Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 12 Jun 2018
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 12 JUNE 2018
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:03.
The House Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr E M MLAMBO: I give notice that I shall move on behalf of the ANC at the next sitting of the Council:
That the Council -
debates the reckless and irresponsible action of the City Of Cape Town that has led to the city being instructed to pay R300 000 to Annalene Marais by the bargaining council.
notes that Ms Marais was not even included in the shortlist for interviews for the position of chief of metro police though she was the most suitable candidate who was also deputy chief of metro police with more time than the seven years experience required at senior management level;
further notes that the whole process was a window dressing because the appointment of Mr Roberts was the only candidate that was interviewed out of 41 applicants; and
finally notes that the executive director of safety and security who was responsible for this mess must be charged and be personally accountable for the money that must be paid to Ms Marais and not the taxpayers.
Mr J J LONDT: I give notice that I shall move on behalf of the ANC at the next sitting the Council:
That the Council -
debates marriage equality and the obstacles which can still be addressed to protect all partners;
notes that since 1994 several amendments have been made such as the Recognition of Customary Marriage Act of 1998 and the Civil Union Act of 2006 to better protect citizens; and
further notes that there are still those vulnerable in marriages and union that we as legislators should look after.
PERENNIAL CASH-IN-TRANSIT HEISTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY A CONCERN
Mr D L XIMBI: Deputy Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes the perennial cash-in-transit heists that endanger lives of the security officers on guard and road users at large;
further notes that the masterminds behind this cash-in- transit heists are seemingly much trained people that seems
to have accreditation to carry firearms which makes them more dangerous to the community; and
finally notes that there must be pontification about how we should reduce our dependency on cash by going electronic or using mobile payment technologies.
Motion agreed to in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
SOUTH AFRICAN SPORT CONGRATULATED FOR EXCELLENT PERFORMANCES
Mr C HATTINGH: Hon Deputy Chair, I move without notice:
That this Council -
notes the excellent performances of the South African sport in the past weekend;
further notes that the Blitzbokke not only won the final World Rugby Sevens Series match against England in Paris but
successfully defended their World Rugby Sevens Series title for the second consecutive year;
also notes that Rugby Springboks, under the leadership of Siya Kolisi defeated England on Saturday in a gruelling match in Johannesburg with 42-39, after trailing 24-3;
acknowledges that the Proteas Women Cricket Team defeated England with a seven wicket win at Worcester in England;
further acknowledges that two South Africans, Bongumusa Mthembu and Ann Ashworth, respectively, won the Comrades Marathon in the male and female categories on Sunday; and
finally notes that these admirable performances and congratulates our athletes for their inspiring contribution, not only to our sport community but also to South Africa as a nation.
Motion agreed to in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
SLUDGE-WATERING PLANT IN KIMBERLY TURNED INTO WHITE ELEPHANT
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes a sludge-watering plant, constructed in Kimberly two years ago at the cost of R38 million has become a White Elephant as it is currently not being used;
further notes that raw sewage is flowing into the streets and intro people’s yards not far from this plant;
also notes that the plant’s metal door is locked and the whereabouts of the keys are unknown to the Sol Plaatje Municipality;
also notes that Sol Plaatje’s spokesperson, Mr Sello Matsie, claims this plant was built as a refurbishment of the sewerage works and that the new plant manager position will be advertised;
requests that the Sol Plaatje Municipality urgently appoints a person with the required skills to operate this plant; and
finally notes that communities have the right to stay in a clean and healthy environment to prevent the outbreak of diseases.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
SOUTH AFRICA’S GDP SHRINKS BY 2,2% CAUSING FEAR FOR MORE JOB LOSSES
Mr F ESSACK: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes that South Africa’s GDP has shrunk by 2,2% between January and March 2018 compared to the previous quarter, and the mining sector alone declined by 9,9%;
further notes that this will further fuel job losses and poverty amongst the most vulnerable South Africans;
also notes that the steep rising fuel prices this month will further fuel inflation causing food prices to rise;
acknowledges that the losses in employment opportunities will have a ripple effect on our fiscus, leading to further shortfalls in revenue income and contributing to even further poverty;
further acknowledges that the DA believes this is a total contradiction of what former President Mandela stood for in terms of values and principles; and
notes that, come 2019, the voters will punish the ANC at the voting polls for their greed and, of course, uncaring policies that were so proven over the last few years.
Motion not agreed to.
TWO VOLUNTEER MEDICAL SUPPORT STAFF ATTACKED IN DU NOON OUTSIDE CAPE TOWN
Ms L C DLAMINI: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes with upmost contempt and disdain the senseless attack and robbery of two volunteer medical support staff in Du Noon just outside Cape Town on Saturday, 09 June 2018;
further notes that the two medical volunteers who are part of the community medics, which is a public benefit organisation dedicated to bringing free medical assistance in time of emergency to those in need, especially the poor and those without medical aid in the township and informal settlement, were robbed of their belongings including two cellphones and the GPS used for locating distressed calls;
also notes that over 40 attacks on medical support staff such as ambulances crew have been reported in the Cape Town area since January 2018;
takes this opportunity to condemn in the harshest possible term this senseless attack on people who have dedicated their lives to serve the lives of the people in Cape Town; and
calls on the people of Du Noon and many parts of Cape Town area to work with police to ensure that people who are targeting defenceless emergency medical support staff such as ambulances and doctors, are brought to book to face the full might of the law.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I am rising on a point of order. You heard that the time was up. Therefore, that motion automatically becomes a notice of a motion when the time is up. Please refer to the Rules and make the right ruling because you actually waited for hon Dlamini to complete her sentence. However, normally when we do it, you say, stop and you follow the Rules when it comes to hon Dlamini. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A j Nyambi): Is there any objection to the motion?
AN HON MEMBER: Yes!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A j Nyambi): In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The Motion without Notice will become Notice of a Motion.
TWO PIT BULL TERRIERS MAUL 65-YEAR-OLD PENSIONER TO DEATH IN OUDTSHOORN
Dr H E MATEME: House Chair, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes with utmost concern another incident where two pit bull terriers savagely attacked and mauled a 65-year-old pensioner to death in Oudtshoorn during the weekend;
further notes that Phillipus Draai was working in the garden of his younger sister’s house when his neighbour’s dogs attacked and mauled him to death; and
takes this opportunity to reiterate its call to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, hon S Zokwana and the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Lawrence Mkhize to work with the various municipalities to develop pit bull breed- specific legislation to regulate the possession, restrictions and conditions of ownership of pit bulls as domesticated animals.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
PARLIAMENT OF RSA’S ATHLETICS TEAM PARTICIPATES IN 2018 COMRADES MARATHON
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes that the Comrades Marathon was held on Sunday,
10 June 2018 as a down-run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in the Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal;
further notes that Parliament of RSA has sent a team of athletes to the 2018 comrades marathon, comprising of both Members of Parliament and the staff of Parliament;
also notes that amongst the Members of Parliament in this team of athletes, there were also members of the NCOP who ran and finished the race, namely hon Boingotlo Nthebe and hon Chris Hattingh;
congratulates Bongumusa Mthembu from Bulwer in KwaZulu- Natal who won the male’s race and was already the defending champion;
further congratulates Ann Ashworth who won the female race;
also notes that both Bongumusa Mthembu and Ann Ashworth are South Africans;
congratulates the Members of Parliament and all the staff of Parliament who also participated; and
finally congratulates all the comrade’s marathon 2018 athletes, organisers, sponsors, supporters and everybody
else who participated in making this prestigious event a success.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
ROAD USERS UNDER ENORMOUS FINANCIAL STRAIN DUE TO HIKES IN FUEL LEVIES
Mr A S SINGH: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes with utmost concern increasing fuel prices including fuel levies which result in our people paying the higher fuel price, food and transport especially those who rely mostly on public transport;
further notes that road users in general are already under enormous financial strain, and a bigger increase in fuel levy will certainly place a n even greater burden on them;
Mr J W W JULIUS: House Chair, sorry for the interruption, but the motion was done by hon Essack. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Singh.
Mr A S SINGH: Chair, it is not the same.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Singh, please continue.
Mr A S SINGH:
calls on the government to look at an urgent intervention to reduce such hikes as much needs to be done.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Signh, I am afraid hon Julius is correct.
CHATSWORTH IN KWAZULU-NATAL UNDER SIEGE CRIMINAL ELEMENTS FROM CRIMINAL ELEMENTS
Mr M CHETTY: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
condemns the murders recently in KwaZulu-Natal of the innocent lives lost due to the increase in crime and lack of adequate police presence;
notes that Chatsworth in KwaZulu-Natal has been under siege by criminal elements who have targeted innocent and law- abiding civilians;
further notes that the police station currently needs to protect a community of over 350 000 residents;
also notes that Chatsworth is the fouth worst KwaZulu-Natal precinct for drug-related crime and fifth worst for carjacking;
calls upon the Minister of Police, Mr B Cele, to ensure the following interventions:
deploying a well-resourced anti-hijack unit;
deploying additional 100 police officers for visible policing and crime prevention;
increasing crime intelligence officers to prevent hijackings in the community;
opening a satellite station in Shallcross; and
re-establishing the narcotics unit;
conveys its sincere condolences to the murdered victims’ families in KwaZulu-Natal for their losses.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
GOLDEN ARROW BUS DRIVER SHOT AT PHILIPPI BUS DEPOT OUTSIDE CAPE TOWN
Mr J M MTHETHWA: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes with utmost concern the senseless and horrific shooting of a 30-year-old Golden Arrow Bus driver who was attacked on Thursday at the bus company’s Philippi depot;
further notes that several gunmen ambushed the unidentified driver just after 7.30pm at the end of his shift at the bus depot in Sheffield Road next to the Sheffield informal settlement, fired 15 bullets of which six hit the driver;
takes this opportunity to condemn this savagely conduct of the attackers and their reckless disregard of human life;
calls on the company to strengthen security for bus drivers, especially in the Philippi depot; and
wishes the bus driver a speedy recovery.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Ms L L ZWANE: House Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes with utmost pride the successful hosting of the 93rd edition of the Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu-Natal, last weekend, and the astonishing performance of the third time winner ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mangethe, hon members, let us listen. It is the one that was presented by hon Khawula.
Ms L L ZWANE: But there is detail that he did not cover, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No. Let’s listen, hon members. Hon Julius, it is your turn now. You are on the list. Oh, okay.
Mr E MAKUE: House Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council –
notes with utmost concern and apprehension the intention to auction two pieces of land that are regarded as sacred at the historic Tana Baru Cemetery at the top of Long Market street
in the Bo-Kaap, in the Cape Town CBD, which is the first officially recognised Muslim cemetery in South Africa and historical scene of the first of anticolonial uprising by the Muslim community in the Cape of Good Hope;
further notes that the historical significance of the Tana Baru Cemetery dates as far back 17th January 1886, when the Muslim community revolted against the closure of the Tana Baru Cemetery by colonial authorities by burying a child in the cemetery and that over 3 000 Muslims in the Cape of Good Hope followed the funeral procession in defiance of the colonisers with the police keeping a close watch on the procession;
also notes that in an attempt to preserve the heritage of the Tana Baru uprising and its sacred burial site, a committee for the preservation of the Tana Baru was formed in the early 1980s, and in 1998 the Tana Baru Trust was formed with the sole intention of preserving the Tana Baru Cemetery as a significant part of the heritage of Cape Town’s Muslim community;
calls upon the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr N Mthethwa, the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sports, Anroux Marais, the mayor of the City of Cape Town, councillor Patricia de Lille and the national ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Makue, your time has expired. Your motion will now become notice of a motion and will be printed in the full next Order Paper.
Ms B A ENGELBRECHT: House Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council –
congratulates the DA-led Tshwane Municipality for passing the 2018-19 Budget, which allocates R137 million towards Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, job initiatives, R551 million upgrades, roads, and building housing units in informal settlements of Phomolong, Kopanong, Rama City, Eersterus, Mabopane, Refilwe, Gatsebe, Kudube and Zithobeni,
R15,3 million for Early Childhood Development, ECD, R25,5 million for sport, recreation and upgrading of the
Refilwe and Caledonian stadiums, R364 million for heath care,
with R4 million to upgrade clinics and R40,3 million for drugs and substance abuse programmes; and
notes that the DA local government leads the way in providing quality services to all their residence and making sure that resources go to those who need them most.
Mr L V MAGWEBU: House Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council –
notes that on Thursday evening, last week, 7 June 2018, the founder of the Rising Sun Day Care Centre in Duncan Village, in the Eastern Cape, Ms Nozie Mswi, 49-year-old, passed away after struggling with diabetes;
further notes that her passing has left a void in the lives of many in the Eastern Cape, that were lucky enough to be part of her life and will be sorely missed; and
conveys its deepest condolences to her family and community of Duncan village for their loss and support during this difficult time.
Mr M M CHABANGU: House Chairperson, on behalf of the EFF, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council –
conveys its sincere condolences to the families of the four mineworkers who died yesterday at Sibanye Still Water;
notes that more should be done to find the fifth worker that is still missing; and
requests Minister Samson Mantashe put safety measures in place to curb these deaths.
Ms Z V NCITHA: House Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
notes with utmost concern the utter senseless burning of two schools in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga, leaving hundreds of children without classrooms;
further notes that the Siyathokoza Senior Secondary School and Thabana Senior Phase School were apparently set ablaze between Friday night and Saturday morning because some members of the community were not happy with the results of the recent by-elections;
takes this opportunity to condemn in the harshest possible terms this utter reckless act and disregard of education facilities, such as schools as the cornerstone of our national efforts to rebuild and empower communities to break the historical bondage of our people to poverty and illiteracy; and
calls upon the people of Siyabuswa and the Mpumalanga MEC for Education, Sibusiso Malaza, to ensure that the perpetrators of this senseless and reckless act are brought to book.
Debate on Vote No 28 – Labour:
Debate on Vote No 33 – Tourism:
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: House Chairperson, Cabinet colleagues and Deputy Minister, hon members, leaders of our social partners, guests in the gallery, ladies and gentlemen, let us recall our profound mission aptly captured in the preamble to our Constitution. Our Constitution enjoins us, among other things, firstly, to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights and, secondly, to improve the quality of life of all citizens and release the potential of each person.
I submit that the preamble to our supreme law of the land underscores what our struggle icons Ma Albertina Sisulu and the late former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela stood for. They made huge sacrifices so that you and I and the people of South Africa could declare that we are free at last. We therefore share a collective responsibility and duty as South Africans to ensure these ideals and values exist not only in theory but in reality.
I submit that labour laws play an important catalytic role in our quest to enhance democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights for our people. By the same token, they provide the foundation on which to build the necessary instruments towards improving the quality of life of all citizens. As a matter of fact, our mission to put in place legal instruments in keeping with our quest for social justice has largely been accomplished.
Today I stand before you and the nation to report on our work and our plans as we implement our commitments as stated in the 2014- 2019 Medium-Term Strategic Framework and the 2014 ANC election manifesto. We do this work fully cognisant of the fact that the world of work is changing more rapidly than was the case in the past. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, as it has become known, is truly upon us. These developments pose serious challenges for policymakers not only in South Africa but globally. It is partly for these reasons that the International Labour Organisation, ILO, has established a Global Commission on the Future of Work, led by His Excellency President Ramaphosa and His Excellency the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr Stefan Löfven, to investigate and provide leadership on how we should respond to these challenges.
The passage of the National Minimum Wage Bill from the National Assembly to this House gives all of us, and especially millions of low-paid workers, a glimmer of hope that the road to social justice will soon become a reality. Ordinarily, setting minimum wages is a function of collective bargaining. However, we are also aware that collective bargaining only works well when trade unions are strong. The challenge is that, out of the 16,4 million employed people in South Africa as at May 2018, all trade unions combined represent fewer than 5 million workers. This means a large number of workers have no union representation and, as such, are not likely to benefit directly from collective bargaining processes. These are often workers that trade unions have not been able to organise, or their unions are not strong enough to represent them through collective bargaining. Therefore, instruments such as the ministerial determinations and the national minimum wage are designed precisely to address the plight of this category of workers.
I have said this before, and I want to underscore that, whilst the introduction of the national minimum wage may not mean a lot to those who are well looked after in the world of work, for the majority of the vulnerable workers, some of whom still earn way below R1 500 a month, it will make a huge difference. The national
minimum wage is by no means a living wage but a good start in that direction.
Let me preface my input on other elements of service delivery by noting that the number of people who now have access to the services of the department has grown significantly since 1994. The service offerings of the department have also increased manifold from what it used to be in the past. We also recognise that the increase in the services we provide and the increased numbers of people that have access to our services have inadvertently put strain on our infrastructure. It cannot be denied that our infrastructure has not kept up with the volumes of people that use our service offerings.
As a result, this has inevitably compromised the quality of service delivery in some instances. For this reason, we have developed plans to ramp up our infrastructure and modernisation of our service delivery platforms.
Improving the infrastructure and capacity of our labour centres is at the core of our efforts to improve service delivery. The Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, and the Compensation Fund are leading in these initiatives. In addition to putting in place brick- and-mortar service delivery centres in some areas and introducing
mobile service platforms, we are also modernising the infrastructure through embracing and enhancing technology.
The Compensation Fund has launched CF-Filing which removes the manual registration and other prescribed processes. We are very pleased that within a short space of time, over 8 000 new employees have been registered and over 160 000 return of earnings forms were, for the first time, submitted, using the CF-Filing system. The new innovation in the Compensation Fund enables the employers to register, pay and obtain a letter of good standing without having to visit the Compensation Fund or a labour centre.
Furthermore, the Compensation Fund has made great progress in fixing some of its challenges of the past, including paying out to its beneficiaries on time. During the period under review, the fund adjudicated 189 788 claims on time, resulting in payment of benefits to deserving beneficiaries to the tune of R3,6 billion and a total of R11,7 billion since 2014. This is indeed a signal that the fund has dealt swiftly with some of its challenges.
To this end, the Compensation Fund has initiated a process to acquire four fully-equipped buses to service our communities. Two of
these buses will be equipped as mobile medical clinics and the other two with administrative capabilities.
The UIF, on the other hand, has introduced an online uFiling system which allows employers to transact with the fund online. We have also introduced Wi-Fi connectivity in our labour centres as an enabler where those seeking assistance can access the information they need without having to stand in the queue. We are aware that the UIF for the first time in many years is faced with reputational risks due, primarily, to poor service at various labour centres across the country. To respond to this challenge, a comprehensive service delivery action plan has been developed and is being implemented as we speak. Key in the service delivery plan is the resolve to pursue customer-centric processes that will assist in breaking log-jams in service delivery.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund has also initiated a process to employ over 200 client services officers to be deployed across labour centres in order to improve service delivery. We are excited about these groundbreaking achievements as they truly demonstrate our commitment to upgrade our infrastructure for the benefit of our people. We have prioritised communities in rural and semi-rural areas to be the first to benefits from this additional capacity.
We will continue with our programmes to enhance the employability of our people through various active labour market interventions. We will also continue to work with the Departments of Higher Education and Training and Public Works on the Expanded Public Works Programme exit plan and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training College, TVET colleges, on up-skilling UIF beneficiaries.
The Labour Activation Programme, LAP, will continue with its efforts to train and retrain workers, targeting real employment opportunities with a strong bias to rural and semi-rural areas. I want to report that LAP beneficiaries are with us today in the gallery, and I ask them to stand so that the hon members can see them. They are from the Western Cape. [Applause.] To date, the programme has been successful in training people in sectors such as building and civil construction and enhancing entrepreneurial skills. The training layoff scheme and turnaround solutions programme, on the other hand, have also contributed immensely to job savings that would have been lost through retrenchments. Our focus going forward is to massify outputs and grow the reach of the programmes.
You will be pleased to know that, to date, 59 co-operatives were provided with training through a partnership with AgriSETA. These
include four in Limpopo, 14 in Gauteng, six in the Eastern Cape, three in the Northern Cape, eight in the North West, 20 in KwaZulu- Natal, and four in Mpumalanga. We will continue this partnership and also bring the other provinces onboard.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Compensation Fund are leveraging their investments in a manner that seeks to create employment opportunities for our people. We do this by partnering with the Public Investment Corporation, PIC, and the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC. As we speak, it is injecting
R4 billion of its investible income into a developmental fund that has helped save thousands of jobs in the distressed manufacturing sector, whilst also creating new jobs. We are satisfied that this partnership is delivering on its objective given that, to date, it has created 29 895 jobs and saved 16 560 jobs. It is regrettable, however, that the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Bill has had to be delayed in order to accommodate the amendment brought about as a result of a Private Member’s Bill. I can report though that the regulations have been finalised in anticipation of the Bill becoming law soon.
The imminent advent of the national minimum wage and other amendments to the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and the Basic
Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill will no doubt re-enforce inspection and enforcement. Of note is the new role of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, CCMA, which will provide the dispute resolution capability and recovery of monies payable to workers. We are pleased to report that our inspection and enforcement component has developed an enforcement strategy to align with the CCMA’s envisaged enforcement role.
On employment equity, despite the JSE claiming and insisting in the media last year that their listed companies were all compliant, we discovered and reviewed 74 of their listed entities that were found to be noncompliant. Overall, 45 noncompliant companies were challenged in court and their cases await finalisation by the Court.
The National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, continues to carry out its work guided by its mandate and scope. Whilst there may be challenges organisationally, the council considered and concluded more than 12 Bills and policy matters in the year under review.
In addition, the council is currently dealing with a range of policy matters, including but not limited to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill, national health
insurance, comprehensive social security and retirement reform proposals, and section 77 matters.
The CCMA continues to demonstrate that it is capable and equal to its mandate. It is worth noting that it was the first labour market institution to examine its state of readiness to implement the National Minimum Wage Bill in anticipation of it becoming law. Its efficiency and effectiveness in implementing its mandate on conciliations and arbitrations to ensure that social justice becomes a reality for vulnerable workers is remarkable. On average, the CCMA takes 23 days to deal with conciliation cases, as compared to the legislated target of 30 days, and 64 days to deal with arbitration cases.
More than 53 000 people participated in capacity-building engagements, thereby improving their understanding of their rights and responsibilities in terms of the labour law. This programme also dealt with educating ordinary workers on how to access the services and the relief the CCMA provides. The CCMA regional offices ensured that, in the course of section 189A facilitations, the CCMA assisted in saving 25 196 jobs that were likely to be lost through retrenchment in this regard.
Productivity SA has through the turnaround solutions programme provided support to 71 companies facing economic distress. To this end, 8 515 jobs were saved in the process. The institution also offers the Workplace Challenge Programme, WPC, which is an enterprise support programme with a focus on achieving a productive, high-income economy which is globally competitive, targeting the productive sectors of the economy which have a potential for labour absorption. Over the past financial year, 590 companies were supported through the WPC Programme, and more than 45 232 jobs were saved.
In addition, a total of 21 570 companies, which include small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and co-operatives, were trained, and 197 workplace forums were established and empowered to promote consultation and dialogue on productivity improvement solutions in the workplace.
Previously we displayed here at Parliament the Public Employment Services bus equipped with technology to assist work seekers with registering their CVs on our database for potential employment opportunities provided by employers. In the 2017-18 financial year, over 20 000 work seekers were assisted with finding job opportunities. I must report that today we have the beneficiaries of
that particular programme sitting in the gallery, as well. They come from here in the Western Cape. I want them to stand up so that the members can see them. [Applause.]
Last year, we reported on a partnership between the Compensation Fund and the SA Institute for Chartered Accountants where
100 learners were taken on the training programme focusing on medical, accounting and actuarial skills. The geographic spread of the learners covered all our nine provinces. You will be pleased to know that the first intake – all 100 learners – all progressed to the exit level. We will continue with this programme.
We have realised that many communities are not aware of their rights and responsibilities in terms of our labour laws. We have also become aware that communities have very limited knowledge of the various government-sponsored support programmes that are designed to help them. For these reasons, we launched an aggressive ministerial outreach programme with a strong rural and semi-rural bias to inform communities on our labour laws and the services that government provides in general and how to access such services.
We do this work in collaboration with other government departments. Our outreach programmes have covered areas such as Ndwedwe,
Empangeni, Pongola, Sithebe and Ingwavuma in Kwazulu-Natal, as well as Memel, Vrede, Villiers, Frankfort and Warden in the Free State, and Riversdale and Kylemore in the Western Cape. We reached out to and touched well over 10 000 people through this programme. Over
7 000 community members who attended our sessions received services, ranging from payout of Unemployment Fund benefits, tracking Compensation Fund and ex-mine workers’ claimants and providing guidance to small businesses on how to access government support programmes. Over R1,5 million in unclaimed benefits were paid out to qualifying beneficiaries purely because of this outreach programme. We are therefore determined to continue with our programmes as the platform to empower our communities and to provide onsite assistance.
You will recall that South Africa assumed the chair of two international bodies this year. I am pleased to report that we hosted a successful session of the SADC Ministers for Labour and Employment and Social Partners in March this year here in the Western Cape. We will also be hosting ministers of labour and employment and social partners from the Brics countries.
I am pleased to report that we attended the International Labour Conference in Geneva a few days ago. The conference dealt with
various topics including the challenges of the future of work, social dialogue and tripartism, curbing violence and harassment in the world of work, and the new push for equality for women in the world of work. I am also happy that representatives from this House and the National Assembly were part of the South African delegation.
Hon members will be pleased to know that the ILO extended an invitation to our President to address its centenary conference in June 2019, pleasantly coinciding as it does with the historic year of the celebration of the birth of South Africa’s first democratically elected President, the late Nelson Mandela. This is indeed a gesture of the highest honour for South Africa and its people.
As I close, I want to assure you that issues raised by the Auditor- General are being attended to, and I am assured that there is progress in this regard. You will notice that our budget allocation weighting takes into account the areas that require capacity enhancements going forward. Of the total budget, five key programmes will take the biggest share, given the challenges and workload that awaits them. These are the CCMA, Administration, Inspection and Enforcement, Public Employment Services, and Nedlac.
Let me conclude by thanking the Deputy Minister of Labour, Adv Inkosi Patekile Holomisa, in absentia, for his support. I also extend my sincere gratitude to the chairperson and hon members of the select committee for their support, advice and guidance.
I hereby table for your consideration the 2018-19 budget for Budget Vote No 28: Labour totalling R3,2 billion. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members let me apologise to some of you who knows that we have the clock there. So, today the system is not working. So, you will be relying on me to advise you. [Laughter.] The Minister of Tourism, hon Hannekom. No, the clock will be making the sound. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon Chairperson, hon members, the Deputy Minister Thabethe. I am honoured to be back in this very, very exciting portfolio. It’s a special privilege to be here today with our partners in our provinces, where we do tourism.
We have a beautiful country, with rich cultural diversity and spectacular natural attractions, giving us a solid foundation to grow tourism responsibly, sustainably, and inclusively. With a total of 1,6 million people employed across its wide value chain, tourism
is a beacon of hope for so many people in our country who are without jobs and incomes.
Last year, over 10 million international tourists visited South Africa, and we can substantially grow the number of visitors to our country if we implement our Revised National Tourism Sector Strategy. The strategy is anchored around five pillars, namely: improving our tourism assets and infrastructure; offering excellent service and creating memorable experiences; marketing our destination effectively; making it easier for tourists to come to our country and very importantly, transforming the industry.
As you are well aware, there is massive untapped potential for tourism growth across our country, in all provinces. The quality of the 135 Hidden Gems which were put on show at Africa’s Travel Indaba shows just how much value can be unlocked, and how our tourism offer can be diversified.
Increasingly, tourists are looking for authentic and unique cultural experiences. The enterprises that provide these immersive cultural experiences attract more tourists and at the same time extend the geographic spread of tourism to remote rural areas, where jobs are desperately needed.
For us to remain competitive and increase our visitor numbers, we have to continuously improve our products offerings. Last year, we developed a Destination Planning Manual. This year, we will use the manual to develop tourism precinct plans, starting, as it happens, right here in Khayelitsha.
The department will also conduct master planning exercises in areas where there is underdeveloped potential. These sessions will identify infrastructure needs, planning approvals, policy blockages and facilities and will facilitate integration with other sectors.
The master development plans will be created for the area from Sutherland to Carnarvon, which includes the Square Kilometre Array area from Hondeklipbaai to Port Nolloth; from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay and at the Orange River Mouth.
The destination enhancement projects include the construction of a new gate into the Kruger National Park at Shangoni and the Phalaborwa Wild Activity Hub, creating opportunities for jobs and small enterprises in areas where unemployment is very high.
The construction on the Dinosaur Interpretation Centre in the Free State and the Leopard Trail at the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site will also start this year.
In order to make our tourist destinations and facilities more accessible to people living with disabilities, older people and young children, universal access facilities will be built at Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga, the Hilltop Rest Camp at Hluhluwe Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve in the Free State and the Dwesa Cwebe Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape.
Interpretive signage will be installed at the Hluhluwe, Mkambati and Dwesa Cwebe Nature Reserves; the Tsitsikamma National Park; the Blyde River Canyon and at the Square Kilometre Array site. This will give visitors all the information they need to make their visits more meaningful and more memorable.
The department is also creating a model to guide the development of budget resorts. Many of these resorts are owned by provinces or municipalities and are in need of refurbishment and improved management. They provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs and can help us to grow domestic tourism by providing more affordable holiday options.
Many of our infrastructure development projects are carried out under the Working for Tourism Programme, which creates jobs and offers young people an opportunity to develop skills and gain real workplace experience.
The community-led tourism enterprises are being developed at Witsieshoek in the Free State, Khula Village and eMazizini in KwaZulu-Natal, Rampampa in North West and Vilakazi Street in Gauteng. The development of our assets requires investment from both the public and the private sectors.
We have established a dedicated unit to promote investment, and are developing a pipeline of investment projects. The department is also assisting provinces to package their investment opportunities.
Tourism investments worth R69 million were made in South Africa last year, this represents over 8% of total investment in our country.
Every investment in products, facilities and infrastructure makes our country an even more attractive destination, bringing more tourists, more jobs and more opportunity.
In order to continuously attract more tourists, the overall experience has to leave customers satisfied and wanting more and
therefore, creating memorable experiences requires the best of service at all the touch points of the traveller’s journey. The Deputy Minister Thabethe will tell you how our training programmes are opening up new career opportunities, especially for youth and women, while also giving them the skills to offer excellent service to our tourists.
This year, the department will implement service excellence standards at visitor information centres in St Lucia in KwaZulu- Natal, Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, and at Pilanesberg in the North West. This follows the successful implementation of these standards at Manyane Game Reserve, Robben Island and Skukuza Camp in the Kruger National Park last year.
The next important pillar to grow tourism is marketing. The South African Tourism has set itself the ambitious, but achievable target of an additional 4 million international tourists arrivals and one million additional domestic holiday trips by 2021.
The centrepiece of our marketing efforts, Africa’s Travel Indaba, was a great success this year. Over 1 700 buyers, came to do business with more than 1 200 exhibitors, representing tourism products from no, less than twenty two African countries.
Our domestic tourism remains the bedrock of successful tourism destinations, and we are working hard to unlock the potential of the domestic market. The number of domestic holiday trips increased by about 30% last year, although the average spends and length of stay on these trips has decreased. The issue of affordability remains the biggest barrier to domestic travel. This presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop products that suit the needs and pockets of all South Africans.
One of the easiest ways we can increase tourist arrivals is by making it easier for people to travel to our country. While many countries in the world are issuing visas on arrival, with online visa applications, in most cases travellers to South Africa have to apply in person for a visa, at high cost and considerable inconvenience.
It is very encouraging that the Department of Home Affairs has announced its intention to introduce e-visas this financial year, and in the interim, to accept valid visas from selected countries as valid for entry into South Africa. We have also agreed to bring requirements for travelling minors in line with the practice in the United State of America, USA, United Kingdom, UK and other
countries. This will boost family travel and prevent travellers from being turned away by airlines.
We will do everything we can to ensure its continued growth of the tourism sector but we must understand that growth alone is just not enough. We must ensure that it is inclusive growth, creating not only jobs, but real opportunities for new entrants and the expansion of black-owned businesses in the industry.
The Tourism Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, Charter Council has reported that less than 45% of enterprises in the accommodation, hospitality and travel sub-sectors have achieved the 30% target for ownership.
At the conference on the state of transformation in tourism organised by the department last year, the delegates urged government and the private sector to improve access to funding, procurement and markets. The department has four incentive programmes to advance transformation. These are: the Market Access Support Programme, which helps small businesses to exhibit at various local and international trade shows, like our own Indaba; the Tourism Grading Support Programme, assisting establishments to enjoy the benefits of being graded; the Green Tourism Incentive
Programme, which promotes the conversion to clean and renewable energy and reduces operational costs and the Tourism Transformation Fund, which was launched last month to help black businesses to start up or expand.
The issue of funding remains a major challenge for new entrants and small businesses. The fund, which combines own contribution with both grant and loan finance, will help black investors and communities to invest capital in tourism projects, giving rise to a new generation of youth, women and black-owned tourism enterprises.
The value of tourism goes far beyond its contribution to economic transformation it offers life changing experiences, forges new friendships and allows people to learn about each other and embrace our wonderful diversity. As we celebrate the Nelson Mandela Centenary this year, we are exploring new ways of telling the story of our liberation struggle. The SA Tourism has created an app called Madiba’s Journey, which showcases 100 attractions that have ties to Madiba’s life. I urge all of you, to use this app you will discover how digital technology is advancing tourism in our country.
In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation to the Deputy Minister Thabethe for her enthusiastic contribution; the select
committee, under the sterling leadership of hon Edwin Makue; and our Member of Executive Councils, MECs, and I see MEC Zikalala is here for tourism, for the spirit in which provincial and national officials work together. The work of the South African Tourism Team, under the energetic leadership of Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Sisa Ntshona, is greatly appreciated.
I also thank the outgoing Board Members of SA Tourism for their thoughtful guidance, and I wish the incoming Board, chaired by Monwabisi Fandeso, every success for the term ahead.
Finally, my sincere appreciation to the entire Department of Tourism, led by Director-General Victor Tharage, for their passion and dedication. I value the collaborative relationship we have established with leaders in the tourism industry. Together, we will constantly strive to grow tourism in a way that improves the quality of life of all South Africans. Thank you.
Mr E MAKUE: Chairperson, may I kindly request that you remind me when I have five minutes left. Hon members, Ministers and Deputy Minister Thabethe, hon members from provincial legislatures, the director-general, DG, and officials from the two government departments, the chief executive officer and board members of SA
Tourism, the representative from the SA Local Government Association, ladies and gentlemen in the balcony, firstly, allow me to convey our heartfelt condolences to the national Department of Tourism’s DG, Mr Tharage, and his family on the bereavement of his brother. In the same breath, it’s my pleasure on behalf of the select committee, to sincerely congratulate the newly appointed board members of SA Tourism. They are a credible team and a competent board with proven track records, and we trust that they will take South Africa’s tourism sector to even greater heights.
Together, we do tourism.
The focus areas for this policy debate under Tourism is to highlight the importance of the tourism sector in our national efforts to re- engineer the economy to create more work opportunities and enhance the contribution of the tourism sector to our national priorities.
In terms of Labour, we are anticipating that we will address the need to wage a concerted battle against unemployment, poverty and inequality through programmes that are geared towards supporting workseekers, and improving economic efficiency and productivity.
The national Department of Tourism is responsible for formulating a legal and regulatory framework for the sustainable development and
management of tourism. In the past four years we as members in the select committee in general, and particularly we as members of the ANC, have been satisfied with the overall performance of the department.
We commend the Minister and team Tourism, as well as the board members, officials and staff of SA Tourism, on their performance. They agree with us that there is still room for improvement.
Therefore, this budget provides for a co-operative governance system that must co-ordinate efforts to create coherence among all role- players.
Accordingly, the mission of the Department of Tourism is to grow an inclusive and sustainable tourism economy through: good corporate and co-operative governance; strategic partnerships and collaboration; innovation and knowledge management; and effective stakeholder communication. The National Development Plan recognises tourism as one of the main drivers of employment and economic growth. Even our adversaries appreciate this ambition.
In conformance with the ANC’s strategy for radical economic transformation to achieve inclusive growth, the national Department
of Tourism’s programmes are focused on policy, people and places. I will speak to each of them.
Policy, amongst others, focuses on strengthening monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to monitor progress and measure the effect and impact of programmes on individuals, communities, enterprises, society and the economy.
With regard to people, the focus is, amongst others, on the training of tour operators to stimulate domestic consumption demand and an enterprise development incubator programme focussed on townships, villages and rural nodes.
With regard to places, the national Department of Tourism will engage in spatial planning with a focus on township tourism, rural nodes and the oceans economy.
In doing this, the department also endeavours to enhance investment facilitation and the utilisation of state-owned assets in order to leverage transformation.
Through our participation as Members of Parliament in provincial, I do tourism activities facilitated by SA Tourism, we have experienced
the enthusiasism and successes of stakeholders in the tourism sector.
As a services export sector, tourism is a significant earner of foreign currency. In the South African context, this growth in the tourism sector should be underpinned by the principle of inclusivity to drive transformation in the tourism sector.
An increase in tourism’s economic contribution is driven by an increase in domestic and international tourist arrivals, as well as an increase in tourist spend. Along with its partners, the department must create an environment conducive to this increase by ensuring a quality and diverse tourism offering, as well as by developing sector capacity.
The budget of this department is properly geared towards transformation of the tourism sector; towards research and knowledge management; towards skills development for the sector; towards destination development, including coastal and marine destinations; towards enterprise development; towards enhancing responsible tourism; and finally, towards facilitating regulatory interventions that are of particular importance for us as legislatures.
Annual events, like the Tourism indaba, where we enjoy the participation of other African countries, have proved to be an effective means towards the achievement of these transformation goals.
The overarching goal and five strategic areas of the National Tourism Sector Strategy pillars towards the inclusive and quality growth of the South African economy are: effective marketing, facilitating ease of access, enhancing and enriching visitor experience, proper destination management and broad-based benefits.
The Department of Tourism’s policy and international relations are in line with the ANC’s strategic objectives and the objective statements are clearly defined in the programme performance indicators for tourism development and inclusive economic growth.
Twenty-two monitoring and evaluation reports will be produced during the 2018-19 financial year. Minister, we told the DG that we want to see each of those reports so that we can perform our oversight appropriately.
The national Department of Tourism will implement the Expanded Public Works Programmes — funded projects intended to improve the
product offering and visitor experience, as well as creating full- time equivalent job opportunities.
We are all committed and worried about small, middle and medium enterprises. This budget is in line with the ANC’s policy position on support for small, medium and micro-enterprises, SMMEs.
Nonfinancial business development support will be provided in this budget to 400 SMMEs. The roll-out of national SMME financial literacy, management accounts, marketing skills and platforms for development programmes will be provided to these 400 enterprises. When the department presented this plan to us, they even broke it down into quarterly targets.
The safety of our tourists is imperative and this will be catered for through the I 450 tourism monitors to be enrolled in this financial year. Gauteng will have 200 monitors, Mpumalanga will have 250, the Eastern Cape will have 200, the Western Cape will have I00, KwaZulu-Natal will have 250, the Northern Cape will have 50, Free State will have 50, North West will have 100 and Limpopo, hon Dikgale, will have 250. Capacity-building in the national Department of Tourism will continue.
Let me go to labour. When the ANC government took power in 1994, the Ready to Govern policy, as well as the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, policy documents served as the blueprints on what needs to be done to undo over 300 years of colonial and apartheid repression. However, the ANC also knew it would not be easy and that it would take time to achieve all the things that needed to be done. The RDP states that:
No political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remain in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life. Attacking poverty and deprivation must therefore be the first priority of a democratic government.
The South African labour market is characterised by high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality in the context of slow economic growth. The instability of South Africa's economy lies in the distorted pattern of ownership and economic exclusion created by our painful, historic apartheid past and its diabolical policies. The effects of decades of racial exclusion are still evident in both employment levels and income differentials. The fault lines of these differentials are principally racial; defined also by, amongst others, skills levels, gender and location.
Economic growth therefore gives us the revenue we need to implement our massive fiscal distribution programme as government. It creates new wealth and assets which can be redistributed to the previously dispossessed. We all recognise that we have enormous economic potential in export manufacturing, tourism, the agroindustry, the oceans economy, business services, etc, but the pace to address growth constraints is unacceptably slow.
Key to unlocking growth in this budget before us will be to work better with business and labour to reduce the cost of doing business, to identify obstacles to investment and to remove such obstacles.
In South Africa, most low-income households live far from the centres of economic activity. The costs of searching for and getting to work are high, and information about work is often unavailable.
In this context, labour-market services are extremely important, including those that prepare workseekers and match them with work opportunities. The ANC called on government to act to improve the quality of active labour-market policies and to create incentives for absorbing young employees so that young, unskilled jobseekers can gain entry into employment.
The ANC’s 53rd national conference of 2012 resolved to ensure that our programmes and policies should focus on developing skills that are required by the economy so that the youth can become part of the mainstream economy.
A very important sector for us which is very often ignored ... Ten per cent of the global population are people living with disabilities. The Department of Labour is looking at this vulnerable sector in our community by continuing to engage in Supported Employment Enterprises, SEEs. These SEEs will receive a transfer from the Public Employment Services programme. This transfer is aimed at accelerating employment opportunities for people with disabilities. About 100 additional persons with disabilities will be provided with work opportunities in the SEE by the end of March 2019 and the department can be assured that we will monitor that progress consistently.
The ANC has showed its commitment to ensure that learners are also trained in various skills disciplines, with a special focus on those that carry the promise of absorbing the learners on completion of their courses. It makes no sense for our youth to just acquire their education. Through this budget, we are looking at creating opportunities for them to earn a living as well. The aim is not to
train for the sake of training, but to target those skills where there is demand in the economy and where learners have an option of starting their own businesses if they so choose.
The department has signed memorandums of understanding with technical vocational education and training, TVET, colleges. This is done to train Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, beneficiaries in order to fast-track their re-entry back into the labour market, and to enable entrepreneurship and preserve jobs.
Despite these positive changes, challenges remain. Over the past
10 years there has been fragmentation in the labour market with many more workers in casual and temporary work than those workers in full-time employment. Youth unemployment remains persistently high, and access to employment and the labour market is a challenge for many people, especially our people living in the rural areas.
The South African labour movement understood and consistently maintained that these challenges cannot be separated from broader social struggles; that economic justice and equality cannot be achieved without workers playing a meaningful role in the shaping of the discourse. The National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, is just one example of how this ANC-led government is
creating the forums for meaningful engagement between the private sector, business, labour, government and civil society. [Interjections.] Thank you, Chairperson.
Wage inequality is continually viewed as a challenge in South Africa's labour market. It also contributes to unfair practices and industrial relations is affected. One of the measures to address this problem was the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. This was made possible by the determination of the social partners so as to reduce wage inequality while maintaining economic growth and employment creation.
The election manifesto of the ANC in 2014 committed the ANC-led government to investigate the modalities for the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. This commitment was made in the interest of reducing South Africa’s massive income inequality, to create employment that delivers fair income and that provides social protection for families, and to ensure that all workers are paid reasonably and have decent employment.
This commitment was further reaffirmed by the 54th national conference of the ANC that took a resolution on the minimum wage, and indicated that it must be implemented as a matter of urgency, as
the minimum wage regime will impact positively on the lives of many low-paid workers; hence the improvement in the living conditions of our society. This will be progressively introduced.
The ANC remains committed to doing much more to improve the lives of South Africans and to contribute to the advancement of the lives of all South Africans. It's my honour to announce support for the Tourism and Labour budget policies. I thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mr L V MAGWEBU: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, Director Generals, DGs, fellow South Africans,
It has been forty eight hours since we descended back to the shores of the Motherland after we have - as a delegation of Parliament - visited the 107 International Labour Conference.
I must say to you Minister of the Department of Labour, we have observed and made our own observation and I just want to say we are impressed to find that your officials are taking centre stage. They are playing a prominent role and lifting the South African flag high. As members of committees, they are instrumental in shaping the course in the mandate of the International Labour Conference – but back to my prepared speech.
The entities that support the Department of Labour are crucial. Let me hasten to say that the CCMA is undoubtedly in good hands and doing very well, and Nedlac and the labour council had unqualified audit reports, and that again is commendable. The UIF had nine consecutive unqualified audit reports and again that is commendable. But here is the problem Minister.
The Compensation Fund – with due respect – remains in shambles. I heard you saying that strides are made. On the 7 November 2017, the Compensation Fund appeared before our Select Committee on Economic and Small Business Development and presented its Annual Performance Report 2016-17.
The overall performance for the Compensation Fund for Annual Performance Plan 2016-17 was sitting at 50%. The Fund’s annual audit plan had not been approved by its audit committee by March 2017 but had however only been approved towards the end of the 1st Quarter of 2017-18.
The Fund had also been unable to meet its annual target of having an investment portfolio return of 8,28% with actual returns only being 7,17%. The Fund had taken an action to revise its investment
strategy. The Fund was also unable to achieve its planned target of maintaining its vacancy rate at 10,3%.
On the financial performance of the Compensation Fund for 2016-17 total revenue amounted to R13, 4 billion and expenditure sat at around R6,6 billion. There was a surplus of R6,6 billion. The Committee collectively was not pleased with the performance of the Compensation Fund.
The performance only sat at 50%, and members have observed that it continued to face serious problems. Now the question that arises is whether this Compensation Fund is in good hands? Minister, members felt that the management of the fund is weak.
Three disclaimers in three years was unacceptable. Members were concerned that the Compensation Fund was managing funds from workers’ contributions. The whole idea of having the Fund was to assist workers when they are in dire distress. The select committee was also concerned that the Compensation Fund had not addressed the
78 findings of the Auditor General of South Africa.
Hon Chairperson, Minister, this failure opened up the fund to fraud and corruption. On the findings of the AGSA, the Compensation Fund
had alluded that they are addressing these issues and they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Inspectorate section of the Department of Labour. But we know this will not work Minister, because your department continues to have a dire shortage of staff on inspection and enforcement.
The fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounted to a whopping R400 million due to wrongdoing and there was over 34 cases under investigation at the time they were reporting to us in November 2017. A total of 163 cases had been condoned. But here is another problem.
Notwithstanding this poor performance, R5 million was paid out in performance bonuses when the organisations performance sat at nearly 50%. How come?
Hon Chairperson and hon members, the mandate of the Department of Labour is to regulate the labour market through policies and programmes developed in consultation with social partners, which are aimed at: Improved economic efficiency and productivity; Employment creation; Sound labour relations; Eliminating inequality and discrimination in the workplace; and Alleviating poverty in employment.
Chairperson, even if all our labour laws and policies are progressive — if the enforcement is weak, then what is the point? The Department of Labour continues to have serious shortage of human resources to conduct inspections and enforcement of our labour laws and this undermines the mandate of the department and often leading to strikes, which could have been averted, had the department have the necessary capacity.
Hon Chairperson, members, fellow South Africans, Marianne Levine, a reporter at Politico referencing labour laws in the United States of America, wrote in February in her article entitled “Behind the minimum wage fight, a sweeping failure to enforce the law.” I quote:
Wage laws are poorly enforced, with workers often unable to recover back pay even after the government rules in their favour. A nine-month investigation by Politico, which found that workers are so lightly protected that six states have no investigators to handle minimum-wage violations, while 26 additional states have fewer than 10 investigators.
Given the widespread nature of wage theft and the lack of resources to combat it, most cases go unreported. Thus, an estimated $15 billion in desperately needed income for workers
with lowest wages goes instead into the pockets of shady bosses.
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, fellow members, this is as true here at home as it is internationally. This therefore calls upon the Department of Labour to be creative and innovative; lest it fails to discharge its mandate.
To address this chronic shortage of human resources for inspection and compliance, which can have a potential to make a mockery of our labour laws, the Minister has an urgent duty to ensure that this is corrected. The question is, given the minimum wage, how is the department going to enforce the minimum wage if it has serious shortage of staff on inspection enforcement and compliance?
As the DA, we have argued and we continue to argue that the minimum wage should have been determined by sector perhaps. Hon Chairperson, failure to enforce compliance has dire and deadly consequences.
According to the International Labour Organisation report, globally every 15 seconds a worker dies from the work related accident or disease.
The Department of Labour has less than 2000 inspectors, yet there are more than 3,2 million companies registered in South Africa. It means that the department has one inspector for every 120 O00 economically active citizens compared to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization’s recommendation of one for every 20 O00.
We have a long road to go Minister, and we must move very fast, otherwise we are indeed running a race of making a mockery of our labour laws. Minister, until this is corrected many of our labour laws will be all to nought, with all the good intents and purposes.
Xa ndiza kuvala, ndicela ukuthi kuwe Mphathiswa...
... as the DA, we are on record that we believe in good governance and the Compensation Fund has challenges on good governance. We plead with the Minister to draw closer to the Compensation Fund and make sure that all these wrongs are corrected. Until that is done, it becomes difficult to support this Budget Vote. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon Chairperson, let me acknowledge the Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom, Minister of Labour, Ms Oliphant and MEC Zikalala and Chairpersons of the Select Committees, Mr Makue and Mr Rayi, Members of Parliament, the director-general in absentia with all the officials, deputy-directors, DDGs, chief executive officer of SA Tourism and ladies and gentlemen. I also want to acknowledge one of our learners who are here from Mamelodi Mahlogonolo Shabangu a pupil from one of our public schools, but with a very sharp mind and a future of this country. She is up there in the gallery. [Applause.]
I rise to address this House in this centenary year of our former President, Nelson Mandela as well as Mama Sisulu and Oom Bey Naude, whose selfless efforts in struggle contributed to the democracy we enjoy today. May their revolutionary spirit live on, particularly as we work tirelessly to transform our tourism sector for the benefit of all South Africans.
Hon members, the South African destination experience relies on the diverse offerings of many enterprises, including some of the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMMEs, interventions and I am sure you heard from our Minister talking about the Hidden Gems and we hope that you will be able to accelerate that and assist much more.
In this regard in terms of the establishment of the four incubators to address exactly mentoring, assistance to some of these Hidden Gems we have managed to surpass our mandate for we were supposed to established one, but we established two more incubators and last year we reported two in this House. And it is working very well and we hope we can get much more.
Then since we are moving with speed, we are also implementing Human Resource Development Initiatives for the tourism sector. Our National Youth Chefs Training Programme is now in its fifth phase and has benefitted a total 1 867 young people in South Africa. In the past year alone we have seen 76 young chefs being placed in international hotels in the United States of America and 20 in the Seychelles.
Hospitality Youth Training Programme as well contributed to 6 813 unemployed youth have received accreditation qualification in Food and Beverages Services, Accommodation Services and a National Certificate in Fast Food. We will train an additional 2 375 learners this financial year.
With regard to wine services as well, we are trying to do our best in terms of the Sommelier training in Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal,
Northern Cape and Gauteng enrolled this year in the Wine Service Training Programme, will provide ready skills for the wine industry upon graduation. We invite industry to join national efforts, such as the President’s Youth Employment Service, Yes, initiative, by absorbing these graduates.
With regard to Food Safety Assurers industry, we also support our Food Safety Assurers programme which trains unemployed graduates in food handling. In the last financial year, 489 learners completed this programme and in 2018-19, we will enrol another 1 500 learners.
Hon Chairperson and Ministers, I would like to highlight some of the positive outcomes from our youth training programmes, specially the chefs and the food Safety training programmes. The Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape is a case in point. The hospital has absorbed 30 graduates comprising of 30 chefs and 10 Food Safety Officers.
Feedback received from Ms Linda Vara one of the managers at the hospital is as follows: Firstly, the placement of the national Department of Tourism, NDT, trained graduates has improved and professionalised our kitchen.
Secondly, the young stars have the right skills, qualifications and attitude. They are very strict and do not compromise on quality.
Thirdly, the food quality has improved and patients are served according to customised diet sheets in line with the doctors’ orders.
Fourthly, food waste has been reduced by 52% and this has resulted in huge savings. The hospital has had no budget challenges and has been able to assist other hospitals with food stock loans.
Lastly, the kitchen has become our pride and joy.
Overall, the department has facilitated the placement of 600 youth who have been trained in different disciplines in the hospitality industry internationally and they come back in the country and some get permanent jobs.
With regard to the Tourism Blue Flag Beaches, we have enrolled 300 unemployed youth as beach stewards in our 50 Blue Flag beaches across KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town and Eastern Cape. We will enrol even more as we add more 25 beaches to the programme this year.
With regard to the National Tourism Careers Expo last year saw us in Bloemfontein and we attracted about 7 300 learners and they learned about careers in tourism and the hospitality industry. For the next three years, we will be cohosting this with the North West province and expose even more youth to take careers and opportunities that exist in the tourism and hospitality industry.
With regard to the women, looking at the training in this sector, we have managed to train about 60 of them now, 20 last year and 40 this year. On the executive training management courses and some of them, I am happy to say five of those that graduated have already been promoted to higher positions. We are continuing with engaging women in this sector and making sure that they can be part of this transformation wagon.
However, also last year in November we had lots of exhibitions, entrepreneurial conferences, etc and all those. However, in coming then to the issues of domestic tourism, we have completed the review of the strategy as you have heard from the Minister and provided that some critical insights regarding growing and resilient domestic tourism market. We are committed to building the future of tourism in South Africa.
Last year, we undertook social tourism youth activations in celebration of O R Tambo’s centenary by hosting 195 learners from Bizana in the Eastern Cape and 190 from Ekurhuleni in Gauteng and for this year’s Mandela centenary together with our partners SA Tourism and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, we will host provincial youth leadership conferences and expose youth to various Madiba-related attractions.
In some of this exchange programmes for these young people it was for the first time to be in a flight, Minister. It was for the first time for them to sleep in a hotel or in the lodge. They have never experienced that. Indeed, we are promoting I Do Tourism, We Do Tourism, because young people are future ambassadors of tourism, but they are also part and parcel of the value chain as explained.
I think one issue that is a highlight to us, this year we attended the global summit of women in Australia and in some of that there is a session of the ministerial round table. Within that we presented amongst more than 20 countries present of Ministers and Deputy Ministers and it is attended by 1 200 this year of women all around from government, private sector as well as the civil society met for three full days coming with solutions of the world to make sure that we can look at questions of women and others. So, we won 5 000
dollars with our shares programme. I think we are doing well as the department. We do tourism. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister Thabethe, Deputy Minister of Tourism. Hon Thabethe, the last time the hon Cele when presenting his policy debate, he was accompanied by a girl child and he introduced her to this House as a shadow minister of police. Now, I just wanted to check whether if she is the shadow deputy minister of tourism.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: She is.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: She is, for today. Alright. You are heartily welcomed shadow deputy minister. Alright. Thank you very much. The hon Mathevula. Can you continue with the debate. [Applause.]
Ms B T MATHEVULA: Chairperson, the EFF rejects both the Budget of the Department of Labour and the Department of Tourism. Colonialism and apartheid in South Africa were built on and maintained through land dispossession and the exploitation of cheap black labour. It was the need for labour which saw many of the laws which entrenched land dispossession passed, as without land and with the requirement
to pay taxes our people were forced off the land, and became labourers in the mines, factories, and farms of white South Africans.
The recent Labour Bills in Parliament will only continue this cycle of exploitation. While in principle we agree with the idea of a minimum wage, the minimum wage the ANC wants to implement is a Trojan horse for legislation which will further exploit our people.
Twenty rand an hour is a slave wage, while the regulations around strikes, picketing, conciliation and arbitration, are reactionary, anti-workers, anti-poor only serve the interests of capital, and the need for higher profits. The entire process of how these Bills were drafted was incorrect.
The very fact that South African Federation of Trade Unions, SAFTU, was excluded undermined the whole process and also the idea that such an important policy that will affect the lives of millions of workers can be agreed upon, by a group of elites in National Economic Development and Labour Council, NEDLAC, and some panel appointed by one person who has demonstrated beyond doubt that he will at all times protect the interest of big business before
workers, poor people, women, children, and people with disabilities, is one we must completely reject.
If it was not for the EFF letter to the Chairperson of the Labour Committee the process was going to be rushed, with no oral presentations and also not enough time for the committee to consider all inputs. But what is more concerning is the conduct of the Minister and department.
Not only has the Minister ignored the input of the committee, but she went even further and even undermined the NEDLAC agreement, therefore undermining the entire National Minimum Wage legislation. This legislation is nothing but an extension of the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP that will trap workers in low wages for the rest of their working life while companies and bosses live lavishly out of profits.
This anti-workers attitude of the ANC is not new and is why they continue to allow labour brokers to operate throughout the country, and outsource the services they provide. It is why we have continuously called for in sourcing of workers in government, universities, state owned companies and in the private sectors.
It is for this reason why we will be introducing two very important Private Members’ Bills. We are going to introduce a Private Members’ Bill to ban all labour brokers to restore workers dignity, to advance the struggle for better working conditions and living wage. We are going to introduce a Private Members’ Bill to ensure that no person work for government through a third party, and all workers are employed on a fulltime basis, with pension and medical aid since the public healthcare has completely collapsed.
These Bills that we are going to introduce will go a long way in ending the exploitation of workers in this country, while also restoring their dignity. Workers like those in the tourism industry. The tourism industry is one of the most exploitative industries in South Africa. In all our provinces, but particularly our coastal provinces the tourists industry makes billion of rands each year, but who does it benefit?
It largely benefits white capital, who exploits the labour of blacks, both South African and foreign. In the tourist industry, workers are casuals, not paid minimum wage, not paid overtime, and can be fired on the spot. You have bosses who take tips from their workers in restaurants; you have bosses, who make workers work on Christmas while paying them R11 an hour, and you have bosses
dismissing workers simply because profits are slightly down, not considering that these workers have families to take care of.
Up until today neither the Department of Tourism, nor the Department of Labour have done anything to address this continued exploitation, and have allowed the tourism industry to go largely unregulated with little or no consequence for the violation of labour laws. This forms part of a broader failure of the Department of Tourism, and lack of transformation in the industry. We have repeatedly argued here over the years that to comprehensively transform the tourism industry and unlock its growth potential, we must also directly deal with the question of land ownership, and the question of ownership of places of accommodation.
People come here to see our wildlife, our majestic oceans, and our rare plant species in the succulent Karoo and in the Cape Floristic region. Who owns the land with all those flowers in Namaqualand? How is that of benefit to the majority of the unemployed and the landless in Namaqualand? Most private nature and game reserves are in the hands of a tiny minority of white people. Most of the hotels and Bed and Breakfast, B n B, are owned by a tiny minority of white people, who then employ, underpay and abuse their black workers and the Minister here calls that progress. The entire Tourism value
chain must therefore be changed. We must put our people first, not only as employees, but as active participants and primary beneficiaries of tourism.
We reject this Budget. Thank you very much.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chairperson, welcome back Minister Hanekom. Minister Gigaba’s catastrophic visa and unabridged birth certificate regulations remain a rope around your neck. These ridiculous regulations have cost our country almost R8 billion in tourism revenue, with the amount of tourists decreasing by more than half a million in the previous financial year. We hope you can get that right.
In the fourth Parliament, I served on the Select Committee on Home Affairs where I interacted with Minister Gigaba. Subsequent to a study tour to Dubai with the ICT focus group, where we observed how some countries use electronic visas and the biometric system technology in 2010, the new South African ID card and idea for a paperless Parliament was born. I requested Minister Gigaba to introduce this technology, in my Home Affairs Budget Vote debate during that time. Instead, Minister Gigaba continued to rather promote the unrealistic and insensitive unabridged birth certificate
regulations, which he based on a factually and statistically incorrect newspaper report with regard to the abduction of children, as you know. We read newspapers and sometimes we also believe it.
We are glad to see that, although many years later, Minister Gigaba received a wake-up call and introduced the biometric system as well as finally, piloted an electronic visas project for more efficient travel. If this was implemented earlier, tourism could have received the much-needed boost.
Minister Hannekom, ek stel dus voor dat u druk op Minister Gigaba begin plaas, aangesien ons land in die huidige ekonomiese omstandighede, dringend ’n finansiële inspuiting kort en toerisme werkskepping ’n hupstoot kan gee. Nou, meer as ooit, is dit nodig dat hy die geboortesertifikaat-regulasies verslap, van meer gevorderde elektroniese sisteme gebruik maak, en e-visas so gou as moontlik implementeer.
Veiligheid en sekuriteit is natuurlik een van die mees belangrikste aspekte vir toeriste wanneer vakansie of toere beplan word. Toeriste wil veilig voel wanneer hulle in ’n vreemde land vakansie hou.
Ongelukkig is die geweldadige betogings en gewapende rooftogte met
geweld, wat tans in Suid-Afrika plaasvind, oral deur die wêreld op TV-kanale te sien. Die publisiteit plaas definitief ’n demper op enige toeris wat dit moontlik oorweeg om na Suid-Afrika te reis.
Geen persoon sal homself, sy gesin, vriende of familie blootstel aan sulke omstandighede nie.
Buitelandse toeriste word deesdae ook deur sindikate geteiken, aangesien die tipe toeris terug keer na hul eie land na misdaad voorvalle, en nie duisende kilometers as getuie vir ’n saak sal wil terugkeer nie. Die kriminele kom dan skotvry daarvan af en teiken net weer die volgende buitelandse toeris.
Ons regstelsel sal aandag moet gee aan ’n spoedige sisteem om sulke oortreders aan die pen te laat ry. Somtyds word die skurke eers lank na die geroofde toeris terug in sy eie land is gevang. En sonder die toeris as getuie in die hof, kan die beskuldigde nie verhoor word nie en word dus vrygestel.
Ons howe sal dus na moontlike alternatiewe metodes moet kyk, sodat die verdagtes nie keer op keer vrygelaat word nie. Ons howe kan moontlik lewendige videoverbindings gebruik vir uitkennings en skuldige bevindings.
Ons Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiedienste moet ook baie meer sigbaar wees en in gebiede ontplooi word waar baie toeriste gereeld tyd spandeer, om hul veiligheid te verseker. Die gesamentlike poging van u departement, die Departement van Binnelandse Sake, die Suid- Afrikaanse Polisiedienste, en die Department van Justisie kan dus deur goeie samewerking, die gety draai en weer toerisme sy regmatige plek in ons ekonomie laat inneem.
Binnelandse toerisme bly ongelukkig ook ’n groot tameletjie en kom net nie lekker van die grond af nie. Die huidige buitensporige brandstofpryse maak dit nog moeiliker om mense te oortuig om binne Suid-Afrika te toer en ons eie land te verken.
A DA government will ensure the safety of tourists, in order to increase our international tourist figures. This will create more jobs for local people. We will also use the newest technology that I spoke about to ease the movement of visitors to our country, without the current Home Affairs difficulties on visas.
We believe that we can create more jobs in the tourism industry, as proved by the Department of Tourism in the Western Cape, at this stage province.
Minister, laastens, wens ek u en u departement alle sterkte toe om deur teorisme, werkskepping in Suid-Afrika te laat plaasvind, waar ons mense werkloos is en werk so dringend nodig het. Ek dank u.
Mr J M MTHETHWA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Oliphant, Minister Hanekom, Deputy Minister Thabethe, hon Zikalala, hon members, special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, this year marks the centenary of the father of our nation, Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and as a joint year-long celebration with one of the greatest daughters of the African soil, Mama Albertina Sisulu, a heroine who spent her life fighting for the emancipation of women and liberation of South Africa.
The initiative “what’s your 100 Madiba experiences?” is promoting travel and tourism through Mandela’s legacy. This will enhance the already existing Mandela inspired attractions initiative launched in the past financial year. This initiative will assist with entrenching the culture of travel amongst South Africans in all 100 sites across the country. These sites will become a must visit in the travel itineraries, not only for South Africans, but for international tourists as well.
The ANC’s 53rd National Conference resolved that over the next five years, the ANC will take decisive and resolute action to overcome the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, which are at the heart of South Africa’s socioeconomic challenges.
As such, tourism form part of the four priority areas that have been identified and advanced by the ANC as a key driver to sustainable and equitable job creation. This focus on jobs is in line with the ANC’s commemoration of Nelson Mandela and advancing renewal, unity and jobs.
In its journey of creating and sustaining more jobs, the ANC call on the department and SA Tourism to enhance and intensify their intervention on growing domestic tourism and making it accessible and affordable to all South Africans.
The ANC-led government is a cognisant of the paramount role of domestic tourism for both addressing the socioeconomic imperatives of the country, and makes good business sense to trade, as it provides critical support to tourism operators in several areas of industry performance.
As noted by the President Cyril Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address, the tourism industry has created and sustained over 700 000 jobs in our country.
We engage in this debate equally informed by the restructuring that has taken place both in the department and SA Tourism, so as to address the emerging trends in the sector and to promote the further growth and development of the sector.
In this regard, thriving domestic tourism will help South Africa to grow and be competitive and address, amongst other things, the following three important aspects: Firstly, seasonality - with the potential to generate visitor spending during off-peak week season months thus supporting gainful employment in the sector. Secondly, achieving geographic spread - domestic tourists visit the remote areas neglected by the inbound tour operators, supporting rural and township tourism establishments through the enjoyment of local products. Thirdly, increased domestic spend - well-developed and affordable domestic tourism offerings can motivate the people of Mzansi to take Sho’t Left holidays and do tourism in their neighbourhood.
New concepts such as staycation can be promoted to ensure that South African truly buy into “We Do Tourism” campaign. In so doing, there will be an increase in domestic trips which will lead to more domestic spend. This will culminate in the transformation of sector and job creation.
With regard to the challenges that we face within the tourism sector, whilst the department continues to aggressively drive and invest in marketing awareness campaign on domestic tourism through Sho’t Left campaigns, they rely on the travel agencies and tour operators to execute on conversion of potential South African to domestic tourists. The challenge is that the travel agency and tour operators continue to focus on international tourists, which are more commercially attractive segment, which bring them higher margins in the bottom line, and domestic tourism is neglected.
The most concerning emerging trend in South Africa is that domestic tourism is becoming an activity of the elite and only affordable by the affluent, the rich and middle strata. In 2017, the domestic holiday trips amounted to R17,1 million trips. This was a decrease of 29% from 2016 and was driven by the 41% decrease in visiting friends and relatives trips.
However, despite the decline in domestic holiday trips, there was an increase of 16% in average spend per domestic tourist per day. This means that there is fewer South Africans embarking on domestic tourism, but spending more. What can be inferred from this trend is that the fewer people who are travelling are the rich citizens who can afford the current domestic trips holiday packages.
This perpetuates the structural imbalances of the past where only the privileged section of the society could afford travelling. The previously privileged citizens have been joined by the fewer from the black middle class. What is concerning is that the culture of travel has not improved amongst South Africans.
The ANC is cognisant of the economic situation in the country, but the lack of travel amongst South Africans cannot only be ascribed to affordability. The main challenge is that there have been no major structural changes in our operators and travel agency who package domestic tourism. The current private sector is more inclined to international tourism, which yields them more profits.
Deepening domestic tourism can be used as a powerful tool for nation-building and social cohesion in South Africa. The ANC would like to see more being done in transforming the tourism industry in
our country. Small, medium and micro-enterprise development strategies should be catalysed and implemented by the National Department of Tourism and SA Tourism.
The gap in the travel agency and tour operator space should be addressed. The department should also assist emerging tour operators and travel agency to plug into the domestic tourism space for planning domestic packages and itineraries. Furthermore, progressive and creative initiative should be explored in order to make domestic tourism more accessible and affordable for all our people.
The department is commended for a number of skills development programmes implemented in the 2018-l9 financial year, including the Women Executive Programme targeting women in management positions in the private sector.
Transformation is another real and daunting challenge for the sector. The Tourism Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, Sector Code has not yet yielded the desired results. This poses a threat to the sustainability of the industry and the vast opportunity of economic activities and inclusion.
The enabling environment should also eliminate the administrative challenges that exclude most small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, SMMEs, from accessing government support and financial boost from the financial institutions.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mthethwa, can you take your seat! On what point are you rising, hon member?
Moh N P KONI: Modulasetilo, ke kopa gore o mpoletse sebui mo podiamong gore a se ka tsaya potso?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can I listen to ... Hon Koni, what were you saying?
Moh N P KONI: Ke ne ke re ke kopa gore o mpoletse sebui mo podiamong gore a se ka tsaya potso?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mthethwa, are you prepared to take a question?
Mr J M MTHETHWA: Not yet.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, he is not prepared to take a question.
Ms N P KONI: Okay, Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, he is not prepared to take a question. Take your seat!
Mr J M MTHETHWA: We encourage the Minister, the Department of Tourism and SA Tourism to continue providing the leadership to the sector. This requires an improvement and political will to eliminate all the barriers and policy uncertainties that could stifle tourism growth in the country. We also call upon the private sector to partner with the government in driving the tourism development and economic contributions of the sector.
In 2014, the ANC National Election Manifesto has called for the introduction of a contributory social security system to provide for guaranteed retirement, disability and survivors benefit, while streamlining the road accident occupational injuries and the unemployment benefits.
Last year, the department has registered an increase in the number of companies that were subjected to a review for non-compliance during this period. This is despite the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, JSE, claiming and insisting in the media that their listed companies were all compliant and it was discovered that 74 of their listed entities that were reviewed were found to be non-compliance.
There are some improvements in the Compensation Fund administration; however, there is still a lot of work to be done. The recently revised organisational structure of the fund holds the promise to deal with the remaining challenges.
The claims environment, which was the major source of complaints for many years, is showing huge improvements. The fund has completely wiped out the backlog in claims, which is indeed a major breakthrough. The fund is modernising its service delivery infrastructure and this has already significantly reduced claims turnaround times. About 88% of the claims are today finalised in 21 days, a far cry from what it used to be in the past. The fund has made a commitment that it would have resolved all the current bottlenecks in the claims environment by 2019.
The introduction of National Minimum Wage by the government of the ANC is aimed at increasing the earning of the most vulnerable workers and will at the same time, reduce the staggering inequality in our country and restore workers rights.
Once implemented, the National Minimum Wage — R18 an hour for farmworkers and R15 an hour for domestic workers — will be phased in for these two categories of workers. The reason for this, for a phase ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mthethwa?
Mr J M MTHETHWA: Yes!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Your time has expired.
Mr J M MTHETHWA: Thank you, Chairperson. The ANC support these two Budget Votes.
Cllr G BOSMAN (Salga): Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Tourism, hon Minister of Labour, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, may I take this opportunity to congratulate hon Derek Hanekom on his reappointment as the Minister of Tourism. As thelocal government we
welcome you back. I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of all municipalities and the leadership of South African Local Government Association, SALGA, to wish well and all the best and in the same token commit our organisation and our municipalities to working with the Ministry going forward.
Hon Chairperson, as the Minister affirmed in his budget speech, tourism is now the world’s fastest growing industry with over 1,3 billion people travelling internationally every year. As Salga we are also pleased that tourism maintained its strategic importance within our economy as outpaced other sectors and contributing about 9% to our gross domestic product growth. We are also pleased that it has so far created 1,6 million employment opportunities thereby giving the much needed economic relief to all our people especially in our municipalities. As a sphere of government that is the closest to the people, we recognise the strategic role that tourism plays in the sustainably providing throughout municipalities and throughout the length and breadth of our country. We also recognise that tourism plays a role in underpinning the livelihoods of many people in our municipalities and remains a key sector where the enterprising spirit of our people can be absorbed, especially those who were historically excluded from participating in the economy.
We commend the Minister’s support for the brand ambassadorial function that South African tourism plays. We wish to re—emphasise that many tourists are seeking the undiscovered gems which our small and hidden towns eagerly took to partner with both your department and the private sector to unleash and indeed unlock our economic potential in our municipalities. While we concede it is important to brand, market and refine South Africa’s existing tourism products, we believe it is also important to reinvent or develop new destinations and innovative products. Maintaining competitiveness locally is the key to keeping brand South Africa alive and well into the future. We are convinced that the revised National Tourism Sector Strategy that was approved by the Cabinet last year is a step in the right direction towards promoting competitiveness in the industry.
We are excited that as you state in your speech, the revised strategy provides a coherent policy framework that helps our country to focus on all the necessary elements to achieve inclusive growth in the tourism sector. We support the pillars outlined in your budget speech especially those that pertain to investment in infrastructure, transforming the industry and accelerating empowerment for all South Africans especially previously disadvantaged people. As Salga we would like to work with you to
ensure that all South Africans across are enable to benefit from the funding opportunity that you announced in your budget speech. We believe that a sustained growth of the sector will contribute enormously to the realisation of this vision.
Hon Chairperson, competitiveness in this sector and in the national economy can indeed be achieved by promoting inclusion. In this regard, we are particularly encouraged by the Minister’s emphasis that good planning and co-operation between the three spheres of government and the private sector are essential to destination development on any significant scale. Destination South Africa is the sum of many different products and services, supported by good infrastructure, it will all come together to make for a seamless and memorable tourism experience. We hope as part of your plans going forward, your Ministry will continue to support the grading costs of establishments associated with the grading council because it promotes inclusion, will continue to support our community tourism projects thereby improving management and business skills especially small and medium enterprises.
Hon Minister, Salga remains an ardent supporter of the role of tourism as an economic driver where it impacts the lives of all South Africans. Accordingly our local municipalities receive and
play host to an essential service that is being delivered to all tourists and South Africans alike. These services include roads, the provision of water, electricity and services that protects our tourist’s assets not just in a wildlife parks but also along our beautiful coastal regions. We hope that through your leadership, we will be able to bring under one roof the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform and those in the economic cluster to work towards a more coherent approach to promote coastal, heritage, agricultural and rural tourism. As Salga on behalf of our members we look forward to working with the Ministry and the department towards creating and growing a competitive inclusive sector supported by the role that local government can play. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms B A SCHÄFER (Western Cape): Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Members of the NCOP, ladies and gentlemen, tourism is vital for South Africa: Not only because it brings in billions of rands into the national GDP; but because it presents precisely previously disadvantaged and unskilled South Africans with stable and prosperous employment. In a country with a high unemployment rate and a large unskilled population, tourism presents many South Africans with a lifeline out of poverty.
Approximately 700 000 South Africans employed in tourism, and one in
22 employed citizens is working in this sector. These statistics are a clear indication of the changing nature of South Africa’s economy. Tourism also presents immense potential for budding entrepreneurs, spurring on economic activity which grows our economy in turn. And, with such bountiful natural beauty, well-developed transport infrastructure, and competitively priced lodging and tourist attractions, South Africa really is a country built for tourism.
With this in mind, our country must do everything possible to allow the tourism industry to flourish, if this sector is so beneficial for our people and our economy. What sets the tourism sector apart, as a job-creating industry in South Africa, is the fact that it is easily accessible to the majority of women for economic exploitation.
From running catering businesses, to bed-and-breakfast houses, BnBs, and hostels, to guided tours, South African women are beginning to realise the endless potential the tourism sector can bring. Tourism is arguably the easiest and most profitable sector for female entrepreneurs, as it allows women to make a business out of skills they already possess.
In fact, we need women in tourism for this very reason, Minister, so we welcome your comments made today on the opportunities for women in tourism. They showcase a side of our country that men so often neglect — our stories, our humanity, and many of South Africa’s struggles are far easily able to be expressed through tourism.
The Western Cape has long been aware of the benefits of the tourism industry for its people. This is why tourism has been singled out as a key industry deserving of immense investment and development in our province. Through the Western Cape's Project Khulisa, tourism has been prioritised as a strategic sector able to create much needed employment for the people of the Western Cape.
As a result of this approach, launched back in 2015, tourism has become a burgeoning industry and big business for our province. Between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the fourth quarter of 2017, tourism in the Western Cape grew by 7,5%, bringing in R6,6 billion into the provincial economy, and creating 26 758 jobs since 2013. In the tourism industry alone, the Western Cape has managed to make noticeable strides in eradicating unemployment and creating prosperity for our people.
The Cape Town Air Access strategy has also focused on linking Cape Town with a number of key tourism markets via Cape Town International Airport. Since its inception in 2015, Cape Town Air Access has brought in 750 000 more inbound flight seats to Cape Town, increasing the growth of international terminal passengers by 20% - that is 13 extra new direct flights into Cape Town airport.
This year alone, an additional of 150 O00 more inbound flight seats will be secured for Cape Town, further securing the Western Cape’s title as one of the most visited destinations on the Africa continent.
Western Cape tourism has also created a fertile environment for entrepreneurship and innovation. If we look at disruption in the tourism sector, certain companies have seen immense growth in Cape Town and the Western Cape. AirBnb has grown by 86% in the Western Cape in 2017 alone, while recording a whopping 110% growth in rural destinations outside of Cape Town. This has brought a combined
R5 billion into the province just last year. According to AirBnb, the City of Cape Town alone accounts for 25% of the company’s revenue on the entire African continent.
These figures point towards big business for our province, and the bountiful rewards the Western Cape government is reaping from
investing in an industry ready to thrust South Africa into the competitive international tourism market. The knock-on effect is the economic capability this sector gives to unskilled South Africans.
Residents living in Khayelitsha have opened up their homes to AirBnb guests, using spare rooms as a form of necessary income. These exchanges leave a lasting impression on foreign visitors, who get a genuine and unique South African experience of Cape Town, sampling street food and spending their money on handmade trinkets and souvenirs.
Economic opportunity trickles down into rural areas and informal settlements because of the tourism industry, and Cape Town has created a platform of potential for many in our poorer communities. Tourism creates a means to uplift and develop our most marginalised communities, and innovation in the industry, such as AirBnb, really provides an easy means to contribute to this industry and ensure a stable income for millions of South Africans.
With this in mind, the national government must ensure that tourism can grow unhindered in South Africa by removing any unnecessary red tape which may block or slow its development. This is where the
national Department of Tourism, and the national Department of Home Affairs, have worryingly different approaches to tourism potential.
As you know, Minister Hanekom, the enforcement of unabridged birth certificates for travelling minors, a severely underdeveloped visa application system - just in its infant stages at the moment in key tourism markets, particularly such as India and China - and severe shortages in Home Affairs staff at passport control have severely hindered tourism’s development in our country.
The Airports Company of South Africa, along with the Department of Home Affairs, appeared before my standing committee just last week. While international arrivals have grown by 20% at Cape Town International Airport, the number of Home Affairs’ immigration officers available for duty at passport counters has decreased from
82 to 68 over the past four years. The resulting bottleneck delays passengers and cripples airport activity.
Cape Town International Airport informed me that R25 million is lost in revenue from the airport’s duty-free shopping experience as international passengers are held up in queues at passport control. Please understand that those are vital jobs, of people that are employed from this province, at the airport. Home Affairs only opens
five counters out of 18 to process on average 35 000 passengers per day. Why has Home Affairs not realised the tremendous impact this has on our tourism industry?
It is quite evident that the Western Cape’s tourism industry has surpassed the predictions of national government, but we are still waiting for the Department of Home Affairs to catch up. The simple task of allowing international visitors through our borders is complicated by an inefficient and ineffective department. This must be addressed as a matter of urgency, and I really ask Minister Hanekom: Whether you have any feedback on when we will finally discard this draconian style of managing our international visitors?
Home Affairs must fast track the implementation of e-visas for visitors to South Africa. I am aware that the department is testing this system on a trial basis, but these systems should have been implemented years ago. We see that tourist hotspots such as Turkey and Thailand have had a very effective e-visa system for a number of years, and yet South Africa still lags behind.
China has just been ranked the world’s largest tourism market, with the largest number of international visitors now being Chinese. How are we facilitating tourism from China when biometric visas for
Chinese travellers can only be obtained in two Chinese cities? This legislation is preventing an immense amount of foreign direct investment into our country through tourism. The inefficient tourist visa system, please Minister, must be address with more.
If tourism is a convenient means to creating sustainable economic growth and employment for our country, then don’t you think we should be investing heavily in this industry? We should also ensure that each and every mechanism facilitating the ease of travellers crossing our borders is put into place. We cannot afford to miss out on this burgeoning international industry due to an inefficient government and outdated legislation. Tourism must be prioritised as a matter of urgency as the wellbeing of South Africa depends on it. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S ZIKALALA (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson, Minister of Labour hon Oliphant, Minister of Tourism hon Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Tourism hon Thabethe, on behalf of the province of KwaZulu-Natal, we value the opportunity to make contributions to this crucial debates ensuing in this plenary.
While our contribution will largely focus on tourism, it will be remiss of me not applaud the work of the Department of Labour for
its work which does only protect the worker’s rights but also intervene in uplifting their conditions. The introduction of a minimum wage is a good start to protect those who are at lowest levels in the labour sector.
The decisive interventions of the Minister in protecting the vulnerable farmworkers is a reflection of ANC’s commitment in protecting the poor, it resonates with the words of former President Mandela, who once said:
Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.
Hon Chairperson, it is by now a widely-accepted fact that tourism is a highly resilient sector in the economy not only of South Africa, but the world. This fact came starkly to the fore in the aftermath of the 2008 global economic meltdown when tourism continued to register growth, globally, while other sectors of the economy floundered.
We therefore, in this regard agree with hon Minister Hanekom that all spheres of government must work together to ensure that we grow the country’s tourism sector and ensure that it remains competitive.
As the ANC government, we understand that it is our responsibility to strike the balance between and among the imperatives which, at times, may seem to be opposed.
Therefore, we commend the work done by the national Department of Tourism and the Department of Home Affairs towards fine-tuning the visa issue which has a huge impact on the attractiveness of South Africa as a tourist destination.
Indeed, we must make visiting our country to be easy and painless while at the same time ensuring the safety and integrity of our country and her people.
As KwaZulu–Natal government, it is our intention to grow the continent’s premier travel and tourism show, the Africa’s Travel Indaba, into a world-class platform where strategic tourism players meet and where sharp tourism business is done.
We are grateful to the Department of Tourism for awarding us the opportunity and the right to host this important travel and tourism platform in the city of Durban for the next five years. It is our humble view that our province should be given the permanent seat of this show so that we, as a province, working together with other spheres of government, can make the necessary long-term investment towards this show.
We subscribe to the notion that tourism is community-based, private sector-driven and government-led. What this means is that these social partners need to work together in order to ensure a thriving tourism sector.
To this end, we need the private sector to come on board, in a much more deliberate and meaningful way. The transformation of this sector should not be an accident of history or a by-the-way phenomenon, but the central thrust of a national drive to address unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Chairperson, as KwaZulu–Natal, we have invested a total amount of R1,7 million towards skills enhancement programme, which covers social tourism initiatives providing capacity-building for more than
200 previously-marginalised individuals.
Rural tourism is quite important to us given the rural nature of our province. To this end, we invested an amount of R20 million towards the enhancement of rural tourism. This funding will cover the refurbishments and construction of new chalets at Ndumo Lodge for the Mathenjwa Community. We will also refurbish the Interpretation Centre, the Accommodation Precinct and the Community Conservation Area at Ingodini Border Caves which belongs to the Mngomezulu Community under uMkhanyakude District.
We will also the refurbish Thokazi Royal Lodge which is under Zululand. Besides being strategic for its location, Ingodini Border Caves are part of our heritages as number of uMkhonto Wesizwe, MK, combatants used these Caves as the hide-out during the fight for liberation, and there were also number of confrontations between uMkhonto Wesizwe combatants and soldiers of apartheid regime.
Hon Chairperson, Contrary to the negative narrative advanced by those who fear the process of land redistribution, we are also happy to inform this House that we have further invested more than R1 million towards diversification of provincial tourism products and supply of rural-based tourism, including farms which have been restituted back to their owners.
These projects include the upgrade of Koppie Guest House, Mkhuze Falls Game Reserve and Lodges at uPhongolo Local Municipality. We are pleased by the support that the national Department of Tourism is giving to the province. Utilising the framework of intergovernmental relations, we joined with the national Department of Tourism to launch the Tourism Safety Monitors. A total of 250 young people will be enrolled into this programme which will run for a year, with a prospect of an extension by a further two years.
These Tourism Safety Monitors will be responsible for ensuring the safety of those who visit our beaches and offer the general assistance to tourists in the province. They will be spread across all the coastal municipalities and these will be supported by an amount of R20 million.
Working together with the private sector, we have packaged a number of tourism investment projects which include the R1,5 billion Tinley Manor Resort, which will create between 500 to 1000 jobs. We have also packaged a number of community-owned projects in strategic coastal line, these are: a R2,5 billion Nonoti Beach Resort, which is wholly-owned by the community of Nonoti.
It also include the construction of the R10 billion, community-owned Blythedale Coastal Resort; and the R100 million, community-owned Bhanga Nek Resort, which is also owned by the community.
These are community-owned projects that will alter the land ownership and property relations in the Northern coastline of KwaZulu-Natal.
In changing the face of the tourism sector in our province, we are also supporting the establishment of an R88 million, black-owned St Lucia Hotel as well as the R120 million hotels that will be built at KwaMbonambi, and they will be black-owned. [Applause.]
Asinamona, asinanzondo, sikhulisa umnotho siwubuyisele ebantwini.
We are pleased with the progress on the construction of a R215 million, Durban Cruise Terminal, which covers 6 000 square meters. There is no doubt that this will boost cruise tourism in Durban and South Africa as whole. This Cruise Terminal, as driven by Transnet Port Authority, will start operating in October 2020.
As some of the highlighted projects show, through radical economic transformation approach, tourism has the potential to accelerate the attainment of an inclusive economy. It is up to all of us as stakeholders in the sector to play our respective roles to leverage on the possibilities that this sector provides to fast-track economic growth and drive meaningful economic distribution. As the ANC government, we stand ready to play our part. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and hon Deputy Ministers. Indeed hon MEC Zikalala from KwaZulu-Natal, KZN, has long been appealing for KZN, Mr Minister, to be given the status to permanently to host the tourism indaba, I do agree with the MEC on that one.
As a member of IFP, I am a proud South African who would like to see the challenges facing South Africa genuinely resolved by the government of our country. As a KZN delegate to the NCOP, I also carry with me, together with my KZN colleagues, the interests of the people of KwaZulu Natal. [Interjection.]
Moh N P KONI: Modulasetilo, ke emelela ka ntlha ya kgalemo. Ntlha ya me ya kgalemo ke gore a o lemogile gore mo Ntlong ga go ope yo o tswang kwa porofenseng ya Foreisetata?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Koni, that’s not a oint of rder, can you please take your seat. Hon Khawula can you continue with the debate!
Moh N P KONI: Ga ke ise ke fetse go bua ntlha ya kgalemo!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, hon Koni, if they are not here they are not here. Hon Khawula can you continue with the debate!
Mr M KHAWULA: Hence, this earnest appeal to government to say, please attend to the problems of our people.
The laws of our country dictate that when job opportunities become available, the people of South Africa should be prioritised for employment. Someone from outside South Africa will only be
considered for a scarce skill or job opportunity where the job market has failed to get a qualified South African.
Hon Ministers, you cannot tell South Africans that serving as a waiter or waitress in restaurants is a scarce skill; that driving metred taxis is a scarce skill; that labour jobs in the farms is a scarce skill; that driving trucks is a scarce skill. The list goes on and on. Yet these are the areas where it will be very common to find undocumented foreign nationals occupying these jobs to the detriment of South Africans. Why? Because government is weak in implementing the laws of our country. This is not to say that foreign nationals should not or cannot be employed in South Africa. But what we are saying is that these employments should happen following the prescripts of the laws of our country. So far, this is not properly happening because there is poor monitoring by government.
Unemployment in South Africa has sky-rocketed to reach alarming levels. But even with the little that becomes available, the government is unable protect its citizens. These practises have caused tensions and confrontations in many parts of our country.
Hon Minister, I agree that the recently determined minimum wage is by no means a decent living wage. Whilst the IFP has welcomed the institution of a minimum wage, we have gone on to clarify that we do not believe in a blanket minimum wage for all the economic and labour sectors.
The economic activities of our different economic and labour sectors do not yield the same spin-offs and same financial benefits across the board. Therefore, we still call upon government to review the blanket minimum wage such that it becomes a staggering minimum wage that is sector based. The danger with a blanket minimum wage is that you may be disadvantaging workers in a sector where economic spin- offs are high. You may also be subjecting the work force to a shredding of jobs in economic sectors where spin-offs are minimal.
Tourism is one of the sectors that have a great contribution to the country’s economy. However, this sector or is not performing to its maximum potential. The continued mishandling of visa processes by the Department of Home Affairs hinders the tourism potential of the country and must be addressed.
Tourism also relies heavily upon the other industries for it to thrive. Therefore, the failure of SAA, SA Airlink and SA Express to function properly has a negative impact to our tourism potential.
The poor service by some of our municipalities in the strategic delivery of services like water also impacts negatively to tourism. The failure of SA Police Services, SAPS, to effectively deal with increasing crime levels give the country a negative image. What this means is that whilst one area in governance by the ANC may be having a potential to do well, failure to perform in the other areas negatively affects the whole governance scenario. That is why then democracy has elections every five years. This is so, so that poor performance and poor service delivery can be punished in the ballot box. South Africans must use this opportunity wisely so that the country can improve for the better. Therefore, while your department may have tried its best in tourism Hon Minister, your other colleagues in their departments are letting your department and the country down.
The area of cultural tourism has also not yet been fully explored, hon Minister; and hon MEC, I heard you talking about community tourism. In KwaZulu-Natal, I once more appeal Mr Minister, that cultural tourism in respect of the rich Zulu culture and its
historical sites be given adequate attention, promotion and development. In Emakhosini valley outside Ulundi, it is where most of the kings of Zulu Nation lie. There is UMgungundlovu which has the homestead of King Dingane; there is Ondini which is the homestead of King Cetshwayo. The area has been slowly developed into a natural park. But it is not receiving adequate attention from national government. Eshowe has the homestead of King Shaka in kwaBulawayo. You will find that Mzilikazi’s later kwaBulaWayo in present day Zimbabwe is much more popular that the original kwaBulawayo of King Shaka in KwaZulu. This is abnormal. I am sure there are many other examples of this kind of neglect by government even in the other provinces. The king of the Zulu Nation, King Goodwill kaBhekuzulu, has revived the Reed Dance (Umhlanga) to make it one of the most prestigious events in our calendar.
The Department of Tourism has not yet utilised and promoted this event to the best it can do. I appeal to the department to come closer and invest in these activities for the benefit of our people. I thank you Chair.
Mr J J LONDT: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Minister, colleagues, I found it interesting that the ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Okay, could you continue with the debate, hon member?
Mr J J LONDT: Thank you, hon Deputy Chair. I find it interesting that these two departments were put together, because, on one hand, you have a department that actually performs quite well, while, on the other hand, you have a department that should really hang their heads in shame. To whoever organised this: Well done, because you made sure that all the focus was not on the Department of Labour.
Firstly, I do want to say that, as the Minister of Labour, you are there to look after those who are already employed, but, as a member of Cabinet, you are also responsible for looking after the millions who are still unemployed. And, with close to 10 million people
unemployed in this country, one of the biggest problems facing small businesses, when they start up, is the myriad red tape that they need to navigate, or the labour laws that they need to navigate, and they do not necessarily have the skills – the human resource capacity – to handle that. This is affecting small businesses in actually starting up and employing more people.
Let’s not just look at a blanket minimum wage; let’s look at the diverse country and diverse industries we have. We’re also saying: “Look at these industries,” because you’re making it very difficult for small businesses to start up and survive. That is why we have such a high rate of small businesses not making it.
I do want to say, on the other hand, that we have a department that has enormous potential for job-creation. Minister Hanekom, welcome back to your portfolio. I also want to congratulate you and thank you as one of the few Ministers who were willing to stand up at the end of the awful term we recently faced. I sometimes wonder what it must be like for you to serve in a Cabinet with colleagues that defended our former President until the end. You were one of the few who stood up on principle. Now you are actually sitting next to a colleague ... [Interjections.] I sometimes wish I could be a fly on the wall.
Now, I am looking at my colleagues here from KwaZulu-Natal and I’m thinking: Hon Mthethwa, I don’t know what’s worse: the speech you read today or the one that you went on with a tirade ... the other one ... awful race comments. On the other hand, I don’t know where you are going to stand for the next election, so maybe just go
ahead; and, hon Khawula, we’ll still form that coalition. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Londt, could I
just bring to your attention that you address the House through me. Avoid a situation of addressing a member directly, because the temptation would be that the member might want to respond to what you say. Continue with the debate.
Mr J J LONDT: Hon Chairperson, through you: I love it how you always call out some members in the House and not other members, but I mean that’s a trend that you have had for the past four years. [Interjections.] So, it’s just the same we receive from you in the Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Continue, hon
member. You can continue with the debate. [Interjections.]
Mr J J LONDT: Hon Minister Hanekom, we do want to thank you that the DA’s campaign of calling for the introduction of electronic visas is now going to be piloted. I do hope that we role this out very quickly, because the potential for job-creation – for getting money into our country - is enormous. I do also want to ask: It’s quite
often that we say, “Listen, we are rolling it out; we’re testing it.” I want to hear what the deadlines are. Give us dates; give us months so that then we can hold you, your department and the Cabinet to account on that.
An HON MEMBER: Nothing is wrong.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Londt, your
time has expired.
[Interjections.] Are you ... [Inaudible.] So, you are a pseudo presiding officer, then continue with your time.
Hon Minister Oliphant, could you conclude the debate? [Applause.]
Oh, sorry, hon Minister. I didn’t see the other side of the Speakers’ List. Hon Mthimunye, could you continue.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Deputy Chair, with the greatest of respect, the hon Londt was completely unprepared, irrelevant, and out of order. [Laughter.] The debate today is about labour and tourism, nothing else. It has nothing to do with the politics of the ANC.
The fundamental goal of the International Labour Organisation is the achievement of decent and productive work for both men and women in conditions of freedom. Equity, security and human dignity are fundamental to this particular goal. The ANC has pledged its commitment to the attainment of decent work and sustainable livelihoods for all workers, and has undertaken to mainstream decent work imperatives into national development strategies.
It is against this background that the ANC’s most effective weapon in the fight against poverty is the creation of decent work. The ANC has always been committed to ensuring the welfare of and good conditions of service for workers. It has achieved this by, amongst other things, putting in place progressive labour legislation in line with the Constitution and key programmes to create jobs. The ANC’s Ready to Govern and Reconstruction and Development Programme documents serve as the blueprints on what has to be done.
Significant progress has been made by the ANC-led government to implement some of these laws and other programmes to create jobs, since 1994. However, the country is still faced with the central and pressing challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The ANC’s 52nd national conference, in Polokwane, emphasised its focus on economic transformation and making the creation of decent work opportunities the primary focus of economic policies. The conference also resolved to transform the structures of production and ownership, as most of our people do not participate in the mainstream economy. Commitments made by the ANC to fight unemployment, poverty and inequality through promoting equality and decent work at the workplace are also outlined in the 2014 ANC national election manifesto. This document also called for bold and decisive steps to place the country on a path that seeks to eliminate poverty, and create jobs and sustainable livelihoods for all our people.
The National Development Plan advocates for active labour-market policies to lift unemployment levels, especially among the youth. The ANC-led government, through the Department of Labour, is taking steps to expand the system of learnerships, provide access to lifelong learning, and further expand higher education throughput and quality. The ANC-led government is encouraging higher and further-education institutions to work together and make sure that industry will be involved in a close partnership with them to better align curricula with the future human-resource demands of the economy.
With regard to enhancing employment opportunities, the Unemployment Insurance Fund continues to work with the Department of Higher Education and Training, with Public Works on the Expanded Public Works Programme exit plans, and with the TVet colleges. In partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, over
29 000 jobs were created and over 16 000 were saved in the four years ending 31 March 2018. This partnership is critical for labour- intensive investment projects, going forward.
The Compensation Fund has partnered with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants to train learners on medical and actuarial skills. This partnership is beginning to bear the desired results. The first intake of 100 learners, in 2017, commenced their studies in the different skills disciplines. These included 20 nurses, 35 occupational therapists and five actuaries. All the learners in this intake have progressed to the second level of the programme.
Productivity South Africa, PSA, is an entity with programmes which include saving companies in distress from closure. The Workplace Challenge programme, a world-class or best operating practice programme aimed at supporting enterprises in the manufacturing sector to improve productivity and become competitive, and the Turnaround Solutions programme, providing support to enterprises
facing economic distress and initiatives or schemes aimed at minimising the retrenchment of employees or preventing loss of employment, remain two of PSA’s flagship programmes.
Achievements in these programmes during the 2017-18 financial year include, but are not limited to the following. About 49 companies were supported and were able to save about 4 700 jobs. Through the Turnaround Solutions programme, enterprise-based productivity forums were established in the enterprises facing economic distress to promote dialogue on productivity improvement issues and strategies. About 50 employees were trained in productivity capacitation, and 21 trained as productivity champions. Through the Productivity Orgnaisational Solutions programme, about 5 527 SMMEs were trained in productivity capacitation, and 1 002 employees as productivity champions.
We can, on this basis, impress upon the powers that be that these programmes should reach rural provinces. In this particular case, I can think of a small industrial park called Ekandastria, which is dilapidated, instead of creating jobs, as well as the one in Louisville, in the former Kangwane area. We think these programmes must be deepened and go and reach those rural provinces.
The ANC-led government has identified tourism as a strategic priority sector that has the potential to drive massive, labour- intensive employment and contribute to economic growth in South Africa. However, of cardinal importance to this is the issue of radical economic transformation.
The tourism sector is given prominence in our policy documents, such as the 2010 New Growth Path and the 2011 National Development Plan. Our 2030 vision recognises tourism as one of the main drivers of employment and economic growth, and envisages the promotion of South Africa as a major tourism and business events destination.
Outcome 4, on decent employment through inclusive growth, and Outcome 7, on comprehensive rural development and land reform, of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework make reference to specific targets towards the realisation of South Africa’s tourism vision.
President Ramaphosa, in his 2018 state of the nation address, emphasised the importance of the tourism sector within our economy, when he said:
Tourism is another area which provides our country with incredible opportunities. Tourism currently sustains 700 000 direct jobs and
is performing better than most other growth sectors. There is no reason why it can’t double in size.
This is why, in this year of celebrating Nelson Mandela and advancing renewal, unity and jobs, the ANC-led government has committed to enhancing support for destination marketing in key tourism markets and taking further measures to reduce regulatory barriers and develop emerging tourism businesses. South Africa needs to be bold and co-ordinated in building sectors where our country has a comparative advantage. These sectors include tourism.
ANC policies have an entrenched understanding of the crucial role that tourism plays, and will continue to play, in our economy.
Minister Hanekom, speaking at the 8th Meeting of the Tourism Ministers of the G20 economies, committed the country to: encouraging policies that promote full and productive employment and facilitate the progress of innovation in tourism and foster the creation of decent jobs, sustainable enterprises and entrepreneurship, in particular among women and the youth; establishing favourable frameworks to stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and connect ecosystems linking start-ups, main companies, investors and governments along the tourism value chain; creating co-operation mechanisms between educational institutions at
all levels, the private sector, governments and technology partners to review educational programmes and skills-development policies; enhancing the importance of SMEs in the tourism, heritage and cultural sectors due to their contribution to job creation, as well as their role in preserving and promoting cultural resources; and promoting the use of digital technology to facilitate travel, as well as involving technology stakeholders in national tourism policies.
In your commitments, Minister, I missed a line addressing radical economic transformation in this particular sector.
Mr M M CHABANGU: [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, are you prepared to take a question?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: I am always prepared to take questions from the hon Chabangu, but outside of this meeting. [Interjections.]
Looking ahead, and as I conclude, we hope the department will improve its communication strategy and ensure that it reaches more communities to make them aware of the bouquet of progressive
programmes that the department has to offer. On legislation and policy formulation, we urge the Minister to fast-track the submission of the Tourism Amendment Bill. In addition, more effort and focus on the incorporation of the provincial and local spheres of government in the development and growth of tourism in South Africa must be given. The ANC supports the Budget Votes.
In response to the issues raised by some of our members from the podium, for the first time, we want to comment on the hon Magwebu. He was very progressive and revolutionary. [Interjections.] To the hon Mathebula, it is really disappointing of a sankarist to ascend a stage and completely negate that which Sankara stood for. Sankara was actually a Marxist scholar ...
Ms N P KONI: Deputy Chair, the hon Mthimunye must refrain from provoking the EFF, because he knows we will take him on. He must refrain from doing that.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I would rather say ... I would’ve sustained it if you had said he should not address the hon Mathebula directly. [Interjections.] No, the first one is not raised. Hon Mthimunye, can you address the hon Mathebule through me, please?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Sankarist and opportunist in one is really a serious, problematic concoction, hon Deputy Chair. Sankara was a Marxist scholar. A Marxist scholar believes that the state ... believes that socialism is actually a process towards communism. Once communism is achieved, the state shall wither away and people shall run the country and the economy on their own. [Interjections.] Therefore, it is really disappointing of a sankarist to misconstrue Sankara so.
I want to believe that the hon Faber has completely run out of ideas and chooses to hide behind Afrikaans. He says that under a DA-led government, tourist numbers will increase. Tourist numbers are increasing, in any case, year on year. We have seen that happening. What more must be done to increase tourism? Tourism is one of the highest-contributing sectors to our economy. What more must be done?
The hon Schäfer made reference to the Western Cape as the best tourist destination. In her view, it is attributable solely to the work of the Western Cape government.
Mr L V MAGWEBU: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I rise on a point of order: I thought I heard you making a ruling that the hon member’s time had expired. However, you have allowed him to go on and on and on.
[Interjections.] You just said it, earlier. So, I don’t know. Are you giving him extra time, now? On what basis?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Do you want me to rule on that? Do you want to rule on that? Your order is out of order. Your order is out of order. Continue with the debate, hon member. [Interjections.]
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: The point of order is also pathetic, hon Deputy Chair, I must say.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mthimunye, please take your seat. Hon Londt, let me just understand. Did you say ... [Interjections.] ... Order! Order! Did you say that I am pathetic? I am a pathetic Chairperson?
Mr J J LONDT: Yes.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Londt, I feel insulted by that and I am ordering you to withdraw those words. Can you withdraw that, hon member? [Interjections.] If you say no to that command, will you leave this House, hon member? [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: You are jetlagged, man. Sit down. You did not hear.
Mr L V MAGWEBU: Deputy Chair, may I be recognised?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am ... I am ... I am still
busy with that ruling. Alright. On what point of order are you rising, hon member?
Mr L W MAGWEBU: Deputy Chair, I am glad you have made a ruling that the word “pathetic” is insulting, because the hon Mthimunye has just said now – before the hon Londt used that word – that my point of order was pathetic. So, he is out of order! Make a ruling. [Interjections.] Yes!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, no, no.
Mr L W MAGWEBU: Yes! Yes! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: With whom are you arguing? I thought you were addressing me. [Interjections.] I though you were addressing me. Yes. Now, if you address me, allow me, then, to consider your point of order. Yes. Can you allow me to do that? Hon Mthimunye, did you say that the member is ...
HON MEMBERS: Yes! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, order! Hon Mthimunye ... [Interjections.] A, a. A, a. A, a. You are not going to tell me what to do. Hon member, hon Mthimunye, did you ... did you ... because I ... [Interjections.] ... hon members, order! I heard the hon Londt saying what he said to me.
Ms N P KONI: Oh no! Oh no! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Koni, can you please be in order!
I asked the hon Londt if he said it to me and he confirmed that he did. I ordered him to withdraw because I felt insulted, and he said it in the House that he refused to. So, allow me to ascertain with the hon Mthimunye whether he said it. [Interjections.] Hon members, can you allow me to preside? [Interjections.] Can you allow me to preside? [Interjections.] I’m asking you for the third time, can you allow me to preside?
Hon Mthimunye, did you say that the member is pathetic?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon Deputy Chair, what I said was that the point of order was pathetic. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The point of order was pathetic?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Yes. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, not the member was pathetic. Yes. Alright, fine. Hon members, I didn’t hear that part and the hon Mthimunye says he said his remarks were directed at what the member was saying. So, on that basis, can you allow me ... [Interjections.]
A, a, order! Can you take your seat? Can you take your seats, hon members? Hon Michalakis, can you take your seat? Hon Michalakis, can you take your seat? Hon Chabangu, can you take your seat? Hon Magwebu, can you take your seat? Hon Chabangu, for the second time, can you take your seat? Hon Michalakis, can you take your seat? Hon Michalakis, can you take your seat? Can you take your seat, hon Michalakis? Are you refusing to take your seat? No. I am ordering you to take your seat. I am ordering you to take your seat!
HON MEMBERS: Bye-bye!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members ... hon members ...
An HON MEMBER: Thanks for going!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, order! I made a ruling earlier on, requesting the hon member to leave the House.
I want this thing to be very clear. I want this thing to be very clear. In the first place, the member directed his words at me, as a person. As a person – and I asked him if he had directed those words at me and he confirmed it.
Now, the hon Mthimunye says he directed his comment at what was said. Now, on the basis of that, because I didn’t pick it up absolutely, can I therefore be allowed to make a ruling at the next sitting of the House after ascertaining what the hon Mthimunye said? [Interjections.] A, a, with the Hansard. That is my ruling, and it is final on that matter. Can you continue with the debate?
Are you rising on the subject matter, hon member? [Interjections.] Are you on the sub ... A, a, man, hon Koni! Hon member, are you rising on the subject matter?
Mr W F FABER: Deputy Chairperson ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Are you on the subject matter?
Mr W F FABER: Yes, Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No. If you say yes, then I’m not going to allow you to speak, because I have made a ruling. Can you continue, hon member?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Thank you, Deputy Chair.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I rise on a point of order: I would appeal to the Chair to also respect the House. The Chairperson cannot be saying to a member, “A, a, man.” The Chair must withdraw that.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, I withdraw. [Laughter.] Thank you very much. Can you continue with the debate? Hon Chabangu?
Mr M M CHABANGU: Deputy Chairperson, with due respect - Magwebu, I have the floor ...
Ke ne ke batla ho bua Sesotho. Ke kopa hore o re kame ka kama e lekanang, ho seng jwalo, Ntlo ena e tla phuhlama ha o tsweletse ho etsa hono.
Otherwise, this House will collapse if you persistently do this. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Alright. That’s a side comment. Can you continue, hon member?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Deputy Chair, in her debate, the hon Schäfer made reference to the fact that the Western Cape attracts more tourists than any of the other provinces. However, she deliberately stopped short of mentioning reasons why that is the case. I would like to challenge her to give reasons, publicly, in next year’s debate, why the Western Cape is among the leading provinces.
The hon Londt made reference to a contribution he wants to make to the minimum wage. I want to suggest to him that the train has left. The minimum wage has been determined and that matter is done and dusted. Thank you, hon Chair. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Chair, I want to start by thanking the hon members that have supported our Budget, in order to continue with our work. I also want to thank the officials from the department, led by the director-general, Mr Lamati. Based on the comment made by chairperson, Mr Makue, let me just inform the members that we are having a youth exposition, as we speak, from 9 to 15 June at the National Recreation Centre, Nasrec. I appeal to the members, particularly from the Gauteng province, to encourage young people from their constituencies to go to that exposition so that they can receive counselling from our counsellors and also to be informed about the skills that are needed by our economy.
We have different departments like Science and Technology, Health, the National Youth Development Agency, Higher Education through Sitas and national skills development. There is also the participation by the Office of the Premier and the MEC for Economic Development. So, that is my proposal to the members from Gauteng, in particular.
I must also say that on 23 June, we, together with our sister departments will visit the area of Lusikisiki to inform the public about what we are doing. Furthermore, around July, we will have the outreach programme for x-mineworkers in Bizana, so that we can find
out whom the x-mineworkers are who did not get their benefit, particularly from the gold mining sector. We have agreed with those companies to be part of that.
With regard to the issues that relate to the Compensation Fund that were raised by hon Magwebu, firstly, we have even created the post after having done the skills audit in that particular entity and 90% of those posts have been filled.
Secondly, the irregular or wasteful expenditure that was indicated by the AG was done through the order of the court because there was a company that claimed that we have not paid them. Then the court ordered us to pay, even if we have not budgeted for that particular payment. That is why it is indicated as wasteful or irregular expenditure. We could not say no and defy the order of the court.
So, the money was stolen but it was not budgeted for. That is why it was indicated as wasteful or irregular expenditure.
On the issues that relate to the Supported Employee Enterprises, SEE, factories in two provinces, in particular, we are waiting for the Department of Public Works to give us buildings so that we can support those people with disabilities in Mpumalanga and Limpopo because those two remain.
I also want to assure the members that when it comes to the shortage of human resources, particularly the inspectors, Treasury has given us some funds. Previously, they gave us funding to employ people, but without the tools of the trade. Now, we will be able to employ more.
On the issues of the enforcement, yes, it will be done through inspection, together with the CCMA. At the same time, we have decided to review section 23 of the Employment Equity Act, so that those employers who are not complying with our labour laws in this country don’t work with government. That legislation has gone to the public for public comments because we requested that the President promulgate that section, so that we can implement it.
On the issue of the National Minimum Wage that was raised particularly by the hon members of the EFF, the South African Federation of Trade Union, Saftu, was launched in March 2018 and the agreement was reached on February 2018.
On the Ekurhuleni declaration, the then General Secretary of Cosatu, who is now the General Secretary of Saftu, has to inform the members of Saftu that he was part of that declaration - one of the signatories. When you talk about the National Minimum Wage, you are
talking about the platform that said no worker in South Africa should be paid under that. Yes, there are minimum wages that are attained through collective bargaining and sectoral minimum wages. We have decided and agreed with both the employers and organised labour workers that nobody will have a sole decision to decrease the minimum wage. If the minimum wage is more than the current proposed National Minimum Wage, it will stay at that particular floor.
I also want to say to hon Khawula that there are minimum wages in different sectors that are reached through collective bargaining. The National Minimum Wage is for workers across all sectors, because in the hospitality industry, you will find that the workers are paid through tips and they are not organised. That is why we have taken that decision.
Unfortunately, hon Londt is no long in the House, but I believe his colleagues will tell him. When a small business is established, that particular category is exempted for two years, but we cannot allow an open-ended exemption on small business because that will be exploitation of workers in this country. They do have a platform to apply when they cannot afford. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: ... [Inaudible.] I presume. Chairperson, hon members, my dear friends, my dear comrades, ladies and gentlemen, I have been in this Parliament for 24 years. It has been an honour but really, just a little thing, when we disagree with a person speaking from the podium we do not need to shout that person down. This is a place of debate, we listen to people and I think it is very important so we respect the dignity of this House, all of us. We have differences within our parties, we have differences among parties but that does not mean we need to be disrespectful to each other. Just having said that, just listening to the many people, thank you, firstly, to the hon members for enriching our understanding of tourism and offering some very good suggestions and making some very good comments. Essentially we must make tourism grow; this is what is coming out from you. We must make it an inclusive growth and we must create a maximum number of jobs and opportunities. We must make it a responsible growth. We must look after our precious resources because that is what attracts many tourists to our country and we must look after our people in growing tourism; that is very important. We must build on what hon Schäfer calls, “a country built for tourism,” what hon Makue calls, “a quality and diverse tourism offering.” We must build on and strengthen the partnerships referred to by both MEC Zikalala and councillor Bosman because in so doing we can build on this great
opportunity that we have. We need the numbers, we need to increase the numbers, our share – as someone pointed out – of the 1,3 billion tourists that travel around the world. Our share is very small, far too small, we can increase it, and we must increase it. We must and we need to expand domestic tourism and do whatever we can to make it more attractive to people to travel in our own country and their own countries to see the wonderful things we have in our country and to make it more affordable.
Those are some of our collective challenges. To grow we need to continuously – just to repeat what I have said – improve on our products, our facilities and our experience. We have the natural beauty as referred to by many people here. We have the cultural diversity, the cultural richness, we have it but it must be further developed. So, in order to develop our unexploited potential, for example the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, we need a proper planning process, we need infrastructure and in so doing we can exploit the unexploited potential of many parts of our country. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon
Koni, order! Order hon Koni!
Ms N P KONI: Give the land! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Just
take a seat hon Minister Hanekom. Hon Koni, hon Koni, can I draw your attention now. I do not want to speak ... [Inaudible.] I draw your attention to ... so far ... now. The Rule does not say that you can not converse, it says you do not have to converse aloud to a point where you interrupt even a member addressing the House. So, may you refrain from doing that hon Koni? May you refrain from doing that, from interrupting and speaking aloud while a member is addressing the House? [Interjections.] Hon Koni, I am warning you.
May you refrain from doing that? [Interjections.] You won’t? I am saying, speaking aloud and interrupting a member whilst a member ... [Interjections.] hon Koni, I am addressing you. I am addressing you. Hon Koni, I am addressing you. I am not asking for a conversation with you. [Interjections.] Hon Koni, I am addressing you, may you please refrain from doing exactly what you are doing. Hon Koni, I have warned you, it is okay. Hon Minister Hanekom can we continue with the debate.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: So, again, we need to plan so that we can develop the many opportunities that we have in our country. Apart from just this wonderful heritage that we have ... [Interjections.]
Ms N P KONI: ... [Inaudible.] the ANC members ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: I am sorry I ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon
Koni, you are out of order. Hon Koni! Hon Koni! [Interjections.] Hon Koni, you are out of order and I am warning you for the last time. [Interjections.] I will ask you to leave the House. [Intejections.] I will ask you to leave the House. [Interjections.] Can you then leave the House because you are disruptive now? Can you leave the House? Can you please leave the House hon Koni? Hon Koni, can you leave the House ... [Inaudible.] can you assist me with hon Koni leaving the House.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: I am relaxed! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon
... a o gana go tswa moNtlong? Ke go kopile gore o tswe moNtlong. A o a gana? Ke a go kopa ka puo ya Setswana gape ke a go thusa motl Koni.
Can you continue with the debate!
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Thank you so much, Chairperson. I thought I had five uninterrupted minutes but thank you
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: ... you
still have about ... [Inaudible.]
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Thanks so much. If you are looking at enhancing our products or services and experience then there are things that we can do to do so. We know in the Cradle of Humankind, there we have the richest evidence in the world of the origin of humanity being on the African continent but we have built Maropeng. The Apartheid Museum was built, the Waterfront development was developed, so we enhance destination South Africa. The quality of the visitor experience is something that we can work on all the time in our municipalities, provinces to make the experience more meaningful and more proud. Robben Island is there. The history of Robben Island is there but the guides that take you to Robben Island can make it a more profound experience. So that is our collective responsibility. We got to make people want to come to South Africa. We got to make it a great experience and the many things that we do
can make it just that. If we want to enhance township experience, township tourism, one of the things the municipalities must do is to keep our cities clean and to keep our townships clean to make it friendlier to tourists when they go there. One good example is Maboneng in Johannesburg; it is a great vibey place that tourists love to go to but it is very, very, littered, it is dirty and it does not create a good impression with tourists. So there are many things that we can do to make people want to visit us. To make people want to come back and to tell others what a great country South Africa is. We got to market it and it is you, the provinces that have your own provincial marketing agencies. It is you, the municipalities and it is you the product owners. And of course it is the indaba, it is SA Tourism and I want to thank the hon Zikalala for what the province and the municipality to make the indaba a wonderful experience and a good opportunity. [Applause.]
So we must sell what we have to sell and we must sell it well and we got the CEO of SA Tourism here and he is the chief salesman of South African tourism. As we say, his name is Sisa, Sisa the Smous [Barterer/hawker] we call him, the tourism smous, Sisa the tourism salesman. So, all of us though, collectively, we must do it. Lastly, on the visas, I wanted to refer to, ease of access is what we call it in our tourism strategy and it is twofolded, it is about visas
and it is about airlifts. I think what the Western Cape has done, in the form of getting more flights to Cape Town is excellent.
Similarly in King Shaka International Airport the direct flight from British Airways that was announced by you MEC I think it makes a difference similarly at the OR Tambo International Airport, the partnership between the municipality, SA Tourism and the province has really ensured that there are a greater number of flights. We were very affected by the discontinuation of the Mumbai-Johannesburg flight. So ease of access via direct flights is very important as well. On the visa – and I will end here Chairperson – the members here challenged me to be assertive and to say ... well firstly I want to say I welcome the fact that the discussions are happening and they are constructive.
I want to welcome the fact – as one hon member did here – that there is a movement towards the modernisation of the system including e- visas. But on the regulations affecting the minors travelling wither with one parent or a guardian or alone, it is a challenge we have not yet addressed and so I want to say and stick my neck on the block that I would like to see this challenge because it was agreed to by Cabinet some time ago that this challenge should be addressed by the end of July and I hope that everybody that needs to listen is listening to me and I am sure we will get all of your support
because that will make a big difference. Chairperson, thank you once again, it is always great to be here in the NCOP. Thank you. [Applause.]
The Council adjourned at 17:31