Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 28 Aug 2019
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 28 AUGUST 2019
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKQQ2c1q2cg
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:10.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: In accordance with Rule 247(1), there will be no notices of motion or motions without notice. Before we proceed with questions, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ministers from Peace and Security Cluster. Furthermore, I would like to make the following remarks: the time for the reply by the Minister to a question is five minutes; only four supplementary questions are allowed per question; a member who asked the initial question will be the first one to be afforded an opportunity to ask a supplementary question; the time for asking a supplementary question is two minutes; the time for the reply to a supplementary question is four minutes; and the supplementary question must emanate and relate to the initial question. The first question is
question 37 and I am told that hon Ncitha is to stand in for hon Dodovu. I will ask the Minister to please ... [Inaudible.]
QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS PEACE AND SECURITY Cluster 1B
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson of the House, the Department of Home Affairs recognises that management of international migration is not its responsibility alone, but requires a whole of government and society approach. This principle is fully embedded in South Africa’s White Paper on international migration which was approved by Cabinet in 2017.
In line with this principle, the Department of Home Affairs has been collaborating with other government department to manage international migration, in particular, combating illegal migration. This is demonstrated through a number of regular joined operations conducted by the departments, inspectorate division, the South African Police Services and the metro police officers across South Africa.
The department also regularly conducts joined inspection with the Department of Labour at business premises. In an effort to strengthen border management and the reduction of illegal migration, the department, in consultation with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster - the JCPS Cluster - developed a Border Management Authority, BMA Bill, which was submitted to Parliament.
Through the Draft Bill, the department had envisaged to bring together all government departments working at ports of entry into one authority in order to strengthen co-ordination and security of South African borders.
It should however be noted that the department’s inspectorate division, responsible for enforcement of Immigration Act is significantly under capacitated as it compromises of 731 inspectorate officers nationally. As a result, most of the operations inspections conducted by inspectorate are intelligence driven. The department is also part of the intergovernmental committee on migration which regularly meets to discuss and review the implementation of migration related policies in government.
At regional level, the department is implementing the SADC strategic plan to combat illegal migration, smuggling of migrants and
trafficking in persons and the revised SADC strategic plan to combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children. Thank you.
Ms Z V NCITHA: Chairperson, before my follow up question, let me first appreciate the response from the Minister and I take note that there is work that is being done, but what I would like to know from him is that, as you have indicated that you have a joint committee, do you maybe have time frames set for those meeting and how frequent do you sit? And in terms of the outcome of your plans or strategy, can you briefly tell us about the positives in terms of addressing those challenges of immigration. Thanks, Chair.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, as I have said, we conduct a lot of operations together with other law enforcement agencies around the country. We also visit some of the business premises and the farms together with the Department of Labour. We are also an integral part of the Justice, Crime, Prevention and Security Cluster, JCPS. We sit with them and develop the strategies.
But on a daily basis, we have Home Affairs inspectors out there who are doing inspections. As I have said, something that we cannot run away from is that they are grossly understaffed. I have just quoted the number of them here. So, instead of them working in a particular
manner, their operations as I have read are intelligent driven. In other words, we pick up through intelligence what could be happening there and disperse them to such areas. Thank you.
Mnu I M SILEKU: Mandibulise Mphathiswa ngale mvakwemini ...
... does the Minister know how many undocumented foreign nationals there are within South African borders? If so, how are there and if not, is it because the Minister is not aware of what is happening within his department?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: We don’t know and we don’t think anybody knows. You are actually saying illegal undocumented. So if a person is not documented then you won’t know about them. Because they are not documented, they came into the country illegally. It’s more or less like asking me whether the police know how many criminals are there in the country. And I am not saying undocumented migrants are criminals, but police knows about a crime when it’s committed. They can’t say outright that so many people fall in that category.
So, we simply don’t know and it’s not because we don’t know what is happening within the department, we know very much and that is why we know that we are not sure of the numbers, it is because we know. Yes, we know what is happening in the department so we won’t know the numbers because we know what is happening. And that is why I said the solution to this problem is to establish a Border Management Authority Bill, as you know has been passed in the National Assembly. What is left is for this House to also pass the Bill and then we can start monitoring the borders. Perhaps we will stand a chance of knowing who is inside the country. At the moment, no, we can’t know.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chair, the Minister doesn’t know how big the problem is. Therefore, how can he possibly even plan to budget for the problem and to fix it? Isn’t the essential problem that the borders of our country are not borders; they are walk thru or drive thru? I can go to Mozambique right now to their border and I have done this, I can walk across the border, buy fish and chips and walk back. [Laughter.] I have done that on our oversight.
So, the point is what is the Department of Home Affairs going to do in terms of sorting out the borders of our country so that at least when people come into the country we know they are here and we know
what they are doing. How are we going to do that, because points of entry are not going to help Minister, a proper border fence will?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I have already stated that we have come up with concept of Border Management Authority, specifically out of the realisation that the borders are porous. If you read that Bill you will understand exactly why we are saying it must be passed and why the National Assembly agreed with us and passed it to try and deal with ... having said so, I also don’t want us to ... [Inaudible.] ... of the history of Africa.
The insinuation that you made about crossing the border and buying chips, which you made cynically, there are people who do that everyday, and they should. There is nothing wrong in crossing into Mozambique to buy chips and then come back. There are people who do that almost every day; and we cannot wrong them. The question is how do you control them? Those who watch the news will realise that I was in Lesotho at Maseru border coast; I met the Minister and the Deputy Minister. I met school kids who stays in Maseru and goes to schools in South Africa everyday. It is not something that doesn’t happen in this continent and there is nothing wrong and we are not about to stop it. All we said is that we shouldn’t be stamping their
passports. We should find a way of making them pass. There are people who sleep in Maseru every night but works in Ladybrand in South Africa everyday or even in Bloemfontein.
But more than that, there are communities here in this continent who is one community - one village but the border is cutting through them. You expect them not to go to this side of the border, not only to buy bread or even to ask for salt from their relatives? And we have such communities and one of them, we have regularised it between our borders with Botswana. We have put a specialised regime where people can cross both sides without any documents but in is controlled way. And I was discussing with Ministers in the areas like Lesotho that will give them such instances. So, when you talk about people crossing and buying chips and coming back, they do it and it is going to happen on this continent and it is not something that we are going to try and stop because it is happening among the same communities. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Minister, yesterday, the Minister of Defence was here and she indicated that her department as in we know this with 0,9% allocation of the budget, it is quite under a lot of financial strain, her Defence Department. But she also acknowledged that more strain is put on her department by the police. But she
also indicated that more strain is being put on her already burdened department by the fact that your department is not functioning the way that I should. What would your response to this be?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Well, if the Minister of Defence is overstretched by financial problems, we are also overstretched.
Because in this economic climate, when Treasury starts doing budget cuts, they start doing it in the mostly in the JCPS Cluster, because they save the social cluster because kids must go to school and because when you go to hospitals, you must find medicine, doctors and nurses.
So, the only place they can cut is here. It is not only the army. I have just informed you that if we had the entire budget, we would increase four or five times the number of Home Affairs inspectors, but we simply don’t have the resources to do so. So if the army is complaining that their resources are overstretched, we also have overstretched resources in Home Affairs because the cuts are happening in the JCPS Cluster. Those people who belong to the portfolio committee, unfortunately are not in this House, will remember that when we presented our Annual Performance Plan, APP, there was a big argument because we showed them budget cuts that are going to happen in the next three years; about 7%, 9%, etc, and they
were asking if that is not going to affect service delivery. But that is the reality that we are faced with. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: The department has drafted a strategy and action plan that will be rolled out with short, medium and long- term intervention. The department pronounced to the public the War on Queues campaign as part of its plans to ensure that, notwithstanding the high volumes experienced amidst inadequate physical infrastructure, unstable systems and lack of resources, our clients are served at a shortest possible time.
The action plan put in place includes the following critical components: Firstly, all locations of offices are being reviewed. In other words, we are reviewing whether home affairs offices are situated in proper areas. This is because sometimes we build an office only to find that it is serving very few people and there is another office we have built which is overflowing. We are now doing a mapping exercise to check the demographics and see where we place our offices.
Secondly, we are in engagement with State Information Technology Agency, SITA, which in most times is our culprit on this matter, and
other role players to continue with the stabilisation of the information technology, IT, system. Quite often, Home Affairs has long queues because of system failure caused by broadband which SITA is responsible for. We have been in constant discussion with them to find a solution to this problem.
Thirdly, to address the issue of walk-in clients and inadequate resources, which I have already mentioned, there is a very good practice which I have seen here with one of the community radio stations in Elsies River. Everyday they phone ... I just forgot the name of the station. Gosh! I am so frustrated. But that station is doing a good thing which we want to copy.
Every morning they phone the Home Affairs director and ask him because Home Affairs offices would have informed him on their statuses by 08h00 in the morning. If an office is already full, the radio station will broadcast it and advise on which office to go to. They do that three times a day; in the morning, at lunch time and after four so that even when you are sitting in your car listening, you will know which office is empty and which one is overburdened.
The issue of overburdening of offices happens all the time. In Gauteng, immediately after the reopening of schools in June, the
offices were overflowing because school kids started to realise they are about to write exams and they want identity documents, IDs. They just wake up and go to offices. Therefore, that morning we have to choose offices and give them allowance for overtime to do that work. We do that all the time.
We also want to revisit staff working hours. Part of the overflowing offices is because the offices work for only five days. If we have to work over weekend then it is regarded as overtime. We are discussing with Labour whether we can have people who specifically work on weekends just like in hospitals where some doctors and nurses work during the day and others work during the night. We are also going to try that.
We have implemented the following measures: Five offices were identified and are used as pilot for the War on Queues and we are trying to find out if we can modernise all the offices in the country.
Lastly, our smart ID card is so difficult to forge or defraud that the banks in this country actually want everyone who has a bank account to have a smart ID card. For this reason, they are prepared and they are working with us. We already have bank branches where
you don’t have to go and queue in home affairs but you can apply at a particular bank online sitting at home and the bank will call you to come and take biometrics. Once they this has been done, the information is sent to Home Affairs’ back office to be checked. If everything is perfect then we send the information to government printers for your ID or passport to be printed.
You can take an ID or passport in this way. There are already people who do not stand in these queues but they just sit at home and do that online. Only 13 bank branches are doing that; 12 in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. This year, after my budget speech, we are adding 29 more and next year by April we are adding 70 so that more people do not queue so as to reduce the lines in Home Affairs’ offices for those who cannot apply online. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mnu M SILEKU: Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, mandibulele kuMphathiswa malunga namacebo eniza kuwenza okukhawulelana nabantu ukuze bangalindi ixesha elide. Eyona nto endikhathazayo ngabantu abadala ingakumbi ezilalini ekufuneka bahlawule iiteksi ngemali yabo yendodla, ze baphinde bafike balinde ithuba elide. Apha eNtshona Koloni kukho inkqubo abayenzayo kwiindawo ezifana neklinikhi apho umntu esenza idinga phambi kokuba atyelele. Ingaba le nkqubo
yokwenza idinga ayingebi liyeza lokuzama ukhawulelana nabantu abadala? Enkosi.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chair, fortunately I was in Health and we had a similar thing of waiting times and long queues in clinics and hospitals. We also did try the concept of appointments because some people come at 04h00 in the morning only to be served in the afternoon. If a person who is going to be served in the afternoon can come midday all the better. But, unfortunately, that is not the culture of our people; they don’t appreciate the issue of appointments. They wake up because of several factors; it might be that the taxi or bus to that particular village is at particular times in the morning and afternoon.
In some areas it does work where people make appointments. I am just giving you an example. People applying for IDs and passports, because it is only two things which you can get through the bank, they go there by appointment. That is why there will never be queuing. But most of our people even if you give them an appointment they appreciate coming as early as possible and we always wish to accommodate them.
We have a system whereby the very elderly, the sick and babies are selected from the queue and taken to the front. We have trained our Home Affairs offices to do that all the time. Thank you.
Manana B T MATHEVULA: Mutshamaxitulu na Holobye, ndza khensa. Holobye, hofisi ya n’wina eGiyani ya swi kota ku heta maviki manharhu yi nga swi koti ku pfuna vaakatiko. Loko u vutisa leswaku xiphiqo i yini vona va hlamula leswaku tisisiteme a ti tirhi.
Hikwalaho, ndzi rhandza ku tiva leswaku xana hi tihi tindlela leti mi nga ku tilanguteni ku kota ku pfuna vaakatiko va le Giyani leswaku va kuma vukorhokeri eka hofisi ya n’wina? Ndza khensa.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: I really feel very bad about what has just been said because it happens mostly in rural areas. As I have told you, time and again systems are down and the answer is one - broadband. I suffered the same when I was in Education where you schools are not connected because broadband is not enough. Then I went to Health where clinics are not connected all around the country because of broadband in rural areas. Then I am in Home Affairs and some offices are down because of broadband.
We are really working around the clock with SITA. We are made to understand that SITA is trying to work with MTN on resolving this problem and we are eagerly waiting for the results. I can assure you, I would like to have heard the results by yesterday because when the system is down, Home Affairs officials just sit.
Last week there was a story of a Home Affairs official whom we are supposed to punish because he was using his phone during office hours and it went viral and people were angry. When we investigate we found that the poor official was phoning because the system was down; there was no work and he thought in the meantime he should be phoning. We do not know if it was a social call or phoning somebody for help but the fact is that there was no work at that time because the system was down. It is a special problem of rural areas. We are working around the clock to try and resolve it. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr A Masondo): Third supplementary, and the FF Plus will be the last.
Ms M L MOSHODI: Hon Chairperson, my question is: What are the plans for the department to shorten the turnaround time for the applications of IDs, birth and death certificates? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Let me start with the birth certificate because that is where everything starts. We would like a situation where every child born is not allowed to leave the hospital without a birth certificate. At the moment, out of the
4 000 health facilities in South Africa, only 1 445 are where birth can take place. Unfortunately out of the 1 445, only 391 can issue that birth certificate the day you leave. If your child is born today and tomorrow they are going home, they will go home with a birth certificate. We want to extend this to the rest of the facilities where birth takes place.
Three weeks ago we met with the Department of Health, I led the delegation and Minister Zweli Mkhize led the delegation from Health. They are working on this programme. We are putting resources and systems in all our hospitals so that when you leave you do not leave with a notice of birth but with a real unabridged birth certificate.
According to the programme we have just drawn, we believe that by early 2022 all the 1 445 facilities will be doing that. At the moment, we want to register birth within a period of 30 days but there are people, unfortunately because we are living in the continent of Africa, who come at the age of 13, 14 or 15 for the first time to ask for a birth certificate. They have never been
anywhere before. That is why we want to end that by making sure that when they leave the hospital they have a birth certificate.
Let me move to ID. Chairperson, the Department of Home Affairs’ standard, which we are adhering to, is that once you apply for your ID it will take 13 days to get it. We do not want to go beyond 13 days; we can give you even in five days. Once you apply for your passport, we can give it to you within five days while our standard is 13 days. We demonstrated this during my budget speech in the National Assembly on 10 July. We brought two trucks here for members who do not have passports or smart IDs. It was on a Wednesday when they applied and on Friday we gave them their IDs. We gave them within 48 hours. We are able to do that. [Applause.]
Now, I was asked, if you do so for Members of Parliament why can’t you do the same for an ordinary person on the street? We can do it but the problem is security because of the system we are using. When you have applied for an ID it can only be dispatched back to the office where you applied whereas all the printing is in Pretoria but we do not want to give it to you in Pretoria. It is ready; in fact, it is ready within 24 hours for those offices which are directly linked. When you apply today for an ID buy the end of the day it is printed in Pretoria and it will take 13 days because we are going to
look at the address, package it and send it by courier to the office where you have applied.
It will take sometime because we cannot use the post office. Not because the post office is not efficient but because we do not want fraud. The person who applied for it must be the one who hands it over. So, those are the turnaround times, we can do that already and we have demonstrated in the National Assembly as I have said.
When we discovered the lady who was married fraudulently I gave her an ID within 48 hours of discovering her after talking to her and also brought her during the budget speech.
There is also another lady whose son was displaced for 20 years without a birth certificate from Hazyview. The day we discovered her I called her in my office and 48 hours later we had given that boy a birth certificate and ID at the same time. So, we are able to do that. [Applause.]
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, I just want to respectfully correct you that not all white people are members of the Freedom Front Plus, firstly. Secondly, they are absent again. Thirdly, I am
a liberal and proudly so, so I am a member of the DA. So, you also learn, Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Apologies, hon member.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Minister, you have indicated earlier that the systems are down at Home Affairs mostly due to broadband. However, in Welkom Matjhabeng in the Free State there has been a case, and I actually picked it up through standing in the queue for my passport recently, that every hour on the hour the system goes down. I suspected maybe a case of new systems being put in place and it being faulty in the process. What I would like to ask you is: Would you undertake today to look into this matter, please? It is a fairly big branch of Home Affairs and if it happens every hour on the hour and perhaps at other Home Affairs branches as well it can lead to some serious delays. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Yes, it does. While the major part is broadband, there are also internal problems of IT. We do have an IT section which is always on standby to resolve those issues. A smaller part of course will be because of electricity being down and all that but we do have an IT team that is working around the clock to try and look into that.
When we leave here, will you give me the name of that officer? I just want to pay specific attention to it. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Yes, the department has a Late Registration of Birth, what we call LRB process in place, to ensure that qualifying applicants are assisted with birth registration, where young persons were unable to obtain their ID documents as a result of not having evidence of birth registration. Regarding this issue of not leaving the hospital without the birth certificate, I have already mentioned how we are going to solve the problem for the future. But for the moment, we have programmes to help sort them out because we are not yet doing so.
Upon meeting the requirements and approval from LRB, the applicant is allocated with an ID number and a birth certificate is generated as a result. The children who thus meet the requirements for applying for an ID document, when they turn 16 years and older, the department has this memorandum of understanding with the Department of Health to address these concerns, and I think that I’ve already underlined that it’s not only a memorandum of understanding now, it was a memorandum of understanding in the past. But now it’s a joint
programme. When it is ready, we are going to launch it jointly with the Minister of Health.
At the present moment, anybody who comes to take an ID or a birth certificate without any prior notice of birth, they do get it. It’s only that it takes a longer time, and maybe that is where the complication is. If you Aron Motswaledi who is already 14 or 15 years and you are in need of a birth certificate, we are not going to give it to you in 48 hours or 13 days like we do with all the other people. It’s not possible. We have got start investigations and some of them take time.
We have got to send inspectors to the home where you say you were born. We will also go to the schools you attended; we visit the hospital must give us records whether you were really born there; churches must may also give us records that you actually started Sunday school and they should indicate that they know you and we will also consult with the traditional leader to tell us that actually they know your family.
Chairperson, we do all those investigations before we issue a document because, issuing somebody a document wrongly is very dangerous for the country. So, the kids that are affected will
eventually get their documents, but it will take longer and I think people are complaining because of this issue. It’s not that they do not get their document, but they get them after a long time and after the results of investigations are satisfactory.
There is an example I gave about the lady from Hazyview whom I invited to my Budget Speech. She has got four children but she discovered 20 years ago when she was told by Home Affairs officials that she actually has got seven children. She indicated that she has only four children, but was told that the records are actually indicating that she has seven kids. She discovered that when she went to register her last born in March 1999, because that is when the boy was born.
The records were showing that she delivered a baby boy in December 1998. Therefore, it was impossible to deliver another one in 1999, which is three months later. So, she was told that Home Affairs cannot register the one born in 1999. She indicated that she doesn’t know anything about the boy born in December 1998. The matter was even reported to the police and there’s a case number for it. The police investigated, and they couldn’t find a head or tail.
The lady had to stand up on her own and after 20 years she found out about her three children who are not South African and who have been recorded as hers. How did they appear in her documents? There is Home Affairs official who was bribed to work with the perpetrators. She even went to the home of that Home Affairs official and when she arrived there, there was a lady that was wearing black clothes, you know what that means in our culture. The lady in black clothes confirmed with her that the person she is looking for is her husband, but as she could see from wearing black clothes, her husband was no more.
She then asked the wife about his ID. But the wife went inside the house and came back with a box full of IDs. She said: “I don’t know what you are looking for, but these are his tools. He used to work with this box.” When she checked inside the box there were different IDs. So, these are some of the things that we are trying to stop.
Now, how do we stop them if every South African that has been born doesn’t leave the hospital without the birth certificate or leaves the hospital with a birth certificate?
After a period of 20 or whatever years later, they can’t come back to Home Affairs to change their stories and put people under their IDs? That’s why we are going to ask you to run a campaign with us.
Once we put up a system with the Minister of Health, it must become a matter of life and death which people will know that they will not leave the hospital without the birth certificate of their kids. In fact, I want it even to be the responsibility of the CEO of the hospital who must also be held accountable, not only the Home Affairs officials.
For instance, even in the 391 hospitals where birth registration is happening, sometimes babies are not registered when they were born over the weekend, due to the fact that there were no Home Affairs officials to register them. We want to make it a law that even if the baby was born over the weekend, on Monday the birth certificate should be issued for the baby. The CEO of the hospital must come to Home Affairs and give a list of the babies born over the weekend.
There are also equipment that have been set in hospitals, like the hospital next to Hazyview for officers to print real original birth certificates that can be generated from hospitals, not just a mbombay [fake] copy. Therefore, the problems I have indicated will come to an end. Thank you.
Mr A B GOYIYA: Chair, understanding the challenges that the department is facing, especially with regards to late registrations
of birth, can the Minister maybe just tell us if this plan is yielding the intended results, and to what to what extent? We understand that there are challenges, but at least you should be able to record successes that are indicating that at least we are moving towards the right direction, especially for those who left the hospitals without birth certificate. Thanks.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: No, the programme called Late Registration of Birth, LRB, is bearing successes. We even know that last year there were about 48 000 people who came to register their birth after 13 years. We do have statistics. It is bearing successes because we ended up giving them the IDs. All I’m saying is that it won’t be as fast as those who got their birth certificates at birth. It won’t be, because we must go and investigate who the person is.
If you just say that you want to reach the standard of 13 days to issue out IDs, you will end up issuing out IDs to wrong people who comes to claim that they were born here. So, it is yielding results because eventually, they ended up getting their documents though it takes time for us to investigate and find out exactly who these people are. Thank you.
Mna M E NCHABELENG: Ke kwele ge o araba Tona o re botša ka mathata ao le kopanago le wona ge le lokiša ditaba tša dipasa tša batho. Le bolela gore ba bangwe ba tla ka morago ga nako ba tlile go dira dikgopelo tša dipasa. Taba ye ke nyakago go e botšiša ke gore e ka ba go na le thuto yeo le e fago setšhaba gore ge motho a sa gopole gore o belegwe neng goba kae, magato ao a swanetšego go a tšea ke afe gore batho ba tsebe, ba se hlwe ba tlaišega ba eya godimo le fase. Naa go na le thuto yeo setšhaba se e hwetšago gore ba tsebe gore ba lokiša bjang ditokomane tša mohuta wo?
TONA YA MERERO YA SELEGAE: Batho bao ge ba fihla Kgorong ya Merero ya Selegae re a ba hlalosetša gore ba sepele ba dire ka tsela ye e itšeng. Go fa mohlala, re a ba laela gore ge ba tloga, ba sepele ba ye go re nyakela lengwalo le le itšeng ba le tliše mo Kgorong ya Merero ya Selegae. Efela godimo ga moo, re leka le go dira dithuto phatlalatša.
For instance, when the Department of Social Development has got an Imbizo, we send Home Affairs officials there and we also send out trucks to try and teach people all over the country about exactly what they must do. Quite a number of community radio stations also run these types of programmes for the communities, in order to try
and explain about the dangers of not having a birth certificate; what you do if you are already old and you don’t have a birth certificate. So, we are trying to do that. It might be that we are not covering all the corners, but we are definitely trying to do it.
Mnr I M SILEKU: Voorsitter, ongelukkig kan ons nie altyd sê dat almal by die hospitaal gebore word nie. Daar is omstandighede waar die kinders op die plase gebore word. Die mense is ver van die hospitaal af. As gevolg van nalatigheid op die platteland, watter ondersteuning is daar vanaf die Departement van Gesondheid en die Departement van Binnelandse Sake, om sulke mense te help met die registrasie van hulle kinders met geboorte?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, fortunately we already know by now through the statistics we have got that 98% ... [Interjections.] ... I am sure I am allowed to speak in any language
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: ... in the same way that any other person can speak any other language. So, nobody can say that I must speak in Afrikaans. No, I must speak in any language I choose, yes.
Nka e araba le ka Sepedi.
So, let’s not go there. Chairperson, we know already as I’m standing here that 98% of children in South Africa are born in hospitals. We are blessed because it was not like that in the past. This has since increased from 1994. So, it is only 2% of the population which are born out of the hospitals. If we become successful in implementing this programme with the Minister of Health, then we will know that we are left with only 2% which will continue on the LRB. It will be a small number.
I was informed of a religious cult where they don’t allow women to give birth at hospitals; I have just been informed. I have met ministers of religion a month ago who told me about such a cult. I then discussed with them on how to help us on this issue. I am also intending to try and visit that cult. But you know how difficult is
it to change a cult when people really believe in it. We’ll have to find a way of how to deal with it.
But we are saying that fortunately, it’s only a small number which is 2% and it’s not something that the country won’t be able to deal with. Definitely, I promise that we will be able to help such kids because you also know that many of them will have to go to school anyway. They’ve got to get educated. So, there is no way that we will ever refuse to register them. Thank you.
Ms H S BOSSHOF: Sorry, is the microphone on? Thank you very much. Hon Minister, earlier on we heard about the porous borders and because of these porous borders, we have an influx especially in the towns on the boarders - I am getting into the question – in South Africa, I am taking Nkomazi area as an example. Many of the learners there cannot write their matric exams because they don’t have their ID books, and their parents cannot be found because they have either gone back to the country of origin.
What is Home Affairs going to do in this instance to assist these learners to be able to get an ID to write their end-of-year exams? Many of them are left to their own devices. They either go or live
with somebody that they do not know. So, we need to find out if Home Affairs is able to provide them with ID books as well? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Fortunately, I just came across that problem on this issue when I visited Hazyview in Mpumalanga. There was a community meeting that was also attended by MECs from Mpumalanga, therefore, we are aware of the problem. The MEC for Education disclosed to us that just in Mpumalanga alone, there are
57 000 school kids who are undocumented and they are at school. Now, I am fortunate because I lived in that area around Bushbuckridge for quite some time, immediately when I left medical school.
This problem happened because it’s a historical problem of what happened in Mozambique during the Renamo War, and we are very much alive and sensitive to that. We are aware that many of the kids may not even go back home because they don’t know where home is. The original person who came here in 1980 is gone, and the child who was born in South Africa is a South African. So, we are going to do a special dispensation for them. But in the meantime, what I noticed to be wrong is to find out that some schools are actually sending them back home.
My position on this matter is this, Chairperson, that whether the child is documented, undocumented, migrant, illegal, official or all of that, no child must be deprived an opportunity of going to school, regardless of their circumstances. It is counterproductive and it’s against international convention. [Applause.] So, I have already given a notice on the issue because I know that it will affect mostly kids from Mpumalanga. But I was told that even the Eastern Cape is affected.
I thought the problem is only Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, but I now I understand that this problem is all over the country. I want to meet with the MECs so that we, as adults can sit and solve our problems and leave the kids to attend school, because some of them never participated in these problems, whether they are illegal or not. So, that is my position. When I raised my position in Hazyview, I was told that the reason that teachers and principals are sending the kids home is because they are scared of Home Affairs inspectors who always come to school to check what is happening.
I made an announcement in that meeting, but I was told that I need to write a circular. I responded that we will consult first in MinMECs, and that I will ask Minister Motshekga to allow me to address the MinMECs in order for me to issue a circular. When I
heard that they are scared of Home Affairs inspectors I said, but we’ve got so much illegality in the country. Why should Home Affairs inspectors spend time in schools when they’ve got so much work and there are few of them?
So, I said that I will instruct them to get out of schools and leave those kids alone. We as adults should be able solve those problems for those kids. In short, I don’t want any child not to go to school simply because they are not documented and that they don’t even know where they come from, that will be punishing children. That is my view, and I will be discussing it with my counterparts. We will allow them to attend school, while we sort the problem out. Even if it takes five years to eventually document that child.
You can imagine, if we eventually document them after five years and they were not at school, it would mean that they have lost and we can’t cover that time. So, it will be better that they continue at school while we are struggling with investigations and documentation. That will be my official position, and I want to convey this position to my colleagues, the MECs in provinces, and say that we are not going to send any Home Affairs inspectors to trouble them anymore, because we know the existence of this problem. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, I am not sure why this issue of double voting keeps on rearing its head. However, I am pleased that the hon member who asked this question is referring to an alleged double voting, meaning that it is an allegation. I am stating this because there are people who behave as if it was empirically proven. Now, let me clarify issues before I continue. If we remember during the elections when this allegation of double voting was made, the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, called all political parties who lodged this problem and in concurrence with them they agreed that they must call statistics SA to come and investigate. Statistics SA put the claims to various statistical tests and concluded that there was no real evidence of double voting. However, if it happened, it was so insignificant that it could not materially impact on the outcome of the election. That was what the IEC said and that is why they were able to release the results.
Secondly, there were individuals who stood up and said that they voted twice. We had twenty of them and they have been sent to the police. We don’t know the outcome but the rumour was that they then changed statements, whereas they said they voted twice. I understand that they are then saying, no, all they said was that they could
have voted twice. I don’t know what the police would say about that but that is the story we are hearing. Indeed, if they voted twice, they have to be charged. You are right. So, we are waiting for the police on these 20 cases to see where they end up. However, having said these, I am not saying we will just throw it away and say that there was no double voting ... forget, no, no. We want to modernise our system.
Why the question of double voting is emerging now when we have been holding elections from time immemorial? Yes, the issue of double voting emerges now, Chairperson, because of the systems that we were using. Section 24(a) allows people to vote away from their voting stations, whereas their names appear on the voters’ roll in their voting stations if they are voting on the national ballot not on the provincial. On the national ballot you can vote anywhere and you are issued with a section 24(a) certificate. It has been happening all the time. Why all of a sudden it is a problem?
There are three issues that made it a problem. The first one is that, when you vote away from your own station we used to put a sticker on your identity document, ID, which would show that you have voted. When you take your identity document to another station they would see through that sticker that you have voted. However,
that sticker was rendered useless or less useful by the introduction of the smart identity document that looks like a credit card. You can’t put a sticker on it. That was in 2013. So, it was quite unfortunate that when the Department of Home Affairs started to introduce the smart identity document in 2013, this system was not changed.
The second way of making sure that there is no double voting was the zip-zip machine. Unfortunately, we used 30 000 of them. The zip-zips are not recording in real time, meaning that, when you use a zip-zip machine it doesn’t talk to the other 29 000 out there that a person is voting away from his voting station, it doesn’t. We will detect it but until after the fact.
Lastly, people are signing a section 29(a) document under oath. Unfortunately, when you sign a document under oath and say that you are voting only in that station, we can only know after the fact that you were lying. So, because of those changes, Chairperson, the IEC plan which they already presented before the portfolio committee during the Annual Performance Plans, APP, number one, it will amend section 24(a) such that when you are intending to vote in a different station you have to apply. You will not just wake up and go there. You have to apply stating that you are not in the station
where you have registered, you then request to vote in another station and you must be given a written permission. That is the first thing.
Secondly, next month, oh! Next month is next week by the way, the IEC will issue a tender to get into the market to look for a zip-zip machine or any gadget that might work in a similar way but which is reporting in real time. This means that if we will continue with people voting away from their stations, the zip-zip machine will report it in real time as you scan unlike now where one zip-zip talks to itself but not to the others. We don’t have such a system yet but we believe that during this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution somebody will have it. We will start looking for it because, remember, we still have a lot of time before the next election. So, by that time we will have determined whether we allow people to vote away from their stations and we have a system to detect that or whether we discourage it all together. Thank you very much.
Ms S A LUTHULI: I am surprised ...
... ukuthi uNgqongqoshe uyaxakeka ukuthi yindaba umbuzo lo ebengiwubuzile uqhamuke futhi kodwa yena uyasho ukuthi kunamacala angamashumi amabili afika futhi umbuzo kumele siwubuze ngoba umsebenzi wethu owokuthi abaphathi kuHulumeni bayaphendula ngezenzo nezinqumo zabo.
So, we were asking this question and we are still asking it that since there are cases that were reported about people who voted twice or ...
... ngaphezu kokuphindwe kabili, ngakhoke ubani ...
... that needs to be blamed? I am surprised that the Minister is really saying ...
... akazi ukuthi umbuzo ubuye kanjani ...
... because he is telling us about stickers, zip-zip machines and the fact that next month, which is next week, a tender will be out for another zip-zip machines. That means there was and is a problem. We are entitled to ask these questions because people out there, they need to know and they need to get answers on who then is to be blamed. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Well, indeed you are right. You have all the right to ask, I withdraw what I said about being surprised. However, I think you got your answer, hon member. Thank you very much. [Laughter.]
Cllr T B MATIBE: Hon Chair, besides us addressing the zip-zip machine issue, Minister, do we have any other plans to assist in the improvement of the electoral system so that we don’t encounter challenges like it was put forward?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Indeed, we do have. The biggest plan is whether the country will continue allowing section 24(a). We can only allow it if our going to the market yield results. That would have a zip-zip machine that will be able to report in real time. If we can’t get it, then we will come to this hon House to say that, please, abolish section 24(a), it can no longer be used, people can
only go to vote where they have registered. If the House and the political parties agree, so be it. But, if they do not agree then they must know that if we don’t have any new technology to detect that, then it must be acceptable and mustn’t come as a surprise.
All I said was that we still have time since we are starting next week to try and issue systems, we will know very soon whether such a system is available. Thinking of this era of modern technology, I don’t see that system not being available. I don’t really see that. We will definitely find it somewhere. Thank you.
Mr M R BARA: Chairperson, we all understand that for elections to be free and fair there must be co-operation between the Department of Home Affairs and the IEC. I have listened to your answer in terms of the chances of people voting twice in the national elections, but going forward, Minister, is there any plans or thoughts in terms of trying to modernise the manner in how we vote in the country? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Of course, we will keep on modernising the manner in which we vote. You are aware that the manner in which we are voting now is completely different from what we did in 1994. I am not sure about your age, I am assuming, that it is completely
different from 1994. We change all the time as technology advances. I am sure that you are aware that the whole continent is talking about the possibility of electronic voting. Yes, where you do not have to go to a station, you just sit somewhere with some gadget.
So, there is no way that the Department of Home Affairs or IEC will be stand still. We will be looking for new modern methods and we are doing so all the time. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, the department is pursuing persistently and consistently methods and instruments to help combat Identity document, ID, fraud and theft. As I said, Identity document fraud and theft have far reaching and negative consequences to the individual but also to society as a whole. It has negative economic consequences to the country. It is not just a theft or whatever. The economic consequences are huge. For instance, the banks have reported to us that every year they lose in the vicinity of R50 million per annum because of ID theft.
A lot of steps are being taken to combat this. One of the first steps is to move over to the smart card which we have started in 2013. The simple reason up to this far is that the smart card has been in existence for six years now. There has never been any
evidence of it being forged. Maybe a tsotsi is still going to be born or emerge who has a capacity to forge it but for now, there is nothing. The reason that the banks are really begging all their members to be on the smart cards is because they will no longer be defrauded. That is why they are prepared to help us so that everybody has got a smart card.
The second thing to combat fraud is that we have discovered that some of the fraud happens because of our own officials who are bribed and corrupt. We cannot run away from that fact. The Department of Home Affairs then introduced some systems like a user ID and a password and we found that our officials are able to bridge this. So, recently we have introduced a new system called Biometrics Access Control Management, Bacam. With this system, a Home Affairs official who must issue a document to you, used to use a userword and a password to get into the computer. Now they have to use their fingerprints. None of them will come and tell me that their fingerprints have been stolen. Without a fingerprint, they cannot get into our system.
If they used fingerprints and get in, we will definitely know who access the system. So, since we introduced Bacam I am sure many of you who have visited Home Affairs offices you have seen in front of
every desk that there is a small glass there with a green light. That is a Bacam system. An official has to put a finger there and then it opens. So, we are hoping that in a few years time, fraud will be something of the past with that system.
The third method to combat fraud and forgery involves putting a new system to capture details of citizens. At the present moment, we are using a system called Home Affairs National Identity System, Hanis. When you go to Home Affairs and you want an ID, we are going to take your photo and your fingerprints through Hanis, put it on the national population register, store it there and then give you your document.
Now we are changing Hanis to Automatic Biometrics Identification System, Abis as technology advances. What is the difference between the two systems? The difference is that Hanis will record your photo and your fingerprints whereas Abis will record your fingerprints; photo; palm print; facial recognition technique; and iris recognition technique, meaning it can look into your eye and know that it is you. In future we will add the DNA. The DNA module is still going to be planned but it will be there soon. Very soon we will be using Abis and Hanis until Abis is stabilised and then we take away Hanis.
We are now abolishing the National Population Register on the fourth method to combat fraud. Anyone of you who took an ID, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate or Death Certificate – yes, I do not know how many of you here died. I know you might have done the other certificates. [Laughter.] If you have done anyone of those four you appear on the National Population Register. Now we are going to replace the National Population Register with the new system called National Identification System, NIS. The difference between the two systems is that the National Population Register has got a database of South Africans whereas NIS is going to have a database of everybody who is living within with the borders. But of course those who want to be known because you are going to ask me how do you say everybody when we know that there are illegal undocumented immigrants?
If an undocumented immigrant wants to come on forth and be on our NIS we will allow that but if they are hiding it will be still be all of us searching them through inspectors. The difference between National Population Register and NIS is that the NIS will try to identify and store the records of everybody who is inside the country. Then you will ask me how are we going to do it? If we establish a Border Management Authority as we are planning, anybody
entering through our borders will have their biometrics taken and will be able to store them.
The final and the last system to eliminate fraud is to take a Birth Certificate when you leave a hospital because then you cannot lie about your identity. In the coming 20 or 30 years later you will know you will not be able to lie about your identity. Those are the systems we are putting to combat fraud and corruption. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms S SHAIK: Hon Chairperson, let me thank the Minister for the response. We know the measures and systems that the department is putting in place to combat Identity document fraud and theft. Does the department have any plans to extend the use of electronic identity verification system? This may not only to the banks, as you have alluded to but also to other relevant entities to combat Identity theft and fraud and corruption and if yes, can we be given the details. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chair, for the moment, we have got no plans to extend to any other entities than the banks. I am saying for the moment and there is a simple reason why we are doing so.
When we switched over from the green bar coded Identity document to
the smart card you need a sophisticated system. That is why that document cannot be forged, the smart card. But you cannot issue it with any system. You need some form sophistication. At the moment, Home Affairs has got 412 offices in the country but only 193 of our own Home Affairs offices can issue that smart card Identity document and a passport.
If you happen to go to any of the other offices which are not part of the 193, you unfortunately are still going to get the old green bar coded Identity document and you will have to change it later unfortunately. Yes, because we need that level of sophistication. You need good infrastructure, electronic systems that are intact.
Now, the banks already have successes and that why we are using them. We are dreaming that in future when the post offices have stabilised we can also use it but not now. Even though the banks are sophisticated as they are only 13 branches are able to do that, only one in the Western Cape, 12 in Gauteng, zero in my home province of Limpopo, zero in North West, Zero in KwaZulu-Natal, zero in Eastern Cape, zero in Northern Cape, zero in Mpumalanga and zero in Free State. Now, we are expanding and we are going to add 29 more bank branches. Our offices, out of the 193 in this financial year, we are
going to add 26 more. So, we will keep on expanding and then next year April we add 70 more bank branches.
While these systems are stabilised and we an entity like the post office or SA Social Security Agency, Sassa offices and they are stabilised and everything is fine, we will extend that system to them but for now we cannot because this system depends on ultra security. Thank you very much.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Minister, your department can be hacked at any stage, it is not rocket science. I have asked the question and not your department or any other state department is spending nearly enough on cyber security. You have hardly spent in anything apart from the services you are going from Seta. The big concern I have with your department is that you sit with very personal information of 57 million. How can we be assured that our personal information is protected from any hacking from your computer system? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Well, maybe you must give me one example where Home Affairs got hacked and somebody stole that system. I can assure you that we are trying our best but we are not denying the fact that there is fraud, corruption and that our own officials can practise those. We are not running away from that but
I can assure you to the best of my knowledge and ability that up to so far since we have started the smart ID system nobody has been able to defraud or forge it. It has not been possible. In fact, last week I hosted the Minister of Home Affairs in Namibia to go and see our systems because they are thinking about us printing ultra security documents for them. He saw the system and said see for yourselves if you feel very safe but the issue, I think you are aware is a worldwide thing. Even highly sophisticated nations like Great Britain and the UK do get hacked at some stage or the other.
So it will not be something that is new but I can assure we are safe.
Up to so far Chairperson, we have got backups, archives in Home Affairs where we have stored 287 million documents stretch from 1895. They are there and we can show you who got married in 1895. Unfortunately, because of our history, the 1895 would be for whites only. We came later but we do have those documents. As I am standing here, we are digitalising them and we have already digitalised five million of them because those documents are getting very old. If you want to know whether your father got married in 1960 to whom and in what church, you can come we will show you that information. We have got it. It might not work for me because we only came after 1994 but for you I am sure it is there because it is stored in our archives.
If you check that our population is 57 million and the documents we have are 287 million. It is five times the size of our population which we are keeping in archives in the form of papers. We can give them to you in the short space of time. Just to show you how secure they are.
A gentleman came in early this year to take an ID and he says he is a South African and we took the fingerprints and check everything. We went to our archives and brought his fingerprints which were taken when he came into South Africa from Lesotho in 1981 to come and work in the mines. We showed him that the story that he is a South African is not true. These are the fingerprints which he took in the mines in 1981 and this is the same fingerprints that we are taking now. So he is not the one he was saying he is. We are able to get it through our archives.
So, while cyber crime is dangerous please do not undermine us. We know some things.
Man B T MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa Mutshamaxitulu, Holobye, ndzi lava ku tiva leswaku hi tihi tindlela leti mi ti tirhisaka ku tivisa vaakatiko hi nkoka wa “smart id”
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: This question is a little bit tricky but let me answer it the following way: We started the smart card ID in 2013 and when we started we identified that there are 38 million South Africans of your age and mine who need to migrate from green bar coded ID to the smart card ID. At the same time there are kids who turn 16 every year and they must also take a smart card ID. When we cleared the back lock of old people like you and me the young ones are coming up.
Unfortunately because of what I said earlier out of the 412 offices only 193 can issue the smart card ID and those branches of banks.
So, our capacity is to issue three million per annum only. Now, my fear if we go out on a campaign to encourage people to take smart card ID they will rush to all the Home Affairs offices only to find out that they are not ready. So, we are not yet running that campaign, we will start running it once all the 412 offices or at least 80% of them can issue a smart card ID or the bank or other institutions like post offices. For the moment, because our capacity is limited to three million per annum, we have just issued about between 13 and 15 million since 2013 if I am not mistaken. So it is a little bit of a slow process but we are going to head there. We do not think that it is the time now to make a call for people to rush and when they rush in we are not able to service them.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chair, the department together with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation has formed a task team, to currently review the process to drastically reduce the extended waiting period for documents such as IDs and passports. I am sure this answer or statement might confuse people because our set standard of IDs and passports is 13 days. Now, this question is about foreign missions and true, it is not 13 days in our foreign missions, it takes a longer time. The 13 days applies to those who apply here at home. When you are abroad, it can be anything up to six months, unfortunately. So, that is what we are trying to solve.
The department has co-dependency on the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, unfortunately. Once people apply, for instance, if they are in the UK, to bring the documents home; they must come via a diplomatic bag. It is not us at Home Affairs who determines how often the diplomatic bag must come to the country; it is the ambassadors and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. That is why we have formed a task team with them for them to realise ... it might be that the Department of International Relations and Co-operation has no reason to send the diplomatic bag to South Africa for six months and then we are forced to wait for
that time. Now, we are trying to sensitise them if there is any way possible.
The application for passport and ID abroad is a manual process, unfortunately and not automated. It entails the verification of citizenry, which is separately managed. Our discussion with them is that we need to resolve that.
The task team will work on the reduction of turnaround in the receipt of the diplomatic bags, the efficient dispatch of bags from the Department of International Relations and Co-operation to the department, processing of product application and dispatch of finalised products.
In order to address the situation, both Ministers have established a task team as I have already said, and we are trying to make sure that our consular services are actually being improved. Thank you.
Mr I M SILEKU: Thank you Chairperson, Minister, thank you very much for your response and the plans that you are undertaking with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. Minister, can you commit, today, in this House: What actions are you going to
take to expedite and be of assistance to South Africans who are abroad in getting their documentations quickly? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: I thought that is the answer I have just given. [Interjections.] Honestly. Yes. If you apply here at home, you will get it within 13 days or even 5 days. But when you are abroad, the problem is the systems we are using. I have just told you that we have put together a task team with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. We are around the clock to make sure that it works faster. We are going to try and see what the task team will put on the table.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you very much House Chairperson, hon Minister, does this task team have any timeframes within which to work because every year that we loose is being dealt with and that you are engaging with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation is actually another year that South Africans have to wait? Is there any timeframe connected to this task team that you have set up?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: It is ongoing. We didn’t give them any timeframe. Anytime they solve a problem, they inform us because we didn’t just discover this issue; ambassadors call us almost every
day. I can see an ambassador here knocking his head. We even have a situation where a person working abroad had to come back home for a week to apply for a passport; and they knew they will get it within
5 days and go back. It is expensive for them. We are asking the task team if we are able to solve the problem now. Solve it here and do not wait for any timeframe. Give us the solution here and now. We get solutions as we move. Thank you
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES: Thank you, hon Minister, hon members allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Home Affairs for availing himself to take questions in the NCOP. Thank you, hon Minister ... yes, you are ... [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms
K C Mashego-Dlamini): Hon Chairperson, our response is as follows: The issue of the United Nation Security Council reform is not discussed in the United Nation Security Council itself, as it is a matter of the agenda of the general assembly.
South Africa is however utilising its membership of the Security Council to advocate for the improvement of the council’s working method to make it more legitimate, representative and effective
body. On 6 June 2019, South Africa addressed the council on behalf of the 10 elected members of the council at a debate of improving the council’s working method. At that debate South Africa also stressed that as elected members we have also taken it upon ourselves to attempt to breach the gap created by our limited terms on the council by fostering greater co-operation and co-ordination amongst ourselves. This intention was manifested in the November 2018 co-ordination meeting launched in Pretoria, which brought together incoming, current and outgoing elected members to explore mechanisms and areas for collaboration and co-ordination to better serve on the council in pursuit of the maintenance of the international peace and security.
Chairperson, South Africa remains committed to the African common position on Security Council reform as contained in the African Union Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration as the only way through which the imbalance in the representation of Africa in the UN Security Council can be corrected and for the council to reflect the current composition of the United Nations.
South Africa has advocated for the Ezulwini Consensus in all multilateral forum and in other relevant summits and meetings.
On the issue of the progress on the African goals of silencing the guns in the continent by 2020, our response is yes, indeed there has been a significant progress on the African Union aspirations of silencing the guns by the year 2020.
Firstly, the institutions of the African Union for dealing with conflict prevention and resolution have been established including the African Union Peace and Security Council Panel of the Wise and African Standby Force, although not fully operational.
The African Union has also adopted a prompt action to condemn unconstitutional change of governments in Gambia and other African states. The continent has also pursuit the African solutions to African problems through mediation to reduce violent conflicts. As part of aspiration of a peaceful and secure Africa, silencing of guns is aimed at reducing armed conflicts in the continent, while 2020 deadline is fast approaching, we have made significant progress and intend to build on that and the collective do our part to ensure that Africa is free of conflicts by 2063. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Mr M DANGOR: Hon Deputy Minister, it is commendable that South Africa has dedicated its tenure in the Security Council to the
legacy of President Mandela whose values and commitment to peace were commemorated last year during the centenary of his birth. The reality is that the global politics continues to be characterised by rising unilateralism, widening the geopolitical divisions and conflict that will continue to result in civil wars, expansion of ethnic conflict, mass repression, humanitarian crisis and the displacement of communities.
What is South Africa’s plan to use its tenure to promote the maintenance of international peace?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms
K C Mashego-Dlamini): Hon Chairperson, as much as we are intervening in different countries in terms of maintaining peace and stability, but our motto still stands that the African solution is the responsibility of the Africans themselves. Problems in Africa are problems for the Africans. So, as we contribute and intervene, but we do not take over their issues. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, firstly I find it quite shocking that the deadline of silencing the guns 2020, as now referred in your answer, to trying to resolve conflict on the continent by 2063. I doubt whether I would still be
alive to see that and I am one of the youngest members of this House. However, my actual question is the following Deputy Minister and it is actually sad that it is a laughing matter for some of the ANC members. Conflict on the African continent is very worrying. We have rather not we, your ANC government has applied silent diplomacy on every single matter that involved human rights violations on this continent at least since President Mbeki and you still continuing with that policy. You have applied silent diplomacy in every single matter and in some cases you have actually protected human rights violated.
My question to you is this: If silent diplomacy has not stopped the gross human rights violations in the rest of Africa, how is this policy going to silence the guns even by 2063? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Hon Chairperson, the hon member must understand that we have a founding principle of our Constitution in South Africa. We are making sure that we comply with the human dignity, equality and advancing human rights and freedom as it is enshrined in our Constitution. We cannot do any other things except respecting our Constitution of the land. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON COMMITTEES (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you. Hon Michalakis, probably when they were disturbing is because the youngest member in the House is from your very same province the Free State and according to the records you are not the one. Hon Deputy Minister, we now come to Question 46, asked by the hon Michalakis. Hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Thank you very much, Chairperson. Our response is yes, South Africa’s foreign policy is informed by human rights promotion and protection. It should be recalled that human rights are at the very hearts of South Africans foreign policy. In this regard, the centrality of human rights in our foreign policy will remain a defining feature of our country. Under the leadership of our Minister as the question also wanted to hear the Minister here, we will stay the course and we will remain true to the founding principles of the Constitution as I have indicated to the hon member. I thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you, hon House Chairperson. Deputy Minister, I asked this question a few years ago in this House as well. Your predecessor came here and he affirmed the same and then just after
that our representatives at the UN went ahead and they either abstained on important human rights issues or voted with countries that have questionable records on human rights against human rights. Would you give the undertaking here that when the choice is between countries such as China and Russia on the one hand and human rights on the other that we will choose human rights under your leadership? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Thank you very much, Chairperson. We will choose the Constitution of South Africa. [Applause.]
Ms Z V NCITHA: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Chairperson, it is reported that South Africa is hosting around 280 000 refugees and asylum seekers from variety of countries. How do we ensure that we advance our commitment to international law regarding the protection of refugees and asylum seekers whilst upholding our national duty to ensure that we do not witness incidences such the ones that we see in Johannesburg. Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Thank you very much, Chairperson. As the Minister of Home Affairs has indicated here, we have a joint
committee to deal with the refugees as it is happening in South Africa but we need to make sure that we need to register all foreigners who are in the country. But as it stance and the conflict that is happening in our communities that it is because of the unregistered people that are coming from outside, we are dealing with it together with the Department of Home Affairs. Thank you very much.
Ms S A LUTHULI: Thank you, Chair. If your government was truly committed to the protection of human’s rights, it should have not have any relationship with the apartheid state of Israel. Even though we acknowledge that your department has downgraded relation with apartheid Israel government, this is not enough and government continues to have an existing relationship with apartheid Israel.
Why is this happening? Are there any plans to increase pressure on the apartheid state of Israel? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Thank you very much, Chairperson. We are a country as South Africa; we coexist in the world like any other country. We have no way to say we diminish a certain country because we don’t like their practices. But what we are relying on as the country is to make sure that we need to convince and make sure that
this country understands the principles that can be aligned in the entire world. So, we are not going to really say we run away from any country that any person doesn’t like because we coexist in the world for the betterment of our communities and we will make sure that we do the right thing as it is requested by South African in any other country. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C MASHEGO-DLAMINI): House Chairperson, our response is as follows: The African Union, the United Nation Cooperation is effected in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Union’s Charter, Article 52; 1 which states that nothing in present charter preclude the existence of the regional arrangement or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as appropriate for regional action, provided that such arrangement or agencies and their activities are consistent with the purpose and principle of the United Nations.
South Africa was instrumental in championing this matter in its previous terms on Security Council. South Africa successfully facilitated the adoption the UN Security Council Resolution 1809 in 2008, which recognised the importance of the co-operation between
the peace and security architecture on the United Nations and the African Union. It further more recognised the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing regional organisations, peace keeping operations which have been mandated by the United Nations. In 2012 South Africa successfully facilitated the adoption of Resolution 2033, in 2012, which calls for the greater co-ordination, improvement of regular interactions and co- ordination specifically between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council on the matters of mutual interest.
In practice this entails an enhanced functional relationship between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council. The two councils meet annually during the joint annual consultative meeting, to discuss issues of mutual concerns, as the President of Security Council during October 2019; South African will be heading the UN Security Council visit to this annual consultation. This will be further attempted to strengthen the co-operation and co- ordination between the two councils. Thank you.
Ms S SHAIKH: House Chairperson, thank you Deputy Minister for that response, as well as outlining the plans and achievements that the South African government as made. My question Deputy Minister is: What is South Africa’s approach to the co-operation between the
United Nations Security Council and other regional organisation, given that there is a view that the should be a clear division of labour and distribution of roles and tasks between the United Nations and regional organisations and another view that suggests a more flexible but systemic approach, in which co-ordination mechanisms that seek to create synergy between the United Nations and regional organisations? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C MASHEGO-DLAMINI): As I understand the question, I think we need to take note that in the African Union we have got organisations that belong there and also in the United Nations, therefore when we are dealing with security issues, those two institutions meet at the level of the AU and the UN so that they map a strategy forward to make sure that they deal with issues that are conflicting in any country in the world. There is no conflict in that because they each a chance, all the African countries are also members of the United Nations. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C MASHEGO-DLAMINI): House Chairperson, yes South Africa hosted the Southern African Development Community, SADC; Solidarity Conference
with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in Pretoria from 25 to 26 March 2019 as part of its contribution to the end of the Morocco’s continued occupation of Western Sahara. South Africa also utilises the opportunity of being a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to keep the issue of the Saharawi people on the agenda of UN Security Council. We will also continue to engage with Morocco at a diplomatic level, both bilaterally and multilaterally since it is an AU member in order to find the solution and continue to urge the latter to be bound by the decision of the UN Security Council. The strategies are yielding positive results in that the matter of the Western Sahara is receiving attention it deserves. I thank you.
Mr K MOTSAMAI: House Chairperson, the hon Deputy Minister this government can not claim that it is committed to deals of peace on the continent as long as it allows Morocco to occupy Western Sahara. Why is government not isolating Morocco if it continues to oppress to people of Western Sahara and if government’s attitude towards Morocco is informed by economics or principle?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (MS K
C MASHEGO-DLAMINI): House Chairperson, the hon member must recognise that these matters are on the table of the United Nations Security Council. It is an issue of the South African government to say what
they want to say. We contribute as I indicated because we are from SADC and this is an African country, but when there is a decision that is taken at that level, we will comply. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: House Chairperson, Deputy Minister has ambassador Amran delivered his letter of credence to President Ramaphosa yet, if not what is causing the delay and if so have you engaged with the ambassador on possible mediation between Morocco and SADR?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES: Hon Michalakis, if you can repeat your question please.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: My question was; has ambassador Amran delivered his letter of credence yet to President Ramaphosa yet, if not what is causing the delay and if so, have you engaged with the ambassador on possible mediation between Morocco and SADR?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES: Hon Michalakis, in terms of the rule of the House, you know very well that the supplementary question must be linked to the original question but I will leave it to the DM.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (MS K
C MASHEGO-DLAMINI): House Chairperson I won’t be aware because I don’t sit at the table of the President.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Chairperson, our response is as follows, since 1994, South African primary foreign policy priority was to accelerate our reintegration into the international community and to promote an international rule based system through active and constructive participation in multilaterals institutions and processes.
This policy is inspired by our history and guided by our ethos and principles foremost amongst which is the desire for a more just human and equitable world. In the conduct of our international relation, we thus attach the outmost importance to the promotion of human rights, democracy, justice and the international rule of law. This principle plays multilateral institutions, specifically the United Nation, UN, at the centre of our foreign policy activities. In the execution of our foreign policy, we seek and promote collaboration and co-operation amongst nations through multilateral diplomacy. In this context, as a member state of the UN, South
Africa remains committed to the purpose and principle of the United Nation as exposed in its chapters.
These principles form a core of the multilateral global governance system. The UN and global governance system it’s however being challenged today by the increasing trend of populism coupled with rising nationalist sentiment and protectionist. This shift is quietly fuelled by the unequal spread of the benefit of globalisation, which has led to further inequalities. This has undermined social cohesion in societies, eroding respect for universal norms and their rejection of the rule based international orders.
South Africa actively engages in global multiracial bodies such as the UN, as well as the continental bodies such as the African Union and regional bodies such Southern African Development Community, SADC. We work with these bodies to ensure that collectively we are able to work with the countries of the globe to address peace, security, human rights, and development challenges facing us all.
Our membership of the United Nation Security Council for example is part of our efforts to make a positive contribution to international peace and security. I thank you.
Mr A B GOYIYA: Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, you will agree with me when I say multilateral institutions face serious threats in solving critical global economic and social challenges such as the slowing global economic growth and recurring global economic financial crisis, growing inequalities, and persistent deprivation due to poverty, hunger, conflict, and fragility, especially in the African continent. Now, how does South Africa use our position to ensure that there is a holistic approach towards the promotion of multilateralism, while also advocating for a rigorous approach towards addressing the growing inequalities and persistent deprivation due to poverty, hunger, and conflict?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Chairperson, as country, we participate in these structures and we make sure that our contribution and support to those countries that are facing difficulties, because we want to maintain peace so that economic growth and development should strive in all the countries that are surrounding us, especially the African countries.
As a country as well, we have established a fund called Renaissance Fund. With that fund, we are supporting our sister countries in terms of floods or in terms of any other eventualities that can
happen to them, so that we try to maintain them in their countries so that we try to keep our economy to growth in an equal pace.
When we keep quiet for example when in Zimbabwe when people are facing some threats of the slowing down of their economy - now, people will migrate to South Africa. So, what we are doing is that, we are supporting such countries so that they can start to revitalise.
The decision of the 39th session that the President has attended recently have taken a decision that they need to make sure that they call upon those countries that put sanction in Zimbabwe to uplift that so that it will also benefit all of us in Africa. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (MS
K C Mashego-Dlamini): Chairperson, our response is yes. Ambassadors and high commissioners are vetted to the level of top secret prior their deployment abroad and on top that we also train them for taking the mission outside the country. I thank you.
Ms C VISSER: Hon Deputy Minister, The Times Live reported that Minister Pandor planned to meet President Ramaphosa to discuss
whether ambassador Kholoane should be recalled. She stated: It is my intention that we do discuss whether any particular action might be merited. Be it some form of a letter or further training or any other action the President might deem necessary, it is a matter that I will be taking up.
Now, what was the outcome of the discussion with the President? And does she agree that (a) Kholoane’s actions were a direct breach on national security and a violation of the National Key Point Act; and
(b) that the state cannot continue to provide corrupt officials with jobs as ambassadors overseas when they have broken the law?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Chairperson, yes, ambassador Kholoane appeared at the Zondo Commission on the issues of breaching of security but the commission is still going on, we still waiting for the outcome.
We are looking forward for the ambassador himself to do the right thing as it is required. So, we are just waiting there. We are not waiting for ... we are waiting for the report of the commission as much as we’ll be waiting for his conscience to make sure that we take the right action. Thank you.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Chairperson, let me also just ascertain from the Minister as to whether ... were there any other cases, not necessarily on Mr Kholoane, of ambassadors that were found to have warranted an investigation? Particularly with regard to looking into an option of the withdrawal of the security clearance as an option.
I think this point is important given the fact that the redefined Chapter 7 of the National Development Plan which speaks to our international relations and also Priority 8 in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, speaks about revitalising our international spending both in the African continent because our entry to global politics is through Africa. So, these allegations have an impact on our spending in the global world. Thank you, hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms K
C Mashego-Dlamini): Chairperson, well, allegations will always be allegations for everyone but the department is trying its best to make sure that every cloud that is upon any other ambassador around the world or around the countries is sorted out and it is clarified. But in this one – like I said – we need to make sure that we wait for the processes that are going on. So, we also waiting for the
processes but I still say that any human being with a conscience can take a right decision at the right time. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): House Chair,
the State Security Agency wrote in combating gangsterism and organised crime is based on its mandate of collecting evidence and counting unconstitutional and illegal activities is South Africa that impact on its national security and stability. Due to a range of domestic challenges facing government, intelligence services as sensory organs for the protection of the country focuses on a range of security matters such as economic and environmental threats that are of critical importance to South Africans.
It must be highlighted that the State Security Agency mainly has the departmental supportive role in supporting government and departments and relevant government stakeholders such as South African Police Service on the threat or potential threat that gang activities and organised crime hold on national security of the country.
The agency supports Sars and other law enforcement agencies in terms of drug prosecution and identifies new trends and targets for
investigations as stipulated in the National Strategic Intelligence Act of 1994. In its work, the agency further remains cognisant of the legal and policy framework set out in Prevention of Organised Crime of 1998 and national anti-gangsterism strategy. Thank you very much.
Nk L C BEBEE: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo waleNdlu, ngibonge nakuNgqongqoshe walo Mnyango Wezokuphepha ngokuthi awuphendule kahle umbuzo wami.
Bengicela ukubuza la Ngqongqoshe ukuthi ngabe isigungu sezokuphepha sombuso sinazo yini ngokwanele izinsizakusebenza ezanele zokuhlangabezana nobugebengu noskhwili phambana bomthetho.
USEKELA MPHATHISWA WESEBE LEZOKHUSELO LOMBUSO: (Mnu N G Kodwa):
Mandibulele kakhulu ngeli thuba kwilungu elihloniphekileyo Sihlalo. Emandikutsho kukuba urhulumente akanakho ukuphumelela ngokupheleleyo nokulwa ubugebenga. Kubalulekile ukuba siyazi indima edlalwa yiminyango eyahlukeneyo karhulumente, ingakumbi kwindawo abahlala kuzo abantu. Kubalulekile ukuba abantu bancedisane norhulumente ukulwa ubugebenga, kuba izigebenga zaziwa ngabo ukuba zihlala phi na. Izigebenga zisebenza kwaye ziphila phakathi kwabantu. Enkosi sihlalo ohloniphekileyo.
Manana B T MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa, Mutshamaxitulu. Xandla xa Holobye, ndzi rhandza ku tiva leswaku xana byi kona vulavisisi lebyi mi byi endlaka ku lavisisa leswaku xana swibamu leswi nga tata tiko swi huma kwihi xana?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): I also hope
it’s correct. We are working in a very integrated way with other law enforcement agencies. As you’re aware for an example, recently here in the Western Cape recently, the President took a decision to deploy the South African National Defence Force among others, those operations are intelligence let.
They are looking at issues of organised crime, issues of gangsterism, issues of proliferation of guns and I must that the Minister was here yesterday, Minister of Police would have made a statement in this house of the success of that operation including how much people who have been working together in an integrated way that have been able to put them behind bars removing them from society but also how much illegal guns we have been able to confiscate so there is progress that has been made but it is a challenge that I think among other things, mainly in a supportive
role we are advising on what needs to be done relevant law enforcement agencies.
Ms M N GILLION: Thank you to the Minister for answering this question. Minister, what is the State Security Agency doing in order to assist in dealing with these crimes before they become a major problem in our communities?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): What is
important is that the law enforcement agencies including ourselves, is that we must not be reactive in dealing with issues of organised crimes and gangsterism. Therefore, in our advisory role including the supportive role, we’ll have to look at the root causes of some of those issues. The issues of socio economic conditions, unemployment, inequality which some are a foundation of issues that we find in the cape flats, northern areas of Port Elizabeth, some areas of Johannesburg and some of those issue have got to do with exclusion mainly in the economic activities of a big number of young people particularly the issues around unemployment.
Therefore, when we have many young people particularly the youth who are used as entry point of gangsterism because they are outside of education facilities. These are concerning issues for us because
them, being outside means the state is unable to provide what is expected in terms of the role of the state and function as expected in terms of the Constitution.
Mr A ARNOLDS: The easy availability of firearms and ammunition continues to feel gangsterism ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES: (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Arnolds,
closer to your mic.
Mr A ARNOLDS: Sorry Chair, the easy availability of firearms and ammunition continues to feel gangsterism and organised crime in the country. These criminals are getting their guns from somewhere. So, we want to know if you have information at your disposal that suggest gangsters and crime syndicates in the country are receiving arms from private security industry and police and there were reports previously about police also giving guns to gangsters, if not, where do criminals get these firearms from?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): The member
seems to have an answer because he’s already saying there was a report. I don’t know the source of that report. I think what is important is that from our point of view in terms of our supportive
role, a lot of work happens between ourselves and other relevant law enforcement agencies in terms of what we think they need to be done but in a manner which related to the first question by another member was that we need to do everything we can to ensure that we deal with proliferation of ammunition and guns, particularly illegal guns that are also used in committing these crimes.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): The State
Security Agency, SSA, has indeed instituted an investigation since June 2018 to investigate apparent corrupt networks operational within the agency. The networks have been recurring over a period of years, resulting in serious economic losses to the state through illegal financial flows. This has severely affected the operational capability of the organisation to discharge its constitutional and legislative mandate, as a consequence of which, a multidisciplinary team has been established in this regard and both administrative and criminal actions are underway.
An inquiry has been registered with the South African Police Service, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation on both the Principal Agent Network, PAN, and activities of Chief Directorate Special Operations. Approximately 30 individuals,
including current and former agency members, as well as non-SSA members who were complicit in some activities have been directly and indirectly implicated. Among the individuals were facilitators and beneficiaries, including senior officials. In respect of the current members, a total of eight suspensions have been affected and disciplinary measures are underway.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: House Chairperson, could the Deputy Minister please indicate to me whether Mr Arthur Frazer is one of those individuals that he referred to as being investigated in relation to mass financial mismanagement at the State Security Agency and if so, for what?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): The member
will appreciate that I am not in any position to disclose the names of members. I can only answer the original question that there are investigations that are underway both internally and investigations that were reported with law-enforcement agencies. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chair, on a point of order: It is not a state secret. It is a public investigation into mismanagement of state funds. It is not a state secret, so the Minister cannot just say that he is not in position to give an answer to this.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES: Hon Michalakis, take your seat. Hon members, I don’t need assistance. Hon Michalakis, you have asked a supplementary question and the hon Deputy Minister has responded to a question. So, what you are doing now is debating and I am not going to allow that.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): A secured
cyberspace is required to pursue the opportunities and limit the risks that eminent from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The security of our national cyberspace is at the core of Agency mandate within this context the following aspects pertaining to the policy and legislative strategy is highlighted. The Agency is participating in Presidential initiatives to capitalise on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These include the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the interministerial committee that aimed at making a blueprint of the national effort to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and positioning South Africa as a global competitive player in this regard.
Concerning the National Cyber Security Policy, the Agency is at the forefront of fully implementing the National Cyber Security Policy
Framework to enhance South Africa’s cyber resilience and concretise the Policy Framework. The Agency is leading a process of drafting and submitting the National Cyber Security Strategy. The Agency views a coherent approach to the Protection of State Information as a central cornerstone of cyber security. Therefore, the Agency is championing initiatives for revising aspects of Protection of State Information Bill to ensure the constitutionality thereof.
In relation to Information Security Legislation, the Agency is expediting the process of analysing the vetting and information security regulations. Implementing the recommendation of the High- Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency, an opportunity in this regard by the Agency to realign, re-skill, capacitate the Agency in order to help the nation to maximise the benefits and limit the risk presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Subsequently, enhance cyber resilience of all citizens. The Agency is committed to enhancing corporation with a private sector, research institutions, academia and other government departments in order to conduct research and develop tools driven new technology, such as artificial intelligence that will enable the Agency to secure national cyberspace, combat cybercrime, take advantage and opportunities presented by the digital economy and the Fourth
Industrial Revolution and to increase the collective national cyber security capacity.
Lastly, the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are factored into planning documents. Due the Fourth Industrial Revolution pervasive nature, the current initiatives of all sections of Agency reflect an appreciation for the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This refers not only to opportunities but also to the threats inherent to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, for example the future of the world of work. There is a keen appreciation in the Agency that the innovation emanating from the Fourth Industrial Revolution will reshape industries, distort geographical borders, challenge existing regulatory frameworks and fundamentally redefine the nature of societies. Thank you very much.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Thank you Chairperson, let me take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Deputy Minister in his response to the question that I posed and also to appreciate the programmes outlined by the Deputy Minister in terms of repositioning the Intelligence Operatives to meet the challenges of the day.
Indeed, the department identified concerns around the cyberspace, international terrorism and the domestic political instability as an area that redirect the department and its operatives to be
capacitated through training and development. The question that I would want to pose hon Deputy Minister: Is there an agency in terms of the programmes that you have outlined given the challenges that is confronting the State Security Agency operatives? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): Not only there is an Agency, Chairperson, but it is important that the Agency must be heard in terms of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Therefore part of our function is security advising. We advise government departments on issues of information system, for example. So, we have to be heard as the Agency and we put in place a lot of applications that include a number of legislation that will come to this own august House. We are reviewing a number of applications and legislations that we think must strengthen a capacity of the state.
Ms S B LEHIHI: Minister, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution the levels and sophistication of cyber will only continue to increase. This poses a direct threat to State Security of the country. Does your department have a strategy and the necessary resources to fight the increase levels of cybercrime that poses a threat to the Security of the State and the people of South Africa? If not, what is needed?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): Like I
indicated earlier, we are in the process to review for example our national strategy and organised crime that includes, among others, to deal with issues of cyber security and crime. We are concerned though about the issue as a security cluster now ... the budget cuts, the impact that may have regarding the issues that have to do with priorities from the point of view of security - the cyber security crime, issues of border and the porous nature of our borders. These are the issues in terms of redirecting our resources. We want to make sure that among others if we want to be ahead of the edge in terms of cyber security, we would need to make sure that we redirect our resources in that regard.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you, House Chairperson. Deputy Minister, the spy tapes involved the illicit use of state security resources for eavesdropping that was even before the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Can you tell us how with technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution at your disposal are you going to protect our human rights against violation by your department as it happened in the past?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): One of the
issues that we are dealing with is the issues of strengthening,
corporate governance and illegal instructions. We are dealing with those issues. That is why the earlier question which was asked, are there any actions that have been taken emanating from the High-Level Review Panel. Of course, we are dealing with those issues. Those are the issues that we are dealing with together with the Minister and a number of other committees that we have put in place to deal with issues of illegal instructions, which answers the question ... I am not sure about human rights violation if there is any specific issue around it. However, we are dealing with issues of illegal instructions.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): In her address of the staff on 16 July 2019, hon Minister Dlodlo reiterated President’s instruction of the 15 February 2019 that, neither the agency nor any office members shall forthwith gather political intelligence to prejudice or further a political party interest. The Minister and the Deputy Minister are presently engaged in a road show of all offices of the agencies to address recommendations raised by the High-Level Review Panel with regard to amongst others the nonpartisanship of the activities of the agency. The imperative to keep the intelligence agency non partisan is critical and ongoing. The High-Level Review Panel looked into the matter and made
important specific findings and recommendations. One of the measures that were put in place is restoring the corporate governing systems on controls and oversight over our operations. These have to ensure that all manner of illegal operations were terminated. In this regard, there are ongoing investigations and those found to be involved will face due consequences.
Going forward, we are solidifying the policy governing noncompliance to illegal instructions. The relevant legislative prescripts in this regard will serve before this House and the other House, the National Assembly. A related factor in this, is the measures that we have put in place to limit executive overage. Lastly, ongoing training to our members is critical in ensuring that our intelligence agency remains nonpartisan. Thank you very much hon Chair. [Applause]
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you House Chair, thank you Deputy Minister, for your reply. The Minister also agreed the other day, the two of us are also in agreement that the State Security Agency was until further recently and might even quite likely continue to be highly politicized. It is a process that you are now embarking on to depoliticize it. A State Security Agency that is not politicized is at the very core of our democracy. Can you please explain to me as
to how any government that is supposed to respect our democracy can allow for the State Security Agency in the first place to become politicized? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): The
politicization of an agency is an absolute necessity. What is of not necessity is that the agency must be nonpartisan that is not negotiable. To be politicized is something else, because the agency works in an environment such as World Trade Organisation for example, that is a very highly political environment. You need an agency that is also highly politicized but it must be nonpartisan.
In other words, the agency must not act in the interests of a political party. That is why members pledge their allegiance to the Constitution. It is important that, that nonpartisan must not mean as it is suggested, that probably they are acting in the interest of one political party. They must act in terms of the Constitution of South Africa. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): I thought it
is Michalakis again. The State Security Agency commenced the process to give effect to the recommendations of the High-Level Review Panel as endorsed by the hon President of South Africa. A project team was
constituted and a project framework was approved to facilitate the processes aligned to the disestablishment of the agency in its current form and the re-establishment of the foreign and the domestic intelligence services.
A task team is overseeing the internal processes as well as co- ordinating with external departments such as the Department of Public Service and Administration and Treasury. Thank you very much hon Chair.
Nksz Z V NCITHA: Mandibulele ngale mpendulo icacileyo Sihlalo ohlonophekileyo, kodwa ke ndinombuzo othi: Ingaba isebe linayo na injongo yokuba liphinde lihlenga-hlengise eli Qoqo liPhezulu leziGxeko-ncomo (High-Level Review Panel), ngeenjongo zokuba ngonyaka lijonge ukuba ezi zigqibo nezi ngcebiso belizinike isebe, zenzekile kusini na? Kaloku lo mcimbi bebewuphethe ubaluleke kangaka kufuneka ujongwe ukuba zikhona kusini na iziphumo ezihle zesebe ebelicetyiswe liQoqo eliPhezulu leziGxeko-ncomo. Enkosi.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): Thank you hon Chair, hon Ncitha. In the beginning of next month, I will be meeting with the management in what is called a Strategic Plan Session. We
will consider, amongst others, a range of other issues including the issues of oversight and monitoring of this implementation of the work of the High-Level Review Panel. That is why the Office of the Inspector General is quite important. That is why we rely on the work of the joint standing committee on intelligence amongst others which plays an oversight role to monitor the work that we continue to do
Singakuqinisekisa lungu elihloniphekileyo ukuba iintlola zizakuwenza umsebenzi wazo ngendlela eqinisekisayo ukuba ziyawuhlonipha Umgaqo- siseko. Abantu baseMzantsi Afrika balale bekhuselekile, kwaye bazive bekhuselekile kwilizwe labo.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES: (MR A J NYAMBI): Thank you hon
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Deputy Minister, the last question for the day is the one by hon Boshoff. It is a written question converted to an oral reply question.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY (Mr N G Kodwa): The question on my reply comes as Question 40 and that’s why there is a bit of confusion. But, anyway, I think it is the same question. In terms of the Intelligence Service Act of 2002, specifically Chapter 21 of the Intelligence Services Regulation 2003, the submission of financial disclosure is mandatory to all members of the agency. Failure to comply with these prescripts including disclosure of incorrect or misleading information shall, in accordance with paragraph seven of Chapter 21 of Intelligence Services Regulations, constitutes misconduct and that will be dealt with in terms of Chapter 13 of the disciplinary procedures.
Members of the agency are required to submit their declaration of financial interests on an annual basis. These financial interests include but are not limited to the following: shares and other financial interests, directorship, partnership and membership of a close corporation, the remunerated work outside of the agency, consultancies and returnships, sponsorship assistance, benefit gifts and hospitality received from a source other than a family member, ownership of land property, bank statements, credit facilities and loans from related parties. In addition to annual disclosure and financial interests, the regulation and agency directives also prescribe that the members must update that declaration forms in the
event of any change in their financial interest during the course of the financial year. No employees of the state agency were found to be doing business irregularly within the state from 01 February 2007 to date. In addition, it should be observed that the agency may be held accountable for such matters by what I have said earlier on, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence or the Office of the Inspector-General. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, Deputy Minister. Hon Boshoff is indicating that he is satisfied with the response from the hon Deputy Minister. The only supplementary question we have is that of hon Brauteseth.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: House Chair, I am aware that the Deputy Minister feels that he is an underboss in some sort of shadowy underworld spy agency, but I would like to tell him that he is still responsible to this House. So, when a member of this House, namely I, sends him a written question, he must respond in the prescribed period to the written question. Otherwise, I have to raise it orally in the House, and in this occasion, my colleague raised it. So, please hon Minister, I know you think you are above the law in terms of being in the State Security Agency - that is to tell us anything - but
please have the courtesy to respond to members of this House, to whom you are accountable. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, that was not a question. In terms of the Rules of the NCOP, if there is a question that has been written for an oral reply and we do not get that, there are systems in place to make sure that question will be attended to. This is to protect the member who has written the question. That is why we have the question and the Minister went to town in clarifying the question in detail. That is why even the sponsor of the question, hon Boshoff, was satisfied.
Hon members, on behalf of the Chair and Deputy Chair, allow me to thank the Deputy Minister of State Security for availing himself and dealing with the questions. Once again, hon members of the NCOP, we do not take your conduct of holding members of the Executive accountable in an orderly fashion for granted. That is commendable! Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Members, you are reminded of a very important Women’s Parliament tomorrow. Please do not forget that.
The Council adjourned at 16:39.