Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 07 Nov 2018
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2018
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:01
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, before we proceed to questions, I would to state that our rules, practises and conversions all have a singular purpose. To ensure that in this House we can come together in an open forum to debate our political differences in such a manner that all voices have the right to be heard and are afforded dignity. This is at the heart of the struggle for an open and democratic society for which so many gave up their lives. We fought a country out of the ashes of the apartheid past and transcended all that was done to us.
In doing so, we unequivocally say that no matter how divergent our political views, we would uphold the values of tolerance,
dignity and respect. We saw each other as fellow human beings, no matter your race, no creed and no matter if you belong to the majority or the minority. In so doing we distinguished ourselves from a violent and lawless society. This is not to say that we are not a deeply society or that the wounds of the divisions of the past do not run deep in all of us. However, as hon members we have a duty by our actions to contribute towards the healing of these wounds and to set an example that can be emulated by a society.
I therefore hon members, appeal to us to always remember this. The incident which occurred in the House, yesterday, during Questions to the President can only be described as unfortunate, unacceptable and outrageous. Hon House Chairperson, Didiza has submitted the report to me and she will be making a ruling as promised, in due course.
The first item on the Order Paper is questions addressed to Ministers in Cluster 5 – Economics.
QUESTIONS – CLUSTER 5: ECONOMICS
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Speaker, hon
Khubisa, just to indicate all discoveries made from publicly funded research in each activity in the country must be reported to National Intellectual Property Management Office, Nipmo. In terms of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed, Research and Development Act of 2008. In the 2017-18 financial years only 239 new discoveries were reported to Nipmo which were deemed to have social and or economic potential.
In general, innovative discoveries can be commercialised through the establishment of a new company or through licensing sale of the product, processes and services to a new or existing company thereby contributing to economic growth.
However, these discoveries require investment to generate a product, process or services that is able to contribute towards social and or economic development. The timeline for this varies depending on the technology sector. For example, new discoveries in the formation and communication technology sector proceed faster to market than discoveries of the new active ingredient for inclusion in a pharmaceutical product which can take decades.
Consequently, discoveries made during 2017 and 2018 will generally not yet have generated direct impact on the economic development. Thank you, very much hon Speaker.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon Minister, through you hon Speaker, our country is still beset by numerous inequalities and most of our people are still disadvantaged, especially the women of our society. It has also been discovered that in order to ensure that our country transcends the level of being a scientific innovative country, we have to begin at a school level. Although it does not fall within your purview this department has to work in tandem with the Department of Basic Education.
Now, my question is, is there anything that the department is currently doing to ensure that we inculcate in our young ones whilst they are still school the attitude of being involved in science and innovation? I will make an example hon Minister, in Mpumalanga for instance, in a school called Mandlesive Secondary School, two learners discovered a machine which can be used to detect fire and also to help fire fighters to locate them where they are. I think that is the spirit that should be inculcated in our learners and I understand that
your department is also in favour of that. What is it that your department is doing to ensure that we inculcate this spirit whilst they are still at school? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Speaker, the work that we do as the Minister of Science and Technology varies. Firstly, we have grassroots innovation and what hon Khubisa is relating to would be categorised within grassroots innovation where you find young people who are innovative and find an idea.
We do support such registration through one of our products. We used to do it under Technology Localisation Implementation Unit, TLIU in Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, but we have just moved it recently to Technology Innovation Agency, Tia so that we support them throughout until prototype level, where they are able to produce prototype. Most of them have been battling to commercialise and that is why we took the programme back to Tia so that we can be able to link them with funding and provide support.
Secondly, in terms of communities is around the indigenous knowledge systems where we found that many communities find
products that they can be able to develop. We have now passed legislation – I know it is still within Parliament and they have still to correct certain thing – but what we are doing with that legislation ready some of the work that we are doing in terms of policy is that we have gone to the communities to register indigenous knowledge administrators. We are talking about the people who can assist the communities to help them register their indigenous knowledge. So, firstly we protect it and then we can be able to support them in terms of various programmes that we have in the portfolio for them to develop.
In terms of school level – we know that the responsibility of teaching and learning falls within the Department of Basic Education. Our support comes when we do National Science Week where we create platforms for young people to be exposed to the work of science and technology careers and what can be done. We launched one of those science week programmes in July this year in Mpumalanga and it has been running over years.
Part of what we inculcated this year was specifically to start teaching and exposing them into the elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as robotics. Thank you very much.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Madam Speaker, hon Minister, we have a lot of rhetoric about research and innovation coming from your department. In 2016, there were 239 new patents and 2016, 71% of all patents filed in the country were held by non- residents. So, this means out of 239, 170 of those patents were filed by non-residents. At present all patents enforce 87% are held by non-residents.
If your department is doing so much for research and innovation in this country, why are the majority of patents in this country held by non-residents and what will your department do to remedy the situation? Thank you very much Speaker.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Speaker, hon
Paulsen there is the same question that is relating to hon Thembekwayo that is coming. Let me just indicate that 75% of patents applications in South Africa are indeed by non- residents and only 25% by residents. However, it is important to understand that, that does not mean that 75% of innovation that has been done is non-South African. So, we have got to be able to differentiate.
What is it saying to us to be able to attract non-South Africans to register their patents with South Africa. It means that they have got confidence in our systems and in our economy because when they come in also they can be helping us to assist in expanding the manufacturing sector. Those patents mean they are bringing them in here to start new industry. We should not see it only in the negative but as an opportunity that exist while we are also working hard to encourage South Africans to produce more innovation. Thank you.
Ms C V KING: Hon Speaker, I will transfer this over to hon Lotriet.
Dr A LOTRIET: Hon Speaker, hon Minister referred now to these innovations being registered with Nipmo and also referred to science communication or science weeks. The question is one of the main problems with developing science, improving our innovations and discoveries, is science communication. The people out there do not know what innovations are being made and developed. Just registering it with Nipmo does not really communicate.
I know there was a conference in Stellenbosch about science communication and one of the critical issues is how do we get science information to the public? What precisely is the department’s plan to improve science communication but not only on the side of training science communicators but also working towards getting them the opportunities because we have seen also that once they qualify they do not get jobs? We cannot improve science if there is no proper science communication.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Thank you hon Lotriet. Hon Speaker, we do need to do more in terms of communicating but I think it is not the issue of modes of communication or people to communicate. It is the language we use when we communicate science issues. Part of the hindrance in communication within science portfolio is that we use terminology that the majority of the South Africans would not be able to identify with and cannot relate to.
One of the things we have to look at in terms of the science engagement strategy in the department is how to create a science conscious society? How to ensure that when we talk about science and technology and innovation, everybody in the
communities understand what we are talking about and every learner in our schools can identify with what we are talking about.
These are some of the things that we say because sometime when we were growing up children were told that science is difficult whereas you find that science is within their mother’s kitchen. That is what we need to inculcate in children so that they do not run away from science. Equally with us as we grew up a number of herbs that our grannies were using to heal whether we had headaches that process was science.
It is within the indigenous knowledge field. So, we need to ensure more in trying to simplify the language to try and simplify how we communicate. I think if we do that in partnerships we should be able to achieve more. That is one of the key elements of our White Paper that we are working to finalise this year. Thank you very much.
Mr N J J KOORNHOF: Hon Speaker, hon Minister you have mentioned that the Department of Science and Technology does not have the primary mandate to drive commercial development
in terms of expanding economic growth benefits of innovative discoveries. Are there any plans to make sure that the Department of Science and Technology creates the capability in future if the Dti or small business do not fulfil their respect mandates?
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Speaker, Hon
Koornhof, it is mainly around partnership rather than replacing each others responsibilities. We would do more with working together with Dti which we are already doing. We do have a quite a number of engagements that we do with them together with small business.
We are looking at various ways where we can engage small business and bring them forth and either have an engagement. We do acknowledge that commercialisation of technology is a difficult one. This is because these are innovative things that have not been tested. So, if you bring them commercially to private sector or consumers are not necessarily ready to consume them because they want to see if that was consumed before. So, in terms of innovation, it is a bit difficult to have commercialisation.
However, what we are doing as the Department of Science and Technology is that We are working together with the CSIR to be able to finalise what other elements we can be able do as I have highlighted earlier on as well as the work of Tia that are looking at funding mechanisms so that we can be able to support some of our innovators in the country. Thank you, hon Speaker.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Speaker, there is a long answer from the department, I don’t have time to read but will provide it to the hon member. There is no doubt that we have invented a new era in the global trade arena characterised by unilateralism and increasing contestation between the two largest economies, the USA and China. One feature of this is the so-called, tariff wars. Although South Africa is not the protagonist in this, we have been affected, as we call it as collateral damage.
In March this year, the US administration imposed tariffs of 25% and 10% respectively on certain steel and aluminium exports, even though we argued that we were no thread to US
security and that our less than 1% in terms of steel and slightly over 1% in aluminium constituted no thread.
A feature of this tariff increases under section 232 of US trade laws, was that they raised tariffs above the Time trade- off, TTO, binding rates, cut through the African Growth and Opportunity Act, Agoa, concessions and were applied discriminatory to us but not to like minded countries. About 7000 jobs were at stake in firms involved in this trade.
We made extensive representation as government by the private sector interest groups in the US and we received support from members of the US Congress. And last month, we received a partial but not insignificant exemption of 161 aluminium tariff lines and 36 steel tariff lines. The Administration indicated that they will listen to further representation, particularly from interest groups in the US.
Beyond that various calculations by economists have said that these trade wars could have small or dampening effect on global trade and global growth. At the moment, the International Monitory Fund, IMF, calculates that the existing
tariff wars have contributed to 0,2% downgrade in full the cost for global economic growth this year.
It is also important to be aware of the broader issues at stake. Underlying these actions are demands for parties and rebalancing, both of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and rules. The World Trade Organisation and number of advanced economies have supported calls for what they call reform and modernisation. Key demands include removal or sever restricting of the existing arrangements, whereby there is differentiation between developing and list developed countries in obligations, in favour of the single set of obligations for all us.
They also call it for further tightening the rules on industrial subsidies and the intellectual property right, while showing little inclination to the advance the agenda of discipline in subsidies on agriculture. They also call it for changes in decision-making in favour of small groups.
South Africa is the current convener of the African Grouping of World Trade Organisation. While we support the rules by multilateral trading system and oppose its undermining and
weakening, we are painfully aware that the existing rules and agreements have not delivered the inclusive growth and that remains a large unfinished agenda of linking trade to developmental outcomes.
Lastly, we will continue to oppose unfair and unbalanced proposals that will undermine our policy space and take us further away from our developmental ambitions. Ultimately along with our partners on the continent, we see our main priority and bull walk at this stage in advancing our continental regional integration agenda, through the establishment African continental free trade agreement and the associated programmes with infrastructure development and co- operation to promote industrialisation. Thank you.
Mr B A RADEBE: Speaker, hon Minister, the work done by yourself on your department is appreciated. We know very well that China is one biggest trading partner with South Africa. Therefore, whatever affects China is ventually going to affect us, because a lot of our goods are sold to China and China sells their goods us. We also exported more than R5 billion worth of goods of finished products to America, through African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, in particular, in
the auto industry sector plus in the steel and manufacturing sector.
The work which you have done is highly appreciated, but is not high time now, instead of depending on the goodwill of American business people. We go straight to the Congress as the mid-term elections have become a game changer, so that we go and lobby them to pass a law that will protect us as a country. How can we forget what Senator Dellums did in 1986, when he was able to overcome the negative administration of Reagan and ensured that sanctions were imposed against South Africa? Is it not high time that we take that route? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Speaker, yes of course it is our continuous endeavours to ensure that we retain market access for our products and enlarge it in particular for value added products. I just got off the plane this morning from the China International Import Expo, where South African companies are showing their wares, in what is probably the largest trade fare of this type ever in the world. The initiative that has considerable significance in that China has indicated that it
is seeking to import more products from countries around the world.
As far as the US is concern, our lobbying efforts have involved into actions with members of the US administration. I personally, interacted with Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, as well as US trade representative Robert Lighthizer. On the number occasions we have made position very clear, but the hon member is correct, Congress is an important place for us to work, we are happy working there.
In fact, AGOA is an active Congress, is not a gift administration. Therefore, ensuring that we continue to build and strengthen relations with members of Congress, particularly taking account of the changes that have occurred in the US Congress as the results of mid-term elections. That will be part of our work as we go ahead, also encouraging private sector players to do the same. Thank you.
Mr G K Y CACHALIA: Speaker, the Minister would have known from his recent trip, that escalating global trade wars are likely to share 0,1% of South Africa’ s gross domestic product, GDP baseline focus in 2019 and 0,2% in 2020, according to Fitch.
This is not good news for South Africa, a strong global growth environment will be supportive, but weakness in the global economy would make it even more difficult for the country to accelerate its fortune.
One way of dealing with this is to accelerate our export programme and given that the basis of the success for growth of the past half century, was export-led and then it won’t be possible to do so in the future to anything approaching the same extent, there has to be another strategy. We seem to be twigging our thumbs. Can the Minister identify any targeted responses he is auctioning? What steps in particular he has taken, if any, to enhance and encourage niche manufacturing and pushing manufacturing further towards more complex products and strengthening links between modernised agriculture and manufacturer. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Speaker, of course, we do extensive work to try to identify market opportunities for South Africa’s products, particular value added products all over the world, and to take advantage of whatever opportunities they maybe. As I indicated in my first answer,
our fundamental objective is to strengthen the regional integration, if it’s on the African continent.
If you look at our trade figures, it is quite interesting to think of it as a one third and two thirds. Nearly one third of our exports go to the African continent and nearly two thirds of those are value added products.
Our future lies in accelerating and expanding intra-regional trade on African continent, but not just that, that is in fact to see the regional integration effort as leading to the emergency of regional value chains, in which several countries of the continent will be part of the value chain, producing high value added, more sophisticated products, effecting engaging in trade which is largest part of the international trade in its immediate goods. That is why we are an active participant in shaping the African continental free trade area into a truly developed integration and that is our priority, and I think that is the common priority of the African continent. It is very much in line with approach which China and India are taking, of trying to grow to their economies now on internal consumption.
We don’t have the sizes as individual countries to sustain this on our own, but as continent with 1,2 billion people and a combine GDP of $3 trillion that makes sense. Thank you.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Speaker, Minister, the renowned economist from Cambridge who originates from South Korea, Prof Ha-Joon Chang, wrote a proper book which is called “Kicking away the ladder.” In the book he demonstrates that developed countries recommend the policies to the developing countries that they themselves did not implement, when they were underdeveloped.
He shows that, in fact, the word protection of infant industries originates from USA first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. The US in its path become giant, protected infant industries. So, don’t you think that the days of neoliberalism are over, taking into consideration the trade war, that we got to begin to implement those policies that make these countries big, that they are not recommending to us, like the protection of infant industries. Like protecting our waslaps. [washing rags] For instance, how many waslaps [washing rags], are produced here in South Africa a year? If you can’t do waslap [washing rags], tell me about waskom.
[basin]. We should be protecting our waslap [washing rags] from international competition. Thank you. [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Speaker, the hon member is actually quiet correct about kicking away of the ladder, we confront much of that. We can talk to countries who would be recommending things that they tell us we should do now, which are in their interest now, rather us learning from what they did as they got to where they are. So, there is much of that around and it is for that reason that we are resisting and opposing the introduction of new trade rules, which will cut and limit our policy space.
I mentioned that in the TTO that it is what the developed world are begging to suggest. It should be the agenda for the future. We are resisting that as a country, and we will continue to do so. Like in our tariff out of policy, is that we will follow the evidence. Where the evidence tells us that we should be raising tariffs to support domestic industries, we have done it, and we haven’t failed to do so. I think, that is the approach we need continue to follow; we need to continue to strive, to ensure that space is there in an increasingly difficult global circumstances. Thank you.
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Speaker, Minister, we know that the market don’t generally respond well to uncertainty, especially if the same is brought to you by certain change. Do you think it’s possible that this trade war could have possible long-term opportunity for South Africa, new agreement of China for example or anything? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Speaker, I do not know what those opportunities will be, I think if we got to continue to be collateral damage, that will damage us, which is why we are not welcoming the existence of the trade wars, but know at the same time are were prepared to concede, that we should not continue to work for a rebalancing of global trade rules in favour of developing countries and in favour of removing the imbalances in an equities against developing countries. That is the position we are taking. As I said already, we have a leadership problem in the African group in the World Customs Organization, WCO and we are continuing to exercise that leadership in that direction.
The ACTING MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Ms B O
Dlamini): Madam Speaker, following the investment conference,
the Minister directed the department, the small enterprise development agency and the small enterprise finance agency to immediately engage with corporates that may pledge to support Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises, SMMEs.
The aim was to immediately determine the appropriate and effective roll-out of all investments to small businesses. It is expected that investment commitments will be channelled to capacitating Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises in three main ways, which are: to enter the supplier development programmes of large corporates, increasing market-access opportunities and providing financial support to emerging enterprises. These efforts will be aligned with the capacity development programmes for the department as well as technology and innovation support programmes.
The Minister further engaged the investing corporates to discuss opportunities that are expected to integrate Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises into the regional and global value chains of big and expanding businesses. To this end, the department will also upscale its gazelle’s programme which is aimed at supporting high-growth enterprises that are operating and competing at a global level.
We also expect the pledge investments at the conference to complement the efforts of government in creating strong
public-private partnerships. This will benefit local and small businesses and eliminate the trust deficit between government and the private sector.
Mr N V XABA: The Acting Minister, noting that the SMMEs are the main drivers of the South African economy and are positioned to contribute to radical socioeconomic transformation in line with the ANC Morogoro Conference that had resolved on mixed economy to weaken capitalism by ensuring that workers and the community are the owners of the economy through co-operatives, let alone the 54th radical economic transformation. So, my question to you Acting Minister is, to what extend were the SMMEs organisation represented at the investment conference?
Also, can the Acting Minister request, through the president, to call the co-operatives summit as the key drivers of our economy? Thank you. [Applause.]
The ACTING MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Ms B O
Dlamini): Speaker, I think we all agree that SMMEs provide an
opportunity for growth but also for employment. And that is why the department on its own ensured that they attended the investment conference.
In future, the Minister is going to make arrangements for small businesses as well as co-operatives to be part of these initiatives.
But one other important issue is that on a yearly basis there is a conference of co-operatives and the Department of Small Business is part of that effort. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr R W CHANCE: Acting Minister, interesting that in your prepared statement you referred to the trust deficit that exists between government and business, which was strenuously denied as it happened in the first committee meeting that took place in 2014. So, what has not changed since then, I wonder? But you are still talking about the trust deficit.
The point that I want to make, Acting Minister, is following up from Mr Xaba’s question; why was the small business sector not represented at the investment summit?
I mean, only one announcement relating to the R1,4 billion investment by Naspers related to small business development when small businesses contribute 40% of GDP in this country. Were there any representatives of small business there? If they were, who were they? And if not, why not?
The ACTING MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Ms B O
Dlamini): I said they were represented and this was through the effort of the Department of Small Business Development. So, it’s not true that they were not represented. But also, it was not only R1,4 billion that was offered there ...
... nawe awukwazi ukukhuluma IsiZulu futhi angiyena umlungu. [Uhleko.] Uma ulokhu uthi eh, eh, eh ... [Ubuwelewele.] ... ngicela ungiyeke phansi ngoba nabo abakwazi ukubiza ngisho igama lami. Abesibili ...
... it’s SA Breweries, SAB, who are already working with women’s co-operatives. They buy maize from women co-ops in KwaZulu-natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
The third one is PPC, which is already working with brick makers.
The fourth is Nestle, which is already working with 39 enterprises and soon they are going to launch a programme of
150 youth-owned enterprises; as well as Coca Cola, there is a partnership that is going to be established that is going to be focusing on small businesses.
So, it was not just one company. There are already companies that the department is working with, as well as co-operatives. [Applause.]
Ms S J NKOMO: Hon Acting Minister, President Ramaphosa is calling for yet another new approach to growth and development in South Africa. He called for the alignment of all sectors and stakeholder to rally behind the imperative of job creation, yet most of South Africa’s poor and unemployed reside in our rural areas. What is being done to bolster small business development in the agriculture sector of our rural areas? Thank you.
The ACTING MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Ms B O
Dlamini): Speaker, amongst the programmes that the Minister of Small Business Development has focused on is the programme of agriculture and agro-processing which is ensuring that there is more work and there is more business in the rural areas.
But also, agro-processing is for small farmers and it’s also for those who depend on subsistence farming. Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Acting Minister, could you tell us whether there is a dedicated programme in place to ensure that you can enhance the small business development, particularly in rural areas where unemployment is high and municipalities cannot sustain themselves, which will result in job creation but also create successful small businesses in those areas? Thank you.
The ACTING MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Ms B O
Dlamini): Speaker, I think what the Minister has done is to try and ensure that when there is investment we have a disaggregated information that ensures how investment is going to find expression at the local level, where there is poverty.
But also, there is focus on rural areas through the programme with Coca Cola and through a programme that is going to be
dealing with agriculture and agro-processing as well as the programme that focuses on maize that is taking place in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Madam
Speaker, no, the department’s budget is based on approved government policy. The parliamentary committee on constitutional review is still underway with regards to sections 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.
We therefore will budget appropriately and timeously when the right time comes. I thank you.
Mr K P ROBERTSON: Hon Speaker, hon Minister, could you please indicate what’s the ANC’s budgetary plan of action regarding expropriation without compensation?
You have mentioned that the property earmarked for this includes private land and state-owned vacant land. Have you considered the additional resources required? There are financial implications of court cases and additional manpower
required to ensure that expropriation without compensation is effectively implemented, if implemented at all. Could you please elaborate on the actions – steps of your plan and how the budget will support this bearing in mind that the land reform budget only constitutes 0,62% of the national budget? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Madam
Speaker, the discussion that is led by the Constitutional Review Committee, CRC, is still underway. So, we are not going to budget with you here. Budget is a process as it is. This constitutional review process is taking place and we are sure you are participating fully in that.
Ms H O MKHALIPI: Madam Speaker, Minister, when the land is expropriated without compensation, the role of the government departments, especially a department like yours – the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will have to radically change. So, what preparation is your department making for the expropriation of land without compensation? How will this change the role of your department as a whole?
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Madam
Speaker, the role of our department is currently land reform. How would the department be reconfigured post this process is a decision of government led by the President. I thank you.
Ms D CARTER: Hon Speaker, Minister, do you and does government accept the findings and the recommendations of a High-Level Panel Report as it relates to land reform? If not, where is government differing with the High-Level Panel Report and why? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon
Speaker, the views of the department including the feedback we received from the High-Level Panel and the fact that we are listening to the Constitutional Review Committee process mean that we will continue listening and we will continue using the mechanisms at hand that the department has ensuring that we protect food security in our country while these discussions continue.
We are also acutely aware that as we stand here, there is mixed ownership of land that is at our disposal and the
policies that we have at hand that needs implementation. Thank you.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Speaker, any piece of legislation can only be implemented through an appropriate budget, hon Minister. What I would like to know is: Let’s say that the CRC process ends up with expropriation without compensation being part of the legislative process of our land, what percentage of budget – how much money do you think your department would prepare for the administrative costs that would necessarily follow the implementation of expropriation without compensation? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon
Speaker, if the hon member is sincerely participating in this process as it is underway at the moment and believes in just that which he has reminded us on the budgeting process, he should rather not lead us to speculation because we are a constitutional democracy and we have rules to follow. We will do just that. We are refusing to speculate. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Madam Speaker and to hon Sibande, I am going to leave the complete answer because it’s much longer than what I can be able to capture orally here now. What I would like to say is that on the central line, which is the most problematic line in the Cape Metro, we do have a recovery plan led by Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, PRASA which is going to include amongst others, re-signalling the Bonteheuwel signal room, rebuild the entire station and the level KV signal room and remove all speed restrictions by
Re-signalling projects in the region is 65% complete including the construction of the new operating centre in Bellville and the first contract for the high security concrete walling in the Nyanga section of central line has been awarded and work is underway. Also, we have just recently established an agency to enforce security in the fight against copper theft and other forms of vandalism. Progressively, on a monthly basis, we are going to make more reliable train sets available at 100% configurations, which means 12 couches per train and we are aiming at 88 trains sets in the cape metro and at the moment its 48.
We are also improving safety by complying with the latter where the rail safety regulator prescriptions, which is being monitored at the PRASA head office and also, to comply with special conditions and court rulings as have been pronounced recently. The PRASA rescue plan has also focused on turning around and improving conditions that are creating operational risks. These are some of the interventions we are making in the Western Cape. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr M P SIBANDE: Thank you very much Minister for your comprehensive respond to my question. Minister, we welcome the initiative that your department has taken to secure commuters as well as infrastructure. Minister, how are you going to involve communities as well as their structures that are using metro rail trains in the plan that you have outlined so that they be the defenders out of this and rightfully claim back their mode of transport? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Madam Speaker, we have just gone through the transport month in October and one of the focus areas for our transport month this year, has been increased and focused engagement with communities because it is very clear to us that we are not going to be able to turn
around metro rail unless communities are participating. Some of the things that we want to undertake is to also extend contact with commuter organisations that are spread out - not just in the Cape Metro but throughout the country where metro rail is operating.
What I also want to do from my office, is to appoint - in East London, Cape Metro, Gauteng and Durban, Ethekwini, what I would call stakeholder managers who are going to be consistently interacting with communities as well as all other structures and stakeholders in order to ensure that even at national level, we are of fair about what is going on so that we are able to improve the service. We do believe that with those kind of interventions and communities participation, we will be able to improve the functionality of metro rail. Thank you.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Speaker, public transport in the country has completely collapsed under the ANC government. [Ululations.] This is because of ANC’s incompetence and corrupts ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, the hon member does need congratulations but can we just ... [Interjections.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Do it properly, do it properly, yes [Interjections.] [Applause.] No! Not hands, ululations. Why are you compromising now? [Ululations.]
Mnu M L W FILTANE: Umakoti ungowethu [Uyacula.] [Uhleko.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Filtane, you are out of order. [Laughter.] Hon Ntlangwingi, please finish your follow up question.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Thank you very much Chair, and I see that we haven’t forgot our tradition and I am a proudly Xhosa bride. Public transport in the country has completely collapsed under the ANC government. This is because the ANC is incompetent and corrupt but also, because it does not have the vision and the imagination to re-emerge society. Apartheid partial planning has made our spaces of white privilege and white supremacy and black suffering. What - if any - inputs does your department have in the planning of our city Minister? And, we have written to you about renaming Cape Town
International Airport to Winnie Mandela International Airport, you haven’t come back to us. Can you please commit today to come back to us? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Madam Speaker and to hon Ntlangwini, let me also add my congratulations to you. I think that we do admit as government that we have lots of challenges that are facing us in relation to public transport system in general. Largely because of what we inherited including what the President spoke about yesterday, the apartheid spatial settlement. Where working class and mainly black communities are located far away from work places and the major in the urban areas for instance in the major cities.
But government has done a lot to turn this situation around which for instance, includes the issue of working very closely and creating mechanisms to work with the minibus taxi industry. As well as the attention that we are paying to address the problems that are in the metro rail systems. One of the measures that we are undertaking at this point for instance is to review the subsidy regime for the public transport system as a whole. As the moment, it is very clear that our public transport subsidy is still favouring the
better off. For example, it has come to our attention that if you calculate the amount of money that government is spending on Gautrain, whilst at the same time not giving hardly a cent to the minibus taxi industry which carries 68% of our passengers, that requires attention, it has to be changed.
So, we are looking comprehensively at that so that our public transport system is subsidised in a manner that the main beneficiary is the working class and the poor. Lastly, what we are doing is that with the renaming of the Cape Town International Airport, we had to go through a process let by the Department of Arts and Culture but we are participating as we normally do. That is, we are in the process of consultations which are now finished and then we are looking at the responses because its not only Mam Winnie’s name that is on the table. Others are coming up with other names, including ...
... igama likaBaba u-Mandela, u-Nelson. [Ubuwelewele.]
So, we are going to follow the process so that you don’t start accusing and asking me - it’s not going to be an Nzimande decision - but its going to follow the proper rules and procedures that will follow so that we arrive at an appropriate name for the airport. You can ask me my position on the side and not here. [Interjections.] My position is to implement what I have to so that we arrive at a decision as objectively and an inclusive manner as possible. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Minister, provinces have been severely affected by violence and assault. So, what is the working relationship between the department and the Department of Safety and Security and the rail safety unity to ensure that our communities are safe?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you very much to the hon member. It is a very important question that you are asking. I must say that we are working very closely with the Minister of Police for instance, in terms of addressing all the problems of violence, generally in the public transport system. But what we have done now of late, is to escalate this matter especially but not exclusively because of the torching of trains in a place like the Cape Metro.
We are elevating that to be the focus of the entire security cluster of government so that we are able to identify all these thugs who are causing these problems. Also, I have been concerned - but not only remained concerned - about the relationship for instance between PRASA and the rail safety regulator. What we are facilitating now as the department through our acting Director General, is to engage both the safety regulator and PRASA and say; the safety regulator must not operate like a traffic cop, must as it is necessary sometimes to do that but it must be clear about what is it about what it is that is expecting from PRASA. So that it is able to focus on those areas that require improvement. Also, in order to avoid one entity of our department taking another entity to court but that we are able to have an arrangement such that everyone is clear.
We want the safety regulator to act without fear of favour, whether against PRASA or against Transnet which is another sphere in which it operates. But also, we are working with PRASA to say, you must fulfil the expectations and what is required by rail safety regulator in this country. Thank you.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon Minister, you have just alluded to the fact that you are going to appoint a stakeholder manager and you are interacting with the community at the moment - that is public participation. Now are there any meetings that you have held with the public? Number two, what mode of communication or participation are you using to interact with the community? Is it a question of traditional mode of communication whereby you have meetings or other forms of meetings and what have you found to be the problems with the community not behaving well in the trains like putting some inscriptions, etc? Thank you.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Ngiyabonga kwilungu elihloniphekile uSolwazi. Into engisanda ukuyenza nje yokugcina kuyona, bekungeyona yokuqala leyo Solwazi ukuthi ngibize imbizo lapha e-Cape Town. Ngiyibizele eKhayelitsha ngenhloso yokuthi, hhayi ukuthi siyotshela umphakathi ukuthi senzani – ukwenza izitimela namatekisi namabhasi ukuthi aphephe kodwa sizwe uvo lomphakathi ukuthi uthini. Ngingathi ngamanye amazwi, into ebaluleke kakhulu kuthina ukuthi sizwe ukuthi umphakathi uthini ngoba isikhathi esiningi izimpendulo zezinkinga esibhekene nazo uzithola emphakathini. Yiwo futhi umphakathi
owaziyo nezigangi okuyizona ezisidalela izikinga ukuthi zenziwa yini.
Therefore, it is going to be very important even as we move towards the festive season that we engage our communities. For instance, ...
... enye into Solwazi ongayazi ukuthi iTheku yilapho okufa khona abantu abaningi abahamba ngezinyawo ukudlula wonke amanye amadolobha, noma yonke indawo kulelizwe. Okunye esihlangana nako ukuthi abantu abaningi baqhufuzwa yilezi zimoto, ikakhulukazi eduze kwamathaveni - izindawo lezi zokuphuza. Ngakho ke enye into esifuna ukuyenza ukuthi sikhulume nabanini bamathaveni, nemiphakathi nabamasonto nezinhlangano zepolitiki siyazidinga nazo ukuthi zisondele zingamemezi zikude ukuthi sinciphisa kanjani ukufa kwabantu bakithi okungaka uma ngilinganisa nje ikakhulukazi laba abahamba ngezinyawo. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.]
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Madam Speaker, the 1996 White Paper was focused on setting up the required institutions and processes to ensure that science, technology and innovation, STI, would benefit the entire South African population rather than a small minority. To achieve these aims, the 1996 White Paper introduced the concept of the national system of innovation, NSI.
The STI institutional landscape has been expanded and accordingly, institutions such as the Department of Science and Technology, National Research Foundation, NRF, the National Intellectual Property Management Office and others, were set up or transformed. Furthermore, there’s been a threefold increase in publication, significant both in the participation of black people, women in research, development workforce and a rise in doctoral graduations rate.
Internationally, South Africa became an active member of the global STI community, building strong science ties with the European Union and countries such as Japan and Russia. South Africa also started playing a prominent role in Africa-wide STI initiatives. However, challenges remain.
The national system of innovation is still not living up to its potential. Example is industrialisation and expansion of expanding exports; improving service delivery and government decision making process as well as positively impacting on rural development. The national system of innovation is underfunded and still fragmented.
Therefore, the draft 2018 White Paper of science, technology and innovation introduces a number of shifts because of number of drivers. Drivers of global change are socioeconomic and geopolitical, scientific and technological in nature.
Technologies such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution are blurring of lines between physical and digital spheres, and they continue to be a challenge, and environmental with climate change having serious consequences for the world’s most vulnerable people.
So, the new White Paper has a number of proposals in response to these drivers. This includes the improvement of the coherence of STI policy across government, by involving the Presidency in intensifying and broadening the focus on transformation and participation, but also, ensuring that we
ensure that the national system of innovation is more inclusive. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
Ms L M MASEKO: Through you, Madam Speaker, hon Minister, thank you very much for that comprehensive response. It is clear from your response that the department needs more resources to enable it to be able to deal with such broad areas that are contained in the White Paper.
Hon Minister, I would like to know if you are getting any support from other departments and Ministers in achieving the issues that you have highlighted; secondly, in relation to the other issues that also impact on the Fourth Industrial Revolution which also needs lots of resources, you have clearly indicated that you are underfunded, but also that the National development Plan, NDP, had pointed out to having putting aside 1,5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, for research and development.
I would like to find out from the Minister, how far have you gone engaging, on ensuring that these resources are achieved and what the NDP has pointed out is being achieved by the set date? Thank you, Minister.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Thank you very much, Hon Maseko. Firstly, in terms of support we do work together with other departments and coordinating the work, hence in terms of the Fourth Industrial Revolution work, we are coordinated by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. So, the continuous support and working together with other departments is happening.
Secondly, in terms of spending and budgeting, what the NDP has pronounced on 1,5% of GDP’s spending on research and development, unfortunately, we have not reached that percentage. If you looked at the stats that have been released recently on spending on research and development, we are sitting at 0,8% and are hoping that we would still meet the target because the target is for until 2030 within the NDP.
We are confident because in the new White Paper we are proposing reinforcing of the funding that would be set aside by government. Secondly, we are also encouraging private sector to invest in innovation, research and development. One of the things that we’ve put in towards this initiative is tax incentive, to be a pillar of support to such initiative.
We’ve provided that incentive because we’ve seen a number of companies that are starting to invest in research and development and for them to be able to participate like the other global partners are doing. Thank you very much.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Through you hon Speaker, Minister, how is our country meant to play a meaningful role if in the Fourth Industrial Revolution when we have over 1100 schools in mainly black communities without computers and yet government believes that we can participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
If you go to China, Ruanda, Singapore, South Korea, Ethiopia and many other countries, you will see that the foundation of scientific, technological development and innovation, is education. But if you ask Minister Motshekga about this, you will hear that our basic education is a mess. We cannot start preparing our children for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where the majority of them have never used a computer in their lives.
How does the Department of Basic Education system, or how would you give input to the Department of Basic Education to
fix the education system, and what input will you give to them towards the curriculum so that we can become actively involved in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in this country? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Paulsen, you know very well that your question should be directed to Minister Motshekga. Our responsibility as the Department of Science and Technology is not to create curriculums. I agree that, we do participate as part of broader government in making inputs into the system.
Also, let me just expand on this issue because, sometimes we think that computers are the solution. Actually, in other countries they do not use computers; they using gadgets like smartphones or cell phones effectively. So, we shouldn’t define access to technology only to a desktop or a laptop.
Broader access to ICT equipments, telecommunication and communication technology platforms can be used effectively, utilising cell phones and phones in the households.
If we can tell, talk to many people in the households, when they buy a cell phone or any gadget, it is young people that
teach them how to use them. So, we just have to build in those foundations and we will be able to get by. We can utilise the youth bunch that we have in South Africa because young people are majority in the country to be able to lay basis for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is beyond just access to a computer.
There is also robotics and 3D printing. Therefore, it’s beyond just that. It’s broader, and we have to be able to approach it in a holistic manner. Thank you.
Ms T K MOTSHIDI: Through you hon Speaker, Minister, in all agreement that basic education is indeed an input, I would like you to really elaborate more on the intergovernmental relations between your department and Basic Education in terms of the Fourth Industrial Revolution because the reality is that, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the end product, but at the core of it is the input which is basic education. How do you align the two departments? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Colleagues, I think that we shouldn’t confuse issues here. I am Minister of Science and Technology, not Minister of Basic Education or
Minister of Intergovernmental Relations. There’s Minister in the Presidency who can assist us because I think that we are confusing the roles of the Ministers.
My responsibility as the Minister of Science and Technology is promotion of science and technology in the country ... [Interjections.] Ndlozi! Therefore, in terms of curriculum, I see you saying: How do we collaborate? I spoke about that broadly and said that we are working together in collaboration as Cabinet colleagues through Cabinet clusters; Cabinet committees and Integrated Marketing Communications, IMCs.
I can name a number of structures. So, it’s good to pose such question, but I think it will be better answered by the Minister of Basic Education in terms of the state of readiness for basic education on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Through you hon Madam Speaker, Minister, I think that it is imperative for the senior researchers to support the junior researchers, especially when they are still doing their Masters and their PhDs. I also believe that in your department we have women that have graduated in Masters and PhDs, and those that have emerged in some spectacular
research. Roughly, how many women graduated with PhD within your department in the previous year and perhaps those that have achieved a particular rating in a particular research?
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Through you hon Madam Speaker, I think I will have to check the figures, hon Khubisa, in order to have specifics, because it’s almost outside what we have prepared from the White Paper. What I need to indicate is one of the key drivers that we were able to utilise as Science and Technology Department like the utilisation of SA Research Chairs Initiative, Sarchi, where we are currently sitting at 44% of participation by women.
Sarchi allows for women participation and it specialises in various areas. So, there is support for women and we will be able to see more of them providing support for other researchers. Continuously, I do agree that we should broadly support the upcoming researchers, not only women.
If you are to talk about post-Doctoral level, you find lesser women in that field. Therefore, more work need to be done and hence, I do agree with you in terms of broader support for women participation as senior researchers, but also even
beyond that, as professors, since we do not see many of them in that category. So, I will be able to provide figures later, Madam Speaker, because this is just a separate issue that hon Khubisa has asked.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Madam Speaker, as part of government’s overall efforts to improve the investment climate in South Africa, Invest South Africa which is an agency that reports to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has formalised the investment climate reform programme with the World Bank to be implemented over the next two to three years.
This programme aims to identify concrete steps to support a higher level of investment both domestic and foreign. Invest South Africa leads the ICRP.at national level while National Treasury leads the sub national programme. Invest South Africa has engage the world to understand how it sees the reforms required to improve our rankings and the turn around times, business processes and the communication of those reforms.
Furthermore, structures have now been setup to address the action plans required in four technical working groups namely:
starting a business, registering a property, paying taxes and trading across borders. This work programme will include the ten indicators over the next two to three years. The latest results on the World Bank reports which were released on the 31st of October this year indicate that South Africa’s ranking for 2019 remains unchanged at number 82 of the 190 countries. Thus, that is the stage where we were.
South Africa improved on starting business through the digitisation of that registration process of the company’s intellectual property commission, on the provision of electricity on trading across borders, on the protection of the minority investors and registry in the property. There was no change on paying taxes and enforcing contracts while we declined our ranking in resolving insolvency, dealing with construction permits and getting credits.
It’s important to note that the ranking is indicative of our reforms compared to those of other countries. And there’s another measurement which called distance for the frontier which is probably a more accurate indication of the improvements. I can provide the hon member with a table which
shows how there has been movement on those and improvement on most of those over the period since 2017.
Key to the improvement of South Africa’s rankings is the performance of the city of Johannesburg. The city of Johannesburg is used by the World Bank as a proxy for the national rankings. This means that improvements or the contrary in Johannesburg’s performance has a direct barring on the national ranking. The city of Johannesburg needs to be improved in dealing with construction permits, in providing electricity connections in registering property and enforcing contracts. Thank you very much.
Mr G K Y CACHALIA: Hon Chair, come… come Minister, South Africa is ranked 82 amongst 190 economies in the ease of doing business according to the last World Bank’s annual ratings. We come behind Mauritius, Rwanda and Botswana. This is not good enough! There was room at our ports for improvement in facilitating cross boarder trades which you claim queue doors for. But, let me remind you, across the four ports, time and cost to comply with boarder requirements for exports is high when compared to other economies in exporting by sea.
Durban, South Africa’s largest port in terms of volumes handled, it’s the slowest in handling goods and it’s not the tropical weather that’s to blame, I assure you. That’s the one area of failure, the other is the massive and continuing red tape restrained that strangles our businesses. The Minister would do well to consult the Western Cape governments, red tape production website for some tangible ideas.
The question is what tangible steps is the Minister taking in these two specific areas? Not talk shops, not promises in invest South Africa, but what tangible steps in terms of port cost inefficiency and red tape production? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Well come… come the hon Cachalia. May I suggest that you go and ask your colleagues because I understand that govern the city of Johannesburg why they are not making improvements in the different indicators I had suggested because that is the key to South Africa improving it’s ranking. But, let me say that what we’re doing is we’re not just engaging in talk shop, we’re actively seeking to improve the investment climate in all of these dimensions including by engaging very concretely with how they understand our current situation, what do we need to do in
order to improve our ranking. So, it’s not an exercise that doesn’t have an out coming place. We’re looking to raise our rankings and I indicated some of the elements that would need to improve, including we need to see improvement by your colleagues in the city of Johannesburg. Thank you very much.
Ms N V MENTE: Minister, one of the reasons why the economy of this country is in the state that it is in today, it’s because of the trade policies that we have and we’d like to know if you and your department are willing to do anything in changing them.
But, secondly and most importantly is that there’s been this Gupta saga going on in South Africa that has impacted severely in the economy of this country. With your own acknowledgment and you declaring that you have met with the Guptas and even at your capacity as a Minister you met with them. But, we’d like to know, did you also contribute to the state of the country by doing all the illegal things that other cabinet ministers did, did you also do all those wrong things on behalf of the Guptas but doing them with the fiscals of this country? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Well first of all I don’t know what the hon member understands about trade policies. I explained earlier on in the answer to the earlier question that our trade policies are guided by the needs of our industry, the needs of industrialisation and where the evidence tells us that we must change those policies we do so, we’re continuously doing so in order to ensure that we use tariff tools as a tool to support industrial developments.
So, I don’t know how you understand our trade and tariff policies to be but we’re not running around trying to open up to everyone and their dog where we can manufacture ourselves and we’re also using tools of localisation and alike.
I answered the written question in the first part of the written question that I answered in full and with total frankness. I asked whether I had conducted any administration on behalf of the family in question, the Gupta family and I said no. But I also acknowledge the actions of State Capture and corruption are devastating effect on our country which is why we need to ensure that we fully place measures to that never happens again, thank you.
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Chair and hon Minister, apart from quality certainty the potential for us to make a difference as you mention the city of Johannesburg and all over lies in our cities and drivers of our economy. Why is there such a huge difference in constructions fees, building approval cost, volumes handled and our port cities and we’ve been saying it for years now that the port city of Durban is the most unproductive and 800 percent more expensive than world average. Is it not of oversight from your department Minister or committee of the site and how can you rectify that?
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: I’m sure that the hon member this much knows that we have a constitution that provides not for tiers of government but spheres of government. And they provide for cooperative governance. So, as I indicated in my answer, National Treasury is leading the interaction with the other spheres of government to try to ensure that we do take our steps together in a cooperative manner to address improvements in the overall business environment to support high level of investment, thanks.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon Minister, we have ports around and I want to know from your side as a department whether you feel
you’ve done enough for our people in the surroundings for instance Small Medium Enterprises SMEs etc to get access to those ports and to what they stand for, thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Thanks again, we don’t have line responsibility for ports but we do have responsibility for support in special economic zone which is located in and around ports and those also run by provinces and entities in provinces. But our work is to support the most seamless relationship between the port authorities, local authorities and so that the socio economic zones can be a success. And I think quite a number of them, like for example Koega is picking up quite a lot of momentum and steam and just recently when I was in China yesterday, I engaged with a number of investors from that country that are interested in moving to that particular part of the world, thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Chairperson, SA Tourism has not put in place a turnaround strategy per se. What we have in place is a 5-in-5 enhancement growth strategy. To ensure a unified direction and synergised efforts towards achieving
this envisage growth, SA Tourism develop its five year enhanced strategy for growth known as the 5-in-5 strategy which has set a strategic goal of increasing the base of tourism by five million arrivals of trips during the period 2017 to 2021. This goal is made up of four million additional international tourist arrivals on top of what we have and one million more domestic trips.
Five key strategic trusts were established and executed to answer key questions for developing the strategy. Firstly, optimising marketing investment through implementation of an investment strategy to focus on prioritise markets and segments. Secondly, reassessing and realignment the brand to build a recognised appealing, resilient and competitive tourism brand for South Africa across all markets and segments. Thirdly, developing effective partnerships to collaborate with partners both local and international to maximise synergies enhance traveller experience and close sales. Fourthly, utilising resources effectively to ensure operational efficiencies in all activities including all the available human marketing and other resources. Finally, being an inspire organisation to keep the employees motivated, energise and focus. That is the SA Tourism. I thank you.
Mrs E K MASEHELA: Thank you hon Deputy Minister for the comprehensive answer. Hon Deputy Minister, is there something else except the convention bureau to ensure an increase in arrivals and the generation of revenue? How do you envisage improving the South African brand positively? I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon member Masehela, yes indeed, international travel follows a late time between six and 18 months and within this, the convention bureau as part and parcel of what they say tourism is doing is encouraging a lot of countries to have activities in South Africa. But if we talk miles, we talk meetings, we talk incentives, we talk conferences, conventions and exhibitions where we can show case what we do as a country so that we can get much more work. The Minister is currently at the World Travel Market in London doing exactly what we have to do.
With regard to promoting brand positively, SA Tourism continues then to address this and in anyway, every year, we have different programmes that talk to this but this year, as it is the year of Mandela’s centenary, we partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and launched the 100 ways to fund Madiba in new campaign. This campaign has been well received
and use across many events and media, domestically and also internationally. We also try to make sure that we live up to the short left campaign and the sharp around campaign so that we can encourage our domestic tourism and boost it. Thank you very much.
Mr G R KRUMBOCK: Deputy Minister, is the strategy working or not? International tourist arrivals last year were up by only 2,4% compared to the global of 77%. Domestic tourism declined last year by 29% and by 31% in the first two months of this year. Our brand awareness and brand positivity has been very negatively affected by the high profile attacks on tourists.
In this year state of the nation address, President Ramaphosa said: Tourism is another area which provides our country with incredible opportunists to, quite literally, shine. Given this expanded mandate conferred by the President, is it realistic to expect the Department of Tourism to achieve its goal of hoping to build a more inclusive economy when the real increase in its budget is less than one fifth of a percent this year and particularly since we are going backwards on domestic tourism and lagging behind in the world global arrivals?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon Krumbock, I think firstly, we must state the correct facts. Last year, with regard to the statistics report, we never declined. We declined in the first and second quarter this year, 2018. So, that is in the statistics report, not from me or the department. So, that is a factual fact that we have to look at. But for me, this strategy is supposed to work from 2017 to 2021. You talk about one year and you say the strategy is not working. I don’t understand that in a year, you want everything else to have been done. Yes, it was the implementing time or the year, but with that year, we managed to make a difference of course. We never implemented fully the one year’s programme. But then, it is transferred to the outer years so that we can be able to reach our mandate.
But as far as the negativity, yes, there were some negative tourists attack from Netherlands and all those parts. To me, over and above that, we were able within that year to have increased the number. Statistics SA says that, even if the economy was down or grow tourists still come to South Africa because of course as you correctly said the President in his state of the nation address addressed it. But he also said
700 000 are within tourism and we can double that if we do more efforts.
So, SA Tourism with the 5-in-5 is exactly doing that trying to make sure that we can be able to be positive and make sure that we can be able to move forward as a country and get more tourists. But please, the decline was for first and second quarter of 2018, not 2017. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M M DLAMINI: Deputy Minister, you know, with a millions of tourists that are arriving in this country, it means absolutely nothing for our people, who continued to be excluded from ownership and control in this industry. This industry is dominated by white people, who most of them are racist. Our people in this industry are only participating ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members. Order! Hon Dlamini, let me just hear why the hon member is rising. Why are you rising, hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I am rising on Rule 85, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, you would know there have been ruling in this House in several occasions about racial stereotyping. To construed and say that and ascribe the attribute to a certain race group as the hon member has just done is unparliamentary and he must withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, would you continue with your question so that I can get the Deputy Minister to reply. I will come back with a ruling in that regard.
Mr M M DLAMINI: This one is taking chances. Our black people’s participation in this industry, all they use is a mere cheap labour with no contracts. Deputy Minister, what is your department doing to transform this industry?
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, on a point of order.
Mr M M DLAMINI: What is happening now?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick) Hon Dlamini, just take your seat.
Mr M M DLAMINI: They are starting now.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, just be patient. Let me hear what the other point of order is.
Mr M M DLAMINI: They are starting.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Just be patient, hon member. What’s the point of order, hon member?
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, we may refer to members as either honourable or Mr or Ms, whichever, not this one. The hon member referred to hon Steenhuisen as this one. He must address a member appropriately.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, let us refer to each one in the respectful terms.
Mr M M DLAMINI: But I am not talking to him.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Complete the question.
Mr M M DLAMINI: Deputy Minister, what is your department doing to transform this industry? What are you going to do to protect our people from exploitation from these racist white bullies? What are you going to do to protect our people? We are tired.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon Dlamini. I think the report from the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Council that has been released, yes; they confirmed that transformation in this sector is very slow or moving at a very slow pace. In that regard, I agree with you that we are moving slowly but there is progress because we do have a lot of people who owns guest houses and B&Bs. Like now, in London, as I speak to you, the Minister is there with the tourists. Some of the small business people have been paid for by the department to go and showcase their facilities so that they can bring back those tourists. So, in that regard, we try.
Secondly, there is a transformation funds that has been implemented by the department making sure that you assist those small businesses who wants to grow. They can be B&Bs They can be guest houses. They are assisted with that transformation fund through the fund managed by the National Empowerment Fund. It is assisting a lot of people to move from point A to point B.
Thirdly, we also have Retrofit Fund that is assisting a lot of our people to move out of the grid instead and using solar because they can save a lot of energy with regard to making sure that they can then get into their businesses very well.
Coming to the workers that are cheap labour, their working conditions are not okay. As a sector, we try and get into what is responsible for us. I think the Department of Labour is one that is dealing with the minimum wages and labour relations.
In that regard, we don’t have anything that compels the private sector then not to expect or whatever people that are there employed and not getting the right working conditions. I thank you.
Ms C N MAJEKE: Hon Deputy Minister, a lot has changed in our country with regard to job losses through mining and manufacturing. Now, we see our weak rand which is going to have more companies retrench workers. In small towns in rural areas tourism could be one of the drivers to provide jobs also as a strategy for poverty alleviation. What mechanism is in place your department has to help rural communities who have vast areas of land not utilised if they can be turned into game farming and more to create jobs and as tourists attractions? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: I think the other question about losing jobs in mining must go to Minister Mantashe, not us in Tourism. Yes, I agree with the statement at the end to say we can then create job opportunities or entrepreneurs out of those people who are retrenched. We have programmes that are different but one that is notable is the one where we assist small businesses. We call them Hidden Gems. Hidden Gems mean these are the smaller people who are operating in the industry but given the support and mentorship, they can then grow. Most of them get assistance either through the indaba every year. We take them there so that if you have your big companies who are there, we also have them on the smaller site
to make sure that they can partner with the bigger ones and also get to do that.
In this, I think we have problems that are talking to the Hidden Gems that are assisting a lot of our people to make sure that they can assess markets through SA Tourism. As we speak, in the UK in London, there are lots of those people who have been given opportunity to go straight there. Last year, I attended the Imax in Frankfort. In fact, we took 80% small businesses for them to go there and get opportunities. Guess what? Some of them were hosting a lot of these people back in South Africa. So, we try all those and also making sure that we can encourage our people to concentrate because there are some tourists who want to go to rural places. They are tired of going to big cities. They want to go and learn how to ... last week Friday, I launched the WOWZulu in KwaZulu-Natal, where tourists come. They get at Khula Village where I worked last year, but this one was launched at the Albert Luthuli Museum. Young people are working there as tourist guide. Young people are working there as chefs as part of the programme that we do as a department to make sure that we can give them the opportunity. I will talk later on that on another
question. We do have skills development. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr J H STEENHUISEN: Chairperson, I rise on rule 92(5) two points of order were taken; one with regards to addressing members as hon members, Mr or Mrs; and the other one was about racial stereotyping. Now, rule 92(5) states that the presiding officer must give a ruling and make his or her ruling or decision on the point of order immediately or defer the decision to the earliest opportunity thereafter. So, can we get an indication from you – are you going to ask some of the member to retract what he said or you will comeback with a considered ruling?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, you have answered by reading the rule. What I am going to do is - I said I will comeback and make a ruling at a later stage. That’s it. What is the point of order? You read the rule, you understand the rule and I will comeback with a ruling. [Interjections.]
Mr J H STEENHUISEN: That is the point. You never said you going to comeback ... [Interjections.] You gave the indication that you will comeback to ... [Inaudible.] ... after he asked
his question and you never did! So, thank you we look forward to your ruling.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): That is exactly what I am going to do, hon member. Please take your seat now. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Thank
you, Chairperson. Last year our department developed an Information and Communications Technology SMME strategy which we have linked to our work in the International Telecommunication Union, ITU. The ITU offers a platform to sure case this strategy globally.
Last year, at ITU Telecom world in Korea, we took five SMMEs to Busani to participate in our South African exhibition stand. Three of these SMMEs were shortlisted to appear before the ITU state panels for consideration for the global awards. One of them which, is Simplus Innovation, won an award for the ITU - for the best Business Model Telecoms World 2017.
In September this year, we hosted Telecom World in Durban. We scaled up our efforts with the support of Ericsson and Standard bank that supported more than 40 SMMEs to participate on our pavilion. One of the highlights of this hosting as a host country for the event was the resounding success of our SMME in the ITU Awards. Firstly, I hope that hon members will join me in congratulating Pulego Communications who’s operating from Tshwane with Smart City Technologies focusing on safety and anticorruption which received the overall global SMME Excellent Award, and we are also winning in the category for innovation with greatest impact.
Secondly, Thus communication who is dealing with wireless technologies focusing on water leaks received the best Business Model winning Award for this category. Thirdly, Uthini - a language learning platform - won the most innovative use of the ICTU category. In short, our local SMMEs won three of the most prestigious awards in this event, and most of them are run by young people.
The second part of the question, as the legacy of this ITU Telecom World Conference, we were working with international partners including ITU to develop and African centre for
digital transformation in Pretoria. Part of this work is focusing on innovation and SMMEs of this centre. The centre will provide conformance and integrating testing facilities for business in this sector, including SMMEs.
The prime focus will be to support innovation in the fourth industrial revolution technologies. It is critical that we as a country develop capacity to participate in this rapidly developing digital economy.
Last year we launched an internet for all projects of which one leg is focusing on skills training. In relation to digital skills partnership, we have made some progress with the partnership with private sector and society. For instance, Google, as a company, last year trained more that 130 South Africans and this year they are on track to train another 130 000 South African last and this year they 100 000.
Systems Integration Specialists Company, Sisco, is training high-earned skills, and they are aiming to train about 15 000 this year and they have already trained 10 000. [Time expired.]
Ms D R TSOTETSI: Chairperson, on behalf of the hon Mahlangu, thank you, hon Minister for a comprehensive exposition in your response to the question. May I start by congratulating you on the achievements you have just elaborated on; we also congratulate you on your exceptional hard work resulting in the winning the seat for South Africa in the UNs International Telecommunications Council from this year, 2018 to 2022 with an overwhelming support of 179 countries.
We are also complementing you is the election of Mr Mandla Mchunu of Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa, to the 12 persons member Radio Regulatory Board. As a follow-up question, Minister, now that we know about the energy’s enthusiasm and potential witnessed amongst our huge participation in the ICT landscape leading to the fourth industrial revolution; what plans does the government or department have to incubate these young people; males and females harnessing the positive posture of the private sector?
Secondly, among the young people you have interacted with positional empowerment, are there young people from rural areas?
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES:
Chairperson, the focus of these training initiatives is focusing on children coming from disadvantaged communities. For instance, the partnership we have in terms of identifying university students to go and be exposed to higher edge cutting technologies in China; take ten students each year for the past three years is focusing on the students who come from poor background.
The other partnership we are now entering to is the Microsoft. We have just started with that partnership focussing on training over 1 million youths from South Africa, specifically from rural areas. All these other programmes, and even the partnerships we have signed with Standard Bank to support SMMEs is for three years. And we are busy negotiating with other multiyear partnerships.
The partnership with the Department of Small Business Development in terms of Seda and Sefa is also starting to bear fruits. The partnership with Minister Kubayi-Ngubane in terms of technology innovation centre, we are busy finalising those memorandum in order to assist our youth, particularly those who are coming from rural communities.
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: Chairperson, since the EFF was formed we have consistently rejected the e-tolls.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, hon member we are going to get to that one. Somebody pressed the button where you are sitting; also on behalf of hon Nolutshungu we were informed that you will take the follow-up question when we get to that question later on. So, is there somebody else who pressed that button?
Mr S P MHLONGO: House Chairperson, besides education one of the greatest challenges to developing skills and capacity of our young people inline with the Forth Industrial Revolution is the access internet and affordable data.
However, the state of capture of the ruling party by these telecommunication companies has created the possibility of companies owned by politically connected individuals to flood this market, who in turn are used by these telecommunication companies to entrench their monopoly leading to astronomically high data costs which remain unaffordable to our children and the general population.
Would the Minister consider nationalisation of these telecommunication companies with an aim of racking apart this terrible?
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES:
Chairperson, we note the confusion about the e-tolls from the EFF. In terms of access to affordable internet and data; we have reported to this House the efforts that are being done by Icasa as well as the Competition Authority.
Icasa released the results earlier this year and they have been take to court by some of these big companies and the court hearing will be around 16 November 2018, and we are quite sure that we are going to win this court battle.
However, from December we will be implementing those measures to reduce the costs of data as proposed in may this year.
In terms of nationalisation, no, but as a country we said that we have just introduced a new policy last year which talks about open access networks that is what will break monopolies, particularly in this sector. I have already issued a draft policy direction in terms of licensing this network. This network will bring opportunities for the young and the SMMEs
to participate actively in this telecommunication sector and broaden access to every South African citizen through the licensing of spectrum the way we have put in our consideration. Thank you very much.
Ms M R SHINN: House Chairperson, Minister, the major inhibitor to youngsters being prepared for life on line is our failing basic education system. I am amazed that we have got so much talent – it’s a tribute to individuals that have actually managed to rise above our basic education system. But this system produces children who cannot comprehend what they read or adequately express what they think. The Western Cape government e-learning game changer doesn’t only give learners in education thousands of smart classrooms; it is programmes that develop a child and creative minds that work in collaborative environments. This prepares the learners for jobs beyond their current imagining; what initiative are you driving for the Minister of Basic Education to ensure all South African youngsters develop a mental agility to link the digital divide rather than left behind the youngsters or you send the child out?
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES:
Chairperson, the e-learning programme is not limited to the Western Cape. The other provinces like the Gauteng are implementing it because they do have access to internet in their school. And we are expanding this programme through the rollout of the internet and connectivity to schools, despite the budgetary constrain.
In terms of preparing our youth, of course, as government of South Africa we are changing the way in which our children are going to be learning by in stressing the importance of mathematics and science. Those are the programme which the Minister of Basic Education is pushing in the basic education sector that the key elements of putting these subjects is to introduce our children early into the field of computer science whether you call it coding, and so on. Those are the things which make a huge difference for the future and the plans are there working together with the Minister of Basic Education. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): There is still space for one more follow-up question. Is there another follow-up question? We proceed then to next question.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, before you proceed, may I just ask for colleagues behind you to settle down, please. It is a bit of a disturbance, we can hardly hear you speaking. Please take your seats hon members! Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, hon Chair and thanks for the question from hon De Freitas. No, the government has not taken any decision to scrap e-tolls. The government is committed to implementing road infrastructure in line with the objectives of the NDP.
The Gauteng freeway network is critical for mobility within this economic hub of South Africa and many businesses derived direct benefit from using this infrastructure. The government does feel strongly that the road users that derive such economic benefit from the roads must pay for the use of the road.
The government has however made concessions, including the reduction of the standard tariffs, the exemption of public transport and the application of frequent user discount to protect the poor and those who use the roads for social purposes.
The government will continue to engage with the citizens of Gauteng as continued noncompliance will lead to accelerated deterioration of this road network. Lack of investment in the Gulf Finance and Investment Company, GFIC network will not only mean the current debt will lead to life scale default in borne repayments but also it will lead to the deterioration of these highways.
However, the government is fully aware that there are those who object to the way that the monies are collected. Yet others are completely opposed to any toll fees being charged. At the same time, there are also those who continue to pay their toll fees.
The country is faced with the reality that the government still owes money raised to build these Gauteng freeways and that such monies must be paid back. Most of those protesting
the toll fees do agree that the debt must be paid but differ on how it is to be done. A significant section of all those opposed to the way toll fees are collected argue for an increase in the fuel levy to pay for the debt. The government remains committed to engaging all stakeholders until an amicable solution is found and hopefully as soon as possible.
Hon Chair and hon members, perhaps the most important question that we have to answer in a sober and not in a populist fashion is, how we fund the construction and maintenance, especially of our national road networks as a country. The government invites all concerned to frankly and openly engage in this important discussion, which is at the heart of the debate around e-tolling, for instance. Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr M S F De FREITAS: Thank you, House Chair and thank you Minister for the response. There seems to be confusion in the governing party because recently the Gauteng premier only said that the e—tolls will be stopped. He said so unambiguously.
Yet the Finance Minister now, you Minster, you are confirming that it will continue. Is the premier lying or simply doing publicist electioneering? What and if are the financial
solutions being considered as alternatives, considering that motorists are simply not paying?
So to say that they must pay is not a solution because they are simply not and it appears to be, no payment is going to take place in the foreseeable future by motorists. If you could advise us, thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, hon Chairperson, look, as I have said we notice that there are different views on this matter that is why as a government we are determined to engage and find a solution.
And also, we do need to point out that much as this matter started as a Gauteng issue, it is now a national issue and it needs to be resolved at that level and that is why the President has said to me, go and come up with a method and the way of engaging the stakeholders such that we are able to finalise this matter as soon as possible.
By the way, in the ANC, we don’t shy away from the debates. We would, sometimes, may even include debates amongst the members of the ANC. We don’t pretend as if there are no De Lille types
of views like the DA do. So we are open to debate and engagement and we are going to be engaging the Premier of Gauteng.
We are concerned, the question we are raising, though hon De Freitas is important. We are concerned about non-payment because what this is doing there are two things. One, it is threatening to drag Sanral into a financial difficulty, which actually may even weaken what is actually a very good agency and which is doing very good work.
The second thing is that it may negatively affect the maintenance of those highways, which are among the best in the world. Therefore, that is why this issue has got to be tackled soberly within the context of the broader issue of how we fund our road networks as a country. Thank you.
Mnu K P SITHOLE: Mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe, kungaphuzwe lutho, kungaphuzwe lutho kuxoxwa nje kahle, abantu baseGauteng basho kahle ukuthi abawathandi ama E-Tolls. Ekuqaleni kwezithangami zomphakathi ezazibanjelwe eGauteng, nami ngangingxenye yazo. Kwabuye kwaxoxwa ukuthi ayikho yini enye indlela engenzeka
noma itholakale yokukhokhela lama E-Tolls njengoba umgwaqo usuze wakhiwa nokuthi ungakhokhelwa kanjani . Bazisho izinto abantu baseGauteng okumele zenzeke kwaze kwakhona ukuthi, osenguMengameli manje owayenguSekela Mengameli wabuyela wayoxoxa ngalesi simo nabantu baseGauteng. Amalungu we-ANC nawe zinye izinhlangano kwakhulunywa ulimi olulodwa ukuthi kulukhuni ukuthi lama E-Tolls akhokhelwe. Umbuze ke manje uNgqongqoshe ukuthi uNgqongqoshe omusha ofikayo njengoba eseqhamuka esememezela ukuthi kufanele akhokhelwe noma ikanjani ama E-Tolls, ubekuthathaphi lokhu kanti uma engayitholanga imvume kubantu abakwaziyo ukuhlupheka ngalemigwaqo ekhona.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member you must ask the question so that the Minister can respond.
NGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Njengoba ilunga elihloniphekile selibuzile, mhlonishwa uSthole, asiyixoxe lento singalokhu sishona le nale futhi singathathi ngokuthi kulula nje ukuthi sithi into asiyifuni sibe singaphenduli ukuthi lesi sikweletu sizosenzenjani. Lesi isikweletu somashonisa abakhulu bomhlaba.
Asikwazi ukuthi singasikhokhi. Uma iqalwa lento eGauteng kwakuvunyelwene ukuthi lesi sikwletu sizokhokhwa ngale ndlela esikhokhwa ngayo manje. Ayikaze iqalwe ngenye indlela lento, kwathiwa iyokhokhelwa ngale ndlela ngesikhathi iqalwa lento esifundazweni saseGauteng.Kuthe uma kushiwo ukuthi lokhu kuzoba lukhuni kubantu abahamba ngamatekisi namabhasi, nabasebenzi bakhokhe sase sithi cha asizukuzikhokhisa lezo zimoto ezithutha umphakathi. M Phakathi kwabantu esizobakhokhisa yilaba abahamba ngezingudlangudla zamatrakhi ababulala umgwaqo, osomabhizinisi abakhulu, okufanele ukuthi bakhokhe ngalo mgwaqo abakwazi ukuthi bawusebenzise ngale ndlela abawusebenzisa ngayo bese bangakhokhi. Asikusho lokhu ngoba singuHulumeni ongafuni ukulalela, siyafuna ukulalela, siyathanda ukulalela, kodwa asingajikijelwa nje ngamatshe, asisho ukuthi isixazululo salento sithini. Akusizi ukuthi i- EEF ithi ayiyifuni lento, sitsheleni ukuthi izixazululo sayo sithini. Zintathu izindlela zokuxazulula lento; ukuthi sithathe imali eskhwameni sikaHulumeni, njengokuthi sithathe imali ebesizoyifaka emfundweni noma kwezempilo. Okwesibili esingakwenza ukuthi sifake imali kupetrol lento esithi i-Levy. Okwesithathu sithi abakwaziyo ukukhokha mabakhokhe,ayiye lapho ingxoxo, singamane nje sithi into asiyithandi ngoba sibona
kuyiyona ndlela elula yokwenza izinto, kube kubalekelwa ukuthi kubhekanwa kanjani nezinkinga esibhekene nazo.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Minister, I think you are misleading the people of South Africa. It is not true that the citizens of Gauteng wanted to pay e-tolls and they had an agreement. That is number one, in fact, it was even proven by consultations that were held, public consultations that were held by the Gauteng government after it realised that it had floundered.
But now, today you are saying that the Gauteng government had agreed and then the premier of Gauteng last week said that they don’t want e-tolls. So which one is it because you are saying to us Gauteng premier and the government of Gauteng agreed to e-tolls. That is what you are telling us, but last week they said they don’t want e-tolls.
So is it okay that we must have a government of so many contradictions? Is it not the proof that you guys must just step out and let people with solutions come in? You don’t come here to us and ask what the solutions are from us. You are the one in government. These are the signs that you guys must
vacate so that we come in because you are playing with people’s emotions now.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: You see that is cheap politicking hon Ndlozi. Firstly, these highways are in a city that you and the DA are controlling at this point in time and yet you want to sit on the side and pretend as if you are disinterested.
What I am saying is that when the model was planned and designed - including going out to get money - was that the users are going to pay?
Mr J S MALEMA: Chair, I think the Minister is misleading the country when he says we are controlling a Metro with the DA. He knows we are not controlling any Metro with the DA. We are not in any government. He knows that so ask him to correct that, please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you for the information it is a political statement that he made.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chair, it is a political statement indeed, which I disagree with. You do control Johannesburg, Egoli ...
Inina ne-DA abalawula iGoli, izona zombili lezi zinhlangano, njengoba senigijimisani nje lana, abangani benu laba ngoba uma nisithela ngale niyezwana
Mr G GARDEE: Chairperson, Chairperson!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, take your seat, please. Why are you rising hon member? Order hon members!
Mr G GARDEE: Chairperson, I’m rising on a point of order. The Minister is misleading the country because the truth is that it is one of the Metros that have been lost by the ruling party. That is factual truth. It has been lost, but we are not controlling it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, thank you for the information.
NGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: NgesiZulu kuthiwa imihlathi eyazanayo
Hon Chair, I’m sorry, the aim was to try and dislodge me, but the point I’m saying hon Ndlozi... [Interjections.]
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Point of order Chairperson!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, let me take this point of order. Why are you rising hon member?
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: On a point of order Chair...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is the point of order?
Nk H O MKHALIPHI: Njengoba nje e-Metsimaholo nigijimisana ne- ANC niyi-SACP
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member that is not the point of order. Hon Minister, you now have a few seconds left to conclude your response.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: No, they have taken all my seconds hon Chair.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Point of order!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon members let’s give a chance to the Minister to respond.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Point of order hon House Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is the point of order?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Blade, I think you can sit down, it is okay.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: We can’t both stand.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, just take your seat, please. [Laughter.] What is your point of order hon member?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: The hon Minister is deliberately misleading the people of South Africa. A Metro is not responsible for the e- tolls. It is not true. It is not. So please focus on the premier and the Gauteng government and yourself.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, I ruled on this matter. Please hon member, take your seat now. That’s not a point of order. Hon member that’s not a point of order, take your seat.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chair, because they have taken all my seconds, the point I’m saying, let’s come to the real issue, how do we fund our highways in South Africa and our road infrastructure generally. That is the issue, and how do we pay the debt that we have at this point in time?
I never said you are controlling the roads or the e-tolls. I said ...
Ngithe nina neDA niyimihlathi eyazanayo, le migwaqo emikhulu ihamba kulela dolobha eniliphethe, kodwa manje niyaxabana masenilana,
Mr A M SEABI: Thanks Chair. Hon Minister, it has come to our attention that the billing system of the e-tolls is either flawed, if not fraudulent to an extent. There is also an allegation of cloning of number plates, which is a fraudulent activity. [Laughter.] This, therefore ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members don’t disrupt the member he is busy reading.
Mr A M SEABI: ... this, therefore, discourages people to pay for their bills, either by protesting to higher bills because they are fraudulent so they say, or because they can’t afford. Is the Minister having any plan to intervene in this regard?
Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, hon Chairperson and thanks to the hon member, but look this question has been
raised that there are flaws in the collection system. Sometimes I do feel they are a bit exaggerated. I’m not saying the member is doing that, but we are not averse, to actually hear what are the real issues around how this system is flawed.
Our bigger problem is not a flawed system. Our bigger problem is fewer people are paying than the people who are supposed to pay. That is why amongst other things by the way hon De Freitas, a question you had asked I didn’t quite answer. It is that, we are exploring on what else we can do with that infrastructure that has actually been installed; because it can be used as an information system and other ways, as part also of even raising additional revenues by entering into some kind of arrangements with other stakeholders who can benefit from the use of that particular system.
We are willing to look into that, but we have to go to the fundamental question of what do we do with the debt that we already have. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chair, I am sure you will appreciate that is in essence the same question in large measure. So, what I would like to say briefly is that yes, I have been fully briefed by SA National Road Agency, Sanral. We are in fact in constant discussions at the moment with Sanral. We will be going together with Sanral, to brief the President, also engage the Premier of Gauteng and all other stakeholders that have got an interest. We are not even averse to engaging all the political parties here who are willing that we discuss this question.
As I have said we are committed to be implementing the infrastructure that we need to be implementing and that what I perhaps need to say specifically in relation to this question is that as I have said, ideally what we would like to see is that it is not just government that pronounces what should in the end happen on its own without having engaged all those who have actually got an interest in the system. However, as things stand now, we must do what we are all supposed to do, but at the same time without excluding engagement with the relevant stakeholders. That is the approach that we are taking as government. Thank you, hon Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon Minister. I have been informed that the hon Thembekwayo will take up the follow-up ... [Interjections.] Oh, you have changed and you have redeployed.
Mr G A GARDEE: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, as a Minister of a caring party as you alleged, a party that listens and a government that listens, why would you consider listening to the crying of the people that they do not want these e-tolls and consider repudiating this contract? Although we know that you refused to repudiate the apartheid debts of Botha and Malan when those debts were incurred when they bought arms and teargas to kill our people. We are not sure if you are also just going to do as you did failing to repudiate those apartheid contracts and with those also you do not consider to repudiate this contract. Thank you, Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, I want to say to hon Gardee, I have not heard the people saying repudiate the debt. [Interjections.]
It is possibly the EFF that is actually saying that. [Applause.]
For most of the people who are raising issues are saying: Yes we are uncomfortable about what we are paying and maybe it is too expensive and all that, but generally, there is agreement that we have to pay this debt. This is not apartheid debt. [Interjections.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Who agreed!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Oder hon member!
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: It is the debt that we got into. Look there is something that all of us in hindsight are very easy to actually solve the problem, because quite a number of people have raised this that in hindsight maybe this thing should have been done differently. However, we are where we are now. We have got debt and this model was introduced in broad daylight and that we are actually going to be collecting toll fees in order to be able to maintain and run these beautiful roads. So, let us not change the goalposts. It is where we are now! If you even pretend to be a leftist party you should know that we must deal with concrete conditions using concrete analysis of the situation that we are in.
Unless [niyi fon kong ye-left wing] you are the fong kong left wing. Thank you very much, hon Chair.
Mr G A GARDEE: Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Why are you rising hon member?
Mr G A GARDEE: Chairperson, I am rising on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is your point of order?
Mr G A GARDEE: My point of order is: The Minister’s last utterances of referring to the EFF as a fong kong maybe you can rule that it is unparliamentary and it is not proper. Can you please call on him to do so? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, the hon Minister has not referred to any specific member of the House. That is my ruling. It is a broad statement that he is making.
Mr G A GARDEE: They are a fong kong communist party.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, thank you. Take your seat now, hon member. The hon De Freitas, did you have a follow-up question?
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: House Chair, I am glad that the hon Minister has admitted that this could have done differently. Because I would remind him — and admittedly it is before he was Transport Minister — that is what the DA was saying all along. The way this project is being implemented and the way that is being financed and the expensive way is being financed is the problem. Years down the line suddenly you have a Minister that is actually admitting it. You also said earlier that you are not excluding engagement which is good news. So my question is: Considering that the root of all this is the terrible engagement and the lack of engagement with the public, what are you doing to engage directly in the next steps to engage with the public and to ... [Inaudible.] ... and talk to them about this matter?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chair, I think is taking it too fast to say it was the DA position. In fact that position
emanated from within the tripartite alliance, for your information. [Interjections.]
Yes! Including the SA Communist Party’s, SACP’s, original position on this matter. However, what I am saying is that ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Let me just share this so that maybe I cut this thing short. The President has said, “Minister of Transport, lead a process that we resolve this matter as soon as possible.” Alright! We have engaged with Sanral and we have looked at a number of ways to deal with this particular problem. We are going back to the President, hopefully as soon as possible and then engaging the other stakeholders so that we arrive at a solution. Until we reach that we are saying let us continue to do what we are supposed to do which is to pay for these beautiful highways until we are able to actually find a solution. There is no contradiction between saying that and also committing to engagement, including by the way engaging the DA. I am not averse to engaging the DA on what are the issues that we are
faced with. It is of no use to go back and say, if we had done this differently. We are where we are now and we have got to actually face this. Let us be grown ups that is what I have said. Let us not engage in cheap politics or populism, because it is quite nice to hope you going to win votes. You are not going to win votes on this matter, we are going to thoroughly moer [beat you up] you in the elections next year. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon member. Order, hon members. Why are you rising?
Ms A M DREYER: Hon Chairperson, I am rising on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes.
Ms A M DREYER: I clearly heard the Minister saying he is going to moer us. Is that parliamentary and will you rule on that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, hon Minister, did you say that?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Can he explain first what does that word mean for the sake of all of us?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No wait, hon Ndlozi. I am busy taking this point of order.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Please define it first.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seat please. Hon Minister, did you say that?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I did Chair, but I said it in the township context. I am happy to withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): In the parliamentary context will you withdraw it, please.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I am withdrawing it, hon Chair. Thanks.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Which township you are from, Chief?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Ndlozi! Hon Ndlozi!
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Hha, he is not from a township!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Ndlozi, I did not recognise you.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: [Mar.] But he is not from a township.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seat. I have not recognise you. Yes hon member.
Mr J S MALEMA: No, we are not going to have villagers here claiming to be coming from township. [interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, order hon members. There is another follow-up question from the hon ... order ... the hon Ramatlakane.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: House Chair, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Why are you rising, hon member?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: I am rising on a point of order. My point of order is: I think the trauma of a Cabinet reshuffle may have made him forgot where he comes from.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, that is not the point of order, hon member. [Interjections.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: For he was a back bencher for some time.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member that is not a point of order. Hon Rmatlakane.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Hon Chair and hon Minister, following your reply to this Question 224, it is government policy the issue about user-pay principle. In fact, worldwide you do have the tolling as a kind of a user-pay principle that has been followed. The challenge that you have at the moment in terms of the tolling we all know that even in the well developed countries, the private motor vehicle behaviour require some constraining measures as a way of constraining measures of
traffic as were also from the measure of revenue. Should we not necessarily in dealing with the Gauteng one that we are discussing focus more on the more as the Deputy President then started a process of reduction ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Will you complete your question, hon member? You are running out of time.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Should we not have focused more on addressing the waiver towards the public transport more and more against this issue of the cry of the private car behaviour?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chair, we need to do a statistical comparison between Seshego and KwaDambuza in order to determine which one is more township than the other? [Laughter.]
Chair, I think the hon Ramatlakane is raising the point that in a way I started with and I just need to underline. We have exempted public transport that carries the workers and the poor of this country from the e-tolling system, because we understood that the people who really must pay for this are
the people mainly who actually benefit this and are using it for commercial purposes. I know that does not include every one, but the fact of the matter is that it was with that thinking in mind as he is actually saying that we did what we did because we are indeed a caring government to say that minibus taxis are not going to pay and your buses that are on the road are not going to pay, so that we are able to ensure that the poor and the workers of this country are able to enjoy those roads without actually having to pay for them. So, it is very important therefore that we do not forget that particular question even when as we discuss going forward.
Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Chair, what I would like to know from the hon Minister is: Whether with the engagements that he is proposing, whether he has got an interim solution to the problem and then a long-term solution, because the people are suffering now and governments keep changing every five years? Maybe by the time he thinks he would have a solution, he may or he may no longer be part of the government and yet we have an ANC that signed off this deal? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, well I may not be part of government, but if you mean the ANC no, you are wrong. The ANC is going to be leading this government for a long time to come. [Applause.]
Mr J S MALEMA: No, no, no.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: And I would leave some of these other parties which are ... [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: You will be running Johannesburg and Tshwane.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Look, we are not ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Maybe to your credit. We are not looking for an interim solution, ideally. We are looking for a final solution so that we discuss this matter and we are able to find a final solution, so that we do not have to be chopping and changing. We are able to ensure that these roads which are respected worldwide hon Chairperson, we are able to
maintain them and service them. By the way more than anything else they are not just nice to drive upon, they are very critical they are like the arteries for economic growth and development of our country. Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes hon member.
Mr J S MALEMA: The ANC will govern forever in KwaDambuza not in South Africa.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member let us make use the opportunity for a point of order; to take a point of order. Question 229 has been asked by the hon Masehela to the Minister of Public Works. The hon Minister of Public Works.
Order, hon members.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Chairperson, the Department of Public Works has a total of 2 557 leases from the private landlords, provincial, municipal and other parties in order to
accommodate client departments in accordance with the accommodation requirements.
A total of 862 leases of the 2 557 is procured from entities compliant with black economic empowerment, BEE, which translates into 37% of the leases procured from the BEE- compliant entities. In terms of the rand value, the 862 leases translate into 48% of the department’s total expenditure on leased accommodation. At this stage, the department does not have selection criteria or performance monitoring tools specific to women ownership. We don’t have that yet – or management with the procurement specification tools. However, in line with national government’s priorities, as well the department’s internal empowerment goals, the department is in the process of developing a scoring tool and tracking system for the empowerment of women in the property industry. All our teams are working very hard on this particular area. Thank you.
Mrs E K M MASEHELA: House Chairperson, I thank the Minister. It is encouraging to note that the department has made significant strides to empower black-owned businesses. We hope that this will translate into further empowerment initiatives
for businesses owned by black females and also focus on people with disabilities.
Minister, my question therefore is the following: Given the slow turnaround time in the procurement of leases in the past, what reforms have the department embarked on to ensure quick turnaround times so that savings are realised for the state? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Chairperson and hon member, you would appreciate that this is an area which has had lots of controversies and even corruption. We have to be very meticulous in how we deal with it so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
However, what we have decided to do is put in place special teams with the necessary expertise in order to fast-track this particular work. We are not just focusing on women. We are also focusing on the youth and people with disabilities. In fact, we have to review the more than 2 000 leases, and we are also seeking the assistance of Treasury and even the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, in dealing with this so that we obviate a repeat of what has happened before. Fortunately, we
have already drafted a standard lease framework, which has been done in consultation with the SIU and Treasury. So, we believe that we will now be in a position to fast-track the processes.
Dr M J FIGG: House Chairperson, through you to the hon Minister: You recently warned President Ramaphosa that keeping director-general Sam Vukela in his post “could return the department to the days of ... Nkandla”. Is this an admission that some of the leasing contracts given out were given out irregularly? If not, have there been any other tenders that you believe might have been handed out irregularly?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Chairperson, unfortunately, correspondence between the President and the Minister is not for public consumption. [Interjections.] It is the newspapers that have speculated about what has been going on. However, from time to time, I have to brief the President on the progress of the department and some of the management problems that I am experiencing.
On the issue that you are quoting now, you are not quoting me. You are quoting the newspapers. [Interjections.] I have
decided to be silent on such issues because I don’t want to discuss those issues in the media. [Interjections.]
Mr S P MHLONGO: Chairperson, through you to the hon Minister: The Department of Public Works should not be leasing properties but own and maintain them. Millions of taxpayers’ money is spent leasing properties that could be owned by the department, that could help create internal capacity within the same department, and scale down the corruption levels bedevilling this very department, whilst at the same time creating permanent, decent jobs for our unemployed multitudes.
As the President has come up with a stimulus package programme, infrastructure has been prioritised in this area. Is this not an opportune time for you to establish a state- owned construction company rather than continue with the leasing that opens up the department to corruption on a massive scale?
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMISEBENZI YOMPHAKATHI: Yebo Njomane, uyakwazi
ukuyilahlela noma ile emuva.
You are correct, hon Mhlongo, that the issue of us leasing from the private sector, whilst we have our own buildings, is a waste of resources. This is a matter that we are dealing with. Instead of leasing in, we must lease out to the private sector and force our departments to use our own buildings. The issue is that, at this stage, the state of our buildings leaves much to be desired. We need huge renovations. Major renovations are necessary in order for the department to occupy those buildings. Unfortunately, most of those buildings were neglected for too long. We will be able to deal with that. [Interjections.] We think that you are indeed correct.
In this particular area, through the facilities management, we could be able to create a number of jobs.
When you talk about the state construction, at this stage, we don’t think it is a priority. The priority, at this stage, is to recruit the right skills in the department, in the built environment, that will allow us to respond to the current challenges. Maybe in the long term, we can talk about that particular debate. However, at this stage, let’s have the right skills that will be up to the challenge we are facing. This challenge is about proper construction, about maintenance
of the buildings and so on. Let’s recruit all the skills in the built environment that will allow us to be effective and efficient. Thank you.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Chair, through you to the hon Minister: If you read the question properly, you would have seen that, in line three, there is a noun, “women”. [Interjections.] I am not a woman in any form of description, but I care about women. One of them delivered me to this world. [Interjections.]
You are telling us about BEE-compliant things, and this has an element of fronting. You are not telling us how many women have been given an opportunity to participate as front liners, as exclusive owners of buildings. Please be specific. Don’t hide behind BEE concepts and all that. [Interjections.] Do you have contracts that are being allocated to black women, citizens of South Africa? Yes or no? Alternatively, you may say, “I honesty do not know. I will go to my office and find out.”
UMPHATHISWA WESEBE LEZEMISEBENZI YOLUNTU: Hayi Mhlekazi,
mamelisisa wena kuqala.
Women are part of the blacks in terms of the BEE. They are a component of that. Secondly, I have said all along that we have not been specific. However, we are now developing the scoring tool – it is not there – which focuses on tracking the system on the empowerment of women. That is what I said. We are developing that tool. Then, once that tool is there, we will be able to say that we are at this level in relation to the women. When they come, they come as part of the broader BEE, at this stage. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, has compiled forty three District Rural Development Plans to enhance Integrated Spatial Planning Initiatives, especially in rural areas in particular in the districts that we had referred to.
The main aim and objective is to deal with our historic triple challenges. These plans are planning tools, aiming to promote socioeconomic development, successful land reform, job creation and poverty eradication, not just alleviation. Rural towns and their needs in the districts that they fall under are considered in a holistic manner and identify what interventions are required.
The data from Statistics SA, informs the analysis that has been undertaken. The plans were developed to also consider and to ensure integration into existing national, provincial and municipal plans processes, priorities with regard to both the content of the plans and the various institutional structures.
The department is also working with national treasury on the small town regeneration programme, which is targeting twenty seven municipalities across the country and identified towns in these municipalities from targeted interventions to promote their economic development potential.
Both these initiatives and work, are currently being done to deal with the national issues and in particular the historical challenges of the National Spatial Development Framework,
which have assisted us in identifying spaces where interventions are being targeted and developed in the development of a coordinated way of working in the department. We do this working with the departments in the cluster we work with, but broadly with all the interested departments in government, particularly the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta. I thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Minister, what I hear and what I see are two different things. I would like you at sometime to take a drive along the N2 right through after Plettenberg Bay, Tsitsikama, right up to Port Elizabeth. Life is a hell for the people in those rural areas. There are no jobs. Teenage pregnancy, HIV/Aids, alcohol and substance abuse is a problem. There are no jobs. There is no development. There is being forest. Now, there is a forest fire. They will never have anything for the next two three years. That is what is going to happen. That is the order of the day and already I see with regard to forest, there is a problem with some senior big business from Western Cape taking control and the smaller are going to suffer.
What are you going to do in order to ensure that there is development in all those areas, particularly with the vast pieces of land that are there in private hands and nothing is being done? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, I did say that we are working with all interested institutions, starting with our provincial governments, districts, municipalities and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, but also those private companies that you have referred to, that they form real durable sustainable partnership with our people, because the apartheid spatial plan didn’t work for us. There is no disagreement about that.
We need to cut the chase and also to remove the disparities from rural to urban. We use that and the progress we are suppose to be making and not just what we read anywhere else but working in partnership with Statistics SA. Yes, it has been hard but we are making some progress. Yes, we can’t disagree on the fact that the historical spatial development plan didn’t work for this country, particularly for majority of the people of this country.
The creation of jobs not only for women, but for the young people is the need of the hour. We are no longer talk of alleviation of poverty but of eradication of poverty.
Agriculture is also very crucial. [Time expired.]
Inkosi R N CEBEKHULU: Hon Chairperson, with the current challenges of land ownership around those rural towns being privately owned, is the department going to buy or to wait for expropriation process to unfold before it goes for the development, please?
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, we are working on this problem with very clear instructions from the President who had also appointed the inter-ministerial committee for Cabinet, but also put in a panel of advisors to work with us.
In the department, we also have the Office of the Office of the Valuer-General, so that we reduce speculation in areas where we have to purchase land, because that was what has slow down our progress in making sure that more and more of our people access land.
We have also seen that, there is a lot of willingness from some mining houses to donate land where they mine underground. The Minister of Mining will confirm this. They can donate land to us for agriculture and other forms of development at the top soil level. So, we are looking at all this opportunities that were being given.
Other options that were being offered, we really think we shouldn’t take them. I will not even mention them here, but yes, we are on track to make sure that we deal with the triple challenges that our people are faced with and that we give access for our people to land, while waiting for the finalisation of the work of the Constitutional Review Committee, CRC.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done, working in partnership with agriculture, Treasury, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and all other departments in the economic cluster. The time to solve some of these very intractable problems is now.
Ms T M MBABAMA: Chairperson, according to the annual report of the Department of Rural Development and Land reform for 2017-
18 under programme three which deals with rural development, targets for skills development opportunities and job opportunities were exceeded. This sounds very good o paper; however, they are just mere opportunities and not the real deal.
Can you explain how this opportunities are created and tell us how many sustainable jobs were created and how many people actually acquired new skills, which I presume is the ultimate purpose of the initiatives? Thank you.
Mr P J MNGUNI: Chairperson, can I just alert the House to the fact that in terms of Rule 142(6) that is supplementary question can’t be like a new question as it is. If I listened well, subject to your ruling by you and the table. Thank you very much. It is absolutely a new question, absolutely new.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, I agree with the Chief Whip of my committee that this is a new question. We will provide you with the numbers when you asked the question about the numbers, because we have. Thank you.
Ms Y N YAKO: Chairperson, I am hon Yako. To the hon Minister, rural development shouldn’t be confined to maintaining rurality of rural areas. Instead, it should abolish the distinction between town and rural. This department shouldn’t be the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform; instead it should be the Department of Rural Industrialisation and Urbanisation and should guide the process to development and industrialisation of the rural areas.
What do you think of this and does your department have the necessary mandate and power and capacity to encourage industrial development in our rural areas?
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, well the question is quite interesting for me as a former ambassador, that not everywhere else in the world do people want to live in the inner cities. There are areas where people want to live well in a rural setting. What is needed is that there is the provision of infrastructure both in rural areas and urban areas.
The rural urban device shouldn’t know colour, but should also be focusing on development of the people and that people know
that land is an economic asset. It can be for agriculture because if it is for agriculture, we have our food security. If it is for development, it should be for development. That is why planning, which I was referring to earlier on it is so important. It is important at a national level through the National Development Plan. It is important in the provinces, districts, municipalities and all spheres that we are working with, but it shouldn’t be that we all want to live in the middle of Johannesburg. There is nothing like that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, before I handover to the hon Didiza, there were two points of order that were raised very briefly earlier and the one referred to the reference to members in respectful terms. Although the Rules doesn’t prescribe as how members must be referred to, we should always keep in mind that members should be referred to in a way that it doesn’t impugn the dignity of any member. As a result, we will request as I said at that time when the
point of order was taken by the hon Waters at members referred to each other in respectful terms.
The second point of order was raised by hon Steenhuisen, who also rose on a point of order indicating that Rule 85 resulted in several ruling against racial stereotyping. This point of order was against what the hon Dlamini said and I quote: “This industry is dominated by white people who most of them are racist”, while Rule 85 is not related to the public broadly and don’t apply as raised by the hon Steenhuisen, we can’t inhabit the freedom of expression by preventing members of making political comment.
We have always drawn a distinction between allegations against Members of House and the expression of opinions about the beliefs and policies of the political parties. Accordingly, references to a member as a racist have been held to be unparliamentary.
The allegations that the political party supports racist views or has or is implementing racist policies are made frequently in the House and have not been held to be unparliamentary, including references to racist incidents in businesses like
tourism or in general. They are in my view a part of the normal political discourse and any attempt to limit this and calling such incidents out, would set a dangerous precedent.
While we have to go far in building a nonracial society, we can’t avoid political comment on such occurrences. The point of order as raised by the hon Steenhuisen is thus not sustained.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: ...
[Inaudible.] ... it to the Minister of Agriculture. An amount of R3,4 million was invested in the Siyathuthuka project through the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development programme, or LRAD programme, in 2003. The other loan issued came from private banks, now totalling - including the money that they got from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and Absa - R9,9 million.
There is no direct impact noticed from this investment for the reason that seven farmers are not the beneficiaries or owners of the land as per the company registration document. The Siyathuthuka Sugar Estate in Mpumalanga is represented by the
company directors of Transvaal Suiker Beperk, TSB, who refer to themselves, or they are, the owners of the land. The farmers are currently not utilising the farm, but TSB is planting on this land. Transvaal Suiker Beperk indicated that the farmers owe its business entity RCL Foods Sugar and Milling money which was lent to the farmers for operational expenses, hence they decided to take the farmers out of operation and use the land themselves.
The department tried to intervene and is still engaged with TSB. We have also now invited in the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, because this problem is becoming intractable. You cannot have a situation continuing where people thought that they were going to be part owners and own shares ... Now they are not part of the land ... no, they are not this ... It was important for us to emphasise that this merry-go-round had started in 2003.
Let me also confirm that the seven affected parties have been in consultation with the chair of the portfolio committee to raise their concerns. We will come back to the House with the results of the SIU as to how to get our people back in or get
our money back - or whatever that would be proposed when the SIU concludes its investigation. I thank you.
Nk P C NGWENYA-MABILA: Sihlalo, ngibonge kuNgqongqoshe, ngiyabonga ngempendulo yakho, engifuna ukwazi Ngqongqoshe wukuthi, ngabe laba limi umama uSibiya waseGoba umama uMagagula, umama uMadonsela, ubaba uNkosi bayakwazi yini ukuthi i-TSB bayikweleta malini? Bayakwazi yini ukuthi u-Absa bawukweleta malini? Ngoba sikhuluma nje laba balimi bahleli emakhaya kodwa alikho iphepha elishoyo ukuthi umlimi ngamunye ukweleta malini. Ngabe i-TSB, labondlebezikhanyilanga inhloso yabo bekuwukuthuthukisa abantu basemakhaya noma bekuwukudlala ngabantu bakithi? Bengingajabula uma ngabe i-SIU ingasheshisa kubonakale ukuthi i-TSB idlala ngabalimi abasafufusa. Beyifuna nje ukubonakala kumabonakude ukuthi ithuthukisa abalimi ngoba sikhuluma nje laba limi bahleli emakhaya sibe thina sifake u- R3,4 million wokuthuthukisa bona laba balimi abahleli emakhaya.
Bayaqhubeka nokulima nje laphaya kwi-TSB basaselaphaya emasimini. Izitatimende zabo bezibhalwe ukuthi basebenze isivuno sabo sibe u-R1,4 million kodwa bona lo-R1,4 million
abakaze bawubambe ngesandla. I-TSB ibibanikeza u-R4 500 ngenyanga. Ngamanye amagama, bebengabasebenzi be-TSB bengewona abalimi. I-TSB kufanele icacise ukuthi le nkinga le izoyilungisa kanjani ukuze abalimi babuyele emasimini abo.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, I really cannot agree more with the chair that we really are going to have to appeal to the SIU to sheshisa [hurry up] with this one. We are also very interested because one day you are a farm worker, the following day you are a partner, another day you are supposed to get so much money, on the next day you are getting less than what the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, provides to old age pensioners, but yet you are supposed to be a partner in a sugar milling company. So this has to be one of the first cases, and the SIU must indeed help us expedite the outcome of this case. I thank you.
Inkosi R N CEBEKHULU: Sihlalo weNdlu, mhlonishwa, umsebenzi omuhle kangaka oncomekayo lapho umnyango watshala khona
lenkece engaka ukusiza labo balimi nokho-ke okusekudlalwa ngabo kodwa umuntu okumfikelayo wukuthi mhlonishwa, kulo msebenzi omuhle kangaka umnyango owawenza, ngabe kukhona yini okwenzile nakwezinye izifunda njengoba kuwumsebenzi owaqala ngo-2003 ukusiza labo ababehlose ukukhululwa ebuphofini? Ngabe umnyango kukhona okwenzile kwezinye izifunda la kukhona izitshalo zomoba ukusiza labo balimi ngoba baningi abadinga usizo lwenu? Ngiyathokoza.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: House
Chairperson, I don’t speak much Zulu but I understood. Let me say that we do have some good projects like the one that was launched by the President a few weeks ago at KwaMkhwanazi, which is about plantation and about ownership of land by people - and with their chief they all agree that this is what we want. So, in some areas you have ... Until we are finished with the work of the Constitutional Review Committee, CRC, we will continue to have this mixed ownership of land, which we are saying no to. I dare to say that this SIU investigation is not only about the case referred to by the hon member, but also about several other areas. It is just that I did not bring the list.
Every week I ask: How far are you going? Very soon you will see other people not smiling as they should be, but our focus should remain on making sure that our people get access to arable land for food security or to liberate themselves from the lack of land tenure and food, and from poverty and unemployment. Perhaps the House might be saying: Bring a list of the success stories of where things have worked. We will do that when the need arises. [Time expired.]
Mr K P ROBERTSON: Thanks, hon Chair. Thanks, hon Minister. It’s true that the Siyathuthuka project is known to have a ballooning debt of R27 million with the current contractor, the TSB group. What was profound to us – and reading up after probing – was that those seven farmers had absolutely no idea how that debt was accumulated. This I can only blame on very poor post-settlement support from the department, because had the department stepped in and educated our people on how to be able to enter into contractual agreements, they would not be sitting in this situation they are in now. I need to ask a very valid question now: If these seven farmers had been given title deeds, entitled to their property, what difference would it have made to the contractual agreement? Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, our people were promised a partnership. They were never promised title deeds. I think, if they had title deeds it would have been worse because ... [Interjections.] I’m talking about the seven; I am not talking about all of our people. For there to be post-settlement we need to stop finger-pointing, because it is the responsibility of all of us, particularly the haves, to make sure that those who did not have land do not only depend on government when the majority of South Africans – 77% - particularly women, do not have access to fertile agrarian land. Partnerships must be real. It is not about folding arms and finger-pointing, because that which we are dealing with here, particularly on land-related issues, did not happen by accident. As we move forward we need to realise that many of our people are very patient, but we do not want that patience to wane because we are appealing for partnerships not for finger-pointing.
Ms N V MENTE: Thank you, Chair. Minister, it’s very unfortunate that the patience of the people has already been worn out, simply because the ANC government is failing to do the simple task of decision-making. Your consultation process is always flawed.
The same issue we are talking about here today is also happening to the people of Qumanco, Ncora and Qamata. You gave money to certain white people that are farming there and they are exploiting the small farmers. They are giving them some money called an “annual payment” which is R1 300 out of the production they make, which is worth millions. Your previous Minister, Mr Gugile Nkwinti, will know what I am talking about. Are you willing to consult with the farmers and give the money that you have given to one person to a co-operative that is going to work the land which they own? [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM:
Chairperson, we are willing to expedite access to land for our people – one. Number two: this must not leave women behind, because that is unconstitutional. This is because there is a practice that has been going on for years – a practice, not a law - that land is owned or has to be owned or inherited by men only. So, we need to deal with the reality that is in the Constitution. When we signed off on the Constitution we have at the moment, we said: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it irrespective of colour or creed.” [Time expired.]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Uxolo! Sihlalo, nginephuzu lokukhalima okuphambukayo.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): What is your point of order?
Nk M S KHAWULA: Ngiyabonga, yazi uNgqongqoshe make angene la, lana kufunwa ulwazi ukuthi ngale mali ayinikeza ozuzayo ngayedwa ngoba naseNkanini e-Stanger kwenzeka ...
... the very same thing.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon MaKhawula! Thank you, hon member. The same issue ... [Interjections.]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Uyajikeleza. Why engasitsheli iqinso? [Ubuwelewele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Order, hon Khawula! Can you please take your seat?
Nk M S KHAWULA: Hhayi! Laba badlala ngathi mani.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Can you take your seat. Hon Khawula, the point that you’re raising is not a point of order. You are actually continuing with the debate and the discussion. Could you please take your seat. The time allocated for questions has expired.
Ms M S KHAWULA: Sorry ... Sorry ... Sorry!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon Khawula! Could you please take your seat?
Nk M S KHAWULA: Mana kancane! [Ubuwelewele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! [Interjections.]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Kodwa-ke yini lento osuyenza?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Could you please take your seat.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Wena ungasithatha leso ohleli lapho kusona? [Ubuwelewele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Khawula! Hon Khawula! [Interjections.]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Hhayi! Musa ukudlala ngami.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Khawula, could you please take your seat.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Hhayi!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Take your seat. Hon members, I’ve ruled. You are not rising on any point of order. It is a matter for debate and your member has raised the issue with the Minister. To give more examples about has happened elsewhere does not make it a new point of order.
DECISION OF QUESTION – CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Members, I wish to remind you that on Thursday 01 November 2018, the decision of the question in adoption of this report was postponed. It is the decision. Well, I am told it was postponed not defeated.
Question put: That the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report to be adopted.
DA objected: Hon Chair, please note the objection of the DA
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: The objection of the DA has been noted.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We want to make a declaration from there.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: No, declarations were done hon members.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We did not make them we want to make it today there.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Order, order, can you please take your seats.
FF Plus objects: Hon Chair, the objection of the FF Plus, please.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chair, in the absence of the opportunity to declare, can you note our objection as the EFF.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): We have noted your objection thank you very much. Objections from the parties will be recorded, the matter proceeds. Thank you.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – 2018 REVISED FISCAL FRAMEWORK
The Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.
Ms T V TOBIAS: Hon Chair, hon members, good evening. The debate on the Fiscal framework takes place at an interesting time as political parties are building up towards their campaigns for 2019 national elections. The debate itself will be interesting as typical, some will try their level to wrestle power from the ruling party but naturally the ruling party has no choice but to be responsible, focused and objective as it cannot thrive from popular sentiments but to apply objective principles that will govern the nation to prosperity.
Amongst the discussions, tendencies will emerge to also challenge the micro economic stunts of the ruling party. Both the Fiscal and the monetary policies will also be taken to task and as I said we will emerge as the responsible party.
One of the subjects to emerge sharply will be whether the government’s Fiscal policy is counter cyclical or not and whether government will continue fiscal consolidation in the longer period. For me the argument is neither here nor there. For me the issue is how we plug the hole in our revenue. As we do so we need to look at structural measures that can be imposed to address the budget deficit.
Hon members, Joseph Stiglitz wrote in the Daily Star what he termed: “People versus money in the America’s mid-term elections.” All eyes will be on the US Congressional Elections Approach and further challenge the democrats to address voter apathy by dealing with the history of collusion with the right especially the Capital Gains Tax cards which he alleges enrich the top 1% and deregulated the financial markets and brought great recession and displaced workers.
Today hon members, I am not in the business of either agreeing or disagreeing with him. Today I have a responsibility to provide solutions to difficult economic questions. Some of the issues to look at will be how the stimulus package presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the investment conference will respond to our challenges. Some of the answers will line
with how we change patterns of our capital stock by implementing and I repeat implementing effective tax rates.
I also need to say upfront that the tax system of any country is not a panacea to economic growth. We also need to understand that our debts to Gross Domestic Product, GDP growth remain a challenge therefore we need to address this by addressing capital certainty. As we do so, a question has been asked as to where to expect growth to go? Economists have argued that we need to address both on demand and supply.
On the demand side, we are challenged to beef up our industrial policy to support infant industry hon Ndlozi and I hope this answers you question that you raised earlier today on the necessity to protect infant industries. On the supply side, we are also challenged to differentiate between what is produced and what is earned.
Again hon members, a question was posed about the stock effect of debt and whether we are able to strengthen the link between growth and debt. As we try to answer this question we also took into account the fact that 10% of foreign bonds are dominated in foreign currency which needs to be addressed.
As we look at the above factors we also understand that we need to create fiscal space, establish a clear framework on spending, implement capital expenditure of infrastructure, build capacity, address the risk of debt and guarantees of State Owned Enterprises, SOEs and increase our trade volumes.
In the same vein we also debated the issue of forecasting and we are assured that of the Treasury Growth Forecast should not be in question as it surpasses international standards.
On VAT, the committee has put it on record that we regret and grudgingly accept the 1% VAT increase and we also the additional zero-rated items especially, and I repeat especially on the free sanitary pads to no fee schools hon members. The Treasury will provide to no fee schools, and sanitary pads hon Ndlozi will be zero-rated.
We also believe that targeted expenditure will also address the challenges that come with taxation and recommend that expenditure reprioritisation within the expenditure ceiling is a necessary process.
The committee is also concerned that, once global economy is growing at 3,7% and the Sub-Saharan Africa at 3,1%, our economic growth remains sluggish and the current financial year is projected 0,7% compared to the 1,7% that the February projections presented to us and 1,8% on the outer year. The numbers of the revised fiscal framework are dire and we hereby recommend that Treasury should improve these numbers and report to the committee on a quarterly basis.
The committee does not also undermine raised on revenue growth and debt management. We strongly believe that, the SA Sovereignty will be redeemed through a strong economic stability. We also acknowledge the fact that the country needs economic growth, therefore the revised fiscal framework and the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement should be evaluated to the extent that they contribute to investment and growth, hence the stimulus package.
We also believe that, government needs to address structural challenges and strengthen the SA Revenue Service, Sars create jobs through investment and spend the taxpayer’s money effectively and efficiently. The committee also raised issues about the vat refunds which were withheld by the Sars and hope
that SARS will speed up refunds especially to small businesses. We have also noted that SARS might have misled the committee on the matter to inflate revenue targets. The committee expresses its serious concern and will await the final report of the Nugent Commission before we take any decision on this matter.
We also urge Treasury to play an improved oversight role on SARS and report to us on a regular basis. We welcome the R1,
5 Billion set aside to improve the capacity of Sars.
We also support efforts to tackle corruption, and I repeat, we also support efforts to tackle corruption. Further, we express concern on the strong culture of non-compliance with The Public Finance Management Act, PFMA and the Municipal Finance Management Act respectively by all three spheres of government and its impact on the National Fiscals. We urge National Treasury to play a more focussed fiscal oversight especially on utilisation of conditional grants allocated to municipalities to avert cases like the VBS Mutual Bank, saga. We also call for the speedy implementation of The Public Audit Amendment Bill to allow the Auditor-General’s office to take
remedial action to ensure losses suffered by state and recover them.
We have also noted the role played by SOE’s in suspected irregularities and increased spending as well as contravention of the PFMA. We therefore call that those found wanting should be held responsible. The committee also raised concerns about
113 municipalities in this financial year as opposed to last year’s 83 municipalities have implemented unfunded mandates and owe Eskom over R23 billon. We recommend that National Treasury and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs strengthen their support to municipalities to avert this challenge.
In conclusion, as part of addressing the R27 billion revenue shortfall, we believe that particular attention should be paid to illicit financial flows especially illicit tobacco and address the digital economy. We also believe that the Medium- Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS process is not a platform for tax policy announcements and will therefore await the budget process for tax policy announcements, wait until next year to understand what the Minister will say as to what our tax policy is.
We therefore believe, the ANC-led Government is hands-on and should be given a chance, given its shortcomings and has learnt lessons and continue to improve and therefore understand that the masses that sends it continues to have confidence in it. We promise not to take this confidence for granted. We therefore hon members present the report unto you for adoption. I thank you.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, is an island of sanity in a sea of madness in the governing party. He supports reducing the size of the Cabinet, he supports slashing the public sector wage bill and, wait for it, he supports closing down the SA Airways, SAA. [Applause.] That must come as a shock to the governing party which is still fighting the cold war, structural adjustment, nuclear disarmament, and which fondly reminisces about Aeroflot, Potemkin villages and the Trabant. That is probably why the Minister delivered his maiden Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement and then promptly disappeared, never to be seen again in this Parliament. [Applause.]
We are here to debate the Revised Fiscal Framework for 2018- 19, which is a disaster because economic growth is down by
0,8%, the budget deficit is up by R12,5 billion and national debt is up by a staggering R46,7 billion in 2018-19. We now have a staggering national debt of R2,8 trillion or 55,8% of GDP, which will cost a staggering R181,7 billion in debt service costs in 2018-19.
We are, believe it or not, borrowing and accumulating debt to pay the salaries of public servants, many of whom are looting or enabling the looting of the state that employs them. [Applause.] We think there are at least three red lights that make the Revised Fiscal Framework hard to stomach:
Firstly, we are spending too little on infrastructure. The fact is that spending on economic development, which includes spending on infrastructure, despite all the hoopla about the stimulus and recovery plan, has been revised down by
R6,5 billion in 2018-19;
Secondly, we are spending too much on the Public Service. The fact is that ordinary people who are battling to make ends meet will have to fork out R6,9 billion more on an above inflation public sector wage agreement; and
Thirdly, we are spending much too much on bailouts of zombie state-owned enterprises, SOEs. The fact is that ordinary people who are battling to make ends meet will now have to fork out R5,7 billion for e-tolls and R9,2 billion in bailouts of zombie SOEs like the SAA.
The fact is that had we not been forced to bail out zombie SOEs, we could’ve put 92 000 more police on the streets,
80 000 more nurses in our wards and 129 000 more teachers in our classrooms.
We are now in deep economic trouble. We have the Minister of Finance reaching into our left pockets, helping himself to more tax. We have the Energy Minister reaching into our right pockets, imposing higher petrol prices, and all this because we have the governing party looting billions of rand from our back pockets. [Applause.] This is why we have proposed a comprehensive spending review to stabilise our public finances in South Africa.
In closing, the Standing Committee on Finance’s report on the Revised Fiscal Framework is a masterpiece of saying nothing and doing nothing, and will not be read by anyone, will not be
reported on by anyone and will not make the slightest difference to anyone in South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Thank you. Please stop the clock. Yes. Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson.
Our point of departure is very simple and it relates to the public debt to GDP ratio, which is actually approaching 60%. This is a sign that the ANC has been incapable of growing the economy and therefore expanding the tax base. It is because of this problem which is at the core of our analysis in relation to the revenue problems of the country ... If you don’t have policies that are going to grow the economy and create jobs, then basically there is nowhere that you can take us. The ANC has not demonstrated that it has a plan on how it is going to grow the economy, even in the declarations or the speech by the new Finance Minister.
The second point relates to giving the local state less than 10% of the revenue of the actual budget of the country. This is grounds for why the local state fails in creating or giving
... or it accounts for the crisis of service delivery in our country. We can’t support until that reconfiguration happens.
Our position as the EFF has always been that the country’s economy continues on a downward spiral and the President and Finance Minister appear to be determined to prioritise profits for a few at the expense of all of us.
We want to warn the Minister of Finance that his reactionary and right-wing policy articulations will undermine the process to rebuild fiscal institutions that are supposed to prioritise redistributive policies to correct the mess that was created over the last 15 years.
We must support all efforts to revive the SAA into a stable institution and allow it to play a strategic role in South Africa’s economy and the nation as a whole.
We must nationalise the Reserve Bank to dismantle ownership which was gained through colonialism and apartheid, and allow the bank to play a much more transformative role to make sure that things like ... And, it is a shame that people who have actually been deployed in the Reserve Bank from the ANC’s ranks, as well as in Treasury, lack a conviction to protect black institutions and ensure that they are successful.
Even if you were to ensure that all the people who were involved in the Venda Building Society, VBS, are arrested, killing VBS is the biggest condemnation and it’s a shame that you have allowed it throughout the years. There was nothing wrong with VBS. This was the first mistake. Every other bank was given a chance to recover all the time ... [Interjections.] ... with Reserve Bank deposits, to recapitalise. In less than a year of its mistakes it’s being shut down. It’s a shame and it’s a greater statement of no confidence in black people. You cannot tell me that in the entire rural province of Limpopo there are no men and women of nobility who can take over that bank from the criminals that are running it, and make it a success. [Interjections.]
The SA Revenue Service, Sars, was thrown into turmoil with tragic consequences to its reputation and the country as a whole, and if the management of Sars is not depoliticised to allow due and fair processes, we will again find ourselves where we are today in the near future.
When we proposed an inquiry into Sars last year when the House adopted a report on the Fiscal Framework, we said that it must be a judicial commission of inquiry and it must prioritise
aggressive tax avoidance, base erosion and illicit financial flows. If you are not going to act against big corporations and their criminality in how they are taking taxes from our country, everything else you are doing is ... seriously playing marbles. But this commission has been turned into a Moyane commission, mainly by Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Generally, we have always raised our criticism of South Africa’s Fiscal Framework ... The EFF does not support the Revised Fiscal Framework. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Hon Chairperson, I rise on behalf of my colleague hon Mr Hlengwa against the background of poor economic growth, escalating unemployment, skyrocketing poverty and inequality. In the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement under the new Minister of Finance one was almost justified to expect that a new broom would sweep clean and that maybe the new dawn would be brought to life, but “kuphi la, dololo” [nothing]. The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS, was yet another reminder that South Africa was faced with a dilemma of a different choir singing on the same hymn sheet of the yesteryears.
The reality is that the ANC has failed dismally to jumpstart the economy into the parts of growth and job creation. Our people want economic justice. They want jobs and they need assurance that those in power are equal to the task and on each an every count the ANC is disappointing.
The SA Airways, SAA, which has not submitted financial statements in this Parliament for the past three consecutive years is in line up to get another bailout of R5 billion on top of the R14,5 billion which it has already blown up. We cannot continue bankrolling a failing entity by throwing financial solutions on nonfinancial problems, and we have said this as the IFP now and again. Its business operation model has not yet yielding results and the SAA must be sold.
For a change let us bailout South Africans from poverty, unemployment and inequality. The IFP would bailout small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, who are the backbone of the new inclusive economy we envisage, and not SAA. The IFP would bailout institutions of higher learning that must create and develop required skills, knowledge and expertises for the new economy we want to create. The IFP would bailout municipalities who through and unfair funding models set the
up to failure and pits them against the underserviced communalities. The IFP would bailout our struggling health care system, our fractured roads and rail networks which are very important for a functional and inclusive economy. The IFP would bailout people from high costs of travelling by suspending the fuel levy until such time that the global price levels are stabilised and the economy is on the path of growth. Let us bailout poor people through serving their needs, and not the needs of the elite and their wants.
In the face of the low growth and high unemployment our people need a government that holds their plight as a priority and clearly the ANC is not that government. Thank you very much, hon Chair.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, allow me to start by wishing the Hindu community in South Africa and globally a happy Diwali Day today. The NFP notes the poor growth trade of 0,7% projected far below its counterparts in the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Brics, and the global average of 3,7%.
Added to this is the challenge of corruption, maladministration, poor governance, not receiving value for money, fruitless and wasteful expenditure which is estimated to cost us in the region of about R200 billion annually.
Another course for concern is the failure of the three-tier governance system to work in South Africa. I think it absorbs the very high percentage of our resources. However, the performance must be addressed if we want to keep a three-tier system. It is the view of the NFP that the second tier is absolutely unnecessary. And if we could rather address that together there is an indication that the Cabinet might be reduced, and that may auger well for South Africa.
Another matter of concern is the issue of Eskom in particular where we are borrowing money from China. I cannot understand this because on the one hand we want to borrow and on the other hand there is about R13,8 billion owed to Eskom by municipalities and government departments. Clearly, there appears to be something wrong with the way we conduct our business and our affairs in the country. People are not paying you and you go out and borrow to sustain. I don’t believe there is a problem with the state-owned entities as I hear
that there is no problem with the VBS Bank. The problem is the way we manage these entities. If we keep away the teeth from these institutions, then we don’t have problems. It means we can run them as a business and successfully. So, that’s where we seem to have a problem.
The zero-rating on flour and sanitary pads is a very good thing, but it means the Budget deficit is going to increase. This is going to put more pressure on us. But again we must welcome this because it is far too long. I remember getting a report when I went to Malawi of how our children miss school five days in every month. Actually, I think this is a very, very good thing.
The other issue that I want to address is that given the fact that we have a very weak economic outlook, are we really serious when the Minister says tightening the belt. I don’t think so. People are still flying overseas, driving the best of cars; some of the provinces are never in the country they live outside the country. [Time expired.] Surely, we should be addressing all these things holistically if we want to deal with the challenges.
Mr W W WESSELS: Hon Chairperson, the question is who or what caused the economic problems the hon Tobias are looking solutions for. What caused those problems in the first place? Did it fall out of the sky? Did the looting and the corruption fall out of the sky or did the very party that the hon Tobias refers to as a responsible governing party cause it? Not apartheid, hon Minister, but the governing party that is not interested in the people, but are only interested in their own power and their own corruption. We can never attain fiscal discipline whilst irregular expenditure of government departments increases to R50 billion in the last financial year; whilst irregular expenditure of state-owned enterprises increase five-fold and are currently at R27 billion; whilst fruitless and wasteful expenditure increase with 200% and it is your responsible governing party that allows this to happen.
Whilst the revenue collector, SA Revenue Service, Sars, is mismanaged and looted by the very people appointed by your so- called responsible governing party, we will never attain fiscal discipline. Whilst our government debt remains unsustainable high at almost R3 trillion, we will never attain fiscal discipline and remain in the vicious cycle. This
vicious cycle is created by the ANC. Whilst state-owned enterprises are bailed out by taxpayers’ money, we will never attain fiscal discipline. Whilst the governing party is more interested in an airline than they are interested in the working class, the unemployed and the poor people of our country - is an airline in the interest of the poor people. Is that in the interest of these ho members?
No new dawn in this country will occur whilst government departments are allowed to collapse completely. Whilst the Minister of Finance announce an economic stimulus, it cannot be implemented by a failed government corps and departments who will be responsible to implement the infrastructure development programmes and will not be able to do that. No new dawn will be obtained in South Africa whilst the ANC is in government. We need a new responsible Parliament to actually obtain a new dawn for the people. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr W M MADISHA: Ten years ago South Africa stood at a crossroads. At the time Cope warned South Africans that the ANC of old had been captured and corrupted. We forewarned of the perils that lay ahead. Today the consequences are felt by
all South Africans on a daily basis, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
As a nation we are endowed with astonishing potential. However, the ruling party has irrevocably damaged our prospects for economic growth. Without growth we will simply not have the funds to address our challenges, and drive our transformation imperatives. Had our growth over the past decade matched that of emerging markets, our economy could have been a whopping 38% bigger than it is today.
The Bureau for Economic Research suggests that an additional 2,5 million jobs could have been created, and our poverty levels halved. Presently four out of 10 adults work, compared to a world average of seven out of 10. We have a small tax base and a large dependency cohort. We are simply in an unsustainable position as a nation.
With each passing day comes further revelations of the extent of betrayal, and of the rot. Multiple new risks emerge, actualise and bite. The decade we have lost will without doubt result in a whole lost generation. Brave and decisive leadership is needed. We need growth and fiscal prudence;
rogue provinces and municipalities must be brought under control; our state-owned enterprises, SOEs, must be recaptured; and corruption stamped out. Bold, uncomfortable, and painful decisions must be taken if we are to rescue our situation.
However, the ANC is suffering from denialism and cognitive dissonance disorder. It’s bucking against the very decisions that must be taken. It’s resorted to howling and marching against itself unable to stomach what must be done to save our situation. The ANC and government are caught in a spinning vortex of indecision. It’s in trouble and saying: ‘save me from myself’. It would rather save itself and let the country sink. To our fellow South Africans ... ANC must go. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms G S A NGWENYA: Hon House Chair, South Africa’s growth has been revised downwards from 1,5% to 0,7%. We are fed folk tales about the villains of growth, about intangible third forces who are responsible for our economic malaise. We are told by the Minister that poor services and corruption have hit the poor hardest. But, by whom have the poor been hit by
poor services and corruption? Who is this villain that lurks in the shadows without a name?
Often, we are told that the villain is historical injustice that continues to haunt us - in other words, the atrocities predating 1994. However, let us look at what has happened since 1994: the unemployment rates of those aged 25 to 34 is 52,8%; the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, Pirls, study revealed that 78% of children by the fourth year of schooling cannot read for comprehension; one in four children are stunted, thwarting their lifelong economic prospects; unless you listen to this in 1996, for every R1 earned by a white household, a black household earned 23c. In 2017, for every R1 earned by a white household in the average black household now earns 20c.
Therefore, we cannot speak of a historical injustice without including the injustice of the last two decades. Our recent history has brought us a modern villain, a party which fought for political liberation but a sentence to its people to a pervasive economic incarceration. The Minister could not name this villain. In 2009 the people of the Western Cape called the villain out by name – the ANC – and its people have reaped
the benefits ever since. However, the first quarters of 2018, 75% of all new jobs have been created in the Western Cape.
South Africa cannot deal with a problem it cannot name. It’s time the Minister and all South Africans call the thief of opportunity, the thief of jobs, and the thief of prosperity by name. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, the Minister of Finance said in his policy statement that we are at a crossroads in our nation.
The ACDP is in agreement with that and the path we now choose will determine our future. There are some wise words in scripture: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
When faced at the crossroads, historian Barbara Tuchman wrote: “Folly is when leaders knowingly choose the wrong path.” Former President Zuma’s administration chose that wrong path, as hon Madisha and other speakers have said. After ten years of economic mismanagement and policy uncertainty, during which the country has staggered under the dead weight of state capture, the country is in a technical economic recession.
It is estimated that the country’s GDP is about R500 million smaller than it would otherwise have been, only over the past five years; tax revenue is about R150 billion less; and roughly, 600 000 fewer jobs were created. This is disgraceful and must be laid at the foot of the majority party.
It is indeed time to choose a new path - a path of good and honest stewardship of state resources with an attitude of servant leadership, not lining ones own pocket; a path of decisively dealing with mismanagement, fraud and corruption and state capture; a path of stimulating investment and business confidence to grow an inclusive economy.
The ACDP, regrettably, is of the view that the revised fiscal framework does not set us on that new path. Why do we say that? The numbers in the framework are dire. Economic growth is now projected to be 0,7%, compared to the projected 1,7% in the February Budget.
Especially concerning is the debt to the GDP ratio that is increasing significantly. The cost of debt service alone will be R181 billion, the fastest growing item and this continues over the medium term. Clearly, one of the major fiscal risks
is the state-owned enterprises. We know the state capture that occurred there.
Let us also hold former boards accountable. Let us hold former Ministers accountable for the looting of billions, both criminally and civilly. Let us recover those lost billions. We don’t have to wait for the outcome of the Zondo Commission.
Steps must be taken right now. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N P NKONYENI: Hon Chairperson, hon members, tax revenues are critical to the functioning of any democracy, even if this fact might have previously been taken for granted by many citizens. Lower tax collections have serious consequences and can impact everyone, whether it be through lower expenditures on education or health, or through increases in tax rates to make up for a shortfall. The ability of a government to borrow at reasonable interest rates is also dependent on its ability to collect taxes.
The ANC supports efforts by President Ramaphosa’s government of rebuilding important state institutions. Part of the processes includes the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by the South African Revenue
Service, Sars. This follows President Ramaphosa’s announcement in the 2018 state of the nation address that he will take steps to stabilise Sars, restore the credibility of Sars and strengthen its capacity to meet revenue targets. [Applause.]
Announcing the terms of reference for the commission, our President said and I quote:
Both the Minister and I are keenly aware of the need to demonstrate to the people of South Africa that the tax revenue collected from their hard-earned income is being used wisely, productively and for its intended purpose. We remain accountable to the people of this country.
The ANC supports the President’s decision to bring stability measures into Sars, including through the Sars Commission of Inquiry, into Tax Administration and Governance Issues at Sars, led by retired Judge Robert Nugent. We also support the National Treasury in its efforts to strengthen financial management through assisting Sars to regularise VAT refund payments and rebuild capacity.
The revenue collections up to the end of September 2018 have grown by 10,7% compared to the same period last year. [Applause.] Latest estimates, however, suggest that the full year tax collections will be R27,4 billion less than expected, of which R20 billion reflects increased VAT refunds, and
R7,4 billion reflects lower corporate tax and personal income tax.
The Standing Committee on Finance has asked Sars to explain how the R24,7 billion revenue shortfall came about, given that Sars is monitored per quarter. That matter was raised by the ANC in that committee. [Applause.] The ANC is seriously concerned about the withheld VAT returns and welcomes the Minister’s acknowledgment that this has hurt the cash flow of a number of companies. We are seriously concerned about the fact that Sars might have been misleading the committee in its persistent denials that it was holding VAT returns to inflate its achievement of revenue targets.
We support the stance of the committee to await the final report on the Nugent Commission before taking this matter forward. And all those matters have been raised by none other than the ANC. [Applause.]
The tax revenue shortfalls over the past few years have partly been due to the fact that the economy has been growing slower than had been projected. However, we cannot ignore the potential impact of a reduction in the effectiveness of tax administration. Tax avoidance and tax evasion will be on the rise in any economy which is growing more slowly and where taxes have been increased. There must be a strong, capable and effective revenue authority to limit those activities and make sure the correct amount of revenue continues to be collected.
The calls on the National Treasury to improve its oversight role over Sars and assist it in comprehensively addressing the current governance challenges to maximise revenue collection and restore its credibility as a key institution that should always uphold its reputation continue.
Given recent events around Sars, the current leadership have a huge task ahead of them to regain trust and confidence from the South African public. We call upon the Sars Acting Commissioner, Mr Kingon, to address challenges facing Sars, which include stability of leadership and staff morale. We do that because to be able to regain public confidence, Sars must have employees ready to ensure that, when citizens raise
concerns, these are addressed efficiently and speedily with demonstrable results.
We support efforts by the current Sars management to enhance efficiency and provide a better service to large businesses, as they are considering reinstating the Large Business Centre that will deal with tax affairs of all major companies. This has benefits for large, medium and small business. Large businesses with complex tax affairs will receive dedicated focus and support, while the bulk of Sars officials are freed up to pay more attention to servicing medium and small businesses.
In relation to the administration of international trade across our borders and the collection of much-needed revenue, we call upon Sars to continuously enhance its operations by providing a seamless and responsive service to all our citizens; enhancing processes and leveraging technology to make it easier for compliant clients to discharge their fiscal responsibilities; and comprehensively addressing noncompliance and illicit activities that pose a risk to South Africa’s economic and physical security.
All economic activities, whether or not it is legal is subject to taxation. The impact of activities within the illicit economy is a real threat to the country and its impact is huge. The illicit economy ranges from the underground economy, which operates outside of the rules and regulations of the country, to organised crime. Sometimes, well respected companies partake in illicit activities too. The United Nations estimates that money flowing to organised crime outstripped all the money that the developing countries could devote to long-term development.
South Africa is losing a large portion of its GDP every year to the illicit economy. This has mainly been in the form of smuggling of tobacco products, counterfeit textiles, drug manufacturing and smuggling, illicit mining of gold and diamonds, ivory smuggling and the poaching of endangered species like abalone and rhino.
Every South African may stem growth of the illicit economy if you refuse to buy counterfeit goods or contraband cigarettes; report poaching incidents to Sars, the police and the Department of Environmental Affairs. The ANC supports the report. [Applause.]
Mr R A LEES: Madam Chair, one of the most serious risks facing South Africa is the extent of debt that has build up in SOEs over the past nine years. According National Treasury, debt redemptions of the 10 top state-owned companies are expected to average R66 billion per year for the next three years. This amount exceeds the government’s own debt redemptions over the same period.
From 2009-10 to 2016-17 the debt of the 10 top borrowing state-owned companies increased from R266,7 billion to R702,7 billion. This state-owned company debt is expected to increase by a further R300 billion to more than R1 trillion over the next three years. National Treasury point out that these borrowings will increasingly be used to pay interest on the existing debt.
Included in the 2018 MTBPS, are a total of four bailouts for state-owned entities: SA Airways gets R5 billion; SA Express R1,249 billion; the SA Post Office R2,947 billion; and the hidden one, Gauteng e-tolls R5,8 billion. The SA Airways turnaround plan requires total bailouts over the next three years, not of R5 billion, but of R21,2 billion. That money
will be taken away from service delivery and desperately needed stimulus of economic growth and the creation of jobs.
Eskom has published plans to increase its borrowings from R388 billion to R600 billion over the next three years. In order to reduce the debt risks of state-owned enterprises, we have introduced two Private Member’s Bills. The first is the
Public Finance Management Amendment Bill that will ensure real time and transparent reports to Parliament of all government guarantees approved or declined by the Minister of Finance.
The second is the Fiscal Responsibility Bill introduced by my colleague, David Maynier, that will control debt levels that government may wish to encumber South Africans with. [Time expired.] Without growth of at least 3,0% per annum the number of unemployed South Africans will continue to grow. [Applause.]
Mr Y I CARRIM: Comrade Chair, comrades and friends, so the numbers are dire! But, the Minister didn’t run away from this. He laid it out bare. And, that’s important. The first most fundamental task in dealing with a challenge is to acknowledge how serious it is. Now we must act. Not just government,
though it has to primarily lead, but also the private sector, trade unions, other sections of civil society and not least Parliament.
We can’t just fold our arms, criticise the government and feel good. We have to be far more effective and efficient in our oversight role. We have to in practice be what we say we are: An activist Parliament, acting in the interests of all, but primarily the poor and disadvantaged. As much as there are serious economic challenges and the forecasts are obviously concerning, it is not all doom and gloom.
And, if there is the necessary cooperation between these various stakeholders and role players, the economy will certainly improve over time in the interests of the country’s developmental goals. The committee welcomes the President’s economic stimulus and recovery plan but wants to see it implemented. This is something we will deal with when we deal with the Proposed Fiscal Framework for the next three years.
Normally and regrettably, the people to come to Parliament to the national public hearings are the well connected, well heeled, politically resourced and otherwise resourced business
sector and trade unions. What we had this time was quite unprecedented, for a very long time. We haven’t had this for many years in the finance sector but the Pietermaritzburg Pensioners’ Forum from Umsunduzi – it’s not my doing – turned up here.
Our very active committee secretary – one of the best committee secretaries in Parliament - was not aware that seven old gogos [grannies] were going to turn up, from their 60s and 70s onwards. They spoke in IsiZulu; we arranged an interpreter. What was wonderful was that this time we were hearing the voices of ordinary people. Comrade Chief Whip and House Chair, we need to make more resources available for that.
Where this happens without our knowledge – that people turn up
– I honestly think the Speaker’s Office needs to be more politically flexible and allow for us try to arrange for them to visit Parliament, to have lunch and so on. No one is to blame particularly, but I honestly think that Parliament needs to be more politically astute in managing things like that. I am coming back to the point; I have been mandated by the committee to raise this with the powers that be.
Let us deal now with Mr Maynier ‘Doom-and-gloom’ David, or David ‘Doom-and-gloom’ Maynier. Now he says this report is meaningless, no one is listening to it and who is hearing. Was that a wonderful description of Maynier actually? Who listens to Mr Maynier? [Interjections.] Who ... [Interjections.] Yes, apart from the DA? [Interjections.] Who? Yes, Mr Maynier! It is the same rant and rave that we get all the time!
You can predict that if the economy grew by 6%, he’d say much the same things, right? [Interjections.] But, let us in fact come to this, basically, Shakespeare had David Maynier in mind when he said it is, “... full of sound and fury signifying nothing!” Right? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Remember to call an hon member, honourable or mister! [Interjections.]
Mr Y I CARRIM: Mr Maynier! Yes, okay, fine! So, can we go on to say ... [Interjections.] Can we go on to say that Mr ‘Zombie’ Maynier is absolutely wrong! Aah, aah, aah, aah! Mr ‘Zombie’ Maynier needs to know – because he repeats the same thing in a dead fashion, right! Mr ‘Zombie’ Maynier ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: Point of order!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member! [Interjections.]
Mr Y I CARRIM: Okay, the hon Mr ‘Zombie’ Maynier or David Maynier! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! hon Carrim, can you take your seat? What’s the point of order?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: Rule 85! The rule is
that the member may not use unparliamentary language to describe a Member of Parliament. Calling him Mr ‘Zombie’ Maynier is outside of the rules and he must withdraw.
Mr Y I CARRIM: Okay, I withdraw that! Mr ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Hon Carrim, can you withdraw that?
Mr Y I CARRIM: Ja, okay fine, I do because I have no choice but you know what I think. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Withdraw it!
Mr Y I CARRIM: Yes, yes, I withdraw it!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you!
Mr Y I CARRIM: Right! Can we deal with the issues he raises. Firstly, on SA Airways, we are all concerned about SA Airways, not just the DA. [Interjections.] We have argued whatever Minister Mboweni says, let be clear, it’s not the government that goes to an election; it is a party. It is the ANC that won over 60% of votes. The ANC provides a framework for any Minister to act. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Now, let us be clear about this: We are not saying that the SA Airways is performing well or that we shouldn’t act, but we are repeatedly saying that at least 51% should remain in state hands; and we can have 49% as a strategic equity partner. [Applause.] We are saying also: Enter into other partnerships with the private sector, but retain it in state hands.
It is not just the well heeled and rich who use planes these days. If you look at Mango Airlines and low-cost carriers, it is cheaper I am told to go from Ethekwini to Johannesburg by
plane if you choose a low-cost carrier, one of which is Mango Airlines, or you get a cheaper flight than it is to use a Greyhound bus.
SA Airways, as we have told you umpteenth times, has got a trade and industrial policy. Mr Minister, please explain that to them. Many of them travel British Airways; it’s alright. [Interjections.] But, many of you travel British Airways using the fiscus because you don’t care whether SA Airways survives! [Applause.]
Now, I can make this clear: Sometimes, I have no choice if you see me on British Airways. I travel on average four to five times a year. Now that flights have been reduced between Johannesburg and Cape Town, I use British Airways about 2% of the time. When I am there, I always see, disproportionately it is DA members that are there. You don’t care about the state- owned companies.
Now, Dr Ndlozi, we agree with you. Dr Ndlozi, wherever you are, we agree with you on illicit financial flows. Ms Thandi Tobias-Pokolo has dealt with that. We think far more should be done. Once again we repeat: One figure at least is that we
lose R50 billion per year, but in 2002 and 2012, we lost
$122 billion. We cannot accept that!
Then on the issue of Mr ... [Interjection.] No, it’s your ... [interjections.] By the way, where does the loss come from?
Primarily your constituency: Mining capital votes mainly for you! It is the white monopoly capital that is actually responsible for that. [Interjections.] Although I am very clear: The issue is in the form of the monopoly capital. If not the form of the monopoly capital; it’s the caste character of it that is being addressed.
Let me also make something clear: On VBS Mutual Bank, only this morning – Dr Ndlozi, you know fully well – the whole committee, not just your party, feels that in some form or another, the services that VBS Mutual Bank offered should be offered there, in that area – in exactly that area. The President hinted that. Was it yesterday?
In fact, the Minister - no less – has said that he will engage with the SA Reserve Bank to see that while it may not be possible to rescue VBS Mutual Bank, as it seems to be the case, he will do what he can. We will put the pressure on him,
so is this Parliament, to ensure that the similar service is offered - An African Old Mutual Bank – because this VBS Mutual Bank collapsed. As we have repeatedly said, it is a severe set back for transformation, deracialisation and diversification of the financial sector. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members. The motion is that the report which we have been debating be adopted. Are there any objections?
HON MEMBERS: Yes!
The House divided.
[BELLS RUNG FOR FIVE MINUTES]
Mr S P MHLONGO: Point of order, Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Mhlongo, can I please prevail upon you that let us announce the results and then I can take your point of order.
Mr S P MHLONGO: Okay, thank you!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much, hon members. I was hearing some voices saying that we need party agents; and there must be a vote recount. [Laughter.] But, the results of the division are as follows: Those who votes yes are 181; those who voted no are 79; and 0 abstentions.
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES]
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon Mhlongo, you were standing on a point of order. What is the point of order?
Mnu S P MHLONGO: Hawu ibuhlungu Sihlalo into yokubona abahlonishwa laphaya besilisa into yabo ingasebenzi. [Uhleko.] Ibuhlungu Sihlalo. [Ubuwelewele.] Kodwa bengithi mhlawumbe uma bengathinta ihhovisi laseKhaya lingabalekelela. [Ubuwelewele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): What rules are you standing on! [Interjections.] Order, hon members, can you take your seats. That is not a point of order!
UNPARLIAMENTARY REMARKS AND CONDUCT
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Order! Can I ask members to take their seats? Hon members, yesterday I undertook to revert to the House on a number of points of order that were raised during questions to the President. The unacceptable conduct of certain members during proceedings eventually saw this House descend into chaos where there was no recognition of authority or the rules that govern order in meetings and debates.
The hon Speaker earlier on, when she opened the House, did elaborate on some of the issues of what happened yesterday. After having consulted the revised Hansard ... maybe before going there ... I just want to remind hon members that, indeed, at all times, we must be mindful of our conduct in this House, and because of our parliamentary channel and also our openness, members of the community, your families, all our families, children and relatives do observe some of the things that are said here - some of them impugn members’ character. I just want, at all times, for us to appreciate that at times these things hurt families and those that we love and also our constituencies. So, at all times, when we do the things that we do, let’s keep that in mind.
After having consulted the unrevised Hansard and reviewing the video footage of the events that unfolded, I will now turn to the individual points of order.
The words used by the hon J H Steenhuisen after the hon M Q Ndlozi and the hon J S Malema interrupted him while he was on the floor were, I quote: “Can the VBS bank looters please give me a chance?” The presiding officer will always take into
account context and intent when ruling on remarks made during the course of debate.
It is always unparliamentary to insinuate that another member is acting dishonourably, whether directly or by implication. In terms of Rule 85, no member may impugn improper motive or cast personal reflection on the integrity of their fellow members without a separate substantive motion comprising a clearly formulated and properly substantiated charge.
In this instance, the words used were specifically aimed at the hon Ndlozi and the hon Malema who were, at varying times, standing to either interject while the hon member was speaking or attempting to take points of order. And this is evidenced by his appeal that the, I quote: “VBS bank looters” should give him a chance to speak.
Hon members, of great concern here were that the Rules in respect of points of order, specifically Rule 92 and Rule 67, in respect of the precedence of the presiding officer were completed flouted. While I was trying to hear what the hon Steenhuisen was rising upon, members, more especially Whips, have an important duty not only to ensure the discipline of
their own members but also to assist the presiding officer in being vigilant in protecting the dignity and the decorum of the House.
Hon Steenhuisen, in the context of the proceedings of yesterday, your remark was indirect reference to the hon Ndlozi and the hon Malema, who were interjecting while you were addressing me. The remark is derogatory and impugns the members’ integrity and dignity. The remark is also not substantiated as required by the Rules. I must therefore ask you, hon Steenhuisen, to withdraw the words, I quote: “VBS bank looters” used in reference to the hon Ndlozi and the hon Malema. Hon Steenhuisen, could you please withdraw?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: Madam House Chair,
thank you for the ruling. It’s wrong in terms of legal precedent, parliamentary precedent and the previous ruling made by the hon Frolick. I will not withdraw. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member Steenhuisen, there is a difference in the matter that was ruled on by the hon Frolick earlier on. The circumstances were totally different. In yesterday’s debate you made a clear reference to
two members who were interjecting and disturbing you. [Interjections.] You never made reference to a party, and therefore in terms of the context in that regard my ruling stands. I would ask you again to withdraw.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: I will not withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): I would therefore appreciate it if you could leave the House. Thank you very much, hon member. [Applause.]
The member thereupon withdrew from the Chamber.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! [Applause.] Hon Malema ... [Applause.] Order, hon members! The ruling is not complete. Can I proceed? Hon Malema, you then proceeded to direct the following remarks at the hon Steenhuisen, I quote: “No, no. You are not going to call me a VBS looter. You racist young white man.”
You then proceeded to say: a racist young man who was accused of rape. It is never allowed to call another member racist no matter the context. You went further and accused the member of
a crime as heinous as rape without any substantiation. [Interjections.]
Our Rules on unparliamentary ... [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Our Rules on unparliamentary ... on unacceptable language, Rule 84 and Rule 85, on reflections upon members without a substantive motion and clearly formulated charge are clear on both these matters. It is the duty of all members to use your privilege of freedom of speech for the greater good of the people we serve. This privilege should never be used to undertake a character assassination of a fellow hon member.
Hon Malema, your remarks were derogatory, verbally abusive and unsubstantiated.
The House then descended into further chaos with members of the DA and the EFF respectively chanting “Pay back the money” and “racist” across the benches. At this point the House was in a state of high tension and I was of the opinion that it would be prudent to first allow the President to respond to questions and return to the points of order. Rule 92(4) and Rule 92(5) are illustrative here as they allow the presiding officer the discretion to hear other members on a point of
order that has been raised and state that the presiding officer may defer the decision on a point of order.
Hon Malema, I will now request that you withdraw the remarks in reference to the hon Steenhuisen. Hon Malema?
Mr J S MALEMA: He is a racist young boy.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Malema, could you please withdraw your statement.
Mr J S MALEMA: He is a racist young boy ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Malema, could you please leave the House ...
Mr J S MALEMA: ... sitting amongst many of rapists ... [Interjections.] They are racist. They are racists.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Malema, could you please leave the House if you are not prepared to withdraw.
Mr J S MALEMA: They are racists, all of them. They are racists.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Could you please leave the House. [Interjections.]
The member thereupon withdrew from the Chamber.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon members, a point of order was then taken by the hon M A Plouamma when he said, I quote: “I think we cannot allow in this House for someone to say that whites can’t speak in this House. We cannot.” [Interjections.] Hon Plouamma ... [Interjections.] Order! Order, hon member! Hon Gardee! Hon Gardee! Hon Gardee, can you leave the House. Hon Mente, could you please have the Serjeant-at-arms take out the members of the EFF. Order! Order! Hon Hlengiwe, can you please leave the House. [Interjections.] Order, hon member!
Hon members, what has just happened now shows exactly the disregard of our Rules. I will therefore refer the three members to the disciplinary committee of the Rules.
Hon members, I think, as indicated earlier, we cannot proceed in this manner in this House where members impugn the characters of others. The hon Plouamma proceeded to verbally engage members, and from the video footage it appears that an object was thrown towards the hon Plouamma from the benches and the direction of the EFF. [Interjections.] Order!
An expletive, specifically the F-word, was then uttered by the hon Plouamma. The hon Paulsen then proceeded to jump over the benches and throw himself at the hon Plouamma, whereafter a violent fight broke out. Subsequently, both members were removed from the House. [Interjections.] Order!
In terms of Rule 69, this constitutes grossly disorderly conduct. The reckless conduct of certain members of the House yesterday was both unparliamentary and undemocratic. I believe that referral to the disciplinary committee of this incident and specifically the conduct of the hon Plouamma and the hon Paulsen, as well as that of other members that can be identified in the video footage as being part of the ensuing scuffle, will best serve in addressing the conduct that erupted yesterday.
In this regard, I have requested the Speaker to refer the conduct of the hon Plouamma, Paulsen and other members who were part of the scuffle to the disciplinary committee. It will be for the disciplinary committee to consider the merits of each case and to identify any other members who actively participated in the scuffle.
Hon members, I do hope, once again, that no matter the emotional debates that ensue in the House, no matter our divergent views politically, it is still important to respect one another and conduct ourselves in a manner that presents us as hon members in this House. It is also important that in doing whatever we do in this House we remember to uphold the values of our Constitution. I thank you, and the House is adjourned.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Hon member, what is your point of order?
Mr M L W FILTANE: It’s for clarity, Chair. You say all members were involved in the scuffle. Some of the members came very
close to those people who were directly involved in the scuffle to try to stop the fight. [Interjections.] Do you include them as well?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! [Interjections.] Order, hon members! This is a point of clarity. Indeed, the disciplinary committee will receive the footage as well as the audio. They will be able to identify who the members were who were involved in the scuffle yesterday. Hon Mulder, what is your point of order?
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Could you please take your seats?
Dr C P MULDER: I think we should have absolute clarity, and this is a point of clarity please. You ruled now that the incidents should be referred to the disciplinary committee, and we understand that. But earlier in your ruling you referred to ... after Mr Steenhuisen and Mr Malema ... you referred to that and you said: The three people will be referred to the disciplinary committee. I’m not sure which
three people you are referring to, or is that a mistake? Two people or three people?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon member! I was referring to the hon Gardee, who started engaging and disturbing the House. I was referring to the hon Robertson with whom they were engaging. I was referring to the hon Mkhaliphi.
Dr C P MULDER: But, Chairperson, with all due respect: In your ruling you didn’t refer to any of those names. You did not refer to those names. So are you saying that those three people you’ve now mentioned are referred to the disciplinary committee?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, the conduct of the members as they were going out and the way in which they behaved in this House as they were leaving the room
– it is those that I was saying I would advise that they be sent to the disciplinary committee. Thank you very much, hon members. The House is adjourned.
The House adjourned at 19:39.