Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 23 Jun 2015
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 23 JUNE 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:02.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, before we proceed with the business of the day, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome a new member who has who has just been sworn in today, which is the honourable Z V Ncitha. [Interjections.]
Order members! I have had the opportunity and the missed opportunity to welcome also another member from the EFF, - remember - who was not in the House. I am just being consistent. I am welcoming that member. She is around; she was sworn in today.
I want to therefore continue and to ask if there is any member who wishes to make a notice of a motion? Hon Michalakis.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby wish to move:
That the Council -
- debates South Africa’s disregard of a warrant of arrest issued by the International Criminal Court against President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan;
- further notes that by doing so South Africa has violated its commitments as a signatory to the Rome statutes and further ignored the implementation of the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002;
- also notes that by its failure to honour the international commitments, the ANC government not only proved that they cannot be trusted by our friends in the international community, it has also contributed to damage our nation’s credibility in all international affairs and our reputation won in 1994, of a nation fully committed to basic human rights; and
- finally notes that the only way to restore our nation’s credibility is to recommit to protecting the international human rights, respecting the rule of law and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, to which we are member, and rebuild trust with the South African people.
Mr H B GROENEWALD: Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I wish to move:
That the Council –
- notes that the DA is concerned about the potential outcome of the wage negotiations currently taking place between South African gold producers and the four major unions representing nearly 94 000 miners;
- further notes that the wage negotiations come at a time where the sustainability of the gold sector is under threat; and
- also notes that the DA will follow the negotiations attentively to ensure that the agreements reached are mutually beneficial to both workers and the industry so that the livelihoods of miners will not only be sustained but that the economy and job opportunities for all South Africans continue to grow.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: The Chief Whip of the Council moved without notice:
That the Council –
- notes with sadness the passing away of Mrs Nontuthuzelo Deborah Rayi, mother to Honourable Rayi, on Monday, 15 June after a long illness;
- further notes that Mrs Rayi was a factory worker in a pineapple company and is leaving behind 2 children, 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren;
- also notes that the funeral will take place on Friday, 26 June, at the Assembly of God Church in Highway, Mdantsane; and
- wishes to send its heartfelt condolences to Hon Rayi and the rest of the family in this difficult time of bereavement.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
ACCIDENT TRAGICALLY CLAIMS 3 LIVES IN FLAGSTAFF
Ms T WANA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes with sadness the accident that has tragically claimed the life of 3 old people on Monday, 8 June 2015, in Flagstaff at the Qhopozo area;
- further notes that one of the elderly people whose life was taken by that accident is Honourable Mququ’s aunt;
- also notes that the other 2 were badly injured and they are still in the ICU at Nelson Mandela hospital and Hon Mququ’s aunt was laid to rest on 20 June; and
- conveys its prayers and condolences to the bereaved families and well wishes to honourable Mququ and the family.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
STOWAWAYS BOARD A FLIGHT FROM JOHANNESBURG TO LONDON
Mr E MAKUE: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes with concern that two stowaways managed to board a British Airways Boeing 747 flying from Johannesburg to London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, 17 June;
- also notes that one of the stowaways managed to survive the flight from Johannesburg to London by clinging to the undercarriage of the aircraft, but the other died when he reportedly fell from the undercarriage when the plane readied for landing over London City;
- further notes that the two stowaways are not yet identified and one of them is at a West London hospital in a serious condition; and
- calls on the Airports Company of South Africa, Acsa, together with the SA Police Services to investigate the matter and establish the facts relating to the incident and further intensify the security at the South African airports to prevent not only such acts but the unauthorised accesses.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
HOMAGE PAID TO THE CUBAN FIVE AS TRUE REPRESENTATION OF SACRIFICE AND SELFLESSNESS
Mr A J NYAMBI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes and celebrates the triumph of solidarity that came from all progressive humanity and all freedom-loving people worldwide;
- pays homage to the Cuban patriots as a true representation of revolutionary sacrifice and selflessness;
- further notes that in a society such as ours, we have learnt through the example of Cuba that no man is an island and it is in the interest of the oppressed everywhere to build solidarity as an indispensable ingredient of the recipe of struggle and liberation;
- also notes that the Cuban 5 together with their people played a pivotal role in the battles for Liberation in Africa;
- also notes that today, South Africa and Cuba still enjoy good relations where our people learn and acquire different expertise from the latter, and many of the Cuban professionals that include doctors, engineers coming and pay their services in South Africa; and
- commends the Cubans for their unwavering support and selflessness to South Africa and Africa at large.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
NERSA SHOULD CAREFULLY RECONSIDER ESKOM APPLICATION TO HIKE ELECTRICITY PRICES
Mr W F FABER: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that on 1 April 2015, Eskom had a price increase of 12, 69%;
- further notes that if Nersa grants Eskom the extra 12, 61% on 1 August 2015 for the next 8 months of the financial year, it effectively becomes a 18, 92% increase;
- also notes that the increase from 1 August 2015 to 31 March 2016 will be the 12, 69% and the 18, 92% that comes to a total of 31,61%;
- also notes that the extra diesel costs of R11 billion to keep South Africa from total darkness should be seen in perspective on the savings of R11,4 billion of the past two years on coal while these coal power plants were being serviced
- further notes that Eskom has not considered the affordability to the economy and to electricity of its customers;
- also notes that the consumers are now paying for the mistakes Eskom has made by not maintaining power stations as it should; and
- asks Nersa to carefully reconsider this application by Eskom and not to bring our economy and consumers to their knees
In light of the objection the motion without notice, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with, it now becomes a notice of motion on the order paper.
ANC STALWART, MRS JUANITAH HOUSTON PASSES AWAY
Ms L C DLAMINI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that 87-year-old ANC stalwart, Mrs Jaunitah Houston from Grassy Park, passed away on 15 June after having flu and was buried on Saturday, 20 June;
- further notes that Mrs Houston coordinated and participated in the protest action against the Tricameral parliamentary system that was introduced by the apartheid government in the early eighties;
- also notes that Mrs Houston who is leaving behind her husband and 4 children was a fierce campaigner for human rights; and
- sends its heartfelt condolences to the family and wishes them strength in this difficult time.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
A SPATE OF BURGLARIES AT JOE SLOVO HIGH SCHOOL LEAVES PRINCIPAL FUMING AT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Mr D L XIMBI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that a spate of burglaries at Joe Slovo High School in Khayelitsha has left its principal fuming and directing his anger to the Western Cape Department of Education;
- further notes that Mr Majiet Parker says that the department is not fixing the school and instead come to observe and take pictures;
- also notes that the School Governing Body secretary Mr Vusumzi Mahobe, also expressed anger at the department for making no attempts to secure the school; and
- calls on Western Cape Education Department to tighten security around the school as it is only one of the two schools that offer engineering subjects in Khayelitsha.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
DA COUNCILLOR SEEKS CLEMENCY FOR A CONVICTED CRIMINAL
Ms E PRINS: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council –
- notes that a DA Councillor in the City of Cape Town, Mr Willie Jaftha, wrote an official letter to the High Court seeking clemency for a convicted murder
- further notes that Mr Riyaaz Denis, for whom councillor Jaftha sought clemency, was convicted on 13 charges including murder, incitement to murder, illegal possession of firearms and racketeering;
- also notes that Judge Fortuin found it absolutely shocking that an elected representative could offer a good word for a person guilty of serious crimes that included murder; and
- condemns actions of Councillor Jaftha and calls on the DA to show their support for the victims of gangsterism by dismissing this councillor immediately.
In light of the objection the motion without notice, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with, it now becomes a notice of motion on the order paper.
MOTION ON THE ORDER PAPER
CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES AND RELATED MATTERS) AMENDMENT ACT AMENDMENT BILL
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chairperson, I move:
That Rule 239(1), which provides inter alia that the consideration of a Bill may not commence before at least three working days have lapsed since the committee’s report was tabled, be suspended for the purposes of consideration of the Criminal Law Amendment Act Amendment Bill [B 18B – 2014]
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES AND RELATED MATTERS) AMENDMENT ACT AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
Mr D L XIMBI: Chairperson, I am here to present the report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill, which is dated 18 June 2015.
The Amendment Bill aims to give effect to the two separate judgments of the Constitutional Court, namely the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and Another v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Another, 2013 ZACC 35, which is the Teddy Bear case, and J v National Director of Public Prosecutions and Another, 2014 ZACC 13, which is the J case.
The court found that the criminalisation of consensual sexual acts between two adolescents is unconstitutional. The term “child”, for the purposes of section 15 and 16, is defined as “a person 12 years or older but under the age of 16 years”. The proposed amendment of section 15 and 16 aims to introduce a close-in-age gap in respect of 16-year-old and 17-year-old children, where they engage in consensual sexual acts with adolescent children. The provision for the prosecution of both children for the crime of consensual sexual penetration of a child between the age of 12 and 16 was deleted.
The Amendment Bill further aims to amend section 50(2)(a) through the introduction of a proposed new paragraph (c) in terms of which a court will have the discretion to determine whether the particulars of a person who was younger than 18 years at the time of committing a sexual offence should be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders or not.
Therefore, the recommendation of the Select Committee on Security and Justice, having considered the subject of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill referred to it, reports that it has agreed to the Bill without proposed amendments. Thank you, Chairperson.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
Declarations of vote:
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Chairperson, this Bill seeks to amend the current legal position to ensure that children of certain ages are not held criminally liable for engaging in consensual sexual acts with each other, to give presiding officers a discretion in deciding whether the particulars of children should be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders on an individual basis, as well as the procedure for children in applying to have their names removed from this register where the terms of this Bill apply.
The Bill has been met with some controversy and concerns, especially from religious groups. However, there is wide consensus that, regardless of any moral objections thereto, it is unjust that consensual sex between minors should be criminalised, thereby jeopardising minors’ futures and prospects of future success through punitive legislation for having consensual sex. The key term here is “consensual sex”, and a provision is included indicating that the sexual consent, as envisaged in the Bill, is only applicable to minors between the ages of 12 and 16; alternatively, where one of the minors is 16 or 17 years of age, the age difference does exceed two years.
This Bill seeks to give effect to two Constitutional Court cases, namely the Teddy Bear case and the J case, where it is also important that such fundamental Constitutional Court decisions should find effect in our national legislation. It should be stated clearly that sex without mutual consent, as well as sex between minors which falls outside the scope of this Bill, still remains a criminal offense. The DA supports the Bill.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You have three minutes, sir.
Mr V E MTILENI: Chairperson, one minute is already gone.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You have three minutes, sir.
Mr V E MTILENI: Chairperson, the ANC has been in power for the past 21 years, but still they are unable to develop Bills and legislation that are constitutional and of acceptable quality.
This Bill is one of the many that has been sent back to this House because it is unconstitutional. The EFF is of the strong belief that children need to be supported by their parents, caregivers, and adults in their lives, people who should enable healthy choices about relationships and the correct timing of engaging in sexual activities. Criminalising adolescents for engaging in developmentally normal behaviour is an extreme measure that prevents them from approaching their parents, educators, social workers, nurses and other support people for guidance, information, contraception and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/Aids.
For that reason, we support this Amendment Bill. Sexual activity among young people is a matter of moral righteousness, and we believe that we cannot legislate righteousness. You need strong family units to do so. To develop our children into strong young adults who take responsibility for their sex life requires comprehensive sex education programmes which have been shown to contribute in delaying sexual initiation and to reduce the likelihood of teen pregnancy.
Providing conditions that are conducive for proper rearing, our children require consistent parental supervision. The reality in South Africa is that a sizable number of black parents will spend most of their time rearing the children of their white madams, leaving very little time to supervise and educate their own children. The social conditions that young black people grow up in are therefore a direct result of the limited economic opportunities for black people, leading to parents leaving their own children unsupervised in order to go and serve their bosses.
The government should open up economic opportunities in areas where our people live, giving parents and children opportunities to educate each other about sex and the risks involved therein. Thank you.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chairperson, the ANC supports the Bill, informed by its own commitments to social cohesion and family values. The ANC does not view the court order as ordering the change of the moral fibre of our society to allow young children of that age to engage in consensual sex. We believe that, in building a nation, you need responsible people. Therefore, the ANC urges communities to take care of their children for the future of our own country.
We support the Bill, not because the original Bill, as it is, had any errors in itself, but because it was amended for the purpose that we highlighted and which was highlighted by the statement read by the chairperson of the committee. As the ANC, we say that our commitment is to create conducive conditions for a poor child in poor conditions and poor circumstances. These conditions must be turned around as we transform and build the infrastructure that allows for a better life for all, that allows for a quality life and sustainable livelihoods in the vicinity and the environment that the poor people live in, so as to change around their lives and the lives of their children. The conditions of workers should be improved so that they can be with their children in good time and offer them good guidance and decent education, decent livelihoods, and an environment that allows them to play and grow as children and not conduct themselves in a way that is unacceptable in a good and conducive society. I thank you.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chair, I am usually very clued up with the electronics, but mine says “in favour four,” and I have voted, and I am sure that four is not the total sum of the votes. I am not sure whether it counted my vote as four.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: “In favour” is “yes”. That means that you will be counted as “yes”. The hon Mtileni?
Mr V E MTILENI: My system is also giving me problems. I think I am thinking in favour, as you heard. The system is not working.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Tlake and Makue?
Ms M F TLAKE: Chairperson, my thing is not is not working.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Your thing? [Interjections.] Are you for or against?
Ms M F TLAKE: I am in favour.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Makue, do you have the same problem? The hon Mtileni and hon Tlake’s systems were not helping them, but both of them say they voted in favour. Have all the members voted, including the three members who had queries?
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS - OVERSIGHT VISIT TO MADIBENG LOCAL MUNICIPALITY IN TERMS OF SECTION 139(1)(b) OF THE CONSTITUTION, 1996, DATED 10 JUNE 2015
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon Chair, Chief Whip, Minister, Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament present here today, ladies and gentlemen in the gallery, on 5 February 2014, during a special meeting of the North West Provincial Executive Council, a resolution was taken to invoke the provision of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution in the Madibeng Local Municipality. The intervention was effective from 5 February 2014 for a minimum period of six months and a maximum period of 12 months.
The motivation for the intervention was based on the following: Firstly, evident signs of poor administration and governance, which affected the financial status of the municipality as well as service delivery, resulting in the unfortunate death of four members of the community during a service delivery protest.
Secondly, failure by the council to implement the recommendations of the ministerial task team appointed by the former Minister of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which included taking disciplinary action against councillors and officials implicated in a number of administrative and financial irregularities.
Thirdly, the current executive mayor, speaker and council whip, who had replaced the previous office bearers in January 2014, had failed to make an undertaking to implement the recommendations of the ministerial task team.
The view of the Minister of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs was that the challenges in the Madibeng Local Municipality could be addressed by providing support to the municipality in terms of section 154(1) of the Constitution. To that end, the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs had already begun providing the municipality with a ministerial support team. The intervention was then disapproved.
In its deliberation, the select committee resolved to end the intervention based on the following substantive reasons: Firstly, while acknowledging that there were evident signs of poor administration and governance, which affected the financial status of the municipality as well as service delivery, these challenges could still be addressed by providing support to the municipality in terms of section 154(1) of the Constitution, in stead of invoking section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution.
Secondly, the municipality had started to implement the ministerial task team report, starting with the institution of disciplinary proceedings against the municipal manager, chief operating officer and the acting corporate service manager and these officials have/had already been placed on precautionary suspension.
Thirdly, the municipality had developed a plan with the Department of Water and Rand Water to address the water crisis in Madibeng.
The NCOP took note of the report by the ministerial task team and made its own determination based on the provisions of section 139(2)(b)(i) of the Constitution.
Regarding the current intervention, in its meeting on 18 March 2015, the North West Provincial Executive Council resolved to invoke section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution due to water and sanitation services in Madibeng Local Municipality.
The North West province is one of the hardest hit provinces when it comes to water supply services, a situation which hampers the ability of municipalities to provide effective sanitation services to communities. By virtue of its geographic distribution, it is located in relatively dry climatic conditions with a low to medium average annual rainfall. Most of its municipalities have to contend with the greatest water challenge and need. Over a considerable period, Madibeng has thus been experiencing chronic water supply and sanitation problems, resulting in widespread community service delivery protests.
The reasons for placing the municipality under section 139(1)(b) include, amongst other reasons, the following: Firstly, poor water and sanitation services provision, which often resulted in water supply disruptions; secondly, poor water quality; thirdly, poor maintenance and operations of water and sanitation infrastructure; fourthly, uneven provision of services to communities; and fifthly, project delays due to prolonged procurement processes and possible fraud and corruption.
The MEC responsible for Local Government and Human Settlements reports that the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation was engaged in seeking to maximise functional co-ordination and intergovernmental support. As a consequence, the department will now, during the period of intervention, deploy technical expertise and capacity for the smooth implementation of the water supply and sanitation turnaround delivery. The intervention is meant for a minimum period of six months and a maximum period of 12 months.
The terms of reference of the intervention will focus mainly on the effective delivery of water and sanitation services as follows: Firstly, planning and prioritisation of infrastructure programmes and projects on water and sanitation and other services in line with the integrated development plan,IDP; secondly, allocation of the budget of Water and Sanitation programmes and projects; thirdly, overseeing the procurement of goods and services in relation to water and sanitation services; fourthly, management of the project management unit; and lastly, monitoring and overseeing the water and sanitation project and programmes.
In its oversight visit to the municipality on 21 April 2015, the select committee observed that the municipality had reported high levels of debtors per services related to water, electricity, property rates, sanitation and refuse removal. The major debtors owing the municipality per customer group categorisation included government, business and households.
During the same oversight, the select committee made a site visit to the Brits Water Treatment Plant. In terms of current capacity, the plant supplies 60 ML of water per day, whereas the demand is 80 ML. However, a contractor was on site in expanding the capacity of the plant to 80 ML by 2018. Aging infrastructure was cited as the major reason for the municipality struggling to meet its water demands. The aging infrastructure did not only affect the provision of water, but also the quality of water. The infrastructure has exceeded its lifespan and is also too costly to maintain, especially with the municipality experiencing financial difficulty.
The upgrade of the Brits Water Treatment Plant will not only improve the capacity of water provision, but it also the quality thereof. As part of the project, the ozone purification system, which could see the municipality receiving a blue drop status, will be installed. The ozone purification system is a system used to kill bacteria found in water and is used by many municipalities throughout the world. Although progress has been made by the municipality in respect of water and sanitation, it is still experiencing challenges related to the nonpayment of the bulk account as a result of current cash flow pressures.
Considering that Resolution 64/292 of the UN General Assembly explicitly recognises the human right to water and sanitation and also acknowledging that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights, the select committee therefore recommends as follows: Firstly, that the NCOP approves the intervention in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution in Madibeng Local Municipality; secondly, that the North West MEC for Local Government and Human Settlements should table quarterly progress reports to the NCOP and the provincial legislature on the status of the intervention in the municipality, including the challenges encountered; and thirdly, that the North West MEC for Local Government and Human Settlements should table the termination report of this intervention, including the section 154 support provided to the municipality. These reports should be submitted to the NCOP and the North West Provincial Legislature.
In conclusion, representatives from organised labour, political parties, women and youth formations in Madibeng Local Municipality are unanimous in welcoming the invocation of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution by the North West Provincial Executive Council. One other critical concern that the select committee wanted the municipality to address was the need to ensure that there was adequate public participation processes and platforms to ensure that people’s wishes are represented in decisions and policies that the municipality takes.
On progress thus far, the municipality has already completed construction of the new reservoir and bulk pipeline in Hebron or Kgabalatsane for direct supply to consumers. With regard to the money owed to Eskom, the municipality has already made arrangements to repay the national power supplier, including plans to repay other creditors. The importance of improving revenue collection would also improve the budget allocation and that will help the municipality to provide more services than it currently does. The municipality is currently owed in excess of R1 billion by customers, ranging from household(s), government and business. An improved collection rate could increase the percentage base which will be used to allocate their revenue. I thank you. [Applause.]
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
In favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Consideration of Report of Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs - Oversight visit to Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in terms of section 139 (1) (b) of the Constitution, 1996, dated 10 June 2015.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon Chair, allow me to present on behalf of the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs the report that was tabled on the 17 June 2015. There has been several interventions involved in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality since 2009 including the dissolution of council recently in September 2014 in terms of section 139 (1) (c)of the Constitution. The main issues identified by the provincial executive to dissolve the then municipal council of Ngaka Modiri Molema related to the following: firstly, failure by the political leadership of the municipality to provide leadership and exercise of oversight and not take ownership or acting on the irregularities in the administration of the municipality; secondly, failure by the municipality to provide quality service to the residents of Ngaka Modiri Molema in line with the powers and functions, failure to implement programmes and projects relating to infrastructure programmes for water and sanitation services; poor administration of service delivery related programmes; poor infrastructure spending; poor monitoring of projects and programmes; poor integration and co-ordination of infrastructure and other programmes with the local municipalities as the water service authority in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act of 2005; failure by the municipal council to act on the alleged maladministration, fraud and corruption; failure by the district municipality to provide support for the local municipalities in terms of section 80(a) of the Municipal Structures Act of 1998; failure by the district municipality to comply with applicable legislation and regulation governing the local sphere of government, that is the Municipal Systems Amendment Act of 2011, the Municipal Structures Act and Municipal Financial Act.
The Constitutional Court in terms of the court judgement handed down a judgement on 18 November 2014 in the case involving the decision of the North West commercial executive council to dissolve the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality and to appoint Mr K Nair as an administrator of the municipality. The Municipality applied to the North West High Court in Mahikeng to review and set aside the decision to dissolve it. The Municipality also sought a temporary interdict to prevent the administrator from interfering in the Municipality’s affairs and for a suspension of the decision to dissolve it pending finalisation of the review application.
Relying on this court’s decision in National Treasury and Others vs Opposition to Urban Trolling Alliance and Others  ZACC 18, the High Court dismissed the temporary interdict application. It found that the Municipality, as distinct from individual Municipal Councillors, suffered no harm, let alone irreparable harm. The municipality appealed directly to the Constitutional Court against the decision of the High Court not to grant the temporary interdict application and for direct access for the review application.
In its judgement the court dismissed the application for leave to appeal, it emphasised that the urgency lies in ensuring the immediate provision of basic sanitation, water and other services to the affected communities and not in restoring the status of municipal councillors to the position from which they complain they have been unjustly removed.
The effect of the dismissal of the application for leave to appeal against the refusal of the temporary interdict application by the Constitutional Court was that the lawfulness of the administrator’s intervention in restoring service’s in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality was beyond question. The Provincial Executive Council of North West resolved in its meeting on 18 March 2015 to invoke provisions of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality on both water and sanitation.
Given the serious services delivery challenges in that district, it then resolved to rescind the resolution on the 18 March 2015 and invoked section 139(1)(b) of the district municipality on all executive obligation of the council except for passing of the Integrated Development Plan, IDP, budget, policies and the by-laws. This then automatically includes the function of water and sanitation and all other executive obligations of the district council.
This decision was taken in the provincial executive council meeting of the 29 April 2015. The intervention was effectively from 1 May 2015 for a minimum period of six months to a maximum period of 12 months. The intervention to the district municipality is as a result of the municipality’s inability to deliver water and sanitation services to its residents in the areas of Ramotshere Moiloa, Mahikeng, Tswaing, Ditsobotla Local Municipalities.
This inability sparked violent service delivery protests, forcing the provincial government to take matters into its own hands to quell these challenges. The implication of invoking section 139 subsection 1(b) is that the provincial government in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation assumed control and responsibility of providing water services to the community of Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality.
The problems facing the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality could be a thing of the past if the municipal council, organised labour, traditional leaders, the administration and political parties could all work together instead of working against each other. Considering the challenges in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality the select committee on 17 June, recommended the following to the NCOP.
That firstly the NCOP approves the intervention in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in terms of section 139 subsection 1(b); secondly, that the North West’s Department of local Government and Human Settlement jointly through SA Local Government Association, Salga, should assist in fast-tracking the processes of filling critical vacant positions in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality; thirdly, that the Department of Local Government and Human Settlement in the North West should do a follow up on the non-payment of stipends to traditional leaders in the district.
The payment of stipends to traditional leaders will assist them in effectively playing their developmental roles in their communities. Fourthly, the North West MEC for Local Government and Human Settlement should table quarterly progress report to the NCOP and provincial legislature on the status of intervention in the district municipality including the challenges encountered. Fifthly, the North West MEC of Local Government and Human Settlement should after the expiry period of the intervention, immediately table the termination report of the intervention to the NCOP and the North West Provincial Legislation.
In conclusion, the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality is experiencing governance and administrative challenges since the current term of local government 2011 and it has therefore, derailed the service delivery to its constituent local municipalities. The situation can remain the same and service delivery to our people should therefore be accelerated. I thank you hon Chair.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Chairperson, allow me once again to present before the National Council of Provinces, NCOP, the report as was tabled before the Select Committee on the 17th June 2015. This is the report that has to do with Matlosana Local Municipality. On the 19th March 2013, the North West Provincial Executive Council resolved to intervene in the affairs of Matlosana Local Municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution. This intervention was intended to last for a minimum period of six months, with effect from the 1st April 2013. The intervention was as a result of financial problems which resulted in notices from Eskom and Midvaal Water Board to discontinue Vaal services provision due to non-payment.
The municipality financial status was deteriorating and this warranted an intervention from the provincial government to continue delivering services to the communities. The department had conducted a brief analysis of the financial status of the municipality and the outcome of the analysis revealed the following:
That the municipality was not collecting what is due for services rendered to consumers and the debtors’ book is standing at about R960 million; there was no enforcement of debt collection and credit control policy as adopted by council; the municipality was using the revenue for the sale of electricity to subsidise other services that consumers are not paying; the municipality has numerous contractual obligations with consultants for services such as debt collection, meter reading and other services that could be done internally; and there was a lack of management and leadership capacity in the Budget and Treasury Office and this resulted in poor financial management and administration of the municipality’s finances.
Since, the intervention team had never been to the municipality and five months has passed since the intervention began and no progress has been registered in the municipality. The NCOP by then disapproved the intervention in Matlosana Local Municipality.
In terms of the current intervention, the North West Provincial Executive Council resolved in December 2014 to invoke section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution in Matlosana Local Municipality with effect from the 1st January 2015. The intervention has been a consequent of an intervention that was invoked in the municipality in 2013 for a period of 12 months.
The status of the municipality was such that the intervention of the financial management had not yielded much result in improving the cash flow, debt collection, internal control and revenue management. The financial position of the municipality was continuing to deteriorate as the creditors, both Eskom and Midvaal, were increasing and standing at just over R200 million and R50 million respectively.
The debtors’ book stood at R1,1 billion whilst supply chain management and poor internal control challenges are plunging the municipality into more problems. There is a reported poor administrative leadership on the part of senior managers whilst the council is unable to exercise oversight over its administrative arm. Equally, the recent forensic audit initiated by the administrator has revealed numerous supply chain management irregularities which continue to be overlooked by both the accounting officer and the council.
Besides taking over the executive powers of the council, the administrator duly appointed with effect from the 1st January, is tasked to assume the responsibility and accountability of the entire administration of the Matlosana Local Municipality in compliance with section 155 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000. He is currently being supported by a team of experts as part of measures to ensure realisation of desired outcome. In particular, he is tasked to discharge the following objectives:
Managing, stabilising and improving governance and administration within the municipality; improving services delivery in the municipality by prioritising water, road, sanitation and electricity services by including facilitation of new projects; unblocking of all project and maintenance of infrastructure; improving the financial controls in the municipality such as expenditure management, procurement processes, revenue enhancement, debt collection as well as addressing Auditor-General’s report; analysing the past and current investigations, commission of enquiry, forensic audits and implementation of recommendations; attending to labour matters in the municipality on outstanding disciplinary cases, labour disputes, functionality of the Local Labour Forum and instil the culture of work and discipline amongst the workers; facilitating the improvement of governance within council on matters related to council oversight role and relationship between council and administration; and investigating all recently awarded contracts to establish validity and legitimacy thereof and terminate illegitimate ones.
The municipality has been experiencing challenges relating to the absence of proper financial administrative systems, including having no debt recovery plan in place. The municipality also has high vacancy rate in management positions. This poses challenges as there is continued lack of accountability leading to high levels of noncompliance.
Although the municipality has moved from disclaimer audit opinion in terms of the 2012-13 audit findings to a qualified audit opinion in 2013-14, the municipality still battled with debt collection, revenue enhancement and creditor repayment. The municipality was owed R1,1 billion and supply chain management problems and poor internal controls still persisted. The municipality was also in debt to Eskom and Midvaal Water Board.
The previous intervention should have addressed most of the municipality financial challenges, but the problems continued. However, there has been some progress since the appointment of the administrator, especially in the reduction of overtime. Overtime claims have reduced from over R3 million in January to just over R1,6 million in February this year.
As the committee, we are of the opinion that this intervention by government should be viewed in the light of government’s unwavering support to our municipalities to ensure that as the coal face of service delivery, they continue to deliver quality services to our communities, and as such, service delivery will not be interrupted.
The recommendations of the Select Committee stand as follows:
The NCOP approves the intervention in Matlosana Local Municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution;
The North West Department of Local Government and Human Settlement, jointly with the SA Local Government Association, should assist in fast tracking the process of filling critical vacant positions in Matlosana Local Municipality;
The forensic investigation being conducted within the municipality should be fast tracked, and its investigations to be reported back to the North West MEC for Local Government and Human Settlement and MEC for Finance; the North West MEC for Local Government and Human Settlement should table the forensic investigation report and the intervention exit report to the NCOP and the North West Provincial Legislature; and the North West MEC for Local Government and Human Settlement should table quarterly progress reports to the NCOP and the Provincial Legislature on the status of the intervention in the Local Municipality, including the challenges encountered.
I thank you hon Chair. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Members, that concludes the debate. I shall now put the question. The question is that this Report be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 71, I shall first allow any province to make a declaration of vote if they so wish.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon Chairperson, thank you very much for the honour. Allow me to observe protocol instead of reading through to save my time. June this year is a very important month for us. We use this month to commemorate two of the most emotional events in our history. Both of these events recall pain and suffering of the people of our country, provide us with comfort, hope and a sense of achievement. It is a month where we recall these events solemnly, with great dignity and pride.
It was 60 years ago that the Freedom Charter was launched in that dusty town, Kliptown. This historical and ground breaking document still serves as our moral compass today, our blueprint for a better, more just and equitable future. It remains now, as relevant as it was those 60 years ago. We remember the visionaries, from all walks of life that contributed to this hallowed document for a better life for all South Africans. June is also the month where we commemorate and celebrate the heroism of our youth as driving forces for change.
We recall with pride the young lions, who nearly 40 years ago, sacrificed their lives and learning, so that the future generations might see true liberation and enjoy quality education. We are forever indebted to their commitment and bravery. These events are therefore forever etched in our minds as reminders of the needs, hopes and aspirations of all our people, whom we have the honour and duty to serve to the best of our abilities.
In its Preamble, the Freedom Charter says: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white”. Clause 4 of the Charter says the following:
The land shall be shared among those who work it!
Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re divided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger;
The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers;
Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land;
All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;
People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.
It is the responsibility of the democratic, developmental state to translate this dictum into a socioeconomic reality. As part of its work towards the installation of our democratic dispensation, the ANC developed the Ready To Govern Document, which has four pillars, being the following: To strive for the achievement of the right of all South Africans, as a whole, to political and economic self-determination in a united South Africa; to overcome the legacy of inequality and injustice created by colonialism and apartheid, in a swift progressive and principled way; to develop a sustainable economy and state infrastructure that will progressively improve the quality of life of all South Africans; and, to encourage the flourishing of the feeling that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, to promote common loyalty to, and pride in, the country; and, to create a universal sense of freedom and security within its borders.
The Constitution of the Republic gives concrete expression to the Freedom Charter and the Ready To Govern Document when it says in its preamble: We, the people of South Africa, recognise the injustices of our past; honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
We, therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to
heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person and build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
Section 25(5) of the Constitution of our Republic enjoins the State to: “take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis”. These constitutional imperatives are at the core of the mandate of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The litmus test to all policies, is whether or not they are redistributive in character. Consultations with organized agriculture, farm-workers' unions, civil society organisations with interest on land and academics have taken place. We are now consolidating the inputs made by these partners.
During his state of the nation address, the President announced that the government will conduct fifty pilots on the 50/50 policy framework by 2019, and that the Regulation of Landholdings Bill, which will introduce land ceilings and prohibit land ownership by foreign nationals, will be submitted to Parliament this year.
We have seen tremendous activity and interest from various sectors in the agricultural economy; the use of annual rate of turn-over to determine the nature and extent of redistribution and equity; an Idea Bank and inclusive social compacts; social accords on living conditions; skills development; education and training and housing; a funding model of R1 billion for land reform per year for the next fifteen years based on strong credit and business case approvals; the right to choose partners and adherence to Chapter 6 of the National Development Plan
This is a big proposal from Agbiz and we think it is something that we need to consider very seriously, is part of the broad spectrum of contributions towards land reform in our country. Establishment of farm workers's Trusts and farm villages, but without separate titles and, a 50/50 share equity model in the business, with government providing resources for the 150% and the Wildlife Ranching South Africa providing the other 50% at low interest rate of 2.5% per annum over a period of forty years. There are several other proposals which are being considered, I won’t go through them hon Chairperson.
We have looked at South Africa's history of land ownership patterns, since the advent of the 1913 Natives' Land Act as well as experience elsewhere in the world, particularly Europe and a few countries in Latin America. Both scenarios are instructive. The South African experience shows that the aggregate farmland over this period has generally remained stable, being disturbed by fluctuations in the number of people entering or leaving farming, influencing in turn, the fall of average farm size from 950 ha and 750 ha between 1918 and 1950, and, between 750 ha to over 2 000 ha currently. In Europe, the general average farm size is 14 ha, while in Latin America it ranges between approximately 72 ha and 84 ha.
Closer to home, that in the Southern African Development Community SADC region, the general trend is that of prohibition, unless foreign nationals joined up with nationals, provided the latter is the majority shareholder in such joint venture. Taking these scenarios into account, the general views shared at our recent National Land Tenure Summit, the pronouncements by the President during his state of the nation address and the historical need to address the brutal legacy of colonialism and grand Apartheid; we have come up with the following policy proposals on the ceilings, for both natural and juristic persons: Small scale farms; the ceiling for a viable commercial small scale farm should be not more than 1 000 ha, medium scale farm; it should be not more than 2 500 ha; and large scale farm; this should be not more than 5 000 ha.
Any excess land portions between each of these categories and above the 12 000ha maximum, shall be expropriated and redistributed, and compensation will be on the basis of the ‘just and equitable’ principle enshrined in section 25(3) of our Constitution. We have come up with a special category to address the 12 000ha maximum announced by President Zuma during his state of the nation address, which will be applicable to three categories of land use: forestry, game farms and renewable energy farms.
Secondly, we think there is merit in African Farmers' Association of South Africa, AFASAs, proposal on the use of the rate of turn-over. We have come to the conclusion that this option would fit well in circumstances where sugar, grapes, vegetables, fruit and horticulture are concerned. In such cases, however, off farm equity would be more appropriate.
Hon Chairperson, given the time that is [Laughing] running very fast [Laughing] I will move and get closer to the strategy. Hon Chair, in his state of the nation address, President Zuma announced that government has set aside R2 billion in this financial year for the implementation of agriparks in all 44 District prioritising the 27 poorest ones. One percent or R20 million of this will be allocated to institutional and capacity development. These agriparks are an integral part and driver of the Rural Economy Transformation Model. 70% equity in the agriparks shall be owned by producers, with the remaining 30% distributed across State and other commercial interests in these agriparks. This will be the States strategic support which will diminish over the period of ten years, with producers taking a full control.
Hon Chair, I will not speak to the legislation which is there, I will go straight to the conclusion. The revenue that you see there is R9,3 billion 2015-16, R10,3 2016-17 and R10,8 billion 2017-18.
Let me conclude by referring again to the Ready to govern document, which anticipated a specific transformative path of a democratic developmental state. It is very instructive and says the following: Legislation on economic matters shall be guided by the principle of encouraging collaboration between public, private, co-operative, communal and small scale farming; family sectors with a view to reducing inequality; promoting growth and providing goods and services for the whole population. The Bill of Rights shall establish the principles and procedures whereby land rights will be restored to those deprived of them by apartheid statutes; a land claims tribunal, functioning in an equitable manner according to principles of justice laid out in legislation , will, wherever it is feasible to do so, restore such rights. In doing so, it will take into account the role of compensation to be paid by the state to those whose existing titles are affected; provisions relating to property rights and compensation will have to be applied in such away that they are not manipulated so as to frustrate a national land reform programme.
Hon Chair, this is a very important point as you will observe this policy speech is basically an address, addressing the demands of the people as expressed in the Freedom Charter and the Ready to Govern Document which is an economic framework, providing economic framework for the policies of the African National Congress government. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Chairperson, hon members, allow me to observe protocol. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to the National Council of Provinces the debate on the Budget Vote of my department for the 2015-16 financial year.
A budget R1,618 billion has been allocated to the Department of Mineral Resources for the current financial year. The department has, in turn, apportioned R800,9 million to entities, R528,4 million for the compensation of employees, R277,6 million to goods and services, with the remaining R11,5 million going to capital expenditure.
As we deliver this budget one is encouraged by the early signs of a performance turnaround in the industry following a sustained depression of the global environment since the implosion caused by the economic and financial crisis.
In our country the industry experienced a growth of 10,2% in the first quarter, year on year, corroborating the characteristic resilience of the mining industry on which the economy of the country still largely depends. As part of our strategy of increasing investment in the industry, government will be convening stakeholders later this year in a Mining Phakisa, which will focus on unlocking the growth in the mining industry and enhancing the beneficiation of our minerals.
We have initiated programmes that will strengthen the capacity and enhance the skills of our staff. In this regard, we have engaged with the University of the Witwatersrand business school to provide courses relating to management and executive development. We are also proud to have enrolled 20 women in middle management in the accelerated development programmes with the National School of Government as part of empowering women in our department.
In addition, 30 officials have been registered to study an environmental management inspection course at the University of Pretoria for three months in order to equip them to handle environmental authorisation for mining, prospecting and other related activities. We intend to continue with this programme to strengthen both our environmental management and enforcement capabilities. Furthermore, the department, in collaboration with the Mining Qualifications Authority, MQA, is training 10 learner inspectors per year to enhance capacity in the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate.
The department and the Mine Health and Safety Council have, in collaboration with stakeholders, commenced with initiatives to commemorate and honour mine workers who lost their lives in the course of duty. One such initiative is in the Evander area in Mpumalanga where the National Union of Mineworkers brought to our attention a gravesite of unknown mine workers. We have since initiated an investigation into the names of the people and we will ensure that a decent monument is eventually erected in their honour.
Also, we recently commemorated the Vaal Reefs Mine Disaster, which occurred on 10 May 1995. On that fateful day, a runaway locomotive went down a shaft, resulting in the loss of 104 miners who were being transported in a shaft conveyance. This still remains one of the biggest tragedies in the mining history of our country. Following the disaster, the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996 was enacted, which has significantly contributed to the improvement in the health and safety of mine workers.
We continue to promote a culture of occupational health and safety whilst driving towards zero harm in the industry. Accordingly, there has been a reduction of about 86% in fatalities from 615 in 1993 to 84 in 2014, which was the safest year on record in our mining history. Assessment of the figures until the end of March 2015 shows that we are well on track to improving further on that record. We will continue to strengthen those efforts and ensure that our record on the health of mine workers also demonstrates considerable improvement. Hence, government will continue to collaborate with other stakeholders through the SA National Aids Council to monitor and implement the national strategic plan in an effort to reduce and prevent TB cases and HIV infections. Through the Mine Health and Safety Council we will also monitor the situation to ensure that the November 2014 Mine Health and Safety Tripartite Summit commitments and action plans are implemented to ensure that all mine workers ultimately return from work unharmed every day.
We continue to partner with stakeholders through the Mining Qualifications Authority to ensure that skills development programmes respond to and assist with the development of capacity amongst unemployed youth, women, mine workers, ex-mine workers and mining communities. Equally, the MQA implements skills development programmes in collaboration with traditional leaders and provincial and local government. Some projects include 600 unemployed youths trained in portable and entrepreneurial skills in the Oliver Tambo District Municipality. I will skip some of the other programmes. They are in the speech. Members will be able to read about them for themselves.
The MQA will continue to support the mining sector and communities with relevant skills programmes through its regional offices, and these offices have been established in rural Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges and are now operational in the major mining- and labour-sending provinces across the country.
I am delivering this speech at a time when the mining industry is faced with challenges as a result of the depression of commodity prices leading to unfortunate announcements of job shedding. With regard to this, we decided at a Migdett meeting, or Mining Growth, Development and Employment Task Team meeting, to set up a task team focusing on saving jobs.
We continue to appeal to mining rights holders not to treat the shedding of jobs as a numbers game, and, rather, to appreciate the compliance and social aspects of retrenchment. In this regard, mining companies are reminded not only to have future forums but must also ensure that they are fully functional as they provide a proactive mechanism in managing downscaling at a company level. Likewise, we would like to inform you that a new mineral and petroleum board, which was established to provide advice, will also, in collaboration with the Migdett, be looking at this issue of joblessness.
Yesterday the gold sector began negotiating a new wage deal. I take this opportunity to urge the industry to be transparent and to negotiate in good faith. I also urge the unions to take into account the current economic climate with an emphasis on the saving of jobs for those of our people who are employed.
As a further contribution to job creation, growth and the sustainability of the mining industry, the department has approved a number of new mining rights spread across various provinces, covering coal, manganese and diamonds. These rights have the potential to contribute to the creation of much-needed jobs in the country.
We recently released the results of the Mining Charter assessment coinciding with the “Year of the Freedom Charter”, after 10 years of implementation of this tool to redress past imbalances. In this regard, we have commenced with the issuing of notices to licence holders who are not compliant with the charter. The Chamber of Mines has, in turn, launched a legal challenge to some aspects of the charter, and the department is defending the action.
We remain committed to the creation of a legislative framework that enables the country to have a globally competitive, sustainable and transformed mining and minerals industry. It is our guiding principle to legislate, as Charles Dickens wrote in a different historical context, for the “best of times” and for the “worst of times”. In this regard, the department restates its readiness to provide necessary support to the legislators in processing the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill currently with the legislators.
Furthermore, the Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill is currently being processed through Nedlac, or the National Economic Development and Labour Council. I’m pleased to note the progress which has been made in discussions with stakeholders and the Bill will, upon approval by Cabinet, be referred to Parliament. I have also prioritised the Bill to create a legal framework for the state-owned mine company, namely the African Exploration Mining & Finance Corporation for referral to Cabinet and Parliament during this financial year.
To ensure policy clarity on coal and promote sustainable management of this resource, I have directed that urgent work commence on the development of a coal policy framework. Accordingly, a task team has already commenced with the work in this regard.
With respect to upstream oil and gas development, government will continue to create an enabling environment to increase exploration in both onshore and offshore territory. Accordingly, we have already gazetted regulations for oil and gas exploration production. We will continue to ensure that exploration and production activities of oil and gas are undertaken in a responsible manner that also protects the environment.
The department will, in collaboration with other government departments including relevant stakeholders, continue to ensure that housing and living conditions of mine workers and their associated communities are improved. In this regard, the department will provide support to the implementation of the President-led framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry and the revitalisation of distressed mining towns. Many of these are identified in the provinces of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the North West, the Free State and Gauteng and in labour-sending areas in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. I need to assure hon members that areas not mentioned in this package are not escaping attention.
While there are many challenges in improving the housing and living conditions of mine workers, there are encouraging projects which are under way as we speak. For example, in September 2014 my department handed over 400 houses to mine workers participating in the Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s home ownership project in Rustenburg. This project forms part of the company’s social and labour plan and will see a total of 3 100 units completed by 2018/2019 in a manner that creates sustainable human settlements away from historical mining villages, as we know them.
Also, yesterday I officiated at the handover of the Hoofweg Learning and Resource Centre, implemented by Afrisam, here in the Western Cape, as part of their social and labour plan. This centre will go a long way towards improving the quality of learning within the Wesbank community.
The issue of illegal mining continues to receive our attention. Our working together with relevant stakeholders in the fight against illegal mining is yielding positive results. Just last month, the police in Kempton Park, Gauteng, arrested members of an illegal mining syndicate alleged to have fabricated over 16 000 fraudulent invoices worth about R437 million, reflecting purchases of second-hand gold jewellery. We will continue with our programme to address this matter decisively. The department also embarked on a process of raising awareness regarding the dangers of illegal mining and taking action against those found to be mining illegally. In this regard, relevant communities will be engaged in this matter especially those who are involved in sand mining.
Members of the House will be aware that mining in South Africa often takes place on communal land or in close proximity to residential areas. This has, in some instances, led to conflicts over land use. We have thus created a number of mechanisms, working with provincial and local government, to deal with the conflicts arising from either consultation processes or those encountered during the mining phase. This includes task teams comprising our department, provincial government, traditional leaders and relevant mining companies. During the previous financial year we held 263 consultations, the majority of which were in Gauteng, followed by the North West and Limpopo.
I would also like to inform hon members that we will continue to empower communities with necessary information regarding mining so that they can better understand their responsibilities and their rights in this regard.
During the months of March and April I conducted three izimbizo in Kimberley, Springbok and Postmasburg, interacting with the public about mining issues and listening to the concerns of communities. Uppermost on the list of issues raised were those relating to support of small-scale mining. We have thus made a commitment to host a workshop on this matter in conjunction with the Ministry of Small Business Development, and the Northern Cape provincial government. This workshop is tentatively scheduled to take place before the end of July 2015.
State-owned entities reporting to the department play a major role in terms of research and development, as well as in implementing strategic programmes of government. Regarding research and development, we will continue to focus on research that will drive the growth of the industry in terms of potential new miners and operations. In this regard, appropriate support and resources will be provided to the Council for Geoscience and Mintek to allow them to continue with geoscientific and mineral processing research. Similarly, support and guidance will be given to the Mine Health and Safety Council to ensure that the country continues to be involved in relevant and necessary mine health and safety research.
The SA Diamond & Precious Metals Regulator and the State Diamond Trader will continue to play a critical role in the promotion of beneficiation as well as in the regulation of South African diamonds and precious metals.
Hon members, I would also like to inform you that preparations are already under way to hold a Diamond Indaba in October 2015, which will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss and address issues in this sector. We are also examining possibilities of establishing a bourse in the country.
As I conclude, I wish to thank member of this House for their support and diligent oversight of the work of my department. We look forward to continued engagement, and urge you to support this budget. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr O SEFAKO: Hon Chairperson, hon members, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, directors-general, senior officials and staff members, our viewers at home and guests in the gallery, it is, indeed, a great pleasure to be given this opportunity to participate in Budget Votes 39 and 29 – the nine is a common denominator, because the two are, of course, inter-related.
I must hasten to confirm that the two departments did present before the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources their annual performance plans and their strategies for engagement. The committee had the opportunity to engage with both departments, although they presented individually, of course. There was a healthy and cordial discussion. As hon members represent their respective provinces, issues were highlighted and it was indicated that these should be broken down per province and per district.
Allow me, from the onset, to express my gratitude to His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa for deeming it fit to extend the window of opportunity for those who could not make their submissions for land claims by 31 December 1998. The opportunity to do so has been extended to 2019. Tribal leaders, including those of the Khoi and San, were, unfortunately, not able to submit their claims, previously. They will now have the opportunity to do so.
The land issue is a burning, national question, which, of course, needs to be handled with caution. I clearly remember the Minister of Land Reform and Rural Development making an invitation to the two land summits held in September 2014 and March 2015. The debates and contributions of the invitees became heated. I remember, quite clearly, Kgosi Thobejane making a very, very sharp statement that this matter could not be handled with kid gloves or be romanticised.
Commercial farmers, workers’ representatives and members of civil society were all at those summits. The most important issue that came up was dealing with the 50/50 question, which is creating an opportunity that, historically, has been denied. Workers had been reduced to walking and talking instruments. The ANC-led government has managed to open up this opportunity so that the workers on the farms can also have the opportunity to own. It is the process that is taking place.
Getting to the question of mineral resources, the two Budget Votes are the stepping stones towards narrowing the gap between the haves and the have-nots. This gap was deliberately and systemically created by the previous regimes, starting from the imperialists, the colonialists and the colonialists of a special type – apartheid, of course, and its surrogate states of the homelands. They were equally unfair in terms of land redistribution.
Much has been said by my two hon Ministers. What I am really saying is that, as the ANC ...
... ons ondersteun die twee begrotingsposte. Dit is vir my eintlik ’n genot om die geleentheid wat u verskaf het te gebruik, en ek bedank u. Dis ’n plesier. Dankie. [... we support the two budget votes. It is actually a huge pleasure to make use of the opportunity that you have granted me and I thank you. It is indeed a pleasure. Thank you.]
An HON MEMBER: Hoor! Hoor! [Applous.] [Hear! Hear! [Applause.]]
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon chairperson, hon ministers, deputy ministers, hon members, and guests from the gallery. Hon chair, hon minister Nkwinti will soon be labelled as the distracter of agriculture in South Africa. And this is due to his flip flop, his populist, and his unrealistic political announcements on land ownership.
It is very clear to South Africans that the hon minister is clueless when it comes to agriculture, but let us not forget that his mandate from Luthuli House is to bow down to the authoritarian influences of the South African Communist Party (SACP) by ensuring that government have ownership of the land. Not the people, but Zuma’s government, you see this is an attempt...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Smit, it is, I suspect you will tell me it is a pointing debate, Zuma’s government?
Mr C F B SMIT: Let me rephrase, hon president Zuma’s government. You see this is an attempt to intensify the crony society of the ANC elite and enrich themselves even more at the expense of the poor. And to hold on to power by holding the people to ransom with land, another blackmail strategy of a power hungry and very nervous ANC.
This will not work hon minister. The people of South Africa can see what you are doing and they will vote the ANC out as the ANC does not care about the people anymore. Hon minister, what research was done to justify the one size fits all approach to land caps or was it an ANC thumb suck exercise. As the current proposal of 1000HA for small scale farmers, 2500HA for medium size farmers and 5000HA for commercial farmers universally; is totally unrealistic especially when it comes to areas like the Karoo.
The DA plead with you hon minister, reconsider this as it will also cap the viability of agriculture and the one million jobs we are to create though agriculture as per the National Development Plan (NDP). The other populist announcement made by the hon minister was that foreign nationals may no longer own land in South Africa. Now my question to you hon minister is how many of your comrades and ANC elite owns land in foreign countries like Zimbabwe? This is totally hypocritical from the ANC if you ask me. And this will also hamper foreign investment and our economy that is already fragile and in turn will cost us more jobs.
Hon chairperson, I attended the communal land Indaba in Johannesburg on the 29 & 30 May 2015. At the Indaba it was clear that the majority of people felt that they should have full ownership of communal land that can be used as collateral for financing further individual development. But instead the minister limited the options for discussion to only land use rights and a so called title deed that only gives the household land use rights.
The department tried to justify this artificial title deed as legitimate use as security for financing at financial institutions.
Now hon chair, this is similar to me taking a copy of my lease agreement to the bank and asking them to finance me based on that. Really minister, one plus one does not make three. You see hon chair, once again the ANC government does not want the poor tribal communities to break free from their grip of power. Instead, they hold onto land rights by denying these communities their constitutional rights to have individual ownership of land.
In fact the Constitution prescribed in the Bill of Rights,
Chapter two, article 25 points five and six, notes the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis. This section that the minister mentioned what he didn’t mention is the second part, a person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress.
You see hon minister, we preach about integrated communities all over South Africa to break down barriers of apartheid. But in the communal and tribal areas you want to reinforce these racial barriers to isolate these communities and control access to these areas mostly based on race. Its like this is the Pedi area, this is the Tsonga area so that other people cannot move into those areas and stay there. What is your intention as the ANC in this regard hon minister? The wagon wheel model on communal land is highly flawed as this model will only reinforce the deprivation of individual rights and freedoms and will keep these communities locked up in poverty and dependency.
Give the people what they deserve hon minister and that is title deeds with full ownership that they can use to break free from poverty through individual freedoms and choices. Hon chair, the department acknowledges that the re-opening of land claims is giving them sleepless nights as the previous claims are not yet finalised.
My question remains how long will people have to wait for their claim to be finalised? As per the current rate up to now; an average of 4500 claims would be finalised per year over a 20 year period, looking at the odd 89 O00 claims from the previous claims. At this rate it would take the department 84 years to finalise the expected 397 O00 new claims.
And looking at the budget for land restitutions of 2 billion for this financial year and cost calculation based on current land costs of 200 billion before inflation to settle the 397 000 claims, it will take at least another 100 years to finalise the new claims. This is an unfunded mandate hon minister. What wouldn’t you do for votes? Hon minister, you are totally neglecting rural developments.
The development of 12000 rural livelihoods by 2020 is mediocre and not much to look forward to considering the desperate state of these communities. Furthermore, cutting the number of socio economic infrastructure projects from 200 in 2014/15 to 115 in 2015/16 illustrates lack of commitment towards rural development. Another noticeable decline is the budget cut on the national rural youth services corps that dropped with a staggering 332 million in 2015/16. This is a third less!
Under a DA government we would increase the land reform budget by 10 billion over five years for the creation of post settlement support. And give an additional 130 million on the land claims commissions to allow for better monitoring of land reform processes. This is the vision of a caring government hon minister, a DA government that delivers real freedom to its people in a society of fairness that opens up the fruits of opportunity for all South Africans. This is a vision of individual freedom and full ownership. I thank you.
Mr J P PARKIES: Hon Chair, hon Minister, Deputy Ministers, hon members of the House, invited guests, the RDP document, or the Reconstruction and Development Programme document, asserts that, and I quote: “No political democracy can survive and flourish if the masses of our people remain in poverty without land, without tangible prospects for a better life.”
Democracy will really have little content and will be short-lived if it cannot address the socioeconomic circumstances facing the majority of our people within the expanding and growing economy. Our view of history is coloured by sedentary landlubber historians. The RDP vision and the principles of the Freedom Charter remain our lodestar. We cannot talk about rural development without talking about land. Agriculture is a primary industry, and growth in the economy lies in the sector of agriculture.
The domineering confidence and serpentine DA behaviour in our politics on the land question represent capital. Growth and the measurable income in the output of the modern industrial economy are commonly seen as a priority. Development is portrayed as a marginal effort of redistribution to urban and rural poverty, and development is viewed as, or ought to be, a deduction from growth.
The physical infrastructure is a critical part of rural development for the sustainable livelihood of our people, meaning that access to health care, education, public affordable and safe transport, sanitation, housing and clean water. Any choice involves and has effects on political, social and economic levels. We need fundamental change in our institutions and the processes, hon Minister. The strategic objective of rural development should include firm co-ordination of the activities of the relevant government agencies and the control of such should be for the people and by the people they are intended for.
Its positives and negatives depend on those who are involved to make a choice by virtue of authority and the force of willpower. It is the responsibility of the developmental state, therefore, to tamper with the structure of monopoly capital in the sector and the entire economy. The impact of our action lies at the centre commitment of our people to support our collective actions as the ANC government.
The fate of our people cannot be left by any chance to the juggernaut of the liberal corporate regime and the masters of grand larceny. This process cannot be left to spontaneity. Our policies as the ANC government are not spurious on the land question. We are not intoxicated with populism.
Intensification, mechanisation and the use of inputs during the 20th century have been hugely beneficial for the planet. New technology in the 21st century should yield gains, enabling us to turn more land back to Mother Nature to feed the approximately 9 billion people on planet Earth. That will realise real and genuine black economic empowerment, BEE, in our land.
On Friday, hon Minister and Deputy Ministers, I raised an issue in our debate on agriculture. We were talking about agri-parks. The issue that I raised in that debate related to the seed industry. If we were to talk about real and genuine BBE, our people must be involved as producers and breeders, distributors and exporters, including labelling, in that particular sector. This is because it is an important sector if we were to talk about agri-business and agro-processing – in order to make a dent in the poverty and unemployment in our land.
Imports coming in should create jobs for our people, production and distribution. However, the issue that we raise again is in the same context is that there is no concurrent legislation in place protecting traditional agriculture linked to the aforesaid. The rural poor masses must be involved in storage and distribution. This is because when it comes to the agri-parks we are talking about, we can ask the question: In terms of these poor masses of our people, who will be the seed providers? We carry knowledge of the pieces of legislation that are currently in Parliament that deal with the sector. We are aware of that. But will those pieces of legislation, the Bills, protect the traditional and small-scale farmers in the context of the agri-parks that we are talking about, you are championing?
If we were to be politically and economically independent, we ought to restructure the industry in totality or tamper with the structure. We ought to ponder the realistic view on what the seed industry can have and contribute to the agricultural sector and agrarian reform.
The above view or perspective represents a holistic view and approach in what we are articulating in terms of reindustrialisation and the agro-industrial approach in the context of these agri-parks.
The energy sector and the agricultural industry cannot be left entirely to private monopoly – I’ve raised this point already. Rural infrastructure is critical to facilitating access to the market and the availability of food, which is first and foremost a source of nutrition and, only secondarily, an item for trade. I repeat what I said on Friday: We need to be vigilant in reorganising the sector.
Regarding the population in sub-Saharan Africa, 214 million people are undernourished, representing 26,6% of the region’s people.
The fact that the apartheid regime excluded the majority of our people does not make it our people less eligible for their contribution to the economy and that their relief be left entirely in the hands of the “charity of their social betters in the kirk”.
Hon Minister, agriculture is responsible for 70% of worldwide water usage. In South Africa alone, 60% of water is consumed by this sector – there should be a focus and attention paid to this particular sector. We contribute 50% as a country to the seed business of Africa.
Let’s talk about the co-operatives. Co-operatives in our programme as the ANC government must culminate in a serious business for our people, black people. That is what will represent genuine black economic empowerment. Co-operatives in our land, in our programme, should not be a makeshift process or business of poor people who are looking for jobs, who are affected by the tormenting poverty in our land. We need to use co-operatives to crack and temper with the structure of our economy in this country. That is how we will transform our economy and crack the monopoly. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Eka Mutshamaxitulu, ku katsa na vaendzi lava nga kona eka galari, ndzi ri inhlikanhi. [To the Chairperson as well as the guests present in the gallery, good afternoon.]
Hon Chair, for the past 21 years, this department has been limping from one excuse to another, trying to explain its failure to redistribute land in a meaningful manner to black people who were dispossessed of their land. Yours is a very good example of how not to develop policy. From the 30% target of land transferred back to people by 1999 - a target that has shifted so much that it does not get mentioned anymore - to the continuous fiddling with land
redistribution programmes; from the settlement and land acquisition grant, which later got dumped in favour of the land redistribution for agricultural development grant; to the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy; to the superficial protection of farm workers from eviction through the Extension of Security of Tenure Act; and now, recapitalisation and development. All these interventions have failed to even scratch the surface of the problem of landlessness in our country, and, more sadly, failed to protect farm workers from eviction from the farms they have been on for generations.
What these changes in approach show is that the department does not know how to approach land reform. The very few that have been given their land back through land reform have been further disenfranchised by the government’s lack of post-settlement support and poor settlement planning.
The people of Gwatyu in the Eastern Cape, whose tenure to land is insecure and who have failed to get any support from your government due to favouritism and deeply-embedded corruption in that province, are all testimony to the ANC government’s neglect of rural people. The Khoi and the San have been illegitimised by your government; evidenced by the manner your government has handled the Khomani San land claim in the Northern Cape. The path chosen by the ANC after 1994 to the resolution of the land question has now been accepted by many to have failed spectacularly. Only 8% of the land has been returned to people, 90% of which are considered to be failed projects.
As if that were not enough, the ANC has further raised the hopes of our people through the Land Restitution and Reform Laws Amendment Act, leading to a number of big land claims by chiefs who were misled by President Jacob Zuma that the Amendment Act would allow them to claim even for land that was stolen before the 1913 deadline originally set as the cut-off date for land claims. The amendment Act makes no mention of claims going back to the period of dispossession before 1913. The ANC and the President have misled our people once again. Our solution to the land question is simple: expropriate land without compensation for equal redistribution; subdivide large, unproductive farms into small manageable farms; and ban all forms of farm evictions.
Minister, while we’re reflecting on the past 20 years, it is important to remember mineworkers in Aurora Mine, who, since the empowerment deal involving President Jacob Zuma’s nephew and former President Nelson Mandela’s grandson, collapsed, leaving mineworkers destitute. Lest we forget.
Minister, almost three years ago it was Lonmin Mine together with the ANC government that killed our mineworkers for what is still a very slave-like wage. Lest we forget. It was Lonmin Mine together with the Deputy President that engaged in the criminality of aggressive tax avoidance by transferring millions and millions of rand of profits so that they can mislead everyone and say “we cannot afford R12 500 per month, because they are not making a profit”. Minister, your department knew very well that that was a lie.
The public has entrusted the Minister with a responsibility and tax payers’ money to ensure that those who are awarded licenses do not exploit mineworkers and loot our minerals resources.
The Budget Vote tabled by the Minister is a clear indication that the ANC government insists on a very weak and loose approach to mining in the country. It must not surprise the House that the ANC government and the Minister has allocated only a mere R1,6 billion to the country’s mineral wealth. Over the next three years, only R4,9 billion is allocated to your department, Minister, to see to it that South Africa enjoys the much-celebrated rich mineral resources beneath the soil.
In 2014, unofficial statistics showed that there were 84 fatalities in the mining sector, which could have been prevented if profit did not take precedent over mineworkers’ safety. Yet, Minister, you have allocated only R563 million, 11% over the medium-term of your budget, to mine, health and safety. The EFF rejects this budget.
Hi ri khanimamba eka Mutshamaxitulu na vahlaleri va nongonoko lowu eka thelevhixini, ku katsa na Yindlu hinkwayo. Ndzi ri eka n’wina vanani na nhlikanhi lowunene. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[To the Chairperson and the viewers of this programme on television, including the House at large, we say thank you very much. I am saying to you that you should have a good afternoon.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, my greetings to the hon Minister and the Deputy Minister, the Chief Whip, MECs present from different provinces, alternate delegates and hon members in our midst, good afternoon good evening, I learn that from the chief. You can say it both.
I’m tempted to start of by supporting the budget of the department together with the Annual Performance Plan, APP, as presented. Because, in our minds and based on what was presented by the department during the sitting of the select committee, we were convinced that, that plan will really change the lives of our people better. It is in line with the National Development Plan, NDP, which is in line with the manifesto of the ruling party, in line with the January 8 Statement, in line with the health plan of the ANC. There are those who are saying we have abandoned the Reconstruction Development Programme, RDP.I am inviting them to go back and revisit the RDP. I have gone through that plan and I was convinced that the department is implementing that plan to the latter. We want to say thank you very much hon Minister to take the ANC plan seriously as you did and the passion that you have attached to it. We really appreciate that [Applause.]
Infact, there is no way I can start this debate without going back after realising the extent of education that we have to do with some hon members here in terms of our plan. I am convinced that sometimes it’s not deliberate. It is because most of the plans – infact all the plans, during the negotiations, they did not have a plan. We are using the ANC plan. So it’s too much expectation from our side to expect them to understand our plans. Even though those plans were adopted to be the plan of the government.
We are debating this Budget Vote today after 20 years of democracy which suggests that we look back pre 1994, in terms of policy and celebrate the achievements and gains of democracy. And plan ahead for the next 30 years. There are those who are saying 30 years will not be there. Which means that they are doing that for themselves.
What was happening before the mental physical and social health of South Africans was severely damaged by apartheid policies and their consequences. The health care and social services that were developed were grossly inefficient and inadequate especially in rural areas. Health services were fragmented, inefficient and ineffective and resources were grossly mismanaged and poorly distributed. That was the analysis pre 1994. So we hear them today talking about corruption that was happening in the health system.
What was happening, if I may give an example? I was fortunate because, just before the democratic South Africa I was working for the Department of Health and Population Development in the Eastern Transvaal.
Bengihlala endzaweni lebeyingaphasi kwahulumende wakaNgwane ngisebenta endzaweni yalabamhlophe. [I used to live in a place that was under the kaNgwane government, working in a white area.]
I had to take a bus to work.
Bengifika emsebentini ngitsatse imoto ngiyosebenta... [I used to get to my work place and take the car to go and work.]
... past the Bantustan areas and go and service the white areas. I would then go back drop the car and take a bus back to where I’m staying. When I m sick I would not use those facilities in the white areas because of my colour. I would have to go back to KaNgwane. This is what we mean here when we talk about the health system at the time.
The South African government through its apartheid policies developed a health care system which was sustained through the years by promulgation of racist legislations and the creation of institutions such as political and statutory bodies who for the control of the health care profession and facilities. These institutions and facilities were built and managed with specific aim of sustaining racial segregation and discrimination in health care services. So apartheid was everywhere, whether, you like or not it was there. We have to go back to those issues.
The net result had been a system which is highly fragmented bias towards curative care and the private sector inefficient and inequitable. There was no team work. The most important person in the health care system was a doctor. Other people did not matter at time. We want to say thank you very much to the ANC which recognise all stakeholders involved in the health fraternity so that they can contribute towards making the lives of our people better.
Kulaba ke labatsi... [To those then who are saying...]
... In fact, you would not be surprised that there are those people who would not support this budget and plan. What they basically meaning is that everything must stand still.
Akungabi namitsi, kungadliwa etibhedlela. Asingakhi kabusha tinsita tetemphilo... [There should be no medicines, there should be no food in the hospitals. We should not rebuild health infrastructures...]
... because they don’t see them being part of this government. I want to say, just an advice to opposition parties. What you told the people during the elections that you going to do, you will not be able to do it if you don’t work with the ANC. And oppose everything because the ANC is a leading party. For you to achieve your manifestos unfortunately, you are forced to work with the ANC. You can’t oppose everything if you are responsible leaders.
In 2012, in its 53rd Conference in Mangaung, the ANC took a number of resolutions on the following matters: the National Health Insurance, the central hospitals which are known as academic hospitals. Hon Minister, I have realised that those are national hospitals but, we want to recommend that do consider having each province having one such hospital.
If you look at the number of ambulances that are travelling from specific places to those hospitals for example; in Mpumalanga, almost everyday there is a transport that is going to Gauteng. Look at the resources that we spend. What is happening when people are accompanying their families? We would recommend that if resources allows, let’s consider each province having one. The issue of security, human resources, infrastructure quality of health care re-engineering of primary health care and cost of health care, the Minister has alluded to that. The state of the nation address and the manifesto of the ANC have more details on all these. I have already indicated that I will not be surprised that people will not support this budget. But, they must just bear in mind that if they had said to those people, vote for us so that we go to Parliament to oppose everything that is being said by the ANC, they will not be here today.
The President in his state of the nation address indicated that health remains one of the five priority areas of government. During the previous financial year, the Department of Health of course, led by the ANC made considerable achievements in the implementation of the above-mentioned goals for example, in 2009 the overall life expectancy of South Africans has increased from 56 to 60 years. That is a great achievement and that was in 2011. The under five mortality rate over the past has decreased from 40 deaths per thousand life’s span to 30. It is also a good story to tell. I don’t know if they do understand what I am talking about.
Mhlawumbe kutawufuneka ngisho nangeSiswati kutsi, lizinga lekushona kwebantfwana lehlile ku-40 ngetinkhulungwane laya ku-30. Nabasuka lapha batawutsi... [May be I should say it in Siswati that, the child mortality rate has decreased by a thousand, from 40 thousand to 30 thousand. Now they will say ...]
... Our systems are not working well. This exceeds the sector negotiated service delivery agreement targets of 2014 which are decreased under five mortality and infant mortality rate to 50 per thousand. The department has finalised the national strategic plan for HIV/Aids, sexually transmitted infections, STI, and tuberculosis, TB, for the period 2012-14. Those are the plans, you don’t just implement things. You plan ahead if you are a leading government. The campaigns on the accelerated reduction of maternal and child mortality in Africa strategy to accelerate progress towards improved maternal and child health outcomes. These are all the achievements that have been done by the department through the leadership of the ANC.
Hon Chairperson, I may not go through all of them but it is important to say that the ANC government has reported on its new sophisticated system of infrastructure planning where the key issue of access using geospatial technology, it is now able to map out where the greatest needs of health services is likely to be .We don’t just thumb suck, wake up tomorrow and build an infrastructure. You need such technology to assist you in terms of building your infrastructure.
Having said that, with all the achievements that have been done by the government, I do want to say hon Minister that they are a number of challenges that we have identified as a committee, which we think that the department must take care of. The issue of the infrastructure in other institutions.
Yes, then also there are clinics that are said to have been built by the missionaries by they are used by the government. One of them is Luphisa clinic in Mpumalanga, they are doing very well but the infrastructure is very bad. The issues of queue for medication and staff attitude. Thank you very much [Applause.]
Mr R LENTIT (Western Cape): Deputy Chairperson, thank you very much for allowing me to participate in this important debate. Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, South Africa is in a unique position to create a sustainable framework that fosters self-sufficiency and supports net food exports.
Indeed, hon Minister Nkwinti, in his budget speech on 8 May 2015, makes reference to section 25(5) of the Constitution of our country.
This speaks to the need for restorative justice in the arena of land redistribution. While there is no question of the importance of driving this agenda, it is equally, if not more, critical that we take cognisance of the prescripts of section 24 of the Bill of Rights that states:
Everyone has the right –
(a) to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing; and
(b) to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that –
(i) prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
(ii) promote conservation; and
(iii) secure sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
A strategy that fails to factor in the importance of climate change will lead to poor results for rural development, land reform and the agricultural sector at large.
The Western Cape alone produces 23,3% of the national agricultural GDP, which represents 45% of national agricultural exports and employs 150 000 farm workers. Anything that can destabilise the agricultural sector in our province and our country will therefore threaten thousands of jobs and could ruin an important export sector.
Eradicating poverty and deprivation, as denoted in the Reconstruction and Development Programme of 1994, is one of the most critical indicators for a democratic dispensation. In 10 years from now we will be judged not by the strength of our laws or policies, but measured against the collective will to deal with climate change. South Africa is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which have the potential to destabilise agriculture and food security, and undermine economic development in our rural areas.
The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate, and our region is likely to see the greatest weather changes in the country, and that includes Limpopo. That’s why the DA-led Western Cape government has launched the SmartAgriFood project. Research shows that the Western Cape will see an average warming of between 1,5°C to 3°C. When the climate changes, the farming sector cannot produce in the same way any longer.
The apple farmers in the Overberg will experience a lack of water, reduced winter cold, heat stress and hail. To tackle these changes the farmers will need to get assistance with water planning, management training and reducing their carbon footprint, especially small-scale farmers. The sheep farmers in Laingsburg will suffer from a lack of water, drought and heat stress. Small-scale farmers need help in terms of improved water infrastructure and management changes.
Regarding land reform, I mention climate change specifically to show how vulnerable our agricultural sector is, and how dangerous it is to do radical change without a proper understanding of the consequences. That is why the DA-led Western Cape government is concerned about the proposed ceiling on farm land. It is very hard not to interpret the Minister’s intentions in any other way in that farm land that exceeds the national limits for land, for example 1 000 hectares for a small-scale farm, will be expropriated. This sets a dangerous precedent, and is not necessary to achieve the land reform goals.
Farming is, in essence, a biological process which takes place in an environment in which the characteristics are determined by geology and climate. Hence, a farm of 1 000 hectares in Stellenbosch or Villiersdorp is actually a large estate, whilst a person cannot make a living in the central Karoo area from 1 000 hectares. A regular farmer’s main income for the year would be R69 300. If we remove the cost of running the farm and if this farm has one worker, then the worker would earn more than the farmer.
The Minister also compared the situation to that of Europe, but Europe is significantly different from our situation here in South Africa. The average farmer in the European Union receives 20% of his or her income from subsidies, and further area-based payments are quite common. Further, the majority of these farmers in the European Union would have a different secondary or often primary source of income. As the distances are much shorter, farmers tend to live in villages which make it easier to find additional income.
Most of the countries in Europe aren’t even close to South Africa’s level of self-sufficiency, and on top of that they pay out massive subsidies and tariffs that are passed on to the consumer. Economies of scale dictate that farm sizes will increase. This is a global trend, and only in those instances where the state is prepared to intervene with heavy subsidies can this trend be halted.
The Minister himself acknowledged that the average farm size in South Africa has increased from 750 hectares in 1950 to more than 2 000 hectares today. For this reason the number of commercial farms in South Africa has declined from 61 000 in 1996, to 39 000 in 2007. To introduce caps on the size of farms when the need is actually the opposite is a huge threat to the sustainability of the industry.
If this is to be achieved, the cost to the people of South Africa will increase substantially and will be devastating to the poor.
The main problem with this is that the wrong issue is addressed. The basic point of departure is that not enough agricultural land is available. For this reason, farm land above the minimum farm size needs to be expropriated and, most importantly, the owners should be compensated according to the principles of section 25(3) of the Constitution - replicated in the current draft Bill. Hence, government will buy this land.
However, we know that between 4% and 7% of all farm land in
South Africa is, in any case, traded on the free market every year. One does not have to expropriate land to get land for redistribution, unless the intention is to expropriate it at prices significantly lower than market value. This, in turn, would open the state to challenges from the Constitutional Court.
In conclusion, the DA supports the Minister’s intention of land reform and agricultural transformation. The Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. The state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.
A diagnosis has been made but a symptomatic treatment modality, without dealing with the primary root factors, will not give the prognosis for growth and wellbeing that is required. Land reform, without an integrated environmental strategy that seeks to diagnose and plot flexibly to respond to climate change, will result in failure.
Yes, we need transformation in the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector is one of the most important in our province and in our country, and we must be very careful with how we deal with it.
The industry is facing many challenges, and one of the most important ones is climate change. We have to help the industry, not create more obstacles. The land cap proposal is creating much uncertainty and instability in the system. Farmers are hesitant to invest with resulting lower than expected growth rates. We need reform that works, but we need land reform that works in a growing agricultural sector, not one that breaks it. I thank you.
Mr A S SINGH: Hon Chairperson, Ministers present, Deputy Ministers present, Members of Parliament, officials from departments, guests in our gallery and fellow South Africans, it is indeed a great pleasure and privilege to participate in this very important budget debate for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2015-16 Budget Vote 39 and Mineral Resources 2015-16 Budget Vote 29. This is a very historical year for the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter that was adopted in 1955 in Kliptown, Soweto. The Freedom Charter, in its preamble, says, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it black and white.” Clause four of the Charter says, “The land shall be shared among those who work it!”
The mining industry is on a decline from year to year with a drop in employment which I believe is a cause for concern as this was a booming sector with great work opportunities. Regarding the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry, the department will continue to provide support to the implementation of the framework and will continue to call on stakeholders to respect and implement it. We welcome the Department of Mineral Resources’ approval of over 36 new mining rights projects in the past 12 months which has the potential of creating about 6 000 jobs.
During this debate, we remember all those who lost their lives in mining-related incidents and acknowledge the important role that mineworkers have played in shaping the economy of this country. We need to ensure that the goal of zero harm on mineworkers is ultimately achieved through intensifying monitoring and enforcement measures, and welcome the reduction of about 86% of fatalities reported by the mines since the dawn of democracy, as the Minister says, from 615 in 1993 to 84 in 2014. We need to bring this number even lower in the next three years so that the lesser lives lost the better working towards the goal of zero harm to mineworkers.
There were a number of deaths in the mining sector as a result of occupational diseases which include pulmonary TB, silicosis and noise-induced hearing loss. The ANC government has transformed the sector that was historically being steeped under the influence of colonial production in the apartheid era which benefited the white owners only whilst black workers were paid a pittance for their hard work.
The 2015 January 08 statement, our President Jacob Zuma acknowledged and stated that:
The ANC commits itself to continue working with the people to ensure that there is an enhanced benefit from this ownership. This year we must finalise the amendments to the applicable laws to ensure that mineworkers and mining communities share much more equality in South Africa’s mineral wealth.
In that breath the Freedom Charter states that:
The people shall share in the country’s wealth. The mineral wealth beneath the soil shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole.
The ANC’s vision since the dawn of democracy in 1994 as reflected in the Reconstruction and Development Programme, states that we must seek the return of private mineral rights to the democratic government in line with the rest of the world. We must also invest in the infrastructure that can unlock the vast mineral wealth of the country and create jobs and support the local beneficiaries of mineral deposits for the benefit all South Africans.
Our former President, Tata Nelson Mandela once said, and I quote:
It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.
The 52nd ANC national conference in Polokwane resolved that the production and ownership should be transformed and be included in an active and well-resourced industrial and trade policy aimed at creating decent work through expansion of labour-absorbing sectors. The ANC government continues to contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development of this country.
The low levels of mineral beneficiation in the country denies South Africans an opportunity to aggressively address the development challenge related to the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, especially amongst the youth. We are, however, encouraged by the safety council of plans to invest in a centre of excellence to conduct research, health and safety training and education that include the youth. We want to salute the youth of 1976 who lost their lives whilst we are in the June month debating on this very important debate.
We are encouraged by the opportunities to promote investment and material beneficiations, the plan to develop the ocean economy through Operation Phakisa, and support all small scale mining projects.
There are current regulatory frameworks that place an obligation to mining companies to convert to upgrade hostels into family units and facilitate home ownership. This is the ANC’s policy for a better life for all, and it is important that family live together for a better understanding.
In order to improve on its licensing mandate through transformation, the South African Mineral resource administration system must be able to deal with the beneficiation of the ordinary South Africans, in particular those who have been historically disadvantaged. South Africa is a country that has a bad historic past where the majority have been denied participation in the economy in particular mining, except for labour under inhumane conditions. We also want to appeal to the department not to delay with the issue of women in the mining strategy.
Shale gas has the potential economic benefits. Shale gas has a potential to contribute significantly to the envisaged accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth if mining is managed with care and an understanding of the environment and to the benefit of communities.
Electricity generation and shale gas is calculated that 30TCF of shale gas is enough to meet half of the country’s currently electricity generation requirement for over 20 years.
The gas to liquid, GTL, resource can be used in the conversion to meet the country’s demand for domestic consumption. Its cost competitive advantage is that it provides a potential source of cost competitive energy advantage analogous to the United States of America where energy cost has dropped considerably since the development of shale gas, with the country projected to become a net energy producer by 2020. Regarding employment, the development of the resource has a potential to create employment opportunities directly and through leverage linkages.
The moss gas to liquid projects created approximately 1 600 jobs opportunities from developing of the 1TCF gas reserve. Side stream, inputs and down stream linkages have the potential to develop associated jobs in respect of localisation of capital goods, consumable and infrastructure development. Regarding revenue, the development of this resource will also contribute considerably to the nation’s fiscus as it is estimated that a resource of 30CTF will yield a sale of over R1 trillion.
Government’s focus over the medium-term is very clearly set out in the President’s nine-point plan in which numerous aspects apply to the mining sector, and some of them are the promise of financial assistance to Eskom to deal with the lack of electricity power; downstream beneficiation to value to our mineral wealth; encourage private sector investment; and moderating workplace conflict.
The first pilot project of Operation Phakisa included promoting the offshore oil and gas sector, but the President has announced the government intention to roll-out into the mining sector as a whole. Government has announced a significant shift to gas as an energy source, with government initially procuring 2,400 megawatts of new gas-fire generation capacity from independent power producers. This commitment obviously bodes well for the potential oil and gas sectors of this country including the shale gas sector.
The ANC government has taken a number of positive steps in the past financial year in order to promote sustainability and development of the mining sector. This includes, in 2014, the President took charge of the implementation of the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry. The agreement includes labour, business and government. The positive influence of this effect can be seen in the return of relative calm in the mining industry since the resolution of the platinum strike. Government is also making progress in allocating resources to revitalise distressed mining towns and improving housing options for mineworkers.
We support Budget Vote 39 and Budget Vote 29. I thank you. [Applause.]
Cllr B FORTEIN: Hon Chairperson, Hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Deputy Chair of the NCOP, Hon members, ladies and gentlemen, yes.
During the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform’s delivery of the budget speech in the National Assembly, he fittingly cited the commemoration of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, as this corresponded with the date of the delivery of his speech. He similarly highlighted the 60 year mark of the adoption of the Freedom Charter.
These historic milestones have anchored South African politics and serve as a trial guide; they allowed the imagination of a desired future and the ability to reflect on a journey that we have undertaken to reach that desired reality for all South Africans. The responsibility to create that future largely rests on the State, driven by the will of the people.
In consideration of the Department’s Budget Vote, we welcome the development of the Rural Economy Transformation Model, not only as an approach to reach the targets of the National Development Plan, but also in the realisation of the role that agri-parks can play in increasing food production and attaining major rural economic transformation. We welcome the emphasis in the Budget Vote of the allocation of two billion rand going towards institutional and capacity development, and/or skills acquisition especially at a municipal level.
Our only concern is the extent to which these translate to sustainable capacity building and the performance at a municipal level, and as SA Local Government Association, SALGA we would like to work closely with the Minister in realising the enhanced capacity of municipalities. We also trust that the agri-parks will be integrated into many other similar concepts such as agri-villages and agricultural hubs which are already being implemented in some municipalities. This will ensure that there are no duplication of efforts and resources.
On the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, SPLUMA, we agree with the Minister that SPLUMA should not be viewed in isolation, and that it should also be viewed in conjunction with the Integrated Urban Development Framework, IUDF. In order to redress the inherited complexities of colonial and apartheid spatial planning, there are systematic issues that require all spheres of government to work together and the major constraint is the Inter-Government Relations domain, although legislated.
There are however challenges regarding the ability of sector departments and municipalities to meaningfully engage in joint planning, focused investment and collective implementation. Spatial Planning on its own cannot achieve spatial transformation, though it has a central role to play. Spatial transformation is a combination of various aspects that include economic, social and political will.
The SPLUMA is scheduled to come into effect on the 1st of July 2015 and as SALGA, we confirm our commitment to continue working closely with the Department to ensure that all municipalities have the necessary systems in place to implement the legislation. SALGA looks forward to making constructive input into the legislation and policy development process in any legislation that has a bearing on the municipalities. The involvement of SALGA at an early stage will assist in ensuring that municipalities make meaningful contribution to the policy and legislative proposals that have a bearing on their areas of functional competence.
On the issue of mining, while it is essential to optimise the mining sector and leverage the economic benefits thereof, we need to bear in mind that the existence of mines has a significant impact on municipal planning on all levels. Mining activity brings with it issues such as influx of migrant labour, the proliferation of informal settlements, the rapidly expanding needs for basic services and housing amongst others.
These are major challenges for local government and have been known to lead to public discontent and protest actions at a local level. It is therefore essential, through joint effort, to reconcile the objectives and practicalities of mining legislation with municipal integrated development and land use systems. The latter will serve as an enabler to the effective administration of Social and Labour Plans as enablers of sustainable economies. I thank you. [Applause.]
USEKELA MPHATHISWA WOPHUHLISO LWAMAPHANDLE NOHLENGAHLENGISO LWEZOMHLABA(Mr M Sikwatsha): Sekela Sihlalo, abahloniphekileyo abaPhathiswa bethu bobathathu, ukuqala kuMnu Gugile Nkwinti, Mnu Ngoako Ramatlhodi noNks Joemat-Pettersson, amaSekela Baphathiswa, uMajola noDlamini-Maseko, neendwalutho zonke ezikhoyo apha, umlisela nomthinjana ndiyanibulisa. Le yinyanga ebuhlungu yeSilimela, inyanga yegazi iphinde kananjalo ibe yinyanga yokugcoba. Ndikhumbula into yokuba ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[The DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM (Mr M Sikhwatsha): Hon Chairperson, our three hon Ministers. First Mr Gugile Nkwinti, Mr Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Ms Joemat-Pettersson, hon Deputy Ministers, hon Majola and hon Dlamini-Maseko, and distinguished guests present here, youth, greetings. This is June, a painful month, a month of blood and a month of happiness. I remember that ...]
... dispossession and the colonial conquest was a very painful period. It has now become a fashion to only refer to the June 16 of 1976. I am reminded of the Pondoland revolt of 1960. This process of dispossession has been a very painful. Having said that, ...
... ndingatsho Mphathiswa ukuba iSebe lezoPhuhliso lwamaPhandle noHlengahlengiso lwezoMhlaba olukhokelwa ngohloniphekileyo uNkwinti liyaqhuba. [... I can say that hon Minister, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform led by hon Nkwinti continues with its job.]
If I consider the fact that two days from today will be 25 June and remember that 60 years ago on 25 and 26 of June in Kliptown, our people declared South Africa to belong to all who live in it.
Ndingatsho ndingathandabuzi Mphathiswa, ndithi ooZ K Mathews, Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi, Billy Nair no-Oliver Tambo, xa bekujonga uxakeke ngulo msebenzi uwenzayo wokuphumeza amaphupho abo, batsho bathi, lo ngunyana wethu oyintanda, esikholisekileyo nguye, mlandeleni yena. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[I can say without hesitating hon Minister that, when Z K Mathews, Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi, Billy Nair and Oliver Tambo, look at you, busy with the job of making their dreams come true, they would say, this is our lovely son, whom we have chosen, follow him. [Applause.]]
Central to the work of this department is the National Development Plan, NDP. Land is key to ensuring that the long sad story of colonialism and apartheid in our country ultimately has a happy ending.
The NDP, which has been endorsed by the majority of the parties in our country, is the guide to 2030. Chapter six of the NDP says, I quote: “an integrated and inclusive rural economy” is the goal that we pursue.
I am making this point because I want to emphasise the consistency of the ANC-led government, concentrating on the ball and not being diverted at all. Some other parties speak A and act B. I always am reminded of having listened to the current leader of the DA when he speaks about the NDP and emphasises on the fact that he does not support everything that the NDP says.
Immediately, after having listened to that, I am also reminded of the former leader of the DA, who currently the Premier of the Western Cape, who was so emphatic that it’s the NDP and nothing else. Contradiction between two leaders; you won’t find that in the ruling party. It appears that the opposition cannot decide whether they support the NDP or not. The sooner they make up their minds the better for our country.
For the current 2015-16 financial year, the department intends acquiring 208 350 hectares at a cost of R1,253 billion. Of this, R141,19 million will be spent on acquiring land for farm dwellers and R132,19 million for labour tenants. The intention of land acquisition is to recreate the class of black commercial farmers which was deliberately destroyed by the 1930 Natives Land Act and similar colonial and apartheid laws.
Our President, in his state of the nation address, outlined a nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs. The second of the nine points is revitalising agriculture and the agro-processing value chain. This is the context in which the department is implementing and refining the Recapitalisation and Development programme launched in 2010 with the following objectives: Increasing agricultural production, guaranteeing food security, graduating small farmers into commercial farmers, creating employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.
Since the inception of this programme, R3,2 billion has been spent on recapitalisation. Much attention has also been given to ensure that we make well considered decisions on the selection of farms to be acquired and the beneficiaries of allocated farms as well as which farms to recapitalise.
The National Land Allocation and Recapitalisation Control Committee was established in 2013 to ensure that land reform proposals for acquisition, allocation, recapitalisation and development are consistent with government policy. Also to ensure interdepartmental co-ordination, co-operation and budgetary alignment.
We intent to put what we have learned from the land acquisition and recapitalisation and development programme to good use when we establish, as we are doing now, the agri-parks. This afternoon, we have listened to how many of us have been emphasising on the issue of agri-parks, a very very important aspect of our work as we make sure that we really make sure that poverty is the thing of the past in our rural areas.
Money will also be allocated for production of key commodities identified in the Agricultural Policy Action Plan, APAP, for the agri-parks by rural producers outside of the land reform farms. This includes rural village-based producers and owners of their own land. As everybody can see, the work of the agri-parks is under way.
We are also acting on another NDP proposal, the creation of district land committees, which we call district land reform committees, DLRCs, that will be responsible for identifying 20% of the commercial agricultural land in the district and giving commercial farmers the option of assisting its transfer to black farmers.
In our Budget Vote last year, we said we would establish these committees and we are pleased to report that so far, infact, we are certain that by the end of July, we will have established the DLRs, in all 44 districts. By the end of this July, not next year.
In order to implement the NDP’s recommendations, these committees will identify farms suitable for acquisition by government; advise our Minister on the strategic support needs of such farms; identify and interview potential candidates for farm allocation; and advise the Minister’s strategic support needs of recommended candidates. The department wants to ensure that these are representative of all key interest groups including organisation of established farmers. The Minister’s responsibility will also be to appoint a chairperson after a recommendation from the DLRCs.
Members of the NCOP and the public are called upon to monitor the work of these important committees. Let us also take ownership on the implementation of the NDP.
In the current year, we will implement new guidelines for the selection of beneficiaries. These emerged from discussions at the National Land Tenure Summit held in September which recommended that credible processes be put in place to identify and select emerging farmers disserving support.
The point here is that these pronouncements, which are regarded by our detractors as irresponsible from our Minister, are only intended to take us forward. In fact, in September, we started with the wide consultation. We did not stop there; we went to March and again in May this year. It’s a pity that the hon member from the DA - I don’t see him anymore here - availed himself to attend that particular summit in May and kept quiet for the whole day when South Africa was talking. I may just want to tell him that those were not dreams. There are people, particularly, white farmers who have embraced the 50/50 policy framework that is advocated and those are people who are looking into taking South Africa forward. It’s not a dream, its happening. We are speaking about something that is real.
Beneficiaries should have the ability passion and commitment to farming. The following categories will apply: In category A: communal and village subsistence farmers, municipal commonage farmers and sustained homesteads garden producers.
In category B: agricultural sciences university and college graduates, agribusiness special course qualifiers including National Rural Youth Service Corps, NARYSEC, participants.
In category C: a special category, women, including single women, military veterans, people with disabilities and farm workers, dwellers and tenants.
Siyaqhuba Mphathiswa. [We continue, hon Minister.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: As you conclude hon Deputy Minister.
The Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform (Mr M Skwatsha): I just wanted to say that on the land claims, hon Deputy Chair, even there, you know that we have now stretched and we are going to the deep rural areas. In fact, our Minister, just a few days ago went to Ebenezer to make sure that the settlements of the claims there are taken forward. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Deputy Chair, hon Ministers and hon members, South Africa has one of the richest, diverse and most valuable mineral wealth deposits in the world. These are commodities that cannot be taken for granted; therefore, the hon Minister should take its policy development, a sound regulatory environment and investment into mining seriously.
Eighty one per cent or R4,1 billion of the department’s budget is focused on enforcing compliance with legislation and promoting sustainable resource use and management over the medium term. The department plans to monitor and enforce compliance with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 and the Broad-Based Socioeconomic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry. The plan is to conduct 550 legal compliance inspections and 5 100 environmental management inspections over the medium term.
The department will continue doing research and advocacy work on hydraulic fracturing in preparation for licensing shale gas exploration and monitoring compliance with regulations once exploration starts. An additional amount of R108 million is granted for this work over the medium term.
Shale gas exploration is expected to contribute to economic growth and job creation. The DA is still urging the department to prove that the impact of fracturing is thoroughly investigated and that the now published regulations will ensure that fracturing, in South Africa’s history, will be seen as a major economic positive instead of an environmental dilemma with long-lasting effects on future generations. The DA welcomes the target of a 20% reduction in occupational fatalities and injuries as well as a 10% reduction in occupational diseases.
The government’s 2014-19 Medium-Term Strategic Framework advocates for the protection and enhancement of environmental assets and natural resources. The department aims to rehabilitate 150 derelict and ownerless mines and limit the flow of acid mine water into the environment. These are much-needed interventions to protect our scarce water resources from pollution, and to prevent illnesses and loss of agricultural activities in mining areas.
However, a big concern is the increase of 23,1% in expenditure for consultants and professional services to support the technical expertise needed for rehabilitation work. We call on the Minister to ensure that mining companies comply with rehabilitation plans and budgets accordingly as prescribed, in order to prevent the situation from escalating in future.
Furthermore, the department aims to improve the participation of historically disadvantaged South Africans in the mining sector by granting a total of 600 mining rights and permits to historically disadvantaged South Africans over the medium term. However, the challenge remains to ensure that the mining right or permit has been taken up by the same person to whom the prospecting right is granted.
The DA believes that small scale and informal mining should be encouraged, legalised and professionalised to promote entrepreneurship, self-development and wider participation across the mining industry, and thus welcomes the plan to support 240 small scale mining projects.
Through the Mineral Policy and Promotion programme, 53,8% of the department’s budget is being spent to attract investment through promoting South Africa’s mining and petroleum sectors. The irony, however, is that since the promulgation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act in 2002, South Africa’s mining has entered a period of uncertainty and a subsequent decline in confidence. The government purports to understand the importance of mining as a means to power economic growth and job creation, yet policy uncertainty has been shown to contribute to underinvestment in this sector.
Competition for capital from investors is fierce and they have raised their hurdle rates due to a tough global economy. The hon Minister must be conscious of South Africa’s global standing and positioning as a contributor to the international economy. However, is our government doing enough to attract more investment opportunities and guarantee a sustainable future for mining in South Africa?
Unfortunately, very little of freedom, fairness and opportunities for all can be seen in the way the government is talking up the prospects of mining, while rules were imposed that will ensure that it does not grow. At times government has been openly hostile to owners and potential investors, resulting in them looking to other destinations for their investments.
Mining currently accounts for some 60% of exports by value and is thus vital to the health of this country’s balance of payment. The DA views minerals as a natural resource that should be exploited to the maximum advantage of all the people of this country. To ensure that the exploitation of the resources benefits the country and its people, we must attract capital investment, both from inside and outside the country by offering favourable rates of return. Once again, for the mining sector to be the key driver of economic growth and investment, the DA believes that this sector requires policy certainty, and an efficient and predictable regulatory environment.
The thicket of laws surrounding the possession and trade in diamonds should be reduced. South Africa should be a centre of diamond trading, cutting and polishing by making these activities easier to conduct. Taxation changes can encourage all activities, from prospecting to diamond beneficiation. A percentage of royalty taxes should be used for the benefit of local communities where mining takes place.
The DA would streamline empowerment requirements for the mining sector. This would be achieved by replacing the multitude of requirements in the Mining Charter and the social labour plans required by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, with the empowerment code for mining that is aligned with the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, Codes of Good Practice. The sectoral empowerment code for mining and the BBBEE Codes will be simplified and aligned with national policy objectives in terms of job creation, skills development and small business development. The regulatory environment should not only be designed for existing mines, but also look into accommodating exploration, junior companies and entrepreneurs.
I suggest that the Minister contemplate these proposals before legislation and the rules of the mining sector in our country become the drivers of investment, economic growth and jobs in other countries, instead of in our own country.
In conclusion, maybe the hon Minister Ramatlhodi would be so kind to enlighten us today on the grey water agreement in the Mogalakwena District, where he mysteriously landed a R20 million share in Anglo American Platinum Ltd for his wife. I thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, if you want to start war with Africans, you have to tamper with one of their three precious attachments. The first on is land, livestock and the third one is women. [Interjections.]
In 2014, the Minister introduced the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act which was signed into law in June 2014. The IFP fully supported this amendment because we thought it was going to put some speed into resolving outstanding matters on land reform. The Minister further promised that mobile offices were going to be deployed throughout the rural areas of the country to assist the claimants in properly lodging new claims. Hon Minister, this has not yet unfolded effectively. The process is still the same as before the amendment to the Act.
The challenges pertaining to land reform are indeed compounded: The government’s slow pace of the land restitution programme; the 50/50 farmland ownership announcement or proposal by the state President; and the announcement by the President that foreign acquisition of land will be limited to leasehold all add confusion to the already compounded situation.
Whilst not all these may have been misguided or misdirected, the problem is thinking out aloud and converting the same thinking aloud to proper, clear policy directives. The IFP is very clear about what needs to happen on the issue of land reform. It is for this reason that at the dawn of democracy in 1994, the Ingonyama Trust Act was proclaimed in the erstwhile KwaZulu government. This was meant to entrench KwaZulu land ownership forever in the hands and guidance of the Zulu King and his subjects.
Land was illegally taken away from rightful owners therefore proper and guided land reform must be initiated by all these processes must take course within the bounds of the rule of law. We are not a lawless society, hence the country cannot afford to let these processes deteriorate to a state of lawlessness.
The problem is that the rule of law cannot pick and choose like what government is doing today. At the present moment, the rule of law applies when it suits government to do so, and sometimes does not apply when it suits government to do so. This kind of behaviour then spills down to the general behaviour in respect of the rule of law and disrespect thereto by the general populace.
Last time, I appealed to the Minister to collaborate with amakhosi in the rural areas in order to tackle rural development. Rural communities do have land available especially for food security intended for self sustainability. But things have changed these days; climate change has brought with it new challenges to the way of doing things. Without the help and support of government, rural communities are not able to utilise the land effectively to ensure self sustainability for food security on their families, which used to happen some years ago, with very minimal or no government support at all.
Umhlaba, mhlonishwa, omunye owathathwa ezandleni zamakhosi; uma seniwubuyisa nakha ama-trust. Lokhu kuyayiqhatha imiphakathi yasemakhaya ngoba umhlaba wawuthathwe ezandleni zamakhosi, kodwa uma seniwubuyisa ... (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Hon Minister, land is one of the things that were taken from the hands of the chiefs, but when you return it you set up trusts. This causes conflicts amongst the rural communities because the land must be returned into the hands of the chiefs.]
... you created fiefdoms and kingdoms, and that is a problem. When land was taken in the hands of amakhosi, it must be returned into the hands of amakhosi. Hon Minister, you must improve the record of land restitution.
Advocate, let me turn to your department. The same old stories need to be kept on being repeated when it comes to our mineral resources in the continent, until effective changes take place. Africa’s mineral resources have continued to benefit people outsid3 the continent more than they benefit people inside the continent. Beneficiation programmes need to be fast-tracked in order to deal with this anomaly.
For example, it is a shame that even the majority shareholding in the Reserve Bank of South Africa belongs to a German family. In other words, as a country, we have a bank which we control by statute, but technically it is remote controlled from Europe! This is absurd to say the least. I am just making an example.
The rural communities of our country continue to be plagued by illegal activities of illegal sand mining, with no attention by government on this subject. I reported this to the hon Deputy Minister last year, I am appealing once more for attention to be directed to this issue.
South Africa, like many of the countries of our continent, is blessed with an abundance of mineral resources, but not properly utilised to the maximum benefits of the inhabitants of our continent. Even where transformation has taken place in respect of our mineral resources, this has been coupled with greed, nepotism, and favouritism. As a result of this, some of the industries have had to close shop, this to the detriment of our workforce, which is predominantly black South Africans. Poor management of our mineral resources must be dealt with. I thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCESNCOP: Thank you very much. I, in actual fact, wanted to raise an objection or a point of order on the third aspect. It cannot be that African women are then seen as a possession of African man, but members were quite. I was looking at members rising on a point of order, but it is now on record that this Parliament does not ...
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, as a point of correction, I did not use the word “possession”. I was very careful to say “attachment”, not “possession”.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It makes it even worse.
Mnu L B GAEHLER: Sihlalo, amadoda aya kuthi cwaka; anezinto zawo amadoda. Akukho ndoda ihleli nenkosikazi enye. Usibona sithe cwaka nje; sinezinto zethu. Onke amadoda antsundu anjalo. Asinakungxola ke Mhlekazi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Chairperson, men will keep quiet; they have their secrets. There is no men who survives with one wife. We have our own secrets, and that is why we are quiet. All African men are like that. Therefore we can’t make noise Sir.]
Hon Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Minister and members, the strategic plan and budget of the Department of Mineral Resources needs be revisited so that all the mandates of the department are attended to during the current financial year. These include revision of the Precious Metal Act, the Diamond Act and other.
The integration and finalisation of the South African Mineral Resource database is an urgent matter. Continued delay in this area makes it very difficult for the historically disadvantaged people, underline historically disadvantaged people, not certain people or selected people of this country to benefit from their mineral resources.
Further the targets of the current administration elaborated during the state of nation address will be a far-fetched dream. Indeed the annual performance plan of the department can never be complete without a very clear and aggressive strategy on women and youth in mining. These strategies should cover both areas of direct participation and ownership as well as the need to protect their rights at work. The goldmine wage negotiations should be looked at with interest so that it is managed properly and avoid the repeat of the platinum mine experience.
We appeal to the department to assist the mineworkers who have left their jobs due to illness to receive their benefits. This is a very sorry state in the rural areas, where people die without receiving their benefits.
We welcome the Minister with regard to settlement of the 1998 Baziya land claim. We are certain that the resolution of this matter will lead to unprecedented economic boom in the area of KSD Municipality. However we equally concerned about the lack of progress with regard to Highbury Timber, Kwalindile and Cannes Paynes farm settlement.
Hon Minister, it is over 17 years that these beneficiaries have been waiting. Worst of all, if you talk about Highbury Timber, 45 beneficiaries have been verified in the time of Deputy Minister Nxesi, but to date they have b=not been paid, some of them are dying. We urge you to use your leadership to settle this claim once and for all. Yes, we are very clear that these communities are fighting, but we need to come up with a solution to assist the people.
We always guard against limiting the scope of rural development to our culture when it in fact covers a whole range of sectors that directly talk to socioeconomic development of our community. In this regard the strategic plan of the department is welcome. There is a need to draw clear lines between the functions of the Department of Rural Development as against those of the Department of Agriculture. This gives more importance seeing that at provincial level, these departments are placed under one executive authority.
The formation of agricultural parks is welcome. We welcome the one in Ncora, but it is still not at its full potential and we request the department top plough more money in these. We hope that this is not going to be another white elephant like Magwa and Majola Tier. We urge you plough more and do more for our people.
The 50/50 agricultural land policy is welcome by the UDM. However, we are concerned because the President, in his state if the nation address, was talking of all the land but all of a sudden you talk of agricultural land. Chairperson, hon Minister ...
... kunzima kwezinye iindawo ukuba umntu ontsundu athenge indlu. Nakule ndawo ndikuyo kunzima. Masiyijonge loo nto leyo. Ngowe-1964 ititshala yoMlungu yayikwazi ukuthenga indlu. Kutheni ngoku xa kuphethe urhulumente wethu kunzima ukuba abantu bakuthi bathenge umhlaba? Ibalulekile le nto mama uWana. Ningafane nje nibengathi niyayiphepha kodwa ibaluleke kakhulu. Abantu bethu nabo bayayifuna imihlaba; bayafuna ukuthenga izindlu ezidolophini; bayafuna ukuthenga izindlu kwiindawo ezisemanxwemeni olwandle. Nawe Dave abantu abantsundu xa befuna ukwakha kwiindawo, phaya ezilalini, ezisemanxwemeni aselwandle kuthiwa kufuneka umntu akhe kumgama wekhilomitha ukusuka elwandle. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.
[... it is difficult in other places for a black person to buy a house. Even where I am it is difficult. We need to address this carefully. In 1964 a white teacher could buy a house. Why is it difficult for our people to buy land when our government is in power? Mama Wana, this is important. You can deny it but it is very important. Our people also need land; they would like to buy houses in urban areas; they would like to buy houses next to the sea. Even you Dave, when black people want to build houses in the villages next to the sea, they are told to build at a distance of a kilometre from the sea.]
Why is it in our government? We need to address these issues. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A J NYAMBI: Deputy Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, special delegates, Salga, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, sometimes it is always a challenge when you happen to have a party that is represented by more than five people in this august House. But every time when we are debating, you hardly get even a single person. If you are going to have one, it would be very fortunate for that person to be in the House for ten minutes. Yet, those people would come here and do declarations. I hope South Africans are watching.
South Africa has launched a new charter to facilitate the sustainable transformation and development of its mining industry which emphasizes on the target of 26% black ownership of the country’s mining assets. It is imperative that we do not underestimate redressing historical and social inequalities as stated by the Constitution of South Africa. The policy objectives stated in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill are to expand opportunities for historically disadvantaged persons to enter the mining and mineral industry.
Our sons and daughters must benefit without shame from the exploitation of the nation’s mineral resources. It cannot be that our generation suffer the same struggle suffered by our forefathers.
We are aware of the department’s intention to deal with the scarcity of relevant skills as this has been identified as one of the barriers to entry into mining sector by historically disadvantages South Africans. Sadly, some continue to be disadvantaged even to date.
In appreciating the strikes that this country has gone through, we note the commitment by the department to re-engineer new and guiding transformational policies which for a long time never existed. Or where they did, they preferred certain people over others.
I refer to the Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill which we will serve before our committees. We look forward to programmes such as Mining Operation Phakisa, which hon President JG Zuma, referred to in his state of the nation address.
Mining Operation Phakisa will be convened to deliver fast and implementable results to the country’s development priorities. The racial ownership pattern of the country’s mining assets has remained largely unchanged. According to the assessment that was made in the previous years, it became evident that white men and women dominated top management and technical positions in South Africa’s mining industry. As if that was not enough, they earn much more than their black counterparts, regardless of skills and experience. Unfortunately, this is a history that we have inherited while some of us pretend as if things have always been rosy.
The Mining Charter makes provision for the complete elimination of hostels on South Africa’s mines by 2015 and introduces a sustainable element premised on the understanding that the social license to operate includes the environmental health and safety performance.
For years, the mining companies have bullied their workers with the strict bottom line and overproduction that drove prices down in the first place.
While we are cognisant of the many challenges that have become characteristic of the South African operating environment, we also acknowledge that local mining companies have learned to be adaptable and proactive when dealing with such programmes of survival.
Hon Minister, we applaud the role played by your department in addressing the plight of ex-mine workers in our respective provinces. As the Council that is representing the interest of provinces, we will always appreciate that whenever you call - whether you term it Imbizo, we are made to be aware so that we can be able to come and be constructive and give credit where it’s due.
Allow me to quote Amilcar Cabral when he said and I quote:
Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.
Let me be upfront to commend the Minister and his Deputies for a successful land summit that we were invited to. The outcome of the summit was a clear confirmation that land is indeed a very emotive issue. It will be in order for our current generation to understand that land belongs to many that passed on, very few that are living and very many that are still to be born.
As a permanent delegate representing Mpumalanga, I can speak with confidence that I am from Kasiboshwa Community in Nkomazi Municipality, the community that was dispossessed in Ten Bush. We applaud the role played by your department because that land has been restored back to that community.
Of course, there will always be challenges. But when they are telling – because we have people that are surviving out of what happened in 1954, you realise that we still have a challenge in addressing some of those. Others will come here and show us pictures as if we are playing or we want to make a movie.
Deputy Chairperson, allow me to use a book that was given to us and all of us are claiming that at all times we will pay allegiance to it. I will link it to what was said by hon M Skwatsha when he was dealing with the National Development Plan, NDP.
The book that all of us always carry – I wanted to use the one of my friend, the hon member next to me. But, unfortunately, he could not give it to me. Because, when I am reading you might think that I am adding but, I wanted to read from the hon member’s book. We all have the book. [Interjections.] I can be happy to have yours.
Let me quote the book as it says and I quote:
We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to –
Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and
Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
May God protect our people.
That book is the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Are we as members honest to the preamble or we are just selective? I challenge members, let us not dare be selective when dealing with the Constitution as the Deputy Minister M Skwatsha quite correctly exposed some leadership of political parties ‘s serious contradictions when it comes to the NDP.
When we say, we support Budget Vote 29 and 39 of the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, we are not doing it because it is fashionable, but, we are doing it because we are trying to respond to the challenges that have been identified and clearly stated in our preamble.
When we are saying: we want to honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; let at all times as members ask ourselves, what does that mean? That will assist us.
To both departments, hon Minister and Deputy Ministers ...
Ngesintfu sakitsi kutsiwa: nome ungayitfola inja igula kangakanani ngeke iyisukele imoto lemile iyikhonkhotse, tikhonkhotsa lehambako. Ngiyabonga. [Tandla.] [In my language they say: even if you find a very sick dog it will never bark at a stationery car, they only bark at a moving one. Thank you. [Applause.]]
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon Deputy Chair, I wish to thank profusely all the hon members for their contributions, including those who saw matters differently.
The hon Sefako mentioned the 50/50 issue. There is a very interesting farmer, one Jonathan Bradfield, who owns a processing plant and a pineapple farm. He is offering 25% of the land where he grows pineapples, and 25% of the processing plant in the 50/50 concept. He is one of many who are celebrating this.
There is a disjuncture between the organisations and the members of the farming community. In terms of the ordinary farmer, we have more than 50 proposals in terms of the 50/50 policy framework. So, we are very, very excited about this.
As for the Agri Parks and co-operatives, thank you very much, hon Parkies. I think the question of seeds is critical. Thank you for that.
We have gone beyond the cut-off date of 1913. The President pronounced on this two years ago. We are working on the exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date for the Khoi and the San. Actually, the Khoi and the San are more advanced in policy development on the exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date, honourable EFF. We are working on the historical landmarks and heritage sites. It is going beyond the cut-off date of 1913.
Mr V E MTILENI: Deputy Chair, I rise on a point of order: I would just like to caution the Minister. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Order, hon members!
Mr V E MTILENI: I rise on a point of correction. I am not the “honourable EFF”. I am the hon Mtileni.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No, no, no. That is not a point of order. [Laughter.] But you know, hon members ...
Mr V E MTILENI: This is very serious. [Interjections.] I want the Minister to know that ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No, no, no, hon Mtileni. Just take your seat, please. [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni! Can you take your seat? Thank you. That’s not a point of order. Proceed, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: On climate change, mentioned by the hon member from the DA, it is true. The animal and veld management programme actually deals with this question. We have got a programme for that. I don’t want to go into the details, but that is the programme. You’re correct, and we’re working on that.
Thank you very much, SA Local Government Association, Salga. The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act is such a critical piece of legislation. The challenge there is that you’ve got modernity and postfeudal tensions there, which we are managing. So, it’s true. Thank you very much for offering to be part of that.
As for the lodgement, hon Khawula, it is actually happening. There are two mobile buses dealing with KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape – four in all for the country. It’s coming! It has already started. In actual fact, more than 70% of the total for the last five years, the previous window, have been lodged already. This all has to do with the mobile buses.
The last comment is this. How does one explain the fact that – I have been trying to do this – one has an ultra-right DA and an ultra-left EFF, yet, every time they debate, they come to the same conclusions? [Interjections.] How does this work?
An HON MEMBER: Opposites attract!
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: An ultra-left and an ultra-right! [Interjections.] They come to the same conclusion. How does it work? I think we need some kind of theorisation on this. [Interjections.]
You know, in the apartheid Parliament, there used to be a party called the Conservative Party, led by one Dr Treurnicht. He was a breakaway from the National Party. He opposed everything that the National Party was doing – even good things. As a result, this leader earned the title, “Dr No”. We are seeing a reincarnation of Dr No here, in our Parliament, with the EFF, the breakaway party from the ANC, the governing party. They oppose everything the ANC says, no matter what! [Interjections.]
You know, you have been listening to the ringing of the bells in the NA. They have a sign that says, “Divide! Divide!” Every time one puts anything – you know, we are going to go back to the NA now. Listen to the bells there. It is they, who oppose everything the ANC does, no matter how good it is. They are actually becoming a reincarnation of the Conservative Party of Dr Treurnicht of the past. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Chairperson, I think the answer to your question, Minister Nkwinti, lies on the fact that the shape of the earth is round. If somebody moves to the west and another to the east, they’ll eventually meet. I’ll pass that. I want to welcome all the contributions that were made.
Let me say to the hon Mtileni, my homeboy from Limpopo, that we did not murder the people in Marikana. Anyway, that matter is sub judice. The report concerning the matter will be coming out and we will be told what to do going forward in order to avoid a recurrence of that unfortunate situation. Marikana should not be celebrated as there may be some amongst us who do so.
I think we are doing fine in terms of mining safety by reducing fatalities. We are on good course in comparison to the previous fatalities that were under apartheid, such as the example I have given in my input. I also want to move to the next question which was asked by the hon Labuschagne on policy certainty. We definitely understand the need to do that and as a matter of urgency.
It’s not that there is no law that is applicable as we speak; the laws that seek to repeal are still applicable. The Constitution of the Republic is also justiciable, with relevant Acts, both policies and administrative Acts are justiciable. In essence, the debate about policy certainty sometimes tends to be a bit exaggerated in my view.
I explain this to the investors all the time; including yesterday lunch time, in a meeting I had at the Table Bay Hotel, with those who put money in the mines here in South Africa. I explained the process and how far we are in terms of seeking to put that as legislation; that has gone through the processes. It is in the NCOP and the department will be assisting in that regard.
Concerning the issue of the R20 million shares, if you are a public representative you can’t be having some ghosts and keep some skeletons in your closet. The truth is that the shares are there and they are in my previous wife’s name. They are subject to legal processes of disposal. Therefore, there is nothing that we are hiding.
I’m saying this because the impression is that we are not telling the truth about the shares. They are there and they were legally acquired. Therefore, they exist. I want to confirm that they are there. I also want to deal with the attitude towards the investors. We are not hostile towards investors. I do a lot of work promoting an investment in the Republic. The best thing that we do when dealing with investors is that we tell them the truth; whether they like it or not.
So, your 26% issue is a major, issue for debate wherever I go in the world. What I tell them is that there is a rational basis for that decision. We therefore cannot allow a situation where whites continue to own the minerals even as we’ve separated them from the land. This is what the Constitution did in 1994.
Now, Comrade Minister Nkwinti is battling with 1994 land ownership issues. But we were able to remove the minerals from the land and put them under state ownership so that we could exert or access those minerals. So, 26% is the beginning of that process. When you tell the people the truth they understand. Don’t try and sugar-coat the debates. I don’t try to do that.
Whether I’m in New York or Cape Town, I just tell the truth that 26% will stay, and this is just the beginning.
Lastly, on the issue of beneficiation, we have to beneficiate because we know that the minerals are finite. Therefore, if we can do something about those minerals to expand and fuel the economy, we should do so. We are going to beneficiate. We are going to designate certain minerals as strategic for development in the country so that we make abundantly clear to the investors.
Yesterday, those that I had lunch with were saying that there may be an investment that pulls out. I said, well, it will be regrettable but we still have to do it, because Europe and America were developed on the basis of beneficiation with our minerals being used. So, our head of state and the government has taken a decision that we have to benefit our own people.
Secondly, the SADC has taken decisions by saying that we are going to industrialise. Therefore, as a Minister of Mineral Resources, I must avail those minerals for those purposes. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF ENERGY: Dumelang bomme le borre. [Ladies and gentlemen, I greet you.]
Hon Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Deputy Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister and Minister as he is leaving, members, managers, senior managers of the Department. The National Development Plan seeks to eradicate poverty in South Africa by 2030. The overarching development goal this creates is an opportunity for an intensive programme for job creation. The past year has seen a rapid evolution of our energy system. A crisis does present us with opportunities. We are poised at the fissure of a world class, dependable and sustainable energy sector. The national energy backbone we are building creates hope for increased energy security, economic benefits, industrial development, job creation and clean energy.
The commitments made the President in the state of the nation address, and the efforts specifically announced to deal with South Africa’s broader energy challenges include the need for the radical transformation of South Africa’s energy mix. This also includes effecting structural changes to public sector entities to assist them with addressing our energy challenges. Further investments in renewable energy and the provision of support for the transition to a low carbon economy remain our key objective. Notwithstanding these focus areas; we will continue to exploit coal for producing electricity and liquid fuels.
One of the key lessons learnt from our past and current power challenges is the need to coordinate our planning and timing of new energy investments. In response to this, government has put in place a planning framework for the energy sector, anchored in the Integrated Energy Plan and the Integrated Resource Plan.
These are the instruments to drive government’s set objectives beyond just energy security. They include policy objectives such as job creation through localisation, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and reducing water usage. Our efforts also continuously seek to diversify supply through regional integration, energy efficiency, lowering the cost of energy and importantly, increasing access to energy.
These elements form an integral part of our strategic orientation towards energy security and access. Our experience to date have shown that new investments in generation alone are insufficient and must be accompanied by significant expansion of the transmission network in order to minimise the overall cost of electricity. This is to maintain system reliability and to mitigate locational market power.
Our Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme continues to make notable progress with projects now located in Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, North West and we are growing in other provinces. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global interest in investing in renewable energy has increased, placing South Africa at number nine of the Top Ten Clean Energy investment countries where other sectors are struggling to attract investments. This programme has accumulative investment of R193 billion and we should congratulate this programme.
It is a flagship programme between government and the private sector; it aims not only to secure clean electricity, but also contributes to socioeconomic development. We have contracted a total of 5 243 megawatts of green energy which is connected to the grid.
All bid windows to date, a total contribution of R19,1 billion has been committed to socioeconomic development. This will be spent over the next 20 years as the projects are developed. Six billion is earmarked to be spent on enterprise development initiatives. I’m asking the members to submit to us those initiatives that you would like funded.
Assuming an even, annual spend, the average contribution per annum would be R955 million and R300 million respectively. This can go a long way in our efforts to alleviate and eradicate poverty. We urge Provincial Governments and Municipalities to provide leadership on how these interventions should evolve. Alignment with the District and Local Integrated Development Plans will be critical.
The procurement documentation for an additional 1 800 megawatts bid window will be available by end June 2015, with a submission date of end September 2015. This creates an opportunity for all ready projects including those that were unsuccessful from the previous renewable energy bid windows one to four. Early connected projects will receive preference. Security of supply and the reliability of electricity are some of the most important contributors to the growth of the South African economy. The Department is working tirelessly to find affordable solutions to the shortage of supply. In line with our commitments in this regard, the cogeneration request for bids was released to the market on 4 June 2015. The first window of the 800 megawatts cogeneration programme will be on 10 August 2015.
This programme is designed with many bid opportunities, and is intended to harness green-and brown-fields projects which will be a quick win in support of the demand in the country. Through this programme, we are including the other provinces, extensive coverage of projects in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Our Gas to Power Request for Information documentation was released to the market end of May 2015. The opportunity to submit responses will remain open until 20 July. We are encouraged by the overwhelming interest in this programme. The procurement of 3 126 megawatts of this programme is on track and expected to kickoff during the second half of 2015. The 2 500 megawatts coal programme bid submission date is the 28th of August, and we will announce preferred bidders by the end of the year.
Given the calls from developers and communities alike, this programme is being extended to offer opportunities for small-scale renewable energy producers. This will stimulate additional small local entrepreneurs as well as the financial market to provide access to finance for such small entrepreneurs. Though our partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, and the German development agency KfW, the small projects procurement approach is being implemented to promote partnerships between large experienced developers and smaller local entities to facilitate skills transfer and risk mitigation. I also request members to submit proposals for this.
Investments in the clean energy sector continue to assist in the alleviation of unemployment. It is estimated that about 21 900 jobs will be created during the construction and 38 500 jobs during the operations period. I am happy to announce that through the Independent Power Producer, IPP, Office, the department will soon launch a dedicated programme for the development of young professionals, which will target Bursary Programmes, Graduate Programmes and a Young Professionals Programme. This programme will focus on South Africans, with 80% of the total participants being Employment Equity candidates.
Over the past few months the problems of load shedding have underscored the importance of saving energy. It is self-evident that more effort needs to be put into ensuring that the energy that we produce goes further in being utilised for its intended purpose. Energy efficiency is recognised the world over as the most cost effective manner of securing a resource as scarce as energy. The energy that was never wasted is indeed the cheapest energy that can be harnessed.
In this budget year the department will focus on the following energy efficiency initiatives. Insofar as the policy and regulatory space, the National Energy Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan will be finalised. This will provide an analysis of our energy situation, isolating the factors that inhibit efficient energy usage. Entities with energy usage above certain thresholds at a contiguous site will be required by law to submit these energy management plans and monitoring functions. We need private sector assistance in providing energy statistics for our country. This will enable us to plan appropriately, as well as to advance our energy security agenda. We therefore appeal to all stakeholders to play a positive role in this regard.
The municipal energy efficiency and demand side management programme will continue, and we make a call on all municipalities to take advantage of the potential of this initiative. The Income Tax Act that we can explain to as well.
Our focus is on reducing the energy consumption associated with street lighting worked very well in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. This pilot project was successfully completed and we will now embark on a national rollout of this project. The model for the Solar Water Heater Programme will be changed, with implementation now led by the Department of Energy instead of Eskom. The planned new contracting model has been submitted for Cabinet approval and hopefully tomorrow it will be endorsed. The Integrated National Electrification Programme is responsible for planning, project management and funding the bulk infrastructure grid and no grid new connections for households.
President Zuma indicated in his state of the nation address that access to electricity had to be fast tracked at Amathole, OR Tambo, Alfred Nzo, Umzinyathi, and Greater Sekhukhune because these districts have the highest infrastructure backlogs. Just as long as you get it, the pronunciation will come later. The R4,2 billion was appropriated for this programme in the 2014-15 financial year. We achieved 233 455 household grid connections. This year, the Department of Energy has built five new substations, upgraded 15 more and built more than 430 kilometres medium voltage lines.
We must also indicate the most of the new household connections are concentrated in very remote areas. This cause challenges since most of the rural areas are far from the existing grid. This necessitates the installation of additional bulk infrastructure to connect these areas. Rural connections are on average four times more expensive than urban connections, while in some cases, this figure can be as high as ten times more expensive. We therefore are looking at off grid and no grid solutions to our far flung rural areas. The development of fuel cells is one of the pilot projects we have done successfully and which we will rollout in the rural areas.
The National Electrification Programme received an allocation of R5,7 billion, Eskom and Municipalities will receive R3,6 billion and R2 billion respectively. An additional R313 million is earmarked for the no grid programmes. Due to the large rural connections still outstanding, Eskom has received a larger portion of the Integrated National Electrification Programme, INEP programme. It has to 280 000 new grid and no grid connections in this budget cycle. We are monitoring Eskom very closely.
We are a caring government, and our policies are meant to ensure that electricity tariffs that apply to the poor are sensitive to the plight of poverty afflicting many communities. Municipalities are urged to isolate those end-users that are indigent for targeting with appropriate tariff design. Over and above inclining block tariffs, we have put in place numerous other mechanisms to protect the poor against high electricity tariffs. The free basic electricity and free basic alternative energy has been identified to assist poor families. Approximately R20 billion is transferred to municipalities for purposes of distribution as free basic electricity, and all municipalities are participating.
The solar water heater programme is meant to reduce the financial burden on beneficiaries by providing a cost effective technology for heating water. We believe that a combination of cross-subsidisation, free basic electricity and solar water heating should cover the energy needs of indigent. Our fuel switching strategy involves the substitution of electricity by liquefied petroleum gas. We are requesting you to start cooking with gas and we have to start timbers to find the notion that if you use gas for cooking, you are going to blow up. Well, the safety measures of using gas will have to be explained.
The total appropriation of the department for 2015-16 is R7,5 billion, with 93% being earmarked for transfer to municipalities and state owned entities, the remaining 7% will be utilised for the department. I wish to announce to this House that South Africa will host the International Renewable Energy Conference from the 3rd to the 7th October in Cape Town. This is because the world sees us as the leading example on independent power producers with solar and wind energy or renewable energy. [Applause.] This is the first time the conference will be brought to Africa. We expect more than 6000 delegates, including over 100 Ministers. Hon members, Chairperson, you are invited. Your golden bust invitation will follow.
We want to encourage Parliament, the energy sector and our communities to assist the Department of Energy and SA National Energy Development Institute, SANEDI, who will host this conference, in making this conference a success. We will be welcoming our delegates to Cape Town with a full support of government. We will make this a broad base international renewable energy event, and not only an event for the elite few and for technicians and academics. This has to be a distinct focus on Africa and its development. Provinces like the Northern Cape, Western Cape, you have to have ordinary people represented there, telling their stories. Hon Chairperson, we have a good story to tell. [Applause.]
Mr E MAKUE: Deputy Chairperson and members, hon Minister Joemat- Pettersson, and Deputy Minister Majola who are responsible for the Department of Energy, the senior staff from the Department of Energy, esteemed and interested persons in the gallery and other followers of this debate, my sincere appreciation is extended to hon Litho Suka who served this committee as chairperson with diligence. My appreciation is also extended to all members of the select committee for their commitment to the work that we have to do in this department. You should know that without your selfless commitment and generous support, we would not have achieved what we did. Thank you.
To all our young people in this beautiful country with so much untapped potential, we wish that your celebration of national youth day last week was meaningful and memorable. As we salute the heroes and heroines of 1976, this democratic government is painfully aware of the array of challenges that continue to plague our young people today. And we enthusiastically look forward to partnering with you in pursuit of consolidating the gains we have already made and improving on reaching your aspirations and dreams.
This government relies on the energy and the skills of our youth in ensuring that the Annual Performance Plan, APP and the budget of the Department of Energy has meaning and significance for many generations to come. I’m particularly starting with young people to indicate that what this government is doing has long-term benefits for all people of this country.
Thank you, Minister, and staff of the Department of Energy for accepting the NCOP’s oversight responsibility and for presenting your strategic plan, your APP and your budget to the select committee already on the 5th of May 2015.
Hon members, the entities reporting to this department are: National Nuclear Regulator, the Central Energy Fund, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and the South African National Energy Development Institute.
It is important to draw our attention to the fact that Eskom does not resort; yes, it does not fall under this department. Please therefore, desist from raising matters that are unrelated to this Budget Vote.
By availing energy in a more equitable manner to all South Africans, instead of an elite minority, this government has to increase production of energy sources and supply to the grid. This is in line with addressing historical inequalities and poverty. In an article that is produced by the Power, People, Planet, project, it is stated that 621 million Africans do not have access to electricity; and 60% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy is consumed by South Africa.
When we are planning energy production in this country, we are mindful of the rest of the continent. It was the former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr Kofi Annan, who stated in a recent article that:
Without universal access to energy services of adequate quality and quantity, countries cannot sustain dynamic growth, build more inclusive societies and accelerate progress towards eradicating poverty.
Therefore, this budget has that objective in mind as well of dealing with the energy needs of our people so that we can succeed in our fight to eradicate poverty.
There is an array of the legislative and other mandates that form part of the APP of the Department of Energy. I will mention four of them: Firstly, to increase investment and capacity in power generation; secondly, to promote administrative justice in the decisions made by the energy regulator and accordingly promote efficient regulation of the energy sector; thirdly, to increase diversification of the energy sources; and fourthly, to ensure investment in power generation.
The Department of Energy plans to encourage increased investment in electricity generation, and the Minister Joemat-Pettersson has referred to the partnership that is being envisaged with the private sector. It is imperative to note that development of such major projects does not happen in a vacuum. As a responsible government, we have to ensure that appropriate legislation is in place and that our natural resources are adequately protected and managed in a sustainable manner.
The select committee also noted with appreciation that the Department of Energy considers the contemporary and future challenges in formulating its APP and strategic objectives. We are responsible for future generations.
In its Strategic Objective 2,1 the department states that it is to improve energy security. The Department of Education shall accordingly implement an integrated energy plan based on a diversified mix of energy generations, while increasing competition in the energy sector. In Strategic Objective, 2,2 it is to improve liquid fuel energy security.
Hon members, petroleum and petroleum products regulations will be monitored and enforced by the Department of Energy. Grid connections for those rural households that are still not connected are included in this budget. This may not be important for some opposition parties and may result in a vote against the budget. For us, in the ANC, it is important to indicate that government is committed to a better life and equality for all people through the presentation of this energy budget.
The Department of Energy, nuclear energy branch is responsible to manage the South African nuclear energy industry and control nuclear material in terms of international obligations; and for nuclear legislation and policies to ensure the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy.
This department and government will not enter into projects without careful consideration of its pros and cons. In the end, our decision is to serve what is in the best interests of our people and our country. Clean energy will be prioritised. The three sub-programmes of the Department of Energy branch are energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change and designated national authority.
The clean energy branch will co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of energy-related climate change response measures and environmental compliance. It is stated in Strategic Objective 6,1 of the budget that we are presenting to you. The target is to develop energy consumption baselines for an additional 100 municipalities; and to further identify development opportunities and provide necessary support to other renewable technologies that have the potential to contribute to the electricity, heat and transport sectors. Awareness on renewable energy will be promoted within the public sector and the general public.
Chairperson, the Department of Education’s Programme 4 mentions a wide-range of energy programmes and projects. Allow me to refer only to one of the annual targets, that is, to provide a sustainable electricity distribution intervention plan, including the effect on tariffs and start with the implementation to deal with the electricity infrastructure backlog in mining town municipalities; municipalities mentioned in the state of the nation address. The Minister elaborated on them; and then finally, to also look at the so-called “hot spot” areas.
Our approach as the ANC-led government is to not only supply energy to the rich and wealthy but also look at the energy needs of people who have been historically neglected in this country. We do so at great cost to the fiscus. Programme 4 will also report on energy efficiencies initiated by municipalities through the Division of Revenue Act, DORA allocations and other entities with the amount of energy saved and on the detail of energy interventions, pending availability of resources.
Chairperson, it’s been my pleasure to present this Budget Vote for the approval by the NCOP. Ngiyabonga. Siyaqhuba. [Thank you. We are moving forward.] [Applause.]
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister and hon members, the legacy of this government, this department and this hon Minister will be a mountain of debt chaining future generations to long-term and large-scale projects. The current energy plan will rob the poor of any access to affordable electricity. This government plans to finance nuclear power generation by imposing debilitating electricity costs on future consumers, thereby putting our country’s precarious fiscus in a position of collapse.
In spite of advice and multiple cautions by experts, this government knows better. The National Development Plan, NDP, cautions against the potentially prohibitive costs of nuclear energy and asks for an in-depth investigation into the viability of nuclear energy. The Integrated Resource Plan, IRP, 2013 update cautions against commitments to long-term and large-scale investment decisions.
International research demonstrates that megaprojects generally miss their targets by large margins; one in 10 succeeds. Projects either cost double; they serve half the number of people; they take twice as long; or all three of them.
The immediate beneficiaries of a nuclear deal would be a select few. In her budget speech, the hon Minister glibly stated:
The Cabinet-approved IRP 2010 provides for 9,600 megawatts of electricity to be generated through nuclear power, with the first unit commissioned by 2023.
However, she conveniently forgets that the IRP is a living document and that it should be updated every two years. She fails to note that the 2010 update released in 2013 after consultation with energy experts, unions, industry and civil society, is being completely ignored. Why? Is it because it does not meet the greedy needs of a chosen few?
We are currently suffering the effects of a preventable crisis caused by poor policy decisions over the past 17 years. The ANC government is again committing to unaffordable solutions based on outdated information. If the hon Minister has nothing to hide, why has she not tabled the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on the readiness of this country for nuclear energy?
The hon Minister signed an agreement with Russia in September 2014, but all the nuclear agreements were only tabled in Parliament on Friday, 12 June 2015 – nine months later. We noted on Friday, 19 June that the building of a nuclear power plant will commence at Thyspunt early in 2016 – conveniently an election year.
Premature statements by Energy Department officials clearly indicate political manipulation of a supposedly independent environmental impact assessment process. The process is still incomplete. Extensive public participation worth millions of rand are now nullified by the power and greed of the ANC.
The Russian agreement tabled in Parliament reveals that the agreement indemnifies the Russians from any liability arising from nuclear accidents during the reactors’ life and South Africa will be solely responsible for damage, both inside and outside South Africa. It hands the Russians a host of regulatory concessions and special favourable treatments in tax and other financial matters, but offers South Africa none such incentives. It requires Russia’s permission if South Africa wants to export nuclear technology it develops locally as a result of learning from the Russians, thereby hindering government’s aim that the nuclear new build programme will develop a globally competitive nuclear industry.
It is astounding that some clauses in the Russian agreement are actually in contravention of our country’s Constitution. In fact, the clauses in the agreement irreversibly and inappropriately compromise our sovereignty.
It is a fact that international nuclear projects currently in progress have failed in meeting budgets and timelines, for example the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey. It is important for South Africans to ask why the ANC government is ignoring the recommendations by the International Atomic Energy Agency with regard to the readiness for nuclear energy development in South Africa. Where is the regulation framework? I heard the Minister referring to it and I hope it comes quickly because you can’t make it up as you go along. Why is there no costing plan upfront to ensure the affordability of the nuclear power plant build?
How does one budget on a scale from R400 billion to R1 trillion? Why is the government so secretive with regard to the nonstrategic assets that will be sold off to generate R23 billion for energy security? The promise to fund the R23 billion was against the sale of nonstrategic assets. South Africans need to know why South Africa is held to ransom in a deal where Russia is the underwriter, yet is not accountable for any liability whatsoever in the build own operate project.
Mr E MAKUE: Chairperson, I wanted to ask the member whether there is a nuclear plant in the Western Cape. [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, no, hon Makue! You have to ascertain whether she is ready to take a question. Are you ready to take a question, hon Van Lingen?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: No, Chairperson. We would rather focus our attention on how to end electricity blackouts, and speed up energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes. In the short term, solutions to be implemented are: Focussing on energy efficiency; amending the proposed Eskom Appropriation Bill granting Eskom R23 billion in equity to be converted to a loan with specific performance related conditions; utilising a sound market related solution to fund the energy programmes through privatisation; ensuring constant maintenance and management programmes for generation, transmission and distribution sections of the infrastructure; enacting the Independent System and Market Operator, Ismo, Bill; enabling smart grid contributions to the energy network by ordinary South Africans; immediately increasing renewable energy projects in the next five years through the renewable programme to meet the shortfall; and upgrading the grid for urgent connection. I heard the Minister also referring to this.
In developing long-term solutions, they are: Restructuring Eskom into three separate entities – generation, transmission and distribution; determining affordable funding solutions for these entities, such as privatisation and government bonds; and adding renewable projects and possible gas imports from Mozambique, as well as exploring options of gas finds below the Orange River mouth.
The hon Minister is part of the snollygoster nucleus that controls the energy honey pot, the government and the country for their own benefit. There is no compassion for the poor or the future of South Africa.
The DA government promises freedom, fairness and opportunity under the guidance of our Values Charter and the DA’s vision for 2029. Our holistic approach for energy, employment and economic growth will ensure energy justice, employment opportunities and equal opportunities.
The time for change at the ballot box is upon us. The DA will give power back to the people, invest in affordable energy security for the real benefit of South Africans and expose the allure of false promises of the nuclear industry. Let us save South Africa before there is nothing to save. I thank you.
Mr B G NTHEBE: Hon Chair, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, special delegates, distinguished guest, Salga delegates, it is important to note that the ANC has the responsibility to lead the entire society. We are providing services to you, hon Van Lingen and your own membership, whether it is Christmas, Good Friday or a public holiday, we will not set up a nuclear plant because it is 2016, a year of the elections. We will continue to render services to our people despite the coming elections and we want to tell you now that you are still going to be defeated. [Applause.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Chair, is it parliamentary for a member to chew a gum whilst presenting? The Hon Nthebe has been chewing a gum for the past two hours. [Laughter.] I thought that when he starts to debate he will take it out, but he continues to chew it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, please take your seat. The Hon Nthebe has not event spent three minutes whilst addressing us but you are saying for the past two hours. [Interjections.] No! Take your seat. Continue hon Nthebe. Hon Mtileni, please take your seat.
Mr B G NTHEBE: Hon Mtileni, you must be very careful because you are not your own reflection. You are a reflect of the community you come from and you must be exemplary in all efforts to represent them in a manner that is truthful and representative of their own mission and vision with respect and truthfulness at all material times.
Hon Minister, the ANC government is alive to the possibility and reality that energy security goes to the heart of economic development and sustainable livelihood. The society that we seek to construct as the ANC is a society that is free of all energy constrains and this commitment on our part requires zeal and determination. We are committed in that regard. Yes, Minister, we want to agree with you that South Africa is not immune from the historical challenges that are impeding on our sustainable developmental goals. I wonder to what extent others agree with me on that point. Yes, South Africa carries the responsibility to contribute positively to the country’s developmental needs and to Africa broadly as a continent.
We recommit to work with all stakeholders in finding an amicable solution to the energy challenges facing the country. In all fairness, it is the ANC that first admitted that there are energy challenges in the country and set up structures in place for us to be able to sort out those challenges moving forward. We welcome the declaration that there are signs of diversification in the energy sector which saw 28% of the 48% of the independent power producers being black South Africans. Minister, we want to impress on that point and say, continue to work in that regard so that we begin to be inclusive in our approach and begin to open up space in previously closed sectors for our own people to be able to participate.
Hon Minister, co-generation supply of about 720 megawatts will go a long way in easing the pressure on the grid and we want to say that we thank your leadership in that regard for making sure that this is possible. The Grand Inga project is anticipated to be the largest hydroelectric power project in the whole world. With this potential to power the whole continent we will demonstrate our commitment that indeed we are Africa and we are one. We want to say to those who do not understand and those who were grand standing on the Grand Inga project, that when you take 4800 megawatts and give it to up for the domestic use of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo so that they begin stimulating their own production in their productive sectors for domestic use; then bring the power line through Zambia and make sure that the Zambians tap into that reality; bring it through Zimbabwe and the Zimbabweans tap into that reality and ultimately bring it into South Africa. By so doing we will be contributing to the reality that Africa is one and indeed we are going into that direction. [Applause.]
We are also alive to the possibility that the greatest security in the world is your own people. If we are going to have the power line running from the DRC through Zambia, Zimbabwe and into South Africa and the ordinary people in Zambia and Zimbabwe see the power line crossing and they cannot even relate to the meaning of the power line, then that does not project us well as South Africa to the continent. We want to say that all efforts from your department are well appreciated. There are two things that we must appreciate or get right moving forward. Firstly, we must begin to secure energy generation capacity so that we begin to mitigate the growing demand and stability as we move into the future. This is one reality that probably the DA does not understand. Secondly, we must begin to capacitate our distribution infrastructural channels so as to match the generation capacity vis-à-vis supply and demand. If we are going to get these two things right: build the generation capacity and make sure that you have enough for your supply but also make sure that you have enough for your reserves; your infrastructural development in terms of your distribution must match the demand and supply, then we are going into the right direction.
Hon Chair, I grew up in a mud house and not even in my wildest dreams did I ever dream that one day in my lifetime we will have access to energy but this ANC-led government made it possible. I heard the hon Van Lingen who was here saying that we are dealing with a matter of an ANC-created legacy in the past 17 years. When I was growing up my mom was told right in her face that we can’t connect power into your house because your house is a mud house. But in 1994 we had power in such a mud house. [Applause.]
I grew up under such realities and that is why it is very difficult for me to understand when people choose and pick reality. Some of us are sitting here and celebrate the National Development Plan, NDP. The NDP talks about energy mix. When you want to separate the nuclear energy from the energy mix then what are you saying? What is the expression from the NDP?
We are alive to the reality that the achievement of the 5.5 economic growth rests squarely on energy security and all efforts are pointing to the positives and we are beginning to record now. To some, these might be nominal but to us the commitment to face our challenges demonstrates our passion to address the challenge we are faced with. We want to note progress recorded by the Northern Cape Province in being the renewable energy capital of South Africa. If you go to the Northern Cape today and travel throughout the province you will see visibly how renewable energy is becoming dominant in the Northern Cape and is beginning to spread throughout the country and ultimately will contribute to the continent. We want to appreciate your efforts in doing that. We call upon those involved in this process to be inclusive and contribute to the skills revolution that we so need in our glorious country. In this point, we want to raise it to you Minister that there is what is called the Spanish invasion. The Spaniards have come into our country, they set up their renewable energy plants in your private land and therefore part of the expectations from government are not realised like how do you contribute to your skills revolution, how do you carry out your social responsibility in the nearby communities, how do you ensure that there is transfer of skills so that when the Spaniards go back home we have people who are well capacitated to take care of the renewable energy programme? We want to plead that there must be engagement with such people so that they begin to understand that what is the vision and mission of the country moving forward.
More progress needs to be done in wind generation energy and we want to welcome what we have seen that the Swedish are coming down to assist us in this regard. Hon Chair, we remain unshaken in our quest to guarantee energy security to all South Africans beyond creed or colour. The five points plan is an explicit appreciation of the challenges we are facing but not limited to, we shall: Endeavour to resolve the Eskom challenges; see that the demand side management is addressed; explore gas opportunities and ... [Interjections.] ... Hon Chair, I was still coming to the DA and the EFF. As I wrap up Chair, I think that the issue with Russia and South Africa is not so much about how nuclear energy is becoming dominant. It is about the jealousy that the DA has with regard to former liberation movement being supported by dominant countries in the world. We support the Budget Vote. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Let me repeat what was said by the Deputy Chair that once you are there, the watch is also there, therefore, you must check your time.
Mr V E MTILENI: Mutshamaxitulu, vatirhikulorhi na vaendzi, i madyambu lamanene na ku mi perisa. [Chairperson, colleagues and guests, good evening.]
Hon Chairperson, to start with, the EFF does not support the Department of Energy’s Budget Vote. [Interjections.] Maybe the Minister can first explain to the House why the ANC rented a crowd and bussed people to support a protest against an institution that it governs. This is the reason why we cannot support it. People of Soweto will see through these gimmicks a confused ANC. Rest assured that they will express their disgust at the ANC. Check what will actually happen in the next local government elections because of your misbehaviour and mismanagement in all departments. This time around rigging will not be part of everything.
To everyone else tariffs hike of 25,3% requested by Eskom is sickening. It will be a shameful conduct if the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Nersa, begins to consider it because the poor, the working and not forgetting the indigent South Africans, have to dig deeper into their pockets and may not afford this.
You are seeking to punish the poor, you are seeking to support the poor and you are seeking to punish the poor for 21 year of ANC’s mismanagement of state-owned entities, Eskom in particular. All you know, hon Minister, is golden handshakes which you concentrate on and give executives of state-owned entities.
Mr E MAKUE: On a point of order: I think the hon Mtileni is misleading the public by talking about the ANC entities. The ANC does not own Eskom. Neither are those respected people serving in these agencies, the porns of the ANC, they are there because of the merit with which they were appointed. It has been a transparent appointment... [Interjections.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Makue, you have raised your point of order.
Mr E MAKUE: I request that the hon Mtileni withdraws the remarks that these are ANC institutions. They are not.
Mr V E MTILENI: Who seconded these people in these positions? It is cadre deployment. That’s what I mean - cadre deployment.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, hon Mtileni... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: You only seconded ANC people in all parastatals. That’s why I am saying ANC entities. Why do you always say ANC-led government and you want to disown this one? You cannot disown this one.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, do you allow me to make a ruling?
Mr V E MTILENI: Yes, but you cannot disown your entities. Why do you disown them? Make a ruling, Chair.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Makue, that’s a point for debate. Continue, hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: This is a complete contradiction of section 5 of the National Energy Act which demands you to provide universal access to appropriate forms of energy. We cannot ask you, Madam Minister, how you are going to ensure electricity supply as you have identified it as one of your seven key priority areas though you don’t even know what is happening in Eskom.
Load shedding cannot be a permanent feature in the supply of electricity or nonsupply of electricity in your case. It is misguided and unacceptable for the ANC government to tell the nation that it must bear the consequence of your mismanagement and incompetence. The energy crisis the country is facing is a demonstration of incapacity of the ANC to govern and provide energy security. Without electricity, the government will fail to realise any of its industrial policy objectives. Our people want to establish small businesses and secure their economic freedom, but this government and this department are continuing to fail them. They need electricity to operate.
You have guaranteed multinational corporations like the BHP Billiton sweetheart tariff deals until 2028 whereas they have failed dismally to comply with the Mining Charter. The ANC government continues to support their illegal exploitation of natural resources at the expense of poor communities. You continue to support them while they are embroiled in illicit financial flows, transferring profits to tax havens and eroding government’s capacity to provide electricity to the poor.
Fragmentation to a point where the department doesn’t know what is happening in other department does not start at the bottom, but it starts with Ministers fighting over crisis management functions. There is a lack of clear coherence and co-ordinated policy between the Department of Energy and the Department of Public Enterprises.
We are told that Eskom does not have money to complete the construction of Medupi and Kusile yet the President goes around negotiating nuclear deals which will paralyse the state budget. I therefore appeal that cut fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditures, and stop continuing stealing from the government purse and redirect all funds to Eskom. [Interjections.] ANC cadres. Why are we not reducing energy use through energy efficiency measures, especially in mining and manufacturing? Why are we not reducing energy ... [Interjections.]
Ms L L ZWANE: On a point of order, Chairperson: Rule 46, the chairperson of the committee clearly explained that Eskom is not an entity of this department and you keep on referring to it. Secondly... [Interjections.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Zwane, address me. Hon Mtileni, in terms of Rule 46:
No member may, deliberately make a statement in the Council which the member knows is false.
So, refrain from doing that.
Mr V E MTILENI: Why are we not reducing energy use through energy efficiency measures, especially in mining and manufacturing? Why are we not reducing energy use through energy efficiency measures at home and commercial buildings... [Interjections.]
Ms L L ZWANE: Still on the point of order, Chair. I had referred to the word that the ANC is stealing. I want the hon member to withdraw it because it’s an allegation that is unfounded.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, your time has expired. [Time expired.]
Mr V E MTILENI: No, it hasn’t. I’m still left with about 20 seconds. It cannot expire like that. You have been giving your own people extra time. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY (Mrs Majola): Chairperson, Hon Chairperson of the select committee, hon Minister of Energy and members of the executive who have departed, Members of Parliament, senior officials of the Department of Energy and members in the gallery.
Good afternoon to you all.!
I would like to start by stating categorically, that transformation is an imperative that we cannot ignore. W and we ignore it at our own peril. The need for transformation will determine whether we develop or whether we perish.
It is amazing that we are still havings to address some of these basic issues 21 years down the line, and it is a little rich for the DA to be the ones to tell us about some of these issues, when they themselves, in the area that they control, cannot even handle Africans who are South Africans, referring to they refer them as refugees.
The Department of Energy, with our partners, remains seizedceased and committed to delivering quality services to our people. Energy is central to our developmental goal for better life for all. To those with access to affordable, accessible, modern energy, it unlocks access to an improved quality of life, and access to information and to services. It is a major constraint for To those who don’t have access to energyit, it remains a major constraints.
Hon members, itHon members, it is true that we are facing a challenge in terms of load shedading. Maybe may I remind us all that we have never had blackouts;, we are dealing with load shedading. And while this is something that irritates most of us, we must neverot lose sight of the fact that we have millions of South Africans who don’t have access to energy at the switch of a button. We are still in the process of delivering that service to them, and for most of those who don’t have this energy resource they are mainly in the rural areas and the bulk of them ...
Mr F ESSACK: Hon Deputy Minister ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Essack, why are you standing?
Mr F ESSACK: (POINT OF ORDER) Hon Chairperson,; wouilld you please call the speaker to her attention and ask her to refrain, I ask her to refrain from talking about Eskom issues regarding blackouts and load sheadding issue.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No. Take your seat. You are out of order.
Mr F ESSACK: She spoke about Eskom. ... [Inaudible.] ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): That is not a point of order. You are out of order, hon Essack. Take your seat. Continue, hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY (Mrs Majola): Thank you, Chairperson. I think we have to do some induction in terms of what the role of the Department of Energy is.
One of the vehicles that we use to engage our people that maybe honourable members must participate in is our public participation programme, a. A programme that ensures that we visit the various communities, so that we continuallyously improve how government services are delivered and received by communities.
In the past eight months we have interacted with various communities across the length and breadth of our country. We have interacted with the residents of Koso Forest in the Eastern Cape who didn’t have access to electricity. H, however, I am pleased to announce say today to announce that the residents of Koso are switched on.
The same good story can be told about the residents of Ramofole in Matatiele, who last week switched on the successfully delivered 660 electrical connections in Wward 24. [Applause.]
Similar engagements haves been held with the residents of Phalaborwa,; Mashamba and; Mahatlani in Limpopo;, Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi in Mpumalanga;, Ulundi; and Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal;, Groot Marico in the North West;, and Chatty eExtensions and NTtabankulu in the Eastern Cape.
These engagements have enabled us to address the backlogs, and we do go back to give feedback where we have been met with there have been challenges. that we met. This Friday, honourable member, I would invite you to join me, together with Eskom, local government and provincial government, as we return to Ntabankulu in the Eastern Cape, which is to be followed by a visit to the AbaqQulusi Mmunicipality for a similar exercise.
We are focusing our energies on the areas with the largest backlogs.
In all these engagements, we have interacted with our people who have reaffirmed their belief in this government,. wWhile not hesitating to tell us of our shortcomings in service delivery. T, this has ensureds that we provide the technical and other support to these municipalities to ensure seamlessimilar service delivery.
We are tackling poverty, unemployment and inequality through localising energy initiatives, one project at a time. It is also evident that we are on the right path, that we and will continue rolling out services to our people in a sustained manner, and that we areI am determined and committed to havingrich universal access by 2025 for all our people.
Siyaqhuba. [We are moving forward.]
Hon members, I conclude by reaffirming that that together as Tteam E energy we remain committed and determined to continue working with Eskom and tThe Department of Public Enterprises to ensure that our electricity continues to accessible, affordable and reliable for both business and our people; t. To accelerate the electrification of households; and to ensure that we address the issues of unfunded posts and the filling of vacant posts within our department; and t. To ensure that the strategic plans of our state- owned companies are aligned to those of the Department of Mineral and Energy, (DME), Ke a leboga. [Thank you.] [Applause.]
Mr R LENTIT (Western Cape): Hon Deputy Chairperson, as a representative of the Western Cape provincial parliament I can see the effect of the energy crisis on our people everyday. In the face of that reality it is quiet incredible to listen to Minister Tina Joemat-Pattersson saying, the energy crisis creates opportunities. With every other denial of the ANC-led government, it is the poor people that suffer the most when our country faces a new crisis.
The energy crisis destroys jobs and our economy while the ANC is trying to beautify the energy crisis. It is taking away job opportunities, Minister Pattersson, and not creating job opportunities. These job opportunities are taken away at the time when unemployment is already recorded to be high.
The energy crisis disrupts learning at the time when our schools are already at bottom of the international school rankings. The energy crisis creates opportunities for criminals to commit crimes which are evident in our poor communities when there is load shedding. And this is the only time that I agree with Minister Pattersson when she says, the energy crisis create opportunities for criminals to commit crime. This is a real crisis. The energy crisis is busy compromising and destroying the socioeconomic landscape of our economy.
The Integrated Resource Plan, IRP, outlines the electricity mix for South Africa which is supposed to be updated every two years. It has not been updated since 2010. This is long overdue. The price of electricity has changed dramatically this time, and the breaking news last week Wednesday was a 25,3% hike. Is that an opportunity? No. Instead, this is an opportunity to deepen the energy-crisis; an opportunity when our economy was driven into the intensive care unit, ICU. An updated IRP is urgently required to remodel the most cost-effective mix electricity options. This remodelling could exclude nuclear and dramatically increase renewal energy and gas. Gas will complement the increase renewal energy allocation.
Energy is key for our country to deliver on the goals of the National Development Plan to create jobs. To achieve that we need to construct infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas and increase exploration to find domestic gas feedstock to diversify the energy mix and reduce carbon emissions. This is also to procure at least 20 000megawatts of renewable energy by 2013. To procure renewable energy by 2013 we have to import electricity from the region and we have also to create 11 000megawatts of ageing coal-fire power stations in stepping up investment in energy efficiency and improve the energy efficiency of mining and mineral processing by 15% by 2030. Gas turbines can be invested incrementally to match the demand growth. The unit capital cost for gas turbines are cheaper. They are more easily financed and more able to adjust their outputs to make up for the shortfall from variable renewal energy sources.
The Western Cape government is not going to wait for national government to act. The DA-led Western Cape government will therefore continue to foster the supply of alternative energy. Our work on landing liquefied natural gas in our province continues. The Western Cape has applied for designation of the Atlantis special economic zone.
The draft regulation of the special economic zone applications has recently opened for comment. And we will follow this process closely. The DA-led provincial government is co-operating with municipalities, particularly in the areas of waste-to-energy such as the smart grid pilot in Drakenstein.
For the Western Cape government energy is key to poverty alleviation and job creation. We are also driving an initiative to create economic growth and job creation in the province in partnership with the private sector. This process is known as Project Khulisa.
Project Khulisa is one of the game changers for the Western Cape government. Another game changer is to stabilise the supply of energy. The Western Cape government, the City of Cape and businesses in the province are working closely together to find a solution to minimise the impact of load shedding on our economic growth. This follows the two government’s selection of achieving energy security as a game changer over the next five years.
These two governments have also worked on a number of potential solutions with businesses and are currently holding further discussions. Solutions include proposals on the management of load shedding, rooftop PV, energy efficiency, independent power produces and power purchasing agreements.
Minister Joemat-Pettersson is wrong. This is not the crisis that creates opportunities. The energy crisis is fatal. In February this year, a male patient in Bloemfontein who was connected to two oxygen machines died allegedly after Eskom implemented rolling blackouts twice in one day. Our we busy threatening the constitutional right to life?
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said that other countries also have energy problems but that the South African government have a plan. The question is, what is that plan either than raising the cost of energy with more than 25%? It has taken the ANC more than 20 years to come up with a plan, but we still don’t know what that plan is. The only plan is rolling notices on our TV screens with load shedding notices. But, Deputy Chairperson, where the ANC fails the DA delivers. That is why the DA has contingency plans and was able to keep the lights on in Cape Town when the rest of the country was going dark on Saturday 20 June.
The energy crisis escalated into a rightful life crisis. It is now a Bill of Rights issue. As announced by Minister Joemat-Pattersson here today that the world will decent on the soil of our beautiful country to attend a Renewable Energy Conference. No, they are coming to our beautiful country because they are worried about our energy crisis. They are coming to advise the Minister and her government on how you can get the energy crisis out of the ICU. Minister Pattersson, you are wrong, the energy crisis does not create opportunities but destruction. I thank you.
Cllr B FORTEIN: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, local government in South Africa has contributed to the achievement of a number of significant social and economic development advances since the ushering in of the democratic municipal dispensation in December 2000. The majority of our people have increased access to our wide range of basic services including energy and electricity. More opportunities have been created for their participation in the economy of these sectors.
In the past 15 years, local government has been strategically positioned as a key platform for redistribution, predominantly through equitable service delivery. New energy legislation post 1994 also generated a new role for local government. The shift from conventional supply side approaches towards a greater emphasis on demand side management and sustainable development leads policy to implementation of actions located in the local government sphere. Energy access for all, building efficiency, roll out of efficient water heating in the residential sector are but to name a few.
The Department of Energy is currently finalising the integrated energy plan which informs the future energy mix of the country going forward. This plan is welcomed with the hope that it will clearly outline and articulate the role of local government in future programmes and the implementation cascading down to the integrated resource plan for electricity.
The implementation of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement, REIPPP, programme, which is a build-owned and operated type of public private partnership and its progress so far is commended. Since its inception the REIPPP has been more focused at a national level where Eskom is an off-taker and a buyer of the produced renewable energy. Some municipalities which have participated in this programme have been involved only in the wheeling of the power to the Eskom grids and not as off-taker. Whilst the South African government has recorded good progress in this programme, in the near future, if not already, Eskom may be constrained where the grid network availability and capacity is concerned.
The Department of Energy needs to start formulating plans to roll out programmes at local government level. Rolling out this programme at local government level may create a number of opportunities for municipalities in the infrastructure development, job creation and upskilling of the municipality’s technical employees, namely the engineers, the technicians and the artisans, etc. So far all these benefits and opportunities have only been recorded within Eskom.
Eskom is a national utility appointed to buy the renewable energy and the REIPPP is allowed to recover through its tariffs some of the funds to develop their infrastructure with the aim to integrate the renewable energy into their developed grids. This only being a national programme and Eskom being the only off-taker also poses a missed opportunity for municipalities to develop and further extend the infrastructure to create capacity to integrate the renewable energy into their networks.
The finalisation of the national energy efficiency and its action plan is also welcome. It should however be emphasised that the strategy in terms of its implementation or action plan must comprise of simple or not so complicated frameworks for access to funds, more especially for smaller and incapacitated municipalities. History has shown that the success of such strategy implementation is purely dependent on the nature of the action plans or implementation frameworks, whether they are simple or complex. The strategy needs to be clear on the role of local government or the municipalities. The previous energy efficiency demand side management programme that was implemented through Eskom proved challenging for implementation at the municipal level.
We further welcome the Department of Energy for taking over the solar water heater programme which was previously within Eskom. This is good news for municipalities because it means that they will be able to access the funds directly from the department. It is also emphasised that a straight forward framework with less bureaucracy to access funds must be put in place and ensure that the framework in itself doesn’t delay the implementation of the projects which may lead to the funds being returned to the fiscus purely because of the constraints emanating from the complexity of the frameworks put in place in order to access these funds.
The South African Local Government Association, Salga, welcomes the Department of Energy’s pronouncement of the R2 billion for the integrated national electrification programme, Inep, to be allocated to municipalities for the 2015-16 financial year. It is our respectful view that we will continue working with the department, Eskom and other stakeholders in ensuring that municipalities deliver by contributing to the attainment of the set new household’s connection targets as envisaged by the new electrification roadmap for South Africa.
We also recommend that the department, just like a model of the Inep, engages on funding projects for alternative energy bulk infrastructure at a municipal level. Eskom is currently having financial challenges and network constraints to some level. The development of infrastructure for the integration of alternative or renewable energy into the municipal grids and networks where there is capability may be a missed opportunity for the country if further ignored.
Mr M KHAWULA: On a point of order: Hon Chairperson, I just wanted to find out if it’s parliamentary for the presiding officer to go to sleep in the Chair? [Laughter.]
Cllr B FORTEIN: In conclusion, the integrated resource plan of 2010 gives direction to national energy investment and development and has substantial policy implications for local government. Local government forms the largest consumer wage in the national demand forecasts. It is therefore imperative to also include a detailed analysis of municipal strategies and targets relating to demand and the potential of energy efficiency. Transmission and distribution capacity modelling should also be taken into consideration as it has an impact on areas such as embedded generation, efficiency and demand management.
These national policy and programme developments illustrate the need for greater consistency and understanding the approach to local government, particularly the large metros which have a considerable role to play in the national energy picture. We also applaud the department for ensuring the finalisation of, among other things, the integrated energy plan, the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill and the national Energy Regulator Amendment Bill on its legislative programme for the 2015-16 financial year. In conclusion, hon Minister, we would like an extension of the invitations for the seminar that will be held in Cape Town to Salga. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, why are you standing up?
Mr V E MTILENI: I must respectfully ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): There is a point of order which was raised and I see you are just keeping quiet. You’re not responding to the House. Are you keeping quiet because it is about yourself?
Mr V E MTILENI: No, it was not a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Why are you keeping quiet? Can you sit hon Mtileni? I’ve made a ruling. It was not a point of order.
Mnr W F FABER: Voorsitter, Minister, lede en gaste, Eskom is weer besig met sy prysverhogings met elektrisiteitstariewe van 25,3% vir hierdie jaar. Die Nasionale Energiereguleerder van Suid-Afrika, Nersa, moet mooi dink voor hulle so ’n totale verhoging goedkeur wat reeds die vuisvoos verbruiker totaal platslaan.
Indien ’n mens na die verhoging gaan kyk en sien dat Eskom die geld in ag maande wil verhaal na die einde van sy boekjaar, werk die begroting in werklikheid op 31,5% uit. U weet dit. Mnr Molefe het gesê dat indien die verhoging nie toegestaan word nie, daar selfs meer kragonderbrekings sal wees. Dis nou natuurlik seker dreigemente teenoor Nersa en ons verbruikers om die toegewing te verkry. ’n Beraamde R15 miljard word benodig vir die 2 000 MW dieselkragopwekkers ten tye van beurtkrag. Die realiteit is dat Eskom sowat R11,4 miljard bespaar het, omdat hy minder steenkool verbrand het weens agterstallige instandhouding, maar dit weet ons almal ook. Dit is dus duidelik dat die besparing van steenkoolverbranding goedsmoeds misgekyk word wanneer daar gekyk word na die verhoging van tussen R11 miljard en R15 miljard wat dieselkragopwekking moet dek.
Dan, Minister, so van werkskepping gepraat, Suid-Afrika kry ongeveer 1 400 gegradueerde ingenieurs elke jaar van ons eie universiteite by wie dan, byvoorbeeld, deur Eskom in diens geneem kan word en verder daar opgelei kan word, maar weereens hardloop ons ANC Kuba toe om ingenieurs in te voer – invoere, grys invoerprodukte, dink ek. Die Kubaanse ingenieurs se kwalifikasies word ook nie eens deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Vereniging van Raadgewende Ingenieurs , SAVRI, wat deel vorm van die Washington-akkoord, erken nie. Dit is ’n internasionaal-geakkrediteerde kwalifikasie. Kubaanse ingenieurs beskik nie daaroor nie. Dit word nie aanvaar nie. Die situasie bekommer selfs die president van SAVRI, Abe Thela, maar ons Minister Peters steur haar nie daaraan nie. Is dit nie tyd dat ons na ons eie mense omsien en werk aan ons eie mense bied, veral gegewe ons werkloosheidsyfer nie?
Waarom kyk die regering nie na gas nie, na die 100 kubieke voet in die sogenaamde Rovuma-vanggebied aan die kus van Mosambiek? Mossgas het begin met 1 triljoen kubieke ton gas. Sasol is reeds besig om gas van Mosambiek in te voer deur 865 km pypleiding. Waarom werk ons nie saam met ons Mosambiekse bure langs ons nie? Wat is die rede waarom u na Rusland hardloop? Selfs Frankryk se kernkrag is goedkoper, Minister. Dit is die eintlike vraag. U moet ons antwoord, vandag.
Ek wens ek het meer tyd gehad, want ek sien hier Gwede Mantashe, die nuwe “Minister van Energie”, wil blykbaar ook gedeeltes van Eskom privatiseer. Dan weet hy ook nie meer wat hy wil privatiseer nie. Eintlik moet die ANC met sy teenstrydighede binne homself en sy affiliate maar handdoek ingooi ... (Translation of Arikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr W F FABER: Chairperson, members and guests, Eskom is once again occupied with its price increases with regard to electricity tariffs at 25, 3% for this year. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Nersa, should consider it carefully before they approve such a total increase that already renders the punch-drunk consumer completely exhausted.
Should one have a look at the price increase and take note that Eskom wants to recover the money in eight months after the end of its financial year, the budget in reality would work out at 31,5%. You are aware of this. Mrs Molefe said that should the increase not be allowed, there would be even more power cuts. Of course these are probably threats against Nersa and our consumers in order to get the concession. An estimated R15 billion is needed for the 2 000 MW diesel powered generators in case of load shedding. The reality is that Eskom saved approximately R11, 4 billion, because it had burnt less coal as a result of maintenance that is overdue; but we are all aware of that. It is therefore clear that the saving of coal combustion is blithely ignored when the focus is on the increase of between R11 billion and R15 billion that should be covered by diesel powered generators.
Then Minister, speaking about creating employment, South Africa gets approximately 1 400 graduated engineers from our universities annually who, for example, could be employed and even trained further by Eskom right there; yet, our ANC runs then off to Cuba in order to import engineers – imports, grey import products, I think. The engineer’s qualification in Cuba is not even being recognised by the South African Association of Consulting Engineers SAACE, which forms part of the Washington Accord. This is an internationally recognised qualification. Engineers from Cuba did not achieve this. It cannot be accepted. The situation even has the president of SAACE, Abe Thela, worried; yet our Minister Peters is ignoring this. Isn’t it time that we take care of our own people and offer jobs to our own people, especially given our unemployment figures?
Why does Government not take a look at gas - at the 100 cubic foot in the so-called Rovuma-catchment area along the coastline of Mozambique? Mossgas has started with 1 trillion cubic ton gas. Sasol is already occupying itself with importing gas from Mozambique via an 865 km pipeline. Why are we not co-operating with our Mozambique neighbours next door to us? What is the reason for you running off to Russia? Even France’s nuclear power comes cheaper, Minister. That is the actual question. You have to give an answer to us, today.
I wish I had more time, because I see here that Gwede Mantashe, the new Minister of Energy, would apparently also privatise parts of Eskom. Then he is also not always certain what he wishes to privatise. The ANC, with all the conflicts surrounding itself and its affiliates, should just throw in the towel ...]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber ...
Mr W F FABER: I am finishing.
... en dan moet hulle net weet ... [... and then they should just be aware that ...]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): You are taking your time. Your time has expired.
Mr W F FABER: ... Suid-Afrika verdien beter. [... South Africa deserves better.]
Mr M KHAWULA: House Chair, hon Minister, and hon Deputy Minister, the country is currently experiencing the problem of load shedding and power outages. Partly contributing to this problem is Eskom’s delay in attending to the refurbishing of aging infrastructure in a timely manner.
The issue of aging infrastructure has today become one of the major challenges for the department and the country. Poor planning and poor management are also concerns. One hopes that the changes effected in some of the institutions concerned will bring adequate leadership that will have the necessary foresight into the issues, for example, Team Energy, through Eskom, getting two long-term contracts with coal suppliers for the plants. Some of these plants have aging infrastructure where operations have ground to a standstill. On the other hand, Team Energy still continues to pay for and stock coal that is unused. As a result, Team Energy, through Eskom, has millions of tons of coal that remain unused in its stock because of poor planning.
When Medupi was kick started, timeframes were laid down. In accordance with these timeframes, Team Energy, through Eskom, contracted Exxaro for the supply of coal. Billions of rand have been spent on coal that should have been utilised but has been unused in the stockpiles for the last two years all because of poor planning. The continuous rise of electricity prices to a point of being unaffordable to the indigent is also a concern. As electricity tariffs go up, the demand for installation and usage is affected.
The department has identified seven key priority areas for focus during this financial year. Amongst these is electricity supply, which is a good thing. The department has set as its target 20 000 households with nongrid electrification. The department also has 45 141 targets for the installation of solar water heating units in the residential and commercial sectors. The department plans to build six new bulk substations and upgrade eight additional substations. Lastly, on targets, the department plans to electrify, with grid electrification, 260 000 households during the 2015-16 financial year.
These are really ambitious targets for a department that has not done that well in the past. Be that as it may, the issue is we still need to be given information, hon Deputy Minister, as to where all this work will be taking place. Relevant select committees will have to monitor the implementation and achievement of these plans. In terms of meeting timeframes and targets on nuclear energy, as a country, we need to improve. Even in this respect, the department has set targets that have to be monitored.
Most of us were shocked when the Minister did an about-turn on the issue of the board and chief executive officer at the SA Nuclear Energy Corporation, Necsa. This was within a period of not more than four weeks. One hopes that the Minister’s about-turn was not forced by instructions from above in order to benefit certain people because this is what was reported on the issue in the media. One also hopes that relations have returned to normal for all concerned at Necsa. I thank you, Chairperson.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon House Chair, shall I join the other speakers who spoke earlier on this day and say all protocol observed. Shall I also join you, hon Chair, to make reference to this colossus of our own African soil produced by the disciplined forces of the left Amika Cabral, and I quote, “Every generation must identify its mission, fulfil it or betray it.”
The ANC, together with the people of South Africa have identified a mission and it gravitates towards achieving that particular mission. Shall I also, with your permission, hon House Chair, make reference to the ANC’s NEC lekgotla recommendations earlier this year? The recommendations are as follows: Firstly, for us to address the challenges of energy supply in our country we need to expedite all viable options to increase supply in short-medium term, for example, additional Open-Cycle-Gas Turbines, renewable independent power producers and cogeneration, among others;
Secondly, assess ways of reducing demands which have low economic impact; thirdly, assess maintenance practices; thirdly, provide a financial support package to Eskom to address stress caused by the overruns on the building programme; fourthly, establish a ‘war room’ to drive progress. And that ‘war room’ is currently managed by the Deputy President of the country; and lastly, ensure sustainable solutions that will move towards cost-reflective tariffs. And so, who, in their right minds, can dare challenge me when I say, this is indeed a good story to tell?
Can I, with you permission hon House Chair, present a synopsis of little balance sheet around energy supply and demand in our country? The origins of the electricity supply industry in the first years of the 20th century, for example, were driven by the needs of the booming mining industry. Later on the development of local nuclear capacity reflected concerns for power supply security. In the 1950s the apartheid government decided to develop a synthetic petroleum industry as a response to threat to crude oil imports.
Today the ANC-led government’s focus is on widening household access to electricity, making modern energy services more equitable and also affordable for the poor and increasing empowerment of the disadvantaged in the energy sector. The sector remains at the heart of structural development in the economy. The energy sector has supported major investments in heavy industry and mining which shape the economic and energy structure of the country. And much of the manufacturing sector is also linked to mining activities through mineral beneficiations and metal production. All these activities are energy intensive relying on the availability of coal for electricity production
One of the most effective arenas of change has been to shift the programmes of the state towards the reconstruction and development of our country, with particular focus on the poor and the marginalised by eliminating poverty and providing access to housing, water, electricity, sanitation, education, health, social protection and support to the millions that were deprived of these basic rights under apartheid.
The apartheid state planned the consignment of all African people to homelands. Whilst only partially successful as many people lived in townships and informal settlement on the outskirts of the South African cities, most remained isolated in underdeveloped homelands, trapped in vicious cycle of abject poverty and unemployment. The impact of apartheid spatial patterns also continues to be felt to this day. Most blacks were not provided with access to basic municipality services such as electricity. In the homelands these municipal services were often nonexistent. In black urban areas, if they did exist, but did not often meet basic needs and were intermittent in nature.
So, Chairperson, hon Van Lingen, representing the DA, in her right mind has an audacity to challenge the ANC on the issues of affordable electricity vis-à-vis privatisation. This to me sounds very strange when it comes from a representative of the DA. My response to this is that, hon Van Lingen cannot hunt with the hounds and run with the rabbits. It cannot happen in the real life. From where I stand ... [Interjections.]
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, whenever any of us use a word like puppet or dog or anything like it’s ruled to be unparliamentary. I ask you to rule this expression unparliamentary please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): Which expression, hon Van Lingen?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: He said, I am running with the dogs and hunting with the rabbits. [Interjections.]
The HONOURABLE MEMBER: You can’t run with the runners. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): Order, hon members. Eh ... hon Van Lingen?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, am I a rabbit?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): No, I am going to make a ruling.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Am I a dog?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): Allow me to make a ruling?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Thank you, Sir.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): Yes, I am going to make a ruling, but I have to get its context and that can only be through Hansard. But let’s allow him to continue. Take you seat, hon Van Lingen.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chair, didn’t you hear?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): Continue, hon Mthimunye.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Didn’t you hear? Hon Khawula must ask you to wake up again.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): No, I heard the word rabbits and ... Hon Mthimunye, continue.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: House Chair, again hon Van Lingen, in her own words, made reference to the ANC as being biased to a chosen few. History shall absolve my ANC like it happened many times in history. This movement of the people – the ANC – has always been biased to the poor, and that is also on record in history. Hon Van Lingen continues again to suggest that the ANC-led government or the Department of Energy must suspend its constitutional obligation of service delivery just because it is pre-elections period. I think, again, hon Van Lingen, one cannot hunt with the hounds and run with the rabbits. [Interjections.]
About my organisation, the ANC, historical records throughout history bears testimony to the effect that this is the people’s movement which has always been biased to the poor. In my final analysis, again, the rejectionist of note whom we began to see after the previous election ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): Hon Mthimunye, sorry. Hon Faber, why are you standing?
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, I would really love to ask this Member of Parliament a question which I know he will be able to answer. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): No, no, no. Let me first ascertain whether he is ready to take that question. Hon Mthimunye, are you ready to take a question?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Chairperson, I always take questions from hon Faber, but he knows where do I take question from him. Not here.
The HONOURABLE MEMBER: In a bus!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): No, he is not ready take ready. Take your seat, hon Faber. [Interjections.]
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: In that BMW at Polokwane Airport. [Laughter.][Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr.A J Nyambi): Hon Mthimunye, sorry. Hon Dlamini?
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, on a point of order. Hon Faber has just addressed hon Mthimunye as, “this member.” He is hon Mthimunye. [Interjections.] ... No, no.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon Faber?
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, I will then refer to that hon member. Continue, hon Mthimunye.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: House Chair, to hon Mtileng, the EFF rejectionist of note, with concocted anger that is not original, but suspicious of being funded, comes here and again rejects the budget as usual whereas they claim to be having the interest of the working class at heart as an organisation. Is this not self-contradictory, hon House Chair?
Sihlalo, isitjho sesiZulu sithi, “Zinqunywa amakhanda ziyekwe.” [Hon Chairperson, let me just live it there.]
The MINISTER OF ENERGY: Thank you very much hon members for those responses. I will definitely take them into account when we have our following planning session. Thank you to the Select Committee on Economic and Business Development, the inputs have really been well-received. Hon Lentit, you are concerned about there not being any opportunities, but then you go on a long rant about liquefied national gas that will be developed at Atlantis special economic zone that will be developed, all by the ANC government. And if these are not opportunities, then what are they?
We do not wish to wipe away the problems, we acknowledge that there are problems, but then there are equal opportunities. Building the gas backbone of our country has now become a priority which it wasn’t a few years ago. So, the gas to power procurement, if we haven’t listened, please listen now, I’m repeating it. We have announced 3 126 megawatts of gas that will be procured. Now that is already there and you might have missed it, sorry, but the opportunity is still there. Run, it’s an opportunity.
You are speaking of energy security as a game changer. It is a game changer. The biofuel’s regulations are there and we have struggled for them for years. Now it has come together. If you are not together, then that is your problem. I cannot now implement an integrated resource plan, IRP, 2013, which in 2013 did not spell out the difficulties that we were going to have in 2015. If it was a document which told us that we were going to have these problems in 2015 it would have been worth implementing. So, how do you implement something which does not tell you about the challenges which you are currently facing? The Ministerial advisory committee is advising me on what to do with the energy master plan, the integrated energy plan and the IRP. It will be IRP 2015 and IRP 2016 which speak to the current challenges that we have as a country.
With regard to the opportunities for local government at a municipal level, we will engage with local municipalities and South African Local Government Association, Salga, in particular, on the details of working with municipalities. [Interjections.] In terms of social responsibility of the independent power producers, IPPs, 19,1 billion will be available of which 6 billion will be used for enterprise development and specific focus and attention will be paid to the youth and women.
Now this renewable energy IPP programme, which will be over the next 20 years, will cost the tax payer and it is going to cost the tax payer billions even trillions, but we do not have a problem because it is wind and solar. So, what is your real problem with nuclear energy? The Western Cape runs its energy on nuclear energy of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. It is one of the cheapest sources of energy in our country right now. [Interjections.] So, if we could run a very efficient and effective nuclear energy programme through Koeberg Nuclear Power Station and through Pelindaba Nuclear Research Centre, are you saying that now suddenly, because there is a black government, we cannot run nuclear energy? Your inferences are racist to the extreme. [Interjections.]
We did not give you a funding or a financial model, yet you are complaining about a financial model. You are complaining about the Russians. Is this the fear you have that the Russians liberated you? The Russians did not just assist the ANC, the Russians liberated you, the DA, the historically white advantaged people of this country. [Interjections.] The Russians assisted us in fighting apartheid and the Russians will assist us in developing our energy programme for our future prosperity. This prosperity, this better life for all, will not be developed by the Americans. It will be developed by our friends. We know who our friends are. I thank you.
The Council adjourned at 19:46.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
TUESDAY, 23 JUNE 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
- Bill passed by National Council of Provinces on 23 June 2015:
- Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill [B 18B – 2014 (Reprint)] National Assembly – sec 75).
National Council of Provinces
1. Message from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces in respect of Bills passed by Assembly and transmitted to Council
- Bills passed by National Assembly and transmitted for concurrence on 23 June 2015:
- Maintenance Amendment Bill [B 16B – 2014] (National Assembly – sec 75).
The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Security and Justice of the National Council of Provinces.
- Agrément South Africa Bill [B 3B – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 75).
The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Economic and Business Development of the National Council of Provinces.
- Disaster Management Amendment Bill [B 10B – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 76).
The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of the National Council of Provinces.
2. Referral to Committees of papers tabled
- The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources for consideration and report:
- Yearly Report to Parliament on international environmental instruments for 2014-15, tabled in terms of section 26(1) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No 107 of 1998).
National Council of Provinces
Please see page 2533 of the ATCs.
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