Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 01 Nov 2017
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2017
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:02.
The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
DELEGATION FROM TIDORE ISLAND, INDONESIA
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, before we start with Questions, I wish to acknowledge the presence, in the gallery, of the Sultan of Tidore Island, Indonesia, Mr Husain Abubakar Syah, accompanied by Mr Muhammad Amin Farouk and delegation, for a courtesy visit. Mr Farouk is the direct descendent of an Indonesian freedom fighter imprisoned on Robben Island, in 1780, for fighting against Dutch colonialism. You are welcome to our Parliament, sirs. [Applause.]
QUESTIONS - CLUSTER 2: SOCIAL SERVICES
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Deputy Speaker,
the hon Minister is representing government at a UNESCO function in Paris, France.
The concept of multiple examination opportunity, MEO, also referred to as modularisation, allows learners that have been progressed from Grade 11 into Grade 12 to write a few of their subjects in the November National Senior Certificate examination sitting, and the remaining subjects in the subsequent June examination. This option was first implemented in 2015. Based on this dispensation, learners wrote a minimum of three subjects, excluding life orientation, in the 2015 November examination, and the remaining subjects in the 2016 June examination.
This policy was subsequently implemented in 2016 and the number of candidates per province is listed, but the impact has been quite significant. For the period 2015-16, 5 567 candidates registered, and for 2016-17, 48 199 candidates listed.
In consultation with the MECs of Education, the Department of Basic Education has provided a second opportunity based on the huge interest and enthusiasm that has been shown. That means that those learners who have failed the National Senior Certificate examination or those learners who wish to improve on the quality of their passes would now have a second opportunity, in addition to the progressed learners, to write the examination. There has been huge, huge advocacy around this particular issue and from our visits to the various provinces, there is a clear indication that this second opportunity is really taken to heart very seriously by the youth. I thank you, Deputy Speaker.
Mr D MNGUNI: Deputy Speaker, Deputy Minister, does the department have any monitoring mechanism to monitor whether principals do not or will not abuse the system of multiple examination opportunity to enrol learners in them, running away from the final matriculation examination result performance, depriving learners in the process?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Deputy Speaker, I
would like to thank the hon Mnguni very much. That is a very
important question, because we do not want our learners to abuse this opportunity.
The Minister, in consultation with the MECs for Education, has developed certain criteria in this regard. The principal will have to ensure that the progressed learner has completed his school-based assessment, has attended school regularly, and has not been absent for more than 20 days without a valid reason. He or she would have had to have written the preparatory examination and must have failed a minimum of three subjects in the preparatory examination. This criterion applies countrywide, district-wide and circuit-wide. Thank you very much, hon Deputy Speaker.
Mr I M OLLIS: Deputy Speaker, last week, parents at the Qedilizwe Secondary School in Evaton protested when their children were told just a couple of days beforehand that they would not be allowed to write some of their examinations in June. How will the department make sure that parents and learners are fully consulted before they just get switched with this modular system to the other examination, and then the parents find out a couple of days beforehand that,
unfortunately, their children can’t write the examination then but will have to write at another time? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Deputy Speaker, I
would like to thank the hon Ollis for the question. Indeed, the element of advocacy is critical and necessary. What the Ministry - the Minister and Deputy Minister - has done is visited all provinces. So, for example, last week, I was in Hermanus in the Western Cape, engaging with the communities in terms of the second opportunity that learners have and also in terms of progressed learners.
With regard to the progressed learners themselves, circulars have been sent out. District directors and circuit managers have been trained in terms of the approach and expectation with regard to this opportunity. So, a lot of work has been done. One has to recognise that this is a new initiative and as all new initiatives go, given the scope of the system of education, one may pick up problems from time to time.
I can assure you, however, that consultation has taken place very, very widely beyond the school community with communities, as a whole. All stakeholders have been consulted. School principal associations have been consulted. Governing
body associations have been consulted. Furthermore, the department will continue in collaboration with the provincial departments of education to ensure that we continue with this advocacy, given this enthusiasm. If we have, indeed, increased the uptake more than tenfold, it simply means that the impact of this particular opportunity is being felt far and wide. I thank you.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, we note with sadness that most learners who fail Grade 1 twice and who are progressed through to Grade 12 do not pass their matriculation examinations. This points to a lack of readiness. More needs to be done to assist struggling students to grasp fundamental concepts and develop critical thinking skills.
To this end, we believe that the hon Minister and her department should consider introducing additional learning tools to the classroom that use innovative ways of teaching to help stimulate a learner’s imagination and develop the ability to better understand the basics of learning in a fun way. One such method is called KimbaJacks Maths Puzzle Games, which, reportedly, was introduced to 10 schools and a university in Senegal with great enthusiasm and success.
Is the Minister aware of this learning tool; and would the Minister consider testing it at selected South African schools and monitor its impact on learning, in general, and on mathematics, in particular?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Deputy Speaker,
although the hon Meshoe would probably be aware this is not a follow-up question, in the interests of advocacy, we should respond to the very important element that he has raised.
We regard education as a continuum and we do believe that it starts with focused attention on early childhood development. We can celebrate the fact that today more than 92% of our entire learner population has had at least one year of pre- school education. We pay particular attention to literacy and numeracy. To that extent, 55 million workbooks on literacy and numeracy are delivered, free of charge, to every child, black or white, in the public education system. This is to enhance their ability to read and write.
We are currently in the final stages of constructing an education e-cloud in terms of which all learners will be able to access exemplars, past papers and various games and
puzzles, as indicated. This is quite a unique resource that we are going to be providing to our learners and which they are going to able to access, zero-rated. The workbooks that many of you are probably aware of are also being made interactive and digitised. To that extent, learners will be able to engage with the resource material.
I do believe - and I can say this with confidence - that we have gone a long way in terms of providing improved, better, and more stimulating resources to all our learners. Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: Deputy Speaker, Deputy Minister ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Do say that you are not Mkhaliphi, right?
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: I am, indeed, the hon Mkhalipi.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Oh, yes.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: Yes.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Confirmed.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: Yes. Confirmed – and you were also invited to my wedding, Deputy Speaker. [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
An HON MEMBER: Deputy Speaker, don’t do that. [Interjections.]
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: Deputy Minister, the former Model C schools in the suburbs are operating under section 21 and charging learners very expensive fees to be accepted at the schools.
Some of these schools are charging learners no less than
R20 000. What intervention is the department making to protect the poorest of the poor, who are excluded by these schools?
Other schools even demand donations and do not issue letters of acceptance to the learner once that learner has been accepted at the school. They have even specifically told the learner or the parent how much they want.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: One school in Glenwood wants R2 000 before they will issue an acceptance letter. I even wrote to your department, Deputy Minister ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time has expired.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: ... and you never responded. Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Don’t harass me. Don’t do that! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Deputy Speaker, I,
too, would like to congratulate the hon member on her marriage. I did not receive an invitation to the wedding, but I wish her well in her married life. [Interjections.]
Again, this follow-up question is not linked to the original question, but in the interests of education, I think it is important that we respond to it. We do believe that access is critical and central to the system of education, and that the issues of equity must be addressed.
In a very short space of time, we were able to ensure that 85% of our learner population - which exceeds 12 million learners
– have access to no-fee schools. In other words, they do not have to pay one cent to go to school.
The challenge that the hon member is raising is a legitimate concern, and she has, indeed, written to the department quite recently. It has been a matter for discussion for some time. Do we, as the Department of Basic Education, in instances where what was termed “former Model C schools”, charge fees? In other words, fee-paying schools control or regulate the upper limit of those schools, because there are instances where the governing bodies and principals act very unreasonably and make the costs so prohibitive that the ordinary learner has no ability to access those schools. This is a matter that is being considered carefully and reflected on by the department, with regard to the upper limit that may be imposed, so that it is within the means of all learners to access these schools. I thank you, hon Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, before we proceed to the next question, I made a mistake earlier on. I would like to request you to join me in welcoming Mr Muhammad Amin Farouk with his delegation, seated in the gallery. Welcome to our Parliament. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon members! Order! [Interjections.] No, no, no. Hon members, that is out of order.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, as long as they are singing I am not going to ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You do not ... hon Minister, allow me to be in charge of the House. I have spoken to the members to stop hissing, howling which they know is out of order. [Interjections.] Hon Minister, go ahead. [Interjections.] Order hon members! Please, this is absolutely silly hon members, you cannot be doing that. You have objected when people did the same thing to your members here. You cannot be behaving that way. You cannot be hissing, it is out of the Rules. Go ahead hon Minister. What are you rising on hon member?
Ms D CARTER: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: Thank you for your ruling; I hope you are going to protect us in future too.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please sit down. [Applause.] This is ... Proceed hon member.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
AN HON MEMBER: Answer for once in your life.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: ... thank you for the question. In May this year and with the support of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, incorporated the Constitutional Court orders into its Annual Performance Plan and over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period. In June, Sassa sent a request for deviation from normal procurement practices to the National Treasury. The National Treasury granted approval for deviation in July. The reason for deviation was for Sassa to procure payment services of social grants directly from the SA Post Office, Sapo, first before inviting other bidders. This decision was informed by the fact that, like Sassa, Sapo is a government agency and this arrangement was meant to promote interagency collaboration. The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Comprehensive Social Security, chaired by President Jacob
Zuma, endorsed a hybrid solution amongst others, which involves banks, Sapo – you are not going to blackmail me with that – [Interjections.] and payment contactors to disburse grants. The Inter-Ministerial Committee further recommended that the interim hybrid solution and future payment solution should build capacity within Sassa and the department as well as support local economic development.
In addition, the Inter-Ministerial Committee recommended any service provider who wishes to participate in this process, including Sapo, must be subjected to a due diligence process so as to ensure that the process is fair, open and cost- effective. Consequently, in July, Sassa sent the request for proposal to Sapo which specified the following required services; provision of an integrated payment system, banking services, card body production and provision of cash payment services. The Bid Evaluation Committee finalised its work on
17 September 2017 ... [Interjections.] They are full of Black Monday; they are full of Black Monday. [Interjections.] This evaluation incorporated the technical due diligence findings conducted by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, as per supply chain processes. The Bid Adjudication Committee convened and adjudicated on the
recommendations of the Bid Evaluation Committee. After an elaborate scrutiny of Sapo’s response to the Request for Proposals, RFP, the adjudication processes revealed that Sapo could only provide one of the four services namely; the provision of an integrated payment system. This requires the development of a payment platform with features for biometric enrolment as well biometric proof of life.
Hon members, I want to put it on record that Sapo was duly informed of the procurement outcome and requested to respond to the offer by the 25th of October 2017 ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, I am afraid your time has expired. We will give you an opportunity to proceed later. Go ahead hon ... hon Majeke ... I mean hon Van der Merwe.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, I think what you have just said about Sapo is unfortunately not true because we were informed yesterday that they in fact can provide the services that you need and at this stage there is no progress ... [Applause.] there is no deal, so dololo [no] progress at this stage but let us look at the facts of the matter, four years ago the Constitutional Court told you that
the contract that you have got with Cash Paymaster Services, CPS, was unlawful. For four years you did nothing. Then you have now got a 100 days in which you have got to get yourself ready to pay out grants and the past seven months you have again done nothing and the vulnerable citizens of our country deserve better and we need answers as to why you are now again solely manufacturing another grant payment crisis.
So, I want to ask you again today Minister, can you put it on record that come 1 April 2018 we will not find CPS paying grants or any form of CPS in any way, shape or form because you have never gave us that assurance and if 1 April 2018 comes and you have not complied with the Constitutional Court directives, will you resign hon Minister? [Applause.]
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Okokuqala nje,
lento eyenzekayo la akukhona ukuthi ezinhliziweni nikhathazekile ngabantu [people’s interest at heart] kuwukuthi nifuna ukuphazamisa [destabilise] ...
... the whole process.
Nilokhu nihlehlisa ... [Ubuwelewele.] nihambe niyofuna ukuthatha izinqumo zokuthengwa kwempahla [procurement] la zingathathwa khona. Intshisekelo [interest] ninayo yona futhi nisebenzisana ngasese [connive] niyazazi ukuthi nisebenzisana ngasese. Ngakho [So] umbuzo [question] wokuthi kuzokwenziwa yithina lokho kuphela ... [Ubuwelewele.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, please take a seat. Yes, hon member.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, I have a point of order. I rise on Rule 85, what essentially – I do not know why the Minister is standing it shows she does not know the Rules of Parliament - [Interjections.]
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Hayi wena uzohamba
ubuyele le eThekwini ngoba wazela okunye lana, wawugangile. [Ubuwelewele.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon members! Order hon members! [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I would be very careful about talking about skeletons in closets.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Hayi!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Because you got so many in your rotten cupboard ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... that when they come tumbling out you are going to be found with your slip showing. [Applause.]
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Nawe! Nawe! Nawe!
Uzobuyela ekhaya kini, uzozenza umfundisi la ungeyena.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon ... hon members!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Can you please ask her to stop blabbering on and sit down so I can make my point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is you who is provoking her. [Interjections.] Hon Minister, please take your seat.
AN HON MEMBER: Why is she standing up?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members! Hon members! You must address the Chair, the moment you do what you are doing you are creating a problem in the House.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: The moment you do not protect me when I am taking a point of order is when the problem started. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, how do I do that when you are talking? How do I do that when you are talking?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Because you should have asked her to sit down and that is your job.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I did ask her that.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: You did not.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Now, you are once more misrepresenting what I said.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Oh gosh!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are misrepresenting what I said.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: You do a good job misrepresenting yourself, with respect.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Rule 85 ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, we are going to read ... we are going to check the Hansard and if I am found to have said what I said I have said, you are in big trouble.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: You can take me to the Rules Committee that is fine.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: And by the way, I will do it the second, there are two of them that you must face.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Ja [Yes] you do that, no problem. [Interjections.] Rule 85, it is improper to impute improper motives on members of this House, we are hon members of this House. To accuse a member of this House of conniving and interfering in a tender process because they have an interest is an unfair and undue reflection on an hon member. If the Minister wants to make such a reflection she must please bring a substantive motion to the House and we will discuss it.
AN HON MEMBER: Go back to England!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the point of order hon member?
Ms M C PILANE-MAJAKE: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I am rising in accordance with Rule 87 about reflections upon the House and its proceedings and decisions, No member may
reflect in a very disrespectful manner upon the House like hon Steenhuisen is doing. He actually also undermines the authority of the Chair of this House. Make a ruling on it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes hon ... what is the point of order?
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: With all due respect, whilst we all have a right to points of orders but I do not think it is fair that a point of order is taken on top of a point of order. It would have been prudent to first make a ruling on that point of order so that it is not convoluted by that point of order ... [Interjections.] because then whatever said got lost because ... [interjections.] let us get a ruling on that one first.
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Usithengisa nabelungu wena, usithengisa nabelungu, ngiyakwesaba.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I will rule on the first point of order.
AN HON MEMBER: Go back to England!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am going to ask the officials in front of me to bring me those words so that I rule on it here before I leave this Chamber here now so that we do that. We will deal with the others. The last one was really pointing out to what ought to happen and one of the ways help that to happen is to sit down and not to raise a point of order yourself so that we get an opportunity to rule on the matter. Okay, this is one of the ways you contribute to do that by keeping quiet, giving me an opportunity to speak before you throw words into my mouth. That is another way of doing it better. Okay, we will do that. Hon Minister, you were responding.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson,
Sithe singakaqedi ngohlelo lokuthengwa kwempahla kwase kubuzwa, ukuthi wobani abakwikomidi [committee] lokuthengwa kwempahla? Kwase kufunakala osomqulu [documents] futhi angazi lokho kubizwa ngani uma [if] lokho kungekona ukugxambukela.
Okunye, ezinye izinto ... [Ubuwelewele.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member?
MS L L VAN DER MERWE: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I have never asked for procurement documents so the Minister is misleading the House. I just wanted her to do her job
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member ... [Interjections.]
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: How can I interfere in any procurement process?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: ... hon member please. [Interjections.]
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: I have never asked for any procurement documents, I am asking her to do her job to adhere to the Constitutional Court. That is all. [Interjections.]
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Akakhulumanga ngawe!
(She was not referring to you.)
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Proceed, hon Minister.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Hayi! Lezi yizinto
ezenzeka ekomidini enihlala kulona. Ngakho umangabe kukhulunywa ekomidini bese niyashintsha nithi aniyazi leyonto kuyinkinga nalokho.
Even a deadlock was created because sishilo sathi [we said] we are going to follow proper procedures but a deadlock was created. Well, we have discussed the matter but we need to be very careful, next time I am going to ask you, the committee, if they say, there must be negotiations they must write a letter down saying they must negotiate because the next thing that will happen is that I will find myself in prison ... [Interjections.] [Applause.] Because of the wrong decisions
... [Interjections.] because of the wrong decisions that you pushed in committees and behave as if you are angels and innocent.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Yes.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: ... your time has expired. [Interjections.]
Nks C N MAJEKE: Mphathiswa ohloniphekileyo, njengokuba ingathi akukagqitywa nto kude kube ngoku, ingaba akusayi kubakho siphazamiso kusini na kulo nyaka uzayo xa kufuneka ukuba abantu banikwe inkamankam yabo? Enkosi Sekela Somlomo.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Sekela Somlomo,
ngiyabonga kwilungu lePhalamende, okokuqala , ikhadi bekuthiwa liphela ngoDisemba ngakho akupheli ukusetshenziswa kwekhadi ngoDisemba sixoxisene, [negotiated] kuzoqhubeka kanjalo nokukhokhelwa kwabantu kuzoqhubeka ngeke kuze kume. Into ebalulekile wukuthi sicela abantu basiyeke sense umsebenzi wethu ... [Ubuwelewele.] bangafuni ukwenza umsebenzi wethu ngokuthi basenzele wona [on our behalf] bafake unyawo lwemfene kodwa olubonakala ngathi unyawo lwemvu. [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
Ms B S MASANGO: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, as part of the Constitutional Court directive we have received a report from
the Constitutional Court appointed panel of experts, now the question is, what are you going to do to those who are implicated in the damning first report by the Constitutional Court appointed panel of experts and when are going to do what you are going to do and if not, why not?
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, who is implicated in the report?
HON MEMBERS: You! You! You!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member?
Mr I M OLLIS: Deputy Speaker, I have a point of order. With all due respect, it is not the Minister’s job to ask us questions, we ask her a question and she has avoided answering it. Will you ask her to answer the question, she just gave a question. [Interjections.]
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Umbiko [Report]
okokuqala, awuwodwa umbiko okhona, kunombiko we-CSIR, kunombiko waseposini, [post office] kunombiko wezikhulu
[officials] zakwa-Sassa futhi [and] umangabe kuwukuthi sineqiniso [fair] futhi siqotho [just] kufanele siyihlanganise [consolidate] yonke lemibiko futhi sibuze imibuzo ezokwenza ukuthi kube nenqubekela phambili hayi imibuzo ezoqonda [target] u-Sassa kuphela. Ngiyabonga.
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Nanso-ke i-answer uyitholile ufunani?
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy Speaker, Minister, now that you have informed us that the SA Post Office will not be able to run this entire process of distributing the social grants. Now, Sapo being a State-Owned Entity, SOE, do you believe that in the near future that if there are some shortcomings that could be addressed and ensure ultimately at the end that Sapo does take responsibility to distribute all social grants in South Africa? So it is a win-win situation for us. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much hon member, this process is the process of building capacity for Sassa. That is why in some of the areas we are saying the post office will build, operate and transfer. So some of the things they will do and take back to Sassa and some of the things, because of their expertise, are going to continue working with
Sassa but also after the meeting yesterday, the officials went back to have a discussion and they have taken the process forward and the National Treasury, this is what the procedure says when it comes to a deadlock, that there must be someone to mediate. The National Treasury has agreed to review all the processes that we have gone through up until the post office was given the work.
Let us hope that process will come up with a positive outcome because we do want to work with the post office. The post office is the state agency and we have always been committed to doing that but what is important, people like to talk about the court here, we are carrying the decisions of the court and we must ensure that they are carried properly. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND SANITATION: Deputy Speaker,
the Ntabamhlophe Bulk Water Supply Scheme is not the department’s project. The project is being implemented by uThukela District Municipality and is funded from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, MIG, which is administered by
the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta.
Therefore, Cogta is the best place to answer questions pertaining to this project since the department manages the MIG, and oversees implementation of this project funded from this grant. However, the matter will be referred to the Minister of Cogta. I thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Oh, yes. Hon Shelembe.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Hayi, noma sekungaba yimina-ke.
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Deputy Speaker, I understand the issue of the functions that it belongs to Cogta. However, in the eyes of the public it won’t change that the Department of Water and Sanitation is responsible. If it is so, I will accept and expect the answer from the relevant department. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND SANITATION: Thank you for
your understanding. However, the matter will still be referred to the Department of Cogta. I thank you.
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Mthathe!
Nk M S KHAWULA: Sekela Somlomo, bengifuna ukubuza nje lapho Ngqongqoshe [Minister] ukuthi, awuke usitshele ukuthi uthini ngenkohlakalo edla lubi kulo mnyango wakho ebeka izimpilo zabantu engcupheni njengoba niyazi ukuthi amanzi ayimpilo?
Okunye, Umngeni uzithola uvele ngekhanda kwinkohlakalo ekuqaleni kwalo nyaka lapho kugcine kubakhona i-CEO egcine inyamalala ... [Ubuwelewele.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, you can’t be screaming at the member speaking.
Nk M S KHAWULA: ... hayi, abaphaphi labantu bakho.
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Thula mama, ngiyacela [please]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Ngiyabonga. Ekuqaleni kwalo nyaka lapho kwaholela khona i-CEO enyamalale ngo-June ngayo inkinga yenkohlakalo. Wena uthini ngalaba bantu abamatasa [busy] abaxhaphaza izimali zalo mnyango? Ngiyabonga.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND SANITATION: Deputy Speaker,
it is a pity that the question that I have is different from what the member is talking about. I don’t have that question with me. I can reply by saying ...
... Mama uKhawula ubundibuze ngokulungiswa kweempompo ezivuzayo koomasipala kodwa ngoku undixelela ngenkohlakalo esinayo. Inkohlakalo ikhona kumntu wonke kwaye iqala apha kuwe...
... for not understanding...[Interjections.]
Ms M S KHAWULA: Point of order!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes hon member? [Interjections.]
Nk M S KHAWULA: akangitshele-ke ukuthi ngenzeni mina ngoba yibona abahambe bathatha imali bayinika iMabala Noise, womunye obedansa laphaya neMabala Noise lo, imali yamanzi. Ubani-ke onenkohlakalo, ngake ngaya kuMabala Noise? Bayithatha
bayokwakha iNkandla nayo, nezimbuzi zikaZuma wabo, angangiphapheli uNgqongqoshe mani, wash out wena Ngqongqoshe
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members!
Mr P J MNGUNI: Order!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Deputy Minister and hon Khawula, the remarks you have made borders on completely violation of the rules and I would like to refer them for a further consideration so that we respond to them. It’s in appropriate to be exchanging language like that when you both know what the rules are. I take exception to using that language. It’s completely inappropriate.
Mr P J MNGUNI: Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In addition to your ruling and with due respect, she must also withdraw the manner in which she refers to the hon President... [Interjections.]
Mr T RAWULA: Order, order, Deputy Speaker! How can the member add on your ruling?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member!
Mr P J MNGUNI: I am not adding on any ruling. I am just suggesting that the last part of her speech needs to be withdrawn in the House. We cannot proceed with it if it is not withdrawn. She has got to refer to the hon President in an appropriate manner in the House, thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I have ruled on this matter. And it will be ... [Interjections.]
Ms M S KHAWULA: [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable, honourable, honourable! Hon members, I will take this matter further because I think it is really serious staff. We can’t accept this conduct. The next person asking a supplementary question is hon Basson.
Ms M S KHAWULA: On a point of order!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What are you rising on hon member?
Nk M S KHAWULA: Hawu, ngiyabonga. Sekela Somlomo, nginephuzu lokukhalima okuphambukayo.Uyabona, ngeke, awubakhuze nazi izingane zikaDuduzane, sezimatasa ayikho i-shebeen, yilama- shebeen abo-ke abakhuluma ngawo.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Khawula, please take your seat. Hon member, please take your seat. You have raised your point. Take your seat hon member,please. Hon Basson, go ahead.
Mr L J BASSON: Deputy Speaker, Deputy Minister, as you have indicated that this project falls under the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, there are similar projects like this within your department where there is a huge delay in service delivery to the community. Your department is technically bankrupt, owing R5 billion to contractors and the South African Reserve Bank.
Deputy Minister, can you indicate to me how you would go about preventing further delays in projects within the Department of Water and Sanitation, so that we don’t get to the same situation that we have got here now?
The DEPUTY MINISTER: Hon Basson... [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: I rise on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Wait, wait, wait! Yes, what is the point of order?
Mr B A RADEBE: I am rising on rule 142(6), the member of the DA has asked a different question from the original one. So the Deputy Minister cannot be bound to answer that question, please.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, that point of order is sustained. Hon Mnguni!
Mr L J BASSON: Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, it is on Rule 142(6), supplementary questions must arise directly from the original question and the reply given there too. In the Deputy Minister’s reply ...[Interjections.]
... you see - you don’t protect me when I am being screamed at. Supplementary question must arise directly from the original question...[Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mabe, you are out of order! And hon members sitting there – not all of you clearly, but those members including hon Mabe, it’s unacceptable that the Chair – not only myself, should always be referring to noise and screaming from that bench. I really take exception to that conduct. Hon Sonti, you are out of order yourself! You can’t be screaming here.
Hon members, why do you want to be treated in this manner? I can’t believe this.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: May I continue?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead hon member.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... a supplementary question must arise directly from the original question and the reply given there too and may not constitute a new question.
The Deputy Minister in here reply alluded to the fact that this project was not part of the department and that there were other projects that did fall under it. So I do think that the hon Bassoon’s question is in order. However, I think it should be up to the Deputy Minister to be able to determine whether it is something she is able to respond to.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER, this is especially so because, this is a problem that arises when Ministers are not in the House. The Ministers should have a full understanding of the gamut of their responsibilities. When Ministers are not here, this is a problem that arises when Deputy Ministers - with respect to hon Tshwete, who I think has done an admirable job so far.
But, I think she should be asked if she is willing to respond. If she is not, then we can move on from there. I don’t think a point of order was necessary in this matter.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I have ruled on this matter. So the ruling is having been made, I would like us to proceed to the next question.
Mr D MNGUNI: Deputy Minister, I believe you will agree with me that municipalities which are under the supervision of the
Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, implement most of the water infrastructure projects and programmes. If you do, what role is played by Cogta together with the Department of Water and Sanitation to monitor that municipalities utilise water and sanitation grants efficiently and effectively?
In case of efficiencies and under performances, how do intergovernmental relations assist municipalities to provide reliable access to water and sanitation services to our people? I thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND SANITATION: Deputy Speaker,
the departmental programmes that support water resourced management can be broadly placed in two categories namely, water resource development and regional bulk water and sanitation infrastructure. The water resourced development projects are located in large water supply systems and are listed in the National Water Resources Strategy.
There are many of them. Altogether they are 252. But I will just name a few of them: The Vaal River system supplying Gauteng; the Umgeni River system supplying eThekwini; Algoa
Water Supply system supplying Nelson Mandela Metro; Oliphant’s River Water Supply System supplying Polokwane. The list containing all these projects can be found from pages 72 to
100 of the annual performance plan, hon member. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Deputy Speaker, the following measures are being taken: I have appointed a ministerial task team to oversee the project and manage the preparation for the students returning from Cuba. This task team consist of Professor Y Veriava, Professor R Hift and Professor Tanyane Mariba.
The ministerial task team is supported by the finance sub committee with representation from the national Department of Health, the Treasury and the Department of Higher Education and Training as well as the provinces; and an academic curriculum assessment sub committee which is consisting of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the South African Committee of Medical Deans as well as the specialists who are responsible for undergraduate training of medical students.
This committee will ensure that the training of students coming from Cuba complies with the requirements of the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Progress reports of these committees are presented on a regular basis to the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phahla who heads the whole projects, so that he can follow-up, monitor progress and give strategic guidance.
A project manager has been appointed by the South African Committee of Medical Deans in collaboration with the national Department of Health to work with the officials in the national Department of Health, to project manage the requirements of the expanded training programme.
The preparation of health institutions to be able to absorb the students is as follows: The number of students that can be accommodated per province; an associated university has been determined and agreed on; the specific training sites where students should do their clinical training has been agreed to; a representative sample of these sites have been visited by the project management committee to determine their state of readiness; and the provincial and national engineers have
investigated the infrastructure requirements where upgrades or renovations will be required. Thank you.
Ms N NCUBE-NDABA: Thank you very much Minister for your answer, but our local universities have convinced government that our students must be retrained and re-orientated into a curative system. How will government ensure that these returning students are not frustrated by universities and Hospice Palliative Care Association, HPCA, that are driving a curative hospicentric system that is so costly and benefit them?
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon member that is very important thing. The whole world is dealing with this matter because in most parts of the world, except Cuba, we are training medical students in that hospicentric curative system. That is fair and it is only Cuba that is doing pure primary health care training.
We are hoping that when these students come back they might help South Africa change from a curative healthcare system to a primary healthcare. It is partly our own mistake in that when these students come back we send them to our hospitals
rather than to primary healthcare situations which is what Cuba trains them for.
I am saying that we hope they will help us change and many university academics are positive that this might also contribute to the move towards primary healthcare because that is what is there in the National Health Insurance White Paper. Thank you.
Mr M WATERS: Minister, you talked about a task a team. We need a task team to look at the human resources crisis in healthcare nationally, never mind for the Cuban students.
There are more than 38 000 vacant posts in the public healthcare system, our hospitals and clinics are buckling under pressure, doctors and nurses are working excessively long hours putting their lives and the lives of patients at risk.
It is quite evident that the 2011 human resource strategy for health has been a total failure. The solution is not to send a minuscule amount of people to Cuba for training but to open
more nursing colleges and medical schools here in South Africa.
Can the Minister give the voters and this House the assurance that his department will address the chronic shortfall of doctors and nurses by opening more nursing colleges and medical schools in order to improve the working conditions of our nurses and doctors and to keep them in the public healthcare system? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon member, I know very well that the DA hates Cuba. That is a fact and that is why here in the Western Cape you are rejecting the programme. That is a fact you cannot deny.
We are utilising Cuba specifically because we are a country of
55 million people with only eight medical schools. Cuba, a country of 11 million people, has 27 medical schools and a lot of countries on this continent are utilising Cuba. You are not going to take from us the right to do so until we build new medical schools.
You are aware that we have just opened a new medical school in Limpopo and it is going to take us time to open others. In the mean time, we will use the Cuban programme.
Next year, the new students coming back from Cuba are going to increase the number of doctors by 50%. That has never happened before because our eight medical schools produce only 1 400 students per annum, the new group of students are bringing 700. That is half of what eight medical schools produce. This is an important programme and we will not stop it.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Minister, whilst it is not possible, in the short to medium term to open medical schools – and I agree with you because it is costly – it is not only students from Cuba, as hon Ndaba said, who are frustrated but there are a number of students from south Africa – because of the lack of space – that go to institutions outside of Cuba, China, Philippines etc who also find it very difficult to gain admission here.
Is there no way of accrediting the institutions that they go to so that when they come back with standards acceptable to Health Professions Council of South Africa, HPSCA?
It is very difficult and frustrating for the students at great cost to go study abroad, come back here and find they are not accepted in our healthcare system. As you said hon Minister, we need them; we are short of healthcare practitioners.
What can be done to accommodate all these students who study abroad to get easily into our healthcare system?
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Deputy Speaker, students from Cuba don’t struggle because this was an arranged programme and specifically for people from disadvantaged communities who ordinarily would not have studied medicine in this country - people from rural areas because they would not have been admitted to medical schools.
Coincidentally, I had a meeting with the President of the Health Professions Council of South Africa about the issue you are mentioning of students from other parts of the world. We were debating that issue because he said we need to call a press conference to address parents.
Many parents, especially in KwaZulu-Natal for that matter, are sending students to medical schools in many parts of the world
without checking with us. It is not that they are not recognised when they come back but every person studying in a different country other than certain universities that are accredited with South Africa, have to write board exams. The problem is that we allow them write and they fail. It is not that we don’t recognise them; we give them the same exam as the students in South Africa because you can’t be a doctor in South Africa if you don’t meet the standards of the country.
All we do when they come back is give them an exam and say this is what the medical students in South Africa write. If you pass there is no problem with entrance but if you fail there is nothing we can do. That is exactly what is happening. I know the country you are talking about. We are discussing this issue, it is not us.
Secondly, in the very country you are mentioning, they do not even register them; they just train them and send them to the continent and that is why many countries on this continent no longer do that. It is not our fault. Parents must ask. It is like going to fly a by night nursing college and pass after three years and come and blame government when we didn’t know about it.
We are appealing to parents, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, we know people want to study medicine but please ask us first which countries are recommended because medical training differs from country to country.
Ms S S THEMBEKWAYO: Minister, the success of the National Health Insurance will very much depend on your capacity to train a sufficient number of quality doctors and other healthcare practitioners. At this moment, South Africa has about six doctors per 10 000 people when we should be having
15 doctors per 10 000.
The Cuban project is good but not nearly sufficient to tackle the quality of services in public hospitals. What are you doing to ensure a good supply of quality medical doctors to power up the NHI and what will you do to keep them working in the public service? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon member, you are using an outdated formula. [Interjections.] No, it is. You are using a formula to calculate the number of doctors or health workers based on the population. I agree that it has been used over decades but the World Health Organisation, WHO, said that formula does not
help. That is why they came with Workload Indicators of Staffing Need, WISN, a work indicator for staff in norms.
That is the new formula and not based on population but the needs of that particular institution or facility. That is what the WHO has instructed us to do and we have started; we are applying the WISN formula and have finished all the primary healthcare projects. There is a question here about WISN which I am going to answer.
I am just saying, let us refrain from this issue of six doctors per 10 000 population because what if all the six doctors are in Sandton and not in the other areas? If you say the correct formula is 15, what if they are all in Sandton?
Then you will conclude that you have enough doctors when they are in one place. That is why the formula is outdated. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Deputy Speaker,
hon members, the Department of Higher Education and Training recently commissioned and drafted an Infrastructure Management Guide for Universities. This is very important because as you
are expanding the intake in our universities, you have to constantly monitor infrastructure requirements. So, in implementing this decision, there have been workshops and consultations and universities have agreed on a repository to keep data for each institution on the status of infrastructure.
It assists them further with planning and being able to report accurately to a department on a regular basis. This is particularly critical for historically disadvantaged universities which really have never reached a point where they had an ideal infrastructure for modern education, especially when it comes to the usage of technology and so on.
There is a related question which asks how are we supporting universities on this assignment? I just want to emphasise that our legal and institutional framework of Higher Education defends the autonomy of universities. Much as we support the universities from a financial point of view and in terms of setting norms and standards, it is important to allow council members and other university structure to make determinations, but because of our interest in transformation of the
infrastructure, we are constantly monitoring what is going on in the universities. Thank you.
Ms C C SEPTEMBER: Deputy Speaker, Minister, having listened to what you have said, how will this project management skills ensure that universities use the infrastructure and the efficiency grants optimally for the intended purposes and make sure that any corrupt practices does not enter the fray? How will centralising the bid monitoring that you were referring to, the bid monitoring of the infrastructure rollout plan and ensure that those services that are provided and play by the department to develop an infrastructure and that would need the agreed timeframes and that it also implement consequences where these timeframes have not being met. Thank you Deputy Speaker.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon member,
indeed, whenever there are decisions to be made about procurement, often they are corrupted by corrupt practices and disputes. The department is developing a small unit to provide technical support, in other words, whenever people qualify for a grant for infrastructure, the department will make sure that that unit oversees their internal processes.
As I have said, we will be limited in terms of how far we can go, but that small unit will be able to assist timeously where there are difficulties. Sometimes the timeframes are very important given the fact the infrastructure we are talking is critical for creating an enabling environment for a growing number of student. We will have to set clear norms depending on the size of the infrastructure that is proposed so as to ensure that delivery takes place within a reasonable period of time. The same unit will also assist when it comes to the repairs within universities so as to make sure that they are constantly modernising and renewing their projects on time.
Mr A P VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Deputy Speaker, through you to the Minister, the bids for the construction of ten new Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority, Tvet, College campuses, as well as the expansion of several other campuses closed on 17 June 2016. But your department has not yet awarded tenders to date. Aside from the institutions and their capacity, what are you Minister doing to ensure that your department has sufficient skills and capacity to decide on bids and then the implementation of infrastructure delivery?
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon member, I
have been reliably informed and briefed by the department that it was important for them to workshop all the universities on the guidelines and that was done last week so as to ensure that there are no inconsistencies. I will note this and follow it up ...
HON MEMBERS: Tvet colleges, Minister!
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: . . . yeah, the
Tvet colleges. I was just coming to that point that it is important to monitor all outstanding projects. They have started presenting to me where decisions have not been made and to begin to address the reasons that they advanced in terms of what has caused the delay. Thank you.
Mr X NGWEZI: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, last week the Statistician-General, Pali Lehohla, said that our universities are made more expensive because they retain more students than they produce graduates. Should this not be taken into account before we embark on expensive and expansive infrastructure development programme?
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: If I read well
what the Statistician-General said, he did really praised some of our institutions besides the retention of students for more than the number of years required in terms of the department. But on the whole the number of throughput of graduates is reasonably high.
I think at this point in time we are all fully aware of the challenges that our universities are facing with this integration and transformation and challenges with regard to students’ support. I think what we are doing is to try to come up with comprehensive and sustainable solution so as to stabilise our universities. We are fully aware that it has taken us too long since the dawn of democracy whereby students were freely applying everywhere but we are working hard on it and we are also consulting very closely with the university principals so as to ensure that there is no institution that is left behind.
As I have said, some of the challenges are with students who have come out of a difficult school situation where you find that they struggle a bit and don’t qualify on time. Those are
all the issues that we are addressing in a comprehensive manner with universities including student support. Thank you.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, just recently we had universities coming to the Portfolio Committee and one university reported on the issue of stark reality that they once had the council members who were hell-bent to have their hands on a cookie jar by way of deciding the projects that were allocated to the bidders. I want to find out from you whether you might have a way as a department to deal with these issues of conflict of interest, whereby we have council members who don’t focus on the governance part of it but try to have their hands on the cookie jar. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon member, I
think this is the responsibility for all of us, including hon members when they are doing oversight. Over years there have been reports of council members who get involved directly or indirectly or through public representatives and begin to lobby and influence the outcome of tenders. Unfortunately, as the department, given the autonomy of the university, will be able to influence this if council members themselves identify those members and use their internal processes to make sure
that they relieve them because it doesn’t really help from the governance point of view if council members do those things.
In some instances, even student representatives who sit in these structures end up having a view as to which way some contracts should go. Again, when we meet with representatives of University Councils, we will be emphasising the importance of improving in our government systems in all our institutions because that sometimes become a source of conflict whereby the students or workers will end up rejecting the university leadership. It is a systematic problem and we are fully aware of it and we will use all instruments in our disposal to help university council members to deal with this problem. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, the reason for the media briefing was to report to the nation about progress we have made towards finding a sustainable solution for the repayment of social grants in the country. One other important issue is that South Africans must understand that SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, was established in 2006 and given the mandate to administer and pay social grants. We must
not lose sight of that that fact, but also Sassa is about ensuring that we give dignity to the poor and the vulnerable and also that this is a human right. Lastly, it is social solidarity that has to be administered properly so that all South Africans understand how their funds are used.
Awukabi yena ke uSekela Somlomo usazosebenza ukuze ube nguyena. [Uhleko.]
So, what we then did as we have said before was to issue a request for proposal which was sent to the SA Post Office, Sapo, and the request included the following:
Firstly, that they should provide us with information of services they can provide on the provision of an integrated payment system, banking services, card body production and cash payment services.
I would like to put it on record that Sapo responded to the request for the proposal and then, therefore, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, had to go through
technical, do diligence not a workshop because you need to have an understanding of what goes on in an agency. As per supply chain processes, the Bid Adjudication Committee convened and adjudicated on the recommendations of the Bid Evaluation Committee. The outcome revealed that Sapo can only provide one of the four services. [Interjections.]
Go and have a press conference and shout about what we want to say. [Interjections.] You did not read that report. I am sure and you want to carry what you have in mind. You need to be honest. Don’t bully us. [Interjection.] You need to be honest because the report says this is what you need to do to be able to do this. So, we need to be frank and honest. We can all read English with our rural education. The conditions attached
... [Time expired.]
Ms B S MASANGO: Hon Deputy Speaker, referring to the hon Minister, first of all, a day before we had a meeting with Sapo, where they were going to present what it is that they can or cannot do which most of it they can do. The Minister went and had a press conference where she said exactly the untruths that she has just said now. So, it is very frightening that the Minister can even after the meeting
yesterday where Sapo presented and proved through the CSIR a document that they actually can do all the work that needs to be done, including the biometrics that are needed for this work. So, Minister, did you actually drag this whole thing so that you make sure that Sapo is out of this process in order to be able to give this illegal contract back to Cash Paymaster Services, CPS, again? [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon member Masango, you don’t understand Sassa when you worked for, National Development Agency, NDA and there is a difference between NDA and Sassa. [Interjections.] Secondly, I want to repeat this, you need to be very frank. You have never gone through the report and you come here and say that we are lying or I am lying. You have not gone through the report. The report does not say what you are saying. [Interjections.] What you are saying is full of populism. [Laughter.] When we are not able to pay the grants at the end of the day, you will never be blamed. So, it’s easy now to talk and talk without evidence. If you want to confirm what you are saying now, go there and get the facts. [Interjections.]
The HON MEMBERS: Where?
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Not things that were not reported or responded to in the report, but were said all over.
Mr I M OLLIS: It was tabled here yesterday!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: This was said and you don’t even have evidence of that, but what I saw yesterday is that, there were women who were asked radical questions and then there were men who just said things and were not asked a lot of questions. What they said was taken as the gospel truth. Thank you.
Mr M M DLAMINI: Deputy Speaker, I will take the question on behalf of the hon Mente. Minister, when you told South Africans that ANC members have got “smaller-nyana” skeletons, we did not believe you. I want to apologise for that, we should have believed you because you were telling the truth. Now, today, you are saying there is likelihood that you will go to prison. I wish all the best and I wish you can go fast. [Laughter.] Don’t leave Jacob Zuma, don’t leave Zwane and don’t leave Des with you. [Applause.] This week you came to the portfolio meeting and you demonstrated ...
Mr P J MNGUNI: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: May we ask that the hon member, while making up the follow-up question, has got to refer to members of this House, firstly, in an appropriate manner, but secondly, move a substantive motion which is what he is actually insinuating? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member on the floor, you know what the Rule says how you should refer to members of the House.
Mr M M DLAMINI: Okay. Minister, this week in the committee meeting your responses demonstrated that you don’t care about many social grants dependants the way you have been responding. Now the question is that: Can you confirm that on
1 April next year Post Office will pay the social grant? [Interjections.] It’s a simple question. Can you just confirm that? Thank you.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Mhlazane nikhipha
unyawo lwenu ezintweni ze-procurement sizokwazi ukuqinisekisa ukuthi kuzokwenzekani.
As long as ...
... nizofika la nikhulume nenze ingathi niyabathanda abantu abahluphekayo. Angeke kuze kwenzeke ngendlela elungile. Phuma ezindabeni ze-procurement.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Hon Deputy Speaker, on the point of order. Rule 92, the Minister must answer the question. I don’t know what she is talking about – procurement. We are asking her a direct question from this House. There is no procurement that was discussed here. So, the Minister must just answer the question.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, hon member take your seat. Go ahead, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: You must know that procurement has been discussed in that committee. Everyone has a right to know. [Interjections.]
Ms H O MKHALIPI: Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, no! No, hon member. Please!
Ms H O MKHALIPI: Deputy Speaker, we are here in this House - National Assembly, asking the Minister a question. So, she must not defer us to a portfolio committee which has got nothing to do with the questions here in the House. She must not be confused, “small skeleton-nyana” [Laughter.]
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Yingakho waxoshwa
wena kwa-ANC. [Ubuwelewele.]
The issue is ...
Ms H O MKHALIPI: Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please!
Nk H O MKHALIPI:
Lalela angikaze ngixoshwe kwa-ANC. [Ubuwelewele. Ungangitshele nge-ANC, yini i-ANC. I-ANC ifile. Nawo awusayifuni ukuyibona
Come to EFF, we are going to give you a red beret.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, take your seat! Hon member, you are out of order.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: We! Wafutheka
Ms H O MKHALIPI: Deputy Speaker! She is insulting me. She is calling me a frog. She is the one with a frog face. I am not “iselesele”. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead, hon Minister. Please!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, I think it’s appropriate ...
Ms M S KHAWULA: On a point of order. On a point of order, Deputy Speaker.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Ngicela axolise manje, hhayi kusasa ngokubiza u-Deputy Secretary General wethu njengeselesele. Ubani iselesele phakathi kwakhe naye?
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Lungu elihloniphekile hlala phansi.
Go ahead, hon Minister. Please, respond.
Ms N V MENTE: No, Deputy Speaker. You can’t say she must sit down. She insulted a member in front of you. She must withdraw.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I didn’t say anybody must sit down. Hon member, no, no! Hon members, nobody was called “iselesele la eNdlini”.
Ms N V MENTE: No, she was called right in front of you - very loud.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, we will read you the Hansard so that you hear what you’ve heard. [Interjections.]
Ms H O MKHALIPI: Deputy Speaker, the correct procedure is that you must ask her ...
... ukuthi ubani iselesele phakathi kwami naye.
That is a correct procedure. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That’s an interesting procedure ... [Interjections.] ... you are outlining for us. That is a crazy procedure. [Interjections.] Hon members!
Ms M S KHAWULA: Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no! Please!
Nk M S KHAWULA: Sekela Somlomo, kuyimanje sikhuluma ngeselesele. Wena usitshela ngama-Hansa, asikhulumi ngama- Hansa la. [Uhleko.]
We are not talking about “Hansa” here, we are talking about frogs. [Laughter.] Please!
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Hhayi, kunenkinga la inkulu kabi. Ifuna ukuxazululwa ngezinye izindlela hhayi lezi ezijwayelekile. Kunzima. Lungu elihloniphekile ngicela ungasifaki kwezinye izinto manje, ngiyakunxusa.
Hon members, can we allow the Minister and yourself to ask the questions and get the answers without using insulting language, please.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Are you recognising me, Chair?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, go ahead hon Filtane.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Chair, I feel I must give you due credit. Your sessions are always very entertaining. [Laughter.] Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I knew you were going to be worse. You are out of order. Please, answer. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, that was a figurative speech. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, answer the question, don’t go back.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Okay, it’s appropriate and proper for Parliament to understand what could be the problems with the processes we are running. Members should not throw words so as to blackmail us because we are doing our work. [Interjections.] If we can be given an opportunity to do our work, we are going to do our work and that is why we had that press conference to proof that there has been work that we’ve been doing. Those who were part of the meeting yesterday know that we raised the issue of the presentation made and the
issues that were not written in the response to Sassa. That is why the officials went to meet.
Ngakho ke manje makungabukeki sengathi uBathabile Dlamini ufuna ukuvimba i-process abanye abantu bafuna ukusebenza. [Kwaphela isikhathi.]
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Deputy Speaker, given the assurance which the chief executive officer of the Post Office gave regarding its readiness and capacity to take over the payment of Sassa grants. Why is Sassa so adamant to fragment the payment of these grants and insist on contracting with other services providers leaving the Post Office to only attend to the integrated payment system which includes biometrics? Why can one institution or entity which meets all the requirements not be given the opportunity to attend to the payment of grants in all its facets to ensure an integrated and co-ordinated roll- out of the grants payment system? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, Sassa was formed to administer grant and that was a decision of this
House through legislation. If that responsibility has to be handed over to the Post Office, let it be so. Now the way we speak, it’s like everything is there in the Post Office. Some of the things are going to be procured and here we are building the capacity of Sassa. That should always be in our minds and what the Post Office will be able to do – will do. There are things as we speak that Sassa can do and therefore you can’t say take over because clawing back will also be difficult. So, let’s think like adults and take a decision, if we want to take a decision, not behave as if we don’t want to give responsibility to the Post Office. That is not the issue.
Njengoba sikhuluma manje sikhuluma ingathi wonke ama-service akhona ePosini. Azothengwa amanye kwezinye izindawo. Yini indaba singazithengele thina? Yini indaba sithengelwe yiPosi? Ngiyabonga.
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Deputy Speaker and hon member Makondo thanks for your spot-on observation about the unrepresentative nature of the heritage landscape. We put up a task team to look specifically on this matter in 2015 and we
are also leading a process of the liberation heritage route, known as Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route project, RLHR project.
Since 1994, among other things, in that process we have responded to this very question which still needs us to respond more on. I will make examples of such projects: The Samora Machel Monument in Mbuzini, at Mpumalanga Province, opened in 1998; the centenary of the Anglo-Boer/South African War of 1899-1902, held in 1999; the Freedom Park in Pretoria, at Gauteng Province; the Women’s Monument in Union Buildings in Pretoria, at Gauteng Province; the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, opened in 2002; the Luthuli Museum in Groutville, at KwaZulu-Natal province, opened in 2004; the centenary anniversary of the SS Mendi in Cape Town, at Western Cape in 2007; the reburial of Sarah Bartmann in Hankey, at Eastern Cape in 2002; the Nelson Mandela statue in Union Buildings at Gauteng Province unveiled in 2013; and the Matola Museum in Matola at Mozambique which opened in 2015.
We intend to ensure the protection of the heritage of the Khoi and San communities as the department is planning to establish the National Khoi and San Heritage Route. This project aims at
promoting and preserving the heritage and history of the Khoi, San, Nama, Griekwa and Khorana peoples of South Africa. The department commissioned a baseline study to identify and compile a list of Khoisan heritage sites in all nine provinces. Thank you.
Mr T MAKONDO: Chairperson and Minister, thank you for the answer. What challenges or reason led to the current state of imbalances in terms of allocating heritage resources that celebrate black history in an equal manner when compared to other counterparts in South Africa?
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Well, I can say it is firstly the historical injustice. However, as you can see here, the projects are trying first and foremost to address that but over and above that, we have ordered an audit of the heritage landscape in South Africa to ensure that as we move forward we ascertain that social cohesion is represented in reality by the heritage monuments, heritage statues and so forth in the country.
Currently, we are arguing a point that if you go anywhere in the continent – whether in a developed nations or developing
nations- you will find a national monument for that country. As of now, we are busy on that route to have a South African national monument.
We are working together with the Gauteng Province, particularly Premier Makhura and the Mayor of Tshwane, Mr Masango, precisely on the point of ensuring that we have a monument as South Africa whereby anybody who comes from anywhere could pay respect to the people of South Africa and their struggle at it.
Mr S P MHLONGO: Chairperson, Mr Fred Khumalo wrote a moving piece early this week about how our government handles heritage resources that celebrates heritage of Europeans in this country differently from heritage resources of indigenous people.
He was speaking after visiting the mass cattle-killing graves in King William’s Town which are next to a memorial dedicated to British soldiers who their hinds whipped during one of the Frontier wars.
What are you doing Mr Minister to ensure that our history of resistance and struggle for liberation against colonial forces is properly celebrated and not seen as an inferior or be of inferior standard as it is?
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Well, Fred Khumalo has a right to his opinion. Let him say what he wants to say, and that is his opinion. What I have been saying here is that righting the wrongs of the past with the symbols you see, the last one being the statue of Mr O R Tambo at O R Tambo International Airport can never be inferior.
We can’t say that all the heritage statues and objects which are being put in place, or the plans to further change the heritage landscape in South Africa is of inferior quality. It can’t be inferior! I would invite you to visit few of them, hon member Mhlongo. You would see one of them when you visit Pretoria, if you could make a turn at Freedom Park.
I can tell you that many people have visited such sites but that is not enough; we still have to do a lot. Remember, we are dealing with centuries’ old process of putting particular narrative in the heritage landscape in our country. In dealing
with that, as I said to you, from 1994 we are counting and we are still going on with the Resistance and Heritage Liberation Route project.
All provinces as we speak – all of them – have put forward at least three areas and three sites where they want their stories to be told to the world. So, we will continue with this project. We attach all the importance in them. We do not see ourselves as inferior to start with and the projects we are engaging in will never be inferior. Thank you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The next follow-up question will come from hon Esterhuizen but before you ask your question, I had called for hon Mente and if confuses the Table staff that some else participated. We don’t have a problem if members come from the same party and the question is given to a colleague to ask, but just inform us prior that so that the Table staff is able to take down correct minutes. Thank you.
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Hon Minister, just like to listed now, President Zuma also referred on Heritage Day to the progress
South Africa has made of new heritage sites and legacy projects that has been completed.
In a country that values its diversity, should the aim not be to only include one or two ethnic groups but to embrace and form a common identity while recognising and respect diverse ethic, racial and cultural rights? Will this not be one of the cornerstones to build inequality through the art sector rather?
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon member, I think we are doing precisely that. It is precisely that very reason that we do not buy into an idea that we have to destroy everything white in South Africa. It is precisely that reason why two years ago, during the Reconciliation Day, we had to have that reconciliation of the Bridge of Income between those who were fighting on the one side and those who were fighting on the other. It is solely because at the end of the day, they has to be reconciliation.
We also have said that there are those who have been proponents of racism or apartheid, who cannot be brandished in the face of South Africa and who cannot be celebrated. It
would be asking much from the people of Germany, for instance, to celebrate Hitler, much as it would be asking much in South Africa to have the likes of Verwoerd in our space.
It would never happen because what guides us are the principles and values of the Constitution. Some of those people do not pass the muster. However, those who are part and parcel of the project of building a new South Africa have to understand that there are new rules. It is a new town, with new rules and new statues. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Minister, it is common knowledge that almost the entire Western Cape belongs to the Khoi and the San and it was stolen from them by the apartheid regime. Now, 23 years later – I know you have alluded to it earlier on - you are going to put some processes in place in recognising them through the heritage site.
Can you give us some timeframe that at least we can see some results that the Khoi and the San can be recognised for what they were and who they are, so that we can start working towards giving them what is rightfully theirs and the entire Western Cape? [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank you for your question, hon member, but let’s just correct something here: There is a myth that the new democratic government has not recognised the Khoi and San people. If you look first and foremost on the coat of arms of this very government, it will tell you that there is that recognition.
Indeed, there haven’t been any tangible things after that as you say, even though you are on the extreme when declaring the whole of the Western Cape belonging to the Khoi and San. That is the extreme. However, we are together with the leadership of the Khoi and San people as well as the province of the Western Cape.
We have mutually agreed with the MEC responsible here in the Western Cape that as we are developing the Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route, the Khoi and San people are going to find their place within the same route that we are building. So, we are on course, hon member, and it is uppermost on this government’s agenda to ensure that the Khoi and San people are respected. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Thanks Chairperson. Indeed, there have been historical and continuous challenges of transformation in sport, particularly affecting the township and the rural areas; but we are managing them.
Sustainably demographic representation in sporting codes remains a primary focus area of the annual or the Eminent Persons Group, EPG transformation audits; and recommendations, features prominently on federation agendas as compared to the 1990s where black players may have been prematurely elevated into the national representative structures without appropriate support. The situation is much improved.
The establishment of the academies high performance centre structures and increased under age representation opportunity and support, particularly by rugby and cricket are starting to play the dividends. This together with the introduction of the barometer project where federations are projecting targeted demographic related transformation performance levels forward. Demographic representation and the sustainability thereof are further enhanced.
These inventions have led to further strengthening the sustainability of the national demographic representation. Disappearance of black players if any has become an exception instead we see the emergence of Kagiso Rabadas, Temba Bavumas, and Siya Kolisis of sport becoming more and more prominent.
The transformation commission the EPG mandate determines the objectives of the entity. Since the inception the EGP for transformation, status report and recommendations have been completed and the 5th is in the progress.
So data for completion of the 6th status report covering 2017 is due at the end of March 2018. The existing transformation charter is under review.
The original transformation monitoring process involving retrospective review of the transformation status supplemented with the forward looking barometer process will further support the achievements of the EPG.
This prognosis, Chairperson, is that the EPG will remain on track with achieving its objectives thereby contributing to
the transformation becoming further institutionalised in sporting organisations. Thank you.
Ms D P MANANA: Thank you, House Chair, and thank you to the hon Minister for a clarification and the answer. Hon Minister, what is the percentage of people of colour, in particular Africans in different sporting codes.
In South Africa, what are the reasons behind the poor retention rates of Africans within sporting codes such cricket and rugby? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Thank you, hon Manana. It will be difficult at this stage to give you a detailed percentage in each and every code; but we will be able to give that information later.
As I have indicated the issue here is not just to pick up the black player, the issue is support and that support must be sustainable. I think that’s the major factor; but support can talk to different elements; support in terms of where the people are coming from; support in terms of the facilities, and so on and so on.
So this is an issue which we have said it must be looked into by the various federations; because support is very broad on its own. So it talks to the different elements. Those are the elements which are responsible that sometimes you have that regress instead of people taking off and moving forward.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Thank you, House Chair. Hon Minister, the 2015-16 EPG report implies that the sport federations are being led off the hook in terms of effective transformation in sport.
What interventions are you intending to take to ensure the sport federation implement for greater transformation to take place, because they are refusing and they are resisting transforming.
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Thank you Chairperson. Remember that coming up with this particular approach, we have just introduced it; and we had agreed that it is going to be a process and as we continue, we are going to be improving.
Initially, we allow them to set their own targets; but now we want to be even tougher and set the targets together with
them, and even measures which will apply if people are not meeting the targets. We are also going to be tough.
So at the beginning we had to nurse everybody so that everybody is on board. We are very clear that we are going to be tough this time around or even go tougher as we continue with this particular programme. Thank you.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon Minister, whilst the efforts are in place, are highly appreciated, I would like to draw your attention to the following barriers which I see as inhibiting factors in what you are trying to achieve – these are what I will call traditional barriers - culture.
It’s a culture of retaining you know those particular codes within certain colour in the country – language barrier which goes with the culture; socioeconomic factors which inhibit people from being able to keep themselves up so to speak.
Very poor appropriate support by the local government and the provincial government in financial terms as well as in terms of the infrastructure; as well as very low budget from the national fiscus – can’t go very far with a R1 billion looking
after 55 million people majority of which have got nothing to start off with.
Finally, a nonsupportive career policy by the national government, which would have helped the poor, in words, sport could very well be placed amongst those as an opportunity for people to advance in life, but is not being recognised as such. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Chairperson, I think, hon Filtane, the question of transformation is a process, a very complex one; and it is true that certain sporting codes were associated with certain racial groupings, right across; but if you look at our fence today in almost all the big sporting codes, you are starting to see that nonracial South Africa.
You are starting to see all the racial groupings appreciating all the sport, but more still has to be done. That’s precisely what we are talking about. That this process, we need to put targets and even the development which we are putting, it’s exactly in order to address the issues which you are starting to mention.
However, let’s accept that municipalities, some of them might have certain grants which they get from the national, but remember municipalities when you look into their revenues, if sports facilities have to compete with water and sanitation, and so on and so on, it is not as easy as we think; but the reality is that – maybe the Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister must not hear that.
Regardless of what we are getting, we must do the best with the little which we are having. I can also say, as much as this a mini school budget in sport; but there are a lot of sponsors which are coming into the party.
The problem is governance issues in some of the sporting codes, where there is a lot of abuse; and when you deal with that people scream - as if we do not have to account that you are interfering when we have to intervene as government. Thank you Chairperson.
Mr D BERGMAN: Chair, noting on our new Minister statement on transformation seem to be far more progressive than our former Minster; and considering that gender equality is a pillar of transformation commission in sports.
What steps has the Minister taken to intervene in sexual allegations that have surfaced in two of our major sports federations; namely, football and South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, SASCOC to find quick results and to assist or protect future people in the sports coming forward? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Chairperson, when the matter of sexual harassment emerged in SASCOC, I said this is very sensitive and in our country it has to be dealt with urgently.
I then instructed them to put a special investigation and separate from all the other issues which we want to investigate, because I said that is a labour matter between the employer and the employee.
Then they went into that particular process, we are awaiting a report. You know, on such issues there is what you call – you must also hear the other side – the Audi alteram partem rule. So they are in process.
In relation to football, it’s a very difficult matter for me because when you deal with such issues, sensitive as the matter might be, if you don’t have a case which has been reported. It is very difficult to follow that matter on the basis of what is in the media.
So, we will leave it to the authorities to deal with that particular move. Once there is a case, which has been opened, we will be able to respond. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thank you very
much House Chairperson. The Question talks to what the department is doing to provide subsidies for research output, including publications, on the basis of their evaluation in terms of the research output policy.
In the Question specifically, the hon member Prof Bozzoli would like to know whether any action will be taken by the department in the case of those scholars or researchers who publish in journals that do not meet the criteria in terms of the policy.
Basically, the position of the department is that it strongly condemns people who publish in predatory journals since such a practice is not only unethical but it also tarnishes the integrity of the research as well as that of the institution.
We are fully aware of the allegations that are out there and the relevant section dealing with the research output is investigating to look at what transpired, which journals were used, especially over a decade up to 2015.
Having said that, we also realise that as a department we have a huge responsibility to assist the incoming or developing upcoming researchers in our universities to give them support and confidence, and allow them to publish as much as they can because we know that that is the beginning of influencing the ranking of our universities.
However, with regard to this one the department is in the process of investigating what had transpired. A decision has not been taken as to whether people will be requested to repay the money. But, what we have definitely said we will have to do is to ensure that we closely monitor all our grants and
reinforce the conditions of the quality of output that is required at the time when people sign a contract.
Prof B BOZZOLI: Thank you Minister. A predatory journal is not a real academic journal. It’s a fake academic journal, often which exists in the backyard of somebody in Eastern Europe who makes money out of it.
A recent research article pointed out that a university gets R100 000 per research article and that over the past 10 years about 4 000 such articles were published. So R400 million has been given to universities over 10 years for the publication of these articles, ie about R40 million a year.
Is it not fraud for the universities to have accepted this money, to have endorsed the publications of their academics, and fraud by the academics for having claimed that they have publications in genuine journals when they don’t?
If it is fraud, why is it tolerated, especially in a time when honest academics in the top rungs of academia are having their funding drastically cut by the National Research Foundation
and this R100 000 is being wasted on academics that are actually cheating the system?
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thank you very
much hon Prof Bozzoli. You know, this notion of predatory journals in this era in which we live where people have access to all sorts of publication houses ... sometimes universities really have to take time to investigate and establish because the very researchers who then make an outcry in terms of the standards and the quality of other researchers ... It doesn’t help the department to jump in and say, the quality of that journal is definitely not up to the required criteria.
I fully agree with the point. I think this point that hon member Bozzoli is raising is important for us to be vigilant but I still believe that we have to do much more work so as to assist ... give clear guidelines as to how universities should monitor the standards of these publishing houses that are mushrooming all over the world.
However, it’s also an opportunity for us to address our own internal problem. In most countries people access publishing houses with ease and many people in the academic setting move
around for almost a year not able to get their articles accepted and published. Especially as I’ve said, we have to monitor how we assist the new entrants into the field of academia because they are the ones who battle the most, who don’t have networks, who hardly publish, and they perish by the wayside and leave the students in universities not really having models who can encourage them and show them that it is doable and its within our reach, especially in this modern age.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Thank you very much House Chairperson. Hon Minister, it’s quite true that the integrity of the journal, the integrity of the researcher and the integrity of the research output is very important in any world of research.
Now Minister, is there perhaps within your department a move towards ... besides assisting upcoming researchers ... because some of them are being abused by universities themselves whereby a university, will sort of, found or develop a journal which is not registered ... which is not known by academics or peers or scientists, because there are ... [Inaudible.] ... recognised journals, scientific journals, international
journals. You find that a university overseas will develop a journal which is not registered and people publish there.
Is there a way in your department whereby you work with scholars, academics, intellectuals, sort of ... because they know themselves as peers? You work with them so that you know which journals are really scientific, which ones are ... [Inaudible.] ... recognised, which ones are international journals that are recognised by scientists all over.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thank you very
much hon Khubisa. I must say that the department can establish the criteria but what is more important is to use the secretariat of university principals and really look at shadowing amongst our own universities because sometimes people end up publishing in these backward houses which are not credible mainly because in some instances, not because it’s a fraudulent move ... It’s trial and error. The system is not built in such a way that there are multiple entry points into the research world.
So this Question helped a lot. It gave me a start of engagement within the department and we will pursue it and
have to differentiate between those who are reckless, who will be opportunistic in wanting to meet the criteria of the number of articles they should publish, given the positions they are in, as against those who genuinely want to be part of the league of researchers but they end up being taken advantage of by unapproved centres.
So this issue is something that is very, very important, also within science and technology. We have to look at what do we do to assist our universities in not being victims of such journals which are not of a good standard.
Mr T RAWULA: Minister, firstly, will you be putting a process in place to rescind some professorships of people whose publishing careers is based on using these predatory journals?
Secondly, what initiative has your department taken to break down the monopoly of white academics over some of the so- called credible journals?
Lastly, what initiatives are in place to increase professors amongst the black community because the ratio remains very low?
Thank you very much. Where is Blade Nzimande? [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thank you very
much hon Rawula. The department has not taken any measures to directly interfere with research activities and publishing within universities.
However, as I have indicated, working in co-operation with science and technology, there are measures that are being put in place to incentivise those students and academics who want to conduct research, especially beyond PhD level, and conduct postdoctoral research berceuse that’s really where the battleground is.
With regard to the Question, I suppose of our top universities that are ranked very high are traditionally white universities. I don’t think ... You know, it’s our South African universities. The challenge is how we make use of them in such a way that you advance the academic standards, even of historically black universities, using the expertise within those universities. In most instances, even in countries like the USA, you find that there are those that are highly ranked but they have a responsibility to cushion, support and promote
exchange programmes amongst themselves. I think that is the revolution that we require to make use of our best universities to ensure that they give support to universities which are still struggling with apartheid legacies. It is something that we are committed to. I think the department has had this annual transformation workshop since hon Minister Pandor’s time and we will pursue within that setting as well. [Time expired.]
Ms M F NKADIMENG: Thank you very much House Chair and thanks Minister for your prompt and elaborate answer. The Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Crest, based at the University of Stellenbosch, has been commissioned by the Department of Higher Education and Training to find solutions to the challenge of predatory journals.
Hon Minister, it is of significance and importance that there is protection of the integrity of South Africa’s publishing. Have there been preliminary findings and recommendations produced by Crest, and what kind of mechanism can be established so that universities are assisted timeously to detect cases of predatory publishing before submitting for publication, to the department?
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon member,
thank you very much. I fully agree. We have to prevent risks but as I have indicated one can prevent within limits, especially in this day and age because people have access to the world. So we come from an era where the accredited journals could ... each and every person in the sector will know which one is approved and accredited. However, given the exposure and access to the world at large, there is a possibility that there are some which are not appropriate that will be used by our people.
Having said that, through this work that is being undertaken through Crest at the University of Stellenbosch, we need to develop our own internal framework so that at least, even if we don’t cover all the journals all over the world, we should be able to recommend and say these are the top 20, top 50, top 100, so that a person has no reason to be attracted to any call for publications, because as a scholar sometimes you sit with an article which has been rejected by many houses. When you get a call and it’s something you have written and you have struggled with, the temptation is to submit it. However, we need to elevate the criteria. I suppose the big question is what actions we will take once some seasoned or senior
academics are found to be doing this because they want to take short cuts. That’s where we will have a challenge and we will have to take some measures.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, the
National Education Evaluation and Development Unit, Needu, has issued three reports, the first was on the learning and quality of education of the foundation phase. The second report was issued in 2013, and it was on the primary school education, with a particular emphasis on the rural areas, and the third report was in terms of high school education and its challenges.
Emanating from the report was the reality that with regards to the use of language, English in particular, there seems to be a deficit in relation to the expanded writing, rather than the short paragraphs that were written, and creative writing. This is something that was deducted by the former Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor. She was supported by Angie Motshega and to a great extent, creative writing was introduced and the longer text was encouraged.
The issue that is arising from the recent report is, whether the use and customary methods of languages that have been taught are adequately addressing the comprehensive National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement? The department is looking at this very carefully. It is consulting widely and it is beginning to reflect on whether indeed we should increase the number of informal submissions for the expanded or creative writing.
In this way, the learners have a greater practice in the usage of language, and it goes beyond the communicative competence. With regards to the recommendations in relation to absenteeism and curriculum coverage, certainly, the department is fully aware of the problems.
Also, we have taken steps to ensure that the principals recognises the responsibility that the registers gets completed, and that the submissions are made through the SA School Administration and Management System, Sasams, where the attainments of the teachers or the educators is reflected.
The good news is that, we have developed an instrument that is able to monitor, not only the presence or the absence of the
educators, but also the curriculum coverage. This is made available on the districts dashboard. In Mpumalanga, for an example, it has been used quite widely in several districts. It has also been used in parts of the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng and the Free State.
What this does is that, it shows a clear correlation between the performance of the learners on one hand, and the attendance on the other hand. There has also been a scientific investigation carried out in the North West and Botswana, where the socioeconomic circumstances are much the same and the languages that are spoken are much the same.
Botswana’s increased achievement is related to the ability, firstly, to be present at school and secondly, to be able to cover the curriculum adequately. So, the department has made it a point to ensure that the district directors assume this particular responsibility in terms of oversight, taking the necessary disciplinary action where appropriate and ensuring that the monitoring and evaluation goes right from the district to the circuits and to the schools, as part of the professional responsibility.
Let me conclude by saying that, part of the quarterly report of schools would include the attendance of educators. So, I do feel that we are making huge strides there. Once the website is live, we will certainly be able to monitor the attendance of the educators online basis and their ability to cover the curriculum. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, I am informed that hon Mokoto will take up the follow-up question on behalf of hon Khosa. Let me recognise hon Mokoto.
Ms N R MOKOTO: Through you Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, firstly let me thank you for the informative response. Having noted your response, we are all aware that the programme of district support and monitoring has been put in place by the Department of Basic Education in order to empower districts, circuits and principals to effectively monitor, support and strengthen the accountability at school levels.
Can you empower us on how the programme has positively improved the performance in this area, and whether teachers are heeding the call for more accountability during working
hours? Lastly, what are the remaining challenges that you still face as a department? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon member, you know, it’s almost 10 years that the Minister of Basic Education meets quarterly with the district directors throughout the country. Quite interestingly, part of the agenda is developed by the Department of Basic Education and the other part by the district directors.
This has enabled us to have a synergy between the district directors and the Department of Basic Education where we know at a grass-roots level what is happening in the various districts. There is also a community of practice that has been developed, where best ideas are exchanged among district directors.
So, certainly, the conversation among the district directors is critical, and it has also improved the outcomes of the education significantly. Beyond that, I have indicated earlier in my response that we have created a district database dashboard, which enables a district director to see precisely
what the performance of learners is across the system, not only in Grade 12 but across all grades.
What kind of an intervention should be made? How is the attendance of educators? Does the attendance of educators or lack thereof have an impact in the performance of the learners? This comes to you live. The interesting outcome here is that, in the last year’s matric results, many of the 10 best performing districts are from Gauteng, Free State and the Western Cape, where the districts used the database dashboard in order to oversee and monitor the performance of the learners.
The big challenge that we are faced with, therefore, is that, we need to ensure that our Learner Unit Record Information and Tracking System, Lurits, which basically would host the database, particularly importantly, the monitoring and evaluation tool becomes live.
We are already on the first phase where approximately
12 million of our learners are on the system. In the second phase, we should really make sure that we activate the system to become interactive and that from where we sit in the
office, we would be able to monitor the performance progress, the curriculum coverage, the absence and presence of all educators throughout the system, because we would be live and it would occur in real time. So, the biggest challenge is connectivity and we should get this sooner rather than later... [Interjections.]
Mr I M OLLIS: Chairperson, I don’t think the members of this House are aware how bad absenteeism of educators in schools is. As the Members of Parliament, I would urge you to listen to the following numbers: Needu found out that 40% of secondary school teachers are often absent from school.
It also found out that 40% of school teachers come to school later than the learners. Mathematics – are you listening? – Mathematics is mostly compromised because it is the first lesson of the day and the teachers don’t arrive early for it. With regards to their early departure and the days off, 47% of cases were for teacher training, and a staggering - listen to this - 25% of absenteeism is because of union meetings. Now
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Your time has expired, but I’m going to allow you to ask the follow-up question.
Mr I M OLLIS: Okay, let me say only one sentence. The Deputy Minister told us that he has got the programme that is not yet live. Even if it goes live, is it going to work? The teachers are just not going to pitch up to teach Mathematics! [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, indeed we do share the same concerns of the hon member. It can hold that the absence from school and the late arrival of the teachers at school has definitely a direct impact on education. For that reason, we have to ensure that proper monitoring and evaluation takes place, and that the principals as the professional leaders, manage their tasks by ensuring that there is consequences for those that arrives late at school.
There are certain realities that we cannot ignore, like in the provinces of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, where the educators that are in towns have to travel to the rural areas. You hear about a phenomenon not of hard to teach school, but hard to reach schools. The roads are extremely
bad. For an educator to use public transport to reach the school on time is a challenge on its own.
For an example, we will expect a professional leader, under those circumstances, who is responsible for the timetabling, to ensure that Mathematics is not taught in the first period, but rather in the third period. That would address an operation of reality. It does not mean that we have to abdicate the responsibility, we are monitoring.
The reality is ... clearly the evidence is that scientifically where there is life, interactive database monitoring, performance improves. I have just given the examples of 10 districts that performed the best in the country, all of which used a particular system. So, connectivity becomes critical and necessary.
Therefore, certainly, you cannot argue against the reality that the Information and Communications Technology, ICT, would contribute efficiently to the enhancement of learning and teaching as a reality. Now, what the department has done beyond that is to recognise the reality that in the rural settings, especially the deep rural areas, where the educators
are appointed, particularly for the subjects such as Mathematics and Science, it is important to provide them with the decent accommodation in the immediate vicinity of the school.
In that way, they are able to retain the quality teachers who would not have to travel everyday to school. With regards to the element of ... [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
Mr M N PAULSEN: Hon Chairperson, I will be asking the question in the place of hon Dlamini.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay!
Mr M N PAULSEN: Deputy Minister, you didn’t answer the other part of the hon member’s question, which is as follows: What are the consequences for the teachers, especially those who are members of SA Democratic Teachers Union, Sadtu, when they don’t pitch up for duty and when the efforts that the department is making to eliminate the challenges does not succeed and when the teachers do not play their part in all of these? What are the consequences for those teachers?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: The hon member would know that when my time got expired I was about to deal with this particular issue to say that, it doesn’t matter whether they belong to Sadtu or any other union, an educator who basically abuses his or her appointment, tasks and responsibilities as an educator, must be disciplined and there must be consequences for his or her actions.
So, the department has taken a step which is in fact supported by the union, Sadtu included, that schools cannot have memorial services during school hours, because that is the time for teaching and learning. If the meetings have to take place, they have to take place after teaching time. The leadership of the union supports us in that particular respect.
Indeed, if the principals execute their tasks in ensuring that the disciplinary action is taken where there is an abuse of professional duties and the responsibilities, I think that the outcomes would be very much better. Thank you for raising this important issue.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The last follow-up question for this question is by hon Ngwezi.
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon Deputy Minister, approximately how widespread is the erroneous conduct of the educators in our basic education schooling system who are absconding at work? Do you have approximate statistics, and do you consider that the disciplinary steps that are taken against such teachers are sufficient in order for their conduct to improve and for those incidents not to occur again in the future? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon member, I think that you are raising a very important issue that we have to deal, in a very robust manner, with the erroneous conduct of the teachers, because what they do is to tarnish the image of a good profession. Many of the thousands of educators are responsible for delivering quality education under very difficult circumstances.
Those that are coming from affluent communities are hardly hired to go and teach in the rural areas, to travel long distances and teach the overcrowded classes. So, as we speak about those that have erroneous conduct and are ill-
disciplined, we must recognise the reality that there are thousands of good, dedicated and professional teachers who do their job.
In my view, and I’m sure that you would support it, it is simply this that those who tarnish the image of the education profession, must be dealt with very swiftly so that indeed we can raise the standard and raise the bar in ensuring that there is professional discipline in a very noble profession. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: House Chair, yes, a benchmark on primary health care staffing was done against the Public Health Education, PHE university steps and standards. A gap analysis was conducted based on the primary health care facilities’ seven steps benchmarking process. According to the implementation guidelines of the health workforce normative guides and standards for fixed primary health care, the national Department of Health and provincial departments of health are planning collectively to overcome the gaps in staffing norms, i.e clinical and administrative at primary health care facilities.
The development of WISN staffing norms and normative guidelines for district hospitals have just started but we have completed the processing primary health care. We cannot talk about outcomes yet because, after completing the process, we noticed Treasury that we were going to give them the product so that next time when we budget for human resources in our facilities, we use the WISN instrument. But for now, I can’t say there are any outcomes. Thank you very much.
Ms M L DUNJWA: Hon Minister, the implementation of WISN is country-specific and depends on the individual needs of countries. By reviewing the staffing norms and standards for different health facilities, WISN can help to ensure that right people with the right skills are at the right place.
WISN gives an acute indication of staff requirements based on acute workloads and expert professional opinion, and its results can be used in the determination of staffing norms and standards. The question is, hon Minister: Can the Minister speak to some of the gaps that were identified during the process of developing the benchmark of primary health care staffing in the country? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, I thought that’s exactly what I have just stated. WISN is not only country-specific but it is also facility-specific because it determines staffing norms, both clinical and administrative in that particular facility using a mathematical formula in WISN which has been provided by the World Health Organisation. I have just said the national Department of Health and provincial departments are planning collectively to overcome the gaps in staffing norms at these primary health care facilities. Thank you.
Mr M WATERS: Chair, clearly the administration systems and human resources are not sufficient to ensure quality service delivery to our patients, and nothing highlights us more than the tragedy at the Life Esidimeni centres that left the entire country in shock. Through testimony, we have now learned that
141 patients died in horrific circumstances seven of whom have still not been identified. It is appalling that nearly 12 months after this tragedy the Department of Health still does not have a complete and credible list of the patients who died.
To add insult to injury, the person who is politically responsible for these deaths, former MEC of Health, Mahlangu
is nowhere to be seen and expects the families of the deceased to wait three more months and have a Christmas before she appears to give testimony. This smacks of gross insensitivity and is utter disgrace on behalf of the ANC and Ms Mahlangu. Ms Mahlangu and the ANC’s first priority should be to help find closure for the families of the deceased and not furthering her education. Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Your time has expired and you have not asked the question. May you please ask the question! Did you get the question, hon Minister because I heard a statement?
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: There was no question, Chairperson. At any rate the statement has nothing to do with WISN and staffing norms.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Running away from responsibility!
AN HON MEMBER: Washing your hands.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Minister, I think you are quite right that finances are going to be very important. Whilst human resources are the backdrop of us ensuring that we provide proper health care, but getting adequate finances from Treasury – and I think the other Ministers must allow a cut in their budgets because health care, especially to our rural people, is very important. Are you satisfied, hon Minister that the facilities that we have, particularly in the rural areas – and I go to many rural areas, beautiful buildings and all sorts of things – are adequately staffed and provide proper service to those people who deserve them in those areas? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Absolutely not, hon member! They are not adequately staffed. What I was trying to explain is exactly the reason why the World Health Organisation came with WISN. It was to make sure that each and every facility is adequately staffed, whereas the previous formula they were using, which was based on populations, was just giving the number per 10 000 people. It does not necessarily tell you that, that facility is adequately staffed. It can tell you that a particular country has enough doctors but there is no guarantee that they are where they have to be.
WISN was meant specifically for that, which means that if a particular facility is fully staffed and the next one which is in the rural area is not fully staffed according to WISN, then we would not allow people to fight for those facilities which are fully staffed. I have given an example here. When we employ interns, they choose Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. If they can’t find space there, they call press conferences and say they are not being hired. When you tell them that there are lots of spaces in a hospital in Nquthu, it becomes a big battle. WISN is going to be a scientific proof of that, which we will also give to Treasury and say, these are our needs. Therefore, when you budget, please look at these needs. Thank you.
Ms H O MKHALIPI: Minister, a hospital like King Edward in Durban, eThekwini is still operating with one doctor everyday and people tend to be there for 13 hours. A case in point is Mrs Mnguni who was there on 26 October from 7:30 am; and a lady who was with her was there since 5:00 am. A lot of people who were in the queue were waiting for a doctor who was not even there, and they were told that the doctor was only coming at 4:30 pm. Minister, what is the department doing about this situation because it is quite bad? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, I completely cannot comprehend how a teaching hospital of a medical school can have one doctor. It is just something that I cannot comprehend but I can’t argue with the hon member because it is a specific case. However, give it to me.
I did my internship at King Edward. You have junior interns who are doing final year in every unit. You have interns, registrars and consultants. To say there is just one doctor in one particular area puzzles me. That’s one of the Seven Wonders of the World; maybe the eighth because this is a teaching hospital.
However, give me that case. I am not arguing with you but I am just expressing my confusion as to how a teaching hospital with so many human resources can operate with one doctor. So, please give me the specifics and I’ll go and check.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chairperson, the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative, Asidi, programme is intended to; replace mud schools with brick and mortar schools, to replace unsafe schools with safe
schools and to provide for infrastructures such as water and sanitation. We have committed ourselves some three years ago, hon Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Can the phone be switched off, there is an echo somewhere.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: It is not mine.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chairperson,
indeed were concerned when there was lull in the delivery of schools in the previous financial year. Prior to that in two successive years we were able to deliver state of the art schools each week, almost 104 schools were delivered. We had a lull last year and it was attributable to the challenge that we face in the Eastern Cape with regard to merges. In other words, many schools had to be rationalised and merged and you would have too many schools within a kilometre of each other, one with an enrolment of about 70 learners and the other with an enrolment of about 100.
The best thing to do under those circumstances is to merge the schools, have a state-of-the-art school that could deal with
the community. However, the courts have found in the Western Cape that there are procedures to be followed; consultative procedures who deal with the issues of transport, consultation with the stakeholders including unions and the parents of each of the learners. This resulted in a delay in that particular process.
The Department of Basic Education ensures that it creates a framework with norms that will guide all the provinces. Then, what is it that we are doing to monitor and evaluate? The Director-General meets every month with the stakeholders, in other words, the implementing agents as well as the provincial departments of education where infrastructure delivery is taking place. On a monthly basis, there is a dedicated unit within the Department of Basic Education that meets with the contractors and the implementing agents.
What we have also done, we terminated those contractors who were not delivering on time and implementing agents who had not delivered such as the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, associated with the Department of Public Works, their contracts were taken away and given to a more efficient contractor such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa,
DBSA. We are ensuring that there is monitoring and evaluation takes place that not only do they report to the Director- General but they also report to the Ministry.
We take this matter very seriously and indeed we have to monitor it very carefully I order to ensure that delivery takes place. So, that is my response. Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
Ms N I TARABELLA MARCHESI: Deputy Minister, thank you for the response. It sounds like you are trying to give us a picture that things are going well, but I just want to point out this. Your department was supposed to have built 59 schools and you only built 16. You are meant to provide 265 with sanitations and you only provided 9, 280 schools were meant to have water and you only provided ten, 620 schools were supposed to receive electricity and nada, zero.
Then, Minister clearly this has been going on for a very long time and you always say it is the implementing agents or the contractors but you are the monitoring agent. You have to make sure that they comply. What is it that you will do to make sure that the contractors and implementing agents comply and
you regularly monitor them to make sure that the schools are delivered?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Machesi, indeed, that is a matter of great concern. That is why the ministry is taking it upon itself to ensure that; it also monitors, evaluate, support and engages with the implementing agents and certain instances with the contractors. As we speak right now hon member, there are 49 schools that are under construction and that are almost complete. That, I can give you assurance and there will be another 42 schools that construction would have commenced in this month. The intention is to have at least, by the end of this financial year, a hundred schools.
We have also addressed the issues of water and sanitation. In fact, just two days ago I had a meeting with the implementing agent in relation to that particular aspect where a report will be provided to me, not once a month, but once a week.
We have to be cautious, guided and look at this particular challenge that we face and it is something that requires monitoring. I will not pretend that everything was well, but I can say that as a result of the strict monitoring and
evaluation, not last year, but the two years prior to that we were able to deliver a state-of-the-art school each week and that is quite incredible on its own. That is no excuse for the non performance last year. Thank you very much.
Mrs J V BASSON: Thank you, Deputy Minister, for the comprehensive response that you have given, but with regard to the implementing agents and the need for the monitoring systems; what measures have been put in place to accelerate the resolving of disputes between implementing agents and the provincial Department of Education to ensure that these disputes do not slow down the Asidi programmes. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, that is an important issue because a construction takes place in a province and education is a concurrent competency. There has to be an alignment between the national department’s programmes and that of the province. Where a dispute arises it is important that all the parties to the dispute are present. What the Director-General has done is that when he engages with the implementing agents he makes sure that the senior representative of the province is part of the particular meeting so that where a dispute arise it can be resolved by
the affected parties. That is critical and necessary in the context of dispute resolution.
With regard to the implanting agents as a result of this intervention on our side, we have had a voluntary surrender by certain government departments of work which they could not carry out efficiently to other implementing agents and where they assume that responsibility, steady and good progress has indeed been made. So, we have not sat back and waited, but really intervened to ensure that we accelerate delivery but we do so without compromising quality, hon Chairperson.
In Fact, one of the tasks in dispute resolution, the Western Cape for example, had delays with regard to one of its buildings as a result of mobilisation within communities. The Minister has self to go out and address communities to ensure that they do not interfere with the construction and the delivery does indeed takes place. Gratefully, R36 million state-of-the-art schools have been delivered to the poor communities in the Western Cape that is one of the 25 schools that has been delivered. Thank you.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Kkz M G Boroto): MaLunga ahloniphekileko, ngibawa nikhulumele phasi. SingeNdlini.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: Hon Deputy Minister, if the monitoring is as good as you maintain it should be, why is it that the Eastern Cape has chronically failed to spend its infrastructure grants? This cannot just be explained away by rationalisation and bad contractors. The Asidi is a government responsibility. What action would you Deputy Minister, take against the Eastern Cape MEC for failing to deliver on her mandate? Thank you.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Kkz M G Boroto): Sekela-Ngqongqotjhe ... Ee..!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chairperson, the MEC in the Eastern Cape in my knowledge is a male not a female. Perhaps one should take that into account. Secondly, the reality is that whilst Asidi is a national programme, we must be cautious and sensitive to the demands within a province. If indeed schools have to be merged and rationalised in the best interest of the learners, then it is our responsibility to ensure that we are not over hasty merely to
erect or construct a school which will serve no purpose. The reality is that, as we speak right now, more than a thousand schools in the Eastern Cape have to be merged. So, we cannot ignore that reality. Why should we have fruitless expenditure when indeed we should plan better? Rather wait six months and ensure that we provide quality infrastructure to the people than merely complying mechanically with the task at hand.
Yes, indeed what we are doing is to raise issues of infrastructure with the MECs for Education of all the provinces receive reports quarterly and engage with them when we have our Council of Education Ministers meeting. Where there is non performance in a province the ministry engages with the MEC concerned to say; we are not satisfied with the progress here, please intervene and take the corrective actions where appropriate. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ngwezi, you will ask the last follow up question.
Ngiyanibawa godu - kwenzenjani?
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon Deputy Minister, under spending always equates to delayed service delivery which in this case Asidi should be building new schools or refurbishes them. Learners, teachers and parents deserve better services. What assurances will the Deputy Minister provide us today that in the next financial year there will be no departmental under spending at all? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chairperson, I
would not like to give that guarantee, but the assurance that I can give to you is that we will do everything possible that we monitor the expenditure patterns with the implementing agents, that we drive and accelerate the process of infrastructure delivery, that we at least deliver certainly not less than a school per week. That assurance I can give to you in this financial year and hopefully and in aspiration we should target more than a 100 schools for this financial year.
That is my hope and aspiration. The guarantee that I give to you is a school per week 52 schools for this financial year is guaranteed by me, beyond that we hope to target 100. That in itself is a big ask, but we will work extremely hard to ensure that we provide appropriate infrastructure to our children.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The next question is Question 216. It is asked by the hon Mbatha to the Minister of Higher Education and Training. I am informed that the hon Mkhaliphi... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Members! I’m still talking, hon members! I am informed that the hon Mkhaliphi will take charge of the question. [Interjections.]
Asseblief! Wat is julle probleem? Wag asseblief. Gaan aan.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chairperson,
the question asked by the hon Mbatha is very important. It is about the policy on free education.
In my reply, I would like to assure hon members that the question of the policy to be declared has been elevated. It’s at the presidential level. You will remember that the #FeesMustFall issue immediately went beyond the department. It
became a national issue. The hon President Zuma had to establish a special commission to look at that.
So we are awaiting the outcomes of the commission. However, I can assure the House that the report is in the possession of the President; it’s being processed, and we expect the President to come back to the House to address us on the outcomes of the report as soon as possible. Thank you very much.
Mr B A RADEBE: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order: I want to be assured that Mr Mbatha is a Member of Parliament because if he is not a Member of Parliament, he cannot have a question on the floor. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): May I be assisted on that? I am not aware ... [Interjections.]
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: You can be assisted by the EFF, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, by the Table.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: No, but the hon Mbatha is our member.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Alright.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: Mr Mbatha is still a Member of Parliament.
Nina malungu e-ANC nakani izindaba zenu zama-faction enu. [Ubuwelewele.]
Thank you, Chair. Chair, may I talk?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, let us allow the hon Mkhaliphi to ask a follow-up question. [Interjections.]
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: Minister, first of all, we would like to know when, and we want you to tell us when, we are going to get the report. Don’t tell us about ubaba ka Duduzane who is still processing the report. Our children are waiting for the release of the report because it talks to the poorest of the poor.
Secondly, Minister, we want to get it from you. In 2018, are you going to declare free education in South Africa for the poorest of the poor? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chair, through
you to the hon Mkhaliphi: I think we all agree on one point – that the question of funding for students is of primary importance. Having said that, I plead with the House to allow the President to process the report and come back to us with a position that focuses on affordability and sustainability.
So, the direct question as to what will happen in 2018, I am sure the hon Mkhaliphi, the House, all of us, and the people of South Africa can just wait and hope that we will get the positions from the Presidency as soon as possible. That is the commitment we have.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You still have time. I am just waiting for you to continue.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon members, we
have to realise the seriousness of the matter we are talking about. Things have happened. For example, if we look at the
National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, loan funding at universities, it increased from R2,2 billion to almost
R10 billion in 2017. That points to the seriousness and importance of the matter for the ruling party. We are not only doing it because of the #FeesMustFall movement. When you look at the contribution from the Department of Basic Education for teacher bursaries and social development, we are talking about the budget of NSFAS now sitting at R16 billion. So, there is a commitment.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: On a point of order, Chair: The Minister is not helping us. We want to know the date and time of the report. [Interjections.] This is very serious. We are talking about the poorest of the poor who cannot afford to study.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, I think the Minister has responded.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: No, the kids want to be Ministers. They want to become professors.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I am going to switch off your microphone.
Mrs H O MKHALIPHI: She is a professor by profession. Time and date of the report!
Mr M HLENGWA: House Chairperson, in 1994, you had posters all over the country reading “free, quality education” when you were campaigning, but 23 years later, that has not materialised. [Interjections.]
Instead, there has been a kneejerk reaction of a 0% fee increment. Then there was 8%. Now you are playing finder- finder in terms of where the report is. Maybe let’s then ask the question in this fashion: Is there a genuine commitment on the part of the ANC to be honest to an electoral promise, or were you lying to South Africans when you made that promise?
Sifuna ukwazi ukuthi nikhankasa kanjani ngamanga uma ningezukuyenza into.
It was you that promised the people. You are failing to do in. When are you going to implement your electoral promise of free education?
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: House
Chairperson, I think the hon member will really agree with me when we say the government has shown serious commitment to what we said in 1994. If you look at the advances made in basic education, not only the inclusion but the quality and the meeting of the Millennium Development Goals, I think it would take a Doubting Thomas to doubt that we meant what we said in 1994 when we said we would introduce free, quality education.
Against all odds, the government has done that, given the discrepancies emanating from our legacy. Also, the process of the separation of the departments between basic and postschool is significant in the sense that it allows us to look at education teams for critical skills and all sorts of skills that the country requires to move forward, especially against poverty, inequality, the problem of joblessness, and the staggering GDP.
So, hon member, the steps that have been taken, the success story, looking at all objective measurements, including statistics of early childhood development, it begins to illustrate the seriousness we have shown since 1994 in a
process that has numerous problems of underdevelopment. Thank you.
Prof B BOZZOLI: Chair, through you to the Minister: Firstly, have you seen the report because the whole country has seen leaked material from the report, and the leaks say there would be no fee-free higher education. The report does not come to the conclusion that we should have fee-free higher education. This means that universities are going to have to make a decision about fee increases next year, and nothing has been done by the department to discuss this with them.
So, assuming there won’t be fee-free education, are you going to consult with the Council on Higher Education and universities, as you have done for the past two years, as well as assist universities in managing any shortfalls in fees that may result from a no-fee increase, rather than fee free. It looks like that is what is actually going to end up happening. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chairperson and
the hon member Prof Bozzoli, the report is being processed. [Interjections.] Allow me to explain what processing means.
When I say it is being processed, it means relevant Ministers are looking at it. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, order! You have asked the question. Now allow the Minister to respond.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Relevant
Ministers are looking at it. Cabinet is looking at it. I assume it is logical that the Minister of Higher Education and Training will join the team of Ministers looking at it. [Interjections.]
So, the other aspect of a leaked report, I would really plead with hon members that the House be cautious and not start debating issues of national interest based on what the leaked information says. It takes away the credibility of our own parliamentary processes, but I do believe we will be back in the House; once the President issues it to the public, we will have an opportunity to debate the real report and recommendations in this House. [Interjections.] That will give us an opportunity to take an official position in the interest of our youth and our future. Thank you.
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, on a point of order: I don’t know if the Minister wants some ice cream with that waffle of hers. [Laughter.] Quite frankly, the question put to her was whether she had seen the report – yes or no. [Interjections.] She cannot give a simple answer, so one can only deduce she hasn’t seen the report. Otherwise, she would have said so, but she never did. Have you seen the report, Minister?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member! Hon Shaik Emam, I think it is your turn now.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: House Chair, through you to the Minister: Given that we don’t know the latest development in terms of the report – but what we do know is that the NSFAS funding for higher education is not being managed properly. Could you tell us, if that happens, if we manage it properly and ensure that all of those that get this funding are employed, like you get in some countries with a 100%-payback rate, will we then be able at least to realise the dream of providing free education to every needy student in South Africa?
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chairperson, I
think putting systems in place in the administration of the
National Student Financial Aid Scheme is important. It is critical. That is the first step in ensuring that whatever resources we have are not wasted.
We all know that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme has not been funded adequately over a long period of time. We have seen some of the students dropping out, mainly because other aspects of their education will be catered for, but some will struggle with accommodation, with food, and they end up dropping out. So, I agree with you. We have to strengthen the systems of NSFAS so that whatever resources, in partnership with the private sector and all other support systems, are not wasted at all.
Also, we have to assist our own institutions of higher learning to not source out to service providers but develop the capacity to deliver the grants and bursaries to students appropriately and to avoid any wasteful expenditure.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Kkz M G Boroto): Sithokoze Ngqongqotjhe, isikhathi esibekelwe imibuzo sifike ekupheleni. Imibuzo engakaphendulwa izakugadangiswa ku Hansard.
Sifike ekupheleni komsebenzi wethu welanga lanamhlanje. Ningajama. Inarha ayilale!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chairperson, I rise on Rule 92(5), if I may. May I address you?
USIHLALO WENDLU (Kkz M G Boroto): Mhlonitjhwa ngiceda ukuvala nje. Ngivalile; iNdlu ivalile.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: No, no, you can’t. I got up to speak. The Deputy Speaker promised a ruling by the end of the sitting. He hasn’t delivered the ruling. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The Deputy Speaker is not sitting here. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: He promised a ruling. He hasn’t delivered, so he lied to the House.
The House adjourned at 18:08.