Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 02 Nov 2017
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 02 NOVEMBER 2017
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
WELCOMING OF NEW MEMBERS
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to announce that the vacancies which occurred in the NA owing to the resignations of Mr E K Siwela and Prof C T Msimang had been filled by the nominations of Mr G J Skosana with effect from the 25 October 2017 and Inkosi E M Buthelezi with effect from the 01 November 2017, respectively. [Applause.] The members have made and subscribed the oath
and affirmation in the Deputy Speaker’s office. I welcome the hon members.
Hon members, before we proceed with questions I would like to bring to your attention that in terms of Rule 14, 15, Question 20 was approved as an urgent question for today’ question session. As a result the question will take precedent over all other questions. The question has been asked by the hon the Leader of the Opposition
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Hon members, I did not receive any payments from private individuals or companies during my tenure as President of the Republic of South Africa other than those disclosed or reported to the necessary authorities. I thank you. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you. Mr Zuma I must state on behalf of the people of South Africa ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order hon members! Order! Hon members, allow hon the Leader of the Opposition to proceed.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: With all sincerity none of us in fact believe you; every book that gets written makes up allegations which you come here to deny.
Now Mr President this particular book states that you received a R1 million every month at the start of your presidency. What I want to know and I think the people of South Africa want to know, after the Nkandla affair and many other of those issues, whether you are willing to come to this Parliament and table for the people of South Africa your declarations of interests, from 2009, so that we know for a fact, that you did not receive that money and that you did pay tax on it. That ultimately, what purpose was that money for? Will you table before the people of South Africa the declarations of your interest in 2009? [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have given a very categoric answer to the question.
Secondly, there are many books that have talked about
Jacob Zuma in this country, and saying all speculations and rumours, etc. I don’t think my job is to answer books. [Laughter.] I have given the answer here. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Sorry Speaker, sorry Speaker! Will you table the declarations?
The SPEAKER: No, hon Maimane you have asked your question. You have asked your follow up question. Hon Carter!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker.
The SPEAKER: What are you rising on hon Steenhuisen?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Rule 92 Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition asked a very direct question, whether the President is willing to table in this House, his declaration of interest? It is a simple yes or no. Will he table his declarations or will he not table his declarations? It’s a simple question.
The SPEAKER: The hon Chief Whip of the Opposition the President has answered.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: He didn’t answer that.
The SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, please, please take your seat.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, you see, this is a problem. When people... [Interjections.] When people act within the rules, they get punished and that’s why people have to come... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, please, please!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: He did not answer the question.
The SPEAKER: Can you take your seat hon Steenhuisen. I want to proceed. What’s the point of order?
Mr B A RADEBE: On a point of order, Chair, I’m rising on Rule 142 and 92. Rule 92 which is raised by hon
Steenhuisen does not deal with the issues of the questions to the President. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Of course it does.
Mr B A RADEBE: It deals with the point of order, so he is out of order.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Then you should know you can’t take a point of order on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, please take your seat and I now proceed to hon Carter who want to ask a supplementary question.
Ms D CARTER: Thank you, thank you Speaker. Speaker, in 2016 I asked the President a question to provide info on his member’s interest, but to date he has never replied to it.
The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act provides for the person as regarded as having knowledge of the fact if that person has actual knowledge of the
fact; the court is satisfied that that person has failed to apply new information to confirm the existence of the facts; and that the person ought reasonably to have known or suspected a fact that the conclusion that he or she or to have reached a vows which would have been reached by reasonably diligent and vigilante person.
The bottom line is Mr President, that sticking one’s head in the sand or looking the other way is no excuse; and we all except the President to be a reasonably, vigilante President. Given all the reports and information that are being revealed on a daily basis, do you Mr Zuma have any knowledge of any Act of possible corruption, and so what is the action that you are going to take? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: I’m sorry
hon Speaker I couldn’t hear the question properly.
The SPEAKER: Okay, can I ask hon Carter just to repeat the nub of the question. Just get straight to the question, and hon members please allow hon Carter to speak in such a manner that we can hear what she is saying.
Ms D CARTER: Thank you, Speaker. In 2016, I asked the President a question. I have asked him to provide information on his member’s interest but he never replied to it. Then I have quoted the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act provides that a person is regarded as having knowledge of the fact if; and then I quoted the Act.
Now the bottom line is Mr President, that sticking one’s head in the sand or looking the other way is no excuse; and we all except the President of the country to be a reasonably, vigilante person. Given all the reports and all the information that is being revealed on a daily basis, do you Mr Zuma have any knowledge of any act of possible corruption, and if so what action are you taking?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Corruption
eh you see, because it is to – it is a very long, corruption done by who? By who?
Ms D CARTER: Mr President by you and your son.
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Hon Speaker, my request is that the hon member’s question should be taken to the President because even I didn’t hear what she said. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Absolutely.
Mr D CARTER: Hon Speaker, the reason that maybe hon Buthelezi could also not hear is because we are being protected again; with the ruling party making cat noises, like all sorts of noises. So, I don’t mind I can repeat the question.
The SPEAKER: I think, hon Carter part of the challenge is the background before you get to the actual question.
There is too much background so that the mind cannot quite get to the issue. So, if you can just get to the actual question you need answered.
Ms D CARTER: Hon Speaker, in 2016, I asked the President a question to provide information on his member’s interest. He has not done that. When is it going to happen, taking in to account all the reports and
allegations levelled against the President; and for how many members of the President including his son? What is he doing about it?
The SPEAKER: So what is he doing about the allegations of corruption against him and the son?
Ms D CARTER: Hon Speaker, as well as when is he going to reply to my question on the member’s interest. That’s the first question.
The SPEAKER: Okay, okay hon members please let’s allow the main people to be heard.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: [Laughter.] I’m not sure that I have heard the question properly.
The SPEAKER: She is saying, did ... [Interjections.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: It is very true. I don’t – just hon Speaker... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Eh!
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: How can I answer the question that I did not hear? Just tell me.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: [Inaudible.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: No, you were not asking the question that’s the hon member. If you want to interpret the question help me, but I did not hear.
That’s what I’m saying. I want to hear the question.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: [Inaudible.] ...President, I will help. Yes, I will help. I will assist. I will assist the President.
The SPEAKER: Okay, okay hon members.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I will assist the President.
The SPEAKER: No, please eh!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: He has asked me to help him.
The SPEAKER: No, hon Maimane.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: He did.
The SPEAKER: Hon Maimane, can you just come down. The hon Buthelezi made a proposal that maybe the question must be handed in to the President; and I will ask the Table staff to assist with that activity of bringing that question.
Ms D CARTER: Speaker, but it is a very simple question. In 2016, I send questions to the President to give a declaration on his interest. He has never replied to it. When are we going to get it in writing for written reply?
The SPEAKER: So, you want to know when will it come in writing?
Ms D CARTER: No, but he must tell us now when we are going to ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: You are saying eh, when will we get a reply to the question?
Ms D CARTER: He must tell us now when are we going to get a written reply?
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY: On a point of
order, hon Speaker, the question is a new question. It is about the declaration of interest. It is not the original question which is on this Order Paper. Thank you.
Ms D CARTER: It is not. She has to listen to the context of the question.
The SPEAKER: Actually, that’s correct. It is true that it is a new question.
Ms D CARTER: No Speaker. Speaker ... Inaudible.] ...the Order Paper.
The SPEAKER: So hon Carter, can we get your question as a separate new question from the original question raised by the Leader of the Opposition. The hon the Leader of the Opposition raised a question relating to payments.
Ms D CARTER: Exactly.
The SPEAKER: Ja, so can you pursue your question separately not as a supplementary question to the main Question 20. [Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: No, no Speaker. It’s exactly what is about.
The SPEAKER: I now wish to move to the next supplementary question.
Ms D CARTER: Member’s interest is directly ... with payments. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, you were finished with yours. You are finished with the Leader of the Opposition.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I would like to take a point of order in terms of the rule if I may.
The SPEAKER: No, hon Steenhuisen. I have ruled. Hon Steenhuisen, I have ruled on the supplementary question submitted by the hon Carter.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, you are making a principle decision, I would like to... [Inaudible.]
The SPEAKER: And, we are now moving on to the next supplementary question.
Ms D CARTER: Hon Speaker, you are making a mistake.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I’m
entitled to take a point of order.
The SPEAKER: No, we can’t all be talking. We can’t. So you know, I think hon Carter I’m done ruling on your question, which I’m ruling is a separate question. It is different from the original question raised by the Leader of the Opposition; and I wish you to allow us to proceed.
Ms D CARTER: Speaker, can I please speak to you?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker?
The SPEAKER: No.
Ms D CARTER: Member’s interest are ... on the annual basis. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: You are welcome to come and speak to me in my office if you want to, but right now we are done with your supplementary question.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, please may you recognise me. I am a Chief Whip in this House. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: I just want to finish with hon Carter and to make sure she understands. I’m – hon Carter please can we end this dialogue.
Ms D CARTER: Hon Speaker, respectfully just give me one minute. I’m going to give more reasons. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, hon Carter, I have ruled.
Ms D CARTER: Member’s interest, and I ... once a year. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: When you disagree with the ruling from the Chair you pursue the matter, not in the House, you pursue it outside and beyond this interaction. Hon Carter please!
Ms D CARTER: Hon Speaker that is a direct supplementary question. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Carter! Hon Carter, do you mind to talk when I’m talking. Hon Carter! Hon President, please take a seat otherwise you will end up in trouble. Hon Steenhuisen, what is the point of order?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, if you got your Rule book there, it is Rule 142(6) if I may.
The SPEAKER: Mmm.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Rule 142(6) says the
supplementary question must arise directly from the original question, and the reply given there too. In the President’s reply to the hon Maimane’s question, he
indicated that he has tabled this information in his declaration of interest in all the right places.
The hon Carter’s question relates directly to that reply around the declaration, asking why her question around that declaration has not been replied to. So the supplementary question, with respect, is valid and it ties in with the reply given by the President himself.
It is therefore a valid question, Madam Speaker; and I would ask that the hon Carter is at least given an opportunity to get a response from the President. It is linked directly and unequivocally to the President’s own reply that he has given. So it is competent in terms of Rule 142(6) [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: I will – lets allow this question to go, this supplementary question. I will take advice after we have considered the matter with the Table. Okay, I am now proceeding ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker ... discussion. [Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: Speaker, but you are now trying to protect Mr Zuma.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY: On a point of
order hon Speaker!
The SPEAKER: You can’t be arguing with me hon Carter.
Ms D CARTER: But Speaker, you are trying to ... the whole nation is looking at you. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Those, those – no let’s not argue hon Carter.
Ms D CARTER: I don’t want to argue, but you are protecting Mr Zuma and you are supposed to be protecting everyone in this House.
The SPEAKER: I am saying we are considering the matter with the Table; that’s what I’m saying. So why are you arguing.
Ms D CARTER: So are we going to – but Speaker will we then get an answer if the Table... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: When I’m through with the consultations I’m talking about.
Ms D CARTER: I hope today. Alright thank you, but today then I accept that. Thank you, Speaker.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, hon Speaker. Mr President, in respect of your response, Mr President, you say you have no knowledge and that you have not accepted any monies from anyone. Would you kindly tell us why you think these allegations are being made? Who do you believe are making it and what do you think is the reason or what is the objective of these people making such the allegations?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Speaker, well I don’t know exactly what is it that makes people to make allegations. As I said earlier, there are many books in this country that have been written about Jacob Zuma. There are many articles on a daily basis that are written
by journalists on the newspapers, as well as people who talk on either TV or Radio.
I can’t tell you exactly what is it that makes them to do so, except my speculation that Zuma leads the biggest party which is in government, which has won elections since democracy. [Applause.] And they are trying to find the way to undermine the ANC more than anything. That is my speculation. Thank you Madam Speaker. [Applause.]
Inkosi R N CEBEKHULU: My apology Speaker, in fact, the question should be asked by hon Singh, rather myself.
Mr N SINGH: Thank you, Madam Speaker and Mr President. Mr President, we do not have the name of the company here on this question paper but one can guess who the company is. Now Mr President there is a programme that is called who want to be a millionaire; and one of the questions they always asked, is this your final answer.
So today I want to ask hon President, is it your final answer that have not receive any payment from any specified company during this period, because the
Committee on Public Enterprises is seized with an enquiry at the moment, where amongst others we are enquiring into Transnet journal and Eskom; and one would hate that individual is called and under oath says yes, I did give so much to Mr X or Mr Y. So I’m asking Mr President in fairness, is this your final answer? Thank you.
Mr I M OLLIS: Chairperson, I beg your pardon Speaker we might just want to ask if the President needs to call a friend. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: No, hon member, please take your seat. Hon the President!
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, Madam Speaker, the answer is yes, this is a final answer. [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Hon
Speaker, the process of recruiting the National Commissioner of the SA Police Service, SAPS, is proceeding very well. We are conducting internal processes that will culminate in making the appointment.
I intend to appoint the national commissioner as soon as this process is finalised. On 24 October 2017, the Minister of Police released the crime statistics for the financial year 2016-17. The statistics show an increase in certain crimes and a decrease in others. We commend the Minister of Police, the leadership and all policemen and policewomen, as well as ordinary members of the public for their ongoing hard work in fighting crime. The responsibility of confronting the scourge of crime and violence, while led by the police, is also a responsibility shared by all South Africans. I thank you, hon Speaker.
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter Speaker...
... you can relax hon President for your sake I will try to speak English. Hon Speaker, I accept that the hon President does not know what really happens in South Africa when it comes to crime because he is surrounded by a brigade of bodyguards. Hon President, I want to specifically refer to farm murders. [Interjections.] Are
you aware of the cruelty of farm murders taking place in South Africa? Are you aware that criminals are using electrical drills and drill holes in the victim’s feet and in their legs? Are you aware of the fact that criminals use hot irons and burn their victims on farm murders? Are you aware of the fact that the criminals use boiling water, pour it on their victims and down their throats? Are you aware hon President when it comes to farm murders that the criminals cut out the testicles of their victims, cook them and eat them? [Interjections.] That is an inconvenient truth that is happening with farm murders.
Crime is starting to get out of control and I want to ask you, hon President. Will you use an internal process that you follow for the appointment of the commissioner - where you appoint a commissioner who is experienced, competent, coming through the ranks of the Police Service, which is a merit appointment to ensure that we fight crime in South Africa or will it be a political appointment that we have experienced since 1999 up to now? I thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Thank you,
hon Speaker, firstly, I think the hon member went through the military training as I did. I have never been accompanied by the brigade. That is not true, it’s an exaggeration. [Interjections.] You cannot have a brigade in a convoy - you know it. Why do you say wrong things? [Applause.] There is no brigade. How do I trust that your question is even very genuine when you start by saying a wrong thing? [Laughter.] You don’t know crime because you are accompanied by brigade. Not at all; it is not even a company. [Interjections.] You know it. You don’t have to come ... I gave you the time ... [Interjections.]
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Speaker, ...
... no, no, no!
The SPEAKER: Hon Groenewald!
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Speaker, I have always behaved well in this House.
The SPEAKER: No, no!
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Speaker, the hon President knows it’s a figure of speech. He must answer my question. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Wait for an answer, hon Groenewald.
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Now, let him give the answer.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Thank you,
Madam Speaker, I was just correcting the language of exaggeration that we don’t have to exaggerate. [Interjections.] Just ask a question, simply! [Interjections.] Ever since we had been appointing the Commissioners of Police, we have appointed people that have the competence. [Interjections.] We did not just go for anyone.
The DA MEMBERS: That’s a lie.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: We applied
our minds. [Interjections.] Whatever happens in the
process of work, it does not mean we just pick – that is why I am talking about the process. Once again, we will appoint a Commissioner of Police, who is competent and equal to the task. [Interjections.] That is what we will do when we finish the process. [Interjections.] Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Thank you, hon Speaker, Mr President one of the root causes of crime today in South Africa is as a result of the effects of apartheid on our people and the brutality under which our people were subjected to.
Now, Mr President, the commissioner that we have to appoint needs to understand the challenges that we face, including the socioeconomic conditions because in our understanding it is not only a matter of the police, but all relevant people to take ownership and come together. Will you ensure that whoever you appoint, Mr President, is fully aware of the circumstances of the people on the ground, where they come from, what are the root causes of the crime, together with taking into consideration the fact that the police themselves have a very difficult task? That’s when they want to apprehend, shoot or kill these criminals. That is where political parties will
want to make a big noise, but the criminals will do the same and nobody does so. I want to know, Mr President, will you appoint somebody who will take both sides and consider that before making the appointment?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Madam
Speaker, definitely, part of what we are doing in the process is to identify a policeman or policewoman who will understand the situation in the country. Many of them, they have got to answer those questions whether they understand the responsibility given. At the end, we take the one that satisfies us and who understands even the causes of crime. So, we will definitely do as we have suggested. We will appoint a police leader who will understand the situation and know how to deal with crime. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Mr Zuma, I think is quite clear that none of us can, in fact, believe you. I don’t anyway ... [Interjections.] ... and you have managed to capture ... [Interjections.] Here is the point of concern, the very crime statistics that were released last week, in fact, are chilly. The citizens who are
sitting here, 52 citizens are being killed every single day in South Africa. [Interjections.] Now, my problem is this, it is the gang and drug-related murder that is equally on the rise and the victims are often innocent bystanders. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! The President will end up not hearing again what the hon member is saying.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: What is clear in your 2004 state of the nation address, you promised to re-establish specialised gang and drug units after shutting them down in 2016. [Interjections.] So, Mr Zuma, how can citizens enjoy freedom when they live with such high levels of crime? What I want to know is: Why have you not fulfilled your promise of reopening the drug and gang agencies like you promised? [Interjections.] Why have you not opened them? [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Madam
Speaker, we are working on the plan to implement, among other things, what we promised. We have had a discussion not just with the Minister of Police, but with the
cluster itself. We have said we cannot coexist with crime. We need strategies to deal with crime. We should include establishing special units to deal with a special kind of crime, as I promised. [Interjections.]
The critical point about crime, South Africans are not born criminals, it is the social conditions that add a lot of pressure in terms of people to become criminals. That is what we are dealing with. [Interjections.] That is what we are going to be dealing with in a plan that will be announced very soon by the cluster in terms of crime. [Interjections.] So, that is going to be done because we sympathise with people who are affected by crime. For an example what has happened in the Western Cape where there was almost an open battle among the gangsters, and the Minister went there and even said we need the assistance of the military. The two Ministers are working on that so that we can add more strength and effort to deal with the crime. I have gone to a number of places in the Western Cape, including visiting areas where there were victims, as well as the police stations, and stated what we can do. [Interjections.] That is why the Minister has, in fact, in one area elevated the level
of the person in command – that is part of the effort to fight crime. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Prof N M KHUBISA: Thank you very, hon Speaker. Hon President most of the people who have appeared before the Moerane Commission in KwaZulu-Natal mentioned, inter alia, that the issue of corruption, greed and also the issue of tenders is causing a lot of problems when it comes to crime in South Africa, particularly KwaZulu- Natal. There is a lot of crime, especially in Glebelands, for instance, in the hostel ...
... umbuzo uthi Mhlonishwa Mongameli: Ngendlela okwenzeka ngayo njengoba abantu befa mhlawumbe nalaphaya ko-Greattown, bebulawa belele ko-Loskop nalapha eKapa, ungabe lezi zinto abazibalulile kuKhomishane kaMoerane ziyingxenye yini yokuba khona kodlame ezweni la kithi nokuthi singakuqeda kanjani? Ngiyabonga
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABHULIKI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Lungu
elihloniphekile ngingathi okubangela ukubulawa kwabantu ezindaweni ezahlukahlukene kunezizathu ezahlukahlukene.
Kulokho mhlawumbe okushiwo abantu abavele bezobika ukuthi bacabanga ukuthi yini ebangela udlame okunye kwako kuyiqiniso. Akufani - zihlukene lezi zinto. Kukhona abafa ngenxa yokuthi mhlawumbe baxabene ngezinto ezithile.
Kukhona abafa ngenxa yezimpi zamatekisi. Kukhona abafa ngoba abantu kukhona nje ababelwa ngakho okuthile. Ngakho ke zonke lezi zinto vele ziyingxenye yezinto eziletha ukuthi kube khona udlame ezindaweni ezahlukahlukene. Uma ubheka lapho okuthiwa kubulawe khona abantu ufike uthole ukuthi ngesinye isikhathi yizigebengu. Ngesinye isikhathi abanye babuyisela izinduku kulabo mhlawumbe ababulale abangakubo ube ungayazi ingxabano ukuthi iqale nini. Yizo zonke lezo zinto esiziqashelwayo ababhekele umthetho ukuthi zenziwa kanjani lapho kuthola khona ukuthi ngempela ngempela kunomkhondo otholakala ukuthi lokhu kubangelwe yini. Amaphoyisa ayalandela ezigabeni eziningi ayababamba abantu. Abayise ezinkantolo. Kusho ukuthi ukulwa nendaba yobugebengu iyaqhubeka nezigebengu zikhona. Yingakho nje ngithi ababhekene nohlelo lokuqeda ubugebengu banamasu namaqhinga abazoqhamuka bude buduze nje ukuzosho ukuthi ziyilwisa kanjani le nto na. Balwise konke lokhu okubalile babheka ukuthi yini le eyinkinga
eyenza ukuthi abantu babulale abanye abantu na. Ngiyabonga Somlomo. [Ihlombe.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Hon
Speaker, government has, since 1994, introduced programmes aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. We have significantly reduced the number of people experiencing the worst levels of income poverty.
Most of the achievements in reducing extreme levels of income poverty can be attributed to government’s comprehensive social protection programme. This programme includes extensive income support programmes such as social grants, access to free education and primary health care for the poor and the working class, and the provision of free basic municipal services to impoverished members of our society. Government provides social grants to seventeen million people, which translates to 31% of the population. Over 10 million of the recipients are orphans and vulnerable children. We recently celebrated with some university graduates who had been recipients of child support grants.
Over and above the social grants, government also provides support through the Social Relief of Distress programme to individuals and households faced with destitution, undue hardship and disasters such as fires and floods. This support includes cash, food parcels or food vouchers, and school uniforms that are provided to distressed families for a minimum period of three months, up to a maximum of six months.
On education, over 9 million children from impoverished households are exempted from paying school fees and they also receive free meals at school. This is to ensure access to education regardless of the economic status of the parents.
Students from poor households attending technical and vocational education colleges also study for free so as to promote access to education.
Government also subsidises Early Childhood Development Centres and supports close to a million children of the poor and the working class attending these centres.
In addition, through government’s Household Food and Nutrition Security Programme, more than 200 community nutrition and development centres provide over 6 million meals to more than 300 000 beneficiaries per annum.
Indigent households with no source of income do not pay for water, electricity, refuse collection and sanitation.
Free basic services are provided to over 3,5 million households.
Government also provides free health care to the poor by subsidising their hospital bills, depending on the individual’s income and guided by the Uniform Patient-Fee Schedule Policy.
Importantly, government also runs public employment and development programmes such as the Expanded Public Works, Programme, EPWP, and the Community Work Programme, CWP, which provide regular work opportunities and training for thousands of people especially women and the youth.
As at the end of September 2017, the Community Work Programme had provided over 230 000 work opportunities. Over 3 million work opportunities have also been created in Phase Three of the Expanded Public Works Programme.
Some innovative programmes have also been introduced to support young people.
The War on Leaks programme run by the Department of Water and Sanitation is currently training 10 000 youth as artisans and plumbers to curb water leaks in particular. Other programmes such as the National Rural Youth Service Corps programme target youth in rural areas to provide skills and has helped thousands of youth.
These programmes alleviate poverty but more must be done to ensure prosperity and a better life on a sustainable basis.
The solution is to build an economy that is growing, which is inclusive, and which benefits all citizens. It should also be an economy that supports aspiring
entrepreneurs and business owners to enable growth and job creation.
Work is continuing to boost economic growth through the implementation of our Nine-Point Plan ... [Interjections.] ... on areas including manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, mining, telecommunications and others. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Ultimately, for us to totally lift the poor out of poverty, we have to ensure radical economic transformation. [Interjections.]
The black majority must participate in the economy as owners, managers and controllers and benefit from the wealth of the country.
An HON MEMBER: Like the Guptas!
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: They
should not be workers only. Programmes such as those that promote black industrialists and support black small businesses are aimed at changing the patterns of
ownership so that we can see a difference in the lives of our people. I thank you.
Mrs B L ABRAHAMS: Thank you, hon President for a very comprehensive reply. [Interjections.]
Hon President, in terms of the programmes you have outlined — which are already in working action; we can see it happening — and you’ve also mentioned radical economic transformation ... is radical economic transformation meant to address the unemployment issues, inequality, and poverty in our country?
Also, what mechanism is in place to monitor our implementing agents in accelerating all these programmes further to allow South Africa and everybody to move forward? Thank you. [Interjections.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Hon
Speaker, yes, radical economic transformation is aimed at correcting the imbalance in our economy. This was developed as a policy by the ANC from its 2012 policy conference and adopted at the national conference as a
policy. Because the ANC that understands the conditions of this country better, it believes that it is only when we are able change the economic activities and benefits that you can address this huge problem of poverty and inequality and unemployment in this country.
Radical socioeconomic transformation therefore really looks at how we re-engineer and reconfigure the economy so that everybody participates. One of the things that we are doing very seriously is at the level of education.
Part of the poverty that we have today is because the system before 1994 undermined the education of the majority. That is why we say, education is priority number one. While we do everything, we need to find citizens who are equipped and skilled and who will be in a position to undertake the economic development so that this country can expand its area of economic activity, and therefore the participation.
That policy of radical socioeconomic transformation is aimed at that very specifically. That is correct, what you are saying. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon President, I think the fact of the matter is that, under your leadership, our country is poorer and inequality is growing. In fact, we are now confronted with reports that children as young as eight are committing suicide because of the deep levels of poverty and despair at home. I think this should give us all sleepless nights. You should know that these vulnerable citizens rely on a social grant alone, and you should be aware that there is currently no deal between the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, and the SA Post Office, Sapo, to pay out the grants. This means another fiasco is looming.
Now, I want to ask you, hon President, as the chairperson of the interministerial committee looking at this issue, what have you done in the past seven months to avert another Sassa crisis? Can you outline the steps that you have taken? Would you, for once, take personal responsibility for this ongoing saga, because it is you who keeps rogue Ministers in their positions? Thank you.
Mr B A RADEBE: Speaker, on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Hon Radebe, what is the point of order?
Mr B A RADEBE: With due respect, hon Speaker, that is a new question ... [Inaudible.]. Thank you.
An HON MEMBER: It’s about social grants!
The SPEAKER: Is the President ready to answer that question?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Yes.
The SPEAKER: I will allow the hon President to proceed.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Yes, just
to help those who need information.
I’m happy that the hon member started at a real problem of poverty. You see, if we talk about poverty as if it just mushroomed now, and we don’t talk about the causes of this poverty, then we are missing the point. [Interjections.] We will even fail to understand the efforts that government is making today. [Interjections.]
Poverty is a direct baby of apartheid. [Interjections.] Particularly for the majority. [Applause.] They were deprived of everything, and they grew up as a huge kind of ... size of big one ... of the blacks ... without jobs, without education, because apartheid thought that they don’t need education because they are not going to work at important places. All they needed to do was just to know how to communicate with the baas.
That is where the problem comes from. Don’t present the problem of poverty as a problem of this government. This government is solving that problem. [Applause.]
The reason we have such a huge scheme to look after those who are extremely hungry is a direct product of the system of apartheid. If that is understood, you will then understand why we are taking all these measures, why we have Sassa or whatever you talk about. It is to address the problems that were created by the system of apartheid.
What has happened in the process of this, because of the problem that emerged within Sassa, we then established
this committee. This committee has been meeting, discussing issues. I’ve been chairing it. Right now, I have talked with the Minister of Finance. They are finding a solution on one part of many things that have been resolved. The relationship between the Post Office and the department is being addressed. The Minister of Finance is meeting both departments to discuss and solve that problem. Because we have to solve it. We have no alternative. Because it has to be solved.
So I am aware of it. I’ve chaired those meetings. Thank you.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Mister President, what is not a problem of apartheid is Minister Bathabile Dlamini. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
As Minister of Social Development, she’s leading from one crisis to the next. Now, there’s a looming crisis that you have just described.
The truth of the matter is that Minister Bathabile Dlamini is incompetent. She simply can’t do the job of
delivering grants to the people of South Africa. [Interjections.]
Now, what I want to understand ... She certainly ... She sidelined officials. It’s clear that there’s another crisis looming.
What I want to know is why, while you are reshuffling every other month, why have you kept Minister Bathabile Dlamini in her job despite her incompetence, when poor South Africans are ... [Inaudible.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Speaker, I
don’t know why the hon member is saying all the problems we face are not the problems of apartheid. Why are you defending apartheid? [Interjections.] You were a victim of apartheid. You! I don’t know why you defend it!
Absolutely. I don’t understand! You defend apartheid! [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I never said that! [Interjections.]
UMONGAMELI WASENINGIZIMU AFRIKHA: Mmh! Emhlabeni
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I never said that! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Order! [Interjections.] Hon Steenhuisen, please take your seat.
Mr J H STEENHUISEN: Madam Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, take your seat, hon Steenhuisen. [Interjections.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: I have
just said ... just said ... [Interjections.]
Mr J H STEENHUISEN: Are you going to allow the President to twist the truth in this House? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, take your seat, hon Steenhuisen. Take your seat. [Interjections.]
Mr J H STEENHUISEN: I know he’s used to twisting the truth, but that is a step too far!
The SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, take your seat. Please proceed, hon President.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Madam
Speaker, people should ask questions directly. They should not start wondering, because I’m going to follow their wondering ... [Interjections.] ... when I answer questions. [Applause.] They must ask a question directly. Because the insinuation that Ministers who are trying to solve the problems of apartheid ... they are not a problem of apartheid. They are the problem of who? Who created the problems in this country?
HON MEMBERS: You! You!
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: I’m
answering that question. That’s why I’m saying, the hon
member who was also oppressed, how can he say apartheid did not do damage ... the damage is done by us now. It can’t be correct. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I never said that!
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: You say
Bathabile is not a problem of apartheid. She’s a problem of what? [Interjections.] I’m answering you! You come with innuendos. I answer with innuendos. Easy. Ask me a question, I will answer the question.
Minister Dlamini is dealing with the problem of solving the problem that emerged ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: She is the problem! [Interjections.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: ... and we
have a committee that I have just described that has discussed the solution and we are finding a solution. That is a matter that we are dealing with. And that is the answer to the question.
Firstly, the judge or the courts ... the Constitutional Court gave an order to that Minister ... did not give an order to any other person. That Minister is to do that order.
Now, if you remove her, who is going to implement that order? Who? [Interjections.] She has to deliver on the order of the Constitutional Court. What will I say to the Constitutional Court, that they say this Minister must deliver, and I shift this Minister? What is that? She has to deliver on the order of court. That’s why she’s there to do so. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Order!
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, while the ACDP appreciates all government programmes that the President spoke about, the fact still remains that, according to a poverty trends report for 2006 to 2015, 30,4 million people are living in poverty. This is an increase from 27,3 million people in 2011.
This shows that government is clearly failing to effectively redress the issue of increasing poverty levels in the country.
The ACDP believes that South Africa has enough mineral wealth and human capital to alleviate this crisis, but corruption, especially at government level, and the looting of state resources, has stolen money that should be used to help the poor.
With the overwhelming evidence available that shows how government is failing the people of South Africa, especially the poorest of the poor, why does the President seem reluctant to take responsibility for government’s failures and urgently address the systemic corruption that is robbing our people?
Would the President consider calling early elections in the hope that it would usher in a new caring government that would have the best interests of the people of South Africa at heart, and eradicate corruption at all levels?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Speaker,
firstly, we have not denied the fact that the problem we are tackling is big, and that it is an apartheid problem. [Interjections.] And you know it, hon member.
We are solving it. We have always said that we have made progress but we still have to do more. We say this every day. That is the recognition that the problem is big.
It’s not a failure. It’s the size of the problem. That is what we are dealing with.
Indeed, we have better policies to address this problem. Our policies are the most accurate policies.
Now, if you say, don’t you consider having early elections so that ... But who is going to do better? I’ve listened to the policies of the parties. No party has policies better than the ANC. [Interjections.] Not a single one! How are you going to tackle that? [Interjections.]
We are dealing with the issues of the government of the country. We have time – five years – given by the Constitution.
What you ought to be doing ... try to convince the people of this country to vote for you. Because we are not going to vote for you here. No matter how much you talk to us. [Interjections.] We are not going to vote for you. [Interjections.] Because I don’t even know what you are going to say if we gave you a chance today. I don’t know! At least people know what the ANC will do. [Interjections.] People can call the ANC to account on its policies. I don’t know what other policy is better.
So there is no need for elections. The ANC is addressing the issues of this country to change the quality of life of our people for the better. [Applause.] And we will succeed. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, the government is committed to fighting corruption in all its forms. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Why don’t they start with you?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: From 2009 to date, I have signed 84 proclamations authorising the Special Investigating Unit to investigate maladministration and corruption in government and state institutions. The
SA Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority have stated on record that they are investigating the allegations of the so-called state capture.
I have also stated before this Parliament that I will establish a commission of inquiry to investigate such allegations. I will do so as soon as my application to review and set aside the relevant Public Protector’s remedial action is finalised. The matter was heard in court on 24 and 25 October, and we are still waiting for the judgment.
The authors of the two reports should provide their information to the abovementioned law enforcement agencies and also to the commission as soon as it is established. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D CARTER: Speaker, through you to Mr Zuma: It is November 2017, more than 18 months since you first learnt from the Public Protector about the serious allegations of what is now called state capture. We have seen the Unburdening Panel report, we have seen the academics’ “Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is Being Stolen”, and we have seen the #GuptaLeaks. More recently, we have seen Jacques Pauw’s book, The President’s Keepers, which you had never attempted to challenge in court to stop its publication. By all accounts, as the executive manager of government, you have done nothing in respect of the revelations of corruption and capture. [Interjections.]
I am trying to make my question as simple as possible for you to understand it, Mr President. Mr Zuma, do you think, as the President of the Republic of South Africa, this country, it would be in your best interest – and in the best interest of the country – to appoint the independent commission to investigate the revelations of corruption and state capture as a matter of urgency?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, on a number of occasions, I have said that I am ready to establish a judicial commission of inquiry. The problem that we face is that you had the Public Protector investigating and producing a report called the capture report ... or state capture report or whatever you call it correctly. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: It’s your autobiography! [Laughter.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Once that report was given, I then said the remedial action I have to undertake, as prescribed by the Public Protector, was unconstitutional. I took the report for review. So, I never sat and did nothing. I took action to review the report. I could not push the dates of court or other things. That is out of my responsibility. That is why, on the date I mentioned, recently, that matter was heard, and we are waiting the judgment.
In terms of the law, as I know in this country, if the matter is in court – the same matter – state capture report, I couldn’t establish a commission of the same
thing. You can’t. Lawyers say it is a matter that is /sʌb dʒʊ:dɪ:kɜ:/. Right? [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Now, you want me to break the law. Whilst the matter is being handled in court, I establish a parallel process. I wouldn’t do so, and that is what has made me wait for a judgment – advised by legal people. That is what we have to do. I wanted to do that earlier than anything else. I am ready; after the judgment, I am going to establish it immediately. There is no doubt about it. [Interjections.]
All these issues people talk about are going to go that commission. So, we will prove the liars and the truths. It is coming, my dear. Don’t worry. It is coming. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Madam Speaker, please protect me.
The SPEAKER: You are well protected, hon Plouamma.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: We are only two in this National Assembly. Speaker, through you to the hon President: You
are truly a disciple of deception. [Interjections.] I am convinced today that your presidency is equal to a walk of shame. [Interjections.] You know that your family has made Saxonwold their pilgrimage.
Hon President, I truly believe that you need a rehabilitation of conscience. Give us the real reason why you have put our country up for auction. [Interjections.] Why do you engineer our state-owned enterprises to profit your family and friends? Hon President, I know your words lack honour and are always saturated with falsehoods, but when are you going to put the health of your country and its people first before self-enrichment?
Mr B A RADEBE: On a point of order ...
The SPEAKER: There is a point of order. Hon Radebe, what is the point of order?
Mr B A RADEBE: Speaker, I rise on Rule 85. The member is casting aspersions on the character of the President. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, you know how to channel the issues you raise, referred to as “casting aspersions”. You know the correct thing to do, and I wish you to desist ...
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Yes.
The SPEAKER: ... and to proceed to channel those issues if you have them.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Speaker, our sitting President is even a suspect. I don’t know what “aspersions” he talks about.
The SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma!
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: I have asked my ...
The SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, please withdraw the statements you made before you got to this point where you are about to ask a question.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Speaker, I will withdraw that one. My question is the following: Hon President, when are you going to put our country first before self-enrichment?
The SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, if you are going to say a sitting President is guilty of self-enrichment, then you must please submit that allegation in the correct way. [Interjections.] Hon Plouamma, if you are going to submit it, it is fine. Go ahead and submit it. [Interjections.] However, you cannot think it can stand in the House as a valid question.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Speaker, you see, our problem is that we are actually serving him. We don’t even want to tell him in his face.
The SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma!
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: He is messing with our country, hon Speaker, and I am tired of using proverbs.
The SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, I am not recognising that as a valid question, and I proceed to allow the hon Shaik Emam to ask the next supplementary question. [Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: No, hon Carter, I don’t know which point you rise on, but otherwise I ... what are you rising on, hon Carter?
Ms D CARTER: Speaker, the hon Plouamma’s question is a valid question. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Carter, please take your seat. You have asked your question. The President has answered. We are proceeding with supplementary questions.
Ms D CARTER: He has asked a valid question.
The SPEAKER: I don’t want to have this engagement you on the floor. Please take your seat, hon Carter.
Ms D CARTER: Speaker, it was a valid question.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Madam Speaker, through you to the President: We hear a lot about state capture. What we don’t hear about is that just prior to the 1994 election, many companies in South Africa and from abroad were given contracts for 30 and 40 years. Is this going to be part of that investigation to see whether that was in order, as clearly that was to benefit a few? Thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, the commission to be established will inquire into and investigate corruption in the country. There has been too much talk about corruption. Even those who are most corrupt point fingers at others claiming they are corrupt. [Interjections.] The truth will be found.
If there are people – and there are – who have come to say corruption started long before 1994 on the wealth of the state, on the properties of the state, those who are calling for it are going to regret it. It is going to investigate corruption in the country. As long as the citizens are able to say this is what we want to be
investigated, that judicial commission will investigate. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Mr X MABASA: Speaker, through you to the President: Seeing that you are going to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry, is it necessary now to have other commissions, including a parliamentary commission, to conduct an inquiry, when the judicial commission is competent to execute the inquiry? [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, as I explained when I answered the question, an investigation done by the Public Protector produced a state capture report. I felt the report contained aspects that were unconstitutional. I took the report for review. So, this matter has been in the hands of the courts. That is why I have not established another commission on the same issues – although I wanted to do so. In fact, at one point, I thought I would do so, but the legal people said I couldn’t do it because the matter is sub judice.
The fact that Parliament, as a different arm of the state, takes a process, I don’t know it means because it
means if I had established a commission, we would have three processes. I don’t know which one would be more legitimate or more important. I don’t know. Parliament has its own time to take its own decisions and do whatever it does, but I think it is always important to remember the separation of powers, particularly if the matter is being handled by another arm of the state.
I don’t know. I am sure my impression was that Parliament discussed and logically felt it should do this. I am not a judge to judge. If Parliament felt this was the best thing to do, it is the Parliament, but from my point of view, I am going to establish a commission of inquiry.
That one, which was in the hands of the protector, would be no longer there. So, we would be dealing with one commission. If you wanted to repeat, have another commission, and have another inquiry, that is up to those who do it.
An HON MEMBER: It is not your call!
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: It is not my call. [Interjections.]
HON MEMBERS: Yes!
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you! [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, investment in infrastructure plays a critical role in economic growth. The increased investment in infrastructure in our country in recent years has served as an economic boost during the period when the economy was faced with enormous pressures. When the commodity boom turned and mineral demand decreased a few years ago, this directly impacted on a number of mineral-exporting countries.
In our country, as a result of the additional infrastructure investment, the economy has maintained growth, though it was at modest levels until this year. Earlier this year, the economy went into a technical recession but recovered in the last quarter.
The direct impact of new infrastructure spend has been considerable. It has been estimated that the multiplier effect has been R260 billion in the economy and this is
associated with more than 700 000 jobs that are sustained in the economy.
Parliament passed the Infrastructure Development Act to establish the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, which brings together national, provincial and local government to co-ordinate infrastructure development. The establishment of the PICC has yielded positive results and enables us to keep track of infrastructure spending and eliminate bottlenecks in the implementation of the projects.
The new market conditions have led to some state-owned companies reducing their new capital spending. This matter is now receiving attention as we need to ensure that the combination of public and private-sector spending on infrastructure is stepped up. Such spending is the equivalent of planting the seeds that will grow the economy.
Our unwavering commitment to infrastructure development was strongly demonstrated during the recent Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement when the Minister of Finance
announced that R948 billion will be spent on infrastructure over the next three years. This will certainly result in further job creation and stimulation of economic growth. I thank you.
Ms P S KEKANA: Thank you hon President for your comprehensive response. Mr President, in August this year you launched the Africa regional centre of the New Development Bank, the Brics bank, in Sandton. How do you see this assisting infrastructure development in South Africa and in the region, and do you think that it will help in improving intra-African trade?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you Madam Speaker. Yes, the launch of the Brics bank centre in South Africa was an important step, firstly in our country and the continent, and secondly to global economic activities.
The emergence of Brics as a bank that can focus and lean more on the need to focus on developing countries is absolutely a welcome approach, particularly when you take South Africa as a country with the big economy in the
province and which is interacting with the continent of Africa.
The understanding between the Brics bank’s leaders and the leaders of the continent is that the Brics bank is going to play a very critical role in the continent and therefore it is going to be helpful in the continent, particularly as a Brics bank which is attempting to have an approach that is user-friendly to countries it is going to be dealing with to help them if they are in difficulties or if they request assistance to grow; not to do the opposite.
We are therefore very happy that the Brics bank has been established here, and it is going to do a lot for us as a country. The bank is going to come here amongst banks in terms of a developmental approach. In terms of economic growth and development, that bank is one of the banks we need and therefore we are very happy that it exists.
When we went to Brics recently, the entire membership of Brics in fact celebrated the launch of the Brics centre in South Africa, and see it as development and a link to
African issues. African countries are very happy that they have an alternative bank that is now on the continent.
So, in a sense it is part of us injecting, at a financial level, the kind of bank that is going to help to see us through our ideas of changing the economy for the better. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I agree with you that infrastructure is crucial for economic growth, except that in a recent mid-term Budget statement the Finance Minister came out here and said that South Africa could not afford the nuclear deal. The Integrated Resource Plan, IRP, which was tabled, indicates the fact that energy demand in South Africa has in fact declined; yet you seem to be obsessed with tying us into an energy deal.
Now, on the same day after the Minister of Finance says we can’t afford nuclear, the Minister of Energy goes out in public and says we are going to be building a nuclear programme in South Africa. Which government must we
believe? Is it the government of the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Energy? Can you tell us the truth Mr Zuma? Is there in fact a nuclear deal and how exactly are we going to afford it, because it seems that South Africa cannot?
The SPEAKER: Hon Maimane, clearly that is a very new Question, and quite a big one. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, with respect, you allowed the ANC member to put a Question about the Brics bank which had absolutely nothing to do with the original Question. This Question deals with infrastructure around the nuclear build which is inextricably linked to the original Question. Please allow us to do our job in holding the President accountable.
The SPEAKER: I will leave it to the President to decide on answering that particular Question. It sounds very comprehensive.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: We will help the hon member. Firstly, I’m not obsessed with energy in South Africa. There is a need for energy. As a President of this country ... We have just come from the load-shedding situation where we had to act in a particular way to stop it. We need energy in South Africa. We are faced with many challenges, including climate change. South Africa in the continent of Africa is the one that needs to reduce emissions more than any other country.
So, we know what we are doing. We have a policy of mixed energy which includes nuclear. What the two Ministers were talking about ... They were not saying that we have changed policy. They were talking about how we implement this particular decision. The Minister of Finance, who handles the purse ... It’s a question of timing. When do we do it? This is what the two Ministers were talking about. It needs government to be dealing with it all the time. They were not contradicting. It’s a question of when do we start ... when and how do we start.
We have been discussing that issue in the government all the time and that is what they were talking about. You
will know that the Minister who deals with Energy itself
... Perhaps you have never been in government before and you never will be, even one day ... [Applause] ... You will know that Ministers from their departments come to present to the Cabinet what they believe their departments can do and what they think should be done. A discussion in the Cabinet will determine.
From time to time the Minister of Finance will say that we don’t have enough money. There’s nothing strange about that. You can’t say if they speak about timing ... and say they are disagreeing, because we have a standing policy that we are building it. We have been discussing it. We have said we are going to deal with it in a particular manner. The Ministers were commenting on that one. It’s as simple as that. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you hon Speaker. Mr President, yes indeed, economic growth and infrastructure development is very, very important. At a Southern African Development Community, SADC, conference about two years ago, there was a motion that was unanimously adopted for infrastructure development, from South
Africa, throughout the SADC countries. Could you perhaps tell us when we will take advantage of this so that we can promote infrastructure development in the interest of economic growth in South Africa?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you very much Deputy Speaker. Yes, the SADC did take that as a programme of the SADC. However, it’s not just the SADC alone. The AU itself has taken the decision about the industrialisation of the continent of Africa, as a continent. The SADC took that decision as a region. We have also taken that decision as a country. So it is all aligned.
What we are doing is to co-ordinate what we are doing at all three levels. There are things that we do in the country that must look at how we industrialise our country and there are things we do at the level of the region.
So, that is on the go and I think it’s the first time in our history in the continent that we have projects or objectives that are aligned in the manner in which we have aligned the industrialisation of the continent.
These will be talking to one another and we believe that it will lead to intra-trade, and lead to Africa operating as a region that is able to invest within itself, trade within itself and then trade with other regions of the world. These are advanced decisions that have been taken by the continent, by the region, as well as by the country. [Applause.]
Mr M HLENGWA: Thank you very much hon Deputy Speaker. Msholozi, at the centre of rebuilding the economy that has collapsed at the hands of the ANC is the need for skills development, innovation and training, particularly amongst young people, so that we can actually jump-start the economy. Key to that is access to institutions of higher learning, and at this point in time students are faced with uncertainty and their parents in particular, as to whether they will be able to afford higher education in South Africa in order for them to make a meaningful input into the economy.
With regard to the Question Mr President, in terms of the prioritisation of education in the economy, when will fees fall and when will students find themselves in a
position to access education without it being commercialised and without it being a privilege to those that have money, thus leaving behind the poor as the inadequacies of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, has excluded ... [Inaudible.] ... people behind.
Mr P J MNGUNI: Deputy Speaker, I’m rising on a point of order in terms of Rule 92. In terms of Rule 142, the hon Hlengwa is raising a new Question and he knows it. Thank you.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, don’t say anything. Mr President, would you like to respond? It’s up to you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you. We will help the member. Firstly, there is no economy that is collapsing in the hands of the ANC. [Interjections.] Since 1994, the ANC has grown this economy from a billion level to a trillion level. [Applause.] That is as clear as anything. I must correct you if you say that this
economy is collapsing in the hands of ... No! It is growing in the hands of the ANC. I just want to correct you for the record.
With regard to the Question you are asking, firstly, the report has been given to me by the judge, with recommendations, and I have to look at it ... look at the recommendations. I am working on it.
Yesterday I briefed the Cabinet on where we are and very soon we are going to be answering that question as to what happens in terms of the issue that has been raised by the students in the country. That is going to be done very soon. [Interjections.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Deputy Speaker, the litigation referred to was not at the instance of the President but was initiated by the political party. The President has defended it as he is entitled to do so, at state expense according to the provisions of the State Attorney Act 56 of 1957.
This benefit is extended to all who are employed in the service of the state. Thank you very much.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, the question says how much? That is the question. I am not ready for my supplementary; he has not answered. Can we deal with that before I get onto my supplementary?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: I don’t know what provokes the answer. I am answering the question because the answer gives an impression that I have been running to courts and spending a lot of money. I am therefore saying that I have been defending what the political parties have been doing in terms of taking me to court. I have spent money and the government has spent money.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, what are you rising on?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: May I address you in terms of Rule 142 of the Rules? We are one of the few countries in the world where the executive are sent the
questions so long in advance; 16 calendar days. The President has had this question for 16 calendar days. There is no reason why you couldn’t come to the House today to give an answer to the question that was on the Order Paper.
If he doesn’t know the numbers, surely someone in his department must know the numbers. How on earth are we supposed to hold the President accountable when he shows such contempt for the question he has had for 16 calendar days?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I have given the President a chance to respond and he has responded. You ask your supplementary question sir. [Interjections.] My role is to request you now to ... I asked the President, you ask your question sir.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, I am not willing to move on because I do not understand. The President is not answering the question. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Oder! Order! Hon members.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: What is the point of this interaction?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, Order! Hon Maimane, I have asked the President to respond to you. He gave you a response ... [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: He did not!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am not going to be involved in the quality of the response. So, I am requesting you to ask a supplementary question.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Maimane is on his feet. Hon Steenhuisen, let us finish with him. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I am taking the point of order, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, it is not your job to protect the executive. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am not protecting the President; I have asked the President in your presence. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: On a point
of order, Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, let me finish with hon Steenhuisen. Hon Steenhuisen, let us not have a dialogue.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I don’t want a
dialogue; I want to make a point of order, please.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order? You have raised it.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: The point of order, Deputy Speaker, is that your job is to ensure that as Members of Parliament we can do our job; it is not to
protect the President. How can you sit there in that chair and allow the ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is not my function to accept the answer. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... President had a question for 16 calendar days and arrived in this House today without an answer. That is not acceptable; it is undermining you, this House and our job to hold him accountable and it is undermining the Constitution.
Please, just for once, stand up for the Constitution and get him to answer the question. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, I am afraid you got your stick on the wrong side. You ask your supplementary question, hon Maimane, and do so on your own please, quickly.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: The supplementary question then must be a repeat of the question. How much has he spent? People all over the country are making allegations
about the President. I want to know, right here today. How much has ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy
Speaker, on a point of order. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Alright ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: This side,
Deputy Speaker. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: No!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Maimane, have you finished?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I have not. You see, she is disrupting me ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy
Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is a point of order that I am handling. Can I finish that? I have to finish one point
of order before I move to the next one. I can’t work on top of another point of order because I will not be able to rule on anything. Finish your point of order.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, the question is simple: How much money and is Mr Zuma willing to pay for it in his own personal capacity? That is the question. It is not that he doesn’t know the answer. He must come here and give us the answer. We demand ... [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: On what Rule is he standing?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: ... he can’t get away with it and we need answers now. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: On what Rule is he standing?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: ... and please be calm; you don’t have to beat up tables here. You don’t have to. Be calm. Hon Chief Whip?
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy
Speaker, in terms of Rule 92 of point of order, the President has responded to the question the best way he knows how. There is no way that the hon Chief Whip of the DA can accuse the Presiding Officer of defending the executive. That is uncalled for and they are grandstanding. If the hon Maimane does not want to make his follow up question then can we move on to the next question? Thanks. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: How much money? That is the question. That is all. How much money? We demand to know ho much money the President has spent on the legal fees. This is South African people’s money. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Point
of order, Chair.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, hon Maimane, please do not rise and speak when you are not recognised. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Point
of order. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You will lower your voices finally. You will lower your voices. Yes, hon Minister, what are you rising on?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy
Speaker, the question that is being asked relates to the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority. It does not relate to the litigation. There is no reference in the question to the litigation that ensued between the opposition and the President. Therefore, the President has not incurred any cost in relation to the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority. If the question
specifically alluded to the litigation that ensued, then the Leader of the Opposition would perfectly be in order to ask for the specific cost incurred. But the question does not talk to the actual litigation that the President got involved in and that is why the answer is given in the manner that’s being answered. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon President, if there is anything new you want to say you may do so. Otherwise we are going to move to the next supplementary question. [Interjections.] Hon members, I said you will lower your voices. You will be quiet. Go ahead, Mr President. [Interjections.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What’s the point of order?
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy Speaker, if the hon Minister is giving us the answer, why didn’t he advise the President to give us the answer? The question is simple: What is
the total cost? And we don’t have an answer to that question.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Singh, I asked the President. Can you take your seat and listen to the President if he responds to you. Hon President? [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... he is showing you the middle finger ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, I think you are badly out of order too. You are showing the House the middle finger and not me by the way. It is Rules that you are showing the middle finger to. I wish you will keep quiet. [Interjections.]
An hon MEMBER: Hon Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, please. Hold on, no one is going to speak now except the President. Mr President, please go ahead.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Sorry?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead, Mr President. If you want to say anything on the matter, please go ahead as I said.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: The question has been asked and I have answered the question. If the hon member is not satisfied ... I have answered the question. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, this is completely unacceptable. He has not answered the question and I will say this one thing: He may be in government now but he is going to jail ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Maimane I didn’t give you a chance to speak. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: ... I can assure you of that, he is going to jail.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Maimane, take your seat. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: The President is going to jail.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You will take your seat! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy
Speaker, on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, please let us proceed. Can we proceed please? Hon Plouamma, come. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: He is not answering the question. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You will not do that.
An hon MEMBER: You are incompetent. You are absolutely incompetent. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You will not do that. You will not.
Hon MEMBERS: Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, take your stand and raise your supplementary question. [Interjections.] No, you speak! Go to your mic and speak.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker, you are abusing me, I can’t speak when they are doing like this.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Speak – I gave you a chance to speak
– hon Plouamma, ask your supplementary question. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What’s your point of order?
Mr M WATERS: Rule 92 - point of order. Deputy Speaker, this Constitution demand of us to hold the executive to account. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can I interrupt you? I will not have a lecture on the Constitution. You have made your point and that’s enough.
Mr M WATERS: No, I haven’t; it is my first point of order today. Let me finish.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You have made your point and I will not get a lecture on the Constitution ... [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Let me finish. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: ... and this House understands the Constitution.
Mr M WATERS: Let me finish. You are also a member of this Parliament and it is your responsibility to ensure we hold the executive to account.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, I have done so. I am doing so.
Mr M WATERS: The question at hand says: What is the total amount in rands of all legal costs incurred?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, no! I will switch off your mic.
Mr M WATERS: I will go to another mic.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will switch it off.
Mr M WATERS: I will go to another mic.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you can’t do what you are suggesting you will do.
Mr M WATERS: Don’t bully me. You don’t bully him so don’t bully me.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I gave the President a chance to respond ... [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Let me finish.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: He has responded to you.
Mr M WATERS: Let me finish.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No.
Mr M WATERS: Let me finish.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No.
Mr M WATERS: So, what is the total amount in rands for all legal costs incurred by his office and the Presidency?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Waters, do not do that. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: What is the total cost in rands? It is a simple question. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, we are not going to allow this man to speak in this House. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: On a point of order. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: We are not going to allow him to speak. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATTERS: It is a simple question which he must answer.
Hon MEMBERS: Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: ... and you insist that the President answered the simple question. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Deputy Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: You are failing in your duties, sir and an embarrassment to this Constitution and this Parliament and I hope you are very proud of yourself.
An hon MEMBER: Useless!
Mr B A RADEBE: Deputy Speaker, I am rising on Rule 78 (3)(b) ... [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Absolutely useless and embarrassing. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: ... hon Mike Waters is undermining the authority of the Presiding Officer. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: He is undermining himself!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, we cannot sit here and be ... by the racist!
An HON MEMBER: Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: You are racist!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: You are undermining this Parliament through your rank incompetence. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: You are racist! Voetsek!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members ... [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: You sir are undermining the Constitution and you sir as well by not answering the question. [Interjections.]
Mr G S RADEBE: You burned the South African flag! Racist!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Le’s give hon Plouamma a chance to ask a supplementary ... [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: No, Deputy Speaker, he is not answering the question. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, we have given you a chance ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: You are useless!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, this has gone too far. We cannot allow the DA to highjack our sitting. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I refuse to sit here and
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: We cannot, Deputy Speaker, allow the DA to highjack our sitting.
Hon MEMBERS: Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?] Malini? [How much?]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, take your seat.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: We will not be treated like this. No, we will not!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, ask your supplementary question sir. [Interjections.] No, you are not recognised I’m afraid. I am not recognising you. Go ahead head, hon Plouamma. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: ... to my question. How much money has he spent?
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: The mic is off. [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I refuse. I refuse to sit down.
Mr M WATERS: Deputy Speaker, you don’t recognise the Constitution, we don’t recognise your rulings.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I’m not going to sit here and be disrespected.
An HON MEMBER: Bring back Sisulu, bring back Sisulu!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, can I make a request? [Interjections.] We will not be disrespected
by Jacob Zuma. I will not sit here and listen to it. I refuse to listen to all of these people. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Mr G S RADEBE: You are still having the racist flag! [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Malini? [How much?]
Mr G S RADEBE: You are still raising the racist flag!
An HON MEMBER: Don’t come back. Voetsek!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members. Hon Plouamma, you want to proceed with ... hon members, let’s proceed with the business of the House.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Thank you ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no no. Hon members, can we proceed with the purpose of this meeting? Go ahead hon member. [Interjections.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker, that’s what ... [Interjections.]
Hon MEMBERS: Point of order!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the point of order now, hon members?
The MINISTER OF ENERGY: Deputy Speaker, I rise with respect to Rule 78 read with Rule 87. with respect to 78(3)(b), the conduct of the DA members, especially the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Whip of the DA around the undermining of the authority of the Presiding Officer that this matter must be referred to the relevant authority. Secondly, with respect to Rule 87, with intend of the reflection upon the House and its proceedings and decision especially the members I referred to that acted in a disrespectful manner upon the House and nearly bringing it to a standstill.
The last one, another member of the DA, hansard will probably assist you ... I will refer to Rule 82(3) when this member was saying that the President is going to be arrested and the insult that they have made. No member may impugn on the dignity of any member that may be used here.
I am rising not to disrespect you but the conduct warrants an action in terms of the three subsections of the Rules that I have raised. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will consider that and follow it up. I was going to follow it up in my closing remarks. Hon Singh?
Mr N SINGH: Deputy Speaker, we will support the matter being referred but we will also support the issue of the executive not answering simple written down questions although they were sent to them well in advance. How much does it cost? Full stop. We must take that as well to the rules committee or a Sub Committee on the Rules. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Hon Plouamma, proceed. We will talk on this matter.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Thank you Deputy Speaker, but before I proceed ... [Interjections.]
Mr P J MNGUNI: Sorry, point of order, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, what is the point of order?
Mr P J MNGUNI: In terms of the principle, the person who had raised the question has subsequently left. Therefore, if hon Plouamma is rising on a follow up question ... in terms of the Rules, we may no longer take the follow up question on that question.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER?: No, no no.
Mr P J MNGUNI: Absolutely Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no no. That can’t be correct. Hon members, no, we have already started and we can’t deprive the members who are left from asking supplementary
questions, including your own members who have pressed the button to ask. Whether he is here or not does not take the question away from the House. It is now a question of the House. We would have to agree as the House and yourselves in your Whippery that this question has been withdrawn and it has not been withdrawn. Their actions do not invalidate that. Proceed, hon Plouamma.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker, I know that the President might be struggling with mathematics but ... [Interjections.] in principle, we are paying for an avalanche of scandals of the President. What I want to say is that why can’t the President save us and allow this case to go to court so that he can clear himself? It doesn’t help to keep on defending him because he is leading this nation without a moral high ground.
What I want to also emphasise is that the President cannot lead or defend this nation without integrity. He must be held accountable by its laws. It is a dangerous hallucination.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired.
Mr M D NTOMBELA: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, what is your point of order?
Mr M D NTOMBELA: I rise on Rule 85. Earlier hon Radebe made mention of this Rule when he was calling order for what hon Plouamma has said. He keeps on repeating and violating this Rule. I do not know how long does it take or how many times should it be knocked into his head that he should not violate this Rule. [Interjections.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, what is the point of order?
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon Deputy Speaker, we are in this situation because of the President. If the President was not incompetent and dishonest, things will not go this low.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, please man. Take that mic ... what is being said is that whatever you feel about the President, because he is one of us when he is
in the House, there are Rules which which we must obey. It is not a comment on the validity or otherwise of your remarks, but about the Rules that you, as a member of this House, have approved.
So, when it is said that you must not impugn motives on anyone of us in the House, you must comply with that Rule. That is what the request is about. Don’t give an impression that you are being silenced or that anyone is preventing you from expressing your opinions. The Constitution itself says that this House is only constrained by itself, the Constitution and or by the Rules that we, as the House, put together. We have put those Rules and they are in line with the Constitution. So, if you disobey them you are disobeying the Constitution that you say you adhere to. Comply with the requirements. [Interjections.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, you can’t be shouting down his throat, he can’t respond to you.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: That’s what they know best. Let them shout.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No!
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker, if you can check, I always comply with the Rules of this House. [Interjections.] He doesn’t even know what he is talking about. What I am saying to you is that it is becoming lawful to undermine this President because he doesn’t even respect the Constitution you want to apply to protect him. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Plouamma, you are out of order. Hon President, I don’t even know whether there was a question in what he said.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Sorry?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I don’t know whether there was a question there. You can comment if you want to.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: No, I never heard any question.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, thank you. Let’s move to the next ... the next person is hon Pilane-Majake on the list. That is the last supplementary question.
Ms M C C PILANE-MAJAKE: Deputy Speaker, the state legal representation is meant to provide legal representation to the executive and judiciary to afford them legal representation if accused in the course of performance of their duties. Do you agree that in a society of oppressors, allegations are never accompanied by legal representation to allow the truth to prevail endorsing the principle of innocent until proven guilty?
Is it not the opposition that wastes money perpetually by litigating on all decisions of Parliament? Now they are crying foul saying that money is being wasted without taking into consideration that half the time it’s themselves who run to courts trying to run this country using the courts.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Deputy Speaker, that is precisely the reason why I have answered the question the way I have done because if political parties can’t debate in Parliament they go to court all the time causing therefore that those who are in the state must defend themselves ... and they come and ask how much you have spent. That is why I answered the question the way I did because there is no reason why we should be going to court. This is democracy; if there is an issue it must be raised here, discussed etc. the political party knows what it is doing and I can’t do what the political parties want to do.
For example, the manner in which I have answered the question, I said that the litigation referred to was not at the instance of the President because if that was the case you would have said “You are wasting money, President. You are going to court all the time.” But that is not true. The President has been defending himself as a President or any other person that is employed by government.
You have the state to pay your expense and when the state pays your expenses, it does not come to you and say Mr President this is so much we are paying now. It doesn’t. They pay and you don’t know how much they pay. Why should I know it because I don’t keep any record; I don’t have anything.
This is kind of arising from people changing political matters into legal matters. That is in my view. I have answered including saying that it is at the expense of the state. The state has the records I think the Minister of Justice and Correctional Service was absolutely correct. If anyone was interested in knowing, you wouldn’t be asking me that question; you would know exactly where to ask your question.
I find it being a political game played at a legal level and that is why I answered the question the way I did.
Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The next question is asked by hon Mapulane to the President. That is the last question.
Mr M HLENGWA: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. I mean not to interrupt the question session but I do believe that there is a slot left in that previous question.
There was the supplementary question by hon Maimane, hon Plouamma, and then there was hon Pilane-Majake ... [Interjections.]
Cha, kahleni wo, wo wo!
So, I would like the last one please hon Deputy Speaker.
... Kufanele kube kune [four] bekuyilokho nje.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mkhuleko Hlengwa is correct, hon members, and I apologise for moving fast President. It is not him but someone else there. Go ahead. [Interjections.] I said he is correct in his observation, but I don’t have the names here ... it is hon Hlengwa.
Mnu M HLENGWA: Ewu, ngiyabonga Sekela Somlomo
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your fortunes are out today.
Mnu M HLENGWA: Umsamo wami uyaphila.
Hon Mr President, let us assume in the unlikely event that I was prepared to help the President. Can I help the President in this way: So, you say it is political parties who are taking you to court? How much then is it costing you to defend yourself against political parties? Notwithstanding whatever reasons that you cited, whether it is the conversion of political matters to legal matters but that’s the question because the nub of the issue is whether it is you or political parties. I think it is fair for citizens to be told how much it is that this legal action is costing the tax payer.
Hon Deputy Speaker, the biggest challenge here which Parliament must look at is the absence of a standing committee into the presidency to look into its affairs on a day to day basis like all other departments will land us in this mess.
Let us also, as Parliament, apply our minds in terms of how we look at finances of the Presidency. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Hlengwa, your time has expired.
Mr M HLENGWA: On a pint of order now.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No.
Mr M HLENGWA: No, no. hon Deputy Speaker, we cannot in fairness ... then members there have the nerve, cheek and the audacity to say we are speaking nonsense. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no hon ... [Interjections.]
... bakhuluma lokho ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon Hlengwa ... [Interjections.]
Mr M HLENGWA: The one responding first.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon members, please order! I have been saying that you can’t be screaming and you know that it is offensive to be throwing language around like that.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: On a
point of order, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, what’s the point of order sir?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: The
question that the hon Hlengwa is asking is a new question. The state attorney holds the records of the cost of litigation of all of government. If he wants to bring the question certainly I would be more than happy to answer it having collected that information from the
state attorney. The question is about litigation cost which was the point I was arising on earlier which is different from the question on the record. The question on the record does not refer to litigation costs and that is the point. So, this is a new question, it is about the litigation cost, we can provide that information in respect of any Minister, any Member of Cabinet and any government department because all litigation is handled by the state attorney’s office. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon President, would you like to help a member?
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Wait hon Singh. Please take your seat. The President is here.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: No, I think I have answered the question and I even explained. The Minister is absolutely correct. I don’t keep the records of the state on litigation against government. That is why, when the member was here, I said that if somebody asks me that
question it must have been provoked by something I don’t know. To ask me a question that he knows very well. It is not my responsibility to pay the litigations that are brought by political parties. It is not. And the Minister is helping, that is where you will get the records. Why are you asking me, political? Because you just want to ask a question from the President? Because you must abuse the President when he is here? That is the issue and so I am answering the question the way I did and I will stick to that. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Mr President. The next question as I said ... [Interjections.]
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes?
Mr M HLENGWA: The hon President knows very well, uMsholozi, knows very well that I for one, despite political differences, respect him and so I think that Rule 85 has been cited about casting aspersions on other
members and must, with all due respect, apply to him. He can’t tell the House that we come here to abuse him ...
... simbuza kahle imibuzo ...
That is casting aspersions. I am not in that game.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, let us proceed. Hon President, we will proceed.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: No, if the member is not in that game, why ask me the question when even the Minister is helping him about where he will get the information if he is interested. Why?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Alright. The next question is by hon Mapulane to the President.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Deputy Speaker, there is scientific evidence that the African continent will
continue to become warmer, and at a rate somewhat higher than the 0,15 deg Celsius per decade that has been observed to date. Science also indicates that future climate patterns will include an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events.
As a responsible global citizen, South Africa ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Combating Climate Change, in August 1997. Since then, we have been working jointly with other nations of the world to address the global climate challenge.
Our initial climate change plan of action, published in 2004, was based on intensive consultation with communities, civil society and business. Based on lessons learnt in implementing these efforts, we conducted the Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios study, which informed our pre-2020 commitment that I announced at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference of the Parties. We committed to a 34% deviation from a business-as-usual, greenhouse gas emission trajectory by 2020.
We are making great strides in addressing both the causes and impact of climate change in all its dimensions - social, economic and environmental. Our effort to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are across all sectors and spheres of government. For example, we have developed improved public transport systems in our metropolitan areas, such as Rea Vaya, A Re Yeng and the Gautrain. Our building standards have been upgraded to international energy efficiency standards. The Green Building Council of South Africa has certified a large number of energy- efficient and water-wise buildings.
Our renewable energy programme is among the largest, globally. Our provinces and cities have developed and are implementing intensive climate-change strategies and action plans. We have developed the Climate Change Response Policy with a greenhouse gas emission reduction system framework. This was approved by Cabinet in 2015.
The first phase of the system includes the allocation of carbon budgets to companies, setting desired emission- reduction objectives and the development of the National Pollution Prevention Plan Regulations in respect of greenhouse gases.
In order to implement our post-2020 action under the Paris Agreement, we have developed the draft Climate Change Bill. The Bill will ensure that mandatory carbon budgets will be implemented in combination with a carbon tax, from 2021. We are developing a national climate change adaptation strategy, which outlines the national climate change adaptation action and guides on on-going and future climate change adaptation efforts. The strategy aims to encourage synergy in climate change adaptation efforts at the national, provincial and local levels, to address slow-onset climate change and further to ensure that climate change is considered in disaster management planning by the national and provincial disaster management centres.
As part of this effort, the Department of Environmental Affairs is working with the SA Weather Service to develop a National Framework on Climate Services to improve the dissemination of early warnings to society, at large.
I thank you, hon Deputy Speaker.
Mr M P MAPULANE: Hon Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the hon President for his response. On Monday, the
United Nations released a shocking report on climate change in its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. This revealed that the levels of CO2 emissions grew at a record rate in 2016 to levels not seen before in a million years, potentially fuelling a 20m rise in sea levels and adding 3 deg Celsius to global temperatures.
Given this report, hon President, would you support urgent steps to be taken to introduce the Bill on climate change that is being developed and to which you referred, so that as a country, we are able to determine a binding emissions target so that we are able to reach the peak, plateau and decline in the emissions trajectory that our country has developed? In addition, would you comment on the programme on renewables, which seems to have uncertainty surrounding it? As you know, the renewable energy programme is one of the programmes that will help us to reduce our carbon footprint. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Deputy Speaker, the report from the UN in a sense, I am sure, encourages us to do everything we can that was agreed on, globally, to mitigate the situation of the rising sea, or whatever. It
is critically important for us to take that report and look at our situations, particularly because our country does play a particular role, either in the emissions or in what we need to do to mitigate.
If we have such a report, we must then ask what else we need to do in order that we are able to do extraordinary things if the rise of the sea has even moved beyond the speculations done by the scientists. Not even they knew. It was surprising, very high. It means anything can happen without us noticing.
Now, solutions have been discussed and agreed upon. The final agreement in Paris was very important for the globe. So, I think the question is, What, then, can we do? What is our reaction to the kind of behaviour of the climate that we did not even speculate about? What can we do? What do we say about the kinds of things that have happened to our own country, for example, the droughts and the floods that have come?
Of course, it is not a question of one country. It is a question of all the countries in the world. Things have
been done or talked about and agreed on in terms of what we need to do. I think that’s what we need to be saying: What else can we do?
Talking about energy, our country has made some contribution to emissions. When we were in discussion, developing countries, including ourselves, were given some allowance to use some of the things that, in a sense, contribute to a global climate change behaviour that is not, necessarily, normal. That is why, in Copenhagen, in particular, we committed ourselves, as a country like any other, to mixed energy, particularly, renewable energy. It was with the understanding that, as we develop the renewables, we will find ways and means of steadily reducing those that produce emissions that cause the problems. That’s what we need to talk about.
Therefore, our point is that we should continue to do so. We need, for example, the kind of renewable that is more reliable, that will help us to address the matter and reduce what else it could be that is causing the emissions. That is what we need to be arguing about rather than arguing about not having this, when, in fact,
it could play an important role in terms of making the renewable energies take over the kind of energy distribution or energy production.
That is the kind of debate we need to have, as a country, and with other countries. For example, much as the United States was part of the decision that was taken in Paris, when the change in administration came, there was the view that they couldn’t continue with that kind of agreement. What climate change has done this year has been attacking the US in almost all the states – not all the states, in some of the states - showing those who have a view that this is very far away that, in fact, it has arrived.
So, it then says to all of us we need to quicken the implementation of our agreements. That’s what we need to do. It means that we, as a country, need to be more conscious of the fact that we stand in an area where a lot of climate change is going to be demonstrated on our shores, as we have seen it happening. In a sense, this is encouraging us to ask what else we can do, extraordinarily, in order to try and prevent what could
happen to our country. The matter is serious if there is such an article emerging that this has, in fact, gone beyond the expectations of scientists. Thank you.
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Deputy Speaker, Mr President, with the economic and social consequences of climate change physically affecting trade and having an impact on the economy, mostly through greenhouse gas emissions from carbon dioxide, you said we are making an impact.
However, South Africa is currently 45% higher than global averages. We are the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Africa. So, we’re not really making an impact.
You said in the state of the nation address that we are committed to renewable energy but it’s not really happening. Agricultural production is failing, consumption by the people is failing, the health of the people is failing, but we are not really committing to renewable energy. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Deputy Speaker, we are actually doing something. It’s not true that we are not doing anything. You might have comments to make on the
rate of it but to say that we seem to be doing nothing is not true. We are, according to ... and this ha been part of what kind of capacity we have. That is why, globally, developed countries have agreed to play a role in helping developing countries meet the challenges that are coming. Even the US, at the last G20 meeting, came back to say that even if they don’t support that decision, they are going to help developing countries.
Developing countries need to be helped and South Africa is one of them. We are doing what we can do. I don’t think you can jump and do more than you can do. We are doing what we can do. That’s what we are doing. I am sorry, that’s what we are doing and I don’t think we can blame ourselves for being slow, etc. We have to do what we can in the process. That’s why I say if we all agree, if we all do what we are supposed to do, we could, perhaps ... That’s why I am saying, deliberately, we must do extraordinary things in order to mitigate what is happening to us.
I have said South Africa plays a role that is more visible in terms of emissions. It must also play a role which is visible towards mitigating. Thank you.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Deputy Speaker, frankly, Nxamalala, the recent disasters in our country, especially in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, have taught us to be alert. You have just alluded to the strides that the country has taken by way of participating within UN, AU and SADC structures, etc. On that basis, Your Excellency, we have seen some minor earthquakes in our country, as well, although it has been seen a lot in the US and in other countries.
Therefore, it means that we have to go the extra mile to ensure that our country is safe. My follow-up question is: Would you and the government you are leading be in support of ensuring that climate change impact assessment becomes a prerequisite for granting an environmental authorisation to proceed with future developments? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Deputy Speaker, I think we have been doing that. The environment in our country is
one sector that is quite sensitive when people are doing things, and we have been doing so.
What it would mean, given what is happening, I am sure those scientists that are doing research would have to help us with what we can do. Can we do more of that assessment? Will it do anything to what is happening? What is happening is the level which has been reached is going to be continuing and will only be reduced by us behaving in a particular way. It is not a question of one country only - it is a combination of countries to be able to bring down the levels.
So, perhaps, this is going to say in the debates that we have within the country, in the region, on the continent and globally, the debate must be accelerated, given the acceleration of climate change. I think that is what we may be doing. Whatever we do, whatever we are capable of doing, let us do it. That’s why, as you have said, I was saying let us do extraordinary things in order to ensure that we are able to know exactly what is happening.
If those who are doing the assessment can, in fact, suggest what else we need to do, then those are the things we need to follow. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, that brings us to the end. There are three slots that have been taken. Hon Shaik Emam, would you like to take yours? [Interjections.] No, he is lucky. He is amongst the last ones in here, so since there is no other political party to ask, the NFP ishayisile [will end off].
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy Speaker, Mr President, whilst we acknowledge, agree and understand that global warming is having a devastating effect, worldwide, just in our neighbourhood – and I’m talking particularly about the area in eThekwini which is near Merebank, Wentworth, Lamontville, Jacobs and The Bluff area – emissions are very, very high. They are extremely high because of the industries.
Over and above the challenges we have in terms of global warming, we have a health hazard. One would find that cases of cancer, lung infections and tuberculosis are
extremely high in that area. What is government willing to do to do some kind of research into that area to come up with some statistics and see what we could do about trying to prevent this in the interests of our people and the country? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Deputy Speaker, I don’t have those statistics from those particular areas right now. I know that, in the past, there used to be very specific assessments in those areas, particularly in Wentworth, because of the refinery there. Those are areas where there are factories and therefore, automatically, there must be high kinds of effects of what happens.
I don’t have the figures right now, however, but it means those are the matters that people, like Members of Parliament, ought to alert government on, by saying these are the matters where we come from, and also to talk about them here so that the people are sensitised. I think that area, particularly Wentworth, has been leading, because of the proximity to the factory that is producing these kinds of things.
What do we do? I think we, as government, need to focus on those kinds of areas and ask what more we can do. At one point, there was the feeling that perhaps the Wentworth people should move away from the area close to the refinery. Is it possible? Instead, there are more residential areas there, rather than a reduction. Should we move the refinery itself away from there? I think those are matters that government ought to discuss and decide a course of action on.
We must also ask what else we can do in terms of the emissions. We should talk about finding ways and means of reducing the emissions, and I’m sure, as you raise the issue here, scientists, government and other people should pay attention. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr President, I will not find fault with you for not mentioning Lamontville, but we will talk about that one outside the House.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Lamontville! Lamontville will also be taken into account.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, there is one outstanding matter of a supplementary question that the Speaker described as separate in the hon Carter’s question about the information she asked for and required. The Office will facilitate the matter and see to it that she gets the answer. That was the issue. We will facilitate the matter and she will get that.
The House adjourned at 16:36.