Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 20 Mar 2018
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 20 MARCH 2018
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker and hon members, let us agree that social cohesion is a capacity of our society to ensure the wellbeing of all our people in a manner that minimises socioeconomic disparities thereby avoiding polarisation of our society. The reality of our country that all of us cannot ignore is that we are a plural society with notable racial, religious, ethnic and cultural diversities. The critical point is how we manage
such diversity in a manner that supports our collective and mutual development.
A cohesive society must be able to balance such contradiction in a mutually reinforcing manner and work towards reducing if not eliminating all the inequalities in our society. Once these inequalities are deep they can lead to serious polarisation that can produce social instability. Therefore, the question that all of us must ask and interrogate is whether the current social cohesion initiatives that we are engaged in as a country are working and producing the desired results.
I hold a different view that the mere hosting of events that are narrowly around arts, sports and cultural heritage without substantively interrogating the source of social fragmentation and divisions, is not assisting in resolving our challenges. The fundamental question that we must ask is, are we addressing the actual issues that confront our society or we are glossing over them. For as long as deep inequalities exists whether as a result of wealth, disparities, extreme poverty and joblessness that cause hopelessness, sports and cultural
events will not holistically produce a long-lasting solution.
Let me reiterate the point that as the ANC government, we are committed to building a country where people will be able to determine their own destinies through exercising their own initiatives and determination to succeed and not by their race and certainly not by their gender. We meet in this Parliament of our people during the human rights month and in a year that we are celebrating the centenary births of our mother, Albertina Sisulu, and our founding President, Nelson Mandela. One of the enduring legacies of this Parliament of our people was the crafting of our Constitution which the President signed into law in Sharpeville on the Human Rights Day.
Our Constitution envisages a democratic state founded on human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms born from the evil experience of racial hatred, discrimination, sexism and patriarchy. Our Constitution enjoins all of us to give birth to a new society founded on human dignity, nonracialism and nonsexism.
Violence perpetrated against women is an offence against the founding principle of our Constitution. Prejudice and discrimination against women is a violation to our Constitution and all that we seek to build as a nation. A nation that undermines the aspiration of women and oppresses them can neither have peace nor social cohesion and no development. The neglect and social exclusion of women in our democratic breakthrough will mean a betrayal of our liberation struggle. Our liberation struggle was not just about ending national oppression, but it was also about ending the triple oppression of women as mothers, sisters and daughters. Black women were oppressed on the basis of race, class and gender. The ANC government remain seized with this historic task of ensuring the full emancipation of women. Patriarchy remains omnipresent in our language, day-to-day doings, our idioms, our metaphors, our stories that we tell and our performances.
The liberation of women demands that those who are the source of life, women are also freed from sexism and oppressive language that is packaged as transcendent truth or ancient wisdom. That is what our time requires,
that is what the new revolution of our soul warrants and this is what radical economic emancipation of women demands.
Forty-five years ago, revolutionary, Samora Machel, warned that the emancipation of women is not an act of charity or the result of humanitarian or compassionate attitude. The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for a free and just society. The governing party, the ANC, is fully committed to gender parity and gender equality as a precondition for economic freedom in our lifetime.
We understand that women are the soul and fire not just of the ANC, but of our nation. They remain the bricks and mortar building the dreams of a resilient nation.
The 54th national conference of the ANC once again committed to the 50-50 gender parity representation at local, provincial and national government. More needs to be done by other political parties, more need to be done in the private sector to empower women and more need to
be done to keep girls in our classrooms, in training, in employment and in enterprise development.
Our commitment to ensure that women participate in the economy is unequivocal. But these initiatives have no chance of success if these women continue to bear the brunt of gender-based violence usually at the hands of their intimate partners. Essentially, what I am saying is that programmes that are seeks to build social cohesion must operate from a basis of empowerment that will address gender inequality, bring a sense of security for the vulnerable and address the wealth gap that is racial in character. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr T MAKONDO: Deputy Speaker and Deputy President, thank you for the comprehensive answer that you have given. I agree with you that the issues that must dominate the social cohesion forums must be issues that have divided the nation. Just recently, the Department of Land and Rural Development has released a report that reflects the ownership of land. In terms of land women are at the lowest bar. What is it that the government will ensure
that there is transformation in South Africa, particularly, when it comes to women? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, transformation will rest on a cohesive society. A society that will recognise the bonds that keeps it together. Central to the bonds that keep us together as a nation are those people amongst ourselves who are vulnerable – women, children and people with disabilities. Within ourselves as a society we should ensure that those that are vulnerable are made to feel safe and empowered to participate in whatever activity we do as a nation.
It is therefore important to look at programmes that will empower firstly women. Our history tells the story, like I have said that women were oppressed in many ways. If we don’t address that deliberately empowering women to participate freely, I don’t think we will ever reach that desired society and nation.
If we don’t look after our girl-children and people living with disabilities, we are a society that is in denial. As government, we must find programmes that
deliberately seek to empower and protect those people, and in that way we will be in the right path of building the nation. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Deputy Speaker and Deputy President, I think we all agree that the Zuma administration failed us, and in particular it failed women and children. I say this because there was little political will to fight gender-based violence and very little political will to address gender inequality. My question simply to you is: How will your new administration tackle these issues differently? When will you establish the national council against gender-based violence which President Zuma promised us in 2012, but was never established? Can you honestly tell us, do you take women’s issues seriously with the appointment of Minister Bathabile Dlamini to lead the Department of Women in the Presidency?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I am sure you will allow me not to answer that question because the appointment of Ministers and my appointment is the prerogative of the President.
Well, I don’t want to sponsor my opinion, but what I can
say is that I agree with the fact that we have not done enough to deal with the women issues. Now that I am here, it is my turn together with you in this House. We must not fail. It is one thing to criticise and say that someone has not done it, but this is our collective responsibility because women are being oppressed, brutalised and tortured inside our homes by people who are very close to them. That cannot be solely the responsibility of the state. All of us as a society must take a heed to that call if we really want to build a united and cohesive society. Thank you.
Ms T STANDER: Mr Mabuza, welcome to your first question and answer session. How this works is that we ask you questions and you provide the answers.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes.
Ms T STANDER: Next time would you mind reading the Question Paper so that you can give us relevant answers? Thank you. What empirical methodology would you use to assess and measure these programmes you are speaking of
to empower and protect women? How are you going to measure the success?
Secondly, if you believe in protecting women, why is Mr Manana still sitting there after he was convicted by a court of law for assaulting women? [Applause.] Mr Mabuza, I enjoy my ice cream without waffle, so, a short, concise and straightforward answer would be appreciated.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I will try my best to answer your question in a manner that I can, but not dictated to. I am going to work with all stakeholders. [Interjections.] Wait a bit. I am going to work with all stakeholders that are concerned with women issues. Together with those, every sector of our society together we will put a programme that is measurable. I am going to meet with women associations, meet with men because many of these things happen at the hands of men. I am going to meet students - girls and boys students. We are going to meet traditional leaders because they still hold certain stereotypes about women. Well, I was just appointed yesterday, so stay patient.
Within those groupings we are going to ensure that we set a programme that is measurable to ourselves and will assess our progress.
With regards to Manana, I think he has been convicted, he went to court and we believe that people can be corrected. We don’t have a dustbin where we throw people. We correct people and move with them. That is what we believe.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Let the Deputy President answer.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: However, the facts that are before me indicate that women are sexually abused and raped. The statistics in our country shows that, and that is the biggest problem we are facing. Women are not allowed to express their views depending on where they come from traditionally. Those are the issues that we must approach because people believe in such things. However, we must convince them that women are just like us, they are people. Thank you very much.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Deputy Speaker and hon Deputy President, we hope that you would do justice to our questions. I appreciate the fact that it is your first time. Nevertheless, here is my follow up question on the matter at hand. Let us be practical and be less theoretical. You have told us to what extent the ANC government has failed to uphold the rights of women in the country. Government is not doing enough to advance the economic cause of women through land and other assets, and that is a fact. You can also take at a good look at the budget of the Department of Women, it is next to zero.
Secondly, the 30% of tenders that government is supposed to spend on women is not happening.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, ask your question. In fact, your time has expired.
Mr M L W FILTANE: My question is: What will you do drastically in your term to make sure that the position changes given that the annual performance plans, APPs, are up for consideration now? [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, I think I have answered that question. It is not different from the question that I was asked which said what are we going to do to emancipate women. So, the long and short of my answer was trying to answer that. You are repeating the same question. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, like I have said that we are meeting in this Parliament of our people during this human rights month. One of the injuring legacies of this Parliament that we must never forget was the adoption of a Constitution. In adopting the Constitution, we said we want to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. We entered into a covenant with the nation that through this Constitution, we lay the foundation for a democratic and open society in which government will be based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law.
The Constitution remains our moral compass and a loadstar in a society in which all should work to improve the quality of life for all citizens in which we all feel free and realise our potential as individuals to contribute positively to our country. Moral regeneration is a fundamental pillar of building a cohesive and a caring society founded on ethical values and a foundation on which a society that we envisioned should be built on. When in government, we speak on building a non racial, non sexiest democratic and prosperous South Africa, an objective reality we have to contend with is how we build such a society from a very polarised past that has shaped our history.
It was under the sterling leadership of the former President Nelson Mandela that we agreed our country needed an RDP of the soul. We are a society in pain due to the years of oppression, marginalisation and deprivation of civil and political rights. We had no common nationhood and the black majority of our country was treated as subhuman. In many respect, the soul of our nation remained broken along two parallel, that of the ruler and that of the subject. The heavy-handedness of
the security forces against our people and the accompanying high level of violent crimes experienced in our society pointed to a spiritual malady of a nation seeking its renewal, its rebirth, its renaissance and its nation building.
Former President Nelson Mandela said, from our national spiritual sickness it will emerge the problems of greed, cruelty, of personal and family failures. This, he said, will help fuel the problems of crime and even corruption and it will hinder our efforts to move forward at the required pace. At the Moral Regeneration Summit in 1998, former President Mandela pointed out to the symptoms of a spiritual malice. Amongst others, this included corruption in both public and private sector where office and positions of responsibility are treated as opportunities for self enrichment, the corruption that occurs within our justice system, violence in interpersonal relation and families, in particular the shameful record of the abuse of women and children; and the extent of tax evasion and refusal to pay for services that are rendered to us.
From the onset, faith based organisation, traditional leaders and the public broadcaster were the critical partners of the moral regeneration. In 2008, South Africa’s Moral Regeneration Movement Charter of Positive Values was presented to the retired President. It was meant to be a cornerstone of ethics and a moral compass for our nation. The Charter was indeed to steer our nation towards the values of ubuntu. These were values derived from our Constitution: the respect of human rights, respect for others and their dignity; and upholding equality.
In the year of Nelson Mandela, we must be brutally honest and admit that the objectives of our moral regeneration movement have not produced the new citizen, the new nation that we envisaged in our Constitution. The levels of violent crimes remain unacceptably high. Girl children in particular and women, in general, remain victims of abuse at the hands of men that are supposed to treat them as fellow human beings and also provide care for them.
They are physically and emotionally abused, raped and murdered.
The fundamental human rights of those in vulnerable groups including our people living with disabilities, those with mental illness, people living with albinism in our communities, their rights are violated everyday. Many of our churches are losing their moral standing in society. They are seen as places that financially exploit the poor, places that protect evil deeds of sexual abuse of young women and young men. We look at the media, especially the public broadcaster as partners to conscientise our society and expose this malaise. Perhaps not just to expose these social ills in the society, but to allow society to dialogue about how end this inhumane practices.
Any attack on the dignity of any person in our society is a violation of our Constitution. Our justice system must bite. Even though laws and their reinforcement are alone will not heal and transform our nation, people need to have confidence in the justice system that it will ensure justice for both the victim and the perpetrator. Hon members, the moral regeneration campaign remain a critical pillar for our collective future. Our renewed energy and focus on moral regeneration work will be
anchored on a broad-based and inclusive approach that will allow old key sectors across our social spectrum to make positive contribution. Amongst others, these sectors includes our religious formations, our traditional leaders, women’s organisations, men’s organisations, youth formation, people living with disabilities, political and cultural formation, the private sectors and all other interested civil society formation.
We have begun with the consultation to finalise a clear programme of detailed engagement with specific sectors that we have already identified. In the coming weeks, we will be meeting with these relevant sectors to assess progress made to date, identify challenges and gaps in areas of improvement, and ensure that a new and a more inclusive programme of action is developed and adopted by all of us to guide our work going forward.
As Deputy President of the country, one of my responsibilities is to provide leadership on these critical issues confronting our nation, and to reverse what Nelson Mandela our former President, characterised as a moral malaise of our nation. As leaders, we must
collectively seize this moment presented to us by this positive mood that is prevailing across our country, and lead the process of building on what unite us as a nation. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, may I extend to the Deputy President congratulations on his appointment as leader, and I look forward to the engagement as we hold you and the executive accountable. Thank you very much for your answer Deputy President.
You’d be aware of the morally repugnant scourge of political assassinations of political office bearers particularly, which has bedevilled our political landscape, and are indeed a violent crime and a spiritual sickness as you referred to.
How will you use your position Deputy President and your role as a champion of the moral regeneration movement to introduce initiatives to uncover what is behind the scourge of political assassinations, introduce moral regeneration initiatives to bring to an end? In particular Mr Deputy President, to uncover exactly who was behind the political assassination of Mr Caswell
Maluleke, Major of Bushbuck Ridge in Mpumalanga, [Interjections.] Mr Jimmy Mohlala, the Mbombela speaker in Mpumalanga, Mr John Ndlovu, Ehlanzeni Chief Whip in Mpumalanga. [Applause.]
Mr P J MNGUNI: Deputy Speaker on a point of order: In terms of Rule 92 point of order but Rule 142(6)(7) provides that the follow up question must be related to the original question. [Interjections.] Two, on a different note, this is out of order still in that. If the hon member wants to cast improper motives on the hon Deputy President, he must then do so in a form of a substantive motion. [Interjections.] I ask for your determination for your ruling in this regard. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think the first part of the question the Deputy President will answer that. The second part is speculation. Go ahead, hon Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Deputy Speaker, I will seek to answer both questions. Well, the task that is facing all of us is to uphold our Constitution, and no one is above
that Constitution. For those of us who hold certain opinions, who holds certain views, who are holding certain allegations we know what the right thing to do is, the honour is on us. We have created the necessary institution in this democratic environment so that anything that seeks to violate our Constitution can be reported to those institutions.
I think hon members must do the right thing; otherwise we must avoid a situation where we go around casting aspersions against people without any due process. This I take as just a process to harm their names and their character. But, I take it that the law enforcement agencies in our country must do their work without hinders, without our fiddling. Any matter that is in the hands of the police, all I can do as a citizen, is to help the police conclude or find a criminal.
The police alone cannot really achieve anything in their function do deter, to fight crime if as members of the community, we don’t co-operate with them. So if members here have any information about all the political killings everywhere, please confront the law enforcement
agencies, and report or if you know go to the nearest police station and lay charges. You normally do that yourself. You have laid so many charges. Now it is one thing to go parallel to the law and cast aspersions and not report anything or lay a charge. You are allowed as an individual to lay a charge. But laying a charge means you must substantiate. It’s easy to cast aspersions but not easy to substantiate on your allegations. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, the hon Deputy President answered the second part of the question if you can call it an answer. The first part was what initiative the moral regeneration committee was going to put in place to deal with the scourge of political killings in South Africa? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we allow the Deputy President to respond please? Please!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I have explained that the initiative that we are currently doing is that we have certain motion of process of setting an engagement with
all the sectors that I have listed, and in those engagement, we are seeking to isolate and prioritise issues that are a problem in our society. If that is going to be raised, prioritising it in our programme, we will. But there are certain issues that are not in our jurisdiction because we are going to dialogue but there are institutions that are created.
All that we need to do as this moral regeneration movement is to work with the law enforcement agencies, help them to do their work, which I have explained. That we will be de adopting a programme that will be known to this country and all the actors will be known by you, and you are also invited to join because you are part of this country. Thank you very much.
Question 2 (cont):
Mr X NGWEZI: Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Hayi! Kufanela phela uchaze ukuthi awuyena uHlengwa nokuthi usukuma ngaliphi igama ngoba igama elibhaliwe la ngelikaHlengwa, uMkhuleko
Mnu X NGWEZI: Kwenzeke iphutha Sekela Somlomo.
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Oho! Uboqala lapho sikhulu sami. Ngiyojabula uma uqala lapho.
Mnu X NGWEZI: Ngiyabonga.
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Ngiyabonga.
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon Deputy President you correctly state that moral regeneration is the pillar of our future. Few years back, the ANC’s allied Cosas instructed learners across schools that if teachers beats them they must beat the teachers back; and these days we see a lot of these activities happening in our schools. My question is: What message can you give to Cosas and what will you be doing to change the situation around because teachers are continuing in beating children and children are beating teachers back; it is a whole mass in our schooling system? Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: One thing we must recognise is that this is a situation that has been designed by our past
where we come from. However, we cannot always point at that past. As people living in the present we need find solutions of these problems that we inherited from the past. Now, the situation in our school, probably our involvement would be, in trying to find a lasting solution, building bridges and relations between our teachers, parents and our learners because school is a school because of the three parties.
A situation happened where discipline within our schools broke down. It broke down because learners were resisting a system and parents were co-operating with that system and learners had to refuse. That is where learners and the parent went different ways. Teachers were spectators in the middle, they could not come in and say to learners the use of Afrikaans is wrong and they cannot impose Afrikaans. Learners had to take it upon themselves to go to the streets against the will of the teachers and the parents. We must go back them and say you are learners, these are your teachers and these are your parents and must find the way to co-operate. Learners must now, in a free South Africa, focus on their learning. Our teachers
must focus on their teaching. It is not only the learners that are the wrong.
One will agree with me that in a number of instances there are news that teachers are having affairs with young girls. When learners are at school, they are in the hands of teachers who should replace their parent. If these parents decided to have a relation with this child, where is the authority there? One can blame Cosas but what I is saying the problem cuts across. As much as we are going to speak to Cosas, we must also speak to our teachers because they also not standing up right. We must also speak to our parents to take their rightful role and ensure that their children go to school and learn. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon Deputy Speaker, congratulations to the Deputy President. Hon Deputy President it is unfortunate that you are not a good example of a moral leadership. [Interjections.] You lack credibility; I want to know if yourself you have been rehabilitated since you were part of the premier league, the rot of the past Zuma
administration. How are you going to champion moral regeneration?
Mr H P CHAUKE: The hon member is casting aspersion to the Deputy President, and the fact is that we cannot be standing to contest the rules all the time. Deputy Speaker, please if someone is out of order, call him out of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Chauke, you raise your point of order properly, do not throw stones at me in addition to what you are raising. [Interjections.] You are out of order. Hon Plouama, the Deputy President will respond to you if he wishes to. However when you raise your question the way you do, you are inviting me as presiding officer and Whips into your question and that creates a problem. You can do better than that.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon Deputy President, you want me to rephrase my question? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Be in order you don’t have to rephrase it just be in order and withdraw the sort of
aspersions you throw at a member of the House without having raised anything substantially as part of your story here in the House. Hon members, allow the member to speak for himself. I don’t want your assistance, members please. No, no, no, talk to the Chair.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: This is a low quality of members. Hon Deputy President, just be specific to me what to withdraw.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, when you say you are not an example of what you are saying, that is casting aspersion on the member. Therefore, withdraw that.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER:
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: No, I am not casting an aspersion, it is true.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you are worse than I thought; withdraw that remark, ask your question and or sit down. [Interjections.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker, I don’t know between you and me who is worse because I do not understand what do you mean when you say I am worse. Is that part of the Rules?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you have a right to make any remarks as long as they are in order. If you choose to run ...
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: But, I asked you to be specific. The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I told you.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: What? Because what I am saying is true. He cannot lead moral regeneration. He even failed in Mpumalanga as a premier. In 2017 the Auditor-General ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Plouama, you are supposed to bring any statements in the House in a proper manner and that is not a proper manner. Therefore, you have not done so.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Just keep quite.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are not going to do that in the next minutes. I ask you to withdraw that inference.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: I say I understand what you are saying but you will agree with me; it is true and I will bring you statement. What I said is true.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please withdraw that. Withdraw what you have just said.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Which one Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You withdraw exactly what you have just said, “what you are saying is true”, you must withdraw that. If you do not want to withdraw, hon member, we have business of the House here. There is good fresh air outside. [Interjections.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Deputy Speaker if there is good fresh air then you can go with me. [Interjections.] But what I wanted to know ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, withdraw please unconditionally.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Do you want me to withdraw the truth?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, withdraw or leave the House.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: I am going to leave this House and a truth is a truth.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, just leave the House. Go ahead hon Meshoe it is your turn.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Thank you Deputy Speaker, according to the moral regeneration movements website the origins of the moral regeneration movement, MRM, dates back to 1997, meeting between former President Nelson Mandela, key South African phase base organisation leaders, and others to discuss spiritual transformation. President highlighted the role of religion in nation-building and social transformation and the need for them to work with the state to overcome the spiritual malice underpinning
problems with crime. Do the Deputy President and government agree with the original aim of MRM? If yes, why are bliblical values that have to respect for God and one’s neighbour and those in authority not thought in schools, particularly in light of recent reports of students attacking teachers in schools, a behaviour that the ACDP strongly condemns?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think as government we really agree and share those aspirations of the entire morale regeneration movement. However, because as I have said, religion was seen as a central pillar in the whole movement; therefore we cannot prescribe because in terms of our Constitution, we are a circular state. We are not going to prescribe the form of religion. However, whatever religion is being practise must conform and must adhere to our constitutional principles, but the very same religion that we know all of us went through, Christianity like I have said its beginning to lose the very direction that we hope they must show.
There are incidences you know, hon Meshoe, that people are made to drink certain thing and they say they will
heal; people are made to do certain things in churches and that undermines what the religion stands for. Now, the church ceases to occupy the leadership role in our moral regeneration. Of course, this is a matter that we should dialogue with the churches because I have heard a number of churches condemning certain actions but government must assist the church and all institutions that seeks to uphold our values and build a nation. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, attention has been drawn to me that that space, because it was not taken, will give to the hon Shaik who was next on the list. [Interjections.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon Deputy Speaker, Deputy President, let me welcome you to your maiden question and answer session. However, let me start off by asking Deputy President, I heard us talking political murders but what about the political murder of Robert and his wife Jean- Cora Smit? Robert Smit and his wife Jean-Cora that were brutally murdered are financial genius in 1977 by the apartheid regime because he was about to release the
delicate information of corruption in any event. However, coming back to the question here, Deputy President, is: we all understand and know that the socioeconomic conditions under which our people are living today, now in your plan of action in wanting to create a better society, together with the religious organisation and other stake holders, would you ensure that the community themselves have a greater role to play in this? [Time expired.] Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, I think I understood the question that as much as we want to deal with our value system, ethics, and our principles as a nation, at the core of these challenges is the poverty and unemployment that are engulfing our people. One will understand that part of my role, as Deputy President, assigned to me is to co-ordinate all programmes that seeks to deal with poverty; they call it anti-poverty programmes. That means we are going to work together with colleagues in the executive to ensure that in areas where there is poverty- stricken areas, we design programmes to intervene so that we lessen this burden. We will also design programmes by mere of my leadership role in leading the human resource
development strategy to ensure that more and more of our young people are trained and given skills so that they can escape from poverty. Their chances of finding employment have increased. Therefore, yes, part of the social ills that we see today is caused by problems of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: Hon
member, Shivhambu, one of the biggest problems, as you know that it’s confronting all developing nations of the world today, especially the African continent is the illicit and illegal movement of money extraction and capital flight of our natural resources. The question that we are discussing today is topical in Zimbabwe.
Correctly defined this illicit financial flow for us to be characterised as the re and neocolonisation of a special type.
They constitute organised crime just as corruption tax evasion and racketeering steals from the national fiscus. These are monies that could be better spent on economic infrastructure, education and social services. It is
monies that could be better spent on growth, development, deficit reduction and the reduction of the indebtedness across the African continent.
In the final analysis, these illicit financial flows steels from the people. Accordingly, they should not be treated lightly as misdemeanours. They should be recognised for what they are, organised crime and corruption. They represent the significant opportunity cost on the poor. They create deeper inequality, unemployment and poverty. We therefore need to respond in equal measure and within the requisite, firmness and decisiveness and strong legislative and criminal justice mechanism to root out this crime.
A further problem confronting especially the African continent concerns the illegal movement of money or capital country to another. Globally, this phenomenon of illicit financial flows manifests itself in various ways including, among others, the import and export trade, misinvoicing to evade custom duties, evasion of vat or income taxes using trade based money laundering techniques by mixing money from legal sales with money
from proceeds of crime such as drug sales. Using offshore shell companies to transfer money from one country to another as well as illegal cross boarder transfer of goods to evade customs and taxes.
The report of the African Union, AU,’s high level panel on illicit flows that was led by former President Thabo Mbeki gives an indication of how Africa’s development is negatively constraint by illicit financial flows of resources that are meant for our development, are diverted inappropriately. There seems to be consensus that we need to improve and sustain co-operation among countries to tackle this problem of illicit financial flows.
As South Africa, we would continue to co-operate with the rest of the continent and the world to stem this tide.
More specifically, it is critical to strengthen the capacity of our institutions to institute measures and strict controls that enable to detect and prevent illicit financial flows and profit shifting.
There has been to be seamless co-ordination between our South African Reserve Bank, Sars, the Financial Intelligence Centre and all our law enforcement agencies. Consequently, the South African government has implemented a number of interventions to enable the fight against illicit financial flows. The Reserve Bank monitors outflows through and inflows through administration of exchange control in terms of a delegation from the Minister. To the extent that the Reserve Bank and our Financial Intelligence Centre identify any criminal violation, they report such activities to our prosecuting authorities over and above what they do themselves. The Reserve Bank and Sars work closely together to monitor the movement of money.
Application for cross border transactions, often require tax clearance by Sars to ensure that tax risks are being reduced. Ongoing interactions between the two means that attempts to move capital offshore for tax reasons are reduced. Yes, much more still needs to be done in this respect.
However, we are yet to see the attendant criminal justice responses and consequences to curb this crime. The poor expect us to act and intervene on their behalf. They expect that we should treat crimes of greed with the same vigour that we treat any petty crime. For our part as government, we have generated the consensus and sustained co-operation necessary to tackle the problem at a multinational level.
For your part as this legislature, you must engage whether you should not initiate necessary legislations to try and fill in the gaps that might be there. Here at home we are strengthening our institutional capacity to monitor, detect and prevent profit sharing. The Reserve Bank, Sars, Financial Intelligence Centre and all other laws enforcement agencies are working seamlessly together; but this does not mean there are no gaps in between which still allows money to leave our country.
Probably the day we would see some arrests, our public would be confident that the law is taking its course. Something is being done and people have been arrested. Our people need to see our prosecuting authority acting,
and they want to see the administration of justice. They want to see those monies that have been taken illegally out of our country being recovered. They want to see goods that are illegally taken out of our country being stopped at our borders. Thank you very much.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Deputy Speaker, thank you, Deputy President. I don’t know which institutions you are talking about because in our official interaction with the South African Reserve Bank and the Financial Intelligence Centre and Sars, they pointed out that they are not doing anything about tax based erosion and you are saying that they are working seamlessly. Tax based erosion is where profits are shifted and there is no adequate legislation in South Africa to deal with that.
So I don’t know what you are talking about when you say that they are working seamlessly. What are they doing exactly to deal with this phenomenon? Because in their individual separate responses, Sars say that they do not have the legislative instruments to deal with this problem. The President of the ANC when he responded he says that tax avoidance is not a crime in South Africa.
The Reserve Bank says the same thing that we do not have the muscle to deal with these issues. So, I don’t understand what you are talking about when you say that all these institutions are working seamlessly to deal with it and there is going to be arrests that can be effected. According to which law, in terms of what is required? I think that is one thing that you might need to clarify because your response can’t be a reflection of reality.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA:
Thank you, Deputy Speaker. You will understand that the duty of Sars is that all companies that are doing business in this country whether foreign or domestic they need to be cleared by Sars for them to continue to do business in a form of a tax clearance - that this company has paid all its taxes - therefore, it can be allowed to trade. If you have not satisfied your tax issues you will never be issued a tax clearance.
Now, we are talking about the movement of money out of this country. That means, we have got companies that have got a footprint in South Africa that are foreign and they
are doing business here. Monies that they acquire here will eventually land in their countries of origin. Sars need to determine the money that must remain in this country and the money that is legitimately theirs. There is no law that says no money must leave this country. But if you have made so much money you must pay tax. Sars cannot stand back and say we are not involved in this movement of money.
The Reserve Bank also cannot distance itself because, in terms of the number of goods, we call it imports and exports, the number of goods that come into the country that leave the country must be recorded. Some of the goods are not recorded and those goods are monies that must be recorded. That means money is moving parallel to the system that we have created. If we continue making noise about our borders to say they are porous, that means they are movements, they are movement of goods in and out that seeks to avoid the institutions that we have created.
The Financial Intelligence Centre, which is central, working together with these institutions, must establish,
must monitor the movement of money. And it has happened. If you can dig deeper, there are companies that their monies have been withheld because they were evading, they had to be forced to pay tax. The same situation that is currently happening today in Zimbabwe. These companies have left with the money and they are forced to bring back the money into Zimbabwe.
The President announced that he will establish a commission on tax administration matters. Obviously, that commission will work with Sars, Treasury, and the Reserve Bank, even with law enforcement agencies on all tax matters, evasions, and movement of money, that commission will lay its hand there. Thank you.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Deputy Speaker, Deputy President, do you believe in the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank given the ANC’s resolution to do so at its last congress? And if so, how will this fight illicit financial flow and cement investor confidence alongside expropriation without compensation?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA:
Deputy Speaker, I just think this is a new question. I have got that feeling that this is a new question. It’s about the privatisation of the Reserve Bank but, we are talking about illicit financial flows.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: I
just have that feeling.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: With respect, the hon Deputy President in his very lengthy response went into greater details about the mandate of the Reserve Bank. The follow-up question is joined mainly to the old follow-up that he has given. And he must answer it.
Otherwise you are reducing this to a joke. This is what accountability is.
Just because Mr Abraham has not written an answer for him, it does not mean he should not answer the question.
Question 3 (cont):
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, the Deputy President expressed a feeling and even before he concluded that, you were already on your feet, talking and giving conclusions and deciding what he should do. So, the Deputy President will respond if he feels so. [Interjections.] Yes, that’s my view.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon member, the privatisation of the Reserve Bank is not the question that I am here for. So, if you want me to probably answer that question, I can do so outside this question and answer session, but it is not part of the question posed now.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Deputy Speaker, can I rise on a point of order?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: My question to the Deputy President basically, I am asking, “How will the nationalisation ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member ...
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Please let me finish, Deputy Speaker. How will the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank help fight illicit financial flows? That is a very direct and purposeful question related to the original question. The Deputy President must be able to answer that. It is a simple question. If he can’t answer that, what can he answer? [Interjections.]
Mr H P CHAUKE: Can I rise on a point of order?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Chauke? What are you rising on?
Mr H P CHAUKE: No, no. Can I rise on a point of order? Deputy Speaker, I want to bring your attention to Rule 41(2)(6), which deals with a totally new question. The question must arise from the original question. Secondly, you have made a ruling, Deputy Speaker, and the Deputy President has responded that he would not be able to deal with this matter now, so the matter falls away. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, I have expressed my view, this is a new question and I am not going to probably attempt answering it. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: All right. Hon members, the Deputy President earlier said ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, may I address you on Rule 41?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, the hon Deputy President said earlier on that he is prepared to respond to the questions as posed initially by its original poser, differently.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, this is an oral question session laid down in terms of the Rule
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I agree with that.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Can you please then make a ruling - not your view – can you make a ruling
that this is a new question so that we can take it to the Rules Committee and teach you a lesson. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Chauke, take your seat. Hon ... no, I am not going to make a ruling. [Interjections.] I will not precisely because of the way you have done it, I used that as the reason why I am not going to answer you. I will teach you a lesson here! [Interjections.] Yes! [Interjections.] Hon Hlengwa! [Interjections.]
Mr H P CHAUKE: Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.] No, no. Deputy Speaker. [Interjections.] Deputy Speaker. No, no, no. The decorum of the House must be maintained and respected. Hon Steenhuisen must withdraw what he has just said to you; it’s a threat. It cannot be allowed in the House and especially now that we have in front of us ... we are having the Deputy President of the country. We must maintain the decorum of the House at all costs.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I agree with you fully. Hon members, please let’s maintain the decorum of the House. Language that is improper will not be used. Hon member, let’s deal
with each other properly? Hon Steenhuisen, can I employ you that we proceed.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Can I address you in terms of Rule 26 of the National Assembly Rules?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Would you like us to proceed, please
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Now, I would like to address you in terms of the Rules of the National Assembly, if I may.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I know you. I get you there. What are you saying hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: You are ...
[Interjections.] ... when points of order are raised to make a ruling on matters, are you deferring this ruling or are you simply just not going to do your job?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I have ruled on this matter and I told you that I will not answer it and as a way ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, may I refer you to Rule 26(4) of the National Assembly Rules? Rule 26(4) says that the Speaker must act fairly and impartially and – importantly, please listen – apply the Rules with due regard to ensure participation of members of all parties in a manner consistent with democracy.
Your refusal and what you have just said now and the denial of the question, which was absolutely germane to the aural fullesh is an obligation of your duty, sir. You are failing the House.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy
Speaker, can I rise on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes. Hon member, yes.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy
Speaker, we are tired of the DA’s tantrums. [Interjections.] The Deputy President has responded to the questions. [Interjections.] He has responded. He said he cannot respond to that question now. [Interjections.] So, what can’t you take that? And what you are asking is a new question.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker! [Interjections.] Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member please let me now allow you ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker. [Interjections.] Just for ... [Interjections.] Deputy Speaker, please may I address you. The question by the hon Shivambu speaks about ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member, you are explaining
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... speaks about the Reserve Bank’s ability to fight illicit financial flows. [Interjections.] My question to the Deputy President is: How does a nationalised Reserve Bank fight illicit financial flows? There is no new question in that.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I hear you clearly and the Deputy President indicated his response and his approach to responding to your question. The Deputy
President did not say he does not understand you. [Interjections.] He didn’t say that. He said that he feels that your question contains in it new statements and he promised that he would like to respond to it differently, elsewhere.
Hon members, earlier on hon Mnguni pointed out that when questions are posed, the supplementary question must contain one supplementary question. And this one is also the Deputy President’s choice. We do have flexibility. If the Deputy President wishes to respond to all of them - of course that will be our preference sometimes as well, that he answers as broadly as he possibly can – he can do so. But the Rules that you members of the House have agreed on says that in order to allow the spread and the number of people who must take supplementary question, they should be confined to one question so that he responds to that. So, that’s the one part of our response.
Secondly, hon member, I would like us to proceed on the understanding that the Deputy President will respond to the DA question in the manner he suggested he will and
that he will be able to provide you with the answer that you want. Deputy President ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members want to know when? I thought you said outside of here and so you ... [Interjections.].
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: And how? This is an oral question session. [Interjections.] He is supposed to answer here. Where is he going to give us the answer? And
... [Inaudible.] ... outside; it is just ridiculous. [Interjections.].
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Hlengwa, please take your ... [Interjections.] I am moving forward now. I am moving on. Hon Hlengwa, ask your question.
Mnu M HLENGWA: Ngithokoza kakhulu mhlonishwa Sekela Somlomo, Sekela Mongameli ...
... the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank cites amongst other things ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, you are insulting me. And it is inappropriate when you say this is rubbish proceedings. It’s inappropriate; it’s out of order. Your repeatedly doing that is out of order. [Interjections.] You are out of order, hon Steenhuisen. [Interjections.]
Mr H P CHAUKE: Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead, hon Hlengwa.
Mr H P CHAUKE: Deputy Speaker, whatever hon Steenhuisen is raising, we heard it ourselves this side. Can you please ask hon Chief Whip to withdraw that; it is unparliamentary. [Interjections.] Please, it cannot be.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have ruled on this matter, hon Chauke. [Interjections.] Hon member, go ahead.
Mnu M HLENGWA: Usiqale phansi-ke isikhathi Sekela Somlomo.
Hon Deputy President, the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank sites amongst other things that in so far as illicit financial flows are concerned is the fact that the state and institutions do not have the necessary capacity to deal with this and at worst to prosecute. For the past six years they have referred 151 cases for prosecution and only five have actually been taken up. The question then becomes: What measures and mechanisms must be put in place thoroughly to deal with this matter and inter alia amongst that, do you believe that the Reserve Bank is fully adequately capacitated to deal with this and if not, What interventions and measures must be put in place in order to assist the Reserve Bank to deal with this particular matter. Thank you, Chair.
Futhi nimuthembe uSekela Mongameli, uyakwazi ukusiphendula. Ningamukhulumeli, akalona idlozi.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I have noted that and I have said that there are gaps that need to be fixed to prevent this movement of money. Now, that can only happen when all these institutions work together to detect those gaps but this House can be rest assured that this problem is going to be attended to as per the announcement of the President in his state of the nation where he said he is going to establish a commission on tax administration. Now, that commission would touch on all these institutions and ask SA Revenue Service, Sars, and the Reserve Bank what they are doing to administer finances. We want to administer tax. The monies are moving out illegally - these are monies that must be paid as tax, these are taxes that belong to the country.
So, this commission is going to look at how we administer these taxes. They will check where the gap is and where we are losing the money? Now, standing from outside ... well, the deputy governor is saying that they have identified cases where people have defrauded. There are cases before our prosecuting authority and prosecution is not happening. But to prosecute, the Reserve Bank must be
able to give evidence which explains that this has happened. These companies have the right to reply. Well, there is progress, some cases have been closed and some cases are still on the roll. That also probably could be the space that this commission would have to look at.
What areas can we strengthen so that these companies do not evade and get away with murder. Thank you.
Ms D G MAHLANGU: Hon Deputy President, given the fact that illicit financial flows is contravening capital control and regulatory frameworks in our country, what is the Financial Intelligence Centre planning to do to address money laundering and combating financing of terrorism in our country? Thank you. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you hon member. [Interjections.] The Financial Intelligence Centre and National Treasury are undertaking a review of a list of scheduled institutions that they must work with to try and strengthen areas that they think are weak. But having said that, the President has made the intention clear and said that he is going to try and assist by appointing additional commissioners to come and assist in that
space. It is a space that will continuously seek to improve the current measures because we are living in a world that is constantly changing and advancing in terms of technology. So, more and more improvements will be ongoing but currently we have to do what we can. We have to do what is within our ability and capacity to deal with as a country.
Our capacities as countries differ and our ability to curb this will always differ pending on what we can do, what is available and what is our potential. But as South Africans I can assure you that we are better off in terms of all the institutions that are put in place to prevent this problem. With this commission coming into place, I think we are going to come up with new innovations that will seek to improve this region. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question asks by the hon member is based on our Human Resource Development Strategy of our country. The issue that needs to be addressed here is the nature of the relationship between our Human Resource Development Strategy and our development as a country.
For our country to develop, we need the skilled work force so that as a nation, we are able to raise our competitiveness and are able to respond to the dictates of any modern economy. Therefore, our skills development intervention must respond to what we want to achieve as a nation, we want to achieve in our developmental agenda.
Access to higher education has always been an issue for the poor. The fee-free education addresses the barrier that is prohibitive to development of the general poor and their escape from poverty. We have thus introduced a fee-free quality education to ensure that we open the doors for the poor who would ordinarily not have access to higher education.
The provision of free higher education is a victory for all the people of our country. It is a victory for the sacrifices of generations of freedom fighters that you can name. It is a victory for our heroic youth struggles, all the 1976 generation, this is their victory. It is a victory for the 1950 congress movement and the late South African teacher, Es’kia Mphahlele, who read the Freedom Charter to the delegates in Kliptown, reading the clause
that specifically relates to education that the doors of learning and culture shall be open to all.
It is a victory for our fallen heroes, our heroes like Hector Pieterson and many others. Those are the people who fought for a free just education system. In achieving this generational mission of opening the doors of learning to all our children, of our domestic workers, gardeners, mineworkers, teachers and unemployed, we are day by day realising the transformational imperative in our constitutional democracy.
The Preamble of our Constitution also enjoins all of us to recognise the injustice of our past and to honour those who suffered for justice and freedom. We have no doubt that this House; this people’s Parliament will continue to work in unison to ensure that no one renders meaningless this dream of the millions of our impoverished masses who need education to improve their lives.
Let us always be guided by the wise council of our founding President, Nelson Mandela, who said, education
is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of a mine and that the child of a farmworker can become a President of a great nation.
Hon members, one of the main pillars of our human resource strategy is the supply of the adequate skills that our country need, especially scarce skills through further and higher education and training.
Free higher education will ensure that students will now concentrate on their learning. If they focus on their core business of learning, we expect that the overall performance will improve.
The unique feature of free education is the funding of the total cost, that means, your meals, education, books, accommodation and other needs that our students need.
Thus far, the challenge for many students is that they were partially funded. Previously, financial support tended to cover some aspects and not all the needs of our students.
Through this free higher education, we expect that the performance of our students will improve. The serious matter of student dropping out will also be reduced. In this way, the development of our human resource will be greatly enhanced. There are many students who enter our TVET Colleges, our universities who have all their lives dependent on the state social grants. They have been in our township, rural schools, benefiting from our nutrition programmes.
Access to education and skills training provide the best prospects for this millions of young people to escape from this cycle of poverty help their families and contribute to national development. These learners should never be left on their own without food, accommodation, books and transport money when they enter the gates of higher education.
We believe the support we are providing as government will go a long way in reducing the risk that young female learners are facing. It should deter them from transactional sex, an unprotected sex with abusive elderly men. It should help reduce gender-based violence,
unwanted pregnancies and the spread of HIV and Aids. It is common knowledge that where the total needs of students are catered for, such students stand the better chance to successfully complete their studies.
The South African private sector must also find it necessary to continue to invest in the education system of our country because an appropriately skilled population is a huge benefit for our economy. Thanks to the progressive policies of this government. Day by day, in education, health, housing, we are restoring the dignity of all South Africans.
Many of those with no skills are in the forefront of our struggle and today they feel like they have been betrayed and forgotten. They cannot take care of themselves and their families. Many did not finish high school, they have never worked, and they live like beggars stripped of their dignity and identity. This is a very familiar South African story which must give all of us sleepless night. We cannot build a nation if more than half of South Africans live in poverty, hopelessness and without dignity. Our social compact between government, business
and labour must speedily reduce the number of young people not in employment, education and training.
In leading the human resource development council, working together with the Minister of Higher Education, I will be championing the cause of this young people we have given up on looking for employment who have given up in life.
Oliver Tambo once said that a country that disregards its young people does not deserve a future. It is also concerning that our interventions have not had the impact in reducing the number of women not in employment, education and training.
We must not only grow our economy to absorb young people into employment. Equally, we must also skilled them appropriately for both low skills, labour intensive jobs as well as high skilled jobs needed for a modern diversified economy. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms C C SEPTEMBER: Deputy President, indeed, education is not a static commodity to be considered in isolation from
its greater context. Therefore, progressively realising excess to education through the fee-free provision must be seen as a positive contribution.
Deputy Speaker, an effective anti-poverty strategy should incorporate enhancement of education and skills, especially for women and the poor. Deputy President, what strategy does government has to work in a co-ordinated way to deliver opportunities for human development in order to have a more educated and skilled citizenry so that we reduce disparities in wealth and poverty and improve the country’s gini coefficient? Can government ensure that those in South Africa who have suffered from discrimination in the past are put in front of the queue of national priorities as done with fee-free education continuously and as everyone has inherent dignity and it must be respected, not been able to be given opportunities to develop impairs dignity? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think as government, we have done a lot in trying to change the environment. We are happy that our basic education is now yielding the desired result. We have improved the infrastructure in our
schools. Children were learning under trees where we come from. Now, children have schools. Children have books at school. Children have transport that takes them to school. Children have food. That has contributed immensely to try and stabilise the learning environment in our basic education. That is the base. Whatever you see in universities comes from those primary schools and secondary schools.
We are still working hard to try and eliminate all these farm schools which do not deserve to be called schools. I am sure the progress that we are making is starting to yield result, you can see on the number of learners that are going through the system. The number is increasing day by day, year by year. We are seeing more and more bachelor’s passes. We are seeing more and more diploma passes. That should be a good sign.
This government has also tried to widen and broaden higher education. The introduction of TVET Colleges, expanding training is a good thing for this country, the expanding access in universities by coming with two new universities which are not enough. We still want this
government to build more and more universities, given the fact that there is always a bottleneck when children are supposed to be admitted in universities. Some students are unable to get entrances in universities. That is an indication that we are short of spaces, we are short of universities.
As a country, we have done better so far. But more and more still need to be done in skirling our nation. In skirling our nation, we will be in a way improving our economy. There can’t be any economic growth without a skilled labour force behind that economy to exploit the resources that are available that are presented by our country. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Question 4 (cont):
Prof B BOZZOLI: Deputy Speaker, so poor quality free higher education is not of high quality for many and it is also not actually free. Since it was introduced, students have rioted and burnt, complaining about NSFAS inadequacies, terrible or non existing accommodation, four universities were recently closed, Venda, Walter
Sisulu, Zululand and the University of South Africa, Unisa.
Unisa couldn’t cope with the large unplanned for large crowd of students, several universities are in severe financial difficulties and some have lost accreditation for key programmes like Law. So, your government cannot deliver quality education, and it can only make it free by taking money from basic education, about R7 billion and also from housing, about R7 billion and increasing VAT, all of which are antipoor measures.
Mr Deputy President, without mentioning any clichés, how does this really help human development? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, as a country, our needs will always be more than our resources. But that does not mean we will not move forward. The introduction of free higher education is a right step in the right direction. All of us must galvanise resources to ensure that our children are at school to acquire skills. That is the necessary thing to do.
I don’t think that people should complain; they can complain because there are families that are well off and therefore can send their children to best schools. But there are families that are not well-off, they are poor. If you are talking about unemployment and poverty, these people have got children that can’t access education. It is our responsibility to ensure that every child accesses education; and we are going to do that.
Now, concerning whatever we give or produce in the education system, and whether we call it quality education or not, it really depends on the eyes of the behold. We think that our children are really the best. Some countries are taking the skills that we are producing here and use our people to grow their economy. A lot of doctors who have left this country are working elsewhere as their best doctors.
But we, as the South Africans, we condemn our education system and we are saying that it is not giving good quality. Others see this quality. Maybe we want something that we ourselves don’t know. Having said that, there is a room to improve. If we feel that our education system
is not good enough, it is upon us to improve. But so far, what we have is really working for our country, and we are opening more and more opportunities for those that were excluded. That shouldn’t be a crisis for those that are already having opportunities.
For this country to work, to develop and to create necessary job opportunities that we want, we need a skilled nation. We are going to continue with what we are doing, but we are very sure that those who are at the lower rank; those who belong to the poor; those who belong to the working class are now having an opportunity to access education and break the circle of poverty.
I’ve had the opportunity of going to school which my parents did not have. Today I’m having an opportunity of standing in front of you because my parents saw it fit to take me to school. I have broken away from the circle of poverty. Thank you very much.
Prof B BOZZOLI: I am sorry Deputy Speaker, the question wasn’t answered.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please, you can’t be all on your feet; some of you must take your seat! Deputy President, please take your seat a little bit!
Mr M M DLAMINI: Deputy Speaker, just tell all of them to sit down!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please take your seat, I want to hear! Hon Dlamini, hon Dlamini, hold your horses!
Mr M M DLAMINI: But you are the one who said I must talk! So, that’s why I’m saying, tell them to sit down!
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Masingaxabani ngento engekho. [Ubuwelewele.] Masingaxabani ngento engekho. Awume kancane ngiyacela. Ubolalela uma uSihlalo ekhuluma nawe. Mnu M M DLAMINI: Ngikulalele. Uwena othe angikhulume.
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Awulalele uSihlalo. Ngeke ube necala uma ulalela uSihlalo.
Mnu M M DLAMINI: Khuluma-ke Sihlalo
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Awuhlale phansi kancane. Awuhlale phansi-ke ukuze ngikwazi ukukhuluma kahle. Angikwazi ukubhodla umile.
MOTLATSAMODULASETULO: Mohlomphehi Bozzoli, o lla ka eng mme?
Prof B BOZZOLI: Deputy Speaker, the question was: Higher education is not free because it has been paid for out of housing and schooling, but this was not mentioned by the Deputy President at all in his answer!
Mr H P CHAUKE: I have a right to stand, Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Bozzoli, the Deputy President responded to that question. What are you rising on, hon member?
Mr H P CHAUKE: I am rising on the very same point that you have just made. We cannot allow a member to raise a
second question again! The point I wanted to make, Deputy Speaker is that, I respected the fact that the Deputy President was on the floor, but the hon member who raised the question said that our education system is rubbish.
Now, Deputy Speaker ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You see, hon Chauke, you are now engaging in political discourse of the subject on the floor, and I rule you out of order. Please, take your seat! The Deputy President is capable of handling these questions without your assistance, please! Let me recognise you, Deputy President! Oh, you can rise now, hon Dlamini!
Mr M M DLAMINI: Deputy President, the studies shows that young people who enter Grade 1 to Grade 12, only half of them make it to Grade 12. So, we are talking of almost half a million of young people who disappear in the schooling system. Now, let me tell you what the young people want. They want free quality education. That is all the young people of South Africa are asking for, not the stop measures that your government is doing, that talks about how much a family is earning and all those
things, they are not interested on that. They just want free quality education.
So, when are you as the government going to be decisive and grant young people free quality education, as it is outlined clearly in the EFF cardinal pillars? You see, Deputy President, cardinal pillars of the EFF clearly tells you how to implement free quality education. You are doing very well as the organisation as we went to study cardinal pillars by the EFF that tells you about land expropriation, so go and deal with cardinal pillar no 3 of the EFF that deals with free quality education. Thank you. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think that as the government, the department of Basic Education together with the Department of Social Development are doing enough to attend to early childhood development. We have provided education to children that were loitering around, who at an early age were not exposed to a schooling environment, and we can give statistics of the children who are now attending early childhood development, that prepares a child for a primary school for a secondary school.
Now, you are talking about the children that are entering primary level through our ECD centres, who are not finishing the race. There are many ills along the way because of the issues that we are talking about. Some children are coming from poverty stricken families. The only meal they get is from school. When they go back home, there is no meal. So, there are many elements and factors that can cause a child to drop out.
In the main, those factors revolve around poverty. All of us, including you and myself, are coming right from that situation. There was a point at a certain stage in your life where you went to school without food. The government is spending a lot of money in ensuring that at least the child must have food. So, this is the only meal the child will get in between the day. Probably, that is the main reason that keeps the child at school.
In doing that, and by giving our children the food, we have to provide facilities. I said so that, when I was doing my Grade 1, I was attending school under a tree. Today I’m fighting very hard to ensure that our children attend in a classroom. The kind of education that they
receive in the classroom, is equally the same as the education the child in an urban area will receive. We are trying normal life.
Therefore, you should understand that the journey is too long and very tiresome. We are therefore in the middle of our journey. We are not really scared of those who are trying to disrupt it. We will continue with this journey because we know that we live with those people. The experience is a day-to-day experience that we must improve the situation. Thank you.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Through you, Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, you and I know that the Verwoedian system of education was meant to ensure that there was no place for a black child in vocational or technical education. But of course, we have seen our fellow Africans, those who come from Mozambique, Congo and other countries that they were schooled in vocational education, particular in engineering, mechanic, plumbing, electricity, etc.
Now, do you think that with the provision of free quality education, the country will be able to strengthen the
professional element of our system that is technical professional technical education, with regard to Further Education and Training, FET, in particular, I mean the Technical Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: We do get on brief discussions with the Minister of Higher Education, and through the few engagements that we have, I always insisted on skills training. I also sponsored a view, because the kind of TVET colleges that we have today, probably requires an entrance of certain minimum level of education one must have to enter TVET colleges.
I also said to the Minister that, there are young people who have never had an opportunity to see the door of a school. What do you do with those young people? You can find a way of giving that young person a skill like plumbing and carpentry. That would not require basic education, but it would require that the young person BE taught how to use his or her hands, and get that skill.
Finally, when that skill having been imparted, there must be a recognition that the person who has acquired a skill should say, now I know how to lay a pipe. In our case, the general black majority of our people have never had an opportunity of going to school. Therefore, we must integrate that community in whatever we are doing as a country going forward.
So yes, I’m sure the Minister will put more ideas around TVET colleges, and I can see that in our country, TVET colleges are a demand. They are all full. That tells you that there are more and more young people who want to access them. They can’t access higher education universities because of the entrance requirement, but they can access TVET colleges.
When we look at the number of learners who are making it through matric, for probably those who cannot make it, if we think about it, where do they disappear? If they have not passed matric, what happens to them? We must therefore find a way of tracking them to give them a skill and allow them to contribute in our economy. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: South Africa and the People’s Republic of China have established a diplomatic relation as of the 1 January of 1998. South Africa and China have reached a historic milestone as the two countries celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of this diplomatic relations. The diplomatic relations between the two countries have grown significantly over the past 20 years.
The nature of the relations has also assumed increased strategic significance from a partnership in 2000 leading to the establishment of a bi-national commission in 2001 to a strategic partnership in 2008 and to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2010 with the signing of the Beijing Declaration. Despite all these developments, China has never dictated to us, as a country, as to what we should do or how we should manage our domestic policy regime.
When establishing diplomatic relations with China in 1998, South Africa was recognising the People’s Republic of China as a legitimate Chinese government. South Africa
recognises the People’s Republic of China as a sole government that represents the whole of China. It is our stated position both domestically and in multilateral forums that South Africa identifies Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China accordingly. We subscribe to one China one policy.
As a sovereign state, none of our international partnerships have an overriding influence over our domestic policy. There is no bilateral or multi lateral partnership that we have entered into that has dictated the policy agenda that we must pursue as a country. We are a sovereign nation and we will tirelessly guard our sovereignty.
Similarly, we carefully consider diplomatic relations and international relations in determining our visa requirements. However, none of these are influenced solely by protests, manipulation and popular action.
We place a strict separation between visas determined by the Department of Home Affairs and officials and diplomatic visas issued in concurrence with the
Department of International Relations and Co-operation. South Africa treats each visa application on its own merits and demerits. We will from time to time accept and reject applications in accordance with our national interests and the rule of law. South Africa does not have a policy of denying entry to people of Tibetan origin.
I wish to reassure hon Singh that the People’s Republic of China respects bilateral and multilateral mechanisms available to that country to pursue matters of common national interests. It is common cause that the People’s Republic of China does not interfere in the domestic affairs of our country. Thank you very much.
Mr N SINGH: Thank you very much hon Deputy President for you response and congratulations on your appointment. One respects the diplomatic relations between South Africa and China but when the Chinese Embassy based in Pretoria issued a statement that says:
South Africa has undermined the political trust between China and South Africa.
They have also said that:
What South African government has done has run against the common interests of South Africa-China relationships and will undoubtedly discourage Chinese investor’s confidence in South Africa, undermine South Africa’s efforts for poverty reduction and caused grave harm for the interests of South Africa and the South African people.
Now, understandably so, the South African government, as it was reported, was furious that the Chinese Embassy issued such a statement. I would like to know in a similar vein that the hon Minister of International Relations and Co-operation issued a strongly worded statement against the Australian Minister for talking about allowing white people to come into Australia. That was a right thing to do, I believe. Did our government write to the Chinese Embassy and to the Chinese government to express concern at them making these kinds of statement because South Africa allowed a Tibetan to come into our country?
More so, hon Deputy President, we all know that this relates to his holiness, the Dalai Lama. We know that he has been refused entry into this country when he was a political leader of the Tibetans in exile. It is reported that he is a spiritual leader now and no more holding the political role. Will you consider supporting an application by His Holiness Dalai Lama to visit South Africa in the interest of promoting social cohesion?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: With regards to the statements that were issued by the embassy here, probably we will leave that to the Minister of International Relations and Co- operation to sort that one out so that they understand exactly what is the dissatisfaction. But the fact of the matter remains, as a country we have got our own policy and all the bilateral relations we have with other countries have not sort to dictate how we handle our internal affairs. So, probably, they will find out where is the discomfort around this matter and I have said that every application for a visa in this country would be regarded at that time of the application on the merits and demerits that will prevail at that time. Therefore, I
cannot pre-empt any visa application of anyone to say whether it would be considerate or not at that time. Let us wait until the application is made and those authorities will then determine because factors are changing as we move. Thank you very much.
Mr M HLENGWA: Thank you very much hon House Chair, hon Deputy President in the first question you went to great details speaking about human rights. I think it is appropriate at this point in time to venture down that avenue of human rights. South Africans always stand on the side of those that are oppressed.
How do you juxtapose the one China policy to the collective aspirations of the Tibetan people who are asking for freedom or self determination and yet we close the door on them? How is it that is done on the side of those that violate human rights? How is it that we stand on the side that oppresses people? Surely, our interaction must not compromise our own national identity of upholding human rights.
So, how can Tibetan people count on South Africa’s support when we are succumbing to the pressure of a big brother? When the Chinese President just yesterday said, if Tibet wants to leave, they will bear the punishment of history. Is that the country we want to work with?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Chair, I think what we must appreciate and recognise is that, when we are entering into bilateral relations we are not doing so with individuals but we are entering with a government. We are trying very hard not to dictate to that government on how to handle its internal affairs. We respect them. All countries have got their internal problems and we have got our own too. So, we must deal with our internal problems and not try to dictate what should happen in other countries.
Can we allow the Chinese to deal with their problems without imposing? We must avoid what we think will harm us. If we have granted permission to someone to come to South Africa because we feel that this person has no danger in allowing this person we do not want people to scream at us because we have done our due diligence and
in terms of our policy there is nothing that will prohibit us from granting this person a visa. But, this person cannot be granted the same status that we have granted this person here in other countries. That is a sovereign matter that depends entirely on that country.
So, as countries we must desist from this notion of trying to dictate to other countries what to do. It is not a good thing.
Ms S V KALYAN: Hon Deputy President, I find your inference that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama is a danger to this country so ridiculous. You have mentioned and I have listened carefully to you that you would like to leave this matter of China’s threat to discourage disinvestment in this country to the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation. I submit Sir that, you are absolving yourself of a responsibility.
This is a threat and I would like to ask you, as the Leader of the Government Business, as a Deputy President that do you subscribe to such threats? Is this another form of state capture where you absolve your duty and
allow another country because of their potential value to dictate the foreign policy of this country?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, I can ask the very same question to you. Why are you so insistent about this matter? What is your interest in that matter? [Interjections.] What is your interest in that matter?
Ms S V KALYAN: May I respond?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, order hon members.
Ms S V KALYAN: It is a matter of human rights; plain and simple.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, order hon Kylan, can we allow the Deputy President to conclude his response. Order!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Let me answer my part.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, order, the Deputy President was answering your question. Hon Stander, can you please be in order?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Let me answer my part by saying that I am not trying to absolve myself from anything. I am standing here representing a country and not representing myself. I cannot put my view in this matter but of the government, a government of these people.
Therefore, if I go and talk to other countries I will do so in my capacity as the Deputy President of the republic and I represent the people of this country. Therefore, I will be less inclined to interfere in country’s domestic matters because that is not my duty.
Ms S V KALYAN: That was not the question! It was about the threat.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: There is no threat. I said that I am not going to say whether the Dalai Lama’s application for a visa will be denied or accepted. I am saying, let us wait until he puts an application and it will be determined at that time. We cannot give a blanket
approval for a person. No, you apply at a particular time and we grant you or we do not because, as I said, circumstances change. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much, hon Deputy President. I am very fascinated by some of the comments I hear seated here. One of them is who elected who? I think all of us here have been elected in our capacities by the people of this country through our parties. I think that closes the matter for those who were asking the questions that I heard. I can appreciate that we are going for an election and filibustering is very much in the air but we are for the question and answer session.
Ms V KETABAHLE: Hon House Chairperson, the status of the Department of Home Affairs, particularly the credibility of documents issued by the department is placed in question by its Minister who has allowed himself to be used in a Gupta-led syndicate. It is a known fact that Mr Gigaba enabled corruption in all government departments that he has led. It is for this reason that Home Affairs is in corruption.
Mr P J MNGUNI: House Chair, on a point of order:
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): What is the question?
Nks V KETABAHLE: Ungalindi nje kutheni?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): What is the point of order?
Mr P J MNGUNI: I am not even able to wait. The point of order is that the hon member is casting aspersions on the good person of the member of this House and that he may go ahead and do it but through a substantive motion. I suggest that she be not allowed. Thank you.
Mr M M DLAMINI: Chair, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Dlamini can you please take your seat?
Mr M M DLAMINI: Yes, I am raising a point of order. Can you recognise me?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Can you take your seat? I will recognise you but take your seat. With respect to that matter, hon Ketabahle, indeed I was going to come back to you because I think you said certain statements emphatically as though it is a fact.
There are still processes to verify whether or not such issues are indeed facts. There are allegations obviously, but I do not think we can work on allegations as though they have been tested as yet. So, in respect of your statement I would really caution. You can raise a question directly to the Deputy President without inferring or casting aspersions on any other member.
Mr M M DLAMINI: Hon House Chairperson, on a point of order: Can the member be allowed to read the whole statement because the things that she is talking about are factual. The court in Pretoria said also said that Malusi is a liar. So, please allow her to read the whole statement and then we can be able to engage. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Dlamini, can you please take your seat? I have spoken to the hon member concerned. I think the issues you are raising, as you very much know, there is an appeal on the case referred to. The constitutional Court said it could not rule on this matter while the Supreme Court of Appeal still has a capability to deal with it. I think at the moment, we can have our allegations and our views. Let us just allow the hon member, as I have indicated that she must deal with the question and conclude without an inference or casting aspersion on anybody.
Ms V KETABAHLE: Deputy President, should we not build a strong and credible Department of Home Affairs free of corruption before we deal with China and champion a much more sustainable social cohesion campaign? If the Deputy President agrees, will he also agree that it will be best if he starts the process of building the credible and trusted Department of Home Affairs with the appointment of a Minister who will not spend all his time attending inquiries?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, I think in the interest of all South Africans, as government we must try and build very strong institutions and Home Affairs Department being one of them. All our institutions must be strong and the public that we seek to serve must feel that these institutions are serving us. That is our mission and that is why we are here but in terms of these allegations, the Chair has given us the direction on how to view this and how to view this and how we should take it. It is our intention, throughout in all government departments that we must try by all means to avoid discrepancies. We must try and improve the service that we render to our people. Not specifically to the Department of Home Affairs but to any department that it is the obligation to be carrying. With the insinuations and allegations, please allow a process to take its course and it will determine whether there is any wrongdoing or not. Time will tell. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon member Shaik, poverty and unemployment are a daily lived experience of the poor in our country. It is a matter of
fact that those in poverty are in the main, the black majority, especially youth and women. This is a reality we cannot shy away from, but one that we must face and defeat. The deep scars of underdevelopment caused by apartheid in its deliberate design of socioeconomic exclusion over many years cannot be left unchallenged. It must be confronted with greater urgency and focused intervention. Whereas we have made progress in fighting poverty and mitigating its devastating effect on our people through social security interventions, the reality is that throngs of our youth remain on the margins of the economy as a result of high unemployment rate. The extent of poverty has declined somewhat, but its intensity for those in the lower bound poverty has increased. This to our country is a ticking time-bomb that we have to confront and tackle with the utmost urgency
That is why the President pronounced that we will be implementing a radical socioeconomic transformation programme to effect these required changes for the upliftment of our people. At the heart of this transformation, is to address the patterns of economic ownership and means of production. Chief among these, is
land reform, which this House has debated, passed a resolution on, and agreed on an agenda for a constitutional process for land reform.
It is not lost on us that we must implement this radical socioeconomic transformation agenda within a constrained environment, which sometimes takes an antagonistic posture by financial market forces. We are mindful that these market forces may invariably seek to limit our space politically and policy decisions that we can make as a government. That is why we have opted for a constitutional reform route in order to implement this programme in a well-structured approach, thereby bringing certainty on the path of reforms we are taking to deal with land reform.
The fact of the matter is that as a developmental state, we cannot afford to leave the project of transformation to the whims of market forces. The state must actively participate as a driver for meaningful transformation. In this way, we can address the legacies of the past that created a thriving population in one hand whilst
condemning the majority to the margins of economic activity.
In implementing a programme of radical socioeconomic transformation, we are guided by the blueprint of a society we want to build as agreed to by our people and expressed in the Freedom Charter. Therefore land reform and transformation of economic patterns of ownership and production will continue to be implemented with much vigour. As to how fast we move, those of us elected as public representatives in this House, must work hard and work with speed in passing the required legislative so that we open way for these land reforms to happen.
We have to identify and agree on a set of strategic issues and tactical considerations facing our nation. There are areas of implementation in the immediate present that respond to the pressing challenges, which include strategic procurement from small, medium and micro-enterprises, SMMEs and their payment on time to keep their cash flow in the positive state. For government, we must deepen the building of the capacity of the state as a driver for inclusive economic growth.
We remain convinced that the state has a fundamental role in the economy through affirmative action aimed at inclusive economic participation to address deep socioeconomic disparities and inequality that is confronting our nation. Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy President when I heard the DA talk about oppression, I nearly fall flat on my back because they oppressed us for decades. [Laughter.] Deputy President the financial institutions, the Reserve Bank, the retail chains, the food manufacturing industry and the mineral wealth of this country including the water and land is in the hands of a few. Now, we cannot dispute that our land was stolen, but let us not forget the water was also stolen. [Applause.] Deputy President, will this not impact the continued monopoly that is held by the few white monopoly capitalist? Will it not impact in any intervention by government in trying to radically transform South Africa? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well the term radical economic transformation you should understand stems out of frustration - a frustration that the majority of our
people don’t see progress. I am sure that our comrades sitting here, wearing red, are telling you about economic freedom, economic emancipation. This is the stress that our people are faced with. That means, we can no longer avoid these questions that are confronting us. If we want to survive as a nation, we can no longer protect the status quo. Land must be given back to the rightful owners. Land is a means to help people to survive.
Now, let us take this journey all of us but we are going to hit to the call made by the President that we don’t seek to push other people away. We don’t seek a reverse discrimination in this case. However, for those who have acquired this land, must be aware that it is time to release it. They must accept themselves and we should find mechanisms that will be better for our country. I think all of us can share this land. Yesterday, I was just thinking. You will find a neighbour here, who has got 31 000 hectares of land and we have someone here who does not even own a small piece of land. [Interjections.] It’s unfair, it’s unfair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order!
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: It’s unfair! Therefore, we should not be scattered. The land issue will unveil new opportunities. [Interjections.] It will unveil new opportunities for those who were secluded in the past. [Interjections.] Land cannot just be given to people to just go and sleep on it. It must be given to people who are going to work it and produce. I think that should be the spirit. However, as for all the programmes that government has introduced to try and cushion our people who are in poverty, the government has tried very hard. Our social security system has kept our people alive, but it is time to take our people from that system of being beggars and receiving a social grant to be active participants of their own economy. We must achieve that. Our fellow South Africans who are holding land and who are rich, let us share this richness for the sake and stability of our country. Let’s take it to be our responsibility all of us working together with government to pull those in poverty out of poverty. [Applause.]
I think, we must move away from casting aspersions all the time to say white people stole our land. Some were not part of that. Probably, they are children or
grandchildren of those who took the land, but they must find it necessary that this land must be shared by all who live in it. Thank you very much.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: When I heard the question from hon Shaik-Emam, I nearly fell on my back it’s like a walking job advertisement, Madam House Chair. [Interjections.] Deputy President, I think there is not a party that does not accept that we need meaningful land reform to address the imbalance of land ownership in South Africa. [Interjections.] However, Deputy President given on 3 of July last year the Minister of Tourism hon Hanekom at the Agri Business Africa Conference said:
Expropriation without compensation is nonsense and that it would do very serious damage to our economy and is seriously unjust.
At the High Level Panel report identifies the key constraints on land reform as corruption, diversion of the funding into elite through elite capture and a lack of political will over a decade by this ANC government, coupled with a rank inability to pass over title to
previously disadvantaged South Africans. So, I ask you today Deputy President, can you please inform this House: What exact impediments in section 25 are to meaningful land reform? [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, your time is up.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, I think we have not tested that section. We have not tested it, but I am happy about what the House has done to pass a resolution. That gives us an extra lever to deal with this matter so that we don’t complain and say we are constrained by the Constitution. [Interjections.] However, all of us sitting here, we have different definitions, understandings and views. You would have realised in the 54 Conference of the ANC that not all delegates agreed to expropriation of land without compensation. [Interjections.]
Mr D W MACPHERSON: They nearly moer [beat.] each other! [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Finally, a view prevailed over everything. So, whatever Comrade Hanekom said was his personal view, but at the end of the day he was bound by the resolution of the conference. [Applause.] All of us are bound by that resolution and it’s a fact that land must be returned back to those who are landless. However, the tools that we have at hand ... This matter was debated by yourselves here and you felt that we must come close to the Constitution and open more gates for us to deal with this matter and you passed that resolution. So, I am waiting for that commission to start. I agree with you that probably the section in the Constitution, we have not explored it enough to see whether is prohibitive for what we want to achieve. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much, Deputy President and thank you for reminding us that all of us in that Constitutional Review Committee will have to do everything possible to test it.
Nkosi R N CEBEKHULU: Hon House Chair, referring to the hon Deputy President, in respect of radical economic transformation and ensuring food security to the nation,
what is your view and position on government sponsorship of mechanisation equipment and skills training to be provided to our citizen, who currently residing on communal land with a view of ensuring continued sustainable farming practices and for security? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I take it ... Currently, this is what is happening - all the departments of agriculture in the nine provinces have what is called farmer support.
Farmers are given support through equipments, seeds, fertilisers and everything for free. We might not have enough and our approach is not targeted. That is where we need to improve, but also to ensure that the support is continuous, by availing extension offices that would stay with the farmer to ensure that the crop is looked after until time of harvesting. Now, we can increase this support, but what I am trying to say currently, this is what is happening.
Well, I was in Mpumalanga before I came here. Farmers there are supported through tractors, fertilisers, seeds and everything. The missing link is that you give the
support and pull back. You must give support and continuously move the farmer. Support the farmer and educate the farmer. In that way, our interventions are going to be sustainable.
Now that we are starting a new journey of saying we want this land back. We must be prepared that when we get this land we are going to till it. We are going to be supported by the state when tilling that land. As a country, we must have food and we must eat. The surplus that we are going to produce, we are going to export it in order to get more income and make our farmers to be commercial. Firstly, it is important to satisfy our domestic need before we can export our food. Thank you very much.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk A T Didiza): Ngiyabona uyathokoza Mhlonishwa uHlengwa ukuthi uphendule kahle uNdabezitha. Ngiyabonga nami.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Deputy President, given that the Department of Agriculture has got a very lean budget and given the fact that therefore its support to farmers can only be equivalent to what one would call isolated showers. What steps is the government going to take to meet the desired timeframes, especially with regard to productive use of the land? The key word in this question is timeframes. That is where I want you to be specific in your response. When is this going to happen? That budget is very low, what you are relying on to improve the lot of the farmers.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hhayi ke nokho Mhlonishwa sesidlulile isabiwomali.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I see a shift in our thinking by the very nature of the issues that we are debating here. The very nature of the land question, by debating the land question you are saying as South Africans let’s go back and till the land. Therefore, it means we are going to put more of our energy and resources to make use of
our land. This tells me that by sitting here, you have identified agriculture as a very important sector that can uplift the economy. So, that identification should go with the resources that we put into that department.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much, Deputy President. That concludes Questions to the Deputy President. I thank you. [Applause.] That doesn’t conclude the House, yet. It concludes the Questions.
Deputy President, you can take your seat. [Applause.]
LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: House Chair, I
That this House, in terms of Rule 36, read with Item
7 of Appendix A to the Rules, and notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary, grants Ms S J Nkomo, Member of Parliament, M P, and Ms N W Madikizela-
Mandela M P, leave of absence from the House due to ill health until 30 March 2018 and 31 December 2018, respectively.
The House adjourned at 16:46.