Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard (Mini plenary)
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 07 Nov 2019
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2019
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0Bj6bTPvkA
PROCEEDINGS OF MINI-PLENARY SESSION – NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Members of the mini-plenary session met in the National Assembly Chamber at 14:01.
The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
ADVANCING THE AFRICAN UNION AGENDA 2063 WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE TWIN PILLARS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SECURITY
(Subject for Discussion)
Mr T N MMUTLE: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, guests in the gallery and members of the society, allow me firstly and foremost to extend condolences to a school in Limpopo, A M Mashego secondary school in the Hlogotlou circuit for their loss of five learners, namely,
Rakgalakane Pearl, Mogoaneng Karabo, Monareng Lucy, Monareng Chantel and Motsweni Beauty.
May their souls rest in peace. These learners requested a lift and three kilometres later they met their ultimate death. We wish for their families to find strength and comfort during these trying times.
Back to the topic, hon Deputy Speaker, the African Union Agenda 2063 encompasses the transformation plan of the continent. It entails the comparative advantages of the continent which include its people, history, cultures, natural resources and its position and repositioning in the world in order to effect equitable and people-centred socioeconomic and technological transformation to eradicate poverty.
It seeks to develop Africa’s human capital; build social assets, infrastructure and public goods; empower women and youth; promote lasting peace and security; and build effective developmental states as well as participatory and accountable institutions of governance.
With particular reference to economic development, the agenda envisages that Africa shall be a strong, united and influential global player. Agenda 2063 reaffirms that, I quote: “It must be an Africa that is at peace with itself in every corner. While Africa is making progress economically, there still exist pockets of conflict around the continent.”
South Africa is part of the continent of Africa which is interconnected and interdependence part of the globalised community in various dimensions, key and central in contributing towards peace and stability.
For us to play a significant and meaningful role we must be able to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities. Our portfolio committee, in many respects, agree with General Shoke when he asserted in 2019 - 20 Annual Performance Plan in which he reaffirmed our shared concerns with the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans when he said:
The South African National Defence Force remains in financial distress and underfunded with defence
capabilities that continue to decline as stated in the Defence Review 2015. If this underfunding is not addressed, it may have an adverse effect in the capabilities of the South African National Defence Force both in the medium and long-term, thus affecting national security of the country. This situation needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency.
To this end we will be neglecting our national duty if we don’t agree with the Minister of Defence on the emphasis she made that we must address the decline of the Department of Defence.
Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address in 2014 said the following:
Our country will continue to support regional and continental processes to respond to and resolve crises, promote peace and security, strengthen regional integration, significantly increase intra-African trade and champion sustainable development. This will entail supporting and executing decisions of the AU as well.
This will be done with the understanding that a prosperous, integrated and united Africa based on good governance, democracy, social inclusion and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law are the necessary preconditions for a peaceful and conflict free continent.
The point we are arguing is that peace and stability are pre-conditions for the economic integration of Africa.
The challenge facing our people both in South Africa and the rest of the African continent in the main is poverty, unemployment and inequality.
What therefore becomes imperative for us as Africans in general and South Africans in particular is the appreciation that in order for us to create a peaceful and stable environment, these challenges should be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
I know that in the country there is a narrow narrative that is being driven in the public discourse that seeks to destroy the security of the Republic by perpetuating the narrative that South Africa does not need the defence
force. Let me tell something, those who believe in that narrative have not vision for this country and the continent.
Deputy Speaker, the President was addressing the second Africa investment summit recently in order to solicit investment as an enabler for economic growth. Let me substantiate on that. South Africa has defence industry that has various capabilities that the country should invest in to ensure that the industry grow and create much needed jobs.
For the fact that is called a defence industry does not mean its capabilities are limited to the Department of Defence. Therefore we must use those capabilities to boost exports and ensure that we grow the economy.
In the same context we call upon the Minister to look at alternative funding models to salvage the industry and its capabilities. I thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The next speaker is Ms Chabane. Why is it Ms? Why do you call this man Ms? Are you out of order? Go ahead, sir.
Mr T R M ZUNGU: Hon Chairperson, members of the House ...
MOTLATŠASEPIKARA: Aa, le wena o se ke wa mpitša Modulasetulo ... [Disego.]
Mr T R M ZUNGU: Hon Deputy Speaker, members of the House, on the occasion of this debate this afternoon under the theme; advancing the African Union under agenda 2063 within the context of the twin pillars of economic development and security, I premise the debate on the iconic speech by Pan-Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah, at the inaugural ceremony of Organization of African Unity, OAU, conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 24 May 1963, Nkrumah made a clarion call that as Africans, and I quote: “we must unite now or perish”.
He understood that the economic development of Africa will only come from a united Africa. Agenda 2063 is the Africa blueprint and a master plan for transforming Africa into a global power house of the future. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable economic development, pursuit under the Pan-Africanism and African renaissance. It has strategic objective to galvanise in action all Africans in the diaspora around the common vision of a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa.
It further promotes the values of solidarity, self belief, nonsexism, self reliance and celebration of our cultural diversity.
The struggle of liberation in South Africa was achieved through, amongst others, the unity of the African states. Even the very formation of the African National Congress was to unite the people of Africa. While in exile in 1980, our visionary leader, President O R Tambo said and I quote:
A long-cherished dream of the ANC came true with the formation of the OAU in 1963. The continent has torn
asunder almost every chain of colonial bondage and joined the world community of nations as a full and equal member, contributing, with great effort, to the solution of international problems. Southern Africa is undergoing a geopolitical transformation and social upheaval. In the course of this colonial foundation some late decades ago had been reduced to a cheap of race.
This debate today takes place against the backdrop of our country hosting the second African Investment Conference in Sandton, Johannesburg. In his opening address, the President of the Republic, Matamela Ramaphosa, announced that the 31 projects committed last year during the inaugural investment conference, eight of the projects which he announced have been realised and completed, with
17 in construction are at the implementation phase. In total this represent the R238 billion of the investments that were announced last year. It therefore becomes critical that we also see this positive development as an advance in the African Union agenda 2063 within the context of the twin pillars of the economic development and security.
Hon Deputy Speaker, Kwame Nkrumah recognised that the sovereignty of the African states and said that, without necessarily sacrificing them, we need to forge a political unity based on amongst other things defence, foreign affairs and diplomacy. The African Unity, AU, agenda 2063, identify free movements of person as a key ingredient for achieving other development aspiration.
Free movement of person in Africa is expected to deliver several key benefits including; boosting intra-Africa trade, commerce and tourism, facilitating labour mobility and skills transfer, promoting Pan-African identity and social integration, promoting the rule of law, human rights and public health.
The protocol to the treaty establishing the African economic community - to which South Africa is a signatory
– relates to the free movement of people which envisage three specific rights; the right of entry, the right of establishment and the right of residence. These rights entails that nationals of AU member states shall have the rights to enter, stay, move freely and exit the territory of another member state in accordance with the rules, regulations and procedure of the host member state.
Hon Deputy Speaker, the adoption of these and other instruments reflect our commitment to agenda 2063. Integrating our collective vision as a country within the key pillars of agenda 2063 is the National Development Plan 2030. We do so out of our commitment of our future and to make a future work for the generation to come. By 2030, we in the ANC and the masses of our country we want to live in a country that we remade and an Africa that we have significantly contributed to its rise. Deputy Speaker, working towards achieving the goal set out in agenda 2063, 18 of the countries are enjoying a visa-free status are on the African Continent within Sadc.
Again as a country, we have waived visa requirements for
82 of the 193 countries who are members of the United Nations. In this month of November, the ANC-led government will be implementing the e-visa system which place technology at the centre of the Department of Home Affairs operation by making it easier and secure to enter South Africa. The e-visa regime will booster tourism, economic growth, combats visa fraud and open South Africa as a desirable destination. This move is indeed commendable.
Deputy Speaker, it is worth noting as directed by His Excellency, President Ramaphosa, that the Department of Home Affairs is moving forward with one-stop border post project which is to be implemented in the six priority land cross between South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. This move support the National Development Plan which advocates for a more open approach to immigration in order to expand a supply of high skills in a manner that contribute to economic development. It will also ease cross-border movements, enabling African citizens and provide legal permitting route for Sadc economic migrants. President Ramaphosa committed to make sure that the establishment of the one- stop border post in Beit Bridge located in Musina in Limpopo, is completed as soon as possible so as to improve the trade facilitation between South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as enhance the North-South corridor.
Deputy Speaker, there can be no economic development where there is no security. The ANC government has an obligation to ensure that all the people in the country are free and feel safe as outlined in the National Development Plan, NDP, outcome number 3. The twin pillars
of economic development and security therefore need to be balanced. This balance was seen in the Department of Home Affairs, smooth to relax the requirement that unabridged birth certificates need to be produced by those travelling with minor children into the country. The rationale for this rule was to stop child trafficking.
According to the salvation army of estimation 2 million persons are trafficked each year and Africa account to 450 000.
In a country where the statistics of gender-based violence, human trafficking, femicide and sexual violence is at their peak, the borders of South Africa cannot be left in a porous state. All people especially women, children and persons with disability must feel safe. As the ANC government, we will work hard that the Border Management Authority Bill is passed and implemented as reaffirmed by the ANC 54th National Conference. One of the key pillars of the Border Management Authority Bill is to balance the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel function whilst simultaneously addressing security risk.
Chairperson, I must take this opportunity also to congratulate Lesotho for being the first in the continent to introduce a co-ordinated border management system which was launched yesterday. As we pursue the strategic objective of the national democratic revolution, our vision is to create a better South Africa in a better Africa and just a world.
In conclusion, Chairperson, I end up by quoting Thomas Sankara and I quote: “We are not against progress but we do not want progress that is anarchic and criminally neglect the rights of others” I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, as hon Bergman comes to the podium, I would like to request all the speakers that there is a rear view mirror there placed especially for you as a speaker on the podium so that you don’t give the presiding officer a title they don’t have. They already have enough, just stay with the correct one accuracy. We realise that your chairpersons in your committees are dominant in your presence as you present here. [Laughter.] Just watch that, it is important.
It is also in the interest of our political system. The public listens to us. In the ... no, hang on, hang on ... in the NCOP there is Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson. It is always useful to be accurate. It serves the purpose better so that people use the appropriate systems of the political we have chosen. So, that are the choices we have made. I am just stating it just in case there is something behind my seeking to correct you when you speak here. Go ahead, hon member ...
Mr D BERGMAN: Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, can you be orderly for a change. [Laughter.] Go ahead, hon Bergman.
Mr D BERGMAN: Deputy Speaker, Ben Okri says that “the magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing”. Unfortunately for us Agenda 2063 seems like an idyllic pipe dream of which there is more fantasy than reality. It seems to be an agenda created to grow hope and keep the people complacent whilst the common occurring tragedies continue to befall our continent.
Facing climate change, terrorism and migration the politicians have come out with a distraction or delaying tactic to buy time and favour whilst the outlook remains negative and stagnant.
The DA realises that Africa needs hope and we are committed to being part of the solution that turns hope into reality. We believe that South Africa has a great opportunity to push the process of implementation and monitoring the agenda on a continual basis.
We offer four key elements that can get us closer to that reality. The first one is to commit to strengthening regional structures that commit their agendas to Agenda 2063. Being part of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, the Africa Liberal Network and having served on the Association of Progressive Communications, ACP, we are not short of plans and ideas but we are very poor on implementation.
All structures seem to work in isolation and have not aligned their output to that of Agenda2063. South Africa must use their memberships on all regional bodies to
ensure that those plans speak to the ultimate AU vision and that we are constantly benchmarking performance against our target.
The second one is election observations and human rights monitoring. As a country and as a region, we need to be consistently speaking out against any election infringements, attacks on democracy in terms of free and fair elections; we must ensure regular elections and limited terms of office for leaders.
It is sad to note that this year SADC was not able to monitor elections in our region even though some were considered high risk. We have a duty to all citizens in our region to police the politicians and parties to ensure that the choice of the people is upheld. More importantly, we should be more vocal and vigilant when citizens of other countries are attacked and abused by the very people in power chosen to protect. We must be guided by principle and not friendships. We must also be fearless and broad in our approach.
We must live in the present and plan for the future even if it means challenging former allies. We have been blindly loyal to allies of the ANC for far too long. This has led to hypocrisy in our foreign affairs approach. In some instances, we cosy up to the identified aggressor and in others we cry with the perceived victims. Our approach needs to be helpful to the growth of Africa and for the safety of South Africa.
We can play a constructive role in securing unity from the South to North and from the West to the East by selling the SADC vision of a role model law and by ensuring peace in our continent first. The DA has well researched ways to bring finalisation to the Moroccan issue and we would gladly partner with government to bring about a fair end to this highlighted region.
For Agenda 2063 to be successful, we need to be a united and peaceful Africa cohesive in their trade and approach to lift Africa. We need to fight terrorism, migration and climate change together. Terrorism is affecting many countries in Africa. The latest news informs us that
terrorists have been active in Mozambique only a few kilometers away from us.
Terrorism has a huge cost burden to it and forces poor countries to spend more on defence and policing and less on social and human development. No country in Africa can turn a blind eye to the plight of their fellow members and make it their problem rather than our problem.
Piracy, terrorism and ongoing wars will keep Africa down and open to exploitation. The vultures have been circling since post-colonialism and have already made a few key swoops to endear their prey.
To secure borders and domestic safety, it is important for us to ensure that we know who comes in and who goes out our country. That our borders are secure and that whilst people are in our country, that they feel protected and are safe.
We cannot harbour international fugitives or allow them to leave our country. We need to work more intently with international bodies and respect the judgements and
penalties meted out. Citizens and tourists must feel welcome at all times and it should be criminals that feel scared and targeted.
As the African proverb teaches us: Milk and honey have different colours, but they share the same house peacefully. Africa is home to all that live, invest and contribute to making it grow.
Taking loans, grants and gifts from certain countries could place the continent at risk of another rise of colonisation. It would be sad to invest time, effort, funds and energy into something that could be taken or stolen away from us just before the finish line. With this in mind hear the call of the DA that says if we do not learn from our history we will repeat our mistakes.
The DA is committed as a party and through its vast network of sister parties and other political bodies to help find the solutions and to be a proactive and productive participant to help drive projects that will bring us closer to making the dream of AU Agenda 2063 a
reality. We believe that the future of Africa transcends political parties and that we are stronger together.
As President Barack Obama once said, in a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power — including strong and principled diplomacy.
South Africa, we have a chance to lift Africa — let us be on the right side of good decisions. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D B NGWENYA: Deputy Speaker, we cannot overemphasise the need for an integrated approach to African development.
When Africa emerged out of the colonial repression and underdevelopment, those who came before us understood fully well that for each of the newly independent countries to shed off the yoke of colonialism and neo- colonialism, Africa had to be united politically, economically, socially and culturally. It is for that
reason that the likes of Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and the others called for a United States of Africa.
The Abuja Treaty that was adopted in 1991 by all members of the then OAU, sought to lay the foundation for that continental unity. Unfortunately, the continent has lacked leadership that would have propelled Africa to higher levels of development for the past decade or more.
In our country, we have lost the strategic leadership voice on matters of continental unity and development. We have been aimlessly moving along, and there has been no improvement in our conceptualisation of African development, and we have allowed ourselves to be captured by western interests.
Agenda 2063 will remain a beautiful wish list for the continent if we do not deal with the necessary requirement of visionary leadership, working institutions, the rule of law, and merciless uprooting of all neo-colonial remnants still seeking to control the continent, and to steal the resources of this continent for the development of imperial powers.
The Pan-African Parliament must be strengthened to have overarching legislative making powers for areas which deal with exclusive African trade.
We must as the continent have a single trade policy, which must, amongst other things, remove trade barriers between African countries, impose tariff and non-tariff barriers to cheap importation of goods, for goods that can be produced within the continent, and aggressively promote industrialisation and manufacturing in the continent.
Agenda 2063 will remain a pipe dream if we do not, today; start connecting the continent by rail, by air, by sea and by road.
The free movement of African goods from one country to another must not benefit European or American transport companies.
To date, the development of the African continent is highly dependent on the financing and the financial aids from the colonisers. Initiatives such as the Programme
for Infrastructure Development in Africa are still reliant on and utilising private sector institutions to develop the African infrastructure.
African development must be driven by African people, represented at the highest level by African states. We can no longer be dependent on those who are the primary causes of our suffering.
The African Continental Free Trade must be used for the development of the continent and seen as a vehicle for a programme of massive inward industrialisation of the continent. This will make Africa the centre of manufacturing of African minerals and other resources.
Most importantly, Deputy Chair, we must guard the Free Trade Area so that it does not become a mechanism for moving goods manufactured by companies from outside the continent. This will never be realised if African leaders are continuously looking for a European master to lead Africa.
All this will not be possible, and will not succeed if there is no broad enough movement across the continent, that seeks to engender radical Pan African development, democratisation of politics, and uprooting of dictatorships that exploit our siblings and force them to look for economic opportunities elsewhere.
The African Union does not represent those ideals; it is a group of neo-colonial representatives that must be claimed back by progressive forces in the continent.
Thank you, Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Hon Speaker and colleagues, I am sure that all members of this House will agree that collaboration is best when we are trying to reach goals that will see our continent flourish. The IFP’s values of solidarity and ubuntu speak to these very collaborative social mechanisms, to have everyone get a proper seat at the table.
We believe that together, a united Africa can rise to the occasion of lifting all its people out of one, mental, colonial and economic slavery; two, dire poverty and
hunger; and three, of improving life expectancy, education and digital technology.
However, let us not sing a song of “kumbaya” here in this House and show unity when the majority of our country and our people have no idea what the AU Agenda 2063 is and how it will impact them. Not once did our very own President mention what co-operative agreements we are undertaking with our fellow African countries in achieving this agenda in any of his state of the nation addresses.
As things stand in the real state of our nation, we cannot even look past the next three months, as we try to whip our economy into shape. How are we to practically plan our way forward to 2063, when we cannot even commit ourselves to the NDP’s vision for 2030?
The IFP is committed to working with government and all other AU member states, as we do share in the belief that we must strengthen democratic governance, fight terrorism and stop conflicts and wars that divide us, instead of uniting us.
And, together, we can address improving healthcare, food security, education, climate change, and grow the economies of all AU member states, when individually, all countries commit to the same script.
At this point, sadly, we can’t take any seat at any table in championing Agenda 2063. And we can’t negotiate the best possible outcomes for our people, when the hand we are dealt with at home needs so much attention. The good of the whole Africa, is dependent on the wellbeing of individual states.
However, in conclusion, as I take my seat in this Chamber for all practical reasons, so too must our country take several seats and fix what is broken in the present, before we can even think of making the future a reality, regionally and on the continent. I thank you.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, the topic for our debate is: Advancing the African Union Agenda 2063. I am not always sure if all members know where this comes from. If I listen to some of the speeches, I find that some members are not necessarily well informed.
Die Organisasie van Afrika Eenheid, OAE, is in 1963 gestig en toe het daar 50 jaar verloop tot in 2013. In 2013 het die OAE, wat daarna in die Afrika Unie omskep is, met hierdie agenda vir die volgende 50 jaar gekom. Die argument van die OAE en die Afrika Unie in 2013 was dat die eerste 50 jaar op die liberation struggle [stryd vir vryheid] en die vrymaak van Afrika van koloniale moonthede gespandeer was. In 2013 het hulle besef die agenda vir die volgende 50 jaar moet oor die ekonomiese ontwikkeling en vooruitgang gaan.
Ek dink nie daar is iemand in hierdie Huis wat ’n probleem daarmee kan hê nie. Inteendeel, dit is iets wat ondersteun moet word. Ek dink nie mens kan sê dat mens dit nie wil hê nie, of nie daarvan hou nie en nie daarmee saamstem nie.
Ek het na die agb lid van die EFF geluister en my bekommernis is dat dit vir my klink asof sy in daardie eerste 50-jaarfase tot 2013 wil wees. Ons is nou by daardie punt verby. Ons is nou by die punt waar Afrika moet ontwikkel en groei en na vore moet gaan.
Ek het na die twee kollegas van die ANC geluister en my bekommernis is dat ... Hulle het baie oor verdediging gepraat en dat ons ons grense moet beskerm. Program 6 praat daarvan dat ons in 2020 ...
... we must silence the guns: The end of conflict in Africa.
Dit is ’n baie mooi ideaal, maar ek is nie so seker of ons daarby gaan kom nie. Die bekommernis wat ek het is dat die ...
... only way that Agenda 2063 will succeed is in terms of economic growth. That is the only way. Without economic growth, it will remain a wonderful plan on paper but it will not succeed in developing Africa to what it needs to be.
Wat het jy nodig ...
... for economic growth? Let me quickly give you a list and then we can see for ourselves whether that is present in Africa at the moment, never mind in South Africa. We need skilled labour. We need low taxes. We need low inflation. We need competition. We need a savings culture. We need a motivated work force, investment, credit worthiness, infrastructure and low interest rates. That is what Africa needs.
Agb Buthelezi van die IVP het korrek daarna gewys. Suid- Afrika kan nie sy rol in hierdie proses speel nie, want ons eie huis is nie in orde nie. Ons het verlede Woensdag na die agb Minister van Finansies geluister; ons eie finansies is in ’n haaglike toestand. Ons eie finansies het ’n krisis, die een na die ander. Ek praat nie eens van Eskom en al die probleme wat daar is nie. Watter rol wil ons nog gaan speel?
Dan gaan kyk jy na die res van die Afrika-kontinent, en dan vind jy ’n baie positiewe, effektiewe groeikoers in verskeie van die Afrika-lande. Hulle is ver bo ons – 5, 6
tot 7%. Twee gedeeltes van Afrika is egter tans nie daar nie. Daardie lande in Noord-Afrika wat onderworpe was aan die sogenaamde Lengte-revolusie van ’n paar jaar gelede op die noordgrens en Suid-Afrika is nie tans deel van daardie groei nie. Gaan kyk hoe lyk ons groeikoers. Ons weet wat basies intern aangaan.
My bekommernis is ... Ek het na die kollegas van die ANC geluister. Die VF Plus ondersteun hierdie benadering. Ons wil graag ons kontinent sien ontwikkel, maar die res van Afrika is besig om in die toekoms in te gaan met hul gesigte en hul visie op die toekoms gerig. As ek na my ANC-kollegas luister, dan het ons die ou probleem. U wil nogsteeds die toekoms ingaan met u gesigte op die verlede en op wat in die verlede gebeur het, en jy kan nie in die toekoms suksesvol wees ...
... if you go with your back to the future.
Dit is die probleem. Dit geld ook vir die EFF en vir daardie lid ook wat nie kan luister nie.
Mr W M THRING: Hon Deputy Speaker, the ACDP recognises that Agenda 2063, which has a 50-year span, going back to 2013, is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.
The declaration of Agenda 2063 marked the rededication of Africa towards the attainment of the Pan-African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
The ACDP has always positioned Africa as the continent of hope, of promise, potential and endless possibilities. It is most certainly the continent on which the next global economic growth spurt is going to take place. This is evident when one looks at the GDP growth of some African countries, which outstrips those of developing and developed nations of the so-called First World.
Let me give you some examples: Niger is currently growing at a rate of 5,1% per annum; Benin, 6%; Burkina Faso, 6%; Ghana, 6,3%; Tanzania, 6,4%; Djibouti, 6,7%; Senegal, 7%;
Rwanda, 7,2%; Ivory Coast, 7,4%; and the fastest growing on the continent is Ethiopia at 8,5%.
Ethiopia’s economy is booming and its economic growth has been hovering at around 8 to 11% for over 10 years now.
The average growth rate in Ethiopia is 5,85% and it is going back to 1981 to 2017.
Looking at the aspect of security in Africa, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who made peace last year with bitter foe, Eritrea. The wisdom of Prime Minister Ahmed must be emulated, because economic development cannot take place in the presence of crime and war.
When one makes a comparison of South Africa to its African counterparts, it is clear that we are falling short. We have high unemployment, high crime, murder and rape rates, high budget deficits, high Gini coefficient, high debt to GDP ratio and increasing trade deficits.
It is time to put the nation first, to lay aside our political ideologies and indifferences, and place the
interests of those whom we are called to serve, first. If we do this, agenda 2063 is possible. Arise Africa, let Africa arise. [Time expired.] Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy Speaker, the core objective of this Agenda 2063 is to have a flourishing culture of human rights, democracy, gender equality, peace and security, prosperity, and to put in place mechanisms to defend the continent’s collective security and interests.
In addition to this is the objective to create unity, cohesion and solidarity between African countries and nations. It is very sad that if this is what we have adopted, what is happening in South Africa, particularly with xenophobia and the way our brothers and sisters from the African continent have recently been treated leaves a lot to be desired.
Now, if we talk about wanting to be part and parcel of the unity, then surely charity begins at home. Indeed, we need to ensure that our brothers and sisters that are emanating from these African countries are treated with respect and dignity.
We all must agree that the African continent is one of the richest continents in terms of mineral wealth, agriculture, etc. However, despite all its wealth, it remains one of the poorest continents globally. The question we need to ask is: Why are we still the poorest continent with all this wealth?
Despite this attempt to create a united states of Africa, the continent continues to experience great challenges, including corruption, lack of human rights, democracy, limited growth, civil unrest, etc.
I was watching the programme the other day on Rwanda. You will remember the civil unrest, the division, the number of people that lost their lives, but Rwanda has today been able to launch their first smart phone in Africa.
What a great achievement for an African country! [Interjections.] Yes, indeed, they ... [Inaudible.] ... the first smart phone in Africa. What a great achievement! The question that we need to ask is: Why are we as South Africa lagging behind? What are we not doing? What are we doing wrong? How can we come together as one united nation to address this?
I said this before, at the SADC region, at one stage, we have agreed on infrastructure development from South Africa through the neighboring countries but we have not taken advantage of that. We have discussed the issue of a pharmaceutical industry and we have the capacity and the capability but we have not been able to do that. The question is: Why can we not come together and do it? Why is Africa not able to have its own currency? Why do we have the entire world, but yet allow it to be controlled by the Western society and Western countries?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why don’t we have enough time?
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: The NFP believes that this is a great initiative. Thank you.
Ms M MODISE: Deputy Speaker, our starting point is to reaffirm that the ANC - since its formation, has been a Pan-African organisation, committed to the unity, liberation and prosperity of the African continent. Since 1994, our government under the ANC has and continues with its commitment to the renaissance of Africa which includes economic integration.
A question was put to the rest of Africa in 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by President Kwame Nkrumah when he asked:
How else will we retain our own capital for own development? How else will we establish an internal market for our own industries? By belonging to different economic zones, how will we break down the currency and trading barriers between African states, and how will the economically stronger amongst us be able to assist the weaker and less developed states?
For many years, people of Africa through the then Organisation of African Unity - the OAU, and now African Union - the AU, developed measures and initiatives to respond to the questions posed by President Nkrumah. In 1991, the peoples of Africa represented by their leaders in Abuja, Nigeria, agreed on what is known as the Abuja Treaty to establish for themselves an African Economic Community.
The Abuja Treaty agreed on the following principles: To promote economic, social and cultural development and the
integration of African economies in order to increase economic self-reliance and promote an endogenous and self-sustained development; to establish - on a continental scale, a framework for the development, mobilisation and utilisation of the human and material resources of Africa in order to achieve a self-reliant development; to promote co-operation in all fields of human endeavour in order to raise the standard of living of African peoples and maintain and enhance economic stability, foster close and peaceful relations among
member states and contribute to the progress, development and the economic integration of the continent; and to co- ordinate and harmonise policies among existing and future economic communities in order to foster the gradual establishment of the community.
Fast forward to 2015, the African Union adopted the AU Agenda 2063, which outlines that by 2063, African countries will be amongst the best performers in global quality of life measures. This will be attained through strategies of inclusive growth, job creation, increasing agricultural production, investments in science, technology, research and innovation, gender equality,
youth empowerment and the provision of basic services including health, nutrition, education, shelter, water and sanitation.
The AU Agenda 2063 is the continent’s strategic framework for its socioeconomic transformation over the next 50 years. The agenda is about us Africans building the Africa we want. The AU Agenda 2063 seeks to place the continent on a developmental path towards the realisation of the African Union’s vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena.
Our foreign policy as the ANC is premised on the Freedom Charter that states, “There shall be peace and friendship.” Building from this, the principles of our foreign policy, which has been advanced by the ANC-led government since 1994 is of the belief that our foreign policy should reflect the interests of the continent of Africa, and that South Africa’s economic development depends on growing regional and international economic co-operation in an independent world.
In this debate, we reiterate that the economic growth of South Africa is interconnected and interdependent with that of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, region, in particular, Africa in general. On this point, South Africa is part of SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-16, consistent with the objectives of the AU Agenda 2063. The SADC strategy was developed as an inclusive long-term modernisation and economic transformation scheme. This strategy will assist in advancing our agenda with identified sectors for growth such as the automotive sector, agro-processing, textile, leather and footwear, chemicals and plastics, just to mention but the few.
As part of the economic integration of Africa, South Africa has signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area which brings together 54 African countries with a combined gross domestic product of more than
US$3,4 trillion. This is truly a massive market. Africa’s collective GDP is estimated at US$2,6 trillion.
This signifies a massive potential for African economic growth. However, the challenge is that the intra-Africa
trade is low at 16,6%. This means that Africa’s trade curve is “outward” to overseas countries. We appreciate the reality that global economies are interlinked and interdependent, but the growth of African economies can only be accelerated if intra-Africa trade is encouraged.
Mr M P GALO: Deputy Speaker, the African Union Agenda 2063 has been cast as the beacon of hope for the continent. The African Union Constitutive Act goal of promoting sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies is one of the realisable goals the AU agenda has wielded.
The twin pillars of economic development and security can practically be achieved with the collaboration of the African Union Commission, working with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Nepad, Planning and Co-ordinating Agency, and in close collaboration with the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
Economic development in Africa rests largely on building infrastructure development, harnessing the potential of the youthful population and fighting the scourge of corruption. As the big brother on the continent, South Africa has the unmitigated role to steer the ship, lead the continent and be the exemplary leader. Let us prosper Africa with guarded patriotism. The AIC supports the report. Thank you.
Mr M J CUTHBERT: Hon Speaker, never did I think I will see the nationalist socialist party of Wakanda over there arguing in favour of free markets, but it seems that things happen everyday. The ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, AfCFTA agreement, by 27 member states is a victory for the market-based economy and is crucial to the realisation of the African Union Agenda 2063.
The AfCFTA will consist of a market of 1,2 billion people and a gross domestic product of $2,5 billion across 55 member states. This makes the agreement the largest free trade area post the formation of the World Trade Organisation, WTO. For far too long, African countries
have closed themselves off to their African neighbours — the time has come for this to change.
This is supported by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa who state that, “Businesses face higher tariffs when they export within Africa than when they export outside of Africa”. However, the AfCFTA will go a long way in ameliorating this in the short-term and vastly improving our continent’s fortunes in the long- term.
Moreover, it is argued that this agreement has the potential to improve intra-African trade by up to 52,3% through the elimination of import duties and the minimization of non-tariff barriers. This would provide a marked improvement for intra-African trade which only accounted for 16% of Africa’s total exports in 2017.
As one of the largest and most diversified economies on the continent, South Africa is in pole position to benefit from the AfCFTA. However, we should not be under the assumption that continental trade policy is able to compensate for poor domestic policy choices.
This means that a renewed focus on solving the energy crisis, shutting down talk of nationalisation and a clear action to trim the public wage bill are crucial.
Moreover, there needs to be an investment injection to infrastructure and logistics routes that allow for seamless supply chain management.
According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings, South Africa places at 145 out 190 countries in terms of ‘trading across borders’. This poses a particular challenge in the context of the AfCFTA by virtue of the fact that these cost indicators are linked to time and cumbersome compliance items related to exports.
Earlier in the year, President Ramaphosa appointed a working group in collaboration with the World Bank to address these poor rankings. In lieu of this, the DA will be watching with a keen eye to see whether or not structural reforms are effected to improve this ranking and respond accordingly.
As one of the largest economies in Africa, it is totally unacceptable that we find ourselves in the position we do! As the AfCFTA negotiations are still ongoing and member states are in process of deciding on product- specific rules of origin, the DA urges decision makers to craft rules that prevent ‘fronting’ by extra-continental trading partners.
Furthermore, we call for the negotiations on investment, competition and intellectual property to be expedited and, that decisions made are true to market-based principles including the primacy of private property, fair competition and economic growth.
The AfCFTA provides an opportunity for South Africa to re-establish itself as a leader on the African continent
— we cannot allow this opportunity to be missed. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: Hon Deputy Speaker, as this is the month of November, I’d like to remind the House that South Africa commemorates the National Disability Rights Awareness Month, which we remember annually between 3
November and 3 December, and that the Minister, hon Nkoana-Mashabane, has officially launched 2019 National Disability Rights Awareness Month.
The ANC and the ANC-led government remain committed to a peaceful and prosperous Africa in pursuit of the aspirations of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, AU. In 1963, the first 33 independent African states took a landmark decision to form the Organization of African Unity. The focus of the OAU was to unite African countries in the fight against the twin evils of colonialism and apartheid.
In May 2013, African leaders converged in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, which was subsequently replaced by the African Union, AU, in 2002.
As part of the Golden jubilee celebrations, the heads of state and government of African Union adopted a solemn declaration that ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sorry, mme! Please lift your microphone a little bit so that it is closer to your mouth. Ja! Try it; talk!
Ms W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: ... rededicated the collective leadership to the continent’s development.
This declaration and rededication called for the development of a continental agenda that will guide the work towards a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa, driven by its citizens and taking its rightful place in the world, by 2063. Agenda 2063 is rooted in Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, provides for a robust framework for addressing past injustice and the realisation of the 21st Century as the African Century.
For, “The Africa We Want,” there are seven aspirations and I will only focus on two. Aspiration 3 talks about an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law. A commitment was made that by 2063, Africa will aspire to: Be a continent where democratic values, culture, practices, universal principles of human rights, gender equality, justice and
the rule of law are entrenched; and have capable institutions and transformative leadership in place at all levels.
The continent’s population will enjoy affordable and timely access to independent courts and judiciary that deliver justice without fear and favour. Corruption and impunity will be a thing of the past. Africa will be a continent where the institutions are at the service of its people.
Citizens will actively participate in the social, economic and political development and management. Competent, professional, rules and merit based public institutions will serve the continent and deliver effective and efficient services. Institutions at all levels of government will be developmental, democratic, and accountable.
Aspiration 4 is about a peaceful and secure Africa. We aspire that by 2063, Africa shall have: An entrenched and flourishing culture of human rights, democracy, gender equality, inclusion and peace; prosperity, security and
safety for all citizens; and mechanisms to promote and defend the continent’s collective security and interests.
In the call for action, the agenda 2063 was adopted as a collective vision and roadmap for the next 50 years. A commitment was made to speed up actions to silence the guns by 2020 through enhanced dialogue-centred conflict prevention and resolution, to make peace a reality for all our people. We pledge not to bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans by ending all wars in Africa by 2020.
We shall establish an African Human Security Index, AHSI, to monitor progress. We will achieve gender parity in public and private institutions, and the removal of all forms of gender discrimination in the social, cultural, economic and political spheres. We will also mobilise a concerted drive towards immediately ending child marriages, female genital mutilation and other harmful cultural practises that discriminate against women and girls.
South Africa can be proud to have the Chapter Nine Institutions and state institutions supporting constitutional democracy, such as the SA Human Rights commission, the Public Service Commission, the Public Protector, the Commission on Gender Equality, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic communities to talk to some of the requirements mentioned above, as well as judicial, human rights and legal organs of the AU established to support implementation of good governance and respect for human rights on the continent.
These include African Commission on Human Rights, African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, AU Commission on International Law - AU Advisory Board on Corruption and the African Committee on Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
I would like to end with this with a much needed prayer for Africa and for ourselves: God bless Africa. Guard her children. Guide her leaders and give her peace, in Jesus’ name. Amen! [Applause.]
Mr T N MMUTLE: Hon Deputy Speaker, You should not be worried how many times I speak. We must clarify one fact here: That as South Africans, we are not xenophobic. We are simply saying our brothers and sisters from the continent must abide and adhere to the rules and regulations of this country. [Applause.]
Now, we have the DA on the left that actually expects us to embrace their imperialist and colonialism ideology.
How on earth do you expect us to do that? Because, we want to build an Africa that is united, ... [Interjections.]
AN HON MEMBER: You sweep like a toothbrush!
Mr T N MMUTLE: ... of which is a strong united force that can compete with the entire globe. You can’t expect us to behave as if ... as I agree with Dr Mulder that ... [Interjections.] ... that the past will help us to map a way forward. There is no way that we are going to forget the injustice of the past. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
We will not! We must always use that to map a way forward, unite and move as a country and as a continent. Therefore, for you to suggest that we should not look back, how are we going to map a way going forward because the injustices of the past need to be addressed so that we must move forward as a united different national within the continent.
I am very much disturbed by the utterances made the EFF. It leaves much to be desired because – you see ... [Interjections.] You should be ashamed of yourself that even the FF-Plus finds your comments very disturbing. It is quite ironic! [Interjections.]
It is clear that you are a political party that is formed out of what I describe as green salad. A green salad is dominated by lettuce which has got no weight. That is what you are suffering from. You ideas of how we should build Africa have got no weight and substance. [Applause.]
Africa has experienced many wars and civil unrests for many years. These utterances that came out of here want
to perpetuate this unrest so that imperialists continue to loot and take the mineral resource out of this country for their own narrow beneficiation.
Now, we must unite, stop them, ensure that we grow Africa, develop its economy and we become a power as African continent. [Applause.] [Interjections.] We do not know, that is why we are saying in that context Africa must invest in its security as and when it advances its economic development and growth because we do not know when the conflicts are going to erupt.
We must remember that even during peace times, we must always prepare ourselves for anything. We don’t have people ... Even our friends can turn against us at anytime. Therefore, we can’t suffer from the illusion that our economy or the economy of Africa will grow without is uniting and strengthening our security.
As I close, I want to quote a Nigerian scholar and author, Ilemobola Peter Olanrewaju, as quoted by former President Mbeki. He said:
Peace and stability is a social condition where multiculture is respected; multiethnic is loved; multi- idea is welcomed; multireligion is embraced; minorities are protected; equality of rights, equity, justice, guided liberty and freedom are guaranteed.
Thank you. [Applause.]
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF CONVENTION ESTABLISHING THE SQUARE KILOMETRE ARRAY, SKA, OBSERVATORY IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF CONSTITUTION, 1996 – REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Mr M MAPULANE: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, fellow South Africans, good afternoon. Hon members, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Minister Blade Nzimande, in September 2019 tabled the Convention Establishing the Square Kilometre Array, SKA, Observatory requesting Parliament to ratify the Convention in terms
of the requirements of Section 231(2) of the Constitution of the Republic.
After two and a half years of multilateral negotiations led by Italy, the text of the Convention establishing the Square Kilometre Array Observatory was agreed in May 2018 and signed on 12 March 2019 in Rome by South Africa, Australia, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The convention seeks to establish the SKA Observatory, which will be a governance structure established under international law that will be responsible for constructing and operating the SKA Radio Telescope, which is a huge global scientific project in Astronomy.
The Convention does not set out any details relating to the policies and rules of the SKA Observatory, it also does not stipulate the financial obligations of members, but rather, establishes the mechanism that will govern how these decisions are made. The policies, rules and financial obligations will be approved once the SKA Observatory is established.
Among others, the provisions of the Convention are: To set out the purpose of the SKA Observatory; defines membership, roles of organs, the Council, the Director- General and staff; sets out high-level principles with regard to finance, intellectual property rights, procurement, operations and access. The SKA Observatory will enter into force once five signatories have ratified the text, including all three host countries namely, South Africa, Australia and the UK.
The rights and responsibilities of South Africa and Australia hosting the SKA telescopes and the UK hosting the SKA Observatory headquarters will be governed by separate bilateral hosting agreements. Hon Deputy Speaker, South Africa has been playing a pioneering role in international Radio Telescope. In 2012, South Africa won the bid to co-host the SKA, which is an international, mega-science project to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope.
The South African Karoo Array Telescope, known as the MeerKat, consists of 64 antennas located in the Karoo desert region in a quiet backdrop for the high and medium
frequency Arrays that will form a critical part of the SKA ground breaking continent. The SKA Radio Telescope project aims to answer some of Astronomy’s biggest questions. These include, firstly, how do galaxies evolve and what is dark energy? Secondly, was Einstein right about gravity? Thirdly, how were the first black holes and stars formed? Lastly, are we alone on the planet?
Indeed, hon members, we are living in interesting times The portfolio committee is therefore recommending that the House ratifies the Convention which in no doubt provide South Africa the opportunity to leverage the significant foreign investment and prestige associated with the SKA project. [Applause.] [Time expired.]
Mr B B NODADA: Sekela Somlomo ohloniphekileyo, malungu abekekileyo, bantu baseMzantsi Afrika ndiyanibulisa ngale njikalanga.
The DA supports the Convention establishing the Square Kilometre Array, SKA, in the Northern Cape Karoo which is
the epitome of opportunity, innovation and excellence in which South Africa desperately needs today, particularly for education, our collapsing economy that have left
10 million South Africans unemployed, of which 57% of those faces are young people, and to tangibly lead the scientific charge in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Square Kilometre Array will act as a catalyst for science, technology and engineering business opportunities, jobs and innovation, and has the potential to put South Africa on the map of excellence as a world big data and analytics hub. The multibillion rand SKA, is to be hosted in Africa and Australia, it will extend into eight African countries and will be the world’s biggest telescope.
It is also one of the biggest-ever scientific projects and multinational collaborations in the name of science. The South African Karoo is soon becoming a home to this node of alien-hunting. The 64-dish MeerKAT telescope will add its gaze to those of other telescopes as they search the skies, furthermore, provide the local community and
South African economy with immense manufacturing, engineering, educational and employment opportunities.
The innovations, skills development and commercial potential emerging as a result of the project are huge. The human capital development is already taking place as a result of the SKA project, with bursaries and scholarships being granted to allow students to learn the necessary cutting-edge science, technology, maths and engineering skills to support the project.
This mega astronomy infrastructure bid is expected to result in investment of about R2 billion in the continent during construction of which already, R1,7 million has already been spent on material sourced from local suppliers in the Northern Cape for building the equipment of Hydro Energy Array. The SKA will drive the development of internet connectivity in both rural and urban areas to handle the big data project.
The World Bank study concluded that every 10% increase in bandwidth connectivity for developing countries produces 1,3% growth in gross domestic product, GDP, of the host
country. The local Carnovan Primary and High School have benefited from astronomy and computer laboratories being built as way of inculcating a culture of science and innovation with the project programme opportunities.
Furthermore, South African university based on radio astronomy courses are benefiting from the 900 grant bursaries created by the project as part of the programme for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Undergraduate students also conduct outreach programmes designed to excite learners of the Northern Cape about the leading role that science can play in the province. Further Education and Training, FET and technical and vocational education and training, Tvet, students funded by SKA project are developed to be artisans.
It is during this time of excitement and uncertainty that we must commend the good work done by this Department of Science and Technology, even with the minimal budgetary resources that they get from the government. South Africa’s success will be determined by our ability to generate knowledge and innovation with the appropriate human capital, infrastructure, financial support and
incentives to sustain the phases of our innovation process.
Therefore, it is high time that the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation is given a greater responsibility and funding to contributing to our crumbling basic and higher education system, to develop a curricular that is focused on problem-solving enhanced by a culture of science, innovation and technology. I thank you. We support this. [Applause.]
Mr M N PAULSEN: Deputy Speaker, hon Mapulane, Stewart Brand, the editor of the Whole Earth Catalogue, an American anti establishment magazine says if the new technology rolls out, if not part of the steam roller you are part of the road. So, let’s see whether we are part of the steam roller or part of the road. Obviously Bro Blade being involved we possibly could end up on the lesser side of the equation.
There can be no doubt that science and technology plays an important role in our advancement as a country and as a nation indeed. We must however be masters of our own
destiny and have full control of that destiny. We must be involved throughout the value chain of research, innovation and development of science and technology.
But, also we must participate in the critical role of strategic decision making, managing research and development at a practical level, the location of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, SKA, which is all what you all not speaking about is in the United Kingdom, far away from where the actual work takes place.
So, the decision making strategic engine about all the important projects including funding within the SKA program is in the United States. The physical SKA is co- located in the Northern Cape and Australia. All the physical work, the real science and technology and development will take pace at these locations. It’s regrettable that the colonial relations still persist where the colonial masters take decisions in the United Kingdom, UK and the colonies do the spade work. But, obviously this is the ANC and they are backed by the DA so you guys are happy.
It is regrettable and it demonstrates a lack of fore sight and mentality of always submitting to colonial imperialists, masters will and false superiority. They are not better than us. We are just as capable.
Why couldn’t the head office be based in Africa? Why couldn’t the engine of the SKA be based in Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana or even in South Africa, closer to the physical infrastructure? South Africa and the African continent as a whole will not derive maximum benefit from this.
Decisions will be made for us. Countries like Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia will not benefit as much compare to if the observatory was based in Africa. It matters, yes it does. We must not underestimate the proximity of physical location of decision making because those that reside closer to the actual facilities are likely to derive the benefits. Even in the modern era of high speed internet technology and now the development of five to six generation mobile wireless network.
Transformation in research and development must happen while it must start locally, we must seek to play a much bigger role including that of housing head offices of institutions such as the Square Kilometre Array Observatory. We are the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, an important facility responsible for managing all radio astronomy initiatives and facilities in South Africa.
Its management team is made up of mostly white men. Mostly white men, you must know this Bro Blade’s area. That guy has got no idea about what happens. Four out of fifteen are women and only three out fifteen are black. Africans who are responsible for stakeholder relations, human resources and marketing, these are important but they are not the key positions. They are not the scientific positions, construction, planning or technology but obviously Bro Blade being involved we are not on the steam roller, we are part of the road when it comes to the rolling out of technology. Thank you very much.
Mr S L NGCOBO: Hon Deputy Speaker, the convention for the Square Kilometre Array Observatory as SKA, in which South Africa is a partner state comes as a major step forward for the nation. The ratification of this observatory in Parliament today will drive our efforts to ensure the country’s further development in the education fields of science and technology.
This collaboration sees one of the biggest scientific partnerships in turn international governs. What is significant for South Africa is that we are one of the three host countries along side Australia and the United Kingdom. This shows the importance in the role South Africa must play to drive the success of this program as key stakeholders.
South Africa will act as a host that assists the establishment of basis for other African nations. The SKA project shall possess the capability of transformational science. It has a combination of sensitivity, angular resolution and survey spit for surpassing the current state of art instruments at relevant radio frequencies.
This means that the radio telescope will improve the understanding of the universe and the law of fundamental physics by monitoring the sky in the never seen before detail and mapping. In doing so, it will be more than one hundred times faster than any other technology that the world currently uses.
In the past we have experienced a brain drain in Africa where students leave the continent to further develop their skills elsewhere and sometimes due to lack of infrastructure and opportunity. In this case, incentives have been made for students who will benefit from this technology and program to remain within the continent and South Africa.
This project will bring about more opportunities for the education within the field and directly contribute to more jobs. We must bring together a fully united collaboration with other African countries to start the development of our technology and capabilities in the high tech industry.
We must start identifying skills and trades that will benefit from this and align our education sector to produce learners capable of exploiting the advantages that come from research and technology with the programs such as this. The IFP welcomes this ratification. Thank you.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Agb Voorsitter, as daar nou een ding is wat ek vandag agtergekom het, dan is dit dat daar drie dinge is waarteen ’n mens nie kan wees nie: Jy kan nie teen moedersmelk wees nie, jy kan nie teen reën wees nie, en jy kan nie teen die SKA wees nie!
Tog is daar hier en daar ’n probleempie. Ek sal maar ’n bietjie in die Rooitaal lees.
What we discuss today is not the merit of the Square Kilometre Array telescope but the convention to make a scientific enterprise of this magnitude possible. It is co-hosted mainly by South Africa and Australia and as member Paulsen said, the head office in the United
Kingdom but will extend over many more countries while yet another set of countries contribute to its realisation.
Due to the requirements f the radio silence on the one hand and the astronomically high cost and the pun is intended, the SKA will extend over less developed territories but will be funded by highly developed economies.
Therefore, a multi lateral convention is required. The derails of the SKA will not be under jurisdiction of the host states anymore but under the jurisdiction of the newly formed multi lateral body. So, it’s not like hosting a guest in your house anymore, it’s like giving one room in a share title agreement.
When the so called host has nothing to offer but space, and the host that jurisdiction adds all the knowledge capital and other hardened soft material. There is a well-known word for it. It’s colonialism. Fortunately, this arrangement is not that kind of one way traffic.
South Africa has the expertise to contribute and will indeed do so had indeed done so already. The questions that we have revolve around the communities of Carnarvon, Williston, Vanwyksvlei and Brandvlei. Since the conceptualisation of the project until 2016, these communities were under the impression that the SKA will lead to the purchase of minor pieces of land and the requirement to use alternative communication technology.
In 2016, it was announced that the approximately 130 000 hectares of land would be permanently taken out of the economy. Even in the Karoo, which is not the dessert incidentally, that is a significant area. Land was purchased at good prices, contributions to schools and bursaries for learners were made and a feedlot was financed to mitigate the reduced livestock production.
The question however is whether these communities will remain economically viable with the impact of the SKA.
One thing which was admitted by the SKA was that there is going to be economic growth but not necessarily by the same people and that’s where our concern was, the communities which are presently there and not the number
of the local gross product. We are concerned with the communities therefore and we reserve our position on this convention.
Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the ACDP rises to support this report as previous speakers have indicated the convention established in the SKA was signed on 19 March this year by… and it’s important to note all the different the different countries that are involved. The United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Australia and South Africa. When fully deployed the SKA will consist of an array of 4000 antennas and be 50 times more sensitive than the Hubble Space Telescope even though it will be ground based. This is a phenomenal project.
South Africa will be one of the three host countries along side the UK and Australia and it will in our view give greater clarity on the wonders of carefully designed and created universe. There is indeed a creator of the heavens and the earth, a God whom we serve, an intelligent designer.
The ACDP agrees with the committees comment and this is incisive, why South Africa? This is a new day for Africa that after the few times that Africa was called a dark continent now that seems to be working to its advantage as the pristine clear skies and the radio s** are perfect for the SKA observatory in Karoo.
The project has yielded impressive economic benefits already for the area. Some 420 million has already been spent through construction of Meerkat and KAT7, some 7284 job opportunities have been created. So, why this convention? The convention is an intergovernmental organisation that is being created which will according to the officials be the best legal entity for this project as it will be implemented in terms of international binding law.
This has the benefit of diplomatic privileges and immunities to facilitate a project of this size. It will also assist with design policy such as procurement which is best suited for the project. Most importantly, in bid intergovernmental commitment at the highest political level hardly an imperialistic attitude or convention.
Certain attitudes were raised in the committee such as why New Zealand has withdrawn. Now in the case of New Zealand we understand it was due to budgetary constraints. The other question related to the removal of
133 000 hectares of land from farming and the question is whether tourism to the area will compensate for the loss of income from agriculture. This clearly needs to be closely monitored and one trusts that a project of this size will include and increase tourism to the area. Thank you. The ACDP will support this.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon House Chair, the obvious starting point in this debate is the Constitution which provides that international treaties, agreements and conventions bind the country subject to the parliamentary resolution. We have witnessed the signing of the Headquarters Agreement in Rome, Italy. Another obvious choice to anchor this discussion is the role that Minister Naledi Pandor and Minister Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane noticeably played in the course of the ensuing debate about mainstreaming innovation, science and technology in the African continent. The AIC can boldly say without any fear of contradiction that the ratification of this
Convention establishing the Square Kilometre Array Observatory by Parliament affirms the stellar role of those former Ministers.
The use of scientific evidence and appropriate technology for inclusive development would be very much appreciated. The Square Kilometre Array will govern the global SK radio and telescope project. Being part of this international initiative means that we are part of the world and we are getting deeper into Fourth Industrial Revolution. So, in conclusion, we wish to footnote the African Union Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa preamble which states that:
Strategy is designed to respond to the need of transforming Africa into knowledge-based and innovation-led society.
We support this report.
Ms N T MKHATSHWA: Hon Chairperson and hon members of the House, some may want to believe that this thing of stars and astronomy is a western one. However, the bright star
for me lies in a rather star-poor region and is prominent in the summer sky. It is called Ndemara the Sweetheart Star by the Shona and Ntshuna; and the Kiss Me Star by the Batswana. The visibility of this star was supposed to indicate the time for lovers to part before their parents discovered them.
So, as the ANC, we unequivocally appreciate the need to expose children and communities to science, technology and innovation, STI but acknowledge that although people experience and make use of STI in their daily lives, the widespread acceptance and usage of STI is often not realised by our communities and this is sometimes as a result of historical deprivation from access to the sciences. But today we, as South Africa, are in an intergovernmental organisation under international law - hon Paulsen – and host the core of high-frequency and mid-frequency dishes of what would be called the Square Array Observatory while Australia – by the way – hosts the lower-frequency antennas. So ...
Singaphezulu maqabane ...
... as South Africa. It is our Southern dark and clear skies that have low radio interference that make us influential in this convention. It is our infrastructure networks of transport, power communications and a strong knowledge-based astronomy that make us, South Africa, influential in this convention. Hundreds of international doctorate researchers have already applied to be part of the activities at the location of the SKA in South Africa and many of them are also Africans and women.
As young people in our country contest the hegemony of western pedagogues in knowledge production and consumption, this opportunity provides immaculate platform for South Africa to be a global leading force in the knowledge researched, produced and consumed on the astrophysics and astronomy. As South Africa, we must seize the opportunity to produce world-leading astrophysicists through this observatory. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution being a big commitment of our government, we must seize the opportunity that the observatory brings for big data production.
The National Development Plan, NDP states that science, technology and innovation must play an increasing role in skills development, job creation and economic growth.
Therefore, whilst we acknowledge the historic investments by the SKA through education and employment in the communities of the Northern Cape like Williston and Carnarvon, we must emphasise the importance of this sort of investment taking place while the observatory is put into place.
Our women and children across all races, genders, and ages must be at the forefront of what takes place at this observatory. Therefore, we support the report. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The mini-plenary session rose at 15:44.