of Bell Pottinger, we know that they have now been thrown out of the Public Relations and Communications Association, PRCA, for exploiting racial tensions in South Africa for the benefit of the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s son. We also know that Bell Pottinger gave advice to the ANC Youth League and the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans including praising a statement where Mr Collins Maine, the leader of the ANC Youth League, threatened civil war in this country.
As the Deputy President of the ANC, can you tell this House whether Bell Pottinger also gave advice to Luthuli House because we know, Deputy President, that the real client of Bell Pottinger was the ANC and not Oakbay? [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chair, I am not aware that Bell Pottinger gave advice to the African National Congress and, indeed, if they did so I guess as the Deputy President of the ANC I would have been aware. I am not aware of that and as far as I’m concerned that did not happen. If it did happen possibly it was not disclosed to me. However, we would have found it very strange if they had given advice to the African National Congress. Thank you very much.
CONSIDERATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT ON SOUTH AFRICAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (SABC) BOARD
Mr C H M MAXEGWANA: House Chair, good afternoon to members. This is the report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications. Note that the main goal of the Portfolio Committee on Communications was to ensure continuous operations at the SA Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, is uninterrupted by the challenges faced by the SABC leadership. It is the committee that initially questioned the state of affairs at the public broadcaster leading to the enquiry into the fitness of the SABC board.
What was important to the committee following the enquiry was the smooth transition of power form the interim board to the permanent board. I must thank the portfolio committee members for their undivided attention and commitment that has helped us to present these names to the House today.
As you may be aware that on 02 June, the committee published an advert calling for persons to be nominated to serve on the SABC board, the advert closed on 30 June. The committee received 741 nominations. After a process of elimination of applicants who had not responded to the advertisement, the committee was left with 363 to consider for short listing.
The committee met and as per the Broadcasting Act 1999 (Act 4 of 1999), the names of the 36 short listed candidates were published on the Parliament website for a period of five working days in order to allow the public to submit comments. The screening of all candidates was conducted through State Security Agency, SSA, and the verification of qualifications by the human resource division during the same period.
We interviewed candidates from 30 August to 01 September with the exception of Mr Bauer, who according to the Act was disqualified and Mr Yaasir Haffejee, who withdrew from the process.
Yesterday, 5th September, the committee deliberated and emerged with the following names: Mrs Febbe Potgieter- Gqubule, Mr Krish Naidoo, Ms Khanyisele Kweyama, Mr John Matisonn, Mr Mathatha Tsedu, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Rachel Kalidass, Mr Markovitz Michael, Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, Mr Victor Rambau, Mr Mohuba Dinkwanyane and Mr Jack Phalane.
While noting the deliberation process was robust and mostly with consensus on most of the candidates, the DA objected to the following candidates: Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, Mr Mohuba Dinkwanyane, Mr Krish Naidoo and Mrs Febbe Potgieter-Gqubule.
The EFF objected to the following candidates: Mr Krish Naidoo and Mrs Febbe Potgieter-Gqubule.
Members will notice that on the 12 candidates ... and I think we have done badly in that we have four women.
Everything else was done and some of the candidates fell of as a result of the SSA report. Be that as it may, we agreed that we present this report as it is and move for its adoption by this august House. I thank you, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are there any objections to the recommendations of the committee that Mrs Febbe Potgieter-Gqubule, Mr Krish Naidoo, Ms Khanyisele Kweyama, Mr John Matisonn, Mr Mathatha Tsedu, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Rachel Kalidass, Mr Markovitz Michael, Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, Mr Victor Rambau, Mr Mohuba Dinkwanyane and Mr Jack Phalane be recommended for appointment on the SA Broadcasting Corporation board?
There was no debate.
Declaration(s) of Vote:
Ms P T KARELSEN: House Chair, during the SABC inquiry members of the Ad Hoc Committee sat for up to 12 hours a day hearing harrowing testimony from witness after
witness describing deep-set rot and complete collapse of good governance at the SABC.
Amongst many other shocking revelations, the committee heard that the then Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, interfered in the coverage of news and in the affairs of the board and as a result, there was an explicit and unprecedented bias in the news in favour of the ANC during the 2016 local government elections.
With the dissolution of the board, the ANC was given the opportunity to give the SABC a fresh start by appointing a board filled with properly qualified and nonpartisan individuals. Individuals who will stand up protect a strategic asset of our country against political interference.
Instead of doing so, for the first time since the SABC inquiry, ANC members of the committee chose to use their majority to force four ANC cadres onto the board. The DA and other opposition parties strongly objected to the redeployment of ANC cadres, Krish Naidoo and Febbe
Potgieter-Gqubule due to their close proximity to the ANC.
During interviews, Potgieter-Gqubule revealed that she might be running for the ANC national executive committee in December if nominated. Naidoo is currently employed as an ANC legal advisor in Luthuli house. Despite the best efforts of the DA and other opposition parties in the committee, it seems that cadre deployment is yet again to return to the SABC. Cadre deployment is at the heart of the SABC’s problems and has been the main reason for the disintegration of the public broadcaster and nonpartisan individuals should have been put above.
The DA will not be supporting this report because of the ANC’s actions in this regard. We will however, hope that the board will prove us wrong and that, we will once again have an SABC that the public of South Africa can be proud of.
Ms N R MASHABELA: As the EFF we support the recommendation of Ms Khanyisile Kweyama, Mr Mathatha Tsedu and other nominated names. However, we want the
House to register our serious objection to the recommendation of Mr Krish Naidoo and Ms Febe Potgieter. We thought that after Ellen Tshabalala, Dr Ben Ngubane and all other previous chairpersons who collapsed the SA Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, the ANC would stop deploying people to the SABC and allow competent men and women based on merit to be appointed to the SABC board.
In fact, Mr Naidoo even got permission and was sent from Luthuli House to the SABC. Ms Potgieter even confessed that she is an aspiring politician and is just waiting for a nomination to the ANC’s national executive committee, NEC. It’s her own admission; not ours. These are the very same people who tomorrow will be at the forefront of an assault on the SABC’s independence and journalists’ freedom.
The EFF also wants to express regret that there is less representation of women and that is why a chairperson must be an African woman.
However, overall it is a strong list of men and women who will not be easily swayed by the ANC’s manipulations.
This team will indeed stabilise the SABC as it includes more people of integrity and skills than questionable characters. A functioning and independent SABC has material consequences on our democracy. As a result, we need it to work and we need it to be stable. We wish the recommended people well in rebuilding the SABC. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon House Chairperson, with the appointment of a new board today, we can only hope that we are ushering in a new era for the SABC. In recent years, the SABC has limped from one crisis to another – firstly, a financial crisis, a credibility crisis and then, a crisis of leadership.
Under Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng, we witnessed our public broadcaster being turned into a state broadcaster. Mr Motsoeneng and his partner-in-crime, the former Minister of Communications, Minister Faith Muthambi, led an orchestrated campaign to capture the SABC for their own interests.
What is now required is a new SABC board that will place the public interest far above commercial interests and political agendas. Never again should we allow the SABC board to be captured by the ANC or a faction of the ANC. Never again should we allow the ANC’s deployees to abuse and mismanage this institution.
Looking at some of the names presented here today, the IFP believes that there are glimmers of hope. The majority of the individuals will serve the SABC well. Thus, we support some of these candidates but not all of the names. We are concerned that at least two nominees are far too close to political power.
Ms Febe Potgieter-Gqubule is a key figure in the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma leadership campaign, while Mr Krish Naidoo remains an ANC legal adviser and an ANC stalwart. [Interjections.] We cannot allow these individuals to abuse their power and position to advance their respective political agendas through the SABC. That is something we cannot allow.
It is against this background that the IFP cannot support these names tabled today because again, the ANC has abused the process for cadre deployment purposes, opening the door, once more, for political interference. At the heart of the previous crisis at the SABC was political interference. It will now be up to the new board to prove to us that they will not succumb to political power, once more. The IFP wishes to thank all those who participated in the process of finding a new board and those who availed themselves of the opportunity for the interviews.
Finally, we urge the incoming board to protect fiercely the SABC’s independence and to fulfil its democratic mandate as a public broadcaster. Only then can we restore the dignity and integrity of the SABC. I thank you.
Mr W M MADISHA: Cope commends the Portfolio Committee on Communications for the transparent, open and public participative manner in which this process was conducted. Cope thanks those members of South African society who offered themselves for appointment to the board. You represented a broad cross section of our society and a diversity of skills and experience. There were more
deserving candidates amongst you than positions on the board. So we say to them, thank you.
Apart from the suitability of candidates for appointment to the board, from a skills and experience point of view it was important, from Cope’s perspective, that those finalists elected exhibit integrity and be above reproach. Cope thanks the interim board for its work in stabilising the organisation and is pleased that there will be continuity moving forward.
Whilst Cope will give its support to the list of those nominated by the committee, we must express our reservation regarding the insistence by the ANC in recommending certain persons with strong ties to the ANC and Mr Zuma. This reservation stems from the dysfunctionality, corruption, political abuse and factional battles that have crippled and bankrupted the SABC because of what is called cadre deployment by the ANC, and its executive interference. The fact is that ... [Inaudible.] ... cadre deployment is in itself a corrupt practice and places any organisation in a compromised position.
Nonetheless, Cope thanks all parties on the committee for the mature, congenial and co-operative manner in which this process was conducted. After all, we are a multiparty democracy and not a single party tyranny. Cope supports the report of the committee and those recommended for appointment to the board.
Moving forward, it will be up to the committee to ensure that we exercise appropriate oversight over the board and hold the SABC to account in the interest of the South African public. Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair let me start by thanking the portfolio committee for all its efforts and a vey hard work and the long hours that they have spent in bringing this matter to finality eventually. Hon Chairperson I do not understand what the hue and cry is about because it is common knowledge that all political parties only employ their own cadres. [Interjections.] The DA is no exception because they do that all the time, be it municipal managers, directors and be whoever it is; they all tend to do the same. [Interjections.]
On the contrary, I am not convinced. We are not convinced that the SABC ...
Ms M KHAWULA: Hon House Chair, on a point of order:
Uyazi sengiyadideka mina ukuyiphi inhlangano lo muntu? Laba bangabanye babantu okufanele basuswe la ngoba abazi ukuthi bahlangane ngayiphi inhlangano
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, that is not a point of order. Please take your seat hon member.
Nks M KHAWULA: Useyilungu likaKhongolose lo? Hhayi man
... watch out.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Please take your seat hon member.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, on the contrary ...
Ms Z S DLAMINI-DUBAZANA: Hon House Chair, I am rising on Rule 84 that when we address one another we need to respect a member. She must not say ...
... lo muntu lo. Uyazi ukuthi lokho ukudelela.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I will check the
Hansard hon member.
Mr M WATERS: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: I rise on Rule 92 on seeking clarity. Is it an ANC’s declaration or the NFP’s declaration?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): That is not a point of order hon member and you know it.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: What is very clear is that, if you do not tell the DA what they want to hear then they have a problem with it. I think that yesterday was an opportunity to actually expose them for what they really are. Thank you to all the other parties including the EFF for dealing with them appropriately yesterday.
What is also clear is that, if we talk about the biasness of the SABC, in fact, if you look at the reporting of the SABC over the last couple of years, they have been biased towards the interests of some of the opposition parties. I can also allude to one of the problems that we as some of the smaller parties have been experiencing. We have been marginalised and not getting the necessary coverage that we need to get. There is no balanced reporting in South Africa. It is more about the DA who pay the way through getting the coverage. That is what it is all about. [Applause.]
I hear people talking about credibility and things like that about a person like Krish Naidoo. Now, let me add
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: ... that Krish Naidoo is a very capable and an astute leader. One that I will honestly believe and has integrity together with other members as recommended here today by the portfolio committee. We believe that they will act in the best interest of all South Africans and that they will ensure that all political parties in South Africa get free coverage that is equal, transparent and open. We believe that they will take the SABC from the negative impact that it has created to one very positive in the future. We believe that the recommendations that you have made here today are indeed the correct ones and we, the NFP fully support the recommendations of all members provided here today.
Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Hon House Chair and hon members ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr N L S KWANKWA: ... from the outset we would like to take this opportunity to thank the interim board for its sterling work so far, and we would like to say the mandate of the SABC to inform, entertain and educate the nation means that –
Bayangxola ohloniphekileyo Frolick.
... the new board must not only ensure that the SABC is sustainable but that it actually serves a broad and diverse public and not narrow interests of a faction within the ruling elite. This is particularly important if you consider that the first Chief Executive Officer in the postapartheid era of the SABC, the late Mr Zwelakhe Sisulu, laid a firm foundation for a robustly independent, transformed and dynamic broadcaster that serves the people of the Republic without fear or favour. So, the new board must ensure that this foundation is reaffirmed, sustained and advanced in the interest of the country and with unwavering loyalty to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of the Republic of SA.
I want to say that when we were busy with the Ad hoc Committee on SABC Board Enquiry, we wanted to make sure that the SABC does exactly as it is mandated by the public. However, we realised immediately, shortly thereafter, when we disbanded the old board that it seemed as if what we were trying to do to make sure that the public broadcaster serves its mandate properly was turned upside down. There were many instances where you felt like we removed the old board in order for the Deputy President faction of the ANC to dominate the media and the SABC.
It means that going forward, we must make sure that we do not do that. We do not correct ...
... enye engalunganga siphinde simoshe enye.
The fact that we had a few instances where the Deputy President would be in the news bulletin for about three minutes ...
Uzibuze umbuzo othi...
... did we try to sort out the Zuma faction which was abusing the SABC so that the Deputy President faction of the ANC can do that?
Ndithetha phandle mna, noba na niyandixwaxwa akunani nakuse nizixhome ukuba niyaqonda. Yinyaniso emsulwa leyo.
What is important is that this new board must not allow itself to be used or caught up in the factional battles of the ANC especially going to 2019. We are making these reservations to you saying we are concerned about the two members who have close proximity to the ANC. However, if you look at the overwhelming number of the people, I think that they are made up of capable leaders.
Eziza kukwazi ukuthatha iZiko loSasazo laseMzantsi Afrika, SABC, ziyibhekise phambili. La masela.
Siyanixhasa, koko siyanilungisa, yini le!
Mr G S RADEBE: Hon House Chair, on a point of order: That hon member must withdraw. That hon member just called us ‘amasela’. He must withdraw that. [Interjections.]
Mr M L W FILTANE: On a point of order Chair: If the cap fits, you wear it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, let me be advised on the word ‘amasela’. Thank you, I will come back to that.
Mr S N SWART: Hon Chairperson, the ACDP joined other parties in spending considerable time and effort on the Ad hoc committee into the previous board and Parliament was widely commended, as we agreed across political lines to find solutions to the many problems at the SABC. We made a number of findings and recommendations that were accepted by this House.
One of the findings was that there was indeed an undue political interference in the running of the SABC, particularly by Minister Faith Muthambi, and that this has contributed significantly to the problems at the SABC. As a result, we said:
All political interference in the SABC board’s operations must be condemned.
That was accepted by this House. It seems however that recommendation has fallen on deaf ears, given the fact that certain persons nominated today have strong links to the majority party. It seems that we are repeating mistakes we made in the past and have learnt nothing when it comes to the appointment of boards.
Let us not forget that board members at the SABC are seldom serving their full terms because of the political infighting that is taking place. There have been three SABC boards excluding interim boards in the last 10 years. How many GCOs? There have been 12 GCOs since 2008. That is totally unacceptable. How can the public broadcaster be expected to perform its mandate
effectively in terms of the Act given this instability at board level?
Therefore, we hope that the Ad hoc committee process would herald a dramatic turnabout following a cleanout of incompetent and politically-connected board members. We have been encouraged by the reports from the interim board and even from certain members of the newsroom that there has been this turnabout. However, this good work may be undone with these links of new board members to the majority party.
Those links do not necessarily disqualify a member but there can be no doubt that political pressure will find its way into the boardroom as has happened in the past, particularly as we lead up to the 2019 elections. Let us not forget that a heavy price was paid in order to clean out the rot at the SABC. Witnesses were intimidated and threatened. A member of the SABC Eight, Suna Venter died directly as a result of the stress caused by the stand she took in exposing the censorship and intimidation at the SABC.
We cannot afford to let the SABC down again by appointing politically-affiliated board members. [Applause.] The ACDP will not support this report. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Before you come in hon Godi, may you please take a stand hon Kwankwa? Hon Kwankwa, I have been advised that the word ‘amasela’ means thieves.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No, it does not. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Kwankwa, do you agree with that explanation?
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No, it is actually wrong. To ‘sela’ in isiXhosa also means to drink. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Kwankwa, I will come back with the ruling. I am not going to force you now to withdraw because it may happen that we understand languages differently. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam House Chair, may I address you in terms of Rule 84 and 85 of the NA Rules read together? The rules are very clear that no one may refute a proper motive against a member, but if you are referring to a political party that is a different matter, altogether. You will recall that we have been called all sorts of names before that by members of that side of the House. It is only if it is against the member.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I know that. I have ruled on that hon Steehuisen. Can I please come back to the House? [Interjections.]
Mr N T GODI: Hon House Chair, comrades and hon members, Parliament recommends those who should serve on SABC board. In the recent past we have seen boards at the SABC that did not serve their full terms with resignations and ugly public recriminations. We have not covered ourselves in glory in terms of the quality of the people elected to serve on the board. The APC hopes that this board will debunk the trend of recent times and stay united and focused on the important task of leading the SABC.
I must confess that I do not necessarily know all the people being recommended. However, it is the presence of the members of the current interim board that gives me hope and faith that maybe we should give them the benefit of doubt. The members of the current interim board have proven themselves to be patriotic, serving the SABC with diligence and sacrificing time in the public good. They attended to their SABC work without taking a cent, recognising that the SABC was ailing financially.
They saved the SABC from ruins. They manoeuvred in treacherous political and administrative allies to end impunity for misconduct, hitting both the flies and tigers amongst the corrupt at the SABC. We thank them for getting the Specialised Investigative Unit, SIU, to investigate thoroughly cases of corruption.
Let the new board build on the foundation and the momentum of the interim board. I thank you.
Ms M S KHAWULA: Hon House Chair, on a point of order:
Hayi, bengifuna ukubuza nje ukuthi uMaDlamini ngabe akakhohlwanga yini ukuthi uwusotswebhu [whip] abatshele ukuthi abavote kanjani kwa-SABC.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G BOROTO): Hon member that is not a point of order. I am not going to allow you to continue. I will have to switch off your microphone now.
Mr R M TSELI: Chairperson, let me indicate upfront that the ANC supports this report. Besides the excellent performance displayed by the candidates in the interviews, to us these are men and women of integrity whose credentials in society are unquestionable, who possess the necessary skills to take the SA Broadcasting Corporation to a higher level.
As the ANC, we are satisfied with the product because this was a very transparent process. As you might have seen, the interviews were live on TV. As the ANC, we are happy with the feedback we got from the public about the candidates and the process itself.
There is no substance that has been raised from this side of the House because once you talk about deployees and closeness to the ANC, I will ask you a question: Where will you get people who are not closer to the ANC, because it is the ANC that has brought us to where we are.
Where will you get people who do not have links with the ANC? The DA and EFF need to be exposed. [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: House Chair! House Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes, hon member: Why are you standing?
Ms N R MASHABELA: On a point of order, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): What point of order are you rising on, hon member?
Ms N R MASHABELA: The member is misleading the House, Chair. [Interjections.] The member is misleading the
House because ANC is rejected by the people of South Africa. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon member. That is not a point of order; that is a point of debate.
Ms N R MASHABELA: The point of order is that... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much. That is not a point of order. Take your seat!
Continue, hon member.
Mr R M TSELI: It is very clear that the DA and EFF in particular are playing double standards because in all the engagements we have had with the interim board, they are the ones who have always been commending members of the interim board for having played a very crucial role in stabilising the SA Broadcasting Corporation. So, it would be wrong to come here and suggest that some of the members of the interim board cannot be appointed. As the ANC, we will always support this report.
I must take this opportunity as well to expose the DA. When the DA took over in the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town, the first thing they did was to sack all top and middle officials who are not DA members.
The provincial government in particular, through the Premier, even went further to call all those she suspected to be ANC members and told them that they must pack and go. She even blocked their names in the systems of the Western Cape Government so that even if they apply online, their curriculum vitae, CVs, would be rejected by the system. As the ANC we support this board and we would like to congratulate the recommended members for the challenging responsibility that they have been given.
Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, are there any objections that Ms Febbe Potgieter-Gqubule, Mr Krish Naidoo, Ms Khanyisile Kweyama, Mr John Matisonn, Mr Mathatha Tsedu, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Rachel Kalidass, Mr Michael Markovitz, Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, Mr Victor Rambau, Mr Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Mr Jack Phalane be
recommended for appointment on SA Broadcasting Corporation Board?
Question put: That Ms Febbe Potgieter-Gqubule, Mr Krish Naidoo, Ms Khanyisile Kweyama, Mr John Matisonn, Mr Mathatha Tsedu, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Rachel Kalidass, Mr Michael Markovitz, Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, Mr Victor Rambau, Mr Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Mr Jack Phalane be recommended for appointment on the SA Broadcasting Corporation Board.
The House divided.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Point of order, House Chair. House Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes!
Mr N L S KWANKWA: I see the Deputy Minister, hon Mncebisi Skwatsha, voted with the opposition for a change. Is it a mistake by any chance?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Sit down, hon member!
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES]
Question agreed to.
Ms Febbe Potgieter-Gqubule, Mr Krish Naidoo, Ms Khanyisile Kweyama, Mr John Matisonn, Mr Mathatha Tsedu, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Rachel Kalidass, Mr Michael Markovitz, Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, Mr Victor Rambau, Mr Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Mr Jack Phalane are accordingly recommended for appointment on the Board of the SA Broadcasting Corporation.
Ms N V MENTE: Chairperson!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mente?
Ms N V MENTE: Can I please put it on record that the EFF does not support the name of Naidoo and the name of Potgieter-Gqubule?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much. We are done with that process. We continue.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ARTS AND CULTURE ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL AND DITSONG MUSEUMS OF SOUTH AFRICA SATELLITE SITES
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ARTS AND CULTURE-ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE OF FREE STATE, ANGLO-BOER WAR MUSEUM, PAN SOUTH AFRICAN LANGUAGE BOARD, NATIONAL LIBRARY SOUTH AFRICA AND DITSONG MUSEUM OF SOUTH AFRICA
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ARTS AND CULTURE-ON VISIT TO PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE OF FREE STATE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ARTS AND CULTURE ON VISIT TO NELSON MANDELA MUSEUM
Nks X S TOM: Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, siyabulela ngeli thuba silifumeneyo lokuba sithi thaca le ngxelo phambi kwale Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho, ingakumbi ngale nyanga yamafa namagugu ethu. Siyile komiti sathatha isigqibo kwantlandlolo sokuba kule minyaka mihlani siza kujonga ngelikantsho amaqumrhu karhulumente kuba inxenye yemali inikwa iibhodi namabhunga amasebe karhulumente. Kungenxa yeso sizathu ke esibangele ukuba siye kuwo.
Into yokuqala endiza kuthetha ngayo ziimuziyam. I-Nelson Mandela Museun sisakhiwo sokuqala esifike apho imeko imbana kuba kaloku ayinayo umlawuli oyintloko ophetheyo. Loo nto yenze ulawulo lube gwengxa lungahambi ngendlela. Siyavuya ke ukutsho kule Ndlu ukuba emva kokuba simkile senze neziphakamiso ngemeko esiyibone e-Nelson Mandela Museum, izithuba zomzebenzi ebezikho ziye zavalwa kwaqeshwa abantu. Zikhona izinto ezithe zavela, phakathi kwazo singabalula ubudlelwane nonxibelelwano olungekhoyo phakathi kwabo baphetheyo, iibhodi, amabhunga kwakunye nabasebenzi. Siye sacela ukuba kubekho imvisiswano phakathi kwabo ukuze bakwazi ukusebenzisana ngendlela efanelekileyo.
I-Generally Recognised Accounting Practice, Grap, kunye nemiphumela yayo iyingxaki kuzo zonke iimuziyam kuba kaloku imali yokwenza izinto eziyimfuneko ayikho. Emva kokuba kubalwe imali yezinto ezikhoyo emuziyam kuye kwafuneka kubekho ukhuseleko olungqingqwa ukuqinisekisa ukuba izinto ezikhoyo aziphumi ngondlela-mnyama. Siye sacela ukuba loo nto ijongwe ngeliso elibukhali.
Siye sagxinisa kakhulu kumba wokhuseleko lwezinto zenkcubeko ezisemuziyam kuba kaloku xa kunokwaziwa ngexabiso lazo zingabiwa. Enye yezinto esiyiqwalaseleyo yindlela ekuqeshwa ngayo abantu kwiimuziyam. Siye sacela ukuba kusetyenziswe umgaqo-nkqubo ofanelekileyo khon’ukuze izinto zenziwe ngendlela. Ndiyawabulela kakhulu amalungu ekomiti ngokwenza umsebenzi wawo ngendlela encomekayo.
Isebe silicelile ukuba liqwalasele umcimbi we- Performance Arts Centre of the Free State, Pacos, kuba ukuba awuqwalaselwa siza kumbona ephindela emva apho asuka khona. Indlela ekuliwa ngayo kula maqumrhu karhulumente yenza nabantu basane ezinkundleni amaxesha amaninzi.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Kancane nje, kancane bakithi ngokukhulu ukuhlonipha.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, are you standing on a point of order?
Nk M S KWAWULA: Yebo.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay Ma’am, what is your point of order?
Nk M S KWAWULA: Sihlalo, nginephuzu lokukhalima okuphambukayo. Ngizizwa nginokukhulu ukudabuka. La uyakhuluma umhlonishwa ngento ebalulekile. Lana sifike sazofunga ukuthi sizosebenzela abantu ... [Ubuwelewele.]
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Siyabonga.
Nk M S KWAWULA: ... kodwa abantu bonke bayaphuma bayahamba babuya sebezovota. [Ubuwelewele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much.
Nk M S KWAWULA: Sathi la ake kuvalwe lamajoyinti avulwe la ePhalamende.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, thank you very much, you have made your point.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Ake kuvalwe lamajoyinti agcwele lana.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Ngizoyivala mama ngiyakucela, hlala phansi.
Nks X TOM: Ndiyabulela kumalungu ekomiti awenza umsebenzi wawo ngendlela encomekayo nakumagosa asabelayo xa sithethe kuba siyile komiti indima yethu kukongamelo njengoko usitsho uMgaqo-siseko. Siyacebisana nesebe
ukwenzela ukuba abantu bazuze abakufaneleyo kwiSebe lezoBugcisa neNkcubeko.
Siye sahambela neethala leencwadi apho siye safumanisa ukuba nalo alimiswanga kakuhle ngu-Grap 103 – lowa bendikhe ndathetha ngayo. Sicebise ukuba amasebe adibane ukuze abonisane ngendlela ebheka phambili kuba la maqumrhu karhulumente awanakho ukusokola ngolu hlobo ngenxa ka-Grap 103 owenza ukuba bafumane iziphumo ezimbi kuMphicothi ziNcwadi. Ndiyabulela kakhulu kuMphathiswa neSekela lakhe ngokuncedisana nathi. Ndiyabulela.
Ms M L MASHABELA: Sorry, House Chairperson, I think the conducts of these members of the ANC ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, what is your point of order?
Ms M L MASHABELA: The point of order here is this ANC members must account. They are now in the bar drinking and their chairs are empty here.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member that is not a point of order.
Ms M L MASHABELA: It is a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, hon member I am going to switch off your microphone.
Ms M L MASHABELA: No, they must account. They must go for disciplinary hearing.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, I will now recognise the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: I move that the report be adopted.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Motion is that the report be adopted.
Dr D G GROOTBOOM:
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto)
Declaration of votes:
Dr D G GROOTBOOM: Hon Speaker, hon members, Mayor Angelo said the following and I quote: “I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you have come from, you don’t know where you are going”.
The question now is do we know where we come from and where we are going in this department? We come from chequered and divided past with different cultural expressions and this department is task with reserving that past for generations to come, but also to build common cultural spaces where all the different cultures can find expression towards a cohesive future.
Oversight to the different entities aims to monitor whether we are achieving or succeeding in this goal. Firstly, the most serious challenge of this department remains the funding of different entities. A clear funding model to ensure equitable distribution of funds has not been interrogated. We have found that inadequate funding has curtailed service delivering with museums and library specifically.
Secondly, the deployed cadres of previous Ministers of Arts and Culture continue to destabilise some entities and Performance Arts Centre of the Free State, PACOFS, is case in point. Clear and direct action is needed as both of board and the senior management don’t sing from the same hymnbook. Officials blowing to different unions hamper collective growth and execution of co-functions in this entity.
Thirdly, the dissolving of the council board was needed to bring to order an entity that has become a law on its own right. Direct action is also needed in the Nelson Mandela Museum as a protection of valuable art effects remains a challenge and this challenge has been acerbating by Generally Recognise Accounting Principle 103, GAAP.
The museums improved with specific reference to the Ditsong Museum and the Anglo Boer War Museums, however funding remains a problem which results in many valuable assets remaining hidden in back rooms.
We also have to congratulate the Minister for finally appointing a Director General after about more three years to this department. We sincerely trust that this appointment will assist us in moving this department forward from a static position and better strategic management to steer the ship. We support this report. Thank you.
Mr M S MBATHA: House Chair, on behalf of the EFF we reject the reports as presented precisely because the findings of these reports we know very well the majority of them will not be considered or be taken into consideration by the powers that be. We do believe though that these are important institutions. It could have been an amazing opportunity after the visit of the portfolio committee to take care and redress whatever the shortcoming is in the majority of these institutions.
These are institutions of a historic nature. They have prospects of educating our people but if they are under a state of mismanagement and a lack of direction, that is where the problem is. These institutions are of national importance for the majority of South Africans. They are
the present and the future. They are the custodians of what sits beneath our history and they are custodians of what is possible for our kids to learn and be able to champion as a single nation which is South Africa. But we believe that because there is no readiness on the governing party to meet the requirements in particular of the struggling councils and institutions, we do not think the findings will be implemented to the letter. Despite the critical role these institutions and councils play, they are deeply and continue to be underfunded and mismanaged. Those who are deployed by the ANC are generally incompetent and basically have no reason to be in some of these institutions.
Just some of the consequences of this are the failure to bring the African languages into the mainstream economy or into academia. The continuation of our people not to be identified as South Africans but to continue to be identified as racial subjects together with further identification as ethnic groups is one of the reasons why some of these institutions play no role whatsoever in educating our people towards a united nation. Because these reports fail to offer any substantive
recommendations that will have any meaningful change, we cannot support them. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Chair, through commitments without a committee so unfortunately could not be part of this oversight visit but would still like to raise my concerns and congratulations where appropriate. Heritage management and cultural legislation have always existed on this continent and more so in South Africa however a lack of proactive measures from within heritage management as well as external factors such as labour and management problems as experienced by the committee at the National Arts Council, NAC, satellite site, Anglo and Ditsong museum to name a few remain a big stumbling block and are threatening the very existence of heritage in South Africa.
There were three challenges prominent in this report that the committee’s visit to the Free State province, the lack of community development, the difficulty of enforcing the law and continuing incompetence of management and staff. This being that while there was a responsibility to develop local artists especially in the
Free State province, there was little done in this regard. Also appointments seem orchestrated to favour certain individuals within the structures of these institutions. The staff in some cases during the busiest periods the whole staff complement was given leave and tourists who travelled great distances to visit these places of historic significance were turned away. Arts and culture not only builds a nation but can also sustain that nation against great odds but then there must be commitments and the political will to oversee and identify the neglect in this important portfolio or it would mean the young will forget their own history.
Incompetent contractors, renovations and re renovations that are never completed results in our communities losing the privilege of access to these state-owned living arts centres. Fortunately the Department of Arts and Culture and the Minister are committed in supporting the emerging shifts in the arts as well as protecting the existing culture and heritage sector. This will have the potential to increase the growth and development of this enormously important sector but only if this is put into practice. It is time for the Department of Arts and
Culture to get actively involved and to get to work for the sake of the heritage of South Africa. I thank you.
Mr M S MABIKA: Hon House Chair, the NFP notes the reports of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture tabled here today. The report on the NAC is a fine example of everything that is wrong with governance in South Africa. We have a chief executive officer, CEO that awards her and other executive officers salary increases without following proper procedure. Suspect performance bonuses are being paid in cash, intimidation of staff is rife, allegations of nepotism, the list id almost endless
Suffice to say it is scandalous that a situation such as this should endure and the NFP trusts that the department will take heed of the committee to make thorough investigation and stand firm on the requirements for accountability. On the other hand the report on the Ditsong Satellites is encouraging, the observations and recommendations of the committee centres on issues such as physical state of buildings and the appointment of suitable security services for the different museums. No mention is made of irregularities in governance,
financial management and work conditions and we assume that these issues were found to be in order. This is in stark contrast with the observations and recommendations with regard to the Ditsong Museum itself which is suffering from high staff turnover and general lack of organisational capacity to apply effective, transparent and accountable governance. Overall, the NFP believes that these reports paint a bleak picture about governance, financial management and general working conditions of the department’s entities. It would be to the benefit of the department if the observations and recommendations contained in these reports are taken seriously and acted upon with due diligence.
Finally, arts and culture is recognised as a crucial component to facilitate social cohesion and as a nation we are in much need of that cohesion right now after the damage done by Bell Pottinger and the Gupta family. The devastating aftermath of this massive exercise in fostering racial tensions in South Africa needs to be contained and reversed and we believe that the department has an important role to play in this regard. In conclusion, the NFP supports the reports. I thank you.
Mr J L MAHLANGU: Chair, first of all we would like to congratulate the department and the Minister for finally getting a director-general. Just for the benefit of members, there are 26 entities under this department.
Most of them are performing exceptionally well. What you see here for those like the EFF which does not attend these site visits or even attend portfolio meetings is that we have identified those entities that are not doing so well, the whole idea is to identify the weakness so that we can strengthen the whole operation.
So, whilst you see a bleak future in the reports, what you see there is three or four of the 26 entities that are not performing so well but indeed there has been an improvement, for instance, as the chair indicated, Nelson Mandela [Museum] was not doing that well is now doing exceptionally well. We are confident that the Nelson Mandela Museum will get a clean audit. You look at the Anglo-Boer War [Museum] in the Free State and I wish that members visited that entity. You know that South African history and heritage had always celebrated the white members of our society. Actually as we speak now, 90% of the entities of the Department of Arts and Culture
celebrate white history and heritage when in actual fact close to 90% of the people of this country are black. The plan of the department and our view as a committee is that we should turn things around. We should have entities that celebrate blacks constituting 90% that is where we should be going ... [Applause.] because what we have here is a distortion. Indeed there is a huge movement, there are a lot of entities that we will bring to the fore that members will be very excited about the progress we are making to recognise black Africans, Indians, coloureds, Khoi, San and so on which were never catered for by the government that they actually started.
AN HON MEMBER: Oh rubbish! ... [Interjections.]
Mr J L MAHLANGU: Well, we will deal with your rubbish question but the Anglo-Boer War, what was said on the Boer war, which is called the South African war because it excluded Africans, that is why we are saying Anglo. The Minister has worked on the matter on changing it to the South African War. A new narrative is coming out of that entity that speaks to the suffering of Africans and women because some of them perished there but they were
never recognised. So progress is continually being made. Indeed there is a lot that we still need to do. Ditsong [Museums] and I wish members could visit these and it is because these form part of our tourism offering to the world. Ditsong, one of the areas where our heritage is protected, the good thing we found there, among others, is, that entity has been employing ...
... amakhehla amadala, ogogo nomkhulu babelungu futhi isizathu [and the reason why] sokushintshwa kwabasebenzi [staff turnover] yingoba [because] kufanele bahambe vele, yisikhathi sokuhamba, sihambile.
Some of them are beyond the age that is ... what they are trying to do now is to try and fast-track our young highly educated females that have been employed there to take over and pursue the heritage and history of our country. The Pan SA Language Board, PanSALB, ever since we joined the portfolio committee, has been a problem child but we are glad today that PanSALB has finally found its footing and PanSALB will change the face of
this country in terms of language development and we are glad that those people who were busy trying to affect the progress of PanSALB, spending time litigating and the courts have since explained to them that, it is time, if you litigate, you pay out of your pocket. Indeed colleagues have spoken to Generally Recognised Accounting Practice, Grap 103, and we want to appeal to government that Grap 103 needs to be visited because if Grap 103 were to be rolled-out in the whole government, we are likely to collapse. We do not believe as a committee that it was well thought out. We believe it is creating more problems. It is a very good initiative, the biggest problem with it; it must be accompanied with millions of rand because our entities, heritage sites, museums, libraries, do not have the requisite security, so you must beef up, actually you must have security that equals or that is more than the content of those products, so that is the challenge that we are having. ...
[Interjections.] – You keep that to yourself, tell it to whomever -
But indeed as I conclude, we are very appreciative of those of our people that are working in these entities. They are highly committed. They are working very hard
especially the board members because most of the board members in these entities are sacrificing their time and in terms of what they receive as appreciation for the work that they do, it is very meagre but their commitment is unparalleled and as the ANC, we already have supported this report ... [Inaudible.] and we want to appeal to the EFF to attend hearings. They must attend site visits.
They must attend committees. If there are problems they must present apologies because for them to come here and grandstand ... [Interjections.] that these things will not be implemented ... [Interjections.] you do not even know where they are ... [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: House Chair, on a point of order: The member is misleading the House ... [Interjections.]
Mr J L MAHLANGU: ... you do not even know where they are
Ms N R MASHABELA: ... and the people of South Africa. We are attending the committee ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member! ... [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: ... we are ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] the oversight.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member!
Ms N R MASHABELA: He must stop lying, oh!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, no, you cannot say a member is lying. Can you withdraw that? Can you withdraw that hon Mashabela, just the last part of your statement? [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: Okay, he is misleading the House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, sit down.
Mr J L MAHLANGU: I want to appeal to the members of the EFF to please; they get paid by the state. They get paid
by the public purse. They must attend site visits. EFF members must attend site visits.
Ms M S KHAWULA: Point of order!
AN HON MEMBER: Order Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I think umama [ma’am] was the first one to call the point of order. Mama [ma’am]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo, ephuzwini lokukhalima okuphambukayo: Yazi lento ayishoyo umhlonishwa, ngiyabonga mhlonishwa ngoba uyazi ukuthi njengoba silana sikhokhelwa yizimali zabantu.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Khawula, what is your point of order?
Nk M S KHAWULA: Uthini ngalabantu abangekho abasejoyintini, abakhokhelwa bona abantu bomphakathi, yintela [tax] yabantu?
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Siyabonga.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Musa ukudlala ngathi wena.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much.
Mr J L MAHLANGU: Well if there is a dispute, we have very simple mechanisms in Parliament. We have minutes. It can be subjected to a multiparty political committee to relook at what I have said if it is that I am telling lies but indeed it is the truth. [Time expired.] The others have confessed. The IFP said, “I did not attend” which is honest. Thank you
Motion agreed to.
Report on Oversight visit to National Arts Council and Ditsong Museums of South Africa Satellite Sites accordingly adopted.
Report on Oversight visit to Performing Arts Centre of Free State, Anglo-Boer War Museum, Pan South African Language Board, National Library South Africa and Ditsong Museum of South Africa accordingly adopted.
Report on Visit to Performing Arts Centre of Free State accordingly adopted.
Report on Visit to Nelson Mandela Museum accordingly adopted.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Kkz M G Boroto): Sifike emaphethelweni wehlelo lanamhlanje. iNdlu ingaphakama. Inarha ayilale!
The HOUSE adjourned at 18:30