Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 17 Jun 2015
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:00.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
ARRANGEMENT FOR QUESTIONS THAT STOOD OVER
The SPEAKER: The first item on the Order Paper is Questions addressed to Ministers in Cluster 5 – Economics. Hon members, you will recall that certain questions stood over during questions to Ministers in Cluster 4 – Economics. As requested, and agreed to by the Speaker in terms of Rule 109(3), the questions will be taken out of cluster today. For this reason, there will be an additional 30 minutes added to the time allocated to questions for oral reply today. These additional questions will be taken between 17:00 and 17:30. Question 211 has been asked by hon M S F De Freitas to the Minister of transport. I have been informed that the Deputy Minister will be answering questions on behalf of the Minister.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
CLUSTER 5: ECONOMICS
Implementation of new e-toll dispensation policy
211. Mr M S F de Freitas (DA) asked the Minister of Transport:
When will her department implement the new e-toll dispensation policy announced by the Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, on 25 May 2015? NO2565E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Speaker, Members of the House, as stated by His Excellency the hon Deputy President, Mr Ramaphosa, the new dispensation will be implemented in phases over a period of 18 months. These phases are determined by the required toll system changes and our legislative processes that must be concluded first. The revised cap and uniform tariffs for each class of vehicle will be implemented in the next two months once the toll tariffs shall have been publicised in the Government Gazette.
The next phase will be the approval of the new dispensation by the Minister which, of course, happened on 12 June 2015 and it will be followed by the gazetting of the relevant new toll dispensation to allow the public to comment within 14 days.
The department will allow enough time for adjustment of the system in line with the reduced monthly caps for the different vehicle classes, single tariff for all categories of vehicles and user registration. Timelines for the implementation of the rest of the changes depend on legal and regulatory processes. Regular updates will be provided to the road users as the new toll system becomes functional. I thank you, Speaker.
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: Hon Speaker and Deputy Minister, thank you for the response. As a follow-up, what legal authority empowers the department to withhold licenses to persons with outstanding e-toll bills? With no legislation that exists, when will she amend the legislation to empower her to do so and has she considered the legal implications of such amendments? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: As we have just said, the process is going to unfold, it’s going to include both regulatory and legislative processes and we will take into account everything as we always do when we amend our legislations. I thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Speaker, Deputy Minister, the people of South Africa had said a resounding no to e-tolls as a funding model. This government is representing the will of the people. Why are you then pursuing this model of e-toll funding and not identifying alternative funding solutions when the people have spoken clearly on this issue?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, the panel took time to go through a process that was very inclusive. Indeed, it came up with the recommendations. One of them was to say the government must go ahead with the user-pay principle, which is what we are doing. Of course we will continue to do that because we still have got to deal with our road infrastructure, we’ve got to repair our roads and construct roads. We need funding in order for us to do that. This is exactly what the panel did, taking all its time and, of course, that followed another process that was led by the then Deputy President of the country, hon Kgalema Motlanthe, and therefore we are doing that which was agreed upon. Even the survey that was conducted is not saying what the hon member is saying. I thank you.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, included in the new e-toll dispensation policy that was announced by the Deputy President, was that those motorists who do not pay the toll fees within a month of their account being issued, will pay double the amount owed, motorists who owed toll fees before the implementation of the new e-toll policy will get a 60% discount if they paid what they owed within the next six months. What I want to know from the hon Deputy Minister is whether that means that there is now a moratorium on SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, officers during this six months period when motorists are expected to settle their accounts because we know that Sanral officers have been stopping motorists on the way demanding payments. Will motorists who are out of the country for more than 30 days, for whatever reason, be forced to pay double the amount owed on their return to the country? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Speaker, the car that pays is the car that uses the road. If you are out of the country, automatically you do not use the tolled road. So, the principle is that you drive on the road, and then you pay for that road. There is no moratorium on anything. The process continues; if you are using the road, you should pay for the road. What we are saying is that for those who have not being paying since 2013 they will then be expected to pay 60% less of the money that they owe Sanral or government.
However, I must also say that even those who will not pay within 30 days, the money that they will pay is capped, which the hon Reverend is asking about, to R450. If you pay within 30 days, you are going to pay R225 and if you do not pay within 30 days after you’ve travelled on the toll road, you will therefore pay not anything more than R450 in a month if it was a lighter vehicle, for example. So, that is what is actually going to happen. If your car is not in South Africa, if it is somewhere in eLukwatini where I’m coming from, and not on any tolled road, you will not pay as I’m not paying on the road that is not tolled. I pay when I drive on the tolled road, whether it is in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal or any part of South Africa because it is a user pay principle, the only difference is on the mode of payment which is either electronic or conventional – that is manual. I thank you.
Mr T E MULUADZI: Speaker, Deputy Minister, the reason why Sanral owes this money for freeway upgrade is due to poor management by Sanral. The Competition Commission also found that construction companies colluded, which caused escalation of cost by more than 100%. Why is Sanral not recovering the money stolen by construction companies to pay the debts instead of implementing the e-toll? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Speaker, the issue of collusion is something different but as a matter of fact, if there is one state-owned company that is well run, well managed, which is something that is good for South Africa, that is Sanral. We have built beautiful world class state of the art paradise roads in Gauteng, they are there. [Applause.] We are not talking about something that we will be building, they are already there. You drive on the road and you are like driving to paradise. They are better than some of the roads in the world and Sanral is managed and properly run. It is doing its work for South Africa. It is the best thing that has ever happened in South Africa when it comes to road construction, and therefore, what the member is saying is just not true. Driving on the road is like going to paradise. I thank you. [Applause.]
Unintended consequences of new immigration regulations
179. Ms B T Ngcobo (ANC) asked the Minister of Tourism:
- With reference to the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) conference held from 7 August to 9 August 2014 (details furnished), has he engaged the Minister of Home Affairs on what the possible unintended consequences of the Immigration Regulations will be on inbound tourism with effect from 1 June 2015; if so, what are the possible unintended consequences and what mitigating factors have been taken to cushion the tourism industry from these unintended consequences;
- has he carefully studied the results of the study commissioned by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa which indicates that the country may lose 270,000 international tourists and in turn result in 21 000 jobs lost annually and inadvertently cost South Africa R9,7 billion in revenue; if so, what has been the reported figures and has there been a decrease in forward bookings or cancellations due to the imminent introduction of immigration regulations;
(3) what has been the reaction of the international tourism community, including emerging markets such as China and India, on the new immigration regulations and has his department benchmarked global best practices for responding to policy challenges with regard to having a balanced approach between combating child trafficking and promoting international tourist arrivals;
(4) has his department taken any steps to assist the domestic and international inbound tourism operators on readiness for the new immigration regulations? NO2530E
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Madam Speaker, the reply to the hon Ngcobo’s first part of the question is yes, I have engaged with Minister Gigaba on the possible unintended consequences of both the unabridged birth certificate and the in-person visa application requirements introduced by the Department of Home Affairs.
The issue was also discussed at the Cabinet legotla prior to the announcement by His Excellency President Zuma during the state of the nation address, in that the visa regulations would be reviewed. Subsequently, at a meeting of Cabinet on 10 June, it was decided that a team of Ministers would be set up to discuss the concerns around the visa regulations, with the aim of finding - please just listen for a moment - ways to address the unintended consequences arising from the implementation of these regulations.
On the second part of the question, I have received the industry report on the impact of the regulations. It puts the figures on potential loss of tourists at 270 000 and those of sector job loses up to 21 000. With our high level of unemployment, of course, even one job loss is one too many. That is why Cabinet has taken the step of looking into the unintended consequences that this well-intended policy may have on the economy. [Interjections.]
We all support the strengthening of security measures for the country, and we all support efforts to combat child trafficking. However, the measures applied to achieve these objectives must take into account the possible negative impact on tourism and investment.
We will be conducting a rapid survey on the impact of the regulations, which will inform the tourism input on the examination of their unintended negative consequences, as resolved by Cabinet. This will be done in collaboration with tourism travel trade from the key markets. It is also our intention to work with the Department of Home Affairs and other stakeholders in the formulation of a survey questionnaire as this will assist us all in gaining deeper insights on what needs to be done. It will include, but not be limited to, trends and/or statistics with respect to forward bookings, cancellations, market perceptions and private-sector marketing investment.
On the third part of the question, tourism arrival figures from China and India for the last quarter of 2014, as obtained from Statistics SA, were significantly down when compared to the same period in 2013. In fact, the only countries that showed a downward trend were countries requiring visas to visit South Africa. This was before the unabridged birth certificate requirement came into affect just over two weeks ago, which, according to reports received, has already resulted in a number of cancelled bookings from our biggest markets.
The International Air Transport Association, Iata, which includes more that 80% of airlines flying to South Africa, has reported that ticketing for June 2015 is 32% down on June 2014.
Unlike in some sectors, determination of policy impact on tourism does not require a long time after implementation of the relevant policies. Forward bookings, regular market operators' brochures and levels of investment in marketing spend by the private sector are some of the key indicators in this regard. I thank you.
Ms B T NGCOBO: Thank you, Speaker, and thank you, Minister. The tourism industry is run predominantly run by the tourism industry, and all the information that we have, we got from the tourism industry. We are, however, encouraged by the survey that is going to be done by government.
Minister, we are looking forward to the survey being given to us as soon as it is available and we also want to encourage further dialogue if there should be a need. I thank you, Speaker.
The SPEAKER: Minister, would you like to use this opportunity to make a comment?
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Yes, Madam Speaker. Just very briefly: it is true that we get information from the industry; it is the industry, after all, that takes bookings, but we should see the industry in its wider context. The airlines also then constitute part of the industry. We look forward to getting a full report from SA Airways, SAA, but, as I said during my initial answer, we are getting information from a variety of airlines that have bookings into and out of South Africa. We do rely on that kind of information. We rely on information from tour operators, but we will indeed come back to the portfolio committee with the questionnaire and we will keep the portfolio committee appraised of the progress as we go along. The Cabinet decision is very clear. We should hear the concerns, we should analyse the extent to which these regulations may have unintended consequences and, upon doing so, we should look at ways of trying to address the situation. Thank you.
Ms S J NKOMO: Madam Speaker, I would just like to find out if the Minister or the Deputy Minister has engaged with the Southern African Tourism Services Association: if they have met with them, or, if they haven’t, when they are actually going to meet with them, so that they can address some of the concerns, which are raised by this institution?
Secondly, what are the short-term, medium-term and long-term areas which have been discussed between the two Ministers, as it has been stated that there have been meetings that have taken place on this matter? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Yes, indeed, Madam Speaker, I personally, and the Deputy Minister as well, engage with the industry constantly. We engage and have several meetings with the Tourism Business Council of SA, which is chaired by Mavuso Msimang. That constitutes or consists of a number of associations. We meet with the associations individually and we meet with the umbrella body called the Tourism Business Council of SA.
The engagement with the Department of Home Affairs has happened on a variety of levels. On the initial meeting, there was an agreement on the postponement of the application of the unabridged birth certificate until 1 June this year, but, subsequently, events have really overtaken us. The matter was raised at the Cabinet lekgotla, as I said. It was included in the state of the nation address of the President. Cabinet is now seized with the matter and is saying: before we decide on what the necessary measures are and what changes might need to happen, we need to be fully aware of what the situation is. We need to know the extent to which these regulations may be having a negative impact on tourism growth in South Africa, and, upon getting the full information, decide on what the appropriate measures are that need to be introduced.
We will do so without compromising; of course not. We will never compromise our country’s national security interests. This is just a matter of finding the best way of dealing with the situation, finding the appropriate balance between defending and protecting our country’s security interests, being responsible as a country in our efforts to combat child trafficking, but finding the right ways of doing so, which will minimise the unintended consequences. Thank you.
Mr G R KRUMBOCK: Minister, I really find it very hard to understand how you can talk about unintended consequences when you were warned so many times in advance. We are only all too aware of the wreckage to tourism caused by your government’s new visa regulations: cancelled in-bound flights, declining tourism arrivals, shocking opinion surveys conducted in Great Britain and so on. Our own tourism stakeholders, such as the Association of Southern African Travel Agents and the Southern African Tourism Services Association, have confirmed that just this month airline tickets to South Africa have declined by over 30%. However, the Department of Home Affairs and the Minister rubbished these statistics, saying on 9 June, and I quote: “These were just figures that were being thrown around to cause confusion.”
Minister, who is correct - the tourism industry or the Department of Home Affairs and its Minister? Do you believe the Home Affairs Minister?
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: I certainly believe what the hon Minister of Home Affairs tells me. [Interjections.] I don’t know about what you are saying. As far as I know, there was a statement to that affect from the spokesperson, not from the Minister himself. I have never rubbished these statistics, and I will not. I engage with the industry. I have the statistics. We have many reported cases; many that have come to my attention not through the industry and not from the DA, but that have come to my attention from our country offices of SA Tourism. They have come to our attention. Because this matter has come to our attention it has been referred to Cabinet - it is a serious matter and that is why Cabinet is taking it seriously. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: I now recognise the hon Matiase. The hon Matiase has become the hon Mbatha ...
Mr M S MBATHA: Thanks, hon Speaker. I apologise. I am seated in his chair. Hon Minister, under normal circumstances, with regard to any changes proposed by government, there should be, firstly, extensive consultation with stakeholders inside and outside government. Regarding this matter in particular, it looks like you completely overlooked that - both you and the Department of Home Affairs. It may look like both of you are actually on a collision course. The question is: How are we going to escape this now, because the flights are already being cancelled by various countries and the industry is going to be affected? This industry, unfortunately, employs the poorest - young stars who just graduated, young stars with matric and so on.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Thank you, hon member, for pointing out the importance of tourism in our country. It’s an employment-intensive sector. Any decline in tourism results in job losses and very quick job losses. The opposite is also true. If we can get this sector to grow, it will result in significant job creation. So, thank you for just supporting us in acknowledging the importance of the sector to our economy - to sustained and inclusive growth in our economy and to job creation.
On the question, there is no clash between the Minister of Home Affairs and myself. [Interjections.] Let me read to you what the Cabinet decision was. The Cabinet decision was that - and it was released publicly - Cabinet noted the views expressed by various sectors and resolved to set up a team of Ministers from both the economic and security clusters. The team is expected to discuss and engage with the concerns with the aim of finding ways to address the unintended consequence brought about by the implementation of the regulations.
So, the Minister of Home Affairs, clearly, is doing what his mandate is. His mandate is to do precisely what he is trying to do. Our engagement has indicated that these particular measures that have been introduced have had some negative impacts on tourism and on travel to South Africa. We are aware of some of the figures. That is why, in our frank discussion with Cabinet, we agreed to follow the following process, as I have outlined, so that we can - not based on hearsay, not based on occasional incidents - in a rigorous way, assess the real impact of these well-intended regulations, so that we can find appropriate and well-thought-out ways of addressing some of the problems. Thank you.
Strategies to support postgraduate female students from disadvantaged backgrounds in relevant programmes
180. Mr M D Kekana (ANC) asked the Minister of Science and Technology:
(1) With reference to the Human Capital Development, what strategies is her department implementing to maintain doctoral and post-graduate females from disadvantaged backgrounds in the relevant programmes until they complete the programme and therefore prevent them from falling by the wayside;
(2) has her department analysed their challenges? NO2531E
Hon Speaker, our department has a number of interventions that seek to support postgraduate female students from disadvantaged backgrounds and to support them to completion of their programmes. Our National Research Foundation, NRF-funded bursaries support or target students who are deemed financially needy, that is, students from families who’s total family income is less than R300,000 per annum. They are given priority and provided with support which includes tuition fees, accommodation, stipends and research-related costs.
Furthermore any funded student who does well in progress with her postgraduate degree is ensured support right up to graduation with her PhD. We also provide extension of funding to students who do not complete their qualifications within the allocated time but who can provide motivation for such extension. In the past six years we have more than doubled the number of postgraduate student bursaries and 55% of these are awarded to female students. We have also increased the average per capita bursary values which have more than doubled in the last seven years.
Furthermore we provide recognition to women in science by providing them with awards annually. These are for women emerging as researchers as well as established scientists. We profile them as role models for younger women and those who have shown outstanding ability, receive fellowships and scholarships to encourage them to study further. Beyond these we have a range of other programmes such as the Thuthuka programme which has been funded by government to the value of over R1,2 billion to fund young people both men and women who are pursuing postgraduate studies. Thank you very much, hon Speaker.
Mr M D KEKANA: Hon Speaker, to the hon Minister, other than funding, what are other programmes or initiatives are implemented by the department to specifically retain deserving female science students, for example, workshops that provide support in terms of balancing career and family obligations? Even though bursary values have doubled, is the current value attractive enough for students to continue with their studies? Secondly, is the hon Minister able to provide specific timelines as to when these results will be made public? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Speaker, due to not having a proper sector of data on exactly what the challenges are, facing particularly black postgraduate students and female postgraduate students, we have commissioned the Center for Research on Science and Technology to do a study on the retention and conversion of students from undergraduates to honours, masters and doctoral levels. This study has now provided us with a report which we are using to devise further strategies. At the recent Gender Summit, which South Africa hosted for the first time this year, women scientists revealed a number of barriers that they are confronted with.
We do have workshops in South Africa. We are providing young women graduate students with support to attend conferences to write the initial paper and to make presentations at international conferences in order to meet the requirements for students at that level. We are also providing posts at university level where if women have to take leave due to a range of reasons including maternity then an appointee is funded by us, so that the researcher can then come back into her post and into the establishment.
The information on the report from the Department of Science and Technology will be made available as soon as we have studied it. However we do have the National Advisory Council on Innovation, Naci, study which has provided very useful information. It is a public report and all members have access to it. Thank you very much, hon Speaker.
Prof B BOZZOLI: Hon Speaker, to the hon Minister, bursary values have increased which we are all grateful for, but nevertheless the average NRF bursary for fulltime postgraduate students is between R40 000 and R60 000 per annum for masters and R60 000 and R110 000 for doctorals, and the Minister must know that this is entirely insufficient to cover the costs of most of our students in spite of the special schemes that you have mentioned, especially students from disadvantaged communities who have no other support. So, what can the Minister do to improve the situation? And secondly, what are the implications of this for the development of new cohorts of graduate students from disadvantage backgrounds to become our future academics and hence transform our universities staffing profile? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon Speaker, I think the study that we have done through the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Crest, will assist us in understanding exactly what the challenges are and will help us to then devise the appropriate solutions. I agree with the hon Bozzoli that the funding is not adequate and that we need much more money. We have been appealing for support from this House for many years, with respects to the needs to provide greater support for research development and innovation. However, having said that, we must also say that the growth that we have seen is actually a significant improvement on what we have had in the past. So, we are working hard in order to ensure that we see even greater improvement.
In what can we do? Firstly, we should ensure that we have appropriate support from public finances. Secondly, I think we should look at far better relationships between the public and private sector in terms of collaborative support for postgraduate students especially at the PhD level. I think there are strong possibilities but at the moment the partnerships are quite inadequate. So, that is one area we are investigating.
Better use of international opportunity is also something that we are looking at. Thirdly, collaboration between higher education as well as the Department of Science and Technology, which I can confirm is occurring at a far better level than we have had in the past. I am sure we are going to see improved support particularly in supporting academics to achieve both masters and PhD qualifications. Thank you very much, hon Speaker.
Mr M HLENGWA: Madam Speaker, to the hon Minister, you have touched on the issue that I wanted to raise with you, the public private interventions which are necessary to ensure that this programme is a success and is sustainable. Now when you say that it is inadequate obviously one would wants to find out what plans are in place to actually fast-track a better working relationship between government and the private sector to ensure that the corporate social responsibility programmes encompass this particular aspect.
The other issue, hon Minister, would be of course, in government generally, the issue of gender-blind budgeting which is at times prevalent. To find out, what engagements are you having with your Cabinet colleagues to ensure that government departments are responding positively to ensuring that there are bursaries and other initiatives of financing education are assisting your programme to ensure that you tap into other areas of funding? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Well with respect to public private partnerships, one of the things that we have began is an annual meeting with corporates that have a strong research profile, both, to alert them to our areas of research imbursement as well as to have an understanding of what their needs and programmes are. I think that annual meeting has led to far better deliberations on how we might partner, for example, the hydrogen fuel cells centres of competence at the University of the Western Cape, University of Stellenbosch and at the University of Cape Town have very strong industry partners as part of the collaboration. And all those programmes at those three universities involve support for masters and PhD candidates. So, I think it is that kind of model which both leads to support for research within the institution but it is also leading out into innovation and the creation of new industry potential that I really would like to see coming into being. So my annual meetings with the private sector and the deliberations are leading to that kind of concrete outcome.
With respect to gender blindness, well it is not really primarily my responsibility, but I address it within my domain clearly of science and technology and can speak to what I do in that domain. For example, the hon member would be aware that we have established these research chairs in South Africa, what we call the SA Research Chairs Initiatives, Sarchi programme. We were fairly astounded to realise despite its immense success that the appointees are primarily male and that we had inadequate appointment of female candidates despite there being women who are competent to fill these positions. So, we decided that in the new call for chairs, that the 20 new chairs would be designated four women appointees only. That is part of our gender response. But, clearly from deliberations we had at the Gender Summit of Scientists, much more needs to be done if we are to address the plethora of challenges that women face within the science domain which remains a primarily a male dominated, despite very competent women researchers, both in South Africa and worldwide. It is a worldwide phenomenon not just the one that occurs in our country. Thank you.
Mr N PAULSEN: Hon Speaker, I pressed hon Mbatha’s button. Hon Minister, you referred to graduates, but we would like to know - and here I have referred to the poor and humble we not the royal we - when it comes to young women from disadvantaged areas, what is the department doing to encourage and support them to pursue studies in science and technology? Thank you, very much.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: As I have said, we are designating that of our funding. The funding must go to persons who are financially disadvantaged - that is number one, and number two, what we do is, while a proportion we say should go to black candidates, at minimum our programmes call for 55% to be awarded to women. So, that is part of the strategy that we implement.
With respect to young girls, we run a programme that is funded within the department which is called the Youth into Science Strategy. It targets young women with the intention of improving their success in mathematics and science, because we have to address the pipeline in order to have the numbers coming into where we are operational. So, we have a very vibrant winter programme run through Wits University as well as the University of Limpopo where we are supporting young women to succeed in the fields of mathematics and science.
We also have a teacher development programme to ensure that teachers are supported to be able to competently teach these subjects. So, the Youth into Science Strategy has a range of programmes, we have established 36 science centres throughout the country. I would love to see one per ward but we do not have the finances for that. But the 36 are certainly a very good beginning. I announced just last week that we would be establishing the 37th one in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. In the deep rural areas where we are trying to reach young people and let them access science and technology.
Completion of security upgrades to private residence of President Zuma
212. Mr K S Mubu (DA) asked the Minister of Public Works:
When will his department have completed the security upgrades to the private residence of the President, Mr Jacob G Zuma, in Nkandla that have begun in May 2009? NO2566E
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Speaker, it should be noted that when the Department of Public Works started with its investigation of the matter, as Minister of Public Works I ordered that the work on the project be halted until the investigation was completed.
I must point out that arising out the investigations there were a number of recommendations, including those of the Public Protector, which were implemented in relation to the following areas. Regarding disciplinary processes, 12 officials have been subjected to these processes, and one case has been concluded.
In terms of the weaknesses in the supply-chain process, a new supply chain management policy, with a comprehensive internal control system, has been approved and training of officials has been conducted. Also, the compliance inspectorate has been established.
With regard to weaknesses in project delivery and the value-chain process, the Department of Public Works is now integrating the Infrastructure Delivery Management System, that is the IDMS, into its systems. The department has engaged in the process to employ professionals in order to create internal capacity and to reduce the potential for placing undue and exclusive reliance on externally appointed service providers. Finally, other actions arising out of the Special Investigating Unit report have been taken, such as criminal charges which are being considered by the prosecuting authorities and referrals to the SA Revenue Service, Sars, of the tax clearance certificate in respect of 14 of the consultants and contractors.
One must remember that when I stopped the project, work was almost complete in terms of the original scope of the work. However, there was outstanding work to be done, which did not fall within that scope of work. So, as Public Works it’s not our call; it is the SA Police Service’s call as a responsible department for conducting security assessment which will indicate what work needs to be done by way of new security evaluation. If it arises, we will engage as Public Works with the SA Police Service on what needs to be done. Thank you.
Mr K S MUBU: Thank you very much, hon Minister. In your previous press conference with your colleague the Minister of Police, you stated - and am surprised you are saying this to us now - that work may not start until the police had given you the mandate to proceed with the security upgrades. But in your press conference you indicated that there were still some security upgrades that had to be done at the President’s residence in Nkandla. So, my question is: What are the expected costs and what is the expected timeframe for these upgrades? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: The hon member listened. I talked about the scope of work in terms of what we are given in terms of the first phase. As to the second phase, once those assessments have been done, it’s only then that we will discuss that with the Ministry of Police and their various experts, because we were talking about different phases.
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Minister, my follow-up question here is a simple one. At which stage would your department say we have spent enough on Nkandla, given the large demand for the services of your department and the huge amount of money that has already been spent on Nkandla? At what stage would you say, even to the Minister of Police, “I think we have spent enough on Nkandla”? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: That will be determined by security experts. [Interjections.] No, no; listen very carefully. All security arrangements are reviewable and those who are experts in the field will be the ones to say: “We have made this assessment; you need this.” This is not something that is static. It’s dynamic; it’s ever changing depending on what experts are saying. And it doesn’t happen only with the President; it happens with everybody who needs security. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Minister, what I want to find out is when this process is expected to be finalised, because it has been a long process, starting in 1999. There are some processes that have taken place. Now, we want to know what the timeframe is. When will this process be completed and finalised?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: I’m not sure where the hon Sithole got 1999 from. The process started in 2009. I am saying and I insist that any security arrangement depends on those who do the assessment. They can do it and say, ”It’s enough for now.” They can come back after five or even 10 years, depending on what is happening with that particular security. If there is a need to upgrade it, they will do it. This doesn’t just happen only with this particular project. It happens with all projects. Thank you.
Mr M M DLAMINI: Speaker, I am hon Dlamini. The hon Mashabela is not here. Minister, your own department’s report on this Nkandla matter did not specify the chicken run, the spaza shop and the cattle kraal as security features. Have you changed your mind and your views now since the Minister of Police, with his bundled-up reports, claims that those are security issues. Secondly, on this issue, Minister ...
Uma siyikhulumela phansi nje njengamadoda futhi ngiyethembisa ukuthi iNdlu kaLuthuli ayilalele. Le nto yechibi lokubhukuda, uyakholelwa ngempela nje Ngqongqoshe ukuthi isici sokuphepha? Ngiyabonga. [If we can talk about this on a low key as men and I promise that the Luthuli House is not listening. With regard to this firepool, does the Minister really believe that it is a safety measure? Thank you.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: If you have read all the reports, you would be aware that all the issues you are mentioning have been mentioned there, not by Public Works but by the security departments. [Interjections.] I have not changed my mind. From the beginning I have been talking about those issues. It just ends there. Thank you.
Progress made with regard to roll-out of broadband and approval of spectrum policy
181. Ms M T Kubayi (ANC) asked the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services:
(1) What (a) progress has his department made with regard to the roll-out of broadband to eight districts as announced by the President in his State of the Nation Address on 12 February 2015 and (b) is the total budget allocated for this project;
(2) with reference to the delays in issuing of the spectrum and the concerns raised by the sector in this regard, what progress has the Cabinet made in approving the spectrum policy and its publication? NO2532E
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Hon Speaker, considerable work has been done, including the establishment of the provincial project and task teams to implement the project, taking into consideration, the provincial and local government needs.
The infrastructure gap analysis has been done to identify areas with the greatest infrastructure deficit. The business case for Phase 1 of broadband rollout or of the plan to connect government establishment in the NHI pilot sites were completed. Although limited, funds of about R200 million have been allocated for this financial year.
Verification surveys are ongoing to confirm the infrastructure that is in existence, which will allow us quick connectivity. In this financial year, we envisage to connect 1 296 government offices or sites. We are in a process of following due procedure in the appointment of Telkom as a lead agency to assist government to deliver these services. This is in line with the announcement by His Excellence President Zuma in the 2015 State of the nation address where Telkom was designated as a lead agency. Following the engagement with the stakeholders, a memorandum will then be submitted to Cabinet for consideration.
The next subsequent question is on the budget. As we have said, the capital budget allocated in the MTEF is as follows: In this financial year, R200 million; the following year it will be R268 million; and in 2017-18 it will be R271 million, totalling R739 million in the MTEF period. There is also a budget of about R21 million, which is our operational budget for broadband planning which has been allocated for capacity building within the department.
Part 2, which is almost a separate question, is on the radio-frequency spectrum allocation. [Interjections.] I am coming to satellites. I am still speaking about the radio-frequency spectrum. The assignment of radio-frequency spectrum should yield effective and efficient use of spectrum as we know that a spectrum is a limited national resource.
The assignment of radio-frequency spectrum should take into consideration technology evolution and ensure gain in net economic and social benefit. There have been changes to the approach towards the release of the spectrum. First, there was a consideration to award a 2,6 GHz access spectra on a standalone basis. Then there was a process about the exploitation of the digital dividend, which was at that time 800 MHz.
The finalisation of this spectrum direction, however, was surpassed by the events of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012, WRC-12, for telecommunication frequencies, which resolved to allocate 700 MHz for the mobile broadband with the same status and use the right as the existing broadcasting services. The World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 resulted with technical and regulatory studies to consider sharing between the mobile and broadcasting services.
The department, in collaboration with the industry experts, submitted studies to the International Telecommunications Union, Itu, to ensure that the use of mobile in this band is possible, without interfering with the broadcasting services below the 700 MHz spectra band. Due to limitations of suitable spectrum and in order to support technology innovation, like LT Advance, which require sufficient spectrum, our approach is to ensure that the digital dividend which now includes the 700 and 800 MH is released at the same time. We will allow this for contagious spectrum bands during the assignments of this spectrum.
The ITU will finalise the regulatory principles only in November, this year. The government has committed to finalise the spectrum policy before the end of this financial year. Thank you.
Ms M T KUBAYI: Minister, I think we do believe that broadband rollout and access to internet services or ICT services is very critical, especially in remote areas. We welcome the development thereof as you have just reported. Minister, one can try to understand this in terms of the other role for entities, such as Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa, Usassa, your BBI Solutions and other stakeholders within the Telkom’s family.
What role will they be able to play in order to ensure that the rollout happens effectively; that we are able to ensure that services are accessible to ordinary people; and that efficient services are based on ICT, especially our remote areas? We are happy that the districts that are identified are mainly in the rural areas. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Hon Speaker, yes we envisaged that there will be a role for all other stakeholder agencies which are involved in the broadband rollout such as Usassa and Broadband Infraco. You must remember that we designated Telkom as an elite agency because of its capacity; but not the only agency. So, we are also in the process of rationalising the state owned entities, SOEs, which are involved in this infrastructure rollout.
In terms of what is currently happening, all these state entities are collaborating. We have directed both the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa, and Broadband Infraco to align their plans to what has been announced by the President, focusing first on the eight priority districts so that we don’t spread our resources. They are the most underserved districts in our country on the rollout, and we have limited resources.
I did say that much as we have planned, we couldn’t get all the resources which were necessary to be allocated because of the budget resources. So, we have to use them wisely. That is what is currently happening. Thank you.
Mrs M R SHINN: Minister, I have tracked down only one tender awarded so far in pursuit to this first phase of broadband rollout. This is to construct or extend infrastructure and to provide services to the Mutale Local Municipality in Limpopo and the Albert Luthuli Local Municipality in Mpumalanga. Awarded to Mongalo Engineering Projects, this tender is worth R23,7 million and is unlikely to cover the full cost of this project which must be completed by 31 March next year. There may be other tenders out there but I have not seen them.
Surprisingly, no mention was made in the bid documents of how this company must interact with JSE-listed Telkom. The absence of Telkom in this bid seems like a policy contradiction. Can you give us details of what the scope of project is; what private sector involvement is going to be included in this project; and whether the procurement processes of have been legally followed?
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Madam Speaker, I thought the DA was listening. We have not issued any tender as national government. I have said we are still following the due process, even in the appointment of Telkom which was identified as a lead agency.
The project is not going to be completed next year, hon Shinn. As we have said, the project’s Phase 1 will only be only be completed by the year 2017-18. So, I suppose we should just correct these. I don’t know where you got those tenders. However, the provincial government and local municipalities ... [Interjections.] Can you ask them to listen, Madam Speaker, otherwise there will be no point for us answering them.
The SPEAKER: I am sure they are listening because they asked the question. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Oh, thank you, thank you then. Thank you! [Laughter.]
What we are saying is that the project will be completed by 2017-18. On the listing of Telkom: I think members must be careful about and be sensitive that Telkom is a listed state-owned company. [Interjections.] It is a state-owned company. It is Telkom SOC – that is how it is written! [Interjections.] But it is listed.
You might have noticed that during the release of their results a week ago, they did announce what we have been calling for: The separation of Telkom from the retail and the wholesale side, which will assist us in undertaking these massive infrastructure projects. Our interest as the state is more on the supply side of Telkom, where we want to use the existing infrastructure to make the rural people and all the people of South Africa do have access to broadband. I thought I should just give thus. That is our response, hon Speaker.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Hon Minister, you mentioned policy by the end of the financial year. Will the rollout then precede the policy; or will it be held up in terms of awaiting completion of the policy? Currently, some spectrum bands are heavily used while others are unused or underutilised. What are the department’s plans to address this?
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Yes, it is important to have policy because if you don’t ... [Laughter.] [Applause.] It is important to have spectrum policy because spectrum is a limited national resource. If we give it willy-nilly, we will create winners and losers. We don’t want that to happen in South Africa. We want all companies to have fair access to this limited resource. Hence, it is important that we should finalise the policy, so that by the time we allocate what is particularly called premium spectrum, everyone would know what the rules of the game are. We would have engaged our public.
So, it is our intention to expedite the finalisation of this policy, hon Dudley, because we understand the challenges which happen practically along the mobile network. However, the spectrum is not only required by mobile networks. Even the fixed operators do require the spectra. With the convergences which are taking place now within the sector, it is important that we become ultra careful in the allocation of this spectrum.
I am sure you will be able to participate through the policy processes so that we can have a policy which satisfies all the needs of South Africa. Thank you, hon Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Khethabahle?
Ms V KETHABAHLE: Hon Minister, many of these district municipalities are cash chequed: Some owing Eskom billions of rands; failing to deliver water, electricity and sanitation; and at times unable to pay salaries - for example, the Vhembe Municipality. What is the estimated running cost of the broadband infrastructure; and is the department or municipalities responsible for these costs?
The MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES: Our role as a department is to co-ordinate the broadband rollout. The reason why we are spending so much time going to these district municipalities, interacting with mayors at the district level and at the local level and interacting with provincial governments, is to ensure that we align our plans. We don’t have all the resources. We are working with National Treasury.
We are working within the C15 where we are co-ordinating all these activities. It means that national departments, national entities, provincial departments and provincial entities must reallocate their budgets as we move forward. For instance, if you are now using tablets and you are no longer using exercise books to work, it means we must now take the budget from exercise books for the electronic gadgets.
If you have been using textbooks previously and you are now using e-books, you must reallocate that budget. There is not going to be an all-new budget which will be allocated. So, even municipalities will have to do the same exercise. We believe that when people are using the electronic services, e-services, they will be efficient in the delivery of services. It will also assist citizens to access these government services.
So, it is a project which is co-ordinated at a national level, working with the provinces and municipalities in order that we can all reap the benefits of going e-governance. Thank you very much.
Position regarding challenges posed by Road D3610 in Limpopo
182. Mr A M Mudau (ANC) asked the Minister of Transport:
Is she aware of the challenges posed by Road D3610 from Matangari to Dzimaulwi in Limpopo (details furnished); if not, will she intervene and assist the Limpopo provincial department of transport; if so, what is her department doing with regard to the specified road? NO2533E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chair, the department is aware of Road D3610, which is a municipal road in the Sekhukhune District Municipality and not in Vhembe District Municipality of the Limpopo province. Based on the information provided, the description of the road perfectly fits the description of Road D3712 which links Sibasa Township within the Thulamela Municipality and Dzimauli Township within Mutale Municipality.
Road D3712 is approximately 14 kilometres in length. A total of five kilometres of this road was previously paved by the Vhembe District Municipality while the remaining nine kilometres is still gravel. Since the Vhembe District Municipality assumed the status of being a water services authority in terms of the Water Services Act, the municipality started focussing its attention on water issues and could therefore not be in a position to complete the remaining nine kilometre portion of the gravel road. As an intervention measure, plans are currently under way to have the remaining nine kilometre portion of the road completed by the province.
While these plans are unfolding, the provincial department has prioritised its resources to have Road D3712, and others in a similar situation, regravelled to ensure that the road remains safe and accessible. I thank you, Chair.
Vho A M MUDAU: Mufarisa Minisiṱa, ndo livhuwa phindulo yavho ye vha ri fha yone, fhedzi ndi humbela zwauri vha vhone zwauri muvhuso wa vunḓu wa Ḽimpopo u ita zwauri bada heyi ya u bva Dzimauli i tshi fhira nga Maṱangari i tshi ya Makonde, D3712 i vhe kha Mugaganyagwama wa ṅwaha wa 2015-16 ngauri ndi bada ine ya shumiswa nga dziambulentse, dzibisi na dzithekhisi dza vhathu vhane vha bva kha masipala mivhili, wa Mutale na wa Thulamela. Ndo livhuwa. (Translation of Tshivenḓa paragraph follows.)
[Mr A M MUDAU: Thank you Deputy Minister for your response, but please make sure that the Limpopo provincial government is also focusing its attention on the road from Dzimauli to Makonde via Maṱangari. Road D3712 must be included on the annual Budget for 2015-16 because ambulances, buses and taxis use this road to transport people between the two municipalities, namely, Mutale and Thulamela. Thank you!]
USEKELA NGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Sihlalo, njengoba sesishilo ukuthi isifundazwe siyibukile imigwaqo efana nalena, nawo lo, usohlelweni lwesifundazwe lokuthi siwulungise ngesikhathi sawo. Ngakho-ke, yebo, ngiyethemba ukuthi kulesi sikhathi seminyaka emihlanu, ngeke ngizibophezele ngithi ngawo lo nyaka awushilo, kodwa kulesi sikhathi ngoba sikhona kuhulumeni, yona lemigwago izolungiseka. Nawo lo ungeminye yemigwaqo isifundazwe esiyibukile ukuthi siyilungise. Ngiyabonga Sihlalo.
Mnu K P SITHOLE: Sekela Somlomo, ukulandelela nje, bengicela ukubuza ukuthi: UMnyango ingabe unazo yini izindlela namacebo okungenelela njengamanje ekusizeni ekutheni umgwaqo u-D3610 ukwazi ukusizakala?
Lokhu ngikubuza ngoba bakwazile ukufaka imali eyizi-1,6 yezigidigidi zamarandi ukulungisa umgwaqo u-Moloto. Njengoba-ke nalo mgwaqo usulimaze abantu abaningi, ufana nomgwaqo uMoloto, ngithanda ukwazi ukuthi: Ayikho yini imali mhlawumbe abangakwazi ukuyithola bakwazi ukuyosiza isifundazwe saseLimpopo? Ngiyabonga.
USEKELA NGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Lo mgwaqo awukho ohlelweni loMnyango kazwelonke lokuba uphuculwe. Umgwaqo uMoloto kunenqubo esiyilandelayo ukuze njengozwelonke sikwazi ukuyosiza. Ngakho-ke asikwazi ukuvele singenele umgwaqo, kuba nenqubo esemthethweni ngoba uma umgwaqo, ungowesifundazwe, ungowesifundazwe, uma kuwumgwaqo kamasipala, ungowamasipala, futhi uma kufanele ningene nisize, kufanele nilandele inqubo ethize esemthethweni eyenza nikwazi ukwenza lokho.
Ngakho-ke, kunenqubo eqhubekayo yokuba umgwaqo uMoloto ukwazi ukungena ngaphansi kwemigwaqo kazwelonke yikhona uMnyango kazwelonke uzokwazi ukuwulungisa. Kulona-ke awukho ohlelweni lukazwelonke loMnyango wezokuThutha kodwa ukhona ohlelweni lwesifundazwe saseLimpopo. Thina okwethu, ngoba sinesibonelelo iSihamba Sonke esiyihambisa khona, ukubuka ukuthi benza njengoba bebeshilo yini ngokuthi sivakashele izindawo njengoMnyango wezokuThutha. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, as we have said that the province looked at this and similar roads, and they are in the provincial plan for upgrading in due time. Therefore, yes, I believe that in these five years, I am not going to commit and say by the year that he mentioned, but in our term in government, these roads are going to be upgraded. This one is also one of the roads that the province is looking at upgrading. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Deputy Speaker, just a follow-up question, may I ask: Does the department currently have intervention measures in place to help with the upgrading of road D3610?
I am asking this because they have managed to put R1,6 billion for the upgrading of Moloto road. Since there has also been many people injured on this road, it is the same as Moloto road, I would like to know: Is there no money that they can perhaps source so that they can help the Limpopo province? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: That road is not on the national plan for upgrading. There is a process that we are following as the national department so that we can help with Moloto road. Therefore, we cannot just upgrade the road, there are proper processes that need to be followed because if it a municipal road, it is a municipal road, and if you have to intervene and help, you must follow prescribed processes that allow you to do that.
So, there is an ongoing process forMoloto road to get into the national road plan so that the national department can be able to upgrade it. This one is not on the National Department of Transport’s plan but it is on the Limpopo Province’s plan. Ours, because we have a programme called Sihamba Sonke, the grant that we give them as the Department of Transport, we do oversight visit to monitor if they are doing as they have said. Thank you.]
Vho T E MULAUDZI: Mufarisa Mulangadzulo, mbudziso i khou ri dzibada nnzhi dza hangei mahayani ri tshi khou katela na yeneyi ya u bva Maṱangari i tshi ya Dzimauli, dzo litshedzelwa, dzoṱhe dzi na migodi, a dzi tsha ṱhogomeliwa. Zwino tshelede ya hone ya u dzi ṱhogomela na uri dzi dovhe dzi vhe dzavhuḓi, tshiṅwe tshifhinga ri wana zwauri a i ngo shuimisiwa kha bada dzo khethiwaho. Tshiṅwe tshifhinga ri pfa zwauri iṅwe i nga vha yo tswiwa. Zwino ri khou ri Vho Minisiṱa ndi zwifhio zwine vha ḓo ita uri hedzi bada dzashu dzi khwinifhadziwe dzi dovhe dzi ṱhogomeliwe zwavhuḓi. Vha songo dzi sedzela thungo nahone ri khou ṱoḓa u ḓivha zwauri vho ita Mugaganyagwama wa vhugai u itela dzibada dza mahayani, u fana na henengei Dzimauli na musi ri tshi ya Maṱangari, na bada i no bva Elim i tshi ya Bandelierkop. Ndaa! (Translation of Tshivenḓa paragraph follows.)
[Mr T E MULAUDZI: Deputy Speaker, the question is that most of the roads in rural areas including this one from Maṱangari to Dzimauli are not maintained, they have potholes. The funds allocated for the maintenance are not used on these specific roads. Sometimes we hear that the funds have been stolen. We want to know from the Minister the intervention measures he is going to take to make sure that our roads are maintained and are safe to use. Don’t turn a blind eye on this issue. We also want to know the Budget allocated for roads maintenance in rural areas like the one from Dzimauli to Maṱangari and also the road from Elim to Bandelierkop. Thank you!]
USEKELA NGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Sihlalo, uMnyango unohlelo iSihamba Sonke, okuyimali esiyihambisa ezifundazweni. ISihamba Sonke igxile kakhulu ekuvaleni imigodi emigwaqweni. Isabelomali esisihambisa ezifundazweni njengozwelonke ama-60% ayo kufanele abuke ekuvaleni imigodi emigwaqweni, bese ama-40% abhekelele ukwakhiwa kwemigwaqo emisha. Ilokhu-ke esikwenzayo uma sibheka ukwenganyelwa kwemali.
Kodwa-ke, angisho ukuthi iNingizimu Afrika inohleloxhumano lwemigwaqo eyibanga eliyizi-750 000 zamakhilomitha, kuleyo migwaqo ama-40% aphakathi kwemihle nemihle kakhulu bese kuthi ama-60% aqale abe phakathi kwengconywana ukuya kwemibi. Uma kufanele sikwazi ukuyilungisa yonke le migwaqo kahle hle siwuMnyango - lungu elihloniphekile, uyazi ngoba uhlala ekomidini - sidinga izigidigidi zamarandi ezingama-200 ukuze sikwazi ukwakha imigwaqo nokuthi siyigcine isesimweni. Yilokho-ke esikwenzayo.
Ngale mali yesabelomali esiyitholayo, siyayihambisa ezifundazweni, njengoba sisho ukuthi iSihamba Sonke ibhekelela lokho vele. Umsebenzi ukhona; sinayo imibiko esiyitholayo ukuthi kulesi sikhathi kusukela iqalile iSihamba Sonke, cishe sesihambe safika ku-1,9 wezigidi zama-m2 esesivale kuyo imigodi yasemgwaqweni, ngaleyo ndlela sakhe amathuba emisebenzi angaba yizi-55 456.
Njengoba ngisho, uhleloxhumano lwemigwaqo yethu lungamakhilomitha ayizi-950 000, lokhu kusibeka endaweni yeshumi emhlabeni mayelana nobude bemigwaqo yethu. Lokho-ke kusilethela inkinga yokuthi sizoyixhasa kanjani imigwaqo yethu. Mhlawumbe yinto okufanele siyikhulume singabantu baseNingizimu Afrika, ukuthi sizoyixhasa kanjani ingqalasizinda yemigwaqo yethu ukuze ibe sesimweni esisifunayo. Kodwa-ke, siyazama kakhulu njengoMnyango, izifundazwe nomasipala. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, the department has the Sihamba Sonke Programme, which is the grant that we give to the province. The Sihamba Sonke Programme focuses on repairingpotholes on the roads. In the budget that we allocate to the provinces as the national department, 60% of it must be used for repairing potholes on the roads, and then 40% is used for the building and the construction of new roads. This is what we do in terms of financial administration.
But, let me mention that South Africa has a road network that covers a distance of 750 000 kilometres, in those roads 40% are among the ones that are in a good and those that are in excellent condition and 60% are among the ones that are in a bad and those that are in the worst conditions. As the department, if we must upgrade all these roads – hon member, you know because you sit in the committee – we need R200 billion to build and maintain roads. That is what we are doing.
With the budget allocation that we get, we give it to the provinces, as we are saying that the Sihamba Sonke Programme is intended for that. There is work; we have reports that we received from the time we started the Sihamba Sonke Programme, we are sitting almost at 1, 9 million m2 of potholes that we repairedon the roads, which enabled us to create 55 456 job opportunities.
Like I said, our road networks covers a distance of 750 000 kilometres, this put us in 10th place with regard to the length covered by our roads in the world. This then poses a challenge in terms of how are we going to fund our roads. Maybe this is something that we need to deliberate on as the people of South Africa, in terms of how we are going to fund our road infrastructure so that it can be in good conditions. But, we are trying very hard to do that as the department, the provinces and the municipalities. Thank you. [Appause.]]
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: Deputy Speaker, I am sorry, I pressed the wrong button. By the admission of the Deputy Minister, she admits that the local authority was concentrating on water-related issues and if the province is planning an intervention in the challenges experienced by this local authority, is it not an indictment on the failure of this local authority and the province in not being able to maintain and fulfil its mandate?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I don’t think I would say its failure on the side of the municipality. There are competing priorities. This is a rural municipality; people need water but at the same time you have roads that are in a bad state, and that is why the province of Limpopo has come into play to assist the municipality. So, for me, it’s really not the failure on the side of the municipality but, of course, it’s priorities and competing needs of the people in the area. I thank you. [Applause.]
Position regarding impact assessments of new visa regulations and consultations with tourism sector
213. Mr J Vos (DA) asked the Minister of Tourism:
Whether he (a) called for any impact assessments of the new visa regulations on tourism and (b) conducted consultations with relevant stakeholders from the tourism sector; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2568E
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Deputy Speaker, as the Minister of Tourism, my job is to do everything possible to ensure the continued growth of tourism for the benefit of all the stakeholders. Tourism contributes one and a half million direct and indirect jobs considerably more than the mining sector. Tourism is indeed the new gold. We should treat tourism as a national treasure which needs to be protected, nurtured and developed. Hon Vos is well aware of the commitment made by the President in the state of the nation address that, and I quote:
To attract foreign skills for our growing economy, we will invite dialogue with various stakeholders on the migration policy. We will also prioritise the review of visa regulations to strike a balance between national security and growth in tourism.
The hon member is also well aware that at its meeting on 10 June, as I mentioned in reply to the earlier question, Cabinet was appraised on the implementation of these new measures not at the views expressed by various sectors and resolved to set up a team of Ministers from both economic and security clusters. To quote again from the Cabinet statement:
The team is expected to discuss and engage with the concerns with the aim of finding ways to address the unintended consequences brought about by the implementation of the regulations.
I have repeatedly briefed the portfolio committee on my engagement with the sector, and the hon member is aware that the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, its members and other role-players such as the International Air Transport Association have been making written and valuable representations on this matter which quite frankly is not a matter for the political soapbox. We have a shared responsibility as political parties to ensure that what we do is the best for our country. It will be better for all of us to desist from combative engagement repeating proposals that actually eminent from the industry and not the DA.
Therefore, the answer to the first part of the question is, as I said in reply to the earlier question, we will be conducting a survey on the impact of the regulations.
In answering to the second part of the question, yes, indeed I have had several discussions with stakeholders from the tourism sector. The department is taking the decision of Cabinet last week very seriously and I will continue to engage with and listen to the concerns of the sector. I will share these concerns with my colleagues in the special committee which will be considering the unintended consequences of the new measures bearing in mind the good intentions of securing the interest of the state and acting against child trafficking. Thank you.
Mr J VOS: Mr Deputy Speaker, my follow up to the hon Minister of Counter-Tourism is as follows: Here are the facts, the so-called unintended consequences ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Order please, hon Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon Minister, what is your point of order?
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: If I heard the hon James Vos correctly, he referred to me with a title that I do not have. If I heard him correctly he said “the Minister of Counter-Tourism”. [Applause.] Can you please ask the hon member to correct that and withdraw?
Mr J VOS: Rather I withdraw.
The DEPEPUTY SPEAKER: That’s a political statement, respond to it later hon Minister.
Mr J VOS: Mr Deputy Speaker, well here are the facts, the so-called unintended consequences are, in fact, intended consequences because you have been warned all along and you are pointing from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa in terms of the statistics that they have provided. These things have been coming on a very long time, Mr Minister.
Furthermore, these regulations are also what we should call tourism terminating regulations; such a pity because tourism creates jobs and eloquently you’ve unpacked it here today by indicating how important tourism is in our economy. And it seems to me that the ANC has missed this train completely with the implementation of these regulations.
Therefore, Mr Minister, why shift the responsibility? It is your job to protect and support this industry. You are continuously referring to discussions that you had with the industry. Discussion is no longer needed, what is now needed is real action. Therefore, why did we wait for a China to cancel the long-awaited flight to South Africa? Why did we wait?
The DEPEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time has expired, hon member, and you haven’t asked your question.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Clearly hon Vos is back on the soapbox and he’s simply trying to exacerbate ... [Interjections.]
The DEPEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! You will be orderly.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: ... and he’s not trying to make constructive suggestions as to how we can move forward together. Yes, of course, the consequences are not as a complete distortion that any consequences that eminent from these measures that there are intended consequences, that is the complete distortion. I do not want to repeat myself all the time. We will study this, the impact and the facts of these regulations very carefully. We have had information, and that information was shared with Cabinet colleagues and they made the right decision that these unintended consequences should be properly studied, properly analysed so that we can still consider the best way of dealing with this situation which will not compromise the security interest of the state and which will allow us to continue to contribute towards the global efforts and endeavours to combat child trafficking.
I will continue my discussions with the industry which are not combative, which are done in a very good spirit and the industry has repeatedly said that it understands the mandate of the Department of Home Affairs. It has repeatedly said that it does not support child trafficking and our engagement with the industry is a very constructive one. Nobody is shouting at one another the way you seem to be keen to shout at me from across the floor. Thank you.
Ms S J NKOMO: Deputy Speaker, given the perceived negative impact these new visa regulations may have on our multibillion rand tourist sector which employs about 1,5 million people. Do you not think that we should be looking at an alternative visa regulatory models that may have less of a negative impact on tourism to South Africa? Is this thing discussed at Cabinet level? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Of course, we should be looking at other ways of doing it. That is the purpose of the meeting, it’s to find ways of securing the interest of the state and combating child trafficking in such a way that it minimises the negative impact on tourism flows to South Africa. I would imagine although the discussions will happen at a special Cabinet committee that we will look at all sorts of ways in which we can achieve the dual objectives of securing our national interests, the interest of the state, combat child trafficking and at the same time minimise the negative impact on tourism through these measures. So, no doubt we will be looking at alternative ways of achieving the same objectives. Thank you.
Ms L S MAKHUBELA-MASHELE: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, can you share and enlighten us on the various platforms and stakeholder consultation meeting that your department had with all the tourism sectors stakeholders because we believe that your communication with stakeholders should be something that is ongoing and it should not be limited to this topical issue of the immigration of visa regulations that are currently on the public discourse. Can you share with us the various platforms and the intervals that you meet with these tourism stakeholders?
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Yes, thank you very much hon member, this discussions of frequent and ongoing and there were two numerous to even mentioned today and they are on the range of issues. You are absolutely right. The current immigration regulations will be one matter that we are discussing with the industry. I should say that not withstanding some of the negative effects which are difficult to quantify by the way. I’ve made it public that we’re so a conceivable decline in tourism from China, especially in the last quarter of 2014. But we also know that Ebola had a significant impact on tourism flows from various countries in the world.
At this stage it’s difficult to really assess the extent to which Ebola was the biggest single factor or whether the visa requirements were also a very big factor. However, we have sufficient information to know that the measures introduced on having a negative impact. As I said the consultations with the industry as you correctly said should be ongoing, and are indeed ongoing. We appointed the review panel to examine the effectiveness of our marketing strategies and to do an external review of South African tourism.
I have shared these matters with a portfolio committee continuously and I will continue doing so because I believe that every member of the portfolio committee wants to see the best results out of tourism. Therefore, we have ongoing engagements. Good engagements. We should really be careful to avoid this kind of antagonistic approach which is not going to help us addressing some of the real problems that are in front of us. We need to look very carefully at the best way that we can achieve this balance between protecting the interests of the state security, interests of the state and continued growth of the tourism sector. Thank you.
Ms P NTOBONGWANA: Deputy Speaker, were visa regulations not discussed in Cabinet, if not, why not, if so, why did the Minister not challenged these regulations there also? What is the projected impact of new visa regulations on number of tourists annually? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: These visa regulations were discussed in Cabinet on the 10 of June, and Cabinet made certain decisions which I will really share with this House. And we will be looking at the impact of these regulations very carefully and we will be considering the best way of finding the appropriate balance between defending and protecting the interests of the state to allow the Department of Home Affairs to continue fulfilling its mandate and at the same time to do so in such a way that the negative impact on the tourism sector is minimised, but without, as I said again, in anyway compromising the security of the state. Thank you.
Intervention to support residents of Gwatyu Farms in Queenstown, Eastern Cape
198. Mr N S Matiase (EFF) asked the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform:
Whether he has made any intervention to support the aspirations of the residents of Gwatyu Farms in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, who have organised themselves into a communal property association, but are not getting any recognition and support from his department and other departments in the Eastern Cape; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO2550E
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Deputy Speaker, It’s 198, I just want to confirm that. Am I right?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sorry?
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: 198.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: 198.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: It’s this young man in front of me [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is a time when you should not listen to young men sometimes. [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Ungathi ukhe wabeva ukuba bathini, ngeke ungabamameli, Sekela Somlomo. [If you could hear what they are saying, Deputy Speaker, you would not stop listening to them.]
The answer to the question is, yes. In terms of the Communal Property Associations Act, the department is compelled to assist communities who want to organise themselves into communal property associations, CPAs.
The department is assisting the communities to establish themselves into a CPA in full compliance with the abovementioned law. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Minister. Who is standing in for hon Matiase? Okay, proceed, hon member.
Ms N V NQWENISO: Minister, the people of Gwatyu have been consistently victimised, from the Matanzima regime of the former Transkei to this day. They have been forced into lease agreements or into working for people who have leased the land from the state. Their victimisation has gone on for far too long. Do you have any plans of formalising their land tenure rights and what is preventing the government from supporting a group of black people who want to farm on their own land productively? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Deputy Speaker, no, it’s not a question of not wanting to assist. For example, you are talking about three groups of people, and the third group was never there before. You have to get them together, otherwise, they will fight and there will be no production and no development there and that is our experience. You have to be careful how you bring together three groups of people who are different so that they must agree that they must coexist on the land and they must then establish this CPA in order to create that governance structure.
They must also go beyond that and ask how do we manage business. That is what we have to do. It is not about victimising them, but it is about making sure that they don’t fight over the land. Thank you very much.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Deputy Speaker, to the hon Minister, since this is a worthwhile project where the department is assisting these emerging farmers, I would like to know, what is the department doing to assist farmers to become associations and how successful has this programme been so far? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: We are actually trying because, in some instances, we created CPAs ourselves post 1994. In some instances, as I said earlier on, where people never lived together – remember, in some instances, these are commercial farms bought by the democratic government and then allocated to people who have never been a community, per se, now we created that community. Now the land must be used for residential purposes and for development. That is where the clash begins.
We are developing this model now because what we have currently is that we have CPAs and they elect committees and those committees become a referee and a player at the same time. They are governance and they are business, they control both. They don’t want to even account to people in some instances. That is why we will come to this House with a proposal to amend the legislation so that where it was commercial land acquired you have this one hectare one household regime. But then there you do have the governance structure to govern the land that is the corridor of development. Then you separate the governance from business and we think that will stop the fight. That is what we are busy engaging them on right now. Thank you.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, given the answers you have given about the training that people have to go through before we can commit resources, how long will it take to implement this process given that the people in that area are ready to meet? Actually, they are ready to meet with the department.
How long will it take to train them so that they can be able to stand on their own? Will it take two or three months to train them? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Deputy Speaker, no, the chief director responsible for restitution working together with the one responsible for land reform, in the Eastern Cape Province, are already working with the people. That is how we came to understand the complexity of the problem. I imagine that over the next three months they should have gone through the process, just to get them to understand and agree on the model. It’s a question of modelling. Thank you very much.
Mr T W MHLONGO: Minister, your department has today failed to present an annual report on communal property association, CPA. It is clear that we cannot hold you to account. CPAs are obviously a failure and they are bankrupt.
Ayikho imali. [There is no money.]
They don’t adhere to the Communal Property Associations Act. Till today, community members are still waiting for their title deeds.
In this instance you were saying - how personally are you involved, especially at iDutywa? What mediation strategies have you come up with or what steps have you taken personally to make sure that CPAs are effective and they can be administered correctly. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Deputy Speaker, hon Mhlongo just pushes in ...
... ufaka le nto yakusasa ngegxalaba. [... the issue we discussed in the morning.]
No, we sorted that part. I am not going to respond to that one, we sorted it out this morning.
I can only say with regard to the part that says this morning you did not table the report, that matter was dealt with and finalised in the committee. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order! Order! Allow the Minister to respond before you make your points in an orderly manner.
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Thank you very much for your protection. Secondly, the hon member is right, there are complexities - there are difficulties. I think we were open about that this morning too. There are challenges with regard to managing these CPAs.
However, just remember that over a long period of time, 17 years before, there was a report accounting on the status of the CPAs in this House. We started in 2013 to do so, 17 years after. So, all of us have really been responsible for this kind of situation.
Now that we are doing it, we are beginning to learn that there are challenges and that is why we are saying this model that we are talking about here, we think, is going to correct this thing. In fact, in our engagement with communities they think so too. So, the failures will be corrected. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, just one second. Let’s go to question 183 asked by hon Ramokhoase to the Minister of Small Business Development.
Impact of shopping malls on viability of general dealers, spaza shops and tuck shops
183. Mr T R J E Ramokhoase (ANC) asked the Minister of Small Business Development:
What impact do (a) township malls and (b) rural malls have on the viability of (i) general dealers, (ii) spaza shops and (iii) tuck shops that trade in the same areas where the specified malls are situated? NO2534E
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZAMABHIZINISI AMANCANE: Sihlalo, siwuMnyango wezokuThuthukiswa kwamaBhizinisi amaNcane, kulo mbuzo obuzwe yilungu elihloniphekile sithanda ukuthi: Ukuba khona kwezitolo eziyinxanxathela emalokishini nasezindaweni zasemakhaya akuyona into esiyithakasela kakhulu thina ngoba esikhathini esiningi kulezo zinxanxathela, abantu abagcina bengena kuzo baqashe lezo zitolo ngemali enkulu yilabo abangomacaphuna kusale, abadla izambane likapondo; labo abasenamabhizinisi asafufusa bazithola bengenamathuba okuba nezitolo kulezo zindawo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, as the Department of Small Business Development, in response to the question that was put by an hon member we would like to say that: We are not happy about the building of the malls in the townships and in the rural areas because most of the times in these malls, the people who end up renting these shops with a lot of money are those who are rich, the small business owners end up not getting an opportunity of having shops in those places.]
In our view, the current methodology limits access for the majority of South Africans to trade and to enter into the mainstream economy. As I have already emphasised in my department’s Budget Vote last month, my department will participate fully in the market inquiry that is being led by the Competition Commission which, among other things, will probe the causes and impact of the decline in small independent retailers in townships, peri-urban rural areas and the informal economy.
We believe it is appropriate for us to allow this process to unfold as it will provide us with credible information which will enable us to develop interventions that would have the necessary impacts. My department’s approach to address the issue at hand is to continue rolling out the township and rural support initiatives and accelerate the implementation of the National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy which seeks to: Create an enabling legal regulatory environment; provide finance and non-financial support; promote stronger collaboration with the three spheres of government in creating a conducing environment for SMMEs and co-operatives - we think that working at the three spheres of government is very important; and encourage the role of the private sector and support informal business organisations.
In addition, my department is part of the Interministerial Committee on Migration, as led by the Presidency. We are also actively involved in the Economic Ministers and Members of Executive Councils Meeting, Minmec, with the Ministers of Economic Development and Trade and Industry as well as provincial MECs responsible for Economic Development to ensure effective co-ordination across all spheres of government. Through these structures, we will continue to relentlessly advance the national informal business upliftment towards a greater inclusion of the majority of our people. Thank you.
Mr T R J E RAMOKHOASE: Deputy Speaker, thank you Minister for the precise response ... [Interjections.] ... outlining what is actually happening down there. Minister, just tell us on the programmes that you have in the new department because we would like to know if there is a dedicated programme, the budget which can also be housed or be seen as a house for our survivalists, those that are on the ground level because the emphasis here it is clear that those big businesses, private businesses, are really destroying our township businesses. Can we have a clear direction on where our people can go and cry for help? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, of course, I gave a precise answer. Further, to your question, I have already indicated that we have the National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy which is within the department.
However, I would also like to make an emphasis that, as we have said over and over again, this responsibility cannot remain only a responsibility of the Department of Small Business Development. We are seeking to make sure that, for instance with those provinces that are already talking about township upliftment programmes and township development programmes, we need to engage with them closely because, even if at times we can be able to have the right structures in the department itself, the biggest challenge is at provincial level and at local level.
It is for that reason that we are looking at the Minmecs in particular as centres where we can be able to the voice for small businesses and be able to raise the concerns of what is happening to small and medium enterprises. But, in particular, of major concern to us is the informal sector, and we believe that through our department we can be able to raise their issues because it cannot be that they continue to suffer and struggle the way they are, particularly with poor infrastructure where they are operating, but more than anything else, with very little support from a financial and nonfinancial support. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mpontshane.
Ms S J NKOMO: Deputy Speaker, please pardon me; it was actually me, my gadgets are not working.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: These gadgets are working properly, it’s you ...
Ms S J NKOMO: No, not this one. [Interjections.] If I may continue, Chair?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead, hon member.
Ms S J NKOMO: Minister, what assistance is your department giving to spaza shops, tuck shops and general dealers, employees and owners in the form of ongoing further training as entrepreneurs so that they may further enhance their individual business models and, in so doing, maintain their market shares and growth to township malls, and rural malls? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, as the member is aware, we have the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, Seda, as well as the Small Enterprise Development Agency, Sefa; those are the arms that we are currently using to make sure that we give greater support as well as increasing the support because again, as a department alone, we do not necessarily, at the moment, have the complete infrastructure of being able to reach each and every individual South African. So, through Sefa and Seda, there are programmes that are targeted at assisting our people from skills development and empowering them in order for them to be able to know how to run their businesses.
But, also chairperson, I might just as well say that not only is the government supporting but there is also nongovernmental organisations and the private sector which have also been running quite effective programmes which we believe, if we were to tap into them and begin to work with them very closely, we will be able to fulfil our mandate in supporting our people. Thank you.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: Hon Deputy Speaker, again, what support is government giving the local general dealers and spaza shops, specifically to the area where malls are moving in to make it a point that those businesses, spaza shops and general dealers for the black people around the area become sustainable and not driven out of business mostly by white-owned businesses who are infiltrating the townships and the villages? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon member, I did indicate from the very beginning that we are not very happy, as the department, when all these malls are propping up in places where you wouldn’t even think they would put up a mall. I have already indicated that the main reason why we are unhappy with that is the fact that we can see that small and medium enterprises like spaza shops are dying simply because they do not have those big pockets like those big companies who are able to rent in those malls.
What I also indicated was that we can only work with the local structures as well as provincial structures because we cannot deny the fact that those investors come to the rural areas and into townships are also collaborating and talking to some of our people and at the end of the day you ask yourself the question: Who gives them the license? Who gives them permission to build these malls?
So, we are saying it is something that we will focus on very much because we truly believe that the existence of enterprises like spaza shops in the townships is very important and therefore the empowerment of our people in ensuring that they occupy that space is essential. If I may also say that in the infrastructure development, which is lacking in the township and of course government has a plan, that is why I said earlier on some provinces have already declared on their infrastructure development, we are saying: We shall not be left out in the discussions of ensuring that that infrastructure that is being built benefits those small spaza shops as well as informal traders. Thank you.
Mr R W T CHANCE: Deputy Speaker, my question to the Minister is: It is common cause that spaza shops are being squeezed at the top by malls and at the bottom by foreign traders that are coming into the country. Earlier this year you were quoted as saying, and I quote: Foreign business owners ion South Africa’s townships cannot expect to coexist peaceably with local business owners unless they share their trade secrets.
Now, I would like to know whether any of those trade secrets have been revealed to the interministerial task team that you are a member of? If so, what those secrets are? And if they haven’t revealed them, could you perhaps explain why not? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon Deputy Speaker, it is very unfortunate that I have to keep on repeating this over and over again that I never said they must share their secrets. I will repeat this once more because I believe in what I am saying. I did say that it would be important for foreign nationals who own spaza shops to share their experiences with our local people. I based this on the fact that many of the foreign-owned shops that are in the townships are run by foreign nationals, who, for many years, have been engaged in this business. Many of them experienced that from childhood, which by the way, from a South African perspective, the majority of our people never had that opportunity.
Secondly, the foreign nationals that we have engaged through the task teams have, themselves, declared that they have absolutely no problem with sharing their experiences because they fully understand the background of South Africans and, in particular, black South Africans who never had the kind of opportunity that they have today. So, we are working together with those organised formations of foreign nationals who are very willing to share their experiences in this regard. Thank you.
Particulars regarding intervention in view of failure of provincial municipalities to issue permits to taxi owners
191. Mr K P Sithole (IFP) asked the Minister of Transport:
Whether her department will intervene in the ongoing crisis and failure of provincial municipalities to issue permits to taxi owners; if so, what (a) are the specific details of such an intervention and (b) has been the progress of the localised state intervention strategy and its fast-tracking process in this regard? NO2542E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, the question is whether her department will intervene in the ongoing crisis and failure of provincial municipalities to issue permits to taxi owners.
Chairperson, currently, no municipality has been assigned the function to form the municipal regulating entity with the power to consider operating licenses applications, in terms of the National Land Transport Act 5 of 2009. Only the provinces have this function, and are performed by either, the provincial regulating entities established in terms of the National Land Transport Act or the Provincial Operating Licensing Boards established in terms of the now repealed National Land Transport Transitional Act 22 of 2000, as amended.
In addition, in terms of the same National Land Transport Act permission or permission to operate public transport, including the taxis, is done through the issuance of operating licenses and not permits anymore.
The national department does not issue operating licenses directly, but it is a custodian of the National Land Transport Information System; established in terms of section 6 of the National Land Transport Act. It has terminals in all provinces, which then are responsible for issuing the licenses in respect of successful applicants.
Therefore, the department maintains the National Land Transport Information Systems, NLTIS, to ensure that it is in working condition at all times without or with minor clichés. On the other hand, unsuccessful applicants can lodge appeals with the transport appeals tribunal that has been established at the national department in terms of the Transport Appeals Tribunal Act.
The department is upgrading the National Land Transport Information System, NLTIS, to ensure that in the future, there is less or no breakdowns related to the system. The upgrades would include creating a module on the National Traffic Information System, eNaTIS platform. I thank you Chair.
Mnu K P SITHOLE: Sekela Somlomo, ngicabanga ukuthi umbuzo wami kuNgqongqoshe ngokuqondile, uthi: Yiziphi izindlela abanazo njengoMnyango kazwelonke ukuze basize ukuba kutholakale izimvume zokusebenza noma amalayisensi abantu bamatekisi ngoba njengamanje abawatholi amalayisensi abo noma amaphemithi ukuze bakwazi ukuba semgaqweni?
Ngeviki eledlule bekunesixakaxaka eThekwini ngenxa yalokhu; ngoMsombuluko bebevinjiwe kwenye indawo. Abakwazi ukushayela amatekisi kodwa imali yokuba bathole izimvume noma amalayisensi abo bayikhokhile, kodwa abakutholi lokho ngoba umasipala noma-ke isifundazwe sisebenzisa amabhasi emizileni lapho nabo besebenza khona, ngaleyo ndlela-ke kulukhuni ukuba babanikeze amalayisensi abo.
Manje-ke umbuzo wami uthi: Iyiphi indlela uMnyango ongenza ngayo ukuze kusizwe laba bantu bakwazi ukuthola amalayisensi abo?
IPHINI LIKANGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Sihlalo, njengoba ngishilo, uma ngabe kukhona ofake isicelo semvume yokuba semgaqweni kodwa wangayitholi esifundazweni futhi kungamjabulisanga lokho, uyakwazi ukufaka isikhalazo esiGcawini seziKhalo soMnyango wezokuThutha. Empeleni umthetho uyavuma nokuthi uma kudlula isikhathi esithile umuntu efakile isicelo kodwa engayitholi ilayisensi yakhe, angadlulela esifundazweni aye kuzwelonke ayofaka khona isicelo.
Uma umhlonishwa ethi komasipala kwenzeka kanje, ukuze umasipala abe namandla okunikezela ngamalayisensi usuke ethole lelo gunya lokushicilela amalayisensi kuNgqongqoshe wezokuThutha. Okwamanje-ke akakanikezeli lelo gunya komasipala, lezi zicelo zisafakwa ezifundazweni. Uma izifundazwe ofake kuzo zingakunikezi, dlulela esiGcawini seziKhalo soMnyango wezokuThutha, sona sicubungule udaba lwakho bese siyalela isifundazwe ukuba sikunike ilayisensi yakho noma sithi ngenxa yezizathu ezithile ngeke siphumelele isicelo sakho selayisensi. Uma-ke kudlule isikhathi esithize sokuthi umuntu efake isicelo kodwa singadluliswa isicelo, unalo ilungelo lokuya phezulu kuzwelonke ayocela ukuba kungenelelwe, uMnyango ezingeni likazwelonke uyakwazi ukukwenza lokho. Ihamba kanjalo-ke inqubo elandelwayo. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr K P STHOLE: Deputy Speaker, My direct question to the Minister, is: What means do they have, as the department, in order to assist with the issuing of permits or licenses for taxi owners because as of now they are not getting their licenses or permits in order for them to able to be able to operate?
During the previous week there was chaos in Durban due to this, on Monday they were blocked in some place. They can’t drive taxis but they paid for their permits or licenses, nonetheless their taxis can’t operate because they haven’t received them due to the fact that the municipality or the province operates buses in the same routes that they use, in that case it is difficult for them to issue licenses.
Now my question is: What steps is the department taking towards assisting these people with regard to obtaining their licenses?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chair, like I said, if one made an application for a road permit but did not receive it from the province and you are not happy about that, you can lay a complaint to the Transport Appeal Tribunal of the Department of Transport. In actual fact the law allows one, when a certain period lapsed and a person who made an application has not received their license, they can proceed from the provincial level to the national level and make an application there.
The hon is saying that this is a tendency of the municipalities, for a municipality to have the power to issue licenses it needs get authorisation from the Minister. As of now she has not authorised the municipalities to do so, these applications are made at a provincial level. If the provinces you made an application to do not grant you, proceed to the Transport Appeal Tribunal of the Department of Transport, they will investigate your matter and then request the province to give you your license or inform you if due to certain issues your application for a license will not be successful. If a certain period of time has lapsed after making an application and the application has not been forwarded, you have the right to approach the national level to request intervene, the national department can do that. That’s the procedure to follow. Thank you.]
Ms S T XEGO-SOVITA: Deputy Speaker, I welcome your explanation, hon Deputy Minister, on who is doing what with regard to the issuing of operating licenses. My follow-up question is to check whether there is a plan of making sure that an ordinary taxi owner or taxi associations do understand this appeals body that you have just mentioned, including its benefit, where to find it and how to make use of it. Thank you Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chair, sharing information can never be enough or adequate, so we can’t say we have reached the stage where we think we can no longer share the information.
However, as the Department of Transport we do work with taxi associations and share this information or any other information for that matter. The South African National Taxi Council, Santaco, for instance, have offices within the Department of Transport in Pretoria. We share this information with them. However, I will agree that as the Department of Transport, we need to continue doing that.
In addition, as we are sharing this information here in Parliament, we are saying to Members of Parliament, you can then share the information with the taxi associations. This information is also obtained in the National Land Transport Act that is, the Act that was passed by this House itself. It is readily available to Members of Parliament. We can always share with members of the taxi industry out there, but of course, we have to do more. Thank you.
Vho T E MULAUDZI: Mufarisa Mulangadzulo, mbudziso yanga yo no khou ḓa kha vho Minisiṱa ndi ya uri fhasi ha muvhuso wa ANC vho radzithekhisi vha khou vhonala vha khou kunḓelwa vhukuma ngauri vha sedza mbalo ya vhathu vhane vha hwaliwa nga dzithekhisi i paḓa dzimiḽioni dza fumi na nṋa. Na vhana vha zwikolo vha shumisa hedzi dzithekhisi na zwisiwana. Zwino heyi indasiṱiri ya dzithekhisi yo ḓalelwa nga dzinndwa Yo ḓala u sa langwa zwavhuḓi nga mimasipala hangei fhasi.
Zwino na dzithekhisi hedzi dzi vha dzi songo lugela u tshimbila badani. Mbudziso ndi ya uri: Ndi lini hune muhasho kana muvhuso wa ḓo ita thikhedzo ya u fha vho radzithekhisi masheleni ngauri heyo thikhedzo ya masheleni kha dzibasi i hone, uri na mitengo i tse fhasi vha kone u i swikelela havha vhathu vha zwisiwana vha no khou ya zwikoloni ngauri a vha koni u swikelela nga nṱhani ha uri mitengo i vha i nṱha? Na vho radzithekhisi a vha koni uri thekhisi dzavho dzi dzule dzi dzavhuḓi nga nṱhani ha uri a vha fhiwi thikhedzo ya masheleni nga muvhuso. Ndi lini hune vha ḓo vha fha thikhedzo ya masheleni? (Translation of Tshivenḓa paragraphs follows.)
[Mr T E MULAUDZI: Deputy Speaker, my question to the Minister is that under the ANC-led government, taxi operators experience difficulties because the number of passengers exceeds 14 million. School children and the poor use these taxis. There is so much violence in this industry. It is not well controlled by the municipalities down there.
Now, these taxis are not roadworthy. The question is: When is the government or the department going to support taxi operators by giving them money like the bus operators, so that taxi fares could go down for the poor and school children to afford as they cannot afford high fares? The taxi operators cannot maintain their taxis because they do not have financial support from the government. When are you going to give them financial support?]
IPHINI LIKANGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Sihlalo, wona lo mbuzo musha sha! Kodwa-ke uma ngiphendula ngingathi: Akusilo iqiniso elimsulwa ukuthi uhulumeni awukabenzeli lutho nje abemboni yezamatekisi.
Uhlelo lokuhlelwa kabusha kwemboni yezamatekisi lukhuluma ngqo ngokuthi sithi abathole isamba semali sezinkulungwane zamarandi angamashumi ayisikhombisa itekisi ngayinye ukuze kuqedwe nya ngaleyo tekisi endala bathole entsha.
Lolu hlelo-ke luke lwahlangabezana nezinkinga, sisaxoxisana nabo abantu bale mboni ukuze sithole indlela yokululungisa ukuze siqhubekele phambili. Ngisho indaba yokuxhasa abantu bamatekisi, cishe sihlale sisho ukuthi siyayidingida nabantu bamatekisi.
Inkinga ekhona ukuthi itekisi yakwaChikunga eyakwaChikunga; ihamba ekuseni ibuye, kulethwe imali kwaChikunga, okwenza kube nzinyana nokho ukuthi kambe singayixhasa kanjani. Sikhuluma lezo zinto nemboni yezamatekisi, simatasatasa sibuka indaba yokuhlelwa kabusha kwemboni yezamatekisi ukuthi sizoya kanjani phambili; siyalekelela impela kulokho. Ukuba ne-Santaco nohulumeni omelwe uMnyango wezokuThutha okwenza ukuba lolu hlelo lube khona, yikhona sizokwazi ukukhuluma nabo behlelekile ezingeni likazwelonke naphansi laphaya kososesheni.
Ngakho-ke kukhulu esikwenzayo, ake ngime lapho. Kodwa-ke empeleni lo bekungumbuzo omusha umhlonishwa Mulaudzi awubuze ethatha amashansi; ngimphendulile nje ngoba eyilungu lekomidi. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, indeed this question is new! However, in response to that I would say that: It’s not true that the government has not done anything for those who are in the taxi industry.
The new taxi recapitalisation programme speaks directly about the fact that we say they must get a lump sum of R70 000 per taxi so that they can get rid of the old taxi and get a new one.
This program has had some challenges, we are still having discussions with the people who are in this industry so that we can come up with a way to sort them out so that we can move forward. Even the issue of sponsoring taxi owners, we always say that we are working on it with the taxi owners.
The problem we are facing is that if a taxi belongs to the Chikungas; it will operate from the morning and come back, and the money will go to the Chikunga household, that makes it difficult to sponsor. We are discussing that with the taxi association, we are busy discussing a way forward, and we are really helping on this. Having Santaco and the government represented by the Department of Transport makes it easy for this programme to be operational, and for us to be able to talk to them when they are prepared at a National level and down at an association level.
Therefore we are doing a lot, but let me stop here. However this was a new question that hon Muluadzi asked by chance, I only answered it because he is a member of the committee. Thank you.]
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: Deputy Speaker, several unlicensed taxis were impounded early this year in Durban, and subsequently released. These vehicles were released because taxi drivers protested and not because they paid their prerequisite fine. Does this not instil in the public that the head of the department is not serious about the taxi industry following the rule of law?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Deputy Speaker, indeed taxi industry is expected to follow the rule of law and they are. That is why we are talking about operating licenses. Some have, some do not have. They are quite a number of challenges that might make a taxi person not to have an operating license.
However, as you are saying yourself hon member, they were arrested, which means that we have applied the law, even to members of the taxi industry; and depending on the issues at hand, they were released, but it doesn’t mean that we do not apply the law when it comes to the taxi industry. Of course, the industry was never taken care of before. We are dealing with that legacy as well. I thank you very much.
QUESTIONS TO BE DEALT WITH IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULE 109(3)
Progress in establishment of agri-parks and co-operatives in poorest district municipalities
140. Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) asked the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
What progress has been made in the establishment of (a) agri-parks and/or (b) co-operatives and clusters within the poorest 27 district municipalities in the country? NO2347E
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Deputy Speaker, the question refers to the progress that has been made to establish agri-parks. The answer is that the establishment of agri-parks is a collaborative effort led by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reforms in terms of land acquisition, infrastructural development and establishment costs. We play a supporting role to make sure that, as provided by our provinces, earmarked funds are used. So, our role is to ensure that by the time those parks are functioning, we have enough programmes that will feed them because those parks will start with the transportation of products into finished products, addressing the issue of the Agricultural Policy Action Plan, Apap, which speaks of the value chain and food processing.
Our role therefore is to ensure that in that process we have people in the team to make sure that we play our part going through that, and we know that currently the modelling and selection of agri-parks sites are still under way and are near completion. The other process will be followed by the development of business plans and the completion of feasibility studies, which will in turn indicate financial and functional probabilities.
It is, however, efficient that the Comesa-gathered report programme and Ilima/Letsema and Casp funds will be used, as I have said, to ensure that our people realise the meaning of not only planting but also seeing their products in a finished state. We are convinced that this is the right path to take. We do not believe that as the government we should not work together. I can point out that we are working together to ensure that this is realised in all the 44 districts identified.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, regarding this issue specifically - it was announced in this very House by your own deputy with much fanfare in the state of the nation debate - I hear you, Minister, saying 44 municipalities. That is all good and well, but there was specific reference to the 27 poorest district municipalities. We would like to know, between then and now, the progress that has been made, what plans there are and the clear timelines. This is because when the announcement was made, the hopes of our people were played on. They need to see tangible progress in his regard because this was very specific. It was not a general programme, but was specifically on the 27 poorest districts. We need to find out what the plan is in that regard. If there is not any, then it is up to the Minister to say there is not and that he is working towards it. We need to arrive at finality on the matters that were raised in that state of the nation address debate by your deputy. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Mr Hlengwa ...
... nokuba uyazama ukuba udale ithanda kwi-ofisi yesebe, ayikho loo nto leyo. [... even if you are trying to create a conflict in the office of the department, there is no such.]
We put it clearly now that there are no differences in the department. We understand our role. The role of building these parks is being taken on – I happened to sit in a meeting where districts were giving reports as to how far they have gone with regard to site identification. Very soon we will be able to say to you: “This is what we have done.” Currently, it is the identification of sites, the building of infrastructure because agri-parks start from the transport from where production takes place to identifying the sites where they will be built. One has to look at production levels.
As the department we are clearly saying that we are part of this, but it is not controlled by my department but we are coming in because it envisages a stage where Apap will be done. If you plant potatoes and want to turn them into starch, you can do it there, other than selling the potatoes raw and somebody else buying them cheaper and transforming them. I can assure you, hon Mr Hlengwa, that very soon you will see the results thereof. People are enthusiastic about it and have attended meetings where provinces were represented. As we have said, they agreed, but I will share with you that as the department we share the same view with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
Ms A STEYN: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Minister, thank you for the answer. I asked you this in a written question and I received the reply on 1 June in which you answered that your department would be contributing financially towards the establishment of the agri-parks. You confirmed that you would be contributing, but that the specific sites for the agri-parks have not been finalised and that you can only give me an answer on a budget once suitable sites have been found.
I know that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is contributing R2 billion towards these agri-parks. Minister, I am telling you that your department had the Zero Hunger programme, then the Masibambisane programme, then the Fetsa Tlala and now it is agri-parks. I am putting it to you, Minister, that this is election funding. We will have thousands of T-shirts being dished out that say agri-parks with the President’s face on it. [Interjections.] Chickens will be put there. I am telling you why I am saying this, Minister, because the farmers that must implement the agri-parks know nothing about it. Is this correct?
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Thank you for the question and the comment. I happen to have attended many meetings with the hon Ms Steyn.
Ek was saam met jou in Port Elizabeth ... [I have been with you to Port Elizabeth ...]
... where farmers were showing us that the number of black farmers on board in the Wool Growers Association is multiplying through a partnership. Today we have just signed an agreement with one of the food producers as you wouldn’t buy beans from Brazil to transform into a product in South Africa. Tell us where you want them and how many you want. We will engage with our local farmers to produce them.
Ngoko ke, siyaqhuba asilandanga politiki. [Therefore, we are continuing we are not waiting for politics.]
Wherever you have been, Ms Steyn, I have been with you and I have spoken to farmers. Luckily, I do not depend on you telling me how farmers are feeling because I have been with them. In most of the forums, they share the idea and the goal that we are proposing.
Mr N PAULSEN: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker and Minister. Hon Minister, would you pay attention? Hon Minister, you recently opened a food garden at Santos Football Club, a club on the Cape Flats, an area which is very dear and near to me. Would one of those 44 districts that you have identified for agri-parks be in the Cape Flats? Although the Cape Flats is not in one of the poorest districts in the country - it is in the Cape Town Metro - people in the Cape Flats are experiencing high levels of poverty and unemployment, and such an agri-park can help address those issues. Thank you very much, Minister.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Deputy Speaker, a week ago I launched the youth programme in the Western Cape with Santos as a club ...
... met jong mans. [... representing young men.]
We played together because we believe that sport and nutritious food are related. We agreed to look at the issue of family gardening. There is a difference between producing food for a family and producing food for the market. Not all people want a market, but what they want is to have food for themselves. I do not agree that people in that area are not poverty-stricken. I saw poverty when I was there.
So, we have agreed therefore that we are going to work with every community to find a way that they can agree with us. We are not doing this because elections are coming.
Mense moenie bang wees nie. [People should not fear.]
We are doing this because we care for the people who stay in those areas.
Mr T R J E RAMOKHOASE: Hon Deputy Speaker, this follow-up is on agri-parks. Thank you, Minister, once more for the very brilliant response. This is on the basis of the market. I just want to find out if the Minister can indicate the plans that he has in the department once these agri-parks are finalised. The Minister must be able to take us through the steps on how he is going to make sure that there is a market for these agri-parks. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Thanks for the question. Thanks, Deputy Speaker. As a department we are proud because we have people placed in different strategic ambassadorial areas. One of those people received the Order of Merit from a French Minister for the sterling work she has done to create markets for our country.
Last year we signed an agreement with China on maize and apples. I can assure you that people who are in the apple industry are very interested, and more trees are being planted. As I said earlier, today we signed a memorandum of understanding with one of the very big companies in the food industry that is looking for tomatoes, soya beans, sorghum, maize and many other things.
We are saying that if you want to succeed, succeed with our smallholder farmers. Inform us on what you want. We will make sure that we assist them and sign contracts with them. We will also make sure that they produce quality products. So, yes, we are doing a lot of work to make sure that we realise that within the department, sitting on the boards of agri-parks, we do have of our own Namack that is involved in market identification and is there to assist us in identifying areas where these products will be planted.
Meeting with African Farmers Association of South Africa to discuss new limit on land ownership
141. Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) asked the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
Whether he has met with the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) to discuss the new limit on land ownership for large-scale farmers; if not, (a) why not and (b) when will the meeting be held; if so, what were the outcomes of the meeting? NO2348E
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Thank you for the Question, hon Hlengwa. My last meeting with the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa, Afasa, was a day after the Budget Vote speech. They were the first people I met with. We looked at and debated a number of issues.
The role we need to play when working with black farmers is to make sure that we can assist them to transform and ensure that they succeed.
Afasa is one of the organised farmers’ associations. Another is the National African Farmers Union, Nafu. We meet and respect all of them. Therefore, Afasa understands our position and we understand the issue they have raised.
We agreed to look at the issue of a farmer’s register that could tell us how many farmers we have, where they are operating, and what challenges they face.
We dealt with the issue of water licenses.
And we believe that they also agreed that agri-parks will function because we need their inputs to succeed. Therefore, we have met with them and shared a number of ideas.
My answer here is that yes, we have met with them on a number of occasions. We know what they want. They know where we stand. We do not disagree on how we should go forward to make sure that our ambitions are realised. We are aware of the challenges that they are faced with.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Minister, I am glad that you are meeting with them because I believe that they are a strategic and important stakeholder. I am specifically looking at the issue of the new limit on land ownership for large-scale farmers because they have expressed a concern about that. Thus, we would like to find out how you are dealing with that particular issue, and whether these engagements have addressed that key question. We should not be advancing policy while at the same time not assisting in the development of black farmers.
What I would like to know is how you are addressing the specific concern raised by them after you publicly committed to meet and discuss with them. Even though you are meeting generally, what specifically are you discussing here regarding the new policy proposals on the table? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: In the same meeting we held with Afasa a number of issues were raised, including the issue you mention. But, their understanding is that it is not that they are against the policy in question. They are asking whether it will be applicable in all conditions, in all areas and to all forms of farming. Because, if you are farming in the Karoo region you need a bigger volume of land because of the fact that vegetation is limited.
Of course we met with them and I said that we would discuss the issue in question – the one that you are raising – with the Minister of Land Reform because the issue falls in that department.
I know very well that the Minister of that department has met with a number of stakeholders to clarify this point in question. It is not that they are against it.
Among those issues is that of the 50/50 land plan and what has been done by farmers about it. , Farmers say that they agree to the change going forward and that they want to be taken on board. What is needed is more engagement rather than disagreement on what is being proposed.
Ms A STEYN: Minister, Afasa says that you did meet with them; I agree with you. However, what exactly was your involvement in the decision to set caps of 1 000, 2 000 and 5 000 hectares to various categories of commercial farm land and what academic research did your department do to get to those specific caps?
Minister, in your discussions with Asafa they also asked you for a register of farmers. According to Statistics SA there could be up to 4 million small-scale farmers in South Africa. I would like to know how these caps will impact on them. Who will decide who is a 1 000 hectare farmer, a 2 000 hectare farmer and who is a 4 000 hectare farmer? And how will that impact on your Agricultural Policy Action Plan?
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Deputy Speaker, again, I have answered this Question and have said that, as a department, we deal with the production of food, livestock safety and other things. The issue of land reform belongs in another department. But, we have been discussing with them and we understand the rationale behind this being done.
Remember, in the Western Cape alone, as we speak, black farmers constitute 1% and not much has been done to change the land. We cannot wait until somebody comes and says there should be equal sharing of the land in our country. [Interjections.] We need to change. The Western Cape should not sit and hope that we do not know. We know, because not much has happened in the Western Cape. [Interjections.]
Therefore, the point I am making is that there will have to be a dialogue between commercial farmers, Department of Land Reform and us. We won’t find answers in this forum.
When we proposed the 50/50 land plan, hon Steyn, a lot of people said that it would not work. Farmers, however, came forward and said we can do it, tell us how. That is why people are quiet today because it was found that the plan can work.
It is not that farm workers must always work on farms forever. They have dreams of being farmers themselves. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Where do you get that? You just made that up!
Mr C H M MAXEGWANA: Thank you Minister, for the responses. Minister, we know that the loss of high-value agricultural land to other sectors of the economy is a serious problem for South Africa. We are also aware that your department has published a draft Bill called the Draft Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill. Can the Minister indicate when the Bill will be ready to come to Parliament? Can the Minister also indicate whether it is possible to expedite the processes as this matter is really affecting the sector? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Thank you for the Question. It is true that, as a department, we are busy with ... [Interjections.]
I have been trained never to listen to people who speak when they have not been invited to speak. Such people must raise their hands and be recognised. [Interjections.]
The point I am making is that one of the issues with which we want to engage is that farm land looses value due to a number of other business interests. As the department ... [Inaudible.] By the end of this year, this process should be finalised. The public must therefore give comments so that we are able to say that ... We cannot rely on the 1970 Act to deal with land subdivision processes. Therefore, as the department we are busy with public hearings to make sure that we protect the high-value agricultural areas, so as to ensure that agricultural land is used for agriculture.
We know that there are many interested parties in this process. But, we do our best to ensure that everybody has been taken on board. By the time it is finished, we are clear about what we intend to do. What we intend to do is to promote food security, deal with people who go to bed without food, because land is being changed into something else. Therefore, our aim is to submit it to cabinet for its approval by the end of this financial year.
An HON MEMBER: Minister of hunger!
Mr N PAULSEN: Minister, you spoke about limiting African ownership of agricultural land. Shouldn’t we rather discuss how you will address the limitless ownership of agricultural land that white farmers have and how we will access that land and redistribute it amongst Africans?
I also believe and ...
Minister, it is a fact that here in the Western Cape, in the Hex River valley – which consists of 12 500 hectares of table grape land – only 48 hectares, which is 1% or a fraction of 1%, are in the hands of black farmers. This needs serious redress and something drastic has to be done.
When it comes to food security, Minister, the reason black people are starving to death in this country is because agricultural land is in the hands of white people. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Well, I concur with the comments. We want to make sure that everything we do as government is based on rational, well-canvassed policies. I can share with you that one of the causals is that valuable land is in the hands of a few. Also, there is vast land lying in other areas unused by our people. We must go back and encourage them to use that land and make sure that it is utilised. [Interjections.]
I said I agree with you but you won’t tell me, as a Minister, that I should abandon the policies of the government I am under and follow yours. If you want to talk with me you have to raise your hand and speak. If you continue with what you are doing I won’t ... [Inaudible.] ... with you. [Interjections.]
What you are promoting here is to say that the reason this process is being done is to do exactly what you are doing. Not the way of taking land without following due processes. [Interjections.] We won’t do that. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES.
NOTICES OF MOTION
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member go ahead.
Ms C N MAJEKE: But I am not hon Nkomo.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ndiyaxolisa. [I’m sorry, my apologies.]
Ms C N MAJEKE: Chair, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM:
That the House –
- notes in view of the ongoing mission of children in preschools and those that are being taken from elderly people at the Department Home Affairs and those that are taken at the backs of women who are walking on the streets of uMthatha; and
- further debates the ongoing crisis of human trafficking in South Africa.
Ms H V NYAMBI: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the need for mining companies to improve on their social responsibility roles.
Ms G N NOBANDA: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates creating more programme that will assist the unemployed youth of this country, especially graduates.
Nksz M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo, egameni le-EFF siphakamisa ukuthi ekuhlaleni kwale Ndlu okulandelayo:
Le Ndlu –
- idingide ngokuvikelwa kwabadayisi basemgaqweni, ezindaweni abadayisela kuzona kanjalo nokuhlanzeka kwazo emadolobheni onke aseNingizimu Afrika;
- iphinde ixoxe ngokuphepha kwabo ngaphandle kokuhlukunyezwa ngamaphoyisa lawa abasukela mihla namalanga ebaphuca nezimpahla abazidayisayo;
- ikhumbule ukuthi badayisela ukondla izingane zabo bezama ukuxosha ikati eziko, baphinde bakwazi nokuzifundisa.
Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu motion without notice follows.)
[Ms M S KHAWULA: Chairperson, on behalf of the EFF I move without notice that in the next sitting the House –
- discusses the safety of street vendors, in the places where they trade and also the cleanliness in these places throughout all the South African towns.
- and also discuss about their protection from being harassed by the police who raid their spots on daily basis and also take the goods that they are selling;
- remembers that they are selling in order to support their children financially, to sustain themselves and also to send their children to school.
Mr A M MNCWANGO: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:
That the House debates how patriarchy in the workplace, particular in Academia, is stifling the career advancement of women and the measures that can be put in place to address gender equal transformation in this area.
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Deputy Speaker. I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the NFP:
That the House -
- deliberates on the issue of the anomaly between life sentencing and the granting of parole, mindful of the fact that South Africans who fear the brand of violence and crimes deserve to be protected from violence crime; and
- further notes that we are entitled to expect that life sentence should mean exactly what the word says imprisonment for the remainder of the convicted persons natural life.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Deputy Speaker, I hereby move that at the sitting of this House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates making the annual salary increase of the President and Cabinet Ministers to the growth and performance of South Africa’s annual gross domestic product.
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates South Africa’s commitment to international treaties and whether the executive has the power to repudiate these treaties without reference to this House.
Ms V KHETHABAHLE: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF, the government in waiting:
That the House debates investing heavily in green energy resources, including windmills, solar water, heater and all forms of solar energy with the intention of moving away from coal energy dependency.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the NFP:
That the House liberates on the needs for Africa to adopt its own bold and creative approach aiming at financing Africa’s development, which inter alia includes power stations, roads, railway, telecommunications, factories and many other big facial operations with the hope that this will aggressively respond to the geopolitics and the growing population and economic demands for the African continent.
Mr N PAULSEN: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates the granting of fishing rates to fishing communities to the coastal areas and provision of strategic support to these communities to ensure that fishing becomes a sustainable economic activity, especially for the poor communities.
Ms P S KEKANA: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Quite in the opposition.
Ms P S KEKANA: ... of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates encouraging the culture of individual saving for risks associated with loss of income, due to unemployment, old age and illness by providing appropriate frameworks and incentives.
Mr A M MUDAU: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the potential of economic development in formal settlement and how it will contribute to economic growth.
Ms N I TARABELLA-MARCHESI: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates on whether high unemployment in South Africa could be a trigger to domestic violence.
Ms P C NGWENYA-MABILA: Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates strengthening South Africa’s post graduate training in research and innovation as means to improve the country’s global competitiveness.
Mr T R MAJOLA: Sekela Somlomo ... [Hon Deputy Speaker...]
... I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the unacceptable high number of absentees from this House and the ways to ensure that members who get a salary are actually here to do the job.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the Cope:
That the House debates the new status of South Africa that is growing into a roach status because our leadership protect international criminals who have broken the law that we have signed the treaty to.
SOUTH AFRICA’S FIFTH BLACK WOMAN TO QUALIFY AS A NEUROSURGEON
Ms J M MALULEKE: Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the ANC I hereby move without notice:
That the House —
- notes that Dr Coceka Mfundisi became the fifth black woman in South Africa to qualify as a neurosurgeon;
- further notes that the Eastern Cape-born doctor is also the second black female neurosurgeon to graduate from the University of Pretoria;
- recalls that Dr Mfundisi previously obtained a medical degree at a young age at the University of Cape Town and that she also obtained a prestigious Goldman Sachs Leadership Award as an undergraduate;
- acknowledges that this young woman is an exceptional example and symbol of victory to the youth of South Africa;
- further acknowledges that she refused to be either intimidated or discouraged from becoming a neurosurgeon, a medical discipline dominated by whites and males;
- recognises that her responsibilities include managing neurosurgical emergencies and elective admissions;
- further recognises that neurosurgery services need to grow because the demand for the service has grown; and
- congratulates Dr Mfundisi on beating the odds to bolster the thin ranks of black female neurosurgeons.
FOUR SCHOOL CHILDREN FROM VICTORY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY DIED IN CAR CRASH
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Deputy Speaker, on behalf of NFP I hereby move without notice:
That the House —
- notes that on Friday, 12 June 2015, four school children from the Victory Christian Academy, a school in La Lucia, died in a tragic motor vehicle accident near Ballito, just outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal;
- further notes that a teacher from the school, Kris Ackerman, was seriously injured in the crash and he is currently on a ventilator after being induced into a comma to facilitate surgery;
- acknowledges that the children who died tragically are Caitlyn Oliver aged 14, Tamia Sewparsad aged 13, Saisha Shampersad aged 14, and Andrea Thaver aged 17;
- further acknowledges that another pupil, Muhle Qwabe, was injured in the accident and he is recovering in hospital;
- observes the words of the principal of Victory Christian Academy, “we have lost learners of the highest leadership qualities, the future leaders of our country and indeed a great loss to our nation”;
- conveys its condolences to the grieving families of the children who died so tragically, and to the Victory Christian Academy; and
- wishes a speedy recovery to Mr Kris Ackerman and Muhle Qwabe, who were both injured in the accident.
RETRENCHMENT OF OVER 4000 WORKERS BY TELKOM
Ms H O MAXON: House Chair, on behalf of the EFF I move without notice:
That the House —
- notes the plight of over 4000 Telkom workers who will find themselves unemployed and unable to feed their families in the near future;
- notes that the ANC-led government is the controlling shareholder at Telkom
- also notes that it is the ANC-led government that is creating unemployment instead of creating sustainable jobs,
- notes that it is the ANC that is causing more suffering for the ordinary workers;
- further notes that instead of building internal capacity, Telkom claims that they are going to retain the skills of the retrenched by appointing them as consultants which is likely to cost more money and it is against the National Treasury Containment Measures to reduce wasteful and fruitless expenditure by limiting use of consultants;
- notes that the enterprise development by Telkom has mainly benefitted white small businesses who have access to capital and skills to contribute to Telkom core business, while majority of small black businesses remain marginalised and cleaners of Telkom businesses;
- also notes that more than 500 million that Telkom has set aside for early retirement packages must instead be used for protecting jobs, increase number of trainings and business development programmes and improve services;
- acknowledges the claims by the unions and workers that Telkom has failed to follow proper consultation process;
- condemns the ANC-led government and its state-owned entities to cause a further scourge of unemployment when the figures are already high and have become a ticking bomb waiting to explode;
- condemns Telkom for prioritising profit over the livelihood of workers;
- calls on the government to take full control and ownership of Telkom to use the state-owned companies to make ICT especially mobile connection and prepaid airtime more affordable to township and rural youth who depend on this service to look for jobs and start businesses;
- commits itself to continue to call for a greater state-control and ownership of state-owned companies to serve the interest of the poor instead of profit.
In light of the objection, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice now becomes a notice of motion on the Order Paper.
CELEBRATION OF WORLD OCEANS DAY
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Chair, on behalf of the IFP I hereby move without notice:
That the House —
- notes that World Oceans Day, held every June 8th, is the United Nations-recognised day of ocean celebration and action to protect the ocean;
- acknowledges that this year’s theme is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”, with a particular emphasis on the eradication of plastic pollution in our oceans;
- further acknowledges the crucial role the sea plays as a source of food, oxygen and medicine; and the role we to need play in order to maintain a sustainable and balanced marine environment, and in particular, the top predatory role that sharks play in maintaining health and balance in our marine ecosystems;
- calls upon the Departments of Environmental Affairs and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to work closely together in order to ensure the sustainability of our marine ecosystems which are currently being depleted through pollution, overfishing, shark finning, poaching and shark nets;
- further calls for greater research and development that will one day allow for the substitution of shark nets along our coastline with other noninvasive protection measures; and
- applauds the tireless efforts of organizations such as Shark Warriors and AfriOceans Conservation Alliance who encourage people to become proactive guardians of nature through informative and transformative human nature experiences, and promote the conservation of our natural heritage.
NTUTHUZELO MAKHASI WINS THE GREEN MATTER DOCTORAL AWARD
Ms V VAN DYK: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of the DA I move without notice that:
That the House —
- notes that trainee doctor Ntuthuzelo Makhasi recently won the prestigious Green Matter doctoral award;
- further notes that Mr Makhasi, who specialises in primate biology and worked under the supervision of Professor Judith Masters, is officially known as the first black South African primatologist from the University of Fort Hare;
- acknowledges that he has been invited to do research work on primate cranio-dental anatomy by Professor José Braga at the University of Toulouse in France;
- further acknowledges that his research work includes looking at cranio-dental anatomy of various primate skulls of the samango group as a basis of comparative analysis under the supervision of Professor José Braga, to infer advice on species and speciation of this group;
- recognises the importance of his work as it desires to save the only endangered primate taxon in South Africa, the samango monkeys;
- congratulates Ntuthuzelo on this remarkable achievement and notes that he comes from Venterstad in the Eastern Cape and is an inspiration for young people in the town, in his province and across South Africa; and
- wishes him well in his future endeavours and research.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Matimba Masangu)
Mr M U KALAKO: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC I hereby move without notice:
That the House —
- notes with sadness the death of Matimba Masangu, a leading member of Nehawu and a prominent member of the ANC in Malamulele, on Tuesday, 8 June 2015;
- further notes that the 31 year old, Matimba was a physiotherapist at Malamulele Hospital when he died in a car accident near Nsimbi village;
- recalls that Matimba passed his degree in physiotherapy with distinction in research, and at the time of his death he was completing his Masters degree in Physiotherapy;
- acknowledges that Matimba was a very influential leader in the community of Malamulele, and despite his age he was revered by all who met him; and
- conveys its condolences to the family of Matimba Masangu and all his friends.
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mr N PAULSEN: House Chairperson, on behalf of the EFF I hereby move without notice:
That the House –
- notes the allegations of currency trade collusions by Barclays Africa, J P Morgan, Standard Chartered and other international financial institutions;
- further notes the tendency of total regard for legislation by multinational corporations in South Africa, not only in the financial services but also in other sectors in particular the mining sector;
- recognises the lack of capacity by the ANC-led government to ensure compliance with legislation in particular the Mineral And Petroleum Resources Development Act, MPRDA, and often turning a blind eye when capital breaks the law;
- further notes that such illegal practices of collusion do not only eliminate competition but increases the cost of services and consumers carry the brunt;
- condemns all banks: JP Morgan, Barclays Africa, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Investec and BNP Paribas which are alleged to have participated in currency trade collusions by not volunteering to provide information;
- further condemns the SA Reserve Bank and the National Treasury for failing to ensure fair and proper trading practices within financial institutions as required by law;
- demands banks to volunteer necessary information swiftly to assist the Competition Commission with the investigation
- further demands that those who are found guilty must be prosecuted with a full might of the law and adequate penalties to ensure that multinational corporations comply with the law and not treat South Africa as a playing ground for them to do as they please; and
- commits to follow up with the Competition Commission to ensure that the investigation is complete and those who are found to have broken the law do not get away with a slap on the wrist but a proper penalty is imposed.
In light of the objection, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice now becomes a notice of motion on the order paper.
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mr N SINGH: I hereby move on behalf of the IFP without notice
That the House -
- recognises the national importance of sports, its development, and transformation in South Africa
- further recognises the reputable standing and honourable name that South African sports currently holds in the international sporting arena
- calls for the good name and international reputation to be continuously upheld and
- further calls upon the President to urgently appoint a judicial commission of inquiry, chaired by a retired judge to investigate and report on the alleged SA, FIFA scandal involving the payment of 10 million United States dollars to the confederation of north, central, America and Caribbean association football.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I put the motion, are there any objections? There is an objection
Motion not agreed to.
Mr N SINGH: On a point of order: I just heard mumbling “yes”, but no particular member stood up and actually objected.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): There were a number of mumblings or yes that I heard on my right hand side.
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mr S C MOTAU: Thank you hon Chair, on behalf of the DA I hereby move without notice:
That this House –
- notes that Atteridgeville in Tshwane celebrated it’s 75th birthday on the 26 May 2015 and that to mark the anniversary the residents took part in various joyous activities throughout the month of May
- also notes that these festivities included a huge birthday party for pensioners and all people born on the 26 May regardless of the year
- further notes that the grand opening ceremony was preceded by parade through the main street of the suburb led by church leaders from various churches represented in the area and culminated in the unveiling of a wall of fame to honour 75 deceased residents who had made a significant contribution to the progress of the township.
- recalls that Atteridgeville, established in 1939, was named after Mrs. Myrtle Patricia Atteridge, and that the first residents took occupation of their brick houses with electricity, running water and proper sanitation on 26 May 1940;
- further recalls that more than 1 500 houses were built between 1940 and 1949 to house people being relocated from Bantule, Marabastad, Lady Selborne and other areas around Pretoria; and that it was granted municipal status in 1984
- acknowledges that Atteridgeville has been the home to stalwarts such as Japhta Khalabi Masemola who served an extended period on Robben Island for his role in the PAC; outstanding athletes Sydney Maree and Rosina Sedibane; renowned international soccer star, Steve “Kalamazoo” Mokone; soccer wizard, Mecro “Masterpices” Moripe; Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke; Dr William Frederick Nkomo and his son, Dr Abe Nkomo, who spoke at the unveiling; and singer Linda Kekana to name but a few
- further acknowledges with gratitude that the celebrations were coordinated by the (P3) Proudly Pheli Projects under the directorship of Mr Jerry Warie, Mrs Reabetsoe Sebola, Mr Johnny Khwinana and Ms Thokozani Ntuli to name but a few
- also the DA congratulates the people of Atteridgeville for advancing the country social cohesion and nation building project with these celebrations
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Thank you hon House chair, on behalf of the NFP I move without notice
That this hon House -
- notes that the Western Cape education department has released a document analysing the logistics of back locks as schools through out the province
- further notes that the document include the strategy to eliminate infrastructure back locks in schools build with inappropriate building materials such as asbestos, corrugated iron and wood
- also notes that the department has taken a decision not to replace schools build with inappropriate materials is such schools has less than 250 pupils
- finally notes the decision of the department effectively means that up to 323 in the Western Cape face potential closure effecting some 80 000 learners, therefore we call upon this hon House to reiterate its commitment to assess education for all South African children and urge the Western Cape Department of Education to revise its strategic plan in order to prevent or at least minimise the closure of school in this province
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I put the motion, are there any objections?
Hon member: Yes
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): There is an objection
Motion not agreed to.
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mr M L W FILTANE: Thank you hon chair, I move without notice on behalf of the UDM
That the House -
- notes that lack of transformation in the institutions of higher learning, poor career prospects, non attractive salaries and the dysfunctional school system remains a barrier for the country to produce desperately needed black professors and academia
- further notes that this is not only limited the number of black doctorates produced, but created a negative view towards academia as an unattractive profession
- acknowledges the number of black professors in the country remains a great concern as it stands at only 18% of the 1 473 professors across all universities, this figure is inclusive of associate professors
- further acknowledges that the Department of Higher Education and Training lodged a programme called staffing South Africa’s University framework amongst others to address this problem,
- welcome the intervention by the said department and employ it to do everything possible in addressing this anomaly as a matter of priority
- further calls on relevant stakeholders in higher education to support this intervention and drive transformation as a matter of necessity of choice.
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Ms J M MALULEKE: Thank you chair, on behalf of the ANC I move without notice
That the House -
- notes that on Friday, 11 June 2015, women who have played a prominent role on the continent were celebrated as African foremost heroines at a gala dinner at the African Union (AU)Summit in Sandton;
- further notes that awards were held at Sandton’s Michelangelo Hotel in recognition of the 25th African Union Summit held this year from June 7 to 15
- acknowledges that the ANC stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and (AU) Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, together with former Malawian President, Joyce Banda and Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, were celebrated as living legends
- further acknowledges that President Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel and Ghana’s former first lady, Nana Konadu Rawlings, were also awarded for their contributions to African society;
- recognises that these awards were in line with the 25th African Union Summit Theme for 2015 “Year of Women Empowerment and development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”; and
- congratulates all the winners of the awards and commends the organisers of the event for recognising the power of Africa’s women.
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mrs S J NKOMO: Thank you very much, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the IFP
That the House -
- recongnises that the 15 June 2015 marked the 800 year anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, also called the Magna Carta Libertatum,The great charter of the liberties at Randmeeder near Windsor England on the 15 June 2015
- we acknowledge that this charter laid the foundations for parliamentary democracy, human rights and supremacy of law
- we further acknowledge the considered role that the Magna Carta performed in establishment of the principle that formed our own constitution and Bill of rights 25 years ago
- we call upon this House and it’s Members to consistently strive to uphold the spirit and purport of our constitution through both word and deed.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): are there any objections?
Ms J M MALULEKE: Yes
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The motion is objected to.
Motion not agreed to.
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mr G MACKAY: Thank you speaker, on behalf of the DA, I hereby move without notice
That this House -
- notes the sudden passing of 1 of the world’s great liberal stalwarts and Mnet Socioliberal, Charles Kennedy on 1 June 2015
- further notes that Charles Kennedy was until the most recent elections in the united kingdom, Winston’s younger MP entering the House of commons in 1983 at the tender age of twenty three as a member of the short lived Social Democratic Party
- recognises that Charles Kennedy was one of the greatest politicians of his generation, he devoted his life to public service as a dedicated constituency MP by providing an articulate voice for his constituents for more than twenty two years through recent arguments, superior wit and charm and approachability, uncommon in many career politicians
- further recognises the vital role he played in ensuring the successful merger of a Social Democratic Party with the Liberal party in 1988 creating a viable 3rd force in British politics dedicated to freedom, fairness and opportunity, and focused on balancing individual liberty with social justice
- recall Charles Kennedy’ staunch opposition to British appeasement of the apartheid government and support for inclusive negotiated settlement based on 1 person, 1 vote
- acknowledges his main achievement of leading the liberal democrats to greatest ever performance in modern times, ensuring plurality of placid expression and a staunched defence of socio liberal values
- further recalls the next personal courage exhibited by Charles Kennedy in standing firm against the war hungry of Tony Blair’s government despite immense political pressure from both within and without his party
- acknowledges the prodigal role he has played in updating liberal values to better address the key issues of our day, namely, injustice, inequality, sexism and poverty
- and convey its sincere condolences to the Kennedy family and expresses our deepest gratitude for all he did to help create a furrier and fair world.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I put the motion, are there any objections?
Hon member: Yes
CURRENCY TRADE COLLUSION
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move on behalf of the IFP, hon Chief whip listen carefully
That the House –
- recognises a nine year old, Giles Clarke from Fish Hoek Primary school in Cape Town, who is taking part in the “Twenty Degrees South Run across Africa”;
- acknowledges that this run is about raising awareness around the issues of water, elephants and education throughout the continent;
- applauds the tenacity and spirit of young Giles Clarke who will play the role of an Eco-Schools “ambassador”, and who will run 5km every day with the rest of the team, to take part in the distribution of information on environmentalism, correct water usage and sustainability, elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict issues, and all of this while being home schooled;
- further applauds Giles Clarke for launching the “Connect the Children” campaign which will involve him sharing all the observations and experiences he encounters in his run across Africa with children in 59 countries, whose schools are part of the Eco-Schools programme; and
- calls upon the Departments of Environment Affairs, Basic Education and Water Affairs to support this continental goodwill and eco-educational initiative.
SIBONISO MTHEMBU CONVICTED FOR RAPE
Ms C N MAJEKE: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice that:
That the House -
- notes that on 8 June 2015, Siboniso Mthembu, a 20-year-old, was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment for rape;
- further notes that this conviction came after the Esikhawini Regional Court heard testimony that he raped a 21-year-old student of the University of Zululand in 2012;
- acknowledges that provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Ngobeni, for commending the police for the thorough investigation of this case as rape is a serious offence in South Africa;
- condemns violence by anyone of young people, in particular violence against young women; and
- calls on all members of society to dedicate the 39th anniversary of the youth month in fighting for the protection of the rights of young women.
EFF STUDENTS COMMAND HOLD A CONFERENCE IN POLOKWANE
Ms H O MAXON: House Chair, Deputy Minister you must listen carefully. The EFF rise to move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that the EFF students command successfully held a conference in Polokwane, Limpopo, over the weekend. It was followed by a very successful June 16 rally - some of the members fainted when they were watching news last night that’s why they are not here;
- further notes that the successful EFF student assembly declare to fight for free quality educationr in our lifetime the #tag sofunda nge nkani;
- further notes that the establishment of the EFF student command team will not rest until a child of a poor black woman is not excluded to the institution of higher learning due to the failure of the department to cater for the poor students; and
- also notes that the EFF student command will expose the Minister of this department that he is no longer a communist but a capitalist of the century who does not care about the poor anymore.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, I put the motion, are there any objections?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Objection, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, there is an objection.
MOZAMBIQUE DECRIMINALISES HOMOSEXUALITY
Ms P T VAN DAMME: Hon Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the House –
- notes that Mozambique has taken a huge leap in the right direction by decriminalising homosexuality;
- further notes that on 29 June, Mozambique will officially join the evergrowing list of countries where love is not a crime;
- acknowledges that after years of pressure by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, LGBT, groups, former President Armando Guebuza signed a revised Penal Code into law in December of 2014;
- further acknowledges that this revised law has paved the way for homosexuality to no longer be recognised as an illegal act, punishable by three years of hard labour;
- congratulates Mozambique for joining the 20 other African countries where homosexual relationships are allowed;
- laments those nations where innocent men and women are being imprisoned or murdered for being gay; and
- calls upon all South Africans to distance themselves from prejudice, homophobia and transphobia against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in our country, on our continent and around the world.
BAFANA BAFANA BEATS ANGOLA
Mr M U KALAKO: Hon Chair, I move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that South Africa’s Bafana Bafana beat Angola by 2-1 in an international friendly match at a chilly Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday, 16 June 2015;
- further notes that Mashaba’s men came into this tie on the back of a 0-0 draw against Gambia in their opening 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday evening;
- acknowledges that Thamsanqa Gabuza and Ayanda Patosi helped South Africa recover from a goal down to end a run of six straight draws with a 2-1 friendly win over Angola;
- further acknowledges that the match was also played to celebrate Youth Day and to take a stance against xenophobia;
- recognises that the good results of this match will go a long way in boosting the moral of the players and it will restore smiles on people’s faces; and
- congratulates Bafana Bafana on this deserving victory and wishes them well in their next qualifying match against Mauritius on Saturday. Thank you.
FORMER TURKISH PRESIDENT DIES
Mr S C MNCWABE: Hon House Chair, I move without notice:
That the House –
- notes that former Turkish president, Suleyman Demirel, aged 91, died earlier this morning in Guvan Hospital in Ankara;
- further notes that the former president Demirel was a long-serving head of state in Turkey, several times as the Prime Minister during the period 1960 to 1990, and then as State President between 1993 and 2000; and
- extends its condolences to the government and people of Turkey on the passing away of their former President, Suleyman Demirel.
ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY
Mr C MACKENZIE: House Chair, I hereby move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that 6 June marks the anniversary of D-Day, when in 1944, the Allied forces of Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa stormed the beaches of Normandy in France in what remains the largest seaborne landing in the history of warfare;
- further notes that at a cost of tens of thousands of lives lost, with the sea turned red by their blood, this critical event marked the opening of the second front against the forces of Nazism and Fascism by the allies, providing much needed relief for the Red Army of the Soviet Union that had been fighting the Nazis in the East since 1941;
- recognises that along with the South African Airforce fighter ace, Sailor Malan, who flew in the skies over Normandy, 114 South African Army officers seconded to the British Army qualified for the France and Germany Star, with many of them decorated for bravery;
- acknowledges that among these, for their selfless disregard for their own personal safety, were Captain Lyle Louwrens Archibald McKay and Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Douglas Bircher, both of whom were awarded the Military Cross for exceptional bravery;
- recalls that on a personal note, that my father, Donald Mackenzie, fought throughout the Second World War and took part in the D-day landing as a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy; I know that many of the honourable members of the House have family and friends, past and alive today, who were also veterans of the Second World War, including the late Frank Sexwale, whose son had served in the House;
- resolves that as we write the history of our new democratic South Africa, we should never forget the selfless bravery of all South Africans who fought to end the tyranny of Nazism and Fascism; and that their repulsive ideologies of racial and ethnic nationalism resulted in the deaths of more than 70 million people worldwide in the six years of World War II, and it must never, ever be allowed to take root and grow again; and
- honour those who lost their lives on D-Day in World War II, and in all other conflicts up to this day, including those South Africans who lost their lives in the Central African Republic - let us never forget that without the sacrifice of that generation that led to the ultimate victory over Nazism and Fascism, this House would, in all likelihood, not be sitting, in all its diversity, as it is today.
DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE COUNCILLOR AWARDED THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WORKERS AWARD
Ms E R WILSON: Hon Chair, I hereby move without notice:
That the House -
- notes that the DA councillor, Christine du Preez, a ward councillor in the Maruleng Local Municipality, was awarded the International Community Workers Award during the prestigious Women for Africa Awards held in the United Kingdom in May;
- further notes that she received international recognition for her work as the Director of Hoedspruit Training Trust, the Hlokomela Trust, that tackles HIV victimisation through peer education, raising awareness, prevention and treatment;
- recognises that her efforts through the Hlokomela Trust has educated and treated workers, including foreign migrants, in the agriculture, nature conservation and tourism sectors in Maruleng, Bushbuckridge and Mpumalanga;
- acknowledges that since she established the project, Councillor du Preez has collected other accolades such as:
- a finalist for the individual category “The Southern Africa Trust, and Mail and Guardian 2008 Drivers of Change - Investing in the Future Award; South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Civil Society Organisations and Related Services; and the PPS Professional Woman of the Year 2014;
- further acknowledges that through her achievements, Councillor du Preez has set a clear example of genuine caring for her community and upliftment of the poor; and
- congratulates Councillor du Preez who has made a difference to a Limpopo community, and in so doing, brought South Africa an international accolade to be incredibly proud of.
ATTEMPT BY GLENCORE TO REMOVE OCCUPANTS FROM LAND IN MPUMALANGA
Ms H O MAXON: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House —
- notes -
- that Gogo Poppi Djiana of Mooifontein, Mpumalanga and her act of courage for not surrendering to threats by mining giant Glencore, which has failed to meet the Mining Charter;
- the dispute involving poor rural farmers and mining companies over land;
- that Gogo Djiana and her neighbours have been on the patch of land since 1974, more than 40 years, with their livestock and cannot be expected to just pack up and go because mining companies that operate illegally want to make more profits, whilst the ANC remains mum on the matter;
- due to the mining operations and blasts, Gogo Djiana’s house has cracks, walls are coming down, windows are broken, and the ceiling in her house has collapsed – what a good story to tell;
- condemns Glencore mining for failing to provide suitable alternative land for families of Mooifontein but instead moving them to an alternative waterlogged wasteland farm, where livestock cannot graze sufficiently, Thixo waseGeorge Goch [God of George Goch];
- further condemns the Department of Mineral Resources for failing to ensure that mining companies comply with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and the Mining Charter but allowing these mining companies to continue to operate illegally; and
- demands that Glencore and other mining companies stop forcing people to move when they do not want to move and allow them to continue with their sustainable livelihoods.
The EFF commits to the struggle against mining companies that exploit communities, leaving them landless and destitute whilst they loot millions through illicit financial flows. I so move.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, I put the motion. Are there any objections?
Hon MEMBERS: Yes!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): There is an objection. In light of the objection, the motion without notice may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice now becomes a notice of motion on the Order Paper.
ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE AWARDED TO JOHNNY CLEGG
Mrs D ROBINSON: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House —
- notes that South African musician Johnny Clegg is to become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II;
- further notes that Johnny Clegg was listed on the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours list released on Saturday, 20 June 2015;
- acknowledges that, as an anti-apartheid activist, Johnny Clegg’s contribution to nation-building and social cohesion through his music and his work amongst vulnerable groups is immeasurable;
- recognises Johnny’s unique services to the arts and his commitment to strengthening our democracy;
- thanks Johnny Clegg for what he has done for this country over the past three decades; and
- congratulates him on being nominated to become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, which is indeed a truly special accomplishment.
BUSINESS FOR SITTING ON 18 JUNE 2015 LIMITED TO QUESTIONS TO PRESIDENT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That the House, notwithstanding Rule 29 which provides for the sequence of proceedings, limits the business for the sitting on 18 June 2015 to Questions to the President.
Question put: That the motion as moved by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party be agreed to.
Declarations of vote:
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, I am very sorry to have to do this today because there had been consensus last week around this particular matter. However, the events of the last two days cannot allow this to simply pass without us making comment about it. Ordinarily, we would like to have had a situation where the President, line with precedence, comes to the House and delivers his responses to questions, and that is the only item on the Order Paper.
However, this morning the DA submitted to the Speaker’s Office a request for a debate on urgent public importance, given the fact that, over the last two days, an international treaty which this House debated, passed and then codified into our own law in relation to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was deliberately flouted by the executive. The executive’s decision to put party political considerations above their legal obligations to uphold not only the statute to which we are a signatory and this international treaty but the laws of the Republic and the Constitution was made without any reference to this House.
I believe that the contempt that they have shown for this treaty, for the decision of this House, as well as the international statute that bind them and the ruling of a court in this country is simply inexcusable, and we would be sincerely hoping that the Speaker accedes to the request that the President, when he is in the House tomorrow, delivers a statement on behalf of the executive that he heads to explain to this House why they have done this and to explain to the people of South Africa why this treaty, to which this entire House unanimously agreed, is now no longer suitable. We would ask that by doing so, by limiting the business tomorrow to simply questions, it would preclude us having that statement and that urgent debate in the House tomorrow, and we would ask that we would keep this space open in case the Speaker comes to us and says that she will grant this debate tomorrow. Thank you.
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, it is quite correct that we did agree in the National Assembly Programming Committee that this resolution be moved today because we wanted to give precedence to questions to the President, as we have always done over the years, and have nothing else, no other business on the day.
However, given the circumstances that have arisen since then, one must take note of those circumstances. One must have due regard to the matter of urgent public importance, but it is difficult to pre-empt the decision of the Speaker. Up to now, we do not know how the Speaker has considered, or in what light the Speaker has considered, this matter of urgent public importance. Notwithstanding that, we believe that, even if the Speaker agrees, nothing would stop this House tomorrow, if it is a matter of urgent public importance, to debate this matter tomorrow.
I think we will have to wait for the outcome of the Speaker, and I do not know whether anything would prevent us from debating it if the Speaker so agrees. Thank you.
Mr N PAULSEN: Chairperson, also from the EFF’s side, we think that this matter warrants urgent attention, given the attention it has received and given the ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr N PAULSEN: ... and we appreciate the motion raised by the DA. We may have a very different take on it, and we believe that it is in the public interest that different parties share their views with the public, as well, about this particular incident. We believe that the Rome Statute has been unfair to Africans and to governments in the Middle East, so we are not saying that we oppose. We are also not saying that we oppose ... [Interjections.] ... what we pre-empt the DA’s position to be. [Interjections.] So, we would like this issue to be debated tomorrow.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Chairperson, we endorse and support the motion that the matter must be – this is a matter of such gravity for our nation – discussed by the public representatives of the nation. We support the motion.
Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, my concern is if we agree today that we are going to be limited only to questions tomorrow, then there is no opportunity for such a statement, and the Speaker will say she’s bound by the decision of the House.
Clearly, one should hold this over, this decision to limit issues tomorrow only on questions, and so we will support the DA in this regard. Thank you, Chairperson.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Chairperson, at the moment, we are not sure whether the Speaker will accede to it, but the NFP is amenable to a debate on this matter so that we air our views. I believe that each and every party will have its views on the matter. Let it be debated so that we air our views.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Siyabulela, Sihlalo, asitshatanga thina nongomso. Eyona nto ibalulekileyo yeyokuba lo mba kufuneka siwushukuxe kule Ndlu, sithethe ngawo kuba kaloku abantu bayafuna ukuva ukuba zithini na iinkokeli zabo zezopolitiko. Sitsho thina siyi-UDM. Enkosi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Mr N L S KWANKWA: Thank you, Chairperson, we are not married to tomorrow. The most important thing is, we must debate this matter in this House because people want to hear what their political leaders have to say. That is what we are saying as the UDM. Thank you.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I sympathise with the EFF. They have no history in this regard, but I am really surprised at the IFP. I am not surprised at the DA. I am surprised at the IFP, as they were party to the court case which took the Speaker of this Parliament to the High Court and that went to the Constitutional Court, challenging the decisions of the National Assembly Programming Committee, NAPC. Therefore, when the judges concluded there was no breaking mechanism in the NAPC, it gave the power to take that decision to the Speaker.
Now we are making this House a NAPC. We want to make programmes in this House, no longer in a NAPC. Are we going to be living with this? Are we going to continue in this vein? [Interjections.] I do not agree that this House must be a NAPC.
Ms S J NKOMO: Can the member take a question, please? [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: I truly believe ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, let’s allow the Chief Whip to make his declaration. Thereafter I will recognise you.
Ms S J NKOMO: Thank you very much.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: I truly believe that the motion you are supporting is misguided, misdirected, and I really am very wary, again, to agree in the NAPC with the DA because they are not people of their word. I have ... [Interjections.] We have made a point on this one that we will never agree with you again, precisely because you cannot be trusted! [Interjections.] I am surprised at the IFP; I really am surprised. I sympathise with the EFF. The ANC will not support that motion. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, why are you rising?
Ms S J NKOMO: Chairperson, I was rising to ask whether the member would take a question. I just wanted to ask him just to wait until tomorrow to hear our input. Thank you, sir.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member! Hon member, we are not in a question and answer session at the moment. Each party had the opportunity make a declaration on the matter, and now I want to put the question to the House. Chief Whip of the DA, why are you rising?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, I rise on Rule 69, if I may, with your permission.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon member.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I really don’t mean to disrespect the hon Chief Whip, and I am very sorry that he has made an outburst like that. I did apologise to him upfront as to ... that I am sorry that the agreement has changed, but things have moved on. That said, we are not trying to do the work of the National Assembly Programming Committee. All we are simply ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, you had an opportunity to make a declaration. You are aware of that.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Sorry, but I have been accused of bad faith in the House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I think you have clarified it now, and you have apologised. We want to settle the matter. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: No, I would like to just say that we are not trying to do the work of the NAPC in this House. We are simply keeping the space open so that should the NAPC tomorrow decide to schedule it, it is not shut out.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Singh, why are you rising?
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, I rise in terms of Rule 69 because I feel I have been misquoted by the hon Chief Whip of the ANC. At no stage did I say that we are going to support the motion of the DA. I didn’t say that. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): It is noted.
Mr N SINGH: I didn’t say that at all. All I said is let us keep it open. That is all. I never said it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Order! Hon Chief Whip, why are you rising?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: House Chair, really, we are not interested in numbers here. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Hon Chief Whip, why are you rising? [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: I am rising on Rule 69. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] Hon Chief of the DA, your apology does not cut. [Interjections.] The reason is that we have an opportunity, as Chief Whips, to confer on matters of this magnitude, and they refuse to do that, and they surprise us here. [Interjections.] Then they expect us to accept that! We do not accept it. We will not support your motion.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Hon members, I am not going to allow further debate on this matter. [Interjections.] Order! I now put the question to the House.
The House divided.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I would like to remind members that they may only vote from their allocated seats. When requested to do so, members must simply indicate their vote by pressing the appropriate button below the “yes”, “no” or “abstain” signs. If a member inadvertently presses the wrong button, the member may, thereafter, press the correct button. The last button pressed will be recorded as the member’s vote when the voting session is closed.
Hon members there is too much noise in the house, we are in the middle of the voting session.
The question before the house is that the motion is moved by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party be agreed to.
Are all members in the allocated seats? Voting will now commence. Those in favour of the motion should press the “yes” button; those against should press the “no” button and those wishing to abstain should press the “abstain” button. Have all members voted? Thank you. The voting session is now closed
The House is divided
AYES - 193: Abrahams, B L; Adams, P E; Adams, F; Basson, J V; Bekwa, S D; Beukman, F; Bhengu, P; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, N R; Bilankulu, N K; Bongo, B T; Booi, M S; Capa, R N; Capa, N; Carrim, Y I; Cele, B H; Cele, M A; Chikunga, L S; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Chueu, M P; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Cwele, S C; Davies, R H; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini-Dubazana, Z S; Dlodlo, A; Dlulane, B N; Dunjwa, M L; Fubbs, J L; Gamede, D D; Gcwabaza, N E; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hanekom, D A; Holomisa, S P; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, M; Jonas, M H; Kalako, M U; Kekana, H B; Kekana, C D; Kekana, P S; Kekana, E; Kekana, M D; Kenye, T E; Khosa, D H; Khoza, T Z M; Khoza, M B; Khunou, N P; Kilian, J D; Koornhof, G W; Kubayi, M T; Lesoma, R M M; Letsatsi-Duba, D B; Loliwe, F S; Luyenge, Z; Luzipo, S; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabe, B P; Mabe, P P; Mabija, L; Mabilo, S P; Madella, A F; Madlopha, C Q; Maesela, P; Mafu, N N; Magadla, N W; Magwanishe, G; Mahambehlala, T; Mahlangu, J L; Mahlangu, D G; Mahlobo, M D; Maila, M S A; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Makondo, T; Makwetla, S P; Malgas, H H; Maluleke, J M; Manana, D P; Manana, M N S; Mandela, Z M D; Maphatsoe, E R K; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Mapulane, M P; Martins, B A D; Masango, M S A; Masehela, E K M; Mashatile, S P; Mashego-Dlamini, K C; Mashile, B L; Masina, M C; Masondo, N A; Masuku, M B; Maswanganyi, M J; Mathale, C C; Mathebe, D H; Matlala, M H; Matsimbi, C; Mavunda, R T; Maxegwana, C H M; Mbalula, F A; Mbete, B; Mchunu, S; Mdakane, M R; Memela, T C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhize, H B; Mkongi, B M; Mmemezi, H M Z; Mmola, M P; Mmusi, S G; Mncwabe, S C; Mnganga - Gcabashe, L A; Mnguni, P J; Mnguni, D; Mokoto, N R; Molebatsi, M A; Moloi-Moropa, J C; Morutoa, M R; Mosala, I; Mothapo, M R M; Motshekga, M S; Mpumlwana, L K B; Mthembu, J M; Mthethwa, E M; Mudau, A M; Muthambi, A F; Ndaba, C N; Ndabeni-Abrahams, S T; Ndongeni, N; Nel, A C; Nene, N M; Ngcobo, B T; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nkadimeng, M F; Nkwinti, G E; Nobanda, G N; November, N T; Nqakula, C; Ntshayisa, L M; Nxesi, T W; Nyalungu, R E; Nyambi, H V; Oliphant, G G; Pandor, G N M; Patel, E; Phosa, Y N; Pikinini, I A; Pilane-Majake, M C C; Plouamma, M A; Radebe, B A; Ralegoma, S M; Ramaphosa, M C; Ramatlakane, L; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramokhoase, T R J E; Rantho, D Z; Raphuti, D D; Scheepers, M A; September, C C; Shabangu, S; Shaik Emam, A M; Shope-Sithole, S C N; Siwela, E K; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Surty, M E; Thabethe, E; Tleane, S A; Tobias, T V; Tom, X S; Tongwane, T M A; Tseke, G K; Tseli, R M; Tsenoli, S L; Tsoleli, S P; Tsotetsi, D R; Tuck, A; v R Koornhof, N J J; Van Rooyen, D D D; Williams, A J; Xasa, T; Xego-Sovita, S T; Yengeni, L E; Zokwana, S; Zulu, L D.
NOES - 77: America, D; Atkinson, P G; Bagraim, M; Baker, T E; Balindlela, Z B N; Bergman, D; Bhanga, B M; Boshoff, H S; Bozzoli, B; Brauteseth, T J; Breytenbach, G; Cardo, M J; Cassim, Y; Chance, R W T; Davis, G R; De Freitas, M S F; De Kock, K; Dreyer, A M; Ebrahim, E S; Edwards, J; Esau, S; Figg, M J; Figlan, A M; Gana, S M; Gqada, T; Grootboom, G A; Hadebe, T Z; Hill-Lewis, G G; Hoosen, M H; Horn, W; James, L V; James, W G; Jongbloed, Z; Ketabahle, V; Kohler, D; Kopane, S P; Kruger, H C C; Krumbock, G R; Lorimer, J R B; Mackay, G; Mackenzie, C; Macpherson, D W; Majola, T R; Malatsi, M S; Marais, S J F; Marais, E J; Matsepe, C D; Maxon, H O; Maynier, D J; Mazzone, N W A; Mbhele, Z N; Mcloughlin, A R; Mhlongo, T W; Mokgalapa, S; Motau, S C; Mubu, K S; Mulaudzi, T E; Nqweniso, N V; Ntobongwana, P; Ollis, I M; Paulsen, M N; Rabotapi, M W; Redelinghuys, M H; Robinson, D; Ross, D C; Shinn, M R; Stander, T; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A; Stubbe, D J; Swart, S N; Tarabella Marchesi, N I; Van Damme, P T; Van Der Westhuizen, A P; Volmink, H C; Vos, J; Wilson, E R.
ABSTAIN - 9: Hlengwa, M; Khubisa, N M; Mbatha, M S; Mncwango, M A; Mpontshane, A M; Msimang, C T; Nkomo, S J; Singh, N; Sithole, K P.
Question agreed to.
Motion accordingly agreed to.
NEGOTIATIONS AFFECTING THE AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Chairperson, I asked for the opportunity to make the statement so that I could inform the House directly of the outcome of the two-day meeting which was held in Paris on 4th and 5th June this year in which South Africa and the United States made a breakthrough in the longstanding issue of the export of bone-in-chicken portions from the United States. The deal that was struck in Paris will go a long way to securing South Africa’s participation in the Africa and Growth and Opportunity Act for the next 10 years.
The outcome of the negotiations in Paris resulted in an agreement with the following components. Firstly, United States poultry produces will be granted a quota to supply, without attracting the antidumping duty enforce ... [Interjections.]
Mr A P VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Chairperson, we can’t hear here. On a point of order, we can’t hear anything ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members - all those members at the back including the member of the IFP who is leaving now - if you feel that your discussions are so important not to listen to the statement, please leave the House. [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Chairperson, US poultry produces will be granted a quota to supply, without attracting the antidumping duty enforced since 2000, but subject to the standard and most favoured nation, MFN, duty, 65 000 tons of bone-in-portions to the South African market.
This quota will remain in place as long as South Africa is part of the Africa and Growth and Opportunity Act. There will be a growth factor which will be calculated annually at the average of a verified production and consumption growth by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on the baseline of 2015. A large percentage of the imports entering South Africa in terms of this quota will be allocated for further processing, packaging and whatever to historically disadvantaged companies and individuals.
The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the SA Revenue Services will administer this quota and its allocation, and volatility will be prevented via certain agreed rules which apply to the maximum entry in each quarter of the year.
Sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, matters are been finalised on poultry, beef and pork for US exports into this country. South Africa and the United States are working on outstanding SPS or animal and plant related technical issues and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will participate in a conference on SPS issues in Baltimore in the United States on 23 of this month as well as the stock taking exercise that will take place at the end of June.
Sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, matters are also covering South African exports into the United States of poultry, products, avocados, litchis as well as race horses and citrus. It may be useful at this stage to provide members of the House with some background on the Africa Growth and opportunity Act.
The African Grown and Opportunity Act is a system with trade preferences granted by the United States to define African eligible countries. The African Growth and Opportunity provides preferences on about 6 400 tariff lines including those provided by the generalised system of preferences that the US offers to 48 sub-Saharan African countries.
Thirty-eight countries, including South Africa, are eligible to benefit under African Grown and Opportunity Act. As the current African Grown and Opportunity Act will expire at the end of September this year the US Congress is being engaged in the passage of a new Bill to extend the preferential programme. As African Grown and Opportunity Act Extension Bill has received overwhelming support in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives, there is every reason to believe that it will soon be signed into law by President Obama.
While South Africa together with other African countries campaign for an extension of African Grown and Opportunity Act for 15 years, the current legislation will provide for a 10-year extension and this is a significant achievement. It’s a significant victory for all those supporters of African Grown and Opportunity Act in the United States, in Congress and elsewhere who over the passed year worked tirelessly for the passage of this extension.
While some African countries have been able to use African Grown and Opportunity Act preferences to attract investment and reindustrialise, this has been limited to a relatively small number of African Grown and Opportunity Act beneficiaries. The potential, however, for further expansion of production and investments in other African countries to take advantage of African Grown and Opportunity Act are significant.
And in the case of South Africa, as the most industrialise and diversified economy on the African continent, we have able to use African Grown and Opportunity Act across a significant number of industrial sectors to expand our exports into the United States. If we look at African Grown and Opportunity Act, I think what we can see is that has just supported a growing and a relatively balanced trade relationship that has also included a proportion of value-added products from South Africa and though in particular had benefited from African Grown and Opportunity Act.
The African Grown and Opportunity Act have been identified as something which is of mutual benefit to both the United States and South Africa. A Brookings study in the United States found that African Grown and Opportunity Act preference extended to all African Grown and Opportunity Act eligible countries had had the effect of creating a 100 000 jobs in the US, while a local study has found that 62 000 jobs were created in South Africa as a result of African Grown and Opportunity Act exports.
I am sure that many in this country have been quiet bewildered as to whether how an issue of chicken had come up as major topic in discussions between the largest economy in the world and a middle-sized economy like South Africa. The issue at the centre of this controversy goes back to the antidumping duty which was imposed on US bony-in-chicken portions in 2000. Two United States Senators from poultry providing states supported the demands of the poultry exporters calling for the withdrawal of the antidumping duty.
The Senators linked the continued participation of South Africa in African Grown and Opportunity Act to the resolution of this issue. I considered this matter seriously and carefully with our department, and with my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Minister Zokwana, and we consulted widely with all the affected stakeholders.
While an offer to open the bone-in-chicken market in South Africa would require a significant contribution from an industry that had no objective interest in doing so, given the fact that poultry is a major important subsector in this country with the employment creating potential, we took the view that we needed to work with poultry industry to pursue a negotiated outcome.
We also, of course, as government had to consider the wider picture and the interests of the economy as a whole including existing and potential beneficiaries of African Grown and Opportunity Act outside of the poultry sector. The loss of African Grown and Opportunity Act access could have had a negative impact on jobs in several of the sectors of the South African economy, especially the auto vehicles and parts, chemical products, manganese products and agricultural and agroprocessing subsectors including citrus wine, macadamia nuts and others.
As the Minister of Trade and Industry I engaged with both the United State trade representative and the Senators concerned, and we agreed with them that the SA Poultry Association, Sapa, should engage with its counterparts in the United States with a view to finding a negotiated solution based on a quota within the antidumping duty.
The first meeting between the poultry associations, facilitated by the government of South Africa, took place in September 2014 in Washington. Several offers were exchanged between Sapa and the US Poultry Industry over successive rounds of engagements. Prior to the Paris meeting, Sapa’s initial offer was 30 000 tons. It was increased to 45 000 tons and then to 50 000 tons just before the Paris meeting.
The initial US Poultry Industry’s demand was for a 140 000 tons. This was lowered to 125 000 tons and then to 110 000 before the Paris meeting. So, the gap between Sapa and the Exhibitor:USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, USAPEEC, before the meeting in Paris remain considerable. Our challenge was to find a sweet spot or an area of comprise that still enables Sapa and the poultry industry to make the necessary adjustments without the significant loss of jobs. We also had to consider to implications of the development programme for poultry that the Agriculture Policy Action Plan, Apap, had identified. And I take it into account that Apap had identified poultry as an area of growth and employment creation.
Our negotiators were compelled to ensure that any final compromise offer made to the US strikes a careful balance in the quantum of import of bony-in-chicken peaces offered, ensuring that the poultry industry could manage any negative impact on production and jobs. In my view the deal which we reached in Paris achieved this objective.
The Department of Agriculture Forest and Fisheries and the Department of Trade and Industry had encouraged the poultry sector to make a significant offer that will be acceptable to the United States, and in exchange the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture Forest and Fisheries undertook to provide support to the sector through the Apap and assistance with exports of South African poultry products in other markets, amongst other things.
Both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture Forest and Fisheries have build a strong relationship in this process with the poultry sector to continue to work with them on the transformation of the sector and the development and the small farmer element in that sector. The United States, in the course of this discussion, offered to provide developmental support to small farmers through investment skills development and processing. This offer will need to be concretised with requests for scholarships and poultry production investment and the transfer of processing technology.
The quarter creates new opportunities for new and emerging importance of poultry to benefit from the deal. The Department of Agriculture Forest and Fisheries and the Department of Trade and Industry will determine the manner and quantum that will be allocated to the historically disadvantages individuals and companies after a consultative process. For the poultry sector the resolution of this disputed with the US provides it with more certainty and security for its stakeholders.
South Africa has been a significant beneficiary of African Grown and Opportunity Act as it has been able to utilise the its preferences to expand its exports in significant high value-added sectors of the economy such as automobile products, chemicals, wine and citrus. In 2014 major African Grown and Opportunity Act beneficiary sectors included vehicles, minerals and metals, chemicals and agricultural products. Of the total South African exports to the United States, 38% went in under African Grown and Opportunity Act including generalised scheme of preferences, GSP, in 2014 which was down from 44% in 2013.
South Africa’s African Grown and Opportunity Act including GSP amount to US$3,1 billion dollars in 2014 down from US$3,6 billion in 2013. Of interest to notice, is that GSP exports increased over this period while African Grown and Opportunity Act declined. The decline was largely attributed to the fact that Mercedes-Benz ceased exporting its C-Class vehicle to the United States as the company established a production facility in that country.
However, recent announcement by Mercedes-Benz that it intends to resume exports of C-Class vehicle to the United States will expand automobile exports into the United States especially if African Grown and Opportunity Act is secured for South Africa for another 10 years.
In the case of the auto sector the main beneficiary currently is BMW which exports 40% of its current production of 70 000 units of 3-series sedans to the United States. In the metal sector’s manganese exporters to the United States benefits significantly from African Grown and Opportunity Act, and in chemical Sasol takes advantage of the preference to export chemical products. In the case of citrus, produces faced with the challenges in the EU have been able to use African Grown and Opportunity Act benefits to expand their exports last year to a 107 000 tons. Wines have gained foothold in the US using African Grown and Opportunity Act markets. And as I said previously, the total number of jobs estimated by one study to have been created by African Grown and Opportunity Act for South Africa is approximately 62 000 jobs.
The reality we face in the debate on African Grown and Opportunity Act renewal is that, while African Grown and Opportunity Act is a nonreciprocal preferential programme, the US does expect some payment in the form of accommodation of its export interests. In addition we will have to contend with the provision which was carried over in Bills passed through Houses of the US legislature providing for out-of-cycle reviews which in the case of nonaccomodation of US demands could result in partial or total withdrawal suspension or exclusion from African Grown and Opportunity Act benefits. In my assessment, however, the Paris deal on poultry will significantly reduce that risk.
Firstly, because the outcome is a product of the negotiation that both sides have bought into and secondly, because, as we said right at the beginning, the market access for poultry is linked to South Africa’s continued participation in African Grown and Opportunity Act.
I believe indeed that African Grown and Opportunity Act can be seen as a win-win for both South Africa and the United States which both our countries produce a platform to build and deepen our trade-investment relations across all sectors of the South African economy as well as to establish partnerships to strengthen regional value chains across the continent strengthening our regional integration. I believe that we are better off for having taken the road of seeking the negotiated solution to this issue and we are better off for having worked with the representatives of the organisations most affected - the poultry association.
In this connection I want to take this opportunity to thank Sapa for making a significant contribution to the South African effort to find a sweet spot of compromise with the United States. I want to thank Kavin Lovell who is the CEO of Sapa, Chris Schutte who is the CEO of Astral Foods, Martinus Stander who is the CEO of Country Bird Holdings and Justice Zotwa, the Sapa Transformation Committee head, who participated in good faith and as patriots in these negotiations.
I also want to thank other sectors of the South African economy that participated in the consultations including Business Unity SA, the auto industry, Sasol, manganese exporters, citrus, wine and other agricultural subsectors that worked together with us as Team SA. It was this spirit of working together to find creative solutions that ensured that we made the breakthrough in Paris. I also want to thank Senators Coons Isakson, the US Trade Representative and Ambassador, Michael Froman and his team led by Florie Lizer, Ambassador of the United State to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard who is up in the gallery. All of them continued, throughout this process, to display an appreciation for the developmental challenges of South Africa and the willingness to be flexible in finding the sweet spot of comprise that was arrived at in Paris.
Lastly, I would like to thank my own team of official from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries led by a special envoy that I appointed, Ambassador Fazel Ismael, the former Ambassador of South Africa to the World Trade Organisation, WTO. The South Africa-US trade investment relationship has considerable potential to advance and deepen both bilaterally and in partnership to contribute to development and integration in the African continent. I am confident that the Paris negotiations will lead to a successful renewal of a goal for another 10 years and that this can take our relationship to new heights. [Applause.]
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: House Chairperson, listening to the Minister’s statement, I was reminded of Helen Suzman’s famous quip decades ago that it was not her questions that embarrassed South Africa, but the government’s answers. The rose-tinted story that we heard from the Minister just now was pure revisionism.
The implications of losing access to the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act are dire. As the Minister pointed out with reference to all those critical export industries here in South Africa, R25 billion in annual exports to America in all of those biggest export markets would be put at risk and, undoubtedly, tens of thousands of jobs would be lost.
This House has known for the better part of two years that South Africa’s continued inclusion in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act was under threat because of a trade dispute in the poultry industry. For most of those two years, the Minister and the department did not pay nearly enough attention to the growing crisis.
In late 2013, the Minister told the portfolio committee that he was confident of our continued inclusion because President Obama supported it - as if the White House could dictate to Congress like Luthuli House dictates to Members of Parliament here. [Interjections.] When more than 200 chief executives of American companies wrote to Congress about their concerns over our economic policies and asked them to exclude us, there was still no sense of urgency from the Department of Trade and Industry, DTI.
After President Zuma and Minister Davies went to the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Summit in Washington DC, Members of Congress and Senators complained publicly that they had waited months to receive basic answers to their letters. Most importantly, up until the last minute, at the very eleventh hour, the DTI allowed a private industry body, the SA Poultry Association, representing the biggest and most entrenched interests, to negotiate the trade policy of this government.
The Minister spoke in veiled terms today of future threats on South Africa’s policy sovereignty and the demand for a more comprehensive and bilateral trade relationship with the United States. If he is honest, however, it is he that abdicated our country’s policy sovereignty to one industry body. In addition, just weeks ago, President Zuma answered an oral question from me in this House which made it very clear that he was inexcusably uninformed about the extent of the crisis. I will not say that he misled this House, because I genuinely believe he had not even been properly briefed by his own trade Minister. [Interjections.]
So, for nearly two years, the government dithered and hesitated while the crisis mounted and mounted. Then, finally, only after 13 US Senators signed a public letter to President Zuma objecting to the government’s conduct, did the Minister dispatch South Africa’s most seasoned trade negotiator, Ambassador Faizel Ismail, to take over the negotiations. His efforts must be applauded from all sides of this House, and I certainly thank him. [Applause.]
However, the truth is that over the course of two years, we have been such poor negotiating partners with the USA and we have angered Congress so unnecessarily and inexcusably, that it may well be too little, too late. We have behaved in such a way that one would swear there was no obvious and massive national interest for our country to maintain our preferential access to the world’s biggest economy.
So, let me be clear. We sincerely hope that South Africa will not be excluded from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act after the so-called out-of-cycle review. If we are excluded, however, then it will only be the result of the negligent and incompetent handling of this issue by this government and by this trade Minister. With all of the terrible consequences for our economy and all of the job losses, all of the families of the auto workers, the textile workers, the agriculture workers and all of the unemployed will only have the Minister and the ANC-led government to blame. [Interjections.]
On Thursday last week - the Minister was misinformed and got it wrong again – the US House of Representatives passed the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Extension Bill, which will soon go to the White House for signature. We are the only country specifically named in the text of the Bill, and the concerns it raises about this government’s economic policy are numerous and very valid.
Consider the text of the Bill. It says the out-of-cycle review must consider South Africa’s “progress toward establishing ...” – and I quote from section 104(a) of the Bill - “... a market-based economy that protects private property rights ... minimises government interference in the economy through measures such as price control ... the rule of law ... and equal protection under the law; ... the protection of intellectual property ...” ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: ... “... a system to combat corruption and bribery ...” [Interjections.] ... and – wait for it, in the light of the events of the last few days – South Africa’s co-operation “... in international efforts to eliminate human rights violations.” [Interjections.]
So, how do we fare on these measurements? The Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill, the deceivingly named Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, the Expropriation Bill, and the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill are all examples of government legislation that collectively constitute a massive assault on private property rights. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill attempts to introduce price controls on minerals. There’s the proposed ban on the export of scrap metal.
The President daily undermines the rule of law by browbeating institutions of the criminal justice system to avoid any and all accountability for his own conduct. The government now frequently simply ignores court orders. As for combating corruption and bribery, well, there is one word: Nkandla. [Interjections.] The proposed intellectual property policy, soon to be a Bill, we are told, raises fundamental concerns about our respect for the intellectual property of foreign innovators.
Lastly, we do not co-operate in international efforts to eliminate human rights violations. In fact, we actively aid and abet thugs, dictators, murderers and despots. [Interjections.] We welcome Robert Mugabe here for a state visit, and to your eternal shame, members of the ANC, you let Omar Al Bashir escape, quite possibly with your assistance! [Interjections.]
You cozy up to Putin. You send ANC study tours to Beijing. You worship Castro. [Interjections.] The fact of the matter is ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order! Order, hon members! Order!
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: That’s fine! There you go! Confirm it all. [Interjections.] Wherever people are not free in the world, there you will find a friend of the ANC! [Interjections.] [Applause.]
No, hon members, it is very clear. If we are reviewed, we will fail that review and we will be cut off ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Order! Continue, hon member. [Interjections.]
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: ... and when that happens, this sorry story will just be the latest and most egregious example in the ANC’s growing record of neglect and incompetence in economic policy.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, your time has now expired.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Whereas most South Africans have never heard of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, it touches their lives daily ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, your time has now expired! [Interjections.]
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: ... and when it is gone, they will look at you! [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Ms H O MAXON: Chairperson, there is an overwhelming evidence that the ANC government obsession with foreign direct investment has benefitted South Africa’s economy. But in reality, it has benefited a few wealthy individuals who will not think twice before moving their wealth to the next destination that promises quick returns.
Trade and investment flow coming to South Africa in an economic environment where the state refuses to play a central and critical role, but chooses to sit on the sidelines, will not lead South Africa to any economic growth. It is okay to acknowledge that the US is one of South Africa’s biggest trading partners, but the Minister cannot work on the assumption that the inflow trade and investment in the future will create jobs while willing to lose 6 500 guaranteed jobs.
We have seen in the past, growth without jobs, not even a single job. The ANC government must stop pleasing the West at the expense of ordinary workers. The interest of Africa must always be prioritised and protected. Today it’s chickens; tomorrow it’s a different industry. The US will not hesitate to protect their industries first before they look at a win-win situation. More than 75% export to the US on duty-free markets from the African Growth and Opportunity Act countries includes oil and mineral commodities.
We are not exporting finished goods; we are not in the global value chain position which benefits or grow our economy. The products that we export, for example, the BMWs that the Minister has spoken about here, are not even our finished products, but they are products for which we have to buy rights in order to produce, and the multinational corporations continue to shift profits to tax heavens.
Trade agreements benefits economies who are industrialised in the business of producing finished goods, South Africa is not. The ANC government must have the courage on its conviction to localise production, build domestic industries and stop pandering to the whims of the US government who dictates terms all the time. Not until SA has developed its own natural resource only then will it be considered an equal partner in any form of trade. I thank you. [Applause.]
Prof C T MSIMANG: House Chair, the African Growth and Opportunity Act comes up for possible renewal during a precarious period of global economic uncertainty, US domestic procedural scheduling issues and unresolved problems between US poultry exporters and the South African Poultry Association. These are the current challenges facing the new version of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is going to possibly be adopted by the US Congress before 30 September this year.
It is common knowledge that since the African Growth and Opportunity Act came into operation, it has certainly had a significant positive impact on our economy as well as other economies on the African continent. It has directly contributed to job creation and income generation during its two previous five-year terms. It is a policy instrument that has tremendous benefit not only for South Africa, but for the entire continent at large.
It now seeks another 10 years after its Bill was jointly introduced before Congress earlier this year, but is being met with resistance from inside the US centred around the South African Growth and Opportunity Act participation, because of a long-standing grievance by American poultry exporters about local import barriers on US poultry exports. The main bone of contention as it were, being that whilst the US has tariffs of up to 100% on poultry exports to South Africa, other exporting nations, enjoy much lower barriers to entry, such as the European Union, EU, who is currently only at 37,5%.
The question is, should the African Growth and Opportunity Act which encompasses far greater benefit to South Africa and the continent, than mere chicken imports be held ransom by some uncompromising stance of the SA Poultry Association, which seems to have government in its pocket on this issue? The Trade implications and large scale benefits for South Africa and the continent arising from our participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act certainly appears greatly to outweigh the potential negative effects of a reduction in import tariffs on US poultry into South Africa.
This government needs to place the benefits of the many before those of the few, whilst being mindful of the concerns of the South African Poultry Association, but ensure the continued existence of the African Growth and Opportunity Act for South Africa and the continent at large. Thank you.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Chairperson, hon members, the NFP believes that this debate comes at a very critical time in our country and Africa as a whole. An Africa rising narrative, is emerging and subtly taking centre stage. However, the NFP submits that the social evil of poverty, inequality, hunger, starvation, poor leadership and bad government still rears its head in some quarters in Africa. The discourse for a new African agenda underpinned by an economic growth motive is the one that Africa has to engage with.
Arnold Ekpe, the honorary President of Business Council for Africa and Chair of Atlas Mara gives this caution:
To accelerate Africa’s growth to support its rising population and aspirations of its citizens requires a changed mindset. The continent needs to understand that no country or continent ever developed by relying on foreign aid or funding alone. Foreign investment and support are important and necessary, but cannot replace domestic savings and financing.
Having said that, let us look at the renewable troubles of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Under the current provisions of the deal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, countries must be making progress, firstly, in a variety of areas to be eligible in the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Secondly, these areas include the establishment of market based economies and lastly, countries must also have been developing the political pluralism and the rule of law, elimination of barriers to US trade and the elimination of certain practices of child labour. These are the issues mentioned in the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Ronak Gopaldas, Head of Country Risk at Rand Merchant Bank said this: Among the risk cited on relying on the African Growth and Opportunity Act alone, is that countries become overexposed to one single market destination. Secondly, countries tend to rely on a single sector exposure, both for employment and foreign earnings, emanating from emphasis of certain products.
Having said that, it is a known fact that the US Congress is mulling over the renewal of the preferential trade deal as enshrined in the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The September deadline is looming. Former US President, Bill Clinton, sanctioned the African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2000, with the aim of boosting trade and development in eligible Africa. The trade programme grants 39 Sub-Saharan African countries duty-fee access for around 6,400 different products.
By 2014, exports from Africa to US represented $30 billion creating an estimated 350 000 jobs. By the look of things, most countries benefited from the African Growth and Opportunity Act through the export of textile. [Interjections.] Having said that, the African Growth and Opportunity Act is a need, but we also have to look at the internal domestic development within Africa. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Voorsitter, Minister, een van die eenvoudige take van ’n verantwoordelike regering wat hulself verbind tot die beskerming van menseregte, ’n groeiende ekonomie en voedselsekuritelt is om verhoudinge met ’n land se belangrikste handelsvennote op ’n goeie voet te hou. Vir Suid-Afrika beteken dit dat verhoudinge met die Europese Unie en die VSA te alle tye ten minste neutraal moet wees, al het ons deel geword van Brics. Ons ekonomie is steeds baie afhanklik van buitelandse beleggings. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Adv A D ALBERTS: Chairperson, Minister, one of the simplest tasks of a responsible government that commits itself to the protection of human rights, a growing economy, and food security, implies that good relationships with a country’s most important trade partners are kept. For South Africa it implies relationships with the European Union and the USA that should be at all times at least neutral, despite the fact that we have become part of Brics. Our economy is still very much dependent on foreign investments.]
However, while the previous regime was on the receiving end of global sanctions, the ANC government has actually successfully scored an own goal by implementing sanctions against itself. This was achieved as follows.
Eerstens, deur die skep van beleidsonsekerheid. Die ANC dink hy kan ’n belaglike stuk beleid uitdink en dan later onder protes onttrek sonder enige skade aan die land se reputasie. Wat die African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, betref het die geveg nie net oor hoenders gegaan nie. Die VSA is ook bekommerd oor die seine wat die volgende beleid stuur: Die belaglike buitelandse beleggersverbod op aandeelhouding in sekuriteitsfirmas en grond, asook die beperkinge wat swart ekonomiese bemagtiging op beleggers plaas. Hierdie beleidstukke skree in groot rooi letters aan die buiteland, julle is nie welkom hier nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Firstly, due to indecision about policy. The ANC thinks they can draft a ridiculous piece of policy and then, later on, withdraw it under protest without any damage being done to the country’s reputation. As far as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, is concerned, the fight was not just about chickens. The USA is also concerned about what the next policy signals: The ludicrous ban on foreign shareholding in security firms and land, as well as the restrictions that black economic empowerment places on investors. These policy pieces are shouting in huge red letters to the outside world: you are not welcome here!]
Die tweede probleem is die eensydige kansellasie van die land se beleggingsverdrae met ons getroue handelsvennote. Terwyl die verdrae verval, wag die wêreld steeds in spanning op die wetgewing wat hierdie situasie moet ondervang. Dit skep net meer onsekerheid vir buitelandse beleggers. Hoekom sal ek, as ’n buitelandse belegger, hier belê, indien ek weet die staat kan beslag lê op my bates as voog, met die gevolg dat daar regtens geen vergoeding aan my betaal hoef te word nie? (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[The second problem is the unilateral cancellation of the country’s investor treaties with our most loyal trading partners. While these treaties lapse, the world is still anxiously waiting on the legislation that has to prevent such a situation. It only creates more uncertainty for foreign investors. Why would I as a foreign investor invest here if I know the state can confiscate my assets as trustee with the result that I don’t have to be compensated legally?]
The third problem is the ANC government’s willful ignorance of its international law obligations. The Bashir-matter has given a clear signal to the world that this government is not to be trusted when it comes to international treaties and even its own Constitution, that it will help you right, and domestic courts. President Obama’s unofficial mouth piece, the New York Times, yesterday ran a headline: South Africa is in an injudicious state. I would like say that South Africa is an injudicious state.
How did the ANC get here? All I can say is that the ANC has proven that, in politics, there is something called an expedited de-evolution, the reverse of evolution, as opposed to development. How else can one explain the ANC’s transformation from a human saint with Mandela in 1994 to a zebra in 1999, where white and black lines in the form of racist laws still count, to a chicken in 2015, where the ANC is too scared to honour its international law obligations, to the great skunk in development that the whole world can see, is now lurking?
Minister, indien die ANC werklik hierdie land se ekonomie wil ontwikkel tot voordeel van almal, veral die armes, sal hy ’n goeie dosis realiteit in die oë moet staar. Die wêreld is nie meer jou vriend nie. [Tyd verstreke.] Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Minister, if the ANC really wants to develop this country’s economy to the benefit of everyone, especially the poor, he will have to face quite a healthy dose of reality. The world is no longer your friend. [Time expired.] Thank you.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Chairperson, I think that the marriage of the gap that has been in the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, for 10 years has been ably and comprehensively addressed by Minister Davis.
It is very important never to forget our history and the distance we have travelled. In the darkest hours of our history, when we were faced with a crime against humanity, the international community stood up to say that apartheid is a crime against humanity and they would not support that.
We joined the international community voluntarily, without any compulsion and made commitments to the international community, in the same style. If we want to continue to enjoy the goodwill of the international community, we cannot behave in the manner that the old order of our country behaved. I remind you that P W Botha could never have set foot in the countries that had declared apartheid a crime against humanity, without ending up being arrested. [Interjections.]
Now, we, having made commitments to the UN International Criminal Court, are playing a role of becoming a rogue state. We are putting in jeopardy the goodwill that the international community has granted us, to support us, not just politically, but economically. I think we must watch our step. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, we in the ACDP share everyone’s sentiments that the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, needed to be extended and we commend all those who were involved in sealing the deal.
As you know, it is a preferential trade programme that grants duty-free exports of 6 400 products into the US. We have about 40 countries that have benefitted and South Africa tops the list. Through AGOA, as the Minister said, South Africa has created 62 OOO jobs, half of those in the automobile industry.
We know there was a significant issue surrounding poultry. I remember we were approached about this issue some 12 years back, at a US embassy function. So, it has been a longstanding outstanding issue. However, it is significant that a compromise agreement was reached, where initially the USA wanted to export 140 000 tons to South Africa and the SA Poultry Association, Sapa, only wanted to accept 50 000 tons. An amount of 65 000 tons is not a bad compromise.
Sapa is particularly to be commended for seeing the bigger picture in reaching this agreement. This industry did not derive a direct benefit and, in fact, may lose jobs. We do share concerns about the delays and the finalisation of this issue, which was then done under tremendous pressure and at the eleventh hour.
We now also see that there is a clause in terms of which South African’s inclusion will be reviewed. This out-of-cycle review is a matter of concern, given the benefits for South Africa from the AGOA.
We commend again those who have been involved, but the conditions set out for continued involvement, of course, have been referred to by other speakers. They are a matter of concern, such as upholding human rights, international agreements, the rule of law and the issues around bribery and corruption. These may well see us being excluded during an out—of-cycle review.
Let us relook those conditions to ensure that we remain a member of this preferential trade agreement to the benefit of all South Africans. I thank you.
Ms J L FUBBS: Hon Chairperson, hon members of this House, colleagues, but most important of all the people of South Africa, - because that is why we are negotiating this African Growth and Opportunity Act with the United State. When I say negotiating it – never let us forget that it was a unilateral preferential trade offer. Indeed we thank the United States and I see they are here to listen and perhaps they are mindful of the differences of approach we had in this House today. There are fundamental differences in the ANC approach and the DA. Let me say one thing about Helen Suzman, she was a patriot.
The DA believes that when we talk about an agreement, what we should say is, alright, give us, give us, – what do you want, what do you want, alright, no problem, here is my signature. In finance we call that a blank cheque, no, this government will not agree to blank cheques.
The ANC took the Bill and should find a negotiated outcome. Of course, there are a number of people who believe in – I think I may even upset my ANC colleagues when I say dialogue, dialogue, because I don’t believe in dialogue. I believe in conversation and I believe in negotiations. I will tell you what dialogue is. It is what we heard today, is one person consumed by his own view, talking to himself and another person consumed by his own view talking to him or herself. Who is talking to each other? No-one. Alright, now as we [Interjections.] were saying there is another fallacious view that by the way, our ambassador who came here 18 months ago and has been appointed here by Minister Davies, in this area, he has been here for three years – of course he hasn’t - and the hon Geordin Hill- Lewis knows that too well. No, we know that. I am glad you are stating that now.
Nevertheless, we hear that the negotiations which began 2011-2013 with Minister Davies were actually masterminded by the ambassador Faisal Ismail. I need to correct that argument. The other thing is we are also told repeatedly, not withstanding, on 23 August 2013, there was a meeting of Trade and Industry, of which the hon Geordin Hill-Lewis was a member, and during that time everyone applauded the Minister’s negotiating stance. It was a unanimous support. All members of the committee have given their full support for African Growth and Opportunity Act to be extended. We give the Minister our support because he will be visiting the United States next month to further strengthen our economic ties. [Interjections.] Well of course, their memories are far too short.
Now, let me tackle something else. We have not abdicated our duties. The Minister of Trade and Industry and this government has consulted extensively with the South African Poultry Association and we brought them together because they said: “We could lose so many jobs, please can you...” then we said “Alright guys, hang on”. Yes, we did as a matter of fact. Of course there were a number of women but I am among the women who don’t mind to be called a guy. So, there we are, we consulted. Then of course, there was the Poultry Association and the eggs, etc. But of course it is quite true that empty vessels do make the most noise, but let me continue.
The United States poultry group, and guess what, initially they were both of diametrically opposed views. If we agree to this then we are going to lose so many jobs and our own association was of the same opinion. In fact, I honestly thought when I was listening to the hon Hill-Lewis - tell me did you recently talk to Senator Coons and Isakson? I take it that you were obviously briefed. Well done. Fine. Now that we know exactly where you stand, you are not patriotic at all. Let me come to the... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] ... issue.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order: You issued an instruction to the member to take her seat? The hon Hill-Lewis is an hon member of this House and I think it is most unfortunate and incorrect for the hon Fubbs to declare an hon member to be unpatriotic. [Interjections.] We swore to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution on that floor, and essentially, she is saying that the hon Hill-Lewis has broken that. I think that she should withdraw. [Interjections.]
The Deputy Speaker: Yes, we will rule on that.
Ms J L FUBBS: However, let me come to the issues as to why we support the African Growth and Opportunity Act. We are supporting it - the Minister has already indicated the number of jobs that have been created, and I think what is most important is that South Africa is not yet a developed country, as many would have us believe. Indeed, the United States recognises our journey here. We thank them for this recognition. They finally do, because there was some notion at one point that we could have graduated – similar to someone coming out with the matric and graduating with a masters degree in one year. ... [Interjections.] ...no, not the same thing at all.
South Africa remains a developing country with massive challenges, which is why we have said that we do need foreign direct involvement, hon Maxon, we do. I just want to re assure the EFF that we have taken the issue of all forms of transfer pricing, legal and illegal seriously - thank you. With respect to the ACDP, the hon Swart and so on, certainly we hear what you are saying. Hon Lekota you started off very well then you got side-tracked and then the hon Msimang – let me say this about the hon Msimang, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that by the way the IFP is the member of South Africa – it is a South African party, absolutely no doubt, thank you. When it comes to the hon Alberts, he too agrees with the African Growth and Opportunity Act, largely speaking. He had other issues and I am sure that we were all members of respective parties and there is clearly some direction there. But now to come to the second issue we are producing a productive, we are trying to grow not only a developmental state but a productive developmental state. This requires us to work with countries to which we can exports value added beneficiated goods, no matter what they are. And I thought I should add that when I speak to a lot of women and they ask me why I never brought out the women in this issue. Now yes, with respect to the African Growth and Opportunity Act, there is a focus on Agriculture and women. The African Growth and Opportunity Act we all know recognises the critical role of the Agricultural sector – I hope the Minister of Agriculture is listening - and specifically mandates that support the businesses and sectors that engage women farmers and entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, hon Macpherson. What we are saying is that according to the World Bank, Agriculture employs about 65% of the regions overall labour force. Should I give you another reason to support the African Growth and Opportunity Act? Let me tell you that long before you came to this House hon Macpherson, the ANC had signed very successfully with the United States - African Growth and Opportunity Act. In fact we had indicated our appreciation long before you came. [Interjections.] Oh yes. However, what we are negotiating is an extension, that is all and thank you very much that we now have it. We have jobs; we will have a BBBEE issue really intrinsically spelled. I know again the EFF said that this is going to benefit only a few. I agree, it would have but now we have the BBBEE and we are going to make sure that this is broadened beyond that elite group. Yes. We also have the localisation programme, the designations, and I would like businessmen to actually implement the localisation issues. Thank you. I really would because that is what is going to help us. Before that ... [Interjections.]
CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order: Would the hon member take a question? [Interjections.]
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Fubbs will you take a question? [Interjections.]
Ms J L FUBBS: Hon Deputy Speaker I would love to, but over a cup of coffee. [Laughter.] On the issue ...
Mr N PAULSEN: I don’t drink coffee with strangers.
Ms J L FUBBS: What we would like to say is that it offers us an opportunity for both countries to develop a stronger relationship that recognises our priorities. We would like the United States to recognise our priorities and I have no doubt that they would like us to do the same. What we are going to do is to work together on this, and we are going to it to put South Africa first Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: On the matter of the Chief Whip of the DA about the unpatriotic comment, these are the kind of political statements that are made in the House that you must respond to and you did. We consider your response adequate to that issue as not unparliamentary. You have responded to it by what you said.
JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES AND RELATED MATTERS) AMENDMENT ACT AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
There was no debate.
Mr B A Radebe moved: That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES AND RELATED MATTERS)[AMENDMENT ACT AMENDMENT BILL]
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
Bill read a second time.
Dr M S MOTSHEKGA: Hon Deputy Speaker, distinguished members of this House, the constitutional order of the apartheid colonial state was based on the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty which said that any law that Parliament passes has the legal force. As revolutionary democrats, we have abolished this parliamentary dictatorship and introduced a constitutional state based on the doctrine of the separation of powers.
This doctrine gives the judiciary the powers to review - that is test the constitutional validity of laws of Parliament. In other words the judiciary has the powers to declare unconstitutional or strike down any legislation which is inconsistent with the Constitution. Where the Constitutional Court has declared a law unconstitutional - that is inconsistent with the Constitution, Parliament is obliged to cure the defects and bring the law into line with the Constitution.
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses and Related Matters) Amendment Bill resulted from the court’s powers of judicial review.
In 2007, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, widely referred to as the Sexual Offences Act, replaced the Sexual Offences Act, 1957 originally called the Immorality Act, 1957. This act codifies the law relating to sexual offences. Specifically, it broadened the range of acts that constitutes sexual offences, standardised the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual sex and provides for a range of services to victims of sexual violence.
The problematic implications of the Sexual Offences Act for adolescents did not become apparent until the Jules High School case in 2010. A 15-year-old girl claimed that she had been drugged and raped by two boys, aged 14 and 16, on the sports grounds of Jules High School. The assault was filmed and the video was uploaded to the internet. The girl later allegedly confessed that the sex was consensual. The perpetrators could not be prosecuted for rape and all three were charged with statutory rape for contravening section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act. This case drew attention to sections 15 and 16 of the Act, and the Teddy Bear Clinic’s case referred to below, followed, from the High Court all the way to the Constitutional Court.
With regard to the Amendment Bill, the Bill emanates from two separate judgments of the Constitutional Court, The case of Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and Others v the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and the case of J v the National Director of Public Prosecutions and others.
In the Teddy Bear case, the Constitutional Court determined that sections 15 and 16 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act are unconstitutional insofar as they criminalise consensual sexual conduct between adolescents - children between the ages of 12 and 15, below 16 years of age.
In the J case, the court questioned the constitutional validity of section 50(2)(a) of the Act, namely the automatic inclusion of the particulars of child offenders in the National Register for Sex Offenders on conviction of sexual offences under certain circumstances, with specific reference to the best interest of the child principle as reflected in section 28(2) of the Constitution. The court found that the limitation of the right of child offenders in section 50(2)(a) of the Act is not justified in an open and democratic society.
In 2013 the Constitutional Court gave parliament 18 months to fix the legislation. The committee applied for extension to ensure that the civil society has adequate time to have to make further submissions.
What we came across in this matter is that Parliament was accused of seeking to decriminalise consensual sex between adolescents and that by doing so Parliament is creating a permissive society encouraging sexuality amongst the adolescents. There is nothing further from the truth as that. The truth of the matter is that the society in which we live is a society in which moral degeneration is deepening for various reasons. Our children are exposed to pornography. Our children grew up in apartheid socioeconomic conditions and they are exposed to things that they should not be exposed to and as a result, we find children that are experimenting in sex. So, whether you like it or not, there is sex taking place between adolescents, consensual sex.
The question arising is: Whether or not we should make criminals out of children that are victims of a sick society. We as the ANC say that we cannot criminalise children for the fault of society. We therefore are saying, we agree with the Constitutional Court that consensual sex between adolescents should be decriminalised and therefore we should look back at society itself and find out what the society should do to prevent a situation where children experiment in sex in houses of worship, schools and at home.
We believe that the solution lies in education. There are, for instance, in traditional communities what we call rights of passage where children are taught to understand that between ages one and seven there are things that children cannot do. And between ages seven and fourteen there are things that children cannot do. Again, between ages fourteen and twenty one, there are things they may do and after the age of twenty one, there are things children must do. If our society goes back to teach the rights of passage and related practices, this problem that some elements on my left want to solve by criminalising children would not arise.
We think that this ANC government has already done much to empower civil society to deal with these matters. For instance, our icon hon Mandela in 1997 convened a religious summit and that summit adopted the bill of responsibilities. In 1999, hon Mandela convened a moral summit which led to the adoption of the launch of the Moral Regeneration Movement. Now, the ball is in the court of society to solve societal challenges and not to use criminal laws against children.
As the ANC, we believe that the best interest of the children of this country must be served. Criminal laws cannot be the means of serving the best interest of the children of this country. We love the children. We put the children first. We want the children protected but not through legislation.
We want to call upon religious faith-based leaders ... [Time expired.] Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms G BREYTENBACH: Hon Chair, hon members, much has been made of this Amendment Bill and there has been an enormous amount of public interest and public participation in this process, a vast amount of positive input was received, but the Bill remains somewhat controversial. This is largely because of a perception, albeit an incorrect perception, that the age of consent for engaging in sexual acts with and by minors has been lowered to 12 years of age. Such a position would, of course, be quite preposterous. It is not remotely what the Bill envisages and it is a result of misconception and misunderstanding.
The purpose of the Amendment Bill, briefly and in common parlance, is most importantly to give effect to two judgments of the Constitutional Court, the Teddy Bear case and the J case. It is not a matter of convenience but an imperative.
Secondly, the Bill seeks to ensure that children are not held criminally liable for engaging in consensual sexual acts with each other; to give presiding officers a discretion, which they currently do not enjoy, in order to decide in individual cases based on the merits, whether particulars of children should be included in the national register for sex offenders or not; to regulate a procedure whereby certain categories of persons may apply for the removal of their particulars from the national register for sex offenders and to regulate the procedure for the removal of particulars of children who have already been convicted for having engaged in consensual sexual acts with each other to be removed from the register and to regulate the expunction of criminal records of persons connected herewith.
The important word to bear in mind in the consideration of this Bill is consensual sexual acts between children. For the purposes of this discussion, children are defined as being 12 years old or older, but under the age of 16. The provisions of the Bill ensure that consensual sexual acts between children are decriminalised and the Bill allows for consensual sexual acts to be decriminalised if one or both participants are 16 or 17 years of age and the difference is not more than two years.
The position, with regard to sexual acts that are not consensual, is not modified by the provisions of this Bill and remains criminal offences. The Bill therefore essentially seeks to protect the position of children; to protect them from criminal sanction and to prevent them from being subjected to possible incarceration; to being placed on the list of sexual offenders and restrain their future as a result of consensual sexual activities with persons of a similar age.
Although a number of participants at the public hearings indicated a distinct unease with the Bill on the basis of religious objection to consensual sexual activity between children, it was encouraging to hear that none of the participants ultimately wanted to make criminals of children who engage in consensual sexual activity with each other.
The Bill also envisages in specified circumstances the removal of the names of persons previously convicted of offences now decriminalised from the register of sexual offenders thus bringing the position of those persons in line with the provisions of the Bill. This is founded in consideration of fairness and parity. The Bill embodies in legislation that which is de facto law, this position already having been decided by the Constitutional Court.
It is our contention that this Bill should be supported and as a committee we should acknowledge the efforts of Mr Bassett and his colleagues at the Department of Justice in the drafting of this piece of legislation and the assistance afforded the committee in this process.
In closing I must say however, that I was left almost speechless, which doesn’t happen often, to hear the hon Motshekga refer to South Africa as a constitutional democracy after the events of the past weeks and in particular, the last few days. It must be clear, even to the hon Motshekga, that this is no longer a constitutional democracy, but the fiefdom of President Zuma when he ignores the Constitution, the law and the judiciary. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N V NQWENISO: Hon Deputy Speaker, the ANC has been in power for the past 21 years ... [Interjections.] ... but still they are unable to develop Bills and legislation that are constitutional and of acceptable quality. This Bill is one of the many that have been sent back to this House because it is not constitutional. The EFF is of the strong belief that children need to be supported by their parents, caregivers and adults in their lives to enable them to make healthy choices about relationships and the correct timing of engaging in sexual activities.
Criminalising adolescents for engaging in developmental behaviour is an extreme measure that prevents them from approaching their parents, educators, social workers, nurses and other support people for guidance, information, contraception, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, STIs, and HIV. For that reason, we support these amendments. Sexual activity amongst young people is a matter of moral righteousness and we believe you cannot legislate righteousness, but you need strong family units and values to do so.
To develop our children into strong young adults who take responsibility for their sex lives requires a comprehensive sex education programme which has been shown to contribute in delaying sexual initiation and reduce the likelihood of teen pregnancies. But providing conditions that are conducive to raising children properly requires consistent parental supervision.
The reality in South Africa is that a sizeable number of black parents spend most of their time raising children of their madams, living very little time to supervise and educate their own children due to the social ills that South Africans are facing. The social conditions that young people grow under are therefore a direct result of the limited economic opportunities for black people which leads to parents leaving their own children unsupervised in order to make a living.
The government should open up economic opportunities in areas where our people live, giving parents and children opportunities to educate each other about sex and risks that are involved. As the EFF, we recommend that there should be a proper recourse than prosecuting young innocent children for the wrongs of their parents who live them to watch television until midnight exposing them to all sorts of porn movies which lead to their experimental actions.
We add to say the Departments of Social Development and Basic Education should own up to their mandate of protecting and educating our children. We support the amendment.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Deputy Speaker. This amendment bill arises through the rule of law and supremacy of our Constitution in striking down legislation that is in conflict with any of its provisions. In this particular instance we see a unanimous Constitutional Court judgement being handed down in October 2013 declaring sections 15 and 16 of the sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act where unconstitutional as they infringed on the rights of adolescents to dignity and privacy.
It was further ordered that the necessary amendments were to be brought within 15 months of the judgement; this was however extended by four months in order for parliament to meet the deadline which is now the 5th of august.
The IFP concurs with the court findings that the above sections 15 and 16 of Sexual offences Amendment Act criminalised developmentally normal behaviour and could possibly have a negative effect on our children for whom the act was originally intended to protect.
The learned judge in delivering her judgement said that she was extremely doubtful that the introduction of criminal prohibitions could ever be shown to be a constitutionally sound means of preventing the occurrence of such risks as teenage pregnancy and that the were numerous other avenues available that did not involve criminalisation of consensual sexual conduct.
The legal age of consent remains at 16 years of age, non consensual sexual activity remains a crime but there is no longer criminal sanction for the consensual sexual activity of children between the ages of 12 and 16 and children who are between the ages of 16 and 17 years will only be liable for criminal prosecution if the age between them and the other child is more than 24 months.
The act continues with its main aim namely that of protecting children from being preyed upon by older sexual predators. The IFP supports this bill. Thank you.
Mr S C MNCWABE: Deputy Speaker, hon members. The NFP supports the recommendations of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Criminal Law Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Bill. We are mindful of the fact that two very important and seemingly competing issues need to be balanced.
On one hand we need to protect our vulnerable children from sexual predation and on another hand we need to exercise extreme caution before subjecting children and their conduct to criminalisation. Any law or legal provision must have as a minimum requirement a clear purpose and must be enforceable for it to have any legitimacy. The NFP submits that the wording of both section 15(b) and section 16(b) has muddied the waters as to the intention of the legislature and its purpose is now clouded.
We also submit that enforcement of these two sections could have seriously socially undesirable consequences and hence must be addressed. The question we ask however, is whether legislation is the best way to regulate sexual relations between adolescents? Can legislation replace social education as the most effective method of influencing adolescent sexual behaviour?
The NFP believes that by relying on legislation to regulate adolescent sexual behaviour we are abandoning our moral responsibility for teaching our children what is acceptable and not acceptable in our society. I thank you.
Ms N C MAJEKE: Chairperson. It is befitting that this House adopts this Bill as part of 39th anniversary of the National Youth Month. Indeed if our young people are to fully enjoy their freedom they must also be legally protected from predators. The amendments will help intensify South Africa’s efforts to fight crimes against all persons and especially sexual offences being committed against vulnerable children. We need to secure our boys and girls at all costs.
We hope that the design of guidelines on prosecutor guided investigation will indeed be enhanced and provide for a holistic management of sexual offences matters by all role players. The UDM fully supports this amendment.
Mr B T BONGO: Thank you very much hon Deputy Speaker. Hon Ministers; hon Deputy Ministers; hon Members of Parliament; and fellow South Africans, the Bill before Parliament today is a complex and sensitive one. Some amongst us believe it is contra bonos mores. [against good morals] We should state at the outset that this Bill is necessitated by two Constitutional Court judgements which decided in the following way respectively:
Firstly, sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act were unconstitutional in so far as they criminalised sexual activities between adolescents; and
Secondly, the automatic inclusion of names in the National Register of Sexual Offenders upon conviction was unconstitutional in so far as it did not take care of the interest of a child.
This Bill is primarily aimed at aligning the law with these two Constitutional Court judgements. It is clear that we need laws that protect our children from the scourge of rape, sexual abuse and exploitation affecting communities. However, in the Teddy Bear Clinic case, the Constitutional Court found that our efforts to protect our children from sexual predators, as provided for in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, had unintended and negative consequences on the very same adolescents the law originally sought to protect and safeguard. The court noted that there is an impact in the shaming and stigmatisation of these young ones, as seen in Jules High School where an adolescent who was found to have engaged in these activities had committed suicide in order to make ensure that she escapes public exposure and the humiliation that was prevalent.
We should avoid exposing our children to the criminal justice system from an early age. In the words of Justice Khampepe in the Teddy Bear Clinic case, the learned judge said the following:
Children are precious members of our society and any law that affects them must have due regard to their vulnerability and their need for guidance. We have a duty to ensure that they receive the support and assistance that is necessary for their positive growth and development. We must be careful, however, to ensure that in attempting to guide and protect children, our interventions do not expose them to harsh circumstances which can only have adverse effects on their development.
This need is also expressed in Section 28 of the Constitution which says that we need to protect, at all costs, the best interests of the child. Establishing what these best interests of the child are however, is a challenge. Nowhere is it clearer than in the intense debate that the committee has had with members of society and the comments we have received. The committee received 1 000 submissions and it has had to consult with all across South Africa’s society to discuss this matter.
Of particular concern in the submissions and in the Teddy Bear Clinic case is that many people believed that this case was in the main lowering the age of consent to 12 years. This is not the case. This Bill is not about lowering the age of consent nor is it encouraging adolescents to participate in sexual activities at an early age. However, it is about not treating them as criminals after they have engaged in such activities. There are less restrictive means than criminalisation in these matters. We need to encourage our children to lead healthy and responsible sexual lives, and as members we need to participate as well. It is important to clarify the fact that adults who engage in sexual activities with young ones or adolescents will still be prosecuted in terms of statutory rape itself.
This matter was discussed in the committee and we have inserted the proviso in sections 15 and 16, which provides that sexual violation of children between the ages of 12 and 16 is a criminal offence unless the child who has committed the act of sexual violation was: firstly, between the ages of 12 and 16 years; secondly, 16 to 17 years of age; and finally, the difference in age of both children was not more than two years.
We have also included a subsection in response to the Jules High case in section 50(2) which says that it will no longer be compulsory to include these children in the national register. Before the child is included in the national register it will have to comply with three requirements: firstly, the prosecutor had made an application to court; secondly, the name of the child was named in the probation register; and thirdly, the child must be given an opportunity to address the court as to why his or her name should not be included in the register as required.
We appeal to parents, caregivers, religious and traditional leaders, faith-based organisations and everyone who is responsible for children to ensure that we ourselves become responsible when dealing with these issues that involve children by using educational and counselling approaches, when ensuring that we deal with this matter.
Finally, whilst I wouldn’t want to see my child who is aged between 12 and 16 engaging in sexual activity, I would also not want to see my child being arrested for having engaged in that particular activity. As the ANC we support this Bill. [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART: Deputy Speaker, we in the ACDP found this an incredibly difficult and complex issue to deal with, given the hundreds of submissions that opposed this Bill. Let us remember that when this Act was passed we were all in agreement that consensual sex between adolescents should be criminalised. We now appreciate that the Constitutional Court has struck it down and that we as Parliament are bound by that. However, it is important to note that the court made it very clear that it is not condoning adolescent consensual sex but it is dealing with an issue of the Constitution.
When people made submissions, many people did not appreciate the complexities of this matter and it came down to an issue of religious sentiment. We from the ACDP want to make it very clear that we believe it is morally wrong and not in the best interests of children to engage in adolescent sex, and I’m sure everyone here will agree with that. However, the reality is that it is happening. The issue then is how to best address this and whether by criminalising this conduct the risks associated will be alleviated. We thought when the Act was passed that we would address the risks by doing this; however, the court said that on the evidence before it the criminal sanction did not deter children or address the risks of adolescent sexual behaviour.
Clearly an alternative solution is needed. We need societal interest; we need families to be empowered; we need churches and other faith-based institutions to be involved; we need schools; and we need education as the Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee pointed out. Society as a whole needs to play a far greater role in this whole issue. We need to educate children about abstinence and the risks of engaging in premature sexual activities. This was highlighted by the court.
Clearly the state should only come in as a last resort where necessary, and we from the ACDP asked and argued that social development intervention may be a way forward as a mechanism. Where you have a promiscuous child, that child may then be in need of care in terms of the Children’s Act. It is very clear that the age of consent is 16 years of age, and that no adult can have sex with a child and that must remain.
However, let us just look at one issue and that is about children giving consent. Are they able to give consent? Adolescents of similar biological age may differ substantially in their maturity levels. Can sexual conduct between minors be equal? You might have additional issues relating to peer pressure, bullying at schools, narcotics and other stimulants. Then you have a quagmire of potential circumstances that could lead to the wholesale sexual oppression of many children. Can a child give consent?
That is why we from the ACDP suggested that we add in a clause about consent to the effect that a child who is not sufficiently mature and does not have the mental capacity to understand the nature of or risks associated with an act of penetration cannot be seen to give consent. We are grateful that the committee looked at that very seriously and that that is an issue that we will look at, possibly in a committee Bill.
The last issue is what message are we sending out? We are not sending out a message that it is now okay for adolescents to engage in sex. We are also grateful that the preamble was amended to include a warning, as set out in the Constitutional Court, that there is an inherent risk for adolescents engaging in sex. I thank you.
Ms M C C PILANE-MAJAKE: Hon House Chairperson, the Constitutional Court order gave Parliament 18 months to amend section 15 and 16 of the Criminal Law Sexual Offenses and Related Matters Amendment Act of 2007 that is now tabled before Parliament today. It is not being tabled in Parliament today because previous lawmakers did something that was wrong. It is a review of the work that we continue to do. This message is to the EFF who actually indicated that there is something wrong that was probably done by the ruling party. What is wrong about them is that they want to participate in a debate regarding matters they have never really been part of.
I would like to thank all opposition parties that have supported the Bill. We are making progress. The Bill seeks to decriminalise consensual sex between adolescent children who are between the ages of 12 and 16. The current status of the Act is that it criminalises consensual sex between adolescent children who are between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. This leads to unintended consequences in criminalising their behaviour.
The portfolio committee received over 1000 written submissions on this amendment Bill. Some submissions argue that criminalisation has not had a deterrent effect and that in fact it is harmful. Others argue that decriminalisation is tantamount to legislating sex between minor children and will actually encourage sexual activity. There were questions about the position of children between 10 and 12-years-old including how to deal with vulnerability of children where consensual sex is decriminalised.
Also of concern was the capacity of children to give consent to sex. The committee recommended that there be further investigation with a view to promoting a committee Bill as contemplated in the Rules of Parliament to amend section 1(3)(d) of the Act in order to broaden the circumstances where an adolescent is incapable by law of consenting to a sexual act, bearing in mind the parameters set by the Constitutional Court in the Teddy Bear case. Also recommended is the amendment of section 57 of the Act in order to address any uncertainties which may exist with regard to age of consent.
The committee is of the opinion that there is a specific role to be played in protecting children from engaging in sexual activities through education, guidance and counselling by caregivers, schools, churches, traditional institutions, faith based organisations, etc, also recognising the role of the state. The ANC continues to support the idea put forward by the ACDP that it is immoral for children to engage in sexual activities but it continues to remain the responsibility of the state and caregivers to guide children so that children do not actually engage in these sexual activities and we are hoping that this Bill tabled before Parliament today will continue to protect children. The ANC supports the Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES RESPONSIBLE FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Mr J H Jeffrey): Deputy Speaker, hon members, it is good to see that there is consensus largely in this House on the need for this Bill. I think that it has been a difficult Bill for the portfolio committee and that resulted in Parliament needing to get an extension in processing the Bill. However, we received an excess of 900 submissions and as members have said that the issue particularly of consensual sex amongst adolescents is an emotional one. The key aspect from the Constitutional Court’s ruling is that the state cannot criminalise consensual sex between adolescents.
Just to respond to a couple of issues raised, as far as the hon Breytenbach’s earlier politicking when she spoke, I would refer her to the Chief Justice’s comments earlier today at Constitutional Hill regarding the general matter of the state abiding by court judgments. I think that it is best to look at the Chief Justice than for me to try and defend it.
As far as the hon member from the EFF who seems to have left, who raised complaints about the ANC not being able to pass acceptable quality legislation; hon Swart has already said that the Sexual Offences Act was passed unanimously by the House. The policy decision at the time was not to put children in jail or to punish them but to criminalise even consensual sex amongst adolescents. It was to ensure that they were diverted and have the criminalisation as a sort of pressure point to force those adolescents to go on diversion programmes. The Constitutional Court found and with particular reference to the Jules case that the hon member spoke about earlier, that was not appropriate and the conditions of the three learners in the Jules case is a prime example of that and hence the need to decriminalise consensual sex between adolescents. So, that is the background to the case. It is not a problem of a bad law, it is a question of a policy decision that this House took which is being found not to be constitutional. To remind the hon member that over a thousand Bills have been passed since 1994, a 125 of those are from the Department of Justice and Constitutional development and only a fraction of them have been found to be unconstitutional.
Chair, I do not think that there is much more that I need to say. Let me thank, in particular, the portfolio committee for the work that they did in processing this Bill because of the overwhelming public interest in the matter and to express my appreciation towards them for their patience and sensitive manner in approaching this serious matter, especially during public hearings. I would like to thank the members of the portfolio committee who have shown their commitment to ensuring that the end product as far as possible not only reflects the views and norms of people they represents but is also in line with the judgment of the Constitutional Court. I thank you for your attendance. [Applause.]
Bill read a second time.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT - TREATY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A BRICS CONTINGENT RESERVE ARRANGEMENT IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF CONSTITUTION
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT - AGREEMENT ON THE NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF CONSTITUTION
Mr Y I CARRIM: Deputy Speaker, comrades and colleagues, I will basically take you through the reports of the committee, but very briefly. I hope somebody is going to applaud there.
The first point to make is that, of course, we understand as a committee the complexities and the challenges, but we believe that over time the New Development Bank, the NDB, should have a much more developmental and consultative approach than the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, IMF. This new bank will also need to define its role, more specifically in view of the existence of these other multilateral institutions and the African Infrastructure Development Bank, the African Development Bank and, of course, our own DBSA, the Development Bank of Southern Africa. We feel that the new bank, the New Development Bank, should clarify its relationships with these other banks.
The committee would also like to see the NDB funding more infrastructure projects in Africa with more inclusive economic growth and development targets that contribute towards significantly reducing inequalities, both globally and domestically.
The committee notes the financial implications of the New Development Bank for this country. We have noted that some $2 billion has to be contributed, approximately R24 billion at current rates. This has to be done in seven instalments. The committee observed, in this regard, the following: one, the full details of how the country will meet its financial obligations, as incorporated in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, will be provided only later this year; two, it is not clear what the costs of setting up the African regional centre of the NDP in South Africa will be; three, the contingency reserve arrangement has a number of possible benefits for the country which we most welcome; and, four, we notice that a withdrawal of funds from the foreign direct reserve for the contingency reserve agreement does not directly affect the National Revenue Fund, and therefore the constitutional provision, namely section 213(2), requiring the withdrawal of money from the National Revenue Fund to be done through an Act of Parliament, therefore does not apply. The scope of Parliament, therefore, to play an oversight role is limited in this regard.
We got submissions from the Parliamentary Budget Office, PBO, the FFC, the Financial and Fiscal Commission, and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. The Centre for Applied Legal Studies basically made three points: firstly, that the lending policy of the NDB should include human rights standards; secondly, that provision should be made for grievance mechanisms to allow victims of human rights violations in projects funded by the NDB, direct access and the right to appeal; and, thirdly, that provision should be made for a mediation policy for victims of human rights abuses in projects funded by the NDB.
We accept that. We think the values are correct, but we recognise that there are complexities in South Africa’s role in the New Development Bank. We have to be pragmatic and incremental about achieving these things. While recognising this, the committee believes that the South African representatives at the NDB should, over time, seek to win over consensus for the values and proposals, similar to those set out by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies.
On the FFC issues, we think that the National Treasury has engaged further with them. We will, of course, monitor progress regularly in regard to the New Development Bank. We believe that a Brics parliamentary forum should be established. As you will confirm, Deputy Speaker, I happened to meet with you in the basement parking. I am not sure why you were outside your car and why you were lost, having been in Parliament for so many years, but, nevertheless, I established from you that the Brics parliamentary forum has, in fact, been established. We commend Parliament - look how fast it works. Forget the executive. We spoke about this a week before the Deputy Minister went to China to form this parliamentary forum, and there it was. Give a big round of applause to Parliament for doing what the Finance committee has done. [Applause.] Those of you who underestimate our influence, here it is. How many committees can say that within seven days of a proposal, it happens on an international scale? I hope, Minister, and members of the executive, you are observing this.
Finally, for those two Ministers who harassed me to finish before time, let me tell you: I am 45 seconds ahead of my time. I hope you will applaud me and deliver in the case of the one Minister what I asked for. Thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Declarations of vote:
Mr D C ROSS: Deputy Speaker, it was very interesting to hear the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance allude to the problems with regard to the ratification of this agreement. He made very vague utterances with regards to the financial sustainability of the bank. He said that later in the year he would decide how this would be funded. Then, regarding the cost of the bank, there is uncertainty with regard to that. Also, not directly, but regarding the contingency reserve agreement: how will it impact on the South African Revenue Fund? There are vague uncertainties, and still the ratification will proceed.
Let me start with the challenges with regard to Africa and the development that we need, and try to put this in a more positive context: the financing of infrastructure is the biggest challenge on our continent.
The primary objective of the bank, of course, is also the funding of infrastructure developmental projects in member and other developing countries which South Africa stands to benefit from. So, there are benefits. However, regarding these benefits - and I would like to allude to this for the chairperson - where there are benefits there are always costs, costs which the benefits must be weighed against before making a judgment call. I think the judgment call has been made without taking the costs implications into consideration. If the cost outweighs the benefits, the idea must be abandoned, and the DA believes this should be done here.
Let me tell you why, hon Chairperson. The capital contributions in this regard are very clear. The New Development Bank will initially be capitalised by $US100 billion, R1,2 trillion of authorised capital. It is a massive amount. South Africa’s contribution in this regard is $10 billion, which is approximately R120 billion or 13,5% of our national budget. That is the prescribed capital that is not budgeted for.
Significantly, South Africa’s capital contribution, relative to the national budget, far outweighs that of Brazil. Brazil’s contribution is only 2% of its national budget; Russia 2,4%; India 4,7%; and China 0,08%. Thus the risk to our fiscal sustainability is something completely other that what we were speaking about. It’s much higher than any of the other members’ contributions and it is cause for grave concern.
It is quite clear that while the principle of developing the bank is a good idea in terms of developing infrastructure, it is simply the reality that we need to take note of and the reality is we simply can’t afford it.
South Africa should rather consider its role more specifically in view of the existence of two multilateral institutions that we know so well, the World Bank and the IMF, as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which is now currently financing our rail and new transport initiatives, and the African Development Bank in the funding of infrastructure needs.
So, with regards to the ratification of this agreement, we are of the belief, hon Minister of Finance, that it will place a significant burden on South Africa’s public finances, particularly in the allocation of those that have not been budgeted for, and we will not support this ratification.
Then there is also the second leg with regards to the establishment of the contingency reserve arrangement. I would just say: At what cost? To become party to this agreement, South Africa would have to ring-fence it to R60 billion. We simply can’t afford that. We will not support the ratification of the contingency reserve. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, may I just remind all of us that because these two Orders of the Day were put together, that we talk about them together so that when we deal with them, we deal with them together - in our addresses.
Mr M M DLAMINI: Deputy Speaker, the Minister of Finance has himself admitted that South Africa has reached its capacity, or ceiling, in terms of expenditure. South Africa cannot continue to make international financial commitments while, locally, our government is failing to pay public servants a living wage. The question that we should be asking the Minister is: Who is the smartest guy in your Cabinet that says we must refuse to pay public servants a living wage, and then we must go and make an international financial commitment to the Brics contingency reserve arrangement of about R62 trillion. That cannot be correct.
Minister, there must be a thorough risk analysis involved beyond what has been put before the House and how the risk is going to be minimised. There are other banks. The IMF and the World Bank exist in large measure to ensure a continual perpetuation of colonisation. We also have the Development Bank of Southern Africa. The New Development Bank must clearly define its relationship with these two banks to avoid a duplication when dealing with infrastructure.
Parliament must put in place more stringent reporting requirements for the National Treasury to allow oversight, because currently it appears that not much information is available. This is more a case of speculations, and we cannot work with speculations.
This must be done to avoid putting the country’s currency at risk of further depreciation. Already, South African exports are having a tough time with current currency conditions. We reject this arrangement. Thank you.
Ms S J NKOMO: Deputy Speaker, the agreement on the establishment of the Brics New Development Bank will provide for the establishment of a lending institution for the funding of the infrastructure project and sustainable development initiatives within Brics and developing countries. This is important for South Africa and the continent, and it is becoming more important that there is an alternative to the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank in respect of the funding of infrastructure programme in Africa. [Applause.]
We must have access to infrastructure funding with more inclusive growth and development targets that would contribute to the reduction of inequality. Through the Brics development bank and its main objective of mobilising resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in developing countries the bank will provide funding and services which supports public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.
The new development will have the added benefit of increasing relationship and good will between Brics members and provide a powerful instrument for increasing their economic co-operation. The time has come for a credible alternative to the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank and this is what the New Brics Development Bank seeks to provide. [Applause.] A new global economical order is rising the IFP embraces this change and contribution to its genesis. South Africa will benefit as well as the whole Africa.
The Brics contingent arrangement – if I may proceed – will be of assistance to South Africa through the provision and access to short-term liquidity through currency swaps which could assist in mitigation of a balance of payments crisis situation in the event of one arising. It would also greatly assist South Africa and other signatory countries to overcome short-term liquidity pressures to provide mutual support and further strengthen financial stability. In short, such a contingent reserve will allow us greater measure of assurance to embark upon bold policy decisions by providing backup safety net arrangement, and on these grounds alone it should be supported.
In addition, the Brics Contingent Reserve Arrangement, CRA, will also serve the needs of our emerging economy by boosting access to additional foreign exchange reserves in the event of same being required. The proposed Contingent Reserve Arrangement provides a real alternative to the International Monetary Fund. The IFP supports the above. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Deputy Speaker, the UDM welcomes the establishment of the Brics institutions as these institutions serves as an important step in reconfiguring the dynamics in the world that trade the relationship between the developing countries as powerless global players and the developed countries as the mighty in the world.
In other words, the appropriate response to their reluctance is sometimes the failure of multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the World Bank to transform. This step also provides the clearest indication that Brics countries have now moved beyond being merely stitched together by sense grievance on global economic and government issues to doing something about them.
However, for this institution to succeed the Brics countries should continue to place emphasis on areas of common interest on issues such as ensuring that there is sustainable development in developing countries. We have to ensure that these institutions do indeed work towards the attainment of their transformative agenda.
Lastly, we have to build mechanism to prevent bigger role-players in future becoming too powerful to an extent where we might have to develop another trade block to correct the mistakes of the current Brics forum – trade block. The UDM supports this. Let us go forward with development. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D D VAN ROOYEN: Deputy Speaker, hon members, like in any developing country, South Africa and all African countries require massive injection of resources in order to invest in the much needed economic infrastructure and development projects, hence the decision taken in the 4th Brics Summit in New Delhi in 2012; and was subsequently announced in the 5th Brics Summit in Durban 2013, to establish a Development Bank, it is overdue and a step in the right direction.
It accords our country and Africa in general an opportunity to tap into financial resources that will enable them to deal with major financing constraints encountered when they are addressing infrastructure gaps and other sustainable development needs. It comes at a time when all and sundry recognise Africa’s growth potential. It comes at a time when our African leaders have just concurred to the need to have tripartite trade agreement. Our dream for enhanced inter-trade relation will be boosted by financial resources and technical support envisaged to be offered by the New Development Bank. As ANC we support this request.
I find it very disturbing, Deputy Speaker, that some of us who claim to be supporters of the national development plan and we are all in agreement that we need massive financial resources to be injected to take the national development plan forward. Unfortunately, when we come here some of us hypocritically don’t support measures that are meant to enhance and expedite the realisation of the objectives of the national development plan.
Deputy Speaker, all global financial crisis encountered hitherto taught us a lesson on the importance of providing for any financial risk that can be experienced due to countries short-term balance of payments account pressures. The Contingent Reserve Agreement accords Brics member countries an opportunity to be helped whenever they experience short-term balance of payments pressures.
Unlike the Bretton Woods institutions stability programmes that have failed most of the developing countries in the past. The Contingent Reserve Arrangement will also go a long way in ensuring that South Africa expands its access to foreign exchange reserves. This may amount to an important structural intervention which has a potential to reduce the country’s risk of harmful exchange rate volatility and excessive currency depreciation. I hope the EFF is listening. The ANC supports this request. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, it appears we have to take each question separately and I will put them to you so that we can go through them.
Are there any objections to the approval by Parliament of the Treaty for the establishment of a Brics Contingent Reserve Arrangement? Those who agree will say aye.
Hon MEMBERS: Aye!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Those who are against will say no.
Hon MEMBERS: No.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think the eyes have it.
The Treaty for the establishment of a Brics Contingent Reserve arrangement approved (Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters dissenting).
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any objection to the approval by Parliament of the Agreement on the New Development Bank? Those in favour say aye.
Hon MEMBERS: Aye!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Those who are against will say no.
Hon MEMBERS: No!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think the ayes have it.
The Agreement on the New Development Bank approved (Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters dissenting).
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, that concludes the business of the day.
The House Adjourned at 20:44.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
THURSDAY, 11 JUNE 2015
- Membership of Committees
- Mr CT Frolick has been elected as Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee to consider the report by the Minister of Police in reply to recommendations in the Report of Ad Hoc Committee to Consider the Report by the President regarding Security upgrades at the Nkandla Private Residence of the President, with effect from 11 June 2015.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Energy
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Republic of South Africa regarding Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the United States of America (USA) concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Russian Federation on Strategic Partnership and Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Power and Industry, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the French Republic on Cooperation in the Development of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in the Field of Civil Nuclear Energy Projects, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
Please see pages 2280-2289 of the ATCs.
Please see pages 2289-2300 of the ATCs.
FRIDAY, 12 JUNE 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. Appointment of members of SA Council for Natural Scientific Professions
(1) A letter dated 3 June 2015 has been received from the Minister of Science and Technology, submitting to the National Assembly a report in terms of section 6(5) of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions Act, 2003 (No 27 of 2003), on the appointment of members of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions with effect from 1 May 2015 to 30 April 2019, as follows:
- As representatives of voluntary associations in terms of section 3(1)(a) of the Act: Dr Gerda Botha (agricultural extension), Prof Brian Reilly (zoological science) and Dr Irvy Gledhill (physical science) were reappointed, while Dr Stephanus Terblance (agricultural extension), Prof K A Nephawe (animal science), Mr Neale Lance Baartjies (geological science), Prof George Bredenkamp (botanical science), Prof Robin Crewe (botanical science), Dr Juanita van Heerden (zoological science), Dr Jacqueline S Galpin (mathematical science), Dr Roelof Coetzer (mathematical science) and Mr Desmond Musetsho (earth science) were newly appointed;
- as representatives of the State in terms of section 3(1)(b) of the Act: Dr Monde Mayekiso, Mr Fhatuwani Ramagwede, Dr Phethiwe Matutu (reappointed as representative of the Department of Science and Technology) and Dr Phillia Rixongile Vukea (representative of the Department of Higher Education and Training); and
- as public representatives in terms of section 3(1)(c) of the Act: Mr Poobalan Govender (public-private sector) was reappointed, while Prof Mary Gulumain (public-private sector), Dr Wendy Ngoma (legal-human resource-strategy), Ms Thulisile Njapa Mashanda (finance) and Ms Matuloe Pertunia Masemola (finance) were newly appointed.
Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology.
2. Referral to Committees of papers tabled
- The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry for consideration and report:
(a) Report of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) for 2015‑16 – 2017‑18 [RP94‑2015].
- The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry:
(a) General Notice No 444, published in Government Gazette No 38799, dated 15 May 2015: Revised notice of clarification regarding the Amended Codes of Good Practice, issued in terms of section 9(1) and section 14(2) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2013 (Act No 53 of 2013).
(b) Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) in brief – A User’s Guide.
- The following paper is referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for consideration and report:
- Exemption from certain regulations in respect of the requirement to establish and verify clients’ identities when performing cross‑border remittance transactions, tabled in terms of section 74(2)(b) of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No 38 of 2001).
- Corporate Plan of the Land Bank for 2015‑16 – 2017‑18.
- The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on Health, Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Portfolio Committee on Labour, Portfolio Committee on Women in The Presidency, Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, Portfolio Committee on Social Development and Portfolio Committee on Police:
- Directives on Collection and Analysis of Information on Repatriated Victims of Trafficking, tabled in terms of section 44(5) of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013 (Act No 7 of 2013).
- The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Police for consideration:
- Report of the Civilian Secretariat for Police on compliance of the South African Police Service (SAPS) with the Domestic Violence Act for the period 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2014, tabled in terms of section 6 of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Act, 2011 (Act No 2 of 2011).
- The following paper is referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Defence for consideration:
- 2015 First Quarterly Report of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), tabled in terms of section 23(1)(c) of the National Conventional Arms Control Act, 2002 (Act No 41 of 2002).
- The following paper is referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for consideration:
- Submission of the Financial and Fiscal Commission Report on the Division of Revenue Bill for 2016-2017, tabled in terms of section 9(1) of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Act, 1997 (Act No 97 of 1997), as amended.
- The following paper is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
- Consolidated General Report of the Auditor-General on the Audit Outcomes of Local Government for 2013-14 [RP172-2015].
- The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs for consideration:
- Yearly Report to Parliament on International Environmental Instruments for 2014-15, tabled in terms of section 26(1) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No 107 of 1998).
- The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development for consideration and report and to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and Portfolio Committee on Police:
- Draft regulations submitted on 4 June 2015 for approval by Parliament in terms of section 43(4)(a) of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013 (No 7 of 2013).
- The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on Health, Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Portfolio Committee on Labour, Portfolio Committee on Women in The Presidency, Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and Portfolio Committee on Police:
- Directives submitted to Parliament on 4 June 2015 in terms of section 44(7)(a) of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013 (No 7 of 2013).
- The following paper is referred to the Ad Hoc Committee on Report by Minister of Police on Security Upgrades at Private Residence of President at Nkandla for consideration and report:
- Report by the Minister of Police in reply to recommendations in the Report of Ad Hoc Committee on Report by President Regarding Security Upgrades at Nkandla Private Residence of the President, as adopted by the House on 13 November 2014.
- The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Transport for consideration and report:
- International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F), tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution.
- Explanatory Memorandum to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F).
- The following paper is referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
- Municipal Budgets for the 2014 Medium-Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF), tabled in terms of section 24(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).
- The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform for consideration and report:
- Report and Financial Statements of the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights for 2014‑15.
WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 2015
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
- Bill passed by National Council of Provinces on 17 June 2015:
- Financial and Fiscal Commission Amendment Bill [B 1B – 2015] (National Assembly – sec 76)
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
- Report of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) on the Operations of the Prosecuting Authority for 2014‑15, tabled in terms of section 35(2)(a) read with section 22(4)(g) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998 (No 32 of 1998).
Please see pages 2322-2323 of the ATCs.
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