Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 13 Aug 2015
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:04.
The House Chairperson: International Relations and Member Support took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
ORDER OF BUSINESS AND WELCOME
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon members, I have been informed that the Whippery has agreed that there will be no notices of motion or motions without notice. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the Ministers ... [Inaudible.] ... into our House.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
Back to Basics programme
120. Mr M J Mohapi (Free State: ANC) asked the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
(1) What is the current status of the implementation of the Back to Basics programme linked to defined outcomes expected on its roll-out (details furnished);
(2) what are the (a) achievements of the programme and (b) remaining challenges that have been identified;
(3) whether there are any improvements regarding municipalities that were categorised as in distress; if not, why not; if so, how have these municipalities responded to a differentiated support? CO422E
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, hon members and the audience in the gallery, good afternoon. The reply to the questions from the hon Mohapi is the following.
The initial aim of the back-to-basics approach was to focus specifically on the immediate challenges in the local government sphere in order that municipalities get their basics right. This means that they get their governance right and service delivery functions operating properly, amongst other things.
A promising start has been made in the last nine months, which can serve as a foundation on which future performance improvements will be built. A programme such as the Back to Basics programme will not provide immediate results. Yet, I have just come from a meeting with provincial MECs, and there are very encouraging reports from provinces of municipalities beginning to move out of the dysfunctional category into a category where they are functioning better.
In the space of the last 10 months since September 2014, when the President launched the Back to Basics programme in Gauteng, we have moved quickly in the first phase of the programme. The following are some of the elements we have put in place. The Back to Basics programme is now well known amongst all the municipalities in South Africa. A dual approach was followed, with multidisciplinary and interdepartmental teams doing work in most municipalities by focusing on developing municipal action plans and providing hands-on support in areas such as financial support and human resources. Most of the municipalities have adopted these plans formally through council resolutions.
We have undertaken, both as Minister and as officials, unannounced visits in selected municipalities across the country, resulting in the development of support and good governance packages. In addition, together with political parties, we have seen interventions at Nelson Mandela Bay, Makana Local Municipality, Buffalo City Municipality, Mogalakwena Municipality, and most recently, as we are beginning to conclude an agreement on an intervention in Oudtshoorn.
The municipal monthly reporting system is taking shape and an average of 181 municipalities is reporting against the Back to Basics indicators. Provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs co-ordination of support to municipalities has improved and we have got further reports on this, today.
The Back to Basics programme is also now a standing item on the agenda of the President’s Co-ordinating Council. This is a forum where the President meets the premiers, certain Ministers and representatives of the SA Local Government Association, Salga. From the work done, to date, the key problems have been identified. It is now time to focus on those action plans that we are putting in place.
In the next phase of Back to Basics, which we are planning now, a more precise, practical and hands-on approach will be taken with respect to the kind of changes that municipalities are expected to make in order to improve their performance. Through this approach, it will be possible to register measurable, quantitative improvements in the citizens’ better experience of local government. Some 236 municipalities reported at least once during the last six months, which is also encouraging, in addition to the numbers I gave earlier on.
In respect of the five pillars of the Back to Basics programme, as regards putting people first, we notice that the majority of ward committees are in place. However, there is still room for improvement in respect of the interface between councillors and officials at a municipal level and the public that they are there to serve. This will be an important area of focus as we go forward, so that we can improve communication between municipalities and the communities that they serve.
In respect of service delivery, the expenditure on the municipal infrastructure grant has stabilised over the years. On average, most provinces are spending more than 80% - some close to 100%, as we have learnt today.
Many of the reporting municipalities, when they were responding to service delivery failures, as indicated in respect of electricity outages and sewage spillages, again, are performing the functions they need to perform in less than three hours after the complaint is received. Let’s be very honest, however. There is still room for improvement in this area, as well, in terms of attending to complaints sooner rather than later.
With reference to free basic services, some 4,9 million households in the reporting municipalities receive free basic water each month. About 1,7 million households receive free basic electricity. Here, again, it’s important for municipalities to clean up their indigent registers to make sure that the right people are on those registers, and those who are not supposed to benefit should not be benefiting.
In respect of good governance, here again, there is vast improvement but we are now able to identify very clearly where there are dysfunctionalities in good governance. Together with the provinces, we will be taking further steps either to support or intervene in municipalities.
On financial management, the audit outcomes, as we all know, as reported by the Auditor-General, have been improving, and the key is to make sure that the 50-odd municipalities that have had disclaimers for more than three years in a row are the ones that stop getting disclaimers. We have just reached agreement with the MECs from the provinces that they will attend to these matters.
There is, equally, good progress in terms of ensuring that municipalities hire the right people with the right competencies. Here again, more than 80% of the key positions of municipal manager, chief financial officer and section 56 positions have been filled by most of the municipalities. In those instances where there are less-than-qualified people, MECs are being asked to act against those individuals and make sure that they either leave that job or do a job more compatible with the level of qualifications that they have. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon Chairperson, let me acknowledge, with gratitude, the response from the Minister. Minister, there have been many reports on the progress made in the local government sphere, confirming significant improvements in the area of basic service delivery by the 20-year review by the Presidency, and the Auditor-General, etc. However, there has been concerted negative reporting by the media, misinforming the general public on the true state of affairs about our government. The recent development is yesterday’s admission by the editor of The Citizen, Steven Motale, where he said:
I’ve been party to the wrongful agenda against Zuma, and can only apologise for that. ... I have been party to the unfairness, along with many of my colleagues.
Minister, is this acknowledgement not indicative of the fact that there has been a very subjective, explicit and unholy agenda by some media houses - which is not in conformity with objective, ethical journalism practices - to deliberately paint a negative and unfair image, particularly on the improvements and impact of the Back to Basics programme? I thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, the hon Mohapi is correct. Even in our early analysis of the Back to Basics programme and the criteria that we had identified, we had said, firstly, that some 80 municipalities in South Africa are doing very well. We also said that over 70 municipalities are doing well but they need to attend to one or two things. So, that’s two-thirds of the municipalities that are, on average, performing much better than, perhaps, the public perception allows.
Secondly, municipal government is the closest to communities. So, even if there’s a problem with something that a national government is responsible for, it’s the municipal councillor, municipal official and municipality that will be held responsible. So, that is an extra burden that municipalities actually carry.
Thirdly, I would agree with the hon Mohapi that we need to do more work to inform and educate our media colleagues about what the real facts are. Not all of local government is a failure, otherwise we would be a collapsed state and a collapsed country – and we’re not! We are still a well run and well governed state in South Africa, compared to the countries internationally. We must never forget that.
Often, when foreign visitors come across to South Africa, one of the observations they make about all of us, regardless of the political party we come from, is that we are too negative about ourselves. [Interjections.] Right? We don’t give ourselves credit for what we’ve achieved in 15 years – only 15 years! Democratic local government in South Africa will turn 15 years of age on 5 December this year, and I think what we’ve achieved in reducing over 800 apartheid-based, so-called municipal structures to what we currently have – 278 municipalities - is a remarkable job.
At the same time, we are the most honest about ourselves. We are the ones who say to the world, These are the problems we have; these are the challenges that we see; and these are the challenges we have answers for, at the end of the day. So, we are not hiding our weaknesses. I think the important thing is that we must not mix party politics with the importance of historically performing the task that we have, which is to build an effective state in all three spheres of government. So, there are areas in which we must work with each other, and there are areas in which we must compete with each other. Getting that balance right is the difficult task. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon Minister. Members should remember that they should not converse loudly. I also want to caution members that they should remember that we only qualify for four supplementary questions. There are now three left. The hon Motlashuping.
Mr T C MOTLASHUPING: Thank you, Chairperson. I thank the Minister for giving such a comprehensive answer. We acknowledge that, in the space of ten months, you have made a remarkable achievement; and that, there is a movement on municipalities in terms of improvement.
However, I wonder if the Minister is satisfied with the improvement, service delivery, your sound financial management system and the human resource management. Will the Minister also, in terms of the response given here, and I have read the response of the Minister that the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga apparently have problems with the Indigent Register. What are the interventions mechanisms that the department would come up with to assist these municipalities to ensure that they comply? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Let me thank the hon member for his question and his acknowledgement that we have made remarkable progress. So, it is good to have a meeting point on that. Are we satisfied with the progress in respect of services, financial management and human resource, HR.? Let’s start with financial management, if audit results are an indication of better financial management then the Auditor-General certainly report that year-on-year we have seen an improvement over the past five or six years. Is it adequate? Not yet.
What I would still like to see is that all of us in government, Salga and in other entities ensure that no municipality receives a disclaimer right. When you receive a disclaimer, it is because you do not have basic documents in place. Now, that is unacceptable. It is unacceptable for any mayor to collect the salary or any municipal manager to collect the salary if they cannot keep basic documents in place.
However, it is only 50 of our municipalities out of 278, but they do require our focus and you as hon members can help us, by calling them to the NCOP to account; and ask them why are they not getting this right. Why are they doing these over three years? Why are they doing it over five years? Your assistance, hon members, and civilians in that regard will be very helpful.
On HR, I think we have taken some important steps. We have benchmarks now for competencies. There are tests that are taking place. Now we have given people an opportunity to improve their competency levels as well in order to meet the requirements. Where we become aware that the wrong person is in the wrong job, we actually ask the MECs to act on that as well. We are not 100% there, but we are well on our way to get significant improvements in that area.
On services, I think we have come a long way as a country in 21 years, in terms of overcoming backlogs. However, let me be mindful that a couple of hundred-year legacy of neglecting all of our areas is not going to be overcome in 20 years.
So there is still hard work to do in terms of overcoming backlogs. There is hard work to do in terms of planning for the next ten years in every district and in every municipality, for how do we get better water supply, how do we get better refuse removal. How do we actually ensure electrification and the sped for example, of solar water heaters and renewable energy in our different areas?
In that area, there is certainly a room for improvement. It is also an area where contractors from the private sector come in as well, in respect of some of these services. What we require is a better understanding amongst all of us that you can come in, you can get a tender, and you can supply the services, but do not collect money from the government if you are not doing the right quality of work. So we must demand the right quality of services to our citizens in those regards as well.
Chairperson, on the Indigent Register, indeed we are expecting provinces to help municipalities to check the register. The phenomenon that we have noticed in some places - and it is not specifically on those two provinces that you have mentioned - is that officials have become too friendly with the wrong people. People who are earning good salaries find their names on to the Indigent Register. So they are getting benefits like free basic services when, in fact, they should be paying.
So, the more general proposition, Chairperson, is that all of us should be very concerned about those parts of our country and communities where there isn’t an adequate payment culture. So we have got to work harder at making sure that our people understand that services cost money. That if they can afford to pay they must actually pay so that others who cannot afford to pay can benefit from that money; and because it is those of us that are earning money, that contribute either in a local sphere or nationally through our taxes and surcharges, so that others who cannot afford can actually benefit.
So, perhaps we need the help of the NCOP again to ensure that in this particular area of improving our payment culture, we give a lot of focus as well.
Mr W F FABER: Thank you, Chair. Minister, in Phokwane Local Municipality, the municipal manager and major was asked to resign after corruption allegations and maladministration took place, which you are well aware of. The hon Minister asked MEC A Botes to investigate this matter, but as usual, no one ever heard about the outcome of this investigation.
Instead of taking the legal action against the municipal manager, the MEC redeployed him to Springbok, the Namakwa District Municipality. Now, hon Minister, what is the department’s position regarding redeploying of corrupt officials after local government level since is totally contradictory to the attendance of the government’s back to basic programme?
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: That is a very good question, I am not aware of all the facts so let me admit that upfront. I would certainly check with the MEC about it. I did not quite get the name of the municipality Chairperson. If the hon member ... [Interjections.]
Mr W F FABER: Phokwane Municipality.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Phokwane, okay. However, I think the principle is that we have enough laws and processes in this country to make sure that those who are guilty of statutory offences are properly charged and that they are properly dealt with, either within internal tribunals or through the justice process.
As far as I’m concerned, if there is evidence of that kind of wrong doing any individual concern must go through that process. If the individual is cleared, then they can go back to work. If they are not cleared, then they have to face the consequences of the kind of choices that they have actually made in life. But I will look into the specific matter and try to get a better understanding. Thank you.
Mr V E MTILENI: Thank you, Chairperson. My question to hon Minister is that the Minister of Finance has indicated that this month, spending on capital budget remain, only 31,6 was actually spent. Therefore, is there any particular focus to eradicate the infrastructure backlog through back to basics? Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon member, yes there is, that is very much part of our focus. So what we are doing at the moment is to reorganise our Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, MISA. We have a new CEO, Dr Phillips, for example, now we have about 53 professionals in about 60 or 70 different municipalities assisting them in respect of technical work. However, where we want to get to in the next few months is that, we want every district to have an infrastructure plan and every municipality within the district also to have a longer-term plan.
What happens in many instances is that people in municipalities wait to see how much money they have, and then they decide on a project. By the time they decide and award a tender, the time for that financial year is actually over. So, what you want is the best practice, you want a pipeline of projects. When the money is available either from the fiscus or for example, a loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, then you are able to prosecute those projects effectively.
Secondly, we also want to ensure that we improve delivery capability and project implementation and contract management within municipalities as well. Thirdly, we are currently working with the Treasury to design – let us call it transversal municipal infrastructure procurement rules, in other words, not every municipality needs to go out to buy the same thing separately. There must be - as you know, when the government negotiates differently for antiretroviral drugs we saved to R2 to R3 billion a few years ago.
At the moment, the Chief Procurement Officer and his office are looking at various areas of government expenditure where we can purchase key items that are regularly used on a transversal basis. In other words, you say for example, I ‘m going to use a 1000 of these things in a year, well let us negotiate the best price for the 1000 rather than each one of us negotiating for two each and paying that price; those are some of the measures that we have in place.
I would think that in the next three months or so we will begin to see better results, in terms of managing infrastructure. However, what is crucial Chairperson is also operations and maintenance. Some of our municipalities have the right capability and the right technical staff to make sure that they replace water pipes after 20 years or repair things that actually go wrong. Others amongst our municipalities do not get proper attention to this area.
As a result, we find that the infrastructure deteriorates very quickly and the replacement rate is much higher than it actually should be. The last point is that in the budgeting process of municipalities, some municipalities do set aside between 5% and 8% in terms of maintenance costs, but others do not set aside any money at all. So, what we are looking at here is to ensure that municipalities budget for maintenance because that’s crucial to ensure the longevity of some of our structures.
2015 initiation season
124. Mr M Khawula (KwaZulu-Natal: IFP) asked the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
(1) What was the death toll in each district in each province in respect of the deaths of young men in the 2015 initiation season;
(2) whether this was an improvement in saving lives as compared to the previous winter initiation season; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;
(3) what steps his department is taking to ensure that no lives are lost as a result of this process? CO427E
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson, we have a stranger in the House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): That is not a point of order, hon member. We do not have a stranger; all are hon members in this House. Order, hon members! Hon Minister, the question that you will respond to now was asked by the very same hon member who had just risen on a point of order which was not a point of order, so over to you, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, the issue raised by hon Khawula is very important. Let me say that this past winter initiation season was both good and bad. It was good from the point of view that a smaller number of young people died than last year. It is bad in that we still have 34 deaths compared to 44 last year. It is 34 young people who lost their lives because of reckless conduct on the part of people operating illegal initiation schools engaging in the wrong kind of conduct.
So, in response to his first point, 29 boys lost their lives in the Eastern Cape: 20 in the O R Tambo district, three in Chris Hani, three in Alfred Nzo, two in Joe Gqabi, and one in Amathole. No deaths were reported in Gauteng and in the Western Cape. Three deaths were reported in Limpopo: two in Sekhukhune and one in Waterberg. There was one in Mpumalanga and one in the North West. So, the total number of deaths was 34 in this winter season, compared to 44 last year.
This is an improvement which is attributable to some very good work done both by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs at a national level and provincial level and traditional leaders, particularly the deputy chair of the National House of Traditional Leaders. However, as I am sure, all of us will agree that 34 young people dying is still not satisfactory in modern day South Africa.
Several interventions to curb the deaths of initiates have been implemented. However, these are still areas that need to be improved. The following steps were taken by the department in order to try and tackle this problem. In the first instance, Cabinet has approved the initiation policy before the initiation season, and we sent guidelines to all MECs on what should and should not be done during the initiation season. The Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Mr Bapela and his team attended relevant workshops as well as the launch of the winter initiation season. They inspected initiation schools to check compliance for the requirements of establishing a registered initiation school. Clear messages were communicated, particularly in most parts of the Eastern Cape.
The National House of Traditional Leaders, as I pointed out, supported by the department and through the deputy chairperson of the national house played a very important part in mobilising various constituencies. Again, the target was unregistered schools and illegal operators of the initiation process and practice. The teams also consisted of provincial representatives, the Department of Health, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the SA Police Service, and the Department of Social Development, and we want to thank all of them for their co-operation. The letters that I wrote to each of the MECs were followed up with visits to each of the provinces that were concerned. Soon after the closure of the winter initiation season, the national house convened a meeting with stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the interventions. One of the observations that we have made upon reflection is that there is a mushrooming of unregistered initiation schools and organised crime, which the SA Police Service and other stakeholders have to deal with much more harshly than they had been able to do to date.
It should be noted that the draft initiation policy will be considered by a Cabinet committee next week with the few changes that we have made as a result of feedback that we have obtained. This policy will begin to be implemented in the provinces in preparation for the summer season. We are still committed to our objective, and I hope all of you will join in that, that there must be zero deaths and injuries during the initiation process. Those that are engaging in malpractices that either result in injury or loss of life need to be dealt with very harshly. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon Minister for the response. Firstly, I want to agree with the hon Minister that even if it had been one death, it would have been one too many. We should not lose even one life. One appreciates that kind of scaling down, although it has not come down to what we can call perfect.
I want to argue that these deaths are avoidable deaths, and it rests with government to ensure that there are no deaths. For as long as there is one death, or there are so many deaths, it means that measures put in place by government are not strong enough. I want to ask the Minister the following: In terms of ensuring that there is not a single death, what strong measures are put in place by government? Secondly, what are the punitive measures in respect of the culprits? The Minister seems to be saying there are culprits. What punitive measures – what actions – are being taken to ensure that those culprits are also brought to book and made to pay for their wrong actions? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, one would agree with the hon Khawula that one death is one death too many, and I made that point repeatedly in my initial remarks, so there is no difference of view on that question.
Even on the point that these are avoidable deaths, we agree. Where I disagree is where he says that everything rests with government. That is wrong. I think we, as a society, and we, as individual communities, and community leaders in those individual communities must take responsibility for what happens in those communities. Government cannot be everywhere. Particularly where we are talking about young people from our own communities, from our own families, surely we should be the first people to make sure that they go to the right initiation people. We should be the first people to report to the police that malpractices are taking place in our communities. We should be the first people who report those who are assaulting young people in this process and during this season, and you know these things are actually happening.
So, if you look at the malpractices, you will have unregistered initiation schools; you have the commercialisation of this practice. So, illegality is combined with moneymaking, and young people are the victims, either in terms of mutilation of the young people or their deaths in the final instance, as well. There are parents who do not take their children through prescreening, and other children go to initiation schools without the consent of their parents. Some parents do not get involved throughout the initiation process. There is a source of initiates. There is late application for holding of initiation schools. There is unwillingness of principals to support monitoring teams, and I can carry on. There is a long list here.
What I would certainly look forward to is co-operation from all of us to make sure that we arrive at the target of zero deaths. Assigning blame is not going to help, really. As I said earlier on, let’s learn to work together on those matters that affect all of us collectively.
On the question of punitive measures, we have written to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and to the Minister of Police. We have identified certain culprits that we have been informed about, but more generally, as far as we are concerned, all of those that are responsible for what I have described must face the full might of the law and face the consequences. There again, I think we require the participation and assistance of members from the community together with the law enforcement agencies. So, I think we agree on most things. I hope the hon Khawula also agrees with me that we share the responsibility jointly of making sure that we arrive at the zero-deaths target.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: House Chairperson, I was getting worried for a moment there that you weren’t seeing me frantically waving my Question Paper, but I am indebted to you for the opportunity.
Hon Minister, statistics suggests that the number of fatalities associated with the winter initiation season, as you have mentioned, decreased by 10, from 44 in the same period last year to 34 this year. We also commend those on ground level who have helped to achieve this. However, the number of fatalities in the Eastern Cape remains worryingly high, as opposed to in provinces such as the Western Cape, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape. Has your department looked at best practices in certain provinces and the possibility of applying such in a province such as the Eastern Cape? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, let me thank the hon member for his commendation of the efforts that all of us have put in up to now. The Western Cape doesn’t have any of these practices. That is why you don’t see any numbers coming from the Western Cape, but I think you make a very important point about the numbers that we are getting from the Eastern Cape. The National House of Traditional Leaders and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs are looking into ... I mean, the best practice question, the initiation policy is actually drafted on the basis of feedback from all of the experiences that we have had, and I hope hon members will familiarise themselves with this.
What we ultimately require is more attention on the ground itself. I think all of us know that geographically there are differences in the way in which cultural practices actually take place and the processes that are actually followed, and whilst respecting that on the one hand, we need to create some common guidelines, if you like, which the initiation policy is trying to do. What we want to do now is turn those guidelines into law and make sure that the kind of malpractices that we are talking about is made part of a statutory regime. More importantly, it is the enforcement side, on the one hand, but the education and the persuasion side, on the other hand, that are going to help us to make sure that that number of 34 declines to zero.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Chairperson, once again, our condolences on the loss of life. Hon Minister, let me take this opportunity to welcome and appreciate the collaboration that your department has pursued between itself, traditional leaders and the South African Police Service in successfully effecting the arrest of those who contributed to the loss of life, abuse and assault of initiates.
Hon Minister, my question is the following: What is it that you are going to do to ensure that you sustain this collaboration and not be effective only as and when we embark on the initiation season? Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, what this past season has demonstrated – indeed, the past year – is that we are taking a much more proactive approach, as opposed to a reactive approach. One hopes that as we get the policy framework in place, the guidelines in place – the past year has also been extremely important in terms of developing a collaborative approach through the Department of Health, Departments of Education, traditional leaders, other role players, and the South African Police Service, as I mentioned earlier on.
What we still need is a greater public awareness of what is right and what is wrong, a greater sense of leadership from communities themselves which says we are not going to allow X, Y, and Z to happen to our young people. Just as much as we raise our voices in respect of other issues, I think, we should raise our voices about 34 deaths as well so that we actually create a climate where there is no such problem. What will create sustainability for the collaboration is to institutionalise the structures, which is beginning to happen, to institutionalise the kind of practices that we are engaging in as government and as stakeholders, and, thirdly, to win the battle on the ground. There all of you, you perhaps need – just like you have a local government week, it looks like you might need a NCOP initiation week where we go out to the communities with a single message and say these are the dos, and these are the don’ts. All of us must unite around the demand that we do not want any deaths in the next initiation season.
We have the Deputy Minister in the Presidency here who is also responsible for youth affairs. [Interjections.] [Laughter.] So, we shall mandate him to give us some leadership in this regard, as well. It is very fortunate that we have his presence here, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very, hon Minister. You are being so progressive by appointing him to make sure that he leads this initiative. Hon Deputy Minister in the Presidency, you are being appointed officially in this House today. Thank you. The last member to ask a supplementary question is the hon Nthebe.
Mr B G NTHEBE: Chairperson, the Minister was very explicit about the progress that had been made so far and that there is a need for us to eliminate all deaths. Even one death is one death too many. In terms of the institutional processes that we have, Minister, there is a health screening process that should be undertaken before the initiation process takes place. Is there resistance to adherence to such a process, or what impedes it? Some are caused by health-related issues that could have been identified and treated. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, the hon member makes a very important point. Again, that was institutionalised over the last year or two, and it is becoming more of a practice than less of a practice. As you heard me earlier, hon member, in this list of problems that I have before more, or challenges that we actually have, one of them is that the parents do not take their children through prescreening, and other children go to initiation schools without the consent of their parents.
Again, creating that public consciousness and getting parents to understand what their role and responsibility are, but also getting young people – young people today are able to understand if we explain to them in the correct way what they need to do to look after themselves. You are now talking about damaging somebody who is not going to recover from that for the rest of his life if we do not do that right. Similar things apply to girls in a different kind of context, as well. So, we have a huge responsibility to protect them from the malpractices that we are talking about.
Establishment of Traditional Councils/resources for Kings
130. Kgoši S G Thobejane (Limpopo: ANC) asked the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
(1) (a) How many Traditional Councils, as required by law, have been established, (b) how will his department implement the legislation and (c) when will the legislation be fully implemented;
(2) what (a) policy changes and (b) plans his department is intending to take to address the equalisation of resources for all Kings in order to avoid the detrimental effects on the relations between the Government and the Institution of Traditional Leadership, including the Congress of Traditional Leaders (details furnished)? CO433E
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: The question raised by Kgosi Thobejane is in respect of traditional councils. According to our records 829 traditional councils have been established. The department is working together with provincial departments and at the moment they have reconstituted 704 traditional councils. The 125 traditional councils that have not yet been reconstituted are largely in Limpopo and Mpumalanga and these two provinces have started the reconstitution process in terms of section 3(2)(a) of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003 which was gazetted with mandate guidelines determining the number of members of traditional councils.
In respect to the second part of the question, the Act that I have mentioned is being implemented to request compliance reports from provincial departments responsible for traditional affairs and yes, the legislation is being fully implemented. Chairperson, the challenge here is to again make sure that on the one hand we make incremental progress in implementing and constituting these traditional councils. Secondly, developing the capability both in provinces and national government to monitor their functionality and ensure that they are doing the kind of work that they are meant to do in respect of the legislation. We are well on our way in moving in the right direction.
Ms T MOTARA: Thank you Minister for your response. My follow up question would be how has the unequal distribution of resources hampered the work that the National House of Traditional Leaders is responsible for?
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Again, without the numbers in front of me I can’t really comment on that but most provincial administrations have assigned sufficient amount of funds to get these traditional councils to work. At the moment funding might not be the key issue although in respect of, for example, refurbishing buildings occupied by traditional councils we do not have all the funds at the moment to improve all of them. There is, however, a systematic process that is being followed together with provincial departments to improve buildings in which they operate. At the same time we need to be very mindful and if you do not believe me, you can ask hon De Beer that we work under tight fiscal conditions. Some of these things might take a little bit longer than they might originally have been thought to take in order to cope with some of the challenges we have. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister, some of the expenses and I want to use the example of the Zulu king where a newspaper article records that R10.3 million allocated for the king’s palace whilst a vast number of South Africans do not even have homes. An amount of R2.2 million spent for his wives which comes down to R31 000 each per month; R2.5-million for travelling expenses, which comes down to R36 000 a month per wife; and, just below R1 million for education which most of it goes to the children of the king whilst the majority of our youth do not have public transport or education. A lot of this money is taxpayers’ money. My question is that whilst the majority of our youth currently do not have these resources and should be assisted through taxpayers’ money, where do you draw the line between assisting traditional leaders and giving services to the people?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms. M C Dikgale): Hon Minister, it is up to you sir, whether you will answer but this is totally a new question. Over to you!
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: That is alright, we are a democracy and that is fine. We have to demonstrate that. Chairperson, what we need to remind ourselves of section 211 and 212 of the Constitution. These sections give recognition to traditional leadership in South Africa. Section 212 in particular makes provision for the establishment of houses of traditional leaders. In a sense what we have is a constitutional obligation to recognise and to, within our means, support the institution of traditional leadership.
Secondly, it is logical that in supporting the institution of traditional leadership, you are going to use money from the fiscus. This money is transparently allocated through a physical process that you are all familiar with as hon members. There is no expenditure here that we are unable to account for otherwise the hon member would not be able to give us the numbers that he has given us.
Thirdly, is an important point that he makes. How do we make trade-offs in our society; how do we decide something is more important than something else? I think that at the end of the day government is about maintaining a reasonable and rational balance in meeting all of the challenges that we have. All of us understand, as hon members, that we do not have all the money to do everything now. We also do not have all the money to do everything that needs to be done even in the next five years. So, the budgeting process which Parliament itself is involved in as is the NCOP is about deciding what are the ruling party’s priorities; how are the resources allocated to those priorities, and; whether that is done in terms of the law. As you know, we are amongst the most transparent countries in terms of the budgeting processes compared to ninety odd countries across the world.
The numbers in relation to His Majesty are numbers that I have not been familiar with directly. But one of the objectives that we want to get to is to make sure that there are national norms and standards for all of the matters that we actually deal with. Over time I believe that we could arrive at that but it is not going to happen tomorrow morning.
The last point that we need to bear in mind is that many of these functions are concurrent functions and in particular functions that are performed by provinces. It is the provincial authorities that determine how they want to allocate their resources as well. Chairperson, we should not create the impression that sections 211 and 212 of our collective Constitution do not exists. They do exist. By virtue of adopting the Constitution we are adopting those two clauses and give recognition to the institution of traditional leadership.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon Chair and hon Minister, I just want to check, you correctly and explicitly outlined that sections 211 and 212 of the Constitution gives both recognition and also outline the role of traditional leaders which means that it is a matter that is not being dealt as a privilege but it is the right of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders to be acknowledge and recognised.
Minister, in the Western Cape as an example, the recognition of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders has been a problem. What can be the advice to the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders in terms of pursuing their recognition and the role that needs to be played specifically in the Western Cape as it is alleged that the Western Cape province does not want to recognise the provincial House of Traditional Leadership. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Again, these are not questions about traditional councils but that is fine. I want to confirm what the hon member has said about sections 211 and 212 and I will encourage hon members to familiarise themselves with those sections. I think that the point about the Western Cape will begin to change as we process the Traditional Affairs Bill that goes to Cabinet next week which will give recognition to the Khoi and San communities in South Africa. Once that Bill is processed by Parliament as a whole including yourselves and the provinces, we will then have to deal with the outcome of that process.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister, the big complain from traditional councils in KwaZulu-Natal is that they are either poorly resourced or not resourced at all. This then cripples their ability to function properly. What is the department doing to ensure that they are also properly resourced? I would also like to know what happens in the case where traditional councils either through the king or the council itself becomes politically partial where there are declarations that no member of the council will be a member of any other political party except a particular political party and such declarations are publicly made. What steps are taken in that regard?
Lastly, I would like to set this record straight, I am tempted hon Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms. M C Dikgale): Please do not be tempted.
Mr M KHAWULA: I am really tempted to ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms. M C Dikgale): Please.
Mr M KHAWULA: ... defend the Zulu king, I have to do that. There is no R10 million that is hand delivered to the Zulu king. In KwaZulu-Natal there is a trust which is under the KwaZulu-Natal government and the trust is responsible for all the activities pertaining to royalty. There is no money that goes to the king in KwaNongoma. The trust is responsible. This myth that there is money given to the Zulu king is something that is not ... I am saying this because this was started by the IFP-led KwaZulu-Natal government and fortunately for us it has continued even when you are not in power because it is a good thing for the people of KwaZulu, for the king himself, for the royal family and for the respect that we have to accord to the kingship in this country. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms. M C Dikgale): Thank you for the first part of your temptation; however, we will ignore the last one as long as it is not a new question.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, on several occasions in the last half an hour to 45 minutes I addressed the hon Khawula’s point about resources. I have said that we do not have limitless resources and it is our intention to get these structures to work. Hopefully in time we will have the fiscal capability to meet all the requirements that all of us have. It will be done in phases and over a period of time.
On the question of traditional councils and the alleged affiliation to political parties, chapter two of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights talk about freedom of association. I suppose that any structure or individual is free to associate themselves in political terms with whomever they want to. That is the first point. The second point is that I am not aware of any legislation anywhere that precludes anybody from doing this. So, at the end, I suppose, it is members of the traditional council and in particular, traditional leaders, who will have to determine how they associate themselves in a political environment and what the implications of that might be in terms of their relationship with communities they serve. I am afraid but I do not have any magic wand or rule at this point in time to deal with that issue. Thank you.
Municipal Demarcation Board
137. Ms E C van Lingen (Eastern Cape: DA) asked the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
(1) Whether the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) has commissioned any independent research reports regarding the latest round of redetermination of municipal boundaries; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so,
(2) whether any of these reports have been (a) presented to and (b) commented on by the affected communities; if not, why not; if so, what are the main findings of the research reports? CO440E
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: I must apologise for my coughing, I’m still trying to recover from flu. To respond to the hon member‘s question, firstly, I want to point out that, whilst I am answering these questions about the Municipal Demarcation Board, MDB, and its workings, I have no jurisdiction over their operations. This is an independent board that operates in terms of a piece of legislation, which defines very clearly what the board must do. So nothing I say must be misunderstood to mean that there is ministerial interference or involvement in the workings of the board.
But I am informed of the following by the board itself in respect of the question. The answer to the first question is, yes, the board has commissioned and does commission independent research reports regarding the redetermination of municipal boundaries.
Secondly, the MDB has not presented these reports to all affected communities publicly, but it has presented the information contained in the research reports which were used together with other information to arrive at their decision. So they explained their decision on the basis of the research that was done, through these reports and other information that they might have and are able to access. And then, they inform the public in terms of section 26 of the legislation about their decisions and interact with the public in that regard.
I want to recommend that the NCOP invites the MDB, to explain to you, how does it work and what are some of the operational details that might satisfy the members’ curiosity. As I pointed out, this is an independent body and it has to consider the provisions of sections 24-25 of the Municipal Demarcation Act, Act 27 of 1998. These sections pertain to the demarcation objectives and factors to be taken into account in determining municipal boundaries. Excuse me! These include, amongst others, the interdependence of people, communities and economies, as indicated by the existing and expected human settlement patterns.
Secondly, the need for cohesive integrated and unfragmented areas, including metropolitan areas, the financial viability and administrative capacity of the municipality to perform municipal functions efficiently and effectively, the need to share and redistribute financial and administrative resources. There is a whole list of other criteria that you could find in sections 24 and 25 of the legislation.
There is a lot of other detail which, I am sure, the board is in a better position to share with you. But I want to underline the fact that the board has said to us that when considering a municipal boundary for determination or redetermination, the MDB must publish a notice in a newspaper circulating in the area concerned, stating the board’s intention to consider the matter, and also invite written representations and views from the public within a specified period, which may not be shorter than 21 days. All interested parties must therefore make their formal representations when required to do so.
After this period, the board must consider all representations and views and may hold a public meeting or conduct a formal investigation or do both. The board must thereafter publish its determination or redetermination of a municipal boundary in the relevant provincial Gazette. Any person aggrieved by a determination of a municipal boundary may within 30 days of publication of that determination submit objections in writing to the board. Objections are then considered and the board must either confirm, vary or withdraw its determination. After having complied with the above requirements, the board then publishes its decision in the relevant provincial Gazettes.
The reason I have elaborated on some of this is that, after the board recently pronounced its initial findings and subjected them to public comments, and if need be, objections, certain political parties began to cast aspersions on the independence of the board and their ability to come to objective decisions based on the criteria some of which I have spelt out in section 24 and 25. I think it is wrong.
If we disagree politically with something, you don’t cast aspersions on an institution which is supposed to independently apply its mind to issues over determination and redetermination. There is a particular political party that even accused me and I think the board of gerrymandering for example. You only get gerrymandering in countries like the United States where politicians determine the boundaries of municipalities. Somebody is getting vey excited at the other end and that kind of excitement normally comes up when there is a guilt factor in the House, you see!
So, let me assure this House, and the public that might be listening that there was no gerrymandering involved. We have the right in terms of section 21 and 22 of the Constitution, to say to the board, give consideration to x, y and z municipalities and determine or redetermine their boundaries. That is in the legislation.
The board can then apply its mind and turn down your application. So it has turned down certain applications. It has met in its own right and decided on our applications in other respects, in a way it saw fit. Let us – and it’s a point I made right at the beginning, fight our political fights in a fair and clean way. Don’t try and damage institutions like the MDB when they are trying to do a good piece of work, nothwistanding all the heckling.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, maybe the Minister thinks we do not read the law and that particular Municipal Demarcation Act. Normally, it is in the first two years after an election that the outer boundaries of municipalities are being reconsidered or redrawn and the processes are followed. But it was this Minister who actually wrote a letter to the demarcation board to change the outer boundaries of a large number of municipalities in this financial year.
So, the issue is the research that has been done and on what grounds the Minister is intending to amalgamate certain municipalities with others. The Minister talks about the sustainability and financial viability of some of the municipalities. Yet, in the amalgamation process his personal recommendation in the letter he said “you must add Gariep Local Municipality to Maletswayi Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape and they are both bad”. In total, in the Eastern Cape, there were nine proposed amalgamations. And we cannot, for the life of our research, understand why five of them have been dropped and the other four are being continued with.
Therefore, my question is, has the Minister actually spoken to the Minister of Finance to get a report from National Treasury, as to what is the financial viability of these municipalities and how can you add two municipalities together that are not financially sustainable, viable or badly managed as in financial terms? I would like to know if the Minister has such a report and whether he can make it available to us. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I want to disappoint hon van Lingen. I don’t cast aspersions on any individual. I am sure you have read the law. But we all read things and can translate them in different ways depending on the perspectives that we have.
In the first instance, it is true that under normal circumstances, there is – let’s call it the first batch of determinations and redeterminations. That process ended in October 2013. But the law allows, in terms of section 21 and 22, the Minister to not withstanding that first process, ask the board to consider determining or redetermining the boundaries of municipalities that he wants to submit to the board for consideration.
Now, why did we do this? For the very simple reason that, because we have a 15 years old democracy and we started - if colleagues and hon members would remember, with some 380 municipalities; we started with over 800 structures in 1994. A few years later when transitional structures were established, there were some 380 odd structures. By the time we got to the year 2000 and the first democratic elections, there were just over 300. We now have 278 municipalities.
We are not at the end of the transformation process at a local government level. We probably need far fewer municipalities than 278. The objective here was nothing sinister. It was simply to say, if we can actually rationalise some municipalities before the 2016 elections, let’s take the opportunity to do so, so that we have less unviable municipalities to deal with. Simple proposition.
In terms of the criteria set out in sections 23 and 24 of the legislation which I pointed out earlier on, financial viability is one of those criteria. So, I don’t know - hon van Lingen’s question that says, on what grounds am I going to amalgamate? I am not going to amalgamate anything. It is the board that will finally decide. And when the board decides, provincial administrations and MEC’s will take the responsibility of going through the amalgamation process. This is not the first time it is happening in South Africa. It has happened many times before. The province, in fact, that has – as I learnt this morning from my meeting with MEC’s - the biggest experience with this challenge of amalgamation is KwaZulu-Natal.
The second point in this regard is that I didn’t do this on my own. I consulted with every provincial MEC. I asked them for recommendations in respect of which municipalities could be the subject of determination and redetermination by the MDB.
I know that hon van Lingen probably has a great deal of passion about the Eastern Cape. We also know that on a very frivolous basis, but nonetheless, in a democracy you are entitled to that, a court application was initiated in respect of Baviaans Local Municipality. I don’t know whether that has got anything to do with the fact that a certain political party has only that municipality under its control in the Eastern Cape. But it might have something to do with that, in order to interfere with the processes of determination and redetermination. So, on this question, let me emphasise ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Minister!
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, on a point of order, the Minister is misleading the House. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale) Ah, ah, ah, ah, alright, hon member! [Interjections.] Hon member van Lingen?
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: ... the MDB ... [Inaudible.] from that procedure ... [Interjections.]It had nothing to do with politics.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): ... Hon member, I gave you a chance to tell me on what point are you rising, but you just carried on speaking. No, ah, ah, it’s not how we are going to work. Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: No, I am not misleading the House. With great respect, don’t accuse me of misleading the House. Is there - Chairperson, if you have the facility, it would be very nice, to have an interaction on this. Is there a court action on this matter or not in respect of Baviaans Local Municipality? There is. Is it on a procedural question? There is. And what is the procedural question? It’s the manner in which the notice was initiated and made public by the demarcation board.
All I am saying is that there is a political angle to this. In the spirit of transparency, the hon van Lingen should actually say, we have a political interest here and we don’t want to lose a municipality through a merger process with any other municipality. That’s not the issue. The issue is the MDB process... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Minister, hold on! Why are you rising?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: I rise on a point of order. The Rules say that the Minister has five minutes to answer. The Minister reacted on his own, what he said, and the political sling that is getting here.
Can the Minister please answer the hon van Lingen’s question on the financial things that she raised, because she never mentioned Baviaans Local Municipality, the Minister went there. Can the Minister answer the question on the financial aspects that were raised by the member? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I think the hon member is out of order because the Minister is answering the question now. Continue, hon Minister, it is your time.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, I started by explaining the law, and how the process works. I explained how section 22 works and what motivated us to actually do this. I explained the independence of this board and that it is not us who amalgamate, it is the board that actually decides and I also introduced the truthful factor that there are political interests in some of these things. That’s all.
To the hon member on the far side, I mentioned the financial factor and I said that, that’s one of the criteria in section 23 and 24 of the MDB. There are various reports, if the hon member - I don’t know which particular report she wants or information she wants. She is welcome to approach my office and we will see if we can help her to understand these issues. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, I started by explaining the law, I started by explaining how the process works, I started by explaining how section 22 works, I started by explaining what motivated us to actually do this, I started by explaining the independence of the board and that it is not us who amalgamate, but it is the board that decide, and I started by also introducing the truthful factor that there are political interests in some of these things. That’s all.
The hon member in the far side, I mentioned the financial factor and I said that it is one of the criteria in sections 23 and 24 of the Municipal Demarcation Board. There are various reports and I don’t know which particular report or information she wants. She is welcomed to approach my office and we will see if we can help her to understand these issues. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister, I am on the issue of uMhlathuze Local Municipality. The hon Minister is on record as having written to the Municipal Demarcation Board proposing that they are looking into the possibility of combining uMhlathuze Local Municipality and Nkandla Local Municipality into a metro. And we believe that the Minister was trying to protect the State President who is living in the IFP ward and the IFP municipality, and of late, the president of the ANC Women’s League who is living in the IFP ward and also the IFP municipality.
In the National Assembly a question was asked by the hon Mkhuleko Hlengwa to the State President who said it will never happen that there is a metro which combines uMhlathuze Local Municipality and Nkandla Local Municipality. And I agree with the State President because Nkandla Local Municipality is hundreds of kilometres away from uMhlathuze Local Municipality. Of course, uMhlathuze Local Municipality is an aspirant metro, but if it was to become a metro it would be a pipe dream to combine it with Nkandla Local Municipality because Nkandla Local Municipality is far, far away.
I would like to get a statement from the Minister. What has he requested from the Municipal Demarcation Board so that this matter could be cleared by the Minister himself? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, firstly, that proposal initially came from the province, but it is no longer before the Municipal Demarcation Board. So, you can relax. [Laugher.] [Interjections.] No, it was not kicked out. I think there was a process by which that proposal was withdrawn.
Secondly, in Chapter 7 of the Constitution, when we look at the categories of the municipalities, we are referred to Category A municipalities whereupon the structures act and elaborates on what a Category A municipality is. At the moment, for the benefit of hon members, the definition of a Category A municipality only leads you to one type, and that’s the metro. We often have a misunderstanding, but a Category A municipality of a different type that some parts of the country should have, and a metropolitan municipality. In time we need to change the legislation so that we have more models under Category A. Quite clearly, the area that you are talking about looks like many distinguished citizens do live there, whether they are IFP or ANC. We actually don’t have the conditions for a metropolitan municipality to be declared. Please, be rest assured that the metro concept does not quite apply in that context.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon House Chair, hon Minister, we have observed in our country challenges around protest marches, particularly those that are being provoked by the issues of demarcation. We have seen and really commend the Minister for assisting in terms of curbing the challenges around protests in Mpumalanga.
On the basis of advice I just want to check. We acknowledge the autonomy of the Municipal Demarcation Board, but issues of unrests and issues of protests will always have a bearing to our local municipalities. I just want to check what are the measures and plans that the department can put in place to ensure that issues of boundary disputes and changes are continuously communicated and addressed with the public being actively involved as stipulated in terms of the provisions of section 152 of the Constitution? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: House Chairperson, the hon member is quite correct that in some instances decisions around demarcations or sentiments within communities about which side of a particular municipal or provincial line they should be, can result in some levels of mobilisation, sometimes protests and sometimes violent protests.
In the first instance, I think as the NCOP and as a country, we need to encourage more and more South Africans to desist from violence and protests. Secondly, we need to help them to understand why things are as they are. Or if they don’t like what they have as the government’s arrangement in a particular area, there are channels through which they could bring about change where it is appropriate.
In some parts of the country we have certainly been able to work with community leaders and traditional leaders to create the constructive plans where these sought of issues can actually be managed properly.
The one appeal I would make is that whenever there is a change as we are learning, there are different interest groups that are affected in different ways. So, if the hon Mohapi is a mayor of municipality A, and the hon Manamela is a mayor of municipality B, and they are going to turn that into one municipality, what do you think the two hon members are going to do? Either one of them will find another job or both of them try to compete. This is in whichever political party you may belong to, by the way. Political competition within and across political parties should not result in violence.
We have to mature as a democracy and begin to resolve issues without engaging in force mobilisations, misleading people, making individual’s course our public course and in that way misinforming people about what the true character is and what is actually going on.
Our plans are very simple. Once a Municipal Demarcation Board has made its decisions, we should in the next couple weeks on this determinations and redeterminations together with our provincial colleagues and hopefully you as well the hon members, have a responsibility to implement those decisions and help communities to accept the new arrangements as an important advance. It might not solve all the problems. And I think some of us have the expectation that a change in boundary can solve all our problems. In some instances what we are looking for is an incremental improvement, but it is an improvement that begins to move in a right kind of direction.
Let me repeat, we have no place in a democratic South Africa for violent protest of any kind , and one hopes that more and more people begin to subscribe to that.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I am tempted to give you, but you did not raise your hand. We still have the last one and I will give it to you, hon member.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, numerous section 28 of the Municipal Demarcation Act public participation meetings held by the Municipal Demarcation Board had to be suspended due to them turning violent. One such example is the DEM4505 where the public meeting had to be held in secrete which is in total contravention of the Act, after it had to be suspended three times in Queenstown.
We have numerous service delivery protests taking place almost everyday in South Africa and many of the community members are in clear opposition opposing the amalgamation of municipalities. Does the Municipal Demarcation Board take this into consideration in their research reports?
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Thank hon member for the question, but I am actually not able to explain what the Municipal Demarcation Board did or did not do on that particular occasion. As I said earlier that the hon Mohapi’s committee may invite the chairperson of the board and the hon member could get clarity on what happened in that particular area.
If I may comment on this, an impression that we all want to create is that South Africa is drowning with service delivery protests. Let us be proportional about this. A group of 20 people trying to make a point about one issue doesn’t mean that the country is plugged with service delivery protests. As I said earlier on, there are many more good things happening in South Africa and in municipalities than there are no good things. And I know it is in our political interest from time to time to just say everything is terrible in this place.
But, as I said earlier on, there are many outside commentators who say what are you South Africans get genetically wrong with you, you don’t want to complement yourselves in anything you achieved. Let us bear that in mind. But I am unable to give any specific clarity on the points that the hon member has raised. And I repeat that I’m sure the chairperson of the board and the board will be able to give him some assistance if they are invited.
Rural Municipal Infrastructure Backlog Fund
148. Mr L B Gaehler (Eastern Cape: UDM) asked the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
Whether he will consider creating a Rural Municipal Infrastructure Backlog Fund (details furnished) which will specifically target rural municipalities in order to make them attractive for socio-economic investment; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO451E
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, this is the question in relation to infrastructure funding. There are already many different types of funding streams targeting development in rural municipalities. Some of them are, as you know, the municipal infrastructure grant, the MIG, as it is called, the Integrated National Electrification Programme, Inep, and the Rural Infrastructure Development programme.
The MIG is administered by the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, and allocates some R47 billion over the 2015-16 medium-term expenditure period. Government has prioritised 27 districts for improved service delivery. Twenty-four of these are rural in character and have been allocated R33,6 billion over this period. This is 72% of the total MIG allocation, each year. What we are trying to show here is the bias towards developing rural areas, under the jurisdiction of rural municipalities.
The MIG has allocated substantial grant funding to deal with development, upgrading or rehabilitation of municipal infrastructure such as water, sanitation, roads, waste and public humanities. The development of basic infrastructure provides an environment conducive for potential investors to invest in local municipalities, creating opportunities for social development to benefit rural communities and create jobs in those communities.
Further, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, through the Rural Infrastructure Development programme is facilitating rural infrastructure development strategies for socioeconomic growth, which include making funding available and facilitating access to additional funding to implement infrastructure projects.
The National Treasury, in collaboration with Gogta, the South African Local Government Association, Salga, and the Financial and Fiscal Commission, has facilitated a conditional grant review process. They have cautioned against the further fragmentation of conditional grants, as it would result in unco-ordinated decision-making, with regard to investment priorities.
Consolidated funding mechanisms, such as the MIG and sector-based grants, for example water and sanitation for nonperforming municipalities are being proposed for the future. So, the bottom line is firstly, we don’t need yet another grant for rural development. Secondly, government as a whole is undertaking a process of rationalising grants so that we don’t have too many separate streams that are coming to municipalities. Thirdly, there is a very substantial amount of the total grant funding that is going to municipalities, generally, for infrastructure that is allocated to rural municipalities and rural areas.
Mr L B GAEHLER: Chairperson, what a good answer! You know what, Minister; it is a very good answer. What we are saying is that with all these grants – I can even add more grants – there is no improvement. There are grants, but these municipalities are deteriorating. Tar roads are being converted into gravel roads. We are saying that there are no sewer lines, there are water leakages.
You must have them in one basket. Water Affairs has its own grant. You don’t know what is happening with that grant and Public Works has its own. There are different grants, but we need a grant to address the backlogs of the past. They are inherited, I agree with you, but they need to be addressed. That is the grant we are talking about. There are too many grants that you can talk about. Is the government prepared to have a dedicated grant to address these backlogs? That is the question.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, these are dedicated grants. If these grants were not attending to backlogs, over last 20 years or so, we would not have the increasing access to water, sanitation, electricity, etc. All of those numbers, in terms of access, are over 80%, whether you are in a rural area or urban area. So, the numbers indicate that we have made formidable progress with that. As I pointed out to an earlier question, it is still going to take time to eliminate all the backlogs.
So, in terms of the question that the hon member has asked, creating another fund does not solve the problem. What we actually have to do is to make sure that the money that is allocated is spent efficiently.
Firstly, if you remember, I said to an earlier question, we now need master plans for infrastructure in every district in South Africa, particularly, the rural districts. Secondly, we need pipelines of projects, not just individual projects arbitrarily determined.
Thirdly, we need to ensure that we invest in infrastructure, inline with the migration patterns that are taking place in South Africa. There is a lot of internal migration in South Africa. People are moving from one area to another. As soon as a mine opens in one part, as the former Minister of Mineral Resources would tell you, suddenly, a small population of 1 000 can become 10 000 overnight. We have to actually deal with those environments in a logical and consistent way.
Fourthly, we need to improve the delivery models that we are using in South Africa. I gave you examples earlier on of the efforts that the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, Misa, and their treasury are making to improve procurement in respect of infrastructure, but also to increase the capabilities of municipalities, particularly, district municipalities to manage these sorts of projects better.
I would certainly share the anxiety of the hon member that we need to do better. However, you would remember that I said earlier on that those who contract for Public Works with public funds from the private sector or the NGO sector must actually ensure that they deliver good quality services, so that you get the bang for the bucks, so to speak, that we actually require.
I am sure all of you have been around. How many houses do you see that are so-called RDP houses that don’t have basic things done right – no proper foundation, no lintels across the door, bricks that are improperly aligned. Within a year or two, things are beginning to crack up. The same applies to roads as well, as the hon member has pointed out. So, we need to put more pressure on those who spend public money in this way to give us better quality products, at the end of it as well.
Ms L L ZWANE: Chairperson, hon Minister, in your response earlier on, you made mention of various forms of grants that are allocated to municipalities and one of those grants is the MIG. To my understanding, 15% of the MIG is meant to be used for the development of infrastructure for sport and recreation. I just want to hear from the Minister whether there are mechanisms in place to ensure that the municipalities abide by this directive without fail. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon member, I have been hearing this question for many years. We all know that that 15% is not uniformly spent on sports and recreational facilities by municipalities. So, both us as government and you as the NCOP, if I may suggest that, need to do more work to persuade municipalities to focus on these areas as well.
We also know that the more poorly endowed municipalities also use the same grant for operational purposes or to pay salaries, which is not allowed in terms of the rules of the game. So, I will certainly grant that that is an area that we need to do more work in.
Mr M CHETTY: Chairperson, hon Minister, given that the new local government equitable share formula is largely designed to support municipalities that cannot raise substantial own revenues to perform its constitutional mandates, is this mechanism achieving its aims of enabling municipalities to provide free basic services to poor households, but also serving as a channel through which infrastructure backlogs can be addressed? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon member, it certainly is. Firstly, as I gave you the numbers earlier on, if we add those who receive free basic water and free basic electricity, I think we have some 5 million households that are in receipt, collectively, of those areas.
Secondly, I also mentioned earlier notwithstanding that, work needs to be done in the area of the indigent register, so that the targeting of this assistance that we are offering those who are indigent, is not misdirected to the wrong kind of place.
Thirdly, at the moment, in terms of the division of revenue, as you know, municipalities get about 9% in the current financial year, as was the case last year as well, of the noninterest expenditure of government. I think there is a case to be made for a relook at that number, bearing in mind the kind of burden and responsibilities that municipalities have, but, in particular, public expectation of municipalities as well.
That is why, as I have indicated earlier on, there is this multidepartmental and institutional process to not just relook at grants, but also perhaps begin to take another view on the kind of fiscal formwork we have.
However, at the same time, as a former Minister of Finance, I have to say that we don’t have all the fiscal space in the world, at the moment. Given the challenges, we will have to work with the kind of money we have. We must start focussing on quality for what we spend and start working on greater output for the same rand that we actually spend. We must make sure where the leakages in the expenditure are and get rid of those leakages so that more of the money goes to the South African public than to the pockets of any individual that might have access to that money.
Mr V E MTILENI: Chairperson, hon Minister, will you agree with me that cadre deployment in municipalities is the main contributing fact that lead to municipalities performing dismally? [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon member, you ask me whether I will agree with you and the answer is no. Let me explain. Sometimes, as I said earlier on and on several occasions, in order to gain political advantage in a debate, we pick up a slogan. Cadre deployment has become a nice convenient slogan to bash a particular political party.
I can guarantee you, go to any municipality that is run by parties that are represented in Parliament and you will find that each of those parties will make their own decisions about who they want to deploy as a mayor or a deputy mayor or a Speaker, in the first instance. And those very same deployees will also decide who the municipal manager is and who the CFO is and so on.
Across the board, in my one year in this portfolio, what you call cadre deployment is not the monopoly of just one political party that you want to gain some advantage against. I have seen it with respect to all of those who raise their finger and point in the direction of a particular political party.
The more important point is: Are we moving in a direction where we want to professionalise the 300 000 people that work in municipalities? Yes. Are we taking concrete steps to ensure that there are objective criteria to assess the capabilities of the people who become CFOs and municipal managers and engineers? Yes. Are we taking steps to remove people who do not need those criteria? Yes. Is there still more work to do? Yes, there is still more work to do in this area. We have begun to move in the right kind of direction.
So, over the next 10 years or so, as new generations come along, they will have to ensure that the professionalisation process continues and that we separate the function of the administration from that of the political office bearers. Administrations must become professional and do their piece of work and policy-makers or the politicians must do their piece of work. Those are clearly defined in our legislation. We must now just make sure that we practice that better.
So, I regrettably have to tell you that I don’t agree with you.
Protection of the public from Councillors
152. Ms T J Mokwele (North West: EFF) asked the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
(a) What monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are in place to ensure that Councillors do not use their political power to abuse residents (details furnished), (b) what are the consequences for Councillors who do not serve all members of the public to the best of their abilities and (c) what protection do members of the public have from Councillors who incite violence and discriminate against persons of other political affiliations? CO455E
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chair, this was an odd Question.
We ... in general terms ... I am sure all political parties ... but we certainly do in government... we condemn councillors who abuse their political power - as I have just said – when carrying out their responsibilities. When councillors are sworn in during the first council meeting, they commit to abide by the values enshrined in the Constitution, and every councillor is given a copy of the code of conduct by the Speaker of Council. The code of conduct for councillors is also workshopped during councillors’ induction. Any councillor who abuses his or her position would be in contravention of the code of conduct for councillors.
The Ministry monitors the council processes through the Back to Basics programme – although not adequately at this stage; but we will do more – by ensuring that councillors conduct their business in a transparent, accountable way and, above all, lawful way.
We have developed various indicators through which each municipal council reports on the functioning of the council, its members and its committees. The Municipal Systems Act provides for the code of conduct for councillors, as I have pointed out earlier on.
Secondly, if the Speaker of the municipal council receives a report regarding any breach of a code of conduct by a councillor, the municipal council may establish a special committee to investigate and make appropriate recommendations to the council.
Upon receipt of the recommendation by the special committee, the council may take the following possible corrective measures if the councillor is in breach of the code of conduct. The council may, firstly, issue a formal warning to the councillor; secondly, the council may reprimand the councillor; thirdly, the council may request the MEC for Local Government in the province to suspend the councillor for a period of time; fourthly, the council may fine the councillor or impose a fine; and fifthly, the council may request the MEC to remove the councillor from office.
Lastly, councillors are elected by the members of the public. They are therefore, liable and accountable to the public irrespective of their political affiliation. Communities can also report such misdemeanours to the office of the Speaker or MEC responsible for Local Government for investigation. Thank you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Ke a leboga Modulasetilo le Tona, ke lebogela tshwaelo ya gago Tona mme ke na le potsonyana kgotsa tshwaelo e ke batlang go e dira kwa go wena. [Thank you Chairperson and Minister, for your input, however, I have a question or rather a comment that I would like to make.]
Because this thing happened ... – Minister, why are you laughing? Am I making mockery?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mokwele, please ...
Ms T J MOKWELE: Or are you welcoming me also?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mokwele! Please hold it there, madam. The Minister wants to understand what you were saying.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Or, you want to charge me?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): No, he is struggling with the interpreting.
Nnyaa, Buti o tla mo tlhalosetsa, Motlotlegi Tona Buti o tla mo tlhalosetsa. [No, Buti will explain to him. Hon Minister Buti will explain.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale):Hon Mokwele, can you please behave yourself, ma!
Ke a leboga Motsamaisatiro, tiragalo e ke buang ka yone e Tona, e diragetse mo pele ga matlho ame, [Thank you Chairperson. Minister, I witnessed the incident that I am referring to.]
I am one of those who were personally attacked by that councillor. I witnessed a councillor saying to people – to ladies in ward 38 of the Rustenburg local municipality – that, if they wanted to be employed in the municipality, they had to exchange sex favours with him. It is a fact.
Now, I am requesting you Minister... I have heard what you said about what needs to be done, about the code of conduct, etc ... I have heard you ... But, I am requesting you ... as we have given you the relevant information pertaining to this matter, to take the matter up and, if possible, come to us with a relevant response as to what needs to be done about it. We cannot be led by people who intimidate other people and feel that, after 21 years of democracy in South Africa, there should still be ANC, IFP or DA no-go areas. [Interjections.]
No, the EFF has not taken any wards. We will next year, don’t worry!
But, what I am trying to say to you, hon Minister, is that this is a very serious matter that implicated Members of Parliament. So I am requesting that you take this matter up and give us the relevant response to it.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, firstly, I have not seen the details that have been furnished. However, we will as the department check the details and see if they are adequate for us to follow up on this matter.
Secondly, any behaviour by anybody in public office of the sort that you have described, regardless of which political party they belong to, is unacceptable. So, regardless of political party and certainly not the party I come from, I do not think that there is anybody here who is going to find this kind of conduct acceptable.
Thirdly, if the information is sufficient to act upon, then we will check whether is it our job to act on it, or whether you as the person who has that information needs to report the matter to the MEC and the Speaker in terms of the legislation that I have just outlined to you, and ask them to act on it.
But, we will try to get back to you on this. Thank you.
Mr M CHETTY: Hon Chair, in a similar vein, what action would the hon Minister take against corrupt officials to ensure that they do not use or abuse their political power, whereby they, when found guilty, resign from their current position in a council, and are redeployed to either different municipalities or spheres of government? [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: I am not sure whether that is a follow up on this Question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): It is a new Question.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: It is a matter that I have addressed earlier on, hon Chetty. I said that, if someone has enough information about corruption, they should report the individual concerned and make sure that the law enforcement agencies or internal disciplinary processes deal with the individual. If these allegations are proven, then that person should definitely not be employed by anybody else in the municipal sphere. We are quite clear about that.
Again, this is all vague and theory. Let us be frank. We know that some of these things are happening. And they are not just happening through one political party’s offices. They happen in other instances as well.
What I want to say publicly is, let us stop this nonsense. If some people are corrupt, they are corrupt. They must get out of the public sector and earn their living somewhere else. It is as simple as that. We are not probably going to convince everybody to do that. But, as long as we are principled in the approach we take to corruption – which we are - then we will begin to win this battle against this kind of conduct.
The temptation here - and I have had this experience recently – is for some of us to be holier than thou in this matter. Let me ... I won’t get into details again. But I’ve seen all sorts of - if I may say – political forces enter into arrangements of convenience if a particular situation requires it at a particular point in time.
So, let’s leave out the angelic stuff, right? There is a real world out there, as you correctly point out, hon Chetty. There are problems with corruption. I think I’ve been quite consistent in this regard. We will deal with it where it is possible.
But, again, let us not say the responsibility lies with somebody else. If all of us persuade each other and the public that this is the right thing to do, we will create the right climate to take even more assertive action against corrupt individuals.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much hon Minister. Hon members, let me request you. I know we are exercising our democratic rights, but please do not come up with new Questions.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair, through you, I just want to thank the Minister for making it possible for us to use the word “nonsense” in this House from now. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): That is a vote of thanks, it is not a ... [Laughter.] She is giving a vote of thanks and it is not allowed because it is not on our programme.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon Minister, without justifying any wrong, I am glad that you highlighted earlier on that, in most instances, we must not be angelic. If you check section 154(1) of the Constitution, it requires that both the province and national should strengthen the capacity of municipalities. In most instances, we have seen that the deficiencies that municipalities are experiencing are as a result of capacity constraints. At the end of the day, people become opportunistic and abuse those particular deficiencies.
What is the advice of the Minister, especially on issues where capacity challenges arise, that will ensure that we do not experience similar incidents of councillors being unable to perform or behaving contrary to the provisions of the law? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chair, hon Mohapi is quite right about section 154 of the Constitution. Firstly, those clauses in the Constitution were included in 1996, precisely because we understood that we were creating a new system of local government. We knew that the majority of South Africans did not have the opportunity to participate in these sorts of these structures to get the experience of what it meant. As the National Development Plan, NDP, subsequently, says, we want to build a capable developmental state and there are very clear developmental responsibilities that are assigned to municipalities by Chapter 7 of the Constitution.
The second point I want to make is that, sometimes, support that is available is not used in the right kind of way.
The third point is that we need both councillors and administrators who engage in more intense efforts at self development. You must have the will to develop yourself. You must have the will to learn legislation. You must have the will to learn the technicalities of what you are there to govern. If we develop ourselves better, then, on the one hand, we are going perform better in the municipality, and, on the other hand, we will also have future job prospects in other contexts. This is particularly true for political figures who do not get back on to the municipal council – as I am sure might happen after the local government elections.
Therefore, the capacity challenge is going to be there for a while, but it requires, on the one hand, individuals to ensure that they do the right thing.
But, I think where you are also correct is that we place a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of provinces to provide support. One of the things that we have agreed upon with our provincial colleagues is that we want to evaluate provincial capacity and provincial departments to see whether they have all the technical capability they require in order to support municipalities. In that way, we can strengthen the provinces themselves to perform this supporting role.
Public Service Integrity Management Framework
117. Mr M I Rayi (Eastern Cape: ANC) asked the Minister of Public Service and Administration:
What challenges are experienced regarding the implementation of ethical and anti- corruption measures as the Public Service Integrity Management Framework is meant to strengthen measures for managing unethical conduct and promoting integrity? CO419E
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: House Chairperson, in respect of the first part of the question, no serious challenges are experienced regarding the implementation of the ethics management and anticorruption measures contained in the Public Service Integrity Management Framework on provincial and national levels of spheres. The ethics and anticorruption measures contained in the framework have been implemented in terms of an approved implementation plan.
To strengthen legal enforcement of the framework to ensure consequence management, the provisions in the framework relating to the establishment of ethics infrastructure, the acceptance of gifts, the performance of other remunerative work outside of the Public Service, and the declaration of financial status of all public servants are being addressed through amendments to the Public Service regulations. These amendments will, once released, address challenges pertaining to the legal basis of the framework.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Thank you, hon Minister for the prompt answer. I know you are acting in the position of another Minister, but I know for a fact that in your other life you have been involved in this very subject regarding the implementation of this particular mandate or piece of work. What is your take, hon Minister? Are we winning the war against corruption as a country? If we are winning what are the indicators, and what do you attribute that to?
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Let me put it in this way, we have to win the war against corruption - we don’t have a choice. Generally, both in the public space and amongst ourselves as political office bearers or public office bearers and administrators, we have to acknowledge that if we allow this disease to spread we will be creating problems for both ourselves and for the future generations.
Secondly, it’s a winnable war. Human history is one with its repeat where we have different forms of corruption at different times. I think we would be bluffing ourselves in the public if we say that we are going to eliminate it 100%. Wherever there are human beings, you will have the temptation to do the wrong thing unless the risks of being caught are high and the consequences of being caught are serious. This is definitely a war that we can win or a battle that we can win. The kind of measures that government has put in place, whether it’s these regulations, the efforts of various Chapter 9 institutions, or the efforts of the Auditor-General and generally the kind of transparency that we want to see in government processes, can take us in the right direction.
At the same time let us not deny that we have challenges, because if we deny the fact that we have challenges we are bluffing ourselves. Some of those challenges that the Public Service department has picked up are in relation to employees who don’t declare their financial interests, for example, employees who perform remunerative work outside of the Public Service without permission and the instances of theft. But what is good is that the Public Service Commission and other institutions are increasingly detecting these areas of noncompliance and are acting on them as well. In that sense, I remain optimistic that if we spread the message broadly, but more importantly increase the risk of detection and ensure that there are consequences for not complying with both the ethics and the law, then we will actually make more progress in this area.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Thank you very much, hon Acting Minister for the input. Chairperson, through you, I want to check Acting Minister, how would the department ensure that the Public Service Integrated Management Framework is implemented uniformly across all departments in the Public Service, and whether the department has got the resources and capacity to enforce the framework considering the scale of the work?
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: All I can say to the hon Mohapi is that this is the responsibility and mandate that this department has. On the one hand it is a very usefully set up since 2000 and it is the framework, and improved framework in terms of what is the ethical behaviour that is acceptable in the Public Service.
Secondly, it has developed mechanisms both within the Public Service Commission, but through other law enforcement agencies, to act on matters that are brought to their attention or that they detect in respect of noncompliance.
Thirdly, this is another instance where it is not as one department, but government as a whole and the public as well that needs to co-operate in order to expose corruption in any form. We often create the impression for the public that the only corrupt individuals are the politicians or officials in government. The message that needs to go out is that corruption, in most societies if not all, is a reflection of the moral and ethical standards within that society. If as a society we are quite clear about what is right and wrong, if as a society we are quite clear about how public funds should be utilised and not utilise, and as a society we discourage greed and improper acquisition of wealth, we have a greater chance of actually fighting this battle against corruption.
What is important is that there needs to be higher level of social awareness, and not just a finger-pointing exercise where we all talk about the fact that we want to rid ourselves from the problem.
Years ago ducking taxes was a big sport in South Africa. It took us 10 years to wipe out most but not all of it. It is possible to use the same kind of methodology if you like to begin to make a dent in this particular area in respect of anticorruption initiatives by government as well.
Let us not live with the impression that if we sort out politicians X and Y or officials Z and W, we are going to eliminate the problem, there is another person who is playing or doing the tango, and we need both sides to agree to this kind of approach.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Minister, we all agree that corruption is, in fact, there in the Public Service. We also know that the framework is meant to reduce the levels of corruption of state employees in the Public Service, especially relating to the disclosure of financial interests as you have already mentioned, acceptance of gifts and accepting remunerative work outside of the Public Service as well as doing business with the government, that’s actually not part of the framework, but I include it because it is one that should be there.
I would like to know, Minister, what is the percentage of public servants declaring their financial interests, you said it is decreasing; what is the Minister doing to ensure that every public servant declares their interests; and what is the consequences of those who are not doing that?
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I don’t have a number, but I do know from my own departmental experience that, firstly, the declaration of interests is reasonably well managed within the departments. In other words if X number of people don’t do what they are supposed to do, firstly, we will know who they are, secondly, they will be pursued by the Minister’s office or the director general, and thirdly, we will ensure that we have a 100% compliance.
The next that I also know is that the Public Service Commission will follow up if there are efficiencies in the declarations, either in terms of content or in terms of the number of people that have actually not complied as well. The real question is whether the capacity exists to check every person’s declaration. As you know in most of these environments it is difficult to check on a universal basis.
The next question that is going to come up on is whether you have a sufficiently well developed risk management system. After a few years of experience you will know where your risks are. On that basis you would do tests and we certainly have experience of the department and in particular the commission following up on these areas.
National Programme of Action
118. Mr A J Nyambi (Mpumalanga: ANC) asked the Minister of Public Service and Administration:
With reference to the third report on the implementation of South Africa’s African Peer Review Mechanism, what progress has been made in addressing the key issues raised in the National Programme of Action to improve the state of governance in South Africa? CO420E
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much hon Minister. We proceed hon members to the question that deals with National Programme of Action, and the hon member Makue will be responsible for a supplementary question on behalf of the hon Nyambi who is not in the House.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: This is with reference Chairperson, to South Africa’s African Peer Review Mechanism and what progress has been made in addressing the key issues raised as you said in the National Programme of Action. The response is that South Africa presented its third African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, progress report on the implementation of the National Programme of Action to the African Peer Review forum of heads of state in government in January 2014. The report covered the four schematic areas of APRM, namely, democracy and political governance, economic governance, cooperative governance and socio-economic development.
The third report indicated that South Africa has made tremendous strides and progress in many areas of governance, including economic development, social security, health and infrastructure development, in the more than 10 years since the country exceeded to the APRM .
In the areas of democracy and political governance, the third report indicated that South Africa continues to consolidate democracy, political participation, pluralism and broadened citizen participation in policy formulation and monitoring.
During this period of reporting, popular participation was reflected in the democratic processes such as the May 2011 Local Government election that was declared free and fair.
Furthermore, the report indicates that there is continuity in the use and consolidation of public participation forum such as Izimbizo, as well as the participatory processes connected to the Integrated Development Plans, the IDPs, and the Local Economic Development Plans, the LEDs, at a municipal level, as well as participatory, Provincial Growth and Development Strategy.
It’s important to note that the reinforcement of these platforms is in line with the later and spread of the APRM, since the mechanism identified them as amongst South Africa’s first practice that can benefit other countries and the continent.
Notwithstanding this another platform such as parliamentary committees that allow citizens avenues to participate in and be heard on decisions that affect their lives, the report raises concerns about the violence nature of service delivery protest during this period. The report applaud the Social Cohesion Summit that was convened by the Department of Arts and Culture held in Kliptown in June 2012 as a positive platform to consolidate the terms that deeply in socio cohesion and national unity.
The third report acknowledges that with regard to economic governance and management, the country is still faces an acute lack of capacity, especially financial expertise to manage social programmes, public spending and facilitation of service delivery at all levels of government.
However, the report also notes the remarkable of all those slow progress made with regard to an increase of key in orders for 2011-12 financial year. Infect we have seen more since then. The report further highlights the various initiatives by the National Treasury, the Auditor-General as well as the National School of Governance in building sound public financial management capacity in the public sector.
On cooperative governance, this section acknowledges and notes that the implementation of the New Companies Act of 2008, which began on 1 May 2011, in relation to the Companies Act on the Consumer Protection Act, the lead panellist for South Africa professor Sowyer said on cooperative governance, South Africa continues to set standard and best practices, which are in place to stimulate private sector growth.
During the 2007 APRM and country review exercise, the mission identified the Black Economic Empowerment, BEE, codes as best practice with potential for transforming various sectors of the South African economy.
The third report also notes that in 2011, Parliament signed off the draft amendments to the Broad-Based BEE Act codes of good practice, and then in 2012, these amendments became part of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE.
Lastly, the third APRM report notes remarkable progress South Africa has made during the reporting period in relation to its fight against pandemic such as HIV/Aids and TB. The scourge of HIV/Aids pandemic was identified in 2007, report as cutting across all areas of governance and requiring urgent attention. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much hon Minister. Hon Makue, do you have a supplementary question?
Mr E MAKUE: I think what is very contemporary for us is the economic growth, and the APRM indicates through the report of Professor Sowyer, the importance of stimulating private sector growth, and then refers to the BBBEE. Can we get an indication as to what is the dynamic within the BBBEE, particularly against the backdrop of the present scenario where we are looking at improving the codes on the BBBEE because we are as a government of the opinion at what is happened was that the people who benefitted wasn’t broad-based and if we look at that private sector growth, we hear two different voices, one’s saying that no, it will again be the same minority group benefitting, but we heard another group saying that it will help us to deal without skewed economic growth that we have inherited from the apartheid past. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: What we can say to the hon member is that as the president pointed out in his press conference on the state of the nation address update a few days ago that firstly, we need to recognise that the global environment that we find ourselves then as South Africa is the very challenging one, and infect during last week, with the devaluation of the UN by the Chinese government and Central Bank , new volatilities have actually entered the global spheres as well, but not withstanding that the President pointed out that we as government have what is described as the 9-Point Action Plan on promoting economic growth that each of those areas is receiving attention that there are significant efforts that attracting investment both from outside the country and from within the country. You will also know that last week, the President and the Deputy President met with both their Ministers on the one hand and representatives of the business sector and after years working about four different sub-committees, we see significant progress in creating a better climate and understanding between the private sector and government, and this should lead to a greater deal of confidence in South Africa and in the economy from our own business people to invest in key areas of the economy, but equally there was an understanding that there are still many structural features of our economy that need to change. We need more investment and not only rely on consumption. We need more fixed investment from the private sector, in particular because that is the sector that actually drives the economy ultimately.
Secondly, there are still areas of our economy, the International Monetary Fund and the Organisational Services and Community Development, OSCD, will regard as oligopolistic, in another word we don’t have enough - what they will call competition in the product market. In relation to certain areas of the economy there is too few farms.
Thirdly, the government has establish, and the President in particular, the new Department of Small Business and generally the observation about our economy is that we don’t have a bigger informal sector or a small business sector as many developing economy across the world. A lot of focus needs to be into this particular area. So, clearly, the BBBEE Codes are important factor in ensuring that those who have been marginased, as the black population in South Africa economically speaking have better access to business opportunities, to wealth development and to ownership within the economy.
But, we must also acknowledge that government needs to do more to support, in particular small businesses and the development of young entrepreneurs, whether they work as social entrepreneurs or nongovernmental organisations or in cooperatives or in businesses. In each of these areas, we need more citizens engage and taking initiatives that would ensure that they become beneficiaries through their own actions of economic development in our country.
So, I think as a government are optimistic that our plans are going to work that we will have to navigate these difficult waters in the next period ahead of us, but we are not as bad off as some of the other big developing countries that are at 5 and 6% growth at one stage and are in recession at the moment. So, as the Minister of Finance did say recently, we are on a low growth trajectory what is still positive, is a good sign, but at the same time, we know that is not good enough, and that we need to get to the 5% or 4%. That will significantly increase job creation in South Africa, but also ensure that the majority of our population as you correctly point out, are beneficiaries of this growth and not just the handbook. But we also know in conclusion Chairperson that across the world there is this debate about any quality and whether is a developed country or a developing country, inequality between the top 1% or 10% and the rest is growing everyday, and so, new model need to be sought about, which the NCOP can contribute to as well, to ensure that there is a better spread of benefits as the hon member has been pointing out.
Mr V E MTILENI: I just want to pose this question to hon Minister. He seems to be getting exosted and ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Proceed, hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: The Minister seems to be wearing two shoes today here, both as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, may you please come up with a question? I did render an apology.
Mr V E MTILENI: Is a question, Madam. I am saying the Minister seems to be wearing two shoes, both as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Public Service Administration. I just want to know? Is he running both Ministries? We just want him to tell this House if maybe he is running both Ministries, so that we can know? The reason why, is because he is answering questions for both Ministries. I just want to know if maybe he could be in a position maybe to say maybe the President might have whispered into his ears when he is going to appoint the Minister in the other department. Thank you, Chairperson. That’s the question that I had.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you hon Mtileni. I am not going to allow the Minister to respond to that question because I did render an apology on behalf of the Minister and you were here, hon Mtileni. If you did not listen, then, that is ...
... ke taba tša gago tšeo. [... that is none of our business.]
Can we then proceed, hon members? The hon Mtileni does not have a question. Please take your seat, hon Mtileni. Can you take your seat? Hon Mtileni, take your seat! You were here when we were making an announcement. Can we then proceed, hon members?
Alleged loss of pension funds
127. Mr M Khawula (KwaZulu-Natal: IFP) asked the Minister of Public Service and Administration:
(a) How many civil servants have resigned from the public service in 2013 and 2014 as a result of the rumours of the loss of pension funds, (b) how does the first six months of 2015 compare to the first six months of 2013 and 2014 and (c) what measures his department has taken to dispel of such rumours? CO430E
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms. M C Dikgale): The next question is all about the net loss of pension funds which was asked by the hon member Khawula. I have received a note here that he made an agreement with the hon member Masango and she agreed. Thank you very much, mam.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Chairperson, whenever we walk, we walk with two shoes. Don’t we? [Laughter.] The response to hon Khawula’s question is that our personnel salary system does not keep statistics on specific reasons while individual employees resigned from the service. Although exit interviews are conducted by various departments when employees terminate service, employees do not always give the exact reasons why they are resigning. It would therefore not be possible or possible to attribute all resignations during the mentioned periods to the room as regards restructuring of the pension funds.
According to the Government Pension Administration Agency, the reasons cited by employees for terminating their service include the following:
Firstly, difficulties in putting their children through tertiary education;
Secondly, those going through a divorce trying to avoid the negative effects of the clean-break principle, which will require the spouse to receive a percentage of the pension when the divorce has been finalised, should the court order decree this;
Thirdly, employees’ indebtedness;
Fourthly, others mentioned that they have been offered better salaries elsewhere; and
Fifthly, while in some cases teachers have reported that they were certain that they would be reappointed shortly after the resignation.
In respect of the second part, to dispel the rumours the Department of the Public Service and Administration and the Treasury jointly issued the communicare informing public servants that the pension reforms will only affect provident funds and not pension funds. The Minister in the Presidency, Minister Radebe explained through the SABC that the pension reforms will not be implemented immediately and the first phase will only affect the provident fund.
The Pension Agency and the Government Employees Pension Fund also issued communicares on the respective websites and conducted a number of road shows to educate the members about the impending pension reforms and the manner in which they will be implemented.
Chairperson, in some there has been a lot of misunderstanding about this particular issue, but it appears that, not withstanding that we haven’t had to see this panic reaction. However, we should still do everything possible to educate the public servants a lot more about how pension funds work and the fact that our retirement industry is undergoing a transformation process itself in terms of the policy position government has adopted but nothing that happens in that change process will negatively affect the pension benefits of public servants.
Ms B S MASANGO: Chair, thank you Minister for the response. My question goes back to the report that has gone out of those civil servants that have resigned and have put in claims for the pension, it takes long for them to get their pensions and that there are delays when they contact the relevant departments, they get responses or they are either told that the documents are missing and all those things. One would like to find out from the Minister if what could be the reason for these delays and then what is being done as a result? Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: As you know, for example person X is a person employed in the department Z and decides to leave the public service or leave that department. Then firstly the person issues the resignation letter and that resignation letter needs to be processed by the Human Resource, HR section, and the H R section of the department needs to inform the Pension Agency that the person has resigned. Then the process of calculation begins to emerge or commence and pension benefits are then next to be determined.
The hon member, from my previous experience is quite correct. There are instances where this connection between the departments you were employed by and the Pension Agency doesn’t work properly. I don’t think it is in the majority of cases because there are a lot of efficiencies that have now been introduced, but the problem usually lies on the department’s side which hasn’t done the correct paperwork. I remember that this would apply to both provincial department and national department as well - to some have the right capabilities and the right processes and the process works and others might actually have some difficulties. All I suggest to anybody who has this kind of difficulty to contact the Pension Agency. I think they do have ways in which they can actually assist with these sorts of inquiries.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chair, hon Minister despite whether the rumours were true or not. We can’t deny that there was unfortunately a rather big outflux in certain areas of skilled civil servants. What is the department doing? You have just indicated what the department tries to limit and how the department tries to limit this. However, how is the department trying to address the skills gap that this major outflux of skills has caused within the different departments in the civil servants? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: As I indicated Chairperson, to the previous hon member that nothing in front of me seems to indicate that there was a major wave of resignation. There was a major wave of uncertainty. That’s for sure. If the hon member knows something we don’t know; he should provide us with the information so that we can begin to get the relevant departments to address those questions. To the best of my knowledge the kind of interventions that I have described earlier on seemed to calm water. This happened a few years ago as well. It was a few years ago when this uncertainty arose and more recently with budget announcements the uncertainty arose again.
Largely out of the fact that there wasn’t a sufficient understanding of how these processes actually work. I am afraid I can’t give you any concrete answer because I don’t have any evidence that large numbers of people have actually left this particular area under the employ of the state. There is an objective research that I presented in particular the Pension Agency which shows that the departures from the public service or resignation from the pension fund has many different factors that actually influence people but you could still remain in the public service. If the hon member has some concrete details, I can pass it on to the department and get a response for him.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): If ever you have a concrete information hon member you can submit your question. Do you want to make a follow up? Then, you are taking time for other hon members.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, I am sorry, just quickly, the crux of the question was not the major influx so much as rather the major outflux, but rather the outflux of skills whether it’s one or two or four people. These departments already have skills shortages. So, whether it was two or 200 or 2000 people who resigned, its still remains that skills got lost. How is that going to be addressed? That was the crux of the question. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Thank you for the clarity, hon member. Logically, once, for example a chief financial officer, CFO, leaves that position becomes vacant. You advertise the position and you appoint a person in that space and that would apply to other skilled positions within the public service - depending on which department we are referring to. There would be different types of skills that we are actually talking about, but I am not again aware or, nor do I have information which suggests that there is a serious depletion in a particular area. There are always people interested in working for the public sector.
In our department recently, we advertised a particular chief director position for example and about 800 people applied for one position. A large number of them don’t actually come even near the qualifications that are required, but it shows that in our labour market, there are still opportunities for people or rather people who want to seize opportunities to find employment. Thank you.
Mr V E MTILENI: I just want to find out something here. I saw Hon ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please ask your question. That is my business, I will deal with.
Mr V E MTILENI: It is a question. Why do you always threaten me?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Direct your question to the Minister, not to the hon member, Labuschagne.
Mr V E MTILENI: Not to the Minister, it is a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Is it a point of order? Okay, what is your point of order?
Mr V E MTILENI: I saw hon on the other side coming to whisper something. Is it allowed that members come straight to you to whisper something in your ears? Normally, I understand that if I have something I need to communicate with you, I have to write you a note and give it to the assistant to deliver it to you. So, I think it is a disorder of some kind.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale) Thank you, thank you.
Mr V E MTILENI: If you allow us we will keep on coming to you and whisper something in your ears. Will you be able to control that? You cannot allow a member to move from his or her seat and come straight to you to whisper.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I want to respond, hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: Okay, please
The CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Well, I think we need to help the member. If she has something or any information or a question she can always write a question as you are saying, and then it will reach me through a note.
Thank you very much for that point of order. I hope she has heard you. Maybe she was taking advantage of being sitting next to me and you are far. However, we are not saying it should happen like that. You are right hon member. I am saying we discourage that. [Interjections.] You have made your point, hon Mtileni, and I am agreeing with you.
Mr V E MTILENI: A member can move from the chair where they are sitting and comes straight to you. Just imagine the kind of disorder that will cause, if you allow that to happen.
The CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you hon Mtileni, can you take your seat. Take your seat, hon Mtileni!
Mr V E MTILENI: I will be the next one to come and do the same to you.
The CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please take your seat. I have agreed. You raised a point of order and I have agreed with you, hon member. So, you want me to say you are out of order? Let us continue. We are continuing, thank you very much. Hon Zwane, it is your time now. Hon Mtileni, please.
Ms L L ZWANE: Chairperson, hon Minister, in your response, you did clarified that there were various mechanisms used to clarify this pension reform. I don’t know if the Minister could be kind enough to actually explain the difference between provident fund and pension fund. It might happen that some of the people in the civil service were not privy to the information or were not part of the meeting where this issue was clarified; and also whether there is an ongoing programme clarifying this issue, especially for all those that are entrants in the civil service? thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: The major change that the treasury policy position was advancing is to create a similar regulatory framework - you can call it that - particularly in relation to taxation for both the provident fund and the pension fund. I don’t want to go into details because I don’t have any details in front of me and mislead. However, what we will do is to try and get you some literature to perhaps explain this area, because I am not directly involved anymore, I am not sure if there are ongoing programmes. Again, the pension’s agency is there. It is quite an efficient agency for, anybody who has doubt to begin to get clarity.
In other instances you have financial advisors who also assist people to get the right clarity in this particular regard. But most importantly, if there is any perception that one is going to be disadvantaged as a result of these changes - and there were even rumours, for example, that government is going to take people’s pension, words like that were used. Those words are not true. These, as you know, are complex financial matters. If there is a little bit of a misunderstanding, by sometimes a journalist or whatever – then, we have communicated a wrong message that might actually have an unfortunate impact. Pensions and savings are quite important for people, one can actually understand the sensitivity in this area but let us get more information for you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon Minister. Hon Mtileni, are you still ready to ask a supplementary question? Over to you.
Mr V E MTILENI: My question to the Minister – this time I am not asking about these two shoes, I know he is wearing two shoes. Mr Minister, the question is: Has government kept record of what those who resigned are doing post-public service. Here I am talking skills the expertise that they take along with them when they resign. I think you could open up your mind, and then you will understand this question quite well. [Interjection.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: In a department they like a certain expertise, they look around for those people who have been doing well in a particular department then they negotiate with them and give then contracts on a two-year or three-year basis. This is very important. Whoever will say yes when I ask this question, it means they don’t understand what administration is all about. Thank you, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, I will ask you papa to respect our Minister, please. [Interjections.] No, no, no. the way you are asking your question you even ask him to open up with mind. Did he tell you that his mind is closed? [Interjections.] Okay, hon Mtileni, anyway that was a new question. It will be up to the Minister to the Minister whether he is ready to respond to it. However, I will still request your respect, papa, in this House. Thank you very much. Over to you, hon Minister
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: The direct question was: Is there a record of where people go to after they leave a particular job? The answer is no. There was a follow-up comment but I did not entirely follow that. Thank you.
Public servants conducting business with state entities
144. Mr H B Groenewald (North West: DA) asked the Minister of Public Service and Administration:
Whether there are any public servants who are (a) currently conducting business with any state entities and/or (b) serving as directors of (i) public and (ii) private companies that are conducting business with the Government; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (aa) what actions he has taken in line with section 8 of the Public Administration Management Act, 2014 (Act 11 of 2014) in this regard and (bb) what are the further relevant details? CO447E
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, our response is the following, the Public Administration and management Act of 2014, is not yet in effect. The current disclosure regime in the Public Service is implemented in terms of Chapter 3 of the Public Service Regulations of 2001 which requires members of the Senior Management Service to disclose their financial interests on an annual basis.
For the 2014-15 disclosure period members of the Senior Management Service who have submitted their financial disclosure forms electronically have directorships in private and public companies. There is currently no provision in the Public Service which prohibits employees to be part of a business entity which conducts business with the state. The current disclosure regime, which is the 2011, does not require the Senior Management Service members to disclose whether the business entities they are part of are doing business with the state.
Our plans are to implement section 8 of the Public Administration Management Act of 2014 in the following way, the Minister of Public Service and Administration is in the process of regulating the implementation of the relevant provisions of this Act; he has gazetted the Revised Public Service Regulations for public comment; and Chapter 2, part 1, section 12 seeks to prohibit Public Service employees from being part of business entities which do business with the state as a condition for approval of an application to do remunerative work outside the Public Service.
Transitional measures will also be put in place to implement such a provision in order to face out this phenomenon within the Public Service. Chapter 3 of the Public Service Regulations, 2001, is in the process of being amended to make it compulsory for all the employees in the Public Service to disclose their financial interests. Thank you.
Mr H B GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, corruption in the Public Service negatively impact the ability of public servants to deliver services to the people of South Africa especially the poor and vulnerable citizens in our society. This framework was brought into life, specifically, to reduce the levels of corruption in public services, especially, relating to the disclosure of financial interests of state employees.
However, serial offenders remain in the system. What mechanisms are in place to deal decisively with these serial offenders to ensure that public servants are not awarded tenders continuously? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: As I pointed out to hon Groenewald in the initial response that we have a 2001 regime in terms of the framework, and we now have the 2014 regime which is in the process of implementation. What it will do is to disallow, precisely, the kind of conduct that you have concerns about. All of us will have concerns about it. We certainly agree with you that Public Service and the manner in which we respond to public needs should not be compromised by business interests or engaging in corruption or in improper activities. What we are going to do to serial offenders in the systems – once the 2014 regime is in place on the one hand and on the other hand we have the disclosure system operating and on the third hand we have what I described earlier on as a system to check individual disclosures that are actually made – which currently already happens through the Public Commission, what you will see as a result is, firstly, a detection of those who are engaging in those practises, secondly, there are disciplinary structures and processes within government to deal with them once the evidence is actually available. And then over time we are going to begin to reduce the number of people that you describe as serial offenders and we would have interest in making sure they don’t exist in the Public Service as well. In essence the framework, both old and new will enable us to actually do that and in time we will reduce the number of people who are engaging in this kind of activity. Thank you.
Mr V E MTILENI: House Chair, Mr Minister, what measures has government put in place beyond the tick box on a tender form to ensure that public servant do not use their children and wives whom many of them don’t even know that their names are attached to their businesses.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: I think the hon member’s concerns are quite important and we have seen those practices in some provinces in South Africa. So, the same answer that I gave to hon Groenewald applies in this instance as well that as you have, firstly, the rules of the game tightened up and that is the migration from the 2001 to the 2014 regulatory system. Secondly, you have what is called an eDisclosure system - so these forms come in electronically. Thirdly, you have the system to detect nondisclosure. Fourthly, you have mechanism to actually check through, for example, what is called the companies’ offices, Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, CIPC, which will enable you to check who are directors of a particular company or business and crosscheck that with what is been declared within government itself. Lastly, where you have reports from whistle blowers and the public which will say X is doing this and Y is doing that - all of those sources of information and the institutions and mechanisms that have been created will help us to begin to detect this phenomenon. I think what is important is that if we, again, talk more about this sort of things in the public domain, make people aware of the kind of techniques that are being utilised by different people - by the way we mustn’t think this are recent discoveries, in my previous capacity, I have come across some of this very innovative and creative ways of doing things as a result of which the public sector has lost a lot of money. Today some of the beneficiaries of those processes proclaim themselves as angels in our environment. So, let me thank hon Groenewald for raising this question. I think it is an important point or issue that he is raising and it is going to require all of us to work together to make progress in this area. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much hon Minister for the good work. Give a round of applause hon members for the hon Minister; a big round of applause.
Re tšwela pele gomme re ya go šoma le mmagorena. Ge mokgatlo wa baswa le Tona ba fihla ka mo, re be re šetše re amogetše batho ka fao le bona re a ba amogela. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[We will continue to work together. We welcome the Minister and the members of the youth who have just arrived. We had already welcomed other hon members and the public in the gallery.]
Citizen-Based Monitoring programme
115. Ms T K Mampuru (Limpopo: ANC) asked the Minister in The Presidency:
(a) What are the aims and objectives of the Citizen-Based Monitoring programme and (b) how does it affect service delivery? CO417E
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The aim of the Citizens-based monitoring or CBM is to involve citizens in monitoring the quality of service they receive from government in order to improve public accountability and service delivery. The National Development Plan, NDP, emphasises the importance of fostering active citizenship in building a capable developmental state. Citizens-based monitoring supports this by emphasizing the building of capacity of citizens and officials at the point where services are delivered to monitor: Firstly, how citizens experience service delivery; secondly, analyse feedback from citizens; thirdly, take action for improvement and lastly, communicate to all stakeholders.
With regard to the second part of the question, by participating in monitoring the quality of services provided by government, citizens are able to make a meaningful contribution on how services should be rendered and what improvements should be made to cater for their local needs. Most importantly, they bring a strong element of accountability on how services are provided to local communities. Thank you.
Mr D STOCK: Thank you hon Deputy Minister for such a comprehensive response in which you have actually alluded to the fact that the Citizens-based monitoring programme is actually meant to strengthen accountability and monitoring of the services of government. I would like to know, in your view as Deputy Minister, what do you think still needs to be done in order to improve public accountability and the monitoring of services? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: We, as the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, are doing the following: Firstly, we ensure that we get as much citizens involvement in monitoring and evaluation of its services through all the services that we provide to get the citizens involved. Secondly, ensure that there is as much information available to citizens in terms of the tools that we use to evaluate service delivery.
Thirdly, involve citizens when we are going to perform frontline service delivery monitoring. We involve citizens in that process by informing them that we are going to be, unless if it is an unannounced visit, monitoring this particular facility in order to get their views on the service that is rendered and to ensure that we provide their feedback.
Finally, we have suggestion or complaints box or whatever you call them in the public institutions that we use as an important tool to monitor the participation of citizens in evaluating services and expressing their views in terms of the services provided. Therefore, we think if we strengthen all those areas, we will be able to strengthen citizens’ participation.
Assessment of FSDM
133. Mr J J Londt (Western Cape: DA) asked the Minister in The Presidency:
(a) When last did his department conduct a comprehensive assessment of Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring at local government level and (b) what were the key findings? CO436E
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you for the question. Every year the department conducts quality of service delivery assessments at selected frontline facilities. The assessments focus on selected frontline facilities, namely, schools, health, Home Affairs, magistrate courts, drivers’ licence testing centres, municipal customer care centres, SA Social Services Agencies and police stations. Since the inception of the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring programme in 2011, we have assessed a total of 678 frontline facilities of which 60 were municipal customer care centres.
These sites are specifically targeted because of the importance of the services they provide to citizens and the need for users to receive a quality service when they use these facilities. The findings of the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring differ from site to site and a detailed high level findings report is available for scrutiny for all sites visited and in the eight key performance areas assessed for each site, namely, location and accessibility, visibility and signage, queue management and waiting times, dignified treatment of clients, cleanliness and comfort, safety and opening and closing times. Of all these eight key areas, the area that consistently scores the weakest is complaints management. The key performance area that scores the best is dignified treatment, opening and closing times and location accessibility. Thank you.
Mr J J LONDT: Hon Acting Chair, congratulations on your promotion. [Laughter.] Hon Deputy Minister, what steps will the government take to counter the violent service delivery protests in poor performing municipalities also identified through this monitoring of your department?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Our monitoring and evaluation focuses on those eight areas that I’ve indicated. We consolidate a report which we give to the relevant authorities, including co-operate, especially co-operative governance and on the basis of that they choose what action they will take. That’s all we could do in terms of ensuring that there is action that is being taken. I must emphasise that because of the capacity, and we hope that that capacity will be built on, but because of the current capacity of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, DPME, we are unable to ensure that we effect overall monitoring of the more than 2 000 municipalities, provincial and national government departments. That is why very few institutions, I think 670 institutions, have been monitored. Recommendations were made and follow-up visits were conducted to determine whether action has been taken to remedy the defaults that were identified during our previous visits. Thank you.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Acting Chair, I’m actually standing on a point of order. I think hon Deputy Minister is actually misleading the public with that answer because I don’t believe there are 2 000 municipalities in South Africa. There are 200 plus, not 2 000.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): I did not hear that being said by the Deputy Minister. However, we might check Hansard and clarify the matter if there be anything to clarify.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: I actually said 2 000. He is right; there are more than 200 municipalities.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Oh, thank you for showing leadership, Deputy Minister.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Acting Chairperson, to the Minister, and this, Minister, is specifically about the same Mnquma Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape. How long does it take to do a comprehensive assessment of Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring at local government and are assessments conducted on an ongoing or just once off basis? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Firstly, how long it will take depends on the size of the municipality. Secondly, we do make follow-ups. So, we look at those areas which I had identified in my response, the eight key performance areas which I had indicated and we have what we call a baseline report, which is our first visit. The first visit could either be an announced or unannounced visit and the follow-up visit will obviously be as per arrangement so that we get a comprehensive response from the municipality in terms of the improvements. But obviously, if we go there and say the toilet is not clean and we want to see a clean toilet the next time, we will not only rely on the written report but obviously on a follow-up visit. As I have said when responding to the first question, we will also interact with citizens to ensure that we get a comprehensive response on the improvement of service delivery in that area. Thank you.
Mr J J LONDT: Hon Deputy Minister, your response seems like it is more a general approach that you are taking instead of a specific approach to municipality and areas where there are problems of service delivery protests. Wouldn’t it be wise to rather go to municipalities where there are those problems identified and also use that information to apply to other municipalities to prevent them? At the moment, it seems like this is more a general approach and a tick box exercise instead of working focussing on and addressing the problems in the municipalities where they happen more often or even in some of the provinces or regions where problems happen more often.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The fact that there is a service delivery protest in one municipality does not mean that that’s the only place where there are problems. In fact, I can tell you now that in many instances where there are no service delivery protests, where it is as calm as the Indian Ocean, that is where there are actually problems. We have attended to those problems.
Yes, where there are service delivery protests, it means that we need to attend to all of those. I can tell you now that in those areas, be it in relation to a municipality broadly, the key performance areas I’ve identified, only two specific ones relate to local government, which are drivers’ licence centres and customer care centres in municipalities. But it does not mean that if there is a service delivery protest in whatever municipality, we wouldn’t go there to do an assessment and get a report and make recommendations on what action needs to be taken. If you are interested, we can give you the 650 plus centres which we have visited and you will get a sense that – you know there can be a protest in Madibeng, when the bigger problem is probably in George or in Modimolle, where I come from and where it’s quiet.
So, it is not only about service delivery protests or where there are service delivery protests, but it is about us going randomly into an institution and visiting or getting a written letter like I did on Tuesday at Eersterust to go and check the police station and the hospital where a letter was written to the President. It is those types of things which lead to a visit being made at the service delivery point. Thank you.
121. Mr B G Nthebe (North West: ANC) asked the Minister in The Presidency:
Whether his department and other stakeholders have taken any steps to ensure that youth development is considered, taking into account the implementation of the National Youth Policy 2020 (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, (a) to what extent and (b) what are the further relevant details? CO423E
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The department is working together with youth organisations to ensure that youth development becomes the country’s imperative. I think there is no doubt considering the commitments that the President has made thus far. The youth development is at the centre of the current term and in this regard the President launched the Presidential Youth Working Group in 2015 to promote youth participation in government and policy making and to mainstream youth development and empowerment in the work of government in order to build a better life for young people.
The working group is chaired by the President and supported by the task team of Deputy Ministers which I chair. During the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Youth Working Group, the President met with youth formations representing various sectors including education, agriculture, small business, sports, religious sectors, health and so forth. In taking forward the work of the Presidential Youth Working Group, the department has established the following work streams, which is on economic participation and transformation, education and skills and Second Chance Project, health care and combating substance abuse, nation building and social cohesion and lastly effective and responsive youth development institutions.
The plans of these work streams will form part of the integrated youth development strategy and progress will also be included in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework for proper monitoring and evaluation. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon House Chairperson, ...
ke rata go leboga karabo ye mohl Motlatšatona yo moswa wa mananeo a baswa a e filego. Ke kgopela go tseba gore pholisi ya baswa ye le dihlopha tša bao ba šomago di fihlelela le bale ba kua magaeng le ba ka morago ga dithaba naa? Ke kgopela go tseba gape le gore le lebeletše mathoko ohle go phapano ye e lego gona gare ga magaeng le ditoropong naa? Gape le gore le lebeletše pholisi ye ka mathoko ohle gare ga bao ba nago le sa bona le bao ba se nago sa bona naa? Ke kgopela tlhalošo mohl Motlatšatona wa ka Kantorong ya Mopresidente. Ke a leboga. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[I would like to thank the response that the new hon Deputy Minister has given about youth programmes. I would like to find out if the National Youth Policy and the Presidential Youth Working Group are accessible even to those in the rural areas? Did you consider all the differences between the rural and urban communities? Also, was there any consideration between those who can afford and those who cannot afford? Can the hon Deputy President please just clarify on these issues? I thank you.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon House Chairperson, firstly, the composition of the Presidential Working Group on youth is of youth organisations across all sides. In fact, we have more young people who are working or who are rather working with youth in rural areas and more young people who are actually involved in rural development work and agricultural work. We have asked both the SA Youth Council and the National Youth Development Agency to invite the people who participated in the Presidential Youth Working Group and we are quite happy with the fact that it included the majority of young people who are from all sectors or it is representative of all sectors.
Coming to the National Youth Policy, we identified various sectors of young people as the targets within which the youth policy wants to focus on. It is young women or girls, young workers, unemployed youth, youth going to school, rural youth and youth with disabilities. So, it’s a whole range of young people in the various sectors whom the policy seek to address their needs, interests and aspirations.
Bjalo, maikemišetšo a pholisi ke go akaretša moswa yo mongwe le yo mongwe mo Afrika-Borwa yo e lego gore o angwa ke tšona dilo tše re di bontšhitšego mo go Pholisi ya Baswa ya Bosetšhaba gore e leke go di ahlaahla. Ke a leboga. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[The objective of the policy therefore is to include each and every South African youth who is affected by what we have indicated in the National Youth Policy and the deliberations thereof.]
Mr W F FABER: Hon House Chairperson, the New Youth Policy 2015-20 signed by hon Minister basically makes it already overburdened state mainly –entirely – responsible for addressing youth unemployment by becoming the primary employer of South Africa’s youth. This is surely an unsustainable policy, Minister. Will the hon Minister consider to rather introducing a real wage subsidy like we’ve got in the Western Cape, for instance, as the first amendment to the current employment tax incentive and creating incentives rather than imposing penalties on the private sector to take the active role in creating the necessary jobs that South African youth so desperately needs.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon House Chairperson, that was the statement the DA issued yesterday here in reaction to the signing of the policy. So, it is not essentially a follow-up question, but anyway, the SA Receiver of Revenue would give us ...
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Is that a point of order?
Mr W F FABER: Yes, Chair. Sorry, but that was actually a question, hon House Chair; and I would like to have a straight answer. Thank you.
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Yes, but the answer is being given to you. The noble thing you can do is to listen to the answer. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The response or the report that we have received in terms of the Youth Employment Tax Incentive in its first year was that 275 000 youth jobs have been created. We think that we need to look at the progress in terms of the implementation of the Youth Employment Incentive. But secondly, a so-called youth wage subsidy does not for us, we think, constitute the silver bullet to resolve youth unemployment.
That is why the Youth Employment Accord which some time later in the year we will be announcing the outcomes together with the department. Well, with the Minister of Economic Development together with the interventions proposed in the National Youth Policy constitute multiple interventions and we think that we should not be locked into a one solution-based type of an approach which says let’s incentivise private industry in order to ensure that we stimulate youth employment.
In fact, some of the proposals that are made in the National Youth Policy and the Youth Employment Accord are far cheaper interventions which are much more bigger in terms of scale or output with regard to our own calculations as compared to committing R5 billion into a Youth Wage Subsidy. We are looking at a multiplicity of interventions that in our view will have a much bigger impact than a single intervention which is the Youth Wage Subsidy. Thank you.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon House Chairperson, Deputy Minister, there was an outcry in Khayelitsha when Minister Radebe visited the area about this youth policy. I just want to establish ... because at times it might be the perception that is being created by the media fraternity. In terms of consultation, I just want to establish if there was any extensive consultation, for instance, with regard to the nine provinces in our country. If yes, how was it done?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon House Chairperson, what happened was that we had extensive consultations. We had meetings all over the provinces. Every province had at least one meeting. Some provinces had more that one meeting. Secondly, we received more than 100 submissions on the youth policy. Some submitted a paragraph; some a booklet. We had 100 of meetings with youth organisations, most of which I was part of. We had consultations of social media everywhere else.
We ensured that we go where young people are. We went to taxi ranks, we went to shebeens. Sorry for not having invited you ... [Laughter.] ... but we also went there to talk to the youth about the National Youth Policy. We went to train stations; we went every where else to engage with young people. We went to schools and so forth.
We had extensive consultations and all of that culminated into the National Consultation Conference, where we asked all provincial governments to sponsor a delegation of 45 people to participate in the National Consultative Conference. All provinces and all youth formations with the exception of the Western Cape province participated in the national consultation.
The outcry yesterday in Khayelitsha was specifically in relation to that and it was more of a protest towards the provincial government than towards the Minister. Young people were saying why did our own government not support us to have that consultation if all the other provinces supported young people to participate in the final leg of the consultation?
What we have committed to is that the policy is now in place. It is signed, we cannot change it but we have committed to its continuous dialogue with the youth of the Western Cape in terms of the design of the strategy which should be ready within a space of a month. We are going to engage with them also on that. They were consulted. It is only that they were not in the final leg of the consultation. [Interjections.]
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, I have a problem that if that it is the last question because that isn’t four questions yet. The hon Faber asked one question. So, that is three questions. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Is it a point of order that you want to raise, hon Smit? There are four follow-up questions. Let me clarify you, hon Smit. Hon Mateme asked a follow-up question and we had hon Faber, hon Mohapi, and we have hon Motara. If you could concentrate; this will assist. Hon Motara?
Ms T MOTARA: Hon House Chairperson, Deputy Minister, you recently undertook or led the delegation to the Brics Youth Summit. Could you maybe share with us some of the highlights or some of the agreements reached there and if they are also in line with the youth policy?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon House Chairperson, when we went to the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brics, Youth Summit, we identified five key areas which we would want to co-operate with the Brics countries. The first key area was entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial support. We reached a comprehensive agreement on exchange not only in terms of the skills but also possibly, market access for particularly South Africans small businesses. Given the outcomes of the heads of state’s meeting - we are quite confident that it would be extremely beneficial for young South Africans, especially in small businesses, in terms of the entrepreneurial lack.
The second key area was about sports and we agreed that in the near future there should be greater co-operation in relation to sports amongst young people in Brics country. The third key area was on education. There was commitment in terms of exchange and also placement of scholarships. Fortunately, the agreement already exists between South Africa and all the Brics countries in terms of bilaterals.
The issue was on how we upscale those. We think that we will be seeing more South African young people going to study in different large Brics countries. Fortunately, the sterling work that is being done by the Department of Higher Education means that that area of work would be easily upscaled.
The fourth key area of work was on institutionalising co-operation between youth ministries and the youth agencies of the four countries. This has led to the signing of an agreement between what we call the Brics youth ministers which basically outlines all the other areas of co-operation.
The final one was essentially getting the voices of youth in the Brics countries to be heard in the platform of the heads of state. We have not gotten essentially what we wanted with the Brics Summit that was held in Russia but we think when we meet in India, we would be able to get the voice of young people heard in the meetings of the heads of state. Thank you.
Performance of NPA/SAPS
126. Mr M Khawula (KwaZulu-Natal: IFP) asked the Minister in The Presidency:
Whether his department has conducted an evaluation of the performance of the (a) National Prosecuting Authority and (b) SA Police Service in the 2014-15 financial year; if not, why not; if so, what were the results of the assessments in view of the latest developments? CO429E
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you. The department has not conducted the evaluation on the National Prosecution Authority, the NPA in the 2014/15 financial year, that is question (a); and in the South African Police Service, the SAPS one evaluation is being done for the 2014/15 financial year. The focus of this evaluation is on the economic evaluation of the incremental investment into the SAPS Forensic Services. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine whether the benefits or outcomes of the annual increment investment into SAPS Forensic Services outweigh the cost which is input or not and the evaluation will provide useful evidence on the implementation of the incremental investment into the SAPS Forensic Services and how its effectiveness can be optimised. The results of this evaluation will be made available once it is concluded.
TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Thank you, Deputy Minister. Hon Masango, you are fine, any supplementary question? Hon Mthimunye ... Mtileni, I apologise I would not want hon Mthimunye to have hard feelings.
Mr V E MTILENI: Thank you so much. Deputy Minister in the Presidency, how are you responding to a call by Corruption Watch, that Mr Nxasana should payback the R17 million golden handshake that was offered to him by the President? Are you in support of that or are you in defiance?
TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Hon Deputy Minister, it is up to you if you want to answer the question. The question here relates to performance not the golden handshake, if you see fit that you should answer it, we are in your hands.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you very much. I think the hon member is entitled to his questions and I am entitled to my answers, and in this regard I will not respond to the question because I strongly believe that it is a new and a totally different question which doesn’t even fall within my purview or the purview of any government official. Thank you.
TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Thank you, hon Minister. We will proceed to Question 123.
TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Can I listen to the point of order hon Mtilieni?
Mr V E MTILENI: Hon Deputy Minister is just shying away from answering this simple question, because he knows that there was a golden handshake offered to Mr Nxasana by the President. He may not say he is not in the position to answer that one because Corruption Watch has been questioning this. So I am saying to him that his department ... is he supporting Corruption Watch on their call that Nxasana should payback the R17 million golden handshake that was offered to him by the President ... it is a simple question.
TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Can I clarify for you, Mr Mtileni?
Mr V E MTILENI: Please, you can. Or answer me if have an answer.
TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Hon Mtileni, you are making a dangerous assumption, that hon Deputy Minister knows the answer that you are seeking from him. What we are relating to you explicitly is that the question should be put to the Deputy Minister relevantly, and as you are asking now that question is not relevant to the question as appearing to the Order Paper. Can we then proceed. Can we proceed to question 123 as appearing on the Order Paper, under the name of hon Singh. Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you, Chairperson or Acting Chairperson. The department is fulfilling it’s mandate of planning, monitoring and evaluating government priority outcomes in order to meet the developmental needs of South Africans and the quality of government public services provided to citizens. To this end we have developed a long term plan which is the NDP and the implementation tool which is the Medium Term Strategic Framework or MTSF and the monitoring mechanism such as the Programme of Action and other monitoring programmes such as the citizen based monitoring programme; Local Government Improvement model and the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring amongst others. Through our National Evaluation Framework, we are also evaluating key government programmes to determine their impact on our citizens, for example we conducted the evaluation of the Export Market Investment Assistance Programme, which is under the Department of Trade and Industry, and the purpose of the evaluation was to establish if the programme is achieving its intended objective. The evaluation found that from 2009/10 to 2012/13, the Export Market Investment Assistance Programme, assisted 6766 exporting enterprises, paid out claims to a total value of R510 million and created a total of 24800 jobs. The evaluation also found that users of the scheme are satisfied with the administration and the implementation of the scheme and clear guidelines are in place for both the application and the selection process as well as the disbursement of funds. Moreover, roughly 35% of firms assisted are majority historically disadvantaged individual owned and just over one quarter of firms are majority women owned. Youth are substantially less represented which is something which we strongly raised amongst those who benefit, and with only 7% of firms surveyed are majority owned by young people. Thank you.
Impact of government on citizens
123. Mr A S Singh (KwaZulu-Natal: ANC) asked the Minister in The Presidency:
Whether his department is achieving its main objectives as it was established to improve the impact of government on citizens, especially regarding service delivery; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO425E
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you chairperson or acting Chairperson the department is fulfilling its mandate of planning monitoring and evaluation or evaluating government priority outcomes in order to meet the developmental needs of South Africans and the quality of government public services provided to citizens.
To this end we have developed a long term plan which is the NDP and the implementation tool which is the Medium Term Strategic Framework or MTSF and the monitoring mechanism such as the programme of action and other monitoring programme such as the Citizen Based Monitoring Programme Local Government improvement model and the front line service delivery monitoring amongst others through our National Evaluation Framework we are also evaluating key government programmes to determine their impact on our citizen for example we conducted the evaluation of the export market investment assistance programme which is under the department of Trade and Industry and the purpose of the evaluation was to established if the programme is achieving its intended objective.
The evaluation found that from 2009-2010 to 2012-2013 the export marketing and investment assistance, assisted 67066 exporting enterprises paid out claims to a total value of R510 million and created a total of 240800 jobs and the evaluation also found that the users of the scheme are satisfied with the administration and implementation of the scheme and clear guideline are in place for both the application and selection process as well the disbandment of the funds moreover roughly 35% of firms assisted are majority historical disadvantaged individual owned and just over one quarter of firms are majority women owned. Youth are substantially less represented which is something which is strongly raised amongst those who benefits and with only 7% of firms surveyed majority owned by young people. Thank you.
Mr A S SINGH: Thank you Deputy Chairperson I want to thank the Deputy Minister for his response I believe that the Deputy Minister has answered the question I have no further question.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Thank honourable Minister, honourable Minister, Deputy Minister I just want to establish part of your responsibility was to ensure that you make a meaningful impact in terms of the government on citizens.
Thank very much for the clarity that you have just outline it is very clear that there is a lot that is taking place but my main worry is around information cascading down to the ordinary people in the street. What are the measures in place that you ensure that ordinary people in the street are not misled instead they grab the information as concretise as you have just place it now.
Indeed this programme might be covered Deputy Minister but the issue in question how many of our people that are assessing this important information. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you very much I think its quite unfortunate that the significant part of what government is doing does not actually reach out to our citizens and obviously would have to improve on the communications that we have with our citizens and I think in many instances there is an idea that or rather the idea that our country is or in an abbess dominates and became the dominate messaging when everybody else believes that we are on the right track.
I think an example would be our assessment as the department of the presidential hotline where we did an follow-up of the people who called where they were happy with the service and generally whether they were happy with government services and the overwhelming majority of the people were surveyed through the presidential hotline.
We are all happy with the service that they receive so I fully agree that the volume around the positive things that are happening in our country needs to go up because they far out way the negative things which seem to be the dominate things that are concisely been reported. Thank you.
157. Mr V E Mtileni (Limpopo: EFF) asked the Minister in The Presidency:
What monitoring and evaluation measures are in place to ensure that the programmes planned by government departments meet the immediate needs of the people? CO460E
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The monitoring and evaluation measures put in to ensure that government programmes planned by government departments meet the needs of the citizens are that government has developed a long-term plan which is the National Development Plan, NDP. We have also put in place, as I have indicated earlier, the programme of action. To ensure that the departments plans meet the needs of the citizens we have created a mechanism by requiring departments to submit their strategic plans and annual plans to both the Departments of Monitoring, Planning and Evaluation and Treasury to assess whether their plans are aligned to the NDP and the Medium-Term Strategy Framework and through our national evaluation framework and the budget review process. The Departments of Monitoring, Planning and Evaluation and Treasury assess whether departmental plans get towards meeting the imperatives of the NDP and therefore the needs of our people. Thank you.
Mr V E MTILENI: Deputy Minister, do you currently have any monitoring and evaluation activities taking place in the municipalities and government departments? Since you have suggestion boxes, may be at times you do get information from whistleblowers, from the members of the public - I just want to know what sort of complaints seem to be very common from those public places or boxes that you got and how have you responded to such concerns or complaints. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: We monitor and evaluate each and every sphere of government, national, provincial and local government. We have just finalised a tool which specifically focuses on local government monitoring and evaluation which is more or else similar with the national tool and which is used to monitor and evaluate national government departments. That tool helps us to determine whether a municipality is functional or not and that the outcomes of that tool which is currently in - and as I have said, when I came here late last year or early this year, pilot phase in terms of local government and we are sharing that information with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. We believe that the tool is helping us with regards to the municipalities that we have put under evaluation; to help us anticipate what could be the problem and to also ensure that we help those municipalities to avert all of those problems.
I think more importantly, at any given day and time, we can go into any municipality and say to them that this is what we are looking for in terms of performance and also in terms of the eight key areas which I mentioned earlier on with the first question and on the basis of that we would know what is happening. I am not in a position to give an outline of the complaints that the customers put into the complaints boxes. The intention of those boxes is predominantly to help resolve issues in the institution where they are placed.
Let me give an example of a community healthcare centre I went into in Eersterust on Tuesday. They have a box and the community puts in complaints and five people in the managerial positions open it. If they complain about the head sister or the head nurse she will not tear that paper and say no one will complain about me. So, there are five people opening those complaints and they act on those complaints.
I was very impressed because many of the people I have spoken to at that hospital said they are happy with the service but need more staff which was predominantly the complaint which went into the complaints box. As I have also said with one of the responses is that, predominantly communities complain about the effectiveness of the use of the complaints boxes. I went to a hospital where I come from in Modimolle, no one had a key to the complaints box. But unfortunately that has been sorted out after our visit there.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: To you hon Minister, given the fact that more than 50% of your department’s budget is allocated to the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, and your department’s core responsibility is to monitor the performance of individual national, provincial and municipalities, what challenges does the department experience to fulfil this core mandate? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The budget of the NYDA which by the way we have consistently argued that it is insufficient if we are to fully implement the youth development agenda that this administration has. The youth agenda was a transfer from the Presidency to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and it is not even 50%. It is actually double the budget of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, so, that is the first thing.
Secondly, we have approached Treasury and in discussions with them in ensuring that the budget of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation increases and most of that increase will go to the planning, monitoring and evaluation task. The plan is to have the planning, monitoring and evaluation function at a district, provincial and also more comprehensively at a national level.
We hope, that when the budget has to be approved in Parliament if we do get that increase, that all political parties will support us and especially because of the work that we are already doing with the Parliamentary Budget Office and with some of the portfolio committees in helping Parliament to hold government accountable, because we believe that it helps if Members of Parliament are empowered in terms of what is happening as it relates to monitoring and evaluation.
What also helps us a lot is the fact that most departments are building internal capacity in terms of planning, monitoring and evaluation. So, they are giving us their reports and through the outcomes co-ordinators, we are able to make an assessment of those but we believe with more capacity we will be able to do our work much more effectively. Thank you.
Mr E MAKUE: Hon Deputy Minister the question that I wish to raise is related to the final remarks that you made. I also think that this is an opportunity to ask whether the posting of a question like this is not a reflection of our poor understanding of our own role as the members of the NCOP because we have an oversight responsibility to deal with both municipalities which we just did a week ago when we visited the municipalities. We will within the latter part of this month have our local government week and we also have various departments of government reporting to us in the select committees and in the NA to the portfolio committees.
I therefore think Chair that it is going to be important that the Deputy Minister uses this opportunity also to evaluate the extent to which we have an understanding of our role.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Acting Chair, unfortunately that does not like lie within my job description. So, I regretfully decline to do that evaluation but I think self evaluation is more powerful than external evaluation. Thank you very much.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon Acting Chair, Deputy Minister, let me once again welcome the measures that have been put in place by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in order to ensure that we meet the needs of our people because in most instances where we are unable to address such a need there will always be unnecessary unrest. Let me also welcome Deputy Minister the commitment from the side of the leadership, not only to collect information but also to ensure that we provide leadership. My question is how do we ensure that monitoring and evaluation does not solely end up from the side of government? How do we ensure that there is a systematic involvement of our citizens on issues of monitoring? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The citizens-based monitoring approach gives citizens the power to participate in the monitoring and evaluation process without the exercise in the option to strike, protest and all of that. Secondly, the presidential hotline gives the citizens the power to complain about any service whatsoever that they are unhappy about. We have attended to more than 90% and we had the response of more 90% of the complaints that citizens have lodged through the presidential hotline. Inevitably, if the president says someone is complaining about your department and then you will have to act on that.
Thirdly, when we do the frontline service delivery monitoring, we do not only rely on the report that we get from either the station commander or the municipal manager or whoever that we find there. We also interact with citizens who give us a better perspective. You can go into a hospital and the manager tells you that we have got one of the most efficient queue management system but when you speak to an old mother who has been there since 05:00 am and you are there at about 12 or One o’clock. This is a better time to go and do a surprise visit because people would have taken an early lunch. So, you would have caught them by real surprise and find people who have been there since the early hours of the morning and they are still there midday. So, it gives you a better perspective of what he challenges are.
I must say that being one of five countries in the continent and one of very few countries in the world, which have monitoring and evaluation infused in government we also only had this system now in its sixth year. I think that we are doing much better than many would have expected us to do. We just have to improve in the response and solutions of some of the complaints that our citizens have.
Strategies to coordinate programmes
114. Ms G M Manopole (Northern Cape: ANC) asked the Minister of Women in The Presidency:
Whether her department has any strategies to coordinate the programmes pursued by (a) other government departments and (b) stakeholders for the advancement of women; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO416E
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): We would now proceed to the next question as appearing on the Order Paper. And the responsible Minister is the Minister of Women in the Presidency. Welcome, Minister, we can proceed to Question 114 as appearing on the Order Paper under the name of hon Manopole. But I have been informed that it would be taken over by hon Zwane. Thank you Minister.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, just a correction. I am not the Minister for Women in the Presidency. I am the Minister in the Presidency for Women, in South Africa. [Laughter.] The reason I am correcting this is because if you say it like that it would mean I am just responsible for only those few women who are in the Office of the President. I am actually responsible for all women in the country; hence I thought this needs to be correct. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): You are protected, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you, Chairperson. [Laughter.] The reply to that question is that, since this department was created – which is a different department in that it is not responsible for service delivery - our mandate is to enable the socioeconomic empowerment of women for whom we are responsible to provide with frameworks for gender mainstreaming. We are doing that through outreach programmes, oversight, monitoring and evaluation of other government departments including civil society and business in order to make sure that all sectors of the society can advance the interests of women. But also, when you talk about some of the programmes we have, it is to be in partnership with various stakeholders including religious groupings in advancing the interests of women in South Africa. Thank you.
Ms L L ZWANE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister in the Presidency for Women ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Yes. Please, let’s respect that. [Laughter.]
Ms L L ZWANE: ... you have adequately answered the question, but there is just one issue that I wish to establish with you hon Minister. I want to believe that there would be an instrument that your Ministry uses to monitor and evaluate the programmes that are meant to advance and develop women in all the departments. However, evaluating the effectiveness of these programmes would be with a view to ensuring that we review, realign or do whatever is necessary to further develop the women’s programmes. I would then request the hon Minister to just share with us a few of her success stories in developing women more especially along the lines of economic development programmes by the different government departments that are meant to develop women economically. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Zwane, through you Chair, one of the mechanisms that we use in ensuring that the development or gender mainstreaming does happen in various departments is the Gender Focal Points. But we are currently in the process of reviewing it because it is very, very weak. It is an instrument which is supposed to be effective in ensuring that various departments do address matters of women. We are reviewing the structure but also its location, because there are variants in the departments. In some departments it is at senior management level and in some it is at a peripheral. For instance if you go to provinces, the challenge you find there is that it is sometimes tucked within social development. This would then immediately tell you something about the thinking. So, we are developing and mainstreaming the Gender Focal Points to be – as per one of our recommendations - in the director-general’s, DG’s, office. It must also form part of performance agreement of the DG so that it becomes a key indicator if the department does not perform when it comes to women empowerment and training. Also in the departments, the DGs as the accounting officers must take responsibility about the number of women they have.
But looking at some of the other programmes that we also have, working in partnership with the Women Entrepreneurs of Southern Oregon, Weso, we have for instance a programme whereby young women from Grade 10 up to university level are taken for training. So far there are about 12 000 young women who have been trained in science, technology and maths. Some are already working. This is part of the programme which we are using in ensuring that young women are able to access education in core-learning areas for skills development in South Africa.
We are working with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in a programme of its kind where women are going to be involved in a feedlot. I hope you know what a feedlot is. A feedlot - abalimi bayazi [farmers know] - is a value chain in lamb-nurturing where there is a space for feeding the sheep in order to gain a particular weight. We are having a partnership around that with the Department of Agriculture in making sure that women are there. We are looking at much more broader ways in which we can be able to work together. It is our first pilot whereby we would want to make sure that the wool cut from sheep does not only go to Italy, but can also be processed or beneficiated within South Africa, including the issue of the sheep skin as well. We are also looking at the possibility of setting up a tannery [ukushuka izikhumba] in order to ensure that we create more jobs for our people. But also, we are in partnership with some of the farmers who are keen to train our people. So, these are some of the projects in which we are involved in advancing that.
The various departments have various programmes including the small business through co-operatives. Just to share with you, hon members, we are in partnership with small business in Limpopo. On the 4th – if I am not wrong - or 5th of September, we are going to have a trade fair in Musina where we will be having women from South Africa and Zimbabwe coming together on a trade fair, where we are starting to deal with the free-trade agreement which our countries have signed within the Southern African Development Countries, SADC. So, this is part of advancing the interests of women. Our anticipation is that women, in this free-trade agreement, are going to be ignored and men, as usual, will run ahead. Thus we want to make sure that this free-trade agreement also recognises the importance of trading amongst women within the region, but also within the continent. Thank you, Chair.
Mr M J MOHAPI: Hon Acting Chair, to the Minister, South Africa is a unitary state where you would always find issues happening nationally cascading to the local sphere level. We did oversight in various municipalities and what we have observed it’s a lack of women’s desk in other municipalities. Given that the Minister spoke about strategies to co-ordinate issues of women, how are you going to ensure that local municipalities are also equally benefiting in terms of interco-ordinated approach that you are referring to? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Mohapi, with reference to the co-ordination, the reviewal of the Gender Focal Points would include the municipalities. This is the way in which we would want to see the new structure working: We want to make sure that we want to make sure that we have your ... at national departments; then make sure that the premier’s office takes responsibility for the province, and the local government MEC takes responsibility for the municipalities. In that way you will then be able to evaluate the work done at the municipality level.
Part of the weakness that we have seen in the past is that the department wanted to go and do oversight or do the monitoring in all the municipalities - about 284 municipalities - which was impossible. So we need a system which will make the MEC to take responsibility and account to the province through the premier’s office. And then we will be working with the premiers office through the structure which he would have created in making sure that our systems - for instance we are establishing monitoring and evaluation like the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation – are specifically focusing on the advancement of women. But we also have programmes which are created at various government levels including the private sector in ensuring that we are able to move forward.
That is why on the question of local government, we want to tighten and pattern up the process with accountability in a way that anybody, for instance when NCOP is doing oversight, would know exactly what you are looking for. Where we are right now there are so many systems such that you do not know which one to look. As a result whatever they say you are bound to accept. So, I hope that early next year we will be able to come here with a system which, when you do your oversight, you could take along and use it as a measuring tool to determine whether there is progress in the various municipalities when it comes to women.
The last point which we are also talking about is that we want systems that can be audited. Systems which the Office of the Auditor-General, AG, can audit when it goes out to audit performance on women by the various departments - be it national, provincial and local. We are having an engagement with the AG and he is very excited about that. In fact he was saying he believes that this is long overdue and that if we don’t allow them to be part of it, when their own audit comes women will not be prioritised when opportunities are given out in the various components of government. Thank you.
Ms B S MASANGO: Hon Chair, to the Minister, thank you for the response that outlined the role of the department in the advancement of women. One would then think that advancing women economically would work even better if those women are supported even in their homes. My question is, what is the role of the department in supporting women who are victims of domestic violence or domestic abuse as it were? Thank you, Minister.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr B G Nthebe): Hon Minister, the question is somehow taking a tangent. It is up to you whether you want to answer it.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: I think it is an important question, Chair, and I will take it. The question deals with the challenge which women face on a daily basis. My department is not working in isolation, but it is within a collective in an integrated government. And I think we all understand the kind of democracy we have in South Africa.
Therefore with regard to some of the issues which the hon member has raised, if you look at social development, for instance, there are various mechanisms which have been have put in place like place of safety to deal with issues of domestic violence and abuse of women. But also when we look at it again we have what is called the Thuthuzela Care Centres within the National Prosecutions Authority, NPA. And part of their responsibility is to deal with the abuse of women and domestic violence at various times. These are some of the facilities which exist.
But we are not only looking at that, we are also looking at how best we can integrate systems that would be used for evaluating whether services rendered, for instance, at police stations when women go there to report cases of abuse are effective enough to advance the interests of women. The places of safety too, are they safe and providing enough protection for women? That is why we have the white doors centres which are part of your safety places for making sure that both women and children are safe. Those are the mechanisms of making sure that women are able to be empowered but also be able to move on with their lives. Thank you.
Ms Z B NCITHA: Hon Chairperson, I also would like to join those who thanked the Minister for the informative responses that she presented so well to the NCOP. I just want to follow up on your presentation, Minister, regarding the restructuring of the Gender Focal Points both at provincial and also at national level. However, your presentation really falls short in terms of telling us how this is going to be done at a local level – the location of the office - rather than the MEC’s office; and also the appointment levels of those people who will be manning those offices. I am raising this because it has been a challenge. For instance you find that a Gender Focal Point person has been appointed at a very low level with neither any influence nor authority in meetings. So, I would like the hon Minister just to fill that gap for me. Thank you, very much.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you, hon Ncitha on that. You are right. We have really looked at that to make sure that there is no gap. The issue of levels is one of the very, very important key issues that we have identified. You cannot have Gender Focal Points who are assistant directors, but who do not have the authority and do not sit in management meetings. Therefore it has becomes a peripheral issue. We are addressing that.
Our proposal, for instance, is that in national government we want to see chief directors in the DG’s office including in the MEC’s and the head of the department, HOD, offices. That is where Gender Focal Points must be. That is why I said it is not just enough, they must be audited. When dealing with the performance agreement of your HOD, the issue of women must form part of their performance areas.
What we are proposing at the local government level is that the mayor’s office must have it too, and it must be at a strategic level, not at a junior level. Because if we really want to advance and entrench the struggles of women in South Africa, we must put them at the centre of decision-making so as to ensure that they become part of whatever issues that are discussed instead of the peripheral that we are seeing now. My observation is that those who are Gender Focal Points come to meetings, but when you meet their seniors they would tell you that they do not even know that there was a meeting. That is what creates problems for us. Until we make sure that it is entrenched in appropriate structures, we are not going to see mainstreaming and gender activities really being taken seriously. I mean, if an HOD is not performing when it comes to gender mainstreaming, he or she cannot get a bonus. That is how we are trying to make sure that it is taken seriously and approached differently in our country. Thank you.
Alleged sterilisation of HIV-positive women
142. Ms B S Masango (Gauteng: DA) asked the Minister of Women in The Presidency:
(1) Whether she has been informed of the widespread complaints received recently from HIV-positive women alleging that they were either forced or coerced into being sterilised after giving birth; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so,
(2) whether her department is studying the (a) reports, (b) studies, (c) campaigns and (d) investigations promulgated in this regard; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO445E
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Madam Chairperson, the question asked by the hon member as the Department of Women we have not received any written or verbal complain on that matter. I believe that this is a question which should be correctly referred to the Department of Health because they have the better competencies in dealing with the matter. Thank you.
Strategic Framework for Gender Equity
119. Ms L L Zwane (KwaZulu-Natal: ANC) asked the Minister of Women in The Presidency:
Whether the Strategic Framework for Gender Equity within the public service is achieving its main objectives; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO421E
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, the reply to the question is that the Gender Equality Strategic Framework for the Public Service provides the framework for achieving, as its main objective, the empowerment of women in the public service as a whole. It promotes gender parity within senior management and decision-making levels and its implementation is showing positive results.
Given the 40% of women currently at senior management level where we have nine women directors-general in national departments whilst these figures as we all know that we are all looking forward to parity of 50/50 we still feel not satisfied but the public service is on the right track. The gender equality strategy also has institutionalised the women management week which takes place during the last week of August.
It also requires government department to report on progress to the Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA, which looks at the conduciveness of the work environment at the public service. The women management provides an opportunity for women senior manager to engage with top management on challenges in the workplace and measures to improve their working conditions towards a gender equal and empowering environment.
In addition, the gender equality strategic provide guidance to heads of departments through the eight principle plan and relation to women’s empowerment and gender equality for both women as public servants and service delivery to women in society. The eight principles are; namely, transformation for nonsexist, establishing a policy of environment, meeting equity targets, creating an enabling environment, mainstreaming gender empowerment, providing adequate resources, accountability, monitoring and evaluation. Thank you.
Ms L L ZWANE: Thank you, hon Minister. I am satisfied with the answer and also in light of the report by His Excellency the President on 9 August, we are happy with the progress that is being made, with respect to development and advancement of women. However, we cannot rule out the fact that there are those that are still trailing behind who think that gender equity is all about tokenism. I don’t know whether the Minister would actually educate those and actually explain that merit in terms of achieving gender equity plays a major role. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT: Thank you, Mme Zwane. You are satisfied but you want the hon Minister to educate those – so I don’t know whether the lesson is ready now – if it is ready we can check with the Minister.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: House Chair, just to say that the question of gender equality as a tokenism – I think in South Africa we always have had capable women. And it did not start now, it started many years ago. Our history talks to people like Mantatise who was a woman warrior and fought during the Bhambatha wars and protected Lesotho. She was there as woman warriors, with Mantsopa; when you go to Ladybrand you find her history there. That is another warrior who fought in the various wars of South Africa in making sure that she becomes a leader.
There are leaders like Charlotte Maxeke who in 1913 lead a march despite the fact that the ANC was formed in 1912 without women, but she was the bravest woman who pulled women together. If we remember well, it is not the ANC which started dealing with the struggles of resistance. She is the first one who led a march of women in the Free State where she was a leader, and she faced the repressive system of the time and fought the pass laws.
When we talk about the 1950s when there was this whole hype of the struggles in South Africa, which led to the Freedom Charter in the repressive law, Mantatise was already there. So, it shows that the leadership of women is not just a tokenism, it has always been there and we understand and have seen the women of 1956.
Again, we have seen Codesa when the women of South Africa came together in the coalition and contributed in the Constitution of this country. So, there has never been a space where our women were never at the centre of any struggle or contributing to anything as we are talking today; once more, in an area where it was defined as men’s environment in the economic sector. If we look at the report which was launched by the President, there are many inroads that have been made by women. Today we have women in mining. A woman owns a mine and has started it from the scratch - and not got some remnants from some people who left – she started it from scratch in Manganese.
We are getting more women in critical spaces; we have chartered accountants, very vibrant women! I am just highlighting these issues to show that women are ready. In fact, even the debate that talks about the woman President, it is just an ill-conceived debate. They have always been there and capable women. The mere fact that women give birth and are able to wake up and face the world despite the fact that they have to manage and nurture children and nurture the world.
So, women have always been ready because they are leaders by nature. That is what we have to look at; that women are always capable and can compete and don’t wont favours. They can compete with anyone at any space where they want to be. So we need to move away from the issue of saying it is women and it is tokenism. There is no tokenism! We can perform better than any other person, and women are not scared of competition. We can compete successfully. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: House Chair, I almost wanted to ask the hon Minister, why her party has never been lead by a woman; but my real question is, after the controversial tweets by her department criticising women who withdraw their domestic abuse charges; what is the department doing to ensure that those women feel that the department is accessible to them to address gender equality issues?
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, thank you very much for that question.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you for that question; I was waiting for it. It is very opportunistic. The question was asked by a young woman. Let me start by giving a bit of education. We need to be careful about what we criticise. This is a world of those who are new and old like me who understand ... and the young. That question was raised by a young person who is 22-years-old via social media and people like yourself are jumping onto it and judging the department. That’s how you try to undermine development; you judge.
The question from the young woman was the following. Is it appropriate for women ... or should women ... what should we do with women who withdraw cases? That was the question. It was a genuine question that contained no malice. Anybody can ask it. I get asked this question all the time. Listen, listen! Open your ears! This question is asked by ordinary people all the time. What should we do when women withdraw their cases? It’s a genuine and legitimate question. We need to understand its context because it’s a question which arises out of concern. It arises from people who are worried and who say there is no recourse. What is it that causes women to do that?
We who think, who are matured, who understand and do not look at things from a sexist point of view, need to say that the question refers to those who withdraw their cases. We must ask what causes them to withdraw their cases. What forces them to do that? When they go to the police station to report, do they get justice? Do they make sure that they get proper attention? That is what we have to look at. Don’t look at the question. Look at whether they get proper services. Do they get satisfaction at the end of the day where they feel able and confident that as they do that, justice will occur? We know for a fact that not long ago there was a woman who went to report ...
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you very much, Chair. I would like to know if the hon Minister will take a question of clarity ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): You are out of order, hon member.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair, what the Minister is saying confuses me.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMNMTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Please don’t be confused. What is happening now is that the Minister is addressing the question that was raised by the hon Michalakis. Thereafter we will have three members, if any, to ask follow up questions. I think you need to fall within those numbers. I’ve seen a hand from hon Mtileni, and that was it. So I will give you a chance, Ma. I’ve seen your hand now. Hon Minister, are you done? Hon Michalakis, please take your seat.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: House Chairperson, on a point of order: The Minister just called me sexist. I would like her to withdraw that comment please.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Do you want me to answer or should I focus on him? [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMNMTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Minister, I want you to continue answering your question. Don’t focus on him. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: No, I’m not angry; I’m explaining to you. Can I explain to you? The issue I am raising is that not long ago in Alexander, a family under the same conditions ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMNMTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Mama, there’s a lady standing. Hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana?
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: It is unparliamentary for the Minister to call the hon Michalakis sexist. I find it very strange that in this month of August when we are talking about nonsexism, the Minister would say, from a woman’s point of view, that he is sexist. She said it loudly and everybody must have heard it. At this point I would ask the Minister to withdraw it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana. Mama, I did not pick that up in your address. Hon members, I promise that I will consult Hansard and come back with a response if ever the word was misused. There’s another point of order. Hon Mtileni?
Mr V E MTILENI: This time I’m not actually saying or supporting what is being said by the other hon members. My point of order refers to you. You seem to have forgotten something. You refer to us male hon members as pappas and to the female hon members as mamas. Will you please refrain from doing that and address us as hon members? You have not been doing that ever since you started. So, I’m just reminding you once more, hon Chair. I note the kind of respect that you have towards us as hon members. Of course, we are mamas and pappas but for argument sake just ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, take your seat. Take your seat. I want to address you on what you have raised. Your point is noted, hon Mtileni. Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you. With regard to the issue of abuse and violence against women and the withdrawal of cases, a month ago in Alexander a mother who had been abused was killed at a police station when she went to lay a charge. These are the issues and the realities that we have got to deal with. We have to ask what causes all those things; what causes people to fear. Women do go and report, but sometimes people come and entice them not to report or to withdraw. Sometimes they are bullied and forced to withdraw.
So, I’m saying let’s not take a small thing and think that this world is about the few, and look forward to criticism. There’s a bigger world out there which is very complex, which is created by some people who are bullies, and by some people who are masculine and who think that the world gives them the authority to do certain things in the world. That’s what we have got to look at. Look at the broader perspective of the challenges which are faced by women instead of trying to attack by picking up on a sentence and making it an issue. There’s a context to it and there’s a real situation which we have to address instead of trying to play petty politics.
Mr C F B SMIT: Thank you hon House Chair. Has the department considered embarking on a national discussion, with regard to practices that could violate the rights of equality to women and how the department can contribute to finding a solution to these practises? An example would be in terms of tribal areas and tribal authorities where widows cannot own houses in those areas.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chair, that’s a new question that does not relate to this one.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMNMTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much. She’s not ready to answer the question because it’s a new one. We continue with hon Labuschagne.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you, Chair. I would like to refer to the previous question and the fact that I was confused. Can the hon Minister tell me what is the difference between a young woman asking you what should be done about women withdrawing their charges and a Member of Parliament – who is eligible to be here and has been put here by the public to raise its concerns – asking that same question in a different way? Why is the Minister then saying that the political person is an opportunist and is judgemental? The same question has been raised. What does the department do to solve these problems? Don’t do the political thing, Minister. Please answer the question.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson that is a new question which she must put in writing.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much. Hon Labuschagne, please take your seat. [Interjections.] Can you take your seat? Will you take your seat, hon member? Let me address you. The hon Minister is not ready to answer that question because to her it is a new one. What you can do is to put the question in writing and then the Minister will respond to you. Are you rising on a point of order?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Yes, I am rising on a point of order. I raised a question which is not difficult. It refers to a tweet wherein a young woman raised a question. A member of this Parliament raised the same question in a different way but the Minister says she’s not ready to answer the question. Then she shouldn’t be a Minister because the Minister’s work in this House is to answer questions that have been asked! We cannot protect members from the Chair! It cannot continue like this! We will start fighting this now because we have been civil up to now. It can’t continue like this, Chair. I will not leave it here. I will write the letter and we will take this matter further. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon Labuschagne. Remember that hon Michalakis asked the question. [Interjections.] I wish you would listen to me. The Minister addressed that question. You as an hon member are rising on a follow up question to what the Minister has said. With respect, the Minister is not saying that she is ignoring it but you should put it in writing and you will get a response.
Human trafficking in SA
150. Ms N P Mokgosi (Northern Cape: EFF) asked the Minister of Women in The Presidency:
(1) Whether her department is addressing the issue of human trafficking in the country sufficiently (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, what are the set targets;
(2) what measures her department has put in place to (a) create public awareness in this regard, (b) protect women from vulnerable communities who are the easiest targets of human trafficking and (c) support families which have already lost their daughters and mothers to human trafficking? CO453E
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chair ...
... uziphathe kahle lungu elihloniphekile. [... behave yourself, hon Member.]
Firstly, it is not true that government has been silent regarding human trafficking. In fact we have many instances in which government has decisively intervened, for example, the recent case of rescuing two Malawian children and their return to their family in Mpumalanga. Human trafficking cannot be successfully addressed by any one government department or organisation. There are various departments that have mandates to contribute to the prevention, investigation and sanction of human trafficking and the protection of victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a societal issue which requires all social partners to make a contribution.
Mr V E MTILENI: Minister ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon Mtileni! Order, before you continue.
Mr V E MTILENI: Angicele lo ... [Ubuwelewele.] [Let me ask this one ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, please let me address you. You just stood up and said ngiyabonga mama but you did not want me to call you papa. [Laughter.] We also note that one. [Laughter.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Ngiyaxolisa. Ngiyabonga Ngqongqoshe ohloniphekile. [I apologise. Thank you, hon Minister.]
I have a follow-up on behalf of my colleague. This problem of trafficking has been going on for a very long time and I believe that the Minister might have something tangible with regard to human trafficking. Are you in a position, madam Minister, to tell this House which places in South Africa are seen to be practicing this satanic activity? Do you perhaps know which countries are buying these parts from South Africa? For the fact that this has been going on for a very long time, I believe that you are in a position to answer these small questions. These issues lead to the main problems that we encounter as South Africans. Do you have any list of suspects who might have been apprehended in South Africa, it could be in any province you can come up with which has apprehended some of these suspects?
If I ask these questions perhaps you may be able to resolve this problem which has been carrying on unattended. Lastly, how many, if any, have been charged who have been seen to be taking part in these offences? Will you tell South Africans ... [Interjections.] My last one question, hon Minister ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, on a point of order papa. Hon Mtileni ... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Can you tell South Africans that they are now safe from this barbaric act? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni! Hon Mtileni! You are now on your sixth question and you are supposed to ... [Interjections.] Wait! Wait! Let me address you first. Wait for me hon Mtileni. Listen to me; we have been listening to you. You are supposed to ask one supplementary question and one that is relevant to the question that was asked by hon Mogosi. So, you mentioned words like satanic and actually you have asked six questions.
I don’t know whether the hon Minister is ready to respond to one of those questions if she has an answer, but those are new questions. Hon Mtileni, please take your seat. [Interjections.] Take your seat, hon Mtileni! [Interjections.] Please remember that you are supposed to ask only one supplementary question. Take your seat. Over to you, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chair, hon Mtileni, I am unable to respond to the issues you have raised. In fact I am shocked and I am about to collapse because of some of the things you said. However, going back to the subject matter is that we have seen various cases which have been taken to courts. I might not be able to tell you the numbers but we have had successful prosecutions when it comes to human trafficking but as for other aspects of your question, I am shocked and shivering where I am. Thank you.
Opportunities for women
122. Ms L C Dlamini (Mpumalanga: ANC) asked the Minister of Women in The Presidency:
Whether her department has taken any steps to ensure that women of South Africa are (a) aware of the opportunities provided for them and (b) channelled to such benefits (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, (i) how and (ii) what are the further relevant details? CO424E
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, every department has a responsibility to ensure that all sectors of society, including women, are aware of the services they provide and opportunities available to them.
As the Department of Women, we are involved in various campaigns at this stage, including addressing issues of gender-based violence. We have a campaign which is a year long which deals with issues under #365Days. One of the aims of this campaign is to bring the men of our society on board because we have discovered that there cannot just be a procession of victims without the perpetrators also being identified. That’s part of our campaigns.
Many issues and opportunities have arisen. We have seen that young women, through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, processes .... Access to funding for women is one issue that is very important. I mentioned earlier that we are in partnership with the Department of Agriculture to enable more women to access farming.
South Africa is part of the AU. The AU has declared 2015 as The Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Agenda 2063. Some of the resolutions that were taken talk about making sure that the AU and Africa as a whole reaches parity by 2020.
I must say that, when we talk about progress and decision-making, we are especially proud that the ruling party has a 54% representation of women in the NCOP. This is followed by the EFF on 33% and the Official Opposition with about 23%. It shows where we are as South Africa in terms of our Constitution, which talks about equality. We have the Equality Act and, indeed, some of us are here to advance the interest of women – not as tokens but as real contributors and decision-makers in our country.
Ms Z B NCITHA: Chairperson, let me first thank the Minister. It is true that we know that the ruling party is the one that has been leading, in terms of 50/50 representation. We even influenced the continent in terms of gender equality.
Now, Chair, what I want to ask the Minister is ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Please hold on, hon Ncitha. [Interjections.] Please wait, hon Mtileni. The hon Faber and hon Mtileni are standing on a point of order at the same time. I will take your point of order first, hon Mtileni. Please take your seat, hon Faber. You will follow hon Mtileni if he does not address the point you want to raise.
Mr V E MTILENI: Chair, I just want to know if visitors are allowed to ask questions here. I see a visitor at the other end of this House. Are visitors allowed to ask questions?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, take your seat, hon Mtileni. Let me respond to that one. [Interjections.] Hon Faber, take your seat. Maybe hon Mtileni was not in the House when the House Chair welcomed the hon member in absentia, like it happened with the hon Mokgosi. She is not a visitor in this House; she is an hon Member of this House. Thank you very much.
Mr V E MTILENI: [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): You are forgiven. Take your seat, hon Mtileni. [Interjections.] You are forgiven. Take your seat. Hon Faber?
Mr W F FABER: I rise on a point of order, Chair. I understand that the hon member wants to pose a question, but I would like to ask the member not to make political statements before asking her question. That is definitely not on.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Actually, the hon Faber is out of order because he knows we are allowed to make recommendations after a response from a Minister. Many members have actually been doing so, so the hon member is on track. Continue, mama.
Ms Z B NCITHA: Moving from the points that I have raised first Chair, what I would like to ask the Minister is the issue of making the information available to women, especially in rural areas. In terms of these opportunities that she has referred to, in terms of languages that we use that are really sensitive to those people, especially the people living with disabilities, who cannot hear or who cannot speak ... [Interjection.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Smit?
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, I actually want to assist the hon member. We can’t hear because microphone is there and we cannot hear anything that she is saying.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, my apology, sir. Anyhow, maybe when the hon Minister will give her response she will attend to what you did not hear.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, the issue of reaching out to various sections of South Africa ... Hon member, we will be going out on national dialogues. Part of what we intend to do is to touch all areas of South Africa, including rural areas, so that we can interact not only with urban women, but also reach those remote areas we would normally be unable to reach. This includes reaching disable women, including those who are deaf, and understanding their issues.
One of the things that the department is doing right now is to make sure that a sign language interpreter is available when we attend any public activity, we because we recognise that it is important.
I must also share with you, hon member, what we did on Mandela Day. We distributed wheel chairs here in the Western Cape ...
... phaya eStrand ukuze abantu bethu babone ukuba lo mbutho uyakwazi ukubanceda kwingxaki zokuphila abadibana nazo. [... in Strand so that our people can see that this organisation can help them when they face challenges in life.]
Mr J J LONDT: Chair, the Minister just now quoted statistics and figures of members in this House. Doesn’t the Minister think that it’s an absolute shame that the ruling party – for Questions to the Minister of Women in the Presidency during Women’s Month – cannot even ensure that there is a quorum in the NCOP; that only 13 out of their 31 members consider it worthy of their time to attend this sitting?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): I think that the hon Londt is out of order. Hon Minister, don’t even attempt to answer that Question because we ... [Interjections.] ... no, no, no we are not taking the decisions; the hon members are here to attend to this plenary. We are still in order. Hon Groenewald?
Mr H B GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, to the hon Minister, how many opportunities does the department offer to women? What are the criteria a person must fulfil to qualify for those opportunities? How many women have been beneficiaries of the opportunities the department offers? What measures does the department have in place to evaluate whether the opportunities offered are successful in their outcomes?
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chair, I must explain the responsibility of the department. This is the department which oversees the mainstreaming of gender and women in South Africa in various sectors. So the opportunities which we are responsible for is to make sure women have opportunities in all sectors of South Africa, not in the department. But if you want to know, in the department ... we are a very small department, not huge, but with this big load which we have to deliver in changing and transforming the lives of ordinary women. To transform the lives of ordinary women – that is our responsibility. I am one of those women who has managed to benefit out of the struggles of South Africa. The transformation of making sure women are at the centre of the economy – that’s our responsibility.
We have just published a report which was launched by the President on the status of women in the economy. That report shows the work that is happening in South Africa in the various sectors. I have just mentioned the first black woman to own a mine in South Africa, starting from scratch. That is history, not only in South Africa but also in the world. So we are making history as South Africans, given where we come from and in only 21 years, we have transformed and contributed to the change.
But I must also underline that the road ahead is still long. We need more women. We need to address poverty. We need to make sure that more women are educated. We need to make sure that more women are skilled, because, unfortunately, when Dr Verwoerd took a decision that an African child … an African person … the responsibility of that person was to know English and just to know ‘good morning, sir.’ That was enough. So we also have to address that particular legacy – which has led to where we are today – where our own women could not be anything else except teacher, nurses and social workers.
Democracy has brought opportunities and it has opened South Africa, especially for women. Democracy has changed women’s lives, enabling them to participate in various economies and in various areas, and allowing them to take care of themselves. Not only that, they could own businesses. That is why we see more women participating. But what we have also seen happening in our country is efforts to change those laws which turned women into minors.
Today, women are confident. They are human beings. They are recognised as equals instead of as minors. Today they are fully fledged people.
That’s what our responsibility is in this country. We have to make sure that the struggles of the women of 1956 do not lay fallow without any South Africans benefiting. The significance of the contribution of those women of 1956 is that they and fought repressive laws in a way that was non-racial and non-sexist, and we are the beneficiaries of the struggle of those women of 1956.
Commission for Gender Equality call centre
143. Ms B S Masango (Gauteng: DA) asked the Minister of Women in The Presidency:
How many (a) complaints and (b) fraud reports were (i) received and (ii) handled by the call centre of the Commission for Gender Equality from 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2015? CO446E
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chair, hon Masango, the Gender Commission is a Chapter 9 institution. It does not account to us. It accounts directly to the Parliament’s Chairperson. Therefore, I would propose to the hon member that if there are issues in relation to the Gender Commission they must summon the commission to come and explain all issues which they are asking us. It’s a Chapter 9 institution and we don’t have the authority and mandate to summon them to give us information. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Let me take this opportunity... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: House Chair, I just want to draw the attention of the House to check the way these questions are structured. I think maybe in the long run this is going to affect us. I am challenging you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni don’t you want to speak into the microphone?
Mr V E MTILENI: I am challenging you, hon House Chair, regarding the order that you called. You asked me to sit down when I was asking a question. I wanted to check the order of these questions. Did you check how the last question reads? It leads us to ask subquestions that relate to the main question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): What is your point of order, hon member?
Mr V E MTILENI: My point of order is that I want all of us to check how these questions are structured. Like you said I had so many questions. If you check the last question, subquestion (a) says, “How many complaints” and is followed by (b) “How many fraud reports were ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Mtileni! Hon Mtileni ... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: I want us to ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Mtileni, no, you are out of order. Let me address you, hon Mtileni. You wanted to ask many questions while you were supposed to ask only one supplementary question. It’s not the same as this one. Please, take your seat, hon Mtileni. I heard you, and you are out of order. You are out of order, hon Mtileni. Please, take your seat. Take your seat, hon Mtileni. Hon Mtileni, you are out of order. Take your seat. Well, he and I will see each other when we go back to Limpopo.
Hon members, I would like to take this opportunity and thank our Minister for really taking her time and avail herself to this House so that she can respond to all these many questions. And we have also been blessed by your teaching, mama. Thank you very much.
See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES.
That concludes the business of the day and members are requested to remain standing until the procession has left the Chamber.
The Council adjourned at 18:45.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
FRIDAY, 7 AUGUST 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Calling of Joint Sitting
CALLING OF JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms B Mbete, and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms T R Modise, in terms of Joint Rule 7(2), have called a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament for Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 14:00 to conduct a debate in celebration of National Women’s Day under the theme: Women united in moving South Africa forward.
B MBETE, MP T R MODISE, MP
SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON OF THE
ASSEMBLY NATIONAL COUNCIL OF
TUESDAY, 11 AUGUST 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
- The Speaker and the Chairperson
- Report of the Commission for Gender Equality on the Second MenEngage Global Symposium in New Delhi, India, 10 to 13 November 2014.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
Please see pages 3047-3049 of the ATCs.
National Council of Provinces
Please see pages 3062 of the ATCs.
WEDNESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Classification of Bills by Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM)
- The JTM in terms of Joint Rule 160(6) classified the following Bill as a section 75 Bill:
- Refugees Amendment Bill [B 19 – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 75).
National Council of Provinces
1. Message from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces in respect of Bills passed by Assembly and transmitted to Council
- Bills passed by National Assembly and transmitted for concurrence on 12 August 2015:
- Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill [B 15B – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 77).
The Bills have been referred to the Select Committee on Finance of the National Council of Provinces.
- Referral to Committees of papers tabled
(1) The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations for consideration and report:
(a) Additional Protocol to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between the European Community (EC) and its member states of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, to take account of the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.
(b) Explanatory Memorandum to the Additional Protocol to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between the European Community (EC) and its member states of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, to take account of the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union.
National Council of Provinces
- The Chairperson
- Notice of intervention issued in terms of section 139(4) of the Constitution, 1996 to Oudtshoorn Local Municipality, Western Cape.
Referred to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report.
- Notice of intervention issued in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution, 1996 to Oudtshoorn Local Municipality, Western Cape.
Referred to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report.
- Notice of intervention issued in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution, 1996 to Indaka Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
Referred to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report.
- Notice of intervention issued in terms of section 139(1)(a) of the Constitution, 1996 to Mtubatuba Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2015
National Council of Provinces
1. Message from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces in respect of Bills passed by Assembly and transmitted to Council
(1) Bills passed by National Assembly and transmitted for concurrence on 13 August 2015:
(a) Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill [B 6B – 2014] (National Assembly – sec 76).
- Refugees Amendment Bill [B 19 – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 75).
The Bills have been referred to the Select Committee on Social Services of the National Council of Provinces.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
- The Minister of Trade and Industry
- General Notice No 655, published in Government Gazette No 38911, dated 25 June 2015: Invitation for the public comment on the draft regulations on review of limitations of fees and interest rates, in terms of section 171(2)(a) of the National Credit Act, 2005.
(b) General Notice No 654, published in Government Gazette No 38910, dated 26 June 2015: Department of Trade and Industry: Extension for the public to comment on the National Liquor Policy:
- General Notice No 657, published in Government Gazette No 38915, dated 30 June 2015: Codes of Good Practice on Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment, in terms of section 9(5) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act, 2013 (Act No 46 of 2013).
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