Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 09 Jun 2015
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 09 JUNE 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:05.
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
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Does any member wish to give a notice of a motion? Notices of motion? Nothing. Motions without notice?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I am sorry; I want to talk on the first one.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: And now we have passed it. In any case you will be the only one.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Thank you, Chairperson. On behalf of the DA, I hereby wish to give notice that at the next sitting day of the House:
That the Council –
- debates the constitutional mandate of Parliament and the decorum of this House and functions of the presiding officers;
- notes that this comes in the light of the remarks made by the NCOP Chairperson in the media this past weekend in terms of Parliament being interfered with by the judiciary and undermined by the executive;
- acknowledges that it is imperative that Parliament obeys and applies the very laws it makes and it is supposed to implement;
- recognises that, as ruled by the courts, it is illegal for the Chairperson, for instance, to bring in security forces into Parliament to retain order and that this House respects the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary;
- further notes that the bias action of the governing party leaves opposition parties no choice but to, sometimes and very often, call on the judiciary to enforce the law;
- also notes that the DA is currently litigating 16 matters in court against the ANC at the cost of its own party funds and not the taxpayers’ to keep the President, the SABC, the provincial and local government, in other words, all spheres of government, from contravening the Rules of Parliament and also the Constitution.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is the point of order?
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chairperson, I think, in my understanding, this is a motion. Therefore, I will request that you don’t rule now but go back and come back to the House to tell us whether this motion is a notice of a motion. In my view, this is a motion that is supposed to be substantial and be put as a motion and not as a notice of a motion.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: In terms of the order of proceedings and in terms of the Rules, it is only correct that I called for notices of motions and the member stood up with a notice of a motion, which will then be printed. The Rules thus allow for an amendment, if there is a need, and this can only happen once a member stands up to amend a motion as ... [Inaudible.]. For now, it will read as a notice of a motion.
I noticed that members woke up a little bit late. Are we on notices of motions or motions without notice? [Interjections.] Notices of motions. Okay, I do have a list here. Yes, you may proceed.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Hon Deputy Chair, I hereby move an amendment to the notice of a motion:
That the House -
- debates the constitutional mandate of the Council that this is governed by the Constitution and that there is a Committee on Constitutional Review that deals with matters of review of mandates;
- notes that the Rules Committee has made a decision on the review of Rules and the committee was subsequently appointed; and
- also notes therefore the governing party cannot be implicated in terms of its violation and its respect of the Constitution unless a substantive motion is put and there is proof of that, and note allegations that are put forward. That is my amendment in terms of the notice of a motion that was given.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection to the motion? In the light of no objection therefore the motion shall read as a notice.
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
FREE STATE LEGISLATURE FAILS IN ITS CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that the Free State Provincial Legislature failed in its constitutional mandate to refer the section 76 Financial and Fiscal Commission Amendment Bill for deliberation to the Portfolio Committee on Finance resulting in the province being unable to propose possible amendments or establish negotiating mandate in terms of Rule 194;
- further notes that the legislature failed to advertise an invitation for public comment resulting in a flawed public participation process on this Bill;
- also notes the ANC’s predictable wilful agenda to undermine the functioning of the legislature and the Constitution; and
- finally, strongly condemns the failure to fulfil duties by all representatives involved, most noticeably the Office of the Chief Whip of the Legislature. The ANC’s failure to ensure the proper functioning of the legislature and the fulfilment of their mandate is yet again letting down the people of the Free State.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection to the motion? In light of the objection the motion without notice, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with, it now becomes a notice of motion on the order paper.
SEVEN PRISONERS ESCAPE IN LENASIA MAGISTRATE COURT
Mr M J MOHAPI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes with concern that seven awaiting trial prisoners overpowered police officers and escaped from the Lenasia Magistrate Court on Monday afternoon after having appeared in court;
- further notes that these prisoners include Brendon Paul, Johnson Leroy, Romeo Beukes, Luvesh Veerasamy, Dumisani Selepe, Thabiso Sebelwane and Mpho Ramatsoale;
- also notes that the prisoners overpowered police officers working at the court cells and broke the main door to make their escape;
- further notes that they are on different charges ranging from robbery with aggravating circumstances, house breaking and theft; and
- calls on the responsible law enforcement agencies to trace and apprehend them and conduct an investigation on the circumstances of their escape
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
GAUTENG GOVERNMENT SURPASSES ALL EXPECTATIONS IN JOB CREATION
Mr E MAKUE: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that the poverty alleviation, job opportunities initiative by the Gauteng provincial government has surpassed all expectations, having already created 51 385 job opportunities against the targeted 48 377 job opportunities;
- also notes that the municipalities in the province have performed equally well by creating 112 47 job opportunities, exceeding the target of 63 670;
- further notes that the vulnerable groups, military veterans and women participate in business opportunities created by the provincial government through co-operatives and small, medium and macro enterprises; and
- therefore congratulates the government of Gauteng in exceeding their targets in creating job opportunities.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is there any objection to the motion? In light of the objection the motion without notice, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with, it now becomes a notice of motion on the order paper.
CALLS TO RESTORE WOMEN AND CHILDREN’S SAFETY IN BREDASDORP
Ms B S MASANGO: Deputy Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes with great concern the recent murder of 15-year-old Elna Japhta whose body was found wrapped in a blanket under a bed in Zwelitsha informal settlement;
- further notes that this is a third senseless incident reported in which violence is meted out against young women in Bredasdorp, after Anene Booysen and Kayde Williams;
- also notes that these acts of heinous crimes against women and children take place as the country marks the beginning of national Child Protection Week;
- calls on police, community structures and other stakeholders to work together to bring this scourge to an end and restore children’s safety in Bredasdorp; and
- conveys its sincere and deep condolences to Elna’s family and loved ones and may her young soul rest in eternal peace.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
SHORTAGE OF AMBULANCES IN GAUTENG
Mr J W W JULIUS: Deputy Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council –
- notes that the Gauteng Provincial Health Department admitted to having a shortage of 760 ambulances to date in order to meet the national norm of one ambulance for every 10 000 people;
- further notes that this situation is putting the lives of all residents at a great risk as evidenced by Mr Joseph Marks’ death who died one day after an ambulance was allegedly not available to transport him to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital;
- acknowledges that the Mpumalanga Provincial Health Department has a shortage of 140 ambulances;
- notes that this is yet another showcase of an uncaring ANC government; and
- calls for immediate intervention as emergency services cannot be compromised.
In light of the objection the motion without notice, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with, it now becomes a notice of motion on the Order Paper.
CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SKILLS WOMEN IN LIBODE
Mr L B GAEHLER: Deputy Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that a group of 36 villagers from Libode, in the Eastern Cape, led by a 20-year-old young women, Nosipho Pani took advantage of training offered by a construction company contracted by the SA National Road Agency Ltd;
- further notes that they were trained in bricklaying, carpentry and plastering;
- also notes that this group of villagers took their training into practice and built a complete classroom for the village school, called Zwelakhe Junior Secondary School;
- acknowledges that this programme has changed unskilled and unemployed villagers into skilled bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers;
- commends this group of young villagers for their great contribution to the community and their life in general; and
- calls on all service providers contracted by government to plough back to the community through such initiatives.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution
AT LEAST 200 KILLED AT A PETROL STATION EXPLOSION IN GHANA
Mr A S SINGH: Deputy Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes with deepest sympathy that Ghana experienced a disaster following an explosion at a petrol station in the country's capital, Accra, on Wednesday night which killed at least 200 people;
- further notes that the aftermath of the catastrophic explosion and the torrential rain has overwhelmed and devastated the people of Ghana;
- also notes that the Department of International Relations, through the SA High Commission in Accra, was in contact with authorities in Ghana and on standby to assist and identify if there were any South Africans involved; and
- sends its deepest condolences to the government of Ghana and to everyone affected, particularly to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the unprecedented explosion in the petrol station.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
MPUMALANGA MUNICIPAL MANAGERS DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE MINIMUM COMPETENCY LEVELS
Mr F ESSACK: Deputy Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that the DA has learnt that only nine out of 21 municipal managers, that is 43%, in Mpumalanga comply with the minimum competency levels as set out by the national treasury’s municipal regulations;
- further notes that more than half the province’s municipal managers are technically unqualified to serve, as is shown by Emalahleni Acting Municipal Manager, Theo Van Vuuren, who has also failed to comply with the minimum requirements and has spent R20 million of ratepayers’ funds on body guards for politicians alone;
- acknowledges that these facts are according to written responses to questions paused by the DA to the department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs;
- notes that poor service delivery is a direct result of the ANC government’s insistence on appointing officials as a reward for political loyalty and not according to their skills;
- also notes that earlier this year, National Treasury announced that noncompliant officials will b removed by 30 September 2015; and
- further notes that the DA be sure will monitor this and insist on fully qualified municipal managers for the benefit of our fellow South Africans.
In light of the objection the motion without notice, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with, it now becomes a notice of motion on the order paper
RSA AND USA SIGN AGREEMENT FOR SCRAPPING ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON USA POULTRY IMPORTS
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon Deputy Chair, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes that South Africa and the United States have signed an agreement paving the way for scrapping of anti-dumping duties on US poultry imports and securing South Africa’s participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act;
- further notes that the agreement was reached following a two-day meeting in Paris between the SA Poultry Association and its US counterpart, the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council;
- also notes that the participation of South Africa in the African Growth and Opportunity Act in the next 10 years guarantees benefits of R31,4 billion and thousands of jobs; and
- congratulates the SA Poultry Association and the Department of Trade and Industry on this important agreement.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution
ANC WINS BIG IN THE FREE STATE BY-ELECTIONS
Mr J P PARKIES: Deputy Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council –
- notes that on 4 June 2015 by-elections took place in Ward 10 Mqhaka in the Free State and the ANC won 89%, Cope had 12,4% and their new councillor is Paul Chakane;
- further notes that this attests to the fact that the ANC and the people are together, our people still have confidence in the ANC; and
- also notes that the ANC wants to recommit to serving the people.
UNITED CONGREGATION CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA HONOURS REV B K DLUDLA
Mnu M KHAWULA: Sekela Sihlalo, ngiphakama ngaphandle kokwazisa:
Ukuthi le Ndlu –
- yazi futhi izibandakanye nokuchoma uphaphe lwegwalagwala ingqalabutho yoMfundisi weBandla i-United Congregation Church of Southern Africa, i-UCCSA, uBaba uMfundisi B K Dludla;
- iphinde yazi ukuthi umfundisi Dludla wenzelwe umcimbi yibandla aliholayo i-UCCSA yaku-Beatrice street eThekwini ngoMgqibelo mhla zingama-23 kuNhlaba 2015;
- ikhumbule ukuthi ibandla belimbonga ngokuqeda iminyaka engamashumi ayisithupha engumfundisi, kanti yena uBaba uDludla useneminyaka engamashumi ayisishiyagalombili nesishiyagalolunye edla anhlavana;
- Isikhulumi sosuku kule nkonzo bekuwuMntwana wakwaPhindangene Inkosi uMangosuthu Buthelezi, uNdunankulu womdabu wesizwe saKwaZulu;
- Kubuye kwenanela nenkulumo kaMfundisi uNjabulo Makhanya webandla i-UCCSA egatsheni lase-Adams Mission, nongumodereytha we-UCCSA;
- Phela i-UCCC yiyo eyakha isikole esidumile i-Adams College, okwafunda kuyo izingqalabutho ezifana noMongameli uRobert Mugabe, uMnumzane uJoshua Nkomo, uDokotela Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Inkosi M G Buthelezi nabanye abaholi abaningi; futhi
- Egameni loMKhandlu Kazwelonke Wezifundazwe ePhalamende laseNingizimu Afrika sithi, Cebisa! Ume njalo nje! Ngiyabonga.
(Translation of isiZulu motion without notice follows.)
[MR M KHAWULA: Deputy Chairperson, I move without notice that:
The House -
- notes and joins in in congratulating the Reverend who is a pioneer of the United Congregation Church of Southern Africa, Rev B K Dludla;
- and also note that his church, the UCCSA which is based in Beatrice street in Durban, held an event in his honour on Saturday, 23 May 2015;
- should remember that the congregation was congratulating him for completing 60 years as an ordained minister, whilst Rev Dludla is 89 years old.
- The speaker of the day at this service was the Prince of KwaPhindangene, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is the Traditional leader of the Zulu nation.
- Rev Njabulo Makhanya of the UCCSA, Adams Mission branch, who is also a moderator for UCCSA also delivered a speech.
- It is the UCCSA that built the famous Adams College, where pioneers such as President Robert Mugabe, Mr Joshua Nkomo, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and many other leaders were educated ; and
- On behalf of the NCOP we say, Cebisa (Clan name.)! Continue to prosper!
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
ENERGY INVESTS IN WIND AND SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC PROJECTS
Ms M C DIKGALE: Hon Deputy Chair, I move without notice:
That the Council -
- notes with appreciation the announcement of another 13 preferred bidders for wind and solar photovoltaic projects by the Minister of Energy, hon Tina Joemat-Pettersson;
- further notes that the private sector investment in renewable energy generation will reach R193 billion following this announcement;
- also notes that South Africa’s renewable energy programme is the fastest growing in the world and has seen large investment flow into the country, while prices of energy production have fallen; and
- congratulates the Department of Energy in their successful wind and solar energy programme.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
POSTPONEMENT OF MOTION ON THE ORDER PAPER
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I moved:
That Order One on the Order Paper be postponed.
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.
Vote No 14 - Basic Education, and Vote No 15 - Higher Education and Training:
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chairperson, hon MEC for Education in the Western Cape, hon members and stakeholders in education who are seated in the gallery, we convene at a time when we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. This document culminated as a result of the endeavours of more than 50 000 volunteers who straddled the length and breadth of the country to determine what it was that they would like to have in a constitution. The document was adopted on 26 June and it had inspired us when we drafted our Constitution, which is regarded as one of the most progressive and liberal constitutions in the world.
It is time for us to reflect on how we have progressed with regard to this document, which eloquently proclaims that South Africa belongs to all who live in it in it, black and white. In addition, it certainly emphasises the importance of education, recognising that the doors of learning and culture shall be opened. What we have to reflect on is whether, indeed, we have paid attention to the demands within the Freedom Charter, and which are enshrined in our Constitution where our Constitution has made education an unqualified human right.
It is quite interesting that the hon Minister of Higher Education and Training and I had the privilege of representing our country at the World Education Forum at Incheon South Korea, quite recently. More than 120 Ministers and a plenary of more than 3 000 people were present. As South Africans, we were able to contribute to the declaration and our contribution was largely and broadly accepted by the drafters. We were able to influence the drafters into accepting that an element of tolerance is critical and necessary as we seek social cohesion and a global education system. We were also able to convince them that their limited expression of diversity through culture was not sufficient and that they should incorporate the element of racial as well as religious and linguistic integration. This inspiration was drawn from our own Constitution and the struggle of our people to achieve quality and freedom. In a large measure, it has influenced us in endeavouring to shape the agenda for the world.
The Freedom Charter speaks eloquently of education, stating among the aims of education is that education shall be to teach the youth to love their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace. These are the words of the Freedom Charter some 60 years ago. Today, we can celebrate the fact that our sisters and our brothers from the continent, heads of state, are assembling here in South Africa, on our shores, to celebrate, and, indeed, to assemble under the theme of the year, Women empowerment and development towards Africa’s agenda 2063. What this says to us is that when we, in our founding provisions, sought and aspired to create a society that is nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous, we were, indeed, on the right track.
As a system of education, we always believe and argue that our education is based on the ability to provide knowledge, skills and values. Indeed, values form an integral part of our Constitution. If one considers the declaration of the Incheon conference, it speaks of a new vision for 2030 under the banner, Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. I am happy that the hon Minister of Higher Education and Training is present out here. I am sure he will be able to share the views, or certainly, the vision and mission of the Department of Higher Education and Training in terms of lifelong learning in all its facets.
I would like to approach this debate somewhat differently. We are in the NCOP and it is really about the extent to which provinces are able to contribute to the quality of life of our people and the provision of quality education. What we can celebrate, as a sector and as the Department of Basic Education, is that we work collaboratively and harmoniously, and together we are, indeed, able to do more.
Our country can celebrate many things in term of this particular sector. We can say we are able to feed more than 9,7 million children in our schools every day, and this occurs across the provinces. We can also share with you that there is more than one model in terms of provision of food. In the Eastern Cape, for example, there is a wonderful illustration of how decentralisation and community empowerment have contributed very meaningfully and in a sustained way to the provision of quality food.
Note that the Eastern Cape was under administration, and one of the reasons for the intervention in terms of section 101(b) was that they were unable, among other things, to deliver nutrition. Today, however, we can celebrate the fact that the Eastern Cape, through its model of decentralisation, has been able to empower its women in rural villages; has been able to develop food gardens; has been able to teach those who are preparing food the essentials of hygiene and good nutrition; and has been able to deliver quality food to the learners. I think it is something that we have to celebrate and it’s a model that we have to look at closely. The North West and the Free State are also involved in a similar, decentralised model.
What we celebrate is a fact. Certainly, we are reminded from time to time about certain inefficiencies and challenges in the nutrition scheme, such as what we had in Limpopo. We tend to forget, however, as we look at the challenges and difficulties within a particular province or within a particular district about the scale of delivery to more than 9,7 million people. That is, indeed, something that is substantive, huge and something that we can celebrate.
We have learnt from the provinces that there are different modalities of delivery, also in terms of text books. So, for example, we are all quite ashamed about the inefficiencies within Limpopo, which had failed to deliver textbooks timeously. However, we can celebrate the fact that, amongst the nine provinces, the province that was able to deliver textbooks at the most cost-effective way has been Limpopo, followed by the Eastern Cape – the two provinces that were under administration. So, certainly, what we can do is convert disaster into triumph and ensure that, as we learn from our difficult lessons of the past, we can build a better future for all of us.
What is interesting about this exercise is that provinces share their ideas and practices among each other and are better able to do better. My colleague from the Western Cape has a particular model in terms of multigrade teaching which we do believe excels amongst all the provinces. We have taken the best practice here, utilised ICT, and ensured that recognising that multigrade schools are a phenomenon that we cannot eliminate and eradicate within a short space of time, we should use the best possible model so that the educator with the enabling tools of ICT is better able to do his or her job.
This has been the success of this story. When we look at the results, we share and celebrate the fact that we have consistently improved our results, although there was a marginal dip last year as a result of the fact that it was for the first time that the matriculants wrote the National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement. Be that as it may, what we are seeing is quite phenomenal. Previously, those who had succeeded and those who had optimal performances were either Gauteng or the Western Cape. Last year it was Gauteng, and marginally behind, was the North West, followed by the Free State and the Western Cape.
In the context of a country that is a unitary state, what it says to us is that where provinces basically begin to work with each other and share best practices, even the deeply rural provinces have an opportunity to excel. So, in the past two years, the Eastern Cape, which was under administration and which had never performed above 60%, was able to go beyond 60% and has now achieved 65%.
We can celebrate the fact that out of the nine provinces, four have achieved more than 80% in terms of the National Senior Certificate examination. The other four provinces achieved between 70% and 80%. So, that means a significant improvement has occurred in terms of the quality of education across the country. The Eastern Cape must do better, and we do believe that the minimum threshold in terms of performance and achievement should be 75%. Indeed, very soon, we would like it to be nothing less than 80%.
Whereas in the past we would say we would be very fortunate if at least one out of five learners went to universities, we can now say, quite proudly, that one out of three can go to university; one out of three can go to a university of technology; and at least one could go to an alternative college. That means that in terms of the quality of education, there has been an improvement.
What is more significant is recognising the importance of equity and the importance of providing access and opportunity to our people. Whereas in the past distinctions was a phenomenon that only occurred amongst Quintile 4 and 5 schools, we now have the Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools contributing more distinctions than Quintile 4 and 5 schools. That is, indeed, a success story.
However, we tend to be distracted by those who say that we are not proceeding. We do something quite unique in South Africa, and again, this cannot occur unless all the provinces work together and unless we recognise that together, in a uniform way, we do have challenges. The challenges, amongst others, are in terms of literacy and numeracy.
What South Africa does is something that no other country does on the scale that we do. We test each and every learner from Grade 1 to Grade 6 on his or her ability in terms of literacy and numeracy, and we do so on the basis of internationally benchmarked tests. Last year, for example, we tested more than 7,6 million learners. Next year, it will be increased to about 9 million, because we are also going to test the Grade 7 and 8 learners.
What this has indicated to us, as a diagnostic tool, is that there were, certainly, challenges. However, we have seen quite significantly – and the empirical evidence is there – that the foundation phase is improving radically. Grades 1 to 5 are improving year after year. The Eastern Cape, which was previously on the bottom rung in terms of performance, now oscillates between levels 4 and 5. This means that if you pay particular attention to the foundations of learning, you can create a better learning environment and, indeed, your learners can do better.
I’ve always argued that poverty is a condition. It should never be an excuse for poor performance. So, if we go to the province of Limpopo, we will find Mbilwi Secondary School, which has never any fewer than 200 matriculants, and which never produces anything less than 120 distinctions in Mathematics and Science. Its pass rate in Mathematics and Science is more than 120.
Any moderate school amongst the former Model C schools has superior infrastructure to those schools. The educators are African, the learners are African, and they are generally rural. No learner is excluded from the school. However, the condition is that he or she must be willing to spend extended hours and weekends studying, and must do Mathematics and Science. That is a success story, and not far from that, you have Dendron Secondary School, which is competing with Mbilwi.
The future is promising, provided there is a commitment to provide quality education and there is a resolve amongst our educators to do better. What we have argued is that we cannot only rely on the institutions of higher learning to provide teacher resources and professional development. We have established 140 teacher resource centres, 65 of which are highly sophisticated and connected, and provide all the facilities a teacher could desire. They have an archive of ICT, where they could, basically, have the curriculum content and all supporting material on ICT and certainly are able to interact with schools in their environment.
We are grateful for the support we receive from Vodacom, MTN and Unisa. Very soon, each one of these 140 teacher resource centres will be optimally functional. They are already being used. They are used for English Additional Language, where educators are, in an unobtrusive way, able to assess their capacity in terms of content knowledge and are able to do a pre-test and a post-test. Indications clearly reveal that this exercise is not a fruitless one and there is a significant improvement in the performance of educators, particularly with regard to content knowledge.
As we share this with you, we want to share with you that there are already 94 instruments that are almost ready for use by educators. They will then be able to assess the ability in each of the subjects across the grades, particularly in respect of Mathematics and Science. Progressively and incrementally, we hope to do so in each one of the subjects, because content knowledge as well as pedagogy is critical and necessary.
We have moved forward. In fact, if you were in Incheon in South Korea, they would have told you that we recognise the importance of ICT as a critical enabler of education. However, ICT has to be linked to professional development and the competencies and capacity of an educator to be able to facilitate learning in a different environment. It is about problem-solving skills and a new pedagogy towards education.
Group and collaborative learning becomes very important, and indeed, our children must be in the 21st century. We are working at great speed and, indeed, the frontrunners in terms of ICT are Gauteng and the Western Cape, with regard to that particular exercise. As we do so, however, we cannot forget the importance of our rural provinces and how important it is for us to breach the digital divide. It is our intention and resolute hope that by the end of our term, every single school will be connected.
What we can share with you is that the entire curriculum content has been digitised. What we can share with you is that, through a partnership with MXit and Unicef, we’ve created a platform whereby you can have all past papers, exemplars, the entire curriculum content and more than 200 readers received to more than 600 devices – from the simplest to smarter cellphone, an iPad or a desktop computer. This is the reality here.
So, as we speak to you in terms of the 21st century, it is not something we wish for and aspire to. Digitisation has already taken a place. We are gearing for the time when we can say there is connectivity. Therefore, we have argued for this and our hon Minister of Higher Education and Training will engage with higher education to ensure that every educator, every teacher who passes through the institutions of higher learning has the appropriate ICT skills in order to succeed.
We tend to forget how much we do, and as we argue at times about the nondelivery of books in certain schools, we can share with you that we deliver more than 55 million books to enhance literacy and numeracy to our children. They are in the 11 official languages, delivered free of charge to every child, black and white, from Quintile 1 to Quintile 5 schools. We do so because we have an entrenched right to education and we recognise the fact that, in order to promote literacy and numeracy, we have got to make sure that these resources are provided.
I shared with my colleague from the Western Cape that just a week ago, I had the privilege of delivering one of the schools in De Doorns – was it? ... [Interjections.] ... not De Doorns. From De Doorns to de Duine, yes. We did one in De Doorns as well, and that’s at de Duine. Dunoon to de Duine. That’s right. This school is worth more than R40 million and is located in the most economically depressed area. It is one of the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, Asidi, projects, and one of the 108 schools we have been able to deliver.
For the past 18 months, we have been able to say we are completing a state-of-the-art school each week. Indeed, we will do so for the next year-and-a-half to two years, because we have to do so. However, what we discovered when we visited the school is that, notwithstanding the poverty surrounding this particular, wonderful and imposing state-of-the-art school with a laboratory, library, ICT and even a dance floor, our learners were ready for learning. We saw our workbooks being used in each one of the classrooms and the learners were able to read these books with understanding. The levels of achievement in terms of literacy and numeracy across the grades exceeded the national average, and this was amongst the poorest community in the Western Cape.
It is not a phenomenon of the Western Cape only. It is a phenomenon throughout the country, and we do believe that education is not about a competition between and amongst provinces. It is about working collaboratively to achieve the best interests of our children. Indeed, if we look at our Asidi programme, we will recognise that we have already delivered 13 state-of-the-art schools to the Western Cape, and 12 are under construction. This is, indeed, a huge contribution towards education.
There is so much to say and there is such a good narrative in terms of education. I can only say that we are certainly bound and tied by the ropes of hope. Together, we can look forward to a prosperous future, notwithstanding the challenges that we have to overcome and the legacy of a very divided past. I thank you for your kind attention. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy Ministers Manana and Surty, chairperson of the select committee, hon Zwane, hon members of the NCOP, the director-general and staff of the department, heads and executives of all our post-school organisations and institutions, honoured guests, including my special guests, ladies and gentlemen and comrades, I have done something that I haven’t done before. I hope you will find that in order. Due to time constraints, I am going to circulate a longer version of the speech that I have given, which has more details and I am only going to present a summary of what is there, so that members can actually benefit from the detail that we are providing.
The agenda for the transformation of our education system was shaped by decades of struggles, including the struggle of people’s education for people’s power. This agenda was translated into government policies by the ANC government from 1994. On the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, we can confidently say that much has been done to open the doors of learning and culture. For example, black and women students are now in the majority in our universities, and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, has supported more than 1,5 million poor students, most of whom being the first graduates ever in the history of their families. [Applause.]
However, we still have a long way to go and transformation efforts must continue uncompromisingly, including making headway in so far as mainstreaming - the incorporation of people with disabilities, both students and staff - is concerned. Disabled people have not been fairly treated in our country. We have to accept that. In December 2014, I appointed a ministerial committee to develop a Strategic Disability Policy Framework that will strengthen the implementation and monitoring of disability policies across the post-school education and training system.
This financial year, I will also introduce the Higher Education Amendment Bill to Parliament as well as amendments to the Skills Development Act. These amendments also aim to strike an appropriate balance between institutional autonomy and public accountability of universities.
By the way, contrary to some myths, there is no constitutional clause on institutional autonomy in our Constitution. Our Constitution only talks about academic freedom. Some of the members sometimes mislead people by saying that institutional autonomy is a constitutional imperative. It is not. Therefore, in our own White Paper, we balance institutional autonomy with public accountability that our universities are public institutions that must be held accountable.
I wish that the NCOP will also get into the habit of calling upon some of our universities to come and account about how they are using public money and how they are actually promoting inclusion, rather than segregation. I don’t think that we should be intimidated by the idea of institutional autonomy. They are public institutions. [Applause.] They must account to you.
I also wish to say that, based on our White Paper, we are developing a new national plan for post-school education and training, which we will finalise by March 2017 and which will then cover our roadmap to 2030.
For the 2015 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, the budget of the department amounts to R41,8 billion for 2015-16, which is an increase of R2,8 billion on the 2014-15 allocation, excluding of course the direct charges that fund the Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, and the National Skills Fund.
On the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, for the 2015-16 financial year, the total NSFAS budget amounts to R9,5 billion for the allocation of 205 000 university student loans and bursaries and 200 000 Technology and Vocational Educational Training, TVET, college bursaries, with the highest allocation going to Gauteng, a sign that most of our universities and colleges are concentrated there.
Donor allocations include not only funds from the Department of Basic Education and Training in the form of Funza Lushaka, but also the Department of Social Development, the Setas, the National Skills Fund, but also funding for bursaries from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Governments. I also wish that other provinces could do the same, so that we increase the pot that we have.
I do need to say that whatever challenges we have regarding NSFAS, this is making a huge difference to poor students in our country. In fact, this is one of the most successful interventions by this ANC government. That is why our detractors will never mention the benefits emanating from NSFAS, instead they focus on problems and challenges, because the aim is to distract.
NSFAS is one of the most important achievements by this government. This is our point of departure. [Applause.] Then we can talk about the challenges and the problems. The achievements of NSFAS are just ignored, because there is a huge campaign to try and discredit it.
We are committed to increasing access to universities, aiming to have 1,1 million students in 2019 in order to reach our target of 1,6 million university students by 2030.
There has been a lot of progress with the new universities. Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley did its second intake this year and has appointed a permanent vice chancellor. The University of Mpumalanga did its second intake and has appointed a vice chancellor. The President launched the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. It is the third university now under a democratic South Africa, with just over 5 000 students and incorporating the Medical University of South Africa, Medunsa. Next year, we are hoping to open the first medical school in a democratic South Africa at the University of Limpopo. [Applause.]
We are also committed to producing quality teachers for the system. The number of new teacher graduates continues to grow with 16 496 new teachers graduating in 2013. By 2019, this figure will exceed 20 000, and therefore, addressing the teacher shortage.
We are also pleased to announce that with the support of a number of partners, we have established the first Centre for African Languages Teaching that has been established as part of the University of Mpumalanga’s Siyabuswa Campus. This centre will promote research into teaching African languages, particularly the dominant languages of Mpumalanga province, IsiNdebele and Siswati. We are hoping that we can then also use these across all other languages, especially African languages.
We are indeed piloting community colleges as from next year. However, from 1 April this year, we have already established nine Community Education and Training Colleges Administrative Centres across the nine provinces, which allow for the absorption of our Adult Basic Education and Training centres into these new community colleges that we need.
The 2011 Census tells us that there are 18 million South Africans who need Adult Basic Education and Training of one kind or the other. For this reason, I will therefore establish a fully fledged branch on adult education and community college education in my department, headed by a deputy director-general.
We would like to thank the provincial education MECs and their heads of departments for their co-operation, especially in the function shift of both TVET colleges and adult education centres.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training college enrolments have more than doubled over the past five years and will continue to increase, targeting 725 000 headcount enrolments this year. Nevertheless, we have grown this sector too fast. We are going to slow down a bit, in order to focus on the improvement of quality, and training the right kind of lecturers.
This academic year, for the first time, we have introduced an elective subject in the National Certificate, Vocational, and Engineering programmes around renewable energy technology in our colleges.
Colleges in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape have been approached to participate in the development of maritime skills, linked to the Operation Phakisa’s oceans economy, a presidentially-led programme to revive and develop the opportunities from our oceans.
Last year, I committed to building new college campuses. Construction work at three of the 12 has started and we are expecting the first delivery of a complete campus in Thabazimbi.
We also continue to make steady progress in dealing with certification backlogs. Four hundred and ninety-six thousand certificates have been issued since 2012, with 103 000 still being processed.
Nevertheless, we will provide statements to the students affected, which is proof that they have attended and passed, in the meantime. We are working very hard to address this problem.
We are also very pleased that we are going to expand what we call Higher Certificate, basically targeting students who have not made it in matric to bridge in order to go to university or colleges or so that some of them can actually get employment.
A number of South African universities, most notably, the University of Free State, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of South Africa, have heeded the call to develop and offer a range of Higher Certificates at NQF Level 5 in close co-operation with TVET colleges.
On Setas, I am now of the view that the Setas should really focus on training at the workplace, including facilitating partnership between educational institutions and the employers. The department has developed an online registration system for students seeking work-integrated opportunities.
Allow me to take this opportunity to thank my Deputy Minister, Mr Manana, our director-general, as well as my Cabinet colleagues and all senior officials in the department for the good work that they are doing. Siyaqhuba [We are moving.]. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms L L ZWANE: Chairperson, the hon Minister for Higher Education and Training and the Deputy Minister, as well as the Deputy Minister for Basic Education, hon Members of the NCOP, the guests that are actually visitors to the debates of these two departments at the gallery, let me take this opportunity to thank you for taking part in these very important debates: The debates on the Budget Votes for Basic Education as well as the Budget Vote for Higher Education and Training.
On behalf of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation, I am proud to report that we have always enjoyed maximum co-operation of both the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training, respectively. I want to take this opportunity to thank the political heads of these departments: Minister Motshekga; and the Deputy Minister who has just addressed us, Minister Surty. I also do want to thank the hon Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Ndzimande, and the Deputy Minister.
I also want to thank the DDGs and the DGs of these departments because we have always received the maximum co-operation and support whenever we have engaged with the department. We want to thank the political leadership for always being available and giving the political direction that they need to give; given the magnitude of the mandate that they need to execute. We have no doubt that the state of education in our country is going to improve year-in and year-out because we have been given ambassadors that are equal to the task.
As the select committee, we have engaged both departments on their Medium Term Strategic Framework and their annual performance plans. We have satisfied ourselves that these plans have been aligned perfectly with the fundamental instruments like the NDP, the state of the nation address, the Sona, and the relevant pieces of the legislative framework that govern the operations of both these departments. Both departments were able to provide clear context within which their strategic plans have been developed and a clear account of the annual performance plans and how the budget is aligned to the targets.
Our own hero and struggle icon, former President Nelson Mandela - when addressing the community of Qunu, on the occasion of dedicating Qunu and Kalande Schools on 3 June 1995 – said, and I want to quote:
As we set about building a new South Africa, one of our highest priorities must be our children. Our children are the rock on which our future will be built; our greatest assets of the nation. They will be leaders of our country, the creators of national wealth, those who will care and protect our people.
With the strength of thinking and background, one therefore understands why the ANC-led government has always and continues to insist that education is the apex priority of government. They have gone further to ensure that the concomitant budget is allocated for these two departments to be able to roll out a quality education that we have fought for our people.
For departments to be able to dispense quality education, there are fundamental issues that you cannot ignore. Such fundamentals are the development of our human capital, the development of the curriculum that speaks to the needs of the industry out there. I am happy that as we engage the department, we did actually realise that there is a continuous alignment of the curriculum with the needs of the industry because we need to produce student or graduates that are actually employable. These are non-negotiable!
The issue of teachers that are always at work timeously, prepared for their work, making maximum use of learner-teacher support materials and teachers that are actually qualified for the subjects that they teach is of critical importance. We also need to address the issue of the mismatch of the skills and qualifications versus the subjects that the teachers are actually offering.
I know that the Department of Basic Education has got programmes of actually capacitating teachers, skilling them and re-skilling with a view to ensuring that they are able to dispense the new national Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement, the Caps curriculum. We also take pride in the fact that as we look at the matric results, there has been sturdy progress in terms of improving our performance at that level. We are not going to focus only at that level of performance though. The lower levels are of critical importance, hence the significance of Department of Basic Education’s Annual National Assessment, Ana.
We are aware that about seven million learners have actually taken part in the third circle of these assessments. It is of critical importance that the teachers are trained and understand how to use the results with a view to improving both the performance of the teachers and the performance of the learners. We also take pride in the fact that there are policies that the Department of Basic Education keeps formulating – policies that are meant to attract teachers to go and work in the rural areas.
Abantu abasafuni ukuyosebenza laphaya emakhaya, ezindaweni zasemakhosini, la umgwaqo unothuli khona. Ngokubonelela leso simo ... [People no longer want to go work in the rural areas, where amakhosi are in charge, where there are gravel roads. We considered that situation ...]
... the Department of Basic Education is coming up with policies to ensure that there are funds that are going to be used to attract teachers to actually be willing to remain in those areas.
Nalapho kulezo ndawo mhlawumbe ezisabukeleka phansi nakhona kuphila abantu okudinga bazuze kule mfundo esiyidlulisayo. [Also in the areas that are still not recognised, people that live there also need to achieve from this education we are rolling out.]
There is a policy regarding housing for our teachers so that they are able to have appropriate space to prepare, live and be able to do their work properly in terms of the state prescripts.
The provision of transport from their homes to the place of work is another critical issue. With the government that is in charge – the ANC-led government – today, we have got teachers that are reasonably well-paid. This has not been done by any other government before. It is the government of the ANC ...
... ecabangela abantu, ukuthi ... [... that considers, that the people’s ...]
... salaries are revised and people are getting a pay that you can call a decent salary. We do not say that it is enough but it will keep improving as we have the financial resources.
Another issue that I wish to touch on is the area of early childhood development, ECD. The Department of Basic Education has made reasonable gains in that regard. We have an increasing number of the little ones that are accessing early childhood education. If one were to give figures: In 2003, we had only 300 000 of those, but in 2013, we already had close to about 800 000 of learners that are actually accessing ECD.
It means that investment is yielding a proper dividend for us. We need to ensure that learners access that level of education in order to get proper background. If they are going to fare reasonably well as they progress to Grade 12, they need to be given proper foundation.
The practitioners that handle them at that level need to be equipped with adequate qualifications to ensure that they know how to handle the psychology of children at that level of development. They should be practitioners that are productive and relevant.
Hhayi indaba yezinkulisa zasemakhaya nje ezikhona endaweni kepha kufuneka kube khona abantu abakwaziyo ukufundisa ingane kusukela ebuncaneni, bayithuthukise ize ifinyelele esikoleni samazinga aphansi. [There must not be just day care centres in the rural areas for nothing but there must be people who are able to teach children from early childhood development, give them a proper foundation up to the basic education level.]
If that foundation is firm, we will have no problems. The parental involvement is another non-negotiable issue. We cannot leave ...
... imfundo yezingane zethu ezandleni zabanye abantu, thina njengabazali singalibambi iqhaza lokubona ukuthi izingane zethu zifunda kahle ezikoleni.
Mphephethwa, Ngqongqoshe weMfundo ePhakeme kanye nokuQeqesha ngijabulile nje ngoba phakathi kwezinye zezinto oziphathayo, kube udaba lwabantu besifazane. Uma sibuka laphaya eMfundweni ePhakeme siyabona ukuthi bayanda abantu besifazane abafunda ezingeni leMfundo ePhakeme. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[... our children’s education in other people’s hands, and as parents we don’t partake in checking how our children are doing at school.
Mphephethwa (Clan name.), Minister of Higher Education and Training, I am happy because amongst the things that you have mentioned, was an issue of females. If we look at the Higher Education level, we see that there are now more females at the Higher Education level.]
That is what we want. We want to move further than that though and have more and more females that are qualified, attaining Philosophiae Doctorates, PhDs, becoming vice-chancellors, so that we can see that the issue of [indaba ye] gender parity is actually taking place. And also ...
... umsebenzi omuhle owenzayo, Mphephethwa, ekutheni la manyuvesi amasha ... [... the good work, you are doing, Mphephethwa (Clan name.), in that the new universities ...]
... already, you are starting to make them, galvanising them into action. You are beginning to employ staff there, like the rectors and all the people who are going to be working there. That is highly appreciated; it is good work. It is a good story to tell!
On the issue of National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, I would say that you do not have to worry - we do not have to worry - about people who will always see negative things in every positive aspect that the ANC-led government is coming up with. The NSFAS is meant to help poor children and parents who cannot afford.
Now, people who are going to look at the gloomy side of things are not going to assist us to progress. Yes, there are administrative problems because there are allegations of corruption, but I am happy that the Department of Higher Education and Training has taken steps to ensure that the issue is address.
As a select committee, we are certainly going to ensure that we invite those universities to come before us and actually account as to how they are using funds. We are going to respond to that. We are also going to determine the extent to which they are progressing on issues relating to transformation.
As I conclude, we therefore invite our students at the level of higher education and training ...
... ake bafunde izifundo lezi eziyindlala: ... [... they must study the courses that are scarce: ...]
... The fields of education or the fields that have not been explored before; not to settle for the easier subject fields. This is because they are not going to be able to make a meaningful contribution in the economy of the country.
Here we are rolling out infrastructure development massively. A massive capital is going to be injected in infrastructure development and it would be a sad occasion if we are going to employ people from outside because we do not have the skills that we require within our own country. So, to those students: It is not time to deface the statues but it is time to study. [Time expired.] Go to school to study and get your skills. I thank you, Chairperson [Applause.]
Mr H B GROENEWALD: Hon Deputy Chairperson; hon Minister of Higher Education; Deputy Minister of Higher Education; hon Deputy Minister of Basic Education; hon Members of the NCOP and guests ...
Oudpresident Kgalema Motlanthe en oudpresident F W de Klerk het in middel Mei 2015 buite Paarl vergader waar hulle aan ’n gesprek oor die toestand van Suid-Afrika na 21 jaar se demokrasie deelgeneem het. [Former President Kgalema Motlanthe and former President F W de Klerk came together outside Paarl in mid May where they took part in a discussion on the situation in South Afria after 21 years of democracy.]
I also want you to keep in mind the new slogan of the department of education, which is Back to basics.
Oudpresident Motlanthe het gesê dat hy skaam vir die ANC kry wanneer hy op televisie sien hoe lede van die ANC die opposisie hanteer asof hulle geen reg het om hul mening oor enige kwessie te lig nie. Dit is asof die ANC lede hulself die reg toeëien omdat hulle almal sogenaamd deur die ANC bevry is. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Former President Motlanthe said that he felt ashamed of the ANC when he saw on TV how members of the ANC handled the opposition as though they had no right to air their view on any matter. It was as though the members of the ANC appropriated this right because all of them were so-called emancipated by the ANC.]
Don’t be afraid of the DA. The DA is there to support Basic and Higher Education ... [Interjections.] ... and to help to the benefit of all the people, all the students and all the learners of South Africa.
Oudpresident Motlanthe sê verder dat die ANC ’n leidende rol in bevryding gespeel het. Ja dit is waar, maar dit is deur baie Suid-Afrikaners van alle kleure, klasse en vorme bewerkstellig. (Translation of the Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Former President Motlanthe further added that the ANC played a leading role during liberation. Yes, it is true, but it was brought about by many South Africans of all colours, classes and formations.]
Hon Zwane, better salaries for educators is there on behalf of government and not on behalf of the ANC. All of us sitting here in government fought for that, and not the ANC alone. [Interjections.] I agree that there have been gains in many areas since apartheid ended, including access to education. However, if we read the recently leaked report on education by the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit, Needu, the report paints a very disturbing picture of the state of education. The first Needu report found that South African children’s reading skills are falling behind those of their international counterparts. A total of 75% of Grade 5 learners tested scored less than five per cent on a simple comprehensive test based on their reading.
The Annual National Assessment shows that by the end of Grade 3, only half of Grade 3 learners are effectively literate. We should prioritise and make sure that every child is able to read independently and with understanding by the age of eight or at the end of Grade 3. We should ensure that every Foundation Phase teacher is fully capable to teach children to read.
A child who cannot read will fail, and Minister you need to act fast to avoid this becoming a prognosis for half of our learning population.
The DA has viable solutions that will ensure that our population becomes more literate, thus allowing more learners access to opportunities through freedom and fairness. Every child must be able to read independently and with understanding by the age of 8 or at the end of Grade 3. Make that the number one priority. Provide young learners with reading books. Needu has told you that Foundation Phase learners should be reading at least one title per week; thus 30 a year. I repeat, a child who cannot read will fail.
Minister, julle hoof klem is, Terug na basis. [Back to basics.] Eerstens, begin by leesonderrig van Graad 1 tot 3; Tweedens, roei korrupsie in alle afdelings van die onderwys uit; en Derdens, kyk dan na die taalkwessie. Wat het geword van die derde taal in Basiese Onderwys? Ons agb Minister het ook gesê dat ons weer daarna op universiteitsvlak moet kyk. Die tyd is ryp om dit in alle skole te implementeer, en dit sal lei tot nasiebou. Dit sluit alle kinders in; en daarmee praat ek van moedertaal onderrig. Dit gaan nie oor ras nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Minister, your main emphasis is, Back to basics. In the first instance, start teaching pupils reading skills from Grade 1 to Grade 3; secondly, eradicate corruption in all sections of education; and thirdly, then revisit the issue of language. What happened to teaching a third language in Basic Education? Our hon Minister also said that at university level we should look at it again. The time has come to introduce it at all schools, and this will lead to nation building. This includes all children; and here I refer to mother tongue education. Race is not the issue.]
This week the World Economic Forum put South Africa in the bottom third of 124 countries in its first human capital report which examines countries that have the most people per capita with skills that are productive and most effective.
The report argues that countries that optimise their human capital see higher levels of economic growth. It’s less about the money a country has and more about harnessing the innate potential of its people.
An important finding in this report is that it shows our problems start in the classroom. There are no easy short-term fixes and more worryingly, no long-term solutions unless our classrooms are sorted out. It is unacceptable that learners are put through from one grade to another without obtaining the necessary skills. This action by the education department only leads to the disadvantage of the learners.
Agb Minister, nadat die Federasie van Beheerliggame van SA Skole, Fedsas, die kwessie oor taalregte na die hof geneem het, is ons verheug oor die feit dat skole wel self deur middel van beheerliggame mag besluit oor taal- en toelatingsbeleid. Regter Gregory Wright het op 26 Mei 2015 in die hooggeregshof in Johannesburg ’n tussentydse bevel uitgereik wat bepaal dat beheerliggame wel daarop geregtig is om sulke besluite te neem.
Geregtigheid het geseëvier. Die opperesag van die reg is gehandhaaf en die administratiewe en burokratiese ingryping in die regte en bevoegdhede van beheerliggame is deur hierdie bevel bekamp.
Ons woon in ’n nuwe Suid-Afrika. Daar is baie dinge in ons land wat verkeerd is, maar die gehalte van onderrig in die meeste van ons universiteite is nie een daarvan nie. Agb Minister van Hoër Onderwys, ek sien dit as ’n pluimpie vir ons universiteite en hoër instellings. Die meeste van Suid-Afrika se universiteite funksioneer nog uitstekend en elke ouer wat ’n kind in daardie universiteite het, weet dit alte goed. Geen universiteit kan sonder die finansiële ondersteuning van sy studente bestaan nie.
Ek is jammer om te sê maar die National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, [Nasionale Finansiële Hulpskema vir Studente] toon agteruitgang en nie vooruitgang nie. Agb Minister, ons het al baie hieroor gepraat en dit is hoog tyd dat ernstige stappe gedoen word en dat korrupsie beveg word tot voordeel van ons studente. Hoe lank gaan die ondersoeke na NSFAS nog duur? Die DA kyk graag saam met u na volhoubare oplossings vir finansiële steun vir behoeftige studente in die hoër onderwys. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Hon Minister, after the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools, (Fedsas), took the issue of language rights to court, we are delighted that schools indeed may themselves by means of the governing bodies decide on language and entrance policies. Judge Gregory White handed down an interim order on 26 May 2015 in the High Court in Johannesburg which stated that governing bodies were indeed entitled to take such decisions.
Justice won the day. The supremacy of the judiciary was upheld and the administrative and bureaucratic intervention concerning the rights and competency of governing bodies was prevented by this order.
We live in a new South Africa. Many things in our country are not perfect but the quality of teaching at most of our universities does not fall in that category. Hon Minister for Higher Education, I regard this as a compliment to our universities and higher institutions. Most of the universities in South Africa are functioning extremely well and every parent who has a child at the university knows it very well. No university can exist without the financial support of its students.
It is with regret that I have to say that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, is deteriorating and shows no progress. Hon Minister, we talked about it many times and it’s about time that serious steps are taken and that corruption is combated to the benefit of our students. How long will the investigations into the NSFAS still take? The DA readily together with you is looking at sustainable solutions regarding financial support for needy students in higher education.]
Now, where do we start? With only R9 billion being allocated to NSFAS, which is approximately 20% of our education budget, can we allow any of this money to go to waste?
As ons toelaat dat korrupsie voorduur, sal Suid-Afrika een van die swakste presteerders van hoër onderwys wees.
Agb Adjunkminister van Basiese Onderwys, as u wil hê dat Gauteng se stelsel in duie moet stort, dan moet u u plan om 124 enkelmediumskole na parallelmediumskole te omskep, uitvoer. Die huidige postevoorsiening deur die departement maak nie voorsiening vir parallelmediumskole nie. Skole sal dus op eie koste twee onderwyers vir elke vak moet aanstel. Hoër skole kan tot 27 vakkeuses hê en dit sal ’n baie duur proses wees.
’n Omgewingstudie wat Fedsas verlede jaar onder 561 skole landwyd geloods het, wys dat meer as 80% van laer-en hoër skole se inkomste uit skoolgeld gegenereer word. Staatsubsidies maak net net drie tot ses persent van ’n skool se inkomste uit. Skole is afhanklik van geld wat deur beheerliggame en ouers ingebring word om ’n bepaalde standaard te handhaaf. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[If we allow corruption to continue, South Africa will become one of the worst performers in higher education.
Hon Deputy Minister of Basic Education, if you want to watch the system in Gauteng falling apart, then you must execute your plan to transform the 124 single medium schools into parallel medium schools. The current provision of posts at parallel medium schools by the department does not provide for that. Therefore, schools will have to appoint two teachers for every subject at their own cost. High schools may have up to 27 subject choices and this will be a costly process.
A country wide study of the environment which Fedsas made amongst 561 schools shows that the income of more than 80% of primary and high schools are generated through school fees. State subsidies only make up three to six percent of a school’s income. Schools are dependent on the money which the governing bodies and parents pay in order to maintain a specific standard.]
Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Today more than ever, we need to look at education as not just an opportunity but that the quality of education allows South Africans to have more opportunities. This will be a priority within the DA-led national government. We can use the Western Cape as an example.
Minister, I urge you to fix the Foundation Phase of schooling. Teach our children to read and write so that there are greater opportunities for all South Africans to take advantage of the diverse set of options that are available once they leave Basic Education. This is the only way we will get more young people employed, grow our economy and give the freedom of choice that too many South Africans are still deprived of today. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson, my greetings to the Minister of higher education, the two Deputies from the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education.
Hhayi, asinesabi mhlonishwa Groenewald, siyanifuna. [No, we are not scared of you hon Groenewald, we want to deal with you.]
In fact, the only challenge that we have is that we are not operating at the same level in this House, which is the unfair part. If you deny that you are from the National Party, you were an alliance of the National Party and the Democratic Party it means that you are still a teenager, you are 21 years old. Some are one year olds.
Abanye–ke abazazi nokuthi benzani. [Some do not even know what they are doing.]
We are 103 years as the ANC. The problem is that when you deal with people at this age, you will not understand each other since you are operating at different levels. Allow us to use our experience to do what we know best. [Interjections.]
In his state of the nation address, the President of the country his excellency hon Jacob Zuma had this to say “listen what we have done just in these 20 years”.
Through accelerated school infrastructure delivery initiatives which are part of the National Infrastructure Plan, 92 new schools have been completed to date. [Applause.] Another 108 schools are under construction. About 342 schools have received water for the first time, which you failed to do during your past life.
Three hundred and fifty one schools have received decent sanitation, while 288 have been connected to electricity.
Siyaqhuba. Siyasebenza. [We are moving forward. We are a nation at work.]
Government has identified 16 sites for construction of 12 new technical and vocational education and training campuses and refurbishment of two existing campuses. What do you have to tell us during your term?
Hon Minister, we have noted with pride the work that has been started in Mpumalanga, of the construction of the new University of Mpumalanga and the Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape. This brings a sense of pride and ownership to the people of those provinces because if it was DA when it was still National Party and the Democratic Party those two provinces would never have had those universities.
This is in line with the National Development Plan, NDP. Hon Groenewald, you are saying we must invest in the early childhood development. Hon Zwane spoke about it; you did not want to listen because you don’t want to hear that. I am repeating it.
The National Development Plan identified early childhood development as a top priority amongst the measures to improve the quality of education in a long term prospect of our future generations. This is what we ought to do as a government if we are to have our children employed.
Dedicated resources should be channelled towards ensuring that all children are well cared for from an early age and should receive appropriate emotional, cognitive and physical development simulations. All children should have at least two years of pre-school education. This will ensure that education is a catalyst to change the socioeconomic status of our people.
That will ensure economic growth, which means that we should have a conscious dedicated programme that will assist us as government to move our people from the poverty lines where we were dumped or left or pushed by the apartheid government, to acceptable levels of development.
Having said that, hon Minister, may be we need to look at repackaging our courses, for example, we need to consider to what extent do we use information technology, IT, to accelerate development in our work of construction and engineering. We must consider maybe, packaging engineering as they do now that once you complete engineering you also do project management to assist you in the implementation of the course. I think we need to include IT because this is what developed countries do to fast track development.
We do acknowledge that we are still having challenges in the field of education at all levels. We have child abuse, teenage pregnancy, HIV/Aids as well as alcohol and drug abuse. We want to commend both the Department of Basic Education and Higher Education for the initiatives that have been put in place to ensure that we deal with these challenges to assist our young people.
First things first hon Deputy Minister, If I may mention one of the projects by the higher education ... We have noted with pride that you are very much involved with these programmes to assist our young people to deal with the issues of HIV and AIDS. This initiative will not only benefit the close to 2 million students who attend higher education and the staff, but it will also benefit the families and the broader community. As a committee we really appreciate and commend you for that.
The need for such initiative is evident. Over half of the world’s young population infected with HIV lives in the eastern and southern Africa. In 2011 the Eastern Cape had a prevalence rate of 29,3%;the Northern Cape 17% and the Western Cape was 18,2%. We want to commend the department for the programmes that you have put in place to cater for such issues.
Substance abuse issues form part of the department’s curriculum within the life orientation area. South African schools have been provided with guides to drug testing. The department has to ensure that life orientation programmes provide learners with relevant knowledge on drugs and alcohol abuse, so that they can make appropriate choices when confronted with these substances.
To the DA, the extent of drug and alcohol abuse by our youth is a matter of national and global concern. It is not an ANC matter, as DA you are also part of that. Together we must be concerned and ensure that we deal with these issues.
During the June month, we simultaneously celebrate youth day on 16 June as well as international day against drug abuse, elicit trafficking on 26 June. As an extension of National Drug Master Plan, the Department of Education has developed a policy framework on the management of drug abuse in all public schools and Further Education and Training institutions. The policy framework focuses on prevention and early intervention based on a restorative-justice approach.
It is important that the departments work in tandem with the Department of Social Development, the Department of Health, the Department of Police Services and the Department of Sport and Recreation, to keep young people busy with meaningful activities like sports in schools, arts and culture and so on. This can make them to be kept away from the activities that destroy their future.
Where a child shows symptoms of using or abusing substances, they must immediately be referred to assessment and counselling. We cannot allow drugs and substance addiction to happen to our kids.
It is therefore imperative that government, all nongovernment and private sector stakeholders work in an integrated manner to thwart these evil problems.
I commend the Ministers of both departments for the work done so far as part of the school curriculum education, to educate our children of the harm of alcohol and drug abuse.
We therefore call upon parents and the community at large to be part of this programme so that we can ensure that our future is secured. If we do not do that, our future may be blinked.
We can invest as much as we can, but the future of our children will be affected by the evil things such as HIV and AIDS and child abuse. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, education has always been, and remains, the IFP’s primary focus since its inception. It is for this reason that, even during the days of the struggle, when some were calling for “liberation now, education later”, the IFP’s motto was “education for liberation”.
The problems of education will not solely be resolved by pouring money into the system. Whilst finances and resources are an essential part of the solution, there are challenges that simply require organisational attention. During the month of May this year, protest marches by educators in Ugu and Ilembe districts in KwaZulu-Natal nearly brought the whole education system to a state of near collapse in the province. Such protests also took place in some parts of the Eastern Cape.
It is a good thing that the department has now started processes to attend to the issue of the irregular interferences by some unions in the appointment of principals and other promotion posts. The improper and careless attitude towards the management of education at school, circuit and district levels has been a major contribution to the setbacks that education is experiencing. The awarding of posts to friends, the connected and non-deserving candidates has dealt education major blows in the past.
It is true that African children who speak African languages struggle more than their counterparts of the same age whose home language is English. The IFP therefore supports the popularisation of African languages in education.
The Department has merged the Dinaledi schools’ allocation with that of the Technical secondary schools Recapitalisation grant in order to focus on improving Mathematics and Physical Science teaching. Both these programmes had a continuous legacy and trend of underspending. Therefore, one hopes that the new programme will be able to make a contribution to effecting quality education.
The IFP hopes that rural schools will be given first preference in this new initiative. Rural districts are doubly disadvantaged in South Africa because adequately skilled personnel in all fields are not keen to be posted to rural areas.
The challenges of infrastructure and personnel have continued to pose unintended divisions in the delivery of the education service in the country. The situation still persists whereby affordability determines the type and quality of education your children will receive. Farm schools especially, and rural schools mostly have high levels of dilapidated and poor quality infrastructure. It is mostly at the farm schools where the practice of multigrade teaching is common. This is because of low population figures resulting in low enrolments.
The department also needs to tread carefully around the issue of the schools’ rationalisation programme. Whilst the objective of rationalisation might be noble and progressive, the initiative, if not handled well, ends up disadvantaging the very communities and learners whom it was designed to assist. When a school is shut down and learners are relocated because of low enrolment figures, but alternative transport means are not provided, this becomes a disadvantage to those learners. This has happened and has affected a number of communities around KwaZulu-Natal.
The department plans to strengthen the capacity of district offices to support schools. This is all well and good, but the department should start by solving the shortcoming of subject advisers who do not provide any advice. They languish in their offices, sometimes because they do not have the essential resources to execute their duties, or because some districts are too vast and they are saving their kilometres awarded for a given month. But some are just lazy. There is also the shortcoming of circuit and district managers who are just not managing anything.
Therefore, the department should intensify its measures of monitoring and evaluation especially at middle-management levels.
There is a historic, long-standing issue of Occupation Specific Dispensation, OSD, in KwaZulu-Natal which has remained unresolved for the part eight to nine years. This has greatly hindered the infrastructure initiatives of the province, as funds meant for infrastructure had to be re-directed to cover for this.
Whilst the budget for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Nsfas, has increased over the past years, the challenges pertaining to Nsfas have not subsided. The department has centralised management of Nsfas in order to deal with corruption related to nondeserving students getting assistance at the expense of real deserving cases. Be that as it may, at the beginning of every academic year, the smooth kick-off of the year’s programme gets threatened by student protests relating largely to the poor management of Nsfas.
The pace of the transformation agenda of the department has failed to keep up with the transformation expectations of the student community and tertiary institution stakeholders. This has resulted in those concerned losing faith and hope in the department’s ability to deliver on this aspect. The consequence of this has been instability at some of the country’s tertiary institutions in.
The poor state of student accommodation at some of the country’s tertiary institutions leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, most of these institutions, especially the ones that were black-dominated, were built at a time when it was difficult for those times, under those conditions, to get state-of-the-art resources. But, after 21 years of democracy, we would have expected the democratic government to make serious efforts to uplift the image of our tertiary institutions in respect of student accommodation and infrastructure.
Some tertiary institutions in the country still pursue the programmes of diplomatic academic exclusion through well-crafted exclusion policies. These policies are legally unchallengeable but are morally unjustifiable. This must be attended to.
The select committee undertook an oversight visit to King Sabata Dalindyebo Technical Vocational Education and Training College, KSD TVET, in 2014. The issue of alignment and improvement of conditions of service, including salaries, still remains a major cause of concern for staff and management at the TVET colleges. Under these, circumstances, the retention of staff is still a challenge under the present unsatisfactory conditions. I thank you.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, hon Minister Nzimande, Deputy Ministers Surty and Manana, hon members and the public, thank you for the opportunity.
The first thing I want to say is that, as much as we acknowledge all the injustices of the past, this thing of “previous government”... let’s just put it into perspective, once and for all. In my view and that of the majority of South Africans, you are the previous government. You governed from 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014. You are your own previous, previous, previous, previous government!
HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear!
Mr J W W JULIUS: It is time to act grown up. You are 21 years old; we want value for our taxes. Please!
As a teacher myself, I am witness to the low morale in this profession. More and more teachers are not enjoying their work anymore. The quality of learning and teaching remain compromised in our township schools due to over-capacity classrooms and a lack support from your department. In Gauteng alone, over 500 schools are over capacity.
Hon Zwane, because of your ANC-led government, education is not improving, unless you are living in a dream.
The norms and standards require that in primary schools should have no more than 35 learners per class, while in secondary schools no there should be no more than 40 learners per class. Forty-two primary schools in Gauteng have over 50 learners per class. Eighty-four secondary schools in Gauteng have more than 50 learners per class. This places a heavy burden on our learners and educators.
The problem is sadly worsened by the fact that most of these schools are in our township areas. The learners from those areas are the learners that need special attention more because the imbalances of the past. Yet they are the ones being neglected by this government. This is very unfortunate. [Interjections.] Unless we use these figures when doing teacher placement ...
It will help you to listen.
... we will not change the situation. Please correct learner-teacher ratios, otherwise quality education in South Africa will only be available for those who can afford it.
In the Northern Cape, three schools managed to maintain a 100% pass rate for grade 12s from 2010 to 2014. The Annual National Assessment, ANA, results show that 2,4% of grade 9 learners in the Northern Cape managed to achieve more than 30% in Mathematics.
It’s your pass rate ... 30%.
The Public Service Commission in this province visited 30 schools in January 2015. This inspection showed that most of the schools were without running water. According to the provincial commissioner, Moira Marais-Martin, this leads to pupils trying to use toilet facilities without water to flush waste material. How sad! The toilets are in an unbearable condition. School toilets in townships are not being taken care of. That is what she said.
Hon Minister, do we not care about the dignity of our learners, especially those in township schools. In my community, two out of three schools still have asbestos buildings. They are building around an asbestos building. What about our learners? What about our children?
As of June 2015, learners at the Karos Primary School are receiving instruction in a tent because the school buildings are unsafe and in a bad state of disrepair. If you want to know – and I know you are asking – the schools are in Toekomrus, Randfontein.
Research conducted by Equal Education recently indicated that, on average, 100 pupils are made to share a single toilet in Gauteng schools. These schools, too, are in previously disadvantaged areas. The areas include – write this down – Tembisa, Atteridgeville, Alexandra and Meadowlands. They also found that there were no basic sanitary facilities in these schools and that the toilets did not have soap or toilet paper.
This is after Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lusufi, promised to spend R150 million to upgrade sanitation conditions in 580 schools. What has become of that? I wish to join Equal Education in their call to urge the Department of Basic Education to correct this situation before 16 June, because you will celebrate 16 June as if you are doing something for our youth. Please, rectify this.
Hon Deputy Minister Surty, let me remind you: The Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure legally binds you to ensure that every school has water, electricity, internet, working toilets, safe classrooms with a maximum of 40 learners per class, security and, thereafter, libraries, laboratories and sport facilities. Failure to do so means that you are legally not fulfilling your task as Deputy Minister.
The DA believes that we must create job opportunities for all our people and especially our youth. In order for our youth to take full advantage of opportunities in the job market, they need to be skilled. They rely heavily on the Department of Higher Education for this.
Deputy Minister Surty wants one in every five learners to attend university. Surely you are not talking to each other, because you are contradicting each other. There is a figure of one comma something million... I want this next year... The two departments are not talking to each other. Even if you want one out of every five, where are the bursaries? You don’t even have bursaries for two.
This department again failed our students enrolled at Further Education and Training, FET, and Vocational Education and Training, VET, colleges. Over 100 000 young people who qualified in a variety of technical or other fields from 2007 have still not received their official certificates from the Department of Higher Education. These learners are being deprived of the opportunity to look for work. This is a very serious matter that the DA will follow up.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Julius ...
Mr J W W JULIUS: As we are in Youth Month, we can really say that this government and especially the Department of Basic Education ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Julius, unfortunately your time is up.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Can you really say you did all for the youth? I thank you. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Nzimande, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, hon Surty, the MEC for Education in the Western Cape, hon Schafer, the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation, hon Zwane, members of the select committee, members of the NCOP, the Director-General, the staff of the department, heads and executive of all post-school organisations and institutions, guests and special guests of the Minister, fellow South Africans, good afternoon.
Hon Chair, we meet here today to table and debate the Higher Education and Training Appropriation Bill, conveniently during this youth month, and as our memories gush back to remind us of the terrible past that our country comes from, to infuse with pride in the heroism of our youth and to enjoin us once more that never again shall our youth be stoned because they want better education, instead, today they will use education and skills to fight poverty and unemployment.
Last year we launched and declared 2014 to 2024 as the Decade of the Artisan, with an aim of creating a new cohort of qualified artisans who will play a central role in growing the emerging sectors of our economy, while also enhancing employment opportunities for our youth. We stand committed to work tirelessly to elevate the status and profile of artisans in the country.
We are determined to see our Technical Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges become institutions of first choice and our robust and frank engagements with employers to open up their workplaces for our artisan learners to gain workplace exposure will continue unhindered. To strengthen the work we are doing in promoting artisanship, we will this year participate in the world skills international competitions for the first time as a fully-fledged affiliate to World Skills International.
In the area of career development, we are working tirelessly to establish a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning, the provision of skilled people and a national career development system. Last year Cabinet approved that the Department of Higher Education and Training lead the development of a career development policy, and I’m happy to report that this policy will be finalised this year and will provide the impetus to a single coordinated service.
In this regard, we have developed a multi-platform service that provides free career information, advice and guidance to anyone in the country. We have established an online presence to support presence to support thousands of young people who need career development, in this way, developing a self-help portal to provide career information. There is now an information management team dedicated to ensuring that the career information available through the site is credible, relevant and accurate at all times.
On HIV/Aids, and indeed thank you very much, hon Dlamini and the members of the select committee, for noticing this impeccable work that we are doing in really trying to secure a brighter future and prolonged lives for our young people. The Higher Education Aids programme is continuing to implement comprehensive programmes that respond to the impact of the dual epidemics of HIV, STIs and TB in the higher education and training sector.
Today we report with confidence that the measures we have since put in place will result in better returns on investment, and in better student through-put rates. We will continue in the coming year with activation programmes of promoting HIV testing and screening of TB, targeting especially our rural and township university and college campuses.
In the last financial year, we managed to test over 100 000 students and staff for HIV, screened another 92 000 for TB and 81 000 for STIs. In this financial year, our target is to test and screen 170 000 students and staff, but we will also be making sure that those who test positive are put on treatment, care and support. There is no doubt, hon members, that it will only take a healthy nation to breed a healthy economy.
In terms of the Apply Now campaign, we have now started with the 2015 leg of the Apply Now campaign, where we are visiting rural and township schools across the country, disseminating information on the need for matriculants to apply in time to institutions of higher learning, as well as offer career advice to Grade 9 to Grade 12 learners. We have partnered with the Department of Basic Education in the training of Life Orientation teachers and in the distribution of the Apply Now and career guidance booklets to all Grade 12 learners across the 6 000 high schools in the country.
On disability, last year we launched the Social Inclusion Policy Framework which will, among other social inclusion issues, advocate for the establishment of disability units in all post-school education and training institutions, and also address the important issues of reasonable accommodation and access for students with disabilities. Notwithstanding these advances, the department continues to fund student with disabilities for their tuition, assistive devices and other personal needs like accommodation and transport.
Many challenges still exist in the college system, especially because of lack of understanding of the learning area. However, we are doing our best to assist them, and we have no doubt that the new policy will address some of these challenges. We will also intensify the campaign of visiting special schools in the country to promote post-school opportunities for persons with disabilities as well as funding opportunities. As the government, we remain convinced that if we pursue the sectors that the Growth Path as identified as growth points, there is a huge potential of creating an inclusive economy that will be on a growth trajectory.
There is no doubt; therefore, that young professionals and co-operatives, in particular, must come into this space so that together we create the inclusive economy that we are all yearning for. We have seen many co-operatives being established in our country, but very few are succeeding. We attribute this failure to lack of training in areas such as co-operative management, financing and conflict resolution, amongst others.
The Minister has mandated my office to lead a process of establishing the country’s first co-operative academy and we will report to the House on the progress we are making in this area. Also this year, we will start with the piloting of e-learning at selected teaching and learning delivery sites, as part of our response to a wave of dynamic education sector reforms, specifically related to the adoption of educational technologies to enhance teaching and learning practices, education management, research and administration.
Hon Chair and members, let me take this opportunity to thank the President of the Republic of South Africa for the trust he has shown in me and the continuous support he gives us, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Nzimande, for the guidance, support and teamwork, as well as the Director-General and the entire staff compliment of the department and Ministry, for the hard work and commitment to the continuing struggle to achieve a noble goal for a better life for all our people through education and skills development. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr Y C VAWDA: Honourable Chair, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, members in the gallery, allow me first and foremost to acknowledge the presence of our supreme forces, irrespective of whatever our perceptions might be. I greet you all with As-saalamu-alai-kum. As-saalamu-alay-kum [Peace be with you.]. In almost every aspect of our lives, education plays a fundamentally important role. In the fight against the HIV epidemic, in all efforts to reduce accidents on our roads, in the fight against crime, in the efforts to grow the economy, in industrialisation, in the future of the planet, in human behaviour and culture - the emphasis of course being on our diverse South Africa - in the defining history of this beautiful country, and so the list goes on and on.
The importance of education cannot be overemphasised, and I quote a Tibetan proverb, “A child without education is like a bird without wings”. The creation of employment is directly related to the level of education in a country. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself,” a quotation from John Dewey.
The celebration of matric results is from a bygone era, hon Ministers. I observed with some dismay, the fanfare surrounding the celebration of results in the different provinces - such a waste of resources, such an exercise in futility. Our children require tertiary education which will empower them to be able to play a meaningful role in the socioeconomic systems in this country.
Education will go a long way to empower our children on how to make a living. Presently, young people with matric have no or very little chance of finding employment. It is access to tertiary education that will create, not only young people who are employable, but potential employers themselves. Hon Minister and the hon Deputy Minister, your references to the Freedom Charter only serve to emphasise further, the sad indictment on this administration that 21 years into the new South Africa, the education system still falls far short of acceptable.
The new universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape should actually become beacons in the new South Africa. At present, they are headed in the same direction as the disasters in Eskom. The very site of the university in Mpumalanga is far inferior in position, overall accessibility and international appeal than other better sites in the province. This is already the beginning of major problems to come. Political interference knows no bounds with this administration and its adverse effects are multiplied by the lack of vision displayed. Vision without action remains a dream, hon Ministers, but action without vision is a nightmare. Two new universities will go nowhere near redressing the backlog that exists in accommodating school leavers in this country. Most matriculants eligible to enter university were not accommodated. It would take far more than two universities to assist in this regard.
Last year the country celebrated 75,8% matric pass rate. But in 2003, 1 252 000 pupils entered Grade 1. In 2014, only 688 660 pupils sat for their matric examinations. Only 55% of the learners who started school in 2003 made it through 12 years education, the rest were lost along the wayside - an indictment once again on your administration, hon Ministers. Only around 41% of learners who started school obtained a National Senior Certificate, while 59% did not. Only around 12% gained admission to bachelor studies, the rest go to colleges while the majority are condemned to loiter around with no hope of ever doing anything for themselves. Fundamentals of basic education like proper classrooms, knowledgeable teachers, good nutrition, sanitation and scholar transport fall far short of being adequate.
I heard with some concern, a Member of the Cabinet who stood on this podium earlier today and argued that poverty is not a good enough reason for compromised performance. Poverty is depriving our children of proper classrooms, good nutrition, proper sanitation, and proper transport, yet we have a Member of the Cabinet who says to us that poverty does not compromise the performance of our children. Please, hon Ministers, explain to us exactly what that means.
Poverty is depriving 70% of the people in this country, not only of education, but also of many other basic constitutional rights. More and more of our children are condemned to a life of limited opportunities because they are not being provided with basic rights. I want to quote George Washington Carver when he says, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom”.
Twenty-one years into the new South Africa, still many people are deprived of true freedom. Plans to close over a 1000 schools in the Eastern Cape and also in the Western Cape, further compromises our children. In the Eastern Cape, the department has been forced by the courts on several occasions to treat teachers correctly, and to this date, the department has done nothing to improve the conditions of teachers and other education facilities in the province.
It is difficult for learners to access institutions of higher learning because of the very nature of the higher education system in this country which favours the wealthy and denies the poor. The limited capacity of these institutions to absorb all qualifying learners further exacerbates the problem. Statistics show that the post-secondary education sector had the capacity to absorb about 420 000 learners while more than 600 000 need seats.
Over a million students actively looking for opportunities to further their studies, at any given time in any given year in this country, are condemned to a life of limited economic potential. And when learners do find accommodation in tertiary institutes, then the demon of financial exclusion begins to manifest itself. National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Nsfas, alone, hon Minister, is not the answer ... [Time expired.]
Ms D SCHAFER: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister of Higher Education, Deputy Ministers Surty and Manana, members, officials and guests - yes I’m a friendly MEC – thank you for the opportunity to address this House on Minister Motshekga’s 2015-16 Basic Education Budget Vote speech. For the purposes of this debate I shall confine myself largely to Basic Education.
Minister Motshekga announced, in her speech in the National Assembly at the beginning of the month, the measures that her department is taking to improve quality and efficiency in education throughout the country, with a renewed emphasis on curriculum coverage, improving assessment and strengthening quality, efficiency and accountability in our schools, districts and provinces.
All these are admirable goals, in fact, they are essential, and the Minister is to be commended for acknowledging that these need to be improved, and starting to take steps in that direction.
A quality education is essential for every child in order to give them the best possible opportunities in life. And by quality we must mean the best possible education for the individual learner, taking into account their abilities and circumstances.
Last year, I highlighted the gaps in the Minister’s Budget Speech on the importance of increased access to special needs education and technical skills development in schools, and I am pleased to see that the Minister has placed more emphasis on addressing these issues this year.
The Western Cape already leads the country in the provision of special needs education both for high needs learners in special schools and increasingly for low and moderate support needs learners in our inclusive ordinary schools. We plan to increase access in the coming years.
We also support, in principle, the new three-stream approach of academic, vocational and technical curricula. The educational needs of our children are diverse. Not everyone can or wishes to follow a purely academic education, and it is long overdue that alternative pathways are offered. Given that, combined with the persistent high dropout rates, we therefore support in principle the development of a new exit level certificate.
However, the Minister’s announcement on this lacked detail and gave the impression that it is a desperate attempt to come up with a “quick-fix” solution for the learners who are being pushed up from grade to grade without even passing, very often, as a result of the so-called Progression Policy. I say “so-called”, as it seems laughable to refer to “progress” in any sense when one is speaking of learners who have not met the already very low criteria, and yet are put through to a higher grade with which they are unable to cope.
We look forward to receiving more information on the proposed skills and vocational pathway programme and the implementation thereof, particularly bearing in mind the impact of changes in the curriculum, and the costs of training and employing suitable educators in the current economic climate.
Ultimately, the only way we are going to improve education in South Africa is by ensuring increased levels of accountability throughout the system, coupled with incentives. If there are no incentives for those who perform well and no accountability for those who do not, there really is no reason for people to improve performance – that is unfortunately human nature, for better or worse.
So, it is a welcome development that the Minister has just announced the development of Standards of Principalship to guide principals as to what is expected of them. It is unfortunate however that we need to do that, as good principals should already know what is expected of them, but it unfortunately represents the state our education system is in.
Principals are the leaders in our schools, and they set the tone as to whether the school will be a well-performing or underperforming one. Other than this, however, the Minister has announced very little in the way of measures to strengthen accountability and efficiency.
Last year in the Western Cape, we instituted competency assessments for the appointment of principals, which were used by almost all, if not all, schools appointing new principals. The response has been very positive, with a number of principals requesting more such assessments in order to improve their skills. This year we are rolling them out for deputy principal and head of department appointments. It is a concern that we remain the only province to do this, however, especially given the importance placed on it in the National Development Plan.
Of course, equally important are our teachers. Competent, committed educators are essential for our children to receive quality education, and teacher training is probably the most significant thing we can do in South Africa to improve our education system. We are pleased that the Department of Basic Education will be working with the Department of Higher Education and Training to better influence the quality of our teachers in critical subjects such as maths, science and technology.
However, we should be concerned about the quality of teaching in all subjects. Minister - no, not Minister she is not here - Deputy Minister, I have also recently discovered, to my horror, that teacher training is receiving the least funding in our universities, the lowest level of funding. Considering the priority that education is in our country, I would imagine that the Minister and or Deputy Minister may wish to take this up with Minister Nzimande. But improved training must be accompanied by improved accountability. Incentives and accountability are what drive change in human behaviour.
Good teachers should be rewarded when they perform well, whilst teachers, principals as well as officials who do not perform well should not, it goes across the board.
Where is the incentive to do well if everyone is paid the same and there are no consequences for failing to attend school on time or at all, well prepared or not at all prepared, or for doing extramurals or not, as the case may be? I see nothing from Minister Motshekga to address that issue.
Last year, the Minister received the report of the National Senior Certificate Task Team. One recommendation was that the curriculum should not be changed in the foreseeable future, as there have been too many curriculum changes and they have negatively affected our learners, teachers and their results. And yet in her Budget Speech this year, she announced a new Ministerial Task Team to conduct research into doing exactly that - by investigating how to make History a compulsory subject for all learners in Grade 10 to 12.
What exactly is the reason for this, other than to appease alliance partners before the 2016 local government elections? History is compulsory until Grade nine. If there are things that are deemed appropriate, and for the right reasons, that are not currently included in the curriculum, then surely they can be incorporated into that syllabus?
We trust that the financial implications of changing textbooks, which will cost millions, and employing and training additional teachers, will also be considered by the Task Team and the Minister. But the crucial point really is that learners will be severely limited in their choice of subjects. They already have to take two languages, mathematics or maths literacy and then also Life Orientation. So they only have three subjects from which to choose for their matric qualification. If they then have to take history they will only be allowed a choice of two subjects, which will obviously affect their future options for careers and tertiary education. This cannot be in the interests of quality education.
Another attempt to limit choice in our education system is the single textbook per subject, about which we remain concerned. It is becoming more apparent that the catalogue which we were told would remain and from which we could choose, will only contain one book per subject. The stated intention of cost savings is noble in principle but, in practice, we do not believe it is good for quality education.
If the ANC government spent more effort on dealing with corruption and maladministration in other departments, there would be more than enough money to purchase quality textbooks without limiting the choice of teachers and learners, and endangering the publishing industry.
I have raised this with the Minister and Deputy Minister, the ongoing concerns of the publishing industry. The impact was brought home to me very clearly in a recent meeting with publishers, when it was explained that a small publisher is developing a maths book for Grade 10. He said if it does not make the catalogue there will be little incentive for them to develop a Grade 11 one. I do not have to explain the potential dangers that lie in minimising the amount of available material for education.
On the quality, finally the NSC Task Team also strongly recommended that matric markers should be required to demonstrate their competence prior to being appointed, citing subject matter competency tests. Again not a single word has been said about this crucial aspect by the Minister, and the DA-led Western Cape Government remains the only province to conduct testing of this nature.
Just briefly on the few of the inputs Deputy Surty, yes the nutrition model has certainly been successful in most provinces and that’s the beauty I think of the concurrent competencies we have found a decentralized model to be a model for corruption and inefficiency and that’s exactly why we aren’t in the Western Cape.
As far as information and communications technology, is concerned thank you for acknowledging that we are making significant progress there we are indeed and you are quite right, teachers pedagogy is important and we have already recognised that our principals have already started training and so have our teachers on the integration of ICT into the curriculum. Our wide area network is being installed as we speak.
Hon Dlamini, you seem to have forgotten that the New National Party is now a part of the ANC not the DA. Hon Manana, I’m very happy to hear about the career guidance, but the learners need career guidance before Grade 12 actually and I were to think it might be a good idea if you could look at making it available at an earlier age as well before subject choices if they still have a choice after the latest submissions I’ve dealt with.
I would just like to end by saying that we can talk about quality, we can talk about accountability and efficiency, but when we look at what is actually done, we are a long way from making a meaningful difference in our education system at a national level. We need real incentives and real accountability to improve the system and until that is implemented, we will remain far down the world education rankings, which is certainly not a situation that any of us should be happy with. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D STOCK: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Ministers, hon Deputy Chair of the NCOP, hon acting Chief Whip of the NCOP, the hon Members of the NCOP, special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, hon Groenewald comes to the podium and makes a very serious misleading statement by saying that the former Deputy President of the ANC and who was also a Deputy President of the Republic, hon Motlanthe made a statement by saying that he is so disappointed about what the ANC has done in the past. That statement was made in the presence of F W de Klerk. I want to correct that statement of this hon member because I think he’s suffering from the sickness of forgetting of misleading this House. Everytime he comes to the House he’s always coming with stories that he is unable to expatiate or come up with a proper interpretation of the statement. It is not our fault that you have interpreted the statement the way you wanted it to. You are coming with a different context altogether. What we can tell hon members in this House is that Kgalema Motlanthe is a member of the ANC in good standing, a former president of the ANC, and he is a former President of the Republic and he’s also very good about the achievements that the ANC has done over the past 21 years. So it is very opportunistic for members of some parties to come here and make these misleading statements.
Hon Vawda, to be honest I don’t think I’ve got anything else to say to you, but maybe as a word of an advice is that we are moving from a premier that says we need to celebrate all the good stories or the good achievements that our learners are doing. Therefore, it’s not something bad that the Department of Basic Education is celebrating the results of the matriculants and all of that. For you to come here and encourage us not to celebrate those good stories, it’s maybe because your party is only a year since it was established and you have got nothing to celebrate because you are only starting, and I don’t see you as a government in waiting.
One of the issues that we need to correct hon members in this House, these EFF members have got a tendency of coming here making statements and mislead the public then they leave. It’s something that we need to correct moving forward.
During our efforts in destroying the bad legacy of apartheid, the ANC has committed itself to embark on a process of building a new better South Africa. It is important to emphasise this point because some of the members of this House tend to behave as if there was nothing wrong about the apartheid regime. We have inherited a racially divided past which was also a patriarchal and highly unequal education system and majority of our people are still healing the wounds of the scars of this brutal system of apartheid. We must applaud and say thank you to the ANC because it remains the only hope to the aspirations of our people.
The 53rd national conference of the ANC also resolved that fees for university students must cover tuition, accommodation, food, books, and all of that. And I’m happy that the hon Minister Nzimande also spoke at length about it. This thing of always speaking about corruption this and that is a good thing but it must be with good intentions. In our committee we have made a point that we are also happy that the Minister at the level of the department has taken an initiative to investigate and to conduct a forensic investigation about this thing of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS. Now, we are also picking it up that other members of certain political parties want to make this important issue a political tool. They’ve got other agendas that we don’t know but we are saying that Minister continue with that investigation, we will engage it as ...
Hon members, the manifesto of the ruling party states that within the five years the ANC will make early childhood development a top priority. That manifesto also argues for the improvement of quality teaching and learning and eradication of illiteracy in the schooling system. I have no doubt in my mind that these priorities have fundamentally informed the department’s radical programme for educational transformation.
As a champion of further education in the country, which is the Department of Higher Education and Training, it has a statutory obligation to ensure that government delivers more higher education and the different institutions of higher learning. The South African post-school landscape is comprised, amongst others, its educational institutions about 50 public vocational continued education and training colleges and 390 private vocational continued education and training, VCET, colleges in the country as reported in March 2014.
The targeted growth of the post-school system to 2,5 million in 2030, and the continued increase in the matric pass rate alarms for the dire need of educational institutions. For instance, looking at the fact that the VCET head count enrolments in 2014-15 financial year have reached a total of 657 690 students. This demonstrates the demand for education and training opportunities by the South African youth population.
In 2010, the Department of Higher Education and Training with the SA Police Services conducted a preliminary investigation that has exposed that there are 48 unregistered private further education and training, FET, colleges around Pietermaritzburg and Durban, 10 which is also in Bloemfontein, five which is in Umtata and eight which is located in Mafikeng. Likewise, there are people who are arrested and seven of those people were also arrested for the running of these illegal colleges throughout the country and the department has also closed down 14 of such colleges in the same year. As a select committee we would like to thank the department for such good initiatives.
In 2013, a family in Seshego was running a bogus training college in Limpopo and it was closed down by the Hawks after the students enquired about its legitimacy with the Department of Higher Education and Training. The impact of these illegal colleges to our communities is that they rob the persons the opportunity to get quality education, finances in the form of fees and betterment of their lives in the form of job prospects. It is so unfortunate that the affected mostly are people who are coming from the poor communities putting further strain in their lives and their families which they come from.
The National Development Plan, NDP, recognises that the quality of education for most children is poor and commits that by 2030 South Africa achieves the following: High quality and universal early childhood education; quality school education, with globally competitive literacy and numeracy standards; further and higher education and training that enables people to fulfil their potential; an expanding higher education sector that contribute to rising incomes; and higher productivity and the shift to a more knowledge-intensive economy.
The following is the progress that the ANC-led government has made since 2009 in regard to the transformation of our education system: Students head count an enrolment at universities has increased by 12% from 837 779 to 937 455; the first time enrolments at universities has also increased by 9% from 164 528 to 179 101; the graduates from universities has increased by 11% from 144 810 to 160 299; the graduates in the engineering sciences has increased by 9% from 8 424 to 9 193; the graduates in the human health and animal health has increased by 10% from 7 341 to 8 049; the graduates who have registered for masters degree increased by 26% from 4 179 to 5 281; Doctoral graduates increased by 15% from 1 373 to 1 576; and NSFAS students bursary funding at FET colleges increased from R318 million in 2010 to R1,9 billion in 2013 targeting 222 817 students.
We also like to report about the two post-apartheid universities, which is the Mpumalanga University, which is in Mpumalanga and also the Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape. I just want to keep indicating in terms of the progress, I reported also in the committee that I was one of the delegations that went just to go and check the progress that was made since the establishment of the University of Sol Plaatje in Kimberley which was led by the premier Mme Sylvia Lucas, and I can report to this august House that the people of the Northern Cape are very excited and they are very happy and that university brings their dignity back. Young people are very excited in relation to that. I know also that Minister Nzimande who is also the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Sol Plaatje University is very close to his heart, not because it was named after the first secretary general of the ANC but because of the historical evolution of the Sol Plaatje and so forth.
This is in a nutshell a good story to tell and therefore as the
ANC we support this Budget Vote of both the Department of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training.
Siyaqhuba, siyasebenza [We are moving forward, we are working.]. Re dira go tlala seatla [We are working hard.] I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M F TLAKE: Hon Chair, hon Acting Chief Whip, hon Ministers and their Deputies, members of executive council of the province, MECs, from different provinces, hon members, hon heads of department, directors-general, DGs, of both departments who are here, officials of the Parliament and members of the community in the gallery, I thank the opportunity to be standing here today debating on both Basic Education and Higher Education and Training in this august House, the NCOP.
Further, I want to thank the Ministers of both Basic Education and Higher Education and their Deputies who are here today. I think you have removed the myth that Ministers don’t come when they are called to answer questions or to debate. You are here today and we can all see you, thank you.
I listened carefully to the Ministers and the Deputy when they were talking to us as members of the NCOP in this august House. At the same time they were bringing awareness to our members of society who are listening to them out there at home in the provinces at this point in time. I want to thank you for bringing facts and truth to the people and not manipulation of facts that we normally see in this august House whereby other parties want to gain cheap popularity through the manipulation of facts.
The speech of the Ministers and the Deputy Minister actually identified the achievements as far as these departments are concerned. This shows that as the ANC-led government, we are committed to the improvement of the lives of South Africans and Africa as a whole and in its diasporas.
The hon Deputy Minister of Basic Education, the hon Surty, called our state a unitary state, and not a federal state. He called for all of us to hold our hands so that we take our children through this process of education. In South Africa we don’t have a federal state, like the Western Cape which is being put as one of the federal states. It’s good that you reminded them that we are a unitary state and not a federal state. He asked us to come up and improve the good foundation on which our learners in Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 are going to be taught. We all know that if you build a house on a foundation that is not good, every thing is going to collapse.
This year marks the 60th year of the Freedom Charter, which is the founding document of the African national government with its principles and policies.
It is clear that Minister and your Department of Higher Education and Training, you are going to come up with a plan that is going to take us further as far as higher education is concerned. We are all happy for that.
Hon Groenewald, there is no point where we will fear to talk about the ANC as our organisation or as the government. The DA, when you speak, as the hon Groenewald was saying, it was like you are in Canaan, somewhere in a glorified world, where if your dream of being in power one day could come true , you will not meet the challenges that the ANC is facing today. This is the reality. Whether is the DA or whatever comes into power, you will all go through the challenges that the ANC is going through. [Interjections] This is the reality.
Hon Khawula, protesting is not a sin or misconduct, but it is a constitutional provision. Protesters, if done legally, are actually a pressure group assisting government to evaluate its service delivery for the better life. Do not forget that we are a people’s reading state, and which is what our freedom stands for.
Hon Julius, stop lamenting, lamenting and lamenting. Both Ministers are aware of those crisis and your laments. And you have heard from what they’ve said that they are attending to them. If you keep on lamenting, I think we’ll come with a green handkerchief from the ANC and wipe your tears. Please, wait for us.
Hon Vawda, it is not a waste of resources if ever is done to celebrate the results and support our children. Our children need both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Nobody else will give them this motivation except us. One can actually read from what you have said that you are one person who does not participate in the learning and education of your children. I think that is a very bad idea. Stand up and attend. Stand up and give your children an extrinsic motivation and you will see what is going to happen.
I want to say education is a process whereby a human being becomes moulded. It actually moulds a person physically, psychologically and otherwise. With education, one becomes matured in how you hold yourself and what you say from your mouth. There are people who find themselves in this higher institution of lawmaking who you find that when they speak, it’s like they have never gone through the process of education. We normally say, education can be formal and can be nonformal. I am urging hon members that respect is earned. You don’t have to go the other way and speak as if you are not in a high respected institution. Children are looking at you at home, and whatever you do and whatever you say, you must please respect yourself because we think everybody of us being here have gone through the process of education and we are all moulded and we are all matured even when we speak. Once more I want to repeat, respect is earned. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chairperson, at the outset, let me thank the hon Minister in this sector of the Department of Basic Education. She is not here because of very compelling and urgent business that she had to attend to and she had an intention of being here. Let me also thank my colleague the Minister of Higher Education and Training as well as my Deputy Minister hon Manana, the acting director-general and his team of committed men and women for supporting the department in its endeavours, the Chairperson of the Select Committee and the members of the Select Committee for doing so.
You know they say bluster is when you make loud and aggressive noise with little value. But Mark Twain said the kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. I think I should be kind to you ho Vawda, I was afraid that you were not going to return after you said what you said.
Mark Twain also said something that you should listened to very attentively he said, get your facts first, and then you can distort them. So because you have distorted them without the facts, let me provide them to you, that the ruling party says that the triple challenges that we face in the basis of our radical economic transformation is the eradication of poverty, unemployment and inequality. That is the basis of the policy and the action plans of not only the Department of Basic Education but of government itself.
Now if it means that we are not concerned about poverty then you should ask why it is that eight out of 10 children go to a no fee school and from a 20% that go to a fee paying school, those that cannot afford it are exempted. If we did not care about poverty, why is it that we feed more than 9,7 million children everyday? I we were not concerned about poverty why is it that 54 million books are distributed annually to every child white or black, poor or affluent? [Applause.]
If we are not concerned about poverty why it that we are is build the state of the art school per week for conducive learning in all parts of the country, the Western Cape included, where 13 have already been delivered and another 12 are under construction? If we were not concerned about poverty why is it that between 1996 and 2015 we have reduced a number of schools without electricity, water and sanitation from 15 000 to less than a 1 000?
If we were not concerned about poverty and the availability of resources, why is it that the Grade R child and just remember some eight years ago there were only a 100 000 and now there are more than 870 000 children out there, black and white, poor or rich receiving eight books free of charge delivered to the schools? [Applause.]
If we were not concerned about poverty, why is it that we are going to be contributing at least a 1 000 libraries a year. Now that these are the facts, please do not distort the facts under the guise of bluster, trying to deceive and shift the attention of our community. I have always said that we do things on a big scale and you find a small gap and you try to use it opportunistically in order to distract and distort. Please do not do so. [Interjections.]
I thank the hon Groenewald for his comments and certainly to say to him yes, we agree about early childhood development. The Household Survey has indicated that 92% of children in this country have had at least one year of preschool learning that did not occur before democracy. That did not occur more than 20 years ago, it is now a reality. Every child, black or white, rural or urban has that. Realities are also that in terms or reading a strategy was adopted. Your MEC will tell you, she is part of the national strategy. That is three years ago and now to repeat what the hon Lovemore said in the National Assembly and I told her that please do not come with obsolete reports where there is already an action plan and pretend that you are coming with something new when indeed there is action taking place adopted by your very own province. And it is important that you do so.
The reality is this, that because you cannot find a reason to challenge the department who against all odds is doing its double best, and I am not suggesting that it will reach its optimal performance. I am just indicating to you that the challenges are enormous but we are doing our very, very best to make the difference in the lives of our people. Why is it that in Libode the poorest district in the Eastern Cape, more that 42 state of the art schools have been built? Is it because we are not concerned about the poor and do not want to deliver? Those are questions we have to ask quite honestly. Was that the reality?
The hon Julius, please understand that, it takes more than a generation to change things. When I was in Grade 6 that standard 6 of the old days, we were a class of 32. One out of 36 passed matric and the rest of the net failed. But in the next generation, the thing turned around. And I am saying to you given the reality those 21 years ago, we had less than 50% of our educators who qualified and we have more than 98% and it is again blasted and blasted and blasted by the EFF. What more can they do substantively and that is important.
It is all about relativity, and I think the recognition must be ... [Interjections.]
They have done nothing and they will do nothing. It is quite easy to be opportunistic.
You know Einstein is known for the theory of relativity and he says when you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on red-hot cinders, a second seems like an hour.
If you were in a position of governance, I can assure you that you will be scratching your head, wanting to know why you cannot do something differently. [Interjections.] An Einstein said this and I want the hon MEC listen to this very carefully. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. The same thinking of the past was to divide our nation, to make them understand that we have separate identities as White, as Coloured, as Indian and as African. The way we solve problems today is to infuse in our children with an understanding that we are nonracial and a nonsexist society. It is to make them understand that indeed if we do not embrace our constitutional values there will be violence against foreigners, there will be violence against other race groups and indeed we do not want that to occur.
She has not given you the facts, the facts are that the Minister has appointed a committee and she knows it. She is deliberately and consciously withholding these facts. The Minister has appointed a commission to investigate how history should be taught for Grades 10, 11 and 12. Should it be part of life orientation or should it be an independent subject and what should its content be? That is the reality. Now, to selectively withhold the information ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, hon Deputy Minister, hon Deputy Minister Surty, please take your seat, hon Deputy Minister. Hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: I see it is like the hon Deputy Minister ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, you need to rise up on a point of order or on a point of privilege? If you do not have ... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Hon Chair, can you ask the Deputy Minister to please take it easy?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, can you listen to me? [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Let him take it easy!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Mtileni!
Mr V E MTILENI: The hon Deputy Minister seems to be stressed now. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, take your seat! [Laughter.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you. Continue hon Deputy Minster.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you, hon Chairperson, when it gets hot is like seating on cinders. You know you get it and you do not have a response to it. That is what I am saying. That is the theory of relativity that you hon member must become aware of. With regards to HIV and Aids - I am so happy that this has been raised - it is about sexually transmitted infections and it is about TB. South Africa is the only country in the world that has a sector plan from the Department of Basic Education in relation to this.
What we can share with you is that reproductive and sexual knowledge is critical and necessary. We have already developed the important resources for Grades 9 to 12, because we have to make our children aware through education that it is important to take preventative steps to defer and postpone the sexual debut. If indeed you are compelled to engage in sexual activity you should condomise. But this knowledge must be shared.
It is not about distributing condoms; it is about prevention and is about deferral of sexual activity. That is very critical and necessary. It has a process of two years of consultation; it is aligned with the National Strategic Plan. I thank you very much, hon Chairperson, and thank you to the hon members for their kind attention. [Applause.] [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon Chair, I must just say in this House, that it is very important by the way that we make this clarion call. The Human Resources Development Council of SA, which is led by the Deputy President and administered by our department, is working very closely with provinces to try and move them also to establish their own human resources development councils and we have already established six such councils. [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: On a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order! Hon Minister, can you please take your seat. Hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: Hon Chair, may you please ask the Minister to stand up as he addresses the House? [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, hon Mtileni, why are you rising?
Mr V E MTILENI: Hon Chair, can you ask the Minister to stand up?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please take your seat! [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Black man, you are on your own. [Laughter.] The provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and the Northern Cape that have established these councils ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon Minister. Hon Minister, order hon members, let us allow the Minister to say what ever he wants to say. [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon Chair, thank you very much to all the members and the parties who supported these two Budget Votes. Thanks especially to the ANC for always providing leadership. Hon Zwane, I agree entirely with you that, we do not only need more females in universities as students, we do need them as vice chancellors, and as academics. That is why one of the programmes we have recently launched is called Staffing South African Universities Framework which is aimed at promoting black and women Doctors of Philosophy, PhDs, to enter academia and to rise within academia. So, we entirely agree with you.
Now to the opposition, I can only reply to them really through what William Beveridge said, he is an English man and I quote, “Scratch a pessimist and you find often a defender of privilege.” Including a defender of R16 million in unpaid taxes. [Laughter.]
Now, hon Khawula, we take your point. We are only taken over a payment of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Tvet, colleges, 1 April this year. If hon members identify problems that we may not be aware of please raise them with us. We would appreciate that.
Baba uKhawula sisazobuya siyixoxe lendaba yemfundo yeNkatha lena KwaZulu-Natal. Kukhona lento okwakuthiwa uBuntu-Botho, ehhene ngake ngabhala ngayo kodwa ngegama lami elingekho ngoba ngangisaba ukuthi nizongishaya ngoba ngangihlala laphayana eMlazi [Uhleko.]. Ngayicubungula ngiwu-Praisely Mdluli ukuthi nanifundisa ngeNkatha ezikoleni nibe nithi nifundisa ngobuntu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Hon Khawula, we will come back to this issue of Inkatha education in KwaZulu-Natal. There was something called uBuntu-Botho, I once wrote about it but not with my real name because I was scared that you were going to hit me since I lived at uMlazi [Laughter.]. I examined it as Praisely Mdluli, that you were teaching about Inkatha in schools yet you were saying you were teaching about uBuntu.]
Also we need to say that hon Julius honestly you can be, usekhona? [Is he still here?] You can be in opposition party but you must acknowledge progress. You cannot go to any part of the country or any school or any university and say that there has been no progress since 1994. They will simply laugh at you. The beneficiaries of National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, will laugh at you. They will think that you are coming from Mars or something like that and it is you who actually said that. [Interjections.] It is okay to oppose but not to ...
To the hon MEC of the Western Cape, I am really challenging you to give me your sources of information that universities are spending less on teacher education. Just one example for instance we have increased significantly, the Fundza Lushaka bursary as well as putting more resources into increasing teacher education in our context.
And also you know, now I understand by the way why the DA has got problems hon Groenewald, with the history and it is urgent, hon Surty that we move with speed. They are scared of the history of South Africa and the role that many of them played in the past, in the oppression of the overwhelming majority of the people of this country. [Interjections.] We will tell that history and we must tell the truth. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, order hon Minister, can you please take your seat. The hon member, Julius, why are you on your feet?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon Chair, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Julius, what is your point of order?
Mr J W W JULIUS: My point of order is that: Can the Minister tell me where I played the part in apartheid because I debated now? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Julius, that is not a point of order, it is a point of debate. Can you please take your seat? Conclude hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: The party that we are part of today was complicit in the national oppression of our people. [Applause.] Whether you call it, the Progressive Federal Party, PFP, before it was complicit in the national oppression. That is why the DA will never become government of this country.
Mr V E MTILENI: Hon Chair, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Minister! Please take your seat. Hon Mtileni, why are you rising?
Mr V E MTILENI: House Chair, I am rising because I am surprised the Ministers look very angry. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, why are you rising? [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: They look very angry. Ministers, please take it easy! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please take your seat! [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Hon Chair, please ask Minister Nzimande to please take it easy. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon Mtileni! [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Why are they angry?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, take your seat! [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Let them take it easy!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, take it easy and follow the orders of this House. Please take your seat! Hon member, Van Lingen.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chair, the Ministers time is up.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Oh no! [Interjections.] Hon member, you are out of order. You are out of order! [Interjections.] Conclude hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Black man you are on your own. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon members! Hon Mtileni! We cannot continue like this! Hon Mtileni, Hon Mtileni, hon Mtileni, take your seat! Take your seat, hon Mtileni! Conclude hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: In conclusion, hon MEC of the Western Cape, you have it all wrong with regard to career development services. Our scope is lifelong advice; do not confuse that with Apply Now Campaign we are doing very well on this front. Thank you very much for the opportunity of addressing this august House. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you, hon Minister. Order hon members! Hon Mtileni, order!
The Council adjourned at 16:56.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Environmental Affairs
- General Notice No 258, published in Government Gazette No 38607, dated 25 March 2015: Shark Biodiversity Management Plan, in terms of section 43(3) and 100 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).
- General Notice No 269, published in Government Gazette No 38619, dated 31 March 2015: The Draft Biodiversity Management Plan for White Rhinoceros, in terms of section 43(3) read with section 100 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).
- General Notice No 255, published in Government Gazette No 38600, dated 31 March 2015: Threatened or protected species regulations, in terms of section 97 read with section 100 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).
- General Notice No 256, published in Government Gazette No 38600, dated 31 March 2015: Publication of lists of species that are threatened or protected, activities that are prohibited and exemption from restriction, in terms of sections 57(1), 57(2) and 57(4)(a), read with sections 63 and 100 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004).
- General Notice No R. 283, published in Government Gazette No 38633, dated 2 April 2015: National Atmospheric Emission Reporting Regulations, in terms of section 12(b) and (c) read with section 53(aA), (o) and (p) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No 39 of 2004).
- General Notice No R. 284, published in Government Gazette No 38633, dated 2 April 2015: Amendment to the Regulations Prescribing the Format of the Atmospheric Impact Report, 2013, under section 53(o) read with section 30 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No 39 of 2004).
- General Notice No R. 286, published in Government Gazette No 38632, dated 2 April 2015: Declaration of small-scale char and small-scale charcoal plants as controlled emitters under section 23(1) read with section 24 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No 39 of 2004).
- Government Notice No R. 310, published in Government Gazette No 38684, dated 10 April 2015: Regulations relating to the procedure to be followed when oral requests are made in terms of section 30A of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No 107 of 1998).
National Council of Provinces
- The Minister of Social Development
- Draft regulations for approval by Parliament, submitted on 4 June 2015 in terms of section 43(4)(a) of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013 (No 7 of 2013).
- Directives submitted to Parliament on 4 June 2015 in terms of section 44(7)(a) of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013 (No 7 of 2013).
Referred to the Select Committee on Social Services for consideration and report.
- Report of the investigation conducted in terms of section 106(1)(b) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No 32 of 2000), on allegations of maladministration, fraud and corrupt practices in Dihlabeng Local Municipality, Free State.
Referred to the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration.
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