Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 19 Jun 2015
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 19 JUNE 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 09:07.
The Deputy Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
MOTIONS SET ASIDE FOR THE DAY
DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I have been informed that the Whips agreed that there won’t be motions for today. Therefore, we will proceed with the Secretary reading the First Order of the Day.
Vote No 24 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Chairperson, members of the Select Committee on Mineral Resources and Land, hon Ministers – if any present, Deputy Ministers, Members of the Executive Councils responsible for agriculture, Members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: Good morning, sanibonani, mholweni, dumelang, goeie more. It is a privilege and an honour to present the second budget on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the fifth democratic Parliament, Budget Vote 24.
This year, 2015, marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter during the Congress of the People on 26 June 1955 in Kliptown, Soweto. The Freedom Charter is one of the founding documents of our democracy, demanding inclusivity in its opening lines, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”
In an article in the June 1956 issue of Liberation headed “In our lifetime,” former President Nelson Mandela described the Freedom Charter as, “ ... a beacon to the Congress Movement and an inspiration to the people of South Africa”.
We recently celebrated Africa Day, the day on which the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to the AU, was formed in 1963. We have commemorated Youth Day on 16 June 2015. This was preceded by a Youth Month launch in partnership with the people’s team, Santos Football Club, in Cape Town on 01 June 2015, followed by the commemoration at the Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute, in partnership with Umthatha City Football Club on 13 June 2015.
The department is taking youth mobilisation to the provinces and has dedicated targeted days identified during the month of June 2015, to promote and raise awareness on agriculture, forestry and fisheries as sectors of the future for the youth. On Saturday, 20 June 2015, the department will commemorate the youth month through career expo in Groblersdal.
Hon members, please join me in giving youth in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector hope and impress upon them that they hold the food security of South Africa and of Africa in their hands. The primary mandate of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is to ensure that food security is guaranteed. Our mandate has been reinforced by the recommendations and targets in the National Development Plan, NDP, the New Growth Path, NGP, the Industrial Policy Action Plan, IPAP and the Medium Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, outcomes.
In March 2015, Cabinet approved the Agricultural Policy Action Plan, Apap, and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Strategic Framework whose emphasis is on value chain development. The 2015 State of the Nation Address identified nine priorities for economic growth, one of which is the "revitalisation of the agriculture and agro-processing value chain". The Apap forms the basis of this priority.
The recommendations and targets are as follows: The NDP sees agriculture as having the potential to create one million jobs by 2030; through the Fetsa Tlala Integrated Food Production Initiative, we have a target to deliver one million hectares by 2019; we are supporting 300 000 smallholder producers by 2019, and are expanding hectares under irrigation to two million by 2030.
The department is responsible for the formulation of policy and regulations and creating an enabling environment. Our provincial counterparts are responsible for the implementation of these policies. We are allocating conditional grants to realise these government objectives. We are also continuing to improve on our monitoring mechanism to ensure that these grants achieve the intended outcomes.
We acknowledge that it is not sufficient to provide smallholder farmers with land and capital alone. They must be empowered to manage their businesses effectively and profitably in a competitive and often hostile environment, and as such, through these programmes that are implemented in provinces. We provide support to farmers in the form of farm infrastructure, production inputs, training and capacity building, market access and extension services.
In the past financial year, R2,3 billion was made available to support smallholder farmers through Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Casp, and the Ilima/Letsema Programme. In the Eastern Cape, 20 044 smallholder farmers were supported and 18 069 ha were put under the production of maize. Altogether 9 943 farmers were supported in the Free State and 6 936 hectares of land were put under production. Gauteng supported 231 farmers and put 2 547 ha of land under production. KwaZulu-Natal supported 7 306 farmers and put 12 789 ha of land under production. The province also continued with the revitalisation of the Makhathini Irrigation Scheme in Indumo and Bululwane, among others.
Limpopo supported 1 679 farmers and put 41 419 ha of vegetables, maize and fruit, among others, under production. Mpumalanga supported 9 415 farmers and put 31 032 ha of maize under production. Northern Cape supported 2 019 farmers and put 945 ha of grapes, maize and vegetables under production. The province further revitalised 419 ha of land in Vaalhaarts and constructed two overnight reservoir dams. The North West supported 7 558 farmers and put 13 554 ha of land under production. Lastly, the Western Cape supported 2 759 farmers and put 3 526 ha of vegetables, grapes and grains under production. All of the above initiatives are in support of the Fetsa Tlala Programme.
The total value of Budget Vote 24 for 2015-16 is R6,383 billion, of which R3,700 billion is ring fenced for transfers of conditional and parliamentary grants, broken down as follow. In terms of conditional grants: R1, 651 billion has been allocated to Casp; R471 million to Ilima/Letsema; R66,4 million to the LandCare Programme.
The provinces are allocated funds as follows: The Eastern Cape will receive an allocation of R312 million; the Free State, R232 million; Gauteng, R106 million; KwaZulu-Natal, R295 million; Limpopo, R312 million; Mpumalanga, R216 million; Northern Cape, R205 million; North West, R245 million; and the Western Cape, R196 million.
We have set specific targets for the utilisation of the 2015-16 conditional grants. R678 million will be directed to the Fetsa Tlala Initiative, which will bring 128 000 ha of land under production. A total of 511 projects across provinces, from both conditional grants, will be supported reaching about 27 000 smallholder farmers. About 160 000 vulnerable households will be assisted to produce their own food through household food gardens. Approximately 31 000 decent jobs will be created in 2015-16 from these interventions.
I can assure the House that due diligence was undertaken through the operations of the Pre-National Assessment Panel, PNAP, and the department revised the planning and reporting criteria to improve the alignment of provincial business plans for the conditional grants to the new mandate. The Casp was subjected to an impact evaluation study which has shown that 84% of farmers who have been supported have access to markets, although only 13% have access to formal markets. We are currently in the process of linking smallholder farmers to markets. We appreciate the findings and recommendations of the report and we will be working with all stakeholders to develop the improvement plans.
Through Casp we have seen the establishment of infrastructure for production and marketing for smallholder farmers in the form of animal handling facilities, piggery structures, maize mills, feedlots, pack houses, storage facilities, abattoirs, and so forth. Farmers are being enabled to have resources that will enable them to run productive and viable enterprises. In the Eastern Cape, 20 shearing sheds were built in the 2013-14 financial year, and the department partnered with the National Wool Growers' Association, NWGA, to train farmers and provide markets. The wool value increased from R5/kg to R35/kg, which was income in the pockets of subsistence producers.
We have sustained our on-farm conservation programme in the Nkomazi Local Municipality in Mpumalanga. Five landrace or local cultivars, namely watermelon, cowpea, bambara, pumpkin and sorghum, which were stored in the national gene bank, were given back to 10 farmers for propagation. We have also reinvigorated our efforts towards the conservation of indigenous Speckle goat and Namaqua Afrikaner Sheep breeds, working with communities in the Joe Morolong Local Municipality in the Northern Cape. These are our efforts to preserve and perpetuate breeds and cultivars that are suited to local conditions.
In 2014-15, a total of 2 836 work opportunities were created by the LandCare Conditional Grant, while rehabilitating 33 000 hectares of range and cultivated land to ensure production. The target for LandCare in 2015-16 is to protect 16 000 hectares through various measures such as fencing of arable land and clearing of weeds and invader plants.
In an effort to correct the exclusion of small-scale fishers in the sector, the department developed the Small-scale Fisheries Policy in 2012, leading to the Small-scale Fisheries Implementation Plan, and made the necessary amendments to the Marine Living Resources Amendment Act in 2014 to reflect the regulation of small-scale fisheries.
This programme will enhance transformation in the fisheries sector, benefitting the coastal communities in the four coastal provinces. Subsequent to the expiry of long-term fishing rights that were allocated in 2005-6, nine expire in 2015, with extensions granted until February 2016 while the department prepares for the allocation of these fishing rights.
The appeal for the Fishing Rights Allocation 2013, Frap 2013, has started during the month of May. A panel of experts to assess the appeals has been established. This work is anticipated to finish during the month of August 2015. The processes of allocating the rights that expire during 2015 of all ten sectors have simultaneously been running and will be completed in February 2016.
In October 2014, the hon President Jacob Zuma launched the Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy which includes the development of aquaculture, both in the ocean space and on inland space. We are making progress in resolving the bottlenecks in the establishment of aquaculture enterprises.
Altogether, 23 projects have been prioritised as ready to implement and will be used as test cases to unblock the bureaucratic red tape in doing aquaculture enterprise development. In terms of our legislative work, three Bills were approved by Cabinet in December 2014. Parliament is currently deliberating on the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill, Plant Improvement Bill and the Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill.
In forestry, the Cabinet recommissioned 21 000 ha for plantation of forestry in the Western Cape and 2 000 ha in Mpumalanga. This will come in handy in obviating the timber shortage and contributing to jobs in the country.
To conclude, I am proud to announce that South Africa will host the 14th World Forestry Congress from 7-11 September 2015 in Durban. The World Forestry Congress is the largest and most significant gathering of the world’s forestry sector, bringing together global interested parties and organisations from across the world.
The multi-lateral agencies, NGOs, governments, the private sector, scientific and professional bodies will be part of invited delegates. The congress has been held every six years since 1926, under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO of the United Nations. This will be the first time that it will take place on African soil.
I am confident that the country is geared up to host this prestigious event and to warmly welcome the delegates. We are currently hosting a series of events in the build up towards the congress. The Deputy Minister has held meetings in New York and Rome to promote the forestry congress. Other national activities include the Forestry Indaba to be held in July, followed by the annual Arbour Week launch which will be the final springboard before the congress.
We have decided that stakeholder mobilisation in the three sectors will not be done on a hit-and-run basis. I have already launched June Month as the Youth Month with the World Oceans Day which was celebrated on 8 June under the theme, Healthy Oceans, Wealthy Planet. We will conclude these events on 30 June 2015.
The August month will be a celebration of the Women’s Month, which will include the Annual Female Entrepreneur Awards. September has been set aside for the World Forestry Congress whose main event will be during the week of 7-11th September. October will be the Food Security Month, which includes the World Food Day as we emphasise the need to eradicate hunger.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife and family for their support. I would like to thank everybody in the department who has been part of the team that made this work possible. I would like to thank the Deputy Minister, General Bheki Cele, for his agility and hard work. He was in Rome attending the FAO Conference during the Budget Vote in the NA.
I thank the chairperson and members of the Select Committee on Mineral Resources and Land. I also thank all the nine MECs responsible for agriculture for their support and hard work. I appreciate the hard work done by Director-General Edith Vries and her management and staff members to make sure that we present this vote successfully.
Out of my small time left: We are doing more work and we are in the process of harvesting 26 bulls in one of our centres in the Eastern Cape that produces Nguni pure breeds to make sure that our people are able to benefit from that hardened set of animals so that we can change and create value for our own farmers. We are working with the private sector to ensure that we are able to guarantee that the people in rural areas will use their land effectively.
On 6 July 2015, we have been invited to panel with Patrice Motsepe as he will be issuing donations to kings and queens. So, that money is not going to do anything except agriculture. We believe that working together, looking at all the institutions of training, putting all those young children into agriculture, this country will be free of hunger, unemployment and other ills. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr O SEFAKO: Chairperson, hon members of this august House, hon Minister, Deputy Ministers, hon MECs, distinguished guests, our viewers, our listeners, it is indeed a great pleasure to be offered this opportunity to participate in this Budget Vote 24 of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It takes place at a time that was characterised by one of the writers in his classic work, Charles Dickens, he had this to say: “It is the best of time; it is the worst of time.”
It happens while South Africa is celebrating its 21st year of democracy. It is also happening two days after gallant fighters, the youth of this country fighting against the apartheid regime for the language that was forced for them to be enslaved as farm workers, the garden boys and the kitchen girls. They fought the language. It happens also equally in a period that has been declared by the President of this country as the year of Freedom Charter.
It is equally the worst of time because in 1913, Act 27, a notorious Native Act was passed which marginalised and ensured that the bulk of the land should be in the few hands of the white minority and 13% of the land be in the hands of the majority in this country. That is the worst in our history. Successful economy; successful farmers are indeed successful because of the ownership of the land.
We can, therefore, not divorce agriculture from the Department of Land Reform and Rural development. They are integrated and interdependent. The Freedom Charter states the vision of the people of South Africa very clear. There is a disturbance, hon Chair, and I hope I’m protected. [Interjections.] Oh, she’s dreaming aloud.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Continue with the debate, hon member!
Mr O SEFAKO: The Department of Agriculture has the potential to play an important role in addressing poverty, inequality – this is very disturbing.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Can you just ignore and continue!
Mr O SEFAKO: Oh okay! I said the Department of Agriculture plays an important role in ensuring that this stubborn poverty, inequality is reduced. Bring back what?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Sefako, just focus on the debate and avoid engaging with members directly.
Mr O SEFAKO: Chair, it is true as it is reflected in the President of the Republic of South Africa’s speech that, South Africa is a better place to live in today than it was before 1994. Since its inception, the ANC has been fighting to unite the people of South Africa and mobilise them. The Freedom Charter says: “The land shall be shared amongst those who work on it. The restriction of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land be redivided amongst those who work on it.”
The Freedom Charter is a precursor of our Constitution and the Constitution is the supreme law of this country, which indeed put it very clear, as to how to address and redress the imbalances of the past. South Africa led by the ANC, will never allo landgrab or land rush, as we are seeing ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Mathys, I said it yesterday and I don’t have to repeat it again. I said that there is nothing wrong in heckling, but don’t interfere or cloud the member who is speaking. You are on the speaker’s list and I would expect nobody to interrupt with your speech. So, please, may you allow the member with the debate without interrupting him? You don’t have to engage with the member. On what point are you rising now?
Ms L MATHYS: I don’t know if I may address you, because I just can’t ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: No! On what point are you rising now? You can’t address him because I’m trying to bring something to your attention.
Ms L MATHYS: On what point did you address me, because I’m asking if ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Interruption; the rule on interruption, because you are interrupting the member.
Ms L MATHYS: You must explain the difference between heckling, because I don’t know.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: No, the moment you start engaging with the member directly, you are interrupting and in terms of the rules of this House does not allow a member to be interrupted while presenting his or her Budget Vote to date.
Ms L MATHYS: I am not interrupting. I didn’t stand on a point of order; I’m just making a comment ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon member, I’m just bringing it to your attention because the member feels interrupted.
Ms L MATHYS: Oh, we feel interrupted all the time and you just have to deal with it.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Please, may you refrain from doing that. Can you continue hon member?
Rre O SEFAKO: Modulasetilo, ke leboga gape kgato e e tserwweng ke Tona ya Temothuo, Dikgwa le Tshwaro ya Ditlhapi, go bontsha gore ke nnete puso eno e e eteletsweng pele ke ANC, puso ya ANC, e gatelapele. Bao ba itirang disanankgope ba a tlola fa re gatela pele. Walala, wasala! Wasala, walala! (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[Mr O SEFAKO: Chairperson, I am thankful for the action performed by the Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It is a clear evidence that the ANC-led government is progressing. The pessimists gets worried when they see progress. You snooze, you lose!]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Smit, on what point are you rising?
Mr C F B SMIT: Chair, sorry for interrupting, but translation in English is not available. I hear that they are speaking in the background but they don’t do the translation.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Can the technical services address the issue of translation, please? Continue with the debate, hon Sefako!
Rre O SEFAKO: Re a gata; re gatela pele. Tona ya Temothuo, Dikgwa le Tshwaro ya Ditlhapi, mo nakong e e sa fediseng pelo, o tlabo a aba dipoana le dipoo tsa diNguni. Kwa Durban gone, re setse re le mo nakong ya go gola tlhapi. Dilo tsa gago di tlala seatla. Re bone kwa Taung, kwa Bokone Bophirima, fa o ya kwa ntlheng ya Brits, basimane le basetsana ba palame diterekere, go a lengwa, go gatelwa pele.
Ba ba itirileng bo tlhogomoimele, re a ba siya, re gatela pele. Mogologolo o rile, phala e se senang phalana ke lesilo, botlhale jwa phala bo tswa phalaneng. Fa e le ngwana ena yo o tlhogo kgolo, o sira rragwe. Motho yo mošwa o mo rate, o mo ratele matlhagatlhaga a gagwe, mme fela o mo ele tlhoko gonne a ka go swabisa. Ba re botlhale ba gagwe bo mo maragong, e a re fa a kgonama botshologe. Ke ka moo re ka se fetse go ela tlhoko bo mabina go tsholwa ba ba tlhagelelang gone jaanong. Ka jalo, a re tieng, re tshegetseng puso e e tsepameng ya ANC e e nang le dingwaga tse 103 e ntse e bontsha setšhaba tsela. Ka mafoko ao ke a leboga, ke re fa e le tekanyetsokabo eno re a e tshegetsa. Ke a leboga. [Legofi.] (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)
[Mr O SEFAKO: We are progressing. In no time, the Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be giving away cattle. It time for fishing in Durban. The Minister work is seen. In Taung, North West Province, on your way to Brits, we saw girls and boys riding tractors - ploughing.
We are leaving pessimists behind. We learn from the new generation. However, a disrespectful child is an embarrassment to his father. You must love a young person for his vigour, however, be careful – you might be disappointed. It is believed their wisdom is on their bums, they bend it gets lost. That is why we are so careful with these newcomers. We must be strong and move forward, support the ANCled stable government. It has been showing the nation the way for the past 103 years. We support the budget vote. I thank you. [Applause.]].
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order hon member! Is the clock running? Is the clock set? Mine is not.
Mr C F B SMIT: Is that fine? It says one minute. [Interjections.] It’s no problem, thank you. Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members, members of the public and guests in the gallery, welcome to this very important debate.
Farming and agriculture lie close to the hearts of all South Africans as it is in our blood. If we look into our respective histories we will find that the majority of our forefathers were farmers, which is why this is such an important and emotional topic together with ownership of land, as we cannot separate the two.
Unfortunately the ANC is acting highly irresponsibly by nurturing an insecure environment to operate in as a farmer and an almost impossible environment for new emerging farmers. Allowing Minister Nkwinti to make flip-flop announcements on the ownership of land will not help to create the one million jobs in agriculture, hon Minister. By cutting the department’s budget between R158 million and R210 million per financial year over the next three financial years will not help to create the one million jobs as per the National Development Plan, NDP, hon Minister. Ignoring rural crime and the farm murder crisis will not help to create the one million much-needed jobs for our poor rural communities, hon Minister. By dropping a 25kg bag of mielie pips for every two ha of farmland as part of the Fetsa Tlala programme at Leboeng in Sekhukhune in Limpopo as the only form of assistance to upcoming farmers will not cultivate the one million jobs needed to make a u-turn on the current 36% unemployment rate, hon Minister.
No, the ANC has become selfish and obsessed with owning and controlling all the land that it has forgotten to care for the poor unemployed youth of this country, hon Minister. [Interjections.] Wake up hon Minister! Your department will have nothing to administer if we continue on this path of uncertainty.
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, we are not debating Land but we are debating Agriculture. Furthermore, is it parliamentary for a member to incite the House?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That’s a point of debate hon Parkies.
Mr J P PARKIES: The ANC is not the only land ... [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Parkies, order! I cautioned hon Mathys earlier on. Can we be consistent in that? Let’s not interrupt the speaker. You will get your chance. If you have different views to what he is saying, you can then raise your issues.
Mr C F B SMIT: The hon member from the ANC who is speaking to me now is actually from the SACP that stands for owning all the land and doesn’t want to give the people a single piece of land at the end of the day. Anyway ... [Interjections.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Thank you very much Chair. I’m rising on a point of order. The hon member is deliberately misleading the public in saying that the ANC or the SACP does not give land. Land is with them. They must give land to us so that we can give people the land. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, no! Can I make a ruling on that matter please? I didn’t pick up the point of the ANC owning the land. I heard the ANC government. However, if there is contestation on how the statement was structured will you allow me to consult Hansard and make a ruling with regard to that please? Continue hon member.
Mr C F B SMIT: Thank you hon Deputy Chair. I think its pinching at this stage under the ANC. Sorry to hurt you. Take some time and stand up for your department’s interests hon Minister, by having a hard talk with Minister Nkwinti who obviously does not understand agriculture at all. It is clear that the ANC did not think it through when they, as usual, chose the lazy option of a one size fits all approach to land ownership by announcing universal land caps of 1 000ha for small farms; 2 500ha for medium farms; and 5 000ha for commercial farms. Please Minister, you go and farm in the Karoo with sheep on a so-called 5000ha commercial farm. It is similar to building a mansion on a one square meter of erf – senseless and impossible.
Minister, can you please explain to South Africa why we are importing chickens from the USA now? I can take you now to over 1 000 villages with poor, unemployed people who would eagerly take part in farming with chickens if they just got support from your department hon Minister; as well as existing farmers who would eagerly participate in partnerships with these rural communities to produce this shortage of chickens. But no, rather import it and kill some more desperately needed jobs!
According to Absa’s Agri Trends document of 29 May this year, there has been a 50% decline in applications to buy agricultural land over the past two years. This is due to bad land reform policy that hampers investment in agriculture, as well as political statements on land reform and land use that creates uncertainty.
Agriparks is a great initiative hon Minister to support upcoming farmers in communal areas, but the reality is that these farmers will not be able to build equity as they are refused titles to the land. It is like breastfeeding a baby and strangling it at the same time. This is another populist move by the ANC to hold onto power by controlling access to opportunities for the people in communal areas at huge costs to their constitutional rights and individual freedoms to choose for themselves. Unfortunately for you hon Minister, your predecessor hon Minister Joemat-Pettersson left you a Fisheries department in absolute disarray. She basically destroyed the industry through the Fishing Rights Allocation Process, Frap, 2013.
Hon Minister, I must say that I am now really worried. I truly hope that you are not leaving this section of your department to your cowboy Deputy Minister Bheki Cele, as the last time he answered Questions in this House ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Smit, please withdraw your usage of the word, “cowboy”, because the member is an hon member who happens to be a Deputy Minister.
Mr C F B SMIT: I withdraw and rephrase. The last time he answered Questions in this House on Fisheries he could not differentiate between a normal catfish and a silver catfish, also called a makriel. In fact, he pointed to a piece of paper in his hand and replied to me that the cat of the water is here. Shocking to say the least! Hon Minister, I am sorry to say but the hon Deputy Minister Cele has got no clue when it comes to Fisheries as it does not apply to his shoot to kill approach to matters.
Minister, I truly believe that your department is overlooking a gold mine for job creation and food security by not investing in the potential of fresh water aquaculture. I know that your reply to me will be that inland communities do not eat much fish; however, that is due to the lack of supply of fresh water fish, hon Minister. Fresh water aquaculture can contribute greatly to stimulate the rural economy and supply cost-effective protein diets as an alternative to chicken and beef.
Minister, under a DA government we will unlock the potential of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa that you are unable to do under the ANC government that has been swallowed by the SACP and their authoritarian ideologies. The DA will ensure that our communities have full ownership of their freedom through a culture of fairness to access opportunities and create a better life for themselves and their families through hard work and commitment. This is a dream of a great South Africa which we call vision 2029. We are the only party that cares enough and that can help to grow our people through Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members because of ... We might be tempted repeat the same mistake. I thought in actual fact an hon member rise on a direct point of order because reference is made to an SACP that cannot answer for itself in this House. So, I would really caution members not to make statements vowed people or organisations that would not be able to respond for them or answer for themselves in this House.
There is an organisation referred to as the SACP, but they are not. It’s not an organisation that contested elections and that is directly represented through the Electoral Act in Parliament. So, we should just avoid those kind of situation.
Ms J MATSHOGE (MEC LIMPOPO AGRICULTURE): Hon Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon members of the National Council of Provinces, our hon Minister Zokwana, ladies and gentlemen, we are on course to ultimately push the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and equality backwards. I take this priceless opportunity to point out this august House the sterling contributions of agriculture, the bread basket of our country, our forest of hope and lungs of our lives and treasures of fisheries to the South African good story.
Recently to be precise, on 28 May 2015, the world celebrated World Hunger Day, which is a moment to reflect on the egnomious state of food security worldwide, with the view to exploring ways and means to end up this scourge. Not much was said about this day. It did not hock the media headlines, yet more than 800 million people are adversely affected by the painful pains of chronic hunger.
We are unpacking this Budget Vote at the time when the country is commemorating the Youth Month, in particular, June 16. That day, during our winter of discontent in 1976, saw my generations spark a revolt against the youth of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in our schools.
We also celebrated Africa Month in May, which was a period dedicated to the celebration of the virtues of our beloved and beautiful country.
In contributing its fare share of moving South Africa forward, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, unveiled its Budget Vote 24. Amongst other mile stones, the budget addressed the following: An announcement regarding the approval of Agricultural Policy Action Plan, which was developed in conjunction with the private sector, demonstrates the strides we are making as a country. Agricultural Policy Action Plan, Apap, gives effect to Chapter 6 of the National Development Plan, NDP, dealing with the comprehensive creation of an integrated, and an inclusive rural economy.
Most importantly, Apap emphasises agricultural investment through the sector value chain. It is through Apap, which was developed in consultation again with the private sector that an estimated one million hectares of under-utilised land will be brought into full production over the next three years. This will enable to promote job creation on a massive scale, precisely because its value chain approach in priority commodities, particularly those with high growth potential and high labour absorption capacity is central to the National Development Plan employment creation within the agricultural sector.
Hon Chair, Apap will also unlock the economic potential of the country in the processed agriculture project sector and promote international trade, especially because government is set to introduce an explode led an import substitution strategy, which obviously will mean more job opportunities are created in the domestic economy. Moreover, with its focus on promoting Intra African Trade and trade with China, Apap will be an effective tool of consolidating our country’s foreign policy. An integrated approach of the economic cluster vis-a-vis the production activity within the agricultural sector as many advantages in addition to the improvement of productive efficiency. This include, and are not limited to the enhancing the productivity of the support to small holder and new entrance. This will promote community empowerment because most smallholder farmers are at the grassroots level within our communities.
In addition, the size of their entities precise these section of farmers within the small business sector. This means, there is small business development benefit as well as a job creation opportunities, which can easily be descend and counted.
To the hon member, the bags of seeds we are providing to our farmers are better than a bag of mealiemeal you were giving to our parents. Don’t through stones whilst you are in a house of glass.
The human race in this case or the inhabitants of this beloved country cannot enjoy total freedom if our fauna and floras are neglected. We endeavour to always strike a healthy balance between human beings and other living organisms within our ecosystem. That is why we are improving access to the terynary services by delivering mobile and prefabricated clinics and also producing medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to be used at these sites. The total cost of this project is close to R80 million, the advancement of agriculture and education. Dove has availed financial assistance to several students at various levels of tertiary studies because we earnestly believe that investment in human capital is the engine that will drive us to our destination to attain maximum excellence. Moreover, people are our primary assets.
We are also on the cast of developing veterinarians as part of the compulsory community service programme because our graduates have to first and foremost test their skills in their communities. They are members of their communities before they are students and graduates.
The land shall be shared among those who worked it. In a more expanded form, this clause explains that the democratic state shall shoulder and the responsibility of providing those who work the land and the peasants with the implements, seeds, tractors and dams.
Some of our interventions such as Fetsa Tlala food security programme and the revitalisation of irrigation schemes are efforts to translate these claws into reality, in order to push the frontiers of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and equality backwards.
The hon Minister has said it all in terms of national performance in this programme. Let us join hands and deliver food to all our people. Remember, siba’s est vita nostra. Food is our life. No peace of arable and fertile land must be allowed to light fallow. It must be used to meaningfully add value to our socioeconomic growth and development that will benefit all our people in this country and also contribute to the overall well-being of the human race worldwide. This is what we seek to achieve in the new South Africa.
As stated in the Freedom Charter, restrictions of land ownership on a racial base shall be ended, and all the land re-divided among those who work it to banish famine and land hunger.
Limpopo will continue to applaud their traditional leaders for the role that they are playing in collaborating with the province in the provision of communal land for agricultural purposes.
Chair, our forests of hope are integral to our good story. In September, a month during which both the ABA Week and the ABA Day are celebrated, our country will be host the 14th World Forestry Congress, a nine decades old event held every six years. This will be a ground breaking moment, precisely because our continent and country will be hosting this event for the first time. The theme of the World Forestry Congress, WFC, is “Forest and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future”.
The WFC will provide a platform for the identification and analysis of the major issues facing the sector as well as raising awareness about new forms of technical, scientific and policy actions that will result in the great sustainability of forest through linking sound policy and physible practice. Moreover, key stakeholders including the youth, women, indigenous people and local communities will be able to voice the main concerns of their various constituencies.
In my province, Limpopo, plans are in the often to hold a summit focusing on women in the forestry sector during the month of August, when our country highlights the plight of the women fog. Our shoal or fisheries has been placed at the core of development intervention. As a result, the country’s aquatic wealth ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Summarise, MEC!
Ms J MATSHOGE (MEC LIMPOPO AGRICULTURE): Our shoal of fisheries had been placed in the core of development intervention. As a results the countries aquatic wealth will be unlocked as the ocean economy.
In line with the Freedom Charter commitment of providing those who work the land with dams, we have not provided this for the sole purpose of crop and farming livestock farming. We are extending the use of this source to the aquaculture as exemplified by Petani Dam in the Limpopo province. Thank you very much, Chair. [Applause.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: If you don’t know, it’s a prophetic colour. To the DA, until you release the market to black people, especially with regard to poultry farming, you will talk. So, you should not come here and tell us about land that is still in your hands. [Interjections.] You cannot separate agriculture from land, so it is very important that the stolen land be returned to their rightful owners who are the black majority of this country. [Interjections.]
The EFF rejects this budget, fundamentally for two reasons. The first is that the trade liberalisation policies adopted by the ANC since 1994 have significantly reduced any possibility for the development of smallholder agriculture in the country, leaving only a few well-off farmers to monopolise agriculture. As a result of this, agriculture has been declining rapidly over the past few decades, thereby threatening our food sovereignty as a nation. In 1950, South Africa had about 120 000 farmers; in 2014, we only had 37 O00 farmers. The majority of farmers have been suffocated out of the system because they simply cannot breathe anymore.
Even though the ANC government has correctly identified agriculture as a growth driver – which is a very good thing – it fails to understand a very simple fact, which is that if you do not subsidise and protect agriculture, your smallholders will be sniffed out of the system by cheap imports from countries that subsidise and protect their own farmers. Minister, the result of this is that we now have 37 O00 farmers producing 90% of our food needs, with rural inhabitants producing only 10% of our food through smallholder agriculture. Remember that where rural areas are is where the majority of blacks are.
Under the ANC our agriculture has been demolished to such an extent that we import the most basic things. We import snoek fish from Australia because we cannot properly support our own people living in coastal areas to exploit marine resources in a sustainable manner. We import chicken from Brazil because our very own chicken farmers have been left to fend for themselves in a global environment where big nations support and protect their own agriculture.
This is now going to be compounded by the conditions set out by the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which has opened up floodgates – not to heaven – for the importation of USA chickens into South Africa. This means that the country will be importing about 65 000 tons of chickens from the USA every year, leading to the collapse of our own poultry industry and affecting thousands of jobs. [Interjections.] An intervention by Minister Joemat-Pettersson, while she was ...
... You are interrupting me ...
... still the MEC of Agriculture ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I did caution the hon member.
Ms T J MOKWELE: ... in the Northern Cape, supposedly to develop smallholder rooibos farmers in Niewoudtville ... I don’t know how to pronounce this name ... it’s Greek to me ... in the Northern Cape has been mired in corruption. The tea-processing plant in the area is still not working years after it was launched. The ANC is the enemy of smallholders.
The second reason we object to this Budget Vote is because under the ANC the forestry sector has become a haven for corrupt and dishonest forestry monopolies, backed by senior ANC politicians. State forests in the area between Stutterheim and Keiskammahoek ... hey, this thing of Afrikaans ... have been leased ... we must change these names to their original names ... by the department to just one company, Rance Holdings, for a period of 99 years at just R1 per ha per year. Just imagine our land being rented for R1. This company has since continued to thrash indigenous vegetation in the area with impunity, without environmental authorisation. They know nothing will happen to them because they have senior ANC politicians on their board, some of whom came to this Parliament to boast about their uMkhonto weSizwe, MK, credentials.
The new private equity scheme being implemented by rich white farmers in the Witzenberg subregion of the Cape Winelands farming area is a continuation of the misguided policies of the ANC. The previous black economic empowerment, BEE, equity scheme failed to achieve 90% of its targets, which promised to uplift the livelihoods of impoverished farmworkers. There are no investigations into how the wealthy white farmers misused R30 billion of state funds to further enrich themselves at the cost of placing the farmworkers, who were supposed to benefit from it, into further poverty. Until this matter is properly investigated and those who misused these state funds prosecuted, the EFF and its members will reject any new equity scheme that these white farmers try to implement.
The budget, instead of increasing state expenditure on agriculture, does the exact opposite by reducing government expenditure in agriculture over the next few years. [Time expired.]
Mr E M MLAMBO: Hon Deputy Chair, hon Minister, hon members [Inaudible], hon MEC from Limpopo, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and compatriots. Civilisation began with agriculture. When our nomadic ancestors began to settle and grow their own food, human society was forever changed. Not only did villages, towns and cities begin to flourish, but so did knowledge, the arts and technologies.
And for most part of history, society’s connection to the land was intimate. Human communities, no matter how sophisticated, could not ignore the importance of agriculture. To be far from dependable sources of food was to risk malnutrition and starvation. It was therefore not a surprise that when the notion of statehood and formal governance of countries came into being that agriculture became a backbone of economic system of a given country.
And in addition to providing food and raw material, agriculture also provides employment opportunities to a very large percentage of the population. In modern times, however, many in the urban world have forgotten this fundamental connection. Insulated by the apparent abundance of food that has come from new technologies for the growing, transportation and food storage, humanity’s fundamental dependence on agriculture is often overlooked.
The ANC however, has not, and could not; forget about the importance of agriculture. This is what in its document Ready to Govern, the ANC stated:
The development of a productive agricultural sector and a viable rural economy is necessary for economic growth and the well being of all South Africans. The productive potential of the land and the people living on it should be effectively harnessed, for the benefit of the entire nation. Our agricultural land should be treated as a fragile and precious resource base which belongs to future generations, and our policies will ensure its enrichment, protection, and its productive utilisation as a foundation for food production,
Soon after being elected overwhelmingly into power in 1994 the ANC drew an agricultural policy wherein it stated that this agricultural policy will continue to be developed in response to changes in our society and economy. The mission of this policy was to achieve equitable access to and optimal use of agricultural resource to ensure, among other, the following:
- Affordable and sufficient food and fibre for all South Africans;
- A life of dignity for all on the land;
- The creation of employment and the elimination of rural poverty;
- Full realisation of agriculture’s contribution to economic development; and
- Conservation of our natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
- Conservation of our natural resources for the benefit of future generations
When one looks at these mission objectives one would realise that they echo what is contained in the Freedom Charter, for it provides that:“all the land shall be re-divided amongst those who work it, to banish famine and land hunger”.
This civil call by the Freedom Charter to eradicate hunger was also echoed elsewhere. In 1974, during the first World Food Conference in Rome, in Italy, an international commitment was made to eradicate: “the most basic problem of mankind: food insecurity.” The pledge by world leaders at this Conference recognised that all people have a right to an adequate diet. The Conference proclaimed that “every man, woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop their physical and mental faculties”
Since this conference there have been a number of meetings to deal with the issue of food insecurity. They include the 1996 World Summit on Food Security, 2002 World Food Summit and 2009 World Summit on Food Security, all taking place in Rome. Last year the African Union declared 2014 as the “Year of Agriculture and Food Security” across Africa.
However, despite all these there is still an estimated one billion people worldwide who suffer from chronic hunger, and about 300 million are from sub-Saharan Africa. This is despite Africa accounting for about 25 per cent of the world’s unused fertile land.
South Africa has got more than 52 million people and this population needs to have quality of life. For them to enjoy a high quality of life they need agriculture. Agriculture provides food, clothing and shelter. It does this because at present, agriculture above and beyond farming includes forestry, dairy, fruit cultivation, poultry, beef keeping, mushroom, arbitrary etc. Today, processing, marketing and distribution of crops and livestock products etc. are all acknowledged as part of agriculture. We need to sensitise our people, especially our youth, of this broad spectrum of agriculture so that hey can come on board in this sector. This will go a long way in dealing with youth unemployment.
Even our Vision 2030, the National Development Plan recognises the role that agriculture will have to play to eradicate unemployment. It identifies 600 000 potential jobs in communal areas and 300 000 jobs through commercial agriculture. That is why it calls for an inclusive rural economy wherein rural communities should have greater opportunities to participate fully in the economic, social and political life of their country.
The problem that I am having with hon member, hon Smit, from the DA, is taking the Vision 2030 and reducing it by one digit saying the DA has a Vision 2029, which is not, documented anywhere. Where is the document? [Interjections.] We as the ANC are fully behind this vision 2030 [Interjection.]-Whether its party vision it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t document it. We therefore support the Ministry’s draft Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill of 2015, which seeks to vest all agricultural land in the State as custodian of the people of South Africa. This draft Bill contains a key clause stating that “Agricultural land is the common heritage of all the people of South Africa and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is the custodian thereof for the benefit of all South Africans.”
There are some people who are being disingenuous and referring this draft Bill as the expropriation of agricultural land Bill. They do so despite the standing decision by the Constitutional Court that where an entity or a person’s loss of ownership does not lead to the State’s acquiring ownership of this land. This means no expropriation has occurred and thus no compensation is payable. Thank you very much. As the ANC, we support this Budget Vote. [Applause.]
Nks B S MASANGO: Phini likaSihlalo ohloniphekile, Ngqongqoshe Wezolimo Namahlathi, ozakwethu, amalungu ahloniphekile, nabasivakashele, ngiyanibingelela. Lo Mnyango uthole isabelo sezimali esehlisiwe kulokho ebesikuthole ngonyaka ophelile kusukela ku-R6,6 wezigidi zezigidi ukuya ku-R6,3 wezigidi zezigidi. Ingabe lokhu kukhombisa ukuthi kukhona okufanele sikhathazeke ngako ngalo Mnyango? Ngoba kunjalo njena kunalo mthetho okuthiwa uhlongoza ukuthi kube iwona ozolondoloza noma uthuthukise imihlaba yezolimo.
Kodwa isikhathi esinikezwe abantu, imiphakathi yethu ukuthi iphawule ngolo mthetho, sincane kakhulu. Senze imizamo njenge-DA ukuthi sibhalele uNgqongqoshe ukuthi aselule lesi sikhathi ngoba lo mthetho usemqoka kakhulu uma kuwukuthi kuzothathwa imihlaba yokulima yabantu bakuleli baseNingizimu Afrika iphathwe uHulumeni. Siyacela Ngqongqoshe ohloniphekile ukuba welule lesi sikhathi ukuze abantu bakwazi ukuphawula ngalo mthetho ngoba uzwakala sengathi umthetho osemqoka kakhulu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs fallows.)
[Ms B S MASANGO: Hon Deputy Chairperson, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, colleagues, hon members and guests in the gallery, good afternoon. This department’s budget this time was reduced from what we received last year, from R6,6 billion to R6,3 billion. Is this an indication that we should be concerned about something with regard to this department? Because there is an Act that is proposing that this department should be the one that saves or upgrades the agricultural land.
The people are not given enough time to comment on this Act. We made an effort in writing to the Minister to extend the time, as the DA, because this Act is very important if the South African agricultural land is going to be taken by the Government. Hon Minister, we request you to please extend the time in order for the people to be able to comment on this Act because it sounds very important.]
In the DA run Western Cape, where we are today, South Africa’s key export region. We are striving to achieve a success rate of at least 70% on all agricultural land reform to increase sustainable agricultural production by at least 10% over the next 10 years.
Thina esingafani ne-ANC, siyakuqaphela kakhulu ukuthi sidale amathuba omsebenzi ngokuthi kuko konke esikwenzayo emhlabeni lapho esilima khona siqinisekise ukuthi abantu, abalimi abasafufusa, bathole amathuba okuthi basebenzise imihlaba yabo. Siyaziqhenya ngalokho. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph fallows.)
[As we are not the same as the ANC, we focus on creating job opportunities in everything that we do with the agricultural land and we make sure that the people, emerging farmers, get opportunities of using their land. We are proud of that.]
And if the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries continue along the vein of doing what I have just outlined now, the DA, sooner rather than later, will bring freedom, fairness and greater opportunity as it has done in the Western Cape. Thank you very much Chair.
Mr J P PARKIES: Hon Chair, our revolution exists and prevails ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Smit, on what point you are rising? Just take your seat, hon Parkies.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, I am actually surprised that the EFF is clapping hands for the hon Parkies, are they now together? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: That is not a point of order. Hon Parkies, may you continue with the debate. [Interjections.] No, you don’t need to respond to that, it is fine. [Interjections.] No, take your seat.
Mr J P PARKIES: Hon Chair, our revolution exists and prevails beyond the dull limited flippant ideas. Let me recognise the Minister, members of this esteemed House and the department. My entry point in my reordered speech, we need to be deliberate on actions to temper and interrupt the labyrinthine structure of food system and seed industry.
Agriculture is the basis of our food security and nutritious needs. That is why we need to comprehend a political economy of agriculture as an industry. During the twentieth century, intensive farming had saved 44% of the platen earth for wilderness. Even during eighteenth century, agriculture dominated the economies of countries during the phase of industrialisation to absorb large numbers of concealed unemployment left by the industrial expansion. The significance of agriculture is attested by the undeniable fact that 70% of worldwide rural poor depend on this sector for their income.
Therefore, agricultural output is part of the political economy. In every 10 jobs there is one related to what is happening on the farm in one way or another, shape and the content. It is veritable that in South Africa, between 2002 and 2013, the number of households experiencing hunger reduced from 29,3% to 13,4%, yet while individuals experiencing hunger decreased from 23,8% to 11%. Albeit we note the seriousness of the scenarios sketched for 2014-30 recently held on food production risks in the country.
In this process government, academics, economists, civil society and experts were involved. Some of the elements include the level and decline on food production, number of commercial farmers involved in food production, food prices and their affordability, and polarised agricultural sector.
Currently, 40% of the world population, their employment is associated with agriculture. The European Union negotiated Trade Development Co-operation – Chair, if I am left with 3 minutes, please alert me - Agreement has effects and pressure on our local industry. Regarding the United States poultry issue, the big question is: How many jobs have been created by the United States imports? Can we build our own massive job opportunity for people by investing in poultry?
The next issue I want to raise, hon Chair, is the issue related to seed industry. The global seed trade is estimated to have sales of approximately US$45 billion while exports from South Africa worth close to US$73 million, imports estimated to US$89 million. As a country, we contribute 50% of the total African seed business putting us to be a major player in the market.
Africa as a continent import 40% of its food needs, big share of this originates from outside of our continent. The big issue is: Who are involved? We carry knowledge of the current or the recent past processes relating to the bills that were involved in Parliament.
The seed policy is critically important for our economy. The granting of intellectual property rights should not be at the expense of the small-scale farmers in our country and the region and the agrobiodiversity, but protect the seed monopoly companies. It is a point that we cannot have grandiose policies, but we fail to penetrate and temper.
The fate of our people cannot be left entirely to the juggernaut of the liberal corporate regime and the masters of grand larceny, precisely because food is first and foremost a source of nutrition and only secondarily an item of trade.
We need to replace the uniform of the past with a new diversity in the supply chain with urgency to make progress in the seed industry. Only few companies are involved, the Pioneers, Monsanto, Link Seed, Agricola, Klein Karoo and others. We need state-led process to have two massive co-operatives, constituted of the rural poor, to get involved in this industry, if we are to be genuine about black economic empowerment.
Regulations and policy on trans-border movement of seed and the involvement of our people as producers, breeders, distributors, exporters, including labelling are important aspects in this industry. However, there is no concurrent legislation in place protecting the traditional agriculture. Linked to the aforesaid is the rapid development of genetically modified plant material which includes seeds that are aggressively promoted by their multinational developers.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Just responding to your request.
Mr J P PARKIES: Thank you. Therefore, the aforesaid view or perspective represent a holistic view and approach on our articulated reindustrilisation and agro-industrial approach in the context of unfolding agri-parks which should not be hijacked by the boated bourgeois vampire elite. These agri-parks represent a great potential to lift up our people who are reverberating in the abyss of grinding tormenting poverty.
We need to be convulsive in reorganising food trade, and the current global food system is not to be built on the free liberalised food trade.
Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] [Thank you. [Applause.]]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: No, I was saying you said I should remind you when you are left with three minutes. That is exactly what I did. [Laughter.] Your time is not up.
Mr J P PARKIES: Is not up.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Yes. [Laughter.]
Mr J P PARKIES: No, I have cut my speech.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Oh, okay, that is fine.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Deputy Chairperson, I thank those who have spoken, but I will quote one famous man who led the Germans to the end of the Second World War, Dr Joseph Goebbels, when he outlined the ability to tell a big lie; telling it repeatedly when no truth is told until the lie becomes the truth.
It was the admission by the MEC or Minister in the Western Cape to the fact that in a DA-controlled province, black farmers constitute less than 1%. I don’t know which area the DA is relying upon on their own research. [Interjections.]
Mr C F B SMIT: Deputy Chair, on a point of clarity. I would like to hear where this statistic comes from. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPSERON OF THE NCOP: There is no point of that nature.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Thank you again. We have taken the points that the DA is raising and their dream of being a future government that will afford people in a province in which people are paid by liquor. This is still the case in the Western Cape. Workers who work in farms are paid with liquor because they are black not white. This is happening in the Western Cape. So, I don’t know where the DA will learn these tricks of being the best.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chair, I rise on a point of clarity. I would like to know if the Minister would tell us how much he pays his workers?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON F THE NCOP: Order, hon members! I am unable to hear what the member is saying. I didn’t even hear what she said.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chair, I would like to know whether the Minister would take a question.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Not now; I have limited time. But if she wants that question answered, I can do that outside.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: He is not prepared.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: So, what I am saying therefore is that I have listened to the DA. Let me tell you hon Smit, we know very well what is happening in the oOceans. The oceans are the lungs of the earth. The oxygen we breathe is from there. Last week, I was in Durban, watching a spectacular event which happens very rarely. I was watching the sardine run. What a beauty. It is an area the DA, during the times of their forefathers, never transformed. Hence there are few black people in that area. [Interjections.]
On the issue of land, I know that you will complain all the time about the fact that in our country we must not transform land issues. We will transform land issues. I have listened to farmers. What they are saying is unfortunately not what you are saying. I was listening to them; I was with them even last week. Farmers have come forward with good proposals. I can tell you that we are working with the Land Reform very efficiently; we are meeting and engaging with farmers.
To the EFF, I am very sorry. It may be that you hate the ANC so much that you can’t even see the truth and even come with your own manufactured statistics. Let me tell you that the word you cannot pronounce, where rooibos is being processed, the information you have been given, sisi, is unreliable; it is untrue. Ninety rooibos producers in the areas are 70% smallholder farmers and they produce quality rooibos. [Interjections.] Meskien you don’t know what rooibos is, that is why maybe you come here and claim that there is no rooibos. So on other issues you have spoken, I understand the pain of leaving the home you love; it is anger that drives you to say those things because it is cold outside the ANC. [Interjections.] Come back, we’ll couch you and show you that agriculture cannot be built on what Nongqawuse told Xhosas. Your policies are not founded; they are based on anger. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, order! Order! Hon Minister, you know I observed a very interesting thing, earlier on when hon Mokwele was at the podium; I protected her twice, against interruption. But now she is doing exactly what I cautioned members not to do to her. May you please allow the Minister to respond?
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Thank you, again. Even the EFF can come to us; we will give them our production statistics in terms of who is producing what and in which markets. The DA speaks about the African Growth and Opportunity Act negotiations. I understand what they are saying because it could be that they favour the fact that we could have come up with a worse agreement than the one we have. I can assure you that the fact that we are not producing enough chicken is not because of the African Growth and Opportunity Act,. It is because of the import costs. The fact that we are not producing enough soya beans to feed our chicken is what we are debating to doing now.
I can assure you that the former Minister did very well. We are going to ensure as we issue new licenses we transform the untransformed industry. We will make sure that we do because black people cannot continue to only compete for the shallow waters. We want them to be in deep sea, in the hake industry. You do not like that, we know.
On the last question raised behind me, my workers are earning equal to a farm worker. All of them are earning R2 400. They are not paid by liquor as the DA allows in the Western Cape. So I am telling you therefore that let us go out and build a better South Africa, not go around spreading lies because lies won’t be factual.
Your 2029 plan is a dream in your head , Sir. Please produce it; we want to see it. But, please, practise first where you lead. You are leading in the Western Cape, but it’s still untransformed; black people do not have rights to land. We are going to change land policies; we are going to produce in land. We will do it because we are a government that is responsible. We won’t need your license; we won’t need your permit or you appraisal.
I would like to invite the member from the EFF. Take time, Sisi, to come to my office and we will take you through all the programmes and show you what we are doing. We agree with you on some of the things you are saying. We disagree with you on the form of how we can change land. You don’t grab land and build shacks instead of planting food. So please come to our offices.
On the DA member, always tell the truth. On the issue of the new Bill, we have only issued a Bill marine consultation. We have extended the process, please don’t come and mix statements not based on facts. You better ask what it happening because you are misleading the people.
Siyaqhuba bahlekazi asisayi kumiswa ngabantu abakhwazayo. Siza kusebenza njengomntu ohambisa iposi. [We are continuing with our job. We are not going to be stopped by people who are making a lot of noise. We will work as a postman.]
... when small dogs follow him barking, he does not stop and bark back at them for he knows where he is going. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Before I adjourn the House, there are two outstanding rulings that I quickly have to present to the House as promised.
The first ruling was on a point of order raised by the hon Sefako regarding the remarks made by hon Mokgosi on 3 June 2015 on the Policy debate Budget Vote No 33 Tourism. Hon members, I would like to make a ruling on a point of order raised on that particular day by hon Sefako. I indicated that I would seriously consider the matter and revert back to the House.
During hon Mokgosi’s speech, hon Sefako rose on a point of order to object to a statement that, I quote: Chairperson, I heard that the ANC says that it will lead until Jesus comes. That means that the ANC is going to kill people until Jesus comes. And it also means that the Marikana people have got a huge problem ahead.” Against the statement, hon Sefako rose on a point of order that the member continuously characterises the ANC as a murderous organisation.
The central objective of the debate is to deliberate and solicit views on the subject matter in question. In realising this objective, hon members should be at liberty to express their views as permitted by the Constitution in a manner they feel comfortable and not to be confined, that is in so far as the freedom of speech, as that has a potential of stifling the debate. However, in exercising their right to freedom of expression, members should be conscious of the limitation clause, as enshrined in the Constitution and the Rules of the National Council of Provinces.
In determining whether a statement is parliamentary or not, sight must not be lost of the overall constitutional background and framework, namely the right of every member to freedom of speech having regard to representivity and participatory democracy, accountability, transparency and public involvement.
The Rule which deals with offensive or unparliamentary is a broadly framed Rule that allows a presiding officer to take into consideration the context and tone of a particular remark or inference. The Rule has been elucidated by years of established practice and convention. However, one established practice also dictates that any statement or remark that impairs a member’s dignity or affronts a member’s honour must place a curb on the freedom of speech.
As ruled previously in this particular case, remarks that were made do not refer to the personal characteristics of a specific member of this House rather a political party. However, members are cautioned not to articulate words which could potentially degenerate the House proceedings into chaos. As remarks do not constitute an attack on the persona of a specific member, the point can therefore not be upheld.
On the ruling on a point raised by the hon Nyambi regarding the remarks made by hon Julius, - he is not here; both of them – on 4 June 2015 Policy debate on Budget Vote 23 No 20 Independent Policy Investigative directorate, Budget Vote 21 Justice and Constitutional Development and Budget Vote No 18 Correctional Services.
Hon members, I would like to make the following as a ruling on a point of order raised on 4 June by hon A J Nyambi regarding remarks by hon J W W Julius. I indicated that I would like to consider the matter and revert back to the House.
During hon Julius’s speech, hon Nyambi rose on a point of order to object to the statement that, I quote: “Did the Police Minister, do what is right in the 50-page report relieving President Zuma of any obligation of reimbursing our people for improvements on his Nkandla home, and the people of South Africa will say no.” Against this statement, hon Nyambi rose on a point of order in terms Rule 49(1) of the NCOP Rules that there is a committee in another House of Parliament dealing with the very same matter.
Hon members, it is generally recognised that Parliament is made up of two Houses, namely the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. In some respects, these Houses have distinct operations which may lead to different analysis, depending on the context. The content of the Rule of anticipation in terms of the National Assembly Rules is the same as it is contained in the NCOP. In this instance, Rule 49 (1) of the NCOP Rules clearly stipulates that no member, while addressing the Council, may anticipate a discussion of a matter appearing on the Order Paper. This Rule further stipulates that in determining whether an address to the Council is out of order on the grounds of anticipation, the officer presiding must consider whether it is probable that the matter anticipated will be discussed in the Council within a reasonable time.
The Rule of anticipation in this context of the NCOP does not extend to cover matters before committees of the National Assembly. The matter that was objected to does not appear on the Order Paper of the Council nor there is indication that the matter will be deliberated upon within a reasonable time by the Council as it is required by Rule 49 of the NCOP.
In view thereof, I therefore rule the Rule of anticipation not applicable in this instance. Thank you very much.
The House adjourned at 10:47.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Council of Provinces
[The following report replaces the Report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice, which was published on page 2367 of the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports dated 18 June 2015]
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) (Reprint)], 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) (Reprint)], referred to it, reports that it has agreed to the Bill without proposed amendments.
Report to be considered.
No related documents