Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 03 Nov 2015
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2015
PROCEEDINGS AOF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
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.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, I herby give notice that on the next sitting day of t he House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the Council -
- as a matter of urgency, calls for a snap debate on the Integrated Energy Plan, prior to any further energy deals to be concluded;
- acknowledges that the Minister of Energy must table the Integrated Energy Plan in the NCOP;
- notes that just last week in the economic cluster’s oral question session, the Minister clearly stated that she has published it, while it was still before Cabinet;
- further notes that it is clear that she is not sharing it with Parliament;
- also notes that the Department of Energy plans to enter into large-scale nuclear deals over the next 20 years against concerns of affordability by National Treasury, the public and members of even the ANC; and
- further acknowledges that this roadmap blocks the electricity generation by gas and renewable resources, all at the cost of future economic growth and job creation.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon Chairperson, I herby give notice that on the next sitting day of t he House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the Council debates the importance and relevance of reconciliation as envisaged by our Constitution and Nelson Mandela for a prosperous South Africa in the Fifth Parliament and beyond.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Hon Chairperson, I herby give notice that on the next sitting day of t he House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the Council -
- debates the socioeconomic burden on single-headed families and children who do not receive regular papgeld [child maintenance];
- notes that in South Africa, 48% of children grow up either without a mother or a father and in tens of thousands of these cases, child maintenance is not paid by the absent parent;
- further notes that the Department of Trade and Industry, Justice and Constitutional Development together with Social Development should co-ordinate a plan to work together to crack down on child maintenance defaulters; and
- acknowledges that any parent who dodges their responsibility will deprive their children of successfully accessing opportunities for education, jobs and a chance of a normal adult life.
UNBECOMING AND UNSPEAKABLE BEHAVIOUR BY THE RUSTENBURG LOCAL MUNICIPALITY TOWARDS STREET VENDORS
Mr L G MOKOENA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes the unbecoming and unspeakable behaviour by the Rustenburg Local Municipality towards street vendors;
- further notes that in a today South Africa that is faced with the scourge of unemployment and crime, it is concerning that Rustenburg Local Municipality continues to harass street vendors, seize their goods illegally under the pretence of enforcing municipality by-laws;
- also notes that municipal by-laws enforcement officers do not follow proper procedure when they enforce laws, break their own laws, and often seize goods to their houses instead of municipal offices;
- acknowledges the march by the EFF in the North West to the Rustenburg Local Municipality in solidarity with the marginalised, oppressed and destitute street vendors, not only in North West but throughout the country, who continue to be subject of harassment by the same municipalities that are supposed to serve and protect them;
- calls on the Rustenburg Local Municipality to return as soon as possible all illegally confiscated goods from street vendors, as outlined on the memorandum of demand handed to the municipality on Monday;
- calls on local government to build decent and suitable infrastructure to provide a place where they will conduct their trade with dignity; and
- calls on all municipal officials to treat other fellow members of society in particular street vendors with dignity, respect and humility as they strive to make livelihood under difficult circumstances.
In the light of an objection, the motion shall read as a notice.
NEW REQUIREMENTS OF THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Mr W F FABER: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that as from Monday, South African drivers are now required to provide a proof of residence when applying to renew their vehicle licences;
- further notes that the new rule came into effect on 2 November by the national Department of Transport as part of regulation 32(a) of the National Road Traffic Regulations;
- also notes that drivers whose vehicles licences are up for renewal in November should take note that the issuing of a vehicle licence disk could be denied if these new requirements are not met;
- urges the department to advertise this 32(a) regulation under the public as it can cause huge frustration when drivers get sent back to obtain the relevant proof address after standing in queues for a long period of time.
In the light of an objection, the motion shall read as a notice.
THE SUDDEN DEATH OF THE 23 YEARS OLD, CHUMANI NQAKULA
Ms T WANA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes with concern and sadness the sudden death of the 23 years old, Chumani Nqakula;
- further notes that Chumani is the second of four children of the former Minister of Defence and later the Minister of Safety and Security, Mr Charles and the current Defence Minister, Ms N Nqakula;
- also notes that he died after he was stabbed on Saturday in Bezuidenhout Valley while his mother was overseas for work;
- further notes that the perpetrator is under the police custody; and
- sends its deepest sympathy to the family and hopes and believes that fond memories of their son will bring comfort during this difficult time of loss.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
THE REGRESSION OF THE MPUMALANGA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Mr F ESSACK: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council:
- notes that the Mpumalanga Department of Health has been diagnosed as “terminal” by the Auditor–General, AG;
- further notes that in the Annual Report for the 2014-15 financial year, the AG indicated that the Health MEC, Gillion Mashego’s department has regressed even further and obtained yet another qualified opinion;
- also notes that the report shows clearly the serious challenges which include the following:
irregular expenditure which has skyrocketed to R1,9 billion;
claims against this department that have increased to R1,4 billion;
unauthorised expenditure that stands at R10 million;
accruals carry a bill of R357 million; and
fruitless and wasteful expenditure which amounts to R3,6 million; and
- finally notes this department’s inability to manage its finances, negatively affects the 88% of Mpumalanga citizens, who use the public health facilities on a daily basis and should be placed under curatorship.
In the light of the objection the motion will read as a notice.
THE FAILED AND TROUBLED SMART ELECTRICITY METERING CONTRACT OF THE TSHWANE METRO MUNICIPALITY
Mr K RAMULITHO: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that the Mayor of the Tshwane Metro Municipality, his city manager and other officials involved must be held accountable for the failed and troubled smart electricity metering contract that already wasted a whooping R1,8 billion since 2013, despite a warning from the Finance Minister to the Tshwane Metro Municipality not to go ahead with the deal; and
- calls on the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to urgently intervene to avoid further losses to the people of Tshwane.
In the light of the objection the motion will read as a notice.
THE IMPACT OF THE SEVERE DROUGHT ON OUR COUNTRY
Mr R JANKIELSOHN: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that the severe drought facing our country has the potential to impact negatively on food security and political stability;
- further notes that food security was one of the major reasons for the so-called Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, which emphasises the role of food security in securing political stability;
- also notes that, besides ensuring food security, the agricultural sector in the country plays an important role in ensuring social and economic stability through their income generation and job creation in rural communities;
- calls on government to support the agricultural community through drought relief by ensuring that, policy and legislative proposals do not cause additional stress on the sector that is already vulnerable and facing an exodus of skills and expertise that have taken many generations to create; and
- recognises contributions of subsistence, emerging and commercial farmers who continue to produce food for our nation.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
MUNICIPALITY TOWARDS STREET VENDORS
Mr D L XIMBI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes the decision of the Democratic Alliance to expel its racist MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard from Parliament and the party;
- also notes that the ANC in Parliament had called for her expulsion from the national legislature as this institution founded on the values of nonracialism, equality and democracy, cannot afford to harbour racists and white supremacists of Kohler-Barnard’s ilk;
- further notes that this might not be the end, as the party’s policy allows her to appeal the DA’s decision to expel Kohler-Barnard, although on the face of it looks principled, would do little to cleanse itself of its twin demons of racism and apartheid rule;
- also notes the fact that there remain public representative guilty of racism within the DA ranks against whom no action was taken, which makes the party’s decision against Kohler-Barnard appear like a convenient public relations stunt; and
- finally notes that the DA’s decision on Kohler-Bernard, far from being a positive move, is a serious indictment on the DA as a party that is still haunted by demons that characterised the nation’s darkest period prior to the dawn of democracy and nonracialism in 1994.
In the light of the objection the motion will read as a notice.
LIGHT AIRCRAFT DONATED BY PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA TO FIGHT RHINO POACHING IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Mr E M MLAMBO: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- welcomes in appreciation that President Jacob Zuma has donated a light aircraft and other technological equipment to assist in fighting rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park;
- also notes that this demonstrates the commitment in the war against rhino poachers, as it is a big challenge that needs communities to join forces with government;
- further notes that whilst the antirhino poaching awareness campaign has been also key, a joint operations centre has also been officially opened, to see law enforcement agencies working together to fight the scourge;
- also notes that as evidenced by the call on the San Park management to create employment for poor communities living next to the Kruger National Park, the government does not just promote the involvement of the communities but also aims at fighting unemployment; and
- applauds such kinds of government initiatives.
In the light of the objection the motion will read as a notice.
WATER PROBLEM IN THE GOOD HOPE VILLAGE IN MOGALAKWENA, LIMPOPO
Mr C F B SMIT: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that Good Hope Village in Mogalakwena, Limpopo has now been at least ten years without water;
- further notes that the community collects water from an open that is filthy with frogs, mosquito larvae and other insects;
- also notes that the two water projects that were implemented at the village have failed;
- also notes that there are taps standing around as monuments of the once hopeful aspirations of a desperate community;
- further notes that the borehole water is undrinkable as it has a high salt content; and
- directs this urgent matter to the Minister of Water and Sanitation for intervention.
In the light of the objection the motion will read as a notice.
MUNICIPALITY TOWARDS STREET VENDORS
Ms L MATHYS: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes the political analysis of former President Motlanthe that the tripartite alliance between the ANC, Cosatu and the SAPC is dead and whoever believes otherwise is delusional;
- acknowledges that as much as the political analysis by the former President is not new or surprising to many, in particular those in government, it is important for all workers represented by Cosatu-affiliated unions to understand the consequences;
- further notes that the former President acknowledges that the ANC is playing games with our people if they are going to pick and choose when to stick to policies and the Constitution - something that must not be taken lightly;
- further acknowledges that the reason that workers are still subjected to labour brokering and that the fight for labour brokering is left to students is because Cosatu is employing their staff through labour brokers;
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Order, hon members.
- calls on all workers to note that the majority of Cosatu-affiliated unions are essentially employees and their interests as workers will always play second fiddle to the employer’s interest; and
You like heckling. I am not done yet.
- further calls on unions that all who are still in unions must represent workers ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Order, hon members. Let us not drown the speaker. Member, your time has expired, but because of the problem I will allow you a minute.
Ms L MATHYS:
- calls on all workers to note that the majority of Cosatu-affiliated unions are essentially employees and their interests as workers will always play second fiddle to the employer’s interest; and
You like heckling. I am not done yet.
calls on all workers to note that the majority of Cosatu-affiliated unions are essentially employees and their interests as workers will always play second fiddle to the employer’s interest; and
further calls on unions that ...
Mr L G MOKOENA: Deputy Chair, on a point of order: The Rules are very clear that you cannot drown a Member of Parliament to the point where we cannot hear him. [Interjections.] Can the Chair please be ... Can we protect the member, please.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Members, ...
Ms L MATHYS: ANC choir all the time.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon members, that is exactly what I did. I wanted to bring it to the attention of members not to drown the hon member. Hon member, you are left with a few seconds.
Ms L MATHYS:
further calls on unions that are still unions that represent workers, not businesses disguised as labour unions, to recruit robustly and safeguard the interests of workers at bargaining councils. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Your time has expired and as a result of that, your motion will be fully printed in the Order Paper in the next sitting.
Mr L G MOKOENA: Chair, on a point of order: I was taking my time and I am worried that the time that was wasted by these members who was drowning the member counted for ... And I also notices that the member of the ANC at the back there from the Western Cape also overstepped him time, but you did not rule on that. Can we please have fairness in the House.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Member, that is not a point of order.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, I have been accused by some ANC members that I am making a hahaha sound, but I cannot, because that is the sound that hon Mathys ... [Laughter.]
The Chief Whip of the Council, moved: That the Council -
- notes –
- the resolution of 7 May 2015, which established an Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals and the further resolution of 27 August 2015, which required the Committee to report by 30 September 2015; and
- Joint Rule 138 (5)(b), which provides that an ad hoc joint committee ceases to exist when the date for completion of the task has expired;
- resolves, subject to the concurrence of the National Assembly, to re-establish the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals with the same composition, membership, mandate and powers;
- instructs the Committee to incorporate in its work the proceedings and all the work of the previous Committee; and
- directs the Committee to report on or before 20 November 2015.
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
OVERSIGHT VISIT TO MATLOSANA ONE STOP CHILD JUSTICE CENTRE, NORTH WEST PROVINCE
(Consideration of Report of Select Committee on Security and Justice)
Mr D L XIMBI: Deputy Chairperson, the committee undertook an oversight visit to the town of Klerksdorp, to the Matlosana One Stop Child Justice Centre in the North West Province on 20 August 2015. The Matlosana Centre was designated as a one stop child justice centre in February 2013 and subsequently launched in August 2013. The Matlosana Centre consists of a secure care facility operated by the Department of Social Development but managed by a private entity called Bosasa, and a children‘s court comprising holding cells, victim friendly facilities, private interview rooms, offices and the magistrate’s court. The following are some of the achievements in the province in the implementation of the Child Justice Act:
Firstly, stakeholders have been working together in an integrated manner;
Secondly, many cases are disposed of at preliminary inquiry level;
Thirdly, most of the cases are diverted with few sent for trial;
Fourthly, probation officers are available to conduct assessments of children;
Fifthly, nongovernmental organisations such as Kgorogo and Khulisa are active in the province; and
Finally, an antigangsterism organisation was established by an ex-offender who has been rehabilitated, in order to help children who are involved in gangsterism withdraw from gangs.
The Committee made the following recommendations:
Firstly, members advised that in the interest of the child, departments must meet regularly and render assistance immediately where shortcomings are identified;
Secondly, the Department of Basic Education must conduct oversight on the centre to determine if educators are qualified and implementing the relevant curriculum;
Thirdly, the outsourcing of the Matlosana Secure Care Facility to private companies must have a stipulated end date for handover to the Department of Social Development. Members noted that the centre must be properly managed by the state itself and that outsourcing of services should not be a permanent situation; and
Finally, the Matlosana Centre’s court did not have the most practical infrastructure. The offices were too small and the children were often not held in comfortable surroundings. The committee recommended that the provincial intersectoral committee review the space requirements of the court and plan for structural improvements to improve the space limitations. Thank you.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND JUSTICE - REVISED DRAFT RULES, 2015
Mr D L XIMBI: Hon Deputy Chairperson, this is the Revised Draft Rules 2015 made in terms of section 73 of the Promotion of Administration Justice Act of 2000. The draft rules give effect to a court judgement in 2012, which declared the previous Promotion of Administrative Justice Act Rules unconstitutional. Subsequent to the judgement, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act Rules Committee of the Rules Board redrafted rules. These new rules were presented before the committee for approval.
The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act of 2000 gives effect to section 33 of the Constitution. In Lawyers for Human Rights versus Rules Board for courts of law and others in 2012, the North Gauteng High Court found parts of the new rules of the Procedure for Justice Review of Administrative Action made under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 unconstitutional. The new rules were adopted by Parliament in 2009 but are not yet brought into operation by the Minister of Justice pending the review applications.
These rules are meant to replace the current Rule 53 of the High Court Rules as the primary procedure for challenging administrative action in court. The new rules provided for would-be applicants to request access to all “relevant documents” from the administrator prior to bringing an application for review.
The rules were revised in respect of the following: Retention of the existing review procedure embodied in High Court Rule 53; nonadoption of a special procedure for the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act reviews; alignment with existing procedural rules in both the High Court and lower courts and addressing shortcomings identified in the stated Pretoria High Court judgement.
Therefore, the Select Committee on Security and Justice concluded its deliberations on the draft rules on 23 September 2015 and recommends that the National Council of Provinces approve the said draft rules. I thank you.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND JUSTICE - PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE L ZANTSI
Mr D L XIMBI: The Select Committee on Security and Justice, having considered evidence relating to the report on the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate Mr L Zantsi, an aspirant magistrate at Laingsburg, Western Cape, tabled by the Minister for Justice and Correctional Services in terms of section 13(3)(b) of the Magistrates Act, Act 90 of 1993, reports as follows.
Mr Zantsi was appointed with effect from 4 November 2013 as an aspirant magistrate in the vacant post of Magistrate at Laingsburg. He is 49 years of age, and served the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as an interpreter, prosecutor and senior prosecutor prior to his appointment to the lower court bench. He was an acting magistrate from 3 May 2010, prior to his appointment at Laingsburg. The commission, as a result of the complaints against him, resolved to extend Mr Zantsi’s probation period for a period of six months, from 1 December 2014 to 31 May 2015, or until such time that the investigation into the complaints had been concluded.
Having received numerous complaints and allegations of misconduct against Mr Zantsi, the commission conducted a preliminary investigation into the allegations. The commission considered the content of the preliminary investigation report and resolved to charge Mr Zantsi with 14 counts of misconduct. The allegations against him include the following. He reported for duty while he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor. He, on a number of occasions, absented himself from office or duty without valid cause and without notifying the subcluster and/or cluster head of his intended absence. He uttered vulgar and abusive words towards a female member of the SA Police Service. He has a criminal case pending against him for driving under the influence of alcohol.
After considering Mr Zantsi’s response as to why he should not be suspended, on 24 June 2015, the commission resolved to recommend that Mr Zantsi be provisionally suspended from office in terms of section 13(3)(a) of the Magistrates Act, Act 90 of 1993, pending the investigation into his fitness to hold office. The commission is of the view that the existing evidence against Mr Zantsi is of such a serious nature as to make it inappropriate for him to perform the functions of a magistrate while the allegations are being investigated. It would be inappropriate for a judicial officer appearing as an accused before a court of law to still sit on the bench. The commission holds the view that, without anticipating the outcome of the investigation into his fitness to hold the office of magistrate, the existing evidence against Mr Zantsi is of such a serious nature that it would justify his removal from office should he be found guilty of the misconduct charges which are preferred against him.
In light of the above, the Minister for Justice and Correctional Services decided to provisionally suspend Mr Zantsi from the office of magistrate with immediate effect, with retention of remuneration, pending the outcome of an investigation into his fitness to hold such office. Therefore, the Select Committee on Security and Justice, having considered the commission’s report on the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate Mr L Zantsi and the Minister’s request, recommends that the NCOP approve the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate Mr Zantsi. I thank you, Chair.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND JUSTICE – CHILD JUSTICE WORKSHOP REPORT
Mr D L XIMBI: Chairperson, on 27 May 2015, the Select Committee on Security and Justice hosted a workshop on child justice. The purpose of the workshop was to ensure that MPs understand the Child Justice Act of 2008 and all implementation challenges related thereto, prior to conducting the oversight visit to the child justice centre in North West.
The Child Justice Act provides for specialised child justice courts and one-stop child justice centre for all cases involving children. To date, there are three fully operational one-stop justice centres in the country situated in Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Klerksdorp. All the major services are in one building, holding cells, assessment rooms, police service, probation service, a court room and rooms for presenting diversion programmes so that parents and children need not travel. The workshop specifically sought to provide platforms for discussions and engagements amongst both civil society organisations and government role-players with regard to challenges in implementation of the Child Justice Act.
The following was agreed to at the workshop: The Department of Justice and Correctional Services took a conscious decision to help the establishment of the child justice centre because they are trying to access the infrastructure and the actual resources that must exist in the child justice centre countrywide.
The department will review the sector and ensure that current priorities are on capacity. Further, the department resolve to improve levels of assessment of children and the gathering of statistics.
The Select Committee on Security and Justice, having considered this report, recommends that National Council of Provinces approve the said report. I thank you, Chair.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
In Favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT – CAPE TOWN AGREEMENT OF 2012 ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE TORREMOLINOS PROTOCOL OF 1993 RELATING TO THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SAFETY OF FISHING VESSELS 1977 WITH EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT - AFRICAN MARITIME TRANSPORT CHARTER WITH EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM
Mr E MAKUE: Hon Chairperson, and hon members, the Cape Town Agreement was presented to the Select Committee on Economic and Business Development on 13 October 2015 by the Department of Transport and there was a unanimity on the proposal to present it for the ascension of this House.
There were significant amendments made to the 1993 protocol in the 2012 agreement, an example, is in article 9 on signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and ascension of the protocol that has been amended and replaced with article 3 into Cape Town Agreement.
Also article 10 of entry into fourth of the protocol was redrafted as article 4 in the agreement. The motivations for the agreement is amongst others in terms of the Constitution of South Africa into national regulations can’t be enforced locally, unless they are translated into national laws.
Secondly, the Cape Town Agreement aims into bringing in force a binding international safety regime to play a part in the helping to improve safety standards and reduce the loss of life at sea. This will be checked by port surveyors.
Thirdly, even if South Africa is not a state party to the protocol, its vessels will be subjected to the provisions of the protocol when in the waters of a state party to the protocol. Strategies of the cabinet memo that was shared with us by the Department of Transport, summarises the chapter 6 of the National Development Plan acknowledges that maritime fisheries are an important sector for subsistence and employment.
The plan further recommends the promotion of safety and health in the fishing industry. The agreement is in line with Operation Phakhisa’s objectives. Therefore cabinet also recommends that South Africa ratifies the agreement.
South Africa’s looking at our obligation and how we will implement the plan and the following is important, South African fishing vessels over (14:57) about 24m and longer will be subjected to the provisions of the protocol and therefore needs to comply.
Laws and regulations are only of value if they are implemented. The South African Maritime and Safety Authority, SAMSA, has developed policies and procedures for the survey of fishing vessels in line with the draft regulations.
It is a pleasure to note that we already have qualified surveyors to do this one. The fishing industries have been widely consulted and were involved in development of the IOM regulations that forms an integral part of this protocols and agreements.
Therefore what is important for us is for a select committee to report to you that consultations were held with the state law advisors, the Department of Justice and Constitutional development and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. Both the letters support the agreement, but consultation were also held with industry stake holders with the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, the South African Maritime Safety Agency ,Samsa, Transnet National Port Authority, the Department of Defence and in particular the Navy, the Department of Environmental affairs and also with the Department of Trade and Industry.
The other implication is that the agreement brings additional financial implication to the state as Samsa will need to develop procedures and survey the fishing vessels. There is obviously going to be expenditure on communication.
And then, thirdly, it is important to note that DERCOR shall facilitate the process of depositing the instruments of ratification security implications are minimal, if any. The recommendation therefore is that we request this House to support ratification of the Cape Town agreement of 2012 in the implementation of the provisions of the Torremolinos Protocol of 1993 related to the International Convention for the safety of fishing vessel 1977.
The department also presented the African Maritime transport charter to the select committee on economic and business development. The select committee received the charter with appreciation and favour. The charter has 15 chapters and 54 articles that were adopted by the 15th ordinary sessions of the African Union assembly held in Kampala Uganda on 26 July 2010.
Chapter 1 deals with definitions, Chapter 2 clarifies the objective s and principles of cooperation, Chapter 3 provides institutional framework, Chapter 5 spells cooperation in maritime and inland water waste transport, Chapter 6 indicates cooperation between land lock states and parties and transit state parties, Chapter 8 provides for multi-model transport and port management, Chapter 9 supports protection of the maritime environment, Chapter 10 gives attention to the information and communication technologies and facilitation of maritime traffic, Chapter 11 gives attention to the development of a maritime and inland water waste, Chapter 12 provides for the financing of maritime , chapter 13 looks at human resources development , chapter 14 declares the commitment of states and parties on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, chapter 15 indicates the final provisions.
In the opinion of the select committee all these are making it possible for to with confidence come and present it to you today. As we shared during the presentation of the select committee “Africa would have been a different continent”. If such a declaration existed before many of our country’s people we sold into slavery. It is appropriate that we remember and boldly proclaim never again.
With the same courage and commitment of Madiba, Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela our former President and devoted member of the ANC. As November is the month we recall the painful memories of the slave trade, we today strongly edge this House to show our solidarity by approving South Africa’s ascension to this important African maritime transport charter. I thank you all.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
In favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
MEDICINES AND RELATED SUBSTANCES AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
Ms L C DLAMINI: Chairperson, my greetings go to you, the House Chair, special delegates and hon members. Special greetings go to the hon Mokoena, who has been away for a long time. You are welcome, sir. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! Hon Mokoena? Order, members!
Mr L G MOKOENA: Chair, I just need clarity as to why I get this special treatment. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi):
Thank you. Thank you.
Mr L G MOKOENA: If she is saying I am special, I agree.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Mokoena. You have made your point. Hon Dlamini, you can continue, and respond to the hon Mokoena.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, the section 76 Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill of 2014 seeks to amend the Medicines and Related Substances Act, Act 101 of 1965, and the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act, Act 72 of 2008. This is in order to strengthen the current medicines regulatory authority, the Medicines Control Council, MCC, as it is known, through the establishment of a new authority, the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, Sahpra; to define certain expressions; to delete or amend certain definitions; and to effect certain technical corrections to put the Act in line with current trends.
It is worth mentioning that it is the second time that this Bill is being tabled in Parliament. It was introduced at the end of the Fourth Parliament. It lapsed at the end of the Fourth Parliament and was reintroduced in the Fifth Parliament.
I want to thank all members of the committee, chairpersons of portfolio committees in all nine provinces and their committee members, our legal advisers, the department and provincial liaison officers of all nine provinces for their participation, which made sure that we could present this Bill today. Thank you very much.
It is also worth noting that the proposed amendments in this Bill are in line with the ANC’s 53rd national conference resolution on improving the quality of public health services to achieve long and healthy lives for all South Africans.
The critical issues on the Bill are as follows. It seeks to modify the principal Act – the Medicines and Related Substances Act of 1965, as amended by the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act of 2008 – by providing for a new regulatory authority for all medicines, medical devices and foodstuffs. Hon members will remember that in the past, not all devices went through the current structure we have. However, with this Bill, all devices will go through for approval.
It provides for the establishment of the objectives and functions of the new regulatory authority for medicines and medical devices and guidelines for the transition period between the existing Medicines Control Council and the new Sahpra. It seeks to improve access to medical treatment, the fast-tracking of new treatment and the harmonisation of information amongst regulatory authorities.
Hon members will know that currently, the experts we are using are working mostly in universities. We only access them when they have time. With this one, we will have, in a way, permanent people who will be appointed to support the authority. It also seeks to address ambiguities in legislation, particularly those to do with regulation that has led to excessively high medical demands.
In addition to the above, the following are some of the key aspects of the Bill. The new Sahpra will be permitted to issue registration certificates, reject applications for the registration of medicines, and cancel the registration of any medicine, medical device or in vitro diagnostics if it is not in the best interests of the public. The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority will be empowered to publish registers for medicines, scheduled substances and medical devices on their website.
The Bill is focused on the supply of medicines in South Africa. It stipulates where medicines registered in South Africa can be imported and supplied in the event of generically equivalent medicines not being available. In addition, this amending Bill’s intentions include banning the bonusing and sampling systems used by pharmaceutical companies.
Public hearings were hosted in all nine provinces with the support of the department. Of course, during the briefings and public hearings, the department was always ... [Inaudible.] ... the amending Bill, eight of whom contributed to the amendments via their voting mandates.
The provinces carefully and comprehensively applied themselves to this process and raised certain concerns during their negotiating mandates, including how traditional medicines would be integrated into the amending Bill. The response was that there is another Bill coming, which will deal with traditional medicines. Another concern was the amending Bill not having uniform regulatory criteria, which would lead to unintended consequences.
In addition, Sahpra should have branches in provinces. This matter was resolved by Sahpra having key linkages with stakeholders across provinces. The Board of Sahpra should have representatives from all provinces.
Further, on the question of turnaround times for applications to register medicines, the finer details will be covered in the regulations and guidelines. With regard to budgeting and staffing of Sahpra and the potential financial impact of the budget allocations, it was agreed that registration fees collected by Sahpra would be retained as per its proposed business model. Additional funding from the National Treasury would be used to cover the deficit to run the regulatory authority.
The Select Committee on Social Services had a number of meetings with the Department of Health to deliberate on this Bill. Members of the committee carefully and comprehensively applied themselves to the process. Evidence of this is that this amending Bill is supported by all nine provinces.
The Select Committee on Social Services agreed to the amended Medicines and Related Substances Bill after deliberations and consideration. We therefore present the Bill to the House for consideration. I thank you.
Declaration of vote:
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Hon Chair, on behalf of the Western Cape, I would like to make a declaration of vote. We do support the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill of 2014, with amendments.
The main aim of the Bill is to regulate the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines. This means that Sahpra will ensure that products that meet these criteria will be sold in South Africa. Currently, the medicines are regulated by the Medicines Control Council, as mandated by the Act of 1965. The 2008 Act provided for the establishment of the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, which certifies and registers medicine, medical devices and in vitro devices, IVDs, and provides for the control of scheduled substances. The Bill also governs how the Sahpra Board will be composed, and matters connected thereto.
We wish to state categorically that government has a duty to protect South African citizens from unsafe medicines and ineffective products. The use of ineffective products can be detrimental to proper health care and could result in death. Without a proper regime to monitor medicine, one’s life could be put in jeopardy.
In conclusion, we, as the Western Cape, wish to state that in the judgment handed down in 1988, in the so-called Ripsa Pharmaceutical case, the court stated clearly that right to freely engage in economic activities was clearly an important right in an open and democratic society based on freedom and equality. However, the purpose that the right had been limited by the legislation in question was a cause for concern.
Without proper regulation and control, the health of the public could be in jeopardy. The SA Health Product Regulatory Authority will professionalise and speed up the registration of medicine, medical devices and IVDs, which the MCC, in its current form, is not able to address.
The Western Cape does support this Bill, with amendments. I thank you.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
Mr M J MOHAPI: House Chair, greetings to everyone. Chair, in the past weeks, we have witnessed a heat wave that reached 35°C in Johannesburg, which was unusual. Considering the socioeconomic context, a large proportion of our people lives in poverty, where informal settlements are setup in locations that are vulnerable to extreme weather patterns. All these, illustrates that climate change is not a myth and we have to prepare ourselves for the associated disasters that come as a result.
Lately, during the oversight visit of the select committee in Indaka and Imbabazane Local Municipalities – we observed water crisis as a result of drought in the areas of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Premier of the Free State, his Excellency, Elias Segobelo Magashule was on the media cautioning the Free State community about these challenges confronting the province. All these point to the need to have proactive measures to manage natural disasters
History has shown that societies sustain annual losses due to the impact of natural hazards. The notion of disaster has undergone a dramatic transformation of meaning overtime. In the early development of humankind and civilisation, many, if not most of the cultures around the world viewed disasters as an act of God. Development in science gradually started to question these perceptions and truth about disaster. The investigation into the intrinsic nature of disaster as well as human reaction to and underlying casual factors creating disasters progressively came under the spotlight.
The focus of on disaster and risk came about through various initiatives and events since the Second World War. South Africa faces increasing levels of disaster risk. It is exposed to a wide range of weather hazards; including drought, cyclones and severe storms that can trigger widespread hardship and devastation.
In addition, South Africa extensive coastline and proximity to shipping routes, present numerous marine and coastal threats. Similarly, our shared borders with six southern african neighbours present both natural and human induced cross border risk as well as humanitarian assistance obligation in times of emergency.
Severe floods in Cape Town’s historical disadvantaged Cape flats in June 1994, profile the urgency for legislative reforms in the field of disaster risk management stimulating a consultative processes which resulted in Green and White Papers on disaster management.
This important discussions and policy documents are afforded opportunity for consultation with multiple stakeholder groups and provided the platform for development of draft legislation in 2000. That was consistent with the emerging international trends in disaster risk reduction.
The Act provides an integrated and co-ordinated disaster risk management policy that focuses on preventing or reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters, preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters and post-disaster recovery.
The establishment of National, Provincial and Municipal Disaster Management Centres, disaster risk management volunteers matters relating to these issues. The Act further recognises the wide ranging opportunities in South Africa to avoid and reduce disaster losses through the concerted energies and efforts of all spheres of government, civil society and the private sector. However, it also acknowledges the crucial need for uniformity in the approach taken by such a diversity of roleplayers.
Some challenges were experienced in implementing all aspect of the legislation effectively, which necessitated the Act to be amended to make it simpler to implement, strengthen certain regulatory provisions, avoid ambiguity and provide greater legal certainty.
The select committee was briefed on two occasions on the Amendment Bill, following briefing to the respective provincial legislatures. A series of public hearings were held across provinces. The provincial legislatures subsequently formulated the their respective negotiating mandates, which was tabled for consideration by select committee on 1 September 2015, with the final mandate been tabled on 27 October 2015. A number of negotiating mandates articulated views around funding, the funding model and the funding sources to realise the objective of the Amendment Bill.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, highlighted and maintain that various funding sources exist for the different components of the disaster management. In an effort to address the funding challenges, it was agreed that a task team comprising of the National Disaster Management Centre,NDMC, National Treasury, the Financial and Fiscal Commission,FFC, and SA Local Government Association, Salga, be established to review the chapter on funding of the National Disaster Management Framework, 2005 to optimise existing funding mechanism for disaster management and bring it in line with the contemporary physical arrangement within government.
This process has already commenced with the task team considering all the complexities of the funding of disaster management. Action research will be conducted to inform a more effective fiscal framework.
With regard to consultation on the Amendment Bill, the key issues that were raised during the consultation process and in the comments subsequent to the publication of the Disaster Management Amendment Bill were incorporated in the current Bill and include the following: The use of terminology, strengthen of the representatives of traditional leaders in disaster management structures.
The Bill subsequently provide for traditional leaders to serve in disaster management advisory forums across all spheres of government. They need to incorporate the obligation set out in the Hyogo Framework for Action as adopted by the United Nations in 2005, requires the national platform for disaster risk reduction to be established.
Clarity on the roles and responsibility of organs of state regarding disaster management and emphasising the need for organs of state to assist the disaster management structures in the event of disaster or potential disaster. Clarity on specific information and reporting requirements to municipal and provincial intergovernmental forums, the national disaster management centre and the National Treasury. The contents of disaster management plans by organs of state and making applicable information are available to relevant disaster management centres.
The Bill was subsequently enhanced to provide for the logical sequence of events, that is conducting a risk assessment prior to planning and to ensure that disaster management plans of organs of state indicate the way in which the concept and principles of disaster management are to be applied in its functional area, including expected climate change impacts and risk of organs of state.
In conclusion, the community is at the coalface of disaster risk management. It is from the conditions of risk that exists in our communities that all other disaster risk management activities evolve. It is in the community where all the operational activities related to disaster risk management take place. All disaster risk reduction planning, the development of project and programmes and the allocation of responsibilities must be founded on the needs and priorities of communities. Disaster risk reduction is a community driven process. Municipalities must evolve local communities in the development of the disaster risk profile, facilitate understanding of concepts and values of disaster risk reduction in communities; prioritise project aid aimed at risk reduction in their International Development Programmes, IDPs, and facilitate community participation in training, preparedness planning and awareness programme. Equally the disaster risk management an intergovernmental process with each sphere of government playing a unique role and performing a specific set of responsibilities in the process. However, the process requires collateral support to enable the sharing of resources fundamental to disastrous risk reduction and all facets of response and recovery. In turn, this interdependence also implies that weakness or ineffectiveness in one sphere will result in the failure of the entire system.
The Select Committee of Cogta, having deliberated on and considered all comments, inputs and the subject of the Disaster Management Amendment Bill, recommends for approval to the House that the Bill be amended as proposed. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Declaration(s) of vote:
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, we as the Western Cape hereby object to the Disaster Management Amendment Bill and want to record the following declaration:
Initially all nine provinces in their negotiating mandates and Salga, had raised serious concerns regarding the unfunded mandate component of the Disaster Management Amendment Bill. The creation of unfunded mandates by introducing a new municipal function in terms of proposed section 43(3) without any additional funding from either national or provincial authorities.
We believe that the current funding from conditional grants, equitable share and own revenue of municipalities will in some instances be insufficient to deliver the function referred to in section 43(3) of the Bill.
We are seriously concerned about those financially dysfunctional and struggling municipalities which do not have the necessary funds to deliver the function in section 43(3). Initially all nine provinces in their negotiating mandates had raised serious concerns regarding the unfunded mandate component of the Disaster Management Amendment Bill efficiently.
Also, the request from the Western Cape to the transfer of ring-fenced funding from national government to local government for the purpose of disaster risk reduction and mitigation and disaster management capacitation has not been addressed.
The Western Cape therefore, based on the above declaration, votes against the Disaster Management Amendment Bill. Thank you.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Chairperson, one of the critical issues that has been raised is around the unfunded mandate. However, if you check how the Act or the Bill has been addressing issues of the disaster, it has clearly spelled out one of the responsibility of the municipalities is to ensure that they become more proactive in terms of allocations of funds that are being send to them. I will side an example, for infrastructure in most instances; the storm water can always be a contributory factor towards disaster. If the municipality can plan accordingly, they would be in a position to address that particular matter. Specifically, on the issue of the funding itself, I have indicated in the presentation that the committee has noted and welcomed during its deliberation, the executive undertaking to establish a special task team comprising of representatives of the NDMC, the National Treasury, the FFC and Salga to conduct a feasibility study on appropriate funding model.
It is expected that the actual researches in identified municipalities will be undertaken during the first quarter of 2016, of which the intended outcome of this process is the optimisation of funding mechanism or disaster management within the fiscal framework of government and effectively reducing the risk of disaster affecting our communities.
A disaster is not something that we can plan tomorrow. It needs to be planned as early as yesterday. Thank you very much.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
In favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West.
Against: Western Cape.
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
DEBATE ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES AS PRESCRIBED IN THE CONSTITUTION: TOGETHER MOVING THE NCOP FORWARD AS A VANGUARD OF THE INTERESTS OF PROVINCES
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: House Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to deliberate on this very important institutional debate which offers us an opportunity to reflect on our collective performance as the National Council of Provinces. I hope all of us who will participate in this debate will hide nothing from the masses of our people. We will tell no lies, and we will expose lies whenever they are told. Equally so, we will not mask any difficulties, mistakes or failures, and claim no easy victories.
This debate is well timed because it makes a clarion call to a very important question that then ties back to our commitment and allegiance to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, a Constitution which has made it possible for the NCOP to become fully functional and democratic in terms of its construct, which was to create a platform from which our provinces would be able to profile their interests and present the interests of local government, as a sphere, at a national level and participate in the formulation of policy and legislation.
As conferred by the Constitution, the NCOP represents the interests of provinces so as to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. This is mainly achieved by sanctioning participation in the national legislative process and by providing a forum for public consideration of issues affecting provinces and the local sphere. In addition, this House also provides for the representation of different categories of municipalities. Hence, we have a dedicated number of seats for Salga.
The principal task of the NCOP is to identify key issues and challenges facing communities at local level and to give expression to those issues on a national legislative platform. As we pause and reflect, we would remember that the first five years of the NCOP’s existence were of a developmental nature, particularly due to the fact that the character and nature of this institution was new to many. This was a phase for the deepening and understanding of the constitutional mandate of this House and finding the appropriate mechanisms to give expression to this mandate.
This process of defining the distinct difference of this House was also critical because, at the time, the Senate often was criticised as a duplicate of the National Assembly. Crystallising our understanding was also very important in order to allow for a shift away from party political inclinations and to give expression to provincial interests, as mandated by the Constitution.
We further agree that the first two Parliaments directed its efforts at repealing apartheid legislation and introducing transformational laws to create an environment conducive to the entrenchment of democracy and the continuing realisation of national aspirations. Public participation in the processes of Parliament is a constitutional imperative and therefore has been a strategic priority since 1994.
The First and Second Parliaments introduced an open Parliament with open plenaries and committees, rolling programmes of public education, and numerous initiatives aimed at improving public involvement and participation. This was informed, primarily, by a historic principle – rudimentary organs of people’s power – that has always guided the evolution and the fight against apartheid. These organs were clearly aimed at ensuring that there is greater participation by our people in owning up to the challenges they are faced with and how they then define and place themselves in such organs to drive the revolution to a point where they then claim ownership and take leadership of the outcomes of such processes.
An important feature that we cannot forget is how we stabilise and ensure that expression is given in a democratic society to the historical principles, tools, teachings and learning that we had acquired. Therefore, the existence of the National Council of Provinces becomes quite critical. To ensure that we do not lose track of that experience and the historical teachings that we had gone through, we decided that, as the National Council of Provinces, one of the things we would do is ensure that we have strategic platforms or outreach anchor programmes that would consistently link us with our communities. These include the People’s Assembly, the Taking Parliament to the People programme, the Women’s Parliament, the Youth Parliament, Local Government Week, and now, recently, the Africa Day Roundtable Discussion. This is what would then ensure that we are entrenched at a local level.
Having laid the basis for transforming society, it became apparent that, in order to build on the gains made since 1994, there was a need to ensure sound governance and effective service delivery by the executive. This task was to define the second decade of the democratic Parliament. Practically, this meant that we had to aspire to creating a development Parliament, a Parliament that would intervene and guide national economic development and mobilise all social partners towards sustainable development, a Parliament that would emphasise the plight of the vulnerable groups and mobilise the people as a collective, especially the poor and the working class, to act as their own liberators through participatory and representative democracy.
Hence, strengthening its oversight and accountability role became the leading priority of the Third Parliament in 2004. This prioritisation gave way to the implementation of the oversight and accountability model, which included the review of parliamentary Rules, the adoption of the implementation of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, the establishment of the parliamentary budget office, the establishment of a scrutiny mechanism to deal with the delegated legislation, and a significant increase in research and capacity-related oversight activities.
In this Fifth Parliament, in order to advance what we had already laid as the basis of deepening our understanding and resolve insofar as the transformation of South Africa is concerned, we have adopted key priorities. That is one. Others include strengthening of oversight and accountability, enhancing public involvement and participation, deepening representation and participation in international fora, strengthening co-operative governance, assessing the impact of legislation and strengthening our legislative capacity.
These strategic priorities formulate the basis for the strategic direction the institution is supposed to follow. These priorities are not merely administrative priorities that are devoid of sociopolitical standing and context but are dialectically linked to the acceleration of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework and the call for radical economic transformation. As we move South Africa forward, this is a primary feature of radical transformation. Therefore, strengthening our oversight capacity and accountability model and enhancing public involvement and participation are crucial requisites if we are to be true to the objective of making this decade a decade of radical transformation.
As this leadership collective, we need to master the ability to respectfully deliberate on the merits and strengths of the views that are contrary to our own. Our ability to master that is of critical importance. Our debates should go through the litmus test of robust, persuasive arguments. If we can persuade each other on the strength of our arguments alone, we would have managed to transcend the enigma of this current period of robust freedom of speech.
I also believe that the plight of the most vulnerable will be better served if we can desist from entering a terrain of antagonism that we have no understanding of and which we cannot master. So, by working together as a collective, we will live up to the objective of saying that the NCOP is a vanguard.
Beyond the explicit constitutional mandate of legislation and oversight that is vested in the NCOP, this institution is critically obliged to become an activist Parliament that is responsive to community needs. Taking cognisance of the relevance of the Freedom Charter today, national Parliament, but in particular the NCOP, must continue to play a decisive role through its oversight mechanism in order to implement our developmental agenda. This requires the acute sensitivity of an activist Parliament that is fully conscious of the sociopolitical landscape that we operate in. Such a Parliament must challenge its public representatives to work faster, harder and smarter to meet the demands and expectations of the people it seeks to serve. Effective and constructive oversight is primarily concerned with ensuring that government fulfils its mandate of delivering quality services to the people.
We must therefore strive to improve our intergovernmental relations mechanisms to improve co-operation between the different spheres in order to achieve improved service delivery. To this end, ordinary oversight activities must be turned into tactical outcomes-based activities that hinge on quantifiable and recognisable delivery outcomes. Therefore, oversight activities should not be conducted for the sake of compliance. Instead, our recommendations and interventions must reflect the heart and needs of communities that we seek to serve. We should all rally and support the report back session, which will be embarked upon by the NCOP in the Eden district led by the Chairperson of the NCOP, from 17 to 19 November 2015.
Follow-up and report back visits create crucial points of contact with communities, which can become catalysts of deepening democracy and trust. These visits can also deepen South Africa’s culture of a functional democracy which is proven to value public participation. Such visits are crucial for sustaining dialogue and interaction with our communities beyond the initial visits we would have engaged in. Oversight activities must become a strategic conduit for the key priority areas that are stipulated in the National Development Plan, NDP, the blueprint for our developmental path up to 2030.
The NDP, as the blueprint of our developmental path, must be anchored effectively in the daily running of this institution.
Amper my tong gebyt. [Almost bit my tongue.]
We can only accelerate implementation if we can crystallise our understanding of the NDP and what it stipulates.
To begin with our political machinery, we must be bold enough to lead and provide the necessary political direction that the institution is supposed to follow. The political direction must be unambiguous. It is must be clear. It must be well ordered and centred around the common good of the communities we serve.
Parliamentary activism, at its core, is about maintaining a dialectical link between the administrative processes of the NCOP and the daily challenges faced by ordinary South Africans. Parliamentary activism therefore requires an administration that is in tune with the principles and realities of parliamentary activism. As the implementation agent, the administration must develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the fact that administrative processes are not implemented in a vacuum. These processes must be governed by a deeper understanding of the sociopolitical context that has given rise to the strategic priorities before us.
Hence we will monitor and track progress with regard to a protest by a group of about 150 former employees of the Ciskei Transport Corporation in the Eastern Cape who camped outside Parliament for two days, demanding that Parliament help them with their claim for wages, Unemployment Insurance Fund cards and pensions. A task team that includes Treasury and the Departments of Public Enterprises, Social Development, and Labour has been established to undertake the inquiry. The parties agreed to a date in November as the deadline, most probably 30 November.
As an institution, we will continue to monitor this petition and others, clearly adhering to the principle once uttered by Amilcar Cabral in 1965:
Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.
I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, if the NCOP fails to function properly, then we fail to recognise and legitimise the establishment of provinces and the duty bestowed on us by South Africans and our provincial legislatures to represent them nationally.
By no means is representing provinces in the national Parliament an easy undertaking, but at the helm of the ANC who have chaired this House for 18 years, we are seeing the slow eroding of the NCOP through bad political decision-making linked to factionalism and cadre deployment based on political expedience. [Interjections.]
With fragmented and indecisive leadership that directly impact on our function, the ANC is, yet again, working towards destroying another institution of our democracy. A perfect example thereof was that at a multiparty whips meeting about two hours ago, the ANC without fair consultation and consideration attempted to stream roll a debate into this House to gain free airtime to damage control their legislature bungles. This was a typical attempt to once again undermine the NCOP.
Our Constitution interprets our role as largely legislative by giving a voice to our nine provinces on laws being made, implemented and monitored on the ground. The NCOP currently does not always fulfil the function to monitor the financial and socioeconomic impact of these legislation and how they affect the lives of the people in the provinces.
Often negotiated mandates of provinces are not supported across legislatures but then, come to the final mandate agreements we found without taking into consideration the proposed amendments due to the fact that the provinces need to toe the party line that they all agree. This is obviously the case within the ANC-run provinces.
The NCOP programme today reflects one where the NCOP strives to or should at least try to understand provincial legislative concerns through oversight programmes, co-ordinated by the NCOP in conjunction with the various provincial legislatures.
Oversight is indeed one of the most important mechanisms to hold provincial and local legislatures accountable. The annual NCOP provincial programme by Parliament that is implemented by our provincial governments, based on national taxpayer funding often fails at accessibility transparency and ultimately accountability to our electorate.
The affected programmes include Taking Parliament to the People; Provincial Week, and Committee Oversight. This is latent in the ANC-run provinces where oversight is often synonymous with wasteful programmes, wasteful expenditure and talk shops that seek out to only showcase a few projects that work, or projects that have been deliberately embellished or engineered a few days before the NCOP’s arrival.
In President Zuma’s 2014 debate speech in the NCOP, he did not hesitate to point out how opposition parties do not see positive change. It is unfortunate that we cannot address the President this week considering that the President’s NCOP debate has been postponed yet again. But what does one expect from the ANC because they consistently show how badly they plan and how they lack any form of functionality both as a party and as a government.
This does not even speak into the ANC’s lack of integrity and their lack of commitment to assist failing provincial government, departments and municipalities.
If we recognise that our role is to fix the dysfunctional or the broken, then perhaps we can start to fulfil our function of representing and guiding provinces. Of course, we can then also address the ANC’s institutional incompetency by replacing it wit a DA government that understands freedom, fairness and opportunity. [Applause.]
Hon Chair, if we are succeeding within our functions of oversight and influencing legislation to create a better life for all South Africans as pointed out by my ANC colleagues who, might I add, love to use oversight as an ANC network opportunity, then why are we failing at the most important issue in South Africa, which is around job creation.
According to Statistics SA’s latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the Western Cape’s unemployment rate through the DA’s provincial legislative interventions is dropping, and yet the national unemployment rate is increasing. This is nothing to celebrate.
The key thing is that creating a particular legislative environment facilitated by oversight and monitoring, once can impact on job creation. And this is where the DA government continues to succeed. As our NCOP Chairperson, Thandi Modise rightfully pointed out in her speech during this year’s World Conference for Speakers in New York: “Parliaments need to restructure themselves to better represent the needs of the vulnerable.”
I could not agree with her more, and I thank her in her absence for taking a DA message to the rest of the world. This, considering the DA in government during its first five years put in systems, structures and budgets that have taken us closer to our goal of redressing the past and improving the lives of our citizens.
Hon Chair, it is only a matter of time that the DA will have the opportunity to do this within the NCOP of which the functionality is in a deplorable state.
Programmes like Taking Parliament to the People will have to change its current model with an emphasis on greater facilitation, the inclusion of interests groups and focus on legislation that make an actual change in the livelihood of South Africans. Therefore, we welcome the formal feedback session that Taking Parliament to the People will undertake, for the first time since the inception of this programme in 2002.
Provincial oversight will have to include extended programmes with a more balanced approach to the areas and projects visited. Local oversight should give the NCOP the chance to interact with more people on the ground where discussions around interventions can be frank and robust.
A burden on the NCOP function is cadre deployment on all spheres of government. Typically, on a local level we see this lead to infighting, financial mismanagement and a breakdown of services. This is the hallmark of the ANC’s governance model. What this creates further is a veil of secrecy, delays in intervention or municipal rehabilitation. The ANC deliberately does this to hide their governance failures, to avoid losing at the local government elections.
The ANC is clearly on a mission to close our democratic space by not taking this House seriously and by not realising its potential and how to reach a more efficient and focused state of functionality.
With the support of the hon members who recognise the DA’s ability to do this where we govern, we will continue to uphold the Constitution and push for reforms that will allow this House to fulfil its intended role. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): Hon House Chair, hon Chairperson of the NCOP in absentia, hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Chief Whip, hon Ministers and hon premiers, hon members of the NCOP, the leadership of SA Local Government Association, Salga, ladies and gentlemen, I greet you in the glorious name of the ANC. [Interjections.] Since 1994, in our constitutional democracy the NCOP has registered tremendous achievement to assist the national Parliament to arrive at a deep understanding on economic dynamics impacting on provinces.
One of the achievements of the NCOP is the consistent monitoring oversight to municipalities especially those under section 139 as well as increasing levels and quality of public participation through the Taking Parliament to the People to different provinces and making follow ups on challenges regarding service delivery.
Through these gains the NCOP was able to assist with budgeting processes of different provinces to address the challenges of migration that is the movement of people from one province to another.
Lastly, it was to ensure that there is fair representation of provinces to national government dynamic views of different provinces.
Hon House Chairperson, it is such an honour for me to be debating to this House in the year we are celebrating the Freedom Charter. We wish to remind this House that 2015 marks 60 years of the adoption of the Freedom Charter. It is a document which declares the desires and interests of the people of South Africa. It was in 1955 when the people gathered in Kliptown and declared that South Africa belongs to all who live in it black or white and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is on the will of all the people. [Interjections.]
An HON FEMALE MEMBER: Tell the DA.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): That our people have been robbed of their birthright to land.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon member, sorry. Hon Dlamini.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon House Chair, my point of order is that: Is it parliamentary for the hon member to say the Freedom Charter is an old story by hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon member, no it is a subject for a debate. Continue hon member. Hon members please let us not drown the speaker. Continue hon member.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): We must not let them defocus us. We are clear in terms of our mandate and our plight for our people. That our people have been robbed of their birthright to learn liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality that our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood and enjoying equal rights and opportunities that only a democratic state based on the will of all people can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief.
This important document came into existence because the people of South Africa continuously fought the inhumane oppression by the apartheid government. They unceasingly fought and managed to put an end to a system of white minority supremacy. Verwoerd se mense. [Verwoerd’s people.] [Interjections.] The efforts of the people eventually paid off. In that we not only managed to put an end to the apartheid government but the Freedom Charter became the basis of our Constitution. [Interjections.]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Because of Madiba’s legacy.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): Though we are far from unravelling the damage, the harm and humiliation caused by the white minority government over a period of more than 300 years, we pride ourselves that the ANC has managed to bring back the dignity of our people. [Interjections.]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: You were not even born then.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): To ensure that every one is treated equally and most importantly that the people choose their government and that they have a say on how government is operating.
The ANC has done a lot to improve the lives of the people. We have delivered houses ... [Interjections.]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Including corruption.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): ... free education and health care, social security and above all an accountable and transparent government. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Jy lieg. [You are lying.]
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): As the Eastern Cape, we reaffirm that together we will move the NCOP forward as a vanguard of the interests of the people. [Laughter.] In fact the hon House Chair, the NCOP has moved since it was established within the principle of co-operative governance and it affords the people through provinces an opportunity to ensure that their interests are represented; that they participate in shaping legislation and the national agenda will culminate into programmes that are aimed at improving the lives of the people. Through the mandate vested in it by the Constitution the NCOP which is multiparty in nature, has the powers to initiate, consider, pass, amend, propose amendments to or reject any legislation before the Council. [Interjections.]
In line with that mandate, the NCOP has also conducted oversight over the national, provincial spheres as well as municipalities. As a consequence of that oversight, they have managed to identify service delivery gaps and inefficiencies which ultimately inform the programme of our government.
Today our democratic government has a programme to address infrastructure challenges across and this is but one of the recommendations of the NCOP. The historical reality is that some of us who believe in minority rule and separate development, might take the NCOP work as a mere platform to oppose the ruling party. The ANC knows that this is a platform to engage with government on issues affecting our communities. This is a platform that has been used by the progressive ... [Interjections.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mpushe, sorry. Hon Faber.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, I would really like to know whether the hon member would like to take a question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No hon members. Hon Mpushe, are you ready to take a question? Hon Mpushe is not ready. Hon Faber, you can take your seat. Continue hon Mpushe. [Interjections.] No, hon Faber. Hon Faber you cannot do that. Order, hon members! You can continue, hon Mpushe, you are protected.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): This is a platform as has been used by the progressive forces to influence and improve policy directives towards betterment of the lives of our people. Critically as the Freedom Charter states that the people shall govern, the ANC vouched to involve the communities in governance.
We have seen the NCOP visiting our municipalities, holding public hearings and engaging the communities on a number of Bills. This is still the efforts of the ANC-led government to fulfil the desires of the people. Remember they said, “Nothing about us without us.” That is the people.
Accordingly, in 2002 the ANC launched a programme of Taking Parliament to the People. This is a public participation programme which is aimed at allowing the communities to share their experiences and raise concerns to the public representatives and at that same time allow public representatives a chance to obtain first-hand feedback from the people and to be able to plan accordingly. This year’s Taking Parliament to the People was in the Western Cape, Oudtshoorn, Eden District Municipality where the NCOP was well received.
Allow me hon House Chair ... [Interjections.]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: You are always allowed.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): The following quotes bear reference. The Mayor of the Eden District Municipality, Mr Wessie Van der Westhuizen welcomed the NCOP in Eden and I open quote. [Interjections.]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Close it.
Ms P MPUSHE (EASTERN CAPE): “This is indeed a historic week for us in the Eden District. The importance of this week cannot be underestimated as it will afford our people the opportunity to voice their concerns.” He further said, “We confess we desperately need the NCOP as a partner more so as we need you as a mentor. We promise we will not stand aside and wait for hand-outs ... We want to work together with you to better the lives of our people.” It is surprisingly when the DA hon member will come here and debate otherwise.
The SA Local Government Local Association, Salga, Western Cape Chairperson, Mr Demetri Qually said and I quote, “While local government has seen progress in terms of improved access to services, the NCOP in co-operation with Salga can play a significant part in addressing some of the more fundamental issues impacting service delivery.”
In conclusion, let me quote the former President Thabo Mbeki when he said:
Those who are so bold as to make suggestions that the lives of our people are worse than during the apartheid period should tell our people that a shack is more habitable than a house; that a bucket system is preferable to a flush toilet, that the river water is healthier than clean water and that candles burn brighter than electricity globes. [Applause.] [Time expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokoena.
Mr L G MOKOENA: Hon Chair, I just wanted to check: You said to the hon member that her time was up, but you allowed her an extra 15 to 20 seconds to speak. I just wanted to check whether that is going to apply to everybody in the House. [Interjections.]
Ms L MATHYS: Yes, especially us the EFF.
Mr L G MOKOENA: We all need those extra 20 seconds. Thanks.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokoena, just watch the space. Hon Vawda, sorry. Hon Julius.
Mr J W JULIUS: Hon House Chair, I just wanted to say the hon member did not close the quote. [Laughter.] She opened it and never closes the quote and then she went ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius can you take your seat. [Laughter.] Hon members, order! Hon Vawda. Hon members, let us allow hon Vawda!
Dr Y C VAWDA: Allow me first and foremost to acknowledge the presence of our supreme forces, irrespective of whatever our perceptions might be. Visitors in the gallery, hon Chairperson, hon members, I greet you all in the glorious name of the Almighty
Creator, I greet you all with As-salaam-alaikum. The NCOP is constitutionally mandated to ensure that the provincial interests are taken into account. One of the two Houses of Parliament, the
National Council of Provinces, NCOP, has an important role to play in the governance of this country. A national forum is provided for participation in the national legislative processes and in the national sphere of government.
In the promotion of the principles of co-operative governance and also in the intergovernmental relations, the NCOP also plays a unique role to ensure that all three spheres of government work together in cohesion and in synergy in performing their unique functions in terms of the Constitution. These duties then place the burden of responsibility on the NCOP. The necessary care to ensure that this responsibility is carried out with due diligence is an obligation of all members of this platform of government.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, I have a point of order. I greet you hon member. I just want to know if you would like to take a question please.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Vawda, are you ready to take a question?
Dr Y C VAWDA: No sir.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): He is not ready to take a question.
Dr Y C VAWDA: This august House then needs to examine whether these responsibilities are being fulfilled appropriately. And we need to be objective in our analysis in doing so, as much as we may find this unpalatable. The NCOP is largely a rubber stamp of the NA. A gross example of this is when the NA approved the use of bouncers to mete out violence against members of parliament the NCOP merely followed without any reasonable procedures in place to govern such procedures.
The NCOP does not at times follow its own procedures. The Free State province was recently found wanting in their own province on a procedural issue on passing a Bill — they had not consulted with the communities when it was necessary to do so. Other provinces, on
Passing of many other Bills in the past, have also applied this flouting of the rules. This does not help the situation and is undemocratic. The role of the NCOP of Taking Parliament to the People ...
Mr F ESSACK: Chair, I have a point of order. Through you I would like to enquire if the hon speaker would take a question.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): All hon members, it's entirely up to hon Vawda. Hon Vawda, are you ready to take a question?
Dr Y C VAWDA: I'm not prepared to take a question.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): He's not prepared to take a question.
Mr F ESSACK: So he is running like hon Mohai?
Dr Y C VAWDA: would be commendable if it was not made into a petty, political farce to achieve unscrupulous gains for the governing party. Community meetings are held at which people are paid to stand in the queue and say nice things. Hon members,
Mr B G NTHEBE: Chair, I rise on a point of order. Is it parliamentary to question the proceedings which you were not part of?
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): It's a point for debate.
Mr L G MOKOENA: Chair, I have a point of order. Can I ask the Chair to please protect the member there and members could learn a lot from this man here. They're very valid points that this member is making there. So please can we listen. Thank you.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, Order. Members, Order, wait. Not only hon Vawda, any other speaker that is on the floor, let's make sure that we don't drown any speaker and let’s make sure that we don’t compromise the decorum of the House. Let’s allow hon Vawda to continue.
Dr Y C VAWDA: When the EFF arrives then the NCOP is set alight. The very voting system in this House is open and subject to criticism. Voting as provinces goes by the assumption that all members in that province support the motion.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, I rise on a point of order. We were just saying is it fair to call the hon member, big as he is, as teletubbies by the DA. That's all we are asking
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Called what?
Ms L C DLAMINI: Teletubbies. That's what they said in the National Assembly, NA, that EFF members are teletubbies.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, it's not a point of order.
Mr L G MOKOENA: Chair, I have a point of order. You see the point
I'm making? Now we are quoting issues that happened in the NA here.
This is irrelevant. Can we continue with this debate please?
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi):I have made my ruling that is not a point of order. No members. [Interjections.]
Mr F ESSACK: Hon Chair, I have a point of order. To bring some sanity to the House with due respect, through you, I just wanted to check when did Cathy Dlamini become a teletubbie?
Dr Y C VAWDA: This legislated rule, which allows for debate but not for individual and party vote is undemocratic and by default promotes the system of voting cattle. One of the fundamental roles of the Select Committees of the NCOP is to afford the public the opportunity to participate and facilitate public involvement in the law making processes. This is far from being achieved and generally underrepresented. A more vigorous and systematic approach, better formalised will help to improve this area of the duties of the NCOP
Ms T WANA: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order. I humbly request if hon Vawda can take a question?
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No he is not prepared to take a question.
Dr Y C VAWDA: At present the NCOP is appointed by proportional representation by the various provinces - 90 provincial delegates, that is - 10 delegates for each of the nine provinces. This is debatably fair but also understandable. While the NCOP functions at less than what is acceptable - this happens at a huge cost to the taxpayer. Add to this Subsistence and Transport allowances made available to members of the governing party on your overseas holidays-sorry make that overseas trips- this then multiplies the expenses by untold amounts and this is paid by foreign currency.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Vawda your time has expired. Conclude
Dr Y C VAWDA: Yes but you must give me the extra 20 seconds. Very often the great concern is that as an appointed group the NCOP is restricted and limited in the effect it has not only on the legislative process but also to what extent a meaningful role is being played. The Parliament of SA is very much elected by a proportional representation system. [Time expired.]
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Acting House Chair, national and provincial Whips, chairperson and members of the SA Local Government Association, Salga, ladies and gentlemen, all members present, I greet you.
The Constitution of our democratic country affirms the participation of all members of society in government, decisions through public participation conducted by various structures of government. Governance structures such as the NCOP are at the forefront of the transformation of our society in order to meet the objectives of improving service delivery. Understanding that public participation is enshrined in democracy, the NCOP takes its programme across the breadth and length of this country, bringing together even the previously disadvantaged people to take part in dialogues on service delivery, thus deepening democracy.
Through programmes such as Provincial Week and Taking Parliament to the People, this institution ensures that members spend time interacting with the locals and giving them the platform to raise their concerns and propose ways of addressing service delivery challenges. The feedback from these sessions form an integral part of government’s planning which comprises accountability.
These programmes are often attended by large number of ordinary people who display the willingness to take part in building this nation and have confidence in government to change their lives. Today ... [Interjections.] ...
Leë blik! Leë blik! [Tussenwerpsels.] [Empty tin! Empty tin!] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, MEC, honourable ... [Interjections.]
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Leë blik! [Empty tin!]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): MEC! Sorry. Honourable ...
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chair, could the MEC tell us perhaps where she was when the NCOP visited her province on oversight?
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Is that a question or a concern?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Michalakis, you can’t be doing that. Refrain from doing anything that you know is not in line with the Rules. Continue hon MEC. Hon Mokwele? Sorry, MEC. Hon Mokwele?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Hon House Chair, is it parliamentary for the MEC to call a member an empty tin?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No. Hon Mokwele, I will have to go through Hansard and see the context and the manner in which the whole thing was raised.
Ms G M MANOPOLE: Empty tin? Who is the empty tin there? Who was she referring to?
Ms T J MOKWELE: No, but she... [Interjections.] Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No. Sorry. Yes. Thanks. Let me do it this way ...
Ms T J MOKWELE: Manopole a ko o didimale, didimala! didimala! [Please be quiet, quiet! quiet!]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele! Hon Mokwele! Let me do it this way. Hon MEC, did you refer to any member as an empty tin?
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Can I just read my last sentence and after the last sentence I put this word in Afrikaans. I just want her to listen. These programmes are often attended by a large numbers of ordinary people who display the willingness to take part in the building of this nation and have confidence in the government. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon MEC, sorry. Hon Mokwele ... [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Hon House Chair, can you recognise me please? I don’t have to listen to her. While you were addressing hon Mathys, this woman was busy saying those words. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No. Hon Mokwele ... [Interjections.] Hon Mokwele ... [Interjections.] Hon Mokwele ... Order, members! [Interjections.] Hon Zwane!
An HON MEMBER: It’s a woman! It’s a woman! It’s not a man. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, members. Hon Mokwele, can you take your seat. [Interjections.] Hon members, you are not assisting the situation. [Interjections.] Hon Mokwele ...
Ms T J MOKWELE: I’m listening, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): You can’t be referring to another member as “this woman”. She is hon MEC Kotzee.
Ms T J MOKWELE: I withdraw, Chair. Hon MEC Kotzee.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you. Continue, hon Kotzee.
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Today, we have informed citizens who understand how Parliament works ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Kotzee. Hon Julius?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon House Chair, you ruled on the second one. You never ruled on the “leë blik” [empty tin] comment and the hon member said it twice: “Leë blik. Leë blik” [Empty tin. Empty tin] and even pointed fingers at us. I don’t know ... [Interjections.] the one with the long nails ... I don’t know ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon MEC, did you refer to a member as an empty tin?
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): I did not speak to any member; I was addressing my issue on the paper. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele, why are you standing?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson ... Chairperson ... Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon MEC, did you use the terminology that was referred to by hon Julius?
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Which terminology?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Leë blik. [Empty tin.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Leë blik. [Empty tin.] Whatever! [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
HON MEMBER: ’n Leë blik is ’n leë blik! [Gelag.] [An empty tin in an empty tin! [Laughter.]
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Acting House Chairperson ... acting House Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Have you used that term, “Leë blik” [Empty tin]?
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): It’s my language, therefore I understand It is my language, that’s why I understand ... therefore I understand. I don’t know what this arguments is about.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Let me make a ruling. Take a seat.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Before you make a ruling, can I say something?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I want to make a ruling about this issue.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Before you make a ruling, can I say something?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Ok, hon Mokwele.
Moh T J MOKWELE: Modulasetilo yo o tlotlegang, mo ntlheng ya kgalemo: Mongwe le mongwe a ka nna a dirisa puo ya gagwe fano, yo mongwe le yo mongwe o itse gore se a se buang ka puo ya gagwe. Modulasetilo yo o tlotlegang le maloko a a tlotlegang a a fano ao o reng re a bitse maloko a a tlotlegang mme a sena tlotlo ya go ka bidiwa jalo, a tswelela go re bitsa meteme e e lolea, le gone ke nagana gore bona ke meteme e lolea go gaisa rona gonne ba tlile fano go tla go tlhopa fela. [Tsenoganong.] (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[Ms T J MOKWELE: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: Each and everyone is entitled to use his or her own language, as he or she will better understand what he or she is saying in his or her mother-tongue. Hon Chairperson and members present - those you instruct us to address as honourable even though they do not deserve to be called honourable; they are continuing to call us empty tins, whereas I think that they are the worst empty tins because they are only here to cast a vote. [Interjections.]]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele ... Hon member, if you can assist and withdraw that part and continue with your speech ... [Interjections.] I am not referring to you; I am talking to MEC Kotzee.
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Acting Chairperson, I withdraw the word.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Continue with your speech.
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Today we have informed citizens who understand how Parliament works ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele ... Hon MEC before you continue ... Hon Mokwele, can you also withdraw because you referred to hon members as worse empty tins. Withdraw that part.
Ms T J MOKWELE: They must withdraw first before I withdraw. They must withdraw first then I will withdraw. I don’t have any problem with withdrawing. Because they literally referred to us as empty tins, both of them, Manopole and ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I will deal with them, we are on record...
Ms T J MOKWELE: No, no, deal with them first not me. No! No, Chair, I won’t withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, you can’t prescribe how I must decide.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Deal with them first and then I will withdraw, because I was responding to their statement.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele...
Ms T J MOKWELE: Please, Chair, with due respect, deal with them first and then I will deal with that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, you are not going to prescribe how I must preside. You are on record as saying that they are, at worst, empty tins. So I kindly request you to withdraw that part.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I’ll come to them. I’m delaing with you now.
Ms T J MOKWELE: No, no! I am saying that I don’t have any problem with withdrawing that, I am saying call them to order first and then I will come because I was responding to their call.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Who is “they”?
Ms T J MOKWELE: These two honourables ... these ones ... these two ... these ones.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you take your seat?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Okay. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokoena?
Mr L G MOKOENA: Hon House Chair, on the probability of cause and effect here, what you are hearing is a member who is saying she was reacting to a cause, and I think it will be fair for you to investigate the cause first and then deal with the effect. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, hon Mokoena, you are trying to assist but I will come to them after dealing with hon Mokwele. Hon Mokwele is on record as saying they are worse empty tins. [Interjections.] Ja. No, I will come to them. After dealing with her, I will come to them. Hon Mokwele, can you please kindly withdraw that? I will come to them.
Ms T J MOKWELE: You know, Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, can you withdraw that, I will come to them.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Listen, I am saying to you again, with due respect, I don’t have a problem with withdrawing those words, but now, just now, she just said to me that [o fetsa go nthaya a re] I am an empty drum, just now [Laughter.] So, it’s like we are playing, and I am not here to play. I will never withdraw up until they, themselves, withdraw because I am not an empty drum, I am not here to vote or to pass a mandate for someone. I am sent by people of South Africa.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele, I want to get to them.
Ms T J MOKWELE: With due respect ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr.A J Nyambi): Ja [Yes], I want to get to them...
Ms T J MOKWELE: Deal with them first and then deal with me. I don’t have any problem. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No! The wrong part is when you are prescribing to me how I must preside. That is wrong. Hon Mokwele, I am dealing with you on record saying that they are empty tins, and then I will come to them.
Ms T J MOKWELE: But Chair, they did it deliberately so that they cannot be (gore ba seke ba nna) on record.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I will sort them, don’t worry, I will sort them.
Ms T J MOKWELE: No, they did it deliberately gore ba seke ba nna [so that they cannot be] on record and that you can’t deal with them.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, I will go to them.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Deal with them first, that is what I am requesting from you. Deal with them first then you come to me. I don’t have any problem. Because what I said ... I was responding to them. So deal with them then I will come. I don’t have any problem with withdrawing whatever I said, please. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Chief Whip?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon House Chair, as is the practice in this august House, Chair, may we afford the hon member at the podium ... I suppose there is a chair that side so that we get in order properly ... I think that is how we do it around here. Now it looks like it ... I submit, thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, hon Chief Whip. Hon Mokwele, we are not going to be correcting a wrong with another wrong and you are not going to be justifying ... [Interjections.] We will deal with them.
Ms T J MOKWELE: So what I am about to ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, I am requesting you to withdraw what you said on record.
Ms T J MOKWELE: No! No! Chair, hon Chief Whip stood up right now and said o emeletse gone jaanong a re [we must forget about what happened] wWe must allow the hon MEC to speak. Now I am saying, you have a matter on your table whereby we as EFF members were called empty drums. She is still repeating it. She is not on record but I can hear her. Other member around her can hear what she is saying but you want me to withdraw. We cannot just leave this thing as it is. She must stand up. You must call her to order and then we must continue with our work. I request you, Chair, please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I will do that, but I am starting with you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Not now, no! You can’t start with me. Start with her! Start with her! She is the one who started this thing! Start with her, please, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I don’t want to be... hon Dlamini ... hon Dlamini ... [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: If she says I must go outside ... I don’t know what’s going to happen outside. It’s true ... on record.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I can’t be presiding and getting to your conversations and what you said and what you didn’t say. But I request all of you to refrain from anything that is compromising the decorum of the House, especially that part. The issue of all of you ... we will have a special way of dealing with it. It’s hon Manopole, hon Dlamini and hon Mokwele. Because you are the people who are causing us this ...
Can you continue, hon MEC? Sorry for that.
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): Thank you, Chair. Today we have informed citizens who understands how Parliament works ... [Interjection.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Kotzee. Hon Vawda?
Dr Y C VAWDA: Hon House Chair, I trust that the hon MEC will have learnt a lesson from what has happened now. It was her unsavoury comments that began this whole saga that we have seen ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Vawda, you are out of order. She has withdrawn that. You are out of order! Continue, hon MEC. [Interjections.] Hon Samka?
Nks P C SAMKA: Enkosi Sihlalo weNdlu. Ndicela ukubuza ukuba ingaba yamkelekile kusini na ukusebenzisa igama elithi-rubbish kule Ndlu? Umzekelo, ohloniphekileyo uMama Van Lingen usebenzise elo gama kule Ndlu. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Ms P C SAMKA: Thank you, House Chairperson. I want to ask if it is acceptable to use the word “rubbish” in this House. For example, the hon Mrs Van Lingen used that word in this House.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Let me quickly assist. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] Rule 46: No member may use offensive and unbecoming language in the council. Hon Van Lingen, did you say that?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chair, I don’t understand what you are talking about. I think you must go back to Hansard, please. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Van Lingen ... [Laughter.] [Interjections.] Hon members, order! Hon MEC ...
Ms D KOTZEE (Free State): The role of the NCOP — to bring together all spheres of government as mandated by the Constitution — has shown significant progress over the past years, as shown by the implementation of its recommendations and interventions by provinces and municipalities and the value it added to legislative processes. Working with provinces, the NCOP continues to raise issues of provincial interest by considering passing, amending and even rejecting legislation brought before it. The NCOP has put mechanisms in place to strengthen its capacity and to scrutinise the legislation and ensure sound quality.
In the 18 years of its existence, this institution has striven to ingrain co-operative governance across all spheres of government hereby contributing immensely towards the transformation agenda. The oversight role carried out by visiting various municipalities across the country enables the NCOP to directly monitor service delivery and engage municipalities on matters that need interventions from the national government.
The work of the NCOP in nurturing our democratic institutions builds on the foundation laid down in 1955 when the Freedom Charter was adopted in the same manner that people gathered to express their aspirations.
The NCOP still provides the South African ... [Interjections.] ... population the platform to raise their needs and wishes. As the overseer of intergovernmental relations and co-operative governance, the NCOP still fulfils its constitutional mandate of ensuring that the public representatives deliver on the mandate of serving the people of this country and that the allocation of resources to provinces eliminates inequality.
We will continue to support the work of this institution as it promotes openness, transparency, accountability and accessibility. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon House Chairperson, hon Deputy Chairperson, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa mandates the NCOP to represent the interests of the provinces in the national sphere of government; participate in the national legislative process; and provide a national forum for consideration of issues affecting provinces.
On behalf of the Nkatha Freedom Party, let me start by recalling that the provinces of South Africa, as a sphere of government, are not a mistake. They are a sphere that was fought for, lobbied for and galvanised by those of us who believe in power sharing as a form of government - the IFP. The IFP further believe that the power of the provinces must be strong enough for the provinces to be able to make, legislate and take decisions on fiscal matters, education, police and health. Unfortunately, some of these objectives were not achieved. Hence, today we, on behalf of provinces, have to stand here and ask ourselves if the NCOP is doing a good job in that regard.
Standing here today I want to reiterate that the NCOP is a necessary structure in our democracy. Democracy is indeed made stronger by adequate checks and balances in the system. What is needed is for the NCOP to step up its efforts as a role player in the checks and balances of our democratic system. The NCOP cannot just behave like it is another National Assembly of this Parliament. The NCOP must act and behave independently.
The Constitution further states that our spheres of government are distinctive, interrelated and interdependent. This says to hon members of the NCOP that they do not simply have to vote ay or nay, just because your political party says so. The big question is: What is in the best interest of your province? You do not have to blindly negate or affirm just because your political party in the NA said so.
You are above all the NCOP and you look at the broader perspective of an issue at hand, especially as it relates to your province. There is no harm in your agreeing with the IFP view against your political party view, if that IFP view is in the best interest of your province.
I am here reminded of what the hon Minister of Health said at the Select Committee on Social Services just last week about delegation. You can delegate power, but you do not delegate authority and accountability. The hon Minister was questioning the practice of NCOP to summon MECs to select committees instead of premiers. MECs have delegated powers, but authority and accountability rests with the premiers.
In exercising its oversight responsibility, the NCOP must not shy away from confronting directly those within whom authority and accountability is vested.
Vigorous engagements and confrontation of issues do not entail enmity, not insults. Therefore, the office bearers of Parliament, in both the NA and NCOP must not hide behind bullying tactics to stifle engagements.
His Excellency, former President Motlanthe was last week lamenting the death of internal democracy in his party, through the bullying tactics of those in power. When the NA is experiencing their own problems, which lead to stifling of internal debates in Parliament through bullying tactics, this must not resonate in the NCOP, also adopting the very same strategies. We are not the same. We cannot adopt every step that the NA is taking in front of us.
In rechanneling the relevance of the NCOP to its effectiveness in representing the interest of the provinces, the IFP puts the following as important points of consideration.
One, consultation between permanent delegates and their home provinces needs to be intensified through structured specified programmes and channels.
Two, the programmes and operations of the provincial weeks of the NCOP must be redefined to have more meaning. This also calls for effective follow-up programmes on previous engagements.
Three, NCOP reports on oversight visits, provincial week programmes, Taking Parliament to the people and other tools of engagement must be given to give more meaning to government representatives.
Four, engagement with the people through petitions has so far proven to be highly ineffective. The petition structure of the NCOP must be empowered and capacitated to deal with the plight of the people.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon House Chairperson of the NCOP, members of this august House, special delegates from our provinces, hon members, I will speak in the language I got from my mum’s breast.
Tše re di kwago mo lehono, di bolela taba yela ba rego: Pudi ge e palelwa ke go tswala e re mokaka ke wo monnyane. Bjale, badudi ba Afrika-Borwa, diprofenseng tše seswai, ba rile go mokgatlo wo o bušago wa ANC gore bona ba le 62% ya badudi ba naga ye, ba rata go etelelwa ke lena pele.
Ba bangwe ba makoko a a dutšego ka mo, se ba se kgonago ke go ba dikekeišane – ‘copy cats’. Pholisi ya go dula tafoleng re a e nyaka; re a e hloka, sa bona ba tumile ka gore ANC ga e dire se; ga e dire sela. (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)
[What is being said here reminds us of people who will always find reasons to complain. The people of South Africa in the eight provinces have voted to be led by the ANC. These people make 62% of the total number of the South African residents.
Some people are here to immitate others – ‘copy cats’. We want to see the policy being tabled; we need it, all they do is complain about the ANC.]
ANC doesn’t do this, ANC doesn’t do that. But the people of this country, out there ... [Interjections.] ... know who their true liberators are. They will never forget that. [Interjections.]
Allow me to begin by acknowledging the Chairperson of the NCOP, the hon Thandi Modise - under whose stewardship this august House continues the journey for delivering a better life for all the citizens of our country. By the way, she is a product of the ANC. What she said in New York can never ever come from the DA. That is just a wish that they could have a cadre of her calibre. [Interjections.]
As we traverse the route of building and strengthening this august House, we should do so cognisant of the fact that there is no model globally that is equal to the NCOP. Ours is a unique creation. [Interjections.] But because as South Africa, we are born to lead, so, the globe will continue to learn from us.
The theme of this debate is about the effectiveness of the institution. The English dictionary indicates that effectiveness means producing results. According to the programmes - programmes of this institution, we are producing results. We are producing results; we are moving South Africa forward. Those who are used ...
Ba palelwa ke tša bona. Kgarebe yela ba rego ke ya gaKohler Barnard; mohl Kohler Barnard, o ntšhitše sephiri. Sephiri se utulogile ... [Tšhwahlelo.] ... bjalo ga ba tsebe gore ba tla dira bjang. Tše ba bego ba di hlologela, tša kua morago tša aparteite, e le kgale ba di khutišitše, mohl Kohler Barnard o re boditše ... [Tšhwahlelo.] ... gore bona ba nyaka Afrika-Borwa ye bjang. [Tšhwahlelo.] (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[They are failing. The lady by the name Kohler Barnard; hon Kohler Barnard, has spilled the beans. The secret is out ... [Interjections.] ... they are now confused. Hon Kohler Barnard has spilled the beans about what they have been missing about the apartheid system, and they kept this a secret... [Interjections.] ... about the type of South Africa they yearn to see. [Interjections.]]
Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Chief Whip. Hon Chief Whip, take your seat, madam. Hon Julius, why are you on your feet?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon House Chairperson, I wanted to know whether the Chief Whip will like to take a question quickly?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon members! Please. Please, hon members, let’s have order in the House. Let me check with the Chief Whip first. Please take your seat. Hon Chief Whip, hon Julius want to ask a question. Are you ready?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: No.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): She is not ready. Continue, Chief Whip. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chairperson, this House, the buyers of the NCOP public participation - an outreach programme towards the rural areas and the poorest of the poor sections of our communities is a concrete articulation of the Freedom Charter clause which says: “The People shall Govern”. Chairperson, ...
Ge batho ba sa tsebe gore therišano ya seboka e dirwa bjang, ... [If people don’t know how to communicate, ...]
They must not condemn it. If you do not understand a principle, your lack of understanding does not mean that the principle is not correct. [Interjections.] That is why the people of this country have given the ruling party 62%. And I want to believe that yet more surprises are still coming. [Interjections.] Section 139, section 146 and section 154 of the Constitution firmly locate the NCOP at the intersection of the three spheres of our system of a democratic government. [Interjections.]
Re tseba mo re yago; re tseba mo re tšwago; re tseba mo re lego gona gonabjale. [We know where we are going; we know where we come from; we know where we are now.]
The bitter reality for our detractors is that in the NCOP we take decisions through consensus, but where consensus does not lead into the direction which the National Democratic Revolution, NDR, wants to go, majority rules. [Interjections.]. Coming to the role of the Whippery, the Constitution, as interpreted by our forbearers indicates that the Whippery facilitates co-ordination and scheduling of committee sittings - a point of interaction between the presiding officers and Chairperson’s Committee through monitoring and scheduling committee legislative work; ensures fair and equal airing of voices of provinces and political parties represented in the Council, consistent with democratic principles; ensures protection and decorum of the House through ensuring compliance with rules and norms of the institution; facilitates interparty and interprovincial dialogue on critical matters of common interests through multiparty Whips forum - which some people don’t understand very well.
The Whippery also co-ordinates and facilitates the agenda of the House through the Order Paper which guides deliberations in the House. Further, the Whippery communicates directly with stakeholders, both inside and outside Parliament, on matters pertinent to the mandate of the Whippery. Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
On behalf of all those who are not prepared to listen ... [Interjections.]. In conclusion ... [Interjections.] ... allow me to express ... [Interjections.] ... my gratitude to all provincial Whips ... [Interjections.] ... Whips from opposition parties for the constructive role and contribution made thus far in taking this august House forward. All constructive criticism highlighted in this debate will be taken seriously by the office of the Chief Whip and translated into a clear plan of action to address our weaknesses, going forward. We do not claim perfection because there is no perfection under the sun.
Ba bangwe bao ba bušago mo Kapa Bodikela, re tšwa go bona tša bona kua go masepala wa Eden - maloba ge re be re ile. Ke bona bao tša bona di bipšwago ka mesela ba rego ba bangwe di swana le tša bopudi. Bjale, ba tla tšwela pele ba fora bao ba sa tsebego ... [Tšhwahlelo.] ... kua Khayelitsha, kua go dulago bao ba ilego ba hlaelelwa ke ditirelo tše bohlokwa maloba gona mo profenseng ya Kapa Bodikela. Ke dipšhešamare fela. Ba DA ba tla kgolwa ke batho bao ba sa tsebego gore mo DA e bušago gona - mo go dutšego bale maloba ba bego ba hlaka, bophelo bo bjang. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[We have seen the work of the Western Cape government at Eden District Municipality – we had an oversight visit there. These people are the hypocrites. So, they will lie to those who don’t know ... [Interjections.] ... there is a crisis in Khayelitsha, where people used to live without access to the services. Only those who have never been to the municipalities that are governed by the DA will believe what they are saying – people who live there used to suffer a lot.]
But our people will never forget who the true liberators are. Thank you. [Interjections.]
Mr S I MALAZA - MPUMALANGA - PUBLIC ACCCOUNTS: Hon Chairperson, hon members of the NCOP, today we have this debate on the eve of the local government elections in 2016. Just a few days ago we were celebrating the birthday of one of the greatest leaders ever produced by the ANC, Comrade O R Tambo, the freedom fighter. Hon Chairperson, it can never be so relevant to this debate today so that we understand that the NCOP does not only play the role of second Temba of the National Assembly, but also represents the interests of all provinces at the national level and further acts as a national forum for discussion of issues related to provinces.
Through the NCOP, the Constitution links the different spheres of government. Over the years the NCOP has continued to be a strong ground of protection of provincial interests at national level. It continues to touch our electorate through its programme namely Taking Parliament to the People and also NCOP Week.
For a person like me, who grew up in the rural areas in Mpumalanga, experiencing interaction with the NCOP members in 2013, for the first time as an ordinary citizen, a platform where ordinary citizens are invited to raise challenges related to service delivery, bringing all spheres of government at the door steps of citizens, interacting with MECs, Ministers, councillors, including administrators, HODs and directors-general. With that experience and having seen all that, I can only arrive at one conclusion that no one can contest us as the ANC when we say this ANC-led government is the government of the people.
We do not forget that we are a constitutionally established organ of the state that monitors and evaluates performance. In fulfiling our mandate we ensure that we interact with various affected stakeholders at a provincial level as we conduct sight visit aimed at improving the lives of our people that we liberated as the ANC. Accordingly, it is our duty to report to this House that the ANC-led government through the existence of the NCOP continues to change and improve the lives of our people.
Their voices continue to be heard day by day as we do our work. We continue to hear those voices and those who still cry about service delivery like those who need water, better schools, roads and electricity. As we hear those voices we continue to reassure our people that whatever the difficulties and the setbacks, the ANC remains the only organisation in government that can change the lives of our people. We can only conclude with the following words ...
Asinamona, asinanzondo, siyayidumisa i-ANC. Enkosi. [We are not jealous, we bear no grudges, we praise the ANC. Thank you.]
Ms S FERNANDEZ - WESTERN CAPE - SPEAKER: I shall call you to order in a minute. Hon Chairperson, hon members. It is indeed an honour for me to participate in this debate today because as Speakers we don’t often get to participate in debates. However I must comment on the lack of dignity and decorum which prevails in this House today. It would be remissive of me as a presiding officer to stand here and not address this august House. I think the fact we – it’s across party lines – but the fact that we are presiding officers who are blatantly being disregarded is an indictment and I would like to say to everyone present that we are here by virtue of taxpayers who tasked us with getting on with the job of taking the country forward. We will not take the NCOP forward if we engage in petty party politics and flippant around lee blikke and teletubbies. It is inappropriate and we have many South Africans out there watching us. We have a duty to those citizens to deliver and get on with the business of the day which is actually service delivery. [Applause.]
I will now go back to my debate Chairperson and I will address my members at the same time because it is across the board. Members we have the duty to maintain the dignity and decorum of parliament. If we don’t our citizens out there will not respect us and then we become meaningless and we don’t serve any purpose. So unfortunately I felt that it was incumbent of me to share to share those concerns and I trust that members will go back, this is our Constitution, this must guide our behaviour and if we disregard this Constitution and the rules, we need to consider our purpose and role in this House.
I would like to then talk about together making the NCOP forward as the vanguard of the interests of provinces. Professor Christina Murray, in her book, Building Representative Democracy – South Africa’s Legislatures and the Constitution aptly describes the role of the NCOP as: “a concrete expression of the principles of co-operative government representing the provincial perspective within the national parliament.” Therefore one can say the NCOP is a bridge between the provincial and national government. The Constitution sets out the main functions of the NCOP very clearly especially its role in the legislative and budgetary processes. Its role in providing a forum for engaging national government on matters, concerning the provincial responsibilities and finally in providing a forum for debating matters affecting the provinces in public.
I would like to take the opportunity today to deal specifically with the oversight responsibility of the NCOP as it pertains to the provinces and specifically the provincial government. I do that specifically because the term oversight is used frequently and I dare say rather loosely in this respect. Professor Murray suggests that: “accountability and oversight are two sides of the same coin.” The accountability of the executive to the legislature is enforced when the legislature exercises oversight over it and scrutinises executive action. This aspect is well illustrated by Section 43(2) of the constitution of the Western Cape echoing Section 133(2) of the Republic of South Africa which provides that provincial Ministers are accountable to the provincial parliament. In its turn Section 23(2) of the provincial constitution, in line with Section 114(2) of national Constitution requires that: “provincial parliament provide for mechanisms to ensure that all provincial organs of state are accountable to it and to oversee any provincial organ of state.”
The national Constitution Section 92 provides that members of the provincial cabinet are accountable to parliament, that is including the NCOP but there is no provision to the effect that provincial executives are also accountable to the national parliament. From the perspective of the provincial parliament in the context of legislative oversight, the crucial point is that it and not the NCOP or any other body is in the first place responsible for overseeing provincial executive action. In this regard the NCOP should exercise its oversight functions in line with the co-operative government principles of chapter 3 of the Constitution, in particular by not encroaching on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity as defined in Section 41(1) (f) of our provincial parliament.
It follows that the NCOP ...
Mr M J MOHAPI: It is not a point of order hon Chair, I was just asking if the hon member is prepared to take a question because I am a bit lost.
Ms S FERNANDEZ – WESTERN CAPE – SPEAKER: ... should not duplicate the oversight functions of provincial parliaments. A 1999 Report on the Oversight Role of the NCOP, compiled by Professor Murray and others tiled, Speeding Transformation : NCOP’s role in the Oversight Process, puts the principle involved as follows: “The NCOP’s oversight role complements the role of the National Assembly because it is focussed on the relationship between the spheres of government.” In this sense the oversight role of the NCOP is narrow. Accordingly the oversight role of the NCOP should not duplicate that of the NA or provincial legislatures. And on page 19 of that Report, “the NCOP needs to respect roles of both the provincial legislatures and the NA.” A provincial legislature must conduct oversight of the provincial executive. This will include oversight of programmes contained in national legislation that the provincial legislation must implement and for which the province receives national funding.
Similar views are expressed in the Report on Parliamentary Oversight and Accountability by Professor Yokota and others in the 2007 Report of the Independent Panel Assessment of Parliament. The latter Report explained the position as follow: While it is thus clear that the NCOP does have an oversight role it is important to recognise that the NCOP does not mirror the National Assembly oversight mandate by overseeing all of national government but rather that it should exercise oversight over the national aspects of provincial and local government. Through its oversight role the NCOP should be directed by the goal to contribute to effective government by ensuring that provincial and local concerns are recognised in national policy making and that provincial, local and national governments work effectively together. In this way the NCOP needs to respect the oversight roles of both the provincial legislatures and the National Assembly. The Report noted that it might not be necessary to reassess the relationship between the NCOP and the provincial legislatures in order to ensure that the NCOP focuses on effectively fulfilling its constitutional mandate and does not appropriate unintended functions.
Subject to what has been said about the respective roles of the NCOP and provincial legislatures it would seem that the NCOP could compliment the efforts of provincial legislatures in respect of oversight of the provincial executive. In this regard the province delegates to the NCOP have a special responsibility in that Section 8 of the provincial constitution requires them to take an active part in council in order to promote the interests of the Western Cape and of the country as a whole in accordance with the principles of co-operative government and intergovernmental relationships as set out in the national Constitution.
I am of the view that the extent of the NCOP’s oversight responsibility over provincial executives be settled as views may differ and the oversight initiatives embarked upon may somehow be clouded as a result of this. In closing, allow me to raise an important concern from the perspective of my province. Apart from the constitutional question where the matters are best served by an institution such as this one of the most critical problems, at a practical level, has been the lack of proper co-ordination and timeous consultation relating to so called oversight visits in the province. It is vital that provinces have ample prior warning of intended visits. We all have full programmes, worked out long in advance and oversight visits arranged in an ad hoc fashion, at short notice are certainly not in the spirit of co-operative governance. The manner in which correspondence is faxed through late at night or after 5 am in the morning is unacceptable and needs to seize forthwith.
However I am optimistic that with a necessary political will and commitment legislatures and the NCOP will work together in the true spirit of co-operation and ultimately our people will benefit from the way we conduct our business. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A J NYAMBI: Deputy Chairperson, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, MECs present here, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I must be upfront and indicate that one day I’ll sponsor a debate in terms of which we have to come here and deal with certain things. To mention some of them: the first is constructive and destructive criticism. The second thing – it’s very important – is the legacy of apartheid, because it seems as if we are not on the same page. The most important issue is that of white supremacy. It is a very important aspect that we have to deal with. Once we are able to unpack those concepts here and we are on the same page, some of the confusion we are experiencing here will be minimised.
The Constitution of South Africa requires Parliament to set up and provide mechanisms to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are held accountable. Consequently, the majority of the work of Parliament is undertaken, by and large, in committees. This is why we often pronounce that the committees of the House are a critical extension of the House and remain at the centre of how Parliament conducts its business of oversight, law-making, facilitating public involvement, international participation and co-operative governance in South Africa. At the core of this, we must centre the involvement of the public, for which our existence and functioning are paramount.
House Chairperson, allow me to keep the focus of this speech on these key elements. The context within which our committee work should unfold must be in line with Parliament’s policy priorities, which in the main include: strengthening oversight and accountability, enhancing public involvement, deepening engagement in international fora, strengthening co-operative government, and strengthening legislative capacity.
Nasifuna kukutfola kahle ngemandla loku, asitsatse ngekutsi kufanele ngalomunye umcondvo ngendlela lebesisolo senta ngayo umsebenti wetfu. Sidzinga lndlela letawakha kakhulu ekusebenteni kwetfu. Angeke kuchubeke ngaleyo ndlela. Ngalesinye sikhatsi kufanele sitfole kukahle kutsi nasihleti ... (Translation of Siswati paragraph follows.)
[If we want to get this right, strongly so, let us assume that, in other words that was the way we used to do our work. We need a much constructive way in doing our work. We cannot continue in that way. Sometimes we need to find it good that when ...]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Sorry, hon Nyambi. Hon Smit?
Mr C F BEYERS SMIT: Apologies, House Chairperson. It seems that the interpretation service is not up to date. We’re not getting an interpretation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Could we please ask the technical staff ... Okay.
uMnu A J NYAMBI: Ngalesinye sikhatsi kufanele sitfole kukahle kutsi nasihleti kwate kwengca sikhatsi lesibekiwe, sibite imihlangano nalawo makomiti ngesikhatsi lesingaphandle kwalesibekiwe ... (Translation of Siswati paragraph follows.)
[Mr A J NYAMBI: Sometimes we need to find it befitting that when we meet until we exceed the stipulated time, we must call meetings with those committees and outside the prescribed time ...]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Nyambi, we have a problem here with the interpretation. There is no interpretation into English. Okay, continue. Let’s check...
Mr A J NYAMBI: Lokubalulekile sisi kutsi ngeke ngiluyekele lulwimi lwami lolumelwe ... [Kuhlaba Lulwimi.] [The important thing hon Member is that I will not abandon my language that is represented ...] [Interjection.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): It’s okay now. Continue, hon member.
uMnu A J NYAMBI: Kulungile. Kungaze kwengce sikhatsi lesibekiwe, kuhle sibite imihlangano nalawo makomiti emva kwesikhatsi lesibekiwe; nekutsi-ke kuhle siye le ngaphandle kwePhalamende siyewukhulumisana nabomasipalati, nelusha, nabanikati bemapulazi, nalabeswele kanye nalabo labafaka sandla kuloku lesikwentako. (Translation of Siswati paragraph follows.)
[Mr A J NYAMBI: It is fine, lest my prescribed time expires, it is befitting that we call meetings with those committees to meet after stipulated times; and that it is also good that we go out of Parliament and speak to the municipalities, the youth, farm owners, the poor and to those who support us in what we are doing.]
Committees are central to the manner in which Parliament facilitates oversight and they contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans. Committees must increase their effort of ensuring enhanced service delivery, by increasing their oversight effort and focus. To this end, committees continue to interact with the executive on their plans for delivery of services to the people of South Africa. Select committees are better placed to work closely with the executive to ensure that there is proper and efficient allocation of resources to government and, subsequently, adherence to such budgets.
At our disposal, we have management committees that were established to monitor and shape the work of committees. These committees comprise the Whips and chairpersons whose role, as the Chief Whip alluded to, is to safeguard the work and programmes of all committees. The importance of this relationship cannot be overemphasised.
Lendlela yekubuka nekuphendvula kwePhalamende, lendlela yekukhulumisana nemimango, kubusa nekubambisana, nebudlelwane babohulumende kanye nendlela yekushaya umtsetfo yePhalamende iyafakaza kutsi kunemtamo lomuhle lovuna kubaluleka kwendzima ledlalwa ngiwo emakomiti nekungenelela kwemmango. Umsebenti lonikwe emakomiti uniketwe emitsetfweni yeNdlu yemitsetfo lehlangene ngalokufananako. Imihlangano yemakomiti iyindlela lapho kushaywa khona imitsetfo, lapho ifakelwa khona tibuko. Imibiko yemakomiti iyacocwa lapho ibuye ivunywe kucala ingakaletfwa kuleNdlu lesikuyo. Ngekubona kwawo lamakomiti atfola lwati kucala kulabo labenta tinhlelo ngco nalabo labaletsa tinsita ngendlela letifuneka ngayo. Kungako-ke sibona sigungu lesiphetse nalabo labatimele bavela embikwemakomiti batokhulumisana ngetindzaba letibalulekile letitsintsa bantfu ngco. Ngiye ngimangale kutsi labanye betfu batsi bemele bantfu babo kepha abeti kulemihlangano yemakomiti.
Umbuto wami njalo utsi, nasingeti emakomitini lapho lwati nelusitonchanti lutfolakala khona; yini lesitayikhuluma nasesifike lapha kuleNdlu?
Ngesikhatsi sikhulumisana ngeluphakelotimali lwalomnyakamali kuleNdlu lehloniphekile, sitibophelele kutsi sitawuveta indlela lensha yekuhlanganisa tonkhe tinsita tekusekela leTindlu letimbili temakomiti lebetitawuveta kucinisa kwekulawulwa kwawo onkhe Emalunga ePhalamende.
Lokubalulekile kutsi umphumela walendlela kutaba kungengci kwemakomiti lapho tonkhe tinsita titabohlanganiswa esigungwini sinye. Angivume-ke noko kutsi umsebenti usachubeka, kusasele kutinikela kulethemu, kute kutsi lokutawutfolakala ngaloku kutawusita labeta emvakwetfu. (Translation of Siswati paragraphs follows.)
[The Parliament is accountable, interacting with the public, governing cooperatively, and the relationship amongst government spheres and the legislative procedure of Parliament bears testimony that there is a good effort that supports the role played by committees and public participation. The task assigned to committees is according to the Joint House rules. Committee meetings are a platform where laws are legislated, and being considered. Committee reports are collected and adopted before they are brought to this House we are assembled in. According to these committees, they gather information from those who are directly involved with designing programmes for service delivery the way it is required. That is the reason then we see the executive and those that are independent coming before the committee to discuss important issues that directly affect our people. I sometimes wonder when people fail to attend committee meetings yet they claim to be representing people.
My question is always, if we do not attend committee meetings where information and basic help is obtainable; what is that we will speak about when we come into House?
When we were debating the Budget Vote for this financial year in this August House, we have committed ourselves that we will provide a new way that combines all resources to support the two Houses of committees that will strengthen the regulation of all Members of Parliament.
The important thing about the result of this way would be for the services not to more that the committees where the services will be combined in a single executive. I must say that the work still continues, what is now left in this term is to dedicate ourselves so that what will be achieved from this will help those who will come after us.]
On reflection, we have witnessed the role played by committees through oversight of government and it is for this reason that we pride ourselves on a successful history and involvement. This we have done through robust deliberations on key legislation, international agreements, as we have done today, and fundamental policies that have a huge impact on the lives of our people. We further rejoice that our society, in all its formations, has had an opportunity to influence policy and its implementation through our committees.
This is the crux of our existence and the justification of why we have capable and viable committees whose role I have already spelt out. In simple words, committees are able to increase the amount of work that can be done in Parliament at large. As we have recently witnessed, the amount of time spent in plenary sessions is not adequate, but through committees further debate can take place. Members ought to be able to participate more, given the suppleness of committee meetings. You cannot come to an NCOP plenary having not engaged with the committee and think you will understand what is happening here. [Applause.]
As envisaged by the new public participation model that we seeking to bring to finality, the core values of public participation are based on the will of the people. Those that are affected by a decision have a right and responsibility to be involved in the decision-making process.
It is therefore apt that members of the public may be allowed to engage in any discussion of interest, unlike in a plenary session. This should be arranged prior to a committee meeting. Also of note: committees represent proportional representation of the parties in the National Council of Provinces. As a result of this setup, committees are able to engage politically, taking forward a diverse approach with varying views. This arrangement needs to be celebrated, considering that it is one of the fundamentals of democracy our forefathers and some of us canvassed for. In the same breath, I wish to note that more work still needs to be done, and we cannot at this juncture decrease these exertions.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Please take your seat, hon member. Hon Mathys, why are you rising?
Ms L MATHYS: I am rising because I was wondering if the hon member would take a question about how often Ministers ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You can’t do that. You can’t do that.
Mr A J NYAMBI: I’ll take a question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Oh, okay. He is ready; he can take your question. Continue, hon member.
Ms L MATHYS: Hon member, how do we engage politically with Ministers and Deputy Ministers when they hardly ever show up at committee meetings? [Interjections.]
Mr A J NYAMBI: Thanks for the very good question. Last week we were dealing with the economy cluster. We happened to have 19 Ministers coming here. [Applause.] The unfortunate part is that the person who is asking the question is forever absent. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order!
Ms L MATHYS: Hon Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Sorry, hon member. I did not recognise you, and I cannot allow you to have a dialogue with hon member Nyambi. Okay, can I then recognise you? It must be a point of order or a question.
Ms L MATHYS: Yes, I’m asking for...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): No. You need to ask for permission first.
Ms L MATHYS: On a point of order ... I am asking for permission.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay. Wait. Wait, so that we can check with him.
Ms L MATHYS: ... not to pose a question to him. I would like to address you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You’re addressing me.
Mr A J NYAMBI: I’ve responded to your question.
Ms L MATHYS: It’s not even about the question.
Mr A J NYAMBI: You can’t ask another question. I’m ready to take another one.
Mr L MATHYS: House Chair, is it honourable for the member to be referring to who is in the House and who is not in the House, when I’m asking a particular question? [Interjections.] I just want to know if he has been nominated House monitor or Council monitor, or something. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you, hon member.
Ms L MATHYS: Is it honourable, because he is making disparaging remarks? Chairperson, we have an hon member making disparaging remarks about another member.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mathys, now you are debating.
Ms L MATHYS: Could he withdraw please?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Now you are debating.
Ms L MATHYS: Well, I’m asking you to please ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You did ask your question. Could you take your seat? I am addressing you now. You cannot keep on repeating the question. You did ask the question, and the hon member did respond. Now, I want him to continue with the debate. Continue, hon member.
Mr A J NYAMBI: I would not be doing justice to this debate if I didn’t Auditor-General Makwetu and Prof Jahed of the Parliamentary Budget Office for assisting us in scrutinising departments. The need for effective planning and co-ordination can never be overstressed. We have taken it upon ourselves, as we plan for 2016, to make use of input that was given in the recent planning workshop at which all key stakeholders were present.
Perhaps it is high time that I remind hon members that always speak about the National Democratic Revolution, NDR, what it is all about, so that they can understand ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Sorry, hon Nyambi. Yes, ma?
Ms L MATHYS: Chair, I just feel like you...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, wait. Hon Nyambi, could you please respect the House and sit down. The member has risen.
Ms L MATHYS: I appreciate you, House Chair, for taking my question. But when I stood up the second time I was asking you to make a ruling on whether it is parliamentary for a member who is at the podium to make disparaging remarks – unfounded remarks – that cannot even be backed up about another member – when he was responding to my question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay.
Ms L MATHYS: That’s what I was asking.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon Mathys. [Interjections.] Actually ... Order, hon members! Hon members, could you come to order please. It is not parliamentary, hon Mathys. The hon member Nyambi must just withdraw. Will you please withdraw that part?
Mr A J NYAMBI: Which part?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): When you were responding to the hon member and you said that she was not in the House. [Interjections.] It is true. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Mr A J NYAMBI: Let me have it on record. On the first day we had nine Ministers. And that hon member and all members of her party were not in the House. [Interjections.] The questions had to fall away owing to Rule 246, because all of them were not in the House. That is a fact. I can’t withdraw a fact. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Yes, okay. Hon members, order! Order, hon members! Order, hon members!
Hon member Mathys, the hon member Nyambi did not refer to any member. He did not refer to ... [Interjections.] He did. Did he say the hon Mathys was not in the House? [Interjections.] At first did you mention the hon Mathys’ name? Let me check with the hon member.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Could I repeat what I said?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Yes.
Mr A J NYAMBI: I said: Last week we had 19 Ministers of the economy cluster coming to the NCOP to respond to questions.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Sorry, hon member. Please take your seat.
Mr A J NYAMBI: On the first day the person who asked the question ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mokwele, please take your seat. Please take your seat. [Interjections.] I will, thereafter. Over to you, hon Nyambi. Please clear yourself. Could I please wait for the hon Nyambi, because I really want him to clarify for the House? Then I will recognise you, but you will come after hon member Mokwele. Hon Nyambi?
Mr A J NYAMBI: Then I went on to explain that on the first day, when we had nine Ministers, the member who asked the question – and, not only her but all the members of the party she belongs to - was not in the House. That is why the question had to fall away. That is what I was explaining, and it is a fact. That’s what happened on Tuesday.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay. Hon members, let me do this: For now, I will allow the hon member Nyambi to continue. I will go and consult, and then I will come back with a ruling thereafter. Hon member Julius, I don’t know if the hon Mokwele is withdrawing what she wanted to say.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Recognise me, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Yes, I want to recognise you first before the hon Julius. Hon Mokwele?
Ms T J MOKWELE: Ke a go leboga, Modulasetilo. [Thank you, Chairperson.]
Before we become Members of Parliament, we are members of political parties.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Let me check first, because you have to rise on a point of order.
Ms T J MOKWELE: ... members of political parties. I am standing on ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member ...
Ms T J MOKWELE: ... point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, continue. [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: I’m not addressing you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Do you want to bend the ... [Inaudible.] ... now. You see now what you are doing.
Ms T J MOKWELE: We are deployed here by our respective political parties, and we are not lying to this Parliament.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): But that is not a point of order, hon member. It is a point of debate.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Now you must understand that ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mokwele!
Ms T J MOKWELE: A member must understand that if we are not ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mokwele, I’m not going to allow you to continue doing that. [Interjections.] That is a point of debate, hon member. You will have a chance to come to the podium. That is not a point of order. I can only allow you if you have a point of order. Please take your seat, hon member. [Interjections.] No, you are listening to me. You are talking to me. [Interjections.] Hon Mokwele ... Hon Mokwele ... Order, hon Mthimunye! Hon members, order! Hon Mokwele .. [Interjections.] Hon Mokwele, please take your seat. I did make a ruling. And I said I was going to ... [Interjections.] I heard you. I heard you. You said you were rising on a point of order. [Interjections.] You see now. This is a dialogue, and it is not ...
Ms T J MOKWELE: ... while I was busy speaking.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Because you were debating, and you cannot debate from the floor, hon member. [Interjections.]
This is not reaction. It’s the truth.
Ms T J MOKWELE: You never heard what I wanted to say. You never heard what I wanted to say. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mokwele, take your seat. [Interjections.] Take your seat, hon Mokwele. Take your seat. [Interjections.] I heard you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: ... didn’t let me speak, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): I gave you a chance, and you were debating. [Interjections.] Please take you seat. Hon member Nyambi, continue. [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: ... and you are not doing me a favour. You must listen to what I want to say. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay. Alright. Hon member, it is your chance, hon Julius.
Ms T J MOKWELE: You must listen to what I want to say.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You are out of order, hon member. [Interjections.] You are out of order. [Interjections.] Now you are speaking alone.
Ms T J MOKWELE: But I haven’t been given a chance to speak.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): I gave you a chance. [Interjections.] And I’m not going to argue with you. I am not going to argue with you, hon member. Take your seat. [Interjections.] Okay, hon Julius, over to you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You are out of order.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you, Chairperson. [Interjections.] Sanity must prevail in the House, Chairperson. [Interjections.] Hon Mokwele, could I just ...
Ms T J MOKWELE: You must give me a chance.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mokwele, what you are doing is not in order. I’m going to ask you to either take your seat or go out of the House. [Interjections.] Hon member ...! [Interjections.]
Hon members, allow me to ask the hon Mokwele to leave this House. [Interjections.] Please go out, hon member.
Ms T J MOKWELE: [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): I did give you ... [Interjections.] I gave you a hearing.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Just for what you wanted to hear.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): And you want to go out. Could I please ask the Usher of the Black Rod to help us? [Interjections.] Serjeant-at-arms, help us. The hon Mokwele is not ready to co-operate with the Chair so I request her to go out. Take her out, please. [Interjections.] Usher of the Black Rod, if ... Please look for an assistant. We want the hon member out of this House. She doesn’t want to go out. Look for an assistant. Let them help you take her out.
In the meantime ... Thank you very much. Please help us to take the hon member out of this Chamber. Leave the House, hon member. [Interjections.] Don’t listen to the hon member. Do your work. Do your work. Don’t listen to her. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Order! Order, hon members! Hon Julius? Order, hon Nthebe!
Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you, Chair. There is another one that must go. Chairperson, there are now two rulings. You made a ruling that the hon Nyambi must withdraw, and then you made another ruling that you’ll comeback with a decision. On the basis of that, you are rescinding your previous ruling. I want to know why you are rescinding your previous ruling, because you made the ruling? And the next time you make a ruling, on other members of other parties, how will we listen to you if a presiding officer - one of the presiding officers of this House - knowing the Rules, is not prepared to withdraw or to respect your rulings? What will happen now in this House? Could I ask you to be consistent please? Could you stick with your first ruling that the hon Nyambi withdraw, because I see no reason why you rescinded your decision, Chairperson? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much. For the sake of peace, hon Nyambi, and for us to continue, will you please withdraw the first remark? [Interjections.] Order, hon members!
Mr A J NYAMBI: Withdraw what?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You referred to the hon Mathys.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Absenteeism, yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): It is not your duty to do that. Please withdraw so that we can continue. [Interjections.] Okay, hon members. Members may not cast a reflection on the conduct or the character of a person. Such conduct or character may only be challenged in a substantive motion. So, please, hon Nyambi, withdraw so that we can continue. Could I ask the hon member to sit, because we are still busy with the hon Nyambi? Could I ask you to take your seat, hon member? Okay, hon member, continue so that we ...
Mr A J NYAMBI: Chair, I am withdrawing absenteeism on Tuesday. Now, I want clarity on what I am withdrawing. [Interjections.] I am ready to withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay. Could I please repeat this?
Mr A J NYAMBI: Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): And you listen attentively. [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Let me repeat myself: A member may not cast any reflection on the conduct or character of a person. Such conduct or character may only be challenged in a substantive motion. So, please, I am requesting you to withdraw - that is on the character of the members who are not in the House.
Mr A J NYAMBI: House Chairperson, you asked me to clarify the issue of absenteeism. I clarified it that...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): If you listened to the ... [Inaudible.] ... by Julius: He was in order. That is why now I am asking you to withdraw.
Mr A J NYAMBI: But they were absent on Tuesday – all of them. I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you. Okay. He has withdrawn, so we can continue. Thank you very much. Okay, there is another point of order. Hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana?
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Thank you, Chairperson. I am rising on a point of order. The hon Mthimunye refers to the hon Julius as “that one” and not even as an “hon member”. I am addressing him as an hon member, showing the decorum of this House. I would like him to categorically withdraw that, and give his apologies. Asseblief, hon Chairperson. Hon Mthimunye, it is disrespectful...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): I heard you. I heard you. There’s no need for repetition. Hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana, I did not hear what he said. Could I ask him to clarify this for the House? Did you really say that, hon Mthimunye?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: With due respect, hon House Chair, I did, and I respect what the ... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much. Will you please withdraw that?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: And I apologise.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you for that, hon member. Could you continue, hon Nyambi?
Mr A J NYAMBI: The strategic objective of the NDR is the creation of a united, nonracial, nonsexist and democratic society. This, in essence, means the liberation of Africans...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Nyambi, another hon member is standing in the House. Why are you on your feet, hon Vawda?
Dr Y C VAWDA: Thank you, Chairperson. I would like to point out that the hon Nyambi must learn from the hon Mthimunye. If he withdrew at the beginning we wouldn’t have had that chaos that we had.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Vawda, no. We cannot tolerate that. Continue, hon Nyambi.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Hon Chairperson, in future, when I am at the podium, it would be in order for those who always take a chance and want to just ask questions ... This is because, if you are going to ask questions, I am going to respond to your questions. I want it to be on record, Chair, on the issue of last week Tuesday, I have said from this podium that I was here and, fortunately, I was part of the sitting when we were dealing with the economy cluster. Questions that were asked by hon members of this House, using the Rule of this very same House, had to fall away. Ministers did not respond to the questions because members were not in the House. And I was stating a fact, not even an opinion. I want that to be on record, because I insist that I was not just giving an opinion; I was stating a fact.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): The hon Vawda is on his feet.
Dr Y C VAWDA: Thank you, Chair. I think that what we also need to point out - since the hon Nyambi is pointing it out – that what he said he initially about all the Members of Parliament later ... We’re just clarifying; Nyambi has been given an opportunity to clarify.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): I did not allow you to ... Now you are debating from the floor. Hon Vawda, please! Hon Vawda, please listen to me. You cannot debate from the floor. Please take your seat. Take your seat. Take your seat, hon member. With due respect, take your seat. Thank you very much. Continue, hon Nyambi.
UMnu A J NYAMBI: Sihlalo, sengiyivala nje inkhulumo yami, asengisho loku lengivamise kukusho kutsi le emakhaya lapho ngibuya khona, kamakhelwane kunesigulumba; lesigulumba sineminyaka leyendlula kulelishumi simile. Angizange sengibone nakanye, ngisho inja lengalitfoli litsambo, isikhonkhotsa lesigulumba lesemile. Tiyasichamela lesi lesimile; kepha lesi lesihambako sigulumba tiyasigijimisa tinja tisikhonkhotse. Onkhe emalanga tenta lokufananako kulesigulumba lesihambako. [Tandla.] (Translation of Siswati paragraph follows.)
[Mr A J NYAMBI: Chairperson, in closing my speech, let me say what I usually say that at the village where I come from; my neighbour has a tractor that has been stationary for more than ten years. I have never seen even once a dog, not even the poor of the poorest dogs barking at it. Dogs urinate over the immobile one and chase and bark at the one that is moving. Every day they do the very same thing to the moving tractor.] [Applause]
Chairperson, allow me to visit the closing statement of the ANC ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Nyambi, hold it there. Hon Vawda, why are you on your feet?
Dr Y C VAWDA: Is it parliamentary for the hon Nyambi to refer to us as dogs. [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Continue, hon member. That is not a point of order. The hon Nyambi did not refer to any member of this House. Continue, hon member.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Chairperson, allow me to visit the closing statement of the very successful ANC national general council that reminded us to recall the closing statement of the 3 000 delegates who gathered at the Congress of the People in Kliptown on 26 June 1955:
Let all those who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:
These freedoms we will fight for, side by side, throughout our lives, until we have won our liberty.
I want to submit that we must internalise the preamble to the Constitution that we are given, after being sworn in as members. Let’s go to the preamble and internalise it. Through you, House Chairperson, internalise it, hon Vawda, starting from the first word until the last one, where it says: “We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;” and try to make sense out of that. Then we will come here and be honest and be objective in building a very efficient and dynamic NCOP. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Chairperson, indeed, there is more to be gained from running a cohesive, well co-ordinated system for this House to avoid working in silos and harmful competition and costly duplication of efforts across the spheres of government. It is in this House that all spheres of government at legislative level can find concrete impression of integrated approach towards people-driven central development. The integration of development, planning and implementation across the three spheres must be the prime focus of this House. Such an approach will ensure that an efficient service delivery is achieved through good working relations between all the role-players.
In order to improve our capacity to discharge our work, thus making this House effective as a vanguard of the interest of the people in provinces and municipalities, we need, amongst others, to improve our planning and co-ordination of the work of this House through well-designed and managed programming process, structure our agenda in a manner that does not take long, but secures sustained, collective and productive debates.
It is a matter of nature and fact that the human body gets to a level of exhaustion after a certain time. We should spread our work evenly where possible to equal the months of our work. Currently, we tend to load the third and fourth term of Parliament with heavy loads of work, resulting in unnecessary pressure that may compromise our ability to do quality work.
We need to device legal mechanisms and methods of ensuring that our oversight reports we send to government departments, provincial and local government are attended to, and reports on action taken there are presented to the House on time. It cannot be an outing followed by a talk show which ends there because then we would be failing the constitutional purpose of this House.
Reports and views of this House on various audited reports should be acted upon by the departments, provinces and municipalities and reports on what has been done should be brought back to this House.
Enye ebalulekileyo, Sihlalo, yinto ye-research capacity kule Ndlu. Ukuba uya kwezinye izindlu, umzekelo kwiipalamente zamaphondo okanye kwiNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe, uza kufumanisa ukuba amaqela ezopolitiko anazo ii-researchers. Yinto efuna ukujongwa leyo kuba iza kusinceda sikwazi ukuba sixoxe ngendlela efanelekileyo, singenzi le nto siyenzayo apha. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Hon Chairperson, another important thing is the need for research capacity in this House. If you go to other houses, for an example in provincial parliaments or National Assemble, you will find that political parties have researchers. That need to be considered as it will help us to debate properly, and stop doing what we do here.]
This House can only claim its vanguard role when the conditions of our people are improving. To be a vanguard must primarily be about consistent practical determination by all spheres of government to effectively address the historical challenges which condemn and marginalise the majority of our citizens. We must bring back the pride of all South Africans, by amongst others, ensuring a quality of democracy which fosters and strengthens intergovernmental relations as a necessary ingredient of sustainable development.
Our programme content and outlook must envisage increased oversight work which is guided by inputs from all provinces and municipalities.
Okokugqibela, bendicinga ukuba noko siza kuxoxa ngcono, Sihlalo, bendingayazi ukuba iza kuba ngumfanekiso bhanya-bhanya. Ibalulekile le nto kuba sijongiwe ngabantu phaya ngaphandle. Masikhe siyiyeke le nto yokumane sikhombana. Iingxoxo zale Ndlu apho zibetha khona, malungu ahloniphekileyo, kukuba mhlawumbi ngamaqela ezopolitiko alwayo, kodwa okubalulekileyo ngabaya bantu basivoteleyo. Lifikile ixesha lokuba sikhe sijongane neemfuno zabantu aba basivotelayo. Bayahlupheka abantu phaya ngaphandle. I-UDM ithi masikhe sikhule siziphathe kakuhle kwaye sijonge iimfuno zabantu. Enkosi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Lastly, hon Chairperson, I thought we will debate better. I didn’t know that we will watch a movie. This is important because people are watching us out there. Let us stop pointing fingers at each other. Hon members, the problem about our debates is the fight among political parties, but what is important are the people who voted for us. Now is the time to focus on their needs. People are in poverty out there. The UDM says, let us behave and focus on the needs of the people. Thank you.]
Rre KEGAKILWE: (BOKONE BOPHIRIMA – MODULASETILO WA BADULADITILO): Modulasetilo, a ke leboge tšhono e ke e neilweng go tsaya karolo mo ngangisanong gore re isa jang Ntlo eno kwa pele le go e dira pilara ya dikgatlegelo tsa diporofense tsa rona ... [Tsenoganong.]
MODULASETILO (Moh M C Dikgale): Ke kopa gore o emenyana Modulasetilo wa Baduladitilo, re na le bothatanyana jwa bofetoledi (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)
[Mr KEGAKILWE: (NORTH WEST: CHAIR OF CHAIRPERSONS: Chairperson, let me thank you for affording me the opportunity to partake in this debate on how do we take this House forward, and to make the interests of our provinces ...[Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Chair of Chairpersons, can you please pause, we need to sort out the issue of interpreters.]
Can we please get the interpretation? Please.
Mr KEGAKILWE (North West): President Mandela when making his maiden speech in this august Council said:
The National Council of Provinces was set up as one of the core institutions of co-operative governance. This entails the recognition that we are one country with one overriding objective to work together, to build a better life for. The issue facing all of us as public representative is not so much whether competency has been granted to this or another sphere of government, but how to serve each individual South African through the length and breadth of this country.
The ANC believes that that statement of Madiba is still relevant today.
The NCOP through its composition provide provinces with a national perspective on issues and ensures that the views of provinces are taken into account at national level.
Tsela e re e salang morago go dira melao ya rona, bogolo jang melao e e tsamaisanang le karolo 76 ya Molaotheo wa rona wa Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa, e re neela tetla ya gore re dire melao ka tsela e e akaretsang Maaforikaborwa otlhe. Mme seo fa re se dira, re diragatsa se re kileng ra se dira kgotsa se se kwadilweng ke bagolo ba rona ba ba fetileng mo papetlaneng e re e bitsang Freedom Charter gore batho batla busa. Ka jalo Ntlo eno, e re neela tšhono ya gore re netefatse gore ke nnete, batho ba busa.
Gompieno Modulasetilo, re fetsa go amogela le go fetisa mo Ntlong eno pegelo e e buang ka ga Mametlelelo ya Molaotlhomo wa Melemo le Didiriswa tse di Golaganang le Molaotlhomo wa Tsamaiso ya Matlhotlhapelo. Melawana eo le dipegelo tseo di ka bo di sa feta mo Ntlong eno ntle le gore batho ba rona ba bo ba tsere karolo kwa diporofenseng [Legofi.]. Seo ke go supa nnete ya gore Ntlo eno e botlhokwa e bile ke pilara e e tshegeditseng le go netefatsa gore dintlha tse di tswang kwa diporofenseng tsa rona di sekegelwa tsebe. (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)
[We are following the processes of law-making, especially Section 76 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, to ensure that we include all South Africans. By doing that, we are also ensuring that we are in line with the Freedom Charter – the people shall govern. We, in this House, ensure that indeed people do govern.
We have read the report as well as passed the Amendment Bill of Medicines and Related Substance and Disaster Management Bill. This proofs that our people do take part. [Applause.] What more do we need to proof that this House is a pillar to ensure that suggestions from our people are taken into consideration?]
The participation of the SA Local Government Association, Salga, in the NCOP as enshrined in the Constitution, further gives relevant meaning to the NCOP as the vanguard of the provinces because Salga, as an association of municipalities located in provinces, is defined as the voice and sole representative of local government.
This unique role of the NCOP in promoting the principles of cooperative government and intergovernmental relations ensured that there is synergy existing between the three spheres on matters of concurrent competence.
Ka 2002 Ntlo eno e ile ya simolola lenaneo la go isa Palamente kwa bathong. Nka nopola, Modulasetilo, gore seo se tsweletsa go bontsha gore... [Parliament started the programme of Taking Parliament to the people in 2002, this in continuation to show that ...]
Indeed, the NCOP is the vanguard of the interest of the provinces.
Gone ka ngwaga oo, NCOP e ne ya etela dimmasepala di akaretsa Ventersdorp, Tlokwe, Matlosana le Makwassie Hills; mme diketelo tseo di ne tsa letla batho ba rona go bua le Maloko a Palamente. Ka ntata ya seo, re ne ra bona... [Legofi.] maloko a NCOP a kopane le maloko a lekgotlapeomolao la Bokone Bophirima. Ba kopane e bile ba buisana le batho ba rona, mme nka nopola dintlha dingwe tse o di bontshang gore ke nnete gore... (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[In the same year, the NCOP managed to visit municipalities such as Ventersdorp, Tlokwe, Matlosana le Makwassie Hills; thus enabling citizens to directly address Members of Parliament. [Aplause.] We also saw members of the NCOP and members of the North West legislature together addressing our people. I can go on and show that ...]
This House remains a vanguard of the interest of the provinces. At one of those meetings at Mogopa village, our people raised issues regarding shortage of water, our people raised issues regarding houses, our people raised issues with regard to agriculture and the drought that they faced. I must indicate that some of the recommendations and responses form the NCOP members who were present at that meeting includes the following: public awareness workshops should be done with the communities around issues of dolomite because people were raising issues that they don’t have houses while there was a reality that where they are staying is a dolomite area.
The NCOP members commanded and we can prove that they wrote to the Department of Rural Development and indicated to them that they must visit the province and address issues around communal property associations, CPAs. This is indeed proves that the NCOP remains a vanguard for the interest of the provinces. [Applause.]
This report that I am quoting from is a report that we received recently as provinces after it was adopted by this very House. This is an indication that the NCOP remains relevant and ...
... e tswelela e ntse e le pilara ya dikgatlegelo tsa batho ba rona kwa diporofenseng. [...continues to be the pillar of interests of people in our provinces.]
The interaction with the provincial executive during the visit allowed members of the NCOP together with members of the provincial legislature to interact with the premier of the province and members of the executive, and to hold them accountable. It is a fact that we interacted and the premier and members of the executive committed to address issues that were raised by the people.
The National Development Plan, NDP, argues that to achieve a capable state we must, amongst others, strengthen dedication, accountability and oversight and make it easier for citizens to hold public servants and politicians accountable particularly for the quality of service delivery. Our people have pinned their hope on us to create a basis for them to better their lives and to make sure that the NDP vision is realised.
President Zuma, when addressing the NCOP on the 6 November 2014, concluded his speech with the following words:
This House, as the voice of the provinces, will play an important role in ensuring that the legislation coming out of our Parliament is transformative and will lead a better life for our people.
Let us work together to strengthen the NCOP as the vanguard of the interest of the provinces. I thank you. [Applause.]
Cllr P RAMAREMELA - SALGA: Hon House Chair, the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the hon Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces, all our members of the executive council, MECs, present here, hon members, permanent members and special delegates to the NCOP, ladies and gentlemen, we are indeed honoured and privileged as the SA Local Government Association to participate in this debate to reflect on the functioning of the NCOP as prescribed in the Constitution of the Republic. This we see as an opportunity to assess constructively whether the NCOP is indeed performing the role that is expected of it and how can we assist in improving its functionality.
The Constitution prescribes that the NCOP represents the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. The Constitution further stipulates how the NCOP should represent provinces and it dictates that it should participate in the national legislative process and provide a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting the provinces.
We want to submit that our member municipalities are major part of provinces and by implication the NCOP therefore is expected to take into account the interests of municipalities as per the Constitution in recognising organised local government. An allocation of seats in this House is actually a proof that the Fifth Parliament is recognising the role that is supposed to be played by organised local government in the NCOP.
As organised local government we understand the significance of this House, hence we prioritised the occupation of our seats at the beginning of the Fifth Parliamentary term, despite the challenges of having to spread ourselves as we are full time public representatives in our own municipalities.
The NCOP, in our view, functions as a critical bridge between the three spheres of government and in this context, has a very important intergovernmental relations role to play in ensuring the achievement of co-operative governance and consensus on policy amongst the three spheres of government. The NCOP is strategically placed to ensure that there is coherent planning and ultimately better service delivery at all levels of government.
The NCOP therefore is, and remains the most relevant institution for harmonising the interests of national, provincial and local government. Through the NCOP, the national government is sensitised to provincial and local interests and this should better inform policy decisions. The NCOP therefore plays a major role in ensuring that the concerns of the people we serve find expression in our policies and reaches the policies and legislative process.
The programmes if the NCOP such as Taking Parliament to the people
and Provincial Week have proved to be critical platforms for participatory democracy where our ordinary citizens have an opportunity to interact with the public representatives and voice their concerns. It is through these platforms that the three spheres of government should be seen by our people as one of the coherent government and avoid grandstanding against one another at all costs. We remain encouraged by the addition of Local Government Week to the key programmes of the NCOP, as it creates a platform for intergovernmental dialogue on key policy relating to local government. This is an opportunity to showcase successes in local government and dispel the perception that all is doom and gloom at the local sphere.
Our member municipalities continue to experience various sector departments implementing processes in their municipal spaces without aligning themselves to municipal integrated development plan, IDPs. This results in incoherence in terms of policy implementation which negatively affects developmental outcomes. Since this policy implementation takes place at the local level, we call on the NCOP to ensure that IDPs are used as a central planning tool to ensure integrated planning and implementation across sectors and the three spheres, in line with the National Development Plan. The NCOP is in a better position to oversee that it is the only institution that brings all the three spheres under one roof. With the legislative powers bestowed to it by the Constitution, the NCOP is also better placed for ensuring that national and provincial spheres provide adequate support to municipalities as required by section 154 of the Constitution.
In conclusion, as the SA Local Government Association, Salga, we remain committed to continuous and more meaningful engagement with the NCOP. We believe that today’s introspection will assist the honourable House in moving forward in its role of representing the interests of provinces, and in particular, ensuring the advancement and investment in developmental local government. We can confidently say that the NCOP is the vanguard of provincial and local interests.
As we march closer to 2016 local government elections, we will also mark 20 years of organised local government, let us celebrate how far we have come in entrenching local government in the work of the NCOP and build on this solid foundation as we enter the transition period. I thank you very much, hon Chairperson. [Applause.]
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, hon members and special delegates, all our colleagues have eloquently expressed the National Council of Provinces mandate – so we know by now, that provincial and local government issues must be raised at a national level. As vanguards of the unique role, with access to various parliamentary tools and at the forefront of considering legislation we need to prioritise how it affects the individual on the ground.
However, there is a deliberate erosion of the political tools that we have as Members of Parliament and without the proper functioning of this House, we cannot create a better society for all South Africans. The violation to the democratic principles needs to be addressed.
The NCOP played a leading role in 2009, when we came to this House, stating that the rules are amended annually. After almost seven years in this House, we can clearly contest that no efforts are being made by the governing party for the revised rules to serve in this House. There is only one solution and that is for the NCOP Chairperson to intervene and overrule the current stalemate where members of the governing party do not attend this important subcommittee meeting. The Chairperson should insist that the rules subcommittee sits early in December to finalise the rules for submission in February. The big issue hindering our ability to participate fully in the legislative process is the lack of respect from the executive to this House. In fact, it’s undermining our rights.
Ministers responding to the NCOP written and oral questions use this as a mere tick-box exercise. Increasingly, the quality replies by the Ministers and their departments are absolutely pathetic. Ministers do not attend NCOP select committee meetings. Hon Eddie Makue this week pointed out in a Select Committee for Trade and International Relations that Minister Davies had not attended a single committee meeting this year. Further, how many times have Ministers referred us to ask relevant NCOP questions at a provincial or local government level where we try to elevate these issues to Parliament?
In 1998, the Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Lesuia Lekota described the executive’s attitude towards the NCOP as dismissive. It is clear ... [Interjections.]
Mr E MAKUE: I rise on a point of order: The hon Van Lingen is not telling us the full truth. It is a point of order, because she is misleading the House. What has happened is that the Deputy Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry did attend meetings of the select committee. Thank you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you. That was a point of clarity and I am also a member of that committee and I really agree with the hon Makue. Continue, hon member.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, it’s very important that I point out and I used the word Ministers. They are the executive; Ministers do not attend NCOP select committees. Further, how many times have Ministers referred ... [Interjections.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, I am standing on a point of order: Just last week we had Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in our select committee, so the statement is misleading.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Which statement? I want the hon member to complete the sentence because we need to be sure of what ...
Ms L C DLAMINI: That Ministers are not attending select committees.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Also in our committee we do have some Ministers. Hon Van Lingen, please don’t mislead the House.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I’m not misleading the House we were in labour meeting today. The Minister and the Deputy Minister were absent, but the meeting continued. We negotiated at a different level, so may I continue?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Can you please say some Ministers because it’s not all of them?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Some Ministers, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: A fish rots from the head down. I am afraid our presiding officers sit at the neck of this fish. Let me explain. The hon President confirmed that he will debate in the NCOP on Thursday 5 November, which we now cannot do due to a state visit to India. However, the Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces knew that this was going to happen the week before last, because of the provincial alert raised with us. We were only ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: I would like the hon member to supply me with the proof that I knew. The records that I have in the office that I’m managing I did not have.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Can I come in hon Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: She is misleading the House and the public. She is casting an aspersion on my integrity, that’s what she’s doing. She must produce that proof. I had no documentation. I had nothing. She must withdraw. She must not cast an aspersion about my integrity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces. Hon Van Lingen, you just cast an aspersion on the Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces. Can you please withdraw that so that we continue?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I withdraw - I don’t know which part, but I withdraw. The DA through its values of freedom... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, Continue. [Laughter.] Order! We are managing your time, don’t worry. Take your seat, hon Van Lingen. Mme Zwane!
Ms L L ZWANE: Chairperson, I’m rising on a point of order: I want the hon member debating to actually unpack statement “the fish rots from the head to the bottom”. What is the meaning of that? Who is the head? Who is the bottom? Who is rotten?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay. Take your seat Mme. Hon Zwane; you were supposed to ask for permission to ask a question first. So you didn’t, now that falls off. Continue hon Van Lingen.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, the DA through its values of freedom, fairness and opportunity will continue fighting for the functions of this House to work for the people of South Africa through the Constitution. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M L A MASOGA - LIMPOPO - DEPUTY SPEAKER: House Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the Chief Whip of the House and the majority party, the representative of Salga Councillor Ramaremela, MECs present here, fellow delegates from provinces, comrades and friends. Chairperson I thank you very much for this opportunity afforded to us to address this august Council on its functioning and the quest to improve the lives of the people of South Africa for better.
We rise here carrying with us the wishes and aspirations of millions of our people who requested us – through the ballot as their legitimate servants - to speak in their names and on their behalf. We are not apologetic when an opportunity arises for us to represent their views as long as their mandate to us remains valid. This seating of the Council takes place on a very important day which we must acknowledge and appreciate when the three arms of our government – through their heads are meeting to deliberate [Interjection.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms. M C Dikgale): Order hon Essack, please don’t drown the speaker. Hon Essack please order, let’s have order in the House. Hon Essack, please be in order.
Mr M L A MASOGA: Hon Chair I was saying that it is important that this seating acknowledges and appreciate that it takes place on the day when the three arms of our government – through their heads are meeting on a very important meeting to deliberate on how these three arms can collaborate to better and improve the lives of our people. The advent of the democratic dispensation in South Africa post 1994, culminated in the formation of the representative parliamentary system which is dynamic and vibrant.
The Constitution of the Republic established Parliament which comprises of National Assembly and the NCOP a unique model of constitutional democracy only known in this country called South Africa. Both this Houses of Parliament participate in the legislative process with the NCOP representing the interests of provinces. The architects of our constitutional democracy were always driven by an ideal to build a unitary state anchored on the ideals and values of democracy and the production of human rights.
The rejected federalism and its attendant divisive tendencies, in favour of a united, non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. When my colleague, the speaker of the Western Cape, correctly mention the constitution of the Western Cape and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, - correctly as the facts are – it reminds me of my days when I was still governed by the constitution of Lebowa where I lived, 100 km on the far north, there would be another constitution of the republic of Venda, another 100 km to the north east there would be a republic of Gazankulu. On my return from Gazankulu I would still be governed by the constitution of the Republic of South Africa before 1994. Those were the painful days I must say.
Hon Chairperson, it is very important that we pause a while and reflect on how the NCOP has functioned and how it should be functioning moving forward without compromising the provisions of the constitution. It is very clear that the NCOP is very unique to this country and it is not similar to a senate or the upper Houses found in other countries. We need to grapple with these functions so that we should perfect it as the constitution so requires of us. The NCOP is the only House that brings the spheres of government under one roof in fostering friendly relations, co-operative government and inter governmental relations. Without that I should say that the NCOP has made great strides with regard to bringing together all spheres of government and the presence of Councillor Maremela here just confirms that.
The mechanism that the NCOP is using such as the taking Parliament to the people, local government week and the provincial week programmes had so far made huge impact in the three spheres of government. We have seen local, provincial and national government working together during these programmes to improve the lives of our people. These programmes should be maintained moving forward. However, there is a need to develop effective and proper follow up mechanism to ensure that recommendations made by the NCOP are effectively implemented by the executive.
There is a need to continuously monitor the changes and impact that the NCOP programmes has made for the betterment of the lives of the people of South Africa. As Limpopo province, we have hosted the NCOP taking Parliament to the people programme in our two regions, Mopane and Sekhukhune in the recent past. These programmes have left lasting legacy in the two districts by strengthening the bond between the people and their government. Not withstanding the budgetary constraints, the NCOP taking Parliament to the people and provincial week programmes should be continued as they bring Parliament to the people as well as granting ordinary citizens an opportunity to speak to their elected public representatives directly.
We are all aware that one of the key functions of the NCOP is to consider and pass legislation that will change the lives of our people. We are all aware that the NCOP is currently using six week cycle to pass legislation. The fundamental question that the NCOP should answer is whether this six weeks legislative cycle is giving provinces sufficient time to consider legislations bearing in mind public participation processes that the provinces should embark on. We should take into account that public involvement and participation is a key tenant of our democracy and should always be adhered to, but also, to avoid the tendency of litigating against our legislative processes.
This is a very important platform for us when the NCOP allows an opportunity to make a self introspection on our performance beyond the 20 years of freedom and democracy. It is my submission to this House that the six weeks legislative cycle be reviewed in order to facilitate effective public engagement and participation in law making processes. It is the responsibility of Parliament to transform society through dynamic legislation that is geared towards addressing the imbalances of the past and fast track transformation. It is therefore incumbent upon us to ensure that the legislation will pass and represent the views and aspirations of ordinary citizens in whose names we serve.
The provincial week programme gives the NCOP delegates an opportunity to understand the success, frustrations and the challenges that the respective provinces are faced with so that during their interaction at the national level they are able to articulate such issues on behalf of the provinces. It is my humble submission that the area of oversight function needs to be demystified and understood within the correct context that delegates of the NCOP are members of the provincial legislatures. Another area that we need to straighten moving forward, is the intervention in terms of Section 100 and 139 of the Republic. The Constitution provides that any intervention by the executive arm of government in a municipality or a province must be approved by the NCOP. This leaves the provincial legislatures out of the loop.
Using the Limpopo province as a classical example, five departments were placed under administration by the national cabinet and the administrators were appointed to administer those departments. However, the legislature had no role to play not even being officially notified about the intervention and this created a dilemma in terms of oversight work. Ministers that assumed executive powers of the five departments made it abundantly clear that they were not accountable to the provincial legislature, and so were the administrators.
By the way, the very national team was administering funds that were appropriated by the same legislature. This is an area that together we should clarify and ensure that there are clear guidelines relating to interventions in provincial and local government in terms of the provisions of the constitution. We should all advocate for the legislation envisaged by the constitution in this regard to be fast tracked in order to address the areas of uncertainties regarding this interventions. In conclusion, the NCOP has since its establishment made commendable strides in improving the lives of our people and we should continuously work together to ensure that the NCOP programmes makes great impact to the lives of the people of South Africa. We should work together to strengthen our working relations and ensure that all the NCOP resolutions are effectively implemented by the executive. The little resources at our disposal should be used effectively, efficiently and economically to ensure that South African citizens have access to sustainable quality services from their government. Together we can move the NCOP forward as a vanguard of the interest of the provinces. Thank you.
Mr J P PARKIES: Hon House Chair and hon members, the debate today is a significant one which needs discursive context so as to clarify and define for each other the meaning of a political institution like the NCOP within the context of the constitutional mandate. We solemnly believe that at the end of this debate we shall have educated each other about the characteristics of an institution in crisis, which stands opposed to the one that we are leading, the NCOP.
While we repudiate the rhythm of those who expectorate their sputum on the governing authority of this institution, their fermentation has long lost political puff. Like all others of this nature, the NCOP is a battleground for partisan political and ideological variants. Yet, we confirm that the formidable works of this institution should be appreciated.
Underpinning our constitutional mandate is the basic fundamental principle of our unwavering commitment to the effective governance and transformation of our society. Governance on its own deals with micro and macro-political processes and mechanisms, within which the institution accomplishes goals which are neither constant nor exogenously conceived with time and space.
Let us averse that as long as the tributaries of the revolution fail to reach individual members of society, even in those deep rural areas of our country, we have a case to stand on. We associate with the feckless mass forest of our people on the basis of their deep aspirations and social needs, but not on the basis of emotions and sentimentality.
The moral integrity and human dignity of our people cannot be traded nor exchanged with anything else. We touch the heartstrings and pulse of our people via physical interaction. Therefore in this context, the NCOP is the conscious expression of such needs and aspirations, through its programme. This is the only guarantee to secure us the inordinate confidence of our people that we dare not forfeit. The programme of this institution is not and will not be just a mere technocratic nor bureaucratic process that fails to fulfill and respond to the social needs of the great masses of our people. Otherwise we will be falling into the groove of routine-ism.
The smooth execution of the collectively agreed programme remains fundamental on behalf of the needs of our people. Central to this is the implementation of national policy and its impact on the masses of our people. We need to constantly evaluate and monitor the impact of our workings on the lives of the great masses.
The artificial climate of crisis tends to be the regular diet from the opposition parties that will only want to appear nonoffensive when they spell with their mouths horrible invectives to justify their agenda.
As the ANC’s public representatives, we ought to be genuine and honest about what we represent in politics. We stand right opposite to what the right-wingers and neoliberals represent in our politics. We are alive to their deliberate mimicry and allegorical strategy of superficial crisis which is just an atavistic notion of the liberal strategy.
Any process that we deal with can be measured by its adaptability and coherence of the institution. However, we need to frontload some issues that need debate and discussion in the context of the workload of this particular institution. Surely since the inception of the Fifth term of Parliament we continue with the work of the previous term. However, this does not mean that what does not work cannot be changed. We will tamper with the status quo all the time and preserve what works for the people.
The workings of the select committees define and carry the strength of the work we do as public representatives. A classical example will be the political oversight which hon members spoke about, legislative processes and direct democracy to our people. Anybody must tell us here and now that we are failing to do this in discharging our responsibility.
The description of the process of decision-making is not synonymous with disaster or an act of condescension – patronising superiority. We don't run this institution like erratic households members of ... [Inaudible.] ... here. [Interjections.] We do not run this institution like an erratic household. [Laughter.]
Planning is a collective act of faith that translates ideas into reality and that gives substance to aspirations. Its moral basis is its rootedness with the needs of the great masses of our people. The select committees represent the powerful device with unquailing strength that can and ought to constitute and define the hallmark of this institution called the NCOP. We are here engaging in a serious political discourse. We are not on any capricious trend in determining the programme of the NCOP or of Parliament.
The fundamental elements of any organised institution are adherence to its governing strictures, dignified governing authority and availability of revenue resources. The NCOP for its part cannot sidestep on issues of governance as a politically inclined institution.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chair, I just wanted to know whether hon Parkies will answer a question on whether he is still a racist as he seemed to be last time.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Let me check if he is ready. Are you ready to take a question? [Interjections.] He is not ready.
Mr J P PARKIES: The NCOP for its part cannot sidestep on issues of governance as a politically inclined institution. These issues of governance include political accountability, managing the outcomes and the scale and cost involved. We have no gelatinous view to the needs of the poor working class in this country, nor the stench of misery that exist or the voices of human dregs. Only these factors give evidence to our passion to perform and discharge our collective responsibility or work in the name of the people, for the people.
In the light of the above, we want to suggest that the NCOP ponders the establishment of an all-powerful remorseless standing committee with research capacity, technical skills and the necessary resources that will track down compliance – with our laws that we develop – by the private sector in this country, in terms of the commitments they are making, with possible ruthless sanctions to be imposed. We draw from the practical experience of the recent past oversight work that we did. This is why we will always say that we need iron willpower to impose nonpalliative measures on whoever takes our people for granted.
While our political acumen will tell the opposite against the disembowelling voices, as a collective leadership we do not just float in the bubble of comfort of our own creation on our backrest chairs. The pace and intensity of the work we do will determine how we ceiling through and surmount all challenges.
Since 1994, the DA has been repudiating the fact that there is positive change. We as the ANC government have used our political power to unbundle the codified system. A classical example is the pieces of legislations or legislation ... the legal guru says so ... legislation that we have developed since 1994. Redistributive measures respond to socioeconomic matters, which the DA spoke about on this platform. They will not see any decisive leadership again because the leadership that we provide as the ANC does not respond to their class senile interests.
With regard to stability and peace in South Africa, members of the ANC and the opposition must recognise and appreciate the political stability that we have in this country because there will never be any development that the DA is talking about if there is no stability and peace in this country. Only anarchists will disrupt peace and stability for their own political ends and for political expediency. They will forever base themselves on cynical lies as first fact propaganda to our people.
I have responded that any deplorable state of the NCOP’s functionality is just hypocrisy and political opportunism. Let’s illustrate this. You cannot talk of a deplorable state of the NCOP if the committees of this House are sitting. You cannot talk of a deplorable state of the NCOP if committees have oversight visits and activities. You cannot talk about a dysfunctional institution when you are Taking Parliament to the People. We took a conscious decision that says we are not going to take Parliament to the people because we need to go back, and assess and monitor the impact of Taking Parliament to the People; yet you come up here to this platform talking about a deplorable state of functionality of the NCOP. Actually, that’s nonsense. When people no longer have ideas they will resort to cynical lies to deceive the masses of our people. However, our masses will never be deceived by lies because lies themselves are not sustainable. [Interjections.] This is why we will continuously expose the fantastic hypocrisy of liberals and political opportunists in this world, and in this country and this land ... [Applause.] ... because if we did not touch the pulse and heartstrings of our people would we not have had the percentage we had in 2014.
An HON MEMBER: It’s not there anymore.
Mr J P PARKIES: As the ANC government we are alive to the challenges that we need to respond to and which we need to surmount. We have the political will as public representatives in this institution and we are genuine about it. [Interjections.] We are genuine about it. We will never fake anything in our existence. If you fake, the ANC activists and revolutionaries will never fake. Our strategic guiding thread is the deep aspirations of our people and their social needs, which we dare not betray. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chair, I wish you could have given me more time insofar as ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You have enough, Deputy Chairperson. You have seven minutes.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It’s alright. One must start by saying it has been quite a disappointing day, taking into account that what we sought to do was to reflect upon ourselves – the kind of work we are doing, where it is that we need to improve, what it is that we need to do better, collectively, in ensuring that, as an institution, we take processes forward that seek to improve the lives of our people.
As I approached the podium, hon Londt welcomed me back to the institution. Perhaps that is where I need to start, which then serves as a negation of what hon Vawda said, insofar as the role of the institution and the participation of the institution at an international level – our role as the NCOP, as a House, as Parliament in ensuring that being part of the globe, how then do we influence processes? How then do we shape the direction that the global institutions take in responding to the challenges that the global poor is faced with?
Thank you very much for reminding me of that, as it brings to light one aspect that, as the NCOP, we have not been addressing and which is an issue that we need to pause at and look at as an institution. Yes, it is true that, for the past two weeks, I have not been in the House precisely because of that participation. In the Czech Republic, for instance, the issue that was resolved on in terms of the role of member parliaments of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU, and, not only limited to it, the role of parliamentarians in mobilising and educating society in general and the people that they represent, was on nuclear nonproliferation and consent. What is our understanding? What is our position?
Yes, at an executive level, we know the South African state has a position on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. However, as Members of Parliament, what then becomes our position? What becomes the position of the NCOP? How do we involve local municipalities to understand the implications of this global challenge we are faced with today?
One other aspect that we have not been able to address effectively as a member Parliament to the IPU is trying to create a space within which we put the resolutions and decisions that are being taken by these global institutions or fora into practice. For instance, government, or the executive, has taken leadership on this. As Members of Parliament who are part of IPU family, we have started the process. One of the decisions, hon Londt, around the question of cyber-warfare is what our position becomes. How we respond to that? Do our children understand the kind of situation that they expose themselves to in cyberspace? As Members of Parliament, what becomes our position on nonstate organs, whether it be the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, or any other institution, that seek to undermine each and every democratic institution using cyberspace?
I think perhaps one of the things we need to do is to piggyback on what government had already started with the conference, under the leadership of hon Mahlobo, that ended yesterday. We should conscientise the South African community to the dangers of cyberspace if it is not properly co-ordinated. Here God! [God!] [Interjections.] Yes, it is God. I am asking for strength from God. So? There is nothing wrong with that. [Laughter.]
Hon members, I had said it at the start. The level of opportunism and this populist tendency, I think it is important that, as the NCOP, we need to have a clear programme with which we are going to go out there and educate our people on exactly what is happening in the House. We cannot have a situation where we say there is freedom of speech only if it benefits you and if it benefits you insofar as you are rude, you disregard the Rules, you disrespect other members, and you think that you are the only member who had been elected by the people when, in actual fact, all of us seated here have been elected by our people to come and represent them. [Applause.] Now you feel that, because of the fact that you have been elected, others have not been elected. It is an important aspect we should not shy away from in terms of engaging and participating about it and thoroughly speaking out against it.
I must that I am very disappointed in hon Labuschagne. It really reinforces the neoliberal thinking of how we see ourselves as an institution. How then do you reduce consulting our people, engaging with our people, listening to our people, and responding to the needs of our people to consultation or networking? It is a business thing. You are networking. It cannot be that activities that are geared at ensuring that we mobilise our people behind the programmes of this institution, programmes of strengthening democracy and so on, are reduced to networking.
As I conclude, let me thank all the members who made quite interesting contributions to the debate without mentioning any particular member who had been quite progressive in taking the institution forward. Yes, we listened to you. We listened to the views. It is our responsibility to reflect on the issues you had raised and to ensure that, as we do our work, the kind of views that you had expressed will strengthen us and make us a better institution. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The Council adjourned at 18:52.
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