Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 03 Jun 2019
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 02 JUNE 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:01.
The House Chairperson: Committees, Oversight, Co-operative Government and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr A J Nyambi, as 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.
PETITION CALLING FOR NCOP’S INTERVENTION ON DISPUTE RELATING TO RDP HOUSING SUBSIDY AND BOND REPAYMENTS
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Hon members, I would like to announce in terms of Rule 233, that the Council has received the following petition: The Petition calling for NCOP’s intervention on the dispute relating to the RDP housing subsidy and bond repayments. It came through the speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, on behalf of Mr Adam Khalo, from Vosloorus, Gauteng Province.
The Petition is referred to the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings for consideration and report.
Mr B G NTHEBE: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the ANC:
That the Council -
- notes that the Taung-born Rustenburg-based policeman, Gift Kabelo Kelehe, won the 2015 Comrades Marathon;
- further notes that he made history by following in the footsteps of his own brother Andrew Staels Kelehe, who won the Comrades Marathon in 2001;
- continues to celebrate greatness by this committed and gifted member of the SA Police Service.
- also notes the victory by Caroline Wostman, the fist South African female winner of the race since Rae Bisscoff in 1988;
- recons that the 90th Comrade Marathon race belonged to all South Africans as we won both the male and female races; and
- congratulates the winners and wish them well in their careers.
I so move!
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the DA:
That the Council -
- notes the untimely passing of hon Bridget Masango’s brother, Oscar Masango, on Saturday, 30 May 2015;
- further notes that Mr Masango was the youngest of nine siblings, and the father of two children;
- enjoins in sending sincerest condolences to hon Masango, a permanent delegate from Gauteng, her family and her friends; and
- wishes them strength and comfort during this difficult time.
I so move!
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the DA:
That the Council -
- welcomes the recalling of Councillor Tlhalefi Mashamaite as the Mayor of Mogalakwena Local Municipality in Limpopo last night;
- call on the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan, to give clarity to the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affair on the progress with regards to the fraud and corruption findings against Councillor Mashamaite in the KPMG forensic audit; and
- further calls on Minister Pravin Gordhan to institute the forensic audit into all financial activities during the time Councillor Mashamaite was reinstated a Mayor of Mogalakwena Local Municipality.
I so move!
The motion was objected to.
In light of the objections, the motion could not be proceeded with. The Motion Without Notice will become a Notice of a Motion in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
Mr H B GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, I have a similar motion as the previous speaker.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Thank you. Hon Mokwele?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the EFF:
That the Council -
- notes that after closely reading reports recently issued by Minister Nathi Nhleko, the EFF will bring a legal challenge against the action of Ministers Nathi Nhleko, Thulas Nxesi, President Jacob and the Cabinet in collectively and deliberately breaching the Constitution;
- further notes that the EFF believes that these parties have conspired to review, contradict and reverse the findings of the Public Protector, which is an independent Chapter 9 institution;
(3) also notes that the court has repeatedly stated the principle that the remedial action t hat is proposed by the Public Protector must be complied with unless a party approaches a court of law to set them aside, not through a press conference to clear President Zuma from paying back the money that was unduly spent on his private residents;
- acknowledges that Minister Nhleko’s report was nothing but a rehash of the discredited findings of the Interministerial report released in December 2013 by Minister Thulas Nxesi;
- notices that as part of keeping the executive accountable to this Council, the EFF vowed to continue to raise the question of when and not whether President Jacob Zuma will pay back the money whenever he appears in Parliament in the next four years until such time that he complies with the law;
- notes that the court action will only form one part of comprehensive problem to get back the money stolen from our people to benefit Zuma unduly and ... [Time expired.]
The motion was objected to.
In light of the time expired and objections, the motion could not be proceeded with. The Motion Without Notice will become a Notice of a Motion in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
Ms E PRINS: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the ANC:
That the Council -
- notes with concern that a teenage girl, Elba Japhta, 14 years, was found dead under a man’s bed in his Zwelitsha home in Bredasdorp on Sunday, 31 May 2015;
- further notes the teenage was beaten and stabbed to death before hidden under the bed of her 27 year-old boyfriend of two years;
- also notes that this murder comes at the beginning of the Protection of Children Week and two years after the murder of Bredasdorp’s teenager, Anene Booysen, who was found raped and disembowelled in February 2013;
- further notes that the 27 year-old boyfriend cannot only be convicted of murder, but also of child abuse in the form of statutory rape; and
- calls on the government and the society to strengthen the activities that would combat acts of children abuse and create conducive conditions for the protection and safety of our children
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the ANC:
That the Council -
- notes with regret that two Eskom contractors died on Monday afternoon after a pipe burst and produced high pressure steam at the Grootvlei Power Station in Mpumalanga;
- further notes that a third person was severely injured in the accident; and
- sends condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and wishes the injured person a speedy recovery.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the IFP:
That the Council-
- notes and congratulates the IFP on its forty years of achievement as a force to be reckoned with in South African politics;
- further notes that the IFP was founded on 21 March 1975 as Inkatha Yenkululeko Yesizwe [National Cultural Liberation Movement] in the valley of KwaNzimela in Melmoth;
- congratulates Umntwana wakwaPhindungene, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who has provided a leadership with integrity, honesty, dedication and vision over all these years;
- also notes that the IFP also gives credence to all the fallen heroes who have departed and who stood through thick and thin with Umntwana over the years, and also the current leadership of the IFP;
- recons that the IFP has withered the storms of apartheid oppression during the struggle years and has withstood the turbulence of the post liberation era;
- acknowledges that indeed, Umntwana is a tested leader, the man we can trust on behalf of the IFP;
- expresses its gratitude, on behalf of the IFP, to His Excellency hon Kgalema Motlanthe and Mrs Montlanthe who graced the IFP 40th Anniversary dinner at the ICC in Durban on Sunday, 31 May 2015;
- welcomes the warm words of the former President of South Africa who described the IFP as, “ A fortitude of character”; and
- finally notes that the IFP also expresses its gratitude to the leaders of political parties who graced this wonderful function, namely -
(a) the hon Ms Baleka Mbethe, Speaker of the NA and chairperson of the ANC;
(b) the General Bantu Holomisa, President of the UDM;
(c) the hon Rev Kenneth Meshoe, the leader of the ACDP; and
(d) the hon Mr and Mrs Mbinda, the leader of the PAC.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Long live IFP!
Mr M CHETTY: Hon House Chairperson, I hereby give notice on behalf of the DA that at the next sitting:
That the Council -
- discusses the state of KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport and its management of KZN public transport and taxi industry;
- notes that on 27 February 2015 the MEC for Transport in KwaZulu-Natal announced with much funfair the signing of an MOU with stakeholder in the hope of reducing ... [Interjections.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: House Chairperson, I rise on a point of order: To check if an item by hon Chetty is a Notice of a Motion or a Motion Without Notice. As far as I know, we are busy with Motions Without Notice.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Yes, we are busy Motions Without Notice.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Bekalele! [He was fast asleep!] [Kwahlekwa.] [Laughter.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Makue?
Mr E MAKUE: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the ANC:
That the Council -
- notes that a small cruise ship sank overnight in China’s Yangtze’s River during a storm, leaving at least one person dead and nearly 450 people missing;
- further notes that most of the people in the boat were elderly and that only 10 people were rescued;
- also notes that the search teams heard sounds coming from within the partially submerged ship about 12 hours after it went down and were trying to confirm whether there were survivors trapped inside; and
- sends condolences to the people of China and hope that the rescue operation will be a success and the missing people will be recovered.
I so move!
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Ms T MOTARA: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the ANC:
That the Council-
- notes with alarm that the American woman was attacked and killed by a lioness whilst in a tour driving around the lion park near Lanseria, in Gauteng, on Monday, 1 June 2015, afternoon;
- further notes that the lion came through the passenger side window whilst gentleman and a lady driving with the windows wide open;
- conveys its deepest sympathy to the victim’s family and friends; and
- calls on visitors to be cautious and follow the rules when driving around in our parks.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Mr C J DE BEER: Hon House Chairperson, I was covered by the motion of hon Prins.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you!
ORATION OF CONDOLENCES
(The Late Mr E J von Brandis)
Me C LABUSCHAGNE: Agb Voorsitter, lede en familie, dit is met groot hartseer en verlies dat ons vandag hulde bring aan en afskeid neem van ’n gewaardeerde kollega, die agb Eugene von Brandis, wat op 27 Mei 2015 oorlede is.
Eugene was ’n lid van die Wes-Kaapse Provinsiale Parlement vanaf 2009 tot 2014, waar hy die Voorsitter van beide die Staande Komitee oor Finansies en Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling en die Staande Komitee oor Vervoer en Openbare Werke was. Die agb Von Brandis was gereeld vanaf 06:00 op kantoor, wat terloops altyd absoluut netjies en papierloos was!
Sy werk is gekenmerk deur deeglike beplanning en presiese uitvoering van groot sowel as kleiner take. Sedert 2014 was Eugene deel van die DA-familie in die Nasionale Raad van Provinsies. Die agb Von Brandis se ongeduld met langdradige herhalings en die uitdagings van programveranderings op kort kennisgewings is gou raakgesien en het tot baie interessante oomblikke en baie humor gelei.
Die agb Von Brandis was ook die DA-kiesafdelingshoof van Theewaterskloof, waar hy gerespekteer en waardeer is vir sy leierskap, geloof in die potensiaal van mense, motivering van mense, asook sy uithouvermoë en die gawe om ’n situasie reg te lees en proaktief daarvoor te beplan. Eugene was nie net ’n geliefde kollega nie, maar ook ’n uiters toegewyde, gerespekteerde en liefdevolle, versorgende eggenoot, vader en oupa.
Gedurende die termyn in die Wes-Kaap, was ons as kollegas diep bewus van Eugene se liefde en bewondering vir sy vrou en sy onvoorwaardelike liefde vir sy kinders en kleinkinders. Eugene, die perfeksionis en puntenerige politikus het verander in ’n sagte, toeganklike en geduldige man wanneer sy gesin en familie ter sprake gekom het.
Ons kan net dankie sê aan Ina, sy vrou, en sy drie kinders, hul gades en die kleinkinders vir die opoffering wat hul gemaak het sodat Eugene sy besondere bydrae kon lewer in die Wes-Kaapse regering, asook in die NRVP as verteenwoordiger van die Wes-Kaapse provinsie en as lid van die opposisie. Ons weet dat sy siekbed en lyding hoë eise aan julle as familie gestel het en ons bid en glo dat die Vader jul sal vertroos en lei tot aanvaarding, sodat julle eendag met lekker lag en vreugde kan terugkyk op die feestye van Eugene se lewe. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, hon members and family, it is with a sense of great sorrow and loss that we are today honouring and saying farewell to a valued colleague, the hon Eugene von Brandis, who passed away on 27 May 2015.
Eugene was a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament from 2009 until 2014, where he was the Chairperson of both the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Development and of the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works. The hon von Brandis was regularly at his office at 06:00, which, incidentally, was always absolutely neat and paperless!
His work was characterised by thorough planning and the precise execution of large as well as smaller tasks. Since 2014 Eugene was part of the DA family in the National Council of Provinces. The hon von Brandis’s impatience with lengthy repetitions and the challenges of programme changes at short notice was quickly spotted and led to many interesting moments and a lot of humour.
The hon von Brandis was also the DA’s constituency head for Theewaterskloof, where he was respected and appreciated for his leadership, faith in the potential of people and motivation of people, as well as his endurance and the gift of reading a situation correctly and planning proactively for it. Eugene was not only a beloved colleague, but also an utterly dedicated, respected and loving, caring spouse, father and grandfather.
During his term in the Western Cape, we his colleagues were profoundly aware of his love and admiration for his wife and his children and grandchildren. Eugene the perfectionist and punctilious politician changed to become a soft, accessible and patient man when his family and relatives were brought to bear.
We can only say thank you to Ina, his wife, and his three children, their spouses and the grandchildren for the sacrifice they made so that Eugene could make his special contribution to the Western Cape government, as well as to the NCOP as a representative of the Western Cape Province and member of the Opposition. We know that his ill health and suffering placed high demands on you as a family and we pray and believe that the Father will comfort you and guide you to acceptance, so that one day you may laugh and look back with joy on the celebratory times of Eugene’s life.]
Hon Chair, some people come in your life as a blessing, some come in your life as lessons. Eugene was to some people a blessing and to some, a lesson. I am sure he was both a lesson and a blessing to his family and all who made to get to him for whom he was. Thank you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson, the EFF would like to take this opportunity to express its condolences to the family of hon Von Brandis, his friends as well as DA, his political home. We are aware that Mr Von Brandis was attached to the Western Cape Legislature, representing the DA. We would like to thank his family for having supported him over the years and to allow him to serve the people of South Africa.
Death is a painful thing regardless of the political background each of us comes from, and therefore, it is only proper that we should sympathise with the family, especially during this difficult time.
Death does not have any boundary; it transcends racial, ethics as well as cultural boundaries. It should therefore unite us in our benevolence and consciousness that is naturally inculcated in us. Life is a gift from God and therefore, we would need to cherish every minute of it and be productive to the society as much as we can. Old leaders in society in the business sphere, churches and civil society should make it their business to put the interest of the people first before theirs.
We lately have seen new political leaders use their position to loot and rob the nation through corruption. The sad thing is that these leaders are unprecedented and arrogant.
May his soul rest in peace. I thank you Chair.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon House Chairperson, the Inkatha Freedom Party extends its deepest condolence to the family, friends and colleagues of hon Eugen Jeffrey von Brandis. This indeed is a loss of a wonderful individual who had so many things going for him.
He became a member of the Western Cape provincial legislature in 2009 and during his term he served as Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance. In 2014 he became one of Western Cape’s permanent delegates to the NCOP.
I would like to extend my most heartfelt sympathies in my personal capacity for the loss of this man’s life. Our paths often cross, him and I, apart from the fact that we were both delegate here in the NCOP, we also studied together at the University of Witwatersrand and our offices are directly opposite one another on the first floor of Marks building here in Parliament.
Hon van Brondies always displayed a noble character of a quiet gentleman, usually only speaking when spoken to - who however, new what he wanted in life and went for it. He will solely missed. I thank you.
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon House Chairperson, the UDM exchange its heartfelt condolence to the family of the DA and friends of the late member of the NCOP hon Eugen van Brondies. The late van Brondies may not had long time serving in this Council however within the shortest period he made his presence felt. In this regard the UDM express its deep sadness on the death of this leader and a servant of his people.
We express our sympathies to the DA and the van Brondies family at this difficult moment. He was a highly valuable and respected colleague whose effects of his loss are already felt.
During his short time with us his dedication and selfless nature was always something that many of others could only hope to attain and all we knew and regarded him with great respect and admiration.
We hope that his family, friends and colleagues will find solace from the knowledge that he has left his marks to the lives of many and was a man of great honour.
May the family with the words of Orson Scotts Card, Shadow of the Hegemon, “Death is not a tragedy to the one who dies; to have wasted the life before that death that is the tragedy.”
May his soul rest in peace. Thank you.
Mr C J DE BEER: Hon House Chair, Professor Leo Buscaglia, Italian professor in the United States in his book, Politics of Love and It teaches you how to care about each other. And today, in this session we are showing how we care and this is a message that we must take out to the people we represent all over South Africa.
I rise with the utmost humility and great sense of grief and sorrow to convey the condolences of the ANC on the passing of hon Eugen von Brandis.
Hon von Brandis was born in Johannesburg in 1954, his father was a medical doctor and his mother worked as a banker. He was the eldest son in the family of five where he had three sisters and a brother. He matriculated at Berg Bergsig high school in Rustenburg in 1971.
In 1975, he moved to Pretoria where he served two years in the military and continued to work as a soldier. In 1996, he retired from the military as a kennel. He later returned to George and went into business with his wife. It was at this time when his interest in politics grew very rapidly before joining the New National Party. In 2000, he became the DA councillor in George where he served as a speaker of George City Council from 2007-2009.
In 2009, he was elected as a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament where he served as the Chairperson of the Budget Committee as well as the standing committee on finance, economic development, tourism, transport and public works. He was also a member of the Standing Committee Environmental Affairs and the local government oversight standing committee.
He joined the NCOP in 2014 in the national and provincial government elections. He served as a member of the Select Committee on Finance and the appropriations and added value to the committee’s work and represented his province with dedication.
As the ANC we want to say to hon van Brondies family, especially his wife Ina, and the son and daughters, we are deeply sorry for your loss and truly share your grief. May his soul rest in peace,shap shap. Thank you.
Budget Vote No 2—Parliament:
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Motlatsamodulasetilo wa NCOP, maloko a Ntlo e e botlhokwa eno ... [Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, members of this respected House ...]
... hon members, permanent delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it is winter. We welcome the winter months and the winters of Parliament. We know we must contend with the challenges that this winters pose. And like the flowers of the Namaqualand, we embrace the stark reality posed by these winters. Like the flowers of the Namaqua that get weakened by time and change, but are immortalised by their pollen, we, as parliamentarians, must look to our mandates and resolve to echo the call of our people, dead, alive and still coming. We must join heads and hearts in ceaseless efforts to make tomorrow better than yesterday.
Out late President Mandela, said, and I quote:
As long as many of our people live under utter poverty, as long as children live under plastic covers, as long as many of our people are still without jobs, no South African should rest and wallow in the joy of freedom.
As Members of this House, we have a lot to do to change their lives and for those who are still to benefit from the fruits of the liberation. We are bound by the Constitution.
Recent events show that we can’t relax. Slow and low economic recovery, accelerating global warming and the ever increasing world disasters have not enabled South Africa and the rest of the world the space to address the increasing levels of joblessness and the accompanying poverty and desolation, resource and skills scarcity and the escalating levels of conflict across the world.
The truth is that peace and stability are as elusive this year as their have been for the last decade, especially in Africa. Desperation amongst citizens is affecting parliamentary democracies, forcing us to try and broker conditions for stability and development. The reality is that we are not resourced or structured for this role, but we are public representatives, and that is why we recently suspended Parliament business to enable us as public representatives to be part of our constituencies marching against xenophobia and lawlessness. We must choose the lone voice of calling for sanity and reason, and make any and every effort to secure life and limb within our borders.
As I stand before you to present the 2015-16 Budget of Parliament, I am conscious of the enormity of the responsibilities and the expectations on us by those who have sent us here to represent them. Last year, in this similar occasion, we committed ourselves to a number of efforts to improve our performance in this institution. I am pleased to report that most of what we committed to has been given attention.
Parliament has completed a five-year strategic plan for the 2014 to 2019 term of Parliament. These are, strengthening oversight and accountability, enhancing public involvement and participation, deepening engagement in the international fora, strengthening co-operative government and strengthening legislative capacity. Our strategic plan will be broken into doable goals intended to empower members to build the capacity to understand, interpret our mandate taking into consideration the volume of work, our limited numbers and the complicated clustering system of the NCOP.
The National Development Plan epitomises the basic edicts of the Freedom Charter. In our effort to build a developmental state, the adoption of the NDP serves as the foundation for a partnership across society to achieve our long-held dreams as articulated in the Constitution. The NDP argues that to achieve a capable state we must, amongst others, strengthen delegation, accountability and oversight and make it easier for citizens to hold public servants and the politicians accountable, particularly for the quality of service.
Our people have pinned their hopes on us as their representatives to create the basis for them to better their own lives and to make sure that the NDP vision is realised. As Parliament we must make sure that the Executive, the Special Operations Executive, SOEs, the development finance institution, DFIs, all spheres of government show, in their strategic plans, their annual performance plans, what activities and resources are being put aside to ensure that the NDP gets life.
South Africans have entrusted us with the responsibility to safeguard their interests. They expect us to ensure that the Executive delivers on all matters relating to their wellbeing without fail. Member’s questions to the House, by the House to the Executive give us this important tool. A total of 549 questions where put to the Executive, 356 of these were for written response and 194 were for oral reply. A total of 18 questions were put to the Deputy President and a 196 directed at the Ministers. A total of 544 responses were received by March 31, 2015. The outstanding five questions are being responded to in this current financial year.
We are spending time focusing our strategies around the core business of Parliament. This means revisiting and reviving and even establishing business frameworks to support our core business. Parliament’s own act on financial management necessitates that we move into implementation of the structures and models in this current parliamentary term. So, the parliamentary oversight, an accountability model, the public participation model, co-operative government and intergovernmental relations mechanisms as well as the legislative model of Parliament are all getting our attention.
A new approach to co-ordination for all support services to both Houses and committees will be introduced to enhance the administration to both Houses and to the Members of Parliament. This will see a one-stop-shop approach for committees where all services will be co-ordinated from one source.
Public involvement as an essential tool for maintaining close contact with people, it also enables us to promote an active citizenry. So, Taking Parliament to the People is a mass participatory programme which accords our people the opportunity to actively participate in our oversight activities. This programme also gives government the opportunity to account directly to our people. This programme affirms our commitment to the principle of, “The people shall govern.”
It is therefore important for us to review this programme as well as the Provincial Week to assure ourselves that the resources are utilised to ultimately increase our capacity to represent the interest of the literate and also do our core business as Parliament. Our select committees and any other committee that we may establish from time to time must monitor and register any progress on issues raised during the Provincial Weeks and the Taking Parliament to the People programmes. This means revisits and follow-ups. Ladies and gentlemen, this also means more resources for travelling, for lodging, for administration and, yes, less time in Cape Town. [Applause.]
We must continue to forge relations with provincial legislatures. Last year we formally adopted the intergovernmental relations as an area that we must occupy as this Parliament. We are a work in progress in this area; we have not perfected this programme. We are in debates on the modes, on the models and on the resources. It is important that this process is done slowly, collectively in order to bring all state and civil society on board. This we hope will help reposition and clarify the role of the NCOP into the future.
Part of our responsibility is to accommodate the interest of local governments at a national platform. We must remain loyal to co-operation with local government as branches of one legislative sector, one state with one vision. We received five notices of interventions in terms of section 139. Four were sections 139(1)(c) for Mpofana, Inkwanca and Mtubatuba local municipalities as well as Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality. The last intervention was a section 139(1)(b) in respect of the Makana Local Municipality,
I must confess that as the Chairperson of the NCOP, I am worried about the quality and the speed with which the NCOP interacts with these interventions. The ability of the NCOP to qualitatively and independently consider these interventions will ultimately measure the maturity and the impartiality of our House.
We have received, processed and passed nine Bills which came from the National Assembly for concurrence. We have also received eight draft Bills from the Executive. This House, through its various committees, have also sent 27 resolutions that arouse from recommendations to departments for the attention of the Executive. We must follow up on this.
The South African Local Government Association, Salga, complained bitterly. Hon members will remember about the negative impact of certain Bills and laws on the functioning of the municipalities. We have yet to tackle these matters. A mechanism to process this matter is being put in place to help the NCOP facilitate the resolution on these matters. We cannot go in half-hearted; we must go in there prepared and understanding the terrain we are moving into. It is always better to be slower and sure rather than to rush in and become a bull in the China shop.
So, we must express our concern also, hon members, on the petitions. This is a concern because there are many references that we make through this House to the committees. We think that perhaps we need to give better attention to the petitions committee in this financial year.
Our international relations, hon members, continue to be guided by the same foundations we laid 21 years ago. These are a firm commitment to a humane, just, democratic, free and equitable world. We must continue to champion human rights, Pan-Africanism, equality, peace, reconciliation and development. This is what we must continue to do to ensure that these values continue to buttress our democracy.
We continue to participate in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in the International Parliamentary Union and in other interparliamentary associations. We will shortly be attending, on behalf of South Africa, the Brics parliamentary forum which will take place in Russia. It is still at a very conceptual phase. So, we are going to be doing more brainstorming rather than to be unfolding issues. We will host the 37th plenary of the SADC-PF Assembly under the theme, “Industrialisation and SADC Regional Integration: The role of Parliaments,” in Durban this year in July.
Earlier on I said, we have outlined our strategic objectives. We have noted our needs to achieve this. Amongst these, is a serious need for space in Parliament for both committee work, for work spaces and even for the joint programmes of Parliament. We have had to revive the 2006 space utilisation project which did not get implemented because of budget constrains. We need to get the resources to find the space. We, as the Executive Authority, have begun engaging with Treasury on this matter.
Parliament has over the years been funded below the inflation rate. In real terms our budget have actually been declining, when the numbers of members has remained constant, when the numbers of the responsibilities of oversight areas has increased with each Cabinet increase, when the number of the staff that we need to help us deal with increased oversight portfolios has increased. This matter we think must be corrected in the interest of the institution.
With respect to the annual expenditure, Parliament’s budget allocation for the 2015-16 financial year is R2,07 billion as compared to R1,98 billion in the 2014-15 allocation. This Budget is divided into five programmes: programme one, is administration and is allocated R459,6 million; programme two, legislation and oversight, has been allocated R375,5 million; programme three, public and international participation, is allocated R133,2 million; and programme four, members facilities, is allocated R234,2 million; programme five, associated services providing support to political parties, has been allocated R364,5 million.
We already know that that last programme is underfunded, and we already know that most parties are struggling when it comes to division between what must happen in constituencies and what must happen as secretarial and administrative support. We are aware of that and we are trying to address it.
In addition to the above Budget, Parliament has a direct charge to the national revenue fund as a provision for the members remuneration which is at an equal amount of R503,1 million.
I want to reiterate what stands and what our people said in Kliptown on 26 June 1955. We said then, South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white; the people shall govern; all national groups shall have equal rights; the people shall share in the country’s wealth; the land shall be shared among those who work it; all shall be equal before the law; all shall enjoy equal human rights; there shall be work and security; the doors of learning and of culture shall be opened; there shall be houses, security and comfort and there shall be peace and friendship.
We reiterate these bearing in mind that we do have a bright future ahead of us as South Africans, if were remain united in our diversity.
As I draw to the conclusion we should all be mindful that winter always breaths life into spring; that the burnt scalded veld might look grey today, lost and malnourished, it is the very same conditions that welcome the fresh and the newness of every new season. Our present and our past tell us that our current challenges are not a permanent disability, but depending on how we react our inner strength to ensure the best on behalf of our people do come to pass.
I want to salute Ruth Segomotsi Seitshoko Mompati for giving her life and strength for us. May her sacrifice never be in vain. We bow our collective heads to a gentleman, a man this House is going to miss because we had so little time to be with him in this House – the hon Von Brandis. We are poorer for his passing so early in this term. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson and our leader, hon Thandi Modise and hon members, this is the first year of the fifth Parliament and it is over; it is gone. Therefore, what can we claim to have done or to have achieved? The NCOP is the House of Parliament, which, according to section 42(4) of the Constitution “represents the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. It does this mainly by participating in the national legislative process and by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting the provinces”.
We have reiterated this before and whenever we raise it in the Whippery or in a programming meeting, hon Parkies and Dr Mateme are always blocking us. They don’t want to let us do this when we have to and when we go out. So, today, I want to show you that in the Constitution and page 10 of Parliament’s budget book - this very big book that we are going through at moment - refers exactly to the National Development Plan; and Chapter 13 thereof says the NCOP needs to pay particular attention to how legislation will impact on the provinces.
The day that Helen Zille was sworn in, in this House, as the Deputy ... [Interjections.] ... hon Helen Zille, our previous leader - as the rotating Deputy Chairperson of this House; let me remind you what she said to us. She said, “Please protect the Constitution, never deviate from that. Do not allow political clouds to interfere with our mandate and our responsibilities in this House”.
It is important to understand that South Africa is in trouble. President Zuma may dance, mimic and mock, and “Nkandla, Nkandla, Nkandla”. [Laughter.] However, the fact remains, this is a broken economy, run by a broken man and his broken executive. He is too scared to tell South Africa and South Africans the truth of why this country is on a slippery downhill and that his government will never address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The current extended unemployment figure stands at 36% of which 66% are the youth. The extended unemployed numbers, from the first quarter in 2008 until now has increased by 2,3 million. Since the fourth quarter of last year, the extended unemployment figure increased by 640 000. The risk is that with the current growth rate under the present government, only 1 million new jobs will possibly be created by 2030 and not 11 million, as envisage by the National Development Plan. Again we ask: What forward planning has been done to mitigate this?
Why are we talking about jobs and unemployment here in a Budget Vote for Parliament? It is simply because the buck stops with us and with the ANC national government. The only statistics that are growing under this government are the unemployment statistics and figures in South Africa. The DA puts forwards an offer of governance in Parliament that will remain true to our values charter of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
Freedom must be the freedom to have a job rather than a work opportunity, to be able to restore the dignity of our people, fairness to an equal education and an opportunity to start up one’s own business as an entrepreneur, and the freedom not to have to wait for state handouts to survive, but the freedom to have an independent living and to educate our children. This will only be done under a DA government that will create a healthy economy with a growth rate that will sustain real jobs.
South Africa knows what the DA says it will deliver, it will deliver; and it does. The promise is there, the delivery is there and the trust from the voters is there. Madam, if you can say the same, then maybe I should eat my hat. The DA has proved to South Africa what good governance is. In fact, we have proved that many of the national Ministers and their departments only look good in the Western Cape where we govern, and in our DA-governed municipalities.
In terms of the procedure, this Budget Vote for Parliament today has not been presented to anyone, or any report tabled anywhere. Basically, this Budget Vote should not even be debated, because no presentation was made to any particular committee. The executive has to, in terms of the Financial Management of Parliament Act, Act 10 of 2009, see that it happens. In sections 51 to 54 it says that regular budget reports - monthly, quarterly, every six months and annually - must be tabled in Parliament about how we spend our money. However, we are not even accountable for what we are supposed to do - I’ve never seen a report, have you?
According to the budget, this Vote has R2,7 billion to manage legislation and oversight - that is huge and Parliament is accountable. At this very moment, we have 21 Bills lined up and the annual target for the year, according to this book, would be 22. Therefore, we are very weary of the fact that we are going to ram legislation through this House without proper consideration.
The embarrassment of Bills referred back to Parliament by the President, weak as they may be, is a clear indication to the poor processes in the parliamentary system. We only have to refer to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Act that was forced through the fourth Parliament in 13 days. This is an abuse of the NCOP’s constitutional mandate and it must never reoccur in this House. We must adhere to the call of the provinces to have eight weeks to process section 76 legislation to ensure proper public participation, as per the mandate of the NCOP.
Regarding the parliamentary budgetary office, we find similar ones all over the word in other Parliaments. This budget office is underutilised. It is there to give guidance on the financial impact on legislation, socially, economically and what the financial complications would be on every legislation. It can also determine for us whether there is sufficient finance to implement the Bill. This office must be utilised and if we don’t want to utilise it and we don’t want to listen to them, we must scrap them, but we cannot carry on at this rate.
Soos ons altyd in Afrikaans sê, agb Voorsitter, kom ons steek die hand bietjie in eie boesem en kyk wat ons moet regmaak in die NRVP. Vrae aan ons Ministers word nie eintlik beantwoord nie. Agb Modise, my syfers is nie dieselfde as joune nie. Die DA het in hierdie jaar van Februarie af 187 vrae gevra waarvan 95 geantwoord is. Dit beteken dat 50% van ons vrae beantwoord is. Die gewoontemisdadigers is die Minister van Polisie ...
Die TYDELIKE HUISVOORSITTER (Mnr K T Mampuru): Agb Van Lingen, u tyd is verstreke. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[As we always say in Afrikaans, hon Chairperson, let us examine our own hearts and see what we need to fix in the NCOP. Questions to our Ministers are not really being answered. Hon Modise, my figures are not the same as yours. The DA have this year since February asked 187 questions, of which 95 were answered. That means that only 50% of our questions were answered. The habitual criminals are the Minister of Police ...
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K T Mampuru): Hon van Lingen, your time has expired.]
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: I’ve got 29 second left.
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K T Mampuru): No, thank you.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Thank you, Chair.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon T Modise, hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Ntate Raseriti Tau, hon House Chairpersons, members of the NCOP, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen ...
Ka Sepedi ba re: “Tau tša hloka seboka di šitwa ke nare e hlotša.”[In Sepedi it is said “Divided we fall, united we stand.”]
My approach, House Chair, is that I am talking as the Chief Whip of the NCOP. I will differ from those who say the glass is half-empty, I prefer to say the glass is half-full. Our country is part of the global village. For a start our country is part of the global village. The economy of any country these days will be influenced by factors in the whole globe. Secondly, facts before Parliament indicated that the highest unemployment occurred in the Western Cape. I am not political. I am just stating the facts.
Today marks just over a year since the establishment of the NCOP in the Fifth Parliament. It was on 22 May in 2014 when we all stood on the platform of this august House and individually took an oath to uphold the Constitution of South Africa. Together we collectively took a principled oath committing to serve the people of South Africa with integrity and respect in order to move South Africa forward.
When you were elected as the Chairperson of this august House, you challenged all of us to be reasserting the formative words of the founding father of our democracy, seaparankwe sa… [the royal highness of the…] ANC and a tireless humble servant of our people, former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela when he said and I quote:
It should never be that anger of the poor should be the finger of accusation pointing at all of us because we failed to respond to the cries of the people for food, for shelter, for the dignity of the individual.
Only a year since the establishment of this House on 22 May, we can say with profound humility that we are on course to honour the legacy of the late President Mandela. We have truly turned the page in ensuring that the NCOP remains at the cutting edge of the national programme to build a better life for our people.
In just one year, comparatively speaking, we know that the NCOP is 86% new. Of course, we envy hon member Van Lingen and the experience she has to her credit. But in just one year, we have continued in our collective resolve of ensuring that the NCOP achieves its strategic political objectives of serving as a strategic platform where provinces would raise and articulate their interests and matters concerning the delivery of services to their communities.
We were reminded during the inauguration that our focus is not political but service delivery to the masses of this country. It will be a blow below the belt for those who would like to play politics in this House. That would be unconstitutional. Hon House Chair, you would recall that when I was elected as the Chief Whip of the NCOP on 22 May, I conceded that I had very little knowledge and information with regard to the position I was put in to.
In retrospect, it was a concession that I made out of the highest regard that I continued to hold in my service to the people of South Africa. You will recall that I committed myself to whatever is humanly possible to work with my predecessors and the leadership of the Council with my knowledge reservoirs as I navigate through the intricate onerous responsibilities of the position of the Chief Whip of the Council. Little did I know that my immediate predecessor, hon Nosipho Ntwanambi will depart a few weeks later.
I am truly grateful for your guidance and to be part of a leadership collective whose loyalty to serve our people is truly immeasurable. I would like to sincerely thank the Chairperson of the Council, her deputy also, the House Chairpersons, the chairpersons of the committees and members of the Council for your collective leadership, support and guidance. I truly am grateful to the Whippery that I lead, including various representatives of political parties for their profound dedication they continue to uphold themselves with.
The Whips continue to work tirelessly to support and guide the day-to-day activities of this Council in order to ensure that our Council functions very smoothly. I am equally grateful to the staff in my office and the various officials for their profound dedication and service. It is their tireless efforts that have made my life a little more bearable under the circumstances.
After the United States of America put a spacecraft in orbit, one of the greatest writers at the time, Ray Douglas Bradbury, wrote a formidable celebratory poem of the remarkable achievement of his nation. The poem was titled “If only we had taller been.” In honour of the formidable achievement of such a historical moment, he wrote and I quote:
O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall
Across the Void, across the Universe and all?
And, measure out with rocket fire,...
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall! ...
We might not have reached Alpha Centauri, a distance of trillions of miles away from earth in one year, but our collective commitment to ensure that the NCOP continues to play a remarkable role in our national agenda to transform South Africa remains truly indelible.
House Chairperson, where I live, people on the ground are saying that the NCOP is hands on - of course through Channel 408. [Applause.] One of the first tasks we set ourselves after our inauguration sitting of 22 May 2014 was to ensure that we establish our select committee. We said this because committees are the engine of our Council and one of the fundamental mechanisms of realising the mandate of the NCOP.
The work of our committees attests to the dedication and loyalty and commitment that our hon members showed in the first year of the NCOP. The select committees of the NCOP are functioning fairly effectively and have played an instrumental role in assisting the NCOP to meet its constitutional mandate of representing the interests of the provinces.
The select committee meet consistently and continue to undertake oversight visits to various committees throughout South Africa. The select committees have been the voice of the people on numerous issues pertaining to the delivery of services to communities and governance issues such as effective administrative systems and processes for communities to access services. Committees are also hand on in terms of other challenges such as leadership challenges, financial mismanagement, tender fraud and corruptions.
Although attendance records of committees needs to be strengthened in general, the indication is that our select committees are functioning very effectively. Although hon members are attending committees and participate very effectively, there is also a general concern about the participation and attendance of some members. We have also noticed that not all committees have committee management structures. To ensure that the political planning of the work of the select committees proceed smoothly, this is one of the areas that we will strengthen in this term of the Fifth Parliament.
One of the tasks we set for ourselves was also to ensure that hon members are fully inducted and that they understand their roles and responsibilities as Members of Parliament and also as delegates that are nominated to serve the interests of their provinces. We conducted a comprehensive two-week induction as Parliament. In addition to the Parliament induction, the NCOP arranged a two-week induction to ensure that the delegates to the NCOP fully understand their roles.
One of the tasks that we had to do when we resumed with the task of the Fifth Parliament was to pass the budget. We are now a bit experienced in that regard. As a new Parliament, one of the key tasks we faced was to ensure that we clearly define strategic political priorities for the fifth democratic Parliament. We convened a business planning session to consider the strategic goals of the NCOP in the Fifth Parliament.
We engaged in a very frank assessment of our mandate as the NCOP informed by the assessments that were done as part of the legacy report of the Fourth Parliament. In this business planning session, we came out with very clear policy imperatives for the term. In the first year of our Parliament, we have witnessed the most robust engagements and debates this Council has ever seen. We differ politically but it is very clear that all hon members of this august House hold the sole intention of seeing a prosperous South Africa.
We also continued with our work to hold the executive accountable. We have done so because we are aware that accountability and a high sense of responsibility in the government of the affairs of the people is the bedrock of our democracy. The Chairperson of the Council has given figures to that effect. It is also our collective duty as the representative of the people to protect and defer our democratic ideas.
We are also proud that the NCOP continues to define its place and role in our ongoing national effort to meet the most urgent and pressing needs of our people in the provinces where they live. Through our oversight work and programmes such as “Taking Parliament to the People” provincial week, local government week and many more, we continue to ensure that our people receive quality services and that our nation remains on the national path to dismantle apartheid engineered settlements.
The late former President, Nelson Mandela also, in his first 100 Day Speech to Parliament said and I quote:
At the end of the day, the yardstick that we shall all be judged by is one and one only: and that is, are we, through our endeavours here, creating the basis to better the lives of all South Africans?
We owe to the legacy of Nelson Mandela to set aside any political differences. House Chairperson, I cannot emphasise this more that we are not ... [Time expired.] [Interjections.] I am concluding.
We owe to the legacy of our icon to set aside political differences ... [Interjections.] ... that define our ideological stance as members of this House. [Interjections.] We are not political. I thank you.
Mr V E MTILENI: I wish it was still hon Nyambi presiding, because I overheard Mama saying that she would deal with me when the time comes. [Laughter.] Avuxeni [Good Afternoon.] I overheard you, but I’m sorry if ...
... a ndzi vuli swona. Ndza mi xeweta Mutshamaxitulu. [... that is not what I am saying. I greet you Chairperson.]
The founding fathers and mothers of our democracy envisioned a Parliament that would be a representation of the will of our people and the voice of the weak and the vulnerable. It was meant to be a centre of multiparty democratic participation where the executive is held to account in every meaningful manner. Section 55 of the Constitution states, for instance, that:
The National Assembly must provide for mechanisms, to ensure that all executive organs of the state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it, and to maintain oversight of the exercise of national executive authority, including the implementation of legislation of any state organ.
However, the reality is that the ANC grossly misunderstands the role, meaning and value of Parliament in entrenching a democratic value system for our country. The reality is that this sacred institution has been used in a majoritarian sense by the ANC to pass legislation that is antipeople, such as the maintenance of the dreaded section 25 of the Constitution which legitimises apartheid land theft. The reality is that the ANC has reduced both Houses of Parliament to a mafia gang to protect the interests of one dishonourable President who continues to shame our country in every imaginable way. To do this, Parliament even goes to the extent of disregarding our country’s commitment to stem the abuse of women by having women Members of Parliament assaulted by police for merely demanding answers from the President.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: Wait, you will recognise her when I’m done.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni!
Mr V E MTILENI: Maybe we should remind members of the ruling party what Parliament is for. Addressing the nation while reflecting on 100 days as the head of the nation, President Mandela said to Parliament ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please respect this House.
Mr V E MTILENI: She’s just wasting my time. I’m not ready to take your question. Sit down.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, hon Mtileni, please respect the House, papa. The hon member wants to say something.
Mr V E MTILENI: She’s wasting my time.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Let’s give her a chance. Don’t worry about time. Hon member, why are you on your feet?
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon House Chair, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary to call hon members a gang?
Mr V E MTILENI: That’s what you are.
Ms L C DLAMINI: A mafia gang. That’s what you said. Is it parliamentary?
Mr V E MTILENI: That’s what you are.
Ms L C DLAMINI: I’m not a gang.
Mr V E MTILENI: If you allow ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Mtileni, please respect this House. Are you done, Ms Dlamini? Hon member Mtileni, that is unparliamentary. Will you please withdraw it? It is unparliamentary; you cannot say the hon members are gangs.
Mr V E MTILENI: Oh, okay. For the sake of time, I’ll withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you, hon member.
Mr V E MTILENI: At the end of the day, the one and only yardstick that we shall all be judged by is: are we, through our endeavours here, creating the basis to better the lives of all South Africans? This is not because the people have some subjective expectations fanned during an election campaign. Neither is it because there’s a magic wand that they see in the new government. Millions have suffered deprivation for decades and they have the right to seek redress. They fought and voted for change and change the people of South Africa must have. Are we worthy of their confidence?
This places a very important obligation on Parliament to be a centre and exemplar of tolerance, free and fair debate, and to synthesise the views and aspirations of South Africans, united in diversity. Today, we are asked to approve a budget of just over R2 billion, of which approximately 60% will be for compensation of employees. Much of this budget over the past year has been spent on nefarious purposes, such as hiring a lawyer to preside over a kangaroo court that suspended members of the EFF, only for that suspension to be put aside by the court.
Parliament does this while it drags its feet when it comes to the issue of the remuneration of its employees; you can’t sit around the table and negotiate for the salaries of your staff members here in Parliament and elsewhere in other departments. More fundamentally, the continuation of the Anglo-Boer War pact of having two seats of government, one in Cape Town and one in Pretoria, is a costly exercise.
Listen, we currently have 35 Ministers and 37 Deputy Ministers who have to travel between Cape Town and Pretoria on a weekly basis. They need two cars, one in each of these places. This means that government has to buy 70 cars for Ministers and 74 cars for Deputy Ministers every five years. Using Blade Nzimande’s preferred cars, this would cost about R15 million. This would then mean that our government spends about R216 million every five years to buy cars for Ministers and their Deputy Ministers. A very unnecessary expenditure that could be halved if Parliament were to move to Gauteng.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Mtileni. Hon member.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon Chair, on a point of order: I want to check if it is correct for speakers to use language that is derogatory on all processes of Parliament. Hon Mtileni first refers to a committee of Parliament that was established in terms of the Rules of this Parliament as a “kangaroo court”; and he continues to call hon Blade Nzimande “Blade Nzimande” without prefixing it with “hon”. I want you, Chair, even if you do not make a ruling on this, speakers of ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, sir, before you continue, I want to address hon Mtileni. According to the Rules, when a member is addressing the Chair, you need to give that member a hearing and take your seat.
Mr V E MTILENI: But others have not been sitting down
An HON MEMBER: Tshama ehansi. [Sit down.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Other members have not been sitting down.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): There’s no problem, but please don’t ... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: We are used to standing while there are questions from the floor.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: It will only be myself who will be sitting for the first time. [Laughter.] I can sit down.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, continue, hon member.
Mr V E MTILENI: But they are not consistent.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon House Chair, I want to make a submission to your good self that, perhaps not in this sitting but in the next, you come back with a ruling on this matter. Because from where I’m sitting, or standing, rather, the behaviour and the conduct of hon members who are debating on behalf of the EFF is not only contemptuous to you in the Chair, but also to this House. I want to submit that you come back with a ruling on this matter, because we cannot stomach this forever.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, hon member. The hon Vawda.
Dr Y C VAWDA: Chair, the hon member is collectively accusing the entire EFF - all the members of the EFF. I think he must be more selective in what he is saying. Thank you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you, hon Vawda. I was going to say that. Hon member, indeed, what you were saying is true. I hope that hon Mtileni will cease from doing that. It’s not only the hon members from the EFF. I must just say that. Okay, continue hon Mtileni, please cease from doing that. Continue with your debate. [Interjections.] Yes. Order hon members, order! Order hon members!
Mr V E MTILENI: As I was saying, it is a very unnecessary expenditure that could be halved were Parliament to move to Gauteng. Moreover, if these Ministers and their Deputy Ministers were to travel twice a week between these two provinces at a cost of R6 000 per ticket, this would then mean that each Minister or Deputy Minister spends about R24 000 per week on air travel and that would be close to a million rand for Minister and their Deputy Ministers per week.
Finally, if that is not fruitless and wasteful expenditure, then we do not know what wasteful expenditure is. Parliament must be moved to Pretoria to avoid milking our state of scarce resources in this manner. As things are now, the EFF cannot support the Budget Vote based on the reasons as stated. I thank you.
Mr M WILEY (Western Cape): Chairperson, thank you very much for this opportunity to address this House on this Budget Vote. I am willingly following the hon Chairperson of the NCOP and my colleague Ms E C Van Lingen.
Parliamentary government deals specifically with the governance. It is always going to be a matter of some debate where one has a body of members who have enormous powers to decide the laws, not only of a country but for their own conduct and remuneration there are bound to be times of conflict; conflict of different political ideas and conflict of interests.
What may have been a labour of love and public service in the past times, has become simply another job that must pay the bills, for some. However, democracy is not served by a weak or ineffective legislature. In order to maintain a semblance of respectability it needs to lead by example and be above reproach toward its own affairs.
In order to assist in the fulfilling of this ideal in this regard, the South African Parliament passed the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2009. This Act replaces the Provincial Finance Management Act. This new Act had to be implemented by all legislatures by the end of April 2015. The purpose of this Act is to regulate the financial management of the legislatures in a manner consistent with its status in terms of the Constitution. To ensure that all revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the legislature, are managed efficiently, effectively and transparently; to provide for the responsibilities of persons entrusted with the financial management of the legislature and to provide for matters connected thereto.
The manner in which to achieve this aim was to appoint an oversight committee made up of nonexecutive members. The terms of reference for this committee are laid out in Chapter 2,4(1). An oversight mechanism of Parliament must maintain oversight of the financial management of Parliament by amongst things: Considering instructions issued by the executive authority in terms of section 37(5); considering the annual report submitted to Parliament in terms of section 60; and considering instructions issued by the executive authority in terms of section 66 - and please note that the executive authority in this regard is the Speaker of the legislature whether at national or provincial - and performing any other functions specified in this Act by the Rules of Parliament or consistent with the objects of this Act.
The representation on the oversight mechanism must be in accordance with the Joint Rules of Parliament or legislature, which must provide that no Member of Parliament may attend a deliberation on a matter in which that member has a material interest. I am pleased therefore to report that the Western Cape legislature has enacted this Act within the allotted time and now have a fully-fledged, multiparty, parliamentary oversight standing committee in place. The committee is made of five ordinary members, excluding the executive authority, and is fully resourced to fulfill its oversight function.
Its first briefings have been concluded and the reports of recent financial matters and executive instructions already tabled for consideration. In due course, the executive for referral to the oversight committee must table in Parliament the draft strategic plan, draft annual performance plan, draft budget, draft adjustments budget, and draft revisions to approved allocations.
The provincial parliament’s monthly financial statements, quarterly performance reports, mid-year budgets, and performance assessments must be tabled again in Parliament for referral to the oversight committee. The audit committee to the executive authority and the parliamentary oversight committee must report allegations of fraud, corruption or gross negligence by the Accounting Officer. I’m pleased to say that in a case of the Western Cape Parliament, we have had clean audits for the past couple years.
It must be stated at this point that although these matters are to be referred to the oversight committee, the Act does not stipulate how the committee is required to deal with it. This is something that we need to look at in the future. An early observation is that the oversight committee must also be wary of not tread on the terrain of the in situ Rules committee, chaired by the Speaker, which still deals with parliamentary operational matters.
Then Chairperson, the new Act also obliges the legislature to enact various other mechanisms in order to be compliant. The first is to establish an internal audit committee. In a case of the Western Cape, it already has an audit committee but it is in a shared capacity and it remains to be seen if this will have to become solely serving audit committee, which has considerable financial implications if insisted upon.
Another costly matter will be the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with the Standards of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice, GRAP, for short. Estimates to implement this system vary from R6 million and R30 million. The Basic Accounting System, BAS, Local Government Information Systems, LOGIS, and Personnel and Salary System, PERSAL, systems will all have to be changed to an integrated accrual system.
To some these amounts may not seem very much, it won’t even dent a renovation of a presidential house; but to the Western Cape the amounts are significant. Budget belt tightening for this year alone will be near to R2 billion. As it is, the Western Cape legislature has the smallest budget and staff component of all the nine provinces. Our budget is currently R111 million for a staff compliment of 101 officials to service 42 members, while our nearest competitor - if you would like to put it in that terminology - is the Northern Cape with R134 million, with 141 staff and only 30 members. One wonders what the Western Cape budget would look like if the census aligned legislature size would increase our members to 60.
These statistics not withstanding, Madam Chair, we will make sure we get the public the answers and the service it is entitled to and look forward to reporting on progress next year. I’m also looking forward to eagerly hearing about your oversight committee in the year to come.
However, there is one matter of concern to us in the provinces, the increasing tendency to send Bills to the provinces with only a few weeks to process these Bills. This does not serve the process with the required justice and undermines the integrity of the provinces. These actions give credence to the argument that the NCOP is simply a rubberstamp of the NA and does not consider matters in the interest of the provinces that make up its membership.
We appeal at this House, to flex its constitutional might, and takes up its rightful place as a champion of the diversity of the provinces of South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression. All of us take these on board that the objectives of the reconstruction and development programme will not have been realised, unless we see in visibly practical terms that the conditions of women in our country has radically changed for the better, and that they have been empowered to intervene in all aspects of life as equals with any other member of the society. Those were the words of the late former President, Nelson Mandela.
The advent of democracy presented the South African government led by the ANC with an opportunity to change the life trend of women and the most vulnerable members of the society. The emphasis was placed on the equitable society and meeting the socioeconomic rights of the citizens, particularly, those who have been historically ... [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Modulasetilo, ke ne ke batla go itse gore a mme a ka tsaya potso? [Chairperson, I would like to ask if a member can take a question?]
MODULASETULO WA NGWAKO: KAMANO YA (Mrs M C Dikgale): E re re mmotšiše. O nyaka go tseba gore o ka kgona go tšea potšišo naa? [HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M C Dikgale): Let me enquire from her. Are you ready to take questions?]
Ms L C DLAMINI: I can take it outside.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale) Okay, she doesn’t agree. You can continue, Mam!
Ms L C DLAMINI: The political will to positively influence the lives of all women was demonstrated through the establishment of an enabling environment to achieve gender equality. As women, we would like to commend the extra ordinary efforts and impressive results obtained just in 21 years since the abolition of the apartheid regime in the promotion of equality for women and fight against discrimination.
I must say, that globally, the participation and representation of women is very low and is very poor, especially, in decision-making positions. In the total number of 43 945 Members of Parliament around the globe, only 6 953 or 16% and only 27 of them presides over 187 existing Parliaments across the globe. This is a very low number.
The ANC has taken a deliberate position to ensure that all the people deployed in government have a representation of 50%. This is a minimum percentage; it can go to 100%. There has been a dramatic change from the previous apartheid government in which women constituted only 2,8% of parliamentary representative in the country.
The increasing number of women parliamentarians demonstrates the stride that have been initiated by Parliament and the new government in undertaking various measures to advance the position of women and to promote gender equality in all spheres of life in the country. I must also say that, as the ANC, we are concerned about the number of permanent delegates that the provinces send to the NCOP.
In fact, we have also noticed that the numbers of political parties are sending a lesser number of women to this Council. As Parliament we owe to the women of South Africa to speak against patriarchal systems embodied within political parties systems in our country. It is about time that Parliament passes legislation that will ensure that women are equal in numbers in terms of partners.
We must work tirelessly to address all the barriers that inhibit the participation of women in politics, such as skewed access to education and prevailing patriarchal attitudes. As the ANC, we are proud that South Africa stands out in Africa, and indeed in the world, in having succeeded to bring large numbers of women into formal politics since 1994.
The country’s commitment towards gender equality clearly demonstrates that it is imperative that more women are elected into public office in line with giving substance to a culture of human rights. As once said by the late President Mandela; “the course of women’s emancipation is part of our national struggle against outdated practices and prejudice. It is struggle that demands equal efforts from both men and women alike.”
Indeed, it is the struggle that we must all defend and champion especially, as Members of this Parliament. Today we are proud to say that this House is led by women, in the form of our Chairperson and also the Chief Whip. But I should also say that, these responsibilities go with expectations that they are carrying.
Our hope is that they will carry the struggle of women with themselves, of course, supported by us women, regardless of our political parties, because the struggle of women still continues. We are very proud of the gains that we have made so far. I must also say that, in this Parliament we still do have some challenges that we think we still have to address.
We acknowledge that in this Fifth Parliament we’ve got 43% of women Ministers in Cabinet and 45,9% of Deputy Ministers. But, we should also indicate that what is challenging is that even if we do get 50%, when there is reshuffling, it doesn’t matter the sphere of government, women are replaced by men. We take note of that as women and as women, we cannot reverse our gains.
Hon Chairperson of the Council and the Chief Whip, we also want to indicate that, weekly plenary times need to be reconsidered and be more family friendly because, as much as we are participating in the positions that we are holding, we are still mothers in our families. We still need to go and spend quality time with our children at home. It is important to spend enough time with our children so that we so that we build future communities.
There is nothing that stops plenaries to start earlier if there are no engagements in the morning. We also want to encourage that, in fact, we are demanding that the multiparty women’s caucus be given enough time. For instance, in committees, enough time is not allocated for the multiparty women’s caucus to deliberate on women issues.
We do have a committee with limited resources, but there is no enough time to engage. We want it to be allocated time like any other committee in Parliament, so that we have enough time to deal with issues that affect women. We are also concerned, hon Chair and the Chief Whip, we are not saying that we must change, but we are taking note that in the NCOP, of the 11 committees, only three females are chairpersons. We are taking note of that. If opportunities come, women must be considered.
We also want to request from the leadership of this House that, if opportunities present themselves, like attending forums, especially, International Women’s Parliament where women are sent, women of this House must be given equal opportunities. Those people, who attended, must give feedback to those who did not attend, in order for all women of this House to benefit.
In conclusion, as we move forward; as we move from the democratic transition towards consolidation, it is important to continue monitoring the policy space in accessing the extent to which women empowerment and gender equality has been achieved in South Africa. The situation for women today was influenced by the multitudes of socioeconomic, cultural and political factors of the past.
The lessons learnt will shape the future for women to achieve the kind of lives we choose to live. Thus, opportunities to influence the gender policy landscape and mould the South Africa’s future projections into being the future for women in the country... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon House Chair, before I start, I just want to make a correction and tell the Chief Whip that in my hand I have a document of the national Statistics SA for 2009 to 2015 that states, that the unemployment rate in the Western Cape is 24%, the lowest of all provinces in comparison to the 35,1%. We must therefore guide the Chief Whip in misleading the House.
’n Alombekende frase wat in die NRVP gebruik word is dat ons nie ’n bloudruk van die NV is nie, maar dat ons ons grondwetlike reg en mandaat moet vervul in terme van wetgewing en verteenwoordiging van provinsies. [A commonly known phrase that is used in the NCOP is that we are not a blueprint of the NA, but that we need to fulfil our constitutional right and mandate in terms of legislation and the representation of provinces.]
The Constitution sets out a clear distinction between the powers of the National Assembly, which is to hold the executive accountable and to conduct oversight versus the NCOP’s legislative role to consider, pass, amend, propose amendments, reject, initiate Bills as well as to ensure public participation in the legislative process.
Other functions as described in the rules can become part of the role of the NCOP. The irony is, in order for the NCOP to fulfil our total mandate; the existing rules have to be revised. Unfortunately, in this the NCOP is stuck in business as usual because; the subcommittee to revise these rules does not meet. Furthermore, we find the objectives to move to joint planning and co-ordination of the portfolio committees and the select committees in programme 2.
This is nothing more than infringing on the constitutional mandate of the NCOP. It is clear that the ANC government shy away from complying with the Constitution, because if they do, Parliament as an institution must govern in a way that promotes freedom, fairness and opportunities for all, not only for the few elitists and powerful connected comrades.
Parliament has the core mechanisms in place to drive the legislative processes, oversight and public participation, but in a year, 43 oversight visits are planned for 34 portfolio committees and 11 clusters of select committees. How much opportunity for in-depth oversight is there? Is this fair to taxpayers, the vulnerable and jobless people of South Africa?
What fairness, freedom and opportunities for change is there when regulations are done by a Minister whilst public participation is still in process, for an example, shale gas exploration and fracturing. The provincial week at a cost of R10 million as approved in this House, is highlighted as oversight of service delivery, a function that must be done by the National Assembly, the provincial legislatures and the local government.
But after spending an unapproved R19 million, the provincial week is currently a missed opportunity for the NCOP as we do not engage with ordinary citizens on their understanding and experience of the socioeconomic impact of legislation on their lives. Maybe that’s why many NGOs and other role-players find their way to court to be heard on essential matters, as Parliament’s public participation is a one-way communication to the public instead of a participation process.
Hon Chair of the NCOP, as the utmost symbol of legislative power and representation is at risk to fail the nation in fulfilling our constitutional mandate. Sadly, some ANC representatives in this House are simply here to rubber stamp the NA, Luthuli House, or should I say, President Zuma and his pal, Gwede Mantashe. Let us hold on the words of the Chairperson of the NCOP, that spring will come forth out of this winter for the NCOP.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: House Chair, Chairperson of the NCOP, Chief Whip and hon permanent delegates, we meet today to further discharge our responsibilities as the legislative sector, with particular focus on the mandate given to us by the electorate.
I want to begin by reminding this august House that in May 1996 the Constitutional Court, in a watershed move, approved the highly esteemed Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. History further reminds us that this resounding victory was initiated – which means it was not a mechanical process – through processes that were set in place by all political parties in an institution referred as the Convention for a Democratic SA, Codesa, which laid the foundation for a democratic South Africa to emerge.
As we discharge our responsibilities in this House, let’s be reminded that the victories of this democratic Parliament were shaped by the tribulations of ordinary South Africans along the way.
I am reminded in particular of the June 1976 uprising, which was activated in Soweto and generated the momentum to spread across the entire country, leading to a profound change in the sociopolitical landscape of our nation. I am also reminded of the Boipatong massacre which took place in June of 1992, where 45 residents of Boipatong were killed as a result of the political unrest that erupted during our transitional period. Over and above that, we will remember a process that was referred to as black-on-black violence as orchestrated by a third force that sought to undermine that transitional period to our democracy.
The lives of those who perished should be remembered as significant and therefore symbolise our struggle for freedom through bravery, particularly as we discharge our duties in this democratic institution. As we work harder to become an effective people’s Parliament, let their memory be firmly anchored in this august House of the National Council of Provinces as a clear reminder of those who have fallen in the cause of our freedom and the establishment of an institution such as this democratic Parliament.
Turbulent times form the backdrop of our transition as well as the commitment of our leaders to sustain negotiations in order to find a peaceful settlement for our country. To illustrate this commitment to negotiate towards a peaceful settlement, a process was introduced, then referred to as the sunset clause, which laid the basis for the compromises that were ultimately reached leading up to the democratic breakthrough in 1994 and the establishment of a democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous Parliament. This process ultimately led to the adoption of the Constitution, which gave birth to the National Council of Provinces.
Indeed, with the victory of the newly adopted Constitution, the NCOP was mandated to represent the interests of provinces at the national sphere and in so doing to ensure that provincial matters or interests are taken into account at the national sphere. It therefore becomes imperative that as the legislative sector we locate ourselves within this broader frame of reference, having averted political turbulence in order to arrive at a negotiated settlement.
It is just disappointing that throughout all these processes that has led us to be where we are today, in this 5th Parliament we have unfortunately witnessed the determined efforts of some amongst us ... I’m saying some amongst us ... who have reinforced their resolve to destroy the integrity and stability of this institution.
We have also observed with great concern a continuous disregard for the rules that govern procedure and decorum in this House, which is purely instigated for the purpose of political expediency. This onslaught must be seen for what it truly is, which is a deliberate attempt to discredit this democratic institution by any means necessary.
It is our joint responsibility to guard this House against the dangerous appetite to martyr and destroy this hard-earned democratic institution. Do we, for instance, as leaders representing the electorate, not have a responsibility to engage and deliberate in a manner that reaches for compromise and consensus instead of popularity ratings? I repeat, instead of popularity ratings.
In fact, integrity is one of the most noteworthy aspects in executing our parliamentary responsibilities. Ours as Members of Parliament, MPs, is to recognise that service in Parliament is of public interest and trust. We must strive at all times to maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of parliamentarians as we continuously reassure the public that we place their interest ahead of our private or party political motivations. We shall resolve therefore to continue doing exactly the opposite. [Interjections.]
Therefore, let us be reminded today that this House is a platform for political activism, for problem solving and robust debate. I therefore implore all of us today to demonstrate our allegiance to this Constitution by respecting the supremacy of the rules and laws that govern the business of Parliament. This is not a bid to moderate the quality and efficacy of our debates. Instead, I want to put it to you that constructive debate is what we must continually strive to maintain. In truth, this House must become the battleground for testing the strength and quality of our ideas and arguments, and therefore an assembly of ideas. Ours is about contesting ideas and not demonstrating how rude we are, how undermining we can be and all those sorts of things. [Applause.] To this end, it is our joint responsibility to raise the standard and quality of debates and not to demonstrate the quality of arrogance.
I am encouraged by the fact that the Budget Vote is taking place immediately after we have just completed an overview of 20 years of the existence of Parliament. We all agree that Parliament has made significant strides to transform society through the application of its mandate. We further agree that the first two Parliaments directed their efforts at repealing apartheid legislation and introducing transformational laws to create an environment conducive to the entrenchment of democracy and the continuation for the realisation of national aspirations.
Public participation in the process of Parliament is a constitutional imperative and has therefore been a strategic priority since 1994. The first and second Parliaments introduced an open Parliament with open plenaries and committee meetings; a rolling programme of public education; and numerous initiatives aimed at improving public involvement and participation.
Public participation platforms were further extended by the introduction of several outreach programmes, including the people’s assembly; Taking Parliament to the People; the Women’s Parliament; Youth Parliament; and recently, the round-table discussion; and of course, also including local government week.
Having laid the basis for the transformation of society, it became apparent that in order to build on the gains made since 1994, there was a need to ensure sound governance and effective service delivery by the executive. To this extent, this task was to define the second decade of the democratic Parliament.
Strengthening its oversight and accountability role became the leading priority since 2004. We have prioritised everything that will ensure that we involve the masses of our people behind the programmes of Parliament. Through the implementation of the oversight and accountability model, which includes, amongst others, the review of parliamentary rules; the adoption and implementation of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act; the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office; the establishment of a scrutiny mechanism to deal with delegated legislation; and a significant increase in research and content capacity related to oversight activities.
Moving forward, the generation of the 5th Parliament has since taken upon itself – that is us not any other person – to strengthen our oversight and accountability; to enhance public involvement and participation; to deepen representation and participation at an international level; to strengthen co-operative government; and to assess the impact of legislation and strengthen our legislative capacity.
The above-mentioned strategic priorities have been developed because we wanted to address the specific circumstances of our Parliament and the country at large. Parliament jointly shares in the long-term vision and impact result for South Africa that we put in the Constitution; of course at the heart of it being the National Development Plan, NDP, as a guiding instrument towards 2030. We must therefore renew our resolve to deepen democracy and to improve the quality of life of all South African citizens.
Parliaments are therefore crucial to the achievement of good governance in South Africa as well as in the continent. They are one of the key institutions of democracy, playing an important role in terms of legislation, oversight and representation. Parliaments hence do not operate in a vacuum. We do not operate in a vacuum, but we are guided by a political circumstance in which we find ourselves. This means that our approach to whatever challenge that we are confronted with is not a mechanical process but rather a matter informed by the material conditions that we are faced with at a particular moment, and so forth.
Therefore, that would speak to the issues related to the Freedom Charter; the adoption of the Freedom Charter; the June month; and how the Freedom Charter has impacted on our lives. As MPs in doing our work, ours is about reflecting on whether we are achieving the objectives as set out in 1955.
Taking cognisance of the relevance of the Freedom Charter today, national Parliament and in particular the NCOP must continue to play a decisive role through our oversight mechanisms, in order to make our developmental agenda implementable. This requires the sensitivity of an activist Parliament that is fully conscious of the sociopolitical landscape that we are operating in. Such a Parliament must challenge its public representatives to work faster, harder and smarter, in order to accomplish the demands and expectations of our people. It requires public representatives who constantly seek to improve their capacity. This means that we must learn and not just thumb suck things. House Chairperson, I can see that your clock is really ...
As we celebrate Africa Month as well, we will be reminded that on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, was formed, which is the predecessor of the African Union, AU. In terms of its objectives, it is something that we must really appreciate, and seek to resolve and strengthen.
As I conclude, I want to draw the attention – because there is a lot of information I wanted to share with members but they will be exposed to the speech – of this august House to the wise words of a world-renowned freedom fighter. As I mentioned in Oudtshoorn, Mahatma Gandhi once said that there are Seven Blunders of the World, and I believe they are still relevant today in our political landscape. This list of seven blunders was published in his weekly newspaper Young India, on October 22, 1925. Years later, he gave this same list written on a piece of paper to his grandson, on their final day together shortly before his assassination. His violent death came just months after the realisation of his long sought-after goal, which was the independence of India from Great Britain. Gandhi said the following:
Wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; commerce without morality; science without humanity; worship without sacrifice; politics without principle.
These form the seven blunders of this particular world.
[Interjections.] As we enter the third decade of our democratic Parliament, I believe that these words are particularly significant for us as MPs and as active participants in the evolution of our institution, to remember. Let us remind ... [Interjections.]
Ms M MOKGOSI: Ke botsa gore a kante nako ga ya fela kgotsa re nale nako e okeditsweng? [I am just asking if the time has expired or do we have additional time?]
Please be consistent, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you hon member. Take your seat. Please round up, hon Deputy Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: This is the political expediency that I spoke about earlier on. [Interjections.] As I conclude, let us therefore be reminded to put the mandate that we have been given by the electorate above all ... misguided amongst all ... [Interjections.] Can we listen? Let us ensure that we put all these matters above all misguided political expediency, in order to advance South Africa’s developmental agenda. I move the adoption of this Budget Vote. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon House Chair, hon Chairperson of the Council and hon Deputy Chairperson of the Council, South Africa is a constitutional democracy based on the principles of clear separation of powers amongst the legislative arm, the executive and the judiciary. The legislative arm, which is ourselves the NCOP and the National Assembly, are both responsible for making the laws of the country and also become the watchdog of our citizens over the executive in the implementation of policy.
In a democratic state like ours, it is important that Members of Parliament conceptualise their role and not confuse their role with that of the executive. Whilst we are part of the state as legislators, we are by no means part of government. Government is the executive. Ours as legislators is to monitor the executive that they are performing their duties accordingly.
It worries the IFP and me that quite often most of the time colleagues, Members of Parliament, often pose as spokespersons of government departments and the executive rather than making the executive account to all of us as a collective. When we all feel that a particular department has gone wrong on a policy issue, there is no need for us collectively to pat the shoulder of the department unnecessarily. We are all here in the NCOP representing the interests of our provinces. How often do we take this into consideration when considering budgets of different departments? For example, the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal has been grappling with the long-standing historical issue of the occupation specific dispensation, OSD, for the past eight or nine years, but there has not been financial commitment to resolve this from both the National Treasury or the national Basic Education.
Another example, at the Select Committee on Education and Recreation, we have all been complaining that the Department of Sport and Recreation is grossly underfunded. This is to such an extent that the national sports plans implementation has no committed budget from the National Treasury. This hinders the sports development plans of the country for all federations at the entry ages of sports.
The hon L C Dlamini of Mpumalanga and I have jointly been raising an issue pertaining to the Department of Human Settlements repeatedly. The urban settlement development grant of the Department of Human Settlements only provides funding for the metros in the country to the detriment of the secondary cities or aspirant metros that also have same social challenges as the metros. Our feeling is that this fund should also be extended to the secondary cities or aspirant metros.
Hon Chairperson, when are we going to see this House using the power they have as legislators sending back a budget of a department for readjustment and reallocation before that budget could be approved, collectively? This will end the perception of legislators being perceived as rubber stampers and start giving teeth to the suggestions we make.
Let me reiterate once more that it is more important to ensure that the staff of Parliament remains apolitical. Parliament has many different political parties and remains multipolitical in nature because of our processes of elections. It was embarrassing at our Taking Parliament to the People where one of our staff members had to be called to order by a member of the public because of his or her party-political involvement in the proceedings. Likewise the programmes and activities of the NCOP, like the Taking Parliament to the People, NCOP Provincial Week, Taking Parliament to the People, TPTTP, previsits by select committees and other programmes, should all be used to advance the course of Parliament, and not be misused by some for clandestine party-political gains and activities.
This reminds me that in the NCOP reach out programmes we also have NCOP lectures at tertiary institutions and it has never taken place during this fifth term. At our workshop last year, I also proposed that when the lectures take place all political parties represented at the NCOP, must be given a slot before the main address by the hon Chairperson of the Council. I want to reiterate that same proposal. I thank you, Chair.
Mr S J MOHAI: Chairperson, Madam Chairperson of the NCOP hon Thandi Modise and hon members, our debate takes place at the most crucial time in the struggle for unfolding fundamental social transformation agenda. All of us are aware that tomorrow South Africa will host the World Economic Forum on Africa 2015 summit. This is an important matter facing nations of the world, Africa in particular, on economic integration, growth and development in our region.
Chairperson, the month of June occupies a special place in the calendar of events in the history of the democratic movement. Across the length and breadth of our country, we celebrate heroic struggles waged by the people of South Africa to free themselves from the brutal racist minority regime.
Two historic moments stand out during this month. First, June 16 1976, as referred to by the Deputy Chair, which marks the brutality of apartheid colonial rule at its highest level. Secondly, 26 June 1955, marks the adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown. The Freedom Charter projected a long-term view into the future of national unity, social progress and equality.
The development of the Freedom Charter involves the masses of our people from all corners of our country and all walks of life pulled together by the ANC. The people were actively involved in formulating their own vision of a democratic society. Having heeded the people’s call, we made a clause, “The people shall govern”, a central battle cry of our Freedom Charter. Indeed, the people take active role in ordering the affairs of their country, participate in popular organs of people’s power, many people in South Africa, ordinary men and women sit in community policing forums, sit in school governing bodies, sit in ward comities, clinic comities, many of community-based organisations and nongovernmental organisations which sees themselves with one thing, how best to make our country a better county to live in.
The policy debate on Parliament budget should always be located within its proper context. First, to upraise progress we are making in democratising and deracialising our country. Secondly, our efforts in implementing the Reconstruction and Development Programme in changing the living condition of our people for the better.
Our Constitution, formulated by the democratic government and adopted in 1996, remains the shining example of how committed the people’s organisation, the ANC, is to the principle of public participation and involvement where people decide their own destiny. Our Constitution’s preamble starts with profound words, and I quote: “We the people of South Africa”. This signifies collective effort of the people of South Africa’s commitment to dislodge the foundations upon which apartheid was based and do away with its legacy and beginning a thorough process of transformation.
We in the ANC have asserted as we do today that only the masses of our people will shape the pace and content of the programme of transformation. Our former president Oliver Reginald Tambo referred to this movement as parliament of the people. This was a sharp reminder to those who were to be entrusted with leadership of governance when this movement takes power. In this regard, Oliver Tambo further reflected, and I quote:
We considered it important that decisions of the ANC were to be shaped by popular mass endorsement at all times. Even if such decisions were acceptable within the movement, they would have come to naught unless they enjoyed popular support beyond the bounds of the ANC itself. Above all, we sought to make the people part and parcel of our decisions.
These are foundations upon which the democratic parliament is based. The people have been at the forefront of our policy formulation since the inception of our glorious movement.
The Mangaung conference was instructive in many ways, that parliament should serve the needs of the people, the democratic parliament should reach out to both rural and urban of our communities and engage meaningfully in a dialogue with our people to share their concerns and their frustrations.
A study commissioned by the Inter-Parliamentary Union has placed South Africa first amongst a community of nations when coming to public participation and representation in decision-making. In key findings relating to this study, South African system of democracy was found to be performing best overall, but more focus on freedom of expression across the board, this country performs above average coming out first in support for divergent views on engagements, divergent views by political parties. We can therefore proudly say that we are a very democratic state even much better than many countries regarded as exemplary by our opposition parties; the very same countries that the opposition models itself around in this country. [Applause.]
Quite clearly, ours is a Parliament that allows divergent views and it is our view that there is ample space in our institutions including Parliament for free engagements on these issues. Even if we differ we do make efforts to listen to hon members from the opposition parties when they make their points and we engage intelligently in dealing with the argument that they raise.
It is therefore our collective view in the ANC that we shall not allow Parliament to be hijacked by populist demagogy that advances narrow reactionary agendas that seek to divert Parliament from addressing the real issues facing the people. [Applause.] We need to desist from any attempts aimed at making Parliament dysfunctional. The point was made earlier that we need to attend to this deteriorating level of discipline in the House and afford each other necessary respect, that also opportunistically defer - there are many cases where opportunistically - issues that are before the House get refers to courts.
We should ensure that the NCOP remains focused as the voice of provinces by among others doing the following: Making the NCOP indispensable as South Africa attempts to improve growth and transform its economy, focussing on improving service delivery and infrastructure to promote growth; emphasising its unique position to fulfil its mandate of ensuring the provincial and local interests are considered in the national sphere of government; ensuring that synergy exists between the spheres of government; and we must continue to play our important role in oversight and accountability over the policies and implementation thereof.
In discharging our responsibilities as elected people’s representatives, we should engage robustly on issues of public and national interests. We in the ANC are used to debate issues and arrive at conclusions ones the balance of evidence points in that direction. We should be inspired by the value system to serve our people. We should draw inspirations from those who sacrificed their lives for the democratic parliament to be the voice of ordinary man and woman.
As the ANC we have the obligation to preserve the proud heritage of our liberation struggle, values of selflessness and service to our people and forge ahead in building national democratic society which is genuinely and completely nonracial, nonsexist, prosperous and egalitarian.
In supporting this budget vote, we honour the legacy of those martyrs and fore bearers of our liberation struggle, the youth, women and men who put their lives on the line for the attainment of this freedom and democracy. This year, as the year of the Freedom Charter and unity in action to advance economic freedom, shall dominate our debate and we at the ANC support the budget. [Applause.]
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hayi Sihlalo, iwotshi yakho mayiqale ngeqanda kaloku. Ayikaqali, ayikafiki kakuhle sisi. [No hon Chairperson, your watch must start from zero. It hasn’t started yet, it’s not yet there sister.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Leave the time to me in the Chair ...
Mr L B GAEHLER: Uyandibetha kodwa ke. [You treat me unfairly.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Leave it to me and the Table Papa.
Mr L B GAEHLER: Chairperson, Julius Nyerere once said that we don’t develop people; people develop themselves. Accordingly, the UDM strongly believes that participatory democracy places people at the centre of their own development, thus enabling them to determine their destiny. It is a primary input for sustainable development, and it deepens democracy. In order for participatory democracy to be effective, citizens need to be empowered with the necessary information for them to make appropriate decisions.
This House and its members have a responsibility to empower citizens that its strategic objective of increasing the levels of quality public participation is realised. Accordingly, to empower people means to enable them to elicit and increase the power they have by working as a community. People are at the heart of our constitutional democracy and sustainable development. As this House, we must lead in placing people as drivers to deepen democracy.
Chairperson, the leader of the House was right. One of the offices that is very important here is the petitions office. We cannot afford to have a dysfunctional petitions office. It does not function, and we need to do something to capacitate that office. For instance, in December last year, I brought a petition from our communities. I didn’t even get a letter of acknowledgment of receipt of that petition. As a public representative, what do you then say to the people? This office needs to be capacitated.
Secondly, we recently experienced xenophobia. It affected the country; it did not affect the ANC or UDM or whatever party. Yes, we know that we come here as provinces, but one would at least believe that sanity would prevail in that we would have a multiparty committee going out to those people, that we would show a united force to those people. We need to address that.
Lastly, on political funding, what the leader of the House said is very important. We need to increase our political funding ...
... awazi nto ke wena, thula ungungxolayo nje into oyiyo. [Kwahlekwa.] [... you know nothing, shut up you are just making noise. [Laughter.]]
We need to increase our political funding because we currently have to serve the people without enough funding. Also, in this House, we have to bring a motion before the House and debate the IEC funding of political parties so that we can deepen our democracy. Thank you.
Mam’uDlamini uthethe kakuhle. [Kwahlekwa.] [Mama Dlamini you spoken very well. [Laughter.]]
Mr J P PARKIES: Chairperson and hon members of the House, I want to quote a statement made by Lenin in 1913. He said:
Champions of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realise that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is kept going by the forces of certain ruling classes.
Every social reality has its origin. Any form of conformity is the enemy of freedom and growth.
In this House and Parliament, the DA does not seem to understand the evolution of the South African society. [Interjections.] They approach the issue of unemployment in our society mechanically. They forget that the suffering of our people is a source of pleasure for the system of capitalism that they embrace as liberals in South Africa. They always tell about and believe in the lean state, precisely because they don’t believe in a democratic, developmental, interventionist state.
We need to remind ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE gOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Parkies, please take your seat. Hon member?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Modulasetilo, ke ne ke botsa gore a motl Parkies a ka tsaya potso? [Chairperson, I would like to ask if hon Parkies may take a question?]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M C Dikgale): A re kwe yena. O ka tšea potšišo? [Let us hear from her. Are you ready to take questions?]
Andingekhe ndiwuthathe umbuzo Sihlalo weNdlu okwangoku. [I cannot take a question hon Chairperson of the House for now.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M C Dikgale): Aowa, ga a dumele, mma. Dula fase. Tšwela pele. [She does not agree, hon member. Continue.]
Mr J P PARKIES: The character of the EFF ... we need to tell society what the EFF is. The EFF is a motley collection of conceited elements in our society that believes in unmeasured violence with selective attacks on capital that destroy unions. If you summarise this ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Parkies ... hon member, why are you on your feet?
Ms T J MOKWELE: On a point of order, Chair: Unless the hon Parkies is a member of the EFF, and I’ve seen his application membership form for membership ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): What is your point of order?
Ms T J MOKWELE: ... so he cannot talk up until we approve his membership form in the EFF. He cannot talk on behalf of the EFF. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member, that is not a point of order.
Ms T J MOKWELE: I have seen his membership form, so he must wait for us to approve his membership so that he can speak about the EFF.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member, that is not a point of order. Take your seat. Hon Parkies, continue.
Mr J P PARKIES: When we summarise the character of the EFF, it boils down to one thing: anarchy or anarchism. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hold it, hon member. Take your seat. Hon Tebogo Mokwele?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Modulasetilo, ke boeletsa kgang ya gore Ntlo ena e re bitse diganana. [Chairperson, I am repeating the fact that the members of this house say we are anarchists.]
I am a member of the EFF. I am not an anarchist.
Fa motl Parkies a bua ka ... [When the hon Parkies talks about ...]
... character of the EFF. He doesn’t know it. Let him talk about the chicken run, the cattle kraal, the fire pool, and the corruption within the ANC. He must not talk about the EFF and relate us to anarchists. We are not anarchists. We are hon members, and we are a registered political party in South Africa, the third largest political party in South Africa, for that matter. He must know.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member, can I request the hon members to make sure that they familiarise themselves with this book of ours – with the Rules of the NCOP, chapter five. Hon member Tebogo Mokwele, are you listening? No, listen to me. Please let us make sure that we go through this book, chapter five of the Rules, starting from Rule 30 up to Rule 32. You can even go to Rule 35. If we can acquaint ourselves with these Rules, we would be able to understand when the members are debating in this House. So, hon member Tebogo Mokwele, I am addressing you, and you are not listening. [Interjections.] Yes.
Rule 30(a) states members “have freedom of speech in the Council”. If you go and read it, you would know what is happening in the House. Alright, hon member. Hon member Tebogo Mokwele, take your seat. The hon Mtileni?
Mr V E MTILENI: House Chair, you are inconsistent. Is there any difference ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Mtileni, why are you rising?
Mr V E MTILENI: I am addressing you. He’s calling us anarchists, and earlier I said something that is, in my opinion, the same as what he is saying. Ask him to withdraw in simple terms.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Parkies, the hon members ... are you done, hon Mtileni?
Mr V E MTILENI: Please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Are you done?
Mr V E MTILENI: Yes, ask him to withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Take your seat. The hon members from the EFF are complaining that they are not anarchists. Can you please withdraw? [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Ask him to withdraw!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Mtileni, are you done? Can I address you, hon member Mtileni? [Interjections.] Can I address you? Hon member Mtileni, can I address you? Please take your seat. I am asking the hon member to withdraw the word. [Interjections.] Hon member Mtileni and hon member Tebogo Mokwele, let me read this Rule. Please listen.
Rule 33 states, “No member may interrupt another member who is addressing the Chair, except to call attention to a point of order or a question of privilege”. So, hon member Mtileni just stands up without even telling us whether he is rising on a point of order or a point of privilege. Can you please desist from doing that? [Interjections.] Hon member Zwane, please take your seat. I still want to deal with the hon member Parkies. Are you ready to withdraw, sir?
Mr J P PARKIES: I recall.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much.
Mr J P PARKIES: In the 19th and 20th centuries ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Parkies, Mme Zwane is on her feet.
Ms L L ZWANE: Thank you, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Why are you rising?
Ms L L ZWANE: I am rising on a point of order. I just want to establish from you, as a presiding officer, whether it is not chaotic for members of this House simply to stand up and continue the debate from the chair. Is that not anarchy? Is that not being disrespectful?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mme Zwane, you did not hear me when I was reading the Rule to the hon member Mtileni. I saw the hon member Mtileni nodding his head, making sure that he agrees with the Rule. Why are you on your feet, hon Mtileni? I am still addressing Mme Zwane. Can you please take your seat? [Interjections.] Can you take your seat? Hon Mtileni, can you take your seat? Thank you very much. Continue, hon Parkies.
Mr J P PARKIES: During the 19th century, the progressive forces defeated fascism in this world.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Parkies, there is another point of order.
Mr J P PARKIES: Fascism is informed by violence, selective attacks on capital ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Parkies! Hon Parkies, please take your seat. Listen to the Chair, hon Parkies!
Mr J P PARKIES: ... which characterise the culture ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Parkies, take your seat. Hon member, why are you on your feet?
Ms T J MOKWELE: On a point of order, House Chair: You must address member Dlamini to withdraw because you have already made a ruling on the issue of anarchists. She is repeatedly addressing us as anarchists, so please tell her to withdraw the word. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): No, no! We cannot continue like this. Hon Tebogo Mokwele, you were not listening when I was addressing hon Zwane, so, hon Mtileni, we cannot now continue with what you want to. Please take your seat. Hon member Parkies, continue with your speech. Take your seat, hon member Mtileni! Take your seat. Thank you very much.
Mr J P PARKIES: I will repeat this. During the 19th century, the progressive forces defeated fascism in the world, which believes in and is defined by unmeasured violence, and this is what the EFF represents in our politics.
The hallmark of any political democracy is its ability to sustain critical engagement with the masses of our people and its effect on human decency to transform the quality of ordinary life that translates to equality and dignity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Parkies. Please take your seat. Let me hear what you want to say.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Mme Modulasetilo, ka tlotlego, o kopile rre Parkies gore a busetse morago mafoko a gagwe; a tlogele go tlhasela boleng jwa EFF. [Chairperson, with respect, you have asked Mr Parkies to withdraw what he said; he must stop attacking our integrity as the EFF.]
I am still appealing to you that he is not a member of the EFF. He cannot talk on behalf of the EFF up until we approve his application form to become a member of the EFF. Then he can talk on our behalf.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M C Dikgale): Mmago nna, ke a leboga. Ke kgopela gore o dule fase. Emanyana. Aowa, aowa, mohl Mtileni! [I thank you Madam. Please sit down. Wait a minute. No, no, no, hon Mtileni!]
No, hon Mtileni! Before you speak, you must ask for permission, and now the hon member said something. I want to address her, and you are on your feet. That is not acceptable, hon member.
Mme, go nyakega gore o theeletše gabotse ge mohl Parkies a bolela. Ga a bolele ka maloko a EFF ... [Tsenoganong.] Ee, o dumela ditaba tša gagwe o di nyalantšha le ditaba tša lena tša EFF, bjale yeo re ka se e dumele. Ke kgopela gore mohl Parkies a tšwele pele. Mohl Mtileni ... [Tsenoganong.] (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[Hon member, you need to listen attentively to what hon Parkies is saying. He does not speak about members of the EFF ... [Interjections.] Yes, he agrees with what he says and relates it with your issues of the EFF, but we will not accept that. I request hon Parkies to continue. Hon Mtileni ... [Interjections.]]
Mr J P PARKIES: The legislature, as a component of the state ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M C Dikgale): Parkies! Iketle, papa. Iketle. [Mr Parkies, relax. Relax.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Chairperson, you are showing your colours, and I don’t think it is a good thing. You see, hon Parkies is addressing us as the “EFF with the character of violence”. What is this saying to the community? Ask him to withdraw again. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Mtileni, let me ask you a question: Are you the hon member Mtileni or the EFF? Tell me.
Mr V E MTILENI: Chair, you cannot ask me a question. First solve that one; then you ask me a question. I will answer you. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I did solve it.
Mr V E MTILENI: First address hon Parkies; then ask that question. I will answer you.
Mr J P PARKIES: Are you chairing the Chair? Are you chairing the Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please listen to me carefully. We cannot continue like this. What you and the hon member are doing is a point of debate. You cannot debate from your chair. You will have the time to come to the podium and debate. So, at the moment, we are not going to allow you, hon member, to debate from the chair. I have made a ruling, and I have asked you to take your seat. I have also asked the hon member Tebogo Mokwele to take her seat. Now, I want the House to continue.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, the opposition ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I asked you to take your seat. Please take your seat!
Ms T J MOKWELE: You are not in control!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Now all of you are talking. [Interjections.] Hon members ... I have made a ruling, and we cannot allow this situation.
Ms T J MOKWELE: You must give us a chance because we are rising on points of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Tebogo Mokwele, I did that many times.
Ms T J MOKWELE: I am rising on a new matter, not that matter. I am rising on a new matter. Why don’t you give us a chance to speak?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): You are rising on a new matter?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Yes!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I am going to allow you. Hon Mtileni, take your seat. I am asking you to take your seat. Hon Mtileni, take your seat. Let me allow her because she says that she is rising on a new matter. If it is not a new matter, please, I will ask you to take your seat. We cannot allow you to disrupt the House.
Ms T J MOKWELE: But you are already threatening me. You have already made a decision. You are predicting! You are predicting.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): What is your new matter?
Ms T J MOKWELE: What is the use of me saying what I want to say because you have already ruled on the matter?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): What is your new matter, hon member? What is your new matter?
Ms T J MOKWELE: You have already ruled on that matter!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Take your seat, then! Take your seat!
Ms T J MOKWELE: What is the point for me to speak because you have already threatened me? Chairperson, you must be consistent. You must be consistent. I am requesting you to be consistent.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member, take your seat! I have heard you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: You have already ruled, but you have not heard me.
Ga ise o utlwe gore ke batla go reng, mme o setse o atlhotse. [You haven’t heard what I wanted to say, but you have already ruled.]
... on what I want to say.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M C Dikgale): Mme Tebogo, ga se ... [Tsenoganong.] Ke kgopela gore o dule fase. [Hon Tebogo, it is not ... [Interjections.] Please, sit down.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chair, I am requesting that you do not act politically.
Fa o le Modulasetilo, o direla Ntlo e yotlhe, e seng mokgatlo wa gago fela. [When you are a chairperson, you are working for the whole House, not only your party.]
You must represent us also. That is why you are a House Chairperson.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M C Dikgale): Ke kgopela o dule fase. Ke kgopela o dule, mme. [Please sit down, hon member.]
Can I request all of your to take your seats allow the Chairperson of the Council to say something?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: House Chairperson, I am not sure on what point of order I am rising. I just think that we are allowing this House to degenerate into something that is shameful. Can we please have some order? I cannot rule from where I am sitting, but it might actually help us if we do not provoke one another in this House. I do think that the presiding officer can take time off to go and look at the material, at what the hon Parkies has said to make the EFF take issue, but I must also say that the EFF does not help bring respect and respectability to this House. We cannot have a House where members will not allow people who are at the podium to finish the business of the House. I think it is absolutely shameful what we are allowing South Africa to witness today.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you. Continue, hon member Parkies.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, the legislature, as a component of the state, is a powerful device, with unequalled strength for strategic and focused political oversight to accomplish that objective of upholding effective accountability. Any democracy failing to do this will be meaningless, instead just mere formalism.
We ought to continue, and we shall continue, but not because of the opposition parties demanding professional competency laced with steeled efficiency that will undermine any form of a culture of mediocrity and that will be superseded by a culture of service to the masses. The character of the developmental state we seek to build is defined by its relationship with the masses of our people, its responsiveness, and the nature of the interventions it imposes in the quest for a better life for all.
We are the defenders of the frontiers of democracy and freedom, disseminators of democratic values that promote human dignity, and exponents of social justice and human solidarity. Our democratic revolution is at the zenith to be convulsive in imposing political measures and initiatives in the form of legislation that has an effect on the great masses people. The budget of the legislature – the National Assembly and NCOP – represents a tool for us to effectively discharge our political mandate.
Hon Chair, when I am left with two minutes, please tell me. The hallmark of this is our national sovereignty to decide on our developmental path that moves away from capitalist nostrums, implement our policies in the global sphere and in the country without any interference by foreign forces with their cynical motives. This is why we always emphasise the accomplishments we have recorded. Since the dawn of democracy, much transformation has been achieved at the social level. However, we recognise that the tributaries of freedom still have to reach the deep rural areas of our country. This transformation we talk about has to deal with the stubborn vestiges of the apartheid system.
This must act against the constant liberal parrot cry in our land by the DA and its antimajoritarian tendencies. The hostile forces outside and within must encounter our collectively displayed imprecation ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Parkies, please take your seat.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chair, you are the House Chairperson for members’ facilities. Do you have a book on communist phrases because that man is talking rubbish, and I want to understand what he is saying? [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Van Lingen, can you please withdraw the word “rubbish”?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Yes, I will do so, hon Chairperson, but the request was for the dictionary.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you for the withdrawal of the word. Let us continue. Hon member?
Mr C F B SMIT: House Chair, I rise on a point of order: It is disturbing to see that one of the members standing at the podium, after you instructed the member to go and sit down, ignored your order and kept standing. That also shows – and we just spoke about respecting this House – disrespect. There should be consistency in this House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you, hon Smit. Hon members, please take your seats. We want to continue. Hon member Parkies, next time when the hon member addresses the Chair, please take your seat. [Interjections.]
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, I think I must repeat this sentence. The hostile forces, outside and from within, must encounter our collectively displayed imprecation to contest and incisively respond to their ideological agenda in form, appearance, and content.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Parkies, take your seat.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: House Chair, I take serious offense. I take serious offense because that was not a withdrawal by hon Van Lingen of the word “rubbish”. I take serious offense to the following words: because this man is talking rubbish. She must withdraw unconditionally on that matter.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Mtileni, please take your seat. I did not recognise you, hon Mtileni! [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni, I did not give you a chance to speak. I did not recognise you, hon Mtileni.
The hon Tau is rising on a point of order. The hon Van Lingen was listening. Hon member, are you ready to withdraw? Hon Van Lingen?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I did withdraw the word “rubbish”. If you go to Hansard, you will hear that I withdrew the word “rubbish”. Is it clear to you now?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you, hon Van Lingen. Before I recognise you, I saw the hon Gaehler’s hand. Please take your seat.
Mr L B GAEHLER: I was just going to confirm that she withdrew.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you. Can I ask the hon members to take their seats so that we continue? Why do you rise?
Ms L C DLAMINI: House Chairperson, she did not withdraw the following words: this man. He is an hon Member of Parliament.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I believe he won’t repeat that. Continue, hon Parkies.
Mr J P PARKIES: It is precisely because we are telling them who they are in this land. Their perforated, grisly scheme in the name of the Constitution of this country will be defeated. This tendency is illustrated by their liberal confidence and the trend of taking every single issue in South Africa to court.
We grasp the essence and reality of our history that is so true, as well as its basic elements. The opposition and their allied forces of reaction are very thin on ideas. This is why they will find it easy to go against the movement. They cannot contest us at policy level. This is why they will find it very easy to resort to anarchism. [Interjections.]
We have a duty to defend our democratic institutions. Forces that appear to be innocent but ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order! Order, hon Parkies. Please take your seat. Hon Mtileni, take your seat.
Mr J P PARKIES: I recall, Chair. I recall to save you time. Let me make this last point.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Alright, he has recalled the word. Take your seat. Before you even say something, he has recalled the word.
Mr J P PARKIES: No, they don’t understand “recall”.
Mr V E MTILENI: He is sometimes deviating. Maybe that is why he calls for this rubble. You cannot continue to say one word, and every minute you are asked to withdraw. You keep on saying the very same word. I wonder whether hon Parkies does not understand the word “anarchy”. [Interjections.] What does it mean? Maybe you can explain it to him, or maybe you could take a dictionary and try and assist him. Please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please take your seat. Let me do this. Based on the advice I am given by the Table, I will go and look up this word “anarchy”. Then, next time when I come back – in the next sitting – I am still talking, hon Mtileni, and you carry on. This is out of order. Please take your seat. Then, during the next sitting, we will talk about this. Continue, hon Parkies.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, this is the last point. We have a duty to defend, unflinchingly so, our democratic institutions. Forces that appear to be innocent but are firmly intransigent against our democratic revolution will be defeated. The usurpers of this world spew with their mouths horrible inventions to justify their agenda. This includes speculative economics and allegations that the productivity went down in this country. The liberal forces with their viral propaganda are on the offensive. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chairperson, I want to thank all the members for ensuring that this House don’t go to sleep. I want to thank those members who tried to interact with the budget. I especially want to thank hon Wiley for the contributions, because many times parliamentarians and politicians do not want to involve themselves in the roles that parliaments must play, in modern days. It is important that parliamentary democracies and politicians begin to grapple with the concepts so that all of us can begin to carve out a new role, because the old role of Parliament is no longer working for parliaments and the world. So, it is important that we set that and we end up in this House as a debating House, not a howling House.
I want to then come back to the issues raised by hon van Lingen and in part, hon Wiley, that deal with how budgets are supposed to be dealt with. I want to invite hon van Lingen to read section 4 of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, because that sets out the scene on which structures of Parliament deal with the budget. You will then know that we have done what we needed to do. We have been to the Budget Office that has dealt with the matter. We have been to the Parliamentary Oversight Authority, POA, and therefore, there is no step that we, as Parliament, have skipped in taking the budget to the routes it must take.
I have also said that this Parliament is in the process of looking at the models that we now have to put in place, as per the Financial Management of Parliament Act. Some of the things are in place and some we are reviewing.
So, that means we will look at all those things and review how we did them before we had the Financial Management of Parliament Act and how we should be doing things. That means one of the things that we must look at is how we have slowly moved into dealing with the legislatures and their different Acts, on this particular issue. As Parliament, that co-ordination is important for us to speak about.
It is also important for us to say that we are worried. As the NCOP, we have spoken, from day one, about how we deal with legislation. One of the things that we are looking at and one of the five objectives is: Strengthening legislative capacity. We are very serious about it. It means looking at the cycles. It even means trying to co-ordinate. As a Speaker of a provincial legislature from 2004 to 2009, we had put in place facilities and we spent millions and time to ensure that national and provincial legislatures talk about the same issues and interact. We must reopen those facilities so that we cut down on the time to take legislation down.
I always argue that I did, at some point, studied law, but didn’t finish it. And therefore, I find it very difficult when we expect a Member of Parliament in the NCOP, who has not been elected on the basis of being a lawyer and after receiving one detailed report and briefing from the department to lead the discussion in a province. I think that we set each other up.
That is why it is important for us to get into capacitation, but when you get into capacitation after 20 years, it means you must be very sure of the things that you have done right and keep them and improve them. It means when you undo those things that have not really worked for the institution, you must also bring everybody on board, so that you don’t create ructions. I would say, yes, we understand that.
I also take the issues that were raised on party funding, constituency funding and administrative support to parties very seriously. It is not frivolous; it is serious. In many instances, the executive authority - myself and Ms Mbete - have actually received complains and allegations about how party funds are used. We cannot act, because we are looking at where the funds went. And when you want to take disciplinary and corrective action, you must also look into the root causes of the behaviour. That is why it is important for us to engage with Treasury to tell them first of all to give us inflation-related budgets, so that we can see what we need to do.
Now, it is unfortunate that the hon Mtileni says that they reject the budget because some employee was sitting somewhere. That’s not the purpose of the budget. In fact, hon Mtileni, EFF, you are rejecting the budget that pays your allowances and remuneration. It is this same budget that will ensure that you have administrative support. It is this budget that will enable the people who have been elected - all of us sitting here - to come here and to represent.
It is sometimes important to know how and when to put our thoughts into the space, so that the electorate does not think we are playing with its emotions. It is important for us to say that the oversight and accountability model needs to work for Parliament. As Parliament, it is important for us to say that there is one Parliament and therefore, one route.
That is why it is important for us, as the NCOP, to go back to the Rules so that the Rules are standardised, so that the Rules of this House and that House don’t have gaps. For instance, we have a very good Rule on motions and the timing thereof, but we do not have a good Rule on questions, as they have on the other side. So, we need to look at those things that we can build the institution into being a respectable institution.
It does not matter who takes power in South Africa. What matters is that when people elect through the ballot vote, they respect the people who will continuously pronounce their sentiments and their aspirations and who will hold the executive to account, on their behalf.
So, it is very important to know that the House does not necessarily represent parties; it represents provinces. Remember, our primary and core business, as this House, is not to represent anybody, but to represent the provinces. That is why we come into this House via the provincial legislatures.
So, it is important when we take party positions and provincial positions, Mr Gaehler and Mr Khawula, to look at provincial budgets. We have raised the issue with national government that we have to get to the point where provinces can be held accountable for what is within their responsibility, especially in the departments where there are concurrences like in education, health and social development. We must be able to identify those areas where a national Minister has a say over an MEC. We must begin to get into those small spaces so that we don’t tear ourselves apart, because somebody somewhere is not doing what they are supposed to do.
Somebody somewhere thinks that it should happen in the province when the province thinks it should be the done by the national Minister. So, I am saying, it is again an area where we, as the NCOP, in our legislative capacitation, need concurrence and independence. What are these competences? How do we make sure that we represent and we represent truly, at all times?
I want to agree with members who are saying that we must ensure that we represent and hold provinces and national government to account. The important thing is to know which areas and how you get into that. We also must not want to do everything that the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures are doing. And it is that model that is a work in progress.
So, at some point, we will all say that we now understand exactly what we are supposed to do. Until this House, Parliament, the executive, even the judiciary all agree what some of the things in the Constitution exactly mean and how we can implement them, it will be difficult for us to stand here and say that we are 100% functional. That does not stop us from planning. That does not stop us from digging for ideas. That does not stop us from doing that which has been a best practice.
I want to thank you for the time we have taken and again say that it seems we must have another session on the Rules. It seems we must understand that we are here to contest ideas, not to contest the persons, not to reflect on each other, but to represent the contestation of ideas, which are in our different constituencies. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon members. I have indicated earlier that I do not want us to leave here with an impression that the word anarchy is unparliamentary. I will consider the context within which the hon member Parkies used the word and come back to the hon members at the next sitting.
The Council adjourned at 17:03.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
THURSDAY, 28 MAY 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Membership of Committees
(1) The following members have been nominated by their parties to serve on the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals.
African National Congress
Bhengu, Ms NR
Dubazana-Dlamini, Ms ZS
Gumede, Mr DM
Kenye, Ms TE
Mpumlwana, Adv LKB
Ramatlakane, Mr L
Mnisi, Ms NA [Alternate]
Chance, Mr RWT
Motau, Mr SC
Inkatha Freedom Party
Mncwango, Mr MA
United Democratic Movement
Kwankwa, Mr NLS
National Council of Provinces
African National Congress
Dlamini, Ms LC [Mpumalanga]
Makue, Mr ER [Gauteng]
Mampuru, Ms TK [Limpopo]
Manopole, Ms GM [Northern Cape]
Mohai, Mr SJ [Free State]
Motlashuping, Mr TC [North West]
Wana, Ms T [Eastern Cape]
Zwane, Mrs LL [Kwazulu-Natal]
Londt, Mr JJ [Western Cape]
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
- The Speaker and the Chairperson
- 2015 First Quarterly Report of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), tabled in terms of section 23(1)(c) of the National Conventional Arms Control Act, 2002 (Act No 41 of 2002).
National Council of Provinces
1. The Chairperson
- Termination of section 139(1)(c) intervention issued to Mtubatuba Local Municipality and issuing of Directives in terms section 139(1)(a) of the Constitution, 1996.
Referred to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report.
FRIDAY, 29 MAY 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
- The Speaker and the Chairperson
- Submission of the Financial and Fiscal Commission on the Division of Revenue Bill for 2016-2017, tabled in terms of section 9(1) of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Act, 1997 (Act No 97 of 1997), as amended.
TUESDAY, 2 JUNE 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Assent by President in respect of Bills
- Division of Revenue Bill [B 5 – 2015] – Act No 1 of 2015 (assented to and signed by President on 30 May 2015).
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
- The Minister of Finance
- Corporate Plan and Shareholder’s Compact of the Land Bank for 2015/16 – 2017/18.
- Municipal Budgets for the 2014 Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF), tabled in terms of section 24(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).
- The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
- Report and Financial Statements of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights for 2014-15.
National Council of Provinces
- The Chairperson
- Submission of a petition calling for National Council of Province’s intervention on the dispute relating to the RDP housing subsidy and bond repayments. (From Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, on behalf of Mr Adam Khalo, from Vosloorus, Gauteng Province).
Pursuant to Rule 234 the petition is accordingly referred to the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings for consideration and report.
No related documents