Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 16 Jul 2019
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 16 JULY 2019
PROCEEDINGS OF THE MINI-PLENARY SESSION – NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Members of the mini-plenary met in the National Assembly at 14:00.
The House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Let me first welcome everybody in the gallery, you are welcome to this plenary. I can see that there are many of our learners here. You are welcome learners. If I may get the name of the school you are coming from I will announce later, they will come to get the name. But you are all welcome. You are our future leaders. [Applause.] Thank you. Having done that let me just say to you, when we start with the proceedings, you see, you have clapped hands for yourselves now, even if you hear anything from the floor, please
don’t clap and don’t take photos. Just relax, listen, and smile okay? Thank you very much. I will now ask the secretary to read the order.
Budget Vote No 2 – Parliament:
MODULASETILO: Ke tla bitsa mme Mmusakgotla go tla go re bulela ngangisano ya rona ya letsatsi.
MMUSAKGOTLA: Ke a leboga, Motsamaisitiro.
House Chairpersons, hon members, fellow South Africans, I rise to table Vote No 2, the budget for Parliament. The first term of the 6th Parliament has started, may be a little slower than usual, but we thank all the South African voters wherever they are for putting us all in this Chamber to represent their views,
their needs and their aspirations. We represent their hope, their diversity in spaces, race, class, and gender.
We together must represent and sometimes confront the imperfections of our history, not to go back there, but to move this country forward to stability and growth. The Constitution gives us a burden and a privilege to recognise, to mediate, to correct and promote principles and values that will truly turn this country into the South Africa we want. We take pride that we are a multi-party parliamentary system and that we continue to hold on to a strong sense of constitutionalism.
It is important in this Sixth Parliament, this turn of a strong sense of Parliament and of constitutionalism, is actually turned into a daily practice because only then, can we truly together acknowledge, fight and defeat unemployment, poverty, racism and patriarchy. This challenge we must confront because it is has been 25 years that we have occupied this Chamber as guardians of our people’s rights.
We must now increase our ability as Parliament to scrutinise, evaluate and monitor the availability, the quality and the frequency of the services from all of Cabinet portfolios, state- owned enterprises, SOEs and development finance institutions, DFIs, to ensure that there’s money for value and there is positive impact on the quality of life of South Africans. As representatives of our different constituencies, we must deliver in all the languages to educate and empower communities to appreciate and to exercise their rights and freedoms responsibly.
Our language policy as Parliament must be implemented. To educate the public means that we must first understand our responsibility, be able to transfer the knowledge and to notice if it is adequate or misdirected. We must be able to follow the rands and cents spent by government and hold people to account. There must be consequences. Hon members, the slow growth of the economy is worrying.
Our unemployment rate is not decreasing. Shrill screams for government to create jobs without putting concrete solutions,
just adds to more emotional strain on a situation which needs calm and careful in our consideration. Hon members, we are in a penny-pinching situation where retrenchments across sectors of our economy are likely to increase, and therefore increase the burden on social grants.
So I ask the question: How do we create or even retain jobs in this no-growth period? Can we train for future jobs? Can Parliament be part of the search for solutions? Hon members, we have set up committees which shadow the reconfigured Cabinet.
Constitutional and other committees have been established. Our brief to you member is very simple, know why you are a public representative; understand the tools at your disposal; understand the rules, conventions, and powers of different structures and the related laws; update yourselves with our e- Parliament facilities.
Make laws, ask questions, make statements, represent the constituencies, understand the budget and follow the cents because there are no holy cows. For members of the executive, our advice is, attend the parliamentary committee sessions;
don’t unnecessarily delegate unnecessarily and please be careful of your statements and responses that you make here and out there because we will follow up on whatever you utter. [Applause.]
Remember, you are not only a Minister when you are in the House; you are a Minister 24/7. So, your utterances are important for us. We have noticed over the years that attendance at committee level has been left to officials in some cases. There is nothing wrong when they are properly delegated, but please remember, we do not hold the administration to account; we hold the executive to account. Therefore, the temptation for the Ministers to be hands-off and ears–off from the financial execution of the business can be detrimental if things are done wrong.
So, perhaps we must reunderstand the reason for the Public Finance Management Act and the Municipal Finance Management Act, when the executive authority is and must be held responsible but pleads innocence. The Leader of Government Business will be kept busy, liaising between Parliament and Cabinet. The President will get reports about attendance especially on debates and at
questions sessions. The High Level Panel Report sent us a report towards the end of the last Parliament. We have sent the recommendations to all the committees.
We need Parliament to resuscitate this business and to follow-up on those recommendations. We need to resuscitate the work done by the Joint Constitutional Review Committee on expropriation of land without compensation to conclude that business because thousands of South Africans participated in the discussions on land reform and restitution. Following the recommendations of the Kader Asmal Report on the Institutions Supporting Democracy, a series of consultations took place.
This towing and froing has so far not yielded any actionable results. I am in the process of catching up with the work of the office set up in the Speaker’s office which should lead us towards the solutions on this matter. Parliament has a public participation model. Since it was adopted by the last Parliament the model could be assessed again. Parliament further conducts public surveys to gauge its effectiveness in our public
hearings, public education and generally, to test the sentiments of the public on the work we do.
What we might want to focus on in the Sixth Parliament is the public hearings and make sure that they are properly structured and financed. Our Parliament like all Parliaments is expected to be part of the global community. We influence and are influenced by others we interact with internationally. So, we need to take the South African participation at both the Southern African Development Community-Parliamentary Forum, SADC-PF, and the Pan African Parliaments, PAP, seriously. We have a responsibility to ensure that the host agreement for PAP is concluded and honoured.
We fail the continent if we do not ensure that the PAP delivers as excepted, and that its administration is up to scratch. The SADC-PF is finally set to become a regional Parliament. This is important as we need to tighten regional cooperation in the same way as the East and West Africans have done. We will continue with our participation at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU, and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, CPA. We will
continue with our relationship with the European Union, EU, which has allocated funds for capacity building in this Parliament for years.
This relationship, however, is subject to our revision in terms of what we think the Sixth Parliament strategy will be, and what we think our needs for committees will be. We relate with other international fora in partnership with our provincial legislatures. We will continue to coordinate and share good practices as the Speakers’ Forum. We will also be sponsoring the Sector’s Bill to facilitate sectoral approaches to programmes, wage negotiation, and all the other things common to all of us.
Hon members, to maintain the trust and confidence of those that elected us, we must always display the highest levels of integrity. In this regard, members must, among things, disclose their financial interests, a process that the Sixth Parliament will commence shortly. The Sixth Parliament must also undertake a review of the code of ethical conduct and disclosure of members’ interests in order to strengthen the ethical standards
to which Members of Parliament must adhere and also address the drafting irregularities in the code.
The turn-around time of complaint handling and investigations in respect of allegations of breaches of the code of conduct, must receive attention. The staff complement in the Office of the Registrar of Members’ Interests has been identified as a priority and a dedicated staff will soon be appointed to conduct investigations and complaints handling.
We appeal to the committee to consider the matters that were not finalised in the Fifth Parliament, with a view to make a determination on their processing. What should concern the committee is to maintain and preserve the integrity of Parliament. This, we hope, will be done as quickly as possible so that any member whose matters have not been concluded can find relief. Hon members, during the induction session, I said we must never have a Parliament that is incoherent, that is the laughing stock of its own people, or Africa and the world.
We are public representatives. Let’s respect the House and let’s respect one another. We can have a robust debate as much as we want in this House, use your freedom of speech, but do so responsibly. From the presiding side, we will do whatever we can to ensure the protection of all the members in the House is adhered to. We will be referring serious offences to the relevant committees including the committee on Powers, Privileges and Immunities. Hon members may be aware that
I have already referred to a subcommittee on the physical removal of a member from the Chamber in terms of the Rules, the circumstances that led to the removal of members during the Budget Vote debate on Public Enterprises on 11 July. Hon members, this term we must review the quality of the support provided to Members of Parliament. That means we may have to review the structure of Parliament and ensure that it is aligned to the needs of the members. The parliamentary research model designed in 1997, has not kept pace with the growth and demands of this Parliament. Therefore, we will review the operating model and service offering should take place to ensure equitable
research services and in order to enhance the capacity of members.
The operating model of one researcher and one content adviser per committee is simply not adequate. Therefore, the parliamentary administration has been requested to submit proposals for the reorganisation of content support to maximize the utilisation of subject experts, if we have them, amongst the researchers and the content advisers. [Applause.] Therefore, this will enhance support of the legislative, oversight and public participation processes, and the availability of quality information for the members’ participation in the plenary during the debates.
Enhanced support is also required, to enable us to scrutinise budget processes, from proposing amendments, to money bills, to the audits and of public finances, to ensure that our people derive optimal socioeconomic benefits. It goes without saying that in this time of fiscal constraints that Parliament must exercise heightened and relentless public finance oversight to
ensure that the budget appropriated by Parliament is utilised efficiently and effectively.
We must also ensure that the government planning and budgeting is responsive to women’s needs and that gender budgeting is institutionalised. [Applause.] Committees must incorporate gender analysis in their oversight of budgets and again, we will monitor closely if we are taken seriously because in the last term, we gave this instruction and nothing happened. Delegations to the Deputy Speaker and the House Chairpersons have been appearing on the Announcement, Tabling and Committee, ATC, report.
There are a number of areas that I am still reconsidering before delegating them further. Hon members will also remember that in 2017, former President Zuma put forward the notion of relocating Parliament to Pretoria. Parliament then undertook to test the opinions of South Africans on this matter. I understand a feasibility study was undertaken and we must still get the report. What we were concerned about was exactly how and where
this was done. This matter must still be followed up and we will report to the House.
The current design of the parliamentary precinct is not conducive to the spatial needs of our members. The precinct does not have enough venues to accommodate all committee meetings. We spend too much money renting venues outside Parliament. The engagement with Public Works is ongoing to acquire more floors in 90 Plein Street and they will be refurbished for usage. This backs the questions: What and where exactly the precinct of Parliament is, and who controls it? We need to get answers to those questions because they have a bearing on our standing as an arm of state.
The My Parliament App was launched towards the end of the Fifth Parliament. It is a member-centric mobile application that is capable of presenting enriched, user-friendly Parliamentary information on mobile devices. This mobile application will ensure that members in the Houses and committees, are given timeous access to all relevant documentation such as agendas,
minutes, presentations, research papers, ATC’s and other supporting documents.
The roll-out will also result in huge cost savings worth millions on the printing budget of Parliament as we accelerate our advance towards a paperless environment. The effectiveness of My Parliament App will enable us to do more with less. The roll-out of resources will expand as soon as we are able to and we don’t want to say that members will be trained but the roll- out App will also come with the video which will enable members to teach themselves about it.
The next step will for us to move towards e-law making, to improve efficiency and transparency in the law making process. The electronic of members’ attendance in committees must also be prioritised, to ensure that accurate records are available to members and their Whips. Hon members, now I come to Parliament’s proposed budget allocation. We requested R3,002,979 billion from Treasury. Parliament’s actual allocation is R2,608,870 billion. So, we have a shortfall of R340 million which has a direct bearing on the running of this institution.
This budget is divided into five programs: The strategic leadership and governance, which is about R104 million; administration, which is about R175 584 million; core business of Parliament which is R640,894 million; support services which are at R440,239 million; the associated services at
R720,376 million Parliament has a direct charge to the National Revenue Fund as a provision for members’ remunerations, which is a total of Five R 527,518 million is put there.
Included in Parliament’s budget are medical aid contributions for former members and provincial legislatures, as well as transfers to political parties represented in Parliament.
Parliament is of the view that this should be budgeted for elsewhere, because they distort the budget of Parliament. Engagement with the President as Head of State and the Minister of Finance is ongoing with a view to addressing this further. We must also endeavour to maintain clean audits in the Sixth Parliament as we have done in the Fifth Parliament, and we look forward to working with the Joint Standing Committee on the financial management of Parliament.
We managed through Human Resource to fully insource the catering and cleaning staff to permanent employment. [Applause.] I am told we have also offered permanent employment to employees on the D bands who were appointed on fixed-term contracts, with the exception of employees attached to political office bearers and those who are in the projects office. This has contributed immensely to boosting employee morale and stability. Hopefully, this will also contribute to better performance towards the public representatives.
The labour relations climate is stable and is showing an encouraging upward trend as we reported last year. Despite minor challenges, we are in continuous dialogue with the union and management. We want Parliament to continue in being the employer of choice to the South African society at large. But I repeat, maintaining labour peace must not be at the expense of proper capacity to the public representative. So, we are not about just creating jobs, we are about jobs created by Parliament enhancing and ensuring that public representative really do their jobs out there.
Hon members, the following senior management positions are currently vacant: the Chief Information Officer, CIO, Chief Financial Officer, CFO, and the Head of Security. In light of the above mentioned positions becoming vacant in the Fifth Parliament, the requirements of the positions obviously did not take into consideration the specific needs of the Sixth Parliament. If requested to readvertise, we will do this process again, so that we can find suitable employees who will be appointed into these positions and will be able to deliver on the mandate of the Sixth Parliament.
The disciplinary hearing of the Secretary to Parliament is ongoing. The agreed dates for the hearing are as scheduled for the end of July to finish the evidence and early August for closing submissions. We, hon members, are with you on this one, you’re tired, it’s dragged on, but we cannot interfere for fear of messing up with the disciplinary committee, DC, and creating a situation which might find us on the left foot. So, we are hoping this matter will soon be put to bed.
Hon members, we recall that following the tragic passing of Mr Garane in 2018, a manager in the International Relations Division, the executive authority requested the Public Service Commission to investigate aspects of the incident. We have received the report and we will soon communicate the way forward in this regard. Hon Members, since its establishment in 2013, the Parliamentary Budget Office has earned a reputation as a reliable and professional independent service to the Finance and Appropriation Committees.
Last year, the Public Benefit Organisation, PBO, successfully hosted the third conference for African PBOs that was also attended by delegates from Canada, Australia and Germany. The funding mechanism for filling of key vacancies, including that of the Director of the PBO must be finalised soon so that it functions optimally. Chair, let me conclude by saying that, as public representatives, we are called upon to heal the divisions of the past and to ensure a better life.
I am confident that we can meet the expectations of our people; we can build a future free from hunger, hardship, and
landlessness. Let us remind ourselves of the famous words that says, it always seems impossible until it is done. Lastly, let me thank all of you members, who have enabled us to do some work thus far, but before I do so, I want to acknowledge the ambassadors from the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund who are here with us today; the Nelson Mandela Museum are also with us today; Nomzamo High School from Somerset; Trafalger High School; the Leap Science and Maths School and Railands High School.
We would also like to acknowledge few Chapter Nine institutions who have come. We acknowledge all the non-governmental organisations, NGOs, who have also joined us, including Ilitha LaBantu; My Vote Counts; Equal Education; Ethico; Freedom Park and Sara. I want to thank you also, hon members for affording me this time. [Applause.]
MODULASETILO (Moh M G Boroto): Ke a leboga, mme Mmusakgotla.
I would also like to thank my learners for adhering for what I asked you to do. Well done.
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Chairperson, let me first take this opportunity to greet the executive authority of Parliament, who is the Speaker, Mama Modise. I also like to greet my colleagues and the distinguished guest which are up there in the gallery. First of all Chairperson ...
... ngizothanda ukubonga bonke abantu baseNingizimu Afrika abaphuma ngobuningi bababo ngomhlaka 8 Meyi 2019 lapho kwaphuma khona banikeza i-ANC igunya elikhulu ukuthi iqhubeke iphathe lelizwe leli. Sithi singu-ANC sizoqhubeka sibasebenzela njengoba sabasebenzela kusukela ngowe-1912.
The ANC supports Budgets Vote N0:2. The ANC supports the budget vote of Parliament because it knows that this Parliament was created through the blood, the sweat, and the tears of the people of South Africa. This is evidenced by the fact that last
week on the 11th July 2019 we marked the 56th Anniversary of the arrest of the Revonia Trialists in the Lilies farm in Gauteng.
They were arrested because they fought for the equality of all the people before the law. This equality which they were clamouring for was based on the clarion call of the Freedom Charter that no government could claim legitimacy unless it is based on the will of the people. It is befitting that this week also marks the 101 Anniversary of the birth of Isithwalandwe uTata, uNelson Mandela who was also a Revonia Trialists and the first President the Democratic South Africa.
This Parliament rightly adopted the motto, we the people, this presupposes that the work of Parliament will be centred around the people that is why the ANC came with the concept of an activist parliament which is expected to take the issues of the people from the constituencies, non-profit organizations, NGOs, community based organizations, whereby these issues will be addressed by this Parliament.
As we pass this budget of R2 6 Billion we have to ask a question, whether this funding is adequate since parliament is
the other arm of state, which is supposed to oversight the executive whose budget is more that a trillion rand. To answer this question, we to ask whether the parliamentary office is adequately resourced, to adequately deal with various programmes of Parliament, so that their allocation meet mandate they have to execute, for example the work of the executive must equal to the work of the oversight of Parliament.
The Parliament cannot be found wanting in holding the executive to account. In this current budget there’s a deficit of more than R424 million. So the is issue is how effective are the parliamentary committees and constituency offices going to be in ensuring that the policies of government impact positively to the lives of the people of South Africa, since we are still faced with the scourges of the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Chairperson I will make an example here, in my constituency the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation undertook a project of building a sewerage pump station which was shoddily built, when this was brought to the attention of the regional head of
the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation in the province, he reported that the project was not in their books and when the office of the Auditor General came the constituency to assess the project, the was no trace of the company which was involved, when they knew that the Auditor General was coming the following day, they disappeared the previous night and they were no where to be found.
That is why I agitate that in the next financial year there must be increase in support for the portfolio committees and the constituency offices so that the misuse of resources like these can be arrested when they are still in progress in progress not by Standing Committee on Public Accounts, SCOPA, where the mischief has already occurred.
Hon Chair, having painted this bleak picture, the ANC will in this regard implement its 53rd conference resolutions whereby it resolved to play a more effective role in the legislature’s budgets, structures and human resources issues. As such, the ANC agreed to use the appropriate channels, which include the budget process as envisaged in the Financial Management of Parliament
Provincial and Legislature Act, FMPLA, to address this challenge. In doing so, the ANC will be in mindful of fiscal consolidation that was announced by Minister of Finance in his budget speech in February and cognizance of the separation of powers.
One of the critical constitutional mandates of Parliament is to exercise oversight over the executive. This constitutional mandate becomes very crucial to ensure that National Development Plan, NDP, objectives are achieved by 2030.In this regard, in it is the 53rd conference of the ANC resolved to improve the legislatures’ oversight model and capacity. Therefore, the ANC is pleased with how the previous Parliament planned to finance the development and implementation of the refined oversight and accountability model to ensure that the executive implements the objective of the 2014-19 and thereby abide by objectives of the NDP.
Parliament must ensure that adequate funds are budgeted for the proper implementation of this model so that the Parliament through its committees is able to identify, root and prevent
wastage of resources, which compromises service delivery and hence therefore, the attainment of overarching broad objectives as set in the NDP.
It is the determination of ANC to have a parliament which is more activist people cantered. To crystallize the importance of this undertaking, the ANC has resolved to use constituency work effectively to link legislatures and people. In the regard the ANC will push for more funds to be allocated to the constituency allowances.
Members use constituency offices and the current work done by members in their constituencies is not visible. It seems as if there is little attention given to constituency work. You hardly get any report from the constitutional work or inputs emanated from our constituency work to decide on how the portfolio committee are going to conduct our oversight visits.
Subsequently, the ANC recommends strengthening the use of constituency work by ensuring that there is a proper financial accountability of the funds allocated for constituency allowances to ascertain the value for money.
To further the realization of a more activist parliament people centred parliament, the ANC supports the resource allocation for the improved engagement with the public and stakeholders through the implementation of an enhanced public participation, ensuring that there is a significant percentage increase in the population having access to participate in parliamentary processes.
Effective parliament and capable parliament, which is the best run and ensuring that the principle of economy, efficiency and effectiveness are at the epicentre of any decision making, is what will drive the attainment of our country’s objectives as set up in the NDP. As such, the ANC recommends that to put more emphasis on the non-performance information to ascertain the value for money for each rand spent in this 2019-20 Budget.
In concluding, the NDP underscores the importance of building a capable and developmental state within a vibrant democratic system. In order to achieve this objective, the NDP emphasises the link between the legislature and the executive in ensuring
that the executive is held to account, that policies are subject to rigorous debate and that questions are asked when things go wrong. Thus, this is about the strengthening oversight role of Parliament. So the ANC supports this Budget Vote.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon Chairperson, hon members and South Africans at large, especially our learners here today, welcome. You are the future of this country. Chairperson, one of Parliament’s important roles is to improve the government’s budget for providing services to the people of South Africa. It is thus up to this House to ensure that public funds are spent on improving the quality of lives of South Africans. However, in order to do this we need a Parliament that functions effectively, otherwise we will fail in our duty to ensure that the quality of lives of people is changed for the better.
Chairperson I think we can all agree to this. And since we can all agree to this the questions that immediately follow in the minds of South Africans are: Are we actually ensuring that budgets are spent to change the lives of South Africans? Did we, for the past 25 years spent money to change South African’s
lives? Will this ANC-led government in future make sure that budgets are spent on the people to change their lives? Will you at least start listening to the opposition in this Parliament as well?
The answer from most South Africans is a resounding no! Chairperson, it is no because South Africans can still remember how the ANC in this Parliament voted in favour of Jacob Zuma, to keep him on as President of this country on several occasions, while you were aware that he digs for himself and his family.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: House Chair, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Julius, please take your seat. Why are you rising hon member?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Can the hon member take a simple question?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Julius, are you ready to take a question?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Julius, have you read the 25 year review of the good work that the ANC has done in this country? Have you?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you very much for the question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you very much for the question, hon Minister. You know what: I have been here all along. I have seen the corruption, I have seen how most of you took away from South Africans and you put in your own pockets for 25 years. [Applause.]
I am still here and I am aware and South Africans out there are aware of the lies that did not change for the past 25 years. So,
I have been here and I hope you have always been here also. Thank you hon member and I hope I have answered your question. [Applause.]
However the thing is: You know what as the ANC you like to chase lizards while crocodiles are behind you. Sort out your mess in your party before you ask questions! Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, order hon members! Can we allow the speaker to continue.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Some people still sitting here in the ANC benches are today are still supporting Jacob Zuma in the state capture inquiry. Just yesterday, they are still supporting him. A corruption cased against the people of South Africa who does the people still support Jacob Zuma.
Chairperson, to make matters worse South Africans witnessed the recent election of portfolio chair persons in this Parliament.
These portfolio chairpersons are alleged to have been grossly corrupt and South Africans know about you.
Voorsitter, ANC lede in hierdie Parlement het verkies om eerder na die staatskapingkaptein, Ace Magashule, te luister en voorsitters te kies met verdagte agtergronde. Hoe kan hierdie ANC-lede hier sit? Hulle het gestem terwyl hulle van daardie mense se manewales weet. Julle het geweet dat komitees die enjin van enige Parlement vorm. Hierdie skurwe karakters behoort nie in die Parlement nie. Daar word baie geld aan komitees in hierdie Parlement spandeer en hierdie skurwe karakers sal alles doen om die werksaamhede van hierdie Parlement teen te staan.
Wees gewaarsku, Speaker! [Applous.]
I spoke to a community member last week. He confessed to me that he regrets voting for the ANC. [Interjections.] He told me that if he knew that the ANC would continue to deploy corrupt cadres he would have never voted for you. He said to me that the ANC lied about being serious about rooting out corruption.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, order, hon members!
Mr J W W JULIUS: And I gave him this assurance, I told him that you know what, no party governs forever. They will fall! People will eventually see the ANC for who you are! [Applause.]
Chairperson, the loss of office gratuity fund is crippling the budget of Parliament. I am surprised that the Speaker did not mention this because this is one of the biggest problems that we are experiencing this year with Parliament’s budget. Parliament will not be able to fulfil its mandate because in this year alone, millions was spent on the gratuity of ex members. Members and especially ANC Ministers have now found a new way to milk Parliament. When these Ministers found out that they would not return as Cabinet members they opt to resign. In doing so, they backdate their resignations to reflect as still salaries of Ministers.
Now for the benefit of South Africans let me just explain. This is an amount paid to nonreturning members based on their last
salary date from four months of that for each salary of that for each term that you sit in this Parliament. Now these Ministers backdate their salaries, these ex Ministers. You know the backdating of these resignations is taking millions of rand away from Parliament budget.
Why would the ANC allow these Ministers to milk this Parliament, the people’s Parliament? [Applause.]
The backdating of resignations dates is clearly improper and is illegal. Those Ministers that received that money must pay it back. It is the people’s money. Some are still here dating back from the last term. You stole from the people the DA will call for an investigation into this matter. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you hon members. Thank you. Thank you. Take your seats. There is an agreement that we call on the IFP before the EFF. Hon Singh.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, hon Speaker and hon members, I would like to start off by quoting the words of the former President of India Prasibha Patil when she said:
Parliament of the country is the repository of the sovereign will of the people, and its successful functioning is a joint responsibility of both the government and the opposition.
These words must set our pace and ring true throughout this Sixth Parliament as we strive to be more responsive to the ever changing demands of this great nation.
Chairperson, the people of South Africa must look up to Parliament as an apex institution and gain respect for it, through the quality of work that passes through it and its ability to fulfil its mandate. Parliament as an institution must be seen as a singular arm of the state that must encompass the plethora of views whilst working together with other arms of state.
Therefore, the current budget of Parliament must be directed in a manner that seeks to achieve responsiveness, information and accountability for both government and Members of Parliament, MPs.
In order to achieve this, Parliament must be fully capacitated in all aspects. This requires a larger budget that is more focused in achieving the goals of accountability, oversight and enacting legislation.
Firstly, we must look at the security of Parliament as a public institution, during committees or plenaries sittings. Last week we saw an incident where the Budget Vote on Public Enterprises descended into chaos. The chaos ensued when hon members tried to intimidate another member of this House. A Minister of this country. Hon Speaker, I do not wish to debate the merits of the action at this point, but rather highlight the issue that the Chairperson had to sound numerous calls for security before they entered. Security must be available when they are required.
Nks M S KHAWULA: Sisazokwenza futhi!
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, on the point of unpaliamentary behaviour, we need to develop through the rules committee, a formula that ensures that punishment fits the crime. In other words, incidents like that which occurred during the Public Enterprises Budget Vote debate must be investigated fully and be followed with harsher consequences. [Applause.]
To this end, the IFP welcomes the action taken by the hon Speaker thus far. Secondly, but keeping with the idea of accountability, Parliament must not fail in its principles of holding the executive to account and I think you spoke at length about this hon Speaker and I agree with you. However, what we find is in the portfolio committees which you do not sit on hon Speaker, we find members on this side of the House, criticising departments and Ministers, but when they come here where I am standing, they wax lyrical and that is the problem. We all have to be committed to ensure that we hold the executive to account.
Hon Speaker, we are waiting your update on the moving of Parliament’s location and request an answer soon and you have referred to that. And why we need to know that is: How much of money is going to be invested here before that Parliament becomes a reality. So, I think it is important that we be given regular updates.
However, having said that there is a serious oversight in terms of maintaining the infrastructure in this particular Parliament. The information technology, IT, firstly is insufficient for current usage volumes. This is a simple tool of trade that all members and support staff must be able to access for greater efficiency and outputs. Often MPs are provided with tools of trade and I heard you say hon Speaker that we have to learn ourselves. I do not know if that is possible for people with the receding hairlines like me, but I think we have to be trained.
We have to keep up with is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So, we need training in this regard if we bring in better IT.
Hon Speaker, I was just recently elected the president - not of the country - of the Parliament squash club. We have a parliamentary squash club here. [Applause.]
However, honestly hon Speaker, I plead for the maintenance and upgrade of these squash courts. We host visiting teams that play against us here and there is a need to maintain our standards.
The same can be said hon Speaker, for ablution facilities around this Parliament and a properly equipped clinic.
Hon Speaker, we will support this budget. I am glad you touched on the issue of staff morale and the finalisation of the matter of the Secretary to Parliament. Another challenge we have is the interpretation services. We saw the kind of chaos this led to during the Budget Vote debates, when we did not have interpreters on board. Hon Speaker, you have said all the right things, now is the time to implement. We will support this budget, but ask for more money for Parliament. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: House Chairperson, the EFF has been rightly credited as the central reason why public confidence and focus on the Fifth Parliament has risen. It is the teeth that were restored to the Fifth Parliament for it to bite when it came to holding the executive accountable in this age of parasitic politics and petty bourgeois.
Without the EFF the process for the amendment of the Constitution to allow the historic and revolutionary objective of land expropriation without compensation would have never been realized. This process saw the largest public participation in Parliament processes ever. I think even including since there was a republic in South Africa.
Without the EFF the remedial actions of the Public Protector on Nkandla would have never seen the light of day because Jacob Zuma wanted to ignore them without a successful court review.
Why? Because each time Zuma appeared in this House, as long as he did not respect the remedial action, he was faced by a legitimate protest of EFF Members of Parliament, MPs, which
forced him steaming, kicking and screaming to abide by the Public Protector’s offices remedial action.
Without the EFF there would have never been a new President of the ANC called Ramaphosa. [Interjections.] In fact there’s no new dawn without the EFF. There would have not been a successful removal of Jacob Zuma to pride yourselves with that lousy idea called the new dawn.
Zuma did not resign out of his innocent conscience, he was forced by the central consideration that here in Parliament he would not be able to have peace from the benches of the EFF. [Applause.]
Now, why is this protesting of EFF MPs important? As you know, the apartheid spatial planning makes it hard to sustain mass protest that disrupts the normal life of power in South Africa. Therefore, the people depend on the public representatives within the system to make power uncomfortable, to make the business of power business unusual until they comply with the
law, until they comply with the remedial action of the Public Protector. [Applause.]
Many ANC MPs who are characterized by careerism and an uncontrollable ambition for positions kept quiet here during the Zuma years’ administration as he destroyed state institutions.
All of you, we’re told ... now that many of you may have even been spies by Jacob Zuma. [Laughter.] So, maybe that partly explains some of the behaviour that we saw during the Zuma years. You kept quiet and you were very ... in fact many of you sang for your supper, you sang for your supper.
Without the EFF there would have never been that disjuncture, and that’s what the Fifth Parliament will always be known for.
When we put up our protests, like prophets of doom you stood here one after the other like the speaker before me saying the people will reject the EFF, your votes will decrease. Many of you even went on saying we are embarrassing EFF voters; prophets of doom. We are the only major political party that almost
doubled its votes, the rest of you reduced. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
With your comfortable parliamentary mannerism here, our people did not vote for you in the same numbers that they voted for us. Even people who came back as two, who are Chief Whips to whipping their own presidents, they have the audacity to come and tell us how to conduct ourselves, it will never happen.
There is nothing that you can do, there is nothing that you will say; you will never tell us how to conduct our revolution. As long as you show contempt to Chapter 9 Institutions, we are going to hold you accountable, the best way we know how. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Why is Parliament protesting possible? It’s not about the rules, it’s a protest, we are aware. It is a legitimate protest which is – by the way – a constitutional right. So, we protest because we realise that your rules are made to make power comfortable.
Your rules are made to make sure that this place ... these people who steal money, who defy courts come here and have business as usual, so we defy them in protest to show them that
they are not untouchable. [Applause.] [Interjections.] And we make no apology about that.
So, that’s what happened here with your Mr Gordhan; now being defended even by the DA. Never show contempt to the Public Protector, it doesn’t matter who holds that office, it doesn’t matter the incumbent, protect and respect Chapter 9 Institutions or else you are going to be mad with protest here, and we are ready for anything, the army, your hooligans that you call security, we are ready for all of them. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, order, hon members! Order! The noise levels are high.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: So, that’s what happened here, it was a peaceful protest, nobody touched Mr Gordhan. Members of the EFF came and showed him a pro ... it was a proper protest chief. And he was screaming already. [Laughter.] [Applause.] So, that is fine.
The Secretary to Parliament must be fired, Mam’Thandi, from our premises with immediate effect. He used blue lights without approval, gave himself bursaries together with his friends and colleagues, he showed disregard to Parliament budget by staying in extremely expensive hotels. If you take Parliament seriously, he must go.
This Parliament, 25 years later, after being taken by the black majority still does not take the black people’s languages seriously. Parliament only uses English and Afrikaans in documents, even in simple things like the distribution of the Order Paper. Why won’t you write it in isiZulu if you take it seriously? There’s no deliberate effort to invest in our people’s languages.
In the Sixth Parliament EFF will make sure that it initiates Private Members Bills on the amendment of the Banks Act, to ban alcohol advertising, we are going to initiate insourcing of all workers, and we are going to initiate legislation in relation to 24-hour clinics.
Finally, I want to give a warning to the Deputy Speaker. You’ll never ever, ever succeed with the EFF if you continue to show the type of incompetence even with regard to court rulings; even in relation to court rulings when you make rulings in this House. This is not your kitchen; this is not your dining room. [Time expired.] You must respect Members of Parliament, you must respect the House, otherwise you too are going to be in the long line of those we are going to protest against. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, today we are debating Budget Vote 2 Parliament. Of course, there’s no vote called the EFF
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order. Hon Dr Mulder. Hon members, you can’t shout like that. Hon members, please, there is a speaker on the podium.
Dr C P MULDER: I’m saying we are debating Budget Vote 2 Parliament. There’s no vote called the EFF. [Laughter.] If you listen to the hon Ndlozi, the debate was about the EFF. [Laughter.] [Applause.] Maybe
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, order, hon members.
Dr C P MULDER: Maybe we should have a debate on the EFF
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order!
Dr C P MULDER: If you listen to the hon Ndlozi, it was only the EFF that did this and that and the other. That’s not true. It’s exactly the opposite. If you did not go on with hon Zuma the way you did, the ANC could have fired him a long time ago. [Interjections.] But because you were going on with the hon Zuma, they couldn’t do that. They had to protect him.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, order!
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, I would like to start off
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Hon members, can we listen, please! Order, hon members! Continue Dr Mulder.
Dr C P MULDER: The hon Ndlozi also reminded us that the EFF doubled their vote; we quadrupled our vote. [Interjections.] Yes, we did. Yes, we did. No, we did. And you’ve reached your ceiling and that’s the end of the EFF. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, I would like to speak to the hon Speaker and congratulate her on her first debate of Parliament
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, please. Hon member, can we please observe the decorum of the House. Please. Hon Mulder, please continue.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Speaker of the House, you referred to the legislative authority of Parliament and the important role that we should play in terms of scrutinizing and overseeing executive action. And then you said also during your speech today that basically we will keep the executive to account and there must be consequences, I accept that and I agree with that. [Interjections.]
But, hon Speaker, we have failed in the instance of section 55(2)(a) of the Constitution. Section 55(2)(a) of the Constitution says, the National Assembly must provide for mechanisms (a) to ensure that all executive organs of the state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it and
(b) to maintain oversight of the executive on national and the national authority.
The point I’m trying to make is this, you referred in your speech that we should scrutinize and do oversight of each and every portfolio of the executive as well as state-owned enterprises, SOEs. But what about the Office of the President ma’am? It’s time that we also create a mechanism in which we do oversight of the President and the President’s Office. And I think we should seriously do that, I think the Constitution expects that from us, we should do that.
But hon Speaker, when you say there must be consequences, then I’m saying there must not only be consequences for the executive, there must also be consequences for Members of Parliament. It cannot only be the executive. If members
Parliament misbehave, and they do, from time to time some of them do, because some of them in this House clearly stated before they came to Parliament in 2014 and it was said again this afternoon that they want to bring the revolution to Parliament. Now, this is the place to debate and if you cannot win the argument with better arguments you don’t win the argument by trying to intimidate people. That’s not called debate, that’s not called Parliament.
Hon Speaker, last week when we had the incident with the Minister of Public Enterprises, those were ejected from the House. But what did they do? They just went down the stairs to another meeting of Parliament and they joined that and they participated in those debates. That is not consequences, that is not acceptable, it cannot be done. If members are ejected from the House they should be ejected from the premises of Parliament.
At this stage it’s quite clear that there are no consequences that some members take seriously. So, I would suggest that we think about something else. Let’s start to deduct from certain
people’s salaries. [Interjections.] Let’s deduct from certain people’s salaries. If they misbehave we deduct from their salaries until they cannot pay their Gucci accounts and they cannot pay their expensive German vehicles, and they cannot pay all those things they buy [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, order, hon members. Hon Mulder, can you take your seat. Order, hon members. Can you hear what another member is saying? Hon members, order.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Chair, on a point of order. I thought the debate is not about the EFF my man. But you have spent 90% now talking about the EFF. You know why? Because the EFF is the Parliament. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): There’s no point of order there, hon Ndlozi. You can continue [Interjections.]
Dr C P MULDER: That was not a point of order that was a terrible attempt [Interjections.]
Mr S M KULA: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order. Can we humbly request
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, can you wait a minute so that I can give you a chance to speak. I haven’t recognised you yet. [Interjections.] What is your point of order? Next time you wait for my recognition chief. What’s your point of order, hon member?
Mr S M KULA: Can we make a humble request, house Chairperson. That, that ice boy has been given an opportunity to speak
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): That is not a point of order, hon member.
Mr S M KULA: ...he must go and pick up ice for Malema and not disrupt Parliament. We can’t be told by ice boys here,
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, that is not a point of order. could you please sit down?
Mr S M KULA: ...we can’t be told by ice boys, his responsibility is to pick up ice for Julius; for Julius’ whiskey. When Julius wants whiskey he goes for Ndlozi. So, we can’t be told an ice boy, an ice boy was given a chance here. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Chairperson
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: No, but you can’t
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, what you have just done is totally unacceptable.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: He must withdraw. Chairperson, he must withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): That was not a point of order
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: ...or call bouncers.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, I’ll recognise you. I will recognise you.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Chairperson, he must withdraw with immediate effect, that one. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): I will recognise you.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: That new boy must withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, hon members. Hon members, order. Hon members, we have rules in this House and we have a duty to recognise the content of those rules because it is our rules. It’s not the rules of a particular party but our rules. So, we’ve got to observe those rules no matter how hot under the collar you might feel, but you still have to recognize the rules of the House, regardless of your political affiliation. So, really, can we behave?
Hon member, not only shall you withdraw, can you apologise for your behaviour? [Interjections.]
Hon member, I will come to you. Let me deal with it first. I will recognize you after that hon member; I will come back to you.
Hon member, that behaviour was not acceptable. Could you please...
Mr S M KULA: I withdraw, House Chairperson. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Thank you very much. Hon member, you raised a hand. What was the point of order?
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: No, I’m covered, Chair. I’m fine.
Mr S M KULA: POINT OF ORDER
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, why are you rising at the back?
Mr T V MASHELE: Chair, for the sake of progress, I submarine. But hon Ndlozi said Parliament is EFF. Parliament is not EFF, parliament is ourselves as members. He must also withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): That is not a point of order, hon member. Thank you.
Order, hon members. Shall we allow hon Mulder to complete his speech?
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, Parliament is the place where all the people of South Africa are represented by different political parties, not by one, rest assured.
Ek wil ten slotte na die geloofwaardigheid van die Parlement en die integriteit van hierdie instelling verwys. U is absoluut korrek dat ons die geloogwaardigheid en die integriteit van die Parlement moet herstel. Ons het ’n laagtepunt gehad met die Nkandla-situasie in die vorige Parlement, maar ek dink die geleentheid is nou daar om dit te herstel. Van die VF Plus se
kant af, kan ek u die versekering gee dat ons ons kant sal bring om die integriteit van hierdie plek te herstel waarop die kiesers daar buite geregtig is.
Ek wil ook vir u, as Speaker, vra dat ons die verhouding wat daar behoort te bestaan tussen die hoofswepe van die Parlement en die kantoor van die Speaker herstel.
In die Vyfde Parlement het daardie verhouding tot ’n groot mate tot stilstand gekom. Ek dink dit is nie goed nie en dit is baie belangrik dat ons dit doen.
Die VF Plus is beskikbaar en bereid om ons deel te bring, soos wat ons dit gereeld doen. Ons sal nie toelaat dat hierdie plek ’n markplein word van “maybe revolutionists” [moontlike revolusioniste] nie.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Chairperson, Madam Speaker, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, all House Chairpersons, I explicitly also want to recognize the Chief Whips and in addition to talk about the people who oil our relationship, ourselves in Parliament, the
Executive and provincial liason officers, they constitute part of a critical machinery of what constitute Parliament, I want to suggest that the challenge we face is that at end of our five years we must look at this opportunity with pride that we took advantage that it presented us, to work together to craft ways of working and thinking together to address challenges that the people who recently elected us pointed out to us in no uncertain terms.
Madam Speaker, I am hoping the work to position Parliament that you and the previous Speaker were involved in will continue under your leadership and that of hon Chairperson of the NCOP. That work is important because this positioning of Parliament appropriately is in line with the Constitution and that it requires to be adequately resourced. We, therefore, call that this collaborative dialogue that is in the legacy report must be pursued with the greatest of passions between the two of you as exco as well as the head of the state and of government and of the executive and the judiciary so that the ongoing relationship between these three arms of the state and supported by institutions that support democracy evolve properly and carrying
out the job to defeat poverty and inequality as well as the unacceptable levels of unemployment.
We have agreed for example, that constitutional deadlines that we are given where the Constitutional Court intervenes but recognizes that this space is Parliament space does not enter there but defers to us to carry out our job, that we must meet those deadlines consistently every time and that subject must be a cause for discussion in the collaborative dialogue I am talking about.
Similarly, we as Parliament in various portfolio committees are responsible for the appointment of Commissioners so that these structures are able to carry out their functions properly and do it in a manner that is consistent with the constitutional requirement. In other words, we must deal with those areas for which we may be found wanting but act proactively to close those gaps. This is absolutely crucial for Parliament to play its role in the next five years or so.
Democracy is clearly not a cheap exercise. But this recognition also implies that the resources that are generated by our people in public which the state uses must be used appropriately.
Similarly, those citizens of other countries that contributes taxes that come to us via support in many ways must also be used appropriately so that when they receive feedback from their governments that we gave South Africa this money for this purpose the report we get is a satisfactorily one that it was used appropriately. So this is a crucial part of our internationalism.
We succeeded to defeat apartheid and part of its colonial legacies because of the support of others in other parts of the world. Therefore, the necessity to treat with respect the resources that they give us and support us with must be the same that we treat the respect of the money that comes from our own people and their resources. This is a crucial part of what we are learning from the past. The commissions of inquiry that are going on are seeking to address this matter transparently, that we must not wait in certain instances to close the legislative
institutional or oversight task that we should undertake. This is an important part of what we are learning from the past.
Our conduct in the House, there is not question, must demonstrate that we will handle public affairs properly with dignity although with a necessary robustness. We all undertook to obey the Constitution and all other laws when we took up office. Let’s do so in the House. It cannot be correct that we do that. We stand here and we undertake to obey the Constitution and the law and we go ahead and break it. So the impression... [Interjections.]
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order hon members! Don’t drown the speaker at the podium.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: ... that contradiction is inappropriate. It is inconsistent with claiming rhetorically adherence to the Constitution when in practice we do exactly the opposite.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order hon members! Dr M Q NDLOZI: Like you!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, we have recourse to do in writing so that we must be challenged on the issues that we are being referred to. Hon Ndlozi, I did not intend to respond to you in the manner in which you want me to do.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson. I rise on a Point of Order.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): What is your point of order hon Ndlozi?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, the Deputy Speaker must not address me directly. He must address the House and those are the rules. That is why you will never be anything above Deputy Speaker. You have reached your ceiling because you don’t read your responsibilities. Don’t speak to me directly, that’s what the rules say.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): That is not a point of order. Deputy Speaker you can continue.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: ... no, it illustrates the point I am making. We must walk our talk... [Interjections]
HON MEMBERS: like you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: ... Yes, I do walk my talk. Hon Chairperson, it is very easy in the morning tomorrow for members to read the Hansard and look at the utterances of members and the rulings that we make. It will not take the legal expect to see the correctness of our sessions from the Chair here. It doesn’t require a rocket science. Not at all. And we will do it with the greatest pleasure. Because this hypocrisy is in out of order and it must be called out of order. It’s in writing. You run the risk of people seeing in writing your own misrepresentation what you could have read. You should read what your members are saying and what your rulings are saying.
Our conduct in the House must be consistent with our suggestion that we must demonstrate to the people that we will handle their affairs properly and consistently. That we recognize the necessity to draw from each other’s insights across the
boundaries of political parties. It’s an appropriate rule to handle to things that are confronting us.
Madam Speaker, thank you for your leadership. The announcements you have made that you referred to here about delegations to my colleagues, the House Chairpersons as well as me, is really appreciated, it enables us to hit the road running. These areas are crucial to the work that are partly covered in our legacy report. In other words, the work we have done for example around what is refereed to as e-Parliament of the so called 4th Industrial Revolution. In May last year we held a seminar and that seminar was significant for two reasons, that already inside some of the departments especially of economic development were already exploring with other departments what are the challenges we are facing in terms of these developments and what can we do. Some of those issues were shared with us and other departments. Hon Pandor, at the higher education already initiated what now exists, a panel that is responsible for co- ordinating efforts to deal with matters that we were calling for a national strategy to deal with matters. Our principal reason
for doing so was so that we attend to the vulnerabilities that are brought about by this so called 4th Industrial Revolution.
There is a risk as a result of automation. Decisions that are made not within and by us necessarily but elsewhere that has an impact on the number of people who continue to occupy their jobs, that if they are suddenly rendered without jobs as it is happening in many organisations thus have a route externally to South Africa that those people we already have to deal with as the list of unemployment grows. We have a necessary responsibility as public sector, as Parliament, as the executive where this is appropriate to interface with the private sector so that these matters of vulnerability, of the risk to the public that is employed that required to be employed is acted upon together. So that certain decisions are deferred for later application whilst we are building capacity for the employability of the people. This is a crucial strategy for dealing with the inevitable risks that we are confronted with.
We can’t wait for those to happen. Thank you very much for giving us that responsibility. We are saying it here that we should invite people with interest in this particular area so
that we must share insights. We will do so appropriately at the right forums.
The most important part of that is that we ourselves as an institution deal with people’s data. Deal with your data as members, personal information and so on. We should not be at risk of this information being stolen, used abusively without our intervention by our administration working with us to protect that. So that it is in our hands and we are able to sovereignty not only of the work we do here as an institution but as the country we are assured by the executive that we are acting appropriately to protect ourselves but act appropriately also to take advantages of the new opportunities.
A long time ago others like Marx argued for the necessity to deal with the problem of alienation, to deal with the problem of drudgery of hard work. If a machine can do with and people do more interesting cultural things and so on, why not? So this is an appropriate intervention to deal with matters of developments in this area.
A lot of our people have migrated to cyberspace. They are constituting part of our constituency that we must service so we must be able to interact appropriately with them where they are at whilst we are attending to matters that confronts us.
We really appreciate this responsibility. Not only that we also are clear that questions of language policy – the creative use of our indigenous languages and the philosophical and wisdom they carry must be available to all of us and all of our people so that we beat the boundaries that were created by tribalism and the attempts by colonialism and apartheid to render us apart, ununited even though for all intents and purposes we are orientated to the same gravitation towards humaneness and human practice. Despite those insignificant - so to speak- attempts fascists’ tendencies that we must beat and defeat.
Chairperson, we are inspired by the need to identify opportunities effectively. The Speaker has outlined a couple of those things that we must work and interact with the staff so that they provide the necessary support to the work we do. There are many talented people in this environment irrespective of
race, colour, creed and age because we build on the strength of all of them in their diversity to ensure that we prop up and support as the Speaker said what we have responsibility to.
Asserting our humaneness is necessary to deal with the problems often characterized as xenophobic and fight of people from outside of this country. We have a proactive responsibility as Parliament to consistently and publicly express our disgust as those actions. People must know that we benefited from the hearts of others in the world for our freedom. We must protect theirs consistently as well. I thank you. [Time expires.]
Mr S N SWART: House Chair, there can be no doubt that we, as a country are at the crossroads. When faced at the crossroads, Folly, wrote historian Barbara Tuchman, is when leaders knowingly choose the wrong path. The previous Zuma administration chose that wrong path a path of economic mismanagement and policy uncertainty, during which the country staggered under the dead weight of state capture and corruption and we are reaping the consequences.
Now, as we debate Parliament’s Budget Vote, let us be mindful that Parliament is tasked not only with only with the legislative function, but also the vital oversight function and duty. It is a severe indictment that the Constitutional Court found that the Fifth Parliament failed to fulfil its constitutional duty by not holding President Zuma accountable.
This was undoubtedly a low point of the Fifth Parliament.
However, the Eskom Oversight Inquiry during which MPs across political alliance stood resolute and determined against intimidation and even death threats to expose corruption at Eskom, stands as beacon of hope.
Today, we have a choice. Let us in this Sixth Parliament choose a new path of accountability, honesty and integrity. Let us ensure that the highest court of the land will never again find that Parliament is so wanting.
We in the ACDP, as the ACDP’s elective representatives choose that path. We choose to be salt and light in this House. We
choose to play our role as constructive opposition, and to seek Godly solutions for the many challenges facing our nation.
We choose to build and not destroy, to speak life and not death; to love and not hate. We choose to stand for justice for the poor and oppressed, to promote peace, reconciliation, and
nation-building. We choose to maintain the decorum of this house in what we say and how we conduct ourselves. Those who have elected us expect and deserve responsible behaviour from us as leaders.
The learners watching us today deserve better. We choose to be honourable men and women who seek the common good of all South Africans. Will you choose to join us as responsible public representatives in this Sixth Parliament? Then, as the prophet Isaiah says:
Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall rise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets to dwell in us.
Join us in the ACDP as we build the walls of our nation in this Sixth Parliament. I thank you.
Ms M C C PILANE-MAJAKE: Hon Chairperson of the House, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, members, members of the public, as freely elected representatives of the people of South Africa, our mission as Parliament is to represent, and act as a voice of the people in fulfilling our constitutional function of passing laws and overseeing executive action.
If we were to follow the Constitutional principle of equality between the three Arms of the State, we should not even be debating this Vote. The situation is dire. Annually, Parliament continues to debate in vain, a Vote of funds that should be treated in the same way as the executive and the judiciary.
This is a Constitutional contradiction that is perpetuated. I trust the National Treasury is listening today in order for them to actually improve on the Vote of Parliament. We need to be frank and honest in this debate whether what we receive financially is congruent to performing standards set for
Parliament within the precinct of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
In Strengthening oversight and accountability, we have moved away from the old regime oversight and accountability model, with its discriminatory practices to the current Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament. Here we can record both progressive and developmental progress. The powers we have over performance management and financial management of Parliament are both necessary and designed to hold those with institutional authority accountable.
Let us be balanced in our approach where performance requires merit, let’s us acknowledge this but equally where performance is of mediocre or poor quality, we also need to be critical and recommend change. In assessing performance, the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament has raised that many of the issues previously raised in quarterly reports gets flagged, and do not get implemented. Similarly, this happens to recommendations of the annual reports.
In execution of the law making mandate, Parliament is committed to greater effort prior to advice that is given to members.
Cognisance need to be taken that legal interpretation is influenced by the orientation and reading of the law by the individual. Jurisprudence shapes how we interpret the law but when we require advice, we are seeking for conclusive interpretation informed by precedence.
Without this, the quality of draft legislation will be found wanting as it has been the case on many occasions here in Parliament. Conflicting interpretations of the law or omissions do not help us as we have discovered when legislation had to be returned to Parliament from the Presidency or from the courts for amendment.
Over the past year, one of the key challenges that made to the Annual Performance Plan, APPs, was the consolidation of the time line indicators into a singular core business charter indicator. The indicators have been incorporated into five strategic priorities as follows: oversight and accountability model;
public participation model; engagement in international fora; strengthening legislative model; and cooperative government oversight mechanisms.
The question that needs to arise here is whether this is actually working and benefiting the administration or making it harder to detect actual performance against indicators.
Once you absorb indicators into one single broader indicator, it is assumed that members are going to have time to trace what is actually happening within a core component. The contradiction relating to the formulas that financially restricts and disadvantages the governing party against its Parliamentary responsibilities will be covered by Hon Joe Maswanganyi who will be talking to this point later.
Much needs to be done to capacitate Parliament. We can actually be in the position to capacitate Parliament more if we in a manner in which we do business as Members of Parliament in this House can actually improve.
Hon Julius we were very angry when you were responding to a member that actually raised a point of order and to actually find yourself bringing such mood into Parliament doesn’t really become helpful.
Hon Swart you are actually saying we need to actually promote peace, we need to be responsible, which is what we need to do within this House of Parliament, to actually improve on the decorum. We are one of the rowdiest Parliaments throughout the world and I’m sure we can actually do better because our electorate out there is actually looking at us for their development for improvement of the lives of South Africans. We can really do better and maybe to some extent we need to actually encourage some of the opposition parties to look at what it means to be an opposition party within Parliament because it’s not about attacking the ruling party, it’s about what we do together when we are in the House of Parliament in order for us to bring about change and development within South Africa.
In conclusion a disjuncture between mandate of Parliament, what is reflected in the APPs and the actual performance must be addressed. Parliament must improve and resource research capacity to enhance its work. The Joint Standing Committee, JSC, on the Financial Management of Parliament needs to seriously address these issues inclusive of total funding of Parliament that impact negatively on the entire operations of Parliament.
Parliament’s role and ultimate outcome is to represent the people and ensure government by the people under the Constitution, as well as represent the provinces in the national sphere of government. This mandate of Parliament is achieved through passing legislation for betterment of the lives of South Africans, overseeing government action to promote and monitor delivery on commitments, facilitation of public involvement making this our Parliament an activist Parliament, cooperative government fostering friendly intergovernmental relations and international participation for benchmarking business of Parliament and drawing from global trends of doing Parliament business.
The role of Parliament includes the promotion of the values of human dignity, equality, non-racialism, non-sexism which is really about how you actually treat women in this Parliament which is something that needs to be noted in terms of some of the behaviours that we around Parliament, the supremacy of the Constitution, and a multi-party system of democracy. Parliament upholds our citizens’ political rights, the basic values and principles governing public administration, and oversees the implementation of constitutional imperatives.
Ke tiro ya rona re le maloko a Palamente go dira tiro eno gonne re kgethilwe ke batho ba rona ba ba leng kwa ntle ga Ntlo eno gore re tsweledise pele tsotlhe tse re ba tshepisitseng tsona. Ke a leboga.
The ANC supports Vote 2 of Parliament.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: House Chair, Minister, Deputy Ministers in the House, our colleagues, members in the gallery and our
learners, the NFP welcomes the report of the department. However, a matter of concern, Speaker and Deputy Speaker, is the fact that you are looking for R3,003 billion, and an amount that has been allocated is R2,52 billion, which means you have a shortfall of R482 million.
The question is: How is it expected of Parliament to fulfil its mandate if it has a R482 million shortfall? This is a matter that has been discussed previously but no solution has been found.
Some of the concerns that we have as the NFP are as follows; I will start with travel: Our understanding is that we have engaged the departments on the need to have an in-house travel agency because Parliament travel has done a fantastic over the years.
For cost containment measures, we felt we should have an in- house travel agency rather than outsourcing to other travel agencies, it is costing us a hell lot of money.
Very importantly, the NFP has been very consistent in calling for control measures, particularly, if you look at half a billion rand that is spent and given to political parties for constituency allowances, and in that, there is no control measures to see whether these offices exists, the furniture exists and the staff exists.
An ideal example of looting or stealing or allegations of stealing is the one that came from the EFF members. They say that the R25 million that you gave them has been embezzled by their leadership and those allegations are all over the media.
The NFP has written to you, hon Speaker, asking you to call for a forensic auditing to establish how the EFF got an unqualified clean audit when, in fact, there are allegations of embezzlement of R25 million of taxpayer’s money. [Interjections.] Surely, this matter needs urgent attention. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: On a point of order.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): What is the point of order, hon ... [Interjections.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: We all have to agree on this one. The hon Shaik Emam is misleading the House and must withdraw. There is no single allegation against the EFF embezzling Parliament money. It’s not true.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member that is not a point of order.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: But we have an obligation for people to say correct things, Chairperson, please help me.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Let me help you, but sit down first.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: What he is doing is casting aspersions on a political party.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, Ndlozi, can you take your seat?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: He must withdraw.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Can you take your seat please?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Didn’t he go to the ANC anyway? [Interjections.]
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, Ndlozi, you are totally not assisting us. That kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable. That was not a point of order. And you were very consistent on doing it. Hon member, why are you rising?
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Chairperson, I just want to assist you because you are the first Chair in the Sixth Parliament. [Interjections.] On the Fifth Parliament, the police came here to look for this member and to arrest him here. You know why?
Because he took the money for the NFP workers ...
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member ...
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: So, he can’t come here and claim otherwise. The police are looking for him as we speak. He is a fraudster. He is not supposed to be here in the first place.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, you are not assisting the House.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: He must not come here and grandstand about EFF.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, I will switch off your microphone.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: You must ask everyone here, this one is a fraudster.
Mr B A RADEBE: On a point of order, Chairperson.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members ...
Hon Emam, can you continue!
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, hon House Chair.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order, House Chair!
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Emam, can you take your seat, please?
Mr B A RADEBE: Chairperson, I raised my hand so that you can get my attention. The hon member there called another hon member a fraudster. You know very well that that must come through a substantive motion. It must be withdrawn, Chair. Thank you.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, thank you very much. Hon member, I did not hear it. Can I check with her? Hon member, did you call hon member Emam a fraudster?
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: I withdraw the word fraudster but he is a wanted man. The police want him.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, withdraw unconditionally, please. Hon member, continue!
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: She is correct. I am the one that stopped the payment of any employee who is willing to loot or steal taxpayer’s money. You don’t work; you don’t get paid; so, if you call it stealing, that’s up to you, I don’t mind. [Interjections.] Stealing is rampant in your party and you are willing do very little or nothing about it.
Hon Chairperson, one of the other issues that we have is attendance by Members of Parliament. They get paid to come here and serve the interests of people. There needs to be measures to ensure that they attend meetings regularly because when it comes
to overseas travel; everybody is available. The NFP supports the Budget tabled here, today. [Applause.]
Mr W M MADISHA: Hon Chair and members, permit me to begin my input by quoting what the Speaker said when she addressed the House, today: “What we want to concentrate on is to conduct oversight.”
Now, the question arises: Is this purported objective being raised for the first time? The answer is no. It has been put before various past parliamentary sittings, in particular, the Fifth Parliament.
A further question arises: Was there any implementation at all? The answer is no due to a number of problems, which would call upon all of us ...
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, Madisha, something went wrong. Can you just hold for a minute? It is being attended to. Okay, hon Madisha, the seconds have been credited.
Mr W MADISHA: I want to thank the hon Minister of Foreign Affairs for having assisted me here. Thank you. [Laughter.]
I was saying that a further question arose, through you Chair that was there any implementation which has been raised. I said that that has not actually happened as a result of a number of problems being: Firstly, our country is faced with treasonous problems or phenomenon which inter alia include state capture, a broken Parliament, which meets frequently to discuss and pass laws; all that which Parliament does is to come up with laws, have them passed here but all of them throughout are being overlooked by the executive, particularly through corruption, etc.
Albeit we may come here and pass laws; they will still go out and do things contrary to that which we have done here; one can give many other examples.
South Africa is faced with a problem of dictatorship by the few. Although we go to elections, parliamentary power literally plays second fiddle. The people who have power despite going to
elections; is not this Parliament – is not the people here who are representing the people of South Africa ... [Time expired.]
Nkul M J MASWANGANYI: Mutshamaxitulu, Xipikara xa Yindlu Manana Thandi Modise, Mueketeri wa Xipikara Tatana Lechesa Tsenoli, Vaholobye lava va nga kona namuntlha, Swirho swa Huvo yo endla Milawu, inhlekanhi.
Speaker, thank you very much for presenting the budget, my focus is on party political funding with specific reference to the Office Chief Whip of the Majority Party, the ANC. Parliamentary allowances to political parties is governed by a series of documents that have been agreed to through a process of consultation with the respective parties. Key amongst these is the policy on political parties’ allowances which was approved by the presiding officers on 20 July 2005.
This policy document gives effect to section 57(2) of the Constitution which reads; assist leaders of political parties in
the National Assembly to effectively perform their function, to enable a party to establish and maintain an infrastructure to serve the interest of the constituents and to enable members to render a service to all their constituents. The key purpose of the policy document is to make available funds to political parties and to enable them participate effectively in Parliament and the provincial legislatures.
Since 1996, there have been ongoing amendments to the funding of political parties in an effort to meet the central challenge of what is contained in section 57 of the Constitution. There are challenges in regard to the calculation formula of political parties’ parliamentary allowances. The current formula does not take into account the infrastructure required to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation as well as good governance, particularly, in the case of the majority party. Because of the number of Members of Parliament which includes the footprint of its parliamentary constituency offices around the country, the ANC parliamentary caucus is funding the support service functions of the human resource, finance, research, development,
media communications as well as the support function of programming from its existing allocation.
The infrastructure provided to the majority party is not commensurate with its responsibilities. The mismatch is found where a majority party is given huge administrative and technical responsibilities that eat into its allocation and leave the political core functions of a ruling party financially constrained by using the same formula that determines support for both political governance functions and administrative functions. The core business of the ANC in the context of parliamentary work revolves around the Office of the Chief Whip.
The Office of the Chief Whip is the political engine room of the ANC caucus responsible for the overhaul performance of both AMC and Parliament. The functions of the Chief Whip of the Majority party include amongst others; heading and shaping programming, heading the multiparty Chief Whips’ Forum, international relations responsibilities, protocol responsibilities, political advice on draft legislation, political advice on matters before the National Assembly, legal support for decision making,
Whippery directly enhances the performance of Parliament and facilitate the communication between the Executive and parties in the House. All of these are not receiving dedicated funding and rather dealt with a normal formula.
This political office cannot be treated as ordinary line item expenditure. The current funding model falls short of enabling the ability of this political office to carry out its full mandate. There has to be a dedicated funding for this office in respect of its political functions rather than addressing it through the formula in clause 8 of the political party’s allowances document. The cost required to fund this and other
co-operate support functions can be made available by increasing the ratio of members to staff from the assumption of 2:1 to 4:1.
Hon Chairperson, it is my submission that the Office of the Chief Whip and its required infrastructure be funded by Parliament. An agreed revised and funded organogram would inform this. Section 8 of the policy on political party allowances would need to be overhauled as a consequence of the above recommendations. Probably, Speaker, as Parliament we might need
to look at having a Chief Whip of Parliament whose office would be properly resourced in terms of human and material resources. We have to look at different models and case studies internationally and adopt the best model of funding to resource the Office of the Chief Whip. The ANC support the Budget Vote of Parliament.
Ndza khensa, Mutshamaxitulu.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: I quote:
One of the things that I am going to do is establish a special task team, to look at issues at how Parliament exercised oversight over the years in regards to the issue of state capture and corruption. It may well be that, as I have said a few times since last year, if Parliament had played its oversight role, some of the challenges may have been dealt with early. It is important to look and see where the may have been failures on the part of Parliament and the part of portfolio committees and see what would need to be done for the future.
These words uttered a few weeks ago by Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo during the Commission of Inquiry to State Capture should serve as a wake up call to every one of us in the House. What we need to do is restore this House as the ground zero of executive accountability and oversight in South Africa. And so in the words of Lenin, and that's Vladimir, not John, “what is to be done”? A good place to begin to answer this question is to go back to first principles, and look at what the Constitution says we should be doing to do our job properly, scrutinizing and oversight of executive, passing legislation, providing a forum for national debate. We can make a good start at all of this, by ensuring that Ministers are, in the first instance, are actually accountable to this House. This means that we must assert our role as the accountability mechanism and we must insist that Ministers attend properly to their constitutional obligation to account to this House.
In the Fifth Parliament madam Speaker, far too many Ministers were able to escape their executive accountability that this House requires in terms of the Constitution. We had some Ministers which some of them are present today, who did not
appear to this House for over a year to answer oral questions. And when tough questions are asked, Ministers must not be mollycoddled by the presiding officers. Tough questions make tough and good Ministers. It forces them to be on top of their brief and in touch with what is actually going on in their portfolio. Ministers must respond to written questions, they cannot simple be ignored. The Speaker’s office should be monitoring the quality and frequency of replies and ensuring that questions that do not pass are sent back to the Minister with a test note ensuring and reminding of their duty to account to this House.
Speaker and Chair, we have to revisit the oversight and accountability model of Parliament. Far too many sections are vague and do not effectively empower us as Members of Parliament to do effective oversight. One such example is individual member oversight in our constituencies. A disturbing practice has started to entrench itself around the country, where Members of Parliament wanting to visit state facilities are now required to get permission from provincial MECs who when there is obviously things going wrong there, makes it very difficult for such
permission to be granted or simple refuse political parties which they are not a member access to these facilities. This makes a mockery and a joke of our responsibility to take what we see on the ground, bring back to Parliament and make sure we fix it. I see that my hon friend from KwaZulu-Natal who was a Health MEC himself is waving his finger with this suggestion today.
Madam Speaker, to be credible, we have got to live up to the values and principles of Parliament. We have got to breathe life into those words that are so beautifully adorn the steps on the way into the National Assembly, that requires us to hold ourselves accountable How do we honestly look at government Ministers and ask them to will our bad elements in their departments and entities when we sat for two years with our own Rotten Apple, Mr Mgidlana the Secretary to Parliament sitting here. I hear what you said Madam Speaker but with respect, we had exactly the same in the last time we debated, that the disciplinary was imminent and that Mr Mgidlana was on the way out. I worry that his contract is going to expire before he is actually held accountable.
It is also very difficult to say that we are cleaning out the Augean stables, when many of people in this own House are implicated and have been elevated to key leadership positions in this House, heading up some of the key levers to exercise oversight and accountability of the architects, enablers and implementers of state capture. They belong behind bars, not behind the committee tables of this House [Applause]. We also need to have to the functioning Efforts Committee and I hope that to receive attention from you. We also need to improve our legislative oversight our ability to engage with legislation.
There is imbalance of forces between the executive in this House where the executive come with batteries of legal advisors, content advisors of officials or experts and they bulldoze Parliament out of the way. We need to make sure that there is a balance of forces and that we are capacitated.
Madam Speaker we also need a proper forum for public debate and this is why I want to turn my attention to the events of what happened last week. Those are the antithesis of what a democratic Parliament should be witnessing. Let me be clear, not only was it not a legitimate democratic action as the hon Ndlozi
said, no matter how hard the EFF try to cloak them as such. They were the antithesis of what this House means and what it should achieve. Perhaps a warning was spelt out for us by one of the EFF’s own lodestars, Karl Marx who famously said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”, and what a farce it is.
We heard today that the revolution is to come to Parliament. I have got good news: The revolution landed in Camps Bay two weeks ago. So, fear not, democrats, as that is not the sound of tanks rolling into Parliament; it is the drinks trolley taking in the Veuve Clicquot and Meerlust Rubicon into the EFF’s caucus room! [Applause]. We have seen this type of behaviour before. We have witnessed it. In history, it was on full display in the Reichstag of the late 1930s. The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, regardless of their relatively small size, wore boots and uniforms in the House. Sound familiar? Whenever they disproved of a speaker, they simply disrupted them. Sound familiar? When they could not get their way, they rendered Parliamentary sittings impossible and incapable of proceeding.
We must not allow what was a culmination of that behaviour in Germany with its awful consequences to ever happen in this Parliament [Applause]. The rules must be applied and this behaviour must be condemned and the EFF needs to consistent. If you are going to prevent people from Public Protector reports here, then you need to be consistent about On-Point Engineering as well. [Applause].
Mnr Q R DYANTYI: Agb waarnemnde Voorsitter, baie dankie vir die geleentheid om hier te staan. Ek wil vir agb Mulder sê dat hy baie warme kole in die Huis gegooi het. Ek het jou daar gehoor.
Before I get to my speech, I have a reminder to the DA. I just want to say on my way there say to the EFF, I decided not to take what they were saying serious. As I was listening to them, I was reminded of “tell no lies, claim no easy victory”, somebody who sounded like a scratched record playing with words, in populism dream land. One think that I really took seriously
hon Speaker, is the fact that he justified the disruptions in Parliament. That is serious and we must act on that.
I want to go to hon Julius of the DA. Last week hon Cele stood here and announced that the National Government is bringing re- enforcements of police and soldiers to the Cape Flats. As the ANC, I have all the confidence that he is going to stabilise and he will leave that place better than what it is. It is not going to solve the problem because of the following: What he is dealing with are root causes of social ills. Those social ills the DA in the Western Cape, instead of using the money that is allocated to install street lights, money to build communities, money to ensure that there are amenities, returned that money to the Treasury. They have returned over R1,7 billion in the previous year. Money that could have helped in Philippi to install street lights, to ensure police that police has an access to deal with issues of crime. Today we are sitting here, young lives have been lost and most of them women.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, will you take your seat. Why are you rising, hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: House Chair, I address you in terms of Rule 68 of the Rules of the National Assembly, if I may. It is clearly obvious that the hon speaker at the podium has not made the full transition to the National Assembly yet. [Laughter.] He is dealing with matters meant for the provincial budget. This is the National Assembly, which is Parliament’s budget. You may miss the province, but please be relevant.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, that is not a point of order hon member. Continue, hon member.
Mr Q R DYANTYI: Thank you very much Acting Chair, the point that I want to bring home to the DA because he stands here and says they are doing better oversight and criticize what we are doing. In fact, DA as you are you have blood on your hands, there are lives that could have been avoided if you had been able to use the money that you had to address issues of service delivery in Phillipi and other areas [Interjections]. Hon Julius ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order ho members.
Mr Q R DYANTYI: ... if you have an issue and you have concerns or perhaps misinterpretation of the pension fund, you have all the rights to make a submission to the pension fund for you to be assisted on that.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, let me just take this point of order. Take your seat. What are you rising on, hon member?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: I am advising him. Maybe start reading your speech because you are making very dangerous mistakes. I think you should start reading your speech. It’s just advice. [Interjections].
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Ndlozi, take your seat please. Order, hon members, order.
Mr Q R DYANTYI: The DA cannot come here and teach us about how Parliament is run. Public hearings in the Western Cape are empty
halls; it is a norm. So I will leave it there. If I go to hon Steenhuisen, [Interjections].
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr Q R DYANTYI: Hon Steenhuisen, a few points that I want to share with you. The speaker has already provided leadership on the issue that you rising about the failures of Parliament because when she stood she did present that. Let me then help you and make the following points...[Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members.
Mr Q R DYANTYI: The people shall govern mantra informs our approach to state power as the ANC. Our 54th Water –shed National Conference asserted that the attainment of power by the ANC is a means to fulfil the will of the people and ensure better life for all. We are here as the representatives of the people, we are not here for ourselves and our sake. The will of the people is fulfilled when we represent their issues but also allow them
to be their own liberators through proper conditions of participatory democracy.
Our commitment to the sixth Parliament, taking forward the work of those who came before us, we must strive to be the kind of MPs that are known to hold the highest standard of behaviour and conduct so that we do not embarrass and shame those that elected us as we have seen last week in the budget speech. To regain the confidence of our people and be their true tribune, we must immunise that act against any behaviour of intolerance as we have seen. In the interest of our people we are committed to continue in raising our work ethics and take oversight work to the next level. In this regard we also want to recognise and take note of the report by Parliament Watch, a group of civil society organisations in which they submit a critique on the performance of the Fifth Parliament. Where we need to improve with resources permitting, we will do so. Hon Speaker, as the leader of this institution ...
... ubambisene nomBhexeshi oyiNtloko, wePalamente...
...the ANC has mandated us to have a keen interest in attending to some key areas that need improvement going forward. The key areas that need improvement going forward include some of the following: We have got to answer the question as you have indicated, is this legislature properly configured, to help rise to our task of effective oversight to restore our critical role as part of the three arms of the state.
After 25 years there is certainly a need to re-think issues relating to the efficacy of this institution. We can no longer just mundane tasks of rules review, something else must give. Is Parliament properly resourced to fulfil its mandate? A national asset like cannot play a second role to legislature on resourcing its work. We need to find creative ways to support out greatest enablers including staff. Again, is it optionally functioning, to enable it to work co-operatively with the other two arms of the state, the judiciary and the executive? One example that we are going to need to talk about deal with is this: Is it proper that from the end of November up to the 20 February we are away from this House on recess. Everything else
gets to be congested; those are some of the thing that we might need to look into as part of enhancing participatory democracy. Should we not start to utilise in creative ways the Parliamentary Constituency Offices and make them the real pals of the community worth. It is good that NGOs come here and engage with us but we need to extend our reach to those community based organisations that have no means and resources to be here and the best way to do that is how we are going to utilise our own Parliamentary Constituency Offices.
I must end ho Speaker, by indicating that as the ANC, we are fully aware and alive to the fact that even the critique of the Parliamentary Watch is putting a lot of pressure on the ANC because there is an added expectation on us to be the leader of society in everything else that we do. I therefore hon Speaker, want to pause. Thank you very much. [Applause].
The SPEAKER: Chairperson and hon members, three members have spoken to the ability of Parliament to process legislation and to make laws. One of the things that we said we want to look at
is to see whether the structure of Parliament, as is - the support systems - actually enable us to do that.
That is why we are saying that the possibility of us tinkering with the structure of Parliament is there. The reason we have been engaging with the President and the Treasury is to begin to address the issues line by line on the needs of Parliament. That is why we have said that we want the next budget of Parliament to be a budget that we, as politicians, will have said we have driven because it talks to the needs of public representatives.
We want to say that whatever else comes, as a cost of administration, is a cost towards ensuring that the public representative is capacitated to do their work. We also want to say that electronic monitors of warm bodies in committees is precisely because we want to ensure that no member gets paid for staying at their house.
Therefore, that would mean that your salaries, ho members, will be docked because you are not at work when you are supposed to
be at work. I hope when we start going there members will not be fighting with us.
We also want to say that we welcome the discussion, and I want to say ...
My deur is oop. [I have an open-door policy.]
We can continue to speak with the Chief Whips and all Members of Parliament – my door is open.
One of those reasons is that we need to begin to resolve issues which do not need us to bring this House into disrepute. We need to be able, as leaders of parties and as chief whips, to talk about those things that we can address together; is behaviour, absenteeism and the decorum of this House. We need to begin there so that all of us understand that we do have rules and laws; the rules, the laws, the conventions, the protocols that govern the decorum and the running of Parliament.
Hon members, until all of us have gone to the Rules Committee and have changed the Rules, we shall apply the rules and the law. [Applause.] We shall apply the rules and the law. What we shall do is that every member, irrespective of what party they come from, will be given the protection of the Chair – all of us. But we will make sure that every protection to the member goes with the observation of the rules and the law, irrespective of which party you come from. We will not be taking corners there.
I want to say that there are a number of things that we will also be looking at. We are aware that Parliament now has more young members and therefore certain support systems must be put in place. We are looking at that. When I make the example, hon Ndlozi don’t be surprised, when some of us came here, Lechesa and I, we were young parents. Believe you me. There were facilities here, hon Deputy Speaker. There were facilities here which we want to ensure that are returned so that members who have children and other family responsibilities are not bogged down or absent from work because those facilities no longer exist. [Applause.]
We also heard that we need to relook at the clinic. It is, in fact, the ANC that has criticised the conditions of the clinic, library, and ablution facilities around here more than you have done, hon Singh. We will look at that but the discussions we started last year between the former Speaker, myself and Public Works were to an extent to which Parliament must be responsible for maintaining its own facilities. That is why I, earlier on, said who knows what and where these precincts of Parliament are? Because if we do know, we want to take charge of those precincts. We want, as Parliament, to be in direct control of the facilities which directly affect the members.
Therefore, until there is clarity whether the Parliament moves or doesn’t move, these facilities which are here in Cape Town must serve the members properly. We are also aware that the parliamentary villages do need our attention and we will be trying to come back to the House and suggest that, in past the parliamentary villages had, amongst us here, members who were mayors of these facilities.
Maybe we should return to that system because then the mayors of these parliamentary facilities were held responsible and they cracked the whip to ensure that those facilities were properly serviced.
I want to say that I do agree; when I said that our language policy must be implemented, I wanted to speak not only to the interpretations but all our languages. I am told by Parliament that it is a matter of cost that, at all times, you can’t have the requisite number of interpreters and translators. But I also want to say that in fact, we also fail ourselves and our constituencies because of what I am doing now - I am not speaking in Setswana. Therefore, we must take the lead and force Parliament to enforce the resources to be able to deliver to the constituencies.
Hon members, hon Julius says that we need to understand our duties and we need to make the House function properly. I agree and we must do that. He also says that we must scrap the loss of office gratuity. Now, Parliament is not really in control of this particular thing. The loss of office gratuity is
promulgated in terms of the commission for the remuneration of public office bearers which was gazetted in 2008. This commission is independent and we do not influence it. It comes regularly to assess us, we make our interventions there and they make the decisions.
Parliament must therefore say to us that we now must actively go and say, “look at a possibility of a cut-off or a do away of the gratuity. [Interjections.] No, I’m not saying we are doing that but we must be empowered as the executive authority if Parliament so says. That is not my decision to make.
We also want to say that the issue of the oversight over the Presidency, hon Mulder, I thought we had referred this matter to the committees, the political parties and the Chief Whips to come back to us on it so that you do not put me on the spot and I say something that will then be rejected by the people we referred the matter to. So, I will wait.
There was also a question of how much is this Parliament if it is going at all. We do not know how much the new Parliament will
cost because we do not know what the sentiments of South Africans are going to say about whether or not Parliament must move.
When that decision is taken, it will be informed by the economics but also by the sentiments of the public. And when we do, then we will get into where and how much and that will have to be a very open process which all members and the public can see. For now, I cannot say that I do know.
I want to say that, hon Singh, your squash club and all the other teams or where South Africa is represented my Members of Parliament, must be given attention and all the requirements of us when we go abroad in whatever capacity, whether it is debates, must be attended to. That is why one of the tinkering we want to do is to look at whether we are creating expertise even on international issues.
I asked around last week whether we have a researcher dedicated, for instance, to the Pan-African Parliament, PAP, West Africa, and I do not have. I have a number of researchers who are all
generalists. That is why we are saying that we want to renegotiate the terms even with the EU fund so that not only do we start creating pockets of excellence and expertise amongst the members themselves, but amongst the support to members.
Therefore, you need to create that capacity within your research. When you need to be looking at conflict you have a researcher who can come to you just like that and give you the goods in any of the Houses.
We want to say that we are off to a start, members. I hope that we will carry all of us together. We will negotiate where we need to negotiate. I am a former Chairperson who actually enjoys working with everybody in my committee because we would sit and talk across parties because that portfolio that you are overseeing is not about your party but about services out there to all our people.
So, if we dialogue and disagree responsibly, we will be able to lead South Africa and Parliament will not be what to hon Madisha referred to as a “broken parliament”. Parliament cannot be
broken and cannot be accused of weakness, hon members, because you stood here alone, took your oath, you have a responsibility as an individual and as a member of your party to do that which the people who voted for us brought us here to do. [Applause.]
So, we must not blame one another when we are unable to ask the right questions to the executive. We must not blame our parties because we are too scared to confront issues which are in the interest of our people. We must not be expected, as the presiding officers, not to hear.
Unfortunately, one member raised the issue about the quality of responses from the executive. It would be very difficult when we preside to tell you whether there is accuracy in the response because we are not in the different portfolios. We might pick up when the response is not adequate if we know the environment and portfolio but we cannot assure you and say that the answer is not adequate. We would not know.
What we would want is to see members of the executive in the House responding to questions of members. If they are not ready,
they tell the House that they are not ready and that they need time and when we have given them that time, they come back and give us the best they can on what is there and what is not there.
The commitments I spoke to, hon members, is that if you are addressing a group of people in Vryburg and you promise something and you do not deliver, and that community rise to Parliament, I am duty bound to ask you why you made that comment when you knew you were not going to follow-up. That is all we want to see because we will be doing our work from these benches to these front benches expecting the executive to respond, not to us but to the people out there. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, you are reminded of the following mini-plenaries that will start at 16:30 pm: The debate on Basic Education Budget Vote in the National Assembly Chamber; the debate on Arts And Culture Budget Vote in the Old Assembly Chamber; and the debate on the Office of The Chief Justice and Judicial Administration Budget Vote in Committee Room E249.
The House adjourned at 16:25.