Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 05 Sep 2019
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 2019
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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:02.
The Deputy Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
REQUEST OF CONSIDERATION OF MOTIONS AND REPORTS IN TERMS OF RULE 247(1)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Deputy Chairperson, I move the motion as printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That notwithstanding Rule 247(1), which provides that a sitting of the Council will be dedicated for oral questions, the Council considers the motion below and reports of Select Committee on Co-
operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements.Secondly ... Can I proceed, Deputy Chair?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am sorry, Chief Whip, we also need to consult with the table as often as we can. Chief whip, no. we need to deal with each question separately. So, as there is no speakers list, I will now put the question. The question ... Hon Michalakis, is there a point of order?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Deputy Chair, yes it is a point of order, my apologies. Deputy Chair, please rule me out of order if I need to take this point up a bit later. However, I have addressed a letter of some concern to the committee chairperson. The Chief Whip has received it as well as the Chairperson of the Council on a matter that some of these reports that will be coming to the House today have been considered by a sub-committee which we are very concerned has not been constituted in terms of the House Rules. Wich would, if we are correct, have to effect that this House would be considering a report that has not been considered in terms of the Rules of the House.
This would be a great concern to us and surely, if a sub-committee that was not properly constituted in terms of the Rules of the House considered something then it would be irregular, ultimately, for the House to then consider such a report. I would like to ask your guidance on this so that the House is not placed in a position where we are actually asked to consider reports that, according to me, are not in terms of the Rules of the House. So, I just need your clarity on that to prevent the House from being put in such a position.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Unfortunately, hon member, I have not received a letter for me to know the content of what you are speaking about. Would it be unfair if I request that when we get to the specific report then we discuss it because this is generally about the orders that are there for the day? When we get to the specific report you just raise it again and we see how we respond or how we deal with it.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Deputy Chair, I am happy with that. It is going to be included in our declarations. You are the guardian of the Rules of this House and to make sure that we are in line with the procedures. I just felt it necessary for me to make you aware of
this so that we do not end up approving things that are not done in terms of the Rules. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you hon Michalakis. The problem is just that, like I said, there are no details at the moment. Let us deal with the details when we get to the specific issue because I don’t think it has any deterrent on what we are going to do now. Thank you, hon Michalakis.
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution
DR M S MOTSHEKGA TO REPLACE MS T R MODISE AS MEMBER OF PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon Deputy Chair, I move the motion as printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That the Council, with the concurrence of the National Assembly, appoint Dr M S Motshekga to replace Ms T R Modise, the Speaker of the National Assembly, as a member of the Pan-African Parliament. I so move.
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The secretary will read the First Order.
Is this the issue that you wanted to raise, hon Michalakis?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Indeed hon Deputy Chair, the issue that I have and as I quickly spoke to the Chief Whip again, but obviously he is busy
reading through the documentation again, I cannot speak for him. The concern that I have is that the inspection in loco both in this report and the next one were done by subcommittees of the select committee. If I read the correctly, it is Rule 106 and I think Rule
83 that the subcommittee must be put together with an official mandate and a beneficial composition agreed by the select committee. This was never officially agreed to and mandated by an official meeting of the select committee. That would make the subcommittee effectively irregular.
It the inspection in loco was done by two subcommittees that were not constituted in terms of the Rules, it would make the whole inspection in loco irregular. My suggestion to be fair towards the Chief Whip would be perhaps for these two motions to stand down for the council to be a sound decision. It would be very dangerous in my opinion for us to be required or at least the provincial whips to be required to approve something that has not been done in terms of the rules. I would propose that we at least get some clear advice from the table to say whether the council is actually in a position to approve this report from the subcommittee which is in my opinion not mandated by the select committee itself. I just feel that I need to caution you to this before we make an irregular decision. Thank you Deputy Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much hon Michalakis. If I may ask you, after the two groups went their different ways, did the committee meet to approve or to make the recommendations to the House, a report, a full committee?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Deputy Chair, yes they did meet. However, in my opinion the whole reason why there is a requirement in the Rules for subcommittees to be ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Sorry hon Michalakis there is a point of order. Yes, hon Mmoeimang.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Hon Chair, I am rising in terms of Rule 49. The hon member is anticipating and he has been consistent in raising matters that must still be tabled. Therefore, in terms of Rule 49 of this House you cannot allow a member to anticipate matters. Can the matter be formally tabled so that we are able to deliberate on the matter? Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Hon Deputy Chair, the first thing is the one of hon Mmoeimang, the issue of anticipation. The second issue is your clarification that you do not have the letter from hon Michalakis. For that reason, in terms of the Rules of the NCOP, provinces or
parties after a report has been tabled in the NCOP are allowed to make their declarations. For that reason, the chairperson of the relevant select committee will make the report in the NCOP and the provinces are going to be allowed to do their own declarations. That issue can be attended as such.
If there is an issue of a letter, it will be inappropriate to subject you Deputy Chair, to discuss a letter without knowing the content of the letter. For that reason, that is why I say it will not be an appropriate forum to deal with the view that is being proposed by hon Michalakis.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Michalakis, I will allow you before I rule on this.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Deputy Chair, I am merely reacting to your own request to address on this and I would also like to add that I am not a province so I am not in a position to make a declaration.
However, I do feel that as individual members, we have a duty to indicate to you that Council is at risk to maybe make a decision that might compromise the integrity of this House. That is why I am raising this with you now.
On your question on whether the committee did meet, yes they did meet afterwards. However, we have a principle in the constitution such as participatory democracy and I think that is why it puts the requirement in the Rules of the Select Committee to constitute with a mandate and also to determine the Constitution of the two subcommittees beforehand for the simple fact that, we are a big party with more than one representative. If the committee splits in two, we will be able to send someone to each inspection in loco.
However, there are smaller parties which are important for participatory democracy who perhaps have one member on the committee who cannot be in two places at once.
If you want to say that we champion the constitutional principle of participatory democracy, then you cannot expect a smaller party with one member to be in two places at once and that compromises our Principles of Participatory democracy. It is for that reason why I say that it might be found irregular and unfair towards all the people represented in this House.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much hon Michalakis, two issues, firstly, is the order that was raised that is very relevant and valid. Secondly, the fact that you are bringing a matter that should have been resolved before and in the committee
before reaching this table. That is the reason why I am ruling that we will continue and we will then allow parties to make declarations.
We will also request the Chairperson if he has received the letter, to respond to you in accordance with the letter that came to him.
For that matter, we will then request the secretary to read the First Order of the day. Thank you.
INSPECTION IN LOCO ON NOTICE OF INTERVENTION, ISSUED IN TERMS OF SECTION 139(1)(B) OF THE CONSTITUTION (1996), IN MTUBATUBA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCE.
(Consideration of Report)
Mr T S C DODOVU: Thank you very much hon Deputy Chair for the opportunity. I am going to present the first report in respect of the inspection in loco visit in the Mtubatuba Local Municipality. At the end I will then report to the letter as you requested.
The Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, having regard to the notice of intervention invoked by the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal in the Mtubatuba Local
Municipality in terms of Sec 139(1)(b) of the Constitution, embarked on an in loco inspection visit of municipality on Tuesday, 03 September 2019. The multiparty delegation of the select committee interacted with the officials of the department in the province, the different stakeholders, as well as the administrator appointed by the department, to speed up implementation of the approved turnaround plan for the overall improvement of its state of performance and compliance in the municipality.
The main objectives of the visit were also to interact with stakeholders in order to solicit their views and opinions on the constitutional, procedural and substantive matters related to the invocation of the measures. The problems of Mtubatuba Local Municipality are largely related to the political infightings and divisions among the political parties. After the 2016 Local Government Elections, there was no party in Mtubatuba which received an outward majority. The main political parties namely, the IFP and the ANC; both secured 18 seats with other smaller parties receiving smaller numbers and in this regard the DA, two seats and the EFF, one seat.
The apparent dysfunctionality of the council is evident in the fairly several council meetings and other structures of the Council.
As a result, service delivery has been badly affected with the municipality failing to deal with the long standing proliferation of refuse, especially in the town of Mtubatuba and St Lucia. On financial management, the council failed to adopt the annual report, submit the financial statements and the audit plans. The municipality has also failed to deal with the irregular, wasteful, fruitless and unauthorised expenditure. In this regard, the municipality also failed to take reasonable steps to correct the situation. One of the key issues was consequence management for those who deviated. The municipality could not take action especially on senior positions within the municipality.
Having noted the above, the following observations were made by the committee that:
In terms of the constitutional procedural matters, that the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal did indeed inform the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta the NCOP and the relevant legislature about the intervention. The Minister of Cogta approved the intervention within 21 days as prescribed by the Constitution. The NCOP has until 09 September 2019, to make a determination on the intervention, whether it approves it or not. The high number of potholes, neglect of refuses
collection, poor maintenance of street lights, and aging road infrastructure in the municipality was a reflection of poorly managed budgets as well as staff and skill shortages and clearly negatively impact on the infrastructure conditions.
The long term consequence include, asset stripping and lower the service levels that in all likelihood also negatively affected the sustainability and economic investment, as well as this raises the likelihood of service delivery protests. The select committee observed that the municipality was provided with financial support of R6 million for the electrification in Ward 8 Mfekayi and
R5 million for electrification in Ward 8 and Ward 12. The municipality was provided with hands-on support in the process of developing a credible, general valuation hall and despite this support all the recommendations from Cogta were not implemented by the municipality. Furthermore, the municipality was provided with hands-on support in the appointment of all its current senior managers. The municipality has also been supported in the appointment of the current Acting Director of technical services.
Hon Chair, it has all been observed that, some of the problems facing the Mtubatuba Local Municipality could be a thing of the past if the councillors and political parties were working together to
prioritise service delivery instead of working against each other. It should be remembered that councillors are elected to represent local communities on municipal councils to ensure that these people receive their own services. In this particular regard, it is important to state that the councils must meet the priority needs of communities by providing equitable services, effective and sustainable services within the municipality.
The intervention approach and outcomes must give effect to the spirit of cooperative governance and intergovernmental relations. In this particular instance, the municipality must play an important role in terms of filling our vacancies and one of the key vacancies of chief financial officer, CFO remains vacant. In this particular instance, the select committee is of the opinion that, the ultimate exit strategy in the municipality will have to address the change management imperatives; report all cases of corruption to law enforcement agencies, implement governance systems and procedures, skills transfer, capability of the municipality to function effectively, implementation of remedial actions, dealing with negative findings form the Auditor-General and institutionalising new standard operating procedures.
Having regard of all these particular issues mentioned here, the committee recommends the following in terms of the Mtubatuba Local Municipality that:
The NEC approves the intervention in Mtubatuba Local Municipality, in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution. The administrator should fast track the process of appointing and filling of Section
57 managers, in particular the municipal manager and chief financial officer. The absence in filling these positions might result in relentless delays in the implementation of the intervention recovery plan and the facilitation of skills transfer.
Quarterly reports should be tabled to the NCOP and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature by the MEC of Cogta in KwaZulu-Natal on the implementation of the intervention in the municipality. These quarterly reports will play an important role in assisting the NCOP Review Process and in deciding whether or not the continuation of the intervention is necessary. The KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Cogta should table the report on the termination of the intervention in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution to the NCOP and the KwaZulu- Natal provincial legislature.
Lastly, the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance in co- operation with relevant portfolio committee in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature, should after the termination of the intervention, conduct a follow up oversight visit to the municipality in order to evaluate the impact of the intervention in accordance with the terms of reference of the administrator. This is the recommendations that we are placing in the House itself hon Deputy Chair. Having said that, let me respond to the issues as raised by hon Michalakis.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We have ruled on that issue; let us not respond to it now. We have ruled on that issue.
Mr T S DODOVU: Having said, that I present the report for consideration by the House. Thank you very much. [Applause]
Declaration of Vote:
Mnr J J LONDT: Dankie en goeiemiddag agb Adjunkvoorsitter. Net voor ons wel begin, wil ek sê dat, met alles wat in ons land plaasvind, dit kommerwekkend is dat ons as parlementariërs niks vandag gesê het nie. Ons moet nie net in woorde maar ook in dade sê dat ons in
solidariteit met almal staan. Op die oomblik is daar ’n oorlogsone in ons land en ons ... [Onhoorbaar.]
Die ADJUNKVOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Agb lid, ons is nou by die vraag rondom Mtubatuba. Ons sal beslis by die punt kom waar ons iets sal sê. Ongelukkig was daar vandag nie mosies nie, en miskien is dit die rede waarom ons nou nie direk mosies daaroor gevra het nie. Ons moet ons daaroor uitspreek. As die Parlement het ons ons daaroor uitgespreek, maar ek dink ... Kan ons net eers dié vraag hanteer asseblief?
Mr J J LONDT: I take your point hon Deputy Chairperson, you can give people the opportunity to say something else that might not be on the point and I do think that this is critically important. I will take your ruling and then we move on. Hon Deputy Chairperson, we want to state that we are not against the intervention in principle, provided that the constitutional requirement in terms of section 139(2) (c) that the NCOP needs to review the intervention regularly that needs to be enforced.
For the past few years the NCOP has not fulfilled this duty. However, our issue is of a procedural nature. We are part of the
democracy and the principle of participatory democracy is paramount. This means that all parties and all provinces, in our case represented here, should get a chance to take part in this Chamber and its committees as they are designated.
Rules 87 and 106 of the Council Rules also set out how subcommittees should be formed. Neither the mandate nor the compensation of the two subcommittees who did this oversight that led to the approval of these interventions was approved by the Select Committee during an official meeting. In this regard we did write to the Chairperson of the Select Committee who received this information before he came here today as well as the Chairperson of the NCOP but both have ignored the correspondence and no reply was received. Such as the complete disregard for the democratic principles.
A period of 180 is afforded for the NCOP to approve an intervention. This House did not dissolve like the NA before the elections and during the past six months it had ample opportunity to fulfil its constitutional mandate. The ANC failed the people of Mtubatuba. It much rather prefer to focus on retaining KwaZulu-Natal by a slim margin and to focus on infighting about who must be committee chairpersons after the elections than to bother with this constitutional mandate.
So, this intervention was a rushed job. This intervention is procedurally flawed on the side of the NCOP and we cannot support this report. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: There is only one thing that I want to correct with regards to the issue of the Chairperson of the Select Committee. He indeed wanted to respond on the issue but we requested him not to since we are dealing with this issue. With regards to the Chairperson of the NCOP we cannot speak for him because he is currently not in the country. I just wanted to correct that one with regards to the content matter, the party or the province is entitled to its views. So, that dealt with the declarations unless there are any other and we are going to proceed.
Question put. That the Report be adopted.
In favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North West.
Against: Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance of section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS, WATER AND SANITATION AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS - INSPECTION IN LOCO ON NOTICE OF INTERVENTION ISSUED IN TERMS OF SECTION 139(1)(B) OF THE CONSTITUTION, 1996 IN MSUNDUZI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCE.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Before we continue with the Speakers List, I just want to draw the attention of the members to the fact that there were two reports but the final report is the last one that members have received or will receive. It is also loaded on to the system for members to have a correct report that will be tabled now in front of you. That is with regards to Msunduzi Local Municipality and we will request the hon Dodovu to come and table the report.
Mr T S C DODOVU: Hon Deputy Chairperson, this past Tuesday on 03 September 2019, the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance visited the Msunduzi Local Municipality in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal. Our visit was in compliance with the constitutional imperative that within 180 days after the provincial government places the municipality under administration, this House of Parliament must conduct an investigation, consider the report and decide to either approve or disapprove the intervention. In this
case, our multiparty committee which consists of DA as well was exercising this role because on 15 April 2019, the MEC of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal tabled to the Chairperson of the NCOP the notice of intervention in terms of section 139 (1)(b) of the Constitution.
The main objective of the loco inspection visit was to interact with the internal and external stakeholders of the municipality in order to solicit their views on the constitutional and procedural matters relating to the invocation. These stakeholders included the senior officials in the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the appointed administrator, representatives of the seven political parties in the Council, SA Local Government Association, Salga, the Pietermaritzburg Business Chamber, the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Amakhosi which were represented by Inkosi yeSizwe Mkhize.
During the interaction our committee established that Msunduzi Local Municipality was in deep crisis and was unable to fulfil its constitutional obligations. According to the stakeholders, among the problems which render the municipality dysfuctionality were the following: The political divisions and infighting within the municipality; the audit outcomes which were worsening with the
municipality descending from clean audits to disclaimers; poor accountability and no consequence for poor performance, maladministration and corruption; the Municipal Manager worsened its financial position as he was under suspension; the debt owed to the municipality was getting out of control; and the municipality was unable to meet its financial obligations.
Over the years, the irregular, wasteful and unauthorised expenditure was increasing and the municipality was regressing in terms of service delivery. There were massive supply chain transgressions. It is important to mention that this was the second intervention by the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal on the municipality. The first one was invoked in 2010. Unfortunately, the same problems persisted and the appointment of the municipal manager exacerbated the situation.
The findings of the observations of the Select Committee are as follows: The Select Committee has observed and noted that the MEC accordingly notified the local municipality on the substantive matters of intervention on 06 May 2019 and he did introduced the intervention team and the terms of reference to the local municipality on 16 July 2019. Accordingly, the provincial government
informed the Minister of Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs within 14 days as well as the NCOP.
The Select Committee has further noted that the MEC Department of
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has notified and met all the constitutional requirements in terms of process in this particular matter. The Select Committee observed and noted that the department has provided support to the municipality in terms of section 154 of the Constitution prior to the invocation of section
139 of the Constitution.
Having conducted the oversight visit to Msunduzi Local Municipality and interacted with internal and external stakeholders, this Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs recommends to the House the following: The NCOP approves the intervention in Msunduzi Local Municipality in term of section 139 (1)(b) of the Constitution as well as section 139(5) of the Constitution. The KwaZulu-Natal MEC of the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs should upon approval of this intervention, table quarterly reports on the implementation of the financial recovery plan. That the administrator should focus on the approved terms of reference that are time framed produce and table quarterly report in this regard as well. The administrator’s
report should be accompanied by a monthly internal audit report reflecting on the state of performance and compliance of the municipality across all functional units. The municipal council should conduct oversight performance and compliance of the municipality including implementation of consequence management for wrong doing and where necessary report all elements of criminality to the SA Police Service. The appointment of administrator should ensure the tabling of all outstanding reports including forensic investigations to the council within a period of 14 days. The administrator should fast-track the process of filling of all vacant senior management positions including all those in key skilled areas. The Select Committee should, in collaboration with the portfolio committee in KwaZulu-Natal province conduct follow up visits within a period of 60 days on the status of implementation of its recommendations and resolution of the NCOP. KwaZulu-Natal MEC of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs should, in collaboration with the Minister continue to provide support to the Msunduzi Local Municipality in terms of section 154 of the Constitution. Ensure demonstrable portfolio of evidence of quality support, capacity building, strengthening of oversight capacity and monitoring. Lastly, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs should fast-track the process of tabling the forensic investigations
conducted in terms of section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act. Thank you very much, hon Deputy Chairperson.
Question put. That the Report be adopted.
In favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North West.
Against: Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance of section 65 of the Constitution.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That concludes the debate. I want to put the question and the question is that the report be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 71, we shall allow provinces the opportunity to make their declarations of vote, if they so wish.
Declaration of vote:
Mr J J LONDT: Deputy Chairperson, you know when your girlfriend calls and she is crying, because of what is going on in this country. You can rule me out of order, but every single time we
stand up in this House, we should stand in solidarity with the women and the children that live in fear in this country.
If you want to rule us out of order because we want to stand until action in South Africa follow the words then you must rule me out of order.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What will make me to rule you out of order? I just want us to deal with the issues in front of us and then we can allow, if the Rules allow to for anyone to want run to say something. Nothing will make me to rule you out of order, because we were the first to begin to address these issues. Yes.
Mr J J LONDT: I am doing it for the record, so that this gets linked to the report. Firstly, we want to state that we are not against the intervention in principle, provided that the constitutional requirements in terms of section 139(2)(c) that the NCOP needs to review the intervention regularly. This needs to be enforced.
For the past few years, the NCOP has not fulfilled this duty. However, our issue is of a procedural nature. We are part of a democracy and the principle of participatory democracy is paramount. This means that all parties and all provinces in our case
represented here should get a chance to take part in this Chamber and its committees as they are designated.
Rules 87 and 106 of the council’s Rules also set out how supplement should be informed. Neither the mandate nor the composition of the subcommittees who did this oversight that led to the approval of this intervention was approved by the select committee during an official meeting. In this regard, we took the official route and submitted in writing yesterday already to the Chairperson of the select committee and the Chairperson of the NCOP. No courtesy was given to respond in writing yesterday. That is why we wanted to resolve this before we came here. Such is the complete disregard for our democratic principles, hundred and eighty days is afforded for the NCOP to approve an intervention.
This House didn’t dissolve, like the NA before the election and during the past six months this House had ample time to fulfil its constitutional mandate, but the ANC failed the people of Msunduzi Municipality. It much rather preferred to focus on the election campaign and to retain a province by a very slim margin. They focused on the infighting and who should be the committee chairpersons after the election and they didn’t bother to focus on their constitutional mandate. So this intervention is now a rush
job. This intervention is procedural flawed on the side of the NCOP and we can’t support such a report.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: This thing is much politicised.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
In Favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West.
Against: Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance of section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS, WATER AND SANITATION AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS - INSPECTION IN LOCO ON NOTICE OF INTERVENTION ISSUED IN TERMS OF SECTION 139(1)(B) AND (5) OF THE CONSTITUTION, 1996 IN PHOKWANE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCE
Mr T S C DODOVU: Deputy Chairperson, the select committee having regard of the notice of intervention invoked in the Phokwane Local
Municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) and section 139(5) of the Constitution, embarked on a loco inspection visit of the municipality on Monday, 02 September 2019.
The multiparty delegation of the select committee interacted with the MEC, responsible for local government in the province. The different stakeholders as well as the administrator appointed by the department to speed up implementation of the approved turnaround plan.
The department as well as the representative of the internal and external stakeholders within the jurisdiction of the municipality tabled and presented their views and opinions on the invocation of the intervention. The MEC reflected on the current state of the intervention in the municipality, briefly focusing on the challenges and the dysfunctionality of the municipality; the protests and violence in the municipality; the developments and changes in the political leadership; the executive failures of the council; as well as the applicable terms of reference for the administrator, which mainly focused on how to improve performance towards a desirable turnaround.
Summarily, the Phokwane Local Municipality in the Northern Cape started experiencing upheavals and disruptions in service delivery after the suspension of the municipal manager which ultimately led to her dismissal. The view of the council was that there was corruption, fraud and maladministration, which needed urgent attention.
The select committee has found, noted and acknowledged that the Northern Cape provincial executive council resolved to invoke these measures of the Constitution on 8th April 2019. A select committee has further noted that the MEC has complied with the procedural requirements as stipulated in the Constitution to notify within 14 days the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, CoGTA, of the decision of the provincial executive council to place the municipality under intervention in terms of section 139(1) and 139(1)(5) of the Constitution.
The Minister approved the intervention in terms of section 139(2) of the Constitution on 24th April 2019 on conditions which includes a financial recovery plan led by the National Treasury. The select committee has also observed and noted that the MEC has notified the municipality on the substantive matters of interventions on 6th May
2019 and introduced the intervention team and the terms of reference to the municipality during a council sitting dated 16th July 2019.
The select committee has further noted that the MEC has been authorised to intervene in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution by assuming the functions related to the recruitment of senior managers, the uninterrupted provision of water services to the community and ensure financial accountability and compliance with the Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of 2003.
Furthermore, the select committee noted that the MEC was authorised by the provincial government to appoint an administrator and three technical experts to assist in resolving the governance and administrative challenges prevalent at the municipality.
The select committee has further noted that the MEC has never tabled a notice of intervention in terms of section 106 of the Municipal System Act, Act 32 of 2000 to the NCOP to investigate any allegations of maladministration, corruption, and fraud and table the findings accordingly.
On procedural compliance, the select committee has noted that the provincial government took a decision to invoke section 139(1)(b)
and (5) of the Constitution on 27th March 2019 to the office of the NCOP.
The MEC wrote to the NCOP on 26th April 2019, acknowledging receipt of the notice of intervention to the Phokwane Local Municipality.
The select committee has found that, during the stakeholder engagement that the majority of internal and external stakeholders didn’t support the intervention and argued that the invocation was procedural incorrect.
In addition, there is no sufficient evidence at the disposal of this committee that the provincial government did provide support in term of section of 154 of the Constitution and had appointed the administrator and the provincial government had appointed an administrator with a controversial reputation, bad track record on turnaround, and didn’t check his profile before appointing him at Phokwane Local Municipality.
The political divisions and factions have profound negative impacts and have exacerbated the situation on the smooth functioning of the municipality and in fact they are one of the main reasons for the collapse of the municipality.
Having regard to the above, the committee place the following recommendations: that the NCOP approves the intervention in terms of section 139(1)(b) and (5) of the Constitution with certain conditions, because failure to do that will have profound negative implications and further deepen the situation in the Phokwane Local Municipality; that the MEC should upon approval of this intervention table quarterly reports on the implementation of the financial recovery plan; further consider replacing the current administrator and appoint a credible, ethical, qualified and competent administrator who will work towards turning around the municipality; the new administrator should focus on the approved terms of reference that are time framed, produce and table quarterly reports to the NCOP; the administrators report should be accompanied by a monthly internal audit report reflecting on the state of performance and compliance of the municipality across all function of the units; the municipal council should conduct an oversight of performance and compliance of the municipality, including implementation of consequence management for wrong doing, corruption and maladministration; the administrator should fast track the process of filling all vacancy near management positions including all those key skill areas; the select committee should in collaboration with the relevant portfolio committee in the provincial legislature conduct a follow up visit within a period of sixty days on the
status of implementation of the recommendations and resolutions of this council; the MEC should in collaboration with the Minister of CoGTA continue to provide support to the municipality in terms of section 154 of the Constitution and so demonstrable portfolio of evidence of quality support and capacity; and lastly, the MEC should fast track the process of tabling the forensic investigation report conducted in terms of section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act, Act
32 of 2000 to Phokwane Local Municipal Council and thereafter to this council. Thank you very much, hon Deputy Chair.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
Declaration of vote:
Mr J J LONDT: Deputy Chairperson, all the procedures were followed correctly in this and we will support that. The question we must ask ourselves though is that, how many more people must die in South Africa before we stand up and stop just paying tribute with words and start putting action to these words?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can I possible just deal with this issue and lay it to rest? We are dealing with the reports on the section 139 interventions of municipalities.
It is clear that the member has a burning issue but it is also an issue of national interest. Tomorrow morning, there will be a Program committee meeting. Can we use that Program committee meeting to schedule a debate, so that we as the NCOP can have in terms of our debate resolve as to what further action because the Chairperson of the NCOP together with the Speaker have released a statement on our behalf to condemn what is currently going on within the country. I thought it is representing us as the NCOP. So, that is why I am saying can we then just for ...
... die sielerus van die agb lid en vir ons almal se gemoedsrus ...
... because we are very concerned about what is going on outside here. We are very concerned here. That is the reason why we requested the presiding officers of Parliament to put out a statement on our behalf. Already yesterday, one of the first statements came from the presiding officers of Parliament. It is
indeed an issue of national interest and it is something that is very serious. That is why we agreed, but for the time being can we conclude on the issues that we are busy with and we will also request the presiding officer that we will be concluding today’s session on behalf of the NCOP make a little bit of a statement.
Hon Michalakis, you can sit down. You can sit down because I am still speaking and that is the reason why I would want you to sit down. I agree with everyone that feels that this thing is not something that we can seem to ignore as the NCOP, because it is a very serious issue and even in the strategic planning of committees, when I did the opening remarks. It was the issue particularly with regard to gender based violence that we raised. It was an issue that we raised and we even raised the issue criminality that is currently happening in Gauteng. As the NCOP, we have not being quite about this issue. So, I just want to put it on record and that is the issue.
Mnr G MICHALAKIS: Agb Adjunkvoorsitter, baie dankie dat u erken dat so ’n debat belangrik is. Ek dink ons is ook die agb lid van die DA in die Weskaap baie dank verskuldig deurdat hy deur sy aksies ons
tot op ’n punt gekry het waar ons uiteindelik so ’n debat ... [Onhoorbaar.]
Die ADJUNKVOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Dit is nie deur sy aksies nie. Dit is al lankal besluit om vir die program vergadering te wag. Baie dankie.
Mnr G MICHALAKIS: Agb Adjunkvoorsitter, hierdie debat moes lankal plaasgevind het anders sou die hekke van die Parlement nie vandag so gelyk het nie. Dit is belangrik vir ons om op te staan en te sê nie in ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... nie. So ek verwelkom so ’n debat.
Die ADJUNKVOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Agb lid, wat baie ontstellend is
... Dit is die rede waarom mense hier sommige kere sit en misleidende statements [verklarings] maak. Want die feit is dit is altyd wanneer mense erkenning wil hê vir iets wat hulle doen ... altyd krediet vat vir dinge, wat nie nodig is nie.
Ek, Sylvia Lucas, soos ek hier sit, lei veldtogte van 1996 af rondom
... Die feit van die saak is dat die gemeenskappe, ouers, almal moet begin om betrokke te raak. Maar ek wil dit hier stop want die feit van die saak is dat as ons almal saamgewerk het, sou ons seker iets
reggekry het. Ek is bly dat jy ook nou bekommerd oor die situasie is. Kan ons voortgaan?
We have concluded on the declarations. We shall now proceed on the voting on the question and I will do this in alphabetical order per province.
In Favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance of section 65 of the Constitution.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I will now proceed to questions. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Deputy Minister of Basic Education. We have already welcomed the Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. We would allow the Minister first, the questions that will be answered by him because he was the first to arrive here. So, I am very fair, but before we get there, the hon Minister have requested that question 43 be deferred, hon Bara, the reason being that, he feels that he does not have sufficient information to do justice in response to the question.
I request the House that we accept that the hon Minister will at the later stage come back and bring the full response, if not at all, we will see according to the Rules how we can speed up the process of response to that specific question. We will now go to the questions that have been asked to the hon Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. Question 48 is your first question. I hope the members have the Question Paper. The Minister of Basic Education have actually apologised and requested that the Deputy Minister should stand on her behalf. We are going to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.
QUESTIONS TO MINSITERS SOCIAL SERVICES CLUSTER 2A
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Chairperson, firstly, let me indicate that I am not alone here. I am with my team, the Eminent Persons Group, which is responsible for transformation in sports, they are here with me; Fezile Sipamla, Mark Williams, Maxwell Moss
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... wow! Mark Williams is in the House ... [Applause.] [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: So, if you see any
progress or lack thereof in transformation, these are the men and women and others have left ... no, they have left. Yea, we had a meeting earlier they had to leave but they were welcome here, they know. Rea Ledwaba is one of them.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We must welcome the eminent persons, we welcome them indeed. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Yes. So, Chair, on
question 48, asked by the hon Gillion, firstly, I want to start by saying that we have 16 priority sporting codes; Cricket, basketball, chess, table tennis, tennis, soccer, rugby, netball, volleyball, athletics, gymnastics, swimming, hockey, softball and goalball sport for the blind and visually impaired and for indigenous games code.
Those are the ones which are prioritised.
The department further has a programme in community sports that encourages mass participation and it rolls out in all provinces. Community-based sport activities and tournaments receive support for
organisation of tournaments capacity building and so on. Secondly, we also groom youth through national youth camp programmes. That is implemented in all nine provinces. This programme is very important. We have it at each given time 200 youth coming together and the emphasis is that it has to be across the board, race, colour, and creed and so on. That helps in the project of social cohesion and nation building.
We also work with Athletics South Africa in ensuring that as government we assist them and we continue to do that. They have exposed young athletes internationally in the competitions and so on. What this has further meant in practical measurable terms is that, Athletics South Africa, ASA, Youth Team in the current listing of South Africa, is number one in the world on the medal tally. The number six ranking of the ASA Junior Team in the world on the medal tally and number three world ranking of ASA Senior Team based on the medal tally. What this means is that the programmes of grooming young people, particularly in sport, are paying dividends and we will continue doing that so that our nation becomes what we put as our objective, a winning nation. Thank you, Chair.
Ms M N GILLION: House Chair, thank you to the hon Minister for that answer. I want to follow up, Minister, and I want to ask you ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): ... hon Gillion, can you have the microphone closer to you.
Ms M N GILLION: Thank you, thank you. To what extent does the department’s plan cater for the collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure the support for the training of teachers as coaches, delivery of teams to tournaments, provision of sport equipments and attire to quintile one and two public schools is being adhered to?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon Chair, we definitely will never be able to succeed without partnerships, the partnerships from both the public sector within government’ different departments and the entities which we work with, ASA is one of them, as we mentioned here. However, we are also engaging the corporate sector to come to the party because with government alone, we will not be able to achieve our lofty ideas of a winning nation. As you elaborate a lot of things are needed for sport; be it training, training of coaches, and so on. For instance, the gap we have as South Africa as you raised is so much. In the region of the country, in our area for instance, New Zealand would have coaches to player 1:40 and 1:35 in Australia, but 1:871 in South Africa. It tells you that we have a huge gap which we have to fill and we continue. The
most disturbing thing though, is that the corporate world has not really come to the party, particularly, on women and sport and supporting them. However, we are engaging to ensure that indeed we reach the point where we want to be as South Africa. Thank you very much.
Man B T MATHEVULA: Mutshamaxitulu, ndzi lava ku tiva eka Holobye leswaku I swikolo swingani leswi va swi seketelaka eka matikoxikaya? Ndza khensa.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Well, I would have to check the number exactly on how many. I know that we have in the region of 25 000 schools generally in the country. We would look into the specific school’s sport programmes which we have immediately been introduced to. We know that at least 2000 schools participated, but how many all in all in the total number of schools, we can provide that information.
Mr M R BARA: Chairperson, thank you Minister for the responses, but in 2011, Minister Mbalula made an undertaking that about 100 sport centres in schools will be established. Those would cater for all learners across the country in terms of the rural, urban and
suburban areas. Now, eight years down the line, what I would like to know is that, is there any progress that has been made thus far?
Were you able to include sports within the curriculum in our schools? Thank you, Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Chair, that will always be the wish and objective. The practicality thereof is something else. Right now, - as you know - there are schoo’s sports, but to the extent to where we come from I think we still have a lot to do to ensure that we reach a point where we really see schools – all of them – as breeding ground and as feeders to national teams.
Currently, some of the sporting codes are prioritised and there is progress thereof, but it is not the kind of progress generally that we would say that this is where we want to be.
The Ministry of Basic Education and of Sports, Arts and Culture, few years ago signed a memorandum of understanding, MOU. This MOU looked at the whole area, particularly, as it relates to school sport to ensure that we really move from where we are. I am afraid to say to you that we have not moved with that speed because there are a number of things. One of the issues, for instance, the curriculum itself and what has been raised from the basic education is that they have this overload of curriculum in general and sports is one
of those which suffers. I know it is not only sports but arts education also suffers in schools. It is not all schools are teaching the arts education. Nevertheless, it is the road which is always under construction. The most important thing is that, we want to see the difference and have all these centres but generally actual sport taking place and be alive in schools. Thank you.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chair, I just want to state for the record that, I stand in solidarity with all my sisters and my mothers in this House in this very difficult time. I am your ally and I stand against any person who wishes to harm anyone of my sisters and my mothers in this House.
Chair, I would like to just ask the Minister that the fact that R234 million – and I am sure much more - has been spent to date to try to get centres of excellence going, are we not missing the point? Are we not trying to reinvent the wheel? We do not agree, Minister, that it make more sense to conduct evaluations of youngsters in their homes or local environments and then create a bursary system or a funding system where such talent of youngsters who show promise can be enrolled in schools in the country that already have funds for sport and traditions and that the budget rather than creating new centres can actually be spent on those schools and widening their
ambit and influence, thereby augmenting already centres of excellence rather than trying to reinvent the wheel in this regard. Would the Minister agree with that? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon Chair, yes, I would
agree with that line of thinking but I would start where we are. That R243 million in that centre is very important. It is very important for the country to have a specific focus to train its elites in sporting in the world so that our own athletes are up there with those you find anywhere else in the world. So, it is not an either or situation. Both are important. The grassroots development is primarily important, so is the endpoint of the development itself that you want people to always collect medals when they leave the country. You don’t want to have people going to international sporting competitions as a jaunt or as just an excursion you want to see that when you talk of the top of the world, you are also counted as South Africa. So, the two goes to together, it is a question of how do we then prioritises going forward. But, having one centre in the country for excellence and high performance is critically important. I think you will also agree with me on that one. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, the Deputy Chairperson addressed the issue of question 43 from hon Bara. That arrangement will be made with the Minister. Hon Minister, we now come to question 50, asked by hon Ndongeni. Question 50 ... yes, the question being, whether the department has any programmes for the promotion on development of arts and culture?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Yes, yes, yes.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank you very much, hon Chair. Thanks hon Ndongeni for your question which I consider very important because it goes to the heart of what this portfolio is about. Now, the department has quite a number of programmes that promote and develop arts and culture to the benefit of the nation at large, nationally, provincially and locally.
Firstly, the programmes and what we are focussing on currently is to ensure that we actually upskill and train properly the artists.
That’s why we are rolling out the academies for such purpose in different provinces as it were in order to support the artists.
We have such programmes as Flagship Programme. We went to all the provinces and asked them how they want to promote arts and culture in their provinces. We even asked them to give us two flagship programmes that we are going to fund. Some provinces are successful in those flagship programmes and others are not because we wanted to ensure that besides the promotion of arts and culture, we also contribute in economic development of those localities. For instance, seated here, you can think of Cape Town International Jazz Festival. There is nobody who doesn’t know about Macufe Festival or Joy of Jazz. But other provinces are struggling. But, we have given all provinces a fair chance to actually go. We also have Mapungubwe Arts Festival and so on. That’s one area. Other assistance comes in the form of touring ventures where South African artists are invited abroad and so on and they are assisted on that.
But, we also have funding facilities for different categories. We have funding facility for those who are starting their first ditz, song, poem, book or whatever. We call it Darby Fund which we work with business acts as South Africa; we have Mzansi Golden Economy wand have Venture Capital Fund. But we also open spaces for artists to display their works through our Art Bank. Our Art Bank is in Oliewenhuis in Free State precisely for this. We also, Chair, on the development, especially for the Fourth industrial Revolution, we
established a research arm, the SA Cultural Observatory precisely for that. We have spoken about the incubators and academies which we are busy building.
We promote this Fourth Industrial Revolution in the film industry; for instance, we had a film summit early this year. One of the resolutions was to come up with the fund, the Innovation Fund for Digitisation. But in practice, we have concluded one aspect of our work at the national achieves by making available to public, the Rivonia Trial. Most of you would have heard only Mandela talking on that line: ...I have fought against black domination. But we have that trial from day one to the last day, 240 hours of the trial itself is available online. That’s how the Fourth Industrial Revolution particularly in our space has assisted. We are busy with the Treason Trial as we speak. We will continue with others. Thank you very much, Chair. [Applause.]
Ms N NDONGENI: Thanks, Chair. Minister, how does the department plan to ascertain that the Fourth Industrial Revolution in arts and culture benefit our Bill without any disadvantages?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: I think we need to have deeper conversation about the advent of the Fourth Industrial
Revolution. There would be challenges as we evolve but we need to look at the advantages and how we utilise the advantages for the good of society. So, we can’t really say ... let me make an example, if you go, for instance, particularly in the developed world, you will find filling stations in most cases, you won’t find people who are working there. It’s part of development. That development has meant that you no longer mean a filling station but the ICT highway has taken over. There is a give or take in that. It’s going to change the landscape of work generally. In our case, Sports Arts and Culture, our research arm has been given a specific task to ensure that this kind of environment locate as we are doing in the film industry, locate the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its advantage and how do we nudge society to see more positive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution so that we don’t remain behind as a country and having other people overtaking us. Thank you.
Mr M R BARA: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, part of the department mandate is to preserve, protect and promote our rich heritage linguistic diversity and so on. Now, what I would want to know is what programmes are there that the department is embarking on to kind of ensure that all languages in South Africa are protected across the board?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thanks, Chair. This is a critical question, particularly this year, when the United Nations has declared it as a year for the indigenous languages. In line with that, the department over a period of time has reprinted the African classics because we believe that in preserving our languages, we need to be practical about it, whether is Kgorong Ya Mosate, whether Hawu babe in Mpumalanga or Ityala Lamawele in isiXhosa or Inkinsela YaseMgungundlovu and Shaka in Sesotho, all those classics have been reprinted to ensure that our people do not lose the beauty of the language itself.
Each year, we assist students, not less than 400 around the universities to study languages in South Africa, all the major universities all over the country, University of Cape Town, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Nelson Mandela and the University North West. We fund all of them because we believe that if we invest in languages in practical terms, we are going to be able to live to our expectation and what we expect of our society. We will continue with that and we work with Pan SA Language Board, PanSALB, particularly for the development and the promotion of indigenous languages. Thank you very much.
Ms A D MALEKA: Hon Minister, how does the department collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the schools and youth also take advantage and benefit of the programmes on the promotion and development of arts and culture?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: We are extremely dependent to other departments, especially Basic Education. Our programmes won’t be successful if it is not supported by Basic Education, the arts in schools, for instance, teaching arts, but going beyond that and using the passport of patriotism to engage people on the signs and symbols of our democracy as it were. With the Department of Basic Education, we were able to agree within the national executive of the country to have Swahili, for instance, taught to our peoples. We believe and we are happy that the AU followed suit last month. If you go to this multilaterally institutions and organisations, you will find English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. If you are going to have an African language into the mix, it sends a message out there that we indeed are Africans and we take ourselves seriously.
So, I am certain hon member that one of the things which we will be confronted with, particularly at this level, is to be champions of Swahili because this is the language which is going to unite the whole of Africa as it were before. Thank you very much.
Mr D R RYDER: Thank you, House Chair. Yes, thank you very much for the opportunity and I want to start out by appreciating earlier answer that we have received. Obviously, my question is a follow-up that is directly from it. I think that day’s demonstration outside which some of us went into to take part in leads us to understand that there is a material changes that needs to happen around youth level. Involving young people in sports, arts and culture will enable us to build the country where we have greater athletes for people so that we don’t have people starting running in the streets doing drugs, etcetera etcetera. So, it’s massively important.
Minister, you spoke earlier about a memorandum of understanding, MoU, between your department and the Department of Basic Education for sports. You have now spoken about arts and culture but you have mentioned that it’s difficult and you are reliant on them but there is no MoU in place. Now, it should be a lot easier to creating environment in schools where you can promote arts and culture, not only sports but arts and culture as well by providing simply things, giving instruments to the schools so that they can begin a music class, creating an environment where graphic art is enjoyed. Many schools have computers to develop graphic art and computers to go into paintings, etcetera etcetera. But it should be fairly easy to develop something. So, I want to know, Minister, in terms of that,
when do you plan on signing an MoU with the Department of Basic Education for development of arts and culture? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Well, we have, hon member. As I said earlier on, some of the things remain pipe dreams we wish for but practically some of them becomes impossible. We have arts in schools which as I said earlier on, it wasn’t going to be possible if it was not because of working together with Basic Education. But think about this, hon member, you have more than 25 000 schools, if we can think of buying instruments, where would we start? [Laughter.] The thing is that it would always be difficult because when you start with one school as you say, school two would be having issues. Within a limited budget, what we encourage is that where possible, let’s do some of the things in arts and culture which are possible in schools.
The other limitation is that not all schools have arts and culture in their curriculum which becomes an issue as it was before. Where they do teach arts and culture, we really work with them and get arts and artists to be leading that particular area. But most of the things have to do with the ability to achieve them. That’s why you will hear whether it’s in sports or arts and culture, we will hear most of the time talking about getting partnerships because we have
seen that where there are partnerships there is a noticeable difference getting forward. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon Chair, the question posed by hon Apleni is about the enforcement of the implementation of school sport policy. As I have said we have a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, but regarding enforcement that is the purview of the Basic Education. The MOU which we’ve signed mainly on co- operative governance as enshrined in our Constitution is helpful. It is that co-operation which sometimes we don’t even need enforcement per se because it is an agreement we both understand its importance thereof. Thank you very much.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Hon Chair, I just want to ask the Minister since he knows that there is a shortage of sports facilities, especially in the rural areas. I have heard the issue of the MOU and all of those things. What is your department going to do, especially when you introduce that in the school, you also have to make sure that there are facilities for all the sporting codes?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon Chair, the
municipalities through the municipal infrastructure grant, MIG, have
a duty to ensure that there are facilities. The national Department of Sports, Arts and Culture transfers to provinces, two third of what it gets from the national fiscus. We know that the work is in the provinces. The national level is mainly about evaluating and monitoring whether those things are happening. Let me hasten to say to you that here, practically, we are talking about R1 billion. Take two third of that into provinces, it will give you roughly about R700 000 in nine provinces. So, the rest you will do your calculations - that’s what we monitor. That is why we are pushing very strongly for the ring-fencing of the MIG for sport. Part of the problem is that what is being transferred to provinces and get to municipalities for sport is used for something else. It is used for some salaries of people and so on and so forth and sport then suffers. That is why we are pushing very strongly to have a situation of ring-fencing the portion of sports so that those very limited resources we have in sports at least they go to sports.
When I came in here for the handover I got a shock of the provinces mentioned, which do not ensure that the money which is supposed to be for sport serves the sporting community.
Mr M R BARA: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, we don’t advocate enforcement in terms of sports participation by our learners. We
think that there should be a choice. We think what needs to be promoted is accessibility – that’s what is important. What I want to come to is that there is a MOT programme, which is an after school program that happens in the Western Cape and in the past five years, it has met more than four times its targets that were set before.
Would it be possible that such a programme could be looked at and see if it’s successful in terms of being rolled out to the whole country, to ensure that there is accessibility to sports by our learners? Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Well, we’ll have to
understand what it entails, especially for school sports. As you are talking here, I am thinking. I attended the school sports competition this year in Ethekwini. The overall winner was Gauteng. So, I asked who won last year. I was told that last year it was Gauteng. [Laughter.] I said alright, who won a year before that.
They said to me it’s a province called Gauteng. [Laughter.] Now, I am mentioning that based on what you have said about success. I said to the MEC of Gauteng we need to sit down with her to understand ... Western Cape was there, it was number two and number three was a host province KwaZulu-Natal. So, I must have some discussion with the MEC Marais here and the MEC Hlophe, especially MEC Hlophe because I was even thinking that it’s not competitive anymore. We
can have Gauteng not competing because they win. They can’t continue winning without anybody challenging them. I think that we must put the matter on another level that they are the winners and others must play. [Applause.] They win before they ... [Inaudible.] Are you from Gauteng? [Laughter.]
Nk L C BEBEE: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo, ngicela ukubuza kuNgqongqoshe ukuthi ingabe uMnyango wakho unalo yini icebo lokwenza abafundi ezikoleni bazithandi ezemidlalo. Uma kunjalo sicela usichazele kabanzi, uma kungenjalo kwenzenjani? Ngiyabonga.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMIDLALO, NOBUCIKO NAMASIKO: Lungu elihloniphekile ngiyabonga. Cha, akukho esingakwenza ukuthi abafundi bazithande ezemidlalo. Bayazithanda, bayazithanda nje bona ezemidlalo. Izinto ekungafanele sibheke kuzona yizinsiza ukubasiza ekutheni lokhu okungamaphupho abo kukwazi ukufezeka. Kodwa njengoba elinye ilungu elihloniphekile like lasho lapha ukuthi into yezemidlalo iyasiza ukugcina intsha ukutheni ingangeni ezidakamizweni nasezintweni ezingalungile. Okwethu njengabaholi bomphakathi ukuthi sisebenze nezinye izinhlangothi ukuthi kwenziwe isiqiniseko sokuthi ezemidlalo ziyaxhaswa ukuze intsha yethu ikwazi ukuhlomula. Abanye babantu abayintsha awubatholi ezindaweni zemidlalo ngoba azikho izindawo
zokudlala, hhayi ngoba bengathandi. Bagcina ke sebengena kwezinye izinto ngoba zingekho izindawo zokudlala. Ngiyabonga kakhulu.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Chair, I’d like to thank hon Bara for the question.
My response is that, in our interaction with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Sascoc, and other sporting federations, we are guided by the National Sports and Recreation Act, specifically section 13(5). That’s what guides us. We are also guided by the principles expressed in the Olympics Charter, chapter 4, article 27. These are the premises which guide our working relationship with organisations like Sascoc. Thank you.
Mr M R BARA: Minister, something happened in the recent past between Safa and Sascoc during the preparations for the All-Africa Games in Morocco, when there was issue about who would foot the bill for the Safa teams that would go up to participate, probably because of the different qualification methods for the Olympic Games between Safa and other sporting codes.
Now, with the final verdict in on the matter, was there no other way that the matter could have been resolved without government being an arbiter and saying what needs to happen? Was there any other way that the matter could have been dealt with, so that it would not be seen as government kind of interfering in sports? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon Bara, let me correct you. There was no issue about finances. Finances were not an issue. The issue related to what I just quoted to you here, section 13(5)(b) of the National Sports and Recreation Act. This says that, if there is a deadlock between federations, it is then that the Minister should intervene.
You asked a very important question. Was there no other way? And this is what we are asking of these two big federations. You guys
... both presidents ... I spoke to them ... president Gideon Sam and president Danny Jordaan. I spoke to them. No, but can’t you find another way? They couldn’t. They couldn’t, but the matter had to be resolved, one way or the other.
Now, the law says that if they can’t, then the Minister must intervene. It’s not interference; it’s intervention. And it is part of the architecture of governing this area because those who crafted
the Act knew that there were going to be such instances in which there is no agreement amongst the federations.
So, we really ... we are asking ... in fact, when I spoke to president Sam, he actually suggested to me that I should look at intervening if there is no agreement between the two of them. So, he understood that it’s not interference but rather intervention.
And we will do that in future. Remember that government has a duty to ensure that things go forward. There can’t be stalemates forever. If there is a stalemate, it must be dealt with.
So, we are happy that we took everyone on board.
We actually delayed because we said, no, go and talk about these things yourselves because this is about sport and you are the administrators. And they came and said, no, we don’t see eye to eye. We don’t agree. Then we had to come in. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Minister, we come to Question 49, asked by hon Nchabeleng. [Interjections.]
Hon Ryder ... Sorry, hon Minister.
Let us be alert, hon members. Hon Ryder, if you raise your hand, I’ll note you and give you an opportunity. Let it be your second supplementary question. I’m noting you. Hon Ryder, you may ask your supplementary question.
Mr D R RYDER: Thank you, Chair. Sorry, I was a bit slow in raising my hand but I noticed that, when I tried to put it up. you weren’t looking at me. My apologies.
Minister, there is one place where political interference might be acceptable and that is in ensuring that South Africans are exposed to our sports. This talks again to the developmental aspect and ensuring that ticket prices for events are affordable, or that people are exposed to the sport through television broadcasts, especially when international teams are playing.
So, the question is, will you undertake today to ensure that South Africans have greater exposure to our sports through television or through access to the games? If not, why not? And, if so, how? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Chair, I thought the hon member would start by expressing happiness that the impasse which
has been there ... we were able, together with the players, to break it, as it were.
There are a lot of things involved here. Again, like the earlier question, we come in in the field of other people playing. So, there are private interests and people are running private enterprises.
Football clubs are private enterprises. And as they enter there, they are there to gain profit. There is a public interest and a public good, and so on.
So the issue here is the extent to which we are able to ensure convergence between the two. The Premier Soccer League, PSL, is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. Maybe you can talk about the English but, if you look at others, they are not as competitive as the PSL.
We would want the PSL to live forever. It’s important. But the PSL has to ensure that the teams are able to play, that the league is there, that it is not dying, and so on and so forth. So, they are the holders of the content.
Now, people ... [Inaudible.] ... and so on and we will not know what made people take particular decisions. We will always engage with
them on what is the interest of the public. In turn, they point out that as long as that is not a hindrance to what they are doing.
So, what I can say, partnership engagement is the name of the game. The current issue is a teacher to us. We said, let’s deal with this thing, but let’s have a broader conversation about what we do to firstly ensure that the league continues, and secondly, to ensure that the majority of our people benefit.
So, it ... There is no easy answer to that, especially when the public and private interests collide. Someone who is running a football team is going to ask you, are you going to help me, because it is in the public interest, financially now and so on.
So, it is an ongoing challenge to which we are committed. I can commit myself that we will continue together with stakeholders like the Minister of Communications ... we will continue to engage role- players to ensure that the public benefits. Thank you.
Mr Z MKIVA: Minister, I just want to ask you a simple question. I know you have already reflected on monitoring and evaluation. I would love to know whether the department, insofar as monitoring and evaluation measures are concerned, does ensure that the
transformation agenda and the democratisation of sport is upheld by all sporting formations and codes in South Africa.
If your answer is yes, I would like you to help us by giving us some details and reflect on the successes and challenges in that regard.
If the answer is so, please do the same and reflect on the answer.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Chair, this is slightly different. It’s another subject. In fact, it’s a subject on its own, hon member – a very important one. That is why today I met the men and women responsible for that. I engaged them for the first time. I can say that the 17 years from 1994 have not seen significant transformation in the sector. Until much later when you had the 2011 sports indaba which then came up with processes leading to the formation of the Eminent Persons Group, EPG – the one which is here
... or half of them who are here – to look into each sporting code.
So, when we finish here, I’m going back to a meeting. It’s more of an indication of what has really been happening in the past, say, eight years in this area, so that we understand.
One of the things which have been raised is that some of the sporting codes are transforming while others are not. One of the factors in those who are transforming is those who have been told to come up with their own targets. Not ... [Inaudible.] Their own targets. And there is progress there. Where there has been none of this, there hasn’t been any shift.
My take on this is that it becomes important to focus on development so that, when you talk about national teams, you don’t just put somebody there for its sake. People have talent out there. And a lot of them, across the board ...
But let’s ensure that we come up with a situation in which it is guaranteed that you are not going to be the easy one if there is time for change, and so on and so forth. But transformation itself as an agenda is not going to be compromised. We are going to insist on that and force it. Part of what the whole process came with is that those who do not want to transform have to be forced to transform.
In fact, I have been informed that those who do not want to transform ... their sports are dying because we can’t as a country vouch for you to go to international platforms when you don’t want
to address the fundamentals of the country, for instance. One of those fundamentals is real transformation, not just sugar-coating
... real transformation where we will see people taking it upon themselves – owners, administrators of the teams and federations – to ensure that indeed they transform.
And that ... there is no way that that would happen automatically. You have to have some enforcement so that ... You know, for instance, if you have to go to The Olympics, Sascoc has to guarantee you. So if you are not living up to the expectations of local laws and regulations, why should you be guaranteed to go and gallivant all over the world when, in fact, you have not done what you are supposed to do? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon Chair, we got social cohesion advocates, a team under the leadership of its chairperson hon retired Judge Yvonne Mokgoro. These social advocates are recruited from across all sectors. They conduct community conversation programmes on matters affecting society, conduct colloquium in institutions of higher learning.
We also have a month long programme of Africa Month aimed at promoting the integration of the continent, socially, economically politically and culturally. But also emphasize unity among Africans. There is collaboration with the Department of Basic Education on promotion of young patriotism amongst youth and all national symbols are included in all the educational materials.
We are told that all the workbooks which are produced at the department have these signs and symbols. The transformation of heritage landscape in our country, the utilisation of national days to build unity and cohesion amongst our people, our assistance to Moral Regeneration Movement Programmes particularly on promoting the charter for positive values which contains amongst others respect, human dignity and equality, promote responsible freedom and rule of law and democracy. Improve material wellbeing and economic justice, enhance sound family and community values. Uphold honesty, integrity and loyalty, ensure harmony in culture belief and conscience show respect and concern for all people, strive for justice, fairness and peaceful coexistence and protect the environment. These are some of the areas in our programme for social cohesion and nation-building. Thank you very much.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Thanks, hon Minister for that elaborate response. I really feel for you because with this nation-building and social cohesion, it must be very tough given experiences and backgrounds that we come from, the backgrounds of racial discrimination, gender discrimination and generally stinking racism that was under there apartheid and sport, culture and others.
I just want to check in terms of our National Development Plan, NDP, vision 2030 trajectory, what progress are we making with those programmes for instance, how are people responding to all these interventions that we you are making. Are parents allowing their children to integrate with the other kids at schools? In the areas where we live, now that our areas are integrated, do parents allow their kids to play together in the parks and in the soccer fields?
What progress are we making here, hon Minister?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Chair, it is an ongoing task for society. Because let’s take an example of racism firstly, other people take it as prejudice. It is a pernicious ideology.
Unfortunately, we have racists in our midst. What becomes important is, what is our agenda. Our agenda is not racism. Our agenda is nonracial society. So, whatever we do we have got to deal with racist in our midst but not losing sight of our strategic objective.
I will make an example, you would know that some two years ago there was an advert which invited condemnation by South Africans all round by one big company Unilever. So everybody condemned and we also condemned it. But, we said beyond condemnation then what? Will we build society by condemnation only? So we decided that no let us get the ceo of Unilever around the table and sit down with him and try to pose these questions to him. Such that, from that from we had commitments, we explained our social cohesion programmes and we had commitment from them to support social cohesion programmes.
In June 16, in Soweto, we had for instance, as part of the private sector they contributed both human resources and financial resources. So we have got a task to de-educate those who have been educated wrongly to think that the colour of your skin makes you superior to others as we go on. Because the intolerances are barring, xenophobia is one of them, the Africa Month is aimed to really bridge that, where we have gender stereo-types, as you said, the patriarchal nature of our society. So we have got to address these challenges as we move forward.
One thing which has united the people of South Africa is the national flag. You will have a few people who will do things and some of them you can see that whatever they are doing it is because
they are on the other side of sobriety. They are not a major problem. But fundamental South Africans, you ask all of them they see the need for a country to unite and move forward and that is what we should work on and continue to do. Thank you very much.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Chairperson, Minister, you mentioned that we must have respect, equality, human dignity and harmony in culture. I want to find out if we will have the assurance that the heritage of all South Africans would be protected henceforth and not being selective for different groups but all South Africans since we all have a history in South Africa?
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon member, in 2015 there was a “Rhodes Must Fall” movement in this country. This “Rhodes Must Fall” movement of the things it did was to highlight the need to transform the heritage landscape in this country. I can assure you that after that there were consultations with all political parties represented in Parliament and everybody else and there were resolutions thereafter.
One of the resolutions was that whatever occupies the public space should be in line with the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa as a constitutional state. What it
means is that, issues of reconciliation should be looked into but reconciliation should be reconciliation and capitulation in the sense that those who made the country to suffer like Hendrik Verwoerd as an example, he cannot occupy public spaces like Lieutenant–Colonel John Graham. Because these were vicious individuals particularly in the case of Graham who killed many people and who butchered children, women and men alike. We can’t have those people occupying public spaces because we would be saying whatever they did we go along. That is why that city is now called Makhanda ka Nxele. It could not have continued – with somebody who was having a philosophy of applying maximum terror to AmaXhosa in that part of the country just for their land.
So the spaces in our country are primarily going to be dictated by communities. Many people have been asking why do we have Botha on the horse back here in Parliament? I explained to them that the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, do not go to communities and change signs and symbols, it is people of that particular community. And after they would have said whatever – so if people of this community find nothing wrong with Botha, Botha will continue to be here. But it is the people in that locality. What comes to the Minister is when people in that particular community have engaged and the geographic council gives the Minister a proposal or a
suggestion like in the case of Makhanda. I could not have said no to that suggestion. In fact if it was a different suggestion I would have made my views because I know who Lieutenant–Colonel John Graham was. So anybody who has an idea about any place, go and talk to the local people in that area so that they start a process themselves.
Mine is to decide at the end and deciding I will and I have.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: House Chair, Minister, in relation to Outcome 14: Nation Building and Social Cohesion of the National Development Plan, NDP, I need to bring a very serious issue to your attention.
From the times of Tata Madiba and the 1995 Rugby World Cup, we have seen the amazing potential for sport to be a socially cohesive force in our society. I am sure you will agree with me that sport is one of the main drivers of social cohesion. We will also agree as per questions put earlier that sport at our schools is lacking simple because of firstly, facilities but also because of the right people to provide coaching in sport the persons that are particularly prepared to spend time with children and teach them sport.
Minister, I am sure you will agree that in many schools, teachers are either not skilled or not prepared to handle the after school sport. Therefore, parents and other sporting persons offer their time perhaps in the “Thuma Mina” spirit to say I am prepared to give
it my time. This brings me to my major problem and I really hope that you can help me and the country. There is a South African Council for Educators certificate, SACE, imposed by the department of education that SACE certificate obviously makes important for all persons dealing with children to be properly qualified to do so but unfortunately there is an unintended consequence and that says that currently there are sports coaches who volunteer at our schools around the country possible 300 thousand that could be disqualified from offering their coaching in sport at schools after hours.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Brauteseth!
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: House Chair, in all fairness, would you not like me – I am sure the Minister is appreciating the fact that I am ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I am trying to assist you. The supplementary question is two minutes and the two minutes has already expired so I am assisting you to get to the question.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: ... I am getting to the question but in I am sure the Minister is appreciating the context. Minister my question is... you know House Chair, many people stand here to cause trouble with
questions. I am genuinely trying to engage with the Minister... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Brauteseth, can you take your seat?
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: ... the question is, Minister, will you please undertake to work with Minister of Department of Education to see how legislative relief can be given in this regard to enable those volunteering their time to work with schools to enable them to continue to do so? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Minister, even though it is a question that is not linked to the original question but I will leave it to you to deal with it.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Chair, the member did say that the South African Council for Educators, SACE programme emanates from basic education. I would ask my colleague about it because if they are disqualified and they are offering their time surely there is a reason why they are being disqualified. All I can say is that I would get counsel from Minister Motshekga. Thank you.
Cllr T B MATIBE: House Chair, my question is, hon Minister, how is the department able to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Outcome 14: Nation Building and Social Cohesion, of government is achieved out of the five outputs of the Outcome 14, I can just forklift one, which is promoting active citizenry as well as leadership.
The MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon member, thank you for your elaboration on Outcome 14. Because Outcome 14 as one of the 14 outcomes in government if not understood through its depth we would always be superficial about it. Outcome 14, as you have correctly said has five sub outcomes and those sub outcomes are firstly, fostering the constitutional value that the kind of programmes we do and interaction in society we should starting from the preamble make people understand the constitutional value. The very fact that we are a constitutional democracy in South Africa.
Secondly, equal opportunities inclusion and redress. Thirdly, promoting social cohesion across society across through increased interaction across class race and gender. I think most of the things which have to do with sport and arts talk to this question because part of the problem, the spatial development which we inherited made people not to share spaces especially based on race in South Africa.
Sport, arts and culture make everybody to be under one roof regardless of their race and colour.
The other one relates to what you have said, active citizenry and leadership and social compact. These sub outcomes feed to the broader outcome of Outcome 14: Nation Building and Social Cohesion, that our programmes are guided primarily by this. But may I say that this year particularly in the state of the nation address, Sona, by the President, he came with seven priority areas and again, the fifth of those has to do with social cohesion and safety communities. What it means for us is that it is in our interest, all of us black and white to have harmony in the country. We will always have our differences how the world outlook our ideologies but to the extent of building a nation, because remember, before 1994 there was no nation to talk about. Before 1994, you had ethnic groups which engineered deliberately for that, be it AmaXhosa, Afrikaners, Bapedi etc. It is only 1994 that we were talking about a nation and building a nation and that process of integration becomes important.
It therefore raises another issue that we are not only South Africans here. We have our brothers and sisters who are coming elsewhere on the continent who are part and parcel of South Africa today. How do we ensure that we coexist and live together. Because
the painful thing about xenophobia is that it is very much directed amongst ourselves as blacks. I am not saying that foreign nationals who come from Europe or elsewhere should be discriminated. But to the extent of how we have internalised colonialism it becomes easy for us as Africans to discriminate against each other. These are the kind of programmes which are aimed at ensuring that we bridge that gap because in who’s interest will we continue fighting alone as Africans? When we are supposed to be fighting for our unity and for the integration of the continent. For the economic development of the entire continent, all the five regions of the continent and that is what should preoccupy us as the people. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Sports Arts and Culture and the eminent people for coming to this august House. We always say Parliament is for the people. So it is always good to come and witness the Minister accounting and Members of Parliament doing oversight. Thank you Nyambose. It was a first come first serve hon Mhaule. Next time you will learn. Nyambose was the first one to arrive. Dr Mhaule, you are welcome. You first question is question 51 from hon Ntshabeleng.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, greetings to hon members. I think it is for the first time that I come to answer questions on behalf of the Minister. So, I requested the hon Minister Mthethwa that because it is the first time, I do not know when you answer questions whether you go at the back or and I said how am I going to know if they start with me? Then they better start with you. Then we agreed and the Chairperson like anticipated our agreement. [Applause.]
Chair, in response to Question 51 by the hon Nchabeleng, I think I am correct; the Lekgotla has assisted the Department of Basic Education and the entire education sector to engage and plan collectively and ensure that whatever is done in the basic education sector reflects the sentiments and priorities of the sector. The recommendations were integrated into the sector plans and were categorised into short, medium and long-term deliverables. The central message on the 2018 Lekgotla was to find ways and lay a foundation on equipping learners with knowledge and skills for a changing world. This is the work that the department is currently engaged with as one of the 2019 Medium-Term Strategic Framework at the strategic level.
The immediate plans are the implementations of the curriculum with skills and competencies for the changing world. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the information and communication technology, ICT, roll out as well as the introduction of entrepreneurship, especially in the focused schools.
Internal structures such as the teacher development and curriculum management are in place to ensure the in year reporting to monitor progress on the implementation of the recommendations, Chair. So, we are doing teacher development because we need to equip the teachers to be in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the new priorities of the sector.
Secondly, the 2019 Basic Education Sector Lekgotla was the fifth Lekgotla since 2015, because the sector wanted to plan as one sector allowing even provinces and the entities that are working with the sector to move in one direction. That is why we feel that we need to have, but currently we are responding to the 2018 Basic Education Sector Lekgotla. Thank you, Chair.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Hon Chairperson and thank you for your answer hon Deputy Minister. Like you said that these Makgotla that you hold every year actually help in a way check what progress you are making
on a lot of other things, but my question now is on school governance. Have these interventions that come from the resolutions of the Lekgotla, how have they impacted on governance or improved governance of schools in the country? Are we making progress with them? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, the January Makgotla even involves the National Association of School Governing Bodies in their various associations. That is why they are part of these. So, they make an impact in the governance of the school.
However, apart from that of course on matters of governance School Governing Bodies, SGBs, will be trained on various aspects of governance of school. Your financial management, your safety in schools and all the whole lot, but indeed they do help in governance. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mr M R BARA: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, one of the main recommendations presented at the Lekgotla was that the education sector needs to increase the number of schools that focus on critical learning areas such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics as well as arts. How does your department intend enhancing these critical areas when our student’s illiteracy levels are at 78% for Grade 4 learners? Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, the hon member will know that we are not only focusing on one aspect as the department. We focus on teacher development that is why we participate even with other countries to evaluate our performance. Based on those evaluations we are able to improve how we perform in the system. So, another thing as the department we took a resolution even in this year 2019 Lekgotla that we need to strengthen the foundation phase. We came up with the strategies on how to help the foundation phase teachers and the learners that as the foundation become strong then the whole system will move.
One other resolution that was taken was a three line stream curriculum that we do not only want to focus on one aspect like maths, science and technology because there are learners who may not want to do mathematics in Grade 12 or reach Grade 12, but we are working together with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology to strengthen the programmes in the Technical Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges and our vocational schools, etc. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Nks S A LUTHULI: Sihlalo, Sekela Ngqongqoshe, ngicabanga ukuthi inkinga enkulu eMnyangweni Wezemfundo ukuthi iningi labafundi
bayashiya phansi ezikoleni ngaphambi kokuthi bafike emazingeni aphezulu futhi inkinga yokuthi kungani beshiya phansi asiyazi ukuthi yini nokuthi bashonaphi emuva kokuthi sebeshiye phansi. Ikhona yini mhlambe into umnyango oyenzayo ukuthi ulandlele ukuthi laba bafundi baphi, benzani nokuthi yisiphi isizathu esenza ukuthi bashiye phansi? Ngiyabonga.
USEKELA NGQONGQOSHE WEMFUNDO EYISISEKELO: Sihlalo, ukushiya phansi kubangelwa yizizathu eziningi. Yizinto eziningi ezibangela ukushiya phansi. Kokunye yimindeni enakekelwa neholwa, izingane ezihlala nogogo, kuningi nje okubangela ukushiya phansi. Kodwa-ke sisebenzisana noMnyango Wezemfundo Ephakeme ukubheka ukuthi zishonaphi lezi zingane ngoba uma sibheka abantu abasha la eNingizimu Afrika asibheki laba abesesikoleni kuphela sibheka nalaba abangenawo umatikuletsheni abagcwele umgwaqo bese sisebenzisana nama-Sector Education and Training, Seta, ukubheka ukuthi baqeqesheka kanjani ukwenza umsebenzi wezandla uma bengaqedanga umatikuletsheni. Ngiyabonga, Sihlalo.
Cllr T B MATIBE: Hon House Chair, I just want to check from the hon Deputy Minister, in relation to the key issues that arouse from the Lekgotla. One of them was the teacher development. How is the
department assisting more especially underperforming schools to reach a level where they are on par with other performing schools? For example in our province we have schools that perform. Your Mbilwi Secondary School, EPP Mhinga Secondary School, Tshivhase Secondary School and Thengwe Secondary School: How is the programme on teacher development assisting? Thank you, Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon House Chair, during the beginning of the year I will say the first academic quarter, yes January to March, we come together as a sector and analyse the results. As we analyse the results we analyse per subject, per circuit and we look at to what these circuit lacks on what? Then that will tell you whether it is a teacher or the learners or the quality of the teacher? Then we encourage them to have exchange programmes. If this circuit is not doing well in mathematics and that other circuit is doing well in physical science for argument sake then we are able to exchange. However, our teacher development programmes are aiming at empowering teachers and developing them to be in par with all the other teachers so that the level of education and the quality is the same throughout the country. Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, the first question is about when, and the answer is that there is no planned date because the comprehensive sexuality education has been part of the life skills and life orientation since the year 2000. So, there is no planned date.
The second part of the question is that, when will it be made public to public participation? It won’t be available for public participation because there is literally nothing new to be taken to the public. But when the public feels that they would want to engage in this matter, the department is open and if they request, we will open for public participation.
The third part of the question is that, what feedback has been received from the public? The answer is that there is no feedback received because there is nothing that went to the public. And, the last one is that, what is wrong with the current programme that is being replaced? So, there is no programme that is being replaced, Chair. Thank you.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Hon Deputy Minister, children learn how to treat each other from the environment. With intimate partner violence being the most common form of gender-based violence, it dramatically
increases the risk of children and young adults, especially young me, becoming abusive in their later years. Today, right outside these walls, we have people protesting against the epidemic of gender-based violence. How will this programme be, in the future, begin to engage pre and post pubescent boys regarding ideas of masculinity in order to build an environment of respect for women?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, I nearly said, this is a new question because now the focus is on violence. Yet, the original question was on sexual education, which we don’t provide. We don’t have a subject called comprehensive sexual education. We don’t have such a programme. A programme that we have is life orientation. So within life orientation, there is comprehensive sexuality programme which helps the young learners to understand themselves, to understand their bodies and to be able to respond to the reactions of their bodies as they grow up and that they are able to stand on their own.
When you look at this programme, it even delays the sexual debate about the engage in sexual activities. It delays that because now, these learners understand their bodies and they know the development of their bodies. It decreases the frequency of sexual encounters and the number of teenage pregnancies. Most of the time when we come to
the committee, we are asked of the number of teenage pregnancies that is increasing every year. But, if we teach them about sexuality programme, then they understand and they are able to preserve themselves.
As we engage both boys and girls, the boys will be able to behave and be able to respect the girls. And as we teach them to respect each other’s bodies, then we will have a community that respects one another and issues like what is happening today will be minimised.
Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mme S B LEHIHI: Motlatsa Tona, mo malatsing a go feta, go nnile le mowa o o sa siamang mo nagene e neng ya iponela dipetelelo tsa bana le basadi. Ke mekgwa efeng e lefapha le le dirileng gore bana ba dikolo ba nne ba sireletsegile kgatlhanong le petelelo e e ka tswang mo barutabaneng kgotsa bona badisameago?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: I think on this programme it helps, as I have just indicated just now that it helps both boys and girls. When we teach the girls about this, it develops their self esteem that helps them to know who they are in society so that they
know who they are and understand themselves. So, it does not make them inferior as girls.
Fa re ntse re ba ruta ka lenaneo le, le ba thusa gore baitlhomphe. Basimane ba tlhompe basetsana le basetsana. Le gore ba gole, ba nne baagi ba ba nang le maikarabelo. Ke yone tlhaloso e ke neng ke e file leloko le le tlhompegang. Ke nagana gore ...
... these questions are almost related. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Deputy Minister, there is something about your reply that I find very disturbing and please help me if I am wrong. But to teach students firstly about sex and sexuality, but you don’t go further to open up the discussion, which is what hon Christian asked about masculinity and the ideas that society have of what man should be and the skewed idea around that, is actually one of the root causes why we sit with a problem that we are sitting on today and why we are having the protest.
So, from your reply, and please correct me if I am wrong, but I get the sense that this discussion is not being had. The problem does
not lie only with teaching girls that they are worthy of respect and that they can be and do anything. The problem actually lies ... and members over there think it’s a laughing matter, but I do not. The problem actually lies by teaching boys that they should have the respect for girls in return.
It’s not a question of don’t be raped, it’s a question of don’t rape. Now my question to you is; society preaches a very toxic idea of masculinity out there. What are we doing in our schools when we talk about sex and sexuality to make sure that we do not extend that toxic idea of masculinity amongst our boys? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, I think the further question to the original question was that, what does the community say? To be precise, we have triggered this matter now to become a new matter after 19 years. It is a journalist who wrote that now the department is going to teach about sex in schools. Then everybody picked up arms and they say; what is it exactly that you are teaching our children? Yet, nothing has changed. It’s just that the department was improving on the content of the textbook. The textbook now covers the issues of values, rights, culture and sexuality. Within those values, that masculinity is also part of it.
We cannot just have another subject on its own called, Masculinity. I am reading now another one; discipline within values, rights, culture and sexuality. And understanding gender is part of the subject. Violence and staying safe are the subtopics within the comprehensive sexual education. We also have skills for health and wellbeing, the human body and development, sexuality and sexual behaviour and reproductive health. Everything is there. It’s just that we cannot come here and pick each and every topic and say, this is what is covered by ... Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Ms S SHAIKH: Thank you Chairperson and thank you Deputy Minister for that response because I think the Deputy Minister, when I raised my hand to ask a question, she actually did respond to my question. But it’s clear that people within this House seems to think that sexuality education is sex education and they need to be re-educated on that. [Applause.] But it is also clear that they are not prepared to hear what the Deputy Minister has to say. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): That was a comment.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, concerning the question by hon Ndongeni, our response is that an audit was
conducted across the nine provinces and that audit reveals that we have 3 898 schools that still have inappropriate sanitation facilities. They do have, but it’s inappropriate. So, in August 2018, the sanitation appropriate for education initiative was launched by President himself.
Since the launch in August 2018, 188 schools have been provided with sanitation and it has been handed over to those 188 schools.
Currently, we have 1007 projects that are under implementation in various stages. Because this question goes further to indicate about the inappropriate schools. Schools are built by provinces through the Education Infrastructure Grants, but there are provinces which still have mud schools.
That’s why the department was implementing such programmes under Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, ASIDI. In those projects, 222 inappropriate schools have been replaced, 795 sanitation projects in the same programme of ASIDI have been completed, 937 water projects were completed and 372 electricity projects were completed. Furthermore, provincial education departments have delivered 109 new and replacement schools in the 2018-19 financial year.
So, 370 sanitation projects and 537 water projects through the provincial infrastructure programme are underway. Thank you, Chair.
Ms N NDONGENI: Deputy Minister, in view of the fact that maintenance and construction of infrastructure is constitutionally a provincial government competence, what mechanism are in place in order for the national department to be able to support the work of the provinces?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Through you Chair, to make our work to be seamless together with provinces, we have structures like CM, Headcom and also, there are technical committees.
Committees of infrastructure they sit together with the committee in the national office to come and give a report and even in the CM, every month we get reports on projects that are taking place in provinces.
That’s why Basic Education knows exactly that this province is implementing these new projects on a total new school, maintaining of a school or building of sanitation. So, we are able to consolidate our work. The professional engineers that are appointed by Basic Education are able also to go and visit those projects in the provinces. Thank you, Chair.
Moh S B LEHIHI: Motlatsatona, lefapha la gago le bonya, e bile le ikgatholola go tlhabolola dikolo. Lo tlile go dira jang go bontsha gore dikago tsotlhe tsa dikolo di a lekana le gore di a tshwana tsotlhe mo nageng ka bophara?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, it’s very difficult to say that all the schools will be uniformed because, there are schools which were built before 1994 and which are very strong.
Therefore, we need to maintain them. There are also schools which were built immediately after democracy in South Africa, their plans and designs have now changed.
What we are doing now as the department? We want to come up with uniform designs for primary schools and secondary schools, but the challenge is that we are still going to have small and bigger schools. Therefore, the plans may not be the same, but we are working on that. Challenges of schools are moving targets because populations are moving.
Today a school can be built somewhere, then tomorrow people chase economic activities and move from a certain area to another one. The school will then remain with few learners. The school is expected to
be built where the number of people has moved to. That’s why it’s not easy to say that the challenges of infrastructure will be 100% eradicated.
Ms A D MALEKA: Through you Chair, hon Deputy Minister, what role has the public in general played in assisting to provide solutions to these challenges faced by the sector?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, concerning the challenge of the public, I am one person who do not like pointing fingers. But what makes it to be difficult to deliver infrastructure is the public itself, because school needs to be delivered where the same public is. Instead of the public to own the school, they see an opportunity to get things like doors and others from the very same school that belongs to the public.
Another challenge is that, when a contractor is appointed, the public members who are from the same community would come to enquire on how the contractor was appointed. When you follow the supply chain processes, you will find out that they didn’t even apply for, what is it? It’s tender or whatever. – I don’t even like to use that word. – They will come to indicate that they want to be appointed so they can implement the school.
This causes chaos, and it makes us to look like we are delaying in the implementation of the projects. Also, with regards with the sanitation projects, it’s also what they said. Therefore, we are a bit behind because of these challenges. When you bring a contractor on site, they all want to subcontract until the money exceeds the cost of the project itself. Thank you, Chair.
Rre K MOTSAMAI: Ke rata gore fa motlatsatona a sa kgone go araba dipotso ka Setswana a kope motho yo o tla fetolelang puo, a se ka a araba fela gonne ga a araba potso ya ga motl Lehihi. Motl Lehihi o ne a sa botse ka matla, ka jalo, ke lo reeditse gore lo a reng fa lo araba.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Motsamai, we are dealing with a supplementary question. Let me give a chance to hon Christians to pose a last supplementary question. [Interjections.] Hon members, order. Let’s allow hon Christians to ask the question.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Through you, hon House Chair, hon Deputy Minister, we’ve heard you speak about this issue that you are in the process of eradicating pit toilets, you are in the process of building new schools and that you are in the process of looking at
infrastructure and so on. We have spoken about it at length. In
2019-20 financial year, your department has committed at eradicating pit toilets all together. Yet, to date there are still about 3 800 pit toilets across the country. So, I think I just want to get right to the point and ask you to give us a date and the time, when are these pit toilets going to be eradicated?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, according to the
3 898 schools, the timeframe that we have allocated ourselves is 2021, that’s when the last toilet will be built. We are doing that because we are guided not by financial resources, but by the capacity of the implementing agents. We are not using one implementing agent; we are using many of them. Remember, some of them implement and also provide resources.
This means that not all the money comes from government. So, if they say that this year we are going to build 50 toilets, in 2018-19 20 toilets and 1921 10 toilets, we can’t tell them to bring them now because when they come they come with their money and their capacity. So, from the programme that we have, is that the last toilet will be built in 2021.
Ke batla go itsi potso e e boditsweng ka Setswana e ke sa e tlhaloganyang.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, the question is about Tlamelang Special School; that the learners at Tlamelang School are transported by a scholar transport? But, in this case, they are transported by a school bus not a scholar transport outside the school; which is provided by the North West Department of Education.
So, we were never informed until we got this question that there is a problem. So, we sent our people to go to the school, but at the time they arrived at the school all learners were at the school. And we were told that they arrived on time. But, now we sent a team to monitor that do the learners arrive on time.
But the report we got from North West is that there is no problem, unless on the days maybe the bus has a problem, but generally learners arrive at school on time.
But, we thank the member for bringing that to our attention, that’s why we are monitoring that closely. Thank you, Chair.
Moh S B LEHIHI: Motlatsatona, ke a leboga e bile ke lebogela matsapa a lona.
Nk L C BEBEE: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo weNdlu. Ngicela ukwazi la Sekela Ngqongqoshe ukuba ngabe ikhona yini imiqathango enqala esemgodlweni wakho mayelana nesithuthi sabafundi? Iyiphi indima uMnyango oyidlalayo ukuze uqinisekise ukuthi kuyenzeka? We!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): We’ll leave it to the Deputy Minister because it’s not linked to this one; this one was specifically to this Special School. But it’s entirely up to you, Deputy Minister.
USEKELA NGQONGQOSHE WEMFUNDO EYISISEKELO: Bayibhale kahle, bayibuze. Sizoyiphendula ngesikhathi esifanele. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.]
Ms C VISSER: Hon Deputy Minister, in the light of the scholar transport problem, are you aware that in the Free State since the
Department of Education has taken over the responsibility of scholar transport from the Department of Public Works that there are periods for as long as two to three that there’s no scholar transport available due to payments to the contractors not being paid on date or irregular payments made to the contractors? And what will the ministry do about this problem? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, the supplementary question must be linked to the original question. But I’ll leave it to the Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, if there are questions on scholar transport, we would appreciate because NCOP is directly linked to provinces and we can appreciate if those questions can be taken to provinces. Because even payments, if they don’t pay on time, we might not know some time that they are not paying on time. Because we’ll wait until we get the financial report and that financial report may not indicate that we underspent because we did not pay service providers. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, thank you. Jaa, maybe to start with because the question is asking about Lushaka,
then you might ask what Lushaka is. But, it is Funza Lushaka Bursary if it does reach ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES (Mr A J Nyambi): There is Funza missing.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Yes, there is Funza missing. The Funza Lushaka Bursaries do reach the objectives in promoting teaching as a profession. The big answer to this is yes, a big yes, it reaches every year. As I speak right now, we produce more than
25 000 teachers per year since we have Funza Lushaka.
Yes, there is the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, and there is the other bursaries where our students benefit, but with this Funza Lushaka, we have even changed the approach that the recruitment is done at district level because each district knows its needs. You cannot sit down at Basic Education and decide on the needs of the district. Therefore, they recruit there in their circuits and there are schools that are far in the remote areas wherein teachers would not love to go. However, when you recruit from there, those learners will want to go and teach their siblings and their children. So, it works and it gets the right targets, the poorest of the poor and the needy ones that they come.
The current allocation to Funza Lushaka is R1,1 billion and the department has awarded 134 000 Funza Lushaka Bursaries between 2007 and 2008 at the cost of almost R8 billion. Therefore, we are getting results. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mr I NTSUBE: Hon Chairperson, I do want to ask the Deputy Minister to further clarify here because the SA School Act stipulates that learner-educator ratio would be 30:1, and we have further more said that the bursary is actually serving its objectives. My question would be, how many of those teachers that the bursary has produced, the 25 000 that you are talking about? How many of teachers had the department consumed because currently as we are sitting here now, most of the schools are overcrowded. Therefore, I want to check, how many of the teachers had the department consumed to actually deal with the question of overcrowding in our classrooms? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you. I indicated that there are teachers who are produced by NSFAS, there are teachers who are produced by Funza Lushaka and there are teachers who are paying for themselves. Therefore, there is no shortage of teachers. The challenge is the post-provisioning norm. It is not a challenge because schools will decide to open many streams in a school.
Therefore, when we count the number of teachers versus the learners we find that 1:29, not even 1:30. However, when you get into a classroom you find that they are 70. Another cause of an overcrowding might be the facilities because of the choice. In villages that I know very well, you find that there are three primary schools and parents would want their children to go to this one primary school. That is why when we empower and develop principals, we develop them in such a way that they produce almost similar results that boost the confidence of parents to their schools, because it is really amazing. I went to a school here in Germiston, there were three schools in one vicinity, but parents want their children in this one school. When I arrived, the school has 1 800 learners and the other school there with empty classrooms has only 600 learners. Therefore, that is the cause of the overcrowding, but the shortage of teachers is not there. The Funza Lushaka Bursary is helping the sector big time. Thank you, Chair.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: House Chairperson, through you to the Deputy Minister, I hear you saying that there is no shortage of teachers. First of all before I say that I would like to commend the department on the Funza Lushaka Bursary because I do think it is doing a good job in producing the teachers that we need in the country. However, I would have to disagree with the Deputy Minister
that there are enough teachers in the country because our schools actually see otherwise. Our schools see a lack of teachers, especially in mathematics and science. The theory is that these teachers are leaving the Republic of South Africa to go and teach elsewhere. What are we doing in South Africa to retain our teachers, especially our good mathematics and science teachers that they don’t go to Australia or to Dubai or wherever else the condition being salaries or ... [Inaudible.] ... What are we doing to retain our teachers who are qualified in this country and what actually programmes are in place for these talented teachers to stay? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, the question on retention is a new question, but I understand hon member says that she differs with me. The challenge is the distribution of teachers even in one school. You find that one school has six English teachers and one maths teacher. Sometimes it depends upon the nature of the leadership of the school. That’s why our training is focusing on the School Management Team so that they must understand the priorities of the school, that if in this school we need a maths teacher and our school now due to the number of people moving out of the school and going to settle somewhere else, then the number of learners have reduced, now the school has to release teachers. You
find that the maths teacher was the last to be appointed, and then because everybody wants to be satisfied, he says, e-e, “last-in, first-out.”
I visited a school where I found that that norm was used. When I asked if mathematics really is your priority, why did you allow a maths teacher to leave? They said no, he was affected by last-in, first-out, Lifo. What is Lifo? They said, last-in, first-out. How can you allow that to happen because that will happen at a school level? However, we are saying that now we are discouraging that thing to happen. We want the teachers, not best teachers, the teachers that are a priority to a school to be retained by the school. However, if there is a question on the retention, we will gladly come and answer to that question.
Ms M N GILLION: Hon Chairperson, through you to the Deputy Minister, I also want to applaud this Funza Lushaka Bursary programme. The department is doing very good, but I have got the worry, especially for our students in the rural areas. Can you give us the assurance, Deputy Minister, that this department is taking all avenues, and what avenues do the department are using to make sure that the bursary programme is widely publicised?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: The bursary programme is publicised at circuit level. People who know the plights of the circuits are the circuit managers. Therefore, we send the applications to the circuit managers, but per province. The provincial team of teacher development will go out to all the circuits and leave the forms with circuit managers. Therefore, circuit managers together with the principals in the area have that structure that is called Circuit Management Team. They will sit down, and then they will preach the gospel to all the learners that are doing Grade 12 and who will want to be teachers.
Therefore, on subjects like maths, science and technology, we encourage learners to take teaching as a profession of choice. When they see in some other provinces they even add that they give them some sort of stipend to buy some goodies and those stipend make them to want to go do teaching as a career of choice. However, the challenge is when that teaching is not in the person. The person was only attracted by the incentives, then when they finish they do what hon member has said that “I did not want to be a teacher but the circumstances forced me to be a teacher.” However, with this really we do achieve to get teachers in the remote rural areas to be there. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: The question on safety. Chair, the issues of safety will always remain the bone of contention because – I know that - members want to know what the department is doing. Even if the department can do, but if you look at the people who were gathered outside here, that is beyond the department. If you look at what is happening in the communities, it is beyond the reach of the department. This is because a school is a symbol of a community. What transpires or happens at the school is exactly what is happening in the community.
Safety to us does not only refer to the learners but it is the safety of the buildings. Who are the people vandalising the community? Regarding safety of the teachers, who are the people following our teachers to school? They are members of the community. They enter the school and a teacher is gunned down. It is not easy but the department has the National School Safety Framework which is a strategic response to safety in our schools. We encourage all provinces to follow that guideline.
At the same time, the school governing bodies, SGBs have subcommittees called school safety committees which deal with issues of safety at schools - safety among learners who are bullying,
teachers who fight among themselves, and learners who fight against one another. There are so many instabilities in schools. They then work with a community structure called Community Policing Forum.
However, these can only work in a stable society. When the society is not stable, it is not easy for these committees to function. But where there is stability, they are able to function effectively without qualms.
They also work with the SAPS. In the policing area, the police station together with the circuit will identify cops and allocate them to schools. Where there is a challenge, the police station will just go there and do random search. The departments in provinces buy metal detector devices. When they enter the school, those metal detectors are able to detect if they have weapons or substances. So, that is what we are doing. I believe that – because the question has so many sub-questions, I have tried to answer all the sub-questions in one. So, I’ll take a follow-up question if there is any. Thank you.
Mr M R BARA: Chair, even though there are subsections in the question, the issue is about school safety and that is the bottom line. On the case of Amy-Lee de Jager who was kidnapped on Tuesday, one of the people who are in custody is a teacher in that same
school. That’s number one. Two, from the first six months of this year, about seven stabbings have happened in our schools. This, then raises the question of ... I think the Deputy Minister is correct in saying that we want to know what the department is doing. For me, it is not enough to have a framework. If that framework is not implemented, it is as good as not being there at all. How are you going to make sure that kids are safe at schools, the framework is implemented, and it yields the required results? Remember that you have the overall responsibility of what happens to a child who is at school. The problem will lie squarely on your doorstep because, as parents, we will say you have not done what you were supposed to do. So, how do you make sure, as a department, that the framework is not just a document, but a documents that works and protects learners and teachers equally in that same school? Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, the School Safety Framework is not a document which the department sat in a corner and developed. The document came as a result of the School Safety Summit which was held with all stakeholders. The stakeholders at the time included the SGBs, SAPS, the Department of Social Development and all the relevant stakeholders. That’s why we came with the document. The framework is not just a framework. I said that it has been taken to provinces and schools. The school governing bodies are the ones
implementing that. They are the ones who said there must be school safety committees and there are school safety committees. They are the ones who said the school safety committees must work with Community Policing Forums. They are the ones who said there must be the Adopt-a-Cop in a school. That is what I am saying. I am not saying that we have hung the framework somewhere for people to look at it. No! It is a framework that is being implemented. All what I have said is exactly what is contained in the framework.
We deal with human beings. A human being will do whatever s/he wants. You have the Department of Correctional Services officers. When they say ... what do they call them now? I would say a prisoner.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Inmates.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: When an inmate has escaped, you’ll find that the inmate has been assisted by the very same officers. I mean, a human being is a human being! You cannot say, I have a system that will detect what a human being is thinking. We may not have that system like this current issue. We are also really amazed how the teachers who are supposed to take care of these children are the same ones who are abducting them. So, this is not
something that our department is applauding and saying, our teachers are doing good. No!
We are working with the SA Council of Educators. We are working with the Education Labour Relations Council on these matters that are affecting teachers. That’s why those structures have to deal with anything and when a teacher has raised his ugly hand, they must take that teacher to task. We do not appreciate it when teachers lose their jobs. When the matter arrives at Sace, the chances of you being scrapped from Sace are 90%. If we do that, we will be adding to that pool of people who will cause trouble. That is why we focus on the rehabilitation and correctional ... what is it? Yes, correcting the moral and whatever of the people. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Deputy Minister, earlier on when we asked you about the backlog of schools, you indicated that it is the community’s fault. Just now, you have indicated that this is now a societal problem. With due respect, to me you seem to be a blame shifter of note. I am not sure whether the Cabinet actually gets class in this. I suspect you might. Surely, when you say human beings will be human beings, other countries that also have human beings do not have the crises that we currently have. You can’t say
it is only a societal problem. Surely, as a government, you must take some responsibility for the deteriorating moral fibre of our country, firstly. Secondly, our schools are dangerous not only for students, but also for their teachers. As the government, you must take some responsibility and not only shift the blame to society. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, I think my answer was more than enough when I said we work with law enforcement agencies with the schools. That’s why we have a formal programme, Adopt-a- Cop. They also have a formal programme of Adopt-a-School and they go to schools. I am not shifting any blame. If we were shifting the blame, we would not even have come up with the framework of school safety. We were not going to say, SGBs this is what you do, establish these committees, etc. Even the SA Council of Educators was not going to have that Code of Ethics for Teachers. If a teacher is found to have violated the rights of a child, that matter is escalated to that council. Even the Education Labour Relations Council has taken that matter seriously to show that the systems within the education sector are responsible, and are taking responsibility for what is happening at schools. So, we should not refer to countries whose statistics we do not even have because
other countries might not be as open as South Africa about what is happening in them. I have been to many countries. Thank you, Chair.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Deputy Minister, I appreciate the fact that you acknowledge that the safety of the children, learners, teachers and schools is very important. It is public knowledge that the FF Plus tabled a Private Member’s Bill with regard to the restriction of protest action near or at schools. I want to know: Would you say that is in the interest of all learners and schools that learners are to be protected from protest action on school grounds or near school grounds? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, that’s the message we preach everyday. That’s the message that the department is preaching everyday that, when communities are protesting, they must allow learners to stay at school. They must allow them to be taught. They must allow them to exercise their right to receive education. So, we really, really appreciate that and call upon political parties that, let’s just not be opposition. We are here in Parliament, representing all people out there. If we have a better way that can curb and promote safety in schools, the department has opened its hands that you can submit your proposal, but a proposal that is not abstract; a proposal that will not need a miracle to implement; and
a proposal that is implementable and smart in nature. We call upon all members to do so because these are our children. They are not children of political parties. They are not children of whosoever but are the children of South Africa; and South Africa is depending on those children for the future of this country. So, Chair, we call upon even the parents and society to let learners be taught at school. Thank you so much. [Applause.]
Mr S ZANDAMELA: House Chair, the Deputy Minister earlier on mentioned, when there was a question about buildings that the communities see an opportunity of going to grab and all those things. But, I just want to ask the Deputy Minister because we all agree there is a need for safety of our kids at schools. Why is the department not employing people on a full-time basis than relying on the SGBs and the arrangement of the community and the police? She even said that at times, when there are problems at schools, the police would come and check those things. Why is the department not employing security on a full-time basis in our schools?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, I don’t want to give examples because that will take the whole day. But, what the department is doing is to encourage communities to take responsibility because a school is a community facility. So, the
community must learn to take care of its facility. That is the message that we are preaching everyday. We are telling even the SGBs that, when they have called community meetings – when the ward councillors have called meetings, let them tell communities that these facilities ... a clinic is a community facility; and a police station is a community facility. The community must take care of all these community facilities. If we keep on putting security right around, we make that institution vulnerable. Immediately the security is looking this side, people will come in because they will wonder what it is that you are securing there. That means we must go and take. So, putting security measures is not in the pipeline but in the discussion by the department to look at. You put a fence, come tomorrow, and the fence is down. But we are saying that we are looking at all that.
Our schools must be fenced, have a gate, a guard room and a security who mans people who come in and out of the school. But this is not something that we can say we are implementing tomorrow because it has financial implications. Yet, the department is a labour- intensive department. When you look at its budget now, the huge amount goes to the compensation of employees. But, what the hon member is raising is something that the department will also look at. Thank you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, the hon Dr Mhaule for availing herself ... [Laughter.] You are still in for some questions. Allow me to thank the Deputy Minister of Basic Education and not Higher Education, the hon Dr Mahule for availing herself to take questions in the NCOP. Thank you, DM. Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Manamela, you are welcome. Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, hon Manamela, we are starting with Question 54 from hon Ntsube; your first question for the day.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Thank you, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Tvet, college curriculum is undergoing large scale review and the process of updating the information and communication technology curricula has already begun and will be finalised in the latter part of 2019. Colleges will be supported in the next year to ensure that preparations to deliver the revised curricula and introduction of additional subjects.
I must say that in 2019 attention has focused on updating all technology related curricula, particularly in the Report 191
programme Report 191 programmes, commonly known as the NATED, that are still in high demand by post-matriculants who wish to pursue post-secondary studies in preparation for employment and also updated curriculum that better prepare students in areas such as critical thinking, information processing, use of advanced multimedia and online technologies have already been introduced in 2019 in the management communication syllabus.
From next year, updated curricula will include Internet of Things as a significant part of the life skills curriculum in the national vocational qualification certificate and further revisions will be made to the information technology, IT, and Computer Science programme - National Certificate Vocational, NCV, which will equip student to engage in problem solving solutions using technologies that easily and readily available.
A major part of the preparation for delivery of the updated curricula will involve the training of lecturers, who must also be upskilled to deliver these curricula.
The curriculum development and support directorate in our department is working in collaboration with various stakeholders on several aspects relating to the improvement of digital skills for the Fourth
Industrial Revolution. We have entered into collaborations with Cisco in four areas, mainly: life orientation, which involves the integration of digital skills in life orientation; national certificate in information technology, wherein we are reviewing the NCV IT and computer science programme and then the NATED curriculum updates, wherein we are ... I mean the computer skills related content across several NATED programmes are under review. We have also established centres of excellence throughout the country in all the provinces – college of Cape Town here in the Western Cape, Elangeni in KwaZulu-Natal, Vuselela in North West, Gert Sibande in Mpumalanga, Nkangala, Waterberg in Limpopo, South West Gauteng in Gauteng, Motheo in Free State and King Sabatha Dalindyebo in Eastern Cape.
Also, part of the collaboration with Cisco include the our Tvet branch finalising the stages for the NCV stream to focus on basic skills needed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution related jobs such as robotics and coding. Thank you.
Mr I NTSUBE: Thanks House Chairperson, we wanted to check with the Minister as to what are the threats and opportunities presented to the Fourth Industrial Revolution to education sector especially in curriculum content precisely? Thanks.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Thank you. Firstly, I think the brief response to that question would be that we have to constantly review our curriculum because of the disruptive nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution; secondly, is the fact in certain quotas of our country and some of our Tvet colleges are still yet to catch up with the Third Industrial Revolution. It is a reality which our country is finding itself in and that’s why some of the partnerships that I have spoken about like Cisco etc, are specifically focusing on digitisation, which is a part of us in ensuring that we are up to date as it relates to the Third Industrial Revolution but also link that to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Thirdly, the major challenge is the fact that jobs are not permanent in that today you could be having a particular form of work and tomorrow that work may be out of fashion in the labour market precisely because as I said, of the disruptive ... and therefore the curriculum has to keep on par with the demands particularly of the labour market but also of the developing nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So, those are the major challenges. We believe that both the Department of Science and Technology and Higher Education are up to task in ensuring that we constantly keep
our curriculum up to date to ensure that we meet the demands particularly of the labour market and the economy.
Ms M N GILLION: Thank you House Chairperson, Deputy Minister, is there any capacity within the both Higher Education and Science and Technology Ministry to track and analyse the key trends in the evolution of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the possible impact under the education system? If not, why not? If so, what are the relevant details?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Thank you very much. I think what we have to done is to instruct both our departments to work together and to use their separate capacities collectively in order to ensure that we meet the demands of the evolving Fourth Industrial Revolution. I mean we will have to look at support with regards to research and innovation; we have to look at equipping lecturers and students to prepare for the world of work, which as I said earlier on, is fundamentally changing on a day to day basis; we will have to look at embracing the affordability of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the post-school education and training sector as to how it is managed, administered, equipped and learning and teaching facilities. A combination of all of those means that both our departments have to work together and we think
that it was actually a very crucial decision for the President to combine both the Science and Technology and Higher Education Ministries. That is the only way within which we can succeed if we are to build capacity in responding to demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you very much House Chairperson, Deputy Minister, currently, 80% of 10-year-olds can’t read for comprehension. How can we then discuss preparing the next generation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution if the Department of Basic Education can’t even capacitate them to read and write?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Well, look, I mean I think you missed an opportunity to ask that question to the Deputy Minister of Basic Education. But I also think that what is important is: firstly, some of the interventions that are made at basic education level to ensure that we improve that state of affairs. What is also crucial I think is the announcement that the Minister of Basic Education made around the commitment by her department working together with us to introduce, for instance, coding at that level, which we think is going to be very crucial since it is more about problem-solving skills and all of that.
I am in no doubt that both the Minister and the Deputy Minister of Basic Education are spending sleepless nights to ensure that we prepare learners for post-school education and training sector. [Applause.]
Ms S A LUTHULI: Thank you House Chair, Deputy Minister; I hear you are speaking of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. My question is: Is it going to solve the problem of the society or is it only going to benefit the big businesses? The state is not proactively intervening.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: All
the other preceding revolutions have taught us that if we do not deal with the socioeconomic systems that govern the conditions within which the revolution happens, you are definitely going to have a situation wherein people are alienated from the revolution itself. I think this is crucial. If it is not about resolving people’s immediate problems, if it is also going to result to concentration of wealth, for instance, if you look at some of the innovations of the Third Industrial Revolution, the crosses from those have essentially deepened inequalities in our society, for example, if you look at Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. I mean some of the top five companies in the world are not producing any
tangible goods and services. The owners of those companies are billionaires in dollar terms and they are controlling the wealth of the country.
If we do not ensure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution meets those particular conditions, we will have continued inequality, have a situation wherein people are alienated from the revolution itself and we will have continued concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. Now, our government in this case is obviously doing its best to ensure that we empower as many people as possible to be proactively involved not only as labour but as entrepreneurs and innovators in order to ensure that multitudes of our people play an active role in the evolving Fourth Industrial Revolution. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Chairperson, payments for tuition fees and university-managed accommodation and meals are made directly to institutions to be disbursed to students’ fee accounts. Allowances for university students are also distributed by institutions directly to students and this is therefore monitored through data exchange and remittance processes between the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS,
and institutions. In some cases NSFAS disburses directly to students. Where the Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, college has elected that this should happen, these disbursements are made to students via the NSFAS wallet which chooses the student’s cellphone number as a basis for imparting value by cash vouchers.
The department has no direct monitoring system in place to follow how students utilise direct payments that they receive for learning support materials, transport, off campus accommodation and living expenses. Trends can be followed through a close engagement with institutions and research surveys that monitor trends in students’ behaviour. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, has a responsibility to ensure that students meet the financial eligibility criteria for NSFAS funding, and in partnership with institutions have the responsibility for ensuring that students are meeting the academic requirements for progression. Some universities have put in place financial literacy programmes to support students with financial decision-making.
The intention is to continue with the direct payment of cash to students and the department and NSFAS believe that students should have the ability to make certain independent decisions about their
own financial and academic wellbeing. The voucher system that restricts how and where students can spend their allowances limited students’ choice and independent responsibility and was obvious open to abuse. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, took a decision to implement the cash payment system to students at the start of 2019 academic year. Thank you.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: House Chair, the decision to pay student R5 000 cash for their textbooks has had a very concerning and detrimental effects on universities so much that Minister Nzimande agreed with me that there are concerns. Initial sales data for the first six months of 2019, have shown that unit sale of academic books dropped by 91% compared to 2018. Booksellers are closing down, people are losing jobs and students do not have textbooks to study.
Studies have shown that in countries like Botswana there is a direct correlation between students’ ownership of textbooks and their engagements, their subsequent results together with their pass rates. How will the department ensure that students have the necessary materials to study if cash payments continue to be made?
With the understanding that students will use the money correctly, but what about students who do not use it correctly; what is the
department going to do to ensure that students have textbooks to study so that we can continue to improve on their pass rates?
I heard you saying that you will not be returning to the voucher system. What other system do you have to track?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Christians, it is a supplementary question.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Okay, let me end off. What system do you have in place to track how students are spending their money?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Thank you. Firstly, I think this is the first year in which we are implementing this. We have been paying students directly.
Booksellers have written to the Minister raising their concerns and showing their numbers and all of that. I must emphasise that our major concern is that all students in higher education and training institutions must pass, in particular those students who are recipients of the grant. That’s our major interest. We are obviously going to look at what is happening. We have engaged with the SA Universities Vice Chancellors Association in order for them to also look at this particular issue.
What I must emphasise is that we are not a baby mama state. We are not going to have a situation wherein we will be policing the pockets of each and every student who is a recipient because we believe that at the time students go to the university they are already young adults. Therefore, they should take responsibility of their actions. And if we do not entrust them with that responsibility that they need to be making decisions that would affect their future without us behaving like a baby mama state that is going to be monitoring everything that is happening around them, we are not going to be building better citizens of the future. That is the point which we think we need to emphasise. We are going to look at the first year, 2019. We are of course concerned, but we are going to look at the first year, 2019. We are going to look at the relationship between all those variables that you have mentioned - ownership of textbooks and academic performance - because we don’t have any baseline to compare to as it relates to that.
In anyway even when there was the implementation of the voucher system, some of the booksellers were collaborating with students to corrupt the system. They must also not act as though some of them were innocent. Some of them were giving students cash in exchange of vouchers and claiming a percentage of it. These are some of the issues. It doesn’t matter what kind of a system. You are not going
to have a situation wherein someone set in the past incorrupt and already corrupt person or corrupt system. What we can do is to try and ensure that those students who are beneficiaries of the National Students Financial Aid Scheme pass, progress and exit the system.
Ms S A LUTHULI: Chairperson, the former President Jacob Zuma left us with the report that shows that NSFAS was a total failure and we must do away with it. Firstly, what happened to the report of the commission of enquiries into higher education and training, and why are we not implementing its findings and do away with NSFAS and introduce free, quality and decolonised education that will eliminate all problems of delayed payments? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Chairperson, I don’t know which commission is that. I don’t remember that commission. [Interjections.] There’s, actually, no commission of higher education and there was never a commission on higher education. So, can I not just respond to that question. But I think other issues require much more time to engage with. Thank you.
Mr A ARNOLDS: I truly don’t know why you don’t know about the commission of enquiry into higher education. There was a 752 ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Arnold, ask your question.
Mr A ARNOLDS: My question is coming. There was a 752 page document that was left by the President. Some of the recommendations about NSFAS was that it must be out. It was one of the recommendations. You can go and read it on page 550; go and read it. It reads that we recommend that public TVET education be free. That’s one of the recommendations. So I don’t know why you don’t know about this.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Thanks you. I think you must take your own advice. Firstly, the former President set up the Heher commission which was making enquiries into the funding of higher education, and you are talking about a commission of enquiry into higher education. Those are two completely different things. The one has never existence and that is the second one.
Secondly, in December - I think it was around on 16 or somewhere around there - the former President made a comprehensive statement that was responding to the recommendations of the commission that he has already set up. Part of those included introducing a fee-free
higher education to the poor and the working class and a whole range of other issues, and instructed various government departments to work on the implementation of some of the recommendations which were established. I really think that before you come here and embarrass yourself don’t ask questions on commissions and reports which do not exist. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Chair, I must say that there have been significant changes and improvements relating to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, made by the administrator in keeping to the gazetted terms of reference of the administration period of August 2019. This has resulted in a more stable 2019 student funding cycle in this sector. This can be seen mostly in the improvements in the disbursement of student allowances in 2019, resulting in significantly less disruption to the academic programme of 2018 in which students were confirmed late in the year and received their allowances late.
In 2019, where funding was confirmed, registration took place, students signed their bursary agreements and received their allowances early in the academic year. Data-exchange between institutions and NSFAS has significantly improved and has resulted
in a smoother funding cycle, and many errors from the 2017-2018 academic year have been corrected. This has a direct affect on students receiving funding at the appropriate time, appeals are being processed efficiently and data exceptions have been significantly reduced.
There have also been improvements to the support provided to institutions by NSFAS to resolve problems on time, including more direct support to our Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges, TVET colleges. Compliance with bursary rules has improved and resulted in low-error numbers and outstanding or incorrect payments.
As reported to Parliament some few days ago, in August 2018 the NSFAS administrator, while under administration, paid significant attention to issues of organisational governance and management, including intensifying high-risk areas in the business process of NSFAS.
We must say, as it relates to the opening of registration for 2020, this has been done from the beginning of September this year. In fact, on 2 September the Minister, together with NSFAS, officially opened the application cycle for NSFAS bursary applicants. The new
term of administration together with the new terms of reference have been published in the Government Gazette and this is to allow for continued improvement in the operations of the entity. The administrator and his team will also work closely with the ministerial team that will soon be appointed to conduct a review of NSFAS business processes with a view to making decisions about NSFAS going forward.
We believe that NSFAS has a critical mandate to support funding for students from poor and working-class backgrounds in the university and TVET-college sectors. A more efficient and effective NSFAS is an absolute priority of the administrator, supported by the department and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
The working relationship – regarding the second part of the question
- between NSFAS and institutions has been an ongoing priority of the administrator and the department, and also the relationship has improved significantly. Regular engagements take place between NSFAS and institutions and with stakeholder groups, including student representatives.
Ms A D MALEKA: Thank you, Chair. Hon Deputy Minister, are there future plans by the department to reconfigure the governance and the
management of NSFAS; if not, why not; and, if so, what are the relevant details?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: The
National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, is currently, as I have said, under administration. The administration term has been extended for a year. The administrator has been asked to ensure that we have competent, capable management at NSFAS. Also, towards the completion of the administration period, we will appoint a board that will oversee the operation of NSFAS. So, yes, there are those plans, and those are the details. I think more details are also in the Government Gazette.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Thank you, House Chair. As you rightfully said, Deputy Minister, part of the terms of reference in placing NSFAS under administration was to put in place the necessary management and governance controls, which have been extended for another year now. Yet, the same administrator told the portfolio committee last week that the systems that are being utilised by NSFAS are crashing on a daily basis without warning and described the IT system as dysfunctional and extremely unstable.
Indeed, when the applications opened less than four, five days ago, on 1 September, the system crashed once again. And the students were unable to apply for their bursaries. Isn’t it time to return the application process to the institutions which always managed the process successfully in the past? The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, as hard as what it has tried in the past – since 2012 – has been unsuccessful in playing its role in helping our students.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: I
think the crashes that we are talking about are ... Well, as per the engagement with the administrator and also with the management at NSFAS, the crashes were, obviously, unforeseen. I think that is the first thing. The second thing which we need to emphasise is the fact that because of the obvious excitement and panic on the part of a number of potential applicants, people are crowding the system and that is why it is crashing.
We are expecting that as the application process goes on, up to November, that it will smooth out. I am certain that NSFAS is working around the clock to make sure that it fixes the system. The advantage of having NSFAS manage the applications centrally is that students do not have to go to each and every institution where they apply to study – also have to apply to for NSFAS funding. So, they
apply once with NSFAS and that gives them a grant to go and study anywhere where they are admitted.
Also, I think - and that is why the Minister is going to appoint a task team to look at the business processes at NSFAS – there has been a lot of corruption, which has been associated with institutions granting students funding, who should not ordinarily be beneficiaries of NSFAS funding. That has happened. We think that with NSFAS managing the process centrally we have been able to deal with some of those issues. We think that this is the simplest way for students to apply for bursaries and be admitted to institutions. Perhaps there is a simpler way than this one, but I don’t think it includes taking the application process back to the institutions.
Ms N NDONGENI: Thank you, Chair. Deputy Minister, in light of the NSFAS being placed under administration, does the department have any plan in place to sustain and enhance the relationship between the scheme, the department and the institution of higher learning, as well as to promote maximum public awareness about the scheme, ensuring that it is easily accessible to the needy ones?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Our
biggest preoccupation is making sure that NSFAS is accessible to,
particularly, learners in rural areas. We have seen the numbers increasing over the years. So, we are going to be working more on that – on ensuring that we expand its accessibility. We have been working with the Department of Labour, with the National Youth Development Agency, with municipalities. We have been working with different agencies, which are helping us to make sure that NSFAS becomes accessible. They have been working on decentralising their operations, because they are mainly based in Cape Town. So, as part of the administration, they will be finalising that.
Part of the biggest challenge has been the working relations between NSFAS and TVET colleges, precisely because of the capacity that TVET colleges have. We have been able to deal with that in the first and second trimesters, and in the first semester. So, we’ll see what happens in the last term of the TVET colleges. So, when we hear that people have not been paid and all of that, it is precisely regarding some of the students at TVET colleges: the capacity at TVET-college level of those institutions to be able to interface with NSFAS and all of that. Overall, the relationship between the Ministry, the department, NSFAS and the administrator has been a very good relationship. That is why the Minister has not only extended the term of the administration process, but has also asked the administrator to stay.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Deputy Minister, you said NSFAS is under administration; that there is corruption. You mentioned a lot of things. So, it is clear that NSFAS was not designed properly. This has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. So why do we continue – the department - funding NSFAS ... than introducing free education?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: The
department is not funding NSFAS. The department is using NSFAS as an agency to disburse funding to deserving students. So, it is as easy as that.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: House
Chairperson, we are expecting to finalise the procurement of the contractor which we believe will be done before the end of this year and once that process of procurement has been completed, construction is expected to take 24 months so that is in relation to part one of that question. Part two of that question, the answer is simple, there are no residences on the site so I think if the hon member is really willing to ask questions genuinely about the Letaba College, at least, they must have the decency to know all the facts about that college. There are no residences at Letaba College.
Ms S A LUTHULI: Deputy Minister, you know it is not a crime to say, “I don’t know” because we don’t just write these questions just because ...
... sifuna ukuvela kumabonakude noma sifuna ukuduma ...
... but we do our research, so ...
... zikhona izindawo zokuhlala.
And Deputy Minister, while ...
... wena umile lana uphikisa uthi azikho, izingane ziyadlwengulwa ngoba ezinye zazo zihlala ngaphandle, nakulezi zindawo ezihlala kuzona ...
... no one is taking care of it and no one is going to check how safe it is for these kids. So, while we sit here and argue but ...
... umonakalo uyenzeka ngaphandle.
So, something needs to be done. And in your first response for sub- question number 1, again, these projects take forever. It is like
... kumnandi nje ukuthi unyaka wezimali uqale uze uphele kulokhu kuthiwa, “Hhayi kuyenziwa, kuyenziwa!” futhi nezimpendulo kuhlezi kuyizithembiso, kuthenjiswa kodwa akukho mnyakazo owenzakalayo.
So, something needs to be done Deputy Minister. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: I think it
is more of a political statement than a supplementary question. [Interjections.] Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order members!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: By the
admission of the hon member, yes, the students are using outside residences or outside accommodation because there is no residence on this campus, and that is the first point. The second point is that as the Department and as the Ministry, we have made it our priority to focus on issues of gender-based violence, sexual violence targeting women, particularly young women. We have made this a major priority for the department, not only because of what has just recently happened but it is something that has been there, that has been ongoing. The Minister has appointed a task team that comprises various stakeholders which are advising him on this particular issue. We are finalising deliberations on policy guidelines for all of our institution but we are also making sure that, as part of the infrastructure development of all our TVET colleges and universities, part of the crucial elements that are included in that infrastructure development is the question of security. Learners or students must be secure on our campuses at all material times when they are there. And if the hon member, cares to look into what is happening, in particular with this or with any infrastructure programme that the department has rolled-out in TVET colleges, our priority, has been the question of security of our learners.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: House Chairperson, I just want to know about the student support centres at TVET colleges because it goes hand-in- hand with the safety of our students at colleges. So, I want to know, have the student support centres been able to deter the rape culture on campuses? What programmes do they have in place? Are they efficient and sufficient enough to operate at the college level?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Christians, a supplementary question. [Interjections.]
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: It is short ... [Interjections.] I apologise.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: I think,
if you will allow, I think we will just have to give a written reply to that question because it is a new question which requires a lot of detail in order to ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Yes! You are allowed when you are dealing with a detailed question to table a response.
Manana B T MATHEVULA: Mutshamaxitulu, loko Holobye va ku hina hi vutisa swivutiso leswi hi nga swi tiveki a ndzi swi tivi leswaku va
vula yini. Mina ndzi huma eGiyani naswona ndzi endlile “oversight” [vuangameri] eLetaba Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, college leyi Manana Luthuli a va vulavula hi yona. Ku na muako lowu kusuka khale a ku tshama vadyondzi eka wona. Muako lowu wu tshikiwile naswona wu hlakarile. Vadyondzi va boheka ku huma va ya ehandle va ya hirha. Ndhawu liya khale ka yona a yi rhurhela kusuka 200 kufika 300 wa vadyondzi.
Xavumbirhi, loko va ku va ya thola kontiraka...[Mikavanyeto.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mathevula, when you are doing the original question there is nothing wrong in having sub- questions but the supplementary question should be a question, not questions.
Manana B T MATHEVULA: I xivutiso xin’we.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Loko u ku xavumbirhi ndza swi tiva leswaku swi vula yini.
Manana B T MATHEVULA: Loko ndzi ku xavumbirhi ko va mavulavulelo ya mina.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Ndza ku twa.
Manana B T MATHEVULA: Loko va vulavula hi timhaka ta leswaku va lava ku thola mukontiraka xana ku humelele yini hi mukontiraka lowo sungula loyi a va n’wi thorile hikuva a nga hetanga?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Get the mike closer to you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Can
we furnish the ... with further details on this particular question as it relates to the entire process and why we are where we are at now. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): We will definitely do that part to make sure that we get a detailed response that will deal with the follow-up supplementary questions.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Mr
K B Manamela): The strategic plan of the National Skills Fund for the period 1 April 2015 until 31 March 2020 indicates that the NSFAS will fund the following key interventions: Through skills development funding for projects that contribute to creating and/or improving economic growth and creating opportunities for learners to gain work and/or work experience; and in addition, providing funding for training to support the identified economic growth interventions, especially provision for those occupations identified to be in high demand and offered through the public education and training institutions, such as universities and TVET colleges.
The NSFAS has set for itself the following: Outcomes-oriented performance indicators and targets to be mainly measured after completion of the five-year strategic period 2015-20; importantly, the number of NSFAS-funded learners that are employed, including self-employment after completion of their education and training; a target of 74 000 was set in line with occupation in high demand, and these are planned in the main to fund learners for education and training on strategic education and training capacities.
According to the annual report, they have met this objective of funding education and training projects aimed at expanding and improving effectiveness; and integrating the post-school education and training system that have successfully achieved most of the envisaged outcomes per project.
Some of these projects include: The Labour Market Intelligence Partnership, LMIP, which is results focused, whose outcome is now used for skills planning; TVET college campus infrastructure development, in which three campuses have since been completed and are in use, which include Bambanani, Nkandla A and Thabazimbi and the ten more under construction; university infrastructure project, which include the University of Pretoria’s medical and veterinary science facilities’ expansion in order to double the production capacity for MBCHB and veterinary scientists respectively; University of Johannesburg’s engineering workshop and UCT hair products laboratory; and centres of specialisation, with strong partnerships with the private sector and public sector, like Human Resources Development Council of South Africa, amongst a few.
The NSFAS has commenced with the process to evaluate the interventions of the National Skills Fund in order to measure its contribution to reducing unemployment by considering the number of
learners that obtained work experience and/or placement through Tracer studies, as well as the contribution to addressing priority occupations in high demand in the labour market, and to identify good practice partnerships models with public, private, state-owned enterprises, nonprofit organisations, nongovernmental organisations and community-based organisations.
Finally, the evaluation of the intervention will be based on the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation’s framework as it will provide a basis for the National Skills Funds’ new five-year strategic plan, as well as the National Skills Development Plan and strategy and the five-year implementation of the National Development Plan. Thank you.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Thank you, Deputy Minister for the elaborate reply. I nearly said I don’t have any other question because you have talked to most of the issues I wanted to raise. However, I just want to ask: What are the high level outcomes of this programme, if there are any that you could show? Like, for example, you would say in terms of this item, we have got this major thing that is happening in the country.
Simultaneously, my worry is: How many people know about this National Skills Fund? The last time I checked when I talked to people in my research for this, was that people didn’t know about it. So, let’s make it very popular and share the information with people.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: I
think as I indicated, the priority areas of the National Skills Fund are skills transfer. There is a whole range of projects that the National Skills Fund is funding, working together with civil society and the private sector, funding community-led projects, which not only are about skills, but they are also about employment creation, boosting economic growth and all of that. I think that is a major one.
What was secondly introduced as part of that mandate of the high level priorities included the National Skills Fund collaborating with universities and TVET colleges in terms of infrastructure, as I mention some of the infrastructure programmes which they have been involved into. I think the third and very crucial one is their contribution towards economic growth, which we think is one of the most crucial main objectives of the National Skill Fund.
Yes, people who may not necessarily be involved directly with the work of the National Skills Fund. They may not be aware about some of the work that they do, but what we encourage, which is what we have, is that through both the department’s annual report and their own report, we want them to be extensively and as widely as possible distributed, so that they should be informing the public about what they do and how they can work together with organisations in order to ensure that they achieve their mandate.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: House Chairperson, it was reported to Parliament last year in September that government raided the National Skills Fund to meet the promise of no fee increase for students at tertiary institutions. Six-and-a-half billion rands were earmarked for future projects and this has been put on ice: R1,5 billion rands for artisan development; and R1,5 billion for improving the post-school education and training system.
There remains a huge demand for qualified artisans in South Africa. Does the department have any plans in place to ensure that the money is redirected to the National Skills Fund for artisan development in order to meet the skills shortage in the country? If not; why not?
If so; what are they?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Mr
K B Manamela): At the time the country faced a huge crisis and something had to be done. Unfortunately, one of the agencies that had to contribute towards dealing with that crisis was the National Skills Fund. It meant that we had to delay in terms of the priorities that we had set. A whole range and set of programmes were compromised; not only this one.
However, what we really want to emphasise unequivocally is that all of those programmes which were deviated still remain major priorities – not only for the National Skills Fund, but also for the department and for the country because we actually see that just as a temporary setback. We are still focused and we will do everything in our power to ensure that all of those objectives are met.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Chair and Deputy Minister, I would like to find out, with regards to the National Skills Fund: Is that open for all or is a selected potion of the community excluded from partaking or making use of that fund?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Mr
K B Manamela): Everyone can work with and should have access to the services of the National Skills Fund.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon
Chairperson, we must say that every university has their own policies and processes for dealing with student discipline, including processes to deal with criminal activity. In general, any criminal activity whether committed by students, staff members, or community members on the university premises should be reported to the relevant authority.
The specific details of the policies and mechanisms implemented at each university are information that is not routinely collected by the department. Therefore, university-by-university analysis of the mechanisms utilised is not available and, in addition, universities are currently not required, in terms of the reporting regulations published in the Higher Education Act, to report on crime-related issues at universities.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: House Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, I just think we need to do better. In light of the femicide, the issues that we are currently experiencing in terms of violence, I think we, as a country and as the Department of Education, need to hold these institutions accountable for the crimes that take place at institutions of higher learning. How is the department going to
ensure that all institutions implement these policies and programmes that you have referred to, in order to support these victims of gender-based violence? In my mind, if we don’t do that, we are further victimising our students.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon
Chair, firstly, I think that the question was on crimes, in general, committed on campuses. However, that does not preclude hon Christians to raise issues around gender-based violence. As it relates to any crime that is committed, as I said, no university is
... Well, universities deal with them in terms of their statute and, as I said, going into each and every university statute would be a huge task.
Secondly, we have over the years – and I think through the Higher Health Programme, which was formerly known as Higher Education and Training Aids Programme – they have been conducting surveys, interacting with universities and TVET colleges, getting a sense, particularly as it relates to gender-based violence, of what has been happening, what the cases have been, what the policy interventions are that universities and TVET colleges put in place. We have a picture in terms of the numbers. We are constantly monitoring that.
All I am saying is that, according to the Higher Education Act, universities have a whole range of areas that they should be reporting on and this is not one of the areas. However, it does not mean that we are not constantly monitoring what is happening in our universities, particularly as it relates to gender-based violence. We have made it our priority because we believe that the scourge is getting out of hand.
In addition, the Minister made policy proposals and provided guidelines to universities in terms of how they should be dealing with and responding to gender-based violence. Even before the Minister has signed off on the policy, some universities had structured their policies in line with that. They have been extensively consulted. Most of them, if not all, are quite happy with that.
We think that in terms of monitoring, we are doing much better. The information is available in terms of what has been happening in institutions of learning, as it relates to gender-based violence. We are quite happy to share that information with you.
Ms S SHAIKH: Hon Chairperson, Deputy Minister, in terms of crimes committed by students, is there a mandatory procedure for higher education institutions to report such crimes?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Chairperson, like I said in the original response, institutions have their own institutional statute and based on those institutional statutes, they then determine how they deal with crime. However, not being a lawyer and having been a lawmaker for a few years, I would assume that any institution, where a crime is committed, is obliged to ensure that the crime is reported with the relevant authorities, so that the criminal justice system can take effect.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES: Hon members, it is the appropriate time to thank you for allowing members of the executive to come here to account and for doing it without compromising the decorum of the House. Secondly, thank you Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology for availing yourself and taking questions in the NCOP.
The Council adjourned at 18:31.