Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 03 Jun 2015

Summary

No summary available.


Minutes

WEDNESDAY, 3 JUNE 2015

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES

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The Council met at 14:04.

 

The Deputy 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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I am informed that the Whippery have agreed that there will not be any motions for this session. That is notices of motion and motions without notice. Therefore, may I call upon the Secretary to read the first order of the day.

 

APPRORIATION BILL

(Policy debate)

 

Policy debate on Budget Vote No 33 – Tourism:

 

Ms T J MOKWELE: Hon Deputy Chairperson, on a point of order.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mokwele, on what point are you rising?

 

Ms J T MOKWELE: Hon Deputy Chairperson, according to the speakers list that we are having here today, an electronic version, it says final speakers list for Wednesday 3 June 2012. Are we in 2012 or in 2015? Maybe it needs to be corrected. I am just making the Deputy Chair aware.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, it is 2015. Hon Minister, may you introduce the debate.

 

The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Deputy Chairperson and hon members, tourism is making a huge contribution to South Africa’s economy, and is creating hope and opportunity for many, many people in our country. It is arguably the sector of our economy with the greatest competitive advantage.

 

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Our intention is to use this budget, which we place in front of you today, to improve the magnificent products and services we offer the millions of people who come here from all over the world. And we will take steps to market our beautiful destination more efficiently, so that our people continue to derive lasting benefits from tourism.

 

 

Our R1,8 billion budget for 2015-16 which we are tabling in front of you today means that, out of every R100,00 in the national budget, just 13 cents goes to tourism. So, it is a small fraction of the overall budget. But, we are using this money well. In total, tourism contributed no less than 9,4% to gross domestic product in 2014, and more importantly, one in every 10 jobs in our country is supported by tourism.

 

Even in the face of recent challenges, such as the outbreak of the Ebola virus, and tourism arrivals to South Africa grew year-on-year by 6,6% in 2014.

 

The facts speak for themselves: Tourism is a success story and is making a huge impact on our country. If we work together, and do the right things, tourism can do even more to reduce unemployment and eradicate poverty.

However, tourism growth should not only be measured by the numbers of domestic tourists or international arrivals. Tourism growth has to be environmentally and socially sustainable. And it has to be inclusive growth. To achieve this we must bring more marginalised communities into the tourism mainstream.

 

The transformation of our sector remains one of our greatest priorities. Our current challenges include poor representation of black women in ownership and management; overall insufficient representation of black people in the sector; and inadequate procurement of goods and services from black-owned enterprises by established businesses.

 

We are undertaking several initiatives to address these challenges. We have submitted amended Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment codes to the Department of Trade and Industry, with increased targets to accelerate transformation. We will create a database of small, black-owned enterprises to supply goods and services to large enterprises, which will serve as a tool to transform the tourism supply chain. Working with academic institutions, we are developing an Executive Development Programme to contribute to a pipeline of black women who will be empowered to assume executive and directorship positions.

 

Collaboration and synergy in the work of all three spheres of government is critical to the success of our tourism sector.

 

In March, we hosted the Local Government Tourism Conference in collaboration with Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta and SA Local Government Association, Salga. Stakeholders from the private and public sector engaged in robust discussions, and the outcomes will be integrated into the plans of all three spheres of government.

 

Our SA Tourism Planning Toolkit for Local Government guides municipalities to plan sustainably. We conduct a local government tourism course, which is accredited by the University of Pretoria, to empower tourism practitioners and councillors.

 

A few weeks ago we hosted Indaba 2015 in Durban. Many of you were there. We had more than 1 000 exhibitors, including 300 exhibitors, from 20 African countries, and about 2 000 buyers from the world’s tourism source markets. Indaba 2015 was a resounding success. We will soon call for proposals for a potential partner with a global reach to expand Indaba even further.

 

We have set ourselves the ambitious target of attracting 12 million international tourists by 2018. We also aim to increase domestic holiday trips from 2,8 million in 2014 to 4,1 million by 2020. This will put us firmly on track to achieve our target of creating 225 000 additional jobs in the tourism sector by 2020.

 

To help us achieve these targets, 54% of our budget goes to SA Tourism. Growth in domestic tourism is critical to our future. The SA Tourism will focus on building a culture of tourism and encouraging local travel with a ring-fenced budget of R100 million this year.

 

Our cultural diversity, our recent liberation history, and our ancient heritage sites like Maropeng and Mapungubwe provide an untapped niche for tourism. We will work closely with the Department of Arts and Culture, and with our provincial and local stakeholders, to identify other sites that can be developed.

One example of innovative work that is being done to develop this niche opportunity is the Madiba App, which was created by SA Tourism to provide information about several sites associated with the life of former President Nelson Mandela on mobile devices.

 

Service excellence and quality assurance are key, to the success of tourism.  The Tourism Grading Council of SA ensures that domestic and international tourists have a choice of reliably graded products to suit their needs and pockets.

 

There are currently over 5 000 graded establishments in the country. This year, we will encourage more establishments to be graded, so that our visitors know exactly what to expect when they make their bookings.

 

I am pleased to inform you, that businesses can now - through our recently launched Tourism Incentive Programme - access a subsidy to help them pay the assessment fee to get graded.

 

The world is changing rapidly around us. We must be agile and adapt to the shifting demands and preferences of tourists. The question we must constantly ask ourselves is: How can we market our magnificent destinations even better?

 

To help improve our country’s collective marketing efforts, I appointed a panel to review the work of SA Tourism, chaired by former Minister of Environment and Tourism, Valli Moosa. I am confident that the recommendations of this panel will assist us in marketing our wonderful destination even more effectively.

 

Selling our product to the world is extremely important, but equally important is that the product itself has to be continuously enhanced. Tourists vote with their feet, and their vote is influenced by the quality of service they receive, ease of travel, and value for money. We must ensure that every tourist who arrives on our shores has the best experience possible.

 

 

 

 

Our Tourism Incentive Programme focuses on competitiveness and destination enhancement. It includes an exciting new retrofitting component, which will start with energy efficiency. We will pilot the installation of photovoltaic panels at some of our state-owned attractions this year, like Robben Island for example, and other World Heritage Sites and National Botanical Gardens.

 

 

Over time, the retrofitting programme will be expanded to make tourism sites and accommodation more accessible to people with disabilities.

 

The incentive programme will also help community tourism projects to become more sustainable by improving the business skills of the owners and helping them to market their products. Qualifying applicants will receive financial assistance to access new markets by attending tourism trade shows.

 

We have the wildlife, the mountains, exquisite beaches and spectacular scenery. But, the unforgettable experience we want to offer tourists depends on how well they are hosted. For good hosting and service excellence we need a professional, well-trained workforce.

 

Our investment in training food safety officers, chefs, and sommeliers is already paying dividends by creating employment opportunities for our youth and improving the quality of our service. A number of young people who have been trained will graduate at a youth empowerment workshop in Mpumalanga later this month, as part of Youth Month celebrations. I hope that those of you who are here from Mpumalanga will be there with us to celebrate, yes of course. See you there.

 

 

 

This year we will initiate a skills review, to inform a more comprehensive human resource development programme in future. Training is already a crucial element of all projects funded under our Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, and Social Responsibility Initiative. Our EPWP projects are intended to create tourism opportunities, mainly in rural areas. This programme will support the creation of at least 11 000 full time equivalent jobs over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF period. Many of these jobs benefit women and the youth, and local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMMEs, are contracted to undertake construction work.

 

Our social responsibility initiative has also implemented several programmes for youth and women to enable them to find employment, or to start their own businesses. These include the National Young Chefs Training Programme, the Sommelier Training Programme,

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 and the so called Tourism Buddies Programme. In 2014-15 about 3 800 young people were enrolled as Tourism Buddies. Their learning placements would not have been possible without our industry partners, and we would like to thank them for their support.

 

 

Expanding the number of small enterprises is another essential ingredient for sustainable tourism development and job creation.

 

During 2014-15, 1 363 historically disadvantaged enterprises were supported through the Tourism Enterprise Partnership, including 466 rural enterprises. We will continue to support rural tourism businesses this year, focusing on skills development, mentorship, access to markets and quality assurance.

 

We are planning to review the National Tourism Sector Strategy this year. Many of the targets we set ourselves have in fact already been met or exceeded. The review will start with a comprehensive environmental scan to identify opportunities to develop and transform tourism. Stakeholder consultation will be an integral part of the process, and an expert panel drawn from key stakeholder groups will be appointed.

Of course, public-private partnerships remain the lifeblood of our industry. But, I want to return to the importance of public-public partnerships. All three spheres of government and the various tourism agencies must work together with a common purpose to achieve our common goals. Policy coherence, collaboration in planning and co-ordination in executing plans are essential to the success of the sector.

 

Nationally, we must align our work in government in critical areas such as expanding air connectivity, and tourist friendly travel facilitation. The global environment is highly competitive, and we will struggle to unlock the full potential of job creation and inclusive growth through tourism if we make it difficult for tourists to come to South Africa.

 

 

 

 

I want to thank the people who are driving growth in this sector through their leadership. Deputy Minister Xasa, whom you will hear from in a moment; Acting Director-General Victor Tharage and the entire Department of Tourism; the chief executive officer, CEO, of SA Tourism, Thulani Nzima, who is also here with us today; the board and all the hardworking staff, the Tourism Business Council of SA, and the thousands of people who are tourist ambassadors on the ground, including yourselves hon members I would hope every one of you is also a tourism ambassador on the ground. We want to thank you for your efforts and your dedication.

 

 

To the Select Committee Chairperson, Edwin Makue, and all the members of the committee, we appreciate the constructive way in which we can always engage with you. Tourism in our country is growing stronger every year. The benefits of tourism are enormous, for our people, our communities and our economy.

 

We are determined to use our resources effectively to maintain this growth, and to make tourism more inclusive and sustainable. In doing this, tourism will create hope and opportunity, and bring joy to the lives of millions of our people. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr E MAKUE: Hon Chairperson and members, on 06 May, the select committee received the Tourism department budget annual performs plan 2015-16 and the strategic plan 2015-16 to 2019-20. It is my privilege and my pleasure on behalf of the select committee to thank Minister Derek Hanekom and Deputy Minister hon Tokozile Xasa. Our sincere appreciation is also extended to the Acting Director-General Dr Victor Tharage ‚Äčand all members of the team, and also to the chief executive officer, CEO, of the SA Tourism Thulani Nzima. We value the work you are performing and the spirit of co-operation that we as the select committee enjoy with you.

 

It is vital that we, from the onset, remind ourselves that tourism is not just about a Safari, but it is about our unique diversity in heritage, in arts and in culture and this heritage expands the attractiveness of a destination to each and every one of our nine provinces.

 

We are confident that the packaging of what is called liberation heritage sites and other cultural tourism initiatives that the Department of Tourism is embarking on, will go a long way in installing a sense of pride amongst all the people of this land.

 

Our respected leader Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela ones said, and I quote:

 

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

 

Through tourism development we wish for citizens to listen with their hearts and to share in our common heritage with pride. The work of the national Department of Tourism is multifaceted encompassing many strategic drivers. As we endeavour to lift our country and its people, we do not lose site of the spirit of ubuntu that is so unique to our continent and its people. Many people visiting this country are doing so because they want to experience this ubuntu that we have and that is often talked about.

 

An example of the multifacets that I have spoken about is the recent tourism indaba that was held in Durban where no less than 24 African destinations were present and on the tradeshow floor while Meeting Africa had almost 35 African associations participating. Those who were there informed us that there was no talk of xenophobia. People recognised that this country has great potential as an integral part of the African continent.

 

The World Economic Forum and the Growth Africa Investment Forum are presently meeting in this country. They chose it not by chance, but because they share in the hope that people have in this country. Also, they know that through the work that the Tourism department has done, both our hospitality and conferencing facilities in this country are of an international high standard and they can confidently come and confer in Cape Town knowing that their experience will be a good one.

 

In the World Economic Forum conference there will be 1 000 leaders from business, politics, civil society, academics and very importantly the international and local media. In the tourism industry we have come to realise the importance of marketing our products and the international and local media do play a pivotal role in that sphere of our activity.

 

It is important that we share the role of tourism in socioeconomic transformation. Tourism as a labour intensive industry has proven itself to be a key economic driver supporting 15 million jobs directly and indirectly across the value chain. Barriers to entry in this sector are far less than in any other major industries. We who are in the Select Committee on Trade and Industry do know what the plans of other industries are.

 

The tourism sector ranks amongst the few industries in the country that has its own sector specific broad-based black economic empowerment, BBBEE, codes. In line with this, the NCOP looks forward to hearing about programmes to facilitate outcomes that will bring tourism a more inclusive sector and creating programmes that also address the needs of the small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs. We are talking with the Department of Small Business Development about this in this fifth administration of government.

 

During the briefing that we have heard from the SA Tourism, we agreed to rapidly meet again so as to assess the achievements of the SA Tourism, Satour, over the last year. The mission of Satour is to develop and implement a world-class tourism marketing strategy for South Africa. When we raised this with the colleagues from Satour they were enthusiastic to co-operate and to come and inform us about their marketing strategies.

 

Tourism development and growth enables us as government to invest in our people. We recognised that education is the key that will unlock transformation also in the tourism sector. To ensure sustainable development and provide the continuous positive contribution to the economy of this country, the education of our  young tourism learners, tour guides and emerging tourism operators is therefore of utmost importance if we are to create a pipeline of skilled people to staff and own the tourism business of the future. This is contained in the annual performance plan, APP, of the department. We welcome the news that the department is evaluating the tourism and hospitality curriculum to assess the quality of the existing tourism curriculum in our schools and look forward to the report and its recommendations.

 

We are also welcoming the continuous contribution to the seminar programme to empower the educators who teach tourism as a subject by sharing information on the latest development in the industry that relates to the curriculum.

 

We recently had an experience where a person who has done things in the tourism industry spoke to us himself. The person by the name of Colin Bell completed a degree in Economics in 1977, but he did not enter the world of finance. Instead, he joined the world of tourism and became a Safari guide in Botswana. He is a South African. In 1983, Colin cofounded Wilderness Safaris. He and his partner started with a mere R5 000 in savings and a second-hand 4 X 4 vehicle. They soon became one of the most successful travel and Safari companies in Africa.

 

Canon Rocks in Ndlambe in the Eastern Cape is another example of the impact of tourism in rural communities. Mr Thokozile spoke at the opening of the tourist facility and said:

 

Tourism has been identified as one of the key priority areas of Ndlambe in the local economic development strategy. Projects like the one that that rural communities participating in, are meant to implement the strategy and it is imperative that tourism projects and initiatives within the municipality, seek to grow the tourism industry by increasing economic benefits of tourism in the area through community beneficiation.

 

The number of tourist arrivals achieved in 2013-14 was 9,6 million, in 2014-15, the estimated performance is 10,3 million. The projection for 2015-16 is 10,9 million. The total tourism revenue received in billions in 2013-14 was R94,6 billion. The projections for 2014-15 is R101,8 billion. In the medium-term targets for 2015-16 the projection is R107,4 billion. If you look at the budget that is before us, and look at the revenue that it will generate and benefit people in this country, there is no reason why we cannot support this budget. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Agb Voorsitter, dat toerisme gebruik kan word as ’n doeltreffende instrument om werk te help skep, sal deur niemand bevraagteken word nie. Dit is verantwoordelik vir die skepping van een uit elke 12 werksgeleenthede in Suid-Afrika, terwyl elke buitelandse toeris sewe werksgeleenthede kan skep. Dit beteken dat een uit elke agt – ek hoor die Minister praat van 10, maar die naweek se syfers was agt – binne die industrie volhoubaar is.

 

Verder bied toerisme nie net geleenthede vir klein ondernemings om te ontwikkel nie, maar dra ook by tot die bevordering van Suid-Afrikaners se lewensbestaan. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[Me E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, nobody will question that tourism can be used as an effective tool in job creation. It is responsible for the creation of one out of every 12 job opportunities in South Africa, whilst every foreign tourist creates seven job opportunities. This means that one of every eight - I hear the Minister speak of 10, but the weekend’s figures show 10 - is sustainable within the industry.

 

Furthermore, tourism doesn’t only offer opportunities for small businesses, but also contributes to the promotion of South Africans’ livelihoods.]

 

The Minister is currently pushing an agenda that see both our domestic and international tourist activity and numbers declining. This is based on the departmental budget and on policy implementation as we witnessed recently.

 

Agb Voorsitter, dit is hartseer dat ’n departement met soveel werkskeppingspotensiaal tans ander departemente se leiding volg, deur ook nou drakoniese beleide te ontwikkel en te implementeer, wat ’n dramatiese afname in toerismegetalle tot gevolg sal hê. Dit sal uiteindelik die ekonomie negatief raak en daartoe lei dat nog meer mense hul werk verloor. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

 

[Hon Chairperson, it is sad that a department with such job creation potential, is currently following other departments’ example by developing and implementing draconic policies, which will lead to a dramatic decline in tourist numbers. Ultimately this will have a negative impact on the economy and will result in even more people losing their jobs.]

 

But let us speak of our current domestic tourism and how budget allocation is affecting the industry.

 

Die Departement van Toerisme se jaarverslag van 2013-14 het getoon dat een van die strategiese doelwitte was om die aantal binnelandse reisigers te verhoog tot 15 miljoen vanaf die vorige jaar, maar dit is ’n reuse teenstrydigheid, want die begroting van die binnelandse toerismeprogram is gesny met R78,2 miljoen, ten spyte van ’n afnametendens in binnelandse toerisme.

 

Die werklike prestasie wat behaal is, is dat slegs 12 miljoen binnelandse reisigers oor hierdie tydperk aangeteken is wat 20% laer is as die teiken, met ’n daling van 500 000 binnelandse besoekers in vergelyking met die jaar 2012-13.

As die toerisme industrie beoog om 225 werksgeleenthede teen 2020 te skep, hoe verduidelik die Minister die begrotingsinkorting en die afname in die binnelandse toeriste?

 

Wanneer begrotings besnoei word, word die grootse impak van die besnoeiing deur die privaatsektor gevoel wat lei tot die toename in die onkostes van die gewone Suid-Afrikaners om die vryheid, gelykheid en geleenthede te geniet wat hulle eie land, in terme van sy ryke geskiedenis en natuurskoon, bied.

 

Regerings van ontwikkelende lande is aktief besig om toerisme te groei in hul eie lande en ons bly ver agter in Suid-Afrika. Sedert die regulasies op die visum en die geboortesertifikaat aangekondig is, het besprekings om Suid-Afrika te besoek van ander lande af, drasties gedaal. Verlede week het ’n Britse koerant, The Daily Telegraph, ’n meningspeiling gepubliseer rondom die vraag of die nuwe visumregulasies individue sou beïnvloed om nie hulle kinders na Suid-Afrika te bring nie. ’n Skokkende 61% het gesê dat hulle hierdeur beïnvloed sal word en dat hulle nie hul kinders sal saambring nie.

 

Dit is baie gevaarlik, want ons breek gesinne op. Ons wil nie hê gesinne moet saam vakansie hou nie. Verder tot hierdie proefsteek, is Britse gesinne gewaarsku teen die lang vertragings weens die burokratiese prosesse van hierdie wette.

 

Is die Minister die enigste persoon wat nie die rampspoedige gevolge van hierdie wette op werkskepping kan sien nie? Volgens die Raad van Verteenwoordiges van die Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens, kan die nuwe regulasies wat van toepassing is op passasiers op lugreise met kinders, die toerismesektor meer as R6,8 miljard aan verliese kos.

 

Wat dit so tragies maak is dat daar wel ’n eenvoudige oplossing vir die probleem is. Versamel die biometriese data met die aankoms op lughawens soos in baie ander lande huidiglik gedoen word en stel elektroniese visum-aansoekstelsels in. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[The Department of Tourism’s annual report of 2013-14 showed that one of the strategic goals was to increase the number of domestic travellers to 15 million from the previous year, but this is a huge discrepancy, because the budget of the domestic tourism budget has been cut by R78,2 million, despite a downward trend in domestic tourism.

 

The actual performance achieved is that only 12 million domestic travellers were recorded in this period, which is 20% less than the target, with a decline of 500 000 domestic visitors compared to the year 2012-13.

 

If the tourism industry aims to create 225 jobs by 2020, how does the Minister explain the budget reduction and the decline in domestic tourists?

 

When budgets are cut, the biggest impact of the cuts is felt by the private sector, which leads to the increase in the expenditure of ordinary South Africans to enjoy the freedom, equality and opportunities that their own country offers in terms of its rich history and natural beauty.

 

Governments of developing countries are actively working to grow tourism in their own countries, and we remain far behind in South Africa. Since the regulations were announced on the visa and birth certificate, bookings from other countries to visit South Africa has dropped drastically. Last week a British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, published a poll on the question of whether the new visa regulations would influence individuals not to bring their children to South Africa. A shocking 61% said that they would be influenced by this and that they would not bring their children.

 

This is very dangerous, because we are breaking up families. We do not want families to go on holiday together. In addition to this poll, British families have been warned against the long delays due to the bureaucratic processes of these laws.

 

Is the Minister the only person that cannot see the disastrous effects of these laws on job creation? According to the Council of Representatives of the South African Airways, the new regulations applicable to passengers travelling with children by air, can cost the tourism industry more than R6,8 billion in losses.

 

What makes this so tragic is that there is a simple solution to the problem. Collect the biometric data on arrival at airports, as is currently being done in many other countries, and implement electronic visa application systems.]

We will also be able tell you of examples in the Western Cape, where the DA governs.

 

Die Toerismesakeraad het aangedui dat die land 270 000 internasionale toeriste kan verloor en op sy beurt, dit ook 21 000 werksgeleenthede per jaar vir ons land kan kos teen ’n bedrag van R9,7 miljard.

 

Die Suid-Afrikaanse toerismebedryf kan dit nie bekostig nie en so ook nie Suid-Afrika nie, en die huidige werkloosheidsyfer en swak ekonomie kan dit nog minder bekostig.

 

Minister Hanekom het op ’n toerismekongres in Johannesburg aangedui dat hy dringende samesprekings met Minister Gigaba sou hou oor die wetgewing op immigrasie wat toerisme ’n finale knou kan gee. Ongelukkig kom dit voor asof Minister Gigaba nie werklik die impak van die wetgewing op toerisme verstaan nie. Ons verstaan die belangrikheid van die situasie van kinderontvoering uit ons land. Die situasie is na aan ons almal se harte, maar daar is soos hier bo genoem reeds verskeie alternatiewe wat toegepas kan word.

 

Ek kan maar myself net indink dat ’n onverkorte geboortesertifikaat in Spaans, Pools, Portugees of Italiaans by ons toonbanke, absoluut Grieks sal wees. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[The Tourism Council indicated that the country can lose 270 000 international tourists, and that this could in turn cost our country 21 000 job opportunities per year at an amount of R9,7 billion.

 

The South African tourism industry cannot afford this, and neither can South Africa, and the current unemployment rate and weak economy can afford it even less.

 

At a tourism congress in Johannesburg, Minister Hanekom indicated that he would hold urgent talks with Minister Gigaba on legislation on immigration which could deal tourism a final blow. Unfortunately, it appears if Minister Gigaba does not really understand the impact of the legislation on tourism. We understand the importance of the situation of child abduction in our country. The situation is close to all of our hearts, but as mentioned above, there are already many alternatives that can be implemented.

I can just imagine that an unabridged birth certificate in Spanish, Polish, Portuguese or Italian at our counters would be absolute Greek.]

 

Apologies, hon Michalakis.

 

Hoe sal hulle dit kan verifieer. Minister, ek stel voor u vra die eenvoudige vragie aan u eweknie, Minister Gigaba, en vra hoe om die situasie wat ’n paar dae gelede in werking getree het, te skrap tot verdere opsies oorweeg kan word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

 

[How would they be able to verify this? Minister, I suggest you ask the simple little question to your counterpart, Minister Gigaba, and ask how the situation which came into effect a few days ago, can be scrapped until further options can be considered.]

 

The Department of Tourism has to reinstate itself as a major engine for economic growth that is key to job creation for poverty alleviation. The hon Minister does not want to be known as the Minister who killed the tourism industry. As the Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, hon Winde will tell you that the tourism sector’s international best practice shows that relaxing visa restrictions will have a positive impact and increase tourism numbers.

 

Hon Minister, the tourism industry has the opportunity to accommodate the small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and have low barriers of entry for entrepreneurs and peak economic stability where many departments are failing. Do not take away the fairness for all to afford the pleasure of this industry and the opportunity for more people to experience our country free of draconian visa restrictions.

 

This is not politicking, but affects real people with a chance of real economic freedom. When the DA takes over the national government, we will ensure that this industry, the freedom, fairness and opportunity will lead to our economic success, job creation and empowerment for our most vulnerable South Africans.

 

Ek bedank u en hoop dat u die voorstelle van die DA sal ondersteun, sodat ons land spoedig ’n voorbeeld vir die res van die wêreld kan wees. Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

 

[I thank you and hope that you will support the proposals by the DA, so that our country can soon be an example to the rest of the world. Thank you.]

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, Minister, hon Deputy Minister, the fracas between the Department of Tourism and the Department of Home Affairs that has rocked tourism from the second half of 2014 has continued up to now. This has been a drama reflecting the worst levels of a house divided over a policy issue in the ranks of the ruling party.

 

Most unfortunately, the Department of Tourism is one of our most important economic cluster department, no wonder Nigeria has overtaken us as the number one economy in the continent. The Minister of Home Affairs has consistently maintained that the new visa regulations will have no impact on our tourism market in the country.

 

On the other hand, the Minister of Tourism has been reported to have been concerned about the negative impact the new visa regulations might have to South Africa’s tourism and hospitality industry. At the pre-briefing of the World Economic Forum in Johannesburg on Friday, the Minister in the Presidency stated that government was considering reviewing the new visa regulations because of the unintended negative consequences this have had on the economy. Amongst the consequences was China delaying the launch of the direct flight to South Africa amid the controversies surrounding the new visa regulations.

 

If we had to improve on our tourism and hospitality industry during the next financial year, this drama surrounding these issues needs to be resolved with speed. A clear message from government will have to be effectively communicated to the world about the way forward.

 

South Africa’s image has been badly tarnished around this issue. It is unfortunate that some of the phenomena that impacts negatively on the growth of tourism and hospitality industries are not tourism made or tourism related. These are matters such as crime, corruption, fraud, etc.

 

The power outages by Eskom are also not doing the tourism industry any favour but contribute to the list of drawbacks that drive potential visitors away. South Africa is best positioned to can increase its competitive advantage as one of the best tourism destinations in the world. We remain the important gateway to most countries in Africa. Our transport infrastructure, hospitality infrastructure and banking sector remains amongst the best in the developing countries.

 

We have a rich history. We have a relatively stable environment, of course because of the contribution by the IFP. Therefore, our Tourism Department must step up the efforts to best market South Africa.

 

The transformation initiatives and programmes to the total inclusion of the previously disadvantage groups in the tourism and hospitality sector have not yet reached the maximum levels. Government has also not yet been able to maximally utilise the cultural and historical tourism niche to benefit such areas. KwaZulu-Natal, for example, has got the Valley of the Kings, Emakhisonni, just outside Ulundi, KwaBulawayo and Eshowe, the King Shaka Heritage Route in Stanger, the Ink Route in Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu areas, which has both the Dr John L Dube House and the Mahatma Gandhi House, the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick where Dr Mandela was captured for the Rivonia Trial. The Sardine Run in Ugo, in the South Coast where I come from. All of these have not yet been properly marketed by the tourism sector both inside and outside the country.

Of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature, South Africa has one, Table Mountain. But how many South Africans know about this? KwaZulu-Natal has two of South Africa’s World Heritage Sites but because of poor marketing, this information that is not popularised for marketing purposes to boost tourism. It is information that is not commonly popularised for marketing purposes to boost our tourism.

 

The mighty Zulu nation King Cetshwayo and his traditional Prime Minister, Inkosi Mnyamana Buthelezi, defeated the British Army in the battle of Isandlwana in 1879. This was the only defeat the British army ever suffered in the African soil by the African ethnic group. But this is information that has not yet been popularised in the tourism market. I thank you.

 

Ms M C DIKGALE: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell the hon Van Lingen that the DA will forever be in a queue waiting because the ANC will lead this government until Jesus comes. Just mark my words, mark my words.

 

Let me express condolences to the family and friends of the American tourist who was killed by a lioness at the Honeydew Lion Park in Johannesburg. – It is a true prophecy - The death of any person, let alone a tourist, is one death too many. We will, therefore, regret that regardless of whom or what is to blame for the death. In my language there is a saying that goes...

 

... “motho a lla, kgomo ya lla, feta kgomo o sware motho gobane motho ke moriri o a hloga”. Re boe gape re re: “Letlalo la motho ga le bapolelwe fase” (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)

 

[... “the life of a human being is more important than that of an animal”. Another one says: “The evil deeds will always be exposed”]

 

Tourism is a very complicated subject. To some it is good and to others it is bad. To others it is a must do thing and to others it is a waste of time and resources.

 

French novelist Gustave Flaubert once said: “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. Another author, American author of humorous books on travel, Bill Bryson, states “I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything”. These two authors obviously belong to the group that thinks or believes that tourism is good.

 

On the other hand English Author Bruce Chatwin is quoted as having said “Walking is a virtue, tourism is a deadly sin.” Another American novelist Don Delillo, said: “To be a tourist is to escape accountability ... tourism is the march of stupidity.” These two belong to the group that thinks tourism is bad.

 

Prophet Mohammed is also quoted as having said: “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled”. Another American author, Mark Twain on the other hand said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

 

In my language we say:

 

“Go sepela ke go bona” gape “Lesogana leo le sa etego le nyala kgaetšedi”. [“You will never learn anything new while sitting at the same place” and that “One has to get out of their comfort zones to discover new things”.]

 

On Monday the government rolled out new visa regulations requiring children travelling into the country to carry unabridged birth certificates, and the industry experts predict that this will badly damage the tourism sector. The government says the measure is aimed at curbing international child trafficking. However, the tourism industry says the regulations were too cumbersome and would drive tourists away from South Africa. Now the tourism industry is considering taking legal action against government for loss of profit. All these support my assertion that tourism is a very complicated matter. Now the question is: In which group do we belong as the ANC? To answer this question appropriately we will have to look at what the ANC has done with regard to the subject of tourism.

 

In 2009, during the 52nd National Conference in Polokwane, the ANC took resolutions which, among others, aimed at transforming our economy. The resolution on transformation of the economy was based on fifteen pillars one of which is integration on a fair and equitable basis with the economies of Southern Africa and building stronger economic linkages across the continent as a whole.

 

We took this resolution because we understand that South Africa is part of Southern Africa and Africa as a whole. Therefore our economy is intrinsically linked to the economies of Southern Africa region and the African continent.

 

In 2012, in Mangaung, the ANC adopted the National Development Plan which recognises tourism as one of the main drivers of the country’s economy and employment. It envisages the promotion of South Africa as a major tourist destination, with unique features, to boost tourist numbers and enable tourism to contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

 

This is in accordance with the branch in economics called tourism economics, which deals with the impact of tourism in the economy. It recognises tourism as a global force for economic and regional development. It is also making an important contribution to tourism policy, planning and business practices. Tourism economics is unfortunately a technical area, involving concepts, methods, and models that are unfamiliar to most noneconomists.

 

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation,  over the past six decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and diversification to become one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world.

 

In the World Travel and Tourism Council report of March 2015, travel and tourism is said to have generated US$7,6 trillion and 277 million jobs for the global economy in 2014. Recent years have seen travel and tourism growing at a faster rate than both the wider economy and other significant sectors such as automotive, financial services and health care.

 

The Report also states that in 2014, Africa’s travel and tourism performance picked up, despite the negative impact of Ebola on the sector in the parts of Africa directly and indirectly affected. Africa’s improved performance was driven by stronger than expected performance in recovering Egypt and international growth in other major destination markets. The one exception is Kenya where terror attacks and travel warnings have impacted negatively on inbound tourism.

 

This year, in the province of Limpopo, the provincial government has stated that it will be establishing and launching a Limpopo tourism forum to enhance integrated planning and marketing within the different spheres of government. This is recognition of what tourism brings to our lives and economy. That is why in my language we say:

 

“Moeng e tla ka gešo re je ka wena”. [“Tourism benefits our country”.]

 

Limpopo has already held the annual Marula Festival in February, which was a great tourist attraction. Other events that are endorsed by the provincial government include the Mapungubwe Arts Festival, which serves as a platform and catalyst to promote cultural heritage, social cohesion and community development and the Oppikoppi Festival, which has grown to be South Africa’s largest music festival attracting thousands of visitors each year under this ANC-led government.

 

So, with this data and facts before us I would conclude by saying: “Don’t ask me which group does the ANC belong to - between those who believe tourism is good and those that believe it is bad - rather look at the facts, as the saying goes: “facts speak for themselves”.

 

We thus support this budget vote. I want to say to the hon Khawula that we have many wonders of nature in this country. You only spoke about the table mountain and you forgot other mountains; we have the sleeping beauty in George, etc. Thank you.

 

MR A WINDE (Western Cape): Chairperson, Hon Minister, Deputy Minister, senior officials from tourism that are gathered here today, hon members, it is really great to be here and to be part of this debate. I think perhaps to start off, coming from the Western Cape I must say that this is a well behaved and quite House especially when the hon van Lingen made a comment, of painting the Union Buildings blue, it was pretty quiet in the House. [Interjections.]

 

The only real counter to that was the previous speaker who said that the ANC will rule until Jesus comes. I had a little whisper in my ear when I heard her say that and I heard the word 2019 whispered in my ear. Perhaps that’s the year that Jesus is going to come. But, before we get carried away, I think let us get down to the business of the day.

 

Minister, I was hoping that you were just going to make one announcement. I would then just say thank you very much and I would have sat down, but I am not going to do that. Today, I will have to say two things. The first thing is, I want to say thank you to every single person that is involved in this industry.

 

In the Western Cape it is the biggest sector. It employs 204 000 people. It is worth 10% of our economy, which is R18 billion. It is a key employer, a key growth area and as we have heard from many of the speakers, it is an area of opportunity, because the barriers to entry are not as onerous as in many other sectors. Therefore, it is one of those sectors that we really need to support and of course that’s what we will be doing here in the Budget Vote.

 

As I said, the first thing that I am going to do is that, I want say thank you very much. I specifically, want to start with our own airport which is a gateway and is doing incredibly well, receiving award after award, recognised as the best airport in Africa and the Middle East. The harbour is also a gateway which brings in cruise ships and we see more and more coming in.

 

Over the last year, we saw that the growth out of that airport was really good. In the first quarter of this year, there was a 6% growth in domestic arrivals and 5% growth in international arrivals. Last year there was an extra 300 000 passengers coming through the airport moving from 8,334 million passengers to 8,626 million passengers. I want to thank each and every person involved in that airport because that is the first face of our country, our people, our heritage and our culture. It is the front desk of our visitor economy.

 

I want to thank those involved in the extra flights. Minister, you will know that in the last few years in tourism, we have been focusing on growing domestic tourism specifically as provinces.

 

It is really encouraging for me when I look at flights. Mango have extra flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Durban, SA Express increased their flights to Hoedspruit and Kimberly, SA Airlink increasing their frequency and numbers to George, Kimberly and Upington. New air lines like Safair going to Skukuza, CemAir launching out of Plettenberg Bay. Those are the domestic flights that are increasing out of Cape Town.

 

Last year and the year before, a couple of internationals flights were cut, but it is great to see that Condor Airlines is increasing the flights and frequency from one to two per week out of Frankfurt. The Edelweiss Air is increasing flights from one to three out of Europe per week. There are weekly arrivals from Qatar. The British Airways had their increase during last year’s winter.

 

These are really good news for tourism. This is the pipeline of how we bring those jobs to our people, in our country and in our Province.

 

I also want to thank those places the tourists visit such as the V&A Waterfront. It is the biggest tourism attraction in Africa and had 24 million visitors last year. I want to thank them for re-investing and for the confidence that they have in the economy. They have now invested in what we call the ZAICS Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, MOCCA, museum which is going to become Africa’s contemporary art museum here in South Africa.

 

It takes huge confidence for private individuals and private sectors as well as our pension fund to actually put money into growing this economy and we thank them for that.

 

I want to thank all of those involved, from Robben Island to Table Mountain, to all our experiences from shops down to the wine routes, to our hikes up on the mountains and to every single faceted of tourism across our province. Those men and women, drivers and people working in the taxis and buses are our front face that concierge. I say thank you to each and every one of them because they play a major role in making sure that we can show this increasing jobs in numbers every single year, and year after year.

 

I also want to thank those individuals who really push the boundaries. We saw Groot Constantia during the 2013 Chardonnay. They were the best Chardonnays in the world. That builds the mechanisms that add to our brand and help us market what we have to offer.

 

You just saw two days ago, one of our restaurants getting recognised in the top 50 in the world. In actual fact there are two restaurants from this province in the top 100 and they are the only two in Africa. We want to thank them for their dedication and hard work. We thank every single person that works in that restaurant, that supplies it, and that helps it to deliver for us a great brand. We thank every one of them.

 

We want to thank those people behind the events from the World Economic Forum, WEF, on Africa that is happening right at this moment, to the Mining Indaba which attracts 7000 delegates and 110 countries; events like the Largest Timed Cycle Race event in the world that happens here in the city; the Cape Town International Jazz Festival; the smaller events in our small towns such as the snoek and sweet potato festival; the oyster festival and so on. I want to thank each and every one.

 

I want to thank the ANC for holding the congress of their conference here at the beginning of the year, their celebratory centenary conference. [Interjections.] It brought ... [Interjections.] I want to thank them for that.

 

An HON MEMBER: Progressive!

 

Mr A WINDE (Western Cape): We saw huge expenditure in our pubs and restaurants and it was really good for business. [Interjections.]

 

You know what Minister, this is really good news for us, but the point I wanted to make was the one of visas.

 

You know, we create this environment to attract visitors to our region to create jobs. We know this sector is a good job creator, but then, we roll out a visa requirement; an onerous visa requirement. While I understand that home affairs have got a job to do and I understand that we agreed that we want to stand up and deal with child trafficking and illegal people in our country, we must also understand that this department or this sector is a serious business sector and a serious job creator.

 

When we then roll red tape in the way, it does not make sense at all. This statement is not just made by a political party; this statement comes from the airlines of the world from that open letter that was written to the Minister. These are serious business people who make serious decisions and who can change a direct airline flight – that I spoke of – out of the market into our region. The previous speaker spoke about China not concluding that deal and bringing direct flights to us. That is a major problem.

 

You know what? If you analyse these new visa requirements, which of the countries that will be mostly severely affected: China, India and Africa. These should be our core new markets. These are the people that are involved in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brics.

 

Africa is who we are opening up to. If you look at our exports out of this region... When I started this job six years ago, it was negligible. Now, one container in every four goes to Africa. That is a growth of 34% of our trade that goes up into Africa. We need to reciprocate that with tourism, but it becomes more and more difficult.

 

You would have seen by now that I released a press statement on Monday about a call I received on Friday: 49 visitors out of India with one child were told they couldn’t come because there was a misunderstanding of our regulations.

I am happy to say that, last night we managed to correct that through our red tape unit. We discussed it directly with our consulate and we were able to fix that one, but, the problem is the brand. It chases people away from our economy.

 

Therefore, Minister, my message here today – and I see I am running out of time – is not too humanistic because I know how you, the other MECs and the people in tourism feel.

 

My message here is to those individuals who belong to the ANC. We heard the previous speaker talking about your policy conferences. I am asking you to take this issue up in seriousness about those people who are not going to have jobs because we are stopping some core markets in bringing tourists to us.

 

Take that up in your caucus tomorrow, start to talk about it let us send a key message to the world, that we are going to ... not just talk about reviewing these things. Let’s withdraw them and let’s put a proper system in place that allows this sector to really grow. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Minister Derick Hanekom, Members of the NCOP, a very good afternoon to all of you. Tourism is government-led, industry driven, and with community participation. It has the greatest potential to develop relationships that impact on political, social and economic development in the country. The symbiotic relationship among the three continues to grow and it is key for us to realise government’s commitment to growing the economy and job.

 

The current review of the strategy should continue to reflect on this strength and it is critical to us moving forward. All of us have to find ways to build what we have built over these years which now contribute to about the 9% that the Minister indicated earlier on.

 

Our people are at the heart of this dynamic tourism sector and it is the pulse that pumps the live blood into this growing industry. They are after all our most valuable resource and they are the brand ambassadors and biggest proponents of our dorpies, our villages, our towns, our cities and our country in general when we welcome our visitors both domestic and international. Therefore, our first priority as the national Department of Tourism is always to empower our people from South Africa to participate productively and profitably into the economy.

 

Through our awareness programmes, our skills development programmes as well our entrepreneurship, we continue to excite South Africans to the new gold which is tourism as a career and an employer of choice.

 

As a labour intensive industry, tourism has proven itself to be a key economic driver and to this end we are working towards creating a symbiotic relationship between the development of our people and the growth of the sector. A sector that is staffed with knowledgeable and well trained individuals with a service excellence mindset that will continue to create a positive vibe that attracts visitors to our shores.

 

As indicated earlier on, barriers of entry to this sector are far less than in any other of the major sectors. Unfortunately, it is not as attractive to our young people. So we continue to work, to excite them to come into this industry.

 

We continue to work on designing a formal educator’s programme with universities. We also embark on a pilot initiative with the Gauteng Province to give educators an exceptional learning opportunity by exposing them to the tourism work environment at industry establishments. Thereafter, other provinces that are willing to participate will follow.

 

We are very proud of our national tourism careers expo, which is our success story. As it enters its seventh sustainable year in existence, with it, we have worked hand in hand with the tourism and education leaders in the provinces as well as our stakeholders and Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority, Cathsseta to produce an annual expo to educate our youth on the potential careers strips available to them in the industry.

 

This initiative was hosted in the KwaZulu-Natal province from 2009-11 and during the last three years has been hosted by the Eastern Cape. In 2015, we start the next three year rotation which will be hosted by the Free State in the Mangaung expo from the 1st-3rd of October.

 

Building the capacity of tourism sector human resources also merged into our rural development initiatives based on the needs assessment five capacity building workshops were held in the past financial year reaching five hundred individuals. Beneficiaries comprised local municipality officials community representatives, small medium micro enterprise s, local authorities and traditional leaders. Work will be going on in the identified rural notes of Umkhanyakude, Bushbuckridge, Vhembe, Dr RS Mompati, Prixely ka Isaka Seme districts as well as the Maluti drakensburg route/road.

 

Equally, we are empowering women in the tourism space to make their voices heard and prepare them to take lead in driving the sector forward.

 

In 2014, we had an inaugural conference of what has become known as women in tourism. Our theme centred on respect, representativity, recognition and results. We have started on a national mobilisation that will see provincial chapters of women in tourism established. Earlier this year, the Minister announced the introduction of the Tourism Incentive Programme of which we think more of the women enterprises will benefit. This programme offers financial support to tourism enterprises generally and aims to reduce because doing business and stimulate business growth and development.

 

In 2015, we still continue to lobby the United Nations World Tourisms Authority to collaborate with us on the development of women in our sector. We are also targeting our industry big players to make a meaningful contribution to growing women into management positions.

 

Our focus is also on enforcing tourist guiding standards which we strengthened in the year 2014 and will continue in the current financial year. With the tourism act coming into effect, we have commenced with the new regulations and call upon all South Africans to participate in pursuit of regional integration. We are working with academia to bring about integration in the guiding fraternity, particularly, as it relates to training. This is in recognition that tourism knows no boundaries and that we are Africa.

 

Another niche tourism opportunity lies in the business and events tourism. This is enabled by the fact that South Africa provides cost competitive options while simultaneously providing a wealth of leisure recreation and hospitality opportunities.

 

Our South African National Convention Bureau focuses its efforts on attracting business events in economic sectors aligned with the National Development Plan, hosting of businesses in the country has deepened our macro-economic impact in these sectors.

 

Therefore, we continue to attract more of these business events into the country. We feel that tourism is here and is the future and we call upon all spheres of government to give it the necessary attention because it can change our communities. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mme N MOKGOSI: Modulasetilo, ke utlwa gotwe ANC e tla busa go fitlha Jeso a tla. Sena se raya gore lo tla bolaya batho go fitlha Jeso a tla, le gore Marikana e na le mathata. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

 

[Ms N MOKGOSI: Chairperson, I heard that the ANC says that it will lead until Jesus comes. This means that you (the ANC) are going to kill people until Jesus comes, and it also means that the Marikana people has got a huge problem ahead.

 

The Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, in the department is not able to create enough jobs for the majority of our citizens, especially the youth from marginalised communities like rural areas and townships.

 

Although this department rakes in billions of rands annually and should be one of the main drivers of economic growth and job creation, local communities have no meaningful economic participation in tourism except for provision of labour and entertainment for visitors.

 

Ke tse di itsiweng ke lona fela. [The ones only known to you.]

 

The 10 922 full-time jobs expected by your department to be created through the EPWP over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, are not enough to cater for the majority of unemployed youth in this country. This expectation by your department does not even clearly indicate how many youth and women in rural areas will benefit from this programme.

Of most concern, is the fact that EPWP programmes are used by the ANC councillors to campaign for votes.

 

Ngwaga wa 2016 o tla fitlha, ANC e tlile go simolola. [The year 2016 will arrive and the ANC will start to campaign.]

 

Potential beneficiaries who are not card-carrying members of the ANC are subsequently sidelined and excluded.

 

The tourism industry remains largely owned and controlled by whites. There has been no transformation over the past 21 years and all we keep getting is excuses. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Mokgotsi, please hold on.

 

Ms N MOKGOSI: Fa e le potso, ga ke na nako ya yona. [If it is a question, I don’t have time.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: No, hon Mokgotsi, please take your seat.

 

Point of Order

Mr O SEFAKO: Chair, the hon member here continuously characterises the ANC as murderers, and is also referring to the ANC councillors as using the EPWP.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: As what?

 

Mr O SEFAKO: As using the EPWP for attracting some votes. This is not true.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: What is your point of order, hon member? [Interjections.] No! Hon Mokwele, I asked the hon member what his point of order is. I would like clarity on that.

 

Mr O SEFAKO: The point of order is to refer to the organisations as the murderers at Marikana... the ruling party as murderers. She must withdraw that point.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon members, do you want to respond to that point of order? Therefore, if you don’t want to respond to that point of order, can you allow me to make a determination insofar as that order is concerned? I did not hear the exact words used so far as “murderers” is concerned. May you allow me therefore to consult Hansard and then in the next sitting – it could be tomorrow – I then make a ruling on the matter. Thank you. Continue with the debate, hon member.

 

Ms N MOKGOSI: The tourism industry remains largely owned and controlled by whites. There has been no transformation over the past 21 years and all we keep getting is excuses. No significant opportunities are being given to black businesses to tap into the market.

 

This government must collaborate with other departments to ensure that the underlying factors that gave rise to the April Afrophobic attacks are addressed immediately, never to resurface. We cannot be a country that hates other Africans. Government, instead of searching for scapegoats, must take full responsibility for the tragedy.

 

This department’s strategic and performance plans are a clear indication that not much will change.

 

Jaaka gale. [As always.]

 

Reports on how programs will be executed are very vague. There has been no monitoring or evaluation of existing projects, yet we are expected to pour public funds into projects we have no guarantee are working or benefitting our people.

 

Go be go dirwa yona “epa wena popae” [And it is said “you cartoon, dig”

 

The department has done little to ensure improved working conditions for workers... [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon member, just hold on. You were just a bit too fast. What did you say? Can you repeat what you just said, insofar as Popeye is concerned?

 

Ms N MOKGOSI: Ke rile, epa wena popae. O bua ka e fe? [I said, you cartoon, dig. Which one are you talking about?]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: What is “epa wena popae”?

 

Ms N MOKGOSI: EPWP. E emetse lefoko leo ka Setswana. [It is the meaning of that acronym in Setswana.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Continue, hon member.

 

Ms N MOKGOSI: The department has done little to improve working conditions for workers and ensure that they earn a decent minimum wage, that they have sustainable jobs and that they do not add to the growing pool of temporary workers we have across industries.

 

Most black workers are assigned junior positions and kept there for years despite experience and knowledge of the industry. Those in low-level jobs continue to work in terrible working conditions and are subject to racial slurs, long hours for slave wages and most are salaried by tips without any job security. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon member, please hold on. Take your seat, please.

 

On what point are you rising, hon member?

Mr T C MOTLASHUPING: Chair, I am rising on a point of order. [Interjections.]

 

That is immaterial.

 

I am very disturbed about acronyms that are used incorrectly. If the hon member does not know what EPWP stands for, it has never been intended to undermine the South African citizens.

 

An HON MEMBER: What is your point of order?

 

Mr T C MOTLASHUPING: There has never been a programme of this government that is called “epa wena popae”. [you cartoon, dig.] So, the hon member must withdraw because that abbreviation... that acronym does not stand for “epa wena popae”.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon member, I am going to rule that that is a point for debate, and I am going to allow the member to continue with the debate. [Interjections.] No, it is not for you, hon Mtileni, to tell me what to say. [Interjections.] Please continue, hon member.

MS N MOKGOSI: It is about time government legislated a minimum wage of at least R4 500 for all workers in the tourism and hospitality sector.

 

Although South African Tourism has received an additional budget, its targets are lower than those of the 2011-12 financial year when it had even less resources. What are they planning to do with our money?

 

If South African Tourism and the department are planning to execute the exact same programmes, what growth can we expect from this department? We cannot be expected to pay for duplication. We need innovative ideas that will improve the tourism industry and subsequently our people’s lives.

 

This department’s history of not meeting targets and returning funds to Treasury, plus its failure to monitor and report on existing projects and their feasibility, shows this department lacks the capacity to meet its mandate. It does not make sense for us to allocate so much money to a department that has no idea what it will do with it and it is on this basis that we, the EFF, reject the tourism 2015-16 Budget Vote. [Applause.]

 

Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Deputy Chairperson, if I had R100 for every time the hon Minister used the words “growth” and “value”, I would be a very rich woman today. What’s more, if I add the words “job creation” and “growth targets”, I might become a millionaire.

 

I so wish.

 

Ek sou dan ’n miljoenêr wees! [Then I would be a millionaire!]

 

The hon Minister is giving us a false impression of the future of the tourism industry based on policies that are suffocating this industry, its job creation potential, and the creation of new business to support the industry.

 

It is alarming when we hear The SA Tourism Services Association predicting that there will be a major decline in tourism traffic from 90% of our fastest growing markets, which are Russia, China and India. These are all countries that require visas to South Africa.

 

These things are not mutually exclusive. If an industry grows, job creation and small business development has the potential to grow even further. But one of our most neglected markets is our cultural and heritage tourism sector. Yes, the national department has done well with specific memorial sights that include the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu and the Cradock Four Memorial.

 

The big concern is that, although these important tourist destinations are well funded, they are simply not well managed because of cadre deployment in the local municipalities and followed up by the national department. When a colleague recently visited the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre, the service was non-existent upon arrival. In fact, the only person to greet him was a security guard who could not point him in the right direction. Once visitors hear of these important tourism destinations in our country’s history but get this experience, they become disappointed and, by word of mouth, discourage other tourists from visiting.

 

The department needs to take the Heritage and Cultural Tourism Strategy off the shelf, dust it off and provide sufficient funding for its full implementation. It is a sad reality that heritage and cultural tourism are not budget priorities.

 

In light of the recent vandalism and debates around statues and heritage, and the abundant potential of heritage and cultural tourism, the department must play a bigger role in ensuring it addresses the various shortcomings in this regard.

 

Hon Dikgale, you are dreaming.

 

O lora go le motshegare. [You are daydreaming.]

 

Afford South Africa freedoms, fairness and opportunities. As for ubuntu values, I don’t see any, hon Makoe. Those have eroded with the times.

 

I just want to say thanks to Minister Gigaba, after last week, having afforded suggestion that they must re-review the tourist new regulation laws that impact negatively on the economy of South Africa. I have heard that they are re-reviewing. It will do good for South Africa to get more capital. It is good that they are going in the tight direction of the DA’s suggestion. Thank you.

Mr F P MDAKA (Limpopo): Hon Chair, when the hon Chair indicated when we started ...

 

... sweswi i nkarhi wa ku khongela hi miyerile. [... now is the time for silent prayer or meditation.]

 

I felt very welcome, because that is the language that I speak; so he was talking to my heart. Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, Derek Hanekom, hon Deputy Minister Xasa, hon members of the Council and delegates from various provinces, I am sure that all of us here know that the national government, through the President and Ministers, set up a national development agenda for provinces to translate into tangible and manageable projects. The resources we received through the provincial equitable share budget and the conditional grants allow us to synchronise our service delivery mandate with our departmental mandates. The Minister’s budget speech places tourism among critical sectors that stimulate and promote economic growth and job creation in our country, South Africa.

 

The speech of the Minister’s Budget Vote 33 on Tourism takes place at the time of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. As all of us know the Freedom Charter says, “Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all”. Equally, tourism is recognised by our government through the National Development Plan as one of the main drivers of socioeconomic transformation and growth.

 

The Minister’s budget speech indicated that the Tourism sector alone contributed 9,4% to the South African gross domestic product, GDP, in 2014 and 10% to employment. These significant milestones achieved both nationally and provincially were achieved within a very constrained environment following the aftermath of the global of economic crisis and the outbreak of Ebola in certain parts of Africa. During the outbreak of this disease, many countries around the world, of course, thought it was unsafe for them to visit African countries.

 

With the good systems and campaigns that our government has, we were able to thwart and dispel any speculations of the presence of Ebola cases in South Africa. We are quite certain and confident that South Africa will be able to meet the target of 12 million international tourist arrivals, as set by Minister Hanekom, by 2018. So we are here to confirm that that is the direction we’re taking. The hon Minister and his department are not there to kill tourism in South Africa; they are there to promote it and we are going to see it going forward as more tourists visit our country.

 

In Limpopo, for example, the province was able to increase the number of tourist arrivals from our annual target of 2% to 26% in 2014-15 alone. What a great achievement! I am certain that this percentage will increase further in the subsequent years to come. What I found enthralling about the Minister’s budget speech was that he reminded us that, I paraphrase, international tourists vote with their feet based on services offered to them, which include ease of travel and value for money derived from our hospitable destinations.

 

Minister Hanekom further calls upon all of us as South Africans to ensure that every tourist we receive on our shores has the best tourist experience ever and must feel very safe. It is also quite critical for us to be good ambassadors of our own country and show patriotism. Without hiding anything, we should talk more about our achievements and have a positive outlook rather than to speak negatively about our own country as if we do not live here.

We should brag about the annual Tourism Indaba which enables the country at large to showcase what South Africa can offer to our international and local tourists. This mega event is not only about showcasing our tourism products but also to give opportunities to tourism businesses in their diversity to interact with government, while at the same time showcasing their tourism products and services. I’m also pleased that the country will celebrate World Tourism Day 2015 in Limpopo. This also serves to highlight the level of confidence that the country has in Limpopo as a tourist destination. My colleague outlined a lot of milestones that we have achieved so far in Limpopo, including the Marula Festival. When you go over there you can have a taste. It has some kind of a healing effect and a lot of other things. I believe that some of my friends from the EFF should go to Limpopo at some point to drink Marula so they will be all right.

 

As a member of the Limpopo delegation, I really appreciate the initiatives introduced by the Minister through the introduction of the Tourism Incentive Programme. I am quite certain that the province will benefit immensely from the piloting and full implementation of this programme. The installation of photovoltaic panels at state-owned nature reserves has a long way to go to attract tourists, create jobs and grow the economy.

 

The Minister’s budget speech also touched on the most critical area of socioeconomic empowerment, especially for the tourism small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, youth, women and persons with disability. To start with, the Minister indicated how persons with disabilities are contributing and benefiting from the Tourism sector. Development is about people, irrespective of their status. Bruno Druchen is an example of an icon who helped to empower persons with disabilities by striking a deal with a property developer to build a hotel on land owned by the Deaf Federation of South Africa, DeafSA. Under the sterling leadership of Minister Derek Hanekom, DeafSA is the majority shareholder in this tourism venture, with 30% of persons with disabilities being employed by the hotel. This is a good story to tell indeed.

 

Empowerment is also about bringing in small businesses which were previously marginalised and alienated into the mainstream economy. In his speech, the Minister addressed this area in terms of making sure that small, black-owned enterprises benefit from government’s procurement budget. The speech indicated that a repository of small, black-owned enterprises will be created in order to ensure that these businesses supply goods and services to large established conglomerates. This is in line with government’s commitment to transform the tourism supply value chain significantly. We call upon the officials entrusted to implement those policy parameters not to deviate but implement them 100% according to the directive by the Minister.

 

Furthermore, skills development programmes lined up for implementation in 2015-16, were highlighted by the Minister. It is now common knowledge that the key focus area of the National Development Plan, NDP, among others, is about propelling skills development for the country. The NDP dictates that, as we aspire to build a unique, democratic developmental state in the 21st century, we should build a capable, career-orientated and professional South African Public Service. That is exactly what the Minister’s budget speech touched on when he said:

 

For good hosting and service excellence, you need a good, well-trained workforce. Investing in human capital is critically important.

 

It is true that job creation without skills development and training does not lead to sustainable employment, as said by the Minister.

 

I indicated in the beginning that tourism creates jobs. The Minister’s budget speech highlighted the implementation of social responsibility initiatives aimed at enabling youth and women to not only obtain employment but also to start their own tourism and hospitality businesses. The speech indicated initiatives such as the National Young Chefs programme, the Sommeliers programme and the Tourism Buddies programme. In the past, many people have been trained and placed in various service sectors within the tourism industry. We thank you, hon Minister Derek Hanekom, for this vision to empower our people. You said in your speech, which touched on issues of transformation of the tourism sector, that our hon Minister has indeed given so many young people and women hope for a better future.

 

Rural businesses were not left out of in the Minister’s speech. Through the Tourism Enterprise Partnership, 100 businesses in the countryside will be supported to the tune of R13,5 million and we are encouraging women to be ready to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

In conclusion, we are guided by your vision, hon Minister, as provinces, regarding tourism growth. Therefore, we will be waiting for the completion of the review process of the National Tourism Sector Strategy.

 

Finally, without taking more of your time, hon Chairperson, I want to conclude by saying that, we as a province support the Tourism Budget Vote 33. And indeed, at this level there’s no time to play; at this level there’s no time to bicker; at this level there’s time to work, work, work and work only and nothing else. We are not here to learn how to debate; we are here to debate in line with the Vote and nothing else, and not to talk things about things outside of what we are actually trying to talk about here today. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

MR G CAVANAGH SALGA: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, ladies and gentleman and our esteem guests in the gallery this afternoon, as the representative body of organised local government, we are very pleased to be part of the debate today. The South African Local Government Association, Salga recognises the strategic role that tourism plays in the sustainability of our towns and municipalities throughout the length and breadth of our country. We also recognise that tourism plays a role in the underpinning the livelihoods of many people who reside in our municipalities and is also the sector where the enterprising spirit of our people can be absorbed, especially those who were historically excluded from participating in the mainstreaming economy.

 

Tourism is a sector which can absorb labour of various skills levels and moreover, the revenue to business is more likely to accrue to local business and be spent locally compared to many other sectors. These two elements make this sector an ideal for economic development.

 

We commend the Minister’s support for the brand ambassadorial function that South African tourism plays. We also support the re-evaluation of the marketing role and ask whether the promotion of lesser known places and towns is possible. Many tourists are seeking the undiscovered germs which our small and hidden towns have a plenty to offer.

 

While we concede it is important to brand, market and refine South Africa’s existing products, we believe it is also important to reinvent or develop new destinations and innovative products. Maintaining competitiveness locally is a key to keeping brand South Africa alive well into the future.

 

For this reason, we support the Tourism Incentive Programme. We believe it is a step in the right direction towards promoting competitiveness within the sector. Competitiveness in this sector and in the South African economy can be achieved partly by promoting inclusion. The South African Local Government Association welcomes the subsidisation of the grading costs of establishments associated with the Grading Council because it promotes inclusion. The support offered to community tourism projects through offering improved management and business skills is commended. These are valued targeted interventions and we could do more by extending these to as many participants as possible for meaningful impact.

We would also like to see an area-specific approach that is informed by localised knowledge. This is where local governments could play a part in aggregating the local tourism training and development requirements and targets. The department must find ways of involving local government in the decision-making process of such crucial interventions. The South African Local Government Association is prepared to partner with the department to ensure closer planning of critical intervention, ensuring that plans are recorded through the central planning tool of local government, the Integrated Development Plan, IDP.

 

Universal accessibility is surely an initiative that adds to the competitive edge of the South African tourism brand. However, funds of this nature are often more accessed by sophisticated and established business. The South African Local Government Association recommends that firstly, there should be awareness raising campaign with regard to the fund, and each municipality must be made aware of how to access this and other funds offered by the sector in this department. Secondly, local government should play a role in ensuring the fund targets local businesses that are typically less adept at accessing these facilities. Hon Chair, Salga would be an ideal conduit for engaging on both matters.

 

The Minister was on point today when he was referring to the need for the public-public partnerships, PPP’s, of a different kind and the policy coherence and co-ordination that is required to achieve national goals in the sector. It is under the rubric of whole-of-government approach that Salga, in representing local government across the country, supports but call for a more detailed and specific roles for local government in the upcoming review of the National Tourism Sector Strategy. The South African Local Government Association is willing to assists with the co-ordination of localised input to the strategy and developing a practical hands-on approach that will enable close co-operation between local government and the department, together with relevant stakeholder in order to realise value in the sector at a local government level.

 

It is also under the banner of greater co-ordination that Salga advances importance of co-ordinated investment with local government. To this end, initiating a tourism asset audit which identifies existing assets and potential tourism assets is needed at subnational level. This would form part of the development of new tourism product and destinations and would in the medium to long- term contribute to the competitiveness of the sector and the attractiveness of the national tourism brand.

 

In addition, co-ordinating the development of tourism products and destinations that span more than one municipal boundary is vital to creating a competitive tourism sector at subnational level. It is also at this level that Salga holds the view that local government should predominantly be playing a role in, among others, promoting competitiveness in the sector through creating a transparent and level playing field via regulatory mechanisms such as outdoor advertising land use management schemes, spatial plans and land release strategies; and bringing together sector stakeholder at local level, for example, standards bodies, marketing agencies, investors the operators, research and technology development agents in order to undo bottlenecks and to identify and champion new tourism opportunities.

 

Lastly, the development of a database of black-owned enterprises is welcome start to the development of small business in the sector. The South African Local Government Association in its first partnership at a major annual Supplier Development and the Enterprise Development Conference, scheduled for 8 September 2015, Gallagher Estate, would like to invite these enterprises to meet with local government together with other major corporate businesses across multiple sectors. This initiative forms part of Salga support of both enterprise development and local government as part of its economic development agenda for local government.

 

The South African Local Government Association on behalf of its members look forward to working with the Ministry and the department towards creating a growing, competitive and inclusive sector, supported by role of local government. I thank you.

 

Mr L B GAEHLER:  Hon Chairperson, and hon Minister, the UDM notes with regret that more than 90% of tourism activities in the country are limited to the three economic centres of the country, mainly Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. This means beneficiation from this industry is limited to the urban part of the country thus excluding the majority of unemployed, poor who are found in the extreme rural areas of our land. The UDM further notes and welcomes ...

... hayi, bayaphazamisa aba bantu. Sihlalo ... [... no, these people are disturbing. Chairperson ...]

 

... can you help me.

 

Bayangxola aba bantu, nceda ubathulise. [These people are making a noise; please tell them to be quiet.]

 

The UDM further welcomes the commitment made by the department to focus its shift towards expanding the tourism scope. However, this shift must not reduce the beneficiation currently enjoyed by urban areas; instead, more investment must be towards rural areas whilst strategically empowering the urban tourism to sustain itself through proper management and diversification.

 

The niche for rural tourism is its heritage. The department has already made a clear case for this as paradigm shift and we support that. There are many iconic attractions in our rural areas and we must take advantage of this and maximise its strategic role on tourism. Our wildlife, fascinating history, natural beauty of the ocean on the Wild Coast and its landscapes are major primary tourist attraction and we need to grow them into global iconic places.

 

Heritage must be at the centre of rural economic development and for the realisation of this programme, a collaborative effort between all key stakeholders, like the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the economic clusters as well as the local sphere of government, are the pre-requirement.

 

Accordingly, the department must invest on heritage knowledge working with other relevant stakeholders. Total implementation of the National Rural Tourism Strategy, the National Heritage and Cultural Tourism Sector Strategy as policy tools that the department has in its position can no longer be postponed.

 

The state of roads in the rural tourism destination has a negative effect on tourism. The Wild Coast area is one of those areas with bad roads, but not only the bad roads, also the high crime rate. We call on your department to liaise with the relevant departments of roads to address this problem.

 

The rural people in these areas can no longer be denied their rights to their revenue of tourism because of corrupt councillors in those areas. Most areas are controlled by the ruling party and they cannot continue denying our people of their rights because those roads have not been constructed for tourism.

 

Therefore, we request you, Minister, through your Department, to speak with your counterparts, 20 years is too long. If it means that the roads will be fixed when Jesus Christ comes, [Laughter.] let him come tomorrow because these roads need to be fixed. We are tired of your corrupt councillors because our people are suffering because of corrupt ANC councillors.

 

Siyabakhupha ngowama-2016 kuba banorhwaphilizo. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] [We are voting them out in 2016, because they are corrupt. Thank you. [Applause.]]

 

Mr B G NTHEBE: My blue watch is not alright. [Interjections.] Oh, alright.

 

Hon Deputy Chair, hon Chief Whip, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members, distinguished guests and special delegates, our deepest condolences must go to the family and friends of an American tourist who, sadly, lost her young life on Monday. We are deeply saddened by such a loss of life, when tourism to us, as South Africans, means scenic beauty which is environmentally friendly and socially responsible; tourism that embraces and brings to the fore marginalised people and communities to participate in mainstream tourism. We will forever be grateful to our host communities because the sustainability of our wildlife tourism is dependant, in part, on the support of our host communities.

 

I am from the North West. A focused and allocated budget is an appreciation of our divine quest to stimulate the tourism economies of villages, townships and small dorpies in the North West.

 

We salute and celebrate the winner of the Best Stand Award at the recently held Tourism Indaba, which to all intents and purposes explicitly expressed our long-held view that the South Africa we live in cannot be xenophobic. We take our hats off to African and global leaders who never doubted our will, as South Africa, to root out xenophobia.

 

Hon Minister, you pronounced in your speech on 14 May this year that tourism is about creating opportunities, hope and a better life for all. Most importantly, however, it is about people. You also said that tourism is about creating affordable access for all people to begin to enjoy our rich natural and cultural heritage. The recently launched Moruleng Cultural Precinct in the North West, which the hon Deputy Minister was also a part of, is brimming with opportunities. It also adds a diversified cultural and heritage experience to those who want to visit and those who have visited Sun City before.

 

We shall preserve and celebrate our heritage and promote community development and education. We are grateful to the National Lottery Commission for contributing 23% through their distribution agency to the sustainability and promotion of arts and culture so that we begin to impart such knowledge to our own people.

 

We are ecstatic that 54% of the budget goes to South African Tourism. The R100 million that is ring-fenced to build the culture of tourism is most welcomed. Our people can now begin to take ownership of their own cultural and natural heritage. We also celebrate the intention to partner with global players to make the Tourism Indaba more competitive. Minister, as it becomes more competitive, how do we make sure that we also take along those who are on the periphery of the periphery so that they can begin to tap into the possibilities that are created by the Tourism Indaba?

 

The time is now that we begin to ensure that representivity of black women is addressed in management and ownership; that we address insufficient representation of black people in this important sector; that we encourage well-established businesses to procure goods and services from black-owned companies.

 

Hon MEC, assist us. Congratulations go to the restaurant that is number one in Africa now, and was 28 out of 50 in the world. Tell them, however, that we need to diversify in the industry. Where do they procure their services? Let’s open doors for those who are trying to enter, so that we can begin to be diversified.

 

Mr A R WINDE (Western Cape): So, let’s take Mzoli’s to number one next year!

 

Mr B G NTHEBE: Thank you so much.

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Order! Order, hon members!

 

Mr B G NTHEBE: Thank you so much for your breath of fresh air in terms of your argument and presentation here. We really thank you for that.

 

We must also do this, living true to the aspiration of the Freedom Charter that rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all, as we celebrate the Freedom Charter.

 

Unfortunately, the hon Van Lingen is absent. We must draw a delicate balance between speaking on behalf of the private sector and the vulnerable section of our society, which are our own children. That visa regulation, in the main, seeks to address child trafficking. We cannot begin to acknowledge child trafficking in passing and emphasise the importance of the private sector’s domination in the tourism sector without acknowledging that what we seek to do here is to curb what we regard as a crime against humanity. Our children must be protected, and that’s what the visa regulation seeks to do – nothing more, nothing less.

 

We must also thank the hon Mampuru. Limpopo announced yesterday that they have placed an advertisement saying unemployed graduates in the tourism sector in Limpopo are going to be placed. We want to thank Limpopo for doing that. [Applause.]

 

Hon Minister, in terms of regional market presence, we already have an office in Nigeria. Within this financial year, we intend having offices in Angola and Kenya. We must be able to say we are making regional integration and market penetration in Africa a reality. We thank you for that.

 

We want to thank you again, hon MEC, for your inspiring acknowledgement of what we are doing. What we should also be saying is that you should have gone further and acknowledged what the ANC has done: creating a conducive environment through the stabilisation of South Africa, particularly in the economy, and the investment that we channelled into the promotion and upgrading of the airports and stadiums that are here. That is why the ANC came here and celebrated on your home turf.

 

Mr A R WINDE (Western Cape): Because it works here, that’s why!

 

Mr B G NTHEBE: Thank you so much – and you should have got up and congratulated ...

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Hon member Nthebe and hon Winde, can you please avoid dialogue and address me and the House? [Interjections.] [Laughter.]

 

Mr B G NTHEBE: Hon Chair, I want to suggest officially to our friends from the DA that if they think that cadre development is such a demon that we should get rid of, then, here and now, I put forward the name of the hon Mokgosi to be the next deployed cadre from them ... [Laughter.] ... just so that we demystify what cadre development can do in terms of capacity building and the responsibility one has. [Interjections.]

 

We want to welcome the budget, hon Minister, and don’t be surprised. We are dealing with a people who are so locked in a state of perpetual waiting. They are forever a government-in-waiting, so they are forever rejecting. They even reject the budget that seeks to pay their own salaries ... [Interjections.]

 

These are the people who do not appreciate that tourism is a sector that is very important for our country. It contributes 9,4% to our GDP and creates 10% of the employment in our country. We should be able to say here and now that people residing 10 km away from Sun City, people who live in Khayelitsha and look at Table Mountain on a daily basis but don’t have any access to visit it ... how do we open up for them to be able to become creative in that space and access the market as we move forward?

 

Hon Minister, the ANC proudly stands to affirm the Budget Vote, and we say to you, let’s continue to diversify, become inclusive, and make sure that those who were not given chances in the past are then given that space to become creative in a very competitive manner without losing their turf for that. We thank you. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): Before I call on the Minister to conclude the debate, may I just ascertain something here. Hon Mokgosi, are you drinking tea? [Interjections.] When you spoke, I couldn’t pick up that your throat was sore. [Laughter.] Nevertheless, it’s fine.

 

The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Deputy Chair, when you say “Order!”, they understand you as saying, “Water!” [Laughter.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): And hot water! Just hold it, hon Minister. Hon Nyambi?

 

Mr A J NYAMBI: Chairperson, on a point of order: How will I ascertain whether it is water, because I suspect that it is ... [Inaudible.] [Laughter.]

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): That’s not a point of order. Hon Minister, will you conclude the debate?

 

The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon Chairperson, I presume my time is starting now? Thank you very much. Members spoke so well that I can only commend them. I can only do worse than all the members did here, because they really gave inspiring speeches - most of them. Allow me to pick up on a few points, however.

 

Firstly, let me say it’s just such a great pleasure to be in this portfolio because it’s an exciting portfolio. Interestingly, although the debates in Parliament sometimes get so animated and sometimes even hostile and vigorous, it’s not the case in Tourism. It is clear that we are all infused with pride, passion and a great love for our country – all of us. So, we can disagree on matters of detail, but we stand together in promoting our beautiful, vibrant country – and that is great news.

 

When the hon Winde over here comes to Minmec meetings, the ANC members just forget that he belongs to another party. They call him Comrade Winde. Did you know that? [Interjections.] Yes! The only thing missing is that he hasn’t paid his R20 membership fee yet!

 

Indeed, tourism is a great force for the good. It has the potential to build bridges of tolerance and understanding. It has the potential to build world peace. Travel connects people, exposes people to other cultures, gives people that understanding. It promotes tolerance, and I think we really must appreciate the value of tourism beyond the monetary value, beyond the jobs and economic growth. It has a much greater value that that.

 

More than a billion people now travel globally, worldwide. If we were just to get one out of 200 people visiting South Africa, that translates to 50 million tourist arrivals in South Africa. We must think big, because we are a great country! We have a great product to market.

 

To pick up on a few points, starting off with the hon Makue, you are right. It’s not just about safaris. We have gone way beyond that. We have the most fantastic safaris to offer in the world. We have the scenery, the beaches and everything else. You are absolutely right.

 

However, tourists today want more than that, and we have so much more to offer. All of what you said about culture, heritage and liberation sites is absolutely true. I like what you said so eloquently, installing a sense of pride in our country, in our history, in what we are and who we are. So, thank you for that.

 

Hon Van Lingen, you spoke about domestic tourism. Where are you, back there, hon Van Lingen? I can assure you that the money allocated to the promotion of domestic tourism will be well spent. The fact of the matter is that it is obviously affected by disposable income, so it’s not always affordable to everybody. However, we will seek ways to make local travel more affordable, and we will do everything to promote it – and we expect you to help us with that, as well.

 

We will create those additional 225 000 jobs. I think we will exceed that and I will tell you why, in a moment. However, I think we have the potential to do much, much more than that. We just need to harness it.

 

No, I will not be known as the Minister who killed this industry, because I will work with all of you and we will make sure that this industry is not killed. We will make sure, collectively, that we make this into a vibrant, winning industry. The golden goose will not be slaughtered and cooked and had for supper. We will build on this one.

 

So, just on the visas, and I will get back to it in a moment. I am pleased to hear members say one thing about the visas - that the intention is good and that we all support the efforts to combat child trafficking. I will get back to that in a moment. We must, at least, acknowledge that we must be part of global efforts to protect human rights and to combat child trafficking.

 

To the hon Khawula from the IFP, in this respect, I want to say I remain confident that we will find a solution. As Minister Radebe said this week, in fact, there will be a review. There will indeed be a review, and those are also the marching orders that the President gave us in the state of the nation address. So, it’s not about - and I want to speak to the issue raised by the hon Nthebe – it’s, of course, as I said, that we need to contribute to these global efforts. However, we have got to find a way of doing it so that it does not have a negative impact on tourism and other forms of economic activity, and that it does not discourage investment.

 

So, it’s not about whether we should be doing it. Of course, we should be doing it! It’s about how. That is why these discussions will ensue, and as we speak, they are happening. Rest assured that, in the weeks to come, we will be endeavouring, and endeavouring very hard, to find that balance that the President spoke about in the state of the nation address.

 

Let me add to what the hon Dikgale said about the death of the American tourist. Of course, we would also like to add our words of condolence. However, you know, South Africa offers an authentic product and we have to take it very seriously when we go into game reserves. The lion park did everything in its power to provide the information and so, as much as we promote responsible tourism, we also want tourists to be responsible. It is tragic and we are very sorry about it, but we also say there is a message there. You cannot play with wild animals. They really are wild animals!

 

On the festivals that you spoke about, like Oppikoppi and the Marula Festival, etc, let me say that they are very important to tourism, extremely important. They give us the seasonal and geographical spread. So, these festivals need to be supported.

 

Hon Winde, I am glad you mentioned the airport and the harbour, because, indirectly, of course, you are thanking this ANC-led government for its successful investment in infrastructure. We do have a world-class airport here, but let me say the Western Cape has so much going for it and we acknowledge that.

 

I know I am fast running out of time, but let me say to the hon Mdaka I really appreciate the fact that Limpopo has invested so heavily in tourism. That is really good. Limpopo, like all provinces, has special offers - the Waterberg, Mapungubwe - and many of these hidden gems that all provinces have. Every province has special sites and something unique to offer.

 

If you look at the North West, there is Madikwe; the Eastern Cape has the Wild Coast; KwaZulu-Natal has Isimangaliso, and many other places. There is Golden Gate in the Free State and the Richtersveld and Augrabies in the Northern Cape – your province, Deputy Chairperson. These are all unique offers.

 

The Western Cape, of course, has too many to mention. Mpumalanga has the Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and so forth. So, we have this, and the totality of the picture is almost too good to be true. It is unbelievable!

Councillor Cavanagh, good luck with your Gallagher conference. I would like to say that, apart from the provinces, every city and every small town has something to offer, as well. What we would like to see is the SA Local Government Association, Salga, encouraging every government to build tourism into its integrated development plans. I think that it is very important to recognise the potential of tourism, and that is not always the case. So, you’ve got to look after those monuments, those museums, those sites, and make sure that your little town, your city becomes a tourism-friendly place.

 

You’re wanting to tell me to sit down now, hon Deputy Chairperson, so I would like to thank members for this – Oh! I forgot! I’m sorry. Please, I cannot forget the freedom fighters, the EFF, because I am going to make history today!

 

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr R J Tau): You are out of time.

 

The MINSITER OF TOURISM: I am going to make history today by agreeing with the hon member. She said that local communities have no meaningful participation in tourism. I would slightly modify that by saying that we just haven’t done enough to involve local communities, and we agree with you, totally, on that. [Applause.] That is a challenge that we have to take up collectively. Hon Chairperson, thank you so much. [Applause.]

 

Debate concluded.

 

APPROPRIATION BILL

 

Debate on Vote No 28 - Labour

 

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Hon Chair, hon members, both permanent and special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it is always a pleasure and an honour to address this august House on the occasion of our Budget Vote for the year ahead and beyond. The theme that runs through the speech was inspired, in the main, by the spirit and the letter of our Constitution, the Freedom Charter and the 2009 and 2014 ANC election manifestos.

 

It is our utmost significance that in June this year, we will be commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, the road map set by the Congress of the People in 1955. The Freedom Charter has to this day, remained the cornerstone of the ruling party’s policies. It is also true that our labour laws are an expression of the Congress of the People’s declaration that: “There Shall be Work and Security.”

 

As we account to the nation, we would like to frame our input by recalling the commitments we made in the previous Budget Vote, giving an account of what we have done to execute these commitments; highlighting challenges that we encountered in the process, and indicating steps that are being taken to address them; bragging about our milestone achievements to date and pointing out what remains to be done.

 

The things we do represent how we are consolidating the gains of the national democratic revolution using the space that we have as the Department of Labour. The June month is a perfect reminder to all of us, that indeed we are free and that the rights we enjoy today cannot be taken for granted as they came at a price. Recently we lost a number of struggle icons of our movement, and we also witnessed the reburial of the icons of the workers struggle, those are uncles Moses Kotane, J B Marks and, recently Dr Mme Ruth Mompati.

 

We pay homage to all our fallen heroes and heroines, we say to them: You will remain an inspiration to our work, and may your souls rest in eternal peace. As we celebrate the 21st anniversary of democracy in this country, it is almost impossible to ignore the contribution that the new labour market dispensation has made in terms of transforming the workplace.

 

At the risk of sounding too simplistic, there is some truth that when workers earn a living wage, it means they have reasonable disposable income to spend on goods and services produced by the economy. If the demand on goods and services rises, the entire supply change inevitably start experiencing increase in their output volumes, resulting in direct and indirect positive social and economic spin-offs given that our economy is by and large consumer-led.

 

The Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, is one of the key elements of our social security safety net. The Training Lay-off Scheme, which is funded by the UIF continues to be one of our flagship projects. The scheme is designed to assists companies in distress to mitigate the negative economic impact for workers who ordinarily would be retrenched. Through the UIF-funded active labour market interventions, the Labour Activation Programme is becoming a game changer of note in the facilitation of skills enhancement.

 

We targeted to train 2 000 UIF beneficiaries to prepare them for re-entry into the labour market in the last financial year. But instead, it was 3 117 workers that were supported and 600 of these trainees were re­absorbed in real jobs. About 5 104 trainees were supported through training offered by accredited Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, and, 450 aspiring entrepreneurs benefitted through tailored training programmes.

 

The fund has ring-fenced R10 billion for socially responsible investments. This is done for the target to support labour intensive projects. The funds are invested through the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, and the Public Investment Corporation, PIC, with a clear directive that this money must be targeted at labour intensive projects, including the Presidential Infrastructure Projects. Whilst the numbers may not be where we would want them, we are however very pleased with the progress so far. We are also pleased to report that the R29 million that was allocated to Productivity SA for turnaround solutions continues to yield excellent results

 

For example, 3 891 jobs were saved through these interventions in the 2014-15 financial year. We also acknowledge and thank the Department of Trade and Industry for its continued support for the Workplace Challenge Programme, its impact is invaluable. Hon members, the Compensation Fund has continued to be one of the key priority areas for the department. We fully understand the complexity of the challenges in the compensation fund and we are dealing with them.

 

In August 2014, the fund introduced a new electronic claims management system, Umehluko, which cuts out the manual system which has been the main source of problems in the fund for many years. Umehluko has, within a relatively short space of time, brought about demonstrable improvements in the processes of assessing and paying claims, albeit with some teething problems.

 

As service providers and those who interact with systems become more familiar with how it works the teething problems will be reduced to a bare minimum. We will keep the relevant NCOP committees abreast of progress in this regard. Please bear with us as these things tend to take time. You will recall, hon members, that the Deputy President has been given an assignment to drive the engagement with the social partners to seek solutions to the new phenomena of prolonged strikes, strikes-related violence and investigating the modalities of introducing a national minimum wage. Work has already commenced in this regard.

 

We conducted targeted inspections in all nine provinces covering farm and domestic sectors during the 2014-15 period. All the inspections culminated into provincial izimbizo, where we reported on the levels of compliance and interacted directly with workers with a view to understand their experiences. Strengthening inspection and enforcement capacity of the department is ongoing and remains one of our top priorities, going forward.

Let me at this stage, thank the National Treasury for heeding our request to reinstate the much needed resources to strengthen the inspection. In 2014 we said that we were seeking to finalise various labour law amendments Bills. I am very pleased to report that indeed today we are proud to have in our statute book, revised and progressive Labour Relations Act; Basic Conditions of Employment Act, The Employment Equity Act and the Landmark Public Employment Services Act.

 

Our inspectorate and enforcement and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, CCMA, will have to rise up to the occasion and become more vigilant in this respect. Our social partners must also become visible in ensuring that their constituencies comply with the labour laws. We must, hon members, dismiss the myth that labour brokers create jobs, they don’t, as they are merely intermediaries.

 

We used izimbizo to brief workers on what the new labour law amendments mean for them. We also used various media platforms to create awareness to the broader society. The CCMA and the department ran road shows around the country to raise awareness of the new labour legislative dispensation and its meaning for workers and employers alike.

 

In 2014 we said filling the post of the director-general in the department was our priority. Indeed, we have found a director-general, Mr Thobile Lamati, and he has been in the job for a couple of months now. I also want to thank Mr Sam Morotoba who kept the fort in an acting capacity for at least 75% of the 2014-15 financial year. Going forward, we intend tabling three important pieces of labour legislations: The Unemployment Insurance Amendment Bill, which at this stage is before Parliament, and I’m told it is before the tabling committee.

 

The purpose of the proposed amendments include: Extending the period to draw unemployment benefits from eight to 12 months; extending the prescribed period within which a contributor can lodge a claim from six to 12 months; extending the scope of the fund to cover public servants, workers in the learnership programmes and improving maternity benefits for domestic workers; among other things.

 

The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill which is currently being consulted on with the social partners in National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, will be tabled during this period. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to align the act with other labour legislations and to introduce provisions to regulate triangular relationships.

 

The Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill, which is currently going through internal processes within the department will also be tabled during this period. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to align the act with the other labour legislations, extend coverage to domestic workers and, introduce provisions that provide a legal framework for the fund to promote facilitations and rehabilitation programmes to facilitate the return to work objective.

 

Given the significance and the benefits that will accrue to workers once these proposed amendments became law, and in the spirit and the latter of the ruling party’s 2009 and 2014 election manifestos, were humbly requested that you accord the consideration of these Bills a high degree of priority.

Hon Chairperson, I just want to propose that the NCOP must focus, in particular on the following programmes: The sheltered employment factories because that is the programme that is being done in the provinces, targeting the improvement of the people with disabilities in terms of dealing with some of the challenges they were faced with, and also, the public employment services, precisely because it deals with the registration of the work-seekers and counsel them.

 

It also do skills mix-match and they also do referrals, particularly on the vacancies that have been registered with us through Employment System SA, Essa, system and for further training. Therefore, they will also be dealing with the issues of registration of employment agencies, as you are aware that as the Department of Labour we are now responsible for registering and regulating them, so that we must know which agencies are still excluding some of the people that have to do and get the jobs.

 

Other key priority areas going forward, include among others, improving the efficiency of the compensation fund; rolling out self-help kiosks to all provinces in order to enhance service delivery. I would also appeal to the members of this committee to visit the kiosk in Richards Bay in order for them to have an understanding on how self-help kiosks are working.

 

Continuing to build the Information and Communications Technology, ICT, capacity of the department; ramping up our performance in managing workplace conflict and dispute resolution; advancing the capacity of the inspectorate and enforcement and lastly, continuing to play a meaningful role in the international relations world of work.

 

I must also thank the presiding officers of Parliament by allowing some members of the select committee and portfolio committee to be part of the observation in Geneva, so that they can understand on how the conventions emanate from. When we have to request the Houses to ratify, they will have an understanding on what those particular conventions are about.

 

Hon members, ladies and gentlemen, whilst this budget is inadequate, relatively to what needs to be done, we will do the best we can. We would implore our social partners to continue their support of our endeavours to create a labour market environment conducive to investment, economic growth, job creation and decent work.

 

Let me thank the Deputy Minister of Labour, iNnkosi Phathekile Holomisa, for his support during this time. Let me also thank the leadership of our social partners for their support and invaluable contributions, and we call on you to continue lending a hand.

 

Thanks also to the director-general, his management team and the entire staff for their efforts and support. Thanks also to the members of this House, the select committee and the chairpersons for their support. More details of our progress on our 2014 priorities can be gleaned from our annual report and further details on other projects will be presented at committee level.

 

In recognition of the country’s unmatched reputation in the field of labour market policy, we have been asked recently to lead the African group on the debate around convention 189.

 

Needless to say, this debate, if not handled properly, carries the risk to rollback key revolutionary gains of the workers worldwide.

 

Again, in recognition of the country’s experience, we have also been asked to assist African countries on how to craft legislations to give meaning to the International Labour Organization, ILO, conventions, a challenge which we have embraced unconditionally. I would like to commend the R2 686 867 000 budget of the Department of Labour to this House. Together let’s move South Africa forward.

 

Ndithi nangamso, malungu ahloniphekileyo. Amaqobokazana angalala endleleni yazini kunyembelekile. [Thank you, honourable members. Should maidens sleep along the way they are lost.]

 

Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.

 

Mr E MAKUE: Hon Chairperson and Members, guests on the gallery, hon Minister Mildred Oliphant with staff from the department, we welcome and appreciate the opportunity to debate the Department of Labour’s Budget Vote, the Annual Performance Plan, APP, and the Strategic Plan. The APP budget and plans were presented to our Select Committee on 25 May, and we rigorously engaged with these important documents that enabled us to participate in this NCOP debate today.

 

Firstly, we would want to explain how the department contributes towards the implementation of the National Development Plan, NDP, and the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF. Amongst the six pillars of the NDP, the Department of Labour’s strategic plan is specifically aligned to growing an inclusive economy and building capabilities. The following strategic objectives are clearly articulated in response to these two pillars: Firstly, to promote sound labour relations, secondly, to contribute to decent employment, thirdly, to promote equity in the labour market, and then finally, to monitor the impact of legislation. In the MTSF the Department of Labour will contribute mainly on Outcomes: 4, 5, 11, 12 and 14. The Department of Labour has five entities and I will speak to all five of them.

 

The first entity is the Inspection and Enforcement Services. The number of designated employers reviewed per year to determine compliance with Employment Equity Legislation has been set at 750.

 

The Department of Labour plans to convene four seminars and one training programme of 600 shopstewards. The number of designated employers inspected per year to determine compliance with Employment Equity Legislation is 4 176 and the number of work places that will be inspected per year to determine their compliance with Occupational Health and Safety, OHS, legislation is 20 476. This data has further been broken down indicating set targets for every quarter.

 

The second entity is the Public Employment Services. Here, all complete applications for foreign nationals’ corporate and individual work visas will be processed within 30 days. Eight Memorandums of Agreement, MoAs, signed between the director-general, DG and chief executive officer, CEO, of statutory bodies, designated organisations and funding will be transferred, and performance monitored by the end of March 2016.

 

Three regulations related to Private Employment Agencies, Temporary Employment Services will be promulgated in terms of section 13 and 52. The registration of workseekers and the procedure for employment of foreign nationals in terms of section 52 will be published by the Minister in the Government Gazette by March 2016.

 

Two hundred and fifty-thousand workseekers will be provided with employment counselling, 25 000 of registered workseekers will be placed in registered work opportunities per year,60 000 employment opportunities will be registered on Employment Service of South Africa, ESSA, per year and eight MoAs will be signed between the DG and CEO as I indicated earlier.

 

The third entity is the Labour Market and Policy Relations. Thirty companies’ income differentials will be assessed to promote the principle of equal pay for equal work and equal value.

 

The Annual Performance Employment Equity Report and Public Register will be developed by 31 March 2016. Public reviews will be published on private security sectoral determination in the government gazette by the end of this year. Thirty-six public hearings for the farm and forestry sectors will be held by the end of this year. This entity will also compile the Employment Conditions Commission, ECC, report for the wholesale and retail sector by the end of this year.

 

The Unemployment Insurance Fund is considered to be so important that the select committee even said, “We will bring you back to come and indicate to us fully what you are doing in this regard.” The same applies to the Compensation Fund.

 

Other entities are those established in terms of various legislation and that also report to the Department of Labour, and I will only mention their names: The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, Productivity SA, and the Supported Employment Enterprises which is currently trading as Sheltered Employment Factories. All these entities form part of the Department of Labour’s APP and due to time constrains, we will not go into the details of each one of them.

 

What is important however for us as provincial delegates is how much each province will receive from the budget of the Department of Labour that the Minister has mentioned – a budget of only R2, 68 billion. The allocation to provinces will be as follows: Eastern Cape R100 905, Free State R76 130, Gauteng R192 683, Kwazulu-Natal R148 689, Mpumalanga R73 732, North West R70 572, Northern Cape R49 973 and Western Cape R98 992.

 

The creation of decent employment and sustainable jobs is a priority that all of us here agree to – all parties agree to it. We may disagree on the strategy and plans. However, what is abundantly clear is that government, through the Department of Labour, has set achievable and realistic plans. It is also clear that the department, through institutions like National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, and Business Councils have established healthy relations and network to implement its plans. This provides good reason for accepting, supporting and adopting the Department of Labour’s APP.

 

We do expect points of contention where statistics will be given to us during this debate. Members, it is vital that we subject such statistics to proper analysis and scrutiny. Amongst others, we must assess when the statistics were compiled and what sectors were included or excluded. It is equally important that we be exposed to the correct details per province.

What we agree to, is the importance of government in the establishment of a climate that is conducive for the creation of jobs. This government and the Department of Labour, is committed to ensuring that such a conducive climate is created. The private sector, corporate and business community and owners of the means of production must invest in labour intensive industries that will ensure that all people are proudly employed. And this Department of Labour is committed to creating that stability within the labour sector that will ensure such investment.

 

This government shall do whatever is legally and constitutionally possible to ensure that the dignity of all people is protected and enhanced by enabling them decent and sustainable jobs in an economic environment that is growing and developing. Many of the other departments in government’s economic cluster aptly demonstrated how government is concerned and committed towards creating a better life for all.

 

I will conclude by just reading from the Mail and Guardian that was released last week Thursday, May 29 where a worker by the name of Thwalo says, and I quote:

 

I used to work for 14 hours a day and make R700. Now I work for three hours a day and I make more than I did as a warehouse manager.

 

That is progress in terms of decent employment. Such progress is not what we as government are giving, but the environment that we have created for Mr Thwalo to be able to fend for his family of six.

 

Another person, Mudzimiri - who has been in the vegetable industry for six years - supplies several restaurants. They place orders with him after closing every morning at 2am. This is how hard he works. He also owns a farm in Randfontein - more than an hour drive west of Johannesburg - that he visits several times a week. This is what Mr Mudzimiri said:

 

Supplying to restaurants makes economic sense. This way I can move volumes. The vegetable industry is all about bulk because the margin is not high on individual products.

 

We have a farmer – a black farmer - in South Africa indicating how the policies of the Department of Labour have enabled him to participate competitively in this economy. I thank you very much Chairperson.

 

Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon Members, I am delivering the speech on behalf of hon Londt who is the member of the Committee.

 

The Department of Labour has an enormous role to play in a country where such a big percentage of our citizens are not part of the labour force because of crippling poverty and unemployment. In fact, this is the core task of the labour department to ensure that true sustainable and legal jobs are created in our country.

 

With a budget of just under two point seven billion for the coming financial year, we are going to struggle to fill all the holes in the country where there are so many to fill, however, by ensuring that the money is being spent on the right programmes, interventions and by ensuring that every cent is aimed at the citizens of our country, and not to protect individuals and connected cadres as was the case in the past, it will make an impact.

 

Hon Minister let me state categorically, our disagreements, debates, arguments and fights are not about unions, wages or issues like strikes, It is first and foremost and always been about the people of South Africa. It is about ensuring that every single South African, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth will be able to enjoy the freedoms that our hard fought democracy gave them.

 

It is to ensure that every single South African might have an opportunity to use these freedoms and to improve him or herself in an environment that is fair to everyone, taking into consideration our tragic history.

 

Last year hon Lange humorously referred to the tale about the two elephants making love and as a consequence all is ordinary citizens, it is the ordinary citizens and our economy that suffers. Unfortunately the caution fell on deaf ears and this department in it’s dalliances with the unions keep losing sight of what that core task is and who they should look after. That will be the workforce, formal and informal as well as the unemployed of this beautiful country.

 

Over the past few years we have experienced too many strikes, quite often becoming violent that have negatively affected our economy. Many of these strikes that became violent let to intimidation, assault, looting and vandalism. Yet, nothing is being done by this ANC government to protect ordinary people. It is time that this department and the members of the governing party show that they are willing to fight for the citizens of this country and not their bed mates in the tripartite alliance.

 

Two weeks ago the ANC once again showed it’s commitment to the alliance partners at the expense of the South African by unanimously rejecting the Labour Relations Amendment Bill 2014 introduced by the DA’s shadow Minister for Labour. The ANC members with the help of the IFP by abstaining unanimously rejected the bill which seeks to prevent the high incident of violent strikes in South Africa. This rejection can only be seen as complete apathy regarding the seriousness of the ever increasing occurrence of strike violence which continues to affect innocent members of society.

 

How can members of the ANC, this Minister and this department continue to serve the fight for ordinary South Africans when they are not even prepared to protect them? The Department of Labour should be at the centre of the country’s drive to create an environment with new, enhanced, and better jobs. Unfortunately it seems like this Minister and her department doesn’t know that there is a massive difference between the day to day runnings and challenges faced by Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) in South Africa versus that of big commercial and industrial businesses.

 

Our current labour legislation shows that these differences are not understood and it is there for the same, for both. President Zuma created a new ministry for small business development last year, if South Africa is to succeed in making SMME the focal point of our economic growth, the Department of Small Business Development must succeed. Small enterprises have shown a remarkable capacity to absorb labour and this is what we need in South Africa.

 

Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons for the high failure rate of the SMME in South Africa is without a doubt the maze of red tape and regulations that small businesses have to navigate in order to be successful. Added to this, a labour department that do not understand the needs of small business and we have the recipe for maintaining the status quo and even regressing.

 

The DA shown in the Western Cape even with the current circumstances that we are able to support and grow small business by providing an environment where entrepreneurs can use their skills, innovation and will, to work to prosper and succeed. The very successful programme from red tape to red carpet introduced by the Western Cape government has shown that where there is a will, there is a way.

 

Hon Minister I implore you to put your pride aside and learn from the best practices in all nine provinces. Let me sketch a scenario, a scenario where South Africans has a labour department that really cares for them, that would be innovative, forward thinking and always put South Africa and not political partners first, a labour department that will work together with education and small business. If we can do that, it would make the ANC colleague feel better, and then they can refer to these three departments as a working tripartite alliance. We would then have a labour department that would help its citizens the way a labour department should.

To many, this may sound far fetched but in fact it is not such a difficult task to achieve, in fact it has already started when the DA won the City of Cape Town, it continued when the DA won the Western Cape. Next year it will continue even further when we win metros elsewhere in South Africa, including possibly the one where the ANC now has a part time mayor.

 

In 2019 the real work will start when the ANC loses its outright majority and a DA led National Government can start its task of ensuring that South Africa finally achieves the full freedom, fairness and opportunity they deserve and have lacked under the ANC.

 

Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Shenge Holomisa, hon colleagues, the Department of Labour has developed four strategic objectives in response to the relevant pillars of the National Development Plan, NDP. These pillars are: promoting sound labour relations, contributing to decent employment, promoting equity in the labour market and monitoring the impact of legislation. The question is: How much of what you have said you are doing is actually happening?

 

Let me start by expressing the IFP’s welcome of your measures in trying to uplift and regulate the wages of domestic and farm workers and those in the hospitality industry. Farm workers and domestic workers are the sectors that usually experience the worst levels of abuse. This is because of the difficulties in managing this sector. One wonders how many South Africans do actually comply with the minimum regulations you have set up in this sector. Therefore the bigger question is: How are you going to ensure compliance, as the department, with your regulations in these sectors?

 

One of the challenges that has plagued South Africa in recent years has been the very slow growth of the economy. Even with that slow growth, South Africa has been losing jobs through companies shutting down, companies relocating and companies scaling down their workforces, or through foreign direct investment being diverted away from South Africa to neighbouring countries. Some investors cite our labour issues and our labour relations as some of the reasons for relocation.

 

The department is responsible for a variety of entities: the Unemployment Insurance Fund; the Compensation Fund; the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, the CCMA; the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac; Productivity SA; and Supported Employment Enterprises. Owing to limited time, hon Minister, I will focus specifically on the Compensation Fund.

 

For the past two consecutive years, this entity has received remarkably shocking audit reports from the Auditor-General. These have been disclaimers with shocking statements. The other three years before these disclaimers were qualifications with a variety of issues.

 

Briefly, the 2013-14 disclaimer had some of the following to say about the Compensation Fund, bearing in mind that the following are monies that are unaccounted for in this entity. Firstly, regarding revenue and receivables from nonexchange transactions, the entity does not have systems in place to ensure that all employers are registered. The Attorney-General was not able to determine whether any adjustment was necessary relating to revenue from nonexchange transactions of R8,186 billion, and to determine adjustments and receivables from nonexchange transactions of R1,4 billion and R2,7 billion in 2013.

 

Regarding allowances for impairment, the entity did not provide appropriate audit evidence for the amount disclosed. The result is that the Attorney-General was not able to determine whether adjustment to allowance for impairment stated at R2,2 billion was necessary.

 

In terms of benefits paid, the entity doesn’t have adequate internal controls to maintain records of benefits paid. The result: The Attorney-General was not able to determine whether any adjustment was required to benefits paid amounting to R2,7 billion and R1,9 billion respectively in 2013.

 

With regard to irregular expenditure, this amounted to R138,5 million. Also, as a result of Noncompliance with Generally Recognised Accounting Practice, or Grap, the Attorney-General was not able to determine whether adjustments were required to pensions amounting to R9,7 billion and pension accrual adjustments amounting to R2,4 billion.

 

In terms of investment revenue, the entity was not able to account for and disclose investment revenue. They put money in the bank; they don’t how much they have received as interest. Therefore the investment revenue disclosed was understated by R136,4 million.

 

The fund is currently investigating 71 cases of fraud and services not rendered by service providers. Material losses through criminal conduct were estimated at R26 million, but the actual amount recovered was only R3 million. The entity is getting the Department of Labour into a mess. I thank you.

 

Ms M C DIKGALE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members and special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, the month of June is a very special month for the people of South Africa who care about this country. This is so despite the cold weather that is associated with our winter season, and today’s weather bears testimony to this. But despite the cold weather, in the political arena the month of June is Youth Month and the month of the Freedom Charter.

 

It was on the 26th of this month in 1955 that the congress movement adopted the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, which is the basis of our Bill of Rights in our Constitution. With regard to labour rights, the charter, under the heading “There shall be work and security” declares, and I quote:

All who work shall be free to form trade unions, to elect their officers and to make wage agreements with their employers;

 

The state shall recognise the right and duty of all to work, and to draw full unemployment benefits;

 

Men and women of all races shall receive equal pay for equal work;

 

There shall be a 40-hour working week, a national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and sick leave for all workers, and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers;

 

Miners, domestic workers, farm workers and civil servants shall have the same rights as all others who work;

 

Child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.

 

Since it came into power in 1994, the ANC has lived true to the dictates and spirit of the Freedom Charter. Legislation, such as the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Employment Equity Act, has been passed to give effect to these labour rights as demanded by the Freedom Charter. Others pieces of legislation like the Children’s Act and the Mining Charter have also been enacted to protect vulnerable children and miners against abuse and exploitation. And the ANC is still continuing with this struggle to fight for labour rights.

 

In 2009, during the 52nd national conference in Polokwane, the ANC took resolutions which, among other resolutions, were aimed at transforming our economy. The resolution on transformation of the economy was based on 15 pillars, many of which talk to labour issues. These included the following: creating decent work as the primary focus of economic policy; accelerating shared economic growth by overcoming obstacles to growth and intervening to promote equity; transforming the structures of production and ownership; having programmes that directly absorb the unemployed, including Public Works programmes; investing in priority skills and education; and having macroeconomic policies that support growth, job creation and poverty eradication on a sustainable basis.

 

In 2012 in Mangaung the ANC adopted the National Development Plan, the NDP, as produced by the National Planning Commission to further strengthen our economic transformation. The NDP sets out the type of targets that we are striving for as a country by 2030, with intermediate targets in 2015 and 2020.

 

The high-level numeric targets for sustainable and inclusive growth include: a fall in the strict unemployment rate from 25% to 14% in 2020 to 6% by 2030; a rise in the labour force participation rate from 54% in 2010 to 65%; creating about 11 million additional jobs by 2030. The million-rand question will thus be: Will the ANC achieve these targets; or, put differently: Are these targets achievable? We would be naïve to believe that this would be an easy task.

 

This is more so with the latest statistics showing that the unemployment rate in South Africa increased to 26,4% in the first quarter of 2015 from 24,3% in the fourth quarter of 2014. But we would be more naïve to believe that this is impossible. What this means therefore is that we will have to put all our hands on deck, roll up our sleeves and get down to work. In my language we say: “Kodumela moepa thutse gobane ga go lehume leo le tšwago kgauswi.”

 

We therefore have to come up with a comprehensive plan if we want to solve this problem, and, of course, the ANC has this plan. Leading into the general elections of 2014, the ANC came up with a manifesto that deliberately targeted workers, acknowledging that we still had tough times ahead of us. This manifesto also addressed collective bargaining and the creation of decent work. I would want to take this opportunity and assure members of the public that we value your support. We have leaders with sound minds who respect the law of the country and the Rules of the House. We are saying, “Keep on supporting the ANC-led government, because the ANC has a plan, which is the NDP that we are implementing.”

 

On the issues of the economy and jobs, the manifesto states that the ANC will consolidate the industrialisation and infrastructure expansion programme with appropriate initiatives from the state; empower and promote education and employment for the youth; make the financial sector serve the real economy and people; implement a massive Public Works programme; advance equality and decent work in the workplace; build an extensive support network for small businesses and co-operatives; promote broad-based black economic empowerment; invest in science and technology; and advance rural development, land and agrarian reform and food security.

 

To walk the talk, this past Monday, 1 June 2015, the government and the National Youth Development Agency, the NYDA, officially launched the start of Youth Month at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, where unemployed young people were given an opportunity to gain skills. The undertaking was given that after this the NYDA would come in and further develop these skills that these young people had gained to that they could participate in the economy as entrepreneurs, thus creating more jobs for other young people.

 

At the very same event, the Minister in the Presidency, the hon Jeff Radebe, announced that by the end of 2014 over R730 million had been spent by government to support over 15 000 youth enterprises. Recipients of this help are soaring to new heights as we speak.

 

Now, who in their right mind can dispute that this is a good story to tell? This is one another example of many that shows the many strides we have taken over the past 21 years in dismantling the legacy of apartheid.

The manifesto further stated that the ANC would strengthen the enforcement of the provisions of the Employment Equity Act which require employers to “report on disproportionate income differentials at all wage levels and submit plans for their progressive reduction”.

 

True to this promise, the new regulations in terms of the Employment Equity Act came into operation in August 2014. These regulations force employers to pay equal wages for equal work. They also make it illegal to differentiate wages and salaries based on race, gender and/or disability.

 

We know that some organisations are not on par with us with regard to some of our policies, but I am sure they would also agree that the ANC is indeed making serious economic progress as evidenced by the examples I have just cited. In Xitsonga we say, “Minthiro ya vuluvula.”[Our works speak for itself.]

 

So, Minister, we will support your Budget Vote because you are on the right track in executing the mandate of making South Africa work. However, we must not fool ourselves and think that this is enough. To win this battle, we must also bring on board the private sector. We must solve the problem of businesses that would rather poach employees from other companies than employ and train talented people who lack skills and work experience but who could add value in the long term.

 

As the manifesto itself declares, “All of us – government, business, labour and social organisations – must actively contribute to economic transformation.” I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Dr Y C VAWDA: Chairperson, allow me first to acknowledge the presence of our supreme forces irrespective of whatever our perceptions might be. I greet all “As-saalamu-alai-kum”.

 

Let me begin by saying that there is dignity in labour. What the present socioeconomic systems have done is to compromise this dignity, by enslaving the extremely important role that is played by millions of people in this country whose daily labour contribution helps to keep the economy alive. An economy that unfortunately because of the lack of political will by the governing party marginalises the majority of the population.

 

Hon Chair and members, any member that takes this podium, has the floor. It is in the best interest of this House that this member then contributes positively, constructively and intelligently to the debate. Unparliamentary utterances that provoke retaliatory sentiment from the floor will then be seen as anarchist behavior; but it will ultimately remain the responsibility of the member on the podium to ensure that this does not happen.

 

The hon Parkies in absentia and other members will do well to remember this. [Interjection.]

 

Ms M F TLAKE: Thank you, hon Chair. I think the hon member is out of order for quoting hon Parkies with the concept because the matter is now under review. So, I don’t think he should make this assertion. We are waiting for a ruling.

 

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, hon member. Hon Vawda continue; I will allow this as a point in debate.

 

Dr Y C VAWDA: Hon members will do well to remember this in all manners of the legislation policy and laws that continue to see the gross exploitation, impoverishment and marginalisation of the large section of our population from the economy. It will continue to give rise to the increasing civil disobedience, in the form of service delivery protests, labour unrests, xenophobia, afrophobia and increasing crime. This will then be seen as anarchist behavior when it really is a normalised manifestation of the extreme unjust systems giving rise to social unhappiness.

 

When people are not treated as human beings, they cannot be expected to react in what is generally perceived as acceptable and normal behaviour. At this point, hon Chair, again in absentia I must thank the hon MEC Alan Winde. Without being disrespectful to Jesus, Isa alaihis salam, is highly revered in the Quran. I wish to thank the hon Winde for assuring so eloquently the House that the EFF will be the governing party in 2019. [Applause.] Hon Labuschagne, you can indicate to him through you Chair, of course, that his registration form is with the hon Teboho.

 

The EFF reject the 2015-16, Labour Budget Vote as it continues to maintain the slave status of our people. Hon Chair, the current working and living conditions are a reflection of the lack of progress in bringing about fundamental economic transformation. They are an indication of how apartheid employment practices have been sustained, how the plight of workers in general has not been addressed and clearly displays the lack of vision to address unemployment in this country.

 

So far, we can conclude that the ANC government has failed to bring about fundamental economic transformation and has instead created policies that only empower and enriched a few aspirant capitalists while the majority of our people are left to wallow in poverty. The government does not intend to transfer wealth to our people. And will continue to send this country on a wild goose chase by shifting goal posts instead of taking decisions that will benefit our people and stand by them. Unemployment in this country currently sits at over 36% while youth unemployment is sitting at over 65%.

 

In all the May Day rallies held last month, not a single ANC speaker was honest about the labour conditions in this country and who maintains them. Not a single speaker admitted that the ANC government continues the abhorrent labour broker system. The ANC continues to leave workers vulnerable to all sorts of exploitation.

In February, President Jacob Zuma stood up to deliver the state of the nation address and declared it illegal for people to be employed on contract for more than three months. In reality, South Africa is a state of two nations. I wonder who will adequately address the state of the working classes.

 

Hon Chairperson, it is not fair at all to workers that we are still talking about investigating a fair minimum wage, what we must be doing is discussing the implementation. It is also a time to introduce into the vocabulary maximum salaries. Let me remind the hon Nthebe, through you hon Chair, that it is not so much about the salaries of the Members of Parliament, but about the salaries of the people of the country.

 

If parliamentarians can get wage hikes as they please, why is it so hard to meet the demands of public servants? South Africa has one of the biggest pay gaps in the world with blacks, females and the disabled under-represented and underpaid in all sectors of our economy. [Time expired.] Thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon Chairperson, thank you. With much talk about the Fifa President resigning, I think it is time that the Labour Minister also think about that and take her Comrade Mayor Danny Jordaan with her while she is at it.

 

It’s a small sacrifice that might unlock the labour nightmare that places like the DA’s next municipality Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, you name them, and the rest of South Africa face today.

 

Hon Chairperson, whilst it is clear the DA will bring freedom fairness and opportunity to Nelson Mandela Bay, it is wishful thinking that the Minister will resign or that she will ever show up to a portfolio committee.

 

Since the start of our Fifth Parliament, Minister Oliphant is yet to show up for one. Where do you work Minister? Our people elected you to work, where do you work. I do suggest that before this department spends the R2,4 billion over the next 3 years, you investigate the implementation of the minimum wage. Many of the committee will go on lavish business class trips to drink champagne and eat oysters, drink champagne in over four continents visiting countries like China, Britain and Brazil that she, at least, get to know the members of the portfolio committee.

 

However, hon Chairperson, spending all this money on boosting the worlds’ economy in the name of creating a minimum wage in South Africa, where there is no white paper, green paper or Nedlac position for this, I ask, what is this exercise really about? Is it about the heavy talk or the heavy task that hon Dikgale spoke about? You have just acknowledged that you are set for failure, and I thank you for acknowledging that.

 

Considering that this senseless initiative will be completed just before the 2019 elections, I am inclined to think that this will be high on the ANC’s election campaign. Again, promising the most vulnerable South Africans a way out of poverty through the payment of a minimum wage.

 

Yet there are no new jobs being created and no legislative process that has begun to implement it. What a contradiction! To help the most vulnerable within our society who are currently seeking minimum wage but also the DA’s proposal of sectoral labour law protection, we take ourselves for cake and champagne in other countries.

 

Hon Chairperson, I suggest the Minister gets her priorities in order and start by focusing on our domestic issues. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr B G NTHEBE: Hon Chair, hon Deputy Chair, hon Chief Whip, hon Minister, distinguished guests and hon members, the economy of this beautiful country was built on the back of the hard working workers of this country and indeed we remain true to our recommitment in the Freedom Charter that there shall be working security.

 

South Africa stands out as a country with progressive labour laws, protecting the workers and creating conducive environment for industrial peace. An ANC policy on descent work is a classical example of the commitment to restore the dignity of the workers. We want to agree, which is something very uncommon with hon Vawda, that there is dignity in labour and we reaffirm in that by making sure that we create descent work for our labour.

 

What type of skills’ programme assists the companies in distress and workers alike to mitigate the effect of the distress and we want to thank you for that Minister. Thus, you are rendering such workers to be employable somewhere else or to start their own businesses. More often than not, people think that people who are retrenched or are laid off from their respective work places cannot equip themselves with the necessary skills to begin their own businesses and you are doing that through this programme.

 

Our social security net in a form of Unemployed Insurance Fund, UIF, seeks to leverage those who are falling within the cracks and as a caring party we ensure that all are salvaged from the merciless jaws of poverty. This UIF facility is meeting the international best practise and we want to thank you for that, hon Minister.

 

To us, job creation is a paramount objective which we will strive to achieve at all material times. We want to welcome a process led by the Deputy President of defining the modality of implementing minimum wage. This will help us not to just shout from the vacuum what constitutes minimum wage. We are directed by engagements and by people who are on the ground affected by this minimum wage on how do we determine the minimum wage.

 

We also want to welcome what you are doing that there is now a sectoral determination in abattoir sector. We want to thank you hon Minister that this is one of the vulnerable sectors that has often been neglected. We welcome the domestic workers izimbizo that you ran throughout the country. These were well attended by people who were there to raise their own frustrations; empower us on how do we then develop in terms of lawmaking and how do we improve their conditions of working. We want to thank you for that.

 

National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, like Parliament, is a theatre where we assemble our ideas. We want to say let us continue to create that appetite for economic growth and job security. Nedlac, is a necessary platform for our own people and it includes civil society, by the way. It has people who are representing their own constituencies so that we can be able tap out responsibilities from different sectors as we continue moving forward.

 

We continue to focus on the vulnerable sector by ensuring that such an interpretation of the vulnerable sectors in terms of the sectoral determination finds space and we move them forward in terms of the implementation that we do. Our Constitution is explicit that every worker has a right to form and join a trade union; to participate in the activities and the programme of a trade union; to strike ...

 

I suggest that what members are talking about negating what the Constitution affords workers of this country, must go back and read again what the Constitution affords workers of this country. They must begin to say how do we then enforce and ensure that everybody appreciates the rights that are given to the workers of this country through various constitutional measures that are put in place?

 

We want to say to hon Julius that yes, some of you came here three weeks ago and told us that Danny Jordan becoming a mayor was a pipedream. Today he is a mayor. You came here and told us that Danny Jordaan will never be a Mayor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. Today, as we are talking to you now, Danny Jordaan is leading the municipality. [Applause.]

We are the ANC that lives through to its dreams and we want to tell you now that come 2016 we will be on the ground. We will make sure that you do not have space to penetrate the spaces that you want to create. In this we want to say that the ANC will not ride on the emotions of the workers of this country. We will tell them at all times what is right for them and allow them space to raise their views. We will tell them what is correct for the economic growth of this country and continue to create space for them to participate in shaping the economic space of this country. But we will not come here and become the rhetoric about the aspirations of the workers.

 

We also want to say that the creation of industrial peace does not need you to take away the Constitutional right of workers to strike. This country is a model throughout the globe that we are dialogue-driven country, hon Minister; we are able to resolve our issues through dialogue and all the stakeholders that are there in your sector must be able to engage each other so that they find an amicable solution to their problems.

 

It can’t be that everything is being solved through a promulgation of an amendment of law of this country. Things must be done in accordance with the laws of this country but appreciating that workers of this country have a right to raise their views in a manner that is peaceful and observant of the laws. We must also ask the private sector to play its game so that it is able to take this country forward.

 

Hon Minister, we stand here to reaffirm that we support the Budget Vote and we want to say to you, that the greatest resource we need in this country is a well skilled and a well capacitated human capital. Let us use the Skills Development Act, Act 97 of 1998 that brings along an element of training unemployed youth so that we are able to ask the private sector to train the unemployed youth; capacitate them; give them necessary skills so that they are able to go out and create jobs for others.

 

We want to say hon Minister that the skills revolution that is necessary for us to take this country forward, is seen visibly through your plan and therefore we stand here to move for the acceptance and support of your Budget Vote. South Africa is respected around the globe for her exemplary leadership and therefore we want to reaffirm that, to us as the ANC, workers rights are human rights. Let us continue to respect their rights and to create descent work. Let us also continue to say workers must be able to raise their views in a proper platform. We created that platform through your department.

 

Workers are able to do that in a descent manner without becoming rhetoric in our promises but making sure that when we asked people to vote ANC for workers rights we were truthful to them. [Applause.]

 

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Hon Chair, let me firstly thank members who have supported our budget and also to say that I fully agree with the chair of the select committee to invite the chairpersons of the advisory boards but I will also further add that the commissioners as well and the provincial chief directors to be part of that briefing so that they can fully brief the committee on labour activation programme.

 

I think there are people who are always illusion about what we are doing as the ANC without admitting that as well they are also dealing with the issues of cadre deployment. For example, here in the Western Cape, the first thing that Premier Helen Zille did in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality was to fire Dr Mgoqi because he was the member of the ANC.

 

Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: It is a lie.

 

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: It is not a lie hon member. Maybe by then, you were not in the DA unfortunately. That is a problem.

 

Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, on a point of order: It is not to the hon Minister. I just want to check if it is parliamentary to say to a hon member, it is a lie?

 

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Mpambo, it is not parliamentary. Please withdraw. I am waiting for the microphone for hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana.

 

Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: I withdraw Chairperson.

 

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: It is withdrawn, thank you Mam.

 

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Hon Chair, the hon member further said that the ANC has rejected the Labour Relations Bill that was introduced by the shadow minister of the DA. Unfortunately that proposal has been already addressed in the Labour Relations. I think the hon members must learn to read and understand the labour policies that are before Parliament or before the public domain. Unfortunately the very same member did not support then the amended versions of the Labour Relations Act, Act 66 of 1995, including the Employment Equity Act, Act 55 of 1998 of which now they are talking about. But I will not blame the member because she was speaking on behalf of somebody else who probably does not understand well what we are doing exactly.

 

When we deal with the legislation as a Department of Labour, we deal with any legislation through Nedlac where all social partners that include labour, business, government and the community are represented. I wonder on whose behalf they are talking because business is included. Also when you go internationally they say South Africa has the best labour market policies and has flexible labour policies, including the issues that hon members raised when it comes to small businesses.

 

If you read the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Act 77 of 1997 it talks about the exemption of those small companies that will be starting business but within two years they will be exempted and thereafter they will follow the very same process that the big business also follows.

 

Hon Khawula you asked whether we have implemented it. I think you have to go through the annual report of 2014 and that is where you will get all the responses on what we have said we will do and how far we have dealt with those particular issues. There are also issues of the revenue receivable in terms of the records; I have already said that we have Umehluko System. That is recording what we will receive and also the claims that we will be processing.

 

I will advise hon Vawda to read all the Labour Laws of the country before he talks about what he has said. It is clear that probably at the present moment you do not even have a clue in particular on the amended versions of the Labour Relations. Mr Vawda is not an ancestor he is still alive. I think the best thing he can do is to just listen. [Laughter.]

 

I do not have a problem Chair because there are people who always have dreams but unfortunately their dreams do not come through. So, you must allow them to continue dreaming until the end of their lives. Hon Julius, chief, I think really you must also understand what you talking about.

 

There was a strike of the farm workers here in the Western Cape and the Premier of the Western Cape asked the hon Minister of Labour to come and assist them because they do not have the capacity to deal with those issues. That is why that strike ended. That is the problem. One of the people who is a farmer even here in the Western Cape was one the MECs in the legislature who was not even paying or complying with the laws of the country.

 

Chairperson, I really just want to thank you very much and I believe that the chairperson of the select committee will allow us to come and explain to some of the members and take them through. You know even at school the children are different; there are those who are slow learners and the fast ones. So, you must take time to assist all of them to be on board. Thank you very much Chairperson. [Applause.]

 

Debate concluded.

The Council adjourned at 17:29.

__________

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

TABLINGS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson

 

  1. Consolidated General Report of the Auditor-General on the Audit Outcomes of Local Government for 2013-14 [RP 172-2015]. 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

National Council of Provinces

 

Please see pages 2120-2123 of the ATCs.

 


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