Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 18 Jun 2015
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:02.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I have been informed by the Whippery that there is agreement that there will be no notices of motion or motions without notice, except for the motion that is on the Order Paper.
Order, members! I hate starting a day like this. I have to correct myself. I had been told that there would be no motions. So, I will go straight to asking for the first Order of the Day.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - AGREEMENT ON THE NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF BRAZIL, RUSSIA, INDIA, CHINA AND SOUTH AFRICA
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - TREATY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A BRICS CONTINGENT RESERVE ARRANGEMENT
Mr C J DE BEER: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, in June 2014, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brics, signed the intergovernmental agreement and Articles of Agreement to establish the New Development Bank, NDB. The countries also signed the treaty establishing the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, CRA. The committee welcomes the establishment of the NDB by the Brics countries. We believe that greater infrastructure investment and exchange rate stability can make a significant contribution to economic growth and social development.
The committee understands the various complexities and challenges, but believes that, over time, the NDB should have a more developmental and consultative approach than the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, IMF. It will also need to define its role more specifically in view of the existence of these two other multilateral institutions, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the African Development Bank. There will also be a need to clarify the relationship between the NDB and these other banks.
The committee would like to see the NDB funding more infrastructure projects in Africa. These should have more inclusive economic growth and development targets that contribute towards significantly reducing inequalities, both globally and within countries.
The committee notes that the prospect of South Africa being able to access foreign reserves from other Brics countries in terms of the Contingency Reserve Agreement may serve to reduce the country’s risk of excessive currency depreciation. The nature of the arrangement is such that South Africa can draw on double its contribution to the CRA, which is a more favourable arrangement than for any other contributor.
The committee notes the financial implications of the NDB for the country. A total of US$2 billion – approximately R24 billion at current rates – of the US$10 billion subscribed capital must be paid in seven instalments.
The committee received submissions from stakeholders on the formation of the NDB. The Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Cals, and the Financial and Fiscal Commission, FFC, made submissions. The full presentations are captured in our report in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, ATCs.
The committee supports the values underpinning the proposals of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. The committee agrees in broad terms with its proposals but recognises that they may not all be easy to fully implement at this stage. The committee has at least some sense of the complex dynamics within Brics on the NDB and the need to be pragmatic and incremental in managing this early phase.
The committee made the following observations. The full details of how the country will meet its financial obligations, as incorporated into the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, will only be provided later in the year. It is not yet clear what the costs of setting up the African Regional Centre of the NDB in South Africa will be.
The CRA has a number of possible benefits to the country through effectively expanding South Africa’s access to foreign exchange reserves. However, this is also accompanied by risks if South Africa is called upon to contribute reserves – and the committee would expect to be kept informed of such risks, as appropriate.
A withdrawal of funds from the foreign currency deposit received account for the CRA does not directly affect the National Revenue Fund. The constitutional provision – section 213(2) – requiring that withdrawal of money from the National Revenue Fund be done through an Act of Parliament therefore does not apply, should the CRA be called upon.
In conclusion, the committee believes that National Treasury needs also to give further consideration to the FFC’s submission on the NDB and engage with the FFC on the NDB issues relevant to the FFC’s role. The committee will monitor progress on the New Development Bank, and it believes that consideration needs to be given to the formation of a Brics Parliamentary Forum.
The Select Committee on Finance, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the agreement on the New Development Bank, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996, and the treaty on the contingent reserve arrangement, recommends that the House approve the said agreement and treaty. I so move. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Question put: That the Report on the Agreement on the New Development Bank between the Governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa be adopted.
Declarations of vote:
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chair, on behalf of the Western Cape, we would like to make the following declaration on the Brics New Development Bank.
The re-establishment of the Brics New Development Bank to fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects within member countries and throughout countries with special interest to Brics will initially be capitalised by US$100 billion. This initiative, as proposed by Brics, will need authorised capital of approximately R1,2 trillion, of which the South African contribution is US$10 million. This is approximately R120 billion or 13,5% of our national budget.
Whilst the DA supports infrastructure development and sustainable projects throughout Africa to accelerate trade relations and economic growth, we do not support investment where the costs outweigh the benefits. This will be a major risk to the South African taxpayer and still has more questions than answers on how it will benefit our country.
In comparison to South Africa’s capital contribution relative to our national budget, other Brics countries will be contributing far less. Brazil will contribute 2%; Russia, 2,4%; India, 4,7%; and China, 0,8%. It is clear that South Africa will be at a far greater risk, specifically when it comes to our financial sustainability as a developing country. South Africa simply cannot afford this cost and should consider its role within two multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF. Further, it should also look at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the African Development Bank to look into infrastructure needs.
Considering the burden that this cost, yet to be budgeted for, might place on our GDP and our people, the DA-led Western Cape government cannot support this ratification of this agreement. Thank you.
Ms T WANA: Good afternoon, Chairperson, on behalf of the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape is the province of the legend. This is an ideology and we cannot go every now and then to the IMF because money is scarce. Those agreements that are there are making our country very poor. As I stand here on behalf of the Eastern Cape, I say we support Brics. Let us do things differently, because we are a revolutionary and developmental type of country. We thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: It is deliberately misleading society to say that $10 million is equal to $100 billion. That is not true.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Alright. [Interjections.] The ... I am trying to wrap my mind around the arithmetic and mathematics of it, hon members! I think we should then have somebody calculating it so that we can see whether the hon member has, indeed, misled the House. [Interjections.] Yes, 120 million. It would seem to me, hon Labuschagne, that your mathematics is worse than my arithmetic! [Interjections.] Do you accept the figures, hon Labuschagne?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: I don’t.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Do you maintain that 10 times the amount given is 120 billion - 10 billion? ... [Interjections.] Hon members, alright, alright. I have accepted that I am on arithmetic and you are on mathematics. Can I just double-check the figures and come back to you on this one, so that we don’t continue to eat into our time on this matter? [Interjections.] Hon Van Lingen, if you are rising on this, I would ask you to just hold on. [Interjections.] Members, please!
Mpumalanga, you were next. [Interjections.] Order, members! Order! Mpumalanga, do you wish to make a declaration? [Interjections.] Is there any other province wishing to make a declaration? None.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West.
AGAINST: Western Cape.
Report on Agreement on the New Development Bank between the Governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Question put: That the Report on the Treaty for the Establishment of a Brics Contingent Reserve Arrangement be adopted.
Declaration of vote:
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of Western Cape DA, we would like to make the following declaration on the Brics contingent reserve arrangement. Whilst it is important that South Africa has access to an emergency fund in case we experience a shortfall in our foreign exchange reserves, we simply cannot afford the ring-fenced portion and the risks associated with it, based on market stability and currency fluctuations. South Africa will be required to ring-fence some R60 billion in our foreign exchange reserves. This is 11,52% of our current foreign reserves.
As a developing country, South Africa is disproportionately affected by volatility in international markets, with a crisis in one country often causing disinvestment in all developing economies as investors move to more stable environments.
A major risk that applies to South Africa is that if one of our Brics partners experiences a sudden shortfall in foreign exchange reserves, South Africa will be circumscribed by this treaty to provide them with our precious reserves in exchange for the equivalent in their domestic currency. Russia is a case in point. Since 2014 the Russian rouble has depreciated by more than 85% against the US dollar. This is a clear risk. Furthermore, both Moody’s and Fitch have predicted a negative outlook on South Africa, with Standard & Poor’s putting us just above junk status.
These risks are far too great to ignore. Therefore the DA Western Cape government does not support the ratification of the Brics contingent reserve. Thank you.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West.
AGAINST: Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Vote No 9: Public Enterprises:
Vote No 32: Telecommunications and Postal Services:
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister present here, chairperson of the select committee, hon members, my acting director-general and the deputy directors-general present from the department, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, the Department of Public Enterprises is somewhat unusual. It does not deliver services directly to citizens or private companies. However, its work, when executed effectively, has a profound positive impact on the quality of life of all citizens, businesses and the economy as a whole.
Last month I delivered a Budget Vote to the National Assembly meant to highlight our departmental activities for the past and the incoming financial years. Today, I would like communicate with this honourable House with a special focus on the Department of Public Enterprises’ activities in all our provinces.
Formally, the sole purpose of this department was to assist the Minister to play her role as the designated representative of government in relation to Eskom, Transnet, Denel, SA Express, the SA Forestry Company, Alexkor and the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Company. For periods in the past fiscal year, this also included SA Airways and Broadband Infraco.
Today, I would like my department’s work to find relevance with this House. This House monitors our relationship with provincial governments and ensures that contact is increased. In giving a glimpse of our activities, I intend to keep it high-level and to report largely for myself and Deputy Minister Magwanishe.
Allow me to say that what had to be been done was to internally increase our capability to do oversight of the state-owned companies, or SOCs. The department has adopted a three-point strategy over this Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period. Currently, we are stabilising our state-owned companies by strengthening the boards and adapting the department’s structure. This is in order to become more responsive to the environment that we are operating in.
The department has amended its strategic plan to enhance its operational imperatives. This plan focuses on, amongst many things, improving the performance of the portfolio to ensure that the companies can efficiently and effectively carry out their mandates. This recognises the role that SOCs need to play in the current economic context to support the aspirations of the developmental state.
The department, through the intergovernmental unit, initiated the Provincial Engagement Programme aimed at ensuring that the SOCs reporting to the department and the provincial governments are strategically and operationally aligned so as to optimise joint developmental impact.
To date, eight provinces have been engaged in terms of which various issues have been identified, ranging from infrastructure, energy, and logistics to economic opportunities and small and emerging entrepreneurs. This will continue in the next fiscal year. In fact, the SOCs’ asset base is R755 billion. So we sit on a national asset base of R755 billion. About R740 billion is between Transnet and Eskom. So, whatever the state-owned companies do, they find expression in all of our provinces. So the importance of oversight over state-owned companies’ work within our provinces is really very important.
Let me just briefly touch on some of the activities in the provinces. In the Eastern Cape we hosted a variety of events, which included electricity and expansions at the Port of Ngqurha. The Vuyani substation, which is worth R392 million, was launched in Mthatha. The province’s biggest substation has strengthened the electricity supply network of the Eastern Cape. In the Port of Ngqurha, berths 3 and 4 were officially opened by Transnet. This expansion amounted to R2 billion, and to date Transnet has invested R12 billion in developing the port. That includes dredging, because the port is now becoming one of the two deepest ports in the country.
In Gauteng, the economic hub of the country, we hosted the handover of the last of 95 electric locomotives that were recently received in Koedoespoort by Transnet Engineering. The contract of R3 billion was awarded to a Chinese company. It is significant, though, that 85 of the 95 units were assembled locally and some 65% of the total contract, or R1,7 billion in value, involved the supply of components and services by South African firms.
Eskom, in partnership with the province of Gauteng, is continuing its investment of R6,056 billion over a period of four years, that is: 2014-15 to 2017-18, to ensure security of supply to Gauteng and to support key strategic infrastructure projects.
Last year, Transnet’s Maritime School of Excellence inducted its first intake of 83 trainees in various maritime disciplines in KwaZulu-Natal. This is the first time Transnet has taken charge of training and employing its own aviation pilots.
In the North West, Transnet Engineering launched its ground-breaking level crossing system, which will provide a much-needed solution to railway-level-crossing fatalities and incidents in Rustenberg. The technology makes it nearly impossible for a vehicle to cross a railway line by providing physical barriers, preventing vehicles from entering a level crossing when a train is approaching.
Transnet is currently introducing the technology at two sites in the Western Cape at Muldersvlei in Stellenbosch and Chavonnes in Worcester. It is anticipated that the technology will be rolled out to all 4 000 railway crossings in South Africa.
The North West province has been the only province that has not had scheduled flight service operations despite its potential for trade and tourism. With the recently revamped Mahikeng International Airport, SA Express will be launching a new route between OR Tambo International Airport and Mahikeng. Operations are planned to commence in August 2015 with three weekly round trips.
In Limpopo, Medupi’s Unit 6 is doing very well. The ramp-up towards full capacity has passed the 800 MW milestone. Over the next few weeks, it will deliver the equivalent of more than 40% of the output of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant.
The town of Lephalale has developed into one of the first major towns to be established post apartheid. Eskom has invested R2,3 billion in infrastructure and development in Lephalale, including the building of 995 houses and the purchasing of a further 321 houses, plus upgrades to Lephalale’s two sewage plants and the diverting of the provincial road that passed near the power station. Furthermore, the Medupi Legacy Programme has invested R4,9 billion in procurement and infrastructure development as part of Eskom’s goal of ensuring a positive socioeconomic legacy for the area and its communities.
In Mpumalanga an advanced feasibility study is being conducted for the establishment of a strategic rail link from Mpumalanga to Swaziland as part of the Maputo Corridor between South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. The project will cover a distance of approximately 150 kilometres of rail and will also serve as an alternative general freight line to Richards Bay, freeing up capacity on export coal lines and creating an alternative route to and from Maputo.
In the Northern Cape, Transnet was involved in two major infrastructure launches. Firstly, the Kamfersdam Manganese Export Railway Line was reopened after about 1,5 kilometres of railway track was submerged in water in 2011. The reopening means that the number of trains running on the line has increased from 18 to 24 trains per day. Secondly, a wagon facility and a youth precinct were launched in De Aar. The initiative by Transnet Engineering, through the investment made, established the Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility that will maintain various types of wagons for Transnet Freight Rail.
An additional investment of R3 million was made available to establish a youth precinct where shelter is given to 20 homeless boys for six months, within which time the rehabilitation process happens. Six months later the next 20 homeless boys are allowed to come to the centre.
The government has set an example with Alexander Bay on what it means to revitalise depressed mining communities after the land claim settlement with the Richtersveld communities in the Northern Cape. The settlement required government to upgrade the Alexander Bay mining town township into a formal town, which would be incorporated into the Richtersveld Municipality. To date, R130 million has been spent by Alexkor in upgrading the town’s road network including the installation of basic services such as street lights and storm and waste-water systems, including establishing a sewerage treatment plant, an electrical and water reticulation system, and the rezoning and registration of properties.
In December 2014, Eskom successfully completed the construction of the 100 MW Sere Wind Farm near Koekenaap on the West Coast in the Western Cape. What pleased me most was that the project was delivered ahead of schedule and within budget. I am really very grateful to the team that worked there.
In this financial year, we also launched the second Transnet business Hub in Saldanha Bay. Transnet is committed to rolling out enterprise development hubs to other provinces and will replicate this programme across South Africa, particularly in rural and poorer economic areas over the next few years.
Saldanha Bay and the surrounding areas will also benefit from Operation Phakisa. These are exciting Transnet projects that should catapult the economy of this region to another level. Transnet and the private sector collectively will invest about R13,2 billion and this is expected to create about 15 000 jobs on the West Coast.
Chairperson, allow me to make a few observations about the respective state of the provinces’ addresses. The critical issues raised by the premiers in their 2015 state of the province addresses covered the following sectors: energy, transport, infrastructure, mining and manufacturing. The main crosscutting elements found were, firstly, energy with respect to energy generation, alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and debt collection by municipalities. Secondly, the issue addressed in most provinces was transport, with the focus on directing funds to road construction, and to the widening and maintenance thereof. KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng are working with Transnet to expedite migration from road to rail in order to relieve pressure on road networks.
The third crosscutting element is on the strategic infrastructure projects whereby provinces have undertaken projects in road construction and maintenance, industrial corridors, and in the generation of renewables such as solar, hydro and wind energy.
Corporate Social Investment, or CSI, has received serious attention to enhance focus on transformation, thus the importance of ensuring the alignment of state-owned enterprises’ CSI contributions towards the achievement of national objectives and the empowerment of disadvantaged communities.
State-owned enterprises, with the Department of Public Enterprises’ portfolios, have collectively spent approximately R430 million as a contribution across the length and breadth of our country, bringing hope in empowering communities. About 50% of the funds have been a direct investment in improving the quality of education through various interventions, including the installation of Telematics systems in schools.
During 2014-15, three schools were connected: Harding High School and Zikode Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal and the Vaal Reefs Technical High School in the North West.
Let me move to our state-owned companies and what they are planning in this financial year. The forecast of Transnet’s performance over the 2014-15 fiscal year on the freight rail side is that it is expected to have moved approximately 225 million tonnes, a 7% year-on-year volume growth. Container volumes for the 2014-15 financial year are likely to be slightly below target at approximately 4,6 million 20-foot equivalent units. Transnet Pipelines is expected to achieve the 2014-15 volume target of 16,7 billion litres, and during this fiscal year the department and I expect the General Freight Business volumes to increase by 18% given that about half of Transnet’s market-driven strategy capital investments has been allocated to this area.
Denel continues to show a pleasing improvement in financial performance. Its subsidiary, Denel Aerostructures, is on course to achieve break-even in the next fiscal year. With an order book of R30 billion, Denel is on solid footing.
While the SA Express Airline still requires high care, the support provided by the department and the National Treasury over the past year has given us reason to be cautiously optimistic. However, the future viability of SA Express is intrinsically linked to SA Airways.
All signs are there that Eskom has turned the corner. Since December last year, the availability of Eskom’s plant performance has improved from 65% to 75%. Going forward, Eskom plans to continue with its maintenance programme in an effort to reduce the backlog that has accumulated over the past few years. Most importantly, it plans to execute the maintenance drive without having to implement load shedding. Now, I am repeating the story that the acting CEO of Eskom gave yesterday, when he said, “How can you do maintenance and not do load shedding at the same time?” The point is, hon members, that load shedding happens when we take the plants off line. What we want to do is to make sure, when the plants must be maintained, that the level of megawatts we take off the grid is enough to keep the lights on. So, the most will be stage 1 load shedding. We have, in the past week, seen that it has been stage 1 and stage 2, but ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, please round up.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chair, I use this opportunity to say thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Chairperson, hon members, and fellow South Africans, it is my pleasure to lead the Policy debate on Budget Vote No 32: Telecommunications and Postal Services in the National Council of Provinces, a year after this new department was established. Information communications technology, ICT, is a critical enabler of development that is strategic in our efforts to achieve the radical socioeconomic transformation necessary to deal with the persistent triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
During his state of the nation address, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma announced the implementation of Phase 1 of the broadband roll-out in eight rural districts. In this first phase of the broadband roll-out, we will be buying broadband services from state-owned entities that will be deploying the infrastructure to connect all government offices or facilities to broadband from 2015 to the end of the 2017 financial year. These districts are Dr Kenneth Kaunda in North West, Gert Sibande in Mpumalanga, O R Tambo in the Eastern Cape, Pixley Ka Isaka Seme in the Northern Cape, Thabo Mofutsanyana in the Free State, Umzinyathi in KwaZulu-Natal, Umgungundlovu in KwaZulu-Natal and Vhembe in Limpopo.
When this announcement was made, we only had high-level plans, and since then we have engaged in a detailed analysis of infrastructure that is available in these districts. In this analysis, we have determined the actual extent of the gaps that exist. This analysis has enabled us to identify the quick-win sites that can be connected in a short space of time. Out of this, we have identified that some of the offices, like schools and clinics, would be a little difficult to connect quickly, but we are determined to connect them because they are far from the infrastructure. The rest of the government offices are in small and bigger towns in these districts with already existing infrastructure close by. We will be using all technologies in order to reach these government offices. While this infrastructure will bring e-government services, it will also, at the same time, assist businesses, particularly small businesses and communities in general, because they would now have infrastructure that currently exists only in big metros closer to them.
We have reviewed the structures at all levels of government. At the national level, the Strategic Integrated Project, SIP, 15 is being strengthened. The department has established the project office to focus on the implementation of this project. We have been working with the premiers at the provincial level where we are establishing the provincial steering committees in partnership with the provincial governments. At a local level, we are establishing task teams to monitor the implementation of this project. I have communicated with the mayors and premiers to ensure their broadband plans are aligned to the national South Africa Connect plan.
In our planning, it has become apparent that, as I have said, the majority of these sites, if checked in terms of numbers, are health clinics and schools. These are the functions which primarily rest at a local and provincial level. Therefore, there is a need for all provincial and local governments to play an active part and to reallocate resources for this broadband purpose. The nationally allocated amount of R750 million over the next three years really will not be sufficient to connect all these offices. This reallocation must also apply to national departments because there is no new money. We must eradicate all duplications and, where necessary, shift resources to enable e-government and ensure that we train our public servants. In short, we are saying that where there had been textbooks, we must shift the resources to e-books, computers and connectivity. We hope that the NCOP will work with us and monitor this progress on the ground, particularly the reprioritisation of resources.
The President also announced the designation of Telkom as the lead agency for the broadband roll-out. We are currently finalising the costing model which must demonstrate value for money, and we are also finalising the governance structure on how this implementing agent would be monitored to ensure that it delivers on time. We are aware that national legislation and the Constitution demand that we must be transparent in the way that we acquire these services. That is exactly what we are doing at this stage. We are not in conflict with the law. The reason that we have selected Telkom is because it is the only agency which has infrastructure in almost every town and village in South Africa, and we do not want to duplicate infrastructure.
The lessons from this first phase of implementation will inform our broadband roll-out to the rest of the country. The department is currently finalising the business case for Phase 2 which will run from 2016 to 2020. All our entities responsible for broadband roll-out have been directed to prioritise their projects in these eight districts. In addition, Broadband Infraco would be spending about R319 million in the coming two years to expand its current network by 1 000 km of fibre and to establish 41 new points of presence, including in rural areas. Noting the challenges experienced by this company, we have advised it to scale down on some of the noncritical projects to enable it to continue as a going concern.
The Universal Service and Access Obligations imposed by the regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa, as part of its license obligations to telecommunications operators are supposed to benefit a total of 5 250 schools in the provinces that will be connected to the internet and be provided with the hardware in the next five years. To date, Icasa has reported that 3 298 schools have been connected. It has come to our attention that not all of these so-called “connected” schools remain connected. So, it is critical that hon members also play an important role in monitoring these schools to ensure that they remain connected.
The connection of all government offices to broadband necessitates that we drive the e-skilling of all public servants. The department will start to co-ordinate digital literacy programmes in the eight pilot districts in order to increase the uptake of the use of these services.
We are in the final stages of establishing the Ikamva National e-Skills Institute, iNeSI, as a legal entity that will drive the e-skills revolution in South Africa to support the uptake of broadband services. The institute already spends about R6 million annually on six colabs, and a total of 5 719 people have been trained in these different ICT areas to date. The iNeSI is engaging with the remaining three provinces of Mpumalanga, North West and the Free State in order to establish colabs in those provinces.
We have finalised the turnaround strategy of the SA Post Office, Sapo, which has been approved by Cabinet. Currently, we are in the process of appointing the board, which we hope we would be able to finalise soon. As you know, we have a new structure, so the next step would be to appoint the seven executives, scaled down from 15, who will drive this organisation. This will enable Sapo to finalise all outstanding matters relating to the vacancies in the management echelon of the entity and to move swiftly to implement all the suggestions in the turnaround strategy.
The turnaround strategy also focuses on a new business model in which the company will focus on revenue generation, taking into account declining mail volumes, on the one hand, and the opportunities in the courier services, e-commerce services and logistics, on the other hand. The turnaround strategy also recommends that we should grow Sapo’s role in the delivery of government services to ensure that all households, particularly those in the rural areas, can access government services through Sapo’s extensive infrastructure network.
In the 2014-15 financial year, Sapo was able to facilitate motor vehicle license renewals in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape, Limpopo and Gauteng. It has also been instrumental in the efficient delivery of textbooks in Limpopo and the Northern Cape. I would like to commend the excellent work done by Sapo in these projects and encourage more provinces to deliver government services through the Post Office.
We have made considerable progress in the process of the corporatisation of the Postbank as a part of our programme for the financial inclusion of all South Africans. We have finalised most of the critical steps, such as the asset and liability separation between the Postbank and Sapo. We have done the five-year cash projections. We are currently finalising the fit and proper assessment of prospective board members as a requirement of the Reserve Bank. We are also finalising the process of the bank holding company in line with the South African Postbank Limited Act.
The ANC government remains committed to ensuring that the 11 million South Africans who do not have access to financial services in the formal banking sector are able to access services, such as personal loans, finance for small businesses, and general banking facilities such as savings accounts.
The national ICT Policy Review Panel has submitted its final report on the recommendations that we will consider to develop comprehensive legislation clearly delineating South Africa’s approach to the development of a number of policy options for the sector, with others impacting directly on local and provincial government. For example, a rapid deployment policy to unlock bottlenecks at local government level for obtaining approval for the deployment of this broadband infrastructure is among the priorities we are considering.
I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of all nine provinces that were very active in the provincial hearings during the policy review. We not only saw officials but the political leadership also sat in and provided valuable contributions. We hope that all of those valuable inputs will assist us in finalising the White Paper, which we aim to do before the end of this financial year.
The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services remains committed to the transformation of the ICT sector, and the process to finalise the establishment of the ICT broad-based black economic empowerment charter council is under way. We aim to meet the deadline, which was set by the Department of Trade and Industry, to establish the charter by October 2015. We remain committed to the ICT Sector Code finalised in 2012, which advocates for a black ownership target of 30% and a target of 5% net profit after tax to be spent on enterprise development initiatives aimed at growing black ICT enterprises.
I am aware of the restructuring that is happening within the ICT sector as both private and public companies strive to remain competitive. The ANC government strongly discourages the loss of jobs during this process. I call upon the management of all companies and organised labour to engage in discussions to minimise job losses whilst they try and remain competitive.
In conclusion, I would like to call on this House and ask that the National Council of Provinces support the Budget Vote for the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms E PRINS: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, one of the policy resolutions of this administration is an emphasis on government’s capacity to effectively manage and co-ordinate the activities of state-owned companies. The establishment of the Presidential Review Committee on state-owned companies in May 2010 clearly outlined the government’s commitment in ensuring that state-owned companies are indeed key drivers in the implementation of government’s policy from the National Development Plan, NDP, to the Industrial Policy Action Plan.
The state-owned companies have been instrumental in the creation of an efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network. Two of our major entities, namely, Transnet and Eskom have been in the forefront of job creation initiatives including spearheading the fight against poverty and inequality.
Transnet’s market demand strategy estimated at more than R300 billion over the next seven years is already at its peak. The infrastructure project is projected to create more than 170 000 jobs this year alone and approximately 540 000 job opportunities over the next seven years. The build programme has set aside R1 billion for the training of artisans, engineers and technicians. If members will take the opportunity and visit Transnet’s rail engineering division at Koedoespoort in Pretoria where most of the training takes place; I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll be impressed by the expertise and levels of training our young women and youth undergo.
Daar word baie gepraat oor Eskom en die uitdagings wat hom in die gesig staar. Die President het vroeër vanjaar in sy staatsrede die regering se plan uiteengelé om die energie besparing van Eskom aan te spreek. Eskom sal egter nie die land se uitdaging ten opsigte van energie kan aanspreek nie. Ons het almal ‘n bydrae om te lewer. Minister Lynn Brown het in haar begrotings toespraak vir die Department van Openbare Ondernemings by ons as Openbare Verteenwoordigers gepleit om weg te bly van kleinlike party politiek wanneer dit kom by sake van nasionale belang. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[There is a lot of talk about Eskom and the challenges it faces. Earlier this year during the state of the nation address, the President expounded on government’s plan in addressing Eskom’s energy saving. Eskom will, however, not be able to address the country’s challenge in terms of energy. We all have a contribution to make. Minister Lynn Brown pleaded with us during her Budget Vote speech for the Department of Public Enterprises to avoid party politics when dealing with matters of national interest.]
The responsibility to ensure that Eskom’s generation capacity is at its optimum and that we do not, in the near future, suffer black outs, is an effort that requires all of us. Our attitude to finger pointing has the negative effect to conveying the wrong message to both our local and international stakeholders. International investors and rating agencies could easily view such discord as justification for classifying our country as high risk. After everyone has had a chance to bluster, posture, and pontificate, we are left with one basic question: Is it in our national interest?
Eskom’s energy constrains might have overshadowed the utility’s mega projects. The construction of Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo, and Kusile power station in Mpumalanga stand at a total cost of more than R350 billion. On completion, Medupi power station will be the fourth largest power station in the world producing 4 800 megawatts. The project has already transformed the community of Lephalale into an economic hub and drastically changed the lives of the locals from women, youth, small, micro and medium entrepreneurs among other beneficiaries. Eskom has also spent some R815 million on local site procurement contracts. I am not going to refer to the other infrastructure development because the hon Minister also referred to that. The Medupi contractors have spent R1,3 billion on procurement from Lephalale suppliers since the commencement of the project. Contractors, including Hitachi, Murray & Roberts and Aveng Grinaker-LTA have invested in skills training centres in Lephalale. The result has been that previously unskilled and unemployed people in local areas have become productive workers at Medupi, contributing to the economic improvement of their families and communities and with skills that they can use for future employment. “When I walk around the Medupi site, I can point out the things I have had a hand in building. It is an amazing feeling to be part of such big milestones,” said Lincoln Mohlaka who is now a certified artisan boilermaker at Medupi. To date, the Medupi Legacy Project has trained 38 business owners over the past two years, with another 15 currently in training, suppliers trained 700 artisans in boiler-making, coded welding and pipefitting; facilitated a joint venture between Fedics Site Services and Mooncloud 44 to create some 300 local jobs, producing more than 20 000 meals a day; protected the 5 200 Marapong workers through a joint venture with Born to Protect and Blue Magnolia that employs 137 security personnel.
The Medupi Legacy Project has made us proud. Having said all this, I have to raise my concerns that the latest incident at Medupi, linked to the strike is unacceptable, therefore I call upon the department to ensure that Eskom seriously addresses the issues that concern the workers even if those workers are not directly employed by Eskom. Going forward as a committee, we will put pressure on Eskom to, at least, be attentive to the issues raised by workers.
lndien daar lede in die Huis is wat twyfel het oor die regering se verbintenis om te verseker dat al ons Staatsondernemings (SOE’s) volhoudbare sake-eenhede is, moet u na die geskiedenis van Denel kyk. Die wapenvervaardiger was ook voorheen in ’n soortgelyke situasie as ons lugvaart maatskappye, naamlik SAL en SA Express. Vandag is Denel en Transnet, sy aan sy as die mees winsgewende SOEs en groei daagliks. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[If there are members in the House who doubt the government’s commitment to ensuring that all our state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are sustainable business units, you must look at the history of Denel. The arms manufacturer was previously also in a similar situation to that of our aviation companies, namely SAA and SA Express. Today Denel and Transnet are side by side as the most profitable SOEs and are growing daily.]
It is for these reasons that we caution members of this House, the opposition in particular, that instead of throwing the baby with the bathwater in their calls for privatisation ...
Mr W F FABER on a point of order: Hon Chair, I would love to know if this beautiful hon member would be able to take a question from me on Denel, please; as I know some ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Are you prepared to take a question hon member?
Ms E PRINS: Yes, Chairperson, he can make an appointment outside ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: She is not prepared to take a question.
Mr W F FABER: Clearly she did not get information on Denel.
Ms E PRINS: Can I repeat myself? It is for this reason that we caution members of this House, the opposition in particular, that instead of throwing the baby with the bathwater in their calls for privatisation, rather, give these dedicated and committed executive managers of state-owned companies the opportunity to do their work in implementing their turn-around strategies.
Allow me, at this point, to welcome within our portfolio the new kids on the block ...
Mr J W W JULIUS on a point of order: Hon Chairperson, I heard the speaker saying that you cannot throw [Interjections.] a baby with a bathwater ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: What point are you raising? What point are you raising hon Julius?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I need clarity from the speaker if it is parliamentary to say that you throw a baby with a bathwater?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: That is not a point of order hon member. Can you take your seat?
Ms E PRINS: Allow me, at this point, to welcome within our portfolio the new kids on the block, the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services, the outcome of the Presidential proclamation following the establishment of this Fifth Parliament. In our interaction with the department, we were impressed by their understanding of the huge responsibilities bestowed upon them in taking the country’s information and communications technology, ICT, sector to the next level. They understand this and are very clear that their novelty will not absolve them from hitting the ground running. They are an organised team, diligent and passionate about what they do. As Parliament we have taken note of this, particularly, how they have planned to align ICT policies with the objectives of the NDP.
The NDP is very clear about this country’s ICT vision and declares that; by 2030, ICT will underpin the development of a dynamic information society and knowledge economy that is more inclusive and prosperous. A seamless information infrastructure that will meet the needs of citizens, business and the public sector, providing access to the wide range of services required for effective economic and social participation at a cost and quality, at least, equal to South Africa’s competitors. It is clear from this vision that if electricity is the oxygen of the economy, then ICT is its lifeblood.
We would also like to emphasise the importance of the SA Post Office, Sapo, and the services it provides to our people. The Post Office has carried out its developmental mandate with distinction and some of the challenges it faces especially at operational level are due, in part, to fulfilling this developmental mandate. Our private sector has made it clear that it has no interest in investing in what it calls non-profitable ventures such as providing services to the poor and rural communities of our country, and hence the Post Office remains our only hope to do so.
Sentech on the other hand is not only capable but is ready for the digital migration process. This is marked by the complete upgrade of 178 of its transmitter stations nationwide. The last of Sentech’s Digital Terrestrial Television migration sites in Napier in the Western Cape have also been activated, ensuring digital terrestrial population coverage of 84,23%. The remaining 15,77% of the population will be covered by the direct ...
Mr F ESSACK on a point of order: Hon Chairperson, on a point of clarity, through you, if we could just ask the speaker to clarify digital terrestrial.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: No she can’t. That is not a point of order.
Ms E PRINS: The remaining 15,77% of the population will be covered by the direct to home satellite gap filler solution. We await with great anticipation the Minister’s announcement when our screens will beam digital pictures instead of analogue, with our people celebrating another service delivery milestone in the history of the ANC-led government.
All these projects and activities would not be possible without the required funding and capital as it is the norm for any democratic administration. Ours is no different. That is why we have given the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services’ budget for the 2015-16 financial year a thorough consideration. The more than R1, 4 billion allocated to the Department is in our own view commensurate with the huge responsibilities the department is expected to undertake in the 2015-16 financial year. In the same vein, the Department of Public Enterprises has been allocated R267, 5 million, and a closer look at this figure tell us that the stakes in terms of capacity are heavily stacked against the department.
The Department of Public Enterprises has a staff complement of no less than 300 employees and Eskom alone has more than 40 000 employees. Was it not for the statement made by our Minister of Finance, hon Nhlanhla Nene, when he delivered his Budget Speech for the 2015-16 financial year, early this year that, “Our development path is limited by the resource constraints of the current economic outlook,” we would have expected more financial support towards the Department of Public Enterprises to be able to effectively oversee and monitor all the major state-owned companies under its jurisdiction.
We also welcome the proposed Shareholder Management Bill which will empower the department and clarify the role and mandate of state-owned companies in the economy. We consider it a sheer miracle that the Department of Public Enterprises has been able to effectively discharge its shareholder duties over state-owned companies for so long without a legislation to back it up.
As Parliament, amongst our other oversight activities, we are closely monitoring Eskom’s short, medium and long-term plan in dealing with the country’s energy constraints. The ANC supports the Budget Vote.
Ms B S MASANGO: Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members of council ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Just hold on, hon Masango. Hon Mtileni, what point are you rising on?
Mr V E MTILENI: Chair, on a point of order: I just want to know, is it parliamentary for one member to call another member “darling” when she goes to the podium. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: It is not parliamentary, because, as members, we need to refer to each other as “hon members”. Therefore your point of order is carried. [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Hon Oliphant, ... [Inaudible.] ... darling.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Your point of order is carried. Sit down now, your point of order is carried. It is unparliamentary. [Interjections.] Continue hon Masango.
Ms B S MASANGO: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members of the Counsil, ladies and gentlemen good afternoon. In December 2013 cabinet adopted South Africa Connect the nation’s broadband policy. In his 2014 state of the nation address, the President endorsed the strategy to deliver broadband connectivity as a critical infrastructure through which economic growth and social development could prosper.
These announcements dominated headlines throughout the country inspiring hope for those who were touted as the focus of this endeavour. Yes, hon Minister, these are the rural communities who are desperate to be connected to the rest of the country and the world.
A number of lapses in the implementation of the broadband policy that is meant to create opportunities and show inclusion have undermined the well-publicised programme and as a result brought about despair to the aspiring entrepreneurs and the public that stood to benefit.
While the slowness of the implementation could be understood, given the legislative and policy framework environment that need to be taken into consideration, one wonders if the timing of the announcement should have considered these unavoidable processes.
The implementation of this announcement is attracting less and less headlines, with challenges in the roll-out featuring more prominently than the progress of the roll-out.
During a recent presentation by entities involved in the broadbend roll-out, Broadband Infraco listed the following challenges, among others: securing funding; autonomy of the network; attracting critical and core skills; role of non Information and communications technology, ICT, state-owned companies, with ICT assets and co-ordination of provincial district, metro and municipality broadband roll-out.
A quick look at these challenges suggests that they could have been resolved before making an announcement at the state of the nation address. At least partly or during the announcement, a mention should have been made that these challenges are facing the broadband roll-out processes to prepare all those who will be stakeholders for possible delays. No, this announcement was quickly followed by an applause attracting the slogan: Siyaqhuba’, We Are a Government At Work! [Interjections.]
Broadband roll-out is and has been cited by other departments as one of the key enablers for the successful delivery in their departments as envisaged by the National development Plan, the National Growth Path, the various Strategic Integrated Projects, SIPs, etc. As a cross cutting and enabling platform for both economic developments, they should lead to job creation and infrastructure development. One wonders if those most affected by these will not have their hopes deferred and reduced to despair.
As I do my constituency work in rural Bronkhorstspruit, I cannot ignore the confusion, frustration and desperation of young men and women who have hope in this country but are expressing gradual loss of hope in the government system. They passionately lament over the over concentration of opportunities in cities at the exclusion of those who live in the rural parts of this country. This, they rightly assert, because there are no community newspapers and radios that carry government services and programmes to give detail on progress, challenges and processes of the big promising announcements.
I call on government to act on its announcement of spending 30% of all government adspend on community media because its success in reaching out to far to reach rural communities depends on it.
Coming to the SA Post Office, Sapo, the select committee had a frank and honest presentation by Sapo recently. This we hope would counter the recent reports on the near collapse of the Post Office. The internal and external repercussions of the recent challenges at the Post Office could not be helped by what one Post Office customer called a lack of Ministerial intervention. Loss of revenue, loss of jobs, loss of image, loss of trust are but a few losses that one can list.
The presentation cited key elements such as model, structure and ICT in its turn-around strategy. This is very welcome and we will watch the implementation of the plan closely as some ordinary South African’s livelihoods depend on the Post Office implementing its strategy efficiently and effectively. The membership of Sapo in the international postal service arena means the country is exposed negatively in the global space. Therefore the Ministerial intervention goes beyond undelivered parcels, as mentioned in the customer’s letter, but it goes to the corporate image of the country globally. The achievement of R7,4 billion revenue improvement over three years, as presented by Sapo would go a long way to restore hope in the Post Office by all concerned.
One would ever hope that plans to shed over 5 000 jobs in the implementation of the turnaround strategy have been or are being properly discussed with unions and will not lead to the paralysing industrial action as has been experienced in the recent past.
One would also hope that the department will ensure that those who lead Sapo, are fit for purpose and are prepared to engage with all stakeholders timeously to avoid a repeat of strike action that took place recently.
As I conclude, let me take this opportunity to outline what the DA government would do to restore the hope of South Africans that the ANC is gradually taking away. [Interjections.]
Driven by our values charter of freedom, fairness and opportunity, the DA would encourage private investment in broadband infrastructure by offering tax rebates. We would provide greater access to fast, reliable and affordable internet and telecommunication services in order to add significantly to South Africa’s growth potential. But then, of course, South Africa does not have too long to wait. I thank you. [Applause.]
Nkul V E MTILENI: Inhlekanhi Mutshamaxitulu. Ndzi xeweta na vuendzi hinkwabyo lebyi nga kona eka galari, ndzi ri inhlekanhi na le ka n’wina. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[Mr V E MTILENI: Good afternoon Chairperson. Greetings to all our guests in the gallery, and good afternoon to you too.]
The Ministry of Public Enterprise like the Department of Economic Development is not necessary and must be disbanded. Not only is the existence of the Ministry unnecessary, but the Minister is equally failed to exercise effective shareholder oversight over these state-owned entities. Unless line function departments are responsible for shareholder oversight to ensure that state-owned entities fulfil their developmental mandate, they will continue to be dysfunctional and drain resources through endless guarantees and bailouts.
Eskom must move to the Department of Energy; Denel to the Department of Defence; SA Forestry Company to Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Transnet and SA Airways to Transport, and so on. We are not telling you something new, you know this. Broadband Infraco move to Telecommunications and Postal Services was a correct decision. We are not sure about the rational to move SA Airways to National Treasury instead of Transport, but we know that there’s a lot of confusion in the leadership of the ANC. Excuse me for saying that.
How can we expect any effective oversight over Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy when the Department of Transport is not involved? You are setting yourself to fail. Transnet must make their services more accessible to support local industries with movements of goods, and together with the Department of Transport, they must as well reduce the number of trucks in our roads which are causing accidents day in and day out.
How can you even attempt to improve performance management of boards and executives if you don’t know what they do? Your department spends almost 60% of its budget in administration. What exactly are you administering when you have incompetent boards running some of these state-owned entities, SOEs? In addition ... [Interjections.] ... listen Mama Dlamini. In addition to that, your department has spent more than R100 million on consultants in the last four years for work that line departments can do. Waste of public resources. Isn’t it?
The Eskom’s crisis is a reflection of poor leadership in the ANC that has penetrated deep through government department to state-owned entities. Where were you, Minister, when the cost of Medupi and Kusile escalated to now almost triple the initial projected budgets? Now it is ordinary citizens ... [Laughter.] Listen, that’s why you make it a joke when we talk to you on a serious note. Now it is ordinary citizens who will have to suffer the sickening 25% increase tariffs.
What Eskom is doing is paralysing the economy and will halt support for any possible industrial development, and the economic growth required to ensure localisation of production and beneficiation programmes in mining, transport and other sectors. The plight of workers at Kusile and Medupi who are badly paid and treated in contracts involving Eskom is a clear indication of government that do not care about the workers. The ANC government has no one to blame but themselves.
The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON: Just hold on, hon Mtileni. Hon Nyambi, on what point are you rising?
Mr A J NYAMBI: Ndzi kombela ku vutisa loko Tatana Mtileni a nga swi kota ku teka xivutiso. [I want ask if Mr Mtileni can take a question.]
The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON: Are you prepared to take a question, hon Mtileni?
Mr V E MTILENI: Yes.
Mr A J NYAMBI: As you are assisting telling us and the public about Denel ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON: Hon members, can you listen to the question that he’s putting?
Mr A J NYAMBI: ... and all the state-owned companies. Can you tell the House how many meetings that were done by either a state-owned company or Telecommunications and Postal Services, or Public Enterprise that you have attended as hon Mtileni? Just be honest.
Mr V E MTILENI: I have attended myself.
Mr A J NYAMBI: hon Mtileni ... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: No, no, no, that one I cannot answer. I think you can direct that to the Minister. Yes, you can direct that to the Minister.
The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON: You are interrupting hon Mtileni.
Mr V E MTILENI: The ANC government has no one to blame but themselves, the fact that we have aging infrastructure that requires maintenance and upgrade is not a new revelation. The SA Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, collapsed under Ben Ngubane’s watch; now you have recycled him to Eskom based on what rational it is not clear to us.
The state have an opportunity to implement Freedom Charter by going a step further instead of bailing out dysfunctional state-owned entities, the state can initiate a process of recapitalisation to nationalise strategic sectors. Unless the state has a greater ownership and control over natural monopolies, the ANC government will never achieve massive industrialisation, it is the basics of economic development the ANC need to learn.
Turning Telecommunications and Postal Services into departments has led a fragmentation of some of the most crucial components of communications, leaving the entire department and its entities in disarray. Since the department split about a year ago, both heads of the new departments have not only failed to reintegrate this country’s communication framework and give direction to all stakeholders but ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Your friend is calling order, hon member.
The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON: Just take a seat, hon member. Hon Julius, on what point are you rising?
An HON MEMBER: Ai, you see, that’s what ... [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON: Can you continue with the debate, hon member?
Mr V E MTILENI: Since the department split about a year ago, both heads of the new departments have not only failed to reintegrate this country’s communication framework and give direction to all stakeholders but have spent valuable time fighting over who gets what portion of the Department of Communications. It is no surprise then that this department is unaware of the challenges faced by most of its entities, the issue of Broadband Infraco is a classic example. Broadband Infraco may close in September and this department’s annual performance plan has not only omitted such crucial information but has simply swept the entire entity under the carpet as if it does not exist.
This department does not have a chief financial officer and a similar trend can be observed in its entities where crucial funded positions are vacant or held by unqualified people who have been in acting positions for lengthy periods. This has resulted in the overuse of expensive consultants and crucial components of this department lacking leadership, accountability, planning and co-ordination.
We can only agree, Minister, that access to information offers access to economic and educational opportunities, and has the potential to significantly improve public service delivery across all corners of the country. Access in South Africa however is skewed towards the rich and government continues providing cutting edge infrastructure to well-off communities, avoiding poor and isolated communities that need it the most. Therefore, as the EFF, we do not support Public Enterprise and Telecommunications and Postal Services Budget Vote. Ndza khensa. [Thank you.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES (Dr H B MKHIZE): Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, it is really a pleasure for me to come and debate in this House. I always appreciate this contact because I firmly believe that it gives us a feed of the reality out there - on the ground.
Minister Cwele has laid out the priorities of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. I need to add one thing though, that: Whatever we do, we see the information and communications technologies, ICTs, as an anchor of radical economic transformations. Things that took us many years to do can now be done within ease through the ICTs.
I think I will be missing an opportunity of I don’t express my disappointment in the understanding of what we are all about, from some opposition representation. [Interjections.] We are in the twenty-first year of our democracy. There are lessons that we have learnt. I am surprised that there are members who still think that government is focusing on urban areas.
If I heard Minister Cwele very well, he made special reference to the special districts the most, where the poorest of the poor are found and where unemployment is existent. Those are the areas which make rating agents to say that South Africa is a highly unequal society. That is exactly where we are deploying all our resources to.
I think to stand up here and say that people in rural areas are almost like pathetic and helpless is just a misrepresentation of priorities and the reality out there. So, on our side, when we talk about ICT, it means: The NDP gives us a clear vision that by 2020, we should have 100% broadband penetration. [Applause.] [Interjections.] That is a very important statement because you know that this sector has been driven mainly by the private sector.
Of course, the private sector has done a lot in ensuring that our people in big cities are connected to a large extent. They are able to communicate and to achieve certain objectives. So, the challenge becomes: How soon and how quick can we align with the Freedom Charter to ensure that all people of South Africa are significant beneficiaries of this freedom?
The Minister made reference to one of the projects which are very popular since the legacy project of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. I am happy to say: Out of a total of over 24 000 government schools in the country, more than 5 000 schools have been connected – which is quite a significant percentage. I am not talking about schools in big cities; I am talking about schools in the most remote areas.
When it comes to cities, for instance in Vanderbijlpark: We would go to Radipeo Primary School, a farm school in terms of the development of this country which is a stone throw away from a big city, where people will be neglected. That is where we are deploying our ICTs.
We have been to places like Joe Slovo Freedom High School. Many of you will know where Molteno is. Those are rural areas, far from East London, where you will drive for about two or three hours to arrive at, including the gravel roads. Our state-owned enterprises, SOEs, have been there. When we went there, they showed us that children are already connected.
Some children were invited by Minister Cwele from all over the country during our Budget Vote. They were talking to our SOEs in their own words about how they have benefitted from the work. Our SOEs have had challenges but I must say that we have hugely benefitted from them in terms of ensuring that we don’t only talk.
The hon Masango said the announcement was made prematurely. I think there is a misunderstanding here. As the announcement was made, we were already running. Siyaqhuba! We have been to these schools and we had been looking at the work which has already been done. I can mention many other schools.
Just this past weekend, we were in the area of Kimberley, Groenpunt Primêre Skool: Looking at the school system there; doing the same things; and ensuring that they are connected. We have been to a school called Godide High School at KwaShembe, over the weekend: Where one of our SOEs, Telkom, fully connected the school which is in the middle of nowhere.
The health workers were there as the Minister indicated that these are areas that are a priority. They are driving the National Health Insurance Scheme. So, we now connect not only the school but the health centres as well. The most important thing is that we are moving towards creating localised ICT centres. That is the description that the Minister gave.
We have been talking to our district municipalities because we are avoiding duplication whereby national government has its own regime of technology, the provincial have its own and the local has its own. Then, there will be little impact. So, we see these hubs as a centre of development at a local level.
We talk about Technogirls mentorship as a programme, which means: You identify young kids and expose them to science and technology. However, as part of skilling, you don’t end there. That is where this Ikamva National eSkills Institute, iNeSI, comes in, for giving people skills in broadcasting and where technology skill will be identified. Of course, this includes those who will be assisted to go to universities.
Within these techno hubs, also working in partnership with our companies, with the help of the Centre of Scientific and Industrial Research, we expect enterprise development to take place. Our people need skills for economic inclusion - not only for inclusion - but to also grow within the value chain and be sustainable in their own right.
Our SOEs have been discussing their strategies as to how they want to support this broadband rollout. I have heard about the challenges that the SA Post Office have had, but also, I have heard from the Post Office itself that it is one of those SOEs that is ready to assist with our move as we engage in digital migration.
What is important is that we have youth in those rural communities that we are also paying particular attention to. We do believe that young people tend to be attracted to ICTs. We are determined to fight the unemployment rate of 52,5% to reasonable levels, at least with one digit.
Skills are critical in giving young people an opportunity. The Minister made reference to our Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Transformation Sector Charters, also referred to as BEE Charters. You all know we have had the charters over a long period of time. If people are not skilled however, they sometimes tend to be swallowed by those who are experienced and those who have been players. At the end, whatever they do is not sustainable.
We are doing all these things - taking government to the people - so that ICTs are not isolated but are part of government strategy to be as close to the people as possible. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Chair, hon Ministers, hon members, today’s debate on the Department of Public Enterprises reminds me of Shakespeare’s famous words, “to be or not to be ...” An assessment of the Department of Public Enterprises summarises the situation they are in as follows: The government has defined a radical socioeconomic programme. This requires radical intervention to reposition state-owned enterprises to be able to play a leading role to drive investment critically for overall competitiveness of the economy. The new strategy the department is claiming to have is that they want to stabilise, strengthen and solidify state-owned enterprises.
The department plans to oversee the implementation of catalytic projects and will oversee competitive supplier development programmes as part of deepening industrial capabilities. With the assessment and new strategy presented to the select committee, it is difficult to find all these new focus points in the annual performance plans, APPs. What I know, believe and hope is that we will monitor to ensure that they are there.
An overview of the existing state-owned enterprises shows that the Denel and Transnet are currently operating satisfactorily. Transnet’s market demand strategy entails an important focus on increasing road to rail transport and to increase pot capacity. SA Forestry Company, Salfcol, is in the process of developing a new strategy, namely diversification. Alexkor is refocusing its mandate to support the development of rural areas. Both these enterprises have challenges with land claims and these processes should be managed and monitored closely to ensure freedom, fairness and opportunities to all the role-players, not only the state-owned enterprises.
Despite the significant number of government bailouts, about 11 unsuccessful turnaround strategies, Treasury announced, in January 2015 yet another state guarantee of R6,48 billion, bringing the total amount to R14,4 billion to SA Airways, SAA. This agreement has been done despite the finance Minister’s promising that there would be not further bailouts for the airline in the Mid-Term Budget.
South African Airways has failed to pay a single dividend to the South African government for over 20 years, but has instead been in financial drain although they have stated during an oversight visit last year in October, that they contribute to the country’s GDP. Is it not time that nonessential assets and lease agreements for nonessential plant, property and equipment should be cancelled? The DA believes that interests in the SAA should be listed in a phased manner over a 24-month period to encourage a real turnaround. [Interjections.]
Further crosscutting initiatives can be realised through the sale of the nonessential assets ... [Interjections.] ... state-owned enterprises as well as the partial listing of these companies with the view towards privatisation. Perhaps the time is now to seriously work on the proposed shareholder management Bill as an overarching legislation to empower the department to execute its shareholder management responsibilities and oversight over state-owned companies.
Eskom is a state-owned entity that every citizen is currently very aware of. With the looming cost increases and loadshedding for the next few years it is a burden we all have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Eskom currently operates a monopoly in an unregulated or partly regulated sector. President Zuma referred to the apartheid regime a few times as the only reason for the crisis today. Some experts like Christo Viljoen and Chris Yelland tell the untold story: In 1995 South Africa had 37,6gigawatts generation capacity, which if retained and available would have eliminated today’s loadsheddings. But in December 2014 Eskom could only deliver 24gigawatts of the 28gigawatts needed. What happened to the rest?
A further claim is that a 4,5 million households that have been added to the grid since 1995, which is a wonderful initiative, is now the reason for the crisis. The facts are that the household’s use is low and it added only 5% in demand while capacity went up by 11%. This excuse does not hold water. The real reasons for these crisis is that bold decision making was delayed for too long. The White Paper on Energy in 1998 already predicted an electricity shortage by 2007. Only in 2005 was a decision made to built Medupi and Kusile power stations which were already planned before 1995.
Maladministration, posts for pals and enriching a few elite members of the ANC who, as part of BEEE companies, buy coal from big companies to sell it at escalated cost to Eskom, which contributes to price increase are some of the real reasons for this national crisis.
Hon Chair, all that is history. What needs to be done now is to solve the situation. It is, however, important to acknowledge that the short-term solution to South Africa’ electricity supply shortage does not exist. Not even a War Room’s five point plan focusing on supply and demand, resolving the challenges, demand side management, gas opportunities, cogeneration and Independent Power Producers, IPPs, for coal will do that.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Just hold on, hon Labuschagne. What point are you rising, hon member?
Mr J P PARKIES: Sihlalo, ngifuna ukwazi ukuthi ilunga elihloniphekile lingawemukela yini umbuzo. [I would like to know if the hon member is prepared to take a question.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Are you prepared to take a question, hon member?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: No, hon Chair, maybe at the end when I would still be having time to do so.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: She is not willing to take a question.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Deputy Chair, the Renewal Energy Independent Power Producer Programme was launched in 2011. Four bidding windows opened since 2013. Building of new grid capacity and strengthening of network is needed. A task force has been established to ensure funding for that and we welcome that. Eskom allocated R2,2 billion for the completion of Bid 3 projects to strengthen the network. At the end of February 2015 the capacity of projects connected to the grid stood a 1 685,62megawatts.
Eskom committed to 27 additional IPP projects in the next two years. We can just hope that this IPP projects will not follow the same road as Medupi. We hope that the Department of Enterprises in the strengthening of their focus and oversight, as the Minister alluded to in her speech, will ensure the opposite.
Let us hope that the War Room does not win the battle and lose the war. To prevent South Africa from having further credited downgrades with the subsequent impact, it is imperative to keep Eskom solvent in the immediate future.
The Department of Public Enterprise in the end would like to claim that they stabilised, strengthened and solidified state-owned enterprises. To do so they first have to save South Africa’s Eskom. The DA’s solution is to subdivide Eskom into separate generation and transmission units. Both entities will remain largely or entirely state-owned, yet independent power producers will find willing partners in an electricity distributor focused on procuring electricity from the cheapest most reliable sources. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr A J NYAMBI: Hon Deputy Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Minister, hon members and distinguished guests, I am not going to come here and say people from rural areas, what is happening? I am staying in the rural area and I am still staying there. I was born and bred there. When I was growing up Minister, it took us more than 70km to go to a Post Office. I am from Nkomazi Municipality in Mpumalanga as we are in this House that represent the interests of these provinces. Now there is a Post Office. That is making me to proudly say, South Africa in 2015 is way better than it was before 1994. [Applause.]
Secondly, on 16 June I spent my time with more than 4 000 young people, hon Minister. One of those people through ploughing back, is a product of Transnet Football School of Excellence, Siboniso Sibande currently playing for Bidvest Wits University, he is from that village. So, he organised a tournament for schools. He invited me as a Member of Parliament, MP, to come and be part of that showing what that school of excellence has done. That is why when the department was doing that presentation, we said they must do more to have more of Sibandes not to only quote those that were produced then. South Africa in 2015 its way better than it was before 1994.
I am from Nkomazi Municipality. When Transnet experienced the saga of a train that killed 24 people, it is the area that I stay in. When the department made a commitment that they will come back and make sure that they assist those families, that was done. That is why when the department made a presentation, we said to the department, we would still love to have bursary schemes that will assist those families. It was a clear indication that it is a caring government.
Standing here in front of you, we might be two, three, four or five that are using what the Minister and the Deputy Minister, DM, were using the ipads, not because it is fashionable. I want to talk about the issue of challenge. All of us as MPs were given but I want to reflect that we will always have challenges. We have to be honest when dealing with these things. That is why Isaac Newton once said, the state of perfection can never be achieved in life but we will always deal with challenges.
The difference between negative and quality is that being negative does not mean you are better and being better is quality. So, you must always know the difference between negative and quality. The challenges facing our beloved country are the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Inequality undermines our safety and stability. It undermines our growth and development. It also undermines the society who would like to become.
Hon Minister, allow me to draw from one of your statements where in you stated that the department over the next five years would have assisted the state-owned companies: To accelerate economic growth along an inclusive and sustainable path that would to ensure meaningful black participation in the ownership, control and management of the economy.
These were further reiterated when the department engaged the committee on its budget recently. That is why, when I ask members whether can they take a question, it is because we miss those opportunities and we engage them and they explain to us.
In our continued oversight, we would endeavour to monitor whether or not these remain in your diary for implementation. The rise and fall of the department shall be measured at least on some of these areas and not on any fallacy as articulated by some of our so called hon members. The mission of the department is to provide decisive strategic direction to the state-owned companies, so that their businesses are aligned with the national growth strategies arising out of the National Development Plan, NDP. [Interjections.]
An HON MALE MEMBER: Are you back again?
Mr A J NYAMBI: I am happy you are back we have missed you and you want to cover the time when you were not here. [Interjections.]
Hon Deputy Chairperson, as we interface with the budget of the department today, we acknowledge that yours remains somewhat unusual in that it does not deliver services directly to citizens or private companies. However, its work has a reflective positive impact on the quality of life of all citizens, businesses and the economy as a whole. Perhaps, at the end of this debate, you would have elaborated further on these so that even those that critique without facts, they at least appreciate your modus operandi. We have seen that some among us allow the process of learning ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, hon Nyambi, can you just hold on. We have said it hon members and we will not be tired of keeping on repeating the same thing. There is nothing wrong in hackling it is part of the culture of Parliament and so forth because it makes us lively. But if you interrupt a member on the podium debating, then it becomes out of order. Can we please just allow members to participate and debate? Continue, hon member.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Allow me Deputy Chairperson to say wise words by one of the greatest philosophers and I quote, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” [Interjections.]
We have seen that some among us allow the process of learning after they have exposed their ignorance by passing judgement even on everything that the ANC is doing in our beloved country.
With regards to the SA Forestry Company Limited, Safcol Ltd, we are happy to note that Safcol is undergoing a strategy review for its eventual disposal. It has been progressively proceeding without any reliance on the national fiscus. The company was able to invest R5,1 million on social economic development. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mathys, you are out of order now. Can you please be in order? [Interjections.]
But you are interrupting the speaker and I cannot even hear what the speaker says. Then the next thing there will be a point of order where I will be expected to make a ruling and as a result of that loud conversation or conversing, I would not have been able to hear whether a member is out of order or not. Can you continue hon member?
Mr A J NYAMBI: Hon Deputy Chairperson, strengthening leadership and performance at state-owned companies remains important.
The committee visited Denel on the morning of 23 October 2014. Needless to say, this was a pure committee oversight visit that we had planned as the committee and was subsequently agreed to. Before we could move around to see with our eyes what Denel was doing, we received a thought provoking presentation which was welcomed by all members of the delegation. Of course, including the opposition. It would not surprise me to learn later in the debate that some members of the opposition would speak as if they were not part of that visit.
While at Denel, we learnt that Denel is a holding company, wholly owned by the state as the sole shareholder. The associated business in the Denel Group has equity partnerships with major international companies in the airmotive, aerostructures, and electro-optics and munitions fields.
Denel provides turnkey solutions of defence equipment to her clients by designing, developing, integrating and supporting artillery, munitions, missiles, aerostructures, aircraft maintenance, unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, AVS and optical payloads based on high end technology.
Members of the committee were taken on a site tour to see Denel’s products, capabilities and projects in arms manufacturing. During the tour members of the committee had the opportunity to see different types of 5th generation air darter missiles, with their different features, properties and functions. This include unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems that are guided at ground control and those that have inbuilt software systems that are autonomous and are able to return to the base if they get lost.
Members of the committee also had the privilege to witness one of Denel’s training programmes of young scientists or experts. We were happy to see that. Some of these trainees are seconded to Denel by Armscor while others are identified by Denel from within.
These young scientists are given a budget and a one year timeframe to complete their project. In demonstrating their project the young scientist, a group of five, each explained what she or his role was in the project. The project involved developing a missile aircraft that is ground controlled that can carry more missiles that are normally the case. This we saw with our own eyes.
Uma kungasikuchuba angati kutsi kuchuba bashoni. [Lihlombe.] [If this is not moving forward, then I do not know what they mean about moving forward.] [Applause.]
If this is not good story, I do not know what a good story is.
This is inline with the call made by the President in his state of the nation address where he declared 2015 the year of the Freedom Charter and acceleration of radical economic transformation.
We cannot deny the fact that more work still needs to be done. More so, we wish to encourage local companies to invest at home and capital investments, research and development should be further incentivised and we are confident that this department will deliver on facilitating this important cause.
Before I can conclude, as I said I grew up from a village, in that village, there was an old man owning two tractor and the other tractor was not moving. We had this one that used to assist us with ploughing. So, every time the tractor was passing, the dogs use to buck at it. But as a young boy I could not understand the logic because the dogs were not bucking at the tractor that is standing, but they were bucking at the one that was moving. [Interjections.] Now I have learned that the one that is moving.
Lehambako tiyayikhonkhotsa, lemile tiyayichamela. [They bark at a moving one, they urinate on a stationary one.]
In conclusion, allow me to once again in saying we support the Budget Vote to live the hon members with the wise words as food for thought that as a matter of fact let it always be in you to think that they were advising all of us. It will always remain better to remain quiet and to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. We support this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Minister, the Department of Public Enterprises in its strategic objectives aims to ensure financial viability of the state-owned enterprises, SOEs; ensures that SOEs maintain commercially viable operations; accelerate capital project delivery; maintain strong shareholder position; and the alignment and efficiency across institutional model.
The IFP strongly questions the ability, capacity, dedication and commitment of the department to achieve these objectives. They have just remained objectives on paper over years with very little or no practical results at all. The Chief Whip was once said, “Mitirho ya vulavula”, [Deeds speaks.] I am saying that to the department. The state-owned companies that the department is responsible for are Alexcor, Denel, Eskom, South African Forestry Company Limited, Safcol, South African Airways, SAA and Transnet.
Overseeing the SOEs means that the government is running business on behalf of the people of South Africa. This means that business principles and business ethics should apply. The oversight function of the department over some of these SOEs is very weak, ineffective and worrying. This is evidenced by the manner in which some of them deal with their financial situations and their operations.
The biggest culprits are Eskom and SAA. These two operate and behave as if the finances of the country in the National Treasury are their grandmothers’ homestead, kwagogo. They are both bottomless pits; money only goes in and never comes out; there are no visible financial returns and benefits for the owner, the people of South Africa; and year in and year out, they are sustained on bailouts by government. There are no guarantees that shares put in by the government in the form of cash provide the general public with the required benefits for some foreseeable future.
The state-owned entity, Eskom should be assisting the government initiatives to attract more foreign direct investment to the country by providing power that is convincing, sustainable and effective. Instead the bad reputation of Eskom is amongst the contributing factors to some companies relocating away from South Africa.
As a matter of fact, government has a duty to continue providing financial resources to all our SOEs because they already exist. Therefore there is no option but to continue funding them. However, long-term planning in respect of the management of the SOEs needs to change course for the better. For instance, SAA has just been plugged out of this department to the National Treasury for the hope of better financial management there.
The appropriate line function department to the operations of Eskom is the Department of Energy; for Transnet, it is the Department of Transport; for Denel is the Department of the South African Defence and Military Veterans, etc. Relocating these SOEs to their line function department of operation needs to be considered as a long-term strategy in order to phase out and relieve this department from its failing mandates.
Some of our SOEs like Denel and Transnet are doing relatively well but with all of them combined our businesses do not arrive at the break-even point. This is because there are those of them who treat National Treasury and government as their ATM. They recklessly run their businesses the way they do because when they run into trouble, the ATM is going to say, twi twi [making the sound of the ATM.] and they are suddenly out of trouble. [Laughter.] This is no way to be conducting business.
Most of our parastatals hold near market monopolies but even such circumstances they continue to fail the people of South Africa. Government, through this department is one that appoints boards of directors and CEOs of our SOEs and when they fail, government should be held responsible. Golden handshakes and no accountability must become a relic of the past; never to occur again. But if redeployments after deployments that have gone wrong continue to be the order of the day, South Africa will never be out of this dilemma of nonperforming SOEs.
The new Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, in the IFP’s view, is one department that did not really require any split from the Department of Communication. The department was merely a creation resulting from the ruling party’s agenda to plot government in order to create more reward opportunities for comrades. Be that as it may, now that the department is a reality, it must sort itself out. Whilst the Minister had a blowing fire baptismal through the strike action by the employees in the department we welcome the new initiatives undertaken.
The strategic turnaround plan for the South African Postal Services is the move in the right direction in bringing about positive change. We hope that it will be properly implemented and bear good fruits. It is noticeable that within government itself, two few departments make use of SA Postal Services. SA Postal Services must improve to make itself indispensable and on demand. Embedded in the turnaround strategy, the issue of adequate and efficient postal services provided by South African Postal Services must be promoted and entrenched to make South African Postal Services a viable option.
The hon Minister also comes from a rural area, therefore he will be aware that the infrastructure for telephone services in the rural areas and townships has been vandalised and stolen. South African Postal Services has taken a hard-line position of not repairing the infrastructure there. These have affected services in rural areas and the people in the townships. These hard-line stunts have to be reviewed. There must be better ways to be devised to deal with the wrong doers than to punish communities on service delivery over delinquency actions. The Minister must also ensure that there is stability at the top of management of South African Postal Services. I thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mr A S SINGH: Hon Deputy Chairperson, the hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members of the Council, officials of the state enterprises, guests in the gallery, fellow South Africans, it is indeed a pleasure for me to participate in this debate on Vote No 9 and Vote No 32 focussing on the implementation of the NDP during the 2015-16 financial year.
Since the advent of democracy in 1994, our government has made significant strides to facilitate the transformation and regulation of the information and communications technology, ICT, industry in order to enable our people to easily connect with the global world. This commitment continues to characterise this administration and the establishment of the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services confirming their commitment.
Creating employment and reduction of inequality as a way of achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of which South Africa is one of signatories.
There is now co-ordination and synergy among entities under the department and an interest and willingness on the part of the private sector to work with government to improve the sector of ICT infrastructure. The establishment of the ICT Forum and the private sector’s participation in rolling out internet connectivity by providing schools with computers and enabling rural communities to have access to the internet is testimony to this collective approach.
The Minister mentioned here today that it will take a longer period to get to rural areas as we know that it is more difficult in those areas - but we call the Minister to expedite access to these areas as soon as possible and as the Deputy Minister also emphasised that rural areas need to be taken of as well.
This objective is to establish South Africa as an advanced information society in which ICT tools and information are key drivers. The broadband roll-out project our President referred to in his state of the nation address further confirms government’s commitment that our people should not and will not be left behind in the fast-paced age of technological revolution that is changing every aspect of our lives.
Over the next three years the department is poised to connect all government institutions in the eight district municipalities the President referred to earlier this year. The aim is not only to give people access to ICT services but also to improve service delivery and to change the living conditions of our people.
We welcome the Minister’s announcement that Broadband Infraco has committed R319 million over the next two years to extend its broadband infrastructure by 1 000 kilometres. Members would recall that the aim and purpose for the establishment of Broadband Infraco in 2007 was to provide affordable broadband services to underserviced and underdeveloped sectors of our community, especially rural areas.
We take note of the department of telecommunication and Postal Services’ commitments as outlined in the annual performance and strategic plan which we strongly support. The department commit itself to implementing interventions within the cost to communicate programme of action which is aimed at affordable ICT services to all consumers; implementing ICT capacity building programmes that are focused on supporting community development, health and education sector; monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the SA Post Office turnaround strategy and finalising the gazetting of the White Paper on National Integrated ICT Policy.
This Parliament will hold the department accountable to its commitments and we will also ensure that the services it provides to our people through its entities have real impact to their lives.
Our economic outlook remains stagnant due in part to the slow economic recovery process brought about by the 2008 global economic crisis. The impact of this crisis remains visible in some sectors of the economy and by extension to some of our stateowned companies. I say this, so that we put into context challenges faced by some of our state-owned companies.
Transnet is however, one of our state-owned companies with a solid profit-making track record and continues to do so under tremendous and challenging economic conditions. This utility’s capital expenditure estimated at a total cost of R336 billion for the next seven years is testimony to its resilience as a sustainable business entity under the auspices of the Department of Public Enterprises.
Transnet is embarking on an aggressive Market Demand Strategy, MDS, aimed at addressing capacity constraints with an emphasis on addressing road to rail migration. Capital projects of this strategy include the acquisition of rolling stock, rail expansion, refurbishment and construction of ports and pipeline infrastructure. Job creation, skills development, empowerment and transformation opportunities are all key focus areas of the infrastructure building programme.
We in KwaZulu-Natal welcome the road to rail link between Johannesburg and Durban. This will reduce the volume of trucks on our roads, on the N3 and also reduce accidents on those roads. As the National Council of Provinces, we are also pleased to note that Transnet’s capital projects will have a huge economic impact on provinces.
The utility will spend R141 billion for the 2015-16 financial year, with a provincial split of R14 billion for the Gauteng province, R90 billion for the KwaZulu-Natal province, R39 billion for the Eastern Cape, R15 billion for the Mpumalanga, R1,8 billion for the Northern Cape, R5 billion for the Limpopo, R7 billion for the North West province, R1,2 billion for the Free State and R29 billion for the Western Cape.
Transnet’s MDS brings into focus the utility’s rail engineering division at Koedoespoort in Pretoria. The facility is expected to assemble 599 electric locomotives over the next four years. It will also produce 40 locomotives per month as part of the 1 064 locomotives acquisition programmes that Transnet announced in 2013, resulting to approximately 30 000 job opportunities. Isn’t that a good story to tell? [Interjections.]
Together with the above, we also welcome hon Minister Lynne Brown for her diagnostic approach of the challenges facing some of our state-owned companies and the commitment to address them. This gives us comfort as we understand that an accurate diagnosis will bring about effective remedial action. State-owned companies’ challenges that need to be addressed include: Funding with little or no assistance from the fiscus; the pace and quality of the delivery of capital project; financial sustainability and operational efficiency.
We are proud to announce that Alexkor’s implementation of the deed of settlement which dates back to 2007 is approaching its final phase with the registration and transfer of properties being the only significant outstanding issues. Throughout these phases, Alexkor’s management team has been hard at work, focusing mostly on the sustainability and future of the diamond mining company.
The company is now on a sustainable path following the improved performance of the Pooling and Sharing Joint Venture as well as the R60 million investment of a new diamond processing plant at Muisvlak, Porth Nolloth. The growth in operations of the mine has also changed the socioeconomic conditions of the people in Richtersveld and Porth Nolloth, with the creation of more than 200 job opportunities. Once again, isn’t that a good story to tell? [Interjections.]
Despite these improvements, we are however concerned about Alexkor’s lifespan challenges. I don’t want to start with you again today. [Laughter.] The fact that the company’s mining operations are left with only 10 to 15 years is a matter that requires urgent attention. The company needs to explore new alternative initiatives in business ventures and we hope the matter will be addressed soon.
Our government’s commitment and capacity extends far beyond the limits created by the legacy of the past apartheid. As we gain momentum and continue to traverse this terrain of creating a better life for all our people, we pay tribute to the youth of our country, who on this month in the year 1976 dared to challenge the government of the day and in the process laid down their lives. We salute them.
Our national broadcaster under the Department of Communication continues to be the most reliable and effective broadcaster, giving us the advantage of historical and present day perspectives. As a democratic and diverse nation, we cannot adequately accomplish this mission without a dynamic and viable communication strategy of which the Department of Communication prides itself.
We commend both hon Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Minister Faith Muthambi for their resolve and determination in steadying their ships and bringing stability to the respective departments following the establishment of the new Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services. The smooth reconfiguration process of the two departments in terms of mandates and legislative powers speaks volumes of the calibre of leadership this government is known for and continues to produce good Ministers who can handle these departments.
In our interaction with hon Minister Faith Muthambi, she spelt out her department’s commitment in creating an enabling environment for the provision of inclusive communication services to all South Africans in a manner that promotes socioeconomic development and investment through broadcasting news and print media and other new technological platforms.
We welcome the commitment based on the understanding that government’s communication strategy is the catalyst in promoting nation building, unity and social cohesion. [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
Therefore, we support and pay particular attention to the digital migration process and the completion of the amendments to the Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy in line with the court’s ruling on control systems of the set-top boxes. Once the policy amendment process is complete we expect no further delays as the Minister has already taken into consideration all the concerns raised by stakeholders in the sector. We are also pleased to note that about 5 million of our people who cannot afford the set-top boxes will receive them free of charge. Isn’t that a good story to tell?
We are also closely monitoring all the entities under the Department of Communication, paying close attention to this particular mandates and the role each department is playing.
We support this budget and as I said earlier that this is the month for the youth and this department is empowering the youth in the ICT industry by connecting them globally. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Deputy Chairperson, I am in fact assuming that much of what the opposition parties had said here today was just politics, because I do have to tell you that I find ... [Interjections.]
... I’m not sure whether you’re speaking to me if you shout across the room ... [Interjections.] ...
... but I do want to tell you ... [Interjections.] ...
... Excuse me?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Avoid engaging with her, Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chair, I don’t know how one can speak with just that ... [Inaudible.] ... little voice constantly coming through. [Interjections.]
I do want to say to the hon Labuschagne that she is absolutely right ... [Interjections.]
Mr V E MTILENI: I’m rising on a point of order. Can you advise the Minister not to be cross? These things do happen here. I see that instead of addressing you she is addressing hon ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am ruling that point out of order because I did bring to the attention of the Minister that she should address me.
Mr V E MTILENI: Okay; she seems to be a little bit ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, no, take your seat!
Mr V E MTILENI: Is she okay now?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, take your seat. Hon Mtileni!
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: The hon Mtileni should go to the portfolio committee more often than he ... [Interjections.] We get a lot more sense from that side. However, let me tell the hon Labuschagne that she is absolutely right. The issue around the energy challenge is a combination. It’s a combination of what our President has said. Pre-1994 we had 5,2 million households ... and that happened for about 100 or 90-odd years of Eskom’s life ... only 5,2 million households had access to electricity. The point is that essentially they were white families. Post 1994 our freedom came and we had to equalise this country, and so seven million more households got access to electricity. [Applause.]
Pre-1994 we had a situation where the economy grew at about one per cent. Remember, energy is what helps to drive the economy. Up until 2008 before the economic downturn, our economy was growing at between three per cent and five per cent. The energy drove that economy but the economy also consumed the energy. So of course on the one hand it was all those factors, and it had to do with the transformation of our state and the transformation of the economy.
Of course, there are lots and lots of difficulties that state-owned companies face. Most of those difficulties are difficulties that also have its genesis in the history of state-owned companies. State-owned companies were created over the last 100 years, pre-1994, to help the poor white question in this country. Let’s be frank about it. That is why we have the post office to help the poor white within the post office; so also Eskom, Denel and all these institutions.
However, what happens is that we have got to make sure that the state-owned companies are benefitting the whole country. All South Africans must benefit from state-owned companies. When I say benefit I’m not only speaking about getting a tender. I’m speaking about the fact that 4 000 new engineers have been grown over the last 20 years. New engineers – brand new black, white, coloured and Indian engineers have been grown. It wasn’t only focussed on one race group. It is focussed on what the future holds for us in this country. So state owned companies must be able to drive its own transformation.
Having said that, be careful when you speak as if state-owned companies do not contribute to the economy. It has an asset base of R755 billion ... well, in my portfolio. That is the asset base. It drives the economy and it drives job creation. A total of 63 000 people are employed in Transnet alone, while 43 000 people are employed in Eskom alone. So what we are seeing ...
It doesn’t help colleagues to scream at me. You must be strong ... [Interjections.] ... because we want to transform this country and we will transform the country.
Of course, it’s easy to say, do it this way or do it that way; and black economic empowerment, BEE, this and BEE that. Let me tell you that the largest companies and most companies that actually do business with Eskom are white owned and large, and you find a few companies ... [Interjections.]
Mr W F FABER: Hon Deputy Chair, I would like to know if the Cuban engineers are part of the South Africans that will receive jobs. If the Minister would take a question?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That’s a point for debate. Take your seat, hon member. That’s a point for debate and not a point of order. No, you have forfeited your opportunity to raise whatever you had to raise. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon members, I’m very grateful for this engagement. I want to thank the hon Ellen Prins who very ably leads this select committee. It’s there where we can unpack the detail of this portfolio. To the member of the EFF, it is unfortunate that you have a sense that the department should not exist. You see, the point is that you can’t be a regulator, a policy department as well as a shareholder department. The three issues are issues that come together. When you run the country one day you can change it. [Interjections.]
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Deputy Chair, I would like to know if the Minister is prepared to answer a question on coal purchases?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Come again? On what?
Mr C F B SMIT: Whether the Minister would take a question on the purchase of coal.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: On the purchase of coal?
Mr C F B SMIT: Coal, coal.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: I’m sure the hon member can ask the question in the select committee. A written question would be great, thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: She’s not prepared to.
Mr C F B SMIT: I thought you wouldn’t answer it.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: I’ll be happy to answer it. [Interjections.] Chair, thank you very much. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. In actual fact, hon Smit, I would love to address you. I was not sure but upon reflection I remember the last time that specific sound was used was in reference to calling a dog. Can you clarify that? If that is the case then I would demand that you withdraw it.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Deputy Chair, absolutely not. I will never reflect badly on any member of this Council. I was referring to sweet talk when I made that sound ... sweet talk. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I will definitely have to come back to that in the next sitting, just to satisfy myself. Hon Cwele, please conclude the debate. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Chair person let me take this opportunity to thank the members of the council, for the support and the understanding of the plight of the rural and underserved communities. This is what is driving the ANC government to spend no effort in bridging the digital divide. I agree with hon Prince that the ICT are the life plight of a digital or information society.
It is critical for the development and the competitiveness of a nation. I also agree with hon Masango, that we must support community media; Sentec one of our state owned companies, is doing that with community radio stations. We have assisted them free to connect them to this parliament, so they are watching you as you speak to community radio stations.
I would like to encourage however, that, hon Nyambi to invite hon Masango out the comfort of Bronkhorstspruit in Tshwane Metro, to real rural areas like Nkomazi. Yes, hon members, siyaqhuba. [We are moving forward.] We are in touch with the communities on the ground and they are not in despair like DA, but they are optimistic about the future, under the ANC government.
We have been to Vhembe; we listened, with the government, local government, Mayors and the MECs, listening to the people on the ground.
We have been to Gert Sibande, going to schools in the township, looking at their plight and their challenges in the clinics. We know exactly, their rural police station, what challenges they are facing, so that when we design these things they address the real challenges that are confronting people
We have been to rural Msinga, where those who are already benefiting, those schools. It has changed their lives, those who have got tablets, in that rural Msinga. It has changed those clinics, in those areas.
We have been to St John’s at Mthatha, we have been to Ngangelizwe where we identified that while they are having all the problems in Ngangelizwe they are just less than a kilometre from the fight. So where the police station have to send and fax things to the provincial office, just to get the case numbers. As soon as we connect them, that will be done on the ground.
We have been to Emalahleni, in the Eastern Cape, working with the Mayor there, looking and evaluating the projects which were rolled out by United School Sport of South Africa, Ussasa, and we have seen young ladies, who have improved their businesses in the small business sector, from selling apples. And now they are selling services and they are getting more money.
We have done through those inductions upgraded networks and address all the challenges which were raised by the people in those areas. We are working with the government of Free State for instance, to identify which schools are going to be rationalised, so that we don’t run expensive infrastructure to farm schools, which are going to be rationalised in the near future. We are doing the same with North West; Northern Cape; Gauteng and the Western Cape. We are engaging with their Premiers.
Chair person, a lot of members commended on the broad banding fraco and they were saying, that will be broke by September. Let me just say that, as members of parliament we must be careful, we must assess information we are getting. Broad banding fraco told us last year that, they will be broke by the beginning of this year. We said go and do rework and show us the figures. They changed and say, they will be broke by March, changed to June, changed to September and we have real said they must re-evaluate their business processing and now they are telling us they will have the monies until the end of the financial year.
We must therefore be careful that we are not budgeting instruments, where we can just throw the money. We are aware of the challenges the company is facing and we are anyway rationalising these companies and transforming them. We will address even the critical skills which are needed, like the Chief Financial Officer, CFO. We have made commitment in this parliament that, we will address those challenges.
In short, hon Pearson, we will continue to work with you, because you come from the provinces, you come from the ground. We will continue to give you information, so that when you go to your constituencies, you are armed with real information, so that you can assist us to assist these underdeveloped and underserviced areas.
We must as Mandela has said, avoid digital divide, because sympathy will be worse than the apartheid. We want those rural kids to be the same as kids in the urban areas. We want them to be the same and have the same opportunities, like any other person in the world, I really encouraged by the understanding of the majority of the members that we do need these resources and we have to work together to create a modern information society. I thank you.
Vote No 13 – Women:
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, Chairperson of the Select Committee, hon Mogapi, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour for me and privilege to present the Budget Vote of the Department of Women located in Presidency, Vote 13. May I inform you of our former Director-General; Ms Veliswa Baduza who resigned at the end of January to pursue other career opportunities? I am pleased to introduce our new Director-General, Ms Jenny Schreiner, who was appointed from 1 April 2015. [Applause]
The policy debate takes place as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter, and this must serve as a platform for assessing our achievements in the realisation of a truly non-exist, non-racial, democratic and united South Africa.
Today in South Africa, every man and woman has the right to vote and to be voted for. To this end, the ANC has adopted the gender parity in all of its decision making structures. This has led to increased women representation in Parliament, women representation in this particular House, and the Chairperson of this House is a women. With regards to mayors, we are about 33% in the country. We use the occasion of this Budget Vote debate to encourage other parties in this House and also in its membership to embrace the principle of gender parity.
The AU decision that by 2020, all African countries must have achieved gender parity is important in challenging patriarchy in Africa. It will also ensure that the destruction of the economic and political glass ceiling that restricts women’s progress will be achieved.
I am pleased to announce that the transfer of functions and programmes related to the rights of people with disabilities and of children to the Department of Social Development has been concluded. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Social Development, the Department of Public Service and Administration and National Treasury for their cooperation, guidance and assistance.
In the reconfiguring and the restructuring the department, we have engaged on how to programmatise its mandate in a manner that contributes meaningfully to the achievement of the National Development Plan: Vision 2030 and the various implementation strategies that support the National Development Plan, NDP.
The first phase first phase of the re-alignment and the restructuring process has been finalised with the department tabling the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan in this House.
I have, in April 2015, signed off on a structure aligned to our mandate, which has been approved by the Acting Minister of Public Service and Administration. The next three months will see completion of the job descriptions and skills requirements of the department. This will include skills audit, matching and placing processes of existing staff, and an intense recruitment drive to build the capacity of the department for improved delivery.
The department’s budget for 2015-16 is R187 002 000, of which R67 689 000 is transferred to the Commission for Gender Equality. This leaves the department with an operational budget for 2015-16 of R119 313 000 for this financial year. The money for this financial year is allocated across four budgets interim programmes.
However, going forward, we are reconfiguring the department in accordance with our mandate. In that regards, the new organogram comprise the following: Socio-economic empowerment, Research, Policy, Knowledge Management, which will also incorporate Monitoring and Evaluation, and Outreach.
We note that the budget allocation for the department is inadequate to enable effective planning, and delivery on the key performance areas of the department. Therefore, we intend to engage National Treasury to ensure that we are adequately resourced.
Our mandate, the socio-economic empowerment of women and the advancement of gender equality, requires that we ensure gender mainstreaming in all of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, Outcomes. This task is daunting, but not insurmountable.
We are in the process of reviewing the status of all Gender Focal Points. This will include provincial and local governments. The review will focus on the impact of their work to society and various constituencies. The Gender Focal Points are a critical programme for advancing the work of the department nationally, provincially and locally.
To realise Outcome 14 and the MTSF, which is a nation building and social cohesion, our budget programme structure will be strategically positioned to enable us to continue to fight against structural gender imbalances and patriarchy in all forms and manifestations. The Inter-Ministerial Committee, IMC, on violence against women and children after consultation with the key stakeholders has developed an Integrated National Programme of Action addressing violence against women and children. The purpose of this programme of action is to step up national efforts to stop all forms abuse of women and children. This goal will be achieved through the operation of three main pillars, prevention and protection, response, care and support.
My department will embark on national dialogues reaching out to communities in all provinces. Our main target is rural communities because we want to consciously give a voice to the rural women in ensuring that we bring progress.
The Department of Women has moved away from an event-driven 16 days of Activism on no violence against women and children to a programme that which must happen 365 days. Hence last year we launched #365 days on no violence against women and children campaign, which mobilised members of society, especially men to join hands with government against this scourge with the theme”Count me in”.
In partnership with the Department of Sports and Recreation, we left behind communities parks for children and food gardens and sports people mobilised as ambassadors for no violence against women. In this campaign, we reached out about half a billion people in 46 countries through One Gospel, SABC, ANN7, Etv and other media platforms.
Our August month programme this year will be a build-up towards the 60th Anniversary of the 1956 Women’s march as we celebrate the achievements of women and remember our fallen heroines such as Mama Ruth Mompati. And we want to pay homage to women leaders in the calibre of Charlotte Maxete, Lilian Ngoyi, Hellen Joseph, Amina Cachalia, Ray Alexander Simons, Dorothy Nyembe, Albertina Sisulu, Rahima Moosa, Adelaide Tambo and the rest. Together with all the stakeholders, we will be intensifying the integration of planning of Women’s Month activities to ensure that the outreach is maximised. This August month, we will also release a report on the status of women as promised.
In line with Outcome 14, decent employment through inclusive growth, we will focus on financial inclusion of women in the mainstream economy. This debate could not have come at a more appropriate time as we emerge from the 25th AU Summit of the Heads of State hosted by our country, which convened under the theme:”2015 The Year of the Empowerment of Women Towards Africa Agenda 2063”.
The AU has started to put women at the heart of developmental agenda of our continent through, among others, the African Women’s Decade, 2010 to 2020, and the Africa Agenda 2063.
Our country also hosted two prestigious meetings at the margins of the 25th AU Summit, namely; the 2nd AU High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, and the meeting of the AU Ministers in charge of gender and Women’s Affairs.
The outcome of the two meetings was the Johannesburg Declaration and Call to Action on Financial Inclusion of Women in Agribusiness, which calls Member States to upscale the implementation of the AU instruments and programmes, especially the Africa’s Agenda 2063 and to ensure that women are integrated into the mainstream budgets and economy rather than women’s funds, which confine women to micro business. Further, AU Member States were called to reintroduce agriculture as a field of study, including agribusiness and value chain.
The Summit also called for the hand-held hoe, the grinding stone and the machete to be relegated to the agricultural museums and that technological advanced and innovative instruments and methods in agriculture must be made available for women. One exciting innovation in agriculture is to make tillers available to women, which will ease their use, save time and increase productivity. These tillers, which were given to all the Heads of States could be locally produced and therefore contribute to job creation.
This department will work with the departments of the economic cluster to review the impact of the existing funding models on women’s empowerment in our country. We are concerned that the levels of funding to women is far from adequate and will be working with Development Finance Institutions, DFIs, and all financial institutions that ensure financial inclusion of women in the mainstream economy. Access to funding is critical to empowerment of women in the economy. The department will be in the forefront of determining the modalities of the best practice of women’s financial inclusion.
We will continue to contribute to Outcome 2, a long and healthy life for all South Africans supported through budget programme 2. We will work with the Department of Health in the improvement and reduction of maternal mortality. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Minister of Health about the issues of unequal access to health for women. We are conscious of the causal links between maternal mortality, poverty and access to health services and must make sure that our government takes health services and health infrastructure to where women are.
The department will work with the Department of Social Development to ensure the achievements of Outcome 13, an inclusive and responsive social protection system, with particular emphasis on the burden of housework and care responsibilities on women, particularly in female headed households. The extension of social protection to women and children is a very significant contribution to household income and hence impacts on poverty reduction. The aspects of social protection that include shelters for women, provision of children care are important for releasing women for more effective participation in the economy and society.
May I once more take this opportunity to my Director-General, DG, Ms Jenny Schreiner and her team for their continued support and their sterling work in repositioning the department to meet its new mandate? Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity. [Applause.]
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, on a point of order: The speakers’ list indicates hon Manopole as the chairperson of this committee. I just want some clarity whether this is an honest mistake or whether the House is perhaps just too ashamed to say that the hon gentlemen actually heading the committee of women is actually a man who was recently in the newspaper for beating his girlfriend? Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member Michalakis, the statement has serious undertones, that is the first point. Secondly, the speakers’ list that I have in front of me says hon Manopole Select committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. It doesn’t state its chairperson. So what you have there is something else. Therefore, may we request you to just withdraw that last part because it’s a matter that happened outside there and was reported in the media and we don’t have facts?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, it was reported in the media as a fact but I withdraw.
Ms G M MANOPOLE: Ke a leboga, Modulasetilo. A ke tseye tšhono eno go go leboga mmogo le Semesegolo le Tona Shabangu. [Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity to thank both you and Minister Shabangu.]
NCOP members and special delegates; ladies and gentlemen in the gallery.
Modulasetilo yo o tlotlegang. A ke tseye tšhono eno go tsaya karolo mo ngangisanong ya Boutu ya Tekanyetsokabo ya Bomme. Ke nagana gore e tla newa tšhono e e tshwanetseng, gonne bomme ba tshwara thipa ka fa bogaleng. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[Hon Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity and participate in the debate for Budget Vote for Women. I believe this budget vote will be given the necessary attention because women are very important in our communities.]
Africa Day, which was celebrated on 25 May 2015 is a commemoration of the organisation of the African Union, now African Union. The aim of these formations is for all African countries to collectively address challenges faced by the continent and respective countries. One of the challenges that the continent is faced with is the issue of gender equality. The issue of gender equality is very important for the African Union and, as such, has been declared by the AU as the Year of Women Emancipation and Development towards Agenda 2063 –as the Minister of Women in the Presidency already mentioned.
The African Union Commission, which is the administrative arm of the African Union, is chaired by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. During a consultative workshop held in Addis Ababa in January 2015, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said, and I quote: “If women are emancipated and uplifted, the human race will get better.”
The year 2015 is very significant for the woman for the following reasons: 2015 is the deadline for achievement of the millennium development goals and millennium development goal number three speaks specifically to the promotion of gender equality. The year 2015 is also the deadline for the achievement of goals as specified in the SADC protocol gender and development.
Patriarchy is manifested in different forms in the society. Patriarchy is embedded in the economy in political institutions and ideologies, in legal system, in education and in religious, cultural and social institutions. This supremacy differs from society to society. During the apartheid era in South Africa it included racial opposition as well.
The following are some of the laws passed by the country as a sign to commitment towards achieving gender parity in South Africa: Constitution Act in 1996 that prohibits unfair discrimination against women on the grounds of sex or gender; Employment Equity Act of 1999; Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000; and the South African National Policy Framework for Women Empowerment aAnd Gender Equality of 2000. It is those Acts, policies and frameworks that have been put in place by this government.
Besides the legislative reform, South Africa has established programmes to ensure protection of women. One such programme is the Commission on Gender Equality. This is a Chapter 9 institution set up to advance gender equality in all spheres of society. The CGE receives its funding from the Department of Women.
There are other initiatives ... [Interjections.] ...
... ga le nkutlwe? [... can’t you hear me?]
... by the government to show commitment towards gender equality and emancipation of women, for example there are equality courts, sexual offence courts; Thuthuzela care canters; land commissions and land claim courts etc.
The commitment shown by the country in achieving gender equality is a result of the commitment of the ruling party towards gender and women empowerment. The following are some of the examples that show that the ruling party is committed in ensuring that the majority citizens of this country enjoy the benefits of democracy.
The ANC is the first organisation to introduce the quota system, and this has led to a number of females holding parliamentary seats. Because the ANC is a progressive organisation, during the 53rd ANC conference in Mangaung, it reaffirmed the Polokwane resolution with regard to women, whereby the organisation recommitted itself towards achievement of 50/50 parity. It was then decided that in order to expedite this commitment, there must be a Ministry solely responsible for women.
The Department of Women is mandated to champion the advancement of women socioeconomic empowerment and promotion of gender equality through mainstreaming, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation. The Department of Women achieves its mandate through four programmes, that is: The Department of Women is strategically placed to push the women agenda forward by accelerating the implementation of government policies and programmes towards women’s social, economic and political empowerment and participation on an ongoing basis; accelerating and enhancing the implementation of mechanisms that promote the fight of women and societal transformation on an ongoing basis. These are aligned with the NDP’s outcomes on nation-building and social cohesion.
The Department of Women has received its first stand-alone budget – I should attest to that and also echo what the Minister has said, this is really a minimum budget that has been allocated to this department - allocated vote 13 for the 2015-16 financial year.
The total allocated budget for the 2015-16 is R188 002. A sum of R67 689 million will be transferred to the Commission for Gender Equality, leaving the department with R119 313 million for the achievement of its mandate this financial year.
Ke ne ke sa solofela gore go tla nna jalo. [I didn’t expect that.]
Under Programme 1, the department will ensure good governance and administration. Good governance and administration dictates strict adherence to relevant public sector laws and policies like Public Financial Management Act, supply chain policies as well as Human Resources policies.
The Select Committee on Women will advise the accounting officer – who is brand new – to compile monthly reports on both the financial and nonfinancial performance of the department. This action will assist the department to regularly monitor its spending and performance patterns.
The second programme of the department of women is aimed at addressing the social and economic political barriers faced by South African women in fully attaining their rights. The validation of laws, policies, plans and programmes towards achievement of gender equality is very crucial but without an appropriate budget that addresses specific needs of women and men, all good efforts will be in vain. It is very important to have a budget that is responsive to the different needs of men and women.
A gender responsive budget is not a separate budget for the women and men but is a budget that is carefully planned to achieve gender equality. That is why the Department of Women will be looking at developing standardised gender-responsive budget framework for implementation of all departments.
The third programme of the Department speaks to research and policy analysis. The Department of Women will be conducting research and report on the current socioeconomic status of women and available funding opportunities for women businesses. The department will also analyse sector specific policies to ensure that there is co-ordination between various departments of government.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.” This is what Kofi Annan said.
As the above quote by Kofi Annan says, access to information is a very important empowering tool. The department will also be establishing a resource centre that will serve as a knowledge hub for women. The Department of Women will ensure that this knowledge hub is accessible to all women even those in the rural areas.
The department will also monitor the South African legislation dealing with the issues affecting women. The purpose of this monitoring is tracking implementation of domestic laws. In addition to monitoring implementation of the Department of Women will also evaluate the impact and the effectiveness of the implementation legislation.
Women have always understood that men and women are partners towards the achievement of gender equality. In the 1954 Women’s Charter women vowed as follows, and I quote:
We teach men that they cannot hope to liberate themselves from the evils of the discrimination and prejudice as long as they fail to extend to women complete and unqualified equality in law and in practice.
We note the significant progress of intervention by government to address transformation and emancipation of women in the country, but there is still minimal progress especially in the private sector. We therefore make a clarion call to the private sector to come to the party and let us all push the women agenda forward as partners by implementing the available legislation.
The 2015-16 budget allocation of the department is aimed at improving lives of majority citizens of South Africa to be able to enjoy the gains and democracy as equal partners in all aspects of the society. When women’s issues cut across all sectors of the society, it is very important that all NCOP select committees are vigilant during the oversight functions to ensure that each government department regularly reports on the following: Numbers of women employed in senior management positions within their departments; number of women who have benefited in programmes of each department ... [Interjections]
As the budget articulates the NDP objectives and targets of manifesto, the select committee supports the budget. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, members and the public in the gallery ... [Interjections.] ... yes, I won’t mention the Omar al-Bashir issue; I think we are winning the war there.
The Department of Women in the Presidency could have played a more crucial role in our society still remnant from the inequalities of apartheid. It could have been a beacon of hope for so many women who raised children on their own, our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters alike. It could have championed the rights of a girl child to become oppressed by abuse too early in life. It could have championed the rights of children whose parents do not take responsibility for their care and safety.
This department is one where failed administration is its first priority and where the views of the people it is supposed to protect fall on deaf ears. It happened when this department was started by President Zuma in 2009 and it continued when it was restructured in 2014.
Hon Chairperson, 64% of the 2013-14 budget for the Commission for Gender Equality was spent on the compensation of employees. No wonder there is no money for programmes to uplift women in our communities. This department is supposed to promote, protect and evaluate gender equality. The budget allocation for the Department of Women in the Presidency is R187 million for the 2015-16 financial year and is expected to increase to just over R200 million by the 2017-18 financial year.
AN HON MEMBER: Are you a woman?
The budget for administration ... I am not a women but I respect their rights and that is why I stand here. You don’t have to be women to protect women’s rights and the Minister can bail me out on this one. Please tell your ANC colleague that I don’t have to be a woman to look after women’s rights, Minister. [Laughter.] The budget for administration will increase ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, hon member! Hon Julius, let me remind you that you are protected but please don’t address them; you have to speak to them through me. Continue; you are protected.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you Chairperson. The budget for administration will increase by 102,4%. If this department cannot do anything useful with its current budget, how can this increase be justified?
On the international front, it was announced on 11 May 2015 that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, Ms Rashida Manjoo cancelled her visit to South Africa planned for May because she was unable to confirm the dates of her visit from the South African government. A special rapporteur may only visit nation states upon an invitation and by failing to confirm a date, the South African government forced the cancellation of her visit. This outraged a lot of nongovernmental organisation, NGOs, in our country and we cannot overlook the importance of NGOs in our country because they play a pivotal role in the rights of women and children in this country amongst other things.
The ANC-led government has shown it doesn’t care about our international commitments. Response to the recommendations made by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Cedaw, on the South African 2011 country report is outstanding since 2013.
The 5th periodic country report due to Cedaw in February has not been submitted and moreover the report on the protocol to the African Charter on human and people’s rights, on the rights of women in Africa is also outstanding.
For everyday the ANC ignores its commitment to the international human rights, we fail our communities and ultimately our people not to talk about Omar al-Bashir.
In South Africa, an estimated 9 million children are growing up in single-parent households. The vast majority of households are headed by mothers. About 43% of children in South Africa are raised with only one parent and this represents almost half of the children in our country. My honourable friend here is mocking when we have child-headed households and single parent households.
The DA launched a campaign stating that child maintenance defaulters must pay their bills. We have received very positive feedback from various communities in South Africa. In just three short weeks 20 000 South Africans signed our petition and only later in May did the ANC finally agreed to reinstate clause 11 in the draft Maintenance Amendment Bill, a bill which would allow for blacklisting of defaulting parents.
This department would do well to follow in the DA’s footsteps and champion courses that would allow children to grow up in a home of opportunities. It all starts at home.
Its not secret that the incident of sexual crimes in South Africa is exceptionally high. In 2013-14, almost 63 000 sexual offences were committed. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Talk about the DA one.
Mr J W W JULIUS: It’s strange that when we start talking about sexual offences people starts heckling; it’s a serious matter.
A decrease of 5,6% from the previous year, however, still representing 171 sexual offences committed every day of the year. [Interjections.] We should really do something about it, liaising with other department hon Minister to get this on track.
The DA-run Western Cape has set the bar high in its commitment to women equality. [Interjection.]
An HON MEMBER: Sexual harassment.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Shoes that ANC has proven it cannot fill; the Western Cape Premier’s advancement of youth project, just one example of this. My colleague from the Western Cape hon M Maseko will elaborate on that further.
We cannot ignore the plight of women in our country. We cannot allow maladministration and a lack of political will allow women to be forgotten by the ANC-led government. How long before their voices are heard, how long before we, men and women, may live in a fair society.
Hon Chairperson, there are three further solutions to this department. As the DA, we always give solutions and ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Give us one on sexual harassment.
Mr J W W JULIUS: ... there are three ways that we can further this department. Firstly, in a DA alternative government, we would disband this department due to consistent overexpenditure on administrative and staff costs; secondly, underexpenditure on core programmes and we will save R185 million which we could spend on programmes that would make the real difference in people’s lives; thirdly, a difference based on freedom, fairness and giving people especially women, children and people with disabilities real opportunities for upliftment. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: What is fairness? [Inaudible] ...
Mr J W W JULIUS: We would priorities a holistic national strategic plan through appropriate legislation after engaging victims, community leaders and activist groups. We will furthermore be committed to launching an education and awareness programme aimed at deconstructing the historical legacy of patriarchal culture entrenched in our communities.
The hon Minister must tell us if she is truly committed to this department because the evidence is piling up against her. The department is in disarray. A DA national government is really what the country needs.
In the DA, we focus on equality in everything we do. As the only caring government in South Africa, when we get to the Union Buildings nationally, we will make freedom, fairness and opportunity the top priority. Union buildings, we have arrived. I thank you. [Applause.]
An HON MEMBER: What is fairness?
Moh M C DIKGALE: Mohl Modulasetulo, Tona, Maloko a Lekgotla la Bosetšhaba la Diprofense, baeng ba rena, go boima. Ka segagešo re re ge o apara letlalo la nku o le phiri, o tlile go no ba gagola batho ba. Ge o eya gona ka mo kgauswi ka mo lekgotlatheramolao la Kapa Bophirima, o humana gore baetapele ba gona bontši ke banna. O ipotšiša gore na ge mohl Julius a re DA e hlokomela basadi, ke bafe basadi ba gona. Ga go na bothata. Ma-Afrika ba theeleditše, e bile ba lebeletše, ba a bona. Ba tlile go le bontšha ka mehla gore ANC e a ba hlokomela. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[Mrs M C DIKGALE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, members of the National Council of Provinces, guests in the gallery, things are tough. A wolf in a sheep skin is still a wolf. If you go to the Western Cape Provincial Legislature which is so near, you will find that majority of the members of the provincial legislature are men. You ask yourself a question as to whether the point Julius is claiming that the DA cares for women is valid or not. No problem! South Africans are listening and watching. They will always show you that the ANC cares for them.]
Fifty-nine years ago, over 20 000 fearless women who had been seared by the flames of withering injustice and suffered ... [Interjections] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Hon Dikgale, take your seat.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, would the hon member be prepared to take a question? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: No, hon members. She can respond for herself. Hon Dikgale, are you ready to take a question?
Ms M C DIKGALE: I am not ready, Chairperson. I am ready to debate my speech.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: She is not ready. Take your seat.
Ms M C DIKGALE: ... marched to Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 to present a petition against the carrying of passes. As the women of South Africa, we are truly indebted to the relentless efforts of the women of 1956 under the courageous leadership of the stalwarts of our fight for gender equality such as Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, and Auntie Sophia Williams-De Bruyn.
Allow me to take this moment to pay a laudable voice of tribute to all the women of our nation who continue to carry the torch of resilience in our national quest to wage a fearless battle against all forms of gender discrimination and oppression in our society. Next month on 31 July, our nation will join the masses of women across Africa to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the Pan African Women’s Organisation, Pawo, which was established on 31 July 1962, a year before the formation of the then Organisation of African Unity.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our warm wishes to the Pawo. We want to assure the leadership of the Pawo and women across the African continent that although we will engage somewhere else in our parliamentary work, we will be with them. We will also continue to join the Pawo to lend a laudable voice on the plight of women across the continent especially in the fight against the oppression of the African woman, her people and children.
The ANC has been at the forefront of women struggles by putting forward a vision for a non-sexist society and institutionalising gender equality and women’s empowerment through its policies, its institutional arrangements and intervention measures. As the ANC we waged a concerted battle to ensure that the ideal of gender equality becomes a fundamental tenet of our Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
Our solve to move with utmost speed and determination to mainstreaming gender equality in all sectors of the South African society is informed by our atrocious history, which is steeped in institutional racism where rights, life chances and the distribution of goods and services were predicated along racial lines. It is also a past where respect for the dignity of individuals was determined by the colour of their skin and further within the various racial groupings, by their gender and social status. As the ANC, we hold the ideal to remain the champions of the plight of women sacred because of our lived experiences.
Re bolela ka taba ye re e tsebago, yeo re nago le tsebo ya yona. [This is a fact.]
As the champions of the fight against racism and all forms of human discrimination, the ANC-led government in 1994 took solemn oath to dismantle all forms of apartheid social relations and practices in our society. We made a resolve to continue in our collective path in pursuit of the emancipation of women and wage a rigorous fight to ensure gender equality remains a cardinal goal - an anchor for a free in our democracy. When we adopted the Constitution in 1996 and subsequently a plethora of policies, including the National Policy Framework for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, we made a resolute undertaking to redress a past that instilled a culture where the sociocultural dictates and expectations of all groups defined women to be less deserving and capable than men.
After the demise of apartheid in 1994, we moved with fierce urgency and determination to adopt a Gender Policy Framework, which established guidelines for South Africa as a nation to take action to remedy the atrocious historical legacy of the marginalisation of women in our society. It is these decisive steps that continue to advance our collective effort to put an end to gender discrimination and the marginalisation of women in our society.
Speaking during the country’s first state of the nation address after the first democratic elections in 1994, former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, ushered a resolute pledge for the new democratic government towards the advancement and protection of women in South Africa when he said, “Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”.
Today, as the ANC, we rise with greater humility and pride with the masses of our people that our nation has moved with utmost rigour and determination to lead a global path towards gender mainstreaming and equality. We have demonstrated that our conviction is beyond rhetoric. Today, we take great pride that our nation has moved with utmost speed to have one of the most comprehensive national gender machinery in the world. South Africa is generally acknowledged to be a model of best practice by many countries in the African continent and globally.
Women representation in Parliament increased drastically from 2,7% during apartheid to 27% after the historic 1994 elections. It reached 44% after 2009 general elections. South Africa is number four amongst countries with a highest number of women in Parliament. Today, over 43% of the Cabinet Ministers are women - Cabinet Ministers of the ANC-led government. We have seen a decisive campaign by government to increase the appointment of women into management positions in the public service and state-owned enterprises, including career progression from lower ranks where women are already in the majority.
Despite the enormity of the progress that we have made, many women in our country are still faced with countless challenges and wallowing in the valley of despair. Although gender mainstreaming resulted in the establishment of substantial gender machinery across government, we are concern about poor monitoring in both government and the private sector. We are concern that women remain the face of poverty, unemployment, lack of opportunities, poor health and economic deprivation.
Our society still suffers from the persistence of religious and cultural practices that are discriminatory towards women and girls. Women in rural areas still face the grim reality of practices such as ukuthwala or forced marriages and female genital mutilation. It is clear that the approach of education and advocacy is not yielding the desired outcome. We must ensure that we put a stop to those who continue to force women and girls or dare undermine their bodily integrity and constitutional rights in the name of culture.
We need to move with utmost resilience to ensure that our gender-machinery framework is legally binding and that those who dare appoint an all-male cabinet or, in whatever form, demonstrating their disregard of our national commitment to create an equal society, are made to account. To complete the task of gender equality, we must ensure that the legislative undertaking that we made to the women of South Africa must be accompanied not only by policy measures that promote this constitutional principle, but they should also result in adverse penalties for those who fail to comply.
As the ANC, we want to make a pledge to the women of South Africa that we remain resolute in our resolve and determination to champion the plight and dismantle all forms of gender marginalisation and discrimination in all sectors of our society. We want to reassure the women of South Africa that we shall continue in our quest to fight for their economic emancipation. We shall wage a concerted fight against those who still show disregard of our national resolve and commitment to dismantle apartheid social relations by showing disregard to women. We shall stand tall on the shoulders of our nation to speak against anyone among those who still view women as lesser capable to lead or share whatever platform or position ... [Time expired.]
In conclusion let me say, Wathint’ abafazi wathint’ imbokodo [You srike a woman you strike a rock.]
Ms M MASEKO: WC CHAIRPERSON STANDING COMMITTEE - HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Hon Chairperson, I am very grateful to participate in this significant 2015-16 Budget Vote 13 for the Department of Women. The advancement of women has and will continue to be a personal pursuit in which I actively engage. In opening her Budget Vote speech, hon Shabangu referred to Mme Ruth Mompati’s role in the struggle for liberation. In light of the subject of discussion today, I pay homage to the women of South Africa who are still struggling for liberation in this present day, 21 years into democracy.
I pay homage to the women still struggling for freedom in our constitutionally democratic country. I call to mind the mother of a substance abuser; the mother, sister and daughter of a known gangster; the mother who lost her innocent by-standing child to gang violence; the women who are sole breadwinners on a menial salary; the women who suffered corrective rape due to homophobia; the matric girl who is barred from attending school because of the surrounding gang wars and the women who dream of becoming the president of South Africa.
Are these women truly free or are they still struggling for liberation under the ANC government? In her speech, hon Shabangu asked the late great Mme Ruth to convey messages to the other leaders of the 1956 Women’s March. Today, I ask the hon Minister to tell the mother of the substance abuser in Worcester that she is a prisoner of her circumstance in a democratic republic because the national ANC government is misappropriating funds instead of investing in job creation opportunities in order to alleviate poverty so that the youth does not turn to drugs as an escape from their socioeconomic status.
Can the hon Minister please tell the mother, sister and daughter of the known gangster in Bonteheuwel that they have to continue fearing for their lives and living devalued lives because the SA Police Service under the ANC national government refuses to reinstate specialised units that will combat gangsterism? Can the hon Minister also tell the mothers who have lost innocent children in Lavender Hill as a result of gang violence that the ANC national government delayed or simply did not acknowledge the Western Cape government’s plea to send in the SA Defence Force to stabilise volatile situations in the province due to politicising policing and safety?
Tell the girl in matric that she cannot practice her right to education as the school had to be closed due to gang violence in the area in Manenberg because the ANC has to maintain their alleged gang connections with the likes of Mark Lifman.
Can the hon Minister tell the woman who is the sole breadwinner on a menial salary that the ANC dragged its feet on taking punitive action against maintenance defaulters? The fact that over 9 million men are not adhering to their parental responsibility, places added pressure on single mothers in South Africa. Absent fathers place an extra weight on women and far too often hinder them from accessing opportunities and realising their own dreams.
The financial support of children is the legal and moral duty of both parents. However, this is not always the case and the financial parental responsibility often falls solely on the mother, which in effect is a form of economic abuse against her and by default women in general. The red tape involved in obtaining the financial support legally due to her and her children, is already emotionally draining.
There should not be the added hardship of dealing with secondary trauma from insensitive officials in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Single mothers are to be supported in dealing with their partners, both current and former, when they seek legal assistance in their nonsupport cases. It was only on 19 May 2015 that the ANC finally gave into pressure from the DA’s Women Network, to reinstate ‘Clause 11’ in the draft Maintenance Amendment Bill which enables blacklisting of defaulting parents.
Hon Minister, explain to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community in Khayelitsha why the ANC has remained relatively silent on corrective rape and other homophobic practices. I sincerely hope that the R67 689 000 transferred to the Commission for Gender Equality will be used to redress homophobia, especially in patriarchal societies as well as to fund initiatives promoting tolerance.
Can the hon Minister confirm that it was indeed the ANC Women’s League president, hon Angie Motshekga, who said that South Africa is not ready to have a female president and further motivated with, and I quote:
We know the ANC, we understand the ANC, we understand the ANC processes, and no one wants to go into a futile battle. There are traditions, there are processes and those processes have a long, long life.
If this is so, can the Minister then tell the woman who aspires to be presidents of South Africa that the department’s R187 002 000 budget allocation for 2015-16 will not open opportunities for her to one day be the president because the line between party and state is blurred and national government will rather blindly follow ANC’s directives such as this typical sexist slur. While the hon Minister is at it, can she also please tell the ambitious woman that soon and very soon the DA will be elected as the national government of South Africa and the opportunities will then be opened for her dreams to become a reality.
The women of South Africa need more than only financial support to a governmental department. The women in South Africa need a dedicated commitment from the department to redress the plight of women. The women of South Africa need fairness, opportunity and freedom. The women of South Africa need accountability and transparency from the department and the national government as a whole. Essentially, the women of South Africa needs the national ANC government to stop misappropriating public funds because there is a more dire need for development especially for women in South Africa.
I encourage the minister and her department to consider investing funds from this allocation into best practice models for the empowerment of women.
The Western Cape government has made significant strides in its efforts to redress the plights of women in the province. One such initiative is the Western Cape Premier’s Advancement of Youth, Pay, project. The Pay project provides internships for matriculants, with on-the-job training in government departments for a year. Since its launch in 2011, the project has provided 2 952 young people with the opportunity to gain workplace experience and skills, of which 1 674 were young women.
The Pay project has reaped so much positive benefits and assisted young women to such an extent that President Zuma announced that all government departments, nationally, will be required to follow suit. I urge the Minister and her department to follow through with the President’s request as a matter of urgency because opportunities for women to live lives they can value can no longer be delayed by the National ANC national government. I thank you.
Cllr M C RADEBE (SALGA): Hon Chairperson of NCOP, hon Minister, hon Deputy Chairperson of NCOP, hon Members, ladies and gentlemen. Hon Chairperson, let me start by first paying tribute to our stalwart, patriot Mam Ruth Mompati. We salute her for her contribution and dedication to the emancipation of women in the country.
Hon Chairperson, as organized local government we are very pleased to participate in this debate. We would first like to applaud the Minister’s focus to fight poverty and reduce inequality in line with the vision of National Development Plan. As SALGA we believe that the Department of Women carries one of the most important national Budget Vote mandates. Hon Chair, we are all aware that given the constitutional imperative of gender equality and non-discrimination the South African government has put in place clear targets to enable the advancement of women in political and decision-making positions. We are also aware that as the country we have made substantial progress in increasing the number of women in political offices including the representation in the local government structures. However, it is also true that many challenges still remain that limit the realization of enabling environment that promotes full and effective participation of women in decision-making, policy-making and service delivery.
An important component of legislative scrutiny is to ensure that the budget addresses the needs of women and men equitably. In fact, by failing to take account of the different roles, capabilities and needs of women and men, budgets can reinforce existing inequalities. Strengthening the administration of the Department is very vital as the responsibility to achieve gender equality and to end violence against women requires, not only a clear demonstration of political commitment but also systematic and sustained action backed by strong dedicated and permanent institutional mechanism.
As a way of creating a mechanism to coordinate and give voice to issues of gender in local government, SALGA launched the SALGA Women’s Commission (SWC) in November 2010. It is through the activities of the Women’s Commission that we intend to create a strong foundation on which the stakeholder community can holistically mainstream gender into local government. Therefore, in tackling issues of service delivery, we must also address those specific challenges that relegate women to a subordinate status and impede their empowerment. Leadership and decision making cannot be addressed simply by the enabling women to vote and hold political office. Substantive changes need to be made, leading to women’s empowerment at the social, political and economic levels.
Establishing the gender equality in the long term relies on the numerous legal reforms. Affirmative action and quotas are best practice examples that have begun to correct the gender imbalances in many countries in the region through constitutional mandates, electoral laws and voluntary party commitment. It is critical that the Department of Women establishes mechanism to effectively implement and monitor enforcements of pro women laws, quotas and affirmative provision where they exist at all levels. Research and documentation of the women realities and experience is necessary to establish the impact, identify challenges and gaps that need to be addressed. Documenting these experience will be a strategy which will be used to address policy gaps and inform appropriate programmes to address the gaps.
The Department should continue to monitor the representation of women across all occupational categories and further develop women- specific indicators to be integrated into the government-wide monitoring and evaluation system. Furthermore, the Department should be empowered and supported to monitor the implementation of international, continental and national commitments and legislation in relation to the issues of gender equality and equity. In executing this responsibility, the Department must ensure that these pieces of legislation and commitment are integrated into the Department’s Annual Performance Plan and Municipal Integrated Development Plan.
Government in partnership with civil society should work together to conduct outreach programmes to sensitize women about political rights and responsibilities. While women are increasingly using constitutional and legal frameworks, lack of awareness of these provisions remains an obstacle that prevents women from fully enjoying these provisions. Therefore, increased political participation requires a thorough understanding of the country’s political context and formalization of spaces for citizen participation. Information sharing strategy is essential for the collection and dissemination of the information and this should serve as a vehicle for increasing awareness.
The move from event-driven 16 Days of Activism on no violence against women and children to a programme that must happen 365 days is applauded. The African Union Heads of States has committed themselves to take action for advancing the status of women in Africa. Local government has a key role and responsibility in the implementation of international conventions and agreements.
In conclusion, hon Chairperson, let us acknowledge that the mammoth task of achieving the gender equality and equity in our country cannot be performed by hon Minister Shabangu and the Department alone. SALGA intends to contribute to the solution and would therefore like to express our clear and deliberate commitment as organized local government to doing our part to make this happen.
Malibongwe! [Praise!] [Applause.]
Mr D L XIMBI: Chairperson, ...
Wathinta abafazi, wathint’ imbokotho. Uza kufa! [You strike women, you strike a rock. You will die!]
... Chief Whip of the ANC, Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, hon members, VIP quests in the gallery, ...
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson, on a point of order: I want to check whether we have a Chief Whip of the ANC in the House or do we have a Chief Whip of the NCOP.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): We do have a Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces.
Mr D L XIMBI: In South Africa, ...
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni. Sorry, hon Ximbi. [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni, ... [Interjections.]
Mr D L XIMBI: Chief Whip of the NCOP. I withdraw. [Interjections.]
Uza kutya ni ke ngoku? [What are you going to eat then?]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, why are you standing?
Mr V E MTILENI: House Chair, may you please ask him to withdraw? There is no Chief Whip of the ANC.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, there is nothing wrong. He said it correctly. It is the Chief Whip of the NCOP, but it is a member of the ANC.
Mr V E MTILENI: His mouth is full of ANC, ANC, ANC ...
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): It is the Chief Whip of the NCOP.
Mr V E MTILENI: ...even when ... [Inaudible.] ... in the House. His mouth is full of ANC, ANC, ANC. Take that off your mind. [Interjections.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, take your seat. [Interjections.] Hon Dikgale!
Mr D L XIMBI: In South Africa, Child Protection Week was 31 May 2015 to 7 June 2015. The theme for this year’s Child Protection Week was, Working Together to Protect Children. The aim of Child Protection Week was to intensify public focus on the protection of children and mobilising communities to work together to protect children.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mathys, why are you standing?
Ms L MATHYS: Chairperson, I am just a bit confused. I though we were doing the Appropriation Bill for Women and not for women and children. My understanding is that the Ministry has been separated now. It is no longer women and children. [Interjections.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mathys, there is nothing wrong. Can you take your seat? It is part of the debate.
Mr D L XIMBI: The involvement of South Africa in Child Protection Week is a result of ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. South Africa as a member state is expected to ensure that children in South Africa are protected. [Interjections.]
June 1 was International Children’s Day. South Africa was amongst the countries that celebrated International Children’s Day. International Children’s Day was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation in Moscow in 1949. Its creation is also in line with the adoption of the Unite Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The significance of talking about children during a Budget Vote for the Department of Women is premised on the following: women are still majority primary care givers of children; according to Statistics SA, about 41,9% of black children are living in female-headed households; and it is reported that poverty is high among women, especially in the female-headed households.
The issue of women empowerment in South Africa has been incorporated into various national, regional and international legislative frameworks, and programmes, plans and various equity mechanisms have been introduced by this government of the ANC. Despite all the efforts by the South African government, there are still a number of women who have not yet benefitted from the gains of democracy.
The above-mentioned statistics are an indication that there is still a need to intensify efforts towards women’s emancipation. The establishment of a Ministry responsible for women is a further commitment by the ANC government to push the women agenda forward.
The Department of Women is strategically placed to confront these challenges head-on and the allocated budget for 2015-16 will ensure that the emancipation of women in South Africa is a reality for all women in the country.
Programme 2 of the Department of Women is about ensuring that women are empowered socially, economically and politically. The Department of Women will be developing sets of intervention plans aimed at increasing women’s access to and participation in the infrastructure value chain, food security and business funding opportunities. [Interjections.]
Makhe nditshintshe ndigoduke. Sihlalo, apha sithetha ngamakhosikazi. Asithethi ngoonotsibidyokhwe. Sithetha ngamakhosikazi angoomama ababonisa ilizwe ngonyaka we-1956. Sithetha ngamakhosikazi aqeqeshekileyo. Asithethi ngamakhosikazi achola ifaskoti athi asebenza ekhitshini, batsho besenyelisa oomama bethu ababesebenza emakhitshini. Sithetha ngoomama abanesidima, oomama uRuth, oomama uTambo, oomama uSisulu nabanye oomama.
Uyabona ke, kukho oomama bonyaka wama-2014, aba bazenza oomama bethu ababesebenza emakhitshini. Bona ke aba bonyaka wama-2015 ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Let me switch to my mother tongue. Hon Chairperson, here we are talking about women. We are not talking about women who misbehave. We are talking about women who showed their women identity for the nation in 1956. We talk about women who are disciplined. We are not talking about women who grab aprons and say they work as domestic workers, while they criticize our women who were working as domestic workers. We are talking about, mama Ruth, mama Tambo, mama Sisulu and others, women who had dignity.
There are women of 2014, who pretend to be our women who work as domestic workers. Those of the year 2015 ...]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, why are you standing?
Mnu V E MTILENI: Ngimuzwa ethi ukhuluma ngomama laba abangasebenzi ... [Ubuwelewele] ... emakhishini. Ngifuna ukuthi asitshele ukuthi omama laba abasebenza emakhishini ... [Ubuwelewele] ababona yini omama na? (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Mr V E MTILENI: I hear him saying that he is talking about the women that are not employed ... [Interjections.] ... as domestic workers. I want him to tell us, are women that work as domestic workers ... [Interjections.] not women?]
Hon Ximbi, what are you is trying to say?
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, can you take your seat? Hon Dikgale, take your seat.
Mr V E MTILENI: Ms Dikgale, don’t be angry.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): If you decide to rise, it is either because you want to raise a point of order or you want to ask a question. You cannot rise and debate. I am making an appeal, not only to hon Mtileni, but to all the hon members. Once you rise - we do have a Rule book - it is either for a point of order or to ask a question. You cannot rise and debate because you do get an opportunity to debate.
Mr D L XIMBI: Sihlalo, kwezi ziNdlu zombini sixakwe ngoomama bonyaka wama-2014. Oomama ongathi xa ubajongile ucinge ukuba banesimilo kanti isimilo kukumila kakuhle. [Uwele-wele.] Oomama ongathi xa ubajongile ucinge ukuba banembeko kanti bona imbeko bayenza umbeko. Ngoko ke ndenza isicelo ndibongoza bonke abemi baseMzantsi Afrika ukuba bayazi into yokuba nguvutha lo, uza kuphela. Akukho litye lingaze lihlale phantsi kwelinye ilitye elingasayi kususwa. [Uwele-wele.] Mabayazi oomama bakhumbule ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Mr D L XIMBI: Hon Chairperson, in both Houses we have a problem of 2014 women. Women whom you might think they are disciplined when you look at the beauty of their outside appearance. [Interjections.] Women whom you might thing they have respect while they do the opposite. Therefore I make this appeal to all South Africans for them to know that, there is no problem too big not to be solved, it will end one day. There is no one who can be oppressed forever. [Interjections.] Women must know that and remember ...]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, with due respect, we cannot hear the debate because of the noise behind us.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, howling is a parliamentary process, but you can’t drown the speaker. You can howl but you can’t drown the speaker. Let’s allow hon Ximbi to be heard.
Mr D L XIMBI: Ndifuna ukuthi ke oomama mabakhumbule ilizwi elathethwa nguYesu ethetha nabafundi bakhe. Wathi “indlela enihamba kuyo ixhagwe ngamangcwaba, kodwa la mangcwaba ayathetha ahonjisiwe ukuze ningawanaki”. Ndifuna ukuthi ke koomama abalwela le nkululeko abafazi ekulungiselelwa bona namhlanje ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Mr D L XIMBI: I want to ask women to remember Jesus Christ’s words while he was talking to his disciples. He said “the road you are using is surrounded by graves, but these graves have messages on them and they are beautiful so that you ignore them”. I want to say to women who fought for liberation, those we are referring to today ...]
Ms L MATHYS: Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for the speaker to be lecturing women. I though we are doing a policy debate. He is lecturing on how women must be and must not be and whether we wear domestic ... is not a debate. Is it parliamentary to lecture how women should be ... [Inaudible.] How old is he that he can even talk about how ...
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mathys, take your seat. [Interjections.] You are rising on a point of order. That is not a point of order.
Mr D L XIMBI: Mandiphinde, Sihlalo. Ndifuna ukuthi koomama, isimilo asikokumila kakuhle ube nesinqe esincinane, kodwa yindlela oziphatha ngayo. Sifuna abafazi abanjalo ke. Bakhona ke aba bonyaka wama-2015 ongathi nokuba uyamnikwa ngeke umthathe kuba uyambona ukuba ngunotsibidyokhwe. Ndithi umzi waseMzantsi Afrika mawuphole. Nina nisindileyo ekreleni, boomama boMzantsi Afrika, hambani ningemi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Mr D L XIMBI: Let me repeat, hon Chairperson. I would like to say to women, respect is not to have a good looking body with thin waist, but the good way in which you behave. That is the type of women we need. There are those of 2015 whom you cannot accept even if they can be given to you because they misbehave. I say South Africa must relax. To all those South African women who behave, keep it up.]
Mr V E MTILENI: Chairperson, I think Mr Ximbi is debating out of context. He has lost it.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you raise your point of order?
Mr V E MTILENI: It is a point of order.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): I am listening to it.
Mr V E MTILENI: If he debates out of context, then you must please ask him to take his seat.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you take your seat so that I can address you.
Mr V E MTILENI: He is wasting our time.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I have started with you, hon Mtileni. I appealed to you that once you rise, you must either ask a question or raise a point of order. What you are raising is a point of debate.
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson, I have a problem with Channel 2 here. Tsibidyokhwe has not been translated into English.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): What?
Mr M KHAWULA: Can tsibidyokhwe be translated into English?
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): We will see to it that the translation is in order.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chairperson, honestly speaking now, hon Mokwele and Mokgosi are doing running commentary. I am really begging to be protected in this House. [Interjections.] The EFF are running up and down. This is a straightforward debate. They are disrupting the House. If this House has no Rules that protect members who are in order, then we must develop rules that protect members who are in order. There are people who are disrupting this House deliberately. You have been ruling, advising and guiding. I am talking now and they are going on and on. We need to be protected in this House.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele, can you take your seat so that I can deal with this point of order. [Interjections.] There is a point of order that has been raised and I must deal with it first. I am sustaining the point of order. I have indicated that howling is part of what you can do, but you can’t drown the speaker. Drowning a speaker is not allowed. [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson, on a point of order:
Wena De Beer, o se ke wa bua fa ke bua. Ka gore ... [You, De Beer, do not interrupt me. Because ...]
... you are hijacking the struggle. You have never struggled. So, you must keep quiet when I talk. You must never ever talk when I talk. You must keep quiet. You are hijacking the struggle. [Interjections.] You must keep quiet.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokwele, let me address you before you continue. [Interjections.] No, let me address you. I will give you an opportunity to raise your point of order. [Interjections.] Hon Mokwele, you know that it is not parliamentary to just stand up and address a member. Anything that you do, you must do via the presiding officer. [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: You are not calling them to order. You are only calling us to order.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): I am calling everybody to order.
Ms T J MOKWELE: You must also call them to order. [Inaudible.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): You are not recognised, but you are talking.
Ms T J MOKWELE: No, no, no.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I have indicated to all of you that drowning a speaker is not in order. When you rise, you must be recognised; you can’t just stand up and talk. The last thing, if you want to address us, you have to do it via the presiding officer. You can’t just deal with a member.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson, on a point of order: I don’t care about that. It does not matter what you say. Whenever we, as the EFF members, do something wrong in this House, you are noting us by our names, but you are not noting ANC members by their names; you generalise. You must also say hon Dlamini, you are out of order by doing one, two, three, and hon Manopole, you are out of order by doing one, two, and three. Don’t just mention us as if we are making this House to derail.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): I have said, hon Dlamini, take your seat. Before you raised your point, I said that hon Dlamini stood up first. Then I said she must take her seat. [Interjections.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Chairperson, on a point of order: ... [Interjections.] ...
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni, you are not recognised. You can’t do that, you are not recognised. You know that is wrong. Take your seat, hon Mtileni.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Chair, on a point of order: Outside there, I am Cathy and she is Manopole and inside here, we are respected hon Members of Parliament. [Interjections.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, we can’t allow that.
Mr D L XIMBI: Sihlalo, ekuqaleni kwentetho yam ndithethe ngabazali ndathetha ngabantwana. I-DA ke, la magwala, abalekileyo, ayazi ukuba sihlala apha eNtshona Koloni kwaye siyayazi into abayenzayo. EKhayelitsha babethe umntwana wabhubha, bamlahla phandle, apha eNtshona Koloni, kodwa bathi bayalawula. Balawula njani? Kwaye ngoomama aba benze le nto emntwaneni, apha eNtshona Koloni. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Mr D L XIMBI: Hon Chairperson, at the beginning of my speech I spoke about parents and followed about children. The DA, the cowards who ran away, know that we stay here in the Western Cape and we know what they are doing. They said they threw away a dead child in Khayelitsha, here in the Western Cape, but they say they are governing. How do they govern? This was done by women, here in the Western Cape.]
Mr C F B SMIT: Chairperson, on two points of order: Firstly, each time you call the hon speaker to sit down, he keeps on speaking. Secondly, I want to know if it is parliamentary for the hon member to refer to the DA hon members that left as cowards that ran away.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): On the first point, it is in order. I missed that he was standing. On the second point, I will have to refer to Hansard to check the context of how it was raised. No. Take your seat, hon Mtileni. [Interjections.] The context, not the word.
Mr D L XIMBI: Njengokuba besele nditshilo. I-DA, konakele apha, imana iquma nje amahlazo. [As I already alluded. DA made things worse here, they keep on papering over the cracks.]
I also want to correct hon Maseko, but she ran away. She was misleading the country saying that the ANC ...
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Chair, on a point of order: I want to know if it is parliamentary for the member to say that one of the members of this House has deliberately misled the House. It is a serious allegation and there were previous rulings on members saying that other members of this House misled the House. If he does not have a substantive motion, I don’t believe that it can stand in this House.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): That is a point for debate.
Mr D L XIMBI: As far as I know, Maseko, who was misleading and who has left, does not even now have anything in her hands to say that the ANC is involved with gangsterism. I know that in passengers ..., Plato is involved with gangsterism.
I think the Select Committee on Security and Justice, which I am chairing, need to go and do oversight or call Plato to come and account to this committee. Then we will have no problems of misleading the country.
Sihlalo, njengoko senditshilo, thina singuKhongolose siyayixhasa thina le Voti yoHlahlo-lwabiwo-mali yeSebe lezebaseTyhini kuba siyazi ukuba iza kuqhuba incede oomama. Siyaqhuba apha singuKhongolose. Aba mama sithetha ngabo ngaba bafuthelwa ngoomama uSisulu. Asithethi thina ngoomama bonyaka wama-2014 aba banxiba ii-ovarolo. Sithetha ngoomama abanesidima nababenxiba ifaskoti. [Uwele-wele.] Kuhlekiswa ngoomama bethu ababenxiba ifaskoti. Ndifuna ukuthi, Sihlalo, ilizwe malijonge kakuhle. Kwakukho iklabhu phaya eMthatha ekwakusithiwa nguvutha, eyathi dwanga dwanga yacima. Iza kucima nale. Akukho nto ingazi kuphela. Mabanyamezele. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Hon Chairperson, as I already alluded, we as the ANC support this Budget Vote of Department of Women in the Presidency because we know it will keep on helping women. We are doing well in the ANC. We are talking about women who were mentored by mama Sisulu. We are not talking about 2014 women who are wearing overalls. We talk about women with dignity who were wearing aprons. [Interjections.] Our mothers who were wearing aprons are a mockery. I would like to say, hon Chairperson, our nation must look at this. There was a club in Mthatha which was very strong, it is no longer strong now, and instead it is no longer there. This will end as well. Everything comes to an end. They must persevere.]
Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr F ESSACK: Hon chairperson, hon Minister, colleagues, fellow South Africans, the irony of a debate on women is that our country is led by the government that churns from making any real gender transformation within their own party and our government. After 103 years ... [Interjections.] Apply your mind and listen!
After 103 years of existence, and the members of the ANC giving their lives for the revolution, today, the ANC government has failed the women of this country. Like so many other mandates, hon Minister; like so many other mandates, you continue to fail our people. The DA believes in the empowerment of women, make no doubt about that. We believe in a commitment of freedom, fairness and opportunity to all our people ... [Interjections.]
If you apply your mind, that in our own party, where we govern throughout South Africa, when the Department of Women presented its budget, I expected to hear a few tangible outcomes, hon Minister. This is a department that in the past had one third of all staff earning, an average of R1 million a year, a grater ration of millionaire staff members than the Departments of Health and Education, to name but two. All I heard today was vague elusions and a use of scholarly words that we constantly see in gender reports and articles.
Like the previous Minister, Xingwana, Minister Shabangu has developed the same gift of talking short, without any real progress or effective use of the budget in this department. Yes, it is good to highlight the main issues that the women in South Africa face today, but I must then ask:
Where are the interventions, hon Minister? Where are the programmes? Where is the evidence of inter-departmental relations? Where are the results, hon Minister? I plead and beg of you today. The fact is that women constitute 51% of our population.
CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Essack, can you take your seat? Hon Dlamini, why are you standing?
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, I’m standing on a point of order. He is misleading the public about the results. I am the results of that department to be here in Parliament.
CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Dlamini, that is not a point of order but a point of debate, therefore, take your seat!
Mr F ESSACK: Hon Chair, thank you so much for calling the member to order, but I guess she had to take a chance, it is normal, it is Cathy Dlamini, her reputation speaks for itself. The fact, hon Chair, is that women constitute 51% of our population, and yet a special Women’s Department, under the presidency, might, I add, tells us that we have failed women, but more specifically – listen very carefully now – the ANC and its sexist women’s league has failed to give women true freedom and opportunity.
If you listen, I will tell you why. Today, it is estimated that gender violence against women costs South Africa between R28,4 billion and R42,4 billion per year. This is approximately 0,9 to 1,3% of our Growth Development Plan, GDP, annually. Here sits the hon Chairperson of the Select Committee of Finance who will attest to my numbers.
Hon Minister, I appeal that you and your department come up with something better than an extension of 16 days of activism and maybe apply it to 365 days of activism. Your lack lustre ideas are an insult to out women, the taxpayers and to the people of South Africa. In conclusion, as you are aware, we are celebrating 60 years after the 1946 women’s march. ... [Interjections.]
Yes, I know, and I say to you, these strategic plans, as far as the DA is concerned, fairness and opportunity will apply, and not like within the ANC. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mme N P MOKGOSI: Modulasetilo, ke dumedisa Aforika Borwa ka bophara.A je bue jaana ke re, ka nako ya Sona, go na le bomme ba ba kgwathileng go utlwala. Ga ke a utlwa go buiwa ka bona fano, ebile ga lo kgathale ka seno. Ga ke lo bone molato gonne le lona lo a itse gore ANC ke yona e e biditseng bakupa ba banna go tla go betsa maloko a rona.
Ke batla go tlhagisa jaana ka re: Re lo ipaakanyeditse, nako e nngwe le e nngwe e lo re tubulang ka yona, re tla itubulela. E tlare go bona diaparo di anegilwe, lo tla siya, lo nagana gore re lo tebetse.
(Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)
[Mr N P MOKGOSI: Chairperson, greeting to all South Africans. During Sona, our members were assaulted. I do not hear any mention of that incident and no one cares. I do not blame you as we all know that it was the ANC that called those strong men to come and assault our members.
I want to put it on record: We are ready to retaliate should a need arise.]
About 3 677 561 million black women between the ages of 15 and 34 are unemployed, are not attending schools, universities or colleges; about 49,1% of the total of both genders and races in this age.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokgosi, take your seat!
Ms N P MOKGOSI: Please! Say please!
Ms T MOTARA: Chairperson, is it parliamentary for a Member of Parliament to make threats in the House? She said she will beat us.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): It’s not parliamentary. Hon Mokgosi ...
Ms N P MOKGOSI: Ga ke a bua jalo. Ke buile ka go tubula. Go tubula ga se go betsa. Ke simolola go utlwa ka ena gore go tubula ke go betsa. Ke batla go tswelela ka puo yame. [I did not say that. I spoke of assault. Its news to me that assaulting and beating means the same thing. I need to proceed with my speech.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokgosi, can you refrain from making threats? Continue with your speech!
Ms N P MOKGOSI: In Gauteng, 25,2% of women experience rape by men ...
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokgosi, can you please take your seat?
Ms M F TLAKE: Chairperson, I want to say, what the hon member is saying is actually a threat. She is actually threatening us and she must withdraw that.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Tlake, take your seat! Hon Mtileni, take your seat! [Interjections.] No, you are not recognised! All the three of you, take your seats! I have made a ruling about that. I’ve advised the speaker to refrain from making threats. Continue hon Mokgosi!
Ms N P MOKGOSI: A study by Sonke Justice found out that in Gauteng Province, only one in 13 women reported nonpartner rape and overall, only one in 25 rapes have been reported to the police. This is unacceptable. When we are expected to accept a budget of R187 2000 million but 43% of this budget is used for administration in the department itself and will have no results whatsoever on the conditions of poor black women.
Police stations are hostile to women when they report rape. We know of many women who are told in the police stations to resolve issues with their husbands who have raped them. We have been in ward 19 in Endwendwe, KwaZulu-Natal, where women wake up at 4h00 am to fetch water from the river, putting them vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse.
Unless we change the socio-economic conditions of our people which directly affect women, rape and gender-based violence will not change. Violence will perpetuate in an endless circle. Today, almost half of South Africans are living below the poverty line, surviving on just above R500 a month. Women are supposed to carry their families, while white males Chief Executive Officers, CEOs, earn almost 300 times more than the average worker.
Whites general workers earn six times more than blacks and women earn 40% less than men. The Commission of Gender Equality, CGE, despite its R67,7 billion allocation is not accessible to rural and poor women. The government must provide basic services to our people, including clean drinking water, houses, electricity and decent jobs.
The government must also give free sanitary towels to poor women and young girls at school because, if there is a free distribution of condoms, why can’t the same be done with free sanitary towels? Women must have free access to learn, it is unacceptable for traditional leaders to deny women rights to own land when they are the backbone of society.
All spheres must reflect the demographics of South Africa per gender and race. This means that there should be 50% representation of women across all progressive spheres of society.
ANC e mo bodiding jwa tlhaloganyo. E nyorilwe go le maswe-maswe. [ANC lacks the necessary understanding.]
The EFF cannot support such a budget that fails to address the basic issues of women.
Ke bua jaana ke fologa. Ke a leboga. [I am done, thank you.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Chair, Minister, I was going to start from somewhere, hon Minister, but you see what South Africa has just experienced going on in this House, has made me decide to change course. So, believe you me they have just rescued you big time. What I want to say to South Africa is, Ndabezitha Shenge I am very proud of you. You have brought to this Parliament in the past from 1994 to now, women of dignity. Women leaders who were in Codesa standing for women’s rights on behalf of the IFP; women leaders who have been in Parliament since 1994, oomama okaNkosi Shandu, oomama uVilakazi, oomama Nkhamazi, oomama uMsweli, wherever you are dear ladies, I want to say to you: Well done. [Applause.] You have shown what South Africa needs from a woman leader but I say all the credit goes to our leader.
I also want to say to South Africa I am very proud of my mother the way she has brought up his children. I want to say to South Africa I am very proud of my sisters, who are my siblings. I want to say to South Africa that I am very proud of my wife who is the manager of my father’s house. She is a woman of dignity. When we talk women empowerment, women issues that is what we are talking about. We are talking about women who are going to show that there is a future for the children they are bringing up for South Africa. [Applause.]
When we talk violence against children it is women who suffer the most because it is women who suffer directly because they are always with these children when bringing them up. They feel it more than men, when we talk of gender based violence irrespective of which women it has directly happened to. It affects all women in the same way because of a patriarchal past that is psychological, which South Africa is still suffering from even today; it’s a mentality.
I want to say that it will be a process to uproot this from society. I want to say to our colleagues from all political parties in the country that you are representing women of South African. Therefore please don’t demean the struggle for women empowerment. [Applause.] Don’t ridicule the struggle for women empowerment.
HON MEMBERS: Please!
Mr M KHAWULA: Show South Africa out there what we mean when we say that women must be given chances because through you and the opportunities that you have received you are a mirror of what we are saying when we say other women must be given those chances. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms T WANA: Thank you, Chairperson. I greet the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson in absentia, Chief Whip of the NCOP, Minister, permanent delegates of the NCOP from nine provinces, distinguished guests, and members of the media. Thank you to the discipline of the ANC that brought me this far, I also thank the lessons learnt from the trenches of apartheid.
As I am sitting there, Chairperson, I became very hurt.
Bantu bakuthi molweni ezilalini, niyalazi igwijo langowe-1948 ukusekwa kwePhiko looMama le-ANC, elalicenga lisithi boomama base-Afrika, thandazelani i-Afrika. Ezo zililo nezo nyembezi zazingabonwa zisabonakala kwaye zisaxabisekile nanamhlanje. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Good morning compatriots from the rural area You know the 1948 signature tune when the ANC Women’s League was formed, which was coaxing African women to pray for Africa. Those cries and those invisible tears are still visible and valued today.]
I am standing here, Chairperson, saying it is two days after the commemoration of the gallant fighters of the class of 1976 who were massacred by the apartheid regime. And we will never forsake those people – those giant youth of disciplines of the South Africans.
Ndimi apha nje, ngowe-1960 kweyeSilimela, eLusikisiki, eNgquza – uVukelo lwamaMpondo abantu bethu babulawa, behamba ngezandla. Ndazi nto nye ke mzi kabawo, lo rhulumente kaMandela wengadlangadla, ka-Albert Luthuli wenze ukuba nam, mna mntwana kaMavasayilinde mntwanam, umntwana ongathathi ntweni, ndikwazi ukuma apha nindibukele, ndisiza kuni ndizithoba njengenkosazana yakwaMadiba.
Ndithi vumani bantu bakuthi, niyibone ingxaki enizifake kuyo xa nanivota ngama-2014. Ngoba namhlanje apho eMpuma Koloni ndazi into inye, ne-DA ibithe iza kuphatha eMpuma Koloni kodwa khange ikwazi nanamhlanje. Nabo bamane befika apho bantu baseMpuma Koloni. Oko safika apha, sifungiswe sonke ngekaCanzibe wama-22, emveni kokuncama izindlu zenu nahamba naya kuvotela i-ANC, nanamhlanje, abantu abangengabo abalapha bathi abalufuni nolunjani uhlahlo-lwabiwo-mali.
Niyayazi ke phaya ezilalini, umntu uyakuze athi iimpuku azityiwa kodwa umsila usemlonyeni. Sihleli loo ntlalo ke yabantu abamane besithi iimpuku azityiwa kodwa imilomo igcwele ithe qhu yimisila yeempuku. Wona amabango bayawenza (claims) kodwa uhlahlo-lwabiwo-mali abalufuni. ‘Ze nivume ke kulo nyaka uzayo, kodwa ndiyanazi kwaye ndinithembile bantu bakuthi. Ndiyayazi mna ukuba liphandlwa kube kanye libone ngoba niyakwazi ukuzilwela.
Maze nizilwele kwesi sihlandlo, niyazi into yokuba i-ANC yeyookhokho benu. Ningahambi nisiva abantu abanithembisa ngezinto. Kuthiwa phaya ezilalini, awuthembisi ngezapholo ungenazo iinkomo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[As I’m standing here, in June 1960, at Lusikisiki, in Ngquza –during the rebellion of the AmaMpondo, our people were killed, while they were unarmed. I only know one thing compatriots - this government of Mandela the great, of Albert Luthuli made it possible for me, a child of the poor to stand here while you look at me; I come here to humble myself as the princess of the Madiba clan.
I say agree with me compatriots, and realise the problem you put yourself in when you voted in 2014. Because today I know one thing, that the DA said they were going to take over the Eastern Cape but even today they did not manage to do so. Even those who always visit the people of the Eastern Cape. Since we arrived here, and we were all sworn in on 22 May, after you have sacrificed and left your homes to vote for the ANC, even today, people who are not from here say they do not want any Budget Vote.
You know in the rural areas, a person would tell you not to do something whereas his actions would prove the opposite. We live in that situation where people would always tell you not to do something whereas their actions prove the opposite. They make claims, but they do not want to support the Budget Vote. You must agree next year, but I know and trust you compatriots. I know that once bitten twice shy, because you can fight for yourselves.
You must fight for yourselves this time, and know that the ANC belongs to your ancestors. You must not go around and trust people who make empty promise to you. In the rural area they say, you can’t make a promise with something that is not within your powers.]
The damage of 48 years of apartheid system some people thought it is a history, yes it is history, but the scars are still visible - cry our beloved country.
The women’s League that was formed in 1948 for a purpose of defending, and when I am talking about the women’s league I am talking about the people who were in trenches carrying guns to shoot down the apartheid.
I-ANC yayidubula, ichana kwaye nale into iza kuyichana. [The ANC shot and hit apartheid and it will deal with this challenge too.]
Comrades, on 9 August women of this country decided to take the bull by its horns when they marched against the pass laws. As a result Strydom decided to move. The verification of the current statistics is clear and it states that black women are 80% of the population, but what are we doing to be a disciplined and collective leadership; and the majority across the colours of women in South Africa are 27 635 900; what are we doing to defend our own – cry the beloved country.
Currently, we have proven that this organisation and other sisters can build a person from nothing. Today we are talking about our own programme as Africans – Vision 2063.
Umntwana osuka apha, usuka ngaphaya KwaZulu-Natal. [The prince who was just here at this podium, is from KwaZulu-Natal.]
Has managed to introduce a vision 2063, because the ANC can build a person, and our people have cried over us saying ...
... kode kube nini igazi labantu bethu lisityiwa ngamabhulu? Namhlanje ... [... when will white people stop enjoying the sweat and blood of our people? Today ...]
...the summit has taken a decision, 10 years to try and implement the 2063 programme. I am very proud to be standing here - we have a bilateral with Khawula, because he has spoken about everything that I wanted to say. I love my family. [Laughter.]. We have a connection.
Before 1994 a girl-child was not allowed to go and be a professional doctor or an engineer. But after 1994 all the doors opened. Look at my province. Thank you, Madiba, thank you, O R Tambo, thank you, Thabo Mbeki for giving us lessons in discipline. In the legislature the Speaker is a woman and the deputy is a woman and eight portfolio committee are women, district municipalities – cry the beloved country.
Thank you, to Chris Hani for being the commander who fought the Wankie wars; today your district municipality is led by a woman ... [Interjections.]
Mr J P PARKIES: Chairperson, on a point of order, the DA member behind me has just said our President is a womaniser. Can he substantiate that statement or just withdraw that statement.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Chairperson, I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you please withdraw and apologise.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, I said I withdraw! I am not obliged to apologise.
Ms T WANA: In my province the majority of councillors are women.
Bantu bakuthi, njengoko ke niyibonile le nto sihleli kuyo apha, kukho abantu abaza kufika apho bengxame kakhulu. Abantwana bomntu abakhulele emzini ekungavalwa cango kuwo kuthiwe masithandazeni, ngaba nibabonayo namhlanje. Kaloku wonke umntu uxakekile, kuzanywa ukuxhelwa le-ANC kwaye awuliwini igazi labantu xa usithi uyalisela nje. Ndiyanicela ke bantu bakuthi, khanibajonge kakuhle aba bantu kuba namhlanje ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Compatriots, as you witness the situation here, there are people who will come here very excited. Siblings who grew up in a homestead where the door is always open and we are asked to pray, are the ones you see here today. Everyone is busy, trying to slaughter the ANC and you don’t win the people’s support by just drink their blood. I’m begging you compatriots, watch these people thoroughly because today ...]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Wana, can you please take a seat. Hon Mokgosi, why are you standing?
Ms N P MOKGOSI: Mo ntlheng ya kgalemo, Modulasetilo, ka re fa e le gore mme yo o raya nna, o a ithaya. [On a point of order: Chairperson, if this woman is referring to me, I am saying back at her.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mokgosi, can you withdraw what you have just said, he is an hon member. Hon Mokgosi! Order, hon members! Hon Mokgosi there is nothing wrong said by the hon Wana, you said you were raising a point of order and instead of raising a point of order you raised a statement. Can you retract what you said?
Ms N P MOKGOSI: O buile ke utlwile, nkabe ke sa ema. Ke mo utlwile o buile, jaanong ka re le ene. [I heard her, hence I am saying bck at her.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No. Take your seat, take your sit. No, we will have to refer the matter and check what was exactly said because I am even missing the interpretation on what the hon Mokgosi is saying. So, I might not be in a position to make a proper ruling about it. Continue hon Wana.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: With due respect, the speaker on the podium might have said something wrong but for the hon Mokgosi to counteract and say something wrong is also out of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mthimunye, take your seat. I have made a ruling. I am saying I might be disadvantaged in making a proper ruling about what she has said. So I have made a ruling about it because I might have missed what she said, because she said it in a language that is more of a disadvantage to me. But can you continue and conclude hon Wana. Take you seat hon Mtileni you are not recognised. [Interjections.] You are not recognised! Why are you standing? Hon Mtileni, hon Mtileni! I am also pleading with you. Hon Mtileni! Hon Mtileni! [Interjections.] Hon Mtileni, respectfully so; take your seat, I want to address you. [Interjections.] Yes, that is why I am going to address you. Yes, respectfully so; take your seat.
Hon Mtileni, before you can speak in this Chamber, you must be recognised; just imagine if all the members can do what you are doing. It can be chaos. You stand up ... [Interjections.] ... no, there is no member that will rise on a point of order who would be deprived an opportunity. But I have made a ruling about the matter. There is no way that I will review my ruling; hon Wana can you conclude.
Ms T WANA: Thank you, Chairperson ...
Mna, Sihlalo, andikhathazekanga mna kuba nokuba umntu angathetha ntoni, into emdaka ibuyela kuwe, hayi namhlanje hayi ngomso. [Chairperson, I’m not troubled because no matter what somebody says, bad things reflect on the person who said it - not today and not even tomorrow.]
So, that is why I did not worry myself.
Ndisatsho nangoku, ndisithi bantu baseMpuma Koloni zekhe nizincede nizinxweme, nibuye umva kwaba bantu baza kuza apho. Mandibulele, Sihlalo, le nto ithethwa nguMphathiswa ethi baza kuya ezilalini. Bantu base-O R Tambo siza kufika sithi hiwuu magwalandini, zemka iinkomo; sitsho sisizisa iinkqubo zalo mbutho. [Kwaphela ixesha.]
(Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[I still maintain, that people from the Eastern Cape should distance themselves from the people who visit them. Chairperson, let me thank the Minister for saying that they are going to the rural areas. People from O R Tambo we will arrive and invite everybody, to not relax while the enemy is taking over; when we will be bringing the programmes of this organisation. [Time expired.]]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Wana, your time has expired, mama. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you, Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Minister, you can take your seat. Hon Mtileni, why are you standing?
Mr V E MTILENI: Chairperson, I am standing because I am seeing something, you know, I don’t know if it is parliamentary for the hon Minister to kiss hon Wana. [Laughter.] What is that supposed to mean to us. [Laughter.] Can I also ask ... [Interjections.] ... from the Minister. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni.
AN HON MEMBER: Chair, was that a point of privilege?
AN HON MEMBER: It is a privilege.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, hon members! Hon Minister, continue. Hon Faber!
AN HON MEMBER: Ake uphumule. [Just relax.]
Mr W F FABER: Yes, hon Chair, I would just like to know if the hon member is walking over to the ANC; it seems there is some relationship. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, hon members! Let us allow the Minister to respond. [Laughter.]
Mr V E MTILENI: No, I am standing. I am seeing something. I don’t know if it is parliamentary for the hon Minister to kiss hon Wana. What is that supposed to us? Can I also ask favour from the Minister? [Laughter]
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Come, come.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mtileni. [Laughter]
Mr W F FABER: Chair, was that a point of privilege?
AN HON MEMBER: Is a privilege.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Minister, continue. Order members.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Angike ngiphumule. [Let me rest.]
Mr W F FABER: Yes, hon Chair, I would just like to know if the hon member is walking over to the ANC. It seems there is some relationship. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Continue hon Minister. Order, members. Let’s allow the Minister to respond.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, may I take this opportunity to thank the members for their constructive contribution, but also issues which are raised by hon members from the ANC, from IFP, are very constructive. This Ministry is facing challenges, including its budget. That’s why we raising that upfront. When there are challenges, you are not in denial, but also you don’t distort because if you do that it becomes a challenge. I welcome hon Khawula. Indeed, we are women. We bare nations. We bare both men and women. That’s why we have a nation. And thank you for the tribute you have honoured to women. Convention for a Democratic South Africa, Codesa, was an important part our history, but also is a history where we all came together in making sure that the women’s agenda is at the centre of our democracy, at the centre of our freedom, hence Ma’am Faith Gasa led the women in the IFP. But I am also proud to say, these women managed to respond to across colour lines and reached out to all women in South Africa. [Applause.] We never looked at who was coming from where, and we contributed to even women who sought that colour was an issue. We reached out to everybody, including national party, including the Democratic Party of the day then. We reached out to all the women. And we are proud as ourselves being young women at that time who managed to extend a hand of friendship to all the women in this country. But that was part of the Women’s Charter where all women in this country came together in fighting apartheid. These are the results. We are proud to be here today. Our struggle was not just about being Presidency. Our struggle was about the emancipation of women of this country. It was about the struggle of ensuring that we are treated equally. It was about the struggles of gender in our society. And that struggle is not an event. It’s a journey. It’s a journey which we will achieve.
I am positive. I might not be able to live to the day when there is parity and where there is totally emancipation and gender equality in this country. But that ideal I believe in, we will be there.
We can see people coming here, romanticising and saying certain things, but the laws which we worked very hard and sweat for, are basics and the foundations of moving forward. We are here today, also some of us being privilege to being those young kids students of 1976. We are here today because of the sweat and the sacrifice we made as students of Soweto. This is the outcome. We are proud to be that. That’s why we will never take shortcuts because we know the pain. We know the suffering of having to struggle through any issue in this country, including patriarchy.
As a young woman, I know what were the struggles, what are the difficulties, even today, we still living in patriarchal society. For me, I am not romanticising these issues. They are real to me as a black woman. I cannot come here and become a poem, like hon Maseko, and be poetic about the difficulties of our women when where stay today as we speak today, what is the situation in Khayelitsha? What is the situation in Masiphumelele? Where are the houses for women and children in this place? Which party consciously say that there are people who don’t belong to this part of the world, despite that they were South Africans and this is the party which claims to enshrined and believe in the Constitution, but at the same time implements segregation? Is that the party? Is that what we fought for? That’s not what we fought for. That’s not what I laid my life for in this country. That’s not what I laid for when I said Madiba must be out of prison, and I am proud, I said Mandela will be out in my lifetime and it has happened.
What I have got to lay the basis, it’s for future generations, that ideal world, that ideal South Africa of non-sexist, non-racist, prosperous, united South Africa.
I might not see that South Africa, but the future generations, I am laying the foundations, like Mangoi, who laid the foundation for me, like Ma’am Gasa, in here struggles made me to be what I am today. And I am proud, and those women, we must always honour them in truth and in reality, instead of romanticising our struggles. This is a province today, which decided to set up outside the framework of the Constitution of our country; the Western Cape today has a police ombudsman. Where is the united South Africa? Where do they belong? Why are they creating a country within a country? Why are they exonerating themselves from the Constitution of the country? They are talking of education. Is it not this education in the Western Cape which at some point throws out poor kids and close down, shut down the schools. Is it not the Western Cape? [Applause.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: On a point of order. Hon Minister is misleading the House because schools are closed right through the country on ANC policy.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, Hon Labuschagne, you know that is not a point of order.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: It is a point of order because the Minister is misleading the House.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Can I ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Is a point for debate. Can you continue hon Minister?
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, this is the province not long ago which was shutting down schools of the poor. This is the province which continues on racial grounds and care for the wealth; those who are wealthier, instead of those who are poor.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I have to stand up on a point of privilege.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Let me listen to that point of privilege.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: I cannot listen peoples speak racism on behalf of the Western Cape government. The Western Cape government can speak for themselves.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Van Lingen.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: We cannot continue the racial slur in this House, Chairperson. We have got to stop it, if we want to build a united South Africa.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): I have allowed you to use the point of privilege, but the unfortunate part is that you are rising and raising a point of debate. Let’s allow the hon Minister to continue.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chair, is this not the province as we speak today, where children are more at risk than any other province? Is it not this province where it deals with issues of drugs and continues to make noise, instead of dealing and addressing the root causes of its problem? Is this province which I must say, as we speak today, how many women who are in their executive? How do they represent women when they don’t even have the sizable number in their Cabinet? Patriarchy rules in the Western Cape. [Applause.] You cannot have a province which has a tinch of a woman and say there is progress.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Minister. Hon Essack, why are you standing?
Mr F ESSACK: Obviously, hon Chairperson, out of paper here is says five minutes. According to the stop watch is now eight minutes. You got it there on ...
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon Essack, can you take your seat. Hon Essack, you can’t do what you are doing. Hon Minister has got 10 minutes, not even five minutes you are talking about. Its 10 minutes.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: I last it deliberately to respond.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Fabber.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: I last it deliberately. I knew I am coming back for you. That’s why you are standing.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyamb): Hon Fabber, why are you standing?
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Exactly.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: No, no, I don’t want your kiss.
Mr W F FABER: This electronic programme system of us ...
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: No, I don’t want your kiss. It is very dangerous.
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chairperson, can I ... [Interjections.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): No! Can you take your seat, hon Faber. Hon Labuschagne, take your seat! Can you take your seat? I want to address the point of order first. You can’t have a point of order on top of a point of order. If the screen was showing you five minutes, it’s out of my control. I think you have it that is 10 minutes. Let’s allow the hon Minister to continue. Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chair, I will deliberately leave myself five minutes. I spoke for 15 minutes. I am taking my five minutes and the five minutes, 10 minutes. Can I quote a poem? It doesn’t interest me, if the story you are telling me is true.
Mr F ESSACK: The DA is true.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul, if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. Hon Essack, may I say to you, when you talk about issues of fairness, words fairness, immediately as I say hon Essack, you say yes Ma’am. Boss mentality, I am not a ma’am. I am hon member. Please, it’s a mindset which you are trying to fight which hon Khawula was referring to. I am not Ma’am. I am hon member of this House or hon Minister. So, can I say the mandate and fairness and opportunity you are talking about, we have a history in this country. Our kids and I never had the privilege of the same education you had because of the system of apartheid. We are fixing that. So, may I bring to your attention that whatever you do hon member, justice has to be done by making sure there is fairness in this country, even if it means you must bring affirmative action, equality, that’s what we stand for.
An HON MEMBER: ANC fairness ...
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: I must say hon member, as South Africa ...
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Essack, why are you standing?
Mr F ESSACK: Hon Chair, would you respect that I am talking to you. I rise on a point of order that the hon Minister is alluding to the fact that she has not had the education I have had. Let me remind you, hon Chair, I know my roots, I know where I come from, and if she wants to saw played the apartheid game, I too a product of apartheid, but I have got a wake up and I have smelled the coffee. That’s why I am in the DA.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Can I say hon member ... [Interjections.]
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): This is not a point of order. It is a point of debate?
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: ... those who beneficiaries of apartheid, indeed it will hurts. It will hurts, but I must also say hon Chair, as we stand here today, our people out there, they know that there is no other party.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Minister, before you can conclude, let me allow hon Smith. Why are you standing?
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, it seems it takes you very long to respond to the opposition when we stand up on points of order. But in anyway, hon House Chair, I want to ask whether is parliamentary for the hon Minister to address one of the members directly in this House?
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): It is not parliamentary. Hon Minister must refrain from doing that. She can do that via ... I sustain your point of order.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chair, I must say ...
... iyatsweba, iyasika kwaye imasikizi kodwa inyaniso yona injalo. [It is pinching, cuts painfully and an atrocity but that is just the truth.]
Can I also say in conclusion Chairperson, hon Mokgosi, Sonke justice is an institution which don’t have the interest of women at hearts. I am sitting with civil society which has complained. They are controlling money. They are controlling women. This is supposed to be a progressive organisation of men, which takes care of women. So, I am just saying be careful what you quote and refer to that you not taking us back. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES AND OVERSIGHT (Mr A J Nyambi): Order members. On behalf of the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, let me take this opportunity to thank SA Local Government Association, Salga, special delegate and the Minister for availing themselves for this debate. Let me make this one’s small announcement that an arrangement has been made with transport that it will be leaving at half past. So, the hon Minister Cwele of Telecommunications has invited us in Old Assembly for a cocktail diner.
The House adjourned at 19:00.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Assent by President in respect of Bills
- Auditing Profession Amendment Bill [B 15B – 2014] – Act No 2 of 2015 (assented to and signed by President on 16 June 2015).
2. Classification of Bills by Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM)
- The JTM in terms of Joint Rule 160(6) classified the following Bills as section 77 Bills:
- Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill [B 15 – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 77).
- Eskom Special Appropriation Bill [B 16 – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 77).
- Eskom Subordinated Loan Special Appropriation Amendment Bill (2008/09-2010/11 Financial Years) [B 17 – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 77).
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
Please see pages 2354-2356 of the ATCs.
National Council of Provinces
1. Report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill [B 18 B-2014 (s75)], dated 18 June 2015:
The Select Committee on Security and Justice, having considered the subject of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill [B 18 B- 2014 (s75)], referred to it, reports that it has agreed to the Bill without proposed amendments.
Report to be considered.
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