Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 13 Aug 2015
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
The House Chairperson (Mr C T Frolick) took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
NOTICES OF MOTION
THE CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House -
- debates the abuse of the Parliament of South Africa Twitter account, @ParliamentofRSA, for partisan ANC political purposes and the media statements issued by the Speaker of the National Assembly, extensively, in the name of our Parliament, when this House has neither discussed nor resolved on the subjects of such media statements; and
- discusses measures to prevent this partisan abuse.
Mr C D KEKANA: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the creation of more programmes to create jobs for the unemployed, especially graduates.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the ongoing abuse of taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ money to fund costly appeals and court cases, by officials and politicians to defend maladministration and gross incompetence.
Mr J A ESTERHUISEN: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:
That the House debates the current status quo of the South African legislation in the law arena and a step that can be taken to further harmonise South African law, whether through amendments to existing domestic law or by being party to international convention law and the great advantages of such harmonisation for economic growth in South Africa.
Ms H B KEKANA: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the importance of ICT in education and making teaching and learning more accessible, simpler, easier and competitive with the rest of the world.
Mr J J MC GLUWA: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the major challenges of the public Service Commission in building and organising an inspirational, authoritative, innovative and professional public service.
Dr H C CHEWANE: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates Eskom’s secrecy around the coal contracts with suppliers and its implication for Parliament’s ability to hold the executive accountable.
PROF N KHUBISA: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the NFP:
That the House debates human trafficking, particularly that of young girls.
Mr P L KHOARAI: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the challenges of the waiting list applications for housing opportunities and the initiative of a national database to overcome these challenges.
Mr S C MOTAU: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates President Zuma’s uninspiring nonupdate on the state of the nation address and how this shows that government is failing to turn the tide on a struggling economy.
Ms H O MAXON: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates the impact of union investment companies, who invest with employers on the role of the unions and how it affects representation of workers at a bargaining council.
Mr A M SHAIM-EMAM: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the NFP:
That the House -
- deliberates on the issue of the current outbreak of measles in the Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which, according to statistics released by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, has killed 315 people and infected at least 20 000 others in the latest outbreak, and the risk to other countries;
- notes the epidemic is worsening and gaining ground and measles is a highly contagious virus that can lead to deadly complications like diarrhea, dehydration, respiratory infection and encephalitis; and
- further notes that the World Health Organisation warned last November that progress towards wiping out measles has stalled worldwide, due to poor vaccine coverage.
Mr P G ATKINSON: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the critical state of affairs of the South African Post Office and the failure of the turnaround plan tabled before this House to deliver any tangible results.
Mr M N PAULSEN: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates the continuous marginalisation of black academics at institutions of higher education and learning, especially institutions previously preserved for whites only.
Ms S T XEGO: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates curbing rampant vandalism and arson attacks on trains that destroy them and cause government millions of rands to be replaced.
Nks Z B N BALINDLELA: Sihlalo weNdlu, ndenza isaziso sokuba, xa le Ndlu uhlala kwakhona, ndiza kwenza isiphakamiso
Sokuba le Ndlu -
Ixoxe kakhulu ngale meko yamanzi angekhoyo kwiziphaluka ezininzi kulo lonke eli lizwe lethu nengxaki ebangwa yile meko ekutyeni, kugutyulo lwelindle nakwezempilo.
(Translation of isiXhosa notice of motion follows.)
[Ms Z B N BALINDLELA: Hon Chairperson, I give notice that, at the next sitting of this house, I will move -
That the House debate more about the issue of water scarcity in most of areas in the whole country and the problem that is caused by this issue in food, sanitation and health.]
Dr H C CHEWANE: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates the scourge of shack fires caused by inhuman and overpopulated informal settlement living conditions.
Mr M P SIBANDE: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the tightening of the fraud prevention plan, so as to minimise chances of defrauding the Road Accident Fund.
Mr M M DLAMINI: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the supervision of state-owned enterprises to ensure that their activities are in line with the government development objectives and economic growth.
Mr M S MBATHA: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EEF:
That the House debates the continuous deterioration of the local government, which has led to the total collapse of service delivery in most of our local municipalities.
Mrs C DUDLEY: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ACDP:
That the House debates the pros and cons of the universalization of the Older Person Grant.
MARIKANA AND POLICE
Mr M M DLAMINI: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes the internal confusion within the SA Police service in the aftermath of the Farlam Commission report on the killing of workers in Marikana by the ANC in August 2012;
- further notes that this confusion shows, more than anything else, the dangers of having politicians throwing their huge bodies on operational matters as critical as policing;
- recognises that after the provincial commissioners rightfully came to the defense of Commissioner Phiyega, claiming that she should not be the only one taking the blame for Marikana, as the killing of the workers at Marikana was at the behest of politicians, they have now all of a sudden capitulated and apologised to the very same politicians;
- acknowledges that the provincial commissioners allowed the consciences to be corrupted by abusive politicians of the ANC who do not want to take responsibility for their corruption and greed which led to the massacre of workers in Marikana, whose only sin was to demand a living wage;
- further acknowledges that as much as the EFF believes that Phiyega must take responsibility for the killing of workers under her leadership, we also strongly believe that the biggest culprits, the shameless murderers of black workers are those now in the leadership of this country who called for concomitant action against;
- calls on the former freedom fighters such as the Deputy President, Cyril, to dig deep inside them to fully understand the depths of their betrayal to the ideals of the struggle for political, economic and cultural freedom by being accomplices to white monopoly capital which continues the dehumanisation of black people; and
- further calls on the police to never betray their commitment to defend the truth and arrest criminals, no matter how influential those criminals may be.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are there any objections to the motion? Yes. In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY
Mr M KALAKO: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes that 19 August is known as the World Humanitarian Day worldwide;
- further notes that this day was designated by the General Assemble to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq,
- acknowledges that the World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognise those who face danger and adversity in order to help others;
- recalls that the World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate a spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe; and
- calls upon countries to observe this day, under the 2015 theme: Inspiring the world humanity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are there any objections to the motion? Yes. In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
TRAGIC SHOOTING OF VAWDA BROTHERS
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes the tragic shooting of two brothers, Mr Mohamed Vawda and Ahmed Gora Vawda on Sunday 9 August 2015; and that the two were hit in altercation with the neighbour at their block of flats in Margaret Mncadi Avenue, Victoria Embankment;
- regrets that this senseless loss of life is another signal of an overly violent society in which citizens become victims over minor and avoidable disputes;
- observes that Mr Mohamed Vawda was a husband and a father to a six-year-old daughter, while Mr Ahmed Vawda had been married for less than a year;
- expresses its sincere condolences to the bereaved family of the Vawda brothers and recognises the trauma suffered by their wives, and also recognises that the extended families, including Dr and Mrs Moola need to walk a journey of healing; and
- calls on all South Africans to seek assistance from the SAPS in resolving disputes that threatens to become violent.
ARREST OF THREE MEN AT THE GOLELA BORDER
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes that three men were arrested in three separate incidents at the Golela Border Post on Tuesday, 11 August 2015, whilst trying to bring drugs to the value of more than R800 000 into South Africa;
- recognises that in the first incident, the border officials seized cocaine worth R800 000 from a Mozambican national who had the drugs hidden in a secret compartment of his luggage;
- acknowledges that in the second incident, the border officials arrested the driver of a tanker after he was found in possession of cannabis with an estimated street value of R5 500; and
- realises that in the third incident a Swazi national was arrested at the same border post as he attempted to bring in cannabis with an estimated street value of R8 100.
- Expresses its appreciation for the sterling job done by the Golela Border Post officials and the SAPS; and
- Urges all border post personnel in the country to escalate their offorts to combat the scourge of drugs that are entering our country and causing untold social misery and hardships amongst our people.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are there any objections to the motion? Yes. In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR SLAVE TRADE
Ms Z C FAKU: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes that 23 august of each year is designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, as the International Day for the remembrance of the slave trade and its abolition to commemorate the trans-Atlantic slave trade;
- further notes that this date was chosen by the adoption of Resolution 29 C/40 by the organisation’s general conference at its 29 session in 1998;
- acknowledges the significance of this date because, during the night of August 22 to August 23 1791 on the island of Saint Dominique now known as Haiti, an uprising began which set forth events which were a major factor in the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade;
- further acknowledges that this revolt was a starting point to the trans-Atlantic slave trade abolition process;
- recalls that UNESCO members stage organised events every year on that date, inviting participation from young people, educators, artists and intellectuals; and
- calls upon all countries to observe this day.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are there any objections to the motion?
Siyakuchitha. [The motion is not agreed to.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes. In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
Prof N M KHUBISA: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes that in the early hours of this morning, a head-on collision between a minibus taxi and a stationery truck occurred on the N1 just south of Mookgophong formerly known as Naboomspruit, in the Limpopo Province; also
- percieves that the minibus taxi burst into flames immediately after the collision; and
- admits that the horror crash claimed the lives of 12 people whose identities have not been made public which includes the driver of the minibus taxi.
- Expreses its sincere condolences to the bereaved families and loved ones of theorse who died in that accident; and
- Urges all motorists to be extra careful when driving at nights or during the early hours of the morning as it is a period generally associated with the high number of accidents.
Dr H C CHEWANE: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes that on Wednesday morning, more than 500 people, including women and children, were evicted by the Red Ants Security Company on behalf of the City of Johannesburg from a building in Berea, Johannesburg;
- further notes that, their belongings, fridges, clothing, beds, food, documents, were left in the streets scattered, broken and untended;
- acknowledges that, the evictions are being carried out through illegal court evictions order as the matter was still before the court of law and without proper notices;
- further acknowledges that, many who seek accommodation cannot in the city closer to place of work cannot afford proper accommodation, having to deal with hostile economic conditions, escalating food prices and standard of general in general;
- expresses shock and disgust by the way in which these evictions are being carried out;
- condemns the City of Johannesburg for standing by and watch as service provider manhandle women and children, while carrying live ammunition which is dangerous; and
- calls on the Department of Human Settlement to speed up housing provision to restore their human dignity.
RECOGNISION OF WORLD ELEPHANT DAY
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House —
- recognises World Elephant Day, which was commemorated on 12 August 2015;
- further recognises that the day is to spread awareness, share knowledge and provide solutions for better care and management of both captive and wild elephants;
- acknowledges that together with celebrating these gentle giants, roaming the planes of Africa, it is also an important opportunity to reflect on the untenable situation regarding the rampant poaching, threatening the population of Africa’s elephants;
- further acknowledges that the escalation of poaching due to the rising demands for ivory is a trending issue currently, in as far as threats to Asian and African elephants go; and finally
- calls on government to implore the various stakeholders to effectively put in place demand reduction programmes, which go beyond the simplistic consumer awareness campaigns.
The motion is not agreed to.
EVICTION NOTICES SERVED ON TENANTS
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that eviction notices have been served this week on tenants of the Stables Flea Market and New Market Stables in Durban and they have been given 30 days to vacate their premises;
- also notes that Stables is not only a popular city landmark at risk of disappearing, but scores of small businesses will now be closed down;
- further notes that the DA has objected to this decision by the municipality and called for suitable premises to be provided to the tenants, in order to provide long-term security for those micro enterprises and reduce high unemployment in Durban;
- acknowledges that despite the ANC government and mayor, in particular, making many pronouncements on the importance of growing small businesses in the city, the reality is that they act contrary to their own policies;
- further acknowledges that just two weeks ago, ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, said, and I quote: “It’s unpatriotic to shed jobs at this time.” Yet, the ANC-run municipality seems quite willing to destroy 1 000 jobs and a livelihood of up to 5 000 family members without any concern;
- expresses our concern that proper procedures were not followed in the issuing of vacation notices to the tenants; and
- calls on the community to work with the DA to fight tooth and nail against this unpatriotic local government to save these jobs.
The motion is not agreed to.
SEVERE SENTENCES METED OUT TO MURDERERS OF MAZWI MNIKATHI
Mr S C MNCWABE: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that on Tuesday, 11 August 2015, Judge Mohini Moodley in the Pietermaritzburg High Court sentenced Khumbulani Madlala and his accomplices, Msizi Majola and Thembinkosi Makhathini to life, for the murder of Mazwi Mnikathi, who was gunned down at his home at Emabhalonini area on 20 July 2010;
- also notes that Madlala was given another life sentence for the murder of Patric Duma, a business man and taxi owner, who was shot dead after Madlala and his accomplices collided with his car and then opened fire on him as he sat trapped in his vehicle;
- further notes that Madlala, Mojola and Makhathini had murdered Mnikathi in an apparent revenge attack that stemmed from Mnikhati’s defection from the IFP to the NFP, weeks before his death;
- finally notes that judge Moodley had harshly criticised the murderers, stating that, and I quote:
The kind of justice the accused believe in, where people who do not follow their political ideologies are eliminated ... where vigilantism is revered ... this has no place in our country. The fight for political profit will not be tolerated.
- calls upon this House to express its approval for the severe sentences meted out to these cold blooded murderers;
- urges all political parties to impress upon their followers, the need to respect freedom of association and political choice, which is afforded to each and every South African citizen, as enshrined in our Bill of Rights.
The motion is not agreed to.
Mr S C MNCWABE: But how do you object to ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, you don’t address the House ...
Mr S C MNCWABE: So, it is a call for justice.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, you don’t address the House. Certainly, you first ask for permission to be heard and then I will decide if it is proper. There is an objection and the motion is not agreed to.
TEAM SOUTH AFRICA’S PERFORMANCE AT THE 2015 WORLD UNDERWATER HOKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SPAIN
Mr M S MALATSI: Chair, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes team South Africa’s performance at the 2015 World Underwater Hokey Championships in Spain;
- also notes that team South Africa remains undefeated after eight matches;
- recognises that our team has done an incredible job of scoring 59 goals and conceding only one against Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Columbia, the Netherlands and defending champions, New Zealand; and
- wishes our team well as they continue with their march to glory and hopes they bring the trophy home.
The motion is not agreed to.
STATEMENT MADE BY THE FAMILY OF THE LATE MOSS PHOKOE
Mr M N PAULSEN: House Chair, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes the statement made by the family of the late Moss Phakoe yesterday that the EFF, under the leadership of our visionary commander-in-chief, hon Julius Malema, has delivered on its promise to save their home from being dispossessed by unscrupulous banks;
- further notes that the Commander-in-Chief of the EFF made this promise during our second anniversary celebration in Rustenburg, after being told that the family of Moss Phakoe, the anticorruption campaigner who was killed by own ANC comrades for exposing their corrupt ways, was on the verge of being thrown into the streets for not being able to pay for their home;
- acknowledges that the EFF, moved by their plight, promised to pay an initial R100 000 to the bank and arrange for monthly installments to keep the family in their home, the home of their father who during his lifetime committed himself to the ANC, the very same ANC that killed him and the very same ANC that turned its back on his family when the family needed them most;
- further acknowledges that there is no room for honest, anticorruption people in the ANC and this former liberation movement scorns and kills honest people and defecates on their legacy;
- calls on all honest, clean-living and upright people who are still in the ANC to be true to their consciences and to leave this beast that is the ANC, which eats its own, before it is too late; and
- congratulates the EFF for being in touch with the needs of our people, despite the political homes these people belong to.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I now put the motion. Are there any objections?
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: The NFP opposes any use of parliamentary constituency money.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, just make your objection. The motion is not agreed to.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: On a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon member.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Can that member object without saying that there is usage of ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon member.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... parliamentary constituency money. We don’t have a problem with objections because we are objecting as well.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): That is exactly the point.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Yes, he must object without saying such a thing.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Can you please ask him to ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members. Hon Shivambu, that is why we expect parties simply to object and not to narrate why they are objecting and all those things.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: But it is an irresponsible statement, which is ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, I dealt with the matter and I really appeal to all members, if you object to a motion without notice, it is not your chance to make a speech.
SOUTH AFRICAN GENDER PAY GAP
Mrs L L VAN DER MERWE: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that the South African gender pay gap is estimated to be on average between 15% and 17%;
- further notes that women continue to earn less than their male counterparts, despite the enactment of legislation to promote gender equality;
- acknowledges that women’s skills are still undervalued and therefore, directly affect their worth and income skills;
- further acknowledges that if this gender pay gap is not addressed as matter of urgency, we will never achieve gender equality in our lifetime; and
- calls on all South Africans, including leaders in both the private and public sector to ensure that we do everything during this Women’s Month and beyond to ensure that women’s rights are upheld and honoured.
RECENT DEVELOPMENT REGARDING NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN WORKERS AND THE GOLD MINING SECTOR
Ms H O MAXON: House Chair, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes the recent developments regarding wage negotiations between the workers and the gold mining sector, in which the mining sector continues to demonstrate heightened levels of ignorance, by refusing the immediate demand of a R12 500 entry wage for mineworkers;
- further notes that, as usual, the representatives of capital under the guise of the National Union of Mineworkers, NUM, accepted the insulting offer, and the acceptance of the offer by NUM is not surprising, because theirs is business unionism and has nothing to do with the plight of the workers;
- also notes that the history of NUM is a history of assimilation to capital, as shown by the actions of their former leaders such as Cyril Ramaphosa;
- acknowledges that in the mining sector, right now, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Amcu, remains the only truly worker-centered trade union, and the rest are extensions of exploitative capital;
- further acknowledges the demand tabled by Amcu, that mining companies who have been defrauding workers of their overtime, must pay back the money owed to workers, as a matter of urgency;
- calls on mining companies who have made lots of money for their shareholders on the back of the pain, sweat and blood of black workers, to do the right thing and accede to the demand of R12 500, as demanded by the workers, as this is an affordable amount in comparison to the billions these companies are making; and
- further calls on the Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, to revoke the operating licences of the companies that want to continue to exploit our people through slave wages.
The motion is not agreed to.
FIRE IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that on 9 August, a fire, which engulfed a shack in Ematsheni, which is situated in Orange Farm, has killed five children between the ages of 4 and 17;
- further notes that two more people were killed in a blaze that swept through an informal settlement near Sea Cow Lake in Durban;
- also notes that seven people, four of whom were children, were also killed in a fire in Port Elizabeth;
- further notes that three more people died in a fire that engulfed shacks in an informal settlement in Hout Bay;
- finally notes knows that all these fires occurred in informal settlements, which are particularly difficult to deal with, because the homes are erected so closely together and fire fighting vehicles have difficulty to access the shacks, and
- coveys its most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died in the fire and urges the Department of Human Settlement to increase its efforts to eradicate informal settlements in South Africa.
The motion is not agreed to.
GRADUATION OF 175 SETA LEARNERS TO ADDRESS SKILLS SHORTAGE
Nkul X MABASA (ANC): Ku girajuweta ka vadyondzi va 175 swi tiyisisa leswaku ntirhisano I wa nkoka eka ku lwa na mintlhotlho minharhu; ... (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[Mr X MABASA (ANC): The graduation of 175 students proved that working together is important in addressing the triple challenge; ...]
... unemployment, poverty and inequality.
... ntirhisano exikarhi ka sekithara leyi yi nga riki ya mfumo, mfumo, tiNGO na tiSMME na mabindzu lamantsongo i swa nkoka eAfrika-Dzonga laha hi nga langutana na ku pfumaleka ka mitirho na ku pfumaleka ka ku ringana. Ku humelela ka ntirhisano lowu, ku kombisiwile hi ku girajuweta ka swichudeni leswi swa 175. Hoyohoyo n’wina swichudeni. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraph follows.)
[... cooperation between the private sector, government, NGOs and SMMEs and small businesses is critical in South Africa where we are faced with unemployment and inequality. The success of this cooperation was demonstrated by the graduation of these 175 students. We congratulate the students.]
Closer alignment of Setas and the informal sector of our economy, such as co-operatives and community-based organisations, has remained a strong call from national government. This is entrenched in frameworks such as the Department of Higher Education and Training’s National Skills Development Strategy. This call was heeded in 2012, when the Energy and Water Seta, EWSeta, was the first Seta to formalise its collaborative relationship with the SA National Apex Co-operatives, Sanaco, through the signing of a ground-breaking memorandum of understanding.
This project highlights the potential of the role of co-operative support in the building of the economy, and is closely aligned to the sector skills plan of the EWSeta ...
... mfumo wa ANC wu ri, a hi yeni e mahlweni.[Ku phokotela.] [... the ANC government says, “let us move forward.” [Applause.]]
ONSLAUGHT ON THE POLICE
Ms D KOHLER (DA): Chair, in 2011, the previous Minister of Police brought out a 10-point plan to deal with police killings. It followed a summit, which, in turn, had followed a report in 2000. He announced it on 31 July and there had already been 56 police murders that year. Sadly, the tone showed, immediately, it had little chance of working, as he said, for example, the police would be encouraged to wear a bulletproof vest. Encouraged? I have seen dozens who either don’t wear them, or who don’t have vests that haven’t passed their expiry dates.
The Civilian Secretariat were tasked with meeting various research agencies and academics to explore the issue further. Sadly, however, as with so much policy development in the Saps, this initiative simply faded away. Today, we sit here in the knowledge that in just the last two weeks, seven families are in an agony of mourning as their beloved sons and husbands have been slaughtered by the criminals who hunt in packs up and down our streets, in our villages, towns and cities.
Reports allege that between 52 and 55 police officers have been murdered so far, this year. However, there is no clear instruction to our police on how to stay safe or how to stay alive as they face down those packs and arrest them. They are under-resourced, undertrained and, figuratively and literally, facing an AK-47 with a handgun and chasing a Mercedes Benz with a VW Polo with 200 000km on the clock.
What we need is action, but, instead, the only movement we’re seeing in these dying moments of the current National Police Commissioner’s career is a flurry of public relations as provincial commissioners are forced to focus on her future and not on the safety of our police and citizens. What hope is there that will come from this Chamber, from the Minister, today?
SLOW TRANSFORMATION OF THE MINING SECTOR
Dr H CHEWANE (EFF): Chairperson, the EFF is concerned about the indecisiveness and lack of political will by the Minister of Mineral Resources to take the mining rights holders to task for failing to meet the requirements of the Mining Charter – even after the undisputed outcome of the 2015 assessment shows dismal performance against targets. The assessment shows that only 20% of the mining rights holders met their transformation targets. Even amongst those that met the targets, the majority of these shareholders find themselves entangled in loans that acquired these shares, loans that they are likely to pay for many years to come before they can see any dividends.
The report also found that mineworkers are the most excluded category of identifiable beneficiaries in the mining sector. More than 55% of the mining rights holders have failed to convert the hostels into family units. Only 39% of the mining rights holders barely made 40% of their procurement spend on capital goods with BEE entities, and 60% of the mining companies will go to untransformed businesses, despite local, emerging black suppliers knocking on their doors every day.
The report shows that only one mining company out of 375 has met all elements of the Mining Charter. The Mining Charter identified the challenges to streamline and expedite attainment of transformation. This was in 2002. Today, almost 15 years later, conditions in the mining sector have remained unchanged. [Time expired.]
ANC WOMEN’S LEAGUE CONFERENCE
Ms G K TSEKE (ANC): House Chair, the ANC congratulates the ANC Women’s League for holding a successful conference from 5 to 8 August 2015. The ANC Women’s League held its 12th national conference in Irene in Pretoria, which was attended by 3 000 delegates.
We also congratulate the newly elected national executive committee of the Women’s League and we welcome the progressive resolutions and policies adopted by the conference. We are confident that the new leadership of the Women’s League, led by its new president, Comrade Bathabile Dlamini, will continue to champion and advocate for women’s rights, lifting them to higher levels. Of importance is the unity of women at all levels of society. We are certain that Comrade Bathabile Dlamini and her team will further prioritise the radical transformation of women’s socioeconomic rights and continue to fight for the struggle for total emancipation of women from the long history of patriarchy, poverty, gender-based violence, discrimination in the workplace, and all the challenges that are facing young women.
The ANC wishes the new leadership well as they grapple with important issues, like reviving the organisation, mobilising the membership and championing the rights and dignity of women. I thank you. [Applause.]
ILLEGAL ELECTRICITY CONNECTIONS IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS
Ms S J NKOMO (IFP): House Chair, the death of Gonondo Kheswa of Empilisweni in Thokoza, a learner at Tswarogang Primary School, electrocuted by an illegal connection this past weekend is extremely tragic. Kheswa’s death follows many fatal incidents that have occurred in informal settlements around the country over the years.
Victims of illegal electricity connections are mostly children. The IFP calls on government not to turn a blind eye towards these illegal connections. Government must make it their business to ensure that there are no electricity cables lying in the streets, as they pose a great danger to the community.
Informal settlements are unsafe, and must be replaced with formal settlement housing urgently, failing which, we are going to see more lives being lost. Thank you.
CONCERN AT THE DIMINISHING STATUS OF PARLIAMENT
Dr P W A MULDER (FF Plus): Voorsitter, alle lede van die Parlement behoort saam te werk sodat die beeld en status van die Suid-Afrikaanse Parlement as ’n wetgewende gesag nie benadeel of afgetakel word nie. In die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet word dan ook gelyke status aan die uitvoerende, regsprekende en wetgewende gesag gegee. Aan die begin van elke jaar word die President se staatsrede in die Parlement gelewer omdat die wetgewende gesag die taak het om toesig te hou oor die werk en aktiwiteite van die uitvoerende gesag.
Die VF-Plus verwelkom dit dat die President ’n halfjaarverslag gelewer het oor hoe gevorder word in aktiwiteite wat in sy staatsrede 2015 in die vooruitsig gestel is. Die President minag egter die Parlement en takel die Suid-Afrikaanse Parlement se beeld en status af deur hierdie halfjaarverslag in Pretoria voor die media te hou, en so, die Parlement te ignoreer. Dit skep onafwendbaar die indruk dat die President die Parlement ignoreer deur sy staatsrede te hou maar nie kans sien om sy halfjaarverslag hier in die teenwoordigheid van opposisiepartye te hou nie.
Die korrekte manier sou wees om die halfjaarverslag in die Parlement te hou. Dit sal status aan die verslag gee en geleentheid gee dat die belangrikste sake beoordeel en gedebatteer kan word terwyl die media in die aard van die saak ook hier teenwoordig is. Omdat die uitvoerende gesag steeds meer aankondigings in Pretoria en nie in die Parlement doen nie is ek bewus van mediagroepe wat hulle verteenwoordiging in die Parlement al verminder het en na Pretoria oorplaas. Dis alles tekens van hoe die huidige regering op ’n berekende wyse geleidelik die Parlement as wetgewende gesag en as toesighouer oor die uitvoerende gesag sal wil afskaal en so die Grondwet verder ondermyn. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)
[Dr P W A MULDER (FF Plus): Chairperson, all Members of Parliament should work together so that the image and status of the South African Parliament as a legislative authority are not disadvantaged or diminished. In the Constitution of South Africa indeed equal status is accorded the executive, judicial and legislative authorities. At the beginning of each year the President’s state of the nation address is presented in Parliament because the legislative authority has the task of maintaining oversight of the activities of the executive.
The FF Plus welcomes the fact that the President delivered a half-yearly report concerning what progress was being made with the activities envisaged in his 2015 state of the nation address. However, the President disregards Parliament and tarnishes the image and status of the South African Parliament by presenting this half-yearly report before the media in Pretoria and in so doing ignoring Parliament. This incontrovertibly creates the impression that the President is ignoring Parliament by having the state of the nation address here but is not prepared to present his half-yearly report in the presence of opposition parties.
The correct way would be to present the half-yearly report in Parliament. This would lend status to the report and provide an opportunity for considering and debating the most important matters while the media would naturally also be present. Because the executive makes more announcements in Pretoria compared with in Parliament, I am aware that there are media groups that have already reduced their presence in Parliament and transferred to Pretoria. These are all signs of how the present Government wants in a calculated way gradually to scale down Parliament as a legislative authority and as the watchdog over the executive and in so doing to undermine the Constitution. I thank you.]
SCHOOLCHILDREN IN SPEEDING TAXI
Ms S T XEGO-SOVITA (ANC): Hon House Chair, the ANC condemns the conduct of a taxi driver who was caught driving at a high speed in Fred Ferreira Ave while transporting 50 schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 12 in his 15-seater taxi. According to the police, the driver was arrested on the spot and will face charges ranging from reckless and negligent driving to overloading a vehicle. He is expected to appear in the Hankey Magistrate’s Court today.
The ANC has been working hard to address the issue of inadequate scholar transport in the country. The transport budget has been doubled in many provinces in order to address this challenge. It is for this reason that we condemn the actions of this taxi driver, who put the lives of innocent children at risk. This has become a trend amongst many taxi drivers and operating companies that have been contracted to shuttle schoolchildren.
We want to warn anybody who is involved in this irresponsible action. The ANC is committed to ensuring learner safety, despite the limited resources at our disposal. I thank you.
RECENTLY-DISCOVERED MANDELA LETTERS
Mr M L D NTOMBELA (ANC): Chairperson, a stack of discovered letters written by former President Mandela while in prison, shows how he dictated the pace of South Africa’s transition from behind bars. The letters, which researchers at the Nelson Mandela Foundation came across most recently, show that it was Madiba who forced the hand of the then President FW de Klerk to free not only his former Rivonia Trialists, in 1989, but also to release Jeff Masemola, who was a member of the PAC imprisoned in 1963. This shows the commitment he illustrated to his fellow prisoners and other struggle stalwarts, regardless of political affiliation.
Madiba displayed unwavering commitment when he said:
The conflict which is draining South Africa’s lifeblood, either in the form of peaceful demonstrations, acts of violence or external pressure, will never be settled until there is an agreement with the ANC. It must be made clear that the ANC will never make such a commitment at the instance of government, or any other source, for that matter.
This effort by the Mandela Foundation must be welcomed and applauded, as it also corrects the fallacies which were created before. I thank you.
DA COMMEMORATION OF MARIKANA MASSACRE
Ms P T VAN DAMME (DA): Hon House Chairperson, today the DA caucus in Parliament is wearing black armbands to commemorate and mourn those who died during the Marikana massacre. Three years ago, this month, 44 mine workers were killed by members of the SA Police Service, SAPS, while exercising their constitutional rights to protest for better quality of life for them and their families.
The National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega in fact congratulated those SAPS members and misled the Farlam Commission which was seeking justice for the deaths. The findings of the Farlam Commission insisted that action be taken against Phiyega and yet to date, nothing has been done.
Phiyega should be fired along with a murderous cohort of police officers responsible for the deaths at Marikana. President Zuma, as Phiyega’s appointing authority, should have gotten rid of her three years ago and yet, she still stands. No matter how much President Zuma purports to care about the victims and loved ones of those who died at Marikana, his actions leave them wanting.
On behalf of the DA, I would like to once again convey our heartfelt condolences to the victims and families of those who died at Marikana at the hands of a police service that has the duty to protect and serve and not kill. I thank you.
THE ANC ACCEPT AN APOLOGY FROM THE CITIZEN NEWSPAPER EDITOR
Ms P E ADAMS (ANC): Hon House Chair, the ANC feels exhilarated by the apology of Steve Motale, the editor of The Citizen newspaper, who has revealed in an open letter published in this newspaper that he was part of a sinister agenda to vilify the President of the ANC and of the Republic of South Africa, President Zuma. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr Motale ... [Interjections.] ... has admitted to being party of an unfair reporting on the President of the ANC and the country along with many of his media colleagues. As the ANC, we have being suspecting and complaining for years that some sections of the media are abusing their powers and are driving the political agenda of the opposition.
This is disguised as investigative journalism on the affairs of the ANC as a ruling party and its President. However, whenever we try to make this point as the ANC, we are accused of paranoia and being antipress freedom and antifreedom of speech. [Interjections.] This apology by the editor of The Citizen therefore confirms that the ANC has been correct all along.
We renew our call for an end to gutter and unethical journalism by some sections of the printed media which we have long identified in the run up to our 52nd National Conference in Polokwane when we noticed blatant departures from professional standards expected by media institutions. This type of journalism has no place in our society as it only gives the respected profession a bad name. Nevertheless, the ANC will not deviate from ensuring an atmosphere of a vibrant diverse and free media in South Africa. [Interjections.]
However, we will continue to appreciate the role played by the media fraternity and ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
A CALL FOR THE SPEEDY ATTENTION TO PHOLA PARK PROBLEMS
Mr L M NTSHAYISA (AIC): Hon House Chairperson, let me draw your attention to the plight of the people of Phola Park. These people seem to have been neglected. Let us not forget that most of the people in this area contributed a lot to the freedom of this country.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! There is too much noise in the House. I can hardly hear. [Interjections.] Continue, hon members. Continue.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA (AIC): The councillors of ward 57 and 58 have a tendency of applying a divide and rule approach when delivering services to the people of that area. The streets are very dirty, stinky and there are no dustbins at all. One of the committee members, Comrade Jacob is living in a house with falling electricity cables and this has been reported to the ward councillor but there was no response at all. Surprisingly, people do not get water during the day but late in the night there is water. There are no meetings that are held between the councillors and the committee members there. I was just informed but these are issues at the municipality.
Ninety nine percent of the youth is unemployed and the rate of crime is very high. Houses are in a very poor condition and most of them are leaking. We call for the speedy attention to the problems of Phola Park. Thank you.
THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMY RELEASED BY THE PRESIDENT ON NATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Ms G N NOBANDA (ANC): Hon House Chairperson, the ANC welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s release of the first report on the status of women in South Africa’s economy which was released at a National Women’s Day celebration in the Free State. We welcome, in particular, the fact that the country according to the report, has made great strides to include women in the country’s development.
President Zuma released the report at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Sasolburg on Sunday 9 August 2015 at an event organised to honour women under the theme: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward. The report mentions that women must be supported in all sectors of the economy. It also identified some of the areas where as a society we have been successful in enabling women’s full participation in the economy. However, as the ANC, we wish to reiterate our view that the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality is still a major challenge in our country and is affecting women most. I thank you.
WATER CRISIS AT EKURHULENI METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY
Mr M WATERS (DA): Hon House Chair, the ANC-controlled Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is failing the most vulnerable once again. Water that was taken from the Kalkspruit in Tembisa for testing revealed a water crisis of horrific proportions. The result of the river water revealed that E coli levels are at 43 000 per 100 millilitres while the maximum acceptable level is supposed to be 1 000. The maximum bacteria level is supposed to be 5 000 per 100 millilitres and aridity is 490 000. E coli forms which are human and animal faeces is supposed to be a maximum of 30 per 100 millilitres yet the results show a staggering 80 000. That is 266 times higher than the maximum acceptable level.
It is little wonder that the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality refuses to release the results of their own tests to the public. The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is directly responsible for this contamination. They have failed to spend just over 200 million for water and sewerage infrastructure in the last financial year alone. The health risks of the residents of Tembisa include diarrhoea, skin infections, ear infections, respiratory infections and of course, hospitalisation. You can only imagine the stench that emanates from the river. In fact, the Kalkspruit can no longer be called a river; it is an open sewerage outlet.
The residents of Tembisa have a choice in next year’s local government elections. They can vote for more of the same insulting service delivery or they can change to the DA for service delivery for all. [Interjections.] Thank you.
AN INITIATIVE ESTABLISHED TO HELP NEEDY AND DESERVING STUDENTS
Dr P MAESELA (ANC): Hon House Chair, the ANC constituency office of the hon Jackson Mthembu in Vulindlela in Pietermaritzburg has established an initiative to help needy and deserving students in that part of KwaZulu-Natal province to further their studies. The Vulindlela Community Fund, VCF, which will be capitalised through voluntary monthly debits of a minimum of R200 from ordinary community members, aims to allow the youth in that area to access bursaries and pursue their chosen studies in institutions of higher learning.
This initiative is led by the hon Mthembu together with members of the community who are committed to youth development. This ambitious plan will see the VCF capitalised to the tune of 400 000 per annum, which means that the fund will sponsor at least needy students from that area per year with their tertiary institution fee. The 21 high schools within the Vulindlela community will be the beneficiaries of this fund.
While we appreciate the strides made by the government in providing access to higher education by poor and needy black students; we believe that this task is too important for government to go it alone. This initiative is an example of what we can achieve as a country if we work together rather than wait for the government to do everything for the communities. Thank you.
INTERVENTION PROGRAMMES INTRODUCED
Ms J M MALULEKE: Hon House Chairperson, the ANC is pleased with government progress reports on the implementation of the commitment announced during the state of the nation address at the beginning of this year. The report on the nine-point plan released by Jacob Zuma on Tuesday currently paints an encouraging picture of administration at work.
The ANC is indeed on course to deliver on its electoral commitment and the goals of ambitious National Development Plan. The report by the President shows that the various intervention programmes introduced by the government to stimulate crucial sectors of the economy are yielding desired results. Government interventions aim at arresting the decline of the clothing and textile sector has resulted in the retention of 68 000 jobs in the sector.
By the end of March this year, a total of R3,7 billion in support of the private sector has been approved since the inception of the Clothing and Textile Competitive Programme in 2010. Similar programmes are also being successfully implemented in the automotive, energy, public transport and financial services sectors with private sector companies also coming on board.
The annual growth for the next three years has been reduced to 3%, which shows true leadership and prioritising. We commend the government under the leadership of ... [Time expired.]
SCHOLAR TRANSPORT POLICY HAS BEEN FINALISED
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you hon Nhleko for the statement with regards to the taxi driver who squashed 50 learners in a 15 seat quantum. We have, working together with the Department of Basic Education, finalised the Scholar Transport Policy which will regulate the transportation of our learners. One of the key things that we need to focus on is the parent contracted learner transport where parents themselves actually enter into contracts with service providers to transport the children.
At a provincial level we know that the Department of Basic Education as well as the Department of Transport are working together, and we are happy to indicate that the budget has been increased. What we are doing now is to make sure that we bring the services internally into the government departments as opposed to getting it to be run by private role-players because we believe that, that is one way of making sure that we eradicate this type of situation.
One example is the one that is happening in the Eastern Cape, where the MEC has successfully been able to in source the learner transport services. Also what we want to do and we are doing right now is making sure that through the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC as well as the Metro Police and Traffic Police Officers; we strengthen focus on law enforcement in particular with learner transport. We have already started making sure that there are sting operations, especially in the mornings even in the afternoons to make sure that we are able to target these particular incidences.
What we have also done is to make sure that the RTMC can oppose bail and monitor the sentences that are meted out to transgressors like these ones. So, I am happy hon member that you raised this. Road safety is everybody’s responsibility and we want to wish and appeal to the members of this House that in their constituencies they monitor these incidences and make sure that we eradicate the killing of our children through unscrupulous taxi drivers, particularly those private service providers. Thank you very much.
Dr A LOTRIET: [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The Minister of Police. Order hon members, I have recognised the Minister of Police, I did not know about the changes in the cabinet. Continue hon Minister.
SOCIETY TO REVOLT AGAINST POLICE KILLINGS
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Chairperson, hon members, I would like to respond to the two issues raised by hon members of this House. The first issue relates to the police killings that I think it’s a point raised by hon Kohler [Interjections.] I am sorry ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Now the point though is that I think the valid aspect of the point that is being raised by hon Kohler [Interjections.] is ... I am sorry Chair my ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order hon members.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: I am sorry Chair, my understanding is that the last time I interacted with Ms Kohler she told me that she had dropped off the Barnard part of her name so now she is a Kohler. So, I am trying to be relevant in this particular instance. So, if she is a Barnard I will gladly also abide with that. So, correctly so ...
Ms D KOHLER: Chair, in all honesty, Minister, if you drop Nhleko, I will drop the Barnard. [Applause.] [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister just get on with it, please. I think this is the discussion you can have outside of the Chamber.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Okay. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon Members!
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Thank you very much. The point that the hon Kohler-Barnard raises is a valid one. In fact, all of us what we should be doing is to be absolutely united against and take a position that we should encourage our society to revolt against the question of police killing, for an example, and we should actually take that kind of posture and position in our society. Now, all of us here with regards to leadership responsibility, we should actually lead when it comes to that particular issue.
The worst mistake we can ever make or commit is to think that police killing is the matter that belongs to the police to sort out. It is essentially a societal matter; it is a matter that effectively is reflective of the state of underdevelopment in our society. If we cannot respect the police, the only institution and entity that we have which society uses for issues of peace and stability, and for its own existence, for an example, then we have a serious problem. I would think that indeed we should take quite a firm stance in condemning and mobilise our people against a question of police killings.
The second point raised by hon Van Damme around the question of the Marikana incidence. Just two points on that one. The first one, we would also be committing a mistake if we do not recognise the fact that the existence of the Farlam Commission itself to deal with these particular matters is about accountability and consequence management. Now, in the history of this country ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister you must wrap up now, please.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Okay. In the history of this country they killed our people in all sorts of different manner for an example. There was never accountability and nobody was ever taken to task about such issues so, I think it is very important. Also to us as South African Police Service, SAPS it offers an excellent opportunity and excellent platform to transform the SAPS and that is how we view most of the recommendations that have been put forward by the Farlam commission. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you hon Minister. Are there any further ministerial responses, the hon Deputy Minister?
Contributions made through the budget on clothing and textile
The Deputy MinISTER of Economic Development: Thank you, hon Chair.
Ndzi ta sungula ndzi khensa Manana Maluleke loko a hoyozele tifeme leti nga simekiwa hi Phuresidente. [I will start off by thanking Ms Maluleke for applauding the industries that were launched by the President.]
Indeed, the 3,7 billion that has been put in the clothing and textile and other industries like the automotive industries has assisted us to sustain jobs and industries in South Africa since 2009 economic crisis.
It has also contributed to the 2 million job increase that we have had since 2010 up to today of which 1,4 is in the formal sector. It did not only contribute in these two areas it also increased efficiencies within the automotives industry and also the within clothing and textile. And to allow us to move forward and make sure that these areas like the clothing and textile is sustained; we must encourage South Africans to buy South African cloths to ensure that these industries continue to be like that. [Applause.]
Going forward, we will be focusing on working with business to promote beneficiation in minerals and we will also emphasise on localisation so that we can enhance industrialisation so that we can have more work industrialists to produced, and also employ young people. Thank you, hon Chair.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS - REFUGEES AMENDMENT BILL
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House Chair, I move that the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
REFUGEES AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
Mr B L MASHILE: Chairperson, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs requested the permission of the House, in terms of Rule 230(1) of the National Assembly Rules, for the introduction of the Refugees Amendment Bill, B19 of 2015. That permission was granted to the committee on 4 June 2015.
The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Refugees Act of 1998, so as to confer a discretion upon the Refugee Appeals Authority to allow the public and the media access to its proceedings in appropriate cases.
There is some historical background to this. On 27 September 2013, the Constitutional Court in the Mail and Guardian Media Ltd and Others v Chipu NO and Others declared section 21(5) of the Refugees Act inconsistent with section 16(1)(a) and (b) of the Constitution, to the extent that it precludes members of the public or the media from attending proceedings of the Refugee Appeal Board in all cases and fails to confer a discretion upon the Refugee Appeal Board to allow the public and media access to its proceedings in an appropriate case.
The declaration of invalidity was suspended for two years from the date of the order to enable Parliament to correct the constitutional defect in section 21(5) of the Act. Pending the correction of the defect or the expiry of the two-year period, whichever occurs first, the Constitutional Court provided a temporary reading-in order into section 21(5) of the Refugees Act, conferring a discretion on the Refugee Appeal Board, on application and on conditions it deems fit, to allow any person to attend or report on its hearings. The two-year period ends on 26 September 2015.
So this Bill is addressing that judgment by amending section 21(5) of the Refugees Act, so as to confer that discretion on the Refugee Appeals Authority, on application and on conditions it deems fit, to allow any person, including the media, to attend or report on its hearings.
The Bill further provides that the discretion conferred on the Refugee Appeals Authority is exercised under due regard to relevant factors, such as whether the asylumseeker consents to such third party’s attendance or access, or whether it is in the public interest to allow such attendance or reporting after taking into account all relevant factors.
The committee gazetted the draft Bill and invited the public for input on 19 June 2015. Seven submissions were made and deliberated on on 28 July 2015. We do appreciate the input made and invite them to consider making such input in the major review of this piece of legislation at the level of the department now.
The majority of proposals, made by the public, will be incorporated into the rules of the Refugee Appeals Authority. The committee agreed that this amendment is technical in nature and, knowing that there is a major review of the Refugees Act coming towards the end of this year, there is no need for debate at this moment. The committee adopted the Refugees Amendment Bill, B19 of 2015, unanimously on 4 August 2015.
The Bill also deals with necessary consequential amendments and transitional arrangements in order to effectively amend section 21(5), as set out above.
I therefore move for the support of this Bill and the adoption of the report. Thank you very much.
There was no debate.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon member. There has been a request for declarations. I will now allow parties a maximum of three minutes each to do so.
Declaration(s) of vote:
Mr M H HOOSEN: Chairperson, when we attempted to try to raise some of our concerns on this Bill in the very beginning - although we support it, I must put that on record - we were, to some extent, prevented from doing so - sharing our thoughts on it. But, nonetheless, let’s do it here.
The DA is largely in support of this amendment, because what it does is promote openness and transparency. In short, what this Bill does is that it grants the media and the public access to information on the appeals that the Refugee Appeal Board has to deal with.
But it is very unfortunate that it had to come to this, as it has taken the media a long court battle, even up to the Constitutional Court, to be able to get access to information, and for us it’s becoming a concern in that, more and more, there is a culture developing in this ANC government that information must be kept secret - and that is the default position. And, if you want information, you must actually fight a battle to go to court to get that information.
It shouldn’t have come to this in the first place. We should have allowed the media access to information, allowed the public access to information, especially when it’s in the public interest to do so.
Unfortunately, Home Affairs is going through a very tough time at the moment. Our poor Minister, Minister Gigaba, is having a bad year in office. Yesterday, our Deputy President was at pains to try to defend the Minister’s department for all the mistakes that he is making.
One of things that actually caught my mind yesterday, when the Deputy President stood up here and said that all of these problems in Home Affairs were temporary: that’s one thing we actually agree with him on. They are temporary, because it is not going to take very long before this ANC government’s reign, which is temporary actually, come to an end and very soon they will sit on this side of the House, because change is coming. You better wake up. It is coming. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms H O MAXON: House Chair, the EFF as an African economic ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Continue, hon member.
Ms H O MAXON: The EFF - an African economic emancipation movement, concerned with the plight of African people in this country and elsewhere - accepts the report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the Refugees Amendment Bill.
The amending Bill, which is as a result of a Constitutional Court ruling, is meant to allow members of the public and the media access to the Refugee Appeals Authority’s proceedings on matters relating to asylumseekers’ applications for refugee status in the country.
The Bill purports to be easing the processing of asylumseekers’ appeals and refugee applications to maintain their status in the country, as it provides for the fast-tracking of both processes. However, it came about as a result of a Constitutional Court ruling, forcing Parliament to amend section 25 of the Refugees Act that prevented the media and the public from accessing the proceedings of the Refugee Appeals Authority.
This speaks to the gross ineptitude of the ANC in developing legislation that is constitutionally sound. The ruling party does not have the necessary intellectual capacity to develop laws that are sound, forcing the courts to intervene on a regular basis. Apart from the incompetence of the ANC, we accept this committee report. I thank you.
Mrs S J NKOMO (IFP): Thank you very much, House Chair. Whilst it is commendable that this Bill does take positive steps towards alleviating administrative backlogs in respect of asylum seeker appeals and refugee applications, we are still concerned that certain loop holes in the Act need to be tightened in order to ensure that refugee status in South Africa is not be exploited by undesirables.
We have seen numerous instances of such undesirable persons hiding behind refugee status when in fact they were not refugees at all but rather criminals or terrorists plying their trade and taking shelter in South Africa. Undesirables gain access to South Africa via the refugee route or by marriage to a South African and are then unhindered in their criminal activities in our land. If I may just remind the House of three incidences.
I will start with the incidence of Wesley Snipes, the U.S. actor who came to South Africa and acquired a South African passport that was during the time when His Excellency, the president of the Inkatha Freedom Party, IFP, was still the minister of Home Affairs. If I may also remind this House of undesirables characters such as Henry Okah, of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, group that killed so many people in Nigeria who is now languishing in jail in KwaZulu-Natal, KZN, for 27 years. May I also remind this House of the Al Shabaab, a white lady or the White Widow. The one who is said to have bombed about 400 people at a Mall in Kenya.
All these people are actually problems to us. What are we doing to effectively manage and control such undesirables from exploiting our refugee system?
In conclusion, Chairperson, we the IFP we support this Bill. We support the amendment to section 21(5) of the Refugees Bill but we remain extremely concerned that not enough is being done to adequately filter out and identify those who do not have legitimate grounds to be in South Africa. I thank you.
Prof N KHUBISA (NFP): House Chairperson, thank very much. The National Freedom Party welcomes the Refugees Amendment Bill which seeks to amend the Refugee Act of 1998 so as to confer a discretion upon the Refugees Appeals Authority; to allow the public and the media access to proceedings in appropriate cases, and to provide for matters connected therewith.
The NFP is mindful of the outcome of the Constitutional Court judgment in the Mail and Guardian Media Limited and others versus M J Chipu and others, where in a land mark judgment written by Zondo J the Constitutional Court held that “the limitation of the right of the freedom of expression of freedom is unreasonable, unjustifiable and accordingly invalid.”
Hon Chairperson, the right of the freedom of expression which includes the right to information coupled with the cornerstone values of transparency and openness in governance enshrined in our Constitution was upheld by the Constitutional Court in its judgment, and it’s a fine example of how the separation of powers operates to the benefit of our country and our people.
The amendment today may well be viewed as a technical adjustment as it is done to give effect to a directive by the Constitutional Court. The NFP is hoping that the same principles of openness and public interest will prevail when a new Refugee Bill which will be a comprehensive review of all refugee legislation in the country is eventually finalized. In conclusion Chairperson, the NFP supports the Refugee Amendment Bill
Mr D M GUMEDE (ANC): Thank you very much hon Chairperson, hon members. Firstly, I think it is important to clarify that this is a stop gap measure. It is an interim measure to a comprehensive process that has already started in amending the Refugee Act. So, we said that let us make sure that we continue having the Bill in line with the Constitution, and to provide for certainty the ANC decided that we should use exactly the words of the judge in amending the Act. Therefore, this Bill for purposes of certainty, let me repeat, makes use of all the words of the judge.
Secondly, with the process having started the ANC is prepaid to take any and every view into consideration to make migration better for all South Africans. Given the fact that South Africa has experienced a lot of problems with migration, and with people claiming that they were refugees. Some of these people are genuine refugees and we say they should be treated fairly and in line with all human rights that we enjoy.
But having said that, over the years we have discovered that some of the refugees are not genuine refugees. Some of them may be involved with criminal syndicates that may be African, that may be global, that may be European and thus that experience informs us to be careful given our human rights architecture and be comprehensive in addressing the problems that we have experienced.
In the committee all parties have agreed. We thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Than you, hon Chair. The ACDP supports this Bill which allow the Refugees Appeal Board the discretion to allow the media and public access to hearings. This will increase transparency on a matter which is of significant public importance and interest. Thank you.
MEDICINES AND RELATED SUBSTANCES AMENDMENT BILL
(Second reading debate)
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chairperson, colleagues, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon chairperson of the portfolio committee, hon members of the House, distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman, let me start by acknowledging the presence, in this House, of the chairperson of the Medicines Control Council, Prof Helen Rees, and the acting Registrar, Dr Joey Gouws.
It is indeed my pleasure to speak on a subject that relates to improving the health care system of South Africa for the people of South Africa, by strengthening the medicines regulatory authority of South Africa, the Medicine Control Council. It is the role of the national medicine regulatory authority to guarantee the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines made available to the public.
When looking at the medicines people use, it is evident that these products are becoming increasingly global commodities which come with particular problems. The clinical trials supporting these products, the manufacturing of key components and the final assembly of these products occur all over the world, sometimes in countries with long histories of competent, safety and manufacturing quality regulatory oversight, and sometimes in countries with no such a history. Therefore, if we all agree that medicines are crucial to the effective delivery of health care services to the public, we must then agree that we need an efficient, effective and competent medicines regulatory authority. This brings me to the establishment of a new medicine regulatory authority in South Africa; a vision that has been on the table for a few years.
The current Medicine Control Council, MCC, which engages 24 members, approximately 110 part-time evaluators, and 180 technical and administrative support staff, the latter being based in the national Department of Health, has outgrown its business model over the past years. The current structure is therefore insufficient to manage the workload of reviewing and considering the ever-increasing numbers of medicine applications submitted to the MCC at the rate of between 1 200 to 1 600 applications per annum.
In addition, medical devices and In-vitro diagnostic devises are among the products that have not been regulated in South Africa. A new SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, or Sahpra, is planned to be established by Bill 6B of 2014, which will replace the current national medicines regulatory authority, the MCC. We will have a mandate to manage the registration, regulation and control of not only medicines, complementary medicines and clinical trials, but also active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic devices.
The decision to establish SA Health Products Regulatory Authority as an organ of state within the public administration but outside the public service to regulate medicines and medical devices, was taken late in 2007. This resulted in the Medicines and Related Substances Act, Act 101 of 1965 or the Principal Act, being amended by the Medicines Amendment Act, Act 72 of 2008 Amendment Act. The said amendment was signed into law by then President Kgalema Motlanthe in 2009. However, it was never implemented as more work needed to be done for a harmonious transition to a newer regulatory authority with an extended mandate.
The Medicines and Related Substance Amendment Bill, Bill 6B of 2014, seeks to amend these legislation so as to define certain expressions, to provide for the objects and functions of the new authority which will operate through a board, to provide for the composition, appointment of chairperson, vice chairperson and members, meetings and committees of the board of the authority and to effect certain technical corrections to the Act.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am hereby presenting in front of this House the intention to establish the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority which will be much bigger, efficient, and competent and more effective than the present regulatory authority. It will also regulate things that were never regulated before. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon Minister. Before I call the next speaker, let me also recognise in the gallery a number of young people who have joined us in Parliament this afternoon, including a group of students from Stellenbosch University. Welcome to Parliament. We hope you will find the deliberations uplifting and interesting. [Applause.]
Ms M L DUNJWA: Hon House Chair, Minister of Health and other Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament and guests, it is with pleasure, as the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, to stand here and bear testimony that on the amendment of the Medicines and Related Substances Bill, we did follow all the procedures as per the rules. We met as the portfolio committee and conducted public hearings. There were deliberations, but I am not going to go into the dates and the Bill was adopted on 5 August 2015. We did that in the presence of the legal advisors and the state law advisors who supported the processes of the Bill. The reason we did that is because we wanted everybody ...
... aze kumamela ukuze afumane ulwazi lokuba kutheni na kubalulekile ukuba kubekho izihlomelo ezenziwayo kuMthetho oYilwayo. [... to come and listen so that they can get information on why it is important that amendments are made on the Bill.]
It is important to understand the reason why it is important to have a board that will oversee the work of the Sahpra is precisely because we want to ensure that the process of the regulatory processes by the board, which is going to oversee this committee, is going to be short, not really short but not be delayed as it used to be. The reason for that is precisely because the current members of the MCC were not really focusing on the work that they were supposed to do, because they had other work that they were doing. The case in point is that some of them were professors in universities and that this work of ensuring that medicine devices and medicine is regulated in the country was not their priority.
Therefore, we think that it will be important that the House supports this so that medicines that are on the counters of our stores in our country are medicines that are regulated so that people do not take dangerous medicines.
In addition, it is our understanding that we came here, as the committee, in relation to section 18(a) which was not included in the Bill. During these deliberations, the committee recognised that the Bill was silent on who should advise the Minister on bonusing and pricing matters on medicine and medical devices. The committee therefore proposed that the pricing committee be tasked with making recommendations to the Minister in this regard. This will address the potential conflict between the mandate of the pricing committee and the board and also ensure that everything is smooth in terms of this Bill.
We also want to say that in the deliberations, none of the members of the committee ever had a problem. There were never any deliberations that had some contentious issues. Everybody agreed, because all of us had an interest in ensuring that people of this country, whom at the end are in fact beneficiaries of this process, are going to be safe and subjected to safe and good medicines and medicine devices. As the chairperson of the committee, I want to thank all members of the committee from all parties in this House, for supporting this Bill. I thank you.
Dr W G JAMES: House Chairperson, hon members, this Bill’s aim is to build an entity that will regulate the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines. The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, Sahpra, will ensure that only products meeting the above mentioned criteria can be registered and sold. In other words, if a product does not contain the exact ingredients in the dosages that it claims it does, it is not a quality product. If it does not do what it claims to the body, it is not efficacious. And if it contains toxins or harmful substances, it is not safe.
Proof is required and depends on claims made by the medicine in question. Clinical trials would be standard for most medicines, but dossiers would also work for others. Natural medicines from indigenous origins that are demonstrably safe, efficacious and contain a chemical compounds a label declares that it does, will be registered. The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority does not have authority over everything originating from the natural world. It will only regulate products available in dosage form. Individuals can still use natural products in raw form. Freedom of choice can only be truly exercised if individuals have health relevant information. The public needs to be protected from manufacturers who make claims about their products that have no basis in fact.
Government also has a duty to protect South Africans from unsafe medicines and ineffective products. Ineffective medicines can delay obtaining proper health care and even result in death. Without proper monitoring anyone can put stuff in a tablet, make claims about it and sell it to unsuspecting public.
This Bill’s passage, colleagues, is a rare example of where evidence-based rationality prevails in this House. Rationality should also lead us on the larger stage to recognise that we must rebalance expenditure in the health sector. Public sector wages are crowding out hospital maintenance expenditures. The National Health Insurance grants should rather go unto building clinics and staffing them in underserved areas. What we will be doing is struggling to put health on a sound footing. But I get ahead of myself.
The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority should improve approval speeds, getting medicines and drugs to markets in a much faster way. Therefore, the DA supports this Bill. I thank you.
Dr H CHEWANE: Hon Chair, the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill seeks to provide for the establishment, objects and function of the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, and to provide for the composition, appointment of chairperson, vice chairperson and members, meetings and committees of the board of this authority. The Bill aims to replace the existing body, the Medicines Control Council which is the current regulatory authority. The Bill has the intention, according to the Department of Health, to speed up the registration of medicines and allow for mutual agreements with other worldwide drug registration institutions to enable the process of acceptance and rejection to take place.
The first issue that we have against the Bill is that it was submitted to Parliament in February 2014, but it was amongst the many pieces of legislations that were not considered by the Members of Parliament, MPs, ahead of the general election in May 2014. This shows the laziness of the ANC MPs and their willingness to relegate the interests of the country in favour of the interests of their party. The honest assessment of the Bill will clearly show by the very low standards the ANC has set for itself, this is a progressive albeit limited intervention.
The pharmaceutical industry has been for sometime one of the least regulated industry in the country. Any attempt therefore to bring about some sanity in this industry is welcome.
This being an ANC-led intervention it should surprise no one that the amendment Bill is inherently incapable of addressing the chronic problems of access to quality and affordable medication for the majority of the South African population.
These challenges, the EFF believes, can only be addressed through brave policies and laws that do not take a piecemeal approach to reform the pharmaceutical industry. This Bill is such a sorry example of this gradualist reformation of the ANC seems to favour. This will be the ninth amendment of the Act, the fifth since 1994. Gradualism surely does not work. It is a shame that instead of overhauling the pharmaceutical industry, the ANC resort to a piecemeal amendment process of an apartheid era law.
These problems were correctly diagnosed by the EFF and their solution lies in the creation of a state pharmaceutical company that will produce essential medicines without being boggled down by bureaucracy associated with intellectual property rights. The new regulatory body does not have powers needed to reign in the abusive nature of the pharmaceutical industry. For these reasons, we reject this Bill because the little that is progressive about it is overcome by the cowardice of the ruling party to bring about the pharmaceutical industry in line with our national aspirations. Thank you.
Ms S J NKOMO: Chairperson, firstly, I would like to state that the IFP supports this Bill. However, there are certain issues which we would like to be taken into consideration. South Africa deserves the right to be a sovereign over their own bodies. They deserve the right to use even traditional medicines should they so desire. They deserve the right to continue to use natural medicines that have been used by humanity for thousands of years.
This new Bill definitely will need to take that into consideration when it comes to the use of natural medicines. This new Bill as well, in its work, should not destroy the natural health medicines industry and of which the IFP will be looking out for because, we do take note that in each and every street corner in town, we get the pharmacies that are distributing a lot of these natural medicines now.
Since the introduction of this Bill, we are appealing to government that they should once again heed the call of our people, as our people are busy saying to them, listen to us, we are addressing the matter of these natural medicines. Big pharmacies are busy working on matters and they are actually the ones that are taking over this industry, but we are appealing that over time, over thousands of years humanity and the use of natural medicines have existed.
We are also stating that whilst we support this Bill, we are saying yes, of course, this new structure is going to be effective and efficient. Whilst it is doing that, let it take into consideration the nation as a whole. I thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Hon Chairperson, Members of Parliament, our guests in the gallery and the media present, the NFP welcomes the amendment to the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill tabled before us today. Health care is a fundamental right of every South African citizen and should be affordable if not free.
By placing a prohibition on the supply of any medical product, medicine, medical device or in vitro diagnostic according to a bonus system, rebate system or any other incentive scheme, the legislature is sending a strong signal to reinforce the basic rights of South Africans to adequate, affordable and competent healthcare. The use of mechanisms such as bonus systems, rebate systems and incentives schemes is an avenue that opens up the provision of medical supplies to undue price fluctuations and unfair competition on the one hand and to abuse and corruption on the other.
We cannot, under any circumstances, allow access to medicines to be open to manipulation of whatever kind. If we do, it means those who are most in need of medical care and who can least afford it will be at the risk of unscrupulous merchants of medical supplies and the negative aspects of undue price fluctuation.
The NFP also approves that discretion has been given to the Minister to prescribe, accept them, and prohibit Acts in terms of section 1 of the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill in consultation with the pricing committee.
The regulation of the medicine and medical devices is of utmost importance to the welfare of our citizens. Unless stringent measures are put in place, it puts millions of our people at risk. The South African Health Product Regulatory Authority will ensure medicines and medical devices of the highest standard and ensure that it is safe for human consumption and use and in this respect it must be supported.
In conclusion, the NFP supports the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill. I thank you.
Ms L V JAMES: Hon Chair, the creation of a new South African Health Product Regulatory Authority is long overdue. South Africans deserve to use health products that are safe, contain what manufacturers say they do and work in the way those manufacturers claim they do.
However, approving medicines and medical devices for the use of the public is just a first step. It’s no use to have an authority that approves drugs, but because of stock management issues at provincial and public medical facilities, these drugs are not available.
This year we saw a shortage of drugs like antibiotics, TB Maxil and Antiretrovirals, to name just a few. Stock outs cannot always be blamed on circumstances beyond the government‘s control. Most of them are caused by a failure of supply chain management.
In a parliamentary reply in June this year, Minister Motsoaledi refused to answer questions about the extent and the reasons for the reported stock outs. He also did not disclose what measures he had implemented to prevent further stock outs. He promised to give a full and detailed account to the Portfolio Committee on Health. We are still awaiting and it seems the Minister does not appreciate the seriousness of this matter or his duty to account to Parliament and the country. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr I MOSALA: Hon Chair, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, the current Medicines Control Council was established in 1965. The changed scientific and management environment, complexities of the health products and the marked increase in the workload have overtime engulfed the Medicines Control Council.
The backlog has resulted in it not being able to continue to function efficiently and effectively. Globally, it has been recognised that the regulatory authorities for health products should be reviewed every five years. It is against this background that there is a need to review the current Medicines Control Council and the new recommendations made for a new regulatory as resolved by the Cabinet.
The amendments are intended to strengthen the drug regulatory capacity, especially for inspection, quality control and laboratory work. In the absence of effective medicines regulation, poor quality or substandard medicines, together with falsified or fake and falsely labelled medicines may be widely traded and consumed.
The intention of Bill 6 of 2014 is to amend the Medicines and Related Substances Act of 1965 when read together with Act 72 of 2008, and therefore, the strategic objectives of the amendments are to ensure that we have, as a country, legislation that would benefit the South African population and that their lives are not put in danger; to change the social condition in the health sector to be in line with the broader plan, the National Development Plan; to replace the Medicines Control Council with the SA health products regulatory authority, Sahpra; to provide for the objects of the authority, composition of the board, appointment of chairperson, vice chairpersons and members; disqualification of members, meetings and committees of boards of the authority; to allow Sahpra to deal with safety, efficacy and the quality of medicines; to regulate sectors that have not been regulated, such as medical devices and medicines in their different categories; and to allow for the regulatory oversight of scheduled substances.
It is therefore indicative that these amendments reflect an organisation in motion; an organisation which has at its disposal strategy and tactics intended to propel our country into a national democratic society as envisioned in the Freedom Charter; and an organisation grounded and has, at its disposal, correct tools of analysis. These tools of analysis enable this organisation to, at all times and during intervals, analyse the balance of forces locally, regionally, continentally and international. The analyses of the balance of forces allow this organisation to adapt to material conditions prevalent and navigate its way around the forces at play. The tools of analysis help this organisation not to lead the people of South Africa to a pit of hell, but propel them to a stream of life. These analyses position the organisation not to lead ... [Interjections.]
Ms H O MAXON: Take your seat, chief.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Don’t do that, hon Maxon, please.
Ms H O MAXON: No, he must not do that. He must sit down when I rise, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I told him.
Ms H O MAXON: I am rising on a point of relevance. The hon member does not make any sense. He is not relevant to the topic that we are discussing.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): That is not a point of order. Please, sit down.
Ms H O MAXON: It is a point of order, Chairperson... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): That is your understanding. Continue, hon member.
Mr I MOSALA: These analyses position the organisation not to lead the nation into temptations, but as proven historically and up until today, to deliver them from evil. This organisation is the only organisation that lives, and is the only organisation that leads. This organisation is called the ANC, and its mission is to propel South Africa forward to greener pastures.
These amendments, as submitted by the ANC, are part of the passion driven and guided by the true feelings of love to the flag of the country, the country as a whole and the people of South Africa in totality ... [Interjections.]
Mr J J McGLUWA: On a point of order, House Chairperson: Is it possible for the member to speak louder because we can’t hear him.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mc Gluwa, please, that is not a point of order. We differ on how we speak. Some people speak soft and some people speak loud. So, let us listen to the hon member.
Mr I MOSALA: Hon Chair, before I conclude ... [Interjections.]
Prince G M BUTHELEZI: There is competition because the hon members always drown the speaker. So, we really applaud and admire the speaker. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you for that.
Mr I MOSALA: Before I conclude, let me deal with the so-called inputs by the EFF. That particular input does not even warrant a response because if we respond to it we would be glorifying and justifying hallucination of the highest order. [Applause.] We just want to inform them that we are an organisation that is not based on criticism ... [Interjections.]
Dr H C CHEWANE: Order Chair! We cannot say the hon members are hallucinating because that is an insult. There is no one who can come to this Parliament and hallucinate. People who hallucinate belong to a mental institution. So, there is no one who is hallucinating in this Parliament.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, order, hon members. Continue, hon Mosala.
Mr I MOSALA: We are an organisation not based on short-termism and food packism. We are capable as an organisation to close the gap between theory and practice. That is why today we have the 2030 vision called the National Development Plan. In conclusion ... [Interjections.]
Ms H O MAXON: Order Chair, who is this guy? Where does he come from? We don’t know him.
Mr I MOSALA: The ANC supports the amendments. Thank you very much.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Hon Chair, to get back to the issue at hand, this legislation, which aims to strengthen regulatory practice and establish a new regulatory agency for medicines, paves the way for the Department of Health to replace the Medicine Control Council. The new agency, the SA Health Products Regulatory Agency will bring scrutiny to bear on sectors of the market that have until now been unregulated, including food stuffs, cosmetics and complementary medicines.
The ACDP welcomes the interim focus on the extensive training of regulators and the clearance of the backlog of nearly 3 000 applications a year ago, a workload which must not be passed on to the new agency. Delays, we understand, have been largely in the registering of medicines, mostly generics and this has frustrated pharmaceutical companies and researchers and delayed crucial decision-making. The ACDP welcomes a key change which gives SA Health Products Regulatory Agency, SAHPRA, chief executive officer the authority to appoint technical committees and report to a board of 10 to 15 experts.
As the Bill provides for SAHPRA to sit outside the civil service, unlike the Medicine Control Council, MCC, which is housed within the Department of Health, this will leave the agency less vulnerable to political interference. We understand the change is also intended to attract top skills and experience to the agency by offering salaries higher than those prescribed for civil servants.
While critics are concerned about the Bill’s intellectual property clause in terms of the secrecy, it is important to note that those needing services supply a great deal of intellectual property that must be guarded. Health professionals say that they would have liked to see provision for the authority to make use of overseas reports, such as the USA Food and Drug Administration, FDA, European Medical Agency, EMA, in the evaluation of a dossier.
The ACDP hopes that this Bill will realise its goal of vastly improving the present situation. The ACDP supports this Bill.
Dr H C VOLMINK: Hon Chairperson, while the DA supports the Bill before the House today, we do have some concerns. Specifically, we believe that the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, SAHPRA, which is envisioned by the Bill, is at risk of faltering before it even starts unless an effective staffing plan is in place. This concern arises from the vacancy rates we see across the health sector generally.
In 2013, a survey by the SA Institute of Race Relations, found 56% vacancy rate for doctors and 46% rate for nurses in the public sector. If this staff deficiency is reflected in SAHPRA, then it will not only be an anaemic organisation but ultimately, a dysfunctional one. So, we will be monitoring the implementation process quite carefully.
Nonetheless, the Bill has gone through fairly rigorous committee process, where we have had robust debate. This is testimony to what can be accomplished if we work towards a common purpose despite our differences, and the chairperson’s hard work in this instance needs to be recognised.
Unfortunately, I can’t be as complimentary to the Minister, because what good is it to fix the drug registration pipeline if the medicines are not getting out to the people at the end? This is what we are beginning to see with the medicines shortages that are happening under his watch. Blaming international supply constraints is simply not good enough because it does not explain the extent of the stock outs. Where were the contingency plans? What good are all these excuses to the elderly person who needs chronic medication now or that child who needs a potentially life-saving vaccine? We have requested that the Minister himself comes to Parliament to account for these shortages, but this request has, to date, been ignored.
This is important because coming back to the Bill; we found that it is possible to work across party lines for the greater good if we listen to each other with respect. We don’t have to agree, we just have to listen. However, this basic principle of multiparty democracy appears to have been disregarded by the Minister and far too many other instances now.
So, while we still respect the Minister, if it is thought at all that this means overlooking the critical failings in the health system and not taking the appropriate action, however strong, then cabanga futhi [think again]. We will act because South Africans deserve better. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A F MAHLALELA: Hon House Chair, Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, the Bill we are debating today represents a fundamental administrative shift in relation to the current existing regulatory regime. The current structure of the Medicines Control Council, MCC, as it was conceived 50 years ago, does not have the requisite capacity to timeously process an exponential increase in the number of applications, because it relies heavily on external experts whose primary jobs are elsewhere.
The current amendment is therefore aimed at strengthening in-house capacity as a result of improved efficiency. This is in line with the vision of the National Development Plan, NDP, which requires the different regulatory institutions and professional bodies in the health sector - like the MCC, which needs to be strengthened - to support the health sector priorities as envisioned in the NDP.
The operationalisation of this Bill will result in improved health infrastructure; ensure a consistent and comprehensive regulatory and governance framework, with the position that Africa is in; and tap into solutions implemented across the world - leapfrogging to them by bringing these best practices to South Africa.
This will be achieved by ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of the regulator through necessary restructuring in order to respond to the current regulatory environment. Furthermore, the Bill intends to lay firm foundations for regulatory oversight of medical devices and IVDs, or in vitro diagnostics, an area that has been neglected for many years.
As we observe the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, our guiding document in the struggle to create a better life for all our citizens, it is important that we put all our efforts and energy into prioritising the health of our ordinary citizens by ensuring improvement in accessing essential medicine as envisaged in the NDP.
Once the Bill before this House becomes operational, it will see the implementation of a range of measures to improve the quality of health products within its ambit, reduce their prices and, more importantly, ensure their safety, efficacy and quality.
One of the overarching features of the Bill is the establishment of the pricing committee, which will be accountable to the Minister of Health and constituted by experts in the regulation of medicine pricing.
It must be noted that essential health products and medicines in particular are not just commodities whose price determination can be left to the whims of market forces. This is a matter of public importance.
The ANC government, through the Department of Health, is entrusted by the masses of our people to ensure that our people, irrespective of their economic status, lead healthy lives, and it is duty-bound to ensure that everyone has access to affordable medicine.
There is no contestation that access to affordable and quality medicine remains the primary objective of government’s medicine control policy, hence the ANC resolution taken at the 52nd national conference in Mangaung directed government to intervene in curbing medicine prices.
In conclusion, we would like to urge the department to ensure that there is a smooth transition from the current MCC to the new regulatory authority: the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, Sahpra, with minimal disruption.
We further welcome the progressive steps taken by the department of building capacity in terms of which 25 science graduates with master’s degrees and PhDs are currently being trained.
Based on the argument presented and the deliberations in the committee, informed by submissions and the public hearings that we conducted as a committee in line with section 59 of the Constitution, we urge this House to adopt this Bill as it was unanimously accepted and agreed to at the committee level.
However, we want to indicate that we do not know about the statistics the EFF is quoting, because the Bill has never been amended nine times. It has only been amended twice. This is the second time it has been amended. [Interjections.] So, it is misleading to say that the Bill has been amended eight times. That is not correct.
Also, I am not sure where the hon Volmink gets his information, because I do not remember the Minister declining an invitation from the portfolio committee when we requested him to come and update us on the state of health in the country in relation to human resources. I do not know where he got that. So, it is very misleading to come and grandstand in the House here and not present the facts, as they are, because that is what we are debating in the committee. I don’t know where he got his information. [Applause.]
Lastly, we are dealing with the regulatory authority. We are not dealing with pharmaceutical issues. [Interjections.] At the 52nd national conference of the ANC in Mangaung, we resolved as the ruling party that the state must have a bigger share in terms of control of the pharmaceutical companies ... [Interjections.] ... and that is the process that we are busy with today. This debate today is not about pharmaceutical issues. That debate will come, and let us debate that then and not with regard to this current piece of legislation. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, some years back, during the apartheid era, there was a government in the northern part of this country called the Lebowa government. On one weekend, one of their Ministers had two functions: to open a college of education on the Saturday and to open a clinic on the Sunday. He was given two speeches on the Friday. On the Saturday, instead of reading the speech to open the college, he read the speech to open the clinic. And when it was indicated to him that he was reading the wrong speech, he was too proud to say he was sorry. He said “All these things are serving the needs of our people; they are the same.” They are not the same.
The hon Chewane did exactly that today. He read the wrong speech. He read the wrong speech, and the hon Mahlalela was trying to correct him. We are here talking about a medicines regulatory authority. Even if you have a state-owned pharmacy, you still need a medicines regulatory authority to regulate it. [Interjections.] [Applause.] Yes! Europe has the European ...
Dr H CHEWANE: On a point of order ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, take your seat. Hon Chewane?
Dr H CHEWANE: I do not know ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, on what point are you rising? [Interjections.]
Dr H CHEWANE: The point is: saying that the EFF is moving for the building of a state pharmaceutical company does not constitute giving the wrong speech when we are discussing a regulatory authority on medicines. It cannot be the wrong speech.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, thank you. That is an explanation. I allowed it.
Dr H CHEWANE: I needed to address the Minister being out of order by saying ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, on the explanation side I allowed it. Thank you. Sit down.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: The hon member read the wrong speech. He said that instead of a regulatory authority we needed a state-owned pharmacy. Even if you get it, you still need a regulatory authority.
Europe has the European Medicines Agency. The United States of America has the Food and Drug Administration. Switzerland has Swissmed. Australia has the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Zimbabwe has the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe. And you say South Africa must get a state-owned pharmacy.
Hon Malema, I heard that you cracked the whip for somebody who slept on the job in the NCOP. This is worse than sleeping. Please do something about it. [Laughter.] It’s worse than sleeping what he has done. He should have rather gone to sleep than say what he said ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, your time is up. [Interjections.]
Dr H CHEWANE: No, but ... Hon Chair, on a point of order. The knee-jerk ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, I did not ... No. Sit down, hon member. [Interjections.]
Dr H CHEWANE: But I am rising on a point of order. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, he has left.
Dr H CHEWANE: The knee-jerk reflex Minister, who is always commenting on issues prematurely ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members! Order!
Bill read a second time.
THE MARIKANA COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT
(Debate on Matter of Public Importance)
Mr J S MALEMA: Madam Chair, the EFF leadership does not use the Marikana issue as a political football. We always have been on the ground, particularly with the poor masses of our people. Therefore, the core leadership of the EFF, when it intervened in Marikana, did not do so because it was seeking votes. At that time, there was no EFF. We related, and we had been with the people of Marikana before the formation of the EFF because we are genuinely concerned about the issues facing the mineworkers.
Marikana was a murder that was facilitated in clear daylight under the political influence and supervision of politicians, many of whom continue to enjoy the privileges of this House. The bureaucrats and ground forces of this murderous regime must not be the only ones to take full blame for Marikana. There must not be another Eugene de Kock who is sacrificed for all the political sins of the apartheid regime whilst political principals are celebrated as peacemakers.
A closer reading of the commission’s report reveals the following facts. The events recounted in the Marikana Commission report on activities that transpired between 14 and 16 August 2012 strongly reveal that the massacre in Marikana was the premeditated mass murder of workers. In the words of Nkosikhona Mjuba, a mineworker from Marikana who was at scene two, “The police officers started shooting the mineworkers with long and short firearms. Some mineworkers put their hands [in the] air to show they weren’t fighting.” The report confirms that police Lt Gen Mbombo spoke about blood spilling, referred to 16 August 2012 as “D-Day”, and even organised mortuary vehicles prior to the premeditated mass murder of mineworkers. The very fact that the tactical response team of the SAPS was deployed to Marikana with live ammunition rounds is evidence enough that the intention and plan were to shoot to kill. Judging by the speeches of Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and the then Minister of Police after the killing of the workers, they certainly were both aware of and approved of the mass killing of workers.
What this means is that the ANC government with the influence of business politicians, in particular Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, premeditated the killing of mineworkers in Marikana. [Interjections.] They engaged in what is known in law as conspiracy to commit murder. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: Chairperson, on a point of order ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malema ...
Mr J S MALEMA: Mr Cyril “Worker Murderer” Ramaphosa played a central role in influencing the police ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malema ...
Mr J S MALEMA: ... to take concomitant action against workers he had described as criminals ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malema! There is a point of order, hon Malema! [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: ... in the email he sent to the Lonmin management. This is further confirmed by the first part of chapter 9(C)(6) which says ...
Mr B A RADEBE: Point of order, Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malema! Hon Malema, please!
Mr J S MALEMA: ... “Lt Gen Mbombo also mentioned that when she spoke to the Minister of Police, Min Mthethwa, he had said that Mr Cyril Ramaphosa was calling him and pressurising him”.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malema!
Mr J S MALEMA: It is clear that Lt Gen Mbombo felt the pressure of Mr Ramaphosa, “as she was at pains to explain to Mr Mokwena that the person who telephoned the Minister was politically influential”, an indicator that Mr Ramaphosa influenced that decision to murder the workers. [Interjections.]
The commission also accepted that Lt Gen Mbombo took into account irrelevant political considerations about the situation in Marikana. [Interjections.] She did not want the mining companies to be seen as supportive of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Amcu. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malema, your time has expired. [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: No, my time has not expired.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): It has. Once it is red, it means it has expired.
Mr J S MALEMA: You are interfering with my speech.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malema, I asked you to sit for a point of order. [Interjections.] You refused.
Mr J S MALEMA: I didn’t hear you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Now I say your time has expired.
Mr J S MALEMA: I didn’t hear the point of order because I was dealing with a serious matter. I didn’t hear that point.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You did not respond, hon Malema. Hon Malema! [Interjections.] Please, there is a process in this House, and we all accept the Rules of this House. I asked you to sit down so that I could take the point of order. You ignored us and continued. Now, your time has expired. Please!
Mr J S MALEMA: Thank you, hon Chair. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. [Applause.] Hon Radebe?
Mr B A RADEBE: Chairperson, the departing member here has referred to the hon President, Cyril Ramaphosa, as if he had planned the murder of the Marikana workers. [Interjections.] It is out of order. He said he is a murderer. It is out of order. I think that you must take a decision on that. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I am going to make sure that we listen to the Hansard recording because there was a lot of noise – I couldn’t hear it – and then we will rule on it. Thank you very much. [Interjections.] Hon Shivambu?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Chairperson, I wanted to clarify that there is nothing wrong with ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, that is not a point of order.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Let them clarify that ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, that is not a point of order!
Mr M S MBATHA: When people premeditate murder, they must be ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. I now call hon Beukman to the podium.
Mr F BEUKMAN: House Chairperson, hon members, fellow South Africans, The events at Marikana in the period leading up to 16 August 2016 saw the deaths of 2 police officers and 11 miners. On 16 August 2015, 34 miners were killed and 70 injured. This tragic event led the President to establish the commission of Enquiry generally known as the Farlam Commission to investigate the incident. [Interjections.] The ANC, once again, wants to record its condolences to all the families and friends of those who died during this tragedy. [Interjections.]
Ms H O MAXON: Chair, the Speaker’s list is still wrong. I don’t think that man is Dunjwa.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Who is this man?
Ms H O MAXON: Oh! The hon member on the podium is not hon Dunjwa. So, please correct that thing. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): What is happening?
Ms H O MAXON: The Speaker’s list is wrong!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh! On the allocated document; okay. We have a hard copy which is correct; the one that is here is the one for Health. Can we request the technical team to rectify that?
Mr F BEUKMAN: Chair, We also think today of the families of those persons who were killed after 16 August 2012 and whose murders fell outside the scope of the enquiry. It once again remind us that in a debate on a matter of national importance we cannot try to score cheap political points, or try to introduce pseudo-findings that are actually personal attacks or make unfounded allegations.
The previous speaker referred to hon members of this House and there was no factual findings made against any of those members of this House.
Today our focus should be to analyse the findings, implement the recommendations and move forward as a nation. The president in announcing the Commission indicated that it was appointed to investigate matters of public, national and international concern of the Marikana incident that took place during that time.
It would also be appropriate to acknowledge the Commission chaired by retired Judge Farlam and advocates PD Hemraj and BR Tokota SC for their contribution in executing their mandate.
My focus would be on the findings with regard to the conduct of the SAPS and related matters. The report that was released on 30 June 2015 made various recommendations regarding the police and the management of the police. It is our considered view that the recommendations will have repercussions for the SAPS as an institution and in particular, the management of SAPS, and the Public Order policing in general.
The report made very clear recommendations on the role of police management, the current national Commissioner and the former Provincial Commissioner for the North West. We take these recommendations very seriously indeed. The first finding with respect to the SAPS management was that it misled the public through a report which had been prepared for the President and the Minister.
The second finding is that the SAPS management attempted to mislead the Commission at the highest level regarding a tactical plan which was drawn up without the Public Order Police being present. The Commission also recommended that steps be taken in terms of section 9 of the South African Police Service Act to inquire into the fitness of the National Police Commissioner to remain in her post and whether she is guilty of misconduct to mislead the Commission.
The President of the Republic indicated on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 when he addressed the nation that he is considering the matter and further announcements would be made in due course. We believe that this is the correct approach to ensure that due process prevails.
Chairperson, the Commission made a wide-range of recommendations on reforming Public Order Policing, which determine how the police should react to situations such as service delivery protests, union marches and political demonstrations. The policing recommendations are centred amongst others, on further investigations, weapons, professionalisation, control over operational decisions; standing orders and other prescripts; police equipment; first aid and accountability.
The report recommends that a panel of experts be appointed, comprising of senior officers of SAPS and experts in Public Order Policing from international renown both local and international, who have experience in dealing with crowds armed with sharp weapons and firearms as presently prevalent in South African context, to: Firstly, revise and amend standing Order 262 and all other prescripts relevant to Public Order Policing; secondly, investigate whether Public Order Policing methods are inadequate, the world best practises and measures available without resorting to the use of weapons capable of automatic fire. Thirdly, having done so, implement a training programme where all Public Order Policing members are extensively and adequately trained in such measures and methods.
We agree with the recommendation that in Public Order situations, operational decisions must be made by an officer in overall command, with recent and relevant training, skills and experience in Public Order Policing.
We agree with the endorsement of the National Development Plan by the Commission and its recommendations for SAPS to implement, inter alia; the code of conduct that should emphasise the fundamental duty of the SAPS to be accountable for the use of the force, and to account honestly to the public. No officer may be appointed to the higher ranks until they have passed the appropriate training for the rank.
The principles recommended by the Commission ties in with the approach adopted by the government in addressing the legacy of the past. In 1994, the democratic government highlighted the inappropriateness of the apartheid policing methods and introduced a process of wide-ranging reform towards civilian policing, including the Constitution, the South Africa police Service Act of, the National Crime Prevention Strategy of 1996 and the 1988 White Paper on Safety and Security.
An important policy initiative to fast-track police reform is the White Paper on Police that was tabled in 2014, and was recently discussed in Parliament.
The White Paper provides a police framework for achieving the policing vision contained in the National Development Plan, emphasising the need to make the police service professional, demilitarise the police; build safety using an integrated approach and build commitment participation in safety.
It presents two strategic shifts. It separates the police focussed policy from a broader police on safety and security. It provides a framework that will regulate the SAPS as part of the broader public service and enhance effective civilian control over SAPS.
The approach is that the 21st century policing requires a professional, well-resourced and highly skilled police service. The demilitarisation of the police service should return policing to the ideals of the Constitution and in line with the recommendation of the NDP. A demilitarised police service that displays a firm commitment to carrying out its constitutional mandate must embrace a human rights culture.
A civilian police service responsive to diverse communities and display an approach to policing that is fair and accountable. It also includes community-centred policing which builds trusts. The hon Minister of Police have announced that he will brief the Portfolio Committee on Police on 26 August 2015, with regard to the implementation of the recommendations of the Farlam Commission in so far as it relates to SAPS.
It will therefore be up to Parliament and its committees to monitor government departments on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Farlam Commission and provide regular feedback to the South African nation.
We believe that accountability is essential and police conduct must be subject to regular, independent review and oversight aimed at building legitimate and trust. The NDP envisages a police service that is trusted by the community. The White paper envisages a police service that must reflect the diversity of the South African context and have the necessary skills, knowledge and sensitive to police communities with their own unique policing challenges.
The recommendations of the Farlam Commission are therefore in line with the work that is currently being done by the civilian secretariat for police and Ministry of Police. It is therefore essential to maintain the momentum for delivery and implement the necessary reform. While we await the formal response from the Minister of Police on the implementation plans to deal with the Farlam Commission response we welcome the roadmap on the White Paper that was presented to the Portfolio Committee on Police on 5th August 2015.
It makes provision for the following: A phased approach to the implementation of the proposals contained in the White Paper; an Audit of Senior Managers to ensure appropriate placement of managers; the review and align the South African Police Service Act and regulations with the Constitution; activate a task team to co-ordinate integration towards a single police service; monitor and evaluate implementation.
Chairperson, the NDP sets five priorities for the achievement of the above vision, which are as follows: strengthen the criminal justice system; make the police service professional; demilitarise the police; build safety using an integrated approach and build community participation in safety.
The ANC is committed to these priorities; we are committed to the implementation of the Farlam Commission recommendations. Let us allow the relevant process to unfold in line with the relevant legislation and prescripts. I thank you.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, visitors in the gallery, bagaetsho dumelang! [Fellow countrymen, I greet you.] On Sunday we will remember the lives of 44 South Africans who died in August 2012. For three years, the families of those who died waited for the Marikana Commission of Inquiry Report to be released in the hope that it would provide answers and closure. It provided neither.
In fact the failure of the President to assign political responsibility for the massacre is indefensible. Not a single member of the executive, or the SA Police Service, SAPS, has been held to account for the loss of life. In fact it should rightly be with this government, the ANC-led government. The Minister of Police came here earlier on, and justified it by simply saying, “Accountability never took place during the apartheid, why should it take place now.” To the Minister of Police, surely the standards cannot be apartheid. We are reducing our society to the worst evil that has occurred in our nation. [Applause.]
But of greater insult to the victims is that the report concluded that its terms of reference precluded from making recommendations regarding compensation. Instead of taking a decisive stance, in the interest of justice and compassion, the President simply passed the buck.
This week the families of the 37 miners killed at Marikana, filed a civil case against the Minister of Police claiming compensation for the loss of their loved ones. They have been forced to do so out of necessity. Those men who died on that day were not only miners, they were breadwinners and caregivers. Those 37 miners supported 326 dependants between them.
They were striking for a living wage to support their extended families in the North West, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Lesotho and Swaziland. Their families are now approaching the courts to have the lifeline that was cut off from them three years ago restored. They are not making excessive demands. They are simply asking for compensation for the direct loss they suffered in August 2012, including loss of financial support, expenses related to trauma counseling and the loss of family life.
Essentially all they are asking the courts to put value on the life of a miner. But those miners were worth more than the income that served as a lifeline to their families. They were fellow human beings with dreams and aspirations who worked and lived in often unbearable conditions because they cared for their loved ones. They died fighting for dignity, and so they cared about would have opportunities that many of them did not have. There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that now leaves these families at the mercy of a legal process, which could take years to conclude, simply to put food on the table.
The irony behind all of these is that the Marikana inquiry cost R153 million to reach a set of conclusions that did not certainly allow for the President to bring justice, closure or compensation. Including the security guards and police officers that died during the process, this amounts to R3,5 million per life lost. The DA remains committed to ensuring that the lives of those who died are not devalued and that the families of the victims in Marikana are compensated for this particular loss. [Applause.]
The DA is in the process of investigating legislative options to ensure that the state takes responsibility for their actions. Whether is through an order of the court, or as a result of the legislation passed in this House, this government must pay for what took place at Marikana that day. [Interjections.]
As we reflect on the Marikana massacre, we must ask ourselves; what has happened to the sense of common humanity which we had when we entered into our democratic era in 1994? It is a country that was once a torch bearer of freedom and equality. It should not be necessary for the families of victims who died a brutal death at the hands of the state to have to fight to be able to survive. It should not be necessary for them to go to court to ask the Minister of Police, at back then, Nathi Mthethwa, to apologise for the massacre.
The Marikana Report shows the extent to which members of the executive used their influence to protect the interests of mine owners at the cost of the lives of the miners that day. President Jacob Zuma has failed in his duty to hold the executive to account for Marikana, instead he is attempting to mislead the public that the commission found that the executive played no role in the decision of the police to implement the tactical option on 16 August 2012.
Let me correct that. The truth is that the commission went to great lengths to emphasise that as a result of evasive and unhelpful testimony, specifically from the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, it was unable to find favourably in favour of Minister Mthethwa
It remains inconceivable that the decision to implement the tactical operations on 16 August were made without Minister Mthethwa’s knowledge. It would seem he is also the same; he is Minister “angazi.” [I do not know.] He did not know what happened. But instead to order 4 000 additional rounds of R5 ammunition for delivery at Marikana, as well as the request for four mortuary wagons at the scene, shows that the SAPS had no intention of being accused of bringing a knife to a gun fight – it was rather the miners who unknowingly made that fatal mistake.
We may never know the full truth behind the chain of events that ended with the death of 34 miners on 16 August, but it was clear and is a conscious decision that the loss of life was both a likely and an acceptable outcome.
Regardless of what the financial value of the miner, to those involved in making the decision that led to their death, their lives were worthless. The miners were deemed expandable if it meant bringing an end to the strike. This is the real crime. President Zuma’s government does not value the lives of all South Africans equally. [Interjections.] They are interested in protecting their own at the expense of protecting the Constitution.
Marikana was not an aberration, but a symptom of the sickness that President Jacob Zuma has inflicted on his government. The events that led to the deaths at Marikana did not happen in isolation, but in the context of the greater sociopolitical condition South Africa finds itself in.
In remembering Marikana we must not only direct our anger solely at the SAPS, but also at the greater failure of this government to deliver a fairer society with greater access to economic opportunities. In 1994, South Africans made a collective decision to embrace a democratic government in the hope that it would be able to rectify the injustices of the past. What is tragically sad is that is the same injustices that remain today.
Ke ne ke ile kwa Marikana mme ka kopana le lelapa la mme yo o latlhegetsweng ka nako eo. Mme o o ne a mpolelela ka mokgwa o a sokolang ka teng ebile a sena le madi a go itlhokomela. Ga se kgang e ya gagwe e le nosi, di dintsi. Batho ba le bantsi ba ba nnang kwa Marikana ba bona gore ditšhono tsa bone di fedile. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[I was at Marikana where I met with a woman, as well as her family, who also lost a loved one during the Marikana massacre. The woman told me of her struggles; she does not have money to take care of herself. She is not the only one faced with this challenge; there are many of them. Many people in Marikana have given up.]
Our society is still divided by economic inequality and many are still denied access to opportunities that others take for granted. [Interjections.] You see, hon members, we have a dream that says, we want to build a South Africa that is built on freedom, fairness and opportunities that opens up opportunities for South Africans to be participants in this economy.
Yesterday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa stood here and simply said if there is a government that cares about job creation, it is President Jacob Zuma’s government. Where are the jobs? Why are the people unable to find work? [Applause.]
Instead the President came here and said he did not even know that Glencoe’s mining licence had been removed.
We cannot defend the executive while South Africans are suffering. This government must take responsibility for its actions if we are going to ensure that the events in Marikana never reoccur. The DA believes that the purpose of government should be to enable the South African people to use their freedoms and pursue a life they value. The best way to honour the residents of Marikana is to remove ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Leader of the Opposition you time has expired.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: No, no ... Ke a leboga, Modulasitulo. [I thank you, Chairperson.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You know I feel pity for those kids who are in the gallery. I think we must remind ourselves of Rule 49, so that these kids can learn what Parliament is about and that it has rules. [Interjections.] I am going to read Rule 49 so that all the speakers that are coming here must be able to recognise it. It reads as follows, and I quote:
Whenever the presiding officer rises during a debate, any member then speaking or offering to speak, shall resume his or her seat and the presiding officer shall be heard without interruption.
Can we have hon Mncwango taking the debate forward?
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Hon House Chairperson, this report is actually tantamount to a whitewash of culpability in respect of any senior political or police force official. It is ode to exoneration for those that are deemed more equal than others. Make no mistake; Marikana was a great and horrific tragedy that should not have ever occurred. It leaves in the wake a long trail of broken families and communities. The question is, what needs to be done in order to prevent another Marikana from occurring?
Firstly, we must scrutinise and reform our SA Police Service training in public order policing in accordance with the standards of international best practice. South African Police Service officers at Marikana, through decisions they took, revealed a disconcerting level of inadequacy for the task at hand. Bad decisions were made and people paid the price with their lives.
Secondly, – and this goes as well to the current poor state of morale currently found in our SA Police Service personnel countrywide – leaders must be fit for the purpose of the office which they hold. The office of the National Police Commissioner is not place for anyone, but a career-seasoned police official. Civilians have no place in such office.
The IFP has time and again called for the hon President to remove the National Commissioner of Police, Riah Phiyega from her post, citing her not being in any way fit for the office which she holds as can be evidenced by the actions she ordered during and the statements she made in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Accountability and responsibility should have also been taken by the Minister of Police and the Minister of Mineral resources. Why was the situation at Marikana allowed to become as volatile as it did? Why did it take the government so long to intervene? Why was there insufficient mediation? We agree that there must be a full and further investigation by the National Prosecution Authority under the direction of the Director of Public Prosecution with a view of ascertaining criminal liability on the part of all members of the SA Police Service who were part to the events that unfolded, and in which minors lost their lives. This must also include possible culpability on the part of Lonmin executive as well as all senior police officials and government representative who were involved on that fateful day.
Our efforts today prevent another Lonmin massacre in the future. Let’s make them count.
Prof N KHUBISA: House Chairperson, hon members, the NFP sees no closure of the chapter of the Marikana saga in the foreseeable future. We see no healing of wounds and no soothing of pain suffered by workers and families, and hear nothing said about compensation of the families and workers. Some of whom will forever remain physically disabled and psychologically scared.
It is abundantly clear from the report that the top police management were found to have been complicit in giving instruction to senior police officers, their subordinates and also directors or brigadiers about the actions the latter needed to take. These actions resulted in a dismally poor handling of the situation rife with carelessness and negligence, and actions which ultimately let to the Marikana massacre.
The NFP finds it appalling that the families of the deceased and particularly the workers that were injured still have to endure the pain and agony because panels and meetings are still going to sit to adjudicate on matters of how the Marikana Report is to be taken forward. And astronomical amount of R153 million which was spent on the investigation and compilation of the report for the commission was spent and still going to be wasted. A lot of time was spent too – 300 hours in total – yet nothing is said about workers and families’ compensation because the terms of reference of the commission were not wide enough.
The agony, the torment and the pain of the families and survivors will be extended because the National Prosecuting Authority has to conduct further investigation since no one is held accountable for the Marikana murders. The NFP is also cautious to accept the finding of the report which absolves the executive. In particular we are questioning the exoneration of the then Minister of Police in this report.
In her testimony to the commission, Commissioner Phiyega alluded to the guidance of the executive and this inadvertently points to the possible ministerial intervention. We believe that this aspect was not fully dealt with in the report. If one looks at entire report, one can safely but sadly say the families of those who died at Marikana are once again denied justice.
Lonmin is also indicated in the report for its failure to deal efficiently with the issue of salaries which set aside the stage for the tragic events which were to unfold. We believe as the NFP that the salaries of mineworkers must reflect the value of the labour’s contribution to the wealth generated by the mining operation in an equitable proportion to benefits.
In addition Lonmin has not pronounced on compensation, neither has the state. For the NFP we think and feel the issue of compensation and families is paramount. Let’s pray for them, they suffered and we need to that; all parties must talk about that. Thank you. [Time expired.]
M L FILTANE: House Chairperson, the widows and orphans of Marikana are still in tears, three years on. The few minutes of gunfire that reverberated through the length and breadth of our country snuffed out lives of poor worker as if they were of no consequence. The brutal murder in Marikana is yet another grim reminder of the profound illness that afflicts our country. Each one of the people who lost their lives in Marikana during those days was a unique human being - the son of some mother and father, the father of some child, a husband to some women, a person linked to a home, to a community of relatives and friends who had loved, cherished and natured him for many years in the hope that they will be a continued and shared future.
This deceitful attempt to attribute responsibility for the massacre only to those in the top admin echelons of police service betrays a deep seated contempt for the people of this country. It also demonstrates how little our leadership is committed to democracy. All South Africans, irrespective of their socioeconomic standing in society, have the right to hope and the right to life itself. No power must be allowed in our land to destroy the thirst for human dignity.
As South Africa continue to celebrate the Women’s Month, many women in Marikana will be marking the third year as widows due to the lethal force of the democratic state police. Less is being said about these poor souls who can only rely on pending civil claims against the police in order for them to feel that they get justice and compensation from our government.
Many children who were supposed to be celebrating with their mothers this month can only be reminded of the brutality that robbed them of their fathers. These children can no longer enjoy life of a full family with a mother and a father due to the most ever experienced police brutality in post-apartheid South Africa. These women and children, whose hope for a daily bread was taken away, have nowhere to look at for peace, security and hope. No one, besides those who lost their lives and their widows and orphans, has paid and are paying a price from that massacre.
Firstly, the UDM has written to the President of the Republic and proposes as follows: These widows and families must be compensated for the death of their breadwinners in the hands of the police. In this regard a compensation fund should be established.
Secondly, Marikana massacre should be marked and commemorated annually as a national day of mourning. This will remind the companies that they cannot continue treating people as if they were just commodities whilst raking profits and miners and committees being wasted aside.
The UDM once more appeals to our government to seriously consider urgently setting up this compensation fund, not that people should incur the expense of having to approach government. They have voted for the government, they are citizens of this country and they deserve better than they have gotten so far. We appeal as the UDM.
Sithi-ke mawalungiselelwe, lamakhosikazi. Enkosi. [Kwaphela ixesha.] [What we are saying is that these women must be catered for. Thank you. [Time expired.]]
Mr W M MADISHA: House Chairperson, you know when I look around I see some of the men and women with whom I served for almost one and half decade in the trade union movement and who were sent to this House by the workers of our country to come and represent them. One of those of men is the Deputy President of South Africa who was at some stage the general secretary of the NUM, the National Union of Mineworkers. He stood during his time to protect the workers the in our country. Now what has happened, comrades?
I want to say that, he is one of the men who own the largest part of that particular company which killed the people of our country. And today as men and women, not only in this House but throughout the country, are crying because our children and those people who are there – men and women – don’t know what is going to happen to them tomorrow.
When I look on my right-hand side I see – and I want to emphasise this - some of the men and women with whom I sat in the executive. And I am extremely, extremely disappointed. Now I want to say that there are a number of things that have got to be done: Firstly, we demand that the Marikana victims get housing. Yes, I agree with the EFF here. They must indeed get housing. [Interjections.]
The HONOURABLE MEMBER: Five hundred ... [Interjections.]
Mr W M MADISHA: Those people ... [Interjections.]
The HONOURABLE MEMBER: I am not surprised. [Interjections.]
Mr W M MADISHA: Five-hundred thousand. Not one bag, two bags. Not actually five hundred but R7,2 million for your information. [Laughter.] Now I am saying that the people in Marikana must get housing. I am saying that the people in Marikana must get proper education facilities. Cope says that people in Marikana – those who were injured in particular – must get continued assistance medically. And all the remaining ones, those who were injured, not only in Marikana but even beyond our borders have got to be assisted ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mokoni ... [Interjections.]
Mr W M MADISHA: But apartheid ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): ... nako e fedile. [... your time has expired.]
Mr W M MADISHA: ... has come back and the ANC ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Mohl Mokone! [Hon Mokone!]
Mr W M MADISHA: ... is a terrible, terrible, terrible organization. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): ... nako e fedile. [... your time has expired.]
Mr W M MADISHA: You are a terrible organization, ANC. Terrible! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Mohl Mokone, nako e fedile. [Hon Mokone, your time has expired.]
Mr W M MADISHA: African National Congress, you are terrible. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon, Mokone!
Mr W M MADISHA: Le baloyi! [You are witches!]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Nako e fedile. [Your time has expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): We call on hon September.
Mr J MTHEMBU: Chair, Chair, Chair ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon September, could you just take your seat so that I can take a point of order from the hon member? Order, hon members!
Mr J MTHEMBU: Chair, It can’t be parliamentary for hon Madisha to call ANC members witches. It can’t be!
Uthi singabathakathi, singabaloyi. [Uhleko.] [He is saying that we are witches. [Laughter.]
It can’t be parliamentary. It can’t be!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Lešata le la lena lena le go mpha mathata. Ga se ka kwa mantšu ao. Ke tlile go ... [You are distracting me with your noise. I couldn’t hear you well. I will ...]
I will make sure that the Hansard is brought to us in order to listen. It’s unparliamentary to say so, but we will listen to the Hansard.
Mr M WATERS: Chair ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members! Could you allow hon Waters ...
Mr M WATERS: Chair, can I address you?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes.
Mr M WATERS: Chair, when responding or calling a political organization certain things like the ANC call the DA racist, it has been ruled as parliamentary. It is only when you refer to an individual member by name that it is not parliamentary. So, what the hon members said about the ANC as an organization is parliamentary. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Manzi, that is why maybe you did not hear the preamble of my ruling because there was a lot of noise. There was a lot of noise therefore I could not hear exactly what he said. That is why I am saying I will listen to the Hansard and then come back. Order, hon members.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House Chair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes, hon Chief Whip.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: You would note that all opposition parties were clapping hands as hon Madisha was calling members of the ANC witches.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay. I couldn’t hear that. I think I have ruled on this matter, hon Chief Whip. Can you ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Listen to my point. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: My point is, that hon Waters believes that hon Madisha is a cheer leader of the opposition on the ANC.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh, no! That’s not a point of order. Anyway I have ruled on the matter already. Thank you very much.
Ms C C SEPTEMBER: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, guests in the gallery, ladies and gentlemen, goeie middag [good afternoon], the President indeed took responsibility when he appointed hon Judge Ian Gordon Farlam, a respected retired judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal as chairperson of the commission and Adv Bantubonke Regent Tokata SC as well as Adv Pingla Devi Hemraj SC, as additional members. We must thank them for a sterling job they have done to navigate successfully through extremely difficult moments to fulfill their tasks.
The release of this of the Farlam Judicial Commission report finally brings to light the truth around the tragic incident. The Farlam Commission presents a very different perspective in this regard. We further trust that this will now bring our nation a step closer to healing. Hon Chair and hon members, we completely support President Jacob Zuma’s sentiment when he released the report that such incidents have no place in a democratic South Africa. Of course, our hearts also go out to the families of those persons who were killed after 16 August 2012 whose murders fell outside the scope of the inquiry. The violence and murders after that day fell outside, so let us remember at least some of those victims today. Let us remember Dumisani Mthinti, Daluwayo Bongo, Mbulelo Nqetho, Ms Nobongile Nora Madodo, “Brown” William Setelele who was a NUM branch chairperson and was assassinated before he could go to the commission, let us remember Percy Richard Letanang also a shaft steward that was murdered on 02 November 2013.
It is important today to take a principle approach to this debate which is to examine the terms of reference and the findings of the commission in the context of what Marikana is if we as Parliament are to come out of this debate with recommendations that will assist the situation. An unprincipled approach to this debate will move outside of the terms of reference which relate to an incident and will seek to opportunistically use the Marikana tragedy to promote the subjective and narrow interests of a particular political party; claim that they are the panacea for the answers as if Marikana did not exist before 16 August; absolve themselves from any responsibility and apportion blame subjectively to individuals and political parties or the government as we heard some of the speakers before me.
What the terms of reference did not ask for is maybe a socioeconomic analysis of the mining sector, the living conditions surrounding the mines, the towns that were established as a result of mining operations, a historical materialistic evaluation of the South African mining sector and an assessment of the economic practices of the identified Lonmin mining company. I will return to this later.
With regards to the commission we have heard all sorts of different views here today. Our response as the ANC is simply to say that on the release of the findings in June 2015, we welcome the recommendations to strengthen the state capacity to discharge its duties in respect of public order policing and we further called on our government to urgently implement all recommendations, so to those areas of the executive and so to those areas of Lonmin and those areas of the two unions namely, Num and Amcu.
Hon members, let us be reminded that the migrant labouring system has been the backbone of the mining industry in South Africa and continues to have an enduring impact on both mining towns and rural labour sending areas, mining industry and the historical colonial and apartheid legislative framework which continue to perpetuate inhumane conditions of exploitation. Lest we forget all of this, 45 people lost their lives that week. We must go far beyond the sent folder and the cell phone records of one man and seize the opportunity that the Farlam Commission report asks us to reflect on in pursuit of all those who remain terribly hurt.
The ANC as the leader of society believes the sanctity of life and that everything should be done to avoid death and as such in Parliament we look forward to the implementation of a list of interventions that were agreed upon, even those that were done in the draft agreements between government, business and labour. There are many of them that were done that spoke about the regulatory certainty in the mining industry; reducing the employer indebtedness, 12 micro lenders have been closed in Rustenburg as a result of these initiatives as well as the monies that have been set aside by government dedicated to all distressed mining communities in quite a number of areas. So too the socioeconomic conditions of facilitating both large and small scale industrial projects in 15 mining towns. Hon Madisha, these and many more the ANC-led government had committed itself to do and continues to do. These include mobile units for our neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Swaziland.
Mining companies should also contribute seriously as they are obliged to do in terms of the mining rights licence. Never and never again must a tragedy of this kind occur on the soil of a democratic South Africa! In this regard, we have a responsibility to critique the report in terms of its terms of reference and its findings. To critique the report on matters it was not set up to investigate will be a reflection of a lack of integrity and shallow debating ability by the individual or organisations that they represent. The balance of evidence as established by the commission is what should seize the debate and not what we have heard today: all sorts of intrigues, skullduggery, rumour mongering and being attracted by the phenomena that arises from these tragic incidents.
Having said that, hon Chairperson and members, as political parties ours is to contextualise the Marikana Commission of Inquiry as no commission of inquiry is set up in a vacuum. Any incident it investigates is within a particular context and therein we must express an opinion to an inquirer to investigate the violence with the intention to establish what caused it and to act on its findings. Our call was for the cause and the circumstances of all the deaths including those of miners, the police and the security and that once the inquiry was completed it should be followed by a stern action to ensure that justice is carried out.
The ANC Special National Executive Committee further appealed then to all South Africans that no one should use the regrettable tragedy for political and opportunistic reasons. The ANC will commit and continue to commit itself to work with all stakeholders and communities in the ongoing development of the mining communities. We reaffirm the importance of organised labour fighting for the improvement of working conditions of mine workers and restoring their dignity as human beings, and reassert the importance of unity and working together to protect the rights of organised working class who themselves remain vulnerable in society.
This tragedy cannot be used to further divide our country, if anything we should seek to unite our people to ensure that such never happens again. The right to peaceful strike action in South Africa is sacrosanct and we welcome the recommendations by the commission to strengthen the capacity of the state to discharge its duties of public order policing amongst others. We call on government to urgently implement all the recommendations of the commission. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the ACDP has noted the report in which Lonmin, trade unions, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Amcu, National Union of Mineworkers, NUM and the SA Police Service, SAPS, have been singled out for criticism by the commission.
The SAPS undoubtedly bore the brunt of the criticism in the findings and recommendations with the commission criticising the tactical response option chosen, which resulted in the tragic loss of the lives of 34 miners. But let us also remember that 11 others were killed the previous week, including policemen.
More alarmingly is that the commission also found that senior management of the SAPS misled the commission when testifying. This is clearly very serious and it is consequently little wonder that the commission recommended, and President Zuma followed that recommendation, that Police Commissioner Phiyega faces an enquiry in the terms of the Police Act as to whether she is fit to hold office, or not. We believe the Police Commissioner should in fact be suspended pending the finalisation of such an enquiry, given the severity of these allegations against her.
Furthermore, while it appears that no adverse findings were made against other political office bearers, we are disappointed that the commission did not hold former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa or his Deputy accountable.
One aspect that we and our leader Rev Meshoe did raise, which has not received sufficient attention, is the role of sangomas in this whole issue. A statement of an undercover security superintendent was handed in to the commission. Read page 106 of the report. It confirms that a sangoma promised miners that they would not need to fear firearms or bullets. Miners were told that the firearms would jam and that bullets would turn to water. These are very serious allegations.
It is interesting that, regrettably, the particular sangoma, Mr X, was murdered. Why was he murdered? Is there something that needs to remain hidden? We believe this is an aspect that should have received further investigation. Whilst it does not exonerate the police, we believe this aspect could have contributed to the volatility that one sees at the beginning.
We also believe that the release of this report heralds the beginning of lengthy legal processes. Many speakers have mentioned compensation, and we support those views. Compensation needs to be paid and it needs to be paid speedily. Regrettably, three years later, many of the families have not received compensation.
The ACDP trusts that the release of this report will begin a process of healing for those who lost loved ones in this tragic massacre on 16 August, as well as for all South Africans in general who were shocked by the tragic events on that day, and the days leading up to it. Thank you.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon House Chairperson, I think I have to be very careful here if I want to be allowed back into that corner. If I say anything that is not in our context, then I will not be allowed back in that corner. [Laughter.]
The people of Marikana, more especially the affected ones, wanted some immediate steps to be taken to address that issue of Marikana. The report apparently seems not to have done that.
The recommendations that are in the report now should form part of the long-term plan, otherwise something immediate now should have been done.
The interests and aspirations of the people should be put first. It cannot be correct that the Marikana issue could have taken so long for the people to know exactly who killed their loved ones. It means now we have to check our justice system and the police.
The miners just wanted to be paid a mere living wage. It is very interesting that these people didn’t even talk about percentage. They said they wanted R12 500, because percentage would have given them a problem.
But those people were shot and killed in cold blood. That is, on purpose and with full intent. The police responsible for that deliberate and disheartening act were not arrested and charged. Yes, the unions and strikers might have made some mistakes, but the actual killers were supposed to have been arrested and charged. That was expected by the people. So, I don’t know what actually happened because, if you commit murder, then you have to be arrested.
The investigation into what happened before should have occurred after the arrest and charging of these culprits. That is the killers. Because it is clear that the police know. It is the police that fired and killed these miners. That is the crux of the matter.
The loved ones of those who lost their lives are still looking forward to the telling of truth. They want those responsible to be charged and they are also expecting a form of compensation for the loss that they have suffered.
The Marikana issue is another issue breaking the world. There are many of these burning issues.
Democracy should try to accommodate even those people at the grassroots level. The recommendation that we would have appreciated as the AIC is the immediate and charging of these people. Yes, there are many recommendations ... [Time expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Table staff, previously hon Kohler Barnard raised a concern about her name being written in full. And I’m not going to apologise again. Please, make sure that that happens. Thank you.
Ms D KOHLER BARNARD: Chairperson, as a nation we have gone through the shock, the anger, the grieving and yet we are still unable to fully comprehend the horror of what we watched on television the day after the Marikana massacre. It took us back to that dark time of our history that no sane South African could ever wish to repeat. It was incomprehensible. It was inexcusable. As inexcusable as the empty ANC benches today.
The Farlam commission has declared, and the DA has made a substantial submission to the President motivating, that the incumbent national Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega be summoned to an inquiry into her conduct in relation to the 44 deaths at Marikana into her fitness to hold her position. She blames her predecessor for the militarisation of the SA Police Service, SAPS, something she has done absolutely nothing to counteract. But no spin by her media officer will erase the reality that she congratulated the SAPS for their actions on that fateful day. Nothing can erase the fact that she took decisions which she and her colleagues knew would result in bloodshed. Nothing can erase the damning findings of the commission through which are scattered such words relating to her evidence as inappropriate, unsatisfactory, unconvincing, omissions, misleading and most damning she had no policing expertise and experience whatsoever.
Whose fault is that? There is not a SAPS member which she hasn’t personally appointed who believes that a career officer would have taken the political tainted decision she took then and continues to take today. So, whose fault is that? Who appointed this totally inappropriate civilian? It is the President.
Three strikes in a row by President Jacob Zuma and with the horrors of this massacre before us, added to a soaring murder rate. The buck stops with him. Yes, he fired the Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, who must be held accountable for the Mndluli-era crime intelligence debacle that crippled the division rendering ineffective in not only pre-empting, but also properly responding to the events at Marikana.
That Minister must be held accountable because instead of providing a visionary leadership in the country in which society has seemingly normalised excessive violence, he set back, he set back.
The President hired her, Bheki Cele, and Jackie Selebi, and all were civilians. And what has he done to ensure another Marikana never happens? Has he proffered steps via the Labour Minister to work with the labour regime? Ending closed shop agreements, recognising the non-National Union of Mineworkers, non-Num, or the non-Congress of SA Trade Unions, non-Cosatu unions,and introducing a culture of democracy and union activity? No.
Is the current Minister of Police occasionally looking away from fire pools and chickens that threaten the President, demilitarisation, training, public order policing, and crime intelligence? No, he is still fixed on the fixtures at Nkandla.
Is the Minister of Minerals and Energy accepting capability and creating policy uncertainty that disencourages investment? Is he reconsidering the efficacy of the Mining Charter and achieving redress and reconciliation? No. we must bow our heads in mourning, but we must also lift our eyes to the future. We do not underestimate the complex web of socioeconomic, political and institutional factors that contributed to the violence at Marikana. But what will define us as nation is how we treat the grieving survivors. It is a national shame that they have to go to court to get the compensation that is rightfully theirs.
The empty ANC benches today show South Africa that dead miners don’t even show as a blip on their radar. Shame on you! Hon September, call the ANC, the leader of society, yet, they couldn’t lead their members into this debate. Shame on you! You are sounding more, more and more [Interjections.] You are sounding more and more like the old National Party, Nats, in the old days justifying the unjustifiable. Shame on you! [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: House Chairperson, hon members, distinguished guests, the matter before us today is a very sensitive one as it also involves the lives and suffering of real families who have lost their loved ones. It is, therefore, important that we in this august House of Parliament show compassion and support to all those families without exception and disabuse ourselves of the temptation to score cheap political points from the suffering of our people.
It is one thing, on a very busy road, to indicate left and keep on turning right. What the other members are doing here is dangerous. For the record, the commission made no findings against hon Deputy President Ramaphosa. So anybody who comes here and call him names ...
... o a tseba gore seo ke maaka.[ ... knows very well that they are lying.]
Yesterday we were debating here that ...
... a re se ke ra bolela maaka. Re bolele nnete feela. [... we should stop telling lies. We must tell the truth only.]
Even the other issues that you want to talk about - we have also noted that the cases of the families who have lost their loved ones during the tragic incidents are still in the courts. We will, therefore, respect the subjudicare rule in this House and await the outcome of the court. Some people go about promising people a lot of things which they know they can’t deliver. If the case is in court we have to wait for the outcome. However, please remember the lives of the other workers who lost their lives in the hands of their fellow workers. Their cases should also be looked into. I also want to say that working class solidarity was undermined by this very same act of worker killing fellow workers. It should never happen again in this country.
There are those who claim - and at least hon Madisha was recognising the doyens of trade unions on this side of the bench. However, we also do know that, like any other organisation, Cosatu has also produced its own factory faults and we accept that. We must move on. The ANC has produced its own factory faults, so we must continue to ensure that we move forward.
We, therefore, also want to say that this statement which says that President Zuma doesn’t care, the DA leader knows that it is not true. The ANC cares, President Zuma cares and I will tell you why. It is also inappropriate for the DA leader to promise the people of South Africa that they will come and pass laws in this country, amend laws while they know that they can’t do that without the ANC. Hon Kohler Barnard comes here to talk about empty benches. Which parties run out of the House every time we have to do parliamentary work? Who are they? Wait! It is the DA and their friends. So, let us continue. [Interjections.] No. No. You must know that we are able to pass laws without you. That is the ANC. [Interjections.] That is not the issue here. However, with regard to the issue of the workers and the working class – I have been the Chairperson of the Portfolio on Labour for many years - the DA has always been against the workers of this country when they want their rights. Now those DA chameleons that comes here and changes – they have been here since the apartheid times, they have been defending white privileges against the working class of this country – so they cannot keep on changing colours and think that they can fool us. You will fool yourself but you will never fool the people of South Africa. [Applause.]
We, therefore, must actually commend His Excellency President Jacob Zuma for his swift leadership in this matter and also for appointing the Farlam Commission and also to thank those commissioners themselves for the sterling work that they have done. Now that the commission and the Presidency have released this long awaited report, which facts are relevant today? This report is 652 pages long. So, those hon members who came here to talk about Nkandla while it is not in that report, and others came here ...
... go tla go bolela ka baloi. Ga gona baloi ka mo pegong ye. [... to talk about witches. Witchcraft was never mentioned in this report.]
Let us forgive them because they don’t have the facts; they are just going all over. However, we have read the report, and as government we understand that we have to take responsibility. We understand that we are having this debate today, on the 3rd anniversary of a tragedy that befell the mining industry and indeed the country, as a whole, in August 2012.
The Marikana tragedy amongst other things, brought into sharper focus the importance and impact of mining in the lives of South Africans. The decisive action by the President to establish the commission of enquiry as well as signing the special Presidential Package in response to the economic challenges facing South Africa and the economy beyond mining has demonstrate bold leadership on the part of ANC-led government.
The result of the commission is to be followed by a response from all relevant government departments, including the Department of Mineral Resources. Hon Kohler Barnard, it is the Department of Mineral Resources not Mineral Energy. Don’t come and mislead us here.
In October 2012, the President led the signing of a Social Accord, not confined to the mining industry only, with government, business and labour; referred to as Special Presidential Package, which made a number of commitments. Part 1 of those commitments is restoring confidence in labour market institutions, addressing income inequality and building cohesion; part 2, the action to combat violence and lawlessness; and part 3, addressing socioeconomic challenges.
In July 2013, the Framework Agreement for Sustainable Mining Industry as mandated by the President was established as a tripartite alliance between government, labour and business to uphold the rule of law; peace and stability; strengthen labour relations; improve living and working conditions of mine workers; to provide short to medium-term measures to support growth and stability; and to identify long-term measure prospects.
In late 2012, the Inter Ministerial Committee for the Revitalisation of Distress Mining Communities was established to address Part 3 of the Social Accord, specifically, to address socioeconomic challenges in mining districts and their labour sending areas. The Inter Ministerial Committee has so far achieved the following outcomes relating to Revitalising Distressed Mining – in other words what I am saying is that we have not been sitting and waiting, we have acted throughout up to now and “siyaquba” - . In ensuring that the rule of law and peace and stability happens, [Interjections.] ... in terms of ensuring that there is stability within the mining towns and surrounding communities following the labour unrest the stakeholders have established a Mine Crime Combating Forum. In fact the forums are in nine clusters where mining activities occur.
The initiatives to bring about peace and stability include awareness campaigns, engagement of local chiefs and mine owners, and engagement with employees to desist from violence and intimidation. There is continuous monitoring of strikes and demonstrations with direct involvement of Provincial Joint Operation Centres and National Joint Operation Centres. A task team has been established comprising of senior representatives from police detectives, National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Justice to monitor and review mining strike related cases.
There is also noticeable substantial reduction in legal labour marches and protest in mining towns. The Department of Mineral Resources has recently released a Mining Charter assessment results and noncompliance orders are currently being issued. The migrant labour system has been the backbone of the mining industry in South Africa and continues to have an enduring impact on both mining towns and rural labour sending areas. Stakeholders in the mining sector are currently considering a recently completed report on improving key elements of the migrant labour system.
Approximately 66 public sector housing projects are currently being implemented in the 15 prioritised mining towns. In this financial year R490 million was spent to ring-fence budget for informal settlement upgrading in prioritised mining towns in Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West provinces. Overall, over 5000 units have been delivered in mining towns. [Applause.]
In this financial year again the Department of Human Settlements has aimed to improve this delivery figure and has ring-fenced R1 billion that is anticipated to provide approximately 19 000 housing opportunities in mining towns. In Marikana, 2 human settlement projects are being completed and they will provide 500 units built on land donated by Lonmin to benefit mineworkers and the community of Marikana.
The Department of Trade and Industry, Departments of Economic Development, Small Business Development are facilitating both large and small-scale industrial projects in the 15 mining towns. These are particularly critical in creating business and employment opportunities and diversifying the local communities. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry is providing support to selected municipalities or regions in the development and implementation of regional industrial development plans. These include interventions in the establishment of platinum group metals special economic zone. Feasibility study, business plans and appointment of project management units have been completed. The special economic zone designation and land acquisition is also being finalized.
Other economic development interventions include the establishment of an Agri-hub in Bojanala, Madibeng and Marikana for agriculture production and processing facility for communities; the establishment of an agro-processing special economic zone in the labour sending area of OR Tambo District Municipality with feasibility studies and business plans also completed. The land for the special economic zone has been secured and the appointment of a project management unit completed; and the Vulindlela Industrial Park Revitalisation initiative in King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality. This includes a multi-sectoral business park to promote sustainable manufacturing investments into the region. I can go on but let me touch this one.
The Department of Health together with the Departments of Labour and Mineral Resources are working together towards alignment of the industry’s occupational health and safety policy and the required legislative changes to facilitate ease of compensation and other benefits towards an enhanced social protection system. This will also include the positive reorganisation of the compensation system and access to benefits for former and current mineworkers. The Department of Mineral Resources is employing mine accident and occupational diseases prevention mechanisms through improved mine inspections, audits, investigations and monitoring of occupational exposure levels.
These departments in partnership with the mining industry have established one stop service centres to bring health and compensation services to former and current mineworkers in the mining towns and in labour sending areas. One-stop service centres have been established in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape as well as Carletonville in Gauteng.
To date, in excess 5000 current and former mineworkers have already made use of these services. More one-stop service centres will be established in other provinces, beginning in Burgersfort in Limpopo; and Kuruman in the Northern Cape. This also includes, in this financial year, establishment of mobile units in neighbouring countries like Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana - which I have already consulted in this matter. We are dealing with issues of orphans and widows of former mineworkers every day of our lives. We don’t like the DA leader to just visit them and thinks that he knows it all.
The issue of benefit compensation to the widows, orphans and former mineworkers is happening every day in this country. Ntate Motswaledi, the Minister, is busy paying 104 000 compensation to former mineworkers, their widows and orphans. [Interjections.] It is happening - 104 000. It is happening every day. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Hon members!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: As I conclude, let me end this progress report with a quote from the first writing of Karl Marx which was published in Berlin: “If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of all ...” [Interjections.]
Mr I OLLIS on a point of order: Will the Deputy Minister take a question? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Will the Deputy Minister take a question?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: After concluding my speech if there is time, yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): After conclusion.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: The quote goes as follows: “If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of all work for mankind, no burdens can bow us down, because they are sacrifices for the benefit of all; then we shall experience no petty, limited, selfish joy, but our happiness will belong to millions, our deeds will live on quietly but perpetually at work, and over our ashes will be shed the hot tears of noble people.”
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON Ms M G (Boroto): Hon members, actually when I said thank you, it was turning red. So, unfortunately I can’t take it. [Interjections.] Hon members! Order hon members! [Interjections.] Order! [Interjections.]
Maloko ao a hlomphegilego a ntlo, dipoledišano, ngangišano le morero wa letšatši di fihlile mafelelong. Ntlo e ka phatlalala. [Hon members, we have reached the end of the debate. The House is adjourned.]
The House adjourned at 17:31
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
- The Minister of Trade and Industry
- General Notice No 655, published in Government Gazette No 38911, dated 25 June 2015: Invitation for the public comment on the draft regulations on review of limitations of fees and interest rates, in terms of section 171(2)(a) of the National Credit Act, 2005.
(b) General Notice No 654, published in Government Gazette No 38910, dated 26 June 2015: Department of Trade and Industry: Extension for the public to comment on the National Liquor Policy:
- General Notice No 657, published in Government Gazette No 38915, dated 30 June 2015: Codes of Good Practice on Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment, in terms of section 9(5) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act, 2013 (Act No 46 of 2013).
Please see pages 3095 – 3099 of the ATCs.
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