Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 26 Jun 2015

Summary

No summary available.


Minutes

FRIDAY, 26 JUNE 2015

____

 

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES

____

 

The Council met at 09:06.

 

The Deputy Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment for silent prayers or meditation.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.

 

BUSINESS OF THE DAY

 

(Announcement)

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I have been informed that there will be no notices ... Oh! Hon Nyambi?

 

Mr A J NYAMBI: Deputy Chair, on a point of order: I am checking whether it is parliamentary for the hon Labuschagne, when they said “Deputy Chairperson”, to be running in front of the Chairperson and confusing us, not knowing who the Deputy Chairperson is. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Alright. That’s a point for laughter.

 

As I was saying, hon members, I have been informed that the Whippery have agreed that there won’t be any notices of motion. Chief Whip.

 

TRANSFORMATION OF SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Deputy Chair, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

 

That the Council -

 

(1)        notes that, in establishing the SADC Parliamentary Forum, SADC PF, in September 1997, the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government envisaged constituting a parliamentary consultative assembly, its ultimate goal being the establishment of a regional parliamentary framework for dialogue on issues of regional interest and concern;

 

(2)        further notes that a meeting of the SADC PF will take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, from 5 to 11 July 2015;

 

(3)        also notes that SADC Speakers recently met with President Ian Khama of Botswana, incoming Chairperson of SADC, to engage him on the transformation of the SADC PF into a regional parliament;

 

(4)        acknowledges that the SADC PF continues to operate as a regional parliamentary body that is widely accepted and consulted, not only regionally, but also on the rest of the continent and internationally;

 

(5)        recognises the efforts of the SADC PF in improving the capacity of member parliaments, particularly in the areas of election observation and management, as well as the advancement of gender equality in the region;

 

(6)        further acknowledges that the SADC PF, though not yet formally transformed into a regional parliament as originally envisaged, has made great strides towards achieving this objective, amongst other things, in its format by operating in accordance with agreed rules of procedure and practice at its most recent plenary assemblies in Mauritius and at Victoria Falls; and

 

(7)        expresses its support for the transformation of the SADC PF into a regional parliament and the lobbying efforts of the leadership of the forum to present to the SADC Heads of State and Government, Council of Ministers and SADC Secretariat the case for such transformation that will, inter alia

 

(a)      facilitate the effective implementation of SADC policies and projects, including SADC protocols and other legal instruments;

 

(b)      promote the principles of human rights, gender equality and democracy within the region;

 

(c)      encourage good governance, transparency and accountability in the region and in the operation of SADC institutions;

 

(d)      facilitate the ratification and harmonisation of policies and laws, while recognising the sovereignty of member states; and

 

(e)      provide a forum for discussion on matters of common interest to SADC countries.

 

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.

 

SUSPENSION OF RULE 239(1)

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Deputy Chair, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

 

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 Eskom Special Appropriation Bill and Eskom Subordinated Loan Special Appropriation Amendment Bill (2008/09-2010/11 Financial Years).

 

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.

 

ESKOM SPECIAL APPROPRIATION BILL

 

(Consideration of Bill and of Report of Select Committee on Appropriations thereon)

 

ESKOM SUBORDINATED LOAN SPECIAL APPROPRIATION AMENDMENT BILL (2008/09-2010/11 FINANCIAL YEARS)

 

(Consideration of Bill and of Report of Select Committee on Appropriations thereon)

 

Mr S J MOHAI: Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister of Finance, Minister, Nene, hon members, today, 26 June 2015, we assemble here in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa as a free people. Sixty years ago, our people also assembled in Kliptown to demand, among other things, that the people should govern and that all national groups should be represented in Parliament. It is in this regard that this House, the National Council of Provinces, gathers at this moment to present the will of the people 60 years on. The Freedom Charter continues to serve as a mobilisation tool for all the people of South Africa for genuine socioeconomic emancipation.

 

In line with section 13(1) of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, the two Eskom appropriation Bills were referred to the committee for consideration and report. The two Bills appropriate funds to Eskom in order to help improve Eskom’s operations and credit ratings, and also to enhance Eskom’s additional borrowing capacity.

 

In the 2014 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS, the Minister of Finance re-emphasised that a strong, sustainable electricity generation sector is necessary for the economy to grow more rapidly. Government’s commitment to enhancing Eskom’s reliability and performance of the distribution, transmission and generation system has been made, and additional power is being produced.

 

The package of support introduced in the 2014 MTBPS included the direct allocation of R20 billion to Eskom, the selling of certain nonstrategic state assets to raise about R23 billion in order to support Eskom, and converting the 2008-09 special Eskom loan into state shares in Eskom. While the utilisation of state guarantees to Eskom was expected to raise about R50 billion over the medium term, the government made a commitment that there would be no further guarantees issued. The Minister further indicated that, over the medium term, any funding of state-owned assets will be contingent on the implementation of sound restructuring plans with strong government oversight, which we welcome.

 

As is required legislatively, the committee held a number of public hearings where various stakeholders made presentations to the committee. Generally, presenters motivated for the proposed granting of financial support to Eskom, but raised some issues. These included the need for us to put stronger measures in place to deal with this matter; concerns with the granting of state guarantees; and effective oversight over Eskom to ensure the appropriated funds are used to achieve the desired effect.

 

Hon members should remember that Eskom deals with electricity generation, storage and provision. Therefore, it is a utility that provides basic services, so part of its mandate is developmental. The committee has, accordingly, made some recommendations to ensure effective oversight over Eskom, as a measure to support Eskom with its current challenges. National Treasury is expected to comply with its legislative mandate to ensure the entity effectively manages public funds, assets and liabilities. National Treasury is further expected to monitor, evaluate and report to Parliament on the implementation of current state guarantees to Eskom.

 

Oversight over Eskom by the Department of Public Enterprises is funded through the Enterprises subprogramme of the Portfolio Management and Strategic Partnerships programme, with an allocation of R52,4 million over the medium term. The Department of Energy also has an oversight role over Eskom due to its mandate to ensure increasing household access to electricity. Spending on electrification infrastructure is expected to increase to R6,4 billion by the 2017-18 financial year.

 

The committee also noted all the factors that might have contributed to the current Eskom challenges. To redress some of these factors requires effective oversight by select committees and other role-players. Another issue that has been raised by some participants is the issue of electricity tariffs that are perceived to be too low to finance Eskom operations and investment needs. The committee is of the view, however, that the notion of low electricity tariffs needs thorough probing and interrogation.

 

The committee found that the proposed Bills are in line with government plans to support Eskom with additional funding without worsening the current budget deficit. The committee is further of the view that the perceived negative impact of the two Bills is far outweighed by the need to sustain Eskom as a strategic entity in the country.

 

The 2008-09 Eskom loan was to be paid over a period of 30 years, taking into account the medium-term impact of Eskom’s capital investment plan and Eskom’s balance sheet. The committee is of the view that the current conditions – Eskom’s capital investment plan and balance sheet – justify the conversion of the loan into state shares in Eskom. It is for this reason that the Select Committee on appropriations, having considered the Eskom appropriation Bills referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as section 77 Bills, reports that it has agreed to the Bills without any amendments. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon members, I wish to bring to your attention that you should have noted that the Bills were dealt with collectively. However, in the voting process, we will deal with them separately.

 

Before I put the question, I would like to inform members that there are proposed amendments to the first Order, as reflected on the Order Paper ... [Inaudible.] ... have read, in terms of Rule 212(1) of the Council. In terms of Rule 212(5)(b), the first decision should be on the proposed amendments. I hope that you are following. There are amendments that have been proposed, on the first Order. Therefore, in terms of the Rules of the House, we need to put the amendments first, before we even get to the second.

 

Question put: That the proposed amendments to the Bill be agreed to.

 

Declarations of vote:

Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Deputy Chairperson, the purpose of the amendment is to give the Minister of Finance the responsibility and also the ability to take charge of this amount of money that is being transferred to the Eskom account to stabilise electricity in South Africa and the industry, and jobs and lights for the poor. It is for this reason that we ask that the Minister must, in writing within 30 days of assent on all parts of the appropriation, bring the regulations or impose conditions to take control of such a document and the agreement. So, in terms of the amendment, we motivate that, with giving the Minister of Finance the powers to do what he has to do, we ask that the House agrees to this. I thank you.

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, do you want me to stand here or come to the front?

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No, you can do it from there.

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Thank you, Deputy Chair. The IFP stands in this House today, appealing to the 54 members of the NCOP who represent 52 million South Africans to be true to our responsibilities, to ourselves and to the people we serve. Let us put South Africa first, before the parties we represent. We want to invoke within colleagues, the hon members of the NCOP, a spirit of ubuntu, a spirit of goodwill, embedded and rightfully reflected in the ideals of our Constitution. We want to believe that hon members have come to this important sitting with an open mind. We want to engage objectively on issues before us in order to serve South Africa in the best possible way.

 

The IFP maintains that, as this House, we have no choice in the matter but to approve the Bill. It is either we agree to provide the R23 billion to Eskom or Eskom will spiral further downwards.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): No, no, no. I am trying to listen and to follow the member so that I’m able to correct him. We are dealing with the amendments, as proposed by the DA.

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Oh! Oh!

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Yes. [Interjections.]

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Oh, Chairperson! Not statements, as yet? [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Oh! Yes. Yes. No. [Interjections.] We are dealing with the amendments. [Interjections.] Hon members, can I preside over this? That is why I was trying to follow the member very closely.

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Can I check first? Are we still going to get a chance for statements?

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Yes. We are getting there.

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Thank you. The IFP supports the amendments.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): The IFP supports the amendments as proposed by the DA. Alright. [Applause.]

 

Mr B G NTHEBE: Deputy Chair, we want to bring to the attention of the hon members that the Minister responsible, on behalf of the South African government, is the main shareholder, in this regard. He has the responsibility to bring about stability and implement any matter that will bring about stability in the Eskom matters.

 

Inherently, as the ANC, we want to rise and say we are bestowed with the responsibility by an overwhelming majority of the electorate to ensure that decisions we take resonate with the expectations and aspirations of our people. Therefore, we don’t want to be deterred by such an amendment. In fact, the very intent and purpose of the amendment is to cast aspersions on the stamina and thinking ability of the Minister responsible – that this capable Minister can’t exercise his discretionary power to accede to the aspirations of the people by taking decisions that are necessary, within the confines of the law, of course.

 

We therefore stand up and reject this amendment. The people, including those affected by the isolated, reported flooding in Cape Town, deserve energy security. This very Bill is going to afford the Minister the opportunity to intervene accordingly. Therefore we don’t agree with the amendment. Thank you, Deputy Chair. [Applause.]

 

Division demanded.

 

The Council divided.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon members, the ... hon members ...

 

Ms M C DIKGALE: [Inaudible.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau):  No, no, no. I’m not considering that. Hon Michalakis?

 

Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I rise in terms of Rule 66(c), that says the officer presiding must put the question again and then instruct the ayes and nos and members abstaining to take their seats in areas designated by the officer presiding. I respectfully submit that a division calls for a physical division within this House, in terms of Rule 66(c). I would request from you that we stick to those Rules, and that we ...

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon members, you know, we are just wasting time now, because I did put the question and I even ... [Interjections.] ... hon members, could you just be in order, please? I even asked members if we should physically move and members said no, they were fine. However, now, then, for the sake of the Rules, can we physically divide? [Interjections.] Could those who are in favour of the amendments move to this side?

 

Order, hon members! Hon Julius, I thought you were long there. Hon Julius? Hon Mtileni?

 

Mr V E MTILENI: Deputy Chair, there seems to be a little bit of confusion here. [Interjections.] It’s like other members are buying me, so perhaps you can dangle your carrot and I perhaps I will be able to ...

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon Mtileni, you are out of order. Can you take your seat, please?

 

Mr V E MTILENI: This is the thing. I am abstaining. [Interjections.] At the back?

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Yes. Order, hon members! Hon members, can voting start now? Can the counting start for those who vote in favour of the amendments, and can the counting start for those who vote against the amendments? The hon Labuschagne will help me with those who vote in favour. The hon Mampuru will help with those who vote against. Can that proceed, please? Hon Labuschagne? [Interjections.] Oh. Alright. Hon Mampuru? Hon House Chair?

 

Mr A J NYAMBI: Deputy Chairperson, can we give a task to a person that will be assisting you with those abstaining? So, let’s give that responsibility to the hon Mtileni. [Laughter.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Thank you very much. The hon Mtileni will assist with the counting of those who abstain! Alright. Can you give the results, please?

 

AYES - 10: Chetty, M; Essack, F; Faber, W F; Groenewald, H B; Julius, J W W; Labuschagne, C; Masango, B; Michalakis, G; Smit, C F B; Van Lingen, E C.

 

NOES - 25: De Beer, C J; Dikgale, M C; Makue, E R; Madileng, W T; Mampuru, T K; Manopole, G M; Mateme, H E; Mhlanga, M T; Mlambo, E M; Modise, T R; Mohai, S J; Motara, T; Mququ, P C; Mthimunye, S G; Nyambi, A J; Nthebe, B G; Nzimande, L P M; Parkies, J P; Prins, E; Sefako, O; Singh, A S; Thobejane, S G; Tlake, M F; Ximbi, D L; Zwane L L.

 

ABSTAIN – 2: Khawula, M; Mtileni, V E.

 

Proposed amendments to the Bill rejected to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

 

CONSIDERATION OF ESKOM SPECIAL APPROPRIATION BILL

 

(Consideration of Report of Select Committee on Appropriations thereon)

 

Debate concluded.

 

Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.

 

Declaration(s) of vote:

Mr V E MTILENI: Deputy Chair, context is important. The Komati Power Station was the first in 1961 and the Majuba Power Station was last in 1996. There have been more than 3,8 million new households added to the electricity grid since 1994, but the ANC government failed to recognise the need for new power stations or the maintenance of aging ones.

 

In 2006, the Minister came to Parliament to ask for loans to save Eskom. In 2010, Eskom went to the World Bank to borrow more than R30 billion, but still failed to stabilise electricity supply. When Parliament approved the loan, the Minister of Finance was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that infrastructure projects were managed accordingly, but the Minister neglected that responsibility.

 

Today, Eskom spends more than R50 billion on loans and interest. National Treasury wants to wish away a R60 billion loan. In real terms, government stands to lose more than R80 billion of interest in potential revenue. While infrastructure deteriorates, is unattended and rotting, and ordinary South Africans sit in the dark, Eskom’s executives and directors paid themselves more than R170 billion in salaries and other benefits over three years.

 

Eskom failed to show Parliament any efforts put in place to reduce wasteful expenditure. Instead, they blame the poor for accessing electricity. It is the ANC government that refused to build additional infrastructure. The 1998 White Paper on Energy was clear about the need to build new power stations. It took 13 years for the ANC to realise that South Africa would not have electricity in 2015.

 

Today, Eskom spends more than R50 billion on loans and interest, and the National Treasury wants to wish away a R60 billion loan to allow Eskom to borrow another R50 billion. None of this makes financial sense, even from the Minister of Finance. It is not a coincidence that the National Treasury wants Parliament to give Eskom R23 billion. This is the exact amount that Eskom needs for a loan repayment and not to enhance electricity generation capacity, as claimed by Eskom.

 

In pre-1996 and 2007, Eskom was not involved in any capital expenditure. Where does this debt come from? The hon Minister and the rest of the hon ANC members use their majority in Parliament to openly validate corruption. The EFF refuses to be party to this. [Time expired.]

 

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Mtileni, your time expired. [Interjections.] Your time has expired. [Interjections.] No, no, leave him. Hon members, order! You will realise that I have switched off the member’s mic. I’m not him taking into any consideration; I’m not taking the remarks that he is making seriously; yet, you are engaging with the member and I don’t know why. I saw the DA.

 

Mr F ESSACK: Hon Deputy Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity of allowing us to make this declaration. On behalf of the DA I would like to make the following declaration on the Eskom Appropriation Bill.

 

The Eskom Appropriation Bill is set to bailout Eskom to the amount of R23 billion. The purpose of the Bill is to appropriate additional funding for the Department of Public Enterprises to increase the state’s equity investment in Eskom Holdings Ltd. The R23 billion, according to government, will come from the sale of nonstrategic assets and of course will be paid out in three trunches. The first trunch of R10 billion has to be paid by the end of June, which is next week.

 

The DA notes that Eskom must remain solvent to continue providing electricity to South Africa, albeit our concern that no clarity has been given around the sale of state assets. The questions that remain are: What assets exactly are up for sale? How were these assets identified? How did the bidding process of these assets proceed? And of course, have any purchase agreements to date been physically concluded? No.

 

It is no secret that Eskom’s finances are at its worst since South Africa became a democracy. Debt is currently close to R300 billion with debt service doubling from R4,2 billion in 2008-09 to over R9 billion in 2013-14. This is double the cost of this period. As confirmed, the chief financial officer, CFO, of Eskom has resigned. If the CFO, the most strategic money man within Eskom, decides to leave the company it further confirms the lack of financial direction and the instability that Eskom has provided to the South African public.

 

In conclusion, due to the lack of transparency in the sale of publicly owned assets; the inevitable cost increases of electricity; and Eskom’s dire financial situation as confirmed by the pubic announcement that Eskom’s CFO has resigned, the DA cannot this Bill. I thank you.

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo ohloniphekile. Mangiqhubeke la ngigcine khona ngoba besengiqalile. [Thank you, hon Chairperson. Let me proceed from where I stopped as I had already begun.]

 

The IFP maintains that as this House we have no choice in the matter but to approve the Bill. It is either we agree to provide the R23 billion to Eskom or Eskom will spiral further downwards into a greater liquidity crisis, and sink. We dare not allow that to happen.

 

However, we need to be responsible in the way we offer this assistance. If the past trend of bailouts without proper checks and balances continues, it means that there are absolutely no lessons learnt in all these ... [Inaudible.] The NCOP as the second House of this Parliament, amongst other things, needs to provide scrutiny to the Bills passed to it by the National Assembly. Why do we have to go through the same process that the National Assembly has already gone through? It is so that where there may have been oversight and slipups, the NCOP provides the necessary oversight.

 

Therefore, the IFP supports the approval of the Bill with amendments, especially for the very oversight responsibility that we have to provide. There is a difference between the Minister of Finance may and the Minister of Finance must. May is optional whereas must is obligatory. Therefore, we cannot simply leave it to the discretion of the Minister to report for accountability purposes but we must insert a meaning which obliges the Minister to report so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past which have contributed to landing the state-owned companies in the red.

 

The insertion on all parts instead of some parts also makes it obligatory for adequate accountability to happen. This House, amongst other things, is about accountability. Therefore, let us move away from the clauses which enforce accountability in the legislation we pass. As the NCOP we are not just about rubber-stamping without scrutiny; we are not just about endorsing without applying a critical mind. We look at all the options and close all the gaps.

 

This amendment is about closing possible gaps because laws are not about the current character of incumbents but laws outlive the incumbents. Today is one sad day in the course of service delivery, where the report states that sustainability of the service is crumbling unless a bailout is offered. If Ministries cannot put internal controls in the entities that they oversee, let the wisdom of legislation devise that for them.

 

In conclusion, let me remind this House that Parliament has a constitutional duty of oversight and accountability. This constitutional duty is grounded on the principle of legality. If we do not subscribe to the principle of legality, accountability and oversight is no more. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Ms T MOTARA: Deputy Chairperson, as the ANC we declare now that we support the capital injection, not bailout, of Eskom. There are two different aspects to this. The one is for capital expenditure, hon Mtileni. It is not for the payment of salaries or operations, but it is for capital expenditure ... the R23 billion. There are two different debt figures that were labelled here; one is R3 billion ... you have an account of R23 billion and I’m not sure which one is the correct one. So, maybe we must scrutinise where it is that you get your reports.

 

The reality is that in South Africa economic growth is linked to energy supply and if we don’t have sufficient energy supply we will not have adequate economic growth in this country. This is not about you and I who can afford to pay for electricity services and are irritated by blackouts or load shedding, but this is about those who don’t currently even have access to electricity and energy supply because there isn’t enough energy generation. The only way to get ample energy generation is to continue building it. We can’t supply energy to 45 million South Africans with the current energy supply. [Interjections.]

 

Firstly, Eskom needs to be saved in order for it to continue growing. [Applause.] Secondly, the state has a responsibility as a majority shareholder ... and if you were a majority shareholder in any company you would be in the same position to inject capital ... your own capital ... into your ongoing concern. That is the reality. So today it is not about you and I who will be affected by blackouts or striated by load shedding, but it’s about those who have yet to turn on a switch and get access to electricity.

 

Eskom has a responsibility, and we have a responsibility to supply 45 million ... [Interjections.] ... South Africans with electricity. As the ANC we declare that we support both the R23 billion capital injection into Eskom and the conversion of the loan into capital. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you. We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. We shall now proceed; we shall now proceed; we shall now proceed. [Interjections.] We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. Ja, then they want to be taken seriously.

 

Nee man, Mtileni! [No man, Mtileni!] Can you be in order? [Laughter.] Are you now voting against? [Interjections.]

 

Mr V E MTILENI: [Inaudible.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Okay, hon Mtileni, you are voting against. Sit down now! Can you please sit down? [Interjections.] No, you are disrupting the House now! [Interjections.] Are you voting against, in favour or do you abstain?

 

Mr V E MTILENI: By way of raising a hand? [Interjections.] I’m voting against.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Alright. Join those who vote against.

 

Mr V E MTILENI: [Inaudible.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you join those who vote against? Hon Mtileni, in terms of the very same rules of this House ... Hon members, order! You can’t stand in the House if ... Can I get ... [Inaudible.]

 

Division demanded.

 

The Council divided:

 

AYES - 25: De Beer, C J; Dikgale, M C; Makue, E R; Madileng, W T; Mampuru, T K; Manopole, G M; Mateme, H E; Mhlanga, M T; Mlambo, E M; Modise, T R; Mohai, S J; Motara, T; Mququ, P C; Mthimunye, S G; Nyambi, A J; Nthebe, B G; Nzimande, L P M; Parkies, J P; Prins, E; Sefako, O; Singh, A S; Thobejane, S G; Tlake, M F; Ximbi, D L; Zwane L L.

 

NOES - 11: Chetty, M; Essack, F; Faber, W F; Groenewald, H B; Julius, J W W; Labuschagne, C; Masango, B; Michalakis, G; Mtileni, V E; Smit, C F B; Van Lingen, E C.

 

ABSTAIN - 1: Khawula, M.

Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

 

 

CONSIDERATION OF ESKOM SUBORDINATED LOAN SPECIAL APPROPRIATION AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Report of Select Committee on Appropriations thereon)

 

Debate concluded.

 

Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.

 

Declaration(s) of Vote:

Mr F ESSACK: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I must again thank you for the opportunity of allowing us to make a declaration. Again, on behalf of the DA I would like to make the following declaration on the Eskom Subordinated Loan Special Appropriation Amendment Bill.

 

This Bill seeks to convert a R60 billion government loan to Eskom into equity, in order to reduce Eskom’s debt by R24,4 billion.

 

... I would ask that hon Motara concentrate ...

 

Eskom is currently in a state of crisis, which includes a lack of political leadership; mismanagement as a public enterprise; financial instability; and further technical issues with regard to a lack of generation capacity, power station build problems and of course, huge maintenance backlogs.

 

Eskom previously had a better credit rating than our government’s sovereign debt. Currently, Eskom’s long-term debt is fast approaching R300 billion. Millions of South Africans are, correctly so, still experiencing load shedding despite Eskom’s acting chief executive officer, CEO, Brian Molefe, assuring us that during this winter we will be load shedding free.

 

An HON MEMBER: Will he last that long?

 

Mr F ESSACK: I wonder. Yet, Eskom has asked for another tariff hike. Eskom has asked for another tariff hike of 25,3% which the National Energy Regulator of SA,  Nersa, is currently conducting public hearings on. Considering the R23 billion bailout application by Eskom to Parliament, tariff increases that will do irreparable damage to our economy and the request for government to write off a further R60 billion loan, the DA cannot support this Bill.

 

Before I conclude, I would remind hon Motara that it is because of the 20 years of pathetic planning by the ANC which is why you and I are currently experiencing load shedding, irrespective of whether we can afford it or not. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Ms E PRINS: Deputy Chairperson, firstly I want to say that the member who stood here doesn’t even belong to this committee. On Tuesday we saw the National Assembly adopting the Bill which outlined government’s support package to Eskom. Today, it’s before this House for adoption.

 

Adjunkvoorsitter, Eskom is ’n strategiese bate. Die staatsonderneming tel onder die vyf grootste elektrisiteitsmaatskappye in die wêreld. Ek sien die eindtyd-profete wil Eskom oor die afgrond dryf maar die ANC regering het ’n besluit geneem dat Eskom in sy huidige toestand sal voortgaan. [Tussenwerpsels.] Eskom verskaf 95% van die land se elektrisiteit en ons sal voortgaan om die staatsonderneming te versterk. Ons hou die vordering van Eskom se infrastruktuurprojekte fyn dop. Die nuwe Medupi-kragstasie se eenheid 6 is reeds besig om gemiddeld 800 megawatt aan die kragnetwerk te verskaf. Nou sien ons uit dat dit binne die volgende 12 weke amptelik in diens geneem gaan word.

 

Verder is die Sere Windplaas naby Koekenaap,  aan die Weskaap se Weskus besig om 100 megawatt aan die netwerk te verskaf. Ons as ’n komitee moet na hierdie model gaan kyk wat Eskom binne die tydskaal voltooi het. [Tussenwerpsels.] Hoewel Eskom ’n tariefverhoging aangevra het, sal die ANC verseker dat die armes beskerm word teen buitensporige verhogings. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ons doen ’n beroep op Eskom ... [Tussenwerpsels.] ... om sy vakante uitvoerende bestuursposte so gou as moontlik ... (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[Deputy Chairperson, Eskom is a strategic asset. This government entity counts amongst the five largest electricity companies in the world. I notice that the end-is-nigh prophets would like to push Eskom over the edge, but the current ANC government has taken a resolution that Eskom will continue in its current stride. [Interjections.] Eskom provides 95% of the country’s electricity and we will continue to enhance this government entity. We are monitoring the improvement of Eskom’s infrastructure projects very closely. The new Medupi Power Station’s Unit 6 is already producing on average 800 Megawatt to the electricity grid. Now we are looking forward to it being officially taken into service within the next 12 weeks.

 

Furthermore, the Sere Windfarm near Koekenaap, at the West Coast’s western coast, is providing 100 Megawatt to the grid. As a committee we have to look at this model that Eskom had completed within the timescale. [Interjections.] Although a tariff increase had been requested by Eskom, the ANC will ensure that the poor will be protected against exorbitant increases. [Interjections.] We urgently call on Eskom ... [Interjections.] ... to ... his vacant executive management posts as soon as possible ...]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, order, order please!

 

Ms E PRINS: Ons doen ’n beroep op Eskom om sy vakante uitvoerende bestuursposte so gou as moontlik te vul om te verseker dat die staatsonderneming optimaal bestuur word. [We urgently call on Eskom to fill its vacant executive senior management posts as soon as possible in order to ensure that this government institution is managed optimally.]

 

The ANC supports these Bills which will enable key interventions to stabilise the electricity sector. Furthermore, I will ensure that Eskom continues to connect more South Africans to the grid. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. I must make the point that it was so interesting when hon Essack made a declaration on behalf of ... [Inaudible.] ... he did not experience even a single interruption; yet, as soon as a member of another party made a declaration, he couldn’t control himself and kept on interrupting the other member. The point I am raising ... [Interjections.] ... No, can you take your seats, hon members? I am still addressing you; I am still addressing you; I am still addressing you. The point I am trying to make is what we have consistently being saying, which is that there is nothing wrong with heckling but don’t present yourself in such a manner that interrupts and in actual fact interferes with the right of another member to address this House. That then becomes a problem. However, to be lively, to interact, to heckle and so forth is not a problem. At some point there are words that we use which might not be comfortable during an interruption or interjection by you who are not at the podium. So please, hon members, I am raising this as a point for us to consider at all times. I see two DA members on their feet. I don’t know who to recognise first.

 

Mr J W W JULIUS: Deputy Chairperson, it’s happening again. I must remind you that if you are on that seat you need to apply the rules; and the rules indicate that heckling is allowed. It stops there. If you see that I am out of order you stop me, say that I am out of order and call me to order. You were biased now, because you are protecting the ANC in this House.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is your point of order, hon member?

 

Mr J W W JULIUS: If the ANC heckles us you can stop them; if we heckle ...

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is your point of order?

 

Mr J W W JULIUS: My point of order is that you are biased.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. I take your point but once more ... once more ... can you take your seat? You have made your point so allow me to make a ruling on that particular point of order that you have just made. In making a ruling on that point, I would once more want to remind this House that there is a ruling ... Can you take your seat, hon Mtileni ... There is a ruling that was made two days before by the Chair to the very same member who is raising the issue of bias – thereby casting aspersions on Presiding Officers – to present a substantive motion for this matter around the issue of bias to be further engaged. How many times have I been calling members to order and they kept on behaving in the manner in which they were behaving? It’s not as if I was just quietly looking at members interrupting the engagement of a member. I kept calling members to order and they just kept on disregarding the order that I was making. So, I don’t know. I will just reiterate and reaffirm the position or the ruling that was made by the Chairperson of the Council that a substantive motion be presented to the House by the hon member Julius for this matter to be further engaged. Hon Faber, on what point are you rising?

 

Mr W F FABER: Deputy Chairperson, it is not up to the Chairperson to make an assumption on when a certain ... [Inaudible.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE SNCOP: What is your point of order, hon member?

 

Mr W F FABER: Deputy Chairperson, please hear me out; I am speaking. My point of order is exactly what hon Julius was saying on the ...

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, if that is the case then there is a ruling.

 

Mr W F FABER: No, no ... [Inaudible.] ... because you made an assumption ...

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you take your seat, hon member?

 

Mr W F FABER: You made an assumption that certain parties ...

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you take your seat, hon member?

 

Mr W F FABER: ... and that is a political assumption.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you take your seat, hon member? There is a ruling. If it is the same order there is a ruling on that order, so there is no need for you to remind me of a ruling that has been made on a particular order. Hon members, we shall now proceed to voting on the question. Do you want to make a declaration of vote? Proceed, hon member.

 

Mr V E MTILENI: Deputy Chair, it’s interesting ... [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Do not interrupt the member, hon Mampuru.

 

Mr V E MTILENI: Now if between 1996 and 2007, Eskom was not involved in any capital expenditure. Where does this debt come from? The Minister and the rest of the ANC use its majority in Parliament to openly validate corruption. The EFF refuses to be party to this. Today, the House passes the Bill to write off Eskom’s loan. Tomorrow, it will be passing another one ... [Interjections.] ... to forget the Nkandla upgrades.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mampuru, can you take your seat? Sorry, I’m thinking of the Whip now. Hon Mtileni ... [Laughter.] ... hon Mtileni, please take your seat.

 

Nks P C MQUQU: Sekela Sihlalo, ndiphakamela ukwenza isiphakamiso sonqwanqwado, ohloniphekileyo uMtileni uthi i-ANC inorhwaphilizo. Ayilunganga loo nto kuba akanabo ubungqina bokuthetha ngolo hlobo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

 

[Ms P C MQUQU: Hon Deputy Chair, on a point of order: hon Mtileni says the ANC is corrupt. He is wrong for talking like that because he does not have evidence.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It’s not for you to tell me how to rule on the matter. [Interjections.] Hon members, you see now? You see? You see? That’s the exact behaviour that I am talking about. Whilst I am making a comment on such behaviour we will then be told of other words. However, I don’t want to get involved in that. [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni, you are out of order, you know that? There is a point of order that is being raised by a member that I have recognised and the member is on her feet. She is addressing me. [Interjections.]

 

Mr V E MTILENI: It’s a point of debate, not a point of order. It’s a point of debate.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, was that the point of order that you rose on?

 

Ms P C MQUQU: Chair, can you rule on the statement?

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. Hon members, you know what ... [Interjections.] ... I think the point must be made that ... No, let me not even raise it. I think this is a matter that I recognise and I think it is only fair for me to make the point in this House that this matter will be reported to the Chair for matters to be dealt with. We can’t continue like this; we can’t continue like this. I am going to report this matter to the Chairperson who will then make a pronouncement on how we are going to proceed from now on. We can’t be consistently undermined in the manner that we are experiencing, where even a member who is at the ... the behaviour of hon Mtileni is just not on. Alright, it’s a matter that will be reported. Hon Mququ, I didn’t hear the context in which the word corruption was used. Will you allow me to ... Hon Mtileni, I have not yet given you an opportunity to ... [Inaudible.] I will satisfy myself first and then make a ruling ... [Inaudible.] Hon Mtileni, can you continue with your declaration?

 

Mr V E MTILENI: Yesterday, the Deputy President and his friends at Glencore negotiated tenders to supply Eskom with coal. Today, he has total control over Eskom’s decisions through the war room. Decisions are made secretively or privately. Coal is purchased with total disregard for procurement procedures and inflated prices are paid. Workers’ salaries have been stagnant for more than two decades while capital accumulation increases drastically. Two kids died in Limpopo province because poor families cannot afford food. Government fails to provide sufficient social protection to the majority of poor South Africans.

 

To begin with, Eskom as a state-owned company was never designed to operate on a cost recovery or profit basis but in the interest of the nation. [Interjections.]

 

Mr W T MADILENG: Deputy Chair, I’m rising on a point of order: Hon Mtileni is misleading the House. It is disorderly for him to say that workers’ salaries have been stagnant for two decades. It’s untrue and we move that he withdraws that statement.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I sustain that order.

 

Mr V E MTILENI: [Inaudible.] ... To begin with, Eskom as a state-owned company was never designed to operate on a cost recovery or profit basis but in the interest of the nation. The Minister of Finance, hon Nhlanhla Nene, is secretly engaging in deals to sell off what is considered noncore assets, yet thus far they have failed to tell Parliament what exactly these noncore assets are. If Eskom is privatised like Vodacom, MTN and Telkom, the majority of South Africans will be left in the dark as the price of electricity increases for profit, as we have seen with regard to mobile services.

 

The secretary general of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, has publically denied that they plan to sell off part of Eskom. As for the public however, it appears as if the bureaucrats at the National Treasury are doing the opposite – a clear indication of a lack of policy coherence and co-ordination by the ANC government. It remains the responsibility of government to ensure that there is sufficient electricity supply, and Eskom together with the National Treasury must reduce wastage and eradicate corruption. [Time expired.]

 

Division demanded.

The Council divided.

 

AYES - 25: De Beer, C J; Dikgale, M C; Makue, E R; Madileng, W T; Mampuru, T K; Manopole, G M; Mateme, H E; Mhlanga, M T; Mlambo, E M; Modise, T R; Mohai, S J; Motara, T; Mququ, P C; Mthimunye, S G; Nyambi, A J; Nthebe, B G; Nzimande, L P M; Parkies, J P; Prins, E; Sefako, O; Singh, A S; Thobejane, S G; Tlake, M F; Ximbi, D L; Zwane L L.

 

NOES - 11: Chetty, M; Essack, F; Faber, W F; Groenewald, H B; Julius, J W W; Labuschagne, C; Masango, B; Michalakis, G; Mtileni, V E; Smit, C F B; Van Lingen, E C.

 

ABSTAIN - 1: Khawula, M.

 

Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

 

The Council adjourned at 10:12.

__________

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

THURSDAY, 25 JUNE 2015

 

TABLINGS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

1.      The Minister of Environmental Affairs

 

  1. General Notice No 44, published in Government Gazette No 38395, dated 15 January 2015: Norms and Standards for the translocation of indigenous species in South Africa, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).

 

  1. General Notice No 16, published in Government Gazette No 38388, dated 16 January 2015: Draft Research Regulations, in terms of the National Environmental Management Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 (Act No 24 of 2008).

 

  1. General Notice No 83, published in Government Gazette No 38436, dated 30 January 2015: Bioprospecting Permit Application, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).

 

  1. General Notice No 84, published in Government Gazette No 38438, dated 2 February 2015:  National Pricing strategy for Waste Management Charges, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No 59 of 2008).

 

  1. General Notice No 130, published in Government Gazette No 38472, dated 13 February 2015:  Amendment to the list of waste management activities  that have , or are likely to have a detrimental effect on the environment, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No 59 of 2008).
  2. General Notice No 208, published in Government Gazette No 38543, dated 6 March 2015: Proposed Regulations regarding fees for the provision of Aviation Meteorological Services, in terms of the South African Weather Service  Act, 2001 (Act No 8 of 2001).

 

  1. Government Notice No R. 205, published in Government Gazette No 38559, dated 12 March 2015: National Appeal Amendment Regulations, in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No 107 of 1998).

 

  1. General Notice No 351, published in Government Gazette No 38706, dated 17 April 2015: Biodiversity Management Plan for African Lion (Panthera Leo), in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).

 

  1. General Notice No 364, published in Government Gazette, No 38707, dated 24 April 2015: Draft Waterberg Bojanala Priority Area Air Quality Management Plan, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No 39 of 2004).

 

2.      The Minister of Trade and Industry

 

(a)      Additional Protocol to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between the European Community (EC) and its member states of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, to take account of the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.

 

(b)     Explanatory Memorandum to the Additional Protocol to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between the European Community (EC) and its member states of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, to take account of the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union.

 

(c)      Government Notice No 359, published in Government Gazette, No 38735, dated 30 April 2015:  Amendments to the Compulsory Specification for Circuit-Breakers (VC8036), in terms of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, 2008 (Act No 5 of 2008).

 

(d)      General Notice No 396, published in Government Gazette No 38764, dated 5 May 2015: Amendment Codes of Good Practice, in terms of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2013 (Act No 46 of 2013).

 

(e)      General Notice No 407, published in Government Gazette No 38765, dated 6 May 2015: Amendment of Code Series 400, Statement 400-Add 9 fifth criterion for the empowering supplier, in terms of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2013 (Act No 46 of 2013).

 

(f)      General Notice No 408, published in Government Gazette No 38766, dated 6 May 2015: Statement 003:  Amended guidelines for developing and gazetting of sector codes, in terms of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2013 (Act No 46 of 2013).

 

(g)      General Notice No 416, published in Government Gazette No 38791, dated 15 May 2015: Department of Trade and Industry:  Invitation for the public to comment on the National Gambling Policy.

 

(h)      General Notice No 446, published in Government Gazette No 38808, dated 20 May 2015: Invitation to the public to comment on the National Liquor Policy, in terms of the Liquor Act, 2003 (Act No 59 of 2003). 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

National Council of Provinces

 

Please see pages 2589-2599 of the ATCs.

 

FRIDAY, 26 JUNE 2015

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

The Speaker and the Chairperson

 

1.       Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent

 

  1. Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 26 June 2015:
    1. Eskom Special Appropriation Bill [B 16 – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 77).

 

  1. Eskom Subordinated Loan Special Appropriation Amendment Bill (2008/09-2010/11 Financial Years) [B 17 – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 77).

 

TABLINGS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

1.      The Minister of Finance

 

  1. Draft regulations, submitted on 26 June 2015, in terms of section 107(2)(a)(vi) of the Financial Markets Act, 2012 (Act No 19 of 2012).

 

  1. Report and Financial Statements of the South African Reserve Bank for 2014-15, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2014-15.