Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 23 Aug 2017
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 23 AUGUST 2017
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15.03.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, hon members, as required by Rule 129(2) of the National Assembly Rules, I was consulted on the scheduling of the motion of no confidence that was debated and voted upon in this House prior to the scheduling of the motion itself.
I must say that, as Leader of Government Business, I was not consulted by the Speaker on how the vote should be conducted. Let me say that I was very tempted, on a number of occasions, to try and find out what the Speaker’s decision was, but I held myself back. Each time
I saw her, I kept looking at her posture ... [Laughter.]
... to see whether there was some indication on her decision.
One time, I should confess, I said, Speaker, you remember the Constitutional Court said that you have a decision to make. Upon saying that, she gave me a very, very strange look, basically telling me that, it’s none of your business; I will decide whichever way.
As you are no doubt aware, the Constitutional Court made it clear that the decision on whether or not the conduct of the vote on the motion of no confidence should be by secret or open ballot was the Speaker’s decision to make.
So, in the end, all I ever saw of her decision was when she announced it on television. I had no inkling whatsoever as to what her decision was going to be. Thank you.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy President, we welcome the fact that the vote had taken place by secret ballot. The natural consequence of that is that the
President is already on record as saying that all the members who voted in secret must face a witch-hunt. [Interjections.]
The real crisis is that, in fact, the people’s business is now being held hostage by this, where people like Dr Mahkosi Khoza have even been removed from portfolio committees.
My question to you, hon Deputy President, is whether or not you support this witch-hunt and, if you don’t, what actions you are going to take to ensure that the people’s business is continued by this Parliament, rather than this witch-hunt that seeks to disrupt this Parliament’s work. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, as far as I’m concerned, there is no witch-hunt in the ANC ... [Interjections.]
The ANC has accepted that the vote has happened as it did, and, clearly, like any other political party, it has its own internal processes that must be respected, just
as we respect the internal processes of other parties. [Interjections.]
So, let the ANC continue with its own internal processes. Thank you.
Ms H O HLOPHE: Deputy President, firstly, yes, there is a witch-hunt that the ANC is undertaking against its own members. Dr Mahkosi Khoza has been removed as the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, and she was removed by the ANC, let alone that the processes of Parliament were not followed.
Secondly, hon Derek Hanekom is now being threatened by the ANC with removal as the chairperson in the ANC’s disciplinary committee.
Thirdly, the Speaker of Parliament – who is the national chairperson of the ANC – is being victimised by the ANC.
So, don’t tell us there is no witch-hunt, because those comrades and members were exercising their rights, following the ruling of the Constitutional Court.
So, what are you saying about that, Deputy President? You must come clean! Are you with the witch-hunt, or are you protecting the Members of Parliament who were exercising their democratic rights and oaths of office here in Parliament? You must come clean now! We must know from you. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I did say that there is no witch-hunt. The ANC should be allowed to proceed with its own internal processes, because these are party- political processes. It would, I think, be very exciting for all other members seated here to hear the ANC’s internal goings-on, where we would outline precisely what is happening with hon Derek Hanekom, what’s happening with this one and that one ... But, we are not in the space and time to be able to do that.
So, allow the ANC to carry on with its own internal processes. That’s all I can say on this matter.
Ms D CARTER: Deputy Speaker, with respect to your reply, you chaired our Constitutional Assembly that was tasked with drafting our final Constitution. Our Constitution is
the supreme law of this republic. Laws and conduct inconsistent with the Constitution are invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled.
Now, the Constitutional Court ruling is - and was - very clear. In the meantime, your President is reported as having said, and I quote, that’s why I am saying the ANC constitution must be applied so that people who have double standards can make way for people who are loyal to the ANC.
Now, if I listen to your answer, Deputy President, my question to you is, who comes first: The Constitution of the country and the Constitutional Court ruling, or the constitution of the ANC?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think we have often said that, on matters like these ... I mean, we are all South Africans. We have subjected ourselves to the Constitution of the Republic. In the end, the Constitution of the Republic is the supreme law of our country.
So, our country comes first. We are South Africans first and, thereafter, we are everything else. Thank you.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy President, I am going to leave the matters that the ANC has to answer, to the ANC.
Having said that, it is common cause that these motions of no confidence were placed before this House because many of us, on both sides of this House, are concerned about state capture, about corruption and those kinds of things, that are happening.
Now, you, as Leader of Government Business, have a very important role to play in all of this. Maybe you can provide us with some answers so that we don’t have to have motions of no confidence.
So my question is, what have you, hon Deputy President, done as Leader of Government Business and as Chairperson of the Interministerial Committee on State-owned Enterprise Reform? Have you instituted your own process of investigation into state capture, as this directly
relates to entities and businesses that fall within your mandate? Thank you.
Mr B A RADEBE: On a point of order! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: What’s the point of order? Who is calling for a point of order?
Mr B A RADEBE: It’s me, Radebe!
The SPEAKER: Oh. Yes, hon Rabebe?
Mr B A RADEBE: I am rising on Rule 142(6). The Rule is very clear. A supplementary question must arise directly from the original question. A reply may therefore not constitute a new question. So, really, this question which is asked by hon Singh is different from what is there on the Question Paper. Can you please rule on that? Thank you.
The SPEAKER: What you are saying is indeed true, but if the Deputy President feels like answering, he can go ahead.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I did get the sense that this is a completely new question. It possibly relates to another question that is going to be asked, which I have to reply to. I would say, possibly, it should arise when I have to reply to the question raised by, I think, hon Plouamma. Thank you, hon Speaker.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, our efforts to build a democratic, nonracial and nonsexist society are undermined by the persistence of patriarchal structures and practices in our country. It is therefore essential to work to eradicate patriarchy in all its forms in our country. To a significant extent, patriarchy continues to define relations within the home where women are often confined to play inferior roles such as performing unpaid domestic labour. The constraints that are imposed on them limit their opportunities to find work and to access a number of opportunities including educational opportunities.
The unequal economic relations in the home are extended to the exclusion and segregation of women in the labour
market as well. Women in South Africa continue to face challenges in increasing and in key meaningful senior management positions as well as decision-making positions. In many cases women earn less than men for similar work.
The report on the status of women shows that where women are employed it is often in precarious and insecure positions. As a result women are more likely to live below the poverty line than males with rural women being much more vulnerable than their urban counterparts.
Patriarchal relations are also prevalent in institutions like the state where men turn to dominate and where despite formal equality there is often a bias against women.
Gender-based violence is one of the most alarming manifestations of patriarchy. It is exacerbated by institutional norms and social conditioning which pressure men to have political, financial and social power as a dominion over women. Because the various forms of patriarchy are interrelated, government has been
working with civil society to deal with the challenges in a holistic manner.
While the family unit is an important starting point, we cannot focus only on the family in attempt to reverse patriarchal attitudes. The democratic government has promulgated a number of legislative instruments and has embarked on a number of programmes to address the structural manifestation of patriarchy. Some of the efforts that have been embarked upon include the provision of more affordable responsive finance ensuring that women are the primary beneficiaries of government social grants and mobilising women farmers into agricultural co-opts.
In February this year, the Department of Higher Education embarked on its sexual and gender-based violence dialogues in institutions of higher learning and technical and vocational education and training, Tvet, campuses to address the challenges faced by students and staff members regarding this phenomenon. This programme complements the She Conquers campaign which we launched last year under the SA National Aids Council, Sanac,
which aims to empower young women to make decisions that reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection and to improve their educational and economic position.
Government has launched a series of dialogues that are aimed to understand the lived experience of women, children and community members as well as to gather lessons that can be learnt in addressing all of these.
Through partnerships with men’s organisations, men are challenging themselves and other men on patriarchal attitudes. The ability of these interventions to effectively reverse patriarchal relations however depends on the collective commitment of all of us in society. I understand that we are also going to have, here in Parliament, an international women’s conference next week which will reflect on the progress made on the continent in absorbing women in the economy and creating gender sensitive working environments.
The struggle against patriarchy is being taken up across society, in public institutions, in the media and in homes. Working together as men and women we will succeed
in building a nonsexist society in which all can enjoy equal rights and opportunities. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: I hope Manana is listening.
Ms P BHENGU-KOMBE: Hon Speaker and hon Deputy President, the issues of patriarchy and gender-based violence is a global struggle. Experiences will be shared at the international women’s conference that will be hosted by this Parliament on 29 to 30 August 2017. The ANC-led government has implemented programmes such as the 365 Days of Activism to fight the scourge of the killings of women and children which requires support from all of us.
Having launched the men’s dialogues in Soshanguve, could you share with us the outcomes of those dialogues and how the six-point plan lunched by the Minister of Police will assist in fighting gender-based violence against women and children. I thank you, hon Speaker.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, we had a great opportunity in Soshanguve just a week ago to bring together under the umbrella of the SA Network of
Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and Aids, Sanerela, which is the religious leaders who are united under the Sanac umbrella to engage with issues of gender-based violence and substance abuse in a dialogue with men. You could say that this was a men’s parliament. It was largely composed of young men who were talking amongst themselves about issues of HIV as well as tuberculosis, TB, but more importantly about gender-based violence and substance abuse.
We found that in Soshanguve there is quite a lot of substance abuse. Men in that dialogue resolved that we will launch a huge campaign to sensitise young people in Soshanguve not only on substance abuse, but also on gender-based violence. We will have a huge march in that township. The resolutions that were taken were to continue to work with various sectors in society as well as to work with the police. Therefore, the plan that has been announced by the Minister of Police fits in very well with the campaign that the community amongst our people in Soshanguve want to embark upon.
The other important thing in that dialogue was of course the raising of the level of consciousness particularly among young men about issues of rape, the killing of women, gender-based violence and substance abuse. We found it to be the most meaningful process which would be very good if it could be spread throughout the country where you get young and older men talking amongst themselves.
The other important issue, as I conclude on this matter, was the problem that was raised about absent fathers.
Many young people, young men in particular, raised the issue of the absence of their fathers in their lives whose presence could bring a very positive influence in their lives. So, it was a deep quest amongst young men to have fathers participating in their lives and in their own social development and otherwise. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Speaker and Deputy President, I think you will agree with me that all the government programmes that you have just outlined have been severely undermined by your government’s decision to grant
diplomatic immunity to Dr Grace Mugabe who has been alleged to have severely beaten up and injured a South African woman. I would like to know from you, hon Deputy President, what type of a government would stand on the side of an alleged abuser while denying justice to Ms Engels?
I think as a Leader of Government Business you must provide us today with some answers and clarity on this decision. Maybe, you can also indicate whether you support the decision to grant diplomatic immunity to Dr Grace Mugabe. What do you think this decision would actually do to our fight against gender-based violence in South Africa, hon Deputy?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: As I understand the decision was taken in terms of the internationally recognised immunity regulations. These regulations and conventions are understood and also well recognised at the UN level. That was the instrument that was utilised for this purpose.
Clearly, it has its own subregulations in terms of its own efficacy. It is for the first time that we have to utilise this type of convention and a lot can be said on
pro and against it. In the end there needs to be the clarity on this matter. It is not full and complete in the sense that, yes, in certain environments it is applied and in others it is not applied. It happened to have been applied here in South Africa. Our government and the Department of International Relations and Co- operation granted this immunity which enabled Mrs Mugabe to depart in the way that she departed. Thank you very much.
Ms D KOHLER: You made it up. Do you support it or what?
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Deputy President, given the fact that you get in provinces like Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape quite large groups of men who believe that their customs, norms and practices are being trampled upon by this so-called modern way of dealing with people’s rights. How do you then balance, making sure that those beliefs are not trampled upon, but at the same time protecting the rights of women? What evidence, in short, is available to proof that the country is actually moving in that direction given those dynamics in our country? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, yes, there is that challenge throughout our country particularly in areas where our people still live in very traditional settings where they believe that certain age-old practices need to continue. However, what we did countenance as we were drafting the Constitution was that the Constitution of our country grants equal rights for that matter to all citizens who live here. In the end it is this document that embodies our rights that should trumps even old-age practices that seek to dilute the rights of South Africans, be they women or men in particular, in our case as we deal with these challenges where certain practices seek to dilute the rights of women and children. They need and should be trumped by our Constitution.
Our Constitution is supreme and where those practices still persist we need to raise the level of consciousness to those who still pay hid to those old-age traditions where women and children are treated in the old way, particularly where women were regarded as people who did not have any rights whatsoever. So, the Constitution trumps all those very backward practices.
But at the same time we need to be taking those who still wish to practice them along with us, raise their level of understanding and raise their level of consciousness because after all they are just as South Africans as all of us are. We need to raise their level as well to come to the level of appreciating what the Constitution sets out with regard to the rights of women and children.
Thank you very much.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Speaker and Deputy President, you have alluded to the prevalence of some men’s movement and also civil society organisations that are involved in dealing with patriarchy and of course some of these are dealing with the father-son relationship. What is it that the government is doing to ensure that these are legally assisted in order for them to deal with patriarchy?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, with regard to dealing with them in a legal way, I guess there is a lot that can be done. Right now I was talking more about the dialogues that are taking place. Within the Sanac arena we are spreading out a number of dialogues precisely on this type of issue. My take is that if these dialogues and
discussions are spread throughout the country, we can enhance a deeper level of understanding and working together. I guess at legal level – at the legislative level- we can begin advancing to a level where we inculcate this type of change of behaviour.
Right now, what I have been wonderfully exposed to has been these dialogues amongst men and dialogues amongst young men and older men where younger men have been found to benefit a great deal.
I am rather glad that they have been organised under the Sanac umbrella. However, I think they need to be spread to be rooted in many other organisations that deal with lives of our people throughout the country. It should not only just be in the Sanac fold. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, any knowledge that I have about the alleged influence of a certain family at Eskom has been obtained from published reports on the matter. This includes the Public Protector’s State of Capture Report as well as several media articles produced
by investigative journalists. May I say, recently, of course, quite a lot of this information has been spewing out from these emails that all of us had been reading.
So, this has formed the basis of the information that I and many others have been exposed to.
As I have said in this House before, it is critical and I repeat it, that a judicial commission of inquiry should be established as a matter of urgency to probe these and other claims of corporate capture of state institutions. The law enforcement agencies themselves need to give these allegations their full attention. Madam Speaker, where crimes have been committed, those responsible must be prosecuted. Parliament should also be commended for initiating its own inquiries in some of these matters as they have come out affecting quite a number of departments or Ministries. These allegations in the end are so serious and they are also of great concern to many South Africans. Their implications are so far-reaching that they need to be thoroughly investigated without any fear or favour. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Thank you, hon Speaker and hon Deputy President. Let me explain to you, hon Deputy President why I think your lack of direct condemnation equals conspiracy or “Guptaphobia”.[Interjections.] The whole body of Eskom has got Gupta tattoos designed by the President. [Laughter.] Yet, you never came out and say directly that the Guptas are wrong. The President has embraced these rotten tomatoes, but you had never said in public, “Mr President, you are out of order”.
Eskom has become a victim of arbitrary desires of the Gupta family. Instead, you have chosen to become a modern King Pilate and wash your hands. [Interjections.] Why, Deputy President?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I am not here to win a contest through which I would please hon Plouamma. [Applause.] On matters that affect the Republic and the interest of our people, you will find that many who are on this side have been able to speak out because it is important that we continue to represent what is in the view of our people correct. [Interjections.]
Mr D W MACPHERSON: And now there’s a witch hunt!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: We have from time to time spoken out on certain things that are done wrong.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Pravin spoke out, and look what happened to him!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: It is in this case that I have spoken out and said that a judicial commission of inquiry needs to be appointed. [Interjections.] This matter has also been canvassed with President Jacob Zuma and the President is on record as having said that he is applying his mind to this matter. [Interjections.] So, hon Plouamma these matters as we have said, are matters of great concern to all of us as South Africans. We, therefore, have often said that they need to be investigated so that the truth can set free those who may be implicated – so that the truth can come out. The Public Protector’s report has initiated the process and indeed, it suggested that a commission of inquiry should be set up. We believe that a commission of inquiry will be set up and it will go to the bottom of all these
matters that are of great concern. [Interjections.] So, let us wait until the commission of inquiry is set up by the person who is authorised to set it up. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms D CARTER: Thank you, Speaker. Deputy President my question is simple. When can we expect a commission of inquiry to be set up? And then, whilst the country awaits the outcome if Mr Zuma’s lawfare application to the Public Protector’s recommendation of the judicial commission of inquiry, some of those suspected are busy selling the assets left right and centre. So, what ethical actions, investigations, sanctions, discipline if any, are being taken to stop the rot, and if there is no action taken, why not?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well the answer is simple in relation to when the commission is going to be set up. A commission will be set up when the President sets the commission up ... [Interjections.] ... that’s when the commission will be set up. We need to give the President the time and the space to set up this commission.
Now, in relation to the other matter that you raised - that assets are being sold and all these things - clearly, everything that is happening should not be able to escape the attention and the scrutiny of a commission that would be set up. These matters are happening out in the open and in the end, there will be no place to hide. Once that commission is set up, it would have the power, authority and ability to scrutinise everything. In the end, it will be an independent commission that would do its work as effectively as possible.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Date and time! Date and time!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Date and time will be determined by the President himself. Thank you very much.
Mrs N W A MAZZONE: Thank you, Speaker. Deputy President, given the fact that it is now patently obvious that the Gupta family is selling their South African assets en masse with the view of leaving the country shortly; given the fact that the wheels are turning exceptionally slowly when it comes to the state capture investigations in Parliament and you, yourself can’t give us a date or the
time that the President is going to set up this commission and also given the fact that the interministerial committee that was headed by Minister Masutha was a monumental failure into looking at Eskom - as a leader of government business, can you give us the guarantee that you will ensure that every single one of the parliamentary portfolio committees is adequately resourced to make sure that their investigation into state capture, in fact, happens. And more importantly, don’t you think you should have agreed to the request that we had a full-scale ad hoc committee in Parliament into state capture? [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, the issue of resourcing portfolio committees looking into this matter, really it is a matter for Parliament to determine and to decide on. A leader of government business will not and should not be able to interfere in how Parliament arranges its own matters, particularly on how it allocates resources. So, that one, I would say it should be left to Parliament. The issue of the ad hoc committee, I think that question has now passed because the portfolio committees have now, in one way or another
started work on this matter. In the end, should the commission of inquiry be set up, Parliament will then need to discuss how it deals with the work that is being done by the portfolio committees in conjunction with what the commission of inquiry will be doing. It is also possible should the commission of inquiry be set up sooner rather than later, there will be a duplication of efforts and tasks. So, Parliament will need to make that assessment. However, what I think it clear is that this matter is not going to be left and be swept under the carpet. This matter is going to be dealt with in one-way shape or another; it is a matter that requires attention. We are going to give attention to this matter and it is a question of when that commission of inquiry will be appointed. I am sure it will be appointed soon.
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Thank you, Madam Speaker, in most of all your answers Deputy President, you said that the commission of inquiry is going to be elected, the law must take its course, but is it really going to be dealt with? Don’t you think it is obscene the level of protection this family enjoys courtesy of the state?
They’ve got no regard for the Constitution of this
country and they are willing to sacrifice the credibility of key institutions like Eskom that was mentioned, on the altar of personal enrichment to use patronage politics and worse, to retain or gain control of all levels of power. Now, seeing that they survive on that level of protection, as a leader of government business, would you be allowed to investigate or even deal with this?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, let me say that nobody; no family is above the law. So, even in this case as I said earlier, whoever is found to have committed any misdemeanour should and will be dealt with. I want to explode the myth in your mind that some people enjoy the protection of the state. [Interjections.] If that was so, then we are no longer governed by the rule of law. [Interjections.] We are a state that is governed by the rule of law. In the end, nobody should ever think that they can escape the long arm of the law. [Interjections.] That should be obliterated from your mind.
As leader of government business, my task is clearly set out. I have no power, no authority and no ability to investigate. [Interjections.] The task of investigation
is left to our authorities, our criminal justice authorities or to a commission that can be set up by the President. So, please don’t give me a task that I do not have, nor would I ever wish to have that task at all.
Thank you very much.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, Question 28 has been asked by the hon Gcwabaza. What’s the point of order, hon Ndlozi?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Please hon Speaker, check the Table staff there. They are sabotaging us. We were in the line when we checked with them. We were number two to follow up on this question and now we are nowhere to be found. There is a man with a bow tie there who is sabotaging us, please Speaker! [Laughter.] He looks new. We were supposed to follow up on this question. [Interjections.] No, how can you have Parliament where EFF doesn’t speak. It’s impossible.
The SPEAKER: May I just give you some information. We have already had four follow-up questions and after that, on the list that is here it is hon Swart, hon Mabika, hon Dlamini, hon Shivambu and hon Hlophe. Those are the
people who are actually part of those we can’t take because now we have to move to the next question. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, one of the measures to improve confidence in state-owned enterprises, SOEs, is the on-going implementation of SOE reforms; which amongst other things are aimed at how best we can stabilise the finances of these SOEs, how we can strengthen their balance sheets, how we can stabilise the governance and also streamline their operations.
As part of the Presidential Review Committee recommendations, the interministerial committee, IMC, that was set up, which is chaired by the Deputy President, has developed several measures to advance the reform of SOEs. In July 2017 the Minister of Finance provided timeframes for the implementation of 14 critical measures to rebuild investor confidence, including steps to stabilise and reform a number of these SOEs.
As has been reported before, Cabinet has considered guidelines for a whole range of matters including the remuneration of executives and directors. These are intended to ensure consistency as well as transparency and probity in all matters relating to appointments and remuneration. And this, we believe, will strengthen governance of SOEs.
Cabinet also considered a private sector participation framework, which provides guidance on how the government can involve the private sector, particularly in infrastructure programmes. The IMC is also coordinating work on the development of a new shareholder policy framework which will improve coordination, oversight and effective allocation of resources.
The first phase of the reform is focusing on the major commercial SOEs in our country that are the backbone of our infrastructure development process.
The IMC has approved a structure that categorises SOEs into nine sectors or – if you like – nine complexes to allow for the optimisation of state intervention in each
sector. The prioritised sectors or complexes have been identified based on their potential to contribute to the reindustrialisation of our economy as well as how they can foster the job creation programme.
The work been done in the short- to medium-term is consolidation, realignment and a possible merger of certain SOEs; concentrating particularly on the airlines, state-mining assets and telecommunications.
The development of the optimal structure, for instance, for South African Airways, SAA, SA Express and Mango has been discussed and the Ministers of Finance and Public Enterprises will present the proposed recommendations to the Cabinet soon.
There are also proposals for financial support to some of the SOEs we have in our country; and in light of what is envisaged in the draft shareholder policy providing a financial support to SOEs, this must be matched against the entities potential to remain sustainable and win itself off from support or guarantees from the government.
The IMC is considering various alternative and innovative instruments on how we can continue to fund our SOEs including leveraging on the private sector participation framework, on which National Treasury is engaging with various departments and the SOEs themselves.
The criteria for support is currently being developed and we will conclude that soon, and SOEs continue to have significant potential to drive higher levels of economic growth as well as job creation and development.
Through the work that is been done by the IMC on SOEs reforms, we are confident that we will soon be able to effectively realise the potential of these key SOEs and we have a number of them that are big enough and are able to move the economic fortunes of our country forward.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr N E GCWABAZA: Could the Deputy President explain in detail the strategic role the proposed restructured and recapitalised SOEs will play in pursuit of achieving inclusive economic growth, including executing their broad developmental mandate. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The first part clearly is to restructure and reposition a number of these SOEs and to make sure that they are able to be sustainable and that they are able to operate effectively and efficiently.
A number of the efforts and the initiatives that are now underway from remuneration policies as well as how they should manage their balance sheets is aimed at repositioning quite a number of them; and ensuring that when they do participate in economic activity, for instance, their procurement programmes should be aimed at advancing economic growth on an inclusive basis where they are able to advance the developmental goals of the republic; where their inclusive programmes are such that they empower the people of our country, women, young people, the disabled, and where they are able also to foster the development of small and medium enterprises.
We are looking at set asides that these SOEs will have when they procure goods and services; and that when they do do so, they should do so in a way that will empower those who’ve always been excluded from the economic
activity in our country. They must focus on advancing the economic interest of black small and medium enterprises.
And they must also ensure that their procurement programmes are so inclusive as to be able to bring into their fold of procurers, black-owned businesses and we are now involved – as you will know Madam Speaker – in developing black industrialists; and we would like SOEs to get actively involved in advancing this type of programmes, not only in helping to develop them but also in helping to advance their own economic interest through the procurement of goods and services.
We believe that once these SOEs are properly streamlined, and they play the role that they are destined to play in our economy, the benefits will wholesome; they will be able to get the majority of our people, businesses, including communities in economic activity that will advance all. And that is the type of SOE reform that we would like to see, which is all encompassing, which involves the majority of our people rather than just to favour a few individuals and few groups of people only.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: The common denominator in the instability of all state-owned companies is the interference and the micromanagement by one family which has a close relationship with Duduzane’s father, the President of the ANC; that is where the problem is in Denel, Transnet and Eskom.
Now recently, Eskom deposited R495 million to Trillion Capital. The current interim board confirmed that almost R500 million was deposited to Trillion Capital, which is a Gupta company, for absolutely nothing.
In Transnet, the locomotives were overpriced by between R5 billion to R17 billion; and which ultimately benefited Trillion Capital, Regiments and companies that are linked to the Guptas.
Every time we raise this issue - you did in the Eskom question - you raise the issue of the commission of inquiry and say that a President, who is implicated, must appoint a commission of inquiry. Do you think that it is morally justifiable, it’s legally sound and is rational for a President who is implicated in all this crisis,
this nonsense to be the one that appoints a commission of inquiry to investigate amongst other things his businesses, his family businesses that are intractably linked with the Guptas interest?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Shivambu will be pleased to know that the President is in the process of... [Interjections.]
Mr K J MILEHAM: Applying his mind?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: [Laughter.] Applying his mind. [Interjections.] He’s applying his mind on all these matters that have been raised. Now, clearly, the law is what it is, commissions of inquiry are appointed by the President. That is what the Constitution of the republic says and there is just no two ways about it.
But, at the same time hon Shivambu, we have criminal and justice investigation entities looking at all these matters that have arisen through the information, through the process... [Interjections.]
Mr M L W FILTANE: [Inaudible.] 15:57:48 (Hon Filtane speaks a language I don’t understand here)
The SPEAKER: No, hon Filtane, the Deputy President is in the middle of answering a question, please take your seat.
Mr M L W FILTANE: that is why I raise the point of order.
The SPEAKER: Deputy President, are you through?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: No, I wasn’t through.
The SPEAKER: Please hon Filtane!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, I was saying that all these investigations, having arisen from the Public Protector’s report as well as all the information that has been spreading around, are being investigated and the commission of inquiry is been considered. That is a process that must be allowed to unfold.
Hon Shivambu, it is when that has failed, has not yielded any results that the question [Interjection.] that is when even this moral question can then be asked. And I think we should allow time to unfold so that these matters can be investigated. That is the best we can do. Thank you very much.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, the Deputy President answering the questions of Parliament.
The SPEAKER: No, hon ... [Interjection.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Can you please help us. If he wants to be the President of South Africa he has to speak more firmly and answer questions... [Interjection.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, just take your seat please.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Or are you scared of baba kaDuduzane [Dudzane’s father] chief?
Mr M HLENGWA: The 14-Point Plan which has been referred to is a hollow vision devoid of any confidence inducing
content. Primarily because of the conflicting statements from government where you speak from [Inaudible.] of your mouth. On one hand inclusive growth and on the other hand you are speaking about radical socioeconomic transformation.
But, hon Deputy President, the biggest problem with the SOEs is these bailouts; where you are throwing financial solutions to nonfinancial problems. The problem is the board that you are appointing, people who are not fit for purpose and are not equal to the task at hand. Ben Ngubane, dismal failure; Dudu Myeni, dismal failure; Prof Maguhve, dismal failure; Lucky Montana, dismal failure; all these boards are just a dismal failure.
So, hasn’t the time come, hon Deputy President, whereby you relook at the manner in which these boards are constituted? And secondly, scrap the Department of Public Enterprises and relocate SOEs in line-function departments so that you can better strengthen the capacity of those entities for them to work. Because currently your plan is anchored in this 14-Point Plan or the Nine-Point Plan which we later learned it was a One-
Point Plan; Growth, Employment and Redistribution, GEAR, has collapsed; Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, collapsed; Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa, ASGISA, collapsed; the National development Plan, NDP, is collapsing.
The inconsistency of policies and the incompetence of these boards are at the heart of the collapse of these state entities. Shouldn’t we really reconfigure this whole thing and [Time Expired.]
Hawu! Wangiphuthuma kangaka Somlomo ngisazokuncoma nge- Secret Ballot.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Hlengwa has raised quite a number of issues, particularly in relation to how these SOEs should be run and operated. And he’s suggesting that
we should get rid of the Department of Public Enterprises and put all these SOEs into their own line departments.
That is the one of looking at it. What we have been seeking to do hon Hlengwa, is to see how best we can implement the recommendations of the Presidential Review Committee; which spoke to coordination, how best we can coordinate things such as the process and the system and the policy of appointing boards, that what you need to do is to have almost a uniform system of appointing boards so that Transnet does not have its own system, Eskom does not have its own system, you should have a unified system or policy of appointing boards of dealing with issues of remuneration. And also, beginning to have an insight of how best you can coordinate some of their own activities so that you’re able to utilise the scale that these SOEs have. Those are some of the thoughts that emerging that we are looking at. You are looking at it in a different way; that has been the way in which some of these SOEs have operated almost separately and in silos, it has worked in part but in other parts it has been also found to be a little bit weak.
We are seeking, therefore, to try and have a uniform policy of board appointments, remuneration and many other things to see how best we can strengthen these SOEs. And you could also begin to have an insight of their balance sheet challenges. A number of them have huge balance sheets, some have weak balance sheets, what do you do with all that? Those are some of the debates that – I guess – we would need to have here in this House as well; to discuss more fully how the republic moves ahead with these SOEs.
Mr R A LEES: Hon Deputy President, I have in my possession a document which is marked “secret”. [Interjections.] This was handed to the executive yesterday and it indicates that the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, is planning to give SAA are R10 billion bailout. [Interjections.] Primarily by selling government shares in Telkom.
Hon Deputy President, do you support the sale of a good asset to save a bad asset? And has Cabinet approved this move? [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: If hon...
... uMazambane, uyizambane noma uyizambane elilodwa noma amabili, elilodwa...
If hon iZambane has ... I don’t even know what document he has but if he has a document marked “secret” and you are not a member of the executive, you could be charged and go to prison. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: The point of order is that the Deputy President knows full well that we are protected by section 55 of the Constitution, which means that we cannot be prosecuted or threatened for any document including your own Cabinet memorandum under the hon Malusi Gigaba’s signature.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I was not even threatening and the word threat comes from hon Steenhuisen’s side; and I was saying if indeed he has such a document, if it is marked “secret”, this is how I
have been socialising to government that any document that’s marked “secret”...
...kufanele ukuthi uyiyeke uyiyekele labo abafanele ukuthi babenemiqulu abhalwe “secret” uyabona. [Ihlombe.]
Madam Speaker, the issue that hon member is talking about, clearly it’s a matter that ... we continue to discuss issues of SOEs and we continue to discuss issues of assets that are owned by the government; we continue to discuss matters that have to do with assets that are strategic, assets that are not strategic; there may well be strategic assets from time to time, assets that are not strategic, and issues like that are always discussed by government, Cabinet and indeed by various committees.
The hon member should wait. If that proposition comes, then Parliament will deal with it and it is then that this matter will be addressed. It’s a matter that may come and may not come. Therefore, you have to wait for something like that to happen. But, we continue to
discuss matters of assets that are owned by government. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, unemployment and particularly youth unemployment is undoubtedly the greatest challenge facing our country today. However, if we are to effectively address this matter we need to understand it.
Since the adoption of the New Growth Path in October 2010, we have created two and a half million jobs. That’s about 420 000 jobs a year. Those are the jobs that this government has created on an annual basis. Our economy has been creating jobs but not at the rate that is required by the great demand that is there by people who are seeking jobs.
With a view to addressing this problem, government, business and labour have been working on measures to promote investment to stimulate growth and to create jobs. The Nine-Point Plan which was announced by President Zuma in 2015 during his state of the nation
address is being implemented and it is yielding results. Yesterday we heard an account which said that the Nine- Point Plan is not yielding any results, but let me tell you how it is yielding results.
Firstly, in line with the plan, we have largely addressed the energy constraints that the economy faced two years ago. Around 11 000 megawatts have been added to the grid since 2013;
Secondly, in addressing workplace conflict, we have reached ground-breaking agreements with our social partners on labour stability, and this has been broadly applauded by all and sundry as the implementation of that issue which was highlighted in the Nine-Point Plan;
Thirdly, the infrastructure programme is gaining pace, providing essential economic and social infrastructure as well as stimulating economic activity and creating jobs;
Fourthly, the ease of doing business has improved and continues to improve with the establishment of InvestSA and the special economic zones that have been established
and that are also in the process of being established throughout the country, thus attracting investment into the manufacturing sector; and
Fifthly, the oceans economy has been identified as a potentially huge job creator. We are working and focussing on the agroprocessing sector of the economy as well.
In July, the Minister of Finance outlined a series of measures to unlock growth and provide investor confidence. Government departments are involved in a range of initiatives to scale up entrepreneurships to increase the level of investment in the economy, to promote more beneficiation of raw materials into finished goods, to strengthen economic links with the rest of the African continent and to promote higher levels of industrial innovation. These complement the employment effects of our infrastructure investment programme.
Funding for industrial development through entities like the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, is ongoing
and various measures to promote market competition are also underway.
Through the CEO Initiative, government is working with business and labour on practical measures to stimulate growth. These include promoting investment in key sectors and the establishment of a fund to finance small and medium enterprises with high growth potential. The private sector has committed and contributed R1,5 billion to this fund. A board is already in place and the wheels are about to roll with regard to this one.
Extensive work has also been done in relation to the youth employment service which will see one million young people being taken into internships in various companies. We remain confident that this programme will create all these jobs. Other measures being undertaken by government include the implementation of the Preferential Procurement Regulations that introduces the 30% set aside for small enterprises which I spoke about, and accelerating the agriparks programme.
We are also making progress on rolling out the Black Industrialists Programme. To date we have supported over
50 black industrialists, attracting over R50 billion in investment and creating around 20 000 jobs.
These programmes are expanding the potential of our economy and creating opportunities for a number of people to find jobs. If we are to be a successful country, clearly the creation of jobs must be at the centre of all that we do. We are making progress but we all in government agree that we need to do much more, and it is this much more that we are focussing our attention on, particularly in this trying economic phase that our country is going through. It is a phase and this phase shall come to pass as well, and our country will be on a much higher trajectory where we will be increasing the people who are in employment. Thank you Madam Speaker.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you very much. Deputy President, whilst I hear many of the plans ... the Nine- Point Plan, the National Development Plan, NDP ... all of these plans ... what certainly doesn’t change is the fact that nine million of our people are unemployed. What has
also become very clear is that more than half of our citizens are living in poverty. These have been ANC policies that have brought us to this point and one key policy that your Cabinet has adopted is the mining policy and the Mining Charter that was launched recently. The President confirmed that you were part of the Cabinet that agreed to it.
Deputy President, I want to know whether, in a time such as this one where policy indecision is delivering to a point where companies are in fact retrenching people ... Sibanye has already said that they are going to lose
7 000 jobs; AngloGold has already said they will cut up to 8 500 jobs; and Bokoni Platinum has already said they are going to cut 3 000 jobs, primarily because of the indecision in this Mining Charter that you’ve launched.
Deputy President, my Question to you is the following. Do you publicly support this Mining Charter? Would you join a call along with many others in the industry for this Mining Charter to be scrapped so that all of us as a country can focus on creating and preserving the current jobs that we’ve got? [Applause.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, let me say that there are quite a number of retrenchments that are taking place in the mining industry and indeed in other sectors of our economy as well. That is a matter that we need to be very concerned about and we should not even adopt a posture where we pontificate ... where we point fingers. This is a collective problem and this is where all South Africans need to be saying we want to save as many jobs as possible and we want to create many jobs so that our people can be in employment. [Interjections.]
Now, when it comes to the Mining Charter issue, the hon Leader of the Opposition will know that the governing party at its policy conference did say that this matter needs to be addressed through a consensus process with the private sector and the mining industry, and that process is now underway.
This requires that government, labour as well as the mining industry should sit around a table, and discuss and debate the Mining Charter that was released by the Minister of Mineral Resources. This is a process that is now underway.
Now, rather than to stand here and pontificate, we say we want everyone who has a wise suggestion to make to come forward and put that proposal forward on how we deal with this problem we are facing. Our economy is now in a technical recession. Now, rather than the screaming, shouting and pontificating, we need to say this is where we are and where we are we have been before. Our country has been through a number of recessions and what stood us in good stead, which the private sector has recognised, is that we need to get together rather than point fingers. Rather than point fingers, the captains of industry have said that this is when our government, ourselves as captains of industry and labour need to sit around a table and see how we get out of this.
I want to invite hon Maimane to join those who love their country so much, that they are willing to contribute time, effort and wisdom to the growth of our economy, rather than to point fingers as he is doing.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Thank you hon Speaker. Deputy President, you know from around 1996 the philosophical underpinning of the ANC’s jobless economic growth strategy has been
that we must create an environment for the private sector
— for the owners of money — to come and invest to create jobs here in South Africa.
Now it looks like all the owners of money — the capitalists — are unanimous in their observation that they do not trust you as a collective, and part of that distrust is because of the ANC’s relationship with the Guptas. The treasurer-general, TG, of the ANC came here to say that the ANC is funded by the Guptas. He confirmed it in the ad hoc committee on political party funding.
Now, you said earlier that you don’t want to be associated with the moral questions and everything else. Now, on a moral ... on a legal principle ... You are a lawyer. The last time I checked they said you are a lawyer. As a legal principle, do you think it is rational for a person who is conflicted to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate an issue that is going to involve him? Inevitably he will have to testify. On a legal principle ... on a legal principle. Leave the morals. If the moral issue does not play there ... on a
legal principle do you think it is justifiable for such a person to appoint a commission of inquiry?
Lastly, let’s leave the secret document of Cabinet about the sale of Telkom. Do you think that it’s wise to dispose of Telkom in order to bale out ... to throw money at a failing SA Airways, SAA? Can you please answer those Questions? [Interjections.]
Ms F S LOLIWE: Order, Speaker: Hon Shivambu has asked two additional Questions. So we think that is unfair. [Interjections.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Speaker, we are always attacked by people that side. I have never seen them debating or asking Questions. All they do is raise points of order. I’ve never seen them do anything.
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, I haven’t given you the floor. Hon Deputy President?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I’d like to take my cue from hon Dr Ndlozi’s final words, to debate and
discuss these matters, because the point that hon Shivambu is raising for instance, hypothetically, in talking about the sale of certain state-owned assets to finance others, is it the wise thing to do? I would like to debate that. I would like us to engage in the debate because it could well be, how do you balance certain things? You hold an asset in one hand and you’ve got to meet a particular obligation on the other hand, and you have to weigh up which is the better option for you and which gives you a better return. However, not only a better return, but does it help you to meet and address your developmental mandate or objectives?
Now that for me is a matter that we need to debate. Hon Shivambu, it’s not as easy as saying do you sell Telkom shares to fund this and this and that. It is actually looking at everything in the totality of its balance, then arriving at a conclusion and then saying which serves you the best in terms of how you juggle your assets.
The other one of course could well be, what do you do? Do you actually sell or do you do a share swop? If you do a
share swop, who do you do the share swop with because as the state you own a number of assets and you could actually do a share swop where everything comes back being neutral. So I leave that for a further debate with hon Shivambu and Dr Ndlozi as well.
In relation to the first Question that hon Shivambu raised where he asked me the legal question; it’s not only a legal question but it’s a constitutional challenge and problem. It’s a constitutional one because yes, you could argue that the President has a conflict because the Public Protector’s report involves him as a person. Now what do you do? The Constitution says that he has to appoint any commission of inquiry. At the same time there was a court challenge which said that he should not do so and in the end the court said that the constitutional provision stands. So what do we do? These are matters that we need to discuss and debate.
In the end I take comfort from the fact that the President has said that he is going to appoint a commission. Now, once a commission is appointed hon Shivambu, we all have to rely on the person who is
appointed — who will be a judge — that that person, who is a judge, is in the end going to be guided by their own independence, their own legal ability to manoeuvre their way around the various matters that will arise. So we should have confidence in the efficacy of that whole process of the appointment of the commission of inquiry.
So, rather than it being a legal question, it is a constitutional problem and challenge that we have to address, and I think that we should wait until that moment when that commission is finally appointed. [Applause.]
Mr M L W FILTANE: Thank you hon Speaker. Mr Deputy President, let me remind you about this grim picture in which South Africa finds itself under the rule of the ANC government.
Currently, you are on 36% towards achieving your six million jobs by 2019 and the economy is performing very badly ... no growth. Public Works holds a portfolio of properties worth R150 billion and according to your report they presented to us yesterday there is no
specific number of jobs that will come from that, be it maintenance or whatever.
The Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, offers temporary jobs, so serious-minded people are not impressed by that two million ... 2,6 million jobs that you told us about because so many of those people could be out of employment as we speak. Mines are shedding jobs. The education that is offered by your government does not help people to get employment.
Now, how many jobs ... because the Question was from
1 January this year. How many jobs has your government planned to create in this current financial year and from which sectors? That’s a specific Question. Please tell me and tell me now.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon Filtane touched on a number of areas where we have planned to create jobs. He touched on the Public Works Ministry where we get involved in creating job opportunities.
The governing party’s manifesto declared that by the end of this term we want to have created six million job opportunities. Where we stand now is that we are going to be a tad ... a tad lower than that six million job opportunities. Now that is not a massive decline. It’s a tad lower than the six, and we are being as honest as we possibly can be.
Now, what do those six million job opportunities ... and we will probably come out at about five million or
5,2 million, having targeted six million. Now, even if we come out to, say five million, in the five-year cycle what we will have done is to give five million South Africans an opportunity to be gainfully employed and to be exposed to an economic activity that can offer them, either training; that can offer them experience. Past experience has told us that in the end a number of those people do end up finding jobs of a more permanent nature. That gives us confidence that we will be able to move in that direction.
Granted, at the moment our economy is not firing on all cylinders for a variety of reasons, and there is no
single reason that says the economy is failing for that or that reason. It’s a plethora of reasons. Some of them have to do with, yes, investments. Some of them have to do with, yes, the issue of uncertainty. We must admit that many corporate leaders are saying that they are a bit uncertain about what the future portends. Some of them are obviously arguing about the issue of where the economy is ... and personal consumption expenditure has come down in a number of ways ... and it’s not only in this country ... and young people are out of work.
Now, what is the government doing? The government is working with a number of role-players. As it is now, we are hoping to create 330 000 jobs for young people between now ... from October till October of next year. That is a huge number of jobs that will be created; yes, opportunities for training and learnerships. So they are going to be absorbed into that.
The oceans economy that we have been working on is going to be creating quite a number of jobs. We have got a lot of investments lined up and we are hoping that that in itself will yield up to 70 000 jobs.
Agroprocessing, with the agriparks that we are working on, is also going to create a number of jobs. What I’m trying to demonstrate here is that you have a government
... yes, that is facing a number of challenges economically, but it is a government that is not sleeping on the job. It is a government that is busy looking at ways and means of how we can address the job losses as well as the job creation aspirations that we have.
So are we bent on and intending to create jobs? The answer is yes. Are we concerned about the job losses? The answer is yes. Are we doing something about creating jobs? The answer is overwhelmingly yes. Day and night we are working at how we should create jobs. My colleagues on the other side wake up every morning and they just criticise. We wake up every morning and worry and seek to create jobs. You look at which of the two is doing something about job creation. This side is doing something about job creation; that side is talking and complaining about job losses.
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Hon Deputy President, given the current unemployment rate of 27,7% wouldn’t this be the perfect
moment to introduce the basic income grant for the unemployed? If it is a perfect moment, how soon is such likely to be implemented? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Clearly the issue of a basic income grant has to be seen as being part of the comprehensive social security proposal that is being looked at. The number of role-players, unions, community leaders and organisations, and indeed members of the governing party, have raised and have been raising the issue of a comprehensive security dispensation. As we look at it, the government has gone a long way in providing a measure of social security, for those who have just been born up to the age of 18, and those who are above 60. There is a gap with regard to people of 19 and 59 years of age, and many of them who are able-bodied ... who are not benefiting if they are unemployed. Those are the people we have sought to absorb through the public employment programmes that we have launched. Those are the people who we are trying to create jobs for.
The Question that the hon member raises is a moot point. It’s a matter that needs to be looked at, and may I say
that South Africa is not the only country that is looking at this. A number of countries in the northern hemisphere
... in developed economies are looking at matters of a basic income grant. In our case we are looking at a comprehensive social security type of dispensation which is currently under discussion. It’s not going to be a silver bullet that addresses the problems of the many of our people right now but it is a matter that is being looked at. I am hoping that when we have looked at it our economic fortunes will have changed to a point where the tasks that we then have to undertake will be a lot easier for our country to bear.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, the Department of Higher Education and Training steers the development of higher education programmes through enrolment planning and funding.
The department interacts with institutions on key priority areas emanating from, among others, the Human Resource Development Strategy as well as the National Development Plan.
Through these engagements universities are required to plan their enrolments to be responsive to the developmental needs of the country.
Universities are funded in relation to agreements on enrolment, graduation targets and research publication output.
This process assists government in ensuring alignment between the high level human resource needs of the country, as well as our human resource development strategy, and the outputs of institutions.
While it is necessary to address the challenge of unemployed university and college graduates, it is important not to overstate the problem.
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, QLFS, for the last quarter, unemployment among individuals holding university degrees is just over 7%, while unemployment among individuals holding other post-secondary qualifications such as diplomas and certificates is 17%.
On the other hand, unemployment amongst matriculants runs as high as 28%, while 33% of those with less than matric are unemployed. Lack of education is therefore the first hurdle that many people have towards finding a job.
We are therefore working not only to increase the number of young people who access training opportunities but also to improve the quality and outcomes of such opportunities. Government recognises that work experience is another critical ingredient for reducing youth unemployment.
Government is actively engaging with the private sector to create pathways to the world of work through the Setas, particularly also, through the TVET colleges; and we have found that a number of TVET colleges as young people graduate are able to work with Setas, to work with the private sector to get them employed in various firms.
Through the envisaged Youth Employment Scheme that I was talking about earlier, government and business are collaborating to give one million young people quality work experience and internship.
It is our hope that this initiative will be finalised in the next few months and we are banking all hope on ensuring that this does happen as it will absorb quite a number of young people in gainful activity.
Government has also introduced the entrepreneurship in Higher Education project to enhance the position within which entrepreneurship and innovation in university curricula can play.
This coming Saturday, I will be visiting False Bay TVET College here in Cape Town, accompanied by a number of Cabinet colleagues and private sector partners to address the issue of youth employability. We will be hosting a Youth Career Expo involving learners from Cape Town townships and beyond.
We will expose them to various post-school-education opportunities and help them make informed career choices, to apply for study in colleges and universities as well as to access NSFAS support.
Our youth are willing, Madam Speaker, and they are also ready to work. Ours is to make opportunities available to them. Ours is to make pathways open to them so that the young people of our country can grasp these opportunities and be able to get ahead with their lives. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Ms J D KILLIAN: Thank you hon Speaker. Thank you to hon Deputy President for his reply and it is good to know that it confirms that graduate unemployment is actually low in comparison to unemployment rate of grade 12 matriculants, which should, in fact, encourage learners in secondary schools to go beyond that; but that in itself also poses a serious challenge to government to provide education opportunities in the post-school sector.
The question is to the Deputy President: Will government also adjust its human resource development strategy in line with the skills requirements for the forth industrial revolution?
It is estimated that the revolution is going to change the profiles of jobs throughout. It is also going to affect the TVET industry. Will government also consider additional measures to make sure that young people are afforded an opportunity to enter the workplace through possibly taxing incentives?
Lastly, Speaker, TVET college students often find it very difficult to stay in education and training. Some of them also make the wrong choices. How will they be assisted to make sure that they go into critical skill fields to have jobs at the end of their studies? Thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Speaker!
The SPEAKER: She still has 15 seconds. Hon Deputy President!
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Of the UDM, yes.
The SPEAKER: No.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: May I address you Mam?
The SPEAKER: No, what are you addressing me on? I want the Deputy President to answer the question.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No, no I don’t want to interrupt him that’s why I’m on my feet before he is actually on his feet. Speaker, I think we need to build transparency into this follow up question system, because the problem is that we press and press and sometimes the person who pressed after you would actually get to ask a question.
The SPEAKER: No.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No, it is true.
The SPEAKER: No.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: It is true.
The SPEAKER: No, we will deal with it with the Table staff if there is a problem but what I see here is what you see and that’s the truth.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No, no I don’t sit on my screen but maybe what should happen is that the switching system should be on our screens as well, so that we can see what is happening. It will build credibility into the system.
The SPEAKER: It is fine. We will deal with it.
Mr A M SHEIK-EMAM: Hon Speaker, on a point of order, I have the same concern because I have been pressing that button again and again and again, and it is not the first day. This has happen on numerous occasions and just my acknowledgement. So, maybe we need to have a look and see if there is a problem. Or maybe it is sabotaged by somebody Mam. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: No, we will look at it. Hon Deputy President!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Speaker. Clearly the strategy of ensuring that young people do acquire the necessary skills to be employable needs to continue to be sharpened. The Human Resource Development Council has been at work in relation to this matter and we are
looking at ways in which we can sharpen the skills of young people through various programmes and initiatives that we are embarking on.
Clearly, one of those is to see how best our young people can be prepared for the forth revolution, where robots are going to be the order of the day, where they will be doing things that humans used to do; and they will have taken the positions that ordinary workers are performing at the moment.
Indeed, that moment has arrived upon us and we therefore needs to find ways, and we are seeking to find ways through innovation, through a number of technological means to prepare our young people in that regard.
Clearly, our education system also needs to be well geared for this type of eventuality.
The other important issue is to get people to be trained for critical skills that they will need to participate more actively in the economy. What I can say is that from the government point of view and through the Human Resource Development Council, we are looking at a variety
of ways of doing this and the good thing is that we are working with a number of universities and academics at professorial level who are part of the efforts that we are making in looking very closely at these challenges that face the skill acquisition process that many of our young people are having to deal with. Thank you Madam Speaker.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon Deputy President, the key word in this question is alignment, unfortunately in many of our institutions there is no alignment between the programmes that are offered and the demands of the industry. There are many reasons for this but I’m focusing on the qualifications of our lectures.
In many instances the lectures are not qualified for what they are teaching or the institutions are not offering what is required by industry because of the lack of sufficiently qualified lectures. I would like to know what the government is doing about this lack.
Hon Speaker, this does not start at TVET colleges or university level. It starts right at school level where
many of the programmes that are required by industry require the knowledge of mathematics and science. [Interjection.]
The SPEAKER: Please ask the question.
Prof C T MSIMANG: This country is lacking this as well. What is the government doing about it? We are aware that
The SPEAKER: Hon member, you are almost within two minutes, please ask the question.
Prof C T MSIMANG: I have asked two questions. What is ... [Interjection.]
The SPEAKER: You are actually allowed to ask one, but that’s fine, but please!
Prof C T MSIMANG: It is the lack of qualified lectures and qualified teachers for mathematics and science.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, the key question and the issue that hon Msimang raises is a question of alignment and where he says that we need to align the demands of the industry with what is taught at our various institutions.
I can say that through the Human Resource Development Strategy, that’s precisely what we are seeking to do through our TVET colleges, through community colleges as well, and indeed also looking at what is taught at a much higher tertiary level.
We are encouraging and we are working on this fervently, encouraging the private sector to partner our TVET colleges; and in a number of ways to also adopt those TVET colleges. Doing so will an able our lectures to sharpen their wits and their knowledge against what the private participants who will come to their colleges to assist in spreading knowledge and experience will be able to offer.
We have found that where this is happening we are able to get our lecturers to be exposed themselves to the world
of work, themselves to be exposed to modern methods of teaching certain disciplines or subjects that are relevant to industry.
This is where the interface between the industry and the teaching staff is able to be so well synchronised where the teaching staff in these institutions know what the industry requires on an ongoing basis. Now this is taking place as we encourage the relationship to deepen and to spread between colleges or TVET colleges as well as industry.
At the school level, hon Msimang will know that our Department of Basic Education is involved in a huge process of helping to improve the knowledge base of our teachers, and many of our teachers are taking this up enthusiastically supported by various other formations like their unions.
Our teachers are continuously improving their skills. You will be pleased to know that many of our teachers or educators as we call them, are actually actively improving their own qualifications, getting degrees, and
getting Masters and Honours degrees with a view of improving their knowledge base; and in a number of cases in maths and science as well.
This is a development that we should be pleased about because the legacy that we have had has been so bad that we have had to embark on remedial actions in getting many of our educators to improve their own knowledge and capability in this very critical subjects.
So is work being done in this area, the answer is yes, we are moving along. We are not standing in one place. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Dr Q M NDLOZI: Thank you Speaker, it is me. Deputy President there is a misdiagnosis rooted in this question as well as in your policy, that we do not have jobs or labour absorptive industries because of skills.
The people who build the majority of the things that we consume don’t even have matric, the waslap, the teaspoons, the waskom, this mics, televisions and cell phones.
The true reason why we are not able to give jobs is because the people who carry the money to come and create those factories don’t have confidence in your government because your government is corrupt. Perfect example, how do you explain selling your stake in Telkom, hee, to go and reward Dudu Myeni in SAA?
Now, the problem with that is Telkom controls the Digital Terrestrial Television, DTT infrastructure. They control our cell phones, telecommunications infrastructure, and the military intelligence; equipments that they use rely on Telkom.
You go sell that to the majority of which are Americans. How is that a rational decision for any country that cares for its sovereignty? Selling it why to go and save an incompetent corrupt board in SAA. So, the real reason why we are not been able to create jobs is because the people who got the money for the labour absorptive industries don’t have confidence in your government.
Is it rational; please, to sell the stake in Telkom in order to save SAA? Answer it directly. SAA is less
meaningful in relation to Telkom. It is embarrassing actually to even hear that proposition.
Mr B A RADEBE: On a point of order, Speaker.
The SPEAKER: I probably missed the question.
Mr B A RADEBE: Yes, this is a different question from what is there on the table Speaker, please.
The SPEAKER: Indeed.
Dr Q M NDLOZI: Speaker, I told you that this guy’s job is not even to read, it is just orders, irrelevant orders.
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon Ndlozi, please take your seat. Hon Deputy President, do have any appetite to engage with what hon Ndlozi was saying?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I have an appetite to engage with him when it comes to the diagnosis that he was outlining. Eh, as to in relation to the rest of the point that he was making I think his thinking may be a bit misaligned;
but it is on the diagnosis that I would like to engage him because his argument is that people with the capital don’t want to come and invest in labour absorptive industries that will make teaspoons, waslaps and waskoms. [Laughter.]
What I found pleasing with that is that he recognises that many of these things ordinarily are made by our people. Our people have a skill base to be able to make – yes, teaspoons, waslaps and all that.
The reality of the matter is that our country’s economy has been built by those very people that we are talking about. The issue of those with capital not wanting to come is a debatable matter.
There is money in this country. Yes, companies are sitting back and not investing for a number of reasons, and one of those touches on the point that you are making. There is a political uncertainty that they have raised. They have also raised regulatory uncertainty, and these are matters that hon Dr Ndlozi, we are addressing. We have to address so that those with capital and the
capital that we also can mobilise and leverage, can be brought to bear to create those industries.
I listened to you very careful with your insightful contribution yesterday when you were making precisely the point you are making, which in my view was very progressive in saying these are the industries that we need to be creating and absorb the majority of our people. I couldn’t agree more with you on that.
As regards that level of diagnosis, in part I agree, but I also say that we need to look at the matter more broadly, more broadly as we absorb the majority of our people and mobilise local resources; and money is available here, and of course, yesterday you were saying there is no foreign direct investment. There has been foreign direct investment in a much bigger way for South Africa than it has been for the rest of the continent.
So, we have been absorbing and attracting quite a lot of foreign direct investment in this country and we continue to do so. So, we able to mobilise resources and all we need to do is to focus on those types of industries that
you are talking about, which speaks to the reindustrialisation of our economy.
This is precisely what this side of the House has been talking about, that we need to industrialise the economy of our country, create labour absorptive sectors. On that I’m with you completely. The other matter which has to do with, say for instance at Telkom, this is the matter that I would like us to debate here in this House, and I would like you to get ready ... [Interjection.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: But it is a secret.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: ...to discuss this matter if and when it does happen. You say it is a secret. If and when it does happen to arrive here in this House we should debate it. It is in that regard that we should be able to discuss this matter. Thank you Madam Speaker.
Ms H BUCWA: Thank you so much, Speaker. Deputy President, it is common course that Seta training is unlikely to generate jobs for graduates at the rates that universities and TVET colleges would.
Do it, Deputy President, simply put, support the shutting down of these corrupt Setas and take in those billions and generate them to better education institutions to ensure that graduates have employment and the majority of unemployed youth in South Africa can have an opportunity to better the circumstances of their lives.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: We will admit that some of our Setas has been facing challenges, and some of the challenges have had to deal with precisely the point that you are raising, but it does not finally mean that you need to shutdown a system that was set up to advantage young people.
This is a system that can work and in a number of cases, a number of Setas are working, and the good news for you hon member is that the private sector in the form of business organisations are now working with us to try and see how we can, if you like, repair some of those Setas; to reposition some of those Setas because the conceptualisation of the Setas was really an inspired effort; and a very inspired initiative.
Those Setas that have focused on training and providing opportunities for young people are doing extremely well. There have just been a few that have not hit the mark that we had wanted them to hit and we are saying, we need to repair them. We need to reposition them so that they can achieve the objectives for which they were set out for. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.]
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION - OVERSIGHT VISITS TO LIMPOPO AND MPUMALANGA PROVINCES
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION -OVERSIGHT VISITS TO ILEMBE AND KING CETSHWAYO EDUCATION DISTRICTS
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION - OVERSIGHT VISITS TO PORT ELIZABETH EDUCATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION -OVERSIGHT VISITS TO EKURHULENI NORTH, EKURHULENI SOUTH AND TSHWANE
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order: I think number five was incorrectly read as the matter we are discussing now.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, let us correct; we will ignore it.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY: The oversight
report is 124 and I move that the report be adopted.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Deputy Speaker, I wanted to check if Minister Mahlobo is explaining why the document was leaked in the Cabinet’s meeting to the Deputy President. Can we take him into confidence if that is the conversation there because the intelligence services are a bit incompetent in this country?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Cross the line and ask them; that is not for the House. Go ahead hon member.
Declarations of vote:
Ms M N I TARABELLA (DA): Chairperson, as the DA we would like to express our condolences to the Khoza family and
the ANC for the loss of their colleague, a father and a husband, Mr T Z M Khoza.
The DA accepts the reports as a true reflection of the oversight visit. We sincerely hope that our recommendations will help to force the department’s mandate in offering equal quality education for our learners.
Let me start by saying that the majority of the challenges faced by various schools in the township and the rural areas have commonalities. However, despite its overwhelming evidence, the department claims possible deniability.
One case in point of great concern is for Isifisosethu Secondary School, in KwaZulu-Natal, which obtained 0% in maths and science in 2016 because of a lack of a qualified maths teacher, coupled with lack of leadership and low moral of educators. Despite this, the KwaZulu- Natal Department of Education and Training did not deem necessary to provide a qualified teacher to improve the results for 2017. Even the Funza Lushaka Bursary
Programme devised by the Department of Basic Education, we should ensure that more maths and sciences teachers become available failed to produce the numbers required.
In the same province, KwaZulu-Natal, 10 schools achieved a 0% passed rate in the last metrics examination. As the DA, we cannot emphasise enough that teachers and principals are to be supported but also held accountable for the performance of their learners.
Our committee also observes that at various schools there has been a lack of services such as water, sanitation electricity, mud schools ...
... izikolo zodaka ...
... still exist in the Eastern Cape, which means that we are far from achieving the prescribed norms and standards.
Delivering textbooks in time for the start of the school year is still a concern. The school’s infrastructure maintenance remains neglected because there is no culture of ownership and pride, and even enough allocation to fund the infrastructure maintenance.
In KwaZulu-Natal one will also find prevalence of certain teachers who are protected by SA Democratic Teacher’s Union, Sadtu. It was found to be undermining the education of our children in that province.
Learners are also flocking to Gauteng and Western Cape seeking a decent and a stable education. These provinces are struggling with the increased enrolment which pushes up learner to educator ratio. However, the ANC-led government is doing little to ensure that MEC’s in other provinces step up to the plate and address challenges there. In the interim we advised the department to deploy mobile classrooms and to reconsider a budget 17:07 increase for these provinces by engaging with Treasury for a permanent solution.
The hardships and setbacks that learners continue to face in the pursuit of quality education are insurmountable.
To this day, the learners from Chief Ngonyama Technical School, in the iLembe District Municipality, in KwaZulu- Natal, continue to wake up at 3:30 each morning to prepare to go to school. If that was not enough, the majority of these learners are orphans who are not only responsible for their education, but bear on their shoulders the responsibilities of looking after their siblings and their elders. They start to walk to school at 4:30; without doubts when they arrive at school they are tired and hungry. That is how they start their day of school.
We can all imagine how low their eagerness to learn will be in that state. Their struggles continue as they have to embark on the soldering back in the afternoon, arriving home tired but still expected to do their chores and homework; and yet, their performance has to be on par with any other learner in the urban areas. Surely, this cannot be a level playing field; it is unacceptable.
The Department of Basic Education cannot continue to exonerate itself from its constitutional obligations. The implementation of a dedicated budget for squatters is the
only way to resolve this matter. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE (EFF): Deputy Speaker, the EFF would like to send its heartfelt condolences to the family of Khoza, one of the humble souls who served with us in this House, and lost his life in a car accident. We would also like to wish those who were injured in that accident a speedy recovery.
The EFF, as the government in waiting, and as a caring government in waiting, will never align itself with the state of basic education seen today in South Africa. It is quite abusive and inhuman. The state of basic education in South Africa is the biggest indictment on the ANC–led government and should be declared a crime against humanity.
During these various schools across the country, and following our engagements with various stakeholders in the basic education system, the legacy of basic education is ever present with a quality of education offered to poor black student being one of the worst on the world.
The following are just some of the conditions observed during oversight, some of which are unique and can be applied to most provinces and districts across the country. We found lack of learner-teacher support material like textbook; a serious lack of learner transport; teachers without necessary qualifications are still allowed in our schools; a shortage of maths and science teachers; and a primary school consisting of four old mobile classrooms. Yet, we get the ANC coming here and claiming that all is well.
We also found countless schools with pit toilets and without access to water; water delivery is often late and children cannot learn while they are dehydrated; schools with one teacher to 50 students; a school with a principal teaching four grades while also performing office work which is unacceptable; high level of absenteeism in winter during lack of infrastructure; and a schools without any spot facility while we have schools in this country with 10 rugby fields. Yet, all is well in the eyes of the ANC.
There are factions and power struggle within certain Departments of Basic Education. This government continues to allow our children to be poisoned by school buildings with asbestos roofs. There are agricultural schools with no operational farms and learners not being given results because they owe the school.
This is the state of basic education in South Africa, yet the ANC claims that they are delivering. Until such time that the EFF takes over government, we expect no change. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
Mr X M NGWEZI: Hon Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the IFP, we would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to the family of the honourable Khoza, his friends, the ANC and all the Members of Parliament who worked with the late, honourable Khoza. We also wish those who were injured in the tragic accident a speedy recovery.
The IFP found it remarkable that the MEC for Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, leads the government of Gauteng in the Department of Education from the front. He has managed to inculcate social cohesion and mutual participation by all
stakeholders, including the department officials, school governing bodies, the SA Principals’ Association, organised labour, learners and their parents and educators. He has succeeded in obtaining buy-in from school communities of the ownership and the caring of and total welfare of the schools.
To illustrate this point, when he welcomed the portfolio committee, he reported that a community in Bronkhorstspruit had torched a school, earlier that week. He expressed his zero tolerance for communities who viewed the school as a soft target for political protest action. He boldly informed the committee that he would not take taxpayers’ money from those needing a school and give it to those who did not want a school. The community should take ownership of and take responsibility for the school.
The portfolio committee was also impressed by Lesufi’s pro-poor policy, which ensures that a learner population of over 1,2 million receives a hot meal every day. Almost
130 000 learners are transported to school daily. At
least 83% of the schools are no-fee schools, and all girl-learners receive dignity packs on a monthly basis.
The IFP feels that what should be emulated by other provinces is in the introduction of digital learning because this is the trajectory that has been adopted by the modern world. In Gauteng, every learner is registered online. Every learner is provided with a tablet and every educator is provided with a laptop computer. Parents who are ICT illiterate are given assistance on how to register their children online.
The government’s Department of Education has so transformed and modernised education that it has been raised to world standards. The IFP supports the report. Thank you.
Mr M S MABIKA: Deputy Speaker, the NFP welcomes the reports of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education tabled here, today. The reports of various oversight visits paint a bleak picture of the state of basic education in our country.
The glaring lack of basic infrastructure and services, such as electricity, running water and adequate sanitation, 22 years after we gained our freedom is unacceptable. It is a painful reminder of how government is failing our children and our people.
The NFP understands that we have inherited an education system that was designed to serve the needs of a minority. However, we believe that it is time for government to start taking responsibility for its lack of providing our schools with the barest of necessities. In particular, we are appalled at the lack of resourcing of our rural schools, where community property is prevalent and social service development, often, nonexistent.
Such deficiencies are beyond the mandate of the Department of Basic Education and will require co- ordinated intergovernmental and interdepartmental efforts to come up with a solution. There are, however, many aspects of and issues surrounding our basic education which the department is mandated to deal with but is failing to do so. Many no-fee schools in KwaZulu-Natal, for example, have not received their allocated
operational funds, as we speak. Those that are lucky enough to receive them get far less than expected.
The nutrition and feeding programmes are still encountering tender-related disputes. These, and many other similar issues could be and should be addressed by the government but it is just not happening.
The NFP believes that a fully-functional basic education system is vital for the progress of our people and the economic growth of our country. A fully-functional education system is the gateway through which future generations will be empowered to cast off the shackles of poverty and prosper. It is the rock upon which society will build and grow. Right now, however, we do not have a fully-functional basic education system and we are robbing our children of a chance to realise their dreams and maximise their aspirations.
To conclude, the NFP welcomes the reports of the oversight visits tabled here, today, and we are in full agreement with the recommendations therein. However, we
have reservations about whether any action will follow on these recommendations. Thank you.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Deputy Speaker, I find it rather interesting that when we are dealing with such an important matter in our lives, in the history of South Africa, so many members of the ruling party have decided to leave the room. All the while, education is collapsing in this country. In particular, both Ministers saddled with the responsibility of making sure that our children get proper education are not with us. They have decided to leave.
Who can still take the ANC-led government seriously? We, in the opposition benches had better get ready to make sure that, come 2019, we rule this country. They have abandoned their responsibility. [Interjections.]
They have gone – all of them! It’s all empty. Gone! Once the Deputy President left, they were gone. So many Ministers, in particular, the Minister of Education, are not interested in knowing what is happening in education
because they know they are the symbols of failure! [Interjections.]
There is no point in my sticking to this script because the party that is supposed to do something about this report has decided to abandon the nation. They have abandoned the nation! [Interjections.] So, what is the point of going into the technicalities of what was seen or what is supposed to be? We had better shape up – because they have shipped out already. They are out – physically out – and not interested in education.
We, as the opposition parties, will rule come 2019, I promise you, because the ANC has given up. They are so busy with their factional battles, they are now a bunch of fractions. That is why one fraction has gone and another fraction has gone and a smolanyana [tiny] fraction is still in the room. That’s your ANC! [Interjections.] [Applause.]
HON MEMBERS: Malibongwe!
Mr M L W FILTANE: We had better shape up and get ready to rule this country. They have abandoned the nation! It’s as simple as that.
Ms J D KILIAN: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: Is the hon member prepared to take a question? [Interjections.]
Mr M L W FILTANE: Not from the ANC because it is crumbling.
Ms J D KILIAN: The hon Filtane knows they can’t even rule Nelson Mandela Bay without a fight.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please take your seat. Go ahead, hon Filtane.
Mr M L W FILTANE: To give you a sample of what is happening, no appropriate teachers are in the schools. Insufficient and inappropriate teachers continue to pose in front of learners. Inappropriate school buildings are the order of the day, countrywide. There is no point in even referring to KwaZulu-Natal or any particular
province. That’s why the Minister has run away. She cannot face the reality. There is just nothing.
All that needs to be done is to look at six points which will improve education - this side of the House will be interested; that side has given up – professionalisation of the teaching service; courageous and effective leadership, which will come from this side of the House; an improved government capacity to deliver - this side of the House has failed; improved resources to create a conducive and safe planning environment - not money going to the Guptas; community and parent involvement; and learner support and wellbeing. That is what will change this country.
These have failed. They have run away now. [Applause.]
Ms M L DUNJWA (ANC): Hon Chair, I feel pity for you for taking a stand for things that you do not know. You know what?
Thina sithetha esikwaziyo kwaye sithetha esikubonileyo, asibalisi mabali.
We are not here for stories but for reality.
Ohloniphekileyo Filtane kufuneka sikuboleke iintanyongo ezinobuso obuphindiweyo (double lense) ukuze ubone abaPhathiswa nooSekela babo. Naliya iSekela Mphathiswa lam eningaliboniyo.
We are here to discuss five provinces report and not one province, hon Marchesi. We are not concentrating on one province. These reports are of five provinces: KwaZulu- Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. [Interjections.] As the ANC, we know and understand the importance of oversight that it plays a vital role in ensuring accountability and that the citizens receive the service delivery which they deserve.
The purpose of these oversights in those five provinces were to see the state of schooling in the provinces of which these reports contain the achievements, challenges as well as areas of best practises that the provinces showed.
Sithetha esikubonileyo ke thina.
We put an emphasis on Gauteng province as the hon from the IFP has just mentioned. It is worth mentioning that Gauteng province excels in ICT in schools thus you may go and see for yourself. Please do not run away from the oversights. Attend them so that you can see the progress in the provinces.
Ms E N LOUW: Hon Deputy Speaker on a point of order: I am just noticing something that the hon member is getting very comfortable. The Chair of the committee is coming.
So, please do not get comfortable in that seat because she is coming.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member, you are not saying anything. Please take your seat hon member.
Ms M L DUNJWA (ANC): It is a pleasure to hear that comment that you think about the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of which we are also mourning the death of our comrades. [Interjections.] It was a pleasure to see the advanced ICT that Gauteng is using in schools’ the smart boards that are used in classes, the tablets that are used learners and laptops for educators.
Although there are challenges, the province has policies for those challenges. Isifisosethu High School in Ndwendwe and Chief Ngonyama in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal that has been mentioned by hon Marchesi are not the only schools we visited. We visited more than 14 schools in that province this year. We were pleased to notice that the province has improved with 5,7% in their National Senior Certificate results.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Kancane, kancane nje, uxolo, ngiyaxolisa.[Ubuwelewele]
Ms M L DUNJWA: Hayi NomaRussia hlala phantsi torho.
Ms M S KHAWULA: Point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please take your seat. Yes. Hon member, why are you rising?
Nk M S KHAWULA: Sekela Somlomo, nginephuzu lokukhalima okuphambukayo: Uthini nge-Libode laphaya e-Ngqeleni, izikole zakhona, bakhe baya ukuyozibheka. Izingane zifundela odakeni nasezihlahleni.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, that is not a point of order.
Nks M L DUNJWA (ANC): Thina sithi sithetha esikubonileyo hayi esikuva ngawe.
We visited in Limpopo after the incidents of burning of schools. It was pleasing to see how committed the schools and principals to take the children the examinations thus you can see the results of Limpopo that the province was committed. Best practises in inclusive education in Mpumalanga were alarming. You can go to Mpumalanga and learn a lot.
Uze undiyeke ngezikolo endingazityelelanga.
With all the challenges that the Eastern Cape Department of Education was faced with, the Portfolio Committee on Education recommended that the Department of Education in the province should prioritise and speed up the pace in solving the problems in line with school readiness.
Remember, it was the beginning of the year. These reports speak to the challenges as well as the steps the department will take moving forward.
Uthol’ ukuthi ke!
The challenges will be tackled by relevant stakeholders involved and recommendations will be assessed and be implemented as they have been put forward in these recommendations. We are here to take the whole country forward and not specific schools. Comrade Marchesi, I will go back now to these comrades who do not attend the portfolio visits like comrades in the EFF.
If you want to be in education please join us so that you speak about the things that you know. Do not speak about the things that...
Ms E N LOUW: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order:
Nks M L DUNJWA (ANC): Andithethi nawe nceda uhlale phantsi.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order, hon member?
Ms M O MOKAUSE: You know Deputy Speaker, I have been listening in an insensitive matter she did not even mention the colleague who has since passed on. Secondly, we can sit on any committee and talk on any committee.
That is just how diverse and educated EFF fighters and commissars are. We do not need to sit in a specific committee. So, rest assured we would come and talk in any committee.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, take your seat.
Ms M L DUNJWA (ANC): It is good to talk on what you know.
Ms R MASHABELA: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order:
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member.
Ms R MASHABELA: As the EFF we are grounded and know the challenges faced by our communities and schools throughout the country.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, that is not a point of order, I am going to switch off your microphone. That is not a point of order.
Ms N R MASHABELA: So, we do not have to be there on your oversight wasting money.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can proceed, hon member.
Ms M L DUNJWA (ANC): Hon member, I would like to advise the comrades to take oversights so that they speak to the reports if they have interest. Do not speak to what you do nicodemously when on your own time. Speak to the report so that we addressed you. [Interjections.] We are talking about schools the schools that we visited. [Time expired.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: Deputy Speaker, Deputy Speaker
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member
Ms N R MASHABELA: The member must stop lying to the House. We attend oversights. We did go there.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member you are not allowed to say members are lying. Hon member...
Ms N R MASHABELA: No, she must stop lying. She lying here saying the EFF is not attending.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you cannot say a member is lying. It is unparliamentary.
Ms N R MASHABELA: No, she is lying. She must stop lying.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, withdraw saying that the member is lying. That is unparliamentary, hon member.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Okay Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I do not hear what you are saying. Withdraw.
Ms N R MASHABELA: I am saying okay, Deputy Speaker. Do you hear me now?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay what?
Ms N R MASHABELA: I withdraw.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you hon member, please take your seat. We appreciate that. Take your seat.
Motion agreed to.
Report on Oversight visits to Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces accordingly adopted.
Report on Oversight visits to Ilembe and King Cetshwayo Education Districts accordingly adopted.
Report on Oversight visits to Port Elizabeth Education District (Northern Areas) accordingly adopted.
Report on Oversight visits to Ekurhuleni North, Ekurhuleni South and Tshwane North Education Districts accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION - THIRD QUARTERLY REPORT ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION IN MEETING ITS STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES FOR 2016/17
Ms N R MOKOTO: Deputy Speaker, in introducing the report, I would like to highlight the fact that as a portfolio committee we have considered the above tabled report detailing the work and performance of the department for the year 2016-2017.
As we well understand that it is our constitutional mandate as Members of Parliament to scrutinise and play oversight and hold the executive to order or accountable. We have scrutinise the third quarter report and as a committee we were in agreement that the report complies 100% with the statutory requirements of government and it captures all the targets and objectives and indicators that the department has outlined in the annual
performance plan, APP, the Sector-Wide Plan and the other national objectives.
As a committee, we are aware of the many challenges that are facing the department; however we wish to know that we also appreciate the continuous efforts of the department to implement its programme and plans and we would like to congratulate them on the progress that has been made thus far in improving education for our children.
We have noted that some of the targets and indicators were not fully met as planned, however we have also noted that there are key achievements that they have made with regard to the following areas with regard to early childhood education, training has been provided to about
116 district officials and general practitioners have been trained to acquire knowledge based on issues of early childhood education.
On inclusive education, we appreciate the fact that the department has been able to facilitate a grant which will cater for disabled learners with profound intellectual
disabilities, which is the first in South Africa and for us as the ANC led government we feel that the government has to be commended for that.
With regard to rural education, we would like to commend the department for having introducing the rural education policy wherein we have seen a lot of improvements taking place with regard to levelling the playing field in rural education setups where education is taking place. In that case we appreciate that a new directorate has been established to deal with issues of rural education and a policy framework has been put in place and published for comments by the labour unions and the society at large.
With regard to Maths, Science and Technology, we want to appreciate the increase in the grants for Maths, Science and Technology; however we have also noted the fact that there has been a slides underperformance on this area wherein there is a lot of shortage of Maths and Science teachers.
The other area of achievement is on Information Communication Technology, ICT, provisioning in school. We
would like to highlight the fact that we have noted the programme using universal service and access obligation. We would like to say to the department that, this programme needs to be jagged up because is part of Operation Phakisa and government has committed itself to modernising education and as my colleague has already highlighted, hon Basson that in Gauteng they have accelerated the programme through prioritisation of ICT. We know that government’s responsibility is to make sure that they allocate resources for this important function but it has come to our attention that there seems to be a lack with regard to providing that necessary resources, hence many of the provinces still lack behind on the implementation of this matter.
I would like to say that we are very grateful of the work done and therefore would like to recommend that the report be adopted. Thank you.
Ms H O HLOPHE: Deputy Speaker?
The Deputy Speaker: Yes, Madam.
Ms H O HLOPHE: The EFF would like to make a declaration.
The Deputy Speaker: Go ahead.
Ms H O HLOPHE: Thank you.
Declarations of vote:
Mr S P MHLONGO: Chairperson, as EFF we have long maintained that the state of our basic education is dysfunctional and that the responses of the department to the plethora of challenges facing basic education have been underwhelming. This report as with many others keeps on re-emphasise our long held view that the department lack proper leadership with vision to ensure a solid educational foundation for our own children.
From unmitigated corruption which goes unpunished as it happened with the Curry Goodyear Programme to the incapacity of the department to monitor reimbursements for subsidised learners.
From poor governance of school as results of the poor capacity of school governing bodies who lack proper
mathematics education particularly in rural schools. All these paint a picture of Basic Education Department in a constant swim against the tide.
The department is still unable to root out the phenomenon of employing unqualified teachers in rural areas. They are still unable to ensure that children have proper classrooms and proper learning materials such as text books, computers and laboratories.
Consequently to all these is the perpetuation of unequal opportunities between the children of the poor and overwhelming black people and those of the rich and predominantly white.
Your failure to crack jobs for cash in KZN in particular by your own Sadtu is but one example. Without dealing with this structural challenge to our education we kiss the idea of radically transformed society a goodbye.
The ANC is killing any hope that black people may have of eventually owning this country and also of ensuring that we produce informed society for the future.
Through your incompetence and corruption you are killing the future of this country; therefore it is in this particular context that the EFF rejects this report out rightly. Thank you.
Mr X M NGWEZI: Deputy Speaker, the state of the education in KwaZulu-Natal requires a state of emergency. Because the Minister is not here, please convey the message that in some schools in KwaZulu-Natal especially in uMkhanyakude might soon be closed because there is lack of infrastructure. Toilets are full in Mtubatuba and the Minister must make sure that she attends to that very seriously and very urgently.
There are no new positions created in KwaZulu-Natal. We have a least of more than 1000 qualified educators who are unemployed because there are no new positions that are created by the department. To give a typical example, when somebody goes for a leave the policy requires that if it is 30 days that particular position requires a substitute.
Just two days back, they have been given an instruction that no substitute position will be paid by the department, because there is no money. This is merely because the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal is squandering monies in corruption. No new positions and the state of the schools require urgent attention.
This is now how we should go about improving the quality of basic education. We are failing in 2017 and we are setting ourselves up for failure in the Sector-Wide Action Plan in 2019, towards the realisation of schooling in 2030.
Our rural schools are still lacking significantly behind their urban counter parts. Our rural education system is being predominantly characterised by a great mainly inequalities. Our children remain the country’s best investment for a successful future. Let us strive to afford them every opportunity to do so. We accept this report.
Mr M S MABIKA (NFP): Deputy Speaker, the Department of Education has enormous responsibility to equip our
children and young people with skills that will empower and capacitate them to survive and prosper in the adult world once they have completed their education. Sadly we are falling far short of our stated objectives and goals and the national Freedom Party share the view of many South Africans that our Department of Education is simply not delivering on its mandate in a way that can be said to be satisfactory.
The NFP welcomes the report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education tabled here but we note with concern the extensive list of observations contained in the report and ask the department to interrogate these observations thoroughly. Of most concern to us is the underspending of some programmes and in particular the Maths, Science and Technology, MST, Conditional Grant.
Deputy Speaker, if we are to give our children a fair opportunity to compete internationally in the adult world then all efforts should be made to advance MST related teaching. We believe that effective administrative management of these efforts should be a priority within
the department. Unfortunately, the facts before us suggests otherwise.
The NFP is concerned and alarmed that school’s performance and outcomes in rural areas appear to be worse in the urban areas. The NFP is driven by the desire for our children to receive quality education and we have committed ourselves to pursue that goal with vigour. We believe that our rural schools are being neglected and marginalised as the department fails to ensure an equitable distribution of resources that will give all our children equal access to basic education.
Unfortunately this lack of focus on improving basic education in rural schools is not an isolated blind spot of government; it is part a general lack of a social and economic development in our rural areas which perpetuates rural poverty and will ultimately require a political solution.
In conclusion, the NFP supports the report and the recommendations of the portfolio committee tabled. In particular we support the recommendation of the portfolio
committee that the department should continue to collaborate with the Department of Sports and Recreation to accelerate the transformation of sports in schools.
However, we also urge the department to utilise these very same channels of co-operation to intensify efforts to bring sports infrastructure to all our schools and in particular to fast track such development initiatives in our rural schools. I thank you.
Mr I M OLLIS (DA): Chairperson, I personally and as the DA would like to express our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mr Khoza who passed away so tragically in that accident. I was sitting next to him when he passed on and thankfully I was injured but I am very blessed to have survived the accident and be here today. It is my first opportunity back in Parliament and I thank God that I was able to come through that so we do express our condolences. [Applause.]
In terms of these reports, we accept them and many of them date to before the time I was on the committee. I am a new member of the committee having been moved to this portfolio. There is just a couple of quick point I would
like to make. Firstly, we need to as Parliament and as the Ministry I would encourage them to review the quintile system. I was at the Good Hope School this morning. The school is here in the centre of Cape Town and because it is in the centre of Cape Town it is ranked as a quintile five school. However, almost all of the children come from Khayelitsha and their parents do not have the funds. Some friends that we know in Parliament have donated money to a feeding scheme to run that svhool to try and support it, but that is not government funding it is private money whereby people are trying to help by providing meals every morning. They have been doing this for 12 months but there is something wrong with that quintile system because those kids are from Khayelitsha and they can’t afford to provide what is needed. We need to perhaps review that quintile system and we as the DA would like to contribute to that debate. We think it is time we had a discussion about that.
The second thing point I want to make is that we are often using the 2011 Census figures when the funding is apportioned in terms of the provinces and regions in South Africa and there have been further updates on the
2011 census by Stats SA which we should take note of. I think that my colleague has already mentioned that some provinces like Gauteng and the Western Cape have had an influx of people from other people and that does affect the ability to provide quality education. Some of these things do need some thoughts in the future but we do accept the reports. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D H KHOSA (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the ANC rises to support the third quarterly report on the performance of the Department of Basic Education in meeting its strategic objectives for 2016-17. The Freedom Charter states that, among other pronunciations that the doors of learning and culture shall be opened. The ANC has taken great strides in ensuring that all children have access to quality basic education.
Chair, these reports reflect the true essence of the achievement of the ANC-led government in basic education. the ANC government has put in place policies and programmes that assist in ensuring that all children receive a quality basic education, thus creating a powerful well rounded future leaders that will move South
Africa forward. This report shows the achievement of basic education in all five programmes of this department. It shows the work of the ANC-led government in enhancing basic education in all of its spheres.
Although the report shows targets which were partially achieved, most targets were fully achieved by the end of the third quarter and we are working on the rest of the targets. We do not set aside the challenges that we have faced and we urge the department to pay particular attention to the targets of electrifying all schools by
21 March 2018.
The provision of nutritious meals needs to be dealt with in order to ensure that no child goes hungry at school. The ANC stands firmly for the recommendation that has been brought forward to transform sports in schools, the use of grants in an adequate and efficient manner and the support of the learners who have been affected by the merger of the schools.
Deputy Speaker, let me try to assist the hon Njomane on what he has been struggling to mention here. We have a project or a programme called Kha Ri Gude or ...
... Masifunde ngesiZulu lesi osikhulumayo. Kumhlonishwa Ngwezi ...
... I want to assure you, hon member, that we are not planning to fail in 2018. But worry not; I will also try to assist you to understand more on this department where you are lacking. I will deal with that and will be able to assist you.
Chairperson, we have also had the additions given by the NFP, we have heard them and we will try to ensure that in discussions with them we will be able to deal with what they have been raising. The ANC supports this report. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, before I conclude this part of the work, let me also welcome hon Ollis on his hind legs back with us. [Applause.] I know that he aggressively willed himself out of hospital to be here. I wonder whether the doctors allowed him. I must still check that, hon Ollis.
We also wish to wish a speedy recovery to hon Majeke and hon Gina who are recovering. Let them recover faster than they are.
Mr B A RADEBE: Deputy Speaker, I move that the report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION – SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION’S REPORT ON NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE HEARING INTO IMPACT OF PROTEST-RELATED ACTION ON RIGHT TO A BASIC EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The chairperson will start. Please, members, you are experienced now. You have been in Parliament since 2014. When the little clock on your left turns red, it means your time has expired. [Interjections.] Stop suggesting that we are cutting your time. I am speaking in general.
Ms N R MOKOTO: Deputy Speaker, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education has received and considered the report by the SA Human Rights Commission on the impact of protest- related action on the right to basic education.
The committee appreciates the work done by the SA Human Rights Commission in carrying out its mandate to promote a human rights culture in society. More so, it emphasises an assertion – the assertion of the portfolio committee – that education is not only a right but should be treated as a societal issue. During the interaction, the committee expressed its disappointment at the extent to which communities with genuine grievances targeted schoolchildren as easy targets and used them as bargaining chips to resolve social issues or service- delivery related programmes which do not practically rest with the Department of Basic Education.
On that note, the portfolio committee has noted the key findings and recommendations on the national hearings that were held, and it is our belief that they should be considered and followed through on. These are the lack of proper communication lines between the police and
communities, the safety of learners, educators and their school infrastructure, the breakdown of leadership at local government level, the lack of early warning systems, the establishment of an interministerial committee by the Presidency to respond to the issues raised, and that all items residing with the Department of Basic Education be dealt with expediently. The committee is confident that at the meeting held in March 2017 already, the Department of Basic Education presented a report of actions taken to resolve some of the issues highlighted in the report.
It is our view that the Minister should work together with the SA Human Rights Commission to continue to engage, particularly regarding the crafting of some of the recommendations. Lastly, Cabinet should take responsibility, especially on matters that impact other government departments and other layers of government – local or provincial government. On that note, I recommend that the report be adopted. I thank you.
Declarations of vote:
Ms N L MASHABELA: Deputy Speaker, firstly, the EFF is very sympathetic to the plight of many of our people who resort to protest to have their voices heard by the ruling party.
People do not wake up and decide to engage in protest action. They do protest because they can practically no longer breathe as a result of government neglect, as a result of corruption by their leaders, and because government has proven over time that it only listens when people take to the streets. That these actions sometimes take extreme measures such as disruption of schooling and destruction of school infrastructure is also as a result of government’s ineptitude.
At a school level, we welcome the recommendation of the SA Human Rights Commission that the Department of Basic Education must take the lead in protecting infrastructure and engaging with communities to ensure that basic teaching and learning continue, even during protests. We are disappointed that both the Minister of Basic Education and the portfolio committee are of the view that the recommendations of the SA Human Rights
Commission are misdirected. The SA Human Rights Commission dealt with the impact of these protests on basic education. So, it should not have come as a surprise that the recommendations are focused on actions that must be taken by the Department of Basic Education, working with other departments.
We acknowledge that no single department can deal with protests and their consequences but, were each department to do what is required, we would not have protests to begin with. Corruption, incompetence, and a general lack of interest in the wellbeing of our people by all departments are to blame for all of this. We therefore reject the report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on this matter and urge both the committee and the department to not act in a denialist fashion when it comes to addressing this very important matter. [Interjections.] No, you must listen, you corrupt government! [Interjections.] You thieves must listen.
Thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Ms N I TARABELLA-MARCHESI: Deputy Speaker, first of all, I would like to say that we support the SA Human Rights
Commission report and also the recommendations. Our only concern is whether the department will actually follow through with the recommendations.
As you might recall, the reason why the SA Human Rights Commission decided to embark on the research on protests was because of what happened in Vuwani where 28 schools were burned down. This happened purely because of a conflict between different communities within one area. The schools were burned down because the community wanted to use that as a way for the government – which is obviously the ANC-led government – to listen to their outcry.
The DA would like to say the following: Recently another school was burned down in Vuwani. We have seen public involvement where the community was involved in building that school. They partnered with Lotto and another donor and took part in actually building that school. What they did when there was a protest was to make sure they protect the school. One of the recommendations the DA would like to make is that, when building a school or making any other decision in an area, the community is
consulted, that public communication takes place, and that they are all onboard regarding any decisions made. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr X NGWEZI: Deputy Speaker, every child in South Africa has the constitutional right to an uninterrupted basic education. Protest-related action now targets this right when it adversely impacts and affects a child’s right to attend school and receive an education.
There is no doubt about the terrible impact these protests have had on the education of thousands of pupils. The national hearing convened by the SA Human Rights Commission sought to explore ways in which the right to protest could be upheld but also to ensure that future protest action did not disrupt schools or deny any child the right to an education. We hear reports of nearly 63 000 learners being affected by the Vuwani district protests in April 2016, with 29 schools being torched and 102 schools being disrupted. This disrupted the entire school year for these pupils, adversely affecting learning, as well as year-end results.
This is just one example and one of the problems our children face through no fault of their own. We are to blame, and we must take full responsibility for our actions and ensure that any such protest action is directly militated against in the near future.
We cannot stifle the hopes, dreams and ambitions of our children through our own shortcomings. Children should not have to pay the price for the errors of their parents. The IFP supports the findings of the national hearing and thanks the commission for the work done. We look forward to government acting resolutely in implementing the findings of the hearing. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M L SHELEMBE (NFP): Deputy Speaker, the NFP welcomes the report tabled here today on the South African Human Rights Commission’s findings on impact of protest-related action on basic education.
We note that the focus on the commission’s report was predominantly on Vuwani. The scale of destruction to schooling at Vuwani in 2016 was vast within more than 52
000 learners affected, 29 schools were torched and vandalised whilst teaching at a further 102 schools in the area was disrupted.
Whereas the disruption at Vuwani was fierce, prolonged and brutal, we should not lose sight of other disruptions which occur across the country almost on a daily basis, particularly disruption associated with service delivery protest.
Unfortunately the report of the commission could do no more than deal with the aftermath of the disruption and not the cause. When we look at the distribution of disruption affecting learners and schools, we see that it occurs countrywide. As the portfolio committee has correctly pointed out in the report tabled here, in most instances, these disruptions are not related to teaching or education but come about as collateral damage in the community action that has its roots in dissatisfaction which is political in nature.
If the root cause of disruption at schools is to be addressed adequetly, it is to the political arena which
we have to turn to for solutions to avoid protest related disruptions in our schools. Unfortunately, a culture of damaging state property has become entrenched in our social fabric as a means to protest and people justify such disruption through saying that it is the only way to get government to listen to their grievances.
Herein lies the crux of the problem; we are stuck with a government that is increasingly becoming unresponsive to the needs of the people, a government that has lost touch with the people at the grass root level.
Many of these incidents of violence protest could have been avoided if government would just listen to the people when they have grievances but it is not happening. The sad part is that our children pay and will continue to pay a heavy price for government’s lack of action.
To conclude, Deputy Speaker, the NFP believes that there is a need to educate communities on the importance of education and to encourage them to take ownership of schools. We owe it to our children and to the future generation to ensure that our education system is
providing each and every child with quality education. I thank you. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members ... oh! woza baba [come sir]. My right is very difficult; I tend to be left wing.
Mr D MNGUNI (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the ANC in the portfolio committee wishes to send its condolences to the family of the late hon TZM Khoza and also wish a speedy recovery to hon Majeke and hon Gina who are injured.
The ANC regards basic education as an apex priority. The education of all South African children is very important as it will bring well educated and capable leaders for our country. It is therefore very important to the ANC that schools remain safe and conducive for learning in all geographical areas.
As the ANC, we also believe in the safeguarding of human rights and therefore promote the mandate of the South African Human Rights Commission which is to promote respect for human and culture of human rights, to promote protection, development and attainment of human rights
and to promote and monitor and also assess the observant of human rights.
The ANC-led government takes the severity of the impact of protest related actions on schools and learners very seriously. The burning of schools and the disruption of learners’ education is something that needs serious attention.
As we are speaking now, there is an amendment Bill on South African Schools Act which is at the hands of the Cabinet for public comment. It is there to address threats to learners – which is something that we need.
Every threat made, whether by a parent or any other person, to prohibit learners from attending school must be criminalised.
We also urge the office of the President, not the Department of Basic Education, to set up an interministerial committee to deal with issues by disgruntled communities in order to ensure that protests
do not become violent and affect learners and their wellbeing.
It is very much true EFF that it is not the schools that are ...
... lapho kuqala khona imibhikisho, ayiqali ngaphakathi kwezikole.
Protests stem from outside the issues of the schools and then come to affect the wellbeing or the running of the schools. They stem from issues that affect different departments; they are never sect education sector related.
School infrastructure is seen as a soft target and it is very important that this is addressed and dealt with. The ANC looks at the Department of Basic Education as the victim of the protest actions and not as the perpetrator. The Department of Basic Education is not responsible for aspects of service delivery that provokes protests from
communities. This results in learners used as pawns by adult community members to target school infrastructure.
The ANC stands by the recommendations made by the portfolio committee and urge a review of some of the The South African Human Rights Commission, SAHRC, recommendations as they are really misdirected and need to be directed to the relevant departments though the Presidency in order to ensure that schools stop being a target of service delivery protests. We mean departments like Department of Cooperative Governance, Cogta, South African Police Service, SAPS, Department of Public works, and Department of Intelligence and Security.
The ANC supports this report.
Asiyekeleni lokuba timbuzulwane silibale kuphapha siye le, na le! Siyati kutsi kahle kahle inkinga ayikho la etikolweni. Tikolwa titsintseka ngob kwanine la eceleni, niyahamba niyewutjela labantfu le khashane kutsi ababuye phela batewutoyitoya niphindze nivale nemagede etikolwa, nine kanye ...
... more especially the EFF. We will appreciate it if you could take education very serious. Thank you.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, let us once more communicate our condolences to the Khoza family and regard the debate on education that has taken place today as a tribute to his contributions as a Member of Parliament and a public representative. We hope that his insights will continue to inspire the work of the entire committee. Thank you very much.
The House adjourned at 18:18.