Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 05 Nov 2019
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 2019
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3fG7h8ij20
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:00.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members. Let me take this opportunity to say a word or two on some important developments that are worthy of being noted by the House. The first, of course, is the congratulation to the Springboks [Applause.] We congratulate the Springboks for winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The second one, on a sad note, the passing away of Xolani Gwala because he is no more. He has finally succumbed to cancer.
However, his fighting spirit and his excellence in doing his work the way he did, continue to inspire us. Therefore, in relation to this sad note can we rise and observe a moment of silence.
Hon members, in accordance with Council 247(1) there will be no notices of motion or notice without notice, except of course, the motions on the Order Paper.
Mr D R RYDER: Chairperson, thank you very much for that comment and also for your opening remarks regarding the Springboks and Mr Gwala. Chair, I think that the absence of motions from our Order Paper for quite sometimes has not allowed us to make statements like this in a normal course. Whilst I acknowledge that we have congratulated the Springboks as a group, I would like to propose that this House takes a resolution to formally congratulate the Springboks on their win – not only on England – but on winning the World Cup. I think our House should document something and send to them because of the unifying effect that has come about as a result of this victory and the fact that social cohesion and nation building has taken a giant leap forward because of their victory. I think it is to be acknowledged formally and in writing, Chair. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Okay. Let’s have Mokause and Goyiya.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Chairperson, thank you so much. I think you have done so. You have actually congratulated the Springboks. I don’t
understand why we should give it so much attention. Nothing has changed today in South Africa. The landless remain landless and the jobless remain jobless. So, we cannot delay the proceedings of the House with a motion that you have already passed. Can we proceed.
Mr A B GOYIYA: Hon Chairperson, I rise to also recommend that the House also acknowledges the selfless service and dedication to the course of the people of South Africa, of the late member of the executive council, MEC, for Social Development in Gauteng who passed on, on Friday. I think we also need to acknowledge her and observe a moment of silence as well for her. Thank you very much, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, you are making my work a bit difficult. Why don’t we, as this House, first and foremost just acknowledge all the people who have since passed on and have that recorded as part of the Minutes of this sitting. We will be basically saying that we are acknowledging all these important people including the relevant MEC from Gauteng and any other prominent person that has not been mentioned in the House and then we move on.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chair, I thank you for that, I really do. I just want to remind the House with the greatest respect that, the parliamentary tradition of the motion without notice, if it is accepted by the House, it results in a letter. The formal letter, a nice courteous letter being sent to a family who have lost a loved one, a young sporting team that has done well, whatever the matter may be and that us not having motions without notice in the House deprives us, Chair, of the ability to send the appropriate letter to those in times of celebration and bereavement. I can assure you, Chair, that when members of our community receive those letters from this august House, it is greatly valued. It is often framed and put on the wall. I am just saying, Chair, as colleagues here, this is an opportunity for us to express our condolences in a formal manner but also to express our congratulations. That is all we are asking for as my colleagues.
It can be to hon Ndlozi, when he receives his doctorate degree, for instance. My point is that it can be for anybody ... [Interjections.] Brenda, Brenda, relax. It can be for anybody who this House deems requires special note. I am just asking or pleading for sanity in that regard, Chair. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chief Whip, do you still want to speak?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chair, we do not have a problem if the presiding officers lead us from the front on condolences. That is an established practice that we do not even discuss such. We rise in honour of the departed. However, as for the matters that are on the Order Paper, we do recognise the sterling performance of the Springboks and as such, we will accordingly schedule a necessary even if it is a snap debate by members of the House appropriately so, so that we fully deal with all the matters that relates to it. For now, I would request us to focus on the matters as appearing on the Order Paper, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon members. We will proceed with that kind of understanding that the issue will be noted and communicated accordingly. We will now move over to the first motion on the Order Paper as printed in the name of the Chief Whip.
COUNCIL ORAL QUESTIONS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chairperson, I move:
That, notwithstanding Rule 247(1), which provides that a sitting of the Council will be dedicated for oral questions, the Council considers the motions below.
(1) That the Council, with the concurrence of the National Assembly, in terms of section 14(1) of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2009, determines the date by which the accounting officer must prepare and present to the executive authority a draft strategic plan for Parliament’s administration as 27 February 2020.
That is the first one. The second one, Chair, can I proceed?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: One by one, okay.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: The second one is that ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... I am saying why don’t you deal with them one at a time, okay?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Yea, we just establish a date by which the accounting officer must prepare and present to the executive authority ... [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... which you proceed ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: ... I so move, Chair, that the House accepts the first motion as proposed.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Are we agreed? And agreed. Before we move on ...
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Point of order, Chair, it is very confusing if we don’t follow the Rules. Normally, if the motion is on the Order Paper and you put it before the House, we vote per provinces and say we agree and then we move on to the next motion. Can we just follow procedures? Otherwise it is just confusing. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, maybe even before we proceed, just to welcome the Ministers [Laughter.] Thank you very much for being with us today.
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.
PARLIAMENT STRATEGIC PLAN
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chairperson, I move:
That the Council -
(1) notes that in the Fifth Parliament the National Council of Provinces and the National Assembly established the South African chapter of the Global Tuberculosis, TB, Caucus on 4 September 2018;
(2) further notes that the South African chapter of the Global TB Caucus is intended, amongst others to -
(a) raise awareness and profile the TB epidemic and support efforts to accelerate the elimination of the disease by 2030 ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... we will ask you, Chief Whip, to do them one after another.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Yes, that is the case.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is that the second motion?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: The first one was accepted, Chair. So, I am now on the TB caucus. No, it was ... provinces have voted.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you please go through the ... [Inaudible.] It was the strategic plan of Parliament, the third motion is on the TB question.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: ... may I proceed with the third motion.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Just hold on.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: The strategic plan I read to the House and it was voted for. I suggest, Chair, that the Table staff should honestly just confer the Report of the House as it is because these motions are before the members. In fact, I should not even be reading them. I should move that the House approves the motions as tabled on the Order Paper. And, I so move, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Uh, no. We have three motions, hon members. I will try to manage these issues the way I think they ought to be. The motion agreed to, is the first motion, Chief Whip. The second motion is the motion on the strategic plan for Parliament. So, this is accordingly tabled and this being the case, I shall now put the question that the motion be agreed to
... uh, yes.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: With which order on the Order Paper are we busy? Is it order number two?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order number two, now.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: No. That is not the TB Order, Sir, that is the financial order according to the Order Paper.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, it is the strategic plan of Parliament.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. In accordance with Rule 71, I shall now first allow provinces an opportunity to make their declarations of the vote if they so wish.
PARLIAMENT STRATEGIC PLAN
The Chief Whip of the Council moved:
That the Council, with the concurrence of the National Assembly, in terms of section 14(1) of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2009 (Act No 10 of 2009) determines the date by which the accounting officer must prepare and present to the Executive Authority a draft strategic plan for Parliament’s administration as 27 February 2020.
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.
FIFTH PARLIAMENT ESTABLISHES SA CHAPTER OF THE GLOBAL TB CAUCUS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: I move:
That the Council-
(1) notes that in the Fifth Parliament, the National Council of Provinces and the National Assembly, established the SA Chapter of the Global Tuberculosis, TB, Caucus on 4 September 2018;
(2) further notes that the SA Chapter of the Global TB Caucus is intended, amongst others to –
(a) raise awareness and profile the TB epidemic and support efforts to accelerate the elimination of the disease by 2030, in line with targets set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and
(b) provide a platform to Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Legislatures to champion the response to TB in the country and in their constituencies, and drive political action to end the disease;
(3) acknowledges that membership of the SA Chapter of the Global TB Caucus is on a nonpartisan basis, open to any parliamentarian and or legislator in South Africa and is undertaken on a completely voluntary basis; and
(4) resolves to establish, with the concurrence of the National Assembly, a joint committee in terms of the Joint Rule 142, to be the co-ordinating body for the duration of the Sixth Parliament of the SA Chapter of the Global TB Caucus, the joint committee to –
(a) consist of 11 members of the National Assembly and nine members of the National Council of Provinces;
(b) be co-chaired by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health in the National Assembly, and the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Health and Social Services in the National Council of Provinces, included in the above composition; and
(c) exercise those powers in Joint Rule 32 that may assist it in carrying out its task.
I move that the House accepts the establishment of the joint committee, Chair. Thank you.
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 CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Having welcomed the Ministers earlier on, we will now proceed. Before I do so, I would like to make the following remarks: We are now looking at questions. The time for
reply by the Minister to a question is five minutes. Only four supplementary questions are allowed per question. A member who had asked the initial question will be the first to be afforded an opportunity to ask a supplementary question as members know. The time for asking a supplementary question is two minutes. The time for reply to a supplementary question is four minutes. The supplementary question must emanate from the initial question as members know. We will now proceed to the questions. The first question is Question 215 from hon T B Matibe on financial viability at the SABC and the question is directed to the Minister of Communications.
Man B T MATHEVULA: Mutshamaxitulu, hi nga si ya emahlweni, a ndzi kombela leswaku Vaholobye va hlamula va yimile eka phodiyamu hikuva hi na swiphiqo a hi koti ku va vona hambi ku va twa kahle. Hikokwalahoke, hi kombela va hlamula va yimile eka phodiyamu liya. Ndza khensa.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Just repeat the question again, please. Thank you very much; Minister the request is that you come to the podium [Applause.]
QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS ECONOMICS CLUSTER 4C
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon House Chair and hon members, good afternoon. Allow me with your permission before I get to the response of Question 215 to wish hon Zuki Ncitha a happy birthday today. As I respond to the question that was raised by hon Matibe, the department did seek the services of the Government Technical Advisory Centre, Gtac, to assist the SABC in developing a turnaround strategy. As part of that turnaround strategy, what we ensured was to make sure that the turnaround strategy talks to the financial sustainability of the SABC, doing away with unnecessary costs but most importantly making sure that the SABC will become the best choice of a public broadcaster and the turnaround plan was approved by the SABC board in September 2019. Thank you, hon Deputy Chair.
Cllr T B MATIBE: Hon Deputy Chair, we really appreciate the response by the Minister and also want to congratulate them for televising the Springboks as the SABC because it is important that even rural people are able to see the Springboks. We want the SABC to move away from being a grant dependant institution and also not
to depend on interventions that are done by either Parliament or the department.
Can the hon Minister share with us whether the SABC is going to have revenue generation measures that will ensure that the SABC does not depend on the interventions that we do as Parliament. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Chair, the SABC as we have outlined in the turnaround strategy and said as I mentioned earlier, it is important that we make SABC the best public broadcaster. That means key to it is to ensure that we source local content that will help us raise the revenue or generate the revenue that we are talking about, but also to explore other ways of utilising technologies. Recently we heard the chief executive officer, CEO, of SABC mentioning that they are embarking on Over the Top Technologies, OTT, to make sure that people can access the services as and when they want and wherever they are. They need not be in their cars or homes to open the TV’s but be able to access that on their mobile devices.
On top of that as I mentioned earlier again, whilst we look into the existing infrastructure and access that we have from the SABC
and to say, what is it that we do not need and therefore how do we make sure that we utilise that whether we sell or we decide to lease in order for the SABC to generate revenue. Key to that was the sensitive issue that has always been raised in relation to the workers, the productivity of the workers of SABC. We have agreed that we are going to conduct a skills audit so that we can retrain and make sure that the employees of SABC are responsive to the future broadcaster. Thank you.
Mnu M NHANHA: Enkosi Sekela Sihlalo, Mphathiswa ohloniphekileyo, kule minyaka ingama-20 nangaphezulu sizibonile iibhodi namagosa ayintloko zifika ziphinde zimke eSABC. Zonke xa zifika zithembisa utshintsho kodwa ii...
...facts out there are telling a different story.
Umcimbi omkhulu eSABC ngowabasebenzi abaninzi kwaye wena ...
...you are on record objecting to retrenchment. Considering that the new board says: For us to go ahead as a viable SABC we have got to downsize SABC. Hon Minister, will you reconsider your objection to retrenchments at SABC? Thank you.
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Sekela Sihlalo, lungu elihloniphekileyo lale Ndlu mandiqale ndithi akuyonyani ukuba i- SABC ithe ifuna ukucutha inani labasebenzi. Ithe kwiqhinga layo lokuguqula imeko (turnaround strategy) elithe lapasiswa liSebe lezoNxibelelwano kwakunye neSebe lezeMali ukuze likwazi ukubanika imali. Elinye iqhinga kukwenza uphicotho lwezakhono zabasebenzi abakhoyo eSABC (skills audit). Kubalulekile ukuba sijonge ukuba amandla esinawo angakanani na kwaye sijonge ukuba iSABC sifuna ukuba ibenjani na xa sisiya phambili sijonge ikamva lethu khonukuze sikwazi ukufaka izakhono.
Kuza kuthi xa kubonwa ukuba bakhona abasebenzi abangenakho ukuphuhliswa kwizakhono zabo, kuqwalwaselwe ezinye iindlela zokuncedisana nalo nto. Xa ndigqitha kwakhona mhlonipheki, xa usithi uMphathiswa lo uthethayo wayithetha ngokungafihlisiyo (on record) into yokuba akahambisani nodendo lwabasebenzi eSABC, mandiphinde ndikulungise apho lungu elihloniphekileyo...
...because this Minister engaged with the SABC on Section 189 and requested that if there is no feasible retrenchment plan, you cannot go ahead with retrenchments because you need to make sure that budget is available. You also need to understand your capability in terms of the skills that are in-house so that we do not retrench people today and in the next six months you come back and say, we want to re-hire you at a higher cost.
We are considerate because right now, the SABC is tapping into the taxpayers’ money. The ...( Inaudible] cautious and take unpopular decisions at times. As I said earlier, the decision that was taken is what has been confirmed by the board,
Mr A B CLOETE: Hon Chair, Minister on the subject of financial viability of the SABC and the turnaround strategy that you spoke about. The dire state of the SABC does not mean that its executives are paying the price. In fact, they are still receiving very high salaries. The SABC CEO received the total package of R3,9 million for nine month’s work at the state broadcaster.
The SABC will argue that it has cut costs on expenses, but part of that cost cut should be seen together with a cut on income as well. Minister, in view of the current state of affairs of the SABC, is your department confident that taxpayers are receiving value for money for paying the CEO an excess of R5 million by the end of this financial year?
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you Chairperson, hon member, yes the department and the Minister believe that the CEO is getting what he is supposed to get and we are confident that as we benchmark with the industry out there that if we want our executives to perform to their level best, they have to be compensated in a deserving manner. As I said, their turnaround plan is very clear on what needs to be done and as the department we made a commitment to this House that we will be appointing a Chief Reorganisation Officer, CRO, that will monitor on the cost containment measures to make sure that the taxpayers’ money that has been sent to SABC is well spent and indeed the public gets the service that it deserves. Thank you.
Mr M S MOLETSANE: Hon Minister, the collapse of the SABC happened under the nose of the people employed and deployed to that institution. Don’t you think that the fact that no one has been
subjected to prosecution for misappropriation of funds is contributing to the culture of impunity at the SABC? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Chair, thank you hon member for that question. It is not true that at SABC we have not held people accountable. Starting from the investigations that were conducted by the law enforcement agencies, we have said, where we need to make sure that we recoup our money, let us to do so.
Unfortunately it is not something that we can just go to your house and take money; we have to follow all the processes. As I am speaking to you right now, there are even employees who are suspended form SABC because of them being implicated in such activities. We do commit that as we move forward, we are trying to make sure that we will be alert at all times. That is why we said the appointment of the CRO, including the reporting by the SABC to the department monthly will help us to be able to see these things on time and therefore be able to provide effective oversight and act on time. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson and the hon member who asked the question, we indeed have received a lot of reports that were mentioning the fact that Independent
Communications Authority of SA, Icasa, is shutting down some radio stations. We undertook a decision to have a meeting between myself and the Minister in the Presidency, Mr Jackson Mthembu, including Icasa, Media Development and Diversity Agency, MDDA, and all the affected bodies to make sure that we can find a solution to the challenges faced by the entities.
Most of them are not tax compliant and others owe Sentech which is the signal distributor. Therefore as we at times put money as government, it is important that we ensure that all those that get funding, actually even those that are licensed even if they are not getting funding from government, they must be compliant in terms of corporate governance and all the other statutes of government that are expected with them to comply with. Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.
Mr A ARNOLDS: Hon Deputy Chairperson and hon Minister, closing down of any community radio station or any licensee by Icasa, is not in the best interest of the public. Community radio stations play a critical role in promoting social cohesion, fostering diversity, uplifting and empowering of communities.
Zibonele Community Radio Station in the Western Cape is one of those examples of community radio stations that submitted its renewal application on time and no response was received from Icasa. When the radio station followed up, Icasa’s response was that they want proof of documents submitted. There are serious challenges of administration capacity at Icasa to regulate community sound broadcasters in the public interest.
What are the means of support are you providing to those radio stations and by when will Icasa operate with adequate capacity? Thank you, Minister.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson and hon member, you are correct to say that when we established the community radio stations or the community media we had a conscious decision that our people need not be deprived of information.
Therefore it is better if we get it from them at the grass roots level and be able to interact with government and everybody else. The decision to license those that were not licensed was taken consciously to say as we license because we are a responsible government that have laws in place and these laws unfortunately have to be adhered by all. For by the time we give you the licence
we explain to you what are the terms and conditions of the licence. We therefore expect all to comply.
Hon member, indeed you are raising a very crucial question to say now with the case of Zibonele Community Radio Station that sent some documentation and Icasa did not respond and they asked them to resubmit, we do have capacity challenges here and there and that is something as we have said in our Budget Vote that this year we are focussing on making sure that we refocus Icasa to be the best regulator that it can be and that includes capacitating it. For as much as we talk of the personnel that we have, but the issue that we never looked at is the capability of the personnel to deliver on the services. That is why we again introduced the skills audit across all entities that are under the portfolio so that we can introduce reskilling and training that is compulsory in order to address and breach those gaps.
I will therefore hon member, take it into consideration that we make a follow-up in order for Zibonele Community Radio Station to get an update in relation to the matter raised. Thank you.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Hon Deputy Chairperson and hon Minister, the MDDA
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: On a point of order. Hon member, I am not the House Chairperson. [Laughter.]
Ms B T MATHEVULA: You are promoted. You must receive!
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Hon Deputy Chairperson, it is clear that you are refusing promotion when the EFF benches are actually promoting you to be the House Chairperson. [Laughter.]
Hon Deputy Chairperson and hon Minister, the MDDA including Icasa, do not support community radio stations and that is a fact.
Throughout the country these radio stations continue to suffer under the guard of these entities. It is clear that they do not have the best interest of our communities at heart, because they continue to close them down and they continue not to give them support.
We are dealing with lay people here who do not have - the majority of them do not have experience on how to manage the stations. If you refuse communities information, it is sabotage. We cannot have uninformed communities.
Since you took office: What measures have you put in place to make sure that whatever that is currently happening will not happen, because it is clear that this matter has been on Icasa’s table and MDDA for quite some time?
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, I just want to correct this notion that MDDA and Icasa do not care about the people of this country. That is not true. I did acknowledge that we have capacity issues within the entities. However, to say they really do not care that is not fair, hon member.
Of course we tried to introduce measures that look into capacitating the stations themselves because even without them getting funding from government, they must learn to generate revenue. Part of that talks to capacitating them with marketing skills and giving them entrepreneurial skills on how to drive the broadcasting portfolio that they are involved in.
We have also taken it into consideration to engage with the communities around those community radio stations, to say because in most cases Deputy Chairperson, I go and apply for a licence for a community radio station, by the time I get into a fight with the board members, I take everything as if the licence belongs to me.
For the communities in certain areas, do not understand what community means that that radio station, that licence belongs to them and therefore they are supposed to be providing oversight and support to the radio station.
So, we find that in other areas, there will be a station manager that runs with the trend because I applied for a licence. To address that we said let us have an integrated workshop of all the stakeholders and the SA Revenue Service, Sars, included in terms of looking into the tax issues. We had MDDA on board, Icasa and Sentech to say: Radio stations, this is what we expect from yourselves and this is how you are going to come on board, including developing a community broadcasting support strategy to say who is it that we fund as government because we cannot fund all the entities even if they are able to make their own money.
For we have others that are not paying Sentech as I am talking to you that is the signal distributor, but they can afford because they are making lots of money when we trace the books.
What we are saying, everybody that is licensed and getting paid to ensure that there is effective communication to our communities must play their own part, including the volunteers in the community radio stations, the print papers and the communities
themselves. We again commit and I am committing Minister Jackson here, the MDDA is under Minister Jackson. I am committing him here because I know we have had a meeting to say let us bring all the stakeholders together. Let us engage the National Community Radio Forum, NCRF, and find ways of empowering those that have gaps and we try as government to say together how do we then make sure that our people get the relevant information through the platforms that we establish. Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.
Nk L C BEBEE: Sihlalo, Ngqongqoshe womnyango ohloniphekile, cha uphendule kahle imibuzo eminingi impela. Kulokho ngithi angibuze ukuthi yiziphi izinhlelo ezibekiweyo wumnyango zokuqinisekisa ukuthi iziteshi zokusakaza azivalwa ikakhulukazi emphakathini nokudlulisa nje ulwazi olukhululekile lwezindaba? Ngicela nje ukwazi ukuthi eziphi-ke izinhlelo Ngqongqoshe ukuthi ngeziphi ke izinhlelo onazo ukuze kungaphazamiseki ukuthi abantu bazizwe izindaba lezi? Ngiyabonga ... [Akuzwakali.]
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Sekela Sihlalo, siliSebe lezoNxibelelwano nesebe elikwi-Ofisi kaMongameli siye sathi ukuthabatha kwethu inyathelo lokuba sidibanise kanye lamashishini
sithetha ngawo ukuqinisekisa into yokuba ziyahlala nebhunga elijongene nacandelo lezokusasaza, njengoko besenditshilo. Intlanganiso yabo imiselwe umhla we-7 kweyeNkanga. Kulapho ke baza kutsho bathi nazi ingxaki esijongene nazo. Elethu ibhunga lokuhambisa amaza, elingu-Sentech, liza kuqinisekisa ukuba liyahlangabezana nabo. Oko kuya kuquka ukubonisana ukuba sibe nomnyinyiva kwiintlawulo ukwenzela ukuba abanye singabahlawulisi kakhulu xa sibabona ukuba abathathintweni.
Okubalulekileyo kuthi siliSebe lezoNxibelelwano kukuqinisekisa ukuba abantu baseMzansi Afrika, ngalo lonke ixesha, bafumana ulwazi ukanti bayakwazi ukuxhumana nezizwe ngezizwe. Ndiyabulela, Sekela Sihlalo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Ms T C MODISE: Hon Minister, I appreciate your support and the guidance and everything that you give to the community radio stations. However, my question is this: Does Icasa has an educational programme or measures that are in place to ensure that the community radio stations understand their obligations and the level of compliance to remain on air?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: The hon Landsman, you are totally out of order. I hope it will be the last time that you do what you are doing now. Hon Landsman, you do not need to come and stand right in front of the hon Minister whilst she is addressing this House.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Alright. It is not right. Alright.
Ms T C MODISE: Thank you, hon Minister. Did you get my question? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson and hon member, earlier on in my response I mentioned as part of the interventions that we are introducing that we are running an integrated training for all those that are affected. The Independent Communications Authority of SA is also part of the entities that are provided by training.
I spoke of corporate governance matters that needed to be followed by all the boards and those that are affected in community media. It is Icasa that takes responsibility over those to say we understand here are the licence conditions; it is our responsibility to help you when we say you are the chair of the board these are your responsibilities. What is the difference or
what is the role of the board versus the role of the management? So, we are undertaking such educational programmes, hon member. Thank you, Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, yes, indeed we have a total of six cases that we dealt with after the release of sexual harassment report. All the six have been concluded and two employees have been found not guilty, three have found guilty and were effectively dismissed. One employee decided to resign before disciplinary actions could be concluded. A further two cases of sexual harassment have been identified since the release of the report and these are currently being pursued.
The next step in the sexual harassment matter is to investigate those employees who are alleged to have been complicit on these matters. Thank very much, hon deputy Chairperson.
Ms T C MODISE: Hon Minister, because of these sexual harassment at SABC, do we have a plan to make sure that SABC remains a free sexual harassment working environment for the employees? This is especially for the junior staff and women because they are the ones who are harassed most of the time. I have never heard the
senior managers or men being harassed. It is only young women and women. Thank you, Deputy Chair.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: As the SABC, we said let us review our sexual harassment policy and work-shopped everyone who is an employee of SABC against what is entailed in the document.
Therefore, it is very clear in terms of what will be the consequences of those that will be found guilty or would have contravened what is in the policy. The process that I am talking about right now is that they are busy work-shopping their staff on different days as agreed upon with the unionised and nonunionised staff. It is an action and decision taken by the SABC staff themselves. They did not even wait for the policy maker to take that decision. They realised that they are faced with a challenge and they said it is in their interests to protect their own employees, especially women as the hon member emphasised. Thank you, hon Deputy Chair.
Nk S A LUTHULI: Ngibonge Sekela Sihlalo, okwami kuncane la, ukubuza ukuthi njengoba sazi ukuthi ilizwe lisingathe izinga eliphakame lodlame nohlukunyezwa kwabesifazane njengoMnyango wakho kanye ne-SABC yikuphi enikwenzayo ukuqinisekisa ukuthi lezi
zindawo abasebenzi abasebenzela kuzona ziphephile? Okunye futhi Ngqongqoshe uma ngabe sekukhona umuntu osebikile ukuthi uhlukunyeziwe, yikuphi enikwenzayo njengoMnyango ukumesekela ikakhulukazi ngokwelulekwa njengomuntu wesifazane okudingayo lokho? Ngiyabonga.
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Sekela Sihlalo weNdlu, okwethu kukuqinisekisa ukuba abantu bafundisiwe ngobungozi bokuzibandakanya kwizenzo ezinje ngezo. Ngoku ke wena ubuza ukuba senza kanjani xa umntu ethe weza ngaphambili esithi ulixhoba.
Singabanye babantu abathe baselubala ngesehlo esibi sika-Uyinene – wanga umphefumlo wakhe ungaphumla ngoxolo – esenzeka eposini. Loo nto isifundisile ukuba amaxesha amaninzi sibanayo imigaqo-nkqubo kodwa singayilandeleli.
Emva kweso sehlo siye sacela ukuba kubekho uphando kwaye saqinisekisa ukuba umntu wonke uyaphandwa nzulu. Kaloku asisuki senzeke isehlo sokuba sibone umntu ongumama exhatshazwa. Sukube zikhona iimpawu nokuba zizinto ezazenzeke ngaphambili okanye ezimane zisenzeka apha phakathi emsebenzini. Ngoko ke sithe makwenziwe olu phando lunzulu ukuze sikwazi ukwenza amaziko afana nooThuthuzela ukuncedisa abantu abongoomama kwezi ndawo. Kaloku
ezi ndawo zikhuthaza oomama ukuba bakwazi ukuthetha kuba bathi basenoloyiko lokuthetha gabalala. Ngamanye amaxesha abantu abongoomama baye bangakholelwa ngamapolisa angootata ezikhululweni.
Ukuhlangabezana nobuxhaka-xhaka bale mihla, siye sadibana noVodacom othenge inkampani egama linguSilicone Cape apha eStellenbosch. Le nkampani isiphathele isixhobo esinobuchule bokuncedisa omama ukuba bacofe iqhosha elithile eliza kuchaza ukuba undawoni khona ukuze amapolisa akwazi ukusabela. Ngomhla we-
16 kweyeNkanga siza kube siphehlelela esi sixhobo. Enkosi, Sekela Sihlalo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Nks N NDONGENI: Mphathiswa, ingaba bangaphi abasebenzi abajongene notshutshiso okanye abanqunyanyisiweyo emsebenzini ngenjongo zokuba bajongane nolwaluleko kuba bexhaphaze ngokwezesondo?
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Lungu elihloniphekileyo, njengoko benditshilo phaya ekuqaleni ukuba besinamatyala amathandathu abantu abachaphazeleka kwesi simo sithetha ngaso. Abanye babo siye sakwazi ukuba sibakhulule emsebenzini, sabagxotha kwaphela kodwa abanye sisaphanda ngabo. Omnye wabo, njengoko besele nditshilo uye wayeka emsebenzini phambi kokuba sigqibezele inkqubo yokuphanda
ngaye. Siyaqhubeleka sisebenzisana neSebe lezobuNtlola eliphantsi koMama u-Uyanda Dlodlo. Siyancedisana neli sebe ekuphandeni nzulu ukuba ingaba abekho kusini na abanye abantu ababefunyanwe benetyala lalo mkhuba ukuze sikwazi ukusebenza ngokusemthethweni silisebe namabhunga aphantsi kwethu. Ndiyabulela, Sekela Sihlalo.
Mnu M NHANHA: Mphathiswa, ngomhla we-6 kweyeNkanga kunyaka ophelileyo iKomishoni yoPhando ngokuXhatshazwa ngokweSondo ye-SABC (Commission of Enquiry into Sexual Harassment SABC), yathi thakanca ingxelo yayo. Esinye seziphakamiso sikhuthaza iSABC ukuba ize nento efana neKomishoni yeeNyaniso noXolelaniso, TRC okanye into efana nala ngqawule yayenziwe ziiNkonzo zeRhafu zoMzantsi Afrika kubantu ababephepha ukuhlawula irhafu. Esi siphakamiso sithi, abantu abafumana umsebenzi ngokuthi baqale bangqengqe okanye bavume indoda mabaze ngaphambili ukuze bafumane ingqawule. Kumaxa kundawoni Mphathiswa neso siphakamiso sekomishoni yophando? Enkosi.
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Njengoko esitsho naye ohloniphekileyo uNhanha, ntonje uyibhuda xa ecinga ukuba ngoomama kuphela aba bangqengqayo ukuze bafumane imisebenzi. Kaloku mayicace ukuba nootata bayangqengqiswa batsho bafumane imisebenzi. Xa ndiphendula ke kodwa umbuzo wakhe, siye sangena kwibakala
lokuba siphande aba bantu athetha ngabo, aba kuthiwe mabanikwe ingqawule le sithetha ngayo.
We need to create an environment that will be conducive for them to be able to come and declare that they are victims. It is not easy to declare your status if you are not certain that you will be protected by your organisation. So, these are the measures that we are putting in place to ensure that by the time they come, they will receive support and protection from their own organisation.
We will come back and report on the numbers of the people who have come to the front to say they are the victims, Stella Ndabeni Abrahams seduced us and this is what happened and that is why we ended up being employed here or hon Nhanha did this to us.
Therefore, we will ask what decision we take on the conduct of hon Nhanha in the matter referred to.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, as the work we have started on as the Post office, we are expected to make sure that we refurbish and provide air-conditioning system at the Tshwane Mail Centre not later than January 2020. About the second question linking to that, we have just finalised the
allocation to the panel of professionals of live projects for refurbishment which includes the Tshwane Mail Centre.
The Bid Education Committee is sitting this week to finalise the matter. The appointment of the professional team for the Tshwane Mail Centre will then assess the condition of the entire building including the air-conditioning system. Based on their assessment and specification, SA Post Office, SAPO, will go out on a tender for the appointment of a contractor.
The air-conditioning system, which requires inputs by mechanical engineer, will be prioritised for repairs or replacement as part of the refurbishment. As we said, it will not be later than January 2020, hon Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Makause, you seem a bit patient [Inaudible.] You can go on with your supplementary question, hon Mokauese.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Through you hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, we appreciate your response, only because you have put timelines to it. We are going to hold you responsible and accountable because you have committed to us, not only as a party. We’ve got the best interest of workers at heart. Me and you can’t work under
these extreme hot weather conditions without any air-con for a particular season, yet we expect those poor workers to deliver up to the expectation of the employee.
Now, that building is old, and they have been working under those conditions for quite some time. For instance, there are those who have suffered asthmatic or tuberculosis because of the unbearable conditions. Do you have some sort of plan to compensate such workers, and have you identified them through the Employee Wellness Programme at that centre? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Through you hon Deputy Chairperson, hon member, the first step for any responsible organisation is to have its Employee Wellness Programme which seeks to address day-to-day challenges that the employees go through. The second one – oh my Goodness, I pray that you would stand with me on this one – we really need more money to change the infrastructure that we have because it is an old infrastructure, as you correctly put it.
But unfortunately, at times, budget is the one that constrains us from doing that which we’re supposed to do. But nevertheless, as the policymakers together with the board, we have engaged the
unions to find out about the other measures can we introduce to make sure that all the things that are affecting the employees can be attended to. Therefore, it talks to reprioritisation of the budget about where must it go to? That is where it matters.
As I have said just now, the employees are busy engaging with us to reprioritise the services of Post Office. Therefore, as we will be presenting at the Department of Finance at the end of the month, there will be an indication of the areas that should be prioritised. As I have said, there’s lot of Post Offices that have bad infrastructure.
But on top of that, with the addition to social grants, for example, we are still expected to provide quality service to them by looking into the dignity of the beneficiaries. These are some of the core business of Post Office. Our responsibility is to pay or make sure that our beneficiaries get access to what they are entitled to. The other issue are the added ones, which is what we are motivating for in terms of getting extra budget.
For now, I would request the hon members to stand with us as we are going to request more budgets from Parliament in order for us
to attend all the burning issues. Thank you, hon Deputy Chairperson.
Ms M L MOSHODI: Through you Deputy Chair, hon Minister, my follow- up question is: Are the measures held in safety offices in all Post Offices and many centres throughout the country, and what processes are in place to ensure that the employees’ concerns are addressed or channelled to the department for action? Thank you, hon Deputy Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Yes, full procurement and distribution of uniform and personal protective equipment to all staff was done pre-strike which was in 2013-14 during hon Carrim’s time. Due to financial constraints, following the ... [Inaudible.] Thank you Chairperson, they brought me back. During the same period, SAPO could only provide uniform and Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, to limited employees.
As we were depleting the uniform stock on hand, only large size was available. We lose weight everyday. In the year 2018-19, free receipts were procured and distributed to male centre employees. As SAPO, we have finalised the procurement of rainwear and footwear for postmen. The PPE will be delivering on these and the distribution will be done to postmen by the end December 2019.
Funds have been made available to provide full uniform and PPE it first to qualifying employees during the 2019-20 financial years.
As I said earlier, expected distribution to all employees is before end March 2020. Thereafter, plans are in place to stock sufficient PPE and uniform to reissue to employees as and when required. Thank you, hon Deputy Chair.
Mr M NHANHA: In straight here, there’s a growing number of hon members who continuously refer to you as Chairperson, they must tell us if there is something happening with hon Masondo.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You know in Kimberley we say
O rata dikgang wena.
Mnu M NHANHA: Mphathiswa, umcimbio wemali uwunyathele ukuba imali ayikho. Asinakuze sikunkqangise ngokungabikho kwemali kuba ayenziwanga nguwe kwaye siyayazi imali yeli lizwe ukuba yayokutshona phi na. Ingaba uyaneliseka kusini na ukuba phaya ...
... Tshwane Mail Centre the basic employment conditions are met per minimum?
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Benditshilo kwangaphambili ukuba silisebe asonelisekanga thina kuqala ngesimo abasebenzi bethu abazifumana besebenza phantsi kwaso. Yiyo le nto sithathe isigqibo sokuba sihlenga-hlengise iinkqubo nohlahlo lwabiwo-mali lwethu ukuze sikwazi ukwenza ezi zinto ziphambili nezibalulekileyo.
Sifuna ukukhusela nokuqinisekisa ukuba abasebenzi bethu baphuhlisa ngokusemgangathweni olindelekileyo. Kufuneka sijonge ukuba abasebenzi bethu basebenza kwiindawo ezinjani nezikhuselekileyo.
Sifuna nokuqinisekisa ukuba abasebenzi bahlala kwindawo apho nam njengoMphathiswa ndingakwazi ukuhlala imini yonke xa ndinokuthi ndityelele kwindawo abasebenza kuyo. Eli phulo ke libaluleke kakhulu kuthi kwaye yiyo loo nto ndithe siyahlenga-hlengisa kwizinto esizenzayo. Abasebenzi baza kutsho ngokwabo ukuba zeziphi emazibekwe phambili nathi ke sithathele apho ukuya kucela imali ngohlobo esiza kube sivumelene ngalo. Ndiyabulela, Sekela Sihlalo.
Ms W NGWENYA: Through you Deputy Chair, Minister, beyond the reported challenges facing the Tshwane Mail Centre, has the department undertaken an audit of the health and safety of the working conditions of Post Office workers throughout the country, and what plans are in place to ensure that Post Office workers work in an environment that is not only conducive, but also in compliance with the health and safety standards. Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon member, as I said, key to addressing the challenges that we’re faced with at the Tshwane Mail Centre, is the issue of reprioritisation of the budget so that we can attend to them. But mainly, talking to the health and safety of the employees is what I referred to earlier on that, we have set aside at least now in 2018-19, some budget to make sure that we attend to the core things that I have spoken about which are those that belong to the postmen and the other employees that are affected.
I did put timeframes to say, others will receive these equipments no later than December 2019 and the rest of the staff no later than March 2020. As I have said, it is something that we are engaging on with the employees. Thank you, hon Deputy Chair.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: The SABC owes only the North West local municipalities an amount of R2 428.66c which came through as a late request for payment and it should be paid in mid-month of November 2019.
Mr T S C DODOVU: Hon Deputy Chair, based on the answer I am quite satisfied and I really applaud the Minister for proactively facilitating payments to the municipalities. Failure to pay them puts a lot of strain to municipalities in terms of discharging their constitutional obligations. I am quite satisfied hon Minister, keep it up.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much Hon Dodovu. I did not hear it as a question but rather a comment.
Ms M P MMOLA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister has there been any engagements between the SABC and the various municipalities that are owed to establish a payment plan for the settlement of their debts? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, as I said we only owe one municipality in the North West and we have already
arranged with them that they will be getting their money in mid- November. That is the only municipality. Upon receiving our bailout grant from Treasury, we started engaging with all the people we owe and arranged for payment terms. As a result municipalities are all paid except for this one that was due to late submission by the municipality. Thank you, hon Deputy Chair.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Deputy Chair, Minister, if it is true that the SABC only owes municipality just over R2 000 why can’t they pay royalties and artists the way they pay municipalities? Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, the question was about the municipalities unless you want to respond to it.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Probably let me also help the hon member. Like any responsible organisation, when you have debts you engage with the people that you owe to arrange. You say, we do understand that we owe so much but this is what we can afford and therefore, over this period this is what we will afford to pay you. The reason SABC has managed to pay those municipalities is that their debt is lower and most importantly SABC has engaged with its own creditors and debtors to arrange a payment plan. As I
am speaking to you now, out of the R2,1 billion that we got from the Treasury, SABC has paid about R1,3 billion to the people that it owed. That is why we are confident that it will make a turnaround because at least it is on good record with its own people that is working with. I mean those that are driving the core business of the SABC and the relations have been improved.
Thank you, hon Deputy Chair.
Nk A LUTHULI: Ngiyabonga Sekela Sihlalo, Ngqongqoshe owami umbuzo lapha ukuthi uSABC hlezi njalo sizwa ukuthi uyatakulwa ezikweledini osuke unazo, unikezwa izimali kodwa asikaze sikuthole ukuthi ulanda nini ngalezi zimali. Ngaso sonke isikhathi sithola ukuthi u-SABC uyakweleta ngabe kwenzakalani? Likhona yini iplani elikhona ukuqinisekisa ukuthi njalo uma ngabe uSABC ethola imali uyisebenzisa ngendlela efanele futhi ayikho eshona ephaketheni?
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Sekela Sihlalo, njengoko besele nditshilo kula mgaqo-nkqubo okula mqulu esithe sawungenisa phaya kuNongxowa sisebenza neSABC, ezinye zezindululo kukuqinisekisa ukuba banika ingxelo ngotyalo-malo nangenkcitho yabo rhoqo ngenyanga. Ezi ngxelo ziza kufakwa apha kwisebe lam ukuze mna
ndizigqithisele kwiSebe lezeMali. Le nto ithetha ukuba nangona sineengxaki ezininzi zemali kwiSABC kuye kwafuneka ukuba sijonge amanye amajelo anokuthi asincedise ukukhulisa imali esiyifumene kurhulumente. Kufuneka sikhumbule ukuba isicelo esisenzileyo kurhulumente zizi- R6 billion. Sifumene isiqingatha saloo mali kwaye eseyizile kuthi zizi-R2,1 billion kuba asikwazanga ukuba sifikelele kwimigomo ethile ebibekiwe. Sifuna ke ngoku ukuqinisekisa imali iyakhululwa ukuze i-SABC ikwazi ukwenza izinto eziphambili nezibalulekileyo eziza kuthi zimncedise ukuba akhule akwazi ukwenza umsebenzi amele ukuba uyawenza.
Sileli sebe sithe gqolo kwela candelwana esilibiza ukuba yi-SOC Branch ejongene neengxaki ezikwiSABC namanye amaqumrhwana. Rhoqo ngenyanga siyadibana kwiintlanganiso ukuze ibhodi yeli candelwana isicacisele ngendima esele ihanjiwe nemiceli-mngeni. Akhona namaxhala phaya kwi-SABC okuba bona balindeleke ngokomthetho ukuba bazoneke elubala ngeendlela abathi benze ngayo imali nangona kusaziwa ukuba i-SABC ikukhuphiswano noosomashishini abaninzi ngokwezorhwebo. Siye sathembisa ukuba siza kuzizisa ngaphambili ePalamente kuba eneneni ziyayichaphazela kakhulu i-SABC...
... on the capability and the effectiveness in terms of competition of SABC. Thank you very much hon Deputy Chair.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Deputy Chairperson, as I said earlier, as the Post Office we do not have a specific responsibility of security services. Therefore, we have to source any other function that is supportive to the role that we are playing from experts. Indeed that is what we did with the security services. We procure suppliers who are experts in their field as and when the need arise. We do not have the technical expertise to manage security guards and the related industry requirements and standards. You will remember that there is firearm licensing and all those protocols of acquiring all the relevant security standards. This is why we said we can’t have this in-house. We have to get the bodies out there whilst government is strictly looking into the matter, through the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Police, of how we ensure that all these laws that we have put in place do not contradict what we want to achieve.
Key to the work that we are doing as government is not only to turn around our economy but to also ensure that our people get to have permanent jobs. We see insourcing security services and cleaning services as an opportunity to make sure that we can
create space for that. But unfortunately, as I said earlier, there are laws in place that we must first deal with in order to address the challenges. Can you imagine hon member if we were to insource now and the next thing somebody comes tomorrow with a rifle to work and we do not know how to handle that person. That is why we said currently whilst seeking advice as government at that level, then let the departments get expertise from qualified people.
Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.
Ms T C MODISE: Minister, you have been doing very well so far and giving timelines which regard to your responses in the House but it seems as if in this question you are now dilly-dallying. We all know that Tshwane Mail Centre is an extremely big institution in the country in terms of sorting out mail and making sure that the institution is safe. These security guards work under severe pressure to make sure that our mail is safe in the Tshwane area.
Can you put timelines to what you are saying that you are still consulting with the relevant stakeholders on whether to insource or still these services should remain outsourced? But it has always been our plea as the EFF that you should insource workers so that the previously-disadvantaged ... because they are the ones who are doing this type of job and their lives remain at risk. Can
you put timelines to this and tell us when exactly can we expect you to come and respond properly on this one?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, you don’t have to be put on the spot.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: I’ll respond, Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Actually, see how you can process that question.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Chairperson, I want to assure the hon member that the Minister here has no responsibility to dilly- dally because what you see is what you get; and we can’t come to Parliament and mislead it. We are still engaging with the relevant stakeholders as I said. As we engaging we’ll put timeframes to say, within 2019 to 2021 the employees who are not permanent should be permanent. But, we can’t say by when, and that is why we have put 2019 to 2021 according to the plans that we have developed as the department, pending engagements and agreements with the relevant stakeholders. Thank you, Deputy Chair.
Ms M L MOSHODI: Thanks hon Minister. My follow-up question is: Has the department undertaken an assessment of the total value of
money that will be needed to ensure complete insourcing of contract workers working for the Post Office? Thank you, hon Chair.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you hon member for that question. As the department we have instructed all the entities to give us the actual costs that they are spending right now on security and cleaning services whilst we are working on ways to say, based on the DPSA and the Department of Labour’s minimum wage considerations and all those job grading processes that must be done, this is what we estimate. But for now, we still have not reached that stage because we have to wait for that process. Once we have concluded, then we will be able to say this is so much that we require. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Matibe didn’t indicate that one.
Cllr T B MATIBE: Deputy Chair, I just want to check besides the security guards. We understand the issue of the security guards. Do you have any plans in terms of insourcing any other contract workers who might be there in your post offices across the country? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you hon member for that question. Yes, as I mentioned earlier, we are also looking into cleaning services and all other temporal jobs that we are seeking. For example, I spoke about the project of the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa where we distribute social grants and have temporal staff. But once we are certain that this is the project that is going to stay with us for a long time, we’ll therefore have to employ full-time staff. Engagements with the client departments are ongoing and once we come to a conclusion, we’ll come to you and present the progress on the work that would have been done.
Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you House Chairperson, yes, plans have been put in place to address any outstanding payments for royalties. A payment arrangements have been drawn up and payment would be made to the relevant entities on a monthly basis as per the schedule drawn.
The second question that was also linked to those questions is answered as follows: The SA Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, is in litigation with some of the entities. Firstly, it is the South
African Performing Rights Association, Sampra, which initiated the litigation against the SABC concerning the percentage split dispute of payment of needle time royalties between the Sampra and the South African Performing Rights Association, Impra. The parties have agreed to resolve the matter through arbitration and they will do it because we will be monitoring that.
The arbitration costs will be shared equally amongst the three parties. The parties have also agreed to be bound by the outcome of the arbitration process.
Secondly, the SABC is also in litigation with Mr Hans Strydom – an agent representing the performers on performers’ claims for repeat fees - the matter is currently pending before the magistrate’s court as well as before the Public Protector.
Lastly, yes, the SABC has opposed actions by creditors.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you very much House Chairperson, hon Minister, when it comes to this, the SABC really gets up my nose and I am saying this for a very simple reason. Our artists rely on royalties for an income. It’s not a nice to have. If someone were to take away your salary for a month, you’ll go berserk. It is
their bread and butter. That is what all our artists get as an income.
The SABC as the national broadcaster is not paying them their bread and butter. It is as simple as that. In many cases, our artists are starving. They can’t pay their medical aid, their bonds, their cars and basic things like food to put on the table. The public broadcaster is unable to pay them the most basic of their royalties.
I asked this question in February. The response I got was that the Sampra was owed R125 million. Most recently, it went up to
R160 million before this agreement was concluded; that’s the information I have. In the nine months since, the backlog or debt owed to our artists, not to entities, went up and then you intervened. This has been coming for year and years. Also, you go and enter into litigation, which also costs a lot of money.
My simple question to you is ... after I have called on you right now to remember that this is people’s income ... Why does it take years to build up this debt before there is an intervention from you or any of your predecessors while our artists out there are literally starving? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you hon member for the question, and just as an update to the response to your question that you asked in February ... as I said ... right now, upon receiving the amount that we received from the Treasury, we have engaged with all those that we owe and have agreed on payment terms, that include the artists. They are on board with what we are doing. They understand where we come from as the SABC, understand the challenges that we are faced with and also understand that the SABC will not function without their content, which is why they see it important that they allow the SABC to pay other creditors also so that the platform can remain functional for them to showcase the music that they have.
The people that we serve and the people that must pay their bills are the people that sent us to Parliament and it is those people that every day of our lives we seek to serve. Unfortunately, if it was according to us, we would have everything that we want. This is why we saw it important to engage with them and be open and frank to say this is what we have received and these are the challenges that we have. Therefore, as shareholders partly, this is the way forward that we think we can advance in order for all of us to get something out of the little that we have.
An agreement was reached that they’ll be paid monthly ... as I said ... they have accepted that, hon member. My apologies that we couldn’t settle the debt in its entirety, but ... as I said ... if hon Yunus Carrim were to donate his salary or have other members here contributing, I would really appreciate that so that I can pay them. Thank you House Chairperson.
Cllr T B MATIBE: Thank you very much House Chairperson, I acknowledge the answers given by the Minister. If we are to check the total value ... because you must be open to us as Parliament so that we are able to see how we can as well assist. What would be the total value that is owed to creditors by the SABC? I am not putting you on the spot. If you don’t have a straight answer you can provide us ...
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you House Chairperson, I wouldn’t like to respond to that specifically because I don’t have the figures now. Earlier on, when we submitted the application, the SABC was owing about R2 billion but they have started to settle some of the debts; I am therefore not sure how much they owe to date. I will try to get that information from the SABC and have it handed over to Parliament. Thank you House Chairperson.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Thank you House Chairperson, Minister, you said there is a plan for a turnaround to look at your finances. I just want to check with you if the recent SABC bailout of R2 billion is for debt servicing or is it for operational costs? If you can maybe just clarify what is the bailout for? It is a well-known fact that you owe the artists in the region of about R250 million on royalties. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon member, according to the application that was submitted by the SABC and the contents of their turnaround plan, some of the funds are going to help service and settle the debt and some will help in buying the equipment for the organisation. The only thing that we are not funding as government is the payment of salaries, which is the responsibility of the SABC to generate revenue in order to pay its own employees. The turnaround plan indicated the money the SABC is owing to the creditors and also the money that is required to ensure it gets new technology that will help it advance the work it is doing and be able to create more revenue for itself.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, as the department we have paid no money to the Information and Communications Technology Small Medium and Micro Enterprises Chamber, ICT SMME Chamber and Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa, Usaasa, National Electronic Media of South Africa, Nemisa, Broadband Infraco, BBI, SA Post Office, Sapo, Sentech and the ZA Domain Name Authority, Zadna, which are entities under the portfolio have also not paid any money to the ICT SMME Chamber.
Although the State Information Technology Agency, Sita, has given the chamber a grant of R1 million for the financial year, it was not money paid; they said it was a grant to help them do the work that they needed to do. That was done in the 2018-19 financial year; the money was processed on 15 December 2018. Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.
Mr D R RYDER: Deputy Chairperson, the Minister, thank you for that answer. It is surprising as they are listed on your website as being one of the beneficiaries of the department and they do mention your department’s support for them.
Now, the reason for the question is because unlike most NGOs, the ICT SMME Chamber doesn’t have an annual report available anywhere on its website. Their code of conduct enforces strict confidentiality on members. There are no success stories posted. There is no information relating to what the chamber has achieved over the past few years. Even if you try to phone the number listed on the website, the number doesn’t exist.
Now, it is interesting that recently the head of their Admin and Secretariat, Ms Andiswa Mosai was elected as the Speaker of the Sedibeng District Municipality on 01 August 2019. Her role at the chamber has also not been authorised or reported in advance to the council in terms of section 8 of schedule 1 of the Municipal Systems Act which is rather strange as well.
Minister, it just appears that the chamber seems to be some sort of a business forum almost that has been set up to allow ANC cadres to extract funding from the government in a different way. It is interesting that you say your department hasn’t been giving them money but, the fact is that you say they got money through the Sita. Can you tell us what the conditions of that grant are?
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Deputy Chairperson, just to respond to the issues raised by the hon member, unfortunately, the Minister does not go around checking the political membership of all the individuals that the Minister works with. All those we feel like they deserve to be given an opportunity, as the government, we give them an opportunity despite their colour and political affiliation, we never ask that.
The ICT SMME Chamber is one of the entities that were established when we were undergoing the policy review process because there was no integration and unity over the small, macro and medium enterprises, SMMEs, themselves which this sector we talk about requires transformation because most black and underprivileged people are not given an opportunity.
We then said, as SMMEs, it is important that we work together so we can help develop the sector because part of developing this sector also talks to address the imbalances of the past by providing capacity-building to those that are in need and market opportunities. And that is why you see our logo being mentioned on the ICT SMME Chamber. We are not going to shy away from that but it doesn’t mean that we have given them money.
Like all the stakeholders we work with as the department we interact and we all provide support to all of them despite where they come from and who owns them and that also refers to ANC members that cannot be excluded from the process because they are the majority in the country. Sita has informed us, hon member, that they came up with a selection process in relation to the grant that we are talking about and the ICT SMME Chamber has responded in terms of providing information in relation to how they have spent the R1 million that has been given to them.
On quarter 1 on 31 March, they submitted the report that the information that they needed to gather they have gathered it and Sita was happy with that because of the information they needed to gather was to determine the scope of operation and therefore the opportunities that are presented and the government is the first client that we have to tap into.
On the second quarter which was on 30 June, the high-level solution design was completed and thus paired the work and the agreements that the ICT SMME Chamber and Sita have agreed on when they gave them the grant that they issued. The project plans are to be completed in 36 months and the report that I gave above is
the report of just this financial year which is the first year that we spoke about. Thank you so much, Deputy Chairperson.
Nk L C BEBEE: Sekela Sihlalo ohloniphekile, Ngqongqoshe womnyango ohloniphekle, ngabe zikhona yini izinhlelo zokwelekelela osomabhizinisi abasafufusayo emnyangweni wakho, abesifazane, yintsha, abahlala emakhaya nabahlala emalokishini? Nokuthi uma zikhona lezo zinhlelo, zikuphi, lezo onazo? Ngiyabonga, Ngqongqoshe.
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Isebe eli lelinye lamasebe athi kwa kubalulekile ukuba kubekho inkqubo ejongene nokuphuhliswa kwamashishini asakhulayo nokokuba loo mashishini asedolophini, ezilokishini okanye ezilalini. Okwethu kukuqinisekisa ukuba kule nkqubo ikhona njengoko siyazi ukuba wonke umntu unonomyayi esandleni, kwabanye babini okanye bathathu. Xa besonakala aba nomyayi, umntu kufuneka akhwele esiya kude. Siye sathi ke kubalulekile ukuba si...
... identify an opportunity there to say, we engage with the original equipment manufacturers, OEMs, to say, let’s support the SMMES in making sure our cell phones can be repaired by small businesses, and part of that, as the strategy explained, is to make sure that we provide the capacity to these people, the small businesses, including mobilising funds for them to buy the equipment because one of the key things is that our people do not own equipment which becomes the key responsibility of the DTI, ourselves and the Department of Science and Technology to say, how do we work together to make sure that, as we have spoken of growing the township and village economy, we can collaborate to make sure that our fruits can be realised and an opportunity be given to the small businesses that are there.
Certain training has been conducted, entrepreneurship programmes. We have taken recently about 20 SMMEs to the International Telecommunication Union, ITU Telecom World, and all of them were exposed in terms of the work that they are doing and we are planning to put them in the market. We appreciate hon members that we are going to be challenged because the status quo is comfortable with what is happening. People refuse to transform but unfortunately, as I have said earlier, at times we have got to take unpopular decisions in the interest of the majority of our
people so we will be embarking on that and we will, as part of the digital industrial strategy, come back to unpack how else do we plan to unbundle the monopolisation of the telecoms sector that I spoke about. Thank you, Chairperson
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, yes we owed as SABC in terms of royalties the outstanding balance as at
30 September 2019. We owe Southern African Music Rights Organisation, Samro for public performance rights for composers and the division that is responsible, ie, the commercial enterprises and the amount that we owe is R120, 331 115,84c and as I have said earlier the payment plan is in place and we do not have much risk on that because we do it monthly.
Another one that we owe is South African Music Performance Rights Association, Sampra and Independent Music Performing Rights Association, Impra which is for needletime for the performers, a division that is responsible within the SABC’s radio vision and owe them about R216, 447 518 is also going to the arbitration process that I spoke about in order to resolve the payment.
Remember this was from 2014 to 2015 it is not just statistics that we inherited only last year or in the past two years.
The other entity is Association of Independent Record Companies Airco and Recording Industry of South Africa, Risa for public performance rights for composers and videos. It is owed by the TV Division and is estimated at about R4,600 million that is outstanding. We have also reached the monthly payment agreements with them and we will start from April to pay. Composers, Authors and Publishers Association, Capasso, is a reproduction or mechanical rights composers group and the TV Division owes them a sum of R1 million and payments are processed monthly, as I indicated earlier.
The total sum that we owe is about R342, 378 633,84C. Thank you very much, Deputy Chair.
Mnu M NHANHA: Mphathiswa, uphantse wandenzela ixhala ngoku ubiza la manani, watsho wandikhumbuza u-JZ.
You know he was battling to call some of these figures but you pulled through Minister.
Mphathiswa, xa ndiza kutshaya ngoku, ohloniphekileyo uMichalakis uyinyathele intlungu yeemvumi zethu eziphila phantsi kwayo. Kule mihla siphila kuyo eMzantsi Afrika...
... is no more an attractive career because...
... kukuphela kwesonka sabo esi. Iyandivuyisa ke ntombi yamaMpondo xa usithi ninezicwangciso zokuhlawula esele zimisiwe. Ngoku ke, ninesiphi isiqinisekiso sokuba lo rhulumente uza kuhlala esigcinile esi sicwangciso?
UMPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Sekela Sihlalo, xa ndigqitha nje kule nto yamanani, mhlawumbi ungade ungayi kude ude uyokuma eNkandla xa usuka eMpuma Koloni. Ungakhe ukhangele naphaya kutatomkhulu wam ngoba naye akakwazi ukuwabeka amanani kakuhle kuba zange aye esikolweni. Ngumzekelo nje okufutshane singadange saya kude eNkandla. Benditshilo ngaphambili ukuba inkqubo le yokuhlawula siyibekileyo siza kuthi gqolo ukuyikhangela nokuqinisekisa ukuba ihamba ngokwendlela, inyanga nenyanga. Yiyo ke loo nto i-SABC ekupheleni kwenyanga kufuneka bafake ingxelo
ukuze sibone ukuba le mali ngenene abantu bayahlawulwa. Ndiyicacisile le nto ukuba i-SABC ayizimelanga yodwa...
... but there are people that drive the content which refers to the creative industries. Therefore, we cannot afford to fight with those people because...
... ngenye imini uza kuthi uvula umabonakude ufike kumnyama, ayingomnqweno wethu ke lowo singurhulumente. Yiyo le nto sisenza zonke iinzame ukuqinisekisa ukuba siyancedisana neSABC ukuze ikwazi ukuzimela. Loo nto iyakwenza ukuba ikwazi ukuhlawula amatyala awo ingene kwizivumelwano ezitsha ngokusemthethweni nangexesha elifanelekileyo ukuba kuhlawulwe abantu.
Singurhulumente sibeke umgqaliselo wokuba bonke oosomashishini abasakhasayo, makuncedwe bahlawulwe kwiintsuku ezinga-30 kwaye sizimisele ukuba siqinisekise ukuba iyenzeka loo nto. Yiyo loo nto isicwangciso sethu sokuhlawula sikwizigaba zeenyanga, sifuna ukuqinisekisa ukuba izinto zihamba ngendlela.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Ngiphendulekile uma aphendula ohloniphekileyo uTshokoleyithi.
Mr D R RYDER: Hon Deputy Chair, Minister being an artist and a performer in this country has become a very unattractive career to people because often they are exploited by the producers of content. Now it has become apparent that the SABC is also becoming a bit of accomplice in this because they short changed our artists and not paying out royalties timeously. Can you please hon Minister; give us a best practice model and a time frame for when royalties should be paid to artists. You spend hours on the end creating content and entertainment for South Africans.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, as I said in my previous response, a monthly payment plan has been drafted and agreed upon and as soon as we are able to settle those amounts, if it means we are going to do it in six months, we will be able to do that. We are engaging with the people who are at the core of the business that we are running. Of course, I did say that we still have an amount of R1,1 billion that is outstanding but as soon as we meet all the obligations that have been put by the department and Treasury, once we get that money, we really
believe that should be able to settle the debts. It is in our interest that we walk confidently with pride that we do not owe anyone.
We are looking into the business of making sure that SABC becomes the best public broadcaster that produces correct information at all times and that keeps people informed and entertained at all times. Thank you, hon Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much Minister, I do not see any person who will ask you a question. It is not recorded. It was four questions. Hon Ryder was the fourth person that is why I did not see you. Please accept my apologies, hon Zandamela.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: No, you are welcome Deputy Chair, or Chair? By the way you declined the promotion. Hon Deputy Chairperson, Minister you said, in your initial application you applied for R6 billion but managed to get R2 billion. You said part of the money is going to service debt. Is it going to be enough? What you have just explained to the House now, listing all the people that must be paid up, is what you have got enough? Moving forward, in future
are you not going to have a problem since you did not get enough from your initial application? Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order members, you cannot ask the question. Hon Mahlangu, please can you look to the front?
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon members, as I said earlier we did apply for R6 billion but upon doing the assessment we discovered through Treasury that we require R3,2 billion in order to attend to the urgent matters that SABC requires. Of that
R3,2 billion has been approved but R2,1 billion is what has been transferred to the SABC pending them meeting the two obligations that were outstanding so that they can get the R1,1billion. Yes, I am confident that we are not going to come back. You have heard the CEO because I rely on the counsel of the board that we appoint to oversee the work that is done by the SABC. Also, the board that appoints the executives that indeed has given us a commitment that they will spend this money reasonably; will prioritise; and make sure that it is able to turnaround SABC. That I can commit based on the counsel that I get because I cannot interfere on operational matters. In case the hon members feel irritated and say ...
... uyambona ke sefuna ukuyithathela ezandleni zakhe i-SABC.
It is not in my interests, I am comfortable where I am. Thank you so much Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much hon Minister and we appreciate the fact that you have been able to stand here and answer so many questions and be very patient with us. You can go back to your seat hon Minister thank you. [Applause.] Before we continue, let me just wish hon Ncitha a happy birthday and I believe it is your birthday today. [Applause.] I do not think it is parliamentary to sing but let me just wish you a very happy birthday. We hope you will enjoy your day, unfortunately we must work.
The next set of questions is to the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, hon Patricia De Lille. I would not want them to request you to go to the podium. Let me request you, myself. Let us continue the way we started. Can you please come to the podium so that you respond to the questions from there? I am sorry my dear but you have to.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you, hon
Deputy Chairperson. Let me also not be called to order. Hon members, based on the existing institutional arrangements of the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, co-ordination for the programme, it is aligned and integrated across all three spheres of the government.
At national level, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure mandated to champion the EPWP and is responsible for providing leadership at national level, overall co-ordination policy development and monitoring and evaluation for the implementation of the EPWP.
At a provincial level, the premier provides leadership and direction to the implementation of the EPWP in the province. The premier must also ensure that they meet all targets for the allocated funds. Then to ensure effective co-ordination in the province, the MEC responsible for Public Works and Infrastructure are delegated to establish a fully multifunctional resource EPWP unit. Once at a municipal level then the mayor provides the leadership and direction within the municipality and then appoints members of the mayoral committee that will promote and ensure
implementation of the EPWP in each sector. All of these arrangements are agreed to an EPWP implementation protocol, which is the framework for co-operation and co-ordination.
Now to integrate and align co-ordination mechanism of the programme, there are also various government structures exist and they include, you have the Public Employment Programme Inter- Ministerial Committee. That committee is chaired by the Deputy President. It consist of the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure and the lead sector co-ordinating Ministers, namely, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Social Development and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Then the ANC is geared towards unblocking any problems, give strategic direction and we are trying to do co-ordination amongst all three spheres of government.
Then you also have Ministers and Members of Executive Councils Meeting, Minmec. Minmec is chaired by the Minster of Public Works and Infrastructure with all the MECs in the provinces responsible for the EPWP. Then you have another committee, the National Co- ordination Committee, NCC. This is a strategic platform to address issues pertaining to the implementation of the EPWP also the co- ordination and reporting. This committee is chaired by the deputy
director-general and also members from Public Works and Infrastructure and some senior officials from the provincial co- ordinating department’s co-ordinators and then the sector lead departments and then the EPWP executive management team.
Then you also have the provincial steering committee. These are provincial structures convene by the Provincial Department of Public Works and in each province to discuss the progress of the EPWP progress with each sector. Then they also identify some challenges and find solutions. The provincial executive committee, PEC, is attended by senior officials from sector co-ordinating departments in the province, the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure officials at regional offices and senior officials from district and local municipalities in the province.
Then you have the district municipal forums. They are established at district level championed by the district and senior officials from various local municipalities are also expected to attend these meetings and deal with the implementation. What are the challenges that they face in this regard?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We won’t have time for that now. Your five minutes is finished.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: So quickly. Well,
can I just move?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You can ... if you want to ... [Inaudible.]
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Thank you, hon Deputy Chair. Let me take this opportunity to appreciate the brief outline that the Minister has made in terms of structures that are in place to drive the public employment programme through the EPWP. However, what has been identified in the past which obviously was also reported by your department in our interaction with them with regard to the annual report was the issue of challenges of underreporting not only across all three spheres but also non-state sectors. What isn’t that the Minister will do to ensure that the challenges with regard to underreporting are address? Thank you, hon Minister.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Minister, you have four minutes to respond.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: We do have
problems in two of the provincial steering committee. Two of them
are non-functional. The other seven are quite good. But you also find a lack of co-ordination between the public bodies and the EPWP structures.
So, what we are trying to do is to get reports from our own monitoring and evaluation. But the problem is that sometimes we don’t verify those reports, we just record the information. So, that is why we have now instituted spot check audit around the country to make sure that we get the right information from the entire sectors, local, provincial and at national level.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: [Inaudible.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Yes, thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Oh, thank you. No!
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The time is enough. The time is not enough if you still want to speak. So, you still have ... [Inaudible]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: It’s my first
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Its fine, we will take you through. Thank you.
Mnr A B CLOETE: Minister, baie dankie dat u hier is. Baie welkom.
Ek wil met u praat oor Dag Zero, maar nie dáárdie Dag Zero nie! Die laaste keer toe ons daaroor gepraat het was dit a vreeslike egskeiding wat vreeslike lelike dinge tot gevolg gehad het. Kom ons praat oor Suid-Afrika se Dag Zero.
Ons almal weet dat Suid-Afrika se water krisis gaan ... as dinge nie baie vinnig verander nie en reën nie kom nie, gaan ons ’n krisis hê in Suid-Afrika. Dis die algemene siening dat die regering bitter min kan doen om ’n droogte af te weer. Maar daar is maatreëls wat geimplimenteer kan word.
Een van die groot sondebokke met die watertekort in Suid-Afrika is munisipaliteite. Kom ek gee ’n voorbeeld. Mangaung Metromunisipaliteit het in die vorige boekjaar 36 miljoen liter
water per dag verloor. Dis so groot soos ’n normale swembad se water per sekonde wat verlore gaan.
Die Nelson Mandelabaai was nog slegter met 131 miljoen liter water per dag.
So, Minister, munisipaliteite is die sondebokke hier, en jou departement kan help sonder dat dit ekstra werkers en salarisse gaan kos, want ons het die Uitgebreide Openbare Werke Program, die sogenaamde Expanded Public Works Program, EPWP, werkers.
My vraag aan jou, Minister, is, sal jy dit oorweeg om jou EPWP werkers gefokus te gebruik? Kom ons noem dit ’n war on wasted water program waar jy EPWP werkers gebruik om hierdie waterlekasies in ons munisipaliteite reg te maak sonder dat dit ons te veel geld kos.
Die ADJUNKVOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Dit is relevant waar dit die EPWP betref, maar ek weet nie hoe jy by die water kwessie sal uitkom alvorens die Minister van Menslike Nedersettings, Water en Sanitasie nie die vraag beantwoord het nie.
Die MINISTER VAN OPENBARE WERKE EN INFRASTRUKTUUR: Dit is die
bevoegdheid van munisipaliteite om om te sien na waterlekasies en so meer. So hulle moet maatreëls in plek stel. Hulle kan dan ook programme ontwerp en die EPWP program gebruik om die werkers te betaal. Maar die munisipaliteite moet dit beheer en bestuur.
Die ADJUNKVOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Dankie, Minister.
Minister, jy moet sterk wees! Daar gaan vrae kom wat jy kan sien is nie deel van hierdie vraag nie. Jy hoef hom nie te antwoord as jy nie so voel nie.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. I heard you talking about me. This is very irrelevant, Deputy Chairperson. Minister, you are welcome. The Auditor-General reporting on the EPWP in KwaZulu-Natal has revealed that not only is the programme fought with irregularities but the department is also seemingly lost control of the programme. The department appears to have no idea how many people are employed as part of the programme. It also seems you are forging the numbers in a bit to sell the EPWP as a success story. An example of this Minister, is a reported figure of 6 157 persons employed by the EPWP has been placed in doubt as other department report list 8 312 persons employed.
The Auditor-General was also critical of the lack of adequate performance management system. The Auditor-General was also equally concerned that the national government grant intend for the EPWP was not fully spent. Minister, will you initiate an audit on the persons employed in the EPWP programme in KwaZulu-Natal and also advice us how much of the national government grant was spent on employment? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you, Deputy
Chairperson. I am answering this question under question 201. There is a specific question that was asked on KwaZulu-Natal, question 201.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It’s fine; we will get that response when we get to question 201.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. Minister, you mentioned earlier that there are still some challenges with regard to the co-ordination of the EPWP in other provinces. But the question will be, are you happy so far with the whole co- ordination? The second question maybe coupled with the question that I am asking is that obviously people that are employed in the EPWP; there is a need for them in some of these departments were
they are good. Why are these people not employed on a permanent basis? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Yes, hon member,
I am not happy with the co-ordination as you can see in the Fifth Administration that a target was set of six million EPWP jobs. We didn’t reach the target. The target for the next five years has been set at five million and we are now addressing all of the problems that gave rise to us not meeting that target.
Whether EPWP workers can become permanent, no, it’s an agreement between the social partners of the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, private sector, public sector and civil society that this is a temporary job creation project to alleviate poverty, but we now also added over the years a skills training project so that people work there and at least get some skills. But it’s not a permanent job opportunity.
What do happen is that some municipalities use the EPWP workers to do work that they must have on their own budget as their own line function and pay from their own budget. But the weight has been designed since its inception in 2003 – its temporary jobs.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is your point of order now?
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: The point of order is that question 201 is not on this paper.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: But it’s question 200.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Question 200, not 201.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It’s your own question.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: If that question relates to a police station, how does it fit up with the EPWP?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Its fine, we will get to KwaZulu-Natal. [Laughter.] We will get to KwaZulu-Natal, its fine. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please, can we continue.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Deputy Chair, we put in questions for oral reply.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon T B, can we continue. We will request you to put it in your follow up question. You get the make a supplementary.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Deputy Chair, if I put a question for oral reply, I must get an oral reply.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: She has information on KwaZulu-Natal that she can share with you under your question because question 200 is your question. She said she has information.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: So Chair, all the follow up questions asked yesterday will be put in question 200 because I have a number of follow up questions. I probably have ten follow up questions, Deputy Chair.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I understand you, hon Brauteseth.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Okay, I am just trying to understand the process.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Nyambi, can you assist.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Deputy Chair, once you are presiding and you have made a ruling, whether the ruling might have been wrong, sitting here as a member I think you are wrong, there is a procedure in the House to deal with it. It’s always wrong for us to try to challenge a ruling so that you can review what you have said because you have made a ruling in relation to the very same question and you are still correct. So, let’s allow hon Minister to continue with the question and once we get there is then that we can entertain what they are raising.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, we are going to
200 from the very same member who was asking for order. Can you respond to it?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: About the
Pinetown Police Station? Yes, hon Deputy Chair, we have commissioned an in-house structural engineer to go and visit the place on the basis of the maintenance requirements. Major refurbishment is necessary there. I have some photos and everything of the visit that we have done there on 22. We have requested the user department, the SA Police Service, to register
a capital project for the financial year 2020-21. But in the interim we are doing day-to-day maintenance and that is done by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure’s facility management. Currently what we are addressing as a scope of work of maintenance bringing a relief, is that we are addressing the falling of the bricks, the falling of the building as such; we are also replacing the roof of the parking bays; we are replacing the missing windows; we repaired leaks and flesh of the central roof; we have cut down the trees to prevent them from falling onto the air conditioning; we have removed the rubbish of the roof; we have removed vegetation that is growing on the building; we have fixed the leaks; and we have also removed the rubbish next to the disused gut house. Next year, in the next financial year, the structural changes will be made.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, hon Minister. Relax before! Indeed you asked a written question on the very same issues that you are asking now. It is here 201. Hon Brauteseth said KwaZulu-Natal Public Works and infrastructure - the questions in excess of the quota in terms of Rule 246 (4). That is why the Minister said she has responses of this question because you have asked it but it is an excess of the quota. She will give you a written response of your question.
En Ryder, ek weet nie hoekom wil jy sy parte vat nie want ek het nie nodig dat jy advokaat hier binne nie!
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Deputy Chairperson, thank you for the explanation. That’s all what I needed and I fully understand. Thank you. Hon Minister, thank you very much for your response. I will phone the brigadier of the SA Police Service.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair, on a point of order. Written questions come to the House as oral questions because they haven’t been answered. Now ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Labuschagne, one thing that I love about you is that you always think you know better than us sitting here. This is very clear. All questions have been dealt with. Each one has been dealt with in accordance with what it is. A written questions that comes here as oral questions is the one that has taken long to be responded to. This one is still within the timeframe and she has the response but it is in excess
of the quota of the six questions that are usually asked. If you look at this paper you will see that they have been dealt with.
I want you to really allow me preside over this House. Allow me, allow me! Can you continue, Minister.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you, Chair. I will follow up in writing.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon T B, can you continue with your request.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Thank you, Chair. I do appreciate that. Chair, you are quite correct it is a question in excess and it can’t be a written reply, and I am entirely happy. [Interjections.] May I proceed. Thank you Minister for your response and I will certainly be in town with the Pinetown Police Station to monitor that progress. The concerning part is that that report, the one done by the DPWI, was requested by the Pine Town Police Station. For some strange reason the actual report did not get back to the Pinetown Police Station, but it came via a local councillor who then shared it with me, and that’s why I am raiding it today.
Obviously, Minister, I am sure you will agree that sort of disconnect is completely unacceptable, and that should not be happening. My question to you is: What timeline can you give to us because obvious Pinetown is a macrocosm of the rest of the country. What timeline can you give to this House that the department will do an assessment to all police stations around the country and come back to us with what need to be done on all the police stations around the country in order to get them shipshape. Of course our concern is that for us to deliver the Batho Pele as a concept, we need to a working environment where the SA Police Service, SAPS, members are happy so that they can give good service to communities. Can you help us and give us timeline as to how we can try to achieve that?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you hon Minister. With regard to Pinetown you can response, but with the new areas you will come back with that information.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you Deputy
Chairperson. The two captains, Captain van Straden and Captain Mdani, showed the Department of Public Works And Infrastructure staff around on 22 October and that is the report that is
available now. I will make sure that if the police did not receive the copy we send it to them.
At the Department of Public Works And Infrastructure we have a structural engineer Mr Priga and Mr van Bled.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, you are really disturbing the Minister on the podium. Now she is looking at you instead of responding.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: The report plus
the photograph is available and I can also provide you with the copy of it. Thank you.
Mr E R LANDSMAN: Thank you, hon Deputy Chair. Thank you, hon Minister. First and foremost, I want to take this time to congratulate you in your new position because it is new, but in this new short time you have performed. You have made us happy. Don’t let the so-called the party where that have abused you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Landsman, order!
Mr E R LANDSMAN: It is linked to the question! It is linked to the question! I am speaking about the land issue where you were only one week in office and they sent you a lot of corresponds. The member there! Based on the newspaper today you are a focus and we are supporting you. You are not running a crèche, but you are running the Department of Public Works.
Pinetown is one issue. We want to know, is there a budgeted integrated plan to address infrastructure development and upgrading backlogs of all police stations across the whole country in the current financial year? Let us not be confused by the rich county and the poor country.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Landsman, ask your question and please allow us to continue. Hon Minister, one thing you must know is that, as you say it is your first time, it is true that you can respond to things that have relevance to the original question. If it is new things and you don’t have information, don’t feel pressurised but make sure that we get that information even if it is after the sitting.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Deputy Chair, we
are currently in a current financial year with a budget. The way
we are working in the Public Works is that the user department give us budget to do the repairs and maintenances. So you can go and see in the current budget how much we have received from the Police, courts and from all that.
But beside that we have started a programme to make all public spaces more comfortable and welcoming to the public. This is the first interaction with government and if they have a bad experience they live the feeling bad. We have started off with the courts where we are prioritising the courts. On Friday we are opening a new court in Mpumalanga. We are well and away with the courts to sort out al the problems. I am meeting with Minister of Police to begin a programme for all police stations across the country. Thank you.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Thank you Deputy Chairperson. Minister, all government buildings across the country are in a bad state. Wherever we go on oversight complains that we get every time is about Public Works. That is due to, say in one of the buildings the door handle or the window get broken, it is not fixed immediately. They wait until they take it on tender. Is there any plans from your department to set up workshops and employ people
on a permanent basis that will do maintenance in all government buildings? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you hon,
member. I must admit that in terms of maintenance and repairs our facility management department is not up to standard. We have now introduced a system whereby we can do things quicker. They are very reactive. They don’t have a schedule maintenance plans for all the buildings as far they are in such a state. We are working on that including that we have also put into facility management consequence and contract management so that there is consequence for not doing proper repairs and maintenance. I can provide the member with our new updated strategy on how to improve facility management. Also on facility management, we can’t be in a situation where we are six months into the new financial year and we have only spent about 30% of our capital budget. So, yes, we have problems there, but we are working on it.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: As Parliament we can really attest to that.
Ms M L MOSHODI: Thank you, Deputy House Chair. I think I was covered because the hon Minister has already answered my question.
I was going to ask her what plans are put in place to improve the maintenance of the public infrastructure. So I was listening very carefully and she has already answered my question. Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Deputy
Chairperson, we must also first understand that state land must be distributed by all spheres of government, and the answer that I’m going to give is that state-owned land it’s been transferred by the Department of Public Works to support the land reform programme because we are holding the land just in custodianship on behalf of the public. So, since 1999 up till now, we’ve released
181 properties for land restitution purposes that amount to just over 11 696 hectors of land.
We’ve also avail 22 properties for human settlement purposes amounting to over 2 770 hectors of land and that we have avail to the Department of Human Settlements. We have also released 60 properties with an extent of about 21 739 hectors to Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development from 2000 to date for land redistribution purposes. So, this is the record I could find from 1999 up till now. Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.
Mr E R LANDSMAN: Through you Deputy Chair, hon Minister, partly you have answered me, but the department does not deal with land alone, it’s three spheres plus there’s a Department of Land. My follow-up is, for argument sake...
... waar ek vandaan kom ... Danville ... daar is baie gebiede soos die ... Danville, Mafikeng, Danville, Northwest. Jy kan in ’n huis kom waar die ouma-grootjie in haar neentigerjare is en die ouma in haar sewentigerjare is. Die ander een is 50. Ek wil net iets wys. Die toestand ... Want, as ons nie land het om ons te help nie, dan kom kry jy vyf tot ses geslagte in een huis. [Tussenwerpsels.]
So, this is the crisis we are sitting with in our areas. So, I am asking about those crises. But I am happy about how you are addressing issues in the Cape Town side, to make sure that it’s not only the rich that benefit, but all people. By so doing, you don’t allow the inequality party to succeed. Minister, I’m happy with your response... [Interjections.] ... The question is, call all the people from all the areas that don’t have accommodation because there is no land available. One of the people listed in
that was last year... [Interjections.] ... if there is, I am making an example of Denville, but there’s many areas across the country where they have a problem of can’t even build Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, for the poor. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: I can say that,
now that we have got the report from the Land Advisory Committee, the instruction to all Ministers is that we need to start implementing some of those recommendations. Hon Landsman, just in the past three months we have released more than 14 000 hectors of land to Human Settlements and we are still busy identifying more. Thank you.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chair, Deputy Chair, I do apologise. Hon Minister, will you ensure that government’s proposed land reform policy of expropriation without compensation will require the title deeds of state-owned properties under your department’s custodianship, be published before being transferred to beneficiaries to verify that they are now active land claims on that property?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon Deputy Chair,
I didn’t hear the member, because of the noise coming from this side. Can I ask if the member can repeat the question?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Brauteseth, just a moment. Can you please request your Whip to respect the fact that you are speaking to hon Minister because every time that the Minister didn’t hear, it was your Whip that was making noise. You must speak to her. Hon Brauteseth, you can continue. Do see, she really didn’t hear the question.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Through you Deputy Chair, hon Minister, I do apologise for the behaviour of my colleagues, here and everywhere. Minister, just a practical issue, obviously your department is going to grapple more and more with the issue of expropriation without compensation. So, the question simply is this, what systems do you have in place to make sure that there are no active land claims involved in land that is being earmarked for redistribution? That’s a simple question.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: In actual fact, you are asking the wrong Minister, because they are the custodians of state properties, not the custodians of anything else. So, you are
asking the wrong Minister. Minister, what hon Mantashe usually says is that, when you get a question like that one, if you have any information that can educate the member, you can use it. But if you none, it’s fine.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon Deputy Chair,
I can say that in the past two months the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has released more than 100 pieces of land for restitution, and it has all gone to the National Lands Claims Commission. As a result, I am putting pressure on them to make sure that they hand over that land to the beneficiaries. Some of our people are dying while waiting for land restitution claims.
So, we are working very hard to complete all of those outstanding land restitution claims. In terms of expropriation, there is a question on that, and I will respond when I have come to that question. Thank you.
Cllr T B MATIBE: Hon Deputy Chair, firstly, let me thank the Minister for the answers. I want to check about the some institutions, more especially your municipalities that make request in terms of the distribution of the land. I want to give a specific example like Musina Municipality, which is a special
economic zone and where land is required for that purpose of special economic zone as well as the settlement of the people.
So, are you able to tackle the requests that are done by municipalities in relation to land? I’m very specific on this one because it’s my constituency. I want to know whether are you going to deal with it? If you don’t have an answer, I can get it afterwards. The municipality have made a request in relation to the release of land. Thanks.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon member, I am
aware about the specific request. I will get the details and I will forward them to your office tomorrow. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: The national
Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has identified 22 land parcels within the Western Cape province to be released for human settlement purposes. The department has received requests from the Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements, from various municipalities and also from the Housing Development Agency and they have supplied us with all the relevant supporting
documents aligned to the Integrated Development Plan of the municipalities.
These requests are then subjected to the relevant administrative processes and once these processes support the release of the properties for human settlement purposes, then it will get ministerial approval and thereafter it will get the National Treasury endorsement and then thereafter it will be transferred to the relevant municipalities and government entities that had requested land. But we are working on 22 land parcels and once these properties we have gone through all the processes, we will release it as soon as possible.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Deputy Chair, I note that the question asked for a list but the Minister does not include the properties of Ysterplaat, Denel, Culemborg, Youngsfield, Wingfield and Upper Darling Street. These properties have the potential to yield approximately 93 000 accommodation units in addition to the 9 852 accommodation units that have been or are being built or planned to be built in Cape Town by the DA-led government.
But, the Minister, of course, knows this. I have in my possession a letter from the Minister when she was the mayor of Cape Town to
the former President asking for the release of that land. Minister, my colleague hon Emma Powell asked you the same question and I know that Member of the Mayoral Committee, MMC Malusi Booi asked you the same question. You accused them of crèche politics. But can we just get serious?
Will the Minister please tell the House while she is flipping and flopping on this crucial issue that will determine the quality of life and dignity of so many Cape Town residents? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Well I ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Minister, before you respond, I get very worried when I hear gossiping here in the House. I don’t know what to ... but that is gossip now so I get very worried. [Interjections.] Respond to the issues that are relevant, leave the gossip. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: ... will respond
because I know I’m not at a primary school today so I will respond to the questions Deputy Chairperson. I think it is also relevant
that members get the necessary knowledge of the process of land release.
Now, if you look at the process of land release, it is the responsibility of all three spheres of government to release land. Now, we want to see more integrated cities; we want to deal with apartheid spatial planning and those properties owned by the SA National Defence Force, SANDF, is owned by them, it is not in the custodianship of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
If you go and read an Act of Parliament of 1992, it was the Queen of England, during the colonial days, through that Act, that gave the military pieces of land all over the country and I am looking at that Act to see how we can repeal it because I am not here to serve the Queen of England, I am here to serve the Constitution of this country. [Applause.] So, that piece of legislation, I just know it’s an Act of 1992 I can’t have the right, title, actually, the land is the property of the army right now and we must deal with that law because I think the Constitution supersedes that law and that land must be released.
But, in the meantime, can I just add, there are many other pieces of land. In the City of Cape Town, there are at least 3 000 pieces of land that are available right now to build houses, right now. [Applause.]
Mr E J NJANDU: Deputy Chair, hon Minister, there is a lot of unutilised residential and non-residential owned by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. Are there any future plans earmarked for those properties to be used by the public?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Yes, thank you
hon member, all land must be released following a Spatial Development Framework. Land is zoned for different areas, for commercial, residential and for agriculture. So, the National Spatial Development Framework that has now gone out for public participation for the next 60 days will determine when we release the land for what purpose we will release the land for and that is going to help all of us because nationally we will be able to design our country spatially to know what land must be used.
You are right. There are lots of underutilised land and buildings in the custodianship of the department and we are guided by the Advisory Panel on Land Reform report that advises the government. For the first time, we have got a holistic approach to land, land
redistribution, land restitution and land tenure. All of those ways of how we can do land reform will be followed guided by the National Spatial Development Framework.
Mr E R LANDSMAN: Hon Minister, has the department received any reports on state land invasions around the city of Cape Town or the farm areas in the Western Cape? And what plans are in place to ensure – let’s be very clear – that those people who occupy such land do not face eviction until a permanent solution is found?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: thank you hon
member, although it is a new question but I know that we have got
1 500 pieces of state land that is being invaded. If the member asks me a follow-up question, I can give him a breakdown of where the 1 500 is, that is what we know of. I’m sure there are many more that we do not know of and then I can give you a breakdown in a new question. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You will have to wait for the next question session. [Interjections.] Hon Nhanha!
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Question 214,
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The corruption issue. Hon Nhanha, can you tell me how old are you? [Laughter.]
Mr M NHANHA: Deputy Chairperson, my age is not a secret. I am 21- years-old.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am worried about your age because when we ask people to keep quiet so as to allow the Minister to speak, you never keep quiet. That is stuff for Grade 1 or Grade 2. [Laughter.]
Mr M NHANHA: Deputy Chairperson, please accept my apology.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is it? Is it a follow-up? Okay after hon Dangor.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon Deputy
Chairperson, the department has implemented a fraud and prevention strategy and continues to make great gains against fraud and corruption. The strategy is based on four pillars: we want to
prevent corruption, to detect corruption wherever it is, investigate and then resolution.
Since the 2015-16 financial year, the unit conducted 142 investigations on serious allegations of fraud and corruption in the department, of which 107 has since been completed. Sixteen cases are at various stages and 19 cases were referred to law enforcement agencies. Also, as a result of these investigations, we are busy with disciplinary procedures initiated on 215 cases against some individuals. Out of the 215, 154 have been finalised so far. A total of 22 cases consist of criminal acts related to misrepresentation, fraud and corruption and that has been referred to the SAPS for further investigation and possible prosecution.
To eliminate fraud and corruption in the department, we also have to change the behaviour of our employees. In terms of our governance framework, we continuously have performance improvement training and governance obligations with regard to what we call the compliance framework. We have also established a consequence management and contract management unit so that there can be consequences and employees must know that.
We are working with the Special Investigating Unit, SIU. We have a proclamation from the President until 2020. So, we don’t need to go to the President every time to ask for a proclamation. The SIU investigations have so far led to investigation of the private sector, prestige and leases in the department.
Emanating from the investigations, we have instituted disciplinary action against departmental officials. As a result, 79 disciplinary procedures were initiated and finalised. Sanctions reigned from written warning, final written warning and dismissals. In 15 cases, people were suspended without pay and in
10 cases, there was insufficient evidence.
The SIU is also busy with 72 criminal investigations. Seventeen of these matters are currently with the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, 29 are still under consideration by the NPA and five matters have already been referred to the SAPS while some might be before the courts now.
Also, the SIU is seeking to recover R1,3 billion in losses suffered by the department as a consequence of corruption and fraud. The Assert Forfeiture Unit, AFU, is also busy helping us to recover that money. Where we find some corruption with leases and
there is an admission of guilt by the owner or private sector, we offset it against their rental and so far we have been able to offset R129 million. Thank you.
Mr M DANGOR: It is a very comprehensive report and we hope we can get it in writing as well, but just to say that beyond accountability, there is effective and economical administration in the department. How much of that have we put in place now to ensure that everything is economic, effective and can be deliverable? Thank you, Minister and Deputy Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Deputy
Chairperson, unfortunately the department also had a high turnover of Ministers. This has impacted on the turnaround strategy put in place in 2012, 2015 and 2017. Trying to bring all of these together into a manageable ... taking from what is good out of those turnaround strategies. We now have an opportunity because the department has reconfigured. So, we are busy reconfiguring the whole department and at the same time seeing how we can prevent and detect corruption by putting in the necessary systems in place. It is a process that we hope to conclude by the end of the year.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Thank you Deputy Chairperson, Minister, thank you for that very detailed response; I am a former Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, member and I appreciate that level of detail. I rise to help you today, Minister. Your current director-general, Adv Sam Vukela, is a man with a chequered past. He engineered the irregular and possibly criminal expenditure of hundreds of millions of rands with the SAPS lease deal in Pretoria and with Nkandla in 2013. He was dismissed and reinstated after a dodgy arbitration deal and was paid R2 million for his trouble.
A year ago, your predecessor, hon Nxesi asked President Ramaphosa to remove him as director-general, DG. The former Minister told Scopa that Vukela was the head of a corruption syndicate in your department and would return Public Works to the days before Nkandla.
Minister, when will you remind the President to stop the bleeding and dismiss Vukela, once and for all?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I once again, Minister, have to remind you that if you don’t have ... [Inaudible.] ... you’ll come back to us.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Deputy ... it is
the responsibility of the President to deal with directors- general. Ministers don’t get involved. So, that question must be put to the President.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am saying that this is a specific question that needs a specific response. The question is relevant but needs a specific response. If she doesn’t have the specific information, will it be wrong if I request that she comes back to you? I am just saying because there are some people that feel that I am not responding correctly to this.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Thank you Deputy Chairperson, Minister, you have inherited the most corrupt department ... [Interjections.] ... I just want to check with you about the recently built High Court in Limpopo that was supposed to be built for R349 million and in the end almost R900 million was spent; close to a billion. Minister, are you aware of the corruption that was happening when the court was being built and what are you doing about it? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: I can just say,
hon member, that this is part of the SIU investigations.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That should suffice. That information will come back here. As soon as the SUI has concluded the investigations, she will then be able to respond.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Thank you hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, let me also thank you for the responses to the questions. My question relates to the first phase of the Public Service Commission, PSC, report. Can the Minister take the House into confidence with regard to progress around that matter but not into detail, just a snapshot? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you hon
member, my predecessor has approached the Labour Court in Braamfontein to declare the 12 senior management appointments invalid and irregular. So, the matter is currently before the court. I only received the final report of the PSC last week regarding middle management and lower management. There are some clear recommendations. What I need to do now is to approach the state law advisor to appoint an outside company to implement the recommendations of the PSC report. So, it is ongoing.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: The Department of
Public Works and Infrastructure has vacant land parcels many of
which are not in use or going to be used in the near future. So, we have already identified about 15 big piece buildings that be used for workshops or warehouses. With regard to where we have identified them, we have identified six in the Western Cape, four in the North West, two in the Free State, two in KwaZulu-Natal, one in Limpopo and one in the Eastern Cape.
In terms of regulation 16(a) of Treasury, certain government departments provide subsidies in their respective areas. So, the onus is on the prospective applicant for the use of state properties to approach the relevant department or entity for possible use following due process. As we all know in the main section 217 of the Constitution says that we at all times utilise a process that is competitive and transparent and also the Public Finance Management Act require all the government departments to follow a fair and equitable transparent and competitive and cost- effective processes. So, when people make applications for the 15 that we save, there are more, but we started identifying exactly for that purpose that can go sooner out of the system is to apply and then we will follow all the due processes.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. Minister, the reality is that small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, throughout the country receive funding and that funding is never
enough. Their intended projects fail because they have to redirect some of the funding which they received for the projects to business purposes. Are you considering in your term doing some sort of an audit relating to all government buildings which are available in assisting these SMMEs housing them for business purposes? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon member, yes,
we are busy with that. I had a meeting with Dr Thami Mazwai of small businesses development from the National Development Plan. It’s on their request that we are beginning to identify buildings where small businesses can start doing business.
If maybe small business comes to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, we can always arrange that if buildings are transferred between government departments, it can be transferred free of charge. So, there are opportunities now where those unused buildings can be used by SMMEs. The Minister of Small Business Development has already also requested for those buildings and land so that she can also use it for small businesses. So, it’s a process and I hope that by early next year, we will be able to scope the whole country and see where we can release land for
small and medium enterprises. It’s very important. People do need the land and the buildings.
But in the mean time, if there are people who need one, they can immediately approach the department. We can assist them to follow the process to apply.
Mr W A S AUCAMP: Thank you, Deputy Chair. Thank you, hon Minister. Hon Minister, as you are well aware that this project has worked very well in the City of Cape Town, will you be willing to engage with the DA-led government of Cape Town on the practical implementation and solutions on a project like this? Thank you. [Interjections.]
Die ADJUNKVOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Los die politiek!
Die MINISTER VAN OPENBARE WERKE EN INFRASTRUKTUUR: Hulle wil nie
hoor nie! [Gelag.]
You know, at a... [Interjections.]
Nee, ek het hom gehoor!
As a Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, I hope that we are building a country where we are all subject to the rule of law and that all due processes must be followed. I have just answered the question where I was telling you that we are in a process of releasing 22 pieces of land in the Western Cape. I am not just going to release the information, provincial government applied, municipalities and the housing development agency. So, if there is anybody who is interested in state-owned land, they must apply for it. But then, you must also get to the provincial government to release their own land and to your local municipalities to release their own land. They don’t just need to rely on Public Works land.
Mr W A S AUCAMP: That was not how the question was asked. The hon Minister indicated that she did not heard the question. Maybe I should repeat the question because it’s clear that she did not heard the question. That was not the question.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What part of the question do you feel was not responded to? Is it part of the DA? [Interjections.]
Mr W A S AUCAMP: The fact of the matter is that as we ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Because she has already responded to the Cape Town one. She responded earlier to the Cape Town one.
Mr W A S AUCAMP: Deputy Chair?
Die ADJUNKVOORSITTER VAN DIE NRVP: Ekskuus?
Mr W A S AUCAMP: You have asked me a question. Can I reply? As is expected from Ministers to work ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We really don’t hear you because members are making noise.
Mr W A S AUCAMP: You have asked me a question, Deputy Chair. As is with Ministers, they should co-operate with all different sectors of government. The question was, is the hon Minister willing to consult with the DA-led government of Cape Town, who has
implemented this very successfully? That question has not been answered. It’s a simple question, is she willing to consult?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can I repeat what I have said. There was a previous question that asks directly about something that happened in Cape Town. The hon Minister responded comprehensively of the engagement and interaction that she had whether with the government of the Western Cape. So, I haven’t seen any indication that she has a problem to engage them. So, I don’t know why you are trying to make politics out of this thing. Let us continue. I will ask the hon Mamaregane to ask her question. Mamaregane? Can we continue? Can we get order in this House? [Interjections.] Whose House is this? Order! [Interjections.]
Ms M L MAMAREGANE: Thanks, hon Deputy Chairperson. Hon Minister, is there a government policy on the disposal of unused properties of the state for commercial use or other use, if not, why not, if so, what are the relevant details? Thank you. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Before we continue, hon Labuschagne, I saw you standing.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chairperson, in all respects, I rise on a point of order. Deputy Chairperson, I really request, you made a personal comment towards me in a previous ruling. I oversee that. But I really request you not to be biased because you cannot sit and get into a dialogue with members in a certain situation jokingly and then protect any Minister, not only this Minister.
Ministers are here, they can answer for themselves. Let us not start with that kind of ruling, please.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: If it was a point of order, I would have dealt with it as a point of order. So, we will continue. Mamaregane, you asked the question. Minister, can you respond to that. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon member, there
is an Act called the Government Immovable Asset Management Act, Giama, and we follow all the processes in there on how to dispose land. We treat everyone equal under that law. We don’t go and consult somebody here and sit down here in the corner. No!
Everybody must apply in terms of the Giama Act. So, we do have a programme and there are many transactions and contracts that they are busy with at the moment.
Mr K MOTSAMAI: I was just wanted to say I have a concern when the Minister raises the truth about the land because our people need land. When our people need land, there are those who want to attack the Minister. I say ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Motsamai, what is your question?
Mr K MOTSAMAI: I feel unfair when the people attacked the Minister. My question is how she feels when she raises the issue of the land about our people who are here in Khayelitsha, who don’t have a place to stay whilst others are attacking her. They don’t want our people to get land. How do you feel about that?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, I don’t think
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: I just want to
say something short for him.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Do you want to respond?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: I will say
something short for him.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can we allow the Minister to respond?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon member, izwe
lethu [our land.][Laughter.] lefatshe la rona [our land.] [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon Minister. That brings us to the end of the ... [Interjections.]. [Applause.] That brings us to the end of your session. Thank you very much. You did very well for your first session. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you so
much. I have my own imbongi here. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon de Lille, you are out of order, please. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Deputy Chairperson, Cabinet approved the National Road Safety Strategy in March 2017. Subsequent to this approval an implementation plan has been developed that identify short, medium and long-term interventions to address the high number of accidents and deaths on our roads up to 2030. In line with the implementation plan, the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Act of 2019, AARTO, was signed into law serving as a precursor to the roll-out nationally and the implementation of points demerit system which will come into effect.
The National Road Traffic Amendment Bill of 2019, will be submitted to Parliament soon which amongst others seeks for the first time to regulate the operation and registration of driving schools. The driving schools are a very important stakeholder and role-player in the endeavour to reduce road crushes and carnage in our public roads and therefore key to successful implementation of the strategy. In addition the Bill seeks to amend section 65 of the National Road Traffic Act by introducing a total prohibition of the use and consumption of alcohol by all motor vehicle operators on South African public roads. It does this by deleting reference to any alcohol content in the blood or breathe specimen of motor vehicle drivers on the roads in South Africa.
Simultaneously, the introduction of 24/7 traffic law enforcement system is imminent. Much work has been done to ensure that traffic policing becomes a 24 hour activity and seven days a week. The Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, has submitted a business case for a shift system to the Department of Public Service and Administration. We are nearing completion of this. To date the only processes holding up the finalisation of this matter is the approval of the provincial business cases by the executive councils of the various provinces.
Furthermore, the issue of fraud and corruption in the issuance of roadworthy certificates, drivers’ licenses and general law enforcement by traffic officers is receiv9ing high priority. In an effort to address and deal with these matters the department has implemented a number of road safety interventions such as developing and implementing legislation that require certain vehicles to be governed by particular speed.
Children and passengers may not be transported at the rear of bakies for rewards. Passengers have at all times to wear seat belts while small children and babies have to be in child restraints.
The department has also initiated the development of national antifraud and corruption strategy for the road traffic environment. The department has developed a 365-day action agenda which seeks to reimage road safety and is aimed at transforming road-user behaviour through unconventional intervention. Its successful implementation is dependent on establishing a single chain of command in traffic policing through co-operative governance instruments and implemented through the RTMC as an entity mandated to co-ordinate traffic law enforcement across the country working with all the traffic law enforcement authorities at provincial and municipal level. Our 2019-20 action agenda will focus on 11 critical identified issues as key drivers of unsafe conduct on the roads, namely, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, use of mobile devices while driving, reckless and negligence driving, speeding, safety belts, pedestrians, overloading, motorcyclist, unroadworthy vehicles and unpaid fines.
The theme’s approach does not imply that policing on any other aspect of traffic law enforcement will be abounded. When the spotlight is on that particular theme it merely suggests that aggressive messaging will be a focus on the theme. In breathing
life into this action agenda we have adopted the slogan Okae Molao 24/7 365 days waya waya.
The festive seasons plans that we have in place include synchronise and unannounced road blocks, deployment of corruption busting team that will put the fear of God in the hearts of those who solicit and pay bribes and visits to popular drinking spots throughout the country as part of our traffic law enforcement.
In conclusion, the department recognises that the war on road carnage requires collaboration with society and corporate partners and will therefore work closely with all sectors and other organs of state in implementing measures aimed at changing road-user behaviour in making our roads safer.
Ms M L MOSHODI: Thanks very much, Deputy Chair. Hon Minister, in the townships and rural areas the transportation of school children on the rear of bakkies for reward is a daily occurrence. What is the department doing to curb this dangerous practice?
Secondly, visibility of traffic officers on the roads plays a major role in changing the attitude of the drivers. Will there be a greater visibility on all major roads including the identified hot spots? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: It is an undisputable fact that light duty vehicles, LDVs, play a key role in creating access to transport for many people who live in remote and poorly resourced areas where public transport do not serve due to low passenger volumes and poor roads. That being said, our traffic legislation prohibits the conveyance of people for reward on LDVs. The National Road Traffic Act of 1996 provided for certain safety criteria to be met when transporting persons in goods compartments of LDVs. Under the National Road Traffic Regulations of 2000 as promulgated under the National Road Act of 1996, there are two regulations that directly deal with the conveyance of persons on a goods vehicle, namely, regulation 247 and regulation 250.
Regulation 247 does not allow the practice unless certain safety conditions are met for the sake of compliance. Regulation 247 provides that, no person shall operate on a public road with goods vehicle conveying persons unless that portion of the vehicle in which such persons are being conveyed is enclosed to a height of at least 350 and at least 900 millimetres.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. Thank you for your response. Minister, there is no doubt that the state of carnage in our roads can be directly linked to the safety of
vehicles. The test done by the Automobile Association, AA, and the Global NCAP have shown that South African vehicles are way behind the global standard. The problem is the innovations like the antilock braking system, ABS, electronic stability control and airbags. In our industries they are sold as optional extras. That is unacceptable! Standard devices like these in a vehicle should be standard and should be mandatory to protect our passengers in our vehicles. The question to you Minister is that: Will you have a resolve to tackle this matter head-on and initiate legislation or regulations that make standard things such as airbags, ABS and stability control in vehicles standard and mandatory, and not tools that the manufacturing industry can use to make profit?
These are standard items that must protect our people. Minister, will you take action in that regard? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Yes, we should at all times be ready to protect the vulnerable. And in this particular instance as government we will be on the side of those people who are vulnerable. Initiating legislation is one such. With your support as legislators we are ready to implement that. Correctly said, that is linked to profit when it comes to private sector because when you purchase a vehicle with any extra into it you have to pay. That is quite exorbitant.
Your safety is not a standard rule. Whatever amount you may purchase the vehicle there are standard required elements in that vehicle that must be compulsory, for example, airbags and all that that. The vehicle must have them and not dependent on the size of your pocket.
Man B T MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa, Xandla xa Mutshamaxitulu. Holobye, xin’wana lexi engetelaka makhombo lamo tala emagondzweni i ku sungula ku lunghisa magondzo hi nkarhi wa tiholideyi. Xikombiso, gondzo ra Polokwane–Sekgopo-Giyani i gondzo leri nga na tilori letikulu swinene. Sweswi gondzo leri ri le kulunghisiweni. A ri fambeki! Ndzi lava ku tiva leswaku xana hitihi tindlela leti mi ti tirhisaka ku papalata ku sungula ku lunghisa magondzo hi nkarhi wa tiholideyi leswaku vanhu va kota ku hlayiseka emagondzweni? Ndza khensa.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: There are roads that belong to provinces and there are those that belong to us, the South African National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral. Based on negotiations some of the roads have been surrendered to us. There are many of them
like the road between Mthatha and Engcobo in the Eastern Cape which is not fixed. It has been fixed, but now there is a report that funds were embezzled and we have to intervene and assist the province to fix that road because it is totally unfixed. Roads must be fixed at all times whether festive or not. Regional roads must be fixed by the province and those that belong to us must be fixed by us. But sometimes we work with province and do that.
I don’t think I agree with you that road fixing must be aligned to festive seasons. We fix roads. Like now we will be launching a big project that has been in the pipeline for many years. The next coming weeks the Moloto Corridor project will be implemented under this sixth administration. We know that many people are dying in the Moloto Corridor. We will fix that road, develop and create
12 000 over a period of four years and it will be untolled. It combines Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng. I agree with you where we identified hot sports and roads that are unfixed we need to fix them and it must not be seasonal, but we must do it at all times.
The provinces must also prioritise. It shouldn’t be always national but provinces must also prioritise the roads that need to be fixed. If there is corruption and embezzlement there must be consequences. I gave you an example about the Eastern Cape. The
road between Mthatha and Engcobo is still not fixed and the people who were fixing it have disappeared with the resources. When I went to Engcobo to deal with the church, when I was the Minister of Police, that road was still not fixed. Even now it is still not yet fixed. We will work with the province to get that road fixed and they will get those who have disappeared with the embezzled resources and bring them to book. So I agree with you, hon member.
Mr M S MOLETSANE: Thank you, Deputy Chair. Hon Minister, I am partly answered about the issue of roads because I have the same concern about the road between Kroonstad and Viljoenskroon. The other issue is the issue of people who are buying drivers licences. These people disobey the rules of the road because they don’t understand the importance of road signs. I just want to find out what are you going to do because people are dying. As you have already highlighted they don’t only die during festive season, but they also die almost daily because of such ignorance from people who don’t understand the importance of road sings. What are you going to do in order to correct such measures? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: The buying of drivers licenses is an act of corruption which we are exercising in the system. Among others we are going to regulate and we start with the drivers
license schools. We are going to regulate them and close everything that is unregulated. That’s what we are going to do. We must be in a position in terms of the system to curtail any form of corruption not to enable anyone to have it easy to buy a drivers licence. Technology is also going to be important in the issuing of drivers licences so that we can curtail any form of corruption that occur in the system.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Yes, I have been advised that there is backlog in the processing of applications for tourists operator licences by the National Public Transport Regulator. The department has appointed additional staff to fast track the processing and issuing of operating licenses for tourists operating licenses. In addition to this, the department has appointed a service provider to redesign the national land transport information system in order to address the shortcomings of the current system which further compounds the delays.
The department has similarly organised workshops in partnerships with the Department of Tourism and with tourist operators to raise awareness on requirements and processes for the accreditation of tourist operators and issuing of operating licences. The maximum
waiting period for all operating licences, including tourist operator licences is 90 days.
Yes, the law provided for the protection of operators who are waiting for the finalisation of their applications to renew their operating license. This protection is only available to renewal applications as first time operators are not allowed to operate without an operating licence.
Regulation 25 stipulates that where an application for renewal was properly made within 30 days before the expiry of the licence and the regulatory entity has not issued the licence by the expiry date, the operating licence will remain valid until the entity issues the renewed licence or notify the applicant that the application has been refused.
Section 50 of the National Land Transport Act 2009, stipulates that no one may operate public transport unless he or she is a holder of an operating licence. The process of appointing members of the National Public Transport Regulator, NPTR, is a transparent process which starts with the call for nominations through open media and sharing the call of nominations with the Department of Tourism.
The appointment is finalised based on the received nominations, etc.
The law requires that members of the NPTR must have specialised knowledge, like public transport, transport economics, accounting, auditing, accrual science, law, tourism, transport and vehicles standards and specifications.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Deputy Chair, Minister, the state of affairs in this tourism linked sector is largely due to the meddling and executive overreach of this board. My research says the board is out of control and it is acting completely against the existing law and the relevant regulations. This board based arrogance, is having a severe effect on the tourism industry and severely hampering the entrance of new operators to the sector.
So, the question I need to ask you is will you intervene and advice those responsible to ... [Inaudible.] ... and stick to their legislative duties? In essence Minister, what we need to know from you is, will you ...
... moer hulle?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon member, I am just five months here in this responsibility, I may be giving you an answer here like I have done so but my intention is to get down to business and to ensure that we are able to deal with whatever challenges we are faced with in terms of National Public Transport Regulator, NPTR, and address all the issues and deal with the board because we cant allow individuals to hold us ransom and undermine the system because it affects economic booming of the small medium enterprises in this particular space because most of them gets affected. So, we can’t be held ransom by the board so trust me ...
... ons gaan hulle lekker doen.
Mr M DANGOR: Minister, is experience in tourism a prerequisite to sit on this regulatory board?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon member, the Act stipulate that the specialised knowledge like we said is a prerequisite and experience taken collectively should at least cover the areas that are mentioned which is transport, transport economics, accounting, auditing or accrual science, the law and tourism transport.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Chairperson, let me appreciate the commitment by the Minister to appoint additional staff to deal with backlog. Hon Minister, one of the concerns of the tourists’ operators is the reluctance on our part to use Regulation 38 which says tourist operators can get temporary licence within 24 hours, provided certain requirements are met. I am basing this point within the context of the commitment by the hon Minister, to deal with the backlog. Will the Minister look into that regulation in order to alleviate the backlog that we are talking about? Thank you, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: We will deal with that to ensure that, amongst others, the regulations that guide us on this are fully implemented by the board.
Mong K MOTSAMAI: Modulasetulo, Letona, ke kopa hore Letona le re tsebise hore na le tla etsa jwang ho hlokomedisa le ho thibela ho salla morao nakong e tlang.
TONA YA DIPALANGWA: Jaaka re setse re tlhalositse rra, ... ga ke itse ke go bitse Tona kgotsa ... [Setshego.] [Tsenoganong.] ... motlotlhegi? [Setshego.] ... Oho! Leloko la Palamente le le tlotlegang? Ke batlile ke go bitsa Tona ... [Setshego.] ... ke ne ke go file maemo. Jaaka re tlhalositse mo puong ya rona gore, re tla atisa mananeo gore re kgone go berekela gore mananeo ao, re kgone go lwantshana le mmereko o montsi o o saletseng kwa morago gore dilo di tsamae ka tshiamo le nako. Ke a leboga.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, board of control has approved security strategy that is set to improve the security of commuters and employees, safeguard rail assets and infrastructure. The strategy mandates and direct security services to implement integrated security service and modern security solutions.
The implementation of contemporary security technology as a workforce multiplier, contribute to operational security deployment and efficacy.
Modern technologies included the deployment of drones, specialised vehicles, perimeter walling and the hardening of assets to prevent
and reduce intentions of theft and malicious damage to property. The increasing cost of security deployment are reduced through a continuous review of the security risks adjustment in the resources required to secure the assets and infrastructure, procurement and implementation of modern security technologies.
The up skilling of Prasa security officers is a continuous process to ensure compliance with Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, Psira, registration requirements.
Officers are furthermore provided additional training such as peace officers to enhance professionalism and up skill competency levels.
The operational effectiveness of security to fulfil its mandate is based on the continuous security risk threat and vulnerability of assessments. The Passenger Rail Agency of SA commenced the process of reclaiming stations and train operations for security and safety effectiveness will focus on maintaining security interventions.
The operational security action plans include the deployment of security on trains in the identified corridors to protect the
safety of commuters. The deployment of security is guided by the security risk threat vulnerability.
Weekly and monthly joint planning meetings with the SA Railway Police integrate and strengthen security intervention and reduce vulnerability of Prasa. The passenger rail system is old and outdated and has reached the end of its design life with the infrastructure and the rolling stock prone to failure.
To further exacerbate this situation, rapid urbanisation has led to large communities settling close to the rail network and encroaching on to the rail service. This has led to the increase in vandalism and theft of the railway infrastructure.
The Passenger Rail Agency of SA has commenced a rail modernisation programme. In the next 10 years government will be investing in access of R173 billion in modernising the rail network nationally by acquiring new modern trains, installing new signalling system, upgrading the pair ways and the station and upgrading rolling stock depots which is the work in progress as we speak. Thank you.
Ms Z V NCITHA: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, thank you for a comprehensive response to the question. As a result my follow-up
question was going to be on those that encroach and settle in the rail. You have also responded to that. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr W A S AUCAMP: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, commuters who use rail as a means of transport have plummeted from 2,7 million users in 2008, to just over one million to date. This is largely due to safety concerns of those passengers.
When will the Minister agree to the devolution of the rail safety function to the provinces and the metros and also initiate regulations that will allow for a decentralised special railway police or security service as was successfully rolled out by the DA-led government in the City of Cape Town? [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon member, our challenge is not lying on the devolution. It is lying on the business model that has been devastated over the years, like we have reported in our report that the stock is old and outdated.
Now, you will know in the system that we have the biggest factory in Gibela that is producing the new rolling stock and we are in the process of rolling it out. The first main corridor through the
intervention of the war room this Friday, will sure case that that is up and operational. It has only challenges in the afternoon.
Good signalling and good revenue because people pay for the service that is good for them and that is Pienaarspoort. It is generating profit. I may not give you the figures now, but it is our new model.
What we are doing now we are actually intervening through the war room to ensure that what we were supposed to do with regard to the rail network in our country, the passenger rail it is something that is worth and that everybody will buy a ticket and actually use it because the passenger rail is affordable to the poorest of the poor who in the Western Cape in particular, we have about 20 000 people who are not catered by the taxis because of the stalling of MyCiTi programme, Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, in the Western Cape. We have that particular challenge and therefore we need to get this people into the taxis which are unaffordable.
The main line corridor network is totally devastating because we have all sorts of challenges. So, in terms of the war room intervention and the things I have actually mentioned, fixing the pair way, dealing with derailments and all of those particular
things, are things that in a period of 15 weeks to come, they will be history.
The upgrading of the rolling stock as we wish is actually happening and it will happen faster. By the time we reach December, we will have produced 164 new trains which will be dispatched in the main corridors in the country. In the next 15 weeks, all the challenges we have in terms of our rolling stock and the network not responding in terms of time will have been reduced fundamentally.
As we now speak, we have challenges, but in terms of time and all that we are able to respond adequately through the war room and changing things in our trains. We have the turnaround strategy which has not been implemented, but the war room as a mechanism of intervention, ensures that we do not deal with things on a short, you know, stopgap measure we are permanent in a way. The solution whether it lies in the devolution, we will disagree. The question is: We have Prasa, the board and a company that must run properly and we are filling critical vacancies. We have filled three important vacancies at Prasa led by black women. That is the chief financial officer, human resource and also the chief procurement officer. [Applause.]
We are now going for the filling of the vacancy through the board of the chief executive officer, CEO. So, critical vacancies were depleted. That place was completely in a state of devastation. We are addressing that.
In terms of security our approach is different. We are taking an approach where in which security in terms of Prasa we are no longer simply dealing with the security what is called outsourcing security. We want over a period of time to in source the security and built internal capacity within Prasa, which will collaborate with the police and so on to bring about security in our airlines and protect the commuters and so on. That process has started through the war room.
You would have seen that there has been a security interruption because we stopped all the contracts. Why should we have security and pay it millions and billions? Yet we have cable theft and all other things. What do we do in terms of security? We are going to put on the fences around the corridor lines where in which there is encroachment because of urbanisation. We will work with municipalities everywhere including in Cape Town, to ensure that the bylaws are respected.
So, that is what we are in the process of doing and in the next 15 weeks which are critical, you are going to see change in relation to that. Person power in the trains to deal with people who simply get there and do not pay, but at the same time our rolling stock must be up to standard, must run on time and that is what is important.
So, we will implement a security system which is combative, but at the same time, it is a security system that deals with people whenever there is disorder in the trains and all of that. We will combine that training work hand in hand with the SA Police Service, SAPS, which requires a lot of money, but we have secured funding through the Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, to train our security capacity in the trains going forward. That is where we are heading to in changing the situation in the trains going forward. Thank you, Chair.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, you have actually covered and answered some of the things I wanted to ask especially the issue of in sourcing the security. That is really appreciated. However, in the meantime we see you have a plan going forward in a lot of things, but in the meantime, like recently we know there was an incident where there was a scuffle broke out
between the commuters and the security. The problem is with the big cities. That incident happened here in Cape Town where a security guard ended up shooting one of the passengers.
So, in the meantime what is the interim plan?
We also appreciate what you mentioned earlier on when you said you decided to cancel most of the contracts of those security companies. However the problem with them was contracts were awarded to security companies and they took people without training. So, what is it that you are going to do in the meantime just to make sure and verify all the people that are appointed in the current companies that are in the rail stations?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Yes. What we are doing in the meantime, we have actually activated net joins as we embark on the process of a new security arrangement going forward, net joins that include the police and everybody to assist. They have activated rail way police. It is a stopgap measure. It is not sustainable.
In Prasa, in terms of permanent security, 3 000 security personnel which we intend to increase. At the same time we redirect and ask
for deviation from the Treasury to redirect that money to invest in the permanent security arrangement going forward.
So, within the timeframes I have actually mentioned we should be in the position to see an improvement in the main corridors as we seek to upgrade and at the same time to deal with all the backlogs that we are facing there.
I mean the major corridors that are affected you will know, it is Umlazi, it is the main line in Cape Town, it is Johannesburg, Mabopane and so on. We intend to make an impact there. We do not want people to be riding on top of the trains, free of charge and surfing. That is an old thing. We are going to change it. We are working very hard to do that. We have a plan that is being implemented and is evaluated weekly through the war room.
Yesterday was our 14th week. We have entered the 15th week now which is at the halfway mark. Our report tells us about what we are doing in changing the situation.
Hon members will see and they themselves as people, who hold us accountable, will see these interventions and the changes we are making, particularly within Prasa in terms of those challenges that we know of people not arriving on time and trains getting
burnt down and all of that, over crowding people not paying to ride the trains. The new rolling stock that we are bringing in, we upgrade our security system, we upgrade the signalling and doing all sorts of things. We are bringing in the fencing. The fencing is not going to be normal where in which you put on a fence the next thing you see it in the [Mikhukhus.] informal settlements or shacks. No. It is going to be something beyond imagination so that it is something that you cannot take it home to build a shack.
The bylaws must be enforced working with Prasa to ensure that this encroachment is actually addressed. However, we are not going to wait for bylaws. We are implementing now. The board and the management through the war room are implementing a detailed plan on erecting fencing to protect the rail lines which have been encroached by communities.
So, most of the time, the accidents that happen in the trains happen because where there are boom gates people when they see the train that is coming there, they think that they can just quickly pass. That is when they get into collusion with the trains and we encounter accidents.
So, we are dealing with that in our project of what needs to be done in terms of protecting that particular space. You will know
that Prasa was faced with a big challenge of capital expenditure because it did not have the capacity to do any other thing. We are addressing that looking within state agencies that belong to us to share that capacity with us to be able to monitor and implement and expand capital projects in order for us to make passenger rail safe for our people. Thank you.
Mnu S E MFAYELA: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo. UNgqongqoshe ukhuluma aze akuphendule noma ubusathi usazobuza. Manje uyangiphendula.
Ngiyabona ukuthi ukuba yisemakhaya Ngqongqoshe ngabe kuthiwa wagwinya impepe ngaphakathi esiswini. [Uhleko.]
Bengifuna ukuthi odabeni lukamama umhlonishwa uNcitha, lokuphepha ezitimeleni emalokishini Ngqongqoshe, basathenjelwe kakhulu abantu ezitimeleni. Uma nje besuka emalokishini lapho isitimela yiyona ndlela yezokuthutha ebafikisa emadolobheni.
Kodwa kunendawana engikholwa ukuthi kufuneka ngabe uNgqongqoshe sekwenzeke okuthile. Ngoba seloku ngazalwa nje nami manje lento iselokhu yabanjalo. Kushukuthi yabanjalo ngaphambi kokuzalwa kwami, yokuthi kuhambe isitimela nemoto endaweni eyodwa.
Utholukuthi kuwela isitimela la nemoto futhi iwela khona lapho.
Njengoba uqeda ukukhuluma nje usuke wayithinta lento leyo ukuthi kunama-boom gate asuke avalele imoto, ukuze kuwele isitimela.
Kodwa abantu ke khona kunjalo uye afune umuntu ukuwela esebona ukuthi isitimela siseduze.
Bengithi ke mhlambe Ngqongqoshe njengoba usuke wakuthinta, sengathi ungaphuthuma ngoba izinhlekelele eziningi zenzeka lapho ngesikhathi kuwela izimoto nesitimela ndawonye bese kubhubha abantu. Ngiyathokoza.
UMPHATHISWA WEZOTHUTHO: Lungu elihloniphekileyo, njengokuba sewutshilo ukuba lo mcimbi siwuphethe, ngenyaniso siyakhawuleza ukuze sikwazi ukuba iingxaki ezikhoyo esendithethe ngazo sikwazi ukuba sizigqibe. Kaloku kudala ikhona le ngxaki yoololiwe, yokungabafikisi ngexesha abantu emisebenzini. Nditsho noMongameli wangena kuloliwe wahlala iiyure ngeeyure uloliwe emoshakele kwaye abantu bakhwela ngaphezulu koololiwe. Ndandikunye naye uMongameli ngaloo mini, ndicinga ukuba yilonto le yandibeka kulendawo ndikuyo namhlanje, yezothutho. Phaya abantu bayanyathelana, omnye phezu komnye. Umntu uvuka kusasa ngentsimbi yesine kodwa afike emsebenzini ngeye-11, athi efika emsebenzini agxothwe. Kubantu
bakuthi ngaphandle kwe teksi neebhasi, eyona nto ingabhatalisi mali ininzi nguloliwe. Kwezindawo kufuneka oololiwe, eSoweto, apha kwiilokishi zaseKapa, njalo-njalo. Kubo ukukhwela uloliwe xa besiya emsebenzini ayikokuzithandela koko bayenza kuba efikeleleka. Ngoko ke sithi, xa singakwazi ukuyilungisa lengxaki loo nto ithetha ukuba umsebenzi wethu asiwenzanga. Ngoba ...
... we would have failed the poor of our nation. So, before we come with a speed train which we will our biggest judgement will be whether or not we fix the trains for the poor. That is what we are about. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Manual authorisations have indeed increased over the last year. In April 2019, the total manual authorisations stood at 97 816, rising to 131 020 in May 2019 and
140 631 in June 2019, while in July 2019 the total was 144 469. A decline was recorded for August and September at 104 788 and
82 792 respectively.
The main causes of manual train authorisations, as at the end of September 2019, can be attributed to the following. A total of
237 720 were as a result of theft and vandalism; 288 757 were as a result of faulty tracks; 6 279 were as a result of resignalling; and 164 573 were as a result of signalling defects. This is primarily due to challenges with the maintenance of signalling and related equipment. In some cases, this includes prolonged response time for repairs of faulty signals. A total of 6 187 were as a result of single lines working.
Manual train authorisations result in commuter trains taking longer to reach their destinations due to the 30 kilometers per hour speed restriction imposed on the affected sections of the network. Therefore, the long journey times negatively affect commuter schedules as a result of trains being cancelled, while others are delayed.
The Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, has taken the following actions to address manual authorisations: Resignalling projects to address obsolete signalling equipment; procurement of spares to repair damaged and stolen signalling equipment; vandal-proofing of signalling equipment; corridor fencing, which I’ve already spoken about; projects to protect signalling equipment and rail infrastructure; implementation of a revised security strategy; and the deployment of modernised security technologies. Thank you.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, you’ve summed it up. Manual authorisations are a result of vandalism, theft, dodgy infrastructure and dodgy rails. And as you’ve said, the industry has been devastated over a period of time.
Hon Aucamp pointed out that we’ve had a drop from 2,7 million commuters using our system down to one million. One of the other big reasons for that, other than security, is the fact that it’s unreliable. People can’t get there on time. As you know, manual authorisations lead to massive delays and it messes up the schedule.
So my very hard question to you, Minister, relates to the war room you’ve started. There’s a lot of talk in that war room, but today as we stand in Cape Town, people are not catching trains. They have to go elsewhere simply because the trains are not on time ... because they are being delayed. What concrete steps can you share with South Africa today that you are going to take in the short term to make sure that we sort out our system so that manual authorisations drop down to much less than the million that they are now? They are round about 60 000 a day at the moment. It’s absolutely crazy. How are we going to get rid of that, Minister?
What are you going to do to make sure we get rid of it so people
can slowly but surely start rebuilding their faith in the rail system as a commuter-based solution?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, hon member. I’ve already alluded in detail as to our plans with regard to what we are doing. The war room is really our major intervention. You are right ... as we speak... but we are minimising, because we are in the war room and we are addressing all these things on a daily basis. We are moving from manual to digital. As you would’ve seen, the biggest digital rail network in Gauteng, just behind Esselenpark, was launched by Minister Dipuo, and it has never been operational. We spent billions in that space. By June next year the entire railway network in Gauteng will be digital; no longer manual. All trains will run on time.
I’m saying to you, in terms of the war room intervention, give me
15 weeks to complete the 30 weeks we are implementing in terms of the war room. Then we can talk and you can say to me there is no war room; it’s a talkshop. Even before I reach the 30th week, I want you to go down on the ground and police what I’m doing, and do the oversight. You will see the changes that we are coming up with. Over the years we have been talking and talking, and we design what we call turnaround strategies developed by the
Treasury through an entity called the Government Technical Advisory Centre, GTAC. Yet, when I arrived at Transport that turnaround strategy was gathering dust. Nobody was overseeing that in terms of its implementation. I then said, all hands on deck. I want executive authority in the war room. I want all our regions and I want Prasa’s management and board to oversee.
Now, I can give you a wonderful example. There are components that have been lying around and all it needed was a chief financial officer, CFO, which Prasa did not have, to attach a signature. The war room identified the shortage of those particular components.
We are releasing components faster and even bringing in the rolling stock that was packed at Central Johannesburg, not being utilised ... is going to be released with full speed to complement the numbers so that the trains increase and run on time. That is what we are going to do.
Over and above that, we are relooking at the entirety of the security setup within Prasa. We are talking drones where we cannot reach but at the same time we need quick speed recovery in terms of combat, where in the digital space you can see people stealing
... cable theft ... we need an army that can deal with that particular situation and put it aside.
What we have now within Prasa are crooks masquerading as security companies that are deeply involved in the theft of cables, the theft of copper and the theft of the signalling system, and crippling the system.
You can never run a country if you are not decisive. We are decisive. We have arrived and action will be taken. We are implementing the decisions of the war room. I have women who are there implementing the programmes of Prasa to ensure that we turn that situation around. That’s where we are going. [Applause.] Talk is good but action must accompany the talk. So that’s what we are doing.
An HON MEMBER: Thirty weeks?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you very much. Yes, thirty weeks. [Applause.]
Mr A ARNOLDS: Thank you, hon Chair. Minister, thank you for the statistics on manual authorisations and also for the projects that you have outlined. I think we need to get our rail infrastructure and our rail system up and running. We need to speed up
infrastructure development on train railway lines so that we don’t prolong periods of manual train authorisations ... to avoid that.
In the last five years train accidents in the country happened during manual authorisations. The risk associated with manual authorisations to direct railway traffic and to keep trains clear from each other is too high. You mentioned some of the resignalling projects that are ongoing but I think you also need to clearly state the timeframes in terms of these ongoing projects.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Yes, hon member, I think I can give you those details, except to tell you that everything is subjected to a timeframe because you can have a war room forever, because people enjoy war rooms. You can have a war room for Eskom and then at the end you don’t know what it has achieved. You can have a war room for everything. If you want to go partying, let’s have a war room, and all of that.
So, we have a war room here with fixed timeframes and it knows what it must achieve. I agree with you that if we don’t have fixed timeframes in terms of changing the situation we will not be in a position to make an impact.
The objective of the war room is to make an immediate impact and look into the long term. That’s what’s important so that we bring stability, and people don’t panic and all of that. Then they can see change.
That is actually what we are doing. Train collisions happen because the signalling system is manual but at the same time it is being crippled by theft and so on. We are doing something different, coupled with the security arrangements and technology, to protect what we have actually installed so that trains run on time, there are no accidents ... we minimise ... and that’s what we are doing. Thank you Chair.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Thank you Chairperson. Indeed hon Minister, we must appreciate the improvements that we see in the quest to minimise manual train authorisations. We appreciate this because it will definitely boost the reliability of the transport and also improve the track conditions. This will also definitely have an impact and mitigate train delays, but it will also have an impact on the speed restrictions that the Minister alluded to. Therefore, we are mindful of what you have achieved in the 14 week period of the war room.
Minister, we want to know what has been the driving force that has propelled the Ministry and the leadership of the Ministry to drive this turnaround strategy, mindful of the fact that the recipients and beneficiaries of this turnaround strategy are the working class and the poor, and the fact that the majority of commuters were relegated to the outskirts through apartheid spatial planning?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I think our plans, in terms of what we needed to do, propelled us to look at ourselves in the mirror and realise that the majority of our people in the poor areas of our townships, use trains. Indeed, when you go there the situation is such that you will ask, have we actually achieved freedom? And, what does freedom mean to ordinary South Africans? It means they can catch a train on time, go to work and actually come back.
Like I said, it became vividly clear that this is the biggest challenge. Yes, we can spend billions in building many things but if we don’t reach out by fixing the only thing that takes people to work and back — which is a train — and which sustains livelihood, then we have failed.
I can tell you that the morning when we went with the President on the trains ... I never grew up using trains to go to work and so on. I used busses ... Botshabelo, Thaba 'Nchu and Bloemfontein.
Trains were a luxury when I went to see relatives. To be in a train was something very special because then you had seen heaven. That was the first step to getting into an aeroplane. Getting into an aeroplane was first class. Trains were a luxury and did not have these challenges which we actually have.
When we arrived there with the President ... We arrived at 4:00am and the trains could not arrive. The train only arrived at 7:00am. Then the train ... before ... It actually took us hours and hours. By the time we reached Pretoria Central from Mabopane, it was 12:00pm and the people told us that this is what they are subjected to on a daily basis.
Then I came to Cape Town ... the main line corridor. You have another corridor here which runs ... southern one ... very effective ... good, but you have a main line. I went into that place. ... the same story. I arrived at 4:00am and the trains did not arrive. The train arrived at 8:00am, and halfway to town the train could not move and people had to get out of the train to go to the taxis. They said to me, Minister, we don’t have money to
use a taxi. The taxi fare is R15,00 from where we are to town, and if I have to spend R15,00 every day to come to town my salary is gone. Going to work ... It’s just going to work but I’m spending my salary on transport.
Now, you guys are not fixing the trains. How do I support my livelihood? I don’t want to be on the grant system. I wake up every morning to go and work for my kids and family. I’m not a burden to the state. One thing that we want is a train that works. We will pay for the tickets ourselves every week because we have reliable transport.
Now, that is the reality of the working class in our country. So, the Sixth administration must turn this situation around and address the question of our people in these trains. It’s not only here; it’s in all the provinces ... our major corridors. So, we have to address that. Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: The Department of Transport has finalised the National Learner Transport Policy which was approved by Cabinet in 2015. The objective of the policy is to ensure the provision of a safe and reliable transport service that caters for
the needs of learners. The policies applicable for the transportation of learners from Grade R to Grade 12, including learners with disabilities as defined by the SA School Act of 1996. The Department of Transport is aware of the challenges regarding the coverage of learner transport in the province. Among others, the policy provides that the provincial Department of Education shall be responsible for the selection of learners to benefit from the subsidised learner transport service. The criteria shall not discriminate against gender and race and will not deny access to learners from disadvantaged communities.
Principals after consultation with the school governing bodies must identify learner transport beneficiaries in line with the following criteria: beneficiaries for subsidised learner transport must be a needy learner from Grade R to Grade 12 as prescribed; learner transport must be to the nearest appropriate school; parental choice of schools must not be subsidised; parental choice refers to when parents preferred to enrol their children at schools other than the nearest suitable school; priority must be given to learners with disabilities; and the inclusion of the learner into the subsidised service scheme must take into account existing learner transport services.
The provincial department in KwaZulu-Natal has developed its policy to manage the implementation of the learner transport programme in the province. The policy provides that the identification of beneficiaries for dedicated holy subsidised transport is the responsibility of both the Department of the Education and the Department of Transport. The following criteria are defined in the policy: beneficiaries must be learners from Grade R to 12; the distance travelled must be more than three kilometers; learner transport must be to the nearest appropriate school; and parent choice must not be dedicated subsidised transport. The province has identified the total number of 176 000 learners in 1082 schools who qualified for learner transport in 2019-20 financial year. However, the province plans to transport
58 908 learners in 326 schools which represent only 33% of the total need. Thank you, Chair.
Mnu S E MFAYELA: Ngqongqoshe ngiyabonga kakhulu ukuthi loludaba wudaba olukhona iNqubomgomo yakhiwa ngowezi-2015. Into ehluphayo Ngqongqoshe ukuthi abantu okuyibona okufuneka ngabe le Nqubomgomo bayibona kakhulu yilabo basemakhaya. Uma ingakabonakali emakhaya noma ingaba kuphi izobe ingakafesi izinjongo zayo. Bengicela ke Mhlonishwa njengoba usushilo ukuthi ikhona uke uyiphushe ibonakale
emakhaya. Uyabona lamakhilomitha amathathu umhlonishwa akhuluma ngawo ukuthi kufuneka ilekelele abantwana abangaphezu kwamakhilomitha amathathu. Emakhaya kuhanjwa amakhilomitha ayishumi ukuya kwayishuminambili beya esikoleni. Uma ingakabibikho kubona kusho ukuthi inqubomgomo ayifezi injongo eyayisungulelwe yona ngoba labantwana bafuna ukuzibona nabo beyingxenye yenkululeko esesayizuza yilokho nje Mhlonishwa.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Ngivumelana nelungu elihloniphekile ngokuthi kufuneka siyibuke le nqubomgomo ngoba ngempela ngempela zikhona izindawo lapho uthola ukuthi abantwana bahamba ibanga elingaphezulu kwamakhilomitha amahlanu ukuya esikoleni ngaphandle kwezicathulo nsukuzonke.
If it is three kilometers it means they will not be catered for.
Ngakho ke inqubomgomo ngoba iyinqubomgomo ...
... is not starting. Policy is based on practice ...
... ukuthi ukuba kukhona izinkinga zokuthi inqubomgomo ayisisebenzeli siyakwazi ukuyishintsha. Ayifani nomthetho. Nawo umthetho siyawushintsha ukuya phambili. Ngisho inqubomgobo namanje singayishintsha ngoba ...
...it does not cater for that. There are many things in the scholar transport we need to address. As much as the policy resides with me, who then give out and dish out resources for learner transport –meaning the real transport that transport learners. Those are the things we need to address.
Uthola ukuthi abantwana ngesinye isikhathi bahanjiswaizimoto ezingaphephile.
There are no standards because sometimes a person takes a van from his house and gets a tender then transport children.
Kwalento besikhuluma ngayo ekuqaleni ebibuzwe yilungu elihloniphekile mayelana nabantwana abagitshezwa ngemuva emavenini. Zonke lezo zinto ziyenzeka. Inkohlakalo nje into esiyibonayo. Lezo zinto kufuneka sizilungise. Ngivumelana nawe lungu elihloniphekile.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Chairperson, I just want to check with Comrade Minister, the provincial department is currently as you said transporting 33% of identified qualifying students. What I want to know is: What is the plan with the remaining 67% of the students who qualified but are not transported?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I cannot answer that vividly now. I wouldn’t say there is a plan where there is no plan. Obviously, it is a matter that we also need to address. We talk about policy that has been adopted, because it needed to take into consideration holistically-even the other percentage which is a remainder. It is a matter that we will look at and give you an answer vividly in terms of how do we cater for that.
Nk S A LUTHULI: Sihlalo, kuyangijabulisa ukuthi uNgqongqoshe uyayibona inkinga ukuthi ikhona ekuthuthweni kwabantwana ngoba le nkinga le indlela enkulu ngakhona ifaka izimpilo zabantwana
encupheni ngoba unyaka nonyaka uthola ukuthi kunezingozi zezimoto. Lamaphesenti angama-33 okwaziyo ukuthi uthathwe uthola kuthi amaphesenti angama-67 kugcina abazali bethathela abantwana imoto yokuthutha yangasese okungukuthi iningi lazo alikho emthethweni, zigcwala kakhulu futhi zenza izingozi eziningi. Kungangijabulisa kakhulu uma uNgqongqoshe engabuyisa ithemba kubazali ukuthi ngowezi-2020 ngeze zibekhona izingozi ngoba sinalo isu esandleni ukuthi sikwazi ukulungisa zonke lezinkinga ukuthi abantwana bethu bangashoni. Izinga lokushona kwabantwana likhulu kakhulu Ngqongqoshe. Yilwa Ngqongqoshe. Ngiyabonga
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHA: Ngivumelana nawe lungu elihloniphekile
... [Uhleko.] anginamazwi ukugcizelela lento oyikhulumayo. Ngakho ke ngisho lento ebengishilo ukuthi kuzofuneka siyibuke uma sibhekene nale nqubomgomo sikwazi ukuthi siyilungise. Ngiyabonga.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, thank you Minister, we are really glad that this complex and very important aspect of learner transport policy is being discussed today. Minister, the Western Cape government is currently finalising their learner transport policy complete with learner registration and transport contract compliance regulations – the one you referred to where children are transported with bakkies and all of that. Minister, will you
Minister engage Premier Alan Winde and provincial Minister Schafer for the excellent innovations and widespread coverage of this policy in a drive to assess marginalised learners gain access to safe and reliable transport? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: There is absolutely no difficulty and I think we do co-operate and work with the provincial government.
This should not be an exception. I work with the MEC of Transport to resolve issues of “Go George”. We are now resolving the issues of “MyCiTi”. So regarding your policy and alignment, we are talking governance - it’s not politics. We should work together; there is no challenge for me. So, we are open.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: In the stimulus allocation, Sanral received the allocation of R2 billion in 2019/20 and R1,58 billion 2020/21. Sanral then utilised this to accelerate the implementation of 21 Sanral projects to the value of R12,1 billion. The implementation of this Sanral stimulus projects is all dependent on having all the normal required National Treasury and other departments’ regulatory approvals, for instance environmental mining water use in place before the tender for construction can be used.
To date Sanral has been able to issue construction tenders for four major projects to the estimated value of R4,85 billion that are linked to stimulus packages. A further 13 construction tenders are planned to be issued in November 2019 with the remainder to follow in early 2020. The tenders issue to date have already contributed to reviving economic activity in the construction industry with regard to tendering processes.
The largest part of the direct benefits will however only occur once work on site commences in early 2020. The indirect economy benefits will only be realised once the projects are completed and road users are benefiting from the reduced road user costs. Travel time and accident causes which will contribute to lowering cost of doing business and thus able to stimulate economic activity. Thank you Chair.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Thank you hon Minister for articulating the intervention and the contribution that the department will be making towards turning the situation around.
My follow up question hon Minister relates to the areas of intervention that the department has identified, particularly with regard to the creation of jobs and work opportunities not only to
our people but in particular the youth, women and rural communities but also the emerging contactors. More so the impetus that the movement of R3 billion from Prasa to Sanral that it would have in terms of positioning our country to a new growth path and thereby mitigating the damage caused by the contraction of our economy during these difficult times? Thank you hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I don’t know whether I get the question properly but I’ll answer. The stimulus package allocated
R2 billion and over and above that it is aimed at stimulating the economic activity by ensuring that the small enterprises do benefit and also get empowered in this particular space.
The R3 billion allocated to Sanral from Prasa was in the main. The inability of Prasa to execute capital expenditure and that money is still there accumulating interest and it has not been ploughed into the stimulus package because the first thing I was haunted about when I became Minister was that there is R3 billion that went to Sanral from Prasa and I was interested to know why do you take money from Prasa and give to Sanral. However, treasury explained to me because I wanted to reverse that transaction and they said it’s irreversible.
Now, that was done with the full approval of treasury because of this question of failure of Prasa and not having a capacity. So, the break down of how that will be utilised in the context of the stimulus package will be done and we should be in a position to account for that. Thank you.
Mr M DANGOR: Minister please share with us your department’s plans that harmonises with other spheres of government and other departments to ensure that the road transport contributes to the economic growth of South Africa?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Yes, working with other spheres there’s a whole number of activities in terms of economic growth, working with other spheres of government, talking about provinces and so on. But, over and above that, because transport is the economic heartbeat of the nation, everything that we do is under pinned by transportation movement. So, in terms of the work that we do, it is focused on that. Making it a point that our rails function, making it a point that the economic activity is fast tracked by ensuring that we don’t have congestion in our roads and we move the movement of trucks and goods from the roads to rail over a period of time it is imported.
And, working among others with the business side of transport, particularly Transnet, we ensure the corporatisation in particular of the authority within Transnet so that we are able to open up our harbours and expand and ensure that we are competitive as a nation.
So, collegiality between Ministries of Transport and Public Enterprises in particular from the business side of Transnet and so on is very much important as much as we hold the regulatory framework in terms of our entities but that corporation is important. If it is not there, we will not be in a position to bring about any stimulation.
At the present moment we are ensuring communication and discussion and resolving issues of differences between Prasa and Transnet in particular because you will get a conflict situation where in which a state entity pays the other state entity. So, there is misalignment. Prasa owes Transnet R2 billion, Transnet owes because the railway lines that we use and require that every time we do that we must actually pay a certain amount of money in order for us to gain permission to utilise those particular railway lines. So we need harmony, otherwise it will be a totally disintegrated approach. So, we are working to ensure harmony and
ensuring that the economic perspective will hold to grow the economy and cut across in terms of the entities that we oversee.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chairperson, it’s very nice to be on first name terms with you. [Laughter] Minister, the last time a massive amount of money was ploughed into road infrastructure, the now infamous e-toll saga of Gauteng.
That system was planned without consultation, was poorly conceptualised and it suffered from massive lack of trust and as we know it’s all failed so the question to you Minister today, can you tell us here and now that this infrastructure boost, this stimulus plan will not resolve in how ways across South Africa being controlled by e-tolls and ripping of the purist in our society. Can you guarantee that?
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: When Gauteng freeway improvement project was approved in 2005, the main question before Cabinet that it had to answer at that time was congestion in our roads and follow up to that was the question of whether we have financial muscle and capacity to basically finance the Gauteng freeway improvement project from the fiscas and the answer was no and therefore the question became, how do we bring private capital
into the fixing of our roads and the e-toll scheme was actually devised which meant that we had to go to the market and basically borrow through Sanral and that particular scheme was actually devised.
I agree with you that because of how it was introduced, technology was ahead of this nation because South Africa is a developing nation. It’s like going to the petrol station and replicate what is happening in Europe down here. There will be massive protests where in which you just get in there and fill up your car and you hit the road.
We want to see overalls in the garages, that’s what we want to see because we need people to be employed. So, South Africans, we are not ready for the faster system which is quite beneficial which is happening elsewhere at a successful rate and so on. Over and above that, issues of consultation and taken into confidence t be educated but if you were to put a boom in the middle of Midrand, South Africans will never have protested because before you pass to Limpopo you must stop there and pay. There is no option. Boom gate! And, it’s called toll plazas and all of that. That’s what we actually have.
Now there is a faster growth of congestion in the Cape Town roads more than any other city in the country because the roads are undeveloped. We still have a headache with the Western Cape government to answer the question why should it take me six hours to get to the airport when I leave and need to catch a flight this particular afternoon because I will have to wait and all of that but if I have to catch an early flight, I must actually leave at one o’clock to the airport and leave every other business that I’m doing.
Congestion and congestion we are to actually address so whatever that we are doing in terms of the stimulus package will not be the same as you would have and over and above that because I’m not answering that particular matter we are dealing with and I can see you were trying to smuggle it and so on. We will give you answers in the next two weeks about what needs to happen once Cabinet has actually finalised that.
The biggest headache for us going forward is how we address expansion of our roads, better roads and what the role of private capital is in terms of building new roads so we need to have that conversation going forward so I agree with you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chair, the company that was awarded the contract to rehabilitate the R708 between Winburg and Marquard is Tau Pele Construction with the registration number 2003/020819/07. The contract is over a period of 36 months. The tender was awarded through the process of request for quotations from amongst companies that had been prequalified through a competitive bidding process and therefore form part of the panel of contractors for maintenance works.
The information requested by the hon Michalakis ... Michalakis, yes, I am sorry if I miss uh ... [Laughter.] okay ... thank you
... is available and can be made available. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Through you, Chairperson, thank you Minister for your reply. The road between Winburg and Marquard is in terrible state. We have actually been calling for something to be done there for quite some time. So, we welcome any form of rehabilitation of that road. It really has been quite a danger and it is the main road to Lesotho from that area of the Free State, so it is quite busy.
However, Minister, I would like to ask you if you can guarantee today that this contract that was awarded can in no way be linked to Mr Ace Magashule or his daughter. If you cannot give me that guarantee, would you, please, undertake to investigate this allegation and report to the House? Thank you very much, Chair.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I mean like you are saying, it is a new question. Uh ... Uh ... it is a new question.
AN HON MEMBER: Haybo! [Laughter.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Nevertheless, for all the intents and purposes, if indeed it is linked to any other person and we’ve got that particular information, we can look into that. That is it.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. Hon members, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister as he takes his seat for availing himself to answer our questions. [Applause.] Of course, I must add that our appreciation also goes to Minister De Lille and Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams. That, hon members, concludes the business of the day. Hon members are
requested to remain standing until the procession has left the House. The House is now adjourned.
The Council adjourned at 18:34.